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Recognizing the Spirit of Antichrist

TreeMany people are looking for “the Anti-Christ.”  Even Hollywood has done movies about it.  If you’re a believer, then you need to realize that we are already facing the spirit of antichrist that’s at work in the world.

Can you recognize the working of this spirit?  Do you even know what to look for?   This knowledge is important for our spiritual well-being in these last days.

But every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.
1 John 4:3

The Apostle John tells us that there is a spirit of antichrist.  According to him, it was already at work in his day.

What is it?  Well, let’s think about it.  The title Christ means the Anointed One.  It was a description of the Messiah.  Anti means that this spirit is actively working against the Anointed One.

When we bow our knee to Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we place ourselves under His anointing.

Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
2 Corinthians 1:21-22

We now have the Anointed One and His anointing active in our lives.  This anointing is leading us somewhere.  It is guaranteeing what the Lord want to accomplish through us.  That’s the Spirit of Christ in us.

The spirit of antichrist is active in the world.  There is an “anti-anointing” at work trying to neutralize what Christ is doing through us.

What we have to realize is that it’s all about Christ.  Have you ever noticed that if you talk about God or a “higher power,” it’s okay?  You can even talk about religion to some extent.

But, as soon as you try to talk about Jesus Christ, the conversation gets shut down.  Using that precious name to swear is socially acceptable.  Yet when I want to show how that name can transform a life, it becomes an “off limits” topic.

There is power in the name of Jesus.  That’s where the source of our anointing comes from.  We cannot minister without it.

That’s why the kingdom of the enemy is so adamant about trying to shut it down.  The spirit of antichrist – this anti-anointing that’s in the world – wants us to remain silent.

That’s why it’s so important to recognize where this comes from.  Even more important to know, is that our anointing is greater, stronger, and more effective than anything in the enemy’s arsenal.  If we stand in Christ, then we cannot be stopped or silenced.

As believers, we need to recognize that this anti-spirit is active around us.  But we must never fear it.  Neither will we submit to it or compromise with it.

Question: Have you seen this antichrist spirit active in the people around you?

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Posted by on March 15, 2013 in Spiritual Warfare, The Church

 

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Counter-Culture or Counterfeit?

Fake MoneyI have been posting about the difference between the Christian culture and the culture of the world.  In my last post, we saw that there are two anointings in the world – the anointing of the Holy Spirit and the antichrist anointing.

The apostle John talked about these anointings in his first letter.  In that same context he also said the following…

See that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you.  If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father.  And this is what he promised us — even eternal life.
I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray.
1 John 2:24-26

It is important that we remain in Christ – the Anointed One.  If we do, then we will also remain in His anointing.  The problem with many of us is that we try to jump back and forth.

Today we want the blessings of Christ.  The next day we try and chase after what the world is offering.  Sometimes we appear to be a little split in our loyalty.

We need to make a choice.  What is it that I want from life?  Do I want God’s best, or the world’s best?

After all, there are those who would try to lead us astray.  It literally means that they are trying to cause us to roam.  When that happens, we lose direction and focus.

It’s sad, but in many cases there are believers who are teaching us how to live with our feet in both worlds.  While it’s true that we have to live within the present world system, we don’t have to embrace its philosophy of life.  The priorities of the world should not be our priorities.

As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit — just as it has taught you, remain in him.
1 John 2:27

The truth is that the Lord wants to place His priorities in us.  If we will listen to the Holy Spirit at work in us, we will walk in this anointing.  If not, then we become a counterfeit.

A counterfeit is something that looks real, but it’s not.  Usually, only something valuable is counterfeited.  The counterfeit anointing is referring to those who appear to love God, yet really want what the world is offering.

Their priorities are in direct conflict with God’s, while appearing to serve, praise, and honor Him.  Don’t be a Christian in appearance only.  Remember, it’s what’s going on inside that counts.

Drink in the anointing of the Holy Spirit.  Let Him change your priorities from the inside out.  Don’t fall victim to the counterfeit anointing that is so prevalent in the world today.

Question: Why is the world’s anointing so appealing?

© Nick Zaccardi 2012

 
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Posted by on December 12, 2012 in Revival, The Church

 

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Christianity: The Counter-Culture…or not?

DifferentIs the church called to run contrary to the world?  If so, then where are we missing it?  I want to take a few posts to deal with this issue.  I want us to think about our walk as Christians in America.

This topic actually isn’t that new.  James wrote about it long ago.

You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God?  Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.
James 4:4

Those are some strong words he uses.  He called them an adulterous people.  What does cheating on your spouse have to do with the spiritual condition of a generation?  The answer is found in the verse just preceding this one.  It explains his choice of words.

As he talked about asking for things in prayer, he wrote…

When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
James 4:3

Here’s the problem that James is describing as adultery.  They asked God for things so that they could then spend those things on their pleasures.  It literally says that their motives in seeking God, was so that they could become consumers of pleasures.

That sounds a little too familiar.

“God, please help me to get a better job.”

Then, as our blessings increase, we get more things and push God further into the background.  After all, now that I have more stuff, I have less time for “church”.

Here’s the problem from God’s perspective.  It says in verse 4, above, that trying to make friends with the world is an act of hostility toward God.  To make a friend, you need to try to please them or be like them in some way.

Remember, we’re not talking about the people, but the world system.  You can make friends with people without buying into the system.

There’s a word we use for the world’s system of order.  It’s the word culture.  Webster’s Comprehensive Dictionary defines culture as, the sum total of the attainments and activities of any…people, including their implements, handcrafts, agriculture, economics, music, arts, religious beliefs, tradition, language and story.

In other words, the American culture is our entire way of life.  It’s how we live and what we expect.  It’s what we strive for as well as what we accept as “normal”.

When I think about the mainstream of life in the United States, I get a picture of the system at work here.  Then, when I see the lifestyle we are called to as followers of Christ, I get a whole different picture.  There are some areas where the two cultures are drastically different.

How do we live in both worlds?  That’s what I want to talk about in the next few posts.  Hopefully you’ll join the conversation.

Question: Do you see areas where the church is too friendly with the world system?

© Nick Zaccardi 2012

 
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Posted by on December 5, 2012 in Revival, The Church

 

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My Testimony – A Godly Heritage

2 Timothy 1:5
I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.

Sometimes it’s good to look back over your life to see where God has brought you from.  I love to hear a testimony of a changed life.  I have known drug addicts, gang members and people from the “underworld” who have given their lives to Christ and were changed by His power.  I have met people who have been bound by addictions, hurt by abuse and oppressed under the weight of depression all set free by the blood of Jesus.

It is an encouragement to see the life-changing power of the Holy Spirit at work in the world.  I, for one was insulated from most of these issues.  I tend to relate more with Timothy.  My grandparents were saved soon after they came over to America from Italy.  My parents were raised in church, and followed Christ throughout their lives.  When I came along, I had no choice – church was where our family went, whenever the doors were open.

Then, one day, at a children’s camp (Camp Woodhaven in West Boylston, MA) I personally received the salvation offered by Jesus Christ.  I have tried to follow His leading ever since.

Sometimes I used to feel that I missed out on something, when I would hear the testimonies of how God saved people from an evil life.  But when I grew older I realized the blessing of being born into a Christian home.  God kept me from some of the things that could have destroyed me.  I have a testimony of the Lord’s power to keep and protect a life from the darkness of the world.

So, whether you came to Christ from a life of great sin, or you were raised in church, be grateful to the Lord for His presence in your life.  The fact is, we all need a Savior.  No one is too far away from His love.  Equally, no one is good enough to deserve His love.  We all need the power of the cross to set us free.  Praise God for His grace that He freely gives to all who seek Him.

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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The Light – Part 3

Proverbs 31:18
She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.
(NIV)

This verse really emphasizes the true purpose of a lamp.  If the sun is shining brightly, and your house has a lot of windows, there is no need for a lamp.  Turning a lamp on at that point is a waste of energy, and you probably wouldn’t even notice that it was on.

The time that a lamp is needed is after the sun goes down.  When you light a lamp in a dark room, there is no hiding it.  As a matter of fact, even a small light can have that effect.  I have been in a hotel room where the tiny red light on the smoke detector has kept me awake for hours!

The darker it gets, the more the light is needed.  That is true in the spirit as well.  We live in a dark society – spiritually speaking.  And it seems to be getting darker and darker with each passing day.  That tells me that there is a reason God has us here in this place, at this time in history.

So many people spend their lifetimes trying to find purpose.  That should be no problem at all for the Christian.  We are to shine the light of Christ wherever we are.  That is our destiny.  To light up the darkness of this world.

Therefore, I need to spend quality time in the presence of the Source of that light.  If I am to adequately reflect Christ, then I need to abide in Him.  Spend time with the Lord today.  Let His joy, strength, and purpose flood your soul.  Then allow His light to spill out to all those around you who need to come into His light.

 
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Posted by on February 29, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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The Light – Part 2

Exodus 27:20
“Command the Israelites to bring you clear oil of pressed olives for the light so that the lamps may be kept burning.”
(NIV)

Hopefully, all believers want to be a light for Christ in this dark world.  What trips us up is the fact that it doesn’t just happen.  Left to myself I would do nothing worthy of the Lord’s glory.

It follows the same principle as in the verse above.  If Israel wanted the lamps in the tabernacle to continue to burn brightly, they had to be tended to.  It was not just a once a week task.  Olives had to be picked and crushed for their oil.  The oil had to be filtered for clarity.  The wicks had to be changed when they had burned down.  The oil level in the lamps needed to be monitored frequently.

In the same way, hearing a sermon and singing some songs once a week is not enough to keep us burning bright for the Lord.  It is a daily task to tend to the needs of our spirits.  We need the solid food of the Word of God.  We need the living water of the presence of God.  We need to be meditating on His Word throughout the day.  These are the things that keep the lamp going.

As I said in my post yesterday, it is not my light that is shining.  But that doesn’t mean I have no part to play.  Unless the lamp is prepared, there will be no place in me for the light of Christ to ignite.  Keep your lamp in good condition.  Give the fire of the Lord a ready home to light up your world.

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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