Address was delivered at the Bible Institute of Los Angeles, August 17, 1919.
So relevant for today...

The Apostasy Sweeping Over the Churches

by Dr. A.C. Gaebelein

The greatest evidence that man has a darkened mind and a corrupt nature is
not the existence of the gambling den, nor the house of ill fame. The greatest
evidence is unbelief; the fact that the human heart definitely and positively
refuses to listen to the voice of God; that there is a heart which hates the light
and loves darkness; and the greater the light which is rejected and refused, the
greater the darkness, and finally God who is Love and Mercy can do nothing
else. In fact, He must mete out judgment for a race which refuses to listen to
His voice. That has been the story of the race from the beginning. God did not
leave man, after he had transgressed, without light. Man had the light of
creation and though there was not a written word, yet there was the Word of
God nevertheless, and yet as you follow the Divine Record, you find that
man's evil nature was evidenced by turning away from that Light. And though
in 1650 years of the first age of this earth, they built cities, invented
instruments, were lovers of art and music--the race wandered away from God,
the earth became filled with violence and vileness, the voice of God was
rejected and finally God had to bring a judgment upon the earth. And let no
one imagine that that judgment, the deluge, is a myth; it is not. It is written in
the Book and it is verified by science, by geology and by tradition.

When you look to the favored race, the people of Israel, you find the same
evidence of the darkened mind and corruption of human nature. The nation
which received the tokens of God's grace and mercy, were led out of Egypt,
miraculously delivered from the hands of the enemy, seeing the demonstration
of the power of God, the giving of bread out of heaven and water out of a rock
and witnessing miracle after miracle, listening to the voice of Jehovah at Mount
Sinai. A little time after, behold them bringing their earrings and making a
golden calf, stripping themselves naked, dancing about this calf, saying, "These
be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt." Think
of it! Though God had given the highest manifestation of His presence, His
power, His mercy toward His people, yet they could plunge into this apostasy
and if you follow their history, you will find that it is made up of revivals and
apostasy, and revivals and apostasy--always turning finally against God, against
His Word, and sinning against the Light until you find this Divine Record in 2
Chronicles 36:15 and 16.

"And the Lord God of their fathers, sent to them by his messengers rising up
betimes and sending; because he had compassion on his people, and on his
dwelling place;

But they mocked the messengers of God and despised his words and misused
his prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against his people, till there was
no remedy."

Finally when the Lord of Glory came to that nation, educated in the very
school of God, with a history of miracle behind it and promises of glory before,
they rejected the Lord of Glory and, instead of giving Him the Throne, they
gave Him the Cross.

But what about the age in which we are living? Has human nature changed? Is
it different today from what it was before the flood or amongst the people of
Israel? What does the Word of God say about it?

This "Christian" age, as we call it (though not quite scripturally) has brought
forth the greatest Light, the greatest Revelation and the greatest Offer which
God has ever made to man. God at last exhausted the omnipotence of His
Love in the gift of His Only Begotten Son and in the gift of His Son, He has
shined forth in the clearest light, in the purest light, and given a revelation
which outstrips every other revelation in that He comes to His
creature--man--on the simple condition of accepting this offer--nothing to pay,
nothing to do--an offer of taking man from his deplorable depths of misery and
making him a child and an heir of God. What is man going to do about it?
What is man going to do about this Light, this revelation and this offer of the
grace and of the love of God?

The New Testament gives an answer. It tells us how this present age is going to
act about the Light, the Revelation and the offer of God as given in Jesus
Christ and by the Holy Spirit in the New Testament scriptures. I want to show
you the forecast first before we reach the very fulfillment of that forecast and
demonstrate that the race today is just as rotten as it was five thousand years
ago. Let us listen to the Lord Jesus. We must always put Him first. What had
He to say about the conditions of this age and of the race?

In a parable, He tells us how He, the Son of Man, brought a good seed and
another one brought a bad seed and the good and bad seed grew up together
until the harvest. In another parable, He tells us about a woman taking leaven
and corrupting the truth of God by it.

Twice He uses past history to give a prophecy about this age when it is going to
end, "As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be when the Son of Man
comes." "As it was in the days of Lot, so it shall be when the Son of Man
comes." And then the question "Nevertheless, when the Son of Man cometh,
shall He find the faithful upon the earth?" Then listen to His great utterance
prophetically given when He describes the events preceding His coming,
speaking of man becoming more unrighteous, lawless, the age finally to end
with a time of great trouble. There is not a word as to what theologians teach
about the world growing better through the process of evolution, etc., and not a
word about righteousness and peace, but the Son of God predicts apostasy as it
was in the days of Noah and as it was in the days of Lot. Wherever these
learned men get their message from, we don't know; they don't get it from the
Word of God nor from the lips of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Notice again what the apostles have to say about the conditions of this age and
what the last days of this age are going to bring forth. Who were these
apostles? If they had been uninspired men as they tell us today they were, (not
more inspired than Socrates, Ruskin and Shakespeare)--if they had been
uninspired men who invented a new religion or a new system of theology, they
would have done what every uninspired man has done when he said something
nice and beautiful--they would predict that their messages and what they taught
would ultimately be accepted by the whole world and sweep the whole world,
but their inspiration is evidenced by the fact that they predict the very opposite
to that which a natural uninspired man would have predicted.

Think of the apostle Paul, when he said farewell, to the elders at Ephesus (Acts
20:28, 29): "Take heed therefore unto yourselves and to all the flock over the
which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God
which he hath purchased with His own blood. For I know this that after my
departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock."

He did not say, "You are going to have a big revival and everybody is going to
be converted and everybody is going to join the church; but, "after my
departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock."

"Also of your own selves shall men arise speaking perverse things to draw
away disciples after them" (v. 30).

That was very pessimistic, was it not? He did not speak about a great revival
but said, "Listen, the worst is coming, the worst is coming--what is going to
happen in Ephesus?" and then let me read what Paul has to say in the second
chapter of Thessalonians, verse three, "Let no man deceive you by any means
for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that
man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition."

So take note that Paul says before the day of Christ comes, there will be a
falling away and that man of sin is going to be revealed.

Then I read from 1 Timothy 4:1: "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly that in the
latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and
doctrines of devils.''

And 2 Timothy 3:1-5: "This know also that in the last days perilous times shall
come, for men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud,
blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy...," etc., etc.

Listen again to Chapter 4:2-4: "Preach the word, be instant in season and out of
season, reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine. For the
time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but after their own
lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers having itching ears. And they shall
turn away their ears from the truth and shall be turned unto fables."

They sometimes tell me Paul was a sour pessimist, but was he the only
pessimist of New Testament Scriptures about the condition of this age?

Listen to James in the fifth chapter where he speaks to the rich man in verse
four: "Behold the hire of the laborers who have reaped down your fields, which
is of you kept back by fraud, crieth; and the cries of them which have reaped
are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth."

Here you have the root of the matter of the high cost of living. It is simply a
number of deacons and elders in some church who are storing up and storing
up and defrauding the poor.

Now listen to Peter (2 Peter 2:1): "But there were false prophets also among
the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall
bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them and bring
upon themselves swift destruction."

And John (1 John 2:18): "Little children it is the last time and as ye have heard
that anti-christ shall come, even now are there many anti-christs whereby we
know that it is the last time."

And once more let me read you a testimony of one who was not an apostle but
a servant of Jesus Christ (Jude 1:11): "Woe unto them for they have gone in
the way of Cain and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward and
perished in the gainsaying of Core."

And if you continue reading in the book of Revelation, you will find that the
Lord Jesus Christ predicts that the last of His professing church on earth will be
Laodiceans and that the Laodiceans will finally make a confederation with the
world and become the world church domineered over by the harlot Rome,
rejecting every bit of the revealed truth of God. This is the forecast of the New
Testament and no man who believes the Bible can challenge these things for
they are written here black on white; human nature has not changed one bit.
The same unbelief exists, the same hatred of light and the Great Light rejected
must become the greater darkness, and this day, dear friends, has come and we
are right in the midst of it. All over this land, in Canada, England, Australia,
New Zealand, in the mission fields of China, in the mission fields of India,
everywhere are evidences of the fulfillment of this prediction. "Oh," somebody
says, "this is simply sporadic." If you say that, you know very little about what
is going on. Denying Christ is a universal thing today as it never was before in
the history of the church. It is an apostasy which defies God, defies His Word,
which rejects and blasphemes the most precious things which God has revealed
to man.

Now then, let me tell you about this apostasy. The cornerstone of it is the
rejection of this Book as the authority of God making known to man the truth
which man is to know and by which He is saved. The rejection of the
inspiration of the Bible, that it is the Word of God, is really a rather recent
thing. Of course, the devil has always rejected it, although he knew better; and
blasphemers, heathen and infidels have always done so. Study the Reformation
and there is the clearest note as to the authority of this Book; in fact the belief
in this Book produced the Reformation and gave birth to Protestantism. It is
only during the last hundred years that you can trace the deliberate satanic
attack upon the Word of God to rob the Bible of its divine authority and as
soon as that is done all is lost. Everything rests upon the cornerstone--the Bible,
the revelation, the infallible Word of God. Destroy this cornerstone and the
whole collapses and that has become the popular thing in Christendom--to
attack the Bible, to belittle the Word of God, to show up its supposed errors
and rob it of its authority.

Some months ago, someone in New York grabbed me by the arm and said, (I
didn't know for the moment who the man was) "Gaebelein, do you know you
are a back number?" and turning around I found it was my friend Dr. Burrell,
Pastor of the Collegiate Church, and he said: "Don't you know that you and I,
who stand four - square on the Book, are back numbers and out of date?"
Then he told me what they say about him, yes, what they say about any other
man who still holds to the inspiration of this Book and who takes his faith, his
courage, out of this Book. And do you know, it is the big men of learning who
have the popular message for the world and the starting point of the apostasy is
centered in the so - called Christian institutions so many are backing and which
are supported by the cash of people who believe the Bible. In these institutions
is the stronghold of this infidelity.

Let me take you on a trip. We will start in Boston as the hub, the city I know
for I have been going there for a month during the winter for at least twenty
years; the city which used to be famous for its men who preached the gospel
and the Word of God. There is Boston University of the Methodist Episcopal
Church--one of the rankest hot-beds of the rejection of the Word of God.
Harvard is another institution where the Bible is absolutely rejected and put
upon the same level with other good literature. Then there is Newton
Theological Seminary of the Baptist Church equally teaching error. Go down to
Providence and you will find the same story in its universities and colleges--the
professors teaching that the book of Genesis is a myth, and that evolution is
still the thing which explains the existence of this universe. Then go to New
York City and you will find Union Theological Seminary of the Presbyterian
Church which every once in a while turns out preachers and when they are
examined for entrance into the Presbytery and ordination, say they do not
know whether Jesus Christ was born of a virgin or not; and about physical
resurrection, they say they have not yet made up their minds as to that.

Then go up the Hudson to Poughkeepsie. One father told me with tears in his
eyes that his daughter had attended Vassar. She had gone with faith in the Lord
Jesus Christ and came away an infidel. Go to Chicago and there you find the
worst kind of corruption in the Chicago University. Oh, the pernicious literature
which is sent out from there! I wish I had kept track of the stacks of appeals
which preachers and others send me and say, "For God's sake, do something to
stop it!"

Go to Garrett or Northwestern or keep coming West to the Coast up to San
Francisco and all along through Canada. Institution after institution has adopted
the theory of reasoning which comes out of their teaching that there cannot be
an infallible Word of God, and these institutions are responsible for the men
who stand up in pulpits today and deny the Christian faith.

Now, let me give you the vilest attempt which has been made upon the Word
of God during the last year. It is "The Shorter Bible," by Charles Foster Kent,
of Yale. Methodist preachers today, before their ordination, are forced to read
the books of Charles Foster Kent--books of infidelity.

I have gone over this New Testament, endorsed by many great men,
newspapers, etc., and it seems the whole world endorses it. As I read the
endorsements, I found that "It is a thrilling account of the life of Jesus and His
great social and economic teachings," and as I went on, I found that everything
about the blood, redemption, the cross, salvation, eternal life had been cut out.
It is just a little bit of a book--you can slip it into your vest pocket; but friends,
this is something more blasphemous than anything Jehoiakim ever did when he
cut the roll of Jeremiah. They have cut out the heart of Christianity, which is
the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Cross of Jesus Christ.

Then let me tell you to what this apostasy leads. It leads to the rejection, not of
the Bible only, but of the Person who is revealed in the Bible, the Son of God.
These are the tactics of the devil--first destroy the Word of God which makes
Him known and then attack His Person. As a result, you have hundreds of
preachers of every denomination who deny the virgin birth; who do not believe
that salvation is a definite gift of grace but that it takes character and a life-time
to be saved; who deny the physical resurrection; who deny future punishment;
in one word, who sweep every bit of faith out of every page. That is one result.

The next result is that it has led to the prostitution of the church itself. That is
one of the results of this war. This war has clinched the religious apostasy and
the war and future conditions are going to open up into that prostitution of the
professing church and the truth of God and the complete apostasy of which this
Book speaks.
The professing church adopts today the program of the
They started in with that miserable lie that the world can be made safe
for democracy, then the lifting up of humanity, and making the world better,
and then having a religious brotherhood.

Observe what is going on. We have several churches that are doing this in New
York, but mark you, it is not in New York alone. I have had letters from the
state of Kansas, Nebraska, Louisiana, Texas, where the same thing in smaller
communities is done. The pastor of a very prominent church in New York
says, "A spirit of progress is awakening in all churches, although it has not
manifested itself in all churches. I am a Christian, but I believe the best in
Christianity and the best in Judaism are identical. We already have about fifty
Jews and some Hindus in our membership; Chinese will be welcome regardless
of faith. You will notice Christianity is not mentioned in our statement of
doctrine. This church is an institution of religion seeking truth and wisdom
knowing no sect, class, nation or age; but welcomes each one into its service."
That is what I call the prostitution of the church. It is coming, and is the result
of rejecting the Word of God, and bye and bye--it may begin today, right
here--you will find a cleavage between God's true church and those who
dishonor His Word and His Christ.

But there is another result. The rejection of the Bible as the starting point of the
apostasy leading to the rejection of Christ and the Gospel, leads to immorality.
Who is responsible for it? The men who have robbed this Book of its power.

Let me read a verse which you may not have noticed in reading your Bible (1
Chron. 10:13): "So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against
the Lord, even against the word of the Lord which he kept not and also for
asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit to enquire of it."

Saul rejected the Word of God and did not keep it; then he turned to a witch
and got his message, and, mind you, it was not a spurious witch--she had a
familiar spirit, she was possessed by a demon.

In the latter days some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing
spirits. The time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine. Their
ears shall be turned away from the truth and turned to fables.

Therefore, because the apostasy is here, people reject the Bible and the masses
are following witches.

Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy's whole system is witchery. It is juggling with the Word
of God and perverting the Word of God and I predict it is going to grow in just
the degree that the Bible and the truths of the Bible are rejected. If you could
find a place on this continent of a thousand inhabitants, where everybody knew
his Bible, a Christian Science church could never be built. It is always the result
of having rejected the Word of God. God permits error to come in the form of

New Thought is another form of witchery that they are trying to accommodate
as much as possible to some things which are still found in this Book. But
Theosophy and Hindu philosophy are a definite turning away. Then let me
point out to you the most prominent witch of spiritualism, with its demon -
possessed women. Today in England hundreds of thousands have accepted the
witchery of spiritualism, mostly through Sir Oliver Lodge, Sir Conan Doyle. Sir
Conan Doyle has written a book, "The New Revelation," but he lets the cat out
of the bag when he says the "old revelation has made too much of the blood
and the cross of Christ and we have discovered our boys are in glory without
having accepted the Gospel as it used to be taught in the church." Don't you
see the witchery instead of the Word of God? I promise that for every demon
cult success in this world now that its glory will suddenly end and judgment will
certainly follow when the Lord comes.

And now let me come to the most solemn part. What is God's call ? I will give
it to you as it is written in this book. Moses comes down from the mountain.
He sees the altar and the golden calf, the naked multitude, drinking of wine, the
words of blasphemy and the first words he speaks are (Exodus 32:26): "Who is
on the Lord's side? let him come unto me." The next words he speaks are:
"Consecrate yourselves to day to the Lord" (v. 29) and then the third, take the
sword and cut them off (v. 27). God's call today is the same. If you are
washed in that precious blood, stand out and out on the side of the Lord Jesus
and consecrate yourselves fully unto Him and stand aside from the multitude
doomed to perdition save when you go to offer them the gospel of the Son of

Listen again--Aholiab and two hundred and fifty princes had revolted against
Aaron. They rejected Aaron as priest and said, "We also are holy, we don't
need Aaron." This is the same thing Christendom says today. "We do not need
Christ, we have good things in ourselves, we don't need His priesthood."

What did Moses say? "And he spake unto the congregation saying, 'Depart I
pray you from the tents of these wicked men and touch nothing of theirs lest ye
be consumed.'"

He says, "Depart; do not touch a thing; get out of their tents; out of their
villages, even if it is a brother or sister; get away from them." But you say,
"That is the command of the law. Whoever says that is harsh and that is
unchristian." Is it? Listen to what the beloved disciple says. "Whosoever
transgresseth and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ knoweth not God. He
that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, (the Cross and all that goes with it) he
hath the Father and the Son. If there are any that come unto you and bring not
this doctrine, receive him not in your house, neither bid him Godspeed...." etc.
That is the same thing Moses said and whether it is in the Law or in the
Gospel, God does not change His demands when it comes to believing on
Himself and His Word.

That is God's call, "Depart!"-- get away from them; do not touch their books;
do not buy their literature; do not support their institutions; do not pay the
preacher's salary if he does not preach the truth. If you do, the Lord is going to
hold you responsible for them.

Again Paul says, "From such turn away;" purge yourselves from the vessels
which are dishonored that ye might be vessels meet for the Master's use.

Some Christians have told me that they are to remain in Laodicea until the
Lord gives them a call to leave. He has given the call. It is here and what is
happening and will happen is the separation of God's true church from the
church of the world, the church of the apostasy and of Laodicea. But you say,
"Where am I going?" Well, go first to the Lord and then you will have
fellowship with the true saints of God. When you get into the fellowship of the
true saints of God you get power, you get blessing, you have the reality of the
Lord and He is going to use you.



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