Tag Archives: apostasy


William Andrew Dillard

Apostasy simply means the losing of one’s salvation. It is the multiple-emphasized declaration of the Holy Word that salvation is everlasting. Still some have trouble with such passages as Matthew 5:22, “But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.”
It is important to establish context. Verse one of the chapter set it. It is the inaugural message of Jesus to His newly called out church. The burden of the message is the difference between the Old Covenant and the New one. As He spoke about personal relationships, this verse that is problematic to some is spoken. The idea of judgment is not a problem; the idea of the council is not a problem, but to be put in danger of hell fire for using the label “fool” to a brother is a problem that few know how to understand. The exposition of its meaning is herewith offered as true and harmonious with the non-contradictory nature of the Holy Word.
The problematic terminology is “in danger of hell fire.” A survey of original language of the scriptures shows this “hell fire” to be an English translation of the Greek word, “Gehenna.” The hell fire to which unbelievers,,the devil, and his minions will be assigned is “Hades, hell” in the Koine Greek of the New Testament. It is a place that born again people can never experience on the merits of the Lord Jesus Christ.
On the other hand, “Gehenna” is the name of the city dump of Jerusalem. In it were discarded all things of no intrinsic value to be consumed by fire. 
If one can say to his brother (spiritual brother in Christ; remember the context) you are a fool; a moron for living as you do in/for Him, then it is open proof that the value system of life of the one so saying is so far afield from God and the teachings of Holy Writ that such life will be lost in the judgment fires of God when ALL His people stand before Him, 2 Cor. 5:10. The apostle Paul taught in I Cor. 3:9-16 that all the words and deeds of life would be as six categories: wood, hay stubble, gold, silver, precious stones. All will be tried in judgment fire. Of course, wood, hay, stubble are consumed. And, there are some who will be saved, yet so as by fire. They will be without reward of life lived on earth. The judgment of a fellow brother in Christ as a moron is herewith underscored as wood, hay, stubble, and not the life that will be rewarded. That in itself is a catastrophe no believer should have, but it is a far cry from apostasy.


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William Andrew Dillard
Parson to Person

Warning the church of the Living God at Corinth, the beloved Apostle Paul called attention to the terrible failures of Israel in the wilderness wanderings. In I Cor. 10:4, he recalls a most intriguing and interesting phenomenon. A certain Rock appeared wherever the Hebrews made camp, as though it were (because it was) following them. Now this was not an ordinary rock. Paul calls it a spiritual rock. Doubtless it appeared as a large hunk of stone to the Hebrews, but something was very different about this rock. It’s story begins early in the Hebrew exodus from Egypt. It is first mentioned in Exodus 17:5-7. Moses was instructed to smite the rock which would produce water in abundance for the people.
Since that spiritual rock followed them, it is not known how many appearances it made or how many times the Hebrews took special note of it, or how many times they may have depended upon it for life sustaining water. But, it comes into significant play some forty years later as water was desperately needed, and the Hebrews were complaining because there was none. God’s instruction to Moses now was different: “Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink.” Num. 20:8.
Most who are passingly familiar with the Bible know Moses and Aaron did not follow God’s instructions, but in frustration with the people smote the rock twice. Yes, life giving water flowed, but God was not sanctified in the eyes of the people, and it cost Aaron and Moses their life.
That rock was not Jesus, but it was anointed (Christ is a Greek word that means anointed in English) of God to typify mighty things about Jesus. It showed among other things, God’s protection, solidarity, presence, and sustainment of life. What God has to give mankind is freely offered in Jesus, the Christ. He willingly died to give to all the water of everlasting life. He is with His people and will never forsake them: He is there! He never changes! Either He is one’s life into the age of the ages, or that life shall be forfeited. Being once smitten, He will not be smitten again, but forgives all who call upon Him in repentance and faith.
The recipients of His righteous blood’s cleansing that flowed from the smitten Anointed One commit a similar sin as Moses and Aaron when they claim they have become lost, and now must return to the Rock for a washing in His blood the second time. He will not be smitten again, but he may be spoken to in prayer and….”if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:9 Hallelujah! What a Rock is our Savior!

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The issue was a regenerated church membership

One of the main results of the Great Awakening was the fact that it produced approximately 100 separate Congregational churches that left the Congregational Denomination, known as “New Lights” over a period of twenty years.  The issue was a regenerated church membership, in that the Congregationalists had fallen into the apostasy of infant baptism.  Estimates were that as many as fifty thousand were saved, either directly under Whitefield’s preaching or revivals  spawned by others that were influenced by him.  Out of this group of churches fourteen went further, were publicly immersed and became Separate Baptist Pastors.  Two of these were Isaac Backus at Bridgewater, MA on April 13, 1748, who became the great Baptist historian and Shubal Stearns at, Tolland, MA, on March 20, 1751, who became the pastor of the famed Sandy Creek Baptist Church in Sandy Creek, N.C., that launched the Baptist churches of the south.  There were two primary reasons why these Separates became Baptists.  First, Separates had become Biblicists.  The Bible had become their only rule of faith and practice.  Therefore infant baptism could not be defended scripturally.  The second was for economic reasons, Baptists could claim the Toleration Act, and be excused from supporting the State Congregational Church.  However Quakers were excused too but few became Quakers.  It was the Baptists that became the stimulus for the ongoing of the Great Awakening as it moved southward.

Dr. Greg J. Dixon, adapted from:  This Day in Baptist History III (David L. Cummins), pp. 110 – 112. 


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