When these things come to pass.
"So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors." Mark 13:29
Throughout the gospels, in regard to the life, death, and resurrection of Christ, we read the phrase "that it might be fulfilled". The prophets gave witness of Christ, with God, through men of faith, foretelling his work in Christ before it came to pass. Men, according to their own understanding, in regards to the writing of the prophets, tried to figure out the coming of the Messiah (when and how he would arrive and what he would do). Yet all missed the mark. In the end rejecting Him. The same has been true throughout the past two millennia regarding His return, resulting in false doctrines of men, leading men astray after another gospel, drawing men after themselves, following them after their own means to salvation, as in Noah's day, "missing the boat." "But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father." Mark 12:32
Leon Festinger in "When Prophesy Fails" pointed out how men, to save face, will join together around prophecies (and prophets) even (especially) when they fail. Having sacrificed themselves unto the "dream," i.e. separated themselves from those who rejected or wanted no part of the "dream," having united with those of like sacrifice, i.e. 'justifying' the dream in their own eyes, i.e. what "necessary" adding to it new prophesy, i.e. new "revelation" to 'justify' it and themselves, they deceive themselves and all who follow them in their hope of their "new" gospel, which (as the Apostle Paul wrote) is not a gospel at all, therein taking souls away with them, placing their hope in the prophet or prophetess, away from the hope of the gospel of Christ. Such has been happening down through the ages and continues today.
"For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him." 2 Corinthians 11:2-4
When Jesus proclaimed from the cross "IT IS FINISHED," it was finished. Place your hope, i.e. your life, in Him. In Him alone.
In the book of Revelation we read the warning: "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book." Revelation 22:18, 19 Many have added and taken away from "the prophecy of this book" by adding books (their interpretations), making themselves, i.e. their "visions" (from "God") the filter through which to understand the "prophecy of this book," deceiving themselves and all who follow them in their dialectic 'reasoning.'
You are deceived, not because somebody lied to you. You are deceived because you trusted them. We are to take captive every thought to the obedience of Christ (bringing "into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." 2 Corinthians 10:5), who, though being equal with His Heavenly Father, humbled himself and took on the form of a man and obeyed His Heavenly Father's will even to death, not adding to His Father's will "His will" (His desires), i.e. not making His Father's will subject to His will instead. "For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father who sent me, he gave me commandment what I should say, and what I should speak." John 12:49 Our Savior and Lord has given us the same paradigm. "For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother." Matthew 12:50
"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my father which is in heaven." Matthew 7:21
"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." Philippians 2:5-8
By men (or women) adding their "vision" (their interpretation, i.e. their "revelation") to the Word of God, making their "vision" the filter through which the Word of God is to be understood, they place their name as being equal with God, making themselves equal with God in the eyes of their followers, i.e. becoming as God themselves instead (to question them, i.e. their "vision" is to question God Himself). May we, in all that that we do as believers in Christ, point men to Christ, and Christ alone, placing no man, "vision," or institution (including the "church"), i.e. no barrier (ourselves, our interpretation, and our "church") between them and the Lord.
"Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Philippians 2: 9-11
"The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear." Matthew 13:41-43
Don't, in your "understanding," in your "visioning" make your belief (your religion) the standard from which man is to be saved, converting and humbling man according to your way—becoming that which "offends." We are to live our lives and encourage others to live their lives "following Christ." "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me." Luke 9:23 We are therefore to humble ourselves before God, not the institutions of man's own making. "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:" 1Peter 5:6. We are to set our mind and heart upon that which is of the Lord and not of the opinions or interpretations of man (for the approval of men, i.e. filtering our "works" for the "kingdom of God" through "the approval of men"). "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth." Colossians 3:1
"And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offenses come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh! Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire. Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven." Matthew 19:2-10 Your physical hands, feet, and eyes do not "offend" you, you have control over them (they do not lead you to sin, your mind leads you into sin—we are to "flee" youthful lusts, using our feet to run from it with), but, in the body of Christ, those members ("ministries") who set up conditions which counter the head, i.e. add or take away from Christ (add to or take away from His Word, i.e. adding to or taking away conditions established by Christ for salvation, i.e. adding conditions for salvation not of Christ), they are an "offense" and are to be cut off for the sake of the body of Christ.
"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Acts 4:12 This is the simplicity of the gospel.
When we seek and develop "the approval of man" by negating from God's word that which divides, i.e. adding to God's word that which unites, we steal from God the souls He seeks, keeping them for ourselves. In doing so, we, in our pride, in our control over our lives and the lives of others, become an offense. Adding to and taking from the Word of God to advance "the kingdom of God" (thereby gaining "the approval of men") is the foundation upon which deception lies. We are to trust in the Lord with all our heart and not lean to our own understanding, accepting God's Word as it is "given," praising the Lord, glorifying His name alone, as "these things come to pass," as "It is written." Filtering God's Word through man's opinions (including his "visions") devoids it of its spiritual value, making man's interpretation of it spiritual instead. We are to evaluate men's opinions, i.e. his feelings and thoughts, (his "revelations" or "visions") from the Word of God rather than evaluate God's Word through men's opinions (including his "revelations" or "visions"), as was done in the garden in Eden (the first use of dialectic 'reasoning' by man, i.e. "the woman"—which 'changed' the world).
A cult is anyone who makes their ideology (their interpretation of the Word of God) equal with, and therefore over and against the Word of God, rejecting any who do not adhere to their interpretation. In matters of sin, the scriptures are clear. Regarding the time of Christ's return, they are not so clear, requiring us to glorify the works of God "when these things come to pass." In the end it all depends upon our faith in Christ (living according to His Word), not the "wisdom" of men. "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." Proverb. 3: 5-6
© Institution for Authority Research, Dean Gotcher 2013-2015