Today’s message summary of April 19, 2015 from Pastor Gus Brown:
The Antichrist is more than just a person–it is a spirit. That spirit is anywhere that you find those that are against Jesus Christ. It permeates throughout society. It is present in its opposition of the proclamation of Christ’s name, and it works through the power of deception.
The key to its presence is the pressure placed on our value system and everything that we stand for. Eventually, just as a heated pot of water eventually boils, all of this will boil over.
The Antichrist is essentially Satan operating in the world. He can appear as an angel of light.
2 Corinthians 11:14
And no wonder! For Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.
Satan can only possess a body–he cannot create a body. He has to find a willing participant who desires to serve him. Demons function in this manner, as well.
When He had come to the other side, to the region of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men met Him as they came out of the tombs. They were so violent that no one could pass that way. Suddenly they shouted, “What do You have to do with us, Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?” Now a long way off from them, a large herd of pigs was feeding. “If You drive us out,” the demons begged Him, “send us into the herd of pigs.” “Go!” He told them. So when they had come out, they entered the pigs. And suddenly the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea and perished in the water.
1 John 2:18
Children, it is the last hour. And as you have heard, “Antichrist is coming,” even now many antichrists have come. We know from this that it is the last hour.
In contrast to the Antichrist (Satan), Christ did not always have a body. He was created by the Holy Spirit in the womb of a virgin.
The Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We observed His glory, the glory as the One and Only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Therefore, as He was coming into the world, He said: You did not want sacrifice and offering, but You prepared a body for Me.
Seeing this in advance, he spoke concerning the resurrection of the Messiah: He was not left in Hades, and His flesh did not experience decay.
God the Father is not in a body.
God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.
In Revelation 13, the first and second beasts are false prophets. Satan mirrors the Holy Trinity with what we can see is the unholy trinity:
- Satan: Antichrist (not seen–see 1 John 2:18)
1 Timothy 4:1
Now the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will depart from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and the teachings of demons.
- The first beast: given authority. He received what appeared to be a fatal wound to the head, but he survived. The whole world will follow him–who is like the beast (the head of the world). This is Satan’s effort to duplicate Christ’s resurrection, but even it is rooted in deception.
- The second beast: lamb (gentle); dragon (forceful) causes all to worship the beast. He will be allowed to exercise all authority on behalf of the first beast and be able to make political and military actions to bring about compliance.
The Holy Trinity:
- God the Father (Spirit–not seen).
For I have come down from heaven, not to do my will, but the will of Him who sent Me.
- Son–Jesus Christ; resurrection–the head of all
Then Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.”
1 Corinthians 15:4-6
…that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve. Then He appeared to over 500 brothers at one time; most of them are still alive, but some have fallen asleep.
He is also the head of the body, the church; He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He might come to have first place in everything.
- The Holy Spirit
When He comes, He will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment.
He will glorify Me, because He will take from what is Mine and declare it to you.
…concerning His son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who was a descendant of David according to the flesh and who has been declared to be th epowerful Son of God by the resurrection from the dead according to the Spirit of holiness.
The Antichrist and his followers are intent to slander and demean God’s name. Churches are losing interest amongst the people. Many stay away from this fellowship believing that “I can have church all by myself.” The problem with this (and Satan knows it) is that it is not what God intended for people to support each other in fellowship, which has a must greater impact on society in proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Satan, in order to capture followers, attempts to follow the same plan as God in order to bring, and even force, people to comply with him through this unholy trinity.
He (the second beast) exercises all the authority of the first beast on his behalf and compels the earth and those who live on it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed. He also performs great signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in front of people. He deceives those who live on the earth because of the signs that he is permitted to perform on behalf of the beast, telling those who live on the earth to make an image of the beast who had the sword wound yet lived. He was permitted to give a spirit to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast could both speak and cause whoever would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. And he requires everyone–small and great, rich and poor, free and slave–to be given a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark: the beast’s name or the number of his name. Here is wisdom: The one who has understanding must calculate the number of the beast, because it is the number of a man. His number is 666.