“Forget the book of Revelation. We have all the facts about Armageddon.”‘
The CNN anchorwoman’s opening statement into the lead story some years ago was given with lighthearted inflection. Although her words undoubtedly were intended to grab the attention of viewers in preparation for the ensuing story about Armageddon, the movie sensation of that hour, the tongue-in-cheek lead-in nonetheless appropriately reflected the worldview of biblical prophecy. Hollywood, the facetious opening implied, knows better than the God of the Bible what the future holds for mankind.
Dr. David Jeremiah remarked at that time, “Satan hates the book of Revelation because it foretells his doom.” It should not surprise us that a worldwide news medium should broadcast with such lack of understanding because Satan, who is the prince of this world, conducts an ongoing propaganda campaign that presents near truths designed to keep fallen mankind on the broad way that leads to destruction.
Jesus said, “Enter ye in at the strait gate; for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat; because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:13,14).
There are, Christ tells us, two roads or pathways through life in the physical body. Because of man’s nature, fallen since the rebellion in the Garden of Eden, people are on the wide, easy path of least resistance that leads to their eternal separation from God, their Creator. Jesus Christ represents the other pathway–the narrow Way–that leads people to eternal life in Heaven, forever in the presence of God who adopts them as His children because of their trust in His Son as the only atonement for sin.
Every heartbeat moves you one moment nearer to eternity. You will enter that infinite realm through one of two doors. You may choose which of those doors you will ultimately enter while life yet pulses within your breast. However, by not choosing, you are swiftly moving toward the door beyond which awaits torment and damnation that will never end (see Luke 16:19-31).
While such a view runs counter to this world system’s theologies and philosophies of “feel-goodisms” and salvation by “do-goodisms,” and as unpopular as it is to point out that man is a fallen creature that needs saving, ignoring the truth of God’s Word means souls lost forever. Thankfully, “the Lord is … not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
The Hissing Serpent
Satan’s all-consuming purpose is to plant in the minds of men, women, and children a big question mark about God. Because there is within each of us a God-shaped soul-space, the great deceiver knows he cannot convince mankind there is no God. His drive is to create doubt about the Creator of all things: Is God a being or just a force of some kind like that portrayed in the “Star Wars” fiction? Is God existential in His dealings with His creation? Has He simply created and set all things in motion, then moved on, leaving that creation to evolve and fend for itself like is presented by the deist view? Or is God a deity who can be trusted? Can He be relied upon to keep His word, to see those who trust in Him through the vicissitudes of life and bring them into His loving, eternal presence when physical life on earth has run its course?
The latter of these deceptive questions was used by the serpent in the Garden of Eden (read Genesis 3). “Yea, hath God said?” was the question Lucifer the fallen one implanted within the minds of the first man and woman (see Genesis 3: 1). “Ye shall not surely die” the devil told the couple. He was implying that God wanted to keep them ignorant and under His thumb because He didn’t want them to become as gods, which gaining the forbidden knowledge would accomplish. In essence, Satan planted in their minds the belief that God is a liar. His Word cannot be trusted.
The serpent hisses the same subtle propaganda today into the ears of this self-willed generation of earth dwellers. If we will look and listen attentively, we can perceive an incessant assault upon the voracity of God’s truth coming at us from every angle.
The CNN story alluded to at the beginning of this commentary is mild in comparison to the many attacks on God’s truth-particularly in the area of biblical prophecy–while human history moves forward. Some might say that it is a natural thing for there to be increased interest generated during such a dramatic, exciting period. Movies, TV programs, speculation within news journalism–these things are to be expected to exploit the hopes, fears, and hunger for spectacular entertainment while earth moves ever deeper into the millennium. And exploited they continue to be!
However, it is not a natural exploitation. It’s a supernatural exploitation that more and more becomes evident to the spiritually attuned eye and ear. Satan, who has never ceased his assault against God’s truth, continues to intensify his attack at every point within the arena of human affairs. People’s almost-fanatic desire to gain supernatural knowledge about the future is fertile ground for the great deceiver to work his nefarious, anti-God subterfuge. Like the pied piper, Satan enchants the majority of humanity, enticing people to follow him down the broad way to the open door into the eternal abyss.
Satan’s attempted undermining of God’s truth is more and more observable in these closing days of the Church Age. He slyly chooses not to completely omit biblical prophecy as he influences media to create programs catering to their audience’s voracious appetites for knowledge of what the future holds. He subtly weaves sparse, disconnective textual bits and pieces from Bible prophecy within the nonsense and lies of false prophets in order to give their false prophecies an air of validity and believability. Always the message from the mind of the deceiver is that man and his humanistic solutions can overcome the dire predictions for mankind’s future if everyone will come together as one in peace and harmony.
The great deceiver hisses convincingly into the already-inflated egos of the one-world builders that they are “as gods.” They must, he whispers, overcome all obstacles totally apart from the deity Christian fanatics claim is the only One who knows the end from the beginning. Satan’s voice whispers against the One who prophesies a time of unprecedented trouble for the world because of mankind’s rebellion against Him and rejection of His Son, Jesus Christ.
Revelation 19:10 says, “The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. ” The book of Revelation is not just a series of revelations of judgments, although it does reveal great details about the coming wrath of God and the reasons for judgment. The book is the revelation of Jesus Christ–the unveiling of the truth about who Christ is in His glorified magnificence.
Satan is presently mounting an all-out offensive in an attempt to pervert and thwart the truth of God’s prophetic Word. The nucleus of his attack centers around the lie that the book of Revelation is confusing, cannot be understood and, indeed, is not meant to be understood because it is a mishmash of symbolism and allegory that was never intended to be in the canon of Scripture. Tragically, many people in the body of Christ choose to fall for this satanic lie.
Even some Christian seminaries choose to ignore God’s revelation of His Son Jesus Christ by treating biblical prophecy, and the book of Revelation in particular, as symbolic or as history already accomplished. This despite the fact that Revelation 22:19 states, “If any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the tree of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”
Christians who fall for this luciferian deception not only are missing the blessing promised by God to those who read and heed the revelation (see Revelation 1:3), but they are unwittingly helping Satan in his full-fledged assault on God’s truth as he leads lost men, women. and children to eternity apart from God.
Consider the foreshadows of wrath inundating this world in profusion. From the rapidly spreading apostasy developing through ecumenism to the precise alignment of nations as predicted in God’s Word to the perilous times Paul warned about in 2 Thessalonians 3, everything foreshadows our redemption that thrilling moment as foreseen by John in his vision: “After this I looked and, behold, a door was opened in heaven; and the first voice that I heard was, as it were, of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up here” (Revelation 4:1).
In order to enter that door, you must first open your door, the door to your heart (your soul). Jesus said, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20). It is your decision to make. There will never be one more important than the choice you make regarding the doors to eternity. God’s Word says, “Be ye therefore, ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not” (Luke 12:40).
Right this moment, choose Jesus Christ, who faithfully promises “surely, I come quickly” (Revelation 22:20). Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
Terry’s commentaries are always a excellent – well-researched, well presented. This one gave me a whole new insight. Where most of organized religion just stays away from prophecy, thus leaving its adherents ignorant, Satan is doing even more damage by pushing false visions of the end. And, of course, those ignorant adherents I just mentioned can’t recognize a lie because they are unaware of the truth. In that, they are in the same shape as the secular world which comes up with its own “End Times” scenarios like an all-out nuclear war, runaway global warming, a planet-killing asteroid impact, a huge solar flare sending us back into a pre-industrial age, or worse . . . etc.
The thing is, barring Divine Intervention, all of them are actually good possibilities. However, I believe that God stepping into history will be exactly the thing that brings about the real End Times Events revealed in the Bible – and that it will be so soon that none of the other scenarios will have the time to develop.
From the article: “Satan’s attempted undermining of God’s truth is more and more observable in these closing days of the Church Age. He slyly chooses not to completely omit biblical prophecy as he influences media to create programs catering to their audience’s voracious appetites for knowledge of what the future holds. He subtly weaves sparse, dis-connective textual bits and pieces from Bible prophecy within the nonsense and lies of false prophets in order to give their false prophecies an air of validity and believability. Always the message from the mind of the deceiver is that man and his humanistic solutions can overcome the dire predictions for mankind’s future if everyone will come together as one in peace and harmony.”
This begs the question: Does this go as far to include the various translations of God’s Word, i.e. (NIV, ESV, NKJV etc.)? Over the years I have come to believe, through study, reading and observation that there are discrepancies in the various translations of the Bible that show Satan’s effort (think infiltration) to hinder bible student’s efforts to understand God’s Word. Those discrepancies include omissions in cross references and misdirections in such and erroneous errors in commentary sections of study bibles. So, I return to the KJV, a translation that I grew up reading and am used to, with an eye to the Berean practice even with that translation. I make do with the archaic Elizabethan literature of the Shakespearean era.
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I love the KJV and I also have several other translations so I go back and forth between KJV, NKJV and NIV. The other translations I have looked at do not follow the Gospel very well and change the meanings. I hesitate to even give them to anyone else. I love the archaic Elizabethan language. It is poetic.
When I was a teen I was told that there were two books in the Bible that I could not understand and therefore should not read: Song of Solomon and Revelation. Understand I read at a 7th grade level when I was 7 years old and if you really wanted me not to read something, telling me not to was not a wise thing to do. My English teacher told me not to read all of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. We had to read the prologue and one of the tales but that was all. Yeah, I read the whole thing! I was probably the only one who did. My Mother told me not to read Drums along the Mohawk and was very upset when I had checked it out of the library. She made me turn it back in. So I did and then rechecked it and kept it hidden and reading it when I could steal away and read it.
Same thing with S of S and Rev. S of S was supposed to be too racy for my virgin eyes and Revelation was too scary and apocalyptic so I would not understand it. The first time through I did not understand what it was telling me. At some point I figured out that “past proves future” and learned to look back to the Old Testament for the clues to understand Revelation. I have a deep love for Revelation and have tried to teach it at our church. Unfortunately they are not real receptive to it. One man who is a lay pastor (now at another church in the area) told me he was afraid of prophecy. One of the women and one of the elders in our church told me they did not believe in scaring people into accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior.
My teaching “style” was to start with prophecy in the Old Testament and show how God’s prophecies always came to pass and how they came true. We got through Genesis, I think, and then the folks who opposed the teaching of prophecy made the decision, over my protests, that all of our Bible Study classes would study Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Church. I refused to teach it and that was the end of my teaching in that church. We left for a while and returned when we realized that most of the churches in our area are corrupted. We go to worship. I still hear Warren’s philosophy mentioned sometimes in the pastor’s sermons. Not as flagrant but it is still there.
We have 3 churches in our little village. One is Disciples of Christ and the pastor is a lesbian who is married to her wife, I think, may not be “married”. The other one is Methodist and the pastor is a folksy fellow and I enjoy the Saturday evening informal sermonettes but not very deep. The other one is a Southern Baptist Church and they are afraid of prophecy. As Jan Markell has said the people are hungry to study the Word. We no longer have the teachers and pastors that I grew up with.