Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them. Luke 21:8.
“In this age antichrist will appear as the true Christ, and then the law of God will be fully made void in the nations of our world. Rebellion against God’s holy law will be fully ripe. But the true leader of all this rebellion is Satan clothed as an angel of light. Men will be deceived and will exalt him to the place of God, and deify him. But Omnipotence will interpose, and to the apostate churches that unite in the exaltation of Satan, the sentence will go forth, `Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.’”
Disguised as an angel of light, he [Satan] will walk the earth as a wonder-worker. In beautiful language he will present lofty sentiments. Good words will be spoken by him, and good deeds performed. Christ will be personified, but on one point there will be a marked distinction. Satan will turn the people from the law of God.
He will declare that the Sabbath has been changed from the seventh to the first day of the week; and as lord of the first day of the week he will present this spurious sabbath as a test of loyalty to him.
It is impossible to give any idea of the experience of the people of God who shall be alive upon the earth when celestial glory and a repetition of the persecutions of the past are blended. They will walk in the light proceeding from the throne of God. By means of the angels there will be constant communication between heaven and earth. And Satan, surrounded by evil angels, and claiming to be God, will work miracles of all kinds, to deceive, if possible, the very elect. God’s people will not find their safety in working miracles, for Satan will counterfeit the miracles that will be wrought. God’s tried and tested people will find their power in the sign spoken of in Exodus 31:12-18. They are to take their stand on the living word: “It is written.” This is the only foundation upon which they can stand securely.
Maranatha p. 205
——update—Jerry is much better today. Thank you for your prayers. Lesley
—–Put my wife, Gaylene, on your prayer list. She will have surgery in about two weeks to have her bladder removed, due to cancer in the lining of her bladder. Doug
—–Would appreciate prayers. Our ignition cylinder doesn’t turn and I can’t replace it until it does. Rich
—–Please pray for a girl who went to see a movie about the occult and is now being bothered by nightmares. R
One of the best teachers I ever had was Mrs. Vincent, my high school Latin teacher. Knowing that most of her students would find Latin rather boring, she did what she could to make learning fun. On the first day of school, she divided the students up into two teams. Then she told us that whichever team had the fewest points by Christmas had to bring the treats for a party. They had to serve the winners and clean up the mess afterwards. The winning team could just sit back and enjoy the party. At that party, new teams were to be chosen. There would be another party at the end of the school year.
Every day Mrs. Vincent had games for us at the blackboard. Different students from each team had to go to the board and decline a noun, conjugate a verb, or write a sentence using a particular word. Since it seemed more like a game than it did work, even John who normally had little interest in school wanted to do well. He really tried hard and found that Latin was easy when it was approached as a team sport.
How many look upon our service to Jesus as John normally looked at going to school. How many others follow our Great Provider for the promise of future reward just like the students worked hard learning Latin so they could be on the winning team. How many have a “fire escape” religion, working hard to make sure they are not on the losing side. Yet, these reasons will leave us disappointed. There is only one reason to follow our Dear Saviour—-love. He says, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” John 14:15 This is the key. Pleasing our Wonderful Saviour should be the only motive for obedience. “We love him, because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19
Obedience should never be approached as something distasteful that we have to do or else. Obedience should be given joyfully from a heart full of love, in order to please the One Who died for us that we might have eternal life. We cannot earn our way to Heaven, neither can we rid ourselves of the sin in our lives. We may try, but it is useless. “For though thou wash thee with niter, and take thee much soap, yet thine iniquity is marked before me, saith the Lord GOD.” “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.” Jer 2:22; 13:23 James reminds us, “whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” James 2:10 We may, by stern discipline, keep the law outwardly, but if the heart is not completely right, we are still breaking the commandments.
If we think an outward show is enough, we are as the rich, young ruler. (Matt 19:16-22) His was an outward obedience and when the test came, he failed.
Yet, obedience is required. the Great King of the Universe cannot allow sinners into Heaven or sin would be perpetuated and spread to the entire universe. A change of heart is essential. Our thoughts, motives, words, and actions must be brought into harmony with the Heavenly team. Praise God! He has provided the way! He does not leave us alone! He not only forgives our sin, but He cleanses us from it! John tells us, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected.” 1 John 1:9-2:5 James adds, “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works. 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 2:17-20
Peter assures us that our Loving Redeemer gives us power to obey! “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” 2 Peter 1:3,4
Let us obey our Great Redeemer as joyfully and wholeheartedly as the students in Mrs. Vincent’s class studied Latin. Let us allow Him to finish the good work that He has begun in us and get us ready to live in His presence for all eternity. (Phil 1:6) Let us so live, that we may partake of the marriage supper of the Lamb. (Rev 19:6-9)