(Originally published in Newsletter # 9 in 1994.)
There is one Scripture in the Bible which we should all be aware of:
MAT 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Would anyone have the boldness to go before God and say something that they did not believe to be true? The people that make these claims to God obviously BELIEVE them to be true- they really believe that they worked miracles in the name of Jesus. But Christ, who cannot lie, tells them not only that He “NEVER KNEW” them, but goes further and calls them “ye that work iniquity”. How is it possible for them to be so deceived?! Is it possible that we, who speak so often of the Lord to others, are deceived as to the “lord” we are serving?!
Our careful examination of this critical subject will no doubt offend many who claim to be “deliverers” and “healers”, but is it not better to face the truth now, while there is time to obtain Divine help in correcting any delusions Satan has caught us in, than to have Christ look us in the eye and say, “I NEVER KNEW YOU: DEPART FROM ME YE THAT WORK INIQUITY?!”
Is it possible that there are those who appear to be doing the Lord’s work that are actually NOT of Him? The Word of God not only says its possible, It says it WILL happen:
2CO 11:13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
Today is the time of the greatest battle of all time- not a physical battle, but a battle with the unseen. Time is soon to be over and if we are alive when Christ comes again, we will have taken part in the battle which vindicates God’s government. But in order to fight successfully, we must have the “sword” and the “armor”.
EPH 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Paul’s letter to the Corinthians says that Satan’s ministers will be transformed, or appear to be, “ministers of righteousness”. There is grave danger in allowing ANYONE to “feed” you their version of the Gospel. This is not to say that some are not Godly men, led by the Holy Spirit. But today, you CANNOT tell the “good from the bad” without examining every word that comes out of their mouths, as well as examining the example of their lives. 99% truth is NOT good enough. God’s Truth includes EVERY WORD in the Bible, not just the portions various preachers are fondest of. The danger we are all facing is very real- without our OWN knowledge of the Truth as revealed in the Bible, we are in danger of believing lies and Satan’s deceptions. He has already gotten some of his insidious “interpretations” of what Scriptures “really” mean accepted by a large amount of people.
All around, we hear these “interpretations” from the mouths of many who are very popular and accepted by the people without question. Are these the ones that confront God with their “miracles” and “prophecies” and “many wonderful works”? Have they “like it is said of other liars, come to believe their own lies and deceptions”? Are these the ones who cooperate with “that wicked” described in this next passage?
2TH 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God….7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. 8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: 9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
Am I in that group?! Are you in that group?! Should we not follow Paul’s advice to the church at Corinth?
2CO 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
Is it possible that we can know and speak the truth on occasion and yet be an enemy of God?
ROM 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
Years ago, I attended a tent-meeting in Bowling Green, Kentucky, of an evangelist who claims to be a healer. He proceeded to perform such “miracles” as restoring the sense of smell, and other things which elicited praises from the audience. But his finale came when a terribly twisted and gnarled looking man in a wheelchair was wheeled down to the front. After the evangelist pronounced the words to “heal” him, the man began to literally come “ungnarled”. One at a time, each limb slowly began to straighten out, to the excitement of the people attending. Then, very nonchalantly, the county sheriff who had been quietly watching from the back, began to stroll down front and up to the microphone. “The meeting is closed- everyone leave quietly”. He then told us all that he had known the man in the wheelchair, Old Jake, all his life, and that he was well-known to be double jointed. Old Jake confessed to the sheriff that he had been travelling with the “healer” and “performing” his miraculous recovery at every meeting. The sheriff gave the “healer” until noon the next day to pack up and get out of the county. Many years later, one of the “healers” sons committed suicide, leaving a note to the effect the he could “no longer be a party to his father’s deceptions.” The sad part, friends, is that this same evangelist is still very popular and “performing” today.
Do we punch up stories of our experiences to honor God the more? Do we invent experiences so we can get more invitations to speak, and thereby get bigger and better love offerings? Is there such a thing as a good lie?
PRO 6:16 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an ABOMINATION unto him: 17 A proud look, a LYING TONGUE, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 An heart that deviseth WICKED IMAGINATIONS, feet that be swift in running to mischief, 19 A FALSE WITNESS THAT SPEAKETH LIES, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
Carefully note that 3 of the things proclaimed here to be “abominations” are forms of lies! God hates lying for any reason, even exaggerations. And what happens to those that lie, even though they may claim to be of God?
REV 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and ALL LIARS, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is THE SECOND DEATH.
Those who “love lies” are much like dope addicts, requiring more and bigger lies as time goes by.
Is it possible for us to lose the presence of God from our lives and not be aware of it? The Bible says of Samson:
JDG 16:20 And she said, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And HE WIST NOT THAT THE LORD WAS DEPARTED FROM HIM.
Saul, the first king of Israel, had a similar experience:
1SA 18:12 And Saul was afraid of David, because the LORD was with him, and WAS DEPARTED FROM SAUL.
Do we have a pattern (role model) by which to measure ourselves?
ZEC 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.
When we read of the servants of God in the Bible, only those who were kings and queens dressed and lived sumptuously. CHRIST, THE SON OF GOD, WAS “LOWLY”. Where, among the professed followers of Christ, do we see those who pattern themselves after Him?
JOH 13:16 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.
We see many who, by their dress and manner, show that they are seeking the praise of men. These “leaders” praise themselves and those that praise them. They “prophesy” and claim to be doing “many wonderful works”. If these are not those spoken of by Christ, that continually call Him “Lord, Lord”, where, then ARE they to be found? Christ gave His followers some advice about the “religious leaders” of His day:
MAR 12:38-40; “…Beware of the scribes, which love to go in long clothing, and love salutations in the marketplace, and the chief seats in the synagogues, and the uppermost rooms at feasts: which devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayers: these shall receive the greater damnation.”
While we have those who perform deceitful healings, like the man Old Jake worked for, we DO have those who appear to be truly healing the sick. But this CANNOT be looked upon as the test of a true man (or woman) of God. Satan has the ability to inflict illness upon men. Job, chapter 2, tells of the boils he caused Job to suffer. There is no doubt that Satan can remove the cause of the illness and thus, “miraculously heal the victim.” Those that come to Christ in Matthew 7 HAVE cast out devils, prophesied, and done many wonderful words. But they did them by the supernatural power of the devil. The proof of this is that Christ “never knew” them.
How, then, are we to “DISCERN” truth from error?
ISA 8:20 TO THE LAW AND TO THE TESTIMONY, if they speak not according to these, there is no light in them. REV 22:14 Blessed are THEY THAT DO HIS COMMANDMENTS, that they have a right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. 15 For without [outside] are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, AND WHOSOEVER LOVETH AND MAKETH A LIE.
Christ asked a very appropriate question of his disciples:
LUK 18:8 When the son of man cometh shall he find faith on the earth?
Why would He ask this? Then, Paul gives the warning:
2TI 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
Christ should have the last word on any subject. Here is that word:
MAT 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, THEY SHALL DECEIVE THE VERY ELECT. 25 Behold, I have told you before.
We think we’re too smart to get snookered by Satan, but don’t be too smug. The time is very near when he will counterfeit the miracles of God. Remember when Elijah met with the priests of Baal on Mt. Carmel and fire came from heaven and devoured EVERYTHING, including the heathen priests?
REV 13:13 And he doeth great wonders, so that HE MAKETH FIRE COME DOWN FROM HEAVEN ON THE EARTH IN THE SIGHT OF MEN, 14 And DECEIVETH THEM THAT DWELL ON the EARTH BY the MEANS OF THOSE MIRACLES which HE HAD POWER TO DO…
(See Job 1:16- Satan already did this once.)