Is All as it Seems?

Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come.  This is how we know it is the last hour.  They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.

  • 1 John 2:18-19

“’The funny thing is,’ I said, ‘he really is enrolled at Juilliard.’
”’People aren’t one thing,’ Patricia said.
“’Yeah, I know.  Hitler loved dogs.’
“’He probably did in fact.’ Patricia Utley said.
“’Didn’t make him not Hitler,’ I said.
“’True.’”

  • Robert B. Parker, Taming a Sea-Horse

First the quote:  I am just starting a read of Taming a Sea-Horse.  It is one of about four Spenser novels that were written by the originator of the hard-boiled, and sarcastic, yet insightful, detective.  That author being Robert B. Parker.  I have not done as well by percentage complete with the Ace Atkins series after Robert B. Parker passed away, but those are much younger and fewer books.

Spoiler alert in case you are thinking of reading the book…  In this novel, the 13th in the Spenser series, April Kyle is in trouble again.  April Kyle is a prostitute that Spenser finds in Ceremony, the 9th Spenser novel.  He tries to “save” her by fixing her up with Patricia Utley, a NYC madam who Spenser dealt with in Mortal Stakes, the 3rd in the Spenser series.  Saving, as in giving her a better home with a boss that could be “trusted.”  His thinking, and from her own admission, she would go back to the streets, so she would be safer with a trusted boss.  Now April Kyle is missing, and Patricia Utley is worried.  Spenser finds her, then he finds her new pimp, then a dead body is found by other people and…  If you wish to spoil the ending for me, I have already read later novels in the series that have Patricia Utley and April Kyle as characters, so Spenser saves the day in this one, as usual.  But this conversation comes in the novel before the dead body is found.  April has ‘fallen in love’ with her pimp who runs a stable of girls while attending Juilliard.  Thus, the clip from the conversation and the lead into the topic.  Parker uses the illustration of Hitler liking dogs in several of the Spenser novels, to illustrate that most bad people are not totally bad. But to the topic, is all as it seems?

To look at Robert Rambeaux, the pimp, you might just think he was an aspiring musician and nothing more, but Spenser looked deeper.

How deep do we have to look at any of our friends or relations to see the life-threatening disease which is sin?  Let’s not go there.

But where we might need to go, and with more of our ‘friends’ than you would ever imagine, we might need to discover the antichrists in our midst.  I mentioned this Scripture above in yesterday’s post, but I did not feature the Scripture at the beginning of the post.  I warned in yesterday’s post that the present leaders, depending on your political leanings it could be a number of people, are not The Antichrist, but under the definition above, all might easily rank as one of the lower-case antichrists in our midst.  In other words, someone who for a while pretends to be a God-fearing Christian, but they are wolves in sheep clothing, deceiving us.

The armor that we need to put on to combat these unseen foes is Scripture.  We need to read and understand on our own.  Accepting the interpretation of someone that we trust may be exactly what the antichrist is counting on.  Even in translations, I may most often quote the NIV, but in doing careful research, I use a few translations and maybe even a paraphrase or two that I trust – as far as I trust paraphrases.

Being armed with the TRUTH, we can see through many of their teachings as these antichrists try to lure us away from what Jesus says.  The documentary, American Gospel: Christ Alone exposes the Word of Faith movement in the forms of the prosperity gospel and faith healing, but in most denominations these days, there are a number of well-trained pastors who do not speak the truth, along with laymen Sunday school teachers who have been swayed by the antichrists in their lives and sometimes without knowing any better, spreading lies.  I want you to double check what I have written, and I thank those who have corrected my wandering thoughts.

Our only defense is a knowledge of Scripture and daily prayer time.  When we hear something ‘off,’ once armed with our defense system of Truth, we will get a feeling that something just does not seem right.  When those warning bells occur, then we can dig back into Scripture once more and learn and reinforce the Truth in our lives.

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.

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