“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 3 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. 4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. 5 They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. 6 We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error. 7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. 8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. 1 John 4:1-8 KJV
Many people study Old Testament prophecy and the book of Revelation and other end-time predictions and then they start looking for any sign of the antichrist himself. They are so afraid of this one man who is going to do all these bad things, but they miss the fact that there is already an antichrist spirit in the world today and it has been here a long time. We need to have knowledge of the truth and we need to be aware of what is going on around us in society and in people. People are so worried about the devils in the atmosphere, but it’s the devils on the ground, in the people, that are our greatest threat. The strongholds we need to break are in the minds of men.
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled. 2 Corinthians 10:3-6 NKJV
Verse 5 in the Amplified Bible says, “[Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed one).”
We don’t need to see demons around every bush, but we do need to know how the devil operates and know how to deal with him when we encounter him. People, who have not humbled themselves before God and acknowledged that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh and received Him as their personal Lord and Savior, are living in darkness. Their father is the devil. They may not necessarily be evil people and they may not mean to do the wrong thing, but because their reasoning is darkened, they make bad choices. There are other people, who have yielded themselves to the temptations of their flesh and allowed the devil to have their mind and body, who do evil things intentionally. All of these people have an antichrist spirit. This spirit in them works constantly against the will, purpose and plan of God in the earth and, as a consequence, against those who are blood-washed and Spirit-filled and who acknowledge that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh.
Notice it also says, “…being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled. “ We must be submitted to God if we want to start taking authority over the devil, wherever he is, whether in our own thought processes or in other people or situations. James 4:7 AMP says, “So be subject to God. Resist the devil [stand firm against him], and he will flee from you.”
We know who belongs to Jesus. They are the ones who walk in the love of God. There are even some Christians who will not walk in the love of God. They still allow the devil to influence them. Instead of yielding their mind, heart, and flesh to God, they yield to the devil. If you are a Christian, who will not make a commitment to walk in the love of God, you will be vulnerable to be used of the devil to sow seeds of strife, confusion, and destruction. No Christian in their right mind wants to be used by the devil. Evaluate your own heart, mouth, and life now and make the changes.
Yes, there is an antichrist spirit that operates in the world, through people, but the Word of God also says that, if you are of God, if you are His little child, then greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world! You are victorious in Him! They may come out against you one way, but they will flee seven ways! (Deuteronomy 28:7) No weapon formed against you shall prosper and every tongue that rises against you in judgment, you will condemn! This is the heritage of the obedient child of God. Your righteousness is of Him. (Isaiah 54:17)