A Canon Revisited for True Apostolicity


It is not my intention to destroy anyone's faith in the Bible. I only seek that people have a sane, rational, realistic point of view when it comes to the New Testament. Indeed, God has not allowed me to even touch his Old Testament. I concede that it alone is inspired, inerrant, an infallible guide, miraculously even divinely preserved; therefore, you can safely read the Old Testament in the King James Version. All scripture is God-breathed (referring by context to the Old Testament). Jesus laid out all scriptures in the Old Testament regarding himself to the disciples on the road to Emmaus. Again, the apostles extensively quoted from the Septuagint version of the Old Testament scripture in laying out Christ and him crucified for every man. Upon examining Old Testament manuscripts written centuries apart, there is no discernable difference of any real significance between them other than some numerical discrepancies. The Old Testament remains pure. Now that I got that off my chest, I turn to address the New Testament which did not receive the special care that the Hebrew sciptures had received. In going through this book, immediately noticed within will be the absence of six substandard pseudepigraphical writings of disciples, traditionally and erroneously attributed to apostles. These are: Hebrews, 2nd Peter, 2nd John, 3rd John, Jude and Revelation. The majority of honest textual critics, both ancient and modern, are pretty much in agreement as to which works these are, regarding some to be so with more certainty than others -- the others still being hotly disputed among some. Eusebius is who I decided to generally follow in this case with regard to the canon. The question to ask is not "how many books were left out of the Bible," but "how many books do not belong in the Bible." The cohesive agreement between the remaining New Testament documents tends to become more absolute when the uninspired pseudepigraphical documents and the commonly inspired disciplic documents are summarily removed from a canon which should have been revisited long ago. This action tends to eliminate many of the contradictions which have divided believers for far too long. For example, the Revelation of John was admitted into the canon of scripture over the Revelation of Peter almost 400 years after it was written. It was so far removed from its source, and so disputed by many, that it was uncertain as to which John wrote it, especially since they did not possess the resources and methods for research that we have today. It alone teaches the millenium and the pre-tribulation rapture, new doctrines which mess up the rest of the New Testament's eschatology when this so-called revelation is included in its study. This is discussed at length in the Appendix, "A Revelation of the Revelation."

The only departure I made in this work from the decisive determination to preclude non-apostolic works is in the use of material from the three Synoptic Gospels and part of the Acts -- these being the only remaining sources apart from the apostolic Gospel of John -- containing things pertaining to the principal life and sayings of the Lord Jesus and his apostles. These four disciplic works have been collated into a single coherent historical narrative in the same way that Luke, by his own admission, had done with materials which he then had at his disposal. He and I are alike disciples. This further eliminated even more comparative contradictions as I attempted to reconcile the many differences between them, mostly in the area of tenses. Luke and Mark are both disciples with no more inspiration than you or I. The apostle Matthew originally wrote five bodies of the words of Jesus in a Hebrew work, but refused to make them public for fear they would be misused. Some disciple later incorporated the five groups of sayings Matthew wrote with a narrative in Greek which tends to be somewhat contradictory with Mark and Luke (two Gadarene demoniacs instead of one; two blind men at Jericho instead of one; two angels at the tomb instead of one, and I am almost sure that some historian besides the author of Matthew would have mentioned such a significant event as the bodies of the dead coming out of their tombs and appearing to many in Jerusalem upon Jesus' crucifixion). In comparing section by section, verse by verse, the Gospel of Matthew is found to be too different from Mark to make the claim that many do today that the author of Matthew made use of Mark as a source for his narrative. The Gospel of Matthew would have been without error if it was totally apostolic.

Basically, I followed the canons given by Eusebius the historian. Again, both historical and contemporary critical scholarship has typically regarded the following seven disputed disciplic works to be more or less falsely attributed to apostolic authorship: Hebrews, James, 2nd Peter, 2nd and 3rd John, Jude and Revelation. With the exception of James, these have not been included in this work; since James was the Lord's brother (Gal. 1:19), and he was also considered an apostle and pillar of the Church by many (Gal. 2:6, 9), and his work -- among the earliest in the New Testament -- rings true, though not accepted by the Church until much later -- for these reasons I have included his work in this volume.

A simple example of good reason for summary rejection can be made here for 2nd Peter as a forgery: though it purports to be from Peter in chapter 3 verses 15 and 16, the letters of Paul are spoken of as a collection of scripture that has been tampered with. This can only mean a much later date regarding its composition since Paul's letters were not collected and treated as scripture until well after his death. Paul was killed in 62 A.D., and Peter was killed not long after, around 64 A.D. Therefore, though useful, Peter did not write 2nd Peter. The style and language of the book of 2nd Peter, being different from 1st Peter, is very similar to that of Jude, thus revealing the same author's hand. Names of apostles were commonly appropriated to bring a false work "apostolic" authority in the early Church.

Another simple example of good reason for summary rejection can also be made here for Hebrews: the entire theme of the book, from beginning to end, is admonishment of weak believers against falling away from the Faith -- apostatizing -- into unbelief through spiritual neglect, thus summarily losing their salvation without recourse. According to the rest of the legitimate New Testament documents -- disclaimers taken into account -- there is life with eternal security for the genuine born-again believer mercifully saved by God's grace through faith. Our God is able to keep and finish what he has started. His intercession for his elect does not have failures. Logic says that if it is eternal, it can't be lost. It is not called pending life, temporary life or tentative life, but eternal life. Though Hebrews has the most beautifully executed Greek in the New Testament, and it beautifully lays out the types and shadows of the Old Testament regarding Christ, since it negates the power of the Holy Spirit to fulfill the promise of eternal life for the truly born-again believer, it is incompatible with the rest of the documents of the New Testament accepted as genuine, solely because of its doctrine of the born-again believer falling away into unbelief and losing his salvation as a result. (The debate over its place in the canon was hotly contested during the Nicene Council in 325 A.D.) Many Bible teachers do spectacular gymnastics trying to prove that it doesn't teach that; and I can appreciate Dr. Oakley saying that the elements mentioned in chapter 6 verses 1b and 2 are not necessarily Christian only, but that they are also shared with the Jewish Faith, making a form of communion with Christians easy because of these similarities of both faiths -- this warning being written to Hebrew believers who endure the daily pressure to go back to the temple worship of their former life -- in doing this they would be matriculating with those who put Christ on the cross, and repudiating everything that Christ is in his person and work -- like a pig going back to the mud, or a dog returning to his vomit; yet the things mentioned in chapter 6 verses 1b and 2 appear distinctively Christian by context. But reading further the context from chapter 5 verse 11 to chapter 6 verse 8, you just can't get away from the obvious apostatizing that is depicted there. In experience it is a reality. In my opinion they were never born again. As a result, many born-again believers today are troubled by the book of Hebrews, unnecessarily doubting the integrity of God, and his ability to keep his promises to us. If God elects and predestines believers who are in Christ before the foundation of the world according to his foreknowledge (This is implying a perception of a coming personal, intimate relationship as criteria for this election which I will call Orinism, 1st Peter 1:2; Romans 8:29; Galatians 4:9; 1st Corinthians 8:3; 1st John 2:3-6, 3:1-6, 4:5-7; Matthew 7:23 and John 3:18 "because they hath not believed" perfect indicative -- completed action in time past having present and lasting results. Once the foreknown individuals are regenerated in Christ by faith after hearing and believing the Gospel, they are filled with God’s Spirit and become the elect of God predestined to glorification with Christ, and as an indicator, they do not habitually practice sin as a way of life.), then God does not make mistakes or change his mind since his calling and election is without repentance and he cannot fail to bring the believer to completion once he has started. Or, even if he elects those who he knows when they become believers, and he predestines them to glories with Christ, is he then not able to bring it to pass? Does the intercession of Christ for his own fail in results? I am still debating the false dichotomy of Arminianism vs Calvinism in my mind after learning from the scholarly debates of Dr. James White with Dr. Michael Brown. It is a draw between them. Arminianism has God looking forward through the corridors of time and electing those whom he foreknows choose a relationship with him. Arminianism is man-centered and God's success is all dependent upon what man chooses to do. Therefore, with this brand of soteriology, God is depicted as wringing his hands, desperately hoping to save as many as he can without much success, depending on what each man decides to do or not do. It is more concerned with preserving the integrity of the free will of man, and preserving the integrity of the reputation of a God who is apparently unable to exercise his sovereignty in election due to some nebulous restricting human sense of fairness. But the "whosoever believeth" of John 3:16 should be more properly translated, "everyone (who) is believing;" for in all of the applicable grammatical constructions regarding election and new birth from above in the Gospel of John, John would appear to be a Calvinistic, for he is used extensively by Calvinists in their apologetics. Therefore, consider the opposite Calvinistic form of election. The moderate Calvinism of Reformed Theology appears to be God-centered, allowing God to decide the who, what, when and where of soteriology. According to them, God elects individuals he foreknows in eternity past according to an arbitrary whim of sovereignty, fore-damning most to hell and foreordaining others to heaven, and when hearing the Gospel, God provides the necessary regeneration and faith at the same moment according to his sovereign will, resultant call, foreknowledge and foreordination because man cannot believe on his own. This is irresistible grace which negates the factor of man’s free will. Paul seems to say it all when he rhetorically asks in chapter nine of Romans regarding the human demand for fairness, "Is there unrighteousness with God?" They claim that God knows that the tainted free will of man cannot choose on its own a relationship with God on God's terms without divine coercion. Therefore, God justly prefers whom he wills, and in compassion, so mercies whom he wills, and this is the exercise of sovereign grace and mercy in election. If the Calvinistic system of election where true, then why in the world would Jesus weep over Jerusalem in the first place? Pastor Kevin Thompson of New Orleans Baptist Church -- the antidote to both Calvinism and Armenianism -- asks, "Is Calvinism not also man-centered?" It depends upon subjective experience and perseverance in good works to validate election itself. That the Gospel seems to be that Jesus died only for the elect is not good news (2nd Corinthians 11:4). No one knows who are the elect. They can only rely upon self-evaluation and subjective experience to determine whether they are saved or not. Calvinists "feel" that they have been chosen by God when enough evidence becomes noticeable upon self-examination, rather than relying upon the truth of scripture. You can't be saved trusting in your own election, when you should be trusting in Christ for salvation (Galatians 1:6-9). Christ tasted death for all men, and was made a ransom for all, so, availability is for all men; and faith comes by hearing the word of God (Romans 10:17), and men are born again by the word of God (1st Peter 1:23). In Ephesians 2:8, grace is the gift of God, not faith. Again, in divine fairness, God uses the general revelation of creation to bring man to God-awareness, and then the specific revelation of salvation through the death burial and resurrection of Christ to those who want to go further with this God. The predestination, mentioned in only four places -- in Romans chapter eight and Ephesians chapter one -- does not have anything to do with election, but only states that the believer is predestined to the adoptive redemption of the body unto glorification with Christ. To learn more, go to search, "Beyond the Fundamentals" on YouTube, and click on, "Are Calvinists Saved?" and, "Response to James White on John 6:37 Video." Another is Leighton Flowers "The 5 Points that Led Me Out of Calvinism." These hold to the Corporate View of Election in Christ to service — also known as Traditionalism.

One way we can tell a man is of God is that the Spirit witnesses within ourselves, saying, 'that is right,' 'he is right.' But no man is right on everything, and God knows this -- because all men are human and subject to fallibility -- having blind spots. Even though I do not agree with the results of some, I, as a translator, would not even make a pimple on a real translator's ass, though I feel somebody had to make some things right that have not been adequately addressed heretofore. I wholeheartedly agree with most all that I have heard Dr. Farley say, but I cannot agree with his explanation of Hebrews 6:4-6. He did, as with many others, go through spiritual gymnastics in order to make Hebrews 6 fit, because they all say, "The Bible does not contradict itself." I beg to differ. The Bible does have contradictions. The Bible teaches eternal security, and the Bible teaches falling away from the Faith. The Bible teaches both Calvinism and Arminianism, and each school has their proof texts and exegetes. 1st Corinthians 12 says that no man can say “Jesus is Lord” but by the Spirit, yet in Matthew 7 multitudes say “Lord, Lord,” and he responds, “Depart from me you practitioners of iniquity. I never knew you.” In 1st Corinthians 3 Paul says that the things of God are foolishness to those who are perishing, yet there are multitudes of people interested in the things of God, though they belong to false religions and denominations that are apostate. Revelation 20 says that the beast and the false prophet are cast alive into the lake of fire, yet 2nd Thessalonians 2 states that the beast is destroyed by the brightness of Christ’s coming. Revelation 13 says that no man can buy or sell without the mark of the beast, yet Luke 21:34 and Matthew 25:31-46 indicate that there is indeed an economy for the Christians of the last days. There are quite a few contradictions. Dr. Richard R. Frampton used to challenge, "Show me one." Now I can show him a dozen -- and there are many more. The Bible is not to be thought of as one book by one author, but 66 books written by forty authors over 1400 years, and they each must stand the test of scrutiny in order to be accepted as without contradiction. Contradictory material must be suspect until the contradictions can be resolved, or if it finds no resolution, set aside. Hebrews definitely teaches loss of salvation for believers. The author's mindset is clearly set forth in chapter 3 verse 14 where he states, "For we are made partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end;" yet most all of the rest of the New Testament teaches eternal security. It is not eternal life if it is not eternal but lose-able. Bible teachers, above all else, must be open-minded and honest. Be not afraid to critically scrutinize our Bible. God is not afraid of examination. The Bereans researched everything to see if it were true. Dr. Farley says that the people in question tasted but did not swallow; further, they had a morsel on a toothpick but did not invest in the whole meal; moreover, were exposed to the light but did not embrace the enlightenment; and furthermore, had the best teachers in the world yet rejected the message; and ultimately, saw the miraculous but remained unmoved. The biggest point he misses is that the text says, they cannot be RENEWED to repentance again, because it would be like CRUCIFYING OUR LORD AFRESH -- again, if that were even possible. I say it is like eating a candy bar. You cannot eat it again because you already consumed it the first time. Crucifying the Son of God afresh indicates that the first crucifixion was already applied to the negligent ones falling away, and that after falling away into unbelief, that state cannot be remedied, because Christ cannot be re-crucified over again. The once for all -- one for all time -- sacrifice was applied the first time already, and there is no possible way to make it re-apply, after the first grace was trampled underfoot and cast away as an unclean thing by deliberately falling away into unbelief. Eternal security bears out in the perseverance of the saints. Elected and saved individuals will not jump out of the Lord's hand. God provides the indwelling Holy Spirit to preserve and keep believers. God does not make mistakes. God elects according to foreknowledge in eternity-past, or he elects when faith comes by hearing the word of God. Don't you think that he would know ahead of time who would, and who would not make it? Why would he choose such a one and put him through the process of salvation only to have him fall away into unbelief? If Christ makes intercession for us as believers gifted to him by the Father, his intercession could not be considered to have failed. Besides, one cannot fall away from a place one has never been, so these under examination were true believers. In Hebrews it teaches very clearly that they are believers falling away into unbelief. That is why the only logical thing to do is NOT to say the whole Bible is infallible and without error -- that is a doctrine of man -- but remove the offending book from the canon because it teaches error. Have not people been perplexed and confused throughout history over Hebrews 6:4-6? Yes! Enough already! 1st John 5:1, states that everyone having been born of God is believing that Jesus is the Christ. The perfect tense of 'having been born' is completed action in past time having present and lasting results, and the present tense of 'is believing' is continuous action. In other words, the elect one is first born from above and then continues believing afterwards -- perseverance. Also, in John 3:18 it states that those not believing are condemned already because they 'hath not believed' -- perfect tense -- which also is completed action in past time having present and lasting results. God elects and condemns based upon his foreknowledge. "Depart from me you who practice iniquity; I never knew you." I used to listen to Bob Christopher, Bob Davis and Richard Peifer when they were on the radio. I didn't agree with the Christopher/Peifer interpretation of Hebrews 6 back then, and I still believe the same for now. They claim the falling away under examination is not true or even possible for the believer, but hypothetical, using the immediate surrounding context. They also claim that there is a qualitatively different repentance, and that the falling away believer can't be born again, again. I agree with these claims as true for the genuine believer, but that is not what the text in Hebrews is saying. They did not effectively refute the plain statement's implication.  What they miss is the deeper context which actually begins in chapter 5 verse 11. It says that the people in view so neglected their spiritual life that they needed to be brought up to speed again -- IF GOD SO PERMITTED -- because only God knows whether they crossed the line in their neglect of the spirituals unto falling away into unbelief. In this case bringing them to repentance again is impossible because it would mean crucifying Christ anew in order to accommodate their being born again, again. So, Hebrews 6:4-6 teaches that one who was clearly born again, having fallen away into unbelief, cannot be brought to repentance and born again a second time. That is why I believe Hebrews should not be in the canon. The law of contradiction forbids it. In the context of Drawing Near (Heb.10:22) as opposed to Drawing Back (Heb.10:38), Hebrews 10:25-29 talks about deliberately sinning. That is the unforgiveable sin of unbelief. Blasphemy is the outward manifestation of that sin.

Here we will see revealed the mechanics of falling away from the faith -- Hebrews 5:11-6:8. Notice that these Christians start out being rebuked for their spiritual neglect and resultant immaturity -- the precursor for falling away -- and then are admonished about the danger of falling away and its consequences.

"Of whom we have many things to say, but will be hard to speak, seeing you are slow of hearing. For when you ought to now be teachers, you have need that one teach you again the basic principles of the truth of God; and are become such as have need of milk and not of strong meat. For everyone that uses milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a baby. But strong meat belongs to them that are of full age (mature), even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. Therefore, leaving the rudiments of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on to maturity; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this we will do, if God permits:

"For it is impossible for those who were once and for all enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted of the good word of God, and the powers of the age to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance, seeing they crucify unto themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

"For the earth which drinks in the rain that comes often upon it, and brings forth plants suitable for them by whom it is dressed, receives blessing from God: But that which bears thorns and briers is rejected (no usable fruit), and is near to being cursed; whose end is to be burned."

"Let us go on to maturity" -- pherometha, present passive subjunctive of the verb, phero, meaning to carry, and in the passive, it means, to be carried. The subjunctive is cohortative, e.g. "let us be carried," and Westcott adds that the passive gives the thought of personal surrender to an active influence. It is not a matter of the learners being carried by their instructors, but of both being carried forward together by God. Hughes adds that it is a 'divine pass' implying the agency of God. It is better rendered, "Let us be carried on to maturity."

"If God permits." -- eanper, "If indeed." The second particle used with the conditional particle emphasizes that the proposed action is in spite of opposition; i.e., "if in spite of his opposition, God permits." A. T. Robertson adds, it should be "If indeed after all."

The writer of this letter to the Hebrews desires the spiritual health of the recipients of his letter, and he is willing to re-inculcate the badly neglected souls of Christians with truths that will bring them to a state of spiritual maturity. Here the addressed believer's association with the things of God is experiential. The general thought of these emphasized portions of scripture is that the believer in a deteriorated state of spirituality, if he is willing, may be allowed to be carried forth to spiritual maturity by him, others, and God, in spite of his own past irresponsible neglect of spiritual matters; but this would only be possible without the opposition of God; for only God knows for sure if their deteriorated state is due to falling away into unbelief. Unbelief is crossing the line. "Without faith it is impossible to please God." "And to him who has will more be given, but to him who has not, even what he has will be taken away." That is why the following scripture begins with "For," for it connects the condition which follows under which God would oppose the re-inculcation of those, who have displayed spiritual deterioration, with spiritual truths; for if they had fallen away into unbelief, it would be throwing Christian pearls before swine.

The justice of God would oppose the reinstatement of anyone who has fallen away into unbelief, for that would be to insult and humiliate the One who died in his place. He paid for us with his life once, and he is not able to, nor can he do it, again. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved." Believe again on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved again? I think not! It would be like drinking a soda pop. Once you have consumed it you can't consume it a second time because it has already been consumed. If you are afraid that you have already fallen away, fear not. If you really had already fallen away you would not even care. Such is the attitude of the unbeliever.

apax means "once for all." The verb for "enlightened" means to illuminate. In other words, God has once and for all enlightened the eyes and spiritual understanding of this person, and it was a completed transaction. There is no doubt about it that this person was a saved individual.

The verb "tasting" of the heavenly gift expresses a real and conscious enjoyment of the blessings apprehended in its true character (Westcott).

metouxos, "partaker," means a sharer or a participant. genethentas, "and were made," means to come into existence, to be created, to exist by creation, established, to come into a particular state or condition, be changed or converted, to be born. In other words, this person was a new creation in Christ, was born again, and had the indwelling Holy Spirit -- and here I emphasize the word: "had," meaning that it has departed from him due to his change of heart towards Christ.

He "tasted" the good word of God and the powerful deeds of the age which was to come. Again, as above, a real and conscious enjoyment of the blessings apprehended in its true character.

"Falling away," parapesontas, means to fall by the side of, to fall off or away from, or make defection from -- to apostatize. Again, one can't fall away or defect from a place he has never been; so, I don't care what kind of theological gymnastics any Bible scholar may go through to make his point, this passage clearly teaches that believers can and do defect from the faith, and in doing so, throw away their salvation to their own un-remedial loss. The book of Hebrews needs to be removed from the canon to remove such a contradiction as this is to the doctrine of eternal security -- I have done so for myself.

palin anakainidzein, a present active infinitive, means to renew again, to make new again, referring to continuous or repeated action. These words refer back to the words, "For it is impossible." It is impossible for such a person to be again renewed unto repentance.

anastaurountas, present active participle accusative plural masculine, eautois, dative of advantage, "crucifying again for themselves." The participle is causal showing why it is impossible for such people to be brought to a place of repentance and begin anew for their own advantage.

Let us now read this passage of scripture again with an informed understanding:


"For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good Word of God, and the powers of the age 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."

Restated: because God opposes reinstatement of a fallen away person who was a born again, blood-bought, Spirit-filled child of God, who experientially had tasted all of the blessings that go with salvation, it is impossible for this one who throws away Christ like an unclean thing to be renewed again to repentance. There is no possible advantageous way for him -- after the spiritual death due to defection -- to begin his spiritual life anew. This would require a re-crucifixion of our Christ which would be putting him to an open and humiliating shame. This is not backsliding, but defalcation of faith unto defection -- apostatizing. Who comes to mind as an example is Dr. Bart D. Ehrman. His mentor at Princeton Theological Seminary was Dr. Bruce Manning Metzger -- though a critical scholar, he was a genuine born-again believer. Dr.Ehrman apostatized into atheism. The reason was that he could not believe that God would allow evil in the world. He has no business being the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Many a young Christian's faith is destroyed by such professors. I always say, "Learn it. Pass it. Forget it." I never went to college. I'm eternally grateful that I am only a high school graduate. I retained my faith. For this reason, it is imperative for you not to lose touch with other Christians, your church, your Bible, the leading of the Holy Spirit, or your personal development. I am not teaching salvation by works, but it appears that faith, or the lack thereof, is respectively a qualifying or disqualifying event. "Faith comes by hearing the word of God." You must continue toward maturity despite the difficulties, problems and persecutions which attend your walk. Faithing or believing is linear action in continuation. God did not promise us a bed of roses when we got saved, and any preacher or teacher who proclaims health, wealth, and prosperity is leading God's people astray. Anyone who teaches that we will be raptured out of this world before the Antichrist comes does not have an independent understanding of Bible prophecy. He is reiterating what he has been taught by others. It does not matter how many times something is repeated, that does not make it true. That doesn't necessarily mean that they are false prophets. They probably mean well. But they are only studying the erroneous teachings of other men who came before them. Utilize the scripture that says, "Prove all things; hold fast to that which is good."

Now I do not want to leave anyone with a negative outlook. You cannot lose your salvation by sinning. All of your sins -- past, present, future -- were future when Christ went to the cross in your place. If you fell away into unbelief, you wouldn't care.

Here are a couple links to affirm belief in eternal security by Charles F. Stanley. He is one of the best.


https://www.intouch.org/listen/featured/reasons-for-believing-in-eternal-security-part-2   Now look at 2nd Thess. Chapter two, verse three. It reads:

"Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come (e.g. the Day of the Lord), except there comes a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the Son of Perdition;"

This verse introduces the Antichrist, but before he makes his debut, we are told that there will be first a great apostasy.

The apostasy "comes" -- Greek -- elthe, 3rd person singular 2nd aorist active subjunctive of erchomai, meaning to come, to go, to pass. Here the punctiliar action as an aorist is undefined, and it is within the realm of possibility because of the subjunctive. Apostasia means a defection, apostasy -- in other words, a falling away. It is categorized by itself as a unique event by the use of the definite article in calling it the Apostasy, or the Defection. Some have enhanced it by calling it The Great Apostasy. To apostatize or defect means to take a stand apart from your former stand -- to fall away from where you were before. These are believers who are doing the falling away. You cannot fall away from where you never were to start with, so they have to be believers falling away from The Faith. Contradiction? You tell me. Should we preclude this book also? Many scholars believe this Thessalonian epistle to be written by the apostle Paul.

This event signifies the departure of hoards of believers from the Church, most probably due to fear of the power of the Antichrist, and a feeling of betrayal as they have all been told all along that they would not be here to see him, combined with a lack of genuine faith in God that he can deliver them through the crisis. It will be like the evil servant depicted in Matthew 24:45-51: genuine faith will issue in action. Another reason could be that hoards of believers have been fed the line for years that they will be raptured out before the tribulation. John 6:39, 40, 44, 54 say we are raised on the last day -- not seven years before the last day. When they suddenly find themselves in tribulation, they will feel deceived or "Left Behind." Christianity will have lost its credibility with them because of that false teaching, and they will fall away saying, "What's the use -- we've been "Left Behind" anyway. We were not good enough. Christianity is not true. We have been lied to" -- failing to realize that the very presence of the tribulation period and the Antichrist indicates that The Christian Faith is indeed true, even if it was misunderstood or misrepresented. The book/movie series, "Left Behind," is setting people up for this fall.

The true Church of Jesus Christ will suffer great persecution, and will most likely move underground as many genuine believers are martyred for their faith; and the visible "Church" will be corrupted by serious compromise with the world, Ecumenicalism and the Antichrist -- and be judged as a result. These compromisers are comprised of those who have fallen away in the interest of self-preservation. Jesus said, "He that seeks to save his life shall lose it, but he that loses his life for my sake shall find it." It will be good for you to study the lives of the martyrs in order to be able to develop that indispensable faith necessary -- the faith that they had -- to endure what so many of them have endured. Realize that 280 million Christians have gone before you, and that you will not be unique. There are special rewards for martyrs. For your faithfulness to your Lord who bought you with his own life you will be rewarded. Foxes Book of Martyrs is a good place to start. Scribner's Ante-Nicene Fathers is another source of such works. Books by Deitrich Boenhoffer also build necessary faith. To learn more about the history of these and the other disputed works, again please consult both The Canon of the New Testament, Its Origin, Development, & Significance, ISBN 978-0-19-826954-0, and The New Testament, Its Background, Growth, & Content ISBN 0-687-05263-7 both by Bruce Manning Metzger.

I will now give some widely held and readily apparent reasons for my view of, and rendering of, the letter to the Ephesians. According to most Bible scholars there are seven unquestionably authentic Pauline letters: Romans, 1st and 2nd Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, 1st Thessalonians and Philemon. Ephesians is different from these in that it contains run-on sentences -- five of them -- in such a short letter. The lengthy book of Romans only has three. The most damning piece of evidence that it cannot be a letter to Ephesian believers is that since Paul had founded the Ephesian church, and edified it many times, this letter contains no specific greetings nor personal intimations such as those that are copiously found in his other accepted works. It is written as if he never met nor knew any of them at all. The 16th chapter of Romans is a cover letter introducing the deaconess Phoebe, bearing a second copy of Romans, to the Ephesian church. He greets and mentions many believers there in that cover letter. With all of these acquaintances in Ephesus, could he not have greeted at least one in this so-called Ephesian letter? If we were to allow, according to Colossians 4:16, we could call it 'Laodiceans,' since Marcion so named it. There are several early manuscripts missing the term "in Ephesus" all together (MSS P-46, Siniaticus, Vaticanus, and 1739) so this could very well be called the letter to the Laodiceans, even as the anonymous Gospel of John could be called the Gospel of Lazarus (the beloved disciple). Destination is solved with the lack of internal greetings, but there are other unmentioned problems that still remain regardless. I included it herein only because it is so widely received. You are probably now asking, "How could God allow errors and false books to creep into our Bible thereby misleading so many people? Is God in control?" Yes. "Is God responsible? Did this catch him by surprise?" No and no. Matthew chapter 13 brings forth the parable of the wheat and the tares, where Christ is the one sowing good seed in a field, and his enemy thereafter sowing bad seed in the same field. The seed is representative of people, some of which are writing works, both good and bad. The seven particular books I listed, Revelation being one of them (see Appendix), have been disputed for centuries. Men do wrong, and fail to do right routinely -- even saved men. Man wrote the false books. Man allowed them to get into the Bible. What about the Shuffled Manuscript Theory? Let us ask the question another way. "How could God allow false prophets and false teachers to live and compete with the truth as depicted in Mark chapter 13 and Matthew chapter 24?" All of God's creatures are made with free will. Man has free will. Just as God did not stop Hitler from exercising his free will in the world, so also God will not interfere with the free will choices of other men, whether good or bad. No one sins unto himself alone. Our sins always affect other people. Hitler's sins affected millions of people in many different ways. God does not need to manipulate, micro-manage or control the free will choices of man in order to remain secure in his omniscience, omnipotence and sovereignty. All his creatures have free will, from the least, to the greatest. It is a foundational principle in the whole of his creation. God knows all of history before it ever happens, and it is one of his greatest claims to divinity, being able to tell the end from the beginning. And, in due time, God uses some of us to set things right.

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