March 26, 2012
By: John Barnett
Read, print, or listen to this resource on our website www.DiscoverTheBook.org
Please open to I Timothy 1:19-20.
The God of the Universe has revealed Himself by way of a Book that He wrote.
That Book called the Bible; and it contains propositional truth from the One who calls Himself the Author of Truth.
This God explains that as the countdown to the end of days approaches, so does the level of religious deception. False teachers, proclaiming a false gospel, with false prophets, heralding false messiahs would become the norm as Jesus explained in Matthew 24:24.
And, most ominous would be that Christ's church would heap together teachers who would bring teaching that people want to hear (itching ears), rather than what they need to hear (God's Word).
In the midst of all that warning come these verses that we begin with this evening. The simple lesson for us, and warning to us is that:
Detached from Truth—Lives are Shipwrecked
Guarding the truth is our chief responsibility as we see the falling away from truth that characterizes the end of days.
To not guard the truth leads to “ship wreck”; we can get into a state of not being moored and anchored by the truth as we see when Paul uses this word to describe those who thrust away sound doctrine and try to sail on their own and not carefully guarding Christ's way, truth and life.
1 Timothy 1:19-20" having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck, 20 of whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme."
What can cause a soul to be shipwrecked? False teaching and belief in a false doctrines about Christ. That was one of Christ's constant warnings.
When the world darkens, culture crumbles, and truth dies—you know the end of the world is near.
It is then that Jesus warned that the church would fill up with fruitless counterfeits.
When that happens it is time for believers to brace for the storm that we know is coming. The waves will only increase. Spiritual darkness will only deepen as deceptions grow.
These are days when we who know and love the Lord Jesus should reach into our hearts and grab onto the anchor line of truth as contained for us in God's Word, and feel it strongly holding us securely—tugging us homeward.
Jesus is the Ultimate Expression of Truth
Then the Truth Incarnate, the Living Word of God is wrapped in humanity and sent to earth. Jesus is the exact and true representation of God (Heb. 1:3). If you see Jesus you have truly seen His Father.
The only link we have to God comes by faith in His Word (Romans 10:17). God’s truth saves us, sanctifies us, and defends us from all attacks. Truth is of the essence. It is what we build our lives upon and place our hope in. God is Truth, Christ is the Truth, and His Spirit is the Spirit of Truth. Lost people never receive the love of the truth. And sadly, in the last days (in which we live) many will turn away their ears from listening to truth.
Paul’s world was hostile to the truth of God; and Paul warned that days to come would increasingly be filled with false teachings about God, and bad behavior by believers.
II Timothy 4:3-4 "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables."
A generation ago this slide away from truth so troubled the great Chicago area pastor A.W. Tozer (1897-1963) that he wrote:
"Wrong ideas about God are not only the fountain from which the polluted waters of idolatry flow; they are themselves idolatrous. The idolater simply imagines things about God and acts as if they were true.
"Perverted notions about God soon rot the religion in which they appear. The long career of Israel demonstrates this clearly enough, and the history of the Church confirms it. So necessary to the Church is a lofty concept of God that when that concept in any measure declines, the Church with her worship and her moral standards decline along with it. The first step down for any church is taken when it surrenders its high opinion of God.
"Before the Church goes into eclipse anywhere there must first be a corrupting of her simple basic theology. She simply gets a wrong answer to the question, ‘What is God like?’ and goes on from there. Though she may continue to cling to a sound nominal creed, her practical working creed has become false. The masses of her adherents come to believe that God is different from what He actually is, and that is heresy of the most insidious and deadly kind." A.W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy, 9.
For times just like those in which we live Paul writes, Christ's church is to be filled with men who are sound in faith.
Titus 2:2 "that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience;" NKJV
But instead there are an entire generation of believers who are as Paul warned, driven about with every wind of doctrine. Look for a moment at Ephesians 4:14:
that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,
Why does Christ's Church still Stray from “Sound Faith”?
There are four dangerous trends I see in modern evangelical culture. Each of these can be observed in nearly any Bible teaching fellowship. All are dangerous and were clearly warned of by Jesus Christ in His ministry. The first danger is a drifting from the authority of the Word.
Danger #1: Unsound-Faith starts with an Improper Understanding of the Authority of the Scriptures (John 17:17)
You can’t separate growth in truth from God's Word. Growth is a part of sanctification. We are sanctified by God's Word, and God's Word is Truth (John 17:17).
To illustrate this danger let me just read a press release in the news this morning:
THE SHACK CONTINUES IN NO. 1 SPOT (Friday Church News Notes, January 30, 2009, “The Shack” has held first place on the New York Times bestseller list for Paperback Trade Fiction for 33 weeks. Though its author, William Young, is not a member of a church and is even reticent to call himself a Christian and though its doctrine of God is grossly heretical, the novel is being touted as a helpful Christian book. “The Shack” has been endorsed by CCM artist Michael W. Smith, Eugene Peterson (Regent College professor and author of The Message), Mark Batterson (senior pastor of National Community Church in Washington, D.C.), and Gayle Erwin of Calvary Chapel, among many others.
An excellent writer, Young plays to emotion and touches on legitimate hurts and concerns. The author excels at imbuing his deity with attributes of love, forgiveness, and mercy, and this is what many people have responded to. Increasingly in novels and movies the Lord is blithely used as one of the characters and given words from the mouth of man.”
Lynn Garrett, senior religion editor for Publishers Weekly, calls the book's success "most unusual. It's every self-published author's dream to start out this way and sell at this level." Why are so many heading for The Shack? "People are not necessarily concerned with how orthodox the theology is. People are into the story and how the book strikes them emotionally," Garrett says.
Stay Away from The Shack
If I could summarize the intense debate over this very popular and appealing book it would be by using the commentary from Chuck Colson’s radio show. Listen to this analysis:
There are a number of truths in The Shack, valuable ones, like the importance of trusting God and not allowing fear of the future to dictate the present service to Him.
But these small nuggets of truth are in no way worth taking in the abundance of theological distortion. The book asks many of the right questions—why must the innocent suffer? Can God really be loving when there is evil in the world? But its answers are so devoid of any scriptural foundation, or any reason to be confident in God’s power, that you are better off staying far away from The Shack .
A popular song from the ’90s asks, “If God had a face what would it look like? . . . What if God was one of us?” Those are hardly original questions. Man has spent millennia confounded by the mysteries of the divine, wondering what the Father of Creation really looks like, sounds like, acts like.
And that is surely the effect the story is meant to have. Readers are subtly challenged, along with the main character, Mack, to set aside their preconceived ideas about who God is, particularly if those ideas were formed through some institutional means like a seminary class or biblical exegesis.
As the plot unfolds, Mack is more than ready to shed his own perceptions of God, whom he blames for allowing his young daughter to be kidnapped and murdered during a family camping trip. Mack spends the ensuing years defining his life by his “Great Sadness,” until he one day receives a note addressed by “Papa”—the name Mack’s wife calls God—inviting him to come to the shack where his daughter was killed. In a desperate search for some kind of answer, Mack obliges, and makes the pilgrimage back to the symbol of his greatest anguish.
God is indeed there, ready to restore Mack’s joy, regain his trust, and rebuild his theology. Those are first jolted when Mack opens the door to find a warm welcome from a “large beaming African-American woman”—Papa.
If that’s not weird enough, the shack has two other residents as well: an Asian woman named “Sarayu,” who is a physical manifestation of the Holy Spirit; and the Incarnate Jesus, who has once again stepped down from His seat of glory to take on the characteristics of a vulnerable, even weak, man. Mack spends time with all three Persons of the Trinity throughout the course of his weekend, and they each attempt to instruct him on the true nature of love, forgiveness, submission, and Trinitarian relationship.
But “Papa” is not God. At least not the God of Scripture. He (or she, in this case) doesn’t speak like God, doesn’t judge like God, and—despite the entire premise of the book—doesn’t love like God. Nearly every aspect of God’s glory and power are distorted and diminished in the “Trinity” of The Shack.
The Shack would not dispute these limits of understanding—it dedicates many pages to chastising believers who cling too tightly to traditional views of God’s nature. Yet, instead of expanding our thinking and our appreciation for divine mysteries, the book shrinks them quite dramatically by creating a deity so clearly influenced by human expectations of what God should be. The awe-inspiring, indescribable Lord of Heaven is turned into a fishing buddy or cafeteria lady. Where is the consuming glory that has brought prophets, saints, and kings to their knees?
The entire presentation of the Trinity is unsettling. And it’s not just because the Father is presented as a woman, though that in itself leaves some unnerving dialogue where God is referred to by male and female pronouns interchangeably, sometimes in the same sentence.
What’s left is a postmodern and somewhat new-age depiction of God that, par for the course, strips away almost every notion of God as a just, holy, and occasionally wrathful Lord. No where in The Shack does God demand obedience to, well, anything: “Not ready?” Papa asks Mack. “That’s okay, we’ll do things on your terms and time.”
And as much as God’s majesty and power and authority are diminished, His Word is completely disregarded. “God’s voice had been reduced to paper,” says the author, “and even that paper had to be moderated and deciphered by the proper authorities and intellects.”
With the tether to Scripture broken, the book makes plenty of bold, though unsupported, assertions involving God’s sovereignty, man’s free will, forgiveness, submission and relational hierarchy, the purpose of pain, the design of Heaven, and many other issues that each have been written about and debated for centuries.
The central theme, though, seems to be that no matter what happens in our lives, God’s love is sufficient to carry us through. Fair enough. But that endless love will never encroach upon His role as King, Redeemer, and—yes—Father. For all the emotional pull that the book offers, the most convincing image of the rich love of God comes from Mack, not from Papa.
The Shack can’t receive a pass on how it addresses such topics simply because it’s a fanciful narrative. Other works of fiction, including movies like Bruce Almighty, have attempted to portray the Father as “one of us,” but few have had the temerity to wade so deeply into doctrinal waters as The Shack. And few have as much potential to distort their audience’s understanding of God.
So to summarize the errors of the Shack: No, God can't be a presented as a woman. No, the three parts of the Trinity did not all become fully human. Yes, there is a hierarchy in the Holy Trinity with God the Father in command. Yes, God will punish sin.
First, beware even in “fiction” the portrayal of an infinite God who is Spirit and who commanded in Exodus 20 that no image of Him was to be made (even a fictional one by a Christian) other than the image revealed in His Word, and the ultimate expression of Him in Jesus Christ (Hebrews 1:3).
John 14:5-10 Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. 7 “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.” 8 Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works.
Second, God the Father was never human. God the Son became a man, not God the Father or God the Spirit. God is not a goddess, if God the Father is really God the Mother that changes everything revealed in Scripture has changed. Goddess worship, Mother God, and all such teachings are pagan, occultic, and from the Evil One himself, not from God!
What’s the conclusion? Turn with me to I Thessalonians 5:21-22
Test all things; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.
1 John 3:6-7, 10 "Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him.7 Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. 10 In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother." NKJV
One of the greatest contributors to an unsound-faith, is a failure of self-examination. Through a faulty and presumptuous view of God’s grace, some professed believers blithely go through life oblivious to and unconcerned about their sins. Yet the Lord tells His people to examine their lives each time they come to His table (1 Cor. 11:28) . [52 words]
• When a couples choose to live together without being married—they commit the sin of fornication against a Holy God.
• When a person practices homosexuality—they commit the sin of sodomy against a Holy God.
• When a person is deceptive and dishonest in business—they commit the sin of lying just like the Devil against a Holy God.
• When a person is hateful and vengeful—they commit murder in the sight of a Holy God.
God’s Word is very clear about those who never turn from their sin:
1 Corinthians 6:9-10" Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites,10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God." NKJV
Danger #2: Unsound-Faith continues with an Improper View of Assurance
John 8:31 "Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;" KJV
Secondly, many professed Christians-and even many true Christians, have unsound-faith because they hold a false doctrine of assurance. Often it is because the person who witnessed to them told them that all they had to do was make a profession of faith, walk an aisle, raise a hand, say a prayer, and never doubt what the Lord had done in their lives. Perhaps they have been taught that to ever doubt their salvation is to doubt God’s Word and integrity.
But we have no right to assure a person of something we cannot be certain is true. God’s own Holy Spirit will witness His reality to those who truly belong to Him (Rom. 8:14-16) . [112 words]
Danger #3: Unsound-Faith continues with an Improper Conviction about the Priority of Activity
Matthew 7:22-23 "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." KJV
A third cause of unsound-faith is inordinate concentration on religious activity. Attending church, hearing sermons, singing songs of the faith, reading the Bible, attending Bible studies, and many other perfectly good and helpful activities can actually insulate a person from the very God he is supposedly worshiping and serving. Those things can cause a believer to think he is being faithful and obedient, when in reality he may not be.
This group includes those who are more committed to a denomination or Christian organization than to the Word of God. It includes those who are academically interested in theology-even orthodox, biblical theology-but not in obedience to the Bible on which that theology is based . [114 words]
Danger #4: Unsound-Faith continues with an Improper Habit of Rationalizing Sin
2 Corinthians 5:21 "For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him". NKJV
A fourth cause of unsound-faith is what may be called the fair exchange, or balancing out, approach. Instead of confessing and asking forgiveness for his sins, a person may give himself the benefit of the doubt and rationalize his salvation by thinking that the good things he does balance out the bad, that the positive cancels the negative.
Whatever good we might somehow accomplish would not cancel those consequences of sin, any more than eating right and exercising will save the life of a person infected with a deadly disease. His only hope is in receiving a cure for the disease, not in trying to balance off its deadly effect by keeping his body otherwise healthy. This is the superficial person, the one who has had little or no instruction in the gospel and who thinks that his attending Sunday school as a child, having been baptized, being a church member, or other such things put him in good standing with God . [162 words]
How are you in the truth department? Are you a pillar for God, grounded in the Word of Truth, filled with the Spirit of Truth, living the way of truth for God’s glory? That is what He wants from us today.
Please stand with me and turn to #247 “Spirit of the Living God” and sing this as a prayer that we will get fuller and fuller with the Spirit of Truth this week!
Among the most precious words Jesus ever spoke are His words in John 14:6. As we open there this morning, let me underline in your minds what He said.
John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. NKJV
Jesus is The Way you must follow; He is The Truth you must believe; and He is The Life you must live.
Hold Him close today!
Should we Reject Everything Coming Out of the ECM?
Our answer is no. Indeed, we should share their dissatisfaction with certain abuses or deficiencies within Evangelicalism. We should resonate with their criticisms of consumerism, their emphasis on an authentic lived-out faith, a move toward decentralized leadership within the church, and with what many consider the heartbeat of the movement, their passion to be missional.
"The church should stop mimicking the surrounding culture and become an alternative community, with a different set of beliefs, values and behaviors.
Ministers would no longer engage in marketing; churches would no longer place primary emphasis on programs to serve members.
The traditional ways of evaluating 'successful churches' – bigger buildings, more people, bigger budgets, larger ministerial staff, new and more programs to serve members – would be rejected.
New yardsticks would be the norm: To what extent is our church a 'sent' community in which each believer is reaching out to his community?
To what extent is our church impacting the community with a Christian message that challenges the values of our secular society?"
One writer describes the missional church "as a body of people sent on a mission who gather in community for worship, encouragement, and teaching from the Word that supplements what they are feeding themselves throughout the week."
Hebrews 6:11-12, 18-20 "And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance (plerophoreo – to overflowingly wear or hold or possess or have) of hope until the end, 12 that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. 18 that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. 19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, 20 where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek." NKJV
We Are Secure Because God's Spirit Seals Us
2 Corinthians 1:22a "who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee."
The ancient world was built around the security of sealed shipments. With all the perils of the Old World it was imperative that a customer knew his shipment was untainted from the journey to him. Thus all the ancients recognized the sealing of goods. This was accomplished by the pressing of a signet ring into soft wax across the opening of a document, tomb, sealed box and so on.
The Holy Spirit “seals” us which speaks of the security of divine ownership. He is our precious possession. In the ancient world a seal assured three things, it:
• Certified the contents as authentic.
• Signified the presence of the owner.
• Verified the image of the signet was transferred.
We are secure because God through His Spirit secures us (2 Corinthians 1:22b) and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.
The Holy Spirit is also given to us as a pledge. This literally means that God delivered to us our engagement ring (which is another way to translate arabon, this Greek word), to give each believer the security of divine protection through God the Spirit’s presence in our lives.
The Holy Spirit signs each saint of God as an authentic original masterpiece. Holy Spirit is poured out on us by our Heavenly Father. Thus to have been “anointed” means we bear the signature of God. This signing promises us the security of divine authenticity.
So that is why God always seeks to ground His children in truth. God wants firmly holding onto His truth. The Scriptures open with Satan twisting and negating God’s truth with his lies in Genesis 3. By Genesis 6, just 3 chapters further, God destroys the whole world of sinners except for 8 and puts up a global reminder of His truth in the sky called a rainbow. God wants people to be reminded of the truth of their Creator and His expectations.
By the second book of the Bible, Exodus, we see God chose a nation to be His light in the world. He commanded that a tent that taught the people about the ways of the Lord be built right in the middle of the camp of Israel. The advertising system God designed was amazing, with a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night hovering over that tent—to remind them all day and every night that He was there and they needed to live like they belonged to Him. God wanted them to grow by regular exposure to His truth.
Later, an exquisite, golden Temple followed and three annual trips to Jerusalem with preparations to meet with the Lord were required of all families. God wanted them to grow by regular exposure to His truth.
Centuries of festivals in Jerusalem three times a year supplemented by a stream of prophets, priests, and kings followed. All these measures, instituted by God were for spiritual growth. God wanted them to grow by regular exposure to His truth.
The Signs of the End of Days
#1: The Sign of Global Travel
Daniel was overwhelmed when he caught a glimpse of the number and speed at which people were moving about the planet.
Daniel 12:4 “But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”
No one in the history of this planet ever traveled like we who are alive today can travel. This is the time of the end of the world!
# 2: The Sign of a Global Explosion of Information
Daniel 12:4 “But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase."
It is only in this generation that last year's encyclopedia is about as useful as last month's newspaper. It has been said that the sum of human knowledge from the Flood to 1850 doubled once. It doubled again following World War II. The doubling of human knowledge increases exponentially.
In short, the trend of global information increasing (not knowledge) is exploding.
#3: The Sign of Global Weather Awareness
Jesus foresaw the time when weather would be so bad that not just a few, but the whole world would be troubled, fearful, and killed by the fear of chaotic weather that would become prevalent.
Luke 21:25-26 “And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; 26 men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. "
No wonder Jesus said that weather going wild would cause people to die from fear of what they saw coming!
#4: The Sign of Global Communication
God's Word explicitly declares that mankind will be able to see and hear globally. When the world fastest know means of travel was the speed of a horse—God says the whole world will see an event and all at the same time, celebrate that event!
Truly global communication was foreseen.
• Revelation 11:9-10 "Then those from the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations will see their dead bodies three-and-a-half days, and not allow their dead bodies to be put into graves. 10 And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth."
• Revelation 17:8 "The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is. "
The Bible predicts that the entire world will "see" certain events unfold. The invention of the television and the deployment of global satellite networks during the 20th century allow news to travel the world at the speed of light for the first time ever.
#5: The Sign of
Global Commerce: Digitalized Money, Global Tracking and Positioning
God's Word describes a future time when money is tied to a number, and only with that number can anything be bought or sold. There would be technology capable of tracking the world's population and commerce.
Revelation 13:16-17 "He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, 17 and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name."
This all leads to the reality that we are seeing the sixth trend of ten prophetic trends signaling the end of days.
#6: The Sign of the
Global Apostasy, Demonism, and Hatred of Christianity
As we look at what the earth looks like at Christ's return we see an ominous global demonism as we see in Genesis just before the Flood. The absence of truth breeds the multiplication of evil and that is where Satan and his demons thrive.
Look at John’s description of the end of days:
Revelation 9:20-21 "But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk. 21 And they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts."
Revelation 13:4 "So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?”
Even today we see the British newspapers citing that the majority of British citizens are now pagan (believing in UFO’s, aliens, and ghosts rather than God). In America the surge of interest in the supernatural, spiritism, new age spirituality (that is spirituality unconnected to God's Word or the True God)
Paul, Jude, and Peter all foresaw an immense surge in religious leaders and their followers “falling away” from the truth in the last days. The ultimate expression of that is in the Antichrist himself. Do you remember the others?
The storm of lies raining down upon us today is a constant reminder why Christ's Church is to be filled with well grounded, grace-energized men and women who guard the truth that Jesus Christ gave us. We should be constantly declaring the truths we hold from John 14:6, to the confused world around us that:
• Jesus Christ is the Way—there is NO other road to God than the Lord Jesus Christ. Any belief system that is hostile to Him, denying of His deity, or claiming His insufficiency is FALSE.
• Jesus Christ is the Truth—at the center of all truth that leads to God is the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul says that general revelation has two means: conscience and creation. Jesus Christ is right in the middle of the human conscience as the Creator who breathed life into the dirt that was used to form Adam; and He is squarely in the center of the created Universe as He is also the Creator of everything in the heavens and on the Earth. Any philosophy, religion, or science that is hostile to Him, denying of His deity, or claiming His insufficiency is FALSE.
• Jesus Christ is the Life—the only way to live a life that is guilt-free, fear-free, full and overflowing, is in the Lord Jesus Christ. Those who come to Him find His complete forgiveness of every sin, and His complete transformation of their lives. Any religion, church, denomination, or Bible teacher that is hostile to Jesus Christ as God in human flesh who died a substitutionary death for sin, or that denies His deity in any other way, or claims His insufficiency is FALSE.
The Sign of Global Groups of False Christianity
• Religious cults would mushroom ( 2 Peter 2:1). Matthew 24:5, 11 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. 11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. Numerous cults have emerged in these last days. Visit: Apologetics Index Mormonism (carm) Jehovah's Witnesses (carm) A Cult is a Cult (the berean call) Buddhist Prayer Wheel to Top New WTC? (world net daily)
The Sign of Global Hatred of True Biblical Christianity
• Jesus said Christians would be hated for His name's sake. 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. Luke 21:17 And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. Revelation 6:9-11 When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. 10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” 11 Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed. Revelation 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The banning of the Bible, prayer, the Ten Commandments, nativity scenes, Christmas songs, etc., reflects this trend. Also consider that more Christians were martyed during the past century than during any other period in history. Visit: Persecution (harpazo network)
• Matthew 24:10-11 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.
The Sign of Global False Bible teachers That Are Money Hungry
• They would be smooth talkers, have many followers, and slur the Christian faith. Matthew 24:11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. For links: False Prophets 2 Peter 2:1-3 But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3 By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.
• Matthew 24:12-13 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved.
Religious apostasy in the ranks of professed Christian leaders is also prophesied in other Scriptures. Not only would false teachers deny the second coming of Christ (2 Peter 3:3), they would even "deny the Lord that bought them" (2 Peter 2:1). Not only would they, despite much education ("ever learning"), still never come "to the knowledge of the truth" (2 Timothy 3:7), but even "turn away their ears from the truth and be turned unto fables" (2 Timothy 4:4). All of these prophecies are being fulfilled today throughout the "Christian" world.
• A particularly ominous form of apostasy is to be found in the rapid rise of demonism in the last days. "In the latter times, some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons" (1 Timothy 4:1). Jesus said: "There shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders" (Matthew 24:24). During the great tribulation period of the last days, these trends will culminate in a worldwide return to Satan worship (
• Revelation 13:4, 8). Before that, they will "worship demons, and idols" (Revelation 9:20) and do so especially in connection with the use of drugs (the word "sorceries," in Revelation 9:21, is a Greek word from which we actually transliterate our English word "pharmaceutical," and means "magical incantations by the ritual use of drugs").
• The amazing upsurge of spiritism, astrology, witchcraft and Satanism all over the world in the past few years, along with the tremendous increase of drug use, especially by young people, certainly is an ominous sign of the imminent advent of the Antichrist. But at the same time it is a striking fulfillment of prophecy. That an age of scientific enlightenment could be followed so quickly by a widespread revival of paganism and occultism would seem paradoxical, but that is exactly what has happened, just as the Bible predicted.