Sun, 2017-06-18 12:15
1. Discerning the Signs of the Times
Matthew 16:1–3 (NKJV) Then the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and testing Him asked that He would show them a sign from heaven. 2 He answered and said to them, “When it is evening you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red’; 3 and in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times.
The Pharisees and Sadducees asked Jesus for a sign from heaven.
In His reply, Jesus marvelled that, although they were able to discern the signs of the impending weather, but they were unable to discern the signs of the times they lived in.
Interestingly, weather patterns and seasonal changes can be observed with our physical senses, but to know the signs of the times requires revelation knowledge from God.
Sometimes people are well informed in the area of the sciences, but quite ignorant in areas that require revelation knowledge.
In this series of messages we will explore some of the signs of our times to determine where we are in relation to biblical prophecy about end times.
Deception will be/ is a predominant sign of the last days (end times):
Matthew 24:3–4 (NKJV) 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.
When Jesus was asked by His disciples about the sign of His return and of the end of the age, the very first comment in His reply warned them about not being deceived.
Although He proceeded to caution them against false christs, false prophets and false signs and wonders, we need to realise that religious deception is only a part of a bigger worldwide deception.
1 Timothy 4:1 (NKJV) Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons.
Evidently there are demon spirits called “deceiving spirits” whose “specialty” is to deceive people.
Definition of the word “Deception”:
Ø Trickery, delusion, swindle
Ø A deceived person believes and holds to a lie as if it were the truth
Satan is the master deceiver:
Satan deceived Eve shortly after creation, and he has deceived multitudes of people ever since. He will continue his deceptive trickery until he is cast into the lake of fire after his 1000 year capture in the bottomless pit.
2 Corinthians 11:3 (NKJV) 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.
Revelation 12:9 (NKJV) So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
1 John 5:19 (NKJV) We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.
NIV … the whole world is under the control of the evil one.
Revelation 20:1–3 (NKJV) Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; 3 and he cast him into the bottomless pit,
and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.
The Bible speaks of the operation of a deceptive trio in the last days:
1. Satan (serpent, dragon)
2. False prophet
3. Antichrist (lawless one, beast)
2 Thessalonians 2:9–10 (NKJV) 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.
Revelation 19:20 (NKJV) Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.
The Bible repeatedly cautions us against being deceived.
Colossians 2:4 (NKJV) Now this I say lest anyone should deceive you with persuasive words.
Colossians 2:8 (NASB) See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.
2 Timothy 3:13 (NKJV) But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.
Two interesting Quotes:
Ø He who controls information controls the world
Ø Whoever controls the media, controls the mind
Important Facts to know:
Ø There is (virtually) no such thing as independent news
Ø News outlets are multi-billion dollar businesses
Quote by Mark Twain:
If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you’re mis-informed.
The media is guilt of:
Skewed and slanted news reporting is the now order of the day.
The moral of the story is:
Ø Don’t believe everything you hear or read
Watch out for the following:
Ø Fake news
Ø Paid news
Ø Sponsored news
Ø Advertiser-controlled news
HOW TO KEEP ONESELF FROM DECEPTION:
1. Pray (ask God for discernment)
2. Stay in the Word
3. Hold tightly to the truth of the word but stay open-minded with your opinions
4. Stay close to godly leaders
Matthew 24:24 (NKJV) For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.
Amos 3:7 (NKJV) Surely the Lord God does nothing, unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.