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Estudio de las Escrituras: La Gran Apostasía

El profeta bíblico Isaías previó la apostasía futuro, diciendo que los profetas estarían “cubiertos”.

Isaiah 29:10:

  • For the LORD hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered.

Amós, un profeta bíblico, preveía un día en que la palabra del Señor no estaría presente en la tierra.

Amos 8:11-12:

  • Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:
  • And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.

Jesucristo mismo advirtió sobre los falsos profetas que tratarían de guiar a la Iglesia de la época de Cristo por mal camino.

Matthew 7:15:

  • Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

Jesús también enseñó que muchos vendrían en su nombre, como si tuvieran autoridad, para engañar y confundir a la Iglesia.

Matthew 24:4-12:

  • And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
  • For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
  • And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
  • For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
  • 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.
  • And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

Cristo describe con más detalle la llegada de la gran apostasía:

Matthew 24:24:

  • For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

Cristo profetizó acerca del día en que sus profetas y apóstoles serían asesinados. Él enseñó que la apostasía se seguiría poco después.

Matthew 24:9-11:

  • 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.

Por otra parte, Jesús de nuevo le dijo a sus apóstoles que los hombres tratarían de matarlos. Con la muerte de los apóstoles, la comunicación directa con Dios cesó y la Iglesia entró en la apostasía.

John 16:1-4:

  • These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended.
  • They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.
  • And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.
  • But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you.

Así como Cristo había profetizado, el apóstol Pablo también enseñó que todos los miembros de la Iglesia primitiva, como los apóstoles y profetas, serían perseguidos. También describió los malos hombres que entrarían en la Iglesia y tratarían de llevar a la gente por mal camino.

2 Timothy 3:12-13:

  • Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
  • But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

The New-Testament book of Acts also describes Paul’s prophecies of those who would try to lead the early Christians astray.

Acts 20:29-31:

  • 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.

Paul prophesied elsewhere that “perilous times” would come. In these “perilous times,” men would search for the truth–would be ever learning–but, without revelation from God, would never find the truth.

2 Timothy 3:1-7:

  • This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
  • For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
  • Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
  • Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
  • Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
  • For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
  • Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Paul also prophesied of a future apostasy in his second epistle to Timothy:

2 Timothy 4:3-4:

  • 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;
  • And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

Paul again taught the saints at Thessalonica that Christ would not return to the earth until after a “falling away.”

2 Thessalonians 2:3:

  • 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;

The apostle Peter also prophesied of a future apostasy:

2 Peter 2:1-2:

  • But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
  • And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.

The apostle John also prophesied of a coming apostasy in which false apostles would claim to have the authority to act in the name of God.

Revelation 2:2:

  • I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:

Much evidence suggests that apostasy was encroaching on Christ’s Church even in the days of the apostles. With the apostles’ death, that process was accelerated. The apostle Paul, for example, wrote that all the Christians in Asia had apostated from Christ’s original teachings.

2 Timothy 1:15:

  • This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.

Paul also noted that the Church at Galatia had already fallen into apostasy.

Galatians 1:6:

  • I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
  • Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.

Paul also described others of the Christians of his day as having “turned aside” to false teachings.

1 Timothy 1:6-7:

  • From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling;
  • Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.

Additionally, Paul warned of “false brethren” who had entered into the Church in hopes of changing the original teachings of Christ.

Galatians 2:4:

  • And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:

Paul also described the mounting apostasy of his day in one of his epistles to the Corinthians. The one Christian Church was already beginning to divide into many factions.

1 Corinthians 1:11-13:

  • For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.
  • Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.
  • Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?

Paul also spoke of false apostles, men who were trying to lead the Church without having authority from God.

2 Corinthians 11:13-15:

  • For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
  • And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
  • Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

In his second epistle to Timothy, Paul again noted the introduction of human doctrines into Christ’s original teachings, citing specifically the doctrines of “Hymenaeus and Philetus.”

2 Timothy 2:16-18:

  • But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
  • And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;
  • Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.

Paul explained at least one of the motivations of these false teachers: many taught incorrect doctrines for money’s sake.

Titus 1:10-11:

  • For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision:
  • Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake.

The apostle John also taught that the apostasy had already begun.

1 John 2:18:

  • Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.

Jude also noted that men had entered into Christ’s church and were trying to change the doctrines that were “once delivered unto the saints.”

Jude 1:3-4:

  • Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
  • For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

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