The Last Barrier to Immortality
Since the Lord ascended on high to await His marriage to a holy people in generations to come, we have been left to two strains of spiritual conflict that test our ability to become so joined to Him. The one conflict is that of the spirit vs. the flesh (Gal. 5:17). The other is that of the Lord’s Spirit vs. the antichrist spirit (I Jn. 4:1-3).
In reality these battles are of one essence, for the antichrist erects its throne in the flesh. The word antichrist from the Greek literally means “instead of Christ” or “in place of Christ.” It provides a counterfeit copy of Christ’s Spirit, doing so by siphoning off God’s Spirit to reinforce fleshly ambitions.
This combine of antichrist and flesh energy is the full meaning of “religion.” Usually, we use religion to refer only to our soulish efforts at imitating the Spirit’s work. But religion goes beyond to describe antichrist at work through our flesh. Whereas fleshly religion speaks to mere fakery and hypocrisy, antichrist religion introduces a slithery supernatural spirituality into the picture. It does this by co-opting the Spirit’s Presence and anointings (such as prophecy) in conjunction with fleshly objectives.
Since the apostolic fathers fell asleep, church history has been the sordid tale of war between God’s Spirit and antichrist flesh wherein, underneath the Spirit’s Presence, the antichrist spirit diverts the church’s worship from Christ onto fleshly aspirations and causes. This worship carries the air of God’s Spirit, but fails the test of self-denial and identity crucifixion (Php. 3:3-11; Rom. 6:6). Rather, it mixes Spirit worship with human pursuits and identities, elevating these to share the Lord’s throne in our hearts, even surpassing the Lord for esteem. Hence it attributes Christ’s identity to the fleshly expressions emanating from this hybridization, all believed to be “of the Holy Spirit.”
The root historic manifestation of this antichrist usurpation is the worldwide Roman Catholic system. Called a “Christian” church, Roman Catholicism otherwise created an idolatrous enterprise whose head is called “Vicar” of Christ. (“Vicar,” meaning “in place of” is the Latin equivalent of the Greek “anti.”) Catholicism’s essence has been to prostitute the word “Christian” which apostolically refers only to reborn spiritual identity, by applying it to fleshly peoples, their human enterprises and their soulish religious practices.
Whatever the original church at Rome had of the Holy Spirit by Presence, gift and anointing (Rom. 1:11; 12:6-8) eventually became fully co-opted by the antichrist spirit to create this switchover to “christianizing” fleshly identity and works. Catholicism ultimately replaced God’s Spirit by pagan spirits traced from the ancient mystery religions, yielding the name applied to it by the angel: “Mystery Babylon” (Rev. 17:5).
Despite antichrist’s rise in the earth through Catholicism, God’s Spirit continued waging His war to call out a virgin people to Christ over the succeeding generations. That has led to various spiritual “awakenings” to truth, referred to variously as revivals, reformations or restorations. It’s not necessary to review this history. The point is to accent how that throughout the Spirit’s restorations, war with antichrist has continued, leading to the same Spirit usurpations and co-optings that originally produced Roman Catholicism. It explains why every Spirit-empowered movement has left behind one more antichrist carcass, giving meaning to Mystery Babylon’s description as “the Mother of Prostitutes.”
At issue in every one of these historic spirit clashes is the antichrist attempt to preserve or promote the christianizing of the flesh within the body of God’s people, and to do so by diverting the immediate energy of the Spirit to this end, regardless the phase of His restoration. Therefore every restoration has yielded mixed fruit. On one hand God makes a serious recovery in a remnant of some element of His birthing and purifying truth in Christ. Yet on the other the larger church remains blinded and is seduced further to promoting areas of fleshly christianizational belief outside that truth.
This grid provides a simple way to understand what is happening with the church today on the eve of the Lord’s return. We are fully aware of the amazing releases of the Spirit into our midst the last 150 years. These have been accompanied by a heightened awareness of Christ’s imminent appearing. They have also restored further powers to us as well as truths about our identity and purity in Christ.
Nevertheless, the antichrist has fiercely fought to co-opt this Pentecostal energy so as to reinforce the christening of our earthly identities and causes. At this hour in America, this push continues at fever pitch by prophetic intercessory devotion to (re-) christianizing America and breathing God’s breath into its dying idolatrous culture. The irony is that never has there been a greater manifest Presence of the Lord among God’s people in anticipating His return, yet never has more been done under the auspices of the Presence to disrobe us of virginal identity, making us unready for Christ’s return by reinforcing worship of a human nation.
Once we understand this, we understand what must happen for Christ to receive His Bride. Attaining to Bridal status (yes, it must be attained) is dependent on obtaining glorified immortality; for we can only be joined to Christ through immortality. But obtaining glorified immortality is dependent on being brought to a final loss of fleshly identity. All such identity must be ceded up to become joined to Christ, just as an earthly bride yields up her maiden name to be joined to her husband.
In turn again, to successfully lose fleshly identity, bridal believers must overcome antichrist’s seductive diversion of the Spirit unto further christianizing their human identity and nationhood. For such is the final barrier to immortality. And as remnants have characterized every past move of God, so will but a remnant qualify for translation underneath this now greatest of christianizational prophetic ruses.
The final purging out of natural and christianized identity is what most deeply characterizes the end time “washing of our robes in the blood of the Lamb” (Rev. 7:14). Upon new birth, we are given the lifelong opportunity to press through this purging process toward glory. But for the majority of last generation believers who will not have timely found that purging, the Great Tribulation will do its work to wash out all fleshly christianizing from our garments in time for the wedding supper of the Lamb. The incentive still remains for us to “beat the clock” on this.
But we can’t beat the clock if we don’t even know we are being seduced under God’s Presence by anti-prophetic ministry to invest our spiritual capacities back into rebuilding Egypt and re-pledging our christianized allegiance to it. We have much more to say about this—about the flesh’s seductive spirit under the anointing, our true relationship to the nations and the seed of Mystery Babylon sown into America’s founding now coming to final harvest. God permitting, we will write more on this as we have already from long past.
First Love Ministry
- a ministry of Anglemar Fellowship
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Page created March 10, 2022