It told us to us; it was coming. It is here now, and we can see it encroaching and eroding the body of Christ every day. Apostasy has become well established in pulpits and literature, which purports itself as being the enlightenment of latter times. In many cases the false teachings are linked directly to popular Christian contemporary music, produced and supported by a mega-church with false prophets leading them.
The constant drive for more and more numbers has shifted the focus of many that were once faithful to the Word of God have not abbreviated, twisted and supplemented their way to ever-increasing numbers in their congregations and readers.
Now the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will depart from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and the teachings of demons, through the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are seared.
1 Timothy 4:1-2 (CSB)
For these their entanglements with the world and embracing of the desires of the flesh will be their destruction.
For if, having escaped the world’s impurity through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in these things and defeated, the last state is worse for them than the first. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness than, after knowing it, to turn back from the holy command delivered to them. It has happened to them according to the true proverb: A dog returns to its own vomit, and, “A washed sow returns to wallowing in the mud.”
2 Peter 2:20-22 (CSB)
These purveyors of deceptions and departures from the Word and the Gospel appear from a distance to be genuine but if you listen closely to what they are saying there is an omission of truth and inserting of their counter gospel message, thread with God’s Word.
But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, a curse be on him! As we have said before, I now say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, a curse be on him!
Galatians 1:8-9 (CSB)
Then there are also the false prophets that started out preaching a different gospel than the Gospel of Christ Jesus. The Master Himself warn of these in the Gospel of Matthew.
“Be on your guard against false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravaging wolves.”
Matthew 7:15 (CSB)
This wave of apostasy and false teaching, is permitted in the fellowships of the church by believers who are weak and lazy. This isn’t entirely their fault as the enemy has over many years sought to lull the faithful in to a state of complacency.
We want to be loved and admired. We bought into the lie that if we were more like the world, then we could more easily reach the lost. When what happens in reality is the more like the world, we become the less like Jesus we are. A follower of the world cannot be a Disciple of Christ Jesus.
Jesus cautioned us to be alert because these lies would come, and they would be so convincing they would even deceive the elect.
For false messiahs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.
Matthew 24:24 (CSB)
The music is great; the message is soothing, you can enter with gloom and exit out feeling energized and motivated; but sadly, what has motivated and energized was the satisfaction of the flesh and the desire to accommodate self. Just so we can feel loved, and we can be happy, and in our own minds we are safe from that which can harm us.
There is but one harbor for our troubled souls, He is our hiding place.
This Jesus is the stone rejected by you builders, which has become the cornerstone.
There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people by which we must be saved.
Acts 4:11-12 (CSB)
This is Jesus who the false prophets and ministers of the apostate gospel, seek to subvert and His image alter in our hearts.
What is our defense?
If even the elect among us can be deceived, how can we, as ‘Joe Disciple’, avoid falling into the traps that a laid before us by these dark angels? The answer to that question is standards.
If our standard is Jesus Christ and our reference to this standard is His Word, then we hold in our hands the evidence to identify and defeat these angels of darkness and purveyors of deception.
Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see if they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
This is how you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist which you have heard is coming; even now it is already in the world.
You are from God, little children, and you have conquered them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world. Therefore what they say is from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God. Anyone who knows God listens to us; anyone who is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of deception.
1 John 4:1-6 (CSB)
The Spirit of God in us is here to teach us and reveal in His Word the truth. It is the final authority in our lives. It is the infallible truth of God Himself. There is not one jot or tittle is missing from God’s Word, requiring it be supplemented by mans ‘revelation’. The only revelation we should respond to, are the ones that are contained in His Word and imparted to us by His Spirit.
Anyone that says they have a vision independent of God’s Word. If we take our focus off of Jesus and place our attention on another person, we have lost the vision that is ours to hold.
They may have a slick delivery and can drum up an emotional high, but eventually that high will come crashing down, if it is not firmly ensconced in God’s Word and directed by His Spirit.
Because Jesus is our standard and His Word is the authority in our lives. Not a man or woman, not a denomination or a church organization, not a clever writer or speaker, God’s Son and His Word.
We get there through immersion in His Word and prayer.
You may wonder why I inject so much scripture in these devotional blogs. The reason for that is I do not want you to take my words on faith in what I am saying, but rather desire that you place your faith in what God has entrusted to us in His Word.
1 John 4 opens with a charge to test every spirit. Don’t be lazy and just accept what I or anyone else says God’s Word says, look for yourself. Pray that the Holy Spirit will guide and direct you to the truth in God’s Word and reveal the treasure for you directly, rather than rely on me or anyone else to nourish your spirit.
Delve into the message behind the Modern Christian music you embrace. See who teaching it is based on. Is it pure and come directly from the Word of God or is it a distortion designed to entice and entrap you in a humanized version of the Word that has been enhanced to suit the desired effect of man?
Test the spirits. There are two massive music sources that come directly out of a false ministry. I’ve not mentioned them by name because you need to investigate who is behind the music. There are mega church leaders that are distorting and augmenting the Word of God for their own benefit and to tickle the ears of the masses. Sounds good but is their teaching sound? There are popular authors and speakers that have an uplifting message and disclose wondrous things we never found in the Word of God because it didn’t come from the Word.
Don’t be lazy.
The Lord Jesus Christ is our standard, we are to be His Disciples and no one else’s. His Word is the infallible truth handed down by God and our guide for this life we live. His Spirit lives within us to guide and teach us the things we never can understand without the benefit of His instruction.
Apostasy in the Church is a real thing. It is pervasive and seeks to divert you from the truth and the Savior. Let no man be your master but the Master who was a man, The Master Jesus Christ!
In His Grace,