There is one Scripture in the Bible which we should all be aware of: Matthew 7:21-23 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. Luke 6:46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
Would anyone have the boldness to go before God and say something that they did not believe to be true? The people that make these claims to God obviously BELIEVE them to be true- they really believe that they worked miracles and did wonderful works in the name of Jesus and expect and think they deserve the proper eternal rewards for the just and righteous who believe in and serve the Lord Jesus. But Christ, who cannot lie, tells them not only that He "NEVER KNEW" them, but goes further and calls them "ye that work iniquity". How is it possible for them to be so deceived? Is it possible that we, who speak so often of the Lord to others, are deceived as to the "lord" we are serving? Is it because they talk the talk but do not walk the walk? Is it because they do not possess what they profess? Which comes down to the real crux of the whole matter, what is the true condition of their heart. Is it possible that they do not know the condition of their own heart? Is it possible that that God was right in Jeremiah 17:9 (The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?) and Proverbs 28:26 (He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.)? Have we forgotten Proverbs 21:2 (Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts.) and Proverbs 16:2 (All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits.) and that we need God to show us what is in our hearts? And that He will not do so unless we ask Him to. He doesnt come hit us over the head and say, look now, Im going to tell you what is really in your heart whether or not you like it. Look at Jesus warning in Luke 16:15. And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. Could it be that God was right when He said, For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9) In the end, it isnt what we think or want to believe that counts if it is not the truth according to the Word and the Spirit of God. It isnt what we wish or hope it will be, but what He says it is and will be. 1Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart. Jeremiah 17:10 I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. Look at Psalm 139:1-16
Careful examination of this critical subject will no doubt offend many who claim to be "deliverers" and "healers", but is it not better to face the truth now, while there is time to obtain Divine help in correcting any delusions Satan has caught us in, than to have Christ look us in the eye and say, "I NEVER KNEW YOU: DEPART FROM ME YE THAT WORK INIQUITY?!"
Is it possible that there are those who appear to be doing the Lord's works that are actually NOT of Him? The Word of God not only says its possible, but it says it WILL happen: 2Corinthians 11:13-15 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. Romans 16:18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. Galatians 1:6-8 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 of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. Obviously they were hearing another gospel from a false preacher. Look at the warnings of these of which there are too many to mention at once.
Here are some scriptures warning about the false preachers that would be in the church, deceiving the people. Ephesians 4:14, Philippians 1:15-17, Colossians 2:4, 6, 1Timothy 4:1-2, 6:3-6, 2Timothy 3:5-8, 2Peter 2:1-3 and the list goes on. It is no different today than in Elijahs day or any other time in history. There have ALWAYS been more false preachers than true minister of God and always more false than true prophets. It is because of the wickedness and deceitfulness of the heart of man. Man has for the most part made up a religion to be what he wants, to fit his lifestyle and desires. That is why there are so many religions. In that that is even why there is something called evolution. It too is a type of religion. Darwin and Huxley both confessed that they did not believe in natural selection and what the theory purports, but said that it gave them the freedom to live their lives the way they wanted without being bothered with (Biblical) morals and concern about a God who would judge them. Unfortunately, they found out too late, that you cant avoid the judgment of God by denying His existence. Yet there is only one true faith in God. The only faith that is true is that which originated from God and not from man that comes from His Word. And so we are told to earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints (Jude 1:3).
Let us remember the warning of 2Corinthians 2:11. Satan comes as light, and so do false preachers whom God says their ends will be according to their works. Yet on the surface it appears that they are doing good works for the Lord, as they will profess to Him in that day. Were they just deceiving themselves? Today is the time of the greatest battle of all time - not a physical battle, but a battle with the unseen powers of hell. Time is soon to be over and if we are alive when Christ comes again, we will have taken part in the battle, which vindicates God's government. But in order to fight successfully, we must have the "sword" and the "armor" of God. Ephesians 6:12-17 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Paul's letter to the Corinthians (2Corinthians 11:13-15 quoted above) says that Satan's ministers will be transformed, or appear to be, "ministers of righteousness". There is grave danger in allowing ANYONE to "feed" you their version of the Gospel. This is not to say that some are not Godly men, led by the Holy Spirit. But today, you CANNOT tell the "good from the bad" without examining every word that comes out of their mouths, as well as examining the example of their lives. 99% truth is NOT good enough. God's Truth includes EVERY WORD in the Bible, not just the portions various preachers are fondest of. The danger we are all facing is very real- without our OWN knowledge of the Truth as revealed in the Bible, we are in danger of believing lies and Satan's deceptions. He has already gotten some of his insidious "interpretations" of what Scriptures "really" mean accepted by a large number of professing Christians.
All around, we hear these "interpretations" From the mouths of many who are very popular and accepted by the people without question. Are these the ones that confront God with their "miracles" and "prophecies" and "many wonderful works"? Have they "like it is said of other liars, come to believe their own lies and deceptions"? Are these the ones who cooperate with "that wicked" described in this next passage?
2Thessalonians 2:3-4, 7-12 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.... 7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
Am I in that group? Are you in that group? Should we not follow Paul's advice to the church at Corinth?
2Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? This is still valid for all of us today. It is the easy greasy cheap grace that has caused such deceptions and even men in the ministry who think they are saved and serving God, but they have never properly come to the cross and surrendered their lives and fully repented of their sin and independent living for self. You can do a lot of good works without being born again of the spirit of God, you can be in the ministry and preach good sermons without the life of Christ within, and you can have the anointing of God for ministry and not be saved, or else why were we told about the likes of Balaam and why are we reminded of such prophets in the New Testament. Is it possible that we can know and speak the truth on occasion and yet be an enemy of God, like Balaam? Romans 1:18 or the wrath of God is revealed From heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness. Is it possible for us to lose the presence of God From our lives and not be aware of it? The Bible says of Samson: Judges 16:20 And she said, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And HE WIST NOT THAT THE LORD WAS DEPARTED FROM HIM. Saul, the first king of Israel, had a similar experience: 1Samuel 18:12 And Saul was afraid of David, because the LORD was with him, and WAS DEPARTED FROM SAUL.
Do we have a pattern (a role model) by which to measure ourselves? Zechariah 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. When we read of the servants of God in the Bible, only those who were kings and queens dressed and lived sumptuously. CHRIST, THE SON OF GOD, WAS "LOWLY". Where, among the professed followers of Christ, do we see those who pattern themselves after Him? John 13:16 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. Yet we see many who, by their dress and manner, show that they are seeking the praise of men. These "leaders" praise themselves and those that praise them. They "prophesy" and claim to be doing "many wonderful works". If these are not those spoken of by Christ, that continually call Him "Lord, Lord", where, then ARE they to be found? Christ gave His followers some advice about the "religious leaders" of His day: Mark 12:38-40; "...Beware of the scribes, which love to go in long clothing, and love salutations in the marketplace, and the chief seats in the synagogues, and the uppermost rooms at feasts: which devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayers: these shall receive the greater damnation."
How, then, are we to "DISCERN" truth from error? Isaiah 8:20 To the law and to the testimony, if they speak not according to these, there is no light in them. Revelation 22:14-15 Blessed are THEY THAT DO HIS COMMANDMENTS, that they have a right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without [outside] are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, AND WHOSOEVER LOVETH AND MAKETH A LIE. Could that be preachers of false doctrines? Christ asked a very appropriate question of his disciples: Luke 18:8 When the son of man cometh shall he find faith on the earth? Why would He ask this? Then, Paul gives the warning: 2Timothy 4:3-5 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. Christ should have the last word on any subject. Here is that word: Matthew 24:24-25 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. Behold, I have told you before.
We think we're too smart to get snookered by Satan, but don't be too smug. Pride always leads to a fall. Proverbs 16:18 Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. The time is very near when he will counterfeit the miracles of God. Remember when Elijah met with the priests of Baal on Mt. Carmel and fire came from heaven and consumed everything including the water poured over the sacrifice, and the heathen priests were slaughtered? 1Kings 18:36-40 And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word. Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again. Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God. And Elijah said unto them, Take the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape. And they took them: and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there. And what about 2Kings 1:10-12? And Elijah answered and said to the captain of fifty, If I be a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty. And there came down fire from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty. Again also he sent unto him another captain of fifty with his fifty. And he answered and said unto him, O man of God, thus hath the king said, Come down quickly. And Elijah answered and said unto them, If I be a man of God, let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty. And the fire of God came down from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty.
Revelation 13:13-14 And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
The Last Call
Jeremiah 16:21 "Behold, I will this once cause them to know.... that my name is The Lord." For approximately six thousand years this planet has been under the vicious tyrannical rule of Satan the usurper. God, the Creator of the universe, has prevented the unbridled terror of Satan's will to be fully enacted.
You and I have been participants in the once-in-eternity demonstration that the perfect Law of our perfect God cannot be set aside without terrible results. God has written His sacred Law with His own finger, not once, but twice in stone. For six thousand years Satan and his followers have been trying to do away with that Law. The result is a planet polluted to the point of being nearly uninhabitable! Terrible viruses and diseases are afflicting mankind. AIDS and other killer viruses have come into being as was prophesied and resistant strains of old killer diseases that were once thought to be all but eradicated are coming back and killing men once again. Nuclear weapons are in the hands of fanatics who will use them one day. Crime is increasing by exponential proportions, and those responsible for the well-being of Earth's inhabitants are too busy satisfying their lust and greed to make the effort necessary to change or slow the forces of destructive. The fact is that they have become destructive forces. If the prophecy in Revelation 11:18 is to be fulfilled, and the Lord will "destroy them that destroy the earth," it must happen soon. God has allowed this terrible "rebellion" to take place because this is the only way for His righteous Law to be eternally vindicated and yet still preserve freedom of choice for mankind. So, God, with the full consent and fullest cooperation of His Son, Jesus, gave His Son to ransom those of us who would love, obey, and cooperate with Him. Isaiah 53:11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. The full extent of the sacrifice of the Father and son on our behalf is only partially understood by mankind. But as great as that sacrifice was, all heaven will cheer and be satisfied when the terrible rebellion is finally finished and a regenerated, translated mankind is restored to a renewed and beautiful planet and eternal voluntary compliance to God's perfect and eternal Law will be assured! Revelation 22:14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
The justice and mercy of God has made provision for fallen mankind. Regardless of "when" or "where" anyone has lived throughout the history of our planet, they had only to respond to the impressions and influence of the Holy Spirit and the working of the angels to be saved. But James 4:17 says; Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin. Every man has chosen the way and path he would go, beginning with Adam, and Cain rejected even the Word of God spoken directly to him before hand, to kill his brother Abel. Millions of the saved will learn only after the resurrection all that Jesus did for them during this life! They will come to know Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved (Acts 4:12).
The fullness of time and the end to mans rebellion is nigh at hand. The end of all things is at hand! And God will perform the words of Jeremiah 16:21. Therefore, behold, I will this once cause them to know, I will cause them to know mine hand and my might; and they shall know that my name is The LORD. Gods truth will be shown to the whole world one last time and man will be given one last opportunity to cooperate in their salvation. The statement, "How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation" (Hebrews 2:3) will be manifest in the end.