Jesus said that in the last days: “there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” (Matthew 24:24).
Today, throughout the world there are false Christs (people who preach in Jesus’ name) and false prophets (people who are proclaiming Bible teachings, visions, and dreams they say are from God).
They preach throughout the world by television, satellite, or in person, boasting of being “anointed” of God with a new, enlightened word for the Church today. Many of these self-appointed “chosen” vessels with a “special ministry” appear to be blessed by God. Apparent signs and wonders accompany their ministries. But, the Bible warns us clearly that in the last days there will be a great “falling away,” a great “apostasy”. (2 Thessalonians 2:3)
Webster’s Dictionary defines the word apostasy as “an abandoning of what one has believed in.” The definition it gives for the word heresy is “the rejection of a belief that is part of church dogma; any opinion opposed to official or established views or doctrines.”
Now, let me state emphatically that I believe the gifts of the Holy Spirit, including healing, are for the Church today. I personally pray for the sick according to the teachings of the Scriptures and have seen genuine miracles accompany that prayer, but the Holy Spirit within me is repulsed at the sheer raping of the naïve Christian by supposed “Men of God.”
The Bible has always been the acid test of doctrine. Throughout Christianity, it has been the source “to try the spirits,” whether they be of God, man or devil. I John 4:1 reads: “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”
Illumination, inspiration, vision, dreams, or prophecy must always be tested by the Word (the Bible). This is precisely where false representatives of Jesus Christ fail. These false teachers say the Holy Spirit has given them a special illumination of the Scriptures. This is where the abundance of their hearts is manifested in examining their teachings.
Jesus said in Matthew 12:37, “For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” He said, that “…out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh” (Matthew 12:34). These false apostles and prophets are preaching their fabricated doctrines out of their own polluted hearts.
Jeremiah 14:14 says, “Then the Lord said unto me, the prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing nought, and the deceit of their heart.”
Paul said in Galatians 1:6-10: “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you and would pervert the gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.”
Ladies and Gentlemen, brothers and sisters, I warn both the people throughout the world who are not Christians and also those who are fellow believers. There are many false teachers in the world today who claim to be “anointed” servants of the Lord. They call themselves apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and televangelists. However, some of them are nothing more than as Jesus warned, “a wolf in sheep’s clothing.” They do not preach or teach the Bible correctly or in context. Instead, they twist the Scriptures to conform to their own carnal desires, even though 1 John 2:15 warns Christians:
“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”
These false teachers come to the Church and world as men of God, as “an angel of light,” an imitation of the genuine. They pretend to be something they are not: “a form of godliness.” Like actors and entertainers, they perform preaching and teaching another gospel which Paul, Jesus, and the entire Bible warns against. They deceive many with their words that “tickle the ears” and entice their base nature.
These “false prophets,” as Scripture describes them, who proclaim a message of peace and prosperity, turn the precious truths of the gospel into damnable lies and theatrics. They turn the power of God unto salvation into deceptive, eternal entrapment with their warped exposition of the Scriptures. It leaves people’s souls either damned in a spirit of gluttonous, covetous living without being able to satisfy those lusts, or lost in a feeling of failure. Believing the twisted gospel to which they had been listening yet not becoming prosperous or healed, they accepted the lie of the enemy that they had no faith, or not enough, and now they reject the Bible completely as a pack of lies preached by charlatans.
The Bible warns us about these people. 2 Peter 2:1-3 states: “But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed, these teachers will exploit you with the stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.” (New International Version).
These Scriptures certainly describe the scenario of today’s profit-oriented masquerader prancing around the pulpit in the church or on television, trying to sell his formula to prosperity or healing. These gimmick-oriented ministries continue to twist the authenticity and authority of the Holy Scriptures and God himself for personal gain.
2 Peter 2:10 continues to describe the character of the ministerial manipulator whose main reason for being and ministry is self-perpetuation: “This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the sinful nature and despise authority. Bold and arrogant, these men are not afraid to slander celestial beings.” (The New International Version)
I believe we are living in the worst and last generation before Jesus Christ returns to earth to rule and reign. It is a time when most of the so-called “Christians” do not believe or live for Jesus Christ. Instead, they follow the philosophies of their clergymen or fallacies of people-oriented churches. They accept a gospel that is twisted because it aligns with their own vanity and lust. 1 Timothy 3:1-7, 13 describes pointedly, the types of godless people that are in the world, church, and position of ministry in the Church:
“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.”
Today’s church leaders attempt to baffle their congregations with their “ever learning” list of degrees. Any earned or honorary doctorate given in an introduction impresses the novice who does not realize that knowledge alone is just humanly-inspired and without the wisdom assimilated from the Lord is just vanity. These people are “never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” Neither the ministers who expel their ideas nor the listeners who receive their concoctions can understand the truth any longer. They are blinded by a spirit of covetousness and greed brought on by the lust and deceit of their own hearts. Their warped messages appeal to the spirits within carnal listeners.
Both the speaker and the listener succumb to the gods of this world: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.
Galatians 5:19-21 tells us: “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, reveling, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in the past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”
Some examples of the lust of the eyes are lust for women (Matthew 5:28; Job 31:1), ‘eyes full of adultery’, homosexuality, and lesbianism, etc. (2Peter 2:14; Romans 1:18-28), covetousness (Psalms 10:8; Luke 12:15), every kind of evil (Matthew 6:23; 7:22). Some different forms of the pride of life are self-righteousness (Job 32:1), positions (Genesis 3:5; 1Timothy 3:6; 3 John 9; Ezekiel 38:11-17), riches (Psalms 39:6; Ezekiel 28:5; Luke 12:16-21), power (Leviticus 26:19), beauty (Ezekiel 28:11, 17) and the pride of pleasures (Isaiah 3:16).
In the ministry today, there are self-righteous, arrogant, entrepreneurs who proclaim the faith of men rather than the faith of the Scriptures.
Human faith is following one’s own evil inclinations, desires and lusts; whereas, the faith of God is simply following, obeying, and trusting in the Bible, not in one’s own will. Jesus said, “…not as I will, but as thou wilt.” (Matthew 26:39)
In this, what I believe is the final generation, the world and the Church have witnessed and become victim to a constant barrage of demonically-inspired false teachings, visions, and dreams. These are being broadcasted through the radio, television, and other forms of mass communication and have greatly assisted the “father of all lies” (as Jesus called Satan) in the chronic erosion of the Holy Scriptures.
(Apostasy Part 2 to be continued in the next issue.)
I hope you are you enjoying these articles. I write them to encourage, inspire and prepare you for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ commissioned us (Christians) "to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Matthew 28:19-20).
I know that most of you cannot go into all the nations and warn the world of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, but as a member of this team we can do it together.
1Corinthians 12:4-6, "There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men."
Dear reader, we are a unit. With your prayers and financial support we can together to extend the gospel of Jesus Christ into all the nations.
As I explained in my last article titled, "The Middle East Showdown-The Beginning of WWIII and the Attack on America", we are living in very dangerous and unstable times.
WWIII IS NEAR! READ THE HEADLINES:
WorldNetDaily Oct 2, 2006 "Gaza readying for war"
WorldNetDaily September 27, 2006 "Suicide bombers follow Quran concludes Pentagon briefing"
Los Angeles Times-Washington Post September 19, 2006 "Is this the start of Third World War?"
WorldNetDaily September 17, 2006 "Al-Qaida warns Muslims: Time to get out of U.S."
WorldNetDaily September 6, 2006 "Captured booklet links Iran to Lebanon war"
WorldNetDaily September 6, 2006 Britain discovers secret army of well-trained jihad terrorists-Intelligence services, police stunned by sweep of schools, mosques in wake of foiled bomb plot
WorldNetDaily August 11, 2006 "Nuke terror fears raised by massive smuggling ops - 662 confirmed cases world wide, while GAO showed how to bring them across border"
Every believer has a responsibility to obey the Great Commission. Yes, you can personally do this by helping me go to the nations. My motto is: Help me, help them! Please, if each one of you would send something, I know we could do much more for our Lord. The staff of WMI all sacrifice to send out newsletters, edit radio and television programs etc., to warn the nations. My heart breaks at the requests for help from people dying of sickness and disease; the requests for medical and dental assistance. Please: Help me, help them! Let each person send some amount to us and like the loaves and fishes, God will provide for the needs that we have to minister to you.
1 Corinthians 12:12, "The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ."
Look forward to my next article, "Apostasy Part 2." May God richly bless you. May His grace shine upon you. May He give you victory and may He give you peace.
Dr. Jonathan Hansen
© 2006 World Ministries International