”Christians” Without Christ
Vol: 23 Issue: 22 Monday, May 22, 2017
”And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.” (Revelation 13:11)
This verse serves as the introduction to the false religion that will sweep the world under antichrist during the tribulation. Note than John describes the False Prophet as having two horns like a lamb, but that he ‘spake as a dragon’.
The symbolism here is sublimely obvious. This is, after all, the Bible. We are introduced to the ‘dragon’ during the Tribulation in Revelation 12:3, where;
“there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.”
The dragon is clearly identified in Revelation 12:9:
“And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”
So, the dragon is Satan and it is his doctrine that will form the foundation of the religion of antichrist. However, it will appear to be a form of Christianity, symbolized by ‘the lamb’.
The identity of the Lamb within the context of the Book of the Revelation is equally unquestionable:
“These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for He is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with Him are called, and chosen, and faithful.” (Revelation 17:14)
It is tempting to insert Islam as the false religion of the last days that will sweep the world during the Tribulation Period. Islam already claims a third of the world’s population, practices forced conversions, routinely uses beheading as a form of execution, and pretty much fits the character of the theocracy in John’s description.
But it is an impossible stretch to envision Islam in the context of a counterfeit Christianity. Islam’s hatred of Christianity stretches back to the time of the Crusaders, and its hatred of Israel traces back to the sons of Abraham. No Islamic would identify themselves religiously with either Christianity or Judaism.
And John is too definite about his depiction of a form of Christianity without Christ for us to wish away as inconvenient to a theory.
When asked of the signs of His impending return by His disciples, the very first sign Jesus cited was that of religious deception.
“For many shall come in My Name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.” (Matthew 24:5)
“And He said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in My name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.” (Luke 21:8)
In the last century, there has been an explosion of religious cults that claim to be Christian, while simultaneously denying Christ.
Most call themselves ‘Christians’ use the Bible as their Sacred Scripture, and may even have the name of Christ in the title of their church… but they say that “Jesus is not God”, or that Jesus Christ is god as much as you and I are god, like the Mormons or Jehovah’s Witnesses.
A research paper entitled, ‘Churches and Church Membership in the United States, 1990’ ranked the Jehovah’s Witnesses 9th among the top 10 religious bodies with the most churches in the US.
The Mormons ranked 8 among the top ten, whereas the Episcopal Church, the American branch of the Church of England, ranks 10th.
The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, the official name for the ‘Jehovah’s Witnesses’ was founded by Charles Taze Russell in 1852, with the first formal organization being founded in Pittsburgh in 1872. They now number three million worldwide and growing, based on the following doctrine:
Jehovah’s Witnesses see the doctrine of the Trinity as a demonic doctrine. Their theology strips Jesus of His Deity, claiming He is not God, but ‘a god’ a created being on a par with Lucifer. They deny the physical resurrection of Christ, and deny the doctrine of an eternal hell.
In the past, they have officially announced the date of the Second Coming of Christ and Armageddon on six different occasions: 1914, 1918, 1920, 1925, 1941, and 1975. Yet their membership is among the most active, and their ranks continue to swell.
The Mormons are officially called, “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.” Numbering over ten million, they are one of the fastest growing religious cults in the world. Among their doctrinal teachings is that God was once a man who became God.
The Mormon god has a physical body, as does his wife, the heavenly mother. Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are three separate gods.
Worthy men may one day become gods themselves. Jesus was married and had children with the two sisters of Lazarus, Maria and Martha… and Jesus became God. And so can a Mormon.
“As man now is, God once was; as God now is, man can become”, is one of the most famous aphorisms of the Mormons. This elevation to godhood is only open to faithful male Mormons, but this concept of “every man is god”, has been taken up by the New Age Movement, (but using different methods to become god.)
Man as god is also the central tenet of secular humanism, another ‘religious’ cult that has taken root and thrived in the very heart of our global institutions, as well as most national governments.
Then there are the others; Christian Science Church, founded in 1875 by Mary Baker Eddy. The cult is neither Christian, scientific, nor a church, but wields huge influence through its prestigious daily newspaper, “The Christian Science Monitor.”
The Church of Scientology was founded in 1954 by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard. It’s doctrine is utterly bizarre; Mankind is descended from a race of interplanetary omnipotent gods called “thetans”.
Gradually they evolved by reincarnation to become humans who could not remember their deified state, but every human is a god! The problem is the “engrams”, the traumatic experiences in past lives, which impede spiritual progress, and they are the reason of all diseases.
The only remedy is ‘auditing’ which is very expensive. Auditing runs about $300 per hour, and courses, high level courses, of up to $10,000 or $50,000.
In Scientology, Jesus is not the creator. He was in control of supernatural powers, “cleared” from mental defects, but he was not an “operating thetan”. Initially, Hubbard taught that Jesus did not exist. When Hubbard later acknowledged his existence, he claimed Jesus was gay. The Holy Spirit is not mentioned. Salvation comes after many “auditings.”
The Worldwide Church of God was founded in 1934 by Herbert W Armstrong. At his death, his son, Garner Ted Armstrong took over the leadership of the Church. It teaches that the 10 lost tribes of Israel are the British and that the American descendants of the British are the “Chosen People of God”. England is “Ephraim”, and the USA is “Manasseh.”
The WWCG teaches that all other churches teach in error. They deny the existence of the Trinity, and include keeping the Jewish feasts, the Sabbath, and keeping kosher. Armstrong once taught that Queen Elizabeth now sits on the Throne to which Christ will lay claim at His return.
Each of these former cults are now part of mainstream American Christianity, with huge influence that is translating into rapid growth.
Scientology’s apologists include people like Tom Cruise, John Travolta, Kirstie Alley, Isaac Hayes, Patrick Swayze and even Greta Van Susteren of Fox News.
Christian Science has the ‘Monitor’; the Jehovah’s Witnesses sell 100,000 tracts every day door to door; and the Mormons have their own state, Utah, complete with senators and congressmen.
Armstrongism has its “Plain Truth” Magazine, “The World Tomorrow” television program and Garner Ted Armstrong’s “Philadelphia Trumpet” and “Key of David” television program.
Then there are the ‘Moonies’, founded in 1954 by Sun Yung Moon. The ‘Moonies’ are nothing short of nuts. They deny Christ’s Deity, claiming Jesus was the illegitimate offspring of Zechariah and Mary.
Moon claims to be the third Adam, the second Christ, and God himself incarnated. AND . . . Moon owns “The Washington Times” and “Newsworld Magazine.”
The point is this. Each of these cults, claims to be Christian, while simultaneously denying His Deity. Each is in a position of tremendous influence.
While some of the media organs are currently benign, (Moon has a ‘no-influence’ contract with Washington Times Editor in Chief Wesley Pruden, who insisted on it before accepting the job), it wouldn’t take much for them to be retooled as propaganda tools to advance the concept of Christians Without Christ as a workable religious system.
The proof is in the preponderance of them that exist already.
“Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. . . And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.” (1st John 2:22, 4:3)
Featured Commentary: A Game of Thrones ~Pete Garcia