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.
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Is Your Eternal Reward At Risk?

I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me…”I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’…“Sell your possessions and give to those in need. THIS WILL STORE UP TREASURE FOR YOU IN HEAVEN! And the purses of heaven never get old or develop holes. Your treasure will be safe…Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be…

Philippians 4:15-18 -And you Philippians know that in the early days of preaching the gospel, after I left Macedonia, no church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving except you alone; for even in Thessalonica you sent a gift more than once for my needs. Not that I seek the gift itself, but I do seek the profit which INCREASES TO YOUR HEAVENLY ACCOUNT [the blessing which is accumulating for you]. But I have received everything in full and more; I am amply supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent me. They are the fragrant aroma of an offering, an acceptable sacrifice that God welcomes and in which He delights.

I’ve been challenged with the following quote many times: “will a man rob God?”…but I say: “will a man rob man?”…on average only 3% or a little more from church budgets fulfill what is written above personally spoken by our Lord Himself…that being said, what is actually being stored in your heavenly account?…don’t be afraid to ask questions people, it’s your money, it’s your eternal reward that’s on the line…The Purpose of the Sunday Offering? –

1 Corinthians 16:1-2 –Now concerning the money COLLECTED FOR [the relief of] the saints [in Jerusalem], you are to do the same as I directed the churches of Galatia to do. On the first day of every week each one of you is to put something aside, in proportion to his prosperity, and save it so that no collections [will need to] be made when I come.

Jesus told the Jews to sell all they had and give to the poor in which they did…Apostle Paul instructed the Churches to give as they have prospered to take care of the Jews that sold all that they had…

What is the collection today being used for?…Research shows not much at all is given for the very purpose in which the offering was designed…The Sunday Offering is just like Social Security, it is used for everything but the very thing it is purposed for…

And I totally understand it takes money to run a church building…So, support the building, help pay the bills, pay your Pastor, but the offering collected should be used for it’s very purpose…One day we will see our Heavenly Bank Account so to speak, our treasure will either be there or it won’t…It will be where our Heart is…

Don’t Be Afraid To Hold Those In Authority Accountable

THE ADVOCATE

1 John 2
If anyone does sin, we have an Advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous. And we can be sure that we know Him if we obey his commandments. Those who (Obey God’s Word) truly show how completely they love Him. That is how we know we are living in Him. Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.

Obeying God’s Word – love your enemies, pray for those that hate you, do good to those that persecute you, treat others as you desire to be treated, forgive as Christ forgave and forgives you, never hold in account a suffered wrong, reconcile and keep the unity of the Spirit by making allowances for one another, understand others are not perfect as you are not perfect, live a life of humility putting others first, give when it is in your power to do so, never promise something you can’t deliver, always think the best of every man, overcome evil with good, pray for government leaders and for all men for this is good in sight of God Who desires all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth…

Advocate – a person who publicly speaks or writes in support or defense of a person; a person who pleads for or in behalf of another; intercessor. a person who pleads the cause of another in a court of law; someone who fights for someone…

To be “Christ-Like” or to imitate God and love as Christ loves means to do this very same thing for our brethren and for all men…speaking on behalf of one another as Christ is speaking on our behalf to God…

I hope every time I make a mistake that Christ isn’t telling God I’m guilty…and if I hope that I also hope I won’t think others are guilty when they miss the mark…I hope I will also plead their case if I hear about it and therefore being an advocate for others as Christ is an Advocate for me…

Advocate or Accuser

The name Christian means to be Christ-like… what is Jesus doing right now?…He’s making intercession for us as our Advocate….so if we truly want to be like Christ we will be talking about the greatness in others rather than their faults…Ted Haggard

One Advocate and the other is the Accuser…Satan…Clear line!

Can we see clearly why scripture is so powerful, so profitable for us?…it clearly corrects us, reproves us and instructs us to be an imitation of God or a replica of God to an unsaved world…

Even among our own ranks, oh my, can we clearly see how evil it is to accuse Pastors from another fellowship, cast judgement on the way they do things then draw a line in the sand thinking we don’t need each other in the body of Christ?

Pass wonderful rumors about each other!…the accuser is in the dark, waiting for someone he can talk to and pass his evilness along to others…DON”T LISTEN TO HIM!…

Tell others how great and wonderful they are and not how they don’t measure up…speak positive things of others when talking to others…

This truly spells out “Unity” and Christ is all about that!

The Secret Life Behind Closed Doors

In the past many believed my wife and I were the perfect match made in heaven…well, it turns out I wasn’t the mister nice guy that others thought I was, I was an animal…I got caught up in some poor teaching and as a result I was a religious man all fine and perfect on the outside but on the inside there were serious problems…my wife spent much of our married life in fear of me, continually being mentally abused, I made her cry and felt justified in doing so, she was treated as a kitchen utensil and basically I kept here under some type of standard operating procedure as far as our marriage was concerned…I wouldn’t allow her to wear pants, she couldn’t put on make-up, she had to keep me updated as to where she was throughout the day and I wanted to know who she talked to and if she had talked to any men while she was out (sleeping with the enemy?)…she was also instructed on how to act in front of people prior to our arrival to an activity…I was totally insecure and she suffered for it horribly…one day I screamed at my wife so loud she just stood there shaking…she tried to talk but was choking on her emotion and tears…”all I did was try to help you Brian” she said, it was then that I knew that I had serious problems, I was nothing less than a monster who’s wife was in total fear of… my wife nearly left me at one time and looking back I could hardly blame her for wanting to, it may have been fear that kept her from carrying out the separation…a day doesn’t go by that I don’t regret the things I did to my wife but I can’t change the past, however, I can change the future and that’s what I’ve been doing for years…when my eyes were finally opened and upon leaving the horrible teachings based on husbands and wives, I made the following my foundation for marriage, this is when I saw changes in our relationship because there were changes within myself –

Ephesians 5:25-28The Message (MSG)
Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They’re really doing themselves a favor—since they’re already “one” in marriage.

Today, our relationship couldn’t be better…I dream of my wife continually throughout the day…I long to spend time with her…we’ve become more than partners in marriage but also the best of friends!…arguments?…they don’t happen and if they do, I can’t remember the last time we had one… I guess I can chock up the past as one that was all about me, myself and I, selfishness in other words, stuck in a mindset that the wife will submit to the husband…I don’t see how any relationship can exist when there is such a stronghold of having to have things your own way, from either the husband or the wife…marriage has to become an equal partnership, at least for us it did…the biggest thing I found is I had to become the husband the bible talks about that gives a wife something she truly desires to submit to, a husband that treats a wife as Christ treats the Church, with love, respect, as a weaker vessel, one that treats his wife as he desires to be treated and as a co-equal and joint heir in a relationship…a husband that doesn’t rule over his wife with an iron hand but rules over his wife to provide love, security and assurance and meets every need, physically, emotionally and spiritually…

Legalism is a blinding teaching that has many in bondage concerning the treatment of wives, it had me hook, line and sinker, and it’s so blinding and subtle…even in society women are persecuted in the work place still trying to fight for equal rights and equal pay even though in many cases do a better job than the man…I can remember years ago hearing how the man is the bread winner and the woman stays home and cleans house…it’s a mentality that still has many husbands in some type of mindset that they are superior over their wives…culture may somehow teach that, but it is entirely untrue…a husband does has a leadership role in the home however, not one the puts a wife in her place but one that exalts her, bringing to reality in the physical realm what is true in the spiritual realm, that the husband and wife are one and co-equal with one another…

It’s said that 50 percent of marriages end in divorce…I can truly understand this if a husband doesn’t understand his responsibility as a leader in the home…our marriage almost became a statistic…are all divorces due to a husband not understanding his role?…absolutely not but that’s another story…

Led By The Holy Spirit

Jesus Christ, led by the Holy Spirit, told us continually to be aware of false prophets that would come to deceive…Apostle Paul, who was also led by the Holy Spirit, and is also our foundational Apostle, Minister and Teacher, spent much of his ministry warning us of false teachers…Apostle John, also led by the Holy Spirit warned us of loving the world and the things in the world and of the spirit of error…what does it tell you in our day that leaders, who claim to be led by the same Holy Spirit that Jesus Christ, Apostle Paul and Apostle John were led by, but refuse to warn us of false prophets that have come in great numbers to deceive the masses with their insidious teachings?…there was a prophet talked about in the bible named balaam…he couldn’t follow the will of the Lord because he was a lover of money, tempted by all the wealth and fame the world had to offer who finally led the chosen people to trespass against the Lord…

I was personally told by a man that hails to be God’s prophet say he couldn’t speak what God wanted him to speak because he would lose financial support…what!

Insidious – developing so gradually as to be well established before becoming apparent; subtle or of a stealthy manner

Our foundational Apostle, Apostle Paul, went on record to say he worked night and day earning his own way and also paid for those that ministered with him so that he wouldn’t be confused with those that were peddling the Gospel for money…a man led by the Holy Spirit…

Competition

If there is competition in Christianity then how many Body of Christ’s are there?…the greatest competition I face is to show no respect of persons and to make everyone: rich/poor, homeowners/renters, business owners/workers, givers/non-givers and those that are smart/not so smart feel as if they are just as important as the other guy because that’s how God sees us, he loves us all the same…there is one fellow in the bible that thinks he’s all that and his name is satan and his character is all about self-exaltation (an excessively intensified sense of well-being, power, or importance)…