Recognizing Deception and Apostasy
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Recognizing Deception and Apostasy
Part 1 Recognizing Deception
Chapter 1 - The need for
Chapter 2 - How we got off
Chapter 3 - The truth will
set you free
Chapter 4 - Ecumenism and
the Roman Catholic Church
Chapter 5 - Psychology:
The Trojan Horse
Chapter 6 - Case Study -
The Promise Keepers
Chapter 7 - The Signs and
Chapter 8 - The Church
Chapter 10 - Apostles and
Prophets and Accountability
Chapter 11 - The Deception
of the World & Politics
Chapter 12 - Economic Deception -- Are You Ready for Meltdown?
Chapter 13 - The Church -- The Roots of Deception
Chapter 15 - The Church in Tribulation -- Timing is important
- Can Christians be Deceived?
- The Home Church Meeting
- Challenge, Upside and Downside
In the “last days” the greatest deception ever perpetrated on mankind will
beguile mankind, including Christians. One great nation, headed by the
antichrist, will subdue the nations of the earth and dominate the world. People
will think him the Savior, the man with the answer to the world’s complex
problems, and the great peacemaker in an exceedingly dangerous world cowed by
the specter of terrorism and economic collapse. He will do the unthinkable and
make a pact with Israel to make peace in the Middle East. One man, who claims
to be a Christian and appears to be a wonderful person and great leader, comes
to power with the backing of the Church only to later turn on the church and
Israel in the worst persecution the world has ever seen. Although seen by Daniel
2,600 years ago, and the Apostle John nearly 2,000 years ago, this could very
well happen in our lifetime.
The Bible speaks
of a period of deception, and tribulation that is without precedent. What will
it mean practically? If the Bible is correct (and I believe it is), it will get
to the point where you will not be able to buy or sell anything. You won’t have
access to food, clothing, housing, health care, schools - nothing! If you are
not a Christian (and by that I mean you don’t have a personal relationship with
God through Jesus Christ and haven’t been reborn in your human spirit), you will
probably be so caught up in the deception that one day. When you are given a
choice that will enable you to continue to buy and sell and live a half way
normal life, you will agree to take a mark and worship the antichrist. This will
determine your eternal destiny. Most will be deceived! Most will take the path
of least resistance. You will be deceived if…
you are a Christian that has made himself at home in this world.
you don’t grasp your true citizenship, you will become a part of the system
without realizing it.
you live in the wisdom of this world.
you live and act as if you are a citizen of this world rather than a heavenly
you try to straddle the fence and have the best of both worlds. What you love
most will win out in the end: Jesus or the things of the world.
you love the approval of this world, and are afraid to go against the tide.
you love your life more than God.
you love your family and friends more.
you don’t love the truth as revealed in God’s Word. As the country singer
sings, “you have to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything.”
you aren’t clearly standing for what God stands for.
you have given in to the “broad way” of thinking without questioning.
If you are a true
“Christian” and not part of the apostate (fallen) “Church”, you will be
persecuted by your “Christian” friends and family - people you loved and
trusted--because of your contrary stand. If you are an overcoming Christian,
you will suffer the loss of all things, including the rejection of those closest
to you. You will be delivered up and put to death (again, these are not my
words, but right out of the Gospels). This is a small price to pay for the
privilege of seeing our Lord return and to be able to rule and reign with him
throughout all eternity.
of “witness”, “witnesses” and “testimony”. The root in Greek for all of these
words is “martyr”! Revelation 12:11 tells us that “we overcome by the
blood of the lamb, the word of our testimony, loving not our lives unto death.”
Only those willing to die for their faith will escape the great deception.
This is as it has been down through history but even more so in the end of
Our assumption in
writing this book is that many who read it will be those who want to stand for
what God stands for, are aware of the inevitability of deception, because they
know the Scripture tells us that this deception is so good that it can deceive
even the very elect (by the way, Matthew 24:22 – and the phrase “if it were
possible” found in some translations is not in the original Greek text). They
want to know how to recognize it. They know prophecy was written for a reason -
not just for academic interest. It was written to warn us about what is to come
so we will not be deceived.
The purpose of
this book is to equip the believer to recognize deception and to expose the
extent of deception that is already at work. There is deception in the media,
the entertainment world, the news, schools, government and even church. Only
those who recognize and obey His still small voice will overcome. Only those
with the eyes of the “Spirit of God” will see the true picture. Only those who
“have an ear to hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches” will
overcome. Only those who are willing to suffer the loss of all things will
overcome. Only those who are built up with others in a vital “Body Life” will
overcome. This is not the time to stand alone. We need one another.
Don’t depend on
others to interpret the Bible for you (not even us.) Let God’s Word speak to you
personally. Your only hope for avoiding deception is to know the Lord, know
his Word and be closely knit with other saints. The stakes are high. The
reward is great, so hang in there!
This book is about
recognizing deception and apostasy. If we are those Christians – finally, after
2,000 years, living in the “end of days”, the greatest delusion ever to come
upon the earth is coming or may already be here. How do we recognize it? How
can we avoid getting caught up in it? Is there a magic bullet, some protection
from its beguiling power?
The word “deceive”
means "to mislead by falsehood or to delude." A good deception is so compelling
that people ARE conned by it. You may think you are seeing something
really good when it is evil. If you think it is going to be easy or obvious,
then it isn’t deceiving. Right? So many glibly think God will take care of them
when the time comes. But if you haven’t learned to get into God’s presence and
get fresh revelation from Him today, I doubt that, in that day, truth will just
jump up and slap you in the face and say “Here is how you are being deceived.”
Deception works like the frog in the heating pot of water – the frog gets used
to the gradually increasing temperature until it is too late.
That being the
case, it would make sense that there is some careful manipulation being done in
the world to "muddy" our understanding of both the scriptures and world events
as they happen. Because the end times prophecies are going to happen in this
physical world, Satan will need to deceive Christians in their understanding of
Bible prophecy or their application of it to the nations and events on the
earth, or both. Therefore, we need to see with increasing clarity if there is
political spin, media spin and even “Christian spin” in the information fed us.
Richards J. Heuer
Jr. wrote about this common phenomenon in a 1979 article entitled, "Do You
Really Need More Information?" He writes:
that is consistent with our existing mindset is perceived and processed easily.
However, since our mind strives instinctively for consistency, information that
is inconsistent with our existing mental image tends to be overlooked, perceived
in a distorted manner, or rationalized to fit existing assumptions and beliefs.
Thus, new information tends to be perceived and interpreted in a way that
reinforces existing beliefs."
People don’t want
to be confused with the facts. They want to make the facts fit their
preconceived notions. That is why it is so difficult to perceive the
deception. We were born and raised to believe a certain way and few can think
outside the box they were raised with.
So how do we
recognize deception? How do you recognize a counterfeit dollar bill? They teach
bank tellers that the best way to recognize the counterfeit is to know what a
real one looks and feels like. Below is a short checklist of how to avoid
Have a close personal relationship with Jesus Christ yourself. We are
responsible for our own spiritual destiny – not depending upon a relative, a
pastor, priest, church or program.
Satan is the Prince of this world. This is his territory and he is the master
deceiver! Expect the media, your leaders and others to lie.
Don’t be afraid to question information and sources. We answer to and are
accountable to God alone – not to any person in between. No one will be with us
at the judgment seat of Christ.
Read the Bible. Study prophecy and expect the Spirit to enlighten you.
Be open to see what is happening in the institutional church. If we blindly
accept what our Christian teachers tell us, we may be led astray.
Be open in your mind and heart (because it is ultimately a spiritual matter
requiring revelation). We need to have an open heart so God can reveal the truth
to us from His Word – not the spun teachings of the establishment sold out to
the world and the State. We must be careful whenever we are reading or listening
to the professionals. This information is so important we shouldn’t assume we
know it all. We had better take a fresh look ourselves instead of taking the
“experts” word for it.
It is not a sin to question our Christian leaders. Bereans were praised by the
Apostle Paul for holding up what he said to Scripture. If anyone tells us
otherwise, we must be very careful. These are not “God’s anointed” with a corner
on the truth! We have access to the same Bible and the same Lord!
In the last chapter of the Book of Daniel, it says twice that the words of the
prophecy should be “sealed up and concealed until the end of the age.”
Christians have been trying their best to determine the meaning of the prophetic
books of the Bible but it will only be revealed to the generation with a “need
to know.” Christian writers tried to interpret prophecy in terms of their
historical, political and social context. It is easy to see how things could
The biggest source of deception, in my opinion, comes from confusion relating to
dispensationalism, a doctrine which started in the 19th century. It
started as a vision that the church would experience a “secret rapture” prior to
the tribulation. Once theologians believed that the church was gone, they came
up with a theory that the church age (or dispensation) ended with the rapture
and that God’s attention turned back to Israel. Today, fundamental Christianity
is so steeped in this tradition that they can’t see beyond it. What started as
a little doctrine has grown to be a huge system of doctrine with one error
compounding upon another. This is called systematized error.
This is a huge subject for another book but suffice it to say at this point that
the question is not so much the timing of the rapture, but the importance of the
church and Israel to be present as the “Two Witnesses” of Revelation 11 – the
two olive trees and the two lampstands. The failure of Christians to see the
Church in every chapter of the book of Revelations has blinded them to the
essential role both groups have.
If Christians assume the church will not be here during the Tribulation period,
they will miss the signs. In working on an up coming book, we have read and
reread the great theologians of the past – Ironsides, Pentecost, Barnhouse and
many others to the present such as Ryrie, Walvoord, Steadman, etc. The
blindness of these men caused by one false assumption has led to the failure of
an entire generation to grasp the significance of the last days to the church
and an escapism worthy of the Laodicean Church.
Two errors make prophecy of little importance to Christians. First, the
dispensational approach believed that since the church raptures at the beginning
of the tribulation, it is not even present during the final seven year period.
The second is preterism, currently promoted by the Bible Answer Man (Hank
Hannegraff), which says that Revelation was written before 70 AD and all
prophecy has been fulfilled. Both extremes tend to negate the importance of
Although Christians down through the ages thought their generation might be “the
one”, there are two major events that signal the "beginning of the end”. The end
cannot come until these two things occur. One relates to the restoration of the
nation of Israel and the other relates to the rise of a nation that dominates
the earth like none other in history--a young nation that comes out of the
Western Christian world and dominates the entire world (the eleventh horn).
The Bible clearly foretells many times in the Old Testament the scattering of
the Jews throughout the world and their gathering in at the end of days just
before the Messiah’s reign. In 1948 the nation of Israel was restored, with
Jerusalem being captured in 1967 during the 6 day war and made the capital in
1981. Luke 21:24 says, “and they will fall by the edge of the sword, and will
be led captive into all the nations and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by
the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” After nearly two
millennia of being dispersed throughout the world, this tiny people group made
their way back to the land God had given them. Today we see the Jews barely
holding on to their little nation of Israel, as the whole world experiences wars
and rumors of wars, famine, pestilence, and earthquakes - all of the “signs of
the times” foretold in the Bible.
The other major event is one that almost all theologians and Christian leaders
seem to have missed. The Bible tells us that there will be a powerful nation in
the last days that will dominate economically and militarily. Just as the
modern nation of Israel was born, another nation was becoming a world economic,
political and military superpower. In the years following WWII, America was
emerging as the supreme military superpower in the world. Today it spends more
on its military as all the nations of the earth combined. It has been so
technically advanced, no one can stand against it. Wherever America has gone,
she left troops and military bases (e.g. Germany, Korea, Bosnia, Iraq), and in
recent years she has taken on the world in preemptive strikes at will around the
world, totally ignoring world opinion and the UN.
It also emerged as the dominant commercial force in the world. In 1972, the
entire world went on the dollar standard and U.S. domination of the world
economies was complete. It is very interesting that most Christians can’t see
America for what it really is but academics clearly understand the complete
dominance of America from a military, economic or political point of view. If
you have never traveled extensively outside of the United States, or better yet,
lived abroad in another country, you may not understand why no one likes or
trusts us. When I presented this material to a group of conservative Jews in
Buenos Aires, they had no difficulty in seeing the role America is playing in
the world. Outsiders such as the 19th Century Frenchman Alexis de’Toqueville and
the Russian Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn have always been able to see our strengths
and weaknesses better than we can. They have also seen the dominant place of
religion – Christian fundamentalism in our history. Based on the above, isn’t
it conceivable that this really could be the end? These conditions that were
prophesied so long ago have never before existed in history.
Christians are blinded to the possibility that America could be that nation.
They see the antichrist coming out of Europe, Russia, Iraq, Israel, etc. –
anywhere but America. They fail to understand that God looks at peoples rather
than geographic boundaries. We are European in language, culture, law, etc. We
are also the most “Christian” nation on earth whereas Europe, Russia, etc. are
post-Christian. Because theologians were expecting the church to be gone, they
saw the antichrist as likely a Jew – again, so confused because of their
predisposition to believe Christians are gone. However, if they are gone, how
can they be deceived? Oh well.
When Will the
The issue of when is somewhat dismissed by both camps since one sees the church
as gone and taken up and the other believes we have been in the last days for
the past two thousand years. Once Israel returns to the land and the last great
superpower is in place, there are only two major prophetic events that have to
occur before the beginning of the last seven years known as the Tribulation, or
more accurately, the seventieth week of Daniel. One is the
Gog-Magog War where the Islamic nations come against Israel. This is a
conflagration between Israel, the armies of the antichrist and the Islamic
The other major event is a treaty. (Daniel 9:27) Most Biblical scholars agree
that the signing of a treaty between Israel and the antichrist marks the
beginning of the seventieth week of Daniel (more on this later). This is a
defense treaty that is broken in the middle of the seventieth week. Can you
imagine Muslim countries getting so enraged with Israel that they attack her?
And if Israel unloads all their nuclear and conventional weapons to avoid
annihilation, how will she defend herself in the future unless she makes a
defense treaty with a country powerful enough to guarantee her peace? Isn’t
there only one nation that is Israel’s historical ally and that has the power
and the desire to defend Israel? Guess who?
America has become the only world superpower, and Israel's only friend. In the
name of world peace, ridding the world of terrorists and nuclear black mailers,
the U.S. is bringing "democracy" and “free” trade to the world. The economic
knots are being tied. U.S. star wars technology makes technology of other
nations as impotent as sticks and stones. Military spending exceeds that of all
of the nations of the earth combined… but this comes at a great cost to the
American people as the dollar falls in value, debt mounts and local jobs
disappear. Only the spoils of war and the lust for dollars keep the empire alive
as the nations continue to send their goods to the American consumer. The result
is still an economic and military empire without rival in the history of
mankind. However the empire simply cannot continue to stand under the weight of
its debt. Could its salvation be the drastic economic measure foretold in
Revelations? Or the control of Middle East oil?
America is a unique country, a “Christian” nation that is the only superpower on
earth that has the missionary zeal, the sense of “manifest destiny” to bring
"Christian" truth, capitalism and democracy to the rest of the world. None of
the “usual suspects” such as Russia, the European Community, the United Nations
or Iraq possess the capability or the Christian missionary zeal of America. They
are not “Christian”, do not have dominate offensive military capability, nor do
they dominate the world commercially as the great consumer nation America
(Revelation 18). How could that nation be any other? Only in America do people
still attend church regularly and overwhelmingly believe in God. Comparatively,
Europe is truly post-Christian.
It may be difficult to comprehend the idea that America could be anything but
good. We have been brought up to think of ourselves as the “good guys” but
would it be deceiving to the world otherwise? Can it be that this “Christian”
nation with a “manifest destiny” could be the source of a great permeating
evil? Are we really as good as we think? Just look at the entertainment
industry the past 40 years. What has become of prime time TV? What kind of
cinema do we export? What kind of culture do we promote in the world?
A WORD ABOUT
We greatly underestimate Satan himself if we do not remember that he is known as
the “deceiver of the brethren” and the one who can appear as an "Angel of
Light." As such, he will perpetrate his cleverest deception upon the American
evangelical church. Can you imagine anything more diabolical than deceiving
Christians into actually helping the "beast" come to power? Revelation sees the
beast come to power with the woman (the church) riding the beast! Since Satan's
plan is to hit us coming and going, we must be cautious when a leader comes
along who seems to have all the answers--one who is moral, decisive, and
charismatic and, above all, talks the Christian talk. Watch out when a leader
feels called by God to bring peace to the world, solve the sticky problem in the
Middle East, and bring Christian values, morals and free market prosperity and
democratic self-rule to the whole world. He sees the Church and State in
partnership, funding “faith-based” initiatives, in bringing this new wonderful
peace to the world. He will be lauded from the pulpits across the land as
Christians are caught up in the great patriotic fervor as his armies march
against the evil forces of ignorance, intolerance and Islam. The term
“antichrist” is a misnomer. People think it means “against Christ” but it
really means a “Christ substitute”. Could an obviously evil, new age person
from Europe fool an American evangelical Christian? I doubt it. So many
believe the antichrist will be from the Middle East or Europe, marginally
Christian if at all – probably “new age”, even a Jew but this is not what the
Bible tells us.
The Bible indicates that many trusting Christians will take the antichrist at
his word and even support him. Today, if a public figure claims to be a
“Christian” everyone believes him and takes it at face value. The Bible tells
us that antichrist represents the most powerful country in the world – one that
dominates it militarily and commercially. That can hardly be Russia, Italy (the
Vatican), Iraq, Israel or even the European Union. He makes a defense treaty
with Israel and he is so beguiling that even Christians are seduced by his
wiles. Only one nation fits the description. Only one country has the
crusading Christian zeal and sense of destiny. We hear from Christians around
the world and it is interesting to note they don’t find that nation quite as
hard to identify as we do.
People do not understand that God deals with peoples – not geographic boundary
lines. America is an extension of Europe in language, culture, history and
law. We are the apex of Western Civilization. We may well be that conquering
“Christian” nation that no one in the world can stand against. We may be the
“little horn” of Daniel, having grown out of the ten, ripping the three that
colonized us out (the English, French and Spanish) and now dominate the whole
World as the only superpower with the will and the way!
So what does this say to American Christians – that their beloved country could
be the evil empire of the “last days?” That very well could be, and if that is
the case, the deception will be far worse in the heart of that darkness.
Apostasy means – “falling away” implying a church that once had the truth and
lost it. So is it possible that the American church is epitomized in the
description of the Church of Laodicea (Revelation 3:14-22), a church that thinks
it has it all and really doesn’t? How deceiving would it be for the American
Christian who thinks America is a force for truth, justice and democracy taking
the world for “Christ and the church” by vanquishing the evil “godless”
dictatorships of the world? What if things are not as they seem? Recognizing
deception and apostasy may be more difficult than you think!
Continue to Part
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The Book "Recognizing Deception and Apostasy" was
written by Dene McGriff. The original source of the
book is located at the web site
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