Monday, July 25, 2016

How to avoid deception - Part 3: Know Prophecy


Two weeks ago, I started a 5-part series on how to avoid deception in these last days.  This has been a personal quest for me because I truly believe many many Christians will be deceived by the anti-christ and events that will take place toward the end of the age.  The Bible, both Old Testament and New are FULL of warnings against deception. If you think you're immune, you are in grave danger.

And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. Matt 24:4
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. Matt 24:24

The first thing we must do to arm ourselves against deception is to Know God. The second is to know His Word.  If you missed those posts and are interested, here are the links:  Know God  Know His Word. 

Did you know that over 25% of the Bible is Prophecy? Check out these statistics:

  • Every fourth verse in the Scripture deals with prophecy.
  • The coming of the Lord is a truth of such importance that it is mentioned 318 times in the 260 chapters of the NT (on an average of once every 25 verses).
  • The only subject mentioned more frequently than the second coming is the subject of salvation.
  • Paul mentioned the communion ordinance only twice in his 13 epistles and baptism only 13 times, but he mentions the return of our Lord 50 times!

Yet most of the Western church ignores prophecy. I can honestly say that I have only heard a sermon on prophecy in a church here in California once, and that was a guest speaker. Before that, I was blessed to have attended briefly a church in Fort Lauderdale when I was a teenager that often spoke of prophecy.  If you know my testimony, you know that prophecy is what brought me to Jesus, so you could say that it holds a very special place in my heart. There is a reason God put so much prophecy in the Scriptures. The main reason, I believe, is to prove He is God!  For who else but God knows the future?

“I am the Lord; that is my name!
    I will not give my glory to anyone else,
    nor share my praise with carved idols.
 Everything I prophesied has come true,
    and now I will prophesy again.
I will tell you the future before it happens.” 

Isaiah 42: 8-10


 So, here's my point. If God has taken the time to put so much prophecy in the Bible about the future,  don't you think we ought to study it back and forth, inside and out, so that we know as well as we can what is going to happen?

Why? You might say. Who cares? It will happen anyway. Yes. Very true. But knowing what will happen will keep you from being tricked into believing the wrong thing. Jesus Himself gave the best example of this in Matthew 24 where he warned His disciples not to be deceived about His second coming.

So if they say to you, ‘Behold, He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out, or, ‘Behold, He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe them. For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes even to the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be. 

So, now we know that we should not believe reports of anyone claiming that Jesus has returned and is in New York or in the Alps or sailing in the Mediterranean!  Now, we know what to look for! 

The Apostle Paul had to comfort the church of Thessalonica because they thought they'd missed the rapture!  Can you imagine?  Sounds like they had heard something from another church or in a letter that they missed the boat.  So Paul had to reassure them with this prophecy--which really helps us to know what to look for too!

Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed. 2 Thessalonians 2:3

Other things prophecy can tell us

  • What EXACT signs precede Jesus's coming
  • What the culture will look like toward the end of the age
  • What things must happen first before the rapture
  • That there will be MANY false prophets and how to spot them
  • What does the final empire look like, how many rulers, etc? 
  • How should Christians expect to be treated?
  • What are the attributes and characteristics of the antichrist?  
  • What will the antichrist do that will reveal his true character?
  • What will the church look like toward the end of the age
  • What will be the mark of true believers
  • What natural disasters to expect
  • Will there be more wars?
  • What cities will be destroyed?
  • What will the one world religion look like?
  • Who are the two witnesses and how will we know them?
  • What signs should we look for in the heavens? 

These are just a few of the things prophecy tells us!  Imagine if you were armed with all that information, you would see things happening all around you and know the end is near. Also, you would not be easily deceived by any of satan's tricks, because you already know what to look for in the antichrist.  The Scripture says most of the world will be deceived by him. Most. And even some Christians. Why? Because they won't know prophecy and they won't be able to spot him when he appears. Sounds to me like he's going to be a pretty convincing dude. 


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6 comments:

  1. Very good post, my friend. Keep up the great work of spreading the truth.

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  2. Thank you, MaryLu!! I always enjoy your spiritual posts!!

    Love, hugs, and prayers!!

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  3. MaryLu, I've read all three posts, and I can't emphasize enough how true these words are, because I, too, have come across a preacher/church that through persuasive language, nearly lured me into believing a lot of nonsense. Knowing God, His Word, and prophecy, are what led me to ask a lot of questions that I knew nobody there wanted to hear. The funny thing is, I don't believe I arrived there by accident. I believe God wanted me to witness firsthand exactly what is going on in the church and in the world. From the moment I stepped in, God stayed my spirit in a way that never let me get carried away the way a lot of people there, were. But there's so much a heart can take after a while that, even I, almost starting believing some nonsense. Then, one day, God told me it was time to go. For weeks, I searched through Scripture, specifically, on what the preacher always talked about, and the Holy Spirit reminded me of a lot of teachings He'd taught me prior to my time there. I realized it was only God, and not me, that kept me from being deceived. Prior to my time there, I would never have believed that I was capable of being deceived. For the journey that God is leading me on, I can see how very vital this teaching is. I have learned never to take anything for granted ever again. I have experienced first hand how reading Scripture strengthens me daily against what would seem as little lures (or what Songs of Solomon calls, `little foxes') that have the tendency of slowly fading you into sin without you even knowing it, unless His Word is hidden in your heart to sound off warning alarms, and deep down you know that if it weren't for His Word, you would have fallen, because a lot of things are so confusing these days. There's a saying that, rat poison may be made up of 97% food, and only 3% poison, but that 3% is all it takes to kill the rat. I've learned that, to the child of God, the devil will never come at you with 100% lies. Like the rat poison, he'll come with 97% Scripture and 3% lies (or even less). But all it takes is that little percentile of lies to destroy you. I look back at that experience, and it still shakes me. I am wiser for it, and though where I am now is the toughest place I've ever been, to remain truly Christian, I've never felt more at peace. Sometimes I ask God if that experience was really necessary, but then I look around me today and I appreciate the lesson I learned. Thank you, MaryLu, for these posts these last three weeks. They are a reminder that I'm not alone in this walk, and that there are saints of Jesus all over the world who are praying for each other, and who God is speaking to about the same issues. God bless you and your ministry! XO

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    1. Miranda, thank you for sharing your story. I know it will bless those who read it, and who may, like you, think they are alone. I, too, experienced a similar thing twice here in two different California churches. Satan is so subtle, isn't he? He mixes in a few small lies among truths, and if we don't really know God or His Word, it would be tooooo easy to believe it all. Praise God you have an ear to hear the Lord when He's warning you! You reminded me that, yes, we should be diligent in prayer for other believers to not be deceived! God Bless!

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  4. Wednesday 27th,
    Only getting around to reading this post now, MaryLu. Thank-you so much, for sharing ! How important it is for us to know "the truth", God's Word and His character/nature.
    The fact that the devil is so subtle ... that is most concerning. Many people, are gullible to believe anything ... things that might "sound" right, but in reality, are not at all.
    Most appreciated ... all of your research, and time spent on sharing.
    Take care, and, God Bless, In Him, Brenda

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