Following Deceiving Spirits in the Latter Days

January 29, 2015 at 7:35 AM 2 comments

Phillip explains the Scriptures to the Ethiopian Eunuch.

Phillip explains the Scriptures to the Ethiopian Eunuch.

Paul speaks clearly to Timothy regarding just how deceitful things will become during what he calls the “latter days” of this current age. As far as I can see, there are two ages; this age in which we currently live and the coming age in which Jesus will physically reign. I firmly believe we are approaching the end of this current age that will lead into the Millennial Kingdom of Jesus, as He reigns from His earthly father David’s throne, from Jerusalem.

The Holy Spirit provided Paul with information about many things and he wrote much of it down for us. His writings teach us many things about God and His plans for the earth as this age draws to a close.

In 1 Timothy 4:1-5, Paul was prompted to write the following:

The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 2 Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. 3 They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. 4 For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5 because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.

In verse one, Paul tells us what the Spirit “clearly” taught him. He says that during the last part of this current age, people will depart from the faith and will instead follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. It is because of the fact that they have seared consciences that they can say anything and with the conviction required to cause people to believe that they are telling the truth.

Because too many today do not know God’s Word (nor do they understand that true discernment is based on the truth of His Word), they are easily deceived. Why is this? It is because secular humanism has infiltrated the church. We’ll talk about that more in a moment.

After Paul tells us that there will be a proliferation of liars toward the end of this current age, he provides two examples of what these liars teach. They teach that people should abstain from being married and abstain from eating certain foods. Essentially, these teachers did this in Paul’s day (and in ours) for one purpose. They want to be seen as the authority on God’s Word. They want people to look to them for direction and as the final authority for life and living.

Aside from the fact that too many Christians do not know God’s Word well enough to stay out of trouble, I firmly believe the reason many in the church today do and will continue to fall prey to liars who sound so convincing is due to the fact of secular humanism and its infiltration in the church.

Secular humanism is “any system or mode of thought or action in which human interests, values, or dignity predominate.” Secular humanism promotes SELF and seeks to fulfill felt needs for self. The visible church has become preoccupied with self in many ways.

If we consider that many people within Christendom like to focus on prophecy, the end times, the 2nd Coming, etc., we need to ask why this is so? While it is important to study God’s Word to determine exactly what He tells us concerning these things, for some people, it’s all they talk about.

In fact, there are plenty of books and conferences that promote the discussion of signs and wonders that many believe are attributed to the events of the end times. I myself have written numerous books on the subject, but my reason for writing them is to educate people as to the times and the seasons in which I believe we are living. This is done so that Christians will arise from their slumber and understand that the time may well be short. If it’s short, shouldn’t we be seriously involved with the Father’s business? What is His business? He is in the business of saving souls, isn’t He?

Christians should be very concerned about neighbors, co-workers, and other people we meet through the course of our lives. We should wonder (and even ask) whether they know Jesus or not. Our primary concern for everyone should be whether or not they know Jesus as Savior. Have they received salvation?

Instead, too many Christians seem to be enamored with so-called “signs” and “wonders.” There are so many books on the Nephilim (Genesis 6) out there, as one example, I’ve lost count. Everyone has an opinion on it and many believe the Nephilim will “rise again” during this last part of the current age.

They spend their lives chasing down anything that even suggests that the Nephilim might be here, and spend hours discussing it at the latest prophecy conference. This is what too many Christians have become involved in, instead of dealing the true crisis in an unsaved person’s life (lack of salvation), too many Christians wrongly believe that chasing after the latest perceived “sign” is just the thing needed to convince someone of the truth of God’s Word. It isn’t. Meanwhile, 150,000 people die every day, many to most without salvation!

Studying prophecy and the end times as outlined in Scripture is good and should cause the Christian to take a new look at evangelization. Knowing about the end times should make us better witnesses. We should have a greater desire to win souls to Jesus. Instead, we chase signs, one after another.

Jesus said several things about “signs” to His listeners. First, He said that an evil and adulterous generation seeks after signs (cf. Matthew 12; 16, Luke 11, etc.). He also talked about Abraham’s bosom and the fact that after a rich man died and went to the hell portion of Sheol, he asked Abraham if he would send a message to his brothers so they could avoid coming to the same place he went to after his death.

Abraham’s answer was clear. “If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead‘.” (Luke 16:31). The point is simple. God’s Word is the authority for us in all matters pertaining to life and death. God is not going to give additional signs (not talked about in His Word) in an attempt to convince people that He exists. Jesus Christ provided the greatest possible sign to everyone – His resurrection – yet too many refuse to believe it.

The rich man died and went to hell. Yet, during his life, the Mosaic law and the prophets were available to him. He was without excuse, yet he ignored God and His Word to his own peril. In effect, Jesus was telling us (through that story) that signs won’t matter to people who won’t believe. They don’t change anything.

We have got to stop looking for signs to confirm God’s Word. It is already either God’s Word and fully true or it is not. It seems clear enough from both Jesus and Paul that those who look for or chase after signs are easily deceived. Signs and wonders cater to our emotions and emotions are not to be used as arbiters of truth. It’s what secular humanists do, but something Christians should not do.

Get on board with God by reading, studying, and learning what His Word says about things. Stop chasing signs. Focus on God, understand where we are in this age, and ask God to renew your commitment to seek out the lost.

I like the story of Phillip and the Ethiopian Eunuch (Acts 8:26-40). In that story, the bottom line is that the eunuch was on the side of the road reading a portion of God’s Word. The Holy Spirit brought Phillip to the eunuch for the purpose of explaining the Scriptures to the man. Phillip didn’t show him a sign. He didn’t perform wonders. He simply talked to the man about the meaning of the Scripture he was reading. God then opened the man’s eyes and he became a saved man!

Signs and wonders are so fleeting because they play off our emotions and are open to interpretation. Let’s get away from that and back to basics. Speak to your neighbors, co-workers, and loved ones about their need for Jesus. Pray for them, that God might open their eyes so they can see the truth.

Entry filed under: Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation, second coming.

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