Category Archives: Apostasy

Arrested Development

Arrested developmentBut realize this
That in the last days difficult times will come
For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money
Boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents
Ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable
Malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good
Treacherous, reckless, conceited
Lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God
Holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power
Avoid such men as these
For among them are those who enter into households and captivate
Weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses
Always learning
And never able to come to the knowledge of the truth
Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses
So these men also oppose the truth
Men of depraved mind
Rejected in regard to the faith
But they will not make further progress
For their folly will be obvious to all
Just as Jannes’s and Jambres’s folly was also
2 Timothy 3:1-9

When I asked our Beloved LORD GOD for confirmation that we are truly in “the great apostasy,” HE provided a detail confirmation by taking me through Scripture, local and global headlines, which included published denominational and church activity. This confirmation is documented in the study “The Apostasy” that examines the actions of apostates (those who fallen away or abandoned obedience to GOD’s commandments and faith in JESUS). In this current study “Arrested Development” our Beloved LORD GOD continues HIS confirmation. In this study we will be considering the spiritual state of apostates  through the opening Scriptures (2 Tim 3:1-9).

How do you know those described in 2 Timothy 3:1-9, are apostates? This is confirmed in 2 Timothy 3:5, with five words “avoid such men as these.” Especially when compared to 1 Corinthians 5:9-13, the men Christians have been called to avoid or not associate with, are those “so called” believers in the body of CHRIST. The believers are identified as “so called” because they are not obedient to GOD’s WORD and do not have faith in our LORD JESUS. The following Scriptures also confirm these are believers who became unbelievers, by turning back to sin and away from Truth (Isa 30:9-11, Rom 1:21-32, 2 Ths 2:10-12, 1 Tim 4:1-5, 2 Tim 4:1-5).

Why is this study titled “Arrested development”? It identifies the “spiritual state” of those who have turned away from Truth. Arrested development is a state in which progress has stopped at some point in development. It can happen physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, or spiritually. When it occurs physically, there is literally a condition wherein bodily development has stopped. Mental and emotional “arrested development” happens when a person’s capacities becomes impaired. Social “arrested development” occurs in children of all ages when the lack of godly parents, or a healthy environment leave them unable to fully develop certain desired behaviors and skills. And finally, the state we will be looking at in this study is “spiritual arrested development.” This state occurs when neither godly qualities (2 Pet 1:5-9), nor the fruit of The SPIRIT (Gal 5:22-23) is increasing in one’s life.

What is the state of one who is “arrested development” in spirit? When we examine 2 Timothy 3:1-9, we see three types of apostates. In 2 Timothy 3:1-5, we first see a reprobate (Psa 15:4). This is a person who is shameless in their sin (Jer 8:12); they continually grieve our GOD (Gen 6:6, Isa 63:10, Eze 6:9, Eph 4:30) by their depravity, prayerlessness, and love of self, rather than lovers of GOD or others. Their self-love is evident in their boasting, arrogance, reviling (criticizing or attacking others in an insulting manner), disobedience to parents, ingratitude, and many other traits listed in the first five verses of 2 Timothy chapter 3. We next see false teachers (2 Tim 3:6a, 2 Tim 3:8-9), whose corrupt minds and counterfeit faith, cause them to oppose truth in order to rob others (2 Pet 2:1-3, 1 Tim 6:5, Jud 1:16) through deception (2 Cor 11:13-15). Lastly, we see those who trust solely in themselves. They decide for themselves what is right and wrong (Pro 14:12, Pro 16:25, Pro 30:12), and seek out others who support their beliefs (Jer 5:30-31, 2 Tim 4:3). These people are moved by their feelings (desires, emotions, impulses, wants), they are more concerned about how something makes them feel rather than actual truth. They believe repentance is outmoded, they are basically good, and GOD is too loving to judge or punish anyone. Sadly, all these individuals became believers through our Beloved LORD GOD, and then they turned (Jer 2:21, Isa 5:2). And upon turning they stopped growing in righteousness. Godly qualities and the fruit of The SPIRIT cease to increase in their lives, leaving them in a spiritual state of arrested development.      

Which godly qualities should be increasing in every growing Christian? It has been said “A picture is worth a thousand words” which means that a single image, can be more effective than many verbal descriptions. So we will address the question by looking at a visual diagram and message that our Precious LORD JESUS CHRIST gave to Pastor Jinnie Wong as she meditated on 2 Peter 1:5-8.

diagram of 2 Peter 158Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness,  and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our LORD JESUS CHRIST (2 Peter 1:5-8). While reflecting on the image, also take the instruction in 2 Peter 1:9 to heart “For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins.”

Why does decreasing fruit of The SPRIIT indicate spiritual arrested development? Though there are nine attributes (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control), the word “fruit” is singular, indicating that all nine attributes should simultaneously operate in the life of a Christian abiding in CHRIST JESUS (Gal 5:22-25). The “fruit” bears witness that the life of CHRIST is simply being lived out in that Christian. If the presence of JESUS is increasing in your life, so are HIS attributes (Jhn 3:30, Jhn 15:4). If those attributes are dissipating in who you are, you have stopped growing in our Beloved LORD GOD.

How would you know you have stopped growing in JESUS? By following our LORD’s instructions in 2 Corinthians 13:5, “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves!” Do this by examining Galatians 5:19-21 and Galatians 5:22-25, and then ask yourself “what is routinely operating in my life, the deeds of the flesh, or the fruit of The Holy SPIRIT?” If you are still living for yourself, and walking in disobedience to GOD’s WORD, you will recognize one or more of the deeds of the flesh in yourself. If the person you once were has died, and your new life is now hidden in CHRIST in GOD (Col 3:3), not just you, but others will notice the change in you. And as the presence of CHRIST increases in your life, so will HIS attributes.

In what way can I know if The Holy SPIRIT is residing within me? By examining the state of your soul, the state of your heart, and how you conduct yourself:

Is your soul filled with love, joy, and peace? GOD is love, if there is no love, GOD is not present (1 Jhn 4:7-8). In the presence of GOD is fullness of joy, if there is no joy, you are not abiding in GOD’s presence (Psa 16:11, Psa 21:6, Psa 43:4). The peace of CHRIST defies human understanding, and is very present, even in the most adverse circumstances. This peace occurs only when we are in CHRIST (Jhn 16:33), where our soul is quiet and composed (Psa 131:2, Psa 62:1-2). If there is no peace, you are not dwelling in CHRIST (Psa 123:2, Isa 26:3, Jhn 14:27, Php 4:7).
Is your heart full of patience, kindness, and goodness? When you have the heart of GOD, it is reflected in how you treat others (Rom 2:4, 2 Pet 3:9, Col 3:12-14). If the patience of GOD is in your heart, you will not be easily moved or angered in the midst of delays, troubles, or suffering (Exd 34:6-7, Psa 40;1, Lam 3:25-26). When wrongfully treated, you will not entertain thoughts of retaliation (1 Pet 2:23, Pro 20:22, 1 Ths 5:15, 1 Pet 3:9). If the kindness of GOD is in your heart, you are tender-hearted, caring, and helpful towards everyone and everything (Php 2:3-5, Rom 12:13-16, Rom 15:1-3). A person with a heart of kindness is truly concerned for the well-being of another, they are helpful toward everyone not expecting anything in return. If the goodness of GOD is in your heart, you walk uprightly (Psa 34:14, Psa 125:4) and you reach out to do good to others whether it is deserved or not (Luk 6:35-36, Gal 6:9-10).
Are you a faithful, gentle, self-controlled person? If your life is truly united to our Beloved LORD GOD (Jhn 17:21-23, Rom 8:9-11, 1 Cor 6:17, Gal 2:20), it will be revealed in your conduct or behavior (1 Jhn 3:9-11). Our GOD is faithful (Deu 7:9, 1 Cor 1:9, 2 Tim 2:13), and when HE dwells within us, we too are faithful. Which means we are, trustworthy (Num 12:6-8, Neh 9:7-8, Psa 101:6-7, Dan 6:4); truthful (Psa 5:6, Pro 12:17, Jhn 1:47, 1 Pet 2:21-22), reliable, consistently keep our word, even if it hurts (Psa 15:1-5, Psa 24:3-4, Jdg 11:35). Our GOD is gentle (1 Kin 19:11-13, Mat 11:29), and because HE lives within us, we too will be known as gentle or humble people (Php 4:5, Num 12:3, 2 Tim 2:24-26, 1 Pet 3:4, 1 Pet 3:15). Our GOD is not only holy (Lev 19:2, 1 Pet 1:14-16), and cannot be tempted by evil (Jam 1:13), but HE continually exercises restraint. We daily see HIS self-control. Our Beloved GOD does not treat us as our sins deserve, nor pays us back in full for our wrongs committed (Psa 103:10, Ezr 9:13). HE is slow to anger, holding it back, giving men and opportunity to turn away from sin (Rom 2:4, Psa 78:38, Psa 103:8-9, Isa 48:9). HE restrains HIMSELF and silently waits until HIS appointed time to punish the wicked (Psa 50:17-21, Ecc 8:11, Isa 42:14, Isa 57:11). When The SPIRIT of our LORD inhabits our soul (Rom 8:9, Jhn 14:23), HIS love holds our emotions, thoughts, and behavior in the face of temptations (2 Cor 5:14, Jud 1:24-25), giving us the strength to keep the impulses of the flesh in control (Php 4:13). HIS SPIRIT gives us both the faith and the ability, to silently wait on HIM no matter the circumstance (Exd 14:14, Psa 62:5, Lam 3:25-26, Jam 1:19).

What causes one to stop growing spiritually? There are many reasons, we will look at five:

1. Lack of faith, they do not have complete trust and confidence in GOD or HIS WORD (Deu 1:32, Psa 78:22, Zep 3:2). Those who lack faith in GOD, are those who do not believe that HE truly exists, nor do they believe that HE is good. So they do not believe that HE cares for them, nor cares enough to respond to the prayers of those who seek HIM (Heb 11:6, Psa 6:9).
2. Trust is in themselves rather than GOD (Jer 7:24, Jer 17:5-9), leaning to their own understanding (Pro 3:5, Pro 3:7, Pro 28:26, Isa 5:21). Human reasoning will always clash with Faith. The mind of man is not the mind of GOD (Isa 55:8-9, 1 Cor 1:27-29); the mind of man looks from the human perspective as it can only grasp the seen aspect of every situation (Mat 16:5-12, 1 Cor 2:14); the mind of man is hostile to the things of GOD (Job 21:14-15, Rom 8:7).
3. Forget GOD by forgetting HIS WORD (Deu 8:11, Job 8:13). Those who forget GOD are those who forsake HIM (Deu 32:15, Jer 2:13, Jer 12:2); they do not seek HIM (Psa 10:4, Jer 2:31); they fail to pray, worship, or study HIS WORD (Isa 43:22, Rom 1:25, Isa 5:24).
4. Forget the blessings of GOD (Deu 1:26-33, Psa 103:1-2). Those who forget the blessings of GOD, are those who are not grateful or thankful for HIS kindness, provisions, or mercy, and continue to doubt HIM (Psa 78:11-22). When the blessing is out of sight, GOD is out of their mind (Deu 4:9-10, Jgs 8:34).
5. Walk in continual disobedience (Psa 78:10, Jer 22:21, Tit 1:16). Those who walk in continual disobedience, are those who live focused on satisfying self (Mrk 8:34-37, Rom 8:5-8, 1 Jhn 2:15-17). They never read GOD’s WORD. And though they attend public sermons, they hear, repeatedly hear, but seldom meditate on what they hear. As a result, they quickly forget what they hear, unable to reduce it to practice, so they derive little profit from GOD’s spoken WORD.

How does one keep growing spiritually? By GOD alone, WHO causes spiritual growth (1 Cor 3:6-7). This growth comes as we cling to HIM (Deu 13:4, Psa 119:31, Rev 14:12), and obey HIS WORD (Jhn 14:23, Jhn 15:1-10, 1 Jhn 3:24).

Is there hope for one in “arrested development” spiritually? Most definitely, there is nothing impossible with GOD (Luk 1:37), for it is HE WHO gives both death and life (1 Sam 2:6). The person who has stopped growing spiritually must choose to humble themselves, confess their sins (1 Jhn 1:9), and turn back to GOD (2 Chr 7:14).

Abide in ME, and I in you
As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself
Unless it abides in the vine
So neither can you unless you abide in ME
I am the vine, you are the branches
He who abides in ME and I in him, he bears much fruit
For apart from ME you can do nothing
If anyone does not abide in ME
He is thrown away as a branch and dries up
And they gather them
And cast them into the fire and they are burned
John 15:4-6

 

 

 

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).

 

I NEVER KNEW YOU

Depart from Me 2“Not everyone who says to ME, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven

But he who does the will of MY FATHER WHO is in heaven will enter

“Many will say to ME on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in YOUR NAME

And in YOUR NAME cast out demons

And in YOUR NAME perform many miracles

And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you

DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’

Matthew 7:21-23

As a servant of JESUS CHRIST and a teacher of my Beloved LORD GOD’s WORD, I grieve over “professing christians”, how they live, and their reaction to a phenomena (any extremely unusual or extraordinary thing or occurrence). I have personally witnessed three well-known phenomena. When the U.S. entered the Iraqi War in the Middle East, when middle-eastern terrorists attacked America on September 11, 2001, and the 2012 end of the world hysteria. After the first two times, and before the third time, Church attendance increased sharply, but within four to six weeks those numbers returned to pre-phenomena levels.

We will discuss the why later, but let’s first look at who are those “professing christians” per Biblical descriptions:

But as for you, son of man

Your fellow citizens who talk about you by the walls and in the doorways of the houses, speak to one another, each to his brother, saying, ‘Come now and hear what the message is which comes forth from The LORD

They come to you as people come, and sit before you as MY people and hear your words

But they do not do them

For they do the lustful desires expressed by their mouth, and their heart goes after their gain

Behold, you are to them like a sensual song by one who has a beautiful voice and plays well on an instrument

For they hear your words but they do not practice them.

Ezekiel 33:30-33

This group are those who attend Church services, Bible studies, small group studies, seminars and retreats. They come and listen to the message, make notes, highlight in their Bible, get excited, get convicted, and yet do not put into practice what they learned. They are the disobedient (Rom 2:8, 2 Thess 1:7-8, 1 Pet 4:17).

JESUS replied, “And why do you, by your traditions, violate the direct commandments of GOD?

For instance, GOD says, ‘Honor your father and mother

And ‘Anyone who speaks disrespectfully of father or mother must be put to death

But you say it is all right for people to say to their parents, ‘Sorry, I can’t help you.

For I have vowed to give to GOD what I would have given to you.

In this way, you say they don’t need to honor their parents.

And so you cancel The WORD of GOD for the sake of your own tradition.

You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote,

These people honor me with their lips,

But their hearts are far from me.

Their worship is a farce,

For they teach man-made ideas as commands from GOD.'”

(New Living Translation)

Matthew 15:3-9

This group are those who teach false doctrine and oversee by their own authority (Jer 5:30-31), they tickle ears (2 Tim 4:3-4), and teach not for the love of our Beloved LORD GOD, but for the love of recognition (Matt 23:1-12) and money (Tit 1:10-11, 2 Pet 2:1-3). These are those who do not practice what they teach (Rom 2:17-24).

They profess to know GOD

But by their deeds they deny HIM

Being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed

Titus 1:16

This group talks about knowing and loving GOD, they know christianese (the language spoken by Christians, it makes no sense to anyone unfamiliar with Biblical texts), they periodically go to Church, and yet when observing their speech (1 Sam 24:13, Matt 12:33-37, Eph 4:29, Jam 3:2-12) and behavior (Matt 7:15-20, 1 Jhn 2:3-6) it is no different than the ungodly.

“You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life

It is these that testify about ME

And you are unwilling to come to ME so that you may have life.

John 5:39-40

This group trusts in their works rather than trusting in GOD (Prov 28:26, Prov 16:25, Mica 3:11-12, Philp 3:7-9). They do not understand that what one does for GOD is not the same as knowing GOD (1 Jhn 4:8, 1 Cor 13:1-3, Jhn 16:1-3).

A Christian is one who believes in, relies on and completely trusts JESUS CHRIST and HIS WORD. This is the one who studies HIS WORD, then follows, or practices, or daily lives out the teachings contained in HIS WORD. You will know this true follower of CHRIST by observing their behavior. Their actions and reactions will demonstrate the presence of The HOLY SPIRIT within them. Whether they know you are observing them or not, you will consistently notice the visible expression of HIS invisible presence. In other words, despite the circumstances surrounding them, you will consistently see love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control emanating from them (Gal 5:22-25).

A “professing christian” admits they know and follow JESUS CHRIST, if you observe their behavior, you will find that instead of following JESUS they will follow after their own lusts and desires (Jude 1:16-19). More often than not, you will see them driven by self-interest, self-preservation, self-preferences and self-desires (Gal 5:19-21). They reflect the spirit living within them, they lie (Jhn 8:44, 1 Jhn 2:4, 1 Jhn 4:20), they deceive (2 Cor 11:3, 2 Cor 11:13-15, Rev 12:9) and hate or commit murder (1 Jhn 3:15).

Why do Churches temporarily swell when bad times or bad news come? Because those who only come briefly, come out of fear and anxiety, promising change but continue to live the same disobedient lives once the crisis has passed, as demonstrated by Pharaoh (Exd chapters 8-10). These are people who do not intimately know The GOD of Peace (1 Thess 5:23-24) nor do they know The LORD of Peace WHO continually grants us a peace different from the world’s peace in every circumstance (Jhn 14:27, 2 Thess 3:16). Their peace is based on what they see or feel, our peace is based on WHO we trust (2 Kin 6:14-18, Matt 14:28-31, Psa 112:7, Prov 1:33).

Those who come briefly during crisis are those who think they know GOD because they know about HIM. They believe that Lord is merely a title, not understanding it is a relationship built on reverence, obedience, love, trust and readiness.

 “Why do you call ME, ‘LORD, LORD,’ and do not do what I say?

Luke 6:46

Nevertheless, the firm foundation of GOD stands, having this seal, “The LORD knows those who are HIS,” and, “Everyone who names The NAME of The LORD is to abstain from wickedness.”

2 Timothy 2:19

Turning GOD’s Grace into Liscentiousness

Evil eye (2)Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.

 For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.  Jude 1:3-4

My heart aches for the many professing Christians who are being deceived as they follow after false teachers. Like the Israelites of old, not only do they not know GOD’s WORD (Isa 1:3-4, 1 Jhn 2:3-4), they prefer to be deceived rather than know GOD or HIS WORD (Job 21:14-15, Jer 9:3-6, 2 Tim 4:3-4).

Our Beloved LORD GOD has called us to contend earnestly for the faith or to hold fast to HIM and to HIS WORD (Deu 13:4, Prov 4:4-5, 1 Ths 5:21-22, Heb 10:23, 2 Jhn 1:6, Rev 3:11).

Twenty years ago, I first began to hear professing Christians state that JESUS did away with the law when HE came so we do not need to study the Old Testament. When I asked them to then explain Mat 5:17-20 and Rom 15:4 to me, they could not. In the last ten years, I have witnessed false teachers twisting GOD’s WORDS in Rom 16:14. They emphatically tell a crowd of captivated congregants “we are under grace we are no longer under the law!” leaving these people to believe they no longer have to deal with their sin. When I asked those holding to this “radical grace doctrine” to explain Rom 6:15, 1 Jhn 1:9 and 1 Jhn 3:4-10, they tell me I am legalistic.

Our Beloved LORD GOD’s grace means forgiveness and the power to overcome sin, it does not give license/permission to live ungodly, immoral lives. In fact our LORD warns us in Hebrews 6:4-8, Hebrews 10:26-31 and 2 Peter 2:20-22 that those who have once been set free from the defilements of the world and have experienced the salvation of our precious JESUS CHRIST, partook of HIS Holy SPIRIT, tasted HIS good WORD and then fallen away by becoming once again entangled in willful sin, their last state is worse than their first. And they will suffer the same fate as those who never knew GOD, eternal destruction (Rom 2:8, 2 Ths 1:7-8).

In conclusion when one professes to know GOD, and be a follower of JESUS CHRIST yet live unholy lives, by their deeds they deny HIM (Titus 1:16, Jude 1:4), and cause unbelievers to blaspheme HIS Holy NAME (Rom 2:17-24).

For whoever is Ashamed of ME and MY WORDS

  • If you are ashamed of MEEverywhere we turn these days we are bombarded with messages and images that call evil good and good evil. And just as our Beloved LORD GOD told us in 2 Timothy 3:1-5, we are living in difficult times because of the state of ungodly men; men who are lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of GOD, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power. And truly as our LORD JESUS spoke in Matthew 24:12 “because sin (lawlessness) is increased most people’s love has grown cold. The failure to obey The BIBLE (hereafter known as The WORD) is the evidence of a love that has grown cold (John 14:23-24). Disobedience to The WORD comes in many forms; they reject The WORD on certain issues; they question the timeliness and accuracy of The WORD; they are more concerned with what the world thinks of them if they obey The WORD. In fact this particular blog is about that last group. They are ashamed of JESUS and HIS WORDS. Many will quickly say “I am not ashamed, I let people know I am a Christian.” But it’s not just in what you are saying, it is how you are living:  Do you live like those who do not know JESUS? Do you hold and follow the beliefs in The BIBLE? Are you willing to lose everything for those beliefs? Before you say no, yes and yes, ask our LORD to examine your heart and make it known to you as HE did with Peter. Peter declared he would not fall away because of our LORD, he insisted if he had to die with our Precious LORD JESUS, he would not deny HIM (Matthew 26:33-35). Yet Peter denied him 3 times, just as our LORD said he would (Luke 22:54-62).

“For whoever is ashamed of ME and MY WORDS in this adulterous and sinful generation

the SON of MAN will also be ashamed of him

when HE comes in the glory of HIS FATHER with the holy angels.”

Mark 8:38