Review last messsge – LATBIN: The Testing of Your Faith, 9.27.20
The #1 characteristic of the ET that Jesus & Paul emphasized – Is it deception, natural disasters, persecution, pervasive sin & darkness , anti-Christ or division & conflict/war?
Deception – Matt. 24.4f, 11, 23f, 26; 2 Th.2.9f; 1 Tim.4.1; 2 Tim.4.3f; 2 Pet 2-3; I John 2 & 4; Jude
This sign is emphasized more than any others. Satan used deception to ensnare A&E and he tried to use to get Jesus to sin. Deception will abound during the end time…false values, practices, beliefs, assurance (wise & foolish bridesmaids) teachings, prophets, miracle workers and messiahs.
Esp important as we see falsehood pushed at us through social media & news, it is influencing all parts of society. It is not limited to matters of faith (who is Jesus, is the Bible true, the way of salvation etc) but it is influencing every societal issue we are facing. We’ve come to the point where we can’t trust leaders, institutions or each other.
strong> Why is deceit & falsehood so prevalent during the End Times?<
The Devil is a deceiver – John 8.44; Rev.12.9.
He is a liar & deceiver at every level – morals, sciences, politics, religion, relationships, finances – and he is always planting lies.
Deception divides and then destroys.
Starting a rumor about someone based upon a partial truth…watch how it spreads…then impacts…the outcome. Or, pushing so much information at you that you can’t see the other side and you don’t think there is any other alternative.
Here’s how I judge is something deceptive – Is what I am listening to, reading or watching drawing me closer to the expression of God’s heart of love for others and/or is developing within me the fruit of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience,
When I take upon something (beliefs, perspectives, attitudes, words, actions) towards a person or group that is contrary to the Spirit of Jesus I am opening myself up to deception.
This doesn’t mean I am to be undiscerning, but neither does it mean I can be unloving, unkind, harsh or suspicious.
I am to be discerning and I am to be loving.
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When people embrace deception and reject or dismiss the truth, it hardens their heart so that they eventually become resistant and dead to the truth. The Truth becomes background noise.
Jesus said His words are “spirit and life”; Heb.4 says God’s word is living and active. His truth has life to it and I believe embracing deception/lie extinguishes the life-giving power of the Word.
The Faithful Witness of Daniel & His Friends
Babylon represents the ET culture that tries to control people either through compromise or persecution. Nimrod, the founder of Babylon, was the first dictator who controlled people for ungodly purposes. Rev.17-18 identifies Babylon as the prevailing culture that controls people through compromise and affluence.
Babylon tries to control Daniel and his friends by compromise and then persecution.
Summary of Dan.1-6
1 – no compromise Biblical truth concerning what they were to eat. They lived the truth.
3 & 6 – No compromise for worshipping only God and therefore choosing death for their conviction. They were willing to die for their truth.
4 & 5 – Daniel speaks words of convictional truth to rebellious kings. Will you speak the truth regardless of the audience?
Summary: They were willing to live, speak & die for the truth
The increasing persecution against Christians will revolve around truth
We must faithfully abide in the truth – believe it and live it.
What we believe, how we speak, and what we do all lines up with the Word of God…they persecuted Jesus and you will be persecuted for your faith. In this seven months of testing, God is giving us time to get strong in our faith convictions and faith expressions.
If we don’t succumb to compromise, then Babylon tries to make us submit through persecution. Persecution is increasing.
WE must fearlessly speak the truth – say it with love and candor. Daniel and his friends did. They spoke the truth boldly, directly and respectfully.
We must freely die for the Truth – Daniel and his friends realized there was a Higher King and Greater Court of Law they were held accountable to and they were matter-of-fact in their commitment to the truth.
The increasing persecution might not lead to your death, but it may lead to your marginalization or separation from family, friends and co-workers who either don’t agree with you or cannot stand in the time of fire. As a follower of Jesus, you have to decide that you are willing to die, not with a gun in your hand, but with the cross of Christ on your back – for if any person wants to follow me, he must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me.