Be Forewarned … BE FOREARMED!
In this era of ‘fake news’ there is a proliferation of scams, mainly hitting us in the pocket. Philip Wren warns us to be forearmed against some deceptions that are far more dangerous
A few years ago, four of us travelled to India. Flying overnight we arrived at Delhi Airport in the early hours of the morning India time. After acclimatising and relaxing over a coffee for an hour, we took a taxi to New Delhi Railway Station to catch the 6.00 a.m. train to our destination. On arrival at the station we were met by the usual crowd of people keen to carry our bags. They were also keen to ask our destination. On hearing where we were going they immediately said that the train was cancelled. Then they helpfully directed us to someone on the floor above who would be able to help. This person posing as a railway official assured us that the train was cancelled. To get to our destination we would have to rebook our tickets at a travel agents. The nearest Travel Agent was several blocks away so he helpfully found us a cab.
At the travel agents, the assistant checked the trains for seats and produced a printout showing that all the trains were fully booked that day. The only way we would be able to get to our destination would be by private hire car. Conveniently there was a private hire driver outside the travel agent’s office. The agent arranged, at substantial payment, for us to be driven to our destination. As we were leaving the agent said don’t forget to give the driver a good tip.
On arriving at our hotel, the manger queried where we had been. He had sent a driver to the station to collect us but we were not on the train! Yes, we had fallen for a very well-rehearsed scam. On returning to the UK, I searched the internet to find out if we were the only ones this had happened to. It was not difficult to find that many other unsuspecting travellers had also been caught out by this pantomime.
The following is a quote which I found on the internet: “You’ll meet some lovely people in India – but at New Delhi Railway Station you’ll probably meet some less-than-lovely characters who have spent years skilfully parting foreigners from their cash. It takes a clear mind and strong heart to withstand them, but hopefully reading about these common scams will help you recognise which kind of person you’re dealing with. Always beware of the kindness of strangers at Delhi Railway Station!”
I tell this story to illustrate that all of us can be deceived if we are not wary. The convincing nature of this scam was due to it being so well rehearsed and everyone being party to it.
Later, on that same trip, we were travelling with a Pastor to a speaking engagement. On what appeared to be a toll road, instead of slowing to pay the toll the Pastor put his foot down and accelerated through the booths. He explained that the road had been paid for some years earlier and that there was no longer a toll to be paid. Unwary travellers from outside the area would no doubt have stopped and paid.
There is an old saying, “to be forewarned is to be forearmed” . The Pastor knew that there was no toll to be paid and therefore did not stop. If we had known about the advice on the internet before our trip we wouldn’t have fallen for the railway scam.
I have been reading recently a book about a scam far more sophisticated and well-rehearsed than the New Delhi Railway scam. It is deadly in that it strikes at the heart of the Christian faith. The book is ‘The Forging of the Codex Sinaiticus’ by Bill Cooper. The Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus1 are supposedly very early versions of much of the Christian scriptures. In the 19th century scholars seized on them as the earliest and therefore ‘most reliable’ texts. This led to the Greek and Hebrew from which the Bible is translated being extensively revised.
Bill Cooper presents very convincing evidence that both codices are 19th century forgeries. The Jesuits were behind this deception. It came at a time when Bible Societies in the UK and USA were distributing the scriptures around the world. The Protestant faith was spreading far and wide. The Jesuits are commissioned to overturn and end the Reformation and so return the separated brethren to, what is to them, the true mother church of Rome. To achieve this goal the Protestant faith has to be undermined.
Protestantism rests on the authority of the Bible being above the authority of the Church. Therefore, if the Bible can be discredited by making it appear that the received text from which the Protestant Bible was translated is full of errors then confidence in the authority of the Bible would be weakened. If the Bible can be dislodged from its place of supreme authority, Protestantism is fatally wounded. Bill Cooper’s exposure of the scam makes a fascinating and highly recommended read.
For the origin of this deception we look beyond the Jesuits to Satan, the father of lies. In parallel with his attack on the text, Satan was pursuing another assault on the authority of scripture. Through the promotion of the theory of evolution the reliability of the Bible as an historical record was also being undermined.
The above examples illustrate the subtlety of Satan’s deceptions. By one he duped the scholars by the other the mass of ordinary people.
In speaking about the end of the age Jesus said. “See I have told you beforehand” (Matthew 24:25). Paraphrased: ‘I have told you so that you won’t be caught out’ . Jesus is forewarning us of the danger of deception so that we won’t be taken in.
In Matthew 24 there are repeated warnings about deception. False Christs and false prophets will arise who will deceive many. In verse 24 the warnings build to the point where Jesus says, “to deceive if possible even the elect.” The elect, the faithful believers in Jesus Christ, are the prime target of deception. Satan, the arch deceiver has already deceived everyone else. The members of the world’s religions, whether Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim or other have been deceived. The secular believers in evolution are deceived. The political agitators on the extreme left or extreme right are deceived. Only those who follow Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour are outside Satan’s kingdom. To deceive them is his aim.
Can the elect be deceived? Two things come together in Jesus’ teaching on the end times. One is the danger of deception the other is the need to watch. It seems clear that the elect can be deceived if they do not obey our Lord’s command to ‘watch’ .
I still regard a little booklet with the title ‘‘Watch’ preparing for the unexpected’ as the most important thing I have ever written. It seeks to address what it means to watch during these last days as we approach the time when our Lord will return. I am glad to say that thousands of copies have been distributed. If you would like a copy please contact me either through my website or at the address below. I ask for a contribution of £2.50 but that is not mandatory
We are all responsible to watch, but pastors and leaders have a particular responsibility as shepherds of the flock. They need to be more alert to the deceptions of the false prophets.
As a Jesuit, Pope Francis with his genial smile and compassionate nature, serves in unbroken continuity with the Counter Reformation. Many are the leaders, Anglican to Pentecostal, who are seeking to get close to the Pope. His unchanged aim is to bring the separated brethren back under the authority of Rome. Rome has not changed. The reasons for separation are as compelling today as they were 500 years ago.
An indication of Pope Francis’ real intention was given in a video released in January 20162. It calls on people of different faiths around the world to work together for peace. It would appear that he is seeking not just to unite the separated brethren with the mother church but to bring all religions under his rule. The pretext being the establishing of world peace. ‘Peace! Peace!’ is the repeated cry of the false prophet in the Bible. The true prophet recognises that repentance and a change of heart come before there can be peace either with God or men. It is not through the church or other religions but only through faith in Jesus Christ that can we be reconciled with the Father.
To obtain a copy of ‘Watch’ write to me at; Trumpet Ministries, 48 Newlands, Balcombe, Haywards Heath, West Sussex, RH17 6JA or contact me via the website: www.trumpetsounds.net. The booklet can also be download free from the website.