Contents: 1.ASLEEP IN THE LIGHT….2.THE TRAGEDY OF ‘FENCE-SITTING’….3.PRE-TRIB’S NOMINAL CONCESSION….4.THE DECEPTION TECHNIQUES OF THE “FALSE PROPHETS”….5.“GREAT SIGNS AND WONDERS”: A TRAGIC PITFALL FOR THE “CHARISMATIC-FRIENDLY”….6.THE LACK OF COMMON SENSE DISCERNMENT FROM EVANGELICAL LEADERS EXACTS A HIGH PRICE….7.THE DANGERS OF “SALVATION PRESUMPTION-ISM”….8.THE “WILDERNESS” AND THE “INNER ROOMS”
Let me make some concluding comments and clear up some remaining questions:
THE CHURCH — ASLEEP IN THE LIGHT
The church world today (the American church in particular) is completely, totally, utterly and absolutely unprepared for a time of “great tribulation” in the last days…something which Jesus prophesied and forewarned of in the Olivet Discourse. Some believers are prepared and expecting these things. Most are not.
And when these times of trouble impact the conservative Christian community, particularly in ‘cozy-comfy’ prosperous America…there will ensue chaos and disintegration in the church world. This is a situation which the wolves will exploit…again, something that is specifically predicted by Jesus in the Olivet Discourse
I would re-emphasize…there is no such thing as a “pre-tribulation rapture” (among other erroneous teachings these days)…and that this largely explains the role of the wolves who spring into action when panic spreads among those believers who are unprepared, at the emergence of the Antichrist and a missing rapture.
POINT OF FACT: ‘FENCE-SITTING’ IS A VIRTUAL ENDORSEMENT OF PRE-TRIB DOCTRINE
I have spoken with about 50 to 60 pastors over the past ten years, 99% of whom explain that while they don’t feel very comfortable with the doctrine of PreTrib and teach on the subject as infrequently as possible…they explain they are nevertheless more comfortable sitting on the fence on this issue rather than decisively rejecting or accepting the doctrine once for all.
The horrifically flawed argument they make is…that it just isn’t terribly important what position they hold to. They view Bible prophecy as having somewhat lesser importance.
But here is the problem:
First of all, if PreTrib were an accurate, biblical teaching…then, of course, these pastors would be absolutely correct: It wouldn’t matter WHAT you believe on the issues. You’re going to be raptured ‘pre-tribulationally’ either way. Your views, whether correct or incorrect, would be of very little consequence.
BUT…if PreTrib is incorrect…if PreTrib is unbiblical…then all these fence-sitting pastors are making the absolute worst and most tragic error of their lives…leaving all their flocks as sitting ducks for satanic deception…and leaving themselves as sitting ducks.
It is NOT enough to say: “Oh well, when the time comes…when the hour of crisis arrives, we’ll make the proper adjustments”.
It was for specific cause and by divine inspiration that Jesus went into detail in Matthew 25 about the specific spiritual preparation absolutely required for this time of darkness which precedes His return…and the dire consequences for all those who do NOT prepare for this hour.
He talks about the five virgins who prepare to go out into the darkness by filling their lamps with oil…and the five other virgins who do not fill their lamps with oil, which results in tragic consequences (Matthew 25:11-12).
THE DELINEATION OF EVENTS DESCRIBED BY JESUS
Just to summarize once again:
Jesus stated there would be 1) this event “the abomination of desolation” followed by 2) a time of “tribulation”…3) and accompanied by a great “falling away” from the faith of many (erstwhile) believers (hence, the title of my blog “The Great Apostasy”)…during which 4) a huge deception is perpetrated by the aforementioned “false prophets”…and then 5) is this time of trouble climactically interrupted with the arrival of the Lord Jesus and the beginning of the endless Kingdom of God!
Matthew 24:15 — “Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet…they will then deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name.”
Matthew 24:9-13 — “At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.”
Matthew 24:29,31 — “…immediately after the tribulation of those days…He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, and from one end of the heavens to the other.”
Regardless of the crystal-clear sequence of events depicted in the above passages, there are vast numbers of people who have been led to believe there is going to be a “pre-tribulation rapture”…which they believe will whisk them away “before all the bad stuff happens”.
And then there are millions more who, under the influence of the false doctrine of “Dominionism” (without even being consciously aware of this influence) dismiss any and all Bible prophecy issues as “just not that important”. As I mentioned earlier – think Rick Warren, as a chief example.
But let the reader be forewarned — a satanic world regime is going to explode onto the scene with unprecedented force and globe-spanning ferocity…and many (most) folks are going to find themselves completely caught off guard and spiritually unprepared…with their “pre-trib rapture” having gone missing. They will then go into a state of complete panic and shock…and will thus be perfectly primed for the Devil’s long-planned Apostasy Deception.
PRE-TRIB’S NOMINAL CONCESSION:
Interestingly, virtually all PreTrib authors, teachers and pastors have always nominally conceded that America “has no special exemption from extreme persecution”. But again, this possibility has only been referred to nominally. Never in such a way as to cause American Christians to engage in a heightened state of alert. Never in such a way to raise the levels of real concern and prompt Christian people to engage in serious spiritual (and even physical) preparation.
No, in my fifty years of listening to PreTrib rapture sermons, the “remote” possibility of severe persecution in America has always been referred to so casually and merely ‘in passing’, such that it elicits a yawn.
Tragically therefore, most American Christians are going to go into a state of shock and paralysis at the revealing and introduction of this satanic world leader and the resulting downfall of America (if it hasn’t already fallen, some time prior) and any other government that may still be in existence but will now obviously come under the iron rule of the Antichrist.
This is exactly what Jesus describes in the Olivet Discourse passages (Matthew 24,25 / Mark 13 / Luke 21)…when He explains there will be such desperation and panic that (erstwhile) believers will be betraying their fellow believers and very own family members…virtually to death:
“But you will be betrayed even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death…” (Luke 21:16)
JUST HOW DO THESE PRE-POSITIONED WOLVES LURE SO MANY BELIEVERS INTO APOSTASY?
With the explosive emergence of a ferocious Antichrist who will have been unleashed upon the earth and will be demanding worship and a repudiation of Christian faith, Jesus minces no words in saying that “most” believers will fall into apostasy.
Notice below, there are seemingly two initial steps in the apostasy plot:
Firstly, there are those who fold at almost the very moment of the revealing of the Antichrist. But then secondly, there are those who seem to require extra ‘persuasion’ provided by the “false prophets who will arise”.
Matthew 24:10-11: “At that time [step 1] many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. [step 2] Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many”.
This second phase (if we can call it that) of the apostasy deception plan goes into action when all of these pre-positioned “false prophets”…these satanic “Christian” leaders” (or if not satanic, at least ‘heavily duped’) about whom I am attempting to provide evidence…step in and begin soothingly convincing panic-stricken churchgoers to cooperate with the Antichrist regime, the new world order.
FALSE PROPHETS OFFER FALSE COMFORT
It seems rather obvious…that what these false prophets do is…offer false comfort. And it says they will “mislead many”. In fact their very identity is misleading…as I have been trying to argue during this three part series:
They are “false” prophets…which is to say, they are viewed by the church world as true prophets…as true Christian leaders (which is why they are able to successfully mislead many)…when in fact they are false…they are satanic. Satanic agents of the Antichrist.
“GREAT SIGNS AND WONDERS” — A TRAGIC PITFALL FOR THE PENTECOSTALS, THE CHARISMATICS…AND PARTICULARLY THE ‘CHARISMATIC-FRIENDLY’:
Allow me to point out yet another deception tragedy which is currently playing out in (particularly) American conservative church culture:
There is a very strange ongoing phenomenon in Evangelicalism, whereby many (if not most) church leaders support, encourage and/or endorse the false doctrines of the Charismatics…while never actually attempting to practice these “gifts” themselves.
They never come forth, exhibiting the “gift of healing”, for example. In other words, instantly healing someone in absolutely extraordinary fashion…who has been blind since birth or paralyzed from birth or for many decades. Nor do these leaders exhibit an ability to speak instantly in other earthly languages, and with an interpreter standing up in the fellowship group to translate the message.
None of this is happening. Nor are there a dozen (or dozens) of laymen who are exhibiting these gifts of miraculous healing…going around any local area (my neighborhood included, I can attest), performing these eye-popping feats on a weekly basis among the hundred or so churches located in their area.
Simple common sense discernment and observation would lead any right-thinking person to conclude these things are simply not happening in the present day in the way they were happening in the first days of the Christian era.
In point of fact, there would be huge mayhem all across my community…if several people (or dozens of people) were being spectacularly healed during fellowship gatherings.
And I’m not talking about “TV evangelist”-type pseudo-healings…where some guy walks up to the stage with a “sore shoulder” or with “chronic headaches”. (Oy, the silliness that goes on.)
Certainly, the Bible instructs the elders to “anoint with oil” those who may have illnesses or maladies (but with no promise of ‘spectacular’ on-the-spot resolution). The text in question (James 5:14) states “let anyone who is sick“ look to the elders for aid. Not those who are blind or paralyzed!
But the actual “sign gifts”…the eye-popping ultra-dramatic healings from total blindness or life-long paralysis…which should be occurring…if even a mere 1% of the believers in any local Christian community had such ability…those are non-existent.
CHARISMATIC MISSIONARIES ATTEND LANGUAGE INSTITUTES?
Also, there should be wave after wave of “Charismatic” missionaries going to all the foreign lands across the globe, completely circumventing the language institutes and being able to instantly speak in all the foreign languages of the world…and able to instantly translate the Bible into any foreign language…if the “gift of tongues” were still ongoing…if they were still being practiced the way they were on the Day of Pentecost.
This is not happening.
There are not several dozens of believers with the “gift of healing” or the “gift of tongues” who are going around to various churches in my area (South San Francisco Bay area) on a given Sunday…and healing people who have been blind for decades or paralyzed for decades…nor performing any sort of linguistic feats.
Frequently one hears the false argument – “don’t tell me God doesn’t perform miracles today!”. But that isn’t the problem. Certainly God “performs miracles” in the modern day. The very fact my heart is beating is a miracle. Scientists can not explain the simple fact of a beating heart to this day.
Or when the elders and the believers gather at a local church to pray over brother so-and-so who has advanced cancer…and the disease disappears, to the utter befuddlement of doctors. Such things fall within the category of James 5:14.
But a specific individual who has the specific “gift of healing” and who has repeatedly over time been able to simply walk up to an individual with a profound physical handicap, such as paralysis or decades-long blindness…and ka-ZAP…instantly and completely heal that individual in full view of an assembled group of believers and ‘inquirers’…that is simply not happening.
And responsible Christian leaders need to take a common sense stand on this matter…for the purpose of guiding and protecting their flocks from false doctrine…if nothing else.
THIS LACK OF COMMON SENSE OBSERVATION AND DISCERNMENT FROM EVANGELICAL LEADERS HAS A VERY HIGH PRICE:
Please observe very carefully about that which Jesus forewarns. He says that “…false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead…”.
Any layperson or Christian leader who has implemented simple common sense discernment and has therefore concluded there have been no genuine “sign gift” miracles going on in the modern day…and who have carefully observed Jesus’ warnings in the Olivet Discourse…
…will therefore instantly have great suspicion over these false miracles. They will instantly see through the deception.
But the folks in the Christian community who have been chasing down every false report or rumor of “miracles”, virtually in the style of a snipe hunt…and who believe in such things despite the total absence of evidence…those folks tragically, will fall like over-ripened apples. Straight into the arms of the spiritual enemy. Especially since these “miracles” will be performed by popular and well-known “Christian” leaders.
Just imagine — all these folks who buy into the silly shenanigans of a Benny Hinn who will “heal” someone with a sore shoulder (or some such thing) but who now will be able, all of a sudden, to levitate somebody out of their wheelchair, float them across the audience onto the stage, and then…ka-ZAP!…instantly restore their legs. (Or some sort of similar dramatic scenario.)
In those days, erstwhile “believers”, especially in the Charismatic world (and the “Charismatic-friendly world) will have no filter, will have no matrix, and will fall by the millions…will sign up with the Antichrist (and his “mark”) by the millions. Hence, the “great apostasy”…after which I have named this blog.
So…what are YOU doing to prevent this large-scale deception and apostasy? Pass the word along to friends and family. Pass the word along to your flock.
NOT THAT ANYONE “LOSES” THEIR SALVATION
The objective of these wolves will be to convince millions to go along with the “mark of the beast” program which, I am virtually certain, they will argue is “most certainly NOT the mark of the beast!”. And thus will millions of erstwhile (former) believers have been lured to their eternal doom. Not that anyone “loses” their salvation…but that it will become manifest they were never genuine believers to begin with!
All serious Bible students need to consider carefully the Parable of the Sower with its warnings about those who at first receive the truth with joy but at some later time when “affliction or persecution arise”, they fall away.
THE GRAVE DANGERS OF “SALVATION PRESUMPTION-ISM” IN RELATION TO THE ANTICHRIST’S DECEPTIONS:
In fact, let’s talk about “falling away” for a moment. How can someone fall away if they have already been previously “saved”? The short answer is that it is a question of whether they were “saved” to begin with! It is a question of genuine believers versus non-genuine believers.
According to the Book of James, if their “faith” is not producing a changed life, then their faith is not a saving faith. And since the statements in the Book of James have been directed to believers (or “believers” with quotation marks, as the case may be)…thus should ALL believers take careful heed not to come under this deception which the Book of James warns of (along with many other such warnings throughout Scripture).
And yet…in today’s “mainstream Evangelicalism” such care, concern and personal reflection is virtually non-existent. Instead, it has been replaced by a blaring presumption: “Hey buddy, I’m saved and nobody can tell me different.”
The biblical fact of the matter is that there are folks who have been DECEIVED into thinking they are true believers. They are convinced of their salvation but their actions are suggesting something else.
But there is also a question of future actions: How will they respond and how will they act…if and when persecution and affliction arise?
Maybe you feel like you’re cruising along at a good clip at the present time, spiritually speaking. What will happen when a ferocious Antichrist explodes onto the scene? How will our faith fare at that time? These are extremely important questions we should be asking ourselves.
I would hasten to add it is my belief that folks who delve into the truths of the Olivet Discourse and who take the time to absorb these teachings from Jesus…will almost certainly have the spiritual ‘presence of mind’ to make the right choice and maintain their allegiance to the Lord Jesus during those dark hours.
“BUT SO-AND-SO HAS SUCH A LOVE FOR THE LORD!”
And so, there is this other category of believers who are at risk: Those who ARE, in fact, currently loving God and who ARE, in fact, currently walking on a narrow path…but who don’t understand there is such a thing as falling out of love and falling into apostasy at some point in the future:
“Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.” Matthew 24:12 (from the Olivet Discourse).
Notice the phrasing “will grow cold” is pointing to a potential future event.
Notice above how they had an actual “love” for God but that love disappeared…and how they are then contrasted with “the one” who “endures” and subsequently receives salvation.
This is where I have seen some folks become confused. They can’t fit it into their heads…that no matter how joyous someone may be and no matter how much praise someone may have for God…people can and do…turn on God…particularly if they are ignorant of ‘end times’ issues…and have not carefully scrutinized Jesus’ specific advisories and instructions regarding the final hours of human history…and who are under the deception of PreTrib doctrine…and/or under the deception of “American Exceptionalism” which breezily concludes America will always be here, America will never fall, will never enter into dark days.
I’ve seen this apostasy in people’s lives…even apart from any ‘end times’ crisis. Haven’t we all seen such things happen? People who fall from the faith and disappear like dust in the wind?
And I have come before God in fear and trembling, praying that He may “establish” me in my faith (Romans 16:25), that I may stand fast in whatever troubled times may come my way! THAT…is what the Bible is talking about when it says we are to “work out our salvation with fear and trembling”.
I would submit to you that most conservative church-goers in the modern day do not understand the dangers of apostasy and thus they do not understand the dangers of the Great Apostasy Plot described in the Olivet Discourse.
For the most part, modern-day Evangelicals think “apostasy” is something that happens to other people. Something that happens to those ‘egghead’ professors at crazy far-left liberal seminaries that have long since gone off the reservation. But that’s not how it works. The Devil has an objective in which he seeks to drag you towards an eternal demise. He’s not just trying to get you to “backslide”. His goal is to get you to split the gates of Hell wide open. Put simply: If he has to go, he wants you to go.
Watch how this works: The Antichrist emerges on the world scene. Then, Antichrist agents (these aforementioned false “Christian” leaders) come forward, demanding a pledge of allegiance and acceptance of the “mark of the beast”. A conservative church-goer’s first reaction is to refuse…because the Bible’s warnings are clear — eternal doom awaits those who do such a thing (Rev. 14:9-11). But the Antichrist agents offer the options — either accept the mark or go to the deepest dungeons, or worse.
THE “MARK OF THE BEAST” CRISIS: “I’M SAVED, SO WHAT’S THE WORST THAT COULD HAPPEN?”
And so, I believe what is going to happen is…people who have been tragically misled into having this presumption of salvation…will thus rationalize in those desperate decision hours following the Antichrist’s introduction to the world (via this ferocious “abomination of desolation”):
Hey look, these Evangelical ‘big shot’ leaders [the wolves] have told us this is not the “mark of the beast” that the regime is imposing – I feel very queasy about that claim because this looks like a dead-ringer for the mark of the beast…but I am being heavily and threateningly pressured…so here’s the thing – what’s the worst that could happen? After all, I already know I’m ‘saved’ – God will forgive my momentary weakness.
Something like that. And so we see the extremely grave dangers of (what we could refer to as) “salvation presumption-ism” and how it plays a central role in successfully luring millions of (erstwhile) believers to their eternal doom.
All believers must ask themselves the question — that though they may have received with joy, the truth of the Gospel at some point in their life…will they, through God’s strength and by His grace, not abandon their faith in the moments of trial?
Keep in mind God’s promises here — that there is no trial, tribulation or testing that will come upon you but that God will also “provide a way of escape that you may be able to bear it” (1Cor.10:13).
Particularly for many American Christians who have lived in the lap of luxury and have seen no serious persecution in their lifetimes…this may be the very first time they will truly know what it means to have “the peace that passes all understanding”. A peace, a serenity and a strength that defies all logic. (Philippians 4:7)
And another hopeful note here: I am inclined to believe that by virtue of being given an inside peek at these ‘last days’ deceptions, your chances -and mine- of sidestepping these things have now dramatically skyrocketed. Hopefully now, you will easily recognize these ploys and walk away. Sadly, only a very rare few of us in these last days are paying any heed to Jesus’ survivor manual, the Olivet Discourse.
Most believers today have been under a life-long propagandizing effect of the “salvation presumption” false doctrine…such that they cannot get it into their heads that, spiritually speaking they must never view their salvation status as a foregone conclusion.
Certainly, if you are a faithful follower, you should have a wonderful and strong sense of assurance and peace. But not to view your salvation as a presumption, nor as a foregone conclusion. Take heed, o aspiring Christian!
WHOSE NAME IS WRITTEN DOWN IN THE BOOK OF LIFE?
Regardless of which names may or may not be already written down in the Book of Life…
…from our earth-bound perspective we are instructed from the Scriptures to view ourselves as being at risk of falling away. Falling into apostasy. Not that we are all inclined to falling away. Some are more susceptible than others. Some, for example, are paying attention to the Olivet Discourse and some are not.
Some are applying “all diligence” in their personal holiness and separation from sin, in order to “confirm their calling”…per the instructions of 2 Peter 2:10…instead of the profound spiritual laziness that prevails in today’s conservative Christian church culture (particularly in America, I would suggest).
Yes, it will hopefully turn out in the end that your name was indeed written down in the Book of Life all along. But the fact of the matter is you don’t get to know that in advance with 100% certainty.
What you do know is that you need to “persevere” until the end…just as Jesus clearly stipulates in the aforementioned Matthew 24:13…and as is stipulated throughout the Bible.
What you do know is that those who continue practicing sin “will not inherit the Kingdom” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10).
Hebrews 3:14 — “We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first.”
Hebrews 10:36 — “You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised.”
James 2:14 — “What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him?”
Notice, for example, the precision wording of the above Hebrews 3:14: There is a present tense status (“we have come to share in Christ”)…but which, from our earthly vantage point, will only be truly confirmed and truly proven in the future (“…if we hold firmly to the end”). Of course, from God’s vantage point, He will have known all along who are His own. He “foreknows” those who will turn out to have been His true followers (Romans 8:29).
In other words, holding firmly till the end will demonstrate and prove that our faith was genuine. The action of “holding firmly” in itself does not save a person. But “holding firmly” is a manifestation of genuine and saving faith.
As the Book of James clarifies (note the above James 2:14)…”deeds” are proof of a genuine and saving faith. And 2 Peter 1:10 indicates that we can “confirm” our salvation only by continued “diligence”: “Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you…”. So again, assurance of salvation and confirmation of salvation…are only derived from continued “diligence” in holy living.
ANY BELIEVER IS POTENTIALLY IN DANGER OF BEING DECEIVED
Absolutely no one…is exempt from Jesus’ warnings and from the warnings all over the New Testament…which state that ALL believers are at risk (if they are not careful) of falling into a deception regarding their own salvation status.
“Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers…will inherit the kingdom of God.” 1Corinthians 6:9-10
A point-blank statement in the Bible directed to the believers of Corinth and (obviously) all believers…that an erstwhile ‘believer’ can become deceived about his salvation status.
I have been personally aware of veritable busloads of church-goers over the years…who have slipped into idolatrous behavior and fornication and such…but who develop some sort of weird split-personality mindset: Sin all week long /“worship” on Sunday. And I certainly do not exempt myself. Any time a believer commits sin, there has been a descent into spiritual madness of a sort.
Thus does the Bible warn “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”
In other words, a lot of church folks are in desperate need of shaking off their Jekyll-and-Hyde double-think lifestyles. A “sober spirit” and an awakened and active mind (“be alert”) do not allow for spiritual schizophrenia. Tragically, there are huge numbers of church folk who run around, trumpeting:
I know absolutely that I am saved for all eternity and no one [not even the Bible?] can tell me different.
I prayed for salvation in Vacation Bible school when I was six years old…and that’s that.
Hey man, “once saved, always saved”. Get off my back!
And so on.
Thus, they are excluding the possibility of falling into apostasy and of falling into deception about their salvation status, in direct contradiction and dismissal of these numerous warnings in the Bible…starting with Jesus’ warning in the Parable of the Sower, and which He reiterates in the Olivet Discourse.
To be clear – yes, I do ultimately believe in “eternal security”. I do believe in “once saved, always saved”. But only God knows with 100% certainty who are His own. He has absolute knowledge. We, as finite humans, have something less than absolute knowledge. 1Corinthians 8:2 states: “If anyone simply presumes to know something, he does not yet know it as he should.”
Many of us might have (and deserve to have) a very high degree of certainty regarding our salvation…but it is always going to be something less than absolute, 100% certainty. God has built into our Christian experience an element that can never be removed during our earthly lifetime, which is that we are to “work out our salvation with fear and trembling”. You can’t get around that.
YET ANOTHER DECEPTION TECHNIQUE FROM THE ANTICHRIST AND HIS AGENTS: THE TEMPTATION OF “THE WILDERNESS” AND “THE INNER ROOMS”:
Notice in the Olivet Discourse text…how the wolves are firstly going to utilize “great signs and wonders“…and then secondly, try to lure their intended victims out to remote and hidden locations. Matthew 24:24-26:
“…false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. Behold, I have told you in advance. So if they say to you, ‘Behold, He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out, or, ‘Behold, He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe them.”
This appears to be a kind of ‘third phase’ of the Great Apostasy plot. First, there are those 1) whose faith collapses the very moment the Antichrist appears on the scene. Then there are those 2) who require some extra persuasion as the pre-positioned “false prophets” go into action with their false miracles and deceptive sales pitches for the New World Order (“hey, this isn’t really the mark of the beast – come on, now!”).
But finally, for those ‘diehards’ who are holding out and refusing to cooperate, we see here 3) an apparent proposal from the false prophets…an offer of safe conduct to remote “desert places” and hidden “inner rooms”.
Regarding this attempt to lure them to remote and hidden locations, I can imagine the arguments of these “false prophets”/satanic agents:
Look, we need to get you to safety. The local populace is up in arms over your reluctance to sign on to the new order. You’re in danger of vigilante mobs. I have been told the regime has some relocation camps at remote sites and at secret interior locations inside military bases…which have been made available for your safety. And by the way, this mark is not the “mark of the beast”–chuckle, chuckle. Come on people. It’s a government mandate, meant for your own good. To facilitate commerce. To stimulate the economy. To increase security and enable the government to do its job. The Bible does say to “obey every ordinance” after all. You shouldn’t disobey the government.
Something like that.
And so…when they have lured these people to isolated, remote locations, they will then ‘lower the boom’: “Accept the mark of the beast and sign on to the new world regime…or else you will remain here imprisoned!”
Remember, all these “false prophet”/wolves will be highly recognizable and highly popular “Christian” leaders. Names everyone in the Christian community would recognize and respect. Such is clearly indicated in the Matthew/Mark/Luke texts — the “false prophets” are described as having access to the top platforms, such that they have the ear of the entire Christian community. In other words, these wolves are positioned at the very top levels of leadership.
And as I mentioned before…possibly, many of these leaders may not be out-and-out satanic. They may merely be heavily duped and fooled into helping corral the majority of the conservative church population into the new world order. Nevertheless, the Bible categorizes them as false prophets.
I imagine also that some of these leaders will be just as much under a kind of Stockholm Syndrome collapse/terror…as some of their victims. Sadly, I see huge numbers of ‘dupes’ already…operating at the present time in Christian leadership circles.
IN CONCLUSION: SPIRITUAL PREPARATION ADVISED AND DESCRIBED BY JESUS IN MATTHEW 25
Besides the extensive comments of Matthew 25 which we will now look at, Jesus also prescribes a powerful prayer for end times believers…a prayer which is only reported in the Gospel of Luke version of the Olivet Discourse:
“Pray that you may be accounted worthy to escape all that is about to happen” (Luke 21:36)
In other words, there are SOME who will escape and survive all the way to the end…to the actual time of this “gathering of the elect” rapture event. After all, some of us need to survive…or else there would be no one left to “rapture”! Therefore, those rare few who give God’s Word enough honor and pay it enough heed…to even notice this prescribed prayer, and even more so, pray this prayer…may indeed increase the likelihood of having this prayer answered! “The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” – James 5:16.
Matthew 25 talks about, among other things, the Parable of the Ten Virgins. Five of these virgins prepare to go out into the darkness in order to meet the Master upon His return…by filling their lamps with oil. And five of them do not prepare. The way this is described in the parable, the oil enables the virgins to light their lamp and guide their way as they must go out into the darkness to meet the Master.
It is my understanding the oil represents spiritual preparation and spiritual sustenance…while the ‘darkness’ represents the dark hours of the “great tribulation”. As believers, we enter the hours of darkness voluntarily (so Matthew 25 indicates)…by taking a stand for Jesus and refusing to worship the beast (the Antichrist) and thus absorbing the world’s wrath.
Spiritual preparation, in my understanding, is to fill our minds with God’s truth and stay in close communication with God through prayer…and remaining aware and alert regarding the time of troubles that are to come…instead of burying ourselves in a state of denial and distraction. Let me carefully qualify — I am not advising God’s faithful to dwell on future troubles in an unhealthy manner. After all, Jesus once said that “each day has enough trouble of its own”.
But the picture which Jesus paints is of a time of trouble followed by…the very Kingdom of God. In other words, the darkest hours come just before the dawn. In the dark hours you are to be looking for that Kingdom. Your lamp is lit and you are looking for the appearance of the Master. It is a hope-filled experience:
“Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, for then is your redemption drawing near.” Luke 21:27-28
May God bless you and keep you,
Matt TwoFour — email: firstname.lastname@example.org