Sunday, September 30, 2018

Daily Bible Reading - September 30, 2018

Today's Reading:

Revelation 1

Nehemiah 1-2

Psalm 96

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Thoughts and Commentary on Today's Reading   

In Nehemiah 2, we find the story of how Nehemiah was able to return to Jerusalem, after its destruction, and help to rebuild the walls of the city. As Nehemiah surveyed the condition of Jerusalem, at the outset, he found quite a list of issues which needed to be addressed in the rebuilding process:
Nehemiah 2:17 "Then said I unto them, Ye see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lieth waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire: come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach."
But, the condition of the literally city of Jerusalem is more than a point of historical trivia to us today. The condition of Jerusalem in the time of Nehemiah is a shadow-picture of the spiritual condition of God's people, in the Last Days. 

To demonstrate this, let's begin by looking up the word "reproach" in a Strong's Concordance. The word translated as "reproach" in Nehemiah 2:17 is from the Hebrew word cherpah, which means: "a shame, blasphemous, exposed, and a disgrace".

This sounds a whole lot like the Laodicean condition, which we are warned against in Revelation:
Revelation 3:13-17  "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.  So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.  Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked."
Notice how similar the description of the Laodicean condition is compared with the condition of Jerusalem:

Since the Laodicean condition represents the spiritual "lukewarm" condition of the End-time "Christians", we may clearly find a parallel between the condition of Jerusalem - in Nehemiah's day - with the spiritual condition of many Christians in the Last Days. Bearing this in mind, let's return to Nehemiah's description list found in Nehemiah 2:17 so that we may draw spiritual parallels.

#1. Condition of Jerusalem: Gates burned with fire
Nehemiah 2:17 "Then said I unto them, Ye see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lieth waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire: come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach." 
Jerusalem's gates were burned with fire and its walls needed to be rebuilt. What does this symbolize? To answer that we first need to recall what the purpose of a gate and city walls were, in Biblical times. Gates and walls were put up to protect a city. They kept the evil out and preserved what was within. Thus, a city with burned gates and broken down walls was a city with no protection.

Nehemiah remedied the crisis of literal Jerusalem by setting about to rebuild the broken down walls and replace the burned gates. But how can we do this vital work in a spiritual way, to find healing for the spiritual brokenness of a Laodicean spirit?

In Proverbs, a human soul is compared to a city. When there is no "rule" in the soul, we are as spiritually defenseless against the enemy's onslaught as a Bible-times city would have been, without its walls.
Proverbs 25:28  "He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls."
Spiritually then, what is our "wall" of defense? It is God's Rule!

But how has God's Rule come to be broken down, so that we are spiritual cities left without a wall of protection? In Christianity today, a dangerous teaching has crept in which suggests that the Law of God was done away with at the Cross. If we believe that God's Law was done away with when Christ died, we will no longer have a desire to know what it contains, nor will we prayerfully work to incorporate its principles into our lives. Nailed to the Cross = Done Away!

God’s Law is a vital Blessing. Through Grace-empowered obedience to it, we are blessed. Through sinful disobedience to it, we are cursed.

      Deuteronomy 11:26-28 “Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse.  A blessing, if ye obey the Commandments of Yahweh your God, which I command you this day:  And a curse, if ye will not obey the Commandments of Yahweh your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known.” 

      Psalm 19:7-9 “The Law of Yahweh is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of Yahweh is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of Yahweh are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of Yahweh is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of Yahweh is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of Yahweh are true and righteous altogether.” 

David Was Listing the Parts of the Law in Psalm 19! He was also listing the powerful ways the Law blesses us

      The LAW of Yahweh is perfect – converting the soul (the Law is what truly converts a sinful soul)

      The STATUTES of Yahweh are right – rejoicing the heart (the Law is a source of great joy to the heart)

      The COMMANDMENT of Yahweh is pure – enlightening the eyes (the Law brings wisdom)

Defining the Law – the word translated as “Law” in the Old Testament means:

     “Law of Yahweh” is translated from the original Hebrew word Torah (to-raw), meaning: “A precept, or statute, especially the Decalogue, or Pentateuch: - Law” (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, #8451).

Defining the Law – the word translated as “Law” in the New Testament means:

       “Law,” is the Greek word Nomos.  Nomos, according to Strong’s Concordance (#3551), means: “Law, regulation, specifications of Moses, also of the Gospel, a principle.” 

By these definitions, we know that the Law of Yahweh: is the complete Torah – or Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy

In the Words of Christ, we can clearly see that Yahshua did not come to do away with the Law, either in His Life or Death. The Law is still in full effect until Heaven and Earth pass away.

·         “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets… For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, til all be fulfilled.” Matt 5:17-18

The Law of Yahweh is so important that it is actually the Standard by which we will all be judged:

      2 Corinthians 10:12-13  “For we dare not… compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.  But… according to the measure of the rule which God hath distributed to us…”

      James 2:10-12 “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For He that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the Law. So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.”

There are two Laws. We serve one or the other. One is the Law of Sin. The other is the Law of God.

·         Romans 7:23-25 “But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?… With the mind I myself serve the Law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.” 

Sin = Breaking the Law of God. Thus, without the Law, there would be no sin at all. This is one evidence that the Law of God existed even prior to God’s Creation of Earth. The Bible says that Iniquity – or sin – was first conceived in Lucifer’s Heart (in Heaven) – Ezekiel 28:14-15. If Lucifer could sin, and sin is Biblically defined as breaking the Law of Yahweh, then the Law of God must have been in existence in Heaven.

      1 John 3:4 “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the Law: for sin is the transgression of the Law.” 

Obedience to God’s Law is a Salvational Issue. The Bible lists Law Breaking, calling it “The Works of the Flesh.” It also says that those who break the Law by doing these “works of the flesh” will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

      Galatians 5:19-21 “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like… They which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” 

Spiritual Warfare is only effective when we also believe in obedience to God’s Law. Spiritual Bondage comes from Law-breaking. The more of God’s Law we break, the more strong are the enemy’s shackles that bind our souls. 

 “His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins,”

Proverbs 5:22

How We Come to Be in Bondage:

What causes a person to become enslaved to Satan in the first place? The answer is found in Proverbs 5:22:

Our own “iniquities” (our faults and sins) “shall take” (trap of catch in a net) the “wicked” (the ungodly) himself. And we are all “holden” (held fast) with “the cords” (rope or snare) of our sins.

What does “Holden in the cords of our sins” mean? It means we are unable to get free from the devil’s bondage.

Spiritual Warfare is NEUTRALIZED without Grace-empowered Obedience to God’s Law:

·         According to Psalm 59:1-2, God will not hear our prayers if we have iniquity (or sin) in our lives.

·         We are only Christ’s true disciples if we continue in His Word and know the Truth. For the Truth makes us free – John 8:31-32.

·         What is the epicenter of Truth – from which all doctrine is checked – and out from which all Truth radiates? 

o   “To the Law and to the testimony, if they speak not according to this Word, there is no Light in them,” Isaiah 8:20.

The Biblical Formula for True Success

·         Psalm 1:1-3 “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.  But his delight is in the Law of Yahweh; and in His Law doth he meditate day and night.  And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” 

Walking in the Counsel of the Ungodly means – taking the advice of someone who disregards or breaks the Torah.

Standing in the Way of Sinners means – Hanging out with, and thinking, talking or acting like the Lawless world.

Sitting in the Seat of the Scornful means – disrespecting God’s Law either in our thinking or by allowing it in our associates.

Delighting in the Law of God means to:

  • Delight to do God’s Will - Psalm 40:8
  • Hide His Word in your heart (memorize Scripture) - Psalm 119:11
  • Delighting in His Law protects me from affliction - Psalm 119:92
  • When I love God, I will keep His Commandments - 1 John 5:3

Psalm 119:97 “O how love I Thy Law! It is my meditation all the day.”  

Instead of Viewing God’s Law as a bunch of restrictions, we should understand it is our guardrail of protection against the enemy. It is our spiritual wall of protection. As we prayerfully study it and incorporate its principles into our lives and homes, we are spiritually rebuilding the Wall, restoring our spiritual defenses and God's Protection against the enemy.


Saturday, September 29, 2018

Daily Bible Reading - September 29, 2018

Today's Reading:

Jude 1

Ezra 9-10

Psalm 95

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Thoughts and Commentary on Today's Reading   

In Psalm 95, we read about the dangers of "hardening" our
Psalm 95:7-11 "For He is our God; and we are the people of His Pasture, and the sheep of His Hand. Today, if ye will (are willing), hear His Voice. Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted Me, proved Me, and saw My Work. Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known My Ways: Unto whom I sware in My Wrath that they should not enter into My Rest." 
We all need to beware of hardening our hearts. Doing so is deadly, because to do so is to shut out the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Once the heart is fully hard, we grieve away the Holy Spirit, and ultimately commit the "unpardonable sin"! 

So, how can we prevent hardening our hearts? Are they danger signs to warn us of the steps along the way? The best protection against it is to deliberately soften your heart towards God and to seek to hear His Voice.  Make it your aim to listen to and obey the Voice of God through His Word and prayer.  If you do these things His Voice will grow clearer and louder, like a radio being tuned in better and turned up in volume. 

Failing to do this "stores up Wrath" against us:

Romans 2:4-5 (NIV) - "Or do you show contempt for the riches of His kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness is intended  to lead you to repentance? But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up Wrath against yourself for the Day of God's Wrath, when His righteous Judgment will be revealed."         
It has been said that the same sun which hardens clay, softens butter. In this analogy, Yahweh is like the sun. He doesn't change. His love and truth remain constant. But how do we respond to Him? Are we hardened? Or are we melted? The choice is really ours - and the determining factor is based upon what we choose.

Consider the Parable of the Sower, told by Yahshua. The Sower goes out to sow His Good Seed, but 3/4 of it falls on unfavorable ground. Only 25% of the Good Seed feel on good ground. But Good Ground is made receptive to Seed by proper soil preparation. In a spiritual sense, we also may make the effort to dig, weed and soften the “soil” of our hearts.

The kind of heart you have developed over your life so far is largely what determines how you respond to God’s Word when you hear it.  The point of the parable is that it is up to you to work on the ‘soil’ of your own heart.  You must dig it and soften it to enable yourself to hear and act on God’s Word. In other words, the responsibility for the state of your heart is yours.  It is not something beyond your control, by God's Grace.  It may be a painful and difficult process to change it, but it is worth the effort.

If your heart is hard and stony like the path or the rocky ground, then God’s Word, (represented by the seed) will not be able to get through to you in order to germinate.  The “birds” will eat it before it has any effect on you. Or, even if God’s Word begins to affect you, like the seed that germinates in the rocky ground, it cannot put down any deep roots in your life, because your heart is too hard.

If you are like that, make a decision now to persistently and deliberately do everything you can to soften your heart towards Yahweh.  You can do that by repenting, reading the Word of Yahweh - daily, humbling yourself, and prayerfully aligning your life with what you have found in His Word.
Hosea 10:12  "Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek Yahweh, till He come and Rain righteousness upon you."  
As you do those things prayerfully and diligently it is just like a gardener digging into rocky ground, taking out stones and putting in compost and manure to improve it. As he does this, day-after-day, the soil will steadily improve.  Our hearts are just the same. Thus, it is our responsibility to actively participate in softening our hearts and to not let them remain hard or stony.

If the problem is weeds, the gardener tackles it by removing and preventing them so that his soil has fewer of them.  You can do the same by removing things from your life which you know are likely to distract you or lead you into temptation or bad company.  You might not have realized that God expects you to do anything about those things, but He does.  

In 2 Chronicles, Yahweh gives a few of the vital steps to take to be healed of a hard heart:
2 Chronicles 7:12-14 (NKJV) "Then Yahweh appeared to Solomon by night, and said to him: “I have heard your prayer, and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice. When I shut up Heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, if My people who are called by My Name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My Face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land."
Duke Taber, in his online article, "4 Spiritual Tools to Transform a Hard Heart", explains the steps . Now most of the time when I hear people preach or teach on this passage they seem to skip over all of it and focus on the repentance part. The turning away from the wicked ways. That is an important part, but to see a real change in your heart you have to take each step one at a time. There are 4 steps to this process:

#1 Cultivate Humility

I think the biggest roadblock that most Christians have today in seeing their hardened hearts changed, is the fact that they have convinced themselves that they are doing okay.
They look around and compare themselves to each other and as long as nobody is outwardly doing the major sins, they think that they have arrived.

There is a really big pride problem in the church today. We have to come to the point that we once again see our need to tear down the idols that we have allowed to rise up in our hearts and lives.

#2 Develop An Intimate Prayer Life.

Prayer has been turned into some type of magical formula that get’s God to do what we want. Prayer is not designed to be used to give Santa Claus your wish list.

It is supposed to be a deep and intimate conversation with your heavenly Father. We must get back to that intimacy with God. We must start dealing in prayer with the realization of our idolatry and hardheartedness.

We have to stop asking God to give revival to the United States and start asking Him to revive us personally. We have to see that it starts with us.

#3 Learn To Seek His Face.

Here is the whole key to seeing your hard heart softened. This is the answer to how you can get to the point of turning away from your wicked ways.
A good friend of mine many years ago told me that I had a choice before me. He said I should go look into a dumpster and see all the garbage, and then I should go and look out from the local mountaintop at all of God’s creation.
He then asked me, which one do I want to look at all the time? Well the answer was obvious
When we seek God’s face, we are looking to see His beauty and glory. When we see that beauty and glory, then why would we want to settle for dumpster diving?
It softens our hearts and makes us willing to turn from the garbage that we have been holding onto and viewing as some type of treasure.

#4 Turn From The Inside Out.

It is when we have completed the first 3 steps that our heart and will is changed and we no longer want those wicked ways, but instead we want the beauty and glory of God in our lives. The turning becomes easy.
Psalm 95:7-11 "For He is our God; and we are the people of His Pasture, and the sheep of His Hand. Today, if ye will (are willing), hear His Voice. Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted Me, proved Me, and saw My Work. Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known My Ways: Unto whom I sware in My Wrath that they should not enter into My Rest."

Friday, September 28, 2018

Daily Bible Reading - September 28, 2018

Today's Reading:

3 John 1

Ezra 7-8

Psalm 94

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Thoughts and Commentary on Today's Reading   

In 3 John 1:2, we find a beautiful assurance: it is Yahweh's Will for His people to prosper physically as well as spiritually. This means that Yahweh wants us to be in good health!
"Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth."

For optimum health (and healing), follow your Designer's hand-book: The BIBLE.
Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says Yahweh, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." 
There are 8 principles for health that are given in Scripture:

The Bible has a lot to say about what to eat - and what not to eat. Following the Bible's instructions is vitally important to good health - and spiritual wellness also. Remember Daniel would not eat the king's meat as it would have "defiled" him. The word "defiled" is a word meaning spiritual corruption. Clearly, our eating habits can effect our relationship with Yahweh. This gives us all the more reason to follow Biblical counsel on what we eat.


1 Timothy 4:8 informs us, “For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” Notice that the verse does not negate the need for exercise. Rather, it says that exercise is valuable, but it prioritizes exercise correctly by saying that godliness is of greater value.

Paul also mentions physical training in illustrating spiritual truth in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27. He equates the Christian life to a race we run to “get the prize.” But the prize we seek is an eternal crown that will not tarnish or fade. In 2 Timothy 2:5, Paul says, “Similarly, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor's crown unless he competes according to the rules.” 
Paul uses an athletic analogy again in 2 Timothy 4:7: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” While the focus of these Scriptures is not physical exercise, the fact that Paul uses athletic terminology to teach us spiritual truths indicates that Paul viewed physical exercise, and even competition, in a positive light. We are both physical and spiritual beings. While the spiritual aspect of our being is, biblically speaking, more important, we are to neglect neither the spiritual or physical aspects of our health.
So, clearly, there is nothing wrong with a Christian exercising. In fact, the Bible is clear that we are to take good care of our bodies (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). At the same time, the Bible warns against vanity (1 Samuel 16:7Proverbs 31:301 Peter 3:3-4). Our goal in exercise should not be to improve the quality of our bodies so that other people will notice and admire us. Rather, the goal of exercising should be to improve our physical health so we will possess more physical energy that we can devote to spiritual goals.
Drinking sufficient water is important to good health also.
You may have heard that you should aim to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. How much you should actually drink is more individualized than you might think. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) currently recommends that men should drink at least 104 ounces of water per day, which is 13 cups. They say women should drink at least 72 ounces, which is 9 cups.


It's the health message that comes around every year with the first warm day: beware of the sun. The dangers of skin cancer from unprotected sun exposure are now well known. But that's only half the story.

The health value of sunlight, lauded by the ancient Greeks and Romans, has been largely eclipsed in recent years by concerns about skin cancer. But while this is a very real, and increasing, problem evidence is also emerging that small to moderate amounts of exposure are positively healthy.
Sunlight plays a vital role in the production of vitamin D in the body, and it's believed that the vitamin may have a role in stopping or slowing the growth of tumors by preventing the overproduction of cells, as well as in boosting bones. Vitamin D is available in some foods, but it is estimated that up to 90 per cent comes from exposure to sunlight.
Vitamin D deficiency is linked to osteoporosis and bone health and growth, and may contribute to bone fractures. Low levels of the vitamin have also been associated with rickets. According to research at the Radiation Effects Research Foundation, Japan, 100 to 200 units of vitamin D need to be obtained each day from sunlight: "Considering the risks of skin cancer caused by sunlight exposure, short trips outside on sunny days, and 30-60 minutes on rainy days, would be appropriate,'' they say.
Temperance is one of the Fruits of the Holy Spirit, also known as self-control. We need to exercise temperance in not partaking of too much- for even a good thing is not good if done in excess. We also need to exercise temperance in choosing to abstain from all that is not good.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20  "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." 

Humans need fresh air because it cleanses the lungs and improves metabolic rate, blood pressure and heart rate, according to Pillars of Health. Fresh air also strengthens the immune system, soothes nerves, stimulates appetite and digestion, facilitates sleep, improves concentration, and clears the mind.
Proper ventilation results in fresh air in homes. Pillars of Health discourages smoking at home and encourages regular breathing exercises. Good posture, such as sitting straight, allows the lungs to take in enough fresh air. Natural air fresheners, such as essential oils, should be used in homes instead of artificial fragrances. Plants improve air quality by absorbing carbon dioxide and toxic pollutants and releasing oxygen. This is why plants should be placed in homes and workplaces.

Spending time outdoors also improves levels of oxygen in the body. Fresh air improves energy levels because sufficient oxygen is required for energy production. Air purifiers can be used in homes to remove air contaminants and prevent upper respiratory illnesses, such as asthma, allergy and colds. A polluted environment should be avoided to prevent health implications.
7. REST 

Sleep is a vital indicator of overall health and well-being. We spend up to one-third of our lives asleep, and the overall state of our "sleep health" remains an essential question throughout our lifespan.

Most of us know that getting a good night’s sleep is important, but too few of us actually make those eight or so hours between the sheets a priority. For many of us with sleep debt, we’ve forgotten what “being really, truly rested” feels like.

To further complicate matters, stimulants like coffee and energy drinks, alarm clocks, and external lights—including those from electronic devices—interferes with our "circadian rhythm" or natural sleep/wake cycle.

Sleep needs vary across ages and are especially impacted by lifestyle and health. To determine how much sleep you need, it's important to assess not only where you fall on the "sleep needs spectrum," but also  to examine what lifestyle factors are affecting the quality and quantity of your sleep such as work schedules and stress.


Trust in Yahweh is the most important element for good health.  This is because health is more than physical well-being - it is also spiritual. God wants His people to have the whole package. When we trust in Yahweh, we have peace instead of fear, rest instead of stress, and faith instead of worry.

3 John 1:2  "Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth."

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Daily Bible Reading - September 27, 2018

Today's Reading:

2 John 1

Ezra 5-6

Psalm 93

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Thoughts and Commentary on Today's Reading   

In 2 John 1, we find many important things, but one of the most vital principles of this chapter is the key to identifying the spirit of antichrist:
2 John 1:7 "For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Yahshua Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist."
Sandee Freed addresses the subject of the spirit of antichrist so thoroughly that I will not re-invent the wheel, so-to-speak, rather I will quote from her online article titled "Who or What is Antichrist?" 
To put it simply, the Antichrist is everything that is anti Christ. In other words, it is everything that opposes Christ and the Gospel of Christ. Since the great opponent of Christ is the devil, then Satan himself—and all of the evil he perpetuates—is the Antichrist (with a capital A).

The word antichrist is mentioned in only four passages of the Bible. All four are found in 1 and 2 John when (Yahshua) warned His disciples of false prophets (we will discuss this in further detail later). Many theologians and futurists, however, believe that the Antichrist is the beast mentioned in the books of Revelation and Daniel.

Many people have written articles and books, preached sermons and even spoken on prime-time television to give their opinion of exactly who the Antichrist may be and from where he originates. My purpose... is not to suggest the name of a particular person today who might possibly exhibit the characteristics of the one known as the Antichrist in the end times. Rather, I am sure that Satan himself is the Antichrist, and I believe he will manifest in a certain person during what Scripture terms the “end times,” but I am also confident that in the last days an antichrist system will adversely influence the world to be anti-Christ. This antichrist system targets God’s children and seduces us to believe lies concerning not only ourselves but also God...

Working Since the Beginning of Time

When focusing on the Antichrist, most Christians consider the end time effects of the person who will seek to lead the world “anti” Christ. I believe, however, that the spirit of antichrist has been at work since the beginning of time. It was working when Eve was in the Garden, and it has been working to lead God’s people away from Him ever since.

All of us are aware of how Satan attempts to undermine the works of God and how his deception began in the Garden as he seduced Eve (see Genesis 3). In the same way, the Antichrist’s primary work is deception, and this deceptive spirit will target the people upon the earth until the end of time. The thread of Satan’s deceptive nature is traced from Genesis through Revelation and reaches its climax in the Antichrist—Satan himself, as seen in Revelation 13:4.

If it were not important for God’s people to understand the devil and his seductions, then why did (Yahweh) expose him in the very first book of the Bible? The evil forces were disclosed in the book of Genesis, a Hebrew name meaning “the beginning.” Genesis 1:1 states, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” So in the very first verse, God’s Word identifies the beginnings of the works of God. Then in the third chapter, God describes the beginning of Satan’s attack on humanity:

Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which (Yahweh) God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” (Genesis 3:1, NASB)

The first appearance of Satan in the Bible, then, shows his deceptive nature. And ever since, the enemy has spread his evil words, planting evil seeds in our thoughts and minds.

Dear ones, this deception is still happening today. While the Antichrist is not yet just one person, it is a demonically inspired system whose purpose is to steal the minds of our children and abort the destiny of every believer. Whether through politics, abortion clinics, the courts, the legislature, public school teachings, false religious structures, religious legalism, television, the news media or Hollywood, the voice of the enemy is sounding off loud and clear.

The Serpent and Our Identity Crisis

Part of what we are experiencing today is what Eve faced in the Garden: an identity crisis. We do not know who we are in Christ, and the devil uses our ignorance to destroy us. He attempts to sound like God, and we must be alert to his craftiness in these last days. “Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which (Yahweh) God had made” (Genesis 3:1, emphasis added).

In this first appearance of the enemy of God’s people, the Bible calls Satan a serpent, or snake. The Hebrew word for serpent is linked with the word “hiss,” and “to whisper a magic spell.”3 So here in the first part of the book of Genesis where we meet God’s archenemy for the first time, we also see the genesis, or beginning, of witchcraft—one of the major weapons the enemy uses against the Body of Christ...

This introduction to Satan also says that he is subtle, which means “crafty.” The Hebrew word subtle is linked to a word that refers to “giving crafty counsel.”4 In other words, the snake, or Satan, gave Eve wrong counsel. Hence, the seduction began.

[The serpent] said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:1–5, NIV)

Satan convinced Eve that God did not want her to be like Him. In other words, he made Eve feel “less than.” Man’s weakness often lies in feeling “less than,” “left out” and “forgotten.” Satan baited Eve with an evil, cunning suggestion that God did not want anyone else to be like Him. Satan implied that God wanted her to remain ignorant of all that she could be or have!

This may seem ridiculous at first, but when we stop and ponder it we have to realize that we, as humans, want to know! Think about it. We like to be in the know. We enjoy being part of the in-crowd who is in the know. We want to know everyone’s secrets. We even feel left out (maybe abandoned) if we are not let in on “privileged information,” when it is usually none of our business! For some strange reason we feel more important if we know something about someone that no one else knows. We thrive on knowing everything, don’t we? In fact, if we are not careful we easily boast in our knowledge and all that we know. It is a human weakness to become prideful and puffed up with head knowledge.

Satan knew this about Eve. So he targeted her weakness and twisted the truth. You see, Eve was already like God because she was created in His image! She had everything available to her because God breathed His life into her and fashioned her after Himself. And yet, Eve did not fully know who she was in Christ, so she experienced an identity crisis. And Satan used her ignorance to destroy her (and then Adam). The devil could have chosen any other area to target, and yet he chose Eve’s self-image. Smart move. Subtle. Crafty. Cunning.

In the same way today, Satan uses our ignorance to destroy us. He is still making subtle suggestions concerning our identity—just as he did to Eve. We fall into the same trap that she did, day in and day out. Satan comes to us in a subtle fashion, speaking evil counsel, and we take the bait. Our enemy is seductive and sly. He attacks us in our minds and in our belief systems concerning our “image problem.” He was sly in the Garden, and he is sly today. The entire antichrist structure is set in place to cause us to doubt our relationship with God and our identity in Him.

What, then, are we believers to do? We are exhorted to “put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator” (Colossians 3:10, NIV). This means that we should remove ourselves from old “clothing,” or what we have worn in the past. If we have worn shame, for example, then we are to remove our garments of shame and put on the image of God! If we have worn guilt, then we are to remove those garments of guilt and put on the image of God. If we have worn anger, then we are to remove those garments of anger and put on the image of God. After all, we were created in His image: We look like God!
The problem is that we do not know that. We do not really believe that God loves us, desires to bless us and that we have the goods to defeat the devil! But we do! We are to be overcomers. God created us to be the light, and in order to be all He wants us to be we must renew our minds continually in order to overthrow antichrist structures that we have allowed to be seated in elevated positions in our lives.

New Testament Teaching on the Antichrist

Now let’s take a look at some of what the New Testament says about the Antichrist. Nelson’s Bible Dictionary says the Antichrist is “the dragon” in Revelation 12 and 13:4; “the serpent” in Genesis 3; “the sum of all the beasts” in Revelation 13:4 (also in Daniel 7, which is an Old Testament prophecy); and the “false prophet” (1 John 2:18, 22; 4:3; 2 John 7). The Antichrist is also referred to by many as the “lawless one” who will be empowered by Satan to lead a final rebellion against God:

Let no one deceive you in any way; for that day will not come unless the rebellion comes first and the lawless one is revealed, the one destined for destruction.... The coming of the lawless one is apparent in the working of Satan, who uses all power, signs, lying wonders, and every kind of wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. (2 Thessalonians 2:3, 9–10, NRSV)

Although the apostle Paul did not address the seductions of the enemy as the Antichrist (or the markings of an antichrist belief system), he most certainly understood that a great apostasy, or a falling away, would take place before the Second Coming of Christ. Paul also firmly encourages believers to stand in faith and not be deceived by the seductiveness of the Antichrist’s ability to perform counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders.

The apostle John describes the “spirit of antichrist” as the one who opposes Christ:

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that (Yahshua) Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess (Yahshua) is not from God. And this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming; and now it is already in the world. Little children, you are from God, and have conquered them; for the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore what they say is from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us, and whoever is not from God does not listen to us. From this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. 1 John 4:1–6, NRSV

In summary, John makes nine main points in his description of the spirit of antichrist:

  • Test the spirits to see if they are from God. 
  • Many false prophets are “in the world.” These false prophets are teaching error and false doctrine. 
  • Spirits that do not confess Christ are not from God and are the spirit of antichrist. Any religion or religious teacher, therefore, that does not confess Christ as Savior is of an anti–Christ nature. 
  • The Antichrist is coming and is also already here. (It was active then and it is definitely active today. It is not waiting until the “last days” to manifest.) 
  • If we are children of God (His seed), then we have conquered the spirit of antichrist and the teachings of the false prophets. 
  • The antichrist spirit is from the world. (I refer to this as the seed of Satan because he desires his own seed just as God has His.) 
  • What the Antichrist says is from the world, and only the world listens to him. Only those “of the world” listen to false teachings. (This brings up a question to ponder: Why do we believe the lies of the enemy? If Satan is of the world, and we are not, then we should not be heeding his lie.) 
  • Those who know God listen to the true apostles. Those not of God will not heed sound doctrine. 
  • The spirit of antichrist is rooted in a spirit of error.
John uses the term antichrist to refer to one who stands in opposition to all that (Yahshua) Christ represents (see also 1 John 2:18, 22; 4:3; 2 John 7). In other words, whatever is not “for Christ” is, therefore, “anti-Christ.” It is just that simple. (