Apostasy Prepares the Way
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. 2 Thessalonians 2:3.
When the early church became corrupted by departing from the simplicity of the gospel and accepting heathen rites and customs, she lost the Spirit and power of God; and in order to control the consciences of the people, she sought the support of the secular power. The result was the papacy, a church that controlled the power of the state and employed it to further her own ends, especially for the punishment of “heresy.”…
Whenever the church has obtained secular power, she has employed it to punish dissent from her doctrines. Protestant churches that have followed in the steps of Rome by forming alliance with worldly powers have manifested a similar desire to restrict liberty of conscience. An example of this is given in the long-continued persecution of dissenters by the Church of England. During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, thousands of nonconformist ministers were forced to flee from their churches, and many, both of pastors and people, were subjected to fine, imprisonment, torture, and martyrdom.
It was apostasy that led the early church to seek the aid of the civil government, and this prepared the way for the development of the papacy–the beast. Said Paul: “There” shall “come a falling away…, and that man of sin be revealed.” 2 Thessalonians 2:3. So apostasy in the church will prepare the way for the image to the beast.
Satan will work with all power and “with all deceivableness of unrighteousness.” 2 Thessalonians 2:9, 10. His working is plainly revealed by the rapidly increasing darkness, the multitudinous errors, heresies, and delusions of these last days. Not only is Satan leading the world captive, but his deceptions are leavening the professed churches of our Lord Jesus Christ. The great apostasy will develop into darkness deep as midnight. To God’s people it will be a night of trial, a night of weeping, a night of persecution for the truth’s sake. But out of that night of darkness God’s light will shine.
Maranatha p. 165
Prayer Requests
—–Please keep Shell in prayer. he has one leg an his good  one  is giving him trouble now,he is in having an mri done now.they are  hoping that he hasn’t blown his knee. pray that all will be well with it. thanks M.
—–Please pray for the following evangelism events that are taking place: Diane
Kingston, Jamaica (Jan 30-31) Doug Batchelor will present “Edge of Eternity” 
Phoenix, AZ (January-February, 2015) It Is Written
Dear Friends, 

My friend Darlene had several finches on her glassed-in back porch.  Whenever I did dishes at her house, I loved to look through the open window above the sink and talk to those finches.  Seeing my interest in her pets, she gave me one of the birds.  Eventually, we bought another as he was so lonely.  That was a big mistake.  Before long, we had a whole family of finches.  One pair of finches never seemed to figure out that they needed to incubate the eggs that the female laid.  Finally, they got it right.  The female had laid one egg and this time sat on it like she was supposed to. Ronnie Jay would often stand by the cage and talk to that little bird egg. We laughed at him for it, but he didn’t care. After the baby bird, which we named Silver, hatched, there was a special bond between the bird and the boy.  Silver responded only to Ronnie Jay. When Ronnie Jay called, he would call back. He would not answer any of the rest of us no matter how hard we tried. Throughout the many years we had that bird, when Ronnie Jay would be gone on a trip; Silver would look very dejected and be unresponsive. As soon as Ronnie Jay returned, Silver was a happy, singing bird once again.

As Silver was being formed in that tiny egg and Ronnie Jay spent so much of his time communing with him, even closer was our Great Creator to us as we were being formed in the womb.  He tells us, “Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things. Isa 44:24 As He said to Jeremiah, so He says to us, “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee.” Jer 1:5 We can declare as did David, “O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it. Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee. For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.”  Ps 139:1-18
Just as Silver was totally focused on Ronnie Jay, so our focus should be on our Loving Saviour.  How He longs to be our constant Companion.   Just as there was a special bond between them, so there should be an even closer bond between us and our Creator, Redeemer, Helper, and Strength.  Our experience should be as the psalmist declared so long ago, “as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God.”  Ps 123:2  Our dearest thoughts should be of Him and His great love. His blessings should be the theme of our conversations.  “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself. . . . so stand fast in the Lord. Phil 3:20-4:1Our heart should thrill as we read His Holy Word.  Our voice should be uplifted in prayer as Paul suggests, “Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”  1 Thes 5:17, 18

 Let us daily focus on our Dear Saviour and His great sacrifice. Let us draw ever closer to Him as we meditate upon His Holy Word.  “O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.”  Ps 95:6

Apostasy Prepares the Way
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