Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. 1 John 2:18 (KJV)
Last time, we were looking at the subject of “the true Christ and the false Christ.” We saw how Jesus predicted for the first time in His earthly ministry the coming of the “Antichrist”, as one who would come in his own name to represent his own interests (John 5:43).
John 5:43 (KJV)
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.
In this series of discussions, we will explore the subject of “the Antichrist”, including his distinctive hallmarks as revealed by the Scripture. We saw in the article on “the true Christ and false Christ” that there are three distinct forms of the Antichrist revealed in the Scripture, namely: “many Antichrist, the Antichrist, and the spirit of the Antichrist”. We will go a little further today to explore the first hallmark of the Antichrist.
Note: The Antichrist and the spirit of the Antichrist will only operate in the end times.
In the opening verse of this discourse, the apostle John remarks in his first epistle that “it is the last time, and as ye have heard, antichrist shall come”. This first mark of the Antichrist is so distinct because the Antichrist and the spirit of the Antichrist are not allowed by God, in His sovereignty and Omniscience, to operate at any other time in human history apart from “the last days or end times”. This is because, just as his name suggests, he is “against Christ” and seeks to “replace Him with a false Christ”, Hence, he can only operate after the coming of “the true Christ”.
This is so because the Antichrist and the spirit of the Antichrist are Satan’s joker and his ultimate tactic to achieve all he has ever desired as an angel in heaven while he was still known as Lucifer. He has always been envious of Jesus Christ and coveted the throne He now sits on as “the Christ,” where He administers God’s universe and the Church in the office of the Christos (Christ). This is the highest office and the highest place of honour in heaven. Hence, Lucifer’s greatest desire was to sit in this exalted office and receive human and angelic worship as Jesus Christ now does (Isaiah 14:13–14).
Isaiah 14:13–14 (KJV)
For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
Hence, Satan’s ultimate plan and desire in the end times is to receive human worship in order to mock God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. So the climax of all Satan has done all through the ages to this time, which are the end times, is that he plans to sit as God in the person of the Antichrist, desecrate God’s holy ordinance revealed through the Scriptures, introduce strange laws that will entrench lawlessness and cause the human potential and propensity to reach their fullness, and hence open up humanity to “the mystery of iniquity or mystery of lawlessness” as we see rising on the face of the earth at the moment (2 Thessalonians 2:3–4, 7; Daniel 8:23).
2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, 7 (KJV)
Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
Daniel 8:23 (KJV)
And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up.
Satan sure knows that he has but a short time and window, so he is deploring his best arsenals and weaponry to prepare all his hordes in hell for this great showdown that is ongoing on earth and which will climax in the last seven years of this evil age with the events of the great tribulation revealed in the last book of the Bible, the book of Revelation (Revelation 12:12; Revelation 13:12–16).
Revelation 12:12 (KJV)
Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.
Revelation 13:12–18 (KJV)
..And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, and deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.
It is crucial to point out that these are the most dangerous times to live in all of human history. However, it is also the time that God will reveal His glory and power like no other time in human history. He will glorify and magnify the Church in these end times like no other time in human history. However, it is instructive to point out that this will also be a time of the greatest deception because of “the spirit of the Antichrist”, as his hallmark is deception. In the apostle John’s revelation of the Antichrist, he camouflaged himself and appeared as a lamb with two horns, but he was actually a beast and a dragon. But his real nature could not be known without adequate discernment, and until he spoke, his real nature as a beast and a dragon was revealed to the apostle John to his astonishment (Revelation 13:11).
Revelation 13:11 (KJV)
And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.
Are the Church and the believers in Christ really living like it is indeed the last days?
We need to besiege heaven more than ever to ask for a release upon the Church, “the spirit of discernment,” in these end times.