Friday, October 13, 2006

Who is the antichrist? Part 4

Continuing our discussion on the antichrist from “End Time Delusions”…….

Paul warned, “Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless a falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition” (2 Thessalonians 2:3). Here Paul called the antichrist, “the son of perdition”.

Believe it or not, this phrase, “the son of perdition” is actually like a secret password to hidden knowledge. In essence, those four words are like a special code. Once we understand their meaning, we are enabled to “crack the antichrist code” and enter into an understanding of the true nature of the ultimate deceiver.

This exact phrase, “the son of perdition” occurs only twice in the entire New Testament. One of these is in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 about the antichrist. What about the other one? Who did it apply to? What was the spiritual lesson we can learn from this? The only other time it is used is in John 17:12 when Jesus Christ applied it to one of His own disciples. You should be able to guess which one. Judas Iscariot, His betrayer.

Judas was one of the twelve disciples. After being chosen by the Lord, he became part of Christ’s inner circle (Luke 6:13-16). Amazingly, Judas even received the power of God (Mathew 10:1-4). But in spite of his tremendous privileges, Mr. Iscariot finally fell away from His Savior (Acts 1:25).

“Then satan entered Judas, surnamed Iscariot, who was numbered among the twelve” (Luke 22:3). What a scary verse! Try to imagine it. Here’s a disciple of Jesus Christ who held an honored position among the twelve. He even carried the moneybag. But as Judas opened his heart to the dark one, satan slipped in and took over. He was still a professed follower of Christ, but now he had a devil inside! Could this be what antichrist will be like?

On the night before His final agony, our Lord met with His little band of followers in an upper room somewhere inside Jerusalem. As they met for the Passover meal, Judas quietly took his seat with the other eleven disciples (Luke 22:14). After Jesus passed out the bread and the juice, Judas silently sipped his cup (Luke 22:19-20). When the supper was over, Jesus sadly whispered to His friends, “Behold, the hand of My betrayer is with Me on the table” (Luke 22:21). Moments later, Judas slipped out into the night to finalize his infamous deal with the rulers of Israel. An ancient word was fulfilled, “Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted up his heel against me” (Psalm 41:9).

A few hours later, Judas led a mob of Temple guards, chief priests and Roman soldiers to Christ’s secret place of prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. Approaching the Savior, the traitor whispered, “Hail, Master; and kissed Him” (Mathew 26:49). Oh, what a kiss was this! A sign of true affection? No. It was a kiss of death. What’s really happening here? I’ll tell you. Lucifer himself was working through the kiss of a professed Christian in a satanically orchestrated plot against the Son of God. If you think about it, this is antichrist in its most sinister form!

To all appearances, Judas Iscariot was a faithful apostle of Jesus Christ. With his lips he even called Christ his Master, but he was a deceiver. By this time, Judas was fully “a devil” (John 6:70). Now don’t miss this point: he was a Christian devil, a channel for satan who was hiding behind a Christian mask. Behold the ultimate deception! What could be worse than satan working through a highly honored professed Christian, through words of loyalty, through an affectionate kiss? What highly significant phrase did Jesus use to describe this unusual Christian-kissing-satanic combination? Our Lord called Judas, “the son of perdition” (John 17:12).

Paul used the same words to describe the antichrist (2 Thessalonians 2:3). In so doing, he was revealing secret, vital, inside information. These words reveal the true nature of satan’s trickster. Instead of being an openly anti-Christian person who rises outside the Church, the real antichrist will be Judas-like. In other words, he will come from the inner circle. On the surface, he will look like a true follower of Jesus Christ, a “familiar friend” (Psalm 41:9). He will even profess love and loyalty to the Savior. Yet, the devil will be there in secret, working with ingenious subtlety, to betray the Son of God with a kiss.

Steve makes it very clear using God’s holy Word that the antichrist will definitely come from within the Church, not from the outside. If you really think about it, it makes perfect sense that satan, the father of lies and deception, would use Christ’s Church to deceive for his evil purposes. In this evil world, it is of utmost importance that you are working towards spiritual maturity so that you can resist our enemy and discern the truth. We have underestimated our enemy and let our defenses down at a time when we should be strong in the Lord and have our spiritual guard up. As we continue to reveal the truth about today's world through Scripture, you’ll begin to see just how deceived we really are………

No comments: