The Unity of the Apostates
Israel started small and with little and became great among the nations because they were blessed under the Lord’s supervision; they were the only theocratic nation God had made. Later Israel came into a time of apostasy, a period of confusion which is described in the book of Judges, where it tells us “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 17:5-6). In Judges 21:25 the book ends with the same statement, there was no change.
Today this statement would be recognized as liberalism. How could a nation that was given the oracles of God, a nation that witnessed His glory, His miracles and His hand of deliverance and blessing throughout their history come to such a ruin. Even before they came into inheritance- the Promised Land through Joshua they had this problem (Deuteronomy 12:7-9). It is the part of mans fallen human nature that never seems to go away, though it may be dormant for a time.
Throughout the book of wisdom we are told “Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, And strength to your bones” (Proverbs 3:7-8).
The Bible mentions numerous ways we can be wise in our own eyes.
Proverbs 12:15: “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes”
Proverbs 28:11: “The rich man is wise in his own eyes”
Proverbs 16:2: “All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes”
Proverbs 21:2: “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes”
As we can see the Bible has many direct cautions of man’s high opinion of himself; we have a problem with self- esteem, that is we have too much of it, not that we lack it. We want to rule ourselves without God.
Finally, Isaiah says:“ Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, And prudent in their own sight!” (Isaiah 5:21) and we are told in the New Testament “Do not be wise in your own opinion” (Romans 12:16).
In Jesus’ letters to the Churches, the last church mentioned is Laodicea. The Laodicean church would be the dominant one in the latter times. Laodicea has similarities to Israel in its time of apostasy. Laodicea means “people’s opinions, people’s ideas and people ruling in place of God.” In other word’s, they are focused on themselves, their own ideas. They take the Bible in piecemeal; they eat the sweet parts and ignore the hard parts that demand change, sacrifice and defending the truth.
Jesus tells the church in Ephesus (Revelation 2:4) “you have left your first love.” We are told elsewhere that in the time of the end many peoples love will grow cold. In other words, they will turn from being in service to God and man toward them-self; self will be the focus in what they do. They are doing what is “right in their own eyes.”
Loyalty to Christ can be left and replaced by our loyalty to an organization, a church, a philosophy, even a ministry and to man. Loyalty to leaders is accomplished by substituting new rules and interpretations to follow, instead of plain Biblical truths. We are seeing this proverb take place with the leadership “If a ruler pays attention to lies, All his servants become wicked” ( Proverbs 29:12). If those who lead the church, who are pastors, evangelists, teachers (or apostles and prophets) are deceived those who listen to them will be also ( 2 Tim.3:13; 1Cor. 15:33).
This happened in Jesus’ day when all of Israel obeyed the religious leadership and their man made commandments (Mk.7). When this is practiced, another mediator replaces God’s mediator- Jesus Christ. And people become deaf to the word of God (Acts 28:27; Heb.5:11).
A new openness blossoms, and draws many to its fragrance. A tolerance for teachings other than the Bible are promoted for ones spiritual growth and that becomes the “new” standard. The world’s methods and techniques are also be used for the desired results. Whatever works is fine. To them there is no difference, only the result counts. What matters is that they can feel good about it.
Classic liberals to neo Christian/charismatic liberals have become the voice of the church and exercise their influence to remove the church from its head (Jesus Christ), to men with “better” opinions. Names like those of the Jesus Seminar such as Marcus Borg, John Dominic Crossan; or John Shelby Spong, Robert Schuller, and those who follow in their footsteps like Brian Mclaren are indicative of this new liberal movement. These so called progressive evangelicals are liberals question the core doctrines of the faith that was delivered to the saints. The progressive Liberals do not hold to the inerrancy of Scripture -they attribute it to human authorship. Its passages are not to be literally interpreted and insinuate that those who do so are dinosaurs stuck in the old age of faulty understanding.
In the infancy of the church Satan brought the world into the church. In the end it is the same strategy, but instead he brings the church into the world. Confusion, relativism become
John is told in Rev. 1:11: “What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea." Because of this we are able to read it today and understand where we are at. What becomes evident to those who study the 7 letters to the churches is that none of the churches in the Book of Revelation have great power; they do not have a great influence nor take dominion over the earth. It is the last church of the 7 churches mentioned in the last book of the Bible that Jesus has absolutely nothing good to say. Yet He loves them enough to rebuke them so they have a choice to repent. The Laodicean church calls her-self rich, in need of nothing; despite her high opinion of herself, Jesus knows better.He tells them they are poor, naked and blind. Why? Because of their spiritual condition, (not material, for they are rich). To Laodicea who thought they were rich Jesus says (Rev. 3:17) “Because you say, 'I am rich , have become wealthy, and have need of nothing'--and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.”
Jesus tells the individual in this church “Therefore be zealous and repent.” Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” His desire is to fellowship with every human being He created, mans desire is to live life on his own. There is only one way to remedy mans severed relationship with his creator- the gospel.
Is the gospel being presented inside the church today as it was years ago? Not in Laodicea. This last days church thinks so well of itself without it. Laodicea has a worldly influence which gave them a new standard. There is a direct correlation to this church and the current popular teaching called the prosperity teaching from the word faith heresy. It is difficult to tell a rich person that they are poor. But Jesus does not mean materially but spiritually. But if you are spiritually blind, how do you see this? You have no spiritual understanding, a miracle must take place to give you sight (Acts 26:18)
Because of their spiritually blind state Jesus beckons anyone from the inside to hear His words to come to Him. He stands outside because he was not allowed inside among them and offers to the individual salvation.
To the church in Smyrna Jesus said the opposite- Rev. 2:8-9: “These things says the First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life: "I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich)”
Smyrna was a poor church but Jesus called them rich, because they are not materially rich but spiritually rich; they had “the unsearchable riches of Christ.” They had Him, not their religious system that was made by man and run by man.
We are seeing a real war of ideals, worldviews being played out in the world and in American politics today. And this same conflict is spiritually taking place inside the church. The leadership has become just as inept and inapproachable as politicians- why? They are doing what “is right in their own eyes.”
They are driven by money and power and care nothing about the
truth or the health of the church.
Liberal or liberalism is often associated with a political party but it has been found in the church and today it has become a strong influence on peoples thinking that crosses denominational distinctions.
Here are some of the explanations that are carried by this word when used in this manner:
3 lacking moral restraint: licentious
4: not literal or strict: loose <a liberal translation>
5: broad-minded; esp : not bound by authoritarianism, orthodoxy, or traditional forms
6 a: of, favoring, or based upon the principles of liberalism
A political philosophy based on belief in progress, the essential goodness of the human race, and the autonomy of the individual and standing for the protection of political and civil liberties” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)Another dictionary defines it as- “Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry. Favoring proposals for reform, open to new ideas for progress, and tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; broad-minded. Of, relating to, or characteristic of liberalism.
3. Not strict or literal; loose or approximate: a liberal translation. 4 …Obsolete. Morally unrestrained; licentious.n. 1. A person with liberal ideas or opinions”(American Heritage Dictionary)
Applying this to a biblical scenario instead of a political one- a liberal is one who is open to ideas and practices outside biblical orthodoxy. They lack biblical restraints- they are not constrained by the boundaries of Bible doctrine. In liberalism the person’s individual choice is always right. It does not matter if the Bible instructs them in a different way, they determine what is true for themselves, what is correct is determined by their own eyes. They live by relativism not absolutes.
There have always been liberals in the church that say sin is not that destructive.
They tell their congregants that the doctrines- truth are not as important as love and tolerance.
Liberalism makes one open to other teachings outside the Bible for their spiritual life and ruins a relationship with God. How can we identify this liberalism?
It is a liberal church that accepts other religious practices and practices yoga.
It is a liberal church that does not see it necessary to witness to other religions or cults.
It is a liberal church that teaches that each God in the different cultures is the same, only having different names.
It is a liberal church that denies Jesus as the only way; that accepts Catholic ritualism; That accepts Islam as a valid religion – one of peace.
It is a liberal church that allows services to become disorderly by laughter, shaking, convulsions, screaming (calling it a visitation from God).
It is a liberal church that uses faith as a mind science principle and technique to bring their own desires and call it God’s blessing.
It is a liberal church that teaches there is no longer sin, and everyone is to be saved by Christ’s death on the cross.
It is the liberal church that protects the false teachers among them (Acts 20:29) by telling others not to judge their teachings.
It is liberals that justify opulent and extravagant living using the Patriarchs as their example. These are just a few examples of liberalism. Once we understand the principle we can apply it nearly everywhere we see a departure from the clear teaching of the word of God.
Basically- one can excuse anything they do and find justification for it under the banner of openness and freedom. On the other hand, there are those we can call Biblical purists. They have the intention of upholding and keeping the word of God as their instructor despite the overwhelming opposition in numbers- (2 Tim.3:16) As Jesus said in Luke 11:28:“blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!"
It is difficult to assign a year to when this liberal influence became predominant dramatically changing the way church is done but since the year of 2000 things have escalated significantly. The new openness has removed a good portion of believers from pure devotion and serious study of the word. The Bible should make one more intelligent as they read it- study it, for they understand it. And when one understands their relationship to God they improve in all facets of their life. When we get away from the Bible we dissolve our thinking and our relationship erodes. A good example is the dark ages when the church kept the Bible from the common man progress in mans capabilities were diminished. We are headed in this same direction today.
Indoctrinated into a liberal mindset they are severed them from searching the Scripture for their instructions. The Word of God transcends every culture throughout time … Yet it is become popular to say, ‘these writings simply reflect the cultural practices of that period of time.’ That is a denial of the inspiration of the Scriptures and the word being eternal truth (Lk.21:33).
What we once saw in the cults as thought reform techniques is now renamed as “rethinking” and is currently diapraxed a generation. Our children are being introduced to globalism in their secular schools (not to mention evolution). We are watching the world being dummied down, and too much of the church is following the same way of thinking and ways of the culture. People are more inclined to upgrade their computers but have downgraded their minds and thinking. Their thinking process is…. in a state of non- existence- one might think the spiritual dimension they have entered into is the 0-zone- as if they are practicing Christian Zen.
America that was once a nation that looked to the Lord has eroded into secularism, humanism and we see the same taking place in the church. Foreign practices that are not instructed by the Scripture are coming in as if they are God’s commands. Worldly ideas and inventions of men’s imagination stream from the pulpits because these men do not believe that God’s word is sufficient (2 Tim.3:16). They doubt the word, some even claim it is man made yet they have assured themselves all is well between them and God. They never really took the word as the truth from God or applied it to their life to see His power. They did not give up their own ways of sin or religious beliefs to follow Jesus. In fact many do not believe sin is the reason Jesus came to die on the cross. Proverbs 14: 9 says, “Fools mock at sin, But among the upright there is favor.”
The reason they do all these “extra” activities and practices for the people is because they do not preach the gospel, so they instead substitute it with an experience. Of course you can’t preach with conviction what you do not believe or have. The gospel is about confronting people’s sin, to give them a solution. But this is not spiritually correct for the postmodern church. The gospel is not a band-aid on a cut that can heal on its own but a cure for a deadly disease that affects us all. Their attitude is not “ woe is me if I do not preach the gospel”( 1 Corinthians 9:16). Many are offended by truth yet the truth must be told. We are going to look at a number of ways the church is being changed and removed from her first love to where she thinks she has it all and is a powerful force for good in the world today. We will also see the unity among this church that supports liberalism as their way of living.
A preacher above all else is to present the gospel and convince people of their sinful condition so they can repent, but instead, many have become preachers of prosperity. Because there is little or no mention of sin, they are given substitutes to forget their sin. So the gospel is only a word mentioned in passing but few are engaged in demonstrating the power of God for salvation. They offer no way out of mans fallen spiritual condition but instead concentrate on mans material blessings, as if this is what God is concerned with more than their soul. To this Jesus states, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?’ Jesus specifically told the believer to “lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven” (Matt 6:20). When you see those teaching to gather things on earth calling it a spiritual pursuit- it is called loving the world, and you know that have disobeyed Jesus, for He said those who lay up treasure for himself, are not rich toward God (Luke 12:21). “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matt 6:21. Jesus answer to the rich man was “Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me” (Luke 18:22.) Which means that keeping riches for oneself, building big houses owning personal jets, wearing the best suits and staying in luxury hotels as they travel no matter how well justified by the golden tongue orators are not part of God’s program. But it is part of mans. No Apostle ever instructed the church to sow a seed of money, for a hundredfold harvest to come in. But this is accepted as if from God’s mouth by those who call themselves his prophets. In fact, we see a number of rich people in the Scripture that gave more than 10%, like Barnabas. But who do these men give their tithes to? (usually their own enterprise or something that will benefit them). And if they are so blessed why do they not give more than 10%. The money has only one direction- it’s toward them. The reason is to make them live in luxury.
This Laodicean church that is rich and thinks itself as self sufficient has put Jesus out and are running it on their own. Like those in the temple who were buying and selling- it’s about the money- lots of it. James ask show me your faith by your works, they say show me the money as your faith. Those who have the biggest ministries are the most respected. John the Baptist said He must increase and I must decrease, this is NOT how the money magnet ministries operate.
Nothing got Jesus angrier than seeing them make God’s House a place of making a living off the less fortunate’- twice he cleansed the temple of these religious charlatans. Today we have not even cleansed the church once! We need to have some Christian activism on certain TV evangelists (evangelists they are not- more like entrepreneurial frauds).
John 2:14-16 the first time he found the moneychangers doing business. He said to those who sold doves, "Take these things away! Do not make My Father's house a house of merchandise!"
Matt 21:12-13:“Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. And He said to them, "It is written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer,' but you have made it a 'den of thieves.'"
He called them a group of thieves. If this were today, there would be a group of loyal liberals who would come forward to protect their favorite teacher saying to Jesus that he is accusing them falsely, do you have any proof they stole?
None of what we see is new, it is repeated history, this is why Paul says these things in the old Testament are written for our example: Hosea 9:8-9: “The watchman of Ephraim is with my God; but the prophet is a fowler's snare in all his ways-- Enmity in the house of his God. They are deeply corrupted, as in the days of Gibeah. He will remember their iniquity; he will punish their sins.”
These apostates redefine what Christianity is and then denounce those who challenge their new definitions and practices. Because they are doing what is right in their own eyes. We recently witnessed political liberals trying to close down radio broadcasters that have a contrary view (through what they called the fairness doctrine). Silencing opposing views is their only course of action because they are unable to justify what they are legislating and supporting. They cannot defend it, so instead they intend to keep the people from hearing the other side. This is done by demanding equal time at their expense.
These political leaders (and religious) are against freedom of speech because they want to silence those who state they are wrong. This worldly display of control is also seen in the church with those who break out of the false teaching they had been convinced through group think methods. When they try to leave the church that preaches false doctrine they get threats and pronouncements on them that are no different than curses.
We have witnessed the abandoning of the truth when word faith teaching was allowed to enter our assemblies and become mainstream. Of course this did not happen overnight, but it was a consistent influence. Its growth came when the church gave these false teachers their unwavering support and a platform to be heard over TV (TBN and others) this began our downward motion toward doing what is right in our own eyes-confessions of what WE WANT without seeing what God has already said and what He wants.
People look to the Christian media for the approval of a teacher. If he has a biiig ministry, if he is successful and has a following, if he is on TV more than once a day- he is accepted as valid. They have become addicted to their favorite “must see Christian personality.” All this gives them is superstar status, and suspect that a day is coming when Hollywood type awards will be given for the best miracle, the best story and the greatest conversion; in his name of course.
If he has stories on miracles through his hands he is called anointed. When you hear them talk about their anointing, an anointing God will share with you IF you give them money you can be assured they are not anointed by God, they don’t even know what the anointing is.
The apostles spoke on all of us being anointed not themselves and they did not manipulate people by spending long hours of what God told them to tell the people to send support to them. Want to see a false prophet! You can recognize them today by their words; “plant a seed,” get a “fresh anointing” as they tell them to receive an impartation from their hands. So people allow them to touch them on the head and they go over and pronounce out loud to millions watching “this is the power of God.” They shake- they stutter and fall, become incoherent or dazed and call it an experience from God when only those who were demon possessed acted in this uncontrolled way. These are all words of false teachers and prophets. You don’t think so? Prove to yourself that it is from the Bible. You can’t; anymore than a Catholic can prove Mary is our Mediator. Instead of going by the Scripture in context they accuse people of questioning their favorite teachers without ever looking at the facts. How sad, that a good part of the church has left being the pillar and ground of the truth and become the first church of merchandising.
They even teach from the pulpit and TV they are little gods with godlike powers, that Jesus became sin on the cross and then went to hell. The people applaud their heresies; they defend these teachers of this “different gospel” and then turn on those who point out the obvious error because they care for their soul.
The reason most do not recognize heresy is because they have not been grounded or trained in sound doctrine. Their teachers they listen to certainly are not. You can’t say things correctly on Jesus deity one time and then be completely wrong another time- this is a double minded man in his doctrine, unstable in all his ways. How can anyone grounded in good doctrine do this?
When the church has not apprehended the spiritual blessings that are “in Christ” they continue search outside of Christ to be fulfilled. Our pursuit to become culturally relevant has affected the truth found in Scripture, it has become irrelevant to us, a sad but inferior tradeoff. I do not say this lightly; overall, the pursuit of truth in the church has been greatly diminished. It has been silenced by men who have hijacked peoples minds by convincing them of God’s power being with them. It doesn’t matter how they contradict the Bible, only that power is present at their meetings! Once people are in the gravitational pull of the black hole of error, it becomes nearly impossible to break free of its grip. Some people have no limit to their experiences, if Jesus appeared to them in a UFO saying he was from another planet it would be acceptable to some.
I have watched the metamorphosis of Christianity being synthesized with the new age occult worldview that I had once abandoned and was delivered from to follow Christ. It is deeply disheartening to see what has transpired over the last 10-15 years on Christian TV and through popular books and speakers. Not only I, but many others refuse to march silently to the edge of the cliff and jump as so many are doing. I’m inflamed by what is taking place and will not sit by as so many get picked off. This is a spiritual war that has come inside the walls of the church. We easily recognize foreign enemies but not the domestic. But for the church there is more than foreign and domestic enemies, there are spiritual enemies, we have both foreign and domestic spiritual enemies that the church is to deal with (see Jude 4; 2 Pt.2:1-3). The most dangerous battleground can and is inside the church today. It is here where the enemy can touch us and affect us significantly. In the story of the Trojan horse, the Greeks learned that the enemy left within the walls is far more dangerous than those outside. Have we learned from the lessons of history?
Rom 16:17: “note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them.” Like Jesus, Paul, traces the departure from truth back to those who are in error and are not corrected and are allowed to continue to fellowship. Titus 3:10: “Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition.”
Paul spoke of people from our own ranks that will rise up and become off doctrinally. But they do not always go elsewhere to start there own movement but stay within the church and corrupt it. even though we are commended to deal with these people, the church says nothing and does nothing. Because friendship is more valued than the truth. At this point, the cost is great when matters of truth are concerned. Doing nothing has had the church reap what it has sowed- We have disobeyed Paul’s instructions and have reaped the consequences.
Friendships at the Expense of Truth
Seeker friendly churches are run like poll-oticians, they hear what the people want and make sure they offer it so they keep coming back. They then justify their growth as from God because of the result.
Some will say and try anything to get a result of someone to believe, even if it violates Scripture. If you can talk them into it without the word then someone with a better argument can talk them out of it. It becomes mans wisdom to convert and not God’s power. Which often means they are a disciple of that person.
Too many pastors have become political pundits of the culture instead of having biblical answers to the cultures dictating influences. Some in America take politics and its influence so seriously that they do not distinguish the line between being an American and Christian. When this takes place the gospel is neglected for an enthusiasm in politics.
Humanism and spiritual socialism
There are those who are openly changing the way church has been done. In other words, Bible teaching takes a far less significant role as does evangelism. With little protest, they are getting their way. In some churches they have the red carpet rolled out for them. There are still those who see the failing condition of this church and speak up and find opposition from the leaders- since the church of Laodicea keeps Christ out of the Church, they would have his people leave also, so nothing will upset their party. Those who use the word of God as their standard, discern what is taking place and are vilified and asked to leave. Like Diotrephes, they keep the brethren out. Consider Isaiah 66:5: ‘Hear the word of the LORD, you who tremble at His word: “Your brethren who hated you, who cast you out for My name's sake, said, 'Let the LORD be glorified, that we may see your joy.’ But they shall be ashamed.”
Liberalism has the church in its clutches. Liberals are more concerned with appearances; their image and their reputation than actually caring for people and the truth; they care more about their own feelings than others. The liberal belief is that we should all unite with anyone so we can be more powerful and effective. Unity can be a powerful instrument for both good, and, or evil. But God does not just want unity, for unity sake. He wants those who believe and follow Him to be united in Him – in His purpose, to fulfill His will. The Bible tells us in Ps. 133 how good and pleasant it is for the brethren to dwell together in unity. But don’t think that there is not a counterfeit unity, there is. And it opposes the beauty and harmony that is found only in Christ.
The first unity we see in the Bible occurs at the Tower of Babel, where men in rebellion unite to build together a tower and cities. We actually have people using this tower of Babel as a prototype for the church. I had heard this as an advertisement on Christian radio and read of it on the net. This is one of the worst displays of ignorance of the word of God. Again, the Bibles words mean little when the goal is of mans wisdom.
The “progressive Christian liberal movement” in the church thinks that borrowing ideas from other philosophies or using other religious practices have no negative impact. But if this were so Jesus would not have said that the way is narrow (Mt.7:14) and that He alone is the way (Jn.14:6). It may be popular in the world to be liberal and tolerant but it is not how Jesus asks believers to live. There are two main warnings of influence inside the church: Jesus warns us to beware of the leaven of the religious people that can influence you in the wrong things, (Mt.16:6, 12; Mk.12:38; Lk.12:1, 15) and Paul warns us as well in Colossians 2:8: “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.” Taking ungodly advice from atheistic psychologists and scientists that want to prove there is no God certainly applies to this Scripture. They don’t believe 2 Tim.3:16 or they would not pursue learning from elsewhere. They want to come up with their own view of truth, shape it any way they want and do what is right in their own eyes.
Jesus said His word is Spirit and life not just good advice or a philosopher’s wisdom. Why do so many ridiculous unbiblical books get read in the church through their bookstores? Because people are untrained in the word of God and they are not trained in discerning good from evil, error from the truth.
Universalism and its mitigating influences
There are men who once claimed to be a Christian are now atheists or Muslim (I have personally met both). Many are influential men (and women) recognized for their contributions to do good. They may even excel in their good works. But we do not measure a man’s spirituality or his salvation by good works, miracles or sacrificial contributions, we know they are of us by their doctrine (1 Jn.2:19).
The new philosophy is basically interfaith- “My God is the same as your God, only by a different name.” Religions work together in humanitarian efforts to better our world. The liberal influence emphasizes the universal brotherhood of mankind as a common unity regardless of any religious differences, thus we have spiritual pluralism as the answer for peace in this world. The Bible emphasizes believing in Jesus as our spiritual unity. Heb 11 is our hall of heroes in the faith, but there are heroes and there are traitors. Christian Univeralism teaches there is a way to be saved by Jesus without ever having to believe in Him in this life. Universalists think all are saved without believing in Jesus because Jesus’ death is applied to everyone, so there is no faith involved.
If they can’t get the gospel right then how can we accept them as saved, how can you sit under their teachings and learn truth?
To the faithful church Jesus says "And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, 'These things says He who is holy, He who is true, "He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens": "I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name” (Rev. 3:7-8).
Notice he mentions two things- his name and his word. Today we have the universalists telling people that God is the same no matter what name is used, that we can use the name of false gods and add Jesus to them to sanctify their use.
The Gospel of Gaia
There are those more concerned about the pollution in the world by man than the pollution in mans life from sin. They join with world organizations who want to have a “solution to pollution.” We now have Christian environmentalism. Saving the earth is the hope of the world, not the church. While we do not purposely neglect this world we live in we do not put our effort in saving the planet and its creatures. The reason is that there is a tribulation coming where God judges the earth and the people who reject Him and it will not matter how well we preserved the environment. We are to be salt (preservative) to peoples lives not the planet.
Reversal of Leadership
One of the most damaging influences of liberalism is women teachers that are appointed as pastors over the church. The Bible is clear this is not to be. Denominations have loosened themselves from the Bibles instructions to ordain women as pastors. The women received spiritual gifts along with the men and are allowed to prophecy and teach in a certain capacity; older women are instructed by the Apostle Paul to teach the younger women. 1 Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 5:22-23 explain how women are to be submissive to the men in their marriage as it is a creation ordinance. 1 Tim. 2:11-12 is about having authority over men. It is men that are to lead the church (1 Timothy 3, Titus 1). Jesus chose men to be His apostles, men are chosen as elders (who were dedicated to study and teach the word), deacons (Acts 6:2-3) were not called to teach but to serve the elders and people. It is ALWAYS the men we see leading the church. A woman's ministry was mostly focused on women and children (1 Tim. 2:15; Tit. 2:3-5). There were no women apostles, and the biblical standards for pastors apply only to men (1 Tim. 3:2-4; Titus 1:5-9). It may be part of the culture to allow this today as the feminists influence strive for equal rights but it is not biblically allowed. Male leadership does not infer that women are inferior. Jesus lived as a servant on earth submitting to his mother. This submission does not make Jesus inferior to his parents. A wife submitting to the husband does not make her is less than the husband. Not having a place of leadership in the church does not mean a woman is less of a person either. We are equal before God as Paul writes: "there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Gal 3.28). Jesus gave women equality as far as respect and removing any segregation. God may use a women if there are no men but anytime the leadership of men is replaced with women, it is a judgment and brings shame to them (Isa.3:12). This is what the people want with their openness as they run the church with their own opinions- doing what is right in their own eyes.
The Roman Catholic church departs from the word in many ways. One is by substituting Mary as the mediator, when the Bible says there is only ONE mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus. Both the Roman Catholic church and the Greek Orthodox church use icons in their worship departing from the clear teaching of the Scripture forbidding the use of these physical objects and images in worshipping God. The Emergent church movement also makes use of icons and goes even further in their departure by making us of various religious activities from other religions and philosophies of men that are not found in the Bible. Clearly using the term Christian has become a huge umbrella for many things that are not. They want to be called Christians without holding to the core teachings that would make one a Christian.
Using symbols in worship, rituals as a means to connect to God is the very opposite of faith, the faith the Bible describes as our unity. We are told to worship God in Spirit and truth- His word describes how this is to be conducted. But when we divorce ourselves from the word we can not know if what we are doing is correct or not. We only harm ourselves when we so not heed God’s word on these matters.
Those who want to have control in the church are called the Nicolaitens, which Jesus said of their doctrine- I hate (Revelation 2:15). They have convinced people they are specially anointed- that they possess more spiritual power (anointing) and the people need to come to them for it. So they come and give them money and bow at their feet (or fall) and they look to them for their guidance in their lives through prophetic words. The people trust them as they would Jesus. They introduce Christian socialism to the church, where people work for men who have the anointed positions and the church. They lose their individuality in their calling as they sign up to commit to jobs the church decides on and not what the Lord may want.
The main difference is how someone is trained to think and live. Just as people look to the politicians to solve the problems and lead them, there are those in the church mimic the world’s way and do the same. Bereans live by critical thinking, they discern what is being said and want proof from God’s word to be sure before they follow. Liberals believe anything, and are willing to accept whatever is told to them without any discretion because of their openness and trust in men.
Jeremiah 17:5-8: “Thus says the LORD: "Cursed is the man who trusts in man And makes flesh his strength, Whose heart departs from the LORD. For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, And shall not see when good comes, But shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, In a salt land which is not inhabited.
V.7 "Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, And whose hope is the LORD. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters.” This is a reference to the promise in Psalm 1.
If you feel like a dried up shrub nor bearing fruit, it just may mean you are listening to men's opinions and not God.
Psalms 118:8-9 “It is better to trust in the LORD Than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the LORD Than to put confidence in princes.”
Can we learn the examples left to us of Israel? The prophet Hosea (10:12-13) “Sow for yourselves righteousness; Reap in mercy; Break up your fallow ground, For it is time to seek the LORD, Till He comes and rains righteousness on you. You have plowed wickedness; You have reaped iniquity. You have eaten the fruit of lies, Because you trusted in your own way, In the multitude of your mighty men.”
We are not to be a slave to man but to God (Paul is our example of this servanthood). We are to have the mind of Christ which means wed should stop being ignorant, stubborn or even stupid. Church is not some “group think therapy session”- we are to be independent thinkers allowing God to lead us as individuals and not just fall in line and do it like everyone else, that is what the cults do. Of course our independence to think is not to be a division to the body of Christ with our common beliefs and purpose.
Whatever is NOT biblical, that is culturally accepted seems to become part of the liberal churches teaching. Again whatever works is fine to them, only the result counts.
A good portion of Jesus’ teaching was correcting the respected teachers of his day. But today these men are well respected. Even though we have the words of Jesus, people ignore them for the men who are famous. The need for correction has never been greater, yet the shepherds have no aggression for the truth. A pastor is to teach true doctrine and identify false doctrine. The shepherds are to be servants sworn to protect the sheep from foreign and domestic enemies. Do we think we are nicer than Jesus? He did not allow such teachings and practices in Judaism. It is because of our lack of exercising judgment that we are in the predicament today. Just as America’s borders are unwatched allowing illegals to cross over. A portion of the church is allowing illegal teachings to take over their pulpits. If we continue in our silence they will have won by default.
Philippians 2:15-16: “that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.”
In Titus 1:9 Paul mentions to our “holding fast the faithful word” the Greek word is antechomai – it is active and intense; meaning to hold oneself opposite to, or against, hold back, withstand, to hold to him firmly, cleave to, paying heed to him alone. Christianity is about taking a stand against the world not embracing it. It is often described as an intense struggle against the pull of the worlds affections (.Loving Jesus is shown by our dedication to keeping his word. John 14:23 “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word” by listening and obeying men’s word you are NOT obeying Jesus.
The ‘word’ is what is departed for an apostasy to take place. Jesus stated in his prayer "Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth” (John 17:17). In 2 Thess. 2:10 Paul tells us of ‘those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.”
The world is in a state of emergency and the church is in a state of emergency, but few see it as this.
They allow their favorite teachers to continue in pursuit of lavish lifestyles. They preach politics instead of the gospel, a continual message of health and wealth goes out despite the evidence it does not produce. They abuse authority and use their power to control people. They even teach the church that God is finished with Israel and bring a curse upon themselves.
Jesus told us specifically to watch and pray- so did Paul. Why warn us in such detail unless it would affect us all in the end. This is the culmination of the ages: A time of testing. This is a time period where it is the most crucial to be awake and aware of what is going on, yet we see people sleeping. A fulfillment of the parable of the 10 virgins. It tells us while the bridegroom delayed his coming five kept their lamps filled with oil and had their lights shining; they were prepared anticipating the Lord’s coming. They were walking in the Spirit and were living the word; busy doing the work of the Lord, continuing to be a witness, they were not surprised.
When it comes to the truth most of these leaders are cowards, they would rather not know so they will not be responsible before God, not understanding that they are obligated to search a matter out; they will still be held responsible.
God always has a remnant but will they be influential and seen by the world? Or will they be persecuted and have to go underground.
Where is the leadership in the church that is to lead the sheep to still waters and green pastures. Instead they are grazing over land with a few short shoots that barely has them nourished to survive. Much of the leadership has become just as inapproachable as politicians. They lack aggression for the truth, and are complacent
Defining moments in history are made as we are uphold what is right and not allow what is wrong to have an influence. But everything is backwards today
What does this liberal movement in the church have in common?
1) They care more about their own concepts and ideas than the Bibles instructions, adhering to their man made methods and depending on their own fashionable approach for success (Rom.2:8). Denying that the word of God is what makes one spiritually mature 2 Timothy 3:17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
2) the liberals tell us not to say something about what is wrong and let God deal with it. They are “do nothings” (Prov.17:15) even though the Bible is explicit with the example of John the baptizer (Matt. 3:7), Jesus (Matthew 23:23-34) and the apostles (Paul, Peter, Jude): about the insubordinate, idle talkers and deceivers to “ rebuke them sharply that they may be sound in the faith” (Titus 1:9-13). many other verses tell us to do something not be idle in our faith (1 Timothy 1:3, 1 Timothy 5:20; Titus 1:13; Ephesians 5:11). 1 Cor 5:12-13 "For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside?
3) They have a unity to keep. It’s a unity of not needing to hear the word of God and replacing it with their own words, their own methods and ideas (Rom.16:18), they are the epitome of Laodicea. They are doing what “is right in their own eyes.” God has given this church what it wants- King Saul’s (not Paul’s) to rule over them.
Jesus gives a parable about himself and his people He came to save. Luke 19:12-14 “A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and to return. V.14 But his citizens hated him, and sent a delegation after him, saying, 'We will not have this man to reign over us” You can read of their end, it is not good. What will become of the church that does the same? All from doing what is right in their own eyes…
The Lord has been sending his messengers to the church, they gave the word prophetically to change her direction, they have even had to rebuke the direction she has taken, but she refused, hardening her neck like the Israelites did-
We are told judgment begins at the house of God. A Church will either continue to add to the errors they practice by not discerning and sleeping or they will become awake and aware of their state and repent and turn back toward God to be refreshed and comforted by his Holy Spirit. That is our prayer.
Yet God has a remnant – those who want to be faithful to His ways and Word. In our day there is a price to pay standing for the truth, those who remove themselves from error to pursue the correct way receive persecution from those that have not abandoned their false teaching.
It will take nothing less than a full commitment to the Lord to survive this time period of apostasy. May God have mercy on us and give us all the grace to finish well.