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October 8, 2017 Sermon: Rapture: The Ultimate Deception of the Narcissist.October 8, 2017Call to Worship: 2 Chronicles 16:23 “Sing to the LORD, all the earth; proclaim his salvation day after day. 24 Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples. 25 For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods. 26 For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the LORD made the heavens. 27 Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy are in his dwelling place. 28 Ascribe to the LORD, all you families of nations, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength. 29 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering and come before him. Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness. 30 Tremble before him, all the earth! The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved. 31 Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let them say among the nations, “The LORD reigns!”Songs: A New Annointing Keith LancasterGod of the Impossible EverfoundLight the Fire Again Brian DoerksenGiants Fall Francesca BattistelliScripture: 1 John 2:18 “Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us. 20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. 21 I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth. 22 Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist—denying the Father and the Son. 23 No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also. 24 As for you, see that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. 25 And this is what he promised us—eternal life. 26 I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray. 27 As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him. 28 And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming. 29 If you know that he is righteous, you know that everyone who does what is right has been born of him.Song: Glorious Unfolding Steven Curtis ChapmanSermon: Rapture: The Ultimate Deception of the Narcissist.
Daniel’s Prayer: Daniel 9:1-19Closing Song: Send the Fire Nashville SingersBenediction: Malachi 3:16 “Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honored his name. 17 “On the day when I act,” says the Lord Almighty, “they will be my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as a father has compassion and spares his son who serves him. 18 And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.”Sermon: “The Rapture: The Ultimate Deception of the Narcissist.”Hold fast, stand firm, be strong, do not be afraid, be courageous, do not be discouraged, don’t shrink back are a few of the commands God gave us but the one we are focusing on today is “Do not be deceived!” Jesus was preparing us for what was ahead, from the time of his teaching to the end when he returns to take us home. While they continue to look to the so called codes and number, stars, the moon etc, they continue to be deceived. Matthew 24:3 “As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” 4 Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many.” 9 Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. 22 “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. 23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time.”So did anyone listen? The great deception is a redirect of focus to somewhere else. The word redirect means “to cause to move in a different direction or go to a different destination.” They do this by saying deception is coming, tribulation is coming, antichrist is coming all the while they have been here and the elect have been deceived. 2 Thessalonians 2:1 “Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers and sisters, 2 not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by the teaching allegedly from us—whether by a prophecy or by word of mouth or by letter—asserting that the day of the Lord has already come. 3 Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. 4 He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God. 5 Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things? 6 And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. 7 For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, 10 and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie 12 and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.” This sums up the deceived church under delusion. Everyone goes their own way.This should be an eye-opener so much so that you should be grieved by this deception. This has been going since Jesus taught this to his disciples but with each generation it gets worse and worse and we get further and further from the truth. We were warned this would happen. But now as Jesus said Matthew 24:15 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel.” That desolation is here. Daniel 9:27 “And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.” Daniel 11:31 “His armed forces will rise up to desecrate the temple fortress and will abolish the daily sacrifice. Then they will set up the abomination that causes desolation.” Daniel 12:11 “From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the abomination that causes desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days.” Last week I talk about the parables and numbers. Not everything in the bible is to be taken literally and it takes great discernment to know when to and not to. As you have seen lately the chart makers tend to always be looking for a date so they can figure out when all this is going to happen because once you know one date all the rest fall into place. But God only knows that date and these numbers are not a code to figure out what he knows. As you look at the church around the world you see the abomination that causes desolation standing where it does not belong, especially in North America and all the nations who have listened to her teachings. Yes missions are not always a good thing. Going to make disciples in the power of the Holy Spirit is one thing, but Matthew 23:15 “ travelling over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are,” is another. Yes people are being converted but into what are they being saved. This question is why we are talking about this. Many who think they are saved have been made twice a child of hell as the false prophets and teachers that have taught them. 2 Peter 2:17 “These people are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. 18 For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. 19 They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.” 20 If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. 21 It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them.”So now we have a church that lies in desolation, deception and delusion and God says my people love it that way. Jeremiah 5:31 “The prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own authority, and my people love it this way. But what will you do in the end?” Each person goes their own way, teach their own version of the truth and live their lives as if they are not accountable to God in the least. But picture if you will this abomination where you have the church decimated(Picture of worship and Syrian city) The first is what we think it looks like but the second is what the desolation actually looks like. The good news is there is a remnant of people left which fulfills God’s promise to David. False prophets and teachers fill the land and people are being deceived. Here this description from a well known teacher. “The first thing we talk about is Jesus says in the period between His first and second coming, the period in which we now live. There will be dominating deception...deception. A false Christianity that will outstrip the real Christianity. There will be more false Christians than true ones. There will be more false representatives of Jesus Christ than true representatives of Jesus Christ and they will accumulate and escalate until finally the last form of Christian apostasy takes shape in the time to come called the Tribulation. And we looked at that. In the time of the Tribulation yet to come, right before Jesus returns, there will be a flurry of false Messiahs and false prophets plying their deception across the globe. So this is an age characterized by increasing, escalating religious deception. This is true, we all know it, we all see it.” He also said it a little differently another time. “False forms of Christianity will flourish and lead people astray. Did that come to pass? Sure. You can open your eyes, look in any direction today and you can see that there’s more false Christianity than true Christianity, there are more false Christians than true Christians, there are more false prophets than true prophets. There is more false gospel than true gospel in the name of Christianity. He said it would happen and it did.” In this case there is truth about the falseness but falseness about the tribulation as this deception is the falling away. We already are in tribulation and the there has been a great turning away from truth. It is not a separate time and this is why Jesus said do not be deceived.” So there you have it. A pretty decent description of the end times by a teacher who thinks he speaks truth, yet he himself is leading the church astray with his false teaching. Remember the enemy is so arrogant it will tell you what is wrong. This is not a disciple of Jesus Christ. The church has been desecrated as you saw in the picture. People say that can’t happen but it has because of our disobedience and turning away from the word of God. As they went into the Promised Land they were told Joshua 1:2 “get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. 3 I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. 4 Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. 5 No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Did God lie when they were vomited out of the land into captivity, death and destruction? No, God did not lie because he already told them what would happen if they disobeyed. Leviticus 20:22 “Keep all my decrees and laws and follow them, so that the land where I am bringing you to live may not vomit you out.” The same applies to us. If we disobey we will be defeated as you now see we have been.So again why talk about this. The answer is simple; you don’t want to find out on judgment day that you were following a false teacher, prophet and you have been lead astray. The church needs to know we are in desolation. You do not want to hear I don’t know who you are and spend eternity in hell with those who led you there. If you get the end wrong you probably have everything else wrong. They have to make everything work. This means they will change scripture by adding and subtracting. They will also cut, past and drag whatever it takes to get their message out their. They call it exegesis. Jesus says this about it. Revelation 22:18 “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. 19 And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll.” Even after this warning they love to change the meaning of the passages. They put into your head this is what Jesus meant even though not even close. My favorite is when they say the Apostle Paul did not have a clear picture. When you follow these men and women, this means you are following another gospel and you have not remained in Him. It means you have been deceived even though Jesus warned you not to be.Today I want to show you this deception and how far reaching it is. We have been talking about the rapture, tribulation and millennium. I am just going to throw this wretch in the mix and then move on. This shows how false the teaching on the millennium actually is. Revelation 20:7 “When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—and to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. 9 They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. 10 And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” So then everything starts over again. To show you how foolish this is, here is one answer to this predicament instead of repenting from their ignorance. They say “As we read these verses, we wonder, “Why will God release Satan at the end of the Millennial Reign of Jesus Christ?” First, we must admit that there are some biblical questions which we cannot answer this side of glory because God has chosen to reserve some mysteries to Himself.” How about admitting there is no millennium and they have it wrong. You see this deception is already happening. The teaching on the rapture and tribulation is just as ludicrous. Let me recap. The church is caught up, saving the church from the horrible things that will happen, the earth will be decimated to the point of total destruction, people will then come to know the Lord even though the church is gone meaning Jesus who is the head and the holy Spirit is the power would be gone also. This also means God is too, yet they say people will be saved. Those caught up will return to earth even though they received their heavenly bodies for a thousands years and then satan will rule again and then your brains fall out of your head for listening to this nonsense. When satan deceives it is not always profound, it can be just flat out preposterous yet the masses fall for it, even the elect.Here is why the title is “The Rapture: The Ultimate Deception of the Narcissist.” Narcissist is a person who has an excessive interest in or admiration of themselves. Jesus returning is the biggest event in the history of the world or its future. This is where you spend eternity in heaven or hell yet these people want you to read their books over the bible so that you will gain understanding. This is so big we can’t get it wrong. John 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. Or Matthew 25:41 “he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” I think we had better get this right. These are our choices. Jesus warned us already about the sign of his coming. Luke also tells us Luke 21:7 “Teacher,” they asked, “when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are about to take place?” 8 He replied: “Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them. 9 When you hear of wars and uprisings, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away.” 10 Then he said to them: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11 There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven. 12 “But before all this, they will seize you and persecute you. They will hand you over to synagogues and put you in prison, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. 13 And so you will bear testimony to me. 14 But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. 15 For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. 16 You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers and sisters, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. 17 Everyone will hate you because of me. 18 But not a hair of your head will perish. 19 Stand firm, and you will win life. 20 “When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near.” The sign is deception and the church is filled with it. False prophets and teachers have overcome the church. We were told stand firm, do not be deceived yet many are standing firm on false doctrines of demons and teachings. They have been led astray and don’t even know the desolation they are in.This deception is rampant. It comes in the form of false teaching. You can find these teachings conveniently laid out in their books but not in scripture. Because the church stopped listening and testing it was deceived. One side of the deception is. Matthew 24:24 “false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” 2 Thessalonians 2:9 “The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie.” There is also the other side, that of teaching. There are no miracles, signs, and wonders, just teaching. 2 Peter 2:1 “But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. 2 Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. 3 In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.” The narcissist thinks it is all about them. This is where the great deception is taking place. They even teach doctrines of demons that say the gifts of the Spirit pertaining to power ceased. They have denied the power of the Holy Spirit, rejected His word and blackest darkness is reserved for them. Jude 1:13 “They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever.” They will look like sheep but they are wolves. Matthew 7:15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.” They write books and commentaries and teach to thousands, even millions and people follow their every word as if it was straight from God, yet they do not test the spirits. One sermon I watched you should have seen the wrinkled brows of confusion. When you listen to them they are convinced of their message and very convincing even though they have had to decimate scripture to be convincing. If you listen carefully you can hear it. Their foundation is based on man’s teaching not on the word of God, therefore Ezekiel 13:10 “they lead my people astray, saying, “Peace,” when there is no peace, and because, when a flimsy wall is built, they cover it with whitewash. 13 “Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: In my wrath I will unleash a violent wind, and in my anger hailstones and torrents of rain will fall with destructive fury. 14 I will tear down the wall you have covered with whitewash and will level it to the ground so that its foundation will be laid bare. When it falls, you will be destroyed in it; and you will know that I am the Lord.” On a side note, know in your heart that these men and women will not get away with their deception.I spent some time this week reading over some of the teachings by John MacArthur. By the way he is the one I quoted earlier in the sermon describing his own deception. How odd is that. He is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to false teaching but since he is so convincing, I will use him as an example. In our scripture reading earlier, we read about denying the Father and the Son and the anointing of the Holy Spirit. 22 Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist—denying the Father and the Son. 25 And this is what he promised us—eternal life. 26 I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray.” Today we live at the end of the end. Jesus is coming soon so remember he warned us of the deception at hand. His return is a promise but in the meantime people like MacArthur are leading the church astray by the millions. Eschatology is just one area of the massive deception taking place. Jeremiah 23:32 “Indeed, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,” declares the Lord. “They tell them and lead my people astray with their reckless lies, yet I did not send or appoint them. They do not benefit these people in the least,” declares the Lord.” John MacArthur teaches ceasationism therefore is against the Holy Spirit and ignores the word of God. Yes they teach that a leader is coming who will be the antichrist but I say they are here now in the church and each generation has them. These leaders are what we have been warned against. It really doesn’t matter what those outside the church do as scripture tells us clearly. If the church is strong it will thrive even under persecution as China showed us. “4 He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.” They are against God’s word and the Holy Spirit by their teaching. The title of this sermon comes from this teaching from John MacArthur concerning the rapture. He says in this sermon “The Terrors of the Great Tribulation, Part 2 “For us, however, we believe that Scripture teaches a pre-Tribulation Rapture, and I’m not making it up...I’m not making it up. Three times in the New Testament there’s an event mentioned...John 14, 1 Corinthians 15, 1 Thessalonians 4, that is called the catching away of the church. (by the way those passages do not) There’s no judgment in any of those three passages. There’s no description of wrath or vengeance. It simply talks about believers that are alive being taken to heaven and believers that are dead, their spirits already with the Lord, receiving glorified bodies coming out of the grave and joining with their glorified spirits...this is the Rapture, the dead in Christ rise first, the rest caught into heaven. This event has nothing of judgment connected to it in any of the passages where it’s described. It’s a non-judgmental event. I believe the Bible is saying to us that before all of this breaks out on earth, the Lord gathers His church.” He then says At 30:51 Rapture and Resurrection -2016 “I wrote a lot about this, a lot more about this in a book called The Second Coming. You can read about it there, or in any of the commentaries on 1 Thessalonians or the book of Revelation, or a book Because the Time is Near. But suffice it to say for us, the coming of the Lord to take His children to heaven to the rooms that have been prepared for them in the Father’s house is being described here. Again, there’s no judgment here. Christ doesn’t even come all the way to earth. He doesn’t split the Mount of Olives. He doesn’t come to Armageddon. He doesn’t defeat His enemies. He doesn’t bring final judgment. He doesn’t separate the sheep and the goats. He doesn’t set up the millennial kingdom. All of that comes after the beginning of the day of the Lord, and it is the culmination of the day of the Lord which is a period of judgment.”The arrogance of this is incredible. Who says you are the church? No Judgment? Are you kidding me? This means you make yourself out to be God. So obviously he thinks he is going, as do his followers. Now the people who teach this also have to teach eternal security. Pray the prayer and you are in, but that does not line up with scripture. You must be like your master, live for him wholeheartedly, live holy lives, spotless, blameless and at peace with him.” One writer falsely said, “Some believe and teach that only those believers who are living in the will of God will go to be with Christ at the Rapture. Those living “carnal” lives, they believe, will be left behind to go through a time of God’s judgment and wrath, along with the unbelieving earth dwellers. But God’s Word doesn’t teach that some will go and some will stay. ALL believers, Paul plainly writes, will go to be with the Lord at the Departure.” So this person is saying even though you were saved but not living for him you will go. Wow that is amazing. Can you see the narcissism here? Earlier Mr. MacArthur stated, He doesn’t even separate the sheep and the goats. No wonder people are desperate for the rapture; they get to bypass not only any tribulation but also God’s judgment. This is heresy at the highest level hence the title of this sermon. This is narcissistic teaching only focuses on savaing themselves. They think this will not apply to them. Matthew 25:40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ 41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ 44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ 45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ 46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” So along with this is the parable of the ten virgins would not apply either. So you were not prepared, it doesn’t matter. This then means nothing. Matthew 25:10 “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. 11 “Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’ 12 “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’ 13 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.” Or this doesn’t apply either Luke 13:22 “Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. 23 Someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?” He said to them, 24 “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. 25 Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’ “But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’ 26 “Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ 27 “But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’ 28 “There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out. 29 People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. 30 Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last.” This arrogant teaching is from a false prophet. Yes they decimate scripture to make it say what they what but still they teach powerfully but not as one with authority as Jesus did. Mark 1:21 “They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. 22 The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. 23 Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an impure spirit cried out, 24 “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” 25 “Be quiet!” said Jesus sternly. “Come out of him!” 26 The impure spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek. 27 The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, “What is this? A new teaching—and with authority! He even gives orders to impure spirits and they obey him.” 28 News about him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee.”When you listen to someone speak like this, you think this is quite something and so convincing. 1 Timothy 1:3 “As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain people not to teach false doctrines any longer 4 or to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. Such things promote controversial speculations rather than advancing God’s work—which is by faith. 5 The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. 6 Some have departed from these and have turned to meaningless talk. 7 They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm.” But after listening their teaching appears as complete foolishness and nonsense.Now this person in particular writes books, commentaries etc. His influence is worldwide but not for good but for evil. Listen to his own words. “Now I’m saying all of that because every week after I give one of these lessons, folks will come to me and say, “But I don’t understand this and I don’t understand that.” And that leads me to ask this question and that question and I just want you to know I feel your pain, I understand that. I know that for every question that is raised here and every suggested understanding and answer that I give you, myriad other questions are raised. So, your assignment is to find all the other passages that speak on this subject in the Bible and master them. And when you’ve done that, you’ll have it all set.” Now watch this. He says “Now I want to help you a little bit with that, so I’ve written a book called The Second Coming, have you seen that? It’s out in a new form and a new cover, it’s the Second Coming of the Second Coming book. And you can get it in the bookstore and it will look at the main issues related to the return of Jesus Christ. It will help you because it looks at them categorically. And then we put together a special edition of the Revelation commentary so you wouldn’t have to read through 700 pages and it’s called Because The Time is Near and it’s a condensed explanation of the book of Revelation, verse by verse by verse, which will always connect that book back to the salient Old Testament texts and even the salient New Testament texts. So I would just encourage you to get those other resources to expand your understanding.” (So that it will line up with his. Since the bible does not line up categorically with his teaching) And I would also say this to you. I’ve been studying prophetic literature all of my adult life, certainly all of my ministry life, and there are still wonders and elements that I don’t fully grasp. So it becomes one of the most wondrous, one of the most elevating studies that you’ll ever do in the Scripture and I commend it to you. But it will take a little effort because there’s much to understand. There also is much detail to understand. The future is not painted in big, broad brushes. It is painted with a very fine brush in very careful detail which you will find in these passages that I have commended to you.” (So again there is a warning) Now let me back up from talking about that for just a minute and say to you that today I want to pick up some of the pieces from what we looked at last time concerning verses 20 to 24. People came to me after the last message and said, “What about this? And what about that? And I’m not sure I understand this, and what are the implications of that?” And one person even came to me and said, “I think you’re just making this up as you go, it doesn’t seem to make sense to me at all.”This last statement was in his sermon! The truth is he is making it up just as those he got it from did. They take parts of scripture and make it say what they want, all the while leading the church astray. So the church sits helpless and desolate as it awaits the rapture that will never happen in the sense they teach, meanwhile getting more and more desolate as the days go by. Instead of repenting they keep looking for something that will never happen. Even in his sermon he talked about the desolation. “In that day when the world is living in a condition of terror, how are they going to know that the end is near? The answer to that comes in verses 20 to 24, and that’s our text. “When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is at hand.” That’s the key. When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is at hand.” Like Jerusalem we are surrounded and about to fall but God is gracious and has left us a remnant. Luke 21:20 “When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. 21 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. 22 For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. 23 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! There will be great distress in the land and wrath against this people. 24 They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.” As a church we live in perilous times but in great hope. Jesus warned us about the deception. So we returned to him just as he said. This is a battle against satan. John 8:32 “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. 44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” This is where these prophets and teachers get their lies from. They distort the word of God. Acts 20:25 “Now I know that none of you among whom I have gone about preaching the kingdom will ever see me again. 26 Therefore, I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of any of you. 27 For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God. 28 Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. 29 I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. 30 Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. 31 So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.” Paul warned us. Jesus warned us but if we do not listen to God’s word we will be deceived, guaranteed. The enemy is too powerful.The time has come when people no longer put up with sound doctrine. This has been happening for generations. Paul said to Timothy, 2 Timothy 4:1 “In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2 Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 3 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.” Timothy 2:14 “Keep reminding God’s people of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. 15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 16 Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. 17 Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 who have departed from the truth. 25 Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.”We desperately need God to hear our cries as we live in desperate times. As we close I want to pray Daniels prayer. We too are coming to the end but millions have been deceived and are dying without knowing the truth. There is only one truth not many. The Holy Spirit leads us to truth.