[Photograph above by C. R. Tindle.]



Part 1








One of the many unmistakable signs that we are living in the closing days of this dispensation of Grace and that the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ is now imminent, is the rapid spread of many false religions and doctrines throughout the world.  This state of affairs was clearly foretold by the Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew 24: 11, when He said:  Many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.”  It is very sad to say, but the time has come which was spoken of by the Apostle Paul in 2 Tim. 4: 3, 4:- “When they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”  We are now living in the days of fabulous beliefs!  Many hearts have been bewitched by evil and have been warped into error (Gal. 3: 1).  It is very important for the individual Christian to be on the alert against a satanic invasion into fundamental beliefs.  It is wise for us to remind ourselves that not all who mention Christ’s name are true.  In Matt. 7: 21-23, Jesus says Himself: “Not everyone that saith, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in Heaven.  Many will say unto Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy Name, and in Thy Name have cast our devils, and in Thy Name done many wonderful works?  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you; depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.”  We are living in a sign-seeking generation and Satan has his own agents preaching in Christ’s Name, casting out devils in Christ’s Name and doing many wonderful works in Christ’s Name: fifth-columnists practising Iscariotism within the Church of God.  These agents are instruments of unrighteousness and are not known to God as true ministers of Christ’s Gospel.  They are blind leaders of the blind and will eventually fall into the ditch along with their followers (Matt. 15: 14).  Jesus bids us recognise His true ministers by their fruits (Matt. 7: 20) and not by their silver-tongued oratory, etc.



Once again we must remember that not all who prophesy about Christ are true.  An instance of this is clearly given in Acts 16: 16 certain damsel prophesied about Paul and Silas being servants of God.  Paul knew that, despite the correctness of her predictions, she was possessed with an evil spirit and immediately rebuked the devil from her in these words: “I command thee in the Name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.”*


[* NOTE. Regenerate believers who imagine that the Holy Spirit cannot or will not leave them for wilful sin and disobedience after their initial conversion, are living in what might be rightly described as, - ‘Satan’s dream world in which there is no reality!’  We need only read in the Scriptures how the Holy Spirit left Saul, after His anointing him through Samuel the prophet as God’s chosen king, to discover what is happening all around us today within Christendom.   See, 1 Sam. 10: 1. cf. 1 Sam. 16: 14, LXX.   Also Judges 16: 20b and Psa. 51: 11;  also G. H. Lang’s: “The Personal Indwelling of the Holy Spirit.”]


There are many people who are specialists in twisting the Scriptures and tearing verses away from their contexts; conveniently leaving out a little here and adding a little there.  In this connection we must remember that not all who quote Scriptures are true.



In Matt. 4: 1-11 we see the devil himself quoting Scripture after Scripture to the Lord Jesus, and many instruments of that same devil are busying themselves today quoting and misquoting miscellaneous odd Scriptures artfully wrenched away from their original setting, in an endeavour to bolster up some erroneous belief in God.  Don’t believe everybody who comes to your front door selling books and talking about God.  The Scripture clearly bids us avoid such people “and to have no company with them, that they may be ashamed” (2 Thess. 3: 14).  Any [regenerate] believer who hobnobs with the likes of these people is acting contrary to the instructions of the Word of God and is a stumbling block to the progress of true Christianity.



Isms and splits usually started by disciplined undesirables and/or expelled cranks.  The most extraordinary and fantastic religions spring up overnight.  Fanatics break away from Apostolic Truth having mistaken wildfire for the true Holy Ghost Fire.



No time must be lost, we must earnestly contend for the Apostolic Faith that was once delivered unto the saints (Jude 3).  This precious faith should be the possession of every believer.  Everything should be sacrificed to obtain it.  There is no message in all the world so beautiful as the true Christian message!  The Christian Faith alone leads to God, and Jesus Christ alone is able to forgive sin (John 14: 6 and Acts 4: 12).



In these days of turmoil and strife there is a great stir amongst the peoples to return to God, and in unprecedented numbers men and women are seeking Christ.  Thousands of these seekers will never find Him because of the Christless Christianity being preached from many a pulpit.  Christianity without a Living Christ is an empty shell.  A Christian without a born-again experience is a white-washed sinner.  A religion that denies the Divinity of Christ, the Virgin Birth, Salvation through the Blood and the glorious Resurrection, is a false religion.



*       *       *



Part 2







[* NOTE.  This tract was first published in Mr. Panton’s Evangelical Magazine, (‘Dawn’ May, 1951).]



There are three distinctly different peoples, different in race and religion, scattered over the whole earth, who are looking for the coming of some Great Personage.  They are the Arab or Moslem people, the Jews, and the Christians.  They are not looking for him in the distant future.  Each group is looking for their Great One in their lifetime.  They are expecting him to come soon, very soon, any time, thus making the conditions perfect for the appearance of false messiahs and the prince of all false messiahs, “the antichrist.”



The Christians Have the Blessed Hope of

Christ’s Return in Their Generation



Of the three groups of expectant watchers, only one, the true Christian is not subject to these deceptions.  Christ is to return, first with the sound of the trumpet for the rapture,* and at His revelation He will come riding out of the heavens on His white horse with power and great glory, followed by His glorified saints.  The rapture and the revelation cannot be counterfeited.  Before the rapture the “manywho come in His name saying “I am Christ” will deceive only those professors who are religious minded but do not understand the Scriptures regarding the manner of His coming, or those backslidden in heart and willing to be deceived.  Even the tribulation, weary believers who refuse the mark of the beast and flee from one hiding place to another waiting for Jesus to come, when they are told, “behold He is in the desert, behold He is in the secret place,” will not be misled, knowing that “as the lightning cometh out of the east and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.”  This, His revelation, is scheduled “immediately after the tribulation of those days.”  No true believer when he knows the Scriptural teaching of the rapture and revelation will be deceived.  Christ is the Christians’ coming King, their deliverer from “those things that shall come to pass.”  We know Him by Christian experience, and know that He is coming again at the end of this age during this time of tribulation – “distress of nations with perplexity.”  There turn of the Jews to Palestine is our sign the Redeemer is soon to appear, for “when the Lord shall build up Zion then shall he appear in his glory.”


[*NOTE.  Those who believe the responsibility truths and conditional promises of God see more than one rapture if living saints.  Luke 21: 34-36; Rev. 3: 10. cf. 1 Thess. 4: 15.]



The Jews are Looking for Their Messiah

To Come



They are looking for Him to come in their lifetime.  But they have always looked for Him* so, even as the Christians of bygone centuries have looked for the coming of Christ in their time.  I heard a Rabbi say that he expected the Messiah to come in his lifetime.  Some are known to be praying earnestly for the Messiah to come, and expressing willingness to accept Him “even if He should prove to be the Christ of the Gentiles.”  The prophecies disclose that during the great tribulation many will be convinced, and when the nations of the world gather against Jerusalem to battle, they will pray in greater earnestness and in distress of soul for Messiah, the Christ of Calvary, to come and save them and He will “appear to be their glory” but to the shame and destruction of the nations gathered against them to battle.  Did not Jesus tell them “ye shall not see me henceforth till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord”?


[* The following, entitled “For Your Jewish Information.” was published by Jews For Jesus, Sh’vat 5773/Feburary 2013:-


Shabbetai Zvi was born in Smyrna in 1 August 1626.  At this time, many people thought that the return of the Messiah was imminent.  In 1648, he declared that he was the Messiah.  Three years later, he was banished from the city and spent the next decade travelling around the Middle East.  In 1663 he met Nathan of Gaza who became his right-hand man and professed to be the risen Elija, the precursor of the Messiah.  Shabbetai declared himself Messiah at Jewish New Year, 1665.


His fame extended to Europe and he had many prominent rabbis as followers.  In 1666, Shabbetai went to Istanbul and was immediately arrested and imprisoned.  On September 16, he converted to Islam after pressure from the Sultan.  His conversion was devastating for his followers and he died in Montenegro in exile on September 17, 1676.


Through the ages there have been many false Messiahs.  Shabbetai did not fulfil any of the Messianic prophecies laid out in the Tenach.  However, Y’shua (our Lord Jesus) fulfilled many of them in His first coming and will fulfil the remainder on His return.  It is sad that so many of our Jewish people do not yet recognise His Messiahship.  Please continue to pray that the veil will be torn from the eyes of our Jewish brethren.” +


+ And we might also add, - ‘That the veil might be torn from the eyes of our Anti-millennial Christian brethren!]



Moslems Are Looking for Their Messiah

(Mahdi) in Their Lifetime



There are many political and religious factions in the Arab world, any or all of which may produce would-be Super-men, but eventually one must take the spotlight and be accepted by all.  In northern Syria Prince Abdul Baraba Baha has held a strong grip on a large following and is reported still exercising a powerful influence.



Now comes news of a new Mahdi in Iran (Persia), that country destined according to prophecy to come under the power of Russia.  His name is Haji Sheikh Mohammed Hassan Saleh Ali Shah.  His devoted followers, members of a branch of the Sufi Cult, the mystic limb of Islam, are known as Dervishes but choose to designate themselvesFaqir” which means “beggar”, not beggar in the sense of a pauper but in a spiritual sense of beseeching light from God.  In their prayers to Saleh Ali Shah they address him as “highness” or “holiness”.



According to the religious belief of this Moslem Cult all the great personages from Adam, through Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Mohammed and the latter’s successors were representatives or manifestations of God (Allah). The Bahais, of which we have many groups in this country, teach similarly, doubtless because Bahaism had its source in the Mohammedan religion.  They too, declare the coming of a great one, another “manifestation of God”.  He is to have a name all his own.  The declaration of Scripture that Jesus will return in the clouds of Heaven as He so asserted, is, they declare, not to be taken literally.  This same Jesus” is not coming again “in like manner as He went into Heaven,” but will come only in spirit in another body as all the former “manifestations of God have come.  To make Bahaism acceptable to all people they have attempted to produce a universal religion by adopting and combining portions of the creeds of all religions and inviting people of all creeds to a universal compromise thus making, what might be termed, a religious Babel.



The Cult of which Saleh Ali Shah is the head requires that each successive leader must produce written evidence which has been handed down to him from the twelfth Imam who is believed to have been Mohammed’s last legitimate successor.  He lived centuries ago and finally entered a cave from which he never returned.  It is believed that some day when mankind is in terrible trouble he will emerge from the cave and deliver them.



The adherents of the Sufi Cult believe that Saleh Ali Shah and his father and grandfather before him are the true representatives of the “hidden Mahdi.”  They are inclined to reject the doctrine of succession and to accept that of spiritual revelation.  Therefore, Saleh Ali Shah is greatly venerated, always surrounded by many devout worshipers.  His doctrine, he declares, differs from that of the rest of the Moslem world for they follow the law, while his followers seek for light and truth and the way to Heaven.  People make pilgrimages for long distances to sit at his feet.



With a manner calm, serene and sincere, this new Mahdi believes himself to be the highest spiritual authority now present on this earth, but there is no indication of pride or arrogance in his bearing.  Above average height, he wears a black beard, and soft brown eyes look out from a mild but commanding countenance.  One devotee declared those eyes fascinated him.  A wealthy young Stifi business man from Teheran expressing himself regarding this great cult leader, said that Saleh Ali Shah was greater in his eyes than the Pope of Rome was to the Catholics.



The Man of Sin - The Super-Deceiver



It is a man of this type who will first interest himself in the welfare of both Jews and Arabs in their contentions over Palestine and the temple.  Declaring his interest and sympathy for both peoples, he will make a league with both Jews and Arabs and will “come up and become strong with a small people” (Dan. 11: 21-23) Eventually he will, if he is the antichrist, be accepted by the Jews as the Messiah and by the Arabs as their Mahdi.  His true nature as “vile person, king of fierce countenance, son of perdition” will not be revealed until he breaks his covenant with the Jews and declares himself to be God, the only true God and the only one in all the world to be worshipped.  As the Super Deceiver he will be vanquished from the world scene when Christ returns in power and glory to set up His [millennial] kingdom.



-  The Midnight Cry.