The Bible says a lot about deception in the last days.  Some people are more gullible than others, and that happens because they reason, “If someone is saying good things about Jesus, how can they be bad?”  They don’t understand that it is exactly how deception works:  A wolf disguises himself as a sheep.

So what is the measuring stick for discerning the phoney from the genuine, and how can we be sure that we are not judging the others unfairly?  The measuring stick is the teachings of Jesus.  One would need only a few hours browsing through the four gospels, marking every instruction that Jesus gave to his followers, in order to see that virtually all of the supposedly good things that people do and say in various churches today have not, in fact, arisen from the teachings of Jesus.  Whatever good can be said about what does occur, the sad truth is that almost no one is promoting what Jesus taught, and most churches teach quite the opposite to what Jesus taught.  It’s just that we have become so accustomed to the lies, that we actually think that they came from Jesus.

Like I just said, people everywhere, in and out of every church, have not taken the time to study what Jesus told his followers to do.  No wonder that they are confused… especially when they are only given a choice between one counterfeit and another.

All that is about to change.

One of the fringe benefits of the godlessness that is rampant in the world today is that the deceptions are becoming less subtle.  A hundred years ago, people would have been afraid to say even a fraction of what is being openly taught in churches everywhere today.  

The reason corrupt religious leaders can get away with what they say is that the masses warming pews in church buildings all over the world don’t really want to hear the truth.  They have no interest in following Jesus at all.  What they really want are justifications for their sinfulness.  That need is gradually increasing to the point where open rebellion against God and the most vile heresies are appearing everywhere in church circles, with little or no protest from others about them being there.

I’m going to illustrate that with the life of a man who was voted by Time Magazine as being one of the top 25 evangelical Christians in America.  I will show you how he sold his soul to a false Messiah for an estimated half million dollars, and to the Devil for a few hundred million dollars more.  The evidence is there, and it can be verified.  Yet the church world, with very few exceptions, still praises him as a great man of God.

But let’s start with the false Messiah.  Sun Myung Moon, founder of the Unification Church in South Korea, openly proclaimed himself to be the Messiah early in the 1990s.  He taught that Jesus was a failure, and that he holds the key to ruling the world.  But there were rumours that he was making those same claims and more many years earlier.

Here are some quotes from Moon which go back as far as 1973 (my emphasis in bold):

"The whole world is in my hand, and I will conquer and subjugate the world." (Sun Myung Moon, Master Speaks, 5/17/73)

"Let's say there are 500 sons and daughters like you in each state. Then we could control the government. ... The time will come, without my seeking it, that my words will almost serve as law. If I ask a certain thing, it will be done. If I don't want something, it will not be done." (Sun Myung Moon, Master Speaks 3/24/74)

"So from this time … every organization that goes against the Unification Church will gradually come down or drastically come down and die. Many people will die -- those who go against our movement." (Sun Myung Moon, Master Speaks 2/14/74)

"Abraham was the father of faith, Moses was a man of faith, Jesus was the son of man, trying to carry out his mission at the cost of his life. But they are, in a way, failures." (Sun Myung Moon, "Victory or Defeat," from Master Speaks, March 31, 1973, p.1.)

"Until our mission with the Christian Church is over, we must quote the Bible and use it to explain the Divine Principle. After we receive the inheritance of the Christian Church, we will be free to teach without the Bible. Now, however, our primary mission is to witness to the Christian Church." (Sun Myung Moon, Master Speaks:7, 1965, p.1)

Ironically, Moon had learned one thing from the Bible which all the others appeared to have overlooked.  He had learned that the love of money is the root of all evil, and with enough money he could buy the loyalty of almost anyone, since almost nowhere in the church had the root of all evil ever been seriously dealt with.  

Now we move to our other personality...

In 1983, an evangelical Christian, Tim LaHaye, founded an organisation called The Coalition for Religious Freedom.   By 1984, however, the name of that organisation had changed to The International Coalition for Religious Freedom, and Dan Feffernan, a leader in the Unification Church had become the executive director.  In the 1980s, the main emphasis of the organisation was to defend Moon’s Unification Church.  People like Hal Lindsey (author of “The Late Great Planet Earth”) also joined the organisation.

The strangest thing about LaHaye and Lindsey was that they were supposedly specialists in recognising and teaching against the deceptions that will exist in the religious world shortly before Jesus returns.  If anyone in the world should have been able to spot deception, these men should have been.

But remember that Moon had already worked out that all of them, the supposedly good guys as well as himself, were greedy.  Their love for money made them susceptible to corruption at every level.  It was only a matter of working out what each person's price was.

The following comes from S.R. Shearer, of Antipas Ministries:
In 1985 Carolyn Weaver, writing in Mother Jones Magazine, exposed the fact that LaHaye had received substantial funds from the President of Moon's Unification Church International, Bo Hi Pak.  

She based her report on a cassette tape inadvertently provided to her by an aide to Beverly LaHaye; it was a dictation of a letter from LaHaye to his secretary to be typed and sent to Bo Hi Pak thanking him for a substantial contribution of funds (estimated by some to have been over $500,000.00). A friend of ours - well known in Christian circles - upon reading the article, phoned LaHaye to ascertain the facts. But rather than dealing with the issue - whether or not he took the money - he attacked the source, Mother Jones Magazine, as a "left-wing ragsheet."

Our friend answered, "I don't care if the source was Pravda or Izvestia [two well known Communist papers], is it true?" He angrily hung up the phone. He has since apparently denied the story, most likely compounding his error with a lie. And the fact that he continues to involve himself with Moonie front organizations tends to give credence to Carolyn Weaver - after all, there seems to be very little doubt that the voice on the tape is LaHaye's.

Whether they were so generous with everyone else or not, the Moonies managed to recruit many big name right wing evangelicals to the boards of their various organisations.  These included people like Jerry Falwell’s former second-in-charge, Ron Godwin (later business manager for Moon’s weekly magazine, Insight); the head of the National Religious Broadcasters Association, Ben Armstrong and TBN’s Paul Crouch (both later on the board of Moon’s Coalition for Religious Freedom, along with Hal Lindsey); and Rex Humbard, James Robison, and James Kennedy also members of the Coalition for Religious Freedom.

But whatever Tim LaHaye received from Sun Myung Moon, possibly the most blatant false Messiah of our age, he was soon dealing in figures dozens of times bigger than that, with his unbelievably successful Left Behind series of novels.  He sold over 65 million copies, with some copies selling for as much as $50 apiece.

And that is where the real shocker emerged.  LaHaye created a hero in the book who possessed none of the qualities that one would expect of a true follower of Jesus.  He was almost “lukewarmness” personified; and when it came to standing up to the Antichrist, he caved in at every turn.  By the fourth volume in the series (Soul Harvest), Rayford Strait was the Antichrist’s personal pilot, enjoying all the luxuries of Nicolai Carpathia's nearest and dearest friends.

To be sure, Strait secretly expresses hatred for Carpathia, and even talks of assassinating him, but that only seems to reflect his inability to do or say anything that might alienate Carpathia.  Like double-minded people everywhere, such an attitude creates a great deal of discontent, but not much of a Christian witness.

Finally, LaHaye and his writing assistant Jerry Jenkins, must have had plenty of discussion before they created a situation in volumes 8 & 9, The Mark, & Desecration, where one of the characters receives the Mark of the Beast in his forehead over top of a special “seal” from God that only Christians could see.  What he discovers is that the Antichrist can’t see the seal of God, and God can’t see the Mark (because the Mark has supposedly been covered by the blood of Christ!  Seriously.)  They call it “biloyalty” and exult over how much it helps them to infiltrate enemy headquarters.

So what was LaHaye thinking?  Did he seriously think that evangelicals all over America would continue to buy his novels if they learned that he was telling people that it’s okay to accept the Mark which the Bible says will condemn anyone who receives it to God’s eternal wrath?  The answer must be Yes.  Because the next volume (The Remnant) sold more copies than ever.  Flagging sales were suddenly back on the rise.

LaHaye and Jenkins were obviously filling a huge vacuum in evangelical churches all over the world.  People everywhere were starting to see that they just might NOT disappear before the Tribulation begins, and they so far had very few pastors who would promise salvation to anyone who received the Mark of the Beast.

Like every “convenient doctrine” in the history of the church, those false prophets who were prepared to twist the truth most dramatically become the richest, most popular, and most successful of their time in history.  LaHaye was there to meet the need and reap the harvest.

It is the opinion of this author that LaHaye and Jenkins literally sold their souls to the devil by teaching that people can take the Mark and still be saved.  

LaHaye died last week, and depending on how one views eternity he is now being faced with the consequences of what he chose to do with his life.  He gained the adulation of the whole world, but it is about as certain as it could be for anyone that it cost him his soul to do it.

As mentioned at the start of this article, people everywhere will point to references that LaHaye made to Jesus returning and the Antichrist being a bad guy as proof that he has “gone home to be with the Lord”.  But heaven is not a best-selling novel, to be manipulated for the benefit of the individual.  God has standards, and it is the job of every true prophet to boldly speak the truth regardless of how unpopular it might be.

LaHaye, like so many other today, was ashamed of Jesus, so what else can we expect Jesus and his holy angels to feel about Timothy LaHaye?