Mishandling the Prophetic

I believe the clips of the false prophets shown in this video show that they are not merely mistaken, not merely speaking according to the flesh – there is a clear, dark spiritual influence behind them and their ‘prophecies’.

It’s a long video, but really worth watching.

Far too many people will have their faith undermined by these false prophets. Not only have their prophecies failed – their prophecies were leading people to follow a false agenda, one of Nationalism – based on a mythical covenant between God and America; and to follow a false saviour, a false ‘son of God’ – in the form of Donald Trump.

“Watch out that no one deceives you. “

“Many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.” (Jesus, Matt 24)

Sign of the Times

Here is a question asked on YouTube by Torben Sondergaard, a man I respected and whose teachings I’ve found helpful.

“..for people all over the world. If Trump loses, who will save you this time?”

???

Sadly it seems he’s fallen for the evangelical’s golden calf.

Recently he posted the photo below on his various social media sites, labelling it a “prophetic picture”. I agree with his assessment of the photo, but wonder whether he really understands that prophetic significance and the warning it gave.

I’ve added the text.

(And to answer his question : JESUS is the only Saviour we need and our trust should ONLY be in Him. )

Trust no other god.

The first term of Trump was an opportunity for evangelicals to repent and turn to God after seeing the kind of President they had chosen. A second term, if it should happen, will be judgement.

After this election Trump will no longer need to pacify his ‘evangelical’ supporters. They will be of no further use to him.

This post is not an endorsement of any other politician or political ideology.

It is a warning not to be deceived. The way to ensure that is to keep focused on JESUS and HIS Kingdom, not worldly politics, politicians and poltical ideologies.

Let no one deceive you.

Everyone has experienced change this year. The whole world and its systems have been disrupted by COVID-19 and the differing political responses to it. No one has been left unaffected. But as I wrote in an earlier post, I believe greater change is coming and the church and the majority of Christians aren’t ready for it.

In Matthew 24 Jesus gave a warning about something that potentially affects all of us. The danger is already here today, and many have fallen victim to it. But in a changing uncertain world it is certain to increase.

“Watch out that no one deceives you”.

The seriousness of this warning is highlighted by the number of times Jesus mentions it in various ways throughout Matthew 24. Yet in the current times those warnings are possibly overlooked (or even ignored) more than any other part of His prophetic teaching. He includes references to false Christs (anointed ones), false prophets, false claims that Jesus has already returned, and misleading “great” signs and wonders.

Despite the frequency of deception being mentioned as one of the primary signs, it seems to be the sign most ignored by end-time prophecy enthusiasts. Their eager hunger to recognise how close the Lord’s return must be seems to lead to a neglect of discernment and they keenly accept information from potentially questionable sources.

How often have claims been made about the likely identity of the Antichrist? I think most of the recent US Presidents have been named at one time or another. A few decades ago Henry Kissinger was a favoured contender. Recently Bill Gates’ name comes up.

Then there is the mark of the beast:

Barcodes tattooed on the skin.

Tiny computer chip implants.

Sunday worship.

These are just three of the many ideas which range from the possible to the bizarrely unlikely. Even the wearing of masks due to COVID has been linked to the mark “because there is only one letter difference between ‘mask’ and ‘mark’ (!?!).

And many of the recent COVID protocols have been claimed as conditioning us for the mark, from hand sanitising to non-contact temperature checks…

Do I need to mention vaccines being administered along with a surreptitiously implanted chip?

Or vaccines that alter our DNA?

Or vaccines that kill off the so-called ‘God gene’ that facilitates the ability to believe in God? …

(Anti-vaxxers must be having a field day).

It’s quite disturbing just listing these things, knowing that I’ve come across professing Christians who actually believe them. Let’s take a little time to cleanse the spiritual palate by looking at what scripture says. What does Jesus warn us about regarding one source of deception?

MANY FALSE PROPHETS will appear and deceive MANY people.

And why would He mention this in an exposition of end time signs intended to prepare His followers not to be deceived (vs 4), and to endure to the end (vs 13). Could false prophets compromise a believer’s ability to endure and to avoid deception?

Only if their false claims are accepted as truth.

And who might some of those false prophets be? How about those who have made, and are still making claims about the identity of Antichrist, or those identifying this or that as the mark of the beast? What about those who cause alarm by making these claims? Causing fear of mask wearing, of having temperatures taken, of administering certain medications…?

What were the actual commands Jesus gave within His revelation of the signs leading up to His return?

  1. Let no one deceive you. (vs 4)
  2. Don’t be alarmed. (vs 6)

A serious problem among believers is that we can be all too willing to put the Bible aside and look elsewhere, if we think someone else has more understanding than we’ve been able to glean for ourselves from scripture. With end time prophecy, there is an abundance of extra-biblical opinion, interpreting very simple scriptural statements into complex detailed timetables identifying this present day event with that statement in scripture.

Would it be possible to step aside for a moment and consider that some of the information that tickles our desire to be in-the-know, is at best wild speculation, or at worst, could actually be false prophecy – something Jesus specifically warned we should watch out for, and not be deceived by?

This is an area that ensures many believers will be unprepared for great change. We need to guard ourselves against the many deceptions that could potentially lead us away from the truth (reality) and into false doctrine, false prophetic expectations and even wild occultic conspiracy scenarios.

To avoid being misled we need to desire, seek and accept a love of the truth (2 Thess 2:10); and build our understanding on the firm foundation of God’s word. This is particularly necessary regarding end time prophetic events. Out there is an abundance of opinion and interpretation mixed with political ideology and even occultism all muddying the prophetic waters to lead the unwary (and often gullible) Christian astray.

Let no one deceive you.

Ready or Not?

In late March I woke with the following phrases in my head: “things are going to change” and  “are not going to return to normal”. I shared this and related things with a few friends and the leadership at our local church. Later I posted details on this blog, here.

Earlier I checked the date when I first shared the original “things are going to change” warning with those friends. It was 20th March. I also found that the next day, the 21st was the day on which Australian social distancing rules were introduced, as well as the shutting down of non-essential services, such as bars, pubs, restaurants. Church services were stopped 23rd March onwards.

I am bringing this up again because a few days ago, while in prayer, I heard a warning that greater change is coming and that the church and the majority of Christians aren’t ready for it.

While thinking about this I received clear confirmation of the warning’s validity in a video I watched this morning.* I believe both the warning and the confirmation are valid reflections of what scripture reveals about the times ahead, leading up to the return of the Lord.

Those things are going to happen. The only thing that may be contended is the timing. How close are the predicted Matt 24 events? Even if our current generation is not quite at the Matthew 24 stage, surely it can only be of benefit to act as if the timing of those events were right at our door. In fact that mindset is what Jesus tried to, instill into His followers with several of His parables after His prophetic warnings. (see Matt 24: 36 – 25:13).

Starting to prepare now can only benefit the actual generation that WILL face them – even if it’s not our own. Preparation would be a good legacy to pass on.

One thing that’s been clear to me is that so many in the church are trying to carry on with business as usual. They don’t want to acknowledge the realities of changing times and a changed world. Many oppose and protest against government imposed health related restrictions, crying “persecution” – even though the restrictions have not targeted churches or religious gatherings alone.

Just the suggestion that the inconveniences are “persecution” shows how ill-prepared they would be for REAL hardships, REAL persecution, where at worst lives are at risk, or at best believers are living under the constant threat of imprisonment. And the complete reliance on church buildings and ‘ordained’ ministry makes them extremely vulnerable when attendance of visible church meetings makes them a target; or when those things they are so dependent upon are taken away.

How will they survive without them?

It’s time to start preparing ourselves – and maybe later generations.

______________________________

*  This video is what I saw as confirming the warning I received about coming change and our unpreparedness for it. While some aspects of this talk didn’t resonate with me, I found the majority did. It runs for about 53 minutes and for the most part presents timely instruction.

https://subspla.sh/v59w49w

Shaking and Sifting

I wrote the article in the link below at the beginning of April. I feel that a lot of what I’ve seen and heard recently confirms the validity of it, with some of the controversy being created over restrictions to church services.

On YouTube there have been countless videos about John MacArthur’s challenge against the Californian government’s regulations regarding gatherings of large groups that are affecting his church. The commentary I’ve read about the situation in California has included some of the most abusive, rude attacks on other discussion participants that I’ve seen from professing christians.

In Australia, there are restrictions on congregation numbers dependent on the size of meeting place, as well as apparent bans on congregational singing. The strictest situation is in the state of Victoria where a second wave of covid-19 has led to the harshest lock down in Australia since the pandemic first hit. I’ve seen professing believers from Victoria berating the state’s “wicked, totalitarian government” because of the inconvenience.

I have also seen a growing devotion to conspiracy claims being made about the corona virus; that its a media hoax; it’s a left wing conspiracy; it’s danger is being exaggerated to control the population; the restrictions and lock-downs are an attack against religious freedom – it’s persecution. (See the above reference to John MacArthur who has also stooped to promoting QAnon conspiracy claims picked up from a Donald Trump tweet).

A significant irony is the way devotees to the extreme charismania (Rodney Howard Browne), and anti-charismatics (MacArthur) are becoming unlikely allies, brought together by political ideologies and their opposition to restrictions affecting their church meetings.

I see something very significant at play – a widening separation of man’s religious systems and its concerns, and the opportunity to experience and practice a type of gathering together that I believe has a greater biblical legitimacy.

Instead of large congregations lined one row behind another, all facing and listening to one man on a stage or behind a pulpit, smaller groups in homes can genuinely encourage each other (as per Heb 10:25) when they come together; each having a psalm, a teaching, a tongue, a revelation, an interpretation, all done for edification. Home groups involved with community ministry sharing a the gospel confirmed by the power of the Holy Spirit.

What is happening now is a mild foretaste of what is ahead, so how will we survive something worse if we’re shaken by this? We need to prepare for change and be willing to embrace it. The old ways and structures of building centred, leader focused activity won’t be suited to the changed world.

It is not the time to be angry about being denied the comfortable familiarity of a professional clergy dominated, often theatrically presented service where anonymity can be maintained if desired. Now is the time to take the opportunity to establish ourselves and our relationship with Jesus on a very secure biblical foundation. Making the most of the strange times and the upheaval being experienced to focus on GOD’S agenda and HIS ways, and not be distracted by worldly concerns.

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

_________________________________

Beware of Which Voice You Are Hearing.

https://onesimusfiles.wordpress.com/2020/04/04/10967/

An Exhortation for All Followers of Jesus in Troubled Times

The following is from an Asia Harvest newsletter. A link for the full article is included at the end of the excerpt.

World events are only going to get progressively worse as the world spirals toward anarchy, before the great and glorious return of Jesus. He will come to bring judgment and to clean up the mess we have made: “Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short” (Revelation 12:12).

How can a Christian strengthen their heart and mind to survive the dark times ahead? Our answer is one that you have probably never heard from a Christian organization before: do NOT ‘read’ God’s Word! People read newspapers, novels and webpages, but the Bible instructs us not to merely “read” the Word but to “Study to show yourself approved by God, a workman who needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).

It’s not enough just to have a few favorite Bible verses, or to pick and choose bits of Scripture that make us feel good. To be healthy, a person needs to enjoy the full banquet of God’s Word, and not just grab a few snacks here and there. Throughout the Scriptures, we find the people God used greatly were those who diligently studied His Word, for example: “Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the Lord, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel” (Ezra 7:10).

To survive the end times, we must study whole books of the Bible, and invest time each day in getting to know the Lord through His Word and in prayer. It’s time to get serious, or our faith will not survive the storms ahead. God’s Word will give us discernment and wisdom, enabling us to navigate through this life

We not only need wisdom as we live in this world, but we also must discern truth from error in today’s Church. Each day, thousands of pulpits and the airwaves are spewing out a false gospel that has stripped the Christian message of key words like repentance and holiness, and crucial teachings of the Lord Jesus, such as: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23)..

https://asiaharvest.org/an-exhortation-for-all-followers-of-jesus-in-troubled-times/

I’d also refer you to my article here: https://onesimusfiles.wordpress.com/2014/06/17/dont-study-the-bible/ which according the title may seem like a contradiction of the above, but just as context is vital in our understanding of scripture, context should be taken into account with this article. Read the whole article and not just the title.