False righteousness in the Last Days, Part 1
"Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?" (Luke 18:8). The above words of the Lord Jesus have been on my heart for a long time, instructing me to compare my faith to what the Bible teaches, so that I can see whether my faith aligns with the truth written in the Word of God. At the same time, I have received the idea in my heart to examine the activity of today's preachers, teachers and churches to see whether they align with the Word of God. I myself have had to repent, and I have also observed that many of today's churches and Christian groups have teachings, things and influences that are not from God, but from satan.
The word faith in the above verse has three meanings: to believe as the Bible teaches, to have the security of faith, and to be obedient (faithful). Before the Lord Jesus returns, there will be major problems among believers because just like the Lord Jesus says in the above verse many believers in the last days think that they believe in the God of the Bible in the right way, but they do not believe in Jesus as the Bible teaches, and they do not have the security of faith, even though they think so, and they are not faithful and loyal to God even though they say they are. The above words of the Lord Jesus in regard to whether He shall find faith on earth or not were for those who trusted themselves, considered themselves to be righteous, and who thought they were better than others. Placing trust in yourself is the same thing as believing in the God of the Bible in a wrong way because when you believe in God in a wrong way, you do not really trust God, but your own incorrect interpretation of God, which equals placing trust in yourself.
At the moment, too many believers are deep in their slumber and they do not really care what the Bible actually teaches, but they stubbornly hold on to traditions or false teachings which are based on lies. The Bible has a serious message about the apostasy in the church in the last days before the return of Jesus, but those whose faith is not sound do not hear or see and do not even want to understand how serious a matter the apostasy in the last days is. The present text is a wake-up call and a friendly way to make you stop and think, the purpose of the text is to wake up those who are wandering in spiritual darkness and to repent and to believe in the Lord Jesus as the Bible teaches. A further purpose of the text is to prevent the Lord's own to becoming entangled in the satanic deceptions of the last days and to make us be rooted in the Lord Jesus and Biblical truth in the Holy Spirit.
In many regards, many believers do not believe in what the Bible says. This is due to that, the Bible teaches us about a falling away from Biblical faith in the last days, which causes people to continue thinking that they still believe in the Lord Jesus even though they actually have given up Biblical truth and have started to believe in deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons. Due to the same reason, the Lord Jesus said that upon the moment of His return, many believers lack Biblical faith, security of faith, and loyalty. The above should make all believers first consider themselves while studying the Bible and compare the Bible to the faith they carry in their hearts to see whether the faith is Biblical or not, and after that, we should examine through the Word of God, whether church teachings and activities align with Biblical truth. If the faith in your heart or mine has a lot of things or even one thing that is contrary to what the Bible teaches, you and I must repent and start obeying Biblical truth. If a church has something that is contrary to what the Bible says, then we need to start praying and take that something to the Lord, and if the Lord sends us to bring a message of repentance to the church, we must do that in a friendly way loving our neighbors in all truth.
The faith of many may have started off in a genuine, right way, but when they have stopped holding on to Bible truth along the way, their faith has become invaded by unhealthy elements which they have started to consider to be Biblical because they have believed lies that distort the truth. The primary purpose of the present text is not to highlight deception, but Bible truth. Because I am an imperfect person who makes mistakes, I advise you to compare the present text to Bible truth while spending time in prayer.
When one studies and examines the activity of
deceivers in a Biblical way, i.e. in the Spirit of meekness, deceivers
often claim that they are persecuted just like Jesus and His disciples
6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.
7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.
The Lord Jesus was persecuted because He told the truth and worked miracles and wonders by the power of God. Those persecuting Jesus were people who did not teach Bible truth, who lived in a lie, and their service to God was for nothing, and no miracles and wonders of God took place through them because they had rejected the commandments of God and were living in a lie. Those persecuting the Lord Jesus did not live in truth but in a lie, and they did not confess that Jesus was the Messiah sent by God.
5 ¶ And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers, and elders, and scribes,
6 And Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest, were
gathered together at Jerusalem.
7 And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this?
8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel,
9 If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole;
10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.
11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.
12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. 14 And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it.
15 ¶ But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves,
16 Saying, What shall we do to these men? for that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it.
17 But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name.
18 And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.
The followers (disciples) of the Lord Jesus were persecuted, too, because they told the truth and miracles and wonders took place through them. Those who persecute the disciples were in the same spirit and they were the same kind of religious people who persecuted the Lord Jesus. The persecutions did not only take place due to the miracles and wonders, but also due to the fact that the persecutors resisted the truth because they loved iniquity. The persecutors did not believe in the Lord Jesus. The persecutors of the Lord Jesus and His disciples were not believers at all.
Those in favor of the extreme charismatic movement claiming that those opposing them are religious. They make this claim because they relate themselves to the position of Jesus and the disciples in such a powerful way that they consider those opposing them to be religious people. By doing so, they imply that those opposing them are not saved and are not children of God because they consider their opponents to be similar to those who opposed Jesus and the disciples. Due to spiritual blindness, those in favor of the extreme charismatic movement failing to understand that they are misjudging others.
The truth is that believers who gently study and examine everything that is said to be of God, are not religious. Biblical examination and studying is a key element of the life of believers because without it, no believer can grow in the path of faith in the right direction. Persecution and Biblical examining and studying are two different things that should not be confused with each other.
1 Cor 12:
29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?
30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?
31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.
All disciples of the Lord Jesus are to examine everything that is said to be of God, regardless of what kind of gifts you have been given. Even though you are not a worker of miracles, or you do not have the gift of healing, you still have to examine everything that is said to be of God.
1 Thess 5:
18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
19 Quench not the Spirit.
20 Despise not prophesyings.
21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.
23 ¶ And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
24 Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.
Those in favor of the extreme charismatic movement say that no one should criticize them and the influence and activity of the spirit that they claim to be of God. The Bible says that we are not to quench the Spirit, which means that we are not to despise the movement of the Holy Spirit and we are not to resist the work and movement of the Holy Spirit in the church or in our hearts. However, believers cannot fully quench the movement of the Holy Spirit and what God is doing because believers are not stronger and more powerful than God.
The Bible says that we are to examine (discern, investigate) everything that is said to be of God, which means that the Bible, discerning does not resist or quench the movement of the Holy Spirit. The purpose of Biblical discerning is for believers to learn to discern between good and evil and to receive the good (Bible truth and the impact of the Holy Spirit) and to resist the evil (false teachings, manifestations of lying spirits, and all kinds of sin). Through Biblical discerning, believers grow in sanctification to learn to know God in an increasingly deep way. Those involved in the extreme charismatic movement trying to prevent Biblical discerning because they say that no one should criticize them, and that no one should criticize the work done by God. When people do this, no one can grow in the path of faith in a healthy way, and believers easily get lost, thinking that everything is of God. Without Biblical discerning, no believer can learn how to discern good from evil and to grow in the path of faith to get to know God in an increasingly deep way. The spirit affecting the extreme charismatic movement makes people experience and accept things through spiritual experiences, but it does not encourage people to Biblically examine things in the right way.
The Lord Jesus said that we will get lost if we do not know Scripture (the Bible, i.e. the Word of God) and the power of God (the Holy Spirit). We are incapable of examining things if we do not read and study the Bible. The Bible shows us how the Holy Spirit moves, and the Holy Spirit moves in accordance with the Bible.
God is committed to working in such a way that we can identify the impact and works of the Holy Spirit by means of the Word of God. God never does anything above what has been written in Scripture because otherwise we would not be capable of identifying and knowing who and what spirit is moving, whether it is the Spirit of God or the false power of demonic spirits. Therefore, we must not base our faith on spiritual experiences, but on Biblical truth, and the power of God (Holy Spirit) because the Holy Spirit always moves in accordance to what the Bible says.
If the force behind the miracles and wonders says that it is of God and it originates from grave soaking or through the body of a dead person and makes believers believe in unbiblical teachings, as is the case in the extreme charismatic movement, the force is not the power of God and the Holy Spirit, but the deception that takes place through the deceptive force of demonic spirits. It is crystal clear that believers have the right to study and examine whether things are of God or not, and by doing that they do not resist the work of God, but ensure whether it is the Holy Spirit of God or the deceptive force of demonic spirits.
Deceivers and those in favor of the deception claim that false fear is the main thing that prevents a revival. In very many cases, deceivers say that believers prejudice, false beliefs and a fear of false things prevent the Holy Spirit from moving as the Holy Spirit would like to move.
Some people have not committed their lives fully to God and to His impact. If it were the case that their fear of false things prevented God from doing His work and from giving a time of revival to believers and churches committed to God, then the uncommitted person's fear of false things would be more powerful than the power of God. The above idea makes God small and it makes the false fear of man bigger than God. At the personal level, due to false fear, believers can prevent God from taking action in their hearts according to God's will. If the church and some people are committed in truth to God and to the moving of the Holy Spirit, believers entangled in false fear cannot prevent through their fear the work of the Holy Spirit through those who are thoroughly committed to God. If some argue that someone's fear of false things prevents the Holy Spirit from taking action in a powerful way through churches and believers committed to God, the person making such a statement does not know the power of God, and does not know how the Holy Spirit moves, and the person mistakenly believes that someone's fear of false things is a force bigger than God. In other words, that person has very little faith in God if it really were the case that someone's fear of false things would be capable of preventing the Holy Spirit from moving, and of preventing a revival.
The major thing preventing a revival is that believers are scattered in different denominations and a multitude of doctrinal emphases which are mutually different. If believers actually were one just like the Father and the Son are one, and if believers actually were sanctified in truth, they would be one without different denominations. The Lord Jesus promised that the world would believe in Him if believers are one just like the Father and the Son are one. The unity of the Father and the Son is indivisible and inseparable, and it does not include the scattering of believers or believers setting up their own divisions. If we want to see a time of revival, we need to take down man-made camps (denominations) which prevent a revival. The love that works in us through the Holy Spirit connects God's own into one, just like the Father and the Son are one, but pride and a lack of love (the cause of believers scattering) prevents believers to be one just like the Father and the Son are one. A fear of false things is not the major obstacle to a revival because believers pride and a lack of love is the major obstacle.
Many people say that Billy Graham is one of our generation's brightest evangelists. His ministry and everyone working with his team had a principle which they all committed to. The principle was how they regarded work done by others. They decided to not criticize or evaluate the work done by others. They decided not to tear down the ministry of fellow pastors, especially in the public setting. They decided to respect and honor the pastors of different churches, and the work done by churches and denominations. Many people say how these principles certainly were one of the examples of how God blessed the ministry of Billy Graham because they blessed others, even though they did not see things the same way, but regardless of everything, they had an attitude of blessing, and God blesses those who bless others.
The principle of Billy Graham included very good things and very bad things. It is right to not criticize anyone's ministry on false grounds, but if someones ministry and teaching include unbiblical teachings or false spirit manifestations, it means that the responsibility of especially those preaching the Word of God is responsible before God to point out the false teachings and things in a gentle way through the Bible truth. If that is not done, it is the same thing as granting approval to sin and iniquity in the church and to accept and agree to sin and iniquity to destroy and damage churches and the hearts of believers.
We are not to tear down anyone's ministry, but if someone publicly teaches false things or attempts to deceive God's churches, we have the right to publicly and gently reveal the deception and the deceiver, and the false teachings so that they will not damage the hearts of believers.
It is the right thing to respect the pastors who work in the church, and all work that is done inside different denominations and among all believers. If a person who is doing spiritual work teaches the Word of God wrong or if a believers' group has something that is unbiblical, it is not disrespectful towards others to gently point out the Bible truth which reveals false, unbiblical teachings. If you do not understand the revealing of false doctrines, which is done by gently examining things in comparison to the Bible, and you think that it shows disrespect, you have not understood Biblical discerning and how important it is to point out and reveal everything that pollutes and damages the hearts of believers.
God surely blesses those who bless other believers, but God does not bless believers who are blinded by a false spirit of tolerance, and do not at all address false teachings and deceptions which damage and pollute the hearts of believers. It is also right to bless those who disagree with us, but is equally right to point out false doctrines and deceptions which damage churches and believers because that is what Jesus and the apostles did, too.
A lot of people have surely been saved through Billy Graham, but Billy Graham does not anymore advocate genuine Biblical faith. Not everyone may know what kind of man Billy Graham really is, and many may have a wrong idea of him. Robert Schuller did an interview with Billy Graham on the television, in the Hour of Power¯program on the 31st of May, 1997. Schuller asked Graham this:
Schuller: "Tell me, what is the future of Christianity?"
Graham: "Well, Christianity and being a true believer, you know, I think there's the body of Christ, which comes from all the Christian groups around the world, or outside the Christian groups. I think that everybody that loves Christ or knows Christ, whether they're conscious of it or not, they're members of the body of Christ. And I don't think that we're going to see a great sweeping revival that will turn the whole world to Christ at any time. What God is doing today is calling people out of the world for His name. Whether they come from the Muslim world, or the Buddhist world, or the Christian world, or the non-believing world, they are members of the body of Christ because they've been called by God. They may not even know the name of Jesus, but they know in their hearts they need something that they don't have and they turn to the only light they have and I think they're saved and they're going to be with us in heaven."
Billy Graham's message above was one of deception. No one can love the Lord Jesus and not know Jesus at the same time, and such a person is not a member of the Body of Christ, who does not "in their heart" know the Lord Jesus. Everyone who is Biblically saved, i.e. who has repented (confessed their sins, changed their mind) and believes in the Lord Jesus knows the Lord Jesus and is saved by the grace of God. Regardless of whether a person is an atheist, Buddhist or a Muslim, they cannot be saved by turning to faith in accordance with their own beliefs. Instead, they need to be saved through faith in Lord Jesus. Compared to the Bible, Billy Graham speaks words of deceit.
Billy Graham is a globally known Baptist preacher who is considered to be a Protestant evangelist. Not everyone is aware of Graham's positive attitude towards ecumenism and the Roman Catholic church. Below, I will show some statements by Graham where the truth about him is revealed, and the statements reveal that his gospel is not fully Biblical, but is contaminated by the faith and doctrines of the Catholic church.
1966: Graham said, "I find myself closer to Catholics than the radical Protestants. I think the Roman Catholic Church today is going through a second Reformation" (Philadelphia Evening Bulletin 24 may, 1966.)
Graham: "Finally, the way of salvation has not changed. I know how the ending of the book will be. The Gospel that built this school Catholic] and the Gospel that brings me here tonight is still the way to salvation" ("Belmont Abbey Confers Honorary Degree," Paul Smith, Gazette staff reporter, The Gastonia Gazette, Gastonia, North Carolina, Nov. 22, 1967).
Billy Graham states above that gospel of the Catholic church is the way to salvation. Graham brought out a lie because the Catholic church has a range of different paths to salvation. The Roman Catholic church teaches that all sacraments of the church are mandatory in regard to salvation. The Catholic church teaches that if someone believes that they are made righteous only by grace through faith in God, that person is accursed.
The Roman Catholic church issued this decree in the Council of Trent in 1547: If any one shall say, that the sacraments of the New Law are not necessary unto salvation, but superfluous, and that without them, and without the desire thereof, men, through faith alone, obtain of God the grace of justification; though all [the sacraments] be not necessary for every individual; let him be anathema.
Since the Catholic church believes that its sacraments are mandatory for a person to be saved, and since the Bible says that people are only saved by the grace of God, through faith in the Lord Jesus, it means that the gospel of the Catholic church is an unbiblical lie.
In 1973, Graham recommended Roman Catholic literature at an ecumenical meeting in North America. He particularly recommended literature by the pope John XXIII, which includes thousands of pages on Mary, saints, mass and Eucharist bread worship, as well as teachings on Catholic sacraments, which the pope claimed to be a means of salvation. (2/86 The Gospel Standard; Key '73: Congregational Resource Book).
The Jesuit plan is to first highlight in different churches and denominations that the Roman Catholic church is "God's church" with the "Gospel of salvation". The next phase is to market Catholic literature with the purpose of manipulating and brainwashing the members of different churches, denominations and revival movements to believe in Catholic doctrines. Billy Graham has operated in accordance with the Jesuit plan.
Graham stated this on the Phil Donahue Show on the 11th of October in 1979 in regard to pope John Paul II: I think the American people are looking for a leader, a moral and spiritual leader that believes something. And the Pope does. "Thank God, I've got somebody to quote now with some real authority."
Graham: "The visit of Pope John Paul II to the United States is an event of great significance not only for Roman Catholics, but for all Americans-as well as the world .... In the short time he has been the Pope, John Paul II has become the moral leader of the world. My prayers and the prayers of countless other Protestants will be with him as he makes his journey (9/27/79 Religious New Service dispatch; quoted in New Neutralism II, p. 40).
Graham: "No other man in the world today could attract as much attention on moral and spiritual subjects as John Paul. He is articulating what Catholic and Protestant churches have traditionally held, the moral values from the Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount. The country is responding in a magnificent way. It shows there's a great spiritual hunger. The Pope has reached millions of Protestants. The organized ecumenical movement seems to be on the back burner and ecumenicism is now taking place where Roman Catholics and Protestants share beliefs in matters like the Virgin Birth and the Resurrection of Christ" (Billy Graham, Time, October 15, 1979).
In 1984, Graham commented this on a speech by the pope: "I'll tell you, that was just about as straight an evangelical address as I've ever heard. It was tremendous. Of course, I'm a great admirer of his. He gives moral guidance in a world that seems to have lost its way" (Foundation, Vol. V, Iss. 5, 1984).
To Billy Graham, pope John Paul II was the moral leader of the world, and Graham said that his prayers were with the pope where the pope travels. Billy Graham was the biggest admirer of John Paul II. The Jesuit goal is to make the pope the spiritual father of the whole world. Graham has exactly followed the Jesuit plan. The false tolerance (and many other things) by Billy Graham has made him lose his way from the truth. As a consequence, he is happy with the pope and with unbiblical Catholicism, and Graham says that people are in Christ even when they do not know it. The Gospel preached by Graham is a New-Age and antichristian.
According to Catholic doctrine (Catholic encyclopedia), Mary also contributed to crushing the power of Satan. The Latin Vulgata from 405 AD, one of the main books in the Catholic canon, says that Mary crushed the head of the serpent. The Catholic encyclopedia says that Catholics must put their hope in Mary's intercessions because Mary redeems sinners to God. The website catholic.org (which is in accordance with the official doctrine of the Catholic church) teaches the "prayer to our lady mother of mercy"¯ which says that Mary atones the sins of Catholics through her prayers.
It is crystal clear that Catholicism teaches that Mary has the status of redeemer through her intercessions which are said to give Catholics redemption and forgiveness of sins and to lead them to Jesus. Catholicism is not Biblical Christian faith, but a mockery of it. Billy Graham's ministry does not meet Bible truth criteria because solely him accepting Catholicism makes him a deceiver. Is it so that false intolerance and allowing for iniquity in the name of "love and respect" are one of the reasons which led Billy Graham deep into deception? If someone adopts the path of Graham's false tolerance, they are in danger of ending up as deep into deception as where Graham is.
7 Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?
8 This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you.
9 A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.
When people are blinded and lose their way from the truth, they do not understand and fail to see the darkness where they are in. I am really sad over how people are blinded by deception and it makes them believe and advocate lies. Believers may have started off well and may have been loyal and obedient to the truth, but just the smallest bit of sin and false things leavens the whole lump. The words of the Lord Jesus ("when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth") are true. We all need to check where we are heading and examine whether our faith in the Lord Jesus is in accordance with the Bible truth.
Those advocating the extreme charismatic movement include sincere and dear fellow believers who have ended up in the wrong company, and those who have hardened their hearts because they have grown affectionate to iniquity. Let us pray to God that the grace of God would touch our dear fellow believers who have a hardened heart, and those who have ended up in the wrong company. We also need to bear in mind that since no one of us is perfect, we all have our blind spots (myself included), and God wants us to repent from them. Let us show grace towards one another and let us give one another time to process repentance in our hearts.
1 Cor 15:
1 ¶ Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
1 Tim 4:
1 ¶ Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
To apostle Paul, the Holy Spirit spoke clearly how a falling away from faith will take place in the last days of the end of days. As a consequence, those who have given up their faith will start to follow seducing demonic spirits and doctrines of devils due to the impact of the hypocrisy of liars. It makes this very serious and dangerous because those who have given up their faith still think that they believe in Jesus, and signs and wonders take place through them through a false power. I am not pointing fingers at anyone because I want you and me to examine whether our faith is in accordance with Bible truth. The Bible clearly speaks about a falling away of believers in the final days of the end of days and that the Lord Jesus will not find much faith on earth upon His return, which is why we must be dead serious about this teaching in the Bible. It should make us examine the faith in our hearts to see whether it is in accordance with Bible truth or not. I have stopped to think about this matter, have examined myself and have had to repent in my own life. The blood of Lord Jesus washes us clean of all sin, false teachings, etc. when we repent and submit to Bible truth.
Petri Paavola, 28th of October 2016
King James version 1611