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<< Discover the Book, with Dr. John Barnett

Discover the Book - Jan. 27, 2007

  • 2007 Jan 27
  • COMMENTS


Christ and the Antichrist
Matthew 24:24

As the end of the world approaches, so does earth's darkest hour. Hell will open and the pit will vomit out it’s demon hordes to run wildly throughout humanity. Other beasts from the abyss will wreak death and destruction globally. And Satan himself invades the earth and conquers it all at last. 

At the helm, the visible leader of the world will be the long promised man of sin, the lawless one, the beast, the Coming World Leader - commonly known as the Antichrist - who has 33 titles in the Old Testament and 13 in the New Testament. But behind him, the real power will be the god of this world, the dragon, old Lucifer, the lying serpent of Eden. 

The Bible clearly teaches (1 Timothy 4:1-3) that we can expect this invasion from the pit in the last days.  During the final days, most people will be led astray by evil spirits and occult teachings.  The shadows of these times are already darkening the world.  Nothing but the restraining presence of God the Holy Spirit is holding back the floodgates of this time of evil.  As we saw when we studied Genesis, advanced demonism was the mark of Noah’s day; it is becoming an increasingly evident characteristic of the age in which we live[1]. 

The only place of safety is to have the security that the REAL Christ gives.

As we open to Matthew 24:15 again, we are opening to what I consider one of the saddest doctrines in the Bible--the teaching in God's Word about the antichrist.

  • Matthew 24:15 "Therefore when you see the 'abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand),
  • Matthew 24:24 For false christs [pseudo-christs] and false prophets [pseudo-prophets] will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.  
  • Daniel 7:21-25 “I was watching; and the same horn was making war against the saints, and prevailing against them, 25 He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, Shall persecute the saints of the Most High, And shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand For a time and times and half a time. 
  • 2 Thessalonians 2:9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders  

Completely Confusing Times are Coming 

When Christ Returns there are powerful, pervasive, and universal lies backed by the most believable signs and wonders ever witnessed on planet earth.  

What will life on earth be like during these dark times? Turn back to Revelation 12 and 13 to see. 

  • Revelation 12:17 And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. 
  • Revelation 13:7 It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation.   

When Jesus came to earth He was God in human flesh. As the Christ He was the expression of all the promises of God. And to think that the Christ in all His grace and beauty came to earth, stayed for 30 plus years, was rejected as false and fake, and almost no one followed Him, is bad enough.  

But to know that Satan is going to send to earth the expression of all of mankind’s desires in the person of the antichrist, and in a very short time almost all of the earth will follow him!  

Imagine a leader as winsome as Reagan, as fearless as Alexander the Great, as mesmerizing as Hitler, as beloved by his people as George Washington, as great a leader as Moses, as unstoppable and Ghengis Khan, and as spiritually charismatic as David—all in ONE man.  

Then imagine him displaying supernatural power openly, in public and seen by way of the electronic media—by all of the earth!  

It will appear that he is from Heaven. He will claim to be god. He will do miracles that everyone can see and believe in-- and will offer himself to the world as their Christ.   

There is a day soon coming when most of the people of earth will want to follow this ultimate super-man. That is the saddest commentary on the fallen heart of humanity there could ever be. Wanting always the wrong choice. 

We have had several warm up acts by Satan for this future main event of the final antichrist. Most clearly we can see the way Satan works, in the life and accomplishments of Adolph Hitler. Hitler showed the world what one man can lift a nation from the depths of economic ruin to the heights of power in a very short time (1933-1939) and then that one man can lead the world into the deadliest war of all times (1939-1945). In six years Hitler came uncomfortably close to conquering the world. Hitler was a vivid example of Satan indwelling and completely harnessing one man. 

Hitler Was an Antichrist 

People who had personal contact with Hitler often spoke of the strange hypnotic power he was able to exert. In 1943, 100,000 young people in brown shirts filled the Olympic stadium in Munich, Germany, the largest stadium in the world at that time.  They formed with their bodies a sign for a fanatical man standing behind the podium.  The message read, “Hitler, we are yours.”[2]  

At the monument to Hitler’s evil, the death camp Auschwitz, are the words of Hitler’s vision of a generation of young people without a conscience. These words are aptly hung on a wall, grimly reminding the visitor of the hell unleashed when this goal was realized.  

I freed Germany from the stupid and degrading fallacies of conscience and morality. ...We will train young people before whom the world will tremble. I want young people capable of violence-imperious, relentless and cruel.  

On display for all to behold are thousands of pounds of women's hair, retrieved and marketed as a commodity by the Nazi exterminators, architects of the final solution that sent multitudes to the gas ovens. The incredible reminders cast an overwhelming pall of somberness upon the visitor[3].  

But how did Satan find and use Hitler? Now open with me to Isaiah 14:12-15. 

Satan Was the Original Antichrist 

Lucifer was the original antichrist. Isaiah 14 reveals that he wanted the power of God and the worship of God for himself. He demanded equality with the Lord God Almighty. In fact, according to Ezekiel 28, he was "the anointed cherub (angel)." He was "full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty." His response to his endowment by God was one of pride and rebellion.  

God rejected his power play and promised his doom in Hell in the future. But, until that time Lucifer or Satan is on the prowl, seeking likely candidates he can lead into occult worship. Rebellion gives Satan an open invitation to establish a beach-head in the rebels life. Understand, occult involvement is actually worship of his infernal majesty, Satan. 

Satan Looks for Rebels 

Lucifer was the original rebel. He is looking for rebels to enlist for his own selfish purposes. Rebellion against authority makes a person a prime target for satanic attack. 

A prime example of the rebellion-occult connection is Adolph Hitler. Hitler's early life could be characterized by one word, "failure." He eeked out a meager existence by living on his dead mothers limited savings and an Orphan's Pension which came from his fathers service in the Customs Department. His attempt at higher education was thwarted. He wanted to be an artist and so applied at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts. They refused to accept him because his sketches were not up to the standards they required. Next, he applied to the School of Architecture and was refused. Author Treavor Ravenscroft says "...unable to make friends, Hitler became day by day a more solitary and embittered figure." 

To make a long story short, Hitler was angry at God and society because of his plight in life, therefore he rebelled against God and society. In his quest for power to change his plight young Hitler turned to the occult. He began by spending all his free time in the Hofberg Library in Vienna, Austria reading books on the history of the occult and Eastern religions. The occult seemed to offer the power Adolph was searching for. 

One of the primary characteristics of those who get involved in the occult is rebellion against authority. This rebellion is usually evident in one or more of the following three areas--rebellion against parents, rebellion against society, and rebellion against Christianity. 

Why do many of those who rebel against parents, society and Christianity often end up involved in the occult? Those who know the Bible can tell you. According to I Samuel 15:23a rebellion and occult involvement are linked. The verse says,

 “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry…” 

Beware of Giving Place to the Devil 

Listen to Paul’s stern warning in Ephesians 4:27, “nor give place to the devil.” 

Everywhere and always demons have lurked in the dark for the moment when a person becomes weak, when they arbitrarily abandons his human situation in the world order founded by God for him…after the first voluntary downward step he is compelled to the second and third with rapidly increasing speed…man is unprotected against evil without the living God; he is like a boat without oars, exposed to the tempest, or like a baby without a mother, or like a cloud which dissolves”[4]  

Hitler Opened His Life to Satan 

What was the discovery that changed Hitler’s life and drew him deeply into the occult?

In that Austrian library there is a ancient spear, believed by many, to be the one used to pierce the side of Christ.  

"One day when Adolph Hitler was in his early twenties, he overheard a tour group guide point out the spear to a group of guests and say, 'This spear is shrouded in mystery; whoever unlocks its secrets will rule the world.' Later Hitler said that those words had changed his whole life."[5]  

He spent hours staring at the spear that had pierced the side of Christ. He believed the spear was possessed by secret occult powers and invited those powers to invade his soul. Here is the eye witness account of Dr. Walter Stein a librarian who stood beside young Hitler as he gazed at the spear,  

"Adolph Hitler stood...like a man in a trance, a man over whom some dreadful magic spell had been cast...He was swaying on his feet as though caught up in some totally inexplicable euphoria...His whole [facial appearance] physiognomy and stance appeared transformed as if some mighty Spirit now inhabited his very soul, creating within and around him a kind of evil transformation of its own nature and power.[6]"  

Deitrich Eckart, one of the seven founders of the Nazi part, initiated Hitler into occultism.  Hitler then became a member of the powerful Thule Group in Germany, an occult society that included judges, lawyers, doctors, university professors, industrialists, surgeons, military men, and members of the nobility.  The members of this secret society were Satanists who practiced the black arts and communicated with demons.  Eckart was the reigning high priest.  Hitler was the promised messiah whose coming the mediums had foretold.  Initiation into the deeper mysteries of this powerful and widespread fellowship of occultists included committing atrocities as part of the ritual magic.  Horrible rites opened Hitler’s soul to possession by powerful demons.  The whole story has been told in a remarkable book, The Spear of Destiny, in which much about Hitler and the Nazis, usually left untouched by more conventional histories, is explained[7].         

Satan, Demons and Supernatural Power 

The demons that controlled the demented soul of Adolph Hitler lured him and Germany into World War II and then abandoned both him and his country to their fate. Hitler and his fellow conspirators came close to succeeding.  They failed because the time was not yet ripe in the counsels of God for the forces of Satan to triumph.  However, the whole Nazi era was a dress rehearsal for the coming of the beast and the consequent baptism of unregenerate mankind into just such a religion.[8] 

Hitler, Like Satan—Was a Destroyer 

Hitler found that Satan lived up to the titles given him in Revelation 9:11 "And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apolllyon." The translation of both words is "destroyer". 

Hitler was used by Satan to destroy six million plus of God's chosen people. Multiplied thousands more were destroyed in war. Then in mockery of Hitler himself, Satan motivated him to commit suicide, destroying himself. 

Rebellion Attracts Satan 

Always remember that rebellion against your parents, rebellion against God or rebellion against authority is Dangerous with a capital "D." It is an open invitation to Satan to destroy your life! 

Christ, on the other hand offers you an abundant life. If you have never trusted Christ as your Savior, I would urge you to receive him today. When you call upon Christ to save you from your sins, God delivers you from the power of darkness and brings you into the wonderful kingdom of His Son[9]. 

Why does Satan promote false teaching and doctrine? As we saw this morning—only the REAL Christ can sign God’s Name across your life. 

The Signature of God 

When you call upon Christ in repentant faith, God saves you.  Salvation is the greatest work of God in the universe. Some years ago a man in a penitentiary studied a Moody correspondence course.  He found Christ.  In answer to one of the questions which gave him an opportunity to express where he stood in relation to his newfound faith, he wrote down: “I am a new man in an old body.” It was a most perceptive remark.  For that is what salvation is.   

But it will go even further than that saved prisoner realized.  One day he will be a new man in a new body. I like to call the work of salvation the signature of God. When God writes Himself--across our lives. Listen to this summary of what happens to each of us who come by faith to God through Christ. 

  • REGENERATION: When God Changes my Heart. Ezekiel 36:26-27 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.  
  • CONVERSION: When God Changes my Life. Matthew 18:3 and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.  
  • REPENTANCE: When God Changes my Mind. Matthew 3:8 Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance.
  • ADOPTION: When God Changes my Family. Romans 8:14-17 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. 
  • SANCTIFICATION: When God Changes my Behavior. Hebrews 10:14-16 For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before, “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them.”
  • JUSTIFICATION: When God Changes my State. Romans 5:1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
    • What does it mean to be “justified”? In popular, everyday language the word can be paraphrased: "just as if I'd never sinned"  
    • Some years ago a wealthy Englishman bought a Rolls Royce car and took it to France on his vacation.  It broke down.  At great expense the factory flew out a mechanic and not only repaired the car but entertained the customer in the best available hotel.  When he arrived home he expected to receive a large bill but none came.  Eventually he wrote, asking for his account to be rendered.  
    • He received this reply: "Dear Sir, We have no record of anything ever having gone wrong with your car." That is exactly what it means to be justified.  It means that God has no record of anything ever having gone wrong in our lives. 
  • GLORIFICATION: When God Changes my Place. John 17:24 “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world[10]  
 

For more from Discover the Book Ministries, please visit  discoverthebook.org.

 

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