Friday, November 29, 2019
In less than three years, the increasingly unrestrained rise of the spirits of Antichrist will shake the average Christian to his spiritual core – provided he or she is discerning and sensitive to end-time signs. If not, then the gradually deceptive overthrow of what is right will seem normal. The spiritual insensitivity and lack of discernment to the times of the end is creating an alternative Christian, one that blends false traditions with Christ in an effort to be pleasing to God but in effect creates a works-based faith. Beware of Catholicism, Calvinism, Judaism and Islam.
Today, many think “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation” (2 Peter 3:4). If the church does not soon, with real love for God and mankind, change course, and teach people the testimony of Jesus Christ for the times of the end, it will be explicitly culpable for many swept to perdition in “the falling away” (2 Thess. 2:3).
The organized church has largely lost its spiritual fire, which Jesus calls “lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot” (Rev. 3:16), for which cause Jesus said “I will vomit you out of My mouth”. So, believer, beware! Calvinism’s “once saved always saved” doctrine is a deceptive heresy! And as for the pre-trib rapture, it too is a deceptive heresy, because “He [Christ] must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything” (Acts 3:21 NIV), which, according to the Scriptures, will not occur until “Immediately after the tribulation” (Matt. 24:29–31) just as Jesus taught.
In less than three years, the professing Christian landscape will look nothing like the defining truths of biblical Christianity. Through false teachers and leaders, many will succumb to false ecumenism. Even now, afraid of the offending truth that Christ is the only way to God, many have been falsely led by men like Rick Warren, Joel Osteen and many others, to believe that Christians and Muslims worship the same God. But we don’t! The god of Islam is Lucifer; killing the innocent is his mission. Yet, false, self-preserving teachers unite false religions.
In the church, homosexuality is largely accepted as an approved Christian lifestyle as many in leadership bow the knee to its antichrist practice. The shock factor of this malfeasance has now worn off. Boldness in defending Christ has waned. It’s become too uncomfortable for the church to lovingly but boldly tell homosexuals they’re living in sin. Even prominent preacher Beth Moore (God forbid), labels Christians who are anti-homosexuality as “hyper-fundamentalist”, Rom. 1:24–32 and 1 Cor. 6:9–10 now apparently too offensive for her sustained popularity.
In less than three years, we will see the organized church sink to spiritual lows never imagined. As apostate as many now are, spiritual depravity will grow worse: “the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from certain foods” (1 Tim. 4:1–3). Christians, through false teachers are being led back to the Old Testament laws of Judaism to perform some of those laws, even “commanding to abstain from certain foods”, for example.
Today, Jewish Rabbis have convinced many Christians to abstain from eating things like pork, shrimp, shellfish, and any unclean food as found in the Old Testament Law of Moses; an effort to be more pleasing to God. But in effect, elevating food above Christ, their actions indicate that Christ is not enough, that they must add to the work of Calvary to be more pleasing to God. But God clearly said “every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if is received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer” (1 Tim. 4:4–5).
Furthermore, God said “the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved of men. Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another. Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the one who eats with offense” (Rom. 14:17–20).
In less than three years, the organized church will largely replace the Bible with best-selling secular books. This occurs even now. But did Jesus fail to identify new birth conversion faith; did He fail teaching prayer; did He fail to identify repentance, is He not all-sufficient? When has God’s Word ever been untimely, unable, insufficient and incapable of performing that for which it came? Never! God’s Word never fails, nor does it need help from men or women, but requires men full of the Holy Spirit and boldness to proclaim its truths, and God will do the rest. But for the love of money, religious notoriety, and cultural popularity many write best-selling books.
The path from being on fire for Christ, to growing lukewarm, to apostate, can easily occur by reading other books not centered on glorifying Christ. Satan inspires that process. He will do anything to turn you away from Christ to other books. But you don’t need other books to know what to believe. You just need to believe Jesus Christ. Period. But increasingly, we live in a time when many pastors and leaders are not content with Christ, and they literally go from one book to another, and from this program to another, in search of what works best.
Divorce yourself from self-help and so-called inspirational books by men and women that purport to show you how to live in this world; or how to believe God; or be victorious; or how to pray; or how to be Spirit-filled, the latter point being critical. Many, especially in the evangelical charismatic church are led to believe that one is Spirit-filled if he or she speaks in tongues. Don’t you believe that, here’s why – Satan can and does counterfeit tongues! (Confirming my assertion here, see 2 John 1:7 and especially 2 Cor. 11:12-15). God said “tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe but to unbelievers” (1 Cor. 14:22).
The first thing any Spirit-filled believer will do is believe the testimony of Jesus Christ, in fact, “Him you shall hear in all things, whatever He says to you” (Acts 3:22). But false traditions are evidence of unbelief by those claiming to be Spirit-filled who yet speak in tongues. Will God impart His gifts to people who do not believe His Son? No. God’s Holy Spirit distributes the gifts “individually as He wills” (1 Cor. 12:11), not as man wills. God knows which of His gifts are best suited for your life, and are most beneficial for His Kingdom.
In less than three years, there will be an even greater departure from God’s Word, being replaced by wildly popular, inspirational and captivating books by men and women. Even as pastors speak to the glory of unity, have you ever considered why Christianity is the most divided religion in all the world? Yes, in fact, the most divided, sadly, having thousands of denominations. Leaders of every one of those denominations speak of unity…oh…provided you agree with their brand of doctrines and traditions of Christianity. That’s not how true Christianity was delivered.
The gospel, free of the doctrines and traditions of men, is truly refreshing. We don’t need theologians and scholars, who caused Christian disunity to begin with, telling us why and what to believe. Is “righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” complex and difficult to comprehend like some religious version of astral-biology? Absolutely not! Jesus said: “whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it” (Mark 10:15). Be wise, Christian!
Marlin J. Yoder