Anti-Christ is Destroyed in the Judgment Hour
As Satan attacks the "Temple" of God (the Christian Church), he wages war from two sides of the City, from the north and from the south. No matter what lie or misrepresentation of the Truth he comes up with, these deceptions can be heaped into just two stinking trash piles that reek to the high heavens.
Once we recognize what the two trash piles are, even the simplest, humble Christian can learn to recognize the Wolf when he comes in sheep's clothing banging for admittance upon the Temple door. Unfortunately there are too many wolves on the inside dressed in the robe of minister and cleric who are more than willing to swing open the gates of the Temple and let the "lamb like" one come in and "sit in the Temple of God" and pretend to speak for God. Millions are deceived and made drunk by these false prophets and their wine of Babylon.
The two cesspools of "abominations that make desolate" are Legalism and Lawlessness. Like the parting of the Red Sea so that the people of God may pass through to the Promised Land, the watery walls of Legalism menacingly threaten Israel on the one side while the foaming waves of Lawlessness intimidate her on the other. The entire Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth century and the years that followed were spent wrestling with the "lamb like" Antichrist over the issue of Legalism. Legalism says that sinners are acceptable before God only if they will begin to obey the Law of God; if you obey the commandments, then God will eventually admit you to heaven. In order to make this Legalism appear religious and pious so that the masses who are ignorant of the Gospel can swallow it, Satan sugar coats his Legalism by saying that of course we can't keep the commandments of God "in our own strength"; we just need the Holy Spirit to help us!
Well the next logical thing that those who are ignorant of the word of God ask, as they tremble in their boots before the Law of God, is "How do I get this Holy Spirit so that I can keep the Law of God so that I can go to Heaven and not have to burn alive for ever and ever in Hell Fire?" "Ah!", says the Wolf, "just come to me for the "seven sacraments" and this will be the means by which you will receive the Holy Spirit and be sanctified enough to be pleasing to God and admitted finally to Heaven." So without the sacraments the masses believe that they cannot get into heaven and the only way to get the sacraments is to belong to the Mother Church and come to her "Priests". Thus millions face eternity thinking that the Mother Church and her sacraments have secured for them the Holy Spirit in their hearts so that they can get through the narrow gate into heaven.
To make matters even worse for the people, they are taught that even if they do partake of the sacraments and obey all of the teachings of the Mother Church, Heaven is only theirs after spending hundred of years in "purgatory" after they die, suffering for their "venial" sins because they are taught that the forgiveness of sins by the "Priest" does not remit the punishment of the "venial" sins, just the eternal nature of the punishment. But the poor soul believes that he will at least get out of purgatory eventually, and so he is grateful to the Church because the Church has been able to get him out of Hell. Hell, they are taught is ETERNAL burning in unending pain and suffering while the redeemed look on praising God's "justice" of eternally barbecuing lost sinners. Compared to the eternal pains of Hell, the temporary pains of purgatory do not sound so bad after all.
The Reformation Justification by faith alone proclaimed by the Reformers put an end to all the nonsense of the Legalism of the medieval Mother Church. The masses heard in relieved amazement that Christ's perfect law keeping was freely imputed to them, the ungodly, who, repenting of sin and dead works, put their faith in the merciful God who by His unmerited grace, covers their sins for the sake of the imputed sinlessness of Jesus Christ. All of the confessed sins and acknowledged imperfections of character of the repentant contrite believer in Christ are covered by the sinless life and atoning blood of the Lamb.
What a collective sigh of relief was heard all over the world as poor sinners heard the good news that Christ suffered all the punishment for their sins and that God accepts them and freely forgives them. He freely gives them the Holy Spirit as an unmerited gift to begin to partake of the divine nature in sanctified holy living. As the Reformation taught that sanctification was the work of a lifetime and would not be finished until the Last Day, they could finally rest in the knowledge that God accepted them and accounted them perfect. They now had faith and assurance of eternal life through the imputed righteousness of Christ. The troubled conscience of the medieval world was given rest in Jesus. The Industrial Revolution was the fruit of the Protestant Reformation that gave the human heart the creative freedom of spirit that flows from the Gospel of Christ.
Well, the old Wolf and enemy of the Temple of God was not going to just sit down and accept defeat without a counter-attach from the other side of the city. One of his piles of rubbish may have been buried, but he still had his other pile of festering filth. Satan now comes with his battering ram of Lawlessness to pound upon the golden gate into the City.
The Gospel of justification by faith alone having destroyed Legalism, Satan now introduces the masses to the sweet sounds of Lawlessness. He has begun to whisper the deception in the ears of the watchmen on the walls of Zion that since a sinner is not justified by perfectly keeping the Law of God, thus the Law of God is "done away with" and "nailed to the Cross". They falsely began to teach that...
"Christians now have the Holy Spirit in their hearts and they don't need a written Law to define obedience and sin, right from wrong. Just go by your feelings of love in your heart. Surely the Holy Spirit will tell you what to do and not to do. You don't need those old "Jewish" Ten Commandments. They are only for the Jews not for the Gentiles. The Law is not for the righteous but for the unrighteous. You are now righteous people since you are Christians. The Law has no purpose for those who have the Spirit."
So just as Saul killed his "thousands" and David killed his "ten thousand". Legalism had killed its thousands in the medieval church, but Lawlessness has killed its ten thousands in the church of today. The salt of many of the church denominations has lost its savor. By teaching freedom from the Law as a moral guide for the world and the church, the church has allowed the enemy in by the back door via the very teachers who had barred the front door to the enemy. The true prophet has turned into a false prophet.
What is the Mother Church doing while she looks on at the failure of the Protestant world to stem the rising tide of Lawlessness? She is inviting her "wayward" Protestant sisters back into the fold of Rome's Legalism as the solution to the world's problems. Like lemmings lured by the promise of green pastures, the Protestants in the "Ecumenical Movement" are rushing on to their certain doom of eternal loss with the Beast, the False Prophet, and the Dragon.
Only one final clarion call of the true gospel of Christ will save the world and the church from certain doom. The gospel which proclaims that repentant sinners are justified freely by the unmerited grace of God through faith alone in the imputed righteousness must be upheld on the one hand, while upholding the eternal nature of the Law of God as the standard of right and wrong in sanctification and holy living on the other hand. This is the only saving message of the Gospel. This message will preserve the harmony of the Law and the Gospel rather than tear them apart and seek to destroy either the Law or the Gospel.
May God grant his people the eye salve and the wisdom to pass through the Red Sea on to the Promised Land, avoiding the waves of Legalism and the waves of Lawlessness which will drown the Chariots of the Enemy and all who side with him in the final conflict which faces the church of the living God. May the angels of God point to the Zion of God in these last days of Earth's history and say "Here are they that keep the commandments of God and have faith in Jesus." May the people of God today stand valiantly before the Image to the Beast as did the reformers of the 16th century, and by proclaiming the true Gospel, turn aside all of the assaults of the Enemy upon the Temple of God, the New Jerusalem. Amen.