Thursday, January 8, 2009


I have often shared with my friends still bound by the organized church that there are two Jesus' and one is false. Everything in the Kingdom of God has a worldly and soulish counterfeit and so is it also with Jesus, the Son of God. I spent decades in the orthodox and organized church; Catholic, Pentecostal and Charismatic and I will tell you point blank, that even though I ministered in these institutions with what would be perceived as "with great success" I had ignorantly fashioned a false Jesus. So today I share the apocalyptic warning with those still bound in organized Christendom, that the greatest challenge in a believer's life is to allow the Spirit to lead in the forming of Christ within. I share from my sad and costly experiences, how the soul of man, known also as the carnal mind, is ever desiring to raise up in rebellion, to form a Christ and a God of it's own making. And with the forming of this soulish false Christ, which in reality is an Antichrist there is also a false church system to accommodate this religeous counterfeit. Such is the place where the great majority of churches and Christians today find their position. It has all become false, apostate and corrupt, as has been prophesied in the scriptures in regard to the times at the end of the age in which we now dwell.

So with that introduction I share the first part of a writing by a Jewish believer who tells it like it is, as he identifies the deception that fills the church today. If I can say anything that, above all, lends credence to a man's message, it is that, "it illustrates the preeminence of Jesus Christ and the centrality of the Cross." I can place this very description on this written sermon by Art Katz.
May God by His Holy Spirit open your hearts to hear this dear brother's warning so timely for the days we now occupy,

The Anatomy of Deception by Art Katz

I once had the opportunity, by the Lord's providence, to be invited to speak at a "Jesus Rally" in Winnipeg, Canada. An earlier experience some years before at the first of the Jesus Rallies was enough for me. I vowed then to never again be a part of the outdoor, carnival-like atmosphere of men and women in shorts stuffing potato chips in their mouths, while hearing what ostensibly purported to be serious words of God from the platform. The whole atmosphere chilled my soul. But when this invitation came from Winnipeg, I felt that it was God, despite my determination, and I went.

I was not supposed to be a speaker at the general sessions, but as is the format, the morning sessions were given over to the denominational and non-denominational charismatic groups. I was invited to be the speaker at the Baptist charismatic group. How could I refuse so novel an invitation as that? And indeed, those speakings were blessed. On the night of the general meeting, I found myself sitting on the platform, where an internationally known speaker was the message bearer for that session. While everyone entered into the general merriment, I sat there like a glum lump. I was agonizing and mortified at some of the statements that were coming forth. The whole prevailing atmosphere in which the audience was receiving those words reinforced my impression that the whole thing was 'hokey.' I know of no other word for it. There was a sense of artificiality, of things synthetic and feigned, having the appearance of things real, but being somehow false, although real words and meaningful terms were employed such as phrases out of Scripture that spoke of the unity of the Body. There were prophecies being uttered that night from a certain assemblage of men who ostensibly had the gift of prophecy. They would write their prophecies out on yellow legal pads and give them to an overseer who would then call the men to the microphone at the appropriate moment to speak them. The terrible sense of unreality was all the more pronounced because the whole thing was couched in things that were very real. By the end of the night, my spirit was such that I could not wait to leave the platform. Unfortunately, I had been assigned to bring the benediction at the end of the night. I could not, however, lend myself to the things that had been taking place, which would then identify me with it. So I went over to tug the sleeve of the man who was presiding over the platform and ask to be excused from the obligation of bringing the prayer of benediction. But before I could get to him, he announced my name; so I came to the podium in that terrible agony and frustration. All I could do was ask the people to stand up, take off their sunbonnets and visors, come to a posture of respect before God and to sing with me the Lord's prayer. And that was how the night ended.

As I was leaving the platform, a layman who was in charge of arranging the sessions asked if I would be available for the general session the following morning. At first I abruptly said, "No!" But then I said to him, "Okay, but only if the Lord gives me something specific." The next morning we drove to an open park where the rally was being conducted and where I was to be the morning speaker in the Baptist section. I discussed with my colleagues whether I ought not indeed take advantage of the invitation that had been given me and speak a word distinct and different from the kinds of things that had been promulgated. We prayed together because I did not want to fall into that role of always having to bring an ungainly word. Without making any haste to get there, and in fact, hoping that we would be too late, we parked the car and walked to the platform where the public meeting was taking place at the very moment when it was time for the speaker to be announced. They had already assigned another speaker in my absence, but when the man saw me coming up the steps to the platform, he immediately called to me and I was rushed to the microphone. I started with something like, "Is there something grievously wrong with me that prevents me from entering into the spirit of general merriment that has prevailed in these meetings?" I went on to read in the Scriptures where Moses was coming down Mount Sinai with the tablets of the law only to hear a noise, which was not the noise of battle or the noise of victory, but the noise of singing. I went on to say that I had the impression it was this kind of noise that characterized the previous night, and it had much to do with that earlier event of men and women, too impatient to wait for Moses to come down from the Mount with the true thing. Instead, they simulated something like it-a golden calf, a substitute-and danced and pranced around it.

Can you imagine how these words were going forth? Even as I had been walking up to the platform, I heard one of the so-called prophecies in which the speaker was saying, "I, the Lord, have been with you this weekend; I have given you my Spirit and I am going to do this and I am going to do that. . ." But for me it was leaden and without life, and so I said, "It seems that my condition is so bad that I have no witness to the authenticity of these prophecies, and I wonder indeed whether it is not some kind of idiosyncratic thing, where I am some kind of character who always seems to find a negative thing. But if my condition is somehow an expression of the heartbeat of God, we might well ask whether functions such as this are not some kind of massive deception into which we have been inducted unwarily. Just because the sermons have been rich and suggestive, and we have been impressed with the three or four thousand people who have gathered here, and our hearts have panted after true unity in the Body of Christ, we need to consider whether we have been too quick and willing to call this "unity" when, in fact, it is not. As we explore that, maybe we need also to ask about the validity of the whole charismatic phenomenon, whether we in fact have an authentic baptism in the Holy Spirit, and indeed whether we have been born again of the Spirit. Or have we been, from beginning to end, inducted into one of the most colossal deceptions that has ever been perpetrated in the religious world and all history?"

Those were the kinds of questions that I raised, and then invited as many as would, to come to the session where I was to speak on the spirit of truth. There was a cry from my heart for something authentic to take place, that we should not settle for and be satisfied with a plastic counterfeit kind of charismatica, when the cry of God is for authenticity in the earth. Plastic is not a comely substance anyway, but a plastic Kingdom is a tragedy of such proportions that I could break down and weep. For the Kingdom of God to be plastic, subject to pressures and influences to accommodate and suit the needs of men, is inconceivable. We need to be alerted to the kinds of end-time deceptions that will come in the spirit of antichrist ("instead of" or "appearing as Christ"). This booklet is intended to examine the spirit or anatomy of deception, as of the things that are plastic, false, artificial, synthetic, imitative, counterfeit, spurious, feigned and pretended.

Chapter 1 - The Cry for Reality
There is a 'Kingdom of reality' that needs to be demonstrated by God's people. And if we need to be anything as the Church, it is foremost to be eminently real, eminently loving, eminently living in the truth, speaking the truth, walking in the truth, doing the truth, being true. It is much more than merely "being correct," or scripturally and doctrinally sound. It is something that should be suffused right into the marrow and the knit of our makeup. It needs to be in our eyes, in our speech, in the inflection of our voice, our posture and our talk. God has triggered something in my heart to raise the questions of authenticity before the Body of Christ. Are we willing for authenticity's sake and for truth's sake not to grasp at the first straw that floats our way, and which seems to present the possibility of solving our problems? Are we willing to refrain from simulating something out of our own humanity that has the appearance of love, but is not? I want that which comes down from above, however long I have got to bear the terrible agony and reputation of 'lovelessness.' I do not want a saccharine counterfeit. Authentic things do not come cheap. They never have. It is we, as believers, who have been inducted into the spirit of glib, unctuous and facile kinds of doings. We are quick to reconcile that which is not reconciled in God, and thereby suffer the surfacing again and again of problems, issues, and habits that will neither dissolve nor go away. We want a pseudo-resurrection without the ignominy and pain of the Cross. But it is only out of the ultimate agony and devastation of the Cross that ultimate glory comes. Are we lovers of the Cross? Do we love the splinters and the blood and the gore? Do we recognize that there is a cross for us to bear, and it is to this suffering that we are called, and that the resolution of the issue will not be far from us if we seek the things that are authentic and true? Do we have the discernment to distinguish the authentic from the counterfeit? Are we so habituated to success, and so desirous of seeing some visible effect of power that we are not too discriminating so long as we 'get it,' somehow? We want the excitement; we want the titillation; we want the appearance of power; we want to succeed, because the possibility of failure is a form of death we are not willing to bear, thus avoiding the Cross. We ought rather to ask ourselves what is success as God defines it? Nazi Germany put great emphasis on demonstrations of a very impressive kind, such as their meetings at Nuremburg with marches and torchlight ceremonies, almost like pagan practices, that filled the void in German life with emotion and intensity. It was an answer to a need for fulfillment, excitement and engagement. If we do not have a valid apostolic reality in our spiritual life, that void will be filled by other contenders who are only awaiting their opportunity. If we move into the realm of what is false, synthetic, humanly contrived and not the operation of the Spirit, we can move very easily from the charismatic to the demonic. We cannot tell the difference between the hunger for God and the hunger for experience. If we have a real hunger for God, we do not have to go to places where 'signs and wonders' abound. Last Days' deceptions are related to an inadequate view of God by which we interpret the 'blessing' or seeming power as being the evidence of God as we know Him, but the true knowledge of God would have made no room for that kind of understanding, or even the desire for these phenomena in the form in which they have been manifested. The pattern of Acts, chapter 13, shows a very different context: the demonstration of power as the provision of God to demonstrate the authority of His messengers when they were opposed by powers of darkness in the fulfillment of their mission, as opposed to the 'power' demonstrated in auditoriums to Christians who are looking for excitement, or help for their own bodies. This apostolic model is the one that we more rightly ought to look for and expect, indeed, will be the only one effective in the Last Days' final confrontation with those same powers.

Right Perception of God
The apprehension of God is very much affected by how we perceive Him, and therein lies the problem. We bring a distortion out of our own subjectivity and out of our own twist. We see God through a prism of our own being. There are some people who see God as some kind of a lackey or errand boy, who provides the convenience of meetings for this kind of entertainment and so-called 'blessing.'

With the pure thou wilt show thyself pure. . . (Psalms 18:26).

To perceive God rightly requires something from us. If we have any kind of controversy with God, the problem is not God, but ourselves; we are projecting something onto Him and becoming guilty of Israel's sin. The thing that we need is to be transformed into His image, not to project our image onto Him. He is not a convenience for us. He is God. He is the Creator. He is the Almighty. I think those words have lost their cogency. Maybe we have said them too often. They have become a catechism or an invocation of a mechanical kind. Unless we know Him in the place that is too deep for words, then we do not really know Him. Until there is a gasp and a splutter, until we find ourselves prostrate and stretched out as dead, do we really know Him? How many of us will go through an entire Christian lifetime without that knowledge and still be perfectly content, and think that we know Him, and that we can communicate Him? Manifestation phenomena are already perplexing the Church, with many asking, "Is it God?" People seem to receive benefit; they are delivered from hang-ups and depression; marriages are reconciled; people are restored to the faith. There is much evidence of 'good' things, but when the Last Days' deceptions come, of which we have been warned, will they not come with 'good' things? Can we tell the difference between the true and the false, especially when we want so much to be blessed and to have an experience and be relieved of our hang-ups and depressions? How discriminating are we about the source from which the 'blessing' comes? How do we tell whether something is of God, or a contrary spirit who is able to lift the depression that he may well have inflicted in the first place? Here is the key: our authentic knowledge of God, not as we thought Him to be, but as He, in fact, is. Deception is a deception when it contains elements that are dubious and suspicious, and at the same time there seems to be apparent blessing. Who has the acumen and the discernment to see through it except a people of priestly stature whose discernment has been increased by the exercise of it? And who can discern between good and evil, between the profane and the holy? If blessings, so called, can succeed in bringing the Church to viewing benefit as the criterion by which something is judged to be of God, we may well have been brought to the very ground of deception itself. There is something more important than benefits, something more important than being released from depression; it is the holiness of God, it is His name, it is His honor, it is He Himself. Receiving benefit of a dubious kind is too high a price to pay if it is going to throw any shadow upon His great Name. We have lost everything for the sake of benefit when the desire for benefit is, in itself, suspect. We are not in a position to categorically condemn as deception the ostensible benefits to which many testify. God is always free to bless whom He will bless. But if the enemy can succeed in bringing the Church to viewing benefit as the determinant by which something is judged to be of God, we may well have been brought to the very ground of deception itself. So for myself, I would choose to keep my distance from such phenomena, trusting that whatever I might be missing is not greater than what I am protecting and cherishing, and that the Lord is not offended by a carefulness that would rather err in a jealousy for His holiness than to risk subverting what has already been given as pure and true. It is remarkable that, though we are explicitly warned about end-time lying signs and wonders (2 Thess. 2:9; Matthew 24:24), we somehow imagine that it is future, and mindlessly trust ourselves in our greed for experiences, empowerments, or releases, to dubious personalities who have caught the public fancy in incredible overnight popularity. I profoundly respect God' s use of the weak and the foolish thing, but I cannot, for that reason, endorse what is garish, cheap and coarse as being that weak and foolish thing of which Paul speaks. "Holiness unto the Lord" is still the standard of God's House, even when it is unspectacular and unassuming in the eyes of the world, and even in our own eyes.

Waiting is a priestly function, and we need to wait to see if our spirits are hospitable to what is being mediated from church platforms. Is it compatible with our already existing knowledge of God? If it is not compatible, they can stand on their heads, run all over the platform, and every other kind of madness. We are not to mindlessly give ourselves to it at all. Our integrity in God needs to be guarded, and we should not allow ourselves to be influenced, taken up and affected by the current trends, or else we will never have anything significant to give. The teaching of the Scripture is to seek out, through the word and prayer, the root of the problems that come up in life. One will usually find that unacknowledged disobediences are at the root of them, and the correction is accomplished primarily through that part of the Body to whom one is accountable and authentically joined.

But speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even
Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies,
according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love (Eph. 4:15 -16).

Revelation 12:11 tells us that "They overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even unto death." What has come to us in our relationship with God, our personal history of the knowledge o reproaches that accompany obedience, and the sufferings that come with following the Lord. It did not come cheap. That knowledge is precious and dear. We need to make it the index f all other knowledge, and if present phenomena are not compatible with what we already know, and have tested, as being the knowledge of God as God, then we need to hold at arm's length that which purports to be from God, even if it is a 'blessing' to others. I have found safety in aligning new phenomena with what already is my knowledge of the holiness of God through my forty-year walk. I am jealous over that inward deposit, that residue of the knowledge of God that is beyond words; it cannot be articulated, but I know it to be there, and it is in the innermost place of my being. Everything has to be tested against that. If present phenomena are not consonant with what I already know to be the holiness of God, then I am alerted, and cannot indiscriminately receive what others seem to be applauding. This has been a life-saving provision for me, and it ought to be so for all believers.

It was not too long ago, in a church where I was speaking, that in a moment of time the thought came to me that one does not have to be a Mormon or a Jehovah's Witness, or subscribe to some cult to be deceived. One can subscribe to correct Christian orthodoxy and be as effectually deceived in the correctness of that credal statement as if they were embracing false doctrine. And in fact, that kind of deception is the most devious and most powerful of all, because you think you are correct. There is a desperate need in the Church to know God in truth. He is waiting to be sought, and He distinguishes that people, that generation that will ascend the holy hill of Zion, in Psalm 24, as those with 'clean hands and a pure heart,' who have not given their soul to vanity by running to Toronto and other places, as those who will ascend the holy hill and throw the bolt that opens the gate so that the King of Glory might come in. He says, "This is the generation of those who seek Him, who seek Thy face¯even Jacob" (Psalms 24:6). You do not have to go to Toronto to seek Him; He is right where you are. Be ruthless against yourself in finding time, in sending the kids out, in getting out of the way those clamoring legitimate things that are always clawing at you. Lock yourself in a room, throw the key away. Do something, but seek God and be found of Him. His promise is that if we will seek for Him with all our heart and all our soul, we shall be found of Him.

It is a critical hour for the Church. Deception is rampant!

(Katz writing to be contunued Lord
willing. As a side not I am now
listening to a unbelivably powerful
sermon by Art Katz on the cross of
Christ. It is entitled, "And They
Crucified Him". This is a needed
message for us all and here is the link)



Anonymous said...

Mr. Kratz wrote...

"Are we willing to refrain from simulating something out of our own humanity that has the appearance of love, but is not? I want that which comes down from above, however long I have got to bear the terrible agony and reputation of 'lovelessness.' I do not want a saccharine counterfeit. Authentic things do not come cheap. They never have."

So true.

I have told Kai and others that I only want to minister out of that which I have. I said those words after a time of 'ministering' and realizing that although I had counseled with wisdom the tone and heart were not full of love and it grieved me.
One of my life-long prayers has been "Lord fill me with your love, I just want to know your love'...and it has been a long process of Him teaching me about His love, of me experiencing His love and mercy, and of it BECOMING the very essence of who I AM in Him.

No, this process doesn't come cheap. There is a price to pay...the price of your very life.
I am so grateful that He has given me the grace to desire to say yes to that price.

Truly Jesus is wonderful.


Jack Hennessey said...

"No, this process doesn't come cheap. There is a price to pay...the price of your very life.
I am so grateful that He has given me the grace to desire to say yes to that price."

Yes, it is His life for ours and how few know this. The first century church understood this but today we try to sneak part of the old man into the Kingdom ...... won't ever happen as flesh and blood are exempted from admission.

And a second to your statement on grace. It truly is all Him.

"Truly Jesus is wonderful."

Amen Eliyah,