A Voice in the
For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works. (2Cor 11:13- 15)
The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, (2 Th 2:9)
"For false christs and false prophets will rise and show signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. (Mark 13:22)
"Ministers of righteousness." What an amazing turn of words to describe Satan and his servants! As we think of the "End Times" in which we live, it is easy to see all the evil surrounding us, and that which comes out of our own hearts. After all, when Scripture says the days preceding Christ's return will be like "the days of Noah" and we realize that during Noah's time "the earth was filled with violence," (Gen6:11) that is easy to see.
But this "pointed ears - forked tail - pitch fork" approach would not be very clever on Satan's part, would it. All but the most die-hard sinners would see him for what he was, and would turn tail and run.
In Revelation 17, John is given a vision of a beautiful woman, dressed in scarlet, riding on the beast. And John "marveled with great amazement."(Rev 17:6) Why did he "marvel" at this vision? He could hardly believe his eyes, because the "church" was shown to be a tool of Satan.
A very good book by Dave Hunt, "A Woman Rides the Beast" documents in great detail how this vision is talking about the Catholic church. And while her cathedrals are bedecked in gold, and she openly practices idolatry; she has this image that she is the world's leader in "christianity." As one checks out historical records; martyrdom of Believers in Christ, persecution of Jews, etc., it is easy to see how she would fit this vision.
However, the scenario does not stop there. Let us consider for a moment, "who" crucified Christ. "The chief priests and elders persuades the multitudes that they should... destroy Jesus." (Mt27:20) These were the "spiritual elite" of Israel.
Let us consider today. A well known evangelist who used to vehe- mently proclaim, "The BIBLE SAYS..." insists on the participation of non-Christians in all phases of his crusades. Has produced worldly movies in the name of "christianity." Gads about with ungodly world leaders. Accepts a Million Dollar Templeton Prize from those promoting a One-World Religion. In essence, cursing the same "God" he claims to proclaim from the Bible. "Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so."(James 3:10)
There are many others who parade on platforms; pushing, slapping, blowing on people; claiming to be filled with the spirit, performing "signs and wonders."
"Her heads judge for a bribe, Her priests teach for pay, And her prophets divine for money. Yet they lean on the LORD, and say, "Is not the LORD among us? No harm can come upon us." (Micah 3:11)
Not to mention all the various "christian" cults such as Promise Keepers, Prayer Summit, March for Jesus, Toronto Vineyard, Laughing revival, etc.
Now, let's get down to the "little guy" ...the local pastors, teachers and leadership.
(Before we go further, lest misunderstanding arise, let it be known that there are, scattered far and wide, a few "faithful" men who minister God's Word in humility and truth, and who stand firmly on Sound Doctrine and teach it faithfully to their flocks. They are FEW in number, however. But they will hear the Master's, "Well done, good and faithful servant." This article is not about them.)
What do we see mostly?
"For the shepherds have become dull-hearted, And have not sought the LORD; Therefore they shall not prosper, And all their flocks shall be scattered. (Jer 10:21)
"Yes, they are greedy dogs Which never have enough. And they are shepherds Who cannot understand; They all look to their own way, Every one for his own gain, From his own territory. (Isa 56:11)
"And the LORD said to me, 'The prophets prophesy lies in My name. I have not sent them, commanded them, nor spoken to them; they prophesy to you a false vision, divination, a worthless thing, and the deceit of their heart.(Jer 14:14)
While these were all written thousands of years ago, they are certainly current, aren't they!
"Who is blind but My servant, Or deaf as My messenger whom I send? Who is blind as he who is perfect, And blind as the Lord's servant? Seeing many things, but you do not observe; Opening the ears, but he does not hear."(Isa 42:19-20)
This sounds like it could simply be a deception, and the leaders just don't know any better. And to a great extent, this is true, because the seminaries are teaching the leaders to be what they are. However, the blame cannot be placed solely on the seminaries and leaders.
"An astonishing and horrible thing Has been committed in the land: The prophets prophesy falsely, And the priests rule by their own power; And MY PEOPLE LOVE TO HAVE IT SO...(Jer 5:31)
Perhaps we can now understand John's utter astonishment at what God was showing him prophetically of "church" history. The WOMAN all bedecked in beautiful attire, symbolizing all that "seems" to be so wonderful; the building, the altar, the worship, the ritual, the smooth words from the pulpit that make everybody "feel" so wonderful and "holy" ...riding the BEAST; Satan. "Ministers of righteousness."
Judgment for this is sure. "Cursed is he who does the work of the LORD deceitfully...(Jer 48:10)
In an age when most "christianity" is a false religion, how do we know what is correct? What will a true Man of God proclaim? "But if they had stood in My counsel, And had caused My people to hear My words, Then they would have turned them from their evil way And from the evil of their doings."(Jer 23:22)
This is the opposite of what is going on in most churches. Paul directed, "Till I come, give attention to reading (Scripture), to exhortation, to doctrine." (1Tim4:13) If this isn't going on, then be assured you are experiencing Satan as a "minister of righteousness."
Don't be fooled by people performing miracles. Don't be fooled by "near-death" accounts with people seeing bright lights, and images of golden crosses streaming rays of tranquility, or people imparting something-or-other to them. Don't be fooled by sermons on "grace" without humility and repentance. Don't be fooled by pleas for Unity and love, when it is not preceded by a New Life in Christ.
Deception is happening, just as Jesus foretold. "Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender, and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see these things happening, know that it is near; at the doors!" (Mark 13:28-29)
Jesus is coming soon! Are you ready?
Amen! Even so come, Lord Jesus!