FALLING AWAY FROM JESUS CHRIST
The Christian Church, the Ecclesia, is a body of redeemed people called out from the world to represent God and His authority and to exercise government. Individually and corporately we are accountable to Jesus, the head of the Church. The Church is failing.
A projection of what happens when the Church fully fails is recorded in (2 Thessalonians 2:3): “Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come [the return of Jesus] unless the falling away comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God….”
Paul writes to the believers in Thessalonica to correct their thinking. Paul clarifies that the day of the return of the Lord Jesus will not come until there has been a falling away.
Interestingly, the Greek word for “falling away” is exactly the word which gives us the English word apostasy. It’s only used twice in the New Testament in this passage and in (Acts 21:21) where the leaders of the Church in Jerusalem tell Paul that he’s been accused of teaching apostasy from the Law of Moses. It specifically means a turning away from a revealed truth. Paul is saying that before the Antichrist, the man of lawlessness, is revealed, there has to be an apostasy in the Church. There will be a moving away from sound doctrine. (I Tim. 1:10).
Why? Because the true Church is the appointed authority and barrier to the revelation and the consummation of evil; Satan knows this and knows the Bible better than most of us. Satan knows that he cannot manifest the Antichrist until the Church is weakened and moved out of the way.
So there has to be an apostasy, a falling away, in the Church because the restraining influence of the Church has to be cancelled before the Antichrist can be revealed. Do you see what that means? Can you see the responsibility it places upon us? We are the restraining influence.
THE FALLING AWAY IN THIS GENERATION
In the generation it is clearly stated, (2 Thess. 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.”
Other words, the coming of the Antichrist shall not take place, except there first come an apostasy or a falling away. Indeed, the falling away has come, and there are few people left standing, but it is not perceived. There is much talk about a revival, but almost no talk about the falling that is happening in the Laodicea church of this generation. The next revival will be during the Tribulation.
From now to the Rapture, times will get worse and worse; this is the age when people will not endure (or put up with) sound doctrine, because it does not suit their own desires. More and more people will continue to fall away, and what little sound doctrine that still exists will not be endured.
How diabolically clever the Adversary is! Blessings are exactly what most people in this Laodicea church age are looking for, totally unaware of their wretched condition. They have been greatly deceived by the Adversary into focusing their attention on looking for blessings, instead of warning others to be on guard against the falling away.
In (II Thessalonians 2:7) Paul states that “the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way.” I know I am entering into speculative prophecy, but there are two ways of interpreting the phrase, “He who now restrains.” It can be the Holy Spirit or it can be the Church. Probably it’s both the Holy Spirit and the Church.”
The final consummation of evil in this age will not come until the Church, by apostasy, opens the way. I would say that the apostasy is just about consummated in America today in the top levels of Church and state. Apostasy is ruling via lawless, immoral, blasphemous, Bible-truth denying, Christ-denying, God-provoking speech, policy, and action. (1Jn. 4:3),”And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.”
I don’t think things need to go much further before the apostasy is complete. In the meanwhile, what is our responsibility? To restrain the forces of evil! We are the governmental assembly. Through preaching the gospel, loving personal witness, intercessory prayer, prophetic witness, and persuasion in the public square, we are the ambassadorial administrators of Christ’s authority—we are His salt, light, and leaven to restrain corruption and decay until the appointed time.” 
MARK THEM WHICH CAUSE DIVISION
“Mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them,” (Rom. 16:17).
Notice the cause for division and offences are caused be the false teacher brings unsound doctrines and the Bible tells us to avoid them. You cannot find one scripture that accuses the person that uncovers and exposes false prophets as be divisive, slanderous and gossipy.
As a matter of scriptural fact, the Word of God tells us to identify and mark “them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine” of the LORD, is to be a regular part of the Christian life. In an hour when the proliferation of false teaching is mutating at an increasingly exponential rate, those who love the LORD must examine and test everything against the final authority of the recorded oracles of God (Acts 17:11). The following warning enlightens us to understand this:
“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” (Col. 2:8).
Would the all-knowing God have put such a warning in His Word if being spoiled were not possible? People can be spoiled (derailed, made shipwreck of) through false doctrines and philosophies, which, without fail, elevate men and demote Christ, (Col. 2:8-9; 18-19).
These derailment elements are designed to steal glory from Christ. If we love Him, we are to “hear God’s words” and “hate every false way.” (Jn. 8:47; Ps. 119:104, 128; Amos 5:14-15).
Let’s break this extremely important Bible text down:
“Mark them” – Beloved, we are mandated to simply and truly hearken to this divinely given instruction, to personally own this truth and walk in it, to be possessed with the protective love of our holy and “Great Shepherd of the sheep.” (Heb. 13:20) One of the ways the “Great Shepherd” protects the sheep of His pasture, is by His other sheep, scoping out and marking the wolves whose venomous lies would devour.
The clear instruction of the Word is to “mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine.” All human sediments, reasonings, and excuses must be crucified.
“Mark them” – the Greek word here for “mark” is skopeo, which means “to scope out; to take aim at, consider, watch.”
Believers are here mandated to wisely scope out closely, observe and scrutinize all teachings and spiritual leaders under the lamp of God’s holy Word. We are to closely discern between true and false doctrines and leaders and sound the alarm on that which is found to be inconsistent with holy Writ. This is to be done especially when dealing with foundational, essential truths (which are a salvation issue).
Is It Negative and Unbiblical to Name False Teachers?
Apostle Paul in 2 Timothy names numerous people by name. 2 Timothy 1:15: Phygellus and Hermogenes 2 Timothy 2:17: Mymenaeus and Philetus 2 Timothy 3:8: Jannes and Jambress 2 Timothy 4:10: Demas 2 Timothy 4:14: Alexander the coppersmith In III John 9, John named Diotrephes.
Jesus called out the false teachers in (Matt. 23 and Lk. 11).
(II Tim. 4:3) tells us that many Christians will only want to hear what makes them feel good and appeals to their flesh; “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears.”
The problem isn’t that you named false teachers; it’s that many Christians believe false teachers are brothers and sisters no matter what they teach! If these teachers impart unscriptural knowledge and other biblically knowledgeable teacher write corrections, the ones who correct are then called slanders and gossipers by the person that is spread unscriptural false messages. If the true Believers do not speak out on false teaching, who will? That is the mission of each of us, is it not? God Bless you all! And, I am naming the heretics in all my E-mails articles! People need to know so they can protect themselves from wolves in sheep’s clothing! It is high time the body of Christ wakes up and starts to discern the false prophets and minister’s that are leading God’s people over a cliff.
(Matt. 7:13-23), “Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it. 14 “For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life and few are those who find it. 15 “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 “You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes, nor figs from thistles, are they? 17 “Even so, every good tree bears good fruit; but the bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 “A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. 19 “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 “So then, you will know them by their fruits. 21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. 22 “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’”
False prophets are particularly dangerous because they appear to be genuine. They seemingly have the credentials of authority. What are these credentials? Jesus calls them ‘wolves in sheep’s clothing’ (verse 15).
He said that the false prophets were like wolves in sheep’s clothing. When the shepherd watched his flocks upon the hillside, his garment was a sheepskin, worn with the skin outside and the fleece inside. But a man might wear a shepherd’s dress and still not be a shepherd. The prophets had acquired a conventional dress. Elijah had a mantle (1 Kin. 19:13, 19), and that mantle had been a hairy cloak (2 Kin. 1:8). That sheepskin mantle had become the uniform of the prophets, just as the Greek philosophers had worn the philosopher’s robe. It was by that mantle that the prophet could be distinguished from other men. But sometimes that garb was worn by those who had no right to wear it, for Zechariah in his picture of the great days to come says, “Neither shall they wear a rough garment to deceive’’ (Zech. 13:4). There were those who wore a prophet’s cloak, but who lived anything but a prophet’s life.”
The outward forms would incline one to believe these false prophets to be reliable guides. They may wear a distinctive garb which sets them apart as leaders. They may have the title ‘reverend.’ They may be men who hold positions of religious leadership. They may well have graduated from a divinity school. Indeed, they might even be seminary professors. Judging on the basis of external indications we might wrongly assume them to be reliable guides, but we must not evaluate them on such external evidence.
These false prophets can be detected by their fruits. Judging by external forms is risky; judging (if you prefer, discerning) on the basis of fruits is absolutely necessary and part of our responsibility. ‘The proof of the root is in the fruit.’ Good trees produce good fruit, and rotten trees, bad fruit. A dependable assessment of those who would be guides is that of their fruits (Matthew7:20). But, what are these fruits? One must be very careful here, for false prophets are not without religious activities. A false prophet is often accompanied by deceptive signs and by seeming wonders. Some of these are suggested in (Matt. 7:22): “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophecy in Your name, and in your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?”’
We should expect false prophets to engage in acts of kindness and charity. We should expect them to perform deeds which suggest miraculous power. And we should expect that these deeds be performed under the pretext of being done by God’s power and to His glory.
“For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their deeds” (II Cor. 11:13-15).
We should expect false prophets to be accompanied by religious works, often unusual and spectacular, done ostensibly in the name of God. Satan willingly gives the glory to God in such cases, so long as ultimately he is able to deceive people and cause them to their allegiance and obedience him.
But are these religious activities the fruits of which the Master spoke? If not, what are they? The Scriptures frequently describe the fruits of the false prophets, so that we are left with little doubt as to what we should look for. I believe we can see the fruits of the false prophets falling into three categories.
(1) The first category of the fruits of the false prophet is their doctrine. False prophets speak from their own delusion, not by divine command (Jeremiah 23:16, 21, 25; Ezekiel 13:2). They do not proclaim or defend God’s word, but deny it (Jeremiah 23:17). In particular they deny unpleasant subjects such as impending judgment (Jeremiah 6:14; 28:17; Ezekiel 13:10). They offer temporary and partial relief to pressing problems (Jeremiah 8:11). Mainly, they tell people precisely what they want to hear (1 Kings 22:8, 13; 2 Timothy 4:3-4). Concerning the way of salvation they deny the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ and they reject the work of Christ on the cross (2 Peter 2:1; 1 John 4:2-3).
(2) The second category of the fruits of the false prophets is the effect of their teaching in the lives of men. Invariably it leads to a rejection of God’s word, a rejection of biblical authority, a division among the saints (Jeremiah 23:2,14) and a life of sensuality (2 Peter 2:2). They attempt to lead men away from the truth of the gospel (Acts 13:8), and to deceive genuine Christians with false doctrine (Mark 13:22). This is also evident from the Pastoral Epistles (1 and 2Timothy and Titus) where Paul speaks of the need of sound or healthy doctrine (1 Tim. 4:6; 2 Tim. 4:3; Tit. 1:9; 2:1).
(3) Finally, there is the fruit of the false teachers as evidenced in their own moral character. They are easily distinguished by their pride (2 Peter 2:10), their greed (Jeremiah 8:10; Titus 1:11; 2 Peter 2:3, 14) and immorality (Jeremiah 23:11, 14; 2 Peter 2:14). They are men dominated by the flesh (2 Peter 2:10, 12; 3:3). They prey upon the weak and the guilt-ridden (2 Timothy 3:6-7; 2 Peter 2:14, 13). While they profess to know God, by their deeds they deny Him (Matthew 7:22-23; 2 Timothy 3:5; Titus 1:16). While they delight in authority, they refuse to submit to it (2 Peter 2:10).
“A blind man cannot guide a blind man, can he? Will they not both fall into a pit?” (Lk. 6:39).
There are many godless guides who would lead us to the wide gate and the way which leads to destruction. These false teachers are not only blind themselves, but they lead others to destruction with them. It is the Lord Who will pronounce the final verdict and Who will sentence the false prophets to everlasting torment.
 Ibid Derek Prince
A Literal 7-Year Tribulation An upcoming time period has been set aside for God to pour out His wrath upon the evil of the world, to regather Israel back into its land, to move Israel to acknowledge Jesus as their Messiah, and for the Messiah to return and fight for His believing remnant, (Deut. 4:26-31; Isa. 13:6-13;17:4-11; Jer. 30:4-11; Ezek. 20:33-38; Dan. 9:27; 12:1; Zech. 14:1-4; Matt. 24:9-31). This time period begins with a covenant between Israel and the Antichrist (Dan. 9:27). The length of the Tribulation is seven years long, described in a variety of ways as “one seven” year block (Dan. 9:27), consisting of two “times, time and half a time” (two years + 1 year + half a year; Rev. 12:14), or two “1260 days” periods (Rev. 11:3), or two “42 month” periods (Rev. 11:2; 13:5). Jesus will return again to Earth The Bible says Jesus will physically return again to earth (Zech. 14:1-21; Matt. 24:29-31; Mk. 13:24-27; Lk. 21:25-27; Rev. 19). Jesus returns is to defeat His enemies, set up His throne, restore Israel, rule with “a rod of iron” and share His authority with those who overcame in Him, (Mat. 19:28;25:31; Acts 1:3-6; Rev. 2:26-27; 3:21). The Church The Church was divinely instituted by God called out of the world and the Body of Christ, (Rom. 12:5; I Cor.12: 27; Eph. 1: 23; Col. 1:24; 2:19); Compared to a building [spiritual temple], (Matt. 16: 18; I Col. 3:10; Eph. 2:21; I Pet. 2:23). The Bride of Jesus Christ, (Isa. 62:5; II Cor. 11:2; Rev.19:7; Rev. 21: 2; Rev. 22:17) and will be raptured at the beginning of the Tribulation Period, (I Thess. 4:14 -17). “That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish,” (Eph. 5:27). Jesus will return again to Earth