What would be the greatest deception pulled on the Christian Church that was looking for God to do something great? Could there be such a close substitute that was wholly false, yet made people think that it was the real thing? Could it be that today, in the disguise of revival, we actually have an apostasy. A radical concept if indeed this is true.
Before we jump to any conclusions, let's look at a few scriptures. In Matt. 24:3-4, the disciples on the Mt. of Olives ask Jesus when will these things be? What will be the sign of your coming and the end of the age? Jesus answered, "Take care that no one, deceives YOU, for many will come in my name saying 'I am the Christ and will deceive many." Jesus warned three times of deception and of three things to the Church in this discourse. False Christ's, false prophets and false signs and wonders.
We see a warning given to the disciples in Mt 24 "False Christ's and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders so as to deceive even the elect, if it were possible." The apostles were the elect hand picked for a specific purpose even as we are elect for salvation today. If Jesus warned them first about possibly being deceived, are we any less susceptible than they were? These false prophets who work by false signs and wonders were to come into the church not just outside. They would rise up from among our own ranks. How else would they deceive the elect unless they were operating from within? So they will have a certain amount of acceptance for the door to be open for them to operate inside the church.
What is even more intriguing about Jesus' statement in Matt. 24:3-4 is that they will say "I am Christ , "Christed", The word Christ means anointed (one)". So they will say "I am anointed" too, they will claim to have power just like him. They will also say Christ (the anointing) is in the inner rooms or out in the wilderness, meaning he will be in different places all over the world. Today we hear the anointing is falling in Toronto, in Pensacola and wherever next. Isn't that exactly what we are hearing from those who are leading the church into this new revival and a "new anointing"? This implicit statement cannot be overlooked as just mere coincidence because this is at the very heart of the revival being proclaimed by the messengers of this so-called "last great outpouring of the Spirit on all flesh." They have even gone as far as to promote the giving of the anointing from their hands to others as well.
Let us ponder 2 Thess. 2:7 which speaks of the mystery of iniquity that is already at work. It was at work in Paul's day and it is certainly at work in ours. There are two forces at work, godliness (1 Tim. 3:16) and iniquity (2 Thess. 2:7). Both of these forces are competing in the world for each one of us. One is the Holy Spirit the other the Spirit of the Antichrist, the spirit of the world, lawlessness.
The word for "mystery is "mysterion" which means ,something hidden or secret, not easily detected or understood; that is revealed." In 2 Thess. 2:9, Paul writes: "The lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders." This evil working will be equally powerful in terms of its manifestations but it will lie to us. However, we can be awestruck by its strength. What's more, its author and source is Satan who empowers the lawless One and those who serve him (2 Cor.11:14). These wonders has an evil source with equal power in terms of their manifestations but they are sent to deceive to us. Those who love of the truth will be immune. You can't always tell a lie from what it looks like or how it feels. Many times it can feel good. Those who trust in experiences will all be fooled because they have no measuring stick. They are not familiar with the word to use it to discern whether something is false, neither do they care to do so. The reason is they don't have a love for the truth. Only those who go to the word will be able to tell the true from the false. To believe it one is immune from the deception means they are already deceived and ripe pickin's for anything that is offered from the pulpit.
It is God who has given us the standard in Isa. 8:20 "To the law and to the testimony if they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." God's Law Word. One who discounts His Word, becomes a law unto themselves and is then rendered "lawless". Jesus showed us by example how we must be subject to God, this means to surrender to his leadership in all things. We do not surrender our will to man but to God.
The purpose of the end time miracles by those who claimed Christ is to deceive us Mt.24:24. Those who trust in experiences and miracle manifestations have already bought into this model of ministry and have been practicing it for some time. Deut. 13:1-6 "If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder,2 "and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, '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 or that dreamer of dreams, for the LORD your God is testing you to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. "You shall walk after the LORD your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice, and you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him. "But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has spoken in order to turn you away from the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of bondage, to entice you from the way in which the LORD your God commanded you to walk. So you shall put away the evil from your midst.
What is Mysticism and Gnosticism
Mysticism is to contact the spiritual realm by so called getting into the Spirit. This is learning by the experiential, if it is not felt or sensational or emotional then God is not there. Mystical Christianity equates this with the presence of God. This is a spiritual treadmill where experience takes precedent over fait and the objective word of God. This does not mean one cannot have an experience with God but experience does not take precedent over the word or reinterpret the word.
Gnosticism is basing ones knowledge by their experience. That one needs to go into the Spirit for deeper truths. They believe it is wrong to interpret the Bible by the Bible. By the Spirit, direct contact with hearing the voice of god determines the true interpretation and supersedes the written word. The mystics and cults have always sought divine authority within man, placing the inner voice of the spirit over Gods word. When experience becomes the evidence of our relationship with God it is Spiritually counterproductive. It is based on the subjective and not the objective word of God. We need to be careful of a work from the outside instead a work from the inside. We already have it and we need to let him come out, but for this to happen we must die to our self and our desires. This may mean to put to death your desire to see signs and wonders from your hands.
Satan and his emissaries always challenge the validity of the Word of God. We find their base of operation will be miracles not the teaching of the written word. In Thess.2:10, we find him Working his unrighteous deception among those who are perishing because they did not receive the love of the truth so that they might be saved. Jesus told us emphatically that He is the Truth - The Word is the Truth. If we love Him, we will...continue in His Word. This is an essential in these last times to immerse oneself in the word of truth during this last days deception that overtakes those who do not become disciplined hearers and learners (disciples) of Him.
Peter who was one of the eyewitnesses of Christ revealing his glory and hearing the fathers audible voice which probably could be the greatest sign and wonder said after in 2 Pet 1:19 And so we have a more sure word of prophecy (confirmed), which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; " the prophets is what Peter pointed to as a surety, the word of God is more steady than what we see.
Dan. 11:36-38 "Then the king shall do according to his own will: he shall exalt and magnify himself above every god, shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the wrath has been accomplished; for what has been determined shall be done. "He shall regard neither the God of his fathers nor the desire of women, nor regard any god; for he shall exalt himself above them all. "But in their place he shall honor a god of fortresses (forces, power); and a god which his fathers did not know he shall honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and pleasant things." A god of power is worshipped he is moral in that he does not like women but he likes pleasant things. The similarities of those with the new anointing leading the revival that also like pleasant things is quite interesting. Magnifying himself above every god, (false ones are every other god) Speaking blasphemies against the true one. How does one do this, by claiming to be a god. This is another identification with some of those who are leading the Church in the revival.
In 2 Thess. 2:11-12, we read "For this reason, God will send them a strong delusion that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who do not believe the truth."
Because they have turned from God's Word, to another mans word (those who claim fresh word from God?), God will allow them to be deceived and be led astray into error and fraudulent portrayals of power. Yet they will not be able to distinguish its falsehood because they are not trained to go to the Word to discern. The devil gets more people into hell with religion than with drugs, pleasure etc. the anti Christ will rule through religion and operate through miracles. His thrust will be signs and wonders, the "lie" will be the "lying signs and wonders", because they are trusting in the power and not in God's word. They will, as 1 Tim. 4:1 states, "Some would fall away from the faith." Faith, which is the objective Word of God, and its author, God Himself, will be traded for a subjective experience of lies. Like Esau, who traded his birthright for a bowl of soup thereby feeding his immediate need. They too will trade away their only hope because they will not believe the Word. They had pleasure in unrighteousness, meaning they were approving of and willing to believe the miraculous signs and wonders.Signs and wonders are not the way to prove what is true, you can't always trust your eyes. The scripture says the just will live by faith, this is the very opposite of sight and experiences. It comes by hearing the word not by seeing.
Deception takes on many forms, imagine calling something a revival when it is really a departure from the true faith found in the word. What greater deception would there be if people called an apostasy a revival. The apostles had no failures in their miracles, this is quite the opposite of today's anointed healers claims that all will be healed and are not! Manipulating people to muster up faith to get their miracle and continue in faith to keep it or they lose it. This not the way the apostles operated.
Isa. 5:20 "Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" What looks great from the outside when ingested can make the stomach turn. What greater magician is there than Satan who can convince Eve to eat from the tree, is better than not to. To trust in the showmanship of the master illusionist who is the Deceiver will only divert ones attention from seeking truth . For Christians to believe that every miracle they see in the church is from God is no different. He'd love for them to look to miracle and wonder itself than the word to see if its true.
Satan and his trump card is being played out, we need to remember what 2 Thess. 2:7 says, "the mystery of lawlessness is already at work" and will continue to increase until the end. Pharaoh had his magicians copy Moses miracles, just as the false prophet and the Anti-Christ will counterfeit the apostles miracles and Jesus'. Jesus' whole warning in Mt.7:21 and Mt.24 is about the production of miracles as the identification of the mystery of lawlessness. This will be found in the signs and wonders at the end of time, as it reach's its apex then.
Is it revival time or something else entirely? 2 Tim. 3:13 "But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and WORSE, DECEIVING, and BEING DECEIVED."
Remember the Beatles tune" I have to admit its getting better, it's getting better all the time.".
The envelope continues to be pushed further, and many are accepting things unheard of a few years ago. Nowhere does scripture teach that things will continue to get better and better before the return of Jesus Christ, instead they will get worse and worse; "Paul says in 2 Thessalonians. "First comes the apostasy" those who fall away from the true faith. More and more people will be deceived as time continues on. Those who are the leaders in the deception will become more engrossed in it and hardened, unresponsive to the truth as time goes on. The Scriptures are not promoting a great world wide revival with power but the very opposite for the future overall state of the Church. This does not mean all will succumb to it. However there will be few who have held onto the original faith that the Church once held. Certainly there will be pockets of revival but there is no other way to understand a great falling away unless we see clearly the times we are in.
Luke 18:8 says, "Nevertheless, when the Son of Man cometh, shall He find faith on the Earth." To be in the faith means to rely on God's word only for ones instruction and guidance.
Can it be that when Christ comes back and does not find faith on the earth that it will be because there will be no more Word of the Lord, since faith comes from hearing the true Word?