ARE YOU DECEIVED?
By: Beverly Vest, Louis McCoy and Susan Kilgore
Jesus said,...."Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many."
ARE YOU DECEIVED? Jesus said many would come, claiming to represent him, and would deceive many people. The world is full of false prophets today, claiming to represent Christ, preaching just "enough truth" to sway their listeners into a false sense of security; into trusting in paid professionals for their understanding. Do you know what the Bible really says? Or are you one of the millions who take as truth the message preached to you across the air waves, or from the pulpit in your local church. Are you forced to accept the word of someone else, because you feel the Bible is too difficult to understand? God gave us the Bible as a guide. A book of instruction. He meant for us to understand it. Yet, some would have us believe that we could not possibly understand what we read there without T.V. evangelists and paid preachers to interpret it's meaning. Jesus warned us repeatedly to be wary of false prophets, and said there would be many. We are living in the end times, when we desperately need to be so familiar with the teachings and warnings in the Bible, that we cannot be deceived. Matt. 24:4-5 (4) And Jesus answered and said unto them, "Take heed that no man deceive you. (5) For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many." Jesus went on in Matthew to describe some of the events we could expect in the end times, and again, in verse 11, he warns us of false prophets: Matt. 24:11 (11) "And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many." Christ repeated the warnings concerning false prophets three times in Matthew 24. He was obviously trying to show us that this would be a problem of major proportions! Matt. 24:24 (24) "For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect." Christ said false prophets would be so believable, so accepted, they would deceive the very elect, if it were possible. Are you familiar enough with your Bible, that you cannot be deceived by false prophets? Do you know how to identify false preaching? Do you know what your Bible says? Or what someone has told you it says? The words in Matthew 24 are written in red. They are the very words of Christ. If we cannot believe them, then we can believe nothing. Jesus warned us repeatedly, and said there would be many false prophets, even though they are supposedly preaching in the name of Jesus. Matt. 7:22-23 (22) "Many shall say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name 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." There are two kinds of prophets.....true prophets and false prophets. If what is being taught is not true,.....then it is false. Gal. 1:6-9 (6) I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: (7) Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. (8) But though we, or an angel from heaven preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. (9) As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. There are some basic falsehoods being taught by religious leaders today, that are not supported by the Bible. 1 - There are two kinds of people.....tithers and thieves. 2 - That the "christians" will be taken up in a rapture at the beginning of the tribulation. By this time, you may be thinking.....what would motivate someone to preach a doctrine that cannot be found in the Bible? Paul answered that question in: Titus 1:11 (11) Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake. Paul was aware, even in his day of the corruptive influence that money has on religion. Paul was warning Titus that people would do anything, bend the truth, teach a lie......for money. With this in mind, we address the number one falsehood being taught by religion today. 1 - There are two kinds of people....tithers and thieves. How many times have you heard a television evangelist, or maybe your own minister accuse people of "robbing God" by not paying tithe? How many times have you heard the phrase,.... "If you love God, you will send your money into this ministry"? How many times have you felt a burden of guilt, because you felt you just couldn't afford to give enough? Only ancient Israel was commanded to tithe because they were given land, houses they didn't build, orchards they didn't plant, wells they didn't dig. The tithe was to go to the ones who received no inheritance and to the priests who didn't inherit the land. NOWHERE IN THE NEW TESTAMENT IS THERE ANY TEACHING OF TITHING!! Nowhere is there any example of any of the apostles collecting money to preach the gospel. Paul didn't teach it. Jesus didn't teach it. The Bible says we will receive our understanding through the power of the Holy Spirit: Gal. 1:11-12 (11) But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. (12) For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. 1 John 2:27 (27) But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. The Bible has nothing good to say regarding anyone who would subvert the gospel for financial gain. Isa. 56:10-11 (10) His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. (11) Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter. There is no example in the Bible of any of the prophets ever accepting payment for their services, or soliciting money from their followers to preach the gospel. However, this practice has become so accepted, that religion and big business have virtually become synonomous! Daniel 5:16-17 (16) And I have heard of thee, that thou canst make interpretations, and dissolve doubts: now if thou canst read the writing, and make known to me the interpretation thereof, thou shalt be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about thy neck, and shalt be the third ruler in the kingdom. (17) Then Daniel answered and said before the king, Let thy gifts be to thyself, and give thy rewards to another; yet I will read the writing unto the king, and make known to him the interpretation. Daniel refused any reward for his services, as did Paul: I Cor. 9:18 (18) What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel. Today, we all have the written word of God at our fingertips. We do not need any man to teach us. In Paul's day, he traveled the entire continent of Asia proclaiming the gospel because there was no written word, and he did it without collecting money, because he did not want to abuse his power in the gospel! God says our first responsibility is to our families. I Tim. 5:8 (8) But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel. God loves a cheerful giver, and we should share with others who are less fortunate. In fact, the only example in the New Testament of an offering being collected was to help christians in another area who were going through hard times. II Cor. 8:13-15 (13) For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened: (14) But by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality: (15) As it is written, HE THAT HAD GATHERED MUCH HAD NOTHING OVER; AND HE THAT HAD GATHERED LITTLE HAD NO LACK. Sadly, for the billions of dollars spent every year to "spread the gospel" there is very little understanding. Mankind is rapidly approaching the "Great Tribulation", and the culmination of this age, and are completely unaware: Luke 21:34-35 (34) And take heed to yourselves, lest at anytime your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. (35) For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell upon the face of the whole earth. Why?? Because we have all been guilty of relying on paid professionals who are misleading us......which brings us to our second false doctrine being taught today: 2 - That all christians will be taken up in a "rapture" prior to the beginning of the "Great Tribulation". Nowhere in the Bible does it say that the christians will be raptured from the earth at the beginning of the tribulation. On the contrary, numerous accounts place the elect, alive and still on the earth at the return of Christ. Matt. 24:29-31 (29) Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: (30) And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. (31) And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. Luke 21:27-28 (27) And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. (28) And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. Mark 13:24-27 (24) "But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, (25) And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. (26) And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. (27) And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven. So, if the "elect" are going to go through the "Great Tribulation" we need to familiarize ourselves with what the Bible says will happen during this time, and be able to identify the signs of its beginning........... The tribulation is the wrath of Satan on the Jews and Christians. The brunt of which will be felt in Israel and Middle East. Satan has a counterfeit for everything in God's plan. Just as Christ will return to this earth, and set up his headquarters in Jerusalem, so Satan will attempt to set up his headquarters in Jerusalem through the beast power, and the false prophet. The Bible very plainly describes the events that will signal the beginning of the "Great Tribulation". All we need to do is look into it with an open mind, and a willingness to accept what we find there. It tells us, that at the beginning of the tribulation, Jerusalem will be overrun by the Gentiles, and that the beast will set up the "tabernacles of his palace" in Jerusalem. Matt. 24:15-21 (15) "When ye therefore shall see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place", (whoso readeth, let him understand:) (16) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: (17) Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house: (18) Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. (19) And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! (20) But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: (21) For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. Luke 21:20-24 (20) And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. (21) Then let them which be in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. (22) For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. (23) But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people. (24) And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be lead away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. Rev. 11:2 (2) But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread underfoot forty and two months. THE TWO WITNESSES WHO ARE THEY? WHAT IS THEIR PURPOSE? WHEN WILL THEY APPEAR? Rev. 11:3-10 (3) And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophecy a thousand two hundred and three score days, clothed in sackcloth. (4) These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the Earth. (5) And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. (6) These have power to shut heaven, and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will. (7) And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. (8) And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. (9) And they of the *people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their bodies to be put in graves. (10) And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwell on the earth. Why are these two prophets called "witnesses"? Who will they witness to? Why will their message be rejected, and who are they? Some say Enoch and Elijah, some say Moses and Elijah. Many may ask, "Why would two witnesses be needed after the thousands of preachers and evangelists have collected billions of dollars, mostly from the poor, supposedly to preach the gospel, each year? Why do they need such awesome power? Let's look into the scriptures for the answers to these questions, and many others....... What are witnesses? Someone who has witnessed an event......The scriptures plainly show that Daniel and John had visions of the coming "Great Tribulation" when the gentiles overrun Jerusalem and the beast sets up the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain. Daniel 10:12-14 (12) Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. (13) But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia. (14) Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people (Daniel was a Jew) in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days. Daniel describes a portion of his vision including events leading up to the beginning of the "Great Tribulation". Daniel 11:40-45 (40) And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over. (41) He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and chief of the children of Ammon. (42) He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape. (43) But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps. (44) But tidings out of the East and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many. (45) And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him. Throughout the Bible, Jerusalem is known as thy holy mountain. Daniel 9:16 (16) Oh Lord, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain: because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach to all that are about us. The events described in Daniel 11:40-45, could happen anytime. Many preach a temple must be built for the beast to move into, but that is not what Daniel says. The definition of tabernacle referred to in Daniel 11:45 is "temporary dwelling" and in some translations is "tents". Daniel saw a vision of the end times. Only chapter 12 was closed up and sealed until the time of the end. Daniel 12:4-13 (4) But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. (5) Then I Daniel looked, and, behold, there stood other two, the one on this side of the bank of the river, and the other on that side of the bank of the river. (6) And one said to the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, How long shall it be to the end of these wonders? (7) And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and swear by him that liveth forever that it shall be for a time, times and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished. (8) And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? (9) And he said, Go thy way Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. (10) Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand. (11) And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. (12) Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days. (13) But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days. (In the original Moffett translation, this verse read: Go thy way Daniel, thou must sleep in thy grave, and stand in thy lot at the crisis at the end.) These verses plainly show, that Daniel saw a vision of the end time events, and was told that he would be called upon to reveal what he saw at a later date. These events were shown to only Daniel, at this point in time, and were closed up and sealed until the time of the end. There is only one other individual in the Bible, who saw visions of events that would occur in the same end time period and was told not to write it down. This person lived hundreds of years after Daniel, and wrote the book of Revelation. Jesus revealed to John the visions of the book of Revelation. Revelation 1:1-2 (1) The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: (2) Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. Many people feel Revelation is a vague confusing book, which they could not possibly understand, and so they depend on "preachers" and "evangelists" for their understanding. Many believe Revelation is a sealed book, whose meaning is deliberately hidden from us. However, Jesus told John to write what he saw in a book and send it to the churches: Rev. 1:11 (11) Saying, "I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last:" and, "What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; Jesus told John repeatedly to write down the things he saw for the churches. Rev. 1:19 (19) "Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;" There was only a part of John's vision which was sealed, to be revealed at a later date. John like Daniel, was shown a vision which revealed end time events, and was told to seal them up. John was then told, he would be called upon at a later time to prophesy again to many people. Rev. 10:1-4 (1) And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire: (2) And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth, (3) And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices. (4) And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not. Rev. 10:7-11 (7) But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets. (The mystery of God,....the sealed visions, revealed to his prophets,....John and Daniel.) (8) And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth. (9) And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey. (10) And I took the little book out of the angel's hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter. (11) And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before *many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings. WILL THE WORLD RECOGNIZE THE TWO WITNESSES AND ACCEPT THEIR MESSAGE??In Revelation chapter 11, we see that the whole world will rejoice at the death of these two prophets. Rev. 11:7-9 (7) And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. (8) And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. (9)And they of the peoples and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. *(The underlined description in verse 9 is identical to what John was told in chapter 10:11 concerning who he would prophesy before.) (10) And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. Obviously, up to this point, people do not realize who the two witnesses are, because they rejoice when the beast overcomes them and kills them. People have been so deceived by false prophets following a false doctrine, they will believe the two witnesses to be evil people. Let's look at the instructions Jesus gave his disciples about the preaching of the gospel. Luke 24:46-49 (46) And he said unto them, "Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: (47) And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. (48) And ye are witnesses of these things. (49) And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high." So we see that the preaching of the gospel began with power from God through the Holy Spirit, not from evangelists and organized religion accusing people of being thieves if they don't send in their money. Not from organized religion operating as "Big Business", and robbing the poor to finance finance their lavish lifestyles, in the "name of God". The gospel began through the power of the Holy Spirit, and that's the way it will end.....being preached by God's two witnesses through the power of the Holy Spirit, and not through money. Rev. 11:3 (3) And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and three score days, clothed in sackcloth. Rev. 11:11-13 (11) And after three days and an half the spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. (12) And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them. (13) And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were afrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven. After the beast overcomes and kills the two witnesses, he will exalt himself above God, claiming to be God. II Thes. 2:1-4 (1) Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, (2) That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. (3) Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; (4) Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. The reference to "the temple" in verse 4, does not necessarily mean a literal temple, or Jewish temple, but the human body which God proclaims as his temple, as described in: I Cor. 3:16-17 (16) Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? (17) If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. I Cor. 6:19-20 (19) What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? (20) For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. II Cor. 6:16 (16) And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. The man of sin, son of perdition, described in II Thes. 2:3-4, has allowed Satan to work through him and occupy the physical temple, the body and mind of the beast power, causing him to exalt himself above God, claiming he is God. II Thes. 2:4 (4) Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.aovea Rev. 11:15 (15) And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven saying, THE KINGDOMS OF THIS WORLD ARE BECOME THE KINGDOMS OF OUR LORD, AND OF HIS CHRIST; AND HE SHALL REIGN FOR EVER AND EVER. After Christ returns to earth there will be no more false prophets. He will set up his kingdom on this earth and Satan will be restrained. Everything will be changed, even the nature of animals. Isa. 11:6-9 (6) The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. (7) And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. (8) And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den. (9) They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. Email Me Louis McCoy Email Me