Volume 51 | Number 4 | October–December 2023

Inglés Español

The Beloved Versus the Behated: Part Two (Reprint - October/November 2005)

By Dr. H. T. Spence

The previous article noted the Holy Spirit’s providential appointment of the epistle of Jude as a preface to the book of Revelation. Jude is the crucial book prophetically dealing with the falling away of the institutional church on earth throughout its history. By A.D. 45 this falling away had already commenced in the Church. Another Gospel, another Spirit, and another Jesus were being proclaimed by false Christs and false teachers already coming like wolves into the fold to spoil the flock.

The Church in its earliest and purest form only knew true Christianity. Did the Apostles know what was beginning to come among their own? Within fifteen years, at the writing of James’ epistle, the problems were beginning to become evident. Thirty years later, Jude`s epistle reveals a deepening of the apostasy to epidemic proportions.

The Parable of the Wheat and Tares

We have referred to the parable of the wheat and tares in a previous article in Straightway (May 2005); a review here would be most appropriate. From this second parable given by the Lord in Matthew 13, it is evident that Christ, the Son of man, is He Who sowed the wheat seed (the true Christians). But while men slept His enemy came and sowed tares. The Greek here is literally “sown upon” or “sown again”—over the top and around the wheat seed. At first, the men did not seem to be concerned about this sowing, as if the tares could not affect or injure the wheat. They were together, almost on top of one another. There were two sowings in one field, and they initially looked alike.

This parable reveals there would be two churches in that first century, two Christianities that would be very close to one another: one church with Christ as the Head, and another church with the Devil as the head; one seed being the children of the Kingdom, and one seed being the children of the Wicked One. Truly the Devil wasted no time in entering into the fold of the flock. Eventually there comes a time when the tares are requested to be pulled out. This request is only to be fulfilled at the end of the harvest, or the end of the world (Gr., “the age”), or the Church age.

From this parable it becomes strikingly clear that the End Time will be the most crucial hour, the end of the harvest age. Although the tares are destined for hell and the wheat for heaven, their separation comes at the end of the age. Thus, the End Time is the critical point in history when this separation will finally take place. The End will be the harvesting, when both tares and wheat will be at their most mature moment. This is the greatest hour of the apostasy. We are witnessing “men of renown” as in the time of the days of Noah. In Numbers 16:2, Korah and the two hundred fifty princes who sided with him against the appointed authority of Moses were called “men of renown.” While these tares are reaching their fullest maturity, so are the wheat.

The Enigmas of the End Time

The End Time will be the most complex time in history when the ends of all generations will come to maturity (I Cor. 10:11b). All of the offspring philosophies of the mother philosophy Humanism are coming back home. Amalgamations are taking place in every sphere of society.

When the Scriptures deal with the last days, a number of puzzling truths step forward. According to Acts 2:16-17, the “last days” began with the first coming of Christ to earth. First Timothy 4 seems to be a prophetic description of the first part of these “last days” with the rise of the Roman Catholic Church. In contrast, II Timothy 3 appears to be the description of the last part of the “last days” with the falling away of Protestantism. John’s Gospel speaks of the “last day” (11:24; 12:48), and I John 2:18 speaks of the “last time” or the “last hour.”

What are some of the enigmas of the “last day” or the End Time? One enigma is found in the parable of the ten virgins of Matthew 25. It must be noted with candor that all ten were virgins. All had lamps, wicks, oil, and light; all slumbered and slept; all awoke; and all knew what they needed. However, we are told that five were foolish regarding their lack of additional oil. They all heard the voice announcing the coming of the Bridegroom. The five foolish went to gain more oil. While they went, the Bridegroom came, and the foolish virgins quickly returned to the door crying, “Lord, Lord, open to us.” But He answered and said, “I know you not.” This event will happen at the coming of Christ. How one will interpret this passage depends upon what his theological system will allow him to see. How will an individual interpret the five foolish virgins?

A second enigma concerns the wheat and tares of Matthew 13. Matthew 13:41 records that the reapers are “angels.” This word in the Greek is angelos meaning “messenger.” Understandably, most of the time the word angelos refers to the heavenly creatures. However, Revelation 2 and 3 clearly use the word angel referring to a human being, the pastors of the churches. It is to the pastor or the messenger of that church that the letter is written. Are the angels in Matthew 13 the heavenly creatures who will divide the true Church from the false Church, or are they the remnant messengers through whose preaching this division will take place? In Matthew 13:41 these reapers (whoever they are) will “gather out of his [God’s] kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity.” We must remember that the tares are people, the children of the wicked one who are sown among the children of the kingdom. “Those that offend” are those who become a stumbling block to the sons of the kingdom. They are active workers of lawlessness. Matthew 24:24 gives the following warning:

For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect [emphasis added].

These prophets will try to deceive and destroy the Elect. This is a very important principle to note: the tares are out to destroy and deceive the wheat. They are an offense; they are workers of iniquity. Matthew 7:22 also warns us:

Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

They were definitely identified with Christ and Christianity, but they were part of the tares of the wicked one.

The Beloved Versus the Behated through History

In his epistle Jude addresses the Beloved amidst the Behated. Although the apostasy, or the falling away, has been suppressed and restrained at times in Church history, God has always had His sanctified, preserved, called, and beloved ones. In the first century John the beloved, the last of the Apostles to contribute to the canon of Scripture, represented “the Beloved” saints amidst the Behated apostates. His great warnings throughout his five books give evidence that the apostasy and false Christianity were increasing. He especially endeavored to suppress false teaching in his three epistles.

In the fourth century when Constantine legalized Christianity, the tares began to flourish within the visible church. There was some suppression and recovery through the powerful, anointed preaching and writing of Alexander of Alexandria, Athanasius, and the Cappadocian boys. However, under Theodosius I the church fell back even deeper allowing the barbarian fowls to come and lodge within the branches of the tree of the church. Following the Dark Ages, God raised up men such as John Wycliffe and the great Reformation leaders to once again suppress the mighty powers of the tares in the church. As a result, a great exodus from Roman Catholicism took place.

By 1600 Rationalism took over the Protestant church and a falling away increased; often as God brings deeper light to His people, any defection from that light is deeper than previous defections. In the 1700s the Holy Spirit inspired a hunger and thirst for God that was unprecedented in history. No matter what theological system one held then, there was a fervent hunger for heart purity and holiness of life manifested within the messages and hymns. This was the time of awakenings and revivals on both sides of the Atlantic. It truly was the greatest, spiritual move of God since the first generation church.

The mid-1800s and early 1900s witnessed an inroad of apostasy that was again unprecedented. The tares deepened their powers of persuasion and infiltration. For the first time, the belief of biblical inspiration was being denounced. The birth of both higher and lower Biblical Criticism along with Liberalism, Modernism, Neo-Orthodoxy, and the strong influence of Existentialism in hermeneutics brought the powers of neo-Christianity to mega proportions.

To this plethora of tare theology a final element called Neo-Pentecostalism has been introduced to bind together a global neo-emphasis of the end-time Church. Neo-Pentecostalism brought an emphasis upon a new Holy Ghost, a new Pentecost. This glue to unite all church tares and to attempt to deceive the Elect evolved into the Charismatic movement. With Charismatism the ecumenical world was brought into full solidarity producing sympathy towards a one-world, global religion. All of this has profoundly affected the liturgy of the church, including its music and the multitude of Bible versions flooding the commercial market. America has become the leading force of this global apostasy.

Although Fundamentalism was born in reaction to this powerful, final surge of the maturation of the tares, many Fundamentalists today are steadily feeding upon both Neo-Orthodox and Neo-Evangelical writers. Their personal libraries are filled with such authors. More and more Fundamentalists are becoming convinced that the “neo” way is the right way if we are going to survive as a plausible Christian identity in the new generation. Our composers and arrangers have been secretly listening with rapt attention to the neo-composers, and such a musical diet is beginning to permeate their own compositions.

The sad reality of this final end-time surge of the tares is that there will be no recovery this time: the principles and lines of demarcation have been permanently erased. Evangelism has been redefined; the Bible text has been redefined. The New Birth has been redefined by the Billy Graham viewpoint as a “decision” or simply the power of the human will. The Holy Spirit, Holiness, and now even the Church have all been redefined; we will never get back to the original biblical definitions within the institutional church. Even Fundamentalism is being redefined by professing Fundamentalists.

We will never be able to publicly return to biblical principles in America. For the first time in Western Civilization, since the days of Constantine, there has been a redefining of God and the Revelation of His Word. This is why God Himself has permitted prayer, the Bible, the Ten Commandments, and Christianity itself to be taken out of our schools and places of government. The Reconstructionists, and those who hope to turn the government around, do not see the biblical principles concerning the End Time. The Christianity they desire to implement in the government is a Neo-Christianity, not a biblical one. When running for President, Pat Robertson in his book The Secret Kingdom believed all of the promises of the Millennium would be enacted if Christians could take over the government. This Neo-Christianity, the Church of the Tares, will eventually merge with all other religions to become the Woman riding the back of the Beast (the Antichrist) of Revelation 17.

The End of the Church Age

The Laodicean Church Age is the last and yet the worst of all the church periods of history. It is the result of a falling away from one of the greatest spiritual moves of God on earth since the first generation church. Laodicea as a church age has fallen from the highest spiritual pinnacle, the Philadelphia Church age. “These things saith the Amen” (Revelation 3:14). This is the benediction of the Church age. The characteristics described in Revelation 3:15-17 have only deepened in the past one hundred fifty years. We are at the end. Even Rome fears the next pope will be the antichrist pope, according to the Malachi writings. Charismatic leaders are declaring their greatest visions and dreams now to imply we are on the verge of the greatest hour in history. Protestant believers are convinced that God is moving to bring all of the religions together to help build for man the great utopia. There truly is expectancy in the atmosphere of religion and global government—for either global destruction or global unification.


Amidst all that has been said, this is the greatest hour to be a Christian. If this is the end time of the coming to maturity of the tares, then this is also the end time of the coming to maturity of the wheat. The wheat expectantly await the harvest!

Jude tells us there are the sanctified, the preserved, the called, and the beloved. These are here on the planet today. But what does Jude exhort them? How are they to wait for this harvest, this coming of the Husbandman (James 5:7)? He gives the following exhortation:

Remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit (Jude 17-19).

The mockers are coming! They will mock the wheat’s worship, music, standards, Bible, message, their separation, their stand, etc. They know how to intimidate and belittle the true child of God, as they grow greater in the eyes of the world. They will even try to isolate the godly from their meetings, their preaching, and their fellowship. Nevertheless, they will not have the Spirit!

“But ye beloved . . .” What is the contrast of the Beloved with the Behated? The Beloved have a life for God! They are “building” up their life on their most holy faith; they are “praying in the Holy Ghost”; they are “keeping” themselves in the love of God; and, they are “looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” All of these verbs are in the present tense; there is the day-by-day living of the Beloved.

However, we must discern and look for those whose roots are entangled with the tares under the soil, for those who are growing up alongside of the tares in churches or families. Of them we must “have compassion, making a difference.” There are some who may see what is happening and will “come out from among them.” There will be others whom we will have to strongly warn, calling names to make clear these tares. At the same time, we will have to save them with fear, with self-trembling as to how far to go with them, because we do not want to be burnt by the apostasy, by the power of the tares.

We may wonder how we are going to make it through this apostate age, when it seems that most churches have gone the way of all flesh and have joined the contemporary religious scene to visibly survive. But there is this promise: “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling.” The Greek even deepens the promise in that Christ is able to keep us from stumbling.

One day we are going to stand before God, having come out of this wilderness of earth, the worst days of the church, leaning hard upon our Beloved (Song of Solomon 8:5). He is going to present us faultless “before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy.” We who came from the dunghill of sin, we who were born in sin and plucked from the burning of sin, will stand one day before God faultless. We will stand in a glorified body, with a glorified will and mind, and love Him with an unsinning heart. When we are made higher than the angels, the only thing we will be able to declare before them is GRACE!

May God keep us, preserve us, and protect us from the end-time powers of the tares’ deception and the calculating powers of apathy, indifference, coldness of heart, lukewarmness, neutrality, and compromise. May He also raise up men anointed by the Holy Spirit to defend the Faith and to declare the Word of God with boldness and without apology.