A Condensed Doctrinal History of Christianity from II Timothy and the book of Revelation.

Beginning NOTE:  Please do not forget that even as “Sound Doctrine of the Second Coming” is among the sound doctrine of the Bible and to a certain extent reflected in Christians and Christianity, so “Sound Living is Sound Doctrine” is also a very large part of that sound doctrine of the “faith once for all delivered to the saints”.  In that sound doctrine one must also consider the examples in the life and teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ–The Prophet that was also Messiah–and the examples of his own life from II Timothy that Paul admonished his own son in the faith, Timothy the evangelist, to follow (II Timothy 3:10-13)

II Timothy combined with the letters to the 7 churches of Asia Minor of Revelation 1-3 provide us with a condensed history of Christianity right up to the present time of the great apostasy called in the Bible the Falling Away.  More precisely, II Timothy with Revelation 1-3 and Jude, provide Christians with a condensed outline of where Christianity has come from the origin with the Lord Jesus C, the Prophet to where churches and denominations are today. 

Of course the whole Bible is required to explain the details of the Outline of Christian History and will be so used.  For example when Paul writes about the resisting of truth as exemplified by the rebellion of Jannes and Jambres to assume unauthorized spiritual authority that God had approved for only Moses, the original historical incident as recorded in Deuteronomy is required as background for understanding; and when Jude, the brother of James, writes in defense of “the faith once for all delivered to the saints” offers many OT examples of what Paul in II Timothy 3:8 previously called “men of corrupt minds” and “disapproved concerning the faith”, Jude starts such a discussion with “certain men” which can be recognized by the same “that sort” of men like Philetus and Hymenaeus as in the “What Sort” or “That Sort” outline of II Timothy.  For insights into what happened and when in the history of Christianity which led the present churches and denominations into the mess they are in now, we can find in primarily the three previously mentioned sources–II Timothy, Jude, and Revelation, details about the “that sort” of men from Paul in II Timothy and the “certain men” group of Jude.  For more details we must add what Jesus, the Prophet Messiah taught in Matthew 24 that would happen near THE END to the majority of Christians, “because sin will abound the love of many will wax cold”.  Even as “many” is the majority of Christians that will fall away near the END from the faith once for all delivered to the saints in the first century, primarily through the NT, so as the rising tide of sin and lawlessness of II Thessalonians 2:7 is a primary, according to Jesus, cause of the grassroots in Christianity falling away. 

NOTE:  What you will find in this condensed history of Christianity, culminating in the Falling away and immediately thereafter the Second Coming, is that it happens simultaneously with two groups in Christianity:  (1) the leaders of “that sort” who wormed their ways into leadership by the stealing of unauthorized spiritual authority {one case in point being the takeover by the Bible Baptists fundamentalists of the SBC by political means starting in 1980, and with their destruction of lesser brethren they called moderates}; and (2) at the grassroots it was Mr. Average Christian and church member whose “first love” of Christ, God, and the Bible was dying, or waxing away–almost undetected, those same “many” or majority of Christians and churches who under the leadership of “that sort” at the top became the power house of the 5 stages of the Falling Away:  intolerance toward sound doctrine, heaping up as church and denominational leaders that sort of itching ears preachers and teachers, “purpose driven” by wants and desires over Christ and the Spirit, turning away from truth while their leaders were resisting truth and becoming academically corrupted in mind, finally then historically–more for some like the Mormons and secret rapture believers, and sooner for some more than others–”turning aside into fables.” (II Timothy 4:3,4)  We will look in Bible detail at both the cancer of that sort like Philetus which got its initial start with a false doctrine of a “secret rapture”, amplified with the “certain men” of Jude; and also in Bible detail from the 7 churches of first century Asia Minor to illustrate how the grassroots movements of destruction among church members had already started that eventually led to the falling away; and something about how.

1-1:  The real challenge in a condensed history outline from II Timothy is not to tell how the cancer got started, for that is simple, it started with “that sort” like Philetus who taught and preached a “secret rapture” (II Timothy 2:17,18); but rather how to explain the historical events in Christianity which led from II Timothy 3:9, where the follies of that sort were temporarily revealed in the history of Christianity, from approximately 50 AD to approximately 1927 AD with publication of the Scofield Reference Bible {SRB} to the present Falling away with its 5 stages of II Timothy 4:3,4.  All of the historical events of II Timothy 3:10-17 are significant, the most prominent being the period in Christianity when church members and leaders still practiced the ALL SCRIPTURE approach and movement of II Timothy 3:16,17, before the dividing up of Bible into parts by fundamentalists and the divisions of God[1] the great invariable. 

NOTE:  What you will find below under this section is a condensed sub-outline of the total outline of the history of Christianity with an effort to explain what happened in the approximate period of time between 59 AD and 1927 AD.

1.  The follies of that sort publicly revealed in II Timothy 2-14-39, as Christ–the Prophet Messiah–provided messages to the 7 churches of Asia Minor, and as Christians took seriously, for a while, the message of Jude about “certain men”.  Really a work of the spread and influence of the Bible.

2.  Period of the ALL Scripture Movement.  During the approximately one thousand years of Christian doctrinal history as Christians and churches took seriously the ALL Scripture movement and approach, say from 927 to 1927; that period in which, relatively speaking, the majority of Christians and Bible readers took seriously the example of the Apostle Paul in (1) doctrine, (2) manner of life, (3) purpose, (4) faith, (5) longsuffering, (6) love, (7) perseverance, (8) persecutions, and (9) afflictions.

“But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra[2]–what persecutions I endured.  And out of them all the Lord delivered me.”  (II Timothy 310-11)

3.  Christianity’s revival of the Follies.  Period during which church leaders ignored the ALL Scripture approach and movement in favor of a divided, dispensational, and hunt and peek isolated to about 300 oft quoted verses, say from about 1927 until now.  In short, the follies of “that sort” of Philetus and of the “perilous times” began a revival of subverted hermeneutics and Bible study academics.

1-2:  II Timothy offers 3 major ways in which to identify “that sort” in Christianity today, so that (1) we can do our contending for the faith on a doctrinal basis rather than personality basis, and as stated by J Vernon McGee, “I wish fundamentalists could contend for the faith without being contentious”; (2) two of three of those major ID methods deal strictly with doctrine and one a combination of methods and personality and character characteristics, even so in a manner of positive ID starting with the tell-table characteristic of nationally rated debaters during perilous times who are “lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, and boasters” (II Timothy 3:1)–you can and have recognized them already–so that we can judge righteous judgment based on clear Scripture, thus not being accused of casting the first stone!

NOTE:  Before the listing of those 3 major ways of II Timothy for Christians to recognize their leaders of that sort, it should be clearly stated that by no means is “this sort” limited to fundamentalists and Bible Baptists.  It is only that so many of us moderate conservatives that grew up in southern Baptist work learned to recognize fundamentalists as feudamentalists, primarily because we knew what they were against more than what they were for, often minimizing their effectiveness until they took political control of the SBC.  We could mention their names as they are famous, two already having died; but the point is from a Bible Baptist background they moved into large SBC churches and became the front men as respected pastors of the takeover of the SBC.  Yet fundamentalists or Bible Baptists in the contemporary great apostasy called the Falling Away are not the only types of leaders of the Falling Away as that sort can be very clearly identified in the words of II Timothy 3:1-9 as “lovers of self, loves of money, boastful, and proud”; therefore any time you see an evangelists on TV, recalling Jesus said the end times would be a time of many false prophets and Paul that they would be out to make disciples to themselves and for personal gain and profit, if such an evangelist exhibits a love of money, a love of self {and you cannot miss it if so inclined}, a habit of boasting, and pride, then you know they are of “that sort”; and the same goes for any pastor of an denomination or any denominational leader, even though the world loves the wind bag and the national debater and the academic, if you see far more of love of money, love of self, boasting and pride than Jesus and solid doctrine, then you are looking at one of that sort.

1.  Actually although the first major characteristic of “that sort”, the one of Philetus and Hymenaeus of II Timothy 2:17 is primarily doctrinal as it deals with an early advent of the ugly and false doctrine of a “secret rapture”, but it is also personality based in that it mentions specially two men–Philetus and Hymenaeus–in early Christianity that opposed and caused the Apostle Paul much harm.  In fact as the majority of Asia Minor Christianity turned against Paul as he became an accused criminal for Christ’s sake but of the Roman Empire, not only Philetus and Hymenaeus ring leaders with influence and no doubt money but also other leaders in early Christianity of this sort started the cancer of twin opposition to Paul, to the authority of Paul like Jannes and Jambres of the Old Testament, and therefore to the authority of God.  And the cancer grew steadily in the history of Christianity, sometimes in great waves like that of Asia Minor where the seven churches turned their back on Paul, sometimes as the follies of such men of “a form of godliness but denying the power therefore” were revealed for years the folly of the secret rapture and the bad personality traits, then more perilous times in the history of Christianity they would explode; but the final point of no return, once the ALL Scripture approach was replaced with a divisive and dispensational approach with hunt and peek hermeneutics, grew the cancer so far that about 1980, by the way the same time “priesthood of believers” was ignored, that an extreme intolerance toward sound doctrine started to develop among leaders and members where they just could not stand or tolerate sound doctrine.  You know the story of the 5 stages of the Falling Away of II Timothy 4:3,4.

2.  These early Christianity nationally rated debaters on an evangelistic circuit and meeting in the homes of the more prosperous (II Timothy 3:6,7).

     a.  These early debaters of this sort with their natural ways of the academic, the truth seeker that never takes one side, like lawyers or debaters they are required to give equal weight to both sides so that truth becomes relative, and thus they of that sort and their follower are “ever learning and never able to come to a known of {absolute} truth”  (3:7).

     b.  Perhaps in that day and in communities of early Christianity, it was the women that were more gullible because they had time on their hands to listen to the traveling debaters; and while recognizing that it had little or nothing to do with sex, we must also stress that in the Falling Away today, among leaders and average members, the gullibility for knowledge without absolute truth is as great among men, if not greater, than among women. (3:6)

     c.  Of course, we cannot deny that these gullible people of today and then were “laden down with {unconfessed and unforgiven} sins” and “led away by various lusts”, the lust that is called the forbidden “pride of life” by the Apostle John.  That sort of preachers and evangelists today being of a very character and personality to be “lovers of sin, lovers of money, boasters, and proud” become famous for their skill in a very worldly and justified “pride of {academic and money} life”.

NOTE:  Just last week my wife and I heard one such debater/evangelist who was so overwhelmed with “blasphemy” (II Timothy 3:2) that naturally and consistently he would take God’s name in vain, while simultaneously by the way staying away from much Bible, presenting dubious doctrines with personal stories.  And by the way, you should soon see in II Timothy as in other scriptures that “blasphemy” is a matter of speaking contradictions of any of the sound doctrines of the Bible.  He is on TV, he is popular among Christians, church members, and the world; and he is wealthy.

                           SORT OUT THIS SORT!

1-3:  Since the Bible in II Timothy 3:5 demands that you “turn away from” or avoid people of “that sort”, whether you want to or not it is act of obedience to a command of God as given in the Bible; and naturally in order to avoid them, you first must be able to identify or discern them from other church leaders.

Caution:  Some of this sort are popular, and on TV and otherwise; some you are supporting; and some you are in attendance regularly at their services and preaching.  It is not the intention of this article to name them by name, but to present the false doctrine of the secret rapture they espouse, to give the Bible personality traits they exhibit–like “lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, boasters, and blasphemers”; then you have the awesome responsibility to stack them up against these verses by way of fruit inspection, and then avoid them.

“And from such people turn away”.  (II Timothy 3:5b)

And the 3:5a of this verse, helps you to think about the difference between the appearance of religion, alias “have a form of godliness”, and the reality of that their very ministry denies a connection to God and Christ, “denying the power thereof”.  In the ministry of so many popular religious evangelists and popular pastors and Christian writers today, bottom line God fails to get the glory, the evangelists fail to get the real power of God.

1-4:  Bottom line is that you will have to SORT OUT THIS SORT, and besides the clear definitions of this sort in II Timothy, you have many other guidelines from Jesus and Paul for help.

1.  Jesus on the Falling Away in Matthew 24:11,12 identifies Christian leaders as one group in 24:11, they are called false prophets, and then the majority of church members in the other group, those whose Christian love  “waxes cold” during the Falling Away.

“Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.  And because lawlessness {sin} will abound, the love of many will wax cold”  (Matthew 24:11,12)

Those church members that wax cold during the Falling Away are also those who are being deceived by the false prophets; thus the great apostasy called the Falling Away is both a leadership problem from those of “that sort” and a grassroots problem.  When one reads II Timothy 4:3,4, the five stages of the Falling Away, it is hard to tell in the third stage, “because they have itching ears”, whether it refers to the leaders that are being heaped up, out, or into leadership positions, or it refers to the church members who are heaping up itching ears teachers and preachers by voting them in.  Since the falling away is both a leadership and grassroots movement about 40-80 years near the END of time, we should consider the itching ears as coming from members and leaders.

2.  Jesus makes it clear that this Falling Away happens near the END as He in the next verse, 24:13, talks about the few that go counter to the majority in the Falling Away, offering a promise of hope to the few not overcome by a loss of first love and being overcome by sin and the false prophets–

“But he who endures to the END shall be saved.”  (Matthew 24:13)

NOTE:  How complicated “this sort” of II Timothy today make the END or eschatology, the sort that first of all preach and teach a “secret rapture”, and secondly manifest characteristics of “love of self, love of money, pride, and boasting”, and thirdly through the years become intolerant, like their own people, of sound doctrine. Last week I heard one such preach that the resurrection bodies of Christians would happen three times:  at the rapture, at the end of the millennium, and at the END.  Oh how much simpler is the actual gospel and events of the Lord Jesus Christ, and this you much discern.  An obvious clue is if you do not get this from your own reading of the Bible.  If you have to have a preacher or teacher that is head over heels in academics and having the pride of life of his academic credentials, or lording it over you with a doctors degree, this is a clue that you are in the realm of that sort.

3.  Paul, no doubt, when he met with the elders from Ephesus for the last time and before as a prisoner to Rome for martyrdom, warned of church leadership that would come from within a local church and from without that:  (1) would preach for personal profit or gain; and (2) would place a priority of making disciples or followers of themselves over disciples for Christ.  No doubt, he had in mind men of that sort like Philetus and Hymenaeus.

“For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.  Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.”  (Acts 20:29,30)

Surely you can identify these “perverse things” as, like itching ears teachings  and theology, the secret rapture of that sort in II Timothy.  And surely you can correlate “savage wolves” with lovers of self, lovers of money, boasters, proud, and blasphemers of that sort.  Also those who lead in II Timothy 4:3,4 in an intolerance {will not endure or put up with sound doctrine} toward sound doctrine as the END time false prophets, savage wolves, and speakers of diverse and itching ears teachings, ultimately leading in the fourth and fifth stages of the Falling Away to a (4) turning away from truth, and (5) being turned into fables.  Unfortunately this is the churches, church members, and leaders that are turned into fables.  Find and sort out “that sort” now!

1-5:  Have “this sort” already brought us to the fifth stage of the Falling Away?

1.  The Falling Away of 40-80 years before the END is Now! 

It is hard to see through the appearance of leaders respected by so many churches and church members at the grassroots level, yet we know the majority inevitable will fall away from sound doctrine 40-80 years before the END, and that looks like the period Christianity is in now!  How can Christianity go any further away from truth when we so often hear the academic theology of “this sort”.  If you don’t buy their character, personality, and attitudes of that sort that are lovers of self, of money, proud and boasters, then you can turn to the early identified false doctrine of the secret rapture from the sort like Philetus and Hymenaeus.  If you are on the ball with sound doctrine and have the ears of the Spirit to see and hear, you can recognize it in your church and denomination as an intolerance to sound doctrine, the first stage of the Falling Away of II Timothy 4:3,4.

2.  Judge righteous judgment according to these words of II Timothy about “this sort”, rather than the appearance of a large pulpit, gracious flowing rhetoric of national rated debaters and those academically sitting at the top.  Like Jesus recommended on judging this sort–

“Judge not according to appearance but judge righteous judgment.”  (John 7:24)

When this current leaders sound and look so harmless do not forget that they are the men, or at least the sort of men, that conducted warfare in the SBC {one of their deceased leaders told Moyer on TC, “we are going to keep fighting until one side or the other wins”–brother that is religious warfare}; and indeed for the ten years between 1980-1990 they conducted political warfare and takeover in the SBC, along the way destroying careers and reputations of Christian brothers much better in service and Christian love and spirit than themselves.  Now these politically entrenched pastors of large churches, having already replaced many men of sound doctrine in Baptist Seminaries, schools, and denominational positions, desire for the next step to establish doctrinal control of the SBC.  With their entrenched political positions, they are crawling these strange doctrines on eschatology, ones that affect their complete Bible hermeneutics and lead them to many strange conclusions on other doctrines, out of dark holes into public light.  They started the simple warfare in 1980 with a wiping out of the “priesthood of believers”, efforts to discourage every individual church member to take up his Bible and see for himself the truths of the doctrines they were about to offer.  If “Saul has slain thousands and David 10 thousand, then “this sort” has slain at least double that from pastorates, teaching positions in colleges and seminaries, and denominational positions.  If you can consider this, then you are ready to move from the bad behavior and pride of life of “this sort” behold the first five characteristics of “lovers of self, to lovers of money, to pride, to boasting {like a debater}, to the other 14 bad habits, especially (1) “slanderers”, (2) “despisers of good”, (3) unloving, and (4) without self-control of their more worldly motivations for personal gain and recognition, academic pride of life, or otherwise.  Look at these bad habits and count the slain from 1980 until now, and then decide if these words are too harsh to apply to that sort.

3.  In this year of our Lord Jesus Christ, 2014 many and certain church leaders of “this sort” are now prolific with their leadership to turn the ears of their churches and denominations “aside to fables.”

When over so many years since 1909 as “ears are turned away from truth”, inevitably according to the Word of God in II Timothy 4:3,4 we “be turned aside to fables”.  Even as it is inevitable when a marching soldier is given the command to “reverse march”, the turn is 180 degrees, so when church leaders take us from truth, even though only their ears turn aside from truth, then the other direction is to turn aside into fables.  You know Tim was much smarter than we realized when he wrote the left behind series as fiction.  Do you not see the similarity between fables and fiction?

4.  The simplicity of the gospel has been lost in academic details, not obvious to the priesthood of believers from the Bible, but which must be explained by those with doctors degrees of dubious sources.

You know when we think of theology from this sort like the complications of 3 Christian body resurrections, like the church does not have the obligation now to care for the poor, that is for later; and primarily when we hear all this trash about so many events between rapture and Second Coming that are non-existent in the Bible, the objects of creative imagination.  With tears we are inclined to frightfully think that “this sort” of today have already “turned aside to fables”, the fifth stage of the Falling Away since we hear so many of works of imagination from the years of their cancer. We are getting out of sort about this sort, and we should as we take II Timothy as part of the ALL Scripture approach, profitable for “doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness” (II Timothy 3:16,17).

5.  “This sort” from II Timothy of the Bible is much more adequate and descriptive than fundamentalists.

And for another reason we can express gratitude to this part of Revelation as it has given a simple and more complete way to describe what previously we have called BBFers, for Bible Baptist Fundamentalists, the words “this sort” of II Timothy 2:17 and “this sort” of 3:6.  It is more complete in that you can easily hear and see the characteristics and theology of this sort in far more than the fundamentalists, although the fundamentalists have made it famous with the Scofield Reference Bible.  {We dare not ignore that Congregationalists with CI Scofield got into the act, and Presbyterians with Scofield’s mentor, and we see it now with Pentecostals–almost anywhere the SRB is used.}  How the words of Paul in 2:7 “will spread like a cancer” must burn into our minds, as we look back over the last two thousand years, wondering how so many of what we thought were good men getting into this condition, and more tragically as we see the church on earth crash and burn into the Falling Away.

Finally, ask yourself, why over the 105 years since the 1909 publication of the Scofield Notes, from a divorced Congregationalists lawyer, would you allow those said notes with false doctrines of a “secret rapture”, Bible divisions into dispensations when God is a non-variable, and a millennium {not even Bible words}, to influence you more than the Bible itself; and in the process for the last 34 years allow “this sort” of leadership to take away your God given right to the priesthood of believers!

[1]When you start dividing up the way God worked in history or different Scriptures, there is an attempt to divide up God, the great rock that changes or varies not; since the Bible is both a consistent revelation of both the every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God and the character of God Himself.  In other words, God consistently says what He does say because God Himself is consistent and His words reflect His consistent without change character.

[2]Oh yes, we must also include the book of Acts in our doctrinal history of Christianity, although unfortunately it ended just before the death of Paul and Peter in approximately 59 AD.  Tradition has it that they were both crucified upside down, at their own request, in Rome about 59 AD.  You realize that it is Acts that tells about all these works with different towns in the Roman Empire, and  written by Dr Luke, and based one or more manuscripts including a log of events from the Apostle Paul.

Once again you are welcome to download this blog message from SunGrist at http://sungrist.org/HistoryChristianityFromIITimothy.pdf

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