There’s no longer any question that things are “heating up” on the End Times Thermometer. And while that doesn’t necessarily mean that the events in the world today are imminently of ‘Biblical proportions’ (even after a currency meltdown, world war, and martial law in more and more countries, it might take several years for the final acts to play out) — those with “eyes to see” are taking notice.
So it’s important that those who expect to rely on the promises of Yah (and the alternative will turn out to be gravely disappointing) need to start ‘walking in obedience’ to Him immediately, if not before. Which is why this author finds certain ‘evangelical’ preachers to be in many respects even more of a threat to those “called by His Name” than most run-of-the-mill worldly agnostics, or even atheists. It’s one thing to be oblivious to the Creator, and arguably more insidious when those who CLAIM to call on His Name mislead His sheep. To destruction.
To wit, more and more presumably Bible-literate pastors — including, unfortunately, many who claim to be “watchmen on the wall” — are warning about the coming End Times, but still departing from ‘the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons.’ (I Timothy 4:1) They focus exclusively on “saving souls”, as if that was the end of it, and ignore the rest of the equation:
“IF you love Me, keep My commands.” If we are in fact ‘saved by His grace,’ then what is our “reasonable service“? And don’t they care at all about hearing, “well done, good and faithful servant?”
…as opposed to, “depart from Me, you who work lies [and deny His Word!] — I never knew you!” (Matthew 7:23)
The Truth really DOES matter. And (Jeremiah 16:19) — we really have “inherited lies from our fathers.” And our licensed pastors. This is important because Scripture contains MANY warnings about false prophets, failed priests, and “imposters [who will] grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.” (II Timothy 3:13)
We live in a time when deception abounds, and many of us know first-hand the depth of that deception. It can split communities, and destroy families. If we are to be ready for the battles to come, we must be “ready, in season and out” to give an answer to those who are being led astray by false shepherds.
A couple of answers to “tough questions” that I heard on a recent preparedness-oriented radio show not only make the point, but should serve to “arm us” with the Sword of His Word when we hear (and we will) similar reasonable-sounding lies:
The ‘voice of evangelism’ was asked by a listener why so many Xtians can be “deceived [into believing] that the body of christ is still under obligation to observe the ‘law of Moses’.” And even that “Sabbath” thing (that YHVH says over and over again – as if THAT still mattered, that we are to keep “forever,” “throughout our generations,” in “all our dwelling places,” and so on. Yeah, it’s hard to understand stuff, since He comes right out and tells us).
Well, the ‘man of god’ responded oh-so-folksily…look at Romans 14:6, “talking about food, and talking about the Sabbath.” And then see Romans 10:4, “For christ is the END of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” As if he was ignorant of the fact that the word translated as “end” — IN CONTEXT — didn’t mean “the ultimate GOAL of” His torah, or instruction!
I wondered why so many who find the words of Paul so easy to twist (as II Peter 3:15-16 points out) prefer to quote him, rather than just read what the One they call ‘christ’, and CLAIM to believe, said so bluntly!
But then the preacher did just that, and quoted (at least a bit of) Matthew 5:17. Yes, he stopped after the part that used the English word ‘fulfill.’ And, in the process, ignored the context, and His point, entirely:
“Once something has been fulfilled, it has been terminated.”
And I, admittedly, yelled at the radio. Lies like that get people killed, or worse. He tried to claim it was like a 60 month loan, which, once paid off, was just paid. Done. For my part, I couldn’t help but think how he’d feel if his wife were to use equally twisted logic to claim that, having ONCE turned down a chance to consummate an affair, her marriage vow was equally ‘fulfilled’, and thus terminated.
The logical fallacy here involves a bogus assumption. Fulfilled is NOT the same as terminated — especially since the Messiah in the VERY NEXT VERSE says exactly that! Is “all” fulfilled, even yet? But that’s not what this preacher claimed. He did finally get around to reading the rest of the verse, and then explaining it didn’t mean what He clearly said it did! Instead, he observed that this next line was the “second time [Jesus] uses the word ‘fulfilled’.” And the second time that preacher ignored the meaning, too.
So he follows up a specious assumption with a distortion of the meaning of a key word, and the only way to make that fit is to take the entire verse out of context. In the process, he turns the words of the Messiah on their head — taking a statement that He makes to say He is NOT going to “destroy the torah or the prophets,” and twisting it to claim that he did EXACTLY that! And as if that wasn’t bad enough, this man who (see the next verses) “breaks [even] the least of these commandments, and teaches men so,” then goes on to claim that He wasn’t talking about the “Ten Commandments” anyway — He was really talking only about ‘the beatitudes’. (Come on! what did He just say? He wasn’t going to make even the smallest change to His Written Word — the ‘torah and the prophets’!)
Sadly, this dissemination is pervasive. Twisting of Scripture tends to follow a pattern. There is almost always an assumption. That allows what follows next — a shift in the real meaning of the words, and a removal of the verse from context. Key words may be left out, and even whole verses. But the result all too often ends up being to replace the “commandments of YHVH” with the “traditions of men.” And ultimately make His Word of “no effect.”
If we do not understand the techniques, and the motivations of Pharisees, Old and New, we might fall into the very trap Paul ALSO warned about, (II Tim. 4:3) “for the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine…having itching ears…and shall turn away…from truth…unto fables.” He’s warning us about exactly what we’re seeing NOW!
This Xtian Twisting from the so-called ‘voice of evangelism’ continued down that inevitable trail. See Col. 2:15, he continued, again taking the admonition completely out of context, “let no one judge you in food…or regarding…sabbath.” But that letter was being written to people who had come out of PAGANISM! What was Paul talking about, if not to warn them about ‘backsliding’? He even SAID so, just a few verses earlier: “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after [the Word!]”
Don’t let people judge you for EXACTLY the same things people are judging many of us for TODAY! Not eating pork, and actually deciding to honor Yah’s Sabbaths instead of man’s traditions of sun-god day and Xmas!
But this false shepherd was on a roll. He ignored the context of Galatians 4:9 in exactly the same way, claiming that the “weak and beggarly elements, in which you desire again to be in bondage” was the Torah of YHVH!!!! “Paul had a fear and an anxiety that they were gonna go back to ‘the law’.” What an incredible affront to the Author of Scripture Himself! NO HE DID NOT! And Paul just made that VERY clear, in the preceding verse, when he referred to a time when those he was writing to “did NOT know God,” but served “those which by nature are not gods.” They were pagans. He was warning them about not going back to paganism. And Paul makes the same point in the letter to the Colossians, just a few verses LATER, (Col. 2:22) when he makes it clear that he was talking NOT about the Torah of YHVH, but the “commandments and doctrines of men!” Not surprisingly, that verse got left out of the ‘lesson’.
Scripture is utterly consistent. But lies are not. If the very same Bible which tells us PRECISELY what the Messiah will (and will not – Deuteronomy 13!) do tells us that anyone who CHANGES His Word is a liar, why would we be so foolish as to believe that He would do exactly what He said He would NOT? It is obviously much easier for deceiving wolves in sheep’s clothing to twist the subtle and often complex writings of Shaul (Paul) than the straightforward teachings of the Word Made Flesh.
I have on occasion been reminded by a friend that not EVERY Christian denomination teaches that ‘the law has been done away with’. (Admittedly, those who keep sun-god day certainly APPEAR to, whether they know it or not.) But the lies are insidious, deadly, and pervasive. The “End Times Deception” is just beginning. Perilous times are coming, and He warned us for a reason.