The 4 Progressive Steps to Apostasy

Written by Mike Gendron – Intro by Day Ashton

Jesus Himself warns us a number of times, “Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you(Matt 24:4) and in Mark 13:5-6 “Jesus began to say to them, “Be careful and see to it that no one misleads you.  Many will come in My name [misusing My name or claiming to be the Messiah], saying, ‘I am He!’ and will deceive and mislead many”This deception is happening before our very eyes both within the church and secular society as a whole.  This excellent article by Mike Gendron shows clearly the deception in the church and the downward spiral to apostasyThis is  a must-read …

 

Throughout the 2000 year history of the Church, we have seen a continual departure of people and churches from the faith of the apostles. As incredibly tragic as this has been, it should not surprise us because Paul warned: “The Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons” (1 Tim. 4:1).  Shortly after our Lord began building His Church, the apostle John records one of the first occurrences of apostasy. “They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us” (1 John 2:19).  Since then, many other professing Christians, churches, denominations, and seminaries, who once upheld the truth and authority of God’s Word, have drifted into apostasy. One of the interesting characteristics of apostasy is that it does not happen overnight. It actually develops over a period of time th
rough a process that can be categorized into four steps.

First Step into Apostasy
God’s Word is neglected as the
supreme authority for faith and practice.
  • Man’s words and wisdom become as important as God’s Word.
  • Traditions and movements of men cause confusion and divided loyalties.
  • People start following “Christian” personalities instead of the Word of God.
  • Pastors discard the Lord’s blue print for building His church and create their own strategy.
  • Pastors win the approval of men for the size of their church, rather than their faithfulness and fidelity to God’s Word.
  • The power of the Gospel is weakened by compromise and made more inclusive to gain a larger following.
  • Biblical evangelism is replaced by man’s methods of conversion.
  • Churches give people what they want instead of what they need.
  • The pursuit of sanctification is neglected.
  • Biblical warnings to expose false teachers are ignored. A little leaven in the form of heresy is allowed to circulate.
  • Contenders for the faith are labeled as divisive and intolerant.
  • Women are allowed to teach men.
Second Step into Apostasy
 
Scripture is twisted and distorted for self-serving agendas.
  • Truth becomes subjective and relative.
  • Doctrinal error and sin are tolerated by pastors who neglect their responsibility to protect the sheep.
  • Satan sows his tares with little resistance.
  • Pastors become more determined to build their own church rather than the Lord’s church.
  • The Gospel becomes more inclusive to attract more people.
  • Expository preaching is replaced by topical messages.
  • Biblical ignorance in the pew provides fertile ground for false teachers to prosper.
  • Trials and persecution expose dead and spurious faith.
  • The exhortation to contend earnestly for the faith is ignored.
  • People honor God with their lips, but their hearts are far from Him.
  • “Infallible” men claim to be successors of the apostles and are embraced as brothers-in-Christ.
  • Ungodly men creep in and turn the grace of our God into licentiousness.
  • Contenders for the faith are asked to leave.
Third Step into Apostasy
Entertainment, idolatry, liturgy and rituals have
replaced the Lord Jesus from the central focus of worship.
  • Pastors are more interested in entertaining the goats than feeding the sheep.
  • Ear-tickling messages give people what they want instead of what they need.
  • Sound doctrine and truth is suppressed for the sake of ecumenical unity.
  • Hearts become hardened and love for God grows cold.
  • Doctrinal error flourishes and is embraced with stubborn pride.
  • There is no love for the truth and no discernment.
  • People stand for nothing and fall for everything.
  • A form of godliness exists, but it’s void of power.
  • Idolatry is practiced and encouraged.
  • Sin and immoral lifestyles are tolerated.
  • Women are ordained as pastors.
Fourth Step into Apostasy
Teaching is heavily influenced by doctrines of demons.
Jesus has been removed from the church. Deception is full-blown.
  • Lying signs and wonders, including apparitions, are embraced as messages from God or Mary.
  • Idolatry and prayers to the dead are encouraged.
  • Those who proclaim the Gospel truth are condemned with anathema or put to death.
  • Grace is turned into a license to sin.
  • There is no longer any evidence of the fruit of the Spirit.
  • God’s grace and forgiveness are sold for a price.
  • The church’s lamp stand has been removed, and a certain terrifying judgment is now unavoidable.
Are you in a church or denomination drifting into apostasy?
Perhaps you are in a church or denomination that is drifting into apostasy. Will Jesus Christ use you to contend earnestly for the faith and protect the sanctity of His Church? In these last days of growing apostasy and deception, we all need to heed the warning of Peter and encourage others to do the same: “Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position” (2 Peter 3:17). Will you defend the glory and honor of our great God and Saviour and protect the purity of His Gospel?
May God’s Word exhort and encourage us to fight the good fight of faith!
(Article used with permission)
If you have questions about this topic or anything related, please do not hesitate to contact Mike Gendron(1) via his website, Proclaiming the Gospel
(1)Mike Gendron – For over 34 years, Evangelist Mike Gendron was a devout Roman Catholic and a strong defender of the “one true church.” He was taught from a very early age, to trust and rely on the church, its priests, the sacraments and his own good works for salvation. However in 1981 while attending an evangelical seminar, he realized the Bible is the supreme authority for knowing truth.  Find out much more about Mike and his tremendous ministry to the honour of His Saviour, at his website, PROCLAIMING THE GOSPEL

 

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Are you ready and watching?

Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die … Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you (3:2-3)

Although the letter was sent to this specific church in Asia Minor, it is relevant and applicable to the church today.  These letters apply to all the original churches, as well as churches throughout the church age (which is the time since the first coming of Christ through to His second coming).

The church in Sardis was a small church… and very few of them remained faithful to the Lord, true believers.

They had killed the message and compromised the distinctiveness of ChristThey incorporated pagan cultures into the “church” and were happy to “get along” with other faiths and blend in.  Much like the interfaith, ecumenical movement that is being promoted today.   The distinctiveness of Christ no longer mattered or matters to the church of Sardis, then, and up today!

This church was dead!

The LORD counselled the church of Sardis to do 5 things which, if they’d obeyed, would have made them acceptable to Him:

  • Be watchful
  • Strengthen the things that remain
  • Remember what you heard and believed at first
  • Hold Fast
  • Repent

Today I want to concentrate on the first counsel the Lord gave this church … Wake up! Be Watchful!

Be watchful (Wake Up!)

The opposite of being watchful is being complacent.

The first thing Sardis needed to do was to stop being complacent and be on a state of alert.

The fact that the LORD had to tell them to wake up, be watchful, points to a serious deficiency in the teaching of the Reformation leaders.   This deficiency was because they lacked instruction in Bible prophecy and separation.

The word “WATCH” is used by the Lord in several other passages of Scripture and indicate the attitude that should characterize His children in view of His promised return!   Prophetically instructed Christians are very much more likely to be separated, consecrated Christians than those who are not aware of the promises of our Lord’s second coming and the imminency of the catching away (rapture) of the church, etc.

The church of Sardis represents some of the denominations today that are being swept along by compromise, sin and erroneous teaching. These 3 things kill a church.

We are living in days where people are deciding to pick and choose what they want to believe from the Bible.  This is extremely dangerous!

Christ’s Warning to Sardis
So then, if you do not wake up, I will come like a thiefor as the New King James Versions puts it: “Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you” (Rev 3:3)

As is the case for Sardis, so it will be for those who have not heeded our Lord’s warning. It is very clear that they will be taken unawares when our Lord comes.

The Lord Jesus Christ warns Sardis of the consequences of “Not watching”. If Sardis does not watch they will be taken unaware by Christ’s appearing. Throughout the Gospels the Lord stresses the need for the believer to be careful and keep a watchful eye for His “Imminent return

There are many evidences around that reveal the prophetic ignorance on the part of Reformation churches (AND, sadly, many of the evangelical churches today too!).  An example of this includes the fact that they have people from within their midst who are leaders in the World Council of Churches ecumenical program – a program that aims to unite all Protestants, all Catholics and all religions.  If they had any understanding of the prophetic Word of God, they would realize they are playing right into the schemes of the Antichrist.  That One World Religion is his church during the Tribulation.

We all know the parable of the 10 virgins, five were prepared for the bridegroom and five were not.  When the bridegroom came, the five foolish virgins rushed around trying to buy oil for their lamps.  The five wise virgins were ready and went to the wedding. Sadly, the five foolish virgins tried to get to the wedding later, but were kept out, because the bridegroom did not know them.  As it states in Matthew’s Gospel chapter 25 …“Afterward the other (foolish) virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’  But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’”

Christ warns His church to be ready.

“Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming” (Matthew 25:13)

Through this prophetic foreshadowing, the dead churches are warned, that unless they WATCH they, like the foolish virgins, will be ushered into the Tribulation period.  They will NOT be ready for the Lord’s return for His Church.

One can recognize a “dead” church in that …

  • It doesn’t proclaim the Gospel
  • It doesn’t uphold the Scripture (Bible)
  • It doesn’t pursue holiness

So, I want to urge you to make sure you belong to a Bible-believing church.  One that teaches that you are saved by faith in the finished work of the Lord Jesus on the Cross.   A church that believes “sola Scriptura” (that Scripture – the Bible – is the sole authority for faith).   That the only way to get to heaven and be in a right standing with God is through the Lord Jesus Christ who clearly stated that: “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me”. (John 14:6)

If you need further help or information, please do not hesitate to contact me via the contact form or one of the other options below

Day Ashton

Email: dayashton.uk@gmail.com
Skype: dayashton1

 

The Precious Infallible Word of God

The most precious Book one can ever read or study is God’s Word, the Bible.  I love the Bible and love reading it.

What I am finding for myself as I watch, hear and research what is happening globally, (as have many others who love His Word – sound teachers of the Word of God), is that there is an increasing skepticism about the Bible.   Very disturbing.

The Bible is being increasingly marginalized in societies today.  A well-established research group (Barna), say “With each passing year, the percent of Christians who believe that the Bible is ‘just another book written by men’ increases.  So too does the perception that the Bible is actually harmful and that people who live by its principles are religious extremists”¹    There are other polls done which indicate that Americans no longer view the Bible as a guide for living a meaningful life.   The same applies to the UK.   Europe as a whole has pushed God and His Word aside.

The tragedy of this is that churches no longer give the Bible, the reading thereof, the doctrines taught very clearly within its pages and the Truth it conveys, its rightful place.   I have personal experience of this happening.  One such church, for example, removed pew Bibles and did not encourage the reading of God’s Word.   Many churches concentrate on worship and singing and give virtually no teaching from the Word of God anymore.

Is it any wonder that (as the BIBLE says), people are giving way to doctrines of demons, deceiving spirits?   Remove the Bible, which IS the Word of God, and you take away Jesus Who IS the WORD.   1 Timothy 4 tells us “Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons”.   I make no apology for putting things bluntly.  I quote His Word.

Even pastors and clergy are “falling away” because they are turning away from believing and trusting the Bible.  Some continue to use the Bible, but water it down and start introducing deception and the serpentine practice of questioning God’s precious and Holy Word,did God really say ...”  I have heard a very recent testimony of this happening and causing incredible spiritual damage to people.   In this way, these so-called Christian leaders sow doubt and confusion into the listener.  And, because many of these “pastors” are highly thought of and have huge followings, they are dragging people into the apostasy the Bible warns us about in no uncertain terms, introducing various forms of teachings and practices which are pagan in origin, but “christianized”.

This is a huge subject and I will be sharing more about it in my next post, BUT, in the meantime, remember that God has given us His Word to hide in our hearts.   Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture comes from the prophet’s own interpretation.     “For no prophecy was ever brought about through human initiative, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21-22) “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right” (2 Timothy 3:16)  Start reading His Word and not just what others are saying about His Word.

Hold on to His Word.  Love His Word and learn to love the Lord Jesus Christ all the more.  Remember, Jesus is the ONLY way to God.   Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.  No one comes to the Father except by me” (John 14:6)

As people reject the Bible, the precious and true Gospel that saves to the uttermost, will continue to be attacked and undermined.  For many, the fact that Jesus is the only way of salvation is fast becoming anathema, whilst the word of the hour is “inclusivism”

Hold on to the TRUTH of God’s precious infallible Word.  Let no man deceive you.

I close with the words of Jude, one of the four half-brothers of Jesus, “… I was compelled to write to you [urgently] appealing that you fight strenuously for [the defense of] the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints [the faith that is the sum of Christian belief that was given verbally to believers]. For certain people have crept in unnoticed [just as if they were sneaking in by a side door]. They are ungodly persons whose condemnation was predicted long ago, for they distort the grace of our God into decadence and immoral freedom [viewing it as an opportunity to do whatever they want], and deny and disown our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.  …..  But as for you, beloved, remember the [prophetic] words spoken by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. They used to say to you, “In the last days there will be scoffers, following after their own ungodly passions.” These are the ones who are [agitators] causing divisions—worldly-minded [secular, unspiritual, carnal, merely sensual—unsaved], devoid of the Spirit. But you, beloved, build yourselves up on [the foundation of] your most holy faith [continually progress, rise like an edifice higher and higher], pray in the Holy Spirit, and keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously and looking forward to the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ [which will bring you] to eternal life.(Jude vs 3,4,17-21)

If you have questions or comments, do not hesitate to contact me

Day Ashton

¹The Barna Group, The Bible in America, 8,56.  See also The Barna Group, “Bible Engagement in a New World”, May 18, 2016, online report, http://www.barna.com
OTHER REFERENCES:
John MacArthur Study Bible
End Times Super Trends. Ron Rhodes (2017)

Christmas or Xmas?

Christmas or Xmas …. Is it a big deal?

Sadly, Christmas, for the majority of folk, has become X-mas because they prefer to have a time of celebration without thinking of the precious Lord Jesus being the Reason for the Season.

Although in Greek, the original  language of the New Testament, Χριστός is the word for Christ and was apparently simply an abbreviation of Christmas – Xmas.

However, many have over the years viewed its use as a blatant attempt to remove the name of Christ out of Christmas.   As the years have gone by and particularly over the last few years and now in particular!!, there is no denying the increasing trend to take Christ out of Christmas.    People find it “offensive”, “intolerant”, “exclusive” and “politically incorrect” to have His precious Name seen and want to obscure it by all means possible.  The Christian origins of Christmas are being squeezed out and trampled under foot.

Lets face it, our materialistic society has all but succeeded in obscuring the real meaning. Just take a look at the decorations and cards … Winter Holidays, Xmas, Happy Holidays, gnomes, elves, fairies, Santa Claus, and much, much more.  Jesus totally excluded.   Praise God there are still some cards and items that still reflect the true meaning of Christmas.   But, there is no doubt that there are very many who will not be satisfied until the celebration is completely secularized.

But of course, that shouldn’t surprise us if we know our Bible.   What we are seeing is exactly what the Bible prophesied would happen as the return of the Lord Jesus Christ draws close.   2 Timothy 3 describes the type of people that will be around in the last days (and what the Bible describes here is absolutely spot on!) “…in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God.”   

Furthermore, even within the evangelical churches, we see prophecy being fulfilled.   Tragically, wolves in sheep’s clothing have entered the churches and preach deceptive doctrine … trying to get people away from the Bible and its Truths.   These include the Kingdom now, Replacement theology, the Emergent Church, Mysticism, Inclusivism,  Christian Wicca and Chrislam, to mention but a few.   This results in the falling away which the Bible prophesies will occur in the last days before His Return.   (I could say much more about this but won’t at this stage).

So getting back to Christmas or Xmas …

In the same way as there was “no room in the Inn” at His first coming, when He came as the Christ-child,
“Veiled in flesh the Godhead see; Hail th’incarnate Deity, Pleased with us in flesh to dwell, Jesus our Emmanuel”, even now there is “no room” in the heart and thoughts of men and women today.

I earnestly plead with those who do not yet know the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour, to get to know this wonderful Jesus.   Do so before it is ever too late.   Put Christ back into Christmas by inviting Him into your life and live for Him.

For those of us who know the Lord as our personal Saviour, use this time of year to reach out to others with the wonderful message of hope and peace that can only be found in the Christ of Christmas!

Wishing you all a happy and blessed Christmas 2017!

Day Ashton
dayashton.uk@gmail.com

Deception in the last days ….

As the return of the Lord Jesus Christ draws ever closer, it is worthwhile taking stock of what is really happening and how all things are fitting into place towards the One World Government, One world Religion and One World Financial systems and the rise of the Antichrist.

There are many facets to this and understandably I can only touch very briefly on a few issues.

Today, with the help of an excellent internationally known author and lecturer, I am taking the liberty of sharing a video made by the late Dave Hunt a few years ago.    In this video, “A Woman Rides the Beast” (full 520 page book also available with the same title), the role of the Roman Catholic church in the last days is put forth very clearly and with incredible research gone into the information provided.

 “Why are you so amazed?” the angel asked. “I will tell you the mystery of this woman and of the beast with seven heads and ten horns on which she sits.” (Rev 17:7)

What is the mystery?  Who is the woman?  Who or What is the beast?   Prophecy expert, Dave Hunt, sifts through Global events and Biblical Truth and defines with detail the portrait of this “woman” and the powerful place in the Antichrist’s future empire.   Clues as to the identity can be found in Revelation 17 and 18.

Watch the video now and feel free to comment below or ask any questions.

One thing is sure … we must ensure we know the Lord Jesus Christ as personal Saviour so that whenever the Lord comes for His Church, you will be ready to meet Him as your Lord and Saviour.

Day Ashton