Posted on 2007/8/29 15:50:00 Charisma Mag.
by Dr. David Kyle Foster
August 29, 2007
We are living in the days of the Great Apostasy. Whether we are in the early stages or
nearing the end will only be known in hindsight. But that we are in the throes of the greatest
"falling away" the Church has ever seen is clear. At the same time, we are seeing the
greatest ingathering of souls that the world has ever seen.
Jesus informed His disciples in Mt 13:24-30, 36-43 that the Kingdom of Heaven, (His
presence on earth through the Church), would be infiltrated by the enemies of God. He
prophesied that while everyone was sleeping, an enemy (the devil) would come and sow
weeds among the wheat. The wheat (sons of the kingdom, - ie., believers) and weeds
(sons of the evil one) would grow together in the world. At the end of the age, Jesus will
then send angels to collect the weeds for burning and the wheat for harvest. He puts it this
way: "The Son of Man will send out His angels and they will weed out of His kingdom
everything that causes sin and all who do evil."
Jesus warned of a time when, "many will turn away from the faith", when "many false
prophets will appear and deceive many people" (Mt 24:10-11). We have seen this
prophecy repeatedly fulfilled throughout history, and yet what we see happening today in
the church has not been seen since the days of the Borgia and Medici popes.
Aspects of the final "Great Apostasy" are spoken of in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke
21. And as with many prophecies, there is most likely an initial fulfillment within a
generation of the prophecy (the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD being the obvious
candidate), perhaps multiple, partial fulfillments as history progresses, and one final and
complete fulfillment awaiting mankind in the last day.
In Acts 20:29-30, after admonishing the presbyters in the Ephesian church to carefully
watch over the flock put under their care by God, the Apostle Paul warns: I know that
after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from
your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after
them. So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each
of you night and day with tears.
The Bible often warns of a day like ours, when the world will become so corrupt that even
so-called "believers" will fall away. As one biblical passage describes it: "They went out
from us in order that it might be shown that they are not of us" (1 Jn 2:19b).
We are seeing these scriptures fulfilled before our very eyes, as denomination after
denomination, leader after leader, and believer after believer turn from their Lord to serve
themselves and the kingdom of darkness.
It was not odd even in the early church for there to be weeds among the wheat. In 1 Tim
1:19-20, we see the case of Hymenaeus and Alexander, who Paul says had "shipwrecked
their faith" by rejecting both faith and good conscience. Paul hands them over to Satan "to
be taught not to blaspheme" and later warns in 4:1: "The Spirit clearly says that in later
times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons."
Later, in 2 Tim 4:4, he says: The time will come when men will not put up with sound
doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of
teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the
truth and turn aside to myths.
In the early centuries of the Church, we can see this played out in the Judaizers, Arians and
Gnostics who continually bled the Church of those who professed to be "believers". In a
way, they were pruning tools in the devil's hand, serving the purposes of God. In more
recent centuries, we've seen ongoing apostasy through the rise of various cults like the
Mormons and the Jehovah's Witnesses. Today, however, we see the falling away taking
place primarily from within the structures of the Church itself - Protestant, Orthodox and
Roman Catholic - particularly in the older sectors. It's akin to the decomposition that
happens when a long-buried artifact is exposed to the light. As God begins to subject the
visible church to a more intense and holy gaze, parts of it are disintegrating into dust.
Satan's weeds are being exposed and have only power, money and the pretense of lies to
perpetuate their charade.
Today we see men and women inside Christian seminaries, denominations and churches
who pretend to be servants of God yet who deliberately deny the clear word of truth found
in Scripture. They prognosticate truth by throwing colored stones into buckets and tear
down everything that is holy on national TV specials every Christmas and Easter. And we
see millions of pastors, priests, teachers, bishops and church-goers who sit in those same
churches, send their children to those same seminaries and who do nothing of substance to
correct the situation. What is worse, they continue to fund the ongoing apostasy with their
tithes and offerings and become deceived as a penalty for their own collusion. They are like
deer frozen in place by the headlights of a car, awaiting their own demise. They see the
danger, and do nothing. In that place of compromise, they are overtaken.
In 2 Thess 2:1-12, Paul writes about a coming "rebellion" and how those who "refuse to
love the truth" (v 10b) and who "delight in wickedness" (v 12b) are given over by God
Himself to "a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie" (v 11). Paul sees them as
collaborators or agents of the kingdom of darkness. In 2 Cor 11 he speaks of them as
teaching "another Jesus" (v 4a) and imparting a different spirit and gospel (v 4b). In verses
13-15, he writes: Such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as
apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is
not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will
be what their actions deserve.
In 2 Timothy 3:1-7, Paul speaks of the "last days" once again and how it will be populated
by those who are "lovers of themselves" (v 2a) and "lovers of pleasure rather than lovers
of God" (v 4b). He says they will "have a form of godliness but deny its power" (v 5a).
As Satan, through this appearance of light, spreads his darkness more intensely across the
land, God is simultaneously ratcheting up the intensity of His light. The hypocrisy, the
compromise, the immorality that He once waited patiently to see forsaken by His people is
no longer able to stand that refining light and its devotees are shifting even more blatantly
into the kingdom that will sustain it - the kingdom of darkness - the synagogue of Satan (cf
Rev 2:9; 3:9).
What we are seeing is the rise of the "Judas Church" You see, Judas Iscariot, the one who
betrayed Christ, was more than just an individual. He was a type. His life and actions were
a template that has been repeated throughout Church history, and has finally culminated in
our day as the "Great Apostasy". The Oxford English Dictionary defines a "Judas" as . . . .
"A person who treacherously betrays another under the semblance of friendship; a traitor
or betrayer of the worst kind." Judas was someone who pretended to be a faithful
follower of Christ, yet stole from the One he called Lord (Jn 12:4-6), eventually becoming
a traitor (Lk 6:16). Many speculate that he was somehow saved in the end, but the
Scripture is clear that he was not (Mt 26:24; Jn 17:12; Acts 1:25). In a similar way, the
"Judas Church" robs God and His people in ways both material and spiritual and in the end
turns traitor to the Lord and leads everyone in it into perdition (Mt 23:15).
Just try remaining faithful to God's Word in the Episcopal Church USA (ECUSA) today,
for example. If you dare try standing with our Lord against the enthronement of
unrepentant, practicing homosexuals to the episcopate, you will likely be sued for your
church properties, stripped of your salary and pension and might even be defrocked from
the priesthood altogether. Such draconian sanctions have already been imposed on faithful
priests in that denomination by the very people who cry "Peace and unity!" And the
purging has only just begun. It is alright if you deny the deity of Christ, or His bodily
resurrection or atoning sacrifice for sin. No one will bother you there. Being a Christian
hasn't been a requirement for the priesthood in ECUSA for decades. But dare oppose the
imposition and enshrining of the immorality that nailed Christ to the Cross and there will be
hell to pay. Yet people are still debating about whether to stay or not.
What is happening is not the friendly, inclusive sharing of differences among brothers that it
is being presented as by those who have taken over the denomination. What is happening
is the stupefaction of both clergy and laity by means of sweet-sounding words and
sentiments by those who put allegiance to organizational unity above allegiance to Christ. It
is the same parlor trick that has been run by the World and National Council of Churches
for decades. In truth, through compromise, unbelief and misplaced loyalty, they have
collectively become a synagogue of Satan - a JudasChurch.
The Presiding Bishop of ECUSA (Frank Griswold) likes to issue PR statements waxing
eloquent about how the Episcopal Church USA has always embraced diversity of opinion
and how "unity amidst diversity" is their highest value. However, if you defy
that sentiment, refuse to bend the knee to Baal, and out of faithfulness to Christ deny the
legitimacy of or obedience to their new homosexual bishop, one way or the other, these
paragons of inclusiveness will crush you. We have only just begun to see what they will do
Like Judas Iscariot, the leaders of this apostasy pretend to break bread with our Lord in
the Holy Eucharist (Holy Communion). As if donning costumes to disguise their union with
Baal (the ancient Canaanite god of sexual depravity), they wear the white robes instituted
by God at Sinai to reflect the holy calling of the priest (Ex 28:39-43; Lev 16:4), and which
believers wear as a sign of being cloaked in the righteousness of Christ (Rev 3:4-5; 6:11;
7:9, 13-14; cf also Mt 22:11-14). With professions of love for Christ, they betray Him, as
it were, with a kiss, selling their souls for power, prestige and pieces of silver.
Because of his ongoing duplicity, there came a time when Satan entered Judas and he went
out to betray the Lord (Lk 22:1-6). This is why I do not expect to see any turnaround in
those communions that have been living in compromise - communions that have been
supporting the murder of children in their mother's wombs; communions that have been
knowingly ordaining and enthroning practicing homosexuals and adulterers; communions
that have forsaken the Word of God as their infallible guide for faith and doctrine and
teaching others to do the same.
When you see the abomination in the Holy Place, it is already too late. In other words,
when you see the overt display of apostasy being sanctioned and sanctified by the majority
of the leaders within a denomination, Satan has already gained too much ground for that
communion to be saved. Having forsaken God's expressed will for so long, having denied
themselves the medicine of the graces of God that flow only to the repentant heart, having
refused to demonstrate their professed love of Him through obedience (Jn 14:15, 21,
23-24; Lk 6:46-49), they have built their house on sand and are going down.
God will not supervene the ongoing willful choices of human beings. He will give them into
the hands of their lovers and it will be those lovers who punish them (Jer 2:19; Ez
16:35-39; 23:9, 24, 35, 49; Rom 1:18-25, 28-29). Satan has entered ECUSA and other
denominations already and the final act of betrayal is at hand. The only choice a faithful
follower of Christ has left to him at this point is to flee from the wrath that is to come - to
flee before they too become so deceived through sloth and compromise that they stand
staring into the coming destruction and are lost.
This warning applies to more than those in the Episcopal Church USA, however. That
particular denomination is only the most glaring example at the moment. Satan has been at
work in the leadership of other communions for so long that they too are already set on
"auto pilot" for destruction. For example, we are probably only months away from the
official sanctioning of homosexual behavior in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.
Recent decisions in the United Methodist Church and the Presbyterian Church USA are
also frighteningly representative of the final stages of apostasy despite the many good and
faithful people who remain in membership. The United Church of Christ has been terminal
for decades. And as for the MetropolitanCommunityChurch, it has never been a Christian
body. It was stillborn from the beginning by rebellion against the Lord it claims to serve and
Finally, one should also understand that many independent, charismatic, fundamentalist and
evangelical churches are also guilty of apostasy. Hardly a week goes by before another
story of long term immorality, power grabs or blatant thievery is uncovered among the
leadership of one church or another. The "JudasChurch" can be found everywhere and
under every guise. And which is worse, the betrayal of Christ by those who claim to
believe in the authority of His Holy Word, or by those who don't even bother with that
pretense? Ultimately, we must allow the Bible to show us the way (1 Cor 6:15-17) . . . . .
Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take away the
members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? May it never be! Or do you not
know that the one who joins himself to a harlot is one body with her? For He says, "The
two will become one flesh". " But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with
Him." And in 2 Cor 6:14-18 . . . . .
Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and
lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ
with Belial (Satan), or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what
agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God;
just as God said, "I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God,
and they shall be My people. Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,"
says the Lord. "And do not touch what is unclean; and I will welcome you. And I will
be a Father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me," says the Lord
Got a lot to lose by leaving your church or denomination? Hear once again what Jesus told
the rich young ruler in Mt. 19:21: Go, sell what you have, give it to the poor, and you will
have treasure in heaven. And come, follow Me!
Dr. David Kyle foster is the President of Mastering Life Ministries