INCLUDES SIGNS OF THE END OF TIMES:

 
 

APOSTASY

By www.FeastsOfTheLord.Net

          During the seven year tribulation event identified as "Daniel's seventieth week" and the years immediately preceding this final seven years, beginning with the opening of the first four seals of Revelation, there will be a massive "falling away" from the faith by those who will reject and deny Christ because of severe persecution and spiritual deception.

 

          Many evangelical believers have interpreted this event as a falling away of "nominal" believers reported in prophetic scripture on a par with the revealing of the Antichrist.  According to Paul, the "apostasy" is an end time signpost event equal in significance, and related to, the revealing of the Antichrist.

 

“Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away (apostasia) comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.”    2 Thess. 2:3-4

G646  Apostasia:  a falling away, defection, rebellion, abandon, apostasy

AV — to forsake

Literally, apostasia means to depart from a previous standing of faith, i.e. departing from a position of standing in faith by the rejection of a previously-held belief of salvation through faith resulting in unconditional eternal security.

Eph. 6:11:  “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”

G2476  histēmi  To Stand: 

1) to cause or make to stand, to place, put, set

a) to bid to stand by, [set up]

i) in the presence of others, in the midst, before judges, before members of the Sanhedrin;

ii) to place

b) to make firm, fix establish

i) to cause a person or a thing to keep his or its place

2) to stand, be kept intact (of family, a kingdom), to escape in safety

3) to establish a thing, cause it to stand

a) to uphold or sustain the authority or force of anything

However, Matt. 24:10-12 states that “at that time, many will fall away (apostasia) and will betray one another … but the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.”

G5273  hupomenō  Endures:  Literally to bear up under

1) to remain

a) to tarry behind

2) to remain i.e. abide, not recede or flee

a) to preserve: under misfortunes and trials to hold fast to one's faith in Christ

b) to endure, bear bravely and calmly: ill treatments

1 Tim. 4:1 “the Spirit explicitly says that in latter times, some will fall away (apostasia) from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons …”

John 15:6: "If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.”

G3306 menō  Abide:

1) to remain, abide

a) in reference to place

i) to sojourn, tarry

2) not to depart

a) to continue to be present

b) to be held, kept, continually

b) in reference to time

1) to continue to be, not to perish, to last, endure

a) of persons, to survive, live

c) in reference to state or condition

1) to remain as one, not to become another or different

2) to wait for, await one

 

G906  ballō  Cast out:

1) to throw or let go of a thing without caring where it falls

a) to scatter, to throw, cast into

b) to give over to one's care uncertain about the result

c) of fluids

1) to pour, pour into of rivers

2) to pour out

2) to put into, insert

Rev. 2:11   "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death."

G3528   nikaō   Overcome:

1) to conquer

a) to carry off the victory, come off victorious

1) of Christ, victorious over all His foes

2) of Christians, that hold fast their faith even unto death against the power of their foes, and temptations and persecutions

3) when one is arraigned or goes to law, to win the case, maintain one's cause

AV – overcome 24

G2288      thanatos   Death:  death; deadly

1) the death of the body

a) that separation (whether natural or violent) of the soul and the body by which the life on earth is ended

b) with the implied idea of future misery in hell

1) the power of death

c) since the nether world, the abode of the dead, was conceived as being very dark, it is equivalent to the region of thickest darkness i.e. figuratively, a region enveloped in the darkness of ignorance and sin

2) metaph., the loss of that life which alone is worthy of the name,

a) the misery of the soul arising from sin, which begins on earth but lasts and increases after the death of the body in hell

3) the miserable state of the wicked dead in hell

4) in the widest sense, death comprising all the miseries arising from sin, as well physical death as the loss of a life consecrated to God and blessed in him on earth, to be followed by wretchedness in hell

This does not mean physical death, but has an implied figurative meaning of death in the sense of eternal separation from God. 

No sin can cause God to reject the believer from inheriting the promises of Christ because the covenant between God and the Son of Man Jesus Christ who is the Mediator of the covenant.  However, unconditional eternal security is promised to those who abide by faith, but does not include those who intentionally do not abide in Christ.  The phrase ‘once saved always saved’ is not a true statement; it depends upon the choice of the individual believer.  In other words, one might be guilty of a sin leading to death, but in his repentance he might be spared from that fate unless he ‘falls away(apostasia) and rejects his faith in deliberate disobedience.

 

            Let no one in any way deceive you, for it...(the last day resurrection-"rapture" of all the saints)...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 2:3.4 NASB.

 

            May He grant you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you examine the scriptures to see if what is being written here is true or not.

 

            There are two popular explanations for the numerous passages in the New Testament related to apostasy:

 

The first is that "apostasy" is nothing more than the rejection of a belief system, whether Christian or otherwise, and, therefore, any reference to Christians rejecting the faith, such as 2 Thessalonians 2:3,4, is a reference to "nominal" Christians who have not been born again.

 

The second explanation, popular with dispensationalists, is that 2 Thessalonians 2:3,4 is related to the Jews during the tribulation who will reject God and has no application for Christians.               

 

The word, "apostasy," that Paul uses in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 is the word transliterated from the Greek as apostasia (Strong's # G646) - from "apos" - away and "stasis" - standing. This word is also translated as "revolt", "defection", and "falling away." Literally it means to depart from a previous standing, and, as we have learned from Paul's definition of "the faith" in 2 Corinthians 13:5 as being "Christ in you", then an expanded literal translation of 2 Thessalonians 2:3 could read as follows:

 

            Let no one in any way deceive you, for the last day resurrection-"rapture" of all the saints, living and dead, will not come unless the massive rejection of Christ by born again believers comes first, and the man of lawlessness, the Antichrist, is revealed...(paraphrase is the author's)

 

 

And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. Hebrews 6:10-12 NASB

 

            Inherit the promises HOW? Through (continuing, diligent) faith and (continuing, diligent) patience. And if we are not diligent? In this passage it is diligent faith and patience that allows the believer to realize (cause to become a fulfilled reality)..."the full assurance of hope." And how long must we continue in diligent faith and diligent patience? This scripture passage says, "until the end."

           

            Examine the message to the seven churches in Revelation 2 and 3. What do you see again and again? To him who overcomes, I will grant...he who keeps my deeds until the end...he who overcomes (I will not erase his name from the Book of Life)...

           

            It is difficult to ignore the implication that the one who does not overcome, the one who does not persevere, the one who does not keep His deeds, is in danger of having his name "erased" from the Lamb's Book of Life.  This erasure would not take place because God rejects the sinner who was once saved, but because the sinner rejects his/her faith in Christ.

 

            The erasure, therefore, is not initiated by the Lord, but by the one who has not been diligent in his faith.  The Lord's threat of erasure is proof that names can be erased from the Lamb's Book of Life.

 

            The Greek word for "death" in this passage is transliterated as thanatos (Strong's #2288). This does mean physical death, but it has an implied figurative meaning of death in the sense of eternal separation from God.  Strong's reveals that the word does mean physical death, but with the implication of a future eternity in hell.

  

                 The physical death of a Christian, though of some concern, does not have negative eternal consequences, and it is, therefore, not the concern John is expressing in this passage.

 

                 We should note, too, that John speaks of a sin "leading" to death. The sin itself does not cause instantaneous death, either the death of the body or the eternal separation from God. In other words, one might be guilty of a sin leading to death, but in repentance, be spared from that fate

 

            However, it was not the sin of adultery that was "leading" the man at Corinth in the direction of ultimately rejecting his faith. It was the development of a seared conscience through deliberate disobedience to the Spirit-revealed will of the Lord, which would ultimately result in the man being unable to "hear" the voice of the Lord in his spirit.

 

            At that point the man's faith would no longer be "real" to him, and Satan, aware of the opportunity, would eventually influence him to renounce Jesus Christ just as will happen on a massive scale during end time tribulation.

 

            A second example is found in 1 Timothy 1:18-20:  This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you fight the good fight, keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith. Among these are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan, so that they will be taught not to blaspheme. 1 Timothy 1:18-20 NASB (emphasis is the author's)

 

           We also note in this passage that it is the loss of a "good conscience" that is leading them toward death, meaning that they are no longer able to "hear" the voice of the Lord or the still small voice of the Holy Spirit.

 

           Now, let us be clear about one thing. I find absolutely no fault with the specific phrase, "the unconditional, eternal security of the believer" until it is paraphrased with the implications of "once saved, always saved."

 

            This is important: From God's covenant promise point of view He will not reject any born-again believer in Christ from the covenant promises in Christ, no matter what degree of sin the believer commits.

 

            My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give ...(present perfect tense)...eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.

 

            My Father, who has given...(past perfect tense)... them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. John 10:27-29 NASB

 

            No sin you can imagine will cause God to reject the believer from inheriting the promises in Christ, because the covenant is between God and the Son of Man, Jesus Christ, who is the mediator of this covenant. And HE cannot fail. Therefore, all who are in Christ will be saved...IF...they continue in Him (continue in the faith).

 

            In John 3:16; John 3:36; John 5:24; and 1 John 5:13 those who have (present tense) eternal life are those who believe in the Son. Our question, then, would be is it possible for those who once "believed" by faith to lose their faith in the Son, to stop believing in the Son?

 

            Who is a liar but he that denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denies the Father and the Son. Whosoever denies the Son, the same hath not the Father: he that acknowledges the Son hath the Father also.

 

           Therefore If that which ye have heard from the beginning...(the gospel truth concerning Jesus Christ)... shall remain in you...(the condition of the promise)..., ye also shall continue...(implying the possibility of not continuing)... in the Son, and in the Father...(which is the promise). 1 John 2:22-24 NASB.

 

            This theme is repeated in Colossians 1:21-24 NASB:  And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet He has now reconciled you ...(and you are currently born again)...in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach-- if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from ...(becoming apostate from and rejecting...)...the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister.

 

            The key word in the first passage is transliterated as menos (Strong's #3306) meaning to abide (live in, remain in, or continue in) then you will continue in the Son and in the Father, period, no matter what level of sin is in your life.

                At that time many...(believers)... will fall away ...(be offended by the gospel of Jesus Christ)...and...(those who become apostate)... will betray one another and hate one another. Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. Because lawlessness is increased, most people's love will grow cold.But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.  Matthew 24:10-12 NASB.

 

            It is in this crucible of affliction and persecution that many in the body of Christ will fall away from the faith. These are the "foolish virgins" who do not perservere in tribulation, and who do not make the necessary preparations and corrections to maintain the oil of the Spirit in their lamps. And these, who do not continue in the Lord will be told at the last resurrection, Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.(i.e. He did know them at one time, but, because they rejected their faith in Him, He does not know them at the time of their resurrection.)

 

                But the Spirit explicitly says  that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons...1 Timothy 4:1 NASB.

 
     
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