Satan the devil strongly influences religion by making his corrupt teachings seem correct. Don’t be deceived.
[Steve Myers] If you tell a lie long enough, people will come to believe it. So who wants to control the message in religion? Your Bible says it's Satan, the devil. In fact, it's chilling to think about it, even when it comes to church, to faith, to worship. If someone controls the information, they can control the mind.
[Narrator] Join our presenters from the United Church of God as we bring you help for today and hope for tomorrow directly from your Bible here on Beyond Today.
[Steve Myers] Have you been manipulated? Plenty of innocent people are victimized every single day, but most don't realize they've been misled and deceived by religion. Could it be that your church spins the truth? Now you need to be sure, so stay with me today on Beyond Today.
You know it's been said, whoever controls the message controls the masses. In other words, no matter what reality might be, no matter the facts doesn't matter what the truth is, when you get enough people to believe your version that's all that matters. Another way to think about it, if you tell a lie long enough and keep repeating it, people will come to believe it.
So who wants to control the message in religion? Your Bible says it's Satan, the devil. Bible prophecy shows that he has done just that and he'll continue to do that. In fact, it's chilling to think about it even when it comes to church, to faith, to worship. If someone controls the information they can control the mind. God's word verifies that very fact. It tells us the whole world is under the control of the evil one. You see, Satan influences not only philosophies, not only education, but also the world's religions and the amazing part is he makes it seem good. So his thoughts, his ideas, his messaging is what has religion under his way. In fact, he's corrupted the gospel of Jesus Christ and it's done by his cunning, by his lies, but it seems truthful, yet it's just deception. And he knows so well you control the message, you control the masses. In fact, when you look at Bible prophecy, it warns us that in the end times the result of that false message, that false religion that he promotes it will dramatically influence your very life and probably more than you might realize. Ask yourself, is it possible that I've blindly accepted what some church says? Have you consented to the spin, maybe received that wrong narrative and wrong religious ideas? Now the word of God says that's a sign of the times. Well, what times? You think about that for a moment. All the problems in our world today, all the difficulties, all the trials that are going on, there are so many of us that realize this time seems different.
There was a recent poll that was done that found that about four in 10 U.S. adults believe humanity is living in the end times. I believe the Bible shows that we certainly are because the Bible is the true narrative, it's the right message, it's God's inspired revelation. And so we've got to consider what the Bible says, what God tells us and he says, it's time to get your spiritual act together. That God's holy word clearly shows that most are deceived.
You look to the book of Revelation it describes these end times and the spin. Revelation 12:9 tells us "The devil and Satan who deceives the whole world." Now can you really grasp the enormity of that deception? Today even most Christianity have bought into that false message. The word of God supports that exact idea. 2 Corinthians 4:3 it says, "Even if our gospel is veiled, it's veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the God of this age has blinded who do not believe lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ who is the image of God should shine on them." And so it tells us they're blinded to the truth. In other words you tell that lie long enough, keep repeating it people are going to believe it and the result, well Satan the devil is the literal God of this time, our age, this world societies, in fact, the God of most religion, shocking enough the God of Christianity.
Yet church can seem so pious, it can seem so reverent, so saintly, but it's not worshiping the true God of the Bible. Most don't believe God's word, and so the holy word of God is oftentimes ridiculed today. You want evidence? The Cultural Research Center did some studies on this, you know what they found? They found that "Less than half of all Americans believe in God or that the Bible is even God's true, relevant and reliable words to humanity."
Pollster George Barna commented on those results. He said that Americans have become comfortable with the idea of being the arbiters of morality in the same way that most Americans contend there is no absolute moral truth. They now believe that there's no divine guidance required, or even available to define right and wrong. Now, that's shocking. No direction, no guidance from God, no right or wrong. And so as a result today a gospel of acceptance is preached even if God says it's unacceptable. You hear about the gospel of tolerance, even if God says don't tolerate evil in any form and boy here's the spin. Isn't that a loving thing to do, acceptance and intolerance, patience? Well, those can all be good until it leads to the point of compromising God's truth. And so the devil promotes the gospel of permissiveness, and remember, you control the narrative, the story, the communication, you can control the people and that's his satanic strategy.
Remember how he tempted Christ in the wilderness and tried to control that narrative? He misquoted and misapplied scripture itself, and that's a sobering reminder we must be on guard because the Bible warns that just ahead there will be a great false religious leader. There'll be a great false church, there'll be a false gospel message and it's described in 1 John 4:3. It tells us, "This is the spirit of the Antichrist which you have heard was coming and now is already in the world." So it's not just a future thing this is a present thing that that lie is being told over and over, and people have come to believe it. And so the gospel that Jesus taught, his words they've been purposely diverted.
Now I've got an important question for you. How would you answer what is Jesus’ gospel? What's the gospel message of the Bible? Now, if you're Christian you'd probably say the gospel of grace, or maybe the gospel of salvation, or maybe even the gospel about Jesus Himself. Now, technically they're not wrong because Jesus is certainly at the center of the narrative, the gospel. And yeah, there's grace and there's salvation, but that's not a complete answer. It's not exactly what the Bible says about the message and that's where Satan's twist, that's how he distorts it just enough to sound good and seem right, but actually be wrong. You want the answer, look to Christ's example. That's where we'll find the answer. In fact, when he began to teach and preach, Mark 1:14 records it for us.
Notice what it says, it says, "Jesus came to Galilee preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God and saying, the time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe the gospel." Now have you ever noticed that passage before? I mean most don't know the gospel of the coming kingdom of God. That was Jesus message, that was His word. Now it's not here right now. It's definitely not something you'll find in your heart, those ideas are part of the spin. Remember, you control that message, that's the wrong message. The truth is what Jesus actually did, Matthew 9:35 tells us "Jesus went about all the cities in their villages preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people."
So does your church preach the gospel of the coming kingdom of God?" I mean, if not, you may have fallen for the lie. You've been listening to the wrong message. God's gospel, His narrative it's bigger than just grace alone. It's bigger than salvation, it's even even bigger than Jesus himself because Jesus message was about the plan of God. Now, is that the message that you're familiar with? Religious leaders of Jesus day they didn't want to hear about some kingdom of God, some coming king, and what was Jesus' reaction to that? Well, he condemned them. John 8:44, here's what Christ told them. He said, "You are of your father the devil. There's no truth in him for he is a liar and the father of it." And so Christ describes Satan as the father of lies because that's exactly what he does, and how he twists and turns, he breeds more lies and he even uses others to lie on his behalf. So who should be surprised that religious leaders today preach a perverted gospel of deception and falsehood and it's all part of the conspiracy to overthrow God. I mean, do you realize that Satan even has his own ministers? 2 Corinthians 11:13 tells us that very thing, it says, "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder for Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore, it's no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness whose end will be according to their works." So you see, God's reminding us here, Satan's ministers they look and they sound like what people think ministers should sound like, but they're preaching another Jesus, they're proclaiming a different gospel. And so the challenge is study your Bible, prove what Jesus and the early apostles taught and practiced then you'll begin to see the depth of the deceit from Satan 'cause it is evident today.
In fact, most Christians even admit the practices of today's churches are not the same as the early New Testament church. Does it matter, does it matter? I mean, Christianity is stamped on the outside. So most assume it's okay, it's all right, it's good. Some think it might even be the religion of Jesus Christ, but they don't realize that it's based on false concepts of Jesus Christ and a wrong message and so the result they follow the God of this age. You could read in the book the story of the Christian Church, these facts. It says, "Some of the old heathen feast became church festivals with a change of name and of worship, and the result was not Christianity." So what does that mean? Well, under Satan's messaging, the teachings of Christ and the teachings of the early New Testament church were quickly subverted. You're probably not shocked by that, it's not shocking anymore. Unbiblical things have been converted into Christian ways, the days, the celebrations, the traditions they're not from God, they're not from his holy word and in fact most know that the big ones like Christmas and Easter are not biblical but they seem right and they seem good, it seems warm and fuzzy, right? But it's not biblical Christianity, yet Christians still celebrate and they excuse themselves and it reminds you, you tell a lie long enough, loud enough people will believe it.
Now, I hope you don't justify it. God says it does make a difference, it matters to God. And so you know it, will you do it anyway? Will you follow Satan's messaging or God's? The Bible powerfully speaks of this influence, and this wrong narrative that was already there all the way back in the first century. Galatians 1:6 tells us, "I marvel that you're turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ to a different gospel, which is not another but there are those who want to trouble you and pervert the gospel of Christ." Now notice what the apostle Paul says, he says this, "Even if we or an angel from heaven preach any other gospel to you than what we've preached to you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so I now say again. If anyone preaches any other gospel to you than that which you've received, let him be accursed." So how as important is it? Is it that important that you believe the true gospel? Absolutely, it's a difference between truth and error, fact and delusion, blessing and condemnation.
The apostle Paul pronounced a double curse on those who would believe and teach a different gospel. So you've got to be able to spot that fraud. You've got to realize the fake news of a false gospel. Can you do it? You don't want to fall for the lying message. Now, if we go back to that study that the Cultural Research Center did, here's a shocking fact. Seven out of 10 adults now contend that human beings rather than God should be the judge of right and wrong, what? You mean man knows best, man should be in charge? Don't let God tell me what to do, God, you take a backseat, it's what most people are saying. And yet you read the rest of what the Apostle Paul wrote after that condemnation. He says this, "Do I now persuade men or God? Or do I seek to please man?" He says, "For if I still please man I would be a bondservant of Christ." He says, "But I make known to you brethren that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man, nor was I taught it but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ."
And so what a difference. Our society values itself as the judge. Well, your truth is just as good as my truth, is just as good as their truth, as good as any other kind of truth and choices, oh, they should all be appreciated. Any and all lifestyles, well, they shouldn't just be accepted, they should be applauded because that seems so kind, that seems so good and so loving. But reality is the spin is on because if you take on these values, you brought a false narrative and really it is anti God. So no wonder we're told in the book of Jude to "Contend earnestly for the faith that was once delivered to the saints." That's what we fight for, that means we've got to defend the true faith.
We've got to get back to the true Christianity of Christ, of what the original apostles taught, that means you've got to know his gospel. Do you remember what Jesus Christ's message was all about? Well, in Luke 4:43 he defined his message and his mission. Here's what Christ Himself said, "I must preach the kingdom of God because for this purpose I've been sent." You see, that's the centerpiece, that's the core of Christ's teaching. He preached the good news, the gospel of the coming kingdom of God and in fact, just a little later in the book of Luke He commanded his disciples and He said, "Preach the kingdom of God," He sent them to do just that. And so throughout the Bible you see this consistent message from the ancient prophets to Jesus Christ Himself, to His apostles all speaking about a literal kingdom, is that's something you recognize. Do you know it? Do you understand it? Do you believe it? Because Jesus’ gospel says He's going to return to Earth and establish His kingdom and He'll be the ruler of that kingdom of God. And at His second coming He's going to replace man's corrupt, evil governments.
That's the focus, that was the core of Jesus message the announcement of a coming world government of God, in fact that's the message of the entire Bible. It speaks to the reign and the rule of Christ who is to be the king of that kingdom and that includes God's wonderful plan of salvation to bring many sons and daughters into His divine family forever. And so you could say the coming Kingdom of God is the goal of God's great purpose.
In fact, Bible prophecy describes when this will actually become reality. Revelation 11:15, probably familiar with this. It says, "The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ and He shall reign forever and ever." And yet many have accepted a different gospel that distorts and obscures the truth. And today most Christianity doesn't compare to the Christianity that Christ taught, that the apostles taught and the New Testament church followed. Boy, if the early New Testament church we're around today, they wouldn't even recognize what the world calls Christianity because Satan has done a masterful job of creating a counterfeit Christianity. But if you love God's truth and you want to avoid that false narrative, we're commanded come out of her my people, lest you share in her sins, lest you receive of her plagues. So it begs the question, will you obey your creator? God's allowed a very real devil to absolutely deceive humanity, yet he's going to intervene. Christ is going to come back to Earth as King of kings and Lord of lords, and He's going to overcome Satan, so that he'll deceive the nation's no more.
The focus of Christ message was the announcement of that coming world government, when governments of mankind will be destroyed and His government, God's government will be established finally able to solve mankind's problems. And Jesus Christ himself will come to rule the nations, and that's going to continue forever. Do you know that message? Do you know the message of Christ?
Well, I'd like to help you understand the true gospel of Jesus Christ, true worship and Jesus real message. What did Christ preach and warn about? Well, you need to know, that's why we've produced this Bible study aid, The Gospel of the Kingdom. You can receive this absolutely free by calling us on the number on your screen, or you can go to beyondtoday.tv and you can order your own copy, or you can read it right there online because it's going to help you to understand the real truth of the Bible, Jesus message. And it will help you to follow what Jesus and the apostles actually taught.
Do you practice biblical Christianity? Do you know His true church? Well, this study guide will help you to do just that. Put it right next to your Bible, check out the pages and genuinely study what the Bible has to say. And this guide can help you to understand, and discover true inspired revelation that comes only from God. Order your copy of The Gospel of the Kingdom. Call us at the number on your screen, or go to beyondtoday.tv. You're going to find the message of Jesus Christ is the message of truth and hope, and it's the same gospel message that you're hearing faithfully preach right here on Beyond Today.
Now the challenges most today don't see through Satan's faults narrative. They don't understand, they've been hoodwinked, they've been fooled. Some don't even believe there's a real devil, but if you study your Bible God tells us there really is a devil and he's played an enormous role in religion. What's been the result? Suffering, confusion, false religion and ultimately mankind has been blinded. But don't let it influence you, don't buy into the devil's spin, don't listen to it. You've got to put it aside and recognize the truth of God's word because ultimately the day is coming, that time is going to come when Satan that great manipulator is finally going to be caught and he will be stopped. Now in the meantime, don't let his falsehoods affect you. Don't be deceived and recognize the truth, get rid of those things that you've been doing that don't match with biblical Christianity. Don't practice a lie, don't fall for that narrative. Don't be taken in by that, don't listen to those lies and don't let it become part of your life. Learn the truth, learn the true gospel that Jesus himself taught.
Remember, "Blessed are those who do His commandments that they might have the right to the tree of life." So I pray that you will seek God's guidance through prayer, that you'll search His word and most importantly once you find it, that you obey his true message. That's the gospel of Jesus Christ in the coming kingdom of God.
[Narrator] Call now to receive the free booklet offered on today's program, The Gospel of the Kingdom. Jesus Christ came preaching a gospel about the kingdom of God. His entire ministry was devoted to teaching, living and showing the way of life embodied in this kingdom. Order now, call toll free 1-888-886-8632, or write to the address shown on your screen. Our free study aid, The Gospel of the Kingdom shows what the kingdom of God really is.
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[Gary Petty] Hi, I'm Gary Petty, a pastor with the United Church of God. If you are looking for a church that encourages living what the word of God really teaches, you found the right place. We're a community of believers dedicated to seeking the truth and preaching the good news of the coming kingdom of God. We'd like to welcome you to come, and join us on this spiritual journey. We have hundreds of congregations around the United States and across the world. Visit ucg.org to find a church near you, we're looking forward to meeting you soon.