The Apostasy

Apostasy throwing cross awayNow we request you, brethren
With regard, to the coming of our LORD JESUS CHRIST
And our gathering together to HIM
That you not be quickly shaken from your composure
Or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us
To the effect that the Day of The LORD has come
Let no one in any way deceive you
For it will not come unless the apostasy comes first
And the man of lawlessness is revealed
The son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above
Every so-called god or object of worship
So that he takes his seat in the temple of GOD
Displaying himself as being GOD
2 Thessalonians 2:1-5

More than two decades ago, my Beloved LORD JESUS gave me a BIBLE study one lesson at a time to teach HIS people the biblical basis (foundation) of some elementary Christian principles. This lesson-by-lesson study lasted for almost four months, and became the “Foundational BIBLE Study for Believers”. This study has subsequently been taught by multiple Churches and BIBLE study groups, domestically and internationally.
    For the first time five months ago, a pastor asked me why repentance wasn’t separately dealt with in this study. I remained quiet for several moments, because I was talking with my Beloved LORD GOD, asking HIM the question that had just been asked of me. HE didn’t answer at that very moment, so I told the pastor, I would answer the question as soon as my Beloved LORD GOD gave me the answer. HE recently answered that question, while giving me this message on “the apostasy.”
    Repentance wasn’t separately dealt with in the “Foundational BIBLE Study for Believers,” because it was written for two types of believers in CHRIST JESUS. Either they were new believers who needed to understand the Biblical foundations of their faith, or they were dedicated believers who wanted to revisit those foundations. Neither group needed to repent or turn back from sin, because both clung to GOD. In fact, the “Foundational BIBLE Study for Believers” was written lesson-by-lesson, for a small group of dedicated new believers. They were living lives turned from sin and focused on JESUS. This group continually fasted, prayed, went out in both street and door-to-door evangelism. They earnestly desired to know more about GOD, and were hungry for HIS WORD.
    But in this last few years, I have witnessed two things. First, many individual Christians, entire churches, whole denominations have turned from following The WORD of GOD (The BIBLE). Second, our Beloved LORD GOD is sending myself and countless other ministers to continually proclaim the message of repentance to the body of CHRIST (Jer 8:4, Eze 18:30-32, Rev 2:4-5).

Why is the call to “repentance” continually going out? Because we are in the time of “the apostasy” also known as “the great falling away.”

What is “the apostasy”? It is the time we are currently living in. The very last days of this present age, when many believers will become unbelievers. Those who once had faith in our Precious LORD and SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST, will stop believing in HIM, and stop obeying HIS WORD, because they have abandoned Truth. They have abandoned GOD (Psa 31:5, Isa 65:16, Tit 1:2, Heb 6:18); abandoned JESUS (Jhn 14:6); abandoned the Holy SPIRIT of GOD (Jhn 14:16-17, Jhn 16:13); and abandoned The BIBLE (Psa 119:43, Dan 10:21, 2 Tim 2:15).
As demonstrated by the opening graphic, people are not just refusing to carry their cross daily (Luk 9:23-25), they are throwing that cross away, by continuing to live sinful lives, and abandonment of the Truth, that cross represents (Heb 10:26-31).
The English word “apostasy”, is transliterated from the Hebrew word “Jer 8:5 “showb­baah” (OT:7725) and the Greek word “apostasia” (NT:646) and it is further defined as:
1. falling away, forsaking:
    falling away: to depart from, or go astray from Biblical doctrines (1 Tim 4:1, 1 Tim 6:21, Heb  3:12, Jam 5:19-20) 
    forsaking: to reject or leave the Truth (2 Tim 4:3-4, Gal 1:6-9)
2. turning away, backsliding, defecting, revolting:
     turning away from GOD (Jer 8:5, Eze 18:24, Heb 12:25)
     backsliding: to return to a life or lifestyle without GOD (Jer 11:10, 2 Pet 2:20-22)
    defecting: to abandon your faith in GOD, JESUS CHRIST, The Holy SPIRIT, and The WORD (Luk 18:8, Jhn 6:66, Heb 6:4-6, 2 Ths 2:10-12)
     revolting: to refuse to obey (Luk 6:46-49, Jam 1:22-24, Jam 2:14-20)

How does the opening Scriptures, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-5 relate to “the apostasy”? The Church in Thessalonica knew there would be great suffering in the Day of The LORD (Isa 13:6-16), they were suffering persecution and affliction (2 Ths 1:4), and had been falsely led to believe that JESUS had returned, and they had missed the gathering together to HIM (2 Ths 2:1-2). As a result, they thought they were experiencing the judgments of GOD, poured out in the Day of The LORD (2 Ths 2:2). Some in the Church had even quit working because of this message (2 Ths 3:6-12). The LORD used HIS servant Paul to calm their fears, correct their misunderstanding, and command those who had quit working, to return to leading a disciplined life. Paul assured the Thessalonians that two significant events would occur before our SAVIOR’s return; first “the apostasy”, which prepares the way for the second event, in which the extremely wicked world leader (the antichrist or man of sin) would rise to power.
This is confirmed by examination of the opening Scriptures, one line at a time:

Now we request you, brethren
we ask you, fellow obedient believers, faithful Christians (Mrk 3:33-35)

With regard, to the coming of our LORD JESUS CHRIST
regarding our LORD JESUS CHRIST’s second coming (Act 1:11, Heb 9:28)

And our gathering together to HIM
our rapture or being caught up to HIM (1 Ths 4:16-17, Mat 24:30-31)

That you not be quickly shaken from your composure
Do not be alarmed (Isa 41:10)

Or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us
do not be distressed, believing the report by a spiritual vision, a revelation,
or a letter supposedly from us (Mat 24:26-27, Rev 1:7)

To the effect that the Day of The LORD has come
the last day of the present heavens and earth, when CHRIST executes judgment upon the world,
and all the ungodly has begun (Jhn 5:27, 2 Pet 3:10, Jud 1:14-15, Rev 20:10-15)

Let no one in any way deceive you
do not let anyone, or anything, in anyway, cause you to believe what is not true
(Isa 42:9, Mat 24:25, Jhn 16:1)

For it will not come unless the apostasy comes first
the second coming of JESUS CHRIST will not occur before “the great falling away”
(Mat 24:10, 1 Tim 4:1 )

And the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction
the man of sin, the little horn, the abomination of desolation, the antichrist, the beast
(1 Jhn 3:4-sin is lawlessness, Dan 7:8, Mrk 13:14, 1 Jhn 2:18, 1 Jhn 2:22, Rev 13:3)

who will cause much destruction, and be destroyed himself
(Dan 9:26-28, 2 Ths 2:8-9, Rev 19:19-20)

Who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship
the antichrist will declare only he is God, and will be against GOD; anything called god;
or any object of worship (Dan 11:36-37, Rev 13:5-6)

So that he takes his seat in the temple of GOD, displaying himself as being GOD
the antichrist will enter the temple in Judea, and proclaim that he is GOD
(Mat 24:15, Dan 11:31, Mrk 13:14)

Why is “the apostasy” also called “the great falling away”? Because numerous or a significant numbers of believers will abandon the Truth. As previously mentioned, not just believers in a local Church, or local communities, but entire denominations, both nationally and globally. This falling away will culminate with the rise of the final, extremely wicked, world dictator, the antichrist, the man. At this time, all the world’s religions will join together against the Truth, for the sake of a false peace and prosperity. And the faithful followers of JESUS CHRIST who persist in keeping GOD’s commandments, and faith in JESUS, will be severely persecuted, and killed (Dan 7:21-22, Dan 11:32-35, Rev 13:7, Rev 13:15, Rev 14:12).

When will “the apostasy” begin? It actually has already begun, and is nearing its culmination. At the first coming of our Precious LORD JESUS, the last days begin (Heb 1:2, Heb 9:26, 1 Pet 1:20). Even before HE laid down HIS life on the cross, many of HIS disciples walked away from HIM. They rejected HIM, when they rejected HIS spiritual teachings concerning drinking HIS blood and eating HIS flesh (Jhn 6:1-66)*. And in every generation since the departure of our Precious LORD JESUS more than 2000 years ago, countless more individuals have fallen away from The Truth. And in the last 300 years, people no longer leave church to forsake the Truth, they either continue in or join a church that support their beliefs. Whole congregations, entire denominations have forsaken the Truth by:
  o introducing and teaching pagan beliefs (beliefs of those who do not know the only True GOD, and delights in material goods and sensual pleasures). Pagan beliefs like:
  o indulgence in material possessions and worldly delights, through “the gospel of health-wealth-prosperity” or “the gospel of success aka seed of faith” – 2 Pet 2:14-16
  o acceptance of immorality and those who practice it. The general assembly of the Presbyterian Church has adopted the following changes over the last two decades: 2000, will only use gender neutral language for God, and all mankind; 2011, approved ordination of openly LGBTQ ministers; 2014, approved conducting same-sex marriage ceremonies where allowed by state law; 2018, has welcomed, given full acceptance, and inclusion of those who choose to practice gender non-binary, and LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, + or a plethora of other orientations and identities) individuals – Rev 2:12-16
  o Hundreds of christian denominations worldwide no longer consider the identity as LGBTQIA+, or the associated practice sin. Denominations which have designated “welcoming churches” include, Anglican, Baptist, Brethren/Mennonite, Catholic, Church of Denmark, Church of England, Church of Iceland, Church of Ireland, Church of Norway, Church of Scotland, Church of Sweden, Church in Wales, Dutch Reformed, Episcopal, Evangelical, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, United Church of Christ, United Reformed Church…
  o Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury of the church of England (the man who married Prince Harry and Meghan Markle), in Nov 2018 declared “God was neither male nor female.” – (1 Sam 2:30, Mrk 14:35-36, Gal 4:4-6)
  o introducing pagan practices into the church, by translation and participation. Practices such as Halloween, which was changed from the festival of Samhain, and translated to a fall festival, harvest festival, or trunk and treat; Christmas changed from Saturnalia, and translated to the birth of Christ; Easter changed from Eastre (a.k.a. Eostre), and translated to the resurrection of Christ – 1 Kin 12:26-33
  o teaching the traditions of men (the handing down man-made customs or beliefs from one generation to another), instead of The WORD of GOD. For example, “giving to the Church, is more important than taking care of your own household” and yet our Beloved LORD GOD specifically addressed this in HIS WORD (Mat 15:1-9, 1 Tim 5:8), as HE warned us not to be trapped by the traditions of men (Col 2:8)
  o altering the texts of The BIBLE to reflect their own beliefs (In 1950, the Jehovah’s witness created the New World Translation; In 1989, the Revised Standard Version (RSV) was updated to New Revised Standard Version (NRSV), by adopting gender-neutral language; In December 2019, the Chinese communist party instructed that The BIBLE and other religious texts to be rewritten in an expressly pro-communist perspective that conforms with the party’s goals – 2 Pet 1:20-21, Deu 4:2, Pro 30:5-6, Rev 22:18-19)

What causes a believer to become an unbeliever? Lack of spiritual understanding, or insight (Mat 13:19, Jhn 6:60-66); lack of reverence (awe, admiration, respect) for GOD (Rom 1:20-32); love of self (2 Tim 3:2, Php 2:21); love of sin (2 Tim 3:4, Php 3:18-19); refusal of GOD’s correction (Isa 30:9-11, 1 Ths 5:19-20, Heb 12:25).

Are there other things that cause Christians to apostatize? Yes, there are three, noted by our Precious LORD JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF in Matthew 24:9-12:
    1. Persecution and Affliction (Mat 24:9-10, Mat 13:20-21)
    2. Deception (Mat 24:11, Mat 13:22, Mat 7:15-16, 1 Tim 4:1)
    3. Temptation (Mat 24:12, 1 Jhn 2:15-17, 2 Tim 4:9-10)

What happens to those who Apostatize? If they refuse to repent, or turn back to The LORD from their sins, their name will be blotted out of The Lamb’s Book of Life (Exd 32:33, Rev 3:5); they will experience the second death (Eze 18:24, Rev 20:15)

Is There Hope for those who Apostatize? Most definitely, because our Beloved ABBA FATHER is a GOD of forgiveness (Neh 9:17-21); HE does not want anyone to perish (Eze 18:32, 2 Pet 3:9); HE makes a way for reconciliation (2 Sam 14:14, 1 Jhn 1:9); HE can heal their apostasy (Hos 14:4). But each person must choose to humble themselves, and turn back to GOD (2 Chr 7:14).

Justice is turned back, And righteousness stands far away
For truth has stumbled in the street, And uprightness cannot enter
Yes, truth is lacking
And he who turns aside from evil, makes himself a prey
Now The LORD saw
And it was displeasing in HIS sight that there was no justice
And HE saw that there was no man
And was astonished that there was no one to intercede
Then HIS own arm brought salvation to HIM
And HIS righteousness upheld HIM
HE put on righteousness like a breastplate
And a helmet of salvation on HIS head
And HE put on garments of vengeance for clothing
And wrapped HIMSELF with zeal as a mantle
According to their deeds, so HE will repay
Wrath to HIS adversaries, recompense to HIS enemies
To the coastlands HE will make recompense
So they will fear the name of The LORD from the west
And HIS glory from the rising of the sun
For HE will come like a rushing stream, which the wind of The LORD drives
A Redeemer will come to Zion
And to those who turn from transgression in Jacob
Declares The LORD
Isaiah 59:14-20

 

*JESUS was speaking spiritually (Jhn 6:63); to drink HIS blood was to accept by faith, HIS sacrifice, which enacted a new covenant (Luk 22:19-20, Heb 3:1, Heb 8:1-13); to eat HIS flesh is to partake (study) The WORD of GOD (Jhn 1:1, Jhn 6:30-36, Ezr 7:10, Amo 8:11) on a daily basis (Deu 17:18-20, Pro 8:34, Act 17:11).

 

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