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The “Falling Away” and Redefining the Church

written by Asher Intrater
July 10, 2015

The Greek economic crisis could cause a chain effect on the entire European banking system. The current Greek default is 1.6 billion Euros. By comparison, the US overall debt is 18 trillion (!) dollars. Over the last 3 weeks, Chinese stocks have lost more than one third of their value, despite government efforts to halt this unprecedented slide. Eventually, all of these economic problems could push for a unified world credit system.

The widespread breakdown of family and sexual values, including abuse, sadism, internet porn, adultery and divorce, is likely to destroy basic social structures in the coming generation. The problem with homosexual marriage is not primarily the right of those individuals to live together, but the re-definition of moral standards in the society—standards that have existed for thousands of years. Next, elementary school students will be taught that trans-sexualism is a “normal” choice among many possible sexual/gender “orientations.”

One Israeli television commercial shows a handsome movie star encouraging 11-12 year children in a classroom to consider being homosexuals. The Yad Hashmonah Messianic kibbutz was sued for not allowing lesbian weddings inside our complex. Anyone who favors traditional marital standards may soon be faced with criminal charges of discrimination.

The “pacifying” approach to militant Islam is encouraging more terrorist attacks, destruction of Christian churches and communities, and pressure in the UN to adopt anti-Israel measures. The number of anti-Semitic incidents in Europe is increasing every year. The removal of sanctions on Iran is not only an issue of potential nuclear weapons, but the release of billions of dollars to Islamic radicals, sponsored by the Ayatollah regime. 

Many mainstream Christian denominations, both Catholic and Protestant, are abandoning basic principles of the faith. The logical outcome of denominations turning away from the faith would be a world-wide ecumenical unity in which everyone can be in “unity” regardless of what one believes. True believers will become an unwanted minority in most denominations. 

This ecumenical, religious, economic and moral decline may be what the Scriptures refer to as the “falling away”:

II Thessalonians 2:3 – For that Day will not come unless there will be first the falling away and the man of evil is revealed…

Other translations refer to this as the “apostasy” or the “rebellion.” This may also be what Yeshua called “lawlessness” increasing and the hearts of many growing cold (Matthew 24:17). However, while religious institutions may turn away from God, there will be a remnant of true faith and love in every nation. The cumulative remnants of faith around the world will form the true “Body of Messiah” in the end times. 

This will demand a redefinition of everything that is known as the “Church.” If church institutions are ungodly, how can we define the “true” church? This redefinition of the Church will be a major issue for all believers, starting even now. The true community of faith is called “ecclesia” in Greek and “kehila” in Hebrew. What is it? What will it look like? What will be its characteristics?

Without religious institutions to give a good example of faith, true believers will have to go back to Scriptures to find a correct definition. This happens in every reformation movement. The Book of Acts will become more of a model of ideal communities of faith. The Book of Revelation will become a handbook of faith in the end times. The international community of faith will see itself grafted into the nation of Israel and covenantally connected to the Messianic remnant, according to Romans 11. Israel and the Church will move toward unity.

There will be a wave of purity, humility and dedication in the light of worldwide persecution and tribulation. Out of the common spiritual experience of the remnants of every tribe nation and tongue will emerge a supernatural and divine unity among true believers, according to John 17. Leaders of this End Times church will be “organically” connected in loving relationship, in submission to the Holy Spirit–rather than by traditional, institutional structures. In a world filled with moral darkness, this glorious body of people will shine like light, and millions will be attracted to it (Isaiah 60:1-3).

Asher serves as president of Tikkun Global family of ministries and congregations, dedicated to the dual restoration of Israel and the Church. He is founder of the Revive Israel five-fold ministry team, and oversees both Ahavat Yeshua and Tiferet Yeshua congregations in Israel.

He and his wife Betty share a passion for personal prayer and devotion, local evangelism and discipleship in Hebrew, and unity of the Body of believers worldwide.

Asher was raised in a conservative Jewish home and holds degrees from Harvard University, Baltimore Hebrew College and Messiah Biblical Institute. He has authored numerous books, tracts and articles.

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