1. The Cure
- Why do you cry out over your wound, your pain that has no cure? Because of your great guilt and many sins I have done these things to you. (Jeremiah 30:15)
During Jeremiah’s lifetime the people cried out because they felt “pain” from their “guilt.” They looked far and wide for relief from the “great guilt and many sins,” but could not find it. Just like today, people look for restoration in seminars, revival meetings, prayer sessions, sermons, and books, but never find true rest from their guilt. All this activity demonstrates that men and women run from a guilty conscience and they know if they stop to rest, the pains will begin again. We keep on “changing our ways,” because to stop and rest before the Lord would expose our sinfulness. Though Jeremiah lived and preached in their midst, they rejected every sermon, every word, and every pleading he proclaimed. Indeed, even after all Jeremiah’s predictions came true, the people still refused to repent. So we must also pause and ask ourselves, “Do we really want the cure?”
- He has lost connection with the Head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow. (Colossians 2:19)
We have “lost connection with the Head” and it shows in our insanity. The cure for insanity in the church comes when we gain again the mind of Christ and fully connect to the “whole body” in spirit, thought, and will. What makes a man sane in Jesus Christ is death to self. Two brains cannot occupy the same space and two minds cannot rule the body. One mind must go. Since our thoughts remain wicked all the time, we must allow Jesus’ thoughts to live in us. We must truly be born again in the way and power that Jesus set down, rejecting fully man’s religious ways. Self, all that we are, must be put to death by the power of the Holy Spirit. The Powerful Delusion leaves us alive while it claims the blessings of God. This is tantamount to feeding, clothing, and giving shelter to an insane man. Although he may be healthy in body, protected, and fed, he is still mad. As we die to self we “grow” and are “held together” by the power of God. For He always gives a sound mind to those who seek Him with all their heart.
- For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7 KJV)
Only one solution to the insanity can happen in the church today. The answer cannot be found in logic or higher reasoning. After all, what good does it do to teach an insane man lessons in logic? The solution is the cross of Christ and the obedience that comes from it. The cross that crucifies our mind, with its thoughts, feelings, and opinions will give us the mind of Christ. Only the cross connects us back to Jesus so that we can see things as they really are.
It cannot be just any cross, however. It must be the offensive cross of Jesus. The Powerful Delusion has its talk of the cross, but it does not offend the flesh unto death. Whole hosts of individuals give agreement to the need for an offensive cross, but they always disqualify it by saying, “We must not offend.” That is equal to telling Jesus that you agree He should die on the cross for sins, but telling him to retire and die peaceably in His bed. A cross that does not offend unto death and whitewashes our deeds will bless them with false humility. There is preaching about the cross, but the hammer and nails that would make that cross a reality in someone’s life never happens. The cross the church offends with must not only have hammer and nails, but a whip, thorns, and public humiliation.
When we separate ourselves from the mind of Christ, we become puffed up in “idle notions.” The spiritually insane often give complete validation to every thought and emotion. In the church today, “idle notions,” passing thoughts and feelings have taken on full credibility. Like madmen, each church has its own feelings and notions that sway it back and forth in madness. And as the Powerful Delusion confirms each madness to be true, the church justifies more insane thoughts. Only the cross can crucify a mind bent on indulging in insanity.
- Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you for the prize. Such a person goes into great detail about what he has seen, and his unspiritual mind puffs him up with idle notions. (Colossians 2:18)
Such is the condition in the false church today. The church prays about, glories in, shouts, talks, and writes about in “great detail” every notion that pops up. It reveals an “unspiritual mind,” all puffed up with no where to go, like men locked up in a mental institution needing to release useless energy. Only the cross, empowered by the Holy Spirit, can kill such restless flesh. Only the crown of thorns can prick and test dreams, visions, opinions, and idle notions.
2. Toleration Of Sin
The final great insanity we will look at in this book is “Toleration Madness.” In the name of toleration, the church allows and supports all manner of sins. Jesus rebuked the church of Thyatira for this sin of toleration. Jesus held “against” them the fact that they “tolerate” certain people.
- “To the angel of the church in Thyatira write: These are the words of the Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze. I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first. Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. (Revelation 2:18–20)
Paul rebuked the Corinthian church for their toleration of wickedness. The Corinthian church, like those taken in by the Powerful Delusion, stood “proud” of their acceptance of sin and sinfulness. The amount of wickedness tolerated, justified, and encouraged today in the name of the Lord is appalling. Instead of being “proud” of the toleration everyone should be “filled with grief” at the sin in the church.
- It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that does not occur even among pagans: A man has his father’s wife. And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have been filled with grief and have put out of your fellowship the man who did this? (1 Corinthians 5:1–2)
Actually, God’s love works in all of this, but it does not manifest itself by tolerating insanity. Jesus blessed the church in Ephesus for their lack of toleration. Jesus knew they could not “tolerate wicked men” and that they even “tested” men who claimed to be something in Jesus. Indeed, they “tested” unto finding “them false.” Many gripped by this insanity try to test the hypocrite, but they cannot find anyone “false.”
- I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. (Revelation 2:2)
Paul taught the Corinthian church about judging. He declared that with the proper use of spiritual gifts, when everyone is “prophesying” the “unbeliever” will be “judged by all” and convinced that “he is a sinner.” He will fall down because “the secrets of his heart will” have been “laid bare.” We rarely see this today because God has left and we no longer understand the “testimony” of Jesus. Little wonder that no one falls down in our “worship” services “exclaiming, ‘God is really among you!’” We love our sins and remain in love with the toleration insanity sweeping the world.
- But if an unbeliever or someone who does not understand comes in while everybody is prophesying, he will be convinced by all that he is a sinner and will be judged by all, and the secrets of his heart will be laid bare. So he will fall down and worship God, ex-claiming, “God is really among you!” (1 Corinthians 14:24–25)
Yes, we must show love to all men, but not toleration of their sin. We need to imitate Jesus, hate the sin and the sinner, but lay down our life anyway. The whole notion that we are to hate the sin and love the sinner is a complete lie and a teaching opposed to Jesus Christ. It is a lie about who we are and where we are headed if we do not repent. It makes light of hell and is the soil in which toleration insanity took root. We must love that which we hate, just as God sent His son to love that which He regretted making. And as Christians we are called to love as Jesus loved, to love the unlovable.
3. THE FEAR OF GOD
The truth is, as we have seen, we are “worthless” and no good lives in us. Jesus, however, loved the totally corrupted. God loved us, not because of who we are, but because of who He is. He showed unmerited mercy when He died for us and the more we believe and know that, the more we will throw out the toleration gospel. This acceptance of sin robs man of the blessing of knowing how to “fear God.” Not many men preach because they “know what it is to fear the Lord.” And few have been taught by the cross to “know what it is to fear the Lord” and from that try and “persuade men” to repent. Toleration insanity has no room for that attitude.
- Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade men. (2 Corinthians 5:11a)
4. FRIENDSHIP WITH THE WORLD
Toleration insanity causes people to forsake the gospel call of Jesus. Instead of preaching repentance, we preach other things in Jesus. Ministries promote tongues, being slain in the Spirit, asking Jesus in your heart, but not true repentance. We give lip service to repentance but people do not walk on the narrow road filled with godly repentance. Instead, the toleration gospel allows man to keep the desires of the flesh, over repentance and death to the flesh. The fruit of this can be seen in both the conservative and charismatic side of the church.
A popular Christian publication reported on the life of a well-known television evangelist. This person was divorced and remarried, and now had a ministry to the gay community. The article repeatedly commended this person for their acceptance and toleration of homosexuals. The evangelist did not openly approve of homosexuality, but allowed them the freedom to be themselves. Throughout the article the tone was one of toleration not one of Jesus’ call to repentance. Translation, the salt and light are missing and this person feels no need to repent. Long gone are the words of Jesus.
- From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” (Matthew 4:17)
The misuse of Jesus’ statement that we “judge not” in the church bears its fruit. Many easily become upset about the sexual sin of homosexuality in the church, but soon such indignation will disappear. Indeed, adultery, though divorce and remarriage, is no longer viewed as sin. The notion that God’s Word declares that couples who remarry are in adultery has almost disappeared from the land. Certainly the wisdom on how to deal with anyone di-vorced and remarried (in adultery) is gone. Either hard rules are laid down, or toleration and support groups deal with the situation, but rarely will we find the wisdom of the Holy Spirit applied. Now the toleration gospel, something the world has preached for years, receives the seal of approval from even conservative mainline Christians.
Years ago the musicians in the Christian arena began the “crossover” to the world. This crossing over has taken place in every area of the church, and as it happens the world embraces the church. For the world cannot hate the worldly in the church. The insane toleration gospel has taken such a hold of the minds of professing Christians that they do not feel the slightest breath of God’s anger preparing to blow. To choose friendship with the world means to become an enemy of God. More and more the church tolerates all manner of sins, impurity, and compromise. Yet no one senses that they became “an enemy of God” by doing so. Indeed, we use the words “no compromise” to promote compromise and it takes a very discerning heart and a strong constitution to stand up against this toleration insanity.
- You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. (James 4:4)
How few know they are adulterers, deserving of judgment. They have chosen to be friends “of the world” and we must judge them and rebuke them for it. We cannot tolerate their doctrines, lives, works, and projects done in the name of Jesus. Remember, we are to “ignore” those who ignore God’s Word about a women’s place in church and the order with which worship is conducted. We must, when dead to self, judge them and not even “eat” lunch, dinner, or breakfast with them. We cannot “even eat” with anyone who is “greedy” as the Lord defines greedy, or any “idolater” who does not live a life of “hate.”
- But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat. What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? (1 Corinthians 5:11–12)
5. PREACH REPENTANCE
- The disciples did not go out and preach that people are free to be themselves. Hell was too big a reality to the disciples for such mushy toleration gospel calls. They understood all too well the depravity of man and the need for repentance now.
They went out and preached that people should repent. (Mark 6:12)
The message of repentance is so quick and to the point that Jesus declared if people will not repent we must move on. Jesus did not call us to tolerate and let others remain comfortable with who they are. Indeed, Jesus instructed the disciples to give anyone who did not accept the call to repentance a further sign of God’s attitude toward them. He said to “shake the dust off” their “feet” as a living, visual rebuke. Jesus calls such action a “testimony against them,” a reminder that God will soon judge them.
- “And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave, as a testimony against them.” They went out and preached that people should repent. (Mark 6:11–12)
From John the Baptist to Paul, the preaching of Jesus said the love of God manifests itself in calling men to repentance. And if anyone will not accept that repentance, we must shake the dust off our feet and go next door when they oppose us or become abusive.
- But when the Jews opposed Paul and became abusive, he shook out his clothes in protest and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am clear of my responsibility. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” Then Paul left the synagogue and went next door to the house of Titius Justus, a worshiper of God. (Acts 18:6–7)
I have been amazed over the years at how many individuals believe they can disobey Scripture and still escape the insanity in the church. God made it clear, that when a church or Christian does not keep itself pure from the Powerful Delusion, you must separate yourself from them. As we have already seen in 2 Timothy we are to have “nothing” to do with them. Let me repeat it here so that the point might be fully considered.
- But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them. (2 Timothy 3:1–5)
In the Scripture below, Peter warns us not to allow their “empty words to deceive us.” “Empty words” that seek to “deceive” us into believing such people go to heaven. Often indi-viduals will ask, “Can a person be saved in such compromising churches?” God can even use Balaam’s donkey to speak His will, but if they are saved it will be in spite of, not through those churches. God blessed Israel through Balaam, but not because of anything good about Balaam. The Holy Spirit will lead anyone to leave such churches and false Christians. “For of this you can be sure…”
- No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them. (Ephesians 5:5–7)
What we have described in this book makes it clear that such individuals, without fully repenting, do not have “any inheritance” in Jesus. Do not “deceive” yourself by saying that God has not called you to leave such churches and Christians; He just called you. As Ephesians stated, they are “impure” and that word certainly describes the insanity in the church. A madman has moments of sanity, but soon slips back into foolishness. If you desire God, above men and all things, then only obedience will protect you. You simply cannot be “partners with them” and enter heaven. By associating with these individuals you tell God that you love their approval and sins more than Him and His holiness. So why should He accept you into heaven? After all Jesus didn’t come to earth to die for unrepentant sinners, He came to save those who love God more than their own lives. Unselfish lovers of God is what God desires.
- They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. (Revelation 12:11)
If we want a sane mind, a sure salvation in Jesus then let us not shrink from death to our thoughts and ways. If we do not run from the Holy Spirit who seeks to put us on the cross, God will spare us from believing “the lie.” If we do not fear death to self as we carry our daily cross, we will not fail in that hour when the anti-Christ demands our lives. We will overcome the Powerful Delusion, by the power of the Lamb. For the power of the Lamb is found in the blood He shed on the cross and as we pour out our life His life will flow into us.
As we walk led by the spirit, we go the way of Jesus, step by step. Each step costs a man more of his life, of his part in this world. As it was with Jesus, it will be with us, otherwise we are not of Him. “In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgement, because in this world we are like him,” 1 John 4:17 promises. If we are not like Him in this world we should have no “confidence” of salvation awaiting us on “judgement” day.
It all comes down to love, love for God, and then love expressed for our fellow man—not a love defined by our opinions, nor by the Powerful Delusion, but what God calls love. Think of the Powerful Delusion, it is at the root of disobedience. Everything in this book comes down to one simple issue, will we be obedient or disobedient. The anti-Christ is a “man of lawlessness” and his spirit teaches us how to disobey God. Satan attempts with great effort to work a spirit of lawlessness in the church while declaring we have salvation. As Satan told Eve, “You will not surely die.” To state that this deception works is a major understatement. As the Scripture below shows us, before the anti-Christ can come on the scene, a “rebellion” must occur. That rebellion happens in the church as well as in the world. This book has exposed only a small fraction of the rebellion against God’s Word occurring in the church. If repentance cannot be seen on these few easy to understand issues, what hope is there for the average church goer? Don’t be “decieve[d]” about the rebellion sweeping the church.
- Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. (2 Thessalonians 2:3)
It is a “secret power of lawlessness.” This lawlessness enters into people’s lives by stealth. They don’t know it is happening to them. It slips in so slyly while they read their Bibles. It enters in as they fold hands to pray, lift voices to praise, and come forward to be saved. It is a power that manifests itself with all that we have looked at and more. Soon God will not “hold[s]” back the influence and like a great flood it will sweep the world.
- For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. (2 Thessalonians 2:7)
Millions sit in pews, unable to detect this influence because it is a “secret power,” yet its fruit is easy to see. Either we will obey what we have examined or be lawless in our approach to God. It all depends on where you stand. If you side with those who are “free in Christ” to refuse obedience to Scripture, then your answered prayers are the work of the Powerful Delusion. If you stand with those who are “free in Christ” from their sinful nature so that you can obey Scripture, there is hope of salvation.
The anti-Christ will ask for faith, a belief in himself, that will come out in disobedience to God. Those who have an honest saving belief in Jesus will be known by their obedience. This is how you can know who loves God and who truly loves his fellow man. If a man states that he loves me, but refuses to obey what we have looked at here (and more), he is a liar. Scripture is clear, “This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands.” The spirit of lawlessness defines belief in Jesus differently than God. Believing on the Lord Jesus according to God is the same as obedience. Notice in the Scripture below how belief and obedience weave together to make one complete garment of salvation. The lawless one seeks to rip that garment from the seams.
- Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. (1 John 5:1–5)
Those infected with the insanity of the Powerful Delusion find God’s commands “burdensome,” legalistic, and a salvation by works issue. We “overcome” the world and the lawlessness of the Powerful Delusion by our obedience. An obedience that is by faith.
- Through him and for his name’s sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith. (Romans 1:5)
The Powerful Delusion at first slowly began to delude the church, but with each passing year it pushes forward with ever increasing speed. Satan has taken each church and ministry’s disobedience to specific Scriptures and used that for a foothold to work ever increasing lawlessness. What was written off as matters of opinion or differences of doctrine, became a beachhead for Satan to land upon. After all, it is total sin to agree to disagree. We are all called to perfect unity and only a refusal to surrender self keeps the church from this unity. The church rejected the cross that could work complete unity because men did not want to give up their sin and refused the power of the cross. All of this has deluded the church and those taken in by the power of the delusion will have no grace to resist the “mark” of the beast. In fact, they will “worship the beast.”
How can a person know if they will take the mark? By their level of obedience to God’s commands in the Holy Spirit. For it is either lawlessness or obedience. An obedience to God that comes through “endurance” and “faithful[ness] to Jesus.” Obedience provides the cure for the insanity that blinds a man by the Powerful Delusion. In short, the cross.
Will it be for you a “smoke of” “torment” that “rises for ever and ever” or a “saint who obey[ed] God’s commandments?” A “faithfulness” to Jesus that can be seen in Holy Spirit inspired obedience.
- And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image, or for anyone who receives the mark of his name. This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God’s com-mandments and remain faithful to Jesus. (Revelation 14:11–12)
8. EVERYTHING SAID
With all of this said, look to the offensive message of the cross that has the power to save you from the Powerful Delusion.
- For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1:18)
10. The Cure
1 Corinthians 2:16
If the cross were understood, then individuals would understand that Jesus meant that we are not to judge, but that does not exclude Jesus judging through us. This is how Peter knew the “heart” of Ananias (Acts 5:3), he was dead to his own judgments and had the mind of Christ. Therefore it was not Peter who judged, but Jesus in him who did the judging. There is not time to discuss this doctrine here, but if one will take this concept to the book of John, it will be easy to see in the life of Jesus.
Scripture is clear that a married couple is bound in a marriage until one of the partners dies. “A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 7:39) When Paul speaks of not being “bound” in a circumstance He means that if a partner will not live in peace with a Christian, the believer is not to try and keep the marriage together. They must let the unbeliever go, to “let him do so.” (1 Corinthians 7:15). They may divorce, but they cannot remarry until death has occurred (1 Corinthians 7:11). As Scripture states when a divorce does occur, “…she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.” The reason for this is that no one knows if a husband or wife will come to the Lord later on and the marriage restored. “How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?” (1 Corinthians 7:16). When Jesus stated that one cannot divorce except for adultery He addressed the issue of adultery, not remarriage. In other words, if someone commits adultery and they are divorced, the person divorcing them is not causing them to commit adultery. But if someone divorces for any other reason than adultery, they force the other person into a position of remarriage and therefore adultery, (see Matthew 5:32). If someone divorces because the partner committed adultery, they don’t cause that person to commit adultery because the sin had already been committed. Jesus was quite clear, anyone who marries a divorced person commits adultery. “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery” (Luke 16:18). If you find yourself in a position of being divorced and remarried don’t just assume you are to separate, guidance from the Holy Spirit from a crucified life will be needed. Of course don’t assume you are to stay together either.
1 Corinthians 14:38
Philippians 3:15, 1 Corinthians 1:10, Acts 4:32