Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sits in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. —2 Thess. 2:3,4
Lance Goodall – 4 Feb 2016
What we learn from history is that we don’t learn from history.
Over time I have become an armchair student of history. The rise of Egypt, Greece, Rome, men like Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Napoleon, Hitler, JFK.
“The time is fulfilled for the German people of Hitler. It is because of Hitler that Christ, God the helper and redeemer, has become effective among us. … Hitler is the way of the Spirit and the will of God for the German people to enter the Church of Christ.” — German pastor Hermann Gruner.
Another pastor put it more succinctly: “Christ has come to us through Adolph Hitler.”1
So despondent had been the German people after the defeat of World War I and the subsequent economic depression that the charismatic Adolf Hitler appeared to be the nation’s answer to prayer—at least to most Germans, a messiah figure. One exception was theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was determined not only to refute this idea but also to topple Hitler, even if it meant killing him.
During these years, Hitler rose in power, becoming chancellor of Germany in January 1933, and president a year and a half later. Hitler’s anti-Semitic rhetoric and actions intensified—as did his opposition, which included the likes of theologian Karl Barth, pastor Martin Niemoller, and Bonhoeffer. Together with other pastors and theologians, they organized the Confessing Church, which announced publicly in its Barmen Declaration (1934) its allegiance first to Jesus Christ.2
In Nazi Germany in September 1935, there were still a few Christians in the Protestant Confessing Church who demanded that their Church take a public stand in defense of the Jews. Their efforts, however, were overruled by Church leaders who wanted to avoid any conflict with Hitler’s Nazi regime.3
A revival of the old, conservative, paternalistic and imperial Germany was beckoning – and it would be a Christian Germany once more. At least, so Hitler promised.
In fact, Hitler hated Christianity, and was convinced that it was incompatible with National Socialism. He was enough of an opportunist, however, to realize that the Christian tradition was still strong in Germany, and that he would be wise to begin by courting the churches’ favour. If they trusted him, they could be excellent supporters in his rise to power; if he alienated them, they could be formidable enemies. But although he courted them, he never intended to allow them any independent power in the totalitarian Nazi state: they were to be merely his tools, to be discarded when no longer needed.4
A striking fact was that of the 60 Million population in Germany, two thirds (40 M) were protestant. The Churches in Nazi Germany, while wanting to retain their prominent place in society, opposed any state control of their affairs. The Catholic Church and the Protestant Churches sought to maintain some degree of independence by entering into certain arrangements with the Nazi regime. In 1933 a concordat was signed by representatives of the Nazi regime and the Vatican. This secured independence for Catholic schools and other Catholic institutions in Nazi Germany. The Protestant Churches, which were divided regionally, behaved cautiously — avoiding public confrontation and negotiating privately with Nazi authorities — in the hope that this would ensure institutional independence from direct Nazi control.
Throughout Germany, bishops and other Christian religious leaders deliberately avoided antagonizing Nazi officials. When Christian clergymen and Christian women deplored Nazi policies, they often felt constrained to oppose those policies in a muted fashion. Even in the Protestant Confessing Church (the Church most critical of Nazism), there was little support for official public criticism of the Nazi regime, particularly when it came to such central and risky issues as the persecution of Jews.5
It was clear that the failure of the church to respond to the horrid events of World War 2 was not due to ignorance; they knew what was happening. Ultimately, the Churches’ lapses during the Nazi era were lapses of vision and determination.6
There was no excuse for this mass approval of Nazism by the German Protestants or, for that matter, by any other German group. They could have been aware of Hitler’s ideology and aims: he had revealed much of them in his autobiography Mein Kampf, published in the twenties. They could also have an inkling of what was likely to happen to the German churches if the Nazis gained power. Long before January 1933, when Hitler became chancellor, groups had arisen in Germany which attempted to combine Christianity with the type of paganism that the Nazis would espouse.7
Today the modern church has acquiesced not to political pressure, but to popular culture. The church of our day has caved into the influence of advertising, multi-media, marketing, and Hollywood.
A shocking example of this compromise is Hillsong Church in London. They were absolutely slammed on social media for their production of Hillsong Carols in 2015 at Wembley Stadium, where they had a Vegas-style rendition of ‘Silent Night’, yes with 1920s flapper girls, in short-tiered fringe Charleston Gatsby dresses, which turned into none other than a sleazy night.
After pulling down the footage from YouTube and other weak responses, I don’t think there was a one proper clarification, or an apology, as to the reasons behind this production. Now Hillsong London has now crossed another line all in the name of entertainment, an event that not even the New Testament apostles could have predicted.
The London branch of Hillsong has done it again. They have corrupted the very sanctuary of God by seating Satan at the centre of worship in their 2016 Easter production.
They staged another depraved perversion for all the world to be aghast at. This church has become the centrepiece for religious apostasy beyond the traditional sense. Not only are they denying key doctrines of the Bible, but they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh and put him to an open shame, denying the very one who bought them.
By flattering themselves and glorying in their dramatic prowess, Hillsong London have put on another ‘show-stopping’ West End production, with sets and props, singers, and dancers —the whole gambit. But by doing so, they have allowed the very spirit of hell to be seated on the throne of God.
The production was a sinister portrayal of the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus as he went to the cross. The whole thing became an inverted betrayal of the Easter/ Passover season, with the devil and his demon hordes celebrating Christ’s death, as if in victory, mocking and jeering at him, in a satanic ritual. The atmosphere was torturous, and even a few minutes of watching this disgrace on YouTube was agony.8
Hillsong London Easter 2016
Satan has been glorified at an Easter service!
To the innocent bystander, it may have seemed like a modern play to illustrate the cross and all the horror that Christ went through. But once more, Hillsong played the Illuminati card, and several hidden subliminal messages throughout the concert.
Hillsong London’s Easter event although in Christian camouflage was all about the occult.
Hillsong London’s use of drama and music and choreography has brought the church to their very gates of hell. You literally feel the oppression in the Hillsong meeting. We have become desensitised by our modern media. Discernment has completely GONE from Christians. This blind obedience to church leaders is beyond comprehension.
We are no longer talking about Hillsong’s money or their music, but their league with the devil!
We are drowning in spiritual and moral adultery. Paganism is the spiritual benchmark. I am sorry but this is not cool. Again, the idea is that if we present the best and most fantastic show equal to quality of the world, then the world will respect us and somehow turn to Christ.
Tolerance has not brought salvation to the masses. Instead, it is prophesied our world will soon embrace a personage who fits the description of the wicked (the Antichrist).
Permit me to introduce a strange but striking figure called Antiochus Epiphanes IV. Epiphanes, God manifest for obvious reasons, foreshadows the future maniac who will be worshipped en masse.
Antiochus Epiphanes IV was the eighth ruler of the Seleucid empire, ruling around 175 BC. His domain made up part of Alexander the Great’s previous empire 150 years prior, which stretched from Egypt all the way to Babylon and Persia into selected parts of India. Over a period of 125 years, the Seleucids and Ptolemies battled for this vast region. The former finally won in 198 B.C. when Antiochus III defeated the Egyptians and incorporated Judea into his empire. Initially, he continued to allow the Jews autonomy, but after a stinging defeat at the hands of the Romans he began a program of Hellenisation that threatened to force the Jews to abandon their monotheism for the Greeks’ paganism. Antiochus backed down in the face of Jewish opposition to his effort to introduce idols in their temples; but his son, Antiochus IV, who inherited the throne in 176 B.C. resumed his father’s original policy, but this time without excluding the Jews. A brief Jewish rebellion only hardened his views and led him to outlaw central tenets of Judaism.9
Antiochus Epiphanes is one of the most important types—or foreshadows—of the Antichrist in the Bible. He came from the line of Seleucids called the dynasty of Antiochus. There were others before him: Antiochus I, II, III. The Jews changed his name to Epimanus, meaning — the mad one.
The Jewish Encyclopaedia outlines that this illustrious king of Syria reigned in 175 BC and died in 164. He took possession of the Syrian throne, which rightly belonged to his nephew Demetrius. Antiochus, in rabbinical sources, is known as; The Wicked.
He exercised great influence upon Jewish history and the development of the Jewish religion. Antiochus combined in himself the worst of the Greeks and the Romans. His vanity and his fondness for display were to the verge of eccentricity.10
In Israel, Onias III was the high priest at the time, but a party spirit arose among the people: the struggle of the Tobiads against the conservatives who sided with Onias. Antiochus was determined to Hellenise Israel. The Jews were quickly becoming more Greek than any other time in history. A group of Jews came to Antiochus with a plan. They proposed that the high priest Onias III should be removed, and his Hellenised brother Jason should take his place. Joshua (Jason) succeeded Onias as high priest. It was during his office, he changed his name to Jason, following Greek usage.
They would set up a Greek constitution and coin Greek money. In order to ingratiate himself with the king, Jason established an arena for public games close by the Temple.
During the period of Jason and Menelaus, the Jewish religious authorities promoted Greek institutions and in so doing represented popular desires and wishes.11
The Greek Hellenisers took control of the government in Jerusalem, and they began to build gymnasiums within the city and encouraged the young to spend all their time there. The young priests engaged in sports. Jerusalem was filled with Greek styles, clothes, names, language, and, worst of all, the Greek religion and Greek morals.
The gymnasium was a place where the citizens of a polis (Greek city) practised athletic and cultural activities according to the Greek way of life.12
In Greek entertainment, there was this mixture of pagan religious philosophy and entertainment. According to historical records, the first ancient Olympic Games can be traced back to 776 BC. They were dedicated to the Olympian gods, on the ancient plains of Olympia. The Greeks erected statues and built temples in a grove dedicated to Zeus, supreme among the gods.
The ancient Greeks were highly competitive and believed in the ‘contest’. The ultimate Greek goal was to be the best. It was therefore considered one of the greatest honours to win a victory at Olympia. Athletics were of prime importance to the Greeks. The education of boys concentrated on athletics and music as well as academic subjects such as philosophy. Education took place in the gymnasium and the palaestra, as well as the academy.13
The athletes competed in the nude in a show of sexual exhibitionism.
For both training and competitions, athletes were always nude. Their bodies, shaped by exercise, were used as models by sculptors and painters who drew inspiration for their works directly from the athletes and their movements while practising sport. The beauty of the naked body reflected the internal beauty and illustrated the harmonious balance between body and mind. There was a gymnasium and a palaestra in every Greek city.14
Everything in the Greek world was diametrically opposed to the Hebrew world. The Jews believed they were made in God’s image whereas the Greeks believed ‘We make god in our image’. This was the underlying philosophy of the Greeks.15
Over time, the various elements of Greek political thought and bureaucracy took over. Jason the Priest began to encourage the diffusion among his countrymen of Greek habits and manners; Jason ignored the benefits that the Jews had obtained in the past from Greek kings, and now he approved behaviour and customs that broke the law. Second Maccabees describes in detail the decadence of the priestly class, the lack of cultural services, carelessness towards sacrifices, contempt for the Temple, and staging of theatrical shows in the gymnasium.16
On the other hand, some of the Hellenisers felt that things were not moving fast enough, so they convinced Antiochus to remove Jason and replace him with Menelaus who was not even a member of the priestly family.17
The strange thing was the compromising Tobiads, and Menelaus asked Antiochus IV for permission to build a gymnasium in Jerusalem and, having obtained it, then chose to hide their circumcision so as to look like Greeks when naked.18
According to II Maccabees, it was Menelaus who persuaded Antiochus to Hellenise the Jewish worship and thereby brought about the uprising of the Judeans under the guidance of the Maccabees.19
Upon a triumphant return from Egypt, in 168 BC, Antiochus sacked the Temple at Jerusalem and took its golden vessels Antiochus, Josephus tells us, ‘came up to Jerusalem, and, pretending peace . . . led by his covetous inclination, . . . left the temple bare, and took away the golden candlesticks, and the golden altar, and table and the altar [of burnt offering]; and did not abstain from even the veils, which were made of fine linen and scarlet. He also emptied it of its secret treasures, and left nothing at all remaining’ (Antiquities of the Jews, XII, v. 4).
The Seleucids outlawed temple sacrifices, circumcision, Sabbath and festival observance, and the reading of the scriptures. In the year 168 B.C.E., the Syrian tyrant Antiochus Epiphanes sent his soldiers to Jerusalem. They desecrated the Temple, the holiest place for Jews at that time. Altars and idols were set up for the worship of Greek gods and he offered Jews two options: conversion or death.20
This act stopped the commanded twice-daily sacrifices at the Temple (Exod. 29:39–42, Num. 28:4–6). This was an overt attempt to wipe out the Jewish religion with all of its doctrines.
Daniel added this in chapter 11: ‘And arms shall stand on his [Antiochus’] part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength [the Jewish Temple], and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the ‘abomination that makes desolate’ (vs. 31).
Now then, what exactly is this coming ‘abomination’ that will be ‘set up’ again? The truth—born of history—is beyond eye-opening in regard to prophecy.
The first fulfillment was not just Antiochus’ armies coming into Jerusalem—an early ‘treading it down’ for three years until 165 BC— but the fact that those armies set up an image—a specific idol—on the Temple’s altar, which defiled and made it desolate. Antiochus further polluted the Temple by offering swine’s blood upon the altar.
Hillsong London Easter 2016 – Youtube
Antiochus IV instituted idolatrous pagan worship at the Temple, and there converted the altar of burnt offering to an altar of sacrifice to Zeus. This ‘desolating sacrilege on the altar of burnt offering’ (1 Macc 1:54) identifies Antiochus’s blasphemous sacrifices as the ‘abomination of desolation’ prophesied in Daniel 11:31.21 A statue of Zeus/Antiochus was placed in the Temple above the altar. The most detestable of animals (the pig) were brought and sacrificed on the altar. This abominable act was perpetrated on Kislev 25, 168 BC.15And he built a statue of the god, Zeus, giving Zeus his own features. Now Zeus was a corruption of Theos in Greek. Almost the same spelling, Zeus was the corruption of Theos in Greek, meaning god.22
Antiochus had misunderstood the true character of Judaism, for his tyranny aroused both the religious and the political consciousness of the Jews, which resulted in the revolution led by the Maccabees. The Ḥasidim (pious ones), much to the surprise of the Hellenes, suffered martyrdom by the hundreds. Though many Jews had been seduced by the virtues of Hellenism, the extreme measures adopted by Antiochus helped unite the people. When a Greek official tried to force a priest named Mattathias to make a sacrifice to a pagan god, the Jew murdered the man. Predictably, Antiochus began reprisals; but in 167 BCE the Jews rose up behind Mattathias and his five sons and fought for their liberation.
The family of Mattathias became known as the Maccabees, from the Hebrew word for hammer, because they were said to strike hammer blows against their enemies. Jews refer to the Maccabees, but the family is more commonly known as the Hasmoneans.
Like other rulers before him, Antiochus underestimated the will and strength of his Jewish adversaries and sent a small force to put down the rebellion. When that failed, he led a more powerful army into battle only to be defeated. Mattathias the Hasmonean (the Maccabean family) organized open resistance in 167–166 BC, which, through the heroic achievements of his son, and successor Judas the Maccabee in defeating two large and well-equipped armies of Antiochus began the demise of the punishing rulership of Antiochus.23 Jerusalem was recaptured by the Maccabees in 164 BCE. The Temple was finally purified, an event that gave birth to the holiday of Hanukkah, meaning dedication (also known as the Festival of Lights).24
It took more than two decades of fighting before the Maccabees forced the Seleucids to retreat from the Land of Israel. By this time Antiochus had died and his successor agreed to the Jews’ demand for independence. In the year 142 BCE, after more than 500 years of subjugation, the Jews were again in control.25
Space does not allow for details regarding the book of Daniel, but notice Antiochus IV had an agenda to use culture and religion for political expedience to gain political control. The Antichrist will do the same thing. He will bring in a multicultural and multifaith culture, just like today in parts of Europe, e.g. London, Brussels, France, etc., and he will come in the spirit and character of Antiochus. Of course the ultimate fulfillment of the abomination of desolation is still be repeated, not only the statue, but the final leader of the religious system who enters into Jerusalem and says, “I am God.”
But to understand what is happening in these last days, we need to understand and apply what happened during the days of Antiochus IV and the Maccabean wars. This is not just a history lesson.
There were the cultural elements of the Greek world that Antiochus wanted everybody to accept. He wanted to Hellenise all culture. The Hebrews went along with the cultural shift. Things were progressively banned. The problem was God’s people continued to go along with it until it couldn’t be stopped. The priesthood was shut down. The Jews were seduced, and eventually, things got to the point they were outlawed, but it was too late. The main problem was not the Greeks. The main problem were the Jews who collaborated and those who stood by and said nothing.26
Is this not the same dilemma in our time? The church has finally woken to find itself bankrupt, the treasures of power, purity, holiness, and moral persuasion stolen. The church instead finds itself accepting men’s philosophy and with that the removal of Christian ethics from society and the overthrow of Christian heritage from our laws, schools, and legislature.
Antiochus IV was empowered by spiritual seduction and by Hellenising God’s people—that is, using the popular culture. Riding on the back of the popular culture was a compromised morality. God’s people lost their way and their identity.
The church is hellenised itself to embrace the ‘Greek’ gods of this age in a similar fashion.
The key points prophesied in the book of Daniel:
- Antiochus IV’s war against Israel would happen during more than one Egyptian conflict (Dan. 11:29–30).
- Antiochus would take military control of Jerusalem and the temple: “Forces from him shall appear” (v. 31a).
- He would cause the sacrifices to cease: “Forces from him shall appear and profane the temple and fortress, and shall take away the regular burnt offering” (v. 31).
- He would “set up the abomination that makes desolate” (v. 31b).
- Antiochus would prefer and protect those who would “violate the covenant” (v. 32a).
- Antiochus IV would be met with resistance (vv. 32b–33).
- The righteous would suffer intense persecution (vv. 33–34a).
- There would be imposters among the righteous (v. 34b).
- These events would result in a purification of the people of God (v. 35).27
This is exactly what happened in the days of the Maccabees.
Antiochus IV plundered the Temple. The great truth is the New Testament calls the church “the temple” no fewer than seven times. Greek culture was more than comfortable with both homosexuality and bisexuality.28
The church is to be salt and light! A preserver of freedoms and rights of the innocent. She is to be light, where men love only darkness. But how can the church be salt and light in a society when the church is going along with the culture? If the church loses its holiness, when it loses its distinctiveness and does not preach the truth, then it cannot function as God intended and is good for nothing. We have been duped into looking for the Antichrist when the spirit of antichrist already pervades the whole of our world system.
Last July (2016), for the first time during a Mass in Italy, a verse of the Koran was recited from the altar. A priest in the south of Italy enraged parishioners by dressing the Virgin Mary in a Muslim burqa [also known as hijab, chadri or paranja in Central Asia] for his church’s Christmas Nativity scene. These interfaith initiatives are based on the gradual elimination of the Western–Christian heritage in favour of Islam. The silence is deafening: how is it that so few Christian leaders raised their voice against this unprecedented attack on a Christian monument? Why are Koran readings in their own churches seen as normal?
After a terror attack in a church in Normandy last July, the Christian clergy opened the doors of their churches to Muslims. This gesture was welcomed as a turning point in the relation between the two religions.29
The Antichrist is not just a person but the spirit of the age!
There are many trials for God’s people, and at times it seems that the work of God is lost completely. Then God begins to raise up a remnant, a true remnant. Those whose lives are consistent with faith in their Lord and Master. God is wanting to send out labourers (Matt. 9:37,38). But the truth is we are not capable of reaping souls if our lives don’t reflect the transforming power of the gospel we preach. Our walk with Christ should offer proof to the world that God and His word are true.
But there is still hope. The message is clear: It’s harvest time, but are we ready?
In the last days, a small group of people will arise like the Maccabees. God, in the midst of the chaos and lawlessness, is beginning to build an army that will stand up to counter the moral landslide. Notice small numbers and small groups. In this period, many joined themselves in hypocrisy. Treason was found in the ranks, but in the end, they overcome. In the end, the Maccabees won, as was prophesied by Daniel.30
And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt with flatteries, but the people that do know their God shall be strong and do exploits (Dan. 11:32).
There were those at the time of Maccabean crisis who caved in to the culture and walked away from God’s statutes and judgments. We are seeing this fulfilled in our day. Those who are walking away from God’s covenant are instead integrating the flesh into their church services. These ones are being corrupted and deluded by the flatteries of their leaders.
Evil men and seducers waxing worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived (1 Tim. 3:13).
Hillsong’s Women’s Colour Conference 2016 had its first opening in New York City. It was no surprise that once more it was a celebration of debauchery: a half-naked cowboy, the church’s youth pastor no less onstage with swinging guitar (a phallic symbol) in nothing on but his boyleg underwear. The show also included a Batman and Robin, the snowman from Frozen, several scantily clad females who strutted around with Elvis, Spiderman, Spongebob, and a half-baked transvestite Statue of Liberty.31
Bobbie Houston played host, alongside Pastor Carl Lentz of the Hillsong New York campus.
Every aspect of modern culture is moulding the thinking of Hillsong’s leadership.
We were not made to fit in but made to stand out. (1 Pet. 1:16, 2 Pet. 3:11)
Yet there is another group. Those who know their God and stand up and who are able to achieve much in the power of God to stem the tide of the evil culture around them and bring deliverance to the lives of men. But I hear this warning from the Holy Spirit that just as there is coming a revival to bring in an end-time harvest, there is equally a false revival that has already started that deceives many. It will have signs and wonders and will be difficult to distinguish from the real thing. It will have the appearance of God, and an appearance of success.
I hear this warning from the Holy Spirit that just as there is coming a revival to bring in an end-time harvest, there is equally a false revival that will deceive many.
And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do; the heads of them were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their commandment (1 Chron. 12:32).
The men of Issachar understood what God was about to do and would be in their day a wonderful help in establishing the new kingdom under David. God never goes for the crowds. Although we need numbers to show results, God will choose 7,000, 300, 200, or just one man—as in the case of Moses, Elijah, Gideon, David—to outwork his plan. God’s people know what hour it is, what’s required of them. They do not follow the status quo. They are striving for perfection and looking to be used of God to teach others in the way of salvation. The Lord is calling ones to be separate, to holiness and righteousness unto the Lord and to walk in obedience and utter submission to His will. To be free from sin, to be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect, be dead to flesh and alive in Christ. God will use these ones to bring conviction to hearts and the truth of God’s judgment on sin.
The remnant are being refined at this time and are preparing themselves now, for they are born for a time such as this.
This excerpt was taken and adapted from the new book ‘Hellsong – The Music of Hillsong – In praise of folly’ by the author.
- https://coercioncode.com/2016/04/19/hillsong-london-satanic- sanctioned-easter-service/
- https://moriel.org/sermons-in-english/5957-hanukkah-part-1. html
- https://moriel.org/sermons-in-english/5957-hanukkah-part-1. html
- http : // jew com / a r ticles /1589 -antiochus- iv-epiphanes
- https://moriel.org/sermons-in-english/5957-hanukkah-part-1. html
- https :// w w chr istiancour ier.com / a r ticles /1191-daniels- prophecy-of-antiochus-epiphanes
- https://moriel.org/sermons-in-english/5957-hanukkah-part-1. html