Two Good Messages About Today’s Apostasy
I discovered a article today (from a link on a friend’s website) entitled, God’s Word Shines Light Upon End Times Apostasy, by Roger Oakland. It fits very well within the context and message of my recent article, How God Uses Heretics, here on RichVermillion.com, as well as a few posts I have in mind to write soon.
So I thought it would be good to excerpt a few choice portions from his article, as well as to quote from another one written by different pastor (see further below). These citations will help my readers to understand that a TRUE “Great Awakening” is happening (i.e. verses the false heretical one that Mormon Glenn Beck is promulgating); for godly men and women are being provoked to “take action” against the apostasy they see happening all around them.
The First Article
These excerpts are provided to encourage my readers to give Roger Oakland’s full article a review. This one is from his opening introduction, and sets the tone for the rest of the article nicely (all emphasis in the citation is mine):
Over the past few months, conversations with brothers and sisters in Christ from all over the world have convinced me that a watershed standard is beginning to occur. What do I mean by this? Many believers are being led by the Holy Spirit and are waking up from their indifference and are now being called into action. They recognize that we are in the last days. The Gospel of Jesus Christ and the freedom to proclaim that Gospel are under attack. All biblical standards are being eroded. These servants of the Lord see that this is a time to stand up for our Lord and Savior whatever the cost. The time has come to proclaim the truth of His Word. An expose of apostasy has begun! The prophet Isaiah spoke it well when he stated: “When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him” (Isaiah 59:19).
Of course, such a move of God is not new in Christian history. Recall the Reformation! This was a time when men and women were raised up to counter the wave of darkness that had engulfed the world because true Christianity had been perverted.
The Lord has never been without His true witnesses. Countless numbers have been persecuted for standing with Jesus Christ and His Word in the past. While our generation seems to have forgotten history, the God of history proclaims that history repeats itself. What has happened before, can and will happen again.
The present apostasy that is underway will indeed be of great magnitude but will not seduce the entire world—there will be a remnant that will stand up and speak out….
That quote above ties in very well with “Reason 2” explained within my own article, How God Uses Heretics:
The second biblical reason that God allows and uses heretics is to provoke true ministers and mature Christians to conduct “spiritual warfare” through prayer and by the propagation of the truth of God’s Word. Godly men and women will be stirred to confront such errors, and thus, hereby God makes it obvious to the Church (and to the general public) who the real ministers of God’s truth are, in contrast to the heretics….
Another interesting point Roger Oakland brings out within his excellent post is under the subheading “The Condition of the So-Called Church Today”:
…It seems increasingly apparent that few Christians have the discernment to see what is happening. Some may be aware that changes are taking place in their churches, but they are not able to grasp the whole picture. Others, when they let their pastors know they are concerned, are often told to look for another church even though they have been faithful attendees for years.
Fellowships and Bible schools that once taught the Bible no longer teach the Word of God. They have become overtaken by a “new reformation” mentality and are no longer Spirit led. They have latched onto the latest church growth gimmicks to get people to come to their churches and schools. They think they are “fundamentally transforming” Christianity….
The pattern is quite clear throughout history. The serpent that deceived Eve by saying “hath God really said?” is still influencing the church today in the same way. If you can subtly convince Christian leaders to substitute God’s Word with a purpose-driven, seeker-friendly, new spirituality for building kingdoms and empires in the name of Christ, the flesh feels triumphant. Or if you add a few Babylonian mystical practices that provide touchy-feely sensual experiences in the name of Christ, pseudo “converts” might even believe they actually know Jesus Christ. In actuality, huge numbers of people going to church have never even heard the Gospel! Yet, they sit week after week with a false sense of security that all is well.
No denomination or fellowship of churches is immune to this delusion. Even those who once stood on the simple Word of God, warning of deception and teaching the Bible verse by verse, have fallen in the trap. The pressure is too great not to go with the flow. Even when well-respected pastors and leaders see the signs of apostasy happening in their own circles and proclaim a warning, most refuse to listen. They go on their merry way for the sake of popularity and success….
Again, this ties in nicely with points under “Reason 2” of my own article, but also the admonition of “Reason 3” therein:
The third — and perhaps the most profound — biblical reason why God allows false doctrines to propagate is to judge those who LOVE lies…
To those of us who love THE truth (i.e. God’s Word) and truth in general (i.e. verses false information) it seems almost incomprehensible that there are actually people who LOVE lies. But there really are such people. Either due to their lusts, or perhaps due to their fears, there are some people who live life as if they are saying, “Please do not tell me the truth; I cannot endure such honesty, and I would prefer to continue to believe a lie because it suits me better.”
Such people are extremely odious to the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is “THE way, THE truth, and THE life.”…
…[A]s our beloved John Bunyan now explains:.
3. Another reason why the Lord allows — and even sends — delusions among the people, is: That those who were too idle and slothful to seek after the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity, might be taken away and violently possessed with error, and actually be made to run greedily after the same. [His purpose is] that they might suffer even more for their neglect of the truth. For those who were always lazy in seeking after the truth when it was offered, but afterward were very hasty after the doctrine of devils when that was declared to them, are guaranteed to have their latter behavior to rise up in judgment against them. For when the truth was offered to them, they were idle and did not receive it; and yet when delusion did offer itself, they were industrious, and laboring [to receive that error greedily]. Now [take note of the Scripture], “That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness; because they received not the truth in the love of it, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusions, that they might believe a lie, and be damned.”
Thus, I highly recommend that my readers take the time to review Roger’s well-written article, and to look up the many Scripture citations he included therein as well.
Still Another Recommendation
Moreover, there is another article posted by “Pastor Gadget” that ties wonderfully into Roger’s and mine perfectly. This dear pastor is writing for Nazarenes for Biblical Holiness; a website dedicated to admonishing those within the Nazarene denomination to return to scriptural standards (though I am sure he would not limit its admonition to that group alone, but also extend it to all professing Christians).
I cited his article already within the comment section of How God Uses Heretics, but it bears repeating here since it is so good and quite apropos. It is entitled, Is a New Church Denominationalism Emerging? Part 2; and Pastor Gadget really lays it out boldly:
…Finding a church where the Cross of Christ is lifted up and Jesus is proclaimed and the blood of Christ is pleaded and prayed over folks may soon be a forgotten gospel among a shrinking remnant if the masses of professing Christians do not discern the times with the Word of God.
Many pulpits have become nothing more than a Jesus flavored self help pep talk with scriptures peppered in here and there to flavor there topical messages of the hour. Rarely do we here of people mourning over their sins and confessing unto true repentance. Many of our churches have become centers of entertainment verses a holiness people of worship with a fresh anointing from on high with power. Sermons are becoming more illustrated with the latest skits and movie clips to identify with the culture [rather] than introducing the lost culture to the Gospel of Jesus Christ with His timeless relevant truth that still speaks through the power of the Holy Spirit. I believe we must use multimedia as a tool that this present generally relates to, but not so much that we do not rely solely on the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit.
Unfortunately I perceive that a New Denominationalism will not be about which doctrine you believe as much as which Gospel you receive. That may be a new thought to many, but it certainly was not to the early apostles. Paul wrote in Galatians 1:8 “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that, which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed”. Now those are some stern words for us as well and especially the clergy who will answer for what we do with the Word of God in teaching and proclaiming.
Doctrine is important and far from secondary, but the shift that is emerging today is a shift from proclaiming a personal message of hope and holiness to transform lives to a message of cultural redemption and mandates to save the world as a whole. “Another Gospel” is the self help message that conveys all that God wants to do for you.
People need to know the true gospel from “another gospel” or they may be sweep away into the cultural vortex of social reform at the expense of their own souls.
I never dreamed 20 years ago when Jesus said in Luke 18:8 “However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” how this could be possible. With multimedia with its repetitive emotional impact ability deception seems far easier in the hands of the misguided, deceived and wicked than I ever could have imagined….
So let my readers be informed and warned: What are you feeding on spiritually? Is it the True Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, or some heretical manure that will damn and destroy you?
If you are a Mormon, Universalist, Freemason, Unitarian; or a pseudo-Charismatic running after distorted “Dominion Theology” or some other non-repentance focused tripe; or a professing Christian of any group affiliation that soaks themselves primarily in unbiblical prosperity teaching; then you are eating the spiritual manure and will reap the results promised by God’s Word:
Now I am ready to visit you for the third time, and I will not be a burden to you, because what I want is not your possessions but you….
For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder. I am afraid that when I come again my God will humble me before you, and I will be grieved over many who have sinned earlier and have not repented of the impurity, sexual sin and debauchery in which they have indulged….
Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test? (2 Corinthians 12:12:14, 20-21; 13:5, NIV, emphasis added)
All Scripture [i.e. the Bible only, and NOT any “extra” testaments like the heretical The Book of Mormon] is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! [In the Greek, this is the “Logos”, which refers only to God’s written Word, i.e. the Bible only and not to heretical documents, such as those Mormons use.] Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. (2 Timothy 3:16 through 4:5, NKJV, emphasis and notes added)
They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us. (1 John 2:19, NASB, emphasis added)
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel — which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!
Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ….
You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. (Galatians 1:6-10; 3:1, NIV, emphasis added)
Are you truly a Christian? Then you better take heed to God’s truth, and never seek “ear scratching” doctrines that target your lusts and justify your sins. If you fail to seek pure (and even confrontational) teaching that promotes godliness, ministered by honest and godly preachers who truly care for your souls and who seek to please their Lord and Master; and instead turn to such “doctrines of demons” being propagated by self-serving heretics who only want to exploit you for their own agendas…then there will eventually be Hell to pay for accepting heresy and pursuing such apostasy — regardless of your “good” motives for doing so.
Are you not a biblical Christian? Then please consider this video for a good synopsis of how “good” you need to be to get to Heaven.
Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen. (Ephesians 6:24, NKJV)
Always in Jesus,