The Mark of the Beast Update: The Covid-19 Vaccine is not the Mark of the Beast

I received the following question: “When the false prophet attempts to brand every living person with his mark, how will he do that? The logistics are staggering! In the third world countries – especially with the incredible high birth rate that must be around 600,000 a year with little to know documentation on these births – it seems impossible. The production of 6 billion devices to implant in every human seems next to impossible. Implanting or tattooing something on 6 billion people seems impossible also. Doesn’t the mark have to be a spiritual…a confession…a cultural thing”?

Reply: The Scriptures in question can be found in Rev. 13:16-17. And he causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark on their right hand, or on their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

First, it should be pointed out that it is not the mark of the false prophet, even though he does initiate it through the living image as can be seen by reading verses 15-16, but rather it is the “mark of the beast” called the anti-Christ.

The false prophet’s mission is to direct worship to the anti-Christ, not himself. Also, he derives all his authority from the beastly anti-Christ. This can be verified by reading verses 3, 4, 8, 12, and 14-17 in Rev.13.

The conclusive proof text can be found in Rev. 19:20, where the mark of the beastly anti- Christ and his image are described as separate from the false prophet. The mark is clearly associated with the first beast of Rev. 13, in Rev. 19:20.

Concerning the mark itself, for it to be only symbolic, instead of a literal mark, would be superfluous to the text. The mark must be visible in order for it to accomplish its intended purpose of identifying and controlling the purchasing and selling of the world’s populace.

This is proven by the Greek word “charagma” used throughout Revelation in reference to this mark. The word literally means an “engraving or etching.” A tongue-in-cheek “Heil anti-Christ” will accomplish very little towards fulfilling the goal of Satan, the Beast, and the False Prophet, for obtaining tangible global control.

Lastly, in regard to how it will be accomplished, I must admit I have been reluctant to endorse the new implants as the mark, but have shared and followed the developments in this area because it shows the prophesied course of marking and tracking individuals in these last days.

I have not discounted it’s usage in the future world of the anti-Christ under special circumstances. My reservation about the implant fulfilling the global role of the mark arises in four areas: time, cost, aversion, and language.

First of as pointed out in the question, The logistics of preparing billions of syringes with implants and then injecting the world population would distract greatly from the little time the anti-Christ will have to pursue this venture during the final three and one half years of the Great Tribulation.

We must also consider all of the apocalyptic distractions he will be dealing with.

Secondly, it was reported in the 1988 ‘American Medical News’ that The total cost of an implant under the skin for just one individual was several hundred dollars. Even though we can assume the cost has been reduced, we can still foresee an astronomical expenditure for such an undertaking.

Thirdly, is the tremendous aversion many people have to hypodermic needles although we are sure that having one’s head cut off will serve as a powerful inducement For people to overcome this phobia (Rev. 20:4).

Then lastly, the literal Greek word for “where” the “mark” is to be placed is the word “epi” which is our word “upon.” The implants are designed to be implanted under the skin while the mark is to go “upon” the right hand or “upon“ the forehead. An implant just under the skin in the forehead against the bone would seem vastly unacceptable and a cumbersome undertaking.

So how then might this mark be administered?

It should be noted that a quarter of the earth’s approximately 6 billion people will be killed before the mark is instituted according to Rev.6:8. This fact, along with the removal of the Christians at the Rapture, will produce a significant reduction in the global population. The total population will continue to be dramatically eradicated after the anti-Christ begins his marking campaign. The remaining population can be efficiently and swiftly marked upon the skin with laser tattoos in an extremely economical manner.

An ideal identification mark has already been developed. Keep in mind that this information, as of 2001, I am about to share concerns a technology developed and put in use over 25 years ago.

The following is quoted from an interview from ‘God’s Latter Rain,’ in May of 1976, with the developer of permanent freeze and laser beam marking. His name is Keith Farrell. He was engaged by the United States Department of Agriculture to teach and study at Washington Stoats University in Pullman, Washington. He was a researcher and lecturer on Physiology – Pharmacology at the college of Veterinary Medicine and his dream was for “Universal Animal Identification.” The article titled the ‘Mark’ is Ready, opens with statements:

“Can you imagine 6,000 dairy cattle being marked each week with computer compatible symbols that can be detected by an electric scanner and fed into a computer…Can you fashion in mind a completely unalterable mark that would be capable of individually identifying every animal in the world with the idea that these marks should be a permanent part of the animals…Can you visualize the capability of a ruby red laser marking at machine gun speeds, every fish from every hatchery throughout the world, with a different mark for every hatchery; and therefore revolutionize the fishing industry? Technology is presently available to achieve this.” Dr Farrell stated, “If we could individualize the animal, we could easily have one overall computer program…This would then make the identification of a particular animal available within seven seconds to any law enforcement officer in the United States and Canada as well…I am assured techniques could be forthcoming to establish programs of individual identification of people.”

Not only does this satisfy the language of Rev. 13:16, that requires the mark to be upon the skin, but also another interesting point of the Greek language. The words “to receive a mark” in verse 16, according to Greek Scholar A. T. Robertson, literally means “that they give themselves a mark.”

It could realistically be understood in our day of Automatic Teller machines and laser technology how little supervised laser tattoo terminals could be globally distributed and made available 24 hours a day.

If you do not have a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ we cannot emphasize strongly enough that today is the day to repent ( have a change of mind) and put your faith in the atoning blood sacrifice of the Risen Lord Jesus Christ. The Word of God is everlasting life for those that believe in His Son.

Former Muslim, J. B. Mokhriby

Update: The Covid19 Vaccine is Not the Mark of the Beast

Rev. 13:16,17 KJV – “And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”

Rev. 14:9 KJV – “And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, they, too, will drink the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath.”

Rev. 20:4 KJV – “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.”

Translation Error in the King James Bible
Revelation 13:16, 14:9 and 20:4 contain a serious translation error which will hinder the identification of the Mark of the Beast. Instead of “to receive a mark ‘in’ their right hand, or ‘in’ their foreheads,” as found in the KJV, the correct translation of the Greek word “epi” in all verses is “on” their right hand and “on” their foreheads. In Rev. 20:4 “epi” is correctly translated as “upon” their foreheads but the same Greek word is mistranslated “in” their hands, thereby sowing confusion about this most important matter.

These translation errors will cause many Christians to be deceived, believing that the Mark of the Beast is a vaccine with a microchip implanted “in” the hand or forehead, rather than a tattoo or brand received “on” the hand or forehead. The Greek word for “mark” in these verses is charagma which is a “brand, scratch or etching, i.e. stamp (as a badge of servitude) -graven, mark.” (Strong’s 4480) Therefore, the mark of the beast will be a brand or tattoo, which will be a badge of servitude to the anti-Christ.

Understanding the Mark of the Beast Deception
It is of extreme importance to understand that the Mark of the Beast will be a brand/tattoo ON the hand or forehead and not a vaccine with a computer chip IN the hand or forehead. The vaccine microchip deception is today being advanced world-wide by the secular media and by many false teachers. Once it’s widely accepted that the vaccine with a computer chip is the Mark of the Beast, the Antichrist will be able to deceive those left behind after the Rapture of the Church to take the true Mark of the Beast.

In their study on the Book of Revelation, leaders within the King James Only movement make no mention that the Mark of the Beast will be a brand/tattoo, nor do they mention the translation errors in Revelation 13:16, 14:9 and 20:4. Instead, they hint that the Mark of the Beast may be a vaccine with a computer chip by stating that the end times Satanic system may involve “computer chips under the skin, and the use of DNA readers.

Christians need to heed God’s Word and pray for wisdom and discernment since the Bible warns that many ministers are agents of Satan.

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The Third Wave – New Apostolic Reformation & The Hebrew Roots Movement

Leaders within the apostate church refer to “reaching the West for a third time” using the ancient pagan British Apostolic Celtic Church’s missionary model as the “third wave.” The “first wave” the evangelization by this early pagan church with its Eastern-influenced spirituality, led by [Celtic Saints] Patrick and Columba. The “second wave” began in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries with Jonathan Edwards, John Wesley and George Whitefield being the principle figures of this movement, which became known as the Great Awakening in the American colonies and the Evangelic Revival in the British Isles. The “third wave” of Celtic spirituality gained further prominence around the world in 1906 with the Azusa Street Revival. British Israel believer Charles Fox Parham, Father of Pentecostalism, played a central role. Then starting in the late 60’s and early 70’s Celtic spirituality gained further influence around the world with the emergence of the Jesus Movement, followed by the New Age Movement (repackaged Celtic spirituality), the Hebraic Roots Movement and the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR.) There is little doubt that these movements were founded to usher in the anti-Christ, the one world religion and the Oral Babylonian Noahide Laws. It is also possible the NAR will spearhead a second apostate counter-culture Jesus Movement in the future. See Apostasy Called Revival- The Rise of Celtic Spirituality/The Emergent Church

Notably, confessed CIA Operative working in “christian” circles Pat Matrisciana, admitted that he was assigned by the “Agency” to Berkeley, California as early as 1965 in order to facilitate social change through the hippie movement and later, “Jesus freaks” movement. Matrisciana claimed to have created the “Jesus Freaks.” http://poweredbychrist.homestead.com/files/clinton1/cia/matrisciana.htm

Today, many are caught in the deception of the Celtic Church’s “five-fold-ministry” approach, which replaced Jesus Christ with their own false apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers, who then serve as the people’s lords. These false teachers “…appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.” Matthew 23:27-28.

New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) by Berean Research

“The New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) is a dominionist movement which asserts that God is restoring the lost offices of church governance, namely the offices of Prophet and Apostle.

Leading figures in this seemingly loosely organized movement claim that these prophets and apostles alone have the power and authority to execute God’s plans and purposes on earth. They believe they are laying the foundation for a global church, governed by them.

They place a greater emphasis on dreams, visions and extra-biblical revelation than they do on the Bible, claiming that their revealed teachings and reported experiences (e.g. trips to heaven, face-to-face conversations with Jesus, visits by angels) can not be proven by the ‘old’ Scripture. (Source)

…NAR, the New Apostolic Reformation. … It is like Grape Nuts – it’s not grapes and it’s not nuts. It’s like Christian Science – it’s not Christian and it’s not scientific. Well, the New Apostolic Reformation isn’t new, it isn’t apostolic, and it isn’t a reformation. But it is a rapidly expanding movement being generated by some of the same old troubling false teachers and false leaders that have been around in Charismania for decades, always dishonoring the Holy Spirit, always dishonoring the Scripture, always claiming miracle signs, wonders, visions, dreams.

Fast Facts:

Also known as Dominionism, Third Wave, Latter Rain, Kingdom Now, Joel’s Army, Manifest Sons of God, Charismatic Renewal, Charismania.
Its founder was C. Peter Wagner who claims that the Church of the 21st Century will be ruled by Apostles and Prophets. Wagner has anointed himself NAR’s “Presiding Apostle.”
Linked with the Kansas City Prophets “who brought grandiose claims that a ‘new breed’ of super prophets were beginning to arrive on planet earth who would change the world forever”; likewise Word Faith and Pentecostal movements.
Not governed by an official denomination, it is led by alleged apostles and prophets.
Teaches that the new apostles and prophets are to be the government for the emerging “New Order” church.
Claims there will be a reformation greater in scale than the Protestant Reformation.
Claim direct revelation from God and many allege that Jesus and angels visit them in person. Some of them declare that they have visited heaven many times and had conversations with Jesus as well as the Prophets and Apostles.
NAR’s extensive mission outreach throughout the globe has caused the astonishing church growth that’s happening in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
Denigration of the Bible and Sola Scriptura.
Experience oriented theology and based in emotionalism.
Steeped in mysticism.
Common Traits

Here are 6 traits, beliefs, and some of the common lingo used by adherents:

  1. “APOSTLES”

We’re in a “Second Apostolic Age.” There are new Apostles are on the earth today, anointed by the laying of hands to represent and speak for God here on Earth. These “Super Apostles” are equal to the original Apostles – the ones who witnessed Jesus’ life, death and resurrection and were appointed by Christ Himself to the office. Since these new apostles are commissioned by God, their authority may not be questioned.

  1. “KINGDOM”

Rather than preach the Gospel of the cross, Apostolic leaders are working to bring the Gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven to Earth. They do this by taking dominion of earthly kingdoms or “mountains” of government, media, entertainment, education, business, family, and religion. Leaders often talk of city building and organize prayer walks to pray against demonic strongholds. They often speak of being mission-focused rather than being Christ-centered.

  1. “DESTINY” “PRESENCE” “GLORY”

Though members are not always charismatic, they frequently emphasize a manifestation of “Glory” and “God’s presence,” and often have a special anointing to receive direct revelation from God, perform healings and other signs and wonders. They teach that our purpose is to achieve our dream destiny so that we can change the world.

  1. “REVIVAL”

Revival on a massive scale is key in this movement. There is a strong emphasis on an “end times harvest” through a great awakening that we can usher in. Often these revivals are held in stadiums and reach millions around the world via live stream technology; they are marketed and produced like rock concerts. All scripture verses about an end times falling away are ignored, and get replaced with hyped-up claims about the Next Big Thing that’s always just around the corner.

  1. “UNITY”

Unity (at the expense of biblical doctrine) is almost always used as both the how and the why in this movement. Unity for the sake of bringing Heaven to Earth is leading to the blurring of doctrinal and denominational lines, often bringing together well-known leaders of charismatic, reformed, Word of Faith, seeker-emergent, progressive and Roman Catholics churches, all under one umbrella.

Finally, NAR churches almost always abandon a major tenets of Christian faith:

  1. NAR DENIES THE SUFFICIENCY OF SCRIPTURE.

NAR adherents may believe in the inerrancy and authority of the Bible, but God’s breathed-out Word is just not enough for them. Jesus’ sacrificial death for our sins is not good enough; the promise of eternal life in Heaven is not good enough.

Leaders:

The founder of the New Apostolic Reformation is church growth specialist C. Peter Wagner. Wagner served as Professor of Church Growth at the Fuller Theological Seminary’s School of World Missions until his retirement. Until recently he was president of Global Harvest Ministries and is currently Chancellor emeritus of the Wagner Leadership Institute. Prominent member of the International Council of Apostles Chuck Pierce was his successor.

“Apostles” and “Prophets” and others intrenched in the NAR cult:

Peter Wagner
Chuck Pierce
Bob Jones
Paul Cain
Cindy Jacobs,
Mike Bickle (International House of Prayer –IHOP)
Rick Joyner
Bill Johnson (Bethel Church, Redding CA)
Todd Bentley
Lou Engle
Brian & Bobbie Houston (Hillsong Church)
Becky Fischer
Brian Simmons
Steve Shultz (The Elijah List)
Rod Parsley
More…

John Kelly, Bill Haman, Cindy Jacobs, Dutch Sheets, James Goll, John Eckhardt, Jim Laffoon, Jack Deere, Johnny Enlow, Barbara Yoder, Charles Kraft, Bob Beckett, Che Ahn, Naomi Dowdy, Mary Crum, Jack Hayford, John Arnott, Stacy Campbell, Patricia King, Phil Pringle, Yonggi Cho, Beni Johnson, Jen Johnson, Kris Vallotton, Carl Lentz, David Barton, Steven Strang, Robert Stern, Stephen Strader, George Otis, Ed Silvoso, Janet Porter, George Barna, Mary Glazier, Thomas Muthee, Tom Hess, Samuel Rodriguez, Eddie Smith, Lance Wallnau, Loren Cunningham, Bob Beckett, Os Hillman, Jacqueline del Rosario, Jill Griffith, Francis Oda, Graham Power, Francis Frangipagne, Wendy Alec, Amanda Wells, Katherine Ruonala, Lana Vawser, Kong Hee & Sun Ho, Theo Wolmarans, Jennifer LeClaire, Ben Fitzgerald, Shawn & Stacie Bolz, Michael Koulianos & Jessica Hinn Koulianos and many others.”

The following is a lengthy false prophecy obtained from Open Church Ministries` Colorado Springs office in February 1998. Interestingly, this “prophecy” was “heard” in 1986, seven years before The Hebrew Movement emerged in 1993.

“THE HEBREW MOVEMENT
Open Church Ministries
Dean Cozzens
Colorado Springs
December 3, 1997

God’s goal for the Body of Christ is to move closer toward Himself, so that we might become one with Him. We need to become more like Him, that we might be more prepared to be with Him. If we are to be His people, we must assume His character, and take on His identity. We are to be His people, living in His ways.

On Sunday morning, April 13, 1986, I heard the following prophecy:

At the beginning of the twentieth century, when God looked down from heaven at the church, what He saw looked like a giant 747 airliner, but with no engines.
He then set out to attach four giant engines of faith and power to the body of the plane, so that the church would have the power to come to Him where He is, up in the realms of glory.

Each of these four engines represents one of the four major moves of God’s Spirit ordained for this century: 1) The Pentecostal Movement, 2) The Faith-Healing Movement, 3) The Charismatic Movement, and 4) The Hebrew Movement. All four are sovereignly ordained of God and coordinate and interrelate in His mind. Each successive move builds upon the last, but each has its own distinctives. None are perfect, but they all have something from God to contribute to His plan. The prophecy said that God was now beginning to attach the fourth and final “engine” –the Hebrew Movement.

Though many of the right doctrines have been in place in the Body of Christ, from all the past moves of God’s restoration through history, much is still missing, which God wants to restore.

This fourth movement is to be called “The Hebrew Movement.” This movement will to some degree encompass and influence the entire body of Christ, adding depth, and leading us into greater unity at last, not just with one another, but with God and with His Word.

This fourth mayor move of the Holy Spirit in this century will be every bit as powerful as the previous three, and will bring this final work of God to completion in a final, unified, four-fold thrust of power and glory; it will take us all into the heavenlies to be with Him where He is.

The three previous engines of His power, which he has previously attached in His divine order, until now He has been only gently “revving” as if just testing them awaiting a more opportune time. When the plane is more properly aligned, down the centerline of His will, He can then give full throttle to take us all to glory and thus display Himself and His approval most fully among us.

What has come before may one day look very minor in comparison to what will occur on the earth when all four engines are finally given full throttle by His wonderful hand of command. When this happens, our great ship will quickly lumber down the runway and off to glory. On that great day, once the command to go is given, there will be no letting up until we finally leave these bonds of carnal flesh. Then God’s Awesome power will fill us all with the same awesome glory which is His eternally wonderful presence. On that great day, every gift of the Spirit will be operating in great release, and the Lord will be revealed in all of His fullness. We will then be like Him, full of His power and glory, for we shall see Him as He truly is, unveiled for all to see. Oh what wonder and majesty that will be!

But before the plane can be given full throttle, it must first make a critical turn in its thinking to line itself up with God’s holy runway. The critical turn in thinking is the shift away from the Greek corruptions of the past and back toward the centerline of the God-ordained Hebrew runway, down which Jesus Himself came and landed perfectly. Jesus Himself was the airship, and the terminal where He had been loading since His first coming has been the world into which He has come.

The runway then was all the revelation of God Himself had been preparing for centuries before the coming of Christ. This revelation then, through prophets of old, from Adam through Malachi, was the runway. There it had been, for hundreds of years, and through several generations, carefully laid down, by God in preparation for the coming of His only Son to planet earth. It had been readied by the Father, for Jesus to land on, for as it says, “in the fullness of time” God sent forth His Son. The runway then is all the Old Testament, i.e. all of the Old Testament Hebrew truth and revelation, and much of the Hebrew culture and custom that came with it.

Since then, His great body has been parked at the terminal of the world loading with passengers to go at His prompting, back to glory. It is even now nearly full, and is filling rapidly. It is nearly ready to depart. When that great door finally closes, and the plane pulls away, Jesus the pilot will rev those engines to get us from the terminal to the runway’s edge, where we will sit, with engines idling, giving Him time to test the controls, and to make sure that all is ready.

Then Jesus, smiling I’m sure, when He is ready, and with the clearance from God the Father in the control tower, will release the brakes, and rev the engines once more. This time, all four engines will surge to life and contribute their parts, all in unison. This will move the ship out onto the runway with ease.

Then, before the plane goes too far ahead, and at just the right time, Jesus will turn the ship the 90 degrees that is needed to aim us directly down the runway! Then we will be ready to go! Then and only then will conditions be right for full power. That point will be when our ship is directly in line with all that God has laid down before us, in the Hebrew Bible that we call the Old Testament.

The point is, that before all four engines can safely be powered up to their maximum to lift us up into Christ’s presence, we must more perfectly align ourselves with the God of the Bible, with Who God really is! Since God revealed Himself through the Old Testament, which Jesus perfectly fleshed out for us to see in visible form, that’s where we’ll have to look, and that’s what the Hebrew Movement is all about.

Where are we now? My personal opinion is that in church history at this point, we’ve managed to get taxied back out to the runway. I think that our plane has taxied about as far as it can on the taxiway of Greek thinking. If we go much further, we’ll run off the other side of the runway into the ditch.

I believe that right now, God is saying, “Turn and align your thinking more perfectly down My revealed runway of Hebrew thought, the thoughts I revealed through the Hebrew people, and let’s get ready to go to Glory!” We must meet God on His terms, not ours.

We’ll leave on the same runway Jesus landed on–Old Testament Hebrew revelations and prophecies, and Hebrew ways of thinking and living. That’s who God revealed Himself to be, and Who Jesus also showed Himself to be when He lived here on this planet in the flesh.

Many errors were incorporated into the early church in order to please and accommodate the Greek culture, and to escape anti-Hebrew persecutions from the Romans. these early corruptions are what we mean by the Hebrew-to-Greek shift. The correction of this past mistake is the turning of that great airliner in what is called the Greek-to-Hebrew shift, or the Hebrew Movement. It is what God now expects from us before He more fully empowers us, and thrusts us into His glory. It’s what we need to do to make Him more comfortable about openly identified Himself with us in His full approval of glory and power.

Perhaps this is what Jesus was talking about in Matthew 5 when He said, “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets: I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill [to bring fuller expression and clarity]. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass away from the Law, until all is accomplished. Whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you, that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matt. 5:17-20.

It’s almost as if Jesus were predicting, though certainly not approving what eventually did happen in the church when it left its Hebrew roots. He may have even been predicting the very Hebrew movement which will now wrap up the church age. This verse says that unless we connect the move of the Spirit which Jesus brought, with the Hebrew which He Himself was walking in, then we as the church, and as individuals will not be ready for lift-off into the kingdom of heaven. We have to align with Him.

The church has now come full circle. All that has gone before, from the Reformation until this very minute, has been God’s cautious and persistent work to get us back to the fuller understanding of Who Jesus was. It is now time for the fuller revelation of Who God and Jesus really are. He is saying “I want you connected to the Old Testament root, but in fulness and the power of the Holy Spirit, so that you can keep the Law as I kept it, in the same Spirit in which it was given, in redemptive love and power.” We must move back to the centerline of God’s truth, but with the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Signed Dean Cozzens

In this so-called “prophecy,” Dean Cozzens, reveals that which “God” showed him in the future. The three major apostate movements of this century: The Pentecostal Movement, The Faith-Healing Movement, The Charismatic Movement, and then Cozzens sums up the “final engine”, the fourth movement, as being The Hebrew Roots Movement! It seems that the spirits who are deceiving this man have given him knowledge of the present move of ushering in the one world religion under the Oral Babylonian Talmud Noahide Laws, in which he sees as “encompass[ing]” and “influenc-[ing]” the entire Body of Christ, which will bring more “unity”. This is a “major move” the fake prophecy says.

The Book of Hebrews clearly refutes Dean Cozzen’s “prophecy.”

The Book of Hebrews reveal that there can be no turning back to or continuation in the old Jewish system, which has been superseded by the unique priesthood of Jesus Christ. God’s people must now look only to him, whose atoning death, resurrection and ascension have opened the way into the true, heavenly sanctuary of God’s presence. To “ignore such a great salvation” (2:3) or to give up the pursuit of holiness (12:10,14) is to face the anger of the “living God” (10:31).

In an Open Church Ministries` promotional, Jim Rutz, President of OCM wrote:

“If you want to be Jewish, but didn’t know how to go about it, here’s
good news. Without eating bagels, or keeping kosher or having a Yiddish mama, you can gain most of the benefits of being a descendant of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob…you know that bunch…”
How To Be Jewish in 5 Easy Days. p.p. 7,8, November 11, 1997

“that bunch” reveals the disrespect the heretics at OCM have for the Biblical patriarchs, Jesus Christ’s finished work on the cross for the salvation of both Jews and Gentiles and God’s plan for the only covenant nation, Israel. See Deception in the Church

In a world full of treachery, lies and deceit it is comforting to meditate on Jesus Christ’s answer to Pilate’s question, “What is truth?” Jesus gave the solution to Pilate’s question in fact before the words even came out of the Roman leader’s mouth. Pilate just refused to hear what Jesus told him. Quoting from John 18:37, “For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” All who hearken to Christ’s Words will be led to the truth of Life and will receive His promise of salvation and deliverance from the wrath which is soon to come. If you do not have a personal relationship with the Living Lord Jesus Christ, repent (have a change of mind) and put your complete faith in ‘the Way, the Truth and the Life,” who paid for the sins of the world by His atoning blood sacrifice when He was pierced upon the cross – the Risen Lord Jesus Christ (John 14:6).

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The Rapture – Home By Revelation Chapter 6

As the world drifts relentlessly towards the major war in the Middle East prophesied of in Psalm 83, Christians should be lifting their eyes upward towards heaven with ever-greater expectation of the day of their home going. Before the anti-Christ appears on the world scene to establish a temporary peace from out of this war, the Church will be safe in the fragrant pastures of God and gathering on the banks of the River of Life.

Verses 1-2 of Chapter 6 of the Bible Book of Revelation reveals God’s appointed moment in time when the final 7 years of God’s judgment upon the earth begins. We are shown that this is the precise moment in time when Jesus Christ unveils the identity of the anti-Christ. Details as to what takes place once the anti-Christ is revealed as a royal conqueror are shared elsewhere in Scripture.

Verses 20-27 of Chapter 9 of the Old Testament Book of Daniel prophesies by the angel Gabriel that 70 increments of 7 years must be completed with the people of Israel before God seals up vision and prophecy and anoints the Most Holy.

Sixty-nine of the 7 year periods were to be completed before the Messiah was to be executed. This time designation of 483 years total has been precisely fulfilled as was prophesied prior to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

The remaining 7 years yet to be fulfilled are to take place at the conclusion of the age immediately before the return of Jesus Christ.

The pivotal prophetic sign given by God through Gabriel, which is to mark the start of the final 7 years, is to be the establishment of a 7-year covenant in Israel by a princely ruler. He is prophesied to come forth from the people who would be responsible for destroying Jerusalem and the Temple of God. This prophecy was fulfilled to the letter by the Roman Empire in 70 A.D. Unbelievably there are recognized Bible prophecy teachers who claim, in spite of the explicit prophecy of Dan. 9:26-27, that there are no observable signs that identify the starting point of the final 7 years!

Since God’s word prophesies that a specific event will take place at the precise starting point of the final 7 years, we need to examine the argument against this event being a relevant sign which can be relied upon to recognize that the final 7-year countdown has commenced. It is beyond us to postulate some other reason as to God’s intention for sharing this information.

If not the obvious intention of identifying the anti-Christ at the very start of Daniel’s final 7 years, then what conceivably could God be attempting to make known to mankind with this detailed revelation?

What other possible purpose could the Lord have for conveying this detailed information regarding the confirming of the final week of 7 years by a covenant with Israel?

Are we to believe God shared this vital prophetic revelation with the intention to conceal its fulfillment when it comes to pass?

What then is the purpose of such an intricate prophecy from God if He wills for it to be unrecognizable when it is fulfilled?

We have yet to hear an acceptable explanation as to why the confirming of the final week of years covenant by the anti-Christ will be kept a secretly fulfilled prophecy by God, so we cannot offer a cross-examination.

We rather accept that just as a precise sign of a decree was given, fulfilled and recognized for the initiating of the original 69 sets of 7 years for Israel in Daniel 9:25-26, so too will the precise sign revealing the start of the final 7 years be recognized with the unveiling of the anti-Christ by his strengthening of a 7 year covenant with Israel.

It would be inconsistent for a believer to think otherwise. This sign is essential for the recognition by Israel that the very close of the age is upon them and for the Church to recognize the farthest point in time possible for her to remain on the earth before her Rapture up to Heaven.

Returning to our opening Scriptures of Revelation 6:1-2, which corresponds with the initial revealing of the anti-Christ at the start of the final week of years cited in Daniel 9:27 we read, “Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, “Come and see.” And I looked, and behold, a white horse. And he who sat on it had a bow; And a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.”

This man wearing a crown is sent out by Jesus Christ at the outset of ever increasing judgments. He has a bow, but no arrows which reveals to us that he is a warrior who initially makes his conquest beyond the need of weapons. We read of him in Daniel 11:21, “…he shall come in peaceably, and seize the kingdom by intrigue.”

Before this man is revealed to the world in Chapter 6 of the Book of Revelation the Church will be removed to Heaven by Christ at the event known to many as the Rapture, which is prophesied of in such passages as I Thessalonians 4:15-18. “For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.”

It should serve as great encouragement to believers that 8 examples can be cited by the Scriptures leading up to Revelation 6:2 which effectively demonstrate that the Church will be home in Heaven before the Lord unveils the Anti-Christ.

Our first example is that the Church is mentioned in the Book of Revelation 19 times before the anti-Christ is sent forth by Jesus in Chapter 6. The Church is never mentioned again in Revelation throughout the entire period of the ensuing 7 years of judgments upon the earth.

It is noteworthy that the last mention of the Church before the time of tribulation begins is in the final verse of Revelation Chapter 3, and that the first verse of Revelation Chapter 4 gives a powerful demonstration of the Rapture of the Church with the Apostle John being caught up to Heaven. We quote, “After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.”

This brings us to our second point. Notice in the verse just quoted that not just once, but twice reference is made to “after these things” and “after this.”

The question begging to be answered is, “After what things?” To obtain the exciting answer one only needs to read the preceding chapters leading up to verse 1 of Chapter 4. There, as we have been sharing, we find the portion of the Book of Revelation which deals exclusively with the Church of Jesus Christ. Revelation 4:1 clearly reveals that after the dealings of God with the Church on earth something new is to take place. Further dialogue concerning the Church’s earthly dealings had come to an abrupt and final end at the last verse of Rev. Chapter 3.

The follow up question must then be asked, “How come?”

Our third evidence that the Rapture has taken place by Chapter 6 of Revelation deals with this question and is found in verses 4 & 10 of Rev. Chapter 4. Here we are shown 24 elders wearing crowns. Angels are never shown in the Scriptures wearing crowns so these individuals could only be believers residing in heaven.

Solid evidence to support that these are glorified members of the Raptured Church and not just spirits of the dead is also made known to us by the fact that they have been given these crowns. By the Word of God found in II Tim. 4:8 & I Pet. 5:4 we know without question that the reward of crowns are not given until the day of the Lord’s appearing. The day that the Lord Jesus Christ appears to His resurrected and glorified living saints is on the blessed day of the Rapture (see I Thess. 4:15-17). Therefore the individuals seen in Heaven with crowns could only have received their crowns after the Church had been Raptured.

Our fourth piece of scriptural evidence proving that the Church is in Heaven by Rev. Ch. 6 is found in Rev. 5:9. Here we are shown a vast company of people from out of every tribe, tongue and nation praising the Savior for redeeming them with His blood. This takes place before the first seal of the Tribulation Period is opened in Rev. Ch. 6. It can only be the Raptured Church voicing this gratitude at that time. Angels are not redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ.

In addition, in verse 10 we are told that they are appointed as kings and priests who will reign upon the earth. We are shown in I Pet. 2:9 that this royal priesthood of God is none other than the Church of Jesus Christ.

Our fifth scriptural evidence of the Church being home by Ch. 6 is found in Rev. 5:13 where we are privileged to view when all of the creatures of the earth, sea and heaven rejoice with glorious praise for some unprecedented event which has taken place.

According to Rom. 8:18-23, creation will not rejoice in such a manner until “the revealing of the sons of God.” Rom. 8:23 makes clear that the revealing of the sons of God does not take place until the time of the redemption of the bodies of the saints at the Rapture. Creation rejoices because with this glorification of the saints it has collectively witnessed the promised evidence that its own redemption will soon follow, as was prophesied in Romans 8.

Our 6th point of credible evidence, which supports that the Church is home by the time the anti-Christ is sent forth in Revelation 6, is derived from the fact that the phrase “he who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” is repeated 7 times in Chapters 2 & 3 of the Book of Revelation. This admonition from the Holy Spirit of God takes place immediately before Revelation 4:1 addresses the ““things which must take place ‘after this ‘.”

The only time ‘AFTER THIS’ that we find a special admonition for listeners to diligently hearken to what has been said is found in Revelation 13:9 during the Tribulation Period. What is of such great significance concerning this fact, is that even though it is at this time when the anti-Christ is given authority to overcome those who have become believers during the Tribulation Period, the Church is NOT addressed in this special call to pay attention to what is being said. The Tribulation period Scripture only reads, “If anyone has an ear, let him hear.” That’s it!

If at anytime in history the Church needed a comforting message from the Spirit of God it would be at this time (that is if she were still on the earth, but she is not). Therefore no call is made to her from the Spirit. To dismiss the powerful implication of God not comforting His Church at this time would reveal an unwarranted bias against expositional revelation

This brings us to our 7th point, which is a companion word of comfort given to the Church. We speak now of the corporate identity of believers represented by the Philadelphian Church in Rev. 3:7-13.

The particular assemblage of Church members being addressed in this crucial dispensational passage are without question faithful believers at the close of the age. This we know with certainty by Rev. 3:10 which reads, ““because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.”

There is no other time period of global testing prophesied of in the Scriptures for this present Church Age then during the Tribulation Period. From its very start, when the anti-Christ is unleashed, we are told in II Thess. 2:11, God will send upon the earth “strong delusion.” God’s promise to the faithful Philadelphian believers is that He will keep them from this hour of trial which is to come upon the whole world.

In the Greek language the precise meaning of keeping them from this test, is to keep them… “out of and away from” this trial. The faithful Church is not just sheltered from this global trial according to the literal translation, but are in actuality removed from the scene. Heaven is the perfect, and in fact the only place adequate to accomplish this blessed isolation, and the Rapture is the only way to go.

Our 8th and final point for this message (regarding the Church being home by Rev. 6) concerns the strong delusion God is to send upon the whole world at the beginning of the Tribulation Period when Christ sends forth the man of sin known as anti-Christ. The Church MUST be gone by this point in time because II Thess. 2:11-12 tells us that at that time, “…God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

A dramatic turning point in God’s manner of reaching out to unbelievers has been reached at this juncture. Those who have rejected the truth of salvation in Christ alone in the past are suddenly given a persuasive lie from GOD as an alternative! This shows once again that the Church has completed her God-given mandate to reach mankind with the Gospel of Truth (Mark 16:15-16).

At that time God will offer a lie in place of the truth to a Christ rejecting world. If the Church were still on the earth at that time attempting to accomplish its mission of truth, then it would find itself working at odds against God’s presentation of the “strong delusion”. Truth will still be available during the Tribulation. The Spirit filled Church will no longer be the vessel God will use to deliver His once abundant Words of Life. Israel will be given this burdensome task during this unparalleled time of adversity. If the Spirit filled Church were still here on the earth, it would find itself in the most unusual situation of attempting to fulfill it’s God ordained mandate in the face of a delusion sent by God.

This would be in conflict with the words of Jesus Christ found in Mark 3:24-25, “If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” The Church, unlike Israel, is at one with Christ in body and Spirit.

God’s alternate message for the seekers of delusion is to be sent forth in the embodiment of the anti-Christ. The truth-rejecting world will turn to him as their king and inspiration for their devilish desires.

The Holy Spirit indwelt Church will no longer be found upon the earth to hinder his appearing in all the fullness of his darkness. God will grant him a vast and open field for his gathering of defiant lost souls (see II Thess. 2:7-12).

The days of the anti-Christ are near and unshakable prophets of Israel will soon once again thunder with the Might of God in the face of a world given over to evil. But first the Church must be home by 6, and then the night will fall.

With this final thought we are reminded throughout the Bible that God has a plan to bring to a conclusion the reign of Satan and man over the earth after 6 thousand years. That time, by all estimates and calculations is at hand.

Do not miss the chance of eternity and be forgiven of all of your sins. This very moment anyone can be counted among the blessed assembly of believers that make up the Church of Jesus Christ. The blood of the Lord of Glory ran scarlet, but its power to cleanse one of sin leaves the forgiven before God, whiter than the purest snow.

This moment you can stand before God as a perfect vessel of His holiness by repenting (having a change of mind) and believing in His only begotten Son Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.

If you are still here after the Rapture because of procrastination, doubt or rebellion, then without delay cry out to Jesus Christ and be saved. The road awaiting will be hard, but keep the faith, for it will surely lead you into your Father’s arms. You don’t want to come home after 6, but still in the final hope, it is better to be late for supper than to never be fed at all, “Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’ And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God” (Rev. 19:9).

Those who reject this Holy invitation are in the gravest danger of being drawn away by their own lusts to accept the desirable lie. The eternal Creator of all things promises in Isa. 66:3-4, “…just as they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delights in their abominations, “so will I choose their delusions, and bring their fears on them; because, when I called, no one answered, when I spoke they did not hear, but they did evil before My eyes, and chose that in which I do not delight.”

Former Muslim, J. B. Mokhriby

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The Abomination Divides the Final Week

Daniel Chapter 9 prophesies in verses 24, 26 & 27 that 70 weeks of years (that is 490 years) are determined to finish the transgressions of the Jews before God and that midway through the final 7 years, a wicked ruler who is to come forth from the former Roman Empire will commit a desolating abomination.

This mid-week of years abomination is pivotal to our study.

There are some who teach that this abomination was committed back in Old Testament times or else that it took place during Christ’s first advent. It is also often taught that the first 3 ½ years of the final 7 years has already elapsed and that there are only 3 ½ remaining for this prophecy to be fulfilled.

The prophetic Scriptures refute these teachings. The Word of God reveals that the final week of 7 years waits intact and that the abomination which will be committed by the evil ruler is yet still in the future.

A key verse which needs to be kept in mind is Revelation 13:5 where we are told that the evil ruler will have a point of recognizable division in his authority. After he will have had a period of time to rule we are told that he will be granted an extension of time encompassing an additional 3 ½ years.

We quote, “And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months.”

This man who is commonly referred to as the anti-Christ does not just suddenly appear on the world scene with just 3 ½ years of time remaining. Daniel 9:27 confirms that he will have at least 3 ½ years prior to this point to make a name for himself when he strengthens a 7 year covenant with Israel. He then breaks the covenant for the final 3 ½ years.

Regarding the prophecy of the 70 sets of 7 years for Israel found in Dan. Ch. 9 of the Holy Bible we will be looking at aspects of these final 7 years. With the absolute certainty of the soon fulfillment of these fast approaching 7 years we will take a closer look at what God has revealed about this time of judgment.

In Dan. 9:26-27 we can see where a 7 year covenant will one day be strengthened by an influential leader who will come from one of the areas formerly controlled by the Roman Empire.

We then find that these 7 years will be divided midway by some revolting act committed by this newly recognized world leader. The Bible calls this contemptible act the “Abomination of Desolation.”

Jesus used this term in His detailed prophecy of the last days in Matthew 24:15. He made reference directly to the prophecy of the final 7 weeks found in Dan. 9:27, 11:31 & 12:11 when speaking of this trigger point which will close out the remaining 3 ½ years of this time of tribulation (Matt. 24:21.)

The prophecies in Daniel along with other prophetic passages reveal that the coming man of sin will take issue with the Jew’s worship of God and will cause the restored worship and sacrifices being offered at the rebuilt temple to cease.

The use of the word “abomination”, reveals to us that the anti-Christ goes beyond just stopping the activity at the Temple. The Scriptures reveal that he will also be responsible for the instituting of an idolatrous substitute to be worshipped. It is because of this abomination that overwhelming desolation will come.

The New Testament sheds even more light on what this wicked king intends to do. The revealing passage of endtime prophecy found in II Thess. 2:3-4 declares that when this son of Hell and ruin commandeers the soon to be built temple in Jerusalem, he will blasphemously exalt himself above all that is called God and will in a moment of insane evil claim himself to be God.

Turning to one of the more detailed prophecies concerning the appearance of the anti-Christ, we find greater insight regarding this moment of satanic self-exaltation when this beastly king demands to be worshipped.

In Ch. 13 of the Book of Revelation we are shown the following. Verse 1 tells us in conjunction with other prophecies that he will ultimately lead a 10-kingdom confederacy.

Verses 2-4 tell us that he will be tremendously commanding and that it is Satan who empowers him.

Verse 5 confirms to us that he will receive his full authority upon the earth during the final 3 ½ years of Daniel’s 70th week of years.

Verse 6 shows us once again that he will commit his blasphemy against God at this precise mid-point of the final 7 years.

Verse 7 reveals that the people, who had delayed in becoming saved by the blood of Jesus Christ and were left behind on the earth during this time after the Rapture, will face unrelenting horrible persecutions and will even be put to death.

Reading on in verses 11-13 of Rev. 13 we find that a miracle-working false prophet will be in alliance with the Anti-Christ.

Verses 14-18 then tell us that at the time of the anti-Christ’s blasphemy his false prophet will give life to an image. The Scriptures do not say that the false prophet is able to create life but rather that life will be imparted to the image. What abject horror this 21st century wizardry will unleash is beyond mortal comprehension. This image will stand in the Temple and will demand that the world not only worship the beastly king, but also that everyone be marked upon their right hand or forehead to show submission to a satanic religious/economic system. The penalty imposed by the new world order upon those failing to be absorbed into this system will be death by beheading or starvation

According to the Scriptures found in Rev. 14:9-13, God’s punishment for those taking this mark upon their body is immeasurably more to be feared. Their punishment by God’s Word will be eternal damnation.

We know that at the time that Jesus spoke the words recorded in Matt. 24 the “Abomination of Desolation” was a future event which was to take place at the close of the age just prior to His physical return to the earth.

This close of the age scenario for the “Abomination of Desolation” is also confirmed in Dan. Ch. 12, II Thess. Ch. 2 & Chapters 5-19 of the Book of Revelation.

It is without question by this fact alone that we know that the first 69 sets of 7 years prophesied of in Dan. 9 has a gap of time separating the 69th week of years from the final 7 years which will bring the total of Israel’s 70 weeks of years prophecy to its magnificent conclusion.

It must be remembered that the Jews are still in a serious dispute with God. We read in Hosea 5:14-15 that it is God who allows the Jewish people to suffer during their times of tribulation. We are told that it is because of some great offence which they have committed against God that these times of trials have been permitted. God tells them that He had been among them at one time and that He has returned to His place in Heaven until they acknowledge their offence and repent.

We now understand by Scriptures such as John 1:1, 14:6 & 23 & 15:6-23 that Israel’s offence was the rejection of God when He was manifest in the flesh of the Lord Jesus Christ.

This coming attempt by the Jews to approach God through Temple worship and sacrifices in the future are to God just an extension of their original offence when they rejected His Son.

The offering of sacrifices during the tribulation will be the equivalency of an ongoing act of defiance since God has already given the very life and blood of His own Son as the final act of atonement (see Heb. 7:22-28, 9:11-28 & 10:9-14 e.g.).

In Rev. Ch. 11 we are told that God will send two greatly anointed prophets to the Temple which will be standing in Jerusalem during the time of the Tribulation. Their ministry will require that they evaluate the altar in this rebuilt temple and those who are worshipping therein.

We know by the Scriptures discussed earlier that the sacrifices made at this altar and the temple worshippers will be given a failing grade by these two prophets since these actions will be measured only in the light of their acceptance of God’s Son.

According to Zech. 13:8-9, two-thirds of the Jews will perish due to this ongoing offense and Zech. 14:2,3,12 & 16 reveals that all the nations which God uses to punish Israel for her hardness will in turn be destroyed because of their own evil inclinations and unbelief.

It must never be forgotten that every person will be evaluated solely on their faith or rejection of Jesus Christ’s offer of forgiveness for their sins.

In the day of Israel’s redemption one-third of the Jews will understand the words of the Apostle Peter as is recorded for us in Acts 4:10-12, “Let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. This is the stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone. Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name given among men by which we must be saved.”

Former Muslim, J. B. Mokhriby

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The Rapture and the Second Coming

There is an ongoing debate among followers of Christ as to whether The “Rapture” will take place before, sometime during, or at the close of the final 7 years of the present age known as the Tribulation Period. Opposers of the Pre-Trib and Mid-Trib teachings object to these views because of their assertion that if the Lord should appear to believers before the Second Coming of Christ at the close of the Tribulation then that would constitute a third coming of Christ and therefore must be rejected.

They contend that even though the Rapture Scripture in I Thessalonians 4:17 reveals that Jesus Christ does not return to the earth as is prophesied for the Second Coming, but only appears to believers in the clouds, that that event would still, in their opinion, have to be classified as His Second Coming.

They further assert that the catching up to Heaven of living believers along with the resurrection of the faithful dead, cannot take place before what they believe will be the final and only appearance of Christ at the end of the Tribulation.

This Post-Trib position may seem a worthwhile consideration to some, but as will be shown the Word of God refutes its foundational premise.

If the appearing of Jesus Christ to believers is truly limited to just one more time as the Post-Trib argument states, then we should not be able to document from Scripture any other catching up of believers to the heavens, no resurrection of any of the believing dead to glory and no appearances of Christ to believers between the time of His ascension to Heaven in 33 A.D. Until His Second Coming with His saints at Armageddon. This as we shall see is not the case.

In Acts 7:55-56 one can read where Saint Stephen saw the Lord Jesus in the heavens immediately before he was stoned to death. With breathtaking comparison to the glorious day of the Rapture, Jesus manifested Himself to a believer who was about to depart from this world, yet He Himself did not return to the earth at that time.

Adherents to the Post-Trib Rapture teaching will search the Bible in vain for a Scripture which limits Christ from appearing in the heavens to believers before His return at Armageddon.

It is without merit to maintain that Christ’s appearing in the clouds at the Rapture in I Thess. 4:17 could only be His Second Coming.

The Scriptures further reveal that Jesus can even visit the earth prior to the Second Coming if He so desires.

In Revelation 1:9-18 the Apostle John tells us of just such a day when the Lord Jesus Christ appeared to him. Interestingly enough John even shares a comparable statement which brings to mind a Rapture verse when he speaks of hearing “a loud voice, as of a trumpet.”

We know by the context of this passage that this event was neither a futuristic vision of the Rapture nor the Second Coming. Once again we are shown that it is an indefensible argument which maintains Christ cannot appear to believers before the scripturally defined Second Coming at the close of the age.

To dispel the notion that Christ’s appearance to John was only in a vision, one only needs to conduct a cross reference check with Rev. 4:1-2 of when John was later caught up to Heaven.

By reading Rev. 1:10 we know that John had already been anointed in the Spirit previously. When John then speaks of “immediately being in the Spirit” in Rev. 4:2 we know that he is not being redundant, but that something new has transpired. At this point we are shown that he has transcended the earthly dimension where he communed with Christ and is then being transported in a vision to the spiritual realm.

Revelation 11:3 & 7-12 further refutes those who say that no resurrection and catching up to heaven of believers can take place prior to Christ’s Second Coming.

In this passage we are shown two believers who are killed and left to decay in the streets of Jerusalem for 3 days during the days of the Tribulation Period. They are then resurrected from the dead by the Lord, according to Scripture, and stand up on their feet. Then, in full view of the world, a loud voice from heaven tells them to “Come up here” and they ascend up to Heaven in a cloud.

It is true to say that these are extremely rare and exceptional occurrences, but then so too is the event called the Rapture of the Church.

The Scriptures lend no support whatsoever to the position that if Christ ever appears to believers, resurrects the dead, or catches up living believers into the clouds it can only be the Second Coming.

A comparative study should be undertaken by any serious Bible prophecy student regarding the differences between the Rapture and the Second Coming.

The Scriptures describing the Lord’s joyful, life-giving meeting with His saints in the clouds in I Thessalonians 4 and I Corinthians 15 are in vivid contrast to the vengeful Second Coming of Jesus Christ when He judges the earth with fire and blood as is described in Matthew 24:27-31 & Jude verses 14-15.

The differences between the two events are too numerous to discuss at length in this short message, but one quick example can be found in I Thess. 4:17. In this Rapture verse it is made absolutely clear that the Lord has come for His saints in order for them to be with Him forever from that time on and that Jesus has chosen for them to meet with Him in the very clouds of heaven.

The uniqueness of the original Greek for the word “meet” in this passage denotes a visit by a newly arriving dignitary. The word “visit” should require no further explanation. The Lord is shown by Scripture to have no intention of domiciling in the area at the time of the Rapture. If He is only on a visit then where does He intend to go back to with His beloved Church from there?

Revelation 19 reveals by prophecy that the saints will return with Jesus from Heaven after the Tribulation. Jude verses 14-15 also shows this identical coming of the Lord with His saints to the earth from Heaven.

There is no mention, nor the slightest hint of His coming to meet the living and dead saints in the clouds at that time. Instead we are shown that He will be bringing them with Him to judge the earth.

This harmonizes perfectly with Rev. 19:7,11 & 14 and Zechariah 14:4-5.

How, one may ask, can we state without the slightest reservation that after Christ meets His Church in the air He will first take them to Heaven before He returns with them to the earth? It is because Jesus Christ told us so Himself with great clarity and without qualification in Ch. 14 of the Gospel of John.

Quoting verses 2-3 we read, “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; so that where I am, there you may be also.”

The original Greek word for “receive” in this passage (paralambano) means to receive from another or “to take.” The uncompromising grammar of the text speaks of an immediate event that is to take place following His coming to receive His saints.

Nothing in Christ’s words even remotely suggests that believers will be assembled at the Battle of Armageddon immediately after He receives them to Himself in the clouds, but instead gloriously reveals that they will be taken to their prearranged dwelling places in Heaven when He comes for them.

No where can it be found in Scripture that Jesus intends to return to Heaven with His saints immediately after His return to the earth at Armageddon. Instead, Scripture after Scripture reveals Christ fully intends from that moment on to set up His residency in Jerusalem for 1,000 years.

If you do not know the Living Lord Jesus as your Saviour you can right now by repenting (having a change of mind), and putting your faith in Jesus Christ who paid the full penalty for the sins of the world by shedding His precious blood on the cross. Your trust in Him alone for your salvation can assure your receipt of this blessed atonement.

Former Muslim, J. B. Mokhriby

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What is Halloween and Should Christians Celebrate It?

“The popularity of Halloween is growing exponentially. Americans spend over $9 billion dollars annually on Halloween, making it one of the country’s top commercial holidays. In addition, a quarter of all annual candy sales occur during the Halloween season in the United States. What is it about Halloween that makes October 31 so popular? Perhaps it’s the mystery—or just the candy? Perhaps the excitement of a new costume?

Whatever the draw, Halloween is here to stay. But what does the Bible say about it? Is Halloween wrong or evil? Are there any clues in the Bible as to whether a Christian should celebrate Halloween?

What does the Bible say about Halloween?
First of all, understand that Halloween is mostly a western custom and it has no direct reference in the Bible. However, there are Biblical principles that directly relate to the celebration of Halloween. Perhaps the best way to understand how Halloween relates to the Bible is to look at the meaning of Halloween and its history.

What does Halloween mean?
The word Halloween literally means the evening before All Hallows Day (or All Saint’s Day) celebrated on November 1. Halloween is also the shortened name of Allhalloween, All Hallows’ Evening and All Saint’s Eve which is celebrated on October 31. The origin and meaning of Halloween are derived from ancient Celtic harvest festivals, but more recently we think of Halloween as a night filled with candy, trick-or-treating, pumpkins, ghosts and death.

The history of Halloween

The origin of Halloween as we know it, began over 1900 years ago in England, Ireland, and Northern France. It was a Celtic celebration of the new year, called Samhain which occurred on November 1. The Celtic druids revered it as the biggest holiday of the year and emphasized that day as the time when the souls of the dead supposedly could mingle with the living. Bonfires were a large aspect of this holiday as well…

Another tradition is the druidic belief that during the night of November 1, demons, witches, and evil spirits freely roamed the earth with joy to greet the arrival of “their season”—the long nights and early dark of the winter months. The demons had their fun with poor mortals that night, frightening, harming, and even playing all kinds of mean tricks on them. The only way, it seemed, for scared humans to escape the persecution of the demons was to offer them things they liked, especially fancy foods and sweets. Or, in order to escape the fury of these horrible creatures, a human could disguise himself as one of them and join in their roaming. In this way, they would recognize the human as a demon or witch and the human would not be bothered that night.

During the Roman empire, there was the custom of eating or giving away fruit, especially apples, on Halloween. It spread to neighboring countries; to Ireland and Scotland from Britain, and to the Slavic countries from Austria. It is probably based upon a celebration of the Roman goddess Pomona, to whom gardens and orchards were dedicated. Since the annual Feast of Pomona was held on November 1, the relics of that observance became part of our Halloween celebration, for instance, the familiar tradition of “dunking” for apples.

Today costumes take the place of disguises and candy has replaced fruits and other fancy foods as children go door-to-door trick-or-treating. Originally trick-or-treating began as “souling,” when children would go door-to-door on Halloween, with soul cakes, singing and saying prayers for the dead. Over the course of history Halloween’s visible practices have changed with the culture of the day, but the purpose of honoring the dead, veiled in fun and festivities, has remained the same. The question remains, is celebrating Halloween bad or unbiblical?

Should Christians celebrate Halloween?

As a logical thinking person, consider for a moment what you are celebrating and what Halloween is all about. Is the holiday uplifting? Is Halloween pure? Is it lovely, praiseworthy, or of good report? Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” Is Halloween based on godly themes such as the idea of peace, freedom and salvation or does the holiday bring to mind feelings of fear, oppression and bondage?

Additionally, does the Bible sanction witchcraft, witches, and sorcery? On the contrary, the Bible makes it clear that these practices are an abomination to the Lord. The Bible goes on to say in Leviticus 20:27 that anyone who practiced witchcraft, soothsaying, sorcery should be killed. Deuteronomy 18:9-13 adds, “When you come into the land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you … one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord.”

Is it wrong to celebrate Halloween?
Let’s look at what the Bible adds to this topic in Ephesians 5:11, “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.” This text is calling us to not only have no association with any type of dark activity BUT ALSO to shed light on this topic to those around us. As stated earlier in this article, Halloween was not exposed by the church for what it was, but rather was incorporated into church holy days. Are Christians responding in the same way today?

As you think about Halloween—its origins and what it stands for—would it be best to spend time dwelling upon its themes or to shed light upon what lies below the surface of this holiday’s celebration? God is calling humanity to follow Him and to “come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you” (2 Corinthians 6:17).” https://www.bibleinfo.com/en/questions/it-wrong-celebrate-halloween

Halloween – Satanic High Holiday

Halloween masquerades as childish fun and frolic, it’s serious business in the occult world. Witchcraft, Wicca, Satanism and paganism believe, on the night of Halloween, devils and spirits are unleashed. They perform their most hideous and potent rituals, including human sacrifice, on the night of Halloween.

Samhain: This is the “Witch’s New Year” and the primary Sabbat from which all others flow . (RavenWolf, Silver. Teen Witch , p. 42)

Halloween is one of the four major Sabbats celebrated by the modern Witch, and it is by far the most popular and important of the eight that are observed…Witches regard Halloween as their New Year’s Eve, celebrating it with sacred rituals… (Dunwich, Gerina. The Pagan Book of Halloween, p. 120)

Halloween is also among Satanism’s most cherished days. Anton LaVey, founder of The Church of Satan and author of The Satanic Bible writes:

After one’s own birthday, the two major Satanic holidays are Walpurgisnacht (May 1st) and Halloween. (LaVey, Anton Szandor. The Satanic Bible, p. 96)

Satanic High Priestess Blanche Barton, on The Church of Satan web site, praises Halloween:

It [Halloween] gives even the most mundane people the opportunity to taste wickedness for one night. They have a chance to dance with the Devil…I see Satanists all over the world meeting in small groups this night and Hallowe’ens 500 years hence, to raise a glass to the Infernal Hosts…

The Satanic Calendar decrees for Halloween: “One of the two most important nights of the year…Blood and sexual rituals. Sexual association with demons . Animal and human sacrifice – male or female .”

Former occultist Johanna Michaelsen reveals, ” Halloween is also a prime recruiting season for Satanists.” (Michaelsen, Johanna. Like Lambs to the Slaughter,p. 192

Body of Christ, pray accordingly for those who are deceived by Satan’s high holiday.

In a world full of treachery, lies and deceit it is comforting to meditate on Jesus Christ’s answer to Pilate’s question, “What is truth?” Jesus gave the solution to Pilate’s question in fact before the words even came out of the Roman leader’s mouth. Pilate just refused to hear what Jesus told him. Quoting from John 18:37, “For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” All who hearken to Christ’s Words will be led to the truth of Life and will receive His promise of salvation and deliverance from the wrath which is soon to come. If you do not have a personal relationship with the Living Lord Jesus Christ, repent (have a change of mind) and put your complete faith in ‘the Way, the Truth and the Life,” who paid for the sins of the world by His atoning blood sacrifice when He was pierced upon the cross – the Risen Lord Jesus Christ (John 14:6).

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The Celtic Roots of Christmas

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. Colossians 2:8

Today, most of the world celebrates Christmas as the birth of Christ on the twenty-fifth of December. However, the actual date of Christ’s birth cannot be determined with absolute certainty. There is, however, biblical evidence that suggests Jesus was born in the fall. Moreover, if we were to celebrate Christ’s birth, the Holy Bible would command us to do so. Yet nowhere in the Bible are we told to do that. As for the celebration of December 25, it traces its roots directly to the pagan world.

Alban Arthuan: The Celtic Origin of Christmas

“Nearly every holiday celebration we have today can be traced back to Celtic history and traditions. Samhain (sow-in) has influenced the time of year and celebrations of Halloween and All Souls Day (November 2).

Celtic traditions have also blended with Christianity to influence Christmas celebrations. The Yule, the New Year, Hogmany, Christmas, and the Winter Solstice have uniquely blended over time and fit into Christmas celebrations.

The Celtic Festival of Alban Arthuan
The Celtic festival of Alban Arthuan, held on the Winter Solstice on December 21, was a Druid festival celebrating the re-birth of the sun. It means “Light of Arthur” according to the Arthurian legend.

The Winter Solstice celebrated the return of the Divine Child, the Mabon, the rebirth of the golden solstice Sun. King Arthur was symbolized by the Sun.

The Celts believed this great ritual was needed to revert the course of the sun. The day after the winter solstice, the sun began to move higher into the sky; proof to the Celts it had been reborn.

The return of the Sun was more than just a celebration to the Celts, it was a matter of life or death. The alignment of light at Newgrange, (Bru no Bhoinne) a tomb and temple structure in Ireland, has been interpreted as a ray of light by the Sun God into the womb of Mother Earth to bring about the creation of new life in spring.

Monuments in the British Isles Aligned with the Winter Solstice
Knowth and Loughcrew, also in Ireland
Maes Howe in Orkney, Scotland
Seven Mile Cursus in Dorset, England
Stonehenge in England.

More Celtic Traditions
Another Celtic tradition was the belief in the perpetual battle between the Oak King, the God of waxing light or the Divine Child and the Holly King, the God of the waning light or the Dark Lord. Each year at the winter solstice the Oak King won the battle and ruled until he was defeated by the Holly King at the time of the summer solstice.

The deities of Alban Arthuan were Dagda and Brighid. The cauldron of Dagda was a symbol for the promise that nature would bear fruit once again and care for all beings living on earth. Brighid was the bearer of the flame of inspiration which penetrated the darkness of mind and soul.

Again, the central and essential celebration of Alban Arthuan was that of renewal. The Celts believed in leaving the past behind and greeting the new present.

It marked the celebration of both the shortest day of the year and the longest night of the year. It is considered to be a time of increased fertility and is one of the Celtic fire festivals as well. It is also where we get the tradition of the Yule Log.

The Yule Log
Yule and the Yule Log runs the eve before the winter solstice to New Year’s Day, or Hogmany to the Celts. It was a time of introspection and planning for the future.

Early Celtic calendars measured months according to the moon’s revolution of the earth. The custom of burning the Yule Log was performed to honor the Great Mother Goddess. The log was lit on the eve of the solstice, the darkest night, using the remains of the log from the previous year and burned for twelve days for good luck. The Celts believed the sun stood still for the twelve days. It symbolized the continuity of life and light, from the “dark night of our souls” would spring the new spark of hope, the Sacred Fire and the Light of the World. This is where we get the contemporary “twelve days of Christmas.”

During this coldest season of the year the Celts sought to connect the old and new through song and dance representing the death and re-birth of the new year. The birth of the sun worked well with the Christian celebration of birth of the Son of God who brings light to the world.

The decorating of a Yule tree also originated with the Celts. Brightly colored decorations were hung on a tree, usually a pine tree to symbolize life, which were of significance to the Celts such as the sun, the moon and the stars. The tree also represented the souls of those who had died the previous year.

The modern practice of gift giving evolved from the Celtic tradition of hanging gifts on the Yule tree as offerings to various pagan gods and goddesses.

The Tradition of “Father Christmas”
The tradition of “Father Christmas” or “Santa Claus” also an be traced back to Celtic roots. Santa’s elves are the modernization of “Nature Folk” or faeries of pagan religions.

Even Santa’s reindeer are associated with the “Horned God” one of the Celtic deities. The “Horn Dance” was performed from All Souls Day (November 2) to Twelfth Night (January 6) in hopes of bringing in luck for the New Year.

This tradition comes from Celtic Britain where eight men danced through their village with antler horns on their heads in order to “bring luck” to the new year. It was thought to have origins in the pre-Christian fertility rites.

The tradition of Christmas caroling comes from the Celts as well. A carol is a dance of a song of praise and joy. The song was meant for dancing especially to honor the changing of the seasons, not just the winter season, but every season. The music and dancers went from dwelling to dwelling performing their solstice songs.

The Laying of the Holly
Holly is one of the plants that is one of the symbols commonly associated with Christmas. It has been part off the Winter Solstice and Christmas celebration for more than two thousand years.

Today, as in Celtic times, holly is laid around the house and used in Christmas wreaths. It is associated with the sun god (Saturn) from ancient Rome. It was also important in Druidic religion and customs.

In Celtic times it was customary to place holly leaves and branches around their homes and dwellings during the winter. It was believed that tiny faeries that inhabited the forests would come to their homes and use the holly as shelter against the cold.

The Druids believed holly remained green to help keep the earth beautiful when deciduous trees had lost their leaves. The red and holly berries were believed to represent the sacred menstrual blood of their Mother Goddess.

The Celts also laid holly around their homes and dwellings to decorate doors and windows so it would capture evil spirits before they entered the house.

As the British Isles converted to Christianity, early Christians adopted the tradition of decorating their homes with holly. Christians began to incorporate holly into their own religion and the red holly berries now symbolized the blood of Christ.

The Hanging of the Mistletoe
The Celts used mistletoe as a healing plant as their superstitions and mythical beliefs told them mistletoe bestowed miraculous healing powers. It was known to mean “All Heal” in Celtic languages.

In Celtic times, it was believed that mistletoe held the soul of the oak tree, its host tree. Mistletoe is a parasitic plant that grows in the boughs of trees, one of them being the oak tree.

Mistletoe was believed to have the power to heal diseases, make poisons harmless, give fertility to humans and animals, protect them from witchcraft, ban all evil spirits, and bring good luck and great blessings.

Mistletoe was so sacred to the Celts, that enemies who happened to meet beneath it in the forest, would lay down their arms and exchange a friendly greeting and keep a truce until the following day.

From this old custom grew the practice of suspending mistletoe over a doorway or in a room as a token of good will and peace to all. The tradition and custom of kissing under the mistletoe did not start until English Victorian times when this became a popular item.

Druids held a special five day ceremony after the new moon following the Winter Solstice. They would cut boughs of mistletoe from the sacred Oak tree with a golden sickle. It was important that the mistletoe branches did not touch the ground and become contaminated.

The Druid priests would then divide up the mistletoe boughs into sprigs and distribute them among the people who believed it protected them from storms and evil spirits.

St. Stephen’s Day and the Hunting of the Wren
St. Stephen’s Day, December 26, and the Hunting of the Wren, are Irish Celtic traditions. St. Stephen’s Day celebrates the death of the first Christian martyr. It was believed by the Celts that the “chattering” of the wren betrayed St. Stephen to his enemies as he tried to hide from them in a bush.

Thereafter, the wren was to be hunted down and stoned to death. Celtic men armed with sling shots would hunt down the wren and kill it. Today, the wren is captured and thought to bring good luck for the new year. It was believed the wren was the cleverest bird of all.” Suzette Walker

Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Isaiah 5:20

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil. 1 Corinthians 13:4-5.

The following blog was written by Andrew Sheets:

“The purpose of this Blog is to Refute and Rebuke so called Christians attacking Christmas. They are unwittingly aligning with the enemy in more ways than they can imagine. To steal the hope and joy of Christmas with the focus on the joy of our Savior’s birth is evil.

Over the past decade there’s been an overwhelming attack on Christmas. It started, it seems even further back some thirty years ago when we started seeing Merry X-mas. Taking Christ out of Christmas. But for the past decade a slew (slew: a violent or uncontrolled sliding movement) of fake Christians have been shaming us for celebrating Christmas. For even mentioning the word “Christmas” those of us who believe Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Christ are demonized for worshipping Satan. I’d mention them and call them out one by one, but I’m not going to waste my time.

I’m sickened and fed up with these “bastards”… Read about the bible account of a bastard begin with Hebrews 12:8 KJV and follow with the Bastard of Ashod of Zechariah chapter 9 which is a direct reflection of our Coming King, Jesus Christ.

These pathetic fake Christians who attack Christmas are actually current day
Pharisees white and pious and religious on the outward but are dead inside.

We true Christians who choose to celebrate Christmas to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ do NOT base our Holiday after the pagan rituals of the Roman Saturnalia, but rather as is always the case, Satan is a copy cat and that the pagan Roman Saturnalia was placed on the original Christmas and Hanukkah celebration by the Pagans. To get hung up with trees and gifts and Santa Claus is answerable by reading scripture Colossians 2:16 KJV. If these things bother you then do not do them, but do not place your burdens on others. Simply run along and enjoy your miserable existence in religious works.” thethirdheaventraveler.com

Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday not mentioned in the Holy Bible. The story of how Hanukkah came to be is contained in the unbiblical Apocrypha books 1 and 11 Maccabees and the Oral Babylonian Talmud.

Hanukkah in the Book of Maccabees https://galileeofthenations.com/blogs/knowledge-center/16674092-hanukkah-in-the-book-of-maccabees

“The Hasmoneans…searched and found only one small cruise of oil, hidden away under the seal of the High Priest. It contained but enough oil to light [the menorah] for one day. Yet a miracle occurred: the menorah was kindled from this oil for eight days. From then on, these days were set aside as a festive occasion for rendering praise [Hallel] and thanksgiving.” (Babylonian Talmud, Shabbat 21b)

“To get hung up with trees and gifts and Santa Claus is answerable by reading scripture Colossians 2:16.” – Andrew Sheets has twisted the clear teaching of Scripture to suit his own purpose.

What does Colossians 2:16 mean?
Paul starts this new passage off with the word “therefore.” This means the upcoming thoughts are the result of his prior statements. In earlier verses, Paul explained that our relationship with God is through Christ, not through physical rituals such as circumcision. The salvation we have, through Christ, is complete and total. Not only does it remove the penalty of sin and restore our relationship to God. (Colossians 2:13–15).

This verse uses those prior thoughts to refute a claim made by false teachers. These deceivers were telling Colossian Christians that they must follow specific rituals, rules, and regulations in order to be saved. In the next verse, Paul will call these concepts “a shadow of the things to come,” or something much less important than Christ Himself. In contrast, Paul writes, “let no one pass judgment on you,” with regard to four specific areas.

First, Paul notes dietary restrictions. The Mosaic law included many dietary aspects, such as not eating pork, an unclean food for Jews.

Second, Paul mentions holidays and feast days. Jewish laws included many specific celebrations such as Passover and the Day of Atonement, which were referred to as “festivals.”

Third, a “new moon” refers to the new moon celebrations in the Mosaic law (Numbers 29:6).

Fourth, Paul mentions the Sabbath day. In Judaism, Saturday, the seventh day, was a holy day from sunset Friday till sunset Saturday, during which no work could be done (Exodus 20:8–11).

Paul clearly states, in this verse, that these kinds of rules are not requirements for saved believers. The passage immediately before this verse explained that Christ removed all sin and penalty through His sacrifice. As a result, there are no possible works we can do, or need to do, in order to be made righteous with God. This is an idea Paul gave additional detail to in Romans Chapter 14.

In a world full of treachery, lies and deceit it is comforting to meditate on Jesus Christ’s answer to Pilate’s question, “What is truth?” Jesus gave the solution to Pilate’s question in fact before the words even came out of the Roman leader’s mouth. Pilate just refused to hear what Jesus told him. Quoting from John 18:37, “For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” All who hearken to Christ’s Words will be led to the truth of Life and will receive His promise of salvation and deliverance from the wrath which is soon to come. If you do not have a personal relationship with the Living Lord Jesus Christ, repent (have a change of mind) and put your complete faith in ‘the Way, the Truth and the Life,” who paid for the sins of the world by His atoning blood sacrifice when He was pierced upon the cross – the Risen Lord Jesus Christ (John 14:6).

All roads lead to the ancient pagan British Apostolic Celtic Church. See ‘Apostasy Called Revival – The Rise of Celtic Spirituality/Emergent Church’

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The Rise of Celtic Spirituality/The Emergent Church – Update

“Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Spirit 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. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.” Acts 20:28-31.

In our 2002, message Apostasy Called Revival – The Rise of Celtic Spirituality/The Emergent Church it was stated:

“If the Celtic pagan religion is the belief system of these last days, which will amalgamate apostate Christianity under the anti-Christ, then patterns and evidence of footholds within so-called Christian enclaves should be evident.”

At this late hour there is further evidence that the ancient Celtic pagan religion, with its roots in British Israelism, eastern mysticism and paganism, is the belief system that will amalgamate apostate Christianity under the anti-Christ.

Thanks-Giving Square

In 1976, Thanks-Giving Square, founded by Peter Stewart, opened in Dallas,Texas. The square includes a “Chapel of Thanks-Giving” (resembling the Tower of Babel,) with a “Glory Window” in the shape of a Celtic spiral. This is symbolic of the agenda to unite religions under the umbrella of the anti-Christ and the one world religion. Which is evident when reading their mission statement.

“Our Mission Statement is Rooted in Human Spirituality

Our mission is twofold:

To witness, celebrate, and to promote the value and spirit of thanksgiving for both sacred and secular cultures throughout the world…Thanks-Giving Square serves as a common ground, a sanctuary where there can be a confluence of faiths and traditions in discussion of shared concern… citizens from diverse backgrounds can use thanksgiving as a way to heal divisions and enhance mutual understanding.

Our mission is carried out through our programs of education and research:

Locally:

Cooperating with religious, cultural and educational organizations in educational and cultural programming.

Develop and operate the MultiFaith Exploration and Exchange Program, bringing together Dallas-area members of more than ten world religions to discuss religious and cultural diversity and issues that affect urban life

Develop gratitude-education materials for use from preschool to university level.

Nationally:

Develop research and themes for presidential proclamations for the National Day of Prayer in the spring and Thanksgiving in the fall.

Hosting the National Day of Prayer breakfast and an annual Thanksgiving dinner.

Internationally:

Hosting meetings of the Thanksgiving World Advisors and seminars on thanksgiving and gratitude at various locations around the world, including Japan, Argentina, India, Liechtenstein, China and other countries.

Holding a Thanksgiving World Assembly for spiritual leaders from around the world.” https://thanksgiving.org

Celtic Symbolism

In the United Kingdom many apostate church leaders openly admit to the fact that they are following the teachings of the ancient Celtic Church. One of the more prominent leaders, Roger Ellis, head of Revelation Church, located in South London, and co-author of New Celts – Following Jesus into Millennium 3, was the main speaker at the ‘After the Rain Pioneer Conference’ held in the United Kingdom, in March, 1996. At this gathering, Ellis encouraged the conference leaders to engage in a national spiritual revival, based on the re-discovery of Celtic spirituality. Ellis also encouraged the use of Celtic symbolism.

“Within the midst of this society, God is saying to the church that we’re going to have to learn a new language. It’s a language of symbols…I love the Celtic statements of faith that were often drawn, that were contained within their crosses and within their symbols. Drawings were used for kind of doctrinal statements. That would be great wouldn’t it, if you went to speak at C.U. [Christian University] and instead of “let’s see your doctrinal statement,” they sent you a nice Celtic symbolism thing, wouldn’t it for a change? That’d bless me to no end.”

Theological Seminaries are now following in the footsteps of the ancient pagan British Apostolic Celtic Church where “Drawings were used for kind of doctrinal statements” using Soularium Cards.

“Soularium provides 50 images and five simple exploring questions that allow the user to engage in one-on-one or group spiritual conversations with non-believers. Just as sunlight illuminates a solarium, Soularium opens a window to the soul. We live in a visual culture. Because images connect deeply with our emotions and experiences they also enable us to engage people in spiritual conversation on a deep level.The questions explore the desire of non-believers for their spiritual journey and create many bridges to dialogue about Jesus. Easy to use with random contacts, classmates/​colleagues, and friends…” https://www.eauk.org/great-commission/resources/soularium

Soularuim Cards are used by Cru (formerly Campus Crusade for Christ) founded by CIA Operative, Pat Matrisciana and Bill Bright, along with recommending ‘Celtic Way Of Evangelism’ by George G. Hunter lll, as a tool for “sharing the Gospel.” https://www.cru.org/us/en/train-and-grow/share-the-gospel/outreach-strategies/soularium.html

The main symbolic representations being introduced into Christian assemblies are Celtic crosses and Celtic spirals.

For those unfamiliar with the meaning of these ancient pagan symbols:

“The Celtic cross is among the most cherished Celtic symbols inIreland… They are another emblem of the ancient premise “As above, so below.” The ring at the center is what makes Celtic crosses so unique. In the ancient pagan Celtic world, the circle/wheel represented many sacred things…balance and harmony between the male and female, the sun, the life cycle, wholeness, the cycle of the seasons, energy of the female force, and the eternal connection of all things in heaven and on earth.”

“The Celtic spiral design represents the natural form of growth. In most cultures, past and present, it is a symbol of eternal life. The whorls represent the continuous creation and dissolution of the universe; the passage between the spirals symbolize the divisions between life, death and rebirth. A Celtic spiral that moves to the right symbolizes the sun and victory. Celtic spirals also represent the dance of war for the Scottish Highlands. The interlacing of continuous lines and spirals symbolizes the connection between the physical and spiritual worlds. The never ending characteristic of spirals and loops symbolizes a never ending cycle of life, death and rebirth.

Many Celtic images can be found at “Christian” websites including Rick Warren’s Crave media web page. One of which, the Bold As Love graphic, is very similar in appearance to the Celtic graphic depicted on the front cover of Jimmy Swaggart’s Crossfire edition of The Expositor’s Study Bible. The only major difference is the Crossfire image depicts Celtic wings (Celtic symbol of freedom).

One of the first public displays of Celtic symbolism at Jimmy Swaggart Ministries appeared on the front cover of the December 2000, edition of The Evangelist, when his grandson Gabriel Swaggart, was featured wearing a large pagan Celtic cross necklace. Since that time numerous Celtic symbols including, the outline of the Celtic cross (Crossfire’s logo), Celtic spirals, and Celtic wings, have appeared on JSM’s web pages and materials. The most blatant display of symbols are depicted on images posted on Crossfire Youth Ministries web pages,and Crossfire ministries tee shirts (see photos on Crossfire’s Facebook page.)

Since this message was distributed in 2002, Crossfire Youth Ministry have removed many of the above mentioned symbols.

The most shocking graphic posted at JSM web site depicts the lion , which has a face of a lion with a body more like a leopard and feet similar to a bear (“And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.” Rev. 13:2.) celtic spirals, a wing (symbolic of Celtic freedom), and at the bottom of this graphic is the top of an upside down cross. The upside down cross indicates the rejection of Jesus Christ and is commonly used by satanists and heavy metal rock groups among others. http://www.jsm.org/AboutGabriel.php

Wild Goose Festival

Another prominent leader of the “Emergent Church Movement,” Brian McLaren, who along with Rick Warren wrote the foreword to Dan Kimball’s book The Emerging Church: Vintage Christianity for New Generations, (Kimball believes, “we can learn from the Celtic approach”), is now like his British counterparts, openly promoting Celtic spirituality:

“Wild Goose Festival, June 23-26 – I hope you’ll come!

Having been in the UK the last week and met so many friends whom I originally got to know through Greenbelt, I’m all the more enthusiastic about Wild Goose, coming up in North Carolinain just over a month. What’s Greenbelt? It’s a festival of faith, art, and justice, planned and led by a fascinating group of Christian leaders in the UK, held every August. (I’ll be speaking/hanging out there this year.) What’s Wild Goose? It’s a similar festival being planned by a similarly fascinating group of Christian leaders in the US. I’ll be speaking/hanging out there as well.) I hope you’ll consider being part of this first-ever Wild Goose festival. It can play an important role in the emergence of a new Christian ethos in our land.”

The Wild Goose is a Celtic metaphor for the Holy Spirit. We are followers of Jesus creating a festival of justice, spirituality, music and the arts. The festival is rooted in the Christian tradition and therefore open to all regardless of belief, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, denomination, or religious affiliation. In adopting the image of the Wild Goose we recognize that in the current climate of religious, social and political cynicism, embracing the creative and open nature of our faith is perhaps the greatest asset for re-building and strengthening our relationships with each other, with our enemies, with our stories, our texts, and the earth. In that spirit, in a festive setting, and in the context of meaningful, respectful, and sustained relationships, we invite you to create with us! “And yes, I will be camping.”” http://brianmclaren.net/archives/2011/05

Among those scheduled to speak at this pagan Celtic gathering are Lynne Hybels (wife of Willow Creek pastor Bill Hybels), Jim Wallis (Sojourners) Tony Campolo, Jay Bakker (son of Jim & Tammy Bakker), Bart Campolo (son of Tony Campolo) and Frank Schaeffer (son of Frances Schaeffer.) http://wildgoosefestival.org/lineup/speakers

The Kaleidoscopic Global Action Plan

Most, if not all, of today’s front-line “Christian” organizations use the counter-culture/social/political/religious model of the ancient Celtic Church as a tool to “evangelize” the world. The Kaleidoscopic Global Action Plan [KGAP], formally commissioned by the GCOWE (Global Consultation on World Evangelization) 2000 conveners in September, 1988, is the blue print for the one world religion.

“Offer the hand of friendship, respect, cooperation, love, compassion, understanding, and dialogue to our fellow human beings and fellow religionists in the great world religions of Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Sikhism, Baha’i, Shinto, and numerous others…While differing in our beliefs about God and Jesus, we can all nevertheless struggle together against the monstrous evils that plague our planet, threaten its survival, and so render world evangelization futile.” A Responsibility, KGAP, 1990.

David B. Barrett, Todd M. Johnson, Leslie Brierly, Patrick J. Johnstone, Gary K. Clark, John S. Mbiti, Tom Forrest, CSsR, James W. Reapsome, V. David Garrison, Lamin Sanneh, Jay E. Gary, H. Vinson Synan, and Manuel J. Gaxiola, are listed as working group members of the Kaleidoscopic Global Action Plan.

One of the many plans listed in this lengthy document is to place women and youth in global leadership positions. Roger Ellis admitted he was following this agenda during an interview with Noel Stanton, senior pastor of the Jesus Fellowship,UK.

When referring to these youth leaders, some as young as 18, Roger Ellis stated:

“Some are real visionaries, who are getting discipled, released and moving on” and “I am concerned about some smaller charismatic churches. Either leaders of churches have to step out of the way and let younger people take it over or they need to diverify their ministry to create room for this lot to come on. If they can’t do that, they disempower them and they become frustrated, and lose the pioneering edge. We have to take the ceiling off the next generation of leaders and release them.” New Celts, Youth Culture interview: http://www.jesus.org.uk/ja/mag_talkingto_ellis.shtml

The following youth missions and seminaries are just a few of many who are indoctrinating the young to “evangelize” the “New Celts.”

Youth With a Mission (YWAM) founded in 1960, by Loren Cunningham, has a ‘Celtic Way Community’ located in Paisley, Scotland where attendees are encouraged to “live lives of simplicity much like the Celtic Monks.”

Except from YWAM Iceland, Discipleship Training School, 2018

“MANY THINK THE FIRST SETTLERS OF ICELAND WERE THE SCANDINAVIAN VIKINGS, BUT ACTUALLY THE CELTIC MONKS WERE IN ICELAND WAY BEFORE THAT, PROCLAIMING GOD’S TRUTH. WE WILL EXPLORE HOW TO BE BRAVE AND COURAGEOUS LIKE THE VIKINGS TO GO AND CONQUER NEW LAND, FUELED BY THE POWER OF THE DEVOTIONAL AND TRANSFORMATIVE COMMUNITIES OF THE CELTS.” https://www.ywamiceland.com/dts

YWAM Seamill, West Kilbride, Scotland is one of many worldwide discipleship training schools for “radical world changers” who follow the ancient pagan Celtic missionary model to “evangelize” the “new barbarians.” The following was posted on the Seamill YWAM website, January & February, 2020.

Celtic Christianity: a stream whose time has come, again. Part 1, by Jane Holloway

“The Reawakening of the Celtic Stream of Christianity
It is also a kairos season of God; a moment in history whose time has come. God is refining his Bride. Prophets are increasingly speaking of shakings and realignments. We are being called to a greater holiness and more accountability before Him in this. The time of the maid servants and the oil lamps, the Lord saying to “go away I never knew you” is approaching. (Matthew 25:1-13)

In the midst of all this, God has been stirring up something he planned long ago. Here in the wild backwater fringes of the British Isles during Dark Age Europe (5th-10thcentury) God birthed something that is again relevant in our day – the Celtic stream of Christianity. In his book, Exploring Celtic Christianity, Ray Simpson explains the significance of this stream. He writes particularly of the application to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne in northeast England. However, I believe his words also resonate for all the Celtic stream of Christianity, and its significance in God’s plans for the world.

He writes, “…there is [a] cradle that is rooted deeper in the soil, deeper in the soil of the people, deeper in the supernatural, a cradle required by the kairos of our time. This cradle, which has been lost sight of, is to be rediscovered; from it there will be a birthing of a New Way in the Church, which has a significance far beyond anything that one person can comprehend”.”

Celtic Christianity: a stream whose time has come, again. Part 3, by Jane Holloway

“It has been 1700 years since Europe has been where it is today. Christendom, the ‘covering’ of Christian belief, morality and social structure is all but gone. Once again, the people of Europe, and indeed the West, are increasingly people with no Christian memory, who have no idea what we Christians are talking about. Without a clear source or foundation, they are increasingly receptive – and actively exploring – various worldview options to make sense of their lives. Theirs is an increasingly spiritual search. In the face of this massive shifting of culture, the Western Church has generally been in denial. Those churches not in denial have struggled to engage with the large number of “neo-barbarians” outside their doors. As one writer puts it, the mainline Western Churches generally don’t have ‘the precedent or the ‘paradigm’ for engaging the West’s emerging mission fields. However, there is one stream that seems to have a model that can be drawn upon, showing us ways forward in the 21st Century. The Celtic stream of Christianity.

Transitions and history
It can be said that transitions between the epochs are messy things by nature. Old wine skins no longer work and need to go, but the new wine skins are only just in the process of becoming ready. Further compounding things, there are some elements of the old that really do need to be continued….but which ones? It is all very unsettling and confusing. It’s where we are at in 2020. And it was where most of Europe was when the western Roman Empire collapsed: a Europe that was on the eve of the flowering of Celtic Christianity.

History is not linear: a smooth straight line ever advancing and improving. That worldview is a construct of the Modern Age with its foundation of reason, the empirical and linear progress. Instead, history is a series of forward-moving circles. That we are, in fact, moving forward is clear from God’s Word. That we often circle back to repent, relearn, and recalibrate is also biblical. This is where discernment with Holy Spirit is key in assessing the old wine skins as well as what the new wine skins are to be.

What Celtic Christianity brings to the table
Celtic Christianity is a very old wine skin, but one I believe was cut off before its time. I also believe the Lord is bringing it around again because we in the West are once more primarily a spiritual but non-Christian people. So many elements of Celtic Christianity have resonance for Western society today. So much of what is left of the Christendom model, does not.

In an effort to find purpose and to live life with some semblance of joy and peace (materialism and science/technology not having brought that), so many Westerners are exploring all and sundry in terms of spiritual and religious ideas and pathways. Tellingly the Church is often the last place they look. At the same time, Celtic Christianity has connecting points for peoples of other religious persuasions, allowing them to encounter the Living God and grasp His good news, the Gospel.

Kairos versus Chronos
Understanding that no one path is perfect, the Celtic Christian stream that arose during “Dark Age” Europe (5th – 10th centuries) has many key connecting points in this epoch of time. In fact, it is a kairos time for us, particularly in the West. A list of many of the chapter titles from Ray Simpson’s book Exploring Celtic Spirituality is a succinct way of capturing the key elements of Celtic Christianity that have massive implications. Communities of Faith. People on the move for God. Contemplative prayer. Rhythm in Work and Worship. Holy Places; Healed Land, Hospitality. Real Men, Women and Families. A Cherished Creation. The Cross in Creation. A World of Sacrament. The Encircling Three. The Wild Goose (Celtic Christian name for the Holy Spirit). Signs and Wonders. The Prophetic Spirit. Healing. A Church without walls. Compassion for the Poor. Vocations for all. One church. ‘Go-with-the-flow’ evangelism. Healing of the Nations.” https://ywamseamill.org

In an undated article titled, YWAM Portland, Oregon, Visits our Monastery, Celtic Monk Preston of the Prayer Foundation, revealed: “Once a month, YWAM Portland has a day of prayer, solitude and contemplation,” – YWAM missionaries who visited Preston’s Celtic monastery dressed in monks robes, were then instructed in the practices of the ancient Celts by Celtic Monks.

https://www.prayerfoundation.org/dailyoffice/ywam_portland_visits_monastery_and_chapel.htm

Seth Barnes, founder of the young adult’s missionary group AIM, promotes Celtic spirituality. On his blog Radical Living in a Comfortable World, Spiritual direction: advice from a soul friend, Barnes shares a link to All Saints Parish, Celtic Spirituality website.

Regent University, Toronto: “TRADITION AND TRANSFORMATION: CELTIC CHRISTIANITY
Speaker(s): Thomas Power
Date: July 11-20, 2005
DESCRIPTION
The contemporary revival of interest in the Celtic world is a phenomenon of our age. Heightened interest has led to the appropriation of the Celtic tradition for different purposes by different interest groups. The result is that at a popular level the historic reality of Celtic Christianity is increasingly elusive as claims made about it become exaggerated. The purpose of this series, therefore, is to situate the Celtic Christian experience of the spiritual in the context of its historical development in Ireland between the 5th & 12th centuries. Lectures include:

Celtic Christianity: Revivals Ancient and Modern
The Celtic World: A Sacral Universe
The Transition from Pagan to Christian
Saints, Sanctity, and Spiritual Biography
Monks, Monasteries, and Meaning
The Beauty of the World
Celtic Christianity and the Arts: The Book of Kells
The Heritage of Worship, Prayer, and Hymns
The Trinity in Celtic Christianity
Celtic Christianity and Postmodernism”

In September, 2010, Fuller Theological Seminary, taught an International Course in ‘Exploring the Celtic Heritage’: “The spirituality of the Celtic saints offers a creative missional model for the 21st century. This unique course will be based on the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, off the coast of Northumberland, England, and will combine reflection on mission in today’s world with space for personal reflection & spiritual nurture.”

Fuller Theological Seminary is now offering Summer 2011 Immersion Courses, one of which includes a 10 day trip to Ireland, where students are encouraged to: “Join us as we wander amongst sacred sites dotting the Irish countryside studying the birthplace of Celtic monastic spirituality, which still today has a significant influence on our worship practices…Worship God through contemplative prayer and song in cloistered spaces and under the wide canopy of Irish sky. Examine the rich imagery and symbolism of Celtic crosses.”

Fuller Theological Seminary, 2021: “Celtic and Contemporary Models for Spiritual Direction & Praxis of Spiritual Direction – Iona, Scotland

The third year will be an immersion in the historical Celtic model of spiritual formation and direction, Anam Cara. The class will meet in Scotland on the island of Iona, an historic and spiritual place where Christianity was brought from Ireland by St Columba to Scotland, and where monastic communities forged historical models for spiritual direction (soul friend). The retreat like setting of the course will allow for personal reflection and personal discernment. We will define and delve more deeply in Celtic Spirituality. In addition, we will look at Puritan and contemporary models of spirituality, develop and explore implications of spiritual formation for the local church, and develop and practice deeper skills for the ministry of spiritual direction. We will explore particular models of spiritual direction, historic and modern, as part of learning practices of discernment and how they are integrated into spiritual direction.” https://www.fuller.edu/dmin/spiritual-direction-formation-cohort/

The Brehm Center, working in tandem with Fuller Theological Seminary

“The sponsors of integrated education in the arts, theology and worship also promotes Celtic spirituality at their website. “The Wild Goose Festival is a music, art and conversation festival at the intersection of justice and spirituality. It is rooted in the Christian tradition seeking to welcome all regardless of ethnicity, gender, sexuality, background or belief. In the Celtic Church the image of the Wild Goose has long been held as a symbol for the wild, unpredictable, and untamable nature of the Holy Spirit…”

COURSES TAUGHT AT NAZARENE THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY (2002 – present) Doug Hardy

“Doctoral: Wesleyan Spiritual Practice for Ministry; Sustaining a Culture of Prayer in an Ecclesial Setting; Spiritual
Direction: Living with Questions in a Complicated World

Master’s:
REGULAR: Celtic Spirituality; Celtic Pilgrimage to Ireland; Connection & Service; Core Relationships for Christian
Ministry; Counseling and Spirituality; Discernment & Decision-Making; Faith Shaping & Sharing; Fasting &
Simplicity; Grace, Sins & Temptation; Ministry of Spiritual Direction; Personal & Spiritual Development of the
Minister; Persons in Community; Pilgrimage & Formation; Prayer & Scripture; Prayer Patterns & Practices;
Sacraments & Asceticism; Senior Integrative Seminar; Spiritual Formation of Servant Leaders; Theology &
Spirituality of Place

DIRECTED RESEARCH: Charismatic Spirituality; Desert Spirituality; History of Christian Spirituality; Identity in
Pastoral Ministry; Liturgical Spirituality; Christian Monasticism; Preaching & the Spiritual”

Nazarene Theological Seminary in their spring, 2011, Course SPF 790 – Celtic Spirituality, introduces students to the “Christian traditions” of the ancient pagan Celtic Church. “The renewal of interest in and even fascination with all things Celtic in recent decades begs the question: What do so many find compelling about these peoples and their culture? Embedded within the more well-known expressions of Celtic art, music, dance, and story are references to lesser-known spiritual traditions, both pre-Christian and Christian. What characterizes Celtic spirituality and what is its relevance for Christian spirituality today? In this course, these and other questions will be explored from the perspective of the Christian Celtic tradition.”

Liberty University – SENIOR HONORS THESES:The Celtic Way: Order, Creativity, and the Holy Spirit in the Celtic Monastic Movement, Fiona Leitch, 2015

Abstract: “The Celtic monastic movement lasted hundreds of years and is responsible for much of the spread of Christianity to the West. Much of the movement’s success can be attributed to the Celtic Christians’ understanding of the importance of the role of creative culture and order as well as an openness and responsiveness to the leading of the Holy Spirit. It is these three things working in tandem that influenced the success of the Celtic monastic movement. Although the movement ended a thousand years ago, it can offer guidance and wisdom for carrying out ministry today. A case study of Cuirim Outreach will be discussed and conclusions drawn as to what can be learned from the Celtic Christians concerning modern ministry. Cuirim Outreach is creative, modern day expression of many of the same ideas that drove the Celtic monastic movement.” http://digitalcommons.liberty.edu/honors/540/

Wesley Seminary: “Registration for Spring and Summer courses is now in full swing. Please go to Wesley Web to register. Need an elective? Several study trips are available over the summer including Birmingham, AL, where you will trace the footsteps of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Journey to Iona [Scotland] to study Celtic spirituality. ” https://www.wesleyseminary.edu/weekly-announcements/attention-doctor-of-ministry-students/

Garrett – Evangelical Theological Seminary: Celtic Spirituality – Experiencing God in the Everyday, Oct. 16 – Nov. 26, 2019. “In the midst of transition and ever-changing life, it is imperative to be grounded in the heart of God. Join Rev. Dr. Brenda Buckwell as we discover six ancient paths of prayer in the Celtic tradition. Together we will:

Discover a deep love of creation.
Engage a sense of belonging to One God, The Trinity of Love.
Explore poetry, prayers and music.
Practice living everyday joy.
From the newest person of prayer to the experienced pray-er, all will uncover the ancient wisdom of the Celts for contemporary devotion. As we share Daily Prayer Hours across the tradition and miles, our hearts will be grounded in a rhythm of stability for the ever-changing 21st century.” https://www.garrett.edu/connectional-learning/celtic-spirituality-experiencing-god-everyday

Columbia Theological Seminary – Sacred Creation: The Celtic Way Of Christian Spirituality: “Celtic people of Ireland and Britain as early as the second century C.E. and began to blossom by the fifth century.

This encounter between the Christian religion and Celtic tradition engendered a deep and distinctive spirituality rooted in the goodness of creation.

The Celtic way of Christianity has since made abundant contributions to art, literature, and theology, with expressive symbolism and imagery, a unique understanding of human nature, and its own monastic traditions.

Though the Celtic expression of Christianity has long encountered tension with mainstream Christianity, the twentieth and twenty-first centuries have seen a revival of interest in the Celtic spiritual tradition.

At this critical juncture in history, for both the Church and the world, Celtic spirituality has much to offer Christians today.

In contrast to dualistic strains of Christian thought, which prioritize spirit over matter, Celtic Christianity emphasizes the sacred essence of all creation.

Creation, like Scripture, reveals God’s heart. Yet we enact great violence on creation daily, and climate change threatens life as we know it on earth. Recapturing the high value that this spirituality places on creation—and our care for it—is of urgent importance for our world and indeed the fate of humanity.

Likewise, The Celtic way of Christianity emphasizes the essential goodness of humanity, rather than the Augustinian notion of original sin.

While acknowledging the existence of sin, Celts prioritize the goodness inherent in individuals; each bears the imago dei. “The presence of God’s spirit in all things is what makes them beautiful,” Pelagius wrote. “[I]f we look with God’s eyes, nothing on the earth is ugly” (Letters of Pelagius, 71).

This understanding of humanity has the power to tear down the walls that separate us from one another, both in our neighborhoods, in our brutally divisive national politics, and in the global community.

Celtic spirituality offers new ways of viewing the Christian mission in the world, too.

David Adam observes that “The Celtic church did not so much seek to bring Christ as to discover Him: not to possess Him, but to see Him in ‘friend and stranger’; to liberate the Christ who is already there in all his riches” (Ian Bradley, The Celtic Way, 75).

In stark contrast to the imperializing role that Christian mission has played throughout church history, Celtic spirituality offers a way to engage in mission and evangelism that acknowledges the dignity and respect inherent in each person.

Finally, Celtic spirituality calls for us to slow down, to be contemplative, to cease from the brutal pace of the world that robs us of vitality and life.

This spirituality offers a pathway to a deep connection to creation, to God, to others, and to our very selves.

In these ways and others, Celtic spirituality offers Christians today possibilities for growth, newness, and depth.” Arthur M. Wright, Jr. https://www.ctsnet.edu/the-celtic-way-of-christian-spirituality/

Asbury Seminary Alumni and Friends Celtic Christianity Tour: UK 2021
Published Date: March 5, 2020: “We have the perfect opportunity set in place for those who have a passion for travel and have longed to learn more about Christianity in the beautiful lands of the United Kingdom! For 10 days in June of 2021, you can join Asbury alumni and travel to England, Scotland, and Ireland. “ https://asburyseminary.edu/elink/asbury-seminary-alumni-and-friends-celtic-christianity-tour-uk-2021/

Glastonbury Tor located in Glastonbury, Somerset, England was put on the map when it became the most prominent part of the Isles of Wonder set of the 2012 London Olympics opening ceremony. Unbeknown to the majority of international viewers Glastonbury is the most revered of Britain’s ancient sacred sites with a long association with the Celtic legend of King Arthur, and the underworld (the Celts believed Glastonbury is the entrance to the underworld.) The Tor has seven terraces and when viewed from above the terraces create a winding labyrinth path which is rumored to be used for occult rituals including Druid initiations and goddess worship.

Christianity Today

Christianity Today ( CT) magazine published a blasphemous front page cover story ‘Saving Celtic Spirituality` by Loren Wilkinson April 24, 2020.

“…These Celtic spirituality books are generally beautiful, lavishly decorated with a colorful knotwork of intertwined beasts and plants. The contents are organized around the seasons or the Celtic Pagan holy days (Samhain, Beltane, and others). The spiritual content is generic and safe, usually preceded by some warnings about the difference between Celtic spirituality (which is inclusive, and hence good) and Christian religion (which is exclusive, and hence bad). The introduction from one of these books is typical: “This book is for people of lively, questing spirit who want to lay down a personal pattern of spiritual practice but who do not wish to practice this within a specific religious framework. The material within this book springs from the spiritual current of Celtic tradition.”Thus Celtic spirituality becomes one more dish on a spiritual smorgasbord, alongside various ancient and exotic traditions. We are used to such a spread in these late-modern times, whose inhabitants (like the Athenians of Paul’s day) are always hungry for the latest ideas.The current wave of Celtophilia might be of only marginal interest to the Christian—except that a substantial and rapidly growing Celtic Christian movement also exists within the evangelical Christian community. So the word Celtic occurs with increasing frequency in the books and music of Christian bookstores, as do the rhythms”….

Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa

A banner used to promote Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa (CCCM) senior pastor, Brian Brodersen’s Bible study on Revelation 9:13-21 depicting a pagan celtic triquetra symbol was sent out by Twitter on March 6, 2016. This symbol was then seen projected on the wall behind the pulpit at CCCM.

A triquetra is a triangle or three (tri) cornered quetrus. It is made up of three intersecting vesica pisces, a shape created by the intersection of two circles – sacred geometry.

The triquetra is considered one of the oldest pagan celtic symbols dating back to as early as 500 AD when it was used to symbolize the triple goddess/Divine feminine (maiden-mother-crone). The symbol is often used to represent the three fundamental elements – air, water, and earth or the infinite cycle of life. It is also known as a rune of protection.

Pilgrim Lutheran Church (ELCA)

“Ten years ago, Pilgim Lutheran Church (ELCA) in the Macalester – Groveland neighborhood of St Paul took a long hard look at itself and started dreaming. What would a new worship service look like, if the congregation could add one? Like so many other neighborhoods in the Twin Cities, Pilgrim has had its share of “de-churched” individuals who had some previous experience in the Christian faith but no current home in a church community. How might a new type of worship experience make a difference?
With their mission statement in mind, “to be a home for hungry minds and souls,” Pilgrim’s dream quickly moved to strategic planning. A worship renewal grant from the Calvin Institute for Christian Worship, supported by the Lilly Endowment, undergirded the congregation’s tactical decision to add a service that was both contemplative and global. The Irish roots of St. Paul and the Scottish, Irish, and Celtic identities of its nearby colleges led to an indigenous approach to style, and Pilgrim launched one of the Twin Cities’ first Celtic worship services.

March 2012 marks the 10th anniversary of Pilgrim’s Celtic contemplative communion services and an exciting milestone for the congregation. Offered the second Sunday evening of the month from September to May, this unique worship experience immediately filled a need in the community and became an effective and pivotal outreach for the congregation…

Pilgrim’s Celtic service is contemplative, without a sermon. Participants worship and receive God’s presence through prayers, poetry, litanies, scripture readings, music, and silence. When worshippers arrive, they are invited to light a candle and place it in a sand-filled Celtic cross. This light-filled cross becomes the circle around which the congregation gathers for Holy Communion later in the service…” https://metrolutheran.org/2012/02/a-decade-of-celtic-prayer

All roads lead to the ancient pagan British Apostolic Celtic Church.

The previous information is only the “tip of the iceberg.

In a world full of treachery, lies and deceit it is comforting to meditate on Jesus Christ’s answer to Pilate’s question, “What is truth?” Jesus gave the solution to Pilate’s question in fact before the words even came out of the Roman leader’s mouth. Pilate just refused to hear what Jesus told him. Quoting from John 18:37, “For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” All who hearken to Christ’s Words will be led to the truth of Life and will receive His promise of salvation and deliverance from the wrath which is soon to come. If you do not have a personal relationship with the Living Lord Jesus Christ, repent (have a change of mind) and put your complete faith in ‘the Way, the Truth and the Life,” who paid for the sins of the world by His atoning blood sacrifice when He was pierced upon the cross – the Risen Lord Jesus Christ (John 14:6).

For further information see Apostasy Called Revival- The Rise of Celtic Spirituality/The Emergent Church, 2002

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Geoffrey Grider, NTEB Promotes the Teachings of Anti-Semetic, Racist and Dangerous Deceiver Peter S Ruckman

These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots; Jude 1:12.

Can two walk together, unless they are agreed? Amos 3:3.

On April 21, 2016, Geoffrey Grider/NTEB wrote, “PETER RUCKMAN WAS, WITHOUT A DOUBT, ONE OF THE FINEST BIBLE TEACHERS THE LORD EVER PUT ON THIS EARTH. HE BELIEVED THE BOOK, AND DIDN’T THINK HE OR ANYONE ELSE HAD THE RIGHT TO ‘MESS WITH IT’.

It must have been sometime back in the mid-90’s, when I was introduced to a brother by the name of Scott Lyman. Scott attended a small Baptist church near where I lived, and he was excited to hand me a Bible teaching cassette tape from someone by the name of Peter Ruckman of Pensacola, Florida. That was my introduction to the ‘good doctor’ of scripture.

Over the years, I would purchase many such tapes from Dr. Ruckman, then DVD’s, and finally an entire library shelf of Bible commentaries.”

By his own admission, Grider is well versed in Ruckman’s “biblical truths.”

A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. Luke 6:45.

“Peter Ruckman reveals the only reason he did not join the KKK, but otherwise agrees with everything they say

“The Ku Klux Klan’s like that. I’ll tell you why I never joined the Ku Klux Klan. It’s because they’re anti-semitic. And that’s the only reason I didn’t join. [laughs heartely] I mean, I agree with everything else they say. But the trouble is when you get out that way, that extreme right-wing, you begin to turn against that Jew, and I ain’t gonna turn against that Jew.”

There is nothing else Ruckman said about the KKK in the context. The video can be seen on Youtube (the statements can be found at the 22-minute mark). “Dr. Ruckman 1993 Questions and Answers” https://youtu.be/jUC-1D4DTP8

You may think that since Ruckman is against anti-semitism, and the Jews are God’s chosen people, that he would speak kindly of them overall (with allowance for disagreements over doctrinal differences of course). But notice what he says two minutes later in the same video, but also how he manages to slip in a suttle jab at another race and we all know who it is:

[24 minute mark] “But, because God chose him you have to love him [the Jew], you have to love him. And if you don’t, God will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curse thee, so you gotta be careful. And it’s kinda hard to be careful. I don’t know if you have–you don’t have a lot of Jews in North Carolina, or at least back in the mountains you don’t. And if you do, they behave themselves, ’cause they’re kind of outnumbered. But ah, but you take a city Jew, a citified Jew like Chicago, or New York, they are the most repulsive people in this world, man! I guess, out of sight of another group I know of. (chuckles) The closest I ever came to hitting a fella was a Jewish pawn broker in Chicago.”

Any child of God who is familiar with the history and reputation of the KKK should be disgusted by Ruckman’s statement that he agrees with everything else the KKK says except for their views on a group that two minutes later he describes as “the most repulsive people in this world” (outside of another group)! This was not a laughing matter, regardless of the race in question. Yet Ruckmanites continue to make light of it such as declaring that it’s no big deal because everyone knows no one is perfect. However—the Bible teaches, “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them” (Romans 16:17). It is high time that the Bible admonition be taken seriously in this matter.” https://www.ruckmanism.org/peter-ruckman-reveals-the-only-reason-he-did-not-join-the-kkk-but-otherwise-agrees-with-everything-they-say

At the 25 minute mark of this video Ruckman’s evil remarks and actions reveal his hatred for the Jewish people when he showed his affection for German military marching bands, German soldiers, and then moves the podium to demonstrate the goose step associated with Nazi Germany. And how he played a German military marching band recording, which he had mixed using a deck of playing cards to create the sound of jack boots hitting the ground, for a blind Jewish man that he didn’t like just to make him sweat.

For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord, and because of these abominations the Lord your God drives them out from before you. Deuteronomy 18:12.

Like Ruckman, Geoffrey Grider shows no love for the Jewish people: “You will be banned if…you use anti-semitic language. You don’t have to love the Jews, just respect them.” Now The End Begins, Comment Policy.

Further evidence of Peter Ruckman’s racist remarks and are contained in his Referense Bible, 2009. It should come as no surprise that Grider is now offering this Reference Bible free of charge, as he considers “it to be the best commentary bible ever produced.”

“We had been giving out nice, quality King James Bibles for free for awhile, and people seemed to like them. But the bible I really wanted to put into people’s hands was the Ruckman Reference Bible, something that I personally consider to be the best commentary bible ever produced. But they are not cheap, with even the plain paper ‘economy’ model starting at $24.95, and I just didn’t have the funds for that. But I prayed about it, and lo and behold, an on-fire NTEB reader sent me in a check for $1,000 for the “free bible program”. Wow, I was floored. It wasn’t really a program, just something God put on my heart to do, but here was a nice-sized check for the “free bible program”, and that could only mean one thing. Ruckman Reference bibles! Right away, I called my friends at the Bible Baptist Bookstore in Pensacola, and ordered a bunch of cases of RRB’s, and when they arrived a few days later we started packing them up and sending them out. Exciting stuff!”Geoffrey Grider, NTEB, May 22, 2020.

Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds. 2 John:9-11.

Ruckman Reference Bible, 2009, Genesis, notes in the body of the text:

“As expected, Ruckman starts off teaching the gap theory in Genesis 1, lamenting that people even call it a theory. By Genesis 2 he is already teaching that Adam’s salvation was by works. He calls all teaching to the contrary regarding Old Testament salvation “irreligious claptrap.” In this same chapter he is already into racist jabs, stating: “In northern Alabama, Negros used to eat red clay out of the clay hills on Sunday afternoon with spoons to get back their original color.” In chapter 3 he is teaching that the lack of sweat due to air-conditioning is causing people’s bodies to be full of poison by the age of forty, in which circumstance we can only survive with medicines and operations. Ruckman starts chapter four with his wondering imagination stating: “This means that the Bible implies, without stating it directly, that some kind of a sexual union could have taken place between Eve and the ‘angel of light’ (see 2 Cor. 11:14).” Under Genesis 8:21 Ruckman has a comment which is characteristic of his twisted view of God: “The printed record that God gives of what he thinks about you is the greatest ‘hate literature’ ever assembled on earth.” Under Genesis 10:2, he has a list as to what people from different nationalities and races have been labeled. Some of the labels are non-offensive, while others are unchristian [absolute wickedness]….”Black man is a ‘n*****,’ – ‘J***** b****’ or ‘p**** m*****.’ https://www.ruckmanism.org/rrb

“Ruckman’s list as to what people of different nationalities and races have been labeled: https://www.reddit.com/r/forwardsfromgrandma/comments/iq8ziy/this_was_from_a_bible_commentary_written_by_the/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=mweb

Promoting Ruckman’s racist and heretical Reference Bible as “the best commentary bible ever produced” is just one more reason to shun Geoffrey Grider and so deliver your soul out of his dangerous snares.

They speak idly everyone with his neighbor; With flattering lips and a double heart they speak. Psalm 12:2.

“I…have done my best my entire life to stand against racism in all its many forms.” Geoffrey Grider, January 30, 2021.

It is also a noticeable fact that Ruckman taught killing an unborn baby is not murder. Peter Ruckman’s Abortion Heresy Exposed. https://youtu.be/BW1BXJOCx2M

Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, 1 Timothy 4:1.

Anti-semetic, white supremist Peter Ruckman, as with most cult leaders, taught many “doctrines of demons” including:

We believe that history is absolute proof that “race-mixers” are mentally sick (Deut. 32:8). (Peter Ruckman, Twenty-Two Years of the Bible Believers’ Bulletin Volume #7 Strictly Personal. 2004, p. 112)

The serpent seed heresy, Satan committed adultery with Eve: “The verses [2 Corinthians 11:2-3] IMPLY (see John 8:44 and 1 John 3:12) that some type of sexual transaction took place between Eve and Satan. Whatever it was, it affected her body fluids, and it caused a conception, if it happened.” (Peter Ruckman’s Bible References: Personal Notes on Salient Verses in the Bible, p. 278)

All women in the Church Age will receive thirty-three year old male bodies at the Rapture: “Since every Christian in the Body of Christ has a MAN inside him (or her) (Col. 1:27; John 1:12) and is PREDESTINATED to be conformed to the image of that man (2 Cor. 4:4; Rom. 8:29; 1 John 3:1-4; Phil. 3:21), there is no question at all about the future state of every Christian in the Body of Christ, except in the minds of Hebrew and Greek professors and the “vast majority of conservative, Bible-rejecting blockheads.” The believer will appear in glory as a 33-year old sinless male.” (Peter Ruckman, 22 Years of the Bible Believer’s Bulletin Vol. 1 “The AV Holy Bible” p. 110)

The plan of salvation for Tribulation saints is faith plus works and the plan of salvation in the Millennium is works alone: “Before the Rapture, you could have been saved by grace through faith plus nothing (Ephesians 2:8-9), but one minute after the Rapture took place you must get out the Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule and start learning them, because you’re going to be judged by them (Matthew 25:31-46).” (Peter Ruckman, Millions Disappear. 1989, p. 23)

Ruckman’s teaching of six different plans of salvation in the Book of Acts alone: “The book of Acts consistently presents the same keys, the same plan of salvation. It does if you are as blind as blind Bartimaeus on a weekend drunk—just as blind as a bat backing into a blizzard. There are SIX “plans of salvation” in the book of Acts, as God continued to reveal more light on “the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24) (which was not revealed to Peter; it was revealed to Paul—Gal. 1, 2). Peter himself testifies to Paul’s “plan of salvation” in Acts 15:11. Read it. I said, “Read it.” Read it or shut your big, tongue-wagging blabber mouth.”

Salvation by repentance and water baptism with NO tongues as evidence in a single convert (Acts 2:38).

Salvation by belief and water baptism without any convert speaking in tongues (Acts 8:12).

Salvation by grace through faith before water baptism or tongues (Acts 10:44).

Salvation by grace through faith after water baptism (Acts 19:2–6).

Salvation by belief and baptism without getting the Holy Spirit (Acts 8:16).

Salvation by grace through faith without tongues or water baptism (Acts 8:37) and without tongues or laying on of hands (Acts 8:38).” (Bible Believers’ Bulletin January. 2007, p. 16)

“When the believer is born again, his soul is literally cut loose from the inside of his fleshly body: “In a saved man, the Holy Spirit has cut the flesh away from the soul and spirit (see Col. 2:11-13). That body has a spirit connected with it that is different from the new spirit that lives inside of you.” (Peter Ruckman, The Book of Romans: The Bible Believer’s Commentary Series. Pensacola, FL: BB Bookstore, 2003, p. 265)

Sexual unions constitute marriage in God’s sight: “Flesh joining flesh” makes a man and woman, “man and wife” (Matt. 19:4-6; 1 Cor. 6:16; Eph. 5:31).
(Peter Ruckman, The Ruckman Reference Bible, 2009, p. 499)

The flood mentioned in 2 Peter 3 is not Noah’s flood but is one that supposedly occurred at the judgment of the earth, when Satan was cast out of Heaven [The Gap Theory]. He admits that no other Bible teacher has held this view: “Now who could get a message so simple all muddled up? Answer: Every major fundamental Bible scholar and teacher in the United States, without one exception. If you were to ask Henry Morris what the verses refer to he’d say Noah’s flood.” (Peter Ruckman, The Unknown Bible, p. 67)

Ruckman’s teaching is similar to Mormon doctrine: “God has ordained on this earth 12 boundaries, with 12 nations, who are destined to leave this earth (transported by angels– Luke 16:22), and populate outerspace infinitely and forever, beginning with the 12 constellations that are seen on the earth once every 12 months.” (Peter Ruckman, The Unknown Bible, p. 588)

“In eternity, THE CHRISTIAN IS IN NEW JERUSALEM; he is in his apartment house that is made out of transparent gold, like clear glass. … He is called out on trips, and these trips take him to Mars, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Uranus, etc. transporting couples into gardens placing them down and saying, ‘be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth.“ (Peter Ruckman, The Unknown Bible, p. 592)

In his 1996 book Black Is Beautiful, Ruckman claims that UFOs are real. Ruckman believes that some of the medieval plagues in Europe were caused by UFOs, that a B-52 bomber was downed by a UFO and that aliens disemboweled the crew members, and that a crew member of a US Navy ship was transported into the future. He believes the CIA has implanted brain transmitters in children, old people, blacks, and prisoners (p. 243) and operates underground alien breeding facilities (p. 256). He believes in Atlantis (p. 171) and the Bermuda Triangle, time warps (p. 160), creatures with one eye (p. 173), web footed aliens, blue aliens with blue blood (pp. 85, 86), black aliens with green blood (p. 244), and grey aliens with clear blood (pp. 310-11). He believes that Adam originally had water in his veins instead of blood (p. 185). He believes that the government is involved with UFO animal mutilations (p. 247). He believes that black helicopters carrying UN troops are “circling your homes” with the mission of attacking and imprisoning the populace (p. 233). He believes the U.S. federal government has kidnapped people and kept them alive in “amber liquid” (p. 230). He believes that the CIA flies around in space ships developed from technology gained when the government made a deal with aliens to allow them to kidnap children and use their organs as food and to experiment on U.S. citizens (pp. 291, 295-297).

The following is an except from an expose’ of Peter Ruckman’s heresies, by Neil Rivalland:

“Ruckman resorts to vicious badgering and name calling for those who do not submit to his authority. In the book ‘Problem Texts’ he uses curse words and vile language to castigate all the major Bible schools and seminaries in America. All who do not agree with him are the “Alexandrian Cults,” “Heretics,” “Apostates,” etc. In one of his books, he describes himself creeping into a church basement with blackened face, grenades in hand to blow apart the apostates. It sounds the same as Benny Hinn wanting to blow away all his critics with a “holy ghost machine gun.””

Peter Ruckman

And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber. 2 Peter 2:2-3.


They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us. 1 John 2:19.

Peter Ruckman was a dangerous heretic. Being of reprobate mind, he twisted the teaching of Scripture to suit his own purpose and in the process has built up a dangerous cult following. Most notably, Geoffrey Grider, Sam Gipp, Robert Breaker, Eugene Kim and Bryan Denlinger, who like their mentor, are known for their arrogance, nastiness, and argumentative spirit.

It should be noted that many of Geoffrey Grider’s “NTEB Rightly Dividing Radio Bible Studies” and “The NTEB House Church Sunday Service,” – “… to put the power back into your Bible reading and increase your faith in that Book, something very much needed in these trying times in which we find ourselves,” derive from Peter Ruckman’s heresies.

In a world full of treachery, lies and deceit it is comforting to meditate on Jesus Christ’s answer to Pilate’s question, “What is truth?” Jesus gave the solution to Pilate’s question in fact before the words even came out of the Roman leader’s mouth. Pilate just refused to hear what Jesus told him. Quoting from John 18:37, “For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” All who hearken to Christ’s Words will be led to the truth of Life and will receive His promise of salvation and deliverance from the wrath which is soon to come. If you do not have a personal relationship with the Living Lord Jesus Christ, repent (have a change of mind) and put your complete faith in ‘the Way, the Truth and the Life,” who paid for the sins of the world by His atoning blood sacrifice when He was pierced upon the cross – the Risen Lord Jesus Christ (John 14:6).

See Geoffrey Grider/Now The End Begins- Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

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Understanding Matthew Chapter 24

In verses 1 & 2 of Matthew 24 Jesus directs His attention towards the white and blue marbled temple which was then standing in Jerusalem and prophesies of its destruction. A short time later Jesus would be crucified upon the cross for the sins of the world and within 40 years His prophecy of the destruction of the Temple would be fulfilled to the letter by the Romans. Not one stone was left standing upon another, just as Jesus prophesied.

In verse 3 the concerned disciples of Jesus ask 3 important questions from their Jewish perspective. Referring to Jesus’ remarks in Matt. 23:37-38 & 24:1-2 about the future of Jerusalem and the temple they ask, “…when will these things be?” They then inquire, “And what will be the sign of Your coming and of the end of the age?” This was in response to Jesus’ revelation in Matt. 23:39 that He would soon be leaving them. They were Jews who were inquiring about the return of their Messiah and when He planned to establish the kingdom which God had promised to their forefathers. The disciples were already aware that it would be established at the end of the age, but they desired to know exactly how long it would be until that day. It must be kept in mind that the future Church, which would one day be comprised of both Jews and Gentiles, is not the subject being discussed, nor is it even in view in Matt. 24. We find this truth revealed in John 7:39, “But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.”

Unless this important point is grasped, a proper understanding of Matt. 24 will not avail itself to a student of Bible prophecy. It is a fact that the first record of the Gentiles receiving the Holy Spirit and uniting with the Jewish believers is not recorded in the Scriptures until after Christ’s death and resurrection in Acts 10:44-48 & 11:1-18. Although all Scripture is given to believers, Matt. 24 was written with a Jewish focus.

In verses 4-12, referring to a time called “the beginning of sorrows,” Jesus warned of the signs that would preclude the judgment of Jerusalem and His return. These signs run parallel with those Jesus gave in Rev. 6:2-11 for the first 3 ½ years of the 7 year Tribulation Period designated for the close of the age.

In Matt. 24:13-14 Jesus promises that those who endure to the end will be saved and that the gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world before this end will come. Jesus was not talking about believers being able to lose their salvation in verse 13 as some erroneously teach. It is just a clear and simple statement to the Jews that those believers who manage to survive until Christ returns will be physically saved (see Zeph. 3:14-20).

In verse 14 we were told that the gospel (good tidings) of the kingdom will be preached to everyone in all the world. We are shown in Rev. 14:6 that this incredible feat will be accomplished by an angel. Up to this point in time the preaching of the gospel was exclusively conducted by mankind. Matt. 24:15 then makes a clear demarcation point to the Jews for recognizing the middle of the 7 yr. Tribulation period when Jesus warns that the “’abomination of desolation” spoken of by Daniel the prophet [will be] standing in the holy place” (Dan. 9:27). This reference relates to the Temple and the worship of the Jews, not to the Church.

Verses 16-20 further emphasize the Jewish believer’s relationship with Matt. 24 and the Tribulation Period when Jesus specifically addresses those in Judea and those who are obeying the Sabbath laws. Before the Tribulation Period begins God does not recognize a separate body of Jewish believers within the Church according to Rom. 10:12, Gal. 3:28 & Col. 3:11.

Those who try to put the Church on earth during the Tribulation in Matt. 24 are in a major dispute with the Scriptures as to why God is independently recognizing Jewish believers in a separate manner, when His word in 3 different places unquestionably denies that such a thing is possible during this dispensation.

In Matt. 24:21-22 Jesus again emphasizes the horrifying events of the Tribulation Period and that it will be only because of His returning to the earth that people will be physically saved from destruction. Continuing on we find that Matt. 24:23-31 has absolutely nothing to do with the Rapture of the Church before the Tribulation Period begins and everything to do with the Second Coming of Christ at the close of it. The passage once more directly answers the questions of the disciples concerning Christ’s Second Coming. He tells them unequivocally in verse 29 that this time period is when He returns “immediately after the tribulation.” Verse 30 can be directly cross-referenced with God’s Word for the tribes of Israel found in Zech. 12:10-14.

In Matt. 24:32-35 Jesus tells the disciples that all the things He had been speaking of would be fulfilled in the generation that witnessed when the fig tree puts forth its leaves. The fig tree is a symbol of national Israel which was restored in 1948.

Mark 11:11-22 reveals a direct relationship between the greening of the fig tree and Jerusalem. It is necessary to understand that the fig tree produces fruit before the leaves, when reading this passage from Mark. Jesus was entering Jerusalem to receive the fruit of Israel’s faith (see Luke 20:9-16). They had a display of duty to God when He arrived, but no true faith. It was not their fruitful season when they would receive the Son of God. In these last days collective Israel once again has had Jerusalem and the holy sites returned to her care, and just like it was at Christ’s first coming there is still no fruit. The parable of the fig tree in Luke 13:6-9 is a companion passage representing both Christ’s first coming as their rejected Messiah, and of Israel’s coming great time of tribulation when she will be made ready to bear the fruit worthy of her Creator upon His return (Jn. 1:1-5 & 10-14).

It should be remembered that it was within the 40-year generation after Jesus prophesied of the destruction of Jerusalem in Matt. 23:36-38 that His words came to pass in 70 AD. The things that Jesus had been speaking of in Matt. 24 are what the Jews are to look for regarding the signs of His second coming and the end of the age, signs which we as the Church would be wise to recognize are upon us since we will be Raptured 7 years before Jesus returns.

We now come to the portion of Matt. 24 in verses 36-44 that initiates some of the greatest debates. Referring in verse 36 to what Jesus had been speaking about previously (that is His Second Coming and the end of the age) Jesus said that no one knows the day and hour except His Father. Verses 37-39 compares those who were unprepared for the flood of Noah’s day to those who will be unprepared for Jesus Christ’s Second Coming. Verses 39 & 40 (along with verse 28) are not misplaced references regarding the Pre-Tribulation Rapture as is sometimes taught. They are placed precisely where they belong with the preceding references to the flood as an earlier judgment of God, which is presented as a counterpart to the final judgment for the close of the age found in II Pet. 3:3-7 and also for the second coming of the Lord. The righteous were left to inherit the earth after the flood and the wicked were removed according to Gen. 7:21-23.

The word for body in verse 28 is “carcass” in the original Greek. It is an error to try to connect this Scripture with the Rapture of the Church. Carcasses are bodies which are fallen in death. It is a contradiction to the Word of God found in I Cor. 15:44-54 to say that carcasses are caught up to God at the Rapture. Instead verse 28 of Matt. 24 tells us that these dead bodies will be found at Christ’s second coming among the gathered eagles, which are vultures. The noble picture we often see displayed of birds of prey does not change the fact pertaining to their scavenging natures.

Matt. 13:41-43 makes this truth abundantly clear that at the close of the age, immediately after the Tribulation, it is the wicked that are removed for destruction and those found righteous are the ones left behind. Matt. 24:31 also tells us that at that time God’s elect (the believing Jews which have been the main people of focus in Matt. 24), are to be gathered together by angels. They will be returned to Israel not only by the angels, but also by men to receive their promised inheritance of the kingdom. The elect will be brought by any means possible, according to Isa. 66:18-20&23. Isaiah 66:24 again reveals the truth that the corpses of the ungodly will be gathered together from the face of the earth.

Verses 42-44 of Matt. 24 reiterates the point of verse 36 that those living at the time Jesus Christ returns, will not know the hour of His return and that His coming will be like a thief. Some believe that this proves Matt. 24 presents the Rapture of the Church. They argue that if these particular Scriptures referred to the Second Coming then they wouldn’t make sense. They point out that people will most certainly be able to figure out the exact time Christ will return at His Second Coming by noting when the abomination of desolation that Christ and Daniel spoke of is set up in the soon to be rebuilt Temple and then just counting down the days recorded in Dan. 12:11-12. The error in this logic is that Dan. 12:11-12 makes no reference that the numbering of days which are given are the same as those of the day and especially the hour of Jesus Christ’s second coming (Mark 13:33-37 & Luke 12:36-40).

We would have to agree that these are indicators of tremendous happenings and could very possibly include the return of Christ, but it is still an assumption and not scriptural that Christ will return at the end of one of the two numerical countdowns given in the Book of Daniel.

More importantly though is what the Scriptures do say! Reading in Rev. 16:15 we find our proof text. The time given in Rev. 16:16 is at the close of the great Tribulation Period just prior to the nations being gathered together for the final great war of Armageddon. We quote, “Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.” In like fashion of the Rapture before the Tribulation, there will be a limited number of believers at the second coming of Christ who will understand the urgency of the times they are living in and will be prepared for the day Jesus comes, while everyone else will be disbelieving or oblivious (see Rev. 3:3, I Thess. 5:4-11 & II Pet. 3:3-4).

Matt. 24:45-51 then closes with the parable of the faithful and evil servants. The faithful servants are those who are believers. Their faith is manifestly evident by their words and Christ knows their heart. The unfaithful servants are those who are aware of what the Word of God says, but do not truly believe they will one day soon give an account. This is a picture of the two types of people to be found among the Jews in particular at the close of the age.

It can also be used to illustrate the two types of people that will be found within the Church at the time of the Rapture. Verse 51 is the key. There we are told the evil servant will have “his portion with the hypocrites.” The Greek word for hypocrites “hupokrites” denoted a stage actor. The evil servant is nothing more than an unbeliever who knows what is in the script and can even recite every line, but the fact remains he is nothing more than just another actor who reveals his true self when he grows weary of playing the role.

For the Church, Matt. 24 is rich with instructions and is overflowing with prophetic revelations. To the Jewish believers of the Tribulation it is a prophetic blueprint for the trying days they will soon enter and a brilliant light of promise that those days will be shortened by the return of their true Messiah Yeshua, the Lion of Judah (Rev. 5:5).

If you do not know Jesus as your Saviour, today is the day to repent (have a change of mind) and put your trust in the atoning blood sacrifice of the Living Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Don’t delay.

Former Muslim, J. B. Mokriby

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