It is said in ancient Jewish and Christian Tradition and in the writings of certain Mystical Teachers (among whom will be found William Law and Jacob Boehme) that "in the Beginning", that Being who is now referred to as "Satan" was the Highest and Greatest of God's creation. In terms of Celestial Authority, Beauty, Glory and Power - he was exceeded only by God Himself.
However, his heart became "lifted up" in the desire to be "Number One" -- to stand alone and aloof in his OWN "power and independence" !! He chaffed under the idea that HE must be in submission, even to God Himself. As he gazed into his dark, proud heart, he imagined that the "fiery might" that he discovered there was stronger and mightier than the "gentle, meek, mild, love of God"
Thus he rebelled and sought to rise above the place to which he had been created and assigned. He said in his heart, "I will ascend to the Throne of Creation, I will rise above ALL 'gods' and will take the very place of God Himself. I will rule ALL by MY Will and Power alone, and 'be even as God'" !!
In so doing, he lost even that place for which he had been created and assigned to - was stripped of his beauty, light, glory and power - and cast DOWN into spiritual darkness. In his Pride and Pomp, he didn't realize that ALL that he had and consisted of was DERIVED from the One God, that he had nothing that was intrinsically HIS, and ALL would be lost if and when he was separated from its and HIS Source !!
Before I proceed further, I must confess that - for the sake of those who might be reading this whose mind works ONLY in terms of "book, chapter and verse" - that there are NO such references to support the above. They come from the sources that I mentioned. However, there ARE an abundance of scripture verses to support the following !
Later, this Spirit Of Lawlessness and Rebellion tempted Adam and Eve into a similar act of rebellion, with similar consequences for themselves and their progeny (mankind). This spirit has dominated, polluted and controlled mankind and this "World System" since then down to the present day. In fact, in the Bible, Satan is referred to as "the god of THIS Age" (2Cor 4:4).
It is called "lawless" since it opposes and seeks to cast off ALL law and restraint that would seek to subrogate it to ANY authority other than its OWN arrogant, bloated, egotistical self-will. It STILL says, as Satan did in the beginning, "I will be as God" !! It is rebellious in that it can accept NO authority nor restraint over it. It CAN not and WILL not recognize and accept the fact that ultimately ALL Power and Authority are derived solely from God, the Creator (Rom 13:1). They are assigned and delegated by proportion to His creation - so long as said recipient remains in the proper connection and relation to the Creator. Apart from their source - the Creator - they (power and authority) cease to exist.
Jesus replied, "You (Pilate) would have no authority (power) over me at all, unless it was given to you from above." **** John 19:11
Even the founders of this nation and the drafters of our Constitution recognized that whatever "rights, power or authority" men may posess were"endowed" (given) by their CREATOR (God) !!
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights."
Since that day, ALL of mankind has lived in and been subject to "SIN" - that principle of separation from God - acting, living and functioning apart from Him and without His Spirit - in fact Lawlessness" !!
There seem to be differing opinions about just Who or What the "Antichrist" or the "Spirit of Lawlessness" is. The word means: "Anti" - against or contrary to - and "Christ". So he (it) is one opposed or in opposition to the "Spirit of Christ". One of the MAIN characteristics or qualities of the "Spirit of Christ" is complete submission to the "Will of the Father" !!
Scripture teaches that there is only ONE legitimate, lawful WILL in this universe, and that is the "Will of the Father". ALL must function in harmony and cooperation with THIS will. There is NO place for independent, renegade wills. It is the same as within the human body - ALL cells must function and work in harmony under the ruling "spirit of the body" ! When they do not, and break away to function "on their own", they become a CANCER, bringing disease, death and destruction to the body. For the health of the WHOLE body, they must be cut out and destroyed !!
When Satan rebelled against the Will of the Father, he became a "cancer in God's Creation". Jesus Christ came to heal this disease and restore ALL again to health, harmony and proper, lawful balance !! Jesus came in TOTAL submission to do ONLY the "Will of His Father". Satan (and the Antichrist), by contrast, is in TOTAL rebellion against the Father, and is concerned ONLY about doing his OWN will !!
So pray this way: "Our Father in heaven, may your name be honored, may your kingdom come, may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven". **** (Matt 6:9,10
I can do nothing on my own initiative. Just as I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just because I do not seek my own will, but the will of the one who sent me. **** John 5:30
For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother. **** Matt 12:50
Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me. Yet not my will but yours be done. **** Luke 22:42
Jesus said to them, "My food (work) is to do the will of the one who sent me and to complete his work." **** John 4:34
He (Jesus) says, "Here I am: I have come to do your will." **** Heb 10:9
I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. **** Gal 2:20
May the God of peace equip you with every good thing to do his will, working in us what is pleasing before him through Jesus Christ **** Heb 13:21
It is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. **** Philippians 2:13
It is THIS "Spirit of Antichrist or Lawlessness" that rose up against and hated God in the beginning, which despises those who follow and worship God, even unto this present day !
Not like Cain, who was of the evil one and brutally murdered his brother. Why did he murder him? Because his deeds were evil, but his brother's were righteous. **** 1John 3:12
It is the spirit that motivated the people on the Plain of Shinar to say, "Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens so that we may make a name for ourselves." (Gen 11:4) It was called "the Tower of Babel".
It is the spirit that prompted King Nebuchadnezzar to announce, "Is this not the great Babylon that I have built for a royal residence by my own mighty strength and for my majestic honor?" (Dan 4:30)
This spirit of Lawlessness, Rebellion and Seduction finds its embodiment in the person of Jezebel, wife of Ahab in the OT. According to the Biblical narrative, Jezebel, along with her husband, instituted the worship of Baal and Asherah on a national scale. She violently purged the prophets of Yahweh from Israel and sought to murder God's chosen prophet (Elijah). In addition, she initiated the murder of a man (Naboth) who would not surrender his lawful property to her husband. Click [ HERE ] for Scripture References.
YES, this "spirit of Lust and Murder" even drove the godly David (King of Israel) to commit adultery with Bathsheba, and then have her husband killed in an attempt to conceal his sin !! (2 Samuel 11)
By manipulation and seduction, this spirit (the Spirit of Jezebel) misled the saints of God into sins of idolatry and sexual immorality.
I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and by her teaching deceives my servants to commit sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. **** Rev 2:20
This is that self-same spirit that sought to thwart and destroy God's plan to restore His creation to its PROPER order !!
This is the basis for judging: that the light (Jesus Christ) has come into the world and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil deeds hates the light and does not come to the light, so that their deeds will not be exposed. **** John 3:19-20
It is the spirit that has driven ALL of the greed, wars and human atrocities from the day of Adam's fall until today !!
Where do the conflicts and the quarrels among you come from? Is it not from this, from your passions that battle inside you? You desire and you do not have; you murder and envy and you cannot obtain; you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask; you ask and do not receive because you ask wrongly, so you can spend it on your passions. Adulterers, do you not know that friendship with the world means hostility toward God?" **** Jas 4:1-4
God's Word tells us that over 2,000 years ago (in Biblical times) the Spirit of Lawlessness was already working and obviously manifest in society (the world). However, at the "end of the ages", prior to the return of Jesus Christ, one will be revealed who will be the embodiment of this Spirit of Lawlessness and Rebellion -- "the Antichrist, Man of Sin, the Lawless One"!!
Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day (the Day of the Lord, Rapture) will not arrive until the rebellion comes and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction. He opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, and as a result he takes his seat in God's temple, displaying himself as God. For the hidden power of lawlessness is already at work. The arrival of the lawless one will be by Satan's working, with all kinds of miracles and signs and false wonders -- With every kind of evil deception directed against those who are perishing, because they found no place in their hearts for the truth so as to be saved. **** 2 Thessalonians 2:3-10
Anyone who is not already blinded and thoroughly deluded can see the truth of these contentions. Starting in the 1960's with the Hippie and Counter-culture Revolution - Lawlessness, Rebellion and the Resist-Authority Spirit have been growing in momentum like a downhill, runaway freight train !! The cry of the revolutionaries of the 1960's was, "Down with ALL authority, Question ALL authority, Resist ALL authority" !! It has since spread like a devouring cancer, infecting ALL segments and movements of society, even corrupting that which is called "the church".
It is the driving force behind the Sexual Revolution, the Feminist Movement, the Abortion Crusade, the Sexual Rights Hysteria, the Racial Equality Travesty, the New Age / Anti-religion Onslaught -- and every other lawless, rebellious, fanatical movement and schism working to undermine and destroy godly, human society.
Even some "nonchristians" MIGHT have sufficient vision to agree with at least SOME of what I have stated above regarding society or "the World". The REAL tragedy, however, is that this SAME "spirit of lawlessness and rebellion" has invaded the "church" itself and established a firm foothold there.
I am not able to state just where or when it entered in, but it was certainly by the time of the corruption of the Church at the hands of the Roman Emperor Constantine, around AD 300. It moved into full swing during the "Charismatic Renewal" of the 1960's and onward. Today (2023) it is like a cancer that has spread its tentacles throughout ALL parts of the body.
The "Charismatic Renewal" became permeated by the spirit that proudly proclaimed, "I don't need ANY man or institution to speak to me or teach me the Word or the Things of God. I myself possess the indwelling "Spirit of Christ", who will reveal to me PERSONALLY ALL that I need to know of "the Things Pertaining to God" !! This arrogant, lawless, rebellious, "I ONLY" Spirit of Antichrist - masquerading as The Holy Spirit - ran rampant throughout Christendom. Since there IS, in fact, an element of truth contained therein -- namely, that it IS God's intent that EACH believer SHOULD be empowered by the indwelling of God's Spirit -- it deceived MANY.
From this spirit has sprung the present-day desecration of God's Holy Church -- ordaining and accepting homosexuals and other sexual perversions into the Body - the Feminist perversions, including ordaining women as ruling clergy - the acceptance of abortion by many "christians" - the complete breakdown of proper, Biblical authority of the ruling clergy - the ignorance and lack of interest in REAL, exegetical Biblical knowledge - diminishing the Authority of the Bible - the lack of interest in holiness and true righteousness - and the independent, "I ONLY" spirit of many individual believers.
Perhaps even worse (if it really COULD get much worse than already described) is the unbridled independence of "parachurch" ministries. These are independent ministries, outside of any REAL church structure, seeking to instruct, teach and lead believers in a particular way or area. Truly disastrous today is the proliferation of so-called "prophets and prophetic ministries" !! These are usually self-proclaimed and/or self-established "prophets" with no background, credibility, authority, or accountability other than what they take to and proclaim about THEMSELVES !! Through them, MANY are led down the broad road of delusion and destruction by believing and accepting their pronouncements as the true, verified "Word of the Lord".
Today, especially with the powerful, worldwide coverage of the WWW and the Internet - and the seclusion and isolation imposed by the COVID restrictions - anyone can easily find a dozen eager prophets and/or teachers, each proclaiming their own special, unique "God inspired ?????" message. If you don't like the word that one is preaching, NO PROBLEM - there are plenty more to choose from to satisfy those "itching ears" and give you something pleasing to your "spiritual palate" (2Tim 4:3). There is NO accountability on EITHER end. There is NO verification that said "teacher or prophet" is inspired and taught by God and His Word (both living and written) or that he/she has ANY true, real knowledge of that which they so assertively proclaim. Likewise, there is no fellowship, discipleship nor spiritual authority to help the listener seperate the "wolves" from the TRUE shepards and/or to help them grow up into the fulness of Christ through these words.
In today's degenerate, permissive, sin-soaked society, almost ANYTHING is permissible and almost NOTHING shocks the senses. There are, however, still two words that "infuriate the anesthetized masses". NO, one of them is NOT the worn-out F-word (f--k). They are Authority and Obedience. They are almost EQUALLY despised BOTH within AND without the "church" !!
Granted that, WITHOUT the Church, power and authority have been so abused and twisted by those in state, government and military circles as to make the words "justice" and "just judgment" almost laughable and ludicrous !! Often, those wielding such are little more than hoodlums and criminals themselves, driven by nothing but selfish pride and lust for power and wealth.
However, is the situation INSIDE of the Church that much better ?? In MY mind, the answer is a resounding "NO" -- certainly NOT by the degree that it should be. Today, the words "power and authority' are despised almost as much by those inside the Church as by those outside. As I noted earlier, the Spirit of Lawlessness and Individuality runs rampant. So-called "christians" cast off ALL restraint and proudly proclaim, "Just You and Me Lord - I don't need to listen nor submit to anyone else" !! For the most part, "spiritual leaders" exercise NO PROPER authority within their individual churches, and the majority of "christians" would not accept it if they did. Sadly, many of those churches that DO believe in "spiritual authority" do NOT understand nor practice it in the "Spirit of Christ" - just as many husbands, claiming to exercise "spiritual authority" over their wives, are merely exercising a selfish, egocentric dictatorship !!!
I urge the elders among you: Give a shepherd's care to God's flock among you, exercising oversight not merely as a duty but willingly, under God's direction, not for shameful profit but eagerly. Do not lord it over those entrusted to you, but be examples to the flock. Then, when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that never fades away .***** 1Peter 5:1-4
As the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her, so that he may present the church to himself as glorious — not having a stain or wrinkle, or any such blemish, but holy and blameless. In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. **** Eph 5:24-28
It is as it was in ancient Israel, when there was no authority (Judges) in the land, and "each man / woman did that which seemed right in THEIR OWN eyes" !!
There was a time in this nation when those of different political views and beliefs could at least work together in polite cooperation for the good of the nation. They could say to one of the opposite party, "I didn't vote for you, but you WERE elected by due process, so let us get on with the REAL business of governing this nation. Maybe MY candidate will win next time !!" Now, those of opposing political persuasions (or ANY differing opinion for that matter) are considered to be MORTAL ENEMIES, to be discredited, overcome and vanquished at ANY cost !! Today, there is NO thought of actually WORKING with a political antagonist. The mentality has become -- Destroy, Discredit, Impeach, Ridicule, Slander, Remove them by ANY Means at whatever Cost -- even if it means destroyed the very foundations that this nation and government were built upon. People want Freedom of Choice, Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Speech for everyone EXCEPT those who DISAGREE with them !!
From what I can observe, particularly from what is posted on Facebook, other online sites and Christian forums - the situation among "christians" is VERY little better. The EXACT same attitudes outlined in the above paragraphs prevail. Too many "christians" are more concerned about and more dedicated to THEIR particular political candidate, ideology, or party than they are about following Christ and His Commandments. These same people who CLAIM that they are following Christ will accept NO authority nor discipline whatsoever into their lives. They rebel whenever someone might try to point out errors and failings in their life, and fall back on their outworn mantra, "Jesus and Me - I ONLY Listen to God Himself !!" They conveniently overlook the words of Jesus Himself, "If you say that you love me, you will follow my commandments (my Word)" (John 14:15, 15:10). So just WHERE do these "commandments" come from ?? First, they come via the WRITTEN Word and SOMETIMES they come via the "inner voice of the Holy Spirit". Often times, however, they come from a fellow believer or from someone in a position of authority WITHIN the Church. Believe it or not, IF NECESSARY, they may come from someone in authority OUTSIDE of the Church
God's Word (the Bible) makes the following VERY unpopular observation:
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except by God's appointment, and the authorities that exist have been instituted by God. So the person who resists such authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will incur judgment (for rulers cause no fear for good conduct but for bad). Do you desire not to fear authority? Do good and you will receive its commendation because it is God's servant for your well-being. But be afraid if you do wrong because government does not bear the sword for nothing. It is God's servant to administer punishment on the person who does wrong. Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of the wrath of the authorities but also because of your conscience. **** Rom 13:1-5
It SHOULD be interesting and instructive to consider the fact that the above words were written at a time when Christians were being persecuted and hunted down as criminals by the Jewish and Roman governments, and that the penalty for being one might well be stoneing to death, crucifixion or as a play-toy and dinner for the lions in the arena !!
I have listened to and read countless attempts by so-called "liberated christians" to denounce, ridicule, dismiss and explain AWAY these verses so that THEY might be a "law unto themselves". Without fail, they ALL fall back upon the words below:
Peter and the apostles replied, "We must obey God rather than men (people)." **** Acts 5:29
YES, as was the case in the context of this verse, there IS a time when the direct Word of God IS to take precedence over the "word of man" !! I believe that it may safely be said that THIS time is when God's Word comes into DIRECT CONFLICT with "man's word", as here when the apostles were being hindered in their commission to "Preach the Gospel". This verse is NOT a carte blanc license to justify men's demonic, egotistical lawlessness !!
Any person with even "half of a brain" can see that even imperfect law is FAR better than NO law at all !! No law at all would be anarchy, with society ruled by the strongest and most violent elements. THAT is the reason why God has given to men laws and authority, as the verse below notes:
I urge that requests, prayers, intercessions, and thanks be offered on behalf of all people, even for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. **** 1Tim 2:1,2
Click to read a companion article, "To Obey is Better than Sacrifice".
C.S. Lewis wrote in his book, "The Problem of Pain": "The lost enjoy forever the horrible freedom they have demanded and are therefore self-enslaved."
William Law writes of "ULTIMATE DOOM" (more commonly called Hell) as the final fate of those cut off from the life, light, purpose and Spirit of God. Upon leaving this body (this Home), they continue spiraling forever downward in their chains of darkness, engulfed in their pride-induced prison of "absolute freedom" !!!
Since the very beginning, mankind has chaffed under the concept of rule, limitations and authority. Some have demanded "absolute freedom", believing that in such a delusion they would finally find "true happiness, contentment and fulfillment" !!
It is said that at the VERY beginning, Satan was brought forth as the chief of the "Host of Heaven" - supreme in power, beauty and glory. It was to be his joy and purpose that one aspect of God's greatness would be displayed through this vessel. It is said that in his pride, arrogance and desire to be "like God", he rebelled and tried to wrest ultimate sovereignty and power over his existence away from God and into his OWN hands. As a result, he fell from his exhalted position into "chains of darkness".
Adam and Eve were likewise created to manifest aspects of God's creative glory. As long as they fulfilled THEIR purpose, within the parameters for which they were created, God's Life was to be their food and source of existence. As they grew, they would mount up to ever-ascending heights of greatness and glory !! Satan tempted them to do as he did, with the same consequence - they were stripped of their divine glory, thrust out of paradise and forced to till the earth in toil and sweat until the day of their death.
We see the same path followed by the Nation of Israel, THIS nation and mankind in general down to this very day !!
Fools STILL sing (and others believe and follow) the same "Siren Song", still actually believing that there is such a fantasy as "absolute freedom" in which they might cast off ALL external restraint and finally become "fully free in and unto themselves" !! In other words, they continue to believe the Devil's original lie of, "You shall be like God !!"
We see it manifested in the "counter culture" of today - in the growing population of drug addicts, homeless, derelicts and "street people". Most of them sought to cast off the restraints of social and personal responsibility - and of being employed, contributing, functioning members of society.
For their efforts, they have achieved the "FREEDOM" of living like wild animals in the streets, having their minds and personalities destroyed by drugs and their warped lifestyles, and being burdens upon the ENTIRE social structure. In their deluded minds, they claim that they are "FREE", whereas in actuality they are completely dependent upon the government and the social structure which many of them so vehemently despise for their ENTIRE existence !!
The words of Jesus and the Apostle Paul STILL continue to be proven true:
No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and Mammon (the riches of THIS world). ****** Matthew 6:24
Don�t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey�whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? ****** Romans 6:16
As paraphrased by the rock musician Bob Dylan, "You're gonna have to serve somebody. It may be the Devil or it may be the Lord, but you're gonna have to serve somebody".
My people have exchanged me, their glorious God, for a god that cannot help them at all! Be amazed at this, O heavens! Be shocked and utterly dumbfounded, says the Lord. Do so because my people have committed a double wrong: they have rejected me, the fountain of life-giving water, and they have dug cisterns for themselves, cracked cisterns which cannot even hold water. ****** Jeremiah 2:11-13
Although they knew God, they did not glorify him as God or give him thanks, but they became futile in their thoughts and their senseless hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for an image resembling mortal human beings or birds or four-footed animals or reptiles. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served the creation rather than the Creator. Just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what should not be done. They are filled with every kind of unrighteousness. Although they fully know God's righteous decree - that those who practice such things deserve to die - they not only do them, but also approve of those who practice them. ****** Romans 1:21-32
Because I called and you refused, I stretched out My hand and no one paid attention and you neglected all My counsel and did not want My reproof -- I will even laugh at your calamity. I will mock when your dread comes, when your dread comes like a storm and your calamity comes on like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come on you, then they will call on Me but I will not answer. They will seek Me diligently but they shall not find Me because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord. They would not accept My counsel, they spurned all My reproof. So they shall eat of the fruit of their own way and be satiated with their own devices. ****** Proverbs 1:24-31
Then you turned right around and showed that you did not honor me. So I, the Lord, say: "You have not really obeyed me and granted freedom to your neighbor and fellow countryman. Therefore, I will grant you freedom, the freedom to die in war, or by starvation or disease." I, the Lord, affirm it! I will make all the kingdoms of the earth horrified at what happens to you. I will punish those people who have violated their covenant with me. ****** Jeremiah 34:16-18
The Israelites cried out for help to the Lord: "We have sinned against you. We abandoned our God and worshiped the Baals (false gods, idols)". You cried out for help to me, and I delivered you from their (your enemies) power. But since you abandoned me and worshiped other gods, I will not deliver you again. Go and cry for help to the gods you have chosen! Let them deliver you from trouble! ****** Judges 10:10-14
Click to read an article, "When God Abandons a Nation".