But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. (2 Pe. 2:1)
Moriel recently received links to an author's website for one of his books which, among other things, purports to have deciphered the true meaning of "666". Because Jacob's latest book on the Antichrist (Shadows of the Beast) is about to come out, it was suggested that he provide a biblical response to this specific assertion. But when we looked at the rest of the website and the other books authored, we quickly realized this was not simply the case of a brother in the Lord who was making a mistake in earnest about the mark of the Beast. His other writings were so contra-scriptural to the basic truths of biblical Christianity that we can consider him nothing less than an outright heretic regardless of what he posits about End Times issues. No one should be surprised that his notions of the meaning of "666" are bizarre when his ideas of God's salvific plan are nothing short of heresy. Why bother responding to an error in the handling of prophecy when there is no hope until they correct the most egregious errors in their faith?
Thus says the LORD, "Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things," declares the LORD. ( Jeremiah 9:23"“24)
giving no cause for offense in anything, so that the ministry will not be discredited, but in everything commending ourselves as servants of God... (2 Corinthians 6:3"“4a)
I am not a prophet, but as a Bible-based believer I make the 100% safe prediction that nothing predicted by Harold Camping and company will come true for May 21 or any date they set. But what we will experience, and have already experienced, is incredible damage to the church where its credibility and witness is concerned. If there is a more suitable poster child for giving offense and discrediting the ministry rather than being commended as a servant of God than Camping and company, I don't know who to nominate. And even worse is the effect that this "crying wolf" is having on the unsaved who, when they need it most, are being desensitized to the Gospel in general and the true specific signs pointing to the return of Christ.
It was not just a colossal waste of time and money which the deceived squandered, it is not just their personal reputations and witness that are called into question, but every true believer and maintainer of biblical truth has to live with the consequences. If you're a Christian, don't laugh at what was so obviously a folly of the flesh; weep at what has been done to the name and message of Christ.
So rejoice, O sons of Zion,
And be glad in the LORD your God;
For He has given you the early rain for your vindication.
And He has poured down for you the rain,
The early and latter rain as before. (Joel 2:23)
This is a verse I have heard and seen oft quoted to assert that there is still a powerful revival to come, what some people call "The Latter Rain". This is a part of the reason for the enthusiasm crowds of people have exhibited over the past 25 years at the notorious false revivals beginning in Kansas City and which took the show on the road to Brownsville, Pensacola, Toronto, Lakeland, various points abroad and most recently opening for a limited engagement in Alabama. (It will not last and fail just like its predecessors.) People who have it in the back of their mind that there is one, last world-altering revival may not be taking the time to assess if what they are seeing is biblically authentic or not. But the greater question I am posing is if there really is one, big, final outpouring of the Spirit ahead of us?
I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. "” 2 Timothy 4:1"“5 (NASB)
In the first article on this website titled, "Is the Rapture Really Taking As Many As You Think?", I used the event of the Rapture (without going into the eschatology behind it) as a vehicle to suggest that with all the false movements currently wreaking havoc within the Church, with so many followers of false teachers and false prophets, and with the general tolerance of sin within the Christian community, that not everyone who claims the label "Christian" or even "Evangelical" is currently meeting the minimum biblical requirements to participate in that event.
I followed this up with the article, "Who Will Be Left Behind?" which explained from Scripture that those who will be left behind the second go-round will be the same ones "left behind" at Christ's First coming, people who claim an association with God but refuse to accept Christ on His terms, who further refuse to deal with willful sin and false doctrine in their life, and are ultimately proven false by their lack of spiritual fruit. But now I can fully divulge my ultimate destination in tackling this subject: who is responsible?
The vast amount of finger pointing focuses on the myriad false teachers and the powerful false movements they propel, but while this is significant, I am going to offer these may not be the most guilty party. Those who just might have to shoulder the greatest burden of responsibility for the "great falling away" of these final hours is you and I.
"Not everyone who says to Me, "˜Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, "˜Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' And then I will declare to them, "˜I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.'" "” Matthew 7:21"“23 (NASB)
Life is rarely predictable. When Moriel published my recent article, "Is the Rapture Really Taking As Many As You Think?", I mentally braced myself for what I anticipated to be an email avalanche of negative responses mostly having to do with eschatology for such things as the timing of the Rapture or the nature of the Tribulation. I never anticipated that there would be a response expressing the assertion that I was fostering some kind of spiritual elitism, that I was proposing that only those who "have it all together" will leave the "have-not's" behind. The term that I used repeatedly throughout the article was "the faithful", so I am fascinated that this scriptural term is associated by so many with some kind of spiritually snobby elite group of people. But putting aside for a moment that such visceral reaction clouded the plain truth of what was actually written, I think the worthy question behind all the emotion is, "How can you possibly know who is going to be left behind?" For the same foundational reason I provided in the previous article: it will be the same ones who were "left behind" at Jesus' First Coming.
"Then there will be two men in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one will be left." "” Matthew 24:40"“41 (NASB)
There iswhich depicts what is probably the most mainstream concept of how the Rapture is envisioned to work. It shows a Sunday morning church service where the pastor is preaching about the Rapture to a congregation of a couple hundred when the dramatic sound of thunder takes all but a handful "in the twinkling of an eye". (1 Co. 15:52) The miserable few who are left behind are dazed and shocked in a now almost empty church as more than 95% of the congregation were instantly translated in the Rapture. At the risk of filling up my email beyond its theoretical capacity, I am going to ask you to consider whether it is really going to happen like that. Do you think everyone currently attending church is going to be snatched up as portrayed in the video? I think it is opposite of that. If I were making the video, 190 people would be sitting there wondering what happened to the 10 or so whose disappearance was so unobtrusive to that Sunday morning service that they begin with a search to see if they are in the bathroom or parking lot.
Well, here you go. The very same videos with which Christians flooded my email celebrating the imminent Return of Christ are the very same ones being credited by non-believers as pointing to Maitreya's arrival in this article. Just in case you haven't heard, this quote from the article explains who Maitreya is: "Many now expect the return of their awaited Teacher, whether they call him the Christ, Messiah, the fifth Buddha, Krishna, Kalki Avatar or the Imam Mahdi." Bible-believing Christians who understand the times in which we live know this "Teacher" to be nothing less than the ultimate Antichrist.
Die wildernis van gister en nou.
"Want ek wil nie hÃƒÂª, broeders, dat julle nie sou weet nie dat ons vaders almal onder die wolk was en almal deur die see deurgegaan het, en almal in Moses gedoop is in die wolk en in die see, en almal dieselfde geestelike spys geÃƒÂ«et het, en almal dieselfde geestelike drank gedrink het, want hulle het gedrink uit 'n geestelike rots wat gevolg het, en die rots was Christus. Maar God het in die meeste van hulle geen welgevalle gehad nie, want hulle is neergeslaan in die woestyn"¦ Maar al hierdie dinge het hulle oorgekom as voorbeelde en is opgeskrywe as 'n waarskuwing aan ons op wie die eindes van die eeue gekom het." (1 Kor.10: 1-5,11)
When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. (Lk 1:41)
And, so to speak, through Abraham even Levi, who received tithes, paid tithes, for he was still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him. (Heb 7:9"“10)
During the past couple of weeks there have been two news items in the mainstream media which have astounding spiritual implications for every American whether they are a Christian or not. As reported through the Moriel website, at some point during this past year the U. S. effected the 53 millionth abortion since the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade ruling 38 years ago. A parallel story Ã‚Â was also published announcing that the health department in New York City reports that 40% of all pregnancies in that city end in abortion. (NY Times article here.) This second story in particular indicates that this behavior is accelerating in its pace and it will take much fewer than 38 years to reach the next 53 millionth abortion. I know that simply explaining biblical truth will probably not change individual behavior much less this staggering, overall trend, but it is important to blow the horn of warning regardless of whether it is heeded or not.
For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea; and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and all ate the same spiritual food; and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ. Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well-pleased; for they were laid low in the wilderness...Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. "” 1 Corinthians 10:1"“5, 11
In the example of Israel being led out of Egypt to the Promised Land, one of the most vivid scriptural illustrations of being saved out of the old life for the new, a very tragic thing occurs along the way. A significant number within the ranks of God's people so large that it is difficult to fully comprehend became so spiritually corrupt that God forbade them admittance into the Promised Land. Only a very few of the original group gained entrance. Some today would assert, "Well, it is obvious they were never saved to begin with", yet the Apostle Paul says "all were baptized into Moses", "all ate the same spiritual food"¦the same spiritual drink", and that they were all following the Old Testament incarnation of Christ. At the very least it seems problematic to state they were spiritual counterfeits with such impeccable qualifications. I would suggest there is much in this example to teach us about this present age in the final hours leading up to Christ's Return which illuminates the working of the apostasy "“ the "great falling away" "“ we are witnessing within the Body of Christ.