By Christine Darg
Deception and moral confusion are the primary signs of our times. Recently we were at a camp meeting in Florida and a preacher asked, what is the D word that best describes the signs of the times? My answer would be deception first of all, but the preacher was also right in saying doctrine.
In many passages, Scripture warns us against deception and false doctrines. Concerting the prophesied Great Apostasy that many Bible teachers believe we’re experiencing now, Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 4, “Now the Spirit says expressly [meaning in a very emphatic and lucid manner] … explicitly says that in the latter times SOME will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons.”
As my friend Malcolm Hedding wrote this week,
Today the spirit of Antichrist is everywhere evident in the world preparing it for the arrival of, what the scriptures call, the final Beast of History (1 John 4:2-3). The truth is, he can only step onto the world stage when its inhabitants have been schooled to welcome him. This “schooling process” is happening now and is seen in the global community’s slave like obedience to the COVID-19 regulations and the open talk, by significant world leaders, of the coming imposition of a New World Order. The same process is unfolding as that which did in Germany in the 1930s; the nation was prepared and brain-washed by a complicit media that made it possible for Adolf Hitler to step onto the stage of history. Hitler enjoyed global acclaim for the remarkable way he solved pressing problems and re-invigorated Germany’s society and military strength. The Beast will do the same but only this time it will be on a world-wide scale, and he will initially solve besetting and very difficult global issues including that of the Middle East Conflict. However, he will be set against the true followers of Jesus and in the end against Israel. Just like Hitler, he will turn out be a devil but only this time a more sinister and evil one.
Meanwhile, alarmingly, Israel is marching toward the time of Jacob’s Trouble by forming a shaky new governing coalition of the Right and the Left that, for the first time ever, includes Muslims– the United Arab List in the partnership. Whether PM Netanyahu survives this all-out attempt to unseat him depends upon, of course, God Almighty who is ultimately in charge. Never heretofore has Israel formed a Jewish-Muslim government coalition, but it certainly proves that the world’s one and only Jewish state is not an apartheid state!
So…..What to do in the remaining period that the Church has as the Times of the Gentiles comes to a close? The Lord’s mandate hasn’t changed! This weekend I’ve been asked to give a keynote address for a commencement service for graduates at a Bible school. The “Great Commission” was the Lord’s commencement address to his “graduate” disciples,after three years of “boot camp.” The Great Commission is still the Lord’s call to action. It includes only 61 words at the end of Matthew 28:
“All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
Jesus charged His graduates to share the truth, to make other disciples.
The Lord’s call to action is what any commencement speech should inspire: “GO—Take your knowledge and share it with others.”
We have the Gospel baton now! We must bring it across the finish line!
Recently I read a biography of one of my favourite believers, William Carey, the father of modern missions. I’ve also been called by the Lord of the Harvest to preach from time to time in India, and so Carey’s biography is instructive.
In his early life William Carey was just a humble shoe cobbler but he was endowed with extraordinary talents for the acquisition of languages. He became not only a famous missionary but also a great linguist. Although he was a genius, he simply considered himself to be a plodder, a diligent worker. That speaks volumes because I know some extremely smart people who are spinning their wheels and aren’t accomplishing what they could accomplish in God, but Carey was a plodder. Let’s all purpose to be plodders and accomplish exploits for God! A fruitful preacher that I know simply describes himself as “just a sinner saved by grace, trying my best to get something done for the Lord before the Rapture.”
In these perilous times, we must keep faith with the Lord of the Harvest! As Hebrew for Christians wrote, “How we see is a spiritual decision… From the Torah portion this week (Shelach Lekha): ‘See the land … whether it be good or bad … and strengthen yourselves.’ (Num. 13:18-20) Note that right seeing – even negative aspects such as the presence of giants – can only be achieved by courage derived from faith. When you see things that appear bad, you are to ‘strengthen yourselves,’ (i.e., וְהִתְחַזַּקְתֶּם) used here means to intently decide to see the good despite the veil of appearances. When we encounter bad things, we must refuse to be overwhelmed by carnal reasoning and fear. Look beyond the moment to see a promised good (2 Cor. 4:18). Whether things appear to be good or bad, trust God is with you, in your midst; he will never leave nor forsake you… ”
Amen and Amen!