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Archive for October, 2021

Martin Luther as Hercules Germanicus by Hans Holbein, 1523. “In the picture, Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, William of Ockham, Duns Scotus and Nicholas of Lyra already lay bludgeoned to death at his feet and the German inquisitor, Jacob van Hoogstraaten was about to receive his fatal stroke. Suspended from a ring in Luther’s nose was the figure of Pope Leo X,” The Reformation Room.

There is no other Head of the Church but the Lord Jesus Christ: nor can the Pope of Rome, in any sense be head thereof; but is that Antichrist, that man of sin and son of perdition, that exalteth himself in the Church against Christ, and all that is called God.

  • Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter 25.6

“I have no idea who Antichrist is.”  I don’t remember anything else about the sermon.  I don’t even recall the name of the man who preached it.  But I do remember it was on a Sunday morning in December 2006 that I heard those words, “I have no idea who Antichrist is,” come from the pulpit of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church. 

I case you’re wondering, no, it wasn’t D. James Kennedy who made that comment.  It was a guest preacher, whose name escapes me.

It’s just as well I don’t recall the man’s name who uttered those words.  For it seems to me that what he said that Sunday could well be said by most of the professing reformed church, both in 2006 and in 2021.  No one, it seems, has any idea who Antichrist is. 

It’s a mystery wrapped in an enigma, to borrow a turn of phrase from Winston Churchill.  Or at least that’s how it seems to most Christians today. 

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Forgotten Principles of the Reformation,” by John W. Robbins, The Trinity Review, October 2004

Pope Demands Silicon Valley “In the Name of God” Censor “Hate Speech,” “Conspiracy Theories”,” by Paul Joseph Watson, Summit News

Joe Biden Plans Vatican Meeting with Pope Francis On October 29,” by Charlie Spierling, Breitbart

Opinion: Don’t rant about short-staffed stores and supply chain woes,” by Micheline Maynard, The Washington Post

Breaking: Migrant Caravan in Mexico encounters Mexico’s @INAMI_forces,” by Griff Jenkins, Fox News

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Take heed that you not be deceived.

  • Luke 21:8

There are in Scripture numbers commands directed to Christians not to be deceived.  Take, for example, Christ’s warning to his disciples at the beginning of his discourse about the end times.  “Take heed that you not be deceived,” he told them. 

My Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary defines “deceive” thus: the imposing of a false idea or belief that causes bewilderment or helplessness or furthers the agent’s purpose.”  On that definition, there are certainly a lot of Americans who have failed to heed Jesus’s injunction. 

Our being deceived is no light matter.  Speaking of Eve, the Apostle Paul noted that she was “deceived” by the serpent in the garden and that by her deception she “fell into transgression.” 

In Deuteronomy, we read, “Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and you turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them; And then the LORD’s wrath be kindled against you, and he shut up the heaven, that there be no rain, and that the land yield not her fruit; and lest ye perish quickly from off the good land which the LORD giveth you.”  In this case, one’s being deceived would result in death and dispossession. 

In 1 Corinthians, Paul wrote, “Do not be deceived.  Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.” Here we have a list of sins common, no doubt, in Paul’s day as well as in ours.  It would be easy enough to excuse them as they were common practice.  It might have even seemed strange to people in the first century if one did not practice such things.  Perhaps the Corinthian Christians were tempted to pass over such behavior as customary and not worth mentioning.  Maybe they were afraid of challenging those who were involved in them out of misplaced fear of men.  Yet Paul says no one who practices such things “will inherit the kingdom of God.”   

Many other examples of deception and the Scriptures telling us to avoid it can be found.

I bring up the matter of deception because we live in a world that is working to deceive us 24/7 and doing so with tools that are more sophisticated than at any time in history.   

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