Editor’s Note to Readers
In this issue of The New Cruse we are dealing with Apostasy & Famine in the Church. The general trend in the church today is that most want to be positive and not mention anything negative.
We live in a Church age that will talk readily about revival, miracles and blessings but will not deal clearly with the present departure from God’s Word and ways by those called ‘the church.’
By now I am sure you realise I very much believe in the God of Revivals. I believe it is His will to revive His Church and to bless her abundantly with His manifest presence. But to accept a mixture of worldliness with godliness as the pathway to revival is utter deception.
Just as the Bible, both in the Old Testament and the New, lays before us very clear practical teaching on revival, it also in the same manner lays before us very clear and serious warnings about departures among God’s people from God-ordained ways, will, pattern, and purpose of God.
What is apostasy? The Bible teaches that it is a recurring pattern amongst God’s people. Just read the book of Judges, the history of the Kings of Israel and Judah and the ministry of the last apostles of Christ at the end of the apostolic era. All biblical history records not only recurring revivals but recurring apostasies amongst God’s people.
That is why at present we have a flood of new gimmicks, strategies and new ways to reach the lost! That is why we have leaders who just share but never preach. That is why we have so much teaching that does not deal with sin, error or repentance. That is why we have so many warnings about ‘not being condemned.’ That is why all we hear on every hand is a people who say ‘But we are under grace.’
Paul said “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” Gal 1:6-8
These are very strong words to the Churches of Galatia which had come under the influences of other apostles. Some of them were true apostles like Peter who had become miss-guided, but most were false apostles and deceivers.
Such times call for strong preaching. It has always been that way. Yet now is the very time on the left and right that we are being told to mellow our message, to temper it and to accept a methodology that has never been acceptable to the true Church of God.
Rank apostasy has set in, yet the church wants to hold a party. False teaching has blinded us from the terrible tragedy of apostasy in the House of God.
The last Judge of Israel was Samson – the enemy blinded him! The last King of Israel was Zedekiah – the enemy blinded him! The last Church of Revelation was Laodicea – she blinded herself! Jdg.16:20-21; Jer.52:11; Rev.3v17.
This is the great danger of this last church age before Jesus returns. Most of what we see of the church in the West is the result of blindness. How do I know that? I hear continually ‘Oh I do not see things that way. This is a new generation. We can’t do things in the Church like they were done 40 years ago.’ And again they say ‘I don’t see anything wrong with social drinking. I don’t see anything wrong with having flashing lights and loud music to attract the young. I don’t see anything wrong with clowns and entertainment in the church. I don’t see anything wrong with the prosperity gospel.’ That is because you are blind!
Again Paul warned the Church that such would exist at the end of time and prophetically warned, “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;” 1Tim.4:1. This word “depart” or aphistēmi means to remove; to instigate a revolt; to desist, desert, draw away; to fall away.
Again he says, “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;” II Thess.2:3. This word “falling away” or apostasia means a defection from truth or a forsaking of truth. Before Antichrist appears, a great apostasy or falling away from truth will come to the visible church.
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” II Tim.4:3
Jesus also warned about an end day apostasy. He constantly warned his disciples “Take heed that no man deceive you.” (Mt.24v14.) This is the word planaō meaning to roam from safety, truth, and virtue; to go astray, deceive, err, seduce, wander; to be out of the way.
The word apostasy has close connections with the word adultery and divorce. It literally means a moving away or a departure from the Word of God. We are presently in an hour of apostasy but praise God we are seeking a genuine Heaven Sent Revival within the true Church.
Yours in Christ Jesus,
QUOTES ON APOSTASY
“This would be the first step in apostasy; men first forget the true, and then adore the false.” C.H. Spurgeon
“The raw material for a devil is an angel. The raw material for the son of perdition was an apostle; and the raw material for the most horrible of apostates is one who is almost a saint.” C.H. Spurgeon
“He is not the God of apostates, for he hath said, If any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.” C.H. Spurgeon
“You must pick from among the apostles to find an apostate.” C.H. Spurgeon
“Beginners in the way of grace, it is a great and solemn truth that every child of God will hold on until the end, but it is an equally solemn truth that many who profess to be the Lord’s are self-deceivers, and will turn out apostates after all.” – C.H. Spurgeon
“THE APOSTACY, or falling away from the faith (II Thess. 2:3 and II Tim. 3:1-5). We see today false religions and an apostate church, robbing Christ of His divinity and the Bible of its authority. Higher criticism has denied the incarnation and resurrection of our Lord and a multitude of ministers are preaching for salary rather than for souls, and easing the conscience rather than bearing witness against sin. We know that faith and faithful teachers will be scarce at Jesus' coming, for He says: ‘When the Son of Man cometh shall He find faith on the earth?’ The falling away must come first and then the man of sin, Antichrist, shall be revealed.” —William J Seymour
“We have the original word αποστασια in our word apostasy; and by this term we understand a dereliction of the essential principles of religious truth - either a total abandonment of Christianity itself, or such a corruption of its doctrines as renders the whole system completely inefficient to salvation.” – Adam Clarke
“The apostle speaks of some very great apostasy, not only of some converted Jews or Gentiles, but such as should be very general, though gradual, and should give occasion to the revelation of rise of antichrist, that man of sin.” – Matthew Henry
“The purity or apostaty of a church greatly depends on its ministers, leaders, teachers and preachers, just as the church in the old testament depended for its purity on the faithfulness of its priests (Mal.2:1-9).
“Only the revival of a powerful evangelical ministry will draw the church back from its present apostasy into that glorious state which will truly bring glory to God.”
“We do not know how far this apostasy will spread and to what heights it will reach. God can put a stop to it at any moment. But, provoked by the ingratitude of a wicked world, no one of us knows how long God will withhold the powerful influences of His Spirit.” – John Owen
“Love of the world, prosperity and ease, along with the cares and anxieties of life, cause many Christians to neglect these warnings and so they are in danger of falling away in times of great apostasy.”
“God has appointed a time when he will put a stop to all apostasy and ‘the Earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea’ (Hab.2:14).” – John Owen
"All backslidings, if we are not careful, can lead to this state of irrecoverable apostasy. Therefore, we must take heed that we do not ride with the hounds of any one sin, nor embrace one sinful lust.”
“This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.” – Apostle Paul (II Tim.1:15)
“But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.” – Apostle Peter (II Pet.2:22)
“The church has lost her testimony. She has no longer anything to say to the world. Her once robust shout of assurance has faded away to an apologetic whisper. She who one time went out to declare now goes out to inquire. Her dogmatic declaration has become a respectful suggestion, a word of religious advice, given with the understanding that it is after all only an opinion and not meant to sound bigoted. Pure Christianity, instead of being shaped by its culture, actually stands in sharp opposition to it.” – A.W. Tozer