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The Persecuted Church


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I can’t be deceived because I’m a Christian!

The Bible speaks of a certain time at the end of the age where deceivers will become commonplace and there will be so much confusion that truth will become rare, few will speak it.

Matt 24:4-5 And Jesus answered and said to them: "Take heed that no one deceives you."For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many.”

To those who believe. Luke 21:8 And He said: "Take heed that you not be deceived. For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am He,' and, 'The time has drawn near.' Therefore do not go after them.

The word he is not in the original translation. So we have Jesus warning of mean saying they are Christ (or christed- anointed) and men saying “I am”, saying they are God (i.e. the new age and word faith teachers)

2 Cor. 11:3-4 “But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted-- you may well put up with it!

How did the Devil deceive Eve? By his words. This is why Paul speaks about protecting the mind.

Eph. 5:6 “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.”

Words that have no meaning, that do not help you or trick you. We call them fluff.

Rom 16:18 “For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.

II Thess. 2:3 “Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition.

2 Tim 3:13-14 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them”

Here Paul explains the pattern of duplication that reaches its zenith point in the end called the falling away, the apostasy

There are many ways to be deceived/ By words by experiences.

We can deceive ourselves.

First, by denying the reason Jesus came to die for us and claim it is fully removed.

I Jn. 1:8 “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” Making oneself holy and perfect as movements in the church have done previously and today.

We can be deceived by our pride, in what we know or do. This is why we are told to be humble, receive the word in meekness, that it can actually become an influence in us.
Rom 12:16 “Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.”

1 Cor.3:18 “Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise.”

Intelligence can foster pride if it is not under the control of the Holy Spirit.

Gal. 6:3-5 “For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For each one shall bear his own load.”

Notice here Paul says to examine the work they do not their doctrine. Both are important but the works we do is what will be judged for rewards, we should not boast if God is using us in a great capacity nor compare ourselves to others in this matter.

James 1:26 “If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one's religion is useless.”

We are told the heart is deceitful above all things. Out of the heart come the issues of life. When one does not have control of the tongue and speaks nonsense, tells stories, exaggerations embellishments or lies is not a doer of the word. James explains true religion as helping the needy (examples of visiting widows or orphans, those ostracized) and to keep the influences of the world out of their lives. Which can mean a number of things, in context with the tongue it would be boasting and using trickery to get ahead or noticed (Jms.1:9).

Gal. 6:7-8 “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.”

(Paul is speaking of rewards in the future, though one can certainly receive what they sowed in this life)

The point is that God knows, nothing is hidden from Him, He will repay. Count on it.

1 Cor. 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, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.”

Paul lists sins of the flesh, the fallen man’s nature that are being practiced. Notice he also includes thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners. Much of this is taking place in the church today, it is not isolated as it were among the Corinthians. In fact thievery, coveting, revilers and extortion teachings are found in the pulpits disguised as a spiritual quality in teaching.

1 Cor. 15:33-34 Do not be deceived: "Evil company corrupts good habits." Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame.”

Paul is warning about those who befriend those who live by the fallen nature, we are not to have fellowship with, unrepentant brothers are also included (1 Cor.5:11; 1 Cor.6:6; 2 Thess.3:6; Jd.4)

We should recognize those who speak for God correctly and act accordingly from those who do not, otherwise it is to our shame. Clearly one can say all the right things and still act fleshly, harshly, uncompassionate to others which can be a result of those they associate with.

I Jn. 2:26 “These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you.”

I Jn. 3:7 “Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous.”

John who many consider the apostle who loved and was especially Loved by Jesus speaks directly about liars who deny Jesus, and “that no lie is of the truth”; what is righteousness and what is lawlessness.

In the Tribulation period, Satan, who deceives the whole world is cast to the earth with his angels (Rev. 12:9)

II Thess. 2:9-10 “The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.”

Our age is becoming known for its lawlessness. In V.7 Paul explains “For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way.” The restraint is being taken out of the way. It is rising like the flood waters did in Noah’s day.

What is lawlessness? “Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness”(I Jn. 3:4.)

Matt 24:11-12 "Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. "And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.” Jesus spoke about testing the prophets for fruit (Mt.7:17)

Eph. 5:9 (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth)”

Gal 5:22-26 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.”

The false representatives of the Lord will be addressed for their boasting: who prophesied, who claimed to do miracles but were practicing thievery, coveting, reviled and extorted the people. "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ (Matt. 7:23).

Our example is from when Jesus addressed the religious leaders of his day that everyone respected "Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness” (Matt. 23:28.) Men look at the outside but God knows the inner man. The fruit shows a changed nature of the fallen man, there are different gradations but all who are born again are being changed.

When Jesus returns His angels will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness” (Matt. 13:41.) The Millennium will begin with only the righteous entering.

Our time is one of testing

2 Cor. 6:14 “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?”

1 Peter 4:14-19: “If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people's matters. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter. For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? Now "If the righteous one is scarcely saved, where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?" Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.”

It is because we live by the new man created in us that that brings us suffering. Because we are Christ like, allowing His nature to control us and our actions to others. Remembering that we are accepted because of Christ, and nothing of ourselves. We are to continue in humility, doing the work of the Lord and fulfill His will in this present evil age we live in. May we all have an abundant entry, and not be ashamed.

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