Prophecies Happening NOW
DECEPTION WITHIN THE CHURCH - APOSTASY
A Sign of the End of the Age

Deception in the Church - The Great Apostasy 

(Hope For Our Times w/ Brandon Holthaus)

Signs of the End of the Age

1 Timothy 4:1-3 – The Great Apostasy

1Ti 4:1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, 3 forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving 

Matthew 24:3-25 – The Signs of the Times and the End of the Age

Mt 24:3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” 4 And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.  …11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. …23 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. 24 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand.

 

Luke 21:7-8 – The Signs of the Times and the End of the Age

Lk 21:7 So they asked Him, saying, “Teacher, but when will these things be? And what sign will there be when these things are about to take place?” 8 And He said: “Take heed that you not be deceived. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and, ‘The time has drawn near.’ Therefore do not go after them.

 

Mark 13:The Signs of the Times and the End of the Age

Mk 13:3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked Him privately, 4 “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign when all these things will be fulfilled?” 5 And Jesus, answering them, began to say: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 6 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and will deceive many. … 21 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘Look, He is there!’ do not believe it. 22 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 23 But take heed; see, I have told you all things beforehand.

2 Thessalonians 2:3-12 – The Great Apostasy

2Th 2:3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. 5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? 6 And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

 

LAST DAY CHURCHES

Matthew 7:15-20 – You Will Know Them by Their Fruits

Mt 7:15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

 

Churches in the Last Days

Jesus explains that the final three churches addressed in the Seven Letters to the Seven Churches (Revelation 3) come to three different situations based on this demonic deception.

  • Sardis Church: called the ‘dead’ church for their dead faith. They are rebuked for this and exhorted to “watch,” or they will be caught unaware of His coming.

The Dead Church (Tribulation Saints)

Rev 3:1 “And to the angel of the church in Sardis write, ‘These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: “I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. 2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God. 3 Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you. 4 You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. 5 He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. 6 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” ’

 

  • Philadelphian Church: refuses to give into the world, and as a result, has little strength. They have not denied His name and remain true to God’s word. For this, they receive no condemnation and will be delivered before the global hour of testing. 

 

The Faithful Church (Remnant to be raptured)

Rev 3:7 “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, ‘These things says He who is holy, He who is true, “He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens”: 8 “I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name. 9 Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie—indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you. 10 Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. 11 Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. 12 He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name. 13 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” ’

 

  • Laodicean Church: given over to the world, acquires abundant luxuries, and claim they need nothing. In reality, they are poor, blind, and naked. They neither confirm nor deny anything that would cause them discomfort. Their lukewarmness makes Jesus want to puke! 

 

The Lukewarm Church (Tares)

Rev 3:14 “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: 15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. 21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. 22 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” ’ ”

Because the Laodicean church seemingly becomes the final, dominant face of Christendom on the earth, their refusal to stand up for the truth (i.e., lukewarmness) results in an explosion of apostasy. Countless false teachers, false prophets, and false messiahs arise due to the churches inability or unwillingness to stand for the truth, and millions are led astray.    

        

  • Mt 7:13 "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

  • Mt 24:4 Jesus answered: "Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many.

  • Mt 11:24 But I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you."

  • 2Pe 2:1 But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves.

  • Jude 1:4 For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.

 

Will there be a great apostasy during the end times?

https://www.gotquestions.org/great-apostasy.html

The Bible indicates that there will be a great apostasy during the end times. The “great apostasy” is mentioned in 2 Thessalonians 2:3. The KJV calls it the “falling away,” while the NIV and ESV call it “the rebellion.” And that’s what an apostasy is: a rebellion, an abandonment of the truth. The end times will include a wholesale rejection of God’s revelation, a further “falling away” of an already fallen world.

The occasion of Paul’s writing to the Thessalonians was to correct some of the errors concerning the end times that the believers had heard from false teachers. Among the falsehoods was that “the day of the Lord has already come” (2 Thessalonians 2:2). The Christians in Thessalonica were afraid that Jesus had already come, they had missed the rapture, and they were now in the tribulation. Paul had already explained the rapture to them in his first letter (1 Thessalonians 4:16–17). Paul writes his second letter to assure them that, contrary to what they had heard, and despite the persecution they were enduring, the “day of Christ” had not yet come.

In 2 Thessalonians 2:3, Paul makes it clear that the day of the Lord, a time of worldwide judgment (Isaiah 13:6Obadiah 1:15), will not transpire until two things happen. First, the falling away, or great apostasy, must occur. Second, the “man of lawlessness” must be revealed, he who is called the “son of perdition,” also known as the Antichrist. Once this person makes himself known, the end times will indeed have come. Numerous speculations about the identity of the man of sin, beginning in the first century, have included Caligula, Caius Caesar, Mohammed, Napoleon, and any number of Roman popes. None of them were the Antichrist.

The man of lawlessness, according to 2 Thessalonians 2:4, is the one who “will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.” Clearly, this has not yet happened; no one since Paul’s time has set himself up as God in the Jewish temple. Two thousand years have passed since the epistle was written, and the “day of the Lord” has not yet come. Paul assures us that it will not come until the falling away comes first.

The Greek word translated “rebellion” or “falling away” in verse 3 is apostasia, from which we get the English word apostasy. It refers to a general defection from the true God, the Bible, and the Christian faith. Every age has its defectors, but the falling away at the end times will be complete and worldwide. The whole planet will be in rebellion against God and His Christ. Every coup requires a leader, and into this global apostasy will step the Antichrist. We believe this takes place after the church has been raptured from the earth.

Jesus warned the disciples concerning the final days in Matthew 24:10–12: “At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold.” These are the characteristics of the great apostasy of the end times.

The English expression “apostasy” or “falling away” comes from the Greek noun apostasia

There are two major views on what is meant through the noun apostasia:

  • The majority view is that it is speaking of a spiritual departure, such as the unbelieving world embracing the Antichrist. Most Christians today believe that this is what is meant and that is the sign that Paul gives here.

    • Deception – False Gospel – Paul writes about deception in every letter

  • According to the second view, the apostasia is not a spiritual departure but rather represents a physical or spatial departure. If this latter view is accurate, Paul’s simple point to the Thessalonian believers is that they could not possibly be in the Tribulation period because their physical departure, or the pretribulation rapture that he had already taught you about, has not yet transpired.

 
 

What is apostasy and how can I recognize it?

https://www.gotquestions.org/apostasy.html

Apostasy, from the Greek word apostasia, means “a defiance of an established system or authority; a rebellion; an abandonment or breach of faith.” In the first-century world, apostasy was a technical term for political revolt or defection. Just like in the first century, spiritual apostasy threatens the Body of Christ today.

The Bible warns about people like Arius (c. AD 250—336), a Christian priest from Alexandria, Egypt, who was trained at Antioch in the early fourth century. About AD 318, Arius accused Bishop Alexander of Alexandria of subscribing to Sabellianism, a false teaching that asserted that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were merely roles or modes assumed by God at various times. Arius was determined to emphasize the oneness of God; however, he went too far in his teaching of God’s nature. Arius denied the Trinity and introduced what appeared on the surface to be an inconsequential difference between the Father and Son.

Arius argued that Jesus was not homoousios (“of the same essence”) as the Father, but was rather homoiousios (“of similar essence”). Only one Greek letter—the iota (ι)—separated the two. Arius described his position in this manner: “The Father existed before the Son. There was a time when the Son did not exist. Therefore, the Son was created by the Father. Therefore, although the Son was the highest of all creatures, he was not of the essence of God.”

Arius was clever and did his best to get the people on his side, even going so far as to compose little songs that taught his theology, which he tried to teach to everyone who would listen. His winsome nature, asceticism, and revered position as a preacher also contributed to his cause.

With respect to apostasy, it is critical that all Christians understand two important things: (1) how to recognize apostasy and apostate teachers, and (2) why apostate teaching is so deadly.

The Forms of Apostasy


To fully identify and combat apostasy, Christians should understand its various forms and the traits that characterize its doctrines and teachers. As to the forms of apostasy, there are two main types: (1) a falling away from key and true doctrines of the Bible into heretical teachings that claim to be “the real” Christian doctrine, and (2) a complete renunciation of the Christian faith, which results in a full abandonment of Christ.

Arius represents the first form of apostasy—a denial of key Christian truths (such as the divinity of Christ) that begins a downhill slide into a full departure from the faith, which is the second form of apostasy. The second form almost always begins with the first. A heretical belief becomes a heretical teaching that splinters and grows until it pollutes all aspects of a person’s faith, and then the end goal of Satan is accomplished, which is a complete falling away from Christianity.

A 2010 study by Daniel Dennett and Linda LaScola called “Preachers Who Are Not Believers.” Dennett and LaScola’s work chronicles five different preachers who over time were presented with and accepted heretical teachings about Christianity and now have completely fallen away from the faith. These pastors are either pantheists or clandestine atheists. One of the most disturbing truths highlighted in the study is that these preachers maintain their position as pastors of Christian churches with their congregations being unaware of their leader’s true spiritual state.

The Characteristics of Apostasy and Apostates


Jude was the half brother of Jesus and a leader in the early church. In his New Testament letter, he outlines how to recognize apostasy and strongly urges those in the body of Christ to contend earnestly for the faith (Jude 1:3). The Greek word translated “contend earnestly” is a compound verb from which we get the word agonize. It is in the present infinitive form, which means that the struggle will be continuous. In other words, Jude says that there will be a constant fight against false teaching and that Christians should take it so seriously that we “agonize” over the fight in which we are engaged. Moreover, Jude makes it clear that every Christian is called to this fight, not just church leaders, so it is critical that all believers sharpen their discernment skills so that they can recognize and prevent apostasy in their midst.

After urging his readers to contend earnestly for the faith, Jude highlights the reason: “For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ” (Jude 1:4). In this one verse, Jude provides Christians with three traits of apostasy and apostate teachers:

First, Jude says that apostasy can be subtle. Apostates have “crept” into the church. In extra-biblical Greek, the term Jude uses describes the cunning craftiness of a lawyer who, through clever argumentation, infiltrates the minds of courtroom officials and corrupts their thinking. The word literally means “slip in sideways; come in stealthily; sneak in.” In other words, Jude says it is rare that apostasy begins in an overt and easily detectable manner. Instead, it looks a lot like Arius’s doctrine—only a single letter, the iota, differentiates the false teaching from the true.

Describing this aspect of apostasy and its underlying danger, A. W. Tozer wrote, “So skilled is error at imitating truth, that the two are constantly being mistaken for each another. It takes a sharp eye these days to know which brother is Cain and which is Abel.” The apostle Paul also speaks to the outwardly pleasing behavior of apostates and their teaching: “For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:13–14). In other words, do not look for apostates to appear bad on the outside or speak dramatic words of heresy at the outset of their teaching. Rather than denying truth outright, apostates will twist it to fit their own agenda, but, as pastor R. C. Lensky has noted, “The worst forms of wickedness consist in perversions of the truth.”

Second, Jude describes apostates as “ungodly” and as those who use God’s grace as a license to commit unrighteous acts. Beginning with “ungodly,” Jude describes eighteen unflattering traits of apostates: they are ungodly (Jude 1:4), morally perverted (verse 4), denying Christ (verse 4), ones who defile the flesh (verse 8), rebellious (verse 8), people who revile angels (verse 8), who are ignorant about God (verse 8), those who proclaim false visions (verse 10), self-destructive (verse 10), grumblers (verse 16), faultfinders (verse 16), self-satisfying (verse 16), people who use arrogant words and false flattery (verse 16), mockers of God (verse 18), those who cause divisions (verse 19), worldly minded (verse 19), and finally (and not surprisingly), devoid of the Spirit/unsaved (verse 19).

Third, Jude says apostates “deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.” How do apostates do this? Paul tells us in his letter to Titus, “To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled. They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed” (Titus 1:15–16). Through their unrighteous behavior, the apostates show their true selves. Unlike an apostate, a true believer is someone who has been delivered from sin to righteousness in Christ and who refuses to continue in sin (Romans 6:1–2).

Ultimately, the sign of an apostate is that he eventually falls away and departs from the truth of God’s Word and His righteousness. The apostle John signifies this is a mark of a false believer: “They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us” (1 John 2:19).

Ideas Have Consequences


Every New Testament book except Philemon contains warnings about false teaching. Why is this? Simply because ideas have consequences. Right thinking and its fruit produce goodness, whereas wrong thinking and its accompanying action result in undesired penalties. As an example, the Cambodian killing fields in the 1970s were the product of the nihilistic worldview of Jean Paul Sartre and his teaching. The Khmer Rouge’s leader, Pol Pot, lived out Sartre’s philosophy toward the people in a clear and frightening way, which was articulated in this manner: “To keep you is no benefit. To destroy you is no loss.”

Satan did not come to the first couple in the Garden with an external armament or visible weapon; instead, he came to them with an idea. And it was that idea, embraced by Adam and Eve, that condemned them and the rest of humankind, with the only remedy being the sacrificial death of God’s Son.

The great tragedy is that, knowingly or unknowingly, the apostate teacher dooms his unsuspecting followers. Speaking to His disciples about the religious leaders of His day, Jesus said, “Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit” (Matthew 15:14, emphasis added). Alarmingly, it is not only false teachers who go to destruction, but their disciples follow them there. Christian philosopher Søren Kierkegaard put it this way: “For it has never yet been known to fail that one fool, when he goes astray, takes several others with him.”

Conclusion


In AD 325, the Council of Nicea convened primarily to take up the issue of Arius and his teaching. Much to Arius’s dismay, the end result was his excommunication and a statement in the Nicene Creed that affirms Christ’s divinity: “We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of all things visible and invisible; and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the only-begotten of his Father, of the substance of the Father, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten not made, being of one substance with the Father.”

Arius may have died centuries ago, but his spiritual children are still with us to this day in the form of cults like the Jehovah’s Witnesses and others who deny Christ’s true essence and person. Sadly, until Christ returns and every last spiritual enemy has been removed, tares such as these will be present among the wheat (Matthew 13:24–30). In fact, Scripture says apostasy will only get worse as Christ’s return approaches. “At that time [the latter days] many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another” (Matthew 24:10). Paul told the Thessalonians that a great falling away would precede Christ’s second coming (2 Thessalonians 2:3) and that the end times would be characterized by tribulation and hollow religious charlatans: “But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be . . . holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; avoid such men as these” (2 Timothy 3:1–25).

It is critical, now more than ever, that every believer pray for discernment, combat apostasy, and contend earnestly for the faith that was once and for all delivered to the saints.

What is apostasy and how can I recognize it?

Got Questions Ministries

What is apostasy and how can I recognize it? Why does apostasy so often go unrecognized? How can an apostate be recognized?

Will there be a great apostasy during the end times?

Got Questions Ministries

Will there be a great apostasy / falling away during the end times? What is apostasy? Why does the great apostasy need to occur before the antichrist will be revealed?

Apostasy Physical Departure

2 Thessalonians 2:3-12 – The Great Apostasy

2Th 2:3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. 5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? 6 And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

  • Andy Woods – The Falling Away

    • Woods, Andy. The Falling Away: Spiritual Departure or Physical Rapture?: A Second Look at 2 Thessalonians 2:3. Dispensational Publishing House. Kindle Edition.

    • “I believe that what is being spoken of here is not a spiritual departure but rather a physical departure, which would be a great source of evidence favoring the pretribulational view. What I would like to present are ten reasons why I believe that the physical or spatial understanding of apostasia in Second Thessalonians 2:3a is the correct interpretation, and why the spiritual departure view is an inadequate interpretation.”

    • 10 reasons why the Falling Away refers to a physical departure instead of a spiritual departure

      1. There have always been Doctrinal departures

      2. 2 Thessalonians was an early letter

      3. The definite article before the noun apostasia

      4. The noun apostasia can refer to a physical departure

      5. The verb aphistēmi can refer to a physical departure

      6. The extended context favors a physical departure interpretation of apostasia

      7. The immediate context favors a physical departure interpretation of apostasia

      8. 2 Thessalonians 2:3a is part of a review course

      9. Early Bible translations favor the physical departure view

      10. The physical departure view is held by credible scholars

 

  • 1599 Geneva Bible translation of 2Th 2:3 

2Th 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day [speaking of the tribulation] shall not come, except there come a departing first, and that that man of sin be disclosed, even the son of perdition.  

  • When is it that the translators changed the noun apostasy from departure or departing to falling away in the later translations?

  • Dr. Thomas Ice offers the following explanation:

 

Most scholars say that no one knows the reason for the translation shift. However, a plausible theory has been put forth by Martin Butalla in his Master of Theology thesis produced at Dallas Theology Seminary in 1998. It appears that the Catholic translation into English from Jerome’s Latin Vulgate known as the Rheims Bible (1576) was the first to break the translation trend. “Apostasia was revised from ‘the departure’ to ‘the Protestant Revolt,’” explains Butalla. “Revolution is the terminology still in use today when Catholicism teaches the history of the Protestant Reformation. Under this guise, apostasia would refer to a departure of Protestants from the Catholic Church.” The Catholic translators appear eager to engage in polemics against the Reformation by even allowing it to impact Bible translation.

 

  • Thus, the shift from a physical to a spiritual understanding of apostasia in Second Thessalonians 2:3a in the Roman Catholic Rheims Bible English translation appears to have been theologically rather than exegetically motivated.

    • The campaign now with a dying Catholic church in these last days is come back home.

 

  • Furthermore, in 1611 the King James translators translated apostasia in Second Thessalonians 2:3a with the expression, “falling away.” This is perhaps the second time that we begin to see a spiritual departure understanding of this verse enter an English translation. Why did the King James translators translate it as a spiritual departure when virtually everybody else, going back to Jerome, thought it was speaking of a physical departure? The answer most likely lies in the fact the KJV translation was created in the wake of the Protestant Reformation. Consequently, the translators wanted to apply the verse to the Roman Catholic Church, which represented a “falling away” from the truth. Thus, the translators of both the Rheims Bible and the KJV errantly embraced the theological interpretation “falling way” in lieu of the longstanding exegetical interpretation “departing” that had been faithfully handed down to them. Most modern translations follow the pattern established by the King James Version.

 

  • What difference does it really make if Second Thessalonians 2:3a is speaking of a spiritual departure or a physical departure?

    • A physical departure translation confirms a pre-tribulation rapture

    • The reason it matters is because there has been for over at least the last century a vigorous debate amongst those who believe in a future Tribulation period and subsequent kingdom, concerning the question, “When the rapture will take place relative to the coming Tribulation period?”

      • Pre-tribulationalists believe that the rapture takes place before the Tribulation period begins.

      • Mid-tribulationalists believe that the rapture is going to take place in the middle of the tribulation period.

      • Post-tribulationalists believe that the rapture will take place at the end of the tribulation period.

      • Prewrath rapturists contend that the rapture will take place at some point in the second half of the Tribulation period.

    • If verse 3a, is talking about a physical departure and not a spiritual departure, then the debate concerning when the rapture will transpire is all but over.

    • Paul says, “…that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first” (2 Thess. 2:3a).

      • The word translated “first” is the Greek adjective prōton, which means “first of all.”

      • If a physical departure must first transpire before the Day of the Lord can even begin, then it becomes a decisive victory for pretribulationalism. Thus, how one interprets Second Thessalonians 2:3a is of grave consequence to the longstanding debate concerning the timing of the rapture.

FALLING AWAY or THE RAPTURE????

James Kaddis w/ Andy Woods

Today Pastors James and Andy Woods will be discussing 2 Thessalonians 2:3. Does this refer to a falling away, or are we taking about the rapture? The answer may surprise you!!! 

 

Apostasy Spiritual Falling Away

  • The change for the Biblical translation of apostasia happened in the 1576 Catholic Rheims Bible translation when apostasia was revised from ‘the departure’ to ‘the departure of Protestants from the Catholic Church'

    • It was ​continued by the 1611 the King James translators who wanted to apply the verse to the Roman Catholic Church, which represented a “falling away” from the truth.

    • Thus, the translators of both the Rheims Bible and the KJV errantly embraced the theological interpretation “falling way” in lieu of the longstanding exegetical interpretation “departing” that had been faithfully handed down to them.

    • See Apostasy Physical Departure

    • As it turns out, however, the definition as a spiritual falling away is also appropriate!

  • Apostasy comes from the Greek word apostasia, meaning “a defiance of an established system or authority; a rebellion; an abandonment or breach of faith.”

    • It carries the idea of a departure or a falling away, a forsaking of the truth, a defection from the truth, a revolt from the truth, and a swerving away from the truth.

  • There are two main types of spiritual apostasy.

    • The first form of apostasy—a denial of key Christian truths (such as the divinity of Christ) often begins a downhill slide into a full departure from the faith, which is the second form of apostasy.

    • The second form almost always begins with the first. A heretical belief becomes a heretical teaching that splinters and grows until it pollutes all aspects of a person’s faith, and then the end goal of Satan is accomplished, which is a complete falling away from Christianity.

We are warned about those who preach another Jesus and a different spirit and a different gospel.

  • 2Co 11:4 For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it!

 

But it’s not just general warnings we want to deal with. There are specific prophecies that deal with last day apostasy.

  • Humanism, materialism, and hedonism

    • Lovers of self is humanism, lovers of money is materialism, and lovers of pleasure is hedonism.

    • 2Ti 3:1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! 6 For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, 7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 8 Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; 9 but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was.

 

  • People will not endure sound doctrine

    • 2Ti 4:1 I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: 2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. 5 But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

    • 1Ti 4:1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, 3 forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving 

    • 2Co 11:4 For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it!

    • 2Ti 3:2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! 6 For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, 7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 

 

  • People will deny Christ’s return

    • 2Pe 3:3 knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, 4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” 5 For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, 6 by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. 7 But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

 

In summary, this is what we’re going to see in the end times according to this brief survey of Scripture.

  • False prophets that seem like true prophets

  • False Gospels contrary to the Biblical Gospel

  • False concepts of Jesus Christ

  • Substitute spiritualties

  • A departure from sound teaching

  • The embracing of religious myths

  • A form of godliness without true spiritual power

  • Humanism, materialism, and hedonism

Contend for the Faith

Jude 1:3-4 – Contend for the Faith

Jude 1:3 Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. 4 For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Jude outlines how to recognize apostasy and strongly urges those in the body of Christ to contend earnestly for the faith.

  • Contend earnestly

    • The Greek word translated “contend earnestly” is a compound verb from which we get the word agonize. It is in the present infinitive form, which means that the struggle will be continuous.

    • In other words, Jude says that there will be a constant fight against false teaching and that Christians should take it so seriously that we “agonize” over the fight in which we are engaged.

    • Moreover, Jude makes it clear that every Christian is called to this fight, not just church leaders, so it is critical that all believers sharpen their discernment skills so that they can recognize and prevent apostasy in their midst.
       

In Jude 1:4, Jude provides Christians with three traits of apostasy and apostate teachers:

  • Subtle – First, Jude says that apostasy can be subtle – apostates have “crept” into the church.

    • In extra-biblical Greek, the term Jude uses describes the cunning craftiness of a lawyer who, through clever argumentation, infiltrates the minds of courtroom officials and corrupts their thinking.

      • The word literally means “slip in sideways; come in stealthily; sneak in.”

      • In other words, Jude says it is rare that apostasy begins in an overt and easily detectable manner. Instead, it’s only a single letter, the iota, differentiates the false teaching from the true.

    • Describing this aspect of apostasy and its underlying danger, A. W. Tozer wrote, “So skilled is error at imitating truth, that the two are constantly being mistaken for each another. It takes a sharp eye these days to know which brother is Cain and which is Abel.”

    • The apostle Paul also speaks to the outwardly pleasing behavior of apostates and their teaching: “For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:13–14). In other words, do not look for apostates to appear bad on the outside or speak dramatic words of heresy at the outset of their teaching. Rather than denying truth outright, apostates will twist it to fit their own agenda, but, as pastor R. C. Lensky has noted, “The worst forms of wickedness consist in perversions of the truth.”
       

  • Ungodly – Second, Jude describes apostates as “ungodly” and as those who use God’s grace as a license to commit unrighteous acts. Beginning with “ungodly,” Jude describes the unflattering traits of apostates:

Jude 1:4 For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ….

8 Likewise also these dreamers defile the flesh, reject authority, and speak evil of dignitaries. …

10 But these speak evil of whatever they do not know; and whatever they know naturally, like brute beasts, in these things they corrupt themselves. 

16 These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage. 

18 how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. 19 These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit.

 

  • Deny – Third, Jude says apostates “deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.” How do apostates do this?

    • Titus 1:15 To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled. 16 They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.

    • Through their unrighteous behavior, the apostates show their true selves. Unlike an apostate, a true believer is someone who has been delivered from sin to righteousness in Christ and who refuses to continue in sin (Romans 6:1–2).

    • Ultimately, the sign of an apostate is that he eventually falls away and departs from the truth of God’s Word and His righteousness.

    • The apostle John signifies this is a mark of a false believer:

1Jn 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.

 

Apostasy in the Church

Lamb and Lion Ministries - Prophetic Perspectives #36

What counters the growing apostasy in our churches today?

The Great Apostasy: What to Do (Rock Harbor Church Prophecy)

Scripture predicts that when the Latter days commence of the current Age, then the church would go into the Great Apostasy. The sign that the last days have begun was WWI because Messiah answered a question from the disciples concerning what would be the sign of the last days. Messiah then used a rabbinic term “Nation would rise against nation and Kingdom against Kingdom” to indicate the sign that the last days has begun. Therefore, since we are now in the last days of the church we should expect to see a growing apostasy in the church causing the church to be fully leavened with false doctrine except a remnant piece of the loaf. This would also coincide with this Apostasy happening Today we will discuss what we are to do as Remnant Philadelphia/Smyrna believers.

The Church: Hijacked and Infiltrated

Understanding the Times - Jan Markell and Curtis Bowers

Jan Markell spends the hour with Curtis Bowers, producer of the Agenda DVD found in our online store. How has the Marxist agenda made its way into your church or denomination? What can we do to push back against the present darkness in America and the world? 

Enemies Within the Church

Understanding the Times - Jan Markell and Cary Gordon

Jan Markell spends the hour with Pastor Cary Gordon, one of the producers of the new film, “Enemies Within the Church”.  The film says certain organizations and individuals are hijacking the gospel. What kind of damage are Andy Stanley, Russell Moore, Jim Wallis, the NAE, and the Southern Baptist Convention doing today? If unchecked, “wokeness” and Leftism will destroy all it touches.

Before the Wrath - Apostasy Teaser Clip (​Ingenuity Films)

A scene from new the hit docudrama, Before the Wrath, narrated by Kevin Sorbo (God's Not Dead) and directed by Brent Miller Jr. Available now at www.BeforeTheWrath.com

Before the Wrath - 10 Minute Preview (Ingenuity Films)

Critics are calling this best-selling film "mind-blowing, urgent and necessary" -The Dove Foundation. While scholars debate the timing of the Rapture, the world has lost why this event is prophesied to occur in the first place; knowledge that was once understood by those in the first century. Today, researchers in the Middle-East have rediscovered ancient anthropological evidence from the time of Christ that reveals exactly how and why the Rapture must occur; unveiling new biblical insight that will reignite hope for believers and prepare the world for what's coming. Learn more at www.BeforeTheWrath.com

WHEAT, TARES, and CHAFF - All refer to "Christians"

  • Tares (False Wheat, weeds, darnels) – Fake Christians, Unsaved

    • ζιζάνια  [zizania]

      • A weed called lolium temulentum or 'darnel'.

      • Looks identical to wheat in the early stages of growth

        • A poisonous plant related to wheat and virtually indistinguishable from it until the ears form.

        • In some regions, the darnel is called 'false wheat'.

      • It is only in the later stages of growth that the difference between the two becomes apparent.

      • If you eat the seeds from the tare, it cause severe nausea, produces vomit, severe headaches, and a host of other illnesses.

    • Jesus explains that the tares represent the "sons of the wicked one".

      • They are placed on purpose by Satan right alongside the children of the kingdom.

      • The enemy’s purpose in sowing tares among the wheat was to destroy the wheat.

      • But the wise farmer would not allow the enemy to succeed. Instead, the farmer decided to sort it out at harvest time.

    • Knowing that the darnel (tare) is virtually identical to the wheat for much of its life unlocks some great truths

      • Being identical will make it hard for us to discern the difference.

      • It is only once both mature that they no longer resemble each other making separation possible.

      • So spiritually speaking it is only once we grow and mature in the Lord that we will notice the difference between ourselves and the children of the wicked one, or the wolves, in the body of Christ.

      • Also we can see that those who are still immature and cease to grow will continue to resemble the immature darnel (tare).

  • Wheat – True Christians, Saved

    • A grain that is a staple of our diet.

    • The Bible uses wheat as an allegory for true Christians.

    • Wheat is not just gathered up and consumed, it must be processed first.

      • The edible part of the plant must be separated from the part that is considered unfit for human consumption. This process is called 'threshing' or 'sifting'.

  • Chaff – Ungodly, wicked traits that are removed from the true Christian

    • During the sifting process or threshing, the inedible chaff is separated from the edible seed head

      • The seed heads of the wheat are violently beaten with instruments to separate the kernels from the unusable part of the plant which is called the chaff.

      • This chaff is sometimes used to feed livestock such as pigs. Could this be what the prodigal son ate when he was separated from the father?

    • Once the wheat has been threshed or sifted the final process, winnowing is begun.

      • The chaff now lays mixed with the wheat on the threshing floor and must be separated for disposal by burning. This was accomplished by a winnowing fan which separated the lighter chaff from the wheat and is carried away by the wind.

      • It is only once the chaff is separated from the wheat by winnowing that the wheat is ready to be gathered from the threshing floor in the barn into the garner, or grain storage container.

    • When the wheat is ready for harvest, it must be harvested quickly as possible before bad weather ruins it.

      • The chaff was part of the wheat so spiritually speaking we can understand it to be the things in us that God has allowed Satan to work out of our lives through threshing/sifting.

      • But unlike the threshing/sifting process it is Christ Himself (not Satan) that does the winnowing.

  • Threshing Floor

https://www.gotquestions.org/threshing-floor.html

There are dozens of references to a “threshing floor” in the Bible, some literal and some symbolic. In biblical days there was no machinery, so after the harvest, the grain was separated from the straw and husks by beating it manually. First there had to be a flat surface that was smooth and hard, and this was known as the threshing floor. The process of threshing was performed generally by spreading the sheaves on the threshing floor and causing oxen and cattle to tread repeatedly over them, loosening the edible part of cereal grain (or other crop) from the scaly, inedible chaff that surrounds it (Deuteronomy 25:4Isaiah 28:28). On occasion, flails or sticks were used for this purpose (Ruth 2:17Isaiah 28:27). Then winnowing forks were used to throw the mixture into the air so the wind could blow away the chaff, leaving only the good grain on the floor.

Both the Old and New Testaments refer to the threshing floor as a symbol of judgment. Hosea prophesied that, because Israel has repeatedly turned from God to false idols, His judgment upon them would scatter them to the winds as the chaff from the threshing floor. “Therefore they will be like the morning mist, like the early dew that disappears, like chaff swirling from a threshing floor, like smoke escaping through a window” (Hosea 13:3). Jeremiah pronounces a similar fate on the Babylonians who persecuted Israel, likening their fate to the trampled sheaves on the threshing floor (Jeremiah 51:33).

John the Baptist uses the imagery of the threshing floor to describe the coming Messiah who would separate the true believers from the false. The true followers of Christ will be gathered into the kingdom of God just as grain is gathered into barns, while those who reject Christ will be burned up “with unquenchable fire,” just as the worthless chaff is burned (Matthew 3:12Luke 3:17). The wicked are often described as chaff that the wind drives away (Psalm 1:4Isaiah 17:13). Similar imagery of the good grain being separated from the worthless weeds appears in the parable of the wheat and the tares (Matthew 13:36–43).

WHEAT and TARES

Matthew 13  The Parable of the Wheat and the Tares

Mt 13:24 Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; 25 but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. 26 But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. 27 So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ 28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ 29 But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.” ’ ”

Matthew 13:36-43 – The Parable of the Tares Explained

Mt 13:36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.” 37 He answered and said to them: “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. 39 The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. 40 Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. 41 The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, 42 and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!

Matthew 15:7-14 – Defilement Comes from Within

Matthew 15:7 Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: 8 ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. 9 And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ ” 10 When He had called the multitude to Himself, He said to them, “Hear and understand: 11 Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.” 12 Then His disciples came and said to Him, “Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?” 13 But He answered and said, “Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. 14 Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch.”

Parable of the Wheat and the Tares

  • This parable clearly describes corruption among the people of God.

 

  • For the second farmer to plant his seed in the same field was an out-right disrespect to the first farmer. Back then the only time that a second farmer planted on the same field as another represented a deep hatred. Problem was, the first farmer knew who their enemy was and could bring him to death for such. Times were too hard to have crops destroyed because of hostilities and hatred for one another. In today's world, that would be considered fighting grounds. In the political world, this act was a declaration of war.

 

  • It is easy to tell the difference between the wheat, tare, and the weed at harvest time.

    • The wheat is longer, bigger, and stronger. The tare is shorter, medium sized, and weaker. The weed is the shortest, smallest, and the weakest

    • The weed doesn't produce any seeds. The tare produces some seeds. The wheat produces the biggest seeds.

 

  • In the church

    • From the distance and even close up, everyone looks like wheat.

      • Some ‘having the form of Godliness, but deny the power thereof’ (2Ti 3:5).

      • They look like they are saved, sanctified, and Holy Ghost filled until they reach the threshing floor

    • The seeds from wheat are heavy and full. They look very different when full grown.

      • They bow to the wind. Therefore when you see the wheat at its peak, and ready for harvest, they all are bent according to which way the wind blew...

      • The Holy Spirit will cause us to stay on bended knees. These are those who spent time with the Lord and obeyed his WORD to the letter. They had no other choice because the seeds that were planted in them were too strong and mighty to stand upright with pride...

    • The tare is prideful and boastful. They are stubborn, reprobated, and self endowed. They act like wheat, but if you eat the seeds from the tare, it cause severe nausea, produces vomit, severe headaches, and a host of other illnesses. BE VERY CAREFUL SAINTS AS TO WHO YOU LET FEED YOUR SPIRIT.

      • The tare's job is to choke the life out of the wheat.

      • Some of you sit next to these types of people in churches, at home, and in the workplace. This is the reason for sanctification.

    • The threshing floor is a place where the seeds were separated from the vine. This is a painful time in a Christians life because it is where tests, trials, and tribulations comes to prove the faith. One can tell what Christian is victorious through the seeds produced.

Parable of the Wheat and the Tares

https://www.gotquestions.org/parable-wheat-tares.html

 

The Parable of the Wheat and the Weeds, or Tares, is filled with spiritual significance and truth. But, in spite of the clear explanation of the parable that Jesus gave (Matthew 13:36-43), this parable is very often misinterpreted. Many commentaries and sermons have attempted to use this story as an illustration of the condition of the church, noting that there are both true believers (the wheat) and false professors (the weeds) in both the church at large and individual local churches. While this may be true, Jesus distinctly explains that the field is not the church; it is the world (v. 38).

Even if He hadn’t specifically told us the world is the setting of the story, it would still be obvious. The landowner tells the servants not to pull up the weeds in the field, but to leave them until the end of the age. If the field were the church, this command would directly contradict Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 18, which tells us how to deal with unrepentant sinners in the church: they are to be put out of the fellowship and treated as unbelievers. Jesus never instructed us to let impenitent sinners remain in our midst until the end of the age. So, Jesus is teaching here about “the kingdom of heaven” (v. 24) in the world.

In the agricultural society of Christ’s time, many farmers depended on the quality of their crops. An enemy sowing weeds would have sabotaged a business. The tares in the parable were likely darnel because that weed, until mature, appears as wheat. Without modern weed killers, what would a wise farmer do in such a dilemma? Instead of tearing out the wheat with the tares, the landowner in this parable wisely waited until the harvest. After harvesting the whole field, the tares could be separated and burned. The wheat would be saved in the barn.

In the explanation of parable, Christ declares that He Himself is the sower. He spreads His redeemed seed, true believers, in the field of the world. Through His grace, these Christians bear the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-24). Their presence on earth is the reason the “kingdom of heaven” is like the field of the world. When Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17Mark 3:2), He meant the spiritual realm which exists on earth side by side with the realm of the evil one (1 John 5:19). When the kingdom of heaven comes to its fruition, heaven will be a reality and there will be no “weeds” among the “wheat.” But for now, both good and bad seeds mature in the world.

The enemy in the parable is Satan. In opposition to Jesus Christ, the devil tries to destroy Christ’s work by placing false believers and teachers in the world who lead many astray. One has only to look at the latest televangelist scandal to know the world is filled with professing “Christians” whose ungodly actions bring reproach on the name of Christ. But we are not to pursue such people in an effort to destroy them. For one thing, we don’t know if immature and innocent believers might be injured by our efforts. Further, one has only to look at the Spanish Inquisition, the Crusades, and the reign of “Bloody Mary” in England to see the results of men taking upon themselves the responsibility of separating true believers from false, a task reserved for God alone. Instead of requiring these false believers to be rooted out of the world, and possibly hurting immature believers in the process, Christ allows them to remain until His return. At that time, angels will separate the true from false believers.

In addition, we are not to take it upon ourselves to uproot unbelievers because the difference between true and false believers isn’t always obvious. Tares, especially in the early stages of growth, resemble wheat. Likewise, a false believer may resemble a true believer. In Matthew 7:22, Jesus warned that many profess faith but do not know Him. Thus, each person should examine his own relationship with Christ (2 Corinthians 13:5). First John is an excellent test of salvation.

Jesus Christ will one day establish true righteousness. After He raptures the true church out of this world, God will pour out His righteous wrath on the world. During that tribulation, He will draw others to saving faith in Jesus Christ. At the end of the tribulation, all unbelievers will be judged for their sin and unbelief; then, they will be removed from God’s presence. True followers of Christ will reign with Him. What a glorious hope for the “wheat”!

Wheat%20and%20Tares%20Table_edited.jpg
Difference-Between-Wheat-and-Tares.png
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

WHEAT and CHAFF

Jeremiah 23:25-28 – False Prophets and Empty Oracles

Jer 23:25 “I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in My name, saying, ‘I have dreamed, I have dreamed!’ 26 How long will this be in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies? Indeed they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart, 27 who try to make My people forget My name by their dreams which everyone tells his neighbor, as their fathers forgot My name for Baal.

28 “The prophet who has a dream, let him tell a dream;
And he who has My word, let him speak My word faithfully.
What is the chaff to the wheat?” says the Lord.

 

Matthew 3:11-12 – John the Baptist Prepares the Way

Matthew 3:11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

 
Luke 3:15-17 – John Preaches to the People

Lk 3:15 Now as the people were in expectation, and all reasoned in their hearts about John, whether he was the Christ or not, 16 John answered, saying to all, “I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17 His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather the wheat into His barn; but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.”

WHEAT - Saved

1 Samuel 6:13 The Ark Returned to Israel

1Sam 6:13 Now the people of Beth Shemesh were reaping their wheat harvest in the valley; and they lifted their eyes and saw the ark, and rejoiced to see it. 

Luke 22:31-32 – Jesus Predicts Peter’s Denial

Lk 22:31 And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”

John 12:23-26 – The Fruitful Grain of Wheat

Jn 12:23 But Jesus answered them, saying, “The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified. 24 Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. 25 He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.

CHAFF - Ungodly, wicked traits that are removed from the true Christian

What is the meaning of chaff in the Bible?
https://www.gotquestions.org/chaff-in-the-Bible.html
Chaff is the loose, outer covering on wheat and other grains that must be separated in the threshing and winnowing process of harvesting grain. In Bible times, grain was threshed, or trampled, crushed, and beaten, on outdoor threshing floors to separate out the inedible parts of the grain, called chaff. The lightweight chaff would blow away on the wind or sometimes was burned as fuel. In the winnowing process, the grain was then tossed into the air, allowing the wind to further separate any remaining bits of the husk from the wheat. These bits, called chaff, would be carried away in fine particles like dust. In a few instances in Scripture, chaff also refers to dried grass or hay (Isaiah 5:2433:11).

Threshing and winnowing by hand were common in ancient times, allowing for vivid biblical imagery. Separating the worthless chaff from the valuable grain was a ready symbol for separating good from evil or showing the difference between God’s treatment of the godly versus the wicked. In Psalm 1:1–4, the people of God are blessed and firmly established, but “not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away” (verse 4).

In Isaiah 33, the righteous people of God survive judgment while the wicked nations are consumed. Speaking of the Assyrians, Isaiah says, “You conceive chaff, you give birth to straw; your breath is a fire that consumes you” (verse 11).

According to Hosea, God’s way of dealing with wickedness in Israel was to remove the idolaters like chaff swirling away on the wind: “Therefore they will be like the morning mist, like the early dew that disappears, like chaff swirling from a threshing floor, like smoke escaping through a window” (Hosea 13:3). The powerlessness of wicked people and nations against the judgment of God is compared to chaff floating on the wind: “Although the peoples roar like the roar of surging waters, when he rebukes them they flee far away, driven before the wind like chaff on the hills, like tumbleweed before a gale” (Isaiah 17:13; see also Zephaniah 2:2).

In Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, the ungodly nations of the world, represented as a statue constructed of various elements, disintegrate and disperse like chaff before the victorious kingdom of God: “Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were all broken to pieces and became like chaff on a threshing floor in the summer. The wind swept them away without leaving a trace. But the rock that struck the statue became a huge mountain and filled the whole earth” (Daniel 2:35).

In the New Testament, the Messiah, Jesus Christ, is portrayed by John the Baptist as the winnower or harvester of grain: “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire” (Matthew 3:11–12; see also Luke 3:17). Jesus came the first time to save, but the second time He will come to judge the world with righteousness. The chaff—the wicked, the ungodly, the faithless, the unbelieving, the unfruitful—He will separate from the godly and consign to a horrible fate. Therefore, “be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man” (Luke 21:36).
Isaiah 33:10-13 – Impending Judgment on Zion

Is 33:10 “Now I will rise,” says the Lord; “Now I will be exalted, Now I will lift Myself up.
11 You shall conceive chaff, You shall bring forth stubble; Your breath, as fire, shall devour you.
12 And the people shall be like the burnings of lime; Like thorns cut up they shall be burned in the fire.

13 Hear, you who are afar off, what I have done; And you who are near, acknowledge My might.”

Isaiah 41:14-16 – Israel Assured of God’s Help

Is 41:14 “Fear not, you worm Jacob, You men of Israel!
I will help you,” says the Lord And your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.
15 “Behold, I will make you into a new threshing sledge with sharp teeth;
You shall thresh the mountains and beat them small, And make the hills like chaff.
16 You shall winnow them, the wind shall carry them away, And the whirlwind shall scatter them;

You shall rejoice in the Lord, And glory in the Holy One of Israel.

Isaiah 17:12-14 – Proclamation Against Syria and Israel

Is 17:12 Woe to the multitude of many people Who make a noise like the roar of the seas,
And to the rushing of nations That make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters!
13 The nations will rush like the rushing of many waters; But God will rebuke them and they will flee far away,
And be chased like the chaff of the mountains before the wind, Like a rolling thing before the whirlwind.
14 Then behold, at eventide, trouble! And before the morning, he is no more.
This is the portion of those who plunder us, And the lot of those who rob us.

Psalm 83:13-18 – Prayer to Frustrate Conspiracy Against Israel

Ps 83:13 O my God, make them like the whirling dust, Like the chaff before the wind!
14 As the fire burns the woods, And as the flame sets the mountains on fire,
15 So pursue them with Your tempest, And frighten them with Your storm.

16 Fill their faces with shame, That they may seek Your name, O Lord.
17 Let them be confounded and dismayed forever; Yes, let them be put to shame and perish,
18 That they may know that You, whose name alone is the Lord, Are the Most High over all the earth.

Job 21:17-19 – Job’s Discourse on the Wicked

Job 21:17 “How often is the lamp of the wicked put out?
How often does their destruction come upon them, The sorrows God distributes in His anger?
18 They are like straw before the wind, And like chaff that a storm carries away.
19 They say, ‘God lays up one’s iniquity for his children’; Let Him recompense him, that he may know it.

 
Psalm 1:1-5 – The Way of the Righteous and the End of the Ungodly

Ps 1:1 Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night.
3 He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.

4 The ungodly are not so, But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.
5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

 
Psalm 35:1-6 – The Lord the Avenger of His People

Ps 35:1 Plead my cause, O Lord, with those who strive with me; Fight against those who fight against me.
2 Take hold of shield and buckler, And stand up for my help.
3 Also draw out the spear, And stop those who pursue me. Say to my soul, “I am your salvation.”

4 Let those be put to shame and brought to dishonor Who seek after my life;
Let those be turned back and brought to confusion Who plot my hurt.
5 Let them be like chaff before the wind, And let the angel of the Lord chase them.
6 Let their way be dark and slippery, And let the angel of the Lord pursue them.

 
Isaiah 29:5-6 – Woe to Jerusalem

Is 29:5 “Moreover the multitude of your foes Shall be like fine dust,
And the multitude of the terrible ones Like chaff that passes away; Yes, it shall be in an instant, suddenly.
6 You will be punished by the Lord of hosts With thunder and earthquake and great noise,
With storm and tempest And the flame of devouring fire.

Hosea 13:2-3 – Relentless Judgment on Israel

Hos 13:2 Now they sin more and more, And have made for themselves molded images,
Idols of their silver, according to their skill; All of it is the work of craftsmen.
They say of them, “Let the men who sacrifice kiss the calves!”
3 Therefore they shall be like the morning cloud And like the early dew that passes away,
Like chaff blown off from a threshing floor And like smoke from a chimney.

TARES (False Wheat, weeds, darnels) – Fake Christians, False Teachers, Unsaved)

Deuteronomy 18:20-22 – A New Prophet Like Moses

Dt 18:20 But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in My name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.’ 21 And if you say in your heart, ‘How shall we know the word which the Lord has not spoken?’— 22 when a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.

 
Isaiah 8:19-20 – Fear God, Heed His Word

Is 8:19 And when they say to you, “Seek those who are mediums and wizards, who whisper and mutter,” should not a people seek their God? Should they seek the dead on behalf of the living? 20 To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

 
Deuteronomy 13:1-5 – Punishment of Apostates

Dt 13:1 “If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, 2 and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods’—which you have not known—‘and let us serve them,’ 3 you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the Lord your God is testing you to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. 4 You shall walk after the Lord your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice; you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him. 5 But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has spoken in order to turn you away from the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of bondage, to entice you from the way in which the Lord your God commanded you to walk. So you shall [b]put away the evil from your midst.

 
Isaiah 29:13-16 – The Blindness of Disobedience

Is 29:13 Therefore the Lord said:

“Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths And honor Me with their lips,
But have removed their hearts far from Me, And their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men,

14 Therefore, behold, I will again do a marvelous work Among this people,
A marvelous work and a wonder; For the wisdom of their wise men shall perish,
And the understanding of their prudent men shall be hidden.”

15 Woe to those who seek deep to hide their counsel far from the Lord,
And their works are in the dark; They say, “Who sees us?” and, “Who knows us?”
16 Surely you have things turned around! Shall the potter be esteemed as the clay;
For shall the thing made say of him who made it, “He did not make me”?
Or shall the thing formed say of him who formed it, “He has no understanding”?

Matthew 23:15 – Woe to the Scribes and Pharisees

Mt 23:15 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.

TARES (WEEDS) - FALSE TEACHERS and THE FALL OF JERUSALEM

Jeremiah 14:13-15 – Sword, Famine, and Pestilence

Jer 14:13 Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! Behold, the prophets say to them, ‘You shall not see the sword, nor shall you have famine, but I will give you assured peace in this place.’ ” 14 And the Lord said to me, “The prophets prophesy lies in My name. I have not sent them, commanded them, nor spoken to them; they prophesy to you a false vision, divination, a worthless thing, and the deceit of their heart. 15 Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the prophets who prophesy in My name, whom I did not send, and who say, ‘Sword and famine shall not be in this land’—‘By sword and famine those prophets shall be consumed!

 
Jeremiah 5:30-31 – The Justice of God’s Judgment

Jer 5:30 “An astonishing and horrible thing Has been committed in the land:
31 The prophets prophesy falsely, And the priests rule by their own power;
And My people love to have it so.
But what will you do in the end?

Jeremiah 23:9-29 – False Prophets and Empty Oracles

Jer 23:9 My heart within me is broken Because of the prophets; All my bones shake.

 

11 “For both prophet and priest are profane; Yes, in My house I have found their wickedness,” says the Lord.
12 “Therefore their way shall be to them Like slippery ways;
In the darkness they shall be driven on And fall in them;
For I will bring disaster on them, The year of their punishment,” says the Lord.
13 “And I have seen folly in the prophets of Samaria:

They prophesied by Baal And caused My people Israel to err.

14 Also I have seen a horrible thing in the prophets of Jerusalem: They commit adultery and walk in lies;
They also strengthen the hands of evildoers, So that no one turns back from his wickedness.

All of them are like Sodom to Me, And her inhabitants like Gomorrah.

 

15 “Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts concerning the prophets:

‘Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, And make them drink the water of gall;
For from the prophets of Jerusalem Profaneness has gone out into all the land.’ ”

16 Thus says the Lord of hosts:

Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you.
They make you worthless; They speak a vision of their own heart, Not from the mouth of the Lord.
17 They continually say to those who despise Me, ‘The Lord has said, “You shall have peace” ’;
And to everyone who walks according to the dictates of his own heart, they say, ‘No evil shall come upon you.’ ”

18 For who has stood in the counsel of the Lord, And has perceived and heard His word?
Who has marked His word and heard it?
19 Behold, a whirlwind of the Lord has gone forth in fury—A violent whirlwind!
It will fall violently on the head of the wicked.
20 The anger of the Lord will not turn back Until He has executed and performed the thoughts of His heart.
In the latter days you will understand it perfectly.

21 “I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran. I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.
22 But if they had stood in My counsel, And had caused My people to hear My words,
Then they would have turned them from their evil way And from the evil of their doings.

23 “Am I a God near at hand,” says the Lord, “And not a God afar off?
24 Can anyone hide himself in secret places, So I shall not see him?” says the Lord;
“Do I not fill heaven and earth?” says the Lord.

25 “I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in My name, saying, ‘I have dreamed, I have dreamed!’ 26 How long will this be in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies? Indeed they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart, 27 who try to make My people forget My name by their dreams which everyone tells his neighbor, as their fathers forgot My name for Baal.

 

28 “The prophet who has a dream, let him tell a dream;
And he who has My word, let him speak My word faithfully.
What is the chaff to the wheat?” says the Lord.

29 “Is not My word like a fire?” says the Lord,
“And like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?

 

30 “Therefore behold, I am against the prophets,” says the Lord, “who steal My words every one from his neighbor. 31 Behold, I am against the prophets,” says the Lord, “who use their tongues and say, ‘He says.’ 32 Behold, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,” says the Lord, “and tell them, and cause My people to err by their lies and by their recklessness. Yet I did not send them or command them; therefore they shall not profit this people at all,” says the Lord.

Lamentations 2:13-14 – God’s Anger with Jerusalem

Lam 2:13 How shall I console you? To what shall I liken you, O daughter of Jerusalem?
What shall I compare with you, that I may comfort you, O virgin daughter of Zion?
For your ruin is spread wide as the sea; Who can heal you?

14 Your prophets have seen for you False and deceptive visions;
They have not uncovered your iniquity, To bring back your captives, But have envisioned for you false prophecies and delusions.

Ezekiel 22:23-31 – Israel’s Wicked Leaders

Ez 22:23 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 24 “Son of man, say to her: ‘You are a land that is not cleansed or rained on in the day of indignation.’ 25 The conspiracy of her prophets in her midst is like a roaring lion tearing the prey; they have devoured people; they have taken treasure and precious things; they have made many widows in her midst. 26 Her priests have violated My law and profaned My holy things; they have not distinguished between the holy and unholy, nor have they made known the difference between the unclean and the clean; and they have hidden their eyes from My Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them. 27 Her princes in her midst are like wolves tearing the prey, to shed blood, to destroy people, and to get dishonest gain. 28 Her prophets plastered them with untempered mortar, seeing false visions, and divining lies for them, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord God,’ when the Lord had not spoken. 29 The people of the land have used oppressions, committed robbery, and mistreated the poor and needy; and they wrongfully oppress the stranger. 30 So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one. 31 Therefore I have poured out My indignation on them; I have consumed them with the fire of My wrath; and I have recompensed their deeds on their own heads,” says the Lord God.

Micah 3:9-12 – Wicked Rulers and Prophets

Mic 3:5 Thus says the Lord concerning the prophets Who make my people stray;
Who chant “Peace” While they chew with their teeth,
But who prepare war against him Who puts nothing into their mouths:
6 “Therefore you shall have night without vision, And you shall have darkness without divination;
The sun shall go down on the prophets, And the day shall be dark for them.
7 So the seers shall be ashamed, And the diviners abashed;

Indeed they shall all cover their lips; For there is no answer from God.”

 

8 But truly I am full of power by the Spirit of the Lord, And of justice and might,
To declare to Jacob his transgression And to Israel his sin.

9 Now hear this, You heads of the house of Jacob

And rulers of the house of Israel, Who abhor justice And pervert all equity,
10 Who build up Zion with bloodshed And Jerusalem with iniquity:
11 Her heads judge for a bribe, Her priests teach for pay, And her prophets divine for money.
Yet they lean on the Lord, and say, “Is not the Lord among us? No harm can come upon us.”
12 Therefore because of you Zion shall be plowed like a field, Jerusalem shall become heaps of ruins,
And the mountain of the temple Like the bare hills of the forest.

Ezekiel 13:3-23 – Woe to Foolish Prophets

Ez 13:3 Thus says the Lord God: “Woe to the foolish prophets, who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing! 4 O Israel, your prophets are like foxes in the deserts. 5 You have not gone up into the gaps to build a wall for the house of Israel to stand in battle on the day of the Lord. 6 They have envisioned futility and false divination, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord!’ But the Lord has not sent them; yet they hope that the word may be confirmed. 7 Have you not seen a futile vision, and have you not spoken false divination? You say, ‘The Lord says,’ but I have not spoken.” 8 Therefore thus says the Lord God: “Because you have spoken nonsense and envisioned lies, therefore I am indeed against you,” says the Lord God. 

10 “Because, indeed, because they have seduced My people, saying, ‘Peace!’ when there is no peace—and one builds a wall, and they plaster it with untempered mortar— 11 say to those who plaster it with untempered mortar, that it will fall. There will be flooding rain, and you, O great hailstones, shall fall; and a stormy wind shall tear it down. 12 Surely, when the wall has fallen, will it not be said to you, ‘Where is the mortar with which you plastered it?’ ”

13 Therefore thus says the Lord God: “I will cause a stormy wind to break forth in My fury; and there shall be a flooding rain in My anger, and great hailstones in fury to consume it. 14 So I will break down the wall you have plastered with untempered mortar, and bring it down to the ground, so that its foundation will be uncovered; it will fall, and you shall be consumed in the midst of it. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.

15 “Thus will I accomplish My wrath on the wall and on those who have plastered it with untempered mortar; and I will say to you, ‘The wall is no more, nor those who plastered it, 16 that is, the prophets of Israel who prophesy concerning Jerusalem, and who see visions of peace for her when there is no peace,’ ” says the Lord God.

17 “Likewise, son of man, set your face against the daughters of your people, who prophesy out of their own heart; prophesy against them, 18 and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Woe to the women who sew magic charms on their sleeves and make veils for the heads of people of every height to hunt souls! Will you hunt the souls of My people, and keep yourselves alive? 19 And will you profane Me among My people for handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread, killing people who should not die, and keeping people alive who should not live, by your lying to My people who listen to lies?”

20 ‘Therefore thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I am against your magic charms by which you hunt souls there like birds. I will tear them from your arms, and let the souls go, the souls you hunt like birds. 21 I will also tear off your veils and deliver My people out of your hand, and they shall no longer be as prey in your hand. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.

22 “Because with lies you have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and you have strengthened the hands of the wicked, so that he does not turn from his wicked way to save his life. 23 Therefore you shall no longer envision futility nor practice divination; for I will deliver My people out of your hand, and you shall know that I am the Lord.” ’ ”

Isaiah 56:9-12 – Israel’s Irresponsible Leaders

Is 56:9 All you beasts of the field, come to devour, All you beasts in the forest.
10 His watchmen are blind, They are all ignorant; They are all dumb dogs,
They cannot bark; Sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber.
11 Yes, they are greedy dogs Which never have enough.  And they are shepherds Who cannot understand;
They all look to their own way, Every one for his own gain, From his own territory.

12 “Come,” one says, “I will bring wine, And we will fill ourselves with intoxicating drink;
Tomorrow will be as today, And much more abundant.”

TARES (WEEDS) - FALSE TEACHERS and THE END TIMES

1 Timothy 4:1-3 – The Great Apostasy

1Ti 4:1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, 3 forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving 

2 Peter 2:1-3 – Destructive Doctrines

2Pe 2:1 But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3 By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.

2 Corinthians 11:12-15 – Paul and False Apostles

2Co 11:12 But what I do, I will also continue to do, that I may cut off the opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the things of which they boast. 13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.

2 Timothy 4:1-5 – Preach the Word

2Ti 4:1 I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: 2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. 5 But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

2 Corinthians 11:3-4 – Concern for Their Faithfulness

2Co 11:3 But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 4 For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it!

Galatians 1:6-10 – Only One Gospel

Gal 1:6 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, 7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. 10 For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.

1 Timothy 6:3-5 – Error and Greed

1Ti 6:3 If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, 4 he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, 5 useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself.

Galatians 4:8-11 – Fears for the Church

Gal 4:8 But then, indeed, when you did not know God, you served those which by nature are not gods. 9 But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage? 10 You observe days and months and seasons and years. 11 I am afraid for you, lest I have labored for you in vain.

2 Peter 3:3-7 – God’s Promise Is Not Slack

2Pe 3:3 knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, 4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” 5 For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, 6 by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. 7 But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. 8 Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; 9 but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was.

Jude 1:16-19 – Apostates Predicted

Jude 1:16 These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage. 17 But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: 18 how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. 19 These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit.

2 Peter 2:4-11 – Doom of False Teachers

2Pe 2:4 For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment; 5 and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly; 6 and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly; 7 and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked 8 (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds)— 9 then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment, 10 and especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority. They are presumptuous, self-willed. They are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries, 11 whereas angels, who are greater in power and might, do not bring a reviling accusation against them before the Lord.

 
2 Peter 2:18-22 – Deceptions of False Teachers

2Pe 2:18 For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error. 19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage. 20 For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. 21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. 22 But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A dog returns to his own vomit,” and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.”

Jude 1:3-4 – Contend for the Faith

Jude 1:3 Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. 4 For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.

Colossians 2:4-8 – Not Philosophy but Christ

Col 2:4 Now this I say lest anyone should deceive you with persuasive words. 5 For though I am absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ. 6 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, 7 rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. 8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ

Acts 20:28-30 – The Ephesian Elders Exhorted

Act 20:28 Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. 29 For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. 31 Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.

Matthew 7:15-20 – You Will Know Them by Their Fruits

Mt 7:15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

Ephesians 4:11-16 – Spiritual Gifts

Ep 4:11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

1 John 1:5-10 – Fellowship with Him and One Another

1Jn 1:5 This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

Mark 7:5-9 – Defilement Comes from Within

Mk 7:5 Then the Pharisees and scribes asked Him, “Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands?” 6 He answered and said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written:

‘This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me.
7 And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’

8 For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men—the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do.” 9 He said to them, “All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition. 

1 John 4:1-6 – Love for God and One Another

1Jn 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world. 4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 5 They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. 6 We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

2 Timothy 3:1-7 – Perilous Times and Perilous Men

2Ti 3:1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! 6 For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, 7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 

John 8:37-47 – Abraham’s Seed and Satan’s

Jn 8:37 “I know that you are Abraham’s [physical] descendants, but you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you. 38 I speak what I have seen with My Father, and you do what you have seen with your father.”

39 They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children [spiritual descendants], you would do the works of Abraham. 40 But now you seek to kill Me, a Man who has told you the truth which I heard from God. Abraham did not do this. 41 You do the deeds of your father.

Then they said to Him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father—God.” 42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me. 43 Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. 45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me. 46 Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me? 47 He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God.”

Romans 16:17-20 – Avoid Divisive Persons

Ro 16:17 Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. 18 For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple. 19 For your obedience has become known to all. Therefore I am glad on your behalf; but I want you to be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil. 20 And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly.

2 Peter 2:12-17 – Depravity of False Teachers

2Pe 2:12 But these, like natural brute beasts made to be caught and destroyed, speak evil of the things they do not understand, and will utterly perish in their own corruption, 13 and will receive the wages of unrighteousness, as those who count it pleasure to carouse in the daytime. They are spots and blemishes, carousing in their own deceptions while they feast with you, 14 having eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin enticing unstable souls. They have a heart trained in covetous practices, and are accursed children. 15 They have forsaken the right way and gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; 16 but he was rebuked for his iniquity: a dumb donkey speaking with a man’s voice restrained the madness of the prophet. 17 These are wells without water, clouds carried by a tempest, for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.

James 1:26-27 – Doers—Not Hearers Only

Jam 1:26 If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. 27 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.

Jude 1:7-11 – Old and New Apostates

Jude 1:7 as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. 8 Likewise also these dreamers defile the flesh, reject authority, and speak evil of dignitaries. 9 Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” 10 But these speak evil of whatever they do not know; and whatever they know naturally, like brute beasts, in these things they corrupt themselves. 11 Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit, and perished in the rebellion of Korah.

Jude 1:12-15 – Apostates Depraved and Doomed

Jude 1:12 These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots; 13 raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever. 14 Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, 15 to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”

2 Timothy 3:10-17 – The Man of God and the Word of God

2Ti 3:10 But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, 11 persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra—what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. 12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Matthew 24:3-25 – The Signs of the Times and the End of the Age

Mt 24:3  “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” 4 And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. … 11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. …23 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. 24 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand.

Luke 21:7-8 – The Signs of the Times and the End of the Age

Lk 21:7 So they asked Him, saying, “Teacher, but when will these things be? And what sign will there be when these things are about to take place?” 8 And He said: “Take heed that you not be deceived. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and, ‘The time has drawn near.’ Therefore do not go after them.

Mark 13:21-23 – The Great Tribulation

Mk 13:21 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘Look, He is there!’ do not believe it. 22 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 23 But take heed; see, I have told you all things beforehand.

2 Thessalonians 2:3-12 – The Great Apostasy

2Th 2:3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. 5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? 6 And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

 
Matthew 7:21-23 – I Never Knew You

Mt 7:21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

Tares among the Wheat :: by Ron and Nathele Graham

https://www.raptureready.com/2015/11/23/tares-among-the-wheat/

Ron Graham was called home on March 14, 2013. He began writing this commentary before his death and had asked me, Nathele Graham, to continue his service to our Lord by finishing what he began.

What does it mean to be a Christian? Is it the way we act or what we believe that determines if we are a Christian or just a pretender?

 

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (Romans 10:9).

God’s Word makes it clear that it is our faith that makes the difference. Many people say that they believe in Jesus Christ, but if that belief is just “head knowledge” and they don’t…believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead…” then their words mean nothing.

How far would you go to prove you’re a Christian? I’ve heard the hypothetical question “If you were hauled into court for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?” For many people around the world, this isn’t hypothetical. In Muslim countries it is a crime to be a Christian, yet there are many brave people who stand firm on their faith in Christ.

It is our faith that determines our salvation, but that faith should be evident by our actions:

“Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?” (James 2:19-20)

Many people sitting in a pew each Sunday say that they believe but show no fruits of their faith, and non-Christians often do great works yet deny Christ. True faith should be proclaimed by our mouth and also shown in our actions…not for our own glory but for that of Christ Jesus. Our daily walk should reflect who we are in Christ. Our living for Christ should be so obvious in this life that even when viewed by the most hardened Christ-rejecter he should be 100% certain he’s witnessing a true and devout follower of Jesus Christ. You might say the true Christian is wheat, while those who just mouth words of faith but live according to the world are tares.

Jesus spoke many deep truths in parables. One of those tells of the wheat and the tares:

“The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also” (Matthew 13:24b-26).

We all know what wheat is but what are tares? It is a grain that resembles wheat, but has no value. In fact the seeds are poisonous. When it grew in a wheat field it was allowed to mature, but at harvest it was separated out and burned. Why has it become so difficult, especially in our current age, to make a determination as to which of those professing to follow Christ are the “wheat” and which are the “tares” currently infiltrating the ranks of the true believers? What is it that has changed in society today that gives us cause to ponder, Jesus’ words?

“But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity?” (Luke 13:27)

It’s easy to say you’re a Christian but it’s a lot harder to stand firm for Jesus Christ in the face of adversity. Call yourself a Christian all day long but if you’re not walking the walk you’re probably one of the tares.

“So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? From whence then hath it tares?” (Matthew 13:27).

In our Lord’s parable even the servants of the householder had no difficulty noticing the difference between wheat and tares – good seed and bad – true believers vs. phonies. How did they know? They had knowledge. Today we hear many false doctrines being taught, such as: “There are many paths to heaven” or the “name it and claim it” heresy among others. Only studying God’s Word will teach you the truth. In knowing the truth you will know the difference between the nourishing wheat and the poisonous tares.

Jesus was asked to explain this parable, and Matthew 13:37-43 records His answer. Jesus is the One who sows the good seed, the field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, the tares are the sons of Satan and he is who sowed the bad seed, the harvest is the end of the age. Although we can see the corruption happening within the Christian community, Jesus doesn’t confine the location of the tares to within the Ekklesia. Soon the Ekklesia will be raptured and the tares will continue to grow. There will be many people who will come to know Jesus after the Rapture and the tares will continue to corrupt until the final judgment when the wheat is harvested and the tares are burned.

Christians, we need to understand that God gave us His inerrant Word and it has not changed one iota in meaning. We need to stand firm on His Word and not be swayed by the lies planted by Satan. God’s Word is quite clear that Jesus Christ is God, but Satan plants the poisonous tares by spreading the lie that Jesus was just a prophet or merely a very nice man. A very nice man would have died and been buried. But Jesus shed His blood on the cross as a sacrifice for our sin. He arose from the grave and His victory over death gives all true believers eternal life.

God’s Word makes it quite clear that all sexual activity outside of a, one-man one-woman marriage, is a sin. Homosexuality is an abomination to God, but Satan plants the poisonous tares by saying that it is just a choice of lifestyle. How many single people sitting in pews on Sunday morning have spent Saturday night in bed with their girlfriend or boyfriend? “It’s just human nature,” says the father of all lies, but God’s Word tells us differently. I choose to bring up sexual sin because it is widespread, condoned, and encouraged in music, TV shows, movies, and books, but any behavior that is contrary to God’s word needs to be changed. Our schools are even teaching our children how to commit sexual sin. The wheat will grow strong in the Lord, but the tares will poison those who partake of it.

 

Satan uses the same subtle lies today as he used to confuse Eve in the Garden of Eden.

“And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:4-5).

Satan began sowing tares long ago, and the idea behind the enemy’s deception is to bring about a subtle “change” that, over time, will confuse those looking into Christ’s Ekklesia. They will be confused as to what Christianity is and what it means to be a true follower of Jesus Christ. He means to deceive those seeking something more out of life than just their mundane daily existence. If Christians feel that it is okay to live the same sinful lifestyle of the unsaved, why should the lost of this world see a reason to accept Christ?

The life of a Christian is filled with hope, which extends beyond the confines of this life. That’s exciting! Many people are seeking God but Satan in no way wants them to find Christ as their answer. Instead of learning the truth of who Jesus is, Satan will give the seeker a false gospel to follow thereby diverting that person off the true path that leads to salvation and onto the other path that leads to destruction.

We can see and know with little doubt just who the tares are. Who are they? If you have to ask that question, you’re in trouble. But I’ll give you a little help. If you know someone who claims to be a Christian but they also claim there are errors in God’s Word, or else they don’t even believe God’s Word, they are tares. If they don’t believe Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven then that would be a huge red flag and they are tares. A tare is someone who spreads the poisonous claim that the Bible was written to people a long time ago, but people have changed and so the Bible is outdated and needs to be amended to fit today’s world.

“When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are” (Luke 13:25).

Are you wheat or are you a tare? You need to honestly ask yourself that question today because there will come a time when it is too late. The door will be shut. Today may be your last day on earth and you will face eternity in heaven or in hell. The choice is yours. If the Rapture happens as you are reading this commentary, will you go with the wheat or be left with the tares? True Christians will be taken, but the tares will be left here to face God’s wrath. The Tribulation, and more specifically the last half of that time of judgment known as the Great Tribulation, will be filled with unimaginable horrors. Jesus said:

“For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matthew 24:21).

 

If you are living a life filled with sin and opposed to God’s Word, don’t wait another minute to accept His free gift of salvation and change your life. The harvest is coming and tomorrow may be too late.

God bless you all,

Ron Graham

 

Supernatural: Good and Evil :: By Nathele Graham

https://www.raptureready.com/2019/05/19/supernatural-good-evil-nathele-graham/

Many Christians tend to see things with an “either/or” mindset. Either something is good or it’s bad. The distinction between good and bad is usually dictated by a particular denomination. Too often denominational teachings aren’t as Biblical as they should be. God’s word is the authority, and it hasn’t changed. Every Christian needs to look at all things through the lens of Scripture and act in a Biblical way.

For instance, Scripture says not to judge. On the other hand, it also says we are to discern. There’s a fine line between discernment and judgment, and God gave us Scripture to use as a guide for our own actions and to discern the actions of others. We cannot expect people who haven’t accepted Christ to act according to Scripture, and we cannot allow them to be members of a congregation.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of un-Scriptural ways entering into many congregations because Christians are so afraid of judging that they forget to discern. Even people who claim to be Christians embrace sin and must turn away from it or leave the congregation. Satan is trying hard to destroy the Christian faith.

Jesus related a series of parables regarding the Kingdom of God, and one warns of satanic forces entering congregations.

“Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way” (Matthew 13:24-25).

Jesus gives the interpretation of this parable. The One who sows the good seed is the Son of man (Jesus), the field is the world, the good seeds are the “children of the kingdom,” and the tares are the children of the wicked one (see Matthew 13:37-43).

This “infiltration” by the enemy is growing as God’s truth is being ignored by Christians. As Christians sleep, Satan grows strong. We can’t control the tares of the world, but we need to control ourselves and what is allowed into our congregations. Only Scripture will help you discern the difference between good and evil so as not to allow the tares to take over. If a non-believer wants to become a part of a Christian fellowship, they must first accept Christ and turn from their wicked ways.

The battle is real, but it’s a supernatural war we’re in.

The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines supernatural as:

1) relating to an order of existence beyond the visible observable universe, especially of or relating to God or a god, demigod, spirit, or devil.

2) (a) departing from what is usual or normal, especially so as to appear to transcend the laws of nature. (b) attributed to an invisible agent (such as a ghost or spirit).

Scripture tells us to stay away from certain things such as drug use and witchcraft because both allow demonic, supernatural forces to influence our lives. There are many other things which need to be avoided in order to serve the Lord.

“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19-21).

This is a short list of satanic practices which are the tares infiltrating Christian congregations. If you look up these words in a good concordance, you’ll see that many of these practices (such as homosexuality and other sexual sin) have a stronghold in Christian congregations. The word “witchcraft” is from the Greek word “pharmakeia” which is using or administering drugs, poisoning, and magical arts. Be very careful when taking drugs that alter your mind and behavior…prescription or non-prescription.

When a person comes to Christ, there must be an attitude change as well as a heart change. Jesus forgives all sin, but there can be no forgiveness without repentance.

We need to be extremely cautious about the supernatural. There’s both good and evil in the supernatural world. Many Christians are so afraid of embracing the evil supernatural that we forget that God is supernatural. There are good spirits of God and evil spirits of Satan. We need to discern the difference. Most Christians just group all supernatural activity together and don’t allow the Holy Spirit to work through us. By denying the supernatural power of God, we allow evil to grow stronger.

Do we really believe what we read in Scripture? God has done many supernatural things throughout history, but do we believe it? For instance, during the Exodus from Egypt, God showed His supernatural protection over and over to the Israelites, but they kept disbelieving. If the plagues weren’t enough to convince them that God was working supernaturally to benefit them, the parting of the Red Sea should have convinced them that Almighty God was helping them supernaturally.

“And the LORD said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward: but lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea” (Exodus 14:15-16).

Many people have tried to give a natural explanation for this, but there is none. This was a supernatural act of God. Not only did He part the sea so the Israelites could pass through; He didn’t force them to walk through a muddy, swampy bog. They walked on dry ground. The Israelites passed through safely, but when the Egyptian army entered, they were all drowned. That’s the supernatural hand of God at work.

There are many more incidences just as miraculous as this. Water gushed from a rock, manna fell from heaven, a pillar of cloud led them by day and a pillar of fire by night, and so on. Instead of embracing the supernatural protection of God, they kept yearning to return to the supernatural demonic evil found in Egypt. Their disbelief stopped them from entering the Promised Land. God’s supernatural power is as real today as it was back then, and we still deny His power.

Scripture reveals many, many supernatural events that God made happen, such as Balaam’s donkey speaking to him, Elijah and his showdown with the prophets of Baal, Daniel in the den of lions, and so many, more that I can’t list them all.

God’s supernatural powers are also clearly seen in the New Testament. Beginning with the Virgin Birth, we see God’s power working through the Holy Spirit. Examples of the power of the Holy Spirit are seen when Jesus miraculously healed people and cast out demons, when He walked on water, when the Holy Spirit appeared as tongues of fire on the day of Pentecost, when the Apostles healed people, and so on. After His resurrection, Jesus supernaturally entered a locked room where His disciples were hiding.

“Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you” (John 20:19).

Jesus, who had been crucified and buried, entered a locked room. That’s supernatural. If the disciples hadn’t accepted the fact that Jesus was supernaturally there with them, they never would have been filled with the Holy Spirit nor established the Christian faith. They did great things because they understood that they served a supernatural Saviour and weren’t afraid to allow Him to work through them. Many people today claim that the power given by the Holy Spirit stopped with the Apostles. That’s a lie which Satan has spread so that Christians will deny the power we have through Christ.

Make no mistake. Satan and his demons are real and a powerful supernatural force. Christians need to resist him and fight against the evil he spews.

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12).

The entities mentioned here are evil satanic beings. Why don’t Christians believe God’s word? This fight, or wrestling, is with us every day; and if you’re not fighting against it, then you might ask yourself, ‘Which side am I on’?

Everyday there are news stories about one evil manifestation or another. Have you heard of Slender Man? He’s supposedly just an internet story made up to scare people. This “story” prompted two young girls to stab a friend multiple times and leave her for dead in order to go to Slender Man. He’s a demonic force and has caused many crimes.

Parents must be vigilant in what music their children listen to (so much is about demons), what movies they watch (so many have demonic storylines), what video games they play (yep, more demon infiltration), and what they look at on the internet (much content is demonic and aimed at children).

Demon possession is real. Jesus cast out many demons; but, today, medical “experts” just say it’s a mental disorder and dispense drugs to stop the bad behavior. Drugs open a portal in which demons can enter. Have you allowed your hyperactive child to take drugs to calm him? Ouija Boards are becoming popular, but they’re demonic and can lead to much evil. Christians must stand upon God’s word and eschew all forms of evil.

“Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand” (Ephesians 6:13).

Spiritual weapons from God are required to fight the supernatural enemy.

Christians have protection. We have the Lord. The problem is we deny His power because we believe all that is supernatural is evil. Scripture encourages us to test spirits to see if they are of God.

“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1).

Someone may claim to be of God but, in reality, is working for Satan. Be cautious and pray. Many false teachings are entering our congregations, and they are being accepted by wishy-washy Christians who deny God’s greater power.

“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:13-14).

Demonic evil can look very good if you don’t stay close to God and test the spirits by using prayer and Scripture.

Too often, Christians divide life into categories – one category is what we do on Sunday, and one category is what happens the rest of the week. We live with one foot in the world, and that opens the way to being duped by satanic evil.

How do we avoid supernatural evil? By closely following the Supernatural God of all creation.

“Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:19-22).