Deception In The Last Days

Matthew 24 -

Jesus mentioned deception numerous times throughout chapter 24 in the book of Matthew. He also told us how to deal with deception. Jesus said, “Take Heed” (Matthew 24:4). One definition of “Take Heed” is:

listen, hear, focus, pore, rivet, center, centre, concentrate – direct one’s attention on something…There is only one source of “truth” that ensures the deception promised in the last days can be detected and that is the Word of God (John 17:17)

What’s important to understand are the questions the disciples were asking Jesus in Matthew 24:3 – Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

Jesus told his disciples the sign of his coming is “deception”.  Specifically, look at Matthew 24:24 -

For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

This is a most powerful statement yet so misunderstood. It’s not the signs and wonders that are deceiving, it is the prophets with their false message proving their doctrine is true by producing signs and wonders…Jesus said, “

Matthew 7:22-23 -

Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

And then will I profess unto them, “I never knew you”: depart from me, ye that work iniquity…Jesus didn’t say, I once knew you then you backslid, He said “I never knew you“.

I know it’s difficult, our beloved Apostle Paul told us concerning the last days in 2 Timothy, chapter 3 (Amplified):

BUT UNDERSTAND this, that in the last days will come (set in) perilous times of great stress and trouble [hard to deal with and hard to bear].

For people will be lovers of self and [utterly] self-centered, lovers of money and aroused by an inordinate [greedy] desire for wealth, proud and arrogant and contemptuous boasters. They will be abusive (blasphemous, scoffing), disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane.

[They will be] without natural [human] affection (callous and inhuman), relentless (admitting of no truce or appeasement); [they will be] slanderers (false accusers, troublemakers), intemperate and loose in morals and conduct, uncontrolled and fierce, haters of good.

[They will be] treacherous [betrayers], rash, [and] inflated with self-conceit. [They will be] lovers of sensual pleasures and vain amusements more than and rather than lovers of God.

For [although] they hold a form of piety (true religion), they deny and reject and are strangers to the power of it [their conduct belies the genuineness of their profession]. Avoid [all] such people [turn away from them].

In order to get the full scale of what Apostle Paul was trying to tell us, we must understand a very important scripture in 2 Timothy 3, verse 8 -

 Now just as “Jannes and Jambres” were hostile to and resisted Moses, so these men also are hostile to and oppose the Truth. They have depraved and distorted minds, and are reprobate and counterfeit and to be rejected as far as the faith is concerned.

Here the Apostle Paul is giving us more light on Matthew 24:24…Just as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses..When you read the account of these magicians of Pharaoh in Exodus chapters 7 & 8, you will see they performed all the “signs and wonders” that Moses performed yet they were false. Moses represented the Word of God and they resisted the true Word of God spoke through Moses…This is to repeat again in the last days. The true Word of God (now in written form) being resisted by those that claim to be fulfilling the Word of God and yet they are false.

False Christs and False Prophets will resist the Word of God and prove to many they deceive they have the Word of God and will support their false teachings with “signs and wonders”.

Apostle Paul also said in the “last days” many will depart from the faith and heep to themselves teachers and will be drawn into fables…2 Timothy 4. These are seducing spirits that are unleashing doctrines of devils (1 Timothy 4).

Brothers and Sisters, don’t see your fellowship through – Numbers, Money, Fancy Buildings, Fancy Music or Great Entertainment as the source that God is moving mighty in your meetings, look at what is coming from the pulpit. The Word of God is the only source of truth that WILL NOT lead you astray. God watches over His Word to perform it. If what your fellowships are teaching is not in the Word of God, it is a lie regardless of any physical manifestations, signs or wonders…

Apostle Paul warned the Ephesus Brethren for 3 (three) years night and day with tears that men would rise up among them and draw away disciples (Acts 28-31). Draw them away from what? The True unadulterated Word of God spoke through the Apostles. The same Word we have today.

The following is a quote from A.W. Tozer written years ago but speaks volumes of what is happening among fellowships of today -

Is Your Assembly Fed on Excitement?

 A Church fed on excitement is no New Testament church at all.  The desire for surface stimulation is a sure mark of the fallen nature, the very thing Christ died to deliver us from.  A curious crowd of baptized worldlings waiting each Sunday for the quasi-religious needle to give them a lift bears no relation whatsoever to a true assembly of Christian believers.  And that its members protest their undying faith in the Bible does not change things any. A.W.Tozer, The Next Chapter After the Last, p.14.

Covetousness (How Do We Know)

 

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(1) Let your character or moral disposition be free from the love of money including greed,avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions, and be satisfied with your present circumstances and with what you have…and again, (2) Guard yourselves and keep free from all covetousness, the immoderate desire for wealth, the greedy longing to have more, for a man’s life does not consist in and is not derived from possessing overflowing abundance or that which is over and above his needs…(3) For we brought nothing into the world, and obviously we cannot take anything out of the world…but if we have food and clothing, with these we shall be content (satisfied)…but those who crave to be rich fall into temptation and a snare and into many foolish and hurtful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction and miserable perishing.

Somebody wanted to know the definition of “covetousness”…is it possible it could be interpreted by the following: once everyone arrives at Church, count the number of cars and figure the worth of each car, total the amount then compare that figure with the amount in the monthly “missions account”…don’t get upset, just dwell on this a minute…

America is a hedonistic culture, and crafty men have crept into our fellowships via tv, radio, social medias, conferences and so forth with insidious doctrines of “having your best life now” causing our gaze to be fixed on ourselves and whatever we can gain to fulfill every craving we possibly desire possession wise…and somehow these men have people (sheep) believing the more you have, the more you’re blessed…

This hedonistic culture along with the false teachings of man need to be fought, combated and wrestled from within our minds…the only thing that will bring truth in our lives is the unadulterated teaching of the Word of God, renewing our minds by transformation from the ideologies of this hedonistic culture we are bombarded with every day allowing the Word of God to mold and shape us into the image of God, an image that cares more for those around us than we do ourselves, humility interpreted by our lifestyle in view of the countless needs that come to light everyday around us…

Hedonistic – a person whose life is devoted to the pursuit of pleasure and self-gratification

And the following statement doesn’t hunt (as the saying goes) – “”I don’t believe in tithing””…well, neither do I, but I do believe in the less fortunate having the basic essentials for survival, food, clothing, shelter, safety and ministers to guide them…instead of focusing on the word “tithe”, focus on the words “helping others” when it comes to supporting missions…

The only way these doctrines can be brought to light is if someone speaks out against them…we need to be leaders, not man pleasers…these teachers want us to feel comfortable believing in the hedonistic society we live by walking the very path of unconverted people pursuing every desire being totally focused on self gratification…

Galatians 1:10 – For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ…END…may our conscience be our guide that is transformed by truth and not by the doctrines that keep us focused on the very thing we were delivered from, covetousness…

I was once trapped, yes trapped by this doctrine…I started reading “how to” books, money magazine, how to make money using others, focused on trying to get more and at the same time, I’d throw a bit in the contribution plate to make my conscience feel better, but I was all in, focused on myself, caring more about my wants and desires verses the basic necessities of life for others…how do you know you are free from the doctrine of prosperity?…when you’re not convicted when reading the scriptures that say just the opposite…most times, those scriptures are avoided, or, we make peace with them and tell ourselves they don’t really mean what they say…

Our Best Life Is Coming!…eye has not seen nor ear heard the things God has prepared for those that love Him…we are co-heirs and joint heirs with Christ and guess what?…everything belongs to Him…an eternity of bliss awaits…

Medical Problems And Sensitivity

eagle-4The past few days I found myself with a serious problem, I could not go to the bathroom…I just went through one problem, trying to get my back adjusted by exercising, working in the hot sun, walking and loosing a few pounds…well, I went running the other day and through the day and a couple days later, I found I had no urge to urinate…now I’m worried because a friend of mine is going through this same thing…I’ve been doing research for him concerning his problem and now I have the same problem…I’m up at night pacing the floor, nervous and yes, fear was setting in…I stopped taking in fluids in fear fluids were backing up into my bladder and beyond…I decided it was time to talk to my wife…I told her of my problem and asked her, being a nurse, if she could obtain a catheter, this way I could drink some water and immediately void my bladder without fluids possibly backing up into my kidneys…she couldn’t get me one because you need a prescription to purchase…so I had to ask a friend…I said, “I bet nobody has ever asked you this question before, can I get a couple catheters off ya”…ha…my friend gave me the catheters and so I started to drink some water, man I was thirsty…well, a long story short, the only problem I had was I was very dehydrated…what a sense of joy and relief and such a solemn moment when an urge to urinate came and I was able to go to the bathroom on my own…

All to say this, my friend has to catheterize himself four times a day to enable the release of fluids from his body…upon having to do these procedures, he fought a great deal of fear, helplessness and depression, even tears…I felt some of the same fears in dealing with the same problem…

And I say this in all humility…it’s easy for me to pray for someone that posts a medical problem via the internet, just reply that I was praying, send a shout out to God and call it done, in other words, I prayed and I consider it a done deal because God answers prayer…but now, I can, as the expression goes, “feel their pain”, and not only their pain but their fear as well…I’ve always been a person that has exercised, taken vitamins, minerals and so forth and have never had, well, once, a problem I couldn’t overcome on my own, this last issue really put me to the test…since I went through a similar issue as my friend, it made me more sensitive to his problem that is beyond his control…and don’t get me wrong, I do care when I pray, but now, that care seems to be taken to a different level, it’s blanketed in sensitivity, feeling the pain and fear of others as they struggle through an uncontrollable event…

I’ve had very little prayer requested for myself in the area of physical ailments, I’ve always believed I could work it out on my own, but I’m not a spring chicken anymore, I’m 55 and my body is telling me so, especially because of all the torture I put my body through being in the military.

Back at the beginning the Apostles had a gift that enabled every single person to be healed by the wave of the hand, that’s not the case today…today we do have powerful gifts of “care”, “compassion” and “sensitivity” that work everyday for others as they go through problems they have no power in themselves to overcome…that doesn’t mean God doesn’t do the miraculous in our day, however, when others are at the mercy of a Doctor’s care, it’s nice to know their friends are on their knees compassionately and urgently praying and caring for them, encouraging them they will get through their problem…that is the miracle of Christianity, God working through our faith that works by love, compassion and sensitivity…

I’m humbled by this experience and truly thankful…being in someone’s corner when they’re going through a life changing event such as a medical problem beyond they’re control gives a person hope that they will rise above the problem and come out victorious…

I still believe strongly God has given us a wonderful instrument called the human body and if you take care of it, it will take of you…but sometimes problems do come beyond our control and it’s then it’s nice to know you have a strong tower, an unshakable foundation and a steadfast friend praying for you and seeing you through till the end…

The Error Of Interpretation

Look at the following verse – Luke 12:15 – And He said to them (Jesus Speaking), Guard yourselves and keep free from all covetousness (the immoderate desire for wealth, the greedy longing to have more); for a man’s life does not consist in and is not derived from possessing overflowing abundance or that which is over and above his needs…END…someone said, “this doesn’t mean that”…I said, “mean what?…all I did was quote the verse”…

And when we have to ask a question concerning verses such as this, many times, we already know the answer, we are just looking for someone to tell us what we want to hear…

There is “error” in American fellowships, doctrines that have crept in that have many focused on seeking everything and anything that this hedonistic culture has to offer…Jesus said “Beware”, be “On Guard” and to “Keep Ourselves Free” from this immoderate desire for wealth…a prophecy coming to pass by Apostle Paul bears this out -

2 Timothy 3 – But understand this, that in the last days will come perilous times of great stress and trouble…for people will be lovers of self and utterly self-centered, lovers of money and aroused by an inordinate greedy desire for wealth, proud and arrogant and contemptuous boasters, lovers of vain amusements more than and rather than lovers of God, holding a form of godliness…false teachers, in our fellowships, teaching us to focus on material things rather than Christ…

Why would Jesus and Apostle Paul “warn us” if materialism was God’s plan for us?…this is what the spirit of the world has people focused on…the believer’s focus is to be set on things above where we are seated with Christ…

And the “perilous times” Apostle Paul is speaking of?…it’s not the world tempting you with everything it has leading to covetousness, it’s your brothers and sisters that support these teachings telling you to hop on board, that your’re missing the boat and that somehow you are weak in the faith because you lead a nominal life style…it makes a person question their faith…

See the following video…this is so true among the Christian ranks, peer pressure by those close to convince you to deny what you truly believe…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTezdMLJoyE

Jesus Wants Loving Obedience

Originally posted on Pastor Joe Quatrone, Jr.:

ObedienceEvery true Christian wants to have a winning witness, a testimony that demonstrates Jesus makes a difference in their life. They want the world around them to see Jesus in them. But unfortunately, that is not always the case. All too frequently the image the world has of Christians is one of hypocrisy and compromise.

I have found many people today who profess to be Christians are living lives that are not significantly different from the world around them. I have read survey after survey, which demonstrates evangelical Christians are as likely to embrace lifestyles every bit as hedonistic, materialistic, self-centered, and sexually immoral as the world in general. Divorce is more common among born again Christians than in the general American population. Noted Christian apologist Josh McDowell has pointed out sexual promiscuity of evangelical youth is only a little less outrageous than that of their non-evangelical peers.

As much…

View original 908 more words

Prosperity Doctrine (In my youth I believed, until I saw the fruit of it)

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If the “doctrine” of prosperity works, why aren’t those that preach it going to places like the Horn of Africa, Haiti, Ethiopia, or other impoverished countries, setting up shop and combating poverty with the doctrine instead of according to statistical data, sending only a portion of the millions of dollars that flow through these ministries to missions?…it seems the prosperity doctrine only works in places where the economy is booming, where people are being paid and their futures are secure, of course people of the world are doing well in those places also…Parts of American Christendom had a hard time in recent years due to the collapsing economy…many that took out multi-million dollar loans lost their church buildings because the economy took a dive and people could no longer support above and beyond to help pay for those luxurious buildings…and if the ministry was striving to keep the building, I wonder how much of the contributions went to missions…I didn’t know that the divine was limited in power being directly linked to the American Economy…I feel sorry for leaders that have been entrapped by this teaching…

What this doctrine doesn’t teach is what Apostle Paul revealed concerning “gathering manna” in the wilderness…you only took what you needed so there was (equality)…if you had two children, you took enough food for two…if you had eight children, you took enough food for eight…if the Christian economy operated in this light as a whole, who knows what type of “impact” would be made on the less fortunate and those ministries with leaders envisioned to take care of these needs…our thought process would be to work a 40 hour week to support ministry instead of working to achieve a certain lifestyle…yet the pull from the American culture telling us we can have what ever we want or desire, and men speaking this from pulpits across America is so powerful that we forget this journey on earth is like a grain of sand on a seashore compared to eternal life and nothing in regards to possessions in this temporal world can compare to what’s coming…eye has not seen nor ear heard the wonderful things that are prepared for those that Love God…

This doctrine only seems to work at the higher echelon as well, for those at the top…us bottom feeders send money up the funnel and watch the lifestyles of those continually telling us to send money flourish above and beyond anything we will ever experience…and though the doctrine tells you your seed (money) will multiply 30, 60, even 100 fold, it must not work for those preaching it because if it did, they wouldn’t have to continually beg you for money, because their seed money would also multiply…

Remember what Jesus said, “give, expecting nothing in return, then your reward will be great”…the purpose of giving is for “needs”, so the less fortunate can enjoy even the basic necessities of life (equality)…and, the bible teaches “sacrificial giving”, not from abundance…this pleases our Father, Jesus tells a parable concerning this…

The interpretation of what Jesus talked about in the gospels concerning money is shown in the book of Acts…the believers sold their possessions giving to everyone that had need…again, nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need…(do you see this?…laid the possessions at the “leader’s feet” and the leaders distributed to everyone in “need”)…this is the interpretation of what Jesus taught us concerning money, in fact, we read in the gospels how Jesus “rebuked” the religious leaders of His day because they were lovers of money and the religious leaders mocked Jesus and scorned Him for bringing their covetousness to light…Jesus also told us a man’s worth is not based on the amount of possessions that he has…

Why did the believers give to the needy in the book of Acts?…because this is what they were taught by the Apostles that literally walked with the Lord while He was on earth getting first hand, unadulterated truth and correct interpretation of what Jesus taught concerning money…they were not taught to seek to fulfill a “bucket list” or seek to “live your best life now”, and they definitely were not seeking the “American Dream”, they walked in humility and placed the needs of others before their own…and the same can be said of those that were following the teachings of Apostle Paul, he praised church groups continually for placing the needs of others first even in their poverty stricken circumstances…

And a “follower” will always “emulate” a leader…if a leader is seeking a lifestyle by a doctrine that does nothing but fulfill self desire, those that follow will do the same thing…

The bible tells us in the last days will come perilous times of great stress and trouble, hard to deal with and hard to bear because men will rise up among the believers giving heed to seducing spirits, utterly self-centered, lovers of money and aroused by an inordinate greedy desire for wealth, proud and arrogant and contemptuous boasters…they are totally centered on self making merchandise of people, even going the way of Balaam, a prophet of God who loved the way of gain (possessions), more than the truth of God…and we are commanded by these men to tithe and threatened with a curse if we don’t…

Scripture has to come to pass meaning somebody has to be doing this on the earth…but it doesn’t mean everyone is doing it either…don’t lump everyone in the same basket…there are wonderful ministries out there doing sensational things however, use some discernment in your giving…remember the prophecy!…someone boasting about how they obtained their lifestyle by faith are misinforming you…the support of the tithe is how the lifestyle was obtained and just may be the fulfillment of 2 Timothy 3…the ministry should be boasting on the believer’s giving and how the ministry is following in the footsteps of scripture…

Find a worthy mission for your money…please stop supporting entities that spend your money on lavish lifestyles that is somehow justified because the leaders see themselves as a CEO of a business rather than a Shepherd of the Flock…simply put, lifestyle is based on the number that support…

Divine Health

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I was brought up in a doctrine called “divine health”, meaning that a Christian can walk out this life with no physical ailments as long as they have enough faith to believe…when a bodily ailment would come on a person in example, the common cold, I was told to “speak to it”, “command it”, “don’t confess you possess it”, like saying, “I have a cold”…you were automatically rebuked by someone that was stronger in the doctrine than you were by them telling you that if you confess you possess it, then you will have it…

I did great at this when I was 20 years old but now I’m 55 years old…I have joint pains, back pains, muscle cramps, in and out of the dentist office, I need glasses, I’m going gray, my face has started to wrinkle, I dehydrate, I find it hard to control my weight and I have to take certain things to help me go to the bathroom…

With others that believe this doctrine I see medicine cabinets full of pain killers, anti-inflammatory medicine, anti-depressants, sleep aids, medication for sugar, bi-polar medication, insulin needles, catheters, and the list goes on with medications I can’t even pronounce…

The problem with the doctrine is it only works when you’re young…you would think over time a person would grow increasingly strong in their faith making the believer the most healthy person that walked the earth, however, with this doctrine it is just the opposite…

I’m told by science that around 20 years of age, the human body starts to die, this is when physical ailments start to manifest…when I was 17 I could jump out of a 2nd story window, what do you think would happen to me if I tried that at 55?…what amazes me is how many people still cling to this doctrine…even the mega-men that preach it have private doctors, secret operations, are on medication, promote it to their followers and many that have preached it over the years have died from physical ailments by refusing to see a physician…some people will secretly run off to doctors because they are in bondage believing people will see them as having no faith…

And when trouble comes, because our faith is in a doctrine instead of our faith being in God, we lose hope, we think God doesn’t love us anymore, we see ourselves as doing something wrong or we believe we don’t have any faith…many are just unwilling to believe that the human body “was not part of the deal” when it comes to the redemption process until Jesus Christ returns and gives us a new body…until then, we are just as the world when it comes to the human body…the difference is, we have “Faith” that can see us through trials regardless of how bad they are because God is right there with us, and other Christians are praying for us and because of faith, being positive about something, can bring about healing in itself, the bible talks about this in Proverbs 4…

I do feel sad for my married sisters in the Lord because somehow the men that are still infected by this doctrine see going to a Doctor as a lack of faith…Over the years I have realized that the knowledge unleashed to the American Doctor has saved countless lives, relieved millions from pain and has given a quality of life to a person far beyond those that still cling to the doctrine of “divine health”…these men will make a widow out of their wives long before their time…they don’t head warning signs the human body gives off, they won’t listen to reason, they turn the clock on you and say, “you’re the one that doesn’t have any faith”, yet live in pain, watch the warning signs grow continually worse and finally, causing permanent damage to themselves that could have been avoided…

People in 3rd world countries can only dream of what we have in America as far as medical knowledge…call me crazy, we believe this doctrine of divine health in America, yet those that promote this doctrine are asking you for money to send Doctors oversees as missionaries…

This doesn’t mean God doesn’t do miracles, but what it does mean, until He does, there is an avenue to take to ensure our health so we can enjoy our lives while on earth…why live unhealthy if you don’t have to?…your attitude alone will be a million light years from where it is now being freed from the idea that you are a second class Christian because you were seen by a doctor, that’s bondage and you need to free yourself from it…

Ambassadors of the Kingdom of Heaven

 

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If we are not telling others about the “power” God uses that leads to salvation, the (death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ) and our life does not imitate God and we don’t love others as Christ loved us, then how effective are we as Ambassadors of the Kingdom of Heaven? 

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am onlya resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

The Image of God (1 Corinthians 13)

* loves it’s enemies
* does good to those that use us and persecute us 
* never holds in account a wrong suffered
* endures long, is patient and kind
* is not envious nor boils over with jealousy
* is not boastful or vainglorious or displays oneself haughtily.
* is not conceited, arrogant and inflated with pride
* is not rude and does not act unbecomingly
* does not insist on its own rights or its own way, is not self-seeking
* is not touchy or fretful or resentful
* does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness 
* rejoices when right and truth prevail
* is humble, thinking of others as better than self
* does not look out only for self interests, but takes interest in others also
* treats others as one desires to be treated

Loving As Christ Loved Us

He sacrificed Himself, He gave His life not only for His friends, but for His enemies as well…the perfect example of (Agape Love), a higher form of love the world knows nothing about unless we Christians express it…

The same Spirit that was in Christ is now in us empowering us to walk even as He walked if we so desire displaying the same God that was in Christ to the people of this world that know nothing about His love for them…

And this love covers a multitude of shortcomings among ourselves…we are far from perfect, that’s why we are told to love each other fervently, just as God loves us…He does not hold our shortcomings against us, neither should we hold anything against one another…never let it fade, keep this love in the midst of us and we will clearly let the world see that we are disciples of Jesus Christ… 

The Gospel 

1 Corinthians 15 – Moreover, brethren, I “declare to you the gospel” which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand…for I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ (1) died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was (2) buried, and that He (3) rose again the third day according to the Scriptures