A Modern Woman's Perspective On The Kingdom of God on Earth

Showing posts with label False Prophet. Show all posts
Showing posts with label False Prophet. Show all posts

May 16, 2024

Prophets and the Pagan Gods

I am aware that this blog post may not be everyone's cup of tea. I think the peoples of the world are so hungry to be free of what they innately discern is the crumbling structure of their lives that they only want to hear what makes them feel good. And I understand that! Too often, I am awakened in the middle of the night with discouraging thoughts, and it is only through focusing my soul and spirit on Jesus that I am able to take those thoughts captive and receive His peace. 

But that doesn't mean that I ignore the reality of what I clearly see as the truth of our situation. And I want you to know that I am cognizant of the whispers of the Father of Lies, so I am careful to vet the Source of what I am seeing [and hearing]. We no longer live in the times of the Old Testament when God primarily spoke to His people through the prophets [oftentimes in dreams and visions]. Today, He speaks to us through His Son, who has given us the Holy Spirit to teach and guide us in His ways. And you can count on the Spirit speaking the Lord's truth... When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you in to all truth, for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak, and He will declare to you the things that are to come.

It has become apparent to me that it is not just any spirit that speaks the truth and prophesies what is coming, but the Holy Spirit! It is not my spirit, or another man's or woman's human spirit, but the Spirit that is God! And it most certainly is not a demonic spirit who owes its allegiance to Satan. We cannot trust the latter two spirits to be speaking truth. And it must be discerned among the people of God that the demonic spirits can come from worshipping false [pagan] gods who love to fool our human spirits into accepting what "sounds like" it's coming from the One True God. I often think it's inherent among the human race to always be looking to replace what they don't like about the state of their existence with a new vision of their own creation, instead of looking to the perfect existence in the True Creator. 

And that takes me to an unlikely reference to what I'm trying to express. The 70s anthem, "Won't Get Fooled Again" by The Who, communicates the need to be critical in our assessment of whose voice we are listening to as we strive for truth and transformation that is real and lasting in the Lord. The song is a picture of Satan's unchanging and predictable plan of causing chaos that leads to rebellion, and then convincing people it's all new. It could be the anthem for today ... There's nothing in the street looks any different to me. And the slogans are effaced, by-the-bye. And the parting on the left is now parting on the right. And the beards have all grown longer overnight...I'll get on my knees and pray we don't get fooled again.  

You see, the prophets of old were called by God to be His spokesmen and share His message to His people within the historical context of what was happening in their lives. They reported the will of God in the particular situation. The prophets not only exhorted and challenged men to obey God's will, but entailed His plan for the situation, and either encouraged the righteous according to God's promises or warned the people of coming judgment -- all according to what God revealed to them, the prophets. Because of the people's preponderance to follow false gods, worship idols, and disobey God's laws, the prophets of old spent lots of time rebuking sin [and repeating God's warning about the punishment He intended] if they didn't answer His call for repentance. 

They also announced what God told them regarding their deliverance that would come with the Messiah and His kingdom. The difference between a true and false prophet could be discerned by which prophecies were fulfilled. And that is an interesting detail in light of today's "prophets". How many of our modern-day prophets were proclaiming worldwide "revival" and the Third Great Awakening just a year ago? And how many of those same prophets have now reversed course and are warning that worldwide war, persecution, and dark days are coming? 

I guess my basic question is this: Are you truly hearing from the Lord? Are your prophesies coming from your own discernment? Or are you prophesying what the people want to hear? And because our Lord predicted that false prophets would abound in the Last Days to lead us astray, I am careful to observe if today's prophets are only relating conditions and events in the world without pointing us to Jesus and His promises. I am not a prophet and do not claim to have the last word on whether a proclaimed prophet is the real deal or not. But I am able to see evidence of their fruit [or not]. I have simply been assigned to stand on the walls of this nation and warn against what the Lord shows me are the dangers we are being tempted to participate in. I do NOT require people to believe me. They must take what I've been equipped to see and ask the Lord for confirmation and act accordingly.

Both my husband and I are particularly sensitive to the idolatry the Lord is highlighting as our nation is influenced by the pagan gods of old to adopt spirits of greed, perversion, ungodly rituals, sacrifices of children, and a reliance on the pursuit of Religion instead of the Kingdom. You see, in ancient history, those gods were worshipped as Mammon, Moloch, Baal, Chemosh, Astarte, etc. Today, we know them as Wealth, Power, Lust, Abortion, Knowledge, and again, Religion with a capital "R" [which Jesus never brought, nor asked to be exalted]. The names and means of worship may be more sophisticated, but the results are the same: suffering and a painful separation from God. Our Bible tells us that any elevation of a false god above the One True God comes with consequences. You shall have no other gods before Me makes that pretty clear. 

And I want to make it clear that I have not heard from the Lord as to His plan of judgment or punishment, and am not called to prophesy of their certainty. At the same time, my God repeatedly points me to His Word for confirmation that both are grave possibilities when He shows me what He wants me to see from my position on the wall. But I am to only report what I see, and what could happen, not declare what will happen. Hopefully, that makes us all take stock of where we are in our obedience to God's will.

In conclusion, this is what I know for sure ... God can [and has] delayed His judgment; sometimes for hundreds of years, in the hope that peoples' hearts will change and they will return to Him. But He will not be mocked and He will not be patient forever. The Word says that there will come a time when The Restrainer's hand will be removed. For now, I pray that I will continue to clearly see what the Lord is pointing out to me, His Watchman; and that the true prophets will be easily discerned as authorized mediators who speak for God. I read somewhere that even in Elijah's time, there were 450 false prophets for every authentic one anointed by God! One anointed prophet is more than enough to overcome Satan's strategies of delivering false warnings and/or promises. I pray that we come together with pure hearts and reject every false god, false prophet, and false religion, all for the glory and power of the Kingdom of God! From my view on the wall, the time is now! Amen!

Philippians 2:10-11      ... so that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow [in submission], of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess and openly acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord [sovereign God], to the glory of God the Father.    

June 17, 2023

Choose Now Whom You Will Serve ... God of the Bible or Your AI god?

Need we remind ourselves of one of the primary and most important commandments of God almighty, El Shaddai? You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself any idol, or any likeness (form, manifestation) of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth [as an object to worship]. You shall not worship them nor serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous (impassioned) God, demanding what is [rightfully and uniquely mine], visiting (avenging) the iniquity (sin, guilt) of the fathers on the children [that is, calling the children to account for the sins of their fathers], to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me...

In my last post, I talked about the consequences of the iniquity that results from a lack of trust in God. And that is what can happen to each of us, as individuals, when we lose sight of our Creator. But now, in these last days, I am seeing a threat that could exert ungodly influence on the masses, and potentially result in the extinction of mankind, or at the very least, corrupt the personal relationship with our Heavenly Father; the personal relationship that Jesus died to restore to all mankind. 

Frankly, I am shocked at just how rapidly this threat has risen. I'm talking about the dire warning that technology execs and creators are signaling ... warning that "we are creating a god". Notice that both these execs and the God of the Bible use a "little g" when referring to false dieties. Just read what Mo Gawdat, former chief executive of Google X had to say: he believes "that artificial general intelligence (AGI), the sort of all-powerful, sentient AI seen in science fiction like Skynet from The Terminator, is inevitable — and that once it's here, humanity may very well find itself staring down an apocalypse brought forth by godlike machines". 

In the article, Gawdat shared the revelation he received during tests with AI developers to check the dexterity of robot arms trying to pick up a small ball. After a period of slow progress, Gawdat said that one arm grabbed the ball and seemed to hold it up to the researchers in a gesture that, to him, seemed like it was showing off. "And I suddenly realized this is really scary," Gawdat said. "It completely froze me... The reality is," he added, "we're creating God." Now, I'm fully aware that his use of a "big G" for God, in this instance, is entirely misappropriated. No one can create God! He is I AM; he's always been. If Gawdat had said, "we're trying to replace God", I would probably agree with that.

So, while he among others, like Elon Musk, are warning that the advancements in AI technology are potential threats to the human race, there are others who have avidly and aggressively promoted divine attributes to Artificial Intelligence. In 2021, former Google executive Anthony Levandowski closed his artificial intelligence-focused church, called Way of the Future (WOTF). An article on The Verge, reported that Levandowski was interested in pursuing “the realization, acceptance, and worship of a Godhead based on Artificial Intelligence (AI), in preparation for the Singularity [and the betterment of society]". Although he closed his "church", it is not too hard to imagine that someone else will pursue that same goal. [NOTE: the Singularity is a hypothetical future where technology growth is out of control and irreversible. These intelligent and powerful technologies will radically and unpredictably transform our reality]. And included in that transformation is the merging of humans and computers; a being with both organic (God-made) and bio-mechatronic (inorganic) body parts.

That brings me to who, in my opinion, is one of the most dangerous men in this technology conversation, senior World Economic Forum (WEF) advisor Yuval Noah Harari. According to an article on Charismamag.com, Harari is "considered by many to be one of the most influential intellectuals in the world today". He is a best-selling author of over 45 million books on the future of science and technology. His opinions are valued by WEF founder and economist, Klaus Schwab, as well as icons like Barack Obama and Bill Gates. But it is his opinions on Creation, the sovereignty of God, and the truth of the Bible that is highly concerning to me. Let me just share a few of his statements:

"We don’t have to wait for Christ’s Second Coming to overcome death. A couple of geeks in the laboratory can do it if you give them enough time and money".

"God seems to be making a comeback, but this is a mirage. God is dead … it just takes awhile to get rid of the body".

"I don’t think life has any meaning. I know many civilizations and philosophies have based the meaning of life on death and what happens after death. But I think these are all fictional stories that people have invented throughout history. They are not the truth".

"You think about the Bible for example. So, in the first book of Genesis, what God does is to create animals and plants and humans. And we now want to gain these abilities ourselves… to manufacture animals and plants and humans. And even go beyond God! Even if you believe in the Bible, the only thing the God of the Bible managed to create is organic beings. He managed to create the cows, and the tomatoes, and the giraffes and the humans – all organic. Now we try to go beyond the God of the Bible and create inorganic life, a thing He never managed to do, according either to the Bible or to biology. For 4 billion years, all life was organic. Now we want to create inorganic life. Divinity is not far enough to describe what we are trying to do"! [NOTE: By "inorganic", he means machines!]

"I think one of the most interesting places today, from a religious perspective, is Silicon Valley. I bet that this is where the new religions of the 21st Century will be created; are being created. And these will be a kind of techno-religions; religions based on technology; religions that make all of the old promises possible of Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, and so forth. They all promised happiness, and prosperity and justice, and even eternal life.  [We can know those promises] here on earth, with the help of technology; and not after we die, but now with the help of super human beings. And in a way, I would say we have already seen the first techno-religion in history, in previous centuries, and that was Socialism".

I think you've read enough to get an idea of where this guy is coming from. And as a faithful follower of Jesus Christ, what he is saying is offensive and alarming. But none is more controversial than his opinion that the Bible needs to be re-written "to correct" the wrong ideas it has presented for centuries. We know that Johannes Gutenberg invented the first printing press and printed a copy of the Bible in the 15th Century. But according to Harari, "it [the printing press] had no ideas of its own about the Bible: Is it good? Is it bad? How to interpret this? How to interpret that? AI can create new ideas [from its opinions]; [it] can even write a new Bible,” Harari declares. “Throughout history, religions dreamt about having a book written by a superhuman intelligence, by a non-human entity". Oh, really? Can you provide some evidence of that, please? 

Are you as aggrieved as I am that this pompous proponent of AI dares to compare human's ability to create with the creativity of the God of the Universe? I am strongly discerning that we are on the precipice of what Scripture prophesies... Because of this God will send upon them a misleading influence, [an activity of error and deception] so they will believe the lie, in order that all may be judged and condemned who did not believe the truth [about their sin, and the need for salvation through Christ], but instead took pleasure in unrighteousness. Now is the time to fortify ourselves for the battle that is coming. We must become clear about what we believe and why, so that we can discern the difference between the delusion God is bringing and the immutable Truth of His Word that we carry in our hearts. 

And again, the Bible tells us that My people perish for lack of knowledge. But it is incumbent upon all us Christians that we make it clear to all within our sphere of influence that the Word is speaking of knowledge as God's Truth, not man's. Mr. Harari is full of knowledge. But his foundation comes from the deception and deceit of the Father of Lies. We must not only stand on the principles of God's Truth, but must be willing to stand against the lies, and correct the false teachings, data, and information that will most assuredly be fomented by artificial intelligence and the humans who unleash AI upon the world. Trust in the Lord to fight for us and protect us as we continue to preach the Word; the unerring, perfect and unimpeachable Word of God to those who love Him and follow His commandments. 

Romans 1:21-23    For although they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks to Him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. 

April 2, 2022

The Words of Jeremiah Are For The Ages

"For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you," says the Lord, "plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope... I will be found by you, "says the Lord, "and I will restore your fortunes and I will free you..".  This is the familiar Scripture, Jeremiah 29:11 and 14; favorites of mine. In context, Jeremiah is speaking to the Israelites and telling them that the "plan" is that they are about to go into captivity for 70 years, but God will not abandon them.  There is hope for restoration. Jeremiah is calling out the false prophets who are proclaiming that everything is OK, and telling the Israelites they will not be taken to Babylon.  Through Jeremiah, God tells them "don't believe the lies." Jeremiah has the unpleasant task of warning the people of the coming judgment from the Lord due to their rebelliousness and wickedness. But the Lord also tells him to speak to the people, reassuring them that when the captivity is over, the Lord will restore them and bring them back to Jerusalem. They will seek Him with all their hearts and He will be found by them.

In the middle of sleepless nights, I hear my Lord and Savior encouraging me; telling me that whatever is going to happen in the coming difficulties; He has a plan.  He is sovereign in my circumstances, and if I seek Him with all my heart, He will listen and I will find Him.  My future abides in Him. 

I wrote the above in 2011, but I could have just as easily written it today. I know I have said it many times before, but there have been days in the intervening years that I have identified with Jeremiah. No, not as a prophet. I believe that only Jesus can assign that office. But I have cried out to Him, because my spirit has sensed that we have been lied to by our politicians and our own false prophets. EVERYTHING IS NOT OK! I do not believe God is pleased with the state of the world, the Church, or many people who call themselves Christians. At the same time, I know He has not abandoned us, and His covenant promises of victory in Christ remain intact. But I do not want to see my fellow believers fall prey to the false hope that is being delivered by self-appointed prophets, and become devastated when we enter into our own captivity.

Just as in Jeremiah's day, present-day believers proclaim, "The Lord has raised up prophets for us". And these modern "prophets" speak of "Kingdom" and "Revival" and "Restoration"; all praiseworthy tenets of God's promises. But are they speaking the whole truth of what  God is revealing to us in these days? How can one point the Body of Christ to Revival and Restoration without warning that both are in jeopardy because of our idolatry of [and seduction by] the false gods of ecumenicalism, self-promotion, and a counterfeit "feeling" religion? It's as if what the Bible tells us is going to happen before Christ returns is just a story written for another time; it doesn't really pertain to us. If we just keep using the buzzwords "Kingdom","Revival", and "Restoration", we can pretend that what the Word says is not meant for us, after all!

So, instead, we will choose to believe that Jeremiah 29:11 and God's promises of peace, hope, and a future are meant for us, but choose to ignore that what He says just six verses later could also be a warning meant for us ... "Behold (listen very carefully), I am sending the sword, famine, and virulent disease (pestilence) on them, and I will make them like rotten figs that are so bad they cannot be eaten. I will pursue them with the sword, with famine and with virulent disease; and I will make them a terror (warning) to all the kingdoms of the earth, to be a curse, a horror, a hissing, and a disgrace among all the nations to which I have driven them, because they have not listened to and honored My words...".

Our God is the same God today as He was when He spoke those words to Jeremiah over 2500 years ago. His Nature, His Character, and His promises have not changed. Look around; really pay attention! The sword of war is upon the earth, and our nation is in the cross-hairs. We have already suffered through a traumatic season of virulent disease, and every prognosticator on the earth is warning of global famine. It is a very real possibility in the coming year! And lest you hear the lie that this Word from God was meant for ancient Judah in the Old Testament and was spoken under the old covenant, and it is said [again] that we are meant to experience Kingdom, Revival, and Restoration, I would ask that you hear the Word of Jesus in the New Testament and His foretelling of our future under the New Covenant ...

In response to the Disciples question of how we would know the time was near for Him to return, Jesus said, "Be careful that no one misleads you [deceiving you and leading you into error]. For many will come in My name [misusing it, and appropriating the strength of the name which belongs to Me], saying, ‘I am the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed),’ and they will mislead many. You will continually hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end [of the age]. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs [of the intolerable anguish and the time of unprecedented trouble]".

But people are frightened when they hear these warnings, and they do not want to receive them; rather, they prefer what tickles their ears and makes them feel better. Those that declare themselves to be modern-day prophets, speaking only words of Hope in the return of Jesus and our victory, may not call themselves Christ or the Messiah, but they will declare themselves anointed. By whom? By the Lord? ... Or other men? Jesus, Himself, says there will be wars, famines, pestilence and "intolerable anguish and unprecedented trouble" [including persecution] before He returns. Just this week, Newsweek reported that a member of Finland's Parliament, and a Finnish Lutheran Bishop were charged with a Hate Speech crime for quoting from Romans in their defense of Biblical marriage. But the Helsinki District Court dropped the charges and determined it wasn't their job to "interpret Biblical concepts". But that's how dangerously close we are to religious persecution becoming a global entitlement. And do not think that our Constitutional right to free speech will be a safeguard when that anti-Christian agenda is whipped into a frenzy. 

The times that we are living in are just as precarious as the times of Jeremiah. We have entered into a 21st Century version of captivity in Babylon that is no different than the ancient nation of Judah's experience. The question remains if God is going to turn this nation over to its captors for a time of judgment for abandoning Him and prostituting the blessings that He bestowed on this land. Make no mistake, I believe He has not abandoned us, nor will He turn His back on His remnant, anymore than He abandoned the exiles who would return to Jerusalem from their Babylonian captivity and restore the Temple of Jehovah. But, now WE ARE the temple! And God will restore His righteous remnant in these last days! That is our hope and our future! But WE MUST NOT BE UNPREPARED for God's judgment against those [in the nation and the Church] who misled, corrupted, and compromised His holy commandments. 

If we are truly His people, we see and understand His whole counsel. And we will be united and stand strong through both the judgment and the restoration. So, I encourage you to read the Book of Jeremiah. Let the words of long ago feed your soul and spirit with the horror of our offenses against the God of the Universe. But let the ancient words also encourage and comfort you as we await our redemption and our restoration to holiness. We have never been promised that we would escape troubles, persecution, or even death. What we have been promised is a glorious inheritance in Heaven where we will be united with Jesus, and we will rule and reign with Him after He has defeated Evil on the earth. That is the hope and the future that I look forward to! Whatever I have to endure until then will be done through His strength in me, and with praise of Him on my lips. I know that He loves His own with an everlasting love, and He will continue His faithfulness to us until the day we stand in His presence. That is the hope that we can all believe in!

1 Corinthians 14:3     On the other hand, the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation.


October 3, 2021

"Will We Stone Those Sent to Us?"

This is the title of an article written by Guy Cohen, founder of the Harvest of Asher Congregation and Ministry in Acco, Israel. He is affiliated with Tikkun International, a global family of ministries dedicated to the dual restoration of Israel and the Biblical Church. Tikkun means restoration, renewal, rehabilitation, and repair [in Hebrew]. It is the cry of the Hebrew prophets for the Messianic Age, and for about 10 years I have been blessed to see the dedication and the work of this organization for the Kingdom of God.

Mr. Cohen's title captured my attention and I wondered if there might be some common ground of understanding between a Messianic Jew in Israel, and a Christian woman in America. Furthermore, I found his religious background interesting, as well. He grew up in an orthodox Jewish religious environment in Israel, studying the Old Testament and rabbinical teachings. Then in 1997, the Lord opened Guy's eyes and he accepted Yeshua as his Messiah! His background and training in the Hebrew Scriptures gives him a unique perspective into the Word of God and the Jewish roots of faith in Yeshua. I am a serious lay student of those same roots in reference to the Christian Bible and my faith. 

The subject of Cohen's article was the prophet Elijah and the environment in which he lived. Elijah was one of the major prophets God sent to Israel to call His people back to Him. But Elijah ran into some formidable foes in King Ahab and his pagan queen Jezebel. According to Scripture, Ahab had done more evil in the sight of the Lord than all the kings who were before him. He built a house for the worship of his wife's false god, Baal, and there he built an altar to Baal and worshiped him. At his wife's instigation, he also built an Asherah pole, a sacred monument and tribute to the Canaanite goddess, Asherah, who was said to be "the mother" of a pantheon of gods with the other "creator god", El. The nation of Israel was tempted to follow these false gods, just as their king had. Elijah could not convince them to choose whom they would worship; their noncommittal attitude only served to greatly provoke the Lord God of Israel. 

But Elijah was anointed by God to confront the idolators, and he fulfilled his mission, gaining a fiery victory on Mount Carmel. As you will recall, the spiritual showdown occurred after Israel had suffered three years without rain, due to their unrepentant idolatry. All Israel gathered at Mount Carmel, where Elijah confronted the evil king and his false prophets. The challenge went like this: Elijah was the lone prophet of the God of Israel. Against him were 450 prophets of the false god, Baal, and 400 prophets of the false goddess Asherah. The challenge was to prepare a bull as an offering to their respective gods. But there was a condition that had to be met ... they could light no fire on their altar. The God who answered with fire from the sky would be declared the true God.  

The fire of the Lord fell and consumed Elijah's offering, after which the people of Israel fell on their faces, saying, "The Lord, He is God"! And after God provided evidence to the people of His sovereignty as the one true God, you have to believe Elijah would be thinking, "I've known why I was sent; to harken the people to the Lord's voice and His presence. How can they not repent and return to the Lord, now?" Instead of what he thought was irrefutable proof of God's supremacy and the truth, Elijah found himself the target of Jezebel's wrath and on the run for his life. The spirits of fear and doubt engulfed him and he ended up in a cave, ready to give up. How dispirited he must have been! He saw his beloved nation forsaking the covenant they had with their God. He witnessed the altars to God being destroyed, and the prophets were all killed. He was the only one left, and they were trying to kill him, too. 

But the Lord did not abandon Elijah. He didn't appear in the grand manner that Elijah expected Him to, but rather as a still, small voice that encouraged him and then sent him back into the spiritual battle. Elijah followed the Lords commands to anoint Hazael as king over Syria; Jehu as king over Israel; and Elisha as a prophetic voice to take his [Elijah's] place. Sadly, both kings failed to do as God bid, and only Elisha carried out his assignment. 

So, why does this ancient situation spoken of in an article by a Messianic minister speak so much to my spirit today? Mr. Cohen fights the battle of speaking as a believer in Yeshua, the Messiah, to a nation of orthodox or unbelieving Jews. He identifies with Elijah in speaking to an unbelieving nation that bows the knee to political Zionism. For me, as a Christian in America, I see how much our governmental leadership and so-called prophetic voices have disappointed. The nation's leaders are as guilty of idolatry and abandoning the true God as King Ahab was. They worship at the altars of power and wealth, and the "voices" of so many prophets assault our ears! What is God's Truth in the midst of all this? Both government leaders and "prophets" battle for their messages to be heard, leading to deception and confusion among the brethren of believers. So what are we seeing? False prophets leading many astray, lawlessness increasing, and love for our fellow man growing cold. 

Did the Lord identify with Elijah, when He said, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!"? Today, we often find that Christians don't want a message that interferes with their comfort zone, or troubles their spirit, or challenges their belief system. We need the spirit of Elijah today! We need the true prophets who are willing to call out the false gods this world is bowing down to.  We need an Elijah willing to challenge and confront the false prophets and their empty promises. We need an Elijah to call the Church to account for compromising with the culture and beast system. We all need the spirit of Elijah in us to be bold to declare, "The Lord, He is God"!

It may seem as if we are alone; like Elijah, we may feel like most around us have abandoned this nation's covenant with God; that all our foundations have been torn away. God is no longer welcome in government, our schools, or the public square. He and His statutes are openly mocked by what seems like a growing mob of haters. It may feel like we are facing overwhelming odds. That's how Elijah felt. But God reminded him that he was not serving the Lord alone. In fact, God told Elijah there were 7,000 left in Israel that "had not bowed their knee to Baal nor kissed his mouth". 

I believe God is doing the same in our generation! There is a faithful remnant that echoes the 7,000 in ancient Israel. And it is up to us to discern the ones God has sent, and listen to their words in truth and spirit. We will know them by their fruit! The challenge will be to accept the ones God sends and reject those with messages that draw us away from Him. It will be tempting to listen to those who only preach what makes us feel good. That's the lesson to be learned from the people of Israel, who followed the false prophets of Baal, and rejected the Lord's prophet, Elijah. If we are true followers of Christ, we know the whole agenda ... it includes troubles, hardship, and persecution, BUT concludes with victory, eternal life, and glory to God in the highest! Again, let us be diligent to accept the ones God sends to us and resist "stoning" them if the messages seem uncomfortable. And if the Lord calls us to be His voice, we can be the Elijah, Daniel, and Jeremiah of the generation that sees the return of Jesus! Remember, the Lord was with Elijah the whole way, encouraged him, and provided his successor. May we all receive the same favor from our faithful God!

Luke 1:17     It is he who will go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers back to the children, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous [which is to seek and submit to the will of God]—in order to make ready a people [perfectly] prepared [spiritually and morally] for the Lord.”



July 8, 2021

Will We Christians Recognize God's Strong Delusion?


Those of us who are Christians with discerning hearts and spirits are aware that lawlessness is on growing/ There are spirits of anarchy, chaos, and rebellion that seem to have been given free reign over the land. And we are all aware that it won't be long before the Man of Lawlessness, as prophesied in the Bible, appears on the scene and is revealed. In 2 Thessalonians 2, we learn that this son of destruction will oppose the worship of any other god besides himself; and indeed, will exalt himself above the One True God, seating himself in the temple of God [in Jerusalem], and proclaiming himself to be God. We can take courage, though, because the Bible tells us that the appearance of this imposter is a sign that the Lord Jesus will soon appear and kill him with the breath of His mouth! 

But how has this blasphemous and profane man found his way upon the world stage? Again, the Bible gives us the answer ... "by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved." As Christians, we know that Satan has the ability to fool and deceive many into rejecting the salvation that Jesus offers. But surely that warning to "those who are perishing" can't apply to us who call ourselves saved and believers! Or can it? Remember, that Jesus, Himself, in Matthew, Chapter 24, refers to the prophecy of Daniel that there will be an abomination in the House of the Lord when a usurper stands in the Holy Place. This will be a future Man of Lawlessness who perverts the sanctity of God's House. Jesus goes on to warn that there will be great persecution against His followers, and "false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect." But how can that happen? How could people who consider themselves strong believers possibly be so deceived? We find the answer in 2 Thessalonians 2 ... "Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness."

Surely, that only refers to those who persistently reject Jesus as the Son of God, denying His redemptive death on the Cross for our sins and denying His resurrection to eternal life. But I would ask you to consider this ... again, I want to emphasize God's Immutable (Never-Changing) Nature. As tired as you may be of hearing it, He truly is the same as He was yesterday, is today, and will be tomorrow. So, we must recognize that God lets us know throughout the Bible that Judgment is part of His character and nature. The Book of Psalms is full of descriptors of His Judgment:  It is true; it is in all the earth; He has established His throne for Judgment; and He will most assuredly execute His Judgment.

But there is another topic that surrounds this theme of "Judgment", and it can be found in both the Old and New Testaments.  In Ezekiel, Chapter 9, God shows the prophet a vision of an effectual slaughter of the people of Israel for the abominations they have committed against Him.  Ezekiel sees God commanding an angel to put a mark on the foreheads of those who mourned over the sinfulness and kept themselves apart from it.  Then come the devastating words of the Lord: Utterly slay old men, young men, maidens, little children, and women, but do not touch any man on whom is the mark; and you shall start from My sanctuary. It is quite apparent that God's Judgment is swift and terrible, and His Judgment begins with His sanctuary. We, my friends, are His sanctuary today! We, as individuals and the corporate "Church" are His dwelling place on the earth. But soon, there will be a man who will arise, and being full of deception, he will perform great signs and wonders, so that he will be able to deceive even the elect -- if it is possible. 

How can it be possible to deceive the elect? Let's start with 1 Peter 4:17, which says, For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? Note that Peter says "for those who do not obey the gospel of God". Not "believe" but "obey" the gospel of God! First of all, the gospel of God includes all the good news of His nature, His character, His mercy, His love, and His laws. Can today's Church honestly say that they have obeyed His statues and His instruction to us? Have we followed His strict mandates for how He desires we worship, honor, and obey Him? Or have we followed our own hearts and compromised with the world so His House looks less like Him and more like what pleases us?

And has the modern church considered which gospel Peter is talking about? Is it the gospel of Salvation or the gospel of the Kingdom? Oh, we understand the gospel of Salvation pretty well and most of us will say we have obeyed its tenets. But remember, there are strong warnings to those who refused to "love the truth", thereby allowing themselves to be deceived and deluded. What is the truth? Yes, Jesus came to die for our sins, but He came for so much more! 

He came to re-establish His Father's kingdom on earth and to share the good news that the dominion of the earth could be ours again. Yes, His death gives us the choice to choose eternal life through faith in Him, but that salvation is just the first step. We cannot even see [or understand] what the Kingdom of God on earth is to be until we've been saved, and we cannot enter [or be a part of] the Kingdom [as citizens of heaven on earth] until we've been saved. Jesus, Himself, states that in John 3:1-5. Yet so much of "the Church" hasn't embraced and "loved this truth". Furthermore, we are commanded to take back dominion of the earth by healing the sick, casting out demons, raising the dead, and spreading the Gospel of the Kingdom to all earth's inhabitants. Those actions can [and should] be done by every Christian in order to defeat Satan's kingdom. 

We are not to simply receive our salvation and live out the rest of our lives waiting to die and go to Heaven! I believe our refusal to obey these commandments, once we have acknowledged their truth, are grounds for condemnation at the throne of God... "each one's work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire" (1 Corinthians 3:13-15). God desires more FOR us than our salvation. And He desires more FROM us -- that we enter His Kingdom, do all that He commands us on earth, and receive our inheritance in Heaven. That is the "bigger truth" of our faith.

So, back to this "strong delusion" from God. What might it look like? First, let's establish what the ancient writers would have meant by using that word delusion. It's interesting that in the Hebrew, the word can describe "a tyrant", which would certainly be indicative of the Man of Lawlessness. In the Greek, the word means fraudulent; a straying from orthodoxy or piety; wrong opinion; a forsaking of the right path (whether in doctrine or in morals); a wrong opinion or error in morals or religion. So, does the Bible give us any clues as to what this delusion could look like and how people could [and will] fall for it?  We just need to look to the Book of Revelation to see the vision...

This important and last Book of the Bible holds the key to answering our questions. It speaks in Chapters 12 and13 of several "players" in this great delusion. We have a dragon, who is Satan. And we see a beast, who was given the dragon's power, throne and authority. This is the Anti-Christ. We have another beast with two horns "like a lamb", who is the False Prophet. Hopefully, you are seeing that Satan is counterfeiting God's true hierarchy. Jesus, is of course the True Lamb, who shares in the Father's power, throne and authority. He was considered a great prophet in His day and proven to be the true Messiah. The beast, who is "like a lamb", will be a False Prophet [in the manner of John the Baptist}, who will be declared to be "like Elijah" [just as John was] and who is commissioned to make way for the appearance of the False Messiah [just as John made way for the true Messiah]. It is the False Prophet who will do great and miraculous signs and wonders [counterfeiting those of Jesus] and who will establish a one-world religion, with the objective of bringing about the crowning of the False Messiah. His call for a "universal church", blending all religions into one, will be a tempting message to those in the world who are tired of the persecution, strife and chaos that will be rife in the world. He will speak of "love" and "peace", which will be comforting words to ears that are desperate to hear them... especially Christians!

But we must not be deceived! We must hold fast to Jesus' warning that "false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. In fact, He tells us that many will fall away, betray one another, and hate one another.  And again, Satan will counterfeit God's moves. In Ezekiel 9, God placed a mark on the foreheads of those who remained righteous and followed His precepts, keeping themselves separate from those who followed evil. Satan will cause a mark to be placed on the right hand or the forehead of those willing to go along with the False Prophet's enticing agenda. And just like God, Satan will destroy those who do not have the mark.

I cannot stress enough how important it is that the Household of God be aware of what is coming! We cannot bury out heads in the sand and pretend that what the Bible prophesies will not happen. What is spoken of in Ezekiel, 1 Corinthians, 2 Thessalonians, and the Book of Revelation will take place! There will be a fiery test of the quality of one's faith.  In other words, there will be a process of judgment that leads to a decision [by God], resulting from His investigation.  Those who are sealed with the mark of true faith will be exempt from the Judgment. Make no mistake ... there is a Man of Lawlessness waiting in the wings, and there is a strong delusion coming from God to separate the truly righteous from the pretenders. I pray the foundation of your life has been laid with the fullness of Jesus's truth and Gospels. May the true Church expose the deception of the Enemy and guide the faithful through the delusion that will cause many to fall away from their faith. To God be the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory forever and ever! Amen! 

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1 Samuel 15:23    For rebellion is as [serious as] the sin of divination (fortune-telling), And disobedience is as [serious as] false religion and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He also has rejected you as king.”