Identifying the Apostasy

Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, 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.

1 Timothy 4:1-3

Scripture gives us in 1 Timothy 4: 1-3 the key to identifying the apostasy in the church. And to reinforce the divine origin of the revelation that Paul shared with his disciple Timothy, in verse 1 begins by saying: Now the Spirit expressly says. There is no doubt that the Spirit of God inspired Paul to write this passage and, likewise, the same Spirit help us identify this last time in which we live is who departed from the faith.

First we must be clear about what it means apostasy. According to the Bible dictionary, apostasy means turning back, relapse. Apostasy necessarily imply a position that may fall, it made a profession that is abandoned in a deliberate manner. It is not a Christian who falls into sin, but a definite abandonment of Christianity by a professing unconverted, which has not experienced regeneration of conversion. The Scriptures offer no hope for such a state.

In 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 it indicates that the second coming of our Lord precedes apostasy: 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, 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. Christians have been alerted and we must be sensitive to the Spirit to identify it clearly.

Returning to 1 Timothy 4:1-3, we see two manifestations of the presence of apostasy: 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. Both things have already happened within the Church of Rome: mandatory celibacy of priests and the prohibition of not eating meat during Lent.

Many think that both positions are biblical and Christ Church has practiced such things from the beginning. Both thoughts are wrong. Peter, whom the Catholic Church calls the first pope, was married (see Matthew 8:14-15). The Lateran Council, in 1123, under the reign of Calixto II decreed that clerical marriages were invalid, which was confirmed by the Lateran Council II, in the year of 1139, with Pope Innocent II.

Despite the ban, priests and even popes continued to marry and have children for several centuries after that date. The Council of Trent (1545-1563) finally established that celibacy and virginity are superior to marriage. However, two of the popes who presided over this council had illegitimate children: Paul III (1534-1549) had three sons and a daughter, while Pio IV (1559-1565) had 3 children. Following that, Pope Gregory XIII (1572-1585) had an illegitimate child.

Catholic mandatory rule of not eating meat on Fridays during Lent was ordered by Pope Nicholas I (858-867). For centuries, Catholics met that rule because the church, at least until 1938, said that who ate meat on Fridays was going to hell. In 1966, Pope Paul VI eased the extent leaving the decision at hand bishops. I am not criticizing any denomination, just ask you to evaluate your church practices what it says 1 Timothy 4: 1-3. God bless you.


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