OUR JOB AND KNOWING IT IS SPIRITUAL WARFARE

Jesus tells us that in the “last days” before He returns to rule and reign there will be false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. They are under the power of Satan and we know he disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise that his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness.

For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness.” 2 Corinthians 11-15

“I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4::11-13

We need to recognise that the true battle is in the heavenly places and it is against the spiritual forces of evil which is why we are told to put on the full armour of God daily.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.Ephesians 6:12

Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,Ephesians 6:14-18

Our job with the lost is preach the Good News as directed by the Holy Spirit knowing they cannot understand the word of God without the Spirit of God

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.Romans 8:5-8

We are also called to love them, pray for them and return good for evil but also to be sensitive to what the Holy Spirit may be doing in their lives. The Holy Spirit may prompt you to use one of the nine Holy Spirit gifts that He expects us to operate in. He distributes them according to His will.

Love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for He is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.Luke 6:35-36

God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to His will. Hebrews 2:4

BOTH ISLAM AND ORTHODOX JEWISH LEADERS BELIEVE THEIR MESSIAHS COMING IS IMMINENT

These two recent articles, one on Islam’s Messiah and the other on the Orthodox Jewish Messiah is further evidence the end times Antichrist figure spoken about in the Bible is soon to appear on the scene. 

1. THE MAHDI ISLAM’S MESSIAH FIGURE

Shia’s (15%) Mahdi vs. Sunni’s (85%) Al-Mahdi (pop. %)

Mahdi is the title of the prophesied redeemer of Islam who will rule for seven, nine, or nineteen years (according to differing interpretations) before the Day of Judgement literally, the Day of Resurrection and rid the world of evil. According to Islamic traditions, the Mahdi’s tenure will coincide with the Second Coming of Jesus (Isa), who will assist the Mahdi against the Masih ad-Dajjal (literally, the “false Messiah” or Antichrist).

Differences exist in the concept of the Mahdi between Sunni Muslims and adherents of the Shia tradition; for Sunnis, the Mahdi is Muhammad’s successor who is yet to come, while for most Shia Muslims, the Mahdi was born but disappeared and will remain hidden from humanity until he reappears to bring justice to the world.

The belief by Muslims in the Mahdi as the end -time redeemer and the one to usher in an age of global peace makes him a strong candidate for the Biblical Antichrist.

There are Shia Muslim leaders in Iran today who claim to have met the Mahdi numerous times.  Writing in the Jerusalem Post on January 20, Brian Schrauger explained: “Crazy to Western ears, this messianic creed of the Mahdi is the raison d’être for the Islamic Republic of Iran according to its founders and leaders. It is also the basis of Tehran’s foreign and military policies; and it is impossible to overemphasise the Iran regime’s visceral commitment to it. The Imam Mahdi is invoked in every public gathering, both civil and military; he is the singular inspiration for every policy, every tactic, every mission; indeed, he is nothing less than the regime’s reason for its existence and, as such, its singular and unwavering motivation for the future.” And Schrauger can provide documentation for every single claim he has made.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei Is One Despot Trump Might Not ...

In the words of Iran’s Supreme leader Ayatollah Khamanei, “The Iranian nation, enjoys a great privilege today: the atmosphere of the country is an atmosphere of Imam Mahdi. . . .”  And, Khamanei states, “many of our great scholars have personally met with this beloved [Imam] of hearts of the admirers during his occultation; many have made a pledge to him in person; many have heard from him some heartwarming words; many have been caressed by him and many others have received his kindness, care, and love.”

So, the Islamic Mahdi is here according Ayatollah Khamanei, he is known to many insiders, and he is about to be revealed. And remember: this article was written before Iran was smitten with COVID-19. What are the leaders thinking today?

2. THE ORTHODOX JEWISH MESSIAH

A February 20 headline in Israel Today stated that, “Israeli Rabbi says he’s already holding meetings with Messiah.” And, “Israel’s biggest rabbis are all afraid to leave the country lest they miss Messiah’s coming.”

The article, by Ryan Jones, cited a three-hour radio interview in which Rabbi Yaakov Zisholtz “told religious broadcaster Radio 2000 that Kanievsky recently told him that he (Kanievsky) is already in direct contact with the Messiah.”

Rabbi Kanievsky, now in his early 90s, is considered to be the leading authority in the ultra-Orthodox (haredi) community in Israel, and he has often spoken of the nearness of the Messiah’s coming. But it seems he is saying even more today.

According to Rabbi Zisholtz, “…the process of redemption is about to start happening very quickly and at a fast pace. It is important that people remain calm and steady to act properly in the right time. “Getting the word out now that the Messiah is closer than ever is a matter of life and death. Haven’t you heard of Gog and Magog? That is what is going to happen very soon. Right now, the situation is explosive more than you can possibly imagine. Everyone needs to know whether they are on the inside or if they are going to be left out.”

Yes, these are the words of an ultra-Orthodox rabbi in Israel, not those of an evangelical Christian, Bible in hand, with end-time prophecies heavily underlined.

While Rabbi Zisholtz was careful to say he couldn’t promise anything, he was certainly raising the bar with specific predictions and events. And again, he claimed that certain religious Jews knew exactly who the Messiah was and have even met with him.

Adding to all this was the statement of Israel’s Health Minister, Yaakov Litzman, himself ultra-Orthodox, as reported in HaAretz  on March 26 and with reference to COVID-19: “We are praying and hoping that the Messiah will arrive before Passover, the time of our redemption. I am sure that the Messiah will come and bring us out as [God] brought us out of Egypt. Soon we will go out in freedom and the Messiah will come and redeem us from all the troubles of the world.”

Well, Passover ended on April 16. And, in case you missed the news, the expected Jewish Messiah did not come. Ironically, Litzman himself contracted the virus, although he has since recovered. And for a number of reasons, including heavy criticism of his handling of the crisis, he is reportedly  considering quitting.

But all this talk about the Mahdi being here, ready to be revealed, along with the traditional Jewish Messiah being here, ready to be revealed, underscores what Jesus said about false Messiahs and false prophets in the last days.

Let us, then, keep our focus on the Second Coming of the true Christ. But let us not forget the warnings about the false Messiah (Antichrist) and his False Prophet who will come first.