The following blog post was originally posted here: What is AntiChrist?… War on The Saints pt 7
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.( I John 4:1-3)
I deliberately named this article “What is AntiChrist”, rather than perhaps the more provocative, “Who is AntiChrist’ to establish the concept that Satan wars against the Church, the Jews and the Saints through a concept called “AntiChrist” which manifests itself chiefly in three entities; The Spirit of AntiChrist, and the many antichrists already in the world, and ultimately this will culminate in an individual, the AntiChrist who comes at the end of the world.
The word “Anti Christ” is compound. The prefix, “anti” is added to the word “Christ”. The Word “Christ”, is a Greek term for the Hebrew word “Messiah”, ie “the anointed One”.
Jesus is the Christ of God, the one promised from the very beginning, the “seed of the woman”, the “seed of Abraham”, “the star that comes out of Jacob”, the “root of Jesse”, the “Son of David”, the one promised by all of the Prophets since the third chapter of Genesis. He, Jesus of Nazareth alone, met all of the credentials outlined in the constant promise to Israel that God would send a Messiah.
He would be born in Bethlehem,Ephratah” as Micah 5 predicted, He would come shortly before the temple was destroyed,(as promised in Daniel 9:25-27) and at the very time that “the scepter departed from Judah” as Jacob predicted in Genesis 49. David saw the crucifixion of the Anointed One, but predicted that He would live again, in Psalm 22. Isaiah predicted that he would be executed between two thieves and build in a rich man’s tomb, in chapter 53.
You would have to be very obtuse and resistant to God, to keep on denying that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah.
But for all of those who insist upon their rejection of Jesus, (in the face of overwhelming prophetic evidence), another “Anointed one” will soon appear.
Jesus predicted that those who refuse to reject himself, who actually met the criterion, will be presented with another who doesn’t bother to meet the criterion or even appear to, He comes,”In His own name”, that they would receive him instead.
I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.(John 5:43)
This is the concept of AntiChrist. The prefix “anti” means “in the place of” or as “a substitute ” for Christ. AntiChrist doesn’t mean “against Christ” it means “instead of Christ”.
Jesus Christ, the Messiah, sent his Spirit into the world upon the resurrection, to empower the church, and to form a bride for himself, (the Bride of Christ), and to witness to the world of sin, righteousness and Judgment.
The false Spirit, the Spirit of AntiChrist has been released to do something similar, but opposite. He, the spirit of antichrist is forming a body of false christians, a bride of antichrist, steeped in mysticism, experienced based christianity, false prophecy, and a distorted “grace doctrine” which actually gives license to sin, and denies the reality of a final punishment.
I have seen this “anti anointing” and written against it, in several books, An artificial Pentecost occurred in 1994 when the “spirit” overtook worshippers at the Toronto Airport Vineyard putting them into trances and inducing them into a state called “Spiritual drunkenness”. This phenomenon became widely known and thousands of Christians made “pilgrimage” over to Toronto to “soak” in the “blessing” and then to carry it home to their churches.
This “new anointing” empowered pastors to quit preaching the Word, to seek to be intoxicated in the “new wine” and to write erotic songs to Jesus and the Father in the name of the so called “spirit”. One main proponent of the movement, Rodney Howard Browne became known as “God’s Bartender” and he called his meetings, “Joel’s Place” as if the prophet Joel had opened a pub for drinking!
Obviously this was not the true Spirit of Christ, it is the Spirit of AntiChrist! But it was accepted and promoted by hundreds of thousands of Christians throughout Europe, England, America, Canada, and the English speaking world. The Assemblies of God stood against it, until they received their own version of it, called the “Pensacola Revival”, a contrived “revival” at an Assembly of God church in Brownsville Florida.
The last days would be marked by the outpouring of a counterfeit “holy Spirit”, a lawless Pentecost would occur and men would be deceived by “signs and wonders” which come after the working of Satan, yet also accompanied by a “Strong delusion” sent by God to damn the unbelievers.
Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 These 2:10-12)
There is a Spirit of AntiChrist that has been poured out upon the world, to rival the Holy Spirit of Christ.
There are also many individual antiChrists, which have come and which will come into the world. AntiChrists are false Christs who supplant a real walk with Jesus by false teachings designed to redefine the Knowledge of God.
All false Christian teachers and prophets are antiChrists. They rob people of real faith, by teaching pseudo faith.
I was just converted for a few months, when I was exposed to the teaching of Kenneth Copeland and Kenneth Hagin, two very popular charismatic teachers in the 1970s. Both of these teachers propertied to “Word ” teachers, or “Word of faith”. They were seemingly down to earth teachers, homespun, Texas accents, and wonderful communicators.
But their teachings amounted to a redefinition of the fall, (Man lost dominion and authority granting it to Satan), they redefined faith itself,(Faith as a force, operating by set laws, God uses faith to create, he is under the laws of faith, etc*). They taught that Jesus’ death on the cross was inadequate to save us**, first he must descend into hell to be tortured by Satan, until he had paid the price for our sins, only then could he be raised from death. They also taught that we the redeemed , sons of God, are in fact “little gods”, in “gods class of being” and as much an incarnation as the incarnation of Jesus Christ”.
When God opened my eyes to the Word of Faith error, I had a choice to make; I had to either admit I am and have been wrong and back away from these heretics and their teachings, or just stay in the movement.
Am I a little God? Isn’t that the serpent’s lie in the garden?
By repenting of the false teachings I had so happily received, I actually “overcame” the antiChrists.
Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.(I John 4:4-5)
**“For three days He suffered everything there is to suffer. Some people don’t want to believe that. They want to believe that after His death, Jesus just stayed in that upper region of Sheol that the Bible calls paradise, but they’re mistaken! If He had simply stayed there, there would have been no price paid for sin.” (Believer’s Voice of Victory, Vol. 19, No. 9, Sept. 1991)
*** “He [Jesus] allowed the devil to drag Him into the depths of hell….He allowed Himself to come under Satan’s control…every demon in hell came down on Him to annihilate Him….They tortured Him beyond anything anybody had ever conceived. For three days He suffered everything there is to suffer.” (Kenneth Copeland, “The Price of It All,” 3.)
****“You are as much the incarnation of God as Jesus Christ was… the believer is as much an incarnation as was Jesus of Nazareth.” – Kenneth Hagin, Word Of Faith, December, 1980, pg 14.
To purchase Pastor Bill Randle’s book, “A Sword on the Land: The Muslim World in Bible Prophecy”, please visit: http://www.aswordontheland.com/buy/