Category Archives: the spirit of antichrist

Esther’s Strategy for Spiritual Warfare

This is a brief outline of principles gleaned from the Book of Esther on spiritual warfare.   I thought this was already posted, as it is an old teaching of mine.  Then I wanted to cross reference it to the teachings on Esther that I did for kids (Wise Words wk 9; Wise Words wk 10) but it wasn’t there.  So I have put this up quickly.  I hope to come back and add to it.)

Some notes:

The “king”  represents (only in his good acts) God;  some scholars have noted that this is only when his name Ahasuerus, his carnal nature, is NOT mentioned.   Certainly, Ahasuerus did some despicable things including his request to Queen Vashti.

Mordecai represents the Holy Spirit of God prompting and leading;

Haman, of course, represents the spirit of anti-christ that wants to destroy the God’s chosen people.

The signet ring (Esther 8:2) represents the authority given by God to Christ, and Christ to His church. (Matt 28:18)

Esther, of course, represents for us the Bride of Christ!   The queen is the most powerful piece on the chessboard!   Those who have an intimate relationship with their LORD have the FAVOR of the LORD, and He gives us our petitions, up to half the kingdom!  (Esther 5:2-3)

 

Strategy for Spiritual Warfare:

1. Be called and submitted to God above even man’s laws (4:14-16)

2. Prepare spiritually through prayer and fasting (Esther 4:16)

3. Prepare through praise and worship by putting on “garments of praise”, our “royal robes”. (Esther 5:1-2;  Esther 7:1-2)

4. Be led by the Holy Spirit especially as to timing (3 days of Fasting & prayer, waiting in the inner court, 1st banquet, then 2nd banquet)

5. Use intercession; weeping; wailing; fasting (Esther 8:3)

6. Wait on the King’s word and permission (Esther 8:7-8)

7. Write the decree according to the leading of the Holy Spirit (Esther 8:8-9) “You yourselves write a decree…”   Queen Esther WITH Mordecai together i.e..  the Bride of Christ WITH the Holy Spirit!

8. Proclaim the decree (Esther 8:10-14)  Perhaps this is where many Christians lose their victory because they do not proclaim aloud the Word of God!

9. Celebrate the victory beforehand!  (Esther 8:16-17)   Ah, that shows faith in God!

10. “The violent take it by force”   (Esther 9:1) (Matt 11:12)  Of course, this “violence” is in the spirit!  (Eph 6:10-18)  Act on the proclamation.

 

If you read the whole Book of Esther through, ask the Holy Spirit to show you these strategies and use you “for such a time as this”!

Another theme dominant in this book is that God’s righteous law of love ALWAYS trumps man’s frivolous and immoral laws.  Queen Vashti refused to do something lewd and immoral.  Her bravery lost her her position but paved the way for Queen Esther.  This was all in God’s plan.  Then Esther “broke” the law about going before the king uninvited IN ORDER TO OBEY God’s law of love in helping her people!  Consequently, the king gave them the right to write laws to supercede the immoral law that Haman had enacted.

 

“We must obey God rather than men.”

(Acts 5:29)

 

 

How A Tyrant Rises to Power

“Be wise as serpents…”  Matthew 10:16

Not only does the Word give us guidance as to how to live righteously but it also gives us insight as to how evil operates. I suspect this is in the hope that we should avoid coming under the rule of unrighteous men. In Judges 9, we read how the tyrant Abimelech rose to power:

  • Firstly, “he had no call of God to this honour …” (Matthew Henry Commentary) He was a usurper.
  • “None would have dreamed of making such a one king, if he had not dreamed of it himself” (Matthew Henry Commentary)

but

  • He appeals to them on the basis of ethnicity: “I am your bone and your flesh.” (Judges 9:2)
  • He eradicates his potential competition. He slew his brothers, seventy men! (Judges 9:5)
  • The city he first approached to gain followers was a strategic city, Shechem being an influential city. Yet, many of the citizens of Shechem were themselves unrighteous, thieving men (Judges 9:25).
  • He got money out of them, having persuaded them of their advantage: “Which is better for you…?” (Judges 9:2)

but

  • He hired soldiers from the rift-raft of the land, ungodly men themselves. (Judges 9:4) Do righteous men knowingly fight for a tyrant?
  • Abimelech and his deluded followers did not heed the warnings of the righteous (Judges 9:7-20)

Yet

  • Strife is inevitable among the ungodly. So, dissent arose between the unholy citizens of Shechem and Abimelech. Evil is intrinsically selfish and self-centered and so the unrighteous can never truly trust those with whom they have surrounded themselves. We’ve all seen this played out, how the robber kills his accomplice to get more of the loot. So, here also we see this played out. (Judges 9:23-25)
  • Evil will eventually be judged.  Abimelech’s demise came through the boldness of a woman defending her town. (Judges 9:53)   God uses the “weak” things of the world to accomplish deliverance.   (Remember Deborah and Jael? Judges 4)

The good news is that evil is inevitably doomed to destruction (Revelation 20:12-14).  Nonetheless, we would be wise to not allow evil to rule over us in the first place. Therefore, let us teach our children the full counsel of God including how to spot usurpers, tyrants, antichrists and deceivers that we may live in peace under righteous leaders who have a heart for justice and are submitted themselves to the God of Abraham, the Great I AM, YHWH, Yahshua, Jesus Christ!

You may also wan to read my posts: unholy trinity ; Portrait of the Antichrist;

unholy trinity

Satan doesn’t have a creative bone in him.  He is an imitator, but when he imitates he perverts. Revelation 13 and Rev 20:2 reveal the corrupt alliance of dragon, beast, and false prophet which tries to imitate the Holy Trinity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

While we may not fathom the depths of holy relationship in the One Triune God, we know that the Father is the authority figure and that the obedient Son carries out the actions of the Father through the empowerment of the Spirit. The cosmos was thus created. Salvation was thus imparted to mankind. The Church exists thusly. The Father is the heavenly manifestation of the Great Triune I Am; Yeshua (Jesus Christ) is His Arm (metaphorically speaking) that extends into a physical plane; and the Spirit is His Presence permeating the hearts and minds of His saints. The three are one.

Satan was not a triune creation, to my understanding, lacking a body for this earthly plane. In order to operate here, he needs a body. In Eden, it was a serpent. Usually, it is a man who has a similar desire to Satan’s: to be like the Most High. So they work in an unholy alliance. Satan is the authority figure while the obedient beasts or antichrists carry out the actions of the devil through the empowerment of an indwelling evil spirit, particularly with the aid of false prophets and false religious beliefs. This is how Satan has operated on earth throughout history. Pharaoh had his magicians. Hitler had his satanists and occultists. All were doing the will of Satan. The “beast” kingdoms throughout the centuries were thus devised: Satan behind the despot with the cooperation of the occult and/or false belief systems. The false belief systems are crucial to get the support of the masses of mesmerized people. The last scenario set forth in Revelation will be the last desperate stand of the unholy trinity. But they are all defeated and eventually “cast into the lake of fire” and so will be banished forever.

That which is portrayed in Revelation has had relevance for all time periods in terms of discerning “beast” empires, their modus operandi and their eventual overthrow, yet there remains to be fulfilled in this temporal realm that final big rebellion against the Most High which will end triumphantly with the Second Coming of Jesus Christ!

The Kingdom of Our Lord Jesus Christ is the everlasting kingdom of joy and peace and righteousness!

Portrait of the Antichrist

“Little children, these are the end times, and as you heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have arisen. By this we know that it is the final hour.”  1 John 2:18

Do you think you can spot an antichrist spirit?  If you know the real Jesus Christ, you should be able to discern the counterfeit!

That being said, here’s a compilation of the passages many scholars believe give insight into an antichrist type.

There have been and there are many “antichrists” who may exhibit all or some of these traits to varying degrees.   Certainly, they are all deceivers!  (A guy living near Houston claimed to be the second coming of Christ and had a following of over a million duped souls!)  However, I reckon THE final Antichrist, the one who comes on the scene just prior to Christ’s return, will have ALL the traits listed.

from Daniel 7:25

  • “He shall speak pompous words against the Most High” (blasphemous)
  • “shall wear out the saints of the Most High” (persistent persecution from every side?)
  • “he shall think to change the times and the law”  (Maybe he’ll want to get rid of the “year of Our Lord” or “AD” ref?)
  • will persecute the saints:  “and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and half a time.”

GOOD NEWS: his power will be taken away (v 26)

Antiochus IV Epiphanes

Jesus Christ used Daniel’s  reference to the “abomination of desolations” (Daniel 11:31)  in Matthew 24:15 , indicating  that the prophecy would have an ultimate fulfillment other than the now obvious, partial fulfillment in the historical personage of Antiochus IV Epiphanes.  While Jesus’ particular “abomination” prophecy also had a verifying and specific fulfillment in 70 AD, it was only partial in that the latter part of the prophecy, Christ’s return, has not yet been fulfilled.   The “abomination” is one of the signs that will indicate Christ’s soon return.  The two are linked in the Matthew passage and also in 2 Thessalonians 2:4.  Obviously, Christ hasn’t come back yet, therefore expect another “abomination of desolations” prior to His Coming as well as signs in the heavens.

Daniel 8:9-12

  • he opposes the daily sacrifice (historically, offerings in the temple but spititually, since the Church is now the temple, could this mean prayer? or the atonement of Christ?  or all of the above?)

Daniel 8:23-25

  • “a king of fierce face” OR “stern-faced”
  • “understanding dark sentences”  OR “master of intrigue” OR “sinister schemes” (various translations )
  • “His power shall be mighty, but not by his own power”  (By whose power, then?  Satan’s! )
  • “he shall destroy astoundingly”
  • “and shall prosper and do his pleasure” (as opposed to praying, “Our Father..Thy will be done.”)
  • “he shall destroy the mighty ones and the holy people.”  (being Anti-Christ, He is both anti-Christian and anti-Jew)
  • “Through his policy he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand”  (“craft” could include fraud, deceit, witchcraft, etc.)
  • “and he shall magnify himself in his heart”   Arrogance!
  • “in their security shall he destroy many”  (“Peace, peace… then sudden destruction.  See 1 Thessalonians 5:3 )
  • “he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.”

Historically, Antiochus IV Epiphanes took his power illegally – he was not heir to the throne.  He was a usurper.  He had people call him the Greek equivalent to “God Manifest”!  These, therefore, may also be indications of THE Antichrist:

  • by deception or illegal means, he comes to power
  • he is a usurper (illegally gains position)
  • he’ll claim to be “God”  (Do not the New Age thinkers think themselves gods?  Do not the Mormons aspire to become gods?  Do not atheist make themselves their own god when they deny the Creator King?  Have not many ceasars and emperors claimed deity?)

Antiochus also wanted the Jews to be Hellenized and forget their holy traditions.  Therefore, it seems that

  • the Antichrist will most likely want Christians and Jews to be secularized and forget their Godly heritage.

Daniel 11:21-39

  • “a contemptible” or “vile person”  (at least to the Godly)
  • “to whom they had not given the honor of the kingdom”  (again, he got his power illegally)
  • “but he shall come in time of security, and shall obtain the kingdom by flatteries.”  (quite the charmer?)
  • “After the treaty made with him he shall work deceitfully; for he shall come up, and shall become strong, with a small people.” (not to be trusted)
  • “In time of security shall he come even on the fattest [richest]places of the province; and he shall do that which his fathers have not done, nor his fathers’ fathers;
  • he shall scatter among them prey, and spoil, and substance: yes, he shall devise his devices against the strongholds, even for a time.  (He’ll redistribute the plundered wealth among his supporters.)
  • “he shall devise his devices against the strongholds, even for a time.”
  • “they shall speak lies at one table: but it shall not prosper; for yet the end shall be at the time appointed.”
  • “his heart shall be against the holy covenant”
  • “he shall do his pleasure”
  • “have regard to those who forsake the holy covenant”
  • His army “shall take away the continual burnt offering” (Thought: A Christian’s “offering” or “sweet-smeling sacrifice” is prayer/praise.)
  • and they will “set up the abomination that makes desolate” (defiles the temple which causes it to become desolate – without the Presence of God)
  • He will pervert by flatteries those who will violate the covenant

Let me interject the GOOD NEWS here: “but the people who know their God shall be strong, and do exploits . Those who are wise among the people shall instruct many; yet they shall fall by the sword and by flame, by captivity and by spoil, many days. Now when they shall fall, they shall be helped with a little help; but many shall join themselves to them with flatteries. Some of those who are wise shall fall, to refine them, and to purify, and to make them white, even to the time of the end; because it is yet for the time appointed.”

meanwhile, the Antichrist…

  • shall do according to his will (v. 36)
  • and he shall exalt himself,
  • and magnify himself above every god,
  • and shall speak marvelous things against the God of gods;
  • and he shall prosper until the indignation be accomplished
  • neither shall he regard the gods of his fathers
  • nor [have/regard] the desire of women  (There’s debate about just what this means.  Will he be a homosexual?  Will he limit childbearing – a great desire of women?)
  • nor regard any god; for he shall magnify himself above all.  (What arrogance!)
  • But in his place shall he honor the god of fortresses (He worships power?)
  • and a god whom his fathers didn’t know shall he honor with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things.
  • He shall deal with the strongest fortresses by the help of a foreign god:  (supernatural, satanic power)
  • whoever acknowledges him he will increase with glory; and he shall cause them to rule over many,
  • and shall divide the land (Israel?) for a price.

THE BEAST

Revelation 13:3

  • “One of his heads looked like it had been wounded fatally. His fatal wound was healed, and the whole earth marveled at the beast.”

THE MAN OF SIN

2 Thessalonians 2:3-9

  • the man of sin, the son of destruction
  • opposes and exalts himself against all that is called God or that is worshiped
  • so that he sits as God in the temple of God, setting himself up as God.
  • has “the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders”
  • “with all deception of wickedness for those who are being lost, because they didn’t receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.”

FALSE CHRISTS

Matthew 24:15-23

  • will make appearances
  • show great signs and wonders

Other relevant Scriptures

1 John 2:22

  • Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the Antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son.

1 John 4:3

  • and every spirit who doesn’t confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God, and this is the spirit of the Antichrist, of whom you have heard that it comes. Now it is in the world already.

2 John 1:7

  • For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who don’t confess that Jesus Christ came in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the Antichrist.
I hope this has been helpful in knowing what to look out for!  It’s more important to know what the Scriptures say than to have our own (or someone else’s)  “vain imaginations”.  Most of all, keep looking to Jesus!  He’s Our Blessed Hope!

The Antichrist

Interestingly, while I’ve been working on a post about the characteristics of the antichrist, I’ve had a few conversations lately with people who are reading books that propose that there is NO “the antichrist”.     Please forgive me if I’ve been rather zealous on the topic, but you’ll see why I think this is an important issue.   Mostly everyone agreed, myself included,  that there are many antichrists   (1 John 2:18) but some were questioning whether the Scriptures pointed also to “the antichrist”.

Personally, I don’t see how one can read the whole of Scripture and not come to the conclusion that there is also the Antichrist.  It seems that a few relevant Scriptures were not considered: 2 Thessalonians 2

In verse 3, we find “the man of sin” aka “the son of perdition”.   How plain can it be that there is an actual “man of sin”, aka the “lawless one” (vs. 8 ) who will come on the earthly scene prior to  Christ’s return?     Perhaps we can just agree to call him “the man of sin” but I think the term “antichrist” expresses it well, since he “opposes and exalts himself against all that is called God or that is worshiped; so that he sits as God in the temple of God, setting himself up as God.” (vs.4).  Now that sounds like someone who is the antithesis of Our Lord!

2 Thessalonians 2:4  sounds strikingly like Matthew 24:15 which refers to the “abomination of desolation” which you can read all about in Daniel 11:31.   Reading all those with Revelation 13, Revelation 20, Daniel 7, Daniel 8 one gets a remarkably consistent portrait of the dragon, aka devil, aka Satan operating in men for his evil purposes in defiance to the One True God YHWH.   (There’s a lot of studying in all that!)

Of course, Old Testament Scriptures were historically fulfilled… up to a point, but all will be fulfilled.    Old testament prophecies often foreshadow things to come:

1 Corinthians 10:11

Romans 15:4

Colossians 2:16-17

1 Peter 1:12

Whether or not you think that there is an ultimate culmination of Scriptural prophecies in the antichrist, it’s best to know the negative traits that could characterize such a warped being.   On a practical level, would it make a difference if one were resisting an antichrist or the antichrist?   Had more people recognized Hitler for the antichrist spirit influencing him early on, would so many have been brought under his destructive spell?   As C.S. Lewis so deftly illustrates in The Screwtape Letters, a ploy of the enemy is to keep us in denial of his existence.  You can’t fight an unrecognized foe.    So it is rather interesting that this new theory pops up at this particular time.

This final scripture shows the unholy triune alliance that is prophecied in Revelation 20:10 .

I’m still working on the post of the antichrist characteristics, so stay tuned.   Jesus Christ is our blessed hope!