THE COUNTERFEIT TRINITY
Scripture declares the existence of a Holy Trinity. For example, Jesus commanded us to baptise “… in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit …” (Matthew 28:19).
Scripture also declares the existence of a False Trinity that is called “the dragon…the beast, and…the false prophet” in Revelation 16:13. They are continually striving to undermine and subvert the positions of their opposite numbers in the Holy Trinity.
GOD has been counterfeited by SATAN
Satan has always coveted God’s throne and the worship due to Him from all creation. It was he who said in his heart “I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars [or ‘angels’] of God;...I will be like the Most High.” (Isaiah 14:13-14). To this end, Satan has diverted worship away from God and towards himself, using several mechanisms.
Through Idolatrous Worship
The basic premise underlying idolatry is that it involves worship of those things that are created, rather than worship of the Creator Himself. By lauding those things made by man, such as statues, pictures, buildings, religious titles, vestments, and liturgies, we are in fact honouring Satan, who is the inciter of all false worship.
Through Occultist Practice
The nature of occult is submission to something or someone concealed in mystery and secrecy. To be involved in any occultist practice - whether it is consulting astrologists and horoscopes, submitting to hypnotism, divining water or metals, being initiated into sorcery and Satanism , dabbling in spiritualism and ouija boards, wearing lucky charms, or listening to heavy music - is to worship the demon spirits behind those activities, and so worship Satan himself.
Through New Age Philosophies
All Eastern Mysticism promotes the belief that man has within himself vast reservoirs of power, which only need to be unlocked and released for him to have all that he desires. This is the ultimate delusion. Those who engage in New Age philosophies believe that man has within himself the power to do all things without reference to God. They are in effect deifying man and inadvertently worshipping the originator of their rebellion, who is Satan.
CHRIST has been counterfeited by ANTICHRIST
Christ came to reveal God and His nature to us, to present the gospel message of salvation, and to die on the cross as an atoning sacrifice to pay the debt for our sins.
Antichrist, as a major spirit being, was sent forth by Satan to undermine the truth presented by Christ, and to divert worship from God to Satan.
The prefix ‘anti; has two meanings. The first is ‘opposed to,’ and the second, ‘instead of.’ We will see Antichrist’s conflict with Jesus Christ involves the use of both meanings. Instead of truth, Antichrist confronts people with counterfeit doctrines and lying wonders that falsify the gospel truth, and divert the worship of the saints from God the Creator, to created things.
Antichrist opposes Jesus Christ
By Usurping Christ's Headship
This is a serious business. The Scriptures make it absolutely clear that God the Father “raised [Jesus] from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.” (Ephesians 1:20-23).
Despite Christ having God-given authority to rule the church, very little actually remains under His control. So much of what is accepted in the church today has been initiated at the direction of man rather than Jesus. The church staggers under the burden of man-made denominations which are governed by various ecclesiastic councils. Church leaders are rarely recognised and appointed after waiting on the Lord, but instead elected by popular vote, or even worse, through an institutionalised process involving conspiracy and intrigue.
Christ “Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body...” (Ephesians 4:11-12). However Christ's gifts of leaders to His body have been ignored - replaced by ‘ministers of religion’ with worldly academic qualifications. Local churches, which should be autonomous and governed by a team of mutually submitted elders, are instead managed by individuals from a professional class of clergymen (and women). These are in turn subject to a hierarchy of similarly qualified peers at regional, national, and even international level.
By Preaching Another Christ
The apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthian church that he feared for them “lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you may well put up with it!” (2 Corinthians 11:3-4).
The church has lost her “testimony of Jesus Christ.” (Revelation 12:17). Too often the pulpit presents a weakened vision of the Lord. His commandments are liberalised and His holiness demeaned. Sceptics cast doubt on His virgin birth, His sinlessness, His miracles, and His resurrection. The Word of God says “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come...” (Revelation 12:10). But this is denied, or projected forward to a millennium reign sometime in the future. Just as Paul warned, the church has “a form of godliness” but is denying the power and glory of her risen Lord.
By Practising Lawlessness
Jesus forewarned His followers that “Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but [only] he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” (Matthew 7:21-23).
All of these activities - prophesying, deliverance, and performance of miracles - have a sound basis in Scripture and in the practice of the New Testament church. Nevertheless, only Jesus can authorise and initiate. Those who ignore Christ's headship in ministry and engage in lawlessness are in reality manifesting the will of Antichrist, who is called “the lawless one” in 2 Thessalonians 2:8 & 9.
By A Crossless Christianity
Paul wrote “...we preach Christ crucified...” (1 Corinthians 1:23). The cross of Christ should be the focal point of all belief, all teaching and preaching, and all ministry. Now however, it is possible to attend church services for months on end, listening to moralistic sermons on social issues or extravagant promises of unlimited blessings, and never hear the cross mentioned. The failure to teach the power of the blood of the cross has left the church vulnerable to spiritual attack and unable to cast down Satan's strongholds. And the failure to teach the training and discipline of the cross has left church leaders anchorless and unable to resist the wiles of Antichrist.
The HOLY SPIRIT has been counterfeited by the SPIRIT OF ANTICHRIST
In Worshipping Another Spirit
The Holy Spirit is Christ's personal representative here on earth. Jesus told His disciples that the Holy Spirit would not act on His own initiative, or speak on His own authority, but always testify of Christ. “[W]hen He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.” (John 16:13-14).
The Holy Spirit therefore always honours Christ’s position as head of the church, only moving and speaking as Christ directs Him. But now, because of an idolatrous longing for power and blessing, many Christians have made ‘the Holy Spirit’ the head. It is common for zealous people ‘wanting more’ to ‘call down the Spirit’ and then blindly accept whatever happens next as being of God. However the Holy Spirit never acts independently of the Lord. Neither can He glorify Himself for He is entirely self-effacing. So the spirit that ‘comes down’ in these cases the spirit of Antichrist, “the lawless one...with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception…” (2 Thessalonians 2:9-10).
While the first apostles were completely reliant upon the Holy Spirit in their ministries, it was Jesus Christ who remained the focal point of their preaching and teaching. “And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs.” (Mark 16:20).
In Ignoring The Holy Spirit:
The early Christians were continually receptive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. As a consequence they were directly connected with their Lord, receiving His directions and His commissioning and anointing through His Spirit. In contrast, conventional denominational churches have little to do with the Holy Spirit, relegating Him to an impersonal ‘it’ and discouraging anything more than a theoretical knowledge of Him.
The Holy Spirit has been pushed into the background in these traditions because the spirit of Antichrist has successfully implanted them with the mark of humanism. Undue honour is therefore given to what is of man - man-initiated programs and ‘ministries’ and man-sustained institutions and ‘movements’. These man-made elements are in reality worthless - mere “wood, hay, straw,” to be consumed by “the fire [that] will test each one’s work” - leaving only the Holy Spirit’s eternally lasting “gold, silver, precious stones,” to stand. (1 Corinthians 3:12-13).