Don't Be Soon Shaken in Mind: The Antichrist Deception

Samuel Smith



You are welcome to another edition of Insights from God's Word, a Bible Study Programme that is committed to sharing God's Word by allowing the Bible to speak for itself.

In this edition, we continue with our series on The Final Events of Bible Prophecy. The topic for this study is: Don't be soon shaken in mind: the antichrist deception.

1. For several strong reasons, many people believe that the end of the world is near. Closely associated with this end time belief is also the belief in a coming antichrist power before the end of the world. There have been several viewpoints within Christendom and other religions regarding a coming antichrist.

2. Most of these views teach that the world will come to an end in the great Armageddon battle between Christ and the coming antichrist. One of such theories that has had far reaching effects on the minds of people across the globe is the theory of futurism.

3. Futurism was formulated by a Jesuit monk, named Francisco Ribera (1537-1591). This theory teaches that the antichrist has not shown up yet, but he will in the future. Unfortunately, Ribera's ideas has been made popular within Christendom and beyond, not because this concept is solidly grounded on the Word of God, but had been carried worldwide by books such as Hal Lindsey's "The Late Great Planet Earth" and "Countdown to Armageddon".

4. Based on Ribera's futurism ideas, a lot of unbiblical teachings have slowly made their way into the Christian church. One of such teachings that do not have any biblical background but has become prominent and untouchable within many mainstream Christian denominations today is the secret rapture doctrine. This doctrine postulate that Christ will come in two phases. He will first come spiritually to "rapture" away believers silently and secretly to heaven. After this secret rapture of believers by Christ, then the antichrist will appear on the earth to torture everyone who has been left behind for a period of seven years. The secret rapture theory continue to teach that within this seven - year period, which is popularly referred to as the tribulation period, everyone who will be left behind after the rapture, will be seriously persecuted by the antichrist power. But as the persecution goes on within the seven year period by this antichrist power, anyone who will repent and decide to stand on the side of Christ, not surrendering his or her faith despite the terrible persecution by the antichrist, will have a second chance at salvation. The theory teaches that such repentant believers will be redeemed by Christ after the seven - year tribulation. This is when Christ finally returns to the earth in glory to dispense His wrath on the wicked and utterly destroy the antichrist power. This has been the popular secret rapture teaching that has been making rounds in most of Christianity today. But Beloved, the sad news is that all of this is a hoax. Not one of these items described above is supported by Scripture. Unfortunately to say, many people within Christendom are looking forward to a rapture that will never occur.

But the real serious issues in regard to this false doctrine are as follows:

a. The theory was developed to hide the identity of the antichrist power. As we will discover later from Scripture in our subsequent studies, the antichrist power is not yet to come, but is actually operating now. Now, if the whole world is made to believe that the antichrist is supposed to come in the future after the rapture, then no one is likely to identify the antichrist with any present power now. Clever, isn't it?

b. The theory gives people the false hope of a second chance. Friends, the Bible clearly teaches a single second coming of Christ (John 14:1-3; Acts 1:9-11; Revelation 1:7). The Bible teaches that when Christ comes the second time, He will have His reward with Him; to give to everyone according as their work shall be (Revelation 22:12; Matthew 25:31-46).

5. Now, I believe somebody is getting tensed up, and has begun formulating several questions in his or her mind for me; to actually defend his or her belief in the rapture doctrine. Valid questions such as:

a. How will you explain the text in 2 Peter 3:10 that says; "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night"?

b. How will you explain the text in Matthew 24:40 that says; "Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left"?

c. How will you explain the text in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 that says; the righteous will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air?

6. Beloved, to add the explanations to all these questions to this study will make it a tediously long one. For a Bible-based explanation on the questions above and many others, you may send the words "rapture studies" to the WhatsApp number below. These studies, I believe will address and settle your mind on the above questions. Friends, I know it's not easy to let go what has been cherished for a long time, but at the end of the day, we are all likely to make a turnaround when we discover we are driving on a route that will not lead us to our desired destination.

7. Friends, the secret rapture theory, as you will discover from the clear Bible explanations in our series on the topic, has no biblical support. The concept has largely been carried by movies and novels such as the LEFT BEHIND series by Tim Lahaye and Jerry B. Jenkins. In fact, at the back cover of this book, the authors have been honest enough to stipulate that their book is "A NOVEL OF THE EARTH'S LAST DAYS". Unfortunately, many of us will want to base our faith on novels rather than on the clear truths of the Bible.

8. Friends, what Ribera's futurism theory has succeeded in doing is to deceive people into believing that the antichrist will come in the future, while the power is craftily operating today.

Now, I want us to get some Bible evidence for what I have been trying to carry across so far. Our Bible study reference for this study is 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12. The passage there reads: "2:1 We beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,

2:2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;"
Beloved, the basic message from the first three verses is that; Jesus Christ will not come back the second time unless the man of sin or son of perdition has been revealed. Beloved, this man of sin is the same as the antichrist power as we will discover soon from the subsequent verses and later from other passages of Scripture.

9. This man of sin is also referred to as the son of perdition. The only other place in Scripture where we find this phrase is in John 17:12, where Christ used the phrase in connection with Judas Iscariot. The text in John 17:12 reads: "While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled."

Beloved, Judas was part of the twelve apostles of Christ, but he did not allow the transforming power of Jesus to change him. He resisted the path of righteousness to the point that he was finally led by the devil to betray the Son of God.

This antichrist power which is referred to as the son of perdition in 2 Thessalonians 2 has similar characteristics like Judas Iscariot. This may come as a surprise to many, but in as much as Judas had a connection with the ministry of Christ, so is this antichrist power. This man of sin or antichrist does not arise from atheism or outer space, but from the very heart of Christianity. Someone might ask; but the antichrist is supposed to be against Christ? If so, why does it emerge from Christianity? This is a very important question that begs for an answer. Beloved, the word antichrist has two key meanings. The first meaning is "opposed to Christ or against Christ". Now, a second meaning of antichrist which directly applies to our study is "in place of Christ". This power, as we will find out soon, is religious in nature; and actually tries to take the position of Christ in the heart of believers.

10. The verse 4 of 2 Thessalonians 2 reads: 2:4 "Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God." Friends, this characteristic of the man of sin in the fourth verse is very important. This power sits in the temple of God showing himself that he is God. This power actually exalts himself above everything that is called God. As Satan wanted to usurp the throne of God in heaven, and be like the most high (Isaiah 14:12-14), so does this power exalts himself above everything that is called God or that is worshipped; and sits in the temple of God receiving the worship that is due God alone.

The verse 4 of 2 Thessalonians 2 brings out a very important point. That is, to identify the antichrist power, look no further than the Christian religion. Now, can you think of any power within Christendom that has taken the place of Christ, and sits in the temple of God receiving the worship that is due God alone? I will leave you at this point to ponder over this question. But we are going to discover in this series that there are about 21 identifying characteristics in Scripture that point to one particular power within Christendom as the true antichrist. And friends, this power is craftily operating today. Now, I want you to keep up with the studies as we try to unmask this satanic power from the light of God’s Holy Word.

11. The verse 7 of 2 Thessalonians 2 reads: 2:7 "For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way." This satanic power is known as the mystery of iniquity. The phrase mystery of iniquity basically means that even though this power is engaged in serious transgression against God and humanity, its character is not easily ascertained due to its religious garb.

Moreover, from the text, we discover that the power has actually been at work right from the time of the apostle Paul. Now, this clearly means that the man of sin that the passage of 2 Thessalonians 2 describes cannot apply to a single individual. This is because no human being has lived right from the time of Paul till now. The man of sin that is being described here actually refers to a satanic system that has successfully worked towards a unique goal from the time of the apostle Paul until now.

12. The verse 8 of 2 Thessalonians 2 reads: 2:8 "And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:" At the moment, this antichrist power is working secretly and craftily towards her universal agenda. But very soon its true wicked colours will be displayed for all to see. The verse 8 makes it clear that Christ will consume this power with the Spirit of His mouth and shall destroy her with the brightness of His coming.

13. The verses 9-12 of 2 Thessalonians 2 read: "2:9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,

2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

2:12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness."
Friends, the verses 9-12 of 2 Thessalonians 2 clearly tell us that the coming of this antichrist power is through the working of Satan. This notwithstanding, because the majority of people are not ready to accept the clear truths from Scripture, God will permit them to be overtaken by the deceptions of Satan. These deceptions, as the verse 9 stipulates, will be wrought largely through the signs and wonders movement. Beloved, have you noticed the strange power that is spreading like wildfire within most of Christendom and other religions today? Strange phenomena such as people falling, wallowing and muttering at church because they've been slain in the spirit; people laughing hysterically, losing control and falling to the ground in the name of laughing in the spirit; people doing all sorts of crazy things in the name of being drunk in the spirit; and the mass babbling of unintelligible ecstatic utterances commonly referred to as speaking in tongues are all attributed to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Unfortunately beloved, these signs are not from the Holy Spirit but from another spirit. The devil is now trying hard to make believers concentrate on having a good feeling and experience at church, instead of them studying the truth of God in His Word and living according to such truth.

(In case you want a further explanation on the biblical position of the spiritual phenomena I listed above, just send TONGUE STUDIES to any of the WhatsApp numbers below)

Beloved, besides the strange phenomena that are taking root in most Christian churches today, another new issue that every child of God must critically examine its nature with the Word of God is the growing tide of ecumenism. Religious ecumenism basically says: Oh let us all unite in God. We all serve one God anyway. Let us put away our various doctrines that divide us and unite for a greater purpose. It doesn't matter whether you are a Muslim, Hindu or Christian; just come and let us unite for the common good of humanity. But I thought Christ said He is the Way, the Truth and the Life and that no man can come to the Father except through Him (John 14:6). In the Christian world today, we see this growing tide of ecumenism, where unity is highly esteemed above truth. Friends, it's not that I have any problem with unity, but unity that is achieved on the altar of sacrificing truth cannot have the backing of God. This is because at the end of the day, as the Scripture has made it clear, many are going to perish because they received not the love of the truth. But before I end this study, I want you to begin pondering over this important question: What is the real agenda behind this worldwide ecumenism movement?

Exhortation: "And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty" (Revelation 16:13-14).

In our next study, we will consider the topic: The Strange Beasts of Daniel 7. The Bible study reference for this study is Daniel 7:1-7. Please do well to go through this passage before the next study.

Stay blessed and keep shining for King Jesus.


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