Read Apostasy of The Church Part 1
Read Apostasy of The Church Part 3
1 Timothy 4:1 says: “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons.” Apostle Paul plainly says some will ‘depart from the faith’ because they listen to deceiving spirits operating in false teachers and preachers and are led astray by accepting doctrines that are not biblical; ‘doctrines of demons.’
Why does God permit these heresies to seemingly prosper and be taught within the Church? Paul answers this with 1 Corinthians 11:19: “For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.” Apostle Paul says the reason God permits these false teachers and preachers in the church is to reveal to sincere believers those who love and contend for the truth as opposed to those who have failed to discern truth from error. False teaching motivates us to diligently study the Word of God and rely on the Holy Spirit rather than rely on others, even our pastors, to teach us God’s Word.
In 2 Thess. 2:7, Paul says ‘the mystery of lawlessness” is at work among us. Do you know why he calls it a mystery? Because a mystery is something hidden from human perception. It has to be revealed to be seen. As I was preparing this teaching, the Lord revealed to me that the ‘mystery of lawlessness’ is not simply world confusion and unrestrained evil; it is the attempt of Satan and his satanic powers to overthrow faith in the hearts and minds of those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ through deceptive doctrines and false teachers.
1 Timothy 4:1 tells us “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons.” Satan and his army of evil spirits are attempting to shipwreck and destroy our faith. This mystery of lawlessness is an antichrist spirit that is attempting to deceive and mislead the people of God to reject the sound teachings of Jesus Christ, to pervert the pure gospel of our Lord by intentionally misrepresenting the truth of God’s Word, and to lead us astray through doctrines of demons.
[Reset Exchange interject: See this post about seeker sensitive churches as a demonstration of what’s typically happening in churches around the world.]
Acts 20:29-30: “For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock., speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.” A significant part of the identity of the savage wolves mentioned in this passage is that they “seek to draw away disciples after them.” In other words, these men [and women] will twist and distort the Scriptures to promote their own agenda; they are interested in building their own ministries rather than advancing the kingdom of God. In a desperate attempt to keep up their popularity and bank balance, they seek to gather followers around themselves rather than draw them to Christ.
The true church of Jesus Christ has always been plagued by apostasy, but we are presently witnessing this carnal tendency arising to heights never seen in history. Megachurches have formed around charismatic leaders; professional CEO’s masquerading as pastors and exhibiting the ridiculously lavish and glamorous lifestyles of a Hollywood celebrity, including the expensive clothes, fancy cars, multi-million-dollar mansions and armed bodyguards. This tendency of Christians to flock after superstar pastors, rather than seeking the person of Jesus Christ, has become so commonplace that it is looked upon as normal. But it’s unbiblical and devoid of the essential nutrition of the Gospel of our Lord and Savior.
In 1 Timothy 4:1 Apostle Paul tells us “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.” A glaring example of doctrines of demons is the abandonment of the doctrine of repentance and teaching that backsliders and apostates remain saved in their willful wickedness. This security-in-sin gospel, better known as the doctrine of ‘Eternal Security’ or ‘Once Saved, Always Saved’ has spread throughout the churches and many now question the salvation of a true Christian who rejects it and accuses him of believing in a works salvation. (Charles Stanley, Joseph Prince, etc.)
Other false doctrines that do not originate from Scripture is that water baptism or keeping the Saturday Sabbath is necessary for salvation and forgiveness of sins. Heretical teachers undermine the authority of the New Testament and teach the gifts of the Holy Spirit has ceased; others teach if you don’t receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues you’re not saved. Spiritual deception erodes the very foundation of the biblical Christian faith. I don’t believe that true Christians can significantly change an overwhelmingly apostate carnal church. What we can do, however, is not be deceived by Satan’s lies or support what is not of God. Apostle Paul said, “A little leaven ferments the whole loaf.”
Doctrines of Demons include:
1) The Doctrine of Ecumenicalism: We are living in a day of ecumenical propaganda that is being spearheaded by evangelicals calling on the churches of the world to unite; Catholics, Protestants and non-Christian religions: Muslims, Hindus, and Wiccans. Many prominent Christian leaders are teaching and preaching the ecumenical doctrine that Allah of Islam is the same god worshipped by Christians.
The modern ecumenical movement promotes one single church, and the Charismatic Movement is doing more to bring Roman Catholics and other liberal denominations into the Ecumenical – Movement than any other force in our day. The great apostasy of our American evangelicals is taking place right before our eyes and few see it.
These false prophets and teachers of ecumenism are actually partaking of Communion together with unbelievers who see no value in the cross Of Christ. The True Church is composed of only born-again, blood- washed believers whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Those leaders promoting ecumenism are eventually going to succeed in forming an unholy alliance with pagans and apostates, at least temporarily. Their triumph will occur when the Antichrist forms a one world religion. (Rev 13:12).
2) The Prosperity Gospel: A church that promotes this false gospel is a spiritual counterfeit having a spiritually adulterous affair with the god of money. From the pulpit, these ravenous wolves promote the gospel of greed and lead the people to covet or pursue earthly riches. These apostate ministries are so far from preaching and teaching Biblical truth that the vast majority in our day have never heard the true gospel of Jesus Christ based on scripture. (Joel Osteen, T.D. Jakes, Creflo Dollar, Kenneth Copeland, Leroy Thompson, Paula White, etc.)
God is removing His lampstand from these apostate churches that have followed the way of the world and become preoccupied with wealth, popularity, power and prestige and deceive their followers with false promises and lies for their own gain using scripture to mislead the gullible. While there are many Christians who view these gospel of greed ministries as an abomination, many others (illiterate in the Bible) believe in their heresies and fall prey to its deception. Why do so many professed Christians embrace the prosperity message and reject correction and calls to repentance and holiness? It’s because prosperity preaching fits beautifully into their own iniquitous greed and covetousness for a successful lifestyle. They flock to these manipulators because they want to feel comfortable in their world of materialism. They are in no mood to give up anything, or to sacrifice, or to hear of crosses and losses. They are into buying, acquiring, enjoying, succeeding. They refuse to heed the prophetic warnings that the party is soon coming to an end.
Matthew 7:15-16 says, “15 Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits.”
The fruit growing from the branches of these ravenous wolves is a bank account exceeding the wealth of corporate executives, leaving their ministry supporters waiting for the one-hundredfold financial blessing. Such misdeeds in the church are not escaping the eye of God, nor the scorn of true believers and unbelievers alike. The unbelievers of the world look upon these greedy, self-promoting ministers with indignant contempt, and view the church as a commodity of greed and commerce. I share their view.
3) The Doctrine of the End-time Revival: This is the rejection of the biblical teaching concerning apostasy and the insistence that we are in the midst of, or at least are building up to, the “greatest revival in the history of the church.” This is the prevailing teaching today among charismatics, Pentecostals and increasingly among evangelicals.
The promise of revival is part of the last-days deception. The Lord says that the world in the end time will resemble the world shortly before the flood. Now was that a time of revival, of the conversion of many millions? This doesn’t sound like “mass revival” and “the outpouring of the Holy Spirit” – it means mass apostasy, occultism and outright rebellion against God. Even as in the days of Noah, the overwhelming majority of men will mock preachers of righteousness.
The Bible says in the days preceding the Second Coming of Christ there will be a great falling away from the faith. There will however be a revival of false religion that will sweep the world in these last days and bring about a unified one world religion.
Christian bookstores are a good reflection of Christianity in America today. We can see by what is selling that Christianity in America is becoming increasingly apostate. The Christian bookstores and airwaves are full of deception and the people of this nation cannot discern truth because they have become biblically illiterate.
It is becoming nearly impossible to find a church that has not bought into one of the latest heresies. These are not minor secondary issues, rather they address the very fundamentals of the Christian faith. If “Christians” do not believe the fundamental teachings of Christianity how can they even claim that they’re Christians?
2 Thess. 2:9-11: “The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie.”
One of the great characteristics of the end times is described in these scriptures as deception, or delusion, on an unprecedented scale. Because people have chosen to distort and reject the truth of God’s Word, they will be completely DECEIVED. The consequences for no longer loving the truth are that God gives them over to a strong delusion. But what is ‘the lie’ they are going to believe? The false claims of the lawless one – the antichrist.