Where is the Church, and when is the Apostasy?

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  • #7285
    IrenaeusFTW
    Participant

    It seems that lots of people here assume that the true Church was destroyed, overcome, or almost completely obscured from its very foundation. How does this square with Christ's promise that the gates of hell will not prevail? Matt 16:19

    How can Christ let the Church be overcome or reduced to obscurity? Christ says that a city on a hill cannot be hidden, and that a candle is not put under a basket. It would seem like He did just that if the Church was destroyed or totally impeded after the apostolic era. (Matt 5:13-16, Mark 4:21-23, Luke 8:16-17, Luke 11:33-37)

    Christ commanded His disciples to go and baptize all nations. Why would He command the Church to make disciples of and baptize all nations if He knew they were to be overcome in a generation or two? 

    Isn't it more likely that Christ's Church would spread over the whole earth and not be overcome? 

    In 2 Thessalonians Saint Paul speaks of an apostasy, but he speaks of it as a sign of Christ's imminent coming at the end of the world.

    Why should we assume that the apostasy took place almost 2,000 years ago, almost immediately after Christ sent the Church out to do His work? 

    If the Church was destroyed, overcome, or obscured for nearly two thousand years, how in the world can we hope to know the truth or restore it? 

    The birth of Church was accompanied by the Ressurection and Ascension of Christ and the coming of the Holy Sprit in tongues of fire. How can anyone claim to restore it without an equal miracle? 

  • #59692

    Simon
    Participant

    I’m at a loss re luke 23

    #59693

    emil
    Participant

    You realize that this is a letter written by Paul to the Galatians right? Do you believe that each chapters stands alone, or is the writing one continuous flow of thought? Where it is placed changes everything because it clarifies who Paul is talking about.

    #59694

    emil
    Participant

    Please study the background about Christianity in Galatia in that period. Please study the entire letter to the Galatians.

    It is crystal clear that Paul is writing to the Galatians not to fall for the Judaizers among them. That is why he even includes his own testimony of how he too persecuted the believers. Do not blindly accept the teaching that Paul is warning people about pagan customs. He is warning them about faith in Mosaic law to the exclusion of faith in the redemption provided by Jesus. However, he does warn that faith in Jesus should not be an excuse to sin.

    #59695

    emil
    Participant

    Simon wrote:

    I'm at a loss re luke 23

     

    The statement made by WMS brother might be misunderstood to mean that Luke 23:55 commands the keeping of sabbath. It doesn't.

     

    WMS brother wrote:

    Emil

    Well when you want to read all of it perhaps you will be able to discern the difference between people who claim the holy day is Sunday, and the faithful followers of jesus who kept the sabbath as commanded in Luke 23:55

    #59696

    Simon
    Participant

    I got what YOU said Emil just not wns brother

    #59697

    IrenaeusFTW
    Participant

    My computer crashed, commenting from my phone.

    In Galatians 4:8-9 Paul is comparing their former status as slaves to sin as paganism, with the slavery of the law they are unnecessarily burdening themselves with. He is saying, if you were free and walked with God as sons, why are you reverting a relationship that’s is less than sonship?

    As far as your plethora of verses WMS, it shows that people were deviating and sinning, but it hardly proves total apostasy and the destruction of the Church.

    #59698

    emil
    Participant

    OK let me look at some more of the examples from list. 

     

    WMS brother wrote:

    "Did the Church almost immediately apostasize after the apostles died? Is that possible or reasonable? I don't think it is."

    Actually thats exactly what happened. Tons of verses testify to exactly this, allow me to review them with you. Indeed, it was even begining to happen before the apostles even died.

    Galatians 1

    "6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel"

    Galatians 3

    "3 You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you?"

    I have already dealt with the above. It is a commonly accepted fact among commentators that Paul writes to the Galatians not to be swayed by the Judaizers who are trying to shift them back to the law of Moses.

    2 Thessalonians 2

    "7 For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work"

    True that can be apostasy. But who is it? How about reading all the way from verse 1? Here it is:

    Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers and sisters, 2 not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by the teaching allegedly from us—whether by a prophecy or by word of mouth or by letter—asserting that the day of the Lord has already come. 3 Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. 4 He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God5 Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things? 6 And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. 7 For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work;

    Looking at those words, including those I have emphasized, it becomes clear who fits. The one who prophesies end days and claims to be god.

    1 Corinthians 4

    "18 Some of you have become arrogant"

    1 Corinthians 5

    "5 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you"

    The above indicate sinfulness among certain people but apostasy?

    1 Corinthians 6

    "7 The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already."

    Not really apostasy but we can see who lawsuits applies to most accurately.

    2 Corinthians 11

    "3 But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. … you put up with it easily enough."

    Neat trick to delete all those words and replace them by … with intent to make people believe what you claim. Let us see what the words in 1 Cor 11:3-4, which you have deleted, actually say:

    But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 4 For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.

    Aah! we get it. Who preaches a different Christ? Who preaches a different holy spirit? You ought to be careful because Jesus has said that sins against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven.

    1 Timothy 1

    "6 Some have departed from these and have turned to meaningless talk. 7 They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about"

    OK lets see what Paul is talking about here. Look at 1 Tim 1:3-7 to get the context:

    3 As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain people not to teach false doctrines any longer 4 or to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. Such things promote controversial speculations rather than advancing God’s work—which is by faith. 5 The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. 6 Some have departed from these and have turned to meaningless talk. 7 They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm.

    Can you guess who this is?

    2 Timothy 1

    "15 You know that everyone in the province of Asia has deserted me, including Phygelus and Hermogenes. 16 May the Lord show mercy to the household of Onesiphorus"

    Lets drop the above as it looks innocuous as far as a general apostasy is concerned.

    2 Peter 2

    "2 But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. 2 Many will follow their depraved conduct"

    Who denies the sovereign Lord who bought them? The WMSCOG who has a different pair of gods.

    Revelation 2

     

    "14 Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: There are some among you who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin so that they ate food sacrificed to idols and committed sexual immorality. "

    "20 Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols."

    Two clues in the above. Sexual immorality could quite likely be a person who is married, has kids and then lives in with someone who is not the spouse. Any guesses?

    How about that woman Jezebel? Anyone care to hazard a guess who it can be?

    The true deception of Satan is to appear as a church of Christ boasting about salvation and authority, even as supposed "servants of righteousness" lead everyone in it astray.

    Or appear as a CoG?

    It is not a pagan church persecuring Cristians, the beast masquerades as an angel of light.

    It is not a pagan emperor that Satan empowers, but a man who sets himself up in the temple of Christ and proclaims to have authority from God; that too is written.

    Or perhaps a woman who sets herself as a goddess.

    Thus let us follow the example of Paul, who kept sabbath. Let us not be divided. Indeed the sabbath is a commandment even directly from Christ

    Paul went to the synagogues on the sabbath exactly the same way as you guys go to the Malls and university campuses. That is clearly mentioned in the bible. Open your eyes friend.

    Let us be like theese women who have heard the instructions of Christ:

    Luke 23

    "55and the women also who have come with Him [Jesus] out of Galilee having followed after, beheld the tomb, and how his body was placed, 56and having turned back, they made ready spices and ointments, and on the sabbath, indeed, they rested, according to the command."

    Instructions of Christ? Kindly point out.

    As you can easily see, the charge of apostasy fits you guys extremely well.

    #59699

    emil
    Participant

    Simon wrote:

    Galatians 2:12 isn't about the galatians and is thus irrelevant

    True but he is writing to the Galatians. It is important to read all of Galatians to understand the context correctly. Gal 2:12 among many other verses in the letter, helps to understand whether Paul was rebuking the Galatians for reverting to pagan practices or for following the Judaizers.

    #59700

    Simon
    Participant

    But the fact he says they are reverting shows his point clearly.

    so his intention must be something else

    #59701

    emil
    Participant

    You are just taking Gal 4:9 and using it to interpret the whole pastoral letter. In doing this, you are ignoring so many other pointers that the rebuke is against succumbing to the Judaizers. If you are open to seeing what I mean and haven't seen it before, I am willing to gather all these points and post them here.

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