SURVIVING THE APOSTATES THAT ARE PRESENT TODAY
"But, beloved, remember ye the words (rhema) which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts."
Jude was likely referring to II Peter 3:3, which was Peter’s rhema word concerning apostates.
"Knowing this first, that their shall come in the last days, scoffers, walking after their own lusts, ...saying, Where is the promise of His coming..."
Jude could also have been referring to Paul’s rhema word found in:
I Timothy 4:1-3:
"Now the Spirit speaketh expressly that in the latter times, some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils."
It is not unlikely that Jude was familiar with both passages, and probably others also. We should not be surprised by apostates in the last days, for it has been often spoken in warning, even from Old Testament passages. We find them today in church congregations, on message boards, in chat rooms, amidst our own families, on television programs, amidst co-workers, etc.
It is exactly as God predicted in Scripture. It tells us (in one more way) that we are in the ‘last days." We already realize that since Israel became a nation, we are in the last generation before His coming. The sides for the first war of the tribulation, are already aligning as predicted. There are, of course, the wars, rumors of wars, earthquakes, volcanoes, etc. that are in every age to some degree, but current events show them to be far more than ever. The seven angels of Ezekiel 9 are about and ready to do their judgment described in Ezekiel 9 and in Matthew 13. The flying roll of Zechariah is making its presence felt. Only a fool could deny that we are in the last days.
We are currently experiencing in many congregations, the ‘way of Cain’, the ‘error of Balaam’, the ‘gainsaying of Korah’, and we find these ones to be ‘feasting’ amongst us, like ‘clouds without water’, ‘murmurers’, ‘having men’s persons in admirations because of advantage’, ‘mockers’, ‘separating themselves’, ‘sensual’, and ‘not having the Spirit’.
The resultant sins of sexual revolution in the churches, sexual perversion plaguing the churches, ‘speaking lies in hypocrisy’, with ‘consciences seared’, with the encouraging of lasciviousness,’
"filthy dreamers’, ‘despising’ those that are of God, are far too common.
Once, these ones were saved, blessed, and to some extent, Godly. Yet, now they are apostates and under a ‘curse’.
"These be they, who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit."
Jude herein tells us that apostates are they who ‘separate themselves, sensual, and having not the Spirit.’ This means they willingly have chosen to separate from the godly. They may come to church, but remain separate, usually by claiming a special holiness or knowledge that makes them different from others.
The word ‘separate is ‘apodiorizo’ in the original Greek. It means to ‘disjoin, by a boundary, forming of a party, or sect’. The apostates become divisive. The apostates all claim that those not apostate are divisive, but it is only to hide their divisiveness. It is like the old story of two boys fighting, and then stopped by their mother. The one boy explained, ‘It all started when he hit me back.’ Those who come to church, but are divisive when there, seek others to agree with them that their ideas and doctrines are superior, and that everyone else is contrary to God. The division continues, and attempts to reconcile everyone to the Word, are met with challenges to the Word, attacks on those speaking the Word, and claims that everyone else in the parade is out of step but them.
This word is the Greek word ‘pauchikos", and this refers to the sensitivity of the carnal, fleshly nature.’ It is that easily aroused fleshly, carnal traits that are in control of the apostates. They are depraved, and ‘corrupt themselves’ (vs 10). Apostasy and depravity are linked. Those who choose to leave the faith, to apostatize from the faith, are opened to the temptations of the flesh. Sexual thoughts, deeds become more and more dominant in their lives. The conscience is too dead to hold onto morals.
‘Not having the Spirit’
This means they are ‘none of His’, for to not have the Spirit is to not have the Lord, for the Spirit brings conviction, leads one to Christ. The apostates are unsaved, backslidden to the extreme, and are the ones that Timothy describes as ‘depart from the faith.’ (I Tim. 4:1). The apostates are not saved, not blessed by God, not right with God, but have ‘crucified the Son of God afresh’ in their own lives.
The vision of Zechariah needs explained here. This vision of Zechariah in Zechariah 5:1-4, shows a flying roll.
20 cubits (thirty feet) by 10 cubits (15 feet).
This is the CURSE that goeth forth...
for everyone that stealeth ...
and everyone that sweareth..
To cut off...
I will bring it forth, saith the Lord of hosts...
shall consume it with the timber .
. And the stones...’
The size of this ‘roll’ of Scripture parchment, is the size of the Holy Place of the Tabernacle. It shows a judgment on the priesthood. This vision depicts a judgment on the apostates of the last days. They are now under a ‘curse’.
The ‘stealers’ of God’s glory, try to claim glory that God deserves as theirs;
the ‘stealers’ of God’s authority, try to make decisions for God,
saying ‘thus saith the Lord’, when it was their words, not God’s;
the ‘stealers’ of God’s respectability, want others to see them as ‘lord’ rather than Jesus;
are under the curse for such thefts.
They are ones who ‘swear falsely’ and have claimed to be God’s messenger, God’s spokesman, but are not under mandate from the Lord, but speaking their own minds, or the words of evil spirits.
The fierce judgment of the flying roll, to consume the ‘timber and the stones’.
The ‘stones’ refer to the ‘building of the Lord.’
I Peter 2:5
"Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ..."
The "stones" are the foundation and walls of protection. When the stones are consumed, the protection of the Lord is gone. The ‘consuming’ refers to the fact they are taken away by this judgment.
The "timbers" are the roof. The buildings of that day were made with timbers for the roof, but due to a shortage of trees, most had stone walls and foundations. The covering of the roof protected from the rain. That protection is also consumed and gone.
The devil’s hayday is coming upon the apostate church. No protection is given to apostates now, after this judgment.
A ‘curse’ is different from judgment. A curse is a removal of a blessing and/or protection. The curse allows outside forces of evil to do as they will. Many a false prophet has teamed up with devils and tried to put curses on children of God. Sometimes, if the child of God is wayward, the curses and attacks of devils, do succeed somewhat. But if the child of God is in the hedge of God’s protection, in the sanctuary of stones and timbers of protection, the curses have no effect on them. God here is saying He is sending a curse, removing the stones and timbers of protection for the apostates.
The ‘tares’, hypocrites, apostates, and false prophets are soon to experience that curse.
Apostates are far too common in churches. What are we to do? First, we need to open our eyes, quit hiding, get our head out of the sand. Apostates bring apostasies into the church. They justify their sins, they have disdain for those who do recognize their sins. They try to sideline and distract those who would preach with the anointing. Minor debates wreak havoc upon congregations due to uncomfortable apostates. Hypocrisy abounds, and is learned by the younger saints, due to the apostates trying to imitate love.
In some situations, apostates are trying to take over the Christian faith. They attempt to make their form of Christianity to be the dominant form. Just as Balaam’s advice on how to get Israel to stumble into sin, they offer advice and counsel that attempts to stumble others in the congregations.
Balaam wanted to curse Israel, with his goal being payment from Balak. God had a ‘dumb’ donkey rebuke Balaam, and an angel stood ready if Balaam had not listened to the advice of the donkey. Yet, the apostate, Balaam, was not satisfied. The welfare of Israel was not his concern, money was. Balaam told Balak to have the women of the Midianites to seduce the men, and many of Israel sinned.
"...anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel."
The devil will use apostates to get sin within the congregations of the church. The ‘doctrines of devils and seducing spirits’ that were forewarned for the last days in I Timothy 4:1, are using apostates to insert their messages into the church.
The church of Laodicea, which is typical of many last day churches, has many apostates within it.
"Because thou sayest, I am rich and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked...."
Jude describes the apostates of the last days very well.
"But these speak evil of those things which they know not; but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves. Woe unto them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core...’
Three apostates of the Old Testament, provide pictures of what apostates of the present day are like.
"The way of Cain"
Cain neglected God’s instruction. Cain got jealous of Abel’s righteous blessing. Cain was angry at the righteous. This describes the apostate of our day also. There is jealousy and anger against those blessed and used by God.
‘Error of Balaam’
Greed was the error of Balaam. He wanted prosperity, and sacrificed a relationship with God in his pursuit of it. There are many today in congregations, that seek wealth, money, carnal mammon. This is typical of apostates.
‘Gainsaying of Core’
This refers to Korah of the Old Testament. He wanted priestly ministry, wanted the notoriety of being in the ministry. Yet, the consecration, dedication to God was not there. There are many in churches, who want positions and ministry, but lack dedication to God. They are selfish, self seeking.
The curse that comes with the ‘flying roll’ of Zechariah 5:1-4, brings an inherent power of evil coming against the apostates. The ‘flying roll’ was a parchment with writing upon it. The Bible says it had ‘curses inscribed over it..." This parchment and its curses are said to ‘go over the face of the whole earth.’ It finds its way into every home, every worship place. It judges the thief and the perjurer.
The devil tries to find saints who will issue curses upon others, but this is being in league with demons. The demons try to answer those kind of curses. This flying roll is a document with all the curses issued by apostates upon others. The Lord has kept a record of such ‘curses’ and these will all ‘boomerang’ on those who spoke forth those curses.
The Bible tells us that ‘greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.’ Therefore the curses issued against the saints by the apostates, are not to be feared. The hedge of protection, the shield of faith, the breastplate of righteousness is more than adequate protection. But the "stones and timbers" of the apostates are consumed, vanished away. The curses that many have issued against the saints, are boomeranged back upon those that issued such curses.
Jesus cursed the fig tree for not having fruit. The tree withered in a day. (Matthew 11:21)
The saints of the church, the army of prophets, need to be aware of the apostates of the church. They need to intercede, lead to the Lord Jesus, those that will to be saved.