View Full Version : The Great Apostasy

06-06-2016, 05:54 AM
Apostasy means to fall away from the truth. Therefore, an apostate is someone who has once believed and then rejected the truth of God. Apostasy is a rebellion against God because it is a rebellion against truth. False doctrines are like the winds that toss the water to and fro; and they unsettle the minds of men, which are as unstable as water. It is by these deviant doctrines that many will be herded to follow the wide path of spiritual desolation.

There is a prophecy in 2 Thessalonians about a coming apostasy that is associated with the disclosure of the anti-Christ. 2 Thess. 2:3, "Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come (the return of Christ) unless the apostasy (rebellion) comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction." The expression signifies one who belongs by natural ties to perdition—who from his very birth chooses evil, and in such a sense may be said to be born to be lost.

John 17:12 gives us yet another glimpse: "While I was with them, I protected them and guarded them by Your name, the name You gave Me. Not one of them has been lost, except the son of destruction, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled." While the lost one is often attributed to Judas Iscariot when reflecting on John 6:70, we have no verb of the same root as the abstract substantive “perdition,” and no abstract substantive of the same root as the verb “perish.” No exact translation can therefore give in English the point of our Lord’s words, except the phrase is used in Isaiah 57:4 to express the apostasy of the Israelites. If in keeping with inspired prophecy as two-fold, we could have here an immediate reference as Judas, and a final reference as the anti-Christ. The anti-Christ will be a former Christian, fully dedicated to Christ, only to fall into deep darkness as such as to actually lose their mark of salvation, the Holy Spirit.

This vast and dreadful Apostasy (see Luke 18:8), so clearly and prominently taught in the ancient Church, and so mysterious to us, is further defined by the following words, as the Apocalypse or Manifestation of the Man of Sin. Of this revelation of Antichrist the same word (apocalypsis) is used which is often used of Christ, as, e.g., 2 Thessalonians 1:7; Luke 17:30; and three times in the book of Peter. We may expect to recognize him when he comes as clearly as we shall recognize Christ. The conception of the Antichrist is not merely that of an opponent of the Christ, but of a rival Christ: there is a hideous parallelism between the two.

It is not absolutely certain from the Greek, but the context makes it clear that the “Man of Sin” is the head and center of the Apostasy itself, and does not form a separate movement from it. As mentioned previously, he “Man of Sin,” then, will have at one time formed (or will still profess to form) part of the Christian Church and the Apostasy will collect under him. A man so wicked that, bad as other men are, wickedness should be his mark by which he is distinguished from all others; a man who is darkness, in whom the ideal of sin has become realized and incarnate. Including the crowning sin—spiritual pride and rebellious arrogance (Ephesians 6:12).

The man of sin not only practices wickedness, but also promotes and commands sin and wickedness in others; and is the son of perdition, because he is devoted to certain destruction, and is the instrument to destroy many others, both in soul and body. The antichrist here mentioned, is a usurper of God's authority in the Christian church, who claims Divine honors.