2 John 1:7 “For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist.”
It’s time (again) to identify what the bible calls “antichrist” so as not to miss important clues about what’s happening right now – in the churches.
It’s a fact that the actual word ‘Antichrist’ is only used by John the Apostle in his letters. There are four references:
1 John 2:18 – 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 2:22 – Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.
1 John 4:3 – And every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ is come in flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, of which ye have heard that it should come, and that now it is already in the world.
2 John 1:7 – For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.
My aim is not to deny the other references to a satanic figure who will rise up to rule the world eventually, variously known as “the beast”, the “man of sin” or the “little horn” of Daniel.
No, here I want to look in the letters of John to identify the role of a heretical pseudo-christian cult in supporting and coming into union with that figure.
The Church as an Antichrist?
If such a thing sounds impossible, we have only to heed the warnings of scripture about the great falling-away that will rob MANY of their doctrinal purity. Jesus also forewarned of a time when professing Christians would become lax, worldly and incapable of perceiving the great LIE of the last days.
Matthew 24:10-12 At that time MANY will fall away and will betray and hate one another, and many false prophets will arise and mislead MANY. Because of the multiplication of wickedness, the love of MOST will grow cold. But the one who perseveres to the end will be saved.
(Many? Most? Does this look like a minor problem to you?)
However, there’s an interesting overlap in thought here between what the Lord Jesus predicted, and what his apostle John wrote to the early church.
Here in John’s description, there is a denial of true doctrine, a hatred for others, and a false spirit of prophecy telling lies so as to mislead the masses. This was beginning to happen in the early days of the Church (Paul also had to write about it) but it’s escalating to a major world problem today.
What WAS the heresy that John wrote about?
Nobody really knows for SURE what the antichrist heresy was, that John wrote about in his letters. He described it like this –
- the ‘antichrists’ went out from the genuine church
- they hated their fellow-believers
- they promoted the spiritual rather than the physical
- they believed they were sinless
- they led worldly, unrighteous, lawless lives
- their prophets spoke under a false anointing to mislead others
I cannot help but make comparisons with some powerful ministries and organisations today who are acting in a very similar way.
“The epistle of 1 John was written to protect believers from false teachers. “These things have I written to you concerning them that seduce you” (1 John 2:26).
The things that John writes about pertaining to not hating the brethren (1 John 2:9, 11; 3:15; 4:20) and pertaining to the obedience that characterizes true brethren (1 John 2:3-4) are geared to refuting the false teaching that was spreading in that day.
The false teachers separated themselves from the true apostles and preachers (1 John 2:19). They denied the Christhood and Sonship of Jesus (1 John 4:2, 15). They were of the world (1 John 4:5). They did not love the true brethren (1 John 4:7-8) but rather hated the brethren (1 John 3:15). Diotrephes in 3 John is an example. They denied the propitiation of Christ (1 John 4:10). They lived in unrighteousness (1 John 3:7-8).
These false teachers are further described in Jude. They turned the grace of God into lasciviousness (Jude 4, 7, 16, 18). They denied Jesus (Jude 4), such as denying His divinity, and denying His humanity, and denying that Jesus was the same as Christ, etc. They despised dominion (Jude 8). They followed a works religion (Jude 11). They were covetousness (Jude 11). They assumed positions of spiritual authority to which God had not called them (Jude 11). They honoured man rather than God (Jude 16).
A Revived Gnostic Heresy
Some theologians say that the heresy John spoke of was Gnosticism.
We tend to think this was just an early church problem. However, Gnostic teachings didn’t die away, they remained in existence even to the 21st century and emerged in the doctrines of the dominion churches of today.
Does that not identify such ministries as “antichrists”? I think so.
Antichrist teachings promise a spiritual return of the christ
One hallmark of the Antichrist [Church] was the strange teaching about the christ as a spirit-being – one who had the appearance of mortality but who was in fact a Holy Spirit: this led to the teaching that the return of Jesus to earth would also be a spiritual event, and not physical.
(But Revelation does tell us about the appearance of “another christ” who descends as an angelic being from the heavenlies, and becomes the final world ruler. Revelation Chapter 12. Could he be mistaken for the Second Coming?)
Over the years this developed into the idea that the Church would not leave this earth, but would come into dominion over it, possessed by the Spirit of Christ descended anew from Heaven. (The post-millennial teachings of the Roman Church added greatly to this false teaching, as did their empire-building crusades and suppression of true bible teaching.)
Remnant of the Gnostics
I do remember, many years ago, when attending a conference run by the Chard Fellowship in the UK, that one of the elders who led the meeting said “Jesus is coming TO his Church before he comes FOR his Church”.
That sounded like empty rhetoric at the time. I later found that the Chard Fellowship was loosely affiliated to the American Latter-Rain fellowships, so I finally realised where that teaching had come from.
The teaching that Jesus – by the Spirit – would visit his church in the last days to empower, glorify, and transform her, was part and parcel of the Latter Rain and “Manifested Sons” revival of the early 20th century.
This teaching led to the concept of the “Corporate Christ” – a unified and powerful rulership Body of Christians that would be able to transform the world and prepare it for the eventual return of Jesus to a Kingdom on EARTH!
The doctrines vary, but the core message (similar to the 1980s New Age Movement) involves a spiritual awakening on a personal and corporate level, in which the adherents are “glorified” – that is, “this mortal shall put on immortality” and become immortal spirit beings while still on the earthly plane. [1 Corinthians 15:53-55]
In terms of the reinterpretation of the bible texts, this is “the rapture” – because hardcore believers in this doctrine do NOT believe the Rapture involves Jesus taking his faithful OUT of the earth. Instead, the wicked and rebellious (who do not receive the doctrine) are removed from the earth in order to purify the kingdom over which these awakened ones reign. And they (on earth) at that time receive their glorious immortal bodies.
In order to do this work of world transformation/conversion, the Church (or, just the awakened Christians in some of the churches) need to pray for and receive a “Second Pentecost” – as the Spirit of God once again descends into the “temple” prepared by his people.
- See The Second Pentecost
- Also see an archived article on my own website that spells out the problem and links it to modern-day church teachers.
I feel sure that this ‘Second Pentecost‘ was tacitly preached during the revival meetings of the 19th and 20th centuries. It was devoutly hoped-for.
BUT, then as now, each new attempt to achieve the impossible was doomed to failure. No amount of meetings to call down the Spirit and convert multiple millions could result in what is, in fact, a fallacy.
No matter how many Tent Crusades, TV presentations, Stadium Meetings and massive global campaigns, this Second Pentecost cannot happen – UNTIL – the antichrist church links up with the antichrist beast empire and forms one RULER to bring it about.
- Here’s just one such report – a global movement called “Empowered 21” that was specifically designed to bring about the Second Pentecost.
And we are not just talking about a nice little spiritual improvement to enhance the preaching of the gospel and enliven dead churches. No, the Second Pentecost is intrinsic to the campaign to transform the world, and ultimately to anoint the Church as its Christ/Ruler.
One of the leading revival/latter-rain pioneers, Paul Cain, had repeated ‘prophecies’ of entire stadiums filled with converts.
“He has had reoccurring visions concerning the end times, which he believes are rapidly approaching. About 30 years ago the Lord gave Paul a vision that has occurred to Paul more than 100 times and still reoccurs to this day. It is a vision of the last days when sports stadiums all over the United States are filled with thousands of people. In this vision, people are being healed and miracles are happening to thousands in the name of Jesus Christ. People are turning to the Lord in droves and the whole nation is in revival. It seemed the whole earth was turning to Christ.”
This work will be done by a last-days “Joel’s Army”, an invincible “new breed”
“Joel’s mighty army, as described in Joel Ch. 2 is the army of God – not a wicked army, as some have thought…. The Lord will have an army of holy anointed vessels to usher in His kingdom so that no one man can take credit for it. It will be to the glory of God alone.” [Source]
Every Human Being Saved
Oral Roberts University President Billy Wilson, director of Empowered-21, spoke at a recent event for global movement. “Our big, big vision is bigger than all of us. It comes out of Habakkuk 2:14 that the knowledge of the glory of the Lord will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea. And the big vision is that every person on earth will have an authentic encounter with Jesus Christ through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit by Pentecost 2033″ .
This is clearly not truth from the scriptures. What then could this “anointing”, this “descent of the spirit” truly entail, but an infilling with deceiving spirits? From the letters of John we can give this a name: Antichrist!
John 5:43 I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not receive me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him.
“A Counterfeit spirit is not the Holy Spirit”
Commentary by Roger Oakland, http://www.understandthetimes.org
The Bible teaches there is another spirit, another gospel and another Jesus? [2 Corinthians 11:4] If God is God, why would such deception exist? The answer is very simple. Satan, the father of lies, is the great deceiver who wants to be God. [Isaiah 14:14] His plan is to deceive the world in the name of the Savior, Jesus Christ. [Revelation 12:9] Therefore, if the Spirit of God leads the lost to the Son of God, could it be that that “another spirit” is how the devil leads the whole world to the antichrist? These are questions that every Christian should think about, especially in the Last Days when deception is on the increase.
Wouldn’t it make sense that if the Holy Spirit points the lost to the truth, then a counterfeit spirit called “another spirit” points those who are lost toward deception?
This is the devil’s plan as recorded in the Bible. In our research, we have discovered this is one of Satan’s favorite strategies. How many have believed they have been led by the Spirit of God when later it becomes obvious that they had been seduced by a spirit of deception? This is why it is so important to have discernment, which only comes from knowing God’s Word and allowing His Spirit to lead us. [For one example in Scripture, see John 16:13]
Another spirit or the Holy Spirit?
We can certainly look back in history and find earlier heresies that are similar if not identical. (The devil never lets go of a good idea.)
But can we also look forward into the future and see the similarities? This exciting, enticing, teaching is promising a powerful spirit anointing, astounding miracles, millions of fervent followers, world transformation, and the appearance of a “christ” (either corporately or embodied by a new kind of pope) to take dominion over the earth.
Hang on! Where have we read about this before? Yes, that’s right – the Book of Revelation speaks of exactly the same ideas, but during the reign of the devil incarnate, who has come to subject the earth to his dominion.
The devil has already prepared the way, not only by circulating the idea that world peace and harmony is achievable – especially through the church system – but on the other hand by portraying in movies and literature and games a figure called “antichrist” who comes as a red dragon with horns and breathing fire.
NO. How many in the world today realise that this is a deliberate deception? The devil comes “as an angel of light” – a supposedly good angel, a spirit who speaks love, peace and unity!!
John was right – he foresaw the end
The churches today that preach this heresy, and hate fellow believers for exposing it, are – the bible says – antichrists!
This is the antichrist Church which will join with the Beast Empire and its leader in the last days. Indeed, this church is the Harlot! Joining with and steering the beast, holding the reins – for a while at least – DRUNK with the blood of the martyrs. (Rev 17:6).
(Spiritual drunkenness was once – and probably still is – a hallmark of the ‘new anointing’ that is called down on willing believers. Rodney Howard-Browne, the man responsible for introducing ‘holy laughter’ to the churches, urged Christians to “belly up to the bar”.)
A HARLOT is a woman who was once a faithful partner, but who has now sold herself for fame, fortune and influence. The biblical harlot is the one who has left God and given herself to another – they “went out from among us”.
These are the ones who had the opportunity to join as one with Christ as his Bride, but now have turned to another, giving herself as a subservient concubine to a world leader who is a liar and a deceiver.
Dominion Ministries Look to the President
It is a known fact that many of the leaders of revival fellowships see Donald Trump as a candidate for their Chief, the one who will lead them into dominion and offer them rulership and political power. Some go so far as to hail him as a kind of Old Testament warrior sent by the Lord, and warn that opposing him is tantamount to opposing God himself! (See the Jim Bakker youtube channel).
Not only is this kind of idolatry offensive, it is opening the church up to the idea that aligning with a powerful world leader is a genuine route to transformation.
Rather than the preaching of the true gospel, leading individual people to know Jesus as Saviour, these groups want to fill their huge temples by mass “conversions” that create a cult following of obedient cash cows and head-nodders who have as little bible knowledge as their leadership!
As a result, it’s possible to feed lies by the bucketful to these eager masses, adding to the promises of health, wealth and prosperity the idea that America (at the very least) can be rejuvinated into a God-honouring law-abiding Christian Nation in the most radical restoration project in centuries. Have they ever read the Book of Revelation, at all?
Mentoring the Trump Family – 33 degree Freemason
Trump’s longtime Pastor and Mentor – a man he idolises – is Norman Vincent Peale, who wrote “The Power of Positive Thinking“.
Trump’s parents, Fred and Mary, felt an undiminished affinity for Peale’s teachings. On Sundays, they drove into Manhattan to worship at Marble Collegiate Church, where Peale was the head pastor.
Donald and both his sisters were married there, and funeral services for both Fred and Mary took place in the main sanctuary.
“I still remember [Peale’s] sermons,” Trump told the Iowa Family Leadership Summit in July. “You could listen to him all day long. And when you left the church, you were disappointed it was over. He was the greatest guy.”
Peale was a 33° Scottish Rite Freemason. [check it out here]
Back To The Topic
In my usual way I have rambled from the topic into related ideas, but now I want to sum up the main point of this piece: that those who “went out from us” to form an alternative church based on positivism and transformation – both personal and global – are identified in scripture as “antichrists”. The word anti in Greek means both “opposed to” AND “alternative/other”.
So this false Church, and the person who will eventually be worshipped by the entire world (Revelation 13:12), will not be an obvious evil, quite the opposite.
In being “anti” they will present an alternative Christ-like figure and following. They will have a message that appeals to the flesh: reformation, change for the better, morality, good standards, judging the evils of the nation, overturning all that is wrong — sounds like heaven on earth? That is exactly what they will promise!