April 21, 2013
In 1994 a 13 year old boy by the name of Nicholas Barclay, disappeared from his home in Texas. For 3 long years it was presumed by his family that he was the victim of foul play and likely dead. In 1997 through a series of unusual circumstances a young man is located in Europe, he identifies himself as the missing boy saying he had been kidnapped by US, EU and Mexican military officials for the purpose of sexual abuse. Eventually the young man is returned to his home in Texas and reunited with the family. However, Nicholas looks somewhat different, visibly older than 16, no longer does he have blonde hair, and blue eyes, but dark hair and brown eyes. He speaks with a French accent and is clearly not the Nicholas Barclay who went missing 3 years earlier. Astonishingly the young man is welcomed back into the family by those who loved him most.
In 2012 a documentary called “The Imposter” was released which detailed the events of this most fascinating story. The question asked and perhaps not clearly answered in the documentary is how it was the 23 year old Frenchman Frédéric Bourdin, came to be accepted into the family as Nicholas, when he was clearly an fraudster.
The account leaves one asking more questions than it answers, it was notable that those who knew Nicholas least, were also the least likely to have been fooled by his story. In an interesting twist, it is an investigative journalist who sets the bells ringing when he notes the shape of Nicholas’s ears in a childhood photo are significantly different from the ears of the man he was interviewing. The shape of ones ears being somewhat like fingerprints, so begins a process which will see Frédéric confess to his charade.
I couldn’t help thinking of the saying “love is blind”. Was that at least part of the explanation? Was it the pain of sorrow, grief and the sheer relief from the loss which caused them to look aside? And why were those who were least closest to Nicholas able to see that something was wrong, when the family did not? One thing’s for sure, the truth is stranger than fiction.
The perfect segway into perhaps one of the most remarkable stories in the history of the church age. The apostle Paul wrote;
But I fear that somehow your pure and undivided devotion to Christ will be corrupted, just as Eve was deceived by the cunning ways of the serpent.You happily put up with whatever anyone tells you, even if they preach a different Jesus than the one we preach, or a different kind of Spirit than the one you received, or a different kind of gospel than the one you believed. 2 Cor 11:3-4
How is it as Paul had noted, the tendency amongst those who love the Lord, to put up with another Jesus and another gospel. Is it love? Is it ignorance?
An interesting parallel which I’ve noted in my work with people outside of the church, a people who often know least about Christ, is their ability to spot the imposter. They are quick to reject the flashy big spending, money grabbing, self serving, boastful tele-evangelist preachers of evangelical Christendom, but we, we put up with it easily enough. They are able to discern the power driven, corporate like, hierarchical denominational movements which seek to divide and rule over the people, but we, we put up with it easy enough. They can spot the imposter, but we, we scarcely think to challenge the credentials of anyone.
What is that? and Why is that?
I imagine that this mystery is far more profound than I am able to understand after all, it was Christ who foretold that Christendom would be a combination of two kinds of people, those who were planted by God and those planted by the evil one.
The parable of the sower and the parable of the tares are, as far as I’m aware, the only 2 parables Christ explains to His followers. Both of these parables set forth the foundation as to how the gospel would be received amongst men. In the latter, the parable of the sower, it is made clear from the outset that His field will be a mix of both wheat and tares. The wheat being those who are His, and the tares being those who are planted by the wicked one.
Then Jesus told another parable “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field.But that night as the workers slept, his enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat, then slipped away.When the crop began to grow and produce grain, the weeds also grew. “The farmer’s workers went to him and said, ‘Sir, the field where you planted that good seed is full of weeds! Where did they come from?’ “‘An enemy has done this!’ the farmer exclaimed. “‘Should we pull out the weeds?’ they asked. “‘No,’ he replied, ‘you’ll uproot the wheat if you do.Let both grow together until the harvest. Then I will tell the harvesters to sort out the weeds, tie them into bundles, and burn them, and to put the wheat in the barn.’” Mat 13:24-30
Perhaps the most challenging aspect of this parable is the insistence by Christ that we are not to attempt removal of the weeds, those planted by the wicked one. Rather, let both grow until the time of the harvest.
In Christ’s teaching the foundation is clearly set forth that evil men and imposters, false prophets and false teachers will be granted a measure of influence and authority amongst His people. In stark contrast modern Christendom often leads us to presume that God would not allow any such thing to occur amidst His people.
Clearly the disciples/apostles understood the nature of this reality. The subject is not hidden in their letters to the believers as recorded in the biblical text. One such example from Paul as follows;
But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 2 Timothy 3:13
One could be forgiven for thinking that Paul spoke about evil which would occur outside of the church, until you note the word imposter, which designates those who come to seduce God’s people with a cleverly disguised error.
Furthermore, the apostle Peter outlines the fact that those things which happened to Israel must also happen to Christendom, spiritual Israel.
But there were also false prophets in Israel, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will cleverly teach destructive heresies and even deny the Master who bought them. In this way, they will bring sudden destruction on themselves. 2 Peter 2:1
What are we to do when armed with this information? Perhaps it would be easier to express what we are not to do.
We are not to be deceived!
Jesus answered them, “See to it that no one deceives you, for many will come in My name saying “I am anointed” and deceive many. Mat 24:4
Why are we not to be deceived? Because the end result of believing the false and deceptive teaching which comes to Christendom is such that the agape love of many will grow cold.
And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure to the end, the same shall be saved. Mathew 24:11-13
Heretical doctrines and teaching must come to the body of Christ, this fact is established beyond any reasonable doubt. To suggest that God only allows truth to be taught to His people, and all who belong to this or that particular denomination are walking in the truth is a flawed concept which sets up the faithful to believe a lie. Their guard down, believers will gladly receive everything which comes to them in the name of Christ, they will embrace all manner of deceptive and misleading teachings, even, doctrines of demons.
For the benefit of labouring this point let me list a few examples from scripture;
For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am anointed,’ and will deceive many. Mat 24:5
And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. Mat 24:11
For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. Mat 24:24
I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock.Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.So be on your guard Acts 20:29-31
Now the Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons.1 Timothy 4:1
When the foundations of the christian faith are whitewashed with a denial of this truth. We are in effect asking the congregation to shut their eyes. Ultimately this error will lead Christendom to a place in which the majority have no ability to discern, or believe that there is a need to discern truth from error, within the church. In the greater scheme of biblical prophecy, it is the rejection of truth (rebellion) which sets Christendom up for a fall and furthermore, to embrace of the man of sin, who comes in the name of Christ, deceiving the many.
Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day (the day of the Lord) will not arrive until the rebellion comes and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction. 2 thess 2:3
In contrast, the Christian, armed with this truth as a foundation of their faith, will seek God for both wisdom and understanding. The need to be wise as serpents, but gentle as doves. The need for watchfulness and preparedness. Most importantly an awareness of the dangers of complacency and self reliance in a world in which all is not as it seems. Christ clearly alludes to this reality and warns His followers accordingly ;
“Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap.For it will come on all those who live on the face of the whole earth.Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.” Luke 21:34-36
In the end, many who have heaped up to themselves teachers, to satisfy their itching ears will be in a worse condition than the world.
Don’t believe me, the evidence for it is out there already. The world can spot the imposter, they know the Christ was meek, gentle, lowly in heart, humble, selfless and demonstrated sacrificial (agape) love. He did not lust after earthly power, the adoration of men, or the things of this world.
In contrast we see Tele-evangelist’s and ministers in our day who are the epitome of antichrist, yet are embraced as a long lost members of the family. How can that be?
Many people will follow their immoral ways, and because of them the way of truth will be maligned. 2 Peter 2:2
Because we have rejected knowledge, in the end the many will no longer be followers of the way, but followers of the immoral ways of false teachers. The works of the flesh will be cloaked in righteousness;
Greed, covetousness and selfishness labelled; The blessing of God.
Boasting, envy and selfish ambition; Your destiny in God.
And the reverse, works of righteousness will be labelled sin. To walk in the agape of God with selfless and sacrificial service ; a work of the flesh.
The benchmark of the faith will be a confession of one’s lips, in contrast to Christ’s standard ; you will know them by their fruit.
Trials of the faith and suffering will be reckoned as simply a work of the devil and of no value concerning Christ-likeness.
And so is fulfilled the words of Isaiah the prophet;
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. Isaiah 5:20
When the fulness of the gentiles has arrived, the tables will have turned full circle, many will be like the Pharisees, Sadducees, Scribes and Teachers of Israel, who are absolutely certain that they know God in Christ, how He would think, what He would say, and what He intends to do concerning humanity in the age to come. But their refusal to walk in the light of His word brought upon them a working of error, a deluding influence. They believed an imposter, a pseudo Christ.
For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false,in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness. 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love (agape) 1 John 4:8
March 22, 2013
In writing many posts about the man of sin and the apostasy of our present day, one could be forgiven for thinking that perhaps I had somehow arrived. It’s very easy to stand in judgment over our brothers, to look upon them and point out their flaws and failings. It has a rather comforting self-righteous assurance to it that satisfies this flesh of mine.
In this sense I continue to be reminded that I am undone at every turn. The self-satisfying self exaltation that comes with some spiritual insight is no less hideous than the sins, which ensnare humanity at large.
If the motivation for this blog is anything other than a concern for others, to think more highly of others than myself, an opportunity to reach out to my brother and walk beside him, then it is all in vain. If love and truth are my motivation then I need not be troubled, but if self-seeking, bitterness and envy, then I have fallen far short of the glory of God.
I can honestly say that many times I have posted articles that are motivated by my indignation at the behavior of the institutionalized church. Many times I have posted in response to the offense I have felt at what has been said or done in the name of God. The motivation has not always been pure in heart, but rather a response to the inner turmoil that arises in this day.
Even through these things I perceive the reality of that war within, the flesh and the spirit. This is the battlefield of every Christian and I confess that it remains a fight to be fought, that Christ may obtain the victory. May He be exalted as Lord over all the earth.
I count myself a blessed man for I have tasted and seen that the Lord is good, His love is better than life, I have heard His voice and am captive to His grace. The Lord, the Lord, only the Lord is the answer to all of our troubles.
What purpose is doctrine and philosophy if we have not the Lord. What purpose all of our attempts to save ourselves, to secure our salvation, apart from Him. Everything else is vanity and I am undone.
“Come, let us return to the LORD. He has torn us to pieces but He will heal us; He has injured us but he will bind up our wounds. Hosea 6:1
March 20, 2013
For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 1 Peter 4:17
This post connects with my previous post about the work of Antichrist thinking to change times. The work of Antichrist in regard to judgment would be to mislead one into thinking that judgment is for a future time, or judgment was not occurring at this time.
Remembering that the antichrist is the man of sin, the carnal man who reasons out the work of God according to his natural understanding, as such receiveth not the things of god, nor can he. Therefore he must reason out the nature of God’s work according to a flawed understanding. In seeking to place the pieces of the end time puzzle together, both times and seasons for events are rearranged to suit that natural reasoning.
According to Peter, 2000 years ago it was time for judgment to begin with the house of God. Therefore it is still that time. Yet I would conclude that many are not able to see the way in which God has judged His church and they remain blissfully unaware of what His judgment looks like and when it occurs.
I am motivated to write this post after reading an article concerning a multi million dollar US ministry, which has a history of scamming the saints and turning the word of God into a gospel of greed. The comments posted regarding the article failed to perceive that the ministry was in fact under judgment, for the most part presuming that they had better get their act together because judgment was coming to the house of God (my words)
We the church, have done our brothers an awful disservice in failing to recognise and explain the wrath of God as it pertains to the children of disobedience. Judgment is not coming, it has come, and the result of the judgment over the ministry in point is such that they earnestly believe that they serve the living God, they earnestly believe that they are themselves children of righteousness, and yet they completely blind to their perilous position.
Before I go on, let me firstly say that in Christ, God’s kindness toward us is that we are given to judge ourselves, that the wrath which abideth on the children of disobedience might not come upon us. In the words or Paul “if we should judge ourselves then we would not be judged” I Cor 11:31
When we fail to judge ourselves in the light of His word, that judgment manifests in wrath, and wrath is unto judgment. For example, a refusal to walk in the light of His word shall bring forth spiritual blindness. A failure to hear and receive what the Spirit says shall bring forth spiritual deafness, unto the point that we are worse off than when were at the beginning.
And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. Revelation 22:12
I’m fairly sure that when Christ spoke these words He knew full well that it was a present tense statement. But the carnal man, the flesh man has reconstructed this statement in many different versions and interpretations to the effect that we suppose the day is distant. The nonspiritual man does not discern the work of God in his midst therefore concludes that Judgment is yet to come.
One example would be where the NIV interpretation changes the word “quickly” to “soon” and now reads a little differently as follows;
“Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done.
“Look I am coming soon” can be a little misleading. Once again we see the issue of timing of this event changed. The original text as recorded in the KJV reading is far more reflective of a God who judges and rewards, or chastens NOW.
Behold, I come quickly vs Behold I am coming soon.
Therefore, when God has to judge His children it is according to the very same measure of their obedience or disobedience and is present at this time; I will give to each person according to what they have done.
I know that the word “reward” can also be presumed as being something positive and a blessing. But is also used in scripture in the context of reaping what we sow. i.e.
And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you;
I’m fairly sure that if believers fully understood the way in which judgment was manifested and when it was manifested we would walk far more humbly with our God, instead we became a children without understanding. Many ministries demonstrate success, influence and power in this present world, but if they are preaching another gospel and know it not, they are being judged and the wrath of God is manifested in that they remain in chains of darkness.
“My people are foolish and do not know me,” says the Lord. “They are stupid children who have no understanding. They are clever enough at doing wrong, but they have no idea how to do right!” Jeremiah 4:22
There is a far sadder story to be told in all of this. As stated, the ministry in point has a profound influence upon the Christian community through the media, furthermore, I would add my own opinion in saying that the most influential financially prosperous Christian ministries that effect the church today through the Television media are preaching another gospel. We have with our itching ears heaped up to ourselves teachers and been forever learning but not able to come to a knowledge of the truth.
This is itself is an indictment against the church at large. The Lord God has caused a famine upon His word as the just reward of our refusal to hear Him.
“The time is surely coming,” says the Sovereign LORD, “when I will send a famine on the land–not a famine of bread or water but of hearing the words of the LORD. Amos 8:11
The time of His judgment it now. The evidence for this can be seen in the way the antichrist gospel has prospered whilst there has been a famine of the Word of the Lord. Further evidence of His judgment is manifest in that multitudes are blind to this false gospel, even supposing that they serve the Lord. The Antichrist is comfortably seated in the temple but the majority are not able to see it.
Christ tells us a parable concerning the kingdom of God. Narrow is the way to enter and MANY will expect that they are entitled to enter, but He will say I never knew you. There is no statement of Christ’s more reflective of the nature of spiritual blindness which befalls the unrighteous believer, that many supposed they were His but were not, in fact not even close – I NEVER knew you.
March 16, 2013
And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. Daniel 7:25
I want to share on one aspect of the above verse which will probably challenge the traditional belief regarding these words. I’m convinced that there is much we’ve misunderstood concerning the work of Antichrist and so I offer the following explanation as to what it means regarding the issue of Antichrist’s desire to change times, ie “think to change times and laws”
Most will be aware that the above verse from Daniel refers to the work of Antichrist kingdom, this is also that same man as referred to by Paul in 2nd Thessalonians as the “man of sin, the son of perdition” who takes his seat in the temple prior to Christ’s return.
We also know that this man of sin/antichrist represents a kingdom which oppresses the saints throughout the age to “wear them down” This same kingdom speaks and teaches as though they spoke for God Himself and as such will teach the kingdom of God in such a way to diminish it’s ever present significance and relevance to the saints.
From what I’ve read, one of the more popular interpretations of this changing of times relates to things such as feasts and festivals, Sabbath days and calendars i.e. the changing of the Hebrew to the Gregorian calendar. If I recall, the Seventh Day Adventist teaching rests upon a changing of the sabbath day from Saturday to Sunday as an example of Antichrist’s work.
I’m sure that there is some truth to these things but I also believe that it’s important to remain focused on the things of the Spirit. To look at the days and dates and festivals as the Hebrews did is fulfilled in Christ.
So don’t let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink, or for not celebrating certain holy days or new moon ceremonies or Sabbaths. 17For these rules are only shadows of the reality yet to come. And Christ himself is that reality. Colossians 2:16
The purpose of Antichrist “thinking” to change times and laws is motivated by the dragon and as stated above, is a satanic agenda instituted upon the faithful by a kingdom of carnally minded religious people who are made manifest specifically to wear down the saints.
To wear down the saints is reflective of a system, which little by little is able to wear away the faith of the saints, to see them ultimately grow cold and loveless, so that the words of our Lord are fulfilled “the love of many will grow cold”
If the changing of a Hebrew to Gregorian calendar is able to cause the love of many to grow cold, I for one am yet to see it. Satan’s work through Antichrist kingdom is far more subtle and produces loveless and faithless believers “apostates”.
And so I offer the following as an example as a way in which the gospel is presented by a portion of Christendom. This may seem an overly simplistic example of Antichrist’s desire to change times but touches upon some more deep seeded errors.
On just about any given Sunday in the church I used to attend there was a call to the congregation to have faith in God, to believe in Jesus so that when you die you can go to heaven, and avoid the wrath of hell. On the surface that sounds like a harmless version of the gospel but it really fails to address the present reality of the kingdom of God/heaven as Christ taught.
As such we see that the vast majority in this present world understand heaven as a place set aside for a future time. The good news has been presented in such a way that heaven is obtained after death.
This is a very subtle twist on the gospel of Christ. The modern church gospel often teaches that the kingdom of heaven is a distant shore, reserved for those who have finished their earthly life, it is set aside for “future time” and as such thinks to change the times as set forth for the kingdom. But this was not what Christ taught.
“Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him. Mat 21:31
Clearly a kingdom explained as something simply we obtain at that time our earthly life ceases is a gospel at odds with Christ. And yet in my estimation the vast majority in this present world see heaven in this context, something which we enter upon our death. But I guess this is the way in which satan is able to deceive the whole world. We, the church have contributed to this mess by making heaven the reward of salvation, rather than Christ Himself.
In Christ’s words, the kingdom of God is at hand, the kingdom of God is near, the kingdom of God is amongst you. It was and remains a reality through which men are able to enter as they repent and believe the good news.
Very truly I tell you, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. John 5:25
We are so fixated on the death of our physical body as the doorway to heaven that we can scarcely believe these words of Christ when we hear them. The dead in the above verse are all who were dead in sin, and now having heard the gospel, repented and believed, are raised to life. It is a resurrection of the just to life through faith in He who is the resurrection and the life.
Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?” John 11:26
Clearly both a kingdom and resurrected life are now. It’s true that we await that day in which we shall receive the full redemption of our faith but a gospel which teaches that we are to just believe in Christ so that when we die we will go to heaven is in fact a subtle twist and reflects Antichrist’s desire to “think to change times” so that the faithful will remain firmly focused on the things of this present world.
When our eyes are fixed on this present world, when our hope is in this present world, when we love the things of this world, the love of the father is not in us. We sit in our pews simply waiting for the kingdom to come. I wonder what purpose our faith, love and perseverance?
We need to think of the kingdom of God as a kingdom operating in parallel to the kingdoms of this present world.
This reality is reflected in the book of Daniel in which we see Daniel interpret a dream/vision of Nebuchadnezzar concerning the future kingdoms of this present world.
Your Majesty looked, and there before you stood a large statue—an enormous, dazzling statue, awesome in appearance. 32 The head of the statue was made of pure gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, 33 its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of baked clay. Daniel 2:31 -33
Daniel then goes on to explain that the statue represents future kingdoms which will come to power in generations following the reign of Nebuchadnezzar. But a key point we ought not miss is the statement which Daniel makes regarding the conclusion of the matter.
“In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever. 45 This is the meaning of the vision of the rock cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands—a rock that broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold to pieces. Daniel 2:44-45
In the time of those kings! SELAH
The kingdom is not set up at the conclusion of those kings, but during. In the time of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed.
Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” John 18:36
If we understand that now is the time in which we hear the voice of the son of God and live. If we perceive that now is the time in which we enter in to the kingdom of heaven and if we realize that now is the time to live a resurrected life in Christ, then we are far less likely to believe the doctrines that go forth to mislead and deceive us to live a faithless and loveless life in this present world.
There is much more I could add to this post about timing of events such as the tribulation, the rapture and the millennial reign and the timing of God’s wrath, all of which from the traditional teaching of the institutional church tend to lull the believer into a place of complacency simply waiting for the kingdom of heaven to come.
What purpose Christ in me? That His kingdom would come and His will would be done, on earth as it is in heaven. And the time for the kingdom of heaven to come is NOW.
And He has raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7 That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:6-7
February 13, 2013
There are some interesting comments floating around Christian cyberspace at the moment, specifically in regard to the announcement that pope Benedict XVI intends to stand down from his position.
These comments revolve around a long standing prophecy of St Malachy, who is said to have recorded a list of popes who would come to power up to the time of Christ’s return.
Of interest to many is the belief that the soon to be announced replacement will be the final pope, “Petrus Romanus -Peter the Roman” and during his coming rule the Roman Catholic church will undergo a period of intense persecution which will usher in a falling away, antichrist kingdom and 7 year tribulation. This concludes with the destruction of the 7 hill city of Rome and final judgment .
“In extreme persecution the seat of the Holy Roman Church will be occupied by Peter the Roman……” “Who will pasture his sheep in many tribulations and when these things are finished, the city of seven hills will be destroyed, and the terrible or fearsome judge will judge his people. The End.”
Prophecy of the Popes – Attributed to St. Malachy circa 1139 A.D.
Firstly, let me say that I would not be at all surprised to see the next elected pope have a strong connection to St Malachy’s reference of Peter the Roman. Apparently there is at this present time a cardinal who would fit this description. But all of the other associated nonsense concerning the coming of a false prophet, an antichrist, falling away and period of great tribulation is nothing more than a continuation of the ongoing delusion which is embraced by the institutionalized church.
I know that the following fact is difficult to receive but the whole system of Christendom since the time of Constantine has for the most part been the false prophet of Revelation. (That does not mean to say that all within the system were of antichrist)
The issue of concern around this prophecy is that it simply builds upon a working of error and strong delusion. The time to be concerned about false prophets, a falling away and tribulation commenced in the time proceeding Christ’s crucifixion, resurrection, ascension and continues to this day. To point to these things as though they were yet to come is like comforting the complacent with lies.
Then I saw another beast, coming out of the earth. He had two horns like a lamb, but he spoke like a dragon. Rev 13:11
This beast of revelation is a religious beast, it “looks like Christ” but “speaks like a dragon” It is not Christ, but a kingdom brought forth to mislead and deceive (strong delusion) by the following fact ; it has a facade of Christ likeness. It’s two religious horns of Catholicism and Protestantism work in accordance with each other to bring forth deception. Each one claiming to hold to the truth, whilst accusing the other of error, when in fact both are in error.
The two horned false prophet will:
“speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time” Daniel 7:25
At their worst, both systems have tolerated the murder of each other and the innocent in the name of God. At their most deceptive, they teach the saints to follow the beast. At their best, they rule over the saints of the most High God to both speak and teach them as though they spoke on behalf of God. It is an oppressive religious power designed to “wear down the saints” and this “time, times and half a time” is not three and a half years, but a significant period of time as determined by God.
This is a time in which God shall refine His saints and is granted to all who would seek to follow Christ. Can we not see the stupidity in assuming that God will only test His people for the final 7 year period of history. What of all of those who went before us, did the Lord not think it fitting to purify and refine his people through fiery trials and tribulations?
We are in the time, times and half a time now. And the false prophet is in power now and the antichrist spirit is manifest now. That which is already here cannot now come about due to a change in papal leadership.
Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me (John 14:30).
The church has been in denial concerning these words of Christ for 2000 years. We, and I include me in this, have had our minds blinded by a sugary sweet gospel. From the pulpits we proclaim that this age is the age of God’s grace. But scarcely is one willing to proclaim that this is the “age of antichrist” Whilst both are true.
John wrote “little Children this is the last hour, and as you have heard, Antichrist is coming……”
”AS YOU HAVE HEARD” – where did they hear it from? They heard it from Christ himself. It was made plain to all who sought to follow Him that a time of testing and tribulation and judgment was now coming upon humanity. Why else would Christ say to His followers ;
“Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.” Luke 21:36
This age of God’s grace and mercy, of His glorious gospel of love is also the age of judgment and wrath upon all who refuse a love of the truth, and in this, the prince of this world is judged.
The belief that Antichrist will now come, an apostasy will now come, the tribulation will now come, that Antichrist will now arise is nothing more than a working of error which adds to the delusion.
Behold, I come like a thief – Rev 16:15
I understand that it is quite difficult for many to readily grasp this “mystery of iniquity” To come to grips with the reality that the clerical system of religious Christendom can be a place in which satan firmly has his seat.
The early church knew full well that the blending of church and state which occurred under Constantine was the beginning of Antichrist kingdom. Perhaps this sounds too ridiculous to be anywhere near the truth. I know at one point in my life I would have considered these things ridiculous. But such is our state as lukewarm believers with our feet in both worlds, we are poor, blind and naked.
I have been greatly encouraged by reading the words of those who came upon these truths before our generation. Saints who have themselves made their way out of the midst of this religious abomination.
As such I leave an except and link below to that which is a profoundly eye opening message in this regard – Philpot’s letter of resignation from the Church of England.
From this worldly and unholy system I now SECEDE; and blessed be the name of God Most High, who has poured light on my eyes to see these abominations, and given me, I trust, a small portion of that faith of Moses whereby ‘he was willing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season’. For sooner far would I die in a workhouse, under the sweet shinings-in of the eternal Comforter, and His testimony to my conscience that I am born of God, than live and die in ease and independence, without following Jesus in that path of trial and suffering which alone leads to eternal life.
February 6, 2013
2 Peter 2:18 For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.
Jude 1:16 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.
When the words above were recorded in Jude and 2nd Peter I imagine that the writers thereof had themselves heard some of these “great swelling words”
In both accounts the common point of reference is to false teachers and ministers who will allure those who had escaped the ways of this present world. And now through these “great swelling words” entice men to once more follow after the flesh.
Great swelling words make their appeal to our flesh, they seek to give life to it, exalt it, lift it up, and all in the name of Christ.
It’s important to note that these great swelling words are spoken by ministers who come in the name of Christ. As such this is the work of antichrist. It is men who claim to speak on behalf of God who have obtained a place of position and influence amidst His people, God’s temple, and they use their influence for self benefit.
Jude’s words make it clear that this error comes about in part because these words are spoken in the admiration of men, and as such grant the speaker advantage. That advantage being either/or financial increase, power, popularity or influence granted to them by the ones who’s ears they scratch.
But for the grace of God there go I.
From my perspective it seems that there is no discernment in the church anymore. The ability to discern between good and evil, that which is of the flesh and that of the Spirit is virtually non existent.
“For My people are fools; they do not know Me. They are foolish children, without understanding. They are skilled in doing what is evil, but they do not know how to do what is good.” Jeremiah 4:22
The heart is deceitful above all things, who can know it? As such we invariably act with selfish and self centered motivation, even if we mask it with a godly agenda. The old man, the sinful man will often take what God has given freely and seek to gain something for itself. Such is our Adamic nature, scheming, buying and selling, trading for gain.
This is a concept which His children need to come to grips with, buying and selling, the mark of the beast nature is all linked with the old man, the man of sin. In Ezekiel the prophet refers to the king of Tyre, which is a reference to our Adamic nature ; In the abundance of your trade you were filled with violence in your midst, and you sinned. In this same vein God’s people have in these last days been made merchandise of by the very ones who were granted to shepherd the flock. Buying, selling, trading for influence, power, income, increase, popularity, whatever benefit, when linked with a personal interest of gain at the expense of the truth is a most awful falling away from the truth of Christ.
Many will come telling men what they want to hear, with great swelling words (GSW) they will entice and allure those who has escaped the ways of this world through the knowledge of Christ. The GSW gospel will come with all manner of worldly benefits, financial benefits, power and influence, pride, standing in the community. So effected will the church be by these teachings that she will be indistinguishable from the world in all but outward appearance.
Where is the Christlike servant they will ask?
When we deny the command to crucify our old man, yet hold to a form of godliness, the only person we are fooling is ourselves. “For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil” Ultimately that which is in the heart shall be made manifest, nothing is hidden from His sight. The work of ministers who teach and preach seeking the admiration of men in the hope of finding something of this world for themselves will be undone, as they are even now.
Those minsters who come in the Spirit of Christ with a challenging message for the church to forsake the selfish sinful nature of the flesh are not welcomed into the congregation of the majority. Not welcomed may seem a little harsh and it’s not as if we are being stoned as such, but in truth, the message is not welcomed. The people may listen, but they do not want to hear. Why would they when they can get some happy ear tickling gospel of “great swelling words” by a well intentioned but misguided kingdom building prophet with a new revelation concerning your destiny in God.
The gospel of great swelling words is rampant. It is exalting men to the status of God in subtle ways, not saying so directly but in essence “we play the tune and God will dance for us”. It makes man the center of God’s world and all things are working in accordance with man’s destiny.
In bringing this post to a conclusion it’s worth noting that the motivation and intentions of false teachers and minsters can be based around a godly agenda to build the kingdom. These ministers will say all of the right things that sound incredibly godly and righteous, they will appear as angels of light. They will amass followers, build churches, establish large TV and radio ministries. But the motivation will have been to tell men what they wanted to hear in order to increase themselves in some shape or fashion. In this way they were deceived and deceivers.
For this reason Peter says;
Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. 2 Peter 2:2
Again, and I will say it again and again, this is the Antichrist at work. To bring “the way” into disrepute.
Antichrist is a false christ who brings the way into disrepute. Not one man, but a spirit working through the sons of perdition.
This is an hour in which those who are seeking to be faithful to God ought not look to men. The whole loaf of Christendom is now leavened. Christ is the way, and our example of the way.
God’s children need to exercise some discernment in these things and as such I wanted to bring a few words from an article I read this morning.
When I was a babe in the Lord I loved this stuff, it lifted me up, exalted my sense of value and purpose, perhaps that is why I stumbled back into my worldly ways after being wonderfully saved. The beast who was dealt a deadly head wound in Christ was revived by the modern day gospel of GSW which embraces the things of this world, and my beast did live.
This example comes from a ministry of significant influence, well published, seemingly well intentioned, but from my perspective a good example of GSW;
“Am I called to do something great in life? Is there something so unique to my personality, so connected to my life experiences, so relative to my sphere of influence, so dependent upon my colour and culture, so necessary to my needs and shortcomings that nobody can do it exactly the way You want it done but me?’ Yes. God says, ‘I make known the end from the beginning…My purpose will stand.’ You are going to succeed because God has already determined your destiny”
Little children, this is the last hour.
Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man. Luke 21:36