Word of the Day – 21 And then if anyone says to you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ’; or, ‘Behold, He is there’; do not believe him; 22 for false Christs and false prophets will arise, and will show signs and wonders, in order to lead astray, if possible, the elect. 23 But take heed; behold, I have told you everything in advance. Mark 13:21-23
Early Church Fathers – (Antichrist Signs and wonders) “Let no one imagine that the Antichrist performs these wonders by divine power. Rather, he does it by the working of magic. And we must not be surprised that he performs wonders through demonic means. For the demons and apostate spirits are at his service. By these wonders, he leads the inhabitants of the earth astray… And the number is six hundred and sixty-six. That is, six times a hundred a summing up of the whole of that apostasy that has taken place during six thousand years.” Irenaeus (c.180, E/W), 1,557.
The New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) is upon us. And the key players are some of the largest churches in the world. Music and theology from churches like Hillsong, Bethel, and IHOP are joining forces with powerful people like Lou Engle, Benny Hinn, Todd White, Mike Bickle and Torben Sondergaard to promote signs and wonders. This great deception will entice Christianity as a whole because of its mysticism and strong emotional experiences. Much of these wonders are smoke and mirrors, as sociology and group think force promotion and acceptance of massive healing services, yet some of it is raw demonic presence.
The purpose of Satan here is not for those in the world. It is to lead those in the Church astray. And I believe that Jesus Christ is going to let this happen as a way to sort out the sheep from the goats; to identify the tears from the wheat… Much of Christianity is going to blindly follow and accept this powerful deception that stands on a global stage.
So how do we test demonic magic or manifestations of healing against divine moves of the Spirit? First, take away all of the fluff and see what remains. Peter didn’t need hundreds of people, hours of worship music, and powerful testimonies of healings to heal the beggar at the gate. He didn’t need flashing lights and strange spiritual manifestations… He didn’t need the proper atmosphere. He just healed the man through the divine power of God. Take the smoke and mirrors away… What is left?
Secondly, never in the Bible was someone healed in a subjective way. All divine healing was impossible. Guys who had sat on a mat for years were able to dance and walk normally, the totally blind were able to see completely, and diseases like leprosy were completely and instantaneously healed. When people were raised form the dead, they were dead for days. Never once in the Bible did a bunch of believers gather to overcome depression or be free of their back pain. Never once was carpal tunnel or leg lengthening seen in the scriptures. Therefore, in all of these NAR healings, seek the divine not the subjective. For much of these simple healings are produced by smoke and mirrors combined with dopamine being released from your brain that provides a temporary relief of symptoms. If nothing else, believe that if God heals you on Sunday, you should still be healed on Friday. If not, you were deceived by a demon.
Thirdly, test the spirits against the Word of God. Demonic manifestations look one way while God’s divine holiness looks like another. Demons like to manifest themselves in people. Satan finds much pleasure in tricking the church to take on spirits that are not of Christ. They may look and smell like Christ, but the core of their nature is completely different. The Bible gives us plenty of descriptions of what it should look like to be filled by the Spirit of God. The enemy will always say that you can’t put God in a box, so we can’t discount any strange manifestation. To that I would say that God himself, if his own divine sovereignty, placed himself in a book. And we have been commanded to test the spirits according to the box God stepped inside of for us. If a manifestation of a spirit has not been disclosed to us in scripture, it is not of God, for our God is one of order and peace. Even Jesus prepares us in the scripture above, “23 But take heed; behold, I have told you everything in advance.”
Irenaeus along with a few others in the early church seem to agree in an area of prophecy as to the second coming. God gave them the wisdom to see that Christ was not going to return right away. Not only that, they provided a theological reason as to why. He writes, “And the number is six hundred and sixty-six. That is, six times a hundred a summing up of the whole of that apostasy that has taken place during six thousand years.” I am finding more and more evidence to support that Christ will not come back until 6,000 years has passed. It is the (whole a day is like a thousand years) bit… This should make us feel good yet also very afraid, for depending on when time actually began; 6,000 years may be here sooner than we think.
Therefore, be of sober mind. Do not seek out emotional encounters with the spiritual realms and follow after every manifestation of any spirit. Seek Christ and His righteousness. Once you receive the free gift of holiness (Jesus), you have no need of anymore healing in this body. For eternal life dwells within you. Who cares about the pains and worries of this world? If we die, do we not die in the Lord? Therefore, if we seek intimacy with God, let us read the Word and we will find Him. A wicked and perverse generation seeks after a sign. I pray that no sign is needed for those who truly believe and suffer for Christ. Holiness unto the Lord…