IF IT LOOKS SO GOOD …PT.4 continued ALL MIRACULOUS SIGNS AND LYING WONDERS
There is presently a preponderance of false “signs and wonders” taking place within the church that does not line up with the Word of God. Enthusiasm is not a Biblical criteria for truth no matter how exceedingly popular the movement is. I remember reading a book written by a well-known, precious Christian who is bound to a wheelchair. She made the comment that whenever one of the popular speakers came to town who were known for “performing miracles” the same scenario would be played out. All those in wheelchairs would be restricted to one area and would wait to be called on stage to be healed. They never were.
Error is subtle and sneaky and is purposely mixed in with truth to deceive the believer. Holiness is not contagious’ but unholiness is (Haggai 2: 11-13)
Haggai 2:11-13 New King James Version (NKJV)
11 “Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Now, ask the priests concerning the law, saying, 12 “If one carries holy meat in the fold of his garment, and with the edge he touches bread or stew, wine or oil, or any food, will it become holy?” ’ ”
Then the priests answered and said, “No.”
13 And Haggai said, “If one who is unclean because of a dead body touches any of these, will it be unclean?”
So the priests answered and said, “It shall be unclean.”
There are a number of ways to interpret this truth. We learn sin from others easier than we learn holiness from them. The Bible also confirms that a little bit of leaven leavens the whole loaf. If you begin with a clear glass of water and add a drop of filth to it, the filth defiles the clear water; on the flip side, no amount of clear water added to a filthy glass of water will turn it truly clear. I look at this and it warns me to be seriously vigilant of who my companions are and even more vigilant over who my Biblical teachers are.
TWO KINDS OF TESTS
The whole chapter of Deuteronomy 13 is a warning about deception, but perhaps the most alarming verses are 1-3:
If a prophet arises among you and gives you a sign or wonder 2.and the sign or wonder he foretells comes to pass and if he says, Let us go after other gods, which you have not known, and let us serve them. 3.You shall not listen to the words of that prophet; for the Lord your God is testing you to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your mind and heart and with your entire being. (Deuteronomy 13: 1-3 AMP)
Note: the man called himself a prophet of God. He came from among them, like the tares are among the wheat, like error comes alongside truth. And, incredibly, what he said came to pass! It looked good! Yet, in Deuteronomy 13: 8 and 9, God says not to listen to him; on the contrary, He says that the prophet is to be put to death for talking rebellion and going after “other gods you have not known.”
The Lord says all this deception is sent as a test to know whether we love Him totally. Ironically, the remedy for deception is for us to do our own “testing.” In 1 Thessalonians 5: 21 we are commanded by God to “prove all things until you can recognize what is good; to that hold fast.” The word “prove” in Scripture is a metallurgist’s term. It is also referred to in Jeremiah 6: 27-30. An assayer or prover is to test ore closely because fool’s gold looks so much like real gold (it “looks good.”) Once the assayer tests the ore and discovers it is gold, he then tests it further to see how pure that gold is – 10k, 12k, 24k, Interesting isn’t it? God tests us to see if we are gold and how pure gold we are. Likewise, we are to test all things to see if they are gold and how pure they are. In Acts 17: 11 the Bereans were commended as being “more noble” because they took the Scriptures so seriously that they even tested the teachings of Paul. Notice that they did not use the fluctuating criteria of emotions or experiences in their testing; they used the only one reliable, trustworthy, infallible standard – the Word of God.
Isaiah 8:20 commands:
Direct people to the teaching and the testimony; if their teachings are not in accord with this word, it is because there is no light in them.
Where is the purest gold found? in the City of God (Revelation 21:21). We are only fit for this Golden City as we, too, are purified and immerse ourselves in pure teaching. In John 17:17 Jesus Himself said: “Sanctify them by the Truth. Thy Word is truth.” Not our emotions, not our experiences, not by how “good” it looks or sounds or feels…but by the truth of His Word.
We cannot test what we see and hear by our emotions or by experience. The only remedy for deception is the truth, the objective truth of God’s Word. Yes, I’m aware that I’ve said that three times in the last short three paragraphs. But you have to understand something. I started my walk with the Lord 42 years ago. During that time I have seen so many rallies, conferences, “revivals,” “healing services,” etc. where so many were carried away by shouts of “More, Lord, More” and “ Fire, Lord, Fire.” I’ve seen people who were “healed” – and I was one of them – for 3 to 4 days because of the high level of emotion in the air – yes, that can happen – and it was not real, neither was it truth or God. We must discern what is light and what is darkness. We must test the origins of any revival, its teachings and its total conformity to Scripture. Only by testing can we know what is true and to be embraced and what is deception and to be avoided.
ONE FINAL PIECE OF TRUTH
Go back and re-read this entire series. We learned of “if it looks so good, how can it be deception.” Remember the wheat and the tares that look alike at the beginning but as the tares – the lethal, poisonous darnel – grow their true colors show. We commented on counterfeits. All of this was to prepare us for the biggest deception, the most insidious poison, the cleverest counterfeit – the Antichrist. The worst lie we have been led to believe is the one about the Antichrist. We think he will appear as someone horrid and evil. We think the prefix “anti” means “against.” Yet, what it really means is “acting in place of.” In other words, he’s an imitation christ – no capital c.
|◄ 500. antichristos ►|
|500 antíxristos (from 473 /antí, “in place of” and 5547 /Xristós, “Christ”) – properly, opposite to Christ; someone acting in place of Christ; “Antichrist.”|
Having now studied deception, can you understand that the Antichrist will look more like a “savior” than a devil? So says:
2 Corinthians 11:14-15 New King James Version (NKJV)
14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.
Dave Hunt, now deceased, stated in this excerpt taken from Countdown to the Second Coming;
Somewhere at this very moment on Planet Earth, the Antichrist is almost certainly alive—biding his time, awaiting his cue. Banal sensationalism? Far from it! That likelihood is based upon a sober evaluation of current events in relation to Bible prophecy. Already a mature man, the Antichrist is perhaps active in politics and might even be an admired world leader. Or he could be the head of a multinational corporation, a little-known international banker of great wealth and behind-the-scenes influence, a sports hero—or he might arise suddenly from total anonymity. Somewhere he is being meticulously groomed, though as yet he probably has no more inkling than do those who encounter him daily of the ultimate role for which Satan is preparing him and will, one momentous day, utterly possess him.
Whoever and wherever he is, one passion rules this remarkable man—a lust for power. Even so, benevolence, prudence, integrity, and principle mark his circumspect public behavior. It may be that at this point in his life he is still convinced that his motives are altogether pure and unselfish.
Jesus warned that many would come claiming to be the Christ. These numerous lesser antichrists who were already in the world, as the Apostle John explained in 1 John:2:18
would prepare the way for the real Antichrist who would appear in the last of the “last days.” Behold the ultimate deception: Satan posing as God, Antichrist masquerading as the true Christ, and not just the world but an apostate church as well totally taken in by the bold fraud. Instead of a frontal assault on Christianity, the evil one will pervert the church from within by posing as its founder. He will cunningly misrepresent Christ while pretending to be Christ. And by that process of substitution, he will undermine and pervert all that Christ truly is. Anything less than such a diabolically malevolent strategy would be unworthy of Satan’s foul genius.
Key Scripture verses related to “Antichrist“
- 2 Thessalonians:2:3-8
- 1 John:2:22
- 1 John:4:3
- 2 John:1:7
The most important rule in discernment is: PROVE ALL THINGS. HOLD FAST WHAT IS GOOD. (1Thessalonians 5:21). Obey and love God with all your heart. Be at peace.
How often have we been hearing lately about “miraculous signs and wonders”? The problem is that whenever signs and wonders are mentioned in the Bible in relation to the end times, they are called LYING signs and wonders! So says Jesus in Matthew 24:24 and Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2:9. Then why are so many today being applauded for the “signs and wonders” in their midst?
Matthew 24:24 New King James Version (NKJV)
24 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.
2 Thessalonians 2:9 New King James Version (NKJV)
9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders,
All revivals may look good: great enthusiasm and devotion may be displayed. But, religious enthusiasm in itself is not evidence of the truth. The Pharisees had great religious enthusiasm. Yet, remember Mt 7: 21-23:
Not every one who says to Me, Lord, Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father Who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your Name, and driven out demons in Your Name and done many mighty miracles in Your Name? And then I will say to them openly, Depart from Me, I never knew you.
Who were in danger: just a few? No, many. Were evil acts being performed? No, they were doing miracles, great signs and wonders, prophesying. Were they done in a demon’s name? No, in JESUS’ NAME! In His Holy Name. Yet, He said – depart from Me. How “good” it all looks and sounds – in our eyes. Not in His.