Jessie Penn- Lewis: Deception And The Supernatural

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DECEPTION  IN  CONNECTION WITH  THE SUPERNATURAL REALM. This  special  form  of  deception  is  pointedly  said  to  be  in  connection  with  spiritual  rather  than  worldly  things.    This surely  shows  that  the  people  of  God,  at  the  time  of  the  end,  will  be  expecting  the  coming  of  the  Lord,  and  we  can  infer  that they  will  be  keenly  awake  to  all  movements  from  the  supernatural  world,  in  such  a  measure  that  deceiving  spirits  will  be able  to  take  advantage  of  it  and  anticipate  the  Lord’s  appearing  by  “false  Christs”  and  false  signs  and  wonders.    They  will mix  their  counterfeits  with  the  true  manifestations  of  the  Spirit  of  God.    The  Lord  says  that  men  will  be  deceived  (1) concerning  Christ  and  His  porousia  (appearing);  (2)  concerning  prophecy—teachings  regarding  the  future,  from  the spiritual  world  through  inspired  messengers;  and  (3)  concerning  the  giving  of  proofs  that  the  “teachings”  are  truly  of  God, by  “signs”  and  “wonders”  so  Godlike  as  to  be  indistinguishable  from  the  true  even  by  those  described  as  “the  elect”—  who will  need  to  possess  some  other  test  than  the  judging  by  appearances  of  a  “sign”  being  from  God  if  they  are  to  be  able  to discern the false from  the true. The  Apostle  Paul’s  words  to  Timothy,  containing  the  special  prophecy  given  to  him  by  the  Holy  Spirit  for  the  Church  of Christ in the last days  of  the dispensation, exactly  coincide  with  the  words  of  the  Lord recorded by  Matthew.     These  two  letters  of  Paul  to  Timothy  are  the  last  epistles  that  he  wrote  before  his  departure  to  be  with  Christ.    Both were  written  in  prison,  and  Paul’s  prison  was  to  him  what  Patmos  was  to  John—a  time  when  he  was  “in  the  Spirit”  (Rev. 1:10)  and  shown  things  to  come.  Paul  was  giving  his  last  directions  to  Timothy  for  the  ordering  of  the  Church  of  God  right on  to  the  end  of  her  time  on  earth—giving  rules  to  guide  not  only  Timothy  but  all  God’s  servants  “in  dealing  with  God’s household.”    In  the  midst  of  all  these  detailed  instructions,  his  keen  seer’s  vision  looks  on  to  the  “later  times”;  and  by express  command  of  the  Spirit  of  God  he  depicts  in  a  few  brief  sentences  the  peril  of  the  Church  in  those  times,  in  the same  way  that  the  Spirit  of  God  gave  the  prophets  of  the  Old  Testament  some  pregnant  prophecy  only  to  be  fully understood  after the  events  had come to pass. The  apostle  said:  “The  Spirit  saith  expressly,  that  in  later  times  some  shall  fall  away  from  the  faith,  giving  heed  to seducing  spirits  and  doctrines  of  demons,  through  the  hypocrisy  of  men  that  speak  lies,  seared  in  their  own  conscience  as with  a hot  iron …”  (1 Tim. 4:1-2,  mg.).

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