Apostasy in the Church- An end time prophesy
Greetings saints of the Living God. I trust that you are all well, and that you are watching and waiting for that day of sweet release when the trumpet of Almighty God will sound and the dead in Christ shall rise, and we who are alive in Christ Jesus will meet them in the air and together we shall greet our Lord and Saviour and so shall we be with Him for ever, 1Thessalonians 4:13-18. But until that hour that is fast approaching let us ever be watchful and prayerful, Matthew 24:42; 25:13; 33-37; 1Corinthians 1:7; Ephesians 6:18; Revelation 3:
I want to share with you my feelings concerning what the Bible speaks of “a falling away from the truth of the gospel”, and that apostasy will take place as the Coming of Jesus Christ draws ever nearer. The apostasy that the Bible speaks of is not something happening in the world at large, for the world has always been in apostate darkness as the Word of God says. But apostasy is something that will happen within the Church of Jesus Christ as we approach the end of the Church-age dispensation. The Church as we know it today is spoken of in Revelation 2-3. These are the seven churches that Jesus spoke of to the Apostle John on the Isle of Patmos that is a prophetic portrayal of the Church throughout history. The Bible clearly prophesies that the end times Church will be characterized by much apostasy. The Apostle Paul said that the “man of sin” [Antichrist] cannot be revealed because apostasy [falling away] must first prevail within the Church, 2Thessalonians 2:3; Daniel 7:25; 8:25. The apostle is of course clearly speaking here of those who have confessed to be Christians [children of God]. You may be asking this question; what are you talking about a falling away [apostasy]? The Bible clearly says that men will no longer adhere to sound doctrine, 1Timothy 1:10; 6:3; 2Timothy 1:13; 4:3; Titus 2:1. The scriptures that truly stands out and makes you understand what this is all about is, “For the time will come when they [those who confess to be born again Christians] will not endure sound doctrine; for after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and they shall be turned unto fables, 2Timothy 4:3-4.” Men will no longer want to hear the truth as concerns the Word of God. So called ministers of the gospel will no longer deem it necessary to preach a gospel of, “take up your cross and deny self and follow me” Matthew 16:24. They will no longer deem it necessary to teach their congregants that, “whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it” 16:25. Jesus said that in the last days before His return, “and because iniquity shall abound the love of many shall wax cold” 24:12. Because these so called ministers no longer deem it necessary to preach against sin, many converts\congregants will fall into sin and their love for Jesus Christ will become cold. This is what our Lord was warning the Church in John’s day and even today about in Revelation 3:15, when He says that men will become cold in their love for the things of God. As the Apostle Paul so boldly states in Romans 1, that men will rather serve the creature more than the Creator. These Christians who are misled by preachers, tele-evangelists about how that God wants it to be well with them financially, who start to believe this lie are drawn into a false sense of security and their love for Jesus dwindles to the point that even they themselves no longer deem it necessary to be watchful\prayerful.
The new evangelistic message [the new cross] of today allows the converts to live without interference. Their life’s motivation stay’s unchanged and they now live for their own pleasure and not to bring pleasure to the Lord. The new evangelism of today now encourages a new and entirely different approach to the gospel. The minister, pastor, reverend no longer demands abnegation or denial, denouncement of sin or denying oneself as is required of the laying down of the “old life” before a new life can be received. No the false doctrine being preached is that the “new cross” does not slay the sinner it redirects him\her. It gears him\her into a cleaner and jollier way of living and saves his\her self-respect. The preachers\ministers of the ‘new cross’ message seeks to key into the public interest that Christianity makes no unpleasant demands; rather it offers the same thing the world does, only on a higher level. Whatever the sin-mad world is promoting is cleverly shown to be that which the gospel offers, only the religious product is much better. We are living in the most critical time of Church history. The Word of God [the Bible] is undergoing a revision that is bringing about division. For those of you, who have not read the book written by Gail Riplinger, called New Age Bible Versions? Do yourself a favour and try to buy it, or you can contact me for a copy of an interview on cd with Gail Riplinger. There you will read all about the new Bible Versions that have flooded the market in recent years. Yes my friend these new Bible versions are so watered down as far as the scripture’s are concerned it will frighten you. The truth of God’s Word is being compromised and watered down, as ecumenical and heretical teachings are being endorsed for the cause of unity and church growth. The gospel of Jesus Christ is being disguised to make it less offensive and more acceptable. Churches that once taught the Bible so faithfully, preparing the flock for the imminent return of Christ, now are looking for ways to make their services more seeker-friendly, and are less concerned about the prophetic signs we are living in the last of the last days. Churches [pastors, ministers] that once believed that church-growth was dependant on feeding and equipping the flock\saved to share the gospel with the lost, now promote humanistic means to draw the masses, based on a consumer style of evangelism, to find out what the people want to get them in by the door. Churches employ outside experts who use worldly principles to draw the masses. When using methods that are foreign to the scriptures; these church leaders when warned by believers about the dangers then label them [concerned observers] as being divisive. When concerned believers speak out against the “new thing” that God is doing they get shouted down as being negative. Should the Church be promoting humanistic\ecumenical methods of success that produces mega-churches with shallow believers who are asleep when Jesus returns? Shouldn’t church-leaders be sounding the trumpet and warning of His imminent return. This is the time when pastors and church-leaders must make decisions regarding the truth of God’s Word, and proclaiming it without fear or trembling.
I remind the readers that it will at times be necessary to call names of ministers who prey on gullible\unsuspecting congregants with their false teachings. And I am going to be calling some very famous names. These are the men who have worldwide ministries and have mega-churches. Let’s begin by looking at what the Apostle Paul has to say concerning false prophets\teachings. As mentioned already that the Bible clearly states the Church of the end times will be characterized by apostasy and that the Antichrist will not be revealed until “the apostasy comes first” as recorded in 2Thessalonians 2:3. Jesus Himself prophesied that “many will fall away, and most people’s love will grow cold”, Matthew 24:10-12. Paul tells us that in the end times the Church becomes weak, vacillating, and full of apostasy, 2Timothy 4:3+4. Yes dear reader the apostle is speaking about the Christians who claim to be born again and have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. And the reason why Paul says this about the Church is found in 2Timothy 3:5 when people holding on to a “form of godliness but denying the power thereof”. There of course will be a lot of religion but a total denial of the true power of God to transform societies for the good, producing peace, righteousness and justice. But what is this power that the Bible speaks of? First and foremost it is the power of the blood of Jesus Christ. It is the power that comes from accepting the Bible as the infallible Word of God. It is also the power of believing in a Creator God with whom all things are possible. And most certainly it is a belief in the power of the Holy Spirit. These essential beliefs constitute the power of what is known as Christianity, but which is also being subjected to unparalleled assault from within the Church itself. The Bible clearly teaches that in the end times not only will the world at large mock the promise of our Lord’s return, 2Peter 3:3+4, ‘knowing this first that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts [v3]; and saying, where is the promise of his coming? For since the fathers fell asleep all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation”, it will shock you to know that most of that mockery comes from within the church! How have we reached this crisis in the Church today? It is rooted in the German School of Higher Criticism. According to the ‘scientific approach’ of this school of sceptics is that the Bible is not the revealed Word of God, rather it is Man’s search for God, and therefore they say it is filled with myth, legend and superstition. The Bible they proclaim is not to be believed and obeyed, but must be analysed, dissected and criticized. And the result will be that the Scriptures have lost their authority. Let’s see what some of our more famous so-called leaders\teachers are saying. An Episcopal Bishop of New Jersey in the USA, named John Spong has written books wherein he denies the virgin birth, denies the miracles of Jesus, denies the resurrection, denies the Second Coming of Christ, and even boldly argues that Paul and Timothy had a homosexual relationship. Bishop Spong has announced that he will no longer witness to people of other religions\pagan faiths. The apostate scholar Norman Vincent Peale in 1984 announced on the Phil Donahue program that, “it’s not necessary to be born again. You have your way to God; I have mine he said; I found eternal peace in a Shinto shrine…I have visited many such shrines and God is everywhere”. If what Peale says is true, why did Jesus then find it necessary to say? “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God, John 3:3.” When asked by Donahue why he as a Christian minister would make such a statement, Peale replied, that Christ is one of many ways, as God is everywhere.” That is typical New Age Movement philosophy.
One of Peale’s leading disciples is none other than Robert Schuller of that Crystal Palace mega-church. Schuller has even outdone his teacher with his ‘gospel of possibility thinking’. In his book, ‘Self Esteem the New Reformation’ Schuller states that the leaders of the Reformation Movement made a mistake in centering their theology around God instead of Man. Schuller goes on to say in his book that the essence of man’s problem is low-esteem. The Bible teaches it is pride. Schuller says that when Jesus spoke of “rivers of living waters” in John7:38, He was speaking of self-esteem, yet in the very next verse it declares that Jesus was speaking clearly of the Holy Spirit that had not yet come. Yet Schuller argues that sin is anything that robs us of our ‘divine dignity’. But the Bible clearly says that sin is as rebellion and disobedience to God, Titus 1:16. Let me share with you the cherry on the cake as proof of Robert Schuller’s apostasy. This goes back as far as 1980, when Schuller tried to portray Jesus as an egotist. This is what he said concerning Jesus’ Crucifixion. “The Cross sanctifies the ego trip. That’s very significant. In other words, Jesus had an ego. He said, “I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men to me.” WOW! What an ego trip He was on! My friend if this is not blasphemy, in accusing the One who was and is the essence of humility of being an egotist then I do not know what blasphemy is. Here is some more Schuller apostasy. Schuller gave a speech at the headquarters of the Unity Church in Lees Summit, Missouri. Now this is a cult that denies the deity of Christ and which teaches reincarnation. He also dedicated a new Unity Temple in Michigan, in spite of warnings from several pastors not to do so because of the errors of the cults. In a recent speech honouring an Islamic spiritual leader named Alfred Mohammed, Schuller said that if he were to come back in 100 years and finds his descendants to be Muslims it would not bother him! I do not think for one moment that our Lord is in any way pleased with such, as His Word is being twisted to not feed the spiritual man but the physical. How appropriate when the Apostle Paul wrote these words under the unction of the Holy Spirit. “Professing themselves to be wise they became fools, Romans 1:22”. The chilling thing to keep in mind is that the men who produce such spiritual treason are teaching the next generation of pastors and teachers.
Apostasy is found in most denominations of the Church-world. Consider the following. In 1997, on the eve of Lent, the Right Reverend Alan Smithson, of the Anglican Church in England announced that though it is traditional to give up something during the time of Lent, he has decided to give up reading the Bible, to devote his time reading the Koran, because he felt he said the Muslim scriptures would make him ‘more understanding, more compassionate and more fully human’.
Also in 1997 the General Board of Global Ministers of the United Methodist Church USA, sponsored a seminar that attracted 4000 participants from all over the world. It was called “Global Gathering 3.” A parade of speakers attacked the fundamentals of the Christian faith. One speaker declared that the crucifixion of Jesus reveals an “abusive Heavenly Father who is not fit for Christian worship” The speaker urged instead that the church revere all the world’s children as little messiahs equal to Jesus. Of course then the big daddy of them all is when Pope John Paul 2 got caught up in the inter-faith fad in 1986 inviting leaders of the world’s religions to come to Assisi, Italy to pray for world peace. Amongst them was none other than the Dali Lama, who considers himself a god. At the Pope’s request each representative prayed to his\her god. Did the Pope really believe their god’s were real? Or did he believe that they were all praying top the same god, but under different names? Apostasy!! I say yes. On the eve of the 20th Century, William Booth the founder of the Salvation Army who was also a man of great zeal and vision for the Lord predicted that the gospel would not fare well in the new century. He prophesied specifically that by the end of the 20th Century, much of the Church would be preaching: Christianity without Christ, Forgiveness without repentance and Salvation without regeneration and Heaven without Hell. And that dear reader is exactly where we are today. Christians who claim to be born again are faced with challenges from the decay of society, and the apostasy within the Church. But let’s stand still for a moment, and see what the word apostasy means. The word apostasy is derived from the Greek word “apostasis” which literally means “desertion”. [The Oxford Dictionary defines this as, abandon, depart from, desert, leave, forsake or run away]. And the Bible clearly states that there will be a falling away\desertion or apostasy of long held Biblical principles. But let’s mention some more famous preachers who are following this pattern of false teachings. On January 5, 2008 a CBN newswoman interviewed mega-church pastor Joel Osteen and posed the following question to him. “What about the s-word, the d-word and the h-word. Osteen then acknowledged that the interviewer was referring to the words sin, devil and hell. Osteen then quickly admitted that those are words he did not use in his messages because they tended to promote a negative approach to things. There are more than 1300 references throughout the Bible concerning sin, the devil and hell yet Mr Osteen finds it improper to use them because they have a negative effect on his congregants and his worldwide audience. If God Almighty, who by the way is the Author of the Bible, deems it necessary to warn his creation, man, about these dangers and that He even sent His Son Jesus Christ to make a way of escape for man, “who commissioned Mr Joel Osteen to re-write the Bible? ” In interviews with talk show host Larry King and others, and even listening to him minister one comes to the conclusion that Joel Osteen is a charming communicator who is hard not to like. But Osteen is not the first person to remove the parts of the Bible he did not like; but one can see that the message that he delivers is one of, “happy feel good ultra positive gospel”, but people who read their bibles can see that Osteen is leaving out a big part of the story, and many would say the very heart of the story, and that is “part and parcel of the apostasy spoken of in the Word of God. Even now in Canada both Catholic and Protestant churches are being prosecuted, imprisoned, fined and censured for quoting scriptures that condemn the gay lifestyle. Does this sound familiar to what is happening here in South Africa recently? The Church in South Africa must wake up; the same is going to happen here shortly as we have seen recently in the Moreleta Park incident. Even our very own esteemed Emeritus Bishop Desmond Tutu has been proclaiming that he is ashamed of the Church who condemns homosexual relationships. Recently Tutu said in a BBC interview how ashamed and saddened he was, for the “extraordinary homophobic” manner in which the Anglican Church responded to the election of the openly gay Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire. “If God, as they say, is homophobic I would not want to worship that God” Clearly Desmond Tutu has forgotten what the Word of Almighty God has to say regarding this homosexual lifestyle in 1Corinthians 6:9-10, “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind; nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, not extortionists, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” Apostasy, yes definitely you are promoting it Mr Tutu. Apostasy is inevitable and it is a by-product of a world that is being turned upside down and where previously held values are scoffed at sometimes just because a minority might be slightly offended.
Our governments create entire bureaucracies to monitor minute amounts of suspected carcinogens in our food, air and water- yet it also pays subsidies to farmers to produce one of the highest cancer substances around—tobacco. We are told we must save the whales, or save this or that yet unborn babies are being slaughtered daily by legal legislature. School teachers are allowed to teach New Age philosophy and even witchcraft, yet the Bible, prayer and the Ten Commandments are banned from our schools. Peaceful pro-life protesters are convicted and sentenced to prison, but the courts release killers and rapists on bail. Where does this all end? That’s easy to answer. It ends with the imminent and soon return of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to earth, to remove forever the reins of government from the hands of men. But in the meantime believers can only continue with what they know to be right according to the Bible…the whole bible; with the s-word, d-word and h-word included. Believers who know what Christ commanded can say what Peter said after being released from prison where he was sent for preaching the truth of the gospel. When asked by the rulers of his day why he continues to preach the gospel even after they told him to stop he replied; “We ought to obey God rather than men”, Acts 5:29.
The following quote is from author Rev Michael Bresciani in his book, “An American Prophet and His Message.” “As for anyone changing, de-emphasizing or deleting any part of the Word of God they should keep this in mind. When judgement begins to unfold a group of people who have already departed from earth are seen under the care and protection of Christ himself. It is said their deaths were for their faithfulness to the Word of God, Revelation 6:9. If some people have allowed their blood to be shed to proclaim every word of God where does that put someone who throws parts of it out to please a crowd? The answer is your’s to decide.
I trust that what was presented here concerning this subject of apostasy has shed some light for you and that there is a better understanding and will help you when confronted with people who twist the truth of God’s Word.