Summary: Although, because of its vulnerability, the church is constantly under the threat of siege by infiltration, it is not defenseless. It can preserve the faith from corruption and destruction by recognizing and properly dealing with impostors. Those of us wh
Robert "The Master Spy" Hanssen
A high-ranking FBI counterintelligence agent, Hanssen caused more damage to U.S. national security than any other spy in our history. According to a key Soviet defector, the information provided by Hanssen was so damaging that the U.S. would have lost WWIII, had there been one. He escaped the death penalty only because his shyster lawyer made a deal with the Justice Dept that spared his life in exchange for his cooperation in revealing exactly what he sold to the Soviets/Russians. He will spend the rest of his worthless life in the Supermax Prison in Florence, CO, unless another inmate slits his throat (even serial killers despise a traitor!).
Read more: http://www.faqs.org/shareranks/581,The-Most-Famous-Spies-in-History#ixzz19S805meJ
An impostor who has infiltrated an organization can play out his agenda long before he is detected. That is the warning to the church we find in the epistle of Jude.
In Jude's words, "Certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ" (v. 4). Left to his work, an impostor can threaten the mission and very life of any organization.
Although, because of its vulnerability, the church is constantly under the threat of siege by infiltration, it is not defenseless. It can preserve the faith from corruption and destruction by recognizing and properly dealing with impostors. Those of us who are true believers can begin by gaining helpful perspectives on the problem of apostasy in the church.
What Is an Impostor?
What is an impostor? An impostor is someone who claims to be someone or something he/she is not. In the context of the body of Christ, she/he is one who claims to be a believer…one who has received in some way the truth of the written Word, but not the living Word, the Lord Jesus Christ. This person's "Christianity" is theoretical, not experiential. He is what the epistle of Jude calls an apostate.
Apostates claim to be Christians, but they are not. But neither are they merely unbelievers. Apostates are those who know the truth but do not act upon it.
They perform an inside job and are tools of the enemy to destroy the foundation of the church even though they themselves may be blind to this reality.
Judas, the apostle, is an excellent example of an impostor. Although he claimed to be a believer, he was not. He had achieved near-perfect attendance with our Lord and His band of disciples for three-and-a-half years. In fact, he had appeared so trustworthy that he was appointed treasurer of that entourage! Judas's foundational problem was that he had seen the light, but did not have the life.
The Church's Ongoing Battle
Impostors are at work today. Their strategy is destruction by infiltration. Like Robert Hanssen, they have crept in unnoticed and seek to destroy the work of God from within. Our denominations, organizations, Christian colleges and seminaries and especially our churches are their victims.