Babylonian Territory

The “Seven Mountains Mandate”? I was taught long ago that disciples of Jesus must live “separate from the world,” not physically, but morally and spiritually. We are “in the world but not of it,” and our task is to call men and women to “save themselves from this crooked generation” before Jesus arrives and judges the world.

Yet today, many voices are exhorting Christians to infiltrate the “mountains of culture” so they may change society’s ungodly character and institutions from the inside.

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Even an Angel

After a curt introduction, Paul begins his letter to the Galatians with a stern warning. What some members are contemplating amounts to replacing Jesus with a false messiah and a counterfeit gospel. To turn from the “faith of Jesus Christ” to circumcision and other “works of the law” as the basis of the faith is apostasy. Thus, the sternness of his language.

The Apostle to the Gentiles launched into a rebuke with words expressing his astonishment that the Galatians had departed so quickly from the gospel, one that included an ominous curse formula.

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John labels false teachers in the church as “antichrists,” and their deceptive teachings confirm that the “last days” have commenced.

The term “antichrist” occurs only in the second and third letters of John, and he applies the plural noun to deceivers that are causing dissension in his congregations. Their very presence constitutes irrefutable evidence that the “last days” have commenced. These troublemakers are “antichrists” and forerunners of the “Antichrist” who is to come.

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The New Testament warns of a future apostasy caused by deceivers that will precede the day of the Lord.

The New Testament warns repeatedly and consistently that before Jesus arrives at the end of the age the church will find itself under assault from within by deceivers. And before the “day of the Lord” comes, his disciples will be confronted by the “man of lawlessness,” a figure linked inextricably to the coming “apostasy.”

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Believers prepare for the “apostasy” and the coming “man of lawlessness” by “standing firm” in the apostolic tradition.

Having explained the coming “apostasy” and “man of lawlessness,” Paul then provided instructions on how believers avoid the coming deception and find themselves standing “blameless” before Jesus when he “arrives with all his holy ones.” And above all, they must “stand fast” and cleave to the teachings received from the apostles.

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