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The Perennial Problem of
By Malcolm B Heap, Midnight Ministries
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The famous Bible scholar, Henry H Halley wrote: "The coming of false teachers is spoken of again and again in the New Testament. Jesus warned of ravening wolves who would come to the Church in sheep’s clothing (Matt 7:15) and lead many astray (Matt 24:11).
"Paul warned of grievous wolves who would arise in the Church, speaking perverse things (Acts 20:29,30).
"Again Paul predicted that before the Second Coming of the Lord, there would be, in the Church, a falling away of appalling magnitude and satanic nature (2 Thes 2:1-12).
"Again Paul foretold the rise to Church leadership of ungodly men, traitors and hypocrites, who, with a form of godliness, would fill the Church with doctrines of devils (1 Tim 4:1-3; 2 Tim 3:1-9).
"Jude seems to have been written mainly to warn of an ominous and deadly trend toward apostasy, which, in his own day, he saw rising in the Church (Jude 4-19).
"And in Revelation 17, John gives a detailed description of the full-grown harlot Church.
"Peter, in his first epistle, wrote to encourage the Church to bear up under persecution from without. In his second epistle, it is to caution the Church to guard against corruption from within. He warns of coming apostasy, when leaders in the Church, for money considerations, would permit licentiousness and general wrongdoing. He speaks of it as being in the future (2:1). Yet some of the language implies that false teachers were already at work within the Church.
"He speaks of their destructive heresies (1), their pernicious ways (2), their covetousness (3), their walking in lust (10), brute beasts (12), eyes full of adultery (14), servants of corruption (19). Note: these expressions are used as referring, not to the world, but to leaders within the Church.
"It is a sorry picture. Even within the apostolic generation the world and the devil had succeeded in making heavy onslaughts on the purity of the Church. Then followed the long centuries of papal corruption. And, even now, in our own enlightened age, the Gospel of Christ, in its original beauty and simplicity and purity, in many sections of the Church, still is buried and hid from view by the rubbish of forms and doctrines heaped upon the Church through the ages, by the world and the devil.
"It is a terrible sin to corrupt the Church. All the ungodly shall be destroyed. This is an unceasing note of scripture. But one of the worst of sins is, in the name of Christ, to foist lies upon the Church in substitution for Christian truth. Let those who do it take warning from what happened to the fallen angels, and to the world of Noah’s time, and to Sodom and Gomorrah." (From Halley’s Bible Handbook, 1965, p 668-669.)
There Is Much Falsity In The Church!
The amazing scale of deception or falsehood foisted upon Christians by false teachers masquerading as true (2 Cor 11:13-15), is matched by the equally astonishing number of believers who – when you really know the truth – are also false! You only get to find out when God turns up the heat spiritually. Trials and tests separate sheep from goats.
God gave dreams to Kassahun revealing the extent of this apostasy:
July 11/03. Multitudes were climbing a very large mountain. Most were falling off the mountain and all of these were being injured, and some killed.
At the bottom of the mountain there was a large group who still had all of their gear on for climbing, but they were either too wounded, or too fearful, to begin climbing again. The ones who were making it to the top were those who took the time to drive each stake in as deep as it could go. [See also Fight The Good Fight! in The Bible Speaks, Vol 2.]
March 16/05. False Christians won't make it.
Two of my friends and I were descending from a mountain using a rope. When our feet touched the ground, we realized that one of our friends was not with us.
We waited in the hope that he would come but he didn't. Finally a Man from the top of the mountain told us that our friend has died.
Comment: This denotes spiritual death, not merely physical. It is sad to lose friends we consider Christians, but some will not make it. Their hearts are not right with God.
Jan. 16/06. Running the race.
I was running with many people. We had to climb several mountains and there were many twists and turns. The competition was very tough! Many people had stopped running. [1 Cor 9:24-27.] Only few of us finished the course. [Matt 22:14.]
Snowdrops Who Die
We are privileged to have a lovely garden. It takes a lot of work to upkeep, but we are not workshy and gardening can be therapeutic. My father used to say that ‘a change is as good as a rest’. So, to get a break from the tiresome chores of ministry work, I go to work in the garden and get needed jobs done there.
The garden, of course, brings us great pleasure. Things are always changing. Seasons come and go. Plants develop, flower and die. Shrubs and trees need attention, and pruning. Vegetables need watering and weeding. In these activities there are spiritual parallels.
Something happened this year that has never happened before. Each winter, when nothing else is growing, snowdrops push up through the ground, defying the cold. In January and February, they flower with dainty little white drooping flowerheads. We look forward to seeing these little promisers of spring. They lift the spirit. This year, however, half or more of them were not developing. They began to push through the ground, but stopped growing and died back.
I couldn’t understand why there were so few compared with previous years. First I wondered if mice had eaten the bulbs, but there was no evidence of it. A closer inspection revealed that the affected shoots had been stunted at ground level by a fungus. It was very difficult to see – almost invisible. This fungus had grown over the emerging shoot, crippling it, and stopping it from growing. Most of the affected shoots died – and that puts a permanent end to the plant, because it needs the green shoots to grow and develop leaves, so they can restore food reserves to the bulb for the following year.
But more than half of our snowdrops had died!
A year or so ago, God gave me a dream about a man who contacted us. The dream portrayed him as a snowdrop, buried in the road. He had deep-seated spiritual problems. He was unable to come through spiritually, just as the snowdrop was unable to develop in the hard road. Later, this man fell away after we gave him further truth.
God showed His love to him, and looked on him with fond expectation like we look on our snowdrops, but he didn’t benefit from the love and teaching God gave him.
When things unseen take place in the spiritual dimension, God frequently portrays the same in allegory in the physical dimension, so you can understand. He draws your attention to something physical that depicts the greater spiritual lesson.
When half our snowdrops died, I realised that God was depicting in the physical what had occurred in the spiritual. We had reached out substantially into Africa, particularly in Kenya, but these people simply could not move ahead. More than half were stunted by the ‘fungal’ infections of their evil society, which is rife with cunning deceit, lying, cheating, self-seeking and pride.
More than half of them died spiritually! This is not only true of that society. Other pitfalls cause about half of Christians in other societies to abort, too!
Why Are Some People False?
What makes a true Christian true and a false Christian false? The Bible gives the answers.
Simply stated, the true believer is willing to do anything and everything God says. The false believer is not. He cares more for himself than for God.
In the parable of the Ten Virgins, although ALL the bridesmaids (who depict Christians) fall asleep, half of them don’t take the oil of the Spirit along with them for their lamps (Matt 25:1-12). The lamp is the Word of God (Ps 119:105). False Christians take some of that, but they don’t take the oil of the Spirit with them to keep the light of God’s lamp alight in their lives.
It’s all a matter of DOING.
If you are willing to do, as Abraham did, God’s Spirit goes with you. (The righteous life of Abraham is outlined in MM’s work Gems From Genesis.
And why don’t some do? Because their motives are self-orientated. They love themselves more than they love God and His truth. Paul pinpointed the cause of the Great Apostasy:
...because they did not receive the love of the truth that they might be saved (2 Thes 2:10).
"The unrighteous decision of rejecting God’s truth (v 10) results in their condemnation (v 12). A mind committed to unrighteousness will not entertain the truth and therefore will not be saved. It is a mind which is destined to lead one astray (vs 10,11). A distaste for truth evidences a distaste for God." (NKJV Believer’s Study Bible, footnote on 2 Thes 2:10-12.)
Are You Faithful?
Many are called but few are chosen, for this very reason (Matt 22:14). Kassahun’s dreams illustrate that fact. People are called. If they respond to God’s truth, they are chosen to receive God’s Spirit. But if they don’t go further and submit to the Spirit’s lead, yielding their life to Him, they are not faithful. It is only the called, chosen, AND faithful who will inherit the reward (Rev 17:14).
Yesterday, the Spirit moved upon me to pray a further time. That is unusual, because I am not an intercessor. As I got on my knees and prayed again, three things came out of my mouth. I realised they were prophetic, but because I have a bad memory, I asked God to give them to me again. Then I realised that He was using me to pray an intercessory prayer like Daniel did in Daniel 9:4-20.
It was a confession for many believers:
I think you will recognise the last part as some of the well-known words of 2 Chronicles 7:14. A false believer will quote them, but will not really live them. So, remember the words of Paul in Romans 16:17-18! Malcolm B Heap
Bible quotations are from the New King James Version (NKJV) unless otherwise stated
Further Reading: Apostasy In God’s Church! (Apo) & Testing The Spirits (TTS)
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