The Spirit of Antichrist

The story of how Jesus chose His apostles is told in Luke 6:12-16. One day Jesus went up to the mountain to pray and continued to pray all night. The next morning he called His disciples and chose twelve apostles from them. Choosing twelve men is believed to be connected to the twelve tribes of Israel over whom the apostles were to minister and preach to. One of the times Jesus mentions the connection to the twelve tribes with the apostles is at the Last Supper. Jesus said to His apostles he would, "confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me, so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel" (Luke 22:29-30).

Jesus was seeking the Father's blessings on an important decision. He is about to entrust to twelve disciples to not only assist Him in His ministerial work but to succeed Him and carry on the work of establishing the new church. At the Last Supper Jesus also prophesied that not only will one of his apostles deny Him three times (Peter), but one will also betray Him (Judas Iscariot). Thus Jesus appears not to pick these men necessarily because they were the elite of His disciples, but because they each had specific characteristics which were necessary to fulfill the work He had come to do.

Jesus tells His apostles that He goes to Jerusalem and will suffer there many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests, and the teachers of the law and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. (Matt. 16:21) Afterward, Peter pulls Jesus aside and reproves Him "Be it far from thee Lord". Peter does not want Jesus to die, but he fails to understand that importance of Jesus' resurrection, and in his attachment to Jesus, he believes that Jesus would be a better triumphant Messiah in the earth. Jesus' well-known reply rebukes Peter: "Get thee behind me, Satan! Thou art an offence unto me" (Matt. 16:23). As Satan appeared to Jesus in the wilderness to tempt him with the kingdoms of this world, that same Satan was working through Peter to tempt Him to violate His Father's command.

Peter's motive was love, but it was more of a human, selfish love, to have Jesus still with them and to be a ruler of the world. Was it pride that prompted Peter to speak those words? Jesus continued, "for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men." Peter was putting his will and desires above the Father's.

Satan - the Prince of this World
We know from these stories that Jesus believed Satan was real and that He had encountered Satan in the wilderness. Yet even some Christians do not believe that the devil and Satan have any reality. God created Satan before He created the heavens and earth. Before Satan was cast out of heaven he was “an anointed cherub” who was responsible for covering or guarding the throne of God (Ezekiel 28:14). Then at some point, he used his free will to rebel against God. Isaiah 14:13-14 describes the words Satan said in his pride. He said, "I will make myself like the Most High." After one-third of the heavenly angels sided with Satan, they were cast out of heaven to the earth. (Revelation 12:4)

Christians tend to believe that these fallen angels that fell with Satan are now demons. Yet this mythology was not shared by most ancient Jews, including those who wrote and translated the Hebrew Bible. Satan is called by many names. One of his titles is, “Prince of this world.” This earth was created for mankind and God granted dominion over everything in it to Adam and Eve who were made in the image and likeness of God. (Genesis 1:27) But when the two of them succumbed to Satan’s temptation, that dominion was lost. Satan stole it, and he became the prince of this earth. 

A vital fact about Satan is revealed in Job 1. Satan tells God that he came from "going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it" revealing that he is in the world. Satan believed that Job would not praise God when things weren't going well for him and to prove it Satan asked God’s permission to tempt Job. He was granted permission but only under certain conditions. We see that Satan can and does tempt us, and God even allows it sometimes. Yet Satan will not reign forever as prince of this world.

I had trouble understanding the curse God put upon Satan after Adam and Eve sinned, then one day I read the explanation. God said to the serpent: "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel" (Gen. 3:15) It was a prophecy about the coming of Christ born of woman (her seed). Satan's bruising his heel  is bruising Jesus' humanity, whereby he suffers on the earth, is bruised and killed. And Christ's sufferings are continued in the sufferings of the saints for his name. The devil tempts them, persecutes and slays them; and so bruises the heel of Christ, who is afflicted in their afflictions.

Then "He [the seed of woman] will bruise you on the head," the Head being heaven. Christ came and baffled Satan's temptations, whereby souls were rescued from Satan's grip. Jesus and his disciples were casting out demons and freeing souls. Through Jesus' death, a fatal blow to the devil's kingdom was a wound to the head of this serpent that cannot be healed. The wound on the head is symbolic of a lethal strike to be fulfilled when Jesus returns and casts Satan into the lake of fire.

In my previous article on "Antichrists", I describe the two beasts in Revelation and their relationship to each other. The first beast represents the kingdoms of this world. The second beast represents the false prophets, which is the spirit of Antichrist. The first beast is given its power by the dragon giving him his power, his seat, and great authority. John identifies the dragon repeatedly as the ancient serpent, the devil and Satan.

What is the Spirit of Antichrist
The term 'antichrist' is used in the epistles of John and only there. While John speaks of a future antichrist to come he says, "But the spirit of antichrist is already in the world" (1 John 2:18). John gives us further comprehension of what this 'spirit of antichrist' is in these verses:

Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. (1 John 2:22)

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. (1 John 4:1-3).

By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. And this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming; and now it is already in the world. (1 John 4:2-3)

Many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh; any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist! (2 John 1:7)

A fundamental Christian truth is that we are in a spiritual war and not a worldly war. One of our enemies is the spirit of antichrist. Anytime we come under a spiritual influence without discerning what spirit is working we are vulnerable to deception. Deception means we are fooled by something that looks like the real thing. Because it is very subtle we need to recognize the character of the spirit of antichrist.

Satan's original sin was his prideful rebellion and putting his will as supreme to God's. In the earth, the spirit of Antichrist is that of man making himself his own god, that is, man following his own will. Our lower will desires to do what it wants, but when there is no God in our life, there is no supreme authority guiding that will. God's gift of free will is something unique in humans. Animals can make choices, but it appears to be governed by instinct and survival. Angels can make choices but they were created by God to do God’s Will. The Bible teaches that angels were witnesses to the creation of the world and thus preceded creation. They serve God's creation. Man was created in the image and likeness of God, endowed with free will and set free to express God's will in the world of form. Then the Fall occurred when man used his free will to listen to Satan and be tempted to sin.

When Satan fell he was cast down into the earth and a third of the angels went with him. There Satan continues his rebellion by seeking to take souls away from God. “Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time” (Rev. 12:12). Are the fallen angels here physically in the world? If they are demons, no, they are in another plane of existence that can cross over into the physical by invading a person's body. But if the fallen angels are not demons, and/or they are not in the highest heavens anymore, they may be in the earth. Angels can appear in the physical and do, as Scripture tells us.

In the Book of Enoch, which is not part of the biblical canon, there is another fall of the angels. These angels (called the Watchers) lusted after the daughters of men and came into the earth and physically mated with them whereby giants were their offspring. This book was well known by the Jews and early Christians but went out of favor starting with St. Augustine. It is believed to not be an inspired work of God through man. Some of the stories may be true but some words contradict the rest of Scripture and that is why the Book of Enoch is not included as part of the Canon. More on this subject is covered in another article.

The Way Out of Sin - Jesus Christ
Since Satan knows he has but a short time after Christ establishes the foundations of His kingdom, he concentrates all his power to destroy as many souls as he can through tempting them and persecuting them on earth. Paul states that death was passed on to all men and was followed by death when sin entered the world through man. (Romans 5:12) It followed that mankind could not extricate themselves from the sinning consciousness. The spirit of Antichrist had entered the world through Satan, and possibly the fallen angels. Since the Fall, God has bestowed His mercy on mankind. God sent prophets to teach his children. Still, the children sinned. Then God gave Moses the Ten Commandments to assist the children of God who could not stop sinning to resist the temptations of the devil. Then God sent His Son into the world. Jesus lived and taught that there is a right and wrong behavior, and by example showing that when we are tempted to sin we can resist. Jesus’ priority was always to please His Father, and that is always what He chose (John 4:34).

As long as we are following our own will instead of the will of our Father, there is a door somewhere in ourselves through which Satan can enter. The Antichrist spirit is that of man being his own god, following the desires of his sinful nature. Then man justifies his behavior by creating himself as the center of his world and all others revolve around him. It is selfishness. This false spirit also causes mankind to want, sometimes at a hidden level of their minds (the unconscious or subconscious) for God to make their world conform to their wants and needs.

Did Peter get caught in this mire when he wanted Jesus not to have to suffer and die? Jesus made the point that it was Satan speaking through him. Peter might have been thinking that surely there was a better way than for his Savior to die. With Judas the reason for his betrayal of Jesus may have been more of a conscious decision. There are hints in the Gospels as to why Judas betrayed Jesus. For sure money was exchanged for his betrayal but the reason is not explicitly stated. One reason for his betrayal may have been that he did not believe that Jesus was the Messiah. Judas always called him "Rabbi" and not "Lord". Lust for money may have been behind his sin. Some believe another reason might be that Judas was just playing a role, as someone had to betray Jesus.

The Summit Lighthouse "ascended masters" taught that Judas committed suicide, but due to his extreme remorse and his being washed clean by the Savior's sacrifice, he returned to embodiment serving thousands whereby he was able to take his ascension after his next life. (PoW vol. 24, no. 62) Thereby they have made Judas into a saint and even subtly sent out the message that Judas was "serving" in his sacrifice in playing the role so that Jesus death and resurrection could happen.

While Peter and Judas' acts are not necessarily the "spirit of Antichrist" they are the seeds of evil that eventually could lead one to enter that spirit of Antichrist. Wanting our will exclusive of God's can be something as simple as wanting to be healed of a disease and using questionable means to get that healing, instead of praying and waiting for God's will to unfold. Anyone can become tools of Satan and invoke "spirits" to heal others by the laying on of hands or other means. It is not the "laying on of hands" that is necessarily wrong, but the spirit behind the will to heal someone when one does not put the matter into God's hands. The devil can cause illness and disease, and the devil can also take them away and without the Spirit of God and Christ discernment we cannot know God's will or what is behind a disease or manifestation of unsound mind.

Paul says, ". . . for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light." (2 Corinthians 11:14) Thus Satan has power in this world and can appear as an angel of light within our sight and within our minds. Jesus said that "false messiahs" will come, performing "great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect" (Matthew 24:24). This is not the Antichrist that is prophesied to come, these are the antichrists of the spirit of Antichrist.

Who are these antichrists? John writes, "Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist—denying the Father and the Son" (1 John 2:22). How does one deny that Jesus is the Christ and still be a Christian? One way is by teaching that Jesus is just one of many ways to God. If they teach that Jesus' claim to be the only way to God the Father is wrong, they are antichrists. Jesus said and recorded in John 14:6: "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." This did not mean exclusive of the man, Jesus, but through Jesus the Christ. Jesus is one with the Father, and if we deny that oneness we also deny that Jesus the Christ is the only way to that oneness with the Father. "For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily" (Col 2:9). It also means that without having faith in the teachings of Jesus Christ that reaching the Kingdom of God is not possible.

The simple truth is that Christianity is the only true religion. Jesus taught this, it is not made up by Christians. He taught that the Kingdom of God is at hand. (Mark 1:15) This does not mean that non-Christians can never be saved. C.S. Lewis put it succinctly when he said, "We do know that no [one] can be saved except through Christ; we do not know that only those who know Him can be saved through Him." (Mere Christianity)

In the parable of the Sower (Matthew 13:1-8) Jesus compared the kingdom of God to a seed planted in the hearts of men and women. Each of us has the seed of the kingdom within us, but it will grow only if we give it the proper "care and feeding." Part of the words in the Lord's Prayer given to us by Jesus say, "Thy kingdom comeThy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:9-10). The kingdom has already come with the coming of Jesus. But we must still pray for the kingdom to come, because on earth there are still those who do not submit to His rule. When we pray those words we are praying not only for God's reign but for God to convert the hearts of His enemies, bringing them to confess Jesus as Lord. We are asking for the coming of the day when all sin and evil, and all rebellion against God is eradicated forever.

Jesus connected Himself to the Father in so many ways and teachings other than His challenging words, "No one comes to the Father except through me". In response to a question by the Apostle Philip, "Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?" (John 14:9). And in Matthew 11:27, "All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him."

It is possible for people who appear to live right and do things that seem right, but the spirit is wrong. The spirit of antichrist can elevate a church, a ministry, or a person above Jesus by merely not acknowledging Jesus. While Paul tells us to discern the message of prophets (1 Cor.15:14), and Peter tells us to recognize the lifestyle of false prophets (2 Peter 2), John tells us to test the spirits" because there are many false prophets.

Antichrist is not the opposite of Jesus Christ. The Antichrist imitates Jesus Christ. The main difference between Antichrist and Jesus Christ is that Jesus Christ obeys the Father while Antichrist acts according to his own desires and impulses. One can be a Christian and still be of this "spirit of Antichrist". While the coming Antichrist will claim he is a god, those in the spirit of Antichrist do not claim they are gods, instead they add to or pervert the true teachings of Christ and the fundamental beliefs of Christians. This may not be an obvious perversion of the truth, but appear to "logically" make sense that "Jesus meant this..." putting a new interpretation on the Scriptures. They might claim that the Bible is just the words of man and therefore has no validity, thereby concluding that Jesus was not the Messiah, but just an ordinary prophet and healer.

Subtle and Not So Subtle Ways of Being the Spirit of Antichrist
Some who claim they are the voice of Jesus (channeling Jesus) state that Krishna was the Christ. "The Krishna of Ancient Hinduism is the Christ of Christianity." (Reluctant Messenger). Some say essentially there is no difference in the message of Krishna and the message of Jesus. 'Krishna' in Greek is the same as 'Christos'. And, whether you call God 'Christ', 'Krsta', or 'Krishna', ultimately you are addressing the same Supreme Personality of Godhead. Krishna is also claimed to be an "ascended master" through the ascended master teachings. According to Ascended Master Questions (Kim Michaels' site) "Christ" is just a title. "You see, "Christ" is a spiritual title and the bearer of that title holds a spiritual office of the Christ. There is an Office of the Christ for the Eastern Hemisphere, an Office of the Christ for the western Hemisphere and an Office of the Christ for the planet as a whole. Krishna holds the office of the Christ for the Eastern Hemisphere, and I (Jesus) hold it for the Western Hemisphere". This Jesus is claiming to be the "real Jesus" speaking this message to us through his messenger.

The Ascended Master teachings of the Summit Lighthouse teach that it is a lie that Jesus is the only Son of God, and that Jesus came into embodiment in the full mastery of Christhood and did not himself have to follow the Path and realize his own inner God-potential before beginning his mission. In other words, Jesus prepared for lifetimes by taking embodiment many times. They also say that the path Jesus followed was never an exception, was not something unique and exceptional where one life should atone for the sins of the many because Enoch and Elijah were taken up into heaven and ascended. Thus they are the examples of others who have come to show the disciples of earth that there is a way out of death and hell and the round of suffering. (PoW Vol. 27 No. 47, El Morya, Summit Lighthouse)

These channelings (or dictations) go against the principle tenants of the Christian faith. While we all can be sons and daughters of God,  the Sonship of Jesus is unique. He is God the Father's only-begotten Son. Jesus never became a son of God, but was always the Son of God. Did either Enoch or Elijah raise from the dead after being crucified? Did they take away the sins of the world by shedding their blood? The remission of sin requires the “shedding of blood". The teaching of Scripture is that remission only comes to us by grace through faith. "To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins" (Acts 10:43)

In conclusion, the prevailing spirit in the world is the “spirit of the Antichrist,” which has been working in the world, and John is behooving us to realize that the Spirit of God is our true reality and the Spirit is greater than any spirits in the world. (1 John 4) Some false religions acknowledge that Jesus was a prophet, but just one more prophet in a long line of prophets and even perhaps a “great prophet”. Many acknowledge that Jesus was a “great moral teacher”. That is the spirit of Antichrist working.

The  spirit of the Antichrist denies that Jesus was the Son of God come in the flesh. To deny this is to reject the work that Jesus Christ accomplished – the payment for our sins with His blood, as a sinless sacrifice, through His actual death (1 Pet 1:18-21) and resurrection and thus attempts to remove our confidence in what Christ accomplished. 

John directs us to love one another as God loves us. Yet in our love, we cannot be blind to not only our own sin but the sin of others who are not of the Spirit of God. Since this other spirit through men professes to love God, we can easily believe they are truly loving God with their hearts. Yet we are admonished to try the spirits and not believe all that we hear. The serpent presented Eve with a logical statement that might have made sense to Eve. Logic does not necessarily mean behind it is the truth. We must go directly to the Spirit of God for the truth, ask for forgiveness and work to overcome the vulnerabilities to be open to Satan's logic and the spirit of Antichrist.