By W. G. Guy
What A horrible title! How could such a term even be conceived? Actually this describes the general state of affairs in much of the church today. Again, how could this be? Recently I was praying and interceding for the church as a result of some of the strange experiences and spreading of wrong teachings I’ve been seeing and hearing about. While in prayer the words “godless Christianity” came out of my mouth and startled me. So I mediated on just what does that mean and realized it all had to do with the subject of my prayer – the condition of the church. First consider the warnings Jesus gave concerning how things would be prior to His return.
Matthew 24:11 – And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
Matthew 24:24 – For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall
show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive
the very elect.
In addition to Jesus’ warning are those of His select servants, the apostles, who detailed such warnings even further. The apostle John warned:
1 John 4:1 – Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
The apostle Peter warned:
2 Peter 2:1-3 – But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.
2 Peter 2:20 – For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.
The apostle Paul got extremely specific in his multiple warnings:
Acts 20:29-31 - For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.
1Timothy 4:1-2 – 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; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
2 Timothy 4:2-4 – Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
2 Timothy 3:1-5 – This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
Many Christians today can not recognize the condition of the church because, using the old cliché, “they can’t see the forest for the trees”. Simply put, when you are deeply imbedded in the system and have adopted to, conformed to and become comfortable in it, then you can’t see, or refuse to see, what is wrong within it. God has assigned a unique ministry to certain of his servants – that of being a “watchman”.
Most ministers placed in the position of watchman are not recognized for their ministry, in fact, they are considered nuisances by many. I know of one highly respected watchman whose warnings have been clear and accurate. His clear, stern and solemn warnings have been declared since the early seventies. I’m referring to Pastor David Wilkerson, whom I highly regard. In the mid eighties he identified me as also being a watchman after he read some of my writings.
The Lord has placed me, along with others, in this unique position to be able to recognize the problems, errors and corruptions that currently exist in the church today. He has removed me from being within the typical church system and placed me in an outside position as a “watchman”.
Isaiah 21:6 – For thus hath the Lord said unto me, Go, set a watchman, let him declare what he seeth.
Ezekiel 33:7 – So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me.
In Old Testament times, a watchman was stationed on the wall of the city to act as a look out and to sound the warning to the inhabitants whenever he saw the enemy coming. From the position on the wall, the watchman could not only observe the surrounding environs of the city but he could also see what was going on inside the city.
Watchmen in the past have given warnings of the forces of darkness we observed trying to enter the city – the church. Those warnings were ignored and now we see those forces within the city wreaking havoc in it. The enemy is operating within much of the church and people have unknowingly but willingly embraced what the devil has brought in. Such intrigue has been going on for centuries, but never has it been at the level and such a dire situation as it is now. Yes it started long ago in the early church when the spirit of antichrist tried to introduce false doctrines and traditions.
1 John 2:18-19 – Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.
That spirit is still operating and masquerading with his co-hordes as servants of light and righteousness, and this is part of the deception that Jesus warned about. The warning is that the enemy is within the camp or city – he is IN the church, and has been there for a long time. However, now he is getting more bold and desperate in his activity as there is little time left before the return of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Corinthians 11:13-15 – For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
So what is it that the watchmen are seeing that must be warned about? Most significantly are the false doctrines and traditions, the ones that originated by man and demons, and are not based solely on God’s Word. Many of these doctrines are “New Age” or simply a rehash of ancient eastern religions.
Ephesians 4:14 – That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
1 Timothy 4:1 – 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;
Today we have churches that can be characterized as social churches and are more like fraternal organizations; ones that merely function as a center of social gatherings and activities. Then there are the soulish churches; ones that preach to the appeal of peoples soulish, selfish pursuits and the satisfaction of fleshly lusts of materialism and the flesh. There are those that are spiritually dead and offer nothing that builds spiritual life or works to form Christ in its people. There are the churches that function mostly as entertainment centers and stages for performers. And there are churches that preach such a watered down gospel (greasy grace) that sin is never addressed because it is too negative; and since repentance is not a topic to be touched, its people never change. How does that compare with scripture?
2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Probably the most alarming thing I have seen is occurring in the “Spirit filled” Pentecostal or charismatic churches. Since they embrace the supernatural power and operation of the Holy Spirit in their midst, they are open to the deceptive workings of the enemy who successfully counterfeits the true gifts of the Holy Spirit. If these worshipers fail to judge what happens in their services by comparing it to the Word of God, or if they fail to discern what spirit is in operation, then they are ripe for the enemy’s deception.
A great deal of the devil’s deception is now operating in many of these churches and people are embracing all kinds of bizarre manifestations that are clearly not of God. They are so enamored with the “power” or supernatural manifestations that they accept anything spectacular or supernatural as being from God. They never check these things out with the Bible to see that God has never and will never do things that way. The Holy Spirit never makes people act like animals; He does not destroy furniture or equipment; He does not convulse people with what is termed “the Pentecostal jerks”. Those jerks need to be cast out! The Bible does identify one that convulses and it NOT the Holy Spirit , but it is a devil (demon).
Luke 9:42 – And as he was yet a coming, the devil threw him down, and tare (or convulsed) him. And Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, and healed the child, and delivered him again to his father.
Most of the recent misconceptions are the product of false teachers and preachers; those wrongly motivated to satisfy their fleshly appetites – the so-called “anointed” ones.
Matthew 24:24 – For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
Jesus said many would come in His name saying they are Christ. Look at this verse more closely to actually see what is written here. The word Christ is the Greek word for Messiah. The word messiah means Anointed One. Is this starting to mean anything to you? Many of today’s false prophets (more appropriately called “profits”), teachers and preachers are calling themselves “anointed”. This fulfills exactly what Jesus foretold. So we see that
Matthew 24:5 actually says, For many shall come in my name, saying, I am anointed, and shall deceive many.
Many are coming in His name saying they are anointed; so people listen to them and follow them. This is part of the deception He warned about in the last days.
Matthew 24: 4-5 – And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man
deceive you. For many (not a few) shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many (not a few).
Jesus told us what to look for in those who preach (prophesy) and teach in these last days:
Matthew 7:15, 20 – Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
The fruit we are to look for is not their “works” or accomplishments, as so many believe. The fruit Jesus told us to look for is the Fruit of the Spirit:
Galatians 5:22-23 – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
This fruit can only be produced by an intimacy with the Lord Jesus Christ, who is referred to as the vine. It is the life of the vine that flows out into the branches (true believers) and it is His life that produces the Fruit of the Spirit in them:
John 15:4-5 – Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
Why did Jesus say that this fruit is so important to look for? Satan can counterfeit the supernatural signs and wonders, but he can’t counterfeit the Fruit of the Spirit. Why is that? The Fruit of the Spirit is the character and nature of God that was fully revealed in Jesus. Satan’s character and nature is the opposite (antichrist) – murder, thief or swindle, liar, pride, greed, selfishness and all manner of lusts; he can’t produce the Fruit of the Spirit because it is contrary to his vile, corrupt and evil nature.
John 8:44 – Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
John 10:10 – The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
If you don’t see any of the nature of the Lord in the preacher, teacher or prophet; be very wary. If you see any of the nature of the enemy, the works of the flesh – RUN AWAY.
First of all we need to recognize what is it that makes a false preacher, prophet or teacher, false. It is in what they teach or preach. This is where discernment and knowledge of the Bible is required. These preachers generally use the Bible, but they use verses out of context or contrary to the rest of what the Bible says in order to justify their errors. Note: always use the Bible to prove the Bible. These modern day false teachers incorporate ancient eastern religion or the occult, currently known as New Age, into their teaching and preaching – and prophesies. They also depend on mere human wisdom and intellectualism to make their point. So what are we supposed to do with these false preachers? Second, it’s not only what they say, it’s what they DO, both in public and private.
2 Timothy 3:5 – Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
Don’t submit to them or accept their teaching! Get away – FAST! They claim to have the power of God or the spirit; but it is the wrong god and wrong spirit. The power that is referred to by Paul in the above verse is the power to change lives, the power of repentance, the power to set the captive free of sinful lives. These false teachers use Satan’s power to bring people back into bondage by appealing to their fleshly lusts.
They also need to be rebuked by those who are mature in the Word and Spirit of God, but this just isn’t happening because of our conditioning of political correctness to be tolerant and not judgmental. God’s Word instructs us to make such judgments (decisions and determinations).
1 John 4:1 – Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try (test or prove) the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
Preoccupation with the supernatural signs and wonders has been an open door for Satan in spirit-filled type churches, and its people are being brought into the bondage of the enemy with out even recognizing it.
2 Timothy 4:3-4 – For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
John 8:32 – And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
What’s worse is that they think that they are spiritually excelling beyond all the other churches because they are experiencing more of “god” in their services. All of which are lying signs and wonders – Why, because they love not the truth of God’s Word, preferring instead their unusual experiences and manifestations that they call “blessings”.
2 Thessalonians 2:2-9 – That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
Please understand that the Holy Spirit does impart true supernatural gifts for the purpose of aiding in ministry, drawing people to Christ and building up the saints unto the fullness of the image of Christ. However, the enemy can counterfeit these supernatural workings and his ways must be recognized and dealt with when necessary. Thus we have the warnings of the watchmen.
One of the things to consider when there are seemingly supernatural manifestations is that God does not put on shows, but the devil loves to show off. Knocking people down is a show of power that accomplishes nothing but glorifying the so-called minister whose apparent anointing overwhelms the victims who submit to him, or rather actually submit to that counterfeit spirit that is operating in or through him.
Yes, people do fall down when the presence of the Holy Spirit when He ministers to them. However, when it is truly the Holy Spirit, something has changed in that person and they arise with a greater awareness and appreciation of the righteousness of God, Jesus and His Kingdom, and their lives have definitely changed. Whenever the Holy Spirit is manifesting the end result is RIGHEOUSNESS; even if He has to bring conviction of sin, and the end result is repentance and a turn to righteousness.
John 16:8 – And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment
Romans 14:17 – For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
The work of the Holy Spirit is to reveal Jesus as the Son of God and the savour who took away our sins so that we can live righteously, pleasing and honoring him – not in the self indulgence that is taking over much of these churches today. Self indulgence caters to the flesh which we are to put off because its lusts make people vulnerable to Satan’s enticements; deception and result in sin.
1 John 2:15-16 – Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world
James 1:14-15 – But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
These are just few examples of the errors that currently hold many churches in bondage to lies, hypocrisy, false doctrines and traditions. Too many Christians are being turned away from the truth and real spiritual maturity unto the fullness of our Lord Jesus Christ. How to we change this? There are two main things each of us needs to incorporate into out daily lives: PRAYER and real study of GOD’S WORD. God’s Word contained in the Bible is TRUTH.
John 8:32 – And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
If you have questions about what is in the Bible, ask the author – Jesus. He wants you to know and understand His Word, which is His will for you. He even sent us His own special interpreter to teach it to us.
John 14:26 – But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
John 16:13-14 – Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you.
Much worship in the church is based on the deceptions and lies of the enemy; this is the warning given to us about the last days. This flies in the face of God the Father and diminishes the glory due Him and His Son Jesus the Christ.
John 4:23-34 – But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
Is there such a thing as Godless Christianity? Jesus gave us an example early in his ministry:
Matthew 15:8 – This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
And so we have today those who have a form of godliness, and they give lip service to or about God, but their hearts are far from Him – we can call this Godless Christianity. Please don’t allow yourself to be counted among this group.