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These Prophetic Times – Article 3



In my first two Prophetic Times articles, I spoke a lot about the state of the world and the things going on that will lead to a one-world government. This has not changed. The World Economic Forum had their annual meeting for 2023 in Davos, Switzerland, in January. It was basically more globalist drumbeating. Since this organization is a key driver in this push (along with the United Nations), I encourage you to check out their website HERE for more details. This time as I write, what God has put in my heart to share is, among other things, the current state of the Church.


Various Scriptures point to things not being well with the Church in the last days, although the situation is far from hopeless. That will become more clear as you read on. Here are some passages from the Bible which alert us to what would happen in the last days and, since we are there, these events are coming to pass (all Scriptures NKJV):


1 Timothy 4:1-3:  Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.


2 Timothy 4:3-4:  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.


2 Thessalonians 2:1-4:  Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.


All three of the above passages cover issues in the Church in these last days, although the passage from 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4 goes on to describe some of the actions of the Antichrist after the Rapture, during the Tribulation. Granted, the issues described in each Scripture have always existed in the Church, but in these times of the end they have become more widespread. Furthermore, there is a belief among some Christians about the Church Age (AD 30 to the present) having seven distinctive phases within, with the Church at each phase predominately manifesting characteristics of one of the seven churches that Jesus Christ addresses in Revelation 2 and 3. If you subscribe to that theory, then the Church of today, at the end of the age, is heavily represented by the characteristics of the church in Laodicea:


Revelation 3:14-22:  “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans, write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” ’ ”


Although It Ain’t Over Ministries agrees with some of this theory in principle, we have come to believe that a better way of viewing Church history is through key events that defined certain periods of it, such as the rise of the Roman Catholic Church, the Protestant Reformation, and so on. This does not change the fact that a large part of the modern Church looks disturbingly Laodicean. In the passage above, Jesus identifies issues with that church in Laodicea which disgusted Him. In sum, because of their wealth and self-reliance, their relationship with the Lord had become almost nonexistent. When Jesus said He stands at the door and knocks, that is a poignant picture of how this ancient church had shut Him out. They might not have even been aware of this, blind to their own spiritual condition.


An issue that Laodicea was well known for had to do with its water. It was piped in from a hot spring five miles south of the city, and was tepid (lukewarm) by the time it arrived there.[1] Lukewarm water is unpleasant to drink. One has the urge to spit it out. The Laodicean Christians were likewise lukewarm in their faith. They were not necessarily in blatant sins such as drunkenness or fornication, but they were casual about their faith to the point that it was hard to tell if they were Christians. You could say they were fence straddlers with one foot in the Church and one foot in the world. Although the Lord would never want someone to be lost, He is so disturbed by the condition of the Laodicean believers that He could have wished they were either cold (all the way in the world) or hot (all the way in as Christian disciples). Their middle-of-the-road lifestyle made Him sick. If they did not straighten up He would reject them. The same can be said for a large number of Christians today.


Adding to the problems with today’s Church is its fragmented nature. We have three primary branches of Christianity—Catholicism, Orthodoxy, and Protestantism—with Anglicanism sometimes classified as a fourth branch.[2] The New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) is seeking to establish a fifth branch within Christendom.[3] On top of all this, it is estimated that there are more than 45,000 Christian denominations in the world today.[4] It is true that we will not reach full unity as a body of believers (Ephesians 4:13) until Christ returns and straightens everything out. It is also true that the Lord has not given up on His Church, nor will He. Even so, it is most certainly not His will for the Church to be in the divided, sectarian condition that it is:


1 Corinthians 3:3b-9:  …For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not carnal? Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building.     


Psalm 133:1:  Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!


As bad as the fragmented nature of the Church is, there is an even more dangerous issue plaguing it: False teachings. There are many of them, of which I am only going to name a few because the scope of this problem would take whole books to address. Some of these false teachings have been around for a while but others are relatively new. All false teachings are harmful. So what are some of the big ones that are out there to mislead saved and lost people alike?


  1. The Prosperity Gospel: This teaching is obsessed with the acquisition of wealth. Verses in the Bible that deal with sowing and reaping and also prospering through obedience to God are overemphasized and even twisted. There is a lot of pressure to give money to the church, even above and beyond what Christians typically deal with during offering time on Sunday mornings.
  2. The Health and Wealth Gospel: This is very closely related to the Prosperity Gospel, so much so that they can be thought of as two sides of the same coin. Not only is there an emphasis on money, there is also a belief pushed here that Christians are supposed to be in good health and if they are not, then they either do not have enough faith in God or are in some sort of sin, or both.
  3. The Word-of-Faith Gospel: This gets mixed up in the first two as well as operating on its own. The WOFG tells us that our words have creative power. Yes, words do have power, but the teachers of this doctrine push it to the point of claiming that believers are “little Christs,” therefore our words have divinely infused creative power. The WOFG is also called “name it and claim it” or “blab it and grab it.”
  4. The Social Justice Gospel: Also known as the Social Gospel, this is not new, coming to prominence in the late 19th and early 20th centuries[5], though it has seen a resurgence in recent years. In the SJG, efforts are made to address social problems through the application of Christian principles. That is not entirely bad in and of itself. By its very nature, the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) contains elements of social justice in it. However, the SJG of old pushed important doctrines of our faith into the background, downplaying them, such as those of sin, salvation, heaven and hell, and the future kingdom of God.[6] This is still true of the Social Justice Gospel today. The SJG is most concerned about circumstances here on earth.[7] This concern is closely related to the next falsehood, which is not just one teaching but a group of them.
  5. The New Apostolic Reformation (NAR): The NAR is simultaneously a group of false teachings and a full-fledged movement within Christianity, actually seeking, as mentioned before, to establish a fifth branch within Christendom. NAR is a different animal, however. Some of their beliefs are doctrinally sound, such as the divinity of Jesus Christ and His being the only way to salvation. Because this movement sounds so orthodox at first, many believers are lulled into thinking it is a legitimate set of beliefs. Before long, however, the red flags of falsehood start popping up. Proponents of the New Apostolic Reformation have what used to be called the Seven Mountain Mandate, now addressed as the Seven Spheres of Influence, which they claim that believers must take over in order to Christianize the world, making it ready for Christ’s return. Before we list them, adding to the confusion is the fact that the SMM is also a movement in and of itself.[8] However, it fits NAR theology. These “mountains” are as follows: (1) Education; (2) Religion; (3) Family; (4) Business; (5) Government/Military; (6) Arts/Entertainment; and (7) Media.[9]   It is true that we are to be salt and light to a lost and dying world (Matthew 5:13-16). This nonsense about making the world ready for Christ’s return, though, can be found nowhere in the Bible no matter what Scripture-twisting gymnastics someone tries to perform. It is plain that the world is going to get worse, not better, before the Rapture and that faithful believers will be raptured out of here before the Tribulation even begins (Matthew 24:4-14; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17; Revelation 3:10). It is only after the seven-year Tribulation ends that we will return to the earth with Christ, and when we do, He will rule the world and we will rule with Him (Revelation 19:11-16, 20:4-6). The idea that somehow we can prepare the world for Christ Almighty to take over is arrogant and presumptuous beyond all words—as if He needs our help!
  6. Progressive Christianity: Among other things, this encompasses social justice. Progressive Christianity, as described by its adherents, is characterized by a willingness to question tradition, acceptance of human diversity, a strong emphasis on social justice and care for the poor and the oppressed, and environmental stewardship of the earth.[10] In general, members of this movement do not ascribe to the Biblical [sic] doctrine of the inerrancy of Scripture, and…do not believe that the Bible is the literal Word of God.[11] Progressive Christianity tends to emphasize what is known as “collective salvation” over the Biblical [sic] concept of personal salvation.[12] Collective salvation…emphasizes the restoration of whole cultures and societies to what progressive Christians believe is the correct socioeconomic structure, namely, Marxism. Marxism, in turn, is a theory of economics and politics developed by an atheist (Karl Marx) from unbiblical assumptions.[13]  
  7. The Seeker-Sensitive Church Movement: This movement has actually been around for decades. Various people, such as the late Robert Schuller, are credited with getting the ball rolling on this one, but it was now-retired pastor Rick Warren who really brought this movement into its own with his book, The Purpose Driven Church, published in 1995. The SSCM springs from the Church Growth Movement, an effort to bring in larger numbers of people into churches.[14]  Such things as nontraditional Christian music, seeker-friendly (eartickling) sermons, and small groups are some of the trademarks of this movement. There is some good that has come out of it, such as the Christian 12-step program Celebrate Recovery, but the harm done in watering down the messages of the Bible far outweighs the good done in this movement. Eartickling preachers draw large numbers of people into their churches, the parishioners gladly donate while being made to feel good about being casual Christians (if they are saved at all), and these pulpit hustlers get rich. The SSCM is not just limited to the United States, either. It has spread its tentacles all over the world. That means multiplied millions of believers have been or are being made into spiritual bonsai trees while other multiplied millions come to and leave these churches week after week still lost, being affirmed into hell, unconverted by the powerlessness of watered-down preaching!
  8. Other issues: Critical Race Theory (CRT) is making inroads into the Church, where it is sometimes linked to Progressive Christianity, and rightfully so. Critical Race Theory [sic] is a modern approach to social change, developed from the broader critical theory, which developed out of Marxism.[15]  Among other things, according to CRT, American government, law, culture, and society are inherently and inescapably racist and evil. It also assumes that everyone, even those without racist views, perpetuate racism by supporting those structures.[16]  There are other assumptions made in CRT but, in short, Critical Race Theory [sic] presupposes that everything about American society is thoroughly racist, and minority groups will never be equal until American society is entirely reformed.[17]  How any churches can adopt such a secular and hateful ideology is mindboggling, but it has happened and is happening.


Some churches and denominations are embracing such abominations as homosexuality and abortion. Others are steeped in traditions and will not part with them no matter how unbiblical they are. Seminaries—colleges of theology, basically—train up pastors in sets of doctrine that are usually strongly boxed in by denominational dogma. The New Age Movement is also getting into churches, what with the entrance of such things as yoga, crystal idolatry, angel (tarot) cards, et cetera.[18]  Even the personality test called the enneagram, which is used by a number of churches today, can be considered New Age, having its roots in such things as the occult, Eastern religious mysticism, and so on. [19,20]


Of course, there are various other issues plaguing the Church, such as some congregations and denominations being bogged down in traditionalism and legalism. It would be impossible to name all of them in an article, but those presented here are the main ones, at least in Protestant Christianity. My purpose in calling this stuff out is not to be a heresy hunter. It is my desire that those who have gone off the rails of solid Christian doctrine would get back on them, and that those who have been led astray would awaken to the truths of the faith and cast off the fallacies that they have been taught. It is also a concern of mine that people not be led astray in the first place. If there is one thing I am personally passionate about, it’s ensuring that believers are taught correctly from the Word of God. Doctrinal error is dangerous, even eternally fatal. People must be armed with the truths of the Bible.


Yet another troubling development in the Church is the veritable explosion of different Bible versions. There are hundreds of them out there. Bible versions in and of themselves are not a new thing. Several centuries before we had the New Testament, the Old Testament was translated from Hebrew into Greek. This translation, the Septuagint, was produced in the 200’s BC.[21]  Over time we arrived at the books in the Bible we have today. This was in the 300’s AD[22] , and some apocryphal (non-inspired) books were included also.[23]  Jerome, a Catholic Christian priest and theologian, translated most of the Bible into Latin in the late 300’s and early 400’s (the Vulgate Bible), with some contributions by others.[24]  Without going into all the details, various versions were produced, culminating in the King James Version, first published in 1611. The KJV we are familiar with today is the 1769 revised edition.[25]   In the 1800’s, with the rise of textual criticism in Christianity, some Bible scholars began to rely on alternate Bible texts (Manuscripts). Furthermore, some these scholars, notably Westcott, Hort, the father-son Nestle team, and Aland, were not true believers in Biblical inerrancy in real life, even though the first two were Anglican/Church of England churchmen by occupation.[26,27]  Their NT Greek critical text was completed in 1881.[28]  Since those days, the Bible translation scene has been flooded with hundreds of versions, as noted above. This can be very confusing to new believers. Also, preaching and teaching from watered-down Bible versions is dangerous. The Bible is an inspired series of books, authored ultimately by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:19-21). It is a grave offense to tamper with its contents. Christians are poorly fed from bad translations and can be misled doctrinally by them, and God takes His Word most seriously:


Psalm 138:2:  I will worship toward Your holy temple, and praise Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth; for You have magnified Your word above all Your name.


Revelation 22:18-19:  For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.


With the different texts (manuscripts) being used for the Old and New Testaments, the Bible versions out there are not all equal. Some omit verses or parts of verses, particularly in the New Testament. The Remnant Bible Study Course on our ministry’s website has a detailed teaching on all of this in the lesson entitled, “More About the Bible.” Furthermore, there are several translation methods used, the main two being word-for-word (literal) and thought-for-thought (dynamic).[29,30]  Word-for-word translations are better for serious Bible study, but even there, due to the different base texts used for Bible versions, you have to be careful.


Through careful study and research we have come to the conclusion that the New King James Version of the Bible is the best, most accurate, and literal all-around modern English Bible translation, but the 1769 edition of the King James Version is still very good, although the archaic English can be confusing at times. Both primarily utilize the Masoretic Text for the Old Testament, with the Textus Receptus (Received Text) utilized for the New Testament.[31,32]   In the lesson on our website just mentioned, we explain what these texts are. Suffice it to say here that due to the irregularities that have cropped up in other, critical texts, we trust the NKJV and the KJV not only based on the translators’ faithfulness to the original Bible languages, but also based on the fact that reliable texts were used to translate from. Modern Bible scholars have disdained some of these texts, particularly the Textus Receptus, but if these texts are so bad, then why are NKJV and the KJV so accurate?


We have provided this information to ease the confusion in Bible choices. After all this you may still elect to read the NIV, the NLT, or some other Bible version. That decision is between you and God. We recommend the NKJV or the KJV, not from cultish insistence, but from what we have learned, as said before, through careful study and research. We do not and cannot recommend The Message or The Passion Translation. Avoid those two like the plague! They are a pair of trainwrecks. If you insist on reading them anyway, you do so at your own spiritual peril.


We have addressed the issue of Bible translations, but what about church choices, and what can be done about the situation today? There is not much that one individual can do about the bigger picture. As noted earlier, we will not come into full unity as a body of believers anyway until Christ returns and everything is straightened out by Him. If we as Christians believe that Jesus Christ is divine, fully God yet fully man; that God is triune (One God in three Persons—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit); that Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation; and that the Bible is the true, inerrant, inspired, and authoritative Word of God, then we have enough common ground to build fellowship despite differences in denominations or even branches of the faith and secondary non-soteriological issues. That is a good starting point.


It is wise to pray about what church to be a part of. As stated above, the Bible translation you use matters, though we recognize that choice of Bible is still a personal matter. Closeness to God is a must. This is helped by a strong prayer, meditation, and Bible reading life. Fasting at least occasionally if you are physically able to do so not only helps the body, it puts the flesh in subjection and increases sensitivity to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Wherever possible, fellowship with other believers both inside and outside of church. Be teachable enough to ditch doctrinal error in favor of Biblical truth and dedicated enough to stick with what you know once you have learned such truth. You may not change the bigger picture as an individual, but you can be a source of Christian unity and love.


With the overwhelming variety of churches, Bibles, and erroneous or outright false teachings out there, it is good to have a working knowledge of these things, which has been provided here in this article. Do not spend an excessive amount of time researching every nuance of these subjects. If you do, not only will you not get anywhere, you also might become confused and discouraged, even to the point of doubting the Christian faith, and the amount of deception out there is increasing.


Instead, become as familiar as you can with the Lord and with right Biblical teachings and doctrines. I cannot stress it enough—read your Bible daily! Study it, meditate on it, get the Word down into your heart. Pray to God that He will protect you from being deceived. And remember, there is hope. The Rapture, although no one can say exactly when it will happen, is drawing near. There have been signs of revival, such as what happened at Asbury College in and other locations around the world in February 2023. We fully expect a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit before Christ returns (Joel 2:28-32). Be done with casual Christianity and become a true disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ. Shine like a brilliant light in the growing darkness of these last days, these prophetic times.





[1] August 27, 2017, article by Michael Maynard, “Warning Signs—Lukewarm in Laodicea.” Retrieved 03/04/2023.

[2] January 23, 2023, article, “What are the Origins of the Various Branches of Christianity?” Retrieved 03/02/2023.

[3]   Wikipedia article, “New Apostolic Reformation.” Retrieved 03/08/2023.

[4] July 29, 2022, article by Donavyn Coffey, “Why Does Christianity Have So Many Denominations?” Retrieved 03/02/2023.

[5]   Wikipedia article, “Social Gospel.” Retrieved 03/22/2023.     

[6] January 4, 2022, article, “What is the Social Gospel?” Retrieved 03/22/2023.

[7]   Ibid.

[8]   Wikipedia article, “Seven Mountain Mandate.” Retrieved 03/22/2023.

[9] July 15, 2022, article, “What is the Seven Mountain Mandate, and is it Biblical?” Retrieved 03/08/2023.

[10] Wikipedia article, “Progressive Christianity.” Retrieved 03/12/2023.

[11] January 4, 2022, article, “What is Progressive Christianity, and is it Biblical?” Retrieved 03/12/2023.

[12] Ibid.

[13] Ibid.

[14] Wikipedia article, “Church Growth.” Retrieved 03/12/2023.

[15] January 4, 2022, article, “What is the Critical Race Theory?” Retrieved 03/12/2023.

[16] Ibid.

[17] Ibid.

[18] August 16, 2019, article by Doreen Virtue, “20 New Age Practices that are Infiltrating the Church.” Retrieved 03/23/2023.

[19] Ibid.

[20] January 4, 2022, article, “Does the Enneagram of Personality Contradict the Bible?” Retrieved 03/23/2023.

[21] Wikipedia article, “Septuagint.” Retrieved 03/21/2023.

[22] Wikipedia article, “Biblical canon.” Retrieved 03/21/2023.

[23] Ibid.

[24] Wikipedia article, “Jerome.” Retrieved 03/21/2023.

[25] Wikipedia article, “King James Version.” Retrieved 03/21/2023.

[26] Wikipedia article, “Brooke Foss Westcott.” Retrieved 03/21/2023.

[27] Wikipedia article, “F. J. A. Hort.” Retrieved 03/21/2023.

[28] Wikipedia article, “Westcott and Hort.” Retrieved 03/21/2023.

[29] Wikipedia article, “Bible translations.” Retrieved 03/21/2023.

[30] Article, “The Difference Between Literal and Dynamic Translations of the Bible.” Retrieved 03/23/2023.

[31] Wikipedia article, “King James Version.” Retrieved 03/21/2023.

[32] Wikipedia article, “New King James Version.” Retrieved 03/21/2023.

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