Malachi's Prophesy Reveals The Raise Of Great Apostasy In Church?
SECTION II Of How Malachi's Prophecy Relates To The History Of The Early Church
In Section I of this article we considered a lot about the initial and final fulfillment of Malachi's prophecy and how it relates to Christ followers today. In this 2nd section, we will see how the prophecy of Malachi relates to the eruption of false Churches. Then in section three, we will see how the prophecy identified the only one true Christian congregation that will exist during this time of the end. I advise You read Section I first.
To begin with, we continued the consideration from Malachi 3:2a.
But who will endure the day of his coming, and who will be able to stand when he appears”? (Malachi 3:2a)
Why did Yahweh raise this surprising question and what is this question all about?
Before answering that question, I want you to take note of something.
Note: do not mistake the ‘coming’ here to the second coming of Christ to judge the world, nor should you mistake it with the coming we’ve already discoursed regarding the advent of Christ, when he came as a human and was prepared a way for by John the Baptist. Remember, we are now talking about the second fulfillment of this prophecy, and we’ve already said that the coming is spiritual not physical.
The coming in above verse refers to the coming of the Lord and the messenger of the covenant, to do a cleansing work in God’s spiritual temple or on those called the sons of Levite (more on it soon) Thus the coming focuses on the house of God or on those who claim to represent the Lord-the spiritual house of God and not on the world in general. (1 Pet. 4:17) Thus this coming occurred after the human coming of Christ but before his second coming. Let us see how.
The Raise Of The Great Apostasy
Remember, we are about to answer the question; ‘why God raised the question in Malachi 3:2a.
Jesus has founded the spiritual Israel whom will later be joined with the great multitude. However, he prophesied a rising of apostasy among them. He used the illustration of the wheat and the weed of which you are familiar with to show that imitation Christians will arise among his followers (not from other religion) and become many to the point that they will overshadow his true followers who by then will be few, this will go on until the harvest time-the time for identification and separation of the both. The time of determining who actually belong and are trying to serve God in the ways he approved as his son left the model (Math. 13:24-30)
It was also to be the time to reject false Churches claiming to represent Christ as Christians, or doing the work of God but have proved false. And a time to choose or appoint a one true Church or Organization that God will continued to use in order to accomplish his remaining works on earth.
This period is thus, the time for the fulfillment of the second part of the prophecy found at Malachi 3 as we are examining.
Do you see why?
More Prophecies On The Raise Of The Great Apostasy
After Jesus had warned of the raise of imitation Christians who will come in his name and perform signs and wonders. Apostle Paul also warned of coming in sheep covering of apostates but are actually wolves (Act 20:29, 30) from among the Christians.
Apostle peter also foresaw and warn of the ‘fallen away’ from true Christianity who will ‘bring destructive sects’ and ‘counterfeit teachings’ (2Pet. 2:1, 2)
And the Apostle John warned of the raise of the anti-Christ, that is person(s) or group of people not teaching the fact about God and Christ as found in the bible (1John 2:18)
Yet, by the time of the apostle John-the last Apostle-this apostasy has already began, many Christians have already began to deviate from true doctrine of Christianity. And by the death of the apostles who were acting as a restrain to it , the false Christianity burst out in it fullness, men rose from the 1st century Christian congregation and begin teaching doctrines different from what Christ and the Apostles taught (2Thess. 2:1-12) Imagine, right from the first Century!
Thus by 2nd -4th Century of our Common Era, Christianity have been mixed with pagan religion teachings and traditions. The so-called Church Fathers began to explain the bible and Jesus’ teachings in Greeks philosophical terms, which Apostle Paul had earlier warned against; “Look out that no one takes you captive by means of the philosophy and empty deceptions according to human tradition, according to the elementary things of the world and not according to Christ”(Coloss. 2:8)
By the 5th-10th Centuries, true Christian wheat has been overshadowed greatly by the false Christian weed. Thus many were born and they practiced false Christianity in the name of Christ follower till they died.
Development Of False Teachings In Church
By the 16th-19th Centuries, celebrations of the pagan were Christianized and many doctrines thought in Greek and the Romans philosophy unknown to Christ and the Apostles, neither thought explicitly in the bible, was assimilated into Churches and made the official doctrines. By this time there is just one major Christian Church of Rome, claiming to represent Christ and God, but will they agree to be cleansed and refine from all the pagan propagandas that have infiltrated it when the Lord and the messenger of the covenant arrives?
For example; the Greeks believes in an immortal soul and spirit. This idea was borrowed by now philosophical Church Fathers to explain the nature of human death, quite different from the returning to the dust and resurrection (Genesis 2:7, 3:19; Job 14:13-15) teachings found in the Hebrew scripture (Old Testament) and known to Christ and the Apostles. But neither was the immortality of soul thought explicitly in the New Testament.
The Greeks and Roman’s idea of ‘Hades’ or ‘Hell’ as an underworld, where departed souls and spirits of humans and animals are horribly tormented by their gods and goddess were adopted into the Church and given a fiery meaning to explain the biblical use of ‘Hades and Sheol’ (the common grave of all dead people, righteous and unrighteous)
The trian gods of the Egyptian and other pagan nations was gradually established as the nature of God in relation to Christ and the Holy Spirit, a teaching totally unknown to Christ and foreign to the teaching of the Old Testament on one God-Yahweh.
The pre-Christians (a link) cross was adopted and gradually established as the instrument of Christ execution, thus the birth of the veneration of the cross, and many other doctrines, teachings and tradition of the Romans and Greeks were adopted in the disguise to convert them.
Already, by the 2nd centuries, the weed was flourishing and a strange teaching begins to take shape. Then by the 16th centuries, the church that claim to represent Christ have departed completely from the ways and teachings of Christ. Those taking the lead among them began looking for prominence, thus the birth of one man exulted as a leader or primacy over the church.
The Episcopal ( a group of elders or older men) of the first century congregations was converted or replaced to one man pope, having authority over the congregation. The church then gradually exult the Popes to the role of the Emperors. That farther leads to the merging of the church and state. The quest for political power begins; an act totally different from Jesus’ ways of life and goals when he founded the true Christian congregation.
Thus ‘pago-christianity’ (Christianity mixed with pagan’s ideas and way of life) the Christianity of the majority have arisen, and that is the religion that have spread abroad in the world in the name of Christ but without Christ, the weeds have overshadowed the wheat!
Thus the majority of Christians even today were born when Christianity of Christ Jesus have been lost, and replaced with the ‘Pago-Christian’ Christianity, and since the majority advocating this type of Christianity have never tasted the true Christianity before, any idea of trying to go back to the original Christian teachings and way of life will look so foreign to them that they will even term you “unchristian” or “unbeliever”, and that was exactly what happened as the harvest time did arrived and the Lord and the messenger of the covenant arrived in the spiritual temple to refine the church. Please read the Third and final section of this article to learn what happened as the harvest time arrived.