The Christ in Prophecy Journal

Church in the End Times: Apostasy and Cultism


There is much talk going around these days about how unified, triumphant and glorious the Church will be in the end times right before the return of Jesus. This pollyanna image of the Church is certainly attractive, but it does not correspond with what the Bible prophesies.


The picture of the Church in the end times that is portrayed in the Bible is not a very pretty one. For one thing, the Bible prophecies that the Church will be racked by apostasy. Jesus prophesied that “many will fall away” (Matt. 24:10). Likewise, Paul said the Anti-Christ cannot be revealed until “the great apostasy” takes place (II Thess. 2:3).

Paul reveals the source of the apostasy in II Timothy 3:5 — “Men will hold to form of religion but will deny its power.” The fulfillment of this prophecy began in the 1920’s with the ascendancy of the German School of Higher Criticism. This school of thought, which quickly swept American seminaries, advocated that the Bible should be approached like any other piece of literature — with a critical eye. The concepts of the special inspiration and inerrancy of the Bible were rejected. The Bible came to be viewed as Man’s search for God rather than God’s revelation to Man. As a human product, it was considered to be full of myth, legend, and superstition.

This assault on the integrity of God’s Word opened the floodgates of apostasy. Before long Christian theologians and ministers were laughing about the virgin birth of Jesus, discounting His miracles, casting doubt on His resurrection, and flatly denying His second coming.

As the uniqueness of Jesus was downplayed, many denominations began to embrace the damnable doctrine of Universalism. And that is where we are today, caught up in the midst of a gross apostasy which says, “Believe what you want. The important thing is to be sincere. There are many roads to God.” All of which makes a liar of Jesus who said: “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:16). The result is that there are a lot of sincere people who are sincerely going to Hell.


A second set of prophecies warn that the Church will be assaulted by cultic deception in the end times. Jesus emphasized this point repeatedly in His Olivet Discourse (Matt. 24:5, 11 & 24). And Paul underlined it in the strongest possible language when he wrote: “The Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons” (I Tim. 4:1).

The fulfillment of these prophecies began in the 19th Century with the rise of Mormonism and its demonic teaching that Jesus is the brother of Lucifer, one of thousands of Gods created by the super god, Adam, an exalted man. The Jehovah’s Witnesses were next on the scene with their perverted teaching that Jesus is the Archangel Michael.

This century has witnessed the rapid multiplication of the cults, just as prophesied. Today, life long Christians who do not know why they believe what they profess to believe are being sucked into the cults by the tens of thousands.

Equally appalling is the direct penetration of the Church by cultic doctrine. Well known Christian leaders are advocating the ancient Shamanistic practice of visualization as the key to prayer. Others are teaching one of Satan’s oldest lies — that those who have been born again are “little gods.”

The latest cultic fad is the concept of Satanic salvation; namely, that we do not owe our salvation to the blood Jesus shed on the Cross but rather to some imaginary torment which He suffered at the hands of Satan for three days in Hell. And then, of course, there is Masonry, the oldest form of cultic penetration of the Church, with its secret blood oaths, its works salvation, and its Universalism.

The degree of cultic penetration into the Church is perhaps best illustrated by two recent events.

Not long ago the number one rated “Christian” televangelist in America served as the main speaker for the dedication of the new international headquarters of the Unity Church. The Unity Church is a classic cult that teaches reincarnation and denigrates the uniqueness of Jesus by advocating that the Christ potential resides in each of us. That same televangelist continues to hold church growth seminars for the Unity Church.

Meanwhile, one of the leading Charismatic spokesmen in America has called for Christians to embrace the Mormons!

In the next part of this series on the Church in prophecy, we’ll look at the third and fourth set of prophecies that characterize the Church in the end times.

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ABOUT AUTHOR View all posts Author Website

Dr. David Reagan

Dr. David Reagan is the Founder and Evangelist Emeritus of Lamb & Lion Ministries. He is a life-long Bible student, teacher, and preacher and he led over 45 pilgrimages to Israel. Dr. Reagan was the host of the radio then television program Christ in Prophecy for nearly 40 years.

5 CommentsLeave a Comment

  • Jehovah's Witnesses say that Jesus had his second coming already 'invisibly' in the year 1914 and then Jesus waited 3 1/2 years to appoint them the Watchtower society rulers of his earthly kingdom in 1919.

    Jehovah Witnesses are a spin-off of the second Adventist which all came from the Millerite movement.American war of 1812 army captain William Miller is ground zero for Jehovah's Witnesses.
    Yes,the "great disappointment" of Oct 22 1844 has never died out… it lives on in the Jehovah's Witnesses.
    The central CORE doctrine of the Watchtower,yes the reason the Watchtower came into existence was to declare Jesus second coming in 1914.When the prophecy (derived from William Miller of 1844) failed they said that he came "invisibly".
    Watchtower reckless predictions of the (1914) (1975)….. second coming of Christ hardens skeptics in their unbelief and provides new fodder for cynics to mock the Christian faith.

    Danny Haszard

  • The apostle Paul spent much of his time warning the church about false teachers and false doctrines that prevailed in his time and further he warned us that in the last days men would not endure sound teaching and would seek after all sorts of beliefs leaving the truth and that is what have done. The church today is a social institution devoid for the most part of strong Biblical teaching and busy entertaining its crowd with music, plays, programs and all sorts of activities for those whose attention span is about the space of three seconds. We have lost a hunger for truth and are satisfied to be entertained and told we need to enhance our self esteem and all will be well in our little kingdom.

    Douglas Reutzel

  • Free ebook “In The Name of Purpose”
    By Tamara Hartzell 2006

    The following snippets are in Chapter 19. Rick Warren is teaching the SAME message as the New Age ONE WORLD, ONE CHURCH, ONE RELIGION brigade.

    “The local church is the Body of Christ, and is the best instrument to accomplish Christ’s ministry in the world.” —Rick & Kay Warren9

    Such Biblical ignorance! The Body of Christ is not made up of individual churches, rather of individual believers from all around the world baptised into the Body by the Holy Spirit at the moment of faith in Jesus Christ. Warren’s view means that unbelievers (pagans), enter into Christ’s Body when attending any local church. Heretical nonsense. What’s more is his view on Christian Fundamentalism.

    “(Rick)Warren predicts that fundamentalism, of all varieties, will be ‘one of the big enemies of the 21st century.’

    “‘Muslim fundamentalism, Christian fundamentalism, Jewish fundamentalism, secular fundamentalism – they’re all motivated by fear. Fear of each other.’” —The Philadelphia Inquirer, 1/8/06 (Emphasis added)19

    As relationships continue to be elevated above the truth, the conditioning for this “selection process” against “fearful” fundamentalists continues. The following is from Rick Warren’s interview with Larry King on December 2, 2005:

    Larry King: “Before we talk about Rick Warren’s peace plan, are you a fundamentalist?

    Rick Warren: “No.… a fundamentalist is not an evangelical. There are all kinds of fundamentalists, Larry, and they’re all based on fear. There are Christian fundamentalists.” (Emphasis added)23

    “There is a difference between ‘evangelicalism’ and ‘fundamentalism’ and ‘the religious right.’… – they are very, very different. I am an evangelical.… I’m not a fundamentalist.” —Rick Warren25

    “Now the word ‘FUNDAMENTALIST’ actually comes from a document in the 1920s called the Five Fundamentals of the Faith. And IT IS A VERY LEGALISTIC, NARROW VIEW OF CHRISTIANITY…” —Rick Warren (Emphasis added)26

    What we are seeing is not a spiritual “awakening” to the truth but, rather, away from the truth. The masses are being driven into the universal religion—the “One Church” where theology is irrelevant. Toward this aim, some of the successful devices of the Angel of light and his minions include:

    • redefining “truth” and its message;

    • redirecting the focus from beliefs to works;

    • replacing the Lordship of Christ with the “example” of Christ;

    • replacing the absolute authority of God with the relative authority of self and its experiences.

    *Preaching the Bible allegorically has resulted in Replacement Theology.


    Are You “Being Led Away with the Error of the
    Wicked” to the New Age Ark of Oneness?
    by Tamara Hartzell


    * relativism is replacing truth
    • worldliness is replacing righteousness
    • the New Gospel of peace with the world through Oneness is replacing the original Gospel of peace with God through the Lord Jesus Christ.
    • the New Spirituality is replacing the true faith that comes from the Word of God.
    • the Unity in Diversity of Oneness is replacing the salvation of the Lord Jesus Christ
    • unity-seeking dialogue and spiritual experiences are replacing the Word of God.

    This has replaced the Armour of God Ephesians 6:10-18
    Helmet (mind – the assurance of Salvation.
    Breastplate – Righteousness
    Shield – Faith
    Belt – Truth
    Sword – the Word of God (interpreted literally)
    Shoes – Preparation the Gospel of peace with God through Christ

    The New Age ‘One Church’ has new clothes! She is exposed, naked and open to deception having no spiritual armour.

    Thought! The Arkofoneness is well pitched to make it water-proof BUT pitch burns well, so the Arkofoneness isn't fire-proof! 😉

  • i know of one of these mega churches where they built a basketball gymnasium in the name of "outreach".

    funny how the pastor just happened to be a basketball fanatic.

    now he has his own private court. how wonderful.

  • Fyi the term ‘Fundamentalist’ was coined in the 1920’s by the editor of the ‘Baptist Watchman Examiner’ to describe the conservatives who opposed the modernists view. The historical meaning of the term ‘Fundamentalist’ was somebody who believed in the basic, essential teaching of the Christian faith.

    1)The virgin birth of the Lord Jesus Christ.
    2)The resurrection and Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ.
    3)The substitutionary Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ.
    4)The literal physical 2nd Coming to earth of the Lord Jesus Christ.
    5)The Holy Spirit inspired, infallibility of the Bible.

    If you believe these basic essentials, then you are a CLASSIC Fundamentalist whatever your theological leanings.

    The experiential post-modernists like Rick Warren have craftily redefined the word ‘fundamental’ to describe a wild-eyed wako conservative trying to fit everybody into their own mould. The historically correct term of Fundamentalism is NOT “an ‘angry’ religion” as Rick Warren falsely attributes to it. Replace ‘anger’ with the righteous indignation of those who oppose his, and others, blatant Scripture twisting.


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