False Christs, false signs, miracles, wonders, manifestations, supernatural demonstrations and doctrines of men and of demons.
We have entered a new season wherein deception has become the order of the day. Gone are the days when it was “hidden in the closet” and easily recognizable and discern-able.
Just like its sinful counterparts in the world that have “come out of the closet” and have now become a matter of “pride”, deception today has become the accepted standard and norm by which many in the religious institution are living their lives, and have found acceptance as the new standard of Christianity, for many who are swimming along with the mainstream and are being swept along the tide of seeking an alternative gospel and a broader way to enter through the Pearly Gates.
“For such men are false apostles [spurious, counterfeits], deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles (special messengers) of Christ (the Messiah). And it is no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light; so it is not surprising if his servants also masquerade as ministers of righteousness. [But] their end will correspond with their deeds.” 2 Corinthians 11:13-15.
Let us take a moment to look into deception and make sure that we truly do come to fully grasp what it really is.
The Holy Spirit tells us that Satan himself masquerades himself as an angel of light. This means that we have to come to understand that deception looks exactly like the real thing, feels exactly like the real thing, sounds exactly like the real thing and presents itself as the real thing.
That is what causes it to deceive so many.
“For false Christs and false prophets will arise, and they will show great signs and wonders so as to deceive and lead astray, if possible, even the elect (God’s chosen ones). See, I have warned you beforehand,”Matthew 24:24-25.
Jesus warned that in the last days many false “christs” (demonic spirits masquerading as Christ) and their prophets (servants in professing their doctrines and manifesting their signs) would be in the world, and that many miracles will be performed by them, deceiving many, but that they would be impostors and deceivers.
“And when the woman saw that the tree was good (suitable, pleasant) for food and that it was delightful to look at, and a tree to be desired in order to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she gave some also to her husband, and he ate,”Genesis 3:6.
When Eve was presented with the fruit of spiritual death, it “seemed pleasant for eating” and she and Adam were both deceived into spiritual blindness and permanent separation from God.
I want to put it to you today that there are churches and leaders at this present moment, who are presenting a “christ” in their ministry, and there a people who are following a “christ” with signs, wonders and miracles, and with supernatural evidences of miracles being performed, who have been deceived by things that seems real, seems right and seems legitimate, because of these things happening in their midst.
I want to present to you that these churches, leaders and people are saying – “Just look how the “lord” is working!”
Look at the wonders and the miracles, look at how lives are being changed! This is “god” in our midst.
I want to suggest that there are people who are being led astray, who believe that they are walking in the Light, that have been blinded by deceiving spirits, who are saying – “Look at how blessed I am. There is no question that god is with me and watching over me – I am so blessed and it is going better and better with me” – who have been deceived, and who are in fact being guided, directed and prospered by demons masquerading as being the Angel of Light!
There are atmospheres which seem to be filled with holiness and as if Heaven itself has come down into meeting! There are signs of gold, precious stones and feathers that are being manifested.
There are mighty miracles with blind eyes being opened and the lame made to walk, that all seem authentic and as if God is at work – where deceptive and lying spirits are at work performing these things as though it is Christ at work!
These are the very things Jesus warned about that would come and that would be reserved for the last days, as one final outpouring of evil to deceive “even the very elect if it were possible”
So how do we safeguard against these things if they have become so hard to discern and if they look so real, true and authentic and even feel real?
Listen, Watch and Observe!
You see the one thing that can never be faked is TRUTH! Jesus said “by their fruit you will know them.”
He continued – it is IMPOSSIBLE for a good tree to produce bad fruit, as it will be impossible for a bad tree to produce good fruit.
The one thing that Satan cannot mimic is TRUTH and the fruits of Righteousness that will be the direct evidence of fruit coming forth from a life lived in Truth and yielded to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. No devil will live Righteously.
So let us look at a few things …
Is there sin openly being practiced in the lives of persons who claims to be living in right-standing with God?
Those who claim to “be led of the Spirit,” to hear from God and who practises and lives the “Christian life”, without any remorse or turning away from their sin?
Do such no longer consider their sin, sin, but have found a way to justify it?
Are there those who are lukewarm at heart, eagerly attending “Christian” events and meetings, to hold out an “appearance of having a form of godliness”, and yet denying His Power to work in their own lives in bringing them into obedience to Himself?
Are there those who have found comfort in the rituals of going to church and “doing what the Bible says”, and yet have no real tangible, true and Living walk and relationship in encounter with God and who have no experience of His Life and no expression of His Presence within them?
If so, they are deceived and are no longer following, neither are they being led by Jesus Christ or the Holy Spirit!
“Jesus answered, ‘You know My Father as little as you know Me. If you knew Me, you would know My Father also. …’“
They answered Him, We are Abraham’s offspring (descendants) and have never been in bondage to anybody. What do You mean by saying, You will be set free?
Jesus answered them, “I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, whoever commits and practices sin is the slave of sin.”
“….. You are of your father, the devil, and it is your will to practice the lusts and gratify the desires [which are characteristic] of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a falsehood, he speaks what is natural to him, for he is a liar [himself] and the father of lies and of all that is false.”
Is there churches, ministers and ministries who are proclaiming “another gospel”, such as the evil “hyper-grace” movement that has caused so many to walk into the liberty of living in compromise and sin, and finding “peace” in the midst of doing so, having being blinded to the Truth without any means of redemption whereby to be restored!
They have chosen to “consider the covenant blood by which He was consecrated common and unhallowed, thus profaning it and insulting and outraging the [Holy] Spirit [Who imparts] grace.”
“For if we go on deliberately and willingly sinning after once acquiring the knowledge of the Truth, there is no longer any sacrifice left to atone for [our] sins [no further offering to which to look forward].
[There is nothing left for us then] but a kind of awful and fearful prospect and expectation of divine judgment and the fury of burning wrath and indignation which will consume those who put themselves in opposition [to God].”
Do they, and those who follow them, find themselves in a position of feeling at peace, and even being filled with joy in their current state of believing?
Then they are deceived with a false peace and a false hope of salvation, having turned away from the Truth to follow after idols and the doctrines of devils that have led them astray, blinding them with word of “peace” When there is no peace!
Are there sinning preachers and congregations who are witnessing the “miraculous.”
“DO NOT BE DECEIVED…….”
“He who practices righteousness [who is upright, conforming to the divine will in purpose, thought, and action, living a consistently conscientious life] is righteous, even as He is righteous.
[But] he who commits sin [who practices evildoing] is of the devil [takes his character from the evil one], for the devil has sinned (violated the divine law) from the beginning. T he reason the Son of God was made manifest (visible) was to undo (destroy, loosen, and dissolve) the works the devil [has done].
No one born (begotten) of God [deliberately, knowingly, and [h]habitually] practices sin, for God’s nature abides in him [His principle of life, the divine sperm, remains permanently within him]; and he cannot practice sinning because he is born (begotten) of God.
By this it is made clear who take their nature from God and are His children and who take their nature from the devil and are his children: no one who does not practice righteousness [who does not conform to God’s will in purpose, thought, and action] is of God; neither is anyone who does not love his brother (his fellow believer in Christ).”
Yes, we have certainly entered these last days and religion is slaying millions by misleading them from one deception to another.
Who are those who will be safeguarded against this evil onslaught of our time?
They who yield themselves to the Holy Spirit as never before, who will seek to be led into all the Truth, who will desire to be changed, from day to day to walk in the Light as He is in the Light, and who will do more than desire, but yield themselves to be changed daily.
Who will turn away from all evil “even hating the spotted garments” of the flesh, and who will yield themselves anew for Christ to reign and to rule in them by His Spirit, daily being conformed into His Character, Nature and Personality, as He is formed in them, and in the process becoming strangers to this world with all its temporary offerings of joy and happiness, to enter the Joy of their Lord in having being washed in His Blood and purified by His Spirit and walking Union with Him!
Take guard, do not be easily impressed, do not look at men, look for Christ in men and the evidence of His Life-Union producing His Character, Nature, Personality and fruit of Righteous living in them and through them.
Selah. (take the time to carefully consider this…..)
~ Johann van der Hoven
Johann van der Hoven is in South Africa. He has been serving the Lord in ministry since 1991 and has hosted numerous apostolic revival meetings in South Africa and in South America. He also currently pioneers a organic church planting movement across South Africa. For more information about him and his ministry visit www.sonsofsovereignty.com or Revival.