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The term 'apostate' is derived from the Greek word 'apostasia', which means a falling away, or defection from the faith. In his second Epistle to the Thessalonians, Paul speaks of the spiritual falling away which will occur before the Lord's Return, when He will gather together His children unto Himself in the air. Before this can occur, the world will become so spiritually dark, that the Anti-Christ will deceive many: "Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. 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; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God." 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4, KJV Jesus also spoke of this spiritual falling away from the faith on a personal level in the Parable of the Sower, when He said: "They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away." Luke 8:13, KJV In this case, the Greek word used is 'aphistemi'. For more info on this topic, please read 'Who Is Hindering The Anti-Christ?'.

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