Unbelief; apostasy,evil peddled as the correct path to walk upon —

 

In This Edition:

Administrator’s Note: The Apostate Church

Minister Who Denies God’s Existence: I Don’t Appreciate Being Told I’m Not a Christian

I’m a Presbyterian Minister Who Doesn’t Believe in God

The Current End-Time Apostasy of the Church – Part 1

Apostasy in the Church: How it is accelerating and how it relates to the return of Jesus

Apostasy in the church and false doctrines of men

 

Administrator’s Note: The Apostate Church

by Ken Pullen — administrator, writer, operator, editor, researcher of the website “A Crooked Path”

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

 

Below my brief comments you will find 2 news articles. Well, one news article and one posting made on a website named Patheos by an ordained in the Presbyterian U.S.A. denomination as a “minister” to professed Christian believers. The man, John Shuck of Beaverton, Oregon’s  Southminster Presbyterian Church, gets upset with anyone who questions his identifying himself as a Christian, even though he espouses total unbelief in the following:

1. God

Mr. Shuck — now remember he is a minister in a declared “Christian” denomination here in the United States of America, he has announced his unbelief as many as 4 years ago and remains an active minister in the Presbyterian denomination proclaiming his false doctrine to whomever is in his congregation in Beaverton, Oregon — believes God is “is a symbol of myth-making and not credible as a supernatural being or force.”

You will be able to read in detail Mr. Shuck’s posting immediately following the news article about him reprinted below from Christian News — Christian News Network.

 

2. Jesus, the Son of God

Mr. Shuck believes “Jesus may have been an historical figure, but most of what we know about him is in the form of legend.”

 

3. The Bible

“The Bible is a human product as opposed to special revelation from a divine being.”

 

4. The Afterlife

“Human consciousness is the result of natural selection, so there’s no afterlife.”

 

You can read Mr. Shuck’s posting in its entirety as you continue to scroll down through the articles posted in this edition of “Last Days News.”

Mr. Schuck gets very annoyed and upset, offended, when anyone questions his calling himself a “Christian.”

Imagine that? Declaring what he believes and does not believe — and when he declares he does NOT believe in an individual, existing, living, real God — he does NOT believe in the supernatural power of not only God but of Jesus Christ, and declares Jesus is merely a “historical figure” — just as the sitting president of the United States does and he, too, never professes that Jesus is Lord, Jesus is the Son of God, that Jesus is the only way to the Father and eternal life — and that Jesus is mainly known as a “legend” and nothing about Him is real or factual as we contend — and Mr. Shuck does NOT believe the Scriptures are the inerrant God-breathed word of God given to select men over a 1,600 period by the Spirit of God — just as he does NOT believe in an afterlife —

Yet he is offended when people ask him why he calls himself a “Christian.”

If this were not such a serious matter — the most serious anything in life can be — I would ask Mr. Schuck what medication he is on and perhaps he ought to cut down on how many he’s taking since they have him residing in such a delusional state.

I mean, are you kidding me!!!?

And the answer is — no. This is what Mr. Schuck contends, believes, and espouses, and the Presbyterian U.S.A. denomination is well aware of this, since he has stated his unbelief and these worldly, humanistic beliefs of his for over 4 years and not hidden them. This is not a new revelation. Yet he is permitted to preach and “minister” in a proclaimed, professed “Christian” church in America! And he has people which attend this so-called “Christian church” knowing full well Mr. Schuck’s beliefs, and unbelief!

This is merely one example among literally tens of millions of just how the Great Apostasy has taken root. How false teachers and false doctrine have become entrenched and established within the professed Church. The utter corruption — cancer — which is killing the body of the church as it denies the Head and turns to serve Satan and make him the head of what they follow as they profess to follow humanity.

This is but one example of the level of corruption and perversion of the truth adopting and following the path of Humanism, Relativism, and the New Age Movements influence within the professed church.

Be ever aware.

Be ever vigilant.

Be ever mindful.

Be always in prayer.

Be ever turning to the inerrant God-breathed living word of God.

Do not fall prey to humanism even in its gleaming and beautiful packaging and oh-such-nice-thoughts-aren’t-they.

Do not fall prey to relativism.

Do not fall prey to the pagan beliefs and teachings repackaged as the New Age way of thinking and living.

Do not fall prey to false teachings and false teachers.

Beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing.

Ever turn to the word of God, prayer, and the One True Living God, Creator, our Father, and His Son, the God-man who came to this earth as the Sacrificial Lamb, the Lamb of God, to teach, to die for the sins of everyone who believes upon Him as the risen Lord, the risen Son of God of Whom the prophets wrote as they were led by the Spirit of God.

Beware — always BE AWARE!!!

I realize this edition of  “Last Days News” is very lengthy, as it contains 5 different articles, not counting this one by me, and 2 or 3 of the articles which follow are very long — but I do hope and pray subscribers, readers, and visitors will scroll through this entire edition and read most of the very important contents herein. I thank you, and may all true believers remain steadfast in the true faith, praying always for the strength of the remnant to withstand and overcome, and continue to always look up searching, waiting on and for the Lord to return.

The Apostate Church:

Minister Who Denies God’s Existence: I Don’t Appreciate Being Told I’m Not a Christian

Reprinted from Christian News — Christian News Network

By

Shuck Twitter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Shuck of Beaverton’s Southminster Presbyterian Church

BEAVERTON, Ore. – A Presbyterian USA minister in Oregon who says that he doesn’t believe in God—and doesn’t require his members to believe either–remarked in a recent article that he is offended by those who assert that he is not a Christian.

“Someone quipped that my congregation is BYOG: Bring Your Own God. I use that and invite people to ‘bring their own God’—or none at all,” wrote John Shuck of Beaverton’s Southminster Presbyterian Church in a guest post for Patheos last week. “While the symbol ‘God’ is part of our cultural tradition, you can take it or leave it or redefine it to your liking.”

Shuck first came out as an unbeliever in 2011, generating controversy as to how one could serve as a minister and not believe in the Bible.

“The concept of ‘God’ is a product of myth-making and ‘God’ is no longer credible as a personal, supernatural being,” he wrote in a blog post on his site “Shuck and Jive.” “Jesus may have been historical, but most of the stories about Him in the Bible and elsewhere are legends.”

Shuck reiterated his unbelief in his article “I’m a Presbyterian Minister Who Doesn’t Believe in God” on Tuesday, as he asserted that “[b]elief-less Christianity is thriving.”

“We all have been trained to think that Christianity is about believing things,” he wrote. “Its symbols and artifacts (God, Bible, Jesus, Heaven, etc) must be accepted in a certain way. And when times change and these beliefs are no longer credible, the choices we are left with are either rejection or fundamentalism.”

But Shuck says that although he rejects the Bible as being literal, and denies the existence of Heaven and Hell, he takes offense when people tell him that he’s not a Christian.

“[E]ven though I hold those beliefs, I am still a proud minister. But I don’t appreciate being told that I’m not truly a Christian,” he stated. “Many liberal or progressive Christians have already let go or de-emphasized belief in Heaven, that the Bible is literally true, that Jesus is supernatural, and that Christianity is the only way. Yet they still practice what they call Christianity.”

However, others state that Shuck’s assertion that one can be a Christian without faith in the saving power of Christ is faulty, and that his words make evident that he does not understand what it means to be a Christian.

“Mr. Schuck proves that he knows very little about Christianity,” Andrew Rappaport of Striving for Eternity Ministries in Jackson, N.J. told Christian News Network. “He talks about ‘belief-less Christianity’ thriving. But what defines a Christian is specifically stated as a belief that Jesus Christ as God (Romans 10:9–10). Therefore, it is impossible to have a belief-less Christianity.”

“To have someone who can claim to be a minister and redefine Christianity against its proper definition is no different than attempting to redefine marriage as possible between the same sex,” he continued. “God defines marriage as being between man and woman, and God defines Christianity based on belief.”

Rappaport said that he believes that Shuck has an ulterior motive in remaining a minister while asserting that one can be a Christian apart from following Christ.

“What you see here is nothing more than someone who wants to infiltrate the Church in an attempt to destroy it,” Rappaport stated. “The two things that he does not understand is, first, the Church will not be destroyed, and second, his whole argument that God does not exist is based on intelligence, logic, ability to reason and morality—all of which require the God that he denies, because immaterial things are not the product of chemical reactions; they require God.”

I’m a Presbyterian Minister Who Doesn’t Believe in God

(Reprinted from the humanistic and apostasy fueling website Patheos)

post by John Shuck, a Presbyterian minister.

“How can you call yourself a Christian, let alone a minister?!”

I get asked that question frequently and the questioner is hostile more often than not. Still, I like to answer it if I believe the questioner is sincere.

Though I self-identify as a Christian and I am an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), I raised eyebrows a few years ago when I posted an article on my website about how my personal beliefs don’t align with those of most Presbyterians.

For example, I believe that:

  • Religion is a human construct
  • The symbols of faith are products of human cultural evolution
  • Jesus may have been an historical figure, but most of what we know about him is in the form of legend
  • God is a symbol of myth-making and not credible as a supernatural being or force
  • The Bible is a human product as opposed to special revelation from a divine being
  • Human consciousness is the result of natural selection, so there’s no afterlife

In short, I regard the symbols of Christianity from a non-supernatural point of view.

And yet, even though I hold those beliefs, I am still a proud minister. But I don’t appreciate being told that I’m not truly a Christian.

Why is that so many people think my affirmations are antithetical to Christianity? I think it is because Christianity has placed all of its eggs in the belief basket. We all have been trained to think that Christianity is about believing things. Its symbols and artifacts (God, Bible, Jesus, Heaven, etc) must be accepted in a certain way. And when times change and these beliefs are no longer credible, the choices we are left with are either rejection or fundamentalism.

I think of Christianity as a culture. It has produced 2,000 years of artifacts: literature, music, art, ethics, architecture, and (yes) beliefs. But cultures evolve and Christianity will have to adapt in order to survive in the modern era.

Many of those paths will be dead ends. As Daniel Dennett once said, the dinosaurs really have not died out because modern birds carry on many of their traits. Similarly, as religions evolve, they may look similar in some respects and quite different in others. You may not even call some of them religions anymore, depending on how you define the word.

I believe one of the newer religious paths could be a “belief-less” Christianity. In this “sect,” one is not required to believe things. One learns and draws upon practices and products of our cultural tradition to create meaning in the present. The last two congregations I have served have huge commitments to equality for LGTBQ people and eco-justice, among other things. They draw from the well of our Christian cultural tradition (and other religious traditions) for encouragement in these efforts. I think a belief-less Christianity can be a positive good for society.

Belief-less Christianity is thriving right now, even as other forms of the faith are falling away rapidly. Many liberal or progressive Christians have already let go or de-emphasized belief in Heaven, that the Bible is literally true, that Jesus is supernatural, and that Christianity is the only way. Yet they still practice what they call Christianity. Instead of traditional beliefs, they emphasize social justice, personal integrity and resilience, and building community. The cultural artifacts serve as resources.

But what about belief in God? Can a belief-less Christianity really survive if God isn’t in the picture? Can you even call that Christianity anymore? In theory, yes. In practice, it is a challenge because “belief in God” seems to be so intractable. However, once people start questioning it and realize that they’re not alone, it becomes much more commonplace.

Since posting my article — and in response to my ministry in general — many have opened up to me that they didn’t believe in God but they liked coming to my church. One young woman, after going through my confirmation class, joined the church. She read her faith statement in front of the congregation. It was a powerful articulation of her social justice commitments in which she added that she didn’t believe in God. The congregation enthusiastically welcomed her, of course.

Personally, even though I don’t believe in God as a supernatural agent or force, many still do. I utilize the symbol “God” in worship. This may be viewed as cheating but since our cultural tradition is filled with images of God, it is near impossible to avoid. As a symbol, I’m not yet ready to let go of God. It is a product of myth-making — I know that — but the symbol incorporates many of our human aspirations. I find that “God” for me is shorthand for all the things for which I long: beauty, truth, healing, and justice. They’re all expressed by this symbol and the stories about it.

Someone quipped that my congregation is BYOG: Bring Your Own God. I use that and invite people to “bring their own God” — or none at all. While the symbol “God” is part of our cultural tradition, you can take it or leave it or redefine it to your liking. That permission to be theological do-it-yourselfers is at the heart of belief-less Christianity.

I understand some Christians may react with hostility and panic to this idea — they already have — but it deserves an honest discussion.

The Current End-Time Apostasy of the Church – Part 1

 Reprinted from The Berean Call — December 2005

 

THERE IS LITTLE DOUBT that we are today in the midst of widespread apostasy. By that term we mean: departure from the faith once for all delivered to the saints, for which we are to earnestly contend. 1  I believe that apostates include two types of people:

1) Those who have knowingly turned completely from Christ and no longer even pretend to be Christians; and

2) Those who still claim to be Christians but have departed from

The latter would likewise be divided into two groups:

a) Those who deliberately twist the Scriptures, perverting the gospel “to draw away disciples after them” 2  or who endorse false teachers (though they know better) because they want to share their fame and power 3  –or who simply want to be “positive” so as to “offend” no one; and,

b) The naïve, who are genuinely deceived by false prophets/teachers.

Apostasy, of course, in some measure, has existed as long as the church. Most of the epistles involve, to some extent, correction of false doctrine and practice that was already in the early church in the days of the apostles. It is the mushrooming, widespread incidence of the apostasy described under number 2 above, however, among those who claim to be Christians, that I believe Scripture points to as a specific sign of the last days just prior to the Rapture.

The question, of course, must be faced whether today’s apostasy has anything to do with prophecies concerning the last days. If so, it would seem that this “sign of the last days” has been largely overlooked by many if not most prophecy teachers. They usually cite as “last-days signs” only “wars and rumors of wars…nation shall rise against nation…kingdom against kingdom…famines…pestilences…earthquakes,” unusual weather, the move to a cashless society, the revival of the Roman Empire, etc.

I have been criticized for years by those who complain, “Deal with prophecy, if you wish, but stick to your subject–don’t mix in apostasy!” In fact, one cannot adequately deal with the former while ignoring the latter. When asked by His disciples, “What shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” 5  the first words from Christ identified apostasy as the foremost sign of the last days. In His response, He emphasized religious deception three times-and He specified what it would involve:

Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.6 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. 7  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. 8

Christ’s warning made several things clear:

1)  The major sign of the nearness of His coming would be religious deception by professing Christian leaders;

2)  A central feature of the deception would be false prophets showing “great signs and wonders,” which, though convincing, would also be false;

3)  The repetition of the word, “many,” indicated that this religious deception would be widespread, apparently worldwide, and,

4)  The words “Christs,” “prophets,” “signs and wonders,” and “elect” indicated that the deception would be among professing Christians, i.e., those inside the church.

This warning was echoed by Jude. The first reason he gave as to why we must “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered to the saints” was the fact that “there are certain men crept in [inside the church] unawares…ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.” 9

“False Christs”! There have been many in our day (from Jim Jones to David Koresh), who gathered followers by claiming to be Christ. There are numerous gurus in India who claim to be the latest reincarnation of Jesus Christ. The false “Christs” presented by novels, videos, and movies have multiplied since Jesus Christ Superstar beyond reciting. None is even close to the true Jesus Christ of Scripture. The “Jesus” of The DaVinci Code is a complete fraud dreamed up by atheists. The “Jesus” of the ABC-TV presentation of Judas confessed to Judas that he “blew it” in chasing the moneychangers out of the Temple: “I lost my temper.”

That Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ received almost universal praise as “biblically accurate” from solid evangelical leaders is another indication of apostasy that has crept into the best pulpits unawares. In fact, it was almost all unbiblical….Much of it was drawn from the visions of a mystic nun and incorporated devices from the imagination of the director to arouse emotions. Nor did anyone seem disturbed that a sinful man was pretending to be the One who declared, “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father,” 10  and whom Paul described as “God manifest in the flesh.” 11

The most prominent false Christ today is Sun Myung Moon, who openly declares that he is the Messiah come to earth to complete the mission that Jesus failed to accomplish: the establishment of the “perfect family.” Yet some prominent evangelicals have spoken at conferences convened by Moon, sharing the platform that featured the man who says he is perfecting the work “left unaccomplished by Jesus.” 12

But what is the faith, a departure from which marks one as an apostate? Some might say that as long as a person believes that Christ died for his sins, was buried, and rose the third day, he is saved. But that declaration does not express the true gospel. As defined by Paul, the gospel declares the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ according to the Scriptures. 13  Surely that involves who the biblical God is, who the biblical Christ is, what the biblical problem between God and man is, the biblical and only means of man’s forgiveness by God, and the eternal consequences, as taught in the Bible, for those who reject the biblical gospel. None of these is a peripheral point of doctrine to be ignored or compromised. To do so would be a departure from the faith into apostasy to proclaim a false gospel.

The entire Word of God, of course, is foundational to the faith. The Bible is one book, and it is all interrelated–each part to every other. Sadly, the church and the world are being robbed of the pure Word of God–and by those who claim to be evangelical Christians! Eugene Peterson’s The Message (NavPress, 1993) is one example. Instead of “that the world through him might be saved,” 14   The Message says, “He came to help, to put the world right again.” That sounds like social and political action, the same old “social gospel,” downgrading salvation to earthly improvement, and it is found throughout this entire “version” of Scripture. John:3:31He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all. says, “He that cometh from above is above all.” The Message says, “The One who comes from above is head and shoulders over other messengers from God.” First Peter 5:10 says that God has “called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus.” The Message says that God “will have you put together and on your feet.” What Peterson has done to God’s Word is blasphemous!

Peterson dares to change the words and meaning of Scripture. Hebrews:11:4By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh. declares, “By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain,” but The Message says, “It was what he believed, not what he brought, that made the difference.” Obviously, both belief and action are important and interdependent. Moreover, Peterson has robbed his readers of the major theme of Scripture: the Lamb slain for our redemption.

Men like Peterson have no conscience about changing what God says, replacing His words with their own. Yet The Message is quoted more than 80 times by Rick Warren in The Purpose-Driven Life , which has now sold about 26 million copies [as of 2005], unprecedented in history. No greater promotion of this mass of heresy could be given than Warren’s endorsement!

Yet Peterson’s Message is also praised by other Christian leaders such as J. I. Packer, Warren Wiersbe, Jack W. Hayford, and Richard Foster. Peterson is “Consulting Editor, New Testament,” for the Renovaré Spiritual Formation Bible (HarperSanFrancisco, 2005) edited by Richard J. Foster. A host of “scholars” contributed commentaries, among them Bruce Demarest, Professor of Theology at Denver Seminary in Denver, CO; Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., President of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Hamilton, MA; Tremper Longman III, the Robert H. Gundry Professor of Biblical Studies at Westmont College, Santa Barbara, CA; Earl F. Palmer, on the Board of Trustees of the long-apostate Princeton Theological Seminary and senior pastor of University Presbyterian Church in Seattle, WA, and many others.

The Renovaré Spiritual Formation Bible was touted as “THE BIBLE AS IT WAS INTENDED TO BE” in a two-thirds-page ad in the July 2005 issue of Christianity Today , next to the masthead declaring that Billy Graham was the founder (of CT ) and that J. I. Packer is one of the executive editors. It is odd that Richard Foster and some 50 “biblical scholars” would go to the trouble to create and publish this “Bible,” considering the fact that Eugene Peterson, its New Testament editor, has said, “Why do people spend so much time studying the Bible? [Christians] should be studying it less, not more. I’m just not at all pleased with all the emphasis on Bible study as if it’s some kind of special thing that Christians do, and the more they do the better.” 15

Showing the apostate contempt of these men for God’s Word, the Renovaré explanatory notes (bringing to evangelicals the old “higher criticism” of 150 years ago and still popular among liberals today) deny the Divine authorship of much of Scripture–even that Moses wrote the Pentateuch. Yet the Introduction hypocritically declares, “we read the Bible literally, from cover to cover [and] in context.” 16   Renovaré cynically declares that Genesis 1-11 is neither historic nor scientific 17  and that the entire book of Genesis is merely a collection of myths.

Of Daniel, the Renovaré Bible declares, “We do not know who wrote it or exactly when it was written it was most likely partially written during Antiochus Epiphanes’ persecution of the Jews in Babylon, which began with the desecration of the Temple in 167 BC.” 18  So it is the work of an imposter pretending to be Daniel 400 years too late! Apparently overlooked is the fact that perhaps a century before Antiochus, the Greek Septuagint was translated from even earlier Hebrew manuscripts, and it contains the book of Daniel as we have it today.

The powerful prophetic promise from God in Jeremiah:31:8-14 [8] Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the coasts of the earth, and with them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and her that travaileth with child together: a great company shall return thither.
[9] They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble: for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn.
[10] Hear the word of the LORD, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock.
[11] For the LORD hath redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of him that was stronger than he.
[12] Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow together to the goodness of the LORD, for wheat, and for wine, and for oil, and for the young of the flock and of the herd: and their soul shall be as a watered garden; and they shall not sorrow any more at all.
[13] Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, both young men and old together: for I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from their sorrow.
[14] And I will satiate the soul of the priests with fatness, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, saith the LORD.
to bring home the Jews scattered around the world is interpreted as a promise to all homeless people (nothing about Israel) and God’s promise that Israel can never be destroyed (31:35-37) is ignored! Israel is treated as having been replaced by the church.

How does this relate to departure from “the faith once delivered to the saints”? The Messiah doesn’t step off of a UFO and say, “Voilà! Here I am!” He comes in fulfillment of hundreds of prophecies and with a genealogy that proves His authentic identity. Israel takes up most of the Bible, and its history and its prophets’ inspired pronouncements are foundational to the Messiah’s identity. If the Bible is not 100 percent true in what it says about Israel, then we cannot believe what else it says about Christ and our “redemption through his blood.” 19

If this “trashing” of the Bible, endorsed by many leading evangelicals and tolerated without opposition from others, is not part of the apostasy, then what is? We are losing the Bible in many ways, raising a generation on the spiritual junk food of religious videos, movies, youth entertainment, and comic book paraphrases of the Bible. The Word of God is being rewritten, dumbed down, and dramatized in order to cater to the tastes of the carnal mind.

The emphasis throughout Scripture is always on the words. The Bible is not a picture book! We are to live by “every word that proceeds from the mouth of God,” 20  a fact so important that Christ quoted it to Satan in His temptation. 21  But the Bible is today being “improved” by script writers, movie directors, and actors who are replacing the actual “incorruptible word of God” by which we are “born again,” 22  with dramatic representations (the entire New Testament is now on video) that may soon be the only “Bible” youth know.

(To Be Continued)

Footnotes:

  1. Jude 3.
  2. Acts:20:30Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them..
  3. Jude 16.
  4. Matthew 24:6-10; Mark 13:7-13; Luke 21:9-19.
  5. Matthew 24:3.
  6. Matthew 24:4-5.
  7. Matthew 24:11.
  8. Matthew 24:24.
  9. Jude 4.
  10. John 14:9Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?.
  11. 1 Timothy 3:16.
  12.  Washington Post, 7/30/96; 8/1/96; Washington Times, 8/1/96.
  13. 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 [3] For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
    [4] And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
    .
  14. John 3:17For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved..
  15. “A Conversation with Eugene Peterson,” Mars Hill Review, Fall 1995, Issue No. 3, 73-90.
  16. Richard J. Foster, ed., The Renovaré SpiritualFormation Bible (HarperSanFrancisco, 2005), General Introduction, xxxi.
  17. Ibid., 14-15.
  18.  Ibid., From the introduction to Daniel, by James M. Rand, 1245.
  19.  Ephesians 1:7In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Colossians 1:14In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:.
  20.  Deuteronomy 8:3.
  21.  Matthew 4:4, etc.
  22. 1 Peter 1:23.

 

Apostasy in the Church

How it is accelerating and how it relates to the return of Jesus.

by

 

The Bible clearly prophesies that the Church of the end times will be characterized by apostasy. Paul said that the Antichrist will not be revealed until “the apostasy comes first” (2 Thessalonians 2:3). Jesus prophesied that “many will fall away” and “most people’s love will grow cold” (Matthew 24:10, 12).

In the book of Revelation, chapters 2 and 3, the Apostle John records seven letters of Jesus to seven churches in the area of modern day Turkey. Among other things, these letters present a panoramic prophetic survey of the Church in history. The last of the churches mentioned, the one that represents the Church of the end times, is the church at Laodicea. It is pictured as a church that is neither hot (healing) nor cold (refreshing), but rather is lukewarm or tepid (Revelation 3:15-16). In short, it is a church that is apathetic. Jesus also pictures it as a worldly church enamored with its wealth (Revelation 3:17). The Lord is so dissatisfied with this church that He declares, “Because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth” (Revelation 3:16).

Clues from the Apostle Paul

Paul supplies us with some strong clues as to why the end times Church will be weak, vacillating, and full of apostasy. One of those clues can be found in 2 Timothy 4:3-4 which says that “the time will come when they [Christians] will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires; and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths.”

Another clue is located in Paul’s famous prophecy about end time society, the one in 2 Timothy 3. After describing in graphic detail how society will fall apart in the end times, Paul adds that the basic reason will be due to people “holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power” (2 Timothy 3:5). There will be no lack of religion, says Paul, but people will deny the true power that is able to transform society for the good, producing peace, righteousness and justice.

What is that power? First and foremost it is the power of the blood of Jesus. It is also the power that comes from accepting the Bible as the infallible Word of God. It is the power of believing in a Creator God with whom all things are possible. And certainly it includes a belief in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Today, these essential beliefs, which constitute the power of Christianity, are being subjected to an unparalleled assault from within the Church itself. The Bible says that in the end times people will mock the promise of the Lord’s return (2 Peter 3:3-4). What is so shocking is that most of the mockery is coming from within the Church!

The Root of Apostasy

How have we reached this crisis point in the Church? It is rooted in the German School of Higher Criticism which invaded this country big-time in the 1920’s. According to the “scientific approach” of this school of skeptics, the Bible is not the revealed Word of God. Rather, it is Man’s search for God, and therefore it is filled with myth, legend and superstition.

Today this viewpoint dominates the seminaries of America. The Bible is studied not to be believed and obeyed but to be analyzed, dissected, and criticized. The result is that the Scriptures have lost their authority.

Apostate Leaders

John Spong, Episcopal Bishop of New Jersey, has written books in which he denies the virgin birth, denies the miracles of Jesus, denies the resurrection, denies the Second Coming, and argues that Paul and Timothy were homosexual lovers. Bishop Spong has become so enamored with other religions that he has announced he will no longer witness to those caught up in the spiritual darkness of pagan faiths!1

Similar apostate thoughts were mouthed by Norman Vincent Peale in 1984 on the Phil Donahue program. Peale announced, “It’s not necessary to be born-again. You have your way to God; I have mine. I found eternal peace in a Shinto shrine… I’ve been to Shinto shrines, and God is everywhere.”

Phil Donahue was so shocked that he actually came to the defense of Christianity. “But you’re a Christian minister,” he retorted, “and you’re suppose to tell me that Christ is the way and the truth and the life, aren’t you?”

Peale replied, “Christ is one of the ways. God is everywhere.”2

Look again at Peale’s incredible statement: “It’s not necessary to be born-again.” What did Jesus say? “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born-again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). Who are we to believe?

Schuller’s Apostate Gospel

Peale’s leading disciple, Robert Schuller, has outdone his teacher with the development of 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!3

Schuller teaches that the essence of Man’s problem is low self-esteem.4 The Bible teaches it is pride. Schuller says that when Jesus referred in John 7:38 to “rivers of living water” flowing out of believers, He was speaking of self-esteem.5 The very next verse says He was speaking of the Holy Spirit. Schuller argues that sin is anything that robs us of our “divine dignity” (our “divine dignity”?).6 The Bible says sin is rebellion against God.

The Response of Christendom

Schuller’s book calling for a “new reformation” caused a firestorm of controversy. The Evangelical magazine, Christianity Today, invited readers to give their opinions of the book, and many people wrote in to denounce it. One writer referred to Schuller as “a modern-day apostle of humanism.”7

The letters continued to pour in for weeks, and they were so critical that Dr. Schuller decided to respond to them. In a long letter published in the October 5, 1984 issue of Christianity Today, he made an incredible comment that has haunted him to this day:8 “I don’t think anything has been done in the name of Christ and under the banner of Christianity that has proven more destructive to human personality and, hence, counterproductive to the evangelism enterprise than the often crude, uncouth, and unchristian strategy of attempting to make people aware of their lost and sinful condition.”

As a writer for Time put it in an article in 1985, “For Schuller, an acknowledgment of self-worth, more than a confession of sinfulness, is the path to God.”9

Further Evidence of Schuller’s Apostasy

In an appearance on the Phil Donahue show in 1980, Schuller tried, incredibly, to portray Jesus as an egotist! Here’s what he said:10 “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!

What blatant blasphemy — to accuse the One who was the very essence of humility of being an egotist!

Schuller gave a speech at the headquarters of the Unity Church in Lees Summit, Missouri and shared with their pastors his church growth principles. This is a cult that denies the deity of Jesus and which teaches reincarnation! He also dedicated a new Unity Temple in Warren, Michigan, in spite of warnings from a local Baptist pastor not to do so because of the errors of this cult.11

In a recent speech honoring an Islamic spiritual leader named Alfred Mohammed, Schuller said that if he were to come back in 100 years and find his descendants to be Muslims, it wouldn’t bother him!12

An Apostate Seminar

Another modern day apostate is Robert Funk, a New Testament scholar at the University of Montana. He is the founder of the notorious Jesus Seminar which began operating in 1985. The avowed purpose of the Seminar was “to renew the quest for the historical Jesus.”13 The Seminar conducted this quest in a very unusual way. Meeting twice a year for six years, the group voted on each of the sayings of Jesus recorded in the Gospels. They voted by dropping colored beads in a box. A black bead meant Jesus definitely did not make the statement in question. A gray bead meant He did not say it, but it might have represented His thinking. A pink bead meant He probably said something like this, but not in the words recorded. A red bead meant He definitely made the statement.14

As you can see, the very approach expressed contempt for the veracity of the Gospel accounts. What a spectacle this must have been to the Lord as He watched these so-called scholars vote on passages from His Word. “Professing to be wise, they became fools” (Romans 1:22).

The final product of the Seminar, published in 1993, was a blasphemy of God’s Word. It was titled, The Five Gospels.15 The title comes from the fact that the Seminar decided to grant the apocryphal Gospel of Thomas equal standing with the four traditional Gospels.

Only fifteen sayings of Jesus made it into The Five Gospels in red! In Matthew’s account of the Lord’s Prayer, the only words that made it in red were, “Our Father.” Only one saying in the entire book of Mark was colored red. It is the statement of Jesus in Mark 12:17 where He told His disciples to “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” Likewise, only one statement from the Gospel of John qualified for the red coloring: “A prophet has no honor in his own country” (John 4:44).

The chilling thing to keep in mind is that the men who produced this spiritual pornography are professors at seminaries across America. They are the ones who are training the current generation of pastors and teachers.

Apostasy in the Denominations

The apostasy is not confined to the seminaries. It is pervasive. It can be found in all denominations. Consider the following examples.

In 1997, on the eve of Lent, the Right Reverend Alan Smithson, the Bishop of Jarrow (Anglican Church in England), held a press conference in London. He announced that it was traditional for Christians to give up something during the forty days of Lent. He then dramatically announced that he had decided to give up Bible reading! He went on to explain that he was going to devote his time during Lent to reading the Koran, because he felt like the Muslim scriptures would make him “more understanding, more compassionate, and more fully human.”16

R. Kirby Godsey, president of Mercer University, a school heavily supported by the Georgia Baptist Convention, “denies the infallibility of the Bible, the unique power and authority of God, the validity of the Gospel’s account of the life and teachings of Jesus, the efficacy of Christ’s atonement, and the uniqueness of Christ as the only Savior.”17

In 1997 the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church sponsored a meeting in Kansas City that attracted 4,000 participants from all over the world. Called, “Global Gathering III,” the conference featured a parade of speakers who 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.18

Apostasy in Local Churches

The spreading cancer of apostasy in the Church is not confined to theologians and church conferences. It can be found at the grass roots level, in local churches.

Consider, for example, The Episcopal New Church Center in Walkersville, Maryland. This church hired a public relations firm to develop a print and television advertising campaign. One of the first ads in this campaign carried a banner headline that read, “To Hell With Church!” It showed a man thinking, “If I want to feel guilty, I’ll eat some cheese fries.” Another ad in the series showed a painting of Christ nailed on the Cross. Scrawled over the painting were the words, “Of course people with pierced body parts are welcome in our church.”19

The Maryland church really went wacky when it moved to producing TV ads. They hired a fellow known for the kinky cartoons he produces for Saturday Night Live. His first ad for the church opened with a father and son tossing a baseball to each other in the front yard.

“Guess what, Timmy?” the father asks. “Tomorrow your mother and I are going to take you to church.” The father continues, “Not only will you be able to learn about the wages of sin and eternal damnation, but you can play fun games like ‘Bible Sword Drill’ and sing inspirational songs like ‘Kumbaya’ and ‘I’ve Got Joy, Joy, Joy Down in My Heart.'”

Dejected by this prospect, little Timmy walks into the middle of the road and holds up his hands in surrender as a semi-truck blows its horn and bears down on him.20

Not only apostate, but sick.

Inter-Faith Apostasy

The big move at the grass roots level these days is interfaith worship services. I’m not talking about inter-denominational — rather, the emphasis is on inter-faith. Christians are inviting Muslims, Jews, Hindus, American Indian practitioners of “native religion,” and others to join in worshiping “the one true god, regardless of the name you may give to him or her.”

Pope John Paul II got caught up in this inter-faith fad in 1986 when he invited the leaders of the world’s religions to come to Assisi, Italy to join him in praying for world peace.21 One hundred sixty representatives came, including the Dali Lama (who considers himself to be a god). Each representative prayed to his own god at the Pope’s request! Did the Pope believe their gods were real? Or did he believe that they were all praying to the same god, but under different names?

The Challenge

Englishman William Booth (1829-1912), who founded the Salvation Army, was a man with a great zeal for the Lord and a passion for lost souls. He was also a man of vision. On the eve of the 20th Century when Christendom was caught up in euphoria about how the Church would soon take the world for Christ, Booth predicted that the Gospel would not fare well in the new century. Specifically, he prophesied that by the end of the 20th Century, much of the Church would be preaching:22

  • Christianity without Christ
  • Forgiveness without repentance
  • Salvation without regeneration
  • Heaven without Hell

That’s exactly where we are today. Because of it, as we begin the 21st Century, Christians are faced with unparalleled challenges from the decay of society and the apostatizing of the Church. Increasingly, many are going to give up hope. Some will express this hopelessness by withdrawing from society and assuming a siege mentality. Others will throw in the towel and adopt the attitude, “If you can’t lick them, join them.”

Considering the magnitude of the challenge, is there any hope for triumphant Christian living? And if so, how then shall we live?

(Note: Dr. Reagan proceeds to respond to these questions in his new book by presenting ten chapters of down-to-earth guidelines for living as a victorious overcomer in these end times.)

Notes

  1. John Shelby Spong, Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism: A Bishop Rethinks the Meaning of Scripture (San Francisco, California: Harper, 1992). Another revealing book by Bishop Spong is Why Christianity Must Change or Die: A Bishop Speaks to Believers in Exile (San Francisco, California: Harper, 1999). A good summary of Bishop Spong’s views can be found on the Internet in his “Call for a New Reformation,”
    http://www.dioceseofnewark.org/jsspong/reform.htm.
  2. Dave Hunt, “Revival or Apostasy,” The Berean Call, October 1997, p. 2.
  3. Robert Schuller, Self Esteem: The New Reformation, (Waco, Texas: Word Books, 1982), p. 39. An insightful review of Schuller’s writings can be found in an article by Joseph P. Gudel entitled “A New Reformation?” It was published in Passport Magazine, January-February 1988. It is available on the Internet at
    http://www.issuesetc.org/resource/archives/guide12.htm.

    There are other excellent summaries of Schuller’s thought that can be found on the Internet. One is an article by David W. Cloud entitled “Evangelicals and Modernist Robert Schuller” (http://cnview.com/on_ line_resources/evangelicals_and_modernist_robert_schuller.htm).

    Another good analysis is entitled, “The God of the Bible Versus the God of Multi-level Marketing: Positive Thinking,” (http://www.users.fast.net/~gospeltruth/positive.htm).

  4. Ibid., p.19.
  5. Ibid. p. 80.
  6. Ibid. p. 14.
  7. Hugh Cantelon, “More on Schuller,” (letter to the editor), Christianity Today, October 19, 1984, p. 11.
  8. Robert Schuller, “Dr. Schuller Comments,” (letter to the editor), Christianity Today, October 5, 1984, pp. 12-13.
  9. Richard Stengel, “Apostle of Sunny Thoughts,” Time, March 18, 1985, p. 70.
  10. The Phil Donahue Show, transcript 08120, August 12, 1980, p. 10.
  11. Rick Miesel, p. 5. Schuller’s support of the Unity Church is also documented in an article by Dave Hunt published in the CIB Bulletin, January 1988. In a letter to the author, dated January 24, 2000, Dave Hunt states that he has a tape recording of the speech that Schuller delivered to the Unity pastors about church growth principles.
  12. Dave Hunt, “What’s Happening to the Faith?” The Berean Call, May 1998, p. 1.
  13. “The Jesus Seminar: The Search for Authenticity,”
    http://home.fireplug.net/~rshand/reflections/messiah/seminar.htm.
  14. In April 1996, Time featured the Jesus Seminar on its cover under the title “The Search for Jesus.” The cover article presented a comprehensive survey of the seminar’s organization, methodology, and conclusions. See David Van Biema, “The Gospel Truth? — The iconoclastic and provocative Jesus Seminar argues that not much of the New Testament can be trusted. If so, what are Christians to believe?” Time, April 8, 1996.
  15. Robert W. Funk and Roy W. Hoover, The Five Gospels (San Francisco, California: Harper, reprint edition, 1997). A good review of this book can be found in an article by D. A. Carson entitled “Five Gospels, No Christ.” The article appeared in Christianity Today, April 25, 1994, pp. 30-33.
  16. “Bishop gives up Bible for Lent” unsigned article, Daily Mail, London, England, February 14, 1997, p. 31.
  17. Dave Hunt, “What’s Happening to the Faith?” The Berean Call, May 1998, p. 1. Dr. Godsey’s views can be found in the book, When We Talk About God, Let’s Be Honest, (Macon, Georgia: Smyth & Helwys Publishing Co., 1996). The Georgia Baptist Convention adopted a resolution of censure in November 1996 in which it asked the trustees of Mercer University to consider whether Dr. Godsey should be continued as president of the institution. The trustees voted to affirm his presidency.
  18. Mark Tooley, “Church Gathering Features Radical Speakers,” AFA Journal, June 1997, p.19.
  19. John Kirkpatrick, “Ads fish for churchgoers with irreverent approach,” Dallas Morning News, April 18, 1998, p. 1F.
  20. Ibid., p. 11F.
  21. Richard N. Ostling, “A Summit for Peace in Assisi,” Time, November 10, 1986, pp. 78-79.
  22. Joseph Revell, “The Salvation Army Revisited,” Report from the Wall, (an Internet daily devotional message sent from yosef@gulf.net), December 18, 1998, p. 2.

 

 

 

Apostasy in the church and false doctrines of men

By Don Koenig

The reason for this article

Most of the major Christian denominations have deviated from biblical Christianity in one way or another. It is not the purpose of this article to point a finger at any one group, or to tell true Christians to get out of their denomination or not to fellowship. I understand that this article will not win me any popularity contest but very few others are talking about the apostasy in the church institutions identified with Christianity and the false doctrines of men within these church institutions that now deviate from true biblical Christianity.
The one true Church of God is a spiritual body and it is interwoven in all Christian denominations. I have noticed in my own experiences that there is at least a small core of true believers in just about every church in every denomination. That certainly does not mean that the doctrine of certain denominations actually leads people to Christian salvation – many teach a different gospel than what the Bible teaches. However, some in these denominations do find that salvation comes by God’s grace through faith (trust) in the risen Savior in spite of denominational heresy. I have at one time in my life been part of all the major groups listed below and I have first hand knowledge of what they practice (except the Orthodox Catholics).
My purpose is to expose the darkness so that the true light of the gospel of Christ will shine. I do not believe that true Christians can significantly change the overwhelmingly apostate pseudo Christian agenda that is now prevails in most of our churches and intuitions’. What we can do however, is not be deceived by Satan’s devices and not support what is not biblical.

Who is a Christian?

There are over 2.2 billion people on the earth who identify themselves as Christians, but there are significantly fewer that are really part of the body of Christ.

Jesus said you can not enter the kingdom of heaven unless you are born of the Spirit. The new birth from the Holy Spirit occurs when a person truly believes that Jesus is the son of God and trusts in the finished work of Jesus on the cross to atone for their own sins and to justify them before God.

The scriptures say you are saved by faith, not by your own works, lest anyone should boast.

We cannot judge if a person who identifies with Christianity is really trusting in Christ or in their religion to save them. If they are trusting in their religion to save them they are no more part of the body of Christ than a Jew or Moslem or any other religion.
Christianity is a personal relationship with Jesus because we are one with Him spiritually. This relationship does not depend on having all correct theology but correct theology will result in more fruitful Christianity.

Religion is basically satanic.

All religion contains methods, rituals and practices for man to become righteous enough to ascend or evolve to God. All religion thus believes in the need for one to become self righteous. True Christianity is the complete opposite. True Christianity believes in God’s righteousness. Because of His righteousness, Jesus the creator, died for our sins and breached the gap between God and man. True Christianity believes God provides a free gift of eternal life to anyone who trusts in Him (has faith) that God is graceful and sent His Son to save those who believe in God’s righteousness to save all that trust in His own begotten Savior.

Apostate Christianity (departure from true biblical Christianity) in its final analysis cannot be distinguished from any other religion in the world in its quest for God. No wonder apostate Christianity will be willing to join with all the other religions of the world. These pseudo Christians think they are Christian just because it is part of their culture and because they believe in a higher power. Even demons believe in a higher power. Apostate Christianity has no evidence of a Holy Spirit changed life because they were never born of the Spirit.
Some in religious training were taught that Jesus died for their sins and that they are saved or justified, but in their lives there is no evidence by works of the Spirit. Do they really have Jesus or do they only have knowledge about Him? Do they have Churchianity or Christianity?

Those that trust in their own good works to save themselves are self deceived and still in their sins. If there ever was a religion that could allow man to fellowship with God it was Judaism but the requirement was to keep all of God’s law. The laws of Judaism did not achieve salvation because in man’s fallen state he could never keep the whole law. Man’s righteousness and good works can never bring about eternal life with God because man always falls short of the required perfection necessary to dwell in the presence of a Holy God. Yet Judaism did not fail because through the tribe of Judah a Savior from God was born.

True Christianity

Jesus being born a man but being also God perfectly fulfilled the law. He Himself had no sin but He obediently paid the price for the curse on man because of sin. Sin brought into the world by Adam’s disobedience was paid for by God’s own Lamb sacrifice for all sin. At the cross Jesus took the curse upon Himself, for it is written “cursed is anyone who hangs on a tree” (Gal 3:13). Death could not hold the righteous kinsman redeemer of man and Creator of all. He died but rose to begin a new creation and in doing so condemned the old fallen creation to its eternal destruction. Those who trust Him are born again into this new new creation of believers called the “Body of Christ”. After we are born into this new creation, God no longer sees us as the sinners that we were but He sees us as the paid for “bride of His Son in one body with Him”. (The scripture says in marriage the two shall become one flesh – Paul used this as the example of Christ and the Church – Eph 5: 31- 32.)

“True Christianity is then believing that God’s promise to provide a Savior was fulfilled in His Son Jesus.” This promise of a Savior and Messiah to restore man’s fellowship with God is integrated throughout all scripture.

What do the large Christian denominations now confess?

Unfortunately, Most of the large Christian denomination leadership has become infiltrated by the elite of Satan and much of the institutional church has fallen away from the true faith and have followed doctrines of men. Some have a different Jesus then the Jesus of scripture. After the rapture of the faithful Christians the apostate church will go on without skipping a beat into the fires of the tribulation. In the following paragraphs I give my reasons for saying there is now apostasy in the church throughout the major institutional churches that identify with Christianity.

The Roman Catholic Church.

The membership of this church is more than half of all that are identified as Christianity (over one billion people) but the majority of Catholics baptized into the denomination do not even regularly practice their religion. Additionally, many Catholics know little about their own beliefs or they ignore the doctrine. Many integrate it with native pagan religions.

This denomination teaches that you are saved by grace, faith and works of merit. God’s grace is something you must earn by keeping the church sacraments, traditions and rituals and by doing good works. The priests of the church are successors of the apostles and have all of Christ’s authority on earth. The priests are grace dispensers and the church is infallible. If you accumulate enough merit you will go to heaven. Otherwise you will have to go through the fires of purgatory or to hell. The writings of the church fathers and the traditions of the church have equal weight with the holy scriptures. The members of this church are in the process of being saved by their works of merit.

Problems:

Many of the church’s traditions and practices are contrary to scripture proving that this church is far from being infallible. Satan with his wolves in sheep’s clothing has infiltrated this church and corrupted it. The Catholic Church has become like the corrupted Judaism that Jesus condemned. It is largely a church of Pharisees and of blind ritual — a church of idolatry, rote prayer, and traditions of men. To rid most of Christianity of apostasy we first would have to go to the root of that apostasy and purge out most of the doctrines that have infiltrated the Catholic Church.

The seven sacraments

The seven Sacraments of the Catholic Church are rituals for grace. The church believes that the ritual itself will dispense grace from God. It appears that the church puts the cart before the horse. No spiritual grace comes from ritual, but power from the Holy Spirit is given to those who listen to God and obey Him.

  • The sacrament of the baptism of infants is not scriptural or logical. The ritual of baptism is for identifying believers with the death and resurrection of Jesus. Babies do not believe. True baptism is dying with Christ and by faith being born into a new creation called the “body of Christ”.
  • The sacrament of the Eucharist should be a memorial and remembrance of Christ’s broken body and shed blood for us. There is no place in scripture that says we are to offer Christ’s body on the altar daily or that the bread and the wine actually becomes the body of Jesus, and by putting these elements in your stomach you will receive Him into your body and get grace from Him.
  • The Sacrament of contrition and penance is contrary to scripture. The scriptures say that Jesus is the only intermediator between God and man. The doctrine that you can have your sins forgiven by confession to a priest who then intermediates and gives absolution if you do the penance he dictates, abolishes what Jesus did for us on the cross for all sin. Who is sinless enough to intermediate for us with God except Jesus, and which sin did Jesus not pay for?
  • This church teaches that the sacrament of confirmation is where you get the power of the Holy Spirit. The scriptures however, teach that you get the Holy Spirit when you believe and you get power to do His will when you earnestly pray for it.
  • Marriage is a union between two people. There is no reason given in scripture for it to be a Church sacrament or for the ceremony to be performed by a priest or clergy — not that the practice of getting married by the elder of any church is wrong.
  • The ordination of a special priesthood is contrary to New Testament scripture. The scripture teaches that all in Christ are kings and priests.
  • The sacrament of Extreme Unction indicates that the dying get some special grace by having a priest say some ritualistic prayers over them. This is a distortion of the true biblical practices of elders praying over the sick.

The cult of Mary

A large sect in this church teaches that Mary is co-Redeemer and that she was without sin. The scripture says that there is salvation in no other name than Christ Jesus. The scriptures also say that all have sinned. That includes Mary. Jesus said that John the Baptist was the greatest of all born of women. Why did He not say His mother was if she was without sin? When the natural mother of Jesus and His brothers (yes, Jesus had brothers according to scripture) thought He went crazy and wanted to talk to Him, Jesus said His mother and brothers are those that do the will of His Father. Mary is not the mother of God, she is the mother of the natural body that God incarnated. Mary is not the mother of the Church. She had to believe to be saved and had to receive the Holy Spirit and become a member of the “body of Christ” like everyone else. How can Mary be the mother of a membership that includes herself?

The idea that Mary is interceding for the Christians and appearing to many and giving statements to people that are often contrary to the scriptures is an insult to Mary. The bottom line of these apparitions at the very least is a message of salvation by works which will save no one. Furthermore, many Catholics are now into witchcraft and things forbidden in the Bible because they believe in these lies. Much of what is being said by apparitions attributed to Mary parallels pagan new age teachings and doctrine of demons. Those into Mariology like to reduce the God of the Universe to a child on Mary’s knee but He is a consuming fire and the only intermediator between God and man.

Saying the Rosary with its fifty “Hail Mary’s” is rote prayer to someone other than God. This is idolatry! Jesus said to pray to the Father. If He wanted people to pray to his earthly mother He would have said so. Furthermore, how in the world could anyone really believe that Mary would want to hear the same prayer over and over and over again? Do people think that she or they get power from their chanting? This is witchcraft! Even common sense should tell them that no one wants to hear the same thing over and over again. I am sure the real Mary of the Bible would tell the people who chant these prayers to please shut up.

Many times the real reasons for the rote prayer is not even addressed in the prayer service. For example, when Catholics pray “Hail Mary’s” in front of abortion clinics. Their ritualistic chanting leaves the body of Christ open to much ridicule by unbelievers and all of these rote “prayers” are nothing but a counterfeit substitution for real prayer to God about the real situation that is needing Christian prayer. The scripture tells us not to say rote prayers as the heathen do that think they will be heard for their many words. We are told that God knows what we need before we ask. Our requests should be like a child toward his Father. Try saying the same thing fifty or more times to your earthly father or mother daily and note their response to you.

The “queen of heaven” was worshiped in ancient Babylon. She also had a child in her arms. This was not Mary and Jesus but were demon gods. God did not have anything good to say about the people who worshiped her (see reference). Obviously some Catholics have used the blessed name of Mary of scripture to incorporate pagan Babylonian practices and beliefs into the Church.

The doctrine of purgatory

The doctrine of purgatory is an insult to Jesus and the finished work that He did on the cross to pay for the sins of the whole world. If we sin, He is faithful to forgive us our sins if we confess them to Him. Scripture says that there is now no condemnation to those in Christ Jesus. Jesus either paid for all sins past, present, and future or He paid for none of them. Scripture teaches no other doctrine.

A few of the many other heresies:

  • In much of the third world Catholicism has been integrated with pagan witchcraft and no major correction is coming from Rome. Yet the Vatican rails against Christians that teach the truth about such things.
  • The scapular is worn by some Catholics who believe that salvation or grace can be earned from something they hang around their neck.
  • Expecting spiritual power by using holy water, medals, holy pictures, and objects blessed by a priest is simply belief in the occult. It simply is witchcraft.
  • Many Catholic churches allow gambling and drinking on the church premises to raise funds.
  • The Pope as the vicar of Christ is not scriptural and many Popes have been anti-Christ. Peter was not the first Pope. The first real Pope was Leo 1st about 400 years later. Peter was an apostle to the Jews. Paul was the apostle to the gentiles from which most post first century Christianity descended.
  • The former Pope called Moslems brothers, kissed the Koran and said that Moslems are on a path to God. He had a close friendship with the top leader of Eastern Pagan religion and said they were on the same path. He told Catholics that salvation of the earth comes through Mary. Further, he warned Catholics about the dangers of Christian evangelicals that teach the Bible. He welcomed non believers in Christ as brothers but did not rescind the one hundred anathema’s made by the Catholic Church against all Protestant believers. (In catholic theology the anathema’s mean that all Protestants will go to Hell. The anathema’s came from a infallible papal decree so it can never be rescinded. Thus, the only hope of salvation for Protestants within the Catholic theology is for Protestants to return to the Catholic Church). This is not Christian leadership it is the type of anti-Christ leadership that Paul warned true Christians to beware of but this church wants to declare this Pope a saint. The latest popes are apparently no wiser about salvation theology. They seems to think that all people of good will are saved and many religions like Islam worship the same God as Christians even though Islam doctrine says that God has no Son. Some Catholics are now calling the latest pope an anti-pope because some of his views conflict with the views of other infallible popes. Oh, the joy of blind Religion!
  • The Catholic Church has a wretched history and continues countless heretical teachings. Read “The Women Rides the Beastby Dave Hunt for detailed information on the history and practices of this church in apostasy.

The bottom line about Roman Catholicism

The Roman Catholic Church as an institution is mostly apostate. Only each individual Catholic can truly know if they are trusting in Jesus as He is define in the Bible for their salvation or if they are just trusting in a false hope of following Catholic doctrine to save them. The doctrines of the Catholic Church are convoluted and their doctrine of salvation is contrary to the clear teaching of New Testament teaching. The majority that claim to be Catholics do not even practice Catholicism.

Some in this church have found the path to salvation and have been born of the Holy Spirit but many of these are not producing the fruit that they should. The good works they think they do in many cases are nothing more than empty rituals and practices contrary to God’s will. Many are building on the house of God with straw. After the rapture of true believers, what is left of the Roman Catholic Church will become the head of the great harlot religious system (Revelation 17) that will bring in the Antichrist and his false prophet. The majority of this church (Thyatira in the book of Revelation) will be tried by fire in the great tribulation (the real purgatory for Catholics).
Commendations:
+ Catholic charities + They helped to preserve the scriptures + Church discipline + Strong community orientation + Social Programs + Hates abortion + Teaches against the faithless practice of birth control + They still teach some of the essential doctrines of the faith + Strong school system that still teaches moral absolutes + Believes scriptures are God inspired

The Orthodox Catholic Churches

These churches have about one hundred fifty million followers.

This church is much the same as the Roman Catholics although some of the Roman Catholic heresies are not taught. However, they have added heresies of their own. They teach that members are saved by the teachings and traditions of the church, by the sacraments of the church, and through praying to icons. The essential doctrine of being saved by faith is not taught. This institutional church is mostly apostate and the church in general has done few good works on the earth. I doubt if there is a significant number of true Christians within the Orthodox Catholic Church.

I believe this is Jesus’ message to the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Catholic Church.

Rev 2:18 And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write: These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like a flame of fire, and his feet are like unto burnished brass: 19 I know thy works, and thy love and faith and ministry and patience, and that thy last works are more than the first. 20 But I have this against thee, that thou sufferest the woman Jezebel, who calleth herself a prophetess; and she teacheth and seduceth my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed to idols. 21 And I gave her time that she should repent; and she willeth not to repent of her fornication. 22 Behold, I cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of her works. 23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he that searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto each one of you according to your works. 24 But to you I say, to the rest that are in Thyatira, as many as have not this teaching, who know not the deep things of Satan, as they are wont to say; I cast upon you none other burden. 25 Nevertheless that which ye have, hold fast till I come. 26 And he that overcometh, and he that keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give authority over the nations: 27 and he shall rule them with a rod of iron, as the vessels of the potter are broken to shivers; as I also have received of my Father: 28 and I will give him the morning star. 29 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches.

for additional references check my scripture references and see: “all the letters of Paul in the New Testament”

The Protestants

Besides the Roman and Orthodox Catholics there are around 900 million other people living in the world that say they are Christian. Most of these call themselves Protestants, although a minority of those that might also be number with the Protestants are cults that deny certain essential doctrines of the Christian faith. The majority of all Protestants are in old mainline liberal and reformed denominations, or they identify with Baptists, other evangelical denominations, Pentecostals, Charismatics, or independent Bible and community churches. The biggest cults of Christianity are the Mormons and the Latter Day Saints.
The overwhelming majority of the people in the liberal Protestant denominations have never had a born again experience nor do their lives reflect that God is indwelling them. Most of them do not regularly fellowship with other believers or attend services. Many that do attend services are Sunday Christians. There is no fellowship with Jesus or each other outside the formal church service.
For the most part their Christianity is cultural and the relationship they have with God is superficial. Many believe in humanism, socialism, evolution and the basic goodness of man rather than the worldview and truths that the scriptures teach. Few people in the liberal denominations know the essentials of their own faith. Many believe that all religions lead to God.
(Within the Protestants there are about five hundred million Evangelical and Pentecostal Protestants that have for the most part kept the true faith. The things listed in the paragraph below should not apply to them. I write about their own unique problems in a later paragraph.)

Problems:

  • Most believe that people are saved into the church through infant baptism, contrary to scripture
  • Some believe that people are saved by the ritual of baptism
  • Many have retained much of the heretical doctrines of the Catholics
  • Most lord the clergy over the laity
  • Some do away with the inspiration and infallibility of scripture
  • Some put men under the authority of women contrary to scriptures
  • Some condone abortion, all condone birth control
  • Many have no salvation message and preach only a social gospel
  • Too many churches put a picture of a Norwegian on their wall and call him Jesus
  • Many think they are Christians because that is their tradition and culture
  • Some think that Christianity is just one of many ways to God
  • Some churches teach humanism instead of the teachings of Christ
  • Some teach a message of materialism
  • Some do not believe that Jesus was God
  • Some think that Christ is a consciousness and Jesus will not return physically (unity)
  • Some teach that man is a perfect spirit and all we see is an illusion (Christian Science)
  • Some Christian identity cults make Jesus a lesser God – Mormons and Jehovah witnesses
  • Most are amillennial and do not teach the imminent return of Christ
  • Some teach doctrines of satanic psychology as truth
  • Some are state supported churches that are spiritually dead
  • Most churches have no discipline or accountability for their membership
  • Some teach that the Church has replaced Israel and allegorize or spiritualize prophetic scripture
  • Some let flagrant sinners lead the flock

Commendations: + Some are community orientated + Some have Christian education + Many still believe in the infallibility of scripture + Most still confess most of the essential doctrines of the faith + Some support missionaries + Some have good youth and social programs I believe the message from Jesus to these churches is:

Rev 3:1 ¶ And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars: I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and thou art dead. 2 Be thou watchful, and establish the things that remain, which were ready to die: for I have {1} found no works of thine perfected before my God. {1) Many ancient authorities read not found thy works} 3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and didst hear; and keep it, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. 4 But thou hast a few names in Sardis that did not defile their garments: and they shall walk with me in white; for they are worthy. 5 He that overcometh shall thus be arrayed in white garments; and I will in no wise blot his name out of the book of life, and I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. 6 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches.

Rev 3:14¶ And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God: 15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16 So because thou art lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spew thee out of my mouth. 17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and have gotten riches, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art the wretched one and miserable and poor and blind and naked: 18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold refined by fire, that thou mayest become rich; and white garments, that thou mayest clothe thyself, and that the shame of thy nakedness be not made manifest; and eyesalve to anoint thine eyes, that thou mayest see. 19 As many as I love, I reprove and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. 21 He that overcometh, I will give to him to sit down with me in my throne, as I also overcame, and sat down with my Father in his throne. 22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches.

The non Pentecostal Evangelicals

Many of the non Pentecostal Evangelicals have had a true born again experience and those that really believe are part of the one true Church. Some of the following problems may not qualify as true apostasy from the faith but they deviate from the truths of true biblical Christianity because they add doctrines of men or legalism.

Problems:

  • Many Evangelicals place too much emphasis on self reliance instead of relying on the Holy Spirit
  • Success seminars are taught on some church properties as if they were biblical doctrine
  • Many have introduced psychotherapy and its underlying psychologies in their counseling programs and replaced Godly counsel with satanic theories
  • Some who call themselves evangelicals still embrace the mainline theology that the Church fulfills the promises that were given to natural Israel without condition. They say there is no future Kingdom on earth from Jerusalem contrary to many scripture passages that say there is a restoration on earth for natural Israel.
  • Some have little or no church discipline
  • Some have occult-like inner healing and birthing seminars
  • Some compromise essentials of the Christian faith for unity among denominations
  • Many pastors job-shop for materialistic or prestigious positions or run away from problems and divorce the flock they were called to serve
  • Many flocks divorce the elder of their church over petty squabbles
  • The secondary leadership in the church too often is picked because of their position in the community or the size of their bank account
  • Some worship the idol of money and care more about their building programs than evangelism of the lost
  • Many churches put a picture of a Norwegian on the wall and call him Jesus
  • Most large churches have a country club mentality. They have wonderful fellowship and they have many programs for those in the club but they do little about improving the community they live in either spiritually or physically
  • Most have now replaced real Bible study with study of quarterly magazines about Bible passages and applications for living
  • Many preach that all who drink any alcoholic beverages are sinning. Some even will not allow into their membership or will remove from their membership those who profess to use alcohol. They ignore or spin many scriptures about the use of wine. Some just need to stop repeating doctrines that they swallowed from legalistic teachers and study the context of all the passages themselves. Alcohol abuse is a sin but the Church needs to be truthful and credible and should not unduly put its members on guilt trips. They should not label people as sinners who in faith are generally practicing something that in moderation actually could be a benefit to their health
  • Some have created lists of actions of the flesh that they say are sinful such as drinking, smoking, dancing, watching movies or TV, or even listening to certain Christian music. Some do not even allow musical instruments in church but these same churches ignore actions of the flesh like gluttony, gossip, and judging everyone as sinners who have the greater faith to believe that God does not abide by their list of man made forbidden activities
  • Many, to be all inclusive and to reach non-believers, have made their worship service on Sunday to be a time to entertainment rather than a time to feed the flock and worship God
  • Some apply the tithe system of government for Israel to the Church. They teach that Christians are required to tithe to their church as if this is New Testament truth. It is not! There is not a word about tithing in New Testament instruction to the Church but there is teaching about cheerful free will giving. If pastors still insist on teaching people to tithe as Israel did, they also should know that Israel had three tithes and following that example will require your members to give about 23 percent of their increase not 10 percent. (Good luck!)
  • Many do not fully understand that the Christians are the temple of God. Their building is a building, it is not a holy sanctuary. The people who make up the Church are the holy sanctuary. There is no special grace for those who come to the front of the building to pray. God’s sanctuary is in His people and He is not any more present in the front of any building or near the preacher. Where is the popular altar call even found in the Bible?
  • Many have now bought into the seeker-friendy church growth movement. They knowingly or unknowingly use paraphrases of the Bible that sometimes twists scripture. They do not teach a salvation message on Sunday. The leadership in general sees the Church ruling on earth before the return of Christ and they tell their people that studying future Bible prophecy is a distraction
  • Many are embracing the Emergent or Emerging Church movement. This movement is redefining the Bible and leading many into mysticism.
  • Some have a few of the same problems as the Pentecostals listed in the next section.

Commendations:
+ Strong Christian education + Some discipleship + Some evangelism + A good grasp on the doctrine of salvation + Most keep the essential doctrines of the faith + Strong missionary support + Belief in the infallibility of God’s word + Mostly Bible centered services + Some community orientation/home fellowship groups + Charity

The Pentecostals

Pentecostals are usually included in the numbers of the Evangelicals but on some doctrines of faith and practice their are huge differences so I will include them separately here. Most of the Pentecostals and Charismatics have confessed Jesus as Lord and are born of the Spirit. Pentecostals seem to live out their faith in the flesh the most, but too often there is a lack of discipline and accountability in their churches. It has given rise to quite a bit of deviant Christianity. Some of their beliefs and practices have separated them from other true Christians. Some of it is heretical or cultic such as the Oneness and Holiness doctrines, Some of it is occult and parallels new age teaching. One problem with Pentecostals seems to be a lack of biblical knowledge and proper exegesis of certain scriptures that the Pentecostals like to empathize. However, the main problem is that nobody in these churches will dare challenge any Pentecostal leader that is over them. They can be very much under bondage to their leaders. They will blindly follow self-anointed teachers claiming direct messages from God and they will follow their every new whim of doctrine as if it came from God. They are also taught to believe in direct revelation from God outside of the scriptures. Thus, so called subjective spiritual experiences leave them wide open to all sorts of deceptions.
A few decades ago most of the Pentecostals/Charismatics split into four camps. One camp stayed with true biblical Christianity (i.e., the Calvary Chapels), another camp went on to experience-based belief and have gone off into a ever descending spiral of more and more error and even doctrine of demons (i.e. the Vineyard Movement). The third camp call themselves “Word Churches” they have “embraced name it and claim it” theology among other New Age concepts. The forth camp is those who have bought into Kingdom now/Reconstruction/Dominion theology that does away with premillennial beliefs about Christ’s return and replaces it with Dominion Theology where the church rules on earth before Christ returns (i.e., The New Apostolic Reformation), In some of these churches the camps overlap and it gets really hard to sort it all out.

Problems:

  • Most confuse being filled with the Spirit for service, with Spirit baptism and teach people that they get the Holy Spirit in a separate experience after conversion, as if you can separate Jesus and the Holy Spirit (there is one God)
  • Many have back rooms where by emotional effort, peer pressure, and trying to speak in tongues they try to get you the Holy Ghost
  • Many say the only initial evidence of being born of the spirit is speaking in tongues and say other Christians that haven’t had this experience are not born of the Spirit. By this doctrine they divide the body of Christ and by saying that non Pentecostal Evangelical Christians do not have the Holy Spirit they insult the Holy Spirit that is obviously working through all born again believers
  • Many appoint new converts and the unproved to positions of leadership contrary to scripture and many of these cause great ruin to the Church
  • In many churches there is little accountability and the leadership often goes astray
  • Many are ritualistic. Even though most of the members came out of ritualistic churches like Catholicism and Liberal Protestantism they have incorporated new rituals back into the Church. Some of these new rituals are praying and singing in tongues during the service, anointing everything with oil to get rid of evil spirits, raising of hands as the only correct position of worship, slaying in the spirit, casting out demons, healing lines, etc
  • Many have rejected the priesthood of Catholicism but then embraced a new special priesthood who claim to be God’s anointed
  • Some claim to be prophets and make prophetic statements but their prophecies do not come true, yet they are still embraced as prophets by the leadership and most members, contrary to the explicit definition of a true prophet in scripture.
  • Too many in this movement go to the traveling circus clowns like Benny Hinn to find phony healing instead of asking for the spiritual elders of the Church to pray for them so God will do His will in their lives for His glory
  • Some think you can become a prophet by self appointment and self will. They also think you can learn how to be a prophet by going to a prophetic school
  • Too many of the leaders are con artists and buffoons who fleece the sheep and open the body of Christ to unnecessary ridicule
  • Too many of the leaders are hypnotists or loud mouth bully control freaks that coerce the church into altered states of reality and emotionalism
  • Too many confessed conversions are by coercion, peer pressure, and emotionalism. Many are pressured to do what the leaders ask and soon fall away because their coerced conversion was not genuine
  • Too many of the leaders twist the meanings of scripture to support a pet or even deviant doctrine
  • Some teach that emotional experience is just as reliable as scripture
  • Some teach name it and claim it and positive confession — “if you believe it you will receive it”
  • Some teach that we are now gods and we have God-like power in our words. They assert that we can speak things into existence
  • Some teach spiritual laws and that God is subject to them and thus make God someone to be manipulated by following some set formula designed by men
  • Some teach that faith is believing in belief. They teach you will receive what you believe (faith in faith)
  • Some claim healing that never happened, hoping that this confession will really bring it about. Others proclaim hearsay about healing from others as gospel truth
  • Some deny the triune nature of God taught throughout scripture
  • Some teach that the King James translation is the only inerrant version (errors and all). They teach that the King James Bible is the only correct translation and that other honest translations of scripture are Satanic
  • Some add to “salvation by faith” the false doctrine of “being saved by works of obedience”
  • Some say the ritual of water baptism by immersion with a preacher saying the words “I baptize you into the name of Jesus Christ” is required for salvation and say all those baptized by sprinkling or baptized into the name of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are not saved
  • Some believe that doctrines taught by their denomination are essential for salvation and thus rule out all other Christians as even being Christian
  • Some take an obscure scripture and make it a doctrine (like handling snakes)
  • Some claim to cast demons out of true Christians
  • Some allow women to be pastors and to rule over men contrary to scripture
  • Some make railing accusations against Satan for sins of the flesh and don’t take personal responsibility for sin in their life
  • Some now follow teaching that every disaster in the US is linked to Israel. As if God allows tit-for-tat disasters to come on the US for every dealing with unbelieving Israel. Even in the ancient history of Israel when God brought judgment on the enemies of Israel it was first spoken of by the prophets and the judgments came in God’s own timing. If one follows this thinking to its logical conclusion, all the disasters in the world are related to Israel and current events and not to a fallen world. Otherwise, why single out the US who really is Israel’s best friend? These teachers search long and hard after every disaster and can always find some obscure link to a dealing the US had with the state of Israel. They are especially busy in the fall when it is hurricane season. This teaching is not credible and it opens Christian Zionism up to much ridicule
  • Some Pentecostals still follow the teachings of those who claim that there are hidden equal distance codes in the Bible even after this theory has been disproved. Some of these are even using their perceived hidden codes as a crystal ball to predict the future
  • Some embrace Kingdom now/Reconstruction/Dominion theology, which does away with the restoration of natural Israel and the literal reading of unfulfilled prophetic scripture and replaces it with a strange doctrine that is not taught in the Bible. They say the Church will rule on earth before Jesus can return.
  • Some are continually claiming new biblical revelation or prophecy. The book stores are full of Pentecostal conjectures that never come true.
  • Most Pentecostals also have many of the same man-made and legalistic problems listed under the non Pentecostal Evangelicals

Commendations:
+ Enthusiastic worship + Strong desire to live out the Christian life + Strong Evangelism + Many still expect the literal fulfillment of prophetic scriptures + Missionary support + Some Christian education + Some discipleship + All believe that original scripture is without error + Most keep the essential doctrines of the faith+ + Some home fellowships + Charity

Having said the good the bad and the ugly there are many fruitful Christians in the Evangelical and Pentecostal Churches. Here is what I believe is the Lord’s message to these people:

Rev 3:7 ¶ And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth and none shall shut, and that shutteth and none openeth: 8 I know thy works (behold, I have {1} set before thee a door opened, which none can shut), that thou hast a little power, and didst keep my word, and didst not deny my name. {1) Gr given} 9 Behold, I give of the synagogue of Satan, of them that say they are Jews, and they are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and {1} worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee. {1) The Greek word denotes an act of reverence, whether paid to a creature, or to the Creator.} 10 Because thou didst keep the word of my {1} patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of {2} trial, that hour which is to come upon the whole {3} world, to {4} try them that dwell upon the earth. {1) Or stedfastness 2) Or temptation 3) Gr inhabited earth 4) Or tempt} 11 I come quickly: hold fast that which thou hast, that no one take thy crown. 12 He that overcometh, I will make him a pillar in the {1} temple of my God, and he shall go out thence no more: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God, and mine own new name. {1) Or sanctuary} 13 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches.

12 He that overcometh, I will make him a pillar in the {1} temple of my God, and he shall go out thence no more: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God, and mine own new name. {1) Or sanctuary} 13 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches.

Conclusion on apostasy in the Church

The scripture says that there will be a great falling away from the true faith in the last days. It says men will not endure sound doctrine but will have itching ears and will heap to themselves teachers that will fulfill their own lusts. We are in those days where many in the church are following doctrines of men rather than the Bible. There are about two billion people who identify with Christianity on the earth today but how many are truly the bride of Christ? Jesus asked, when He returns will He find faith on the earth? The answer for most of the world is no. For those who identify with Christianity it is yes and no. Many calling themselves Christians today have only empty religion and not real faith in the Savior.

My best guess is a tithe (ten percent) of those who identify with Christianity are actually born of the Spirit and will go at the time of the rapture (It could be more — only God knows). If my guess is correct the ninety percent of psudeo Christians that stay will hardly miss them. Those that stay will remain in the apostate harlot church (Rev 17) and experience the great tribulation where they will have a choice to follow Jesus and lose their lives or follow Satan and lose their soul.

Selected References:

Back to apostasy in the church and cult index

The Prophetic Years | Bible prophecy + Don Koenig’s worldviews

 

WordofGod#119

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