The Great Prosperity Deception

Arno Froese

“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High” (Isaiah 14:12-14).

While this Scripture is addressed against the king of Babylon, it is quite plain that it goes beyond the king of Babylon, pointing to the originator of evil: the devil. The king of Babylon has not fallen out of heaven. Thus, through the king of Babylon, the origin of Satan is revealed.

In the New Testament, we have an example: when Jesus announced His intention to go up to Jerusalem, and prophesied that He would be killed, Peter took protective measures: “Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.” How did Jesus answer?  “Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men” (Matthew 16:23a). Did Peter become Satan? Not at all, but the words Peter spoke originated from Satan.

“I Will Be Like the Most High”

What is Satan’s aim? “I will be like the most High.” When reading the Old Testament, one quickly notices that Lucifer—also known as Satan, the devil, that old serpent, and the dragon—has been very successful in deceiving the nation of Israel. No other nation on the face of the earth, throughout human history, has so personally experienced God’s supernatural intervention. Yet Israel did not believe the Word of God; instead, they believed the words of the deceiver. That also was made plain with Eve, who believed the words of the serpent and disbelieved the words of God.

In summary, from the point of Eve’s deception to this very day, all of humanity has been and is deceived. If only we would fully realize our absolute lostness, or as Ephesians 2:12 states: “…having no hope, and without God in the world.” Yet, thank God, there is one escape, as the next verse reveals: “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.”

The Devil’s Cunning Devices

The realization that mankind is lost for all eternity is a prerequisite for understanding the devil’s plan of destruction and God’s plan of salvation. Satan has successfully infiltrated the intellectual elite of the world. They have long concluded, “There is a little bit of good in everyone.” Subsequently, through philosophy, education, and indoctrination, man can be made better. That is a fatal mistake based on the devil’s lie, for the Bible says: “There is none righteous, no not one” (Romans 3:10). Paul testifies, “…in my flesh dwelleth no good thing” (Romans 7:18).

Satan’s Political Agenda

Throughout the 6,000-year history of man, there have been tens of thousands of wars with hundreds of millions of people slaughtered. Why? Primarily due to religion. Look at Genesis 4:8: “And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.” This was based on religious belief. Cain talked to his brother. What about? Obviously, concerning Cain’s offering not being accepted. Thus, from that very point, people have killed each other, and they’re still doing it today.

Political Deception

Under the auspices of the god of this world, the intellectual elite of all countries indoctrinate their population: We are the best, the greatest, the ones favored by God. That lie of Satan was probably the greatest contributor toward the many wars fought among mankind during these past six millennia. Just listen to the national anthem of any country, and you will find national pride highlighted. The father of pride is Satan.

The Prince of Fake Peace

Many experts the world over are genuinely concerned about a possible third world war, which without doubt would include nuclear weapons, thus destroying much of if not the entire planet. That, however, would not contribute toward Satan’s intention to bring about peace, and peace he must produce to mimic the Prince of Peace.

Today, with reasonable assurance, we can say that war is virtually out of the question between the developed nations. It is absurd to think that Canada would attack the USA, or France would go to war against Italy, or Germany attack Russia. There are small conflicts where the military is involved in some parts of the world, but we can’t deny that the world is more at peace than ever before in history—peace based on commercialism.

Deception of Commercialism

Here we must again quote Revelation 18:3: “For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.”

If ever the world has experienced an “abundance of her delicacies,” it is now. Never before in history have we had so much merchandise at our disposal as today. Look at the grocery shelves and compare them with just a few decades ago. There is virtually no comparison. But keep in mind that this system of deception is actually for the well-being of humanity. Those of us who are in our 70s, 80s, and 90s remember the miserable poverty we lived under: the small, low-ceilinged, primitive houses, and the rather limited selection of food available at the grocery store. That has all changed for the better for most of humankind.

The Financial Deception

We as Christians thank the Lord for providing for our daily necessities, and take advantage of opportunities given to us to accumulate resources, whether it be properties, investments, or consumables. We may have possessions, but possessions must not have us.

Remember, the original tactic of Satan is deception. He must prove that he is the god of this world.

Deception can only be successful by voluntarily believing in the system of lies. Do we believe in the system of lies? Absolutely. For example, money—printed on paper—is totally useless; if a nation loses faith in that printed currency, it will become worthless. Investors have faith in the stock market and other financial products. Faith is the key.

So, why is progress, peace and prosperity so bad? For an answer, we must go to the Word of God. There we repeatedly find the word “fornication”: “…the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies” (Revelation 18:3). Or in the same chapter, verse 15: “The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing.” Or verse 19: “…Alas, alas that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.” This is clearly describing commercialism in the end times. Nothing wrong in and of itself, but it is not based on substance, rather on faith. There we go back to Adam and Eve, who had faith in the devil’s lie instead of believing God’s Word.

In summary, good times are ahead of us when it comes to merchandise and luxuries, peace and prosperity, but from God’s perspective, it’s all a big lie based on Satan’s cunning deception.

Satan’s Goal

What is Satan’s goal? He already has the whole world in his hands; humanity is following in his footsteps, rejoicing and praising the success of his economic and financial systems. So, what next? He must present himself as the (false) prince of peace, the savior of the world. That’s in the works right now. The apostle Paul warns: “Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices” (2 Corinthians 2:11).

The Deception of Worship

The god of this world has created a relatively well-functioning global society, where people are enjoying freedom, prosperity, and riches. But there is one thing he still intends to fulfill: “I will be like the most High.” So, what is lacking? Worship. Here is what the New Testament records: “Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and showeth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me” (Matthew 4:8-9). That is his ultimate goal; he wants to be worshiped, but worship belongs only to God, the Creator of heaven and earth.

We note in this Scripture that the devil, the god of this world, has in his possession: “…all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them.” This statement puts cold water on the often presumptuous statement by religious people, even well-respected gospel preachers: “Our country is founded on Christian principles; we are a godly nation.” That’s one of the most successful lies Satan has used to lure into bondage millions of people around the world.

The Coming Antichrist

It is the apostle Paul who reveals Satan’s masterpiece, the Antichrist, and his aim: “Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (2 Thessalonians 2:4).

No Future for Believers on Earth

We, as individual believers, need to realize that we live in this world, but we are not of this world. This world is destined for judgment—that means total and absolute destruction. Or, as 2 Peter 3:12 states: “Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?”

The Great Prosperity Deception

In summary, the world today has at its disposal a level of freedom and peace incomparable in history. We are being flooded with merchandise of high quality at relatively low cost; our supermarket shelves are filled with the most delicious food products we have ever seen in history.

That, my friends, is the greatest danger. We may summarize it with one word: prosperity.

Before judgment came upon Sodom, the prophet Ezekiel testified: “Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her…” (Ezekiel 16:49). In the New Testament, we hear the Church of Laodicea exclaim: “…I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing…” (Revelation 3:17). That is a testimony to prosperity galore.

Even the epitome of abomination, Mystery Babylon, expresses the pride of her heart: “I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow” (Revelation 18:7b).

Thus we see, in both the Old and New Testaments, the greatest danger is the time when humanity indulges in global commercialism, racing toward more possessions, more luxuries, more, more, more. James describes this group of people: “Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days” (James 5:1-3). Note the words “last days.”

Independence from God

One more thing: with each new invention that makes life easier for the masses, dependence on God decreases, and dependence on man’s own creation increases. Thus, we see in the end that this tendency will lead to Satan’s goal, as document in Revelation 13: “And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed” (verses 14-15). That is global worship. All of humanity will worship the image of the beast or be killed.

Commercialism will also be totally dictated: “And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name” (Revelation 13:16-17).

This short article attempts to show that we are living in the end stages of the end times. Soon, we pray, may the fullness of the Gentiles come in, so the Church, His body, the spiritual temple, will be raptured into His presence. Are you ready?

Midnight Call - 01/2019

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