“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. 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 Christ. I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not” (Jude 3-5). Although terrorism, war, disease, high fuel prices, unemployment, and so on are serious matters, the most dangerous and deadly issue of the day is the deception that is being perpetrated in the name of Jesus. This form of deception is so deadly because it bears eternal consequences, and, as with any deception, those who are under its spell are fully persuaded in their error. As Jude warns, we must earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered because ungodly men have crept in “unawares” turning God’s grace into a filthy, unholy license to sin.
While writing about the coming of Jesus, and our being gathered unto Him, in 2 Thessalonians 2 Paul says, “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;” (vs. 3).The words “falling away” in this verse are translated from the Greek word “apostasia” meaning: defection from truth, to desert, to divorce. Multitudes of those, who have at some time received God’s call, have been defecting from truth and divorcing themselves from Jesus for quite some time. However, the frequency and percentage of those defecting has increased dramatically in recent years. The “man of sin”, the “son of perdition”, is even now being revealed to some within the body of Christ. I will share more about that in the future if the Lord permits. At any rate, you need to understand that the falling away has pretty much already happened.
In his warning about false prophets and teachers, Peter describes them as, “Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:” and “for when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning” (2 Peter 2:14 & 18-20).Appealing to people’s lusts and fleshly desires, false ministers have lured multitudes of those who had known Jesus back into the bondage of sin. The “falling away” has been massive, and the fallen have risen into a false, worldly church having great wealth, a prominent voice, and far-reaching arms. Its wealth, position, and adulterous relationship with the world are now providing its false prophets and false teachers with a tremendous platform to flood the earth with deception. This worldly church is what Revelation 17:5 refers to as “MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH”.It and its false teaching are not recognized by most because this embodiment professes the name of Jesus and twists holy scripture to formulate its false doctrines. In Matthew 24:4-5 Jesus says, “Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, ‘I am Christ’; and shall deceive many”. The false church and its ministers are those who come in His name, professing Him to be Christ, and all the while deceiving many. As a result, millions in America, and around the world, are confident that they are living and abiding in Jesus while, in fact, they are not His. Just as Jesus declared of the scribes and Pharisees, the prophets and teachers of the false church also cross land and sea to make one convert and when they do, they make them twice the child of hell as themselves (Matthew 23:15). The worldly church and its wicked, deceptive voice will not be hindered or extinguished until the time that God has appointed for its judgment. In fact, its power and voice will continue to increase until then. Therefore, understand that this message is not an effort to destroy what must be, but rather a means for you to be enlightened and snatched from the flood of deception that is sweeping so many into perdition.
You may be wondering what constitutes the false church and who are these false prophets and teachers. For months, even years, God has been using us to speak of His power and purpose in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Again, the power and purpose of the gospel is to destroy the Adam nature in man which produces transgressions and to regenerate us with God’s divine nature, conforming us to the image of Jesus, that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit(Romans 8:28-29, Romans 6, 2 Peter 1:4, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Romans 8:1-4). He who has ears to hear, let him hear! The false church can not be identified as any particular denomination or religious organization. Every denomination, non-denomination, Protestant, or non-Protestant embodiment who proclaims Jesus but denies the power of God to accomplish His purpose is of the false church and the spirit of antichrist. Most of what is considered to be mainstream Christianity in America and around the world is the embodiment of the church that has fallen away and is the mother of harlots and abominations. Its false prophets and teachers are intermingled within all of the Protestant and non-Protestant organizations professing Jesus. They are those declaring that no believer can really have day-to-day victory over sin. They are those who draw and keep people by appeasing their fleshly interests, and who speak according to the selfish mindset of the world— “They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them” (1 John 4:5). Being lured by fleshly appeal and partial, twisted truth, the membership is never brought to the place of repentance and regeneration of the Holy Ghost. Read Titus 3:3-8. In 2 Timothy 4, Paul wrote, “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 away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (vs. 3-4).This time has come! Membership in the worldly church consists of those with itching ears and their meetings are conducted by teachers whose words appeal to the flesh with its desire to be gratified and comforted.
While the false church and its ministers profess to have received Jesus, and to be preaching the gospel, they deny Jesus with their deeds. The apostle Paul speaks of this in Titus 1:16 saying, “They profess that they know God; but in works they deny Him, being abominable and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate”. Within the false church, the divorce rate equals that of those not professing Christianity, its members are cheating on their taxes, defrauding their brothers, committing adultery, slandering, gossiping, haughty, hateful, covetous, boastful, loving pleasures more than God, etc. Indeed, while professing to know God, they are denying Him by their deeds. The deeds of the false church deny Jesus because they reject the power of the gospel to literally destroy their sin nature and regenerate them with God’s righteous nature. Subsequently, the sin nature thrives in them and continues to produce its unrighteous manifestations in their lives. False church doctrine states that the gospel has not literally freed man from sin and given him power to live above sin, but that it has only freed us from the penalty of sin. Confessing with their words and deeds that man should not expect to live above sin, the false church doctrine says that men will always sin but that he should try to do better by exercising certain disciplines in an attempt to imitate Jesus with deeds that appear righteous to other men. They teach bodily disciplines and formulas that are nothing more than fleshly attempts to improve the Adam nature. Yes, their teaching comes from the Bible, but it is twisted and ministered by the flesh rather than the Holy Spirit- “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit”(John 3:6). False teaching is very persuasive when it is intermingled with the truth, however, the Adam man can not be improved, he must be crucified with Christ- “And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts” (Galatians 5:24). You can teach people what righteousness is, but you can not teach people how to be righteous. Righteousness is not a formula that is learned, but a life that is imparted!
In 2 Timothy 3:1-7 Paul writes, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth”.This is a description of the false church. Its false prophets and teachers are the sort who take souls captive and lead them away by appealing to their fleshly lusts. The membership of the false church is forever learning but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. They spend millions of dollars on countless books and other teaching aids whereby they may acquire more knowledge on fleshly discipline while rejecting the Truth that will really make them free. Practicing numerous religious activities, and at the same time denying the power of the gospel, the worldly church comprises those who are “having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof”. The scripture says, “From such turn away”. God is not directing us to turn away from the false church because of a “holier-than-tho attitude but because light can not have fellowship with darkness- “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14). This doesn’t mean that God’s people are to quit loving, praying for, and ministering to the unrighteous. It does mean that we must reject their false doctrine, their religious practices that are after the traditions of men, and not participate in their unholy, worldly ways. The 13th chapter of Hebrews says that those of us who worship in Spirit must go outside the camp of those who worship in the flesh, bearing the same reproach as Jesus did when He was crucified outside Jerusalem (vs. 9-14).
As Jude wrote, we must earnestly contend for the faith that was once delivered to the saints. It is a faith of repentance from dead works and regeneration of the Holy Ghost. God, the Father, will provide light and understanding to everyone who has truly repented and believed His gospel. Consider what He has spoken in this message because it may be His means of enlightening you. This is not a time to be consumed with the things of the world- it is the time to have hearts that are consumed with our relationship to Jesus Christ. Pursue Him and your relationship with Him above all else. Be willing to take up your cross, give up your self, and follow Him. Jesus says, “If ye continue in My word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32).