Mk 13.5-6 CAUTION: DECEPTION AHEAD MARK 13:5-6
The Trojan Horse
The conquering of the city of Troy is one of the most famous stories of antiquity. Greek soldiers had laid siege to the city for ten years, but were unable to conquer it. In exasperation Ulysses, a brilliant strategist, decided to have a large wooden horse built and left outside the city walls as a supposed gift to the unconquerable Trojans. The Greeks then sailed away in apparent defeat. The curious and proud Trojans brought the wooden horse inside their fortified walls. That night Greek soldiers hidden inside the horse crept out and opened the city gates to let their fellow soldiers into the city. The soldiers massacred the inhabitant, looted the city, and burned it to the ground. Ever since, the Trojan horse has been a symbol of infiltration and deception. Throughout its history, the church has embraced many Trojan horses filled with false prophets.
God says in His Word: CAUTION DANGER AHEAD. In the gospel of Mark, chapter 13 there is danger coming and Jesus gave a warning sign to help those in the days leading up to the end. A general outline of the 13th chapter of Mark: 1. v.1-4 = BEWARE OF DISTRACTION 2. v.5-6 = BEWARE OF DECEPTION 3. v.7-8 = BEWARE OF DEPRESSION 4. v.9-13 = BEWARE OF DEFECTION 5. v. 14-37 = BE ALERT
1. ARE WE AWARE OF THE FALSE TEACHING AROUND US?
Religious Deception is so surrounding us that it is increasingly difficult to discern. For the past year one of the best selling books in America is a book of False Doctrine. This book deceives people about true Biblical Christianity. Author Betty J. Eadie in Embraced By The Light, Goldleaf Press: Placerville, CA, 1992, (147) sets forth many false teachings. Note with me these errors taught in this book:
page XIX – Joseph Campbell great mythologist “problems from lack of collective vision” [no, it is sin. all have sinned Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (NKJV); Genesis 3: remember Satan in the Garden said to Eve, you need not obey rather you need extra knowledge…]; page 5 – Out of Body Experience 1946 in arms of man with sparkling bright white beard [2 Corinthians 11:3-4; page 31 – “Existence before my life on earth — Death was actually rebirth into a greater life”. (Hebrews 9:27-28 tells us that Reincarnation is not true. It is part of Satan’s lie in the Garden];
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page 34 – “My children…were individual spirits with intelligence developed before their lives on earth.” [no, Hebrews 9:26-27 says we live and die only once not endless cycle, etc of Hinduism] page 44 “Jesus Christ was the Son of God, though he himself was also a God” (Mormonism and JW error see Isaiah 43:10; 48:16; Zechariah 12:10 on the trinity) page 45 “All religions are necessary…no one church can fulfill everybody’s needs….[This is Universalism, Jesus said John 14:6); Matthew 7:13-23]; page 47 “We assisted God…in creation” [Colossians 1.15-16]; page 52 “Spirit Brothers and sisters entered physical bodies for their turns upon earth.” [ no God created the first two humans in Gen 1-2 and then has given conception and put life in each who are born. There is no pre-existence of the soul in Scripture]; page 55 “Each element, each particle of creation has intelligence in it…filled w/Spirit” (Gen 3. Panentheism); page 57 “Positive and negative energy” (I John is a refutation of this teaching called Gnosticism); page 62 – “Spirit in us…can ward off illness, heal.” [no, this is the error of Christian Science, Theosophy and other cults]; page 84 “Our prayers can help spirit (those who died) beings”, Some “atheists” need time lingering in “tunnel” before coming to God (Universalism again, God says Hebrews 9:26-27]]. page 93 “Memories passed on in cells” [we don’t have repeated lives according to the Bible]; page 119 “I made them (Jesus and angels) promise…they would take me back” [Jesus is answerable to the Father only in John 5,8] What did Jesus tell His disciples in v.5-6?
BEWARE OF DECEPTION. That means: 1. False Teachers [Mt. 24:23-28] 2. Workers of Signs And Wonders [Dt. 13] 3. Apostates [II Peter; Jude ] We must always remember that miracles are not a proof of divine calling and approval, only the Word of God is the final test. See Deuteronomy. 13:1-5 and I John 4:1-8.
Because we are approaching the last times this warning Christ gave is especially relevent. One Pastor said Mark 13 speaks of the signs of Christ’s Second Coming: We are not only asserting that the Rapture [coming FOR His saints] takes place first, followed seven years later by the Second Coming [WITH His saints for Israel]. We are also establishing that there will be no signs for the Rapture, no warning that it is about to occur. The signs are for the Second Coming.When Christ comes secretly to catch His saints up to heaven, the world will be living in self-complacency and pleasure, seemingly on the way to solving its ecological problems and establishing perpetual international peace. Any thoughts of the Rapture will be widely ridiculed. Even few Christians will expect that long-promised event, although it should be their hope. One could say that such is already the general attitude even in the evangelical Church. How many are eagerly watching and longing for Christ to take them to heaven? [Hunt, How Close, P. 109.
II. HOW DO WE SPOT A FALSE TEACHER? There are nine teltale signs of an apostate or false teacher:
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1. A DENIAL OF THE EXCLUSIVITY OF THE FAITH I Timothy 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; (KJV) 2. A DENIAL OF OUR LIBERTY IN CHRIST I Timothy 4:3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. (KJV) 3. A DENIAL OF LIVING THE SEPARATED LIFE 2 Timothy 3:1-2 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, (KJV) 4. A DENIAL OF THE NECESSITY OF SOUND DOCTRINE 2 Timothy 4:3-4 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (KJV) 5. A DENIAL OF DIVINE POWER 2 Timothy 3:4-5 4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. (KJV) 6. A DENIAL OF BIBLICAL AUTHORITY 2 Timothy 3:8 8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. (KJV) 7. A DENIAL OF THE DEITY OF CHRIST 2 Peter 2:1 But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them — bringing swift destruction on themselves. (NIV) 8. A DENIAL OF THE REALITY OF CHRIST COMING AGAIN 2 Peter 3:3-4 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. (KJV) 9. A DENIAL OF THE NECESSITY OF PERSONAL HOLINESS Jude 18-19 How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. 19 These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. (KJV)
III. HOW DO CHRISTIANS AVOID DECEPTION?
1. TEST EVERYTHING: 1 John 4:1-3 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. (KJV) 1 Thessalonians 5:21 21 Test everything. Hold on to the good. (NIV) 2. TRUST GOD: 1 John 4:4-5 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. 5 They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. (KJV) 1 Peter 4:19 19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator. (KJV)