Two sides of the same coin mean something that is “very closely related although they seem different.” I trust you will be able to see this from the examples I give in today’s blog. I want to continue talking about the deception in the church where yesterday blog left off. We must follow the truth of the real gospel not the counterfeit. Yes this topic does not really sound all that joyful but joy is coming! Psalm 30:4 “Sing the praises of the Lord, you his faithful people; praise his holy name. 5 For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” 1 Chronicles 16:31 “Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let them say among the nations, “The Lord reigns!” 32 Let the sea resound, and all that is in it; let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them! 33 Let the trees of the forest sing, let them sing for joy before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth.” If you read yesterday’s blog you might get the idea that it is just the charismatics with this problem of deception and today’s bog may give you that impression also but sadly it is the whole church who faces deception, from the legalistic ritualist to the ultra charismatic, everyone needs to turn back to God. I gave you a few examples yesterday about this deception in the church and during this journey I have also been talking about how the church as a whole has been exposed for turning away from God’s word. This exposure came in a very short time.
                Yesterday I shared the example of Rodney Howard Browne and his church in Florida. This is an extreme example of the deception in the church but gives us a clear picture as to what is happening throughout the church, charismatic or not. As I researched this I noticed that Rodney Howard Browne constantly talks about the presence of God’s power in their church, so I thought this was interesting. They have brought in machines into their church to neutralize the virus of which he also has called it phantom virus. I watched a video where he said “his church is the most sterile building in America, as it contains 13 machines that can instantaneously kill any virus: "If they sneeze, it shoots it down at like 100 mph. It'll neutralize it in split seconds." I thought it was also interesting that his church is armed to the teeth. In Florida you can get a concealed gun carry permit. An article I saw from 2017 said that because of the other church shootings, Browne’s church was armed and ready. They have a warning sign on their front door. “The sign on the 21-year-old church begins with the most ordinary of greetings: “Welcome to the River at Tampa Bay Church.” But after a blazing red “Warning” banner, the words in white caps on the black background read: “Please know this is not a gun free zone — we are heavily armed — any attempt will be dealt with deadly force — yes we are a church and we will protect our people.” This is a man who constantly talks about the power of God, yet very human! After writing about Browne Monday morning, I read that he was arrested March 30, 2020 for unlawful assembly and violating quarantine orders during a public health emergency.” He has been vocal about his right to assemble and the conspiracy of this virus and continues to resist. Yes he looks like a martyr but look closer and you will see satan at work from within the church. He is not a martyr because satan has already infiltrated their church. It doesn’t matter how great the virus killing machines are or how armed they are, the enemy has already infiltrated the church and the people praise God and they do not even know it, hence the deception.

                I had already posted this blog for tomorrow but I noticed tonight that a second Pentecostal minister Tony Spell in Baton Rouge has been charged with defying coronavirus order against large gatherings. I did watch one video form the church and all I can say is wow and not in a good way! Here are a few articles. Spell said, “This is an extreme test brought on us by the spirit of antichrist and the mystery of lawlessness,” he told the congregation. “What good is the church in an hour of peril if the church caters and caves in to the fears and the spirits of torment in our society?” “Last week, Spell said he does not believe his congregation is at risk of getting COVID-19, the disease associated with the coronavirus "It’s not a concern," Spell told CBS affiliate WAFB. "The virus, we believe, is politically motivated. We hold our religious rights dear and we are going to assemble no matter what someone says." “Pentecostal preacher Tony Spell didn’t just stand before his congregation on Sunday in defiance of the governor’s order to stay home: He leaped into the pews, paraded, hugged and laid hands on worshipers’ foreheads in prayer.” “Spell said his Life Tabernacle Church in Central, Louisiana, drew about 1,000 people to its services on March 22, in part by busing people in from across five parishes. He also has been holding services at the church on Tuesdays.” “The case has been handed over to the district attorney's office and that the goal is not to stop Spell from having church or speaking to his parishioners, but to have him abide by the guidance "that the governor and the president have set forth." “More than 5,200 cases and 239 deaths due to coronavirus have been reported in Louisiana.” “Louisiana has the third highest number of cases per capita and the second highest number of deaths per capita in the U.S.”

           Here is where this might get a little weird if you have never heard of this kind of thing. I listened to his message March 22, 2020 and he actually gave a warning. As I have said many times the enemy / satan is so arrogant he will tell you what the problem is and then use it to his advantage. It is very easy to see that Rodney Howard Browne is a false prophet and we have talked about that before. If you listen carefully, in arrogance he actually tells you what God is about to do but he thinks God has shown him His favor. First of all, this prophecy stuff is real but you better make sure you know to whom you are listening to. The problem is people listen and think it is God speaking and they feel secure and joyful with no desire to repent, yes I know this scary, but it is not God speaking but the enemy in its arrogance makes them comfortably numb to what is actually coming. And yes the enemy is standing on the platform right in front of you and not just in this church. Here is a portion of the vision he shared during the sermon. “He said the end is not yet, I am sifting my people, separating the wheat from tares. I am separating the profane from what is holy; I am separating the false from what is true because I want a purified bride when I come. I shall come back for a glorious church without blemish. This shall be a time where whatever is not of God will be removed. Only what is of the spirit will remain, everything of the flesh shall be burned off in this hour and God will have a church that will be holy. Do not fear for He is with you. He loves you. Then I saw the earth with this thing over it and moved it back as a scroll. I the Lord God shall do this work.” He then said “I am going to be part of this bride that's purified and ready for the return of the King because Jesus is coming very soon, 3 years, maximum 7 years. But the Lord says fear not!” And yes everyone cheered! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
                Here is the problem; no one will repent because they think as he said the word of the Lord shall stand. They actually think they are the ones who are safe and secure but instead they should be repenting. I agree with what he said but what he doesn’t know, those like him and those who follow this teaching, is everything they do is of the flesh and not of God and will be removed. The truth will prevail. The Glory of the Lord is not present there but only satan’s masquerading. 2 Corinthians 11:13 “For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.”
                I want to include this whole passage from Jeremiah because it describes what I just shared with you. As you read this picture the church. Jeremiah 23:9 “Concerning the prophets: My heart is broken within me; all my bones tremble. I am like a drunken man, like a strong man overcome by wine, because of the Lord and his holy words. 10 The land is full of adulterers; because of the curse the land lies parched and the pastures in the wilderness are withered. The prophets follow an evil course and use their power unjustly. 11 “Both prophet and priest are godless; even in my temple I find their wickedness,” declares the Lord. 12 “Therefore their path will become slippery; they will be banished to darkness and there they will fall. I will bring disaster on them in the year they are punished,” declares the Lord. (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.”) 13 “Among the prophets of Samaria I saw this repulsive thing: They prophesied by Baal and led my people Israel astray. 14 And among the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen something horrible: They commit adultery and live a lie. They strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that not one of them turns from their wickedness. They are all like Sodom to me; the people of Jerusalem are like Gomorrah.” 15 Therefore this is what the Lord Almighty says concerning the prophets: “I will make them eat bitter food and drink poisoned water, because from the prophets of Jerusalem ungodliness has spread throughout the land.” 16 This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord. 17 They keep saying to those who despise me, ‘The Lord says: You will have peace.’ And to all who follow the stubbornness of their hearts they say, ‘No harm will come to you.’ 18 But which of them has stood in the council of the Lord to see or to hear his word? Who has listened and heard his word? 19 See, the storm of the Lord will burst out in wrath, a whirlwind swirling down on the heads of the wicked. 20 The anger of the Lord will not turn back until he fully accomplishes the purposes of his heart. In days to come you will understand it clearly. 21 I did not send these prophets, yet they have run with their message; I did not speak to them, yet they have prophesied. 22 But if they had stood in my council, they would have proclaimed my words to my people and would have turned them from their evil ways and from their evil deeds. 23 “Am I only a God nearby,” declares the Lord, “and not a God far away? 24 Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them?” declares the Lord. “Do not I fill heaven and earth?” declares the Lord. 25 “I have heard what the prophets say who prophesy lies in my name. They say, ‘I had a dream! I had a dream!’ 26 How long will this continue in the hearts of these lying prophets, who prophesy the delusions of their own minds? 27 They think the dreams they tell one another will make my people forget my name, just as their ancestors forgot my name through Baal worship. 28 Let the prophet who has a dream recount the dream, but let the one who has my word speak it faithfully. For what has straw to do with grain?” declares the Lord. 29 “Is not my word like fire,” declares the Lord, “and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces? 30 “Therefore,” declares the Lord, “I am against the prophets who steal from one another words supposedly from me. 31 Yes,” declares the Lord, “I am against the prophets who wag their own tongues and yet declare, ‘The Lord declares.’ 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.”
                This is the condition of the church today. Yes people like Browne make this a lot easier and there are many like him. You may never have heard of this type of thing before but once you become aware I am sure you have, just from the other side of the coin. It is not just the charismatics doing this; they just seem to be more outrageous. But there are also false leaders who are at the total opposite end of the charismatic who are just like Browne. They would have you believe the charismatics are way off but truthfully they are just as far off as the charismatics. For example and remember the enemy will tell you the problem. John Macarthur says from his desk, “What is especially troubling is that the most harmful attacks on the gospel come from within the church itself. The typical modern evangelical church has abandoned Scripture as its pillar and foundation, leaving it vulnerable to all sorts of doctrinal errors and aberrations. Instead of defending and proclaiming the true demands of the gospel, the church has absorbed and adopted the very worst traits of the ungodly culture around it. Clarifying what the gospel is (and what it is not) has been at the center of my pulpit ministry since my first Sunday at Grace Community Church more than fifty years ago. As a result, virtually every book I’ve written has addressed the message of the gospel, dealt with a harmful theological trend that was damaging the evangelical church, and challenged readers to think deeply about salvation in Christ. At the heart of the work we do together—”Unleashing God’s Truth, One Verse at a Time”—is the precious truth of the gospel.” This man is one of the main proponents of ceasationism and the rapture. The bible does not talk about either. Okay they do if you add and subtract from scripture but as you know Jesus said, 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.” So here is this pastor telling people that he has the way. Yes he even told you the problem is in the church; again we see the arrogance of the enemy. He even tells you about doctrinal errors and aberrations (a state or condition markedly different from the norm) He said concerning christians and the rapture (not happening) “We know this (rapture) is also not judgment, because there’s no judgment here. There’ no judgment in this event. Well, whatever this event is, it is strictly a snatching away of believers into the air to meet the Lord. That is the next event.” So what he is saying if you go to my church you go directly to heaven and get your new body? So no he may not be luring you in with an exciting vision from the Lord but he is luring you in by distorting the words of the Lord. Again there is the same thing happening as with the charismatics. You will not repent because you think as you have been told that all is well. So even while talking about the precious truth of the bible, you are being led astray. This is just as bad as what Browne is doing; they are both doing the exact thing. So even though they appear on the opposite end of the poles from each other, satan has them in his hand and all who listen to them will be lost. It’s the same coin!
                I thought this was interesting. I came across an article called “Not Laughing Now” from John MacArthur’s Grace to You website. Now another man wrote this but it is on the site so approved by MacArthur. The two are having a squabble about strange fire. This reads like children fighting on a playground. Remember they are both sides of the same coin. Brown is quoted as saying in defense of the charismatics “they are calling their exposé strange fire however you better have the alternative if you are going to criticize something as counterfeit you have to produce the real - or else you had better shut up!” So they are both counterfeits! The writer responds, “In reality, those who tout false prophecies, obscene bodily gyrations, and drunken behavior as gifts of the Holy Spirit are the ones blaspheming Him. In fact, no one is more notorious for that than Rodney Howard-Browne himself. For him to decry blasphemy and pretend to know anything about the fear of God is the very height of arrogant irony. If you think that sounds unduly harsh, watch this video of a typical Rodney Howard-Browne “ministry” binge:” So in this article nothing is really said other than we disagree with you and you disagree with us. And as the church usually does we will agree to disagree but both are wrong and both are leading the masses astray.
                The church around the world has been exposed as powerless before the nations but God is about to move so the church better repent or this virus will be as nothing compared to what God can unleash. These false prophets give their people peace and hope but that is not God talking; they need to turn and run for their lives. The whole church needs to repent and turn from their wicked ways. For those who will follow wholeheartedly there is good news coming just as Israel felt when they were freed from captivity in Babylon. Isaiah 27:13 “And in that day a great trumpet will sound. Those who were perishing in Assyria and those who were exiled in Egypt will come and worship the Lord on the holy mountain in Jerusalem.” Isaiah 11:16 “There will be a highway for the remnant of his people that is left from Assyria, as there was for Israel when they came up from Egypt.” Just as the Lord thundered against Babylon, 1 Samuel 7:10 “While Samuel was sacrificing the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to engage Israel in battle. But that day the Lord thundered with loud thunder against the Philistines and threw them into such a panic that they were routed before the Israelites,” God will shatter our enemies. Exodus 15:6 “Your right hand, Lord, was majestic in power. Your right hand, Lord, shattered the enemy.” Psalm 18:13 The Lord thundered from heaven; the voice of the Most High resounded. 14 He shot his arrows and scattered the enemy, with great bolts of lightning he routed them.” Isaiah tells us Isaiah 13:1 “A prophecy against Babylon.  6 Wail, for the day of the Lord is near; it will come like destruction from the Almighty. 7 Because of this, all hands will go limp, every heart will melt with fear. 11 I will punish the world for its evil, the wicked for their sins. I will put an end to the arrogance of the haughty and will humble the pride of the ruthless. 19 Babylon, the jewel of kingdoms, the pride and glory of the Babylonians, will be overthrown by God like Sodom and Gomorrah.” Isaiah 14:3 “On the day the Lord gives you relief from your suffering and turmoil and from the harsh labor forced on you, 4 you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon: How the oppressor has come to an end! How his fury has ended!” Isaiah 2:17 “The arrogance of man will be brought low and human pride humbled; the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.” Proverbs 26:26 “Their malice may be concealed by deception, but their wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.” Proverbs 6:16 “There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: 17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, 18 a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, 19 a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.”
                Jesus said Luke 18:8 “However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” Right now in the church there is barely a remnant left and even the remnant like Israel is in captivity. We are all in this together but as we see many will refuse to repent because they have been told the way they follow is the right way. They have been deceived and under delusion. Jeremiah continues Jeremiah 23:1 “Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!” declares the Lord. 2 Therefore this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says to the shepherds who tend my people: “Because you have scattered my flock and driven them away and have not bestowed care on them, I will bestow punishment on you for the evil you have done,” declares the Lord. 3 “I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture, where they will be fruitful and increase in number. 4 I will place shepherds over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing,” declares the Lord. 5 “The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. 6 In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The Lord Our Righteous Savior. 7 “So then, the days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when people will no longer say, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the Israelites up out of Egypt,’ 8 but they will say, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the descendants of Israel up out of the land of the north and out of all the countries where he had banished them.’ Then they will live in their own land.” The church will once again do as it was supposed to do; be clothed in power and go to the ends of the earth proclaiming the might name of Jesus!
                So today in the fear and confusion of this COVID virus there is only one place to turn and it is not the church or at least the church you think you know. Our only hope is Jesus and his words. If you turn from your wicked way, God will turn back to you and show you the way, the truth and your life will never be the same. The church stopped following a long time ago and we have paid the price ever since. God has allowed the enemy to infiltrate the church and we sit desolate but we have the same hope the Jews had when the time came to be freed from Babylon. 2 Chronicles 36:20 “He carried into exile to Babylon the remnant, who escaped from the sword, and they became servants to him and his successors until the kingdom of Persia came to power. 21 The land enjoyed its sabbath rests; all the time of its desolation it rested, until the seventy years were completed in fulfillment of the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah. 22 In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah, the Lord moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and also to put it in writing: 23 “This is what Cyrus king of Persia says: “‘The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. Any of his people among you may go up, and may the Lord their God be with them.’” Isaiah 43:19 “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” You can keep reading what follows this verse in Isaiah, so do not be deceived and repent. Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5:13 “If we are “out of our mind,” as some say, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” There is only one gospel of Jesus Christ!