"And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, by reason of the confusion of the roaring of the sea and of the waves..." Luke 21:25
The question asked by the four disciples to which this discourse was the answer was, when are we to look for the awful ruin of city and temple? In their own minds they closely connected the temple's fall with some glorious epiphany of their Master in which they should share. Jesus first answers their question as to the temple, describing to them the very signs they are to look for that herald the temple's fall before responding to their query respecting the glorious epiphany. The temple's ruin, said Jesus, belongs to the period in which you are living, but the glorious epiphany lays in a far distance. "See," he said, "city and temple will be destroyed; this catastrophe some of you will live to see." The ruin will be irreparable and open a new epoch: 'the times of the Gentiles.' These once despised peoples will have their turn, for I shall be their Light. Ages will pass before these 'times of the Gentiles' shall be fulfilled, but the end will come, and then, and not till then, will the Son of man come in glory. So as the times of the Gentiles comes to an end in a great falling away from the Light that came into the world, these shall be the signs (Luke 21:25) which shall herald this glorious advent.
There will be temporal and spiritual judgments, thus with respect to spiritual judgment, the darkened sun means spiritual darkness, an inner blinding within the rebellious, hardened hearts of impenitent men issuing in moral imbecility, perplexity of mind, confusion, madness, double-thinking, despair, thoughts of suicide and murder, rage and wrath.
"And the fifth angel sounded the trumpet, and I saw a star fall from heaven upon the earth, and there was given to him the key of the bottomless pit." (Rev. 9:1)
One interpretation of falling stars defines them as fallen angels. In his Concise Commentary Matthew Henry provides a second interpretation. Falling stars are tepid, indecisive, weak or apostate clergy who,
"Having ceased to be a minister of Christ, he who is represented by this star becomes the minister of the devil; and lets loose the powers of hell against the churches of Christ."
It is these falling stars who lead astray all who will not endure sound doctrine, "but, according to their own desires...will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears.." (2 Tim 4:3) for prosperity gospels, rainbow (gay) gospels, social justice gospels like Rick Warren's P.E.A.C.E. Plan, word-faith, and the strange Holy Spirit worshipped in the New Apostolic Reformation that is really the unholy Kundalini spirit.
"Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son" (1 John 2:22).
John identifies antichrists, in this case clergy who serve the devil rather than Christ, sequentially. First, like apostate clergy from the time of the Renaissance to our own (i.e., Emanuel Swedenborg, Bultmann, Teilhard de Chardin, Robert Funk, Paul Tillich, John Shelby Spong, Leonard Sweet, Hugh Ross) they specifically deny the living, personal Holy Trinity in favor of evolutionary pagan, immanent or Eastern pantheist conceptions alone or in combination with heresies such as Gnosticism (matter is evil), Sabellianism (Jesus & God are but two aspects of one person), Arianism (Christ is a creature or angel made by God), and Pelagianism (denies Original Sin and in its modern version ascribes sin as a social construct)..
For example, Leonard Sweet, preacher, scholar, and ordained United Methodist clergyman teaches a version of de Chardin's evolutionary Hindu-pantheist New Religion that he calls Quantum Spirituality. Sweet has remolded Teilhard's Omega as an embodiment of God in process of evolution within the substance of creation:
“Quantum spirituality bonds us to all creation as well as to other members of the human family…. This entails a radical doctrine of embodiment of God in the very substance of creation…. But a spirituality that is not in some way entheistic (whether pan- or trans-), that does not extend to the spirit-matter of the cosmos, is not Christian.” (ibid, Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality: A Postmodern Apologetic “)
Katherine Jefferts Schori, the first female presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church preaches a brand of evolutionary pantheism while masquerading as a Christian bishop. As she mocks the crucial doctrines of the Christian faith, including the miraculous six day creation account, the Incarnation, and the Trinity, she calls on Christians to boldly cross the frontier to become God while she taunts the Lord by use of the name Big Man,
“... and then points her finger at everyone listening and tells them that they have “missed the boat.” Jefferts Schori then proclaims that she has the answer for this. We all need the “act of crossing boundaries” to become God after which our hands become a “sacrament of mission.” In this way Schori continues “her mission of destroying the Christian faith through her rhetorical device of dismissive ridicule. (The False Theology of Episcopalian Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori,” Sarah Frances Ives, PhD, VirtueOnline, Wednesday, July 11, 2012)
Evolutionary pantheism quietly infiltrated the Catholic Church years ago. Bishop Fulton J. Sheen identifies the infamous heretic Teilhard de Chardin as the main villain:
“As one looks at the various trends in our day, one sees that Teilhard’s conception of spirituality is in the forefront. He knew that he had to pass through many hazards, but he was directed principally to the cosmic world.....His fundamental orientation was “to attain heaven through the fulfillment of earth. Christify matter.” (Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, Footprints In A Darkened Forest, p. 73)
By any name, Quantum Spirituality, Evolutionary Christianity, Progressive Creationism, Schori’s brand of evolutionary pantheism or Teilhard’s New Religion, all are a synthesis of heresies whose primary doctrine is evolution. All of them deny the Father (God of Creation) and His Revelation to man in favor of evolutionary cosmologies (i.e., Big Bang), sock-puppet deities that create and ignite the Big Bang and thereafter direct an evolutionary ascent from primordial matter as taught by Hugh Ross or with Teilhard and Sweet, outright pantheist conceptions of an impersonal god or Christ force in process of evolution.
Though the One God in three Persons upholds the souls of men and maintains life and creation, His substance is not within nature (space-time dimension) as pantheism maintains, but outside of it. Sinful men live within nature and are burdened by time and mortality; God is not.
The specific denial of the Father logically negates Jesus the Christ, the Word who was in the beginning (John 1), was with God, and is God from the creation of all things (1 John 1). In a pre-incarnate theophany, Jesus is the Angel who spoke "mouth to mouth" to Moses (Num. 12:6-9; John 9:20) and at sundry times and in many ways "spoke in times past to the fathers by the prophets, last of all..." (Hebrews 1:1) Jesus the Christ is the incarnate Son of God who is the life and light of men who perfectly fulfills all the prophecies and who by His shed blood on the Cross died for the remission of all sins and bestowed the privilege of adoption on all who put their faith in Him. Therefore, to deny the Holy Father is to logically deny the deity of Jesus Christ, the incarnate Son of God, hence,
"...every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist . . . and even now already is it in the world" (1 John 4:3).
According to Peter (2 Peter 2:1), falling stars will work among the faithful, teaching damnable heresies that deny the Lord, cause the fall of many into unbelief, and bring destruction upon themselves:
"The natural parents of modern unbelief turn out to have been the guardians of belief." Many thinking people came at last "to realize that it was religion, not science or social change that gave birth to unbelief. Having made God more and more like man – intellectually, morally, emotionally – the shapers of religion made it feasible to abandon God, to believe simply in man." (James Turner of the University of Michigan in "American Babylon," Richard John Neuhaus, p. 95)
Over eighty years ago, Rev. C. Leopold Clarke wrote that priests who embrace evolution (evolutionary theists, progressive creationists) are apostates from the 'Truth as it is in Jesus.' (1 John2:2) Rev. Clarke, a lecturer at a London Bible college, discerned that evolution is the antithesis to the Revelation of God in the Deity of Jesus Christ, thus it is the greatest and most active agent of moral and spiritual disintegration:
"It is a battering-ram of unbelief – a sapping and mining operation that intends to blow Religion sky-high. The one thing which the human mind demands in its conception of God, is that, being Almighty, He works sovereignly and miraculously – and this is the thing with which Evolution dispenses....Already a tremendous effect, on a wide scale has been produced by the impact of this teaching – an effect which can only be likened to the...collapse of foundations..." (Evolution and the Break-Up of Christendom, Philip Bell, creation.com, Nov. 27, 2012)
In Luke 21: 29-31, Jesus taught his disciples a parable:
“Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. As soon as they come out in leaf, you see for yourselves and know that the summer is already near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near."
Christ tells his disciples to observe the signs of the times by which they might judge. Take heed that you be not overpowered by false teachings and worldly temptations, nor betrayed by your own sin nature lest the day of death and judgment should come upon you when you are not prepared. For so it will come upon men whose minds are on earthly things only, and have no converse with heaven:
"It will be a terror and a destruction to them. Here see what should be our aim, that we may be accounted worthy to escape all those things; that when the judgements of God are abroad, we may not be in the common calamity, or it may not be that to us which it is to others. Do you ask how you may be found worthy to stand before Christ at that day? Those who never yet sought Christ, let them now go unto him; those who never yet were humbled for their sins, let them now begin; those who have already begun, let them go forward and be kept humbled. Watch therefore, and pray always. Watch against sin; watch in every duty, and make the most of every opportunity to do good. Pray always: those shall be accounted worthy to live a life of praise in the other world, who live a life of prayer in this world. May we begin, employ, and conclude each day attending to Christ's word, obeying his precepts, and following his example, that whenever he comes we may be found watching." Matthew Henry