Thursday, February 3, 2022

The Coming Storm

The Charismatic Movement is focused on an expected final “revival” that is expected to commence at any moment accompanied by unprecedented “signs and wonders.” Billions of souls will be won, and revival will pave the way for Christ’s return. The predicted displays of the supernatural have become the rallying cry, the raison d'ĂȘtre of the Movement with its self-appointed “apostles” and “prophets.”

I remain unconvinced. Jesus began to “draw all men” to himself when he was “lifted up” on the Cross, not through his supernatural powers. The “power and wisdom of God” are found in the proclamation of a “Crucified Messiah,” and hearts are won by disciples living lives conformed to his Cross. He was the “Suffering Servant of Yahweh,” not a conquering warrior king who intimidates his enemies into submission.

Coming Storm - Photo by Torsten Dederichs on Unsplash
[Photo by Torsten Dederichs on Unsplash]

These expectations of revival are based on relatively recent “prophecies” often issued by disgraced “prophets,” and their “prophetic” track record does not instill me with any confidence.

The assumption that “signs and wonders” will convince millions of men and women who Jesus is and awe them into submission stands in sharp tension with the story found in the four gospel accounts of the New Testament.

Jesus performed many “signs and wonders,” yet by themselves, they failed to convince anyone that he was the Son of God and Messiah of Israel, including his closest friends. Even after he calmed the violent storm on the Sea of Galilee, his dumbfounded disciples could only ask, "Who is this man?!" Only after his resurrection did they begin to understand.

In Mark's gospel, the only human who recognizes Jesus as the Son of God is the centurion in charge of his execution squad, and at the very moment when he died. Despite performing deeds that, “if they may be written one by one, not even the world itself would have place for the books written,” he died alone on the Cross, abandoned by his closest associates even though they had witnessed his greatest miracles.

Nowhere in the New Testament do I find any prediction of this final super revival characterized by mighty “signs and wonders” that will win the world to the Faith or empower the Church to take over the “Seven Mountains of Culture.”

What I do discover are REPEATED warnings about coming deceivers, a final APOSTASY, and the arrival of the MAN OF LAWLESSNESS, and the latter two events that will transpire before the saints are gathered to Jesus.

The New Testament warns that these coming deceivers will use “signs and wonders” to deceive especially the very “elect.” That scriptural emphasis ought to give us pause when questionable prophets insist that God is about to pour out “signs and wonders” through their “ministries.”

In his Discourse on the Mount of Olives, Jesus warned that “many deceivers” would come in his name and “deceive many.” In the version recorded in Matthew, both times in the Greek sentence the term “many” is emphatic.

Jesus was not talking about the occasional false teacher but a coming horde of charlatans and liars. This group would include “false anointed ones” and “false prophets” who propagate false information about his return and use “great signs and wonders” to deceive believers - (Matthew 24:5, 23-27).


In Revelation, the “False Prophet” performs “great signs” that deceive many, causing them to give their allegiance to the “Beast.” Satan’s “war” is NOT waged against Israel or other nation-states, but against the “saints,” those who have the “faith of Jesus,” his “testimony,” and who “follow the Lamb wherever he goes.”

This final “war” does not just include persecution, but also deception in the assemblies by “false apostles,” the Nicolaitans, “Jezebel,” and the teachings of Balaam, all of whom teach saints to “eat things offered to idols” and otherwise compromise with the surrounding society.

Storm Clouds over field - Photo by Marek Piwnicki on Unsplash
[Photo by Marek Piwnicki on Unsplash]

Paul is especially specific when writing to the Thessalonians. The “
Day of the Lord” will not come until two inextricably linked events occur – the “Apostasy” and the “revelation of the Man of Lawlessness” when he “seats himself in the sanctuary of God.”

Consistently in the Greek scriptures, the term “apostasy” or ‘apostasia’ refers to the abandonment of the true faith. When Paul warns that this “Lawless One” will deceive those who “refuse the love of the truth,” he is referring to believers who apostatize, and this is borne out when he defines the “truth” as the “tradition you have received” from him and his apostolic coworkers.

This is what I find predicted in Scripture for the days ahead, and any “revelation” received from angelic visitations, dreams, visions, prophetic pronouncements, ascents to the “third heaven,” or “monthly prognostications” that is contrary to it is NOT from God.

The only question remaining is whether this “Apostasy” is yet future or is already underway. Considering the plethora of false prophecies from today’s supposed “apostles and prophets,” the more important question is whether the “Man of Lawlessness” is almost upon us, and if we are approaching the day of his “revelation,” look for him to appear in the Church.

We are not without hope. The very fact that Jesus and his apostles warned of this coming storm means we can avoid being overwhelmed by deception by heeding their words. Specifically, Paul assured the Thessalonians that they would not be overtaken by the “Lawless One” so long as they “held fast” to the Apostolic Tradition, the same one that is preserved in the pages of the New Testament.

In short, learn the Word of God and cleave to it with everything in you regardless of what anyone else does or says, including any so-called “prophet” or “apostle.” Therefore, we must discover and restore the original Apostolic Faith while there is still time.

  • Has Bible Prophecy Failed? - (After decades of failed expectations and predictions, it is time for believers to reexamine popular ideas about the Last Days)
  • House of Cards - (The history of the failed expectations in popular preaching is causing many to begin grasping at prophetic straws)
  • Spirit of Antichrist - (The Spirit of Antichrist is at work in the church even now using deceivers and false prophets)