The Anti-Child Spirit

Michael Beck

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The church should be the one place where a “pro-child” spirit is taught and exemplified.

The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children (Titus 2:3,4)

Those who are called upon to care for the church should first demonstrate a care for their own families.

(For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) (1 Timothy 3:5)

The Apostle Paul exhibited a father’s heart and had a daily care for his spiritual children.

Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches. (2 Corinthians 11:28)

God declared His love for the newborn nation of Israel.

When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt. (Hosea 11:1)

In his “youth,” Israel brought reproach (i.e., shame/disgrace) upon himself and his “Father.”

…I did bear the reproach of my youth. (Jeremiah 31:19)

Although Israel was no longer a “pleasant child,” the Lord continued to care for him.

Is Ephraim my dear son? is he a pleasant child? for since I spake against him, I do earnestly remember him still: therefore my bowels are troubled for him; I will surely have mercy upon him, saith the LORD. (Jeremiah 31:20)

Despite what Israel put God through as he “got older,” the Lord did not stop caring for His “son.”

Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.
Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me. (Isaiah 49:15,16)

God has a lifelong commitment to His children.

For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death. (Psalm 48:14)

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever. (Psalm 23:6)

Because man is made in God’s image it is “natural” for parents to have some measure of care for their children.

If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? (Matthew 7:11)

The more we know God, the more we are like God, and increase in natural affection. The less we know God, the less we are like God, and decrease in natural affection.

And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful (Romans 1:28-31)

Scripture predicted that in the last days, a powerful spirit of self-love would cause a great lack of “natural affection.” People would care more about their own lives and pleasures than having and caring for children.

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
For men shall be lovers of their own selves… Without natural affection… lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God (2 Timothy 3:1-4)

Paul was aware that the ungodly attitudes of the world around him were inspired by “powers of darkness.”

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Ephesians 6:12)

The rulers of the darkness of this world have always prodded men to sacrifice their “seed” in the service of their lust. Fornication and the anti-child spirit are inseparably linked.

Moreover thou shalt not lie carnally with thy neighbour’s wife, to defile thyself with her.
And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD.
Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. (Leviticus 18:20-22)

God commanded His people not to have the “anti-child” spirit that was fostered in the world around them by powers of darkness.

Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods. (Deuteronomy 12:31)

Instead of being different from the world around them, Israel “learned their works.”

But were mingled among the heathen, and learned their works.
And they served their idols: which were a snare unto them.
Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils,
And shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan: and the land was polluted with blood.
Thus were they defiled with their own works, and went a whoring with their own inventions. (Psalm 106:35-39)

The Spirit of God told Paul that in the “latter times” the same “anti-child” spirit within the world would infiltrate the 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;
Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.
For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving (1 Timothy 4:1-5)

refused > Greek – apobletos > thrown away, rejected, despised

The same seducing spirits that led parents of old to sacrifice their children, have led many in the church to embrace their message (i.e., “doctrine”) that marriage with the aim of having children is not necessary and there is nothing wrong with “refusing” children.

Those of the world easily fall for the lies of the anti-child message because they do not know God and cannot trust Him for its provision. Jesus warned His disciples against falling into the same error through a similar lack of trust.

The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.
But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. (Matthew 6:20-34)

The basis of the anti-child message is that our body is our own. We will never discover God’s perfect will for our life until our body is not our own and we have surrendered to Him. In our day, many would rather sacrifice their children before they would sacrifice their own bodies or pleasure.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Romans 12:1,2)

The world’s ignorance is due to their dedication to their own pleasure rather than the pleasure of God.

This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,
Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:
Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
But ye have not so learned Christ (Ephesians 4:17-20)

Self-fulfillment is the primary reason people in the world marry. When a believer seeks to marry it should always be with a fellow believer to fulfill God’s purpose of raising up a “godly seed.”

And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth. (Malachi 2:15)

The rulers of this world have always hated the idea of God’s people having many children.

And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them.
Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph.
And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we…
And the king of Egypt spake to the Hebrew midwives, of which the name of the one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah: And he said, When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them upon the stools; if it be a son, then ye shall kill him: but if it be a daughter, then she shall live. (Exodus 1:7-9,15,16)

Not only when they were in Egypt, but as soon as they came out, marauding bands of Amalek sought to decimate the people of God

Remember what Amalek did unto thee by the way, when ye were come forth out of Egypt;
How he met thee by the way, and smote the hindmost of thee, even all that were feeble behind thee, when thou wast faint and weary; and he feared not God. (Deuteronomy 25:17,18)

The Amalekites represent those forces of darkness that want to deprive God’s people of sons and daughters.

And it came to pass, when David and his men were come to Ziklag on the third day, that the Amalekites had invaded the south, and Ziklag, and smitten Ziklag, and burned it with fire;
And had taken the women captives, that were therein: they slew not any, either great or small, but carried them away, and went on their way.
So David and his men came to the city, and, behold, it was burned with fire; and their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, were taken captives. (1 Samuel 30:1-3)

Every philosophy of this world (including the world’s anti-child message) “spoils” God’s people of what could have been their inheritance.

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. (Colossians 2:8)

By accepting the world’s philosophy of “building” their own house (i.e., family planning;) many in the church have been robbed of the heritage God would have given them.

Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep. Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. (Psalm 127:1-3)

When we “build our own house” not only do we lose the “full quiver” God would give us, but we deprive Him of the “arrows” He could have to “shoot” into the world.

As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate. (Psalm 127:4,5)

Until “mothers” (and “fathers”) arise in the church, whose hearts long to have and raise up both natural and spiritual children, the ranks of those fighting for Christ’s cause in the earth will be thin.

The inhabitants of the villages ceased, they ceased in Israel, until that I Deborah arose, that I arose a mother in Israel.
They chose new gods; then was war in the gates: was there a shield or spear seen among forty thousand in Israel?
My heart is toward the governors of Israel, that offered themselves willingly among the people. Bless ye the LORD. (Judges 5:7-9)

Even as Elijah challenged the compromise of his day, so God has promised to raise up another “Elijah” before His coming to correct the anti-child spirit found within His church.

Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:
And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse. (Malachi 4:5,6)

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.