Deception vs the Cross

I don’t know when this video was taken. Nevertheless, I thank the Lord Jesus Christ so much! The people in this video are men and women whom I would not, in a million years, have the faintest chance of matching in terms of brainpower, power, status or worldly wealth. (There are people here being asked for a single donation of 10,000 U.S. dollars!)

And yet, thanks to the grace of God, even though I am light years away from their class, I cannot imagine being scammed on the massive scale that these people are being scammed. Not that I am judging them. On the contrary, my heart goes out to them. These are people who had not the revelation of the true gospel of Jesus Christ – “Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:2) – in their hearts. They probably had never heard it preached. But, again, in their day, there probably was no teacher of the gospel who taught this revelation.

But, today, God has brought to light the gospel of the revelation of the cross of Jesus Christ and it is spreading all over the earth. And yet, even today, there are equally level-headed people – God’s people – who are being conned on an even bigger magnitude than what we witness in this video clip.

I have no words to express my gratitude to God, who delivered me from gospels of preachers such as these, who do not have the revelation of the cross in them; to whom, I hasten to add, I was once enslaved.

“(The Lord) brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.” (Ps. 40:2)

It is a sad tale, the tale of where today’s men of God have taken the church to. They have taken God’s people back into the miry pit.

Sadly, everything in this video clip – the beautiful piano music, the soothing voice of the man speaking in the background, the preacher’s well-modulated intonations – are all used to euthanize the minds of the people this preacher is targeting.

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The Need For Sound Doctrine – Part 3

21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.

22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. Rom. 11:21-22

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

“The Road Not Taken” is a poem written by one of the most enduring American poets, Robert Frost. You can take your time to read it again. In perspective, it is a very interesting poem.

In mainstream literature, however, this poem is one of the most controversial in its interpretation. But that fact is of little consequence to us here. We shall take this poem at face value, which ought to be the most enjoyable way of interpreting it.

I love the last stanza:

“I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.”

I do not know the “road” that Frost took, nor the difference this decision made in his life. But I do know that, one day, I took a road less travelled and that has made all the difference in my life.

When I got saved in 1990, I soon moved to another town. There, I joined the first church I chanced upon. Although I did not know it at the time, this church happened to be the biggest Pentecostal church in town. I quickly settled in and, not long afterwards, I was elected as a deacon in that church.

I was young and naïve then and I did not know much the ways of the Lord. But throughout my stay in that church, my spirit was troubled. I was troubled because I was hearing things preached that had no connection whatsoever with the gospel that I heard when I first got saved. Although I was young and naïve, still my spirit rejected what I was hearing and observing in church.

Not that I was rebellious. As a matter of fact, I cheered along during the sermons and sort of believed that what was being preached was the truth. But that was because I did not know any better.

But, unknown to me, my spirit lay put, waiting for an opportunity…

That opportunity came in 1994. In that year, a man of God came to start a new work of God in town. Initially, I did not hear or know about him. But then, one day, he held a small outdoor meeting in town. In those days, I had an unparalleled love for the Lord. So, as I sat in my office and heard the sound of outdoor gospel music playing, I got excited.

‘Another open-air meeting!’ I said. ‘Praise the Lord!’

Exactly at 5 p.m., I dashed out of my office and headed in the direction of the meeting.

It was a very small meeting. There was nothing remarkable about it on the outside. But the preacher’s words had an unmistakable appeal to me. For the first time, I heard words that spoke to my heart! To this day, I still remember even the scripture he read from. As this man preached, somehow, in my spirit I ‘heard’ the very words that I heard on the day I got saved. And, deep inside me, my spirit was roused from its long slumber.

By the time the meeting ended, I had come to a decision. It was nearing dark, but I did not go home. Instead, I headed back to my church. My pastor and his family resided at the church compound, so I went straight there.

I found the pastor in his office. Now, I am not a good talker and it can take me quite a while to get around to expressing what I need to say. But, in the end, I managed to tell my pastor that I was leaving.

I used to travel a lot then, so he thought I was travelling again. He asked me, “Where are you travelling to, Zakaria?”

I told him I was not travelling. I told him that I had just heard words in an open-air crusade that sounded like the words that I first heard when I first got saved. I told him I had come to say goodbye to him and that I was going to look for that new pastor who had been preaching at the meeting.

I was young, guile-less, and I spoke straight from my heart. Actually, in my stupidity, I thought the pastor would get up and shake my hand! Only much later did it enter my thick skull that if the man had had a gun he would have shot me right there and then!

The next day, I set out to find the new pastor I had heard at the meeting. I caught up with him that same day – and I have been with him ever since. He is one of the biggest blessings in my life.

But I paid the ultimate price for making that move. The church I had just left was very big and I had many, many friends and acquaintances there. When the pastor announced that I had left, it was the case of “for whom the bell tolls”. In this case, the bell tolled for me! The backlash against me was immediate, severe and sustained. I lost everyone in that church. But that is the price you pay when you set out to seek God. You have to start out all alone.

Today, though, I have far more brethren in the Lord than I had in that church. And I am glad I have found the true foundation of the gospel, “Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:2).

Let’s recap that incident of Frost and the road less travelled in relation to Romans 11:21-22:

“21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. 22  Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.”

It is interesting the many songs and catchphrases that we hear in Christendom extolling the goodness of God. The most popular goes: “God is good all the time, and all the time God is good.”

The goodness of God has become the gospel. That looks fine and true.

But that could hardly be further from the truth. There is deception in the “God is good all the time, and all the time God is good” mantra. It is deliberately burying another truth of God’s nature. For in the same breathe that it says that God is good, the Bible also says that God is severe. God is severe because God is holy and righteous

So, then, how about we change that to: “God is good and severe all the time, and all the time God is good and severe”? That, certainly, is what any believer who aspires to spiritual maturity ought to hear.

When we are not endeavoring to enter God’s Kingdom by the “strait gate” (Mat. 7:13); when we are not taking the narrow way in our spiritual journey, we are not doing what God tells us to do: to “take heed”. God will judge, not just the false preachers who mislead God’s people, but He will also judge His people who accept to be misled. They have rejected God’s first call upon their lives, which is a call to deny themselves. Instead, they have followed the lusts of their flesh and accepted to sit under men who are not preaching sound doctrine.

But in the midst of this present darkness within the church, God is serious about sound doctrine. He knows that only sound doctrine will take the church to where He wants it to be in the Spirit, to true maturity. God therefore speaks to us through the Apostle Paul:

“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.”

He also tells us that we should be ready to “… endure afflictions”.

[The Sekenke Escarpment is the most treacherous part of Tanzania’s Central Highway]

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There’s Balm In Gilead!

Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered? Jer. 8:22

I love the Apostle Paul with all my heart! The Apostle Paul is not someone you can love emotionally. He is not a rock star. You can only love the Apostle Paul in the Spirit, and I thank God for that.

Paul was he who paid the price to bring the life of Jesus Christ to the church. He suffered with Christ. And through his ministry, today there is healing balm in Gilead! There is healing balm in the church.

For that very reason, if any man cannot love the Apostle Paul, let him be accursed. Yes, let him be accursed.

The Israelite people in Jeremiah’s time underwent an extremely rough time. There came a time when there was no balm in Gilead! The spiritual health of an entire nation was appalling! And the Prophet Jeremiah lamented for the nation of Israel, God’s own people.

You may not believe it, but today the spiritual situation of God’s people is even worse. And yet, under the New Covenant, the answer to the question, “Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there?”

is a resounding “Yes!” There is healing balm and there is a Physician in Gilead! Praise God for that!

But the enemy is also at work. I know of preachers who sell oil and claim it is the balm of Gilead. But God in Jeremiah is not talking about these conmen. He is talking about the things of the Spirit, and the things of men’s hearts. If someone can give or sell you oil that can deal with the things of your heart, then he will have nailed it for you. But I can assure right here that if you are ever going to meet up with such a preacher, he will not be selling you oil in a bottle. In any case, true preachers of God’s Word are not easy to come by. In fact, considering that today’s church has almost been totally over-ran by the enemy, the chances of finding such a man are getting exponentially more difficult to attain.

The church is filled with conmen masquerading as bearers of God’s healing balm…

But once in a while God comes across a good man, like He did with Paul. With God, of course, the good man is the man who is willing to be crucified with Christ. And God takes such a man and, through the cross of Christ, shapes him into His sharp instrument.

Isaiah saw that in the Spirit, for he says: “15 Behold, I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth: thou shalt thresh the mountains, and beat them small, and shalt make the hills as chaff. 16 Thou shalt fan them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the whirlwind shall scatter them: and thou shalt rejoice in the LORD, and shalt glory in the Holy One of Israel.” (Is. 41:15-16)

This new instrument that God creates has teeth! In other words, it is effective. It has power in the Spirit, and it performs God’s work fully, effectively.

I truly thank God for the Apostle Paul. Paul put himself under the workmanship of God under the cross, and the result is that he brought life to the church. Oh, that the entire church were as willing to face the cross as the Apostle Paul was! There would be a spiritual revolution the world over.

But that is not the case. Actually, in light of the New Covenant, Jeremiah was prophesying about the modern church, and he was lamenting its state. He asks, “… why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?”

Which translates to, “Why is the church walking in sin? why are God’s people walking in spiritual defeat?”

That is the question we need to ask ourselves today. We are not to be bothered with, “Why do I have no food on my table?”, or, “Why have my children been sent home for lack of school fees?” for these are the things that seem to concern the modern church the most.

In truth, the real concern of the gospel is to change the inner character of those who would believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Our real task is in the Spirit, to walk in the revelation of the cross.

And so I wholeheartedly thank God for the Apostle Paul. This was the man whom God prepared in order that he might bring life to the church. Paul brought life to the church by allowing the cross to work in him. God invested in him the revelation of the cross of Jesus Christ, which is the power of God, the healing balm that would heal the wound of God’s people.

The wound of God’s people, the church, is sin. The gospel of the cross of Jesus carries the life of Christ, which is the balm that heals the wound of sin in the church. When God’s people are daily confronted by the cross, they learn to deal with the carnal nature of their lives, and thus defeat sin in their lives.

Today, the church is deceived, and they spend all their time casting out demons of every sort in their lives. They cast out demons of fear, demons of theft, demons of anger, demons of witchcraft, etc.

But the Bible says that these things dwell in our hearts. And we cannot “cast out” these things from our hearts with a word. On the contrary, we must face the knife and have them circumcised from our hearts by the work of the Holy Spirit.

The only thing, therefore, that can deal with the things of a man’s heart is the cross of Jesus Christ.

That is why Paul, writing to the Corinthians, reminded them that when he went to preach them the gospel at the first: “I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:2).

I root for that with all my heart. I can imagine the determination in Paul’s heart. In the face of every kind of opposition, “… I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified”!

How truly wonderful.

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The Ruse

1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Rom. 12:1-2

I am thinking that if I were a writer of fiction, the title that I have come up with for this post – The Ruse – would bring in all the big book publishers crawling at my feet. Just thinking, though.

But what I am about to write in this post is stranger than fiction. Let me begin by saying that I am really peeved by the lie that prosperity preachers use to justify their incredible wealth and excessive lifestyles. They use the phrase: “We’ve paid our dues!”

To which my response is that as far as the gospel is concerned, there is only one way to pay your dues. It’s right there in that scripture above. The only due you owe God is to be transformed.

Jesus said much more, of course. He said to go sell all that you have. And please don’t ask me what scripture that is, you can check them all up in the Bible, they are so many.

But let’s backpedal just a little bit… What do these preachers mean by “I have paid my dues?”

I cannot answer for them. But I do know for a fact that this is a line that they use to draw in easy-to-fleece Christians. They tell them: “I can afford to buy a $16,000 dog because I have paid my dues to God. See? You are failing to even eat two solid meals a day because you have not paid God His dues.”

It’s a ruse.

Because, poor people, when they hear that someone can afford to buy a $16,000 dog because he ‘paid his dues’, they do the mathematics and they cannot believe how much more they can receive from (wherever) if they were to “pay their dues” also. So they go and clean out their bank accounts and bring the money to these wolves in sheep’s skins!

Believers swallow this ‘paying dues’ ruse hook, line and sinker. Particularly if the preacher is gifted with a gift to entertain (from the devil, of course). And many of these preachers have more than the gift to entertain. Some can even lie barefaced. You ask, ‘Where can I find a genuine, bona fide barefaced liar preacher?’

My answer: the best place to find them, especially the big ones, is on TV. And on the internet, of course. They are there 24/7.

One other thing: these preachers have the gift of sinning. They are professionals in that art.

People, it requires one to have crossed the lines of believing in voodoo-ism for one to believe that prosperity preachers are preachers of the gospel of Jesus Christ! For even an ordinary drunkard seated with his beer at the bar will tell you that these ‘preachers’ are nothing but fraudsters and swindlers.

There is nothing like ‘paying your dues’ in the gospel. Probably there is such a thing in the world; but not in the gospel.

In the gospel, we have been saved by grace. And that grace – through the revelation of the cross – teaches us that, “denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world” (Tit. 2:12)

In this blog I always come back to the reason the Apostle Paul would preach no other gospel except Christ, and Him crucified. We can walk all the way to the Antarctica and back, but we still will find the cross waiting for us. It is best to choose to humble ourselves, at whatever stage of our salvation we are at, and take up our cross and follow Christ – that we may become partakers of God’s grace.

[Below: The Ubungo Intersection in Dar es Salaam]

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Prosperity Gospel – The Bane of The True Gospel

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.

2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.

3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. 2 Pet. 2:1-3

Personally – and I ain’t too much of a person, but thank God for this blog, because here my voice can reach out from the wilderness – personally, the thing that riles me most in the church today are the prosperity preachers. Nothing vexes my spirit more than these people. In a word, they are charlatans. They are fraudsters and swindlers. And they have hoarded the gospel TV, where they are spilling out their shame for all the world to see and the world is having a field day slandering the Name of the LORD. (What do you think the world thinks when they see a larger-than-life preacher announcing on prime-time TV that he is divorcing his wife? C’mon!!)

These preachers are the curse of the gospel. People generally make fun of the devil, thinking he is a clownish old grandpa. But he is not. If these preachers originate from him – and they do – then the devil is not someone to fool with. He is deadly.

The Bible calls these jokers “false prophets”. Now, we all know that falsehood will not take you far. The prosperity gospel is not taking anybody anywhere. Just a few miles down the road, and they run into the quicksands. That is why there is so much sin stewing in these prosperity churches. There is so much divorce, and preachers themselves are divorcing and remarrying like the castanets.

Let a preacher teach and preach the gospel that the Apostle Paul preached, and I vouch that he will never go through this spiritual foolhardiness in his life, nor hear of it in his church. Sin will be dealt with! Paul told the sinning Corinthians, “What will ye? shall I come unto you with a rod, or in love, and in the spirit of meekness?” (1 Cor. 14:21)

A rod? That was to deal with sin in the church. And Paul was speaking in the Spirit.

But, of course, I might as well be talking into the wind. This is because prosperity preachers are people who have come with a mission of their own and they are intent on carrying it out. Moreover, they have brought their agenda into the church stealthily, which proves that right from the beginning, they had never had any intention of preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. They are, in fact, anti-Christ. The Bible said long aforetime that they “privily shall bring in damnable heresies”.

“Privily” means secretly. These people are in cahoots with the devil, and they know full well what they are doing.

What is their agenda, anyway? I heard one prosperity preacher say, “The notion that a preacher should be walking in sandals and riding on a bicycle is foolish!” In other words, they teach that a child of God should live the high life materially. That is their agenda. And they use the Bible to bring in these damnable heresies into the church.

“And many shall follow their pernicious ways…”

The word “many” here refers to the rise of the modern-day mega-church. God saw these things long before they would occur, and He described them exactly as we are seeing them today.

During the Early Church, the mega-church was the church of the cross, as we see from the Book of Acts and the apostolic epistles. But that was because the falsehoods had not yet been introduced into the church. Once the falsehoods came in, God’s people quickly embraced this easy gospel. Fewer and fewer were willing to pay the cost. And thus rose the new mega-church – the church of the un-cross.

Today, the mega-church is not a place where sin is dealt with. I am not saying they do not preach against sin. They do, but there is no power in these churches to deal with sin. Where the gospel of the cross is not being preached, there is no power to deal with sin. As a result, the gospel of Jesus Christ is maligned in the world because of sin within the church of Jesus Christ.

In the meantime, prosperity preachers spend their time teaching about the tithe!

Lastly, let us look at verse 3:

“And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.”

Why is it that God has reserved severe judgment against these preachers, a judgment which will unquestionably befall them, and swiftly? (With God, “swiftly” could be an entire lifetime!)

In the Old Testament God said,

“If a man be found stealing any of his brethren of the children of Israel, and maketh merchandise of him, or selleth him; then that thief shall die; and thou shalt put evil away from among you.” Deut. 24:7

With all their voracious Bible-searching, preachers still cannot put two and two together! But it is difficult to have your head on straight with the dollar sign swinging in front of you.

But notice:

2 Peter: “…make merchandise of you”;

And here, in Deutoronomy: “…maketh merchandise of him”.

These two statements are alike. They are talking of the same thing.

In the Old Testament, the general punishment for a thief was to pay double the amount he had stolen (Ex. 22:7, etc). But God made exception to the thief who would “…be found stealing any of his brethren of the children of Israel, and maketh merchandise of him, or selleth him”.

The punishment for that particular thief, God said, was death!

The situation today is far worse in the Spirit than it appears. Prosperity preachers – under the New Covenant – are not simply stealing from God’s people; they are stealing God’s people. What does that mean? It means that apart from stealing their property, they are also stealing their souls. When you preach a man a false gospel you are stealing his soul. And when you steal someone’s soul you effectively just killed them.

And for what reason are these preachers doing this? It is so they can become rich! Prosperity preachers are extremely wealthy. If you didn’t know that, you must have just dropped in from the moon!

One of these preachers is so rich he went to Rome to donate money to preserve the works of Michelangelo. Yes, the man supports the works of Michelangelo with money that he has taken from God’s people!

Personally, I think that for a man to do such a thing, there is a certain amount of arrogance involved. Another owns  a $16,000 dog. And so on and so forth…

People, these are facts! and they probably are among the less shocking ones.

But thank God, He is not deaf, He is not blind – and He certainly is not dead. Soon he will deal with these prosperity fraudsters who have brought their damnable heresies of money into the church. He will judge them, and throw them into hell. That’s what the Bible says.

Prosperity preachers have only one option: to repent. No excuses, no “You don’t know what my ministry is doing around the world” (a smokescreen); just repent and leave off deceiving God’s people. If you want to continue preaching the gospel, lose your life, and teach God’s people to do the same, for this is the revelation of the gospel that has come to the church under the New Covenant.

Jesus looked upon the Jews – God’s own people – and He grieved deeply because they were like sheep without a shepherd. Equally so today, God’s people – the church – are like sheep without a shepherd.

But the Shepherd of our souls calls out to us… He calls out to us through the revelation of the cross. There is only one true gospel: the narrow road that Jesus and the apostles taught. If we come to Christ but are unwilling to lose all, we will fall into the hands of the devil and he will destroy us.

But the gospel of the cross liberates us to serve the true living God, and to do so in freedom.

The gospel of the cross is the true mystery of God, and it was for this very reason that Jesus said, “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” Mat. 11:15

Finally, I wish all my readers a lovely weekend.

[Below: The new Dar es Salaam – Bagamoyo Road]

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We Have A Responsibility

And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man. Lk. 2:52

Recently a brother and I were watching the popular “Jesus” movie at home. This is the movie that is adapted from the Gospel of St. Luke, and it attempts to narrate the gospel word for word. It has been translated into countless languages, and here we were watching the Swahili version. It is very popular here.

When the narrator arrived at Luke 2:52 he said, “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and was loved by both God and man.”

Immediately, the brother said, “Y’know what? The narrator there just removed the responsibility from Jesus.”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

The brother replied, “’Being loved’ is not the same as ‘pleasing’. The Bible says that Jesus pleased both God and man. That suggests a responsibility. But here the narrator says Jesus was loved, which implies He had no need to be responsible to either God or man.”

It immediately hit me that what this brother had said was true. And I was stumped. I have been watching the Jesus film for as long as I can remember, and it has always been a favorite of mine. I believe also that it is the most loved Christian movie in the Swahili-speaking world.

But I had never noticed what this brother noticed on that day. And yet, this is probably one of the most important oversights in this film.

In the days we are living in, where Satan is slowly but surely raising the stakes in the spirit world, we must be very careful with what we are reading, hearing and watching, especially with regard to scripture. I am sure the first thing the devil would want to compromise is the Word of God.

Today, indisputably, there is “another Jesus… another spirit… another gospel” being preached, and the church must beware (2 Cor. 11:4). There is deception.

Through a simple twist of scripture, the message of the gospel has been changed. It has been watered-down to accommodate what man wants to hear.

And today, increasingly, God’s people want to hear this other gospel. They want to hear about about blessings. They do not want to hear about their responsibility to God and man. And yet, this was the very message that Jesus lived. Notice He did not preach it (since Jesus did not begin preaching until He was 30 years old). On the contrary, Jesus lived the message of responsibility toward God and man.

As I thought about what I had just heard from the brother, I realized that, throughout the years, countless millions have been hearing the wrong message through this very popular Jesus movie. I wondered very much where the producers got that scripture from. Most likely, from a modern translation of the Bible.

As children of God, we all have a responsibility towards God. We have a responsibility to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Christ. That is what the Bible means when it says Jesus had “favour with God and man.”

That was the life that Jesus lived ever since He was a child

[Below: We have a responsibility toward God and man]

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Do We Love Deception Or The Truth?

7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.

8 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:

9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,

10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. 2 The. 2:7-12

The Bible makes it clear that the Devil is already at work (v.7). It talks about how he works:

“9 … whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness”

The Bible here warns us that Satan works “with all power and signs and lying wonders”.

But who does Satan work in? Whom does he deceive?

“in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.”

In other words, the people who follow these deceptive preachers are culpable! Hard as it is to swallow, yet the truth is that they do not love God’s truth, but they are chasing after miracles for their own gain.

When the Bible says, “because they received not the love of the truth”, it means God’s truth has been revealed, but people do not want it; they want something else.

Ultimately, God has only one judgement for those who do not love Him after He has revealed His love to them:

“That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

You would not believe it, but the Bible says that the people who believe in these types of preachers “had pleasure in unrighteousness”. In other words, these are people who love wickedness more than righteousness! All they are seeking after in going to church is to fulfill the lusts of their flesh. All they want is to get something from God. And God says that is sin.

That is incredibly sad, but true. It is a hard, bitter fact about many who claim to be followers of Christ; but it is a Biblical fact.

It becomes clear to me why God would reveal some things to some people and not to others. Not that He is a respecter of persons, no. But rather, it is because He knows men’s hearts.

Is all lost? By no means. There is another option. The Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 1:22-24: “22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: 23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; 24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.”

There is God’s truth right there: “Christ crucified”. This is the gospel of the New Covenant, and this was the gospel that the Apostle Paul preached.

Another fact arising from this is that this gospel can only be received by those who love God and are ready to deny themselves.

What is “Christ crucified”? It is the gospel that deals with the mind, or lusts of the flesh in us. It comes to separate us from these desires through the power of the Holy Spirit.

But most people do not like that, even though they declare their love for God. On the contrary, they love the flesh and its things. The devils sees the opportunity, and he comes in and deceives them.

He brings in these miracle workers.

The Apostle Peter warns us: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Pet. 5:8).

We are free to choose between the two – to live the crucified life, or to fulfill the desires of our flesh in the name of signs, wonders, and seeking after wisdom.

[Below: This is what goes on all the time all over the world in most charismatic churches, just because people want signs, while others are seeking after wisdom.]