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A website for those not afraid to examine their beliefs, compare them to the real world, and make sure they fit.

The Apostasy Has Started


Whether they know it or not, many local, national, and international organizations have slowly been making changes to society that will set the perfect conditions for the Antichrist. What are these changes and can we even stop them?


2 Thessalonians 2:3
Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, (NAS)

, warns us that an apostasy will come, followed by the Antichrist who will persecute the saints.


What is this "apostasy"?

Different Bible versions use different words to refer the "apostasy" that must happen before the Antichrist comes on the scene. Here is a short, but pretty inclusive list:

The NIV calls it "the rebellion"
The NLT calls it "a great rebellion"
The Berean Literal Bible calls it "the apostasy"
The KJV calls it "a falling away"
The New Heart English Bible calls it "the departure"
The Aramaic Bible in Plain English calls it "revolt"
The CJSB calls it "the Apostasy"
and in the Greek Interlinear, "the apostasy"

So we have something bad headed our way. Well, while we have not yet started the Tribulation, the apostasy has already started, so we probably should know what it entails. How do we define all these terms above?

That's revolting...

First, since Paul is the one who is telling us about it, we know it has something to do with a lack of obedience to God. Now when you look at the terms, they all suggest that a part of society, at one time faithful to Him, will no longer be following God. But, even more, the words "rebellion", "revolt", "departure", and "falling away", regardless of why the translators used these different words when going to English, all suggest that many of those who once believed in God and Jesus have changed their minds and "walked away".

This is not to say that these people do not believe in God or Jesus any more, but that they have walked away from nearly every form of obedience and faith in Their plan. They have replaced that plan with a new, more permissive, one of their own.

But, there's more...

This is not a new occurrence as I know several people who tell me they just can't believe any more. It is easy to understand what they are saying, just not what caused it. That is part of what Paul is speaking about in 2 Thessalonians 2:3
Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, (NAS)

. Another part is what Jeremiah speaks of in Jeremiah 5:2
Although they say, 'As surely as the LORD lives,' still they are swearing falsely." (NIV)

. People will think they are worshiping God, but they do not follow His ways or do what He says (Luke 6:46
46"Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?"

). The dictionary at Google defines "apostasy" this way:


a-pahs-state, a-pahs-staet/

noun: apostate; plural noun: apostates

1. a person who renounces a religious or political belief or principle.

synonyms: dissenter, defector, deserter, traitor, backslider, turncoat;
archaic heretic;

rare: recusant, recreant, tergiversator
"after 50 years as an apostate, he returned to the faith"

antonyms: follower

adjective: apostate

1. abandoning a religious or political belief or principle.

Middle English: from ecclesiastical Latin apostata, from Greek apostates 'apostate, runaway slave.'

Translate apostate to
Use over time for: apostate

"But, I would never..."

O.K., it appears that we are not just talking about "those heathen pagans that worship Baal". We are talking about those who "believe" in Jesus but have modified the way they worship God so that it no longer resembles what He has commanded. In fact, this "new" worship includes things He as told people not to do. "What?", you say, "Nobody we know would do anything like that! And even if they did accidentally do that, as soon as they recognized what they were doing they would immediately repent and get back to God's way!" Right?

Sorry, but it is happening, and all around us. If you look around you - no, not out in the streets or in some other country, look around you, in your church - do you see anything that God has prohibited? Is your congregation following the guidelines of the Bible? Not just a particular version of it, but any Bible? Is your pastor advising you to walk in the way of Jesus? Worship as He did, keeping the day He did, even bringing attention to errors like He did? Well, don't feel alone, most people don't see it, even when they are sitting in the middle of it.

How about a little Biblical support?

Well, since you insist. Above is a reference to Jeremiah 5:2
Although they say, 'As surely as the LORD lives,' still they are swearing falsely." (NIV)

, but he continues on through the rest of chapter 5 and chapter 6 describing what He sees happening, and what God will do to bring her (Jerusalem) back to Him. It gets pretty heavy, but He cannot have those who represent Him going their own way. Yep, it's Old Testament, but since God never changes, how do you think He will act toward those who change His basics, then just continue on as though they were still in His will, and encouraging others to do the same?

Try thinking of it like this

Let me ask you a rather pointed question. If you are an honest person, good to your family, give to the poor, volunteer in the community, go to Church on Sunday, walk on the left side of the street facing traffic and all that, you would be considered by most of those who know you to be a good Christian. But, let's say that you go out every Tuesday night at midnight and kill someone you heard had committed a heinous crime and got away with it. Now, they may or may not be guilty of the crime, but the law was unable to bring them to trial for some reason, so you have acted to "correct" the situation. Here is the question, "Would God approve?"

"Nobody's perfect..."

Otherwise your life is saintly, and this is the only thing you do that is not likely to be considered Christian. The rest of your life is lived with great love and zeal for the Lord and your neighbor. There's just this one little thing...

Looking at it like that, compare the way your church worships to the guidelines in the Bible. Are you doing what Jesus would do? Are you doing what God said not to do, even that one "little" thing, without remorse or repentance? How many things against the word of God are O.K. to do before you are considered to be "falling away"?


1 Corinthians 5:1-5
1 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate: A man is sleeping with his father's wife. 2 And you are proud! Shouldn't you rather have gone into mourning and have put out of your fellowship the man who has been doing this? 3 For my part, even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. As one who is present with you in this way, I have already passed judgment in the name of our Lord Jesus on the one who has been doing this. 4 So when you are assembled and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, 5 hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord. (NIV)

speaks of a church that had major atrocities going on in the church that everyone knew about. But, no one in the church was concerned because they were evidently proud of their people's accepting and "loving" behavior toward everyone. All this was going on even though the actions of one of the members was blatantly against the word of God (Deuteronomy 22:30
A man is not to marry his father's wife; he must not dishonor his father's bed. (NIV)


The original law is in the Old Testament, and many today believe that it no longer applies to Christians after Jesus died, right? Wait a minute, this episode in Corinth, a Gentile church, was after Jesus' death, and Paul still had a problem with it. Did Paul commend them? No - he condemned their actions! The Old Testament still applies - to Gentiles as well as Jews. If it was so easy for a church to become like this in such a short time, how easy is it for us, thousands of years later, when we interpret the Bible to "tickle" our ears (2 Timothy 4:3
3 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.


If this is so, and you are ignoring God's word, even in the slightest aspect, then you are contributing to the apostasy. Not that you are looking up and shaking your fist at God in defiance, but you are not following His way. This is not saying you are condemned already, just that this is how the apostasy starts. Starting with little things, people move away a little further, then further, and before they know it, they are worshiping their own way - completely apart from the will of God.

"Why are you so pushy?"

You are probably thinking "How arrogant this guy is!" Well, maybe so, but once you start seeing it, you begin to see it everywhere. In people's lives, church ceremonies, "holiday" celebrations, even they day they "keep". Remember, I am one of us, too. We all have things to work on. Should we Christians keep our mouths shut, unlike Paul? What about James 4:17
If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn't do it, it is sin for them. (NIV)

? Or even Jesus in Matthew 22:29
29Jesus replied, "You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God."


This is for all of us

Now, with this hinting at the things happening right around us, compare your church activities to those activities listed in the Bible. There, they are called commandments, Festivals instead of holidays, the Sabbath; you know, those things God said that people who love Him should do. And, for those of you who think that they are only for the Israelites, check out 1 Corinthians 5:7-8
7Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch - as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. 8Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. (NIV)

and Isaiah 56:1-7
1This is what the LORD says: "Maintain justice and do what is right, for my salvation is close at hand and my righteousness will soon be revealed.

2Blessed is the one who does this - the person who holds it fast, who keeps the Sabbath without desecrating it, and keeps their hands from doing any evil."

3Let no foreigner who is bound to the LORD say, "The LORD will surely exclude me from his people." And let no eunuch complain, "I am only a dry tree." 4For this is what the LORD says: "To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths, who choose what pleases me and hold fast to my covenant - 5to them I will give within my temple and its walls a memorial and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that will endure forever.

6And foreigners who bind themselves to the LORD - to minister to him, to love the name of the LORD, and to be his servants, all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it and who hold fast to my covenant - 7these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer." (NIV)

, especially verses 3 and 6 in the Isaiah passages, unless you don't want to be part of verse 1. For those of you who disagree that Paul was speaking to both Jews and Gentiles, this is from Bible Hermeneutics:

First Corinthians was undoubtedly written to the Christian community that Paul had established in Corinth, and the universal assumption is that the community was largely comprised of Gentile converts. Similarly, we must not read back into this epistle, because we may now find it applies to all of us, that this was his original intention. When Paul wrote the First Epistle to the Corinthians, he was writing to, and for the benefit of, the Corinthians.

We find that the Corinthians had become boastful (1 Corinthians 5:2,6) and Paul wishes them to be more humble in their faith. He reminds them that only a little yeast is needed to leaven the bread, so a little pride is all they should have. Jews took out all leavened bread before the Passover so, having said that Christ was the Christian Passover sacrifice, Paul uses the Jewish Passover as an analogy, telling them to take out the leavened (their excessive pride) and partake of the feast of Christianity with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth in the passage 1 Cor 5:7-8
7 Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch - as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. 8 Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. (NIV)

where Paul is speaking to a largely Gentile church that is going astray.

And, for those of you who think the OT is for the Israelites only, why does some of it apply to us and other parts not? Think not? Read Leviticus 18. How many of you are making babies with your brother or sister? If you are, don't let the neighbors or the police know. It's OK, right? He only told the Israelites to stop doing that, just like He only told them in Leviticus 11 to eat only certain "clean" meats for food (Mark 7:19
"For it doesn't go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body." (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.)

does not approve unclean meats, they were discussing washing hands, not approving lobsters or pork for food. And the parenthetical statement at the end was added by a translator, not in the original text). The Israelites only call clean meats "food". Remember, it was Jews writing this passage, not Catholic priests.

Ignore it or fix it, it's up to you

The point here is that this apostasy can and does happen all around us, and often, we are part of it. No way? Well, as I have suggested, look and compare for yourself. Compare what your worship service includes and does not include. Not to your own ideas, but to the words of God. Take a look at our pages Christless Christianity and Pagan Christianity? to see some things to avoid.

Disagree? Find an error? Contact us at and give us your view.

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