Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The "Great Delusion" of the End-Times

I keep hearing the phrase "strong delusion" when the Florida Revival comes up, as a justification that this is God sent, to bring about destruction (really). God is NEVER going to send destruction on His people, but the devil will try.

The latest is that this is a strong delusion, based on the verse in 2 Thessalonians 2:11:

11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie,
12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

HOWEVER, and please go read it for yourself if you don't believe me, this verse is talking about those people who are LEFT BEHIND after the Rapture, or at least for those who believe in the pre-trib rapture. The people referred to are those who are deluded by the Antichrist, because they do not believe, nor have EVER have believed the Truth. It is NOT talking about Christians AT ALL.

How do we know, because the previous 3 verse are about he Antichrist and his ability to deceive, and the fact that he has to be revealed before this great delusion comes.

I am not aware that the AC has been revealed.

To be honest, ANYONE who says stuff like this REALLY does not know God, nor their Bible - it's sad if it wasn't so dangerous. Many people will hear it and maybe miss something God has for them, out of fear.

People are all too readily quoting the Bible to justify a particular position - especially when they do not know the WHOLE counsel of Scripture, and take passages out of context, albeit in however a well meaning manner. It's just plain WRONG.

Again we see that traditions and religion have managed to subvert what the Word of God actually says.



boatman909 said...

Be careful, when you start questioning "signs and wonders" that result from a "revival" - for example the current Florida Revival - if you are not careful you will fall into the same error as the Pharisees. They accused Jesus of doing through the power of the devil.  Therre is NO accoiunt in Scripture that indicates that the devil can do these things in a way that
deceives the Elect (the born again Church), until after the Antichrist - "the man of sin"is revealed.

Satan will not, ever, bring about healings and miracles, especially if the people involved are giving God the glory, as is happening in Florida. This is a work of God, even if some of the things Todd Bentley says and does may not be totally scriptural. As Jesus said, only he who has never sinned is in a position to throw stones. The real question is "Is Todd Bentley doing these things in the Name of Jesus, and giving God the glory?"

Jesus harshly rebuked the Pharisees and scribes for their statements that he had a demon and was
casting out demons in the power of the devil (Beelzebub). In fact it was these very comments that caused Jesus to make the statement about sinning (blaspheming) against the Holy Spirit being the unforgivable sin. See Matthew 12:21-37.

22 Then one was brought to Him who was demon-possessed, blind and mute; and He healed him, so that the blind and mute man both spoke and saw.
23 And all the multitudes were amazed and said, “Could this be the Son of David?”
24 Now when the Pharisees heard it they said, “This fellow does not cast out demons except by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons.”
25 But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.
26 “If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand?
27 “And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges.
“But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you.
29“Or how can one enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house.
30 “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.
31 “Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men.
32 “Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.
33 “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit.
34 “Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
35 “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil
man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.
36 “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.
37 “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

If someone casts out demons or heals someone through the Name of Jesus today, then it is God at work, irrespective of how off-the-wall the person doing the ministry appears to be. God has to honor His Word - the Name of Jesus is above everything. If we invoke that Name just as someone did in the Gospel accounts who did not appear to be a follower of Jesus, take note of what Jesus said about him to His disciples.

38 Now John answered Him, saying, “Teacher, we saw someone who does not follow us casting
out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow us.”
39 But Jesus said, “Do not forbid him, for no one who works a miracle in My name can soon afterward speak evil of Me.
40 “For he who is not against us is on our side.
41 “For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink in My name, because you belong to Christ, assuredly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.
[Mark 9:38-41]

Even if someone seems to be in error, and yet God is working miracles through that person's ministry, then God is in control NOT the devil.

There is too much talk of how the devil will try to delude Christians by false miracles and signs and wonders. This has reached the point where, unfortunately, MOST Christians will refuse to accept, or will challenge, every miracle or sign that happens, calling it of the devil. This is
because, fundamentally, they have no REAL experience of the supernatural, rather
they have been taught to believe this, and are too afraid to find out what the
Bible actually says, and put it into practice.

According to Jesus "if you believe in My Name" you WILL be:

1) casting out demons;
2) speaking with new tongues;
3) taking up serpents [aka dealing with demonic forces];
4) drinking anything deadly, it will by no means hurt you;
5) laying hands on the sick, and they will recover.
[Mark 16:18]

There are MANY, MANY things we do not know about the spirit realm. There is a lot of false teaching, and down right error and confusion in the Body of Christ on this subject, so much so, that, in my estimation, probably 80% or more would not be able to rightly judge the truth of any miracles, signs and wonders they saw. Most would immediately say it was of the devil - which is for all intents and purposes, the unforgivable sin, and the rest would not believe it, even if it happened in front of them. They would find a way to deny that it had happened, or say that it was not of God, or it was just a coincidence. I know, I've seen it happen too many times, in churches that profess to be spirit-filled!!.

Satan cannot and will not divide his own house - to do so will result in his own destruction. Therefore, until the Antichrist comes, and a"great delusion" is sent by God, it is actually going to very difficult for Satan to truly blind or deceive the elect, contrary to much teaching today, unless they persist in ignoring what the Word of God says.

In fact, the most damaging and deceiving force in action today is that of the traditions of men and religion masquerading as the true faith.

Satan doesn't have to do anything - we are doing it to ourselves, by allowing traditions and religion to make the Word of God of no effect in our lives and in our Churches.

Any Church that does not believe in healing for today is actually saying that the Word of God is lying. There is no other possible conclusion. I know that this may upset some who are reading this, but it comes down, simply to:

"Do you, REALLY, believe what the Bible says?"
(That is actually a very good definition of faith in action).

Peter makes the statement that
"...[Jesus] Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness — by whose stripes you were healed.". [1 Peter 2:23].

It is not a question of whether healing is for today, it's the fact that Jesus' sacrifice has ALREADY paid the price for our healing, and if He has ALREADY paid for our healing, why on earth
would we continue to accept sickness and disease in our bodies. That's just plain foolishness - brought about by the traditions and religion of men.

The Greek word iaomai translated "healed" in this passage means being cured and made whole in all forms of physical, mental and emotional and spiritual wholeness and health - literally "to cure (literally or figuratively):--heal, make whole".

It is NOT limited or only for being healed of our sins (which are the root cause of sickness anyway) - there is another word used for that in the NT - sozo, which correctly translates
to being saved from our sins (see Luke 7:50).

Now either the Word is true, and we can walk in health and wholeness because of the stripes Jesus
suffered 2000 years ago, or it is not. You cannot have it both ways, or even legitimately argue that God does not want to heal us. For does it not say in the Word that God said to the children of Israel:

I AM the God who heals you [Exodus 15:26]

If God is the same, yesterday, today, and forever, and He does not change, neither does He lie, then this is still true today.

There is a false teaching that God sends sickness on us to teach us things. This is so anti-scripture that it's positively evil, a lie from the deepest depths of Hell.

The Word is quite clear - the Holy Spirit is the one who will lead us into ALL truth. Nowhere does it say God uses sickness to teach us things. In fact, the Word says that we are in error if we think that.

If, according to the Word, ... God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him [Acts 10:38]

you cannot say that God sends sickness, otherwise, you literally would have Jesus delivering people from sickness and diseases that God had put on them - which, as Jesus said, would be like a kingdom divided against itself.

Sickness and disease is from the devil - it entered the world because of Adam's sin - God did not send it.

According to Deuteronomy 28:61, sickness (ALL kinds) is a curse of the Law. Jesus has delivered us from the curse of the Law [Galatians 3:13]. Therefore, God is not going to curse us with sickness, when He took all that trouble to send Jesus to deliver us from such things.

Again, the Word does not say that God sends tests, trials and temptations upon us to test us.

13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone.
14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.
15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.
16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.
17 Every good gift
[i.e. it's not bad or evil or deceptive, and sickness is bad] and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. [James 1:13-17]

God ONLY sends us good and perfect gifts - I do not call sickness or disease a gift, and it is certainly not good or perfect.

Furthermore, it is God who tests our hearts [1 Thessalonians 2:3]


8 “So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us,
9 “and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.
[Acts 15:8-9]

God purifies our hearts by faith, not by sickness and disease.

It's your choice to believe the Word or not, no one can force you - but make sure you are receiving the WHOLE Truth from the Word, before you try to make judgments on others who are doing or saying things you may not agree with - make sure that you KNOW what the Word says first.


boatman909 said...

Vicki (Michigander),

You said (in the Cave)
"What do you think of what Jesus said...?

"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." Matthew 7:21-23

Just before He says, "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves."


Vicky, you are just confirming what I said. When the Lord says "Depart from me, I never knew you" He is NOT saying that what they did was wrong or false, but that they were not born again - they had not personally made Jesus Lord of their lives. Jesus only saves you once He is Lord of your life - not the other way around.

The Name of Jesus is above every Name. if you believe that, and your speak to the source of sickness in the Name of Jesus, it has to obey. Similarly, if you cast out a demon in the Name of Jesus, because you have the faith that this will work, it will. It does NOT mean that you are saved - because using the power of the Name of Jesus for someone else does not save you.

Jesus explains this in Mark 11:23 - that, in paraphrase, anyone (including unsaved persons) who believe what they say, they will receive it or cause it to happen. Or - you get what you say - both good and bad.

To be saved and eligible for Heaven, you MUST believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead AND you MUST confess Him (with your mouth) as Lord of your life. It has NOTHING to do with what you do or say "in the Name of Jesus".

If you are not born again by the Spirit of God, you CANNOT go to Heaven, however many "good deeds" (including supernatural ones) you did.

Defining a False Prophet depends on whether you believe as is described in the book of Hebrews) that we are under a different covenant than the OT prophets, who were specifically anointed by God, along with the Kings and priests. Nobody else was anointed by God under the Old Covenant.

Under the Old covenant, a prophet was judged by whether what he said was from God by the prophecy coming true with a 100% accuracy. (A little difficult in practice, since many OT prophetic utterances concerned the coming of the Messiah, and the last prophet in the OT (with the exceptions of John the Baptist and Jesus Himself, lived 400 years BEFORE Jesus came.)

Under the new covenant, this rule no longer applies, as God gave us ALL the ability to receive the empowering of the Holy Spirit [Acts 1:8] (it's not automatic - you need to ask for it, once you have been born again). The purpose of this empowering is to effective witnesses for the Gospel.

One of the manifestations of Holy Spirit is the gift of (simple) prophecy [1 Corinthians 12:10], which is manifested as the Holy Spirit wills [1 Corinthians 12:11] - man cannot cause this to happen, they can only respond to the Holy Spirit's prompting them to speak out what Holy Spirit tells them, and being only human, we WILL make mistakes - it takes practice to learn to prophesy under the guidance of Holy Spirit. If you have not received the baptism of Holy Spirit (what Jesus called "being endued with power from on high", and if you cannot speak in tongues, it will be very difficult, if not impossible to do this.

In any case, the role of prophecy in the NT is now for "the edification and exhortation and comfort of men." [1 Corinthians 14:3]. Nowhere does it mention prophesying about things to come, in a manner like the OT prophets.

However, Jesus said Holy Spirit, when He came in power upon the believers, would lead us into all Truth, and would tell us of things to come.

There are two gifts related to the manifestation of the gift of simple prophecy, the Word of Knowledge and the Word of Wisdom. [1 Corinthians 12:8]. These "gifts" cover these two aspects of Holy Spirit's ministry in the church.

In simple terms the Word of Knowledge is an expression of the mind of God concerning the past and present, having to do with people, places and things. It is exercised under the direction of Holy Spirit, through the gift of (simple) prophecy.

The the Word of Knowledge is an expression of the mind of God concerning the future, having to do with people, places and things. It is likewise exercised under the direction of Holy Spirit, through the gift of (simple) prophecy.

Simply put, these manifestations operate through any believer who has received the baptism of Holy Spirit, and who makes themselves available to Holy Spirit, in a local church setting, to be used to manifest these supernatural spirituals, for the benefit and edification of the local church.

There is no requirement that these New Covenant prophetic utterances are to be 100% accurate - that is not their purpose. Very often the Word of Wisdom is conditional on our actions, so we can therefore cause it not to come to pass.

I have personally been involved in a situation in a church that believed in these manifestations, where a Word of Knowledge and a Word of Wisdom was given in a message to the elders of the
Church concerning the appointment of a new pastor. They chose to ignore it (for reasons I will not go into here), and it caused no end of problems. It nearly destroyed a young minister's family and ministry - just as the prophetic word said it would do, if the instructions given were not followed. It was very sad and devastating for all concerned. I do not think the church ever recovered, and the teaching there does not even touch on supernatural, and the manifestations of Holy Spirit. Simply put, they let their lamp go out and became lukewarm [Revelation 3:14-19].

In answer to your question:
Are you saying that God will heal everyone who has faith? And if they aren't healed, they don't
have enough faith? Could it be that some people won't be made whole until Jesus comes?

A simple answer to your first question is YES!!

In the four Gospels, there are 19 different cases of healing recorded. Three of these were as a result of Jesus casting out a demon. In 13 of the remaining 16 times, Jesus either said or implied that it was the person's own faith that resulted in their healing.

This in itself should answer your question from the Word.

Romans 10:17 says that faith comes by repeatedly hearing the Word of God. In this particular verse, the word translated "Word" is "Rhema the spoken word of God.

So, you must receive the Word of God in power - in other words it must get into your heart - your spirit man (NOT your mind), before it becomes alive and effective.

The Bible is the Logos - the written Word. You need to hear and hear and keep hearing the written Word of God until, suddenly, it comes alive - it becomes the Rhema word to you personally - as if had been spoken by the mouth of God Himself deep into your spirit. {Note, when you are born again, it is only your spirit that is recreated, your mind remains unregenerate, and needs to be renewed by you (not by God) through the reading and hearing the Word of God [Romans 12:2]).

The Bible says that "by Jesus stripes you were healed" of all physical, emotional and mental illness and diseases. If you believe it, if you have received the "Rhema" word that says I am healed by Jesus stripes", then you will have the faith to receive your healing.

The Bible also tells us that we can "build up", "edify" ourselves in our most holy faith by praying in the Holy Spirit.

Praying in the Holy Spirit is "praying in tongues" [1 Corinthians 14:4, Jude 20] - in reality this is our spirit praying directly to God in utterances that we cannot understand, because they are not in our natural language, but in a supernatural heavenly language that only God can understand. [1 Corinthians 14:2].

We are also, when we pray in tongues (= praying in the Holy Spirit according to [1 Corinthians 14:4, Jude 20]), are praying out the perfect will of God [Romans 8:27] (I do not want to argue this again, this is what the Word of God says!)

So, it is God's will that we are all to be able to walk in perfect health and wholeness. If this is the case, why would God want anyone to suffer unnecessarily. Remember, all sickness and disease comes form Satan.

We are called to be "more than overcomers". It is up to us to believe (have faith) in what God's Word says. In fact, in Mark 11:22, Jesus says we are to "Have the faith of God" - this is the literal translation of the original Greek - I looked it up. It is a command. God NEVER tells us to do something we cannot - we just need to learn how to do it, which takes effort and time.

You cannot expect, having succumbed for example to cancer, to declare just once that "By Jesus stripes I am healed" and get up off your sick bed. This Truth has to be a part of your inner most being, so that when you say it, you REALLY believe it, even if for the time being the symptoms remain.

The symptoms are temporal, subject to change. The Word of God is not. The symptoms MUST eventually bow their knee to the word - you just need to make sure you are around long enough to enjoy the benefits!

If you have studied the Word, and allowed it to become a Rhema Word to your spirit, then when sickness strikes, you will have the faith and the authority to speak to it, and it will go. However (as it says in Mark 11:23), if you start saying "Oh, I'm sick, I have this cancer in me", then it will not go, and it will take hold of your body. If you keep saying you have cancer, it WILL destroy you. If, however, you keep confessing, continuously if necessary, that "By Jesus stripes I am healed", then the cancer will eventually go from your body.

It really is simple as that.

I hope this answers your questions (although, as you said you were a 7th Day Adventist, I know for a fact that your denomination does not believe in healing for today, and most certainly not in the baptism of holy Spirit with power, with the evidence of speaking in other tongues.)


boatman909 said...

Vicki (michigander),

You said:
Do you believe that Satan can cause someone to appear to be sick and then take away those symptoms to make it appear that the person is healed?

Yes it is possible - but for what purpose?

The problem is that the symptoms of sickness can mimic an actual sickness. The devil can put symptoms on a person and then take them away. If the person gives God the glory, who has really won - God has!

If a person does not give God the glory, then there is nothing that a born again believer has to judge - it is obviously just the work of the devil. The person involved may have appeared to receive healing, but they are already on Satan's side - and it would be obvious to a born-again Christian that, since Jesus was not involved, it's a counterfeit.

However, if the devil puts symptoms on a born-again believer, and they take authority in Jesus' Name, and tell the symptoms to go (it's called "resisting the devil", and they do, then God gets the glory, and the devil is defeated.

Simply put, all sickness (both actual and symptoms) is of the devil. If a person is praying in the Name of Jesus for someone to be healed, and they are, then give God the glory. If they are not healed, then either the person ministering, or the receiver, did not exercise their faith in a proper manner. This is almost always due to a lack of understanding about what the Word says.

If you are a believer in Jesus, the Word says you can lay hands on the sick, and they will recover. Period. The real question is "Do YOU believe that?"

If the person being laid hands on does not believe that "By Jesus stripes I am healed", or that God wants everyone to be healed, whole and living a healthy, sickness free life, it's very hard to get them to a place spiritually where they are able to receive healing - their faith is not operational. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word (Rhema) of God. You need to take time to teach them that.

Jesus made it very clear that our faith is intrinsically involved in receiving healing for ourselves.

So, in conclusion, yes, the devil can put symptoms on a person, and then remove them. But you can tell that it is just the devil playing games, if God does not get the glory.