Posts Tagged ‘anti-Christ’

It’s so much easier to speak of the spirit world in different contexts, fantasy for instance. In those circles, it’s the norm to speak of spirits, magic, miracles, powers, spiritual enemies and spiritual good guys. But we have lost our ability in this age to speak of the Spirit World.

I John 4:4
You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.

Despite the fact that numerous references are made to this spirit world in scripture; I am particularly thinking of Ephesians 6:12 as a good example, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms,” we hesitate to claim it as our own. It’s all woohoo stuff! And so, most folks shrug off spirit talk.

But I cannot. The epistle of I John speaks at length about spirit relationships: our own spirits, those of the “anti-christ” opposed to all Christ spirit, the spirits of the world, the spirits of believers, and the spirits of God followers. This is the unseen world and yet, more and more, I do believe it is the most important part of our existence.

We are multi-dimensional for a reason. And there are enough people, even in modern times, who have had significant experiences with Spirit that it seems foolish to disregard this aspect of our humanity, our spirituality, our essence.

I guess the big question is in the tension that arises when we refer to “good” and “evil” spirits. And I understand that hesitancy, but there is simply too much evidence to deny them. For me, the truth of evil places human depravity at the feet of its source: the realm within.

Do we really think that the battles we carry on in the flesh will change the spirit? Will our wars block the power of evil’s presence and influence? Will our gun laws prevent their distribution on the streets of our cities? Will our capture of kilos of cocaine prevent the fields of poppies from being grown again?

We are back to the single word that explains the Way of the Spirit realm: paradox. It’s not the very reasonable approaches to problems of our world that will change it, but the opposite. If not, if it’s all Pollyanna, then why did Jesus bother to say any of it? I know things are bad now, but things were bad then too: almost everyone was poor or under the iron fist of a dictator or slave owner, violence was the norm and so was hunger. There was no “upward mobility,” there was no middle class. Back then, it wasn’t just the 99% but 99.9% of the people who suffered under human indignity and loss.

They had good reason to look and wait for a revolution. Instead, Jesus proclaimed a victory for the interior life as the starting point for change. Do we follow? Do we believe?

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Oh, there’s lots to be read about the “last hour” or the “last time” or the “end times.” Books and books and books can be found so what can I possibly add. Some speak of the “last dispensation” meaning this period, after Christ, is the last big chance from God for humans to “get it.” Maybe so.

I John 2:18
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.

Clearly, John was worried about this last hour, whether it’s dispensational or just post-apostolic (since he was the last living apostle by the time he wrote this letter). And here we are, still in it: the last hour.

We’re in a time, a human time, that has stretched out for two thousand years and yet, we haven’t come to the end of the hour. Some say we’re in the last five minutes of that hour.

Is it all coming together? Is it the Christian version of 2012? Are we in the wrap-up?

The world is so full of everything: all kinds of teachings and faiths; personalities and predictions; anti-christs and anti-muslims; wars and rumors of wars; cataclysmic weather and heavenly anomalies.

And have I been chosen to walk out the last hour? Have you?

There were those who were chosen to walk in the time of Christ: a time like no other time. And yet, there is still another time: the last hour.

So many times people have proclaimed the end of time. Sometimes, the predictions were ludicrous; sometimes dangerous. More often than not, it seemed like foolish eccentricity.

And yet, and yet. I wonder.

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Acts 9:15
But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man [Saul of Tarsus] is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel.”

Usually, the story of Ananias is used to illustrate the unwilling messenger who is obedient ultimately and delivers the message of God. Courageous Ananias spurns reason and goes to the appointed house to lay hands on the most notorious anti-Christ of the time, Saul of Tarsus. I believe he went with fear and trembling, but he went with faith.

One thing, however, that Ananias does not really do: he doesn’t tell Saul the whole story. Oh yes, Ananias lays hands on Saul who then receives his sight. And this laying on of hands brings the anointing of the Holy Spirit. But Ananias does not drop the bomb that Saul (eventually changed to Paul) would be the one to carry the name of Jesus to the Gentiles. This would have been a huge deal–a shock!

At this point in the story, the Gentiles were not anywhere in the equation. Ananias was really the first to hear and record this fact: the Son of God manifested for everyone, not just the Jews.

That is no less true today.

The way of Christ is not a mandate but an opportunity. It’s far-fetched and far-reaching. It’s not about race, nationality, or religion. God is sovereign and His Son no less so.

Oh, if we could just walk the essence of His message. Truly, the lion and the lamb could live together.

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