“Some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils” (1 Tim 4:1).
Many people are falling away from the Faith in these days. Why is this? The answer is found in 2 Cor 6:14 and I would add the greatest threat to Christianity and the church is from its own leadership and the congregations who sleep whilst they are being preyed upon! It grieves me to say it, but no one can deny that the Anglican Church, for instance, once the backbone of England’s virtue and morality, is imploding. The Roman Church too is confined to its deceptive doctrine. As the family of God we have refused to obey God’s word and separate ourselves from the ecumenical movement – Satan’s tool to unite all religions – we have bowed the knee to their PC (politically correct) dogma that all religions lead to God. This is simply not true. Therefore we as a nation are suffering the plagues. “Come out of her my people …” (Rev 18:4), before its too late.
This is a warning for those who apostatize today. So do not be ‘stiff necked’ as your fathers were, but yield yourselves to the Lord (2 Chron 30:8) and ‘earnestly contend for the faith, boldly and fearlessly, which was once delivered unto the saints’ (Jude 3).
So we give praise and worship to our God, through our Lord Jesus Christ. Despite what is going on in the world, He is still on the throne, still in control, bringing all things to the final end. We praise Him for His unfailing love, abundant mercy and grace. Where the Lord is moving by His Spirit, there will always be enemy opposition. Refuse to listen and encourage yourself in the Lord. Read the Word and pray something like this:
Thank you Lord God that I am redeemed from sin by the incarnation, suffering and death of Jesus; I am covered by His precious blood and through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross I am no longer under the curse of the Law, but have entered into the blessing of Abraham, whom God blessed in all things. So there is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ …
(Gen 24:1; Gal 3:13; Rom 8:1).
From time to time we make mistakes, fall short and our faith wavers. Through fear of men the apostle Peter mistakenly cursed, swore and denied Christ not once but three times. Instead of allowing Satan to condemn him, he wept bitterly and threw himself upon God’s mercy, then went on to be mightily used by God. Moses too made mistakes. He murdered an Egyptian, and told his wife to lie and say that she was his sister; but despite weaknesses of his flesh, he was God’s chosen man to lead his people out of Egypt – so if you have recently made a mistake, don’t let Satan condemn you, but take your eyes and mind off the failure and fix them on who you are ‘in Christ’.
We are in the final battle of the ages, so we must be on our guard against ‘wolves in sheep’s clothing’. Until the harvest time, ‘tares and wheat’, ‘wise and foolish virgins’ will grow together (Matthew 13:24-30). In these “latter times” we need to be aware of Satan’s evil wiles against the true body of Christ. We learn in I Tim 4:1 “Now the spirit speaks expressly that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith …” This action is not a blatant, outright rejection of the faith, but a slow, seductive process, which has led organized religion into a state of apostasy. Satan is subtle. Slowly but surely the enemy has bewitched many worshippers. The Word does not teach that some will reject the Faith. It teaches that they will depart from the faith. There is a great difference between outright rejection of the Faith and departure from it. The former is being slowly but surely bewitched and taken over by the only power that Satan has – witchcraft. The latter is that Satan has succeeded in seducing the unsuspecting, into following “another gospel” of works, which opposes the true Gospel of the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
This other gospel teaches what we have to do, or give up, in order to be in right standing with God, whilst the true Gospel of grace teaches what Jesus has done for us. The just live by faith in what Jesus purchased and provided in the Atonement. Religion whether established denominations or outright pagan religion and cults is being used by Satan as a tool to bewitch those whose names are not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Truly born again believers are not exempted from such hellish attacks. Many are held in bondage to dead, ritualistic religion, whereby they remain ensnared under the curse of the law, plagued with disease, pain and depression. People are subtly drawn away from the Scriptures and are led into preoccupation with visions, dreams, rituals, horoscopes, messages from angels and lying wonders, with many clergy enjoying an ego trip, forgetting that the Word explicitly states: “Some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils” (1 Tim 4:1). Who will tell them?
It isn’t just the poor quality of sermons preached from many pulpits that drive people away. The reason why some have already departed from the faith and others are now departing from the faith is that they are heeding “seducing spirits and doctrines of devils” – false doctrines, traditions and rites practised in religious circles, with no spiritual warranty. If there is to be a spiritual awakening in the pews, it must begin in the pulpit! Those held in bondage to ritualistic dead religion yearn for revival. They want to see signs and wonders and long for power. But when the manifestation of signs and wonders becomes the primary goal and focal point of attention, the result is Satan’s counterfeit – laughing like hyenas, barking like dogs, hissing like snakes, jumping up and down, falling on the floor, moaning and groaning and making noises as though experiencing an orgasm – all counterfeit manifestations. The preaching of the Word of God must be our first priority.
God watches over His Word to perform it, as we preach the truth recorded in the Bible. The Lord Jesus works with us by the power of the Holy Ghost, confirming His Word with signs following (Mark 16:20).
The saints of God are vulnerable to the dangers and consequences of encounters with those teaching false doctrines. It is easy to be drawn into the fowler’s snare. The Christian disciple will do well to avoid such deceitful workers who transform themselves into apostles of Christ; depend alone on God’s mercy and grace. The watchword is, do not put your vicar/priest on a pedestal! Is he there as an under-shepherd or for his own self-gratification? Is his message in keeping with the scriptures? Does he conduct himself with great humility of heart? Is he sensitive to the Spirit of God?
“Tares”, although appearing Christ – like are false brethren (Ga1.2:4) likened to witches (Gal.3:1), dogs and evil workers ((Phil.3:2), enemies of the cross (Phil.3:18), beguilers (Co1.2:4 -18) and liars with a seared conscience (I Tim 4:2). They have corrupt minds and are destitute of the truth (1 Tim.6:5), profane and vain babblers (2 Tim 2:16). Such are taken captive by the Devil to do the Devil’s will (2 Tim 2:26). They are heretics (Titus 3:10). These “wolves in sheep’s clothing” hurt, wound and seek to tear to pieces a true lamb of the Lord. Like the Devil they are out to kill, steal and destroy; being false prophets and teachers they seek after what they can gain for themselves (2 Peter 2:3). They walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness (2 Peter 2:10), going the way of Balaam (2 Peter 2:15), servants of corruption. Watch out, there is at least ONE in the company you keep.
With Paul I am astonished that so many people who call themselves Christians are quickly deserting Him that called us into the GRACE of Christ to “another gospel” (Galatians 1:6). Wolves in sheep’s clothing had bewitched the Galatians and caused them to change their position. They had moved away from grace back into works – back under the curse of the law. When the Galatians were born again, they understood and walked in the grace of Christ by faith, and knew the truth; but wanting praises of men rather than praises of God, they were deprived of the truth by virtue of their will to go their own way and be accepted by the majority. They ignored the promptings of the Holy Ghost to correct their teaching and self-righteous attitudes. Those who refused to hear Paul fell away from the narrow way onto the wide road, their ‘consciences being seared with a hot iron’. Sound familiar?
Many apostate frauds continue to be financially blessed despite their activities, believing that “gain is Godliness”. The truth is that many of God’s people have supported the apostate church, frauds and counterfeits throughout history. Peter was amazed to see this happening in his day and stated: “Many shall follow their pernicious ways.” (2 Pet. 2:2). Outward success showing great financial gain cannot be our measure of true success in God.
Were outward success the measure of success in God, the early disciples would be utter failures since they did not have the approval of men. Those early saints departed this world with few friends faithful to them. Paul’s life and ministry is an example of how the enemy sent in after him apostates preaching legalistic messages – to distract the Gospel of grace – and this continues today. We must check all things with God’s Word. So let us earnestly contend for the true faith, opposing Satan’s dangerous “tares”, which cause so much harm in Christ’s body.
Download Study Here: Apostasy Study 1
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