Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Protection From Deception

Sometimes it is quite easy to spot a false prophet; especially when they set themselves up to be the second coming of Jesus Christ.

After you read the article at the link above, can you name the obvious warning signs that would unmistakably lead you to recognize how that man has blatantly set himself up to be a false prophet?

Easy, right?

But why does this deceiver have so many followers?

We need to ask, "how is it possible that some people could be fooled so easily?"

The answer is that they are most likely not born again in Christ, and/or, they are (unfortunately) completely ignorant of what the Bible teaches.

The King James Bible has nine verses that contain the term "false prophet" in them. (They are listed below.) Each one gives another clue as to how to avoid being caught up into deception by false prophets.

There is one verse, spoken by Jesus himself, that warns us that such a phenomenon will increase as we get closer to the end times.

Mar 13:22 For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if [it were] possible, even the elect.

It helps to read the verse before and after that one:

Mar 13:21
"Then if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or, 'Look, He is there!' do not believe it."

Mar 13:22
"For false christs and false prophets will rise and show signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect."

Mar 13:23
"But take heed; see, I have told you all things beforehand."

(Mark 13:21-23 NKJV)

When Jesus is speaking about the "elect," he is referring to all who have confessed and repented of their sins, asked Jesus Christ into their hearts as Lord and Savior of their lives, and have received the Holy Spirit of God to sanctify and guide them into all truth.

It takes but a moment to be born again in Christ, yet a lifetime to be sanctified. When born again, our goals change. Our greatest joy is to praise and worship Jesus. We strive to obey His commandments because we love him. He is holy and we want to seek holiness.

Because we still have that free will sin nature to deal with in the flesh, we know that we aren't perfect. But Jesus challenges us all with such a goal! That's a goal that we are truly to strive for because even Jesus said, "Be perfect, just as my Father in heaven is perfect."

Mat 5:48
Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. (KJV)

Granted, that's certainly a heavenly goal! Perfection, in our flesh, is unachievable on this fallen earth. We can't attain God's perfection. However, we can discover what we need to know about the perfection of God, and be reconciled unto Him through the Person of Jesus Christ!

We can know what He wants us to know by reading, studying and applying His Word, the Bible to our lives daily.

We have the Holy Spirit of God guiding us in our hearts.

Do you listen to Him?

He will never guide you away from God's will for your life. Our sinful nature can do that in a heartbeat...but don't let it happen!!

Jesus' prayer to the Father, FOR US, about this daily dilemma says:

Jhn 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

If we are being sanctified through God's truth, then we can escape deception!

Notice the last part of the verse in Mark 13:22, Jesus said,

" deceive, if possible, even the elect."

Knowing Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, being born again in Christ, and studying the Bible so that we can recognize false prophets protects us from being deceived!

Mat 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

Mat 24:11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

Mat 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.

Mar 13:22 For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if [it were] possible, even the elect.

Luk 6:26 Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.

2Pe 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

1Jo 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

Old Testament warnings:

Jer 14:14 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 of nought, and the deceit of their heart.

Lam 2:14 Thy prophets have seen vain and foolish things for thee: and they have not discovered thine iniquity, to turn away thy captivity; but have seen for thee false burdens and causes of banishment.

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