Political Or Religious?
It is Written.....
"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." 1st. John 2:18
It is also Written.....
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that [spirit] of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come;and even now already is it in the world.
1 John 4:1-3
Across the many different scenes depicted by prophecy there comes the shadow of a figure that is dominating and deceptive. Under different names, like the assumed names of a criminal, this figure is revealed in Scripture - Son of the Morning, the Prince of Darkness, the Man of Sin - the Antichrist.
The more we consider what the Scriptures have to say about this Son of Perdition, the more we realize the prominent part 'he' has played and continues to play in world history. The need to be warned of this character was so important and necessary that the Holy Spirit has caused much to be written concerning him in the Word.
In Genesis 3:15 reference is made to "Serpent Seed" - that which was and is in opposition to the Seed of God. It was the 'spirit' of Antichrist in the Serpent opposing the "absolute" authority of the whole Word of God given to Adam and Eve in the Garden. It was the 'spirit' of Antichrist in Cain opposing the "Spiritual Revelation" of that Word in Abel's sacrifice and worship. That 'spirit' has followed the Seed - Word of God all down through the ages, attempting to pervert the Word and lead the people into deception and false interpretations of the Word.
There are many references to, and 'types' of the Antichrist throughout the Old Testament. Two thousand years ago the Seed - Word of God was manifested in flesh in the person of Jesus Christ; and the spirit of Antichrist was made flesh in Judas, called the Son of
Perdition. Just after the birth of the "True" church on the Day of Pentecost, the spirit of Antichrist began to move again - this time in the Garden of God's New Creation.
In the Scriptures noted above the Apostle spoke of "the" Antichrist "to Come" and of the presence of 'many Antichrists' among them already. Paul, in 2 Thess. 2:7 made reference to the "Mystery of Iniquity" which was "already" at work in the church. Through the cycles of history this "Mystery of Iniquity" would, according to prophecy come to it's consummation in the person of "The" Antichrist being revealed, even the Son of Perdition, "whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power and signs and 'lying' wonders"...opposing the True Revelation of God (2 Thess. 2:9-12).
In Revelation Chapters 2 and 3 John, the revelator, traces the path of the spirit of Antichrist through the Seven Church Ages.....
In the First Age (Ephesus) he saw 'false apostles' and the 'DEEDS the Nicolaitanes' rise within the church, seeking to 'pervert' the True Gospel as Satan did through the Serpent in the Garden of Eden.
In the Second Age (Smyrna) false ones arise again and are declared to be of "The Synagogue of Satan". Here we have Satan forming his "false church" within the framework of the "True Church". But a church without a 'doctrine' has no foundation. The Third Age would produce the "false doctrine" foundation for the "false church".
In the Third Age (Pergamos) we find 'Satan's Seat', the 'doctrine' of Balaam, and the 'doctrine' of the Nicolaitanes. The single doctrine which unites the false church is that which came out of the mouth of the dragon, beast and false prophet - three unclean spirits like frogs - the doctrine of the trinity (Revelation 16:13). Of course a prophet is needed to proclaim (interpret) that doctrine. Let's see what the next Age produces.
In the Fourth Age (Thyatira), a 'prophetess' (organized religion, now well established) rises on the scene, teaching (through her false prophets) the false doctrine of the false church, seducing and causing the people to committ spiritual fornication. In this age God pronounced His judgment - Death - to the false church.
In the Fifth Age (Sardis), the spirit of antichrist, preaching his false doctrines is challenged by the Word (Gospel) of "Justification by faith". The few "true" believers in this Age were exhorted to "Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die..." A few remained faithful, holding forth the Light.
In the Sixth Age (Philadelphia) we find the 'True' Church still wrestling against the spirit of Antichrist in the false church. Those identified with the false church, under the influence of the spirit of the Antichrist and his false doctrine, continue to out-number the True Believers. But here, at the end of this Sixth Age God sets before them an open door "that no man can shut". It is the escape route for those "with little strength, who have kept His Word, and hast not denied His Name." In the last Age through the Ministry of Malachi 4:5-6; Luke 17:30 and Revelation 10:1-7, God pulls the elected Bride through this Open door of the Revealed Word and leaves the false church in it's deplorable condition.
In the Seventh and last Age
(Laodicea), the false church takes preeminence over the True Church. The false church system thinks of itself as being 'rich and increased with goods...; but Christ said she was... "wretched, and miserable, and poor, and BLIND, and NAKED"; and the worst part being that she "KNEW IT NOT". We find Christ on the outside, knocking, calling, not to the church, but to the
Individual... "...if any man hear my voice (Word)..." (Notice Revelation 3:14-22).
The spirit of Antichrist now controls the church as it did Eve in the Garden - interpreting to her the Word; but in it all God is, through the open door of His Revealed Word in this hour, calling out a Bride in His likeness - the Word. Praise the Lord!
In 2 Thess. 2, Paul speaks of the revealing of the presence (parousia) of the Antichrist in the last days, coinciding with the Revelation of the Presence of Christ in His Bride in 1 Thess. 4:16. In the Book of Revelation the Antichrist is referred to as the "Beast" that ascends out of the bottomless pit to receive worship (Rev. 13:4).
The following are excerpts, on the subject of the Antichrist, from the sermons of William Branham...
THREE WITNESSES - 51-0728
Here's what it is,
the antichrist spirit is not the communistic spirit. The antichrist spirit is a
DEMONOLOGY # 2, RELIGIOUS REALM - 53-0609
You see what I mean about demons? They are working. They're very religious, ...Oh, they go to church every Sunday, repeat the Apostles' Creed, and sing the "Doxology," oh, my, just as religious as they can be. "Brother Branham, you mean that's the truth?" That's the kind of a spirit that hung Jesus Christ to the cross. And Jesus said, "You're of your father, the Devil." Now, some of them said, "Oh, Russia's the antichrist." Never. Russia's not the antichrist. The antichrist's going to be so religious that it'll fool the very elect if possible. Remember, God takes His men, but never His Spirit; the Devil takes his men, but never his spirit. Now, there they are, suit yourself; I'm only responsible for truth.
EARNESTLY CONTENDING FOR THE FAITH - 53-0614A
Now, Cain and Abel was both very religious men, and one of them was the type of Christ, and the other was the antichrist. Cain was just as religious as Abel was. Amen. Notice him.
Then many times you notice, look here, as Cain killed Abel at the altar, so did Judas kill Jesus at the altar, which Cain and Abel were a type of Judas and Jesus. All down through there's a pro and con.
INVASION OF THE USA - 54-0509
Don't you see how religious the Devil is? The Devil's not no anti, great big thing like communism, all against Christianity. That's just all of the Devil, sure, but it's not the antichrist. The antichrist is very religious, very religious. It was a religious spirit that crucified Jesus. It's always been a religious world, a religious people, that crucifies. It's the religious people that was against the true Christ. It was the religious prophets that was against Micaiah. It's the religious people of the day that's against the Message of God.
Questions And Answers - IMAGE OF THE BEAST - 54-0515
Now, I got the "Facts of Our Faith," it's called. The Catholic church, because my people were Irish Catholic. So I know what I'm speaking of. See?
And it absolutely is the truth, That's right. that there... And the Bible said that "He will be setting in a church, or a place, or a church that sets on seven hills in Rome, and his power will go to all the world. And he's called the antichrist."
THE SEAL OF THE ANTICHRIST - 55-0311
Oh, brother, sister, if I've hurt you or offended you, I want you to forgive me. But don't you never go back and think that I haven't told you the truth, because it come from the Word of God. And you can finally fix your ear in such a fix, till you will be sealed by the antichrist. Antichrist is against the real Christ, the real moving of the Spirit. And the thing so close, it's deceiving the very elect, under emotions, and worked up, and things.
FIVE JUNCTIONS OF TIME - 56-0122
And the mark of the antichrist is to reject that Holy Ghost. Which you're sealed outside of the Kingdom forever, with no, no way they'll ever be forgiven. He that speaks against the Holy Ghost will never be forgiven in this world or the world to come. There's your mark of the beast and the seal of God in one little handful.
The seal of God is the baptism of the Holy Ghost. And the mark of the antichrist is to deny it. Now, you're marked one way or the other. Don't you want to have the Holy Ghost today?
HEARING, RECOGNIZING, ACTING ON THE WORD - 60-0221
Morris Cerullo said to me the other night, said, "Who is the antichrist, Brother Branham? The Jew's the antichrist."
I said, "Morris. And you a Jew?"
He said, "They're the greatest God-haters there is."
I said, "Morris, don't!. Tell me in the Scripture where the antichrist come out of Jerusalem. The antichrist come out of Rome, not out of Palestine."
"...Didn't God say He blinded their eyes so we could have a day of seeing? But our day will be over soon."
WHY? - 62-0622E
Now, I believe that the church's name was put on the Lamb's Book of Life before the foundation of the world, before the Lamb was slain; because the Bible said the antichrist would deceive all upon the earth whose names were not written in the Lamb's Book of Life, slain before the foundation of the world. I believe the infinite God by His foreknowledge saw the church.
BEHOLD A GREATER THAN ALL IS HERE - 62-0715
And everybody's scared about communism. There's not a Scripture in the Bible says anything about communism, only that it'll burn the whore with fire. It's playing right in God's hands. But you watch Romanism. That's the thing's going to do it. You just watch. It isn't that, antichrist isn't that kind that flatly denies everything. It's so close like it till it'll deceive the very elected if possible, Jesus said. You watch that. That's the thing you keep your mind on.
THE FIRST SEAL - 63-0318
A white horse rider went out (Revelation 6:2). See? Who is he? He is mighty in his conquering power. He is a great fellow in his conquering power. You want me to tell you who he is? He is the antichrist. That's exactly what he is.
Now, because, you see, if an antichrist... Jesus said that the two would be so close together until it would deceive the very elected, the Bride, if it was possible - antichrist! It's the antichrist spirit.
Now, remember, the antichrist and the beast is the same self spirit. There's the trinity. Yes, sir. It is three stages of the same devil power. Remember, Nicolaitia, See, it had to be incarnate before it could be crowned. See? Now, watch this. Three stages: first stage he's called antichrist; second stage, he's called the false prophet; third stage, he's called the beast.
THE SECOND SEAL - 63-0319
These people who think that the Jews are the antichrist, they are certainly a million miles off the line. Don't you never think the Jews are an antichrist. Their eyes were blinded purposely that we might have a way to get in, giving us a time of repentance. But the antichrist is a Gentile. Certainly it is, an impersonator of the truth: "Anti," "against."
NOTE: Brother Branham in the "Opening of the Mystery of the Seven Seals" of Revelation chapters 5 through 10, preached that the "four horse riders" is the antichrist in different stages of his ministry. He (the antichrist) began his ride on a white horse in the first church age and rides on down to the end-time, finishing his ride on the "pale" horse - his name in Scripture is called Death, and Hell followed him. This antichrist spirit
represents a system(s) which Brother Branham referred to as "an impersonator of the truth".
It is Satan forming his "false church" within the framework of the "True Church". The result of the influence of the
antichrist spirit is Organized Religion. Holy Spirit leadership by the Word is deposed and man-made leadership by man-made religion, by a man-made creed takes control. God NEVER did start a denomination. God started revivals, but when the revival fires begin to die down, it was the spirit of antichrist that moved in to make a denomination out of it. Refusing to wait on God for the next revival, the people became "bound" by a
denominational creed and when the next revival did come, most were blind to what God was doing. They were not able to move on with God. NOW, we see that "denominationalism" is antichrist.
WE ARE NOT criticizing or calling the "people" in the denominations 'antichrist', but rather we are referring to the "SYSTEM of organized religion" that binds the people. We encourage you to study these things carefully and prayerfully. We're not asking you to "join" this church or that church - Join yourself, by repentance and a New Birth to Christ, the Word.
Continuing with a few more comments by Brother Branham on the subject of the antichrist.......
THE FOURTH SEAL - 63-0321
Now, remember, with no with no bad feelings towards any people in any organization, because God has got children in the Catholic system; He's got children in the Methodist system; He's got children in the Baptist system. Now..., All of them different systems is represented here tonight, that come out of it when you seen Light? Let's see your hand.
Now, remember, there's people out there just like you, but it's the system that kills. See? It's the antichrist spirit that finally gets them to a place till they won't hear no Truth.
Notice, the antichrist is on a pale horse, mixed color. A horse is a beast that represents a power. His power is all mixed up. Why? It's politics; it's national powers; it's religious powers; it's demon powers; it's all kinds of powers mixed together - a mixed pale horse. He's got all kinds of powers.
But when Jesus comes, it's on a one solid colored horse - the Word. Amen. This one mixes its colors of red, white, black. Three colors in one -represented in one, and three powers represented in one: a white horse, a black horse, red horse, and three crowns in one. See? Sure.
QUESTIONS ON THE SEVEN SEALS - 63-0324M
So, as far as the
Trinitarian's theory of being three different gods, that's heathenism. That never was taught in the Bible. It never was taught in the Lion message, but it was adopted in the next, which was antichrist. Ask anybody you want to, any theologian. That never did come only through the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes (Revelation 2:15).
There is why it come out with Martin Luther. That's why it continued on with John Wesley and poured on down into the Pentecostals. In the day that the Pentecostal come out, they got the Jesus Only group. Now, that's wrong again. How can Jesus be His own Father? See? So it knocks that out. But there's supposed to be an Eagle time come. See? That's the time to straighten all those mysteries out.
WHAT SHALL I DO WITH JESUS - 63-1124M
And what have the churches desired? A murderer of the Word; one who takes a system. If the system is contrary to the Word, then it's a murderer to the Word. And they desired a denomination tradition in the stead of the true Word being manifested, and proved that It's God amongst the people: by science, through pictures, a Light, the same Angel of the Lord, the Pillar of Fire; the same One that lived on earth in the body of Jesus Christ is come upon His people in the last day, where science has took the picture of It. The church has seen Its works. It's thoroughly identified by tapes and everything, around and around the world, and personally ministered. And still in all of that their systems are desiring a council of churches to condemn the Truth, desiring a murderer that would shut off, or stop, or sell out; and it'll do it. They'll stop such a thing, and the council of churches will have to do it. There's the mark of the beast: antichrist - against the Word, which is Christ.
THREE KINDS OF BELIEVERS - 63-1124E
Now, the Word of God or the church dogmas is before you. Can you take and accept what the dogmas of the church, or do you take what the Word says? Remember, in all ages has been as it is right now. There's always a popular belief among the people, and it's always been just a little bit contrary to the real Word. Remember, it's never been just a right out deny it. Oh, no. The antichrist don't deny the Word. Certainly not. He says he believes It, but just not all of It the way It is wrote here.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS - 64-0830M
Now, if you notice it's always been twins all along. There was Cain and Abel were twins, and Esau and Jacob were twins. Jesus and Judas come out of the same tribe and in the same church. And even the Holy Spirit and the antichrist is to be twins, "so close that would deceive the very elected if possible".
LEAN NOT UNTO THINE OWN UNDERSTANDING
We have made denominations, and schools, and buildings, and failed to do what Jesus told us to do, was preach the Gospel. We've tried to educate the world. He never said, "Educate the world; he that's educated shall be saved." You've got to be born again, filled with the Spirit. That's the reason we have so miserably failed everywhere. See, we got the wealth, we got the thing.
Now, what will happen? And when this church, World Council of churches goes together, can't you see who is going to do the leading? Can't you Methodists and Presbyterians understand that, the rest of you, even to Pentecostals? You say you're not going in. You'll either go in or you'll bust up the denomination. You'll do one or the other. It's right before you. You've got to do it. It's a forcing, the mark of the beast. That's what it is, exactly. Denominationalism absolutely (I can prove it by the Bible) is the mark of the beast. "She was a whore; she had prostitute daughters." And we know that that is the Truth. Organized religion, it's contrary to the Word, and it's antichrist in its principles. Not everything in there is antichrist; but in its principles, its system is antichrist, because it's against the Word of God. Every organized system is that way.
THE ANOINTED ONES AT END TIME - 65-0725M
You think them denominations will ever break up their denomination and come back to the Word? It's THUS SAITH THE LORD they won't. Will they go into the antichrist? Exactly, it's THUS SAITH THE LORD they will. So what are you saying about? I have to be a witness and so do you. All believers.
For a more in-depth study of the teachings of William Branham (Quotes on many topics), we recommend "The Compendium". Three volumes available in an excellent quality 'loose leaf', three ring binder form, produced by Believers International
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