II Thessalonians 2:3
Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition,
The rapture or catching away of the church will not happen unless the falling away comes first. In Greek, falling away refers to apostasy – abandoning the truth or turning away from the Lord Jesus.
I Timothy 4:1
Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,
This verse tells us, some will withdraw, go away from the faith. To depart means to apostatize. Apostasy is the deliberate and permanent rejection of Christianity after a previous profession of faith in it. We are already seeing this happen and it will only increase as the rapture draws close and the man of sin, the Antichrist will be revealed.
Think about this, before Noah entered the Ark, the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
Also, before Lot, Abraham’s nephew was snatched out of Sodom and Gomorrah, the Lord testified, ‘the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and their sin is very grave..’
II Timothy 3:1-5
But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!
Not only will there be a falling away in the church but also an increase of lawlessness in the world in the last days like we have never seen before.
And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.
As believers, we are seeing wickedness rampant all over the world and it will just get darker. The Bible already tells us it shall happen this way, not for us to be discouraged but for us to know, the coming of our Lord is very close. The darker it get, the brighter we shine.
End times Deception
As I have discussed above, some believers will depart from the faith.
I Timothy 4:1 – Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,
This verse tells us why some believers will depart from the faith – they will give attention to and follow deceiving spirits and teachings of demons. In other words, they will be fooled by people who are ruled by deceiving spirits and teach demonic doctrines.
Matthew 24:4-5, 11 – And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.
The word deceive simply means to lead astray from the truth and to lead into error. Jesus said, false prophets will come and deceive many by their demonic doctrines – teachings that are contrary to God’s word.
Let’s see some more scriptures.
II Peter 2:1-3 – But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.
I John 4:1 – Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
Multiple scriptures point out about the false prophets coming in the name of Jesus with the sole objective of deceiving God’s people.
Always remember, Not everyone who is serving Jesus is sent by Him. Some are sent by the devil himself.
II Corinthians 11:13-15 – For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.
These are the ones who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. So how would you know them? Jesus said, you will know them by their fruits – their character, their actions and the way they live. Their motive is to deceive you – to lead you away from the truth. There are many false prophets, teachers and apostles in the world today and their teaching rotates around – to name a few – taking focus away from Jesus and fixing it on themselves, self abasement, worshipping of angels, justifying sexual immorality and false humility.
Colossians 2:22-23 Such rules are mere human teachings about things that deteriorate as we use them. These rules may seem wise because they require strong devotion, pious self-denial, and severe bodily discipline. But they provide no help in conquering a person’s evil desires.
Remember, their objective is to lead you away from the truth. The winds of deception are becoming fierce as we draw close to the rapture, therefore it’s important to hold firmly to the truth of God’s word. Winds can turn waves but it can’t shake mountains. No one can deceive you, if you are rooted and grounded in the rightly divided word of truth. It’s not enough to know the word, it’s important to know and be established in the rightly divided word of truth.
The only defence you have against the massive deceptions of the end times is to be established, rooted and grounded in the rightly divided word of truth.
Let me share with you some of the key foundations of our faith so you will hold firmly to it and deception won’t prevail over you.
1. We believe in one God.
We believe in one God, the creator of all things.
I Timothy 2:5 – For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.
We don’t believe in many gods or three gods, we believe in one God, manifested in three persons – The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Matthew 28:19 – Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
We believe that, the one God eternally exists in three Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; and that these three are one God, co-equal and co-eternal, having precisely the same nature and attributes, and worthy of precisely the same worship, confidence, and obedience. They have distinct personalities yet act in unity, in oneness and constitute the one true God of the Bible.
2. The deity and humanity of Jesus Christ. (Jesus Christ came in the flesh.)
I John 4:2-3 – By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.
The deity of Jesus Christ is the core of our faith. Jesus asked His disciples, ‘Who do you say that I am?’ Peter said, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ Jesus responded by saying on this rock (revelation of the deity of Jesus), I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. Jesus is more than a prophet and a good teacher, He is the Son of God – God in flesh. He is divinity in humanity. He has no beginning and has no end. He is the beginning and the end. He is not a created being. He is the Creator. He took on human flesh 2000 years ago to save humanity. He is fully God and fully man. He is 100% God and 100% man.
3. The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
I Corinthians 15:3-4 – For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,
I Corinthians 15:14 – And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty.
Our faith is founded on the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus died for our sins, was buried, went to hell and rose again on the third day. Today, Jesus is at God’s right hand possessing all power and all authority.
Revelation 1:18 – I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.
4. Salvation is by God’s grace, not by works.
Ephesians 2:8-9 – For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.
No amount of good works can earn salvation and there is nothing you can do to achieve it. Salvation is a gift and it is received by faith in Jesus Christ. The only way – let me say it again – the only way to receive salvation is faith in Jesus. There is no other way you can receive salvation.
5. The resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment.
I Corinthians 15:12 – Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?
John 5:28-29 – Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth— those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.
Hebrews 6:1-2 – Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
Many have said, there won’t be any resurrection from the dead. This they say, to escape moral accountability, to justify wickedness and live any way they want – let’s eat and drink for tomorrow we die. This is gross deception.
Hebrews 9:27 – And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,
Those that have accepted Jesus Christ and lived accordingly will be resurrected to life to be with Jesus for eternity and those who have rejected Jesus Christ will be resurrected to damnation and will be thrown into the lake of fire where they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
6. The Bible – the written Word of God is the truth.
John 17:17 – Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.
The Bible is infallible word of God and it is entirely inerrant and sufficient for faith and conduct. The Bible never gets outdated and it never needs an upgrade. The Bible is the highest form of reality. The written word of God is our constitution, our standard for life and it governs our life. Anything against the written word of God is a lie, no matter who says it and no matter how many say it.
The written Word of God is the final authority of our lives. Our life is founded on it and our lives revolve around it. Any voice, vision, dream, suggestion or thought that is contrary to God’s written word is unacceptable to a believer.
Times may change, people may change but God’s written word never changes. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but the Word of God will never pass away and it is eternal in the heavens.
I am sure you remember, Satan used a verse from Psalms 91 to deceive Jesus. Satan and His people often misquote the verse and take it out of context to deceive the people. Therefore, it’s important for you to rightly divide the word and be established in it. Satan cannot deceive you, if you are rooted and grounded in God’s word. It’s impossible. Don’t run after signs, wonders and miracles. Stay in God’s word. Test everything with the written word of God. Anything that is contrary to God’s written word is a lie from hell – Period.
7. The Gospel reveals the righteousness of God.
Romans 1:17 – For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”
The gospel reveals the righteousness of God. Righteousness simply means you are right in the eyes of God. You are accepted and approved of God because of your faith in Jesus. This reality empowers a believer to live right.
Remember, living righteously doesn’t make you righteous. Jesus has made you righteous that’s why you live righteously. Satan is an accuser, therefore its important to have an attitude of righteousness. When you have righteousness consciousness, Satanic arrows of accusation, slander and condemnation will not affect you. You won’t lose your confidence.
As a believer, if you make a mistake you are still the righteousness of God. Mistakes don’t take away your righteousness because perfections didn’t give you righteousness at the first place. So when you make a mistake, confess it and receive your forgiveness. You are the righteousness of God. Manifest it!
8. The Rapture and the Second coming of Jesus.
II Thessalonians 2:3 – Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition,
Before God pours out His wrath and indignation on those who have rejected His way of salvation, the Lord Jesus will catch away His church and we will be with Him for seven years. Post seven years, we will accompany Jesus on His second coming to rule and reign on the earth for a 1000 years.
2 Peter 3:3-4, 9 – Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
Many have said Jesus won’t come back. It’s an end time deception which is aimed to sidetrack believers. Do not be deceived. Jesus is coming back. Be alert and watch! Be ready and prepare yourself. Hallelujah!
9. Without Holiness, no one will see God.
One of the main deceptions of the enemy is to lead believers into sexual immorality. There are preachers who preach grace in a way that promotes immorality.
Titus 2:11-12 – For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.
The true gospel of God’s grace will cause people to reject ungodliness and worldly passions and empowers a believer to live self controlled, godly and righteous lives in the world.
1 Timothy 4:3 – They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth.
The Lord Jesus doesn’t entertain or promote sexual immorality. His teachings always promote holy living. The false teachers will teach people to defy the divine ordinance of marriage and live together without the responsibilities and privileges of marriage in defiance to God and his divine order. Today, we see cohabitation very much prevalent in our societies. God is light and there is no darkness in Him at all.
I Corinthians 1:9 – God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
The purpose of creation and redemption is fellowship. The purpose of eternal life and righteousness is fellowship. The purpose of the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit is fellowship. The purpose of rapture is fellowship.
Fellowship is simply having communion, partnership and intimacy with Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit. This is core to our faith. Like Enoch walked with God, we are to walk with God. Having fellowship with the Lord through His Word, through speaking in tongues and through worship is essential to our faith life. Without fellowship, our faith walk will be hypocritical and will lack genuine power.
Faith life is not supposed to be lived alone. The fellowship of the saints is vital for the growth of the believer – I am talking about local church. Online church services are good but they should never be a substitute for an actual physical local church. You need a spiritual covering and the warmth of like minded believers where you can grow, learn and serve.
Always keep yourself in the fellowship of the Lord and the fellowship of the saints. Anything contrary to this, doesn’t come from God.
11. Keep your eyes on Jesus.
Hebrews 12:2 – looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
As long as Peter had his eyes on Jesus, He was walking on water. But the moment, He took His eyes away from Jesus, He began to sink. Satan tries hard to distract believers from looking to Jesus. We love people but we only look to Jesus. Jesus is our Vine, our Shepherd and our Head. He is our everything. He is our all in all. He is our righteousness, our wisdom, our redemption and our sanctification. He is our life, our peace and the length of our days.
No matter what, keep your eyes on Jesus. Whether you are facing a challenge, experiencing a setback or enjoying a blessing, look to Jesus alone. You won’t be disappointed and you won’t be ashamed. Looking to Jesus encourages you, strengthens you and inspires you to keep moving ahead in the journey that He has for you.
12. The Father’s Love.
I John 4:16 – And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.
Very rarely will someone die for a righteous man. Some may even dare to die for a good man. But no one will ever die for a sinful and ungodly man. But God demonstrates His love for us, while we were weak, ungodly and sinners, Christ died for us. Hallelujah. He gave His best at our worst.
Satan causes many to doubt the Father’s love. In times of challenges, you may not feel the Father’s Love. Believe His Love!
No one loves you more than the Father. No one cares for you more than Jesus.
The Father loves you. He gave His only begotten Son for you, not because you deserved it but because He loved you. What a great love! You are so loved by God.
He will never stop loving you . There is nothing you can do that will stop Him from loving you. As you grow in your understanding of the Father’s love, it will cause you to live in a way that is holy and well pleasing to Him. Fear will be destroyed. You will love others as Christ loved you. Satan cannot touch a person who keeps himself in the love of God.