End Times Deception: the Modern American Prophecy Industry

“And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.”

–Matthew 24:11

Cunning fables of the prophecy industry

END TIME DECEPTION

This article will serve as an introduction to what this writer calls the Modern American Prophecy Industry.

“And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.”
–Matthew 24:4

“And Jesus answering them began to say, Take heed lest any man deceive you: For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.”
–Mark 13:5-6

“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

“For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.”
–Matthew 24:5

“For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.”
–Matthew 24:24

Warnings to be not deceived abound in the New Testament.  Jesus himself, when speaking of the last days, warned Christians not to be deceived three separate times–in Matthew 24 alone!

And yet, many who call themselves Christians are deceived.  Not only that, but it seems large numbers of previously-sound, apparently-sober church-goers fall prey to “wolves in sheeps‘ clothing” every day.

One would think that with all of the warnings, it would be very hard to pull the proverbial wool over a Christian’s eyes.

It is.

However, it’s apparent that Jesus knew what he was talking about: many today who wear the name of “Christian” have allowed themselves to be swept up in flights of fancy not found in the Bible.

Why is this?

“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.  For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.”
–Roman 16:17-18

Horseman of the apocalypse
Death rides a pale horse

There are many ideas concerning the End Times which are accepted–and taught–as established doctrine in the American church which only tangentially exist in the Bible.

Some of these ideas were unheard of prior to their publicizing throughout the latter part of the 1800s.

Despite Paul’s very clear warnings in 2 Thessalonians, many church-goers walk around pointing their fingers to the sky and exclaiming, “Jesus can come at any time!  He might come tonight!”

“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;”
–2 Thessalonians 2:3

When asked who the man of sin is, these Christians shrug their shoulders, promptly, ignoring any scripture they cannot answer.  Terms like “division,” “Pharisee”, and “confusion” are provided as substitutes for serious discussion and study into God’s word.

Once the cocoon-like structure that these church folk have constructed about what the end times will look like is questioned, the questioner become persona non grata.

“But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.”
–2 Timothy 3;13

Where do most Americans get their ideas concerning the end times?  It would be nice to say “the Bible.”  But that would not be quite correct.

Many Americans have out-sourced their end times Bible study to the American Prophecy Industry, a well-financed, well-publicized group of men whose theories of the end times often don’t line up with Scripture.  While entertaining, the American Prophecy Industry many times appears to shoehorn verses of Scripture into place to support their doctrinal inventions.

“For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.”
–2 Peter 1:16

There are many fables that are taken for gospel in the modern American church.  Church folk of only 100 years ago would be extremely surprised at what church-goers of 2013 America believe concerning end times bible prophecy. That is because much of what is believed concerning the end times is a concoction of men; put together by men and promoted by man since the mid-1800s.

What’s worse: Americans export their error to other countries around the globe.

One other thing at which those of 100 years ago would be surprised by 2013 American: the number of basic doctrines of Protestant Christianity which have been kicked to the curb by the modern Church.

What was sound doctrine 100 years ago is treated as heresy today by a generation of church-goers raised on the fables of the modern American Prophecy Industry. Is it because this generation of American “Christians” have grown closer to Christ? Is it because this generation of “Christians” are living a more holy life than those of their great-grandparents? Is it because this generation of TV- and popular entertainment-raised “Christians” has a deeper understanding of Scripture?

Jesus specifically warned Christians of what to expect in the end times. The deception would be so thick that the “very elect” would be deceived, if possible.

And yet, those who insist they are Christians ARE deceived.

Jesus knew what he was talking about.

In upcoming articles, we’ll take a look at such topics as:

  • What are some of these popular, extra-Biblical ideas haunting the American church (and pretty much only the American church);
  • Where did these ideas come from?
  • Who and what constitutes the American Prophecy Industry;
  • Why they are dangerous for the times that are almost upon us; and
  • What does the Bible have to say about these doctrines?

Another question that might be asked of these johnny-come-lately doctrines which have sprung up over the last 120 or so years: are the teachers who are promoting these doctrines merely deceived–or are they part of the deception? After all, the promoters of these brave, new doctrines appear to be turning a nice profit while spinning their yarns.

“And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.”
–Mark 4:19

From this end, this last question will remain unanswered.  However, it’s a question that readers likely will want to answer for themselves after taking all of the information into account.

USEFUL INFORMATION:

by Jeremiah J. Jameson

images: ETPR, ETPR file/dore/pd

© Jeremiah J. Jameson and End Times Prophecy Report, 2012-17. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jeremiah J. Jameson and End Times Prophecy Report with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Author: Jeremiah J Jameson

End Times Prophecy Report - Publisher and author

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