What Apostasy Appears

(2 Corinthians 5:18-21 KJV)† And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; {19} To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. {20} Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. {21} For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
(2 Corinthians 6:1-4 KJV)† We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. {2} (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.) {3} Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed: {4} But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses,

Notice it says "in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God". Our goal ought to be approved to God in all things. We are workers together with God.

We are ambassadors not priests with a message that God is not imputing sin against us and redirected His wrath toward His Son to satisfy His justice. The challenge for us: in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, to do things God approves.

(1 Corinthians 3:8 KJV)† Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.

There is a reward to our work in the ministry. God will acknowledge our part, which is to allow His Son to live through us.

(1 Corinthians 3:9-10 KJV)† For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building. {10} According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.

We are laboring together with God, building a building, and constructing an edifice.

(1 Corinthians 3:17 KJV)† If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

You are a building (temple). The temple is where God lives and dwells and manifests Himself. He does this in the local assembly today. The local assembly is the house of God, the pillar and ground of truth.

We are to labor, building a building where God can manifest Himself on earth. This building is a brand new building, not one that already exists. The Apostle Paul did not design the building, God did. However, Paul says that he is the masterbuilder, the one to whom the plan was given. Just as in construction, all works needs to pass the inspectors approval, our work must meet Godís approval. Our individual part is approved as we labor together with God (i.e. doing what God is doing today).

Why Apostasy Appears

In 2 Timothy, there†are four reasons why apostasy appears and answers so that you will not fall victim to false teaching and have your work not approved by God. If your work does not meet Godís approval, it will go up in smoke. The things that meet Godís approval will last forever.

  1. Departing from the message given to us by Apostle Paul.
    (2 Timothy 1:15 KJV)† This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.

    All those in Asia turned away from Paul, not from God, Jesus Christ or the Bible. This means that you even if you are serving Jesus Christ, preaching the Word and doing things in the Bible, you could still not be approved as ministers of God. We need to follow the right set of plans and use the right material to be approved.

    The Answer is to hold fast to sound words, the things Paul taught.

    (2 Timothy 1:13 KJV)† Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

    Timothy is left struggling at Ephesus. Paul is mindful of his tears and encourages Timothy to continue. God intervenes through the prayers of his friend, not the circumstances. Paul reminds Timothy of his family, his call, the power of God and doctrine. Paul challenges Timothy to go forward and not let emotions, pressures and persecution change the way he thinks; be of a sound mind.

    The power of God is the preaching of the cross. We find that power in the word of God.

    (2 Timothy 1:9 KJV)† Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

    What we are involved in is the eternal purpose of God, which started before Genesis 1:1. Paul is telling us to go through life with eternity in view. In Romans 8, Paul has already said that the suffering today are not worthy of the glory which is to come. It will take eternity to manifest the glory of the things we do.

    Paul says to hold fast to the form of sound words, the pattern, the blueprint which was laid down by Apostle Paul. Be careful not to change the pattern. We are to hold fast to the form of sound words in faith; the work of the ministry is done by faith.

    We are to have a sound mind, not let emotions, feelings and circumstances dictate what we do.

  2. Concerning the truth have erred.
    (2 Timothy 2:18 KJV)† Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.

    Hymenaeus and Philetus knew Godís truth of the resurrection and they were putting it in the wrong place. The resurrection is a Bible truth but what they were saying about it was not.

    1. Apostasy is happening today because people have something that is in the Bible but they put it in the wrong place.

      For example, they put the Body of Christ in the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ, the early chapters of Acts, or in Hebrews. Or they take Israelís hope and make it the body of Christís hope.

    2. Apostasy happens when people take the Bible truths and redefine them.
    3. Paul wrote as if Hymenaeus and† Philetus were still alive; they have missed the resurrection themselves. Perhaps they have taken the truth of the resurrection and redefined it.

      Some Bible truths that people redefine today:

      • Bible
      • Election
      • Gift of Tongues
      • Gospel of the Kingdom
      • Kingdom of heaven
      • Miracles
      • Prayer
      • Predestination
      • The Church, the body of Christ
      • The Local Church
      • Water Baptism

      Why do people redefine Bible truths? Mostly it is to maintain a religious tradition or to substantiate what they believe.

      The answer is to leave things in the Bible where and to whom they belong.

      (2 Timothy 2:15 KJV)† Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

    Today, the church has little testimony because they have erred from the truth or redefined the truth.

  3. Resist the Truth
    (2 Timothy 3:8 KJV)† Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.

    Reprobate means unapproved.

    Jannes and Jambres were the two magicians that cast their rods down when Aaron cast his down, declaring that they could do that also.

    People resist the truth by looking at the things they do, have done, and will resist your message because they have outdone you. People will resist the truth most often because they think gain is godliness.

    The answer to this is to remember the end of Jannes and Jambres: Aaronís rod swallowed up their rods. It was two against one; they should have been able to overtake Aaronís rod. The issue is not the quantity of the work but the quality.

  4. Not endure sound doctrine
    (2 Timothy 4:1-4 KJV)† I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; {2} Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. {3} 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; {4} And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

    People will not endure sound doctrine but will look for teachers who will fulfill their own lust. They want hear fables, stories. Instead of hearing the truth of Godís word, they want to hear stories of what happened to someone, what someone saw. They prefer to listen to teachers who use personal experience to validate what they are saying.

    Those who do not endure sound doctrine will base their truth and understanding on personal experience and personal accounts. If you should ask them to give you a verse to support what they are saying, they will only be able to tell you what they saw or experienced. This makes them feel good and sound doctrine often goes against that.

    Those who do not endure sound doctrine replace that doctrine with personal experience. They think it is truth because they experienced it and they walk as unbelievers.

    (Ephesians 4:17-19 KJV)† This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, {18} Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: {19} Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.

    As a saved person, you can walk in the vanity of your mind. If you jettison sound doctrine, it will be replaced by human viewpoint, wrong doctrine, etc. When that happens your spiritual life shuts down, you walk in darkness and the flesh takes over. At this point, a person will push away what they know to be true and go after the things that satisfy the flesh.

The answer is to instruct those who have resisted the truth and do the work of an evangelist.

(2 Timothy 2:24-25 KJV)† And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, {25} In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;

We are to instruct those who have resisted the truth in meekness, not like a bull in a china shop. When one departs from the truth they oppose themselves, work against their best interest.

(2 Timothy 4:5 KJV)† But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

When dealing with those who have turned away from the truth we ought not to get so occupied with them that we forget the lost: do the work of an evangelist. Too often, we focus on those in the religious system and in the midst of apostasy we forget about those who are lost.

This will help you to not resist they truth because when you go back to square one, where you will spend eternity, it will cause you to appreciate your own salvation.

My notes from teaching by Ted Fellows