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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Allen Jackson » Allen Jackson - Antichrist Revealed - Part 1

Allen Jackson - Antichrist Revealed - Part 1

Allen Jackson - Antichrist Revealed - Part 1
TOPICS: Antichrist, End times

I want to continue the study we've been doing on spiritual things. We're trying to open our hearts and our minds a bit to what the Scripture teaches us about the reality of spiritual forces and their impact in our lives, in our world and our future. It's not easily done. In this session, we're going to look a bit about the spirit of Antichrist. It is prevalent in the earth, if you haven't noticed. They had a March for Life this week in Washington, D.C. I don't know if you heard much about it. It wasn't overly covered. The first one since Roe v. Wade had been turned back. I read some things. I knew some of the people who were participating, and some of them I knew personally and some of them I just know from a distance.

But I was a bit distressed. They were labeled, some participants were labeled as extremists, radicals. They were dangerous, we were told. That's in our nation. I don't know if you watch the news or not. I've been asking you to watch and listen and think and be prepared to act, but that's a pretty distressing message to pump into just the general population. If you promote the right of women to kill their own children you're seen as virtuous, but those who advocate for the powerless we're told are dangerous extremists. We're living in a bizarre time. Now, I have good news. I'm not going to wade into the deep end of the pool on the struggles, but if we don't acknowledge what's happening you won't take the stand you have to take to see a change, and that's a very disturbing message to be accepted by mainstream outlets.

You know, at the same time all that's happening in D.C., our southern border is completely open and there's an invasion being encouraged by the people in power. It's unimaginable. Lawlessness. Week over week criminal behavior is relabeled to diminish the repercussions for it, and the result of that is those who are law abiding are increasingly vulnerable. If you're not watching, that is happening on a weekly basis. I traveled enough last year and was in enough different cities. In city after city after city we were warned not to leave or don't go here or certainly don't go there after dark in our nation, not the Middle East. Those with authority over us are asserting increasing control on a monthly basis. It doesn't stop. It didn't yield with the pandemic. It may have started with some health concerns and health protocols, but it's grown beyond that into the cars we drive. Now they're concerned about the kind of stove you have in your home.

There is a threat. Censorship and propaganda continue to grow in the most remarkable ways; and not just from media outlets, the FBI, the CDC. It's amazing what's being dumped in the public square so that we know. You know, we prayed for months and months that the truth will be told in public, and it's being told. It's uncomfortable, but it's being told. It's really a revelation that's being given to us. I think the Lord's doing it. It's hard to imagine, though, censorship and propaganda being pumped into our culture from legacy media. Elected leaders participating. It seems to me there are three arenas which have deteriorated and they have to be rebuilt, and I'll take a moment with them because I don't, I think if we can't acknowledge what's happening, we won't have the courage or the boldness to see them restructure.

And I think one arena that we're watching struggle is with public health and medicine. This didn't start with COVID. It started as the government increasingly tried to take over the arena and the decision about a patient's health was no longer left between the doctor and the patient. It was meddled with by a whole host of other institutions and organizations. I'm not an expert, but I do know that the Hippocratic Oath, all those that serve in the profession, a part of that is to first do no harm, and we've watched increasingly in recent years while governing bodies have diminished the role of science or the scientific method and have capitulated to progressive ideas and values. Where I see it most simply is in those bodies that regulate the healthcare profession. They have stepped away from scientific values and the scientific method and they are legislating values that are derived from the culture.

It's a very destructive thing and it will require our attention, and it's going to require tremendous courage to stand against it because it's an enormous part of our economy and many of us benefit. I have said for many, many years we have the best healthcare system in the world, but those who provide administrative governance over it are forfeiting some of the fundamental principles of science and advocating for things that have little to do with science like the mutilation of our children. That's not good science. There's a second arena that is perhaps even more distressing, and that's the educational environment. I think the general, the fundamental premise of public education is to assist parents in the training of their children.

Now, simpler said than done, there are many challenges that face our educational environment. And I'm not going to take the time to enumerate them all, but I would submit that first among them, parents have to teach their children to accept responsibility for their actions. We can't just keep blaming the systems and teachers. But then there's some work to be done with teachers unions in higher education. This notion that they're responsible for the welfare of the children more so than the parents is absurd. It's immoral, it's ungodly and it shouldn't be tolerated. The books in the library of our children in our public schools shouldn't be relegated to some administrative boards. The parents' voices have to matter.

That's the reason why the Christian worldview is important, and if you're hiding yours you're part of the problem. Our voices have to be heard. But our educational system is not just in peril, and this doesn't, again, this hasn't happened in the last 2 years or 3 years. This didn't start with a virus from Wuhan. This deterioration has been taking place for decades. And the third arena, I want to be an equal opportunity offender, is the ecclesiastical community, church world. In far too many churches we have set aside biblical authority. We're reluctant to say in public things like we believe in the uniqueness of Jesus or that Christ's followers should separate themselves from the world and the spirit of the world. We major on minor issues and we ignore blatant expressions of ungodliness, and often we do it with a sense of self-preservation. We're trying to avoid the consequences of standing for the truth, and I can speak with some experience that theological training has failed us for decades.

This isn't difficult to get to the fundamental failure of this. How many parents have aspirations for their children to serve the Lord in any professional capacity? That's a very much diminishing group of people, and it's been diminishing for decades. Hasn't always been the case. Now, our God is a God of restoration, whether it's public health or education or the church community, but to initiate those changes we have to have spiritual changes. Not political changes first or ideological changes, we have to have a change in our heart. That's the point of this series. We have to be awakened to the validity, the belief that spiritual things matter; that there's a force greater than the budget of the United States of America, that we're not looking to the next election to fix us. We've been idolaters long enough in that regard.

So 1 Corinthians chapter 12 has been a verse for us, says, "About spiritual gifts, brothers, I don't want you to be ignorant". The word "gifts" is in italics because it was added by the editors, the translators not inappropriately. It's a part of translating language. But the word that's used in the Greek is not available in English. Literally it's about spirituals. "I don't want you to be ignorant" doesn't make sense in English. So the translators had to find a word, and gifts is most frequently used. It's not wrong, it's just incomplete. I think it's a bit more simplistic. It's overly simplistic for a formal translation. "But about spiritual things I don't want you to be ignorant. I want you to be aware of spiritual things, of spiritual gifts, of spiritual manifestations, of the moving of the Spirit, of the activity of the Spirit. You can't afford to be ignorant".

And he's writing to a church that's engaged in all sorts of spiritual activity, but they're also very immoral, very carnal, very selfish. And he said, "You're living in ignorance. You're pointing at your spiritual activity, but you're behaving ignorantly". In the south, that'll get you in a fight. We looked at some, I want to take just a moment and recapitulate. We've been working on this for several sessions, and I know not everyone hears every session. I know that's hard to believe. Can you believe that? But someone told me that was true. So if you'll bear with me just a moment for a bit of recapitulation, we looked at some biblical descriptions of the components of a spiritual life, things like spiritual gifts, manifestations of the Spirit.

When the Spirit of God moves amongst you, how would you recognize that, how would you identify that, how would you talk about that? We talked about the fruit of the Spirit. If you cooperate with the Spirit of God in your life, what's the outcome of that? If you decide to invest in time and energy and cardiovascular exercise and you adjust your diet, you begin to formulate pretty quickly an imagination of what the impact of that will or should look like and then you adjust your diet and your behavior to get to that outcome. If you don't have any imagination of what cooperating with the Spirit of God looks like, you won't be very effective. And the fruit of the Spirit is that description. You should see these things in your life increasing, and we're given this promise that against those things there is no law. They are triumphant.

Ministry gifts described in the book of Ephesians, those fivefold: the apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, and teacher. Those are still offices in the body of Christ. God is still displaying those people. It says it's to help the body of Christ grow up, that we might all attain maturity. Spiritual armor, spiritual weapons, spiritual forces of wickedness. We've become so sophisticated it's almost as if we're just a little too sophisticated to believe in the devil. We blame God for everything. When something we don't like happens, we blame God. One of our kids makes bad choices, we blame God. "How could God let that happen? How could God be so unfair"?

I don't hear within our hearts very often any recognition that there's actually a spiritual conflict because if we acknowledge the conflict perhaps we have a role in it or in some way there was some contribution and we just don't understand it enough. We're ignorant of too much and so we just step back and get mad at God. It's not fruitful. If you're mad at God because of your circumstances tonight, because of your circumstances in your life or your family system or your resources, God can withstand your rage about his poor job performance. That's good news. But it's not a fruitful place to stay. We have to make peace. Spiritual authority. God has given you spiritual authority. We'll work with that list a bit more in another time.

Then we talked about spiritual reality that was revealed in the Book of Revelation. We spent a couple of sessions walking through the Book of Revelation trying just to note some principles about that are revealed to us. It is a book of revelation, and we're given some insight and understanding into the spiritual realm in that book; things like there are different realms of existence. It starts with, it says, "I had a revelation of Jesus Christ," and he said, "I'll give it to my servant John". And John's invited up into the throne room of heaven. You see, there's so much, there's an avalanche of messaging that says there is nothing beyond time. There is nothing beyond who you are and what you can get, and when you're done you're done. That's a lie. It's just not true. It's inadequate. It's incomplete. It doesn't make you intellectually superior to believe that, nor does it make you a Neanderthal to believe in eternity.

If you're not living for eternity, on a daily basis if you're not making an investment in your time, in your thoughts, in your energy, in your effort and how you spend your resources you're spiritually malnourished. You want to make a daily investment in eternity with who you are. Different realms of existence. In Revelation we saw that the spiritual forces in the heavenly places have a tremendous impact of what happens on the earth. You've probably heard something about the four horsemen of the apocalypse. They're given to us. It's just one example in the Book of Revelation, but a third of the earth's population will be destroyed because of an event that is initiated in heaven. Oh, yeah, it may be played out with some conflict in the earth, it might be a nuclear event; but it was launched in heaven, not in some bunker by some crazed authoritarian leader.

So do you really believe that? Absolutely. Don't you? I mean, my Bible says in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. What are you going to do with that? You get to the end of the Book of Revelation there's a new heaven and a new earth, and Jesus is going to rule and reign on the earth. Sign me up. In Revelation we learn a bit more about our existence beyond physical death. We get the join those 100 million angels. Come on. Don't let birthdays depress you. Get excited. And then we took a session or two and we looked in a bit of detail at the struggle to believe because it is a struggle, and it's dishonest to suggest otherwise. Our heroes throughout Scripture struggled to believe. The apostles, while Jesus was training them, they struggled to believe.

When Jesus said, "Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees," they started arguing with one another because they said, "We don't have enough bread and he's mad". Jesus said, "Really? How many did we feed with that little boy's lunch"? I mean, they just had a hard time catching on. When he spoke to the wind and the waves, it terrified them and said, "Who is this? He can speak to the wind and the waves". Yes, he can. I mean, they were spending time with Jesus. They were hearing the backstory after the public messages. They got the behind-the-scenes portrayal and they struggled. Jesus's closest friends struggled to believe. Mary and Martha, he loved them, spent time in their home. And when their brother died and Jesus arrived late, they said, "Lord, if you had only been here". And Jesus said, "Hang on. We got this". I mean, they, "No, no. We missed our window". "Well, open the tomb". "No, Lord, he kind of, he's smelly. No tomb. Please just have some pita bread". His closest friends struggled to believe. His closest friends struggled with the resurrection.

Folks, we're living in a time when there's sweeping change of really unprecedented magnitude at least in our lives. There's a powerful spirit that's been unleashed in the earth to oppose and to supplant the purposes of God. It's being challenged in such fundamental ways, in such repetitive ways, in such consistent ways that it's uncomfortable. We'd rather not pay attention. We'd rather change the channel. We'd rather not think about it. The best single description I know is it's the spirit of Antichrist. Look at 1 John 4 and verse 3. There's hope. I'm back to your notes. "The spirit of antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world". The word "Antichrist" is used in multiple ways in the New Testament. It's used to refer to a spirit that is present in the world. It's used to refer to a series of leaders. It says many Antichrist have gone into the world. And then it talks about ultimately the Antichrist, this individual that will step on to the stage of human history, the most beastly leader the world will have ever known.

The Book of Revelation is the conflict between the lamb and the beast. The lamb wins. But there's something you should know about Antichrist. That little prefix "anti" carries with it two meanings. One, the most obvious, I suppose, is "against," but the other one is "in place of". So that the spirit of Antichrist not only opposes the purposes of Christ, it seeks to supplant the place of Christ. It wants the place that Christ deserves. Remember when Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness? He said, "If you'll fall down and worship me, I'll give you the authority over all these kingdoms of the world". Jesus declined the invitation. The Antichrist is the individual that will accept that bargain. Satan wants the place that Jesus has been given, and that spirit is on display in our world and will become increasingly evident in the months and the years before us. You better have a plan. You better be prepared. And I'm all for an airlift, but if an airlift is your strategy that's not really a plan.

In Matthew chapter 5, I think we have a window into the assignment. This is a part of the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus is teaching, and he said, "Blessed are you when people insult you". I know that's in your Bible, but that's weird. How many of you feel blessed when people call you names? If you do, stand up. I want to, I'm going to practice 'cause I figured standing in front of all these other people and cameras on you won't hurt me. I'm just going to increase your blessings. None of us like that. We'll do our best to avoid it. In fact, we'll deny things or hide things. We'll do some bizarre things. Jesus, again, "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you, falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you".

You know, one of the ways you can be in alignment in your life with the prophets, those heroes you and I have in our Bibles, is by being willing to endure when people falsely say all kinds of evil against you. But Jesus went on with the assignment. He said, "You're the salt of the earth. And if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It's no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. You're the light of the world. A city on a hill can't be hidden". This isn't complicated. The language is pretty plain. You're blessed when you're insulted. You're blessed when you're persecuted or bullied. You're blessed when they falsely say all kinds of evil against you. You know, I've read those verses for my entire adult life and they always seem like something that applied more in other places in the world, but now they apply to the world we live in.

If you have the courage to embrace in public a Judeo-Christian worldview, if you'll just say, "I believe the things that the Bible teaches," you won't say it very loudly until they begin to shout things at you; that you're homophobic, or transphobic, or xenophobic, or bigoted, or misogynistic, or some other words that I can't spell. You understand this. So we're quiet and we talk more about love, but it isn't love if we ignore truth. We don't have to be angry. We don't have to be condemning. But we can't negotiate away the principles of Scripture because we prefer to avoid the labels that are hurled at us. You see, salt and light are very distinctive. They make a difference. If you salt your food, you can tell it. If you over salt it, you know it. If there's no salt there, you'll know that too. Jesus described salt that had no impact.

It wasn't distinctive. He said that's only good for one thing, the trash heap. Light makes a difference. Have you ever been in a really dark place? A little bit of light makes a big difference. Sometimes in Israel we'll take a walk through Hezekiah's Tunnel. It's a water source from the Gihon Spring and outside the city to bring it into the pool of Siloam. And it's a serpentine tunnel. It's not a straight shot. They still don't know how they did it. But there's no lights in there, and it's a pulsating spring, which means the water flow isn't consistent. It will pulse. It may start out at your knees, but it may end up higher. And the tunnel is wide enough that you can get through it, I can get through it, but I can't get through it standing up in all the places and I can't get through it unless I turn my shoulders sideways or sometimes you're bent over sideways in the dark.

And I thought on more than one occasion if something grabbed my ankle there'll be a new tunnel in Jerusalem. But it is Israel and there are tourists, so now at the entrance where you get permission to go through the tunnel they'll sell you a little light, like keychain light. And in the Jerusalem sunshine you think it's not working, but in that tunnel it's like a search beam. Little bit of light in the darkness is a good thing. Jesus said we're to be salt and light. And he said the light is not intended to be put under a basket. So if we're willing to be salt and we're willing to be light, I assert, I assure you that people will say some things against you falsely. They'll attach labels to you that are incorrect and unfair, and the attempt is to get you to be quiet, to take your perspective, and to take your worldview and to tamp it down, to turn the volume down on it. We've been doing that institutionally long enough. Again, not to be angry, not to be belligerent, but without the truth we don't get healthier.

Father, I thank you that you love us. I thank you that in your great mercy and compassion you have made a way for us to be at peace with the creator of all things, that you're not angry with us, that you are not resentful of us, that you have welcomed us into your kingdom and made peace with us through Jesus Christ. I thank you for that today. Nothing is hidden from you, no part of our past, no thought within us, and yet you love us. May that love grow in us every day and bring a boldness and a courage within us to face the challenges before us. In Jesus's name, amen.

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