by Roger Oakland
Understand the Times International
According to the Scriptures and the events that we see happening around us, we are living in the last days. The Bible states that the last days will be perilous. Webster’s Dictionary defines the word perilous to mean dangerous, grave, threatening, unsafe, and unhealthy. Does this not describe the world today?
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 Timothy 3:1
There will be many deceivers during this time. The blind will be leading the blind. There will be wolves in sheep’s clothing that desire to devour the sheep and drive them to market. These wolves may know they are wolves, or they may not. They are under strong delusion. The world is under strong delusion as well. What is delusion? “Something that is falsely or delusively believed or propagated.”1
And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie. 2 Thessalonians 2:11
More often than not, sheep will follow a shepherd because that is the nature of sheep. They will even trust the shepherd and do whatever he says because they believe he will protect them against all wolves. But earthly shepherds cannot be relied on. Jesus is the Good Shepherd, and He is the only one who can protect the sheep.
I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. John 10:11
When we put men into the place of power, they become corrupt and obsessed for the love of money and more power. In short, shepherds can become wolves when they are led by the flesh rather than by the Spirit of God.
For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Romans 8:5-6
When the sheep finally see what is happening, it is often too late. Even though shepherd’s may know what the Word of God teaches, they often use the Word as a means to their own end. They say things such as “do not touch God’s anointed” in order to avoid being challenged by those who try to direct them back to the Word of God.
My people hath been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away on the mountains: they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their restingplace. Jeremiah 50:6
In the last days, we can expect to see the faith of many people being influenced by Satan in a powerful way.
Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition. 2 Thessalonians 2:3
It appears from Bible prophecy that an apostate church actually becomes Satan’s footstool. “I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan” Revelation 2:9. Satan is the master of lies. What better master plan than to deceive multitudes in the name of the Savior. He sets up a peace plan in the name of Jesus, but it is a peace plan that will ultimately bring God’s wrath.
We live in the very day that this plan is unfolding, and so few seem aware of it. In the past, God’s servants warned about what was coming in the future, but like Noah, they were not heard. Now that the signs are increasingly more obvious, fewer and fewer believers seem to be responsive.
But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Matthew 24:37
Instead of warning that disaster is coming, many pastors have become false teachers and are actually helping expedite this great delusion. And while the economies of the world are collapsing, charlatans are doing all they can to hang on to their assets and build up their empires, often in the name of God. Instead of serving people and being involved in reaching the poor, widows, and the orphans, they are forever looking for further ways to grow their “kingdoms”: more radio stations, bigger buildings, more property, and large screen monitors for broadcasting their own messages to satellite outreaches reaching millions across the globe with their agendas to reproduce themselves.
Instead of churches, these TV entertainment centers have become like fast food franchises. Graphic designers design logos that stand for brand names like the “M” in Mc Donald’s.
The Bible, once taught faithfully, now becomes a manipulated spring board for postmodern “googly-gook” that destroys the truth. Large meetings are held in stadiums with bands that are popular with the world. More funds are spent on entertainment than on promoting Jesus Christ.
The appeal to the senses is part of the appeal to attract the postmodern generation trained to have their ears tickled by worldly methods.
For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 2 Timothy 3: 6-7
Organizers hope their followers will be attracted to this style of program, so they can be introduced to the “Lord” and a gospel that may not even be based on the Scriptures. When “converts” go forward, everyone in the audience claps. Some may truly become believers but countless of them do not.
Christian believer, be exhorted to reach out to the lost with the true Gospel. The world is being deceived, and so is most of organized Christianity. Strong delusion has made its mark. An apostate church is emerging, while Bible believing, discerning Christians are being left on the side of the road, scorned and displaced with often no church to attend. This apostate church has left the light of the Word and is headed into the darkness.
But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them. 2 Timothy 3: 13-14
Because men love darkness more than the light, they refuse to take biblical correction. Rather they call those who challenge them divisive, liars, and troublemakers. They say that white is black and black is white.
While certain men have crept in just like in the days of Jude, and while this apostate church is rising to the “top,” let those who have ears to hear, hear what the Spirit says. Let us proclaim the Good News about our glorious salvation; let us not put our hope in building a “Christian” nation and a Kingdom of God on Earth (there will be no Kingdom of God on Earth until He returns in judgement at His second coming); rather let us put our hope in the Gospel.
Satan has been the god of this world since the fall of man, and that has never changed.
In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. 2 Corinthians 4:4
According to the Scriptures we should prepare for a dark time ahead. Are we willing to tell others what true salvation is (centered around Jesus Christ and His sacrifice on the Cross), or are we planning to help build an interfaith, universalistic, mystical kingdom on earth?
Maybe it is time to count the cost. Are we willing to share the truth about Jesus Christ and shout it out loud? Let us exhort one another to become fishers of men as Jesus challenged us? Follow Him! Is it not a small price to pay in light of what He has done for us? Lord help us to be faithful servants. It is indeed a small price to pay for what you have done for us.
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. Revelation 12:11