They wanted to know – so do we!
The disciples came to him asking, “Tell us, what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? 4 And He said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. 11 and many false prophets shall arise and shall deceive many. … 24 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 you before” (Matt. 24:3-24).
The New Testament is replete with warnings about deceptions in the last days: false Christs – another Jesus -Satan’s ministers appearing as ministers of righteousness – some claiming to be god. Who is the Christ you are worshiping? Do you know? Are you sure? Can a false Christ save? Was Jesus stressing we should be more concerned with the ‘who’ rather than the ‘when’?
Christians worship one God, but how can we be unquestionably positive that the one we are worshipping is the real one and not an impostor? Everyone I know who claims to be Christian seems sure that their particular “Christian” God is the real Christian God. But, we are reminded; even the very elect are in danger of being deceived.
Orthodox Christianity has many divisions, but they do have one common denominator, they all observe holidays that are of pagan origin who worshipped false gods. Such as Easter, the pagan moon god now portrayed to be the resurrection day of Christ, which is easily disproved. Christmas, the sun god now depicted to be the birthday of Christ, which can also be easily disproved, and many other pagan days are observed by the established Christian organizations. But there is one that is consistent among all of them that they staunchly defend, yet it is a false doctrine and an affront to God. That is the man made doctrine of a Sunday Sabbath over God’s Saturday Sabbath.
As unbelievable as it may seem Satan has deceived the world into observing his holidays in place of God’s ordained holy days, Christian churches included (Rev. 12:9). While claiming to be true worshippers of Christ they turn their backs on God’s commanded assemblies (Lev. 23) and give honor and recognition to mankind’s arch deceiver, Satan. Can you give a pig a bath and expect it to change its habits? Do you actually think you can Christianize a pagan deity without bringing in many of its pagan ways?
In spite of the persecution and martyrdom of Christians in the first and second centuries, Christianity was growing rapidly and seemed unstoppable. But by third century Satan played his ace card, ‘Constantine’, who was a devout sun worshipper. It began with the edict of 321 AD which states: “On the venerable day of the sun let the magistrates and people residing in cities rest, and let all workshops be closed….” Constantine, recognizing a rising tide, declared Christianity to be the official religion of his kingdom. He then made it easy and advantageous for the numerous pagan religions to convert to Christianity, but they brought many of their beliefs and customs with them. Thus, Christianity became compromised. Constantine also expelled all Jews from Rome including anyone who seemed Jewish. Christians, although not practicing Jews, were considered to be Jewish because they honored all of God’s commandments and holy times. Consequently they went into hiding or left. Many joined groups such as the Waldenses and fled to the Alps. (See: Israel of the Alps).
But it got worse, the Council of Laodicea stated in 364 AD, “Christians shall not Judaize and be idle on the Saturday (Sabbath), (note they still recognized it as the true Sabbath), but shall work on that day: but the Lord’s Day, they shall especially honor; and as being Christians, shall, if possible, do no work on that day. If, however, they are found Judaizing, they shall be shut out from Christ.” Note also, that they, on their own, declared Sunday to be the “Lord’s Day” which cannot be supported by scripture. Jesus told us which day is His day. “…the Son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath” (Luke 6:5). Many Christians were martyred by refusing to compromise if found ‘Judaizing’ (practicing true Christianity).
Condemnation of religious traditions and human rules
“This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. 7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. 8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. 9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition” (Mark 7:6-9).
“Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, 8 “This is a People who honor Me with their lips, while their heart is far away from Me; 9 but it is in vain they worship Me, while they lay down precepts which are mere human rules'” (Matt 15:7-10).
Is it conceivable that much of what we see in traditional Christianity today is vain Worship? Have we put mere ‘human rules’ and ‘traditions’ in place of God’s commandments? Is it possible that much of Christianity is worshipping a false Christ? But didn’t Jesus say, “Behold I have told you before”?
“The Pope is not only the representative of Jesus Christ, but he is Jesus Christ Himself, hidden under a vail of flesh” (The Catholic National, July 1895). Aren’t they claiming the Pope to be Christ? Also: “…the church is above the Bible, and the transference of Sabbath observance is proof of that fact” (Catholic Record of London, Ontario, Sept. 1, 1923). Is that by Gods word or mans? One more, “the Bible says, ‘Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.’ The Catholic Church says: ‘No, by my divine power I abolish the Sabbath day and command you to keep holy the first day of the week.’ and lo! The entire civilized world bows down in a reverent obedience to the command of the Holy Catholic Church” (T. Enright, C.S.S.R., in a lecture at Hartford, Kansas, Feb.18, 1884). Is this not the making of human rules? Does this quotation from Daniel raise any questions? “And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws” (Dan. 7:25). We are warned. …“Come out of her my people…” (Rev. 18:4).
The identifying sign
“And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying, 13 Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying: ‘Verily my Sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you’”. And in verses 16-17, “Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. 17 It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed” (Ex 31:12-13, 16-17).
But, say some, we are of the New Covenant; those old Jewish laws and rituals were nailed to the cross. This is a misunderstanding of Colossians 2:14. What was nailed to the cross was our certificate of debt, our sins, (see the NASB). Also, what was done away was the law of the Levitical Priesthood and its rituals, which was replaced by the Melchisedec priesthood of Christ. God’s commandments were made a covenant prior to the Levitical priesthood and therefore could not be annulled by them, study Hebrews.
Isaiah tells us Jesus came to magnify the law (Isa. 42:21) which He did as evidenced in Mathew 5. Consider what Paul told Timothy, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Tim. 3:16). All scripture means all scripture!
What about all the good works that Christian churches are doing throughout the world, doesn’t that prove they are worshiping the true God? But Jesus says: 21“Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 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? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity (lawlessness). 24 Therefore whosoever hears these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock” (Matt. 7:23-24). Isn’t Jesus telling us that these people actually deceived themselves by substituting good works for obedience?
Did the new covenant change the law, or where the law was put (Jer. 31:33, Heb. 8:10)?
As Christians should we honor God’s commanded assemblies and appointed times as did the New Testament
Christians (Mat. 5:17-18, Acts 13:14, 44, 16:13, 18:21)?
As Christians are we sons of Abraham and therefore a part of his generations (Gal. 3:7)?
As Christians are we children of the promise the same as Isaac was (Gal. 4:28)?
As Christians, is there neither Jew nor Greek—but all are one in Christ (Gal. 3:28)?
As Christians, are we fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God (Eph. 2:20)?
As Christians are we guaranteed the promise to all descendants of Abraham whether they are by faith or by
Therefore, are we not spiritual Israel?
As it was in Ezekiel’s day, so it is today, 25 “There is a conspiracy of her prophets in the midst thereof, like a roaring lion ravening the prey; they have devoured souls; they have taken the treasure and precious things; they have made her many widows in the midst thereof. 26 Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my Sabbaths, and I am profaned among them.
So, the answer to our Question is surprisingly simple:
“And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments” (1 John 2:3).
©2020 Del Leger