|- J. Preston Eby -
In dealing with issues so vast and extensive as those we have considered in these messages on THE ANTICHRIST, I am well aware that I have passed over many wonderful truths of overwhelming importance. As the antichrist spirit has been uncovered, the man of sin unmasked, and the antichrist system exposed, my great concern has been that beyond it all men might truly, as never before, SEE THE LORD. My deepest desire is to know Christ, not antichrist. I want to know not just about him, I want to intimately and fully know HIM. I want the Holy Spirit to take the things of Christ and make them real to me. Therefore I am more interested in CHRIST than in antichrist, and I am more concerned about the MARK OF GOD than I am with anything that pertains to the mark of the beast.
We stand before God in truth as did the queen of Sheba before Solomon as we read in I Kings 10:4-5, "And when the queen of Sheba had seen all Solomon's wisdom, and the house that he had built, and the meat of his table, and the sitting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their apparel, and his cupbearers, and his ascent by which he went up unto the house of the Lord; THERE WAS NO MORE SPIRIT IN HER." There is no more of our own spirit within us as we are melted before the revelation of the glory of the Lord in this day. For those who have received the call to sonship, incomplete as the present revelation is, yet we find that God is beginning to cause us to realize something of the magnitude and wonder of the work He is doing within our own beings as He brings us as Sons to His own glory.
No man who ever lived walked more faithfully with God than our Lord Jesus Christ and none was ever endued with so great an anointing as He. Mighty were the signs and wonders that followed the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, yet even that bountiful outpouring was given by measure, the "earnest" of the Spirit, but of Jesus Christ the pattern Son it is written, "God gives not the Spirit by measure unto Him" (Jn. 3:34). Time and again I have marveled at the wisdom with which He spoke, the nature in which He walked, and the power with which He ministered.
In the gospel of John, chapter five, Jesus has come up to Jerusalem to attend the feast. As He reaches the city He comes to the Pool of Bethesda and looks into the pool. There are five porches around that pool. He passes through the porches, and at last comes to a poor man, sick for thirty-eight years, who has been pushed away from the sacred spring. The man is lying there miserable and weary and we can imagine his cry: "O Jehovah Rapha! Jehovah my Healer! Have You come to earth? Is it true that You have come to save us? O Jehovah Rapha! Have You come to open the eyes of the blind, to give hearing to the deaf, and to make the lame man walk? Oh Christ of God! Have You no hope for me?" He pauses as he hears the Voice, "Will You be made whole?" And he looks up into the face of a Man who is looking down at him, asking that strange question, "Will You be made whole?"
Now you can imagine a man in this condition, who has been carried there for over thirty years, turning around and saying, "What is the use of asking me such a question? My mother carried me here to this pool when I was a baby, my father brought me here when he could. The hands of those who loved me best are moldering in the grave, and I have only a few friends to carry me here now. But others push me back and when the water is moved I cannot get down to the pool. But I still hope. I have been thirty-eight years sick. Of course I am willing to be made whole. What is the use of asking me such a question?" That's what a man today would probably have answered. "Why of course I am willing." But he doesn't talk like that. The Man that is speaking to him has said, "Will you be made whole?" and there goes right down into his heart a strange sensation, his whole being vibrates like a harp when every string is touched by a master hand. That Voice is unlike any thing he ever heard. "Will you be made whole?" Gently he explains that he has no man to help put him into the pool, but that others when he is coming, step down before him. Then he waits with his eyes fixed on the Man who has so strangely appealed to his will. He gets ready, for the very next moment he hears the Voice of Him who is the Resurrection and the Life, of Him who is the Lord of lords and King of kings say, "Rise, take up your bed and walk!" And in a moment there comes into his body with that Word, power; and he rises, takes up that bedroll, rolls it up and walks home, set free from the bonds of Satan who has bound him for thirty-eight years.
Precious friend of mine, ponder if you will, this solemn inquiry: Have you truly SEEN and MET Jesus the Christ? Has the Holy Spirit ever revealed to you that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God? Has He come to you, not as a man in the streets of ancient Jerusalem, but in mighty spirit power to deal a death blow to the works of the devil in your life, to renew your mind, transform your nature, and completely and forever MAKE YOU WHOLE in the image of God? If you have seen Him even through a glass darkly, you will be as Isaiah who wrote, "In the year that king Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and His train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: and one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of His glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke." If we see Him in this way, we will cry as Isaiah did, "Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have SEEN THE KING, the Lord of hosts." Any man who sees the glory of God so longs to be rid of the filth of his sin and the wretched defilement of the bestial system of this world that he cries, "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting" (Ps. 139:23-24).
Do you see the Christ high and lifted up upon the throne in your temple? What part does He have in your life? "Oh," you say, "I am a member of the Church. I attend its services, I take its communion, I received it baptism, I see its forms and ceremonies, I see more services and activities and programs, I sing psalms, I have had hands laid on me, and I believe in miracles!" You can have all these things and never see the Christ! When we see Christ, my friend, neither heaven above nor earth beneath can find terms grand enough to express the wonder of His presence, or the miracle of the transforming power that comes into our lives with His Word, for in seeing Him we are eternally changed, as the apostle said, "Beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, we are constantly being transfigured into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another" (II Cor. 3:18, KJV & Amplified).
This concluding article of the series on THE ANTICHRIST will not be a systematic study of the subject as have the preceding ones. My hope is to share with my readers a few "fragments" and "gleanings" that have been omitted along the way due to lack of space. Many use the term "antichrist" to designate an end-time super-deceiver who will embody the spirit of opposition to God and who shall emerge upon the world scene, grasping the reins of international political power, inaugurating an unprecedented reign of terror and time of tribulation over all the peoples and nations of earth. This unscriptural usage is unfortunate. The Bible nowhere speaks of "the end-time antichrist"! The Church today is full of energetic and sincere preachers and teachers who are just full and bubbling over concerning things that are going to happen. Almost daily I receive across my desk their dire prophecies of doom and terrifying predictions of the coming antichrist, economic collapse, earthquakes, assassinations, Illuminati conspiracies, that this or that is the mark of the beast, etc., often complete with dates and time tables, none of which ever come to pass. It should be very humiliating to have world events continually follow a course exactly opposite to that which has been mapped out by one's prophetic teaching, and to have one's predictions proven false almost before the ink is dry on his paper. But not these false prophets! They are masters at glibly side-stepping their repeated failures with the assertion that they said merely that such-and-such "might" happen or "could" happen, or enough people prayed so that it "didn't" happen, or their vision of the date involved was a little "hazy" so that it "may" have been 1990 instead of 1980! With feigned words and deceit they dupe and delude their sensation-seeking followers.
The world pays no attention to the modern day preacher when he always cries "Wolf". By that I mean that the world today pays no attention to all this "calamity howling" being broadcast by the preachers. it is just something to joke about or to be endured by the world at large. Prophecies and sermons are given in the thousands of words. Books are published by the hundreds of thousands, giving dates and times and cycles and calamities that are to take place and NEVER DO THEY COME TO PASS. So the world scarcely notices, and goes on about its business of trying to make ends meet and keep up with the demands of daily living in a technological world. People sell or give away all their possessions and loudly proclaim the end of the world or the coming of the Lord, and many times assemble themselves in various places to await the supposed coming events. The time for their happening comes and goes, and the disappointed and disillusioned people are left destitute. Yet there are countless others waiting to be duped and disillusioned by some one else! Ah, beloved, it is high time for all the preachers and teachers and would-be prophets to leave their ignorance of God and His majestic purposes and acknowledge publicly their desperate lack, forsaking forever the delusions of their dead letter-of-the-Word interpretations of prophecy, and turning to the Lord for true SPIRITUAL wisdom and understanding.
Now, the remainder of this article will consist of "fragments" and "gleanings" brief, sometimes disconnected thoughts and insights the Spirit of God has quickened to my heart throughout these months of meditation and writing on this subject of the antichrist and the mark of the beast.
THE MAN OF SIN
We must understand that the antichrist has never been, and never will be, a real personage, The word comes from a compound Greek word made up of the preposition "anti" and the Greek word for Christ which is "Christos". "Anti" is a Greek word meaning "opposed to" or "instead of". The Greek word "Christos" means "anointed". Therefore we find that the word "antichrist" properly signifies one who opposes, or one who sets himself up in the place of Christ, by appropriating some of the attributes of Christ. That is, antichrist appears AS Christ and by so doing is actually AGAINST Christ - usurping the place that rightly belongs to Christ alone! Anything that is placed INSTEAD OF Christ, is literally antichrist. Our lives and our Churches have been literally filled with the spirit and system of antichrist! Previous articles in this series go into detail on this point.
Now I wish to point out a very important truth concerning the term and tenure of the "man of sin". Note carefully the words of the apostle Paul in II Thes. 2:3-4. "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day SHALL NOT COME, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin BE REVEALED, the son of perdition: who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God." I would especially draw your attention to the TENSES of the verbs in verse three: "opposes", "exalts", "sits", "showing", "is" - these are all PRESENT TENSE. They indicate that at the very time the apostle penned these words this man of sin was ALREADY EXISTING AND OPERATING!
Now, let us go back to verse three and notice the difference in the tenses of the verbs in that verse. Paul says that that day "shall not come" except there "(shall have) come" a falling away, and that man of sin "(shall have been) revealed". These are all FUTURE PERFECT TENSE - indicating that the actions expressed in verse four have been in operation before the actions expressed in verse three shall operate to completion. So we see that the tenure of the "man of sin" was already in force in Paul's day and would continue right on until he "shall have been revealed" and subsequently, in verse eight, "consumed with the spirit of His mouth, and destroyed with the brightness of His coming."
Today, nineteen hundred years later, the "man of sin" is still not revealed except to a few. Have you noticed, dear one, that Paul does not say of the man of sin that he should be BORN - but that he would be REVEALED. He does not say that he suddenly emerges upon the world scene, nor that he seizes political power, nor that he marshals vast armies - but simply that the one who was already, in his day, sitting in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God, opposing and exalting himself above the rule of the Spirit - would be REVEALED. The whole world has been waiting for the man of sin to be revealed, and now by the grace of God HE IS BEING REVEALED as the Lord makes known to His apprehended ones the awful depths of our own inherent sin, self-will, and carnal minds which ARE ENMITY AGAINST GOD and are not subject to God, neither indeed can be.
This man of sin seated within our very own temple of God will do everything within his power to conceal his identity, for his discovery is his undoing! He is hidden, not to Christ and God, but to the man who is not walking in the Spirit. As our lives become exposed to the life and light of Christ the man of sin IS REVEALED, uncovered, exposed - then to be dealt with, destroyed, consumed by the bright-burning of the arising of the sun of righteousness within our hearts. If the cunning, craftiness, subtleness, deceitfulness, treachery, and wickedness of the self-ego of old Adam's nature is being uncovered, revealed, exposed by the Spirit's dealings, then know, beloved, that THE HOUR OF HIS DESTRUCTION IS AT HAND. The order is: REVEALED... DESTROYED! Praise the name of the Lord!
This long tenure of operation of the man of sin is, then, at least 1900 years, the totality of the Church age. This definitely precludes the possibility of the man of sin being a single man upon the earth in one specific time period. The active period of any human being's dominating influence is generally limited to a decade or a quarter century. Surely it is evident that the man of sin is not an individual human being! But who will argue with the fact that the CHURCH WORLD has been dominated by the self-ego and carnal mindedness of MAN throughout the nineteen long centuries of Church history! Ah, the man of sin has RULED in the temple of God, but thank God! the day for the CLEANSING OF THE TEMPLE has come and for all who are apprehended of God to be a part of this great work the Spirit is faithfully and relentlessly purging, refining, crushing, and stripping these of all that pertains to the wickedness and power of the carnal mind
IS MAITREYA THE ANTICHRIST?
(originally written in 1982)
Perhaps the boldest effort ever made to bring forth a world antichrist occurred on April 25, 1982, when major newspapers around the world carried a full-page advertisement which proclaimed in part: "In Answer To Our Call For Help, As World Teacher For All Humanity - THE CHRIST IS NOW HERE. HOW WILL WE RECOGNIZE HIM? Look for a modern man concerned with modern problems - political, economic, and social. Since July, 1977, the Christ has been emerging as a spokesman for a group or community in a well-known modern country. He is not a religious leader, but an educator in the broadest sense of the word - pointing the way out of our present crisis. We will recognize Him by His extraordinary spiritual potency, the universality of His viewpoint, and His love for all humanity. He comes not to judge, but to aid and inspire. WHO IS THE CHRIST? Throughout history, humanity's evolution has been guided by a group of enlightened men, the Masters of Wisdom. They have remained largely in the remote desert places of earth, working mainly through their disciples who live openly in the world. This message of the Christ's reappearance has been given primarily by such a disciple trained for his task for over 20 years. At the center of this 'Spiritual Hierarchy' stands the World Teacher, LORD MAITREYA, known by Christians as the Christ. And as Christians await the Second Coming, so the Jews await the messiah, the Buddhists the Fifth Buddha, the Moslems the Iman Mahdi, and the Hindus await Krishna. These are all names for one individual. His presence in the world guarantees there will be no third World War ... WHEN WILL WE SEE HIM? He has not as yet declared His true status, and His location is known to only a very few disciples. One of these has announced that soon the Christ will acknowledge His identity and within the next two months will speak to humanity through a worldwide television and radio broadcast. His message will be heard inwardly, telepathically, by all people in their own language. From that time, with His help, we will build a new world..."
The cost of this full-page ad in major cities worldwide ran in the millions of dollars. It was headline news in parts of Western Europe. The organization promoting this "Christ" is known as "Tara" and the man responsible for proclaiming him is one Benjamin Creme. The Tara organization, in its publication EMERGENCE, published the following account about the activities of Mr. Creme: "WHO IS BENJAMIN CREME? Benjamin Creme is a 58 year old Scot, an artist by profession, Since his early youth, he has been interested in 'the esoteric', the area of the Ageless Wisdom which has been transmitted from one generation to the next. In 1959, he received a telepathic message from his own Master, a member of the Hierarchy - an event which came as a complete surprise to him. At that time, he was given to understand, among other things, that the return of the Christ was at hand and that he would play an active role in it himself. Later, Creme received communications which came directly from Maitreya himself. In 1975, he was given the mission of announcing publicly the coming of Maitreya, although at the time Creme did not yet know precisely when that would occur. Some months after the World Teacher had reached his center 'somewhere in the modern world' from His residence in the Himalayas, Creme received the first public message from Maitreya. These have continued up to the present..."
The word "maitreya", in the ancient Indian language, Sanskrit, means "friend". Evidently, this is not his real name, but an assumed title used to imply that he is the friend of all mankind. According to propaganda by Benjamin Creme and the Tara group, Maitreya was born 2,600 years ago in the Himalaya mountains, Since that time he supposedly has been evolving into the perfect spiritual being, until he has become a god, the messiah of the world! One claim made by Mr. Creme for his messiah is that he will perform great wonders and miracles. The most ambitious miracle of all is explained in an interview that appeared in the May 10, 1982, Los Angeles Examiner. Creme said, "We shall see His face on our television sets but He will not speak. His thoughts, His ideas will seep into our minds in our own language. It will be an inner telepathic contact which He will establish with the whole of humanity. We shall hear Him in English, while the Russians hear Him in Russian, the Chinese in Chinese, the Dutch in Dutch, the French in French, the Italians in Italian and so on and so on. Simultaneously throughout the world, hundreds of thousands of spontaneous, apparently miraculous hearings will occur to reinforce the fact that He is indeed the Christ that we are watching. And soon after the day of declaration, He will introduce to the world 12 of His Masters, His disciples. One of them will be the disciple who was Jesus in Palestine 2,000 years ago, and he will be in charge of, as he is now, the Christian Churches, wherever they are found."
It is abundantly clear that Mr. Creme knows nothing at all about the Christ of God. He states that Maitreya IS THE CHRIST, and then declares that Jesus is ONE OF THE DISCIPLES OF MAITREYA, given authority only over the Christian Churches. It is evident that he has not read nor does he believe the anointed words proclaimed on the day of Pentecost, "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God has made that same JESUS, whom you have crucified, BOTH L-O-R-D AND C-H-R-I-S-T" (Acts 2:36); nor is he aware that God has "set HIM (Jesus) at His own right hand in the heavenly places, FAR ABOVE ALL principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and EVERY NAME that is named, not only in THIS WORLD, but also in that which IS TO COME" and "God also has highly exalted HIM, and given Him a name which is above EVERY NAME: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that EVERY TONGUE should confess that JESUS CHRIST I-S L-O-R-D to the glory of God the Father!"
(Eph. 1:20-21; Phil. 2:9-11).
A number of people have written asking what I think about Maitreya - is he the antichrist? Literature I receive from one self-appointed prophet in the midwest (whose prophecies I have tacked up on my office wall - none of which have come to pass) boldly proclaims in the May, 1982, issue, "THE BEAST IS COME ... the Lord has directed me to set down in Texas for a rest break and to pursue the emergence of this Beast-Anti-Christ. This report has this vital and urgent subject as focus. What has Jesus said to me? On May 9, 1982, Jesus said this: 'This is he of whom I spoke.' We knew it was for our life time, but its hard to believe its here, except here it is. Generally I find that most Christians, and too many ministers, are complacent, indifferent, unbelieving, and ill-informed. Those that hear this news fail to grasp the gravity and the deadly nature of this evidence of the Beast's presence. When I say evidence, I speak of something very obvious, yet to many it seems insignificant. Jesus plainly told me on Feb. 19, 1982, 'The Beast is Come.' Jesus would then send me out over the USA and Canada SEALING HIS PEOPLE and has me speaking as I SEAL them saying, 'I seal you with the Seal of the Living God and the empowerment of Christ to stand against the Beast Anti-Christ and to stand in the victory of Christ.' It would be on the 40th day since I began this journey to SEAL the saints with Christ's empowerment and help that this WORLDWIDE FULL PAGE AD WOULD APPEAR ANNOUNCING THE BEAST'S PRESENCE AND EMERGENCE. Is this just coincidence? What is essential to grasp is that the Beast Anti-Christ is here ... the next important issue is how long before he reveals himself and lastly, what are we to do about it? Jesus has sent me out to Seal His children against the Beast ... up until April 8, 1983." -end quote.
This is the day of false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming THEMSELVES into the apostles of Christ, and no marvel, for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light; therefore it is no great wonder if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness (II Cor. 11:13-15). The world is filled with those who claim to be prophets, messiahs, or heralds of the messiah. A day seldom passes when we do not receive such claims from people who say they are "the anointed" to lead God's people through the dark and troublesome days at the end of the age, or God's "special messenger" to get the saints ready for the Lord's return, or God's prophet commissioned to "seal" the elect before the fury of the tribulation breaks, or that they themselves are Elijah, or the Two Witnesses, or the manifested Sons of God, or the Melchizedek Order. One claims to have a golden altar powerful enough to stop an invading horde of two hundred million Chinese. Another claims that their group of "sons" already control the events of the whole world. A dozen more claim to be "God's man of the hour". All these and many more claim to be the anointed of God, and every one of them have hundreds of followers, while some of them count their followers in the millions. These are false prophets and false Christs, false anointed ones, DECEIVING MANY by their crafty claim to be anointed of God.
Is Maitreya "the antichrist"? Some say he is. I must speak a word against that! I am perfectly willing to have my prophecy placed along-side that of anyone who presumes to prophesy that Maitreya is the long-awaited end-time "beast" or "antichrist". We will see who the false prophets are! Certainly Maitreya is "an" antichrist, as the beloved John explained, "Little children, it is the last time: and as you have heard that antichrist shall come, even now there are MANY ANTICHRISTS; whereby we know that it is the last time" (I Jn. 2:18). For those who trust in Maitreya as the Christ, he is indeed an antichrist, supplanting the place of the true Christ of God in their lives. Consider carefully what I now say. There are no deathless 2,600 years old "Masters of Wisdom" in the Himalaya mountains of India and Tibet. It is all a cruel delusion, a satanic effort to mimic and counterfeit the MANIFESTATION OF THE SONS OF GOD destined by God to bring glorious and complete deliverance to the groaning creation. But it is a lie. I am sure I speak the truth by the Spirit of God when I say that Lord Maitreya doesn't even exist - except as a LYING SPIRIT in the mouth of the false prophet, Benjamin Creme!
It is true, wonderfully true - THE CHRIST IS HERE! Ah, He has come in mighty Spirit power to indwell a people, the body of Christ, and to be formed in all perfection and fullness in that people, as the apostle asserts, "to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in all them that believe in that day" (II Thes. 1:10). "I am the vine; YOU are the branches" were the living words that fell as the dew of heaven from the anointed lips of the Christ of God. As the branch grows out of the vine, so in like manner do we, the Sons of God, grow out of the VINE WHICH HE IS. The vine bears the branches. The branches bear the fruit. And there shall be an abundant harvest as many Sons come to His very own glory! Press on, saints of God. The Christ IS HERE in a many membered body. Let us not sell the groaning creation short - let us yield ourselves into His loving hands until HE IS REVEALED in all His glorious and eternal reality!
THE SPIRIT OF FEAR
There is a highway which begins in southern Arizona, runs through part of New Mexico and into Colorado. It is numbered Highway 666. We used to cross this highway when we made frequent trips from El Paso, Texas to Phoenix, Arizona. I remember commenting to Lorain one time that I wondered how many people would be afraid to travel on that route because it has the number of the "beast". Later I learned through a brother that there are actually people who would rather not drive this highway because of this number. He knows people who feel they should drive especially carefully while on this road! Of course it is always sound judgment to drive carefully, but why on Highway 666 any more than on Highway 66, or Highway 90, or any other! Obviously Highway 666 has nothing to do with the mention of 666 in Revelation thirteen. Two entirely different things are in view, the only similarity being the number. Yet often superstition causes people to worry about things that are senseless. May the Lord thoroughly cleanse all who would be Sons of God from silly SUPERSTITIONS!
You would be amazed to know just how much plain old SUPERSTITION many of God's precious saints have in regard to "end-time" events! Some people become fearful around every election time. I heard a brother in Florida in 1960 predict that if Kennedy won the election the Pope would rule the United States and every Bible-believing Church would be closed up before his term was out. I heard of another preacher who predicted practically the same thing, and when Kennedy won the election this man had a heart attack and almost died! I knew some lovely people who campaigned "for God and Goldwater". They believed that if Goldwater lost the election the tribulation would be upon us! Sad to say, since that time it has come to light that Goldwater wouldn't even know God, if he saw Him! I know others that FEAR of the "Beast Government", or the "tribulation", or some prophesied destruction caused to sell their homes and property and move to some wilderness farm or some other "safe" place. The things they feared never came to pass. Their lives would be better, happier, and more productive for the Kingdom of God if they had stayed right where they were. Too often people become alarmed about what this world leader or that leader is going to do. But remember when Pilate said to Jesus, "Don't You know not that I have power to crucify you, and have power to release you?" Jesus answered, "You could have no power at all against Me, except it were GIVEN YOU FROM ABOVE" (Jn. 19:10-11). I have come to see that there is really no point in getting all worked up over the politics of "this present evil world", as though my vote for one man whom I may imagine to be better than another is really going to preserve the world from the Communists, or from the "Beast", or from the "tribulation". It is my deep conviction that it is the MOST HIGH GOD who "changes the times and the seasons: HE removes kings, and sets up kings: He knows what is in the darkness, and THE LIGHT DWELLS WITH HIM" (Dan. 2:21-22).
There are many preachers, even in this end-time move of the Spirit, who specialize in preaching FEAR instead of the Kingdom of God. These suppose they must always tell the bad side of things. They wildly speculate about world events, elections, economic collapse, wars, the mark of the beast, etc., supposing that every national or world crisis that comes portends the end. With each new election, or change, or crisis they suspect a vast conspiracy. If they don't like the Jews, all the trouble in the world is blamed on the Jews. Or it is the Communists - everyone they don't especially like is branded a Communist! Or they blame the United Nations, some minority group, the Illuminati, the world bankers, computer systems, or the Catholics! The continually live on the brink of Armageddon - and apparently feel they should preach FEAR all the time so they will have plenty of company!
The prophet David spoke of times like those in which we now live, and like Jesus, he too likened the chaos of this present evil world to the relentless lashing of the sea and waves, as the clamorous demands of men and nations strike out against the bulwarks of a civilization that was once thought to be impregnable. David's prophecy is addressed to those who have faith in the wonderful promises of God, those who have been translated into the citizenship of the Kingdom of God, and of these he declares, "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. THEREFORE WILL WE NOT FEAR, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof" (Ps. 46:1-3).
"WE WILL NOT FEAR!" declares the prophet. WE WILL NOT FEAR though the earth (social and religious order) be removed! WE WILL NOT FEAR though the mountains (strong kingdoms) be carried into the midst of the sea (brought down by raging, clamorous masses of godless humanity)! WE WILL NOT FEAR though the waters (peoples) be troubled! WE WILL NOT FEAR though the mountains (kingdoms) shake! No place to hide, there, surrounded on all sides by trouble, distress, and calamity, with no "safe area" unto which to flee, but, WE WILL NOT FEAR! Hallelujah! "FOR GOD IS OUR REFUGE, a very PRESENT HELP in trouble."
Fear religion is everywhere and, alas! it has reared its ugly head even in the camp of those who would be the Sons of God. Some are hoarding food, others are storing up guns and ammunition. A number are fleeing to farms and communes in different parts of the world. All of these activities stem from a deep-rooted FEAR, and none of them are from GOD! It is only when doctrines of demons and ideas which come from demonic delusions begin to creep into a person's thinking that various kinds of dark FEARS emerge. When a person becomes obsessed with PHYSICAL PROTECTION AND PRESERVATION he has quit thinking on "those things which are above" and is more concerned about "things on the earth". Such a person is reasoning from FEAR, not faith!
"For God has not given to us the SPIRIT OF FEAR; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind" (II Tim. 1:7). There is only one legitimate fear in the whole universe and that is the FEAR OF THE LORD. When the prophets of doom prophesy destruction upon your city or state, if you are easily moved by the spirit of FEAR you will sell your home and run! On the other hand, if your life is motivated by the FEAR OF THE LORD, you will wait upon God, try the spirit of the prophet, inquire of the other Spirit-anointed ministries in the body of Christ, and then make a judgment from the witness of the Spirit in your own heart. Mark well, my beloved brethren, this DIFFERENCE between the SPIRIT OF FEAR and the FEAR OF THE LORD. Meditate deeply upon the different kind of action evoked by each. True prophets of the Lord at times prophesy judgment. But in receiving the message, we will act or react either out of FEAR OF THE JUDGMENT, or out of REVERENCE OF THE LORD. How we walk in this hour manifests which company we are in: the company of the Sons of God, upon whom shall rest the seven Spirits of God, or the company of them that "draw back unto perdition".
Another has expressed this truth so beautifully, that I feel to quote: "No need for panic, for hasty action - you can well afford to wait for God, He goes before you, and He goes WITH YOU, and He fights FOR YOU, and He remains right with you, and all with the purpose of your ultimate salvation. He is bringing forth many Sons unto glory, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Our salvation is of first priority in His purpose. Wonderful! The angelic hosts are commissioned to minister for those who shall be heirs of salvation. All creation groans and travails together waiting for the birthing of the Sons of God. Everything in the universe is directed towards this event in God's present purpose of the ages. Why then should we tremble, make haste in some fearful, panic-stricken action to try and save ourselves? HE will save us! 'And in that day it shall be said, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for Him, we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation' (Isa. 25:9).
See that you do not fear. The Lord your God in the midst of you is mighty. In every circumstance and situation He is present, not only around you, but within you. Daniel didn't have to find a wilderness retreat in order to escape the Lion's den. GOD was with him! Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego didn't store up guns in order to shoot their way out of the fiery furnace. GOD was with them IN THE FURNACE! Noah "passed through" the waters of the flood and came out victorious on the other side. GOD was with him! The children of Israel never needed any fortress to protect them from any enemy, regardless how powerful or formidable, as long as they made GOD their refuge and strength. GOD was with them and fought their battles! The very last people on earth to lean upon the arm of flesh should be those who have received the call to sonship...
THE TRIUMPH OF CHRIST OVER ANTICHRIST
After multiplied centuries of activity and preaching by the antichrist religious systems two-thirds of the human race are buried still in heathen darkness, sensual and ignorant as animals, selfish and cruel as wild beasts, bowing down to the creature, and knowing nothing of the Creator. Of the other third, nearly six hundred millions, cursed with the degrading creed of the false prophet, Mohammed, are almost equally sensual and ferocious and cruel, while they dishonor God still more by blaspheming and rejecting His beloved Son; almost six hundred millions are nominally involved in the Papal apostasy, and about seventy-five millions in the Greek Orthodox; how little is God either glorified or enjoyed among these! How little is His word received, or His character understood, or His will done, or His communion sought! And in the small remainder, the three hundred and forty millions in the Protestant world, what carnality and vanity reigns, and how little is God either experienced or glorified!
It is acknowledged on all hands that in the metropolises of the greatest so-called Christian nation in the world, our own beloved country, where, if anywhere on earth, Christ is acknowledged, here, instead of God being glorified, His laws are by the masses trampled under foot, and sin and misery, crime and violence, immorality and perversion, and worldliness and apostasy, in one form or another, abound. How truly the whole creation groans, and travails in pain together, waiting for the manifestation of the Sons of God! The deepest and truest compassion for the sufferings and sorrows of humanity must prompt the cry, How long, O Lord? And apart altogether from the joy and glory that is to be brought TO THEM by the manifestation of the Sons of God, the saints must long for this unveiling, that the creation itself may be delivered from the bondage of corruption, and brought into the glorious liberty of the Sons of God (Rom. 8:18-21).
If God does not intend to deliver the whole creation from the bondage of corruption, and if God's purpose is not to bring all creation into the glorious liberty of the Sons of God, then the manifestation of the Sons of God is totally meaningless. Nothing chills my spirit more than the wicked contention by some that all things shall continue on as they are, generation after generation and age after age, light and darkness co-existing, truth and error dwelling together, sin and righteousness side by side, life and death synchronous, and Christ and antichrist contending in an eternal, never ending conflict. I hate such a doctrine, for it denies the omnipotent Christ of God His ultimate triumph, while distorting His nature, limiting His love, restricting His grace, and maligning His wisdom. Ah, beloved, how I rejoice in the knowledge that the good old Book is really true! The apostle was not lying when he wrote, "THEN COMES THE END when He shall have delivered up the Kingdom to God, even the Father; when He shall have put down ALL RULE and ALL AUTHORITY AND POWER. For HE MUST REIGN, til He has put ALL ENEMIES under His feet. The LAST ENEMY that shall be destroyed IS DEATH ... and when ALL THINGS shall be subdued UNTO HIM, then shall the Son also Himself be subject unto Him (the Father) that put all things under Him, that GOD MAY BE A-L-L I-N A-L-L" (I Cor. 15:24-26, 28).
It should be evident to every thinking mind that death will never be destroyed so long as there is one man anywhere in all the unbounded universe abiding in death; and God will never be all-in-all so long as He is only some-in-some, or all-in-some, or some-in-all. The moment the Holy Spirit reveals to our hearts the infinite wisdom of God's purpose of the ages, then it becomes crystal clear what the Scripture means when it says that IN THE END God shall be ALL-IN-ALL. This can be the only logical conclusion to the purpose of a God of omniscient wisdom, omnipotent power, and all-encompassing love.
While we praise God for every moving of His Spirit and each step of His all wise plan, the fact remains that none of the revivals of history have ever once-for-all defeated satan, sin, and death. No revival in any land has turned the whole world to God! No dealing of God with humanity has ever brought to pass the TOTAL TRIUMPH of His Kingdom in all realms! Sin and death still stalk across the earth, the vast masses of humanity held tight in their terrible clutches. Is there no deliverance for these? How truly the whole creation groans, and travails in pain together, waiting, not for another Luther, or another Peter, or another Finney or Moody; waiting not for another Pentecost, nor for another healing campaign; but for THE MANIFESTATION OF THE SONS OF GOD! "For the creation itself ALSO shall be delivered..." Praise God!
The outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost was never intended to accomplish so great a purpose. God's purpose in this age has been, not to deliver the whole creation, but to "take out a people for His name" in order that, by His goodness to us in Christ Jesus, He might display in the ages to come the transcendent RICHES OF HIS GRACE (Eph. 2:7). Having accomplished in His image, to be then use the finished product from this age, a company of Sons in His image, to be deliverers to the rest of creation.
We have heard many so-called Gospels. The world is full of poor deluded souls who are trying to establish their own particular creed of imaginings and mistakes. Today, everyone with a little bit of preacher's "itch" is attempting to get themselves a little congregation, a little following, to build a little kingdom. These all imagine that somehow they are going to go out and storm the world and "take the world" for Christ. But a new day has dawned, a day when the pure and unadulterated Gospel of the Kingdom must go forth to the whole world. Religionists have tried in vain to lift the world out of its shame by their ambitious programs and preaching their own ideas and the doctrines of the antichrist. It simply would not work. The world has grown steadily worse. Their lofty phrases, and text-book prayers, and apologetic platitudes, and time-honored traditions have utterly failed. Now a new company is to go forth with a burning message of truth direct from the throne, and in the fullness of power of which Pentecost was but the "earnest" and the "firstfruits". The anointing of the Sons of God shall be an anointing WITHOUT MEASURE, and the message of these Sons shall be a message stripped of all the ineffectual absurdities that have been preached throughout the years. Religionists have side-stepped, and mollycoddled, and back-slapped too long. Their day is done. A new army is being prepared for a new day, an army of the Sons of God perfected in His image, radiating the effulgence of His glory, demonstrating the omnipotence of His power. And there shall be exultant victory. For now the day is dawning when "A-L-L nations shall come and worship before You" (Rev. 15:4). Not men out of all nations, but ALL NATIONS shall come and worship! Glory.
Thank God, Dan. 7:27 is really true! "And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom, under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and A-L-L DOMINIONS S-H-A-L-L S-E-R-V-E H-I-M." Thank God, Eph. 1:10 is actually the fully inspired Word of God! "And this is in harmony with God's merciful purpose for the GOVERNMENT OF THE WORLD when the times are ripe for it - the purpose which He has cherished in His own mind of restoring the whole creation to find its one Head in Christ; yes, things in heaven and things on earth, to find their one Head IN HIM" (Weymouth).
Of death it is written: "And there shall be no more death" (Rev. 21:4). Of Mystery Babylon it is stated: "And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found NO MORE AT ALL" (Rev. 18:21). Of the bestial system of this world it is prophesied: "And the beast was taken, and... cast... into the lake of fire burning with brimstone" (Rev. 19:20). And of the Kingdom of God it is declared: "The God of heaven shall set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed ... but it shall BREAK IN PIECES AND C-O-N-S-U-M-E A-L-L T-H-E-S-E K-I-N-G-D-O-M-S, and it shall stand forever" (Dan. 2:44). Blessed promises of a mighty deliverance, which even now we behold with the eyes of faith and revelation!
The manifestation of the Sons of God is not a doctrine, it is the revelation of the wonderful purpose of God for the next step in the development and triumph of His Kingdom. And while it is true, He sets HIS SEAL upon those whom He has called unto His purposes, there must be also a response on our part, and this is the kind of act that the beloved John is speaking of when he writes, "He that has received HIS TESTIMONY has set HIS SEAL to this, that God is true" (Jn. 3:33). Praise God, there is a people, even in this dark hour, who are setting THEIR SEAL to the truths the Spirit is revealing, agreeing with God, not willing to accept the emptiness of man-made religion as God's instrument for this hour, unwilling to be content to possess only an earnest of the Spirit or to settle for anything less than HIS FULLNESS, and living in daily anticipation of the GREATER GLORY to be revealed in God's Sons.
There is such a deep desire within to be freed from every aspect of the character of the beast, cleansed and purified, transformed into HIS IMAGE, until the life and glory and power of God shall flow from our lives setting all creation free. Our spirits shout, AMEN! Those who put THEIR SEAL to the word God is speaking to His chosen ones in this hour have a single eye unto HIM. Not a divided vision, for "a doubleminded man is unstable in all his ways." Today he wants to be a Son, tomorrow he wants to serve the flesh, and in all the vacillating between he will receive nothing from God. All who cherish the hope of sonship now face the hour of TOTAL COMMITMENT UNTO CHRIST and to the truth, even though it means taking a stand against our own flesh, and all we have held dear, while it is dealt with by His cross.
I believe I speak the truth when I say that many of us have reached the point of no return - there is nothing to go back to, not in the flesh, not in the world, not in the Church systems, there is nothing out of which we have been drawn to which we would return, it is all empty, meaningless, lifeless, worthless. Now we must FOLLOW ON TO KNOW THE LORD IN HIS FULLNESS. It is vain to come out, unless we are committed to ENTER IN. We are committed to a course which cannot be altered, for it is fixed in its destination - His throne! "To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne" (Rev. 3:21).
Precious friend of mine, have you set YOUR SEAL to the inward testimony of God's purpose in this hour, and His will in your life? "Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the PRIZE of the HIGH CALLING of God IN CHRIST JESUS" (Phil. 3:13-14).
Writings in This Series: