THE ANTICHRIST APPROACHING?
The students of prophecy know that before Christ will appear on earth, Antichrist will appear. He will be one of the Roman Emperors revived. Please read 2 Thessalonians 2 for this. For now we can take a look at the signs. On May 30, 1925, the President of the United States, Mr. Coolidge, spoke on Memorial Day,
Our nation is based on the ideal of local self-rule...We have to admit that the recent tendency is contrary to this spirit. Individuals are no longer building their own freedom through self-rule and labor...but have committed the responsibility of prosperity and moral virtue to the intoxicating influence that pervades society. In the same way, the local governments are looking to the state governments, and the state governments are looking to the national government, while the national governments are looking to a nebulous organization, a flimsy union to pay their debts and to tell them what they should do. This is not self-rule...If we allow others to help us, we cannot stop others from controlling us. If we are too weak to uphold our own morality, we will not be strong enough to uphold our freedom. If we cannot rule ourselves, if we cannot abide by the law, there will be no way except for others to control us, to subjugate us under the law, and to lower our noble and free position to that of a shameful slave."
From this speech of President Coolidge, we can see that America and the world cannot rule themselves. According to his mature political view, the world must be under someone’s domination. Hence, the world is ripe for Antichrist to execute his autocratic regime. While standing on the watchtower of prophecy, we can see that men are becoming more and more lawless, until the day the lawless one appears, when they will all be subject under his hand. Antichrist is coming soon! But before he appears, the saints will be raptured! Be watchful! Let us consider more words from others.
Mr. Mussolini of Italy, where Rome is situated, has challenged the world to pay attention to his declaration. Although he may not be one of the Roman emperors revived, he is at least a type of that emperor. He said on August 18, "I believe there is no such thing as freedom in this world. Freedom is but something in the ideal of the philosophers; it is the impractical philosophy that comes from the air. Our philosophy comes from the earth that is so near to us and is for those living on earth. Civilization is the opposite of freedom...The crowd cannot rule over the crowd, and the majority cannot rule over the majority." Concerning Caesar, the Roman emperor, Mussolini said, "He is our ideal person, our master. Julius Caesar was the greatest man on earth." Concerning the condition in Europe, he said, "Europe is impregnated with life. This old continent is not corrupted...If Europe has become old, then Italy should have been the weakest, for it is the oldest of all the European countries. But Italy is very strong, and there is nothing that can stop its progress." Do not the speeches of President Coolidge and Mussolini point to the same thing? Do they not all point to a coming authoritarian world king? "At the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established" (2 Cor. 13:1).
THE SECRET CHRIST
It is said that there are many in the Muslim countries who believe in Christ in secret. They gather together in a central location of a certain city, break bread in closed rooms, and communicate with each other through secret signs. Among them, seventeen said that they have seen Christ appearing to them in their secret meetings behind closed doors.
News from Russia also reported that Christ appeared once to a shepherd boy and warned him of the end time of this age. As a result, seventeen thousand big wooden crosses were erected on the Russian farms. This proves that many people believe in this report.
Last month the editor of this paper met Dr. Wong of the Amoy Salvation Hospital, who told us of a strange story in a certain house in Tsanghai of Amoy. I have heard of this story before, but not with so much detail. There appeared to be a voice that came from the ceiling of that house, which was supposedly the voice of the deceased Pastor Lin. The voice would identify himself as the voice of Pastor Lin and would warn the people in the house on behalf of God. All that the voice spoke was Scripture verses. This strange story goes into much detail, and we cannot relate all the details here. The voice has been there on and off for over a year, and there have been many believers who have gone there to inquire of the voice. My friend Wang Teng-ming asked Dr. Wong to test the voice with 1 John 4:2. After Dr. Wong asked the question, the voice was silent for half an hour, after which it said, "Read 1 Corinthians 13:13!" It was not an answer to the question. But the believers in that place still believed that the voice was genuine and considered the teaching of 1 Corinthians 13:13 to be an answer. Not only did they say that they heard the voice; they claimed that they had once seen a form and had seen glory shining in the sky for an hour and a half.
This is clearly the false work of the evil spirits, because (1) the dead believers are now in paradise and cannot come out of it, (2) the Lord never asks dead people to preach to the living, (3) the Lord forbids the dead to communicate with the living and would, therefore, never send a dead person back to life, and (4) this voice did not acknowledge that the Lord Jesus had come in the flesh. His silence means that he did not acknowledge the fact. All the other ambiguous answers do not count. Yet why did the voice teach others to do good? Please read Acts 16:16-18. There the demons were preaching for the Lord and were telling others about the works of God’s servants! When the devil tempted the Lord Jesus, he quoted Scriptures as well. Moreover, the things with which he tempted the Lord were not sin in man’s eyes. Yet those things are not God’s will. Therefore, this demon from Tsanghai came from Satan and was there to deceive men.
At the end time, Satan is using all kinds of schemes to pave the way for his Antichrist, so that when he comes, there will be no hindrance at all.
"Therefore if they say to you, Behold, He is in the wilderness, do not go forth; Behold, He is in the inner rooms, do not believe it" (Matt. 24:26). God’s command is: "Do not believe every spirit, but prove..." (1 John 4:1).
(Collected Works of Watchman Nee, The (Set 1) Vol. 07: The Christian (5), Chapter 2, by Watchman Nee)