Sermon delivered March 21, 1998

by Pastor Donald J Gettys

McDonald Road Seventh-day Adventist Church

McDonald, Tennessee

Quotes from the Bible are from the New International Version unless otherwise noted.

Last Day Counterfeits

Prov. 14:12 "There is a way that seemeth right unto a man but the end thereof are the ways of death."

If you were the devil and could counterfeit anything you wanted, what would it be? Certainly it would be some thing of great worth.

Have you ever seen a counterfeit pile of dirt or a counterfeit toothpick? We only copy valuable things. Money is often copied.

"Satan is constantly seeking to counterfeit the work of Christ." Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 265 by EG White.

Matthew 13:24,25 - "Jesus told them another parable: 'The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away.'"

Satan especially likes to plant his tares among the wheat.

The arch counterfeiter is the devil. So, as you might expect, the biggest forgery today is in religion. Churches (most of them unknowingly) have become involved in teaching forged illusions of Bible truth. With so many clones out there, truth seekers become confused and many simply seek out the best counterfeit. Never be satisfied with anything less than the genuine article.

Swindler Satan's simulations reach fervent pitch in the last days. In Luke 21:8 Jesus said: "Watch out that you are not deceived."

I Timothy 4:1 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow ddeceiving spirits and things taught by demons.

God's truth has splintered into more than 250 different beliefs. This forgery of truth has been masterminded by the devil.

This replica of truth is not new. Christ warned about it in His day: Mark 7:7 - "In vain do they worship Me, teaching for doctrines the Commandments of men."

Let us look at a few of the many delusions the devil has devised and that most of the world accepts:

(1)--Creation/Evolution Genesis 1:1 "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." I believe that in the beginning God Created the heavens and the earth. The chance that higher life forms might have emerged through the evolutionary processes is comparable to the chance that a tornado sweeping through a landfill might accidently assemble a space shuttle all gassed up and ready to fly from the junk in the dump.

If we can't believe in the first sentence in the Bible, then we must reject every other page as fraudulent.

Another hoax emanating from the time of Genesis comes from the Garden of Eden. It was there that the original "Snake in the Grass" announced a great counterfeit that is still believed by most of the Christian world today.

(2) - There is no Death. Genesis 3:4 - "'You will not surely die,' the serpent said to the woman..." Almost every church today believes this deception. Most of the religions of the world have purchased the devil's lie- hook, line, and sinker. In saying "There is no death" he was introducing the delusion that there is life apart from God, Who is the source and maintainer of all life. God said man is mortal, the devil said he is immortal and that evil or good, man will never die. Romans 6:23 - "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

The wage of sin is NOT eternal life. Even if that life is in the fire of hell. Think about it, if you are alive in the fire of hell forever then you would have to have eternal life. Not much of a life!.... but it does last an eternity. Is that what the Bible says? NO! The wage of SIN is not life in hell or anywhere else. The wage of sin is death. Eternal Death. Just the opposite of the gift of God which is eternal life. Praise God for Eternal life! (Note the even Jesus said in John 3:16: "For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.")

So, this counterfeit, that there is no death, opens the door for yet another fabrication!

(3) - I call it-- Fake Fire. You see, if a sinner dies, and somehow does not die, then he must be alive somewhere. Where is that? Hell! And so the belief that there is no death means that life is indestructible. After "death" the person continues to live on somewhere. The unsaved sinner can't die. So people believe that when the sinner is cast into hell fire, he must live there forever.

He can't die. And do you know that 95% of all Christian Churches, yet to this day, still believe it?! They have accepted the counterfeit. Why do I call this "fake fire"? Because -if- the fire of hell can't do its job in a million years or more then it is lukewarm fire!

How does the Bible describe hell fire? II Peter 3:10-12 - "But the day of the Lord will come like a thief... The elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare." Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming." That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.

Next delusion: When Adam and Eve were created from the hand of God, their first full day was spent in worship on the holy Sabbath Day. This brings us to the next counterfeit:

(4) - Sunday is the Sabbath. A gigantic perversion of Bible truth in religion today, involves the question of which day is the true day of worship. Sunday observance has its roots back in the days immediately after the flood (Genesis 10 and Nimrod) In that time, Sun worship was conducted on the day of the sun, that we call "Sun-day." As sun-worship began to increase, God decided to give to his people a written copy of His law. In the heart of it is His Sabbath commandment.

Exodus 20:8-11 The longest commandment is the only one with the word REMEMBER! If there was not a counterfeit in the making, why do you suppose God would say that? And so today there are many Christians accepting this counterfeit as the genuine article.

But fortunately today there is a movement in the world to get back to the real thing. The Seventh-day Adventist church is basically a call for a return to the truth as it is in the Bible.

Sunday keeping is a counterfeit of God's Bible Sabbath. God says: Remember the Sabbath to keep it holy!

The counterfeiting continues. The devil needed a logical event on which to base a reason for first-day observance. And so today we have good Christians keeping Sunday because of the resurrection of Christ on the first day of the week. This is not a Bible reason for Sunday worship. We certainly believe in the resurrection of Christ. But this is not a reason to switch from keeping Sabbath like Jesus did and begin to keep another day.

Now because one lie leads to another, the need arose for a counterfeit Baptism.

(5) - Sprinkling is Baptism Baptism under the water is God's true symbol of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. Sunday is not the symbol to honor His resurrection. The new life of the new Christian is! And so if you take Sunday keeping as the symbol of the resurrection, you must introduce a counterfeit baptism that does no require this three fold symbolism. Hence: sprinkling! And so the large majority of Christians today accept this counterfeit baptism and don't know why.

Ephesians 4:5 speaks of one baptism. Matthew 3:16 tells of Jesus baptism; going down into the water, being buried in it, and coming up out of the water renewed.

(6) - False Christs Matthew 24:24 - "For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect--if that were possible."

How many Redeemers do we have? One! Who is that? Jesus Christ. Any other is a false Christ.

However, it seems that the Papacy is about to establish an additional redeemer. The over 400 apparitions of the "Virgin Mary" in the last 100 years are shaking the Roman Catholic Church to its core. During just the last four years Pope John Paul II has received over four Million signed petitions to name Mary as CO-REDEMPTRIX with Jesus Christ.

The Pope is considering naming Mary also as the "Mediatrix of All Graces and Advocate for the People of God." This means that all prayers must flow through her as the ONLY channel of grace from Jesus Christ.

This would in essence elevate Mary to a place in a new "Holy Quartet" of the Godhead!

[for more information see Waymarks, a pamphlet published by the Southern Union Department of Public Affairs and Religious Liberty, Volume 2, # 4, October 1997 issue.]

In John Paul II's own words, "the new Eve beside the New Adam [Christ] in the Redemption." Thus Mary would be the daughter of the Father, the mother of the Son and the Spouse of the Holy Spirit.

see Freedom Alert a periodical published by the Council on Religious Freedom, Vol. 13, Issue 4, 1997, E-mail address: page 8.

So you can see there are apocalyptic counterfeits currently in the making. If and when Mary is made a God, it means the World is racing inexorably towards a prophetic date with destiny! You have heard of these little books: God's Little Instruction Book and etc. Now there is a Mary's Little Instruction Book.

(7) False Church: God has a true church. She is described as a woman who is in deadly combat with a devil like dragon. Revelation 12:17 - "Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring--those who obey God's commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus."

Lutherans and Calvinists are adopting common communions. [AP, 8-18-97]. A public announcement was made in Chattanooga, TN on Sunday May 4, 1997 by an archbishop of the Episcopal Church stating that Protestantism has all but died and that will leave only the Roman Catholic Church to represent Christianity. "God's church is catholic," he said. see Chattanooga Free Press, May 10, 1997 p. B1.

Ralph Reed, the director of the Christian Coalition in 1996 said: There is a growing strength of evangelicals and their Roman Catholic allies. "Dark distrust about popery has been swept into the ash heap of history. John F Kennedy's election in 1960 buried the Catholic bogeyman forever. No longer burdened by the past, Roman Catholics, evangelicals, Greek Orthodox and many mainline denominations are forging a new alliance... See Freedom Report April, 1996, Clifford Goldstein, Editor.

"When the leading churches of the United States, uniting upon such points of Doctrine as are held by them in common, shall influence the state to enforce their decrees, sustain their institutions, then protestant America will have formed an image of the Roman hierarchy and the infliction of civil penalties upon dissenters will inevitably result." - EG White, Great Controversy p. 445

(8) A COPIED COMING Prophecy warns that in the last days Satan would attempt to impersonate Christ's second coming. II Thess. 2:3-4 That day shall not come, except there be a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed as God showing himself to be God. II Thess. 2:8-12 That wicked shall be destroyed by the brightness of His coming. Even him (Satan) whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders. With all deceit (many counterfeits).

Luke 21:8 - "many shall come in My name." II Cor. 11:14 (KJV) - "Satan, himself, is transformed into an angel of light."

"in the last days he will appear in such a manner as to make men believe him to be Christ come the second time. He will bear the APPEARANCE OF CHRIST IN EVERY PARTICULAR..." - EG White, Vol. 5, Testimonies for the Church, p.698

Back in the 1970's a rare discovery was made. It was called a pathological phenomenon. Scientists in China discovered a lady actually growing horns out of the top of her head. The written account said that she looked "like the Devil."

For years the devil has sought to teach a false-hood here. We picture him as a red skinned imp with a tail and horns, and a pitchfork in his hand. This is a false picture. A trick. He has thrown this dust in the eyes of most in the world so that when he comes as an angel of light no one will recognize him and his coming will be accepted as the coming of Christ, Himself. What a counterfeit!

Speaking of Christs second coming: I Thess. 4:16-17 states the correct manner of His coming in the clouds of glory, and in the air.

Rev. 1:7 - Every Eye will see Jesus come!

Very soon, Satan will appear as the true Christ "He will be clothed as an angel of light...The apostate churches unite in the exaltation of Satan..." - EG White, Testimonies for Ministers, p.62 "Disguised as an angel of light, Satan will walk the earth as a wonder-worker. In beautiful language he will present lofty things. Good words will be spoken by him, and good deeds performed. Christ will be personified, but on one point there will be a marked distinction, Satan will turn the people from the LAW OF GOD. - EG White, Fundamentals of Christian Education, p. 471-472.

"He will declare that the Sabbath has been changed from the seventh to the first day of the week and that he is the lord of the first day." - EG White, Maranatha p. 205

"Satan, surrounded by evil angels, and claiming to be God, will work miracles of all kinds to deceive. God's people will not find their safety in working miracles, for Satan will COUNTERFEIT the miracles that will be wrought." - EG White, Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 9, p. 16.

Matt. 24:24 (KJV) "..shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders, in so much, that if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect." - Revelation 16:14 (KJV) says "for they are the spirits of DEVILS, working miracles..."

"Before the end of time he (Satan) will work still greater wonders. So far as his power extends, he will perform ACTUAL miracles." - EG White, Testimonies for the Church, Vol 5, p.698

(9) - Hoax Healings - these miracles are another great counterfeit of Satan.

Revelation 13:13 - "And he performed great and miraculous signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in full view of men."

Revelation 16:14 - "They are spirits of demons performing miraculous signs..."

EG White - 2SM51 - "He is to work miracles; and this wonderful, miracle-working power is to sweep in the whole world."

EG White Testimonies t the Church, Vol 1 - "The sick will be healed before us. Miracles will be performed in our sight. Are we prepared for this?"

Have you ever thought abut why it is that we seem to be seeing less and less true miracles of physical healing from God? Could it be that these things will fade in importance in the last days, because Satan is counterfeiting so many of them. The devil knows his time is short and these miracles and the imitation of Christ's Second Coming are his trump cards. As we hear more and more about these false healings and false christs, we should wake up to the fact that the real genuine article is almost here. How often the fake just precedes the real event.

EG White Great Controversy, p. 625 - "Satan is not permitted to counterfeit the manner of Christ's advent." .... "only those who have been diligent students of the scriptures and who have received the love of the truth will be shielded from the powerful delusion that takes the world captive."

(10)-His counterfeit of the Bible- There are so many books out there claiming to contain the truth. The Koran, the book of Mormon, the new age writings, ... the list could go on and on. But there is only one Bible.

It is hard to know which Bible is the Real Bible.

I wanted a copy of God's real word for me!

(11) --His emulation of the church-fellowship...

"The neighborhood bar is possibly the best counterfeit that there is to the fellowship Christ wants to give His people. It's an imitation dispensing liquor instead of grace, escape rather than reality, but it is a permissive, accepting fellowship. It is a place where you can tell secrets and they usually don't want to tell others. The bar flourishes not because many people are alcoholics, but because God has put into the human heart the desire to know and to be known, and loved, and many seek a counterfeit at the price of a few beers and are led into the devil's trap and barred from eternal life."

(12) --His backward millennium with its deadly second chance after seven years of tribulation AFTER the second coming. Revelation 20 does not indicate there will be a second chance after the rapture. Jesus will come at the beginning of the 1000 years. All the righteous will be taken to heaven and all the wicked will be left behind... dead and unburied.

(13) --- TANGLED TONGUES:

There is a movement today in religion that says unless you speak in tongues you are not saved. Yet Jesus never spoke in tongues or David or John or hundreds of other Saints. Most of what is claimed as Bible examples of speaking in tongues is actually the gift of another LANGUAGE.

Listen to Acts 2:2-6 (Living Bible) - "Suddenly there was a sound like
the roaring of mighty windstorm in the skies above them and it filled the
house where they were meeting.  What looked like flames or tongues of fire
appeared and settled on their heads.  And everyone present was filled with
the Holy Spirit and began SPEAKING in languages they didn't know for the Holy
Spirit gave them this ability.
     And when they heard the roaring in the sky above the house, CROWDS CAME
RUNNING to see what it was all about and were stunned to hear their OWN
LANGUAGES being spoken by the disciples."

That is how the Holy Spirit came to them. The same could and must happen to each of us today. The time is here. The Spirit is even now being poured out. Are you receiving it yet? If we are not filled with the Holy Spirit, we will be filled with another spirit.

I would like to share with you something that I will never forget. It happened when I was about 11 years old. A young lady about 26 years old had been suffering from cancer for eight months. She was paralyzed and wasn't able to walk. One Saturday night she asked her husband to take her to the Holy Ghost Pentecostal church. He did and carried her in through the door. The group there were with the spirit that night and excitement was high. Immediately that paralyzed lady began to preach and pray. She started talking in an unknown tongue. "I couldn't understand her," her husband said.

But in a few minutes she stopped, and then, as if a hand had raised her to her feet, she stood up and began to walk around. (Remember she had been paralyzed.) They were all praising the Lord about that time. Suddenly she darted from the church with her husband trailing behind her; but he couldn't catch her. She kept running until she reached the highway, where upon she immediately jumped in front of a passing car. She was killed. (Newspaper- Houston Press, Nov. 17, 1952)

Here was a woman who went to a Holy Ghost meeting. She started speaking in tongues. She apparently seemed to be healed and then was lifted out of her seat and ran out and flung herself in front of a speeding car.

Could that be the Spirit of God? I can't believe it. The spirit of the DEVIL leads to self destruction as in the case of the swine that ran into the sea. If the Holy spirit takes charge of our lives, then he will lead us to life in Christ. If the Evil spirit takes charge, he will lead us to the road of destruction. Let us make sure that we have the Holy Spirit in control of our lives.

The Devil is now trying to counterfeit every truth of God. "As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." Romans 8:14.

Our only safety is to be led by the Holy Spirit. I want to be a son of God. Don't you?

The best way to detect a counterfeit twenty dollar bill is to KNOW THE GENUINE. To avoid being taken in by all the falsehoods and videos and cassette tapes and mimeographed sheets that come in the mail, what must you do? Must you wade through all that stuff? NO! You concentrate on knowing Jesus Christ. He is the truth. Study your Bible. Focus on Jesus. And someday when the counterfeit is placed in your hands, you will instantly know it is a fake. I saw a counterfeit bill one day and it only took a glance and I knew it was bad.

Sometimes I wish Jesus would keep the counterfeits of His truth out of circulation like the Bank tries to do with the bad money. You can't go to the Bank and get any counterfeit money. So do your spiritual banking with Jesus! Invest in the truth. The truth is Jesus.

Jesus said: "I am the way the Truth and the Life."

Stick with Jesus and you will not be deceived.

Opening Hymn: My Maker and My King,   # 15
Scripture Reading:      2 Thessalonians 2:8-12
Closing Hymn: Hold Fast Till I Come,      # 600

980321gettys#39


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