This world is in a mess and sadly I do not see the church (especially in America) a part of helping fix what is really a wrong. Now please know the world as we think about cannot be saved.  The “world” is not the earth nor is it the people on the earth.  The world is a system, a way of doing things that is contrary to the way God does things.  John tells us, “And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.”  (1 John 4:3)  The world has a carnal, antichrist way of thinking and doing things.  Most people think the prefix “anti” means against, but that is not true.  The prefix  “anti” means “another” and if we plug this thought into 1 John 4:3 we find, “that spirit of antichrist (another Christ)  . . . even now always already is in the world.” Just a short 90 (or so) years after Jesus’ death, resurrection, burial (the Gospel), and ascension there arose false teachings in the church called Gnosticism; derived from the Greek “gnosis” meaning knowledge.  Gnostics taught salvation by mental enlightenment (sounds familiar today) which only the elite spiritual initiates not the ordinary rank and file Christians. They substituted intellectual pursuits for faith and exalted speculation above the tenets of the Gospel. Sounds like today in the church.  Sadly we have substituted salvation through enlightenment for works and doing good deeds instead of becoming the work of God. Sadly not much has changed since John’s days in the world when it comes to false teaching.  The Gnostics were beat back with the truth of the Gospel, but today most Christians do not read their Bible, spend any time in prayer, and most certainly know not God.  Sadly there is little standing in the way of false teaching in the Church  today.  I am not sure if John would have been able to beat back the Gnostic teachers if they (the Gnostics) had Christian TV.  Now do not get me started on Christian TV this is not the intention of this article, but make no mistake Christian TV has done more damage to the Body of Christ (by teaching lies and half truths) than the devil himself. This spirit of “antichrist” is alive and well in the world and in the church. It is easy to tell who are antichrist John helps us here, “And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God.” Any spirit or teaching that points one to salvation not though the death, burial, and resurrection (the Gospel) of Christ on the cross is another Christ. Now do not be deceived many false teachers and many denominations talk about how good Christ was and all of the wonderful miracles He did (which all is true), but they are talking about another Christ and another Gospel message that was not delivered to the church by the early fathers.  We see this with the Church at Corinth.  Paul chided the people, “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 4For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.”  (2 Corinthians 11:3-4)  The Church at Corinth has been beguiled from the simplicity in Christ though false teachers and through a false doctrine, sounds like today. So too with the Church at Philippi, “Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. 18(For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:”  (Philippians 3:17-18)  Funny how I have seen one Christian stick  verse 17 in the eye of another Christian who they do not like or may have a difference of opinion with. Any time I step on someone’s feelings (I am sorry if I did) and they get offended I am endanger of getting verse 17 jammed into my eye. They foolishly say (because of the disagreement) I am an “enemy of the cross of Christ” and try to turn hearts and destroy friendships.  I have seen this too many times (as I said I have had this happen to me by a close friend) in the church and it needs to stop.  I will not allow this antichrist spirit to take root in my heart because I still love the brother.  Back in Corinth, false teachers have crept in unaware bringing another gospel and Paul is warning the church. Now please know Paul was not saying they were enemies of Christ, oh no they talked about Christ, but Paul said they were “the enemies of the cross of Christ:” You can peach Christ all day long, but when you stand preaching the cross of Christ people’s ears close down and hearts dry up.  Why?  Paul tells us, “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. 18For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.”  (1 Corinthians 1:17-18) The antichrist message in the world today never preaches the message of the cross; death to our selfishness, self-seeking, and religious ways.  The antichrist message glorifies and exalts human effort and religious tradition. Just like the humanistic teachings (feel good psychology – I am okay you’re okay thinking) in the church (led by Joel Osteen, Kenneth Copeland, and their ilk) that is replacing the teaching the truth of the word of God.  Sadly the cross of Christ is being “made of none effect” and in the end the people will perish because they have believed a lie, they are foolish. Yes there is nothing new under the sun.       

Even in Jesus’ day we see this antichrist spirit.  Jesus shares, And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force13For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. 14And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come. 15He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” (Matthew 11:12-14)  Remember John the Baptist was Jesus’ cousin.  Mary and Elizabeth (Luke 1:36) were cousins.  From John the Baptist “until now”was about 30 years (John the Baptist was 6 months older than Jesus) and Jesus just began His ministry.  For about 30 years the Jewish people have been trying to force its way into politics to kick out the Romans and establish the throne of Israel once more in the earth and much has not changed since.  Even the disciples asked Jesus about this, “When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? 7And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. 8But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”  (Acts 1:6-8)  Jesus was more concerned with establishing “the kingdom of God” ( . . . righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost” (Romans 14:16)) in their lives which is not the kingdom of heaven or even an earthly kingdom.  Jesus was more concerned with giving them “power”to be able to become “witnesses.” Oh we all want to be a witness for Christ especially when the sun is shining and the birds are singing, but who wants to be a martyr for Christ?  Well that is what the word “witnesses” means in the Greek, martyr.  Jesus was telling His disciples He will give them power to lay their lives down for the Gospel just like He did.  Who wants to lay their life down?  Well that is the message of the cross, death to our self.  That is the message of the Gospel death to our carnal worldly nature.  Unless we deny our self and take up our cross and follow him (Matthew 16:24) where are we going to follow Christ to, heaven?  No into our death, our death to our sin nature, death to our ways and desires so that He can live through us.  Unless God can strengthen us with might in the inward man we will never be able to lay our life down for our neighbours, the Gospel, or even Christ.  No we have lost the simplicity of the Gospel just like the Church at Corinth and now we are trying to force things into being what we think God wants on earth.  After all, “the violent take it by force.”  Yes “the violent take it by force,” but we are not to be violent. We are to have the same character and nature of Christ, our example.  We are not to be violent and push our way into what we think God would have on earth, but allow God to make us into His image and nature.  This is why Jesus said, “the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence,” violent Christians can never establish the kingdom of  heaven nor enter into the kingdom of God,  heaven is suffering because we are doing things outside of God’s framework and plan.  It is not our way it is God’s way.  We must do things through the divine spiritual principles God has established for our lives and His church. We must not allow the antichrist spirit of this age and past ages creep into the church and our lives deceiving us from God’s best.  

Yes the world is in a mess and the people in the world are even in a bigger mess.  There is an urgent need for the intervention of God in the Church, within His people, and in the affairs of the nations.  At this present time the LORD is seeking out those whom He can use for this purpose as the time in which man is in control of the nations is coming to an end. In the past, with few exceptions, the LORD moved through human agency, but was limited by the level of faith and yieldedness in those He used.  At this present time the LORD is preparing overcomers those who desire to go beyond their present spiritual experience and are responding to His voice in obedience.  These are aware that something different is taking place as they are hearing a call to come into a higher level of relationship to the LORD.

As world conditions increasingly deteriorate it is becoming evident that there is no lasting solution to world problems, except through divine intervention. Any possible method of dealing with these present world dilemmas is so elusive that leaders must come to recognize that they are incapable of any resolution of these problems.  To be able to overcome these situations in the world requires a high level of personal integrity and commitment.  As we unconditionally commit all that we are along with all that we ever will be to the LORD (in obedience) we will rise above all that is less than His best for us, our relationships with our brothers and sisters, and with God will begin to function correctly. To experience this level of identification with the LORD we must unconditionally submit the totality of our being to Him and specifically give Him permission to deal with us as He may desire, the ultimate sign of our submission. Glory always relates to the presence of the LORD in us.  When He comes to minister to us it is not to our flesh (He wants to kill that), but the abundance of the life of God that we have allowed God to work in us and this my friend can never be forced it must be developed in us.  We cannot take the things of God they must be received this is why the things of God can never be taken by force.