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The Spirit of Antichrist

11/02/2012
The following article is a dated piece, notice the reference to future movies and media which have since debuted, however, the article is still quite timely in light of the rapidly deteriorating spiritual condition of American society.
I am specifically posting this article for Richmond VA, and the Greater Richmond Area including the counties of Hanover and Henrico.


Evil Eye

 

Author: John Funk
Source: RaptureReady.com

The world today is a very frightening place. We have seen deterioration in the moral fabric of our nation and the world along with the threat of destruction brought upon western civilization by Islamic fundamentalism. There is an unprecedented assault on our accepted way of life not only by forces without but also forces within.

Madelyn Murray O'Hair
Madelyn Murray O’Hair

 
Madelyn Murray O’Hair successfully opposed prayer in the classroom through the United States judicial system asserting the separation of church and state. Not long thereafter we decided that a woman has a personal right of privacy that extended to the unborn life in her womb; consequently, over 42 million fetuses have been aborted since Norma McCorvey was the unnamed plaintiff in “Roe v. Wade.” David Koresh and Jim Jones led their followers to their untimely deaths in the name of religion. More recently, the battle for the hearts and minds of American has been carried forward by others such as the avowed atheist, Dr. Michael Newdow, who wants the phrase “under God” stricken from the Pledge of Allegiance. There are organizations which continue to fund and fight this battle for the national conscience such as the ACLU and People for the American Way which want to legitimize homosexual marriage in the name of equality. In the very near future a major feature film is about to debut which, although touted as fictional, casts doubt upon the very foundational precepts of Christianity; this film, of course, is “The DaVinci Code” which is based upon the best-selling novel by Dan Brown. Dan Brown contends it is historical fiction but then states that every historical assertion in the book is factually accurate.

What is going on here? When did all of this happen? Why isn’t my country originally founded upon the idea of a “Creator” and the “freedom of religion” (not freedom from religion) protecting the rights of those who call themselves “Christians?” Are these the biggest problems we face or is there something else out there that should concern us? Is there anything more insidious, more potentially damaging to Christianity than the assertion of non-belief in God, advancement of the homosexual agenda or even the idea that the historical foundation of Christianity is false?

In answering those questions and particularly the last query, three concepts come to mind: (1) lack of personal responsibility, (2) postmodernism which embodies that idea that truth is relative, i.e. there is no absolute truth and (3) universalism which basically stands for the proposition that all paths lead to God. Each of these ideas lays the groundwork for disintegration of basic foundational precepts and ultimately, to anarchy. We have heard the expression that “an idea can kill millions” and in this case, that statement is absolutely true. These ideas can and will result in the spiritual deaths of untold millions.

The failure to exercise personal responsibility results in the breakdown of the society’s structure. When an individual abandons the idea that they are ultimately responsible for their actions, then there is no ultimate consequence for their actions. Hence, the atheist can intellectually maintain that the only person that he is finally answerable to is himself. If there is no God, then there is no final Judge. In other words, in that great line from the movie “Groundhog Day”, “[t]here are no consequences. We can do anything we want.” I don’t think that most atheists would take such an extreme position because they will state that adherence to the laws of the land maintains society’s framework. However, if you logically carry the atheist position to its ultimate end, then the result is that there is no ultimate responsibility. If there is no ultimate responsibility for one’s actions, then the sole focus of existence should be to satisfy the needs and desires of each individual. “Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die.” I can step on or take advantage of anyone I want and the only person I am answerable to is me. No action or cause is immoral and only the legal boundaries of society constrict my behavior. Only my feelings and well-being (physical, emotional and intellectual) matter; every other person’s needs and/or desires are secondary, at best. Who cares about the victims of violent crime, or natural disasters such as the tsunami in Southeast Asia or Hurricane Katrina? What does it matter if others are harmed so long as it is not me? The lack of personal responsibility results in narcissism, i.e. complete self-centeredness. No one is more important than me.

Postmodern thinkers say that claiming to know truth is arrogant or unloving. To some, postmodern skepticism appears similar to relativism or even nihilism. Those defenders of post-modern thinking would maintain that there is a definite in that while relativism and nihilism are generally viewed as an abandonment of meaning and authority, postmodern philosophy is generally viewed as an openness to meaning and authority from unexpected places, so that the ultimate source of authority is the “play” of the discourse itself. In other words, truth is where you find it. Consequently, that which is true for you may not be true for me. All truth is relative and there are no absolutes. If there are no absolutes, i.e. if all truth is relative, then my position on issues is just as valid as your position due to the fact that each “truth” may be based on a different foundation. Any criticism that may have been leveled before is now invalid. We have seen this philosophy expressed in contemporary times as “I’m okay, you’re okay” or in the immortal words of Rodney King, “Can’t we all just get along?”

Coexist
Coexist?

Lastly, the concept of universalism embodies the idea that we all are trying to get to the same place (heaven, eternal consciousness, a higher plane) but we are just using different methods. It really doesn’t matter what you believe just as long as your belief is sincere. It also implies that we all worship the same God, its just that we use a different name for Him. Allah is the same as Jehovah who is the same as God who is the same as (fill in the blank at this point). Therefore, the teaching of the Bible must be taken symbolically rather than literally and the various personal accounts in the Bible are nothing more than fictional stories used to illustrate the given writer’s point of view. I recently came across this idea presented in the national media to millions of people when I was listening to Bill O’Reilly’s radio program and he was talking about sin and condemnation to hell. A caller who was evidently a born-again Christian tried to tell him that Jesus was the only way to heaven; Bill politely ridiculed the caller. He said that if that was what he professed, then the caller was going to not be taken seriously. The verse in question was “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through me.” O’Reilly’s interpretation was that Jesus was not talking about belief in Him as the Son of God but rather, coming to God was accomplished by living like Jesus, i.e. loving your neighbor, being a good person, etc. In other words, you can work your way into heaven. There was also the implication that there is no ultimate truth in this regard. He actually said that there were many ways to get to heaven; it was up to the individual. This thinking is very prevalent in our society and around the world.

I also came across a posting which criticized certain books which are apparently very popular on the reading circuit. I have taken the liberty of copying the critique in its entirety without correction or modification:

Posted on the CatholicMoms.com web site (March 30, 2006):

Beware of the book, Conversations with God. Dr. James Dobson talked about this book twice this week. It is devastating and parents and Christian schools need to be aware of this. Do pass it on to church/e-mail addressees, Parents, Grand parents, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, friends.

Please pay special attention not only to what your kids watch on TV and in movie theaters and the music they listen to, but we must also be alert regarding the books they read.

Two particular books, “Conversations with God” and “Conversations with God for Teens,” written by Neale D. Walsch, sound harmless enough by their titles alone. These books have been on the New York Times best sellers list for a number of weeks, and! these publications make truth of the statement, “Don’t judge a book by its cover/title.”

The author purports to answer various questions from kids using the “voice of God”. However, the “answers” that he gives are not Bible-based and go against the very infallible word of God.

For instance (and I paraphrase), when a girl asks the question “Why am I a lesbian?” His answer is that she was born that way because of genetics (just as you were born right-handed, with blue eyes, etc.). Then he tells her to go out and “celebrate” her differences.

Another girl poses the question “I am living with my boyfriend. My parents say that I should marry him because I am living in sin. Should I marry him?” His reply is, “Who are you sinning against? Not me, because you have done nothing wrong.”

Another question asks about God’s forgiveness of sin. His reply “I do not forgive anyone because there is nothing to forgive. There is no such thing as right or wrong and that is what I have been trying to tell everyone, do not judge people. People have chosen to judge one another and this is wrong, because the rule is “‘judge not lest ye be judged.'”
And the list goes on.

Not only are these books the false doctrine of devils, but in some instances even quote (in error) the Word of God. These books (and others like it) are being sold to school children (The Scholastic Book Club), and we need to be aware of what is being fed to our children.

Our children are under attack. So I pray that you be sober and vigilant about teaching your children the Word of God, and guarding their exposure to worldly mediums, because our adversary, the Devil, roams about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). And how many of us know that lions usually hunt for the slowest, and weakest and YOUNGEST of its prey.”

Remarks:

There are many Christian leaders and secular writers who are describing the state of decline of our culture. The popular term used to describe this state is postmodernism. Briefly, postmodernism represents a growing rejection of rational empiricism, science, and Christian absolutes, or any objective truth. Relativism and one’s experience or feelings as the basis of personal “truth,” characterize postmodernism.

This cultural trend serves as a greenhouse for the beliefs and practices of the New Age Movement to flourish. The religious philosophy of the New Age generally rejects God as a personal eternal Being who created, rules over, and defines the limits and boundaries of His creation (Acts 17:24-26). Hundreds of expressions of the New Age Movement basically teach that mankind is individually and collectively God, and therefore creates his own reality and truth. God-realization is reached through a process of reincarnation and enlightenment. The process can involve Transcendental Meditation, channeled messages through mediums, and other occult practices or “spiritual technologies.”

Another serious indicator of people’s search for “spirituality,” meaning, and transcendence is reflected by the amazing popularity of New Age and occult books that have sold millions in recent years. Titles such as Embraced by the Light, Simple Abundance, A Book of Angels, Chicken Soup for the Soul series, Saved by the Light, The Celestine Prophecy, The Tenth Insight, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, and the many works of Deepak Chopra and Andrew Weil, have been riding high, consistently, on the New York Times and Publisher’s Weekly “non-fiction” best-selling charts.

Two of the more blatantly bizarre books, Talking to Heaven by James Van Praagh and Conversations with God, Book 1, by Neale Donald Walsch, have both enjoyed number one status on the New York Times best-seller list respectively.

While the two books have some surface differences, their underlying themes and messages are similarly very much in the New Age/occult vein. Walsch’s books purport to be a transcription of a dialogue between God and himself, giving answers about life’s meaning and purpose.

Van Praagh’s book alleges communications with spirits of deceased people in heaven, and gives ostensibly divine pronouncements about Life’s meaning and purpose. ~ Craig Branch

Are these things just happening or is there something else behind it all? Are all of these developments merely coincidental or are is there something at work that we do not see?

Most people will probably take the position that this is just a natural development of our “post-modern” society and that as we have become more “enlightened”, we are more critical in our thinking. We no longer have need or use for ancient myths of divine origin and intervention that should be appropriately shelved as nothing more than our ancestors’ inability to explain the natural world. We are not the same people we were one hundred, fifty or even twenty years ago. We are advanced; we are intellectual; we are self-sufficient and we have evolved past our prior state of dependency upon fairy tales to explain that which could not be explained before.

Surely no one prior to our generation would have foreseen these developments. Surely this change in philosophical outlook could not have been foretold. Quite to the contrary; everything that we are now seeing was prophesied long ago.

Matthew 24:3-14
3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? 4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. 6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows. 9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. 10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. 11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. 12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

In these verses Jesus describes what many believe to be that current state of our world. The signs of the end of the age and of His return seem to be in place. Deception is rampant and there are many who proclaim themselves to be divine. We are now engaged in World War III as a struggle against Islamic fundamentalism which seeks to literally destroy the nation of Israel and its people along with the United States which is considered to be the “Great Satan.” We have seen an unprecedented rise in natural disasters such as earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes and tornadoes. The last century was the bloodiest century in the history of the world. Africa is dying and now the world shudders at the thought of a pandemic caused by the Avian flu. Many have turned away from the faith of their fathers and there is an outright assault on the Christian faith. You can’t discriminate against anyone except a Christian; that is perfectly acceptable. We are polarized as a people due to the sovereignty or illegal immigration issue and our leaders seem ill-equipped to deal with the problem. Evil reigns, wickedness flourishes and apathy rules. Many despair and wonder how all of this could happen, especially now when we, as a people, have advanced so far. So what is it that we should really be concerned about?

Ephesians 6:12
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

We are engaged in an eternal spiritual struggle and that struggle will determine the final chapter for all mankind. It is a war, a war that fully engages our very being but a war that many fail to perceive. It is a war that leaves many wounded in its wake. It is a war that is strategic and calculating and involves every person everywhere. It is a war that is orchestrated by a realm that we do not often see directly but only indirectly. It is a war that has an antagonist and a protagonist. It is a war led by the most devious and evil mind every created; that mind is the spirit of the antichrist or Satan himself.

The good news is that we can recognize what is going on around us. It is within our purview to test everything we hear, everything we see, everything we experience.

1 John 4:1-3
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 3 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.

This passage is clear that Jesus Christ is the standard; Jesus Christ is the test. Unless that spirit, teaching or belief has Jesus Christ as the Son of God at its center, it is false and is the spirit of the antichrist. This spirit was and now is in the world today and it manifests itself as evil incarnate. It leaves a path of destroyed lives, ruin and anarchy. The problem is that it disguises itself as concepts or ideals that, at first blush, seem harmless or even beneficial, e.g. equality of ideas, tolerance of lifestyle, open-mindedness and acceptability. However, depending on the context, these ideas can be anything but harmless.

God also provides the protection and the weapons to deal with these ideas. It is clear, according to scripture, that we are in a fight for our spiritual lives and the spiritual lives of those around us.

Ephesians 6:10-11, 13-18
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

The Armor of God

It is a mighty battle and in the end, there are no neutral parties. Therefore, each and very day we need to gird ourselves with the full armor of God: truth, righteousness, the Gospel, faith and salvation through Jesus Christ, our Deliverer.

There are two offensive weapons listed in this passage: the sword of the Spirit being the Word of God and prayer. Prayer is emphasized as a weapon to be utilized at all times and on all occasions for “[t]he effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (James 5:16).

We are at war and that war is with the spirit of the antichrist. This war takes no prisoners and no truce will ever be offered or accepted. There can only be one final outcome. Fortunately, the outcome is foreseen and we will overcome through the power of God and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ but in the meantime, we need to understand what we are up against. If you have been on the sidelines and observing what is going on, you need to get in the game. Time is growing short; the end is near; and, the outcome is crucial. Won’t you do it before it is too late?

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