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Posts Tagged ‘AntiChrist’

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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For years, I have always thought of the “Anti-Christ” as a person. I supposed it’s all that Tim LaHaye & Jerry Jenkins stuff, pre-tribulation, pre-millenialism, and the rapture. Those folks have an entire time line for the appearance of the Anti-Christ. But John sheds a different light on the concept in his letter.

I John 4:2-3
By this you may know (perceive and recognize) the Spirit of God: every spirit which acknowledges and confesses [the fact] that Jesus Christ (the Messiah) [actually] has become man and has come in the flesh is of God [has God for its source]; And every spirit which does not acknowledge and confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh [but would annul, destroy, sever, disunite Him] is not of God [does not proceed from Him]. This [nonconfession] is the [spirit] of the antichrist, [of] which you heard that it was coming, and now it is already in the world.
[Amplified]

If John is to be believed, a simple litmus test is the willingness of the spirit to confess that Christ is indeed, the long-awaited Messiah. In biblical times, maybe this was easier to do. After all, the Jewish people had been waiting for the Messiah for centuries, his coming foretold by prophet after prophet. They expected and even longed for that day, anticipating a revolution of epic size that would, once and for all, free Israel from its enemies and usurpers.

Immediately after Christ’s appearance, ministry, execution, and resurrection, the guidelines were clear-cut: a person accepted Christ as the Messiah or not. If there was no Messiah, then there was no Christ, and Jesus was a nice guy who turned their world topsy turvy for for no good cause.

So, anti-Christ is not necessarily an individual per se, but a belief, or rather, a disbelief. And I think it’s called a spirit because belief happens within. It is my spirit that chooses, that part of me that works with my mind and soul, to unify the interior life and direct my actions & choices.

In modern times, this confession or lack of confession, is less understood or accepted. We have more relativism and few people (outside the circles of denominational Christianity) like the “black and white” feel of this mandate. Plus, other requirements have been added such as a verbal confession or attendance in church or getting splashed/dunked with water, just to name a few.

But, I remember vividly, my spirit confessed the Christ, because of statements like these written as the word of Jesus, “If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.” [John 8:46b-47] I could not call Jesus the lie. And I wanted to hear God. I wanted to be part of the God equation, the interaction, the indwelling of Messiah through the Holy Spirit.

And so, this is the one confession: I believe the source of Christ was and is God. And as a result, the Holy Spirit dwells within me.

My primary responsibility as a result of this confession is to love God with all my heart, soul, strength, and mind, and to love my neighbor as myself. The rest is human confusion.

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