It’s been on my mind for a while: the issue of prophesy and the end times and deceit. The issue in Christianity of feeling as an individual the strength to withstand the enemy and yet not seeing what we allow in both our physical homes and our minds to take root. This is by no means A DIScouragement to use the gifts that God wants us to to desire through the Holy Spirit. This is just a encouragement to be aware. This is also NOT a bash on Bethel and the pursuing of signs and wonders, I merely attach the name because most people are familiar with the church name and I am just using as example since I live near Redding Northern California. There are many churches who encourage their congregation to overcome the fear of man. As a believer who has gained some wisdom and has a deep love of the Word and seeking out what God has told us, I wanted to address in a short article the issue of believers taking in things that God specifically denotes as abominable and causes a rift that needs reconciliation.
Christians fall back on “faith/trust” in God so much that he will protect them while they welcome the demonic or anti creation into their minds and homes and believe that God will give them the strength despite their decisions, they do not realize they are doing things on their own strength and belief. I have to wonder and to call into question if this is truly faith, or is it actually self deceit…a pride in religion, namely Christianity. When deceit is mentioned in scripture, Jeremiah 49:16 tells us, “Your fierceness has deceived you,….” as well as Obadiah 1:3 ” The pride of your heart has deceived you,…” (NKJV blueletterbible.org) Other indicators of this condition include making ones nest and a disbelief that anyone/thing can bring them down from the cleft of the rock.
The apostle Paul, James and John write against the lies the enemy wants us to believe. Only we allow ourselves to be swayed to believe these six particular lies
A) Fornicators, idolators, adulterers, homosexuals, sodomites, thieves, covetous, drunkards, revivers and extortioners will inherit the Kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)
B) Evil company does not corrupt good habits (1 Corinthians 15:33)
C) We cannot be corrupted by the simplicity that is in Christ (meaning if we only remain in the beginning without growing) (2 Corinthians 11:3)
D) That God can be mocked (Galatians 6:7)
E) That one’s own desires do not, when conceived give birth to sin, and when sin is full grown it does not bring forth death. (James1:14-17)
F) That sorcery does not deceive (Revelation 18:23)
The according scripture verses/ passages address these lies others try to bring against us with the truth, exposing the deceit. Four direct times we see: “do not be deceived.” We are deceived two major ways: From others and from Self deceit. I found this additional article on the process of self deception, for deception comes from other people and from self: http://acmelab.yale.edu/sites/default/files/2011the_selfish_goal.pdf (just be mindful, it is written by a non believer, yet reveals psychological processes)
How do we combat deceit?
By not disregarding the scripture and not disregarding the Holy Spirit. Because if we do not disregard that, we WILL be disregarding the enemy, the one who desires to be god and have glory and attention. I heard a very, very good and true word from a pastor this weekend that before we learn how to walk as a Christian, babes in Christ, just like babies in the created order of things, learn to sit up, crawl and then walk, we must first learn to sit, in order to deeper understand the authority of Christ.
A mindset has crept into the Christian “culture” if you will, that even though we admit we are not without sin, people have started to think and believe that we can’t be deceived. Not only were Adam and Eve in their perfect state deceived (and we are not in a perfect state this side of heaven) Matthew, Mark’s & Luke’s gospels reveal that the enemy will seek even to deceive the elect. Hence, the need to sit and learn of God’s word, then walk and grow in wisdom.
We see in the Old Testament in the redemptive story of Moses confronting Pharaoh with signs that the magicians, at least for a while attempted and succeeded in repeating the exact miracles Moses was told to show to Pharoah. I believe very much a time of shift is coming. Yahweh only knows when, but we need to brace ourselves for battle when it comes to signs and wonders. Matthew 24 peels back a pattern. The enemy often works by wearing down people to acceptance if you do not replenish and daily renew your mind. For quite a while now with new-age movements and spring up cults we have had false christs spring up claiming they are Christ. War and rumors of war has been going on for a while but is reaching a new increase.
We are told by our Savior not to be troubled. Although America hasn’t gotten to the Christian killing point yet, its only a matter of time. Other countries for quite some time now have been crying out. Though America hasn’t had any major famine or pestilence, there has been increased earthquakes. These things are specified in various places. Famines have been elsewhere round the world. We see and some poke fun of how easily people get offended these days especially on the internet. Amidst these things that seem out of order, there is a repeat in the chapter that appears more structured, not that it definitively is specifically, however it gives us a clue. People claiming to be Christ. False prophets rising up. Am I saying Bethel and others as such are the false prophets?! No. Each persons prophesy must be subject to the prophets, meaning in alignment and agreement with God’s word. Accountable. What I am saying, though, is be aware and unsurprised because when real prophets and real Christians stand up, it is the enemy’s method of operation to try to claim glory which is not his. Glory belongs to Creator God.
Notice the recurrence that the false prophets AND false christs will perform signs and wonders. This discredits God in people’s eyes. It’s a follow up, “I can do what God can” disqualification and tests if we can truly tell the real Jesus, to see how much we know about the one to Whom we avowed our souls. Satan can never be who God is, was and will be. Repeated in Matthew 24 two times, we are told the enemy will try to deceive EVEN THE ELECT by signs and wonders and also by location (“Here a Jesus, there a Jesus”) I see people who claim Christ even now believing the 6 major lies in this article that the New Testament addresses.
How we see evidence of God & where do we find God?
Those questions are what the enemy is going to try to give answers to and already is working at providing tickling answers.
“The researchers believe the activation of the hypothalamus indicates that our response to tickling may be a primitive defense mechanism to signal submissiveness in the face of a dominating foe.”
When God talks about his people wanting their ears tickled, that brings a whole new aspect to the situation. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. We hear through our ears. God has no desire nor need to dominate by teasing or tickling, creating a spiritual blockade of defense. He wants us to know Him.
In reflexology, massaging touch of the ear can affect some major organs and systems of the body: the uterer, appendix, gall bladder, brain stem, genitals, pelvic cavity, nose, among other things. Just as the physical body has these various systems that are designed to work together, so too the body of Christ is supposed to work together with the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Each body system produces something. The major ones reached by massaging of the ears includes thought/memory, production of new life, production of bile for toxin protection. Our enemy knows this and if he has our ears, he is given access to destroy the spiritual “body systems” of Christ, if you will, that deal with new believers growth, manipulate what we remember, forget or choose to ignore of what God actually spoke to our hearts and in His word, and weaken our knowledge of the Truth destroying our spiritual immune system.
So, how do I identify a false prophet?
Here are some indicative criteria of how we can identify false prophets
1. They will come in sheep’s clothing. (Therefore, you must know what is a sheep and what is a wolf. Moreover, a ravenous wolf. Ravenous nature should be a give-away.)
2. They rise up AND deceive. (Every prophet must rise and grow, start somewhere, but the ones who are from God will not succeed with lies if you study your scripture wholistically and consistently, spending time in prayer with Yeshua.)
3. They will show signs and wonders TO deceive. (Not to give glory to the living God.)
4. All men speak well of them. (There’s no seeking to affirm or confirm with what they say wholistically agrees with scripture.)
5. Their destructive heresies and denial of the Lord are brought in in secret.
(Matthew 7:15, Matthew 24:11, Mark 13:22, Luke 6:26, 2Peter 2:1)
Why does Jesus/Yeshua call us not to be troubled about this very rightly unsettling issue?
Because He is thorough. Because He is The Truth and has given us exactly what we need to study and remember and hold onto. Because He knows not all of His creation will choose to reciprocate the love with which He created them. Because He only designated us to be responsible both for our own relationship with Him AND disciple others that He point us to specifically in the Truth. If we all obey the great commission and go out and make disciples, making by making time, by building holy relationships that the enemy wants to break, not only will we edifying and courage one another, we will be fighting to equip one another. Equip, to my understanding in the Greek, essentially means to restore. Only God can restore and make all things new in the book of Revelation, but we are called to equip, to restore and point others to Jesus/Yeshua who is the only One who can bring restoration to people’s lives.