Apostasy Update # 10 Can True Christians Fall In To The Apostasy? | thebereancall.org

TBC Staff

Videos by Dave Hunt mentioned in this episode:

Tom: Welcome to Apostasy Update. I’m T. A. McMahon, and this is the eighth program in our series of Addressing Biblical Eschatology—What the Bible Has to Say Prophetically about the Last Days Prior to the Return of Jesus Christ. 

My partner in this discussion is Carl Teichrib, and he’s the author of Game of Gods—The Temple of Man in the Age of Re-enchantment. Carl, welcome back, and thanks for joining me in out ongoing discussions of where the world and Christendom are headed according to the scriptures as history draws to a close. 

Carl: Thank you, Tom. You know, this is an important topic. I’m hoping that the programs that we’ve been doing, the information that we’ve been sharing, has been both challenging and encouraging to the audience. 

Tom: Carl, just to add onto that, folks, you know, this is…well, we’ve done a few of these programs, and there’ll be some more to come, but again, one of our purposes is—this is preparation. This is the antidote to what’s taking place in the world and, sadly, in the church. So, that’s what motivates us, right Carl?

Carl: Exactly. And, you know, I’m hoping that in reflecting upon the programs that we’ve been doing, that even for myself, I recognize that this is a time for me to learn, to grow, to be even challenged myself into studying God’s Word more seriously. It’s an important thing.

Tom: Yeah! You know, and as I’ve been saying each week during our discussions, much of the information that we’re presenting is taken from four books: your book, Carl, Game of Gods; America: The Sorcerer’s New Apprentice, which I had the blessing, the privilege, of helping Dave Hunt with, and [Christianity and] Anti-Christianity in Their Final Conflict, which is Samuel Andrews’s book, and, of course, most importantly, the B-I-B-L-E, right? The Bible, which is God’s direct communication to mankind.

And for the last few weeks, we’ve been focusing on the insights from Samuel Andrews’s book, Christianity and Anti-Christianity in Their Final Conflict. Its first printing appeared in 1898, yet much of it reads as though it were published today. It’s truly an amazing book that Andrews’s approach, I believe, is one that all biblical Christians can apply in order to greatly increase their understanding of biblical eschatology—that is, what the Bible declares will take place in the last days prior to enduring the return of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Carl, as we wrap up our discussion of Christianity and Anti-Christianity in Their Final Conflict, I thought we would talk about some of the points Andrews made that impressed and really edified us, just as you alluded to. 

So, you start with some things from your list, and then we’ll go back and forth. I’ll throw some things in as well. 

Carl:  Sure! I think one of the things that struck me, and I really appreciated about his approach was that he was constantly pointing back to Jesus Christ. He was returning to Christ over and over again. Everything was being mirrored against the knowledge of Christ as God manifest in the flesh, as the Creator of the universe, and even though you can look at a book like this and go, “Well, you know, there’s a lot of hopelessness; there’s a lot of negativity,” because it is a cultural survey. It’s a religious survey. And that points to where things are going, and, as Christians, sometimes we can be overwhelmed by that. But at the same time, Andrews made it very clear that, look, really our focus is on Christ.

Let me read a question that he poses that I think is worthwhile contemplating. It’s an important consideration. “Does the church of today better understand the mystery of the Person of the incarnate Son, His teachings, and His work, and more exalt and honor Him as her living Head than did the church of the apostolic age? Here is a standard by which we must test the Christianity of today.” Yes. That is the standard. Do we love Christ more? You know, are we honoring Him more? Do we see Him at work more? Are we looking forward to Him more? Are we hungry for Him? Are we longing for His return more? Or are we just blasé about it? And I read a statement like that, and I’m going, “Carl, that applies to you, too.”

Tom: That’s right. You know, conviction would be definitely one of the qualities that you get from his book. Why? Because, just as you pointed out, he’s going to scripture. You know. So, yes, he’s underscoring, underlining, the things that the scriptures teach and say. 

You know, Carl, the thing that just blesses me so much about this book, how comprehensive the book is! He deals with everything in his day. Now, folks, remember, that was 120 years ago. So, things that relate to the religion and the development, the developing kingdom of the Antichrist. Basically, he’s talking about how it’s preparing the world and Christendom for its acceptance, from its system of government to its belief in godhood for humanity. And, again, not just a line here and a line there, he explains this stuff! [unintelligible]

You know, certainly, Carl, you’ve done some wonderful things in your book, and I’ve been blessed to be with Dave and address a lot of these things, but wow! All I can say is this is a special book.

Carl: I think part of that, too, Tom, is the fact that we can look back, I can look back to the book that you and Dave put together. We can both look back now to the work of Samuel Andrews, and we see that there’s a continuity of thought; that there is a continuation that is building off of each other. And to me, it’s personally…it has a validating element to it. Because as you’re going “all right, I’m not seeing this in a vacuum,” there are others who are seeing it as well. They recognize the problem. I’m not out to left field with this! 

And I’m just a person, you’re just a person, Tom. There’s times when I know I’ve looked at my own work, and I’m going, “Really? Am I understanding this correctly?” But when I’m reading Andrews, I’m going, “Okay, he already saw this 120 years ago!” One of the things I appreciate about that historical context is when he wrote that, that was in the height of modernity. Human rationalism. And at the same time, walking hand-in-hand with that was a pantheistic spirit. The two were walking together, and Andrews brings that out! It’s very similar to now. He, then, of course, couldn’t see the fruit of it 120 years into the future, but we do! We’re seeing the fruit of this before our very eyes continually

Tom: Right.

Carl: And the other element that I found fascinating was that (and I understand why he went into this just a little bit), he explored the 1893 Parliament of World Religions. He recognized  that as having a very important role to play in bringing about this…the “new church.” The new church of the future, this universalistic interfaith church.

Well, obviously, he wasn’t around to see the fruit of this, because he passed away shortly after writing this book, and, of course, it’s 120 years after he wrote it, but, Tom, we see it now! We see the interfaith movement alive and well and growing! And it actually took 100 more years after the 1893 Parliament—the 1993 Parliament to take shape! And then from there, it just snowballed. 

But it’s all built—all of what we are experiencing now, was built during that time period that Samuel Andrews was observing. His own period. And so, it’s like watching dominoes—big dominoes—fall. And it’s both challenging and encouraging, because it should point us, as Samuel Andrews does, to Christ is coming! Christ is the One who is in charge. None of this surprises Him. 

Tom: Right. You know—I mentioned this earlier, but I guess I’m going to keep saying this, you know, I didn’t read in there any particular claim that he had, that he had such, you know spiritual insight, other than the fact that he read the Bible. He went to, yes, Revelation, but then he went to Daniel, then he went to the gospels, then he went to…what am I talking about the gospels? Try…folks, just try Matthew 24. Then he went to the epistles, you know, Peter. I mean, there it is! 

So, yes, he had such a hunger and a desire to understand what was going on. But again, he didn’t do anything that we can’t do. And we have the benefit, which, you know, as we get into America, the Sorcerer’s New Apprentice, and Game of Gods, more has developed, more is out there, and so on. 

But you just put it together, folks. This is not conspiracy theories, okay? This is going right to the Word of God and what it says. You look around—you know, I’ve used this term probably not enough, but what we’re dealing with right now is hidden in plain sight. It’s out there. It’s everywhere. Okay? But sometimes, because it’s out there, you just phase out on it. You don’t see it. You don’t recognize it. And that’s how you get deceived. That’s how you buy into the lie. Because it comes in by maybe osmosis, not by really recognizing what’s there.

You know, Carl, I love what you said. All of this is for the building up of the Body of Christ, for protection, you know. And I used the term “antidote.” There is an antidote to what we’re dealing with for the biblical Christian—for one who is born again and has the Holy Spirit to help him understand, and so on. So it’s just—just amazing. 

And, Carl, I’ll just throw one thing else—one other thing out here that…you know, it’s not that I wasn’t aware of it, and I want you to jump on this as well. All right, I’ll speak for myself. 

Tom, did you…you’re in apologetics ministry, sort of. I mean, I love to call The Berean Call a praying ministry, okay? It’s an encouraging ministry to check things out. You know, caveat emptor, the buyer beware. But, honestly, I never…as much as we deal and have dealt with, (you know, my blessing to be with Dave for 40 years), I’ve never thought about apostasy being connected to leaving our first love, as Jesus—as the Head of the church points out to the Body—you know, the Ephesians: “Hey, I have this against you. You’re doing a lot of good stuff, but I have this against you. You have left your first love.” And he lays out, this is the beginning of apostasy! Once we begin to drift away, and so on, false teachings, false ideas—maybe not overtly at the beginning, but they creep in because we are separating ourselves from the Head, Jesus Christ.

Carl: Yes, and he does a remarkable job of pulling that together, doesn’t he? I’ve really appreciated that. It reminds me a little bit about the dynamics of the Fall in Genesis 3, where you see, what is the chief problem in Genesis 3? We see that Adam and Eve intentionally move away from their Creator, which, by its own consequence, because He is the author of life, brings death.  

Now, it’s not instant death. They didn’t die right away, but they were promised there would be death, and death came. And it was a decay that began at that moment. When we walk away, when we leave our first love, we are also, then, at that point, entering into decay. We enter into a downward spiral. Things now are moving away from literally that Author of love and life. And so, I have appreciated how he reinforces that fact, that when we walk away from our first love, apostasy follows. It has to follow! It has to!

Tom: Right. Right. You know, folks, we’ve explained, in earlier programs, apostasy—some people think of that as, Well, you know, they’ve walked away from the faith. They’re apostates!

No! He lays it out that there are levels of apostasy. You know, if I turn to error and begin to build on error, I haven’t lost my salvation, okay? But I’m not being fruitful and productive. I’ve entertained error, and that can’t produce anything good. So, again, he makes these distinctions that are so great for me to revisit. As long as I’ve been in this kind of ministry, to be encouraged: “Yeah! Okay, Tom, get this straight. Get this right.” Anyway, that’s certainly something that really blessed me.

Carl: Like we said in one of our earlier talks, when you asked the question, “How did you find this guy?” [Laughing] You know…

Tom: Why are we laughing…?

Carl: But I’m glad you…

Tom:  People are saying, What’s wrong with these guys?  All right. I told Carl some time back, I can’t remember…somebody sent me that book [Andrews’s book], and I immediately lost it. I mean, not the book, but a copy of the book, and, you know, it really looked like an old book. So, I’m thinking, well, when I get time for it, I’ll read an “old book,” you know? [laughing] Which, “good-bye!” That’s not going to happen. 

And then the Lord brought it back to my attention, and this time, I read it, and I thought, We’ve got to reprint this book!  So there you go! We’re on track… No! Not with me, okay? [Laughing] Immediately, I put it aside. You know, Dave Hunt was the king of piles. You could walk into his office, his study, and there would be piles here and piles there and piles there, and some of the folks who have heard him speak, you know, he never used Power Point, okay? But he would have piles. And there would be, “Wait a minute! I know it’s here somewhere.” Okay? 

Well, maybe I got that from Dave, I don’t know. Or maybe I brought it myself. But honestly, then the Lord brought it back to my attention. The same way he did with meeting you, buddy! Which was a great day in my life, so I’m thankful for it. 

So, there’s the story for our humor. 

Carl: But I mean, it’s good. God’s timing is evident in that as well, isn’t it, Tom?

Tom: Yeah, I hope so!

Carl: It really is. Yeah, well, because I think what we’re seeing—if you had brought the book forward at an earlier time period, earlier from now, I don’t think we would have seen how it correlates in some…I mean, we would have seen how it correlates with America, the Sorcerer’s New Apprentice, but it wouldn’t…we wouldn’t have necessarily seen how it correlates with Game of Gods, or even some of the other parts of our discussion that we’ve been having. And so, I think the timing was good, because it’s like a 3-strand cord. It comes together. But it’s coming together not around itself. It’s coming together around the centrality of the recognition that Jesus Christ is King of kings and Lord of lords. 

Tom: Right

Carl: And that’s really I’m hoping what the focus becomes. All three of these books, even though, yes, they all travel into some hard places, you know, because we’re looking at the problems of our age, we’re looking at the situation of our time, and yet, always I want that focus to be our salvation comes through Christ. Because what’s being presented here, and Andrews brings it out, is it contrary, or an alternative salvation message? That is what the world is giving! That is the message of antichrist. “I will say to you, ‘Man will save himself. Creation is its own messiah.’” Whereas the biblical account is, “No, no, you can’t save yourself. The problem can’t fix itself. It needs an outside personality. In fact, it needs a Creator to fix it.”

Tom: Right. Right. And that’s…the attraction, the appeal of pantheism. Hey! We can fix this! We’ve been through that folks, not just from Samuel Andrews’s book, but looking at scientific materialism, looking at evolution, looking at naturalism, all these things that are attempts to solve the problems, and they just compound the problems. 

Carl: It does! Again, I want to go back quickly to the 1893 Parliament of World Religions, because I think a lot of people don’t recognize, even today, that was the turning point. And Andrews understood it. He saw it. That was his world. It was in his time period. The 1893 Parliament was the turning point in many respects. 

Allow me to read just a little section from Game of Gods as I tackle a little bit of what happened at the 1893 Parliament, because that was at the point in time when Theosophy, Pantheism, Eastern Religions, all started to come into the mix. And here’s a little section just to show you the hunger of…at that time…regarding the pantheistic worldview. This is regarding it in Theosophy: “Organizers first gave the Theosophical Society a room [this is at the 1893 Parliament] with a seating capacity for 250 people. The public response, however, surpassed expectations. Next, a space for 1500 was arranged, but this was likewise inadequate. Organizers had to quickly adjust by preparing the hall for 3,000, which was soon packed. Hindu Cosmology and Eastern Philosophy were major Theosophical talking points, and the public was hungry. Attendees, be they Christian ministers or university professors, or the American press, savored the ‘Oneness’ message of ‘The Divine Human.’”

Andrews was on the cusp of this! That was—he was seeing the seed of Pantheism, apostate Christianity, Materialism, Modernity, all jelling together. And they were hungry. They were hungry for that at that point in time. 

And so, you’re right, Tom, there wasn’t anything special about what Andrews did, except he took the time to understand how the world was being shaped. He could see that. And then, using the Bible, he could understand where that’s going.

Tom:  You know, folks, if you want a little taste of…Carl mentions the Parliament of World Religions—in our conference we had two videos by Dave Hunt, and one was, well, they both were produced in South Africa, and there’s imagery in there of the Parliament of World Religions in Cape Town, and if you want to see what this is…get a sense of what this is about visually, and what went on there, and so on, it just underscores what Carl’s been saying. And Carl, by the grace of God, is able to keep up to date with this, and see how this is building and building and building, which is really…I mean, this is it. This is where it’s all going. The world and the church. This is where it’s all headed.

You know, one of the things that really…again, there are so many things, we could go on for weeks, but we’ve got to move on and get through America, the Sorcerer’s New Apprentice and then Carl’s book , but you see, folks, the pantheism comes out in so many different ways, and people…those who are into this—and it’s incredibly diverse—but it all comes down to “We’re God, and God’s Not.” The “god” that we believe in—we’re “god.” I mean, that’s the heart of it, and we’re seeing it in different ways—like the “Force,” the “Force” of Starwars. So it comes out as a Force. And one of the things that Samuel Andrews points out is that you can’t cozy up to a force. You can’t love a force. Okay? You can look at it and say, “Hey, I can manipulate this, I can honor it,” you know, whatever way you want, but you can’t have a personal intimate relationship with a force. 

And for humans, you know, whether you believe in the God of the Bible or not, we’re all human! And we need this personal relationship. You gonna pray to…I mean, there are examples of this out there, but are you going to pray to a rock? You gonna pray to, you know, idols, and all of that stuff? There’s no communication! There’s no interaction, and so on. So, the heart of man cries out for personal communion, personal connection, with these things.

So, what I’m getting at here, folks, is that as this continues to develop—yeah, there are people who will buy into it from a power trip kind of standpoint: “Oh, I can do this,” and “I can do that,” but bottom line is the Antichrist is a human. He is the fulfillment of the “Force” embodied in an individual. You know, they’re going to be…you know, if you think some of the Word-Faith people and their “signs and wonders” stuff, that’s child’s play compared to what it’s going to be like, and the attraction. 

But what I’m getting at here is the emphasis is on a person, and when you’ve got a person that’s going to embody these things, and he’s going to tell you, “Look, I’m God, but so are you. I’m just more God than you are,” in a sense. But the point is, there’s a personal relationship, a personal thing, that has to be there, and that’s where it’s going. You’re going to see it all come down to that.

Anyway, I just thought, yeah, I mean, there are so many different elements to all of this, but in particular, see how it’s beginning to develop, how it’s beginning to…  And look, it’s not developing overnight. It hasn’t developed overnight. It’s…Carl, you started out with, you know, going back to Eve in the Garden. She was made this offer, and that lie has continued all the way down to—as we read in Revelation, let’s just go to the end of the story, with…in that regard, it’s going to be somebody who sets himself up as God, goes into the Temple to be worshiped as God, and this worship is not forced! It’s not coerced. They’re going to love this guy, okay? He’s not going to come on like an ogre, you know, especially at the beginning. Okay? And then when things get ugly, he’s going to get ugly. That’s my perspective. But that’s what it says. 

Carl: And in all of this, what we do see, even from a secular point of view, is the hunger in the human heart for something that is spiritual. For something that has meaning and purpose. 

Listen, right now, when we’re recording this, this is this…I know people are going to be watching this, you know, well after we’ve done the recording, but last week was the Burning Man celebration. Now, because of Covid, it went virtual, so I spent quite a bit of time with a VR headset on in a virtual Burning Man environment. And what strikes me again, because I’ve been to this event a few times in the desert of northern Nevada, but even in the virtual space, there were temples set up, there were sanctuaries set up. There were places where you could go to encounter spirituality. Didn’t have to be attached to anything! It wasn’t necessarily attached to any specific religion. Some of them were. Much of it wasn’t. Much of it was more about “finding your own divine sense of spirituality.”

Again, mankind turning inward, because we’ve already rejected the God who is outside. So it just points to the fact that there is a hunger within the human heart for something. For that spirituality. When that person comes fully embodied, saying, “I am the new Messiah,” I think you’re right. People will turn to him willingly! Because he will now be the embodiment of that longing that they have. And it’s going to be, literally, an alternative “salvation” message. He will save the world.

Tom: Yeah, you know, I think about, Lord willing, next week, we’re going to deal with one of the things that Samuel Andrews, well, he couldn’t find. I’m sure he had it in the back of his mind, because he talks about “self.” You know, this…look, folks, we’ve got God, the transcendent God, the Creator of the universe—or self. Those are the only two options. Once we reject our loving God, then we’re going to turn to our “loving self” or loving self. I’m sure he saw parts of that, but he never saw it in terms of psychology, psychotherapy. These guys are the heralds of selfism, which turns to the idolatry of self, the deification of self, and so on. And he [Andrews] didn’t have Freud or Jung to deal with, okay? Talk about…he didn’t have a business that was $300 billion, okay. I think—it’s somewhere in that range, but it’s incredible. And it’s worldwide. 

He talked about the elements that contribute to that, but not the specifics, and the Lord willing, when we…next week, we’re going to start drawing some of these things out and talking about them, because…. We’ll talk about the church—I mean, we know the world’s into it. That’s their only hope, their only salvation, although it’s…talk about perplexity and confusion. Psychotherapy is a, you know, it’s a pseudo-science, it’s a false science, it’s never worked, it doesn’t work. It can’t work. There are 500 different therapies, 10,000 variations on that, most of them conflicting with one another. So there’s no answers there. 

But nevertheless, it’s been, especially in our country, it’s been psychology that has drawn Hinduism, Buddhism, Eastern Mysticism, and all of their different techniques. Mindfulness, for example. I could go down the list, and list over and over again. But anyway, that’s what we’re going to deal with. 

I’ve got one quote from the book, which, to me, sets this thing up. Samuel Andrews quotes this man, and he says, “Antichrist’s theological system may be summed up in the three following theses: 1) There is no personal God without and above the universe. [In other words, the Creator of the universe is in the universe. He doesn’t exist outside of it] 2) Man is himself his own god, the god of this world. And we’ve been seeing, and we know, that once you become your own god, no law stops you, you know. Your truth is your truth; you can’t talk to people like that, for the most part, and so on. But he’s the god who makes his own decisions and nobody can come against it, based on feelings, emotions,  subjectivity—incredible. And then the last thing he says is, ‘I am the representative of humanity [talking about the Antichrist again]. By worshiping me, humanity worships itself.’”  That’s what it’s all about.

Carl: Yep.

Tom: Well, we’ve got about two minutes.

Carl: Hmm. Okay, in two minutes allow me to read…I’ll also close by reading an excerpt from Andrews. Now, he’s speaking here about the church, asking a question about which love will we have: “Before her stand Christ and Antichrist. One, the representative of a humanity first redeemed and then glorified. The other, the representative of a humanity which needs no redemption but is itself divine. Between them the choice must be made.”

Here we are. We’re at that crossroads. Tom, we’re at that crossroads. Which do you follow? Do you follow Christ, the first love? Or do you try to save yourself?

Tom: Well, Carl, again, as you mentioned at the beginning, folks, I hope you don’t think this is negativity. No. This is what’s going on. This is the truth. We have what God’s Word says about it, and it’s given to us for our protection, for our being fruitful and productive to the glory of God, and without that, we’re just like a ship floating, no anchor, just floating here or there, tossed about by waves and all of that stuff. 

So, Carl, brother, I enjoyed it. You know, it’s always…you bless me every time I hear you talk. So, the Lord willing, we’ll get after this in regard in particular to America: The Sorcerer’s New Apprentice. I look forward to it, Carl.

Carl: Looking forward to this as well, Tom. Thank you.