FOUNDATIONS

Lessons designed to promote the integrity of scripture and church!

I Corinthians 3:11“For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is    JESUS CHRIST  

All articles are written using the NKJV, unless otherwise noted! All articles are written by David Hicks, unless specified otherwise.

 

THE BODY OF CHRIST

ORIGINS OF THE FALLING AWAY -

LESSON 2.

 

 

2 Timothy 3:1-5 “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!”

 

Some Will Depart from the Faith 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12

In our previous lesson, we learned that the falling away had already begun; however, the Holy Spirit working through the Apostles of Christ had prevented through their teaching and writing, this falling away to have any root among these early churches.

The Apostles of Christ, however, knew that the time would come when the bodies of Christ would no longer have this Apostolic presence, and must make the choice for themselves to remain true to the faithful word of God. The Apostles also knew that in that day, based on the existing attempts to apostate the body of Christ, that many would depart from the faith (the faith – always used in God's word of a single, unifying, standard of truth – Ephesians 4:5).

There are two primary categories in the falling away, as described by the Apostles of Christ, as they would prophecy of the origins of the coming fall; those that originate , start , give birth to , create the falling away , and those that follow as sheep .

 

The Progenitors of the Falling Away

2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 “Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition , 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.”

 

As the Apostle Paul is describing the coming fall to the Christians in Thessalonica, he introduces a title that will be given to those who openly introduce apostasy among the Lord's people. “Son of Perdition” is not a mystical or magical individual (Judas, who betrayed the Lord, was also called this by the Lord, in His prayer to the Father before His arrest – John 17:12). He is described in the next verse as simply anyone who elevates themselves to the same level of God by introducing doctrine [in competition] to that which God has already given. Paul condemns them openly as sons of destruction, both by sealing their own, and because they will cause many others to also stumble from the truth of God's given word.

Paul also defines that these “lawless ones” are not Satan, but are simply doing his bidding (2 Thessalonians 2:9).

 

1 Timothy 4:1-5 “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, 3 forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. 4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; 5 for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.”

 

Paul would write to Timothy concerning the same departure he has already spoken of to the Thessalonians, describing the same self-centered individuals as responsible for the falling away. By failing to know the contentment with the truth of God's word, they would ignore what their conscience would tell them about introducing deceiving doctrines, and charge forward introducing things that may have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body (Colossians 2:23).

 

2 Timothy 3:1-5 “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!”

See also: 2 Peter 2:1-4.

 

In Paul's second letter to Timothy, he is in Rome once again (1:17), and knows that his end in this life is near (4:6). Because of this, he is charging Timothy with the importance of the maintenance of the true faith in Christ (1:13; 2:1-2; 4:1-5). To emphasize the importance of sound doctrine (also always used in a singular vernacular), Paul reminds Timothy of the perilous times to come!

He also enforces again the selfish individual motives for introducing false doctrines, and that these deceivers are smart enough to include [a form of godliness].

 

In these passages, we are introduced to the progenitors of the falling away. These are those who:

•  Elevate themselves to the seat of God, by introducing doctrine in competition with the doctrine of Christ – 2 John 9. This includes any doctrines in competition, no matter how subtle – 2 Timothy 3:5.

•  Who openly deny any given doctrine of Christ through the searing of their conscience, and exalts his own wisdom over that of God's – see: 2 Timothy2:16-18.

 

There can be no legitimate explanation or reason for failing to remain satisfied with the given truth of God's word, except these that are listed in condemnation for their practice. So, no matter how much good may be claimed is being promoted by these false doctrines, if it denies the power and wisdom of God, it is the worst of all blasphemous acts!

 

When we look at the actual history of the fulfillment of the falling away, we will focus primarily on these progenitors; however, we would be negligent if we did not recognize that these who introduce false doctrines would have absolutely no effect or power, unless they could muster an adequate following.

 

The Followers of the Falling Away

2 Thessalonians 2:10-12  “and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

 

The Apostle Paul describes all these who are both the victims of the false teachers and the power behind their success, by two unique designations:

•  They “did not receive a love for the truth”

•  They “had pleasure in unrighteousness”

Their ignorance of the truth of God's word, allowed for the lies to be introduced and accepted. The shrewd “Sons of Perdition” preyed on what they knew were the pleasures these un-taught had and introduced this kind of unrighteousness, knowing them to be gullible to this.

2 Timothy 4:3-4 “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.”

 

Paul would describe to Timothy, that in time, not only would these be victims of the false teachers, but that they would clamor for that which made them feel good instead of sound doctrine that they might be saved (2 Thessalonians 2:10).

These are the words of the Lord through Paul, establishing that no matter what anyone calls themselves, no matter what men think of them in terms of good or bad, salvation is only for those who maintain sound doctrine (singular)!

Beware friends , of anyone who will not stand on book, chapter, and verse for what they say or do.

 

Beware friends , of anyone who tells you that we cannot all understand God's word, and that it is full of mysteries that you need someone else to explain to you.

 

Beware friends , of just seeking out that which makes you feel good. If there is no discipline for error, there is no legitimacy among the children of God (Hebrews 12:3-11).

 

Beware friends , of those who are not satisfied with the wisdom of God, who have their conscience seared, and are unwilling to yield to the given wisdom of God – sound doctrine, elders, and the qualities of a sound body of Christ (Titus 2:1-10).

In our next lesson, we will look at the unfolding of the falling away through the course of history.

 

Next: “The History of the Falling Away