February 20 "Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of your kingdom. You love righteousness and hate wickedness, therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness more than your companions." Psalm 45:6-7 When this era is over, the Messiah will reign over all the earth. He will bring in righteousness, peace, and joy. What a day that will be! But until then ...the world lies under the power of the evil one, whom the Bible calls "the god of this world." "But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds THE GOD OF THIS WORLD 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." 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 Have you been blinded? If you were, how would you know? The very essence of deception is that the person deceived doesn't know it. So how CAN you know whether you've been deceived? There is only one way to know, and that is to know intimately the Word of God, the Scriptures he gave us which explain to us what it's all about, who he is, who we are, where we're headed, and how we're going to get there. In the Bible, God tells the end from the beginning, and only the Word of God can do that. It's the only "holy" book that contains prophecy because only God knows the future and prophecy validates itself against all other claims. The Bible is a fountain of knowledge, a sure foundation to all who receive it. It is the only source that is infallible, the only sure solid rock foundation one can stand upon throughout all the trials, all the perplexities, all the issues of life. When one knows the Word of God intimately, having put in the time every day to feed thereby, only then will he be able to discern what is true and what is not. If not, then they will succumb to the lies of mediums and psychics, Nostradamus, Edgar Cayce, and all the multitudes of others peddling deception. They'll fall for the teachings of the "New Age" movement headed up by the likes of Marianne Williamson, Oprah Winfrey, Eckhart Tolle and so many more. Or they'll fall for the false religions of the likes of Bill Johnson, Kenneth Copeland, Benny Hinn, Joel Osteen, Rick Warren, the “New Apostolic Reformation,” and the Word of Faith teachers. These all present teachings that sound SO good. But they're wolves in sheep's clothing. If a person is not absolutely grounded in the Word of God they will be sitting ducks before characters like these. It takes discernment to see behind the false teachings, and discernment is a spiritual gift that only the Spirit of God can give. There is no other source of truth, friends. The Word of God is the Word God himself has given to us for these very purposes. He wants us to know him. How can one know God? By taking in all he has said in "the manufacturer's handbook" that he has given for mankind. Take it. Read it. Prayerfully. Every time you pick up that book ask the Lord to reveal great truths to you from his Word and you will be amazed as he does. And pray for discernment. The Bible has told us what to watch for that will signal the end of the age, and it is this generation that has seen those things. We're in the last of the last days, and it is vitally important that we be grounded in the truth, because the deceptions of the last days are going to be unlike anything the world has seen before. When the disciples asked Jesus what would be the signs of his return, the very first thing he said was, "Take heed that you be not deceived" (Luke 21:8). He stressed, he underlined, he put exclamation points on those words, because the deceptions of the last days will be so convincing that "even the elect" might be deceived, wherever that's possible. "For false christs and FALSE PROPHETS will rise and show great SIGNS AND WONDERS, TO DECEIVE, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand." Matthew 24:24-25 Friends we're in that day and it can't be stressed strongly enough the importance of knowing the Word of God to protect ourselves from what's coming upon the world. If you don't have a Bible, GET ONE! And make sure it isn't one of the newer "modern" versions, because those modern versions have altered the Word of God and some have even omitted key passages. It's vitally important to know what the Lord has truly said, to take it in and make it a part of you. We're almost there. Be forewarned.