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A Falling Away

falling away

By Lang’o Evans
S.O.T.P. Director /Speaker

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;

Man of Sin Be Revealed, the Son of Perdition
“Not till after the great apostasy, and the long period of the reign of the “man of sin,” can we look for the advent of our Lord. The “man of sin,” which is also styled the “mystery of iniquity,” the “son of perdition,” and “that wicked,” represents the papacy, which, as foretold in prophecy, was to maintain its supremacy for 1260 years. This period ended in 1798. The coming of Christ could not take place before that time. Paul covers with his caution the whole of the Christian dispensation down to the year 1798. It is this side of that time that the message of Christ’s second coming is to be proclaimed” {Great Controversy 1888 pg. 356.1}.

 

The papal system is styled “man of sin,” “mystery of iniquity,” “son of perdition,”

 

“Man of sin” for the system is devoid of all righteousness “All unrighteousness is sin”1 John 5:17: By Reason of being a man of sin it’s a “ man of unrighteousness” which makes the system in its entirety a servant of sin and free from all righteousness. See Romans 6:18, 20 “Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness…. For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness”.This is the very reason why when Paul continues to in his description, he sees it working with all “deceivableness of unrighteousness” See 2 Thessalonians 2:9-10 “[Even him], whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved”. All who will believe in this system will be damned”, 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12 “And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness”.

 

“Mystery of iniquity”… “That this mystery of iniquity is the great Romish apostasy, none but a papist will deny”. {The Three Messages of Revelation 14:6-12 pg. 17.2}.It’s a mystery of iniquity because its strength is the working of the devil. “Then as the mystery of God is the true, living Christ in you, the hope of glory, the living Christ all the inspiration and the power of the profession and the practice of Christianity and all its forms; so the mystery of iniquity, being the mere profession of Christianity without the life of Christ, the form without the power of godliness, and Satan being the real occupant of the profession and the forms,—the mystery of iniquity is Satan in you, the hope of glory. It is Satan in the place of Christ in the profession of Christianity”.{ The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald Articles (1879-1904 pg. 296.6}. 1Timoth3:16 “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory”. If “mystery of godliness” is God manifest in the flesh then the mystery of iniquity will be a man claiming to be God. It’s true that the papal system, claims to be God on earth with the power to forgive sins.

 

“Son of Perdition” The name son of perdition is only found in two places in the bible. In John 17:12 where when talking about Judas Christ says “and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled”. The other place as already noted is when Paul describes the papacy in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 “that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;” .The reason of Judas and the papacy having the same name is because they exhibit the same characters. What was the Character of Judas “Judas had naturally a strong love for money; but he had not always been corrupt enough to do such a deed as this. He had fostered the evil spirit of avarice until it had become the ruling motive of his life. The love of mammon overbalanced his love for Christ. Through becoming the slave of one vice he gave himself to Satan, to be driven to any lengths in sin”. {Desire of Ages pg. 716.3} See Luke 22:3-5 “Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve. And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them. And they were glad, and covenanted to give him money”. “Christ’s oft-repeated statement that His kingdom was not of this world offended Judas” {Desire of Ages pg. DA 718.1}.The character of the papal is system is as that of Judas.

‘A prayerful study of the Bible would show Protestants the real character of the papacy and would cause them to abhor and to shun it; but many are so wise in their own conceit that they feel no need of humbly seeking God that they may be led into the truth. Although priding themselves on their enlightenment, they are ignorant both of the Scriptures and of the power of God. They must have some means of quieting their consciences, and they seek that which is least spiritual and humiliating. What they desire is a method of forgetting God which shall pass as a method of remembering Him. The papacy is well adapted to meet the wants of all these. It is prepared for two classes of mankind, embracing nearly the whole world–those who would be saved by their merits, and those who would be saved in their sins. Here is the secret of its power”. {Great Controversy pg. 572.2}

A Falling away First
When the scripture says that there would be a falling away first and the man of sin be revealed, then it’s the falling away that results in the development of the papacy. The events that lead to the development of the papacy can be coined into the word “falling away”.

Another name for the papal system is “MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH”. Prophecy foresaw a point in time when Protestant churches that were once pure would have formed an “image of the beast”. Image of the beast to mean character of the papacy. Remember “The message of Revelation 14 announcing the fall of Babylon, must apply to religious bodies that were once pure and have become corrupt. This falling away, fallen condition of the Protestant religion is caused by apostasy, See {Great Controversy pg.389.2} “The second angel’s message of Revelation 14 was first preached in the summer of 1844.But the message of the second angel did not reach its complete fulfilment in 1844. The churches then experienced a moral fall, in consequence of their refusal of the light of the advent message; but that fall was not complete. As they have continued to reject the special truths for this time they have fallen lower and lower. …The spirit of world conforming and indifference to the testing truths for our time exists and has been gaining ground in churches of the Protestant faith in all the countries of Christendom; and these churches are included in the solemn and terrible denunciation of the second angel. But the work of apostasy has not yet reached its culmination”.

 

Pergamos
In Revelaton1:11 John the Revelator is told “What thou seest, write in a book, and send [it] unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea”.

 

“The names of the seven churches are symbolic of the church in different periods of the Christian Era. The number 7 indicates completeness, and is symbolic of the fact that the messages extend to the end of time, while the symbols used reveal the condition of the church at different periods in the history of the world” {Acts of the Apostles 586.1}.

“The message to Pergamos carries ecclesiastical history to the year 538 a. d., at which time the union between civil and ecclesiastical power, begun in the days of Constantine, was consummated. During the period covered by Pergamos, the Spirit of the Lord was with the church as a church; but near the end of that period, a separation began to take place. In the years following, there was formed an organization still carrying the name of Christian; and another company, separating from that first organization, because of the practices of Balaam,-the idolatry and fornication practiced by those who were once Christians indeed. Thus improper education was the cause of the apostasy of the church, and the one sign of its fall was that, in its spiritual weakness, it sought the civil power for support”. {Story of the Seer of Patmos pg. 61.2}

Apostasy leads to the development of the papacy, the cause of the apostasy is improper education. “In turning from God’s word to feed on the writings of uninspired men, the mind becomes dwarfed and cheapened. It is not brought in contact with deep, broad principles of eternal truth. The understanding adapts itself to the comprehension of the things with which it is familiar, and in this devotion to finite things it is weakened, its power is contracted, and after a time it becomes unable to expand. All this is false education {Christ Object Lessons pg. 41}.The root of the falling away is improper education which leads to apostasy and finally the development of the papacy. One sign the church’s falling away is “spiritual weakness”, and the seeking of civil power for support.

As established, Pergamos covers the period that led to the development of the papacy in the year 538.The conditions in that time are what gave life to the establishment of the papacy. These happenings in this period are “the falling away” that led to the development of the man of sin, the son of perdition, the papacy.

The significant happening in the Pergamos time period was the “union between civil and ecclesiastical power”. This union is the foundation of the papal power. The rejection of the Gospel is what always leads churches into seeking conformity with the world. This can be well seen in the life of the Jewish Church at the time of Christ’s first coming. See.” {Great Controversy pg. 378.1} “It suits the policy of Satan that men should retain the forms of religion if but the spirit of vital godliness is lacking. After their rejection of the gospel, the Jews continued zealously to maintain their ancient rites, they rigorously preserved their national exclusiveness, while they themselves could not but admit that the presence of God was no longer manifest among them”

 

The consistent rejection of the gospel by the Roman church makes the papacy an antitype of the Jewish church.

 

“It was by departure from the Lord, and alliance with the heathen, that the Jewish church became a harlot; and Rome, corrupting herself in like manner by seeking the support of worldly powers, receives a like condemnation. {Great Controversy 1888 pg. 382.2}

 

“There is a striking similarity between the Church of Rome and the Jewish Church at the time of Christ’s first advent. While the Jews secretly trampled upon every principle of the law of God, they were outwardly rigorous in the observance of its precepts, loading it down with exactions and traditions that made obedience painful and burdensome. As the Jews professed to revere the law, so do Romanists claim to reverence the cross. They exalt the symbol of Christ’s sufferings, while in their lives they deny Him whom it represents”. {Great Controversy pg. 568.1}

 

In Stony Places
Luke 8:13 They on the rock [are they], which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.

 

“By the parable of the sower, Christ illustrates the things of the kingdom of heaven, and the work of the great Husbandman for His people. Like a sower in the field, He came to scatter the heavenly grain of truth. And His parable teaching itself was the seed with which the most precious truths of His grace were sown. Because of its simplicity the parable of the sower has not been valued as it should be. From the natural seed cast into the soil, Christ desires to lead our minds to the gospel seed, the sowing of which results in bringing man back to his loyalty to God. He who gave the parable of the tiny seed is the Sovereign of heaven, and the same laws that govern earthly seed sowing govern the sowing of the seeds of truth”. {Christ Object Lessons pg. 33.1}
In the parable of the sower, there are seeds that fell upon the rock, the Bible says that the seeds that fell upon the rock represent those who “when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away”
“Many who make a profession of religion are stony-ground hearers. Like the rock underlying the layer of earth, the selfishness of the natural heart underlies the soil of their good desires and aspirations. The love of self is not subdued. They have not seen the exceeding sinfulness of sin, and the heart has not been humbled under a sense of its guilt. This class may be easily convinced, and appear to be bright converts, but they have only a superficial religion” {Christ Object Lessons pg. 46}

 

The latter end of those who do not see “the exceeding sinfulness of sin” as in the parable of the sower is a falling away, this superficiality in religion is the reason that establishes a religion that is fallen in nature. If the falling away leads to the revelation of the man of sin, then it is a superficial religion that will always form the image of the papal authority.

 

Speaking of the seeds upon the stony place Mathew writes “Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away” Mathew 13:5-6.

 

Mathew sheds more light that a religion that is in a fallen condition is also withered. The withering away is the falling away. The withering away is because of man uplifting his glory at the expense of the glory of God as revealed in his word.See 1Peter 1:24-25 “For all flesh [is] as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you”. “Blessed [is] the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight [is] in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper” Psalm 1:1-3.Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. But in a withered condition men do not remember to live by the word of God, the bread of life See Psalm 102:4 “My heart is smitten, and withered like grass; so that I forget to eat my bread”. This is the reason why the falling away developed a system that has forgotten the very commandment that the Lord said we remember, the Sabbath. In its stead, the papacy has come up with a spurious Sabbath, the first day of the week.

 

“Can the rush grow up without mire? can the flag grow without water? Whilst it [is] yet in his greenness, [and] not cut down, it withereth before any [other] herb. So [are] the paths of all that forget God; and the hypocrite’s hope shall perish:Whose hope shall be cut off, and whose trust [shall be] a spider’s web. He shall lean upon his house, but it shall not stand: he shall hold it fast, but it shall not endure.He [is] green before the sun, and his branch shooteth forth in his garden.His roots are wrapped about the heap, [and] seeth the place of stones.If he destroy him from his place, then [it] shall deny him, [saying], I have not seen thee.Behold, this [is] the joy of his way, and out of the earth shall others grow.Behold, God will not cast away a perfect [man], neither will he help the evil doers:Till he fill thy mouth with laughing, and thy lips with rejoicing.They that hate thee shall be clothed with shame; and the dwelling place of the wicked shall come to nought” Job 8:11-22.

 

The scriptures use Rain to typify the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. A religion that is devoid of the Holy Spirit will always be in a fallen condition. See Amos 4:7 “And also I have withholden the rain from you, when [there were] yet three months to the harvest: and I caused it to rain upon one city, and caused it not to rain upon another city: one piece was rained upon, and the piece whereupon it rained not withered”. The rejection of the Gospel by the religious world prior to the development of the papacy, made the religion of that time devoid of the Holy Spirit. As a product of the then condition the papacy is in itself a system that is devoid of the Holy Spirit. And by Protestantism of today rejecting the gospel they shall be devoid of the Holy Spirit and finally form the image of the romish church. “Romish Church…that church has been in a fallen condition for many centuries” {Great Controversy 1888 pg. 382.3}.

 

Those who were once enlightened
Hebrews 6:4-6 “For [it is] impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put [him] to an open shame.

 

A falling away comes when one who was once enlightened, a partaker of the Holy Ghost leaves those privileges and becomes a crucifier of the Son Of God afresh. Any religion that is in a fallen condition will always crucify the son of God afresh.

 

The falling away that led to the establishment of the papacy was the love for an unenlightened condition.

 

“But Jonathan heard not when his father charged the people with the oath: wherefore he put forth the end of the rod that [was] in his hand, and dipped it in an honeycomb, and put his hand to his mouth; and his eyes were enlightened” 1 Samuel 14:27.Honey enlightens the eye and thus one can say that he is enlightened. In the tenth chapter of revelation we find the word of God typified by honey which when eaten was to be in the mouth sweet as honey “How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” Psalm 119:103. See Revelation 10:9-11 “And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take [it], and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey. And I took the little book out of the angel’s hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter. And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings”.

 

In the tenth chapter of the revelation “this angel utters his oath on the authority of a little book which he has in his hand open. This is unquestionably the book which Daniel had been told to close up and seal to the time of the end, and the fact that the angel now had it in his hand open, shows that his message is given this side of the time of the end{ The Biblical Institute pg. 84.2}… “In this highly-figurative portion of the prophecy, John, in receiving the little book from the hand of the angel, represents those who received the doctrine of the coming and kingdom of Christ, as proclaimed in connection with the time, based upon the prophecy of Daniel. His eating the little book, and enjoying its sweetness, represents the holy delight with which they feasted upon the gospel of the coming kingdom. In the symbol, the little book in the mouth of John was as sweet as honey {Life Incidents pg. 214.2}.

 

The book of Daniel apart from just being a book in the bible it is a prophetic book.A falling away is a condition that we enter into when we refuse to enlightened with the more sure word of prophecy. The rejection of the more sure word of prophecy is what led to the falling away that led to the development of the man of sin. It’s Important for the religions of today to take heed to the more sure word of prophecy, the dreams and visions of the prophets so that like Job they be brought back “from the pit, to be enlightened with the light of the living”.

 

“For God speaketh once, yea twice, [yet man] perceiveth it not.In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed; Then he openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction, That he may withdraw man [from his] purpose, and hide pride from man. He keepeth back his soul from the pit, and his life from perishing by the sword. He is chastened also with pain upon his bed, and the multitude of his bones with strong [pain]: So that his life abhorreth bread, and his soul dainty meat. His flesh is consumed away, that it cannot be seen; and his bones [that] were not seen stick out. Yea, his soul draweth near unto the grave, and his life to the destroyers. If there be a messenger with him, an interpreter, one among a thousand, to show unto man his uprightness: Then he is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom.His flesh shall be fresher than a child’s: he shall return to the days of his youth:He shall pray unto God, and he will be favourable unto him: and he shall see his face with joy: for he will render unto man his righteousness.He looketh upon men, and [if any] say, I have sinned, and perverted [that which was] right, and it profited me not; He will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall see the light. Lo, all these [things] worketh God oftentimes with man, To bring back his soul from the pit, to be enlightened with the light of the living”. Job 33:14-30

 

Those who shall take heed to the more sure word of prophecy shall be kept from falling, from falling away and shall walk in the light of the living “For thou hast delivered my soul from death: [wilt] not [thou deliver] my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living? “ Psalm 56:13.The light of the living we get when we follow Jesus for he is that very light “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” John 8:12.The means by which this light comes is through the Gospel See 1Timothy 1:10 “But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel”.. The papacy is developed by the rejection of the everlasting gospel. The devil is the one behind the falling away for “if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them”…Those that are enlightened by the Gospel form into the image of Jesus, but those that reject the gospel fall away and form the image of the beast. To the rejecters of the Gospel the man of sin is revealed but they that are enlightened by the light of the Gospel the Lord Jesus is revealed. See Ephesians 1:17-18 “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints”

 

Heavenly Gift.
The falling away as seen in the sixth chapter of Hebrews is also caused by backsliding from the heavenly gift

 

What is this heavenly gift?

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God”: Ephesians 2:8. Waggoner comments on Ephesians 2:8 saying “Since righteousness is a free gift of God through Jesus Christ, it is evident that no one can justly boast of any righteousness that he has”… Speaking of this gift of God Romans 6:23 says “For the wages of sin [is] death; but the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”. … “But we do not work for eternal life. No works that we could do would make the smallest part of payment towards it. It is the gift of God. True, it comes only through righteousness, but righteousness is a gift “By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained (prepared) that we should walk in them Eph. 2:8-10” Waggoner on Romans Pg. 131.

 

It’s through the Righteousness of God which is a heavenly gift that we attain eternal life. How is the Righteousness of God revealed? See Romans 1:16-17 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith”.

 

In the Gospel which is the power of God unto salvation is the righteousness of God revealed. By not taking heed to the Gospel which therein is the heavenly gift revealed, then there comes a falling away. A Religion that is devoid of the power of God will always supply this lack by using the power of the state for “Force is the last resort of every false religion” {7BC 976.9}.

 

We saw in the period of Pergamos a unity between church and state; the unity was the falling away that led to the development of the man of sin. The reason for this unity was that religion back then rejected the “righteousness Of God”. Psalm 119:172 states “… for all thy commandments are righteousness.” Any religion that turns away from the righteousness of God is a religion that turns away from the law of God, The falling away is caused by disobedience to the commandments of God.

 

In the Gospel “therein is the righteousness of God revealed,” Wherein? In the gospel. Bear in mind that the righteous¬ness of God is his perfect law, a statement of which is found in the Ten Commandments. There is no such thing as a conflict between the law and the gospel. Indeed, there are not, in reality, two such things as the law and the gospel. The true law of God is the gospel; for the law is the life of God, and we are “saved by his life.” The gospel reveals the righteous law of God, because the gospel has the law in itself. There can be no gospel without law. Whoever ignores or rejects the law of God, has no knowledge what¬ever of the gospel” Waggoner on Romans pg. 27.

 

“This righteousness of God, which is by the faith of Jesus Christ, is unto, literally into, and upon all them that believe. Man’s own righteousness, which is of the law, is only on the outside. Matt. 23:27, 28. But God desires truth in the inward parts. Ps. 51:6. “These words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart” Deut. 6:6. And so the promise of the new covenant is, “I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts.” Jer. 31:33. He does it, because it is impossible for man to do it. The most that men can do is to make a fair show in the flesh, to gain the applause of their fellow men. God puts his glorious righteousness in the heart” Waggoner on Romans pg. 76.

 

The Stony ground hearers that we have already considered are described in the spirit of prophecy as “the stony-ground hearers depend upon self instead of Christ”. They depend upon self, meaning that they believe in righteousness by works. The belief in righteousness by works is the reason for falling and the withering away of the stony ground hearers, a belief that develops that papacy. The belief in righteousness by work is the backbone of the Papacy, a false system of religion.

 

The Third Angel’s Message in Verity.
“The righteousness of God” is “by faith of Jesus Christ” unto all and upon all them that believe: “When you take the righteousness of Christ as a free gift you are justified freely through the redemption of Christ”, “for “a man is justified by faith “Romans 3:28.

 

A true understanding of Justification is Important for any that would desire not to fall away, for justification is the foundation of Salvation by faith. Justification by faith saves us from the error of justification and salvation by works. Salvation by works is a traditional Catholic belief.

 

Ellen White writes that “Several have written to me, inquiring if the message of justification by faith is the third angel’s message, and I have answered, “It is the third angel’s message in verity.”– Review and Herald, April 1, 1890.

 

“Justification by faith, it is affirmed, is “the third angel’s message in verity.” The words “in verity” mean, in fact, in reality, in very truth. That means that the message of justification by faith and the third angel’s message are the same in purpose, in scope, and in results”. {Christ Our Righteousness pg. 64.5}

 

“The great threefold message of Revelation 14, which we designate by the term “the third angel’s message,” is declared to be “the everlasting gospel.” Rev. 14:6, the message makes the solemn announcement that the “hour of His judgment is come.” It admonishes all who are to meet God at His great tribunal, to be judged by His righteous law, to “fear God, and give glory to Him,”-and to “worship Him that made heaven, and earth.” Verse 7.The result, or fruitage, of this message of warning and admonition is the development of a people of whom it is declared: “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” Verse 12 {Christ Our Righteousness pg. 65-66}

 

“And here it may be well to call attention to the fact that both justification by faith and the third angel’s message are the gospel of Christ in verity. This is made apparent by a statement from the apostle Paul, who declares that the “gospel of Christ … is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth. . . . For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith.” Rom. 1: 16, 17. The facts here presented are these: The gospel is a manifestation of God’s power at work, delivering sinners from their sins and planting in them His own righteousness. But this is done for those only who believe. This is being made just, or righteous, by faith. And this is the purpose of both the message of justification by faith and the third angel’s message. {Christ Our Righteousness pg. 68}

 

The rejection of the Gospel causes a falling away as already noted. This means that the rejection of the third angel’s message causes a falling away.

 

The fall of 1844 to be repeated
“In refusing the warning of the first angel, they rejected the means which Heaven had provided for their restoration. They spurned the gracious messenger that would have corrected the evils which separated them from God, and with greater eagerness they turned to seek the friendship of the world. Here was the cause of that fearful condition of worldliness, backsliding, and spiritual death which existed in the churches in 1844”. {Great Controversy pg. 380}

 

The third angles message is the gospel in verity. In 1844 the churches that rejected the first angel’s message fell. They experienced a falling away.

 

“In Revelation 14 the first angel is followed by a second proclaiming: “Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.” Revelation 14:8. The term “Babylon” is derived from “Babel,” and signifies confusion. It is employed in Scripture to designate the various forms of false or apostate religion” {Great Controversy pg. 381}

 

This moral fall of the churches in 1844 is what is termed as the fall of Babylon. Their falling away led them to be like the Papacy, Babylon. In the scripture of truth the papacy is always referred to as Babylon the great the mother of harlots, See Great Controversy pg. 382.3 “The message of Revelation 14, announcing the fall of Babylon must apply to religious bodies that were once pure and have become corrupt. Since this message follows the warning of the judgment, it must be given in the last days; therefore it cannot refer to the Roman Church alone, for that church has been in a fallen condition for many centuries”

 

On 31st October 2017, leading protestant churches ratified a document called Joint Declaration on The Doctrine of Justification. In this declaration between the papacy and Protestantism, the true doctrine of justification has been perverted. That document teaches justification by works.

 

A true understanding of justification is a true understanding of the true Gospel. As noted, rejecting the Gospel leads to a withering away, a falling away and a development of the image of the beast. Just like the Protestant churches fell in 1844 by rejecting the everlasting Gospel so are the Protestants’ of today falling by rejecting the true Gospel. There is a falling away in the land. It will lead to the development of the image of the beast,

 

“When the leading churches of the United States, uniting upon such points of doctrine as are held by them in common, shall influence the State to enforce their decrees and to sustain their institutions, then Protestant America will have formed an image of the Roman hierarchy, and the infliction of civil penalties upon dissenters will inevitably result”. {Great Controversy 1888 pg. 445.1}

 

On 31 October 2017, the leading churches were seen uniting to agree upon such points as are held by them in common. This unity in perverting the Gospel and falling away constitute the events talked of in Revelation 18:1, 2, 4 “I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.” “And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.”.

 

“This scripture points forward to a time when the announcement of the fall of Babylon, as made by the second angel of Revelation 14 (verse 8), is to be repeated, with the additional mention of the corruptions which have been entering the various organizations that constitute Babylon, since that message was first given, in the summer of 1844. A terrible condition of the religious world is here described. With every rejection of truth the minds of the people will become darker, their hearts more stubborn, until they are entrenched in an infidel hardihood. In defiance of the warnings which God has given, they will continue to trample upon one of the precepts of the Decalogue, until they are led to persecute those who hold it sacred. Christ is set at nought in the contempt placed upon His word and His people. As the teachings of spiritualism are accepted by the churches, the restraint imposed upon the carnal heart is removed, and the profession of religion will become a cloak to conceal the basest iniquity. A belief in spiritual manifestations opens the door to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils, and thus the influence of evil angels will be felt in the churches. {Great Controversy pg. 603.}

 

“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils” 1Timothy 4:1.
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