Arthur Shearman, Worcester, England
‘. . . there are certain men crept in unawares . . . ungodly men . . . denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ’, Jude 4.
It would seem that the only reason that Jude wrote this short letter, was to share the concern he felt about those who had infiltrated themselves among God's people. These were sowing seeds of heresy within the church of God. Jude is in deadly earnest, and he vividly describes their characters and their evil activities. With great cunning they were seeking to undermine the faith once delivered to the saints. How dangerous and destructive this was.
Satan has always been the master of subterfuge and deceit. He is a liar – the father of lies – the ace deceiver. His disguises are many, and this is only too evident today among the Lord's people. Think! In the garden he beguiled Eve with, ‘Yea, hath God said . . ?’, Gen. 3. 1. In the wilderness he sought the overthrow the mission of Jesus with, ‘If thou be the Son of God’, Matt. 4. 3. The spoken word and the Living Word challenged. Significantly, Jesus answered, ‘It is written’.
Thinking seriously, are we equipped to recognize and deal with such infiltrations from Satan’s kingdom. These characters are not there by invitation. They ‘crept in unawares’. As Paul gave his farewell address to the Ephesian elders, he warned against grievous wolves that would enter in amongst them, not sparing the flock, Acts 20. 29. POSITIVE Action is called for! Vigilance is essential! Maybe four ways in which we can face these activities suggest themselves.
- Take heed to ourselves, Matt. 24. 4. Personal watchfulness and prayer will create in a us a sensitivity to that which is truth in its purity. Spend time in the sanctuary.
- Preach the word faithfully; teach the truth positively. Negatives will never convince; the gospel is God’s authoritive message for all time, and His truth is changeless.
- Be ready to deal ruthlessly with deviations from the pure revelation of God’s truth both in its concepts and practice. Notice 1 John 2. 19, ‘They went out from us, but they were not of us’. This was clearly shown.
- Tender loving care of the flock is essential! Acts. 20. 28 is paramount for all who would engage in the business of eldership today. It is an office that has its source in the Holy Spirit. There is sovreign choice in it, and to the Lord is their accountablity.
We send out this issue with gratitude to the Lord for all who have contributed to its material. The third in our series of exposing the cults is perhaps the most vital with the perils of the growing number of forms of Satanism. We commend the contents of the issue with thankfulness to the Lord.