Monday, December 9, 2013

Waking Up Among Wolves: The Antichrist Pt. 1: The Papacy

When I started this blog I had a few topics in mind I wanted to pursue, such as the woman's head covering of First Corinthians 11.  That and the Bible versions controversy quickly became big enough to get their own separate blogs.  As I was researching various subjects, such as by listening to sermons at Sermon Audio, the topic "Antichrist" kept popping out at me and eventually I decided that was going to be a topic here as well, but at first I didn't have a lot to say about it. 

I mostly had the Futurist idea in mind, that the Antichrist is to be a personality who emerges at the very end before the Lord returns, and I was aware of various candidates from false religions for that title, such as the Imam Mahdi expected by the Muslims, Maitreya expected by the Buddhists and pursued in a more universal form by Benjamin Creme, and the false Messiah expected by the Jews since they rejected the true Messiah, and so on. 

Unlike most Futurists, however, I did appreciate the Protestant Reformers' view of Antichrist as the papal system throughout all history and thought a particularly telling piece of evidence was the Latin title for the Pope that adds up to 666 through its Roman numerals: VICARIVS FILII DEI.  Nevertheless I had the Futurist attitude that the main thing was still the emergence of the major final Antichrist at the very end, which seems awfully close to a lot of us, and the papacy wasn't really an active agency in my mind.

Until I ran across some of Chris Pinto's films at You Tube.  Others, such as ex-priest Richard Bennett, also identify the papacy as Antichrist, but Pinto brings out the ongoing activity of the papacy as Antichrist down the centuries and into the present in a way nobody else I'd seen does.  He also made me aware of the active role of the Jesuits from their origin into the present.

This has had the effect of making the Antichrist himself come alive in a real and immediate way that I wasn't expecting at all.  It's quite startling. 

It's what I mean by the title "Waking Up Among Wolves."  It's like I've been asleep to all this except in the most intellectual abstract way and suddenly it has become quite real, almost "up close and personal."  And of course this latest Pope is almost frenetically pursuing a role that easily defines him as "That man of sin."  He may or may not be the last Pope as an old Catholic prophecy predicted, and even if he is he may not be THE Antichrist, who may be a political figure like Hitler, backed by the Pope, but the development of the qualities of the Antichrist is pretty startling.

Still a "watch and see" situation, only in my mind looming large as it never did before. Kind of like waking up surrounded by wolves.

===================================== Part Two:  Islam    

A Couple of Timely Shows from Jan Markell's Ministry

Here are a couple of recent radio shows from Jan Markell on the subjects that are her forte: current events, politics and spiritual breakdown in the Church.

On the program Entertaining Spirits Unaware Jan and guests discuss some attempts to domesticate the occult even in the Church or at least through a recent issue of Christianity Today.  Eric Barger, who writes on the occult, and Jill Martin Rische, daughter of the late Walter Martin, also a writer on the occult, are her guests.

I didn't know the occult was becoming a sort of fad in the Church. A real head-shaker. Some people really do sell their souls to Satan in exchange for worldly success. The version that is accepted in the Church, however, is more like a gullible blind acceptance of things like Harry Potter

And Christianity Today has been off the rails on a lot of subjects for a long time. I guess it makes sense this is where a deviation in direction would end up, in an inability to see the antichristian nature of ghosts and horror stories and magic etc.

The other show is about the government's invasion of privacy of citizens, and about the current situation concerning Iran: Deliver Us From Evil

Rivers of Living Water

John 7:38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.  
John 14:12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
I could spend a lot of time on these verses, but there's really only one simple message I want to convey: I think we ignore these promises of Jesus in a way that is depriving the Church of power these days. They have no doubt been misused, such as by the Charismatics, Pentecostals and others, but we don't have to fall into their theological systems to take them seriously. We don't need to know, for instance, whether they have anything to do with a separate "Baptism of the Holy Spirit" or not, all we really need to know is that Jesus promised this kind of power to His followers, to those who "believe on Him," and we don't have it.

"Rivers of living water" certainly implies the power to impart spiritual life to others. that is, salvation.   Don't you long for that power? We have the Holy Spirit if we believe, but we don't seem to have the Holy Spirit in this degree of power. Why not?

One thing that is often ignored by the Charismatics and others who claim to have such power is that "The Holy Spirit is given to them who obey." Yet they expect to have the power without bothering to obey, which is no doubt a big reason why all they are getting with their zealous exertions to possess it is counterfeits.

So maybe the reason NOBODY has this power these days is about lack of obedience. Something to think about.

Nevertheless I think we should be praying for this power, using Jesus' own words: Teach us what it means to have the river of living water from our bellies, so we may possess it;  teach us what it means to have the power to do those greater works so that we may do them, and above all teach us what it means to "believe on You" because obviously we aren't getting it or we'd have these powers.