500 years ago, Christians around saw the beginning of the Reformation that would successfully encourage them to look to the Scriptures of God as their sole, infallible authority once again. But what they are not seeing today are the “workers of iniquity” (Lk. 13:26, 27) laboring to destroy the fruits of that movement and why doing so is dangerous.
A worker of iniquity openly professes the Christian faith, but secretly practices hypocrisy and teaches false doctrines that destroy the faith of those who want to do right.
“For the vile person will speak villany, and his heart will work iniquity, to practise hypocrisy, and to utter error against the Lord, to make empty the soul of the hungry, and he will cause the drink of the thirsty to fail.” (Isa. 32:6, emphasis supplied. Compare with Matt. 5:6 and Matt. 23).
“…have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?…We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity” (Matt. 7:23; Lk. 13:26, 27, emphasis supplied).
But despite their attempt at secrecy, workers of iniquity cannot hide who they are or what they do. Jesus teaches us that…“Ye shall know them by their fruits…”(Matt. 7:16, 17). Their character and their works, their fruits, are made plain for us and the world to see. Workers of iniquity, among other things:
- know of God but do not call upon Him in their work. Rather, they “eat up” His people (Ps. 14:4, 53:4; Isa. 59:6).
- associate with the wicked and hide it from others (Job 34:8, 22; Ps. 94:7).
- are very prosperous and boastful (Ps. 5:5, 37:1, 92:7).
- are violent, destructive, and are swift to commit evils. They know no peace and have no sense of justice (earthly or divine) (Isa. 59:6).
- are priests. They are backstabbers and facilitators of evil plans (Hos. 6:8, 9).
- persecute the people of God (Ps. 6:8, 59:2, 94:5, 6), especially against those who proclaim the way of the Lord and the coming judgment because it is destruction to them. (Psalms 64:2; Proverbs 10:29, 21:15)
- are all hated by God (Ps. 5:5).
How are these workers of iniquity destroying the “fruits” of the Reformation?
The hypocrisy and doctrinal errors of the workers of iniquity have generated a spirit of apathy that encourages Christians to lightly regard the Word of God and compromise on precious Bible truths that Reformers like Martin Luther, Ulrich Zwingli, and John Huss suffered and died for. More heed is given to pagan festivals like Halloween, doctrinal errors like eternal torment, and sins like drunkenness, adultery, and homosexuality than worshipping God “in spirit and in truth” (Jn. 4:24).
“This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Matt. 15:8-10)
Why is destroying these fruits dangerous?
The discovery and preaching of Bible truths during the Reformation (justification by faith, Sola Scriptura, salvation by faith, etc.) played a central role in ending the era of religious persecution and compromise known as the Dark Ages.
The Bible tells us that in the last days, the Bible truths discovered in the Reformation and even the authority of the Bible itself, will be rejected by the church and the world at large once again. Removing them will open the way for the Antichrist to usher in an era of religious persecution and compromise worse than the Dark Ages.
“…and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time…” (Dan. 12:1).
“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God” (2 Thess. 2:3, 4).
“And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life…” (Rev. 13:8).
“… as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.… no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name” (Rev. 13: 15, 17).
The workers of iniquity are completely unaware that in leading believers to regard the commandments of men above God’s Word, they are preparing the world to be ruled by a kingdom that operates on the same principle. Unless they are warned of their danger, the workers of iniquity and those who helped them will be lost (Job 31:3; Ps. 36:12, 92:7,9, 94:16, 17, 125:5; Isaiah 31:2).
But the righteous, those who live by the Scriptures of God, will refuse to partake in their iniquitous works or seek to benefit from them. Nor will they fall for the traps that the workers of iniquity set for them in those days (Psalms 141:4, 9). God redeemed them from their iniquities and in their love for Him, they will be faithful despite being persecuted.
If you have not been redeemed from your iniquities, the sins you strive to hide from men but fail to hide from God, now is the time to plead for His mercies. It is not too late to be forgiven. It is not late to reform and work for the reform of others. God has a place for you in His kingdom and if you turn back to Him, He will turn back to you and bring you to where He is. Call upon Him now. He is waiting to hear from you.
“Draw me not away with the wicked, and with the workers of iniquity, which speak peace to their neighbours, but mischief is in their hearts.” (Ps. 28:3).
“Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works” (Titus 2:14).