Satan’s job is to destroy lives and the churches, to take as many people, including Christians, to hell with him. Satan looks for opportunities to sow division and strife among the brethren through the worldly carnality of its leaders and/or members. The Bible tells us ‘neither give place to the devil’ (Eph 4:27), and that Satan can ‘take us captive at his will’ if we give place to him (2Tim 2:26)! Here is an example of how Satan has infiltrated the churches causing strife and dissension among the members!
I have been following a blog site by a group of believers in Asia whose mega Christian church of several thousand members has been undergoing a major financial and spiritual battle for the last few years. Great controversy has arisen because the senior pastor, his associate pastors, board members and deacons have tried to force a very expensive- tens of millions of dollars, church building project upon many dissenting and unhappy members. Plans for building a world-class landmark church complex have not met with the consensus of its membership who have been pressured into funding the project through their tithes and sacrificial giving.
A blogsite by dissidents of this megachurch clearly shows how Satan has sneaked in and is destroying the church from within. The kingdom of God, which is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost (Rom14:17), has been replaced by suspicion, carnality, envying, strife, and division among its members. Fundraising and pleas for money- ‘give so God will bless you kinds of messages’, guilt-trips, have become common, and are subtle and rife. Ugly power struggles relating to money management issues and spendings are at the forefront.
The Bible declares ‘For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work’ (Jas 3:16).
This is a standard ploy of Satan working in many churches! The love of money, the root of all evil (1Tim6:10) is often the focal point of many church problems; how to raise more money, how to support the extravagant lifestyle and travels of the ministry and leadership, how to keep the church growing, and the people returning to church through worldly promotions and entertainment, high-powered guest speakers and televangelists, and how to keep the people giving!
Jesus said ‘My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves’ (Mt 21:13).
A few hundred of their members have been disfellowed or not allowed to vote because they do not support the building project. Many have left the church, and some are encouraging on the website that others should also leave. The question arises among themselves- why should they remain and hope that something will happen to halt the costly construction of the project running in the tens of millions. Some who have left the church continue to blog to report how they are blessed attending another church. Others hope that the pastor may repent, apologize and admit to his wrong doings, which does not appear likely to happen anytime soon. Collections have dropped drastically presenting great difficulties for the church to meet its huge loan payments, including thousands of dollars for monthly interest alone.
Some of their blogging has gotten pretty nasty; the tone is very ugly interspersed with some four-letter words and name-calling. There are constant demands that the pastors and leaders step down, trade in their luxury cars and downsize their standard of living, in the same way that they are calling their members to sacrifice in order for them to give more money!
Their worldly and intransigent pastor is said to once have had an anointed ministry, but now lives like a millionaire, following mammon instead of God, as one blogger writes. He is criticized for living like the rich and famous with $2,000 suits and $500 shoes, pocketing and using church money for his own and his family’s lifestyle. He also kept designated mission funds and transferred them into his own personal overseas account. After the impropriety had been discovered, to appease the members, he returned some money back into the church treasury. Many of the posts reflect angry and hurt people; venting and calling their pastor a false prophet, a swindler and embezzler of sorts, a charlatan and a wolf in sheep’s clothing misleading the dumb sheep. Others express concern of an inevitable bankruptcy down the road as in the recent case of the Crystal Cathedral in California.
This church is a prime example of the grave apostasy in many churches today, and it shows how Satan has made great inroads in causing church splits and disunity. Often many churches spend more time on crisis management than on seeking God for guidance and/or preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This church scandal is a poor testimony of Christians to the world, with comments from believers and non-believers alike coming from all over the world! Satan has succeeded in bringing reproach to the Church, and to Jesus Christ, making both of them a laughing stock!
Satan is doing a great job “to steal, kill, and destroy” (John 10:10).
Jer 23:1 states “Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD”.
Rev 18:4 warns us “..Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues”.
Jesus said “..except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3,5).
Finally, many of you may have listened to Pastor Rabbi Jonathan Cahn’s keynote address at the Presidential Inauguration Prayer Breakfast in Wash. D.C. or looked at the links on his book, The Harbinger. As a prophet and watchman to the church Cahn calls us to repent and return to God, as individuals and a nation that was founded on Godly principles. The message of 2 Chronicles 7:14 is a message to the church to get our act together! At the end of his speech, Jonathan Cahn implored us to be ‘the salt of the earth’ , and ‘the light of the world’ Mt5:13,14. We can do this by recognizing and fighting with the real enemy of our souls which is Satan!
‘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”