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Rainbow Divider

Chapter 1

Deception

The darkness, blindness, deception, and confusion that prevails in our world is the work of Satan and his demon host. He is variously referred to in the Word as a “liar,” “murderer,” “deceiver,” and “destroyer.” It is his nature to oppose God and His truth by every possible means. II Cor. 4:3-4, Paul says, “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”

The principal means Satan employs is to spew out a veritable flood of ideas that, on the one hand, appeal to the natural man and, on the other, directly oppose and contradict the truth of God. It doesn’t matter whether the ideas harmonize with one another or not so long as they capture men’s minds and divert them from truth.

And so, we observe mankind. For many, all it takes is a philosophy of self-will and self-pleasing. Such people are easily controlled through their various lusts. Others find their reason for being in some cause — something they firmly believe will “save the world,” or at least improve it. Their hearts are taken up with mankind, his world, and his future.

It should be obvious that the world of religion is some of Satan’s most fertile ground when it comes to disseminating falsehood. After all, religion is supposed to be devoted to providing answers leading to the betterment of mankind. Under Satan’s inspiration, however, it has become a bedlam of confusion and his greatest weapon in the warfare against God and truth.

Of course, there is no one Satan is more interested in hindering and deceiving than true Christian believers. He has the world defenseless in his clutches. Christians, on the other hand, are here in part to be the light of the world. Matt. 5:14-16. Satan hates Christ. He hates light. He has spared no effort to confuse, divide, and misdirect God’s people.

Naturally, when it comes to misleading God’s people it has been necessary for him to carefully disguise his activity and to cause them, by various means, to believe it is from God. Paul warned believers in II Cor. 11 of “another Jesus,” “another spirit,” “another gospel,” “false apostles,” “deceitful workers,” Satan’s “ministers.” In verse 14 he warns that “Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.” What the world calls “Christianity” is, for the most part, the fruit of Satan’s activity. It is “Christian” in name only. Christ is not the Head of it. It is a Babylon of confusion.

In spite of all this, God has faithfully called and preserved an elect remnant of true believers down through the ages. Even though they have been scattered and, in varying degrees, influenced by the confusion — some to the point of being spoiled and ineffective — yet they are His! He will never abandon His own!

The same God who preserved Noah through the flood also saved Lot from Sodom. Lot was in a bad place and his life didn’t count for much, yet he was a righteous man at heart and God wouldn’t destroy the wicked sinners of Sodom until He had first gotten Lot out.

The Introduction began by referring to Paul’s words from I Thess. 5:1-4. Paul said he didn’t need to write about the times and seasons with respect to the Day of the Lord because they already had a clear understanding of what was to happen. Generally speaking, today that is not true. Believers in our day, the ones most directly affected by the things of which Paul wrote, understand them far less than did the Thessalonian believers. We have seen the warnings of Jesus come to pass.

Deception About The End Time

In Matthew 24:3 the disciples asked Jesus, “Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” Jesus had just told them that the temple they found so impressive would be destroyed. Before He even began to answer their questions He first warned of deception.

The deception of which he warned would result from the ministry of men who came claiming to represent Him (“in my name”). The many divergent doctrines we see today concerning the end of the age have all — every one of them — come to us through men who claimed to represent Christ! Think about that! Obviously, most of these doctrines did not originate with Christ at all, however sincere their promoters may have been.

And it’s not just a theological contest — your “studied” interpretation versus mine and other fellow’s. The thing we all need to be most concerned about is, “What saith the Lord?” He knows! He has the wisdom and instruction we need for this hour. We don’t need man’s interpretation of the Word but God’s revelation of it, fresh from the throne, suited to time, place, and need.

I can just hear someone saying, “Well, what makes you think you know any more than the rest? Fair question! I would first have you recall what I said earlier about seeking the Lord. If your heart is to do His will (John 7:17) and you honestly look to Him regarding all this, then I am satisfied.

Beyond that, I am not just a “lone wolf” somewhere spewing out “private interpretations.” The Lord has made me a part of the Body of Christ in a local, practical sense. I am part of a fellowship that looks to Christ for leadership and watches over one another in love. I am confident that wisdom and discernment are available. If other responsible individuals read this and conclude that I have “missed the Lord,” then this will never see the light of day. I have a strong sense of my responsibility, by His grace, to give out His Word and not mine. See Jeremiah 33 for what the Lord had to say of those who falsely claimed to prophesy in His name. So I say with Paul, “Depise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” I Thess. 5:20-21.

Today, just for a few examples of those who are even concerned about the end of the age, we have some who are sitting around waiting for “the rapture”; some have their spiritual eyes glued to Israel and the Middle East; some are desperately pursuing their concept of “revival,” or even “revolution”; some are pursuing a dream of achieving immortality, becoming “manifested sons” and going forth to deliver creation.

The burden that I feel is very different. What, truly, is the nature of the hour in which we live? What does the Lord have to say about it? What are the prospects for this world? For God’s people?

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