Deception Today the Church is in a critical place, and blindness has taken over those who occupy the church pews in America, and in all the Nations. It is alarming. This is not just a trend that will come and go; it is Biblical prophecy being fulfilled. We have been seeing these days of deception for some time now. It grows stronger with each passing day. It is like a cancerous sore that silently eats away at the moral fiber of the Church. The Church that I am referring to is not a local assembly of believers, a denomination, or even a Church body. A church is a building (a gathering place) and nothing more. It is a place to assemble with those of like faith to pray, worship and fellowship. This generation of churches resemble a country-club rather than a place of worship. There is only one True Church and it is not a particular denomination, sect or religion. It is the body of believers who are sold out for the cause of Christ, and who wait for the coming of the King of King and Lord of Lords. This is the remnant who will notbe tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine. These believers are not yet perfect. However, one day when Jesus comes for His CHURCH in resurrection power, these believers will then be a living example and model of what God always intended them to be. According to the Bible, holiness is required of a believer. Yet, not one person on this earth is holy 'in and of' themselves. True believers strive to be the exact image of the Holy God and His Son, but to do so, they must realize that they stand in His righteousness alone. Any holiness that we obtain comes expressly from Jesus. The Holy Spirit of God works through us as a refining fire. He examines the true state of the heart and where it is needed He melts away the dross of the carnal mind, and promotes and forms into us the mind of holiness. If the holiness of most church's members relied on their own holiness, it would be a sad state of affairs in the present day (the last days) in which we now live. So, I dare say that holiness is not an issue in those churches. Far too many churches today, are steeped in apostasy, deception, and a feel good religion. The True Church is Jesus, the Head of the Body. The Body is the True believers who have committed their lives to the cause of Christ and serve Him with their whole heart and soul. We the body (the true believers) are the spotless Bride (His CHURCH). Many in this generation call themselves Christians, but unfortunately it is in name only. Those who straddle the fence by believing man's corrupt concepts of God are deeply enslaved in deception. Those who knowingly deny His existence, His deity, the virgin birth, His resurrection and second coming are not of the brotherhood and family of God. No matter how 'holy' we think ourselves to be, or how outwardly religious we seem, our works alone will not save us. Unless we have truly been regenerated by the washing of the water of the Word and by His shed blood at Calvary, then we are not one of His. A denomination has never saved anyone and never will. Neither can Salvation be found in false beliefs contrived of evil men, who have changed and altered God's Word to suit today's unholy standards. It is much easier then most Christians think, for any of us to fall into Satan's last day deception. Spiritual deception runs rampant in many churches, and sadly, most Christians do not even realize they have fallen prey to this 'new age' contrivance of untruths. Bear in mind, that even 'Real Christians' can take their eyes off Jesus and put faith in a man rather then in God. Satan's cunningly devised deception is sometimes so close to the Truth, that the unsuspecting have bought into his lies and compromised the real Truth. Many times in the Word, Jesus has warned us to be on guard, lest we be deceived. He also said, that in the last days that if it were possible, even the very elect would be deceived, so strong and subtle would be the spiritual subversion that would come upon that generation. Paul the apostle also warned us about this deception in 1 Timothy 4:1 "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly that, in the latter times, some will depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of demons." There is simply no excuse for a saved, spiritual child of God falling into the pits of deception that Satan has dug! We have the blessed Holy Spirit—the Author of Truth—living within our hearts as well as the Bible—the perfect Word of God—in our hands. The word 'apostasy' is derived from two Greek words: 'apo' and 'isteme'. It means 'to stand away from where you used to stand.' Sadly, too many today have done just that by compromising His Word and leaning on man's wisdom. More Christians than anyone would imagine, have left their first love of Jesus, to dabble in things unfitting for the kingdom. Some people believe that apostasy is a word used to denote cults, false religions and Satanic variances. But the truth is that within the various churches, denominations and Christian groups, deception abounds and will continue to do so until Jesus comes. Every day, we move closer to the return of our Lord and if we in all honesty, would go back in our minds (let's say 30 or 40 years ago), and remember that time period, we would see that things were different then. If we would then look around us in this present generation, we would see why Jesus and the apostles warned about the days of deception that would come upon the earth. Satan and his cohorts work harder today then in any other time period in history. I call them the devils advocate. Satan knows as well do we, that his time is limited, so he feverishly works to defeat not the sinners that he already has clasped his hand, but the Christians. It seems that once someone has determined their belief system (whether it be right or wrong), people seldom tend to change what they believe about the Bible. But the key to rightly dividing the Word of Truth, is not reading the bible through once or picking and choosing words out of context to determine a biblical Truth and then determining what they believe. The deception of the devil uses this tool more than any other! A careful study of the Word and comparing the Old and New Testaments accounts is of utmost importance. Lexicons are also a valuable resource, and study of the Greek and Hebrew is also very enlightening. Today there are so many different views and so many misconceptions of the Word, that many have unknowingly slipped into deception. Just because something sounds good that does not make it right. An just because it is popular among other so called Christians or church leaders does not make it so. We must remember that our mind sometimes overrides our spirit, and thus it is difficult for the Holy Spirit to guide us into the real Truth when our minds are in control. That is when we are in danger of learning but never coming to the knowledge of truth. Dear friends, and brethren beware of the deception and guard your hearts and minds. Keep your eyes on the Lord and do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind and staying grounded and rooted in the word.