by Pastor Mark Downey
I recently had the pleasure of using the word 'antichrist' and was surprised by the backlash of knee-jerk reactions coupled with a lack of appreciation for biblical intent. Most adherents of Christian Identity are not fooled by the eschatology of novocain theology, such as the Rapture and its subsequent terms of endearment like the Great Tribulation and the Antichrist; meaning, of course, some future individual World Dictator as the incarnation of Satan, whose purpose would be to kill the saints of Christ through all the supernatural powers of evil at his disposal. There are variations of what constitutes this Antichrist, depending upon what denominational baggage each church carries.
Identity maintains its position along with the contention of the Protestant Reformation, that the antichrist of scripture was not one man, but a mighty system or organization of men animated by one spirit or motivation. The scriptures give a clear, uncluttered definition of antichrist as anyone who rejects the deity of Christ. Because the word antichrist has become such a buzzword, it could just as well be called anti-messiah, anti-anointed without all the emotional preconditioning.
A personified antichrist, like the erroneously personified superstitions of a Satan or devil, has become very popular subjects in the church world because of conflicting religious ideas. The whole melodramatic production is promulgated and exacerbated by those who have financed a slew of genre books and movies. Their focus is obviously fomenting the idea of some future super-bad guy. The key word is future, so that we, the common people don't identify the super-bad guys in the present. The purveyors of a future Antichrist have made miserable stabs in the dark, calling Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Prince Juan Carlos of Spain, Prince Charles, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton the antichrist, just to name a few. But, no matter, there's always another day for worthless speculation.
Even the fictional "Omen"-styled movies permeate people's minds as potential realities, and it's not just the big bucks of Hollywood sowing seeds of modern mythologies. The largest judeo corporation in the world, Trinity Broadcasting Network, is getting in on the act with their antichrist movie called 'Megiddo', starring Michael York as the quintessential Antichrist, morphing into one of the orneriest reptilian bat-winged, blood curdling devil creatures you'll ever want to see. And for good reason, if you're not a true Christian.
How much more of this constant churning out of absurd pseudo-biblical monsters of the twilight zone must we endure? The obsession with an Antichrist gets more attention than Christ. I believe that is by design as history reveals itself. For four centuries before the Reformation, the Church of Rome built up her pretensions on what are known as the "Decretals of Isidore", a collection of decrees, supposedly issued by the Bishops of Rome during the first three centuries of the Christian era, showing the authority of the Popes. In the general ignorance of that era, the Decretals were accepted as authentic. However, during the Reformation, a reexamination of genuine history revealed the "Decretals of Isidore" as a forgery. It was exposed as the most audacious impostor ever palmed off on an unsuspecting world. But for four centuries it worked its dirty deeds, and Rome reaped the benefit. What Rome has done once, she can be expected to do so again.
Again, in 1747, a waning universalist Catholic church resorted to an insidious plan of disinformation through its treacherous arm of the Jesuit Order with their man, Emanuel Lacunza, conceiving the idea of a personal Antichrist. He wrote under the name of Rabbi Ben Ezra with a view of converting jews to Christianity. This was his dishonest ulterior motive: to gain an accepted platform in an accelerating Protestant world. Lacunza's views might be tolerated by the Vatican coming from a Jesuit, but coming from a jewish rabbi, his writings were certain to be put on the 'Index' of prohibited books. There remained only the Protestants, and there can be little doubt that this elaborate forgery was prepared for their consumption.
To get them to begin dabbling in the theory of a future Antichrist was worth the vast amount of time and labor to the Church of Rome. Sure enough, after his death in 1801 and during the Inquisition, his writings were denounced. It was the best advertising he could have hoped for. After the Inquisition, copies of his work were read with great delight amongst the prohibited books. When a sufficient number of religious leaders in England committed themselves to approving the first edition of Ben Ezra's works, and therefore acceptance of its teachings, it was then too late to reverse their verdict. Protestant expositors took the bait and the hook is thoroughly ensnared in their theology.
An added feature to this false Catholic teaching is that a singular Antichrist took jews off the hook as being identified as antichrists. It has come to such fruition that a Polish jew is now the Pope, and Christianity is referred to as judeo-Christianity. How so ... "a little leaven leaveneth the whole loaf".
I have a renewed perception of just how offensive this word antichrist can be to those who have missed its simplicity, and instead conjure images of calculated propaganda to which they have been programmed as deliberately as Pavlov's dog. Who wants to be compared to the stereotyped totalitarian, satanic monster of prophecy, even though it is contrived in fraud and deceit? Even to the freethinking atheist or agnostic, an honest exegesis of the word antichrist would be more palatable than the pious hype. This word antichrist only appears in the epistles of John, which have never been considered prophetic. They deal, rather, with love, obedience and faith. John encourages us to try or test the spirits, or mentalities, to see whether they are of God or whether they are of the enemies of God.
We are told that there would be angels, or messengers of light (the Word) to deceive the unwary. These are the wolves in sheep clothing that prey upon the ignorant, the gullible, the misinformed and the undiscerning. Until we begin to understand the scriptural antichrist, whom John identifies as a liar (I John 2:22), and that even in his day, there were many (v. 18), we will fail to understand the real problems that surround us in the here and now.
Oh, by the way, you may have wondered why I subtitled the message 'Lounge Lizards of Churchianity'. A lounge lizard is a composite of the dregs of society that frequent bars and your finer taverns. They sit on their barstools and hardly ever move, except to take a swallow of their cocktail. By the same token, people in churches hardly ever move in their pews other than to raise their pious hands to their sorcerers. It reminds me of the parable of the sower that speaks about the seeds that fell by the wayside: when one hears the word of the Kingdom but doesn't understand it, Mt. 13:19 says the wicked one then enters the picture and chokes any comprehension of scriptures. They wind up denying the deity of Christ and that, very simply put, is an antichrist. It's not just jews, Catholics or pagans. The antichrists are out there and there are many.