Bible Study

The Coming Anarchy

Michael Beck Michael Beck

What is anarchism?

“Anarchism” is a philosophy that despises human and divine government

But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government.  (2 Peter 2:10a)

despise > Greek – kataphroneo > to condemn, disdain, think little or nothing of

Anarchism hates answering to external authority because its greatest value is unhindered self-determination and fulfillment.

Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. (2 Peter 2:10b)

presumptuous > Greek – tolmetes > daring, bold

self-willed > Greek – authades

autos > himself/herself   +   hedone > pleasure

Anarchy began with the bold revolt of Lucifer, the first “champion” of self-will and independence from God’s rule.

How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. (Isaiah 14:12-14)

anarchy > Greek – anarkhos > from an ‘without’ + arkhos ‘ruler’

Anarchism has its roots in the original anarchy of Lucifer.

The greatest “ism” of the last days will be anarchism.

anarchism > a doctrine urging the abolition of government or governmental restraint as the indispensable condition for full social and political liberty.

Anarchism believes in self-rule and holds the rule of God in contempt. It abhors any constraint or restraint placed upon self-fulfillment and self-determination.

We are lords; we will come no more unto thee? (Jeremiah 2:31)

Anarchism promotes autonomy (auto > self + nomos > law).

In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes. (Judges 17:6)

Anarchism is reflected in the poem Invictus by William Ernest Henley.

Out of the night that covers me,

Black as the Pit from pole to pole,

I thank whatever gods may be

For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance

I have not winced nor cried aloud.

Under the bludgeonings of chance

My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears

Looms but the Horror of the shade,

And yet the menace of the years

Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,

How charged with punishments the scroll,

I am the master of my fate:

I am the captain of my soul.

Anarchism hates the thought reflected in the poem My Captain by Dorothea Day.

Out of the light that dazzles me,

Bright as the sun from pole to pole,

I thank the God I know to be

For Christ the conqueror of my soul.

Since His the sway of circumstance,

I would not wince nor cry aloud.

Under that rule which men call chance

My head with joy is humbly bowed.

Beyond this place of sin and tears

That life with Him! And His the aid,

Despite the menace of the years,

Keeps, and shall keep me, unafraid.

I have no fear, though strait the gate,

He cleared from punishment the scroll.

Christ is the Master of my fate,

Christ is the Captain of my soul.

Anarchism boldly rejects Jesus Christ, the King anointed by God to be man’s ruler.

Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel. Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him. (Psalm 2)

The antichrist spirit of the present age causes men to refuse Christ’s rule over them.

He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us. (Luke 19:12-14)

The lawless spirit of the last days will don a religious garb.

The “religion” of the last days will reflect and justify anarchism. 

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

Scripture predicted the last days religion would incorporate a women’s movement (i.e., feminism.)

For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. (2 Timothy 3:6,7)

A revival of gnostic myth and mysticism (which promotes the spirit of anarchism) will become increasingly popular. 

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; 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 Timothy 4:3,4)

The spirit of anarchism within the world will effect many within the church.

And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. (Matthew 24:12)

iniquity > Greek – anomia > contempt and violation of law

“Doctrines of devils” will replace sound doctrine in an apostate church.

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils (1 Timothy 4:1)

The last days religion will infiltrate the ranks of the church.

But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. (2 Peter 2:1-2)

Anarchism champions a false freedom.

While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. (2 Peter 2:19)

The doctrine of Paul will be misunderstood in the last days by an apostate people even as he was in the early days.

And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. (2 Peter 3:15-17)

The last days religion will especially target those who depart from accepted evil behavior.

Yea, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey… (Isaiah 59:15)

The last days religion will despise those who do good in God’s sight.

For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good… (2 Timothy 3:3)

The last days religion will hate those who reprove their sin.

They hate him that rebuketh in the gate, and they abhor him that speaketh uprightly. (Amos 5:10)

The last days religion will form in response to a world overcome by the spirit of fornication (Greek > porneia.)

For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. (Rev. 18:3)

delicacies > Greek – strenos > excessive strength which longs to break forth, over strength; eager desire

The last days religion will lead the persecution against all true believers.

And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration. (Revelation 17:6)

The last days religion and apostasy (i.e., “falling away”) in the church will precede the appearance of the Antichrist.

Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. (2 Thessalonians 2:3,4)

The Antichrist (i.e., the Lawless One) will appear on the world stage when the world is fully prepared to embrace him and their rejection of God’s rule is complete.

Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity* doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked* be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming (2 Thessalonians 2:3-8)

iniquity > Greek – anomia

Wicked > Greek – anomos > lawless

The “Lawless One” will come out of the midst of a fully ripe spirit of anarchy.

He will be the embodiment of the spirit of lawlessness which will have “leavened” the whole world.

And now you know the thing holding back, for him to be revealed in his time. For the mystery of lawlessness already is working, only he is holding back now, until it comes out of the midst. And then “the Lawless One” will be revealed… (2 Thessalonians 2:6-8 GLT)

The last days religion of anarchy will condemn the God of the Bible as a tyrant and man’s chief oppressor.

And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage. But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. (Jude 1:14-18)


Michael Beck is a pastor in New York City and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.