Moses declared, "The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us." (Deut 29:29) Many religious folks are more concerned with those secret things which they try to discover than they are with those things which are plainly revealed in the word of GOD. The LORD said "An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas" (Matt 12:39) There is no dearth of preachers who go about teaching men that the Bible is a mysterious book which must be interpreted by some code or insight which is particularly given to them. There are numerous large gatherings of folks who are convinced that this particular "prophet" or that is (or was) indeed the spokesman for GOD in the world and if any would know the truth it must come from his or her lips. Preacher worship is quite common in all denominations. Miracle workers and producers of this sign and that abound. End time prophecies are decoded and their intricacies explained by these wonder workers and mind readers before whom, many, of those who seek out the knowledge of mysteries and dark sayings, are satisfied.
Some of them are very "spiritual" and able to deceive multitudes by the "light" that they have. (see II Cor.11:13-15) The witch of Endor was no fake. There are indeed powers and principalities which are beyond our present ability to see and interact with. Those who are seekers of religion can easily be satisfied with a journey into this realm. Miracles and signs are a necessity to keep them interested. When the purveyors of such mix in a little of the gospel the concoction that is produced is a formidable one and not easily combated. Deception by its very definition is often difficult to detect, especially by those who are deceived.
The Scripture is abundantly clear that the salvation of the LORD's elect is wrapped up in JESUS CHRIST alone. If any man possesses the ability to come into the presence of GOD, he has received such ablilty by the gift of HIM who has trod the winepress of GOD's wrath without any assistance and who has purchased the redemption of HIS own people by HIS own blood. When anybody's message is CHRIST plus something it is too much or if it is less than CHRIST alone then it is too little. The most common error of the day is that men are taught that CHRIST has done all HE could do to redeem the whole world but now it is up to men to allow HIM to save them by believing that HE did it for them. This is called "accepting CHRIST". It is almost a universal error that crosses denominational lines. Most so called "believers" are taught that their sins are taken away at the "moment" they believe. Even many who teach the doctrine of particular redemption are swept up into this same error. They would teach that man's belief in the "gospel" is the moving cause of the imputation of his sin to CHRIST and the righteousness of CHRIST to his account. The gospel is indeed a powerful message. But the gospel cannot and does not confer life to the unregenerate, nor does the belief of the regenerate cause a change in sin's imputation in the courts of heaven.
Before the world was created the salvation of GOD's elect was decreed. Nothing that GOD determines to do can ever be thwarted nor can HIS purpose fail to be carried out. Only those who will not bow to HIM will cavil against this truth. This determination (predestination) of them to be saved did not, (in itself), accomplish their redemption but it left nothing in doubt about whether or not they would be saved nor could it be possible that such should fail to occur.
The salvation of GOD's elect has been fully accomplished in the courts of heaven by the perfect righteousness of JESUS CHRIST along with the sacrifice of HIMSELF for their sin. The elect who lived before the coming of CHRIST into the world of necessity died with only the prospect of redemption yet to be accomplished. (see Luke 7:28) However, those of us who have been born since HE shed HIS precious blood live in a time after which the act of imputation has already occurred. HE became sin for us and the chastisement of our peace was laid upon HIM. HE is both JUST and the JUSTIFIER of HIS own people. The sin debt of HIS people is forever satisfied by this one offering for sin which HE has made. There remains nothing else to be done. It is finished, HE has forever manifested HIS execution of the FATHER's purpose.
The gospel is the revelation of that which CHRIST has accomplished to those who have been given eyes to see and ears to hear. Life and immortality have been brought to light, or out in the open. When an awakened sinner "hears" the gospel and is given the gift of faith to believe it, then LIFE appears to him for the first time. He who believed himself to be worthy of destruction and walking in the valley of the shadow of death now finds sweet consolation in the message of hope wrought by the redemption of JESUS CHRIST the RIGHTEOUS. That man is then reconciled to GOD in his own mind and willingly bows down and owns CHRIST as LORD. Gone is the fear of death which gripped his soul in the terrors of his own sin's darkness. Gone is that servile nature of religiosity and in its place is the desire to worship HIM in spirit and truth. Gone is any expectation of righteousness in anything other than CHRIST.
There only remaineth the final declaration (manifestation) of the RIGHTEOUSNESS of the elect which shall be seen by the world at the final judgement. "And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." (Matt 25:33-34)mam