In Matthew 24:24, Christ warned about an end time deception that would be very effective, even against the believers, if that were possible. His and other biblical warnings are seldom mentioned in the circles of heretics. It is like a corporate moratorium has been declared against confronting heresy. That has at least two effects on discernment. First, it opens the gates wide so that anything can come in. I say “anything,” but I mean it is actually anything but truth. Second, it nearly annihilates any quest for truth.
Heresy has replaced truth as most desirable by professing Christians. It has become so clever that it is sometimes difficult to tell the difference. The heretics use, and teach their deluded subjects to use, Christian terms. In fact, it is nearly impossible to discern between people with the form of godliness, and the ones with true godliness. The former deny the power of godliness, and the latter embrace it. Further, the former involve the flesh in everything religious. The latter involve the Holy Spirit.
Godliness in the Greek, is eusebia, which means, “reverence, respect, and piety toward God.” The mark of most heretics and their subjects is that they do not possess these qualities. Consider the way they carelessly handle the word of God, adding words, or leaving words out, to force it to their particular conclusion. They misinterpret clear verses, misquote God’s word, and then defend the misquote as if it were truth. The major error is, taking God’s word out of context. This shows an irreverence and disrespect for God’s word. If they do not reverence and respect His word, how can they reverence and respect God? Further, how can they love Him?
The apostle Paul also prophesied a coming great deception, delusion, and apostasy. Consider very carefully his words. This is essential to understanding what is happening today.
“The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” – 2 Thess. 2:9-10
The NKJV says “according to” and the KJV says “after the working of” Satan. The implication is the same. It means that the lawless one, who is the Antichrist, will not manifest until after the working of Satan with all power, signs, lying wonders, and unrighteous deception. First, it sounds like the time we are living in right now. Second, it means that the Antichrist will find the religious realm prepared for him. Professing Christians obsessed with signs and wonders are primary targets. The ones who flit about chasing every heretic with a new twist, and every false prophet that glibly spills out his prophesies, will already be completely prepared to accept the Antichrist. They will have no clue that it is him! That time is now!
Will they not recognize pure evil? No! They do not recognize the working of Satan today, although it is having devastating consequences. They do not recognize books, such as those by Sarah Young, Ann Voskamp, and Rick Warren (to name a few) that are heretical and damaging to Christianity. In fact, by the millions they buy books by Rob Bell, Rick Warren, and other heretics. They attend conferences and other events that use major heretics as speakers. They join in ecumenism with false religions. They love the false prophets and their lying signs and wonders.
They cannot recognize a false prophet or prophecy, and sit by the thousands under ministers who are incredible heretics. Even when their heretic is caught in homosexual pedophilia, they may give him a standing ovation and crown him as a king (see Bishop Eddie Long). Their heretic commits adultery, consorts with male or female prostitutes, uses drugs, and lives in complete luxury, yet the adulaters never cease to adore him or her.
They worship with demons during worship services being led by unrighteous people, using music written by unrighteous people. They throw off all the restraints on their flesh, and call it a “move of the Holy Spirit.”
One more factor is, they have no genuine scriptural standard and are taught to abhor one when it is presented. Their standard is to accept and defend the working of Satan. Anyone who opposes it will be rejected and even personally attacked. It is a very common and repeated paradigm.
What can be done? Sadly, we are in the last days. There is nothing in God’s word that says we can get through to them and deliver them. We should try. We do not know the depth someone may be toward accepting the working of Satan. We should also never underestimate the power of the word of God when used by the Holy Spirit. God’s word indicates that many will not be delivered. I have witnessed clear evidence of this fact when reaching out to them.
The factor that will cause them to accept truth is love for truth. They reject it. When that occurs, it is clearly indicated by their disrespect for God and His word. It is also indicated by their reaction when truth is presented against their heresy. They have no scriptural response. Heretics have convinced an entire generation or more to venture outside of God’s word for their “evidence” or premise. By removing the restriction to using extra-biblical knowledge for the establishing of doctrine and practices, they have consigned their followers to a path without a compass. Satan will be very happy to provide directions.
To avoid this fatal snare, one must first be committed to the word of God. One must pray, and not just a few minutes each day. He or she must be willing to endure rejection, verbal harassment, and ostracization by friends and possibly family. One must avoid everything new. Avoid the crowd. The crowd today is the broad-path group. Reject everything that troubles the Holy Spirit. Cultivate the spiritual eyes and ears by studying God’s word. Recognize that you are in an unprecedented battle. Find a group of like-minded believers, no matter how small it is. Finally, don’t become obsessed with anything in the world system. Make your greatest love Christ Jesus and His truth.