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Layers upon layers of deception are intended to confuse believers

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Layers upon layers of deception are intended to confuse believers

We’ve often discussed the Book of Jude as having so many important components packed into such a tiny book of the Bible. One of the many verses that are profound points to the fact that we are not in the same league as the adversary on just about any level. For this reason, so many will be deceived.

He is clever beyond our comprehension and his power over this planet is extreme. In these times, which many believe are the end times, there are plenty of you out there trying to decipher the texts, read the signs, and gain an understanding of what’s to come so we can be prepared. This is, we believe, a righteous effort, but it must come with an important warning: there are layers of deception that are intended to make even the most careful students of the Bible head in the wrong direction.

Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee. – Jude 9 (KJV)

The verse that should worry every believer is Jude 9. We learn that one of the most powerful beings spoken of in the Bible, the Archangel Michael, chose not to face the devil in a head-to-head battle but instead called upon the Lord to rebuke him. In this one little verse, we learn just how powerful this creature of deception truly is. How can we hope to see through his deceptions and come to understand what is about to happen on this planet?

Just as Michael called on the Father to rebuke the devil, so too must we follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit to discern the times and find a direction for our lives. Whether in our lifetimes or for a future generation, the craziness foretold in the Bible will likely be sudden and potent. There is a line of thought that the events and disasters are gradual from our human perspective, but this is only worth mentioning for the sake of argument. It would seem that the most likely scenario is one of quick and clear tribulation brought upon the inhabitants of the earth.

Let’s examine some of the layers of deception that the devil uses against us so we may be diligent students and faithful disciples.

A false rapture

This is one that was so compelling that we are working on a video to discuss the subject. It can be confusing to put it all into perspective in a short blog post, but let’s examine it the best we can.

The basic idea is this: the world seems to be preparing for a false rapture event that is designed to confuse and mislead. As a commenter (coincidentally named Michael) pointed out on another story, there are videos, articles, and discussions happening that surround the concept of a coming false rapture event surrounding aliens. It would seem based upon the activities in this world and the understandings that are coming from people on multiple fronts that we’re being prepared for a deception that would mask a true Rapture with a false one.

If a large number of believers are taken in the Rapture before the tribulation, then there’s a good chance that many will turn to the Bible for answers. The preparations and pre-conditioning that seems to be occurring points to contact by demons, fallen angels, and/or nephilim that claim to be aliens who are here to save us. In most of the scenarios discussed, they point to one of two reasons: war or climate change. Rather than allowing us to completely destroy ourselves, they “rapture” a large number of people who they consider to be either antagonists hurting the cause or a sampling of humanity taken to another world/dimension where they’ll be prepared for… whatever.

Many Bible believers point to this as a sign of a cover up to keep the world in the dark when the real Rapture happens. This could make a lot of sense. Then again, the deception could be a layer of a deeper deception, namely a pre-tribulation rapture. Our minds have a very difficult time imagining efforts that are so complex and that take decades, even centuries to come to play. It’s hard for us to conceive of a plan that was put in place long ago that was only intended to mislead people later, but we must remember that the adversary has had thousands of years to plan and set up his deceptions.

Some would point to fake rapture preparation as evidence of pre-tribulation rapture. Another theory, the one I hold to, is that many of these deceptions are specifically designed to mislead those who are looking into such things. In other words, the deception of a false rapture is not intended to happen but rather the preparations for the deception are intended to deceive those looking for deception. It could be a red herring.

This is probably the most difficult article I’ve ever written. Trying to put the layers of deception into words is challenging to understand let alone write about in a way that others can understand.

Tracing the Little Horn

Daniel 7 speaks of a little horn that emerges amongst the ten horns of the fourth beast. This little horn uproots three of the other horns and is a representation of the antichrist. There is no shortage of documentation that points to the Vatican, the Pope, or the Roman Catholic Church as the little horn. This may very well be true, but we’re starting to lean towards another theory.

I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things. – Daniel 7:8 (KJV).

Of all of the layers of deception, this one might be the most difficult to challenge because the evidence is extremely compelling. The idea is that the fourth beast is the Roman empire, that there were ten kingdoms that rose from it, that three of those kingdoms were uprooted by the Roman Catholic Church and therefore this false church is the little horn. Those who believe it are extremely passionate about their theory and it would be nearly impossible to convince them otherwise. That’s how powerful the evidence really is.

While we’ll hold it as a possibility, another theory that has some of the same characteristics diverges from the theory in that the little horn is Islam. In that scenario, it is the rise of Islam uprooting three of the kingdoms and establishing itself as the leader in the world. One could then see Catholicism, the Vatican, or the Pope playing the role of the false prophet who promotes Islam as the way.

We are given Daniel, Revelation, and other books of the Bible to give us the ability to recognize things as they happen. However, the adversary can use this against us, particularly when we attempt to prepare. We can be pointed very clearly in one direction only to find that we were misled the whole time. The deceptions can be compelling to the point that we may feel certain we are right.

This is where we will get emails telling us that we’re the ones misleading people to not look at the Catholic Church as the antichrist. We will also get emails telling us that we’re wrongfully placing Islam into a light where it doesn’t belong. Many will point to the possibility of a Jewish false messiah. Others will say all three possibilities are way off. Because the plans of the adversary run so deep and have been for so long, it is impossible for us to break through the shields that many have put up. I will be the first to acknowledge that I really have no level of certainty about any of this despite hundreds, perhaps thousands of hours of study on the subject. All we can do is hope that those who receive this message will understand the same – until it happens, nobody can be certain regardless of the evidence. Don’t be deceived into believing that you know for sure what role the Catholic Church, Islam, or any of the other end times components play.

Just be watchful.

The universal God concept

There is one God. He is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

For a while now, there are those who are trying to distil the concept of a god into a singular overarching entity, theory, or belief system. They try to bring unity to the religions so that everything works together. They say that concepts of Allah, Buddha, and other religious entities are all the same seen from different perspectives.

Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, – Romans 1:22

There are two really big problems with this (other than the fact that it’s clearly false). The first is that it allows for influences to creep into the minds and lifestyles of true believers. It would have been utterly disgraceful not too long ago for a Christian to practice yoga or to read books like The Secret. Today, it’s not only commonplace but has been inserted into a spiritual mindset that establishes connections between the secular worldview and the Biblical worldview.

The second problem is that it misleads people to believe that there are many paths or inclusive ways to reach our Heavenly conclusion. It can be challenging to believe that our Father would allow so many billions of people to suffer eternal damnation. However, as Yeshua said in Matthew, strait is the gate and narrow is the way. The wide gate mentality is spreading and confusing people to the point that they are looking hopefully towards an inclusive end result.

There is only one way. There is only one true God. There is only one Messiah. While our human sensibilities demand for us to believe that a loving Father would never be so condemning, we must understand that it’s His Love for us that allows for salvation. Seeing the truth is easy when we are rooted in true faith through reading the Bible, constant prayer, fasting, and following the guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the deceptions of the adversary that confuse us.

It makes me so sad to think of those who must go through eternity feeling like they were deceived without possibility of understanding. I envision the gnashing of teeth during eternity happening because people feel like they were not given a fair chance to understand, that they were allowed to suffer because God did not make it clear enough to them. It’s an overwhelming thought, but we must understand that it has never been hard. The truth has been placed on our heart and the instructions are right there for us in the Bible.

Final Note

Be diligent with your studies but be even more diligent with your prayers. The faith will be shaken as events unfold. Do not let the deceptions that are so prevalent in the world today take you down a wrong path.

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Culture and Religion

Sometimes it’s the little wrongs that stick

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Sometimes its the little wrongs that stick

I was a pretty cocky kid.

It’s something that I get to hear a lot lately, especially when connecting with old friends from high school and college. I remember thinking that I wouldn’t be that guy, the one who looks back while on the second half of a standard life and calls himself stupid, but that’s exactly what I’ve started doing. I was a cocky, stupid kid.

There are several instances that I can recall that had an effect on the way that I grew and would eventually point me to dedicate my life to Christ. One of those events was very small, so small that the person I “wronged” likely doesn’t even remember the incident.

I was managing a steak house in Oklahoma City. I was the youngest of the managers of what was supposed to be a summer job and ended up supporting my young family for three years. I was cocky (and did I mention I was stupid as well?) and took pride in my ability to diffuse situations. It wasn’t a fancy steak house. In fact, it was a two-story, 550-seat monster that served hundreds of steaks every night.

One particular evening I was helping one of the servers by taking the order. It was a special day for the patriarch of the family and they were celebrating – what exactly I don’t recall or perhaps never knew. The special day man had one important request – no Texas toast. His wife (or daughter, couldn’t tell for sure) said that he was extremely allergic to anything that had bread and I assured her that no bread would touch his plate. I plugged in the order, put the special instructions in all caps (NO BREAD NO BREAD NO BREAD) and went on to see to the hundreds of other guests as well as the staff.

I was walking by the table, just checking in, when the food came. Time went into slow-motion mode as the plate was put down in front of him with a big, buttery piece of Texas toast right smack dab on his 14 oz. ribeye. The look on the wife/daughter’s face has always stuck with me. It was pure disappointment, shock, and even a little bit of fear all flashing before me in technicolor slow motion.

Instantly, I reached down and grabbed the plate, but the man grabbed my arm. His fury was clear. I told him that I would get him a new steak, but refused to let go. He wanted to keep that steak hostage to make certain that we didn’t just take it to the back, pull of the bread, and serve him the same steak. I assured him that we wouldn’t do that but he was firm. He didn’t believe me and that made me mad.

In the same situation today, I wouldn’t have tried to take the steak back. In fact, I would have left one more instruction on the ticket – “Page ME for delivery”. I would have made certain that the bread didn’t go on his plate. Instead, I allowed myself to get angry. I took it out on the staff that couldn’t read instructions. I took it out on the table that had a special occasion ruined. I didn’t even comp the meal because of my petty, stupid, cocky anger.

For all I know, they never thought about it again. For all I know, the man was emotionally unstable and hurt someone that night due to my mistakes. His grip was very strong, the type of grip that one can’t get by working out. It only comes from working through life with your hands.

It’s the fear in the wife/daughter’s eyes that I’ve never been able to shake for two decades. Mad – understandable. Disappointed – who wouldn’t be? Fear – that’s something that was distinct. She wasn’t looking at me. She was looking at him. She was waiting for his response. I don’t recall if I truly saw it out of the corner of my eye or if it has emerged through my imagination over the years, but I think she even looked up at me with a subtle, desperate shake of her head as I tried to pry the plate from his grip as if she was warning me that this many might kill me over the mistake.

We never know the effects of our actions. We don’t know what little thing we might do that causes someone to snap, something bad to happen, or something life-changing that could have been avoided by being a little less stupid, a little less cocky, and a lot more like a believer in Jesus Christ should act.

I never had the chance to apologize properly to the family. Maybe that’s why it stuck with me for all of these years. The slow motion look of mixed, terrible emotions – I pray that my little act of defiance didn’t cause pain to anyone.

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Culture and Religion

Do not presume to know if someone is saved, even if they’re pro-abortion pastors

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Do not presume to know if someone is saved even if theyre pro-abortion pastors

This could very easily turn into a discussion about Arminianism versus Calvinism, but that’s a topic I’m still not ready to tackle on this site. One thing I will tackle is the presumptive nature that guides many people to make calls about who is a Christian and who’s a false-Christian as if they’re baseball umpires calling balls or strikes.

It’s something I’ve faced on literally hundreds if not thousands of occasions over the years. People will read my bio on the various social networks, then use my proclamation of being a Christian to call out my posts. Heck, it happened twice today on a reply I sent to Kamala Harris on Twitter that had absolutely nothing to do with faith. I’ve grown used to it, and I try my hardest to never let it get to me on a personal level. I’ve found that many who call me out for a Tweet or Facebook post are simply disagreeing with the content and trying to shame me by saying it’s not very Christian-like. This is a common tactic, folks, so be mindful of it if you face similar complaints.

But today I’d like to discuss a similar situation. Should Christians call out other’s who profess to be Christians based on actions or perspectives that are clearly non-Biblical? The answer to this question, in my humble opinion, is yes and no. Yes, I believe it behooves us as Bible-believers to call out the actions of others, particularly if they profess to be Christians. No, I do not believe we should be claiming people are not Christians because of their misguided beliefs or actions. That’s a call that’s way above our pay grade.

For example, there was a lot of controversy over a letter by 150 Christian leaders who support a pro-choice stance. As most Christians know, abortion is not a Biblical practice and is spoken against in the Bible itself. We should definitely be calling on those who are supportive of abortion and who also profess their faith, but we shouldn’t be telling them they’re going to burn in hell over their perspective, that they have no Grace, or that they’re not really Christians. I said it before and I can’t really say it enough – such things are above our pay grade.

We know from the Bible what God disapproves of, but we are not capable of known WHO God approves of, as in who He considers to be saved as a Christian. When we tell people who believe they are saved that they’re actually not saved because they believe in abortion, we’re presuming to know God’s Will on such matters. We do not.

If we want to call out the sin, that’s proper. If we’re telling a sinner they’re condemned to hell because of their sin, it’s like taking on the role of passing eternal judgment. That is not our calling. Mind your tongues, folks. God does.

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Culture and Religion

Michael J. Knowles on the reality of ‘white privilege’ and intersectionality

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Michael J Knowles on the reality of white privilege and intersectionality

There’s a strange contradiction that’s been essentially taking over the mentality of many leftists for some time now. The contradiction has to do with bigotry and is framed around the concept of “white privilege.”

If you’re white, you instantly have privilege in their eyes. If you also happen to be a straight male, you really, really have privilege. This characterization by the left does two things. It paints those who are straight male Caucasians as not being capable of experiencing the types of hardships experienced by others and it forces anyone who is not a straight male Caucasian to embrace their victimhood if they’re going to be part of the leftist tribe.

This is, of course, all ludicrous. White privilege is a myth in today’s America. There are enough safeguards to protect those who aren’t straight white males from persecuting the rest of us, and those safeguards have been working. But that’s not enough for the left. They aren’t looking for equality. They want the status they place on people of having “white privilege” to work against them.

Michael J. Knowles and Andrew Klavan from the DailyWire took to Texas A&M to discuss some of the challenges leftists force onto people, particularly at college campuses in America. The event, hosted by YAF, yielded an extremely interesting series of discussions. You can watch the whole event here.

Knowles was asked about “white privilege” and gave a thoughtful response. Here’s one important quote from his answer:

“Ironically what this ideology does is it turns privilege into victimhood and it turns victimhood into privilege, and that’s the upside down world of the left, and it’s why they go after you on immutable characteristics such as the color of your skin and your biology and your chromosomes.”

Will there ever come a time when the left is willing to look past our gender, religion, sexual preference, or the color of our skin and simply see people as who they are? The way things are going, it doesn’t seem like it.

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