[Note: The following excerpt was posted as the "TBC Extra" article in the May 2008 Newsletter from The Berean Call.]
LESS THAN ONE GENERATION AGO, a majority of Americans (churched and unchurched) would have agreed philosophically on matters regarding the absolute nature of truth and error, right and wrong. But after several decades of softening up the culture--simultaneously ridiculing biblical Christianity while using government schools and the media to propagandize the world with relativism and political correctness--the majority of today's generation has bought into the postmodern, subjective smorgasboard of "self-help" spirituality. Unfortunately, it is not only the world that is receptive to the New Spirituality and its counterfeit self-help gospel, which includes the so-called "Law of Attraction." Just as foretold in Scripture (2 Timothy 4:3-4), increasing numbers of evangelical leaders and movements are rapidly aligning with false doctrines identical to those "revealed" in The Secret as well as Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth, William P. Young's The Shack (New Age fiction), and A Course in Miracles (demonically channeled "wisdom") -- all of which present a counterfeit Christ and "another gospel" that is not from God.
WHEN HIS DISCIPLES ASKED JESUS what the signs would be of the nearness of His return and the end of the world, the first sign He gave them was religious deception: "Take heed that no man deceive you" (Matthew 24:4). His reply came as a warning. He went on to explain the nature of the deception, repeating this first and most important sign three times:
For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many . . . . And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. . . . For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders, insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told [warned] you before (verses 5, 11, 24, 25). [Emphasis added]
Obviously, Christ's warning is not about atheists or rank unbelievers or leaders of some opposing non-Christian religion. There is no deceit in such frontal assaults. It is not likely that a true Christian would be deceived into embracing atheism or following a Hindu guru or joining the Mormon church, or any other obvious cult. On the other hand, false doctrine (such as positive confession, positive/possibility thinking, psychology, etc.) taught within the church by admired church leaders could be very destructive. Christ's warning is about a deception which is all the more subtle because it comes from within the church--and in His name?!
Jude also warns about "certain men [who have] crept in unawares" (Jude 4). Crept in where? Obviously, into the church. That these are not Satanists or deliberate occultists who are insidiously at work in the church, but "Christian leaders," is clear from Christ's description:
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name, and in thy name have cast out devils, and in thy name done many wonderful works? (Matthew 7:22)
These enemies who, incredibly, oppose Christ in His name are clearly occultists. Some power is at work through them that is not of God. Christ is not describing mere trickery, though these men are not above that. Their signs and wonders are so impressive that even the elect are in danger of being deceived. Moreover, the "power" convinces these false prophets themselves, for they ask, seemingly surprised, "Lord, have we not?...?" It is the display of such power that attracts revival seekers today.
The lust for health and wealth and especially godlike power opens the door to occult bondage. This is a major problem in the charismatic movement: A desire for power and at the same time a denigration of biblical doctrine, with the resultant loss of the very guidelines which would protect one from occult involvement. Will some of today's charismatic leaders be among those who will say, "Lord, Lord, did we not...?" and to whom the Lord will reply, "I never knew you; -depart from Me" (Matthew 7:23)? Very clearly, Christ is warning (as do other Scriptures) of a false "signs-and-wonders" movement in the last days, led by false teachers, false prophets and false apostles. Paul was even more specific:
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be...ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. (2 Timothy 3:1,7,8)
Jannes and Jambres were occultists--magicians in Pharaoh's court. By the power of Satan, they duplicated some of the miracles that God performed through Moses and Aaron. Paul declares that resistance to the truth in the last days will come from those who produce by the power of Satan what seem to be miracles of God and thereby pervert the faith.
Many false prophets will arise and will deceive many. Christ is not describing something small. The false revival will be worldwide. In fact, such a movement is here, and it is growing with the support of those who ought to know better. Unfortunately, the "great spiritual awakening" [also called "emergence," "convergence," "deep shift" or "paradigm shift"] being praised today is characterized by a neglect of sound doctrine, and tolerance for false prophets. Such gullibility and the rejection of biblical guidance open the door to the occult. Satan and his minions are ever eager to provide "signs and wonders" for those who neglect sound doctrine.
When we name those who have led or are leading the church into occultism [as we periodically have done and will continue to do] we are not suggesting that this is necessarily deliberate on their part. Few people, even atheists, intentionally go into the occult. [Recall that] for three years, Paul warned the Ephesian elders "night and day with tears" that even some of them would speak "perverse things to draw away disciples after them" (Acts 20:28-31). --DAVE HUNT
Above excerpt condensed from Dave Hunt's newly revised and expanded hardback edition of Occult Invasion, scheduled for August release. Today, the evangelical church is full of men and women--from "new" Latter-Rain apostles and prophets to "new" contemplative mystics of the postmodern, ecumenical (and increasingly universalist) Emerging Church--who clearly fit Paul's description. These individuals may sincerely believe they are serving Christ, but like the teachers of counterfeit New Spirituality, they too have been "beguiled" to believe and preach "another Jesus...another spirit...another gospel" (2 Corinthians 11:3-4).
DO YOU HAVE A LOVE FOR THE TRUTH? (This is one of my articles)
STRONG DELUSION (This is one of my articles)
OCCULT INVASION RADIO SERIES
WHAT IS SALVATION?