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My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity. (Proverbs 3:1 NIV)

The flight attendant goes over the emergency instructions. Some bury their nose in a magazine while others stare outside. The attendant has info that could save their life, so why wouldn’t they follow it?

We all follow someone’s guidance, but whose? By listening and watching we can usually identify who people are following or who influences their thoughts. The Book of Proverbs hails wisdom’s teaching. If kept in our heart, her commands will prolong our life. Wisdom wants us to live long and enjoy “shalom” peace and prosperity, but first, like an obedient son or daughter, we must follow her instruction.

One would not know this by the American media’s lack of attention, but information that a clandestine group of high-placed government officials have been working to undermine the candidacy of Donald J. Trump and then his presidency. Evidence has been piling up, but it does not suggest Trump or his team colluded with the Russians, but that Secretary Clinton’s team and some top echelon officials in the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Justice Department were the ones colluding. (But this is where many Americans are– Christians certainly included: Figuratively, they are burying their face in a magazine or staring outside. Avoidance behavior. See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. If they do not listen with ears that hear, then, in their mind, nothing should happen.)

Follow wisdom or follow only what you want to hear, then tune out the rest. Life is the reward for listening to Wisdom; disaster and destruction come by ignoring her. What is being played out in the political arena, is also happening in the church. A friend observed recently that his church never teaches about prophecy. (It may be because they don’t know anything.) If they did give some worthy instruction, my friend would eagerly follow along.

Sheep are often kept in the dark. They do not know what is coming upon the saints (Daniel 7:21-22, Matthew 24:21-22). At least the airlines attempt to prepare passengers to survive a disaster, but not some shepherds of Christ’s flock. Why not seek wisdom on the matter of prophecy? Would God not generously supply? Who are church leaders, teachers and shepherds following if they pass on misinformation or nothing at all?  Our Savior came to teach everything the Father told him about the end (John 15:15). In Matthew, Jesus instructed his disciples on last days’ emergency procedures (10:17-42, 24:4-51). Are we following the Bible, or are our eyes shut and ears closed?

We have Moses and the prophets. If we do not believe them, neither will we believe one risen from the dead. 

The prophet’s words are often unwelcomed, but not by those who will be saved. The medical test results must be heard, if positive steps are to be taken toward a cure. The corrupt must be brought to justice, before reform can happen and trust re-established. We are all followers. Those who reject wisdom’s teaching will tragically always follow the wrong leader.

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Who is wise? He will realize these things.

Who is discerning? He will understand them.

The ways of the LORD are right, the righteous will walk in them, but the rebellious stumble in them.  (Hosea 14:9 NIV)

Even when we think nothing is on our mind, our mind is still there, working overtime. If anyone accuses you of “losing your mind,” you really haven’t. You probably expressed an idea they found unacceptable. It’s time we understood that there is a battle for control of our mind.

What is on your mind? Nothing more than what has been accumulating over your lifetime. Our minds are selective. Tons of information is being created every day, we cannot begin to process it all.  So, as Christians, we must make choices about the info that occupies our thoughts. That is where discernment becomes necessary. What we entertain (discernment) and how we respond to it practically (wisdom) is something over which we have control. Discernment to distinguish the truth from a lie, and wisdom to decide what, if anything, to do with the thought, separates the righteous from the rebellious. The righteous will take charge of what is on their mind and make it obedient to Christ.

Finally, my brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things… And the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:8, 9b).

Unhealthy and unholy thoughts find their way inside everyone’s head, but like the saying goes, “A bird may land in your hair, but you don’t have to let it build a nest.”

Guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life. Set a guard. Protect your mind. Desire truth in the inner being. Direct your mind to things above, not on things below. God’s thoughts are not our thoughts, neither are His ways our ways. Yet we should aspire to know the Lord’s thoughts and, like Moses, strive to learn His ways. We have not arrived until we are able to confirm Paul’s declaration: “We have the mind of Christ.”

Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this reason I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”

“What is truth?” Pilate asked. (John 18:37b-38a NIV)

What is truth?” Pilate asked. Was it relative? Was truth whatever Caesar said it was?

“Fact-checking” is what America’s mainstream media (ex. The Washington Post, New York Times, CNN, etc.) offers to the public. They seem happy to point out the less-than-factual claims of Donald Trump. But who fact-checks the fact-checkers? Someone should. They should be subject them to the same scrutiny since their accuracy record is not too good. One conservative member of the broadcast media proclaims he is “America’s truth-detecter.” He claims to be “almost always right”?

Who is the real arbiter of what is true or false? Truth is a person, but not just any person. May I introduce you to Jesus? If you do not know who He is, don’t expect help from Google Home. Google’s smart audio device cannot identify Jesus or God, nor can Amazon’s Alexa. They seem to know everybody else, but when it comes to Jesus or God, they “do not have that information.” So can we trust them to know the truth?

Jesus came for the purpose of testifying to the truth. “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

Americans have a dilemma they brought on themselves. They have embraced a multitude of ideologies. Each claims truth is on their side, yet all claims are equally valid. But truth does not take sides, it stands alone as judge. Deceit takes sides. The best we can do is be on the side of truth.

Jesus came to destroy the work of the devil (the deceiver), by testifying to the truth. When the Antichrist comes, he will claim he is “Truth.” Antichrist’s spirit is saturating the globe. The manifestation of it is seen in what comes from the deceiver’s mouth as well as that of the deceived. Jesus warns, “Watch out that no one deceives you” and “See, I have told you ahead of time.” (Matthew 24:4, 25)

Confusing claims of truth witnessed in politics are heard in the Church of Jesus Christ. Proof is the thousands of denominations and different groups. Only one can be true, or possibly none. Truth is not arbitrary.

Any other foundation than Christ is a lie. Yet even a foundation on Christ can be later become a lie. Soon God will judge his household with this question: You started your race, but did you continue in the truth? Every work that presumes to be of Christ will be tested by fire. Judgment on the household of faith is laid out in Revelation 2-3. We must examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith. Contentment comes from Biblical illiteracy or neglect.

Jesus answered the Samaritan woman by saying that her people worshiped what they did not know, yet Jews worshiped what they did know, for salvation comes from the Jews (John 4:22). Samaritans had a faith built on a lie (an idol). Jews were given the truth by God, but they turned from the Scripture and incorporated the lie (idols) instead. Were Jews saved because of their foundation in God or a relationship to Abraham? Many thought so. Were the Samaritans saved because of their sincere devotion to idols? Are we saved because we “prayed once at a church altar?” Salvation entails more than a foundation, it needs a persistent following of the truth.

Salvation is not something we secured in the past and then forgot. Neither is a house ours if we fail to keep it up, or if we default on the mortgage or taxes. Paul taught Timothy. God wants all people everywhere to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. There is one God and one mediator between man and God, the man Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 2:4)

We must add to our faith, truth, or accept the consequences. Truth is a standard by which we live. Christ is the cornerstone on which to build. The stone Jewish builders with the right foundation had rejected.

If we think we have attained truth, we are mistaken. Truth is based on love, so if we think we know it all but have not love, we have nothing. Truth is Jesus. Eagerly pursue Christ-likeness. Blind guides offer a path with many on it. The way to LIFE is narrow and there are few on it.

What is truth? Only that which comes directly out of the mouth of God. Truth and salvation are mutually dependent. Unless we know who is truth, we will never know “What is truth?”

 

Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God. Show proper respect for everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king. (1 Peter 2:17 NIV)

All are keenly aware whenever they are legitimately disrespected. America’s president Donald Trump made it clear from his interview in Davos, Switzerland this week that his administration felt disrespected by Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. With the $100’s of millions in aid the U.S. doles out annually going to his government, he still refused to meet with Michael Pence during the vice-president’s recent visit. For the slap in the face, the hefty sum America sends to the PLO is now “on the table.” The money flow has stopped. Abbas broke a simple rule: “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.”

“As in everything, do to others as you would have them do to you.” -Jesus

What is there about us? We know instantly when we are disrespected? There is a built-in sense. Certainly President Trump knows and has chosen Twitter to return fire–which is his trademark. “An eye for an eye.” He is not given to turning the other cheek, the Lord’s way of dealing with persecution. Striking back only empowers our enemies, but the illusion of impunity emboldens the attackers as well. It is an illusion because God and God-fearers are fully aware of their lack of reverential awe and disrespect.

We are made in God’s image. When we are ill-treated, God feels it. For that reason, we should treat each other according to the Golden Rule: “As in everything, do to others as you would have them do to you.” (Matthew 7:12) 

Christians are the best of citizens.” -St. Augustine

To get respect, we must earn respect. Peter’s teaching (above) came during a horrific period of history. Nero’s persecution had broken out on the pretext that Christians started the fire that destroyed much of  Rome. Innocent followers of Christ were burned alive, others ripped to pieces by wild dogs, still others lost all possessions. Suffering unjustly had to elicit the deepest of negative emotions. With apostolic authority, Peter taught to respect everyone, to love the believers and to unconditionally honor Nero, their murderous king.  Saint Augustine would later observe, “Christians are the best of citizens.” Of all people, saints should understand both dimensions of respect.

“Fear God and obey his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13b)

Respect is in short supply. As a result, nations like the U.S. are dividing into factions. Respect has not been taught or re-enforced in the home. Disrespect is taught by example, then protected and encouraged through various institutions. Insults, slander, lies, corrupt talk and open threats against authority, are an assault against the order established by God. Rebellion against the king is rebellion against the Lord himself. The vertical dimension of respect is founded on the oft repeated precept, “Fear God and obey his commands.” The fear of God has to be taught and enforced from generation to generation or all restraint will disappear and the divided state will fall.

We do not choose between treating others with dignity and loving God, for how can we love God whom we have not seen, if we hate our brother whom we have seen? The answer is that we cannot. Hate that manifests itself in shouting down, shutting up or tearing down a fellow human being, is hatred of God and what he has created.

Everyone must submit himself to  the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established… Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. (Romans 13:1, 2)

If there is no fear of the king’s sword, then God still has a way of punishing the disrespectful. For his insolence, President Abbas may be humbled by a loss of funds. God commands fear, respect and honor, as does the king. If we curse (“Raca”) our brother, then at our King’s discretion, death and judgment may follow (Matthew 5:22, 22:5-7)

The disrespectful will be purged. The humble will be exalted. As to the one who spits in God’s face, they will feel His wrath. Their knee will bow and their tongue will confess, to the glory of God the Father, that Jesus Christ is Lord (Philippians 2:10-11). Immediately after their confession and humiliation, into the eternal fire they go.

It all starts with God. And so, with the sixth commandment in mind, God asks, “If I am a father, where is the honor due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?” (Malachi 1:6a). The vertical dimension governs the horizontal. In an age of unprecedented lack of respect, many Christians ought to be more concerned.

As he [David] was talking with them, Goliath, the Philistine champion from Gath, stepped out from his lines and shouted his usual defiance, and David heard it. When the Israelites saw the man, they all ran from him in great fear. (1 Samuel 17:23-24 NIV)

Fear and faith are mutually exclusive. To control humans, Satan must create strongholds of fear. If God’s people refuse to give in, even to the fear of death, then faith’s power is unleashed (Hebrews 11:6).

David understood the contest between him and Goliath was not about strength or skill. It was a confrontation between the proxies for Israel’s God and Satan.

In 1 Samuel 17:4-7, we have Goliath, a giant of a man, a champion of the Philistines, defiantly challenging Israel’s army. For awhile, it seemed Israel did not have a man brave enough to fight for God’s honor.

Let us look at Goliath. Were he and his brothers offspring of the Nephilim, a race of giants (Numbers 13:33a)? Goliath stood more than nine feet in height (less than three meters). Though Saul was taller than his Israelite brothers, self-preservation–or in this case “cowardice”–kept him from battling Goliath (1 Samuel 17:25, cf. Numbers 13:33b).

Before the flood, Goliath’s predecessors roamed the land without opposition, as lords of the earth. Early in this present age, they were re-introduced to live among the Canaanites and prevent Israel from claiming the Promised Land (Numbers 13). They remained godless and soul-less; violent men who through taunting, separated God’s servants from their source of power (1 Chronicles 20:5-8). It will be that way again. Wimpy saints need not apply. Are we buckled up and ready (Revelation 13:4-7)?

Like Goliath, the huge man from Gath, “sons of the gods” have physical features that do not belong to humans (1 Chronicles 20:6-7). In addition to their immense size and strength, they have an aura of indestructibility. Nebuchadnezzar referred to this in a remark he made in Daniel 3. When, after casting Meshach, Shadrach and Abednego into the fire, he peered into the furnace and said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.” (3:25)

To many futurists, the growing attachment to robotics signals the inevitable end of humanity. I see the robotics trend as the re-emergence of the Nephilim, the sons of god. Roaming the earth as before, they will be re-packaged versions of the heroes of old. Yet, like bygone days, they possess inhuman characteristics. Compared to men, they are taller, stronger, bigger, smarter, without emotion or affection. Their creation is fueled by man’s desire for power.

We saw these beings in Noah’s day before the Flood (Genesis 6), again, in the time of the twelve spies (Numbers 13), and before David ruled Jacob (1 Samuel 17). Better buckle up!

As for men, some crave the title “supreme ruler of the earth.” That is all the opening Satan needs. He is the seducer of the proud, convincing them they are gods. As to their ambition, if they conceived it and believed it, they will achieve it! —all with the evil one’s help, of course.

In Part 5, we will look at the one step remaining. Cyborgs are in production, but how will the sons of god and their humanoid counterparts, the beautiful daughters of men, be activated to fulfill their mission?

In the pride of your heart you say, “I am a god; I sit on the throne of a god in the heart of the seas.” (Ezekiel 28:1b NIV, cf. Revelation 17:15) 

What will the soon-to-be-revealed Beast or Antichrist be like? Prophecy in Ezekiel 28 has the answer. It is apparent after verse 10 that we are not reading about a human king, but about Satan himself. There is no doubt the beast will be Satan in human flesh.

In Ezekiel 28:1 the king says, “I am a god. I sit on the throne of a god in the heart of the seas.” His arrogance in claiming to be a deity equals that of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon (cf. Daniel 4:29-30). Also, we have the same arrogant spirit with Herod Agrippa before God struck him dead (Acts 12:21-23). Prideful, describes Satan in Isaiah 14:12-15, a condition that made him God’s enemy. Satan in female form describes the great prostitute of Revelation 17. Of her it was written, she sits on many waters, which in a prophetic context (see above) means peoples, multitudes, nations and languages (17:15). The same was said of Tyre’s king in Ezekiel 28:1 or was the beast of Revelation more in mind?

In summary, regarding the beast or antichrist, prophecy and the pattern of history warns of a coming, Satanic power who will be bent on overthrowing God’s rule, on destroying God’s people, and all while demanding universal worship.

It may seem like a stretch, but potentially, it fits with robotics’ potential for evil. For now, we need more Scriptural background so we can accurately predict where robotics is going.

According to Jesus, the end of the first age was a preview of what occurs in the last days (Luke 17:26). So how was life before the Flood? Something very weird was going on.

When men began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. Then the LORD said, “My Spirit will not contend with men forever for they are mortal…” The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of men and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown. (Genesis 6:1-3a, 4 NIV)

Perhaps you have settled on a meaning for the above Genesis 6:1-4 passage. Consider this: What if we drop the upper case “G” in the NIV phrase the sons of God, since it could be misleading. (The upper case or capital G was a translator decision.) It helps to read this passage in the context of “I am a god” (lower case “g”) with Ezekiel 27 as a background. The sons of god helps us better understand the Nephilim before the Flood as a reason for God’s judgment. From Goliath’s example–which we will look at next time–we conclude the Nephilim were violent, soul-less, physically-superior beings that manifested the Antichrist spirit of arrogance.

Buckle up! Another crop of Nephilim are coming. Currently we call them Cyborgs. There is nothing new under the sun.

More Biblical background needs presented in Part 4, then we can better tie the past to today’s fast-changing world of robotics.

The LORD said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.” (Genesis 11:12 NIV)

Almost a century ago, “Think and Grow Rich” author, Napoleon Hill, wrote: “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” Variations on this theme have dominated self-help books and motivational talks since the idea for them began. Maybe there is something to the notion.

The Lord acknowledged the potential for accomplishing the impossible when he incorporated the divine image in man (Matthew 17:20). He deposited within Adam an ability given to angels: For good or evil, if it could be conceived and believed, it could be achieved. The bad side of this is it created a necessity to rid heaven of all who conceived or believed they could displace the Most High (Isaiah 14:12-15). The same thing happened on earth.

All like Korah, in Numbers 16, who would challenge God’s authority (Psalm 2:1-3), or deny His power (2 Timothy 3:5), or seek to share in His glory (Isaiah 42:8), must face everlasting banishment.

Nurturing subversive thoughts toward God immediately identifies the creature as His enemy. The Flood erased the first population of wicked who took a stand against the Almighty. After the end of this age, the second group of wicked will be looked for, but they will not be found (Psalm 37:10). A final purge will follow this age by a thousand years.

Babel was an early example of God’s respect for iniquity. In defiance of His command to spread out and fill the earth (Genesis 9:1), the people of Babel settled in one place and built for themselves a city. In it, they constructed a tower that reached to the sky.

They had acquired a mindset that it was no big deal to upset God’s laws. The tower was their way of showing God they did not fear another flood judgment. Their attempted overthrow was halted when they were scattered to the four winds. Nevertheless, what was conceived in their hearts was spread with them—witness the many tall city skylines around the world.

Well buckle up. They–meaning the rebels–are at it again. In defiance of God, they conceived a new plan to overthrow His rule and set laws. In Genesis 11, the invention that fueled Babel’s insurrection was brick-making. The breakthrough this time around has come in technology. Propelling Babylon the Great’s future conquests are recent developments in robotics.

In Part 2, we will begin to explore the potential for evil of robotics.

“The days are coming,” declares the Sovereign LORD, “when I will send a famine through the land—not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the LORD. Men will stagger from sea to sea and wander from north to east, searching for a word from the LORD, but they will not find it.” (Amos 8:11-12 NIV)

Like most Americans, I never experienced famine. In the midst of famine, people are not just hungry; they starve to death.

When God spoke through his prophet Amos, he promised a judgment—a famine of hearing the words of the Lord. Men will stagger, searching for a single word from the Lord, but they will not find it. Not a scarcity of words [plural], but an absence of a single word from God’s mouth.

Add famine of the Word to the list of tribulations to be endured before Jesus returns. After three years of solitary confinement in a late 40’s and early 1950’s Communist prison, Richard Wurmbrand could barely recall his name, let alone Scripture. No light of day, no conversation and no books. Nothing. Dead silence. Is that what a famine of the Word would be like?

Recently, I read a heartfelt comment on The Priests of God. It struck me that we may already be in a famine judgment’s early stages. He wrote, “I was so thirsty for truth that I didn’t know I was thirsting. It’s like being hungry for so long your stomach stops hurting and your body just accepts it as normal. The truth is rarely taught here.” (“Here,” in his case, meant where he attends Christian services.) Food is offered, but it isn’t really.

In a food and nutrition-conscious culture, Christians may be spiritually malnourished and not know it. In other words, we can grow accustomed to eating food devoid of nutritional benefit. Junk food fills, but robs us of our appetite for fruits and vegetables. Some will reject the spiritually healthy, opting instead for the chips, cake and soda of our religious culture.

If ears do not want to hear, the Lord will go silent. Word must be in us, in our heart and mind, or it won’t be anywhere. Take a lesson from the ant. Store up God’s Word now. It is going to be a long, cold, silent winter. Famine is coming.

 

Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the praise from men more than praise from God. (John 12:42-43 NIV)

Some leaders love to create dependence in their followers. They desire to be sole arbiters of what is right and good. They enjoy the attention they receive, particularly the deference given for their opinion on matters of faith and politics.

When the flock comes for their weekly feeding, the shepherd is there with the spoon and bucket. They would not have it any other way. Control the diet and you control the sheep. Keep them calm and sedated. Lull the sheep into passivity and the shepherd has done their job. The best compliment is “Nice sermon” said with a satisfied smile.

Let’s say one of the sheep steps out of the routine of scanning recommended devotionals, old sermons, church newsletters or other pastoral-approved materials. On his own he reads the Bible. He finds a passage that sounds like an ominous warning. It unsettles a spirit that had been asleep. Seeking understanding, he reads the word of the prophet to his shepherd. The glare he receives for his unauthorized reading is so intense that the trite explanation is quickly forgotten. The look threatened to end his spoon fed ritual. Once sheep taste the Word of Life, they seldom return to their docile past. Taste and see that the LORD is good… (Psalm 34:8)

Many religious leaders, began to put their faith in Jesus. Though they were supposed leaders, they were more like followers. They had been spoon fed their entire religious lives, yet they discovered Christ’s words had power. They loved the food from heaven that came from his mouth. They were secret admirers. How they wished they could speak openly about their joy, but they were afraid. The message was clear: Follow Christ and no longer be welcome at synagogue. Become one of his disciples, and be a pariah within your “former” religious community.

Spoon fed Christians pay a price–sooner or later. Their reliance on a shepherd that pacifies and puts at ease will leave them helpless when disaster strikes. When events take place that prophets warned about, the hireling will disappear and their spoon will go with them. If there is no personal Bible study of the prophets, then sheep are in great danger of starvation when evil reigns. If we are not self-feeding and God dependent, then our reliance on the spoon will leave us with little choice but to die.

I know what I am talking about; I used to be a shepherd spooning it out every Sunday. Then I tasted the pure, spiritual word of God. It cost me a secure vocation and comfortable lifestyle, but, oh, how I love to teach hungry saints to feast on the Word.

In times of disaster, they will not wither; in days of famine they will enjoy plenty. (Psalm 37:19)

 

“Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming ‘I am the Christ,’ and deceive many.” (Matthew 24:4 NIV)

In Part One, we witnessed Simon’s quick transformation. In Matthew 16, he was elevated from the ordinary to Disciple-extraordinaire, Peter. Picture him in Matthew 16:18-19 with a proud and pious look, holding the keys to the kingdom.

In three short verses, it all changes. He has horns and resembles the devil. In moments, Simon went from exalted status to Jesus’ enemy. He transitioned from celebrity saint to Satan. What line did he cross with God? The same one prominent Christians transgress on a regular basis. Peter knew who Jesus was, (i.e. the Son of the Living God), yet, in Matthew 16:22, he undermined prophecy. (“Never Lord. This shall never happen to you.”)

Peter knew some things, but the future was not one of them. He should have shut-up and listened to Jesus. Disciples are notorious for not taking prophecy to heart. They may know in part, presuming they know the whole, but it is what they don’t know that makes them dangerous. The wise are aware of how much they do not know, but the fool thinks he knows everything.

Jesus gave us the essentials in his Olivet Discourse. He instructed disciples on the basics for overcoming at the end of this age (Matthew 24:3, Mark 13:4, Luke 21:7). He, who is sovereign over all things, told his followers in advance (Matthew 24:25). Have we taken these words to heart? Have we listened to Jesus’ words, or do we let the well-intentioned Peters feed us a diet of fake prophecy?

The end times will be marked with a great falling away. Authorities will attempt to undermine God’s prophetic word. They will describe a different future than the one Jesus presented in Matthew 24:9-10. Religious leaders will become a major stumbling block to saints who take prophecy to heart.

Three times in Matthew 24 (vs. 4, 11 and 24), Jesus warns about deception. But does it matter to those who know only part? “Many will fall away because of me,” is not just a prediction, but, because of who said it, it is an absolute. The Lord said many disciples will fall away, not just a few on the fringes.

Has apostasy or a falling away ever happened? Of course it has. History presents a pattern. For example, many disciples could not accept Jesus’ hard teaching in John 6. Then what? We learn, “From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.” (John 6:66)

When the going got tough, many, who had followed in the good times, bailed. We can understand desertion by pretenders, but what about the Lord’s inner circle, the twelve? In John 6:67-69, they had refused to leave Jesus.

As the cross of Calvary drew nearer, Jesus’ twelve disciples declared that even if they faced death, they would never leave him. Before that, in Matthew 26:31, Jesus said they would all fall away, and quoted Old Testament prophecy confirming it. So, were they there to the end or, that very night, as Jesus said, did they fall away?

Jesus never entrusted himself to men (John 2:23-24). Men will often reject the literal words of Jesus, and listen instead to sources like Peter.  If we read the whole, and not just part, we would know fake prophets will come and that those who stand firm to the end will be saved (Matthew 24:13).

Teachers will give the many what they want to hear. They purpose not to know the whole, only the part that suits them. So, the many are set up for a major deception. (My people perish for lack of knowledge.)

“A little learning is a dangerous thing,” so wrote Alexander Pope. Anyone who owns, or has access to a Bible, has no excuse. Ahead of time, Jesus told us all we need to know. For shame if we do not take his foreknowledge to heart.

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