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Chapter 21

There are over two thousand Religions in the world today.

They have many variations and forms.

The Apostle Paul warns that last days people will have a form of godliness.

2 Timothy 3:1-5

"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come...

For men shall have a form of godliness."

People often join churches and become religious. Their religion becomes their form of godliness and they become strongly attached to it.

They substitute religion for a true spiritual experience with God. Unfortunately many religions have become like spiritual restaurants catering to the religious tastes of people.

People often don't want the sensitive and sinful issues in their lives to be addressed. Many only want nice things to be spoken to them and are therefore being subjected to false doctrines.

False Doctrines:

2 Timothy 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;"

We read in the Bible that there is only one true doctrine that Jesus Christ commanded us to teach.

Matthew 28:20

"Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:"

The Apostles taught the people what they had learnt from Christ. His doctrine became their doctrine and so Christians continued in the Apostles doctrine.

Acts 2:42

"And they continued stedfastly in the apostles doctrine."

It is this doctrine that has been passed on to the generations of Christians until today.

It is to this doctrine that we must remain faithful and true.

Jude 3

"It was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints."

We are living in the last days.

Unfortunately people are being subjected to different forms of religion. They are known and labeled by the religion they belong to.

They are recognized as religious but have no power with God.

2 Timothy 3:5

"Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof:"

If we do not have and abide in the true doctrine of Christ, we then move into the realm of false doctrines.

2 John 9

"Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son."

Unfortunately many are deceived and move away from Christ's true doctrine.

They move into error following false teaching.

1 Timothy 1:3-4

"That thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine,

Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying, which is in faith:"

People often believe fables, which are false teachings not based on fact.

2 Timothy 4:4

"And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables."

It is this non-factual, incorrect, idle-talk that causes people to stray from the truth.

1 Timothy 6:20-21

"O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: Which some professing have erred concerning the faith."

There are six verbal actions that bring about error and false doctrines:

1. Meaningless conversations and idle talk.

2. Irrelevant questions.

3. Uncorroborated theories.

4. Inaccurate statements.

5. Unsubstantiated reports and stories.

6. Deluded imaginations of the mind.

The Bible teaches that demonic deception causes error and false doctrine.

1 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;"

Satan causes people to stray from the truth by initially diverting them very slightly.

Eventually they find that they have strayed far away from the truth.

There are three types of doctrinal and religious error:

A.   Minor doctrinal errors.

B.   Major Christian doctrinal errors.

C.   Major non-Christian doctrinal errors.

A. Minor doctrinal errors.

There are different religious doctrines that can be described as in minor error. They have deviated in some way from the doctrine of Christ.

Here are four examples:

1. Religions not requiring Christians, to be water baptized by immersion.

2. Religions that do not teach and practice the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

3. Religions that distort the doctrine of the Godhead.

4. Religions that frustrate Gods grace by holding to legalism. 

    They enforce keeping the Sabbath, the Ten Commandments and the traditions of men and frustrate the grace of God.

B. Major doctrinal errors.

There are three religions that have major doctrinal errors:

1.  Mormonism.

The founder of this worldwide religion was Joseph Smith born on December 23, 1805, in Sharon, Vermont. In the year 1820 he claimed that he had received a vision in which God the Father and Jesus appeared to him. He was told that all churches were an abomination to God. In 1823, a so-called angel moroni appeared to him and told him of some golden plates which he would later find and translate. In 1830 he published the translations known today as the book of mormon. They say that it supercedes the Bible and therefore is on a higher plain than the Bible.

Here is an example of some of their major doctrinal errors:

Mormonism denies salvation by faith in Jesus Christ.

It teaches that works obtain salvation progressively.

It teaches that Jesus Christ is the spirit brother of lucifer.

2. Jehovah Witnesses.

The founder of this religion was Charles T Russell. Initially he was involved in the teachings of the Seven Day Adventists. He came into disagreement with them and then launched a magazine called Zion's Watchtower and Herald of Christ's Presence. Five years later he founded the Zion's Watchtower Tract Society.

In 1896 it was renamed the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society.

Their teachings deny or distort almost every significant Biblical truth.

Here is an example of some of their major doctrinal errors:

They deny the unity and status of the three Persons of the Godhead.

They deny the deity of the Holy Spirit.

They deny the virgin birth of Jesus Christ.

They deny Jesus' Resurrection.

They deny Jesus' second coming.

They deny Jesus' finished work on the Cross.

They deny the complete work of salvation.

They deny the reality of hell.

Their teachings violate sound principles of Biblical interpretation.

They have their own Bible translation, rejecting all others.

They teach that the 144,000 spoken of in Revelation 14:1 are Jehovah Witnesses.

They fail to report that these are actually Jews. (Rev 7:4-8)

3. Christian Science.

The founder of christian science was Mary Baker Eddie and was influenced by the so-called Dr P.H.Quimby, who himself was influenced by a mesmerist named Charles Poiyen. Charles had developed a theory of healing called the science of health, or christian science. At the beginning of the nineteen hundreds, over 200,000 followers of Mary Baker Eddie regarded her as equal to and a successor to Christ. She made the same claims about herself. Although the Bible is used during their services, the real source of authority is the work of Mary Baker Eddie. This book repudiates every important Biblical Teaching.

Here are some of their major doctrinal errors:

They deny the deity or Godhead of Jesus Christ.

They describe sin, evil, sickness and death, as allusions of the mind.

C. The major three Non-Christian religious errors.

1. Hinduism

Most Hindus are found in India. Hinduism takes its roots back almost 3000 years, to the Indis Valley in Northern India. It is a polytheistic religion which means that they worship many gods. Their worship takes on an idolatrous form and abounds in immoral practices of superstition, fear, occultism, demon worship and possession. They practice the cast system in society and that places people at different levels. Hinduism is a religion that is rigid, unjust, cruel and based on a works system.

Here are some of the peculiarities of their religion:

Hinduism teaches reincarnation, wherein every person has many lives and are after death reborn into another body. This process continues until they reach a state of perfection.

They believe in the law of Karma, teaching that man will pay for today's sins in future reincarnated lives.

They deny the deity of Jesus Christ.

They deny Jesus Christ as the only way to God and salvation.

2. Buddhism.

Sidhartha Gitama was born about 560 B.C and founded this religion. Within a period of 45 years, he gathered many disciples in the northern part of India. His disciples knew him as "Buddha". At the age of 80 he died of food poisoning.

The peculiarities of their teachings:

They believe that suffering is caused by mans desire and thirst for pleasure.

They believe that by eliminating these cravings, man will overcome suffering.

They believe there is an eightfold path to achieving this.

They totally deny doctrines of Jesus Christ such as sin, salvation, healing, heaven, hell, and the Godhead.

Buddhists are polytheistic, pantheistic or atheistic.

3. Confucianism.

Confucius established Confucianism in 551 B.C. His real name Chu Kung, was changed to Confucius. He taught that man needs no help beyond himself. He taught that because man is not sinful, he doesn't need a savior. He believed and taught that because of mans wisdom men would behave ethically. The popular religion of confucianism in China today is a combination of ancestral worship, animism and social traditions. Many confucianists are also buddhists.

4. Shintoism.

It is an indigenous religion of Japan and has been greatly influenced by buddhism and confucianism. It is made up of two Chinese words, namely:

"Shin" - which means spirit.

"Tao" - which means way.

These teachings made their appearance about 720 A.D. In 1882 they were officially made the state religion of Japan. The teachings of Shintoism include polytheism and the worship of nature. It rejects Elohim the true God of creation and minimizes the idea of sin and moral guilt. It has many social rules.

Unlike the Bible it is based on fables.

5. Islam

The word islam means to surrender or be brought into submission to the will of allah. The word Moslem or muslim is related to this word and means one who submits. Mohammad was the founder of islam. He was born in 570 A.D. in Mecca, which is near the southwest coast of the Arabian Peninsula. Islam combines some of the elements, of Judaism, Christianity and the native Arabian religion of that time.

Islam contradicts many of the teachings of the Bible. The book of islam is the koran. They believe it is uncreated, eternal and supercedes the Bible. They do not believe in the Godhead, the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. They reject the Biblical teachings of the crucifixion of Christ and His resurrection. Although they concede that Jesus was Gods sinless prophet, they do not believe that He was the Son of God. The god allah who they worship is not merciful and compassionate. Unlike Jehovah, allah has not done anything for man that has cost him anything. Islam makes no Godly provision for forgiving and removing sin. They teach that salvation is never certain, because it is based on mans works.

6. Occult religions.

There are six teachings that focus on certain aspects of occult activity namely:

1. Transcedental meditation.

Mahesh Warma the founder was born in India in 1918. He taught that after much practice, a person may pass from transcendental consciousness to higher plains of cosmic consciousness and attain god consciousness. It is far removed from the teachings of the Bible. Its true objective is Hinduism.

2. The unification church.

It was founded by Sun Moon in North Korea. In 1957 he published his book called "divine principle" and is the authoritive bases of his teachings. It is better described as monism. He claims to be the only one who can decode the message of the Bible. He teaches a self-type of salvation based on the human spirit and rejects salvation by grace in Jesus Christ. Thousands follow Sun Moon and believe he is the Messiah.

3. The New Age movement.

These teachings are a wide variety and assortment of beliefs of groups and individuals. Their concepts are made up of old and new mysticism. They are presented in different wrappings that are attractive and deceiving. In many ways it is a modern version of Hinduism. They teach that new age enlightenment brings people to the knowledge and experience of being gods. They actually believe in achieving the dream of being divine human masters of the universe. To them, man has no moral responsibility to the Creator and therefore redemption and salvation are unnecessary. They condemn Christianity for preaching the evil concept of sin, arguing that it produces negative thoughts and self-esteem. They reject the Divinity of Jesus and relegate Him to the position of other teachers such as buddha and mohammad.

4. Spiritualism.

It is the oldest occult religion in existence. In civilization spiritualism has been practiced in one degree or another. Mediums and familiar spirits are mentioned in many ancient writings and sources of the Egyptians, Babylonians and Chinese. Because they claim to communicate with the spirits of deceased humans, mediums are used to communicate with the dead.

The Bible clearly warns against this:

Leviticus 19:31

"Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God."

The Bible pronounces judgment on those who practice as mediums or wizards.

Leviticus 20:27

"A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them."

5. Satanism.

It goes back to the beginning of time. The best known modern satanist is Anton Lavey who founded the first church of satan in San Francisco. He is the author of the satanic bible.

In satanism, satan is worshipped as god and demands that fallen angels, demons and humans worship him. The followers of satan pray to him and work miracles through his powers. Those who participate in satanism become demon possessed.

There are many evil religions around the world today that practice witchcraft. One of them is Voodoo. There are also religions that worship the spirits of their forefathers and practice the worship of idols.

False prophets and lying wonders.

Jesus spoke of false prophets appearing in the last days.

Matthew 24:11

"And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many."

Peter makes mention of the same.

2 Peter 2:1

"But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction."

It is evident that these false prophets prophesy falsely in the Name of Jesus Christ and deceive many people. Paul warns Timothy of this.

1 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;"

In these last days we are seeing this deception on every hand.

2 John 7

"For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist."

2 Timothy 3:13

"But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived."

There are various kinds of deception:

1. Magic.

2. Divination.

3. Psychic phenomena.

4. Astrology.

5. Witchcraft.

6. Demonic manifestations.

These deceptions are leading to the greatest deception of all time. It is that of the false prophet and the antichrist.

2 Thessalonians 2:8-9

"And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:

Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders."

Revelation 13:13

"And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men."

Jesus warns of deception.

He warns of the appearance of false christs and prophets who will do great miracles, signs and lying wonders.

Matthew 24:24

"For there shall arise false Christ's, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect."

This deception will be so subtle; that many of Gods elect people will be deceived and depart from the faith.

1 Timothy 4:1

"Some shall depart from the faith."

This deception will have a global effect.

Alien Creature deception. (UFO)

UFOs are not only a modern-day phenomenon. Sightings around the globe have been the substance of legend, as well as documented historical record, for thousands of years.
There are drawings of UFOs found in caves that date back thousands of years. There have been many recent documented sightings.

Who are they?
It is clear that they are satanic forces that will be brought down to the earth from space during the time of the tribulation. We will not try to speculate their origin. This deception will be used by satan to deceive the world and many Christians.

Revelation 12:3-4
And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon.

And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, (satanic forces) and did cast them to the earth:
This will be there deceptive message to man:                                              

1. That they created the DNA of man and all of creation by scientific             experimentation.

2. The miracles of the Bible were their handiwork.

3. Budha, Jesus Christ and Mohommad were aliens.

4. The translation of Elijah and Jesus into heaven were by UFO.

5. They have always been watching over mankind.

6. The crop circle signs are their warnings to man of impending danger.

7. They will save man from destruction.

8. They have new impressive ideas and technologies to help man.

The results:

The antichrist will embrace them.

Mankind will reject the Bible, Christianity and believe their lies.

Mankind will worship satan, the false prophet and the anticrist.

Many Christians will be deceived.

Revelation 18:23

"For by thy sorceries were all nations deceived."

Five things that Christians should do to safeguard themselves from deception:

1.   Become spiritually mature.

Hebrews 5:14

"To them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil."

2. Be prayerful, sober and spiritually alert.

1 Peter 4:7

"But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer."

3. Be watchful.

2 Timothy 4:5

"But watch thou in all things."

We are to watch for the things our spiritual leaders warn us about.

Heb 13:17

"Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls."

4. We should discern and know the people we are dealing with.

1 John 4:1

"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world."

5. We should identify and avoid those who are false or suspect.

Romans 16:17

"Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them."

We can overcome this deception:

By giving heed to the warning of its coming.

By preparing ourselves.

By continuing to be very cautious.

By enduring to the end.

Matthew 24:11-13

"And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved."

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