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From: "ANZAC Prophetic List" <prophetic@...>
Date: Fri, 13 Feb 2004 00:27:58 -0600
Forwarded by:        <EPC@...>

"Anatomy of Deception"
-by Art Katz.

God has triggered something in my heart to raise the 
questions of authenticity before the Body of Christ.  Are we 
willing for authenticity's sake and for truth's sake not to 
grasp at the first straw that floats our way, and which 
seems to present the possibility of solving our problems?  
Are we willing to refrain from simulating something out of 
our own humanity that has the appearance of love, but is 
not?  I want that which comes down from above, however 
long I have got to bear the terrible agony and reputation of 
'lovelessness.'  I do not want a saccharine counterfeit.  
Authentic things do not come cheap.  They never have.  
It is we, as believers, who have been inducted into the 
spirit of glib, unctuous and facile kinds of doings.

Do we recognize that there is a cross for us to bear, and it 
is to this suffering that we are called, and that the resolution 
of the issue will not be far from us if we seek the things 
that are authentic and true?  Do we have the discernment 
to distinguish the authentic from the counterfeit?  Are we so 
habituated to success, and so desirous of seeing some 
visible effect of power that we are not too discriminating so 
long as we 'get it,' somehow?  We want the excitement; we 
want the titillation; we want the appearance of power; we 
want to succeed, because the possibility of failure is a 
form of death we are not willing to bear, thus avoiding the 
Cross.  We ought rather to ask ourselves what is success 
as God defines it?

Nazi Germany put great emphasis on demonstrations of a 
very impressive kind, such as their meetings at Nuremburg 
with marches and torchlight ceremonies, almost like pagan 
practices, that filled the void in German life with emotion 
and intensity.  It was an answer to a need for fulfillment, 
excitement and engagement.  If we do not have a valid 
apostolic reality in our spiritual life, that void will be filled 
by other contenders who are only awaiting their opportunity.  
If we move into the realm of what is false, synthetic, humanly 
contrived and not the operation of the Spirit, we can move 
very easily from the charismatic to the demonic. 

We cannot tell the difference between the hunger for God 
and the hunger for experience.  If we have a real hunger for 
God, we do not have to go to places where 'signs and 
wonders' abound.  Last Days' deceptions are related to an 
inadequate view of God by which we interpret the 'blessing' 
or seeming power as being the evidence of God as we 
know Him, but the true knowledge of God would have made 
no room for that kind of understanding, or even the desire for 
these phenomena in the form in which they have been manifested.

There are some people who see God as some kind of a 
lackey or errand boy, who provides the convenience of 
meetings for this kind of entertainment and so-called 
'blessing'... The thing that we need is to be transformed into 
His image, not to project our image onto Him.  He is not a 
convenience for us.  He is God.  He is the Creator.  He is 
the Almighty.  I think those words have lost their cogency.  
Maybe we have said them too often.  They have become a 
catechism or an invocation of a mechanical kind.  Unless 
we know Him in the place that is too deep for words, then 
we do not really know Him. Until there is a gasp and a 
splutter, until we find ourselves prostrate and stretched out 
as dead, do we really know Him? 

When the Last Days' deceptions come, of which we have 
been warned, will they not come with 'good' things?  Can we 
tell the difference between the true and the false, especially 
when we want so much to be blessed and to have an 
experience and be relieved of our hang-ups and depressions?  
How discriminating are we about the source from which the 
'blessing' comes?  How do we tell whether something is of 
God, or a contrary spirit who is able to lift the depression 
that he may well have inflicted in the first place?  Here is the 
key: our authentic knowledge of God, not as we thought 
Him to be, but as He, in fact, is.

Deception is a deception when it contains elements that are 
dubious and suspicious, and at the same time there seems 
to be apparent blessing. Who has the acumen and the 
discernment to see through it except a people of priestly 
stature whose discernment has been increased by the 
exercise of it?  And who can discern between good and evil, 
between the profane and the holy?  If blessings, so called, 
can succeed in bringing the Church to viewing benefit as the 
criterion by which something is judged to be of God, we may 
well have been brought to the very ground of deception itself.  
There is something more important than benefits, something 
more important than being released from depression; it is 
the holiness of God, it is His name, it is His honor, it is He 
Himself.  Receiving benefit of a dubious kind is too high a 
price to pay if it is going to throw any shadow upon His great Name. 

It is remarkable that, though we are explicitly warned about 
end-time lying signs and wonders (2 Thess 2:9; Matt 24:24), 
we somehow imagine that it is future, and mindlessly trust 
ourselves in our greed for experiences, empowerments, or 
releases, to dubious personalities who have caught the public 
fancy in incredible overnight popularity.  I profoundly respect 
God' s use of the weak and the foolish thing, but I cannot, for 
that reason, endorse what is garish, cheap and coarse as 
being that weak and foolish thing of which Paul speaks.  
"Holiness unto the Lord" is still the standard of God's House, 
even when it is unspectacular and unassuming in the eyes of 
the world, and even in our own eyes.

Waiting is a priestly function, and we need to wait to see if 
our spirits are hospitable to what is being mediated from 
church platforms.  Is it compatible with our already existing 
knowledge of God?  If it is not compatible, they can stand 
on their heads, run all over the platform, and every other 
kind of madness.  We are not to mindlessly give ourselves 
to it at all.  Our integrity in God needs to be guarded, and 
we should not allow ourselves to be influenced, taken up 
and affected by the current trends, or else we will never 
have anything significant to give.

What has come to us in our relationship with God, our 
personal history of the knowledge of God, has come 
through obedience and the reproaches that accompany 
obedience, and the sufferings that come with following the 
Lord.  It did not come cheap.  That knowledge is precious 
and dear.  We need to make it the index of all other 
knowledge, and if present phenomena are not compatible 
with what we already know, and have tested, as being the 
knowledge of God as God, then we need to hold at arm's 
length that which purports to be from God, even if it is a 'blessing' to others.

I have found safety in aligning new phenomena with what 
already is my knowledge of the holiness of God through my 
forty-year walk.  I am jealous over that inward deposit, that 
residue of the knowledge of God that is beyond words; it 
cannot be articulated, but I know it to be there, and it is in 
the innermost place of my being.  Everything has to be 
tested against that.  If present phenomena are not consonant 
with what I already know to be the holiness of God, then I 
am alerted, and cannot indiscriminately receive what others 
seem to be applauding.  This has been a life-saving provision 
for me, and it ought to be so for all believers.

It was not too long ago, in a church where I was speaking, 
that in a moment of time the thought came to me that one 
does not have to be a Mormon or a Jehovah's Witness, or 
subscribe to some cult to be deceived. One can subscribe 
to correct Christian orthodoxy and be as effectually =
deceived in the correctness of that credal statement as if 
they were embracing false doctrine.  And in fact, that kind 
of deception is the most devious and most powerful of all, 
because you think you are correct.

It is a critical hour for the Church.  Deception is rampant.  
My Jewish people are perishing.  Where is that witness 
that moves them to jealousy?  The Jews are everywhere 
about us, totally unimpressed and untouched with our best 
Charismatic demonstration.  The Church needs to come 
into a place that is holy, holy, holy, where they know God 
as He is, and not just as they think Him to be.  Only out 
of that place are we then able to make Him known.