2Th 2:1-3 KJV – 1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and [by] our gathering together unto him, 2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. 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; 4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
“FALLING AWAY” is the word “apostasia”, from which springs the phrase “apostate church”. The root of the word is “apostasion”. It means “bill of divorce”:
ἀποστάσιον apostásion, ap-os-tas’-ee-on; neuter of a (presumed) adjective from a derivative of G868; properly, something separative, i.e. (specially) divorce:—(writing of) divorcement.
The “apostate church” does not fall away…it is SENT away. In the opening chapters of the book of Revelation…a book of significations…John sees seven golden candlesticks with one walking in the midst. In addressing the first of them, the Spirit of the Lord warns of removing their candlestick from his place. What is a candlestick?:
Rev 1:19-20 KJV – 19 Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter; 20 The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.
The candlesticks are the churches. The assemblies themselves, with all that goes on within them. It is of note that in each of these assemblies, there are particular things at work, some good and commendable, but most bad and unacceptable. Indeed, why does the Spirit speak to bring to light, things that do not belong? Because the organization has begun to replace the organism; a system has begun to rear it’s head and contends for the faith once delivered to the saints. Christ in the individual is the hope of glory in that individual. Christ in an elitist cultus of clergy is not Christ. It is , exactly as Paul warned, “another Jesus , another Spirit, another gospel”, (which are not another…there IS no other).
The book of revelation itself, as a signification, draws directly from the meanings encrypted in the tabernacle that Moses built. The outer courts housed the tabernacle itself, which consisted of the holy place, and the most holy place:
Heb 9:1-10 KJV – 1 Then verily the first [covenant] had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary. 2 For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein [was] the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary. 3 And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all; 4 Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein [was] the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; 5 And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly. 6 Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service [of God]. 7 But into the second [went] the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and [for] the errors of the people: 8 The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing: 9 Which [was] a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; 10 [Which stood] only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed [on them] until the time of reformation.
A part of the “language” of the tabernacle is found in the word “sanctify” and the word “profane”. To sanctify means to “set apart”. Sanctuary is a place for the set apart. The holy of holies, or the holiest of all, means the “set apart from the set apart”. The profane is, in effect, to go in the wrong direction. If I attempt to take the things of the holiest place and move them into the holy, or the things of the holy place to the outer courts, I “PROFANE” these things, or make them common.
So, what is the “place” of the candlestick? Where does it belong? It belongs in the holy place. This is it’s highest appointment. If you search the scriptures, you will find no appointed place in the holy of holies for the candlestick. It has no place there. So, if removed from his place, it has only one place to go…the unmeasured outer courts. Why unmeasured? :
Rev 11:1-2 KJV – 1 And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. 2 But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty [and] two months.
In these unmeasured outer courts, what goes on, goes on in the “name of the Lord”. But unlike the case with the candlesticks…the assemblies…in their rightful place, the Spirit of the Lord does not “measure” them. If one reads Revelation 2 and 3, one can see the Spirit measuring the assemblies by what He speaks to them.
The great “falling away” of 2 Thessalonians 2 is not a “falling away” it is an apostasion…a bill of divorce…a SENDING away into the unmeasured outer courts, where the truth is cast to the ground…falsely made common. These things are not over the horizon, about to happen. They have been the case for a long, long time, wherein the task masters and their dreamed up tasks, imposed upon the so-called laity, in the name of the Lord:
Mat 7:15-23 KJV – 15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither [can] a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. 21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
There is, in the book of Isaiah, a prophetic picture of assemblies put away from the Lord’s message, living in the world, yet still boasting His identity…still doing what they do, in “His name”:
Isa 4:1 KJV – 1 And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.
Generally, a married woman takes the name of the husband. If served a bill of divorce for infidelity, generally that name is changed to her original name. In the prophetic example of Isaiah 4, she is willingly put out, has no problem being her own provider, but wants to keep the name of her former husband in order to maintain a certain appearance. She wants to be free of her former husband, but continue to operate in his name. Such is the warning of Matthew 7…things done In the Lord’s name, but not with His participation. Such is an apostate…a sent away church or assembly.
Now, for all this concerning assemblies going their own way to the unmeasured outer courts, the word of the Lord still stands…the INDIVIDUAL who comes to Him and abides with Him, He will IN NO WISE cast out. The Lord will make an end of dealing with organizations. But He will never leave or forsake individuals. In the example of Revelation 2 and 3, though no candlestick ever has any place in the holiest place, and can be put out, the Spirit still calls the individual, saying, “Come up here”.
The intent of this writing is to encourage the individual. The churches have, for the greater part, chosen the world. They have decided that the “church” must keep up with the times and adapt to the world and it’s self destructive course. This is an absolute lie. The Word of the Lord abides forever. The world is passing away. The churches are embracing that which is dissolving away, and are not embracing the eternal truth in Christ. Every human form of depravity and perversion are embraced in the name of “love”. This is a dangerous state of affairs. I do not love people if I do not tell them the truth. No individual need follow the organizations in there folly. While you breath…you have the power of choice.
Jesus spoke by way of promise, that the individual who overcomes in the same manner He overcame, will sit with Christ in the Father. Jesus, in departing, said “I have overcome the world”. Yet the nations are still warring, corruption abounds, religious, civil and social conditions are deplorable. Upon His departure from flesh, the nation was still under foreign dominion, the priests and politicians still worked abominably under the shadow and guise of the temple, etc. Yet Jesus said “I have overcome the world”. Where? How?
He overcame it in Himself.
So must I.
The great “falling away” is taking place now. It is a SENDING away. As in nearly everything else in scripture, the daydreaming leadership of the churches still look for things to happen, which have been going on for a long, long time. They look with eyes of flesh. They put everything just over the horizon. But as the Spirit testified to John on the Isle of Patmos…the time of these things is here…it is at hand.