THE ANTICHRIST SPIRIT
Copyright © 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.


The spirit of Antichrist is that of man making himself his own god, that is, man following his own will. Satanís original sin was disobedience. The sin of Adam and Eve was disobedience.

In the day in which we are living the Holy Spirit is emphasizing stern obedience to the Father. As long as we are following our own will instead of the will of God, there is a door in our personality through which Satan can enter.


THE ANTICHRIST SPIRIT

Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us. (I John 2:18,19óNIV)

It is our point of view that there actually will be a human being, whether male or female, who will be "the Antichrist," the man (or woman) of lawlessness. This individual will fulfill the prophecies of the Bible concerning the Antichrist.

Donít let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so he sets himself up in Godís temple, proclaiming himself to be God. (II Thessalonians 2:3,4óNIV)

We recognize that "the Antichrist" will come. But in this brief essay we would like to point out that the spirit of Antichrist has been with the churches from the beginning. It is the desire that is in all of us to perform our own will, until the Lord is successful in getting this compulsion out of us.

How can we be the temple of God and do His will flawlessly when at the same time we are attempting to force the performing of our own will? It cannot be done.

Taking the four steps of salvation does not remove our self-will, the Antichrist spirit, from us.

Being born again does not remove our self-will until that which has been born in us comes to full maturity.

Being baptized with the Holy Spirit does not remove our self-will from us.

Speaking in tongues and exercising the ministries and gifts of the Spirit does not necessarily remove our self-will from us.

The only manner in which self-will is driven from us is in the bearing of our cross after the Lord Jesus each day, saying "Not my will but Yours be done" while we are in the most difficult crises; while we are locked in the most undesirable prisons.

The more that self-will is driven from us the more clearly we can hear the Lordís voice and thus walk in continual fellowship with Him.

The Antichrist spirit is that of man being his own god, following the desires of his sinful nature. This does not mean our self-will is limited to expressing the lusts of our flesh and soul. Self-will can operate when we are the pastor of a church as we plunge ahead with our building program without hearing clearly from the Lord; without waiting until the elders of the church are in agreement.

Self-will can operate as we attempt to go forth as an apostle or prophet without hearing from the Holy Spirit. We think we are to step out in faith. But stepping out in faith before we hear clearly from the Lord is nothing more than presumption. We do this because of our desire to be spiritually prominent, not because God has moved on us.

The Charismatic movement, with its unprecedented spiritual knowledge and possession of the gifts and ministries of the Holy Spirit, is at a crossroads today. On every side we are hearing: "Go forth and deliver a lost and dying world from the bondages of Satan." Most of the time this voice is not the Lordís. It is our own personal ambition coupled with the spirit of humanism.

The emphasis of the Bible is on the needs of Christ, not the needs of people. Until we hear from the Lord and do what He desires we are being driven by the spirit of Antichrist, even though we are healing the sick and working other miracles.

If you were the boss of a company, how would you like it if the employees made up their own minds what was good for the company and charged forth according to their own wisdom and desires before you told them what to do? You wouldnít like it at all! You might have a marketing strategy worked out in your mind, based on information not available to your office staff, that you were ready to put into effect. Their efforts destroyed any chance of your strategy being successful.

So it is with the Lord Jesus Christ. He knows exactly what He is doing. When we tell everyone to "go forth and minister to a lost and dying world" it is the same as a group of clerks in a large corporation going out according to their own notions and trying to promote the company.

What we should be exhorting the saints to do is to pray constantly to Christ, presenting their bodies as living sacrifices to God that they might determine His will.

For two thousand years the Christian world, for the most part, has been performing the work of the Kingdom by using the Antichrist spirit. This is why we have the abundance of competing denominations. This is why the denominations do not always exude the fragrance of Christ. They are "doing their own thing."

All this time the God of Heaven has permitted the self-willed Christian works (many of which have accomplished much good in the world and in the Kingdom of God) to continue under the headship of man.

But we are in a new day. The tares of satanic wickedness are coming to maturity. The same is to be true of the wheat of Christ. God intends to confront Satan. The Holy Spirit shall confront the False Prophet. Christ shall confront Antichrist.

Spiritual titans are approaching the ultimate confrontation. Human beings, who are only the dust of the ground, have no authority or power to do much about this colossal, vicious, violent warfare.

The people at issue are the saints of God. Those who are willing to give up their right to be themselves will endure the shaking that is coming and be used by the Lord to bear an unprecedented witness. The Christians, especially those who are gifted by the Holy Spirit, who insist on doing what they think is right without waiting until they hear from the Lord, will be shaken from their position in Christ. Some may survive, some may not. Their survival in Christ depends on their willingness to humble themselves and wait for the Lord to make Himself known to them.

First, let me attempt an explanation of the following passage:

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. (I Corinthians 12:4-6óNIV)

I think this means the Holy Spirit gives gifts and ministries to the believers. The Lord Jesus administrates these gifts. The Father empowers the gifts.

The problem comes when the Holy Spirit gives us a gift. The gifts given to us are always under our control. Therefore we can either go forth and attempt to use them, or we can submit ourselves to Jesus Christ and permit Him to direct us to use our gifts as He sees fit.

When we seek to use our gifts according to our own desires we create chaos. It is the operation of the Antichrist spirit even though the gift was given by the Spirit of God.

When we walk closely with the Lord Jesus He tells us when and where to use our gift. Then God the Father provides the power that makes the gift work properly.

This is a tremendous misunderstanding in present-day America. Ambitious ministers of the Gospel are attempting to command the Spirit of God. They know if they can get the Spirit to move their meetings will be well attended, and this means success and money for them.

This is an abomination! It is unscriptural to pray to or command the Spirit of God. We are not to do this. The Spirit of God always is given to those who obey God. When we present ourselves to the Lord Jesus Christ, He directs the use of our gifts. We do not need to exhort the Holy Spirit to do anything. It is the Lord Jesus alone who administrates the Kingdom of God and the working of the Holy Spirit. When we seek to do this we are moving in the Antichrist spirit.

Remember, Antichrist is not the opposite of Jesus Christ, he is the imitation of Jesus Christ. The principal difference between Antichrist and Jesus Christ is that Jesus Christ obeys the Father while Antichrist acts according to his own desires and impulses.

A great shaking is coming! Believe me, the heavens and the earth shall be shaken. You and I shall be shaken violently. The very roots and sources of our motives, thoughts, words, and actions shall indeed be shaken violently.

Only that which obeys Christ will survive the shaking.

Numerous Christians are being shaken today. Ministers of the Gospel are finding that their motives have not always been pure. They have been following their own will rather than the will of Jesus.

Each Christian will be brought to a point of decision. Either we will humble ourselves and do what the Lord wants, or we will clutch our religious abilities and try to maintain our preeminence.

In some cases even God does not know what our decision will be. The spirit realm has to wait to see which decision you are going to make, whether to humble yourself and turn back to Christ, or to plunge ahead in your pride and self-will.

Right at this point you are determining your eternal destiny. It is a fearful business!

Daniel prophesied some strange things concerning the authority and power of Antichrist in the last days. Here is the strangest of them:

It grew until it reached the host of the heavens, and it threw some of the starry host down to the earth and trampled on them. It set itself up to be as great as the Prince of the host; it took away the daily sacrifice from him, and the place of his sanctuary was brought low. Because of rebellion, the host of the saints and the daily sacrifice were given over to it. It prospered in everything it did, and truth was thrown to the ground. (Daniel 8:10-12óNIV)

I have expounded several times on this passage. Yet this morning I think the Lord forcefully brought it to my attention and I felt I should add to what I have said previously.

In order to understand the above verses we must recognize a fact presented by the Apostle Paul. If we are abiding in the Lord Jesus Christ we already are seated with Christ at the right hand of the Father, waiting until He appears so we may appear with Him.

And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, In order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:6,7óNIV)

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. (Colossians 3:1-3óNIV)

Please think long and hard about the above two passages. If you are not persuaded of your position in Christ it will be hard to follow what I will say further.

First of all, my understanding is that it is your new born-again nature, the Substance of Christ in you, that is part of Christ in God. It is the Life of Christ that has been begotten in you that is at the right hand of the Father.

This means, then, that your born-again nature has ascended with Christ to the Father, having been separated from your spirit, soul, and body. Now, think carefully about this. Your new born-again nature already is at the right hand of God in Christ. This clearly is scriptural. But your spirit, soul, and body still are on the earth; or, if you have died, your body is interred somewhere while your spirit and soul are resident in their appointed place in the spirit realm.

I would suggest that regardless of whether your spirit, soul, and body are alive now, or your spirit and soul are alive in Heaven after you die, or whether you have just returned with the Lord, your born-again nature, the Life of Christ in you, remains unchanged. It still is with Christ at the right hand of the Father in Heaven.

You are in Christ; but there are different locations of your personality, such as in Heaven or, after you are raised from the dead, with Christ wherever He is. But your position in Christ in God will never change. Can you see that? It is just as Christ is always in God even though He may be working with God in many different areas and situations.

Remember that Heaven is not millions of miles up in outer space. Heaven is all around us. It is invisible because it is in another dimension. You could travel forever into outer space and never come to Heaven because Heaven is in another dimension. You actually are surrounded by a great cloud of heavenly witnesses, perhaps including some deceased friends and relatives. They are not far off in outer space.

Think carefully about the above. It may be new to you.

Now, letís look again at Daniel and see if the passage gains in clarity.

It grew until it reached the host of the heavens, and it threw some of the starry host down to the earth and trampled on them. It set itself up to be as great as the Prince of the host; it took away the daily sacrifice from him, and the place of his sanctuary was brought low. Because of rebellion, the host of the saints and the daily sacrifice were given over to it. It prospered in everything it did, and truth was thrown to the ground. (Daniel 8:10-12óNIV)

The above is telling us that the Antichrist spirit will increase until it touches Godís host including His saints, who today are in Christ in God at Godís right hand.

What God is searching for, the reason He is shaking us, has to do with the extent of the Antichrist spirit in us, the spirit of lawlessness and rebellion.

Look carefully at the above: "Because of rebellion." I think the NIV has done a good job here. God is looking for traces of rebellion in the heavenly host. After all, the original rebellion began in Heaven around the Throne of God.

Let me put this in simple terms. You have been a Christian, perhaps a minister, for many years. Your born-again life, the Life of Christ in you, is in Christ in the Father.

Now God is shaking you. Perhaps He is showing you that you have been incorrect in some of your preaching. It is true that much Christian preaching consists mostly of fables, such as the teaching that Godís grace is an alternative to righteous behavior instead of being the wisdom, authority, and power that enables us to keep His commandments.

Or perhaps you have been searching the Scriptures and are beginning to believe you have been incorrect concerning the so-called pre-tribulation rapture.

Now you have a clear choice.

"Should I go before my congregation and inform them that I have been wrong for the past forty years?

"Should I pretend I still believe in the pre-tribulation rapture, that God is going to remove His people from the earth so they wonít suffer and carry them up to Heaven, even though I have discovered there is no such doctrine in the Scriptures?"

Can you see what a shaking this would be? Perhaps God is pressing you to tell the truth to the people. You have been mistaken all these years!

If you disobey God, if you continue to tell your listeners there is no danger facing them, you then become a false prophet. The enemy is at the gates and you are crying "All is well!"

Do you know what happens next? Daniel tells us: "It threw some of the starry host down to the earth and trampled on them." You no longer are a victorious saint. Satan has used the spirit of Antichrist in you to pull you down from your high place in God. You have lost the battle! You no longer can claim to be a person of integrity. You are trying to shore up the wall with whitewash. You are a hypocrite.

I am using such terms to show you the reality of what we are facing in the present hour.

There have been prominent ministers in our day who have been pulled down from their place in Christ and trampled on by Satan, because they yielded to the lusts of their flesh. Isnít that true? It may be true also that they pulled down other people with them!

The old religious games are over. The Lord Jesus Christ is moving among the lampstands.

We had a menís retreat recently. At one of the meetings the spirit of the gathering was high. The men were on their feet praising God with all their might. The musician were playing and singing the high praises of God.

Suddenly I realized that in the spirit realm the Lord and some of His warriors were moving among us. You know what They were looking for? They were looking at the men to see their level of maturity in righteousness.

They were not paying any attention to the loud praise nor were they praising and dancing. They were looking to see how far along each of us is in righteousness of character.

At a previous meeting we had prayed a prayer of deliverance for a brother who was horribly bound because of circumstances beyond his control. After the lengthy session a good measure of release had been obtained. Then I saw the angels and the heavenly warriors dancing and rejoicing mightily. For the first time I realized the import of the saying, "There is joy in the presence of the angels of God when one sinner repents." Although this was not exactly a sinner repenting, a human body was changing from being the temple of Satan to being the temple of God. Such great rejoicing over one transformation!

But as I said, Christ and His officers were not dancing or praising God during the next meeting. They were looking to see where we are in spiritual growth, where we are as far as the stature of the fullness of Christ is concerned.

Hopefully the praise and pageantry will greatly multiply in numerous churches in the days to come. Hopefully too there will be much more participation on the part of the members of the congregation in gifts, ministries, and expressions of worship.

But the end result, the fruit the Farmer is looking for, is the moral image of Christ in each one of us. That image is iron righteousness, fiery holiness, and stern obedience to the Father.

So we see that the Antichrist spirit is in us until our personal cross drives it from us. We must remain in the Lordís prison until we receive the crown of life.

Our work in the Kingdom of God means little or nothing unless we are in close contact with the living Jesus.

There is an emphasis today on growth in righteousness. From this time forward the churches increasingly will become battle zones. The conventional services may remain for a season, but they already are vestigial. Moses is dead. The mantle has passed to Jesus Christ as Joshua.

Christ is coming to us today in the spiritual fulfillment of the Jewish Blowing of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah). He is the Lord, strong and mighty in battle. He is going to drive Satan from the physical creation, beginning with the saints closest to Him.

All worldliness must go before Christís mighty power. All the lusts of the flesh must flee before His mighty power. All of our self-will, the Antichrist spirit that is in us, must be burned out by patient, cross-carrying obedience. Jesus Christ will bring us into situations where we have to keep saying, "Not my will, but Yours be done." He had to learn stern obedience to the Father. We have to learn stern obedience to Christ, and through Christ to the Father who sent Christ and has commanded us to hear and obey all that Christ commands.

The Antichrist spirit entered Adam and Eve when they chose to obey Satan rather than God. This first act of self-will has brought untold agony on the human race. All sin proceeds from Satan, and all of Satanís sins have proceeded from the day he determined to put himself above God. This is Antichrist.

Achan disobeyed the clear commandment given by the Lord through Joshua. The result was, and always shall be, defeat in the war against the enemy.

Saul was anointed as king of Israel. But Saulís heart was never right. He was filled with self-will.

Korah, Dathan, and Abiram set their wills against Moses and Aaron.

Absalom sought help from the Israelites while David was busy doing Godís work. The stupidity of it! What did Absalom think he would do when he became king over Godís people without the blessing of God? So it is that all self- willed people end up lying, deceiving, and doing stupid things.

One thing about Antichrist: he is crafty but not wise; cunning but not intelligent. He always ends up shooting himself in the foot, as the saying goes.

The same is true of Satan. He redeemed the world by crucifying Christ on the cross. He brought the power of Christ into Paulís life by jabbing him with a thorn in the flesh.

Our self-will, the Antichrist spirit, opens up a door in our personality through which Satan may enter, just as in the case of Adam and Eve, Saul, Achan, Absalom, and others who did not follow the Lord closely.

I have noticed that when someone is really seeking God, waiting on Him, bearing the reproach that always falls on anyone who turns aside from the works of the flesh and seeks God with a whole heart, Satan will enter self-willed people and use them to slander the Lordís faithful servant.

Whenever you hear a believer gossiping about or slandering a fellow Christian you know you are listening to a self-willed person. The Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ never gossips about or slanders a Christian or anyone else. But gossip and slander are an assembly-wrecking manifestation of the Antichrist spirit.

It is a new day, isnít it? Did you ever think you would see the time when we no longer were sitting quietly listening to a trained choir, and then an introduction, three points, some anecdotes, and a conclusion, followed by a closing hymn?

On occasion, in our assembly, the musicians play simple segments of music without wordsóhowever the worship leader directs. This is very effective. We have a chance, then, to march around the church, or to do whatever seems appropriate at the time. We may keep this up until the worship leader feels we have caught hold of God. Then he takes us right into some worship chorusesósome militant, some slower and worshipful.

I donít think we have arrived yet. We still are not getting the widespread participation that will build Christ in us to the extent God desires. But we are on our way and moving ahead as fast as the Lord shows us what to do. And the people are following!

A new day, characterized by songs of war (and of worship as well), dancing, tambourines, a saxophone, a French horn, drums, guitars, bells, tone blocks, acting out the words of the choruses, and anything else we can think of.

We keep pushing ahead! Pushing ahead! Pushing ahead as the Lord leads!

The end result is an increase in the Life of Jesus Christ in each member, as measured by greater righteousness, greater holiness, stricter obedience to God as he or she interacts with the living Jesus continually.

It is a new day, a time of war. Satan must be driven totally from every aspect of the material creation, beginning with those of us who love the Lord.

Yes, we shall be shaken! shaken! shaken until the Antichrist spirit is out of us! Then we shall be able to flow in the flowings of God. How wonderful to dwell in untroubled rest in the Father through Jesus Christ. It is worth every pain, every frustration, every bewilderment and perplexity, every denial of our most intense desires, every prison that we detest. It is worth it all to be at rest in the center of God's Person and will with Jesus Christ.

When Christ appears we shall appear with Him, if He indeed is our Life. Then we shall work with Him in installing the Kingdom of God, the rule of God, on the earth, in answer to the Lordís Prayer.

Be greatly encouraged! God desires that you as an individual lay hold on all He has called you to. Remember the dancing and rejoicing in Heaven over just one of our brothers who found deliverance. So it will be in your case as you humble yourself and make that difficult decision to turn away from the compulsions of your flesh, soul, and spirit and do the will of God.

May God bless you richly as you join the army that is following the Lord Jesus Christ, as He breaks through all the defenses of the enemy and brings us out into the pastures of God, and also enables us to do the same for others.