There isn’t a more important decision in life than to make Jesus Christ the Lord of your life. We were all born into sin, and nothing but the blood of the Lamb of God can save us from damnation. Sadly, most people will die lost because they were deceived into rejecting a relationship with God.
The Bible contains many warnings against being deceived. “Let no man deceive himself” (1 Cor. 3:18). “Be not deceived,” Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:33. Paul also warned the Galatians, “Be not deceived” (Gal. 6:7). The epistle to the Hebrews offers yet another warning about deceit: “But exhort one another daily, while it is called ‘Today,’ lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin” (Heb. 3:13).
We need to be on guard because the devil’s favorite trick is convincing people they are saved when they really are not. In America, polls show that around 85 percent of the population claims to be a member of the Christian faith. These same polls find that only about 20 percent of them have had a born-again experience. In Europe, the disparity is even greater.
I get constant reminders about deception by operating a top-rated site on the Rapture. Every few days I receive a letter or an email warning that the Pre-Tribulation Rapture is a lie from the devil, and I need to repent before it’s too late. The position these critics take are not new or original attempts to discredit the truth of the Pre-Trib Rapture. After 28 years of operation, I’ve heard every end-time argument a thousand different ways.
The attacks from these people only help to strengthen my Pre-Trib view. Most of them have no Scripture to back up their claims. Their opinions of my supposed deception are simply the result of their own confused and misguided beliefs.
The problem of deception became clear to me when I was recently looking though my old cassette tape collection. I noticed that many of the teaching tapes were from people whom I later found to have major flaws in their doctrinal beliefs.
One name that stands out is Hobart Freeman. He was part of the Word of Faith Movement before it became fixated on money. Freeman was a very good teacher. Most of the tapes I have from him are about cults. One of his messages was on the subject, “How Not to Be Deceived.”
The ministry that Freeman ran was small, and I had lost track of him. It surprised me greatly when 30 years later I looked him up on the Web and found a Wikipedia link that showed he should have taken his own advice on avoiding deception.
Freeman held to the view that modern medicine was an extension of ancient witchcraft and black magic, so he told people to quit taking their medicine. Over 90 people died in his church and untold hundreds suffered death or complications from listening to his messages on tape or radio.
In 1984, Freeman was charged with negligent homicide but his day in court never came. Two weeks before the trial date, Freeman became a victim his own teaching when he died from congestive heart failure complicated by an ulcerated gangrenous leg.
The vast majority of examples of deception can be boiled down to one common problem: People coming up with their own reality rather than using the one God has provided for us. Free will allows us to make decisions, but it doesn’t give us the ability to determine truth. The Bible warns that Man is incapable of telling right from wrong:
“There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one” (Romans 3:10-12).
One sin nature is the key reason why we can’t trust our own judgment. The role of the devil as the great deceiver of nations is an even bigger reason why we need to turn to the Bible for all moral guidance. Satan’s ability to whisper into the ears of mankind explains why “truth” now comes in so many varieties.
I am very wary of any teacher that has the habit of being an endless source of new biblical revelations. They are the ones who constantly find hidden messages in every verse of the Bible. Unless you are a baby Christian, you should already be familiar with most Church doctrines. Any truth that needs to be coached out of Scripture by someone, was never there in the first place.
Christians should not just be mental sponges soaking in every teaching that sounds appealing. We should be like the Bereans of Acts. When Paul and Silas shared the gospel, the Bereans didn’t merely take them at their word—they searched through Old Testament Scripture to make sure what they were hearing lined up with God’s Word.
“Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true” (Acts 17:11).
Deceivers are now at an all-time high. This is the worst time for anyone to be relying on the so-called wisdom offered by the world. We’re not even at the point yet of seeing the prophesied demonically inspired “signs and wonders.” And yet the vast majority of the world is already deceived. To stay clear of deception, we need to place all our trust in the Bible.
“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” (Matt. 24:24).
Rebels with a Cause
Unlike the teenagers of the movie Rebel without a Cause (starring James Dean), who didn’t know why they were rebels, there is a growing population among this generation that are rebels with a cause. That cause is an ancient one, led by the most hate-filled of all rebels. The cause is twofold: hatred for mankind in general and for the Jewish race in particular.
Satan, the original rebel, determined that he had no equal. He could not abide the Creator bringing into existence a creature that would share his (Lucifer’s) importance in the eyes of God. Iniquity was found in him, and he determined that he, himself, was equal in glory and magnificence to the Creator, thus was as powerful and would magnify himself and put himself above the throne of God. Isaiah the prophet tells the story.
For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. (Isaiah 14 13-14)
This rebel has had as chief among his causes to destroy the creature that he saw as his rival for preeminence. Once cast from Heaven, he entered the garden of Eden and set about to do just that. Our history books are replete with a record that traces the old serpent’s trail. He has observably inflicted great damage, as is witnessed by our daily news headlines. He has had no problem enlisting in his cause a large number of those who share in his rebellious hatreds for anything and everything that the God of Heaven has set in place.
We, each and every hour, see his influence and his recruits’ acquiescence to and embracing of Satan’s hatred for all things godly. Without reservation, I include in his army of rebels those who rage against anyone who opposes the inflicting of homosexuality on our society and culture. I include anyone who believes it is preferable to murder babies in the womb so that life can be more convenient for those who don’t want the babies–only the carnal pleasure involved in procreating them.
Homosexuality and abortion each bring to the war against humanity the insidiously clever methodologies Satan employs in conducting the battles that he and his army wage daily. In each “cause”–homosexuality and abortion–the destruction of human life and prevention of human life through the perversion of sodomy are presented as nothing more or less as the right of the individual to choose what is right in his or her own eyes. Who is this God that He should interfere with man’s business?
Part of the cause Satan has inspired his army of rebels to push in the war on mankind involves the whole matter of population control. Abortion and homosexuality aren’t doing away with mankind quickly enough. Here again, the evil genius of the master manipulator–Lucifer the fallen one–is seen at work. Mankind must be taken off the planet so life can be better and survivable.
Officials within the UN are pushing the notion that the human population should be reduced in order to effectively combat climate change. The long standing notion has been continually pushed by Christiana Figueres, the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC). In 2013, Figueres had a conversation…regarding “fertility rates in population,” as a contributor to climate change. (UN Climate Change Official Says “We Should Make Every Effort” To Depopulate The Planet, Rapture Ready News, 4/8/15)
The other major assault in Satan’s never-ceasing war against God and mankind is inspiring hatred against the Jewish race. This hatred is an easily traceable anger that began in Eden.
And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. (Genesis 3:15)
This, of course, is when God promised that He would send a Savior to redeem fallen man from sin. Satan and his schemes to oppose God at every turn and exalt himself to position above the God of Heaven, according to this promise, would be thwarted by this person who would eventually be born into God’s creation called man. This happened when Jesus was born through the virgin birth to a young girl from the house of Israel. The Jewish people were chosen to bring the Christ into the world.
Satan hates all of mankind, but his hatred has been, throughout the ages, particularly focused on the progeny of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (whose name was changed to Israel). This is just as the prophet Zechariah foretold, as recorded in Zechariah 12:1-3: Hatred is becoming more violent the closer we get to the wrap-up of this dispensation (the Age of Grace).
This rebellious spirit against Israel, through whom the Savior was born, leaps at the observer more and more often through incidents such as the following:
They were dressed in their team’s colors and chanting passionately and excitedly–the only problem was they weren’t in the stadium cheering on their team. Bosnian soccer fans who were in Vienna, Austria on Friday for a match between Austria and Bosnia-Herzegovina changed “Kill the Jews” alongside pro-Palestinian demonstrators in central Stephanplatz square before heading to the game. It was a frightening spectacle that proved anti-Semitism is still a jarring reality in Europe.
At first they stood calmly and shouted “Free Palestine” back and forth. Then, one can hear a single voice among the protestors shout out “Kill the Jews.” The calls to violence swelled as the other protestors joined. In a swarm of rage, they began to jump up and down shouting “Ubij, ubij Zidove,” which means “Kill, kill the Jews.” (Chilling: Bosnian Soccer Fans Join ‘Kill the Jews’ Chant in Vienna, The Guardian, Courtney O’Brien, Townhall.com)
The army of rebels is growing, and so is the scope and virulence of their cause–to fulfill Satan’s end-times assault on Israel and, incidentally, on true Christians.