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Signs Part 3

The Spirit of the Age

Jonathan Stockstill

November 8, 2015

There is a spirit of the Antichrist that’s working in the world today. It is a spirit of pride and arrogance; distorts truth and incites lawlessness; and provokes jealousy, hatred, and murder. While we should recognize the spirit of the Antichrist, we should also know the other spirit in the world, the Holy Spirit, and that as Christians we live in that Spirit.

Ephesians 6:12 NLT: “12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.”

Ephesians 2:2 NLT: “2 You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God.”

2 Thessalonians 2:3–12 NLT: “3 Don’t be fooled by what they say. For that day will not come until there is a great rebellion against God and the man of lawlessness is revealed—the one who brings destruction. 4 He will exalt himself and defy everything that people call god and every object of worship. He will even sit in the temple of God, claiming that he himself is God. 5 Don’t you remember that I told you about all this when I was with you? 6 And you know what is holding him back, for he can be revealed only when his time comes. 7 For this lawlessness is already at work secretly, and it will remain secret until the one who is holding it back steps out of the way. 8 Then the man of lawlessness will be revealed, but the Lord Jesus will kill him with the breath of his mouth and destroy him by the splendor of his coming. 9 This man will come to do the work of Satan with counterfeit power and signs and miracles. 10 He will use every kind of evil deception to fool those on their way to destruction, because they refuse to love and accept the truth that would save them. 11 So God will cause them to be greatly deceived, and they will believe these lies. 12 Then they will be condemned for enjoying evil rather than believing the truth.”

1 John 4:3 NLT: “3 But if someone claims to be a prophet and does not acknowledge the truth about Jesus, that person is not from God. Such a person has the spirit of the Antichrist, which you heard is coming into the world and indeed is already here.”

What is the spirit of the Antichrist, and how do we see it at work in the world today?

1. It is a spirit of pride and arrogance (self-obsessing, self-exalting).

  • 2 Thessalonians 2:4 NLT: “4 He will exalt himself and defy everything that people call god and every object of worship. He will even sit in the temple of God, claiming that he himself is God.”
  • It is reminiscent of Isaiah 14:13 NLT: “13 For you said to yourself, ‘I will ascend to heaven and set my throne above God’s stars. I will preside on the mountain of the gods far away in the north.’”
  • 2 Timothy 3:1–2 NLT: “1 You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. 2 For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred.”

2. It distorts truth and incites lawlessness.

  • 2 Thessalonians 2:9–12 NLT: “9 This man will come to do the work of Satan with counterfeit power and signs and miracles. 10 He will use every kind of evil deception to fool those on their way to destruction, because they refuse to love and accept the truth that would save them. 11 So God will cause them to be greatly deceived, and they will believe these lies. 12 Then they will be condemned for enjoying evil rather than believing the truth.”
  • It is reminiscent of Genesis 3:1 NLT: “1 The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, ‘Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?’”
  • Matthew 24:24 NLT: “24 For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and perform great signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even God’s chosen ones.”

3. It provokes jealousy, hatred, and murder.

  • 2 Timothy 3:3–4 NLT: “3 They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. 4 They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God.”
  • It is reminiscent of Genesis 4:8–9 NLT: “8 One day Cain suggested to his brother, ‘Let’s go out into the fields.’ And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother, Abel, and killed him. 9 Afterward the Lord asked Cain, ‘Where is your brother? Where is Abel?’ ‘I don’t know,’ Cain responded. ‘Am I my brother’s guardian?’”

4. It explodes in violence.

  • John 8:44 NLT: “44 For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
  • It is reminiscent of Genesis 6:11–13 NLT: “11 Now God saw that the earth had become corrupt and was filled with violence. 12 God observed all this corruption in the world, for everyone on earth was corrupt. 13 So God said to Noah, ‘I have decided to destroy all living creatures, for they have filled the earth with violence. Yes, I will wipe them all out along with the earth!’”

5. It is perverse and depraved.

  • Romans 1:24 NLT: “24 So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies.”
  • It is reminiscent of Genesis 19:5–6 NLT: “5 They shouted to Lot, ‘Where are the men who came to spend the night with you? Bring them out to us so we can have sex with them!’ 6 So Lot stepped outside to talk to them, shutting the door behind him.”

Luke 17:26–37 NLT: “‘26 When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day. 27 In those days, the people enjoyed banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat and the flood came and destroyed them all. 28 And the world will be as it was in the days of Lot. People went about their daily business—eating and drinking, buying and selling, farming and building—29 until the morning Lot left Sodom. Then fire and burning sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all. 30 Yes, it will be “business as usual” right up to the day when the Son of Man is revealed. 31 On that day a person out on the deck of a roof must not go down into the house to pack. A person out in the field must not return home. 32 Remember what happened to Lot’s wife! 33 If you cling to your life, you will lose it, and if you let your life go, you will save it. 34 That night two people will be asleep in one bed; one will be taken, the other left. 35 Two women will be grinding flour together at the mill; one will be taken, the other left.’ 37 ‘Where will this happen, Lord?’ the disciples asked. Jesus replied, ‘Just as the gathering of vultures shows there is a carcass nearby, so these signs indicate that the end is near.’”

We have received a different Spirit!

1 John 4:4 NLT: “4 But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.”

Galatians 5:22–23 NLT: “22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!”

The Spirit and the bride say, Come!

Signs

Do you believe we’re living in the last days? Is it really the end of the world? All of the signs seem to point to an uncertain future. In this new series, Pastor Jonathan will explore Biblical understanding of the End Times and how we are not only equipped to face it but also overcome it.

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