Messages of Jose Anathanam and
the Covenant Ministries from
What is deception?
Deception is presenting something, somebody, as true, when it actually is false. We have the example of the mirage in the desert. From a distance, it seems there is water there and one can quench the thirst, if one takes the pains to go all the way to the mirage; only to find to one's despair, that it was false and there is nothing there but dry land. All the efforts made to reach there makes one so exhausted, tired and more thirsty that the next mirage will again deceive the seeker of water; finally facing inevitable death.
The Word of God says in the book of Proverbs - "There is a way that seems right to a man but the end of it is the way to death" (Prov. 14/12). Every man and women, consciously or unconsciously is seeking the right way. There are many personalities who offer to show the right way. There are many books, many methods, many religious practices, many institutions that claim to show the right way. However the important question is whether any of these have found the way. There is ONLY ONE PERSON, in the history of the whole world who makes a claim to be "THE WAY". His name is Jesus. He is JESUS CHRIST of NAZARETH, the only son of God who manifested himself in the flesh as the Son of man, born of Virgin Mary. This Jesus stands before the world to say
"I am the way, the truth and the life, no one goes to the Father except by me" (John 14/6)
"And eternal life means, knowing you, the only true God, and knowing Jesus Christ, whom you send" (John 17/3)
"I am telling you the truth; I am the gate. Whoever comes in by me will be saved; he will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only in order to steal, kill and destroy. I have come in order that you might have life - life in all its fullness" (John 10/7,9-10)
"I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me will live even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die" (1 John 11/25-26)
"The testimony is this; God has given us eternal life and this life has its source in his son (Jesus Christ). Whoever possesses the son, possesses this life, whoever does not possess the son of God does not have life" (John 5/11-12)
"To all those who received him and belived in him (Jesus Christ), he gave them the right to become God's children" (John 1/12)
"There is therefore no condemnation now for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8/1)
"Since we are God's children (in Jesus Christ), we will possess the blessings he keeps for His people, and we will also possess with Christ what God has kept for him" (Romans 8/17)
The great deception that is in the world today is to present other ways and other names promising life and blessings apart from the WAY - who is Christ Jesus represented by the Tree of life in (Gensis 2/19) and also mentioned in (Revelation 22/14).
The first parents were deceived by the great deceiver who deceives the whole world. He is mentioned as the huge dragon who was thrown out of heaven on to the earth - that ancient serpent called the devil or satan along with all his angels.
How did he deceive the first parents?
The devil presented something as good and holy, helping them to go God-ward, when actually the end of it was death represented by the tree of knowledge of good and evil. This tree brings death because it is a sign of all those who want to live their lives away from Jesus Christ and yet feel holy, pious and religious. Hence any organization, institution or places of worship which does not give the rightful place to Jesus Christ, the king of kings, the Lord of Lords is deception. All that the devil wants to achieve in this world is to keep people away from Jesus Christ. He does not mind people becoming holy, pious and religious minded as long as they keep away from his enemy Jesus Christ of Nazereth. He even deceives Christians by making them church minded and yet keeps them away from Jesus. He has managed to blind people to such an extent that they are unable to know the truth. The truth is revealed to us through the Word of God and the official teaching of the Majisteriam. Pope John Paul II has said that any church which does not proclaim the Gospel is not the true church. The Gospel is Jesus Christ who is the head of the church. The Christians are members of His mystical body. Hence the church is Jesus himself. The Vatican II says "The church exists to evangelize (proclaim the Gospel). Pope John Paul says --- "There is no true evangelization, if the name, the kingdom and the life of Jesus Christ of Nazereth is not proclaimed.
The work of the Holy Spirit in a believer is to glorify Jesus Christ (John 16/4). Hence anybody or any organization, speaking about the church and yet not publicly proclaiming the name of Jesus Christ, is like a mirage in the desert. People who are spiritually thirsty can never find the living water of the Holy Spirit to quench their thirst. Such churches can only uphold their rituals, traditions, doctrines etc. Presenting an outward form of religion and denying the power of the Holy Spirit, as seen in (2 Thimothy 3/5). The power they deny, is the heart of Christianity - the fact of the risen Saviour Jesus Christ working in the lives of his deciples (who are called Christians) in (Acts 11/26) and the indwelling and the overflowing of the Holy Spirit who enables the believer to witness Jesus Christ through their word and power. Very often, many become guilty of quenching the Holy Spirit, as seen in (1 Thessalonians 5/19-20). Such people are said to be controlled by the natural desires, who do not have the Holy Spirit (Jude 20). These people are deceived and are used by the deceiver to deceive others. They present Christianity as an empty, lifeless religion, filled with activities and religious services, which give no place to Jesus Christ. They are earthly minded, catering to the needs of the worldly people and yet deceived into believing that they are zealous for God. This type of Christianity as preached and practiced fails to reveal the power of the Holy Spirit.
Such was the man, Paul, who was called Saul of Tarsus. Before his conversion. He boasts about himself when he said, "If anyone thinks he can trust in external ceremonies, I have even more reason to think in that way. I was a pharisee and I was so zealous for God that I persecuted the Church. As far as a person can be righteous by obeying the commands of the law, I was blameless". (Phil 3/4,6) And it was to this good, sincere, religious person, that Jesus appeared in a light, saying to him "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? You are hurting yourself by hitting back like an ox, kicking against his owner's stick". (Acts 26/14) And, it is this Paul, who cries out , when he says - "My conscious ruled by the Holy Spirit, also assures me that I am not lying when I say how great is my sorrow, how endless the pain in my heart for my people, my own flesh and blood!. For their sake I could wish, I myself were under God's curse and separated from Christ. My brothers, how I wish with all my heart that my people might be saved! How I pray to God for them! I can assure you that they are zealous for God; but their zeal, is not based on true knowledge. They have not known THE WAY in which God puts people right with Himself and instead, they have tried to set up their own way, - and so THEY DID NOT SUBMIT themselves to God's way of putting people right. For Christ has brought the law to an end, so that everyone who believes (in Christ, Jesus) is put right with God." (Romans 9/1-3, Romans 10/1-4).
Can you see THE DECEPTION here, dear friends in Christ ? Was Saul zealous for God? "YES". Was Saul a sincere man? " YES" . Did he uphold his religion, its traditions, its rituals etc? "YES". Did he obey all the laws? " YES". Did he go against all the people who, he believed to be in opposition to God and his institutionalism ? "YES". And yet, was he kicking at Jesus Christ? "YES".
Today this deception continues. There are many such Sauls going about, upholding the law, the rituals, the ceremonies, the traditions and even a church, that does not publicly proclaim Jesus Christ; ending up with the same fate of Saul of Tarsus - kicking at Jesus Christ by opposing, critcising and condemning those whom the Lord has called to proclaim His name and His mighty deeds. Such people do not even know that they are deceiving the majority of the people. Let this word of God be a warning to all those who are spiritually open to the Holy Spirit. "My children, the end is near! You are told that the enemy of Christ would come; and now many enemies of Christ have already appeared and so we know that the end is near. Do not believe all who claim to have the spirit, but test them to find out if the spirit they have comes from God. For many false prophets have gone out everywhere. This is how you will be able to know whether it is God's spirit - anyone who acknowledges that Jesus Christ came as a human being, has a spirit who comes from God, but anyone who denies this about Jesus does not have the spirit from God. The spirit he has is from the enemy of Christ; you heard that it will come, and now it is here in the world already. These false prophets speak about matters of the world, and the world listens to them because they belong to the world, but we belong to God. Whoever knows God (Jesus Christ) listens to us, whoever does not belong to God does not listen to us. This, then, is how we can tell the difference between the spirit of truth and the spirit of error". (1 John 2/18, 1 John 4/1-3,5,6)
Jesus Christ himself says about those whom he will proclaim before the father and whom he will also reject before the father. " I assure you that whoever declares publicly that he belongs to me, the son of man will also declare him before the angels of God. But whoever rejects me publicly, the son of man will also reject him before the angels of God" (Luke 12/8-9)
1. He who has the Holy spirit will proclaim Jesus Christ publicly, because the spirit is given for that purpose (Acts 1/8, John 16/14)
2. The church exists to proclaim the gospel (Jesus Christ). (Vatican II - church in the modern world)
3. If the church does not proclaim the gospel, it is not the true church (Pope John Paul II)
4. "Woe to me if I don't preach the gospel (St. Paul)
The scriptures, the official teachings of the true church, the teachings of the fathers of the church all point out the real church. Any church devoid of these become man-made organisations and institutions. These types existed even before Jesus Christ came and they rejected the Saviour of the world. So also institutions and organisations continue to reject him.
The greatest DECEPTION is to feel Jesus, talk Jesus and be zealous for Jesus and yet have no Jesus at all!! Many are deceived because they are so church-minded that unknowingly they have rejected the Saviour who is the Head of the church. Like Saul of Tarsus, who was zealous for his religion, ended up kicking at Jesus, many zealous for church continue to kick at Jesus.
As Arch Bishop Fulton Sheen has correctly put it - The church has cut off the Head from the Body !! Today it has become a Religion and not JESUS. Where are we heading for ??. May God help us to see!!
The Covenant People
P.O. Box: 20, Kanjirapally
Kottayam District, Kerala - India