Week of November 22
Defeating Spiritual Terrorism Spiritual terrorists work the same way military terrorists work—they infiltrate the territory they want to take over and do harm from within. Thankfully, God gives us clear clues for identifying and defeating them.
Read Jude 1:8-16
The first step in defeating spiritual terrorists is to know one when you see one. Jude 1:8 states that "these dreamers pollute their own bodies, reject authority and slander celestial beings." These dreamers are apostates who preach redemption without the cross, peace without repentance, happiness without holiness, and a God who is not the father of Jesus Christ. These beliefs "reject the authority" of God as well as His very identity and sovereignty.
Three clues will aid you in recognizing the apostasy of false teaching. First, do not fall for the idea you can have a do-it-yourself religion. Apostates will tell you that there are many roads to God. One popular lie is that you can achieve eternal life through humanitarianism.
Christians have been leaders in caring for the sick, hungry, and abandoned; however, the only way to acceptance by the Father is through the shed blood of Christ.
Jude warns against anyone considering taking "the way of Cain" and getting creative with God's commands. A prideful Cain rejected God's commands as taught by his parents. Instead, he gave God his own version of obedience and suffered greatly.
Second, be aware that playing on emotions is a strategy of the enemy. If your basis of believing a half-truth over God's truth is that the apostasy just feels better, then you do not have a solid basis for your beliefs. Only God's version of the truth counts.
Why might false teaching sometimes feel better than God's truth?
Read Numbers 16.
A third way Satan leads us into apostasy is in trying to do things through our own power and intellect instead of consulting God.
Korah was a cousin of Moses who appears to have been articulate and charismatic. He probably wondered why God had chosen poor, stuttering Moses as a leader instead of him. Korah rebelled against Moses' authority even though Moses was God's choice.
Moses' response to Korah's attack was to go down "on his face before the Lord." God responded quickly. The ground opened up and swallowed Korah and 240 Israelites; a plague killed 14,700 more. Korah's rebellion did not just lead to tragedy for himself but for others. Sin has a way of doing that.
Apostates will tell you that consequences are a thing of the past and that there is no heaven or hell. From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible tells a different story. A day of reckoning is coming. This will be a day of great joy for all who have contended for the faith but not for those who created their own version of God's teachings.
Take a moment now to pray and rejoice with God over His assured victory over sin and apostasy. Express your joy in meeting Him one day. Ask for help to live by God's truth and to defeat apostasy. Repent of any sin in your life.
"In the very same way, these dreamers pollute their own bodies, reject authority and slander celestial beings."-- Jude 1:8
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