Monday, September 18, 2006

Signs of the Times - Part 3

Continuing our discussion of Mathew 24:

‘At that time if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or, 'There he is!' do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible. See, I have told you ahead of time.’ (Mathew 24:23-25)

Jesus warns us again against deception. He is telling us that when people of the world point us away from the Truth, away from Him, do not believe it. Do not let yourself be deceptively led away to false prophets and false religions. Do not believe the enemy’s lie that you don’t need Me. He also tells us something very serious – ‘signs and miracles to deceive even the elect’. The ‘elect’ are God’s children. These are true believers, teachers and prophets. What are we told? Even some of God’s true children will be deceived. What are the ‘great signs and miracles’ that are performed by these false prophets? Remember, the ‘beast out of the earth’ of Revelation chapter 13 is referred to as a ‘false prophet’ in Revelation 19. Take note that this verse also refers to ‘miraculous signs’ and deception:

‘But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur.’ (Revelation 19:20).

So, what are these miraculous signs? It’s made clear in this verse and in Revelation Chapter 13 that these ‘signs’ deceive the inhabitants of earth. Looking at the world today, do we see any of these ‘signs’? I believe the answer is yes. Remember, in more than one verse, these ‘miraculous signs’ are associated with the ‘beast out of the earth’. If you’ve read previous posts of mine, then you know that I believe this to be the Illuminati/Freemason beast that becomes the worldwide political beast – this ‘beast out of the earth’. What are we seeing in the world today that could be considered ‘miraculous signs’ associated with this beast? Since these signs are associated with this beast, it’s safe to assume that the signs are being used as part of the plan to gain political control of the entire world. Here are some signs that have made worldwide headlines in recent years:

1. 9/11/01 New York City, United States. WTC destroyed by airliners. 3000 killed.
2. 3/11/04 Madrid, Spain. Commuter Train attacks. 191 killed – 2050 injured.
3. 7/7/05 London, England. Commuter bus attacks. 56 killed - 700 injured.
4. 7/11/06 Mumbai, India. Commuter Train attacks. 209 killed - 700 injured.

Think about where these ‘terrorist’ events have led us. We are losing many freedoms (Patriot Act, Military Commissions Act). All the U.S. government needs to do is label you an ‘unlawful enemy combatant’ and you’ve lost your rights that were granted to you under the Bill of Rights. Security is increasing everywhere – not just airports. I recently attended a Major League baseball game and everyone was checked (frisked, metal detecting wands) before entering the stadium. We accept this increase in ‘security’ because of these ‘events’ that have happened. What if our government tried to pass the Patriot Act, Military Commissions Act and tighten security to these levels at airports and elsewhere if these ‘events’ had not taken place? You and I know that Americans would never have let it happen. It’s hard to accept, but it’s the ‘beast’ that is doing this to us. Whether or not we want to accept it, it’s the truth. We’re going to see more devastating ‘signs’ in the years to come leading us to submit to this political beast.

Mathew 24 continues:

‘So if anyone tells you, 'There he is, out in the desert,' do not go out; or, 'Here he is, in the inner rooms,' do not believe it. For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.’ (Mathew 24:26-28)

Jesus continues with warnings concerning deception during the end times. All of God’s Word has meaning – none of it returns void. So, when Jesus warns us about someone in the desert claiming to be from God, but is not, who is He referring to? Jesus would not tell us this if this person did not deceive many in the world. In the past 2,000 years, who has claimed to be a prophet of God, spent much of his time in the desert and has led millions to a false religion? I believe Jesus is warning us about one man – Muhammad. When Jesus tells us ‘do not go out’, he is warning us not to follow this religious deception. Jesus is telling us that there is only one Truth in the world – Him and Him only. Do not let yourself be deceived by a religion that mixes the clean (verses from the Bible) with the unclean (Koran).

Jesus also mentions something that I find very interesting. He tells us not to believe something that is ‘in the inner rooms’. The King James Version translates this as ‘in the secret chambers’. What is Jesus referring to? Does a religion exist in the world today that claims to be the truth, but once again mixes the clean (God’s Word) with the unclean (unbiblical teaching)? Is there a religion that has deceived millions with its deceptive doctrine that includes ‘secret chambers’ in its teachings? The answer is yes. The teachings of the Watchtower organization (Jehovah’s Witnesses). They claim to be Christian and do teach from some verses in the Bible, but much of their teaching is deceptive. Some of their teachings that contradict the Bible:

1. They deny the Holy Trinity
2. They deny the deity of Jesus Christ
3. They deny the personhood of the Holy Spirit
4. They deny Jesus’ physical resurrection
5. They deny salvation by grace through faith (they teach salvation by works)
6. They take verses in the Bible out of context and alter verses to fit their teaching (Example: Revelation 7:4)
7. They teach that Jesus was only a man on earth (same as Adam)
8. Jesus was the Archangel Michael prior to His coming to Earth. After His death, he became the Archangel again and is kept in a ‘secret chamber’.

There are many other ways their teachings contradict God’s Word, but rest assured, their teachings are not from the Lord. They are deceptively leading people away from the Truth.

I believe that Jesus made this statement regarding ‘secret chambers’ to warn us against any false religion that does anything ‘in secret’. Did Jesus hide anything from us required for our salvation? Did he try to hide anything from us? No.

‘I have spoken openly to the world," Jesus replied. "I always taught in synagogues or at the temple, where all the Jews come together. I said nothing in secret.’ (John 18:20)

Are there other deceptive, secretive ‘religions’ in the world today that would lead people away from the truth? Certainly. The following is taken from the Scientology website (founded by L. Ron Hubbard):

“Man is an immortal, spiritual being. His experience extends well beyond a single lifetime. His capabilities are unlimited, even if not presently realized — and those capabilities can be realized. He is able to not only solve his own problems, accomplish his goals and gain lasting happiness, but also achieve new, higher states of awareness and ability. In Scientology no one is asked to accept anything as belief or on faith. That which is true for you is what you have observed to be true. An individual discovers for himself that Scientology works by personally applying its principles and observing or experiencing results.”

I’ll translate this – L. Ron Hubbard is telling us that we don’t need God. We can solve our own problems, accomplish our own goals and somehow achieve happiness. Since he says that our capabilities are unlimited, he’s saying that human beings, in essence, are God. Mr. Hubbard tells us that we don’t need faith or belief in anything. Whatever you want to believe is fine; the truth is what you make it.

Of course, all of these things contradict the Bible. We do need God. Look at the world today. Much of the world is going its own way with disastrous results. What does the Bible say about the plans and actions of men? Filthy rags. ‘All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.’ (Isaiah 64:6)

Do you see now why Jesus warned us so many times about deception during our times? Our spiritual enemy knows that we need God, so he gives us counterfeit versions of the truth. Satan creates false religion that encompasses some of the Lord’s Word and mixes it with things that are unclean to deceive those who are seeking God. He also creates ‘religions’ like Scientology that deceive those that are not necessarily seeking God, but who want to belong to something. After being indoctrinated with these false teachings, it becomes that much harder to believe the truth. As I’ve mentioned before, there is only one, uncorrupted truth in this world, the Holy Bible. Any religion or teaching that adds to or takes from the Lord’s Word is a false religion. Any religion that uses some of the Lord’s Word, while disregarding much of the Bible is a false religion. If you ask a Mormon a theological question, will they reach for their Bible or the Book of Mormon? What does the Bible say about this? Once again, the Lord makes it crystal clear:

‘I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.’ (Revelation 22:18-19)

Don’t miss the significance of these verses. If you add to or take away from God’s Word, you will be cursed and will have placed your salvation in jeopardy. Does your Church teach only from the Bible? Are you adding to or taking away from God’s Word? Don’t let our enemy deceive you. There are no exceptions. If it’s not in the Bible, you can’t say that God ‘intended’ for it to be there. If He wanted it in the Bible, it would be in the Bible. Same goes for those that disregard sections of the Bible because they don’t fit a particular theology or lifestyle. All that we need is in the Bible – pure and simple. You must ask yourself – am I learning only from the Bible? Am I being deceived? I’ve mentioned it before and I’ll say it again here – God will not accept your excuse on the day of judgment if you say that you were deceived. God has given us His Word so that we would know the Truth. Jesus warned us many times against the deceptions present in the world. There will be no excuses.

“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.” (Colossians 2:8)

I cannot emphasize enough how important it is for us to stay true to God's Word and His plan of salvation in these deceptive times. Our enemy has deceived many with false religions in the world today - just as Jesus told us he would. Never forget, there is only one truth in this world - that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and offered Himself as a sacrifice for our sins so that we may live in eternity. He was resurrected by the power of God and now sits at the right hand of the Father with all power and authority over heaven and earth. We can only rely on the truth of the Holy Bible to guide us and instruct us. Do not be deceived and let others tell you differently. Do not let them tell you that you don't need our Father in heaven, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. Don't let anyone tell you that you don't need to read the Bible. Don't let them tell you to disregard verses in the Bible. Don't let them add to God's Word and then tell you it's ok. All of these things are designed to lead you away from the truth. If you notice carefully, all false religions very quietly, very deceptively lead you away from what the Bible tells us is required for salvation - faith in Jesus Christ. Faith that he died for our sins and was resurrected on the 3rd day.

"know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified." (Galatians 2:16)

According to the Bible, you will not receive salvation by observing religious rituals - any rituals. Don't let a person or church (any church) tell you differently. The Bible is clear. Salvation is a gift to us by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ. Many churches teach that salvation can be achieved by our works on earth. What does the Bible say about this? It's clear:

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." (Ephesians 2:8-10)

Once we are saved through faith, we will do God's work on earth, but your works will not save you. You must believe and have faith in Jesus Christ.

Jesus clearly answers this question for us and leaves no doubt on this subject:

'Then they asked him, "What must we do to do the works God requires?"
Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.' (John 6:28-29)

The Lord has given me these words for a reason. He wants all of us to believe the truth and accept his offer of salvation. He desires that we all overcome the world and its deception. If you are someone who is a member of a church or organization that does not teach exclusively from the Bible, this message is for you. You are at a crossroads. You may have been led astray at some point in your life, but you've now been given the truth. You must now choose whom you will follow. Will you accept God's offer of salvation and follow Him and where He leads you or will you continue on your own way? It's a decision that we will all make in this life - and no decision has more importance or significance. You don't have to be alone in the world. He guides us through all of our trials and tribulations.

Remember these words from the Lord:

"I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned! Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ." (Galatians 1:6-10)

"But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping." (2 Peter 2:1-3)

"For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord." (Jude 1:4)

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