FALLING AWAY FIRST ( 2 THESSALONIANS 2:3 )

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;

As we begin this, I’d like to make a comparison to all that I see within the country that I live in. In the United States of America our national capital was named after our first President, George Washington. he was also a leader in Revolutionary War. I’ve made the statement that if George Washington were alive today he’d go to the White House with his weapon in his hand and demand that they take his name off of the treasonous city that bears his name. If he has the authority now, many people would be hung or shot for treason. Their very acts would condemn them.

What brought about that change? It’s the mindset within the hearts of many people, especially of the people in control of our country at this time in history. However, is it the mindset, the hearts of the people? The people that gave those people control by voting them in? More than likely, No! The people were deceived by what men/women told them. They told them one thing but in reality, never meant to do as they stated they would.

When I mention every day citizen, it’s related to the fact that some people in our country have never been born again. As a matter of fact, according to scripture, most have not. Yet, many of those people have ended up in the leadership of our Churches. Those people, like politicians that lie, are not concerned about the spiritual well being of true born again believers. They can’t be because they don’t even understand the spirit of God at all. These Church members as well as lying politicians are only concerned about their worldly well being. When I make statements like these, I always go back to these verses.

As we consider this, what brought about this change over time? I believe we can see that in the leadership of the Churches in our country and all we see there. However, as I make that statement, it’s something we must understand. When we read the phrase (come a falling away first) it has nothing to do with the people of this world, such as the every day citizens of the United States of America.

Matthew 7:13-14

ENTER YE IN AT THE STRAIT GATE: FOR WIDE IS THE GATE, AND BROAD IS THE WAY, THAT LEADETH TO DESTRUCTION, AND MANY THERE BE WHICH GO IN THEREAT: (14) BECAUSE STRAIT IS THE GATE, AND NARROW IS THE WAY, WHICH LEADETH UNTO LIFE, AND FEW THERE BE THAT FIND IT.

We like to look at the people around us, our friends, our family members and think they are all saved, born again but, while we can’t be a judge of any person, according to these verses we must be aware of the fact that many are still on the broad road to destruction. The Bible also says in:

John 3:16

FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD, THAT HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, THAT WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH IN HIM SHOULD NOT PERISH, BUT HAVE EVERLASTING LIFE.

Herein is where I see a problem with all that has happened over the last two hundred and fifty years, or since this country was founded. There’s something I believe we miss in how God the Father has chosen over the life of this world to reveal himself. Basically, in the Old Testament God has a people, a nation, the nation of Israel. In the heart and mind of God this nation would be a picture of him, his voice. Within that, that Nation would become the most powerful nation on the face of this earth. So,what happened? SIN!

In the Old Testament economy; if Israel would have stayed true to God the Father, stayed away from sin and simply obeyed his voice, his will, then the whole world would have been there’s to control. Every person would have submitted to their leadership, the authority of God or died, no exceptions!

If Gentiles would desire to live, they would have been under the loving leadership of that nation. And; as per God’s will, it would all be under the loving fellowship of God the Father. We know that the sin factor stopped that from happening so, God cursed Israel. Therefore the (TIMES OF THE GENTILES) was brought about. The time in which we now live.

Be aware! Not one thing that has ever happened caught God the Father by surprize! He knew what Adam would do concerning the Tree of Life, he knew what men would do after Adam and Eve left the Garden of Eden, he knew what man would do after the Ark of Noah had setteled back to earth.. He also knew what Israel would do concerning the Law.

At the end of the Law which was the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. God ushered in the Church. Within that concept or way he dealt with mankind, he also knew what men would do! This brings us back to the Church.

The Church is a (called out) group of people. It has nothing to do with buildings, denominations or religion. The men, people of this world has made it about religion, denomination and buildings. Now, let’s look at some important things to consider. First of all, when the men and women, people that believed in Jesus Christ in the early days of this nation, they used a Bible called the Geneva Bible. So, let’s simply ask a question. The way it appears to me through study, that Bible was still the Bible of choice during the Revolutionary War. At that time, the KIng Jame Bible was available. It came about in 1611. My question is, why change God’s word anyway? I understand that it needed to be translated into different languages. So, let’s just assume that the people that translated the word of God into a different language, no matter the language, they done the best job humanly possibable in doing so, then why change it again?

At the time of the Revolutionary war, the very concept of righteous living was a very powerful thing. Even though many people might not have been born again, the influence of God’s word and ( the Church) was felt far and wide. Here’s the picture:

Matthew 5:13-14

YE ARE THE SALT OF THE EARTH: BUT IF THE SALT HAVE LOST HIS SAVOR, WHEREWITH SHALL IT BE SALTED? IT IS THENCEFORTH GOOD FOR NOTHING, BUT TO BE CAST OUT, AND TO BE TRODDEN UNDER FOOT OF MEN. (14) YE ARE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD. A CITY THAT IS SET ON A HILL CANNOT BE HID.

If you will notice, it says, (the salt of the earth). When you consider salt, if you put a single grain of salt on your tougue, that grain mixes with the moisture on your tongue and quickly spreads over a big portion of your tongue.(The Church) in early America was so powerful, so respected at that time that even those that didn’t believe live up to a standard set by those that did believe. You might say that in a spiritual sense some of the things they did was unnecessary. However, right or wrong, they set a Godly standard.

Can you imagine living in 1611 when the KIng James Bible came out! CHANGE! I can hear those bellievers screaming now. We will not except anything less that the Geneva Bible! So, let’s consider that fact. Not being an historian and, simply seeking to be led by God’s Spirit, what about the change to the King James Bible? Do you realize that in less than a hundred years that the KIng James Bible had multiple books removed because a group of people declared they were not needed?

Now, that Bible was written in 1611. In less that two hundred years it was being excepted, and now we are taking some of the books out of it. I’d like to know, did the Holy Spirit inspire either of those moves? Either the writing of the KIng James or, the dropping of some of the books?

I will say, no! It’s not that the KIng James can’t be used and that God’s Spirit can still use that book but, what we are seeing is simple suttle changes that is part of a plan of Satan as the big picture unfolds. What he is seeing is this. He can question those that say they believe and slowly change the mindset of what they say they believe!

The word of God can be only one example. What Bible do you use today? It doesn’t matter does it? Because today in the average Church there is absolutely no argument about what is truth and what is not. It might be five different versions in the same Church but, not one person, even the pastor questions whether anything is right or wrong! My whole point is the (falling away effect)!

Did you know! That when people began to use the Kimg James Bible and began to recognize it as the authority of God’s word, soon after there were other versions coming out. It took years for people to begin to except those other versions. Now, no problem. Someone desires to write another version, it’s basically readily excepted as just a way to better understand God’s word.

So, let’s notice: the Geneva Bible, then the KIng James, a little later it changed, in a little bit of time, we have many versions. I say and contend, that is not of God but, Satan’s handiwork!

My contention is this; it has nothing to do with the language, meaning the wording in any version. Now, as I say that, when it is changed by the will of man then the truth will never be understood. The secret to understanding God’s word is to first have the Spirit if God within your heart and with that, as desire to know absolute truth.

I personally believe that the word of God had already comprmised long before the Bible had been tampered with. Man can tamper with God’s word without changing anything about it. I personally believe that from the very moment that the Apostle Paul was beginning to write the (mysteries) concerning the Church, even as soon as God’s Spirit fell on the (Day of Pentecost) Satan was busy, seeking to destroy truth.

If I were to use a methphor about this and, we can see it in scripture, it would be this.

Galatian 5:9

A LITTLE LEAVEN LEAVENETH THE WHOLE LUMP.

Satan is the most patient of all of God’s creations! So are they that work for him even if they don’t realize it. Just as on the (Day of Pentecost) the truth of God’s word begin to spread far and wide, Satan was also beginning to destroy the effectiveness of that very word. The verse we quoted is often seen as about how sin works in our lives and, it is. However, it’s also true as with how Satan works over time. Another point I often make is that just as God the Father needs a body to work his will through, so does Satan.

I’ll use these two people in Acts to make my point.

Acts 5:1-2

BUT A CERTAIN MAN NAMED ANANIAS, WITH SAPPHIRA HIS WIFE, SOLD A POSSESSION, (2) AND KEPT BACK PART OF THE PRICE, HIS WIFE ALSO BEING PRIVY TO IT, AND BROUGHT A CERTIAN PART, AND LAID IT AT THE APOSTLES’ FEET.

This, we see was an attempt at lying about truth. If you read this account you will see that they were killed. So, if we go back in Acts and read, we will see that the (religious leaders) of that day was also attempting to stop the truth. So, let’s say this was a rotton spot on a fruit. Satan himself is a rotton spot on the truth in God’s word. When people allow that one little spot to remain, such as in the beginnig, it’s going to destroy the whole lump.

Over the last two thousand years Satan, using the flesh of man has gained an advantage over the Church. It happened a little at a time to the place where, using a piece of fruit as an example, now the whole fruit is almost rotton. Just as I mentioned in the beginning, it’s not the world that is fallen away but, it’s those that name the name of Christ. The weakening of God’s word and the lack of even seeking to hear God’s spirit as our pastor’s preach has created a (great falling away) over the last fifty years.

I use a KIng James Bible as, what I call the word of God. After reading and research I also believe that it’s very possible it is somewhat less than what we could glean spiritually from the Geneva Bible or, we might even say if we could go back to the original text we might be able to see things that we’re missing now. However, it’s impossible for Satan to completely destroy God’s word as long as his Spirit is here. But, just how much Holy Spirit is around today? How much truth is being shared by our Churches?

Let’s say I stand up in your Church and try to contend that we need to go back to using the Geneva Bible, the same Bible they used as in the early days of America; what are your members going to say? Let’s say we need to go back to the day when only men pastored Churches, what’s going to happen? If I say let’s go back to having men as head of households, wives being submissive to Godly husbands, can we find those men? Are wives truly willing to submit to those type men?

Even in our nation, have we crossed the point of no return? We use as our nations motto (IN GOD WE TRUST). What is our nation’s desire to at this point? What god are we trusting in? Even in the worst times, it’s the responsibility of we, as born again believers to still be the voice of truth as led by the very Spirit of God.

In essence, the Church was to be the replacing body for spiritual Israel. It is all inclusive. Where Israel was a nation of one group of people, now within the Church it’s (whosoever will). Where Israel allowed sin to overtake them and weaken God’s will in this world, the Church was to become the spiritial governing body, the voice of God the Father through Jesus Christ our Lord.

I believe that we are living in the last days! A time when many people have become reprobate and cannot hear the Spirit of God as he seeks to speak! (I believe) that in every service in every Church the pastor should preach as if every person in that building was lost and on their way to hell! He should assume that not one person in that building knows Jesus Christ as their Savior! However, haven’t we come to the place where that style of preaching is past tense? Now, the pastor in every Church speaks as though he is talking to all born again believers.

As I began this, I started it off with, what I believe to be the weakening of the power of God’s word and, sought to bring it to where we are as a people today. It’s so much to be taught, even seen as it relates to (A GREAT FALLING AWAY) that it’s almost impossible for one person to reveal it all. I often say this. The Apostle Paul started a Church in Galatia. Not long after he departed, false teaching set in and corrupted the very Church he had started with the gospel of truth. What that Church began to teach is still with us today! The Apostle Paul wrote a letter to that specific Church. We see it in his Epistle ( Galatians). What I say is that more than likely when the then pastor of that Church opened and read that letter, that’s where it stopped! I say he never read it to his people! However, God seen fit to place it in the New Testamant that we might learn from what the Apostle Paul sought to help those people with.

Why would I say that he didn’t read it to his people? Human fleshly nature! Let’s say I write a letter to any Church today, trying to explain the error of the teaching within that Church. Do you think that pastor will read that letter to his Church? If he, or any pastor that preaches false doctrine reads a letter like that to his people it will be in a way that will belittle truth! The very fact that he preaches false doctrine is because he doesn’t believe or care for truth.

It’s not but so many ways to say it but, we are living in a time when what we call as Church doctrine has become rotton to the core! Let’s consider something, just how many truths can it be? We see in:

John 16:13

HOWBEIT WHEN HE, THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH, IS COME, HE WILL GUIDE YOU INTO ALL TRUTH: FOR HE SHALL NOT SPEAK OF HIMSELF; BUT WHATSOEVER HE SHALL HEAR, THAT SHALL HE SPEAK: AND HE WILL SHEW YOU THINGS TO COME.

With that in mind, look at:

Ephesians 4:4

THERE IS ONE BODY, ONE SPIRIT, EVEN AS YE ARE CALLED IN ONE HOPE OF YOUR CALLING;

You can read the rest but the point is there is just one spirit. Now, when we see in (John 16:13) this: he shall not speak of himself, but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: what is he saying there? That Spirit has to be within a man or person. That person, being born again, having that one spirit is going to speak what God’s Spirit reveals unto him and not just something he thinks. And, it’s not but one Holy Spirit. Therefore, since that Spirit is within a man he is giong to seek the truth. He might see things wrong and teach them wrong but, as he learns from that one Spirit, he will change and speak that truth.

That’s what amazes me about denomination! Since there’s not but one Spirit and, that one Spirit is only going to reveal one truth, can’t we agree that in the end any person that is truly seeking truth is going to come to the same spiritual conclusion? When any person is willing to except less than truth and call it righteousness then Satan can that advantage of the fact that it’s not truth. That is exactly what has happened! We have reached a place where we never question whether the word of God is truth, what any Church teaches is truth and, now just about any person that chooses to can call themselves a pastor of a Church and that’s not questioned either.

To make a simple point. Today, in the average Church most of the fruit is rotton to the place that the rotton is excepted as a normal thing!

I’d like to share two personal things that has happened to me over the last few years. My own Sunday School teacher in the Church I attend basically knows where I stand on most Biblical issues. Without going into any great detail, when he and I talk on a personal level he will acknowledge his agreement with me. However, in a Church setting he knows he must maintain a certain amount of loyalty to the status quo. In other words, he refuses to rock the boat. I was once asked to teach Sunday School and did for a year or two. When I agreed to teach, I told the pastor that I wouldn’t be using the quarterly, my desire was to teach what I felt led by God’s Spirit to teach.

As time moved toward to time for me to begin teaching, the pastor approached me and asked me, if I would use the quarterly since they has already orderd them for that quarter? To that I replied, I’ll use them for this quarter but, don’t order them for me any longer because I won’t use them. I will use them since you already have them. He agreed. So, I used them for that quarter. At the end of that quarter, guess what? There was a stack of new quarterlys on my podium just before the end of the quarter.

As the teacher of that class, I stood up before my class, told my students the story I just told you and dropped the whole bunch of the quarterlys in the trash can. I sought the rest of that year to teach what God laid on my heart. I found that most of the people weren’t interested in understanding God’s word. Basically speaking, the attitude was just teach for an hour and let us out of here.

That is part of the great falling away. As far as falling away, it has nothing to do with the world and, all to do with Churches. I find that most people to day have a (hope so) salvation. They don’t seek to know or understand anything. In a general sense, you could do away with preaching and teaching altogether in most Churches, just make it one big time of singing and fellowship and go home. The teaching and preaching is just there as necessity, having an apperaance of desiring God without him actually showing up.

I was talking to the pastor of a Church in our area one day and struck up a converstation about Isaac and his wife Rebekah being a type of Jesus Christ and the Church. He said, man that’s a lot of typology! I replied, yes it is! The word of God is filled with those things, it’s mysteries that God’s people need to know and understand so they might spiritually mature in Christ Jesus!

The Bible we use, the search for truth, the true preaching with power, the will to know Christ, the true Church has basically all fallen away, become a thing of the past for most people. The guidance of the Holy Spirit is now foriegn in most Church settings. If someone truly desires to speak spiritual truth they ase quickly shut down and seen as trouble makers today.

Although the world, the religious world has always sought to keep the truth in the dark, it has truly been excellerated in the last fifty or sixty years. If you think for one minute that the desire to change God’s word, the mindset of many denominations and religions are not a part of Satan’s desire to destroy, you’re badly mistaken. Even the fact that now every pastor has to be educated by man is a simple trick of Satan.

God, being seen in the body of Jesus Christ and now speaking through his Spirit doesn’t understand but one kind of life. (eternal life). When you are left with a (hope so) salvation that is a down fall of spiritual teaching in the Church you attend! That mindset is a part of the (great falling away). It keeps people confused and, it also makes them feel a need for a part of a building that desires the money they give and the work they give seeking to be pleasing to God. That my friends is deception!

God designed the local Church but, if that local Church is not in complete obedience to the Holy Spirit in every way or, at least seeking to find truth then Satan controls that work! Now, I want you to understand something. There are people that are born again in a lot of Churches but just have never been spiritually educated to know and understand salvation and the growing process thereof.

However, there are more people within the average Church that have never been born again and that because of the falling away. If we go to Revelation as we have looked at time and time again we’ll see what God is saying to the Churches in chapters two and three. He often or, at least twice says (I have somewhat against thee). However, the last mentioned (Laodicea) you do not see where he is pleased with anything within that Church. You can read it and notice what he says but, my point is that we are living in a time when we see a great (falling way) in our Churches. Even in our Churches the truth is evil spoken of.

In the very beginning of the Church a rotton spot began to form. That spot has been growing now for some two thousand years to the point it’s almost completely rotton. I’d like to share a true story with you, one that happened to me some years ago. I was doing electrical word in an addition to a local Church. We were almost finished and my helper that gone to our shop to pick up a few more light bulbs. I was just standing near the entrance waiting for him when an elderly gentlemen came into the building. He told me who he was and asked me if I went to Church anywhere? I replied, yes and told him where I attended Church. He replied to that; it doesn’t matter because it’s no difference in them.

At that, I replied, I believe it is! He said, what’s the difference? I said well, I know I’m going to heaven when I die, do you? He then said, no, I don’t. noboby knows, not even you. I said, now sir just because you don’t know doesn’t mean that you can’t know. It means that you just don’t know. The Bible teaches you can know. He replied, no it doesn’t! I told him to come with me. We found a Bible and I turned to this and ask him to read it.

1 John 5:13

THESE THINGS HAVE I WRITTEN UNTO YOU THAT BELIEVE ON THE NAME OF THE SON OF GOD; THAT YE MAY KNOW THAT YE HAVE ETERNAL LIFE, AND THAT YE MAY BELIEVE ON THE NAME OF THE SON OF GOD.

The elderly gentleman read this verse out loud, looked it for a little and then replied, I don’t care, I still don’t believe it! I then said, well sir, it’s not that it doesn’t teach it because it does, you just simply don’t believe God’s word.

Now, we can look at that in two ways. This man could have been born again and just ignorant of truth because of the lack of good sound doctrinal teaching within the Church he attended. Yet, he could have been simply a lost member of a local Church. I’m not a judge but, that doesn’t mean I’m not concerned about the souls of men!

In closing, let’s consider you as an individual. Where do you stand spiritually with Jesus Christ? In the world we live in it has become so simple to just say we believe in Jesus Christ, get baptized and join a local Church and consider the rest as history, never growing even a little from that point. I personally blame our Churches for that but, that fact will not matrer in eternity. Your pastor, your Sunday School teacher and every one of the deacons and lay people you know might be lost and undone without Jesus Christ. They might even have to best of intentions however, when you stand before Jesus Christ it will be you and you alone. You can’t say my pastor said because the responsiblity in the end for your spiritual growth is on your shoulders. I often say, this world is going to hell but, that doesn’t mean you have to go.

Don’t get caught up in the corruption of the Church. Look at this:

2 Corinthians 6:17-18

WHEREFORE COME OUT FROM AMONG THEM, AND BE YE SEPERATE, SAITH THE LORD, AND TOUCH NOT THE UNCLEAN THING; AND I WILL RECEIVE YOU, (18) AND WILL BE A FATHER UNTO YOU, AND YE SHALL BE MY SONS AND DAUGHTERS SAITH THE LORD ALMIGHTY.

I was born again in an independant Baptist Church. I truly appreciate the ministry and the Church that helped me see myself as a sinner and to be born again. However, It’s easy to get caught up into the mindset that you are the only one’s that is right, in other words, you become self righteous. I know, I’ve been there! People simply believe what a pastor tells them to believe, become wrapped in what that one Church is and we never move forward in true spiritual growth. It actually doesn’t matter whether it’s false or true. The simple fact that we fall in love with a building or a man ties our spiritual hands.

The last Church mentioned in (Revelation 3) is (Laodicia). Some people might disagree with me here but, this is my stand. You can study and see where you satnd and also see if you agree with me. In:

Revelation 4:1

AFTER THIS I LOOKED, AND, BEHOLD, A DOOR WAS OPENED IN HEAVEN: AND THE FIRST VOICE WHICH I HEARD WAS AS IT WERE OF A TRUMPET TALKING WITH ME; WHICH SAID, COME UP HITHER, AND I WILL SHEW THEE THINGS WHICH MUST HEREAFTER.

When this happens there is no other mention of the Church in Revelations until the last two or three chapters. I believe this is the rapture of the Church when born again believers leave this world and Tribulation begins. We now live in the (Laodicean age). A time of a great departure, not necesserily from the Church building but from truth. A time when we use the name of Christ but, we never even try to allow God’s word, which is Jesus Christ to speak to our hearts and transform us into what he desires us to be.

There’s always been a falling away in one form or another, It simply get progressively worse as time moves forward. It will always be the world trying to destroy the Church however, when it’s so much world within the Church that a truly spiritual person can’t tell the difference then that falling away moves rapidly. When we tie the world and Church together it’s because it isn’t but to basic groups of people. We can mention a third but, what happens is that within the Church we have (wolves in sheep’s clothing). Maybe this could be a topic to start another section.

When we talk about a third group of people it’s because of the lack of interest in any spiritual growth which brings about the situation of the world gaining access to the leadership of a Church.

Where do you stand with Jesus Christ? Can you say that you know you’ve been born again? When we speak of (falling away) those people are not leaving this world in the Rapture! They will be here during the Tribulation period if Jesus Christ returns for his Church. It’s just this simple, either you are born again or you’re not! Only you can answer that question. Your pastor can tell you what he thinks all day but, in reality the truth is within your heart.

There are millions of people that go to Church on Sunday, say they are worshipping God but, the god they’re worshipping is not Jesus Christ although his name is used on a very regular basis. I often close with these verses:

2 Peter 1:9-10

BUT HE THAT LACKETH THESE THINGS IS BLIND, AND CANNOT SEE AFAR OFF, AND HAS FORGOTTEN THAT HE WAS PURGED FROM HIS OLD SINS. (10) WHEREFORE THE RATHER, BRETHREN, GIVE DILIGENCE TO MAKE YOUR CALLING AND ELECTION SURE: FOR IF YE DO THESE THINGS, YE SHALL NEVER FALL:

It has to be you, you must make sure what and who you are. In a time of great falling away, don’t get caught up in the mindset of worldly Churches. Try every spirit and make sure that the teaching is of the Holy Ghost. Don’t settle for another person’s opinion about (your salvation) ( your spiritual growth) ( your eternal destiny). Allow God’s Spirit to teach you using every good thing that you can but you come to the conclusion of what you are as the Spirit of God leads you. That is, even if you have to stand alone in this sin cursed world!

Marshall Clayton

2 Timothy 1:7

Speaking of more than two groups of people, we’ll call the next segment: ( THE FOUR) WHICH ARE YOU?

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