I have a growing concern that we will soon be put to the test, that we will be asked to live through the most challenging and dangerous spiritual trial ever known.
Are we shortly going to be presented with a deception so subtle and so engaging that it will seem irresistible?
The lie that is set to circulate the world and become the talking point everywhere will not, I believe, be a blatant, obvious heresy but an attractive and seemingly biblical point of view – albeit being a “new thing” not taught before.
What is to Come?
The coming delusion is both powerful and subtle:
- It will divide the world, and the Church, and divide between fast friends and members of the same family.
- It will sift the unwary, challenge even the strongest faith, and put almost unbearable pressure on every person to just give in and take the easy route – just follow the crowds and believe!
- It will be like a relentless noise drumming against our minds, demanding allegiance, and resisting this pressure will take every ounce of faith, courage and trust in God.
I remember having this same feeling just before the Toronto Blessing broke out in 1993-4 although I didn’t know what was to happen nor what its impact on the Church would be.
God Warned Us
FALSE FIRE FALLING ONTO THE DECEIVED
Many of us at that time shared privately that we had had striking dreams of disaster coming. I had a few.
I remember one in which I and a small group were in a house, with a Man as our leader. He took us outside where it was rather a dark foreboding and barren landscape, and told us to look over at the horizon and into the sky.
We did so, and saw FIRE falling out of the sky and becoming a tidal wave that was approaching across the landscape, right towards us. However, the Man then ushered us all back into the little house and we heard the storm go over us.
The fire had passed over us but we were unharmed.
None of us could have known in the early 90’s just how popular and powerful this new thing would be, but now we see the result of allowing a deceiving spirit and a false anointing to overpower believers.
What Is The Key to Deception?
Why were Christians so attracted to the so-called Toronto Blessing twenty years ago? If you have seen any of the old footage or subsequent meetings, you will see Christians being conned into seeking “more, more” and being convinced their current experience of God and their Christian lives was not sufficient.
Believers were told they were defective if they did not have a visible, sensational, and bodily experience of God.
Belief alone was not enough, they were told.
They were lured in by a promise of something additional to faith and salvation, and then ensnared by their feelings, needs, and desires. In other words, they had not – despite being Christians – died to the flesh but wanted something fleshy to provide excitement and power.
As I say, I was troubled in my spirit before this happened in the UK and in my little hand-made newsletter I wrote about a deceptive “spirit of love” that would masquerade as a christ-like spirit to provide an experience rather than a biblical faith. (You can still read it here.)
The description of how it might happen in a church meeting turned out to be an almost exact depiction of a Toronto Blessing meeting – the only difference being my failure to go far enough in describing this heresy!! Little did I know how horrendous things would actually be!
But now as the days, months and years go by, I am having the same kind of interior alarm bell warning – and it’s growing.
One Lie, One Answer
In one sense, there is only ONE deception, and only ONE answer; however, the facts present themselves in different ways.
The one basic deception since the dawn of time has been “has God said…?” followed by the suggestion that we have been wrong in our interpretation of God’s words, so wrong that we have missed out on one of the greatest blessings in the universe. (Whatever that might be.)
It’s the same cry as in the Rodney Howard Browne laughter meetings, “belly up to the bar” and get the “more, more” that you’ve missed out on in your life up to now. Because GOD himself wants this for you!! You are foolish and backward if you reject it!!
Then after the seed of discontent has been sown, the result is a willingness to accept the NEW or the ADDITIONAL teaching (in reality, the DELUSION).
Adam and Eve – and US
Again I ask why? WHY would Christians (of all people) believe these lies, and turn away from the truth? But then, why did Adam and Eve do so?
Here were two people who were created perfect, without sin, living in a literal Paradise on earth, at peace, and in full communion with God! They literally walked and talked with the pre-incarnate Son of God. YET it was possible for them to be deceived – why?
It was just the same problem for them as for those who were prepared to travel to Canada to get “more, more”.
Despite having everything freely provided by God, they were persuaded there was a glorious experience beyond that, one which would give them knowledge, power and joy. To them this was not evil, but common sense, and sanctioned by their Father – so said the Seraph called a “snake” in the Garden of Eden, and he should know. (See NOTE)
Satan deals in hidden wisdom. (The word occult just means hidden or obscured from open view). As a very knowledgeable spiritual being, created to dwell in heaven, this “seraph” understood all the “deep things of God” and after his fall, the plan was to educate and train mankind so that he and they together could rule the earth, independently of God. That is STILL his aim.
In their flesh Adam and Eve were already WITH God, but it wasn’t enough to satisfy their curiosity and hunger for power. They were encouraged to be AS GOD, self-willed people who had the right and the ability to determine their own plans and their own destiny.
This they did not class as EVIL, but merely a step forward in their development. Nonetheless, it swiftly led to the downfall of everything that God had created!
Human self-determination is the downfall of us all
Human pride, human self-will, led to a desire for the hidden wisdom and powers that have wisely been forbidden by a loving Father. However, in seeking their own way they had rebelled against the will of God.
If Jesus had come, being just like Adam, incarnate (“created”) not by man but God only, in full fellowship with God the Father, without a fallen human nature, but still acted on his own authority instead of referring always to the will of the Father, he would have acted like the FIRST Adam, not the SECOND, and the plan of salvation would have failed.
The sin is disregarding God’s will and command, and acting by ourselves, according to our own selfish wants and needs. No matter how “good” the act, it is still nothing to do with God.
From the Beginning to the End
Thus once again the same age-old fallen seraph (the Dragon) will recycle the lie of Eden and try to finish the job he started.
Revelation tells us that he will (nearly) succeed!
If these hidden powers and secrets are presented in a NEW and entrancing way then they will likely have the same effect as in the Garden of Eden. Humanity has always had the propensity to seek after such things, but up to now has been hindered (restrained) but in order to let the delusion arise, that restraint will be removed, at God’s command!
So as I said, there is really only ONE answer – that of rejecting the “lusts [desires, wants] of the flesh” which are likely to make you feel interested, intrigued, excited or even just worried – but all of which may lead to an unhealthy interest in whatever “new thing” is being proposed.
Secondly, there may be almost unbearable pressure from friends and family, church people and society in general to run with the crowd and accept what is being said. Can you bear to be despised as the “odd man out” and the only one on your street who isn’t talking about the new developments?
Do you value popularity above the truth?
The only way to avoid doing what Adam and Eve did is to be willing NOW and to stay willing to accept and to do only what God permits, not going beyond it in any way. That includes ways that SEEM to be of God, or biblical – but in effect are a demonic delusion.
Do What Jesus Says
Jesus said in John 14:23 “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make Our home with him. Whoever does not love Me does not keep My words”.
And in John 15:14 “You are My friends if you do what I command you”.
So the key factor in all that Jesus promised to his disciples, if you read that entire chapter of John, is the emphasis on heeding and doing what Jesus said! It’s God’s WILL above all that keeps a person safe, for “If anyone keeps My word, he will never see death.” John 8:51 “If you keep my commandments you will abide in my love” John 15:10
John 14:21 & 24
“Whoever has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me. The one who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and reveal Myself to him.” “Whoever does not love Me does not keep My words.”
But on the other hand, there are those who may have done many things, but NOT according to the command and will of God:
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'”
And it is this very condition – LAWLESSNESS – that is to arise in the final apostasy, and epitomised by the Man of Sin (Greek word ANOMIA without law, outside the Law, in contempt of and in rebellion to God’s commands. In other words, everything I have been saying in this article, about disregarding the will of God.)
What is Lawlessness?
Lawlessness is the condition of Adam and Eve, to act (either in a good or bad way) but outside the submission to the will of God. Matthew 23:28 “You outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness”.
So we are told that eventually a man will come who epitomises that attitude, defiance towards God.
In 2 Thessalonians 2:3–10, the “Man of Sin” is described also as the “Man of Lawlessness” in many translations. (And in any case “sin is lawlessness” according to 1 John 3:4).
Thus, in the end, we have a Woman (The Church, the Faithful Betrothed, the Bride) who clings to and obeys God in all circumstances “even unto death”; and we have another Woman (The AntiChurch, the Defiant, the Harlot) who decides to throw off what she see as the shackles of God’s will and runs her own life “as God”, eventually even seeking to overthrow the very Throne of God as did satan in his fall. See Revelation 20:7-9.
Is the very apostasy of self-willed, greedy, experience-driven men and women now removing restraint and allowing lawlessness to arise? Do we already see the Harlot rising up? One example (there are many more) –
JESUS CONFERENCE 2016
The heartbeat of the Jesus Conference is simple……experience Jesus in a life changing way. We want the Glory of God. Encounter is what we are after. America and the rest of the world is in desperate need for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit. … This will be nothing short of a historic time. … Come hungry and He will touch you. Jesus Conference 2016 is hosted by JESUS IMAGE.TV
The Danger of Disobedience
A very sober and important parable was told by Jesus to his disciples, to those who loved and followed him and therefore by extension the Church. It involved servants who are waiting – throughout the night if necessary – for their Master to come knocking on the house door. Jesus warns them to be ready and stay ready.
“Lord,” said Peter, “are You addressing this parable to us, or to everyone else as well?” And the Lord answered, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their portion at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master finds doing so when he returns. Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions.
“But suppose that servant says in his heart, ‘My master will be a long time in coming,’ and he begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and get drunk. The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him, and at an hour of which he is unaware. Then He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers.
“That servant who knows his master’s will but does not get ready or follow his instructions will be beaten with many blows. But the one who unknowingly does things worthy of punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and from him who has been entrusted with much, even more will be demanded”.
To offer humble submission to God in all things is the answer to every delusion and temptation, because by that we are saying “God knows best, even if at this moment in time I do not understand, or feel disadvantaged. I still put my trust in God who is perfect wise and good.”
But rebellion says “I know better than this and I can work it out to my own advantage” even asking God’s help to achieve your own aims!
There’s a reflection of the coming temptation/tribulation in what Jesus underwent in the Garden of Gethsemane. Again a Garden, again a fight with the Tempter.
“So it is written: ‘The first man Adam became a living being; the last Adam a life-giving spirit.’” [1 Cor 5:45]
We don’t know everything that Jesus faced at that time, but we know his struggle was great – and his friends and family were no good to him at that time.
We do know that the commitment, the decision, that brought peace as well as the ministry of God’s comforting angels was to reject ANY OTHER WAY but that of the Father. “Not MY will but THINE be done”.
So here we have a symbolic “endtimes” struggle: to avoid distress, pain, rejection and death by taking an alternative route to the will of the Father. How tempting that must seem! Because Jesus had faced that temptation throughout his life on earth, he warned his disciples not to put their own lives and safety first in following Him. Quite the opposite, he said:
“If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?”
Not like a Movie Trailer of the Apocalypse
The devil has been preparing mankind for deception for a very long time (and remember, his plans do not alter, nor his methods at base.)
A favourite trick of his is to create a false impression of the devil, the antichrist and the things to come. He creates horrific bloodthirsty characters with revolving heads, red eyes and unremittingly evil intentions, and they cause earth-shaking disasters. No normal person would support or follow such demons.
But they will not come in that way.
The endtimes delusion will not be obvious, nor will it appear to be evil, quite the opposite. We are told the man who comes will be christ-like and godly at first, and will literally be worshipped. This could not be an openly evil person.
Outwardly, he will appear to be gentle, wise, caring and peaceful with only good intentions.
And therefore, could believers be taken in? We like to believe not. Why then did Jesus sternly warn his disciples? After being asked about his return, this was the FIRST and foremost thing on his mind, that his disciples might be deceived:
Luke 21:7-8 “Teacher,” they asked, “when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are about to take place?” Jesus answered, “See to it that you are not deceived. For many will come in My name, claiming, ‘I am He,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them.
Matt 24:24 “For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders that would deceive even the elect, if that were possible. See, I have told you in advance.”
What Will the Deception Be?
It may be that some (supposed) new discovery rocks the world – either an ancient manuscript, an artefact or archaeological site that changes everything. This would somehow provide an altogether novel interpretation of the bible or supposedly add something to what God has already said.
Or, alternatively, something astounding and world-changing may be proposed by a powerful new leader, backing it up with signs and wonders.
You only need to look around at how many thousands are already taken in by miracle-ministries and positive-thinking leaders to know that a refined and powerful version of this would capture the minds of millions.
No matter what, the remedy is the same. We have to make a clear-cut difference between the soul (emotional and thought areas of our lives) and the spirit (the place dedicated wholly to God where the Holy Spirit dwells and reigns).
The former area is part of the FLESH, the worldly area that we can use either for obeying God or pleasing ourselves. It is a conscious CHOICE that we all need to make!
We are commanded to “walk in the spirit” and pay no heed to the things of the flesh. That is not passivity but an active decision daily to let the Holy Spirit get the precedence over the things of the world, and our own thoughts, emotions and desires. (These things have their role, but should not take first place.)
The Folly of Corporate Blindness
However, because many Christians and certainly all non-christians refuse to walk in the spirit or deny themselves, there is now a growing blindness descending on mankind that is designed to prepare the way for the greatest deception of all.
I see increasingly how eager people are (including christians) to believe anything they read or see on the internet, no matter how bizarre.
There is a HUNGER for new ideas, endlessly fed by Youtube and Blogs, with more and more material eagerly and mindlessly accepted, then recirculated, until almost everyone is involved one way or the other. (The bible anticipated this and called it “itching ears”. 2 Timothy 4:4)
It doesn’t seem to matter how ludicrous is the belief, nor how easily disproved – no amount of factual information can swerve someone away from their chosen folly.
Why? Many people today are aching for approval from their peers, and what better way than to join an elect group of secret insiders who claim to have information that is kept from the rest of the crowd.
There is a warm sense of comradeship and a pride of place, being one of those who “know” – the cognoscenti – indeed, this is a GNOSTIC system where only the faithful initiates come into possession of the real secrets. They then can feel smug and self-important as a result, and look down on the common herd as being woefully lacking in knowledge.
Right there is the flesh. The search for “more, more”, since ordinary life now seems boring alongside the buzz, the excitement, the fillip of finding yet more “evidence of the conspiracy”. It becomes an obsession, as powerful as any drug.
What is the Way of Safety?
How can you and I be protected against this coming delusion? What do we have to do to ensure we stay safe.
(1) The Fight is for your Senses and Emotions
“The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; Who can know it?”
- Walk only in the Spirit – learn the difference between your own thoughts and feelings and the Holy Spirit.
- When you identify differences between the flesh and the spirit, deny yourself as Jesus commanded.
- Make your thoughts, emotions and senses a servant, not a master.
- Make it a habit to say NO to your own urgent desires and emotions, while you pray and check with God to get yourself oriented with the truth.
- Don’t react, pray! Give it a night, a week or however long it takes until you are sure of a matter.
- Commit only to God’s will, never your own. Remember Adam and Eve!
- Desire and strive for spiritual maturity, to know the difference between right and wrong, truth and error, good and evil, Godly and fleshly.
- Be ready to fight for your faith, steel yourself to defend your beliefs, hang onto your crown.
- Realise that, in your christian walk, what impels and urges your physical senses is at best unnecessary and at worst a demonic deception.
(2) Faith and Facts are your Anchor, not Impressions
“With all my heart I have sought You; Do not let me wander from Your commandments. Your word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against You.”
“From Your precepts I get understanding; Therefore I hate every false way. Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path. I have sworn and I will confirm it, That I will keep Your righteous ordinances”.
- Above all, read, study and learn the bible text.
- “Has God said…?” should immediately be answered by faith in the word of God, not a debate.
- Pray for wisdom.
- Pray to be found worthy to escape all these things. (Luke 21:36)
- Pray for God to show you the areas of your need.
- Understand that you CAN be deceived, then pray for God to alert you to error.
- Determine in your heart that you will never swerve from the bible facts no matter what.
- Do not follow after miracles, signs and wonders.
- Feelings do not trump facts, it’s the reverse!
- Be humble enough to admit you need God and don’t know everything.
- Be circumspect. Don’t trust in man, but only God.
(3) The New Thing is just the Old Deception
“That which has been is that which will be, and that which has been done is that which will be done. So there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which one might say, ‘See this, it is new’? Already it has existed for ages”.
Paul in Athens: Acts 17:19-21
“So they took Paul and brought him to the Areopagus, where they asked him, ‘May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? For you are bringing some strange notions to our ears, and we want to know what they mean.’ Now all the Athenians and foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing more than hearing and articulating new ideas”.
- Don’t run after what the bible calls “fables” and “idle tales” with “itching ears” for something new.
- Abandon the exciting search for titbits of conspiracy and gossip.
- Keep away from Youtubes and Blogs with such material.
- Learn to avoid the unreliable and sensationalist websites like David Icke, AboveTopSecret and Infowars etc.
- Really, at the end of the day it doesn’t matter to Christians if man landed on the moon or 9/11 had government involvement, or a singer made an Illuminati hand sign – it won’t change you, the world or the future, so you are better off reading the bible and being prepared for spiritual deceptions.
- Look within yourself to see if you are obsessed about an issue, then ask why, and is it edifying?
- Don’t believe everything you see and read, be cautious, be suspicious, check the facts.
- Be SCEPTICAL!
On Christ The Solid Rock I Stand
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.
When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.
His oath, His covenant, His blood
Support me in the ‘whelming flood;
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.
When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found;
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.
The Hebrew word rendered “serpent” in Genesis 3:1 is Nachash (from the root Nachash, to shine), and means a shining one. In the same way Saraph, in Isaiah 6:2, 6, means a burning one, and, because the serpents mentioned in Numbers 21 were burning, in the poison of their bite, they were called Saraphim, or Seraphs. But when the LORD said to Moses, “Make thee a fiery serpent” (Numbers 21:8), He said, “Make thee a Saraph”, and, in obeying this command, we read in verse 9, “Moses made a Nachash of brass”. Nachash is thus used as being interchangeable with Saraph. The Nachash, or serpent, who beguiled Eve (2 Corinthians 11:3) is spoken of as “an angel of light” in verse 14. Have we not, in this, a clear intimation that it was not a snake, but a glorious shining being, apparently an angel, to whom Eve paid such great deference, acknowledging him as one who seemed to possess superior knowledge, and who was evidently a being of a superior (not of an inferior) order? Moreover, in the description of Satan as “the king of Tyre” it is distinctly implied that the latter being was of a supernatural order when he is called “a cherub” .
These all compel the belief that Satan was the shining one (Nachash) in Genesis 3. We cannot conceive Eve as holding converse with a snake, but we can understand her being fascinated by one, apparently “an angel of light” (that is to say, a glorious angel), possessing superior and supernatural knowledge. It is remarkable that the verb nachash always means to enchant, fascinate, bewitch; or of one having and using occult knowledge. See Genesis 30:27; 44:5, 15. Leviticus 19:26. Deuteronomy 18:10. 1Kings 20:33. 2Kings 17:17; 21:6. 2Chronicles 33:6. So also is the noun used in Numbers 23:23; 24:1. (The Companion Bible By E. W. Bullinger)