GJiGT Unabridged Version of War on the Saints
CHAPTER 1 ---- A Biblical Survey of Satanic Deception.
Truth of every kind makes free. Lies bind up in bonds. Ignorance also binds up, because it gives ground to Satan. Man's ignorance is a primary and essential condition for deception by evil spirits. The ignorance of the people of God concerning the powers of darkness, has made it easy for the devil to carry out his work as deceiver. Unfallen man in his pure state was not perfect in knowledge. Eve was ignorant of "good and evil," and her ignorance was a condition which lent itself to the deception of the serpent.
The devil's great purpose is to keep the world in ignorance of himself, his ways, and his colleagues. He fights to maintain ignorance of himself and his ways. Today the Church is taking sides with him when siding with ignorance about him. Every man should keep an attitude of openness to all truth. We should shun the false knowledge. Examples of false knowledge are TV, Mass Media, Newspapers, and even sadly best selling Christian pre-trib la la land books. False knowledge has slain its tens of thousands, and kept the nations in the deception of the devil.
A SPECIAL ONSLAUGHT OF DECEIVING SPIRITS ON THE CHURCH
Today there is a special onslaught of deceiving spirits upon the Body of Messiah. We are watching the fulfillment of the prophecy which the Holy Spirit expressly made known to the Church through the Apostle Paul, about the great apostasies. The great apostasy is not the rapture as most churches teach. It is the great falling away from the truth. 2 Th 2:3 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; FALLING AWAY = The Greek word is 646. apostasia, ap-os-tas-ee'-ah; fem. of the same as G647; defection from truth (prop. the state) ["apostasy"]:--falling away, forsake. Most churches and prophecy book writers call this the rapture. It is that great deceptive onslaught, the great apostasy, that we are told would take place in the "later times." Since the utterance of the prophecy, more than eighteen hundred years have passed by, but the special manifestation of evil spirits in the deception of believers today, points unmistakably to the fact that we are at the close of the age.
The peril of the church in these last days is foreshown to be especially from the supernatural realm. Satan would send forth an army of teaching spirits. These are the false teachers that Yeshua told us will fill all the pulpits and airwaves in the last days. Welcome to the War on the Saints. The false teachers would deceive all who would be open to teachings by spiritual revelation, and thus draw them away unwittingly from full allegiance to God.
Yet in face of this plain forecast of the peril in later times, we find the Church in almost entire ignorance of the workings of this army of evil spirits. The majority of believers too readily accept everything "supernatural" as of God, and supernatural experiences are indiscriminately accepted because all such experiences are thought to be Divine.
Through lack of knowledge, the majority of even the most spiritual people, do not carry out a full and perpetual war upon this army of wicked spirits. I would even have given up except for Matt 5:11-12. Many are shrinking from the subject, and the call to war against them. Many cop out saying that if Christ is preached it is not necessary to give prominence to the existence of the devil, nor to enter into direct conflict with him, and his hosts.
Yet large numbers of the children of God are becoming a prey to the enemy for lack of this very knowledge, and through the silence of teachers on this vital truth, the Body of Messiah is passing on into the peril of the closing days of the age. There are 98 out of 100 Christians who are unprepared to meet the onslaught of the foe. We can see the scriptures, but how many even know the value of the Authorized English scriptures. How many actually read the KJV every day? The warnings in scripture are plainly given. We see the already manifest influx of the evil hosts of Satan among the children of God. We don't just have many signs of the last days, we have them all. GJiGT readers know the identity of the antichrist even if the great self proclaimed prophets don't have a clue. All believers should welcome such knowledge about the powers of darkness. Knowing about the powers of darkness will enable them to pass through the fiery trial of these days, without being ensnared by the foe.
Apart from such knowledge, when thinking he is "fighting for truth," it is possible for a believer to fight for, defend, and protect evil spirits, and their works. It is easy for the churchman in these days of strong delusion to believe he is "defending" God, and His works. If he thinks a thing Divine, he will protect and stand for it. It is possible for a man through ignorance to stand against God and to attack the very truth of God, and also defend the devil, and oppose God, unless he has knowledge. The only sure place to get that knowledge is the Authorized scriptures.
KNOWLEDGE GAINED BY LETTER OF SCRIPTURE, AND BY EXPERIENCE
The Bible throws much light upon the Satanic powers. All who search the Scriptures with open minds will find knowledge of the devil and his workings. But these will not obtain as much knowledge of the subject from the sacred record, as will those who have understanding by experience, interpreted by the Holy Spirit, and shown to be in line with the truth of the Word of God. The believer may have a direct witness in his spirit to the truth of the Divine Word, but through experience he gets a personal witness to the inspiration of Scripture, to its testimony concerning the existence of supernatural beings, and their works, and the way they deceive, and mislead the children of men.
THE WORK OF SATAN AS DECEIVER IN THE GARDEN OF EDEN
The Bible contains much on the subject of the supernatural powers of evil. From Genesis to Revelation the work of Satan as deceiver of the whole inhabited earth can be traced. Finally the climax is reached, and the full results of the deception in the Garden of Eden are unveiled in the Revelation. In Genesis we have the simple story of the garden, with the sinless pair unaware of danger from evil beings in the unseen world. We find recorded there Satan's first work as deceiver, and the subtle form of his method of deception. We see him working upon an innocent creature's highest and purest desires. He hides his own purpose of ruin. Even today he still hides under the guise of seeking to lead a human being nearer to God. We see him using the God-ward desires of Eve to bring about captivity, and bondage to himself. We see him using "good" to bring about evil; suggesting evil to bring about supposed good. Caught with the bait of being "wise," and "like God," Eve is blinded to the principle involved in obedience to God, and is deceived (1 Tim. 2: 14.).
Goodness is, therefore, no guarantee of protection from deception. The keenest way in which the devil deceives the world, and the Church, is when he comes in the guise of somebody, or something, which apparently causes them to go God-ward and good-ward. He said to Eve, "ye shall be as gods," but he did not say, "and ye shall be like demons." Angels and men only knew evil when they fell into a state of evil. Satan did not tell Eve this, when he added "knowing good and evil." His true objective in deceiving Eve was to get her to disobey God. That is just like the church today that does away with the 10 commandments, especially the 4th one. His lie was, "ye shall be like God." Had she used the intelligence that God gave her, she would have seen that the deceiver's suggestion exposed itself. Satan's lie was easily seen to be "disobey God" to be more like God! He that doeth righteousness is righteous. Jesus said, If you love me, keep my commandments. Obedience is better than sacrifice. Using the intelligence that God gave to Eve, she could have seen the lie. Worse yet, Adam was passive, he was right there, and failed to take authority over both Satan and Eve. Satan's lie was easily seen to be "disobey God" to be more like God! Just like the church today that calls keeping God's commandments legalism.
THE CURSE OF GOD PRONOUNCED UPON THE DECEIVER
That a highly organized monarchy of evil spirit-beings was in existence, is not made known in the story of the garden. Only a "serpent" is there. But the serpent is spoken to by God as an intelligent being. He carried out a deliberate purpose in the deception of the woman. The serpent-disguise of Satan is swept aside by Yahweh. He makes known the decision of the Triune God in view of the catastrophe which had taken place. A "Seed" of the deceived woman, should eventually bruise the head of the supernatural being. Satan had used the form of the serpent to carry out his plan. Since then the name of serpent is attached to him. The very name throughout the ages describing the climax action of his revolt against his Creator, in beguiling and deceiving the woman in Eden, and blasting the human race.
Satan triumphed, but God overruled. The victim is made the vehicle for the advent of a Victor, who should ultimately destroy the works of the devil, and cleanse the heavens and the earth from every trace of the devil's handiwork. The serpent is cursed, but, in effect, the beguiled victim is blest, for through her will come the "Seed" which will triumph over the devil and his seed. Through her will arise a new race through the promised Seed (Gen. 3:15). This promised Seed of Woman, which will be antagonistic to the serpent to the end of time, through the enmity implanted by God. The story of the ages consists of the record of a war between these two seeds; the Seed of the woman--Messiah and His redeemed --and the seed of the devil (See John 8: 44; 1 John 3: 10), right on to the final committal of Satan to the lake of fire.
Since then it is also war by Satan upon the womanhood of the world. In malignant revenge for the verdict of the garden Satan still attacks women. War by the trampling down of women in all lands where the deceiver reigns. War upon women in Christian lands because men remain passive and fail to take authority. Satan continues his Eden method of misinterpreting the Word of God. Satan's work on women is seen in the women who aspire to teach regardless of the scriptures prohibiting such aspirations. Satan puts into men's minds throughout all succeeding ages, that God pronounced a "curse" upon the woman. The truth is that she was pardoned and blessed. It is he who failed to take authority and committed the greater sin in his passivity. Satan leads men of the fallen race to carry out the supposed curse. In truth a curse is on the deceiver, and not the deceived one (Gen. 3:14).
"I will put enmity between thee and the woman," said God, as well as between "thy seed and her seed." This vindictive enmity of the demonic host of evil to woman, and to believers, has not lessened in its intensity from that day.
SATAN AS DECEIVER IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
We should clearly understand the existence of an unseen host of evil spirit-beings. These demons are all actively engaged in deceiving and misleading men. Then the Old Testament history will show us an open vision of their doings, that is otherwise hidden from our knowledge. We can trace their operations in relation to the servants of God throughout all history. We can discern the work of Satan as deceiver penetrating everywhere. We shall see that David was deceived by Satan into numbering Israel, because he failed to recognize the suggestion to his mind as from a Satanic source (1 Chron. 21: 1).
Job also was deceived, and the messengers that came to him, when he believed the report that the "fire" which had fallen from heaven was from God (Job. 1: 16). Job was deceived by all the other calamities which befell him in the loss of wealth, home and children. He was deceived when he believed they came directly from the hand of God. In the early part of the book of Job it clearly shows that Satan was the primary cause of all his troubles. As the prince of the power of the air, Satan used the elements of nature, and the wickedness of men, to afflict the servant of God. Satan's plan was that ultimately he could force Job into renouncing his faith in God, Who seemed to be unjustly punishing him without cause. That this was Satan's aim is suggested in the words of Job's wife, who became a tool for the Adversary, in urging the suffering man to "curse God and die." She had also been deceived by the enemy into believing that God was the primary cause of all the trouble and the unmerited suffering which had come upon Job.
In the history of Israel during the time of Moses, the veil is lifted more clearly from the Satanic powers. There we are shown the condition of the world as sunk in idolatry. This was the direct work of Satan. (1 Cor. 10:20) Through actual dealing with evil spirits, the whole inhabited earth was in a state of deception, and held by the deceiver in his power. We also find many of God's own people, through contact with others under Satanic power, deceived into communicating with "familiar spirits," and into the using of "divination," and other kindred arts. These are forbidden powers of darkness. They were put in bondage, even though they knew the laws of God. They had even seen His manifested judgments among them. (See Lev. 17: 7, "satyrs"; 19: 31; 20: 6, 27; Deut. 18: 10, 11).
In the book of Daniel, we find a still further stage of revelation reached concerning the hierarchy of evil powers. In the tenth chapter we are shown the existence of the princes of Satan, actively opposing the messenger of God sent to Daniel to make His servant understand His counsels for His people. There are also other references to the workings of Satan, his princes, and the hosts of wicked spirits, carrying out his will, scattered throughout the Old Testament. Most of their work is veiled, until the great hour arrives. Then the "Seed" of the woman, who was to bruise the head of the serpent, is manifested on earth in human form (Gal. 4: 4).
SATAN AS DECEIVER UNVEILED IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
With the advent of Messiah, the veil which had hidden the active workings of the supernatural powers of evil, since the garden catastrophe, is still further removed. Their deception and power over man is clearly revealed. The arch-deceiver himself appears in the wilderness conflict of the Lord, to challenge the "Seed of the woman." The wilderness of Judea, and the Garden of Eden, witness the testing of the first and second Adam. In both conflicts, Satan worked as Deceiver. In the conflict with the second Adam, he totally failed to deceive, and beguile the One who had come as his Conqueror.
Traces of the characteristic work of Satan as deceiver can be discerned among the disciples of the Messiah. He deceives Peter into speaking words of temptation to the Lord, suggesting His turning from the path of the Cross (Matt. 16: 22- 23), and later on takes hold of the same disciple in the Judgment Hall (Luke 22: 31), prompting him to the lie, "I know not the Man," with the very purpose of deception (Matt. 26: 74). Further traces of the work of the deceiver may be seen in the epistles of Paul, in his references to the "false apostles," "deceitful workers," and Satan's workings as an "angel of light," and "his ministers as ministers of righteousness" among the people of God (2 Cor. 11: 13-15). In the messages to the Churches, given in the Revelation, false apostles are spoken of, and false teachings of many kinds. A "synagogue of Satan" (Rev. 2: 9), consisting of deceived ones, is mentioned, and "deep things of Satan" are described as existing in the Church (Rev. 2: 24).
THE FULL REVELATION OF THE DECEIVER IN THE REVELATION
Then the veil is lifted at last. The full revelation of the Satanic confederacy against God and His Messiah, is given to the Apostle John. After the messages to the Churches, the world-wide work of the deceiver prince is fully disclosed to the Apostle. John is told to write all that he is shown, that the Church of Messiah might know the full meaning of the War with Satan. The redeemed would be engaged in war, right on to the time when the Lord Jesus would be revealed from heaven, in judgment. Until the Lord returns at the end to bring judgment upon these vast, and terrible powers, full of cunning malignity, and hatred to His people, the SAINTS will be at war. Welcome to War on the Saints. The war rages. The demonic host of Lucifer is behind the new world order of the antichrist prince to emerge from the chaos of WWIII. Satan is truly at work behind the world of men, from the days of the garden story to the end. The end is not 7 years before the end. The end is not 3.5 years before the end. The saints must war and endure to the end. (Matt 24:13)
Revelation tells us it is important to remember that the organized forces of Satan were in existence at the time of the Fall of Eden. They were only partially revealed to the people of God until the advent of the promised "Seed of the woman" Who was to bruise the serpent's head. When the fulness of time had come, God manifest in the flesh met the fallen arch-angel, and leader of the evil angelic host, in mortal combat at Calvary. He put them to open shame, shook off from Himself the vast masses of the hosts of darkness who gathered around the Cross, from the furthermost realms of the kingdom of Satan (Col. 2: 15).
The Scriptures teach us that God's unveilings of the truths concerning Himself, and all the things in the spiritual realm which we need to know, are always timed by Him to the strength of His people. The full revelation of the Satanic powers disclosed in the Revelation was not given to the Church in its beginning. It was some forty years after the Lord's ascension before the Book of the Revelation was written. Possibly it was necessary, that the Church of Messiah should first fully apprehend the fundamental truths revealed to Paul, and the other Apostles, before she could safely be shown the extent of the war with supernatural powers of evil upon which she had entered.
THE LAST OF THE APOSTLES CHOSEN TO TRANSMIT THE REVELATION
Whatever the reason of the delay, it is striking that it was the last of the Apostles who was chosen to transmit, at the very end of his life, the full war- message to the Church, which would serve as a foreshadowing of the campaign until its close.
In the Revelation given to John, the name and character of the deceiver is more clearly made known. We are told the strength of his forces, and the extent of the war, and its final issues. It is shown that in the invisible realm there is war between the forces of evil, and the forces of light. John says that "the dragon warred, and his angels . . , " the dragon being explicitly described as the "serpent" from his guise in Eden--"called the Devil and Satan," the deceiver of the whole inhabited earth. His worldwide work as deceiver is fully revealed. We see the great final war in the earth realm caused by his deceiving of the nations, and the world-powers acting under his instigation and rule. The highly organized confederacy of principalities and powers, acknowledging the headship of Satan, is disclosed, and their "authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation." They are all deceived by the supernatural and invisible forces of evil, and making "war with the saints" (Rev. 13: 7).
WORLD-WIDE DECEPTION DISCLOSED IN THE REVELATION
War is the keyword of the Revelation. Not rapture, it is war on the saints. War on a scale undreamed of by mortal man. There is war between vast angelic powers of light and darkness. There is war by the dragon, and the deceived world-powers upon the saints. There is war by the same world-powers against the Lamb. There is war by the dragon upon the Church. There is war in many phases and forms, until the end. If you are a saint it is war to the end. It is war to the end when the Lamb overcomes, and they also overcome who are with Him, called and chosen and faithful (Rev. 17: 14).
The world is now very near to the "time of the end," characterized by the deception depicted in the Revelation as being world-wide. We now see the deception of nations, and individuals, on such a vast scale that the deceiver will practically have the whole earth under his control. The antichrist prince has been in control for over 2 years. More Christians have been martyred in the last 2 years than in all previous history. The rapture is immediately AFTER the tribulation (Matt 24:29-31). Before this climax is reached there will be preliminary stages of the deceiver's working. We can see the widespread deception of individuals, both within and without the Church, beyond the ordinary condition of deception in which the unregenerate world is lying.
To understand why the deceiver will be able to produce the world-wide deception depicted in the Revelation, which will permit the supernatural powers to carry out their will, and drive nations and men into active rebellion against God, we need clearly to grasp what the Scriptures say about unregenerate men in their normal condition, and the world in its fallen state.
Satan, or Lucifer, is described in the Revelation as the deceiver of the whole earth. He has been so from the beginning. "The whole world lieth in wickedness." The whole world lieth in the evil one (1 John 5: 19). That describes the world as we see it today. The world already is lying deep in darkness through the deception of the evil one. The world is being blindly led by the antichrist prince and through vast evil spirit hosts under his control.
THE WORD "DECEIVED" THE DESCRIPTION OF EVERY UNREGENERATE MAN
The word "deceived" is, according to the Scripture, the description of every unregenerate human being. It makes no difference of persons, race, culture, or sex. "We also were . . . deceived" (Titus 3: 3), said Paul the Apostle. Although in his "deceived" condition, he was a religious man, walking according to the righteousness of the law, blameless (Phil. 3: 6).
Every unregenerate man first of all is deceived by his own deceitful heart (Jer. 17: 9; Isa. 44: 20), and deceived by sin (Heb. 3:13). The god of this world adds the "blinding of the mind" lest the light of the gospel of Messiah should dispel the darkness (2 Cor. 4: 4). And the deception of the evil one does not end when the regenerating life of God reaches the man. The blinding of the mind is only removed just so far as the deceptive lies of Satan are dislodged by the light of truth. That is why you must love the truth more than your church. You must love the truth more than your doctrine or theology.
Even though the heart is renewed, and the will has turned to God, there remains the deeply ingrained disposition to self-deception. There remains the presence, in some measure, of the blinding power of the deceiver on the mind. You can see it discloses itself in many forms, as the following statements from Scripture show :--
The man is deceived if he is a hearer, and not a doer of the Word of God (Jas. 1: 22).
He is deceived if he says he has no sin (1 John 1: 8).
He is deceived when he thinks himself to be "something" when he is nothing (Gal. 6: 3).
He is deceived when he thinks himself to be wise with the wisdom of this world. (1 Cor. 3: 18).
He is deceived by seeming to be religious, when an unbridled tongue reveals his true condition (Jas. 1: 26).
is deceived, if he thinks he will sow, and not reap what he sows
(Gal. 6: 7).
He is deceived, if he thinks the unrighteous will inherit the kingdom of God (1 Cor. 6: 9).
He is deceived , if he thinks that contact with sin will not have its effect upon him. (1 Cor. 15: 33)
Deceived! How the word repels. How involuntarily every human being resents it being applied to himself. You must know that the very repulsion is the work of the deceiver. That is a work of the devil for the purpose of keeping the deceived ones from knowing the truth, and being set free from deception. Men can be so easily deceived by the deception arising from their own fallen nature. The forces of Satan eagerly seek to add to it and not diminish it by one iota. They work with demonic frenzy to keep men in bondage to the vanity of the old creation. The vanity of unregenerate man allows many forms of self-deception. Vanity enables demons more readily to carry on their deceiving work. Their methods of deception are old and new. The deceptions are adapted to suit the nature, state, and circumstances of the victim. The deceiving spirits are motivated by hatred, malice, and bitter ill-will towards mankind and all goodness. The emissaries of Satan do not fail to execute their plans. We should have such perseverance if we want to reach our goal.
SATAN THE DECEIVER ALSO OF THE CHILDREN OF GOD
The arch-deceiver is not only the deceiver of the whole unregenerate world, but of the children of God in particular. This is the difference, that in the deception he seeks to practise upon the saints, he changes his tactics, and works with his best strategy, in wiles of error, and deception concerning the things of God (Matt. 24: 24; 2 Cor. 11: 3, 13, 14, 15).
The chief weapon which the deceiver-prince of darkness relies upon to keep the world in his power, is deception, and deception planned to beguile men at every stage of life; deception (1) of the unregenerate who are already deceived by sin; (2) deception suited to the carnal Christian; (3) and deception fitted to the spiritual believer, who has passed out of the preceding stages into a realm where he will be open to meet more subtle wiles. Let the deception be removed which holds the man in the earlier days of his unregenerate condition. Let him stop sinning and keep and do the commandments. Let him grow out of the stage of the carnal Christian life. Yet when he emerges into the heavenly places, described by Paul in the Epistle to the Ephesians, he will find himself in the very keenest workings of the wiles of the deceiver. It is in the spiritual realms where the deceiving spirits are actively at work attacking those who are united to the risen Lord.
THE DECEPTION PERIL OF THE LAST DAYS OF THE AGE
In the Revelation, we have the full unveiling of the Satanic confederacy in widespread control of the whole earth. It is now in full force today. The war on the saints rages covertly and overtly over the whole earth. The work of the deceiver among the foremost saints of God is especially depicted in Ephesians 6: 10-18. Here we have the veil drawn aside from the Satanic powers, showing their war upon the Church of God. Here we see the individual believer's armour and weapons for conquering the foe. Here we learn that in the plane of the believer's highest experience of union with the Lord, and in the "high places" of the spiritual maturity of the Church, will the sharpest and closest battle be fought with the deceiver and his hosts.
As the Body of Messiah in the last days is, by the inworking power of the Holy Spirit, being matured for great battle, the full force of the deceiver and his hosts of lying spirits will be directed upon the living members of the Body of Christ. A glimpse into this onslaught of deceiving spirits upon the people of God in the close of the age, is given in the Gospel of Matthew, where the Lord uses the word deceived in describing some of the special marks of the latter days. He said: Mat 24:4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. Mat 24:5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. Mat 24:11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. Mat 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
DECEPTION IN CONNECTION WITH THE SUPERNATURAL REALM
The special form of deception is said also to be in connection with spiritual, and not worldly, things. The people of God, at the time of the end, will be expecting the coming of the Lord. They should be keenly awake to all movements from the supernatural world. This in itself provides an opportunity that deceiving spirits will be able to take advantage. There will be many counterfeit signs and wonders. There will be appearing "false Christs" and false signs and wonders. We should be alert to a mix of their counterfeits with the true manifestations of the Spirit of God. The Lord says that men will be deceived (1) concerning Christ and His parousia--or Coming; (2) concerning prophecy--or teaching from the spiritual world through inspired messengers; and (3) concerning the giving of proofs of the "teachings" being truly of God, by "signs" and "wonders" so Godlike. Therefore expect almost exact counterfeit of the working of God. These demonic signs may be almost indistinguishable from the true by those described as His "elect." We need to possess some other test than the judging by appearances of a "sign" being from God. Otherwise we will not be able to discern the false from the true.
The Apostle Paul's words to Timothy, contain the special prophecy given to him by the Holy Spirit for the Body of Messiah in the last days. They exactly coincide with the words of the Lord recorded by Matthew.
The two letters of Paul to Timothy are the last epistles that he wrote. Both were written in prison. Paul's prison was to him what Patmos was to John, when he was "in spirit" (Rev. 1: 10) shown things to come. Paul was giving his last directions to Timothy for the ordering of the Church of God, right on to the end of her time on earth. He was giving "rules to guide," not only Timothy, but all God's servants, "in dealing with God's household." Paul's keen seer's vision looks on to the "later times." By express command of the Spirit of God, he depicts in a few brief sentences, the peril of the Church in these last days. We can understand these things so clearly because we have seen the fulfillment of the prophecy right before our eyes in these last days. They have come come to pass.
The Apostle said: "1 Tim 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
1 Tim 4:2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
PAUL'S STATEMENTS TO TIMOTHY SHOWS THE CAUSE OF THE PERIL
Paul's prophetic statement appears to be all that is foretold in specific words about the Church, and its history, in the last days. The Lord spoke in general terms about the dangers which would encompass His people at the time of the end. Paul wrote to the Thessalonians more fully about the apostasy, and the wicked deceptions of the Lawless one in the last days. But writings to Timothy explicitly shows the special cause of the peril of the Church in the last days. Wicked spirits of Satan would break in upon her members, and by deception beguile some away from their purity of faith in Messiah.
The Holy Spirit, in the brief message given to Paul, describes the character and work of the evil spirits, recognizing (1) their existence, (2) their efforts directed towards believers, to deceive them, and by deception draw them away from the path of simple faith in Christ, and all that is included in the "faith once for all delivered unto the saints" (Jude 3).
That the character of the spirits is described in 1 Tim. 4: 1-3, and not the men they somtimes use in the work of deception, should be understood.
Look Closely at some of the conditions of the last day church and its false teachers and deceiving spirits:
1 Tim 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
1 Tim 4:2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
1 Tim 4:3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.
1 Tim 6:3 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;
1 Tim 6:4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,
1 Tim 6:5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.
Do you see that command of the Lord in 1 Tim 6:5? Prosperity gospel is the height of religious reprobation. When they suppose that gain is godliness, the comand of the Lord is "From such withdraw thyself."
2 Tim 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 Tim 3:2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
2 Tim 3:3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
2 Tim 3:4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
2 Tim 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
2 Tim 3:6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
2 Tim 3:7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
2 Tim 3:8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.
2 Tim 3:9 But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.
Did you see the command of the Lord in 2 Tim 3:5?
Do you see Toronto and Pensacola in 2 Tim 3:8?
The peril of the Church at the close of the age, is therefore from supernatural beings who are "hypocrites." They pretend to be what they are not. They give "teachings" which appear to make for greater holiness, by producing ascetic severity to the "flesh," but who themselves are wicked and unclean. They bring in to those they deceive the foulness of their own presence. Where they deceive they gain possession. The deceived believer thinks he is more "holy," and more "sanctified," and more delivered from the desires of the flesh. These hypocritical spirits defile the deceived one by their presence. They use the cover of sanctity to hold their ground, and hide their workings.
THE PERIL OF DECEIVING SPIRITS AFFECTS EVERY CHILD OF GOD
The peril concerns every child of God. No spiritual believer dare say he is exempt from peril. The prophecy of the Holy Spirit declares, that (1) "some" shall fall away from the faith; (2) the reason for the fall will be a giving heed to deceiving spirits. The evil nature of their working is not known to be evil. The false teachers use deception, which is a covered working. The essence of deception is that the operation is looked upon as sincere and pure. (3) The nature of the deception will be in doctrines of demons. The deception will be in a doctrinal sphere. (4) The way of deception will be that the "doctrines" are delivered with "hypocrisy," spoken as if true. (5) Two instances of the effect of these evil spirit doctrines are given: (a) the forbidding of marriage, and (b) abstaining from meats; both, said Paul "created by God," Therefore their teaching is marked by opposition to God, even in His work as Creator.
THE SATANIC FORCES DESCRIBED IN EPHES. 6
Demonic "doctrines" have been generally tabulated as either belonging to the Church of Rome, because of the two marked results of demon teaching mentioned by Paul, which characterized that Church. They may also be the protestant daughter whore churches of the last days which follow the great whore. Have you been a member or visitor in one of these churches which omits of the fact of sin, and the need of the atoning sacrifice of Christ, and a Divine Saviour.
But there is a vast realm of doctrinal deception by deceiving spirits, penetrating, the Body of Messiah. Evil spirits, in more or less degree, influence the lives even of Christian men, and bring them under their power. Believers united to the Risen Christ meet "spiritual wickedness" in "heavenly places." For the Satanic forces described in Eph. 6: 12, are shown to be divided into (1) "Principalities"--force and dominion dealing with nations and governments; (2) "Powers"--having authority and power of action in all the spheres open to them; (3)" World- rulers"--governing the darkness, and blindness of the world at large; (4) "Wicked spirits" in the heavenly places--their forces being directed in, and upon the Church of Jesus Christ, in "wiles," "fiery darts," onslaughts, and every conceivable deception over "doctrines" which they are capable of planning.
The peril of the household of God is therefore not of a few, but all, for obviously none can "fall away from the faith" but those who are actually in the faith to begin with. The peril is from an army of teaching spirits poured forth by Satan upon all who would be open to "teachings" from the spiritual world, and through ignorance of such a danger, be unable to detect the wiles of the enemy.
The peril assails the Church from the supernatural world, and comes from supernatural spirit-beings who are persons (Mark 1: 25) with intelligent power of planning (Matt. 12: 44, 45), with strategy (Eph. 6: 11) the deception of those who "give heed" to them.
The peril is supernatural. And those who are in peril are the spiritual children of God. They may not be beguiled by the world or the flesh, but they are open to all they can learn of "spiritual" things. With sincere longing to be more "spiritual" and more advanced in the knowledge of God, they can easily be deceived if they do not know the KJV cover to cover. I would say that if you have not read the KJV cover to cover, at least 3 times, get off the net and get your nose in the Authorized scriptures where you belong. That is where you find the truth to set you free and keep you free from deception of false teachers. Deception by doctrines does not concern the world so much as the Church. Evil spirits would not urge spiritual Christians to open sin, such as murder, drink, gambling, etc.. They would plan deception in the form of "teaching" and "doctrines." Most believers do not know that deception on "teaching" and "doctrines" gives admission to evil spirits to "possess" the deceived one, as much as through sin.
HOW THE EVIL SPIRITS DECEIVE BY "DOCTRINES"
How the evil spirits as teachers get men to receive their teachings, may be summed up in three specific ways: (1) By giving their doctrines, or teachings, as spiritual revelations, to those who accept everything supernatural as Divine because [it is] supernatural. Many who are unaccustomed to the spiritual realm, will accept all that is "supernatural" as from God. This form of "teaching" is direct to the person; in "flashes" of light on a text, "revelations" by visions of Christ, or streams of texts apparently from the Holy Spirit. (2) By mixing their "teachings" with the man's own reasonings, so that he thinks he has come to his own conclusions. The teachings of the deceiving spirits in this form are so natural in appearance, that they seem to come from the man himself, as the fruit of his own mind, and reasoning. They counterfeit the working of the human brain, and inject thoughts and suggestions into the human mind. They can directly communicate with the mind, apart from gaining possession (in any degree) of the mind or body.
Those who are thus deceived, believe that they have come to their own conclusions, by their own reasonings. They are ignorant that the deceiving spirits have incited them to "reason" without sufficient data, or on a wrong premise. That is how they come to false conclusions. The teaching spirit has achieved his own end by putting a lie in the man's mind, through false reasoning.
(3) By the indirect means of deceived human teachers, supposed to be conveying undiluted Divine "truth," and implicitly believed because of a godly life and character. It will be said, "He is a good man, and a holy man, and I believe him." The life of the man is taken as a sufficient guarantee for his teaching, instead of judging the " teaching" by the Scriptures, apart from his personal character. This has its foundation in the prevalent idea that everything that Satan and his evil spirits do is manifestly evil. We must understand the truth often work under cover of light (2 Cor. 11: 14). If the demon deceiver can get a "good man" to accept some idea from them, and pass it on as "truth," he is a better instrument for deceptive purposes than a bad man who would not be believed.
FALSE AND DECEIVED TEACHERS
There is a difference between "false" teachers, and deceived ones. There are many deceived ones amongst the most devoted teachers today, because they do not recognize that an army of teaching spirits have come forth to deceive the people of God. The special peril of the spiritual section of the Body of Messiah lies in the supernatural realm. This is where the deceiving spirits with "teachings" are whispering their lies to all who are "spiritual," and open to spiritual things. The "teaching spirits" with "doctrines" will make special effort to deceive those who have to transmit "doctrine." They seek to mingle their "teachings" with truth, so as to get them accepted. Every believer must test all teachers today, for himself, by the Word of God, and their attitude to the atoning Cross of Messiah, and other fundamental truths of the gospel. Do not be misled into testing "teaching" by the character of the teacher. Good men can be deceived, and Satan needs good men to float his lies under the guise of truth.
THE EFFECT ON THE CONSCIENCE OF THE TEACHINGS BY EVIL SPIRITS
How teaching spirits teach, we find described by Paul, for he says they speak lies in hypocrisy, that is, speak lies as if they were truth. And the effect of their working is said to "cauterize" (Gr.) the conscience. If a believer accepts the teachings of evil spirits as Divine, because they come to him "supernaturally," and he obeys, and follows those "teachings," then his "conscience" is unused. It then will practically become dulled and passive--or seared. Today we see men doing things under the influence of supernatural "revelation" which an actively awakened "conscience" would keenly rebuke and condemn. Such believers "give heed"' to these spirits, by (1) listening to them, and then by (2) obeying them. They are deceived by accepting wrong thoughts about God's presence, and about Divine love, and unknowingly give themselves up to the power of lying spirits. Working in the line of "teaching," deceiving spirits will insert their "lies" spoken in hypocrisy, into "holiness" teaching, and deceive believers about sin, themselves, and all other truths connected with the spiritual life.
Scripture is generally used as the basis of these teachings, and is skillfully woven together like a spider's web. So that they are caught in the snare. Single texts are wrenched from their context, and their place in the perspective of truth. Sentences are taken from their correlative sentences, or texts are aptly picked out from over a wide field, and so netted together as to appear to give a full revelation of the mind of God. Often the passages, giving historical setting, actions and circumstances connected with the speaking of the words, and other elements which give light on each separate text, are skillfully dropped out.
A wide net is thus made for the unwary, or the untaught. Many a life is side-tracked, and troubled by this false using of the Word of God. Because the experience of ordinary Christians in regard to the devil is limited to knowing him as a tempter, or as an accuser, they have no conception of the depths of his wickedness, and of the wickedness of evil spirits. Most are under the impression that they will not quote Scripture, whereas they will quote the whole Book if they can deceive one soul.
SOME WAYS OF "TEACHING" BY DECEIVING SPIRITS
The "teachings" of deceiving spirits now being promulgated by them, are too many in number. They are generally recognized only in "false religions," but the teaching spirits with their "doctrines," or religious ideas suggested to the minds of men are ceaselessly at work everywhere. They play upon the religious instinct in men, and give a substitute for truth.
Therefore truth, alone, dispels the deceptive doctrines of the teaching spirits of Satan. Richard Wurmbrand said that the word of God is truth, doctrine is truth about the truth, and theology is truth about doctrine. Or mans ideas about the truth about the truth about the truth. The word of God is truth, not merely "views of truth." Truth concerning all the principles and laws of the God of Truth. "Doctrines of demons" simply consist of that which a man "thinks" and "believes" as the outcome of suggestions made to his mind by deceiving spirits. All "thought" and "belief" belongs to one of two realms--the realm of truth, or the realm of falsehood. The source of thoughts and beliefs is God or Satan. All truth comes from God, and all that is contrary to truth, from Satan. Even the "thoughts " that apparently originate in a man's own mind come from one of these two sources. The mind itself is either darkened by Satan (2 Cor. 4: 4), and therefore fertile soil for his "teachings," or renewed by God (Ephes. 4: 23), and clarified from the veil of Satan, and made open to the reception and transmission of truth.
THE BASIC PRINCIPLE FOR TESTING TEACHINGS BY TEACHING SPIRITS
Since thought, or "belief," originates either from the God of Truth, or the father of lies (John 8: 44), there is but one basic principle for testing the source of all doctrines, or "thoughts" and "beliefs," held by believers, or unbelievers. That test is the Authorized revealed Word of God.
All "truth" is in harmony with the only channel of revealed truth in the world--the written Word of God. All "teachings" originating from deceiving spirits--
1.Weaken the authority of the Scriptures;
2.Distort the teaching in the Scriptures;
3.Add to the Scriptures the thoughts of men; or
4.Put the Scriptures entirely aside.
The ultimate object being to hide, distort, misuse, or put aside the revelation of God concerning the Cross of Calvary, where Satan was overthrown by the God-Man, and where freedom was obtained for all his captives.
The test of all "thought" and "belief" therefore is its
1.Harmony with the written Scriptures in its full body of truth.
2.The attitude to the Cross, and sin.
In the Christianized world, some doctrines of demons, tested by these two primary principles, may be mentioned as
Christian Science: no sin, no Saviour, no Cross.
Theosophy: no sin, no Saviour, no Cross.
Spiritism: no sin , no Saviour, no Cross.
New (Apostate) Christian Theology: no sin, no Saviour, no Cross.
In the heathen world:
No Saviour, no Cross, a "moral" religion, with man his own Saviour.
2. Idolatry as the worship of demons
No knowledge of a Saviour, or of His Calvary sacrifice, but true knowledge of the evil powers, which they endeavour to pacify, because they have proved them to be existent.
the Body of Messiah: Countless "thoughts" and
"beliefs," which are opposed to the truth of God, are
injected into the minds of Christians by teaching spirits. False
beliefs can render them ineffective in the warfare with sin and
Satan. False doctrine makes one subject to the power of evil
spirits, although they accept the authority of the Scriptures,
and know the power of the Cross. All "thoughts" and
"beliefs" should therefore be tested by the truth of
God revealed in the Scripture, not merely by "texts" or
portions of the Word, but by the principles of truth revealed in
Isa 28:10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:
Since Satan will endorse his teachings by "signs and wonders" (Matt. 24: 24; 2 Thess. 2: 9; Rev. 13: 13), "fire from heaven", "power" and "signs," are no proof of "teaching" being of God; nor is a "beautiful life" to be the infallible test, for Satan's "ministers" can be "ministers of righteousness" (2 Cor. 11: 13- 15).
THE CULMINATION OF THE FLOOD TIDE OF DECEIVING SPIRITS SHOWN IN 2 THESS. 2
The culmination of the flood tide of these deceiving spirits sweeping upon the Church, is described in Second Thessalonians. Paul speaks of the manifestation of one, who will, eventually, have so deceived Christendom as to have gained an entrance into the very sanctuary of God; so that "he sitteth in the sanctuary of God, setting himself forth as God . . . " The presence" of this one being a "Presence" like God, and yet "according to the working of Satan, with all power, and signs, and wonders, of falsehood, and with all deceit . ." 2 Th 2:9-10 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
Confirmation of the Lord's words recorded by Matthew, is found in Revelation, that at the close of the age, the main weapon used by the deceiver for obtaining power over the people of the earth, will be supernatural signs from heaven. When the antichrist prince and his false prophet pope, counterfeit "lamb" will do "great signs." The false prophet pope will even "make fire come down out of heaven" to deceive the dwellers on the earth, and thereby exercise such control over the whole world, that "no man shall be able to buy or sell, save he that hath the mark of the beast" (Rev. 13:11-17). Through this supernatural deception, the full purpose of the deceiving hierarchy of Satan, thus reaches its consummation, in the foretold world-wide authority.
Deception of the world with deepening darkness; deception of the Church through "teachings," and "manifestations," will reach the highest flood-tide climax at the close of the age.
THE SPECIAL WARNING TO THE CHURCH IN THE REVELATION
John, the Apostle, was chosen to transmit the Revelation to the Church, in preparation for the last days. He was the main instructor and revealer of truth regarding the war on the saints. John wrote to the Christians of his day: "Believe not every spirit" (1 John 4: 1-6). John earnestly warned his "children" that the "spirit of anti-Christ," and the "spirit of error" (deception) was already actively at work among them. Their attitude was to be "believe not" or to doubt and test every supernatural "teaching" and "teacher," until proved to be of God. They were to prove the "teachings," lest they came from a "spirit of error," and be part of the deceiver's campaign as "anti- Christ," or against Christ.
If this attitude of neutrality and doubt toward supernatural teachings was needed in the days of the Apostle John--some fifty-seven years after Pentecost-- how much more is it needed in these last days. The "later times" foretold by the Lord, and by the apostle Paul are times which were to be characterized by a clamour of voices of "prophets." In the language of our time in these last days --"speakers" and "teachers" using the sacred Name of the Lord. They will all say Jesus is Lord. In the last days that proves nothing about whether they are a true or false teacher. These last days are when "teachings" received supernaturally from the spiritual realm, would abound. "Teachings" accompanied with such wonderful proofs of their "divine" origin, as to perplex even the most faithful of the Lord's people, and even, for a time, to deceive some of them.
DANIEL'S PROPHECY THAT "TEACHERS" SHOULD "FALL" AT THE TIME OF THE END
Daniel, in writing about this same "later time," said Dan 11:35 And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed. Yes, the truth must be faced! The "elect" may be deceived, and, from Daniel's words, are apparently permitted to be deceived for a season, so that in the fire testing they may be "refined" (the word refers to the expulsion of dross by the smelting fire): "purified" (the removal of dross already expelled), and made "white" (the polishing and brightening of the metal after it has been freed from its impurities) Probably it is in connection with this solemn word, that one strange statement about the war at the close of the age is made. We are told of the attack of the leopard-like beast, that "it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them" (Rev. 13:7).
Daniel also speaks of the same prevailing of the enemy for a season: The horn "made war with the saints, and prevailed against them" (Dan. 7: 21). Daniel adds: "Until the Ancient of Days came . . and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom." It appears, therefore, that in the "time of the end," God will permit Satan to prevail for a season against His saints. Remember, how he prevailed over Peter when he was handed over to him to be sifted (Luke 22: 31). Lucifer apparently prevailed over the Son of God at Calvary, when "the hour and power of darkness" closed around Him at the Cross (Matt. 27: 38-46). He is going to kill the "two witnesses" described in Rev. 11: 7. He will APPEAR to prevail in the last great manifestation of the dragon deceiver's triumph over the saints, and his power over the whole inhabited earth, in Revelation 13: 7-15.
All these instances have taken place at different periods of time in the history of Christ and His Church. In the Revelation we see Lucifer APPEAR to prevail as the antichrist prince, wages war on the saints and overcomes them. God's triumphs are often hidden in apparent defeat. The elect of God must therefore take heed, at all stages of the war with Satan as deceiver. We must not be swayed, or moved by appearances. The apparent triumph of supernatural powers which appear to be Divine, may prove to be Satanic. The appearances of outward defeat, which appear to be the devil's victory may prove to cover the triumph of God.
OUTWARD SUCCESS OR DEFEAT NO TRUE CRITERION FOR JUDGMENT
The enemy is a deceiver, and as a deceiver he will work and prevail in these last days. "Success" or "defeat" is no criterion of a work being of God or Satan. Calvary stands for ever as the revelation of God's way in working out His redemption purposes. Satan works for time, for he knows his time is short, but God works for eternity. God works through death to life, through defeat to triumph, through suffering to joy. That is God's way.
Knowledge of truth is the primary safeguard against deception. Truth is the Word of God, PERIOD!!! The "elect" must know, and they must learn to "prove" the "spirits" until they do know what is of God, and what is of Satan. The words of the Master, "Take heed, I have told you , " plainly implies that personal knowledge of danger is part of the Lord's way of guarding His own. Believers who blindly rely upon "the keeping power of God," without seeking to understand how to escape deception, when forewarned to "take heed" (14 Times in the Olivette Discourse alone) by the Lord, will surely find themselves entrapped by the subtle foe.
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