Recently I have been studying the Book of Jude and the commentary of Dr. Chuck Missler through Koinonia House. I was deeply intrigued by how this Epistle is speaking to us who are currently living in this End Times season. The focus of this book is devoted entirely to the Great Apostasy, also known as the Great Falling Away. What stood out is what defines an apostate, hence my supporting infographic listing some of the characteristics. I believe that as believers in Jesus Christ we must know what these characteristics are, not only to recognize them in the world and in others, but also to recognize them in our own behaviour. I will go through the infographic list briefly to make you aware of what this looks like. To elaborate on each point will make for a lengthy blog, however, I want to keep this as short as possible but give you enough information that will hopefully encourage you to conduct your own further study of the scripture and what Jude, John, Paul and Peter et al are speaking about in the New Testament. You will notice verses from books other than Jude's. These are verses verifying what the Holy Spirit is saying through Jude and emphasizes the fact that apostasy is a major issue we will face in the end times. This we can see is in fact happening in the world now. More than ever before people are falling away from the faith and choosing their own spirituality devoid of Jesus Christ. The New Age religion, which is made up of multiple false religions is the leading religion apostates are choosing. Believe it or not, atheism is a religion too. It is the choice of belief in self, not nothing. It is self-worship and very similar to what the New Age Satanic/Luciferian Religion propagates.
Apostasy is not limited to people who were formerly Christians. EVERYONE who has ever heard about Jesus Christ and chooses to deny Him and the Word of God is an apostate - choosing a different faith to faith in Jesus Christ.
Unwillingness to Endure Sound Doctrine & Believing in Doctrines of Demons - New Age Is An Example.
What is sound doctrine? The whole Word of God and ONLY the Word of God. When we rely on man's word and his interpretation of God's Word alone we are playing with fire. In Paul's second letter to Timothy, chapter 4 verses 3-4, he writes: "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." As a former New Age teacher, channel, astrologer and group leader, I know these unsound doctrines intimately. It is devastating to see how easily Satan deceives people, especially the church, with his sugarcoated lies posing as God's truth. I love what Chuck Missler says: "Doctrines of Demons/Devils is not limited to superstition alone, nor is it just deviations from the truth. It's engineered deception by the host of darkness himself - Satan."
Sadly, theses demonic doctrines are not only taught by New Age Occultists, such as I was, but by people claiming to be Christians who have infiltrated the Church and are deliberately, although covertly, leading people astray. Satan is coming after the church! He has new agers and other false religion followers where he wants them so he need not bother them much. He wants to pervert the minds of believers in Jesus Christ by causing doubt, confusion and division, all of which support the Great Falling Away. The words of Jude are prophetic, the Holy Spirit is speaking to us (believers) through this message, therefore, there is nothing we can do to stop this apostasy, however, we can make sure that through the discernment of the Holy Spirit living in us that we are not deceived and that we can warn others about this too.
Unfortunately, many New Age unsound doctrines have crept into the Church, and many so-called Church leaders are posing as believers in Jesus Christ. Jude warns us of this in verse 4: "For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus." Lasciviousness is any uncontrolled indulgences of physical pleasures. The New Age religion, for one, emphasizes the focus on indulging physical pleasure and steering as far as possible from pain and suffering. It also focuses hugely on the self, prosperity and being happy. I'm not saying being happy is bad. It's bad when the source of our happiness is devoid of Jesus Christ. Many "Christian preachers" are preaching that God wants us to be rich and happy, which is typical of Joel and Victoria Olsteen's preaching style. They're not the only ones, however, it is clear that many mega-church leaders are preaching this unsound doctrine (Prosperity Gospel) by appealing to people's physical (carnal) appetites rather than the importance of God's Word. This is typical New Age doctrine, so beware! Just a quick add in as food for thought. It's super interesting that the Book of Jude precedes the Book of Revelation. Jude is setting the stage for what we learn about how this is all going to end through the Revelation given to John through Jesus Christ. #justsaying.
Claim of Additional Revelation Other Than Through Jesus Christ
Because I'm a former new ager with 25 years of experience in this demonic religion under my belt, I use it as the primary example in my writing. This is also for the purpose of helping unsuspecting believers recognize the New Age beliefs that have entered the Church. Please bear in mind that New Age is Satanism repackaged as something good. It's Satanic, period.
The New Age religion is apostasy on steroids because it is FULL of countless men and women's channelled garbage claiming to be inspiration from God, or more popularly, from Ascended Masters, Angels, the False Jesus, Archangels, Spirit Guides, Star Beings, gods, goddesses, and the list goes on. In these channelled writings ALL credit goes to these demons and fallen angels posing as good guys and gals as the source of revelation, insight, healing and salvation. This is pure blasphemy! In the Church nowadays more and more reference is being made to angels and credit is being given to them for healing, protection and guidance. This is dangerous ground! As a believer in Jesus Christ we SHOULD KNOW the Word of God. A true believer who knows Scripture will immediately recognize that NO angel is to be called upon by us. We can ask the Lord to send or dispatch His angels for assistance.
The other side of this coin is the umpteen prophets and prophetesses, preachers and pastors claiming to receive revelation from the Lord, and they're NOT! My stomach often turns when I hear someone say "Jesus told me..." or "God woke me up declaring..." this, that and the next thing. We have to be SO careful when it comes to claiming to be receiving revelation from the Lord when it's not from Him. There are also a vast amount of people who claim to have had an atmosphere changing experience where the Lord appeared to them and gave them certain instructions. Many of these encounters have not been from our Lord but rather from seducing spirits deliberately leading the person astray with strange doctrines and twisted messages. We are told to test the spirits to ENSURE it's from God - 1 John 4:1- "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world."
As TRUE believers in Jesus Christ we will credit the Lord ONLY for what is happening in our lives because we know He is our source, even in challenges and dark days. And if we know the Word of God we understand the reasons for those challenges; to a degree at least. We praise Him in the storm and in the sunshine. Giving credit to things, people and ignorantly to ungodly spirits/demons for the good happening in our lives is dangerous. If we live a life fully surrendered to God's Will we KNOW that God's Hand is at work in everything and even if the enemy is coming against us for whatever reason, God will turn it for good. We know that if something good happens via a person, it's still God's Hand. If we are cured by a procedure, for example, we credit the Lord for leading us to the doctor etc. resulting in the favourable outcome. We worship the Lord for this merciful gift of healing. This is not to say we don't thank the doctor for all he/she did. God first, then the doctor.
Deliberate Rejection of the Truth of God
False religions, New Age being the fastest growing one today, are guilty of this apostate characteristic. As is every person and institution deliberately rejecting the Truth of God. Bear in mind that this includes every false teacher, pastor and prophet that have infiltrated the Church. Rejecting the Truth of God - the Bible - the Word of God, is rejecting Jesus Christ who is the Word made manifest. The whole Old Testament is filled with types and shadows that point to the coming of Jesus Christ and what He was going to do for us, and the New Testament reveals what the Old Testament was pointing towards; Jesus Christ coming in the flesh as a man and dying for our sins so that we can enter the Kingdom of Heaven. There is NO other way to enter eternity and be with God.
Denies God's Holiness & Wrath Against Sin & Refusing to Admit We Are Born Sinners, Repent & Receive Forgiveness from God Almighty Through The Shed Blood of Jesus Christ.
Again, this applies to every person, group, organization and institution that denies God Almighty is the ONLY HOLY GOD and that His wrath will be poured out against sinners who refuse to admit to their sinful nature, repent and turn to Him. Isaiah 43:10 says: "'You are my witnesses,' declares the Lord, 'and my servants whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am He. BEFORE ME NO GOD WAS FORMED, NOR WILL THERE BE ONE AFTER ME.'" No matter what any false religion preaches, there in NO other TRUE God other than our Sovereign God who created the heavens and the earth. Having followed the apostate path for 25 years of my adult life, I now know this to be absolutely true based on what God has done for me and my family through our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ and His Spirit of Truth, the Holy Spirit. If you have a genuine relationship with Jesus Christ there is no disputing this fact.
Many ignorant unbelievers believe Satan's lie that God loves everyone. This is a twisted lie. Proverbs 6:16-19 tells us: "There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community." (The Hebrew word translated “haughty” literally means “to be high” or “to rise.” One who has “haughty eyes” considers himself to be above, and consequently looks down on, others. He considers himself to be better than others. He is arrogant and self-focused. In an age in which pride and self-esteem is prized, it sounds counterintuitive to suggest that we should hate pride.) God IS going to pour His wrath out on everything and everyone that has come against Him and His children (true believers)and denied his Truth. In the Book of Romans chapter 2, verse 8, Paul writes: "But he will pour out his anger and wrath on those who live for themselves, who refuse to obey the truth and instead live lives of wickedness."
Many people, both in the church and in the New Age Religion, believe that we are not sinners, especially if we do good and "behave" ourselves. I used to think this too and could not accept that an innocent child could be called a sinner, until I understood what happened in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve sinned by eating fruit from the forbidden tree given to Eve by Satan, the Deceiver. This is when sin entered the world. All human life started with Adam and Eve, and when they sinned, the bloodline became tainted with sin. It was then that God declared war on Satan and blood was to be shed for the remission of sin. For the sake of space I won't go into that story now, however, if you don't understand it, I suggest you investigate it. Dr. Chuck Missler's "Learn the Bible in 24 Hours" is a great place to start. Ignorance and lack of understanding is not solid ground for rejecting truth. I would rather be wrong about the Bible and lose nothing, rather than the Bible be right, me reject it and lose my eternity. That's a gamble no sane person should be willing to take.
God loves us with an unfathomable love, so much so that He gave His only Son, Jesus Christ, to take all our sin upon Him and wash us clean of our sin and guilt with His blood. Why blood? Because the life force is in the blood. He gave us a way out of hell through Jesus Christ. All we are to do is accept what Jesus Christ did for us, repent - confess/admit our sin, and we are forgiven. And, He remembers our sin no more. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness" 1 John 1:9. "Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord." Acts 3:19. "In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent." Acts 17:30. All God asks of us once we have done this is to abide by the truth and instruction He has laid out for us in His Holy Word, the Bible. This doesn't mean we will never sin again, this means that we know how desperately we need Jesus to help us in our daily walk because we sin so easily. We fall into worry, fear, anger, bitterness, unbelief, hatred, lying, judgement, pride, gossip, vengeful thoughts and many other things God calls sin. However, when we have a relationship with Jesus Christ HE helps us overcome these things and through our faith in Him to love, forgive, protect, provide and support us and set us free from the yoke of sin. Faith replaces fear, trust in God's promises to us replaces worry and unbelief, forgiveness replaces bitterness and vengeful thoughts, and love replaces anger and hatred.
Replace God's Word with Tradition, Custom, Creed & Loyalty to an Organization.
Many believers in Jesus Christ have made and continue to make the mistake of being legalistic, in other words, placing tradition, custom, creed and loyalty to the rules and regulations of organizations above the Word of God. We are to follow the Word of God, specifically the New Covenant given by Jesus Christ in the New Testament. It is vital that we understand the Jesus did not come to abolish the laws of the 10 commandments, He came to fulfill them. Jesus said: "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 5:17-20. Thus it is clear that we OBEY what Jesus said, not tradition, custom, creed or what men and their organizations say. "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ." Colossians 2:8. "But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?" Matthew 15:3.
Timothy Charged to Oppose False Teachers - "As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain people not to teach false doctrines any longer or to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. Such things promote controversial speculations rather than advancing God’s work—which is by faith. The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Some have departed from these and have turned to meaningless talk. They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm. We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me." 1 Timothy 1:4-11. Paul has specifically asked Timothy to remain in Ephesus in order to combat inaccurate doctrines. Two serious problems with the false teachers in Ephesus are myths and genealogies.
In this context, "myths" are traditions not found in the Scriptures, which add to or contradict biblical teaching. Not all traditions are bad, but those which conflict with God's Word certainly are. Discussing these myths is one thing, but far worse is to be devoted to them.
Context Summary - First Timothy 1:3–11 explains the difference between a correct application of the law versus an ''illegal'' use of it. Paul's point is that the law is meant to make us aware of our sin, not to drive us into legalism. The false teachers of Ephesus are bickering over the law and missing the point. This is driven by their desire for prestige, even though they lack knowledge. Paul gives a list of sins parallel to the Ten Commandments showing how the law is meant to convict such people of sin as a means to explain the gospel of Christ.
Sexual Immorality, Perversion & Going After Our Own Ungodly Lusty Desires.
Sexual immorality, perversion and ungodly lusty desires is something that has plagued humanity since the days of Noah. Scripture speaks against these things from Genesis to Revelation. This tells us it is something to be avoided for a very good reason. Satan wants us to defile our bodies with lusty desires and sexual immorality so that God will reject and punish us. Satan knows that God does NOT take sin lightly and punishes those who go against His word. Jude writes in verses 7 and 8 of his Epistle "Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities." If you study deeper into the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah, specifically Sodom you will discover that not only was homosexuality the poison defiling this city, but more so the people living there who condoned it! We as Christians CANNOT condone sexual perversion or immorality in any way or form.
In Genesis 2:24 God says: "Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." Note that God stated a man shall leave his parents' home and get married. God does not say move out, find multiple girlfriends, have sex with all of them until the right one comes along. He specifically says "WIFE." He also says he "CLEAVES unto his wife and they shall be one flesh." The Hebrew translation for cleave is "adhere," "stick," "cling," "join," "gum." When we have sex with another human our flesh becomes one. Having multiple sexual partners is supremely dangerous because you are cleaving with them as one and whatever spirit is in them and attached to them attaches to you. Multiple sexual partners guarantees you contracting multiple STD's - Sexually Transmitted Demons. I have come across more people that I can attest to that have had endless problems in their lives due to sleeping with someone they knew nothing about and contracting into their lives the mess attached to their sexual partner. This is NOT some crazy notion. Ungodly soul ties are FACT. This is WHY God forbids us to fornicate - engage in sexual activity outside of marriage or within the bonds of marriage; adultery.
Spirits of lust and perversion are demons who feed off of sexual energy and are as real as you and I are. Because we cannot see them physically doesn't mean they don't exist. If you've studied your Bible you know this to be true. According to God's Word Satan and his demons not only exist, they know who Jesus Christ is! If Satan and his demons acknowledge who Jesus Christ is and tremble at His name you can understand then how foolish it is for anyone to deny who Jesus Christ is. Sexual perversion is driven by demons and Satan himself. I plan on writing a blog focusing specifically on this subject so I won't go into too much detail here, however, we NEED to know that this is real and most people are plagued by sexually transmitted foul spirits.
Going after our own fleshly lusts is not limited to sexual immorality and perversion, it includes drugs and alcohol too because it alters our ability to discern and open us up spiritually to demonic possession and oppression. "Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." 1 Peter 5:8. When we choose these things over God's instruction we are choosing Satan, period. We are falling away from the truth of God and faith in His Word is absent. "For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled (sober - KJV), upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ." Titus 2:11-13
Adopting the New Age Satanic Belief that We Are God or Little gods.
False preachers and teachers are teaching the New Age Satanic doctrine that because we are created in God's image, we are, therefore, little gods and one with Him. This is pure heresy. The Church needs to realize that this in not what God's Word tells us.
Thinking We Can Please God by Our Own Efforts.
We CANNOT please God by what we do. It is only by FAITH in Jesus Christ, who He is and what He did for us on the cross that we can please God. It is ONLY through Jesus Christ that we can enter heaven. There is NOTHING we can do in our own power that will please God and guarantee eternal life with Him in heaven when we die. Nor can we save ourselves. "For it is by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not from yourselves; it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast.…" Ephesians 2:8-9. God hates pride. Pride is what got Lucifer kicked out of heaven. When we boast about what we have, who we are, or what we have achieved, it grieves God's heart. ALL glory goes to God for what He does in our lives everyday through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. Without them we are nothing and cannot achieve what God pre-destined us to achieve according to His Will for our lives. No amount of prideful good deeds, charity work or generosity without faith in Jesus Christ will get us into heaven.
It is important to understand that there are three main identifiers of apostasy and according to Dr. Chuck Missler they are:
1) Ungodliness - bearing in mind that someone might not bear the appearance of ungodliness, but rather carry it in their heart.
2) Perverts Grace - denies freedom from the law (legalism), and denies freedom from works and not relying completely on Jesus Christ's complete work on the cross.
3) Denying our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ - If we deny Jesus Christ, He will deny us - 2 Timothy 2:12.
Although I have only touched on the subject of apostasy I trust it is sufficient to inspire you to study the subject deeper for yourself. I highly recommend the teachings of Dr Chuck Missler and encourage you to study the 8 video session with him going through the Book of Jude verse by verse.
God bless and keep you and your family,