January 2, 2017 - A. V. Rauf
Apostasy Defined (Part II)
After being born, a new baby consumes milk for much of his/her diet, and the progression moves from milk to soft baby food to bread and ultimetely meat as the child grows. This can also apply to the spiritual growth and nourishment of a new believer in Christ.
1 Corinthians 3:1-2—And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. 2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
Hebrews 5:12-14—For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. 13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. 14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
If you notice the play of words used by the Apostle Paul, you see that he was very concerned about the spiritual condition of the believers. The concept of feeding on “milk” and “meat” and “strong meat” all pertaining to what the believers were learning through Scriptures.
Jesus Himself made it clear how important it was for a Christian to study and apply what was being written in the Bible:
Matthew 4:4–But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
2 Timothy 3:16-17—All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
The last verse makes it clear that the Bible is profitable for doctrine, reproof, for correction and in instruction in righteousness. Remember in the previous post, the meaning of apostasy is defined as “to fall away from,” and in this case to fall away from the truth of God’s Word.
I believe the Church must revert back to the basics. Many people have simply lost sight of the foundational doctrines such as repentance, baptism, forgiveness of sins, eternal judgment, and the very return of Christ, to name a few.
Again notice the 14th verse of Hebrews Chapter 5:
14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
You see, if people do not even have an effectual knowledge of God’s Word, then they cannot be discerning. If they are not discerning, then they may be gullible enough to believe anything they are being fed. Ultimately, when you are hungry, you will eat anything. When there is a void, it has to be filled with something.
That “something,” can be another gospel, another Jesus, another message if you will.
2 Corinthians 11:1-4—Would to God ye could bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me. 2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. 3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.
Paul goes on in the same chapter to warn the Church of another phenomenon:
For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
The root cause for this stems from the very spirit of Anti-Christ. I discussed this matter in the following posts which i tsrongly recommend you read before moving forward:
Let’s go back and look at 2 Thessalonains Chapter 2:
2 Thessalonians 2:1-13— Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, 2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. 3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. 5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? 6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. 7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. 8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: 9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. 13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:
Notice the verse 13. In this verse we see thos saints who truly experienced a genuine salvation in Christ. This was accomplished through a sanctification by the Holy Spirit in faith and in truth. In other words, as the apostasy unfolds, those who turned away from the truth will sucuumb to the Spirt of AntiChrist, which replaces the Christ. This in itself the result of not receiving the truth so as to be saved.
I have said before that as the Holy Spirit is preparing the true Church for the return of the Lord, in like fashion, the spirit of lawlessness is paving the way for the man of Lawlessness to be revealed.
The challenge for the Church is to remain in the tuth, to be sanctified by the truth, and to endure until the end.
Matthew 24:10-13—And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. 11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. 12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved