Perceiving Antichrist Worship
One of the more profound truths refreshed to me lately is the meaning of antichrist. Where we commonly think of “anti” to mean “against,” it actually means “instead of” or “in place of.” The antichrist is the one who comes in the place of Christ. As Paul says of the man of sin, he “shows himself to be God instead of God.”
Before antichrist manifests as a person however, it manifests as a spirit. As John said, “you have heard how antichrist shall come, but I tell you it is here already.” Before an actual “antichrist figure” can be worshipped in the place of Christ, the worship of our Lord Christ Himself must first be replaced with “antichrist spirit” worship. That is what I want to major on here—the perception of antichrist worship.
What is antichrist worship? It is worship of something in place of Christ in Christ’s name. Objectively, antichrist worship is about our Lord Jesus Christ. But in spirit, it is not about Him. As an “instead of” spirit, antichrist worship infiltrates true worship until it becomes centered on something else while remaining objectively “about” our Lord Jesus. The words do not change. The music does not change. It does not need to. All that needs to change is the spirit. It is the center of spiritual gravity that changes.
“I want to be the one who worships you.”
This hit home to me on my 40 minute commute to work the other day. A new worship radio station came to our area recently. My thought was to try it out, tune in and begin to worship. What better way for any worshipper to begin one’s day?
The first song was—well—what is called “awesome.” It was about being a living sacrifice before the Lord. So I entered into the stream of the spirit. It was rich… The song finished. Then came the announcer: “That was from so-and-so’s [a well known worship ‘star’] latest CD not even released in stores yet!”
Suddenly, a different spirit was present in the car. Same words. Same music. Different spirit. For the announcer, the song was not about the Lord, or even about being a living sacrifice. It was about the writer, his popularity and his market profile. This was my morning introduction to antichrist worship—the worship of someone instead of Christ, in the name of Christ.
I switched stations. A second new Christian station also came on air recently. So I tuned in. In the song at hand, these words continued and repeated over and over:
“I want to be the one who worships you. I want to be the one who brings you glory.”
Again, the spirit was rich. I entered in. But as I did so, the Spirit quickened me to the dual focus in the words. As I entered in, I realized there were two doors—two spirits separated only by emphasis—through which one could enter into worship by this song.
I could enter in through the door that emphasizes “WORSHIPS YOU.” Or I could enter in through the door that emphasizes “I WANT TO BE THE ONE.” As I contemplated the second door, I remembered the words, “I will be like the Most High.” Thus again, I was instructed in the antichrist spirit of worship.
What I want to highlight for you in all this is that, in our search for common worship, it’s not enough to trust the words and the music or the names of teachers associated with a stream of worship or ministry. We can’t trust in association with a given stream of the prophetic, or the apostolic, the intercessory, or whatever.
We live in a world that is being increasingly defined by attunement to spiritual reality. And the truth is that antichrist worship is woven into the fabric of every stream of worship and ministry—seeking to divert affection and attention to something else (often ourselves) instead of Christ, in Christ’s name. There is no such thing as a “pure stream” of worship or ministry in any congregation or movement in which one can objectively trust.
Because of this, it is more important than ever that we “test the spirits” behind every expression of ministry and worship. Despite the great emphasis on the need for faith—which is vital—the Lord does not ask us to “believe every spirit.”
This does not mean we are to separate from every corporate stream and movement, as some have erroneously attempted. For that is not possible. For even where only “two or three are gathered,” there is antichrist lurking in the shadows, waiting his opportunity to replace Christ in our midst.
It only means that we be sure that we, ourselves approach entrance into corporate worship from a pure heart, and otherwise that we be alert in spirit as we join so ourselves to others in that worship. With this in mind, let us remember the words of Matt Redman from his song, The Heart of Worship:
When the music fades
All is stripped away
And I simply come
Longing just to bring
Something that's of worth
That will bless your heart
I'll bring you more than a song
For a song in itself
Is not what you have required
You search much deeper within
Through the way things appear
You're looking into my heart
I'm coming back to the heart of worship
And it's all about you,
It's all about you, Jesus
I'm sorry, Lord, for the thing I've made it
When it's all about you,
It's all about you, Jesus
[For more on this topic of discerning antichrist worship in our midst, please see the sequel article When Demons Worship.]
New Meadow Neck, RI
First Love Ministry
- a ministry of Anglemar Fellowship
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Page created January 9, 2017