(Ber's sermon presented on 5-14-2005)
word we hear all the time, but what does it mean? In the endtimes we are told
that the church will sink further into apostocy.
Ironically the word apostocy itself isn’t even mentioned in the Bible.
But neither is the word “rapture” and we know the concept of the
rapture IS described very well in the Bible, the being changed in the twinkle of
an eye and the catching up to meet Jesus in the clouds at the second coming.
So it is with the concept of apostocy.
Apostocy is the act of abandonment, refuting, or giving up your religious beliefs and leaving a religion rejecting those beliefs often in favor of opposing beliefs; a departure from the faith.
has become a practice of replacing truth in our churches with lies; preaching
tolerance, convenience and what’s comfortable to the congregation instead of
teaching what people need to know to get to heaven.
The Apostle Peter draws a parallel between the last days and the time of the flood in 2 Peter 3:3 and onward. “Note this first; in the last days there will come men who scoff at religion and live self-indulgent lives, and they will say: Where now is the promise of his coming? Our fathers have been laid to rest, but still everything continues exactly as it has always been since the world began.”
24:11-12 And many false
prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity and an
increase in wickedness shall abound, the love of many will grow cold.
2Thessalonians 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first…..
The falling away describes the church falling into apostocy, drifting away from the truth, preferring false teachings.
The Bible is supposed to be a book of God’s word that brings us to the truth. Then why are there hundreds of different denominations preaching different doctrines and interpretations of this book?
Because Satan has infiltrated the church in the last 300 years to such a
degree that he uses apostocy to confuse and pollute our minds and steer us away
from the truth.
The protestant reformation of the 1500’s to the 1800’s had a lot of things right when they broke away from the man made pagan doctrines of the Catholic church. Men like Luther, Calvin, Wycliff, Tyndale; they all saw the office of the papacy as the antichrist.
They believed that salvation was through the merits of Jesus Christ alone. And they preached historicism.
Historicism teaches chronological progression by stating that the major prophecies of Daniel and Revelation find fulfillment THROUGHOUT Christian history and point towards a climactic, visible second coming of our savior.
Historicism places special emphasis on the ongoing struggle between Jesus Christ and Satan INSIDE the Christian church; as is described in the Great Controversy.
takes note of Paul’s predictions about the “falling away”.
A pretrib rapture never even entered the picture until about 1830 but is now the dominant concept taught as well as believed today by many denominations of self proclaimed Christians.
The notion that all the good guys will be whisked out of here before the terrible days of the tribulation period has NO scriptural backing. Revelation 16:12 addresses the 6th plague being poured out, the drying up of the great river Euphrates. This river represents peoples, multitudes, nations and tongues around the world who support the false doctrines of mystery Babylon. This passage means that God’s wrath will be poured out on living people ALL around the world who continue supporting the deceptions of mystery Babylon all the way to the end.
Revelation 16:17-21 deals with the seventh angel pouring out his vial and the 56 pound hailstones falling down on the men of the earth. But in between these two events, the last events of the tribulation, in Revelation 16:15 Jesus says he will come for his bride as a thief. When? On the last day. He tells us that at least four different times in the Bible.
"And this is the Father's will who has sent me, that of all whom He
has given me I should lose none, but should raise him up again at the
"And this is the will of him who sent me…that every one who sees
the Son and believes on Him may have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the
(John 6:44) "No man can come to Me,
except the Father who has sent me to draw him: and I will raise him up at the
(John 6:54) "Whoever eats My
flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the
Does this sound like you are
going to be whisked out of here before tribulation? It’s pretty clear from
scripture just when Jesus is coming for his bride. On the LAST DAY, at the end
of tribulation, just before the hailstones start dropping.
Seventh Day Adventists, we are taught and believe that death is a sleep.
The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 12:7 “the body returns to the
dust and the spirit [or breath of life] returns to God.”
Job 27:3 tells us that the spirit is the same as God’s breath of life or His power.
Psalm 146:4 says, "When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing."
Psalm 115:17. “The dead do not know anything.”
9:5, "For the living know that they will die, but the dead know
The interval between death and the resurrection is described in the Bible as "sleep." No consciousness of what is happening, or time passing, etc. Dying is like going to sleep and your next conscious thought - which will seem like the next moment - is when God resurrects you giving you back your life.
It is similar to going under an anesthetic for an operation ; once it hits you, you know nothing until it is all over and you wake up in the recovery room.
do many churches preach that we go to
heaven or hell when we die?
Did Lazarus come out of his tomb and start yakking about how great heaven was? How about other people Jesus brought back to life that had died? No.
Why? Because they were asleep and knew nothing, just like the Bible says.
Think about this. If everyone went to heaven or hell when they died, who would be left to be Jesus’ bride when he came at the second coming to resurrect? Duh! Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that one out.
We also believe that hell is not yet. How can people die and go to hell if hell is not yet? The Bible tells us that hell is right here on earth at the end of the millennium when Satan has rounded up all the resurrected wicked at the second resurrection, convinced them that the New Jerusalem should be theirs and that they can take it, and as they are about to attack the New Jerusalem, all hell breaks loose, pardon the pun.
Just like occurred at Sodom and Gomorrah, God rains down fire and brimstone and toasts them all. There is so much burning sulphur that comes down that it becomes as a lake; hence the name “Lake of Fire”. It is real, just as the burning of Sodom and Gomorrah was real. Sulphur balls are still found in the sands around those cities even today.
Another false teaching is that the burning in hell is forever and ever. Well, the Bible says Sodom and Gomorrah burned forever too but is it burning today? No. How long did it burn? It burned until everyone was dead and all consumable material was turned to ash. How long will hell burn?? Hell will burn until all the wicked people are annihilated and all the consumables are turned to ash.
Then God creates a new earth. How could he create a new earth if earth was going to burn forever and ever. And how much respect would you have for a God that for a few short years of sinning on earth punished people that severely for eons and eons. Does that sound like a loving God to you?
What happened? How did all these false teachings come about? There are many reasons but here are three that have a lot of bearing on the subject.
1. People take out of context what scripture says. They will base their belief or quote on a passage or even a partial passage without examining other criteria. To really interpret what the Bible is telling us we should use the approach that Pastor Francisco imparted to me:
1. We read the complete verse
2. We read what it says before and after that verse
3. We read the chapter to see what else it says about the same topic.
4. We read the Book to see what else it says about the same topic.
5. If the person who wrote the book has written other books we look in those books for information on the same topic.
6. If the verse is from the Old testament. we search all that is mentioned about the same topic in the old testament.
7. Then we do the same for the New testament.
8. Then we look in the original texts, Hebrew or Greek, again to discover what it says about the topic we are researching.
9. We can look in Bible commentaries. Many Bibles have commentary alongside the scriptural passages to further explain what is meant
10. Then we may be ready to draw conclusions about what the Bible says about the topic.
11. Then we look in the Ellen G. White writings to see what she said about the topic.
When you do that... you really know what the BIble says.. not what other people say about the topic..
One website on the internet
I visit to study has his link posted at the top of the page at www.adventistbooks.com
. He is NOT an Adventist and in his website he has a page on the Sabbath. He
claims that 9 of the ten commandments came over to the new testament and
provides scriptural support for those nine. He also claims that a 7th
day Sabbath went away at the cross and was only for the Jews anyway. Really now?
He also doesn’t believe in death as a sleep and he does believe hell is here
an now and is forever and ever.. How can he have so many things right but these
key issues wrong? Because he took
scripture out of context and did not apply the methodology of studying the Bible
we just spoke of.
Two – During the
Protestant Reformation many people were starting to leave the Roman Catholic
church, because it was clear to them that the church itself was the beast power
spoken of in Daniel and Revelation and that the office of the papacy was the
antichrist who had been with them for centuries.
The Catholic church believed
in the authority of the church, the Protestants believed in the authority of the
The Roman Catholic church
commissioned two Jesuit priests, Alcasar and Ribera, to invent a new theory of
prophecy that would take the church off the hook and shift the blame to someone
Alcasar came up with a
preterist theory of interpretation to show that the prophecies of the antichrist
were fulfilled before the pope ever ruled Rome.
Ribera, by contrast, applied
all of Revelation but the earliest chapters to the end of time rather than to
the history of the church. He
claimed that the antichrist would be a single evil , Nicholas Carpathian, type
of individual who would be received by the Jews and that he would rebuild
Jerusalem; a futurist interpretation.
Futurism sees the majority
of revelation yet on the horizon. Nothing could be further from the truth, yet
today, in the 21st century, futurism has by far the most followers.
Why is that? How did we get so far away from the truth?
3. A Virus.
The answer is that this form of apostocy has crept into the church just as a computer virus will slip unnoticed into your laptop or pc, infect your files, and spread not only to other files on your computer but also to the computers of others you communicate with.
Computer viruses are very
destructive, and so has been the transition in thinking from historicism to
futurism. The futurism of Ribera never posed
a threat to Protestantism for almost 300 years, but in 1826 a British
lawyer named Maitland picked up on Rivera’s theory and published a widely read
book attacking the reformation and supporting the Jesuit idea of a future
The virus lurked in this
book. After Maitland a man named Todd picked up the ball and ran with it,
followed by Newman, then Iriving, then Darby who invented the pretrib rapture
along with the endtime antichrist viewpoint; all erroneous.
The virus was spreading rapidly. And it kept spreading from one relay
team to the next including Hal Lindsey’s book , the Late Great Planet Earth
published in the 1970’s which brought Futurism to the masses of American
Christianity and beyond. Through
this book the Jesuit virus made incredible progress to replace historicism as
the prophetic operating system of the protestant world with notions that play
into the hands of Rome and screen the papacy from detection as the antichrist.
Enter the movie the Omega Code, fiction, but which firmly connects the Bible’s endtime prophecies with a rebuilt temple in Jerusalem. How about LEFT BEHIND? How many have heard of the Left Behind books and movies? Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins picked up the ball from Hal Lindsey and all his predecessors and made books and movies called the Left Behind series, the most successful Christian fiction series ever. The problem? People who are too lazy to read the Bible themselves are treating these as the Gospel message; not fiction. The virus is now spreading like wildfire and from this virus come teachings that are false but have become immensely popular today, such as all true Christians will soon vanish in a rapture before the tribulation.
Today we are suffering a truth outage. Apostocy, a departure from gospel truth and true Christian faith, IS taking over many denominations, just as predicted. How is it possible for false doctrine to run rampant in a day with so many Bibles within easy reach? In part, it is because false teachers are convincingly presenting a partial truth as the whole truth and distorting its intended meaning. It is how Satan operates best, mixing some truth with his lies.
To compound the problem dealing with the false teachings of endtime prophecy, many denominations are now preaching eternal salvation. Once saved, always saved. This is just another form of apostocy.
That if you come to Jesus the first time, you will be saved from then on no matter how much you revert back to your old sinning nature. This is a very dangerous doctrine; and very hazardous to your salvation if you follow it.
this teaching, which gives a license for immorality in the Bible?
Look at 1Cor. 6:9,10
ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not
deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor
effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners,
shall inherit the kingdom of God.
the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and
whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have
their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is
the second death.
sound to me like we’ve been given the license to continue sinning if we want
to get to heaven. This erroneous
teaching reflects how truly dark the days are in which we live and how close we
are getting to the second coming.
The true plan of salvation is
repentance towards God and faith in Christ Jesus (Acts 20:21). We prove our
faith and repentance by our deeds (Acts 26:20). The Lord Jesus taught the road
to life is "hard" and only a "few" will find
it (Mathew 7:13,14). Many get saved, but afterwards fall away (Lk. 8:13; Jn.
6:66; 1 Tim. 1:19; etc.).
After initial salvation we
must endure to the "end" to enter the kingdom of God and escape
the lake of fire (Mt. 10:22; Heb. 3:14; Rev. 2:10,11). Although eternal life
comes to the repentant the moment such believe on Jesus for salvation (Jn. 3:16;
6:47; 1 Jn. 5:12,13), it doesn’t end there.
If a saved person sows to please his sinful nature he'll die spiritually (Rom. 8:13; Gal. 6:8,9). The end result of sin is spiritual death; DO NOT BE DECEIVED (James 1:14-16), do not fall into apostocy. Many think they can believe on Jesus without obeying him. This is not the message of the Bible, but a dangerous misunderstanding and spiritual snare.
According to true grace teaching, eternal life is also a HOPE (Titus 3:7), yet to be REAPED (Gal. 6:8,9) in the AGE TO COME (Mk. 10:30) for only the ones who PERSIST IN DOING GOOD and DO NOT GROW WEARY AND GIVE UP (Rom. 2:7).
daily and continuously with our Saviour Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of Heaven
shall be yours.
Peace be with you mi hermanos.
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