The Coming Antichrist

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Part Seven - The Coming Antichrist

 

In the book of John’s first epistle he gives some disturbing words. “Little children, it is thelast hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour” (1 John 2:18-19). John was warning Christians that though the coming of the Antichrist was still in the future, yet Satan’s work of bringing his man onto the scene was already begun. John further writes,

1 John 4:3, “and every spirit that does not confess that* Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.”

2 John 7-8, “For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.”

From time to time there have been antichrists that come on the scene through the work of Satan who are reflections of the ultimate Antichrist which is yet to come. Some of them come very close to being the Antichrist bur for one reason or another these antichrists fail to reach their full potential. An example of an antichrist that came close to being “the Antichrist” was Adolph Hitler. He came very close in many ways but was cut short as the Allies defeated him.

The Bible states that there is a force present in this world that is keeping Satan from bringing his ultimate Antichrist from coming upon the scene. This force will continue to do so until it is God’s time for the Antichrist to arise. We find this spoken of in 2 Thes. 2. In verse 3-5, Paul does not use the name Antichrist but there is no question this is in his mind through the description that he uses.

2 Thes 2:3-4, “The man of sin* is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God* in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.“.

2 Thes. 2::8, “And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming”

In verse 6, Paul indicates that there is a force that is restraining or stopping every attempt that Satan makes to bring his man, the Antichrist on to the scene of history. This force will not stop its work until the time is right for the Antichrist to rise on the stage of human affairs. Now the force that hold’s Satan back is not an impersonal force but rather is an individual as indicated in verse 7. Paul describes the restrainer using the masculine pronoun. This implies that the one who has been given the task of restraining Satan is the Holy Spirit. He is the One who presently restrains Satan and will continue to do so until he is given the command of God the Father to cease His restraining work. So up to this unknown time, Satan will be actively caring out His lawless work always hoping that maybe today the Spirit will step aside and allow him to do his worse.

Now this passage raises an interesting question. Does the “taking out of the way” of the Holy Spirit mean that the Holy Spirit will not be present in the World during the Tribulation period or carrying out the work that He presently does? The answer to this is question is that the Holy Spirit will be present during the Tribulation and He will also be very active in His work during this time. We know this for the following reasons.

1) In 2 Thes. 2:7, it does not say the Holy Spirit is taken out of the world. All it says is that the Holy Spirit is taken out of Satan’s path of world domination through the Antichrist. The restraining work of the Holy Spirit is only one of many things he presently carries out in this world. This passage is dealing with only one of these responsibilities. It might be illustrated like a man who wants to place a boulder in a garden at the bottom of a hill. The boulder is delivered by truck at the top of the hill and if gravity is left to do its thing, the boulder will row down the hill and into the garden. However, the landscaper is not quite ready for the boulder. Therefore the man must stand in front of the boulder to keep it from rolling until he is given the okay to let it go. When he is given the signal, he will no longer restrain the boulder and he will allow it roll to the garden. However, just because he is no longer restraining the boulder does not mean that he has left the scene or has nothing else to carry out. It just means that the one job is over. So it is with the Holy Spirit, one job, the job of restraining will be over, however all His other responsibilities will be carried on.

2) The Scriptures declares that the Holy Spirit plays an essential role in the salvation of every believer. A part from the work of the Spirit no man would ever come to Christ.

John 16:7-11, “the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.”

1 Cor 2:3-5, “I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

1 Cor 12:13-14, “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body — whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free — and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. For in fact the body is not one member but many.”

During the Tribulation, many will be saved thus indicating that the Spirit of God is still present and working during the terrible days of the Tribulation (Rev 6:9-10; 7:14; 17:6; 20:4)

3) The sign miracles that were done by Jesus and His apostles were done through the power of the Spirit of God (Matt. 12:27-28; Acts 10:38). These sign gifts ceased as a result of the close of the offer of the Kingdom to Israel at the end of the first century, yet during the Tribulation these sign gifts will reappear indicating the work of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 2:16-21, “Spoken by the prophet Joel: 'And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy. I will show wonders in heaven above And signs in the earth beneath: Blood and fire and vapor of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the Lord Shall be saved.”

Therefore it becomes very clear that Satan has been actively trying to bring his man onto the world scene but has been unsuccessful because of the work of the Holy Spirit. However there will be a time coming when the Holy Spirit will no longer stop Satan and his Antichrist will raise to the position of world ruler. But even in these terrible times, the Holy Spirit will be working in many ways to bring as many people as possible to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Are you ready to meet the Lord this day or will you take your chances in the coming apocalypse?