Day 37: Defeat of Antichrist

Today is the memorial of Sts. Andrew Kim Tae-gŏn and Paul Chŏng Ha-sang, and their Companions, Korean Martyrs.

It is also Wednesday of [Ember Week](, marking the passing from summer into fall.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Let us remember that we are in the presence of a holy God.

Take your place in the Lord’s army.

Take one minute of silence now, praying for God’s blessing on you, your family, fraternity, and all Exodus Men.

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.

Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.

May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly hosts, by the power of God, cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits, who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

And the rest were slain by the sword of him who sits upon the horse, the sword that issues from his mouth.

# A Reading from the Book of Revelation

Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and with a loud voice he called to all the birds that fly in midheaven, “Come, gather for the great supper of God, to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all men, both free and slave, both small and great.”

And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against him who sits upon the horse and against his army.

And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had worked the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image.

These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with brimstone.

And the rest were slain by the sword of him who sits upon the horse, the sword that issues from his mouth; and all the birds were gorged with their flesh.

# Reflection

When we think of the end times, many speak of the antichrist.

That figure has captured our imagination: a false prophet who seduces the nations and exerts dominion over them, leading to the coming of Christ.

We see in this passage that there is a final conflict, although the name “antichrist” does not appear in the Book of Revelation.

Its reality is here, however, and we see it most in the two beasts, the puppets of political tyranny and false religion set up by the dragon.

The first beast is a false Messiah who promises a kingdom of this world.

The second beast is a false prophet who blasphemes God, distorting God’s truth to prop up the first beast.

The word “antichrist” actually comes from the First Letter of John, where we find a complementary vision to Revelation:

>Children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come; therefore we know that it is the last hour.

They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out, that it might be plain that they all are not of us.

But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all know.

I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and know that no lie is of the truth.

Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ?

This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son.

No one who denies the Son has the Father.

He who confesses the Son has the Father also.

Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you.

If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you will abide in the Son and in the Father.

And this is what he has promised us, eternal life. (1 John 2:18-25)

In this letter, John tells us to be prepared during these end times (the final age of the world).

The spirit of the antichrist is a denial of Christ’s true identity and teaching.

There is not simply one antichrist but many—anyone who leads us astray from the truth.

We have to be on our guard against this false teaching and life.

This first message ends where Revelation ends: with eternal life.

John returns to the theme of the antichrist two chapters later and gives us good advice for the spiritual battle:

>Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are of God; for many false prophets have gone out into the world.

By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit which confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit which does not confess Jesus is not of God.

This is the spirit of antichrist, of which you heard that it was coming, and now it is in the world already.

Little children, you are of God, and have overcome them; for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

They are of the world, therefore what they say is of the world, and the world listens to them.

We are of God.

Whoever knows God listens to us, and he who is not of God does not listen to us.

By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. (1 John 4:1-6)

Those who lead us according to the spirit of the world are antichrists.

We need, rather, to discern when something is in accord with God’s true teaching: whether it is coming to us through his revelation or a distortion of it.

We also need a discernment of spirits to distinguish between the voice of the devil tempting and leading us astray and the voice of our conscience, strengthened by the Holy Spirit and our guardian angel, pointing us in the right direction.

The spirit of the antichrist rages against Christians in all ages and places.

We see that today in our celebration of the Korean martyrs, who gave everything to witness the true kingship of Christ.

They show us that the Kingdom of God has spread throughout the world, drawing the nations to the wedding feast of the Lamb.

They take their place alongside the martyrs we have encountered in Revelation, who find their place for the throne of the King.

Today, discern the inclinations of your heart.

Do you know what voice is your conscience and what voice is the devil?

Ask your guardian angel to help you discern these voices in your life.

And the rest were slain by the sword of him who sits upon the horse, the sword that issues from his mouth.

Let us pray.

Lord, help us to know you and hear your Word. Guide us in the spiritual battle that we may fight resolutely through humility and love. Amen.

Saint Michael the archangel, pray for us.

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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