There’s coming a day in the future when deception will be at an all-time high and people will be willing to take a Mark on their right hand or on their forehead so that they will be able to buy or sell. Thinking they’re doing that to survive and yet the deception is that they have just sealed their eternal fate, which will be separation from God. We’re going to talk about that today.
Glad that everyone is ready to open their hearts and receive the word as we continue this series on the return of Christ. We are in this, We Believe Series. We believe in the return of Christ. As we have the We Believe series throughout the year we are going to recite the creed together. We’re in this series, the Return of Christ. This is a we believe series. We believe Jesus Christ is coming again. Can you help me praise the Lord if you believe that with me today, come on. Celebrate the reality, the doctrine that we believe Christ is coming again.
The creed was written in 325 AD the at the Council of Nicaea. And these are core doctrines. These are things we believe. Say it aloud:
“ We believe in God, the Father Almighty, the Maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord: Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered at the hands of men, was crucified, dead, and buried. On the third day He arose again; He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; He will come again to judge the living and the dead. We believe in the Holy Spirit; the redeemed church; the fellowship of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting.”
These are our core doctrines. These are things we believe and are going to continue to teach. We want the next generation to have these doctrines, these beliefs strongly rooted in their hearts. We want all of us to continue to live for Christ and live according to the word and the will of God. Come on. Praise the Lord for those great doctrines of the church. Go ahead and praise him.
How many of you have just had a week? You’ve been through a week today. I mean, how many of you can say, you know what, I can praise him anyway, even though I’ve had one of the weeks that I don’t want to repeat again. The Bible says Psalm 34:1, “bless the Lord at all times. His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” I’ve had a week, but I’m going to praise the Lord anyway on this Sunday morning because I know he’s true. He’s good, he’s faithful, and even when I’ve been through some stuff. Listen, God doesn’t give you faith so that you can avoid all the stuff. He gives you faith, so you can get through it all and you can overcome all the stuff. Come on, just preach a little bit.
A life lived with a consciousness of Christ’s return produces different results than a life lived without it.
The four events of the return of Christ
In week one of our series, we showed you that the second coming of Jesus is a series of events. It’s not just this one isolated event. Instead, there’s really four events that really surround the return of Christ. The first one being the Rapture of the church. We talked about this catching away, the harpazo, where the church is caught away in the clouds. Yes, it sounds outrageous, but go listen to week one of the series. Then we talked about the Judgement of believers. There’s going to be this judgment of believers for those who have been caught away, a judgment seat of Christ. At the same time there’s this period of time, this happening on the earth called the Great Tribulation, a time of judgment for those who have not put their faith in Christ and who did not believe. Then the Final return of Christ at the battle of Armageddon where Jesus comes and sets his feet down on the Mount of Olives.
Signs of being near the Return of Christ
Last week we talked about signs of the times and what’s happening and how can we know that we are near the return of Christ and this week our focus, our topic is End Times Deception. I believe it’s my responsibility to tell you upfront that deception is here and it’s coming at even a higher level in these last days.
A life lived with a consciousness of Christ’s return
Our key thought for this series is: A life lived with a consciousness of Christ’s return, produces different results than a life lived without it. We need to be aware, conscious, and focused on the fact that Jesus Christ will return. We as believers should live with the end in mind. So, when we live with a consciousness of Christ return, we’re living with the end in mind and it makes all the difference.
Deception at the end of times
When you pick up your Bible and you read and you see the Bible as a lens into the future, there’s a word that just repeatedly comes to you as you see different passages concerning in time events or the return of Christ and that word that just keeps popping up from the page is this word Deception. Deception has a lot of different angles. There’s not just one easy definition of deception. Deception by definition is rather deceptive. It’s just kind of hard to wrap your arms around deception. But the dictionary says deception is an act of or statement which misleads, hides the truth or promotes a belief, concept or idea that is not true is often done for personal gain or advantage.
Deception can involve dissimulation, propaganda and sleight of hand as well as distraction, camouflage or concealment. Magicians make a great living mastering the art of deception. They’re entertainers because they can create deception and cause you to believe one thing while they’re actually doing another. But, the scary thing about true deception is that you can fall into it and not even realize it. Deception is one of the reasons why the Hebrew writer wrote in Hebrews 10: 24-25, he said, “and let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up, meeting together as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one, one another, and all the more as you see the day approaching, as you see the day approaching as the day of the Lord, the great day of the Lord, the return of Christ approaches.” Jesus was very concerned about deception when he wrote about his coming in. Matthew 24:4 says, “watch out that no one deceives you.” Watch out. Today I’m here to say, watch out. That’s my message. Watch out that no one deceives you. In Matthew 24, Jesus warned his disciples about deception three times in 20 verses and he was saying it’s going to be so widespread and convincing that even my elect could be taken by it. Deception. So where will this end time, deception come from?
End of time Deception from spirits to abandon the faith
#1 deceiving spirits. Look at 1 Timothy 4:1-2, we’re going to walk through a few verses here. As Paul writes to Timothy, he says, “the spirit” meaning the Holy spirit. God’s spirit “clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars whose consciousness have been seared as with a hot iron.” Notice in verse one right here, it says, ‘the Holy spirit clearly says that in later times”, we’ve already established in this series we’re living in later times. There are signs in these later times. Knowing that the end is closer than most people think.
I saw a new story this week, just this week on a news story on television about the number of people that are leaving or abandoning their faith. What did we just read? It clearly says that in the later times some will abandon the faith and they were interviewing people who had been a part of the local church, people who had walked with God and part of the local church and they asked him why had they left organized faith or religion and most of them said this, “well, we just sort of drifted away”. What does that say to me? What should they say to you? We’re living in later times where people are just sort of drifting away, abandoning the faith. That’s what happens in the later times. The Bible says deceiving spirits have a lot to do with that. What are they teaching? What are deceiving spirits or demons trying to teach people?
Can we just talk about demons for a minute? Demons are trying to teach people that. there are no absolutes, there’s no absolute right or absolute wrong. They will teach that what used to be wrong is now right, and what used to be right is now wrong. Ladies and gentlemen, those are teachings by demons. How does that happen? It happens because of a seared conscience. That’s what the Bible says 1 Timothy 4:2, “such teachings come through hypocritical liars whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.”
Now I know this is going to be strong. I must say some things that are very heavy, but I’m just trying to tell you what the Bible says. I think you come to church so the pastor will tell you what the Bible says. So I’ve come today to tell you very clearly some heavy things. Some things you’re going to say, that just doesn’t feel like love and encouragement. Listen, I can’t think of a stronger encouraging word that I can tell you today than to be ready for the return of the Lord Jesus Christ and to be ready for eternity and to live with the end in mind. That’s what we’re doing today. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. Your conscience is where the Holy spirit works. He leads us into truth. We understand truth. We are convicted of sin and he whispers right and wrong into our conscious, into our spirit, and he lets us know when we are right and when we are wrong or when we are drifting away.
But some people have rejected God so often and so long that their conscience has been seared. Don’t let that happen. You probably even know someone like that. You may work with someone like that. You may go to school with someone like that. You may, you may have some friends like that where they think, you know what, really this is my life and I’m going to live in it any way that I want to. Anything goes and they may have some thoughts and some opinions about certain issues and you’re listening to them and you’re saying, huh, what? How can you see it that way? How can you think that way? That is so completely opposite from what is true. How could you possibly look through a lens like that? Do you know how they can because they’ve had a seared conscience? Because they’ve rejected God so often for so long, they now can look at something and see it completely contrary to the will of God and the word of God and what makes perfectly normal sense to people whose hearts have been tuned into what God says and we’re living in a day like that. When you somehow surround yourself with those people, and I warn you as you listen to those voices, that say that there is no right and there’s no wrong and everyone should be able to build their own morality. If you’re waiting through those waters you are already knee deep in end time deception, promoted by demons.
End time Deception “Biblical marriage is not important”
Now look with me at 1 Timothy 4:3, “they…”, now is meaning demonic spirits, “forbid people to marry” or they say marriage is wrong or it is not necessary. What I want to show you here today is when demons have their way, they will deceive people into thinking that biblical marriage is no longer important. That’s what happens in the end times is that marriage, biblical marriage is no longer important. Other translations say they teach people that it’s not important. People who are influenced by demonic spirits, discouraged marriage and the deception is this, and you’ve heard the deception just live together. Just live together. Marriage is out of date anyway. Why bother to marry? Just live together, have sex outside of marriage, enjoy it. You may want to find somebody else later. Marriage is just a piece of paper. What matters is that you love each other. That is not what matters. What matters is that we please God. What matters is that we know the will of God and we live life God’s way and we live with the end in mind. That’s what really matters, but demonic spirits will cause us to believe that isn’t what matters. What matters is what we think, what we want and what we want to have right now. Biblical marriage is the very foundation of family and society and it is the picture that God uses to help us understand Christ’s relationship with his church. No wonder demons want to water it down and say it’s not important. We know we can actually know that we’re living in the near the return of Christ simply by looking at marriage statistics. Married, did you know marriage is at an all-time low in the United States with a steep decline in the last 27 years. There has been a 30% decline in the number of new marriages versus total population since 1990. The drop in all marriages and if you take same sex marriages out, the decline is even steeper. Demons will say marriage doesn’t matter. Demons, we’ll say biblical marriage doesn’t matter, by the way, same sex marriage is not included in biblical marriage. No matter what people say, and no matter that spirits say that it’s good and it’s right because people want that. Listen, I don’t find anything in the Bible that says just because I want it and just because I feel it and just because I need it. That makes it right. What makes it right is what God says is what is true and what is right and that’s what biblical marriage is now. Then somebody says, well, you just hate people. No, we don’t hate people. We love people. We love you and we love people enough to say the truth so that you can live ready for the return of Christ.
End time Deception “Man on the same level as every other species of animal”
Now let’s go to 1 Timothy 4:4, “and everything God created is good.” God created. God is creator and God created and therefore it is good. And as creator he gave humans a higher place than the rest of the animal kingdom. But this is also under attack in these last days by demonic spirits. Ladies and gentlemen, we are created by God for God. And he gave man rule over the earth, rule and dominion over the earth. He says it in Genesis 1:28, God blessed them and said to them, “be fruitful and increase in number, fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” Man, rules over the earth and over every living creature and over the animal kingdom. When demon spirits deceptively water down or remove the idea that God is creator or the truth that God is creator and that he created man in his image to have dominion and to rule. Then you have man on the same level as every other species of animal. Demonic spirits want to water down man’s authority and man’s dominion that God gave him when he made us in his image. Demons want to tear down man’s authority on the earth. Why? Because we’re created in God’s image and we can use our God given authority and take authority over every demon. We can take authority over every demon attack that comes against our family that comes against our church that comes against our businesses. The enemy is defeated because we’ve been given authority over the earth and over every demonic spirit that comes against you in your family.
Stand up and take authority over the End time Deceptions and demons
Let me encourage you with this, come on. Stand up and take authority. Stand up and take authority in the name of Jesus over every demon and every demon spirit and every demon attack that comes against your marriage that comes against your children, that comes against your business, that caused you to walk through the week that you had last week. Take authority over it. In Jesus name, you are the bride of Christ. The Holy spirit has been put in you. You have the word of God, the will of God, to speak against the demons that God, that that that that had been raised up to come against you and you can speak against them in Jesus name in time of deceiving spirits as the first source of in time.
End time Deception will come from “man”
Where will end time deception come from, #2 deceiving men. Matthew 24:4-5, Jesus answered, “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name claiming I am the Messiah and will deceive many.” You and I are going to be targeted. It says many will deceive many. Many will deceive many by their deceptive words. Many will deceive many by their deceptive words. So how will you know what voices to listen to in the future? By learning to listen to the right voices today, you will know how to listen to right voices in the future. You will tune your spirit and your heart into right voices in the future. As you listen to right voices today. When you don’t have God’s voice in your life, you will be deceived by other voices. That’s why I’m calling you. I’m compelling you to listen to the voice of God. Listen to the voice of God. If not, you’ll be deceived by the voices. Enter King Saul. If I could take you back to the old Testament for just a few moments. 1 Samuel 28:6, “Saul inquired of the Lord, but the Lord did not answer him by dreams or Urim…” Urim is casting lots to determine the will of God. He couldn’t find the voice of God by dreams or casting lots or by profits. Why? Because he had rebelled against God. He had disobeyed God. He’d hadn’t gone and killed the Amalekites like God had instructed him to do, and God quit speaking. God’s voice could not be heard. Now he’s up against another enemy, the Philistines, and he doesn’t know what to do and he needs the voice of God. 1 Samuel 28:7, “Saul then said to his attendants, ‘find me a woman who is a medium so I may go and inquire of her’. ‘There is one in Endor’, they said”. The Bible says in the old Testament when Saul was unable to hear the voice of God, he fell into deception and he went to the witch of Endor
When you don’t have the voice of God through his word you will fall prey to deceptive voices. End time Deception
See, when you don’t have the voice of God through his word, when you don’t have the voice of God through godly friends in your small group, when you don’t hear the voice of God through your pastor and you are not positioning yourself where you can hear the voice of God in a on a regular basis in a clear way, you will fall prey to deceptive voices. I’m telling you this because I love you. I’m telling you this because I want you to be ready on that last day. I’m telling you this, so you are going to investigate everything further than I’m saying today because it’s the truth of God’s word. But when you’re listening to all these other voices that say, “leave your marriage, leave your church, leave your family. Leave your job, figure it out on your own.” You’re listening to the wrong voice. When you don’t have God’s voice operating in your life, the enemy comes in with voices from other men, other people, and Saul now goes to a witch saying, I need a word from God. Talk about deception. He had personally banned the mediums in Israel knowing that was not where the voice of God comes from. Now, today he needs a voice of God and he says, well, that’s my last resort. Let’s go to the mediums. Let’s go to the witch and see if we can hear from God. Saul, so messed up. Now he thinks God will speak to him through crystal balls or Ouija boards or Tarot cards or fortune tellers, even a witch. Stay away from those kinds of people and stay away from those kinds of places. That is not where the voice of God comes from. That is not God’s will for your future. That is not God’s best for you and for your teenagers and for your children.
Can I just keep right on going because Halloween is right around the corner? Stay away from witches and goblins and black magic and stay away from all of those things. Those are not to be played around with. Guard your hearts and guard your children from the voices that want to speak into their little hearts and lives. There are only two kinds of spirits. The Holy spirit of God, the voice that will lead you into all truth that’s full of rightness, blessing and help for you. And then there are demonic spirits that have one objective in mind, and that’s to cause you to abandon your faith, to cause to separate you from God and to send you to an eternal place of darkness called hell. That’s what demonic spirits are trying to do in these last days, and they’re using deception to take you there. Don’t be deceived.
End time Deception before the return of Christ from false messiahs and false prophets
Jesus continues, in Matthew 24:24, we’re still talking about deceiving men, “for false messiahs and false prophets will appear in perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I’ve told you ahead of time.” Jesus is so loving, good, and kind. He says, I’m showing you this ahead of time. Jesus said this, “there will be two major deceptive voices that will arise during the tribulation time…” Now remember, the church will already be in heaven. Those who believe in Christ will have already been harpazo, caught away in the rapture of the church. “for the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout with the voice of the Archangel and the Trumpet of God and the dead in Christ shall rise first.” We talked about that in week one. “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and so, shall we ever be with the Lord. Therefore, comfort one another with these words.”
When Jesus calls his church to that place of eternal life, but following the rapture, there will be an amplification of deceptive voices from worldwide leaders to those who did not go in the rapture. Now, here’s the 30,000 foot view and you need to know this. If you don’t know all the details and all the intricacies of Bible prophesy, you do need to know this. The Bible calls two of these leaders: the beast, which is also called the antichrist and the false prophet. The Bible says that these deceptive leaders will emerge during the great tribulation and they will deceive many. Now there’s a book I pointed you to last week. If you want to investigate this further called the book of signs by Dr. David Jeremiah. It’s a very, very biblically based book. Dr. Jeremiah has a lot of insight on future things or eschatology and I would encourage you to read this. There’s a lot of different chapters on a lot of different signs, a lot of different things including what I’m talking about right now, and that’s the antichrist and the mark of the beast. Look what Revelation 13 says about this antichrist, this beast and false prophet who will deceive and force people into receiving a Mark. Revelation 13:16 says, “it will also force all people great and small, rich and poor, free and slave to receive a Mark on their right hands or on their foreheads so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name.” People will be told that the only way to survive is to take the Mark when in reality, the only way to survive and have an eternity with God is to reject the Mark.
End time Deception to take the Mark “666” of the antichrist
Look at verse Revelation 13:16-18, “this calls for wisdom that the person who has insight calculate the number of the beast for it is the number of a man and that number is 666.” That number is the number of the beast. Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’t want 666 on anything that I have. Some of you’ve read books, you’ve seen movies, you’ve seen different things. You’ve seen people making fun of the number 666. It’s nothing to be made fun of. It is a reality. It is. The number of the antichrist is the number of the beast. Six is the number of man. The antichrist is a man who will arise to deceive the world and his number is 666, man, man, man, not Christ. He’s opposed to Christ. He will be so full of the devil, almost like Satan’s Superman. But his rule and his power will be short lived, but the antichrist will deceive. Many people will deceive them. To take this Mark.
Now, what will this Mark be? Let me talk about this for just a moment. I’ve not talked about this on a Sunday. I’m sorry to say this, I’ve not talked about it in the 18 years of this church and it’s time that we talk about this so that you are equipped, you are made aware of what will this Mark be? Could it be a barcode? Certainly, with the weight technology it could be at barcode. It could be tattooed on someone’s hand or upon their forehead, but it could also be what is happening today around the world. This, this inserting of microchips, it started in the animals. We can put a little microchip in your puppy dog, so if he runs off you can find your puppy dog. But, but now it’s being done in humans around the world, specifically in Sweden to buy and so people can sell and so they can have medical services. It’ll be the ultimate ID. I’m just considering maybe it is the microchip, how they’re going to employ the Mark of the beast.
Video “On Assignment”
“I’m here to meet some of the thousands of people in the country who are adapting their own bodies, who are inserting microchips under their skin. It means they may never have to carry a house, key train tickets or bank card ever again. But is this sci-fi fantasy or practicality? I want to know why anyone would want to do this. The people I’ve met so far don’t seem to have any concerns about blurring the lines between man and machine. Hanis, has made it his mission to convince more of us to get microchipped. What’s wrong with just having contactless payment cards? We’ve all got phones. We’ve all got a set of keys. What’s the point?”
“The point is to reduce the hassle of exactly these things.”
“Isn’t that just the ultimate laziness?”
“No, it’s convenience. Every morning when you are going out your front door, you check your purse or your pockets. Okay. Do I have my wallet, my charger, my keys, my phone, all my stuff? What if you could reduce that by half? I want us humans to open and improve our sensory universe, our cognitive functions, and improve all different dimensions of being human. And there is so much we can do.”
“You wants to make us bionic?”
It’s already happening. So, there’s just this gradual acceptance of it to the point when people say, put it on my forehead, but eternal danger is ahead for all who accept the Mark. Revelation 14:9 says, “if anyone worships the beast and its image and receives its Mark on their forehead or on their hand, they too will drink the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath.” I would encourage you to read the remainder of that passage all the way through that chapter in on most Bible scholars agree that courageous people who reject this Mark at this time, remember the churches have already been raptured, but people who will be in the tribulation who will say, you know what? I’m not taking that Mark. Those will likely be people who have sat in churches like this, people who have been married to believers and they knew about it. They’ve heard about it. They’ve watched movies about it. They’re aware of the rapture. They’re aware of these kinds of teachings. They’re people who fully knew it, but they had just drifted away. Backsliders people who people wanted to serve God chose not to. Maybe people who sat in church is just like this, but they never fully surrendered to Christ, but by refusing to receive the Mark, they will be martyred during the tribulation period. The Bible makes that very clear, but because they put their faith in Jesus, they will be saved. This is what the apostle John says about these courageous people who are martyred during the tribulation period. He says in Revelation 20:4, “and I saw thrones and they sat upon them and judgment was given unto them, and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshiped the beast. Neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads or in their hands and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” Those will be some courageous people during that tribulation time.
So today we’ve talked about end time deceiving spirits and deceiving men, and I just taught you about these deceiving men, the beast and the false prophet.
End time Deception allowed by God
#3 End time deception that is allowed by God. It is not demons, it’s not men, but it’s deception allowed by God. You’re saying, pastor, how can the God of all truth allow any kind of deception? He can’t unless we just choose it over and over and over again, and he finally says, I’m going to let you have it. 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12, “the coming of the lawlessness one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, 10 and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.” Listen, this is talking about the tribulation period, but listen, there is a spirit of antichrist in the earth today and we live in it. There’s a spirit of antichrist that is deceiving people, causing people to choose to refuse to love the truth, and so they’re not saved for this reason. “ For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie 12 and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.” There will come a day when God will give people what they want. They refused over and over to love the truth and they have delighted in wickedness. God will just step back and allow them to have what they wanted.
I think the question today is this…What do you want? What do I want? I know what I want. Many, many years ago, the Holy spirit put these three words in my young heart, “What really matters”, and from that time on, I made a decision to live with the end in view because what matters is not necessarily what I accomplish and what kind of success I have in this life. What really matters is how ready I am for eternity. That’s what really matters. I made a decision a long time ago that what I want is to be ready on that great and glorious day. I’m going to live my life in such a way that honors the Lord Jesus Christ who died and suffered for me so that my sins could be forgiven and he gave me a hope and a future and he Rose again on the third day so I could live for the glory of God in power and straight and I don’t have to be deceived or caught off guard on that day.
I can be alert and I can be awake and I can be ready and waiting for the coming of the Lord. I trust my prayers that you will say, pastor, I see that I need that. I, I want to see what is coming and I want to be ready and I want to be waiting for that great day, that great return of the Lord. I don’t want to be deceived. I don’t want to ever take the mark. Listen, if you’ve not heard anything else today, I love you enough. Make sure you don’t forget this. Don’t take the Mark. Don’t take the Mark. Yeah, it’s going to be horrific. But better than that, be ready for the rapture of the church. Be ready for the coming of the Lord and be harpazo. Be caught up. Be taken away or when you die, guess what? You get to go first because you are ready. When you die, you are ready because you had Jesus Christ as Lord and savior of your life. Have I been clear today? Has this been a clear message? Love Jesus. Love him with all your heart. Grow in grace, grow in strength. Grow in your faith. Live for Jesus in these last days.