We are warned that in the end days a great deception will arise.
What could that deception be? Well, I’m not totally sure yet, but there is one part that I think we need to look at.
Right now it appears a major change is going on in the “Christian” church. That is this. The major denominations are beginning to fall apart. The response to that is to equate everything with corporate churches, and proclaim that “Christianity” must return to its roots. One of those “roots” is the “church at home.”
So, many people are now leaving the corporate churches, and beginning to have meetings in their homes. That is, the home church. On the surface this looks great. But is it?
All of this is based on the concept found in the New Testament that the apostolic “church” met in homes, not in church buildings. Even within the Worldwide Church of G. splinter groups, this same idea is beginning to grow. Even my friend Fred Coulter is now promoting such an idea with his new “Church at Home” website.
Of course, the idea here, is to be more like the original believers. To practice more of what they did. When it comes to making changes like this, the reasoning is, the corporate church idea is failing, people are leaving the churches in droves, so why not return to the original practice of the “Christians?” And, there is the rub.
How can “Christians” of a failing “Christian” church return to the “original” “Christian” practice? The main reason being, during that time, the people who met in their homes were not “Christians.”
What do I mean by that? Well, in reading the NT for instance, there are ony three verses that use the term “Christian”. Of course, that is the English expression of the Greek word xristianos. Most people NEVER look at things like this and ask what is really said by the verses quoted. In each of these three instances, there is no hint of claiming that the Believers were xristianos. Nor that they accepted the term as their official label.
The first verse says that it was in Antioch when the Believers were FIRST called “xristianos.”
The second is where Paul is a prisoner and Agrippa, as I recall, says that Paul almost persuades him to be a “xristianos”. Paul’s response does not show that Paul also claimed to be one. No, he simply says that he wishes Agrippa would be like he, Paul, was.
In I Peter is the next instance. Here Peter says not to be embarrassed if someone calls them a “xristianos.” Why? It just so happens that the term was used as a curse word against Believers. It had nothing to do with claiming they followed “Christ.” In fact, the Messiah was never called “Christ” by the Apostolic Assembly at that time. He was the Messiah. Only later, in the Greek writings was the term “Xristos” used. Which was simply a word meaning “anointed,” not meaning a name “Christ”. The word was just the Greek TRANSLATION of the word “Messiah”, which in Hebrew also meant “anointed.”
Believe it or not, the original Believers were never “Christians.” That was a name their critics called them. Everyone thinks this comes from the Greek word “xristos” [anointed]. However, it actually came from the Latinized expression which meant “anointed with sperm.” A slur on the idea of the virgin birth. The Apostolic Believers never called themselves this slur. They did say, through Peter, to not let the slur bother them. What they said of themselves was that they were “ of the Way.” [Acts 9:2, etc.]
So, here is the problem. The early real “Christians” who accepted the title as a positive were not the original Believers. They were the ones who came after the Apostles, and early disciples. In fact, they were the people who crept into the Assemblies and cast out the real Believers. Read the letters of James, John, Peter and Jude. And, the people that were left were “Christians”, i.e. the pagans following Babylonish practices like Sunday, Easter, etc. Once one understands this, it becomes clear that one cannot return to the early “Christian home church” way of worship. Why, in other words, would one want to return to the pagan branch of those who claimed to be the real disciples, but weren’t?
Now, there is a second part to this great deception now going on. In fact, it is the same thing that occurred during the late 1st, 2nd and 3rd century. This deception has given us the thousands of Greek texts with supposed changes in them. Over 20,000 have been found so far. And, what was this part of the deception? The same one that has started today. EVERY group now wants to produce its own Bible with it’s own corrections and notes and commentary. This is what happened in those first centuries. Every group wanted its own “corrected” text to use with it’s own people. The “primary” text wasn’t good enough.
Today, for instance, everyone wants to pull out his version to prove his/her doctrinal stance. Yet, in the beginning of our modern era, all groups argued their stance from one main source the KJV. All had, basically, one text to prove their points. Then, new version came along, until today there are dozens of new “translations” every decade. In addition to these “official” versions, there is the “new” trend that is a repeat of the old way I’m talking about. Each group wanting its own text.
When I first went to college at Ambassador, there were virtually no “group” specific Bibles. Within just the last two decades we now have an alarming trend.
Yesterday I was looking at a website to find out what one of my acquaintances was doing with his group. Well, the first thing that hit me was this. He had just received enough donations to finally print THEIR version of the KJV with the “Sacred Names” added, and some word changes, and commentary added. That got me thinking. Over the past years there had not been such a volume for each of these groups. Except for the Lutherans, the Catholics, and other Protestants. But, today there is the Bethel Edition, Holt Michigan edition, South African Edition, Texas Edition, and other editions for the Sacred Name groups. Plus now, even the CBCG edition of my friend Fred Coulter who doesn’t use the Sacred Names. All these versions claim to be closest to the correct translation. Yet, they all differ in one way or another. Leading to the mass confusion of the early centuries, again.
Let me explain something important. PROPHECY IS A REPEAT OF BIBLICAL HISTORY. And, the final generation of our day is a REPEAT of the First Century generation of the Messiah. What was the end result of that generation? Total and mass confusion about what were the true doctrines and texts. What we now are seeing is the beginning again, of total and mass confusion. Everyone having their own exclusive text to hand. Now, no one can come to a consensus on doctrine, etc. I don’t know how to explain this in such a manner to shock you into your senses. All I can say is, welcome to the First Century repeat of mass confusion. Confusion so rampant that it will be almost impossible to find the “little flocklet” [Luke 12:32 CLNT] that the Messiah spoke of most fondly. And, it will be virtually impossible without a miracle in your life, to find THE faith once and for all delivered to the saints. As it says, “When the Messiah returns, will He find THE faith?” Not just “faith”, but THE faith, the body of the Messiah with the full truth? Have fun searching.