“If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.” Luke 19:42-44.
The fall of the harlot of that day was imminent when Jesus spoke these words on the Mount of Olives. If only they had known the things that made for peace, they could have been saved; but it was hidden from them. Because of their unbelief of the Word, they stumbled at the stumbling stone who was Jesus. God had given Him to them as the cornerstone in the building, which is His Church. Not the physical building, but the spiritual building of those who believe in Him as “the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” Matthew 16:15-18. But those who should have been the builders of this Church rejected Him.
The builders of that day
The builders of that day were the Pharisees and the scribes. They were responsible for educating the people and instructing the children. They were the architects of society and sat on Moses’ seat, but they did not do what they taught. The building was out of alignment. Jesus came and He should have been made the cornerstone of the building; but when the time came to straighten it out, it began to creak at the seams, and the builders were panic-stricken.
If we read the Sermon on the Mount, we see how Jesus was going to straighten out the building. “Whoever hates his brother is a murderer.” “Whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” “Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.” (Matthew 5) “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.” Matthew 7:24-25.
The builders did not want to acknowledge their errors, and therefore it was not possible to straighten out the building. They rejected the Stone, which was chosen of God and precious. So the house fell, and its fall was great. The Roman legions came and laid siege to Jerusalem. The need became so great that they ate their own children, and the temple – the pride of the harlot – was razed to the ground. Not one stone was left upon another.
Down through the ages many have tried to build in the same way. They have built up great earthly empires, but they rejected Jesus as the cornerstone and so they have all come to ruin. Let us learn from this.
The new building
The apostles began to build anew with Jesus as the cornerstone. They were not satisfied simply to hear His word; no, it had to be done! We realize of course that this threatened Satan, and so he sent the spirit of the Antichrist among them to disrupt their building, but they were able to test the spirits, and so these antichrists had to depart from them. However, these opposers did not give up building just because of that. They started to build right beside the apostles; and they defiled the name of Jesus by the abominations they committed.
One of the “beams” they use most in their building is: “We can do nothing.” This sounds true enough, and the people gladly cross their threshold. It so closely resembles the word of Jesus, “Without me you can do nothing.” John 15:5. But with Jesus’ words, the doorposts immediately become narrow, because He has also said that if we remain in Him, we will bear much fruit.
Another beam they use is: “The blood of Jesus cleanses from all sin.” This resembles so closely the apostles’ beam: “If we walk in the light as He is in the light … the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7. When the apostles lay their beam: “He who sins is of the devil,” the opposers are right there with their beam: “Where sin abounds, grace abounds much more.” “He who is led by the Spirit is a child of God” is exchanged for “all those who believe in Jesus are God’s children.” “Those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” is replaced with “come kneel at the foot of the cross.”
Can you hear the difference?
This is how they build. Many people can’t hear the difference. Don’t you see that the spirit in the apostles’ doctrine is Christ manifested in the flesh, and that these antichrists want to explain that away? There is a wall between the two. One door is narrow and the other wide.
The building of the Antichrist is a towering structure and many people enter through its door. But the door of the apostles’ house is narrow, and few are they who find it. Many times the disciples were anxious and troubled because they were so alone, but Jesus says, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear. He who is of the truth hears My voice.” Matthew 11:15. And John writes, “They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us.” 1 John 4:5-6.
Consider how the world has put its stamp on the gatherings of the Antichrist. Their gatherings are pure entertainment and shows of splendor. The fact that they are not spiritual is totally irrelevant. Truly they are of the world; they speak of the world, and the world hears them. This does not remind us much of Christ manifested in the flesh! Hear the voice from heaven: “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.” Revelation 18:4.
This is an excerpt of the chapter “The Spirit of the Antichrist” from the book “The Bride and the Harlot and the End Times,” first published in Norwegian in September 1946 by “Skjulte Skatters Forlag.” © Copyright Stiftelsen Skjulte Skatters Forlag