Monday, April 11, 2016

Can You Recognize A Fraud in the Church?

I heard it stated that the easiest way to know a counterfeit or fraud is not to study the fakes, it's the understand the truth or the originals, the legitimates. For example to know if a dollar bill is fake, you don't study all the fake dollar bills, you study the real one so when you see a fake one, you can easily tell it's fake.

The same can be said of false churches, believers and even pastors or religious systems. The only way we can tell what is true from what isn't is to know our Bible and keep it wide open when making comparisons. That is the only sure fire way to know what is true of God and what isn't.

Jesus, Himself, promised that in the last days there would be false impostors, and only believers who are in touch with God, by knowing their Bible, can know for sure who is from God and who isn't. Where can we find these false impostors? In the church! For Satan to sow seeds of deception is the best place to begin, and he's been doing it for 1000's of years.

Just because your church is founded on tradition, doesn't mean it's biblical. The only way to know for sure is to measure it by the Bible. Judge it by the Bible or be swept away by deception. No one is exempt outside of God's Word.

When asked, the one person most people in all of history would want to meet is Jesus Christ. He is without a doubt the most influential person in history even if you don't believe in Him. The Bible promises us all that one day, we will all see Him face to face. We know for a fact that just listening to Jesus talk and teach was amazing to listen to.

Mark 12:37b ~ "And the great throng heard him gladly."

Matthew 7:28-29 ~ "And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes."

Jesus illuminated the minds of those who heard His words with an obvious truth, that among the works of God, there is an ever present danger of man made religion.

There is either the Babylonian system or there is the true worship of God in relationship to Christ. Either salvation based on works to earn God's favor, which is false and a removed religion, mechanical in nature; or there is the humble approach to God saying that you need His help to save you from your sins, like the thief on the cross, and create a relationship with Jesus.

The danger comes when you take them both and try to melt them together. Jesus promised us that there would be impostors.

Matthew 13:24-30 ~ "He put another parable before them saying, "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. And the servants of the master of the house came and said to him, 'Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?' He said to them, 'An enemy has done this.' So the servants said to him, 'Then do you want us to go and gather them?" But he said, 'No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time, I will tell the reapers, 'Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.'"

Jesus liked to use parables to help illustrate His point. Parable or "para" means to put near or to put along side, a parable is a teaching method that puts alongside your mind a graphic truth!

Jesus promises that in the midst of the church, impostors will rise up so that you can't tell the believer from the unbelievers. So deceiving it will be in the last days that you won't be able to tell.

Matthew 13:37-41 ~ "He answered, "The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed is the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is close of the age, and the reapers are angels. Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the close of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers,"

Our study today reveals to us a man-made religious system that will envelop the world and will be globally accepted and endorsed by a a future global community. This system existed before the foundation of the church in the day of Pentecost, and it exists even more so today. They become so comfortable and unrecognizable, that if we are not careful, we can be swept away by them as well by its deception.

This is why we need to know and follow our Bible more than any traditions and any commands of men. I don't condemn any religious group of people but instead use the Bible as my basis for discovering the truth instead. It is the same system I ask you to apply for discerning the truth from the lies.

Revelation 17:1-7 ~ "Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, 'Come, I will show you the judgment of the great prostitute who is seated on many waters, with who the kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality the dwellers on earth have become drunk.' And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness, and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was full of blasphemous names, and it had seven heads and ten horns. The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her sexual immorality. And on her forehead was written a name of mystery: "Babylon the great, mother of prostitutes and of earth's abominations." And I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. When I saw her, I marveled greatly. But the angel said to me, 'Why do you marvel? I will tell you the mystery of the woman, and of the beast with seven heads and ten horns that carries her."

God is providing an understanding of what He wants you to know, an illustration. This woman is dressed like a church that eats the saints alive. You can research throughout history of the persecution of the church. This is what we need to be doing throughout this study is to do the research yourself, and with the Bible wide open to see what is true and what is lies from what the world would have you to believe. We can read in the Bible for example that Nimrod and Tammuz existed and while Semiramus isn't mentioned by name, her worship system was.

More on that tomorrow.