Time, Truth, & Wisdom
Chapter 18---The Apostasy
2nd Thessalonians 2:1-3 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
The subject matter that Paul is talking about is our gathering back to Christ at His return, the same subject of the questions that the Apostles had proposed to Christ in Mark 13:4: what are the signs that will tell us, indicate to us, of Your eventual return to us.
2nd Thessalonians 2:2 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.
Paul, through the Holy Spirit, is cautioning them to not let other people or evil spirits or even his first letter to them confuse them as to when the return of Christ will happen.
2nd Thessalonians 2:3 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;
Paul has told them two things that will happen before that day comes:
1) there will be a falling away first, and
2) the son of perdition will be revealed.
When the son of perdition is revealed, he will begin by setting up councils and synagogues before which some of you will be delivered; quite the subject of Mark 13:9 which is our reason for coming here.
Mark 13:9 But take heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten: and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them.
This son of perdition, by default, has to be the Antichrist because what does the word “perdition” mean? It means to perish:
✡ Perdition_NT 684 apoleia (ap-o'-li-a); from a presumed derivative of NT:622; ruin or loss (physical, spiritual or eternal): to perish.
There is only one soul at this time that has been condemned to a spiritual death, to perish, and that is Satan.
Revelation 9:11And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.
Who is the angel of the bottomless pit? Satan. And his name in the Greek tongue is what? Apollyon. And what does Apollyon mean in the Greek?
✡ Apollyon_NT 623 Apolluon (ap-ol-loo'-ohn); active participle of NT:622; a destroyer (i.e. Satan)
Now that we know who the son of perdition is, what is this “falling away first?” It is the Apostasy.
From one source, Apostasy is defined as “the formal religious disaffiliation or abandonment or renunciation of one’s religion.” Another Christian source states: “the arrival of the Antichrist cannot occur until sufficient apostasy has happened in the world.” Both of these statements are untrue.
Apostasy cannot and should not be regarded as backsliding. For those of you that are not familiar with this terminology, backsliding is to lapse morally or religiously, for someone to go back to their wicked ways.
Fall by the wayside, if you will. Let’s just say it like it is: one example of backsliding is when someone that has been attending church for some time and is really trying to do the right thing and then becomes morally and religiously weak and goes back to drinking alcohol and whoring around. Does that get it said to where we can all understand it?
Israel backslid quite frequently:
Jeremiah 3:6 The Lord said also unto me in the days of Josiah the king, Hast thou seen that which backsliding Israel hath done? she is gone up upon every high mountain and under every green tree, and there hath played the harlot.
In the Book of Hosea:
Hosea 4:16 For Israel slideth back as a backsliding heifer: now the Lord will feed them as a lamb in a large place.
Backsliding doesn’t even come close to approaching the seriousness and danger presented to a Christian that apostasy does. Israel backslid into idolatry and pagan worship many times, a state of moral decay that can be easily overcome by re-dedicating their lives back to God and making that concentrated effort to avoid sin and obeying our Father’s commandments.
Apostasy is the willful turning away from one’s professed beliefs; a transfer of one’s belief in one entity to a belief in another. It may happen WITHIN the church and it may happen BECAUSE of religion but it certainly doesn’t mean that you change from being a Catholic to being a Baptist.
It happens because your belief in the true Jesus Christ has been transferred to believing that the fake Jesus is the true Jesus.
The apostasy happens when Satan, in his role as Antichrist, is released from heaven by the Archangel Michael;
Revelation 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
He will stand on Mount Zion, in the Temple in Jerusalem, looking like and claiming to be Jesus Himself. How do we know that this statement is true?
2nd Thessalonians 2:4 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.
He will sit in the Temple of God showing the entire world that he is God. Not convinced yet?
Revelation 13:11 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.
This beast is the second beast of Revelation and it is the religious beast.
And he had two horns like a lamb means that he will look exactly like Christ Himself, the Lamb slain.
And he spake like a dragon. Does the word “dragon” give you a clue? That’s one of Satan’s names; he looked just like Christ but he spoke just like Satan! His words are full of lies but he will speak softly, like the comfort of warm soothing oil on tired, aching muscles.
Many people are expecting Satan to come full of rage and killing everything in his sight. Blood running in the streets chest-high to a horse. Wailing and screaming and crying for God to take them out of this bloodbath. Not so, people.
Revelation 13:12 And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
When the ten leaders from the seven continents cannot come to an agreement on peace, old slew-foot will jump right in and calm things down.
Revelation 13:13 And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,
Fire, in the Greek, is:
✡ Fire_NT 4442 pur (poor); a primary word; "fire" (literally or figuratively, specifically, lightning).
He will snap his fingers and make lightning come from a cloudless sky. This is the first of his many miracles.
Revelation 13:14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
Who gave Satan, the Antichrist, this power? Our Father did!
He and only He can give this power to Satan. There is but a short time left for him to tempt and deceive the children of God while they are still in flesh bodies.
If you will remember, I said at the beginning of this book that the only reason for us being in this earth age, and in these flesh bodies was to make a decision as to whom we will follow; our Lord or Satan, and it will continue to be a true statement until the Lord returns at the end of this dispensation.
And when Christians, ignorant of the truth of God’s Word, see him standing there, performing all of his miracles, they will believe that he is the true Christ and they will willingly and ignorantly transfer their beliefs from the true Messiah to the false messiah for they don’t know that the true Christ comes after the false christ.