Tuesday, 12 May 2015

What Does the Bible Say About the Great Apostasy?

Perhaps unique to LDS doctrine is that a complete, and total, apostasy has occurred. In other words, the Church Jesus Christ established while He was on the Earth, and the authority to administer therein, fell away completely proceeding the death of His apostles.

A basic consideration would be the evident number of creeds and denominations circulating the drain of Christian religion today. We all agree that there is a God. However, the nature of such a God varies greatly from one sect to the next.

He is a Spirit.
He is the Father of the Lord, Jesus Christ.
He is Jesus Christ.
He has a perfect body of flesh and bone.
He is an intelligence.
We cannot know Him.
We can know Him.

Another concept to note would be that all Christians believe faith in Jesus Christ attains us unto salvation. Though, what one understands faith to be differs almost fully from what another describes it be. For instance:

My faith is my belief.
My faith is my religion.
My faith is my works.
My faith is enough.

And then there is the divers numbers and modes of baptism; including infant baptism, immersion [once, thrice, and seven times over], affusion (pouring), and aspersion (sprinkling). Not to mention the questions of where it is performed and by whom it is performed.

The problem is, Ephesians 4:5 clearly states that there is "One Lord, one faith, one baptism[.]" Therefore, the argument that there are different churches for different persons renders null and void. Else there is no absolute truth, and if there be no absolute truth, then there is no reason or point to the Christian religion.

So the question is, What does the Bible say about a Great Apostasy? And when did it occur, if ever?

We know that Jesus Christ did a many great and marvelous works during His ministry here on Earth. He established His Church by calling twelve and ordaining them to the work (Mark 3:14). He healed the sick, raised the dead, and told the apostles to do the same (Matthew 10:8).

In addition, He prophesied of many things to come. While on the mount of Olives, Jesus Christ sat with His apostles and told them of the destruction of Jerusalem. In His discourse, He said the following:
Matthew 24:8-11 "All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many."
I imagine sitting amongst them as Jesus foretold of their persecution and death. In plain words He said, "they ... shall kill you". Also that many false prophets would rise, and that MANY would be deceived.

 I find it interesting that the same Roman Empire that persecuted and killed Jesus Christ and His apostles adopted Christianity as their own state religion years later. It is from that adopted religion that we see the many reformist creeds and denominations rise - many of whom sincerely believed in their own faith and denomination.

Even Paul spoke of these happenings in his farewell to the elders of the Church at Ephesus, before departing to Jerusalem.
Acts 20:28-31 "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears."
"Watch, and remember". After his departing would it have begun. But what catches my eye the most "night and day with tears." It just creates the image of how grievous this falling away would be, and as I read and think of what must've happened between then and now (with all these conflicting churches left, right, and center), I feel his tears.
is that he warned them
Even in a letter to his son, Paul said, "And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." (2 Timothy 4:4).
Jesus Christ and His disciples knew an apostasy would occur. And if we just look, we can see that one undoubtedly has occurred.

So with the death of the apostles, and saints of the early Church, mankind lost the authority it required to perform the saving ordinances needed to enter into the kingdom of God.

Mankind ceased to hear the words of God. And many ran to and fro, but could not find it. (Amos 8:11-12)

But I am not here to preach a message of damnation. Rather, I am called by a prophet of God to declare that His Church is here. A restoration, not a reformation, of gospel truth and authority has taken place - and it can bless the lives of families and individuals alike.

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