The Anti-Christ Spirit vs. the Holy Spirit in the Church

Have you ever considered that the nuts of Protestant denominations never fell from from the parent tree of Catholicism? Yes, many of these churches were started by men of great spiritual insight, but the systems that have formed around them is not that different than that of the Catholics. I find that Protestantism has changed the names in its own hierarchic systems, but it still places men as its authorities and spiritual guides such as Martin Luther, John Wesley, John Calvin, and more recently the newer off-shoots of the same system of men lording over the Lord’s vineyard, Kenneth Hagen, Ken Copeland, Peter Wagner, Rick Joyner, John Wimber, Mark Driscol, etc… all these are popes in their own rite. For these we use titles like “Founder” instead of pope. We don’t use “Bishop” as the Catholics do, but rather “District Superintendent” We don’t use “father” or “priest, but rather “pastor” or “Bible teacher.” Yes, many of them have come forth placing Christ as the Head of the Church in word, but in reality, they still rule supreme over those under them — the very body of Christ. No one has dared to reform that original usurping system that Jesus spoke against when He said, “You know that those who are supposed to rule over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of man also came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:42-45 RSVA). It was Jesus who said, “But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brethren. And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. Neither be called masters, for you have one master, the Christ. He who is greatest among you shall be your servant; whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” (Mat 23:8-12 RSVA -emphasis added). I am afraid that our church traditions speak louder than His words.

John amplified on the dangers of hierarchy in his first letter to the church saying,

“Little children, it is the last time: and as you have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; by which we know that it is the last time. THEY WENT OUT FROM US, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.” (1Jo 2:18-19 KJ2000 – emphasis added)

“went out from” is translated from the Greek word exerchomai

Thayer Definition: 2d) to come forth (from privacy) into the world, before the public, (of those who by novelty of opinion attract attention)

Paul warned the elders of the early church that this would happen saying, “For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn everyone night and day with tears.” (Act 20:29-31 KJ2000 – emphasis added).

If you get into the teachings of each of the afore mentioned men (and thousands of others since Christ, calling themselves “church leaders,”  you will find “perverse things” in their teachings. The more power that they garnered to themselves, the more perverse they become. This is why Jesus spoke against the Gentile king paradigm and demanded that we be servants like Him… one with the Father and seeking the lowest seats in our gatherings, not as lords over the flock of God (see 1 Pet. 5:3) . These men come “out from” and “rise up” over the people of God with their teachings. This is the anitchirst spirit in action. This Greek word “antichristos” not only means “against Christ,” but “instead of Christ” or to “displace Christ” of His rightful place in the ekklesia of God.

John went on to write, “But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things. I have not written unto you because you know not the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth… These things have I written unto you concerning them that deceive you. But the anointing which you have received of him abides in you, and you need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teaches you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it has taught you, you shall abide in him. And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.” (1Jo 2:20-28 KJ2000)

You see, deception comes in when we prefer the teachings of men and hew out for ourselves broken cisterns that can hold no water as we forsake the Fountain of Living Water (see Jer. 2:12&13) — the very Spirit of God which Jesus promised would come and abide in our midst (see John 4:10 & 7:8) and lead us into all truth (see John 16:13). As we abide in the Spirit of Christ and are obeying HIM, we will be confident “before Him at His coming.” Yes, anointed teachers can share things with us from God, but they were never meant to take the place of the Comforter who leads us into all truth.

May God bless you as you listen to His voice and follow the Lamb wherever HE goes.

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17 comments on “The Anti-Christ Spirit vs. the Holy Spirit in the Church

  1. Mia says:

    Hi Michael
    Amen and Amen and Amen!!!
    Thank you for stepping out of the world church system to allow our Father to use you to show some discernment, a non-existent gift in today’s churches, I have found. I wrote a very similar post this week, Jesus, the Iconoclast” and I have to admit that it was not easy. I admire you and George and appreciate your blog!
    Bless you
    Mia

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    • Mia, thanks for writing. In my case I was actually driven out of that system. Its Sauls constantly tried to pin me to their church walls. Finally, one Sunday the Lord said to me, “Why do you keep seeking the Living among the dead?” At that point that passage in Hebrews 13:11-13 started to make since. It comes from this passage in Exodus:

      For the LORD had said unto Moses, Say unto the children of Israel, you are a stiff-necked people: I will come up into the midst of you in a moment, and consume you… And Moses took a tent, and pitched it outside the camp, far off from the camp, and called it the Tabernacle of the congregation. And it came to pass, that every one who sought the LORD went out unto the tabernacle of meeting, which was outside the camp. (Exo 33:5-7 KJ2000)

      I have found that the further we go outside the camp of Christendom in our search for that city whose Builder and Maker is God, the clearer things become. I agree, true spiritual discernment is missing in that system, at least in the way we think of it. But they also have their antennas out to detect and mark those who follow the Spirit wind all the while they let seducing spirits and doctrines of demons come in and take hold.

      Like I said, we have to pass through the doorway of the cross, that narrow gate that few find if we are to go from death to death, life to life and glory to glory with our focus on Jesus alone and continue as His sheep to hear and follow the voice of His Spirit.

      I will look for your iconoclast (one who pulls down icons) post on your blog.

      Love in the Son,
      Michael

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  2. lynmelvin says:

    Years ago the Spirit of the Lord showed me that there would come a time where every worldly system–political, financial, and religious–would be shaken. All that would remain is that which cannot be shaken.

    Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire. – Hebrews 12:26-29 ESV

    I believe all the man-made religious hierarchies will be shaken and it is my prayer that believers will recognize Christ as the true Head of the Body and fellowship accordingly.

    One of my favorite authors is Gene Edwards who wrote ‘Beyond Radical’. In this book he shows how most of the practices of Protestants are unscriptural pointing out some of the same things you write about, Michael.

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    • michaeldc110 says:

      Lynn,
      Thanks for sharing your insights. About two years ago Christchurch, NZ was hit by a large earthquake and it destroyed the icon in the middle of the city it is named for, the Episcopal cathedral. The funny thing about this was that there was no known fault under that part of New Zealand. The writer of Hebrews seems to say it all,

      Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this [word], Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God [is] a consuming fire. (Heb 12:26-29 KJV)

      All that man has presumptuously built on this earth will be shaken including those man-made kingdoms masquerading as the kingdom of God. I am so glad that our kingdom IN Christ is unshakable.

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  3. Piper says:

    Thanks Michael, that was really good. God Bless you too.

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  4. Ian Glapion says:

    A very Heavy Word. Yet Truth has a tendency to be that way. And I do mean Truth, because so many of us fall prey to looking to a man or a specific ministry when we are called to Seek the Lord Himself. Although a specific insight or message may be communicated through another, we are all members of the same Body and there is no rank amongst us as we unite under the Lordship if Christ who is the Head. I just want to be His Hands and Feet and live the life more Abundantly that He has for me right here and right now. Granted, our days are becoming fewer and fewer… Yet I not only want, but am striving to be a vessel of honor fit for my Lord’s use as the battle is heating up.

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  5. Mike Messer says:

    Well said brother!! May our eyes and hearts be open to the Truth that the Spirit of God is speaking. May we be willing to lower ourselves and let the attitude of Jesus be in us that was in Him while He was here.

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    • michaeldc110 says:

      Mike,

      It is always good to hear from you. There are few brother from my past that I am still so knit together with like you. Take a look at my reply to brother “Among the Forgotten.” I am amazed more and more ever day as His unity grows within how so many scriptures dove-tail together in a mosaic that displays the Living Christ and manifests that life deep within. Give me a call.

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  6. The more I hear from the remnant these days the more I am convinced of EVERY professing believer’s need to embrace the cross of Christ. There is a reason Jesus made this command a necessity for all who would follow Him.

    Our tendency as human beings is to do what is in our own best interest. That is our natural tendency. This is why we so easily fall for anything that would ease our pain and suffering in this life instead of allowing those sufferings to mold us into the image of Christ Himself, retaining an attitude of gratitude throughout.

    Many seem to have forgotten that this cross signifies among other things “identification.” In this life, we can identify with many things both natural and spiritual, both flesh and spirit. But we do well to remember that one can easily overshadow the other becoming “idolatry in our hearts.” In any place where this happens, we are in the least contributing to the antichrist spirit and possibly even becoming it. As you have pointed out Michael, this is found in the idols of “individuals,” “leaders,” “churches” and many other things- even “ministry.”

    It is amazing that despite the numbers of people who “know” “ekklesia” was wrongly translated into “church” still make excuses for promoting it. Why? Because it’s in their best interest- naturally. You see, for one to have to forsake the majority is costly. For one to embrace the ridicule and scorn of others hurts. For one to give up what the world deems important in title, position and authority might cost us everything. That’s Jesus’ point isn’t it?

    As you have made clear Michael, those who know Him and believe Him follow Him. They are well aware of the rocky narrow road filled with many pitfalls yet this does not discourage them. They are after Him and no other.

    One who truly believes in Jesus is looking out for what is in the best interest of their Lord. What that may or may not cost them is irrelevant. But the beauty in this can be seen, for despite the crowds of those attempting to reform what has always been perfect, a true saint finds His Lords will to be best and ultimately for his own good as well- spiritually.

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    • michaeldc110 says:

      Brother, well said. Jesus said that a servant is not greater or better than his master. Our Master is spoken of prophetically by Isaiah chapter 53. He was rejected by His own people, a man of sorrows and grief, not worldly handsome or slick, so much so that nobody desired Him for His fleshly atributes… In short, He was a walking dead man. Yet, in that death of the Old Adam and all that rejection He gave forth life to those around Him. Paul said, “Death works in me that life might abound in others.”

      The cross is the door. It is the doorway of our own death by which we pass from our temporal soul life into His supernatural life with Jesus freely manifesting in and through us to a dead world in which we have our bodily lives. When we pass through this doorway we find ourselves joining Him “outside the camp” of Christendom and it is here we bear His reproach and find out that here in this world we have no continuing city but have embarked on a journey for His Eternal City with Him. The more we have our spiritual eyes opened the more we come to realize that we are NOW dwelling in heavenly places in Jesus. He sits at the right hand of the Father and we are IN Him. It was His gift to us of believing faith that set us on this journey and it is that same faith as it is perfected in Him that allows us to apprehend that perfect oneness IN Christ and forsake our self-centered former lives in Adam. It is here that we cease to live like the carnal Christians of Corinth who were living out their lives vicariously through high profile Christian ministers (read 1 Cor. ch. 3). It is hear that we understand that “all things are ours in Christ and that we are Christ’s and He is God’s.” It is here that Jesus’ final prayer on this earth is answered,

      “I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them that you have given me; for they are yours. And all mine are yours and yours are mine; and I am glorified in them. And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to you. Holy Father, keep through your own name those whom you have given me, that they may be one, as we are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in your name: those that you gave me I have kept, and none of them is lost…
      And now come I to you; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that you should take them out of the world, but that you should keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through your truth: your word is truth. As you have sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.
      Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also who shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that you have sent me. And the glory which you gave me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and you in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that you have sent me, and have loved them, as you have loved me. Father, I will that they also, whom you have given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which you have given me: for you loved me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, the world has not known you: but I have known you, and these have known that you have sent me. And I have declared unto them your name, and will declare it: that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”
      (Joh 17:9-26 KJ2000)

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  7. Thank you Michael. I love this passage and the fact that we’re closer to Him and each other than we know. Still living with a cold, but do plan to contact you when my voice is returned to me. I’ve been praying for you and your influence among the brethren.

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  8. oikoskrk says:

    Great Blog Michael, the powers that be will always be the powers that be, So the only real choice is to “come out from her” instead of wasting His time trying to fix a system that cannot be fixed

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    • michaeldc110 says:

      Chris,
      Your comment might seem drastic and extreme to some on here, but I find that the churches in that system tend to be ruled by men and women who “do always resist God’s Holy Spirit” at every turn just as Stephen said to the Jewish temple establishment of 2000 years ago before they killed him. With that mind here is something I just read by T. Austin-Sparks that seems to fit in THIS hour:

      Wherever two or three are gathered (drawn together as My followers) into My name, there I AM in the midst of them. (Matthew 18:20 AMP)

      Jesus, as the Truth, is contrasted with Satan, the liar. But He is also contrasted with all representations, types, symbols, outward forms, etc., which were – and are – not the true, the real. When our Lord spoke of His body as the Temple, deliberately refraining from the fuller explanation because of the fixed prejudice of His hearers, He introduced the great truth of the transition from one dispensation to another, and the complete change in the nature of temple and worship. It was because Stephen saw this and declared it that he was murdered by these very people. Said he: “The Most High dwelleth not in houses made with hands” (Acts 7:48). Paul said the same to the Athenians (Acts 17:24). This does not mean that God never came into representations when they wholly corresponded with His thought. Both the Tabernacle and the Temple were “made with hands” and God came into them in power and glory, but not to commit Himself to the thing. The time came when He forsook both and He was no longer found there. They were only temporary representations and His presence was conditional.

      http://www.austin-sparks.net/english/books/001837.html

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  9. Dean says:

    The way i see it,is that God has used men like Luther,Wesley and so on to reveal progressive revalation of lost truth through out church age.These men were not perfect as men aren’t,we all have the sinful nature within as we stumble in many ways while aiming for perfection.Yes there was still much of the adamic ways in the reformers but where would the church and human race be without their couragous proclamation of the truth they believed God had reveiled to them.As for the modern men, Rick Joyner is the only one i’ve read and whom i have a deep respect for.He himself says that the church is for the most part still in medievil structure,but must and will change radically.I believe the Kingdom is coming and God has been and is working in many different ways,on many different levels through many different people.

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    • michaeldc110 says:

      Paul wrote to the carnal believers in Corinth something that fits the carnal church systems of men today:

      And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with solid food: for until now you were not able to bear it, neither yet now are you able. For you are yet carnal: for while there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are you not carnal, and walk as men? For while one says, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are you not carnal? Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom you believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that plants anything, neither he that waters; but God that gives the increase. (1Co 3:1-7 KJ2000)

      And again, The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain. Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours; Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; And you are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s. (1Co 3:20-23 KJ2000)

      Everything we need is found in the Son of God, not men…

      God, who at many times and in various manners spoke in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Has in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he has appointed heir of all things… (Heb 1:1-2 KJ2000)

      It is time we learned what Covenant we are called unto.

      Therefore from now on know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet from now on know we him no more. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2Co 5:16-17 KJ2000)

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