Global Apostasy: Ancient Heresies
March 26, 2012
By: John Barnett
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Before the celestial “shock and awe” judgments of the Tribulation are unleashed, God's Word describes a time characterized by false teaching and teachers SO strong, that it would even sweep away even true believers (Mark 13:22) if they were not sealed by the Spirit of God.
In Matthew 24 Jesus describes the world before He returns in His Second Coming, as a world where the love of most has grown cold because of false teachers (Matthew 24:11-12); and where “the Faith” will be nearly extinct (Luke 18:8).
The end of the church age is shown in Revelation 3 to be like the church at Laodicea where truth is light, self-centeredness is heavy; materialism and personal agendas run deep, and true Biblical spirituality is shallow.
As we have already seen, Paul foretold that the days would be a time of great “falling away”; and Peter, Jude and John all described this final time pervasive false doctrine across the world. As we open to the tiny letter of Christ's other earthly brother named Jude look at verse 3.
Today we see such a sweeping array of deceptive false teachers as just the foretaste of this birth pang, which Jesus warned about and described--forming before our very eyes.
Never before has wrong teaching and beliefs about God been more widely proclaimed than in our day. I a continuous, 24/7 river erroneous teaching about God flows around the world: on radio, TV, cable, webcasts, podcasts, simulcasts, books, magazines, and everywhere in between—our world is increasingly filled with lies about God. And to this growing cauldron of darkness and lies comes the triumphant truth that—
Jesus Christ is The Key
Please stand with me and listen to Jude 1:3-4, 16-25.
The storm of lies raining down upon us today is a constant reminder why Christ's Church is to be filled with well grounded, grace-energized men and women who guard the truth that Jesus Christ gave us. We should be constantly declaring the truths we hold from John 14:6, to the confused world around us that:
• Jesus Christ is the Way—there is NO other road to God than the Lord Jesus Christ. Any belief system that is hostile to Him, denying of His deity, or claiming His insufficiency is FALSE.
• Jesus Christ is the Truth—at the center of all truth that leads to God is the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul says that general revelation has two means: conscience and creation. Jesus Christ is right in the middle of the human conscience as the Creator who breathed life into the dirt that was used to form Adam; and He is squarely in the center of the created Universe as He is also the Creator of everything in the heavens and on the Earth. Any philosophy, religion, or science that is hostile to Him, denying of His deity, or claiming His insufficiency is FALSE.
• Jesus Christ is the Life—the only way to live a life that is guilt-free, fear-free, full and overflowing, is in the Lord Jesus Christ. Those who come to Him find His complete forgiveness of every sin, and His complete transformation of their lives. Any religion, church, denomination, or Bible teacher that is hostile to Jesus Christ as God in human flesh who died a substitutionary death for sin, or that denies His deity in any other way, or claims His insufficiency is FALSE.
But that absolute assertion of Christ in John 14:6 is not widely held by modern Christians. George Barna recently reported that in America,
“Christians have increasingly been adopting spiritual views that come from Islam, Wicca, secular humanism, the eastern religions and other sources. Because we remain a largely Bible-illiterate society, few are alarmed or even aware of the slide toward syncretism - a belief system that blindly combines beliefs from many different faith perspectives with God's Word."
That leads us to consider the—
Ancient Heresies in The Church of the 21st Century
It's axiomatic to say today that "There are no new heresies". For example, looking closely us we can see elements of the following ancient heresies in modern religious movements around us today. Because of a growing ecumenical, try-to-not-offend anyone (but God) movement around us today, we are often asked to overlook the deadly false teachings of groups, that often are made up of such warm and gracious people.
• We can see elements of the Arian Heresy in Mormonism and the Jehovah's Witnesses.
• We can see much Religious Syncretism in the Roman Catholic Church, the Emergent Church Movement, and the Unification Church (Moonies).
• We can see elements of Marcionism, Syncretism, Universalism, Gnosticism, and Nestorianism in all the New Age versions of "Christianity" like the talk show force Oprah Winfrey is always promoting.
• We can see elements of Islam's view of Jesus are similar to the Docetist and Ebionist Heresies.
• We can see elements of Roman Catholics fall into Semi-Pelagianism and, often, Mariolatry (the worship of Mary as equal with Christ and holding Divine attributes).
• We can see some Charismatics fall into Glossolalianism and Montanism.
• And many modern media-based ministries, especially televangelists, fall into almost every heresy known and unknown!
Here is a concise list of the false teachings that can be found in the writings of the early church. This list is a good reason to be very careful in embracing the writings of someone just because they were an early Christian leader.
The Known Heresies of the
Early (Post-Apostolic) Church
1. “The Way” or Christ's Death as the Substitute for sinners was under attack. These heresies were those that led to damnation.
• Arianism (Arius, Eudoxius, Eusebius of Nicomedia, Eunomius): Reduces Christ from the Divine Son of God, to a first created being. God-the-Father existed prior to God-the-Son. This is the false teaching of the Jehovah’s Witnesses .
• Docetism: The Son-of-God didn't become flesh, only appeared to die on cross. Christ descended upon Jesus at baptism, but exited just prior to crucifixion. This is in Neo-Orthodoxy and Liberalism today. The popular writer William Barclay held this view.
• Ebionism (Athanascus): Jesus only seemed divine, but was a prophet not the Son of God. This is partly reflected in modern day Islam.
• Gnosticism (Greek mystery cults, Jewish Kabbalah, Zorasterianism, Egyptian religion): Salvation is acquired through secret knowledge outside of the Bible. Envisions a hierarchy of spiritual beings that are progressively further from the evil material world. Matter is inherently evil. This is seen in much of so called New-Age Christianity today.
• Nestorianism (Nestorius): Christ was a god-bearing man (as we might become), rather than both fully-human and fully-God. This is reflected in Haganism today.
• Pelagianism (Pelagius, Julian of Eclanum Coelestius): Man is born essentially good, and is capable of doing what is necessary for salvation. This was the classic Albert Schweitzer type of Liberalism in America. Semi-Pelagianism (John Cassian): God and man both cooperate in salvation, but man must take the initiative. This is seen in extreme Arminianism.
• Perfectionionism: (AKA: Legalism) Belief that our works bring us to salvation, or are necessary to maintain our salvation. Modern Pelagianism.
• Unitarianism: Denial of the deity of both God the Father and Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit of God (or the Trinity). This is all around us today.
• Universalism: The belief that all persons will ultimately be saved, and no one will be eternally punished. The belief is growing among well-known Evangelical groups today.
2. “The Truth” of God's Word was under attack. These heresies were those that led to confusion.
• Apollinarianism (Apollinarius): Christ had no human spirit, the Logos replaced it. Sort of Jesus as God clothed in flesh .
• Baptismal Regenerationism: The belief that baptism is essential to, and seals, one's salvation. Present in many denominations today such as the Catholics, the Orthodox, the Lutherans, the Presbyterians, the Church of Christ, and so on.
• Glossolalianism: The belief that only speaking in tongues proves a person's salvation.
• Macedonianism (Macedonius): The Holy Spirit as a created being similar to the angels.
• Manicheanism (Manicheus, aka: Mani or Manes): Gnostic variant believing matter is evil, God created our souls but rejected our bodies.
• Marcionism (Marcion): Gnostic variant distinguishing two Gods: An angry, vindictive one of the Old Testament, and a nice one in the New Testament. The OT god having no validity for Christians. This was also an early tenet of Liberalism. This gave birth to Judaistism: Combines Jewish civil and ceremonial laws with New Testament Christianity.
• Monarchianism (Paul of Samosata, Theodotus of Byzantium): Jesus became Christ at baptism, was made Son of God at His crucifixion, God according Him these things because of Jesus' righteousness. This is just like Docetism. This is in Neo-Orthodoxy and Liberalism today. The popular writer William Barclay held a form of this view.
• Monophysitism (Severus, Julius of Halicarnassus): Christ fully God, not human at all. And closely related is Monothelitism (Sergius, Theodore of Arabia): Christ had no human will, only divine will.
• Montanism (Montanus): Promotion or practice of extreme and disorderly manifestations of the "Holy Spirit". Present in some far out fringe Charismatic groups.
• Noeticism: God-the-Father was crucified as Christ. And closely related, Patripassianism: God-the-Father and God-the-Son BOTH died on the cross.
• Subordinationism: Any subordination of one member of the Trinity to another (in position, not role).
• Syncretism: The combination of Christianity with anything else (esp. Judaism in the Early Church). We see this today in RCC, the ECM, the Contemplative Prayer Movement, and many other places.
- 3. “The Life” as set down for us in God’s Revelation to mankind was under attack. These heresies were those that led to frustration.*
• Antinomianism: We can freely sin because grace forgives all. We can see this today in the hyper-grace heresies that advocate “anything goes” in groups associate with Christ's church.
This all leads to the reality that we are seeing the sixth trend of ten prophetic trends signaling the end of days.
#6: The Sign of the Global Apostasy, Demonism, and Hatred of Christianity
Paul, Jude, and Peter all foresaw an immense surge in religious leaders and their followers “falling away” from the truth in the last days. The ultimate expression of that is in the Antichrist himself.
As we look at what the earth looks like at Christ's return we see an ominous glbal demonism as we see in Genesis just before the Flood. The absence of truth breeds the multiplication of evil and that is where Satan and his demons thrive.
Look at John’s description of the end of days:
Revelation 9:20-21 "But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk. 21 And they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts."
Revelation 13:4 "So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?”
Even today we see the British newspapers citing that the majority of British citizens are now pagan (believing in UFO’s, aliens, and ghosts rather than God). In America the surge of interest in the supernatural, spiritism, new age spirituality (that is spirituality unconnected to God's Word or the True God)
The Signs of the End of Days
#1: The Sign of Global Travel
Daniel was overwhelmed when he caught a glimpse of the number and speed at which people were moving about the planet.
Daniel 12:4 “But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”
No one in the history of this planet ever traveled like we who are alive today can travel. This is the time of the end of the world!
# 2: The Sign of a Global Explosion of Information
Daniel 12:4 “But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase. "
It is only in this generation that last year's encyclopedia is about as useful as last month's newspaper. It has been said that the sum of human knowledge from the Flood to 1850 doubled once. It doubled again following World War II. The doubling of human knowledge increases exponentially.
In short, the trend of global information increasing (not knowledge) is exploding.
#3: The Sign of Global Weather Awareness
Jesus foresaw the time when weather would be so bad that not just a few, but the whole world would be troubled, fearful, and killed by the fear of chaotic weather that would become prevalent.
Luke 21:25-26 “And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; 26 men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. "
No wonder Jesus said that weather going wild would cause people to die from fear of what they saw coming!
#4: The Sign of Global Communication
God's Word explicitly declares that mankind will be able to see and hear globally. When the world fastest know means of travel was the speed of a horse—God says the whole world will see an event and all at the same time, celebrate that event!
Truly global communication was foreseen.
• Revelation 11:9-10 "Then those from the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations will see their dead bodies three-and-a-half days, and not allow their dead bodies to be put into graves. 10 And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth."
• Revelation 17:8 "The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is."
The Bible predicts that the entire world will "see" certain events unfold. The invention of the television and the deployment of global satellite networks during the 20th century allow news to travel the world at the speed of light for the first time ever.
#5: The Sign of Global Commerce: Digitalized Money, Global Tracking and Positioning
God's Word describes a future time when money is tied to a number, and only with that number can anything be bought or sold. There would be technology capable of tracking the world's population and commerce.
Revelation 13:16-17 "He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, 17 and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name."
Peter’s List: Identifying Marks of Those Who Are False, Unreal, and Not of God
But the longest list describing these apostates that would multiply as the last days draw near, is in II Peter. Listen as Peter launches into an extended description of these false teachers we need to beware of and avoid at all costs.
2 Peter 2:12-17 "But these, like natural brute beasts made to be caught and destroyed, speak evil of the things they do not understand, and will utterly perish in their own corruption, 13 and will receive the wages of unrighteousness, as those who count it pleasure to carouse in the daytime. They are spots and blemishes, carousing in their own deceptions while they feast with you, 14 having eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin, enticing unstable souls. They have a heart trained in covetous practices, and are accursed children. 15 They have forsaken the right way and gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; 16 but he was rebuked for his iniquity: a dumb donkey speaking with a man’s voice restrained the madness of the prophet. 17 These are wells without water, clouds carried by a tempest, for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever."
• They are UNGODLY (v. 12a): they are described as being “like natural brute beasts”. There is no god-likeness in them. They do not have God as their father, rather they are of their father the devil—so they act like him—killing spiritual life, stealing spiritual truth, and destroying spiritual power.
• They are UNRESTRAINED (v. 12b): they are described as those who “speak evil of the things they do not understand”. Before they even hear or understand something they are so unrestrained that they just blurt out disagreement and evil.
• They are UNENLIGHTENED (v. 12c): they are described as “they do not understand”. The things of God are foolishness to them. They can’t understand, won’t understand, and do not want to seek and find the truth. They do not love the truth—they hate it and go away from it.
• They are UNRIGHTEOUS (v. 13a): they are described as “receive the wages of unrighteousness”. They earn the judgment of God because they work at being unrighteous. They work at not being like God, they don’t want Him or His ways—but they work at the opposite.
• They are UNASHAMED (v. 13b): they are described as “as those who count it pleasure to carouse in the daytime”. They aren’t ashamed of sin—they love it. They don’t run from sin—they run at it. They don’t grieve over their sin—they revel in it, brag about it, show it off and try to entice others into their sin.
• They are UNFORGIVEN (v. 13c): they are described as “They are spots and blemishes, carousing in their own deceptions while they feast with you” They look like a black spot on a while cloth in God’s sight when they get around believers. God sees us clothed in Christ's righteousness, we are washed and forgiven. They are lost and unforgiven—they ooze uncleansed sins. They are spots of contamination when near the chaste, pure and white bride of Jesus. They flaunt their sins in the face of holiness. They mock and scoff and laugh at the ways of God’s servants. But note they “feast with you” they come to be around God’s people, share in worship, sit side by side with the saints but are never changed, never cleansed, never forgiven, never filled with the Holy Spirit of God.
• They are UNREPENTANT (v. 14a): they are described as “having eyes full of adultery”. They never turn away only toward their sin. They seek evil to the max, they go for it and live it up in the ways of this work. There is no change of heart, mind, or direction. No remorse, no regret, no retreat from sin. They keep their tanks filled with sins of their pleasing. The word full is the same as in John 21:11 when Jesus made the nets of the disciples to bulge near breaking with an overflowing catch of fish—these sinners are bursting with evil desires, their eyes and minds bulge to overflow with sin.
• They are UNSATISFIED (v. 14b): they are described as “and that cannot cease from sin”. They are addicted to sin. They are drawn by the cords of the flesh and can’t seem to stop. In one form or another they are constantly seeking and finding their own way. And as God says, they have less and less return on their sin so they have to chase it harder each day. They get emptier and they get more and more unsatisfied by their sin—so they have to seek out, invent, and try more and more ways to satisfy their cravings—until it is too late to ever stop.
• They are UNDISCIPLINED (v. 14c): they are described as “enticing unstable souls”. They can’t keep to themselves. Sin loves company. They want to feel better by being sure others are doing what they are doing so they entice others to share in their sins. They are emissaries of the devil by leading other blind ones into the deep ditches of their sins.
• They are UNHEEDING (15-16): they are described as “They have forsaken the right way and gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; 16 but he was rebuked for his iniquity: a dumb donkey speaking with a man’s voice restrained the madness of the prophet”. No one can stop them, they won’t listen. They can’t hear. They shut out the truth, they resist conviction, and they get more and more unresponsive and hardened towards the things of God.
• They are UNREAL (v. 17a): they are described as “These are wells without water, clouds carried by a tempest”. They look promising but are empty. They are driven and just crash on the rocks. Nothing lasts in their lives, nothing is useful for God or others—they just waste life in a flaming bonfire of their own vanities.
• They are UNSAVED (v. 17b): they are described as “for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.” The place of the devil they earn for them selves. The abode of the damned they seek through life and finally find it. The light is forsaken and fled from instead of sin. The reservations in heaven are unwanted, unsought, and unfound—hell is their destination forever.
Ship wrecked lives follow the false teaching of false teachers and the false hopes of false christs. This morning this is a warning to Christ's church. Are you following a lifestyle or a teachermodel or hero who is:
The World Detached from Truth—Shipwrecks
Love of the truth as we saw earlier in 2nd Thessalonians 2, is the proof of salvation. Lost ones never receive a love of the truth so they never seek out and find Christ's offer of salvation.
To not love the truth leads to “ship wreck”; it meant that the ship you trusted to take you across the dangerous waters had failed you and you were not going to make it. If you lose your ship in the midst of the sea there is usually no hope, no place to go—and certain death.
Think of the implications of being in a doomed boat. Not believing the truth about God means that all who count on a lie to get them safely to the other shore—are lost forever!
Remember that Paul uses this word to describe those who thrust away sound doctrine and try to sail on their own and without Christ's way, truth and life.
1 Timothy 1:19-20 "having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck, 20 of whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme".
What can cause a soul to be shipwrecked? False teachers and belief in a false Christ. That was one of Christ's constant warnings.
The most dangerous shipwreck is not the one that merely endangers your body. Jesus warns that false teaching can sink your soul as well.
So how do we stay safe as these dark days cast their shadow across society, media, culture, and every other realm of daily life? Only one way—check the anchor of your soul.
When the world darkens, culture crumbles, and truth dies—you know the end of the world is near.
It is then that Jesus warned that the church would fill up with fruitless counterfeits.
When that happens it is time for believers to brace for the storm that we know is coming. The waves will only increase. Spiritual darkness will only deepen as deceptions grow.
These are days when we who know and love the Lord Jesus should reach into our hearts and grab onto our anchor line and feel it strongly holding us securely—tugging us homeward.
Jesus is Our Anchor
Hebrews 6:11-12, 18-20 "And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance (plerophoreo – to overflowingly wear or hold or possess or have) of hope until the end, 12 that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. 18 that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. 19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, 20 where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek." NKJV
We Are Secure Because God's Spirit Seals Us
2 Corinthians 1:22a "who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee."
The ancient world was built around the security of sealed shipments. With all the perils of the Old World it was imperative that a customer knew his shipment was untainted from the journey to him. Thus all the ancients recognized the sealing of goods. This was accomplished by the pressing of a signet ring into soft wax across the opening of a document, tomb, sealed box and so on.
Holy Spirit “Seals” us = security of divine ownership. He is our precious possession. The seal assured three things:
• Certified the contents as authentic.
• Signified the presence of the owner.
• Verified the image of the signet was transferred.
We are secure because God's Spirit Secures 2 Corinthians 1:22b and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.
Holy Spirit also given to us as a pledge. God delivered us our engagement ring = security of divine protection
The Holy Spirit signs each saint of God as an authentic original masterpiece. Holy Spirit is poured out on us by our Heavenly Father. Thus to have been “anointed” means we bear the signature of God. This signing promises us the security of divine authenticity.
Religious apostasy in the ranks of professed Christian leaders is also prophesied in other Scriptures. Not only would false teachers deny the second coming of Christ (2 Peter 3:3), they would even "deny the Lord that bought them" (2 Peter 2:1). Not only would they, despite much education ("ever learning"), still never come "to the knowledge of the truth" (2 Timothy 3:7), but even "turn away their ears from the truth and be turned unto fables" (2 Timothy 4:4). All of these prophecies are being fulfilled today throughout the "Christian" world.
• A particularly ominous form of apostasy is to be found in the rapid rise of demonism in the last days. "In the latter times, some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons" (1 Timothy 4:1). Jesus said: "There shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders" (Matthew 24:24). During the great tribulation period of the last days, these trends will culminate in a worldwide return to Satan worship
• Revelation 13:4, 8). Before that, they will "worship demons, and idols" (Revelation 9:20) and do so especially in connection with the use of drugs (the word "sorceries," in Revelation 9:21, is a Greek word from which we actually transliterate our English word "pharmaceutical," and means "magical incantations by the ritual use of drugs").
• The amazing upsurge of spiritism, astrology, witchcraft and Satanism all over the world in the past few years, along with the tremendous increase of drug use, especially by young people, certainly is an ominous sign of the imminent advent of the Antichrist. But at the same time it is a striking fulfillment of prophecy. That an age of scientific enlightenment could be followed so quickly by a widespread revival of paganism and occultism would seem paradoxical, but that is exactly what has happened, just as the Bible predicted.
The Sign of Global Groups of False Christianity
• Religious cults would mushroom ( 2 Peter 2:1). Matthew 24:5, 11 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. 11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. Numerous cults have emerged in these last days. Visit: Apologetics Index Mormonism (carm) Jehovah's Witnesses (carm) A Cult is a Cult (the berean call) Buddhist Prayer Wheel to Top New WTC? (world net daily)
• When Christ Returns there are-- Many would call themselves the Christ . Matthew 24:5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. Jesus was an itinerate preacher who never traveled outside the tiny nation of Israel and He had the audacity to say that many would come in His name, claiming to be the Christ. And yet today, multitudes within the New Age Movement, Eastern religions, and the cults call themselves the Christ.
• Matthew 24:6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.
The Sign of Global Hatred of True Biblical Christianity
• Jesus said Christians would be hated for His name's sake. Matthew 24:9 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. Luke 21:17 And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. Revelation 6:9-11 When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. 10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” 11 Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed. Revelation 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The banning of the Bible, prayer, the Ten Commandments, nativity scenes, Christmas songs, etc., reflects this trend. Also consider that more Christians were martyed during the past century than during any other period in history. Visit: Persecution (harpazo network)
• Matthew 24:10-11 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.
The Sign of Global Lawlessness That Discharges the Spiritual Zeal of Christ's Church
• Many would forsake the Ten Commandments as a moral code: blaspheming, committing adultery, disobeying parents, stealing, lying, coveting, etc. Matthew 24:12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.
• Revelation 3:14-21 “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: 15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. 21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.