In the article Strange Fire, I warned of the danger of mixing falsehoods with God’s revealed works or words. One of the signs Jesus warned us to watch for were false prophets (Matthew 24:11), and today we see an abundance of false prophets and false teachers on the scene.
President Obama came to power promising ‘Hope and Change’ but, his policies have trashed the hope of economic improvement for many and he has “opened the door to the chicken house” for terrorism in America by installing Muslim extremists in his administration and allowing a huge influx of Muslim immigration, many of which are radical Islamic sympathizers. Hillary Clinton blames big banks and the sub-prime market for our economic problems saying only she can fix the
situation. What she doesn’t say is her husband started the sub-prime mortgage problem and she has made over 2 million the last two years from these same banks she is blaming! False prophets are not always religious but, sometimes they are. This last week I read someone prophesying 1) Donald Trump would be elected President of the United States, 2) another prophesying that Hillary Clinton would be elected and 3) one prophesying that neither would be elected because Barak Hussein Obama would declare a state of emergency and cancel the election! Now it is obvious that not all of them could be true, either two of these are false prophets or perhaps all three. What is the source of false prophesy? According to Scripture it is two-fold; either it is their own heart or mind, or it is an evil spirit –
“How long will this be in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies? Indeed they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart,” – Jeremiah 23:26
“How long will this be in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies? Indeed they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart,“ – Ezekiel 13:2
“If a man should walk in a false spirit And speak a lie, saying, ‘I will prophesy to you of wine and drink,’ Even he would be the prattler of this people.” – Micah 2:11
How do we protect ourselves from this danger? The answer is mainly three-fold:
1) Be obedient to God – “And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.” – Acts 5:32. Jesus promised the Holy Spirit would teach us and bring to remembrance Jesus’ words but, we must obey Him! Remember, it is the disobedient that will be deceived (2 Thessalonians 2:10).
2) Be a God pleaser rather than a man-pleaser. There is no room for the ‘political correct’ philosophy that is sweeping the world. Being ‘politically correct’ is letting someone else other than God dictate what is truth. We all want freedom – but, it is only God’s truth that will set us free.
3) Take God’s word as it is written. Many today like to overlook any Scripture that does not agree with their lifestyle or understanding but, that never changes what God declares, it only marks us for judgment! While we may not understand all of God’s words, they are still true and we can always pray to God for wisdom as James wrote (James 1:5).
I will use a current doctrine to illustrate these points – the pretribulation rapture argument. It basically claims Jesus will come ‘secretly’ for his faithful before the great tribulation begins and then come again at the end of the great tribulation to judge the Antichrist and the devil and those who follow them. Let’s look at what Scripture actually says –
“But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.” – Matthew 24:13, 14
First of all it is those who endure to the end that will be saved. No early out here. Jesus further defined when the end would come – when the gospel of the kingdom is preached in all the nations.
“Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand),” – Matthew 24:15
Now the ‘abomination of desolation’ occurs during the 7 year reign of the Antichrist during the great tribulation and spoken about in Daniel 9:27 and 12:11. So, it is obvious that Jesus was warning His saints that they would see the Antichrist. Also, since the abomination was done in the Temple in Jerusalem, it is likely that we will also see a rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem.
“For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.” – Matthew 24:21, 22
After Jesus describes these events, He calls it ‘great tribulation’ so it is obvious that believers will go through the great tribulation. He even stated that these days would be shortened for the elects sake.
To get around this, pretrib proponents try to say this message is only to Jewish people who will be left to face the wrath of Antichrist. This certainly doesn’t sound like the loving God whom Scripture declares is “no respecter of persons”! They say only the Jews are called God’s elect but what does Scripture say?
“Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering;” – Colossians 3:12
“Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.“ – 1 Thessalonians 1:4
Paul calls the Gentile Christians of Colossi “elect of God”. And to Jews and Gentiles of the Thessalonian Church he reminds them of their “election of God”. There are many other Scriptures as well that make clear that “the elect of God” are all those who are true believers in Jesus Christ and faithfully follow His teachings, both Jew and Gentile.
Now, as to the ‘secret coming’ of the Lord – let’s see what Scriptures say about the second coming of Jesus –
“For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” – Matthew 24:27
“Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” – Matthew 24:29-31
There is only one second coming described in Scripture and it is not very secret! It comes like lightning from one end of heaven to another, a loud trumpet sound shakes the earth, all people on the earth see it and tremble with fear and they see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven. It will be impossible to miss it. But, there is more to happen before the rapture –
“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:” – 1 Thessalonians 4:16
The first resurrection also occurs. Scriptures describe only two resurrections to come: 1) of the righteous before the 1000 year reign of Christ on the earth, and 2) of the wicked after the 1000 year reign of Christ (Revelation 20:4-6). Paul writes that this first resurrection takes place before the rapture –
“Then (after the resurrection) we which are alive and remain shall be caught up (rapture) together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” – 1 Thessalonians 4:17
There are many more Scriptures that teach about our rapture to meet the Lord in the air and none of them proclaim a ‘secret’ pretribulation rapture. I give these few references to illustrate how we keep from being deceived by the “Strange Fire” the devil uses to weaken us. These rules work whether we are talking about philosophy, education, political or religious doctrines. If you need wisdom, go to God, who is the source of all wisdom and may God bless your search for the truth.
“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, …” – James 1:5, 6