Wednesday, March 23, 2011
A Gerald Smith on the theme of "Great Apostasy" and "Restored Gospel" - answered
A Smith explaining the Mormon view of The Great Apostasy - by Bible quotes, which I here answer:
Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here [is] Christ, or there; believe [it] not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if [it were] possible, they shall deceive the very elect. (Matthew 24:23-24).
Only, Christ did not say that any and everyone on whom falsely is pointed as Christ is one false Christ by his own deeds or words - there may be some that the real bad guys point to in order to make looking for another Christ look respectable. It is, of course, not.
Amos 8:9-12 seems to refer to Apostasy of the Jewish people. It prophecies the darkening of the sun over Calvary before hinting at nullity of Jewish legalities.
Acts 20:29 - 30 foretells smaller apostasies than the one in 2 Thess 2:1-4. St Irenaeus of Lyons - disciple of St Polycarp of Smyrna who was disciple of St John the Gospeller - tells us about some of those earlier and smaller apostasies: ebionites, gnostics and so on.
2 Timothy 3 and 4 predict both that and later apostasies, including the one raging now among Catholics itching for women priests or for homo-couples admitted to sacraments or so.
The Churches in Asia would seem to be the early Christian Churches in that region, though they typify what can befall any Bishopric or Abbbey or Parish within the Catholic Church, and one of them was facing either a wiping out through persecution or an apostasy (locally) to rank heresy for its sins.
Now look at some Catholic Comments on Chapters 13 of Apocalypse:
Comments: "A beast"... This first beast with seven heads and ten horns, is probably the whole company of infidels, enemies and persecutors of the people of God, from the beginning to the end of the world. The seven heads are seven kings, that is, seven principal kingdoms or empires, which have exercised, or shall exercise, tyrannical power over the people of God; of these, five were then fallen, viz.: the Egyptian, Assyrian, Chaldean, Persian, and Grecian monarchies: one was present, viz., the empire of Rome: and the seventh and chiefest was to come, viz., the great Antichrist and his empire. The ten horns may be understood of ten lesser persecutors.
 "One of his heads"... Some understand this of the mortal wound, which the idolatry of the Roman empire (signified by the sixth head) received from Constantine; which was, as it were, healed again by Julian the Apostate.
From Chapter 13 as for Chapter 14:
I cannot imagine how even verse 6 could be a prophesy about the book of Mormon, since obviously it is either "above time" and thus revealed in the beginning of the Catholic Church or after that final persecution, that is not yet come to pass.
Comments "Babylon"... By Babylon may be very probably signified all the wicked world in general, which God will punish, and destroy after the short time of this mortal life: or it may signify every great city wherein enormous sins and abominations are daily committed; and that when the measure of its iniquities is full, the punishments due to its crimes are poured on it. It may also be some city of the description in the text, that will exist, and be destroyed, as here described, towards the end of the world.
 "Die in the Lord"... It is understood of the martyrs who die for the Lord.