The Church & Antichrist
The devil had his origin as “the covering cherub” (Ezekiel 28:14), who dwelt “in the midst of the stones of fire.” The covering Cherub’s name was Lucifer, which means “A Bearer of the Light”. These cherubs occupied a high position in heaven at the very throne of the Most High God, in “the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man” (Hebrews 8:2) Moses was instructed to make a pattern of this tabernacle, where golden cherubim were made to dwell in the most sacred place of the Sanctuary. The angels were always known as “spirits” and “flames of fire” (Hebrews 1:7), and God’s Sanctuary has always been the church of all the heavenly host: where He sits enthroned, and where His government reigns supreme. His law was placed as the foundation of the throne in the Sanctuary upon the earth, and that very same law was the foundation of His throne in the heavenly assembly, which assembly we are part of:
“ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.”
THE LIVING STONES OF THE CHURCH
The church we are part of is the very church that the “innumerable company of angels” are part of, and that includes the cherubim. In this church, we are called “lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.”
(1Pe 2:5) We are to be living stones, building up the temple of heaven. That fallen cherub was no exception, being a “flame of fire”, walking in the midst of those “stones of fire”, the angels were, and as many as are faithful and obedient to God, still remain as part of the church of God in heaven.
So what happened that Lucifer should no longer be part of that church? He began to exalt himself to equality with God. “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.”
Lucifer, the created angel, who was part of the “church of the firstborn”, was desiring to exalt himself to equality with God, and to receive worship that was due to God and Christ alone. Yet the Scripture tells us that this honor was never given to any angels:
“Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.”
The angels never received the divine inheritance of worship that the Firstbegotten, the Son of God, inherited from the Father. Christ was the foundation of the throne of God, upon His shoulders the entire government and church of heaven was firmly established. So firmly fixed was this foundation, that the “church of the firstborn” is the very church Christ declared to be founded upon Himself in Peter’s confession “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” For Christ declared in return, “upon this rock will I build My church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:16,18) This honor was not ascribed to any angel to be the foundation of the church, which is built upon the Son of God, but both redeemed man and created angels were made from this Rock, which is Christ, as living stones. This is why Christ gave the acclamation to Peter’s confession by the Spirit of God, saying “You are Peter (a stone)”. The Scripture tells that this confession alone is what the true church is, and ever will be, and Christ’s confession in return is to be what all of God’s people always are in Him, the Rock of salvation. The Scripture says that we “are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” (Eph 2:20-22) Christ, the firstborn and chief cornerstone of the church, is declared to be the Rock “which you are hewn (carved out) from” (Isaiah 51:1), which “has begotten you” (Deut. 32:18). This church is the only church which the gates of hell will not prevail against, yet of Lucifer it is said at his fall, “thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.” (Isaiah 14:15) It is fundamental to our understanding then that Christ is the Son of God.
THE FATHER OF LIARS
God is the Father of Christ, the Son. This testimony speaks true. John, the apostle, declared Christ to be “the Son of the Father, in truth and love” (2 John 1:3). Yet of the devil, Christ declares that he, in John 8:44, “…abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”
Thus did Lucifer, who desired the worship that was given by God to Christ alone, fall from the very church of heaven, and so necessarily saw the gates of hell prevail against him, and why is this so? Because he refused to believe that Christ alone is the only equal with the living God, “as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name” than any angel. Satan, in exalting himself to equality with God, was not abiding in the truth of the Son of God. He was declared to be “a lair”, adding to the Word of God something that God had not declared.
The Scripture tells us that, “…he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son” (1 John 5:10). Satan had done exactly this. In exalting himself to equality with God, Satan brazenly declared that he did not believe the record God gave of Christ, His beloved Son, and by this means, had added to the Word of God and by this means he fell from heaven.
“Who hath established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son’s name, if thou canst tell? Every word of God is pure…Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar” (Proverbs 30:4-6).
God created all things by His Word, and Lucifer was now adding to the creation something that was not so from the beginning, and in doing so, he proved himself to be a liar. Thus he declared God to be a liar while in heaven, in not believing the record He gave of His Son. The most startling implications, not then discerned by the rebellious cherub, was the result of Lucifer seeking to exalt himself in his heart. Thus it was that another church was founded which disregarded Christ and which Satan was to be king of. That church is nothing less than the beginning of antichrist, and the stones of fire which composed the church of God were now fallen, and part of the “synagogue of Satan”, which rendered allegiance to the lies of Satan above the Word of God. Every church that is not in intimate connection with the Spirit of Christ, the Son of the living God, is a church of antichrist.
1 John 2:22-23 point this out: “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.”
Thus, it was that Satan denied the Son of God. There is an abundance of Scriptural testimony regarding that old serpent, the father of lies, that declare that the gates of hell have indeed prevailed against him, and that he has continued this warfare against the creation of God. He continues to this day to declare that God is a liar, and perverts His Word to win souls to his rebellion.
“…Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:1-5).
Christ said, “When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own.” While dishonesty and jealousy are exclusively the qualities of the devil, he imposed them upon the Father of truth, thus the prevalence of the gates of hell over one who denies the Son of the living God. Satan has ever won his converts over through subtle deceptions that overthrow God’s authority. As it was then, even so it is now.
THE CHURCH OF ANTICHRIST
Satan’s church has always used lies at it’s foundation, and the growth of his church has always been aimed at the living stones to establish them in his own building. He seeks to incite rebellion through deception, which is what he did to the angels of heaven, Adam & Eve, the worship of false gods amongst God’s professed people. In fact, in speaking of his fall, it refers to Lucifer as “the King of Babylon” (Isaiah 14:3), that is, a heathen nation that is foreign to the nation that is symbolic for God’s remnant church, “the heavenly Jerusalem”. Babylon was known for it’s worship of false gods, and when God’s people became entangled in their worship, it was evidence that Satan had found his way into Jerusalem, and for this cause, they went into captivity under the nation whose gods they served. “The kings of the earth, and all the inhabitants of the world, would not have believed that the adversary and the enemy should have entered into the gates of Jerusalem.” (Lam. 4:12)
Satan artfully conceals himself under the guise of the worship of false gods. When Israel departed from the living God to worship Satan, though they professed to be Israel, they ceased to truly be Israel, or have any right to the blessings that Israel were to receive. “Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, are these…Behold, ye trust in lying words, that cannot profit. Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not; And come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations? Is this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, even I have seen it, saith the LORD.” (Jer. 7:4-11) The living God denounces those who profess to say they are the people of God, declaring they are delivered, and that they are called by the name of the only true God, and then show by their works that they are not at all the people of Jehovah, but of Baalzebub (Satan), the “king of Babylon”, and though they professed to believe the truth, underneath this profession was a manifestation of all that antichrist is and has always been.
The church was in the days of the Babylonian captivity referred to as a woman: “I have likened the daughter of Zion to a comely and delicate woman.” (Jer. 6:2) And in prophecy, the last day antichrist church is referred to as a woman, and no less as “Babylon”.
“Come here; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore…with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication…And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” (Rev 17:4-5)
Satan is the king of this church, and through her, he receives worship. More than this, she is in intimate connection with the kings of the earth, thus Satan, through her, enforces his false system of worship by a church/state union. She is arrayed with precious stones and pearls, but these pearls and stones are to belong to the church of God, but instead adorn the church of antichrist.
Moreover, she is referred to as a whore, because of the false worship associated with her, just as it was with Israel in the days of their apostasy: “Therefore the showers have been withholden, and there hath been no latter rain; and thou hadst a whore’s forehead, thou refusedst to be ashamed.” (Jer. 3:3) A whore is one who commits fornication against the true God, and has “a whore’s forehead”; therefore the nature of the god she worships is written upon her head, and is no less than Babylonian Satan worship in nature.
ANTICHRIST DEPARTURE FROM FAITH
This development of antichrist began in heaven, and continued with the concealed deceptions of Satan until it even began to find a foothold in the apostolic era of the Christian church. The apostle John, speaking of this, said:
“Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby 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.”
The apostle’s words were echoing the same voice that was spoken two millennia before, when Moses wrote: “Certain men, the children of Belial, are gone out from among you, and have withdrawn the inhabitants of their city, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which ye have not known;” (Deu. 13:13) A key characteristic that the apostle styled as “antichrist” was “not continuing” in the faith, by going to “serve other gods, which ye have not known.” John seeing this, declared further: “I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth. Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.” (1Jn 2:21-22) John shows how the very denial of truth that happened in heaven was happening amongst professed followers of Christ in his day, and for this cause John admonished the children of the truth to abide in the truth, that they “shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.” (1 Jn 2:24) Two churches both professing to be the Israel of God were developing. One of the most startling revelations regarding antichrist which Satan set up was to “sit in the temple of God;” when the only seat in the temple of God is the throne of God, which is the place of His worship and the seat of His government, where His law is contained. Thus Satan would have one arise in the church to assume prerogatives that did not belong to him.
THE WHORE’S FOREHEAD
This culminated into Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots. Being a whore, upon her forehead was written the name of her god: “Mystery” with whom Satan was mysteriously concealing himself to receive worship in her. This was “serving other gods, which ye have not known.” And for this cause, she persecutes the saints of God. Jesus said “They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.” (John 16:2-3) Thus we see those who are true to God, and know Him and are founded upon fundamental knowledge of the Son of God, and those who do not know the Father or His Son, but think they are serving God, when in fact they are serving the god which they know not under the false guise of worshipping God. This woman, involved in church and state union enforced upon the saints this mystery worship. “And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus…” (Revelation 17:6) She not only enforced her worship of her mystery god, but moreover, enforced the falsehoods that were framed by a departure from the words of the true God, and like Eve, became a catalyst for promoting the deceptive sentiments of Satan.
1) She worships a mystery god.
2) She enforces the worship of that mystery god.
3) She does so by means of a church/state union.
4) She makes war with the Son of God through making war with his church.
5) The mystery god must necessarily have Satan concealed in it’s worship: adding to or removing from the Word of God.
What is the church that identifies the characteristic marks of the antichrist church which wars against the church of the firstborn? It can be nothing less than the Catholic church.
SHE WORSHIPS A MYSTERY GOD
“The mystery of the Trinity is the central doctrine of the Catholic Faith. Upon it are based all the other teachings of the church…” Handbook for Today’s Catholic, p. 11
“The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of Christian faith and life. It is the mystery of God in himself…his inmost Being as Holy Trinity is a mystery that is inaccessible to reason alone or even to Israel’s faith before the Incarnation of God’s Son and the sending of the Holy Spirit.” Cathechism of the Catholic church, ch. 1:234,237
This is evidence that the God of Israel was said to have been a mystery god, which “ye have not known”.
SHE ENFORCES THE WORSHIP OF THAT MYSTERY GOD
Speaking of the church that enforces the worship of it’s god by the state, the Scripture says: “in his estate shall he honour the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things. Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many…” (Dan. 11:38-39)
The Catholic emperor Justinian made a decree enforceable to subject all men to the worship of the Trinity and to worship under the Catholic system:
“CONCERNING THE MOST EXALTED TRINITY AND THE CATHOLIC FAITH AND PROVIDING THAT NO ONE SHALL DARE TO PUBLICLY OPPOSE THEM…
(1) We order all those who follow this law to assume the name of Catholic Christians, and considering others as demented and insane, We order that they shall bear the infamy of heresy; and when the Divine vengeance which they merit has been appeased, they shall afterwards be punished in accordance with Our resentment, which we have acquired from the judgment of Heaven…
Let all bodies of heretics be prevented from holding unlawful assemblies, and let the name of the only and the greatest God be celebrated everywhere, and let the observance of the Nicene Creed, recently transmitted to Our ancestors, and firmly established by the testimony and practice of Divine Religion, always remain secure.”
SHE DOES SO BY MEANS OF A CHURCH STATE UNION
It should suffice that Satan has used the papacy, under which influence the kings of the earth are employed to enforce the Babylonian religion upon the world.
Consider the idea presented in 1965 from the Pope in his encyclical, Gaudium et spes:
“The Church herself makes use of temporal things insofar as her own mission requires it. She, for her part, does not place her trust in the privileges offered by civil authority. She will even give up the exercise of certain rights which have been legitimately acquired, if it becomes clear that their use will cast doubt on the sincerity of her witness or that new ways of life demand new methods (§76).”
There is no suggestion here that the Church’s renunciation of her rights in regard to the state is the ideal, only that sometimes this move might be prudent in order to establish her credibility. Flowing in the same vein of thinking, but more direct in it’s tone, it shows another of the highest legally binding document of the Catholic church (the encyclical) AU MILIEU DES SOLLICITUDES:
“We shall not hold to the same language on another point, concerning the principle of the separation of the State and Church, which is equivalent to the separation of human legislation from Christian and divine legislation. We do not care to interrupt Ourselves here in order to demonstrate the absurdity of such a separation; each one will understand for himself…Catholics cannot be too careful in defending themselves against such a separation. In fact, to wish that the State would separate itself from the Church would be to wish, by a logical sequence, that the Church be reduced to the liberty of living according to the law common to all citizens…. It is true that in certain countries this state of affairs exists. It is a condition which, if it have numerous and serious inconveniences, also offers some advantages – above all when, by a fortunate inconsistency, the legislator is inspired by Christian principles – and, though these advantages cannot justify the false principle of separation nor authorize its defence, they nevertheless render worthy of toleration a situation which, practically, might be worse.”
Again, it says that the church that for many years exercised the authority over the state to persecute God’s church is tolerant where she does not have the influence over the state. It was stated by Pope Francis that the orderly development of “a civil, pluralistic society requires” that the “authentic spirit of religion” not be “confined” to “personal conscience but that its significant role in the construction of society is recognized,” in his remarks to the Italian president. “On the other hand, public authorities—who are primarily expected to create the conditions for a just and sustainable development, so that civil society can develop all its potentialities—can find a valuable and useful support for their action in the commitment and loyal collaboration of the Church.”
SHE MAKES WAR WITH THE SON OF GOD THROUGH MAKING WAR WITH HIS CHURCH
That the Catholic church persecuted other professing Christians by means of the state simply because they would not adhere to their form of doctrine and manner of worship is abundantly testified to throughout history and even at times through the confession of the Catholic church itself in places where she has little to no influence over matters of state.
THE MYSTERY GOD MUST NECESSARILY HAVE SATAN CONCEALED IN IT’S WORSHIP: ADDING TO OR REMOVING FROM THE WORD OF GOD
Nowhere in Scripture are we commanded to worship a Trinity. We have only a command to worship God the Father, and that His Son, by His divine inheritance, is to also receive worship. Satan knows this, and has sought for many centuries to secure worship for himself, yet was never permitted to have this in the church of heaven. He idealized the concept in his heart of the Trinity: he disregarded the special prerogative belonging to Christ alone as the Son of God in truth who is entitled to worship, thus removing from the Word of God, and he placed himself in equality with God, to receive worship and added to God’s Word, declaring Him to be a liar. The Trinity presented three divine beings under the worship of one God, yet Scripture never sanctions the worship of three, but one God, and a fundamental part of that worship is honoring and giving worship to His only-begotten Son. Never in Scripture is there a place where we must worship the Spirit of God & Christ, but only to worship God and Christ from which we receive that Spirit. In the Trinity, the worship of the Holy Spirit is a concept idealized in the heart of Satan to be enthroned upon the hearts of men, securing worship from them through his subtlety. Instead of being the angel that is “a ministering spirit”, he flatters himself to be “the holy spirit”, giving himself a name and honor above what God had bestowed upon the angels.
Simply because he conceals himself as this, does not by any means imply that the Holy Spirit does not exist, but rather that the Holy Spirit is not a third divine being to be honored, exalted, worshipped with the Father and His Son. Rather the Spirit of God is their agency whereby they may be everywhere present, teaching, admonishing, guiding, and enlivening the children of God.
It may be plainly seen that the church of God has always been built up of His faithful children as “a spiritual house”, a “habitation of God through the Spirit”, and that the church of antichrist, the false systems of worship that departs from the worship of the true God and Christ, has a “house that is left desolate” (Matthew 23:37-38) because of the “overspreading of abominations” (Daniel 9::27, Matthew 24:15), being devoid of the Spirit of Christ. These are two opposing forces that have run parallel since the fall of Lucifer in heaven, and that the same measures which caused him to fall are brought to bear by him against God’s church in every age since that time.
“Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.” (Gal. 4:28-30)