Title: DEMONIC SPIRIT OF DECEPTION IS RAMPANT AMONG ECUMENICAL CHRISTIAN LEADERS
Subtitle: Believers, Beware Of Anyone Not Preaching Biblical Separation!
Just when I think that I have reached the absolute depths of cynicism where "wolves in sheep’s clothing" are concerned, up pops a new batch of mutants. It seems that their schemes to deceive gullible sheep are about as numerous as the cartoon situations on "Loony Tunes!" But their methods are certainly not funny and do tremendous damage to the spiritual lives of many innocent victims. I wish it were not so, but our fallen nature always has a tendency to gravitate toward those who appear to be strong and authoritative leaders. And if we are not very careful to listen to and cooperate with the prompting of Holy Spirit residing within us, we can be fooled into becoming another statistic on the devil’s scorecard.
You know something—I have heard "judge not that ye be not judged," misused and misquoted until I am sick to death of it! I have also heard many preachers use "touch not mine anointed" (1 Chron.16:22 and Psa.105:15) with reference to themselves—when under fire from those who disagree with them—and I am sick of that misuse of Scripture as well. Come here and let this old preacher tell you something simple, yet profound.
God does not expect His children to be witless idiots with no spiritual discernment. The admonition against judging others is clearly in the context of unjust judgment—accusing them and judging them wrongfully and calling into question the motives of their hearts. This practice is wrong and the Word of God condemns it over and over, but what so many fail to understand is that the same Word exhorts us to exercise positive spiritual discernment—in other words, good spiritual judgment. We must not be gullible and swallow the lies and false teaching of others, no matter how respected they may be in the eyes of others. And to be able to stand on our own two feet, spiritually speaking, we must know the Word of God and the God of the Word! Just because some man is a "minister of the gospel", does not mean that he is anything special and you should never take anything a preacher says at face value! God holds you personally accountable for your knowledge of His Word and to swallow everything a preacher says because you trust him, is to invite disaster. The ones who have sat under my ministry will tell you that I have consistently taught them to question every thing I teach, because I just might get it wrong.
We are told to be like the "Noble Bereans", [Acts 17:10-11] who searched the Scriptures to ensure that the Apostle Paul was being really honest with them, and that he was correctly interpreting Scripture. Paul commended them for their healthy skepticism! In no place in Scripture is it recorded that the Bereans thought Paul was lying to them; they just checked what he was saying against Scripture. In other words, they were checking Paul against the infallible Word of God, exactly what we are told to do in the End of the Age. Too many Christians today do not have a healthy skepticism for what they hear a favorite preacher saying or doing; too many Christians fail to realize that a Christian ministry can be correctly dividing the Word for a long time, but suddenly go into Apostasy. Or, too many Christians do not realize that many false teachers may correctly preach the Word for a long time, and then when they get their devoted following, they begin to lead them astray. In Military Intelligence, we call this type of person a "deep mole"; they will seem so good for so long, that no one suspects they may be actually working for the enemy. But, at a critical time, they will step forward to begin working for the enemy, and are so effective because co-workers and their bosses trust them so completely.
We have the same situation here with too many Christian ministries today, as the Harry Potter fiasco illustrates.
It’s bad enough that hordes of so-called ministers are preaching anything and everything but the pure milk of the Word, but now the latest fad seems to be well-known authors, ex-politicians, etc., coming out of the woodwork with their own brand of "pop" psychology. This "feel good about yourself" agenda, glossed over with a thin veneer of Christian respectability, is taking the country by storm and anyone who dares to stand up and voice opposition is usually accused of "judging." Well, go ahead and accuse me, but I am only trying to alert you to the fact that apostate wolves are among the sheep and you may be the next meal on their menu.
Speaking of "feeling good about yourself"—I trust you understand that this whole psychological ploy is not Scriptural? One of the characteristics of our depraved and fallen nature is that we feel entirely too good about ourselves as it is! All of us are selfish—literally loving ourselves and always looking out for number one. And the Word of God teaches us that we must "mortify the flesh," putting its evil desires to death in order to serve Christ. So for somebody to stand and teach that we must do this or that in order to "feel good about ourselves," he is in clear violation of the principles of Scripture. In fact, God will bring "Godly sorrow" into a person's life to make them feel badly enough about themselves that they will repent ["For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation …" 2 Corinthians 7:10]
Our whole life should be spent seeking true humility and putting the welfare of others ahead of ours, if we are to follow the Lord ‘s example. Service is the name of the game and not personal satisfaction. But the gurus’ pandering for numbers know human nature and push all the right buttons to ensure a large following and all the perks that go with it. They know life is awfully tough on some people, so they build their entire "ministries" around dealing with the psychological problems of these emotionally-challenged individuals. Do I think that they help some? More than likely, but at what cost to Scriptural principles?
It has been pointed out to me that the composition of rat poison is approximately 98% harmless (and edible) corn meal, but what the rats must look out for is the 2% strychnine! Unfortunately, many is the soul that is "at ease in Zion" because his particular preacher (or favorite TV teacher/personality) gives him 98% pure Bible, but he does not question the other 2% of the time when they are way out of line. And a little anti-scriptural strychnine can kill the spiritual effectiveness of a large group of people.
A parallel concept involves the personal charisma and reputation of these "two-percenters." I find it quite fascinating to observe the almost reverential respect that these men (and a growing list of women) command from their followers. Why, it is almost considered blasphemy if someone like myself points out the Scriptural errors and doctrinal flaws in their ministry. Accusations of "judge not…" fly thick and fast, but these loyalists fail to recognize that God’s Word is the final authority and not the big reputations of the men in these prominent ministries. I suppose that it just never occurs to these people that their beloved icon could be an apostate "in-for-hell" and intentionally leading them astray.
Has it never dawned upon these followers that a truly godly man will be hated by the world? Beloved, pay attention because this is a profound point! The apostle Paul tells us this in 2 Timothy 3:12:
"Indeed all who delight in piety and are determined to live a devoted and godly life in Christ Jesus will meet with persecution—that is, will be made to suffer because of their religious stand" (Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified Bible Commentary)
Do you see any of the current crop of "two-percenters" being persecuted because of their stand for Jesus Christ? Hardly! The opinion polls indicate that they are among the most respected individuals on the planet! And in a manner reminiscent of young mothers hanging upon every false word out of Dr.Benjamin Spock’s mouth concerning the rearing of children (during the 60’s and 70’s), the public takes what these men say and write as gospel. The old bachelor Spock did not have a clue as to the proper rearing of children, but I strongly suspect that many of the two-percenters know exactly what they are doing.
If someone walked up to you, gave you a bottle of strychnine, and told you to drink it—you would tell them to take a long walk off a short pier. That’s just a bit too obvious. But if someone conceals the poison in delicious food and doesn’t tell you about it, the appeal of the food is likely to entice you to eat it. The term to describe this process is called "insidious." Webster defines "insidious" as: "1. Working or spreading harmfully in a stealthy or subtle manner. 2. Designed to entrap: TREACHEROUS. 3. Beguiling but harmful: SEDUCTIVE." Please keep this definition in mind as I try to explain to you what has slowly been taking place in the Christian community over the last half century.
GOD TEACHES -- DEMANDS -- SEPARATION
There is a vital doctrine in the Word of God that, in my opinion, is the least understood and least taught of all—the doctrine of separation. And it is proclaimed from Genesis to Revelation in one form or another. Briefly stated, it is God’s command for His people to distance themselves spiritually from the ungodly—and whenever practical, physically! Why do you suppose that God would issue such a command? Well, the easiest way I know to explain it, is to use an illustration I have used before—a coal miner wearing a white shirt! Sometimes the ridiculous can help us to better understand a basic premise and this white shirt is intended to do just that. Do you think that the coal miner is going to be able to keep that white shirt clean? Aint no way Jose! To keep it clean, he must get out of the coal mine! Folks, you cannot play in a pile of spiritual coal and keep your testimony for Christ clean. And just as God in the Old Testament continually impressed upon the children of Israel to stay clear of the heathen nations around them, He intends that His elect ones do the same today. But this very premise sends cold chills down the spines of liberal theologians and preachers. "Oh, but you cannot distance yourself from the ungodly if you expect to win them to Christ." Do you know what my reply to this ridiculous assertion is? GOD SAID TO SEPARATE!!!! Contrary to the formerly popular bumper sticker that said, "God said it, I believe it, and that settles it," I must loudly protest and say, "God said it and that settles it!"—whether anyone believes it or not! Listen to what the apostle Paul has to say in 2 Corinthians 6:17:
"So, come out from among (unbelievers), and separate (sever) yourselves from them, says the Lord, and touch not [any] unclean thing: then I will receive you kindly and treat you with favor" (Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified Bible Commentary)
Does this sound like equivocation to you? If the English language still means what it used to, this verse tells us to stay away from the ungodly. It does not mean this in a monastic sense, where there is no contact whatsoever, but rather a sense of insulation in which we are careful to keep our figurative "white shirt" clean. There are to be no close and intimate personal relationships made with people who are not saved. No intentional marriages with unbelievers, or partnerships in business, or a thousand and one other ways in which we can compromise our spiritual relationship with Jesus Christ. It is a "keep them at arms length" type of everyday existence, in which we must strive to stay above the muck and mire of the world and, at the same time, not appear to have a "holier than thou" attitude. It’s tough to do, but very necessary because the world will rub off on you.
And while I’m on the subject, we might as well send some more preachers into orbit. They have it in their heads that Christians must never, ever separate from fellow believers—because of some misguided notion that unity must be preserved at all costs. Unity among the brethren is highly desirable, but must never be sought at the expense of doctrine. Again Paul speaks on the subject of separation, and this time it involves fellow believers: (notice how strong the exhortation is given)
"Now we charge you , brethren, in the name and on the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Messiah, that you withdraw and keep away from every brother (fellow believer) who is slack in the performance of duty and is disorderly, living as a shirker and not walking in accord with the traditions and instructions that you have received from us" (2 Thessalonians 3:6, Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified Bible Commentary).
Again, I ask you if there is any equivocation here? When a brother or sister in Christ is "walking disorderly" (a military term meaning to march at an oblique angle from everyone else—"doing their own thing," in other words), we must separate from them for two very good reasons. Number one is to avoid having their attitude and sinfulness rub off on us, and number two is that, hopefully, our action of separation will make them ashamed of themselves and they will come back to a right relationship with the Lord. This principle is borne out in 2 Thessalonians 3:14-15:
"But if any one [in the church] refuses to obey what we say in this letter, take note of that person, and do not associate with him, that he may be ashamed. Do not regard him as an enemy, but simply admonish and warn him as [being still] a brother" (Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified Bible Commentary).
This doctrine is so clear that even a blind man should be able to "see" it, but preachers all across the land refuse to obey it, let alone teach it—because of their doctrinally warped view of unity.
Now that we have laid a Scriptural framework for this doctrine (and far more can be given to back it up), allow me to explain how the two-percenters are violating God’s Word and the not-so obvious reasons why they are doing it.
BEGINNINGS OF SPIRITUAL DECEPTION CONCERNING SEPARATION
Back in 1957, a man named Harold Ockenga (on the faculty at Princeton University?) delivered an address in which he stated, very candidly, that those of his viewpoint had come to the conclusion that the Bible doctrine of separation was out-dated. In their opinion, it was no longer valid and actually detrimental to the furtherance and propagation of the gospel message! And I hasten to point out that even though this man was open and honest with his assertion, it is nothing but sheer heresy because he/they dared to question and re-define God’s method of evangelization. (Before we continue, let us reiterate again that Mr. Ockenga admitted -- up-front -- that his proposed new method of evangelization differed from the Biblical method!)
They then went on to outline their alternative approach to evangelism as being what they termed "infiltration." Rather than continuing with the Biblically based separatist approach to the world at large, their "new" method would involve the church infiltrating into the mainstream of society—looking like and acting like everyone else—with the basic intent that the gospel be presented in a more non-confrontational way. In other words, "slip up on them with the gospel while camouflaged!" And amazingly enough, in the intervening years until the present, great numbers of theologians, seminarians, evangelists, pastors and Bible teachers have come to the same conclusion and joined their ranks. Their movement has been labeled as "Neo- (or New) Evangelicalism" and guess who they selected to be their main "point man"? His name spelled backwards is maharG ylliB (and the backwards spelling is only appropriate, because they have the whole concept backwards).
So before you are tempted to jump to his/their defense, please remember that the entire bunch intentionally deviated from Bible doctrine (by their own admission!) and that just can not be condoned. Further, remember the fact that, when a person begins a ministry based upon precepts that are un-Biblical, confusion, chaos, deception, and disaster are the only possible outcomes.
Their evangelistic world-view is the prime reason why Billy Graham and his compatriots are able to solicit the cooperation of the Roman Catholic Church in their crusades. The ecumenical movement just loves New Evangelicals, because they get along so well together; and when one doctrine is flagrantly violated, what’s a few more?
However, the main point I wish to make by stating these facts is to get back to the word "insidious" once again. The New Evangelical mind-set is such that they will do or say whatever they think it takes to "win souls to Christ." And as I have told my congregations many times, their intent is to look like, act like, and smell like the world in order to infiltrate and evangelize them. Their tactics include the routine use of "Hellywood" and "Lost Vegas" entertainers to draw crowds.
Their total disdain for the separation demanded in the Word of God has inevitably led to what I call "stinkin’ thinkin.’" It goes something like this: (Just for one instance) "Oh, we must not come down too hard on the Harry Potter books, because we may turn someone off to the gospel! Or, "we must read the Harry Potter books so we can understand the mindset and thinking of those unsaved people who read them!" Or, "we must read the Harry Potter books if our Gospel message is to have any relevance to the unsaved".
After all, they say, "it’s just another ‘good versus evil’ morality story." Believe it or not, but this is basically the position that Dr. James Dobson, Chuck Colson, and some other "Christian" magazines have taken relative to the series of books about the boy wizard—the latest tool Satan is using to deceive the unwary and condition impressionable children. (If you have not read David Bay’s articles about the "Harry Potter" craze, you really should!)
Folks, this ridiculous and totally unbiblical mind-set is truly insidious because it spreads like crazy. You see, it appeals to the flesh, and to fleshly reasoning. It seems to make sense to the carnal mind, because you surely do not want to alienate someone before you get a chance to present the gospel to him. Amen? But contrary to what man thinks, the Bible tells preachers to "reprove, rebuke, and exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine" (2 Timothy 4:2). We must "tell it like it is" and, if He chooses to do so, God will honor the truth of His Word with a convicting of the Holy Spirit, and the salvation of souls. All of the best intentions on our part will never win anyone to the Lord who was not already chosen by God as "in Christ from before the foundation of the world" (Ephesians 1:4). Jesus Himself said it best, referring to His sacrifice on the cross: "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me." [John 12:32] In other words, we are to unswervingly hold up the true Gospel to the unsaved, and they will be drawn to the Truth of the Gospel.
Somewhere along the line, men have obviously gotten the false notion that they can—through their own efforts and devices—catch fish for Christ, but that just is not Scriptural. The "assembly line" mass evangelization techniques employed by Billy Graham and others of his crowd, stand as mute testimony to the un-Biblical folly of one Charles Finney—their predecessor of the nineteenth century. This man, by his own testimony, adopted what came to be called "new measures for a new theology" and he boasted that anyone using his techniques could "have revival upon demand." Using these techniques, he almost single-handedly changed the face of evangelism within a period of a few years. What were these techniques? Basically the application of psychological pressure to those whose emotions were stirred by his sermons, by strongly urging them to "get up out of their seats and come to the front for salvation!" The "altar rail" and "mourner’s bench" also became quite famous during his evangelistic pursuits. The pressure produced "results" and results/numbers definitely fired the imagination of most preachers, so pretty soon, Finney’s methods were the "only way to fly!" However, before he died, the old evangelist reluctantly admitted that his methods had produced an inordinate number of those who did not "stick" and had fallen back to their old ways. But these same methods are still being used today to fill churches with rank unbelievers—"tares among the wheat"—and only eternity will reveal just how many millions of people around the world think that they are saved just because they went forward at a Billy Graham crusade. (Or did essentially the same thing in some church somewhere).
I realize that these techniques are a "sacred cow" to most that consider themselves to be evangelical Christians, but my job is to tell you the truth, and allow the Holy Spirit to convict you of the truth.
The seeds of New Evangelicalism have spread far and wide, infecting thousands of preachers around the world. Does your pastor have a case of it? The symptoms are sometimes hard to detect because they are often just an attitude. But we must understand that the Bible clearly warns us that "in the latter days perilous times shall come" and "wolves will rend the flocks". If your pastor rarely, if ever, preaches against sin and seldom comes down hard on worldliness, he just might be trying to "win them from within." Beware! And after you beware, you may need to begone from that assembly!
In closing, I must call your attention to 2 Timothy, chapter four and verse 3. In the previous two verses Paul has charged Timothy to "preach the Word," etc., as a minister of the gospel. Then in verse 3, he has this to say:
"For the time is coming when [people] will not tolerate (endure) sound and wholesome instruction, but having ears itching [for something pleasing and gratifying] they will gather to themselves one teacher after another to a considerable number, chosen to satisfy their own liking and to foster the errors they hold" (Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified Bible Commentary, emphasis mine).
The New Evangelical mindset of this generation has completely deviated from the teaching of the Word of God and is employing man’s methods to produce results. And these results have been spectacular at times—in man’s eyes—but just imagine, if we can, the horror and shock countless numbers of these souls will experience when these words will be uttered by the Lord Jesus Christ: "And then I will profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me ye that work iniquity!" (Matt.7:23, KJV). Oh, they were brought to a head-knowledge of Christ through the efforts of men, made professions of faith, and many even managed to live relatively commendable lives, but never really believed to the saving of their souls.
Have you ever noticed the tendency we Christians have to jump to the aid of a person having doubts about their salvation? Our desire that they be saved is so heart-felt that we often go to great lengths to assure them that they have "passed from death unto life." But, this is something we should never do! I am convinced that the sub-conscious psychology of the matter is that we want to "add another notch on our soul winner’s six-shooter" and we go overboard in trying to convince them that they are saved, when in point of fact, their doubt and soul-searching is spiritually healthy and must not be short-circuited by our good intentions. If the Holy Spirit is dealing with their hearts, they will either believe or they will not—and we should never be so stupid as to try to convince them of what has or has not taken place within their hearts! Methodology is man-made and has nothing whatever to do with the supernatural power of the Gospel message. Jesus saves and we don’t.
The New Evangelical position is contrary to God’s Word and must be denounced at every opportunity. In their zeal to increase the numbers, they are employing every psychological device imaginable to sway the thoughts and hearts of the masses. And this, because it is human reasoning, necessitates that the "negative and harsh" preaching against sin not be done because it is "counter-productive" to decisions for Christ. And this erroneous concept is why so many "Christian" leaders and organizations are taking such a soft, or downright nebulous, stance on the Harry Potter books along with most other forms of sinful behavior. But our job as preachers, as defined by the Word of God, is to "reprove, rebuke, and exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine" (2 Timothy 4:2), and let God take care of the hurt feelings.
Remember, God's admonition is to separate ourselves from the sinners of the world, and then to boldly hold up the Cross of Jesus Christ to them, depending upon the Holy Spirit to produce the fruit of Salvation. And, we are even told how we are to reach out to the sinners with the Gospel, even though we have separated ourselves from the rank sin of the world. Listen: "Guard and keep yourselves in the love of God … And refute, so as to convict some who dispute with you, and on some have mercy who waver and doubt. Strive to save others, snatching them out of the fire; on others take pity, but with fear, loathing even the garment spotted by the flesh and polluted by their sensuality." [Jude 21-23, Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified Bible Commentary]
I submit to you that doctors and nurses attend to patients who have the deadliest of diseases in exactly the manner described in the last sentence. They "strive to save others", with the attitude of "snatching them out of the fire" of death; however, they take great care to separate themselves from the disease, "loathing even the garment spotted … and polluted" by the disease. We expect doctors and nurses to take these precautions in treating those with deadly infectious diseases, and yet we do not even think of Christians acting in this commonsense manner in treating people who are infected with deadly sin. As a result, many Christians have become infected by the very worldliness they have attempted to "infiltrate" to "save".
This, my friends, is the true face of Neo-Evangelicalism today. This is the real reason Charles Colson and Christianity Today have given their full blessing to the reading of Harry Potter books, and why Focus On The Family gave a conditional blessing. These ministries may have done a lot of good in the past, but they have "infiltrated" the camp of the enemy for so long, in such close proximity, that they have become infected themselves -- and neither they nor their followers can see it.
Truly, Jesus said it best when He predicted that the numbers of true believers at the End of the Age would decline so terribly, that Jesus uttered the rhetorical question, "When the Son of Man cometh, shall He find [any faith] on the earth?" [Luke 18:8, Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified Bible Commentary]
We do not believe the Bible teaches that there will be one more great harvest of souls -- another great revival -- before the appearance of Antichrist; rather, we believe that the Apostle Paul was correctly informed when he predicted a great apostasy -- a massive falling away -- of true believers at the end of the age. [2 Thess 2] This apostasy of the formerly fundamental Christian Church will be filled with tares [deceived people who only think they are saved]. The fact that the Neo-Evangelicalism Church today is teaching doctrines that are un-Biblical, and can only result in the creation of many tares, is one more firm sign we are at the End of the Age.
Those "Christian" ministries advocating Harry Potter books are creating a church full of tares. Are your children going to be among those tares? Finally, the next time you are considering whether your child can read Harry Potter Monday through Saturday, and then attend church on Sunday, you might consider Jesus' warning: "Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devil. Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he?" [2 Cor 10:21-22]
As the Lord Jesus Himself prayed to His Father: "I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil." [John 17:15] WE ARE CALLED TO HOLY SEPARATION!
The very fact that "Christian" organizations could possibly giving endorsements of the filthy Harry Potter books is proof positive that the prophesied End Times apostasy of the Church is deep enough, and wide enough, as to constitute another "sign" that the End Times is upon us all in full force.
Are you spiritually ready? Is your family? Are you adequately protecting your loved ones? This is the reason for this ministry, to enable you to first understand the peril facing you, and then help you develop strategies to warn and protect your loved ones. Once you have been thoroughly trained, you can also use your knowledge as a means to open the door of discussion with an unsaved person. I have been able to use it many times, and have seen people come to Jesus Christ as a result. These perilous times are also a time when we can reach many souls for Jesus Christ, making an eternal difference.
If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, but have been very lukewarm in your spiritual walk with Him, you need to immediately ask Him for forgiveness and for renewal. He will instantly forgive you, and fill your heart with the joy of the Holy Spirit. Then, you need to begin a daily walk of prayer and personal Bible Study.
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as Savior, but have come to realize His reality and the approaching End of the Age, and want to accept His FREE Gift of Eternal Life, you can also do so now, in the privacy of your home. Once you accept Him as Savior, you are spiritually Born Again, and are as assured of Heaven as if you were already there. Then, you can rest assured that the Kingdom of Antichrist will not touch you spiritually.