1 John 2:18 Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour.
THE LAST HOUR...
The apostle John, writes that it "is the last hour"... Knowing that all scripture is given by inspiration of God, and can be trusted as reliable and credible; it begs the question: WHAT HOUR IS IT NOW? I venture to say, that we are in the final minutes of the end times. Where exactly is not for us to know, but one thing is certain - if John was living in the last hour, we most certainly are nearer than some of us might imagine. My mantra is this: "WATCH AND PRAY".
John reveals that there are many "antichrists" that had already come (notice the small "a" - denoting these are not the Antichrist to come); and even to this day there have been many antichrists who have come through the last 2000 years that have opposed God, Jesus Christ, and His church here in the earth. But there is another hour that Jesus spoke of that correlates with John's use of the word "hour", which we know was not literal but an allegory.
Jesus, warned of an hour to come, that would catch most people by surprise, even those who claim to be His followers. It's important to know about these two hours that John and Jesus spoke of because they are related. John warns us of an "hour" where Satan, or the "Spirit of Antichrist" would be opposing God, His son - Jesus Christ; and now of course the Holy Spirit who has been poured out upon all flesh in these last days... all of this is leading to the "last hour" that Christ spoke of, and which we are admonished to be ready for. There is a lot of "mystery" involved in these scriptures to be sure...
Hey, Jesus even went on to say that "only His Father knows the actual hour" when the Son of man will return like a thief in the night! Ours is not to know the exact hour our day, but to "watch and pray" and be about our Father's business while we await the return of our Lord.
No One Knows the Day or Hour
36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven,[e] but My Father only. 37 But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 38 For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 40 Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. 42 Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour[f] your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. 44 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man
I'm going to make a bold statement: THE DEVIL DOESN'T WANT ANYONE TO BE READY FOR THE HOUR OF JESUS' RETURN! The devil doesn't want you or I to be watching and praying. NO. Anything but that. The Lord is preparing the earth for His coming. The Lord is preparing His church for the wedding of His most beloved bride.
The Devil has two tasks before him: One, keeping people from the truth, from coming to Jesus Christ for salvation and deliverance from their sins and all that is evil. Secondly, Lucifer is focused on lulling those who have come to Christ into a stupor, into a love affair with this world. You see, once a person is saved, and truly born again it is far from over... the devil knows that Christians can be deceived, they can be drawn away from God through a myriad of temptations and snares that he has been using effectively for centuries.
A lazy, in-love-with-the-world Christian is the hallmark of what the devil is after. If the devil isn't successful keeping someone from coming to Jesus, he will attempt to render them useless and ineffective for the kingdom of God. Many Christians are like the "show car" in the rich man's garage, that only comes out once in a great while to parade before the world... that dear friends is "religious piety" in it's worst form. Beautiful, yes - but not in God's eyes where it counts...
THE "SPIRIT OF LAWLESSNESS"
If there is one thing, one characteristic of the "Antichrist" that we all should be aware of it is this: "LAWLESSNESS". The devil has no regard for God's commands, laws, ordinances or holy edicts, not hardly: HE HATES THEM! For that matter, he despises all rules, laws, and ordinances of man as well. Rules are there to break, to bend, to twist, and to do whatever is expedient to accomplish his immediate ends at hand. That God hates this "spirit of lawlessness" is all to clear to anyone familiar with the scriptures. Jesus, will one day expose and cast out of His presence all who practice "lawlessness".
The Spirit of Antichrist is synonymous with the "spirit of lawlessness" - they are one and the same.
Matthew 13:41 The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness,...
Matthew 7:21-23 21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.
We find that the Antichrist is referred to as being lawless - this will be his main characteristic besides being bloated with immeasurable pride and arrogance. This will be the spirit of the last hour, the spirit that will fill the earth, it will be the very spirit of Antichrist that has no regard or reverence for the laws of God or man. Because of this perverse and unholy iniquity- lying, cheating, deception, and every other wicked work imaginable is being manifested both within and without the church...
(*yes, I did say within the church as well) It is obvious that we are living in a day when keeping God's laws, man's laws is not in vogue - "lawlessness rules in the earth". Be on guard against a heart of compromise or a mindset that "winks at sin" - be aware that that to practice lawlessness, is to condemn oneself as a rebel against God and His Holy Kingdom...
THE "MYSTERY of LAWLESSNESS"
(the Mystery of Iniquity)
2 Thessalonians 2:7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way.
Thessalonians 2:8-9 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders,
FINAL THOUGHTS... God hates lawlessness, Satan loves it. God hates evil, Satan loves it and is it. Whatever God is, Satan isn't. Whatever God loves, Lucifer hates and despises. This isn't that complicated, but we make it so. We learn what God loves by studying the Bible, and by meditating on His words to us. One of the first things the Holy Spirit does is to convict a person of their "lawlessness", and will bring conviction of sin and offenses to the point that an individual will want to "repent" of their lawless deeds, and turn from their wicked ways...
This has always been the case, but now under the New Covenant it is much more thorough because God's Holy Spirit has been given, poured out and released in the earth. If you are a Christian, if you've been saved, and are truly born again - you will have a tender conscience towards God, and want to obey His commands and the laws of man as well.
If you have cavalier attitude, or a ho-hum disposition towards the commands of Jesus(yes, the New Covenant has commands even though we're no longer under the "law" of the Old Covenant), you are in grave danger. I remind you to look again at what Jesus had to say about those who would stand before Him on the Day of Judgment and be surprised to hear our Lord say, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ (Mt.7:23)
Examine yourself, and see if there is any remnant of the "old man" left in you, anything that might be keeping you from being holy and pure before our Lord? The Spirit of Antichrist, will be one of "lawlessness", and it will be in the church as well as in the world... say it ain't so - ah, but it is. God knows who is and who isn't walking in love, and He will judge all that later; but for now our task is to examine our own lives and confess anything that the Holy Spirit brings to light... 1 JN.1:9/2 CO.13:5
Blessings to all/michael/fool4CHRIST
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I love God, people, and all of God's creation. For me there is always something or someone to write about...