The Antichrist is generally depicted as a militant atheist who brazenly opposes Christianity. Communism has been called an antichrist system because of its overt suppression of Christianity. It is not surprising, then, that when they were finally able to speak their minds, the Romanian people who suffered under him for 24 years called their deposed president, Nicholae Ceausescu, "the Antichrist." That is why they chose Christmas as the day most fitting to execute him and his wife Elena before a firing squad, having found them guilty of murdering at least 60,000 Romanians and of robbing the Romanian people of more than $1 billion.
Of course Ceausescu was not the Antichrist. His opposition to Christ and His gospel was much too obvious. Though it may mean "against," in Greek the prefix anti also means "a substitute for" or "in the place of." This is, in fact, the way in which the Bible presents the Antichrist. Rather than rejecting Christ, he will pretend to be Christ and thus will pervert rather than openly oppose Christianity. He will be a "false Christ" (Mat:24:24, etc.), offering a false and "positive" Christianity acceptable to all.
Hitler was a good potential Antichrist. His opposition to God, plain enough now, deceived many at first. While deliberately out to destroy Christianity and replace it with his neopagan occultism, Hitler pretended that he was the champion of real Christianity. And in many ways his pretense was convincing, for Hitler officially opposed homosexuality, immorality, occultism (though he was involved in occultism/immorality). He claimed to be God's representative to establish His kingdom upon earth, and regularly invoked the name and blessing of God in his speeches. For example:
1940: "We pray our Lord that He would continue to bless us in our battle for freedom....
1941: "We believe we shall earn the blessing of the Supreme Leader...the Lord God has given His approval to our battle. He will be with us...in the future.
1942: "And we will pray the Lord God for that, the salvation of the nation....
1943: "Our Lord God...will help us as He always has....
Could any real Christians have been deceived? Did some go along with Hitler to save their own skins? The following from a speech by Dr.Hans Kerrl, Nazi Minister of Church Affairs, is probably representative of the deception under the Antichrist's world religion. It reveals how blatant the lie can become while still being eagerly embraced in the name of "positive Christianity":
The Party stands [for]...Positive Christianity, and Positive Christianity is National Socialism...National Socialism is the doing of God's will...God's will reveals itself in German blood....That Christianity consists in faith in Christ as Son of God makes me laugh....
No, Christianity is not dependent upon the Apostles' Creed...True Christianity is represented by the Party, and the German people are now called by the Party and especially by the Fuehrer to a real Christianity....
The Fuehrer is the herald of a New Revelation.
Thousands of German pastors joined the newly organized "German Christians' Faith Movement," which supported Nazi doctrines and promoted the concept of a "Reich Church" that would unite all Protestants under the state. A minority of pastors, led by Martin Niemoeller, who had originally welcomed Hitler to power, realized at last that Hitler's "positive Christianity" was in fact anti-Christian, and so opposed the nazification of the church. The vast majority of both Catholics and Protestants and their leaders, however, enthusiastically welcomed Hitler's takeover of their country and obeyed his orders without apparent protest or twinge of conscience.
The "Reich Church," formed under leaders picked by Hitler, was formally recognized by the Reichstag on July 14, 1933. On November 13, a massive rally was held in the Berlin Sportpalast by the "German Christians' Faith Movement." Leaders of the rally proposed abandonment of the Old Testament (not so far from today's rejection of Israel) and revision of the New Testament to fit National Socialism. Resolutions called for "One People, One Reich, One Faith" and an oath of allegiance to Hitler to be signed by all pastors. Though Christians had never expected developments to reach this stage, most were too happy over the prosperity and the new social stability to be concerned about Nazi control of the church. Protesters were dealt with harshly by the Gestapo, whose reign of terror against true Christians began with the arrest of 700 pastors in the fall of 1935.
Amazingly, it was all done in the name of "freedom of religion" and for "unity"especially unity. That will be the cry of the deceivers in our day. Ecumenism is so appealing, yet will eventually produce an apostate church for the Antichrist. Make no mistake: What happened in Germany will happen again but with far greater deception. In fact, one can discern its beginnings now.
Today increasing numbers of "Third Wave Prophets" are bringing a flood of "new revelations." This "Latter Rain" movement is growing with astonishing speed in association with the Vineyards and Kansas City Fellowship under the influence of "prophets" such as John Wimber, Paul Cain (former associate of William Branham), Rick Joyner, Mike Bickle and others. Increasing numbers of churches are "submitting" themselves to these "prophets" in what appears to be a rapidly growing new discipleship movement based upon "signs and wonders" which is bringing dangerous heresies into the church in the name of holiness and unity. More about that in a future article.
"Positive Christianity" has been growing in popularity in America and is already being exported by Western church leaders into Eastern Europe. Those who promote positive/possibility thinking and positive confession are among the most influential television preachers and church leaders in the West. Any suggestion that a teaching is not biblical is rejected as "negative" and destructive of the unity that must be achieved at all cost, not only between Protestants and Catholics but among all religions.
A vast ecumenical movement has been quietly gathering irresistible momentum for years. Its roots go back to the 1893 Parliament of Religions in Chicago. Swami Vivekananda, who stole the show, later founded Vedanta temples across the Western world. A new vision of religious unity spawned such organizations as The Temple of Understanding (founded in 1960 to unite all world religions) in which secular leaders such as John D. Rockefeller and popes such as Paul VI and John XXIII played a role. It has been meeting for years at New York's Cathedral of St. John the Divine (Episcopalian). Similar ecumenical groups also connected with the UN Meditation Room include Wainwright House of Rye, NY, involved in Jungian spiritual psychology and with more impact upon mainstream churches. Periodic "Spiritual Summits" of world religions are held, as at St. John's in October 1975. It included a Shinto worship ceremony performed at the cathedral's "Christian" altar and culminated in addresses at the United Nations by representatives of five major faiths.1 Mother Teresa was a keynote speaker.2
A growing partnership between government and religion is preparing the world for its coming political/religious leader, the Antichrist. The motivation is good: peace and environmental protection, around which all religions can unite. EPA chief William K. Reilly, who calls himself a "pure Irish Catholic," has proposed a new "spiritual vision" of conservation. "Spiritual" and "ecumenical" is the new emphasis. In October 1988, a typical gathering of environmentalists from all over North America in the Santa Cruz, California redwoods "opened with a prayer by Native Americans, thanking Grandfather God 'for all the good things you have put on Mother Earth.'" A "Baptist minister—an ecumenical peace activist"—was one speaker. The meeting "closed with a community-building, earth-celebrating 'spiral dance' ritual led by well-known writer, activist, and feminist 'witch,' Starhawk," long associated with Catholic priest Matthew Fox at his Holy Names College in Oakland, California.3
A Global Survival Conference held in Oxford, England in 1988 brought together "spiritual and parliamentary leaders." A second one was held in January 1990, in Moscow. The highly religious United Nations University for Peace sponsored in Costa Rica in 1989 a Global Gathering for Peace as a follow-up on the Pope's World Day of Prayer for Peace held in Assisi, Italy in 1986. The Catholic Church supported the conference and the Dalai Lama was a speaker. Keynote speaker Robert Muller, former UN Assistant Secretary General and Chancellor of the University for Peace, and a Catholic, called the uniting of Europe set for 1992 "a step towards a world community...a harbinger of hope." He explained:
We need a world or cosmic spirituality. ...I hope that religious leaders will get together and define...the cosmic laws which are common to all their faiths....They should tell the politicians what the cosmic laws are, what God, or the gods, or the cosmos are expecting from humans....We must also hope that the Pope will come before the year 2000 to the United Nations, speak for all the religions and spiritualities on this planet and give the world the religious view of how the third millennium should be a spiritual millennium....4
As for the EEC, an official poster depicts Europe as a growing Tower of Babel! At Babel, God scattered mankind and confounded their language in order to stifle the ingenuity that was determined to assault the throne of God by building a "tower that would reach to heaven." The new hope of the world is for "unification" and a single global tongue—undoing what God did at Babel and pushing the rebellion to its final stage and ushering in the reign of Antichrist. The "stars" depicting the 12 EEC nations on the poster are upside-down pentagrams, symbols of the Goat of Mendes, or Satan.
Both the Pope and Gorbachev are pushing the idea of a "united Europe from the Atlantic to the Urals." Gorbachev justifies his view by saying that Russians are Europeans, too, because of their "Christian heritage" dating back 1,000 years to the "conversion" of Czar Vladimir. Staggering stuff from the head of world communism, which has tried to destroy Christianity for 70 years! Eastern Europe is in the process of being united with Western Europe—unthinkable a few months ago. We are seeing the prophesied revival of the Roman Empire, which included much of Eastern Europe. Time just changed its spelling from Rumania to Romania in response to complaints by its many citizens pointing out its Roman heritage. The Pope and Roman Catholicism, and particularly the world's 30 million [Note: 70 million in 1995] Catholic charismatics, will play a key role in coming events.
Apostasy is taking over our churches and seminaries. Typical is the report that Denver's Conservative Baptist Seminary is influenced by Catholic Charismatic Renewal and Richard Foster and is now advocating Eastern meditation, including TM, Zen and yoga through its theology department. Many church leaders who have been accepted as evangelicals are becoming bolder and more blatant in their ecumenism. One of the key figures is Robert Schuller, who has proudly said, "...what sets me apart from fundamentalists [is that they] are trying to convert everybody to believe how they believe....We know the things the major faiths can agree on. We try to focus on those without offending those with different viewpoints..."5 Schuller's connections include Soviet sycophant Armand Hammer, the cult of Unity, Amway, media magnate Rupert Murdoch (who's financing Schuller TV in Europe), Napoleon Hill's associate W. Clement Stone (like Norman Vincent Peale, Schuller's mentor, a 33rd-degree Mason), who put up the funds to send out more than 250,000 copies of Self-Esteem: The New Reformation to pastors and seminary professors, and finally, A Course in Miracles promoter Gerald Jampolsky.
There is a rat's nest of interconnected groups working for a new world religion and pushing globalism and religious instruction in schools here and in cooperation with the Soviets. The trail passes through the board rooms of such giants as The Carnegie Corporation and Amway, and foundations such as Religious Heritage of America, Council for the Advancement of Citizenship and Center for Citizenship Education...and ultimately leads back to Os Guinness's Williamsburg Charter and its dangerous religious curriculum for public schools mentioned in our January publication. More on this later.
Another link between all of the above is the ecological concern that has spawned various environmentalist groups, some of which worship Mother Earth as a living organism known as Gaia. Greenpeace addresses valid concerns. It is, however, an attempt to bring peace on earth without submission to the Prince of Peace.
God put rebellious Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden and guarded the Tree of Life with the flaming sword of His holy judgment upon sin. Christ took that sword in His heart for us and became "the way" to life. In fact, He is "the life." Environmentalist movements, for all the good they represent, are attempts to restore man to paradise without coming under that sword through Christ. It is the Cross that is compromised by ecumenism. Let us stand true to God and His Word in thought, word and deed. He is coming soon!
It would (and will) take a book to fill in the picture of the incredible delusion that is sweeping the world and church today. I am in the process of writing such a book, now titled Global Peace and the Rise of Antichrist. Your prayers are appreciated. TBC