THAT SPIRIT OF ANTI CHRIST
Holding forth the word of life;
that I may rejoice in the day of Christ,
that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.
Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life,
whereunto thou art also called,
and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
1 Timothy 6:12
Yesterday one of my former students asked me if I ‘had heard’. Yes, I had. Perhaps you have too. In the latest STAR WARS movie (The Phantom Empire’), it is revealed that Darth Vader is virgin-born. For many people this ‘plot twist’ is shocking, and perhaps film maker George Lucas intentionally included it in his script for that reason. I don’t know. I do, however, know this: more than 1,900 years ago, God told us through the apostle John that 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 4:3)
For more than 1,900 years the ‘spirit of antichrist’ has been at work in our myths, legends, stories, arts and entertainments, presenting one false Christ – a substitute ‘Jesus’ – after another; all as part of the setup for Satan’s plan that the entire world should follow after HIS ‘christ’ (‘the beast’, ‘the son of perdition’, ‘that antichrist’). The Bible says that ‘even now are there many antichrists’ (1 John 2:22), each one another blow to weaken people’s resistance to the eventual appearance of the one who will be THE Antichrist. After centuries of satanic manipulation and preparation, most of the world will fall for the lie without a conscious thought.
A LONG HISTORY
The ‘spirit of antichrist’ was already at work before the Lord’s first advent, which explains all the myths and legends of heroes who descended into the underworld (Odysseus, Aeneas, Gilgamesh etc), or who fought multiheaded dragons or who were offspring of a union between a mortal and a `god/goddess’, or whose births were prophesied or accompanied by signs in the heavens. Doubtless many of the ‘educated’ people of the apostle Paul’s day (the ‘superstitious’ of Acts 17:22) rejected the Lord because of these earlier counterfeits. Certainly, the ‘educated’ folk of our own time do! But there have been infinitely more satanic counterfeits over the past nineteen centuries.
So many of the heroes of medieval ‘christendom’ are antichrists. Consider Beowulf, who dies in battle with a firebreathing dragon, and who has TWELVE thanes – all but one of whom desert him in his hour of need – who rewards those who faithfully serve him, and is described in the text as ‘sent by God’, and as one who chooses his followers according to his own will. Remember, Matthew 26:56 and Ephesians 1:4,5?
Consider the even more famous King Arthur. Although the stories about him are numerous, contradictory and often fragmentary, they nevertheless present a man who could work miracles and whose birth involved a supernatural agency. He had a supernatural sword and his reign marked a great time of peace and prosperity for Britain; a time that eventually fell into apostasy. Incidentally, the proposed solution for this apostasy was to shift attention from the Lord Jesus Christ, to the supposed cup he drank from at the last supper: the so-called ‘Holy Grail’.
Satan’s fingerprints are all over King Arthur, whose last name was ‘Pendragon’. Like the Hebrew ‘ben’ and the Aramaic ‘bar’ (and the Irish ‘o’, the Scottish ‘m(a)c’, the Welsh ‘ap’ and the Spanish ‘ez’), ‘pen’ means ‘son of’: ‘Pendragon’ is ‘the son of the dragon’ (Gen.3:15; Rev.13), and the dragon was the emblem of Camelot (the Nazi SS was based upon Arthur’s Camelot). Unlike Jesus’ sword (Rev.19:15), which ‘BREAKETH the rock in pieces’ (Jer.23:29; Ephes.6:17), Arthur’s sword came OUT of a rock (hence its name, ‘Excalibur’), where it was placed by a supernatural woman. Unlike the bride of Christ (Ephes.5:27; 2 Cor.11 :2), Arthur’s bride was adulterous, but then, so was Arthur who sired children out of wedlock (one of them incestuously). After his death, Arthur’s body was taken across water (an obvious typology) to an island. A promise was made that in the future the king would return to help Britain in the hour of its direst need!
Since the middle ages, so many of the characters in popular literature have been antichrists. For example, Dracula, whose name like Arthur’s means ‘son of the dragon’ (‘dragon’ and ‘drakul’ derive from the Greek word ‘drakos’). In the novel that bears his name, Dracula leaves his native Transylvania for England, but his arrival is prepared for him by a ‘John the Baptist’ figure, who preaches that ‘the bridegroom cometh’ (a ‘bridegroom’ who has a ‘baptism’ of blood). When Dracula rests, he does so in ‘holy’ dirt – and the power of Protestant faith is HELPLESS against him! – but (of course!), the Roman Catholic superstitions like wafers and crucifixes work just fine!
As a vampire he obviously has died and risen (the novel calls him ‘the devil’s undead’), and he offers eternal life not through the pure and sinless blood of Jesus Christ, but through the corrupt blood of sinful man drinking it in violation of God’s express commands against the drinking of blood. (Lev.3:17; Deut.12:16) Dracula’s powers include the ability to control storms, and to raise the dead. His followers are evident by a mark on their forehead (and they exclude themselves from the company of others, whom they ward off with cries of ‘unclean’). He tries to corrupt a pure bride, and he’s finally destroyed (by a head wound) by a band of men led by ‘father’ Abraham – who teaches them that science is ultimately powerless. There are five men in this band of dragon slayers, and the only one who dies is the one whose name means ‘fifth’ (Quincy).
And let’s not forget John Carter, whose initials are J.C., and who comes from Virgin(ia). In Edgar Rice Burroughs’ novel ‘A Princess of Mars’, he leaves our planet for what is described more than once as an ‘advent’ on Mars. On Mars he has great powers, takes a Martian bride, and dies to ‘advent’ on Mars. On Mars he has great powers, takes a Martian bride, and dies to save the planet – but, as later novels show, he has a habit of rising from the dead and returning to Mars when he is needed!
In modern times, so-called ‘science fiction’ has produced hundreds of antichrists. What about the alien from the 1950’s film ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’; a title which suggests the ‘Copernican’ explanation for the sun and moon’s standing still as recorded in Joshua 10:13. The alien walks about as one of us, and assumes the name ‘Mr Carpenter’. Carpenter, get it? The radio adaptation of the movie claimed that the day of his arrival is the most important day since ‘the birth of Christ’. He too dies, and had he not given specific instructions, his robot servant would have destroyed us for killing him. Like so many of these other antichrists, he rises from the dead and issues a warning before he heads back into space, promising to return again.
Thirty years later, in ‘ET, the Extraterrestrial’, ET does the same things: works miracles, dies, rises from the dead, ascends to ‘heaven’, promises to return, and claims that in the meantime he’ll live in the heart of his earthly follower Eliot (the first two letters of whose name, EI, is a Hebrew name for God). When the ET movie was first released, the advertising poster parodied the creation scene in Michelangelo’s famous – painting, but in place of God’s hand reaching out to Adam, ET’s reached out to Eliot.
Then, what about Superman? He comes to earth from another planet, where he was a member of the house of ‘EI’. Surely the Jewish creators of this comic strip/TV/movie hero, together with the Jewish publishers, understood the significance of the name ‘EI’ (see previous paragraph)! Superman is the only son of his father, and as the old radio and TV series used to remind us, he has ‘powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men’. In recent years, Superman died (one of 1992’s big news stories!), but a visit to his burial place discovered an empty tomb. Superman eventually returned – but not before four counterfeits showed up, each claiming to be the genuine ‘man of steel’, ironically a form of anti-Superman! – and got married, although neither he nor his bride (Lois Lane) in the recent stories had evidently observed high moral standards before doing so.
Darth Vader (‘dark father’) is just about the latest, or most famous, of such antichrists. The entire Star Wars mythology points in that direction. The heroes are the ‘Jedi knights’, but the word ‘Jedi’ possesses a biblical connotation: ‘Jedi-ael’ (‘God knows’), ‘Jedi-dah’ (‘God’s beloved’), and ‘Jedi-diah’ (‘Jah is friend’). These knights receive their training from Yoda, a word remarkably similar to the Hebrew ‘yada’, which means ‘knowledge’.
On the other hand, the wicked knights are known as Sith; a word which appears just once in the Bible (Ezek.35:6), in connection with a love for blood (Dracula again!), so its not surprising that in this new movie, the Sith named Darth Maul is blood-red, dresses in black, and has devil horns all over his head.
‘IT IS THE LAST TIME’
Some of us are so engrossed in our cultures, we don’t really believe God when he tells us, ‘If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world…is not of the Father, but is of the world.’ (1 John 2:15,16) Likewise, for the redeemed, ‘the friendship of the world’ is spiritual adultery and ‘enmity with God’. (James 4:4)
Would to God, that we who are saved were as strongly identified with the Lord Jesus Christ as the ‘grail ritualists’, the ‘creative anachronists’, and the ‘Celtic revivalists’ are with King Arthur; as the ‘Goths’ and .’trick-or-treaters’ are with Dracula; as the sci-fi fan, toy stores and fastfood places are with Darth Vader; as those who receive his mark will be to ‘that anichrist’.
The apostle John tells us, ‘it is the last time’. (1 John 2:18) Let us therefore remain grounded in God’s Word, and not be influenced by exotic entertainments with their hidden agendas. Equally, let us proclaim the REAL Christ to the world, which for millennia has seen all too many antichrists.
Daryl R. Coats
This tract may be copied for non-commercial use.
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