(From Chapter Twelve of “The Irresistible Kingdom”. Note: The word “Church” in this book always refers to the religious system, never to the Ekklesia.)
When we pray “Your Kingdom come, Your Will be done on earth as it is in Heaven,” do we really know what we are doing? We are asking for two things. On the positive side, we are joining together with God and agreeing with Him, praying in line with His Eternal purpose in Christ for the recovery of the Heavenly Order and the establishment of the Irresistible Kingdom of God. On the negative side, we are asking for the end of this present evil age, the subjection of this rebellious generation, and the elimination of everything that fails to give Christ the preeminence, whether they are considered “worldly” things or “religious” things.
This kind of prayer is not a frivolous thing. It is calling for a revolution in the way things are. It is commanding all that is to make room for all that is to come. It is calling for the end of all things pertaining to man, this present world, and the defeated devil: “Your Kingdom come.” In this Kingdom, Christ alone has authority and power. Think of the implications. For this to be realized it will mean either the elimination or the subjection of every earthly government to Jesus Christ. It will mean the eradication of every religious institution, denomination, movement, group, cult, false religion, doctrine – anything which fails to give the Son the preeminence, and certainly those things which misrepresent, malign, distort, or bear false witness to the Lord Jesus. It will also mean the abolition of everything pertaining to the kingdom of darkness, every principality, power, and eventually, Satan himself. The souls of men who refuse to submit to Christ must also be judged and dealt with. The Creation which groans and travails in pain must be purified by fire, liberated, and recreated again. We are talking about a major upheaval.
When this Irresistible Kingdom of God comes in its fullness it will mean the consummation of all things – the ultimate goal of all God’s dealings with man:
That in the dispensation of the fullness of times He might gather together [Greek: re-gather] in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him. (Eph. 1:10)
This has been the goal ever since God initiated the recovery of the Heavenly Order so many thousands of years ago. However, the darkness is greatest just before the sun rises.
Conditions Existing in the Last Days
The consummation of the Irresistible Kingdom will be preceded by certain conditions in both the secular world and the religious world:
1) Conditions in the secular world. We can expect that conditions in the world will only get worse. This reflects a downward trend that was set in motion when Adam made his declaration of independence from God. This not only brought sin and death upon mankind, but it disrupted creation itself: “For we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now.” World conditions in the last days will continue to deteriorate, both in the natural realm and in the secular realm of governments and nations:
And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that you are not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there will be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in different places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. (Mt. 24:6-8)
And there will be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven will be shaken. And then will they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. (Lk. 21:25-27)
In addition, we find a hint in the Book of Revelation that God will intervene in order to (among other things) “destroy them which destroy the earth” – presumably to keep the world from being completely ruined by man. Whether this is intended to be literal or figurative we cannot know for sure, but it certainly speaks of a terrible time.
2) Conditions in the religious world. The Bible is very specific about what we can expect in the Church system in the last days: not a great revival, but a great falling away from the truth.
- Let no man deceive you by any means: for that Day shall not come, except there come a falling away first… (2 Th. 2:3a)
- Now the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron. (1 Tim. 4:1,2)
- For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine [i.e., teaching]; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (2 Tim. 4:3,4)
- Little children, it is the last time: and as you have heard that antichrist will come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. (1 Jn. 2:18)
The identification of “the Antichrist” is the subject of much discussion among those who study Bible prophecy. According to Vines:
Antichrist (antichristos) can mean either “against Christ” or “instead of Christ,” or perhaps, combining the two, “one who, assuming the guise of Christ, opposes Christ” (Westcott). The word is found only in John’s epistles.
John says there were many antichrists (not just one) who had already appeared. In addition, he says “they went out from us, but they were not of us,” which again refers to the fact that antichrist has its beginning in something that appears to be “Christian” in nature. This supports our understanding that antichrist is not a demon-possessed politician with grandiose schemes of ruling the world, but anyone who assumes the guise of Christ and yet opposes Christ. This is a direct reference to the Church, which for 1700 years has sought to deceive “even the very Elect” by assuming the guise of Christ while it either directly or indirectly opposes and resists anything connected with a genuine expression of Christ in the earth. For that reason the Church and everything connected to its system of religion must be judged…