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May 27, 2008
The book of Jude outlines spiritual conditions that will exist on planet Earth that will cause God to bring on His judgments as outlined in the book of Revelation. In previous articles we discussed Sodom & Gomorrah, Hell's Angels and Apostate Christianity. Apostate Christianity refers to people who claim to be children of God and call themselves Christians but abhor His atoning sacrifice made on the cross. They have a form of godliness but deny His power. The churches today are not preaching about how Christ went to the cross to pay the penalty for your sin debt so you wouldn't have to go to pay the penalty yourself by spending an eternity in hell for your sins and you can have the promise of a glorious future in heaven. Instead they preach the occultic version of Christ which transforms Him into someone who will do your bidding if you just follow the rules and bribe Him with your money through tithes and offerings.
Church activity like this can lead to unions with evil spirits which is what occurred in the days of Noah. Uniting with demonic spirits causes the person to focus on self and what they can get out of life including fleshly pleasures. This union is why we have so much sexual perversion today and it is going to get worse. The final condition mentioned in Jude that causes God to bring on the judgments of the Tribulation period is outlined in the following verse from Jude.
"Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit, and perished in the rebellion of Korah."
What is the way of Cain? He tried to create his own way to a relationship with God. God tells us what the way is but the world refuses to listen and invents their own. Cain brought a fruit offering to the Lord which God did not honor as it was not the way God had instructed Cain to do. An animal sacrifice was required and Cain knew it. Scripture says, "Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sin." Hebrews 9:22. Instead of Cain obeying God and offering the proper sacrifice, Cain tried to invent his own way to God. Cain hated Abel because Abel was doing it God's way and Cain was not. The world hates Christians today for the very same reason.
In America, we have the Holy Bible readily available to anyone who wants one. You can buy one this in a grocery store, a drug store, a book store, a discount store, and a department store. However, very few people actually read it. What is even sadder, very few church going people take the time to read it. People here and the world over are moving farther and farther away from God and His word. In fact, Psalms 2:3 has a prophecy about this,"Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us." This is referring to the world wanting to cast off all of God's rules and commandments. I heard a preacher say in one of his sermons that 4,000 churches in America close their doors each year due to a lack of attendance.
Churches now have rock bands and live sports on the television to lure members in. The church is supposed to be different from the world, not be conformed to it. Going to church to be entertained is not the reason to go to church. Some churches even offer yoga and meditation classes. These are occultic practices and don't come from God and should have no place in a church environment. Today we have in churches this motto, "God says it okay to be gay." This is not true. God says, in His word, being gay was an abomination. Being gay is no different that being a thief, a liar, a murderer, or an adulterer. It is just another sin that besets mankind.
Cain was jealous of his brother because Abel pleased God with the proper sacrifice so Cain killed him. Christians today are despised by the Cains of the world because we have trusted in the proper sacrifice, Christ's shed blood, and they are jealous of us. Deep down in their hearts they know we are doing it right but they won't listen to God calling them to repentance.
What was Balaam's error? The verse states they "have run greedily in the error of Balaam". What did Balaam do? He betrayed Israel for profit. He was a true prophet until his desire for the material things of this world turned him into a false prophet.
What is happening in the world of today? Pastors and preachers (who would be the modern day prophets) are betraying Christ for selfish gain and becoming false prophets. The false teaching that is coming out of the church today is that Christ promises blessing, healing, success, and prosperity without talking about the other side of the coin which is persecution and trouble. People want to hear about prosperity and healings and blessings and success in this world. They do not want to hear about the possibility of being killed, arrested, and tortured because they follow Christ. The modern day Balaam preachers are reaping huge financial rewards from the prosperity gospel. These "false prophets" were once true men of God but have allowed the riches of this world to cause them to forsake Christ for the sake of money.
Salvation is not preached anymore. You will never find a prosperity preacher saying, "It is appointed for man to die once, then judgment so prepare yourself." Hebrews 9:27 What is important to these "false teachers" is that the pews are filled every time they have a meeting because that means more money in their pockets. Salvation has a taken a back seat to the business model of church growth. Denominations measure church growth by the number of people who sit in the pews each Sunday. God measures it by the number of people who have accepted the atoning sacrifice Jesus made on the cross.
Christians who have not yet been deceived by these wolves in sheep's clothing knows that we are more likely to face tribulation and persecution for following Christ than great material wealth. It is a natural thing for sinful man to want the things of this world so they use the name of God as the instrument to get those things. God becomes an instrument of their selfish will other than them seeking what God's will is for them.
Revelation 2:14 states, ''Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: You have people there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols and by committing sexual immorality."
Because of his own greediness, the prophet of God taught Israel to do things that were contrary to God's will. This led to the total corruption of Israel which caused God to send the Assyrians and the Babylonians to take them into captivity. The Balaams of the world today are teaching the church to commit sexual immorality and to stray from God's word and chase after idols.
In the article Norbet Lieth wrote about Balaam's error he included this example from the periodical TOPIC 9. "The American extreme evangelist, Benny Hinn, called upon thousands of people to give money for his new private jet plane at a meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark....The plane made it easier for him to evangelize worldwide. Benny Hinn is quoted as saying, "I will write the name of every person who gives $1,000 dollars on the inside of the plane" Every time he flew, when he read the names of the people who contributed, he would pray for them. After the gathering of the collection, Hinn said, "Because so many have given today, there will be a revival in Scandinavia.
Note that it was not HInn's preaching of the word that would cause revival in Scandinavia (only God can truly cause revival). It was because people had sent money into his ministry so he could buy his own jet that would cause the revival.
Hinn is just one of many Balaam's of our today. What is Hinn's message? Blessing, healing, success, and prosperity. The other side of the coin of persecution and trouble is never mentioned.
The third part of the verse states, "and perished in the rebellion of Korah." What did Korah do? He led a rebellion against Moses and Aaron which prompted God to destroy Korah and all his followers. Study Numbers Chapter 16. Moses was the prophet of God and Aaron was a priest. Priests were the only ones who could offer a valid sacrifice to God.
The prophet of God today is the one who proclaims His word accurately and proclaims Christ as the sacrifice that bridges the gap between God and man. Christian circles are rebelling against His Word and against His sacrifice. This rebellion will cause them to perish just as Korah and his followers perished.
How is the church of today rejecting God's word and His sacrifice? They are claiming that all religions are valid ways to God when scripture plainly says that the only way to God is through Jesus because of His sacrifice. "Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." John 14:6
We have 6 reasons in Jude that God will bring the judgments of Revelation on planet Earth. It is not a matter of if the judgments will fall but when. The 6 examples in Jude are happening today on a grand scale which means judgment is not far off. However, there is a 7th person in Jude who gives us hope. That person is Enoch. Enoch was a man who walked with God. Because he walked with God, he was taken to heaven without having to experience death.
Those who walk with God will be spared the judgments of the tribulation period and some will be spared from having to experience death.
Jude concludes, "14 Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, "Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, 15 to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him." 16 These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage. 17 But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: 18 how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. 19 These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit. 20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. 22 And on some have compassion, making a distinction; 23 but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh. 24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, 25 To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, Be glory and majesty, Dominion and power, Both now and forever. Amen.
Need I say more?
Copyright 2008 by Gary Goodworth
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