by Just Another Christian
Philologos Religious Online Books
THE GREAT DREAM
by Just Another Christian
Chapter 2 of : The Great Dream
The Famous Final Scene
So here we are: many now say that we are on the brink of the greatest revival of Christianity since the Book of Acts: even surpassing the worldwide revival of the 1800's and the now nearly forgotten "Jesus People" of the late 60's and early 70's. There is also much talk about The Close of The Age and the Coming of Christ: which talk provokes a sense of urgency to hurry up and get done what can be done, so that when Christ arrives, He will find a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish (Eph.5:27). This statement is taken by many as a prophecy that describes the state of Christendom at The End of This Age. Isn't that wonderful? We have also discovered the key to unity: Forget our differences and cooperate in the things we agree on. One of the things we agree on is this: that Christ would build His church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it (Matt.16:18). The fact that we don't agree on what Jesus meant by saying, Many are called, but few are chosen (Matt. 22:14) has now become insignificant. There are but 3 requirements being made of those who wish to be recognized as real Christians in these last days: PUBLIC MORALITY, SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY, (and of course) CHURCH MEMBERSHIP.
Thus has the Lord directed me:
And thus also, has the Lord spoken to those who will not receive this testimony:
On December 12, 1990, God commanded me through the Holy Scripture and by the witness of the Holy Ghost to write a book announcing, describing, and denouncing The Great and Final Apostasy of Christendom. I have no idea who my audience is. It has become by now quite obvious that absolutely no one besides the few we are has any interest in the fact that the Bible plainly predicts that the churches of Christendom will be in a state of terminal apostasy both BEFORE and at the return of Jesus Christ. It has been my sad and disheartening discovery that the peoples of Christendom, and especially their leaders, are all liars. What makes them liars, is that they willfully refuse to acknowledge what, in particular, the Bible has to say about the last days of Christendom.
Now I am sure that there are many who will be inquiring into my motives for writing this. "What", you may wonder, "is he after?" But my answer to you is this: WHAT DOES IT MATTER? All I am going to do here is present you with a 'book report' on what the Bible says about the last days of Christendom. Whether I am a good man or an evil man will not change WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS, and neither do I think that 'my opinions' will control the disposition of history. Those who have never endangered themselves for the sake of their "faith" will find it easy to dismiss all that they will read here; BECAUSE, in the end, they DO NOT CARE what the Bible says, and they cannot believe that anyone else really cares either. You ought to know then, that I am not writing this book for you; but for God; Who certainly knows "what I am up to", and has already decided whether I am living up to the light I have, or just inciting a controversy for some malicious and selfish purpose.
I invite you then, Dear Reader, to join me in a review of what the Bible has to say about the last days of Christendom. I will forewarn you: every chapter in this book will press you to make decisions about things you never thought you would have to confront. Many, upon reading THE GREAT DREAM, will be deciding all over again whether or not they really are Christians. Many, who need to call themselves Christians, will be reconsidering whether or not they want the plain language of the Christian Bible to be the sole and final authority on all matters of faith, life, and conduct: choosing rather to take the Roman Catholic view: in which the interpretations of the "publicly recognized, State subsidized, and bureaucratically certified clergy" are taken as the Very Word of God.
I invite you, then, whether out of concern for the welfare ofyour soul, or out of simple curiosity, to become like the Bereans, who were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so (Acts 17:11). Let us begin by considering the fact that every single mention of the future state of professing Christendom in the New Testament describes only continuous decay and never any improvement.
Shortly before his martyrdom, the Apostle Paul said this:
And there is NO, not so much as a single mention in the New Testament of any time in which this evil trend will ever be reversed; but in every case, and in every place, all of the inspired writers see nothing but infiltration by false brethren, the rise and popularity of false teachers, and the continuous corruption of Christian doctrine.
Neither here nor in any other place does the inspired Apostle say that THEY will ever renounce their fables or the teachers that they have heaped to themselves. Not only that, but they will turn away their ears EVEN from the hearing of the truth: they will be obstinately unwilling to even give the truth a fair hearing! Will I receive a fair hearing from you?
Please notice, again, that the inspired Apostle makes no mention here or elsewhere of any kind of reformation or revival during which these false teachers and their damnable heresies will ever be rejected. These false teachers arise, he says, from among you: they are not from outside the social network of professing Christians, but are identified as being WITH, FROM, and AMONG the Christians by the rest of the world. Because so many shall follow their pernicious ways, they are taken to represent Christianity itself; therefore, it will be presumed that every Christian agrees with their pernicious ways. This leaves those who take exception to these damnable heresies in an awkward position: they must denounce the whole of Christendom in order to claim allegiance to a Christianity that is NOT guilty of these damnable heresies, and these pernicious ways. The situation is this: every denominational group and independant church has and defends at least one irrefutable truth. They are not saved by holding to this one truth: but are empowered by God as "hirelings" to keep and defend this one truth. In this singular matter, they are right, and they know it. Because this one truth is denied by the other denominations, they find courage to hold out and maintain their independance. But, every one of these groups also presents and defends their own list of heresies, which heresies are obvious to everyone else. Therefore, the one truth that they present and defend against all others is labeled as just another one of their heresies; and even the one truth they embrace is evil spoken of. In order to embrace that one truth,you have to denounce the group that is most associated with it, or you will be regarded as a defender of their damnable heresies as well. If then, every denomination and independant group has and defends one or more irrefutable truths that you must receive, you have to denounce THEM ALL in order to avoid the appearance of defending their heresies as well.
Now we all know, don't we, that one of the main complaints made against the churches, is their their endless pleading for more of your money, right? And here we have it said that through the desire to get your money shall they with carefully rehearsed words make MERCHANDISE of you: or, in other words, THEY COMPETE FOR YOUR LOYALTY IN ORDER TO GET YOUR MONEY. It is impossible for me to believe that you do not see this!
And here also is one of those inspired details that most who read the Bible will have overlooked: it is said that they shall bring upon themselves SWIFT destruction. If all that was meant here was SURE destruction, then that is what would have been said. Has every false prophet and teacher of heresies in the history of Christianity been taken out by SWIFT destruction?. . . . . . . .No. As a matter of fact, many false prophets have lived to a grand old age in the midst of prosperity. So that places the time of the particular fulfillment of this prophecy at The End of This Age: for THEN, these false teachers will have their careers SHORTENED by a SWIFT destruction.
This chapter of the Holy Writ begins with, This know, that in the last days perilous times shall come; and NOWHERE suggests that things will ever get any better before the return of Jesus Christ; but RATHER, that they will get worse and worse; that more and more people will be deceived; and that those who are doing the deceiving will become more and more UNTEACHABLE. In response to this ever growing deception, the Apostle recommends us to pay careful heed to the Holy Scriptures (2 Tim. 3:15-16), and those Holy Scriptures are unanimously pessimistic about the future and final state of Christendom. So let us consider a certain question which was asked by Our Lord Jesus Christ: . . .WHEN THE SON OF MAN COMETH, SHALL HE FIND FAITH ON THE EARTH? The answer to any rhetorical question, such as this one asked by Jesus, is always implied by the context in which the question is asked. In this case, Jesus assures us of the faithfulness of God, which is set forth as a contrast to the question (Luke 18:7-8).
THE ANSWER IS.....NO: there may be all kinds of "faith" on the earth when the Son of man cometh, but NOT the faith which was once delivered unto the saints (Jude 3). There are many so called "prophecy experts" around today who have made fine careers for themselves by interpreting the "signs of the times": they compete with each other in gathering evidence to prove that we are NOW and INDEED at The End of This Age. They analyze political and social trends; they come up with queer and novel ways to interpret Bible prophecy; and they are ALL, and EVERY ONE of them, LIARS. The ONE "SIGN" of The End of This Age that has the most prophetic scripture devoted to it is The Great and Final Apostasy Of Christendom: but this they have wilfully chosen to ignore, because BRINGING UP THAT would still the applause, and jeopardize their "careers". As a matter of fact, as we shall see from the Bible itself, these modern "prophecy experts" who have refused to remind us of The Great and Final Apostasy of Prophecy are described among the very deceivers that we are told to watch out for.
EVIDENCE THAT DEMANDS A VERDICT
We are plainly told here, that before ANY RETURN of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and 'our being gathered together unto Him, that two distinct things will take place. First, there will be THE APOSTASY, and then the man of sin, who is the Antichrist, will be revealed. The words translated to "a falling away" in this place are 'e apostasia' in the original. The single and only other place in the New Testament where 'apostasia' occurs is in Acts 21:21, where it is translated to 'forsake.' In Acts, they are accused of apostasizing from Moses, and in 2 Thessalonians, they can only be apostasizing from Christ. In a slightly modified form, 'apostasion', this word means 'bill of divorce.' Nowhere does this word apostasia occur in any form or modification in which it does not mean the unlawful and willful abandonment of a prior commitment. Not only that, but nearly every commentator in the history of Christendom has agreed that this statement, and many others like it, PLAINLY predict that Christendom at large will be in a state of APOSTASY both BEFORE and AT the return of Jesus Christ.
The simple and obvious purpose of these inspired and infallible words is to establish that the coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together unto Him, CANNOT and WILL NOT HAPPEN until AFTER "The Apostasy" and the public appearance of the Antichrist. There is simply no other way to understand these words without completely ignoring or changing the normal definitions for the words of the inspired language.
These "prophecy experts" that refuse to make a faithful report about what the Bible says about the last days of Christendom, are, according to the inspired Apostle, attempting to DECEIVE YOU.
Here, Paul reminds them that he has already told them these things. WHAT THINGS? They seem to have forgotten these things, so he has to remind them. YOU have again forgotten these things, and so I am reminding YOU.
BEFORE The Day of Christ, and all that it includes; there shall come 'a falling away' FIRST. The Greek Original, from which the KJV is translated, reads more precisely, 'THE apostasy first.' Take note that the Apostle does not say "there shall come AN apostasy first" as if to suggest a general condition of apostasy that will always be evident in Christendom. There may well have been many incidents of apostasy in the history of Christendom; and some will say that Christendom has always been 'more or less' apostate: but this is a reference to a PARTICULAR apostasy. There is no point in presenting "the apostasy" as a sign of the Lord's return, if this was a reference to some general condition of apostasy that would always be evident, for that would make this into a false prophecy. This is a PARTICULAR and UNIQUE apostasy that shall come BEFORE The Day of Christ. This apostasy cannot be just the continuance of past errors; for then it could not seen as a sign that the end is near! In order to be a "sign", it will have to be DIFFERENT from all previous incidents and manifestations of apostasy, or it could not be noticed at all.
Most of your modern Bibles will replace the words 'Day of Christ' with the phrase 'Day of the Lord'. I agree with the reading in the KJV: but in any case, both The Day of the Lord and The day of Christ do refer to the same set of events; distinguished only in to whom particular parts of these events apply.
The term Day of Christ, however, always refers to a time of relief and blessing for those to whom it applies. The Day of the Lord begins with and includes The Great Tribulation. The Day of the Lord will not come, EXCEPT there come THE APOSTASY first. The APOSTASY does not begin with The Great Tribulation, but BEFORE it. Furthermore, the words, our gathering together unto Him are more faithfully translated to 'our being gathered up into Him.' The Greek word for 'gathering together' is EPI-SUNAGOGES. The prefix, EPI- means "above", and SUNAGOGES means "housed, or gathered". This is not a reference to each of us coming, on foot, to Jesus after he descends to stand upon the earth; but to our BEING GATHERED UP or SUMMONED FROM ABOVE by the Lord Himself. This places THE APOSTASY before the Rapture and before The Great Tribulation. If we are, as many now like to say, at The End of This Age, and that Christ returns soon: then we are NOW, according to the Bible, also in the time of The Great and Final Apostasy of Prophecy.
Now some will see in this the declaration that we will be entering The Great Tribulation, for The Antichrist will be revealed BEFORE the coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and our being gathered up together unto Him: thus presuming that the Antichrist cannot be IDENTIFIED by any of us BEFORE he actually comes to power. I am aware that I am now overturning 200 years of popular evangelical doctrine by saying this; for the idea that the Rapture is a 'signless event' has become a catch-phrase among prophetic expositors. But the Apostle has declared that ANYONE who denies that there shall come a falling away FIRST, and that the man of sin will be revealed BEFORE The Day of Christ, is attempting to deceive you. This language could not be any plainer. But in the next verse, the Apostle distinguishes between the first public appearance of the man of sin, and his time of power.