‘. . .many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.’
‘Then said Jesus unto the twelve, ‘Will ye also go away?’ (John 6:66-67)
‘And the Lord said. . . ‘when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?’ (Luke 18:6a, 8)
A FALLING AWAY IS COMING!
The apostle Paul wrote about the final days in 2 Thessalonians 2: 1-3
‘Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
A falling away of Christians from their faith is already here and will escalate until the return of Christ. There will be NO revival before the tribulation, though many pastors believe otherwise. The end time revival in the Bible refers to the saints in white robes that John saw in heaven, who were martyred and ‘came out of great tribulation’, the saints who did not worship and take the mark of the beast (Rev 7:13-14). Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible suggests this falling away group of 2Thess 2:1-3 are the fallen Christians who worshipped the beast, took his mark and their ‘names are not written in the book of life. . .’ (Rev 13:8).
Fallen away Christians abandon Biblical truths and accept a false gospel and/or forsake and renunciate their Christian faith. Many volumes of books have been written on the subject of the end time apostasy and sermons have been preached on this phenomenon taking place before our eyes. The falling away has been occurring in America and world-wide over the past decades and is escalating in our day. The Barna Group reports that churches in America and throughout the world are experiencing declining church membership. They say that although the majority (71 percent) of those polled in 2016 claim to be ‘Christian’, only one out of three is a ‘practicing Christian’ according to their criteria, which includes church attendance at least once a month. More and more churches are nearly empty and many are closing, shutting their doors and hanging a sign ‘Church Closed’ like in a vision I saw a few years ago.
Jesus is asking us the same two questions today and I believe the answers to these two questions will probably go like this:
‘Will you leave me also?’ ‘I sure hope not!’
‘Will I find faith on earth when I return?’ ‘I sure hope so!’
ARE YOU AT HIGH RISK FOR FORSAKING CHRIST AND FALLING AWAY?
A brief checklist of high risk Christians includes those who:
- Trust man’s teachings without knowing what is in God’s Word, the Holy Bible.
- Prefer mainly feel good sermons, but not sermons speaking against sin.
- Accept a church which adapts to the changing American culture and world views, but not stick with the Truth.
- Are comfortable with LGBT ministers preaching and/or LGBT musicians leading worship.
- Have little personal interest in reading/studying the Bible, and having a prayer life.
- Enjoy worldly church entertainment; ‘love the world and the things of the world’ (1 John 2:15).
DECEPTION AND IGNORANCE OF GOD’S WORD
In Matthew chapter 24:4, 5, 11, 24, Jesus warned that deception would abound before His coming. The deceivers are charismatic and smooth talking Bible teachers and prophets that move in our circles. They are among us as tares mixed in with the wheat, as goats among the sheep; they are wolves in sheep clothing. These false teachers will be teaching and preaching from our pulpits and will deceive many with false doctrines and turn many away from Biblical truths. Ignorance goes hand in hand with deception. Many will believe a lie because they have no knowledge of the Truth; if they knew the Truth then they would recognize the false. The armour of God in Eph 6:10-18 would serve no good purpose without knowledge of having a weapon and knowing how to use it. The ‘sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God’ (Eph 6:17) completes the whole armour needed to wield and put the enemy to flight. The only protection from deception and falling away from our faith is our knowledge of the scriptures that relate to our ‘blessed hope’, our salvation, and assurance that we will be ready to join Christ at His Coming.
‘Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needed not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.’ (2 Tim 2:15)
Since Jesus has not returned yet, there is still a chance to REPENT, RETURN, AND REMAIN with Him, but after He comes back as He promised He would, it will be too late to accept Him.
Please read more about Apostasy and Deception in the Church-
Barna Group research on churches
Please GOOGLE title- ‘Last Days Revival or End Time Apostasy’ Congregation Shima Yisrael, Oct. 11, 2012
Please GOOGLE title- ‘What is apostasy and how can I recognize it?’
Also go to blog TOP BAR
Please see TABS– DECEPTION HOT LINE, END TIMES TEACHING- Deception,
SHOFAR EBOOK- CHAPTER 7 Watchmen on the Wall https://heulu.wordpress.com/2012/11/06/repent-return-and-remain-with-god-shofar-ebook-chapter-7/
‘The Enemy in Our Midst‘ was written after ‘Sounding the Shofar- Exhortations for the End Times‘ was published in Jan. 2012. I will be posting mainly from an unpublished manuscript comprised of messages written to members of my Sounding the Shofar Facebook group, from late Feb. 2012, when we returned from a mission trip to the Philippines, until May 2012.
The purpose for these posts is the same as was my eBook:
“to emphasize the importance of the Word of God to help us in our faith walk- as we occupy and endure in these last days, while looking to the soon return of Jesus Christ.“
I wrote to give spiritual counsel to family members and friends and to provide basic Bible teachings on the strategies and devices of Satan, his role in the world, and how to be free from his influence and power.
The Facebook group was also and still is, a way for me to keep in touch with and exhort ministry friends in the Philippines of which many are Bible school students and young pastors. Many of the posts are written in journal form. They focus on Deception and Satan’s evil work in the world.
From ‘Sounding the Shofar- The Enemy in Our Midst’– to be shortened ‘STS- Enemy’ in future posts.
WARNING ON DECEPTION ( 3-5-2012)
We need to STUDY OUR BIBLES to know what is true and what is false. We are told to:
“STUDY to show yourself APPROVED unto God, a workman that NEEDED NOT TO BE ASHAMED, RIGHTLY dividing the word of truth.“ 2 Timothy 2:15
The ONLY way each of us will be approved by God is by studying His Word for ourselves, with the HOLY SPIRIT as our TEACHER. We need to have the Holy Spirit in us and with us to understand the teachings in the Bible and then be used of God. The disciples of Jesus were told not go forth to do ministry until they received power from the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:49).
I am encouraging you to STUDY so that you won’t be ashamed of not being able to recognize truth from error. Don’t believe everything you hear or read, even if it comes from a minister or big name evangelist. There are many wolves in sheep clothing masquerading as ministers and spiritual leaders. They are false shepherds, false teachers, and false Christs used by Satan to destroy the body of Christ, the Christian believers; and they are agents of Satan!
We are living in days of great deception, especially as we get closer and closer to the return of Christ. Isaiah 60:2 states that “darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people…” which can be interpreted as a time of spiritual darkness, a time when ignorance and/or rejection of God’s Word is worldwide, and a time of evil and wickedness prevalent in the land and among the people. This prophecy describes the conditions prior to the coming of the Lord and the Millennial kingdom.
So what is this ‘great deception’? It is about not knowing what deception is all about and where it’s coming from! Most people who are deceived don’t know that they are deceived. They may think they know the truth, but unknowingly believe a lie. They are ignorant of the Word of God and/or misinterpret the scriptures, and mislead other Christians. A good many are deceiving others, thinking that they are warning of deception, when they are themselves deceived! 2 Timothy 3:13 states;
“But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse deceiving, and being deceived.“ (KJV)
“But wicked men and imposters will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and leading astray others and being deceived and led astray themselves.” (AMP)
DECEPTION is the main sign of the end times Jesus spoke about in Matthew 24. In fact, in my Bible, the title for that chapter is ‘Signs of Christ’s Coming‘.
When Jesus was asked in Mt 24:3, “when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?“ He said,
“Take heed that no man DECEIVE you.“
The word “DECEIVE” is mentioned 4 times in chapter 24, about the signs of His Coming. See Mt 24:4, 5, 11, 24. There are also references to deception in Mark 13:5, 6, 22 and Luke 21:8, the end time chapters in the gospels. I believe the great deception today is that the teachings of many false teachers on the signs of the last days, the return of Jesus Christ and the end of the world do not line up with the Word of God. These are days of great deception over the answers to the very same questions asked by the disciples of Christ long ago.
It is important that we know how to interpret the scriptures regarding the end times because this will determine whether or not we will be prepared ‘for the coming of Jesus Christ and for end of the world‘. Therefore, we need to diligently study the Word for ourselves that we will not be deceived. WE must STUDY the scriptures, search out answers for ourselves that we “needeth not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
We must be careful not to follow after any man’s doctrines and personal interpretation of the Word of God, but seek the witness of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth. (John 15:26; 16:13)
“.. no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (2 Pe 1:20-21)
Before going into our study, here is something you should watch:
Look for SHOCKING VIDEO “Nigeria’s Millionaire Preachers”