Thursday, July 28, 2005


A NEW DAY IS DAWNING.ARE YOU READY? Posted by Picasa

IN THE LAST DAYS

Powerful message from Merla Watson - Jim Bramlett

Dear friends:

Merv and Merla Watson are Canadian musicians and song writers who specialize in Jewish music and who spend a lot of time ministering in Israel, where they are well known. They have been around a long time. I remember them on TV back in the 1970s. They are awesome. You may remember them too. Merla wrote the songs "Awake, O Israel" and "Jehovah Jireh."

Merla is a friend of Christine Darq, who sent me the below letter from her, with permission to share its timely and powerful message.

Jim
___________________________________

From Merla Watson:

I have a very deep heaviness and dread today. Suddenly I woke up with it around 3 a.m. and could not get back to sleep. There is something in the realm of the spirit that is about to happen, and my whole being is ON GUARD! I'm holding my breath.

We are being FLOODED with e-mails (as I am sure you are too!) about the call to pray, pray, pray - for the settlers in Israel, for the moral corruption in the nations, for the sickness of our own nation of Canada, for the planned universal Islamic take over, for the persecution of believers, for sinister secretive deadly plots - etc. and etc. I feel at gut level that there is an emergency summons upon us all to get our hearts purified before the Lord, and to "have done with lesser things!". This is not a time for dishonesty, hidden immorality, lack of forgiveness, playing church, or unsolved family and friend feuds. LET IT GO!! People - get it together - His coming is at the door! And some of us are going to be caught "red-handed"! I heard a song years ago that said: 'It won't always be like this, my friend - it won't always be like this!" What a travesty that most churches hardly ever mention the inevitable final scenario. Where are the songs of His coming in glory??

We are so very localized. It's almost as if we should stop all church programmes, and get down on our knees for city-wide, nation-wide, and world-wide repentance. CANCEL THEM!!

Ministries which blatantly bathe in financial extravagance will be brought to shame and an abrupt halt. Whole governments are about to topple. Natural disasters are even at our doorstep. Men's hearts will indeed fail from fear. Human plans are being thwarted. Prodigals will be shaken to their roots. Can you feel the pounding heart of the Father in all this?

And yet... that burden I am experiencing today is curiously intertwined with a culminating joy, believe it or not!

I am reminded of that very simple song: "There never was a day like this day to me, There never was day like this day I see, There never was a light that shines so bright as THIS day, this GLORIOUS day! Painful, pulsating, birthing, NECESSARY........may we filled with JOY - no, - ECSTASY - when Zion happens!!

Hang in there! (I'm talking to mySELF too!) There's a bumpy ride ahead...

Merla
__________________________________________________________________

ISLAM AT WAR

slam at War: A New Strategy for the End Times - By Bill Wilson - www.watch.org

WASH—Jul 23—KIN—The rift of new round terrorist attacks, most publicly noticed in London, Iraq and Egypt, combined with undertones of peace by internationally recognized Islamic groups could signal a new strategy in Islam's war with the world.

Last week, the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) announced with great fanfare in Washington, D.C., a nationwide television campaign depicting Muslims as peace-loving, law abiding people. The 30 second ads try to portray Muslims as normal, everyday kind of Americans concerned about the same issues as non-Muslims and just trying to get along in society.

Tuesday, it was reported that Some 82 member organizations of the International Islamic Council for Da'wa and Relief (IICDR) are calling to join international efforts to fight terror. The IICDR is a Cairo-based foundation of more than a hundred Islamic organizations from all over the world. Its goals include, among other issues, "security and justice on earth, according to the will of Almighty Allah."

The members are planning a gathering in Cairo next month to discuss the motives for terrorism and how to deal with this problem. Those seeking ways to turn a peace dividend state the obvious terrorism is tarnishing the image of Islam.

These efforts sound reasonable until one peek's under the veneer of public dialogue. CAIR has on its board of Directors members with very close ties to terrorism in the Middle East and they have stated publicly that they want the entire world, including the United States to be ruled under the flag of Islam.

Da'wa, in of itself, is an evangelistic outreach of Islam. Da'wa means to invite non-Muslims to accept the truth of Islam. It is an organized, systematic approach to introduce Islam to the communities to which Allah has given to his followers. It follows the concept that it is proper to first invite the infidels to join Islam by accepting the truth of Islam. For example, there is an intensive effort by American Muslims to recruit in public schools, which is going pretty much unchecked in the name of tolerance.

On one hand, radical Islam terrorizes the world. On the other, the so-called "moderate" Islam condemns terrorism and seeks to proselytize. The Western world can accept the evangelism as a civil action, and tends to embrace the concept, wishing to trust that the "moderate" Muslims are the real representatives of their religion. But there has never been peace in the Islamic religion, from its very inception.

There is great confusion among the general Western public about Islam. There are Imams who tout peace as their mantra and claim that the terrorists are fringe. There are the all too familiar words from other Imams that the goal of Islam is to rule the world. And in this confusion, a strategic ploy is born. For example, in Iraq there is a new constitution being drafted. Al Qaeda operatives are raining death upon the people of Iraq, applying enormous pressure against the formulization of any constitution. Meantime, Islamic right-wingers are busy within the drafting committee fighting diplomatically to establish Iraq as an Islamic theocracy—something that should send shivers down the spine of President George W. Bush, who has pinned the legacy of his presidency on the peace dividends of establishing democracy in Islamic countries.

According to a published draft of the new Iraqi constitution, framers are designating Islamic law as the legislative basis of the governing document—a massive departure from the model set forth by the U.S. A draft published in the government newspaper Al-Sabah says, "Islam is the official religion of the state and is the main source of legislation…No law that contradicts with its rules can be promulgated." The draft also places the Shiite sect a "guiding role" in recognition of its national religious prominence.

In this new constitution is the strategy to utilize democracy to establish the basis for the most radical elements of Islam to rule over the people and run a theocratic government.

The strategy of Islam now appears to use peaceful dialogue, even the condemnation of terrorist acts, to establish credibility and a beach-head from which to launch its radical agenda against those who do not submit to the "invitation to accept the truth of Islam."

Many Westerners will balk at this suggestion, but one needs look no further than the United Nations Oil for Food scandal to see the pattern of deceit and lies that the very strategic minds of Islam used to achieve military strength and a terrorist foothold in Iraq, Syria and Iran during the U.N. sanctions on Saddam Hussein's government. Iran is another chief example where the rhetoric of peace and non-nuclear proliferation does not match with the export of terrorism and the rush to acquire or build nuclear weapons.

Deception is the key tool of Islam. On one hand promote peace. On the other hand use force. Matthew 24 verses 3 and 4 say all that needs be said: "And as He sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto Him privately, saying, 'Tell us when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of they coming, and of the end of the world?' And Jesus answered and said unto them, "Take heed that no man deceive you."

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

LET THE TRUMPETS BLOW

LET THE TRUMPETS BLOW

Revelation 8:1-13

Contemporary society, for the most part, has very little substantive knowledge of Scripture. Occasionally on the news, a reporter describes a flood’s devastation or a famine as of biblical proportions. I’ve even heard the phrase a plague of biblical proportions with reference to a swarm of insects or some other natural calamity.

What adjectives will the reporters use to describe the plagues God is preparing to send just before Jesus’ return?

God sent the original plagues of biblical proportion on Pharaoh and the Egyptians. These ten plagues (Exodus 7-12) brought about the release of Israel from bondage. Beginning in chapter 8 John sees a series of divine plagues that are the ultimate in biblical proportions.

Both set of plagues are warnings, offering the ungodly an opportunity to repent. Both sets of plagues are divine judgments that go beyond any natural explanation. Both sets result in salvation and victory for the people of God.

In this chapter the tempo resumes after the interlude of Chapter 7. John continues to experience the vision of things to come.

7th Seal

vs 1 Jesus the Lamb opened the seal on the scroll, just as he had opened the other six. What happened next is best described as a dramatic pause, silence in heaven for about half an hour.

After all the loudness of the previous scenes and the full fury of the final judgments about to be released, silence falls on the heavenly scene. The living creatures, the elders, and all the angels, who had without ceasing praised God from the beginning of their creation, now fall silent. Something major is about to happen. This is the calm before the storm.

The psalmist said, From heaven you pronounced judgment, and the land feared and was quiet. Psalm 76:8. Habakkuk declared, but the Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him. 2:20. Be silent before the Sovereign Lord, for the day of the Lord is near. Zephaniah 1:7. Zechariah commands to be still before the Lord, all mankind, because he has roused himself from his holy dwelling. 2:13

The hour of God’s final judgment has come, the hour when the saints will be vindicated, sin punished, Satan vanquished, and Christ exalted. The greatest event since Christ’s resurrection in about to happen.

vs 2 John then notices the seven angels who stand before God. Jewish and Christian tradition have held that these are the seven archangels (Uriel, Raphael, Raguel, Michael, Saraqael, Gabriel, and Remiel). Our text does not call them archangels and only two angels are mentioned by name in the Bible, Michael and Gabriel. Michael is an archangel and Gabriel stand directly before God. Other than that, we don’t know who the angels are.

Each angel receives a trumpet. This is not the ram’s horn (shophar), of ancient Israel but the metal instrument of the first century. Trumpets are the most significant musical instrument in Scripture. In the Old Testament they were used to summon the congregation of Israel, sound the alarm in time of war, at religious feasts, to announce news, to acclaim new kings, and also in worship.

Zephaniah associates trumpets with the Day of the Lord. The New Testament teaches that a trumpet will announce the Rapture. And this chapter associates trumpets with the judgments of God coming upon the earth.

vs 3-5 Just before they blow, John’s attention is drawn towards another figure. As he watches, another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. I believe that this is the same altar John first saw when the fifth seal was opened, under it he had seen the souls of the martyrs, and from it their prayers were rising.

Now the prayers of all the saints along with much incense rise before God. John does not say what the prayer is, I believe it is for Satan to be destroyed, and for sin to be defeated. This is the cry of believers in the Tribulation against their persecutors and all who blaspheme God.

Their prayers, affirmed by the heavenly incense which God has provided, show that He is in agreement with the cries of the saints as they come into His presence just before the seven trumpets are to sound. These prayers would be totally unfit for an age of Grace, but will be most fitting for the persecuted martyrs of the Tribulation.

The half hour of silence is abruptly shattered as the angel takes his censer and fills it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth. The immediate effects of the firestorm of wrath that bursts on the earth are peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake. A warning of what is to come!

The First Trumpet

vs 7 When the first angel sounded his trumpet in heaven, something happened in heaven which then impacted the earth. John saw hail and fire mixed with blood. This is similar to what God had predicted through the Old Testament prophet Joel, I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke... Joel 2:30.

When this storm hits the earth it creates a worldwide ecological catastrophe. A third of the earth was burned up, a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up. Modern industrial damage to our environment is nothing compared to what is going to happen.

Today, you and I can imagine this happening, much easier that those in John’s day. A few nuclear accidents such as Chernobyl or an asteroid colliding with earth could produce such an effect. We have movies that show this clearly.

This plague is devastating but not yet fatal. Modern environmental scientist doubt whether human life on earth could continue as we know it with just a few degrees of global warming. How much more alarmed will they be when a third of the trees are gone? Earth day that year will be gloomy at best!

This plague on nature is meant as a divine warning of worse disasters to come, just like the plagues in Egypt.

The Second Trumpet

vs 8-9 While the earth’s population is trying to recover from the devastating fire, John hears the second trumpet blow. Something like a huge mountain, all ablaze, was thrown into the sea. Could be a volcano or a meteor.

One third of the sea is poisoned, or dies, along with a third of the fish and a third of the ships. The loss is critical but not yet fatal. Try to imagine how the world’s nations will try to deal with disposing of billions of marine corpses.

The Third Trumpet

vs 10-11 When the third angel sounded his trumpet John again sees something in heaven fall down and affect the earth. This time he describes a meteor-like device, a great star, blazing like a torch. Now a third of the rivers and springs are poisoned, have become bitter.

Wormwood is an extra bitter but not poisonous plant with some medicinal value, although banned in many countries today. It is mentioned eight times in the Old Testament always in reference to bitterness, poison and death.

Many people died from the waters. John does not mention it, but I’m sure that many animals will have died as well because of the catastrophe that has come on the earth.

The Fourth Trumpet

vs 12 The focus of judgment now shifts from
the earth to the heavens. Still reeling from the effects of the first three ecological judgments, people will be desperately seeking answers. In the midst of all this activity comes a new disaster.

A third of the sun...a third of the moon...a third of the stars...turned dark. 8 hours, 4 day and 4 night will be without natural light.

Whatever the cause of this disaster, the loss of heat from the sun will cause temperatures to plunge drastically all over the world. This will disrupt the earth’s weather patterns and the seas’ tide. It will cause further loss of life.

The Coming Woes

vs 13 As severe as the first four trumpet judgments have been, worse is yet to come. These four attacked nature, the next will attack humanity directly. The eagle flying in midair speaks like no earthly eagle could. This bird screams Woe! Woe! Woe! To the inhabitants of the earth. The worst is yet to come.

You and I live between the times of the divinely sent historical plagues on Egypt and the divinely sent future plagues of the end of the age.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

IS THE UNITED STATES HEADED FOR NUCLEAR DESTRUCTION

America in The End Times: In the Cross-hairs Of Apocalypse - By Bill Wilson - www.watch.org

WASH—Jul 19—KIN—A nuclear end to the United States within the next year is predicted by several intelligence analysts if a plan by Osama bin Laden is executed, sealing an apocalyptic fate for the beacon of the free world and Western civilization.

Paul Williams, award-winning investigative journalist, former FBI consultant and author of "Osama's Revenge: The Next 9/11," has conducted extensive interviews with the intelligence community and has connected many reports and news stories that lead to the conclusion that al Qaeda terrorists have nuclear weapons, some of them are in the United States, and they plan to coordinate a simultaneous devastating attack in the near future.

His information is given more credibility by a recent book written by House Armed Services Vice Chairman; Pennsylvania Republican Congressman Curt Weldon entitled "Countdown to Terrorism." Weldon references a similar operation dubbed "The 12th Imam" by an Iranian terrorist coordinating committee that gives organizational and strategic direction to al Qaeda, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah and others.

Both men say they have had to take their information public because intelligence officers in the Federal government and within the Bush Administration will not acknowledge the threat. Several calls by this reporter to the Department of Homeland Security specifically asking about both men's commentary have gone unreturned.

Congressman Weldon's book cites a well connected Iranian resistance source that has provided specific information about strategies and plans for terrorist attacks that have been amazingly accurate. The book, written and released earlier this year, also has a reference from this source about an upcoming bombing operation in London.

Weldon references a coordinating group called the "Committee of Nine" in Iran that brings strategic direction to the world's most deadly terrorist groups. This coordinating committee has been planning a devastating attack on the United States called the "12th Imam," which to Islamists means an apocalyptic devastation similar to the end of the world that is prophesied upon the return of Jesus Christ. This attack could well involve nuclear, biological and chemical weapons.

"Iran is the world's leading sponsor of international terrorism through the Committee of Nine," Weldon said. Weldon also says that Iran is very close to, or has already obtained or developed, a nuclear weapon.

Williams agrees that Iran is a focal point, saying, "Is Iran a center of al Qaeda? Yes. Is it a place we have to address? Yes. Are they becoming nuclear capable by the minute? Yes. Are they intent upon the destruction of the United States? Yes. Are they pro democratic? NO. These people are intent upon our destruction."

Williams maintains that the intelligence community has known Osama bin Laden has had access to nuclear weaponry since the 1990's. Williams said that bin Laden began his quest for nuclear weapons in 1992 in the Sudan. bin Laden operatives testified in 1999 that he obtained a nuclear weapon while he was there from South Africa.

"We know from Pakistani, and Saudi and Israeli and British and Russian sources that in 1996, when he returned to Afghanistan, he purchased tactical nuclear weapons from the Chechen mafia," Williams said. "At that time the black market was flooded with nuclear weapons due to the disintegration of the Soviet Union. Germany, in 1996, reported 700 incidents of the sale of nuclear weapons and materials."

Williams said bin Laden is patiently deploying them across the porous borders of the United States for final detonation in seven U.S. cities, including New York, Washington, D.C., Miami, Chicago, Las Vegas and Los Angeles among other possible targets such as Houston and Denver. Williams said intelligence obtained from the confiscated laptops of nuclear scientists confirms some of the nuclear weapons, perhaps up to 20 of them, were deployed to the United States.

President George W. Bush in his most recent address about the war on terror July 11 in Quantico, Va., made specific mention of the nuclear threat, but in the context that the U.S. was working with allies to prevent it.

"We're working with our allies to share information, and to prevent terrorists from obtaining weapons of mass destruction. Thanks to the hard work of hundreds in our intelligence community, we have stopped a number of grave threats to the American people," Bush said. "Together with our allies, we uncovered and dismantled Libya's nuclear program. We worked with Pakistan and other nations to shut down the world's most dangerous nuclear trading network. And since September the 11th, our coalition has disrupted a number of al Qaeda terrorist plots, arrested al Qaeda operatives here to case specific U.S. targets, and caught others trying to sneak into our country."

Controlling the borders is key according to Williams, "Last summer, for instance, Time magazine reported that one weapon developed by bin Laden was forward deployed to Mexico and transported over our borders. According to Sheik Kabani, the president of the Supreme Islamic Council of North America, at least 20 tactical nukes are here."

And Williams cites the experts: "General Eugene Habinger, who was in charge of strategic weapons at the Pentagon said an incident of nuclear terrorism on American soil is no longer a question of "if", but "when." Dr. Graham Allison, of Harvard University, one of the leading experts on counterterrorism, believes that a nuclear incident from al Qaeda will occur within the United States even by the end of the year."

Weldon says the Patriot Act must be renewed and Bush should be given more support to fight terrorism. Williams agrees saying that the Patriot Act should not only be renewed, but reformed and expanded. He said the U.S. must get control of its borders and that the government needs to take off the gloves and go into the mosques in the U.S. and ferret out the extremists.

"These cells, I know, are already established. They are established with the help of the various mosques throughout out the country," Williams said. "Eighty percent of the mosques in the U.S. right now, according to sources including Sheik Kabani, have been radicalized…These mosques right now are hotbeds for al Qaeda and unless we become aware of this issue and try to do something, we are in serious trouble."

Something to consider: The U.S. has been on a sure slippery slope to moral decline. Like Israel some 2,500 years ago, the U.S. has given way to denying God, to homosexuality, to witchcraft, to child sacrifice (through abortion). Many believe that Islamic terrorism is God's judgment on the U.S. In Jeremiah 51 and 52, the Lord speaks of a "Babylon" with seaports that is a mixing bowl of people and is a land without control of its borders— very similar to the current United States. The Lord said in Jeremiah 51:14, "Surely I will fill you with men, as with locusts (often having the meaning in the Bible of Chaldeans or Muslims); and they shall lift up a shout against thee." Jeremiah prophesies in Jeremiah 51:62, "O Lord, you have spoken against this place, to cut it off, that none shall remain in it, neither man, nor beast, but that it shall be desolate forever."

Now Babylon here may be Babylon of old, but the old Babylon was land-locked. But this one has seaports that are smoldering as the sailor's morn their loss. This Babylon could be a type and shadow of modern America, her judgment forthcoming because of the very similarities.

Williams's last words in his interview with me were: ""The Christians in this country…we've allowed ourselves to be controlled by minorities…its not too late brothers. Those nukes have not been set off yet. But they will be."

Those who discern and act must do so now. The Lord promises in 2 Chronicles 7:14, "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."
___________________________________________________________________

TIME IS GROWING SHORT.WHERE WILL YOU SPEND ETERNITY? Posted by Picasa

Thursday, July 14, 2005

ANOTHER THOUSAND YEARS BEFORE THE RAPTURE?

Another Thousand Years before the Rapture?

By Lynette Schaefer
There is a very popular opinion among some Christians today that the Rapture may not happen for another 1,000 years, so they don’t care. Is there any truth to this statement, or is it clearly unbiblical in its concept? Why is it that Christians have so many diverse opinions on Eschatology and they can’t seem to agree on anything? Well, I believe it stems from a couple of things: (1) it is not taught in seminaries so it is not preached from the pulpit; therefore, Christians are “anemic” in their understanding of prophecy; (2) too many Christians don’t make the effort to study their Bibles as much as they should or could, so there is a lack of self-education and a resulting lack of enthusiasm on this subject.

In these last days, however, a knowledge of prophecy and how to interpret prophetic passages correctly is extremely important. In fact, a correct understanding of prophecy is just as important and valuable as a correct understanding of the Biblical Gospel or any other part of the Bible.

People need to realize that the “1,000 years to one day” concept (2 Pet. 3:8), when it comes to end-times Eschatology, is a misapplication. With God, being in Eternity, everything is the same to Him; however, according to His timetable, He has a definite Plan and Purpose with the earth and with mankind and will no longer allow mankind to continue to spiral downwards. In determining the accuracy of prophetic interpretation, we need to act like the Bereans and simply compare current events to see how they line up with the prophetic passages to know where we are on the timeline of history. We see all the things now going on in the EU, RFID, the Middle East, Israel, and global nuclear weapons capabilities. We also see things like Tsunamis (Luke 21:25), volcanoes now becoming active or “waking up” again, earthquakes all over the world, floods, wars, strange diseases, etc. The fact that Israel became a nation again after over 2,500 years is a very significant “end times” event. Not too long ago, terrorist strikes happened on 9/11. Now we have a “road map” peace plan being implemented with “disengagement” of territories taking place, including Gaza. (Zeph. 2:4) It used to be that the United States was considered a “friend of Israel”, but with this “road map” being worked out with (and probably for) the Palestinians, that is no longer the case. Therefore, the United States is ripe for judgment and it will be severely judged in the not-too-distant future! The Bible explicitly states that WOE TO THEM who take away God’s covenant land that belongs to His people (Micah 2:1,2; Joel 3:2,3); the book of Obadiah is about God judging Esau (Edom or the modern day Palestinians) for going against Israel, and also promises that Israel will win. Pay attention to vs. 15-18. End-time apostasy and compromise, even among Christians, is very prevalent today. (2 Pet. 3:4; 2 Ti. 4:3) The list is too long to even begin to scratch the surface. You can also study on your own the following passages that speak of end time events and characters: Dan. 9:27; Dan. 11:36-45; Dan. 12; Matt. 24; Luke 21:28-32. These all point to things that would be happening in the end times. Let’s face it: we are not living in the 1930’s, 1940’s or 1950’s any more, this is now the 21st century where everyone is running to and fro, with knowledge being increased. (Dan. 12:4)

The point is, we as Christians need to GET REAL about what is currently happening on our planet. Although we can never know the exact day and hour, we certainly know we are in the season of His return by the things we see going on. (1 Thess. 5:1) In fact, we could be the final generation to witness what seems to be prophecies being fulfilled on a daily basis! Does anyone really think that this world and civilization as we know it, is not now on a collision course with self-destruction? It is because of the weight of SIN that mankind cannot continue on without God’s soon intervention in his affairs.

This is not the time to be unaware or unconcerned concerning these things, because the Lord does not want us sleepwalking through our Christian life; and He certainly does not want us to slam, shout down, or scoff at fellow Christians over His return! This just doesn’t make any sense at all, and it even seems like a mockery of the Bible to me. But maybe that’s also a sign of the times we’re in.

Lastly, the Rapture is our Blessed Hope, and Jesus is our Bridegroom. The Church is His Bride. How can any bride not want to look for her bridegroom? We can scoff all we want to or deny that the Rapture will happen any time soon, but it WILL HAPPEN whether we like it or not; and we will find ourselves very surprised to stand before Him face to face and have Him ask us why we didn’t bother to look for Him when the signs were all around us. So the sobering truth is, if we are not looking for Him, we are not ready to meet him, either. It’s time to change the way we look at prophecy, folks!

ISRAEL IN THE LAST DAYS

By Prof. Johan Malan, University of Limpopo, South Africa On 14th May 2005, modern Israel was 57 years old, and in August this year it will be 25 years since Jerusalem was declared to be the eternal capital of Israel. Why is the restoration of Israel and their capital city, Jerusalem, so important to us? The reason for this is because Israel is God’s prophetic clock for end time events. He said that we must look at the fig tree (Israel; cf. Hos. 9:10) if we want to know when the summer of His promised kingdom is near (Luke 21:29-30). With Israel’s restoration, the fig tree started budding but when the Messiah comes the whole remnant of Israel will be saved and bear fruit for the kingdom of God (Isa. 27:6; Zech 12:10).

The Bible clearly states that after a long time of dispersion Israel will be restored to their land (Ezek. 37:21). The Lord warned them that their return to the land will occur during a time of great hostility. The devil is still intent on resisting and destroying the works of God, and he knows that the Messiah will return to a restored Israel to destroy the kingdom of the Antichrist and institute His millennial reign. Satan wants to avoid the fulfilment of these prophecies and uses other nations in his continued efforts to destroy Israel.

The Lord will severely punish the nations who try to destroy Israel (Gen. 12:3). In Ezekiel 38 and 39, He tells Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal who resides in the far north (that is modern Russia) that he, as an outspoken enemy of God and His people Israel, will be drawn out of his land to invade the restored Israel together with his like-minded allies such as the Arab nations, so the Lord can judge these rebellious nations who fought against Israel:

“Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh Meshech and Tubal. I will… lead you out with all your army… a great company, all of them handling swords. Persia (Iran), Ethiopia, and Libya… Gomer and all its troops; the house of Togarmah (Turkey) from the far north and all its troops – many people are with you. In the latter years you will come into the land of those brought back from the sword and gathered from many people on the mountains on Israel, which had long been desolate… You will come up against My people Israel like a cloud, to cover the land. It will be in the latter days” (Ezek. 38:3-8,16).

This is very clearly an end time situation. Take into account that it was not before the 20th century that Russia became a superpower that can play a leading role in a large military alliance, and that the restoration of the Jews from their international Diaspora to the mountains of Israel, as well as the hostility that this event caused among their neighbours and in other states, only occurred since the middle of the 20th century. The wealth of the Arab countries because of the discovery of oil, and the consequent enhancing of their political importance and military capabilities, are also 20th century developments. Since Israel’s restoration in 1948, they were engaged in several wars against their Islamic neighbours. During these wars, the Arabian Muslim states mainly used Russian weapons, but they were time and gain defeated and humiliated by Israel. All indications are that in a future, big war against Israel they will succeed in gaining the outright assistance of Russia as an ally and leader in the invasion. Without assistance of this nature they will not be able to defeat Israel.

The Last Generation

In Luke 21, the restoration of Israel and their capital city are linked to a last generation that will expire immediately prior to the Second Coming of Christ: “Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled” (Luke 21:24). At the end of the times of Gentiles, Israel and Jerusalem will be restored as a prelude to a world-wide period of tribulation which will culminate in the Second Coming of Christ: “And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the starts; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of heaven will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near. And He spoke to them a parable: Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. When they are already budding, you see and know for yourselves that summer is now near. So you, likewise, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near. Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things are fulfilled” (Luke 21:25:32).

In this part of the Olivet Discourse, the public coming of Christ in power and glory is described as the end of the last generation (v.27). As far as the starting-point for this generation is concerned, reference is both made to the restoration of Jerusalem as capital (v.24) and to the budding of the fig tree, which refers to Israel’s revival as a nation (v.29-30).

A full generation represents a period of 70 years (Ps. 90:10). The beginning of the last full generation before the return of the Messiah to Jerusalem (Zech. 14:4-5) is the birth of the modern Jewish state in May 1948.

But the Lord mostly deals with Israel within the framework of generations of 40 years as He keeps the adult generation accountable for their actions. After their exodus from Egypt, the Lord made them wander in the wilderness 40 years until the adult generation that had done evil in His sight all perished (Num. 32:13). Full adulthood in Israel is attained at the age of 30 when men have come of age politically and religiously, and are therefore eligible to perform public duties in these spheres. For the same reason, Jesus could only commence His public ministry as teacher in Israel after having reached the age of 30.

The modern Jewish state came of age politically in 1978 when it was 30 years old. Shortly afterwards, in 1980, Jerusalem was declared to be the eternal and indivisible capital of Israel. This event ushered in the last adult generation of 40 years, which forms part of the same full generation that started in 1948. Take into consideration that the tribulation period of seven years forms part of the last generation before the Second Coming (Matt. 24:29-30) as well as the fact that this generation will not pass away till all things are fulfilled (Matt. 24:34; Luke 21:32).

The First Generation

That there will be a last generation before the Second Coming, is just as sure as there was a first generation after the first coming of Jesus Christ. We only have to be very sure about the starting point and end of these two generations. By way of comparison, we may shortly review the first generation.

In the year 32 the Lord Jesus addressed members of the adult generation, i.e. persons of 30 years and older, and told them that within their generation (of 40 years) Jerusalem would be destroyed and Israel’s dispersion among the nations would already have begun (Matt. 23:32-38). He thereby literally implied that by the year 72 AD these prophecies would be fulfilled. It is a historically known fact that Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD, and all the surviving Jews were taken away as captives of war (Luke 21:20-24).

The first coming of Christ therefore ushered in a full generation of 70 which expired in the year 72 AD. In the year 32 AD, when this generation had come of age spiritually and politically, Israel had to decide whether they would accept Jesus as King and Messiah. Because they refused to do it, members of that adult generation had to bear the consequences of the unbelief and apostasy (Matt. 23:37-38). That generation did not pass away till all prophecies were fulfilled.

The last generation of 70 years that started in 1948, came of age 30 years later and in 1980 declared Jerusalem as capital city without giving any recognition to the Messiah. Israel is now in the 40 years of accountability because of their continued rejection of the Messiah. As a result, they will conclude a covenant with the false messiah, which will be the formal starting point of the 70th year-week of Daniel (the tribulation of seven years). Before this seven year period begins the Lord Jesus will snatch away the true believers (Luke 21:36; John 14:2-3; 1 Thess. 4:16-18).

Transitional periods

The parameters of the first and last adult generations of the present age between the first and second comings of Christ are clearly defined in Scripture. The first generation started when Jesus offered Himself as Messiah-King to the Jews, only to be rejected and crucified by them. The end of the first generation was marked by the destruction of Jerusalem and the beginning of the Diaspora.

The last generation commenced with the restoration of Jerusalem to its former position of Israel’s capital city. This generation will end in the same situation where the first one began: The inhabitants of Jerusalem will again be given the opportunity to accept Yeshua as their Messiah-King and to bow down before Him for salvation and cleansing from their sin (Zech. 13:1). At the first occasion they rejected Him, but at the second occasion they will fully accept Him. They will look on Him whom they have pierced, and say: "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!" (Mt. 23:39; also see Zech. 14:4; 12:10).

A very conspicuous characteristic of the inaugurating and concluding generations of the church dispensation is the coexistence of Israel and the church. During the first generation, the church was gradually phased in while Israel was on a course to be phased out as a nation by way of the Diaspora. During the last generation, modern Israel is gradually phased back into their land and into world affairs, while the true church must prepare itself to be phased out by way of the rapture.

The Signs of the Times

As far as the true Christians are concerned, we will be delivered from the dark days of the seven year tribulation period by way of the rapture. We will, therefore, not be on earth for the full duration of the last generation before the Second Coming as we will be with the Bridegroom in heaven for the last seven years. In the traditional Jewish marriage the bridegroom secretly took his bride away, after which she spent seven days with him before she was revealed at the wedding feast to all the guests. This week prophetically refers to the year-week (seven-year period) between the rapture and the public appearance of Christ and His bride. This week will be a particularly dark time on earth as the unsaved Israel as well as the unsaved nations will have tribulation under the false messiah’s reign of terror, while also being judged by God (Matt. 24:21).

There are various signs of the times that have a bearing on this awesome time of tribulation, so the people of that time should know that God judges them because of their sin and unbelief, but also that Christ will return to earth to destroy the powers of darkness. God wants them to fully realise the seriousness of their situation, to reject the Antichrist and his number, and to turn to God the Father through Jesus Christ. However, most of them will be spiritually so hardened that they will not repent (Rev. 9:20-21; 16:9,11,21).

The signs indicating the seven years of tribulation will already become evident before that time on a smaller scale, while increasing in intensity as the tribulation approaches. They will serve the purpose of a clarion call to the bride to prepare for the coming of the Bridegroom, and also to the unrepentant world not to continue shunning the grace of God (Heb. 2:3). When the signs that indicate the tribulation period only begin to become evident (Luke 21:28) we must lift up our heads because our redemption draws near. What are these final signs that indicate the nearness of the Second Coming at the end of the seven year-long tribulation, of which the early beginnings point to the nearness of our escape before the tribulation? Among them are the following:

Natural disasters. There will be great earthquakes in various places (Matt. 24:7; Rev. 6:12; 16:18-20). The sea and waves will roar because of these earthquakes and cause severe panic among millions of people (Luke 21:25). There will also be cosmic signs and disasters that will strike the world from outer space. Among these will be meteor showers and asteroids that will cause devastation on earth (Rev. 6:13; 8:8-9). Furthermore, there will be unequalled heat waves and hailstorms (Rev. 16:8-9,21).

Wars. “And you will hear of wars and rumours of wars… For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom” (Matt. 24:6-7). The situation will aggravate until a time when armies from all nations will be mobilised in the Middle East for the great war of Armageddon (Rev. 16:13-16; 19:19; Zech. 12:3; 14:12-13).

Famines, pestilences and polluted water. The Lord Jesus said: “And there will be famines and pestilences” (Matt. 24:7). People will need their entire income just to buy the basic foodstuffs that they need (Rev. 6:8). Serious disease epidemics will break out and water resources will be so polluted that many will die from drinking the water (Rev. 16:2-6).

Spiritual and ideological deception. Christ seriously warned against this: “Take heed that no one deceives you… For false christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders” (Matt. 24:4,24). After the rapture the whole deceived world will marvel and follow the Antichrist, and also worship him (Rev. 13:3-4). He will be the political and religious head of all nations (Rev. 13:7-8).

We are living in the last half of the last generation – a generation of which the Lord Jesus Himself said that it will not pass away till all things leading up to His Second Coming are fulfilled. We have all reason to shortly expect the secret coming of the heavenly Bridegroom for His bride. The signs that are so evident in the world are like the shadows of night that convey the ominous message of the impending darkness of God’s judgements that will soon be poured out upon a deceived, unrepentant world in which false religions are rife, while most of the believers in the traditional Christian world only have a form of godliness.

When these judgements are poured out and the whole world is delivered to the dictatorship of the Antichrist, all true believers must be away from planet earth: “For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thess. 5:9). By way of the rapture, the Lord Jesus will deliver us from the wrath to come (1 Thess. 1:10). But we must be made worthy for this escape by way of repentance and sanctification (Luke 21:36).

The last seven years of tribulation will be the dramatic climax of the last generation. These awesome days will be terminated by the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus (Rev. 19:19-21). He will come with His saints, who will be revealed to the rest of the world together with Him (Zech. 14:5; Col 3:4; Rev. 19:11-14) and reign with Him in His millennial kingdom (Rev. 5:9-10; 20:6). But we must be blameless in holiness to be presented to the Bridegroom in His ivory palace at the beginning of this seven-year period (1 Thess. 3:13; 5:23-24; Heb. 12:14; 1 John 3:3; Ps. 45:8-15).

The Lord did not reveal to us the day, hour, month or year of His secret coming but He did refer to the last generation within which it will occur. We know for sure that this generation will not pass away till all things have been fulfilled. We do not know which event will be the last clarion call before the coming of Christ (Matt. 25:6). It may be that a few hours or a few days before the time something special may happen to indicate the imminence of Christ’s coming. It may even be the Russo-Arab invasion of Israel, from which the Antichrist could arise as a false prince of peace.

Whatever this cry may be, we do know it will be so close to the rapture that it will not allow the nominal and carnal believers enough time to prepare for the heavenly Bridegroom’s coming (Matt. 25:8-10). We should live in a state of continued holiness for this wonderful meeting.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


Jesus said to him,"I am the way,and the truth,and the life;no one comes to the Father but by me."JOHN14:6 Posted by Picasa

Who Or What Is The Antichrist

Who or What Is—The Antichrist?
By Roderick C. Meredith

Can you prove, from the Bible, who or what the prophesied Antichrist really is? This is not some esoteric topic. Your correct understanding may affect whether or not you will be able to fulfill the role that God has planned for you in His kingdom!

Horrifying events are beginning to happen in America and much of the western, professing "Christian" world. The destruction of the Twin Towers in New York, and the devastation of the Pentagon in Washington, DC, focused the minds of millions on Bible prophecy. They now wonder: "What is God’s purpose in all of this?"
Indeed, prophesied events are truly speeding up. As Jesus instructed, we all need to "watch and pray." For—within this generation—truly awful, Satan-inspired tragedies will begin to strike much of humanity. The "Antichrist" will be directly behind many of these events!
After September 11, 2001, many began to wonder: is the sinister Osama bin Laden the prophesied end-time "Antichrist"? A decade earlier, some had suspected that Saddam Hussein was the Antichrist. Before him, suspicion had fallen on Mikhail Gorbachev. Even today, some consider Adolf Hitler the personification of the Antichrist.
Surrounded by these ideas—and this confusion—can we really know? Can it be proved from the Bible who or what the "Antichrist" really is?
Remember, men have all kinds of theories about this subject. Recently, evangelical leader Jerry Falwell opined that the coming Antichrist will probably be Jewish, and that he will be from the tribe of Dan. What Mr. Falwell apparently does not understand is that the Israelitish tribe of Dan split off from Judah—or the "Jews"—thousands of years ago, and is an entirely different people!
Historically, most Protestant theologians of past generations assumed that the pope of Rome was the "Antichrist." In fact, the primary human founder of Protestantism, Martin Luther, declared on August 18, 1520: "We here are of the conviction that the papacy is the seat of the true and real Antichrist" (The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers, LeRoy Froom. Vol. 2, p. 121).
Later, John Calvin, the founder of what became the Presbyterian church, stated in his Institutes of the Christian Religion: "Some persons think us too severe and censorious when we call the Roman pontiff Antichrist. But those who are of this opinion do not consider that they bring the same charge of presumption against Paul himself, after whom we speak and whose language we adopt.… I shall briefly show that (Paul’s words in 2 Thessalonians 2) are not capable of any other interpretation than that which applies them to the Papacy."
Were these professing Christian leaders correct? Or is there another answer? And you may ask: "Who gives you the right to be right? How can you possibly know the truth, when so many of the leaders of professing Christianity are in disagreement?"
In Psalm 111:10, the inspired word of God tells us: "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever."
Many of you know that we in this Work of Christ do believe in keeping God’s commandments. Therefore, we have been able to tell you, in advance, about most of the major prophetic events that have been occurring. But, as they say, "the proof of the pudding is in the eating." Prophesied events are moving swiftly! What I will tell you in this booklet can be proven, if you will carefully compare what I write with the Bible and actually study the scriptures to which I will refer. You will soon see that world events—including religious events—will directly follow the pattern that I will describe, so you will soon know who is right on this vital subject!
For investigating this subject of the "Antichrist" is not merely investigating some esoteric topic. The correct understanding of this subject could be absolutely vital to the very survival of you and your family in the years ahead. More importantly, may affect whether or not you will be part of the first resurrection at Christ’s second coming—and fulfill your role in the Kingdom of God!
Probably within this generation, a powerful religious leader will appear on the scene. He will perform awesome signs and wonders. He will be the final personification of what the Bible describes as the "Antichrist."
Yet, as we shall see, there have been in the past—and are now—many Antichrists! And underlying all of their deceptions is the "spirit of Antichrist"—the wrong approaches and false doctrines which have blinded billions of human beings from understanding God’s Truth. The "doctrine" of Antichrist is not understood by most of the world’s religious leaders.
"How so?" you might ask.
Because there is a very real Satan the Devil. Jesus Christ twice called him the "ruler of this world" (John 12:31; 14:30). Satan is the great deceiver. The Apostle John made it very clear that Satan deceives the vast majority of mankind: "So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him" (Revelation 12:9).
"But I am not deceived!" you might say. Do not be too sure!
For we will now show you, in this booklet, what is undoubtedly the major deception that Satan has palmed off on mainstream Christianity! The widespread deception about the "Antichrist" is only the "tip of the iceberg" of the vast religious deception carried out in the name of "Christianity." In fact, this deception is so thorough that thousands of professing Christian ministers and priests are themselves deceived and therefore do not even realize that they are perpetuating a lie! Jesus Christ similarly described the false religious leaders of His day: "Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch" (Matthew 15:14).

How Millions Have Been Deceived

This mass deception is so widespread and so believable because many of its tenets "look good" on the surface. Most of its practitioners will say that we must believe in Christ. They will say that Christians should exhibit love, kindness, mercy and patience, and that Christians should "do good" to their fellow man—give to the poor and support hospitals, charities and homes for unwed mothers. They will say that Christians should respond to Jesus’ "law of love."
All of this sounds biblical. It sounds very good!
But these practitioners do not tell you which of the laws of God are to be kept—and exactly how God’s laws are to be obeyed. These people will talk sentimentally about Christ being the "Lord" of our lives. But they will inevitably fail to explain that if Jesus is "Lord," we must obey Him! They will never tell you that Jesus directly and consistently taught obedience to all of the Ten Commandments!
Therefore, because of this Satan-inspired deception, many of the bloodiest wars in modern history have been waged between professing "Christian" nations in Europe. Bishops on one side would bless their troops as they prepared for battle. The bishops on the other side did the same. Then thousands of young men—often still in their teens—would rush up some hill to shoot or brutally stab to death other young men who were often of the very same church denomination! All were supposedly "Christian." All were supposedly of the "body of Christ"—the Church of which Jesus is the living, active Head (Ephesians 1:22–23).
Does reading this make you a little "uncomfortable"? Well, it should! And, more importantly, I hope and pray that it makes you think. Because all too many of us have just grown up in some mainstream church and taken our religious beliefs for granted—simply assuming that all would be well if we just went along with the crowd, blended into this world, and lived reasonably decent and "respectable" lives. That is precisely how most of us have been terribly deceived, as I was in years past—and have unwittingly come to believe in a false gospel, a wrong way of life and a "different" Jesus Christ!

Satan Wants You to "Miss the Mark"

One of the Greek words for "sin" in the New Testament literally means "to miss the mark." So Satan is content to let you "believe in" God and Christ as long as he can still control you, make you "miss the mark." His goal is to keep you out of the coming Kingdom of God, which will replace him and his demons—by blinding you to what is really happening! God inspired the Apostle James to write: "You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!" (James 2:19).
Then James explains how the true Christian must not merely believe in God, but must surrender to God’s will and do what He says (vv. 20–23). James writes: "You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only" (v. 24).
"Justified by works?" Yes—along with faith! Read verse 24 for yourself. It should be very clear that true Christianity involves more than just accepting, in faith, Christ’s death—which is a free gift from God—as full payment for our sins. When we accept Christ’s sacrifice, we must also make a literal "covenant with our Creator" to quit sinning in the future—to truly surrender to let Christ live His obedient life in us through the Holy Spirit! For, God’s inspired Word tells us: "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law" (1 John 3:4, KJV). So we must repent of sin, repent of breaking God’s spiritual Law, the Ten Commandments. This involves a life of humble obedience—the "works" of keeping God’s laws and commandments.
Let us understand that no one can ever earn salvation—it is God’s gift! The true grace of God leads to the gift of salvation (Ephesians 2:8–10; Romans 6:23). Those willing to obey God (Acts 5:29, 32) and who are under true grace will be God’s "workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works" (Ephesians 2:10). God’s grace does not eliminate the need for obedience and keeping God’s commandments. The Apostle Paul warned that one could "receive the grace of God in vain" (2 Corinthians 6:1). And while the Apostle Peter exhorted Christians to "rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 1:13), he continues with the expectation that we do so "as obedient children" (v. 14; cf. v. 2).
But when men cleverly misuse "grace"—teaching "cheap grace" without real repentance from sin—it is the very essence of the doctrine of the Antichrist! This false concept has allowed millions of professing Christians to go through life regularly and habitually disobeying the Ten Commandments—yet still assuming they are "good Christians"!
The Apostle Jude was inspired to warn us of this very deception. "Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ" (Jude 3–4).
Notice that Jude warns of false teachers using the idea of "grace" as a vehicle for "licentiousness"—license to disobey the very laws of God!
"Oh, my minister would never do that!" you may protest.
I am sorry, my friends, but chances are that he or she will verify what I am saying if you approach your priest or minister directly with this question: "Pastor Jones, does God require true Christians to keep the Ten Commandments?" If you ask the question directly in these words, most ministers will begin to mumble something about being "saved by grace." Then, they may hastily add that the Ten Commandments are a good moral guide but that "you don’t have to keep them since you are saved by grace."
If you press on and try to "pin your pastor down" to a straightforward answer on this matter, he may try to skirt the issue or point you to the "new" commandments of Jesus. Or, perhaps, he will finally come right out and say what virtually all mainstream theology actually teaches—the Ten Commandments were either "nailed to the cross" when Christ died or the Apostle Paul somehow "did away" with them! As I will now clearly explain, this is the very "heart" of the doctrine of Antichrist!
How so?
And why is this such a serious matter? Because it creates a "lawless society"—a society cut off from God since the Ten Commandments actually portray His character. God’s awesome purpose involves putting His "divine nature" into us through the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:4). It involves our going through a process of spiritual growth and "overcoming" to reflect the very character of God and be made fit to rule with Christ in His soon-coming Kingdom. Jesus directly states: "And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations—‘He shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the potter’s vessels shall be broken to pieces’—as I also have received from My Father" (Revelation 2:26–27).

A Doctrine of DISOBEDIENCE

The true saints of God are being prepared by Him to replace Satan and his demons in ruling over this earth. For Satan is now the "god of this age" (2 Corinthians 4:4). He is now the "prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience" (Ephesians 2:2).
Yet the Apostle Paul tells us: "Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life?" (1 Corinthians 6:2–3).
Why have you not heard a lot more about this awesome purpose of the true Christian to exercise rulership in the future? Because Satan wants to block this knowledge from reaching human beings so they will be unable to replace him and his demons in ruling this earth. Therefore he, the "father" of lies (John 8:44), has deceived the vast majority of all humanity—including two billion professing Christians—regarding God’s purpose for man and the way to fulfill that purpose!
Among Satan’s deceits, surely none is as great as his system of "counterfeit Christianity"! The Apostles knew this was going to happen. Paul warned: "Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day [of Christ’s return] will not come unless the falling away [from the Truth] comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition.… For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. 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" (2 Thessalonians 2:3, 7–8).
Notice that this false religious system is called "the mystery of lawlessness." Shortly before Christ’s return, it will be headed by a figure called the "man of sin" or the "lawless one." This man, who will perform "lying wonders" (v. 9) can be found elsewhere in Scripture as the great, miracle-working "false prophet" (Revelation 13:13; 19:20).
But realize that Paul said this false Christianity was "already at work" when he wrote these verses—even as it still is today. The proponents of this lawless system talk about love and about the Lord—but they leave out Christ’s powerful instruction to keep the commandments of God! Yet we know that when the young man came to Jesus asking the way to eternal life, He answered: "If you want to enter into life, keep the commandments" (Matthew 19:17). Then Jesus began to name some of the Ten Commandments. And in His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus tells us: "Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:19).
Pray tell, who claims the authority to "do away" with this clear teaching of Jesus Christ? Does your minister, your church?
Again, Paul warned the Christians of his day: "For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted; you may well put up with it" (2 Corinthians 11:4)! Unwittingly, to be sure, most of us have grown up hearing about "another Jesus," a "different spirit" and, very definitely, a "different gospel" than the one Jesus and the Apostles preached!
Again, why?
Because Satan has employed every stratagem available to get people to believe the "doctrine of the Antichrist"! If you are willing to face reality, if you truly want to fulfill the very purpose for which you were born, you need to understand what that doctrine is and avoid it at all cost!
Jesus Himself warned us: "Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many" (Matthew 24:4–5). Note that it is the "many" who will be deceived. And how? They will be deceived because these "many" false teachers come "in Jesus’ name." Get that! They use Jesus’ own name to deceive people! They come as "Christian" preachers and teachers—but their message is obviously contrary to the message Jesus Himself preached.
Because "Christian" is stamped on the outside of the package, most people unthinkingly assume that Christ must approve of the inside of the package! But these deceived people fail to really study their Bibles. They fail to "prove all things" as God commands, so they are easily deceived by a false "Christianity" based upon the doctrine of "Antichrist."
The word "Antichrist" is first introduced in 1 John 2:18: "Little children, it is the last 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." First of all, we see "the Antichrist" about whom they had heard. This, of course, is the "lawless one" Paul wrote about and the "false prophet" of Revelation. Yet some mistakenly identify the Antichrist as the coming world dictator and political system called the "Beast" in Bible prophecy. They forget that the real "power behind the throne" is the mysterious "harlot" of Revelation 17, and that this fallen woman "rides" or controls the Beast of Revelation.

The Harlot of Revelation 17

Millions of people—and even many theologians—are puzzled by the mysterious "harlot" of Revelation 17. Yet the Word of God devotes most of an entire chapter, plus many references elsewhere, to this vital topic. Who is this "harlot"—and how does she relate to the Antichrist?
Whoever this great "harlot" is, she is very powerful. She has caused the deaths of untold millions in the past, and millions more will die at her hand in the future. She is destined to dramatically change the lives of all those living in the end times—including many of you who read this booklet! This harlot sits astride a system encompassing many nations and peoples: "And he said to me, ‘The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues’" (Revelation 17:15). This harlot continues to exist right up to the Second Coming of Christ! For God’s Word describes the "ten horns" or ten kings (v. 12) which will arise at that time: "These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful…. And the ten horns which you saw on the beast, these will hate the harlot, make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire" (vv. 14, 16).
Modern theologians and Bible commentaries try to be "politically correct" in their references to this great harlot. For instance, notice this comment from the Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Vol. 12, pp. 553–554: "In an important sense, the interpretation of this chapter controls the interpretation of the whole Book of Revelation. For a majority of exegetes, Babylon represents the city of Rome. The beast stands for the Roman Empire as a whole, with its subject provinces and peoples. The seven hills (v. 9) are the seven selected dynasties of Roman emperors from Augustus to Domitian. The ten kings are heads of lesser and restless states, eager to escape their enslavement to the colonizing power. John’s prediction of the fall of Babylon is his announcement of the impending dissolution of the Roman Empire in all its aspects."
While the commentators correctly identify Babylon with the city of Rome, they generalize that "early Christian readers would understand that whenever they were threatened with death by any temporal power… they were in reality facing the bloodthirsty mother prostitute God was about to judge and destroy once for all" (p. 557).
Yet although they correctly understand the identity of "Babylon," these scholars, like most today, are unable to see that the "woman"—the great harlot—"rides" the Beast (modern Babylon). She is clearly set forth as being distinctly separate from the Beast—the empire with ten final kings giving their power and authority to one super-dictator also called the "Beast." Obviously, the woman cannot "ride" the Beast and at the same time be the Beast!
Many scholars do realize, however, that the Beast of Revelation 17 is the Roman Empire and its "revivals" in various forms. For a fascinating and thorough explanation of the identity of this "Beast" of Revelation 17, please write for a copy of our booklet entitled The Beast of Revelation. It will be sent to you absolutely free upon your request.

Who IS This "Woman"?

Throughout the New Testament, the term "woman" is used as a symbol for a church. For instance, the Apostle Paul writes the Church of God at Corinth: "Oh, that you would bear with me in a little folly; and indeed you do bear with me. For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ" (2 Corinthians 11:1–2). Clearly, the true church is here described as "betrothed" to Jesus Christ—in the position of an engaged woman to her fiancĂ© who is Jesus Christ.
In Ephesians 5:23–24, Paul writes: "For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything." Again, the analogy clearly identifies the true Church as being in the position of a woman—a wife who is submissive to her husband, Christ. And in Revelation 12:1–5, we read the inspired account of the "woman"—this time ancient Israel, the "church in the wilderness" (Acts 7:38, KJV)—being used by God to bring forth the Messiah: "a male child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron."
Verse 5 picks up the story about "the woman"—now the true New Testament Church—fleeing into the wilderness to "a place prepared by God." The following verses make it even more evident that this "woman" is, in fact, the true Church of God that is protected by God Himself from the wrath of Satan.
So when we come to the "woman" of Revelation 17, it should be very obvious that—letting the Bible interpret its own symbols—this woman is indeed a church! However, this church "sitting on a scarlet beast" (v. 3) is truly a spiritual "harlot."
For she has entered into adulterous alliances with the leaders and kings of this world (v. 2), and the inhabitants of the earth are made spiritually "drunk" because of her false teachings. She is a "mother" church—giving birth to spiritual "harlots" (v. 5). And, as indicated, she deals in "mysteries," as did the ancient pagan religions before her.

A PERSECUTING Church

Also, this "woman" is a great persecuting church. The Apostle John was inspired to write: "I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement" (v. 6).
Please think about that.
Who is this great fallen woman—a powerful church—which has and which will again be "drunk with the blood of the saints"? Obviously, she persecutes the true Christians—the true "saints" of God. They are described in Revelation 14:12: "Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus."
In contrast to the commandment-keeping Church of God, this great apostate church and her "daughter" churches reject the need to keep the Ten Commandments as a way of life! Somehow, in their spiritual drunkenness, they manage to reason around the plain and clear teachings of Jesus: "If you want to enter into life, keep the commandments" (Matthew 19:17).
Historically, do we read about a great church that did persecute millions of people during the Middle Ages? Did such a church actually exist?
In his well-documented book, A Woman Rides the Beast (pp. 243–244), author Dave Hunt describes what the "woman" did for hundreds of years during the Middle Ages:

"Thus Roman Catholicism became ‘the most persecuting faith the world has ever seen… [commanding] the throne to impose the Christian [Catholic] religion on all its subjects. Innocent III murdered far more Christians in one afternoon… than any Roman emperor did in his entire reign.’ Will Durant writes candidly: ‘Compared with the persecution of heresy in Europe from 1227 to 1492, the persecution of Christians by Romans in the first three centuries after Christ was a mild and humane procedure.
Making every allowance required by an historian and permitted to a Christian, we must rank the Inquisition, along with the wars and persecutions of our time, as among the darkest blots on the record of mankind, revealing a ferocity unknown in any beast.’"

So when John saw this "woman" or apostate church "drunk with the blood of the saints," he was certainly not exaggerating. Even scores of Catholic writers have been mightily embarrassed about what their church practiced for hundreds of years. With the vast record now known—of priests sodomizing young men, of many popes openly maintaining mistresses and fathering illegitimate children all over Italy and high offices in the church being offered and bought for money—it has seemed to many objective historians that this powerful church was the veritable embodiment of evil in nearly every aspect.

Daniel’s "Little Horn"

The prophet Daniel was inspired to picture this foul religious system as a "little horn." After the four great ruling kingdoms of the Gentile world—Babylon, Medo-Persia, Alexander’s Greco-Macedonian Empire and finally Rome—Daniel describes a "little horn" coming up among the early resurrections of the Roman Empire: "I was considering the horns, and there was another horn, a little one, coming up among them, before whom three of the first horns were plucked out by the roots. And there, in this horn, were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking pompous words." (Daniel 7:8).
In verses 25–27 of this same chapter, Daniel is inspired to describe the actions of this pompous "little horn" and how it would continue right up to Christ’s return and His rule over the nations: "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. But the court shall be seated, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and destroy it forever. Then the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him."
Notice that this "little horn" is different from the pagan empire (v. 24), for it is, in fact, a religious empire! Note also that the human leader of this foul system speaks "pompous words" against God, persecutes the true Christians and intends to change times and law. The Roman Catholic Church has done just that, as Scripture predicted—teaching that the Ten Commandments were subsumed to church authority, and that by its authority it could change God’s commanded seventh-day Sabbath (Exodus 20:8–11; Hebrews 4:9–11), substituting the pagan "day of the sun" in place of God’s Sabbath.
Renowned modern historian Will Durant writes: "The serious temper of the Jewish Sabbath was transferred to the Christian Sunday that replaced it in the second century" (The Story of Civilization, vol. 3, 1972, p. 599). How did this happen? A Roman Catholic study course tells us that "the [Roman] Church transferred the obligation from Saturday to Sunday" (Father Smith Instructs Jackson). The Catholic Mirror agrees: "The Catholic Church… by virtue of her Divine mission, changed the day from Saturday to Sunday" (September 23, 1893). If you wish further information about the true biblical Sabbath, please write for our powerful and enlightening booklet, Which Day Is the Christian Sabbath?

The Papacy Predicted in Advance

As we have seen, the "little horn" of Daniel is describing the false church and especially its spokesman, the pope, speaking "pompous words." In the New Testament, God inspired the Apostle John to describe the "resurrection" of the final Beast, the Roman Empire (Revelation 13:1–10). Then, in verses 11–14, "another beast" is described as rising up, who looks like a "Lamb," or Christ, but speaks like a "dragon," Satan the devil (Revelation 12:9). This exceedingly clever and sinister false prophet "exercises all the authority of the first beast [the revived Roman Empire] in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed (Revelation 13:12). In other words, this great false prophet is able to sway most of mankind to stand in awe of and obey the revived Roman Empire!
Then we read: "He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived" (vv. 13–14).
As this system developed, a "man of sin" would be revealed—audaciously taking to himself titles and authority that belong only to God. He was to sit as a veritable "god" in the temple of God—using some of the very titles of God. In fact, though Jesus called God "Holy Father," Roman Catholics call the pope "Most Holy Father" and "Vicar of Christ"—which literally means "in place of Christ"!
Dave Hunt describes the blasphemous pretensions of the papacy:

"The total submission that Rome requires has been expressed by many popes, but none said it more clearly than Nicholas I (858–67):
‘It is evident that the popes can neither be bound nor unbound by any earthly power, nor even by that of the apostle [Peter], if he should return upon the earth; since Constantine the Great has recognized that the pontiffs held the place of God upon earth, the divinity not being able to be judged by any living man. We are, then, infallible, and whatever may be our acts, we are not accountable for them but to ourselves’" (A Woman Rides the Beast, pp. 153–154).

So the popes have claimed that they hold "the place of God on earth"! And what is most frightening is that they continue to make such claims—and even get away with it in our so-called "modern" world. Because the Roman Catholic Church is such an omnipresent and powerful entity, the media usually treads very lightly in attacking even the most outrageous and blasphemous claims of the modern popes and clergy.
But how is all this destined to affect your life?

The Beast and the Woman: Together Again

Few realize that the so-called "Holy" Roman Empire is being revived right under our noses! Throughout most of continental Europe, there is a great push for full European unity. One of the major players in this geopolitical chess game is—you guessed it!—the pope himself.
In his detailed and revealing book, The Principality and Power of Europe (pp. 36–37), British author Adrian Hilton explains what is now happening:

"While visiting Austria in 1983, the pope spoke out against the national and artificial borders all over Europe. He added:
‘Europeans should overcome the menacing international confrontations of states and alliances, and create a new united Europe from the Atlantic to the Urals.’
In 1988, he continued this theme when he addressed the European parliament in Strasbourg; an occasion at which many asked why a perceived spiritual leader was addressing the issues of political unity. The Sunday Telegraph, in 1991, summed up the pope’s plans for the ‘evangelisation’ of Europe. It stated:
‘He is calmly preparing to assume the mantle which he solemnly believes to be his Divine Right—that of new Holy Roman emperor, reigning from the Urals to the Atlantic.’"

Although the Bible certainly does not indicate that the final pope will be the "emperor" of this revived Holy Roman Empire; it does show that he will be the "power behind the throne." As God clearly indicates to us, the coming false prophet "causes" those who will not worship this system "to be killed" (Revelation 13:15). So, as many popes did during the Middle Ages, he will use the power of the state—the "Beast"—to force His will on the entire western world!
Remember what happened under Hitler? A knock on the door, the father or mother grabbed and hustled into a van by the state police for saying or doing some "politically incorrect" thing! Do you think that could not happen again? If so, you could not be more wrong!
The God who gives us life and breath clearly describes how, once again, the woman "rides" the Beast. Most people do not realize that the false teachings and practices of this fallen "woman" have permeated the entire world. That is precisely what John was inspired to write: "So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him" (Revelation 12:9).
Even sincere Protestants and Evangelicals have unwittingly been made spiritually drunk by the paganism of this system: "The inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication" (Revelation 17:2). What each reader needs to realize is that Satan is the invisible "god" of this present world (2 Corinthians 4:3–4), and that "all nations" are spiritually drunk.
In describing this entire system and the harlot "daughters" that have come out of "mother" Rome, here is what the respected Critical and Experimental Commentary has to say:

"Not merely Rome, but Christendom, as a whole, as Israel, as a whole has become a harlot…. External extensiveness over the world, and internal conformity to it—worldliness in extent and contents—is symbolized by the world-city’s name, ‘Babylon’" (Vol. 6, p. 710).

Ecumenism—Religious Harlotry?

Today’s news is full of articles about the ecumenical movement. One headline reads: "Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox Leaders Renew Talks." Another headline states: "Episcopalian, Lutheran Alliance Forged." More and more of the Protestant churches are trying to get together, and a number are preparing to come back to "mother"—the Roman Catholic Church. Speaking of the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox talks, a July 9, 2000 article in the San Diego Union-Tribune reported:

"Eventually, the churches could resolve even their ancient dispute over the pope’s jurisdiction, said the Rev. Robert Stephanopoulos, dean of the Greek Orthodox Cathedral in New York and a veteran of ecumenical meetings.
‘It could happen rather quickly in one respect, but when I say rather quickly, we’re still talking against the background of a thousand years,’ he said."

This recognition of the pope’s authority could happen much more quickly than Robert Stephanopoulos imagines. Just as when the Eastern European nations began to break away from the Soviet Union, world events sometimes seem to occur almost overnight! So additional hundreds of millions of members may be added to the Roman Catholic Church over the next several years as her daughters return to the fold.
And the little Church of God—scattered here and there in little groups—will seem almost like a tiny speck in comparison. Truly, we will all need understanding, faith and courage to make it through the trying years ahead. For Jesus said: "For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect" (Matthew 24:24).
In the future, we will see increasing pressure brought to bear by the pope and others to make Jerusalem an "international city"—perhaps under the joint control of the Vatican and the United Nations or some other international agency. The relentless pressure of the ecumenical movement will also intensify. The Great Mother Church will be calling with increasing fervor for her daughters to come "home."
Within the next several years, the "second" Beast of Revelation 13 will appear on the scene. We read of this man in Revelation 13:11–14: "Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived."
This coming powerful religious leader will look like a "lamb." In Revelation 14 we see that Christ is described as the "Lamb." So this coming religious leader will appear to be like Christ! But, John writes, he "spoke like a dragon." And in Revelation 12:9, John was inspired to write: "So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him."
Satan the Devil is clearly identified as the "dragon" right here in the book of Revelation. This coming false prophet, therefore, will appear to billions of human beings to be a Christ-like figure. But his message will be that of Satan the Devil! Yet this charismatic leader will perform "great signs" and even make fire come down from heaven! He is also described in 2 Thessalonians 2 as the "man of sin" 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" (vv. 3–4). This coming religious leader, your Bible says, will be worshiped by his followers!
This man will appear a few years before the Second Coming of Christ, for Christ will "destroy" him "with the brightness of His coming" (v. 8). But this man is called "the lawless one." In verse 7, Paul writes: "For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way." In an age of donkeys and ox carts, Paul is not talking about traffic laws! He is talking about a man and an entire religious system he leads—the "mystery of lawlessness"—which is obviously teaching against and is regularly breaking the laws of God.
As in Revelation 13: "The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved" (2 Thessalonians 2:9–10).
All of us need to realize that we are in a spiritual war. The forces of Satan are moving swiftly to accomplish their goals. Within the next several years, under Satan’s influence, and with the limited powers God allows Satan to exert in this earth’s atmosphere of which he is "prince" (Ephesians 2:2), the devil’s forces will wield unprecedented power through a religio-political system under their control—and will do so in the name of "Christianity." Very few Protestant, Orthodox or other religious leaders will have the faith and courage to stand up against this onslaught. They will enforce the dreaded "mark of the beast" and bring about a horrifying persecution of the true Christians—the real saints of God.

MANY Antichrists!

We have seen what the Bible says about "the" Antichrist. But even more importantly, we should note that John was inspired to write that "even now, many antichrists have come" (1 John 2:18). So it should be clear that the term "Antichrist" does not apply solely to the false prophet—though he will certainly be the leading spokesman teaching the doctrines of Antichrist. Rather, as most modern scholars acknowledge, "Antichrist" simply means a spirit or person in opposition to Christ.
John continues to describe the many who are "Antichrist," saying: "Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also. Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father" (vv. 22–24). Notice that John was inspired to warn Christians to hold on to the original teaching that they had been given—"abide in… [what] you heard from the beginning." This would mean "abiding in"—or obeying—Jesus Christ’s direct teaching concerning the Law of God.
For, from the beginning, Jesus had taught them to "keep the commandments." He had continually warned them about using His name and yet disobeying His teaching! Jesus said: "But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do the things which I say?" (Luke 6:46). And again: "Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven" (Matthew 7:21).
So we "abide" in Christ and in the Father by obeying God and living as Jesus actually did—by every word of God. Jesus explained: "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My Word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me" (John 14:23–24).
John’s first epistle goes on to describe the "spirit of Antichrist" in greater detail: "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, 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. You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world" (4:1–4).
Obviously, a vital key to understanding the teaching of the Antichrist is to recognize that this false doctrine does not admit the full humanity of Jesus Christ. It does not admit that Christ truly "has come in the flesh."
"Why?" you might ask. What is so special about Christ having "come in the flesh"?
First, we must understand why Satan is continually trying to deceive people into disobeying God’s law—the Ten Commandments. Such lawbreaking constitutes sin since "sin is the transgression of the law" (1 John 3:4, KJV). And "the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). So if Satan can somehow keep human beings from obeying God—and so yielding to let God build within them His very nature and character—then these disobedient men and women will continue to be under the death penalty. Cut off from God, they will be unable to prepare to be kings and priests in Christ’s coming Kingdom on this earth (cf. Revelation 5:10) and so replace Satan and his demons.

Diabolical Arguments

So that people will not even try to keep God’s commandments, Satan uses the doctrine of Antichrist to promote the idea that mankind is unable to keep them! The teachings of the Roman Catholic Church—and most Protestant churches—in effect minimize Christ’s humanity, implying in various ways that He was not fully "in the flesh." Their theology leads to the conclusion that He was not really subject to the "pulls of the flesh" in the same way we are, and was thus not really tempted as we are—indeed even that He was not capable of sin. In their understanding, Christ was not really setting an example for us while fully in the human flesh. Satan wants us to believe that we cannot keep God’s commandments, and that Jesus Christ could not have sinned and broken them!
The Roman Catholic Church takes this idea even further. It falsely teaches that, except for the "Virgin Mary," all human beings since Adam and Eve have been born with "original sin," unable to keep God’s commandments. Mary alone, the teaching says, was protected by an "Immaculate Conception" and led a perfect and sinless life that allowed her to become the "Mother of God." In this teaching, Mary could have sinned but did not, while our Savior did not sin and could not! If this were true, it would make Mary—not Jesus Christ—our actual example of living a sinless human life! What an insult to our true Savior!
Yet the book of Hebrews tells us: "For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted" (2:18). And again: "For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin" (4:15). Was this through some supernatural power of His own? Was Jesus "fully God" while in the human flesh? The truth is that He was the Personality who had been with the Father from the beginning: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" (John 1:1). But later "The Word became flesh" (v. 14).
Many scriptures clearly reveal that, in the flesh, Jesus did not exercise the same unlimited power which He had previously exercised before His incarnation. For instance, the gospel of Mark tells us that when Jesus came to His own home area among skeptical family and neighbors: "Now He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them" (Mark 6:5). Jesus Himself said: "I can of Myself do nothing" (John 5:30). While in the flesh, Jesus chose not to heal people in a faithless atmosphere.
The fully human Jesus was tempted in "all points" as we are, yet without sin. That being so, it becomes clear that there is a way for us, too, to keep the Ten Commandments while fully in the human flesh! But how? The same way Jesus did! Hebrews further tells us that "in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death… [He] was heard because of His godly fear" (5:7). If Jesus had to literally cry out with tears to the Father to "save Him from death," it should be obvious that He was truly in the human flesh—and that we also should cry out for God’s help in the same way! So Jesus did set the "example" for us in keeping the Ten Commandments in the human flesh! We have a Savior and High Priest who does fully understand the pulls of human nature with which we must contend. Through His Spirit within us, as we will see, Christ will empower us to overcome temptation and keep the Ten Commandments while fully in the human flesh!
But the doctrine of Antichrist says just the opposite. Although Satan is clever enough not to directly teach people to sin, the Antichrist doctrine nevertheless opens the door for deceived people to regularly break one or more of the commandments of God with impunity—yet still feel that they are somehow "good Christians."

A Universal Teaching

This clever reasoning—taught in most seminaries all over the world—goes like this: Since God’s law is spiritual and we are only physical, we cannot keep the holy, righteous law of God. So Christ had to keep it for us. Now we just "accept Christ" and His righteousness is somehow "imputed" to us—without any requirement for righteous works.
The above reasoning then relies on a whole series of misunderstandings and perversions of the writings of the Apostle Paul. Misguided theologians somehow put a clever "twist" on literally dozens of verses from Paul’s letters to directly contradict the plain, clear teachings of Jesus Christ, of His closest disciple, John, and of His brother, James. That is one reason for Martin Luther’s famous statement that the book of James was an "epistle of straw." Luther hated the fact that James directly taught obedience to the Ten Commandments (cf. James 2:8–12).
The Apostle Peter was even inspired to warn us that "Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which those who are untaught and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures" (2 Peter 3:15–16). Yes, Peter said that men would "twist" Paul’s writings to their own destruction! Peter continues this inspired warning: "Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position" (v. 17, NIV).
A warning not to be carried away by the error of "lawless men"? Absolutely. For that is precisely the way Peter knew that deceived men would "twist" Paul’s writings—into an excuse to disobey the spiritual law of God, the Ten Commandments!
Truly, this message needs to be heard now more than ever before. Millions in this deceived world are really confused about religion. They have become either just plain bored by mainstream religion and/or disillusioned by organized religion in general. So some have simply "tuned out." Yet millions of others have virtually "invented" their own religion! As Newsweek magazine (May 8, 2000) recently reported on today’s teenagers and their beliefs:

"Rather than seek absolute truths in doctrine, they cross denominational boundaries, savvy consumers in the broader marketplace of belief systems. Many describe themselves as spiritual rather than religious. ‘I believe there is a higher power at work in my life, but I do not have a name for it,’ says Amy McKinney, 18. ‘When I pray I do not ask a god to make everything all right. Instead I ask myself to be strong.’ In place of strict adherence to doctrine, many teens embrace a spirit of eclecticism and a suspicion of absolute truths. In a 1999 poll of teenagers by the religious researcher George Barna, more than half agreed with the statement ‘All religious faiths teach equally valid truths.’ Where explorers of the baby boom tried on Zen today, Methodism tomorrow, teens might cobble together bits of several faiths: a little Buddhist meditation or Roman Catholic ritual, whatever mixture appeals at the time."

"Whatever mixture appeals"? Appalling!

Modern Religious ANARCHY

This total confusion leads, of course, to religious anarchy. But, ominously, it also opens the door to leading these millions of young people to be very susceptible to the mass deceptions that the coming false prophet will perpetrate. When this man arises and begins to show himself "according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders" (2 Thessalonians 2:9), what are these millions of confused youths going to do?
Being swept along with excitement and also by the mass hysteria that will accompany the satanic signs of the "lawless one" (v. 8), most of these young people will succumb to the enormous pressure to join hands with this coming "revival" and "return to tradition" inspired by Satan. For throughout much of Western Europe and North America, there is indeed a yearning for specific doctrines and guidelines in the field of religion and standards of behavior. Millions of people are sick and tired of the hemming and hawing and equivocating of their ministers and priests. They are beginning to realize that many of these professing religious "leaders" are not absolutely certain about anything!
Many of these religious leaders question the validity of Jesus’ virgin birth, of His miracles, of His resurrection from the dead. They question the real inspiration of the Bible. They question the idea of Jesus’ Second Coming and whether there will truly be a literal Kingdom of God set up on this earth with Christ as King.
Do "all religious leaders teach equally valid truths"—as more than half of the teenagers in Barna’s poll believed?
Is all religion equal? Can you just believe anything and have the same blessing of the Creator God and gain eternal life on your own terms?
The only way to be definitive and truly correct about these matters is to prove to yourself—one way or another—if the Bible is directly inspired by the real God who created the universe! If the Bible is just partially inspired—as so many believe today—then each person can "pick and choose" which part of the Bible he thinks is inspired. Then, using human reasoning, he can go by that part of the Bible, even if it seems to directly contradict other parts of the Bible. Remember that the Christ of the Bible was nothing but "definitive." Jesus did not "waffle." He stated: "I am the door of the sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them" (John 10:7–8). And: "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber" (v. 1).
Later, Jesus said: "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me" (v. 27). Most of you readers have "heard" Christ’s voice speaking through this Work. You know that we do not evade, denigrate or "mess around" with the words of the Bible. We have proved over and over that God, the Creator, directly inspired the Bible. It is God’s "Instruction Manual" for mankind. It is specific in what it tells us to do.

The Crux of the Matter

The clearest passage of all explaining Antichrist is found in 2 John 6–7: "This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it. 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." In this passage, we see first of all how John is inspired to define love: "that we walk according to His commandments." In context, the "commandments" being spoken of are clearly the commandments of God the Father (cf. v. 4)—not some "new" commandments of Jesus. Even though John wrote in the 90s ad, some 60 years after Christ’s crucifixion and 20 years after Paul’s death, there is not even a hint that God’s commandments were "nailed to the cross" or "done away with" by the Apostle Paul! Then John reminds his readers that the commandments were those they had heard "from the beginning." In other words, they are the clear teaching of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount, in Matthew 19:17 and elsewhere.
Then, in verse 7, John warns that the "deceivers" do not teach "Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh." He describes such teaching as "Antichrist." The significance of Jesus Christ "as coming in the flesh" is that—as in the original Greek—the present continuous tense is here used, denoting something that is now happening.
The well-known Expositor’s Bible Commentary attempts to explain this passage (2 John 7) in the following words:

"Curiously the tense is changed from the past tense ‘has come [el luthota] in the flesh’ (1 John 4:2) to the present participle ‘as coming [erchomenon] in the flesh.’ It would be possible, therefore, to interpret this as a reference to Jesus’ return: he is coming (i.e., will come) in the flesh (cf. 1 John 2:28; 3:2). But since we know of no controversy in this area, this seems unlikely. Dodd obscures the sense by translating the participle erchomenon in the past tense, as if its meaning were simply identical with 1 John 4:2, and then offers the surprising explanation that ‘our author is not skilled in the niceties of the Greek idiom’ (Johannine Epistles, p. 149).
It is far safer, however, to assume that the writer does know the difference between a present participle and a perfect (past tense) and that his intention is to say something beyond what he was saying in 1 John 4:2."

As those highly trained Greek scholars acknowledge, John is indeed saying something "beyond" his statement in 1 John 4:2! John not only says that Christ has come fully in the human flesh. But God inspired John in this latter passage to reveal that Christ is now coming "in the flesh!"
How?
As we have already seen, Jesus said: "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him" (John 14:23). Through the Holy Spirit, Christ and the Father actually live within the truly converted Christian, guiding him, inspiring him and empowering him to keep the commandments and live God’s way of life!
The Apostle Paul was also inspired to make this very plain when he wrote: "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me" (Galatians 2:20, KJV).
That is the "key." Through the Spirit, Christ will literally live His life in our human flesh! He will give us the strength to obey God’s commandments!
Religious opponents challenge the real Christian by saying: "You can’t keep the Ten Commandments! They are spiritual and you are only physical." But one who is led by God’s Holy Spirit may truly reply: "You are right. In my own human strength, I can’t. But to the degree I yield to God’s Holy Spirit, I can and I will keep God’s commandments! Christ within me helps me not to kill, steal, lie, commit adultery, covet, dishonor my parents, break God’s Sabbath, practice idolatry, take God’s name in vain or have another ‘god’ before the true God. I may slip in some point occasionally, but I will then repent and confess my sin to God and have His forgiveness (1 John 1:8–9). Then I quickly get back on God’s path and, through His Spirit, grow in grace and knowledge. I am not perfect. But, through Christ living His life within me, I am growing toward perfection and walking in God’s law as my basic way of life."

Christ Lives Within the True Christian

The doctrine of Antichrist, then, is that Christ does not literally live His life within His people today! It is the false teaching that Christians today can live a different kind of life from what Jesus lived and still be His true followers. It often includes the idea that Christ was righteous in our stead, and therefore we do not have to be. We just accept Him and His righteousness is imputed to us. Effectively, God "kids Himself" and pretends that we are really righteous when we actually are not!
This doctrine is a damnable lie!
"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever" (Hebrews 13:8). He will live the same kind of life in you and me today that He lived nearly 2,000 years ago when He walked this earth in the human flesh. At that time, He continually taught obedience to all of God’s commandments (Matthew 5:19). We have seen His answer to the young man asking Him how to inherit eternal life: "Keep the commandments" (19:17). Near the end of the Apostolic Age, God inspired the Apostle John to describe the true saints of God: "Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city" (Revelation 22:14).
There are many, many false ministers today who are teaching the doctrine of Antichrist, a doctrine that sanctions disobedience to God’s commandments—a doctrine of "no works." The Apostle Paul said of these ministers: "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works" (2 Corinthians 11:13–15). You will notice here that Satan has ministers who appear to be righteous. Ironically, their end—their final reward—will be according to their "works," the very thing they seek to deny!
God intends for us to obey His commandments, do good works and live by His every word. Once you get this principle straight, you can clearly understand the "spirit of Antichrist" and how to test whether any religious leader’s idea or doctrine is of God! Then, by diligent study of God’s Word and by constant prayer, you will come to a deeper understanding of the real purpose of your life and experience closer contact with the Living God than you may ever have dreamed possible.
You will come to see who truly is of God—His true Church, which has faithfully proclaimed the same Gospel He sent through Jesus Christ. In this end time, that Message—of obedience to God’s Kingdom and rule—is to be preached by His Church as a witness to all nations (Matthew 24:14). You are reading that Message this very instant!
In Revelation 12:17, the true Church of God is described as a woman persecuted by the devil. This Church is a remnant. Its members are those "who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." Again, the true saints of God are described in like manner in Revelation 14:12: "Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus."
Yes, Jesus Christ is to live and dwell within His people today through the Holy Spirit. To the degree they yield to Him, their lives will be ones of full and complete obedience, just as Jesus’ life was in the flesh. Their customs, their traditions, their way of life will be the same as His in every respect, because He does not change. And He will be living within them! Then Christ and the Father can be absolutely sure that their people are fully surrendered to God, who can continually impart to true Christians His very divine nature and character—and so prepare them to be kings and priests in the literal Kingdom of God soon to be set up on this earth. "And from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen" (Revelation 1:5–6).
Examine yourself honestly. Have you really understood Christianity before? Is Christ really living His life in you? Do you have the spiritual "backbone" to act on the knowledge you have just received?

Restoring Apostolic Christianity

As many of you readers already know, we in this Work are restoring—for those willing to heed—the true Christianity of Jesus and the Apostles. This genuine "Apostolic Christianity" has definitely been lost as far as mainstream "churchianity" is concerned. It is important to realize that if Jesus Himself would walk into a typical Protestant or Catholic Church today, He would find people there with an entirely different concept of God than He taught.
These folks would be observing different days for worshipping God—days that are pagan in origin and which utterly fail to point to the true God and His great plan as the biblical Holy Days do. Jesus would find that most of these professing "Christians" have no idea about how to truly keep the Ten Commandments or about the importance Christ placed upon them (see Matthew 19:17). These blinded individuals go to war with Britain (for instance) in one generation, with Spain in another, with Germany and Japan in another. They and their deceived ministers seemingly pay no attention to Jesus’ very clear instruction in Matthew 5:43–44: "You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you."
These professing Christians are utterly blinded to the fact that true Christians are now "in training" to become kings and priests under Jesus Christ and to serve under Him in ruling this world during the next thousand years (see Revelation 5:9–10; 20:6)! Rather, these folks assume—contrary to Jesus’ teachings—that at death they will "go to heaven" and have nothing to do! So the false teachings of professing Christianity have blinded them to the entire purpose God is working out here on earth!
In a typical church today, Jesus would find people who have a sentimental feeling about Him personally, but have virtually no understanding of the powerful message He preached. They speak about "the Lord Jesus Christ." But, frankly, He is not their "Lord"—for they do not obey Him or even grasp how they should obey Him! And Jesus Himself said, over and over: "Why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do the things which I say?" (Luke 6:46).
Again: "Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’" (Matthew 7:21–23). Indeed, those who fail to preach and to practice genuine obedience to the Ten Commandments are in terrible trouble!
God’s Word clearly indicates that the vast majority of human beings today are deceived. For God speaks of "the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world" (Revelation 12:9). And the Apostle Paul warned the Corinthians: "But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them" (2 Corinthians 4:3–4).
The Apostle Jude warned us specifically: "Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ" (Jude 3–4).
It is significant that Jude was inspired by God to point out that these false teachers would turn "grace" into "license"—which is exactly what they do today! For the common Protestant teaching is that you are "saved" by a sentimental acceptance of Christ’s death and that—at that point—there is nothing else you really have to do! No obedience to the Ten Commandments. No required "growing" in grace, in knowledge and in Christian maturity. No further "overcoming" of your human nature, of the world or of Satan the Devil.

What You Should DO

Recent news reports from many nations have indicated that Roman Catholic persecution of religious minorities continues. Although the Roman Catholic Church has learned to smile and act agreeably in nations where Protestants or others are in the majority, the old demons of hate and authoritarianism come out very quickly when it is in control.
A recent article in Christianity Today magazine (August 2000, p. 30) reported: "In March, about 70 Protestant families were expelled from the Mexican village of Plan de Ayala, in Chiapas state, by the town’s Roman Catholic majority. ‘Fourteen homes were demolished by the mob as the Protestants fled to the hills for refuge,’ reports Seventh-Day Adventist pastor Isias Espinosa." This is just a tiny sampling of the type of religious oppression practiced by this powerful church! And its leaders continue to emphasize that they are the only true church—that others are, in effect, only "second-class Christians." Note this September 5, 2000 report by Victor Simpson of the Associated Press:

"Accusing some Catholic theologians of manipulating fundamental truths of the church, the Vatican rejected Tuesday what it said are growing attempts to depict all religions as equal…the Vatican equality refers to ‘personal dignity’ of individuals and not to doctrine. It is the second recent document by the congregation [the Roman Catholic ‘Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’] warning against abuses by Catholics in dealings with other religions and denominations. Italian media have reported the congregation also has warned against the phrase ‘sister churches,’ saying that it contradicts the Catholic Church’s identity as ‘mother’ of all churches. That document has not yet been released. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, at a news conference repeatedly referred to a trend toward religious relativism.
‘The lack of unity among Christians is certainly a wound for the church,’ the document said, saying it hindered ‘the complete fulfillment of her universality in history.’
The declaration, a complex theological document, was titled ‘On the Unity and Salvific Universality of Jesus Christ and the Church.’"

So the Roman Catholic Church not only admits, but even insists that it is the "mother" of all professing Christian churches! And it insists also that it alone has the "keys" to God’s Kingdom!
Truly, it is time to wake up!
It is time for all who believe in God to go back and prove whether their religious beliefs and practices actually came out of the Bible—or out of "Babylon." For the Creator God tells all who will heed: "‘For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury.’ And I heard another voice from heaven saying, ‘come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues’" (Revelation 18:3–4).
Although, as the Apostle John wrote, "even now, many antichrists have come" (1 John 2:18), it is also true that the embodiment of Antichrist will be most fully expressed in the great false prophet described in 2 Thessalonians 2:1–10 and Revelation 13:11–14. Probably within the next five to 15 years, this cunning individual will appear on the world scene. He will appear at first as a great "peacemaker" and benefactor of mankind. Before long, he will begin performing miracles—even bringing fire down from heaven (Revelation 13:13)!
But, again, His teaching will be "anti-Christ." There will be lots of ritual, pomp and ceremony and lots of flowery talk. But there will not be the clear teaching of Jesus of Nazareth, to keep God’s commandments and literally imitate Christ—surrendering to let Jesus Christ live His obedient life within us through the Holy Spirit.
Remember always, that is the "key!"
For Satan the Devil is glad to have you "believe in Christ"—as long as your Christ is a false Christ. He is glad to have you go to the "church of your choice"—providing that he can deceive you into going to a church led by blinded, commandment-rejecting theologians. For as Jesus said: "If the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch" (Matthew 15:14).
In Christ’s name, I urge you: please begin to genuinely study your Bible as never before! Also, do yourself a favor and write in for your absolutely free enrollment in our inspiring and most helpful Tomorrow’s World Bible Study Course. Study through this course and follow Paul’s inspired admonition: "Prove all things, hold fast that which is good" (1 Thessalonians 5:21, KJV).
Again, I urge you to write in immediately and request your free copy of our truly revealing booklets entitled The Beast of Revelation and Which Day is the Christian Sabbath? These booklets—coupled with this booklet you are now reading—will give you the full picture and proof of the nature of the powerful and ominous forces now rising in Europe.
As Jesus said: "Watch." Keep your eyes on the revival of the Holy Roman Empire. "Watch" how it slowly but surely begins to gain total power in most of Europe—then Central and South America and, finally, most of the entire world. "Watch" how other churches are, bit by bit, coaxed, persuaded or finally coerced into going back to the "mother" church. Frankly, you will be disappointed to see how many supposedly dedicated Protestant and evangelical leaders will be maneuvered into giving up much of what they have always believed when real pressure is put upon them.
Will you also turn aside from the God of the Bible? Will you join or continue to be part of a watered-down "Christianity" where deceived church members regularly violate God’s commanded Sabbath, where they are "allowed"—or perhaps even encouraged—to fight and to kill in human warfare, contrary to Jesus’ teaching (Matthew 5:43–45)? Will you be part of a church where pomp, ceremony and the worship of idols is practiced, and where the whole concept of literal obedience to the Ten Commandments as a way of life is not taught, and where clever arguments against the need for true Christians to keep God’s commandments are regularly employed against those who dare to heed Christ’s actual words?
Soon, the ultimate personification of the Antichrist will appear on the world scene. Appearing at first as a kind and gentle "peacemaker," he will gradually assert more and more authority. His authority will be enhanced by the false miracles Satan performs through him (Revelation 13:13). Then, the adoring masses will scream with excitement when they see him, and the doctrine of the Antichrist will permeate nearly all of professing Christianity—all except the "little flock" (Luke 12:32) described in Revelation 12:13–17.
For your eternal good, pray for real understanding, faith and courage. Obey Jesus’ instruction: "Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man" (Luke 21:36).