Derek Prince - Spirit of The Antichrist, His Distinctive Marks
This is an excerpt from: True and False Christ - Part 1
Now, the next thing we need to do is determine what are the distinctive marks the spirit of antichrist. How will we identify it? I suggest to you that there are three that are stated there in 1 John. 1 John 2:19: They [that's the antichrists] went out from us You see, even in the days of the apostle John they were already operating. That's before the end of the first century. They went out from us but they were not of us; for if they had been of us they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest that none of them were of us.
So, the first important mark is that the spirit of antichrist starts in association with the people of God. You have to distinguish between two completely different things. Paganism which is the worship of false gods and idols but is not a denial that Jesus is the Messiah. In fact, in most parts of the pagan world they still haven't heard that Jesus ever came. You cannot be antichrist if you've never even heard of Christ, you see? So, that's paganism. It's satanic, but it's not the spirit of antichrist. The spirit of antichrist can only operate where Christ has first been proclaimed. The spirit of antichrist, in a sense, is Satan's last move. It's his ultimate attempt to frustrate the purposes of God. And in my opinion, it is the most powerful, evil force at work on earth.
I think that Ruth and I can speak from something other than theory, because living in the Middle East, we live in the absolute vortex of the power of the spirit of antichrist. It is much more powerful there than in any other part of the earth. You see, Satan is a strategist. He's very well acquainted with Biblical prophecy and he knows that the age has got to close around Jerusalem. Furthermore, he knows the Jewish people have to turn back to God. So, he's built his strongest walls of resistance in the area of Jerusalem, in the land of Israel, and the Middle East. Without, I hope, offending anybody, one of the most powerful examples of the spirit of antichrist is Islam. That is, the religion of the Moslems. Islam means perfection or completion, that's the meaning of the word. It's actually related to the word salaam which is related to the Hebrew word shalom. We won't go into that.
You see, Mohammed started from the scriptures. And in a certain sense his book, the Koran, is an outgrowth of the Old Testament. In fact, Moslems claim to believe the Old Testament. He's also aware of the coming of Jesus and the Koran talks about the son of Mary. But his claim is that the Christians corrupted the message of Jesus and that his religion is now the perfection and completion of the Old and the New Testaments. We'll look at the other marks of the spirit of antichrist in a moment and you'll see they're all found in Islam. This is not a personal attack on Islam, this is an objective analysis of facts.
Let's go on into 1 John 2:22 where we get the second mark. Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Messiah? It really makes much better sense here to say Messiah. So, the second mark of the spirit of antichrist is it's aware of the coming of Jesus, denies His claim to be Messiah. That's not altogether true of Islam. They wouldn't contest that but they have so watered down the concept of Messiah that in actual fact it's meaningless.
And then the third mark is also in the same verse: He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. So, the antichrist does not accept the Biblical revelation of the persons of the Godhead, the Father and the Son. And here Islam is an outstanding example because Moslems are fanatically opposed to the claim that Jesus is the Son of God. In the famous mosque, Alaskar Mosque, on the temple area in the Arabic inscriptions twice it states God does not need a son. You can get Moslems to acknowledge that Jesus was a prophet and they will use language which sounds as though they believe. But you try and get them to acknowledge that Jesus is the Son of God and you get a totally different reaction.
Ruth and I at one time about four years ago were in Pakistan, which is about 98% Moslem. God opened the door for us, for just about one week to preach to quite large gatherings. The gatherings were large for one simple reason, that we declared that we would pray for the sick. Had we not said that very few people would have turned out. Because we said that people came by thousands. They saw the miracles of healing, they saw blind eyes open, they saw cripples walk and other things. And so, at the end of every session we had three other preachers with us, we would say how many of you want to receive Jesus? How many of you want to be saved? And literally thousands of Moslems in the course of that week stood up. I was the first one to encounter this situation. I said, 'I want to lead you in a prayer. If you are to be saved you've got to say this prayer.'
I would say it, the interpreter would say it after me and they'd say it. I always began the same way, 'Lord Jesus Christ, I believe that you are the Son of God, and the only way to God. That you died on the cross for my sins and rose again from the dead.' See, the other thing that Islam denies is that Jesus actually died. They claim that an angel spirited Him away from the cross just before His actual death. I hope you understand this is not an attack on Islam, it's simply an analysis of that religion in the light of the revelation of scripture. But will find that it's the strongest single force resisting the gospel on earth today. Recently a group of people concerned with world evangelization made a list of the 40 least evangelized nations on earth and out of them 24 were Moslem nations.
So, you see, in a certain sense the spirit of antichrist is Satan's ultimate masterpiece. Now, there are other spiritual powers at work that likewise exhibit the marks of antichrist. I think it would be indiscreet, for me to make a list but I think I've give you sufficient marks to recognize. Please bear in mind that it's not enough to be religious. In fact, religion is probably the greatest single barrier to the acceptance of Jesus. But let me just say very clearly this I believe is the ultimate battle. It's against the spirit of antichrist. It's Satan's ultimate bulwark to prevent the age coming to a close. He has built this bulwark centuries ago all around the Holy Land and all around the city of Jerusalem. You look at a map of the Middle East, every nation surrounding that country is a Moslem nation. And in those nations it is forbidden to preach the gospel, it's forbidden to convert a Moslem and a Moslem who is converted is subject to the sentence of death.
I met just recently a few days ago, here in Britain a converted Moslem from north India. He was telling us... First of all, I was glad to see he was saying how much he appreciated the material that we make available. And then he said: Most of the Moslems who put their faith in Jesus are murdered. And he wasn't making a dramatic statement, he was just making a simple statement of fact. And usually, they get killed by their own relatives because it is considered a disgrace for any Moslem family, for any person to be converted to Jesus. And rather than endure that disgrace usually, the father or the brothers will put the believer to death.