The Best Free Book About God Answers Many Questions About God

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Best Free Book About God "More than One Way?" Pt 1 Chapter 8



The Ultimate Lie: There are many religions and philosophies that lead to God


Blaise Pascal, the famous French scientist and philosopher once said that; “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which only God can fill through His Son, Jesus Christ.”  In other words, man has an inner spiritual need which can only be satisfied by re-establishing fellowship with the eternal God.  Although some people pretend that no such need exists, others honestly acknowledge their spiritual need and, because of this, Satan has engineered the ultimate deception.  He has devised a complex network of religious deception.

Satan is aware of man’s spiritual void, therefore he tries to fill that void with anything except the essential truths about God, or His plan of salvation.  He endeavors to provide a spiritual “anesthesia” for those who feel the pains of being separated from God. And, through religious deception, Satan not only attempts to divert people from the narrow path which leads to Heaven, he also attempts to satisfy his own egocentric longing to be worshiped as God.  Furthermore, although he seldom reveals his true identity as the real founder and “energizer” of various religions in the world, he nonetheless becomes the indirect recipient of the worship which is offered by many who mistakenly think they are worshiping God (or gods).  (Of course, Satan would prefer to be directly worshiped as Lucifer, but, when this is not possible, he is content to disguise himself as any form of deity; even righteous deity if necessary.)

The Bible refers to Satan as “the god of this world” (II Corinthians 4:4), and says that he often “disguises himself as an angel of light” (II Corinthians 11:14).  The scriptures also reveal that Satan possesses great supernatural power that he sometimes uses to counterfeit the very miracles of God. For example, when Moses and Aaron approached the Pharaoh of Egypt, demanding the release of the Israelites from their bondage of slavery, they performed several supernatural signs to convince Pharaoh that their request was authorized by God.  However, several of the miracles that were performed through Moses and Aaron were also duplicated by Pharaoh’s own sorcerers and magicians.  On one occasion, Aaron’s wooden staff was thrown to the ground and immediately was transformed into a live serpent (Exodus 7:10).  When this occurred, Pharaoh summoned his sorcerers and they repeated this miracle with their own staffs.  However, the serpent from Aaron’s staff devoured the other serpents that the magicians had reproduced (Exodus 7:12).  This of course signified the superiority of God’s power; yet, the fact remains that Satan was able to counterfeit the miracles of God through his servants.

In the book of Job, it is also revealed that Satan, if he is not obstructed by God, has enough power to control the weather, to incite armies to battle, and to afflict the human body with disease (Job 1:2).

Satan even demonstrated his supernatural power in the presence of Jesus Himself when he tempted the Lord in the wilderness.  The Bible says that Satan “led Him up and showed all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time” (Luke 4:5).  And, since Satan was able to manufacture such realistic phenomenon for the Lord Jesus to observe, he can certainly provide similar experiences such as astral projection, necromancy, etc…, for those who are advocates of his various religious deceptions.

Satan can make something seem absolutely real which, in actuality, is only an impression upon the mind.  He can also manufacture a tangible, but counterfeit, manifestation of almost anything in the world; plus, he can enter this dimension and exercise other physical forces.  Through these abilities (as well as others) Satan is able to create the supernatural experiences and phenomenon that are often associated with his various religious practices.

The Occult


God’s word echoes numerous clear-cut warnings about supernatural phenomenon that is not of God and it also instructs people to avoid certain satanic practices which are expressly forbidden by God.  And, even though many who are involved in occult practices are nothing more than charlatans whose “supernatural” manifestations and experiences amount to nothing more than clever hoaxes, there are some who definitely tap into Satanic power and thus experience phenomenon that defies any natural explanation or logical refutation. In either case, whether a person is serious or not, God forbids any type of dabbling with satanic practices.

For example, God’s word says, “There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead.  For whoever does these things is detestable to the Lord” (Deuteronomy 18:10-12); . . . “And when they say to you, ‘consult the mediums and the spiritists who whisper and mutter,’ should not a people consult their God?  Should they consult the dead on behalf of the living?  (Isaiah 8:19); “. . . Stand fast now in your spells and in your many sorceries with which you have labored from your youth; perhaps you will be able to profit, perhaps you may cause trembling.  You are wearied with your many counsels; Let now the astrologers, those who prophesy by the stars, those who predict by the new moons, stand up and save you from what will come upon you.  Behold they have become like stubble, fire burns them; They cannot deliver themselves from the power of the flame” (Isaiah 47:12-14).

God often voiced His displeasure with the tools and practices of the occult during the Old Testament era and it is evident that God’s prohibition against the occult was never lifted during the New Testament era of great grace. The nineteenth chapter of the book of Acts says:  “Many of those who had believed kept coming, confessing and disclosing their practices.  And many of those who practiced magic brought their books together and began burning them in the sight of all; and they counted up the price of them and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.  So the word of the Lord was growing mightily and prevailing” (Acts 19:18-20).

Of course many who practice the occult would argue against the inherent evil of the occultic practices mentioned in the previously quoted Bible verses - even by sometimes pointing to other scriptures which they incorrectly use to justify their involvement in the world of the occult.  However, since it would require a somewhat lengthy treatise to expose the fallacies of the various arguments that they present and, to effectively reveal and document the spiritual destructiveness of occultic practices; let it simply be said that God expressly forbids many of the “religious” practices which are rapidly attracting millions of people in our society today because they do not glorify God or promote His gospel in any way.

Supernatural demonstrations of power are only used by God through His servants to verify His saving messages and to accomplish His own healing and redeeming purposes.  His people do not have to practice any sort of hidden arts; they merely make themselves available to God as vessels through which He can accomplish His intended purposes by any means of His own choosing.  God’s supernatural power has been intended for man to satisfy God’s own personal desired ends.

False Wonders


Of course many people realize the spiritual dangers of delving into outright occultic practices that are expressly forbidden by God and, because of this, Satan often had to appeal to man’s spiritual desires in other ways which appear to be much more righteous and in accordance with God’s own character.  To do this, it is obviously necessary for Satan to incorporate a great amount of truth into his seemingly “righteous” religious philosophies and systems.  However, he is always careful to include enough lies; and, to omit those truths which would lead a person to the one and only eternal God.  Furthermore, by promoting an air of righteousness in certain religions, he is still able to interlace them with alluring, “whitewashed” versions of the same occultic practices that are expressly forbidden by God.

Sometimes it is necessary for Satan to utilize supernatural demonstrations of power to make his erroneous religious philosophies seem valid.  That is why God’s word warns people to be discerning about even those “miracles” which seem to be supported by “righteousness.”

Jesus issued such a warning in one of His last messages before His crucifixion.  He said:  “…See to it that no one misleads you.  For many will come in my name, saying that ‘I am the Christ’ and will mislead many” . . . “And many false prophets will arise and mislead many”… “For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect” (Matthew 24:4,5,11,24). In other words, Jesus said that Satan’s miracles would almost seem valid enough to fool God’s own people.  And indeed, some of God’s own people can, and have been, deceived by false prophets; but, when this occurs, the Holy Spirit will eventually reveal such deceptions to God’s children.

The Apostle Paul likewise spoke of the Satanic power that would be displayed in the last days by Antichrist, of whom he said:  “that is, the one who’s coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved” (II Thessalonians 2-9,10).

It is interesting to note that the terminology, which both Jesus and Paul use to describe the miracles of Satan, is the same terminology that is used in various places in the New Testament to describe the miracles of Jesus and the apostles.  Apparently, the “signs and wonders” of Satan will counterfeit the very miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit; therefore, God warns His children to scrutinize supernatural experiences and revelations.  His command is to “test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone into the world” (I John 4:1).  He wants all doctrine and all religious experience to be tested by the Divine authority of Holy Scripture.  In other words, the complete revelation of God’s unparalleled and indestructible Word is the Divine standard by which all experience is to be judged.

The Apostle Paul praised the Bereans for testing the very gospel that he preached to them, because they compared his message with the teachings of the Holy Scriptures.  He said:  “Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the scriptures daily, to see whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11). By examining the scriptures, the doctrines and religious experiences which are not from God can be more easily detected.  For example, God’s word says:  “If a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes true, concerning which he spoke to you saying, ‘Let us go after other gods (whom you have not known) and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams; for the Lord your God is testing you to find out if you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deuteronomy 13:1-3).

By this one single passage, the Lord makes it obvious that any teaching or supernatural experience, which can lead people away from the God of the Bible, is to be automatically rejected.  And, by this passage alone, many doctrines and “religious” experiences can be immediately disqualified as having come from God.  (Of course no one passage should ever be interpreted apart from its context, its culture, or apart from the combined revelations of the Old and New Testaments.  However, the spiritual principle of the previous passage is one that is often repeated in the Old Testament, and carried through into the New Testament).

The Cults


Another repeated message of the Bible which devastates many religious philosophies and experiences, is summed up in these few words by the Apostle John:  “…and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God” (I John 4:3) Now, for the person who lends any credence to what the Bible has to say, these few words could very well serve as a preventative against becoming involved in any type of religious system that does not revere the name of Jesus. Because of this, Satan has devised some of the most diabolical religious deceptions of all.  He has established many religious cults which use the name of Jesus, profess to be Christian, and outwardly appear to be righteous; yet, in reality, deny the very foundations and essential doctrines of salvation of the true Christian faith.

In almost every case, these cults use verses right out of the Bible to support their religion.  Of course, the scriptures used are either, twisted, used out of context, or interpreted apart from the complete revelation of the Old and New Testaments.  But this should come as no surprise since Satan himself knows the Bible well and even used quotations from scripture when he tempted Christ in the wilderness.

Scriptures are often used among the cults; but, each cult’s particular religious system usually differs greatly, one from another.  However, although the religious doctrines and practices greatly vary among the “Christian” cults, they usually share some basic common denominators. The most recognizable of these common denominators is the adamant denial of the Christian Godhead or Trinity.  (The importance and feasibility of the doctrine of the Trinity was discussed in chapter 5).  By destroying the doctrine of the Trinity, Satan is able to keep people from a true knowledge of God and to lessen the significance of Christ’s atonement.  In the “Christian” cults, Jesus is seldom proclaimed to be the great eternal God, but rather some lesser form of deity, a prophet, a good human teacher, a divine principle, or anything else except the God of the Bible. 

A Christian cult may profess some extremely sound moral principles; yet, if its concept of God is erroneous, the path of salvation can become untenable to its members who ignore the inner voice of the Holy Spirit and the Divine revelation of God in the Holy Scriptures. Some of the people in these cults really don’t know or understand the full distortions of their original church doctrines and it is quite possible that in some cases, a few  may actually have a reverence and dependency upon God that exceeds the knowledge and practice of others who are nominal members of more orthodox Christian organizations. However, since Jesus said that no one can come to the Father except through Him; it is of the utmost importance to know who Jesus really is and to have a relationship that is utterly dependent upon Him for everything in life. He said; “I am the vine, you are the branches; He who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” (John 15: 5) Doctrines that distort the true nature and character of Jesus are like spiritual land mines set by the enemy on the road to salvation and they should be detected and avoided at all costs; that is why it important to reveal these blatant distortions - especially to those who may not fully understand the dangers they present.     

Another common denominator among the “Christian” cults is an extreme emphasis upon doing “good works” or upon adhering to certain prescribed religious standards in order to obtain salvation.  The doctrine of salvation by grace is usually distorted enough to diminish the vicarious atonement of Christ to such a degree that a cultist inadvertently believes that Christ’s sacrifice alone was not sufficient enough to pay for all sins or to secure totally unmerited salvation.  Therefore, the cultist must usually “earn” his way into heaven by his own good merits and self-sacrifices.  (The impossibility of attaining heaven by good works was discussed in chapter 7).  Through this distortion of the Christian gospel, the human ego is once more catered to and man is allowed to become his own savior.

Some other common denominators among “Christian” cults are:  They usually claim to be the only true form of Christianity; their founders are often purported to have received some sort of special revelation or “key” to understanding the “true” meaning of the scriptures. The cults often have their own special scriptures which they add to the Bible and esteem as good as, or better than the Bible.  If not, they might at least change certain key words in the standard interpretations of the Bible in order to conform to their doctrinal views. And, in addition to other common denominators, the cults often deny the existence of hell plus they often deny the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ.

There are, of course, many other distortions of the Christian gospel that each cult can independently claim, but, in each case, Satan insures that the basic essential doctrines, or foundations, of the Christian faith are destroyed so that God’s true plan of salvation is hindered by cultic doctrine.

Angels of Light


To anyone who is familiar with the Bible, it should come as no surprise that Satan would hide under a mask of Christianity.  Jesus Himself said:  “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves” (Matthew 7”15).  And, since Christ’s followers are often referred to as His “sheep,” it is safe to assume that the false prophets of whom He spoke would come disguised as Christians.

The Apostle Paul wrote:  “But I am afraid, lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds should be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.  For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully . . .  For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.  And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.  Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end shall be according to their deeds” (II Corinthians 11:3, 4, 13-15).

Paul also said:  “I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you, and want to distort the gospel of Christ.  But even though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:6-8).

From the revelation of God’s word, it becomes obvious that Satan can put on a false Christian mask.  Because of this, the early church was somewhat plagued by cultic brands of Christianity. However, today’s generation is witnessing a veritable “cult explosion!”  Although many of the members of these cultic systems are nice and well-meaning people in many ways; they have unfortunately allowed themselves to be deceived by the prince of darkness.

As a result of Satan’s deception, there are indeed many cults today which profess to be Christian but in reality are the antithesis of true Christianity.  For example, it may come as a shock to some people, but the rapidly growing Mormon Church, or church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, is by no means Christian (in any historical or orthodox sense of the word).  Among other things, the Mormons believe that God was once a mortal man who progressed to godhood. (Teachings of the prophet Joseph Smith by Joseph Fielding Smith).  They believe that God the Father still has a “body of flesh and bone as tangible as man’s” (Doctrine and Covenants 130:22); That our God is only one of a whole pantheon of Gods that exist (Mormon Doctrine, by Bruce McConkie); and that man himself can eventually obtain godhood through his own endeavors (Mormon Doctrine by Bruce McConkie, P. 321).

By contrast, the Holy Scriptures say that there is only one God (Deuteronomy 4:35; Isaiah 44:6,8); that there never were any other God’s formed before, nor will there ever be any formed after the one and only God (Isaiah 43:10, 1l); that God is spirit (John 4:24; Jeremiah 23:24; Psalms 139:7-10); that He is not a man (Numbers 23:19; Romans 1: 22-23; Psalms 50:21); plus, it is interesting to note that the Mormon hope of attaining godhood was the same false hope that intrigued Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:4-5).  It was likewise the same blind ambition which prompted Satan himself to revolt, and consequently fall from heaven (Isaiah 14-15).

Mormons further believe, that Jesus was the brother of Lucifer (Gospel Through the Ages by Milton R. Hunter); that He was conceived by a physical act of sexual intercourse (Gospel Through the Ages by Milton R. Hunter); that His father was none other than Adam “the first of the human family” who had since progressed to become God the Father (Journal of Discourses, Volume I, P. 50 & 51­-as taught by Brigham Young on April 9, 1852 and later re-printed in the L.D.S. Millennial Star No. 48, Volume XV, November 26, 1853); and that Jesus Himself was a polygamist who had at least three wives (Journal of Discourses Volume II, P. 82; and The Seer, by Orson Pratt, P. 159), and Several Children (Journal of Discourses, Volume II, P. 82)

There is really no need to further contrast such perversions of the gospel with God’s Holy Word.  But, remember, that these perversions of scripture only represent a few of the many distorted teachings of the Mormon Church.

In spite of such twisted doctrine, young Mormon missionaries zealously propagate their religion with many extraordinary claims, most of which are false; (although they themselves are usually unaware that the claims are false).  Among other things, they claim that the historical accuracy of the Book of Mormon is supported by archaeology, and even endorsed in some aspects by the Smithsonian Institution. Such claims however, could be no further from the truth.

In his book, Mormon Claims Answered, Marvin Cowan exposes the blatant falsehood of such claims with authoritative documentation.  And, after years of investigative research, Cowan concludes that:  “Thus far everything they have pointed to as “proof” has turned out to be a forgery or else an exaggerated interpretation which cannot stand up under investigation.  There has never yet been one Book of Mormon name, event, place or anything else verified through archaeological discoveries!”[1]

Mormons also issue a challenge to prospective converts; to try to write a book of “scripture” comparable to the Book of Mormon; which will “stand forever;” without change from the very first edition, “just as the Book of Mormon has done.”  Yet, it is a verifiable fact of history, that the Book of Mormon has undergone more than 4000 changes since the first 1830 edition; many of which are obvious intentional cover-ups of error.

The founder of the Mormon Church, Joseph Smith, is revered as a prophet of God; yet it should be noted that the history of his life reveals that he miserably failed every prescribed test of a true prophet; as given by God in His word (Deuteronomy 13:1-5; Deuteronomy 18:20-22; Isaiah 8:20; Isaiah 9:15-16).  And the fact that Joseph Smith allegedly received the revelation of his “restored gospel” from an angel called Moroni, should bring into mind Paul’s words which say:  “. . . though we or an angel from heaven,’ should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:8).

Of course, it is impossible to competently, or effectively expose, within a few short pages, the mountain of lies upon which the Mormon religion is built.  Several good books such as; Mormon Claims Answered, by Marvin Cowan; or The Maze of Mormonism, by Walter Martin; serve to effectively accomplish that task.

The Mormon Church has been briefly singled out in this chapter to serve as one representative example of the many churches that outwardly appear to represent Christianity, with high moral standards and wholesome family lives, but inwardly are diametrically opposed to the Christian faith. Some of those other more prominent “Christian” cults which misuse the name of Jesus are:  The Jehovah’s witnesses, Christian Science, World Church of God (Armstrongism), Unity School of Christianity, Unitarianism, The Church of the New Jerusalem, The Way International, The I Am, The Children of God, and The Church of the Living Word, to mention a few.

Others which allude to the name of Jesus, but, which are not so universally miss-associated with the true Christian faith are:  The Rosicrucian Fellowship, The Unification Church, The Bahai Faith, The Theosophical Society and Spiritism, to mention a few more.

Many of the cults often seem doctrinally sound because they frequently refer to the scriptures and often use the same terminology that is associated with the Orthodox Christian Churches.  Of course the scripture references of the cults are usually out of context, misinterpreted, or taken from a mistranslated passage of their own special version of the Bible (As in the case of the Jehovah witnesses with their New World Translation and their Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Bible).

A cultist may seem to be right in tune with basic Christian doctrine and theology, until the cultist is pressed upon to define the Christian terms which they so frequently utter.  For example, when a cultist speaks of “God,” an effort should be made to determine what exactly is meant by the cultist when he uses the term “God;” because the cultist’s concept of God is often drastically different from the Christian concept.  The same is true when terms such as “The Holy Spirit,” “Jesus,” “salvation,” “the resurrection,” hell,” etc…, are used by the cultist.

One of the quickest ways to discover a cult is to precisely determine its concept of “Jesus.”  For example, the Jesus of Mormonism was, among other things, the brother of Lucifer; the Jesus of the Jehovah’s Witnesses was once the Archangel Michael; the Jesus of Christian Science was merely a man who was filled with a “Christ Principle;” the Jesus of Unitarianism was only a man, period!  The Jesus of the Bahai’s was only one of nine manifestations of the “divine being” who is now manifested as Baha’ullah; the Jesus of Spiritism was a “medium of high order;” and the list of distortions goes on and on.

The Jesus of the cults is obviously not the Jesus of the Bible - the eternal God and Savior of mankind who suffered a vicarious death upon a cross; was bodily resurrected from the dead; and will come again to judge the world, and to establish His reign forever.  These distorted concepts about Jesus should once again bring to remembrance the words of the Apostle Paul who warned:  “For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached;… such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ (II Corinthians 11:4,13).  Paul’s warning is especially relevant for today and Christians should take heed of it.

Be Prepared


It is unfortunate; but, the average cultist has a missionary zeal that greatly surpasses that of the average Christian.  This is why cult memberships are increasing so rapidly because people in the world are desperately yearning for spiritual fulfillment and are attracted by the enthusiasm which the cultist displays; and, which so many Christians seem to lack.

The cultist is well-indoctrinated with his own religion; is very familiar with many Bible verses; and has been specifically trained to proselytize Christians.  Because of this, the average cultist can usually argue circles around the average Christian who has not done his spiritual homework.  This is why it is important for the Christian to become familiar with what the Bible has to say; and, also to learn something about the histories, and the erroneous teachings of the cults themselves.  The Bible tells Christians to always be, “ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you” (I Peter 3:15).  Christians are to be prepared to provide sound answers for those who question or contest the faith, just as the early apostles often did in their missionary endeavors.  The Christian should not simply try to avoid contact with the members of cults; but, should instead try to reach them with the truth of the gospel since they too are people for whom Christ died.

There are many excellent books available in Christian book stores which effectively deal with the cults.  Included among these are several outstanding books written by Dr. Walter Martin, who, is an authority on comparative religion.  Among his books are three of the best reference works available entitled, The Kingdom of the Cults (his first textbook masterpiece), The Rise of the Cults (an updated handbook on the cults), and The New Cults (which deals with the new wave of cultism that is sweeping across the world, including some of the supposedly “non-religious” mind sciences).  These books provide a thorough and comprehensive analysis of the major cults in the world today.  They are well-documented with numerous revealing, and sometimes shocking, facts that the cults would prefer to conceal if possible.  That is because they reflect more than twenty years of scholarly research by a man whom the Lord has used to deliver multitudes of people from cultic and occultic oppression.  It would be advantageous for every Christian to obtain copies of these informative books, not only as references for identifying and personally dealing with the cults, but, also because they effectively demonstrate how Satan can cunningly influence people to “distort the scriptures to their own destruction” (II Peter 3:16).

UPDATE: Dr. Martin has gone home to be with the Lord since the writing of this book. There will be links to websites and Christian books and media for further study on this topic at the end of this book.


The Ultimate Deception


Now, when all of Satan’s cultic and occultic religious traps fail to keep a God-conscious person ensnared, he still has one more diabolical ploy to prevent people from realizing fellowship with the eternal God.  Satan’s last strategy is to infiltrate those Christian organizations that are actually armed with the truth of the gospel; and to make those organizations appear to be weak, undesirable, or even treacherous if possible.  Thus, his most intensive efforts are focused upon God’s own people and upon any system or organization that might be mentally associated (and sometimes incorrectly so) with God’s true body of Christian believers.

One of the most effective ways to destroy any enemy is to destroy it from within its own ranks.  This has been the communist stratagem that has toppled many governments; therefore, it should come as no surprise that Satan would launch similar efforts against the church.  (The word “church”’ in the Bible does not denote any building or denomination, but refers to all people who are true believers in Christ).

One way in which he can make the church seem unappealing is to create, or gain some control of, any organization that the average non-believer assumes to be a true representative of Christianity.  These organizations might actually profess some sound Christian doctrine and principles; but, few of their members actually believe or apply those principles to their own lives.  Satan tries to manipulate such organizations into committing actions that are outright contradictions of their professed beliefs because the actions of such organizations often speak much louder to the non-believer than their Christian doctrines do.  However, their wrong actions do not invalidate the truth of the gospel that they disgrace; nevertheless, the unbeliever often fails to recognize this fact.

Since any religious organization is comprised of fallible human beings who can sometimes be led astray, it is once again important to re-emphasize the need to test all religious experience by the authoritative standard of God’s word.  And God’s word says that, “in the last days difficult times will come.  For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power” (II Timothy 3:1-5).

By considering the preceding verses in the light of other pertinent passages of scripture, it is understood that God’s warning is directed against those who make a continuous practice of such evil behavior, without reservation or apparent guilt; yet, profess to have “a form of godliness” by their mere association with Christianity.  The verses do not mean that true Christians are incapable of ever committing such wrongs, they merely mean that Christians will not make a willful practice of such behavior, so as to become earmarked by sin instead of goodness.

Nevertheless, many who have made a willful practice of the most wicked and brutal behavior imaginable, have been incorrectly labeled as “Christian” because of their mere association with the name of Jesus.  It is a sobering fact of history that many atrocities have been committed in the name of Christianity - from the small scale family abuses to the large scale inquisitions that resulted in the murder of thousands.  Ironically, in many cases, the pseudo-Christians in the world have been manipulated by Satan to persecute and destroy those who really were true believers in Christ.  When the critics recite the gory statistics of the religious crusades and inquisitions, they fail to mention that multiple thousands of the victims were people who died for their unwavering commitment to Jesus Christ Himself rather than submit to any corrupt religious system.

Although it is a fact that many atrocities have indeed been committed in the name of Jesus by pseudo-Christians, it is just as much a fact that there has been more goodness accomplished in the world by true Christians than by any other group of people.  The Christian church has given to the poor, fed the hungry, clothed the naked, healed the sick, provided comfort, and has ministered to all human needs on a scale that cannot even be approached by other religions or philanthropic organizations.

Fruits of Righteousness


Though it is sometimes difficult to determine what is, and what is not, true Christianity, it is not totally impossible to do so.  Once again, the guidelines for making such an evaluation are to be found in the scriptures.  In order to eliminate some of the chaos and confusion about Christianity that is instigated by Satan, Jesus gave the world some instructions on how to detect his true followers.  He said “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.  You will know them by their fruits.  Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes, nor figs from thistles, are they?  Even so, every good tree bears good fruit; but the bad tree bears bad fruit” (Matthew 7:15-17).  As previously stated Jesus said:  “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in me and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).

Anyone who abides in Christ, will eventually “bear fruits of righteousness” that will be indicative of Christ’s own life.  And, as the fruits of Christ’s righteousness begin to flourish, the fruits of the sinful nature of man will begin to be choked out.  (Those who are truly committed to Jesus are His witnesses; and, because of this, the Holy Spirit will not allow the blatant practice of atrocities which do not represent the life of Jesus to continue for long because God does not want His true witnesses to testify against Himself).

Therefore, the fruits of God’s righteousness will be manifested in His believers.  They will eventually be manifested in one’s morality, and they will also be manifested in one’s doctrine.  Conversely, those who oppose God might be detected by their unrighteous “fruits” of moral behavior that is not representative of God; or, they might be detected by their unrighteous “fruits” of distorted doctrine that likewise does not represent God.  In other words, a non-Christian may profess sound doctrine, yet be morally perverse, while another may be morally sound, yet doctrinally perverse.  In either case, such people are opposed to God’s purpose and can be detected by their “fruits.”

If Satan can’t gain sufficient control of an organization to achieve a gross misrepresentation of Christ, he still tries to at least infiltrate those organizations that generally do glorify Jesus and represent Christianity; in hopes of causing their eventual deterioration.  In some cases, he tries to place his often unwary servants in positions of authority within these organizations, just as one government might try to place one of its own patriots in an authoritative position of an enemy government.

Although such a statement may seem ludicrous to some, it is an undeniable fact that recent polls have revealed that thousands of pastors and seminary students now deny the basic fundamental beliefs of the Christian church and the various orthodox organizations that they supposedly represent.  Many of the Christian pulpits are being filled by false prophets and some of the church pews are being populated with people who only want to hear pleasant, humanistic messages.  The Bible says:  “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths” (II Timothy 4:3,4).

Now if Satan can’t infect a true body of believers with a denial of sound doctrine or sound morality, he’ll merely play upon the human weaknesses of many Christians and try to create dissension and divisions among the Christian body.  He may try to incite trivial doctrinal disputes in order to create more “denominations” in an attempt to prevent Christ’s corporate body of believers from ever uniting on the basic essentials of Christianity that they all believe. He may try to publicize and blow out of proportion, human errors of respected Christians in order to create discouragement among their fellow brothers and sisters; he might try to make church attendance nothing more than a constant guilt trip, or reduce it to nothing more than a weekly social event. He would like to see church pews filled with expressionless, emotionless people, who resemble corpses in a morgue, or go to the opposite extreme and promote an equally undesirable frenzied-type atmosphere.

And, apart from his direct assaults upon the church itself, he will also try to utilize the various forms of communication media to discredit Christianity.  Through the public Medias, Satan may try to make Christians look like wild-eyed fanatics, self-righteous hypocrites, insensitive morons, extreme pacifists, or intellectually blind people.  He will especially use the media to create a false image of the Christian male since men are called by God to be influential spiritual leaders of their households.  That is why Satan will try to stereotype the Christian male as a weak, milk toast, timid sort of individual and hope that few men will ever stop to think and realize that it requires more courage and manliness to go against the tide and live the Christian life, than it does to succumb to various fads, or to follow the crowd by doing what everybody else does just to be accepted by the masses.

Through any means he can, Satan tries to attack every facet of the Christian faith in some way or another.  He knows that humans tend to commit the error of “guilt by association” so he especially takes advantage of this weakness.  He realizes that many will condemn the whole of Christianity by experiencing any negative which they might incorrectly associate with the true Christian faith.  For example, if one “Evangelist” is shown to be a fraud, he knows that many will incorrectly conclude that all Evangelists must be frauds; and if one church can be manipulated into misappropriating funds, then many will cease to give financial support to any church; or, if a person’s “Christian” neighbors happen to be malicious and hateful, that person might inadvertently conclude that all Christians are malicious and hateful.

It may seem like Satan’s treachery knows no bounds; nevertheless, being a Christian is not as hopeless as it may now appear to some.  The power and influences of God are far greater than those of Satan, and because of this fact, in the final analysis, a person’s spiritual deception will ultimately be a result of his own choice, and not because he was forced to reject God.

Even finding a right church to attend is not so difficult.  God has commanded Christians to meet together (Hebrews 10:25); He therefore insures that there will always be Christian groups who preach the true gospel and are committed to serving Him.  So, in spite of all the religious chaos that exists, a person will still find many Christians, Pastors, and church fellowships, who glorify Jesus with genuine enthusiasm and zeal.

Does this then mean that a person should look for the perfect church?  Absolutely not, because it will never be found!  Even the most spirit-filled churches might have a few people who secretly reject the Lord.  To illustrate this, Jesus once told a parable which said: “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field.  But while men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares also among the wheat, and went away.  But when the wheat sprang up and bore grain, then the tares became evident also.  And the slaves of the landowner came and said to him ‘Sir did you not sow good seed in your field? How does it have tares?’  And he said to them ‘An enemy has done this!’  And his slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us, then, to go and gather them up!’  But he said, ‘No; lest while you are gathering up the tares, you may root up the wheat with them.  Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn.’ ” (Matthew 13:24-30)

Jesus went on to explain this parable by saying:  “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man, and the field is the world; and as for the good seed, these are the Sons of the kingdom; and the tares are the sons of the evil one; and the enemy who sowed them is the devil, and the harvest is the end of the age; and the reapers are angels.” (Matthew 13: 37-39)

Therefore, a good church fellowship might have those who secretly and unequivocally deny Christ; but even if it doesn’t, it will still have its imperfections because all human beings are somewhat plagued by an imperfect nature that wars against godly principles. So, wherever human beings congregate, imperfections will abound.

Some say that they refuse to attend church because the churches are “full of hypocrites;” yet, this never stops these same people from attending the restaurants, grocery stores, and movie theatres that are likewise filled with hypocrites.  Churches have hypocrites because hypocrites can be found wherever people gather.  At least many of the sinners in churches are honest enough to acknowledge their own faults and are trying to seek the strength of God to overcome those faults. It has been said: “Christians aren’t perfect, they are just forgiven.”  Because of this fact, people should look more to the Shepherd, and not so much to the sheep, because the sheep will sometimes go astray.

Although a perfect church will never be found, God has given His children enough common sense to determine what might be, and what might not be an acceptable church home.  For example, if a church organization does not ascribe to the basic fundamental doctrines or beliefs of Christianity, then one can surmise that such an organization is not yet approved of God.  Or, if an organization habitually neglects the reading and study of the Bible, or esteems any other book or writing as equal or superior to God’s word, then this should serve as an obvious warning sign.  But, most importantly, Jesus Himself should be the central object of any church group because Jesus is Christianity.  Christianity is the only religion that is built upon a personal relationship and commitment to a resurrected founder.  Therefore, Jesus should be magnified and glorified in the assemblies of His believers.

Jesus said: “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; that whoever believes may in Him have eternal life.” …“And, if I be lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men to Myself” (John 3:14; 12:32). If Jesus is not lifted up and glorified in church services, or if a church group seems totally unconcerned about following the Master’s great commission to, “preach the gospel to all creation” and “make disciples of all nations” (Mark 16:15 & Matthew 28:19), then a most essential part of Christian fellowship is lacking.  It may be wise in such a case to find another church family; but, then again, God may inspire certain mature believers to join such a fellowship to become spiritual examples, and dedicated reformers of such churches or groups.

In the final analysis, it can be categorically stated that Christianity is not a religion at all, but is rather a common faith and trust in the person of Jesus Christ.  A Christian’s own personal relationship to the Savior is infinitely more important than his or her relationship to a particular denomination or Christian group of people.  The real church of Jesus Christ is not composed of wood, bricks and mortar; it is an invisible church that transcends denominational barriers and it is comprised of all people, regardless of any denominational labels, who love the real Jesus, and honor Him as Savior and Lord.  And, of this great and mighty church triumphant, Jesus said; “The gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18 KJV).(By Robert Linkey)

The Truth:


Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6)


"Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” (Matthew 7:15)


"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.” (Matthew 7:21)


"And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12)


“I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed! For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.” (Galatians 1: 6-10 Words of the Apostle Paul))


[1] Marvin Cowan, Mormon Claims Answered (Published by Marvin Cowan, Salt Lake City, Utah C 1975) P. 50

Proverb of the Week

Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life. (Proverbs 4:23 NASB)

Psalm of the Week

I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; from where shall my help come?My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber.Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand.The sun will not smite you by day, nor the moon by night.The Lord will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul.The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forever. (Psalm 121 NASB)

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