Among the epidemics of just this 21st century caused by things naturally unseen is the most deadly of all: unbelief in God! After nearly 2,000 years of being “to God the fragrance of Christ” as His faithful spreading the Gospel and witnessing Him throughout earth, the world is still wicked and growing worse; having rejected His faithful, our message and witness as an “aroma of death leading to death,” (2 Corinthians 2:14-16, NKJV).1 Indeed, this is happening despite more than a millennium of dominance by Christianity as manmade religion over most of the world starting from the Middle Ages when men at least outwardly professed a belief in God. Now, they are turning even from this!
The turn away from a general belief in God can be traced to the 14th century rise of humanism during the Renaissance that made man rather than God the center of existence.2 This philosophy elevated human reason as more authoritative than the Bible and religion and spurred such critical historical events as the 17th century European Enlightenment as well as the divorce of science from a biblical worldview of creation beginning earnestly with Charles Darwin’s “Theory of Evolution” in the 19th century. Today, all of our nation’s secular and not a few professed Christian educational institutions operate with the mindset God’s existence is only a faith construct of the religious.
It is one thing for the unsaved world to be turning away from belief in God with a corresponding rejection of His Word including prophecy, but it is another over the top thing for anyone claiming they are Christians to do so! Nevertheless, I have pointed to recent research in other posts that shows the epidemic of unbelief in God fully infecting the unsaved population of our nation is growing too, among many that profess to be Christians who are de facto apostates.3 I am convinced of the Lord that this epidemic of unbelief with its beginnings in the Renaissance which was certainly in part a freeing reaction to corrupt, stifling, dead manmade Christianity the religion, is also a satanically cultivated outcome of it!4 Truly, He foreknew these days and wills that His faithful not be discouraged by them.
Speaking of Himself as the manifestation of God’s Kingdom, His glorious future return after enduring Israel’s rejection and warning that it will be “as it was in the days of Noah” and “Lot” (Luke 17:20-37, NKJV), the Lord Jesus Christ “spoke a parable” to His hearers encouraging “that men always ought to pray and not lose heart,” (Luke 18:1, NKJV). The Lord compares the response of an unjust judge to a persistent widow and that of God to “His own elect” waiting on Him and vengeance on the faithless wicked who have mistreated them a long time (Luke 18:2-8a, NKJV). God’s elect and faithful are to wait on Him in persevering faith which tragically, the Lord laments in a rhetorical question He will not find in predominance on earth at His return (Luke 18:8b).5
1 As I write in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics and will not cease declaring, God’s faithful are always going to include every aspiring strong man and great
woman of God in the image of Jesus Christ! The book is available with the companion Strong Man Of God Men’s Group Study and Great Woman Of God Women’s Group
Study in the Strong Man Store, at your favorite internet bookseller or brick and mortar bookstore.
2 Use your favorite search engine for articles on the origin of humanism.
3 See the 2019 Pew Research Center article, In U.S., Decline of Christianity Continues at Rapid Pace. Also, learn how lack of a biblical worldview is widespread in professing
American Christianity and among its leaders in a recent study by the Cultural Research Center directed by Dr. George Barna at Arizona Christian University.
4 Read the two-part post beginning August 21, 2016, Christianity The Religion Of Men, under the category, Instruction. Religion constructed and controlled by men is a fully
inferior substitute for relationship with the living God whose reality in “wrath” is near to being displayed because they purposely “suppress the truth in unrighteousness” a-
bout what can be “clearly seen” of Him “in” and all around “them,” (Romans 1:18-21, NKJV).
5 The Lord’s lament affirms what He has repeatedly led me to write concerning the number of those “who are alive and remain until” His coming as being very small (1 Thes-
salonians 4:15, NKJV). Indeed, He even speaks to this remnant in advance warning them to stay alert in their persevering faith near the time of His sudden appearing (Rev-
If as a professed Christian you read through the November 25, 2018 post, “Standing In The Evil Day,” under the category, Encouragement, with skepticism and scoffing, then you may not be a Christian at all or deadly unbelief has a grip on your heart. By express divine will, faith in God is to characterize the lives of those professing to be Christians since through it we are saved and live before God (Habakkuk 2:4; Matthew 21:18-22)! Just because amazing works of power may not pop off every day through us who have faith, does not mean we are not to believe they are possible anytime we look to our God to speak or act in accord with His will. Not to live with such expectancy of faith is to automatically limit what God can do through us as I write in this edited 2013 repost.
Originally Posted March 17, 2013
Reflecting further on what the Lord led me to write last week about my journey and encounters I have had with fearful, this present world focused professed Christians who are silent in the face of evil,1 I have seen how many such persons also walk in a spiritually debilitating cynicism regarding the genuineness of Christians like myself that are truly zealous for the Lord and His Kingdom. Because they never had or long ago quenched the Spirit’s fire (of course, some in the flesh are simply envious or threatened), they refuse to believe anyone else could be so passionately “sold out” to Christ and attempt in some way to either discourage them through negative acts or obstruct their ministry efforts.
The churches and their pulpits are filled with these professed Christians that live in cynical unbelief not only concerning the genuine commitment of other Christians, but most devastatingly, the power of God! Since biblical Christianity is about faith in God from beginning to end (Romans 1:16-17), unbelief for a professed Christian would surely have consequences. First and foremost among the consequences of unbelief is the impossibility of pleasing God (Hebrews 11:6).2 Lack of faith in God by His people not only displeases Him, but their deeds (sin) born of unbelief grieve Him (Psalms 78:40, 95:7-11; Ephesians 4:30). Unbelief also limits the display of God’s power among His people (Psalm 78:41-42; Mark 6:1-6).
Now, while the context certainly shows the unbelief of the people in His hometown was influenced by their familiarity with Jesus and His human family (Mark 6:1-4), the end result is the same for not believing: the Lord could not do any “mighty work there,” (Mark 6:5, NKJV). The Jews of Nazareth in the 1st century had done just as their forefathers in history and limited the power of God being displayed in their midst by Jesus through unbelief. Please note the Lord’s reaction: “And He marveled because of their unbelief,” (Mark 6:6, NKJV). The Son of God who knows the hearts of all men and the history of His own people, Israel, still walked away in stunned amazement at the unbelief He encountered in Nazareth that day.
No doubt our Lord continues to be amazed by the many Jews and Gentiles since those days to this hour that profess to know Him personally, intimately as Christians and yet, do not believe in Him. Indeed, surveying the earth at the time of His return, the Lord with sober amazement concludes, “Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth,” (Luke 18:1-8, NKJV)? Today, to counter the many sensationalist charlatans who act as if they have harnessed God and His power to do their commanded bidding (and are mixed in with the authentically gifted which has been the case from the 1st century--Acts 19:11-17), those of cynical unbelief go to the other extreme and teach God is no longer doing any works of power through men.
To be sure, the men at both ends of these extremes displease the Lord (Matthew 7:21-23; 23:13-15; 2 Timothy 3:1-9). However, those that walk in and teach cynical unbelief are far more wide spread in the churches; destroying the faith of some and discouraging many by their own unbelief smugly presented. Faithful Christians; aspiring strong men and great women of God in the image of Christ understand the continuing display of God’s power through the Holy Spirit is how we live in faith every day (1 Peter 1:3-5).3 God responds to our prayers for miraculous intervention to heal, deliver, breakthrough or alter circumstances on our behalf (Mark 11:22-26; Luke 11:9-13). But even when He does not, the knowledge of His good end and joy of His living presence sustains us (1 Peter 1:6-9)!
We also pray for each other in expectant faith as dear children (James 5:13-18; 1 John 3:21-23, 5:14-15). Finally, we successfully engage in the family war against Satan in the strength, armor, weapons and resources the Father supplies to us as His sons through faith (Ephesians 6:10-18; 2 Corinthians 10:3-6; 1 Peter 5:8-11)! Rather than limiting God through unbelief, through our child-like faith we completely free Him up to do whatever He wills in the display of His power on our behalf and to His glory! Nonetheless, professed Christians walking in cynical unbelief among the carnal practitioners of manmade Christianity the religion has led the way into apostasy unfolding for centuries and leading to the foretold full blown major event shortly to come.4 The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
1 See the August 9, 2015 repost, Silent Endorsers Of Evil under the category, The Faith.
2 Read Easy Belief, reposted on July 8, 2018 under the category, The Faith
3 Learn more about the aspiring strong man and great woman of God in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics. It is available at all major internet book-
sellers, by order at your favorite brick and mortar bookstore or in the Strong Man Store.
4 See the February 2, 2014 post, The Falling Away, under the category, Bible Prophecy.
Since the fall of Adam, God has ordained as a general rule that men relate to Him exclusively by faith--that is, trust and confidence in as well as reliance upon Him! Adam failed to do this in spite of actually being able to look upon the indescribable glory of God his Creator’s face and experience the awesome wonder of the divine attributes for he willingly disobeyed Him (Genesis 2:7-8, 16-17, 3:1-11). Adam’s unbelief brought upon him and his progeny to come God’s promised consequence of death and then some (Genesis 3:17-19, 22-24; Romans 5:12).1 Now too, while men He has selected may see His glory, He declares ‘“no man shall see Me, and live,’” (Exodus 33:17-23, NKJV).
Those mortal men then that arrogantly insist that they will believe in God when they see Him with their sin-filled eyes are doomed since they never will and would die if they did! For how can sinful men look upon the purity of absolute holiness (Isaiah 6:1-7)? No, it is yet another manifest display of God’s grace that He has required that men relate to Him by faith. As it is written, ‘“Behold the proud, his soul is not upright in him; but the just shall live by his faith,’” (Habakkuk 2:4, NKJV). And again, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him,” (Hebrews 11:6, NKJV).2
The truth of the foregoing is why no one can be saved from the wrath of God--another consequence of unbelief in Him, apart from faith in the Gospel of His Son, Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for our sins, was buried and rose again on the third day (John 3:16-21, 36; Romans 1:16-17; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4). As He did with the first man, Adam, God gives all the free will to choose to believe His Word this time in the Gospel. Obviously, you must first believe God exists which He also allows the choice to do or not. However, in the face of the vast evidence of His very real existence, it is written twice, “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God,’” (Psalms 14:1a, 53:1a, NKJV).
Not believing in God does not relegate Him to non-existence! The evidence for the existence of the living God and Creator is all around us generally in His creation starting with “the heavens” and by special revelation through His written Word (Psalm 19:1-11, NKJV). So overwhelming is the evidence for God’s existence, His “wrath” when it comes will fall upon willfully unbelieving men who have actively suppressed the truth even as it is manifested “in them” and who “are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God,” (Romans 1:18-21, NKJV). They will be “judged” and spend eternity separated from God in “the lake of fire,” (Revelation 20:11-15, NKJV). Truly also, those without an excuse include Christians who fall away in unbelief!3
If as it is written, “the just shall live by his faith,” how is it many that profess to be Christians in these latter days are convinced their unbelief is of no consequence to them now or eternally? Scripture is clear such ones have been deceived either by themselves or others. For endurance to the end by faith is taught throughout the New Testament (Matthew 24:13; Colossians 1:21-23; Hebrews 3:5-19, 6:4-8, 10:26-39; 2 Peter 2:20-22; 1 John 2:28-29; Revelation 2:25-29).4 Indeed, professed Christians who live as though there is no God are in for a rude awakening since He will not be “mocked,” (Galatians 6:7-8, NKJV). Conversely for the faithful who have endured by faith, they as “the pure in heart” are “blessed” since “they shall see God” in eternal peace (Matthew 5:8, NKJV).
1 Death has been the undeniable reality of the human experience for millennia. What many do not consider is that before Christ, everyone that died went to Hades to await
the judgment. After His death, burial, visit to Hades preaching His victory, resurrection and ascension to glory with the saints He liberated (Ephesians 4:7-10; 1 Peter 3:
18-22), only those refusing to believe in Him for salvation die and go to Hades. This is the staggering reality occurring every day on earth previewed in the fourth seal
Christ removes opening a scroll of prophecy for His apostle John to see (Revelation 6:7-8)!
2 The impossibility of pleasing God without faith is what makes The Epidemic Of Unbelief In God the Lord led me to write about September 25, 2022, under the category, En-
couragement, so wickedly devastating for the guilty who yet again as Eve at the beginning, fall prey to the deceiving work and destructive end goal of Satan (Genesis 3:13)!
3 Read the February 2, 2014 post, The Falling Away, under the category, Bible Prophecy.
4 In my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics, I write about the spiritual strength to endure God supplies His aspiring strong men and great women in the image of
Jesus Christ who by faith “endured the cross,” (Hebrews 12:1-2, NKJV)! Get the book along with the companion Strong Man Of God Men’s Group Study and Great Wo-
man Of God Women’s Group Study in the Strong Man Store, at your favorite internet bookseller or brick and mortar bookstore.
Following up last week’s post,1 as yet another display of grace before His wrath comes upon those that refuse to believe in God, He will present the reality of His existence to them through some mighty, unprecedented warning judgments. These unprecedented warning judgments will be so sudden, stunning and jarring that denying the existence of God thereafter will be impossible! Instead, the foretold events of God’s judgments plainly manifested as in the days when by great displays of His power He brought Israel out of Egypt,2 will reveal what is really at the core of guilty mankind’s unbelief in Him: hearts so hardened into sin they refuse to bow to and glorify God as God!
Indeed, it is not as if God’s current remedial judgments occurring all around us as foretold do not pack enough information to convince men of His reality. But even some professed Christians are refusing to acknowledge the obvious hand of God in the rising global heat and other weather events of climate upheaval (Jeremiah 23:16-22), “famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places” because they want the world to remain unchanged for their profit. As mothers know, however, when the birth pains of pregnancy suddenly begin there is great change. Birth pains are underway in the earth because the Kingdom of God is about to be born into it (Matthew 24:3-8, NKJV)!
An unchanged fallen world may be the desire of sinful men, but not the Holy God who created the universe in accord with His purposes and plans for man now, being fulfilled through His Son, Jesus Christ (Isaiah 45:12; Colossians 1:13-18; Hebrews 2:5-10)! For this cause, the Kingdom of God must come to earth so all He has promised as an inheritance to His Son is realized (Psalm 2:7-8). Therefore, God in grace and longsuffering has sent only remedial judgments while having the Gospel of His Son preached throughout the earth to this hour that though they have been severe in many cases over the past 2,500 years, men have been able to recover with relative few exceptions.3
In the destructive aftermath of the coming unprecedented warning judgments as a precursor to His full-on wrath initiating “the day of the Lord,” only He is able to bring forth restoration (Isaiah 13:6-16, 35:1-10, NKJV)! At Christ’s opening of the “seventh seal” and Almighty God’s entire prophetic scroll, “seven trumpets” announce the judgments of grave warning as signs expressly from Him and motivated in part by the prayers of His saints that begin suddenly from the sky (Joel 2:30; Luke 21:11; Revelation 5:1-10, 8:1-6, NKJV). The first trumpet is “hail and fire…mingled with blood…thrown down to the earth” resulting in “a third of the trees” being “burned up…and all the green grass,” (Revelation 8:7, NKJV).4 The judgment is similar to one God has previously done (Exodus 9:13-35)!
This storm has literal blood mixed with hail and fire pouring down on the targeted undisclosed region of the earth. It comes upon a world indifferent to the shedding even of righteous blood (Revelation 6:1-4, 9-11). Note that only a third of the trees are burned up--apparently God the Creator knows enough about the earth He created not to burn down all of them since they contribute to the air we breathe! Thirds are a theme in the warning judgments and indicative of their ends to display God’s reality, invite repentance and preview some of what is coming in His full-on wrath. Only an omniscient, omnipotent God as He is could selectively burn up just a third of the trees but all of the green grass (Isaiah 40:25-26)! Surely, this is enough information to believe God exists isn’t it?
1 Read the October 2, 2022 post, Unbelief In God Has Consequences, under the category, Instruction.
2 See the September 29, 2019 post, God Almighty In A 21st Century World, under the category, Bible Prophecy.
3 Among the most notable exceptions is ancient Babylon God declared would never rise again as has been the case (Isaiah 13:17-22; Jeremiah
4 Other contemporary word for word translations of the Bible such as the ESV, NASB and NET include “a third of the earth was burned up” in this
passage as the center column notes in my NKJV also indicate. Learn more about word for word Bible translations in our Fruitful Bible Study
Self-Paced Video Course on the Strong Man Virtual Institute YouTube Channel.
Faithful Christians will point out the events of the first trumpet have all happened exactly as God’s written Word foretells as does every calamity in the sounding of those to follow. The second trumpet features “something like a great mountain burning with fire” hurled from the sky “into the sea.” It results in “a third” of it becoming “blood” and the same fraction of “living creatures” killed along with “ships” that are “destroyed,” (Revelation 8:8-9, NKJV). With the third trumpet, “a great star fell from heaven burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and…springs of water” making them “bitter” (as it is named) with poison from which “many men died,” (Revelation 8:10-11, NKJV).
The fourth trumpet heralds an event never before experienced by men: the sudden cutting of a “third of the day” and “night” time hours so that a full day is no longer 24, but 16 hours (Revelation 8:12, NKJV). This is impossible men have scoffed for centuries and that is the point! Yes, in the natural order of things Almighty God set at the beginning day and night are generally 12 hours each (Genesis 1:1-5, 14-19; John 11:9). Only He could intervene to temporarily cut short the length of a day not only as a fitting judgment upon a world rebels against His order of mankind have thrown into chaos,5 but for the sake of His elect impacted by His judgments (Matthew 24:22; Mark 13:20).
Those still not ready to acknowledge Him will painfully receive more evidence (Revelation 8:13). God will allow physically altered locusts as if from some genetic engineering experiment gone awry controlled by the angelic governor of “the bottomless pit” to torment men without His “seal” in the fifth trumpet “for five months,” (Revelation 9:1-12, NKJV).6 The living seal of God is the Holy Spirit that can only be received one of two ways. The first way now, and to the end is to repent and believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ to be saved from one’s sin (Acts 2:36-40; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22). The second is exclusive to and for the protection of God’s future elect Jewish remnant (Revelation 7:1-8).7
The sixth trumpet unleashes “four angels…to kill a third of mankind” using “horsemen” numbering 200 million riding some remarkably equipped “horses” that do their killing through “fire, smoke, and brimstone,” (Joel 2:1-17; Revelation 9:13-19, NKJV). Never having seen anything like this army or the scale of death and destruction they bring you would think this would be enough for all the unsaved survivors to fall to their knees in repentance and glorify God who they absolutely know is behind it. But this does not happen as with fully hardened hearts like Pharaoh of old, they obstinately refuse to repent even of idolatry among other transgressions and iniquities (Revelation 9:20-21)!
After a delay, the last seven years of God’s prophetic timeline He gave to Daniel commence.8 He sends His two witnesses to ‘“prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth’” which occupy the first half of the seven years. They consume those who would kill them with “fire” and bring “plagues” upon the earth “as often as they desire,” (Revelation 11:3-6, NKJV). Since he “ascends out of the bottomless pit” immortal and is indestructible, “the beast” or Antichrist is able “to make war against” God’s two witnesses, “overcome…and kill them,” (Revelation 11:7, NKJV). Still, men refuse to repent and glorify God during the multiple judgments of the sixth trumpet thus far.
In fact, other than God’s Jewish elect and Christians, the whole world rejoices when His two witnesses are killed by the Antichrist; not allowing “their dead bodies” to be buried as they celebrate their demise and this apparent victory over God (Revelation 11:8-10, NKJV). This despicable revelry shows how totally hardened into sin depraved humanity at this point is. But my God will always have the last word and shows His greatness and power once again by raising His two witnesses from the dead then, summoning them up to Heaven by ascension in the sight of “their enemies,” (Revelation 11:11-12, NKJV).9 Certainly, they glorify God as God after witnessing these things--no!
Instead, the pall of dread is suddenly interrupted and replaced with terror by a “great earthquake” that causes “a tenth of” Jerusalem to collapse and “seven thousand people were killed.” Finally though in Israel, there are fearful hearts willing to humbly give “glory to the God of heaven” and the events of the sixth trumpet end (Proverbs 29:1; Revelation 11:13-14, NKJV). Blowing of the seventh trumpet follows announcing in advance the victory of God and His Christ’s Kingdom, full-on “wrath,” judgment “of the dead,” “reward” of His “prophets…saints, and those who fear” His “name, small and great, and” the destruction of “those who destroy the earth,” (Revelation 11:15-19, NKJV).
5 Read the July 27, 2014 post, God Of Order, under the category, Instruction. At last, God will vindicate me in standing with the relatively few other faithful Christians that
have maintained He has not changed regarding the place of order in His creation including the family and His house! Learn more about God’s unchanged order of
mankind from the Bible in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics. Get it along with the companion Strong Man Of God Men’s Group Study and Great Wo-
man Of God Women’s Group Study in the Strong Man Store, at your favorite internet bookseller or brick and mortar bookstore.
6 For those that take pleasure in scaring themselves at Halloween, the hideous appearance of these creatures will bring unimaginable real fear with pain to them and be
no fun or laughing matter!
7 God making a distinction between His people marked out as belonging to Him by the Holy Spirit and those that are not in this fifth trumpet warning judgment ought to
make it very clear He is not only real, but knows and favors His people (Romans 8:9b). This is the same God who did a similar thing with Israel when with great plagues
upon Egypt, He protected them (Exodus 8:20-24)! Let the saints watch out however, the unsaved (that plainly now, without the Holy Spirit includes Christian impostors,
religionists and apostates) will be bitterly resentful.
8 See the January 30, 2022 post, The Right Side Of History, under the categories Bible Prophecy and Biblical Worldview to learn about the seventy sevens prophecy God
gave Daniel the prophet and The Divine Delay, posted February 6, 2022 under the category, Bible Prophecy for insight into what is both the end of an in the moment
and extended delay.
9 Resurrecting to immortality His two witnesses and causing them to ascend to Him exactly “three-and-a-half days” after their death is itself a sign to the saints this similar
experience is three-and-a-half shortened years away for them and warning to the entire world it has the same amount of time left before the Day of the Lord arrives!
On this Palm Sunday 2016, the Lord has directed me to repost this edited 2013 blog that as it turns out was a prelude to important posts on apostasy He led me to make in February 2014. After reading this blog, I encourage you to follow it up by reading “The Falling Away” and “The Man Of Sin” under the category, Bible Prophecy as well as “Is There No King Among Us” under the category, Call To Repent. Concerning this repost, I am certain that in the midst of all the outward display of religiosity by professing Christians beginning today through this upcoming Resurrection Sunday--my 39th spiritual birthday, the Lord is giving us a reality check (Luke 6:43-45). Hear the Word of the Lord! In honor of the occasion, this post will stand until a new one is made on April 3rd. Hosanna!
Originally Posted March 24, 2013
It is Palm Sunday 2013 and who could have imagined that a major issue in the churches of Jesus Christ at this hour is the rising tide of apostasy in Western Christianity? Contrary to the position of some that Christian apostasy is impossible, the Bible not only says it is possible, but foretells it with deceit as among the evil features of these latter days before the return of the Lord (Matthew 24:3-4, 9-10; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4; 1 Timothy 4:1-2). Now, if God in His Word says something is not only possible, but will occur, what man is there filled with the Holy Spirit and coming to Scripture ready to be taught solely by what it says that will teach otherwise?
The same Scripture teaches only men devoid of the Holy Spirit or quenching His fire that come to the Word with their minds already made up, who refuse to accept its teaching and impose on its sacred verses their own doctrines will teach other than what is written. These are impostors, false prophets and teachers, carnal men and apostates walking about in cynical unbelief creating divisions; men of which as well are members of Christianity the religion’s educated elite who arrogantly exalt and cite themselves as wise authorities and blindly lead one another into the ditch of divine displeasure (Matthew 15:12-14, 24:11; 1 Corinthians 1:10-13, 3:1-4, 18-23; 2 Peter 2; Jude 3-19).
For the sake of clear biblical definition, apostasy is in subsequent unbelief to willfully forsake, turn from following, deny or renounce the Lord or the faith outright or to practice sin without repentance after having first truly believed (Ezekiel 18:24-26; Mark 8:34-38; Titus 1:10-16; Hebrews 3:5-19). It is silly to interpret Bible passages that speak of apostasy as referring only to persons that never believed and are later exposed as impostors. An impostor is a fraudulent pretender from beginning to end, while Scripture teaches the apostate actually believed God’s message and enjoyed its fruit but after a time, completely turned from Him and His Word in unbelief. The only things the impostor and the apostate share in common are unbelief and where they will spend eternity after the judgment of God (Luke 12:42-46; Romans 11:19-22; Hebrews 6:4-8, 10:26-31).
Apostates are of two kinds: willful and de facto. One that is willful openly turns from the Lord. A de facto apostate is one such as the apostle Paul refers in Titus 1:15-16 that professes with his mouth to know God, but actually denies Him by his corrupt doctrines and unrepentant lifestyle. To this hour, such have been the greater number of apostates since the first century who discover too late in Hades that God does not judge us by a one-time profession of faith, but by deeds that demonstrate faith’s continuing vitality in and to the end of our lives (Matthew 24:13; Romans 1:16-17, 2:5-11; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Galatians 5:19-21, 6:7-8; Hebrews 3:5-6, 14, 10:35-39; James 2:14-26).
The tide of apostasy in Western Christianity has been slowly rising for the last five centuries since the failed reformation attempt of Catholicism and splinter groups of every kind formed under the umbrella of Protestantism. All manner of heretical instruction has infiltrated the post-Reformation daughter churches of Catholicism not just by patently false uncredentialed teachers, but as already mentioned, those calling themselves scholars, theologians--the religious educated elite.
As the Lord leads me to discuss in the final chapter of my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics directed to pastors and churches, the last hundred years have been especially devastating in the churches as under the guise of academic freedom and theological discourse, proud professionals as cynical unbelievers and de facto apostates have churned out or upheld any number of false, confusing and conflicting doctrines in a not so funny comedy of errors that often has persisted even after being challenged. As I point out in my book, for example, this evil state of affairs has led to churches not upholding the biblical worldview of marriage, family and men as God’s appointed leaders.
Now, with worldly political correctness, tolerance, truth and moral relativity added to the mix in the churches along with related entities, there is a free for all where men and women with credentials from esteemed institutions hold any viewpoint and spout any kind of doctrine that can no longer be challenged from the Word of God because that is his or hers expertly held personal theology. Those that challenge these de facto apostates anyway in earnestly contending for the faith are considered intolerant, divisive, out of touch and “holier than thou.”
Meanwhile, willful apostates are not only found in the Bible colleges and seminaries of Western Christianity, but in steady increase church pulpits. This growing apostasy will continue to flower until it reaches the near at hand foretold culminating event in the face of severe global persecution and before the Antichrist’s appearing followed gloriously by the Day of the Lord (2 Thessalonians 2:3)!
One of the many advantages we mocked “born again” Christians (John 1:12-13, 3:1-8, NKJV) enjoy comes into clear focus during the fifth trumpet warning judgment of God presented in the second installment of last week’s two-part post.1 Born again Christians and remnant Jews marked out by the Holy Spirit as belonging to God will not suffer being repeatedly stung by creatures He permits to do this to those without Him! So painful are the stings and the torment from them, “men will seek death and will not find it…desire to die, and death will flee from them,” (Revelation 9:1-12, NKJV). The tormented will not forget how those with God’s mark escaped the experience.2
God’s elect remnant Jews are specially marked out for protection during all of His judgments and wrath (Ezekiel 9:1-11; Joel 2:28-32; Revelation 7:1-8)! While as the Lord Jesus taught, “the world cannot receive” the Holy Spirit “because it neither sees Him nor knows Him,” by virtue of having received Him upon their repentance and faith in the Gospel, believers come to “know Him” through experiencing new spiritual birth and His abiding presence “with” and “in” us (John 14:16-17, NKJV)! Though since He is Spirit we do not see Him with our natural eyes, His glorious presence with and in us marks us out as belonging to God and is seen by all in the spiritual realm (2 Corinthians 1:21-22)!
For this cause, the angel king over and controlling the stinging locusts is able to distinguish those with God’s living seal upon them from those without Him and by His command, restricts the creatures from touching them (Revelation 9:4). For the record, rather than bitter resentment in the aftermath of their unimaginable agony, those that suffer the five months of painful torment had the prior opportunity as every born again Christian to believe the Gospel and receive the Holy Spirit and should now, be filled with repentance!3 However, their choice to be embittered leaves them open to more intense satanic influence and the evil decision to embrace violent persecution as revenge.
Extremely greater than at this hour widely filled with suffering and martyrdom throughout many nations,4 as the Lord foretold, hatred of born again Christians at that time reaches the point where they are “hated by all nations for” His “name’s sake,” (Matthew 24:9, NKJV). In their reprobate thinking, hurting and killing Christians (whose numbers had swelled during the revival the Holy Spirit freshly sparks when marking out the Jewish remnant--Acts 2:1-21) will be striking back at God for the stinging creatures and every plague of His warning judgments through the time of His “two witnesses,” (Revelation 11:3-6, NKJV). But the sovereign God is in control (Revelation 6:9-11)!
As the Lord led me to write in a previous post this year,5 toward the end of the witnessing of His two witnesses by prophesy and plagues, God’s holy angels led by Michael war against Satan and his angels in Heaven and prevail. They are cast out and down to the earth that have been and are behind the persecution of Jews (the elect is protected) and faithful Christians who overcome through their faith in and love for Christ!6 To be sure, “the devil” comes down “having great wrath because he knows that he has a short time,” (Revelation 12, NKJV). At this precise moment the Holy Spirit ceases His restraint preventing the coming of Satan’s “lawless one,” (2 Thessalonians 2:6-12, NKJV).
He rises up “out of the bottomless pit” to “war against” God’s two witnesses, “overcome” and kill them;” leaving “their dead bodies…in the street” and allowing the whole unsaved world to celebrate their deaths “three-and-a-half days” until God resurrects and calls them up to Heaven. After the “great earthquake” that follows, Satan and his “beast” go forth to rally the world to their quest for exaltation, worship, destructive dominion and warfare against God through killing Jews and Christians--the beast taking up the revenge cause of those without God’s mark who were tormented (Romans 8:31-39; Revelation 11:7-13, 13:1-10, NKJV). This ushers in what the Lord Jesus first describes as “great tribulation,” (Daniel 7:1-8, 19-25, 9:27, 11:31-45; Matthew 24:15-22, NKJV).
During the three-and-a-half year great tribulation that is in fact the beginning of the “third woe” culminating in the outpour of God’s wrath and Second Coming of Christ (Revelation 11:14, NKJV), Satan’s beast will be aided in his ability to kill all, but especially faithful Christians who do not worship him by another resurrected deceitfully lowly, but malevolent figure. He causes an image of the beast to live and kill any that will not worship it. He also requires everyone to receive the beast’s “mark” on themselves showing that they belong to him in imitation of what God has done with His elect Jewish remnant and faithful born again Christians who refuse to take it (Revelation 13:11-18, 14:9-13, NKJV). Consequently, they are shown victorious in glory thereafter (Revelation 7:9-17, 15:1-4)!
1 Read part two of Unbelief In God Near Dramatic End, posted October 16, 2022 under the category, Bible Prophecy.
2 See footnote seven in the post cited above as well as the two-part post that begins June 7, 2020, Days Of Separation, under the category, Bible Prophecy, for deeper
spiritual insight into how God making a distinction between His elects and the unsaved fits into His larger separating activity already in progress.
3 Since nowhere in Revelation 9:1-12 is there even a mention of repentance from among those tormented by the stinging creatures, we have no reason to believe
there is in light of none in the far worse next plague in verses 13-21!
4 Visit https://www.opendoorsusa.org/christian-persecution/ for an overview presentation of what Christian persecution is, its growing scope and severity. This Ministry
is pleased to prayerfully and financially support our persecuted brethren around the earth through Open Doors USA and invites you to do so as well!
5 Read the two-part post beginning February 13, 2022, War Of The Ages End, under the category, Bible Prophecy.
6 Such faith in and love for Christ (Revelation 12:11) fills the heart of every aspiring strong man and great woman of God in His image I write about in my book, The
Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics. Get it along with the companion Strong Man Of God Men’s Group Study and Great Woman Of God Women’s Group Study for
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