by Mike Ratliff
11 Concerning him we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern both good and evil.Hebrews 5:11-14 (LSB)
Apostasy: [Middle English apostasie, from Old French, from Late Latin apostasia, defection, from Late Greek apostasi, from Greek apostasis, revolt, from aphistanai, aposta-, to revolt : apo-, apo- + histanai, to stand, place; see st- in Indo-European roots.]
Noun pl -sies abandonment of one’s religious faith, political party, or cause [Greek apostasis desertion] from: Collins Essential English Dictionary 2nd Edition 2006 © HarperCollins Publishers 2004, 2006
I posted this back on May 5th, 2020, however, last night I was doing research and ran across a video that claimed to identify the AntiChrist. I watched it. It was well done and the man who had done the research and was making those claims was a Jewish Christian who had published a book about the subject and the video was an interview that included a great deal of his proof. Because I came to agree with his research I also knew that if what he was claiming to be true was, in fact, true then the next thing we would be witnessing in the Church is the Great Falling away. That is why I am reposting this. Here is the link to the video.
I am convinced that a good way to understand apostasy and what causes one to abandon his or her religious faith is to think of it in the verb form of “to forget.” In the history of civilization, the battle between intellectual honesty and intellectual barbarity is one that has cycled back a forth for millennia. When intellectual honesty is on top, truth is seen as succinct and knowable and authoritative. When intellectual barbarity is on top, truth is seen as relative and completely unknowable. In case you weren’t sure, we are now in an intellectual barbarian stage in the 21st Century.
The move from intellectual honesty to intellectual barbarity takes place as successive generations “forget” the truth or the fact that truth is truth regardless of variableness in culture or mores. The Church is not immune my brethren. Look at what has happened to it over the last several centuries culminating in our time with relativism on the throne of men’s hearts rather than a love for the truth. In a time of intellectual barbarity, since relativism is seen as the only reality, the Church becomes infected with this deadly disease.
Justin Martyr, in his many Apologies, was able in his time to point to the personal holiness of the people of God and use that point to show the difference between Christians and everyone else. However, with a divorce rate in the Church equal to that of the culture, that would be a hard point to make in our day. I read recently of a pastor in Dallas being caught in a sting attempting to hook up with a 13 year old girl for sex. This is just a fruit of the growing apostasy in the 21st Century Church.
Apostasy doesn’t happen all at once. The church is continually under attack from without and within no matter what intellectual cycle it is in. The Protestant Reformation is good example. Foxe’s Book of Martyrs shows how large the number was of Christians who paid with their lives because they knew the truth and would not recant. I wonder how many of today’s Christians would be likely to take that stand.
What is the process of the Church moving into Apostasy? In the early 20th Century the Princeton University Seminary was dying. It had a wonderful history being lead by Charles Hodge and Benjamin Warfield, but those men were gone. The new leadership was determined to liberalize and modernize it from top to bottom. Along with this, the denomination behind it went the same way. That, of course, was The Presbyterian Church USA. It is, without a doubt, one of the most liberal denominations. It’s members actually pray to a goddess named Sophia. God did raise up men like J. Gresham Machen who would not give in to the pressure to conform to the new form of his old denomination. He is credited with starting the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia.
In any case, the move from orthodoxy to apostasy occurs over time and starts at the top. The leadership, usually adjusting their theology in order to “stay in step” with society, begins by conforming their beliefs and churches and ministries down in order to “stay relevant.” Once doctrine is dummied down, personal holiness is next. Another tragic example of this happened as J.P. Boyce and John Broadus began the Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville, KY. One of their star students and later professors of theology was C.H. Toy. However, he traveled to Europe to study with the new liberal theologians there who where championing “Critical Analysis” of the Bible. Toy returned to Kentucky with his faith in tatters. It wasn’t long before the leadership at the seminary were forced to deal with his apostasy. When he was asked to give an account of his false teachings, his reply was that he no longer believed in Biblical Inerrancy. They did not renew his contract. Dr. Toy moved to Harvard and taught at the seminary there. Later in life he had abandoned all of his formerly held beliefs in the deity of Christ, the resurrection, the authority of scripture, and the necessity of the Gospel.
Yes, it begins at the top, but the visible church is full of unbelievers who have “once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come.” (Hebrews 6:4-5) However, they were not genuine and prove it by falling away into some form of apostasy. Some apostates turn completely away. Others are religious, so they find their home in the apostate churches that are everywhere right now.
These apostates were “enlightened” and yet fell away. This means they had received biblical instruction in God’s truth. They perceived it to be true through their intellect, however, we know that is not the same thing as regeneration. As we see in the following verse, the true light enlightens everyone, but we know that only a few actually believe. (Matthew 7:13-14)
9 There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens everyone.John 1:9 (LSB)
These apostates tasted the heavenly gift. Tasting in the figurative sense in the New Testament refers to consciously experience something. It does not refer to the eternal “believing” that comes from regeneration. We see an example of this tasting in the Jews who followed Jesus in order to have their felt needs met, but He raised the requirements to be His disciple and most of them left. (John 6:25-66)
These apostates were partakers of the Holy Spirit. These people were right there as the power of the Holy Spirit was demonstrated in the 1st Century, but it did not change them. They were not regenerate. To be a partaker does not mean these are believers, but were involved somehow in the ministries of the Lord or the Apostles. So, you see, people can appear to be very religious and do many good works, but if they do not continue they prove themselves to be disingenuous.
These apostates tasted the goodness of the word of God. Think of the Israelites who did not enter into the Lord’s Rest (The Promised Land) because of their unbelief even though they had witnessed the parting the Red Sea among innumerable other mighty works by God through Moses. Now think of those folks who sit in pews on Sunday morning who would much rather be somewhere else. Or, think of those who have abandoned the form of Christianity which teaches spiritual growth and personal holiness as our requirements before our Holy God; so they become part of a Church that puts no demands for repentance on them.
What is the warning for us here?
1 Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, 2 of teaching about washings and laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment. 3 And this we will do, if God permits. 4 For in the case of those once having been enlightened and having tasted of the heavenly gift and having become partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and having tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 and having fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame. 7 For ground that drinks the rain which often falls on it and brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is also tilled, receives a blessing from God; 8 but if it yields thorns and thistles, it is unfit and close to being cursed, and its end is to be burned. Hebrews 6:1-8 (LSB)
The warning is that apostasy lurks in our churches when God’s Holiness, God’s Grace, God’s Mercy, The Cross, and our complete and utter dependence on Christ as our mediator is lost in trying to appease people who do not want to repent and mature and work with God in their personal holiness. Numbers may not be as large in churches that are faithful in preaching the Word and boldly confronting sin, but those that remain are those the rain falls on so God can bring forth a crop useful to those for whose sake they are cultivated. God blesses His people. His people are the ones who remain. They abide in Christ even as the Father prunes them so they will be even more fruitful. (John 15)
Soli Deo Gloria!
So, after you looked at his video and research, you believe what he says about the anit-Christ being this current king of england, but can you tell me if it’s Biblical for someone to “figure out” who the anti-christ is before he is made known to the world? I’m a little confused, research or not, how this one man (Tim Cohen) is appointed to have this special knowledge at this time. As you know, many have claimed to know and have proof over the years, who the anti-christ is. Can you shed any light on whether that’s Biblical??? Thanks.
yes, we are told to calculate his name to see if it adds up to 666. It says that in Revelation.
1st & 2nd John are no longer relevant? I am not sure what you are stating.You appreciate his research? &/or you think the King of England is now the anti christ?
What are you talking about? We are told in Revelation to calculate the number of the beast using Gematria. Also, we are given all sorts of information about the identity of the Beast from Daniel. Charles’ name comes up to 666 in English, Greek and Hebrew. Hmmmm, all three. Also, his coat of arms contains all the imagery that Daniel and John described about the Beast Besides this, he is also the driving force behind the World Economic Forum. All those men that we have suspected who could be the beast for YEARS are subject to him. He is also a Muslim. He has negotiated the Mid-East peace plan and is the most respected Western leader amonngst the Muslim countries. His statue that is over 9 meters tall is already to go to Jerusalem when the Temple is ready. I get the impression that you did not watch the whole presentation.