I am not a student of Astrology neither do I have faith in astrological predictions and divination, but as a student of Prophetic Astronomy I believe that the heavens speak. In fact the Bible says, day after day they pour forth speech. There are however, many Christians who do not believe in science; and many scientists who do not believe in the Bible; but both are off on tangent. True science discovers Biblical truths and the Fathers of Faith were scientifically inclined. Astronomy is a scientific study/knowledge of the heavens. The Zodiacs were called constellations or mazzaroth in the Bible. Job 38:32-33,
“Can you bring out Mazzaroth in its season? Or can you guide the Great Bear with its cubs? 33 Do you know the ordinances of the heavens? Can you set their dominion over the earth?” NKJV. Some Bible translations use the word, “constellation,” instead of mazzaroth, but they mean the same thing: the 12 signs of the Zodiac! They speak about redemption by Christ.
Ps 19:1-6, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. 2 Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. 3 There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. 4 Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun, 5 which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. 6 It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is hidden from its heat.” NIV
Indeed, the heavens speak. A few examples would suffice. When Jesus Christ was born, His Star appeared in the heavens (Matt.2:2).
The disposition of the sky is a sign of the weather for that day. Matt 16:1-3, “The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus and tested him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven. 2 He replied, "When evening comes, you say, 'It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,' 3 and in the morning, 'Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.' You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.” NIV. The statement of Jesus connotes that the signs of the times would also appear in the heavens!
Luke 21:25-26, “25 And there will be strange signs in the sun, moon, and stars. And here on earth the nations will be in turmoil, perplexed by the roaring seas and strange tides. 26 People will be terrified at what they see coming upon the earth, for the powers in the heavens will be shaken.” NLT
In other words, by observing the strange behavior of the heavenly bodies (signs) men would begin to get ideas of what is going to befall the earth. We can write volumes on the heavenly signs today, but that is not our focus in this discourse for the month.
The heavenly signs themselves are not isolated. They reflect what would befall the earth or what is presently happening on earth. That is to say, they are associated with events on earth. Job 33:33 says, “Do you know the laws of the universe and how the heavens influence the earth?” (TLB). And that means, even if anyone could not read the heavenly signs one would get an idea of prophecies fulfilling by observing events on earth as they unfold. It is in this sense we are doing this expository teaching on Inaudible Witnesses Speaking Aloud!
The Bible prophesied about the rise of the Apostate; someone who would stand as God’s representative but would destroy the cause of Christ. In this discourse we would explore the Biblical concept of apostasy and then we would see where the signs are pointing to regarding the rise of the Chief Apostate.
The word, “apostasy”, was scarcely used in the KJV though the description of apostasy is not hard to find there. However, certain other translations used the word, “apostasy” both in the Old and New Testaments. For instance, the Douay-Rheims Bible used the word, “apostasy” for what the KJV called “rebellion” in Isaiah 30:1.
“Woe to the rebellious children," says the Lord, "Who take counsel, but not of Me, And who devise plans, but not of My Spirit, That they may add sin to sin;” NKJV
The Douay-Rheims Bible translated it as, “Woe to you, apostate children, saith the Lord, that you would take counsel, and not of me: and would begin a web, and not by my spirit, that you might add sin upon sin:”
The Hebrew word translated “rebellious” is, carar, pronounced, “sawrar.” Its root meaning is to, turn away, that is, to be morally refractory (difficult to control and behaving badly); backsliding, revolter or revolting, slide back, stubborn, withdrew.
We can see that the above words describe an apostate as well as a rebellious, stubborn Christian. A child of God is supposed to heed God’s word; but when he or she begins to walk in deliberate disobedience to the Word of God and refuses Godly counsel, he or she is treading the path of an apostate. It might not matter how regularly he attends Church; it might not matter what position he holds in the Church, such a Christian is already falling away from the Faith. He is falling into the category that Jesus Christ could tell, “…depart from me … I know you not…ye workers of iniquity.” He could be counted among the apostate ones! It is a pain that majority of Christendom today fall under this category. They profess Christ as their Saviour but deny the authority of the Word of God over their lives.
The Young Literal Translation also used the word, apostate in Isaiah 30:1.
“Wo [to] apostate sons, The affirmation of Jehovah! To do counsel, and not from Me, And to spread out a covering, and not of My spirit, So as to add sin to sin.”
The ESV also used the same word, “apostate” in Micah 2:4,“In that day they shall take up a taunt song against you and moan bitterly, and say, "We are utterly ruined; he changes the portion of my people; how he removes it from me! To an apostate he allots our fields." ESV. The land of Israel shall be divided and given to the rebellious who also would claim to serve God.
The NASB (New American Standard Bible) renders it this way, “In that day they will take up against you a taunt and utter a bitter lamentation and say, We are completely destroyed! He exchanges the portion of my people; How He removes it from me! To the apostate He apportions our fields.'”
In Hebrew the word, apostate and unfaithful are the same. It figuratively depicts an adulterous wife. In 2 Chron.21:12-15, the Message Bible used the word, apostate way (apostasy) to describe the way of Ahab. “One day he got a letter from Elijah the prophet. It read, ‘From God, the God of your ancestor David — a message: Because you have not kept to the ways of Jehoshaphat your father and Asa your grandfather, kings of Judah, 13 but have taken up with the ways of the kings of Israel in the north, leading Judah and Jerusalem away from God, going step by step down the apostate path of Ahab and his crew — why, you even killed your own brothers, all of them better men than you! — 14 God is going to afflict your people, your wives, your sons, and everything you have with a terrible plague. 15 And you are going to come down with a terrible disease of the colon, painful and humiliating."
Apostasy begins at heart. Ezek.6:9 reads, “And they that escape of you shall remember me among the nations whither they shall be carried captives, because I am broken with their apostate heart, which hath departed from me, and with their eyes which go astray after their idols: and they shall lothe themselves for the evils which they have committed in all their abominations.” Webster Bible.
The children of Israel were called apostate children when they did not make up their minds to seek God. Psalm 78:8, “And they are not like their fathers, A generation apostate and rebellious, A generation! It hath not prepared its heart, Nor stedfast with God [is] its spirit.” YLT.
“Then they will not be like their ancestors—stubborn, rebellious, and unfaithful, refusing to give their hearts to God.” (Psalms 78:8 NLT). Whenever any professed believer in Christ refuses to let God’s Word rule in him/her so as to convict, rebuke, correct and cause changes in the way s/he lives; that heart has apostatized. Sooner or later that Christian begins to visibly walk in ways which are contradictory to the life of the Christ Whom he professes to serve. A little further than that, he would begin to doubt the veracity of certain scriptures and would begin to preach, model and practice selective obedience, instead of total surrender, to the scriptures; he would begin to twist the interpretation of scriptures instead of submitting to their overt meanings. This is the subtle process of apostasy!
In as much as we pray and hope that all who professes Christ as Saviour would live for Christ, the Bible tells us a different story. Paul predicted that evil men and seducers would abound and prosper in their treachery.
2 Tim 3:12-13, “12 In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse , deceiving and being deceived.” NIV. What a negative prophecy from Apostle Paul! I had thought he would declare that, those who live godly in Christ Jesus would become financially rich; well respected; loved by society. I had expected Paul to prophesy that Christianity would grow so strong and influence the earth so much so that the whole world would be converted and come under the rulership of the godly people. I was so disappointed by the prophecy of Paul! But Paul spoke by the Holy Spirit! The Holy Ghost was signifying through Paul to indicate that, even in the Churches and among professing Christians, evil people and deceivers would not only abound but they would also prosper in their crafts. They would so much flourish that they would oppress those who live godly, even in the house of God!
Paul also prophesied by the Holy Spirit that Church men and women, boys and girls, ladies and gentlemen, would hate to hear the truth and would cleave to fantasy gospel which would gratify their sinful cravings and give them a false sense of belonging in the Kingdom of God. 2 Tim.4:3-4, “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” (NIV). The word translated, “myths” in v.4 is, “mythos” (Greek) and means, a fiction, a fable, an invention which is falsehood, contrived tales void of truth. What is Truth? God’s word is Truth. (Jn.17:17). Every belief, teaching or preaching which did not emanate from, or align with, the written Word of God as revealed in the Holy Scriptures is a contrived tail void of Truth! At best, it is a fable, a myth! There are so many of them in Christendom today!! In fact, the present challenge is being able to differentiate myths from Truth.
Apostle Paul prophesied that there would be a massive departure from the Faith. 2 Tim.3:1-5,
“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.” NIV.
Whom do you think Paul was describing here? People of the world? I do not think so because he was writing to his son, Timothy and was chiefly concerned about the affairs of the Church. He said that the people he was describing would have, “…a form of godliness…” Who could that be? They are religious Christians who would profess Christ as Saviour but would deny the life transformation that follows the profession of faith in Christ. They would leave Church and head to the homes of their pre-marital sex partners; vulgar in their language; easily offended, unforgiving and brutal in retaliation; to them holiness is old school and separation from the world is fanaticism. They are Church leaders who refuse to be bound by the Word of God. They are a mass of church people who cannot be differentiated from the world. This is the trend of Christendom now and in future. This may sound sarcastic, but that is exactly what the scripture teaches. The problem of Christendom would be a mass of unbelievers who would be recognized by the world as the Church and the Body of Christ while fervent, Bible believing Christians would look awkward and anti-social.
The culmination of the swift ride to delusion would be the rise of the Chief Apostate. The Chief Apostate or the Antichrist would find reception among the apostate Christendom and the world. Daniel prophesied and said, “And at the latter end of their kingdom, when the transgressors have reached their limit, a king of bold face, one who understands riddles, shall arise. 24 His power shall be great— but not by his own power; and he shall cause fearful destruction and shall succeed in what he does, and destroy mighty men and the people who are the saints. 25 By his cunning he shall make deceit prosper under his hand, and in his own mind he shall become great. Without warning he shall destroy many. And he shall even rise up against the Prince of princes, and he shall be broken—but by no human hand. 26 The vision of the evenings and the mornings that has been told is true, but seal up the vision, for it refers to many days from now." (Dan 8:23-26 ESV).
The Hebrew word which was translated, “transgressors” in v.23 means, “to break away from just authority.” That describes rebellion and apostasy. The NIV translated it as rebels. The time indicated in Dan.8:23 describes the era when both the world and Church people would depart from the authority of the Word of God; the Christians would be more loyal to civil government than they are to the instructions of the Word of God; they would lose faith in God and in the Word of God. So, when apostates populate the Church, the Chief Apostate would arise.
Are we at the threshold of this prophecy fulfilling? Are we seeing the rise of the Chief Apostate? You may like to visit the links below and form your own opinion.
In any case, it is time to intercede for Christendom and pray against the upsurge of apostasy. Let God restore backsliding, apostatized regular church members; let God convict and restore apostatized Church leaders; let the spirit of penitence and repentance sweep through the Churches; let there be a Word Revival which would jolt Christians out of their spiritual lethargy. It’s time for saints of God to pray without ceasing! Let’s arise and do it NOW!!
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father..." (John 14:12).