deceptions

Deceptions through visions or end-time revelations

 

The other day I watched a Tamil Christian Television channel which always telecasts “end-time” revelations, exhorting young people to seek revelations through visions.  On the eve of every New Year, many servants of God reveal “end-time” revelations pertaining to that particular year. If you are able to compile all the prophecies made by different preachers all over the world, you will find the preachers contradicting one another; one preacher claims earthquake or hurricane in some particular city or nation whereas another preacher claims such natural calamities in another region. The Holy Spirit cannot be revealing different things to different preachers for the same year. Such preachers also make general prophecies, keeping in mind some past events of natural and men-made calamities, terrorists’ attacks, etc. One beloved evangelist predicted a repeat of tsunami destruction for Japan this year also.

 

At the outset, before examining the validity of such revelations and prophecies on the basis of the scriptures, I wish to state that I write this message not to condemn such preachers who are engaged in the great work of evangelism which is the need of the hour. I do not question their genuine burden to reveal such “end-time” revelations to the people of God with a view to soliciting prayers of intercession for God to prevent such untoward incidents.  Through this message, I do not wish to ridicule or to “despise prophesying”.

 

Once I was also deceived to make such prophecies on the eve of the New Year. When I was convicted of the Holy Spirit, I stopped prophesying as such.  However, I make personal prophecies for edification and warning.

 

PRECAUTIONS TO BE TAKEN  AGAINST DECEPTIONS

 

Jesus Christ Himself has made known to us the end-time events very clearly in the gospels. Apostles John, Peter, Paul and Jude have also made prophecies in this regard.  John has warned us not “to believe every spirit but test the spirits to see whether they are from God because many false prophets have gone out in to the world....” (I John 4:1).  Jesus Christ has also admonished us against the appearance of false Christs and false prophets “even to deceive the elect....” (Mat. 24: 24). While warning against the Antichrist, John said even in the first century, “even now many antichrists have come”. They had been with the apostles but went out from them as they did not really belong to them.  (I John 2:18-20). The elect will be deceived by preachers who speak from the Bible only.  In 1 John 4:1, he says that the spirit of the Antichrist is already in the world.  Any preacher quoting from the Bible presents a Christ who is distinct from the Christ of the gospels is supposed to be denying the Son of God who came in flesh. We have to test the spirit of any preacher whether his doctrines are in line with the doctrines of Jesus Christ, especially concerning the truth of the New Testament. You would be tempted to accept another Christ or a false Christ who is being presented in a camouflaged manner. Basing the Old Testament scriptures, preachers present a “Jewish” Christ who is jealous of the political state of Israel and who is least bothered about the spiritual Jerusalem to which you and I belong. We are the children of Abraham by faith.  Such preachers exhort the children of God to go to the “holy” land for hearing God and to observe the Jewish festivals.

 

In this article, as led by the Spirit of the truth, I want to warn the children of God who do not spend time reading the Word of God themselves but listening to preachers who teach them through television programs, etc.  The television channels continue to beam the images of preachers which take a hold in the hearts of listeners who begin to admire such preachers without discerning their doctrines.  The children of God should be under the leadership of pastors and teachers in the local churches and should form Bible Study Groups in their houses or in their local churches.  They should follow the example of believers in Berea who were considered to be of more noble character than the Thessalonians for they received the message of Paul and Silas with great eagerness “and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true” (Acts 17:10-11).

 

Apostle John while languishing in the island of Patmos was given “the Revelation of Jesus Christ which God gave unto him to show unto His servants (not servant John alone but also His servants including you and me) things which must shortly come to pass.....” (Rev.1:1).  This unique book of “the Revelation of Jesus Christ” contains all the end-time events.  These revelations do not pertain to a particular period of time, say, one year or so. 

 

In 6th chapter of this book, prophecies on deaths through a large sword”, meaning large-scale destructions being caused by weapons of mass destruction (6:4), famine and malnutrition (6:6), deaths through “sword, famine and plague and by the wild beasts of the earth” (6:8) have been made for all those who dwell in the world. Wild beasts of the earth mean real wild beasts used by men in killing human race and also murderers having the instinct of wild beasts.

 

In 7th Chapter, we find the servants of God being sealed on their foreheads by the angels of destruction before the opening of the seventh seal. In Chapters 8, 9 and 16, prophecies on destructions of those who had not the seal of God on their foreheads but who had the mark of the beast after worshiping his image have been made. This means the people of God who do not have the mark of the beast and who have come out of the spiritual Babylon can escape the wrath of God and may not be affected by any of the acts of God. Prophecies on deaths and destructions have not been made for any particular nation or nations with political boundaries but for those who have the mark of the beast in the whole world. Deaths have been prophesied through “thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake” (Rev.8:3) – natural calamities like earthquakes, hailstorms and hurricanes etc. Other sources of calamities are destruction of greeneries (8:7); pollution of sea water and destruction of warships through wars and destruction of maritime ships through roaring sea waves and death of living things in sea due to sea pollution (8:8-9); river water and ground water becoming contaminated due to pollution (8:10); celestial bodies like sun, moon, etc.  losing their original powers and becoming abnormal in their functions (8:12); torture and agony through viruses likened to locusts descending from the Abyss (9:1-2); deaths through plagues of fire, smoke and sulphur meaning modern warfare (9:17).

 

When the seven bowls of God’s wrath are poured, the following judgements take place – ugly and painful sores breaking out on the people who have the mark of the beast and worship his image (16:2); death of every living thing in the sea due to sea pollution (16:3); springs of water including ground water being polluted and becoming poisonous so as to cause blood diseases (16:4); scorching people with the intense heat of solar energy from the sun (16:8); deaths through “flashes of lightening, rumblings, peals of thunder and a severe earthquake” (16:18) (“No earthquake like it has ever occurred since man has been on earth so tremendous was the quake”.  I do not know whether any such earthquake has already taken place or has yet to place. Hailstorms and hurricanes are already killing people and destroying properties); falling of huge hailstones from the sky (16:21) – throwing of bombs from the sky during wars.

 

Beware of preachers who prophesy on deaths and destructions which have already been prophesied by Jesus and His apostles. Do not believe in their fresh prophecies but continue to meditate on what Jesus and His apostles, especially John have taught us. It is not the Spirit of Christ Who makes such fresh revelations that contradict the truth of the gospel and the end time events.

 

TIMING OF PROPHECIES  OF THE BOOK OFREVELATION

 

If we study carefully the past and present history of the world, we find fulfilment of all the prophecies on deaths and destructions. Since the first century, all these things have been taking place. Seals had already been opened by the Lamb (6:1). Only the prophecies concerning the second coming of the Lord and the subsequent events are yet to be fulfilled. The foremost prophecy of this book is the second coming of the Lord (1:7). “Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of Him”. It will be a historical event to be witnessed by the whole world.  If He had made a debut during the first century, even those Roman soldiers who pierced His Body would have witnessed this.

 

CONFINING GOD TO MEN’S TIME TABLE

 

The sovereign God, who is beyond time and space, never works according to men’s time table of the English calendar of 365 days. The Holy Spirit does not make “fresh revelations” on every New Year according to our wish.  By pointing their fingers at some particular nation with a political boundary, while “prophesying”, they confine the omnipotent and omnipresent God to space. He is the Lord of the whole earth. By His Cross, He has brought together the Jews and the Gentiles in His one body. He is not confined to the political state of Israel.  Many preachers prophesy on the political state of Israel quoting the Old Testament scriptures.

 

On the occasion of the New Year, they can give prophetic messages of exhortation, edification and comfort. They should refrain from prophesying in the prohibited areas of foretelling future. Of course, according to the measure of their faith, they can comfort the people of God with God’s promises of blessing from the Word of God.

 

If some pastors or evangelists take special fast and pray for such revelations to be made known to them pertaining to time (a particular year or period) or space (pertaining to some particular nation with a political boundary), the sovereign God does not change His character and His plan of work among men in response to the prayers of mortal men. Of course, we can boldly pray to God as intercessors not to destroy sinners but to save them in every nation. But we cannot force Him by prayers to reveal to us what He had already planned according to His wisdom. Can we dare to ask the sovereign God to reveal His mind to us, especially on every New Year, we dare to ask the sovereign God to reveal His mind to us, especially on every New Year of the English calendar? Let us not mock Him any longer! If we tell the people “God has spoken to me” and the spoken thing has not come to pass, we will make God a liar in public eyes and they may not believe the gospel preached through our mouths.

 

We need not fast and pray to God to get revelations but should meditate on the end-time revelations already given by God to John the divine.  We would be blessed if we read and meditate on the “words of this prophecy” and “take to heart” what is written in it because “the time is near” (Rev: 1:6). The word reading “the time is near” is prophetic indeed as this book of prophecy is alive and current since the first century until the time of the second coming of the Lord. This book of prophecy does not warrant validation through our “fresh prophecies” every now and then because the time is at hand.

 

THE GIFT OF PROPHECY

 

The gift of prophecy is meant for edification of our faith and for warning the believers against God’s judgments. Prophecy is for edification, and exhortation and comfort (I Cor.13:3).  It is a sign for believers and not for unbelievers (I Cor.13:22). Let us not use this gift for instilling a fear in the hearts of unbelievers.

 

PERSONAL PROPHECIES

 

Personal prophesies of exhortation and edification have to be made with utmost caution. They can prophesy on discipleship, holiness, prayer, cross-bearing, etc. confining to their spiritual lives.  Care has to be taken while prophesying on their material needs.  The gift of prophecy has to be used to make them disciples or spiritual men and women and not to make them materially prosperous.  No doubt, when the faith of the children of God is edified, they will look unto God for miracles and for meeting their material needs.  God’s material blessing flows from the act of obedience coupled with faith. The gift of healing can also be used for healing diseases.  Jesus prophesied on healing of sick people and healed them.

 

PROPHECY OF AGABUS

 

If God wants to reveal some future event to us, for our prayers or for follow up action as in the case of Agabus prophesying on famine in the entire Roman world, let us humbly hear Him so as to act on it. The prophecy of Agabus helped the disciples send relief to the brethren who dwelt in Judea (Acts: 11:28-29). The prophecy was fulfilled during the reign of Claudius. This prophecy was not in general but was specific in relation to time and space. This prophecy resulted in the edification of the faith of saints in Judea.  

 

SPIRIT OF ERROR DECEIVING US

 

Nowhere in the Acts or in the epistles, is an exhortation made to seek revelations from God about His future acts, and that too, on any particular day. It is possible that if we seek the Lord in our own way, the spirit of the error sneaks into our midst and deceives us. In the spiritual realm, we may encounter another “Christ”.  We, in Delhi, meditate on the revelation of Jesus Christ through the prophetic eyes of John. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we must try to understand the mysterious signs and codes written in this book. Key to some symbols is also given in this book. The mysteries concerning seven candles, the dragon, the beasts, the city of Babylon, etc. can be easily understood as the keys are already given.

 

Of course, we can discern the end-time by studying the past events of history and the present day events through the media referring to the book of Revelations. If Tsunami had destroyed Japan, do not prophesy on repetition of this heart-rending devastation in Japan. If your son or daughter happens to live in this nation, will you dare to make a prophecy like this? I cannot forget the cries of innocent people including children who were swept away by the tidal waves in Japan. Be content with what God has revealed to us in the book of Revelation and let us not venture to “prophesy” on death and destruction.  Let us preach the glorious gospel to impart life eternal to the people; let us edify and comfort the believers by prophesying.

 

VISIONS AND REVELATIONS

 

The other day I watched some young people sharing and boasting of the visions given to them by the “Holy Spirit” in a television program. They received such visions during a special meeting conducted by a popular televangelist who used to lay undue importance on hearing the voice of God and seeing supernatural things in visions. He appears to draw inspiration from the book of Acts about young people seeing visions (Acts 2: 17-20). No doubt, God gives us visions and dreams just to warn us. Such visions need to be interpreted prophetically. 

 

We should be not ignorant of the craftiness of the Devil who is an adept in forging the work of the Holy Ghost. The Devil also quotes the Scriptures just to deceive us. He did quote the Scriptures while tempting Jesus in the wilderness. Through visions or audible voices, he deceives even the elect. In these last days, God is sending a great delusion so that the people may believe the lie.

Whenever we receive any vision or hear any voice from above, we should check up the same with the New Testament doctrines.
If any such vision or voice is about starting a ministry,  we should be very careful. Secondly, we should get such a vision confirmed by the other members of the Body of Christ, especially the prophets. Let us not quote the Old Testament prophecies or any passage from the Old Testament to prove that the vision given to us is scriptural. We are not under the Old Covenant at all.  For instance, the promises given by God to King David or his son Solomon for building the Temple or any other thing are not applicable to you because under the New Covenant, you have to build the invisible Kingdom of God through the glorious gospel.  Similarly, under the Old Covenant made with Noah, the Lord commanded Noah to make an ark and give him specifications as how to build it. Under the New Covenant, the Holy Spirit never gives us any such commandment to build anything likened to it. Under the Old Covenant, the Lord commanded Moses to build a tabernacle whereas under the New Covenant no such commandment is given to the people of God for building anything likened to it. "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth...” (Ex.20:4). The ark built by Noah or the Solomon's Temple or the Tabernacle built by Moses was planned and conceived by God in the heaven and built on the earth in accordance with His commandments. The Solomon's Temple or the Tabernacle built by Moses carried the very presence of God. We are not supposed to make any replica of these holy things.

 

Vision  of Peter

 

In Acts 8:9-20, we read about the vision seen by Peter. This vision was inspired by the Holy Spirit when Peter went up to the housetop to pray. At that time, Peter was hungry. He saw heaven opened, and certain vessel descending unto him as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth. He saw all kinds of four-footed beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. He not only saw the vision but also heard a voice, saying, "Rise, Peter: kill, and eat". But Peter said that he had never eaten anything that was common or unclean. But the voice spoke to him again the second time, "What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common". THIS WAS DONE THRICE. Then the vessel was received up again into heaven.

When Peter doubted in himself what this vision should mean, the man who were sent from Cornelius arrived and stood before the gate.

When Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit told him, "Behold, three men seek thee. Arise, therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them". Then Peter accompanied the men to the house of Cornelius and preached the gospel to him. In the meantime, Cornelius saw an angel in bright clothing and the angel asked him to send some men to Joppa, and bring Peter from there.

In this passage, we find that through this supernatural vision the Holy Spirit brought a message to Peter that the gospel should be preached to all the people including the Gentiles. The vision was repeated thrice. Peter did not act only on seeing the vision three times. The men sent by Cornelius arrived there. When God gives us a vision, that vision is followed by His provisions or by a human act. Thirdly, Peter heard the voice of the Holy Spirit.

First, Peter saw the vision. The vision was repeated. Then the human act of arrival of some people took place. Finally, the Holy Spirit spoke to him very clearly, and gave him a command.  There were repetitions of the same dream, followed by the voice of the Lord and finally by the human act of arrival of people. Peter did not act immediately on seeing the first dream but waited on the Lord.

 

The vision seen by Peter was a prophetic one as it contained a message for the Body of Christ. Those days, Peter was hesitant to preach the gospel to the Gentiles. This necessitated a vision being given to Peter. God gives us visions and dreams so that the same need to be interpreted prophetically and allegorically.

 

Paul’s vision of Christ

 

After encountering Christ in a vision on his way to Damascus, Saul became Paul. The Lord appeared to a disciple Ananias and told him “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul.......” (Acts 9:11). The vision of the Lord was specific about the place where Paul stayed.  Paul in a vision saw a man from Macedonia asking to “come over to Macedonia and help us” and the Holy Spirit gave this specific vision to Paul to change his tour plan (Acts: 16:6-10).

 

Precautions to be observed

Whenever you get a vision or a dream, you should ask the Lord for its confirmation. After getting the confirmation, you can seek to interpret the same. You need not act on the vision immediately. You can doubt about the vision also. Wait for its confirmation and then for a sign of some human act. In other words, first comes the supernatural act of a vision. It is then followed by the evidence of a human act.

 

DISCERNING THE VISIONS SEEN BY YOUNG PEOPLE

 

Let us now examine certain visions shared by the young people during the said television program. One young girl boasted having seen the Lord in a vision and her being seated as a warrior on a warhorse with a long sword in her hand.  She said that a crowd of young boys was standing before her but without horses, holding swords in their hands.  She further said that her sword was longer than the swords held by the young boys. She claimed to have noticed some visible changes on her mouth which lasted some days and also to  have received an inscription on her forehead reading “prophet”. Some young boys also claimed to have received some signs on their bodies after encountering “Christ” during such visions.

 

In the background of the above revelations, let us now examine the Old Testament and New Testament scriptures.

 

When Isaiah saw the vision of the Lord sitting on an exalted thrown (Is. 6:1-3), “Woe unto me, for I am undone because I am a man of unclean lips and I dwell in the midst of people of unclean lips for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of Lords”.  Prophet Ezekiel writes that he saw “appearance of the glory of God”.  He did not venture to say that it was the glory of God but was the likeness of the glory of God. “And when I saw it, I fell upon my face (Eze.1:28). Daniel said he saw in the night visions “one like the Son of man” coming with the clouds of heaven and coming to the Ancient of days (Dan.7:13). He did not say it was indeed the Son of Man but said cautiously that it was like the Son of Man. Daniel further said that on seeing this vision, there remained no strength in him for his comeliness was turned into corruption and he retained no strength.

When the Old Testament prophets saw God’s glory in visions, they saw the sin or the corruption in them being manifested by the holiness of the Lord.   They were in awe so as to describe the manifested presence of God as the appearance or the likeness of the glory.

Paul fell down on seeing the vision of Jesus Christ. Sadhu Sundar Singh was transformed in his spirit on seeing the vision of Christ.  Even Apostle John while recording the visions in the book of Revelation did not dare to name the Person seen by him as Jesus Christ.  At the first instance, he did not see the Son of Man but only heard a great voice as of a trumpet. Nowadays, many preachers boast of their visions of seeing the Lord face to face and hearing His messages.

 

Apostle Paul in 2 Cor.12:1-6 says concerning visions and revelations of the Lord that he knew a man in Christ was caught up to the third heaven or paradise and heard “UNSPEAKABLE WORDS WHICH IS NOT LAWFUL FOR A MAN TO UTTER” and that he could not tell whether he was in the body or out of the body.  Though it was Paul himself who had experienced such supernatural encounter, yet he says ultimately that he will not glory in such visions and revelations but only in his infirmities.  The reason for his not glorying in such vision is that no man “should think of me above that which he sees me to be or that he hears of me”.

 

Any self-exalting vision which puffs up the person who claims to have seen a vision and which portrays him or her as a unique person filled with God’s power and glory has to be examined carefully.  It can be from the spirit of deception.  A true vision of the Lord makes you humble and holy and makes you abhor your sinful nature.

 

IMAGE OF THE BEAST

 

In the book of Revelation, we read about "the image of the beast" and those who have the mark of the beast and who worship this image. It is not merely the image of an idol to be seen by all of us. It is an image in the spiritual world. It is the collective image of all objects of worship in this world. It includes the images of gods and goddesses, the images of religious leaders and gurus, the images of politicians and film celebrities. This image also pertains to the images of God's servants who promote their images through television ministries or otherwise through banners/cut-outs. When the images of preachers are being beamed on the television screen, such images make an indelible mark on the hearts of people who continue to watch such images.  This image is not different from the images of politicians, film celebrities, religious gurus, who gravitate big crowds to their images.  The image of the beast is the colossal, sum-total of images of all leaders in this world that is being formed in the spiritual world, making an indelible imprint on the foreheads of followers.  We should have only the image of Christ and people of this world should see the image of Christ in us. If any image takes hold of us other than the image of Christ, it has to be from the image of the beast only.  Be careful.  Flee from the image of the beast. Worshiping does not mean merely prostrating before an image but also means adoring and eulogising that image in your heart, relegating to the background the Word of God.

In God's ministry, let us not build or promote our own images. God instructed Moses not to use dressed stones in making an altar of stones lest his nakedness be exposed on it. On the altar, the image of the priest should not fall so as to be seen. (Exo.20:26).  If the image of a pastor or an evangelist continues to fall on the altar, then he or she should go into the wilderness and allow his/her co-workers to take over the evangelical ministries through television or otherwise. As we minister God in the most holy place, we have to manifest the glory of God and our own glory should disappear.


 

By Job Anbalagan

Glory of His Cross Prophetic Ministries

http://www.gloryofhiscross.org

 

Mobile: +91 9810806532

Email: gloryofhiscross@gmail.com

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Antichrist exposed,
Jan 27, 2014, 8:11 AM
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