False Prophets, Teachers and Leaders In the Laodicean Age

Part 2

By Lynette Schaefer

 

Bible-Believing, Fundamental Churches– genuine followers of Jesus Christ

Despite the fact that, in the current times we are living in, that there are unfortunately so few good churches in existence that follow Jesus wholeheartedly and adhere to Biblical principles, thankfully there are some still around.  It’s a sign of the end-times and apostasy of the church is in full bloom.  The compromise and abandonment of Jesus and the Word has spiraled downward, leading to more and more unbelief in the secular world, more cults being created, more immorality, unbiblical political agendas such as homosexuality, liberalism, and so forth.  This is a darkened, sinful world we find ourselves in and Satan’s army is hard at work in this end-times age going up and down in the earth causing sin and creating spiritual havoc, so it has become very difficult if not impossible for Bible believers to stem this tide.  They are getting falsely accused of all kinds of horrible things by the liberals and tares.  Case in point is the latest “Left Behind: Eternal Forces”, a violent game where Fundamental Christians are depicted as resorting to terror tactics to convert people!  Unbelievable, and totally NOT TRUE!!  Also, the “DaVinci Code” that is popular now, is being used to launch a direct attack on true Christianity and Christ Himself by twisting the Bible into a half-message or a Gnostic, fictional account by denying basic, core doctrines as found in the Scriptures.  People are flocking to these in droves and many accept the false claims.

 

Bible-believing Christians, as you can tell, fully accept each and every word contained in the Bible as inspired and coming from God Himself to which nothing is added or taken away.  On what basis should I make such a claim?   Well, for a number of reasons: 

·        Prophecies that have been fulfilled.  Over one hundred (100) prophecies about Jesus’ First Coming made in the Old Testament ALONE have all come true to the letter.  These prophecies were uttered over thousands of years by many different people from all walks of life.  But they all had the same message.  What ordinary book can make this claim?  And what are the odds of that happening in ordinary circumstances without God’s directing the players?  I’d say it is nil that that would happen.

  • Archaeology.  Archaeological finds have unearthed many places that have been referenced in the Bible, so the Biblical accounts can be substantiated.  A magazine called the “Biblical Archaeology Review” (BAR) will give you a complete, detailed description of all the archaeological sites that have been unearthed and discoveries of many artifacts connected with the Bible.  There are many that have been discovered.
  • Science.  The Bible is not simply a book of faith; it is also a book of science, even though evolutionists and skeptics would deny it.  For example, the account of Noah and the Flood can be substantiated as being a global event that covered the whole earth, and that it happened four thousand years ago.  We now have a news report from a team of experts who went to Ararat in Iran (not Turkey) and actually discovered parts of what is believed to be Noah’s Ark, exactly as described in the Bible, and they brought back pictures of what appeared to be parts of rooms, doors, and other components made of gopher wood!   
  • The Bible Speaks for Itself.   It is a message that is not based on private interpretation or that is loose; it is definitely divine and the Scripture as well says that “All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, and training in righteousness.” (2 Tim. 3:16)  The key is not to abuse it by taking it out of context or redefining what it actually says to suit our own purposes.
  • Answered prayer.  Those who have truly trusted in God for the atonement of Jesus can go to His throne room and get their prayers answered.  He responds to us by working in our life through trials, tribulations, victories, successes, etc.  He shows Himself faithful and awesome when we are at our weakest.  And He also can show Himself through supernatural and miraculous intervention, such as something big you desperately need and pray for (such as a car) showing up inexplicably the next day or shortly thereafter; but something like this can only be explained by God’s supernatural intervention as it is almost always humanly impossible to produce it on our own.  We’ve all heard stories like this.  God is a wonderful Provider, and He always has been!  

Therefore, all the secular humanists, agnostics and atheists who would argue that the Bible is nothing but a bunch of made up fairy tales pushed on us by scam artists (preachers who are called by God!), are total fabrication and blasphemy.  The Bible is the Living Word given to us by a Living God, the Almighty Creator of Heaven and Earth!  The Word is God’s Love Letter to us and the message contained therein is all about a special Person who came to be our Savior who is alive and is on the Throne!  He is Jesus Christ, God’s precious and wonderful Gift to us.  We, who are sinners, no less, who do not deserve anything but death!  But what we need to do is to come to Him in faith so He can forgive us of our sins.   There is more on that below.  As Bible-believing Christians, this is the basic tenet of why we believe and follow Christ: we love Him because He first loved us, we want to shine for Him and share Him with others so they can be forgiven of their sins and be assured of eternal life.  This is a message of love, not hate.  So when unbelievers come along and attack us with all kinds of mockery and false accusations, looking to smear our name as Christians and to blaspheme our LORD, it just saddens us to encounter such darkened hearts that are both spiritually and morally bankrupt.  

 

What Will Happen to Them?

Well, since all the above listed are unbelievers and cults of one form or another with the exception of Bible-Believing, Born-Again Christians, unfortunately, they have doom awaiting them because they have chosen to preach and teach diluted false gospels that deceive people and kills their souls and/or to follow the vain philosophies of men.  The biggest problem with all of these movements is that they don’t properly address sin and the need for repentance. That is a serious thing!  The Lord never intended for man to take His pure Word and twist it into a garble of assorted dead theologies conjured up by man.  His Word has always been the absolute truth and always will be.  We need to respect that Word by adhering to it and its absolute truths for our lives instead of reducing it to what our own itching ears want to hear. (2Tim. 4:3) God knows what He is doing; He knows what is best for us and has set down the instructions for us to follow.

 

I want to state for the record that there are probably true, born-again Christians who continue to fellowship in some of these false churches and maybe some were even saved in them.  However, I also wonder why they would choose to stay in them and not want to get out.  Why?  Because in each of these post-modern churches, there is a Satanic/Antichrist spirit that resides there, and many false Christian tares make up the populace of these churches which makes them unhealthy for a Christian’s Walk in the Lord. (Matt. 3:12; Matt. 13:30)  So if you find yourself fitting into this category, I would OBEY GOD and seek to leave these types of churches post-haste; as they are only going to compromise your faith walk with God and confuse you on many issues that you shouldn’t be confused about.  Your social circle or family ties within these churches is a secondary issue and should not be the reason you continue to fellowship there if it is a false church.

 

The following is a graphic description of what will happen to those who preach as well as follow a false, watered-down gospel that cannot save a soul as well as those who would rather follow worldly philosophies and vain deceits.

 

 

Destination: Hell and Damnation

We have gotten so far removed from the concept of a Biblical hell (which is a core, fundamental Christian doctrine) that it has led too many people right down that very path.  The concept of hell is now considered “too negative” to believe in by the typical modern church; so it has been swept under the rug and substituted with Universalism, Annihilationism, or some other humanistic philosophy that is untrue.  Well, whether a person chooses to believe in hell or not does not change the FACT of its existence and destination for all unbelievers at the end of their life.  No one slips into heaven without Christ; no one is annihilated, or goes to a place called Purgatory.  None of those beliefs are Biblical but they all come from the traditions of men.  (Matt. 15:6)  Lastly, God never sends anyone to hell; rather, people of their own choosing elect to go there, because they don’t believe in the true Son of God or that they really need God’s help. 

 

This is what one can expect if they find themselves in hell at their death:

  1. A place of blackness forever. (2Pet. 2:17)
  2. A constant stench that permeates everything.  (Is. 34:3)
  3. Dismal scenes of unending sorrow.  (Psalm 78:66)
  4. Fire that is never quenched.  (Mark 9:43)
  5. Abandoned to the love of sin.  (John 3:36)
  6. The living dead: unending, excruciating pain. (Rev. 14:10)
  7. Lost to the presence of God forever.  (Matt. 7:23)
  8. Loss of heaven.  (Jud. 1:6)
  9. Loss of all pity.  (Ezek. 8:18)
  10. Unspeakable torment.  (Luke 16:28)
  11. Simultaneous torment (all parts of the body are tormented at the same time) (Jer. 8:21)
  12. Extreme torment.  (Luke 16:24)
  13. Perpetual torment that never ends. (Mark 9:43; Rev. 14:11)
  14. Everlasting punishment (Matt. 25:41)
  15. Place of torment: dungeon, prison, bottomless pit, furnace of fire. (Matt. 13:42)
  16. Tormentors are cruel. (Prov. 17:11)
  17. There is greater torment for false witnesses and false preachers. (2Pet. 2:1)

On the other hand, this is what awaits the true Christian, who is part of the blood-bought Church:

  1. Beautiful beyond imagination. (1Cor.2:9)
  2. Desires fulfilled.  (Psalm 37:4)
  3. In the company of Saints.  (Heb. 12:23)
  4. In the presence of the Lamb.  (Rev. 13:8)
  5. We behold His Glory.  (Song 5:16)
  6. We receive His welcome.  (Matt. 25:21)
  7. Jesus makes it heaven.  (Acts 5:41; Is. 53:5)
  8. We share the Master’s joy.  (Matt. 25:21)
  9. We see friends and family who had died in the faith.  (John 14:2)
  10. We know the Saints who went before us.  (Matt. 22:30)
  11. There is perfect unity.  (Heb. 12:23)
  12. There is perfect love.  (Psalm. 16:3; John 17:22-23)
  13. Perfect friendship.  (Song 5:11)
  14. United praise.  (Psalm 35:28; Psalm 22:23)
  15. The mysteries of Scripture are revealed.  (1Cor. 2:10)
  16. Fellowship with God.  (1Cor. 1:9)
  17. Perfect happiness.  (Rom. 14:17)
  18. Joy of the blessed is ever fresh. (Is. 35:10)
  19. Joy of the blessed is immeasurable.  (Col. 3:4; Psalm 36:8)
  20. Earthly relationships are perfected and experienced in their fullness. (Matt. 22:30; Matt. 25:6-10)
  21. God’s faithful promises fulfilled.  (2Pet. 1:4)
  22. Martyred glorify God.  (Rev. 7:10, 12)
  23. Praising, worshipping, serving and glorifying God.  (Rev. 4:10)
  24. Providence of God revealed.  (Eph. 4:1,6)

Conclusion
When we mix the truth in with error, we end up with error and not truth.  It doesn’t matter if it contains 99.9% truth and .1% error, it is ERROR.  I’m talking about the essential, life-saving, core beliefs which are contained in orthodox Christian doctrines that have come down since Christ and the Apostles.  That’s how important it is to know and adhere to the Biblical truth.  Here’s an example of what I mean.  Say you go to a high-quality restaurant to have a meal.  You order something that looks really good, and the waiter or waitress brings it to you.  It looks great and smells wonderful, and your mouth is watering in anticipation of the pleasant taste.  You dig in and take a bite, but unfortunately, you find a foreign object in your wonderful dinner!  You spit it out and discover it is a piece of gravel (or worse).  You recoil at the sight of what you see and your stomach starts turning.  What do you do?  Do you proceed to eat the meal?!  No, most likely by now you’ve lost your appetite and the only thing you want to do is to send it back and perhaps not even frequent the restaurant again.  You don’t trust it anymore.  Therefore, it should come as no surprise to any of us that when it comes to essential spiritual things like the Gospel and eternal life, that nothing but the best should do; and it is what we should expect from the divine book called the Bible as well as those who preach from the pulpit.  They need to be trustworthy, both in what they preach and how they live.  However, in this Post Modern age, we have been conditioned to accept all kinds of ecumenism, compromise, false doctrines, and extra biblical nonsense as okay.  Just as long as the pews are filled with tithing “patrons”, then compromising feel-good messages that appeal to the lost and don’t deal with sin are acceptable.  According to God, NOT SO!  God is the same, yesterday, today and forever. (Heb. 13:8)  He does not change with the times or to suit anybody’s personal tastes, not EVER!  And, it’s a good thing, too; because He is God and not a man who changes with the wind!  Many churches, sadly, that were once good and sound are now compromising by adopting these post-modern philosophies handed down by popular men who really don’t believe the whole Bible, or their lives and morals are one of compromise.  The bottom line is: don’t follow men, follow God and Him alone as revealed to us from His Word!

We are living on the edge and deception is everywhere. A pure Bible and a faithful church to that Word are our only guide and hope.  Be a radical Christian and cling to truth with abandonment. The coming of our Lord can be expected at any moment and we want to be prepared to meet Him!

 

Where Do YOU Stand With Christ Right Now?

According to the current timeline in history, we are living in what Jesus called “the days of Noah” (Matt. 24:37-39), or the End Times according to prophecy.  Jesus declared in Luke 21:29-32 that when the budding of the fig tree took place (or when Israel became a nation once again), that this generation should not pass away until all these things are fulfilled.  Wow!  Since Israel was reborn as a nation after 2500 years in 1948, the duration of a generation is typically 70 years, and Jesus declared that this generation would see all these things fulfilled, that we are that final generation who will see the return of Jesus!   If my calculations are correct, this being the year 2006, we are now in the 58th year since Israel became a nation.  So that means the church age as we know it, can come to a close at any time when God gathers to heaven all those who are the true Body of believers, not counterfeits!  Then all hell will break loose here on earth called the rise of the Antichrist and the Tribulation; and all those who are left here will have to endure horrific judgments and wrath from God.  Why is that?  Because God hates sin, and mankind of his own choosing has been on a downward spiral into sin to a point when God will not let it go on any longer.  The earth is at a point in time when it needs to be scoured and cleansed of its sin.  There are now huge mega evidences of the Lord’s soon call of His body to gather them to heaven; i.e., conflict in the Middle East with missiles being launched from the Gaza area and North Korea (Ezek. 38-39); the threat of disease and pandemics like Bird Flu; threats of numerous mega disasters such as volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunamis; rampant and full-blown apostasy, such as what is being described here; gross immorality, the political situation in the European Union, chip implants, etc.  The list goes on.  Ironically, many people who call themselves Christians also choose to stick their heads in the sand and ignore these very obvious trends that are happening.  Well, that approach is not Biblical when the Bible itself declares that these things would occur in the last days and we are commanded to watch for the Lord and love His appearing (2Tim. 4:8; Mark 13:32-37).  We are clearly living in the “Days of Noah” (Matt. 24:37).

  

Knowing this, if you do not yet know the Lord personally, you need to act now so you will not be caught unprepared.  If you already know Him but have been lax in your faith walk for any reason, you need to repent of that sin and rededicate yourself to Him to walk in a manner that is pleasing to God.  That means forsaking the world and its ways; or a weak, compromising church and its worldly ways, which can only leave you spiritually bankrupt.  Start spending daily time in prayer and Bible study to help you grow in the Lord as you become focused on Him.

 

The nature of God is one of infinite love and mercy.  It is also one of absolute purity and holiness.  So how does a mere mortal man reconcile himself with a holy God?  It is only through Jesus, because Jesus is the only One qualified to be a proper mediator between sinful man and a holy God. (Rom. 3:25; 1John 2:2) He is the only means by which separation can be bridged and the gap can be closed.  Why is coming to God so exclusive in nature, and that no other means can be allowed?  Isn’t that a hateful thing to exclude people who try to be reconciled to God through their own efforts?  Well, it’s like the example I gave above about the restaurant: we expect the best when we go to a business establishment as a customer.  When we don’t get it, it is not acceptable.  This is only on human terms in our own experiences.  Well, imagine how a holy God must feel when we come to Him by another means than the best, and the way He designed for us, which is His Precious Son whom He chose to provide for us so we can be reconciled to Him.  It’s very simple.  God is offering us something as fantastic as eternal life with Him through Jesus, that when we turn it down because of our own sinful selfishness or arrogance, it is highly insulting to God.   It is then that God has no choice but to give us over to our own self will and we are then subject to the consequences of His judgment both in this life and much more, in the afterlife.  He cannot tolerate sin in His presence in any way, shape, or form.  He doesn’t ever force us to do things His way, but He delights when we do because we respond properly to His love.  Once we become reconciled to Him through Jesus, our sins are literally washed away and now there is a new, living relationship by the power of the Holy Spirit.  So this is the message of love, that God does not want any person that He has lovingly created and knows everything about, to end up eternally separated from Him by their own choosing.  He gives much warning in the Scriptures about that, so we would be very wise to heed and respect what it says about eternity as well as how we’re to live our lives on this earth.  Because all of us, whether we personally want to face it or not, will spend eternity in one of two places: heaven or hell.  That’s the reality. (Matt. 7:13, 14)

 

Okay, then, so what is the proper spirit in which we can approach a holy God?  Here are the simple steps you need to take:

 

  1. Recognize and admit with your whole heart that you are a SINNER.  Your SIN is what caused you to be separated from God in the first place. (Is. 59:2)  Only true repentance from sin (turning from) and the willingness to surrender and change will allow God to come near you and be willing to work with you to help you to develop the character of Christ.  No “feel good”, compromising gospel message can make you acceptable to God or bring you close to Him as it simply serves the flesh.  Remember, only the best will do for God!  Here is a simple test using the Ten Commandments you can take to prove that you are indeed, separated from God because of your sin.  Answer them honestly.  Have you ever lied in your life?  In God’s eyes, then you are a liar.  Have you ever stolen anything, even a paper clip?  Then in God’s eyes, you are a thief.  Have you ever looked with lust on somebody?  Then in God’s eyes, you are an adulterer.  If you’ve honestly answered “yes” to any of these questions, (and all of us have), then you are doomed on Judgment Day because God will not and cannot permit any kind of sin in His presence and in His heaven.  Multiply even three sins a day (which is very minimal) times the total number of days you have lived.  This amounts to a huge number of sins you will have to answer to God for on Judgment Day if you do not have Jesus as your Savior!  For me, if I was without Christ, it would amount to a minimum of 61,320 sins (and probably a whole lot more) if I were to die right now!  But because I have the covering of Jesus as my substitute and High Priest, I am completely washed of sin according to God (even though I presently still have that sin nature), and now I am able to stand clean before God. (1Cor. 6:11; Eph. 5:27)  God would have no choice as our Righteous Judge but consign you to Hell forever because you refused His covering when you had a choice.  So there’s no excuse.  Period.  Jesus is our only hope of escape from certain doom. (John 14:6)
  2. Ask to be forgiven of your sins.  You can only be cleansed of your sins through the shed blood of Jesus Christ through faith alone.  This means recognizing that He died on the Cross, as the perfect, sinless Lamb of God who came down from heaven as the Second Person of the Trinity who died in our place as our substitute. (Titus 2:14; John 1:1-4,14) Then three days later He rose to life again by the power of the Resurrection, and ascended to God the Father in heaven forty days after that, where he continues to make intercession for us as our High Priest and mediator. (Rom. 8:34)  You need to identify with the sacrifice of Jesus in your place and apply His perfect atonement to your heart in order to be washed. (Rom. 5:8; John 1:29)
  3. Ask Him to help you take up your cross daily and follow Him.  That means learn to live a surrendered life where you live by the Spirit and not by the flesh.  It means developing a Christ-like attitude towards others.  It’s developing a fruitful faith walk that honours the Lord.  It’s a desire to be eager to serve and to give your life over to prayer.  It’s a life that’s given over to evangelism and sharing your faith with others. (Mark 16:15) Finally, it is also to love His appearing and to watch for Him from heaven to take us home with Him.(2Tim. 4:8; Mark 13:32-37

Understand that it is the miraculous and divine work of the Holy Spirit that convicts and regenerates us into new creatures in Christ.  It cannot be done by our own strength.  As soon as you have sincerely trusted Jesus as your Savior, He is yours and you are His forever.  You are sealed forever by the Holy Spirit. (Eph. 1:13) He will never leave you nor forsake you, and your name will be written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. (Heb. 13:5; Phil. 4:3) Alleluia!  The angels sing whenever a sinner repents and comes to God.  It is a gift of God through grace.  No other method will get you to God other than what is prescribed according to the Word.  God only wrote one book, the Holy Bible; so the way that is prescribed is the only way. (2Pet. 1:21; John 14:6)  Only the blood of Christ is sufficient to save when we have the faith that is necessary.  The blood of Christ does not need anything supplemental for salvation, such as water baptism, sacraments, and confessions to a priest or other man-made traditions.  Water baptism should occur as an outward symbol of what has already taken place on the inside; but it is not part of the salvation process itself. (Rom. 6:1-7) Anyone can go down a dry sinner and come up a wet sinner.  So it’s the divine blood of Christ, not water that actually saves.  Those who claim that “it is baptism that now saves you” (1Pet. 3:21), meaning water baptism is a part of the salvation process, misinterpret the passage.  That passage was given as a comfort to those who were already saved, that baptism was a symbol of the salvation that had already occurred.  If it was true that water baptism actually saves, then why did Jesus die like that on a cruel cross?  What, as some sort of an example or a representative?  NO!  He died because of OUR SIN who KNEW NO SIN in order to be our personal Saviour, because the fact of the matter is we are helpless and completely lost without Him.  That’s why we need to be reconciled to God in the prescribed manner and that nothing else is acceptable.

Reader, you need to understand this: the true message of Christianity and of almighty God is that it is not one of hate but of love.  Love for your soul because God loves you and wants you to be reconciled to Him and to have a personal relationship with Him forever.  But because He is also holy, we need to understand and follow the only prescribed way in God’s book, the Holy Bible.  So please don’t allow man’s various propaganda messages to distort your thinking about who God is, who Christians are, that the Bible is an errant and outdated book that is not relevant, or accept anything less than the full Biblical message of the Gospel; because as we have seen above, there are many wolves among us who speak what is untrue. (Matt. 7:15). 

 

Questions or comments? Contact the author at: lynettem@sprynet.com

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