The following article by Christine Darg is available as a video at The Jerusalem Channel at the following link: http://jerusalemchannel.tv/video/video-four-end-time-deceptions/:
We’re living in an age when people fill themselves up with junk food, and that includes spiritual junk when it comes to understanding what the Bible really teaches.
In these last days, the Bible predicted that people will turn their backs on solid truth and chase mirages and myths. There’s a lot of deceptive and foolish nonsense out there, disguised as religion.
In this article, I will expose four major End-time errors that we should be on the lookout for and guard ourselves against.
Jesus warned his disciples very solemnly to guard against deception.
1. The first error I want to mention is the belief that you can be a Christian without being a disciple of Jesus Christ. In Luke 6:40 Jesus said very plainly that a disciple is not above his teacher but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher. In order to “make disciples” as the Lord has commanded us to do in the Great Commission, we must first become his disciples ourselves.
Yet there are so many seeker-friendly churches that only aim to fill pews and create a big audience for TV, and so for the most part, they don’t emphasize making disciples at all! I don’t attend church for its entertainment value. Church is where my soul is fed, a place where my body is strengthened and where I receive instruction as well as the peace that passes all understanding—I’m talking about the depths of peace that the world can’t possibly offer.
Most of all, church should be a place to worship God with our highest ideals of music, praise and prayer. That’s something woefully missing from so many churches. It’s a tragic mistake to look for entertainment in a church service. But sadly churches are trying to compete with the world’s entertainment. Churches can’t compete with Hollywood, Broadway, rock concerts with smoke machines and so forth—why try?
Holiness has been swallowed up by shallowness. Having lulled congregations into a stupor, these seeker-friendly churches are caught off guard by the invasion of a militant religion that seeks to enslave us . . . as well as a barrage of immorality that seems to be going unchecked.
However, evil spirits can still be driven back if the church will wake up on our watch! “For,” Paul said in the New Testament, “we don’t wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, and powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, we’re waging a spiritual warfare against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Therefore we’re to take up the whole armor of God, that we may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. After repenting of our shallowness, we must regain lost ground. The key: “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit,” Paul said in the Ephesians Chapter 6 concerning spiritual warfare.
Believe me, when God the Holy Spirit shows up, it’s a zillion times more awesome than a shabby imitation of the world’s entertainment in church!
Now concerning this end-time error of casual church going and seeker-friendly diluted Christianity, I want to say very solemnly that discipleship is not optional. Jesus said unless we’re willing to pick up our individual crosses and follow him (that means obeying him and doing everything he says on a daily basis) we cannot be his disciples. Casual church-goers tend to think of discipleship as something that a special super saint does, something that only a minister or a priest or a missionary does. However, the fact is– if we claim to be followers of Jesus, we should be his disciples and we should also be making disciples.
2. A second End-time danger is the proliferation of an inordinate lust for revelations, sensational prophecies and outlandish unbiblical supernatural manifestations. People are finding solid truth to be intolerable and unpalatable, because the plain truth contradicts “their own lusts” for theories and bizarre teachings. And so they’ll find plenty of weird teachers to accommodate what they want to hear. Now please don’t misunderstand me. I do believe very much in the Holy Spirit gift of prophecy! I believe in supernatural miracles. The Holy Spirit gift of prophecy is a needful gift in the Body of Messiah—it’s biblical and it’s been powerfully used in my life to confirm many new doors along my path; and I also prophesy words to others from time to time as I’m led by the Holy Spirit. But Paul told his protégé Timothy that the time would come when people would no be able to endure the plain diet of the Gospel; instead they’ll lust for more and more revelations and teachers with exciting visions and so forth. In our age of the Internet, strange revelations and doctrines that excite have swamped our Facebook pages and email accounts. Throughout this week the Holy Spirit has been speaking to me a certain verse. It’s 2 Timothy 4:3. The King James Bible that I grew up with and therefore it’s the version I’m the most familiar with. . . renders 2 Timothy 4:3 like this:
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts they’ll heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears.”
Now the phrase “after their own lusts” means there’ll be a craving for teachers and teachings not according to the Bible but according to their own tastes, their own cravings or wishes for angels, and so-called heavenly tourism through visions, and so forth. The implication is that people will always want something new—a new revelation. They can’t endure and put up with biblically revealed doctrine. The meaning of the original Greek is people in the last days won’t be able to put up with “healthful, healthy, doctrine;” that is, foundational teachings from the Bible that explain salvation, teachings that expose and denounce sin, teachings that heal mind, soul and body. Instead, Paul’s prediction is that people they will seek instruction that’s more conformable to their whims, to their wishes and fickle feelings. I’ve surely noticed that many professing believers have an insatiable appetite for the newest and the latest revelation, when in fact, most good preaching is merely reinforcement of truths in the Bible that we should know but that we may not have been putting into practice.
As much as I appreciate the recovery process of the Hebrew roots movement, we have to be careful that we’re not just chasing a remez or a revelation for the sake of revelations. We have to be careful not to crave the garnishing of the dish more than the food; to be electrified rather than edified. Jesus plainly warned us that in the last days there will be many false teachers. There will not be one or two, but there will be heaps and heaps of false prophets. Jesus said the world will swarm with them. Good men, and especially good ministers, will be very rare, one in a thousand (Job 33:23). Internet rumor is especially tricky these days There are so many perverted scammers out there who take delight in conspiracy theories and in counterfeiting news with fake reports. People send me the most outlandish links wanting to know if they are true or false. Why don’t they have the discernment? Just this week a viewer wrote to me asking for prayer for a former minister’s wife who’s tragically completely gone off the rails. Apparently her downfall began with an inordinate desire to have more and more revelations and teachings. She spends so much of her time watching various teachers and videos on the Internet that tragically she lost her husband, her children and now she’s alone with only a few friends who are trying to help her. This former pastor’s wife refused all spiritual correction and counselling and insisted that only she understands the truth.
I like the way the New Living Translation renders my text, 2 Timothy 4:3
For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear.
Tragically it’s happening all around us. . . .People turn away from the truth, they grow weary of the glorious gospel of Messiah, they’re greedy of outlandish prophecies, and take pleasure in them.
And what’s the meaning of people wanting to have their ears tickled, as the apostle Paul expressed it? The image is an itching sensation, to have ears rubbed or scratched. This is because people are fickle, and unsettled, and never satisfied. They will accumulate for themselves self-gratifying teachers in accordance to their own desires, as in the days of the prophet Isaiah when the people demanded, “Speak to us smooth things; prophesy deceits to us.”
The International Standard Version renders my text, For the time will come when people will not tolerate healthy doctrine. . . .
The NET Bible renders it, they will have an insatiable curiosity to hear new things.
And the Aramaic Bible in Plain English is a translation that I appreciate a lot. . . It says, For there will be a time when they will not obey sound teaching, but they will MULTIPLY [emphasis mine] teachers to themselves, according to their desires, and with an itching of their sense of hearing. The word multiply describes the phenomenon. May God give us greater discernment, as we need it more than ever.
3. A third End-time deception that’s unfortunately gaining ground in a lot of places is that God is finished with Israel and that Israel as a nation is not a fulfillment of Bible prophecy but it just happens to be some sort of unfortunate political anomaly. What an end-time heresy! Nothing could be further from the truth! I was listening with my husband to an interesting radio news program the other night. The host of the program had so much going for him and his ministry because he comments on the news in light of Bible prophecy, but then suddenly he lashed out in an anti-Semitic way against Israel that truly shocked me. He also lashed out and denigrated a pastor who has stood in the gap with Israel. As a Bible teacher and a watcher of end-time prophecy, this radio host surely should have known better! God will hold him accountable for not knowing the prophetic Word concerning God’s regathering of the Jewish people back into their homeland. Those of us who are teachers will be held to a greater accountability. You see, the Bible states in many places that God favors the return of the Jewish people to the Promised Land, and the Almighty is fulfilling his covenant with the Jewish patriarchs and with King David, preparing for Jesus to return to sit on the throne of his father David and to rule this world for a 1,000 years –from this very nation of Israel with Jerusalem as its eternal capital! Replacement theology—the notion that God has rejected the Jewish people and replaced Israel with the church—is an insidious teaching; it’s particularly rebellious and dangerous in light of the plain fulfillment before our eyes of so many end-time Bible prophecies concerning Israel. Let’s take a selah moment and ask God to convict any Bible teacher or Bible commentator who is not understanding the times and who is erroneously leading the people of God astray into anti-Semitic dangerous error!
4. A fourth End-time deception that we must fight is a craving for revival signs and wonders without genuine repentance. Yes, we want big revivals, but revivals must be biblically sound and not just soulish shows with a lot of hype and shouting and shoving with no fruit that remains.
Hardly a week goes by that I don’t receive yet another prediction about a coming move of God that’s supposed to eclipse all other previous revivals. Well, first of all I have to say that there IS coming a revival that will eclipse all other revivals but the revival I’m talking about will take place ultimately here in the land of Israel. That’s what Romans 11 is all about and you must read it for yourself! While hopefully there’s still time for great revivals in the nations, by God’s love and mercy, nevertheless these potential revivals will not be able to rival the great End-time revival that the Lord is planning and preparing in these last Days in this nation of Israel!
The move of God in the land of Israel is prophesied in the Bible to be so great and Israel’s salvation from her enemies so tremendous and earthshattering that the nations will know beyond any shadow of doubt that God is God! And when the Holy Spirit is outpoured on the inhabitants of Jerusalem as described in Zechariah chapters 12 and 13, it’s going to be resurrection life from the dead compared to all other previous revivals. Anybody who’s spiritually smart will grab ahold of this.
The frequent discussions about Revival on the Internet and so forth, the hopes, dreams, prayers and many prophecies about revival in the nations always tend to revolve around the manifestation of the glory and presence of God moving across the land. I have to ask: Have we paid the price in fasting, prayer and repentance for such a revival? Or are we willing to accept weak substitutes? The dictionary defines the state of being revived as a return to life or consciousness. When a person is resuscitated from near death it’s said he’s been “revived.” Or brought back to life. After being born again in my childhood, I’ve been through a number of spiritual revivals in my lifetime. Revival means returning to our first love, the Lord. Revival is something that happens to individual believers when a living faith and our first love of the Lord is restored by the power and working of the Holy Spirit. By “revival” today most people are thinking of a large move of the Holy Spirit that will impact the church and nations.
I’m a student of the history of revivals, and in a true revival, the Holy Spirit doesn’t behave in a silly manner but He is active in power to convict people of sin, of true righteousness and of impending judgment. There are many wonderful consequences of real revival: believers begin to pray, they weep, they repent, sometimes they tremble under the power of the Holy Spirit with a holy reverential fear of the Lord and his holiness and judgment. If a revival is genuine, people receive new power to live clean lives and to obey God from the heart. Therefore marriages and relationships are beautifully restored; drunkards and drug addicts are delivered form their addictions; people become productive members of society ….entire communities are transformed by the power of holy, godly living.
The one basic ingredient that’s lacking, and seldom spoken of, in current calls for revival is true repentance. I’ve talked about this a number of times in my television programs. It’s our great desire to do the works of God as never before but our Western nations are so weighed down by sins and so near to catastrophic judgments that I believe God is waiting for national repentance services. Instead, what most Christians seem to be seeking are mainly blessings for themselves in meetings. If you listen to prayers in services, the prayers often revolve around individual needs and not God’s agenda. People may enjoy a therapeutic time in lively praise and worship, yet nevertheless when the services are over and the strobe lights are turned off, many are sadly still living for the most part unyielded, unsurrendered lives. In their heart of hearts, many believers know they still have outstanding unresolved issues between them and God, but they’re simply unwilling to change.
Many believers are living in open sin and taking God’s mercy for granted. There seems to be no healthy respect for God’s moral law and no wise fear of the consequences.
Yet despite the lack of repentance and real change, there’s plenty of ministry going on all the time. People line up for ministry and even want hands laid on them even though many continue to live in sin. And you know what’s scary about that to me? It’s pretty scary that Jesus warned us that many who have an anointing will be branded by him as workers of iniquity! How many are there like that in our churches today? But we have to face this dangerous fact and examine ourselves to see that we’re truly demonstrating the faith and contending for the true faith once delivered to the saints. This is because of the scary warning Jesus gave us in Matthew 7:22-23:
He said, “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in your name, and by your name didn’t we cast out demons, and do many mighty works in your name?” But then Jesus said, “I will profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, all of you who work iniquity.”
God, please don’t let that be me!
Repentance seems to be an old-fashioned word that we want to sweep under the carpets in our churches, in these theaters of entertainment. Yet the essence of the Gospel is Luke 24:47 that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name unto all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
In a sermon not far from Jerusalem’s walls, the Apostle Peter’s cried out to his generation in Acts 3, “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord!”
Both Jesus and John the Baptist preached repentance. Repentance means a change of heart, a change of attitude and actions, literally a turning around and returning to God. But a false Messiah is tragically is being preached in many of the churches, and the world loves this false Jesus.
Some of the attributes of the false Jesus is that he will let everyone into heaven; we’re told about this false Jesus that he came to bring peace and not division. He doesn’t require obedience or holiness; he doesn’t require repentance; he only requires love. He never says anything offensive and he certainly won’t tell anyone they’re wicked. It’s impossible for him to send someone to Hell; his commands are only suggestions, and so forth. But if you know the Gospels, you know all these lies portray a false Christ. Jesus does require obedience, he spoke many times of the horrors of Hell that we must try to escape, he called a spade and spade and rebuked religious hypocrites. So if you are following a false Jesus, wake up from that.
“Yet even now, says the Lord, turn unto me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: turn unto The Lord your God; for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abundant in loving kindness…”
Now to sum up these four end-time deceptions that we’ve been discussing:
THE REASON for the shocking apostasy that we’re seeing all around us is that the predicted time has come when people won’t be able to endure sound doctrine.
Professing church-goers don’t want to discard the ministry altogether but they’re exchanging godly ministers for another category of flatterers because of human pride and indulgent teachers. Morality accompanies sound doctrine and immorality accompanies unhealthy unsound teachings.
The itch for novelty and for more and more revelations will result in a multiplication of false teachers.. who will share new things or smooth things. It’s a Bible fact that when men don’t return to the knowledge of the truth, God gives them up to a reprobate mind, which means a depraved mind, so that they lose all taste for sound ideas and all ability to think clearly.
In conclusion, I’ve described the battle that we’re living in. But we’re believing God in his mercy, because he’s not willing for souls to perish, to win at least a million souls to the Lord in the time remaining before the Second Coming of Jesus. We covet your prayers. Daniel 11:32 promises ‘those who know God will be strong and do exploits.’ If you’re a watchman on the walls, we’d like to stay in touch and chat via social media. We also invite you to visit our website at www.exploits.tv where you can click online to receive a copy of our free color magazine. And at our website we publish weekly prayer points for watchmen as well as notices about our upcoming events and prayer convocations in the Holy Land. Until next time, always contending for the faith and praying earnestly for the peace of Jerusalem! I’m Christine Darg, shalom.
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