Tuesday, June 23, 2015, 6:38 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song, “Our Great Savior.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read 2 Thessalonians 2 (NASB). The Apostasy (vv. 1-5) Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things? Ok, it says here that this day will not come until the apostasy occurs. This word translated as apostasy comes from the Greek word “apostasia” which means: “defection; revolt.” It also means to “leave, depart (away from); departure (implying desertion); a leaving from a previous standing” (Source: biblehub.com). Another word for “revolt” is rebellion. A rebellion can either be “an organized attempt to overthrow a government or other authority by the use of violence,” or it can mean: “opposition to or defiance of authority, accepted moral codes, or social conventions” (Source: Encarta). I believe it is both, and that we are seeing the signs of this taking place in our present time in history BIG TIME! The Union Through a series of events, including the news events of this past week, some of which took place in a church in Charleston, SC, where purportedly nine people were shot dead by a drug-induced lone gunman, I was led to look, again, at the Emancipation Proclamation issued by Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863. I found this article: “The Civil War was fought because of the secession of 11 of the 15 slave states. These 11 slave states formed the Confederate States of America. The remaining States (generally referred to as the Union) mobilized its military forces to engage in war to bring the rebel states back into the Union. The symbol of what the Emancipation Proclamation came to represent marked a sharp departure from the original goal of the Union… Furthermore, the declarations only applied to states that were in rebellion against the Union Army. In other words, the Emancipation Proclamation pronounced those slaves free in the rebel states if the state did not comply, but slavery actually was not outlawed or declared illegal, nor were civil rights guaranteed.” http://www.darronsmith.com/2012/08/the-did-and-did-not-of-the-emancipation-proclamation/ Ok, now fast-forward to June 2015. We have a similar situation existing today, only not confined to just the USA, but to the world, as a whole. A “Union” has been formed of various nations (governments), bankers, CEO’s, and the Elite, etc., throughout the world, and which we commonly refer to as “The New World Order.” This “Union,” of which the US government is part, has been going throughout the world conquering nations, governments and peoples, destroying and confiscating property not their own, killing innocents, murdering Christians, blaming “terrorists,” whom they finance, and blaming national governments for their “dirty work,” and then coming in as “savior” to “rescue” the innocent (injured and oppressed). First they create the “problem,” and then they come in with a pre-planned “solution” to solve the “problem,” i.e. a solution to the chaos they first created. The “problem” might come through some mass killings, bombings, uprisings, riots, political and civil unrest, etc., which were perpetrated by this “Union,” via false flag operations and orchestrated, fake, and skillfully acted out scenarios, which may or may not have any element of truth to them, and which often leave all kinds of “loose ends” and questionable and refutable details to the official stories, which I believe is on purpose, just to confuse and distract us. The purpose of these false flag operations, fake uprisings, riots and hate crimes is so that the “Union” can go into the situation with a “solution,” in order to bring about compliance of local and national governments and peoples to this global “Union.” These fake scenarios often also serve as threats to those who are acting in non-compliance, which was the case with this Emancipation Proclamation, which really was about bringing these dissenters into conformity with the Union, since it only applied to the states which were in rebellion to the Union. This is where we are today, only on a global scale. The Temple We have to remember here that this is speaking about the last days. What the temple was then, and what the temple is now, though they are both the house of the Lord, are two different things. The temple then was a physical building, built by human hands, which housed the Ark of the Covenant, in which was the presence of Almighty God. The temple today is the body of Christ, his church, in whom the Spirit of God dwells. So, is there someone today who is taking his seat in the temple of God, and is proclaiming himself to be God? Yes, at least here in America. The US government has taken its seat of authority within the US church via the 501c3 non-profit corporation status of the church, and was invited in by the church, not forced upon them. This government proclaims itself to be God in that it takes the place of Jesus Christ as the rightful head of his church, his body. As well, this New World Order “Beast,” of which the US government is part, has taken a position over the church, by force, in trying to bring Christians to the point of rejecting Christ and his gospel, and to bow to the beast, and is acting as God in bringing judgment down upon the church (the saints of God) for non-compliance with the beast and its one-world government and one-world religion. This has now come to America, and we are beginning to see the workings of it in the goals and mission of this beast to eliminate “extremism,” which includes those who follow Jesus Christ in obedience, who do not deny his name, and who hold fast to the teachings of Christ and the apostles, especially with regard to what the word of God teaches with regard to our eternal salvation. Added to that, this ungodly influence within the church has helped to bring about an apostasy within the church in that so many who call themselves Christians today have departed from the norms of Christianity, and what the Bible teaches, especially with regard to sin, salvation, and judgment, and have gone the way of the world and of big business, and are operating in the wisdom and power of humans, instead of in the power of God. God is about to spit this modern-day church out of his mouth in judgment, too. True worship of God has been replaced with big shows and entertainment. Bible studies have been replaced with feel-good small groups often focused on self and the flesh, rather than on Christ, and they are studying books written by mere humans, to the exclusion, often, of actually studying the Bible at all. The vast majority of today’s modern church acts no different from those who make no claims to faith in Christ at all, and sometimes their behavior is even worse than that of non-believers. The Bible’s teachings on holiness, walking in the fear of the Lord, and conducting our lives according to (in agreement with) the Spirit of God, and no longer according to the flesh, have largely been disregarded as legalistic and as works-based salvation, in favor of a much less offensive “gospel.” Already at Work (vv. 6-12) And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he will be revealed. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness. There is a lot of controversy and varied opinions over what this passage is truly teaching. Some people, who believe in a pre-tribulation rapture of the church, believe that when the church is removed, and the Holy Spirit with them, these things will then take place. Yet, since the book of Revelation is very clear that there will be saints of God on the earth during the tribulation, who will be persecuted and killed for their testimonies for Jesus Christ, and because they stand strong in their faith, and because they obey Christ’s commands, the Holy Spirit cannot actually be removed from the earth, because we can only come to Christ through the working of the Spirit in transformation, and we can only exist as saints of God through being empowered, filled, and regenerated of the Spirit of God. “Until he is taken out of the way” should literally read, “Until out of the midst he might be gone.” To me, only God has the true power to restrain lawlessness, so it appears to me that somehow God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – will somehow have to be removed. So, how could this happen? If the Holy Spirit is the one restraining, I would suggest here, not that he will leave the individual lives of true followers of Christ, but that he is being shoved (kicked) out of the corporate (rebellious) church, and that when the church no longer yields control to the Holy Spirit in its midst, but pushes him out the door (example: church of Laodicea), then he is no longer present to restrain lawlessness, because the church will no longer submit to the Lord’s authority, but has chosen human authority, instead. And, I believe that is exactly where we are today, with few exceptions in America, at least. Stand Firm (vv. 13-15) But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth. It was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us. What I see happening today is that God has made his “emancipation proclamation” via the death of Jesus Christ on a cross for our sins. He has declared freedom for the slaves, and on the condition that they comply with the “Union” of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We are united with God via faith in Jesus Christ. That faith means we die with Christ to sin so that we can live with Christ to righteousness. Many people, even in the church today, are in non-compliance with God, so he is sending his judgments upon us for the sole purpose to bring us into unity with God and into compliance with his Word and his will for our lives. He chose us to be a holy people, set apart (different) from the world of sin, because we are becoming like Christ, being transformed into his likeness. So, stand firm in your faith, and do not yield to this New World Order Beast who would threaten to undo you. God has it all under his control, and he will never leave us or forsake us. Trust him. Believe him. Rest in HIM. Our Great Savior / J. Wilbur Chapman Jesus! what a Friend for sinners! Jesus! Lover of my soul; Friends may fail me, foes assail me, He, my Savior, makes me whole. Jesus! what a Strength in weakness! Let me hide myself in Him; Tempted, tried, in Him confiding, He, my Strength, my vict’ry wins. Jesus! what a Help in sorrow! While the billows o’er me roll, Even when my heart is breaking, He, my Comfort, helps my soul. Jesus! what a Guide and Keeper! While the tempest still is high, Storms about me, night o’ertakes me, He, my Pilot, hears my cry. Jesus! I do now receive Him, More than all in Him I find; Christ in me, the Hope of glory, I am His, and He is mine. Hallelujah! what a Savior! Hallelujah! what a Friend! Saving, helping, keeping, loving, He is with me to the end.