|Warnings from the War Room - MorningStarMinistries|
Warnings from the War Room
A P O S T A S Y
apostasy, noun [uh-pos-tuh-see]
a) a departure from true biblical faith and principles
b) an abandonment of a previous loyalty
In late spring of 2011, the War Room reviewed a high-level dream from
a person on staff with MorningStar. (We refer to a dream as "high-level" if it has
an obvious anointing, and appears to have been given for a purpose.)
The interpretation of the dream prompted discussion of "The man of God"
(see I Kings 13), Balaam, false prophecy, and Gnosticism. In brief,
the dream appeared to be a clear warning for MorningStar to be
on watch for various forms of apostasy and subtle deception.
Very soon after receiving that warning, three very suspect prophetic words
(none were dreams or visions) arrived via firstname.lastname@example.org
(The War Room maintains a database where individuals and churches can send prophetic words, dreams, and visions believed to be pertinent to world and national events, the church at large, or MorningStar.) In the several years prior to the warning, the War Room had never noticed a deliberately deceptive prophetic word or prophecies that were based in part upon myth. Now three had arrived - all within days of one another.
Over the next several months, the War Room began to receive highlevel
revelation (all dreams) from key people within MorningStar. Similar to the earlier warning, the newer dreams revealed not only the necessity to be on alert for subtle forms of apostasy, but the means to defeat them.
During that same period, we also received a high-level dream from a
MorningStar partner. The dream's interpretation clearly revealed the vast
importance of "rightly dividing the word of Truth" (see II Timothy 2:15).
This was a means to defeat spirits of racism and anti-Semitism such as those
that swept across much of Germany (including the German church) prior
to World War II.
In light of these alerts, it seems prudent that we, as a church, be well-prepared
as watchmen to identify and address apostasy in a proactive manner.
While these things may not appear to be a significant issue within the church at this moment, one can imagine a groundswell revival bringing into our ranks not
only an influx of new believers, but rededicated Christians, innocently
(or even deliberately) perpetuating inaccurate doctrine and other apostasies
learned in their past.
The Lord has warned us about these things well in advance for a purpose.
They are more than a call to be on the alert. We are to be well-prepared, both in season and out, always ready to skillfully defend the cause of Christ and His gospel.
As to developing a strategy, it appears worthwhile to review Scriptures that best describe the role and necessity of watchmen, as well as Scriptures that best equip us to identify and defeat any apostasy. The following two sections provide insight and application concerning both these matters.
Our Role As Watchmen
The most appropriate way for us to combat the issues revealed by the dreams is to know God's Word and know it accurately, being prepared at all times as watchmen. The watchman's role is aptly described in Ezekiel 3:17, and repeated in Ezekiel 33.
"Son of man, I have appointed you a watchman to the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from My mouth, warn them from Me."
At all times, in both peace and war, the role of the watchman was crucial.
It could be likened to that of a soldier. Paul writes in II Timothy 2:4:
"No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life."
Paul goes on, instructing Timothy how to deal with false teachers (disapproved workmen), and then in II Timothy 2:15, emphasizes the importance of not only knowing God's Word, but interpreting it with accuracy as a means to defeat the strategies of the "disapproved workmen."
Be diligent to present yourself to God as a workman who does not need
to be ashamed, accurately handling [interpreting] the word of truth.
Paul has written this to Timothy as a means to combat the false apostles and teachers who argued about the meaning of words, interpreting them to suit their own purpose and desires.
The Greek word used by Paul is orthotomeo, meaning to "rightly divide, to cut straight, to make a true and accurate division."
This word is a reference to the exactness exhibited by master craftsmen working in trades that required a precise measurement followed by an accurate cut. These professions included master carpenter, shipwright and sail maker, tentmaker, and stonemason. The role of a master craftsman was crucial.
In the case of shipbuilding and stone masonry - people's lives depended upon excellence in craftsmanship. Just as a master craftsman should never be ashamed of a product of their own making, so it should be with the accurate interpretation and delivery of God's Word.
As watchmen, we can readily combat any apostasy with the accurate interpretation of God's Word. Therefore, as watchmen, we must know the Word of God - and know it accurately - being ready at all times to address issues that are contrary to God's purposes. Scripture commends learning, study, and the acquisition of both wisdom and knowledge. At the same time,
I Corinthians 8:1 tells us,
"Knowledge makes arrogant, but love edifies." In this respect, we must keep God's love for mankind in mind when addressing issues that arise.
Watchmen were just that, watchmen. They did not leave the wall to go hunting for the enemy. In the same way, our role in these matters is to operate within our realm of authority. We are watchmen, not "huntsmen." As such, we are not to go around "hunting" for these issues, but simply observing and addressing any that may become evident. Rick Joyner wrote a Word for the Week (The Path of Life, Part 12) that addressed, in part, those whose focus is too much on the enemy. As citizens of the kingdom, we are to keep our focus on building up, not tearing down.
Discerning Apostasy - The Advice from Jude
The Epistle of Jude gives particularly helpful advice in describing the
characteristics of those spreading apostasy, whether it be false doctrine, false prophecy, teaching of myth, or witchcraft (manipulation and control).
The writings of Peter, Paul, and John all corroborate Jude in some fashion,
and Jesus gave advance warning in Matthew 24:24:
"For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect."
Jude begins by telling us two major points:
1. That certain persons have crept in unnoticed . . . ungodly persons
who turn the grace of God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
2. We are to contend earnestly for the faith (this is a means to defeat apostasy).
Jude then describes characteristics of the apostates. They were stealthy,
unnoticed at first, but nevertheless could be recognized by various traits.
a) were ungodly - verse 4
b) perverted grace - verse 4
c) denied Christ - verse 4
d) rejected authority - verse 8
e) were grumblers with a critical nature - verse 16
f ) were lustful (pursued self-satisfaction) - verse 16
g) spoke arrogantly - verse 16
h) flattered people for the sake of gaining an advantage, financial or otherwise-
they told people what they desired to hear - verse 16.
"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate teachers in accordance with their own desires" (II Timothy 4:3).
i) were mockers - verse 18
j) followed their own ungodly lusts - verse 18
k) caused divisions - verse 19
l) were worldly minded - verse 19
m) were devoid of the Spirit - verse 19
These men could also be characterized by:
n) abnormal imaginations (fantasies) that defile the flesh
o) rejection of authority, being rebellious
p) their reviling of angelic majesties
q) rushing headlong into the error of Balaam (prophecy for profit and against God's purposes)
Verses 12 and 13:
In verses 12 and 13, Jude uses several allegorical references to describe the danger and emptiness of the apostates and their message.
Nearly all of Jude's readers would have understood at least one of these
culturally significant references.
r) Hidden reefs in the love feast - again, as in verse 4, Jude lets his readers know these men, like a reef, were hidden. These apostates were a real danger to those believers who were not sailing in the deep waters of God's pure Word.
s) Clouds without water - like a raincloud to a dry land, at first glance an apostate's message might appear promising. Nevertheless, one would soon discover the "clouds" to be devoid of rain, producing nothing but drought, lingering thirst, and spiritual death.
t) Autumn trees without fruit - once again, a promise of spiritual food. The implication is that these trees blossomed in the spring (seemed promising at first). But unlike the Tree of Life, these barren "trees" bore no fruit in time of harvest.
u) Wild waves of the sea - no wisdom, the back and forth, double-minded actions as described by James. This has become rampant in society and unfortunately, even within some churches/denominations. Some examples would be the emphasis placed on political correctness, intellectualism, and situational ethics as opposed to recognizing and esteeming the value of God's Word and God's Son.
v) Wandering Stars - this translates well when thought of as a comet, which can be described as a "bright star" wandering through the galaxy in a contrary orbit. In contrast, a "fixed star" offers one a valuable means of navigation, a firm and fixed point from which one can set a true course.
The important purpose of Jude's letter is to encourage his readers "to contend earnestly for the faith" (see Jude 1:3). This was a means to combat and defeat the apostasy that was beginning to arrive in their midst. Jude reminds his readers that apostasy was nothing new, that it existed in earlier times (Sodom, Egypt, Korah, Balaam); then went on to explain that it was much the same in the present:
"Yet in the same way these men" (see Jude 1:8).
The message for us today is just as clear. We will recognize apostasy in the
same manner as the New Testament church, and we are to "contend earnestly
for the faith" (see Jude 1:3) as a means to defeat the spiritual forces that would
come against Christ and His gospel.
A Biblical Example of Defeating Apostasy:
In addition to Jude, several letters written to the New Testament church gave church leaders practical insight and instruction for defeating the apostates who had infiltrated their ranks. A letter from Paul to Timothy illustrates how effective this can be.
Paul and Timothy were ministering together in Ephesus, but Paul was soon to depart for Macedonia. It was decided that Timothy would remain in Ephesus to equip the church and to prevent the teaching of false doctrine and various myths (see I Timothy 1:3-4).
In future letters, Paul gave additional instruction to rebuke false apostles and their incorrect teaching in the Ephesian church. It appears Timothy's work was quite effective. Roughly thirty years after Paul's instruction to Timothy, the Book
of Revelation reveals Jesus Christ to be commending the Ephesian church for having put false apostles to the test, and for hating the deeds of the Nicolaitans (false teachers).
"you put to the test those that call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false"
(see Revelation 2:2).
"you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate"
(see Revelation 2:6).
Jesus then went on to commend or rebuke the various churches. Much of what Jesus said was based, in part, upon how they dealt with the apostates who had crept into their midst.
Beginning in the Garden of Eden [the serpent], there have been those who would distort God's Word to suit their own purposes. The same was true in the time of Elijah, and it is no different in the church today.
The dreams received over the past year indicate a call to be well-equipped
at this time - especially in the accurate interpretation of God's Word - to defeat
the apostasies that both Christ and the apostles warned would attempt to
infiltrate the church in the last days. Numerous Scripture references give specific
insights that allow us to identify characteristics of apostasy, and thus discern the apostates. No matter how "illuminated" and persuasive a person's teaching may appear at the onset, if their motivation is not the preeminence of Jesus Christ and
His gospel, they will be recognized when held up to the light of Scripture.
Scripture also provides Godly wisdom and instruction for remaining faithful to Christ's desire for His church in these times. Paul tells us,
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work (II Timothy 3:16-17).
It bears repeating we are "watchmen" in these matters, not "huntsmen," and must operate within our realm of authority. Following the example of Christ, our goal is building up the body, not tearing it down. We are to operate first and foremost from a foundation of love (see I Timothy 1:5) combined with patience (see II Timothy 4:2).
Nevertheless, should a person persist in teaching a skewed doctrine or practice, there is scriptural precedence for severe reproof (see Titus 1:13), and even for putting the offender out of fellowship if they have not heeded the reproof of two
warnings (see Titus 3:10).
In all of these matters, the New Testament
church fathers have exhorted us:
a. To know and accurately interpret God's Word,
b. To be ready in season and out of season, rightly discerning between truth and error as a means to reprove skewed doctrine and teaching, always defending the cause of the gospel,
c. To contend earnestly for the faith - faith being the entire "weight" of truth about Christ and His gospel revealed throughout the Scriptures.