A mass insanity and blindness seems to have struck the Church. One right after the other, church after church, ministry after ministry, individual after individual is being tainted by compromise and slowly poisoned by deception. Many are being deceived and do not even know it. They feel that they are Christians, they know the Bible and they are just fine, thank you very much. However, it is evident from what they say and what is influencing them that they do not know the Bible and they are not just fine. Everyone seems to forget that Adam and Eve really knew God. They walked and talked with God. They knew His presence. And Eve, at least, was most definitely deceived. She was deceived with what appeared to be truth, and Adam thought it sounded pretty good too. After all, he ate the fruit and disobeyed just like Eve. He did not correct her. So, both of them literally and spiritually swallowed the lie. Even the Israelites when coming out of Egypt knew God and His power quite well. They’d seen the plagues, they’d experienced the baptism of the Red Sea, the delight of eating heavenly bread, and miracle after miracle of God; they even entered into a covenant with Him, saying they would adhere to all the words of the law. Immediately after covenanting with God, Moses ascended the mountain, and within 40 days the people crafted a golden calf, called that calf Yahweh God, ate like gluttons, drank like sailors, and danced like strippers before the idol until most of them were shamefully naked in the eyes of the nations around them.
Today is no different. Christians are still lingering at the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, listening to the mesmerizing words of the serpent through their favorite leader or group. They long for spiritual, supernatural experiences and unity in the body of Christ, and thus, gullibly swallow the fruit that appears good on the outside but is poison on the inside. Sadly enough, even as Johanna Michaelsen (Formerly New Age/Author of The Beautiful Side of Evil) thought herself a Christian and named her spirit guide Jesus, Christians who are in covenant with God are breaking that covenant for their own various versions of golden idols.
Truly, there are many golden calves these days, all called by the name of Jesus. From Ecumenism and the unification of pagan Catholicism with do-gooder Protestants, to the seeking after angelic apparitions and experiences, the lying signs and wonders of the New Apostolic Reformation and their leaders are now gaining acceptance via a platform with those Christian leaders who are respected, the disgusting penetration of New Age mysticism and philosophies inundating the church through popular books and teachings, YWAM and other missionary groups and Bible translators are going down the wrong path of syncretism, ecumenism, and environmentalism, the foul infiltration of Necromancy and Grave Sucking/Soaking, the stench of witchcraft and sorcery in the church that goes undiscerned and uncorrected, the grim truth of major Christian leaders denying Christ is the ONLY WAY, and the sickening odor of Christians working side by side for humanitarian agendas with those of non-Christian religions, with those lacking morals or restraint in sin, and they do so without telling them the Gospel message.
What ought to strike hard at any Christian who feels safe in their Christianity today is the following. 2 Timothy 3, 2 Peter 2, Matthew 24, and Luke 21 speak of these days in which we now live wherein false teachers and false prophets are prolific, like moss on trees in a southern bayou. Indeed, Paul emphatically warns the Corinthian Christians in 1 Corinthians 10 that Israel thought they were secure in God, but they were not. What happened to Israel was an example to us as Christians of what can and is happening to us today. Thus, Paul says, “let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” (I Corinthians 10:12). Think about this….in Revelation 2-3 Jesus sends messages to the seven churches and only 2 of the 7 are pure before Him, and 5 are not! 5?????!!! Those odds are not good! What is it that’s contaminating the 5?
**Pergamos’ adherence to the doctrine of Balaam, who for money taught that eating things sacrificed to idols and fornication is acceptable and/or there is no teaching against immorality or the eating things sacrificed to idols.
**Thyatira’s acceptance and tolerance of those who call themselves prophets (Jezebel) yet are false prophets who encourage Christians to commit fornication and to eat meat sacrificed to idols and/or do not dissuade such behavior.
**Sardis who appears to be alive, but they are not watchful and are not recognizing the signs of the times; they are not awake to know Jesus is coming soon; they are not alert to know that evil is infiltrating; they are busy doing good deeds, but are spiritually dead.
**Ephesus was so busy combating evil in the church, false prophets, false teachers, and false doctrines (including Nicolaitanism which is essentially syncretism/mysticism) that their love has grown cold toward their fellow Christians. This is not about losing love for Jesus or His word. It is obvious from this passage that they are fervent for truth and Jesus. However, they have lost their love for one another, and the importance of correcting in love.
**And then there is the Laodicean compromising, lukewarm Church, who thinks they are rich and have need of nothing, and yet are “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked” (3:17). Take careful note….they THINK they are rich and in need of nothing.
All of these Christians thought they knew the Word of God, yet all of them were holding on to a false doctrine, a false belief, even a compromising faith. All of these Christians thought they were in the light, but all of them were in darkness. All of these Christians thought they were safe and sound, but Jesus said they were on the verge of having their lampstand removed, were threatened with great tribulation and death, told that He will come to them as a thief, and were even to the point of possibly having their names blotted out of the Book of Life. All of these Christians thought they had it right, but all of these Christians were deceived. All of these Christians professed Jesus, but all of them were called to repent.
These are the last days churches. These are the last days Christians. That means that Jesus is talking to you and to me. And that means that if we are not of the persecuted Smyrna and Philadelphia churches, then we are of one of the others. That is the odd thing about deception though…one never thinks one is deceived! Nevertheless, Revelation 2-3 is crystal clear that 5 out of 7 Churches (and thus the people in them) will be and are deceived and are in need of repentance. So the question is, of what must each of us repent?