“Take heed that no one deceives you. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. But take heed; see, I have told you all things beforehand.” (Mark 13:5, 22-23)
Many Christians for many years have loved the red letter edition of the Bible because it highlights all the words of Jesus in red letters. Too bad we can’t put it in flashing neon where Jesus specifically speaks to the Christians of this last generation and warns us to Take Heed. This is because even Christians that think they are not being deceived, are being deceived.
Hopefully you ask, “How can this be?” It doesn’t matter if you pray, read the Bible, fellowship, and do mighty things for the Lord. My question to you is this, “Do you continuously devour the Word of God and allow it to permeate every part of your being?” Simply reading the Bible is not enough for the end times we are living in. Notice two things:
1. Jesus countered Satan with nothing else but, “It is written.”
2. The only offensive weapon a Christian is given is the Word of God (see Ephesians 6:17)
I am observing Christians coming apart all around me and I find out that the Word of God has been marginalized in their life. They claim that they love Jesus, but let’s see how the Bible puts it into perspective:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. (John 1:1, 14)
Jesus is the Word. If you truly love Jesus, you will be deeply in love with the written Word of God because Jesus is the Word. You will live and breathe the Word of God. But yet, most Christians’ Bibles look brand new despite the fact they may be decades old. Many Christians are more concerned about picking up the latest book on the Christian bestseller list than they are about their own Bibles.
Please read the following three Scriptures very carefully so that you can truly get the feel of the urgent times we are living in:
Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. (1 John 2:18)
Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” And Jesus answered and said to them: “Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come. Take heed that no one deceives you. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand. Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors! Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.” (Matthew 24:3-4, 7-8, 11-13, 24-25, 32-35)
Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. (2 Timothy 4:2-4)
You are probably wondering what the picture at the top of this post is all about. Well, it is a picture of a white birch tree with a nice green vine climbing up its side. At first glance it really seems to enhance the charm of the tree. It seems to really contrast its beauty. But do not be deceived, because it is none other than a poison ivy vine. Those that come in contact with it, won’t notice its harmful effects until a while afterwards. Depending on how a person reacts to it, it can be quite devastating.
It is the same with many Christians in these last days. Instead of being firmly rooted and growing abundantly in the Word of God, they get antsy and discontent. They now find the Bible boring because of the hardening of their own heart. They want excitement in their life. They go after experiences by travelling many miles to see someone with charisma. They are charmed by the fact that these false prophets recite a few Scriptures, but fail to realize they are twisted out of context, just like Satan did when he tempted Jesus. These seekers want to immerse themselves in dancing and singing and being slain-in-the-spirit. They want to see the supernatural. No wonder why there are so many false movements spreading throughout Christianity today. It is making a whole lot of merchandising false ministers very prominent during this age of itching ears. Please read the following PDF that brings to light just one of these false ministers named Bill Johnson of the Bethel Church in California:
This also explains why depression, anxiety, fear and lack of peace define so many who consider themselves Christians today. They lack the true overcoming dunamis power of the Holy Spirit that is needed each and every day to be a true victorious child of the LORD. Please, I beg of you, do not misunderstand me. Singing, praising, dancing, and making a joyful noise to the LORD are absolutely beautiful things as long as they flow from us being firmly grounded in the Word. But when they become a means within themself, they are no longer a wonderful thing. As the Word states in Hosea 6:6, “I want you to know Me more than I want burnt offerings.” Then again in 1 Samuel 15:22, “Obedience is better than sacrifice.” Remember that true obedience is us reshaping our lives to the Word of God, not us reshaping the Word to fit our lives. In today’s world, everything that every teacher of the Word says needs to be checked out (see 1 Thessalonians 5:21), no matter how reliable they have been in the past and what kind of reputation they have. Any new teaching or one that presents itself superior to Orthodox Christian beliefs spells danger. Allow Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance with Greek and Hebrew Lexicon to be your best study tool.
Dear friend, please take heed. I can honestly say that I sure am, because my soul depends upon it. If this article in any way describes what you have been caught up in or twisted by, it is not too late. Shut yourself in with the LORD and His Word. Hear His still small voice. Pour out your tears to Him:
You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. (Psalm 56:8)