Back in the 1940s, people believed Adolf Hitler was the Antichrist because he murdered more than 6 million Jews. A couple of decades later, Americans spread the rumor that Communist leader Leonid Brezhnev was the true Antichrist.
Today the Antichrist mantle has been awarded to a wide range of politicians, entrepreneurs and celebrities, including Bill Gates, George Soros and even Dr. Anthony Fauci. And almost every American president since Franklin D. Roosevelt has been accused of being the devilish "beast" described in the book of Revelation.
The apostle John wrote: "Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour" (1 John 2:18, NASB). This verse indicates there is a spirit of antichrist that has been working in the world from the beginning, manifesting in various eras.
And throughout Revelation, we see that this Antichrist figure works in tandem with the devil and the false prophet to wage war on God and His people. The Antichrist is part of a demonic trinity—a counterfeit of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
I've never been more aware of this spirit operating in our nation than I have today. The devil is working overtime because he's furious that his days are numbered. He is mustering all his forces because he knows heaven is about to unleash a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
We shouldn't focus our attention on the devil, but the Bible says clearly that we should not be ignorant of his crafty schemes (see 2 Cor. 2:11). Here are six ways to identify the antichrist spirit:
The antichrist spirit hates God. The devil wants the attention that only God deserves. He hates all righteousness and goodness. He wants evil to triumph. This is why people who hate God celebrate sin. And this is why we see in our own educational system a systematic attempt to replace Christian values with atheism.
The antichrist spirit hates life. The devil doesn't have the power to create because he himself was created. Jesus called Satan a "thief," and He said his goal is "to steal, kill and destroy" (John 10:10b). No wonder the devil fuels racial hatred in people so they will kill others. And isn't it obvious that only Satan would convince people that killing an unborn child, even up until the moment of birth, is acceptable?
The antichrist spirit hates the family. Not long ago, secular psychologists would have all agreed that children thrive when they have a mother and a father. You can't suggest that these days without being scorned by social media censors. Our universities have become breeding grounds for hostility to anything traditional, including the simple scientific fact that there are only two genders.
The antichrist spirit hates authority. When you see hordes of people marching through our streets burning buildings and screaming curse words, you can be sure the antichrist spirit is near.
The antichrist spirit hates the Word of God. When Elijah called down fire from heaven, and God proved He was real to the whole nation of Israel, Jezebel got angry. She was hell-bent on killing the prophet before he could preach again (see 1 Kings 18-19). In this challenging hour, we need the courage to speak, especially when God asks us to break the rules of political correctness.
The antichrist spirit hates the church. Americans have enjoyed more than two centuries of religious freedom. But I have friends overseas who live in fear, either because their own government is closing churches or terrorists are killing Christians. I pray we never see such violence in the United States, but the spirit that is slaughtering Christians in Africa is already lurking in our midst.
I'm not saying these things to scare anybody. Jesus will rule forever as King of all kings. But we have some praying and preaching to do now. We can't sit back and let the spirit of antichrist gain ground. Let's get serious about pushing back the darkness.
J. Lee Grady was editor of Charisma for 11 years and now serves as contributing editor. He directs The Mordecai Project (themordecaiproject.org), an international ministry that protects women and girls from gender-based violence. His latest book is Set My Heart on Fire (Charisma House).
This article was excerpted from the August issue of Charisma magazine. If you don't subscribe to Charisma, click here to get every issue delivered to your mailbox. During this time of change, your subscription is a vote of confidence for the kind of Spirit-filled content we offer. In the same way you would support a ministry with a donation, subscribing is your way to support Charisma. Also, we encourage you to give gift subscriptions at shop.charismamag.com, and share our articles on social media.
J. Lee Grady was editor of Charisma for 11 years before he launched into full-time ministry in 2010. Today he directs The Mordecai Project, a Christian charitable organization that is taking the healing of Jesus to women and girls who suffer abuse and cultural oppression. Author of several books including 10 Lies the Church Tells Women, he has just released his newest book, Set My Heart on Fire, from Charisma House. You can follow him on Twitter at @LeeGrady or go to his website, themordecaiproject.org.
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