Chapter 6 Evil in God's House
Scriptures in the Gospels & the book of Acts clearly identify one of the most devout church-goers of all time. In fact, this one had already been frequenting the synagogues in Israel even before Jesus had arrived to minister at about age 30. But, what kind of devout religious figure is this who can be seen seated in the synagogue & awaiting the arrival of the very Son of God? Scriptures are crystal clear: it was the devil. [Mark 1:23]. Yes, the devil & his demons went to church two thousand years ago. And, they went to the same church that Jesus went to! What's more, is that they have been going to church devoutly ever since, for the last two thousand years.
But, what kind of churches does the devil attend? All of them!The synagogues, Spirit-filled Christian gatherings, Roman Catholic, Islamic, Mormon, Buddist, Jewish, Hindu & secular churches with atheistic or even homosexual leaders. But, his favorite is the true House of God where God's true Spirit-filled people assemble & worship God. This is because the devil's greatest way of striking back at God & to sneer at God & to mock God: is to deceive, to confuse & to bring torment & even death upon God's own children. As many as he can.
God's children [starting with Adam] are the devil's number one target. Jesus Himself looked two thousand years into the future & warned of this scheme of the devil even within the End Time body of Christ, which is today's generation. Clearly, the devil's last scheme to deceive God's people & the world will be 'religious' as talked about later in this chapter. But, Jesus specifically foretold of the deceiver's global religious tentacles in the End Times by stating that "many false prophets would arise & will mislead many, even the elect [God's children] if it were possible." [Math.24:24]. As for the devil, he will continue in this intent to deceive & destroy God's people until he is thrown into the bottomless pit at Christ's return. [Rev.20:2,3].
Until then, the devil will relentlessly pursue believers & anyone of any persuasion. He has no care whether he destroys one person at a time or whether he destroys multitudes by entering into a 'false prophet' or 'false leader' who heads-up a body or nation of unsuspecting people. The methods he uses to destroy & murder are countless. Whether he murders & destroys with his subtle camoflauged approach or uses an abrupt & bold explosion of death makes absolutely no difference to him. Satan's prime purpose is to take as many thousands & even millions of people [especially God's children] to destruction that he can.
Today, the prime false & empty religions of which the devil has had the greatest success are Islam & the Roman Catholic doctrines & rituals under the folly of the concept of the Roman Papacy. Both of these religions mock & oppose God's Word & are a monstrous confirmation of the devil's religious abilities & global success. Both religions today are also leading hundreds of millions of people, even billions worldwide, into darkness under the deceptions of the devil's religious mastery over the last 20 centuries. History shows Muhammed as having allegedly written the Koran in the 7th century & the Roman Papacy originating over 1700 years ago.
The Bold Originator of the world's Religious Evil....
If the devil was bold enough to take his seat in the synagogue right in front of the Lord Jesus Himself who had all power to cast him out, then how much more boldness & success has he had in infiltrating the true body of Christ over the last two thousand years? The devil also boldly stood in the Lord's presence & quoted Bible scriptures to Him directly. How much more ease & success has the devil had in the last two thousand years in deceiving God's children? Or, in even taking the forefront at the pulpit in God's very own House with a shiny new Bible opened in front of him?
The answer to these questions is: ALOT of boldness, alot of ease & alot of success, even in Spirit-filled churches in America today. To students of the scriptures then the idea of religious deceptions & mishandling of God's word within the House of God is nothing new at all. It's been clearly foretold with many warnings in the New Testament writings from most of the Apostolic writers. Jesus Himself was emphatic about His followers not being 'misled'. [Math.24: 4, 5,11, 24, 25].
However, a key problem over the centuries & which still exists today & in America, is the ever-present lack of knowledge of God's Word plus the lack of discernment by believers & especially Christian leaders in charge of overseeing God's flock.
Today's lack of spiritual discernment to spot the devil or a religious phoney within the true House of God has unecessarily helped in keeping the door open for increased religious deception in the body of Christ. In America today, the lack of discernment by Christian leaders over the last 20-30 years has allowed the devil's greatest infiltration of Christian churches in our nation's history.
But, believers are warned to "not be ignorant of the schemes of the devil" Paul wrote. [2 Cor.2:11]. "Be sober & vigilant because your adversary [the devil] prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour" Peter wrote. [1 Pet.5:8]. And the Lord Himself warned, "See to it that no one misleads you..." as He went on to describe the religious false prophets & religious deceptions expanding throughout the centuries & leading up to the End Time generation. [Math.24:4,5].
In fact today, many 'deceitful' religious persons have easily taken the forefront in God's House even in America. [1 Tim.4:1]. Without question, today's generation has evolved into exactly what the Lord & the Apostle John specifically foretold [in Math. 24 & Revelation] in becoming the most religiously deceived generation ever. 'Many false prophets will arise' Jesus said. 'And will mislead many'. [Math.24:5, 24]. But, the final & ultimate religious deception is epitomized in the appearance of the greatest religious imposter ['false prophet'] in all of world history in the End Times. [Rev.16:13, Rev.13:11-18].
Originally, not even 60 years after Christ & then Pentecost, the devil & his religious influences had already impacted the first century churches as profiled clearly in the vison to John in 95 AD. Chapters 2 & 3 of Revelation depict 5 out of the 7 churches which had been birthed by the Apostle Paul in southeast Asia as already needing serious repentance from their sins & evil influences. Only the churches at Smyrna & Philadelphia were free from the need to repent.
This is a soberingly loud statement as to the religious craftiness, purpose & effectiveness of the devil within the 1st century body of Christ. When 5 out of the 7 churches of true believers are seen in such bad shape in less than 60 years of being birthed then a real alertness comes to mind about the spiritual state of today's Christian world two thousand years later. This includes America's current spiritual decline from the solid Judeo-Christian values instituted by our forefathers and today's misrepresentations of Christ from the Christian pulpits & by so-called Christian ministries.
The Bold FINISHER of the world's Religious Evil...
Since the first century the greatest originator & controller of all false religions, all false religious ceremonies & all phoney religious doctrines is the devil. Second to no one else. Anyone [religious or not] who the devil finds that he can deceive is the very one he will ruthlessly victimize or even use to carry out his infectious schemes of darkness & seperation from God. But, the area of religion is his specialty & will be his ultimate End Time ploy.
In the Revelation vision in 95AD, the Apostle John saw [in advance] the devil's ultimate & religious grand finale in the End Times, having evolved from centuries of religious deceptions & horrors. He identified the devil's final religious product as the 'false prophet'. [Rev.16:13; 19:20; 20:10]. John was shown [in advance] the next 2000 year track record of the devil's relentless but successful rise in the global religious arena. The Apostle clearly recognized the devil in the End Time generation as having packaged himself into 1 final religious imposter on the world's final stage.
This is why John wrote: "And I saw another beast [false prophet] coming up out of the earth....". [Rev.13:11]. This shows the End Time false prophet's religious masquerade & religious history as having trailed him for centuries of deception & beastly atrocities. In effect, the End Time False Prophet will have 'grown' over centuries of development right up to his horrific final religious role. 'Coming up out of the earth' also dispells any concept of a 'false prophet' suddenly popping out of the woodwork in the End Times as a new concept. It also dispells today's popularized notion that a 'recently born unknown person' in this last generation would suddenly appear as the 'antichrist' .
The fact that John saw the false prophet as 'having 2 horns like a lamb' [Rev.13:11] clarifies that this religious imposter's appearance to the unsuspecting world will be as a great & wonderfully religious man of 'sacrifice'. The 'lamb' symbolizing Biblical sacrifice. In the devil's last religious grand trickery, the world's leaders & people collectively will have grown accustomed to this religious icon's disguise & friendly appearance in the world's scenery.
Even the false prophet's speech will appear eloquent & greatly attractive to all religions. Clever speech has always been part of satan's nature. However, without close examination of the false prophet's appearance & speech by God's Word & by the Spirit then his self-exalting deceitful spirit, his doctrines of demons & his abominable religious history which trails him will go unchecked by the general world audience of the End Times.
This is exactly what the Revelator meant in saying that the false prophet "looked like a lamb, but he spoke as a dragon". [Rev.13:11]. In the end, satan will have finally cloaked himself successfully in his ultimate religious costume in order to fool & destroy as much of the human race as he possibly can since he knows that his time is short. [Rev.12:12]. But, until the exact mid-point of the 7 Year Tribulation when the false prophet takes his 'mask' off & reveals his true vicious nature, then he will continue in his masterful religious disguise throughout the first 3 1/2 years. [Rev.6:2; Rev. 13:11-18; 2 Thess.2: 3, 4].
The Ultimate & Final Religious Deceiver... [Rev.13:11; Rev.16:13]
Scriptures provide much wisdom & information about this coming one man, the 'false prophet' . In fact, today's historic records of his religious history are easily accessed & confirm exactly the scriptures' portrayal of the ultimate religious imposter of the End Times. Also as a clear matter of historic record, many mighty pillars of the Christian faith have accurately & publicly identified the false prophet's true profile including: John Wycliffe [1324-1384], William Tyndale [1494-1536], John Calvin [1509-1564], Sir Isaac Newton [1643-1727], John Knox [1505-1572], J.A. Wylie [1808-1890], George Fox [1624-1691], Rev. Roger Williams [1603-1683], Charles Finney [1792-1875], Charles Spurgeon [1834-1892], D. L. Moody [1837-1899] & John Wesley [1703-1791].
However, although God's people have grown naive [even blind] on this topic in the last 150-170 years now, the body of Christ will soon re-gain this vital insight from God's written Word & from the clear confirming facts of history on this matter as did these past men of God. Also, Daniel's & John the Revelator's portrayal of the false prophet arising from within a revived Roman Empire of the End Times will soon become crystallized in this generation since this Biblical scenario has already clearly taken its preliminary form today in western Europe [the European Union].
Then, as foretold in Bible prophecy [Dan.11:33; Rev.6:2], global awareness & understanding amongst God's people will soon become illuminated to the false prophet's profile & presence on the world's stage as the 'start' of the Tribulation draws nearer & since the time is at hand for all things to be revealed to the glory of God & the Lord Jesus Christ. [ Headline News links / false prophet ]
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Copyright 2007 / End Time Prophetic Insight / All rights reserved. / Rob Conrad