Preaching Christ . . .and Him Crucified!
II Peter 2:1-3, (KJV) “But there were false Prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. (:2) And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. (:3) And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.”
Example: Word of Faith teachers that proclaim that Jesus was not God when he walked on the earth but had to become God, a classic example of denying Him.
The Antichrist has always wanted to arise, even at the time of the Apostle Paul.
The Holy Spirit, working through the Christian Church, has always acted to restrain this desire of the Antichrist.
As long as the Christian Church remained faithful to the teachings of the Bible, the Antichrist could not arise.
One of the signs of the End of the Age is that the Christian Church will go into a deep and prolonged Apostasy, where it will repudiate the cardinal doctrines that they have held for so long.
Then, Antichrist can arise. Once the effective power of the Christian Church is being weakened, then we should expect to see a corresponding rise in the occult preparations for the appearance of Antichrist!
The deep and prolonged Apostasy of the Christian Church began about 1900 A.D. and was really set into motion in 1948, when the World Council of Churches was established. Consistently through the decades when this Apostasy was occurring, occult writings reflected tremendous energy directed toward changing the world to the point where Antichrist could arise! The Plan being advocated fulfilled Bible prophecies exactly. Finally, we see writings since 1975 which are excitedly pointing to the soon appearance of their New Age Christ, the Biblical Antichrist.
Finally, when the Rapture of the Church occurs, Antichrist will be able to arise.
When Antichrist arises, he will owe a great debt of gratitude to the many Christian Churches that have departed from the Faith. Therefore, any church leader who is a part of the Ecumenical Movement is paving the road for Antichrist!
Kenneth Copeland teaches, as do all the Word-Faith teachers, that "Jesus Died Spiritually" (JDS). What makes the Word-Faith teachers' version of JDS, heresy (if not blasphemy), is their teaching that our redemption comes not from Christ's death upon the cross, but from His being tortured by Satan in hell for three days and nights! Copeland has, thus, embraced a heresy known as the "Ransom theory of the atonement." It is the view that Christ's death was a ransom paid to Satan to settle the legal claim the devil had on the human race because of Adam's sin. But that view contradicts the clear Biblical teaching that Christ's death was a sacrifice offered to God, not to Satan (Eph. 5:2) (Charismatic Chaos, p. 278). Copeland, for example, says:
It is both fanciful nonsense and heretical to teach that our redemption comes through Satan torturing Jesus in hell. That would make Satan our co-redeemer. If he didn't torture Jesus enough, we wouldn't be saved -- and if he did, do we thank Satan? Incredible! Moreover, Satan isn't even the proprietor of hell. He hasn't even been there yet. Nor will Satan torture the damned but will himself be tortured with "everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels" (Matt. 25:41) when death and hell have been "cast into the lake of fire" (Rev. 20:14).
"He allowed the devil to drag Him into the depths of hell as if He were the most wicked sinner who ever lived ... Every demon in hell came down on Him to annihilate Him ... [They] tortured Him beyond anything that anybody has ever conceived ... In a thunder of spiritual force, the voice of God spoke to the death-whipped, broken, punished spirit of Jesus ... [in] the pit of destruction, and charged the spirit of Jesus with resurrection power! Suddenly His twisted, death-wracked spirit began to fill out and come back to life ... He was literally being reborn before the devil's very eyes. He began to flex His spiritual muscles ... Jesus Christ dragged Satan up and down the halls of hell ... Jesus ... was raised up a born-again man ... The day I realized that a born-again man had defeated Satan, hell, and death, I got so excited ... !" ("The Price of it All," Believer’s Voice of Victory, September 1991, p. 4).
Charles Capp's says, “Jesus was born again in the pit of hell. He was the firstborn, the first begotten, from the dead. He started the Church of the firstborn in the gates of hell... He went down to the gates and started His Church there....The Church started when Jesus was born again in the gates of hell.” (C.Capps, Authority in Three Worlds, op. cit. p.212-213) .
These are times of a "falling away" from Biblical truth within the churches. This is evidently the time which was prophesied in the Bible as the "Great Apostasy" of the "Last Days" before Christ returns to Earth to set up His Kingdom. If these are indeed the Last Days of this prophesied "Great Apostasy", then we should well expect to see many men and women actually become apostates.
Preaching the "Message of the Cross"
"I am the Vine and you are the branches. If you remain in me and I remain in you, you will bear much fruit." - John 15:5
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