Phyllis Beveridge Nissila
Note: where the reader might see three dots that separate portions of this post, click on them for full context otherwise the meaning is corrupted.
COMING OUT OF SPIRITUAL APOSTASY
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; (1 Timothy 4:1, emphasis added)
“Depart”: apostēsontai –fall away, depart from the faith. (This term occurs only once in the Bible, in Paul’s letter to Timothy, above, in the context of end times prophecies.)
And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird! For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury.” And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. (Revelation 18:2-5)
For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth (restrains) will let, until he be taken out of the way. (2 Thessalonians 2:7)
Many Bible scholars believe we are just now nearing the last stages of the so-called Church Age during which time there will be a great apostasy in the Church extant at that time, a “departure,” of many believers due to “seducing spirits” and “doctrines of devils” as noted in the first introductory verse.
And God’s call was, is, and will be to “Come out of her, my people…” as noted in the second introductory verses.
As to specifically what the single or multi-faceted apostasy of the end times is, when and why it will take place (quickly or over a period of time) Bible scholars offer differing views. Here is a summary.
But whether it refers to a specific doctrine or more, in a specific church or many, a religious system tied to the One World Religion of end times infused with the deception of the Antichrist in prophecy who appears after the “restrainer,” as per the third introductory verse, is removed, remains to be discerned.
As to who or what the “restrainer” is, many believe He is the Holy Spirit embedded in believers at their spiritual rebirth. This is one of the justifications for the doctrine of the Rapture, although the actual timing of this event has always been subject to debate.
The departure of the restrainer, if it is the Holy Spirit in the Church en masse in the Pre-Tribulation Rapture, is not to be confused with the presence of the Holy Spirit in all other “dispensations” of spiritual history in ways unique to those times.
But the point is: something of great significance will lead believers astray, many to a denial of the Gospel of Jesus Christ entirely.
And. It. Will. Be. Powerful–“deceiving even the elect, if possible“.
In this era, some conjecture that it might involve the kind of new technology that allows quantum antennae to be injected into the brain via the blood stream of humans that will enable a transmitting device to fatally deceive people with whatever mandate or doctrine the sender wishes transmit. Some people think 5G will facilitate this.
Do you think this kind of technological whiz bang hasn’t already happened? Check out this earlier iteration called the Voice of God (VoG).
But of course the expert featured in the link, above, did say, back then, that it would take some kind of “social revolution” for people to accept this kind of thing.
More recently, experts with an eye for prophecy wonder if this could be a health-related revolution of some sort that scares the pants off of everybody who will then demand the latest iteration of the technology they believe is just a regular vaccine but in fact will, once inside the body’s cells, prep the receiver for other purposes. Whatever else it may do.
Worse yet, perhaps such quantum technology, called an “operating system” by one designer, could even erase their memory of all things God and render moot one’s free will to “choose this day whom you will serve.” Here is just one interesting feature related to erasing memory, this one for good purposes, however.
Another way to erase the memory of God would be to ban an additional source: the Bible. Efforts to ban the Bible by chipping away at non-politically correct verses, for now, has already begun. As of today, an Internet search of articles and features related to that effort produces over 9,400,000 results.
In short: if you don’t know, how can you choose, thus calling God a liar in that He gave us free will. Now, who would want you to call God a liar so as to, I don’t know, replace himself or his “system” as god in your life? Hint: not merely human programmers, scientists, politicians, or religious leaders. Think existential.
But those are other subjects to research using such words as, say, experimental vaccines and prophecies that discuss the great apostasy in the Bible in addition to core doctrines of Biblical Christianity.
Of course, diligence is required as such experts and information are often scrubbed from view, these days, or they are hard to get to after reams of disinformation and propaganda put out by “fact checkers” have been clicked through, first.
MERCY FOR THOSE COMING OUT
But the point of this particular post is this: thanks to all the exposures in recent years of the crimes being committed by leadership not only in government, politics, and certain elite circles around the world, but also–and especially–in positions of high-ranking authority in churches, people are beginning to come out of them, i.e., the deceptions, heresies, disinformation, and psychological operations enabled to date to deceive us.
And it’s painful when this happens because the deceptions have been promulgated by people in those institutions and groups we have trusted (but have now discovered that when such people posed as trustworthy it was just another crummy psyop).
Of course, all of us can follow a wrong path from time to time, but that’s where repentance and correction comes into play.
But I am referencing here those who mislead and deceive on purpose.
And when the trust bubble has burst by evidence, people will GRIEVE to one degree or another…
I believe the Body of Christ, the real Church, is called to not only recognize this but also extend mercy, grace, and what information they can on, well, grievous matters–physically, emotionally, politically, socially, and especially spiritually.
And we can offer truth to expose and replace lies.
Some people, of course, coming out, are miraculously healed and/or delivered from deception, oppression, and illness instantly, but others “come out of” the reasons for their spiritual infirmities over a period of time. Here is a summary of the miracles Jesus did while on earth, and the reader will note that certain healings took time, as indicated by many of the narratives.
It is to address the need for ministry in the area of grief when coming out of apostate religious systems, not just the prophetic One World Religion coming up, whether facilitated by technology or not (see “technology” section, above. If it is missing or corrupted, let me know in the comment section and I will forward the original to you), that I write today, hoping to assist in this kind of information and encouragement in such a time as this.
STAGES OF GRIEF
The Bible certainly indicates innumerable occasions when believers, Old and New Testament, cried out to God for a variety of infirmities covering all aspects of life from persecution, physical disease, emotional distress, and certainly spiritual torment.
Each episode is a unique story of its own, customized per the person, as I like to put it, demonstrating how God is able to, and does, answer prayer instantly or over time, and what we can do in tandem to align with His will.
But in the context of God “raining upon (both) the just and the unjust” with His inspiration and provision, I believe the secular world also provides some understanding and wisdom for us that aligns with biblical patterns when we seek answers to our dilemmas.
One such grief process is that developed by Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross who proposed a five-step stage of the grieving process, or cycle, whether it is for others who have experienced some kind of trauma in their lives, or for oneself. From her 1959 groundbreaking book on the grieving process, On Death and Dying (1969), Kubler-Ross lists the stages thus:
(For a discussion of each stage, here is one of many good sources. Note, however, the Christian faith has much more advice to offer in its context. Here is one summary of that information.)
But whether grieved–or grieving–when one is exiting a spiritual illness, so to speak, perpetrated by false prophets and deceptive religious systems, especially those that insert “a little bit of truth in every lie,” a bit of “deceptive yeast in the loaf,” the anger stage is where most of us will intersect with other people. This is where Christian ministry is very important.
Because above all, it’s the anger stage, suggested in both the secular and spiritual models noted above, that is most expressed among–and impacting on–other people because of its social nature. And it’s easy to see why.
THE ROLE OF ANGER IN GRIEF
From the work of Kubler-Ross, we get this insight:
Once you start to live in ‘actual’ reality again and not in ‘preferable’ reality, anger might start to set in. This is a common stage to think “why me?” and “life’s not fair!” You might look to blame others for the cause of your grief and also may redirect your anger to close friends and family. You find it incomprehensible of how something like this could happen to you. If you are strong in faith, you might start to question your belief in God. “Where is God? Why didn’t he protect me?…” (summary source)
As we can see, other people are involved to one degree or another.
From the feature on a biblical grieving process, we get this:
Resentment grows. “Why me?” “Why my child?” “This isn’t fair!” We direct blame toward God, others, and ourselves. We feel agitated, irritated, moody, and on edge. (source noted above)
As related to coming out of a deceptive religious system promulgating non-biblical doctrines and teaching, however, this stage of grief could be summarized in the bullet points below.
I take my information from having been deeply involved for a number of years in a works-based religious system (my narrative begins here) and from having worked for a period of time in a ministry that counselled individuals coming out of religious “cults”. Here are some questions people grieving those experiences might pose in expressions of anger:
- How could I have BEEN so misled? (Probable causes: no exposure to the real Gospel, or being indoctrinated to believe only special people can read and/or interpret it).
- Why do people keep thinking I am angry with the PEOPLE who are members of that church/group? They are influenced and misled in certain respects just like I was!
- Why do people just assume I haven’t forgiven the offenders? (Probable causes: my accusers don’t have knowledge of the religious system other than what it advertises itself to be, and they assume that my anger means only unforgiveness. Or, on the other hand, my anger is the righteous kind.)
- When will what I now know of truth filter from my head to my heart and enable me to stop experiencing so much mental and emotional pain? (Here the feeling is more frustration, but frustration can trigger anger as well.)
Since spiritual pain (inflicted by some form of apostasy) is the most significant, existential kind of pain to deal with, touching on the very fundamental of human questions–Is there a God? Why am I here? What happens after death? it can be the longest-lasting and ultimately most painful from which to recover.
Of course, some will repress the anger, which causes an anger all its own, often re-directed at others, the angry person not having fully grieved the original source–or, sadly, and here is an aspect of deceptive doctrine especially popular today, a person may not even be aware that he or she could experience anger in a grieving process, such as those involved in movements that only allow “positive” confessions from whence, they are told, come all of God’s blessings…
The Psalmist and king, David, certainly didn’t operate in this kind of mindset. He did a lot of complaining–and God brought him through all of his challenges, for which David ultimately praised and thanked Him.
The antidote, of course, and in a nutshell, is God’s Word, written, read, expressed, studied, and referenced. And as our faith grows in this practice, our faith also grows in the Word made Flesh, Jesus. So that is the first bit of Good News.
But it’s also a bit like telling the hospital patient when he/she wakes up in the recovery room: “We got it all fixed. You will recover,” as the patient is also awakening from the numbing effects of anesthesia and facing some painful, but good, therapy ahead…
Here is why the Word of God in all forms is so essential in “coming out” of spiritual deception:
Hebrews 4:12 – For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
2 Timothy 3:16 – All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
Psalms 119:105 – Thy word [is] a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
MINISTERING TO THOSE IN GRIEF
When I think about my over forty-year journey from a heavily works-based religious system to the grace-filled, redeeming, and recovery-promoting Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the journey’s many mental, emotional, and spiritual twists and turns even as the road continues to straighten out, plus what I understand through research and observation in the time I worked for the ministry, I don’t think many people understand that there is often a period of grief and mourning involved when one leaves a deception religious system.
And I doubt many who are grieving over what has happened to them are aware that this might be why they are so plagued with anger–and plaguing others with it.
As the grievers begin to come into awareness of how, when, where, why, by whom they were deceived, anger grows, both human and righteous anger.
I believe God is angered, too.
Certainly the prophecies concerning what will eventually happen to the ultimate, global deceiver, aka the Antichrist, referenced in the books of prophecy, indicate God was, is, and will be angry over such deception, such apostasy, and all that goes with it, perpetrated against His children.
And, to one of most important points today, those “on the outside,” may get tired of hearing the grieving ones sing their one-note requiem, often loudly, over the damages, the heartaches, the spiritual angst, and perhaps even physical harm done them all those years or only even weeks or months of involvement.
A good comparison, I think, would be the kind of extensive, research, prayer, and counselling- rich recovery period usually required for those who have left abusive relationships.
But that is understandable. All of us are only human.
The “world” and even believers who simply don’t comprehend the depth and breadth of damage done to either group of the abused and deceived would like to think all healings are instant miracles, but God is comprehensive in His restoration projects, so to speak, and He has made us with a propensity toward anger–but for the right reasons. Like righteous anger.
Jesus was so righteously angry once he turned over tables in the Temple…
And sometimes healing just takes time.
God has also provided the way, that is to say, the Way, Truth, and Life, by calling all to faith in His Son, Jesus. As put in John 3:16.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
But if we don’t know that anger is part and parcel of a complete recovery process for many, we–and they–may get stuck there.
Additionally, if we on the outside think the griever is stuck in unforgiveness, or sin, or hate toward the deceivers, we deny him or her the opportunity to understand God can help him/her through this stage of recovery, too.
So to my most important take-away today: I believe God prompts us to reach out in mercy, grace, love, and acceptance during this often painful period for those injured by apostasy, big or small, religious–or secular (see below).
Perhaps pointing the wounded and/or deceived to expert counsel for aid, comfort, and “de-programming” as we used to call it in the ministry, if they were originally Christians, just as we would for victims of domestic or other kinds of physical, mental, or emotional abuse, is also needed.
But all of us can at least understand and perhaps remind him or her–even ourselves–that by turning to God in this grief, He…
…is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power (generated by the Holy Spirit) that is at work within us. (Ephesians 3:20)
COMING OUT OF SECULAR APOSTASY
Of course the myriad ways religious apostasies/cults can harm us also applies to secular organizations where people are lied to, kept from the truth or any opposing viewpoints, offered empty promises for some kind of coin, and led astray by those who never seem to have enough power, money, and control over others.
Let the reader understand.
But the same invitation and opportunity to minister applies for them, too, because as the statesman said,
You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.
Thus, many, at length, will “come out” of those kinds of deceptions, too, particularly as more and more are exposed.
And the deceived will also need our mercy, grace, information, and assistance in what ways we can assist them to and for a speedy recovery, as much as is possible, in the ever-darkening world in which we live.
But especially, they–as we, for our own individual challenges–need intercessory prayers.
From God’s Word and promises, we–and all who turn to Him–have this encouragement:
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7), and
Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. (1 John 4:4)
Brothers and sisters in Christ: I pray you will be strengthened and emboldened as you carry on in your vital ministries today.
The world might be closer to certain end times events than we know.
Excellent study, Phyllis. It says it all about apostasy and the painful stage of adjustment necessary to reorient one’s soul toward the Gospel truth. The goal is ‘more desirable than gold, even than the finest gold; his words are sweeter than honey, even than honey that drips from the comb’ (Psalm 19.10 JB).