Spiritual Life and its Counterfeit
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How Can We Be Born of the Spirit?
Sermon Transcript by Rev. Ernest O’Neill
A dictatorship has been prepared for during previous years. And dear ones, in Cuba the people there had had this decay working in their hearts for many years so that gradually their natures changed, and changed, and changed and when the dictator came they welcomed him as the savior. And so it was in Germany, it was no sudden event. The decay had been seeping through the nation. The decadence had been working in the people’s hearts and to those of us on the outside it was a great surprise when it took over, but to the people really, it was no surprise. The people received him as a savior. It’s when the people’s needs, and the people’s willingness to pay the price for the fulfillment of their needs come together that the dictator takes over without a battle. And so it will be with the antichrist.
When the antichrist comes there will be no great opposition to him, but there will be a great flocking to him from all the corners of the earth. From dear ones whose hearts have been deceived, and whose hearts have been prepared, and whose hearts have been looking for the savior, and whose hearts have not be filled with the Holy Spirit, and whose lives are not pervaded by the spirit of God’s truth. And they will flock to the antichrist, and they will worship him as the savior.
So it will be with the personal opponent of Jesus Christ whom the New Testament says will come at the end of the ages. He will be hailed as a new savior. And you say, “Well, why will this be?” Well, you can look for yourself in the New Testament and find out why it will be dear ones, it’s in 1 John 4 and the second half of Verse three. 1 John 4:3, “And every spirit which does not confess Jesus is not of God.” Then the second half reads, “This is the spirit of antichrist, of which you heard that it was coming, and now it is in the world already.” That was 180, the spirit of antichrist has been in the world preparing the hearts of many of the so called faithful to receive the antichrist when he comes.
And so the Bible itself teaches that there is a spirit of antichrist abroad even in church people, abroad even in those who think they are deep Christians. There is a spirit of antichrist seeping underneath the very Holy Spirit that is trying to get ahold of our very hearts and lives and that antichrist spirit is preparing us to receive the antichrist. And when he comes, many of us will be deceived into thinking that this is Jesus. This is the second coming of our Savior.
Now, this is why the Bible warns us to discern spirits. And you can see that warning in 1 John 4:3B there, “This is the Spirit of antichrist, which you heard that it was coming, and now it is in the world already.” And 1 John 2:18, “Children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come; therefore we know that it is the last hour.” And in Chapter Four of 1 John 1, the warning to test the spirits, “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are of God; for many false prophets have gone out into the world.”
And you may say, “Well, why are you preaching about the antichrist?” Well, I’m not preaching because you can stop the antichrist coming, you cannot. You cannot break scripture. The scripture says, “The antichrist will come and you cannot stop him coming.” Even if I could tell you who he was at this moment you could not stop him coming. Perhaps he is in the world already but you will
not be able to stop him coming because the scripture cannot be broken.
But dear ones, it is imperative that we begin to discern the spirit of antichrist when he moves in our own hearts least we ourselves be deceived when he comes. That’s why I’m preaching. Not so you will be able to look to the antichrist and not so that dear ones here will be able to become excited over who the antichrist might be, dear ones those are doctrines of demons. Those are doctrines of demons when these false prophets who do not even prophesy in the name of Jesus say, “The antichrist is born in such and such a land.” That is not what the Bible tells us to look for. But, the Bible does tell us to discern our own spirits and discern the spirits that are working in our own hearts so that we ourselves will not be deceived.
You see, the Bible comes right down the line on who are Christians and who are not. The Bible comes right down the line by the law and tells us, “If you obey the law then you please God.” The Bible says that right from the first part of the Bible to the last part of the Bible. It tells us that obedience to the law is the mark of the sons of God. Then Jesus Christ came and he says, “Whoever has my spirit in their hearts, you are the sons of God, you are the children of God.” And Christ comes right down the line and points out the things that we need to have if we claim to be alive in God. And then the Holy Spirit came after Jesus ascended to the Father and he comes right down the line and he says, “If I abide in you, you will have these marks. You will have love, and joy, and peace.” And he comes right down the line. And the law and Jesus Christ’s life and the Holy Spirit all testify to us who are the sons of God.
Now dear ones, there will come a day when God will allow someone to testify to us who will bring even a clearer judgment. When the antichrist comes many of us who think we are sons of God will find out where we really stand when we follow him as the antichrist. So it is important tonight, on the last night of the conference, to make sure that you have the pure Holy Spirit of truth governing your life.
Now, you may sit there and say, “Oh now, this is a lot of mumbo jumbo. You don’t need all this stuff to distinguish the antichrist. I have a good mind and I may not be walking in all the light that God has given me, but I have a good mind and I can discern the antichrist.” Now dear ones, the Bible makes it plain that it will be difficult to discern the antichrist. One of the reasons it will be difficult is given in 1 John 2:19. You remember, John has said so many antichrists have come and then in 1 John 2:19, the Bible reads, “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out, that it might be plan that they all are not of us.” But one reason is the antichrist and the spirit of the antichrist is among us ourselves.
Another reason that’s given plainly in Ephesians 6:11. Ephesians 6:11, why you cannot discern the antichrist just by your clever mind, “Put on the whole armor of God.” Why? “That you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” The devil when he comes, in the person of the antichrist, will not plainly have a name on his chest saying, “Satan,” or, “Antichrist.” He will come with tricks, and with wiles. It will be impossible to discern him however closely you have studied the Bible. The Bible itself is not a sufficient guard against the antichrist.
Some of us know we’re not walking in all the will of God. You know it. You know you’re not walking in all the will of God. You know you’re walking a little aside from God’s will and yet you keep pretending to yourself, “Ah, I will not be deceived by the antichrist. I will know him because I will see him. He will look like the antichrist.” He won’t dear ones. The spirit of antichrist was
in the false prophets and here’s what it said about the false prophets by Jesus, Matthew 7:15. Matthew 7:15, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in,” wolves clothing? No. But, “Who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.”
In other words, the antichrist will look like Christ. You see, from what you read in the scripture the antichrist will come and will claim to unite all nations and all political powers in him. He will claim to unite all churches in himself. He will come as the savior of the world. He will say, “Come bring to me your sick and your dying. Come to me those who are enslaved and need deliverance and I will deliver you.” The antichrist will look like Christ. He will be in sheep’s clothing. You by the cleverness of your own mind or even by your intimate knowledge of the Bible will not be able to discern him just by that alone.
You may say, “Oh, now that’s silly we’ll know him by his works. He will come and he will burn and ravish all before him.” He won’t. He will come with healing medicines. He will come with an offer of peace, mental peace such as we have never had before. He will come and offer to solve the international problems in politics. He will come and promise to solve the economic difficulties we have in our nations. He will come with good works. You doubt it? Well, look at what Jesus says himself you can find it there in Matthew 7:22, that same Chapter Matthew 7:22, Jesus says, “On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many might works in your name?’ And then will I declare to him, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers.’” And so the antichrist will come with mighty works that will imitate the works of Jesus.
You remember what happened when Moses threw down his staff and it turned into a snake? Weren’t they able to imitate the work even of God? How much more will the antichrist be able to imitate the very works of Jesus? Some of us say, “Well, we’ll know him by his fruits, by their fruits you shall know them.” But you know that today already, there are imitation fruits all around us. There are so many of us that talk about concern now, we talk about care, you must be concerned, and you must show concern for the downtrodden. But, it isn’t the loving, it isn’t the loving concern that comes from the heart of Jesus it’s an artificial politic philanthropic concern that ends when its purpose is achieved.
But already there is this artificial imitation of love abroad in many of our hearts. Already there is an imitation of Christian joy abroad and many dear ones cannot discern the difference between real Christian joy and the happiness that seems to exist in people’s minds. There is a false peace abroad not only with the tranquilizers but there is a false peace with the new drugs. There is a false peace with even the blindness that has come into many man’s eyes about the future. There are artificial fruits. We will not be able to discern the antichrist simply by his works or by his fruits.
The only way we can prepare for the coming of the antichrist and the only way you can be assured that you will not be deceived by him when he comes is to allow the Holy Spirit tonight, to wield his sword in your own spirit and to show you if any of the marks of the spirit of antichrist are present in your life. Now, will you do that dear ones? Will you allow the Holy Spirit to wield his own sword in your heart and to stop saying, “I was born again on that date.” Or, “I was sanctified on that date.” Or, “I was baptized with the Spirit on that date.” And allow the Holy Spirit himself to speak to your heart.
Let’s just look at some of those plain marks in scripture. The first one is found right at the
beginning of the Bible Genesis 3:4-6. Genesis 3:4-6, “But the serpent,” who is a symbol too of Satan and of the antichrist, “But the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’” The spirit of antichrist is the spirit of the whisperer. Yeah, the spirit of antichrist is the spirit of the whisperer. The spirit of antichrist makes the bullets and allows someone else to fire.
“I believe Mrs. Woodard feels that your children make a little too much noise.” Yeah, that’s the spirit of antichrist. That establishes a hostile triangle, right? With the one that told it, with the one whose children are being talked about, and with Mrs. Woodard. And you only need four of those and you have 12 dear ones who have distrust being built up in their hearts for each other. No, it is up to Mrs. Woodard to go and tell about the children herself. But, the spirit of the whisperer wants to have the privilege of imparting to you some special knowledge that only she has. The spirit of antichrist is the spirit of the whisperer.
This is why John Wesley said, “Never say anything about anyone who is absent or anyone who is dead.” Never. You don’t need to talk about them. You don’t need to do you? Are you doing them any good? It’s the spirit of antichrist that is working in your heart at that moment dear ones. It’s not achieving any good, you know that, it only creates distrust. Or, you know, “I don’t think John is really capable of that Job.” When it isn’t your responsibility to decide whether he’s capable or not and you aren’t asked any opinion but you say to a third member, “I don’t think John is really capable.”
That binds you two in an attitude of superiority to John and eventually John’s spirit feels that and there’s distrust and the spirit of antichrist has already begun to prepare you to receive him when he comes because he is the spirit of the whisperer. Dear ones, no whispering and if there is any whispering in your heart and if you’ve done that then seek the spirit for purification tonight. Not only for forgiveness but for purification from that whispering spirit.
Let’s look at a second mark of the antichrist and generally speaking it’s given by Jesus in Matthew 15:6. And generally speaking it’s the attitude of the serpent in the Garden of Eden. The attitude that wants to question or disobey God’s word. You remember the serpent said, “God has not said,” and it’s that spirit and it’s found in Matthew 15:6 and Jesus is speaking to some of those who had the spirit of antichrist living in them. Matthew 15:6, “So, for the sake of your tradition, you have made void the word of God.”
Now first of all dear ones, for the sake of your tradition. So many of us will say, “Well, I believe that you’re righteous because Christ’s righteousness is imputed to you. I believe you’re holy in Christ. I believe you can commit adultery and God looks down upon you and he says, ‘That’s no adultery,’ because you’re within Christ.” And there are dear ones who say, “This is our tradition. We believe in imputed righteousness. We believe you are holy in Christ. You may not be holy in life but you’re holy in Christ.” And so they have a list of sins every day and they bring them to Christa and they confess them to him as a matter of course but they thank him that they are holy in Christ.
And Jesus again, and again says, “If a man love me he will keep my words. If a man loves me he will not continue to cut me apart with the nails and the sword.” But they say they are holy in Christ. And Jesus says, “So, for the sake of your tradition, you have made void the word of God.” There are many in whom the spirit of antichrist has made void the word of God for the sake of their tradition.
So, let’s go to the other side of the spectrum and there are many of us who believe in holiness and we say, “It’s glorious where you come to the place where you die to that old self and where the Holy Spirit cleanses your heart from anger, and jealousy, and impatience, and irritability, and critical spirit, and it’s glorious when you come to that place when you know the old self is dead at last and nailed to the cross.” And then the next day we find we’re a little angry so for the sake of our tradition, for the sake of our belief in eradication, we say, “The sin was taken out so that’s not anger.” And we call black white. For the sake of our tradition we make void the word of God.
Now dear ones, those are some of the marks of the spirit of antichrist. And many of us – I see some dear ones whom I love and they’ll know what I mean when I say this, many of us do the same with the baptism of the Holy Spirit. We say, “I am baptized with the Holy Spirit. I may be irritable in my home, I may cut my wife to bits, I may be angry when my friends oppose my doctrine but I am baptized with the Holy Spirit.” Dear ones, the baptism with the Holy Spirit, according to Acts 15:9, cleanses our hearts by faith but for the sake of our tradition we make void the word of God. One group pretends that sin is not sin with them. The other group pretends that what they’re doing is not sin and the middle group ignores sin altogether and for the sake of our tradition, for the sake of our human doctrines we make void the word of God. There’s another mark of the spirit of antichrist that is outlined in Colossians 2:16-22. Colossians 2:16-22, “Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are only a shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ. Let no on disqualify you, insisting on self-abasement and worship of angels, taking his stand on visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments grows with a growth that is from God. If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the universe, why do you live as if you still belonged to the world? Why do you submit to regulations, ‘Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” (referring to things which all perish as they are used), according to human precepts and doctrines? These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting rigor of devotion and self-abasement and severity to the body, but they are of no value in checking the indulgence of the flesh.” And many dear ones who have not really entered into the purifying part of the Holy Spirit have sunk into a false legalism.
The Holy Spirit makes you want to obey God’s law and we have every responsibility to encourage each other to obey the law of God if the Holy Spirit of God dwells in us. But, there is a false legalism. There is a list of don’ts and dos that many of us arrange to suit ourselves. So, we happen not to do this thing so we’ll label that a sin because we have no trouble avoiding it. And we list our don’ts and we create a false legalism that is the very spirit of antichrist because it takes our eyes off the beauty of Jesus and the spirit of Jesus and puts our eyes on men’s precepts and doctrines.
There is also another mark of the spirit of antichrist mentioned in 1 Timothy 6:20. 1 Timothy 6:20, “O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you.” This is the last verse of 1 Timothy 6 dear ones, “Guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid the godless chatter and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge, for by professing it some have missed the mark as regards the faith.” “Avoid the godless chatter and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge.” Even in Jesus’ day there was a devil living among the Greeks of gnostic beliefs. You remember the mastics felt they had an esoteric kind of knowledge and you needed it.
Dear ones, let’s be humble about any knowledge that God has given us. You know there are movements among us in these days that depend on an esoteric kind of knowledge. Esoteric means, you know, a
specialized kind of knowledge and you must joint my group to get it. Now dear ones, that’s dangerous. The Spirit of Jesus is an open spirit full of love, full of joy with only one assurance that the Spirit of Christ moves among you. That the Spirit of Christ motivates your every heart and your every action. But it does not depend on an esoteric kind of knowledge that you feel you can bestow on everyone else. That’s the very mark of antichrist.
So is the last mark of this kind that I’d ask you to look at. It’s in 2 Peter 2:17-19 and this is the very opposite of the unscriptural legalism. 2 Peter 2:17-19, “These are waterless springs and mists driven by a storm; for them the nether gloom of darkness has been reserved. For, uttering loud boasts of folly, they entice with licentious passions of the flesh men who have barely escaped from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption; for whatever overcomes a man, to that he is enslaved. For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overpowered, the last state has become worse for them than the first.” And you see what the Bible lays emphasis on, they promised him freedom but they themselves are slaves of corruption and there is an unscriptural freedom, an unscriptural licentiousness.
There is a licentiousness that says, “It doesn’t matter what we do we have the Spirit of Christ within us.” Dear ones, the mark of the Spirit of Christ is plain. It’s plain and you can’t go on saying day, after day, after day, “Well, I’m angry but I have liberty in the Spirit.” The Bible again, and again right down the line talks about anger. Proverbs says, “Cease from anger and forsake wrath.” Another verse in Proverbs says, “He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty.” Ecclesiastes says, “Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry for anger rests in the bosom of fools and the fool belief that there is no God.” And Matthew 5:19, you remember, Jesus says, “Think not that I have come to abolish that law and those prophets. I have come not to abolish them but I have come to fulfill them and I tell you it was said of old that whosoever kills is guilty of the judgment but I say to you whosoever is angry with his brother is guilty of the judgment.” Let us face the truth as it is in God’s word. Let us not say, “We have liberty. We have freedom,” while anger rises and rules our hearts. We have nothing but the spirit off antichrist if that is so dear ones.
Now, there is another mark of the spirit of antichrist and you can find it in 1 Timothy 1:6-7. 1 Timothy 1:6-7, “Certain persons by swerving from these,” you see what these are they are in Verse Five, “The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and sincere faith. Certain persons by swerving from these have wandered away into vain discussion, desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make assertions.” And so there are many today who claim today to be able to teach the way of God but they teach it with so much ambiguity that you don’t know which side you’re on.
They say, “You should not sin.” But they say, “Well, this may not be sin and you can sin a little.” They say, “Complete obedience to God is necessary. But well, you have to allow for a little disobedience.” And they teach the way so ambiguously that no one knows where they are. They say, “The Holy Spirit cleanses the heart from all sin,” and then they say, “Well, if there’s a little rising that’s temptation.” Dear ones, temptation comes from the outside. The fiery darts of the wicked one come into the converted heart and it’s like a can of gasoline inside and the look, the look of the girl, or the temptation to be angry comes in as the fiery dart of the wicked one and comes into the gasoline inside and there’s a reaction within that bursts out and responds. And the flame goes up within and the anger is out or the lust is out.
And when the sanctified heart meets the fiery darts of the wicked one, the fiery dart of the wicked one comes out from the outside and comes into the inside and into the can of water and it sizzles out and the reaction and the response is not there. Ah dear ones, there’s no ambiguity about the sanctified life. You can know whether you’re sanctified. It’s clear, there is no response within. There is no rising from within. The temptation comes from without. But the spirit of antichrist is trying to encourage many of us to say, “Well, maybe this maybe that.” The trumpet of God issues a certain sound. You have no doubt about the trumpet of God, it issues a certain sound and you know to prepare for battle. But so it is that many dear ones have come into ambiguity in their teaching.
Dear ones, there’s no ambiguity in the Bible, it’s full of it you know. Some people say, “Oh, should a Christian obey God’s word? Can you really expect him to obey God’s word?” Well, it runs through every part of it. Deuteronomy, “This day the Lord thy God has commanded thee to do these statutes and judgments. They shall therefore keep them and do them with all thy heart and with all thy soul.” Joshua says, “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth even but they shall meditate therein day and night that thy mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein.” And we keep on asking, “Do you really mean that Christians are supposed to obey God’s law?”
And Samuel said, “Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord. Behold to obey is better to sacrifice and to harken than the fat of rams.” And we keep asking, “Do you really think a Christian cannot have any sin in his life?” And in Matthew it says, “Not everyone that sayeth unto me, “Lord,’ shall enter into the kingdom of heaven but he that doeth the will of my Father which thou is heaven.” And we keep asking, “Do you really think that we cannot afford to disobey God’s law even in just our [inaudible 30:21] or sons of God?”
Well, the Bible says in James 4:17, that if a man knows what is right to do and fails to do it for him it is sin. And the Bible says, “Anyone who is born of God does not commit sin.” And then we keep on ask you see, “Well, do you really think that we’re not allowed to sin at all?” And Jesus says, “Therefore whosoever hear these things of mine and doeth them I will liken him onto a wise man which built a house upon a rock.” And we ask, “Do you really think a Christian is meant to live without sin? Do you really think he’s meant to obey God’s word?” And Jesus says, “For whosoever do the will of my father which is in heaven the same is my brother and sister and mother.” And we say, “Do you really think you can only belong to the family of God if you obey his word?”
Well dear ones, where does it stop? I have a list of symptoms of cancer here. Here they are and I read them out to you. You don’t say to me, “I have only one of those.” One is enough. The marks of the flesh are plain, you know they are. The marks of the flesh are there and you can look them up yourself in Galatians 5:18-23. Galatians 5:18-23, “But if you are led by the Spirit you are not under the law.” You see, you are not going to be condemned under the law. “Now the works of the flesh are plain: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, party spirit, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like.”
Now the word of God is plain, if you come to that word and say, “Well, do you mean to say if I feel just a little envy for that singer up there and just envy a little that voice that I am not walking in the will of God?” Well, you can judge for yourself. You may say, “Do you mean to say if anger rises in my heart at the children that I have some of the works of the flesh in me?” Well look, look at the word. There is no ambiguity in God’s word and there is no ambiguity in the Spirit of Christ but there is constant ambiguity in the spirit of antichrist.
Dear ones, I know many of you need to deal with the Holy Spirit for heart cleansing tonight and the spirit of antichrist is trying to deceive you and persuade you that the amount of victory that you have already is sufficient. Dear ones, complete victory is possible in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Well so it goes on, another mark of the spirit of antichrist is 1 Timothy 4:1-2. 1 Timothy 4:1-2, “Now the Spirit expressly says that in a later times some will depart from the faith by giving heed to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, through the pretensions of liars whose consciences are seared.” And one of the marks of the spirit of antichrist is the deceitful spirit, the dishonest spirit.
When the Holy Spirit comes in and cleanses your heart and begins to lead you in away from your soulish powers and into the purity of the resources of the tree of life, then you become very conscious of the slightest dishonesty. The Holy Spirit makes you treasure absolute honesty, absolute honesty. “That’s a beautiful dress.” Well, if it really is and you really think it is then the Spirit of Jesus would have you say it and the dear one will know you mean it and the dear one will know politeness and the dear one will know that cultured sophistication when she sees it and there is just a great difference between the two.
When the Holy Spirit comes into your heart he makes you treasure honesty. He has nothing to do with deceitful spirits because they are of the spirit of antichrist. He has nothing to do with doctrines of demons. I think there are doctrines about demons as well as doctrines of demons. I think many dear ones want to cast out demons when they should be repenting of carnality. And I think there are a lot of us you know, that how that doctrine of demons and doctrines about demons. There are doctrines of demons such as Robinson spreads about the virgin birth of Christ and there are doctrines of demons such as [inaudible 34:40] spreads about the reality of God.
But there are also doctrines about demons and many of us are wanting people to cast out demons from us when really the demon is just bad temper and we need to get down under God and surrender that old self which produces the bad temper to him. But the doctrines of demons and the doctrines about demons are part of the spirit of antichrist.
Then you see it mentions that their consciences have become seared and many wives weep over husbands in these days. Husbands who think they are far on in the spirit and have not the Spirit of Jesus ruling their own hearts and their homes. You cannot be advanced in the spirit unless the beauty of Jesus rules your life and your home and in your work.
Just two more dear ones, and one especially that I think is important and you find it in Ezekiel 34:2-3. Ezekiel 34:2-3, and these men were produced by the spirit of antichrist even in Old Testament times. Ezekiel 34:2-3, “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say to them, even to the shepherds, Thus says the Lord GOD: Ho, shepherds of Israel who have been feeding yourselves!” A shepherd you see is one who feeds, but you’ve been feeding yourselves. “Should not shepherds feed the sheep? You eat the fat, you clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fatlings; but you do not feed the sheep. The weak you have not strengthened, the sick you have not healed, the crippled you have not bound up, the strayed you have no brought back, the lost you have not sought, and with force and harshness you have ruled them. So they were scattered, because there was no shepherd; and they became food for all the wild beasts.”
There are many who feel they have advanced far in the Christian faith and they are ruled by selfishness. And so I say to my dear brothers and sisters whom I love, it is glorious that there will come a day that the sons of God will be revealed. It is glorious that Jesus is building for himself a great body that will rise up and glorify his Father in heaven even as he glorified his Father. It is glorious that there will be a great day when the sons of God will be revealed. And that’s great but dear ones, let’s be careful. Let’s be careful that we do not become preoccupied with the revelation of us as the sons of God, less we find ourselves feeding ourselves instead of feeding the sheep.
After all there’s a time to sow and a time to reap. There is a time to be born and a time to die. There’s a time to save the lost and to see the Holy Spirit filling others with the beauty of Jesus and with the power of Jesus and there is a time for the revelation of the sons of God and no doubt God will lead us forward bit-by-bit. We don’t have to keep looking ahead and trying to see what is going to happen we can trust the Holy Spirit to prepare us for that day.
Let us be careful that none of the advancement that we have in the Christian faith becomes a selfish delight in our position. Let us be careful that we are found doing what God has given us to do. The commission, the great commission and my dear brother said, has never been with God. We are still called to go and preach the gospel to all the world and we are to be found doing that when Jesus comes.
Well the very last mark of the spirit of antichrist is there in the original chapters we were studying 1 John 2:22. 1 John 2:22, “Who is the liar,” “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.” You mean I say God is not the Father, Jesus is not the son? No. Deny means make nothing of the Father and make nothing of the son.
Perhaps the greatest and clearest mark of the spirit of the antichrist is that the antichrist will rise in the place of Jesus. He will take the place that Jesus himself ought to have and the spirit of antichrist is found that it is clearest in our own hearts, in our own selves when we want to rise up and rule our own lives. And the dear one comes home and Jesus wants to be loving to that dear one but the old self wants to rise up and cut the dear one apart. Jesus wants to rise up in us and get the glory in the service, he wants to receive the glory to himself and our old self rises up and we want all men to look at us. We want every eye to see what we have done. There’s a great pride rises up within us. We not only want our way so that Jesus will not have his way but we want our glory so he will not have his glory. There’s a great desire to be praised, a great desire to be noticed that rises up in the hearts that is ruled by the spirit of antichrist because you see, the antichrist is already preparing that heart for himself.
He’s already preparing that heart so that heart will recognize him when he comes. That heart will bury down the pride, will bury down the envy and the jealousy but that is all seeping underneath and will rise up to receive the antichrist when he arrives. There are only two guardians against the spirit of antichrist. There is first of all in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 the scripture itself. You can look at it there. Paul explained to Timothy that there would come days of stress and surely those days are already upon us when men would be lovers of self rather than lovers of God. And then he says, “There is only one guard on that day.”
2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for
every good work.” And in Verse 14 he says, “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it.” And the second guardian against the spirit of antichrist is found in John 16:13 and it is as you can guess yourselves the true Holy Spirit of truth.
John 16:13, “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.” There will come a day either before you and I die or soon after it when a glorious figure will appear in our world and he will have apparently the fruits of the spirit and he will do many mighty works such as Jesus himself did and that great figure will call to himself all who believe in him, all who respect what he is and great, great numbers of evenly elect will come towards him and be deceived and their judgment will have already taken place. And you say, “How can I prepare for that day?” Allow the Holy Spirit to wield his sword in your heart tonight and be honest.
Now many of you have been arguing, haven’t you? I know it because God told me. Many of you have been arguing with God and you have been saying, “Victorious life can’t be that victorious.” A little anger, a little envy, a little jealous and the spirit of antichrist is already in work in you. Dear ones, the only way to prepare is to be open with God. Open with God, direct with him and honest now and admit that you are what you are. And you say, “What can be done?” Well, at this present time the Holy Spirit is here among us. At this present time we are privileged to have the Holy Spirit in our midst. There will come a day when he will withdraw but the Holy Spirit is here tonight and his word is here and you know his word well enough during this past week to know where you stand.
The Holy Spirit is able to show you where the spirit of antichrist still rules in your heart and where you yourself are being prepared for his coming. You need to come to the alter tonight and allow the Holy Spirit to do that. Ask him, “Holy Spirit of truth show me where the spirit of antichrist still rules in my heart. Show me where I am not being obedient to you.” And the Holy Spirit will show you. Then you need to see that all that spirit of antichrist within you, all that old self was crucified with Jesus and the Holy Spirit is able to crucify it now in you. He is able to cleanse out all that and fill you with himself so that when the antichrist comes the Holy Spirit will cry in your heart, “That is the antichrist.” But he can only cry that in the heart of one who is being utterly obedient to him today. Well are you such a one and will you have such a counselor on that fateful day? I pray that you will. I pray that you will receive him tonight if you haven’t received him already.
Let us pray. Loving Father, we trust you now to do your work. Blessed Holy Spirit, your word has been proclaimed and we trust you to minister to each of us as we need that we may not be found following the wrong man on that fateful day. We trust you Holy Spirit, now to minister to us and to draw out the ones that need to take you fully into their hearts and surrender their spirits completely to you. For the glory of Jesus, our Savior. Amen.