“Behold, I have given you authority to trample upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you..” ~ Luke 10:19, TLV
All believers will not automatically receive the Baptism of the Ruach HaKodesh (a.k.a., the Holy Spirit). As a result, there are too many believers in Yeshua who are living without their portions of the Lord’s Dunamis (Power) and Exousia (Authority) – they are living without having any of the Kingdom power and Kingdom authority YeHoVaH reserved for them so that they would be able to perform the kinds of miraculous and spiritual works their portions of the Lord’s Dunamis and Exousia would help them do. For this reason, believers in Yeshua need to know and understand that without the Filling of the Ruach HaKodesh (the Baptism of the Holy Spirit), they never will be able to defeat the works of Satan, the works of his minions, or the works of their own fleshly and soulish desires.
For us to have enough Kingdom power and Kingdom authority to kick Satan and his minions’ trifling derrières, or to heal the sick and to raise the dead, we first must be filled with the Ruach HaKodesh. His Filling is the only way we can be empowered and endowed to do the kind of works Yeshua did. Furthermore, if the Ruach HaKodesh is not transforming us (progressively changing us) into the likeness of Yeshua via the Ruach HaKodesh’s Sanctification Process, we won’t be ready to receive any Kingdom power or Kingdom authority and, thus, won’t be able to function as empowered and endowed believers in Yeshua.
Even though we claim Yeshua as our personal Savior, if we do not have the Ruach HaKodesh’s Filling we either will backslide again and again or we will remain as spiritually immature babes in Yeshua who are on milk instead of on the Word’s meat. Moreover, without the Filling of the Ruach HaKodesh, we also could experience the big FALL – the prophesied end times’ falling away from the Faith (apostasy). This fall also would cause us to blaspheme the Ruach HaKodesh.
We must be filled and refilled with the Ruach HaKodesh so that we can receive the Kingdom power and Kingdom authority that will keep us safe from accepting false teaching and/or developing disbelief, which could cause us to fall away from the Faith. YeHoVaH wants to provide our escape. He wants to give us the same Kingdom power and Kingdom authority that is in Yeshua. This Kingdom power and Kingdom authority are needed so that we will be able to kick Satan and his demons’ trifling derrières. This Kingdom power and Kingdom authority also are needed so that we will be able to overcome the world and our flesh. Shalom.
20 But you, loved ones, continue building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Ruach ha-Kodesh. 21 Keep yourselves in the love of [YeHoVaH], eagerly waiting for the mercy of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah that leads to eternal life. 22 And have mercy on those who are wavering— 23 save them by snatching them out of the fire; but on others have mercy with fear—hating even the garment defiled by the flesh. – Jude vv. 20-23, TLV (the bracketed word is my emphasis)
I used to be unable to understand how apostates could creep in anywhere unaware. That changed while I was evangelizing in South Korea.
Sadly, at the South Korean Christian school where I taught English, there were professed Christians who, as Jude describes, were “…bellyaching grumblers, following after their own desires. Their mouth speaks grandiose things, showing favoritism for the sake of gain” (Jude v. 16, TLV). They were believers in Yeshua who also possessed knowledge of Yeshua’s Gospel; however, they were way too much like the metaphorical seed that falls on rocky soil and springs up quickly only to wilt when the scorching sun of trouble shines on them or when they are under the roasting pressure of persecution.
For sure, it was their love for more money, larger schools, more curriculum knowledge, and/or better-paying jobs that had caused them to fall away from what they at one time must have believed. Put differently, they were not walking in obedience to Yeshua, as it was evident that, as backsliders, they were following the desires of their flesh.
They were behaving like the kind of apostates Jude says the apostle Paul had warned about – “…theones who cause divisions—worldly-minded, not having the Ruach” (Jude v.19, TLV). Indeed, the people who worked at this school when I was there were definitely spiritually divided – that is to say, those who kept the faith were spiritually separated from those who had sincere doubt. It also didn’t help that the school’s Christian owners also physically separated certain staff members from each other. In other words, the backsliders or those who were wavering — those who had not become committed apostates – were isolated. These segregated backsliding apostates are the ones that Jude advises the overcomers to “…save…by snatching them out of the fire” (Jude v.23a).
At this school, there also was another kind of apostates – those who willfully rejected the Gospel of Yeshua. These were the apostates that not onlydistorted YeHoVaH’s Truths but also denied those spiritual Truths and biblical doctrines that defined the genuinely saved believers in Yeshua. In other words, these apostates were no longer backslidden believers but rather they had become the kind of unbelievers that the writer of Hebrews says cannot be brought back to repentance (see Hebrews 6:4-6).
There were the kind of apostates who had passed the point of no return – those whom Jude describes as the apostates that overcomers should “…have mercy with fear—hating even the garment defiled by the flesh” (Jude v.23b), as they are apostates whose damnation had already been secured (Jude v.4). Additionally, the apostle Peter describes these apostates as the proverbial dogs who return to their own vomit and pigs who return to wallowing in the mire (see 2 Peter 2:22 and Proverbs 26:11).
Now, the reasons why these apostates were able to creep into our churches, our schools, our business, etcetera is because so few of today’s believers in Yeshua are spiritually savvy enough to discern when believers have departed from the faith, or when wolves have joined flocks, or when a backslider’s conscience has been seared, or when so-called Christians have a form of godliness, and so forth. For sure, there are many believers in Yeshua today who are living and/or behaving as the apostates who are described above, BUT far too many professed Christians either are clueless or indifferent about these apostates who clearly neither are clinging to the Holy Spirit nor are controlled by (cooperating with) Him. In other words, these professed Christians have not crucified their own ‘self,’ and they have not been filled or controlled by the Holy Spirit. They, instead, are sensual, which means they live in accordance with their senses because they are too soulish. This truth is why they are walking after their own lusts instead of being in accordance with the Holy Spirit.
Lastly, Jude makes it clear that believers in Yeshua can have victory over apostasy but only as overcomers who stay filled with and controlled by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the only One who is able to keep believers in Yeshua from falling away from the faith. He also is the only One who is able to present believers in Yeshua as blameless before their Lord and Savior, but only if they allow Him to change them into overcomers.
Becoming overcomers begins when believers in Yeshua realize their assured victory does not mean that they don’t have to fight to win. Every genuine believer has to contend for the faith – the kind of faith that will help them to become victorious over sin, the world, and their flesh. However, living a holy life will keep those believers who are progressively becoming overcomers on the battlefield. Put differently, there is no way that contending for the faith won’t be dangerous at times. That is why it is important to remember what Yeshua and His apostles taught, which is that those seeking to become overcomers will obediently do the following: 1. Build themselves up on their most holy faith; 2. Pray in the Holy Spirit; and 3.Keep themselves in the Love of YeHoVaH (Jude vv. 20-21). This is how they not only survive apostasy but also how they become victorious over sin, the world, and their flesh. Additionally, this is how they will have the power to snatch backsliders out of the fire – apostates who have NOT passed the point of no return.
Once again, the ultimate solution to apostasy is believers’ proximity to Yeshua, which is achieved through the Holy Spirit. This Divine Truth is why believers in Yeshua must always stay close to Him, and they must always keep preaching His Gospel. By contending for the faith, with the aid of the Holy Spirit, and by staying close – via the Holy Spirit – to the only One who is able to keep believers in Yeshua from falling, Yeshua’s believers will be able not only to survive apostasy but also able to thrive as holy overcomers in spite of the fact that apostasy is everywhere in today’s world. Selah . . .
It’s in Christ that you, once you heard the truth and believed it (this Message of your salvation), found yourselves home free—signed, sealed, and delivered by the Holy Spirit. This signet from God is the first installment on what’s coming, a reminder that we’ll get everything God has planned for us, a praising and glorious life. ~ Ephesians 1:13-14, MSG
The Holy Spirit is the One who seals believers in Christ. Father God allows the Holy Spirit to seal Christ’s followers so that they can feel safe and secure in God’s Love, Power, and Promises. Furthermore, it is the sealing of the Holy Spirit that accomplishes Father God’s signed, sealed, and delivered spiritual Objectives, which are as follows:
1. He seals with (stamps God’s Approval on us; validates us via) God’s Insignia so that we not only can receive the Holy Spirit inside us and on us but also can receive our eternal sonship, our eternal life, and our other promised eternal gifts.
2. He seals up (preserves, locks in) our faith that God has given to us so that unbelief, nonbelief, and apostasy) will be sealed out.
3. He seals to (protect, secure, and save) us by marking us with God’s Seal—a visible impression to the forces of darkness—so that demonic/evil forces will know they can’t enter us. In other words, God’s Seal will let Satan and his imps know that we Father God’s Children.
But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols.
Don’t give the Jezebel Spirit any Ground, for her wickedness has snared many.
Holy Spirit, keep us from forsaking, abandoning, rebelling against, or falling away from what we believe, as apostasy is the product of an evil unbelieving heart. Help us resist the Jezebel Spirit. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
~ a page from my manuscript, “Daily Manna: Bible Verse, Couplet & Prayer for Each Day of the Year”
Now, friends, read these next words carefully. Slow down and don’t go jumping to conclusions regarding the day when our Master, Jesus Christ, will come back and we assemble to welcome him. Don’t let anyone shake you up or get you excited over some breathless report or rumored letter from me that the day of the Master’s arrival has come and gone. Don’t fall for any line like that. Before that day comes, a couple of things have to happen. First, the Apostasy. Second, the debut of the Anarchist, a real dog of Satan. He’ll defy and then take over every so-called god or altar. Having cleared away the opposition, he’ll then set himself up in God’s Temple as ‘God Almighty.’ Don’t you remember me going over all this in detail when I was with you? Are your memories that short? (2 Thessalonians 2:1-5, The Message)
In 2 Thessalonians 2:3, the Apostle Paul declares that Jesus the Christ’s bodily return will not happen before there is a great falling away from God’s Truth. After this grand apostasy is achieved, then and only then will the true identity of the Antichrist (the Anarchist, man of sin, son of perdition, man of lawlessness) be revealed. Furthermore, once the Antichrist is revealed, then people literally will be able to count the days until Jesus the Christ returns to earth.
Despite the aforementioned biblical truths, and even though the Word of God is very clear, believers worldwide still declare that they know, right now, who the Antichrist is. It is a shame that these believers are wasting their time looking for the Antichrist instead of using their time to look for the prophesied apostasy—the great falling away from God’s Truth—which, according to God’s Word, MUST happen before the rise of the Antichrist!
For sure, apostasy, in its varying degrees, is everywhere today. Moreover, if the survey results in Cathy Lynn Grossman’s USA Today article are any indication, then without a doubt apostasy sure enough is in today’s churches and local communities; however, the problem is that too many believers just cannot recognize this insidious threat. Perhaps, this inability to identify apostasy is why so many believers are shocked by what Grossman reports in her “Survey: 72% of Millennials ‘more spiritual than religious.’” Grossman writes:
Even among those in the survey who ‘believe they will go to heaven because they have accepted Jesus Christ as savior’:
•68% did not mention faith, religion or spirituality when asked what was ‘really important in life.’
•50% do not attend church at least weekly.
•36% rarely or never read the Bible.
What is frightening is that 72% of these surveyed Christians who are between 18 and 29 years old still claim that they are “spiritual,” whatever that means. The truth is how one believer defines “spiritual” doesn’t mean every believer will define “spiritual” the same way. Therefore, without knowing the difference between God’s Truth and the lies fostered by the heretical doctrines of inclusiveness, moral relativism, and/or secularism, today’s believers will never know to what extent they have been spiritually deceived—never know to what extent they are agreeing or disagreeing with God’s absolute Truth.
Once again, since apostasy, in its varying degrees, is ubiquitous, it is essential for every believer to know with certainty whether or not he or she either is holding steadfast to the Truth that is in God’s Word or is falling away from that Truth. The Holy Bible is clear. The great apostasy will happen before the Rapture, before the start of the Tribulation Period, and before the rise of the Antichrist. Therefore, instead of looking for the Antichrist, believers should be looking for the apostate signs! These apostate signs are EVERYWHERE!