The Lord Jesus Himself and the apostles warned about the spiritual deception and apostasy that would be a conspicuous feature in the professing Christian Church in the last days. Paul not only described the conditions that existed in the Church in Timothy’s time but was also describing the conditions that exist today within the Church which humanly speaking we call Christendom. Whether it is the Baptists, the Methodists, the Salvation Army, The Brethren Assemblies, the Assemblies of God or any other denominational denomination they have all been tainted to a greater or lesser degree by apostasy and false and unbiblical doctrines. Some of these that have infiltrated the Church are faith prosperity, ordination of homosexuals and lesbians, Purpose Driven marketing church growth strategies, Post-Modernism, the Emerging church not to mention ecumenism and Interfaith associations.
Scandalizing the Church
Another thing to scandalize the Church is the document called “A Common Word Between Us” presented by leading Muslim Clergy to Christian leaders to sign as an affirmation of their willingness to amalgamate with Islam and to work alongside Muslims for world peace. The document itself tries to imply that Allah is the same God that Christians and Jews worship. However, in reality, Allah is not the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob at all but the Mesopotamian moon-god of war symbolised by the crossed swords and the crescent moon. Of course these images are the trade-marks of Islam.
A form of godliness
When Paul wrote to Timothy he was writing about false brethren and false teachers that would be a conspicuous feature within in the professing Christian Church. These people Paul said would have, “a form of godliness, but deny its power.” He also said that these kinds of men “oppose the truth-men of depraved minds, who as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected.” While Paul had in mind the people in the world at large his main emphasis was on those who professed a form of godliness but whose lifestyles denied God’s power to change them down on the inside. These people Paul described were not primarily people in the world but people in the Church. The context of what he said applies specifically to the last days. While apostasy and spiritual deception has always marked the Church it will be a conspicuous feature of the last days. When you look at the state of the professing Christian Church today especially in the west and the rapid rise of Islam that says, “God has no son” it is abundantly clear that we are seeing the sun set on the traditional form of Christianity as we have known it historically.
Spiritual seduction deception and apostasy
The spiritual seduction, deception and apostasy we see escalating out of control today will culminate in the appearance of the Antichrist himself. Paul said this would be so when he wrote; “Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come. Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4) How then does Second Timothy Chapter two describe those who have a form of godliness but deny its power to change them? Now let’s look at this chapter three beginning at verse one…
1. People will profess godliness but deny its power to change them inwardly.
(Vs. 1-5) “But mark this: There will be terrible times (times of stress) in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God-having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.”
Now the King James Version says that in the last days there will be “perilous times” but the Greek says “times of stress.” Today in our world stress is the number one feature of our contemporary western culture. The kind of stress the Bible speaks about here is directly generated by the lifestyles people live today. When you look at this list of people described here it begins with “lovers of themselves and lovers of money” and ends with “lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.” This accurately describes the society in which we are living today in the world as well as the spiritual condition of the professing Christian Church in the West. The startling thing in these scriptures is that primarily it is not talking about the unbelievers in the world but professing Christians in the Church. They have a form of godliness but will not allow themselves to be changed inwardly.
Corruption is irreversible
Now corruption is irreversible. Refrigeration will slow down the process of corruption but not stop it. For example if you put a piece of fruit in the fridge it will last much longer than in the open air but it will eventually rot and decay. Many churches are like refrigerators. People are not really changed inwardly by the Holy Spirit. The process of corruption may be slower but it is still irreversible. The only answer is the New Creation. (2 Corinthians 5:17) (John 1:12-13 3:3) (Galatians 6:15) (Romans 8:7-9 10:9-13, 17)
Sitting on the fence
Many in the Church seek for blessings, particularly spiritual gifts, power, healing and prosperity but very few hunger and thirst after righteousness. Soon we will all have to make one of three choices. Firstly, we can choose the “Babylon of false religion” with its ecumenism, Charismania, Hyper faith and interfaith associations. Jeremiah calls them “The Circle of the Merrymakers.” (Jeremiah 15:17) Secondly, we can completely backslide into the “’Egypt’ of this world.” Thirdly, we can remain faithful to the Lord Jesus Christ and to His Word, the Bible. Multitudes in the Church are sitting on the fence between the kingdom of this world and the Kingdom of God but God is going to “electrify the fence” and everyone will have to jump one way or the other.
Gathering of scattering?
Many Christians are not really committed to Jesus and all out for Him but they are not really at home in the world either and there is no real sense of urgency in them to fulfil the great commission. They attend Church meetings and Bible studies and profess to believe but they are really living their lives just like the pagans do in the world. They have developed a false sense of spiritual security but don’t realize their true spiritual condition before God. They live in a kind of “neutral zone” between two worlds where spiritual perceptions are not really clear but rather grey and obscure. However, the Bible does not teach this category of spiritual living. We are either hot for the Lord Jesus and for the establishment of his Kingdom on this earth or we are cold. The Lord Jesus himself said, “He that is not with me is against me and he who does not gather with me scatters”
Philadelphia or Laodicea?
In the book of Revelation Jesus speaks to the lukewarm Church of Laodicea and says that He will spew it out of his mouth if it does not repent. Either we are progressing in our spiritual lives or backsliding because there is no middle course. In fact the Bible says that we are not to even associate with these kinds of people in the Church! That seems hard but it’s God’s Word not mine! Either we belong to a “‘Philadelphian kind of Church” or a “Laodicean kind of church” or to be more precise either we are either “a Philadelphian type of Christian” or “a Laodicean type of Christian” We cannot be both at the same time! So then those who have a form of godliness but deny its power will not allow the Holy Spirit of God to change them down on the inside.
2. Those who profess godliness but deny its power to change them inwardly entice the unstable by appealing to their carnal and fleshly appetites.
(Vs. 6) “They are the kind that worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires.”
There is a lot of preaching and worship leading these days that actually appeal to the carnal and fleshly appetites of people. Sometimes worship has become so professional that it has become the worship of worship itself. It has become entertainment for Christians. Christian musicians and singers are treated like Pop stars. The majority of the hyped up worship in the modern Church these days appeals to the carnal appetites and desires of the flesh.
Opulance in abundance!
Now Satan will always work on the women in the Church because this is what he did with Eve in the Garden of Eden. While God has given spiritual gifts to men and women without partiality He still has a Biblical order for men and women in ministry. Women are more susceptible to deception than men; however, it needs also to be said that they can be more sensitive to the voice of God. For example in a marriage where the couple is walking in the power of the Holy Spirit the woman will often hear from the Lord before the man does. He may be out working hard but his wife is at home where it is quiet and able to read the Bible, pray and listen to good Bible teaching. If you look at the money preaching Churches and many of their leading Charismatic Pastors they are by enlarge good-looking, wear expensive clothes, drive around in expensive cars and adorn themselves with watches and bracelets that cost a lot of money. They stay in 5 star hotels in keeping with their lavish lifestyles.
Adulated by women
Furthermore, with their alluring theology, their persuasive personalities and smooth talk they attract vulnerable and naïve women who have been captivated by all kinds of fleshly and carnal desires. Many single and even married women will often follow whatever these kinds of men ask them to do. Of course these men cultivate their popularity and enjoy the adulation of the women in their congregations. Indeed Peter in his epistle said concerning them, “having eyes full of adultery that do not cease from sin.” Indeed we have an epidemic of “Shooting Stars” that are here today but gone tomorrow. The tragedy is when they have left town with all that money they leave multitudes of spiritual casualties behind them! Indeed they are “an accursed brood” and “deadly vipers” whose consciences have been “seared as with a hot iron!”
Is God a spiritual dispensing machine?
Many others in the Church today if they are brutally honest with themselves only follow Jesus for the material benefits they can acquire in this world. Many preachers today are talking about prosperity and money and big building projects as if wealth is automatically a sign of God’s blessing. This was exactly the case in the time of Jeremiah before the judgment by the Babylonians. The popular “modern” prophets were prophesying falsely and the people loved it this way. (Jeremiah 5:30-31) Paul the Apostle tells us about these kinds of people when he says to the Christians at Philippi, “For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things.” (Philippians 3:18-19) These people he describes were once Christians. Many professing Christians today want Jesus and the blessings He brings but they are enemies of the cross of Christ because their real god is their “belly” (fleshly appetites and desires). Their Jesus is not the real Jesus of the Bible. They refuse to take up their cross daily and follow Him. They are very much at home in this world and do not really consider or seriously contemplate the world to come. Paul continues to say, “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a saviour from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 3:20) If we are not eagerly waiting for Jesus’ return then God is going to arrange things in such a way that we will desperately yearn for His return. Remember that we are heading for The Time of Jacob’s Trouble and the reign of the Antichrist. Remember Lot’s wife. She perished because she clung to the things of this world.
3. Those who profess godliness but deny its power to change them inwardly have a religious knowledge but they are never able to discover the real truth for themselves.
(Vs. 7) “Always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth.”
These false teachers claim to have spiritual knowledge and insight. However, appealing their teaching is to the carnal mind and flesh it is never the truth. Satan is too clever to tell an outright lie so he takes a Biblical truth and makes it the foundation for doctrine. There is only one foundation upon which all Biblical truth should be based and that is the work of the cross and the resurrection. Christ crucified, Christ Risen from the dead and Christ coming again, upon the foundation of this truth all other truth is built. (1 Corinthians 3:11) Whatever you doctrine is if the Lord Jesus Christ is not the foundation upon which you are building your theology and the central focus of your Biblical understanding it will result in the truth becoming a lie. Satan is a past master at laying truth and error side by side. Even in other religions there will be some things that are true and even in heretical churches there will be some things that are true and supported by certain Bible texts but because the Lord Jesus and the whole weight of scripture is not central in those churches then they will ever ne learning but never arrive at the knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus and in the Bible. Many Churches today claim to love Jesus but do not love His Word the Bible; consequently they have a different Jesus.
Doctrines of demons
What false teachers preach may contain elements of truth or even a Biblical truth itself but it is in fact not the whole truth. Sometimes it is not what they are saying that is wrong but what they are failing to say that turns the truth into a lie. Satan is very clever. He always mixes truth with error. It is like a rat- trap. You have the cheese but that is only the enticement. The reality is that when the rat takes the cheese it brings about its own destruction. Likewise arsenic is a deadly poison but when it is mixed little by little over a period of time with delicious food it accumulates in the body eventually bringing about death. The process takes time but in the end it is deadly. All false doctrine is taught and inspired by demons. This will characterize the last days according to the Apostle Paul who said, “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.” (1Timothy 4: 1-2)
False prophets and teachers will multiply
There have always been false prophets and teachers around but in the last days they will multiply. The Apostle Peter said, “But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them —bringing swift destruction on themselves.Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute.In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.” (2 Peter 2:1-3) False teachers and prophets are never able to come to the knowledge of the truth because God gives them over to deception like he did to the false prophets who led King Ahab astray.
We read about this in the book of First Kings. “Micaiah (a true prophet) continued, “Therefore hear the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on his throne with all the host of heaven standing around him on his right and on his left. And the Lord said, ‘Who will entice Ahab into attacking Ramoth Gilead and going to his death there?’ “One suggested this, and another that.Finally, a spirit came forward, stood before the Lord and said, ‘I will entice him.’ “‘By what means?’ the Lord asked. “‘I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouths of all his prophets,’ he said. “‘You will succeed in enticing him,’ said the Lord. ‘Go and do it.’ “So now the Lord has put a lying spirit in the mouths of all these prophets of yours. The Lord has decreed disaster for you.” (1 Kings 22:19-23) If we hear the truth but refuse to love and obey it then God Himself will give us over to “a powerful delusion” to believe the lies of the Antichrist himself and if God does this then we will no longer be able to believe the truth even when we hear it. In fact God calls it “delighting in wickedness.” (2 Thessalonians 2:12) Tragically many lwaders in the Church will repeat Ahab’s folly. Now let’s continue with the text…
4. Those who profess godliness but deny its power to change them inwardly are influenced by witchcraft but eventually they will be exposed for what they are.
(Vs. 8-9) “Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these men oppose the truth-men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.”
Now Jannes and Jambres were the magicians in Egypt that counterfeited the miracles of Moses. They did this by occult power. However, there came a point where they could not counterfeit all of them and Moses and Aaron won the day. So it will be the same in the last days. The final spiritual conflict will not be primarily in the area of doctrine but in the area of power. Like Moses and Aaron the Christians will prevail over the forces of Satan. The false teachers and prophets in the Church in the last days will be exposed, defeated and overcome by the faithful remnant. Those who are wise will understand but those who reject the truth will be ever learning but never come to the knowledge of that truth. At the end only those who obey and receive the love of the truth will prevail. As it is written, “They overcame him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death” (Revelation 12:11)
5. Those who profess godliness but deny its power to change them inwardly will persecute the Godly.
(Vs. 12) “In fact everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”
Persecution never starts from the secular powers. It always begins within the professing Christian Church. Jesus Himself said that this had happened to the prophets throughout Israel’s history and would happen to the Church especially in the last days. Jesus said, “But before all this, they will lay hands on you and persecute you. They will deliver you to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. This will result in your being witnesses to them. But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. All men will hate you because of me. But not a hair of your head will perish. By standing firm you will gain life” (Luke 21:12-19) (See also Matthew 23:29-39, 24:9-13)
Sucking up to Babylon
Just as the House of Saul persecuted the House of David so the false teachers and false brethren will persecute the faithful remnant in the last days. This is already happening. Many of our leaders are compromising with the Church of Rome. Some years ago now leading evangelical leaders signed a contract with the Church of Rome not to try and convert Roman Catholics. This is just like Hezekiah showing the treasures of the temple to the King of Babylon. (2 Kings 20:12-13) In an edition of the Christian newspaper New Life a few years ago there were statements by Billy Graham and other evangelical leaders praising Pope John Paul II despite his support for the persecution of Bible believing Christians in third world Roman Catholic countries at the time. For over 600 years the Roman Catholic Church systematically persecuted Jews and Bible believing Christians during the Inquisition. Once more right at the end of this present age Rome as part of the “Super Church” will persecute Jews and born again Christians. This is happening today in third world countries that are dominated by Roman Catholicism. Many true believers will be betrayed by the leaders in their own denominations and given over to the secular government for punishment. It will be a case of the Bride of Satan persecuting the Bride of Christ. The spirit of Babylon is well entrenched in Christendom.
The Source of all false religion
The mystery religions of Babylon, in fact all false religion has their roots in the Babylon of Nimrod and Semiramis. In the book of Revelation the apostle John wrote about the city of Babylon and its destruction calling it “the Mother of Harlots” because it is the source of all false religion. Historically Babylon was never destroyed by just atrophied over the centuries. Babylon in Prophecy is described as a city in a desert by the sea and that its destruction is heard at the Red Sea. The city that it speaks about is not Rome but would have to be Mecca. Islam goes way back past the time of Mohammad. (See the study Fallen, Fallen is Babylon) The description of the Babylon in Bible Prophecy and its ultimate demise is clearly revealed in the book of Revelation. Ultimately the Antichrist will destroy the harlot with the full sanction of his secular government. As it is written, “Then the angel said to me, “The waters you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages. The beast and the ten horns you saw will hate the prostitute. They will bring her to ruin and leave her naked; they will eat her flesh and burn her with fire. For God has put it into their hearts to accomplish his purpose by agreeing to give the beast their power to rule, until God’s words are fulfilled. The woman you saw is the great city that rules over the kings of the earth.” (Revelation 17:15-18) It is clear that the Antichrist and his Beast Empire will use religion to bring themselves to power and then destroy it! When you look at Islam it’s is not just another religion, although it is that, but more so it is a political and economic system of government and a military power whose emblem is the crossed swords. This emblem is the one used by the Muslim Brotherhood today. Mecca in Saudi Arabia is the source of Islam but to fundamentalist Jihad minded Muslims it is a harlot to Islam because of its compromise and trading with the western nations. Iran wants to nuke Mecca if it could! Of course Islam today also persecutes Christians. God is going to deal decisively with Islam when the Lord Jesus comes back!
If you look at the history of Christendom from the time of Constantine, which saw the immergence of the Church of Rome, it has always worked hand in hand with the secular powers and persecuted Bible believing Christians and Jews. The apostasy really kicked in with Constantine when he sanctioned Christianity as the official religion of the Roman Empire. During the reign of Constantime the Babylonian captivity of Christendom came about. Since that time Institutionalised Christianity has escalated out of all Biblical proportions today with its money preachers, the heretics and false prophets and teachers on television, not to mention the unbiblical and secular trends inundating the Church.
A pattern repeated
This pattern of compromise is repeated in the Bible again and again going all the way back to Cain and Abel. Abel knew that the only way he could approach God was through a blood sacrifice and this made him acceptable to God. However, Cain offered up to God the work of his own hands, i.e., he approached God on the basis of his own works. When the Lord rejected his offering he went out and killed his brother because his deeds were evil in God’s sight. As the Apostle John writes, “Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brothers were righteous.” (1 John 3:12) This was the first manifestation of a false brother persecuting a true brother. False Christians will always persecute the true Christians just as the people of Israel persecuted the prophets and those who would not compromise their faith in God’s Word. This has been a conspicuous pattern throughout the history of Christendom. When the Antichrist comes to power there will be the greatest apostasy the world has ever seen. Multitudes of professing Christians will not only deny their faith but also betray their fellow Christians. John the Apostle alludes to this when he says, “Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads. His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth.” (Revelation 12:3-4)
The ‘Red’ Dragon
The red dragon symbolizes the bloody persecution of the Church by Satan through the Antichrist and his beast empire. The seven heads, ten horns and seven crowns are his empire systematically persecuting faithful believers. The “stars” are professing Christians. “Stars” in the Bible are symbols for believers in both Testaments.
In a very short span of time one third of the professing Christian Church will fall away. (2 Thessalonians 2:3) This is why we must walk very closely with Jesus through prayer and obedience to His Word and by staying under the protection of His blood. If we learn to persevere in trials and temptations now with the strength and enabling power of the Holy Spirit then we will be able to stand when persecution comes. As the “’birth pangs” of war, disease, famines, earthquakes and spiritual deception escalate in intensity and frequency the Lord will do a mighty “caesarean section” and remove the faithful Church just before the bowls of His wrath are poured out on the earth’s inhabitants.
6. Those who profess godliness but deny its power to change them inwardly will continue to deceive themselves and those who listen to them.
(Vs. 13) “While evil men and impostors (enchanters) will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.”
This was the precise case in the time of Jeremiah before Jerusalem fell under the judgment of God. Jeremiah tells us what it was like, “A horrible and shocking thing has happened in the land. The prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own authority, and my people love it this way. But what will you do in the end? From the least to the greatest, all are greedy for gain; prophets and priests alike, all practice deceit. They dress the wound of My people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace. Are they ashamed of their loathsome conduct? No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush. So they will fall among the fallen; they will be brought down when I punish them,’ says the Lord” (Jeremiah 5:30-31; 6:13-15). There have always been false prophets and teachers around and those who listen to them but in the last days they will increase and multiply. (See Matthew 24:24) (1Timothy 4:1) (2 Timothy 4:3-4) (2 Peter 2:1-3) (Jude 17-19)
7. The only safeguard today against spiritual deception is the Word of God.
(Vs.16-17) “All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
Today in the Church, there is a growing emphasis on experiential theology and a decline in sound Biblical doctrine. The name of the Church Laodicea literally means “People’s opinions.” This is the character of the Church of the last days. The Church at Laodicea was lukewarm, self-centred, materialistic and rich just like the Church today especially in the developed western nations. Right now the countries experiencing revival are the Roman Catholic ones in South America, Italy, and many other third world countries that never experienced the reformation, not to mention the hundreds of thousands of Muslims being saved every day in Islamic countries despite severe persecution. However, the countries that experienced the reformation for over 500 years such as Germany, Switzerland, Holland and England are in Spiritual decline. In fact Europe is being overrun by Islam!
More than ever before we need to repent of our materialism and Luke warmness and do what God says to do, “Break up your unploughed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, until He comes and showers righteousness on you.” (Hosea 10:12b) God can send revival to the Western Church but He may have to use persecution to bring it about. He may permit the devil to persecute the Western Church to purify it and to mobilize it in evangelism. This is what happened to the first century believers in the book of Acts. Even though the Church on the whole was not in a backslidden state it had become comfortable to a great degree but with the death of Stephen and the persecution that followed the Church was scattered but became active in evangelism. As it is written, “Those who had been scattered (by persecution) preached the word wherever they went” (Acts 8:4)
The Gifts of the Spirit
We need the Gifts of the Spirit as well as the Word of God if we are to avoid spiritual deception and know God’s power in winning the lost and sanctifying the saints! When Paul was leaving the Elders in Ephesus he said to them, “Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which He brought with His own blood. I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears. Now I commit you to God and to the word of His grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.” (Acts 20:28-32)
An age of stress!
There is no doubt that we live in an age of stress. It is the modern word today that weighs heavily on people’s hearts even if they do not like speaking about it. There are many stressed out in Christendom today because the source of their stress is that they are no longer confident that the Bible is in its entirety is the Word of the Living God and can be trusted. Today what Paul said to the Elders at Ephesus over 2,000 years ago is happening on a scale unequalled in the history of the Church. The Lord Jesus through His Holy Spirit has imparted to His Body the faithful Church the gifts of the Spirit which are in fact the weapons and armour to equip His blood washed saints for the spiritual war with Satan and his forces.
The Armour of God
Every day we need to put on the whole armour of God individually and the Church corporately to move in the genuine gifts of the Spirit and in the power of the Word of God. Practiced Biblically, the gifts of the Spirit will empower the local Church to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom in a society that is weighed down with stress, anxiety and fear at what is coming upon the world. More than at any other time in history those who belong to the Lord Jesus and are His bond-slaves must witness, work and walk in the Word of God and by the power of the blessed Holy Spirit!