Are we in the end-time?
Yes! There is enough evidence to say that this is the case!
Matthew 24:6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
Matthew 24:7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.
Matthew 24:8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
Matthew 24:9 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.
We see these things and know that we are in the last days
Matthew 24:3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”
Now here is the interesting thing…
Who is He not talking about? He is not talking about the world in general – they are already deceived.
Who is He talking about? He has to be talking about Christians in the Church of God
Matthew 24:10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.
Matthew 24:11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.
Matthew 24:12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.
Matthew 24:13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved.
You have to have the Love [agape; spiritual love that only comes through the spirit of God]
[So we see the continuing application to us today]
THIS IS NOTHING NEW
It began happening immediately and effectively
Paul warned of this in:
Acts 20:17 From Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called for the elders of the church.
How much more then should we reject men who leave the doctrine of God?
Acts 20:27 For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God.
Acts 20:28 Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.
Acts 20:29 For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.
Acts 20:30 Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.
Acts 20:31 Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.
Three years and then I marvel…not necessarily the same people, but the same man Paul, who would have approached them in nearly the same way.
And yet it still happened
Galatians 1:6 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel,
Galatians 1:7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel [only one true] of Christ.
Galatians 1:8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. [anathema: banned or excommunicated] Galatians 1:9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.
Paul continues with this theme in his letters to:
1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,
1 Timothy 4:2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,
1 Timothy 4:6 If you instruct the brethren in these things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which you have carefully followed.
1 Timothy 4:7 But reject profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise yourself toward godliness.
Then he gives a specific example
2 Timothy 2:23 But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife.
Seemed to be an ongoing and/or pervasive problem that not only Paul had to deal with but Peter as well.
2 Peter 2:1 But there were [past] also false prophets among the people, even as there will be [future] false teachers among you [among who? the church members], who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them [paid the price with His blood], and bring on themselves swift destruction.
2 Peter 2:2 And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed.
2 Peter 2:3 By covetousness [because of what they covet: vain glory and praise; power; control; whatever it may be] they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.
There has been, is and will be a constant onslaught from men such as these. It began during the time of Christ and the institution of the church and continues until the time of the great deception right before the return of Jesus Christ.
2 Thessalonians 2:3 Let no one deceive you by any means [because it CAN happen]; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition,
2 Thessalonians 2:9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders,
2 Thessalonians 2:10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, [WHY?] because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
It became necessary for Jude back in his day to address this situation that had developed in the church and was causing problems.
Jude 1:4 For certain men have crept in unnoticed [where], who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.
For certain men (teachers and preachers that can affect the congregation the most) have crept in unnoticed.
This was going to be a problem as well in the end-time.
:4 ends with …and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.
They do this in word and deed
Denies in Word
1 John 2:18 Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour.
1 John 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.
1 John 2:21 I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth.
1 John 2:22 Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son.
1 John 2:23 Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.
Antichrist [the spirit of it] denies any part of Christ and God by extension
Who He was, what he did etc. All of it
It not only denies in word but it:
Denies in Deed
Titus 1:15 To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled.
Titus 1:16 They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work. [Turning Grace into lewdness]
Body of Doctrine that includes Word AND Deed
These are the men that Jude is beginning to warn about…the perpetrators of his time as well as ours
We are Satan’s Target Today
So it should be no surprise that this is still true and still going on today
These are the things that happened to Worldwide Church of God; of course they were the target then; Satan is not going to go after the already deceived world, we are his primary target!
The devil will introduce a little error here and a little there. He will build error build upon error and take true Christians off the track. If we are going slightly the wrong direction for long enough we will eventually be way off the right path.
The church is where Satan is putting his most concerted effort now. Going to get worse than it is now which is why we need to be discerning.
We know it’s happening in other offshoots of the church of God. For example: it’s okay to have multiple wives; women preachers; kill other humans in war or police forces; make false prophecies.
As a child I used to wonder about these prophecies that are not found in the Bible. Now I don’t give it a second thought when I see all the other things that they are saying and doing; you know that their prophecies aren’t going to come to pass.
You might say these things are not that deceptive or clever yet MANY have fallen for these false doctrines and more.
How does this sit with you as you ponder and think about the fact?
Cognitive dissonance is the discomfort experienced when simultaneously holding two or more conflicting ideas, beliefs, values. Dissonance is aroused when people are confronted with information that is inconsistent with their beliefs.
Cognitive dissonance – because it just doesn’t ring true as something that God would allow.
These are the people that we call brother, they are the ones that baptized us, they are the ones that we consider to be our counselor and adviser, they are the ones that were held up high by many, they are the men that we respected, they were the ones that we went to the Feast with and they are the ones that we sat next to in church and broke bread with.
Yet God says it is going to happen and we need to be super diligent about it.
1 John 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
When we test them how will we know?
Jesus Christ also foretold of this in:
Matthew 7:15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing [pretending to be a part of the flock], but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.
Matthew 7:16 You will know them by their fruits [not just what they say, but what they DO as well]. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles?
Matthew 7:17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.|
Matthew 7:18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.
Matthew 7:19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
Matthew 7:20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.
What they say and the way that they act will betray them
Jesus Christ says there in :15 to be aware. He is telling us that this is something that we MUST do. Are we doing it? Are we watching out?
When Worldwide Church of God came out more fully with their belief system which went back to all the old errors, it was much easier to see what was going on. It flew in the face of all that we held so closely and dearly for so long.
But what about now?
Are there those that consider themselves above the Law? Do they now not need to conform to EVERY word of God? Do they make excuses when it suits them and circumvent what the Bible says when it is expedient?
What are their fruits? We are told to consider these things.
There is a DECEPTION going on in the Church of God; it has been going on throughout the history of the church and specifically is going on in the end time. And we have been warned that is going on and it should be no surprise.
Luke 21:8 And He said: “Take heed that you not be deceived. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He, ‘and, ‘The time has drawn near.’ Therefore, do not go after them.
It says this because we can be deceived – don’t take lightly
2 Corinthians 11:15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness,
We must hold fast as scripture says. We cannot displace any aspect of the entire body of scripture. To do this is to negate who and what God is; it would be abrogating His character, the same one that we are to be putting on.
IF we find that this is the case then we need remove ourselves from it.
2 Corinthians 6:14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?
2 Corinthians 6:15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever?
2 Corinthians 6:16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM. I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE.”
2 Corinthians 6:17 Therefore “COME OUT FROM AMONG THEM AND BE SEPARATE, SAYS THE LORD. DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN, AND I WILL RECEIVE YOU.”
This is further reiterated in:
2 John 1:6 This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it.
2 John 1:7 For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.
2 John 1:8 Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward.
2 John 1:9 Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son.
2 John 1:10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him;
2 John 1:11 for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.
What do we or what will be put before God? He has given us the truth and we are to hold it near. Do not be fooled by smooth words, like “it’s just what’s in your heart that matters.” Weigh ALL the words you hear against the TRUTH of God