Deceived and Confused

by Dr. Ken Matto

(Luke 21:8 KJV) And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.

One of the characteristics of the period of time before the Lord’s return is confusion. As we look at the above verse we see that the Lord is warning the Christians that they should not be deceived. One of the crowning areas which the end times will be dotted with, are those who come in the name of Christ but come with a deceiving Gospel. In fact, in this verse the Lord is telling us that there is going to be people, most likely those in spiritually authoritative positions, both inside and outside the church, who will proclaim that the Lord Jesus Christ is God. These people will be so deceptive that by proclaiming that one true teaching, they will be able to draw people after them. After all, how can someone who proclaims the deity of Christ be deceptive? Keep in mind that the chief technique of Satan in the final days will be deception. (2 Cor 11:13-15 KJV) For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. {14} And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. {15} Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. Satan knows that if he sends someone to deceive Christians that utterly denies the deity of Christ, then that person will be totally rejected by the true Christian.

One of the scary parts of the Luke verse is that the Lord is saying that “many” are going to come in His name, which means that deception will be all around us and that the Christians need to remain vigilant in this era. Now as Christians we would never go after a false teacher, even if they claim the deity of Christ. Now another deceptive situation which has arisen within the confines of Christianity is the creating of a Jesus that suits our needs and lifestyles. For a long time the liberals, skeptics, and atheists have accused “religious people” of creating God in our image. In other words, each particular religion has created an image of God which corresponds to their peculiar beliefs. When you have a belief system that lines up with the God you create, then you have coherency, and deception is easier to accomplish. I remember one scene, in the movie, “The Ten Commandments” that Yul Brynner as Pharaoh was being confronted by Charlton Heston as Moses. Pharaoh turns to Moses and the Egyptian High Priest which was present and said, “What gods? You prophets and priests made the gods so you could prey on the fears of men.” There is truth to that as you study ancient history and see the different civilizations which have created gods and then a sacrificial system, which also included human sacrifice. False gods were used to intimidate the people and keep them in bondage to their own fears.

However, in our time, in Christianity, something else has taken place. Many Christians have taken the Lord Jesus and have re-created Him for the convenience of their lifestyles. What triggered this article was an opposition to my stand on Halloween which I sent on October 29, 2003. Someone had taken that article and placed it in a neighbor’s mailbox. I am glad they did! This person thought that I drove 800 miles to place it in his mailbox. I mean, out of millions of homes I picked this person out and then did my deed. What really happened was that this person was targeted by God for their dualistic testimony! How can a person who claims to be a Christian, have all kinds of satanic paraphernalia all over their lawn? If they witness for the true gospel and then people see gravestones, witches, or other representatives of satanism on their lawn, then they are being hypocritical in their testimony.

(2 Ki 17:33 KJV) They feared the LORD, and served their own gods, after the manner of the nations whom they carried away from thence. This verse is an indictment against Israel for serving other gods while fearing the Lord. How different is the Christian when they say they fear the Lord, and are redeemed by Him, and then carry the notion that whatever we do God will accept it? Many Christians have re-created Jesus according to their own ideas. They forget the Jesus is the Great I AM of Sinai. We forget the Jesus is God because our liberal preachers, churches, and authors have kept the Lord Jesus a person rather than Him being God. Does this person actually think that God is impressed with him placing all kinds of satanic emblems on his lawn while claiming to be a Christian? The answer is no. God does not accept sin nor does He excuse it. Those who try to make their Jesus to be one that will accept anything they do are just plain fools!

Where did we ever get the idea that Christians set the standard for Christian living? It is found in the Bible and I have yet to find any passages where God accepts anything according to our standards or beliefs. (Gen 4:5 KJV) But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. Here is a verse which teaches us that Cain bought a simple offering unto the Lord which he thought would be acceptable. What happened was this offering was unacceptable. Why? It was not according to the way God required sacrifices. Whenever Christians come up with the notion that Jesus will accept anything that we do, we are walking on shaky ground. We must realize that Christians are made up of sinful flesh and a redeemed soul. This problem does not always allow us to see spiritual things clearly and if we are not careful, our sinful side will take over. As Christians, we must never presume upon the grace of God by creating Him in our minds to appease our plans or desires. God is a holy God and we must always keep that truth in mind. God will never sanction sin in our life, even if we call it entertainment, as the person did with his satanic display. Why couldn’t this person put a big sign on his lawn, “Happy Reformation Day!” The reason is that Christians fear the world more than they fear God. That evil habit must be broken. God defines who He is in Scripture and our lives need to be lived around who He is and not who we wish He was according to our sinful nature. (Isa 42:8 KJV) I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images. Re-creating Jesus according to the dictates of our sinful nature is blasphemy and we better cease from doing it, even in the most minute ways. What seems innocuous to us, is still sin to God.  (11/21/03)