Tuesday, July 24, 2012

* BEST OF DTB #198* The Catholic Defender takes a look at Apostasy

One of the last signs St. Paul warns would happen takes place just before the "lawless one" is revealed.
He is speaking about the great Apostasy. St. Paul states, "For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. But the one who restrains is to do so only for the present, until he is removed from the scene. And then the lawless one will be revealed" (2 Thess 2:7-8a).
St. John warns of this evil period saying, "Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that the anti-christ was coming, so now many anti-christs have appeared. Thus we know this is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not really of our number; if they had been, they would have remained with us. Their desertion shows that none of them was of our number" (1 John 2:18-20).

It's interesting looking at both text from St. Paul and St. John they refer to an individual who is to come and apostasy is a major sign of it. Here is something else that is simular:
St. John, "I write you not because you do not know the truth but because you do, and because every lie is alien to the truth" (1 John 2:21).

St. Paul, "The one whose coming springs from the power of Satan in every mighty deed and in signs and wonders that lie" (2 Thess 2:9).
Daniel saw this as he wrote, "As for you, Daniel, keep secret the message and seal the book until the end time; many shall fall away and evil shall increase" (Daniel 12:4).
St. Paul wrote St. Timothy warning, "Now the Spirit explicitly says that in the last times some will turn away from the faith by paying attention to deceitful spirits and demonic instructions through the hypocrisy of liars with branded consciences" (1 Timothy 4:1-2).
St. Paul also wrote to St. Timothy, "But understand this: there will be terrifying times in the last day. People will be self-centered and lovers of money, proud, haughty, abusive, disobedience to their parents, ungrateful, irreligious, callous, implacable, slanderous, licentious, brutal, hating what is good, TRAITORS, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, as they make a pretense of religion but deny it's power" (2 Timothy 3:1-5).
St. Peter gets into this saying, "Know this first of all, that in the last days scoffers will come to scoff, living according to their own desires and saying, 'Where is the promise of his coming? (2 Peter 3:3-4a).

Jesus said, "For as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. In those days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day that Noah entered the ark" (Matthew 24:37-38).
Speaking of the time of the anti-christ, when this happens, he will have a false prophet known as the second Beast. If Rev 13 can have a double meaning, if it can represent Nero as the "Beast" and Jerusalem is the Whore of Babylon, then Rev 13:11 would have relevance with other scripture I have already brought forth.
This False prophet "performed great signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in the sight of everyone". "It deceived the inhabitants of the earth with the signs it was allowed to perform in the sight of the first Beast" (Rev 13:14).
Compare this with what St. Paul wrote in 2 Thess 2:9! Again, we have this anti-christ figure and a false prophet who ushers in this apostasy. When you look at the 'false prophet' and the 'Whore of Babylon' they both represent rebellion. In the Old Testament when His people (the Israelites) went to false gods and their prophets God called this "adultry" and "harlotry" (Ezekiel 16).
It s not the faithfulness to the Catholic Faith, but the rejection of it that is identified with this "Whore of Babylon" and the "false prophet".
The Catholic Church is known as the "Bark of Peter". The boat itself is a symbol for the Church, the Bark of Peter. The boat holds the Apostles, and symbolically all of Christ's disciples (John 17:20-21).
The world is a sea in which the Church, like a ship, is beaten by the waves, but not submerged.
Noah and his sons build the Ark of Salvation. Remember well - No one outside the Ark was saved (1 Peter 3:19-21).
Going back to St. Paul's original text (2 Thess 2:3-9), speaking on Verse 7, the one who restrains would be the Holy Spirit. The Lord has kept evil in check because of the Love that God is.
Since Pentecost, the Holy Spirit has been very active in the life of the Church.
We are in the age of grace. At the end of this age, when Jesus returns, the lawless one will be destroyed and rendered powerless by the Lord's presence.
Then all will face the general judgement of the world (Matthew 25:31-46)

"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, and all thenations will assemble before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shephard separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me. Then the righteous will answer him and say, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and gave you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welome you, or naked an clothed you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you? And the king will say to them in reply, 'Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me".
Jesus goes on to say that these righteous will go to eternal life in heaven. Those who did evil and rejected to do these things will go to eternal punishment.

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