“There will be Enmity” Part 8

The Counterfeit Apostate Church verse the True Church

Introduction

In 2 Thessalonians 2:3, the apostle Paul warns that the Antichrist will not rise to prominence until there is an apostate Church which will support his authority and leadership. In this study the continued contamination of the Church with man’s wisdom from the time of Constantine is explained, and how prominent Church leaders such as Augustine and Thomas Aquinas allowed the philosophies of men to dictate the interpretation of Scripture. This error has continued right through to the present time where theologians who professed to be wise became fools (Romans 1:22). Influenced by the philosophies of the era they continued to interpret Scripture through the lenses of man’s wisdom, which has resulted in the ongoing corruption of the Church. The final result is a “Bride of Christ” that Jesus wants nothing to do with, and who is ready to start dating the Antichrist!

The Mystery of Iniquity

In Scripture, Jesus is the mystery of Godliness, which is when God became man. Satan’s counter to Jesus is the “mystery of iniquity” that Paul writes about in 2 Thessalonians 2:7. There is the great spiritual battle that has been taking place and Satan will continue to persevere in his attempts at overthrowing God’s true Church, so as to set up his own counterfeit apostate church and establish his rule through the Antichrist:

“Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion (apostasy) comes first, and the man of lawlessness (the Antichrist) is revealed, the son of destruction” (2 Thess. 2:3)

The aim of the counterfeit church will be to direct man away from God on a path to eternal damnation. The fulfilment of the mystery of iniquity occurs when Satan embodies a man – the Antichrist – and is worshipped by mankind. Judas is described as “the son of perdition” (John 17:12 [KJV]), he is a son of the author of perdition, Satan. Judas is the mystery of iniquity among the disciples of Jesus; Jesus also refers to him as a devil (definite article in John 6:70). Judas is the shadow of the reality which is the Antichrist, who is also the son of perdition and the true mystery of iniquity; he will have a disguise of righteousness but will obey the father of lies – Satan.

Paul speaks of the mystery of iniquity at work during his time of ministry. Over time, Satan will continually use sinful people for his own ends, but the Antichrist will be the one who is able to display the full force of Satan’s power. He will be the “seed of the serpent” at enmity with Jesus, “the Seed of the Woman” Genesis 3:15. Paul explains that the force hindering Satan – which is the Holy Spirit’s power manifest through the Church – will be taken out of the way when the rapture occurs (2 Thessalonians 2:7). After the Rapture takes place the Church will be in heaven, so the power of prayer of the Church is removed with the Church. The Holy Spirit will no longer hinder Satan because the Church is no longer praying against Satan’s schemes. The Antichrist, midway through the Tribulation, will relinquish his title as Pope and renounce the Roman Catholic Church (Revelation 17:16), declaring himself to be god he will require all to worship him alone – the “mystery of iniquity” will be a mystery no more.

The Seed of Satan in the Modern Church

In the book of Revelation, the seventh and last letter written to the church of Laodicea is a prophetic pointer to the state of the modern church. Laodicea means, “People’s Opinions” and the letter not only describes the contamination of man’s wisdom in the church of Laodicea, but also points to present Church that is dominated by man’s philosophies which have contaminated God’s Word. The modern Church period is marked by the arrogance of man, where he has equated his wisdom as being greater than the wisdom of God.

The formation of the liberal church announced the beginning of a flood of man’s philosophies that flow into the Church, so contaminating God’s Word that it is no longer palatable. The seeds for this error were laid before the letter to the Laodicean church was even written. Western civilisation and its ideologies have been influenced by Greek philosophy and its thinking since its inception back in the 4th and 5th centuries BC. Greece not only gave the modern Western civilisation its understanding of philosophy, cosmogony and theology, but it also imparted great influences in the areas such as politics and governance, social mores, mathematics, science, medicine, architecture and physical activity. The result is that the western mind is attuned to think and reason with a Greek mindset. The philosophies and thinking of the West have grown up out of the foundations laid by the Greek culture and philosophy.

Augustine (354-430)

Augustine (354-430)

Augustine moved to Rome in AD 383 at the age of 29 to debate philosophy. Within three years of his move to Rome, Augustine converted to Roman Catholicism and was quick to rise up the ranks of the Roman Church to become one of its great theologians. As Augustine was a Neo-Platonist he was strongly influenced by Origen and his use of Greek philosophy in the interpretation of scripture, including his allegorical methods of interpretation. Because of his belief in Platonic dualism, Augustine, like the Alexandrian Church father Origen, could not tolerate the idea of a Millennial Kingdom where believers had earthly pleasures. These ideas led Augustine to establishing Amillennialism as one of the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church. Amillennialism therefore has its origins in the Roman Church, and Augustine was to become known as the “Father of Amillennialism.” Amillennialism is a rejection of the concept that Jesus as the Son of David will rule on the throne of David during the Millennium Kingdom, a doctrine which was influenced not only by Augustine adherence to Platonic dualism, but also his Anti-Semitism.

What is important to remember is that the early Church support of Pre-millennialism was eventually squashed by Augustine’s Amillennialism, through the dominance of the Roman Church at the time and its claim to be the New Israel (Replacement Theology). The mediaeval Roman Catholic Church built its system of eschatology on Augustinian Amillennialism, where Christ rules the earth spiritually through his triumphant church. This belief by the Roman Church was the motivation forces behind the Popes instigating the crusades, with the goal of capturing the Holy City of Jerusalem.

To attempt to use scripture to correct Augustine’s doctrine of Amillennialism would have proved fruitless, as Augustine believed the final authority in Christianity was the Church of Rome, not the Bible, so, for him the claim that the Roman Church was the New Israel, could not be countered by scripture. 

Augustine’s anti-Semitism is made abundantly clear in his writings, he compared the Jewish people to Cain who murdered his brother and became the first criminal in biblical history. Augustine also wrote, that the Jews, were ‘a wicked sect’ and should be banished because of their evil. Augustine’s Amillennialism, which goes hand in hand with Replacement Theology, rejects the idea of the Son of David ruling from Jerusalem, over the restored nation of Israel during the Millennium. Unfortunately, the curse of Anti-Semitism continued in the Reformation Churches, with both Luther and Calvin being admirers of Augustine.

Being influenced by Greek philosophy, and the allegorical interpretation of scripture, which looks for a deeper, spiritual meaning within the text, Augustine became responsible for the contamination of the Church with man’s wisdom, which now pervades the Roman Catholic Church, examples are:

He taught there is no salvation outside of the Roman Catholic Church, along with its traditions and sacraments, a pagan technique, used by pagan priest to bind people to the pagan god’s and their temples.

  • He encouraged the use of relics, a deeply pagan superstition which is connected to purgatory. Roman Catholics believe that because saints lived holy lives they went straight to heaven, bypassing purgatory. Their bones therefore still hold “grace,” that will be available to the penitent to have a shorter sojourn in purgatory.
  • He encouraged the belief in purgatory, which Pope Gregory I eventually initiated into the Roman Catholic Church in AD 593. This is a hideous doctrine which is still being used by the Roman Church to extort and manipulate their followers. The belief that souls must pass through stages of cleansing before being able to attain heaven, is a belief that is common in various forms of paganism. The Bible, however, has no mention of a need for such cleansing, as this is done by the blood of Jesus after a person accepts Jesus as their Lord (Romans 8:1; 1 John 1:7-9; 2:1-3).
  • Augustine was influenced by Plato, believing the Greek idea that while the soul is pure, the flesh is evil, thus the very physical act of intercourse was seen by Augustine as a necessary evil. Because of this Platonic influence, Augustine interpreted the act of sex as sinful, causing him to support the concept of celibate clergy. The consequences of this are clearly evident in the multitude of sexual scandals faced by the Roman Catholic Church. Augustine’s idea of sex in marriage was that it was only for procreation so the Church could have celibate priests. The false idea that he conveyed by this message was that the sin of Adam and Eve was sex. To this day Roman Catholicism has a had to deal with a multitude of problems raised by this doctrine, especially with the large number of paedophile priests in their church.
  • Because he believed sex is sinful, Augustine could not picture a Millennial Kingdom rule by Jesus, with people continuing to procreate, so, he developed the doctrine of Amillennialism, which denies the Kingdom rule of Jesus in Israel. This End Times theory is supported by the anti-Semitic doctrine of Replacement Theology, where the Church replaces Israel in the promises of God.
  • Plato called the pure spiritual realm, “the Realm of Forms” which was the realm of ideals (perfection), and held that the physical sinful realm is only a shadow, or image, of the true reality of the perfect “Realm of Forms”. So, when mankind views the world, our reality is a shadow of the true form of the spirit realm. Plato then postulated that only the philosophers are able to see and accurately interpret that spirit realm reality. Augustine, being heavily influenced by Platonic philosophy, took this understanding of reality by Plato, and inserted it into an understanding of Scripture, he developed the belief that only the spiritual priests had the knowledge to accurately interpret the Word of God. Eventually, the sinful laity (general population) was banned from reading scripture.
  • Augustine believed in the union of Church and state, and the declaration of the Pope was to be obeyed by all.
  • He believed the final authority in Christianity was the Church of Rome and the Pope, not the Bible.
  • Augustine wrote “The City of God,” and in the book, his theology places the emphasis on the Church as the Kingdom of God – the End Time theory of Amillennialism. He declared that Christ was already reigning with His saints and that the resurrection was of dead souls to spiritual life (allegory). This theology results in the interpretation of the entire world as “The City of God” (the kingdom of the world). The Church was encouraged to assume rulership of the nations, and instead of carrying the Gospel to the world, church leaders began to seek prestige and power by political intrigue – The Dark Ages were the result.

With Constantine opening the doors of the Church for paganism to enter, and Augustine contaminating the interpretation of Scripture with Greek philosophy (syncretism), what had been Christianity was transformed into Christendom.

Thomas Aquinas (1225 – 1274)

Thomas Aquinas was a Dominican monk who, alongside Augustine, was responsible for much of the theology of the Roman Catholic Church. One of Aquinas’s beliefs was that the fall of man did not affect man as a whole, but only in part. In his view, the will was fallen or corrupted, but the intellect was not affected. This teaching allowed people to rely on their own human wisdom for guidance, which led to people mixing the teachings of non-Christian philosophers with the teachings of the Bible – syncretism. As a result of this emphasis, a search for wisdom was gradually separated from the revelations of the Word of God, and man began to act increasingly on his own interpretations of scripture, manipulating it to suit his will. Thanks to Aquinas, humanist elements had entered into the interpretation of Scripture through the cracks formed by his philosophy. With the teachings of the Church taking precedence, the Bible was no longer the supreme authority.

After the teachings of Thomas Aquinas, there arose an increasing synthesis between Biblical and pagan thought. Thus, synthesis was not the borrowing of words but actually of content. An example would be the art commissioned by Pope Julius II, a man who the Roman Catholics at that time believe was the Head of their Church, the representative of Jesus on earth:

The Sistine Chapel

Michelangelo was commissioned by Pope Julius II to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, the site of the principal papal ceremonies, during the flourishing period of High Renaissance (1475-1527). High Renaissance art followed and reflected the period of “rebirth” in which philosophy, literature, art and sciences drew on ancient knowledge (synthesis) from Classical Antiquity, principally the ancient Greeks. Platonic dualism states that physical body and soul are separate entities, the soul was pure but the body sinful. The Greeks believed that the body should therefore be disciplined through exercise, the perfect body was an athletic body, and a perfect body was evidence of a beautiful mind. On the ceiling of the Sistine chapel Michelangelo depicted incidents and characters from the Old Testament, and he also painted 20 seated, athletic, muscular, nude males – a synthesis of Scripture with Greek philosophy. Many of the characters from the Old Testament painted by Michelangelo are also depicted as muscular nude men. This clearly shows the influence of Platonic dualism on Renaissance thinking. Michelangelo also sculptured a 17-foot-tall nude David, which once again reveals the synthesising of Greek ideology of the perfect male form with the Biblical characters – in this case, David.

Michelangelo’s David

The Stanza della Segnatura

The four branches of knowledge during the Renaissance were theology, literature, justice, and philosophy. Pope Julius II, had Raphael paint frescoes representing each branch of knowledge, one on each of the four walls of his library (Stanza della Segnatura). Pope Julius was making a clear statement by having the four branches of the Renaissance painted on the walls of his library, they reflected his intellect, he was a Renaissance man. The famous painting The School of Athens – representing the study of philosophy – being one of four wall frescoes; it clearly revealed the influence Greek Philosophy (man’s wisdom) had on the leaders of the Roman Catholic Church.

In the fresco, Plato and Aristotle were painted in the centre of the School of Athens, showing the powerful influence these two men had on the philosophy of the time. In the painting Raphael depicts a large statue of Apollo behind Plato on his right, while behind Aristotle on his left is an equally large statue of Minerva. Apollo being the Greek god of light, healing, music, and truth, and Minerva, the goddess of wisdom and justice. Raphael by using the two gods associated with light, truth, wisdom and justice, and placing them behind the two philosophers, is clearly showing the influence the gods of Olympus had on the formation of Plato’s and Aristotle’s philosophies. Raphael unknowingly, but clearly, depicts the step-by-step process of the corruption of the Roman Church. Both Apollo and Minerva are linked to Babylon religion, and the lies of Satan formulated at the Tower of Babel. The belief in the Greek pantheon of Olympus formulated the theories of the two philosophers, who then are seen as the intellectual standard for men of the Renaissance. The Pope having the School of Athens fresco on the wall of his library, is proudly displaying to all the philosophies that guided and influenced his thinking, ultimately resulting in the contamination of God’s word within the Roman Church. Raphael’s fresco reveals that the Babylon religion was and still is, alive and well in the Roman Church.

The School of Athens with a large statue of Apollo behind Plato and Minerva behind Aristotle

The Reformation (1517)

The main points of the Reformation were:

  1. The rediscovery of Jesus as the only way to salvation, which resulted in a rejection of the Roman Catholic Church traditions and doctrine of works.
  2. A call to purify the Church and a belief that the Bible, not tradition, should be the sole source of spiritual authority.

The Word of God became available to all, and the all-sufficiency of Jesus was plain to see. The cry of the Reformers was “sola scriptura” (the Bible and the Bible alone). The Reformation exposed the corruption and errors of the Roman Catholic Church.

God was using His Word to peel back the layers of man’s wisdom that had been laid over the Church, and light was beginning to shine through. The Reformation had broken from the dead works of the Roman Catholic Church, but unfortunately had not gone far enough; there was still ritual and ceremony in the Reformation Church that was cold and distant. The Reformers failed to meet the requirement they themselves had set, which was “sola scriptura,” and there was still a distinct foul presence of Anti-Semitism. It is important to note that because of these failures, it is the Reformation Churches that make up the backbone of the modern Ecumenical Church, which are in the process of being drawn back into union with the Roman Catholic Church.

Theological Liberalism, the Seed of Satan in the Modern Church

Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), during the age of Enlightenment, revolutionised human thinking, stating that: “Reason can comprehend anything within the phenomenal realm, or the realm of space and time. Beyond space and time reason is useless. Our knowledge is constrained to mathematics and the science of the natural, empirical world.”

Kant’s philosophy held that only that which can be directly, or indirectly observed, or experienced through empirical testing can be seen to be true. The error in Kant’s idea is that God surpasses space and time, so He cannot be held down and exposed to man’s scientific observations. The influence of the “Age of Reason” and Kant philosophy meant that, Christianity then was what we feel, not what we think, and therefore becomes no more than a system of ethics.

Immanuel Kant (1724-1804)

Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768-1834), a German philosopher, classical scholar and theologian, built on Kant’s philosophy, stating that the core of Christian faith is not any historical event such as the resurrection of Jesus, it is instead, “a feeling of one’s absolute dependence on a reality beyond oneself; such awareness could lead a person to imitate Jesus’ good deeds.”

Schleiermacher became “the father of theological liberalism,” and his new focus also encouraged a process that became known as “higher criticism” – looking at the various sources the Bible authors might have used. In the process, many higher critics began to question the Bible’s accuracy, after all, if faith was – as Schleiermacher and Kant implied – a matter for people’s emotions and ethics, couldn’t the Bible be merely a record of ancient people’s feelings about God. The essence of Christianity in liberal theology has become the brotherhood of man, rather than salvation through Jesus.

Friedrich-schleiermacher-1768-1834

Helmut Richard Niebuhr, an American theologian, described 19th century liberal theology as “a god without wrath brought men without sin into a kingdom without judgement through a Christ without a cross.” The lines between definite belief and unbelief had eroded. For liberalism, what mattered most was helping society progress in knowledge and ethics – i.e., European culture.

The first Ecumenical assembly was held in Amsterdam in 1948, where the motto “One World, One Church” was adopted. The ecumenical movement is aimed at establish a one world unified church, ecumenical being derived from the Greek “oikoumene” which means “the whole inhabited world.” There are two major ecumenical organisations, the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the National Council of Churches (NCC). Both have the aim of bringing together all Christian denominations, with the ultimate aim of uniting all world religions.

Ecumenicalism

Below is a list of the modern ecumenical apostate church’s compromises with the world:

  • Homosexuality
  • Adultery
  • Fornication (sex before marriage)
  • Abortion
  • Same sex marriage
  • Pornography
  • Prostitution – an acceptable career for woman
  • Arbitrary divorce
  • Evolution
  • Syncretism – man’s wisdom contaminating the word of God
  • Pluralism – all religions worship the same God, just in different ways.
  • Humanism – self-actualisation – finding the god within.

The Ecumenical Movement will persecute the Evangelical Church

The rebellion against God by the Ecumenical Church, is going to see the true Church of God being thrust centre stage in direct conflict with the Ecumenical Church. The Ecumenical Church, in its movement towards becoming a part of the Whore of Revelation (the Roman Catholic Church), will see the true Church of God as an obstacle to its ultimate goal of a one-world religion. The Ecumenical Church will seek common ground with other religions, in areas such as Love of God, compassion for other human beings and the betterment of mankind, and in doing so will tolerate the vast differences in religious beliefs. However, what the Ecumenical Church will not tolerate is intolerance, which is where the conflict with the true Church of God will be centred. Unable to influence the true Church to follow its ideology of permissive unity, the Ecumenical Church will turn on these churches that are faithful to the Word of God, and try to destroy them. Unfortunately, many evangelical churches are blind to this reality, and being unprepared will be easy targets for the steamrolling oppression of the Ecumenical Church movement.

A key phrase that will be used by the Ecumenical Church to ostracize and isolate the true Church, will be “fundamentalist,” which will group born again believers with extremist religious groups. Those evangelical churches who have continually avoided taking a stand against ecumenicalism, and who have refused to teach Pre-millennialism, which warns of the apostate churches’ role in End Times, will be more likely to cave to the pressure of ecumenicalism, and ultimately be held accountable for this decision by God.

Karl Rahner (1904 – 1984) and Vatican II

Karl Rahner, a Jesuit priest, is considered the most important Catholic theologian of the 20th century, mainly due to his ability to put theology and philosophy into dialogue. This “theologian” has been extremely dangerous to modern theology as he turned God’s Truth into philosophy:

Karl Rahner “originated a new religious category ‘anonymous Christianity,’ saying it embraced Buddhists, various other non-Christians and even atheists who are contentious, upright and caring. ’Some kind of faith in God is basically there, whether they know it or not,’ said Rahner. ‘They are a part of Christianity that does not call itself Christianity… pagans who received grace, but who are not aware of it’” (1).

Karl Rahner (Jesuit priest)

Rahner’s motto was effectively, “Our Lord must conform to the world, not it to Him.” Rahner’s influence was enormous. He satisfied the modern world and modern churchgoers whose ears were itching for doctrinal compromise under the pretence of enlightenment.

The ideology that rose during the enlighten of the 16th century, that the specific beliefs of each denomination did not hinder unity, was made into doctrine by Rahner’s philosophy. Separate Christianity need only agree on “essential,” or “necessary,” or “fundamental doctrine.” Unity amongst denominations requires agreement in doctrine, but not every doctrine continues to be assumed in the ecumenical movement.

Pope John XXIII appointed Rahner a peritus (expert adviser) to the Second Vatican Council, where he had a major influence. He was subsequently chosen as one of seven theologians who would develop Lumen gentium (Light of the Nations), the dogmatic explication of the doctrine of the Church. This light is Jesus Christ, and His life has universal meaning; it is for everyone.

The receptiveness of Vatican II towards other religious traditions is therefore linked to Rahner’s notions of the renovation of the church.

The Roman Catholic Church seized the opportunity brought about by the desire of Protestant churches to have unity, which started with the founding of the WCC in 1948, to bring the Protestants back under the authority of the Pope. At the Second Vatican Council (1962-64) a Decree on Ecumenism was issued by Pope Paul VI, which revealed the goal of the Roman Catholic Church to restore Protestants back into the fold of the “mother church.” The proclamation determined that Protestants were no longer “heretics,” but were in future to be referred to as “separated brethren.” As the Roman Catholic Church sees itself as the true church, their ecumenical activity has the goal of bringing all religions, not just Protestants, under the authority of the Pope.

What is important to understand is that Karl Rahner is a Jesuit priest, and as such, his goal is the destruction of Protestantism, and to return all “separated brethren” back under the authority of the Pope by any means: “The Jesuits by their very calling, by the very essence of their institution, are bound to seek, by every means, right or wrong, the destruction of Protestantism. This is the condition of their existence, the duty they must fulfil, or cease to be Jesuits (2)”.

The spirit of the Antichrist is the driving force behind Karl Rahner’s doctrine – the seed of the serpent at work.

(1) God’s Twentieth Century Giants, George Cornewell (associated press, Dec 22, 1988).

(2) History of the Jesuits: their origin, progress, doctrine and designs. G. B. Nicoloni (Bohn’s illustrated library, 1854)

The Social Gospel is a tool of Roman Catholicism

Rick Warren is one of the most read and quoted theologians in today’s evangelical churches, yet what is the root of his theology?

  • Rick Warren on ecumenicalism: “I really do believe these people are brothers and sisters in God’s family. I am looking to build bridges with the Orthodox Church, looking to build bridges with the Catholic Church, with the Anglican Church, and say ‘what can we do together that we have been unable to do ourselves?’” (3).
  • Rick Warren on interfaith: “The Church is bigger than any organisation in the world. Then you add Muslims, you add in Hindus, you add in all the different religions, and you use the houses of worship as distribution centres, not just for spiritual care but health care.” Rick Warren believes in a social gospel, where the alleviation of poverty, even if done by a Buddhist, will hasten the return of Jesus. This belief is centred in the socialist Roman Catholic doctrine of rerum novorum, where the Pope, having temporal power, is in control over the whole earth, and should therefore oversee the distribution of wealth. Rick Warrens goal is unity of mankind, not salvation of mankind.

In his book The Jesuits, Malachi Martin records the ideology of a Jesuit priest named Teilhard de Chardin’s, writing: “Once complete unity has been achieved, Christ who will be the omega point – will appear; man will then be more than man, will be what Teilhard called ultra-human, the cosmos will be transformed, and the glory of it all will be established” (4). Teilhard, a Jesuit, believes that an individual cannot become one with Jesus through self-surrender. Rather the individual cannot perfect himself except through the organic unification of all men in God. Thus, all human minds must be joined in what he calls a “super organism.” The Roman Catholic Church is preparing the way for the Antichrist and a one-world religion!

(3) http:// www. Post.Gazzette.com/pgv5316/605324.stm (10/11/2020).

(4) Malachi Martin, The Jesuits, Simon and Schuster paperbacks, 1987. p288.

Paul’s Warnings of an Apostate Church in the Last Days

The repeated warnings by Paul of the apostasy of the Last Days, point to more than a mere “falling away” from The Faith as the King James translation would suggest. The image which the words “falling away” conjures up, is of people doing secular activities on a Sunday, rather than attending church. The context of the Scripture in 2 Thessalonians 2:3: “Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion (apostasy) comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,” is connected to the rise of the Antichrist to power, emphasizes that there is more than an intellectual decision being made by people, but a philosophical change away from God towards self, that is driven by pride, and which results in moral corruption, and abandonment of Biblical values.

In his first letter to Timothy Paul warns of the corruption of the Church writing, “The spirit clearly says that in the later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons” (1 Tim. 4:1). Then in 2 Timothy 3:1-5, & 7 Paul lists the moral degradation of mankind in the last days, which will be reflected in the apostasy of the Last Days Church:

  • For men will be lovers of themselves.
  • Lovers of money.
  • Boasters.
  • Proud.
  • Blasphemers.
  • Disobedient to parents.
  • Unthankful.
  • Unholy.
  • Unloving.
  • Unforgiving.
  • Slanderers.
  • Without self-control.
  • Brutal.
  • Despisers of good.
  • Traitors.
  • Headstrong.
  • Haughty.
  • Lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.
  • Having a form of godliness but denying its power.
  • Always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

After reading this lengthy and detailed list, one would be able to say that the list is of the immoral actions of man throughout history, not just a warning of the moral decay of the Last Days. That would be very true, however, it must be noted that Paul is writing about the Church! God has given Paul this insight for the Church to take a long look itself, it is those that proclaim that they are representatives of the Church that are the subject God has put under scrutiny in these verses.

Examples of Apostate Christianity in the 21st Century are:

  • The Prosperity Gospel, preaching faith in faith, rather than faith in God.
  • The Social Gospel, where alleviation of poverty supersedes evangelisation and saving the lost. They teach that Jesus will return when there is no longer poverty in the world.
  • The Post-modernist Gospel, with a focus on the individual designing the religion that best suits them.
  • The hyper Charismatic and Pentecostal apostate movements, where the centre of attention is on experiencing the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit should never replace Jesus as the focus of the Church. Jesus came to serve, now the Holy Spirit has replaced him, and serves by pointing mankind to Jesus.
  • Liberation Theology has an ideology of relieving “the oppressed” by whatever means, including the purchase and supply of weapons to radicals. This doctrine is closely related to the Social Gospel.
  • Orthodoxy, where salvation is through the tradition of the church.
  • Liberal theology, where man is in charge of his destiny, and God must adjust to the progressive development of humanity.
  • The Love Gospel – the accepting of differences as long as we all love Jesus (ecumenicalism), and, there is no such thing as a wrathful God who judges sin.
  • Cults such as Mormonism and Jehovah’s Witnesses and Christian Scientists.

The Parable of the Syncretic Church (Isaiah 4:1)

“And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, we will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.”

Isaiah chapters 2 and 3 deal with the state of the nations of Judah and Israel, and God’s impending judgement. However, the chapters also carry a warning to the world, that in Last Days there will be accountability and judgement. Chapter 4 of Isaiah deals prophetically with the return of Jesus. The chapter starts with a parable of seven women, and in scripture when a woman is used as a symbol, the woman will represent a system of beliefs and practices that influence other people, good or bad. For example, a woman is symbolic of the nation of Israel in Revelation 12, and then in Revelation 17, a woman represents the false religious system of Babylon. The seven women of Isaiah 4:1 connect to the seven letters to the churches, recorded in chapters 2 and 3 of the book of Revelation. The 7 churches represent the entire New Testament Church, and each one is present within the Church throughout the ages. Each church coming to prominence in prophetic order through history.

The relevance of the parable is that the woman take hold of one man – Jesus Christ – saying they want His good name and the salvation that comes with a relationship with Him, but they do not want anything to do with eating “His food” (the Word – God’s instructions and authority), or His clothes (the bridal gown – symbol of purity and obedience). The Church of the Last Days wants eternal salvation through Jesus, but on their terms. Note that the women in the parable are telling the man, not asking Him, they are the ones that are determining the terms and conditions of the relationship. The last days churches want:

  • Experiential moves of the Holy Spirit focused on self.
  • Blessings and prosperity – the spoiled child syndrome.
  • A great show that draws a large congregation, which confirms their church is popular.
  • Compromise with the world, with the liberal doctrines of tolerance.
  • Replacement Theology, where the blessings of God and His focus is only for the Church, and not Israel, His covenant people.
  • Pagan traditions that make the people feel good, especially as they include the receiving of gifts and edible delights.

Be in no doubt, God is going to draw a line in the sand and define His True Church before the return of Jesus for His Bride – A time of reckoning is coming. Jesus is not going to return for a Bride that is more like a “Biker Chick,” dressed in leathers, with tattoos, gaudy jewellery and body piercings, all representative of her many and varied worldly connections. The biker bride does not care about her wedding day, and does not even want to share in the cultural experience of her Jewish Bridegroom, she has in fact being doing her best to separate her Bridegroom from His culture and mould Him into a Gentile. She does not realise that no matter how hard she tries to make changes, the marriage supper of the Lamb will be a Jewish wedding ceremony. The Bride that Jesus will return for, will be a bride that has been tried in the fire and purified, she will therefore be adorned in her white bridal gown, a symbol of her purity and obedience. She loves and supports her Bridegrooms family, and longs for the day of the Bridegroom’s return, so she can be with Him for eternity.

The True Church is a spotless bride!

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