'Apostates' so what does that mean exactly? Let's start there. I was raised a Catholic...... received first communion....did the confessional, participated in the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, or the sharing of the bread and wine. Was I an apostate to the Catholic religion when I became a JW at age 13? ...thanks Mom.
I was baptized served with distinction then left over the Blood issue and Armageddon..........DA myself at 23. I no longer believed what the Society taught...hell apparently the Society didn't believe it either or they wouldn't have changed so much of what they taught (I was in in the 1950's and mid 1960's).
So as I was an apostate to the Catholic Church first can you then be a 2nd time serial apostate? If so now many times can a person be officially called an apostate if they attend different churches? Are they searching for Jesus or does that sound like they are rejecting Jesus and the Father?
I don't reference scripture very often having little to no need for it.
But these are interesting as it defines who the apostate is:
Anything that is taught as a “man-pleaser” or to tickle the ears, must be considered apostasy for anything taken away from or added to the gospel makes it another gospel entirely and one that is altogether different and isn’t really a gospel at all (Gal 1:7).
That's a pretty good description of the belief system that has Evolved in the WT. They take things away in the gospel or add things.
The Society, and there handpicked Elders could easily be described as follows:
Paul would identify “such men [as] false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds” (2 Cor 11:13-15).