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Seven Major Prophetic Signs Of The Second Coming

Written by Jack  Kelley

taken from Rapture Readyhttp://www.raptureready.com/featured/kelley/jack51.html


8th Annual Update January 2009

There are seven major prophetic signs of the Second Coming, and for the first time in history all seven are in some stage of fulfillment. As in years past, I’ll list the seven with their primary biblical references and offer commentary from current events.

1. Israel Will Be In The Land… Ezekiel 36:24, 37:21

For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land .

This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will take the Israelites out of the nations where they have gone. I will gather them from all around and bring them back into their own land.

In 1948, when Israel took its place among the nations of the world again for the first time in nearly 2000 years, students of prophecy recognized the fulfillment of the primary sign that the end of the age was upon us.  Both Isaiah 11:11-12 and Amos 9:14-15 had also clearly foretold this.  Jesus said that some from the generation being born when this happened would still be alive when He returned (Matt. 24:34).

The fulfillment of this prophecy caused another reaction as well. Satan reads prophecy too, and began exerting his influence on world leaders in his continuing effort to thwart the plan of God. As a result, Israel has fought six major wars in the last 60 years, each of them an attempt to erase the Jewish Homeland from the face of the Earth. And it’s clear that this effort will continue, with the biggest battle of all looming on the horizon, foretold by Ezekiel in chapters 38-39. Israel’s enemies, both physical and spiritual, won’t let up until they’ve either succeeded (their view) or been destroyed (God’s view).

For try as these nations might to destroy Israel, God sees a different outcome.

In that day the Lord will reach out his hand a second time to reclaim the remnant that is left of his people from Assyria, from Lower Egypt, from Upper Egypt, from Cush, from Elam, from Babylonia, from Hamath and from the islands of the sea. He will raise a banner for the nations and gather the exiles of Israel; he will assemble the scattered people of Judah from the four quarters of the earth. (Isaiah 11:11-12)

“I will bring back my exiled people Israel; they will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them. They will plant vineyards and drink their wine; they will make gardens and eat their fruit. I will plant Israel in their own land, never again to be uprooted from the land I have given them,” says the LORD your God. (Amos 9:14-15)

2. Jerusalem Will Be In Jewish Hands… Luke 21:24

They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

The Lord prophesied that the reunification of Jerusalem as a Jewish City would be a sign that foreign (gentile) influence over His land, and indeed the world, was about to end. Fulfillment of this prophecy began in 1967, and prophecy experts saw it as another major sign that the End of the Age had begun.  The almost world wide effort to take the city apart again is in essence a battle of wills; the Will of God vs. the will of man. Until recently every Israeli politician has stood firmly on a pledge to keep Jerusalem united forever as Israel’s capital.

But then former Prime Minister Sharon said that if re-elected he’d consider abandoning parts of the suburbs to achieve peace. A stroke-induced coma from which he has never recovered ended his political career, but his hand picked successor, Ehud Olmert, hinted at following through on Sharon’s proposals. Olmert’s poor performance in the war against Hezbollah in 2006 and the corruption charges against him have driven him from office and robbed him of the political strength to follow through.

I’ve come to believe that Jerusalem won’t really be free of Gentile “trampling” until the Lord returns.  Daniel’s prophecy that Gentile Dominion would not end until the Lord establishes His kingdom (Daniel 2:36-45), Zechariahs’ prophecy of the city being captured just before the Lord’s return (Zech. 14:2), and John’s observations in Rev. 11:1-2 of the gentiles trampling the outer court of the Temple during the Great Tribulation all confirm this.

The ongoing fulfillment of these major prophecies concerning Israel has caused confusion in the minds of some commentators. It centers around an incorrect interpretation of Matt. 24:34, that all end times prophecies would be fulfilled within a generation, nominally 40 years, of Israel’s re-gathering in 1948. That error made 1988 seem like the likely time for the End. But when 1988 came and went scholars focused on the Jerusalem date, 1967, and began adding 40 years to that, advancing their predictions to 2007. The rationale for this is that the timing of the First Coming prophecies in Daniel 9:24-27 keyed off the rebuilt city, not off the return to the Land. but that date proved wrong as well.

Problem is, the Lord didn’t promise that all end times prophecies would be fulfilled within a generation of their beginning, only that the generation being born at the time of the first of the signs would still be alive to see their completion. According to Psalm 90:10 an average Biblical life span is 70 years, so predicting the approximate time of the End requires the addition of 70 years to 1948, not 40.

As it draws nearer, the approximate timing of the 2nd Coming will become more and more obvious. Those people around when a treaty is enforced permitting the Jews to build their Temple in Israel will know that it’s about seven years away. (Daniel 9:27) Those who witness the anti Christ standing in that Temple proclaiming himself to be God will know there are only 1260 days left until the end of the Great Tribulation, and the 2nd Coming happens shortly after that. (Matt. 24:15,21 & 2 Thes. 2:4)  But even so, the Lord did state quite clearly that those alive on Earth at the end of the Great Tribulation would not know the exact day or hour of His coming until He actually appeared.  (Matt. 24:42 & 44, 25:13)

3. A Moslem Coalition Armed And Led By Russia Will Attack The Holy Land… Ezek. 38:2-6

“Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal; prophesy against him. This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws and bring you out with your whole army–your horses, your horsemen fully armed, and a great horde with large and small shields, all of them brandishing their swords. Persia, Cush and Put will be with them, all with shields and helmets, also Gomer with all its troops, and Beth Togarmah from the far north with all its troops–the many nations with you.”

(For a more detailed explanation of the modern equivalents to these biblical names, read “An In Depth Look At The Modern Equivalent To Biblical Names in Ezek.38)

Over 130 historical references make it plain that Magog stands for modern Russia, and the other countries named here form a coalition based on their common religion, Islam. (Today Russia is 30% Moslem and growing.)  Among them are Iran, several North African countries, Eastern European countries along the Danube, and the Turkic nations of Asia Minor.  A quick look at a world map will reveal that these areas are home to some of the most radical Islamic groups.

The Russians are already a major supplier of arms for the Moslem coalition, just as Ezekiel prophesied, and will be drawn into joining in this battle by God Himself. Russia’s barely disguised policy of becoming the major outside force in the Middle East is playing right into the Lord’s hands. Iran and Russia are well into the implementation of a $50 billion deal to provide Iran with nuclear power. The 10 reactors called for in the deal are supposedly for electrical power generation, but most western leaders suspect they’ll be used to build bombs, too. Some experts claim that Iran will become a nuclear power this year, but others think a bomb is still a ways off.  Israel has again vowed to prevent that ever happening, but don’t be surprised if the US continues to back away from its similar promise.

Russia has also formed commercial and military alliances with Turkey and Syria, and has become Turkey’s 2nd largest trading partner after Germany.  Russia has also sold Damascus a state of the art anti-air defense system along with their latest generation missiles and anti-tank rockets and plan to construct a major military seaport in northern Syria, moving components of their Black Sea fleet there.  In Lebanon, Russian Military Intelligence has just about taken over the town of Sidon, spying on Israel for Iran and Syria.   Iran has taken delivery of a Russian air defense system too, to protect its Bushier reactor site, first it the series Russia has promised to build.

Iran seems to be preparing its people for war with Israel, making the most outlandish claims in an effort to whip their people into a frenzy not seen since the days of the US embassy kidnapping of the 70’s. This inflammatory ranting has included a Holocaust denial seminar attended by 30 countries, and a promise to wipe Israel off the face of the map. Former and likely future Israeli PM Netanyahu has said that for the Jews it’s like 1938 all over again.

The major obstacle to an early fulfillment of this prophecy is the reference to its occurrence at a time when Israel is “a peaceful and unsuspecting people” (Ezekiel 38:11).  This certainly is not the case today, but In Psalm 83 there’s a yet-to-be-fulfilled prophecy that appears to involve all of Israel’s next door neighbors in another unsuccessful attempt to wipe the Jewish nation off the map. The psalmist pleads with the Lord to intervene and defeat Israel’s attackers. If this happens, it explains why none of them are named in Ezekiel’s list of antagonists, and how Israel could be living in a perceived state of safety as Ezekiel 38:11 requires.  Many of us have been watching to see if the recent Gaza incursion would escalate into a fulfillment of that prophecy, and though it hasn’t yet, it still could.

Two other pre-requisites for Ezekiel’s battle are also in the process of fulfillment.  The Gaza war may have strained Israel’s relationship with Turkey to the breaking point, and as I’ve shown Turkey will be on the Moslem side in Ezekiel’s battle.  Public support in Turkey for membership in the EU is also declining, another sign that attitudes toward the West are changing.  It won’t take much more for Turkey to switch sides.  And Israel’s recent natural gas discovery, said to be of  “historic” proportions, could create the wealth necessary to make Israel an attractive target for Russian conquest, fulfilling the prophecy of  Ezekiel 38:13 that Israel’s enemies will have attacked partly for plunder.  Till now Israel really hasn’t had any substantial wealth, but the natural gas discovery is worth billions.

I believe that the removal of the US as Israel’s powerful ally is also necessary to pave the way for Ezekiel’s battle, because I don’t think the Moslem coalition will attack until they’re sure the US won’t retaliate.  Any one of several scenarios currently being played out could accomplish this.  Our national policy could change.  A deepening recession could force us to turn inward and render us unwilling to keep our promise to support Israel.  Likewise, the threat or actual occurrence of a major terrorist attack could cause us to stand down.   And the Rapture of the Church could deprive the US of both the leadership and manpower to respond.  It’s no where near as difficult to see the US abandoning its commitment to Israel as it was just a few years ago.

When the time is right, having recently taken His church to Heaven, the Lord will use this battle to orchestrate His reconciliation with Israel, and on its heels the anti Christ will emerge with a peace plan that includes a Jewish Temple. So once this battle takes place, end times prophecy will go on fast forward.

4. The Ancient Roman Empire Will Re-Emerge As A Political Force… Rev 17:9-10

“This calls for a mind with wisdom. The seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits. They are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for a little while.” (This one is a little obscure if you don’t know your history. When John was writing this, about 95AD, there had been five great world powers; Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, and Greece. All were conquered and absorbed. The current power was Rome, which was never really conquered and will re-emerge at the end of the age, according to Daniel 9:26.)

Daniel 2:36-45 describes Gentile Dominion from Daniel’s time forward (Egypt and Assyria had already fallen) in the form of a giant statue representing the four remaining Kingdoms, Babylon, Persia, Greece, and the two appearances of Rome. Read it carefully and you’ll find some interesting things in the description of the two feet upon which the statue stands.  They’re made of iron mixed with clay.  In the first place the two don’t mix. We can imagine sticky clay serving as glue sticking pieces of iron together, but the language describes a clay that’s made of dust and already baked … hard and brittle like shards of pottery. You can’t make random pieces of iron and pottery adhere.

These two feet describe the two divisions of the Roman Empire, Western and Eastern. Today the territory of the Western division is occupied by Europe, while the Eastern territoty holds the Islamic countries of the Middle East.   Some experts insist that the combined defeats spoken of in Psalm 83 and Ezekiel 38-39 will render the Eastern leg, or Moslem world, incapable of becoming part of the World Empire of the End Times, but Daniel had both feet in view in chapter 2 so both divisions of the Roman Empire have to be present at the End of the Age.  His use of iron and pottery in their makeup speaks to the difficulty the Western and Eastern cultures will have in remaining united.  And the fact that Daniel only identified four empires means the last one can only be some form of ancient Rome.

5. The World Will Embrace A Single Religion… Rev 13:8

 

All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast–all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world.

Make no mistake about it. Islam is the major religious force in the world today and their goal is nothing less than world domination, by any means necessary. It’s the world’s fastest growing religion and is second only to Christianity in number of adherents. Already nearly one out of every five inhabitants of the world is Moslem, and like most Christians and Jews they don’t really know what they believe or why.  I’m no prophet, but as I look into the future, it’s much easier for me to see Islam riding its current wave of momentum to fill the void left by the departure of the Church than it is to imagine some watered  down mix of Christianity and New Age Mysticism doing so.

Much has been written recently about al Mahdi, a figure out of Moslem prophecies that are strikingly similar to Christian prophecies of the anti-Christ. Both show a leader coming on the scene during a time of great turmoil on Earth.  Both depict him as man of peace who will have a seven year reign, head up a one world religion and one world government, and claim supernatural origins.  Both prophecies culminate in a battle between good and evil that brings about Earth’s final judgment.  It’s as they’re pointing to the same person. The difference is that in Islam he’s a good guy, but the Bible calls him evil.

Take this charismatic political and religious leader with his supernatural power, add the widely held but incorrect belief that God and Allah are the same, and that Islam is a religion of peace, and then subtract the spirit of discernment found in the Church and you can see how he could be the straw that a world on the brink of disaster grasps for survival.

6. The World Will Accept A Single Government… Rev 13:3

The whole world was astonished and followed the beast.

Recent events in the US have shown how quickly a fearful and disillusioned people will get behind someone who promises to change things.  When you look at the shape of the world it doesn’t take much to imagine circumstances getting to a point where the whole world will agree to follow a leader who will promise to bring order out of chaos.  With all the things that already threaten world stability getting worse by the day, how much more frantic will people be after millions of their neighbors suddenly disappear without warning or explanation, and there’s been a nuclear exchange that brings destruction from Europe through the Middle East and into Russia?

7. Babylon Will Re-Emerge As A Prominent City In World Affairs… Rev 18:2-3

With a mighty voice he shouted: “Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great! She has become a home for demons and a haunt for every evil spirit, a haunt for every unclean and detestable bird. For all the nations have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries. The kings of the earth committed adultery with her, and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries.”

Babylon is still a ways away from accepting its destiny as a city of power in the end times. It’s just a ceremonial city right now, but 20 years ago nobody even knew it existed at all. One of the shocks of Gulf War 1 was the discovery of Babylon standing there on the banks of the Euphrates again.

You may think that being little more than a giant museum is a far cry from being a center of world power, but not too long ago, some of Iraq’s new political leaders were calling for their nation’s capital to be moved to Babylon. The logic behind this is that Baghdad was Saddam’s capital, and the new Iraq needs a new capital, more consistent with its heritage. Babylon fills the bill, and becoming the capital of Iraq would be a giant first step toward achieving its transformation into a center of power.  Onenewsnow.com recently reported that the US has pledged $700K to help rebuild the ancient city.

Because of Babylon’s current lack of importance in the world, some students of prophecy search for an allegorical fulfillment of its destruction in Rev. 18, and of course many see the USA or some city therein as a logical candidate.

But remember, even though in Revelation 17:9 John describes “mystery Babylon” as seated on seven hills (meaning Rome), a prophecy in Zechariah 5:5-11 shows it being moved “to the plains of Shinar” a reference to ancient Mesopotamia called Iraq today. We can’t switch from literal to allegorical interpretations of Scripture without clear direction, and where Babylon is concerned no such direction exists. In fact the opposite is true.

Other Signs

You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.

“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. (Matt. 24:6-14)

Then he said to them: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven. (Luke 21:10-11)

“There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” (Luke 21:25-28)

WARS AND RUMORS OF WARS … According to intelligence reports that include all our wars as well as conflicts where a cease fire exists but are still unresolved, 41 wars are currently being fought around the world, with a substantial number of additional disputes threatening to erupt into war at any time.

THE INCREASE OF NATURAL DISASTERS … More frequent and more severe hurricanes, more frequent and more intense earthquakes. Killer storms and quakes continue to dot the news.

 

SIGNS IN THE SUN, MOON, AND STARS … The Magnetic Polar Reversal, predicted by computer model for 2012 is gaining more attention since its likelihood was first announced.  While the effects of a Magnetic Polar Reversal have never been observed by mankind, it has apparently happened in the distant past.  What’s unique this time is that the Sun is due for a polar reversal at the same time. What this means is that while the Sun will be experiencing its most intense radioactive storms, Earth’s magnetic field (that protect us from these Sun storms) will be at its weakest and may even be non-existent in some parts of the world.   I’ve speculated that the effects of the polar reversal could fulfill the 6th Seal judgment of Revelation 6 and if the projected time of 2012 is correct, it fits into the early stages of Daniel’s 70th Week that I believe will begin sometime in 2011.

PESTILENCE… Not only new diseases like HIV and SARS, but also the return of old ones like Whooping cough. But the big news is still the likely spread of Avian Influenza (Bird Flu). A few cases among humans have lead to fears that the virus has mutated to thrive in a human host. Dire predictions are placing possible deaths from this pandemic in the millions

THE LOVE OF MOST WILL GROW COLD … 3500 people die every day in defense of the Christian faith. Run away crime, children being abused and murdered by their parents, children killing children. Murder trials as public entertainment soon to be followed by televised executions. Ethnic cleansing, rape and forced pregnancy, pedophilia, random shootings, the incidence of disrespect is enough to make you sick.

THIS GOSPEL WILL BE PREACHED IN ALL NATIONS … Looking at the state of the world, it’s hard to be encouraged. But as world news gets worse and worse, more people are turning to the Lord for solace. According to some reports as many as 175,000 new believers are born again every day, mostly in Africa, China, and India. Reports of these conversions are accompanied by accounts of miracles, people receiving supernatural healings and even being raised from the dead. Just as He did at the beginning of the church Age the Holy Spirit is moving mightily at its End. I believe the Lord is issuing a giant “last call” before He suddenly takes the church out of here to begin the End Times judgments.

The above are given as indicators in the Olivet Discourse (Matt 24, Mark 13, Luke 21) and we’ll continue to bring you periodic information on these as well.

As you know most of the signs in the Olivet Discourse are progressive and all are described as happening well before the end. Their main interest to us is found in the phrase “beginning of birth pangs.” Natural disasters, the tendency toward war as a tool of diplomacy, famine amidst plenty (35,000 children die each day of starvation and related diseases) and pestilence are described as being common to the era but increasing in frequency and intensity as the end approaches.

It’s true that for over 100 years folks have been saying, “how much worse can it get?” Sadly, the answer now as it was then is, “Much!” It seems man’s depravity knows no limits. But take heart. Though we are in the world, we are not of the world. We don’t belong here, being citizens of heaven. And one day soon our long awaited King will return to take us there. Maranatha!

        witnessing
 
The Rapture vs. Witnessing

   

By Ron Graham

source: http://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/g58.html


The end times are approaching and the signs spoken of by Jesus Christ in Matthew 24 are spilling out continually onto the scene today and are pointing dramatically to Christ’s soon return. Believers can see the signs if they are alert and watching. As Dr. Chuck Missler* puts it “We must be well versed in the scriptures to accurately ascertain the time of the signs”. There is a preordained time that the signs are going to appear, and what we see happening all around us are the birth pangs that are so aptly spoken of in the scriptures.

 

I for one can’t imagine this world going on the way it has in the past. Signs that point to the end time when Jesus will return aren’t just subtlety appearing on the scene, they are exploding with a fierceness that’s unparalleled in mans history. We can watch this explosion on our television sets, radios, internet, newspapers, and from every other direction one can imagine. This was not the case even ten years ago; the birth pangs have arrived. 

 

 So just what are our options as believers now that we are beginning to witness a plethora of recurring signs which we are assured will occur just before Jesus return? We have many options. They include such things as witnessing fervently to our family and friends. Being in constant prayer is an admonishment from the Apostle Paul, maintaining a close relationship with our Church family. Create and maintain an atmosphere of love and support for those who are shut-ins and especially provide for those who lack provisions. 

 In these last days all Christians should be intent on always keeping abreast of whatever intrusions the enemy might devise against the brethren. In these last days Satan is going to hit hard against anyone who promotes the name of Jesus and diligently proclaims His message. The last thing any Christian will want is to be caught alone and off guard when the evil comes down, and it is coming. Solitude creates evil bedfellows. Continue in fellowship, the breaking of bread together, encouraging one another.

None of us know when Jesus is going to remove His Church from the wickedness this world offers. It could be within the next few days, weeks, or even years. I know what you’re going to say, “Well, if we are seeing the time of the signs as you’ve suggested could the Rapture of the Church still be years away”? Yes, but everything is lining up perfectly (prophetically speaking that is) and this gives us tremendous optimism that our remaining days here on earth are indeed few.

 Here’s the rub. Believing the truth of the Rapture view and believing that the time for the Rapture is near has led some to become complacent in their duty to Christ. Believers should not ease up on witnessing. Complacency is of the devil, he would love it if those who are born again would all just sit back and relax and wait on the Rapture. In the meantime Satan will be hard at work convincing the lost that they are in good shape and not to worry or take seriously what those wacky Christians are promoting.

 Satan knows the Rapture will occur at some point in time, but similarly to believers he hasn’t any idea of exact moment when this will happen. God has kept it a mystery. More intense persecution of Christians on his part will become commonplace in the near future, which will attest to very fact that the Rapture is close at hand.

 As believers we must combat the lies put forth by Satan and those who follow him. Jesus, at one point, speaking directly to the Apostle Peter said, “Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men”. Matthew 16:23. Whenever we hear someone spouting off against believers, and most importantly against our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we can know without a doubt that we are hearing Satan speak. I can tell you this, the Holy Spirit has a louder voice and can drown out Satan at every turn if Christians will only speak up.

Faithfulness is adhering to Jesus’ strict set of commandments in every aspect of our lives. As believers we all have our own miniature world to evangelize. You are a Christian and that means that no matter where you go you are to spread the Gospel of Christ. If you are out on a business trip to another state that doesn’t mean you leave your Christianity at home. When you’re on vacation or you’re just out watering the lawn, remember your Christianity. Our lives should reflect our faith in Christ. We never know when God’s going to ask us to step out in faith and talk to someone about their salvation.

 You may feel you’re without sufficient resources or knowledge to speak to others about your faith. If this is the case, you’ve probably been neglecting a regular Bible study routine. Our boldness to witness is provided by the Holy Spirit through prayer and study. You receive more boldness as you become more familiar with God’s word. If you’re willing, know this, the Holy Spirit will move you into position to confront the next person that you encounter with the Gospel of Christ. If you’re not willing then you’re not following Christ’s commandments. “If ye love me, keep my commandments”. John 14:15. Do you love Him or are you just play acting?

 The resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ was the most important event in history, and now we are rapidly approaching the second most important event in history, in the believer’s life, and that is the Rapture. Christians must step out in faith to follow Jesus’ commandment to spread His Gospel to the entire world. There is no doubt of the many extreme measures which will be coming against His Church. I believe some huge obstacles will be thrust directly into the lives of those Christians who are faithfully following through with Christ’s commandments. Satan isn’t just going to sit idly by whilst we take away his followers. Not at all, and you can take stock in the fact that you will be battered and bruised by his minions of evil. Like Paul, as he was being pummeled by the enemy over and over again, you too will feel the heat of battle.

 Witnessing can be one of the most daunting tasks for believers especially now days when it seems people are so repulsed by and demonstrate such violent tendencies toward our Christian faith. Nevertheless we aren’t to shirk from our duty and keep silent. Paul was persecuted by a “thorn in the flesh” but still continued evangelizing. He prayed for relief, but didn’t let this “thorn” stop him. As you face the barriers that Satan has in store for you, you too can be comforted by Jesus’ words, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness,” 2 Corinthians 12:9.

Non-believes are blind to the truth, they aren’t able to understand the consequences surrounding their decision to reject Jesus until those blinders come off. You and I can help remove those blinders. 

 God will be glorified by our witnessing efforts because He is certainly able to equip us with all we need to complete our task. If we use the strength of Christ as we confront the lost, the enemy won’t be much of a hindrance, but relying on our own strength will be our Achilles heel.

 If we allow the current events we see going on around the world to affect our witness in that we become silent, we are allowing the enemy to get the upper hand. Can you just imagine what would have been the outcome of the Apostle’s ministry if they had simply gone about their pre-Jesus routine after the Lord had ascended into Heaven instead of spreading the good news of His Gospel as they were commanded to do? No Gospel proclaimed throughout the world, no Christian movement, and no Christian Church, just a world of lost sinners vying for whatever scraps of meaningless existence that could be grasped.

 Today Christians are standing in the sandals of the disciples of yesterday. It’s our responsibility to proclaim the Gospel of Christ to all nations. We must not retreat from our assigned task. Think about this, someday we’ll stand before Jesus Christ face to face. How can we possibly explain to our Savior our apathy? “I was too sacred”, “I didn’t trust You to protect me”, “My faith was too small”, “I didn’t care about others just myself”. Which of those excuses will you use?

 Certainly the Rapture of the Church is nigh, and we rejoice in knowing that soon we will be taken up to be forever with our Lord Jesus. We read and study our Bibles and those commentaries posted on various websites that all proclaim the end is in sight. Every day we grow more and more assured of what we believe about the times of the signs because of what we see happening around us. But if the majority of Christian believers continue in their stubborn refusal to spread the Gospel of Christ many of their family members and friends will be left behind to fend off the wiles of the devil without the help of the restrainer which is the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit is removed hell will break lose on earth.

 If your family is anything like mine, you have some relatives who, in their current state of mind, aren’t going to spend eternity with Jesus. They remain in unbelief. You’re okay though, you’re doing just fine. If that is your attitude you may very well be living in a false sense of security. As Charles Spurgeon puts it “If you have no heart for the lost you may not be saved yourself”, and you may find yourself spending eternity with your unbelieving family members after all. 

 Don’t let the ever nearing Rapture of the Church keep you from your assigned task. We should be witnessing now more fervently then ever before. Christians are to be salt and light to a lost world, but if that salt loses its saltiness then it’s absolutely worthless. Are you absolutely worthless? Say NO!

 God bless you all,

 

Ron Graham

twotug@embarqmail.com

 

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* I do not endorse Chuck Missler and knew little about him when I posted this article.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ABOUT YOGA – TODAY AND YESTERYEAR 

By Caryl Matrisciana

What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun “wrote the wisest of all men King Solomon in Ecclesiastes 1: 9
Yoga’s proposition today is no different to its original intention by Lord Shiva, the triune deity of Hinduism, the religion of India. At its core is the contemplative prayer (meditation) of Yoga consciousness that teaches one can be mentally, physically and spiritually “yoked” in the “inner self” with the outer “universal consciousness” known as Brahman, believed to be God and a divine energy. The conjured, self-invoked altered state of yoga consciousness is designed to bring “enlightenment”, an awareness of one’s god-self and the ability “self” has to control everlasting death (known as reincarnation).
The hope of all types of Yoga, (which in their very essence embrace Kundalini power) affirm that one will be “like God” and not die, the same spiritual lies offered by Kundalini (known in India as serpent wisdom) to Eve in the Garden if Eden.
The Bible recounts: “The serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Gen 3:1-5
Today, the cunning Kundalini (The great dragon…that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. Rev 12: 8-9) continues his strategy through yoga. First, he undermines God’s Authority by tricking us into using our own reasoning, thereby introducing doubt and confusion, “did God REALLY say?”
He continues to add to (or subtracts from) God’s Word. God had said earlier, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” But, Kundalini added to God’s Words making Him appear stingy, “you must not eat from ANY tree…”?
As Eve’s mind came under Kundalini’s treachery, (Jesus said Satan is “the father of Lies”, John 8:44) she too added words to God’s, “you must not touch it” further twisting the generous characteristics of God’s loving provision and care-taking.
“You shall not die” and “you shall be as god” remain the kernel doctrines of Hinduism’s reincarnation and self-deification. (for more information see “Yoga Uncoiled. From East to West” http://www.caryltv.com)
CAN “THE WILES OF THE DEVIL” BE CHRISTIANISED?
Paul told the Ephesians to “Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but principalities, powers, the rulers of the darkness of this age and spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Eph. 6: 11-13)
Many Christians attempt to “Christianize” Yoga/Hinduism while others claim physical Yoga can be separated from spiritual Yoga, but was Eve’s physical eating of the fruit from the tree able to be separated from her spiritual downfall?
While the word “Yoga” isn’t mentioned in Scripture, the idea of “yoking” oneself to pagan gods and concepts is forbidden as is adulating self’s desire above God’s will. Our bodies were created to be “a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God which is our spiritual act of worship (Romans 12:1)” and “true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.” (John 4: 23). How do we know what truth is? Jesus claimed, “I am the truth. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:16)
To participate in Hinduism’s “postures” to get into God’s presence, or redefine other manipulations with Christian terminology are corrupt offerings to the LORD and an attempt to arrive by “another way”. In Genesis 4 we read God favored Abel’s worship because he sought to obey God ‘s desires, but Cain’s offering was rejected because it wasn’t according to God’s request. The LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.”
Sin crouches as Satan and his powers: rulers of darkness and wicked hosts, continually attempt to trap us into self-justification, self-achievement, self-glory or self-focus which is today’s religion of humanism. But Jesus Christ is also at the door, available to help us master crouching sins, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. (Rev 3:20)
Yoga, humanism, et all, crouch at the door but God gives us power in Jesus to “master” sin. “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans. 12: 2)
God said thousands of years ago: “Watch yourselves carefully, since you did not see any form on the day the LORD spoke to you at Horeb from the midst of the fire, so that you do not act corruptly and make a graven image for yourselves in the form of any figure, the likeness of male or female, the likeness of any animal that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the sky, the likeness of anything that creeps on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the water below the earth.” (Deuteronomy 4:15-18).
Graven images are indigenous to the religion of Hinduism. Devout Hindus’ manufacture and worship graven images. Yoga postures are designed to form one’s body into the likeness of animals, birds, insects, snakes, fish and many more-all of which are understood to be deities within Hinduism as is man himself. (Yoga postures: http://www.santosha.com/asanas/) For more info http://www.caryltv.com VHS “GODS OF THE NEW AGE” and Book authored by Caryl Matrisciana. (Further info on Yoga/NewAge and more visit http://www.Christianresearchservice.com)
YOGA:
AN EXERCISE FOR DEATH PACKAGED AS “GOOD HEALTH”
Yoga is both a spiritual and physical technique designed to restore “a spiritual connection” from the sinner, who is separated from God, to become “as God”, and attempts to by pass the judgment of sin which is spiritual death. (“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Rom 6:23)
Hinduism teaches death can be procrastinated and controlled over “time” with “good deeds”. Good deeds are “knowledge” and “discipline”, and the realization that “self” and “powers of the universe” are part of divinity. Paul warned the outcome of self-seeking results in “shameful lusts” and leads to deception: they “changed the truth into a lie, and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator”. (Rom. 1:25)
At Hinduism’s foundation is the belief in evolution, a theory that uses extensions of time, “billions of years”, (eons of time) to develop new forms. In its spiritual application, emerging into “higher” forms is yoga’s means to reduce “death cycles” (reincarnation) and advance “rebirths” into better future lives. (In other words, it is hoped one returns in the next reincarnated life as a more advanced life form than the last life, whether as a “higher” animal or “better” human)
No matter how arduous, yoga’s “self-actualization” disciplines are, there is no assurance of “shortening” death or “bettering” the next life but there is “an experience” through altered states which the Bible calls at best a “powerful delusion” (2 Thes. 2:11) and at worst demon possessed as spiritual “connections” are made through kundalini (serpent) power.
The actuality of death snatching us in a moment is as certain as the reality of life which also began in a moment. The Bible says God created everything in a moment with no “extended” time needed for evolution’s theory. God, Who is outside of time, created time for man: days and nights, seasons, and even the Sabbath. The Authority of God’s Word made invisible visible and is a witness to Him, His Presence and His Power.
“For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they (the suppressers of truth, the wicked and godless) are without excuse.” (Romans 1: 18 – 20)
Death, due to sin, is mankind’s inevitable conclusion, and without belief in Jesus Christ Hell will be man’s spiritual eternity. But God’s gracious gift is the choice of spending eternity with Him. Jesus offers power to live a righteous life and forgives all confessed sin: “Whoever believes on Jesus Christ shall be saved”. This confession of faith brings immediate eternal assurance through an act of the will, with a contrite heart, not by works that we should boast.
In that confession, we never “become as God”, but through His Grace are adopted in a moment as “sons of God” (Gal 3.26.) We are instructed to “abide in Christ” Who is our Head and we, the church, are His Body. “And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.” Col 1:18-19
For more information on DVDs by Caryl Productions visit
http://www.caryltv.com
THE “WHOLENESS” OF YOGA CAN’T BE DIVIDED UP
Yoga is a spiritual discipline of body, mind and soul teaching that the spiritual condition of death and separation from God can be remedied by man’s capability through self-hypnosis and mental gymnastics.
Hinduism, similar to all eastern mysticism sees body, mind and soul as a “whole oneness” and each person as a part of the “wholeness of life, nature and the cosmos” .
The physical postures of Yoga are specifically intended to bring an experience of “oneness” of body with the mind and soul, and the “oneness of self” with the “oneness of the universe” resulting in a type of death state as “self” merges with everything thus becoming nothing. The Bible describes this dark state of “void” as the empty place before He created life: “Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep..” (Gen 1: 2)
The material world is taught to be illusion (Maya) and creation of one’s own reality in the mind is “higher reality” which the Bible describes as “powerful delusion”. It says, “In latter times men will follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. (1 Tim 4: 1 – 3)
God created each creature with distinction and after its own kind. (Gen 1: 21 & 24). He breathed His Spirit (spiritual life) into ONLY man who is uniquely made in God’s image and likeness with His eternal morals and values of Truth, Love, etc. Animals don’t have this unique “spiritual relationship” only animal instinct and animal behavior.
Eastern Mysticism, including Hinduism, doesn’t teach a high view of man but elevates nature and “forces” (demonic beings). This low view of man results in the demise of morals and traditional values of family and Church life. The promotion of abortion and euthanasia, etc is rationalized. After all, if society permits the killing of an animal for self convenience, why not kill a baby in the womb, or an elderly person who no longer contributes to society for self convenience?
Spiritual evolutionism teaches that animals (so-called “extinct species”) must be “protected” to “sustain” the environment (in India there are Rat Temples to preserve rodents) and promotes vegetarianism as a higher choice of food. Paul warns Timothy, “In the last days…. (those who abandon the faith) will order (people) to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected…” (1 Tim 4: 3-5). As society moves away from God’s opinions and His blessings, in opposition it will demand its own spirituality. (For more info http://www.caryltv “Evolution Conspiracy” book and VHS)
If Christians desire physical exercise they should pursue it through fitness programs designed to exercise the body and not lean on Yoga’s spiritual disciplines (combined with body postures) which claim to shorten reincarnation cycles and offer god-consciousness. – the yoking to such pagan teachings are forbidden in the Bible.
“For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. 1 Tim 4: 8

 

Also see this review of Caryl’s book “Out of India”

https://kimolsen.wordpress.com/2008/12/26/out-of-india-a-true-story-about-the-new-age-movement/

many-paths1

 

As Christians we need to be aware of how the world is quickly changing and how fast the new spirituality is emerging. Here in America we are known as a Christian nation…but are we really?

Many are turning to odd and mystical religious systems, because they seek  “The Fundamental power they have within.”

From Huna.com

Huna is the modern or Western label given to the ancient healing and spiritual shamanism of ancient Hawai’i. In these pages you will find teachings that were once secret and carefully guarded.

– Connect with your Higher Self

– Access Universal Sources of Energy

– Awaken your Spiritual Evolution

• Introduction to ancient symbols
• Higher Self Connection
• Hakalau: the shaman state

This video starts with the statement “When God created the world…”,  but the end of the video shows the people drumming and chanting. This has nothing to do with the God of the Holy Bible.

Listen and hear a woman say, “…undeniable harmony, and that has to come from within.”  Then another..”there’s spirits in everything, in the mountain, in the rock or the stone, or in everything or the tree.”

This is panentheism – That God is in all things.

http://www.huna.com/video.php

When people resort to shamanism and easily accept it….the time is short for the return of Lord Jesus Christ.

The statement on one of their photos says ” There are many paths to personal transformation.”

Those who know scripture will recognize  the “many paths” statement as false.

John 14:6  Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

The world is being prepared for a new spirituality. Cling to the Lord Jesus Christ and do not deny Him by seeking god in rocks or trees or looking within.  Jesus is at the right hand of the Father.

Col 3:1    If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.

 

Looking within yourself  to find God, is the oldest trick in the book. Which book? Genesis.  The serpent told Adam and Eve this lie, “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 

See also: Morningstar Ministries delving into paganism. This one is actually worse.

https://kimolsen.wordpress.com/2009/02/02/morningstar-ministries-paganism/

babylon1

 

Not being an expert on Bible prophecy I often need to review what I have already learned about the end times. Just last week I reread some portions of “Are We Living in the END TIMES? Current Events Foretold in Scripture…and What They Mean” by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins.

I would like share an excerpt from this book, chapter 11,  The Rise and Fall of  Babylon.

AS SURE AS GOD KEEPS HIS WORD

As sure as there is a God in heaven who keeps His word, Babylon will live again as “the seat of Satan.” You can be sure that any city mentioned seven times in two chapters, as is Babylon in Revelation 17 and 18, will be a literal city. And since it is seen there as an enormously influential city, perhaps even the capitol of government, commerce and religion, it must yet be rebuilt.

Babylon  will again become Satan’s headquarters for a short time, serving as the governmental and commercial capitol of the world during the first half of the Tribulation….

Even now, in our lifetime, Babylon is being prepared for its final appearance on the stage of human history. The ancient prophecies about Babylon are unfolding before us–just like so many other prophecies of the end times.

And now this is just revealed from Joel Rosenberg’s blog :

U.S. TO HELP REBUILD THE CITY OF BABYLON IN IRAQ

 Largely overlooked by the Western news media over the past few weeks was an enormously significant story. The government of Iraq is moving forward with plans to protect the archaeological remains of the ancient City of Babylon, in preparation for building a modern city of Babylon. The project, originally started by the late Saddam Hussein, is aimed eventually at attracting scores of “cultural tourists” from all over the world to see the glories of Mesopotamia’s most famous city. What’s more, the Obama Administration is contributing $700,000 towards “The Future of Babylon Project,” through the State Department’s budget. 

Read Full Story Here

Prophetic revelations from the Bible are unfolding right before our very eyes.

Come Lord  Jesus

 

babylon

Ishtar Gate: One of the eight gates of the inner city of Babylon,  built during the reign of Nebuchadnezzar II (604- 562 BC).

Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth. (Genesis 11:9)

A sword is upon the Chaldeans, saith the LORD, and upon the inhabitants of Babylon, and upon her princes, and upon her wise men. (Jeremia 50:35)

And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. (Revelation 18:2)

This article from Mishel has a lot of new and fascinating information. Thank you Mishel
The Hidden Agenda of The Order of the Mustard Seed
ring
Here are two excerpts
THE ORDER OF THE MUSTARD SEED by Mishel
Peter Grieg of the 24-7 Prayer Movement, an international, ecumenical movement laced with Gnostic, New-Age, and Contemplative spirituality, is reviving the 17th century Order of the Mustard Seed and encouraging members to take a lifelong vow of commitment. This commitment to the vows of the Order, are to be symbolized with a ring or tattoo. ……….
AGGRESSIVE DOMINIONIST AGENDA
 
 Dominionists possess a radical socio-political agenda, and like a well oiled military machine, they are well organized and financed, and their network vast. Their ultimate socio-political goal is a One World Church and a New World Order. They believe they will go forth like a vast army, yielded to the authority of the New Apostles, and conquer and subdue the world’s Kingdoms’ for Christ, and usher in the millennial reign. These Kingdoms consist of all social and political institutions and those who do not wish to be ruled will be slaughtered for the good of the rest.  With the world under their complete dominion they will hand over dominion to Christ so that he may return to earth. However, the Bible makes it clear that at the time of Christ’s return the earth will be in complete and utter chaos and His return will prevent what would otherwise be the complete annihilation of the world in the Great Tribulation. This doctrine of Dominionism makes the Church the Savior of the world, and not Jesus Christ. Christ alone can institute God’s rule on earth.
Read entire article and comments HERE

“It is a satanic trap denying essential beliefs taught by Jesus, the Apostles and Bible believers throughout the Church Age. It is also exactly what Young believed in 2004. It is what he believed when he wrote The Shack and whether he believes it today or not you can be fairly certain that with millions of dollars at risk he is not about to re-edit The Shack to try and make theological corrections – at least without an act of God anyway. “

From Eric Barger

TAKE A STAND! MINISTRIES

THE DEATH OF DISCERNMENT

Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people? – I Kings 3:9

I like Paul Young. Having heard him speak about his life and book three times recently in Portland, Oregon I found him to be passionate, witty and funny. While at Young’s alma mater (Warner Pacific College), I was able to spend a few moments with him privately during which time I asked him to personally respond to several criticisms and concerns that I and other Christians are raising about the theological contents of his book. I wish I could report that he allayed my apprehensions but instead, I went away convinced that The Shack is more than just a little offbeat but is, as Dr. Albert Mohler pegged it on his radio program, “blatant heresy.”

Yes, The Shack is indeed a novel. And many will wonder what could be wrong since it is identified as a Christian book and authored by a man who claims to be a Christian? After all, The Shack is heralded by many seasoned Christian leaders. Pastors are preaching from it. Sunday School classes and small groups are reading and discussing it. Many Christians are buying it by the case to give as gifts. Some Christian Schools are even sanctioning and encouraging the reading of the book. But this is not just a benign story of man overcoming life’s challenges. Make no mistake, the book presents doctrine throughout its clever and gripping story – something the author clearly intended to do. Therein lays the problem.

Trading the Kingdom for a Shack

For those unaware of the book’s storyline, here is the description of The Shack from Amazon.com.

“Mackenzie Allen Philips’ youngest daughter, Missy, has been abducted during a family vacation, and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness.

Four years later in the midst of what he refers to as ‘The Great Sadness,’ Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to that shack for a weekend.

Against his better judgment he arrives at the shack on a wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. What he finds there will change Mack’s world forever.

In a world where religion seems to grow increasingly irrelevant ‘The Shack’ wrestles with the timeless question, “Where is God in a world so filled with unspeakable pain?”

The Shack is a publishing phenomenon but you may ask “is it really any big deal?” This self-published book has sold 4+ million copies since its May 2007 release. It debuted at #1 on The New York Times Bestseller List and has remained there for the past 25 weeks as of this writing. It has also held the #1 position on many other bestseller lists including Amazon.com, USA Today’s Top 150 Books, Barnes and Noble, Borders Books and is the #1 book of 2008 at ChristianBook.com. According to the author, the book is currently selling 87,000 copies a week in the secular book stores alone. All of this has allowed Young and his two publishing partners the luxury of holding out for just the right major motion picture deal as well. But there is a reason why several dozen publishers turned this book down. Here are a few of my observations – and objections.

The Shack’s Trinity

Several chapters into the book, a most unorthodox version of the Holy Trinity is revealed. Young’s tale diminishes Almighty God from His rightful position as a supernatural being. Instead of speaking by His Word and His Spirit, He is morphed into a feminine figure reduced to passing notes to those whom she wants to communicate with.

God is portrayed in The Shack as a large African-American woman named “Papa” also called “Elousia.” (Talk about gender confusion!) Jesus is a Jewish carpenter complete with a tool belt and the Holy Spirit is depicted as an Asian woman named after “Sarayu,” a mystical river in ancient India related to the Hindu deity Kali. Clearly, there is a trinity in The Shack but it is absolutely not the Trinity.

From my first glance at The Shack, it struck me that the idea of God in human form – even in the pages of a novel is more than just theologically questionable. It is forbidden by several passages from both the Old and New Testaments not the least of which is the Second Commandment (Exodus 20: 4-5). The Apostle Paul proclaims, “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man…” (Romans 1:21-23a)

Of The Shack, Chuck Colson’s BreakPoint contributing editor Travis McSherley wrote, “This is the root of the book’s problems. In the course of the biblical narrative, God the Father never reveals Himself in the form of a human. In fact, Christ rebukes His disciples for even suggesting it. (See John 14:5-10)

The Shack would not dispute these limits of understanding – it dedicates many pages to chastising believers who cling too tightly to traditional views of God’s nature. Yet, instead of expanding our thinking and our appreciation for divine mysteries, the book shrinks them quite dramatically by creating a deity so clearly influenced by human expectations of what God should be.”

Sin, Hell, Judgment, Salvation, the Incarnation,
Hierarchy and Authority in the Godhead, a Polynesian
Goddess and other assorted problems

Here are just a few of the many issues raised by The Shack:

– Young’s Papa character insists that sin is its own punishment. This distorts the reality of Hell and discounts eternal retribution for sin.

– Readers of The Shack are told that Jesus is only the best way to know God – not the only way.

The Shack teaches that when Jesus went to the cross, God Almighty died there too. This is a heresy known as patripassianism. (In our private conversation I challenged Young about this but to no avail.)

The Shack states that there is no structure or hierarchy within the Trinity and that the three personages of God are all equally subject to one another and to humans as well. I challenge fans of The Shack to open a Bible and try to make that square with the Scriptures!

– Young’s “Papa” character is suspiciously akin to a Polynesian/Hawaiian goddess who also happens to be known as “Papa.” When I quizzed Young on this he denied any knowledge of such a deity. However, the similarities with The Shack’s God character are stunning.

Now lets move on to perhaps the biggest concern.

Is Paul Young still a “Reconciling Universalist?”

I have noticed that in nearly every electronic or print media interview Paul Young volunteers that he is “not a universalist” and does so without ever being asked about it. But is he merely parsing words? Young is obviously nervous about the Christian world becoming convinced of any such thing. That said, it strikes me as odd that on a web page intended to answer critics of the book one of his editors, Wayne Jacobson, acknowledges that Young had previously embraced a form of universalism known as “universal reconciliation” and that this belief indeed appeared throughout the original manuscript. (Jacobson refers to it as “ultimate reconciliation” to avoid using the dreaded “U” word, universalism.)

Jacobson’s website states:

Does The Shack promote Ultimate Reconciliation (UR)?

 

 

“It does not. While some of that was in earlier versions because of the author’s partiality at the time to some aspects of what people call UR, I made it clear at the outset that I didn’t embrace UR as sound teaching and didn’t want to be involved in a project that promoted it. In my view UR is an extrapolation of Scripture to humanistic conclusions about our Father’s love that has to be forced on the biblical text.

Since I don’t believe in UR and wholeheartedly embrace the finished product, I think those who see UR here, either positively or negatively are reading into the text. To me that was the beauty of the collaboration.”  (See: http://www.windblownmedia.com/shackresponse.html)

It is obvious that Young, Jacobson, and partner Brad Cummings all have a great deal to lose by not doing their best to debunk the book’s critics. They are very aware of where Young was theologically when he wrote the book. And that is the point isn’t it? It is the contents of the book (and presumably that of the forthcoming motion picture) that is being criticized here.

In the very beginning, I began to smell universalism in The Shack by simply reading it. These thoughts were more than confirmed through a very scholarly paper critiquing The Shack written by Dr. James De Young. Other leaders who have been critical of the book including Dr. Michael Youssef, Janet Parshall, Jan Markell and Dr. Larry DeBruyn have quoted Dr. De Young’s research – and for good reason.

Dr. De Young is a conservative professor at Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon. He is fluent in Greek and Hebrew and also teaches an elective on the early Church Fathers. He is well equipped to expose universalism from both biblical and historical perspectives. Perhaps equally important to our discussion here, is the fact that for several years both Dr. De Young and Paul Young were members of a theological discussion group or “think tank” known as the M3 Forum. In response to the bountiful amount of universalistic ideas found in The Shack, Dr. De Young has published a well-documented 39 page paper which can be accessed at: http://theshackreview.com. Once on the website you will also find several shorter documents and a discussion forum with remarks from readers, many of which defend The Shack. These comments serve to illustrate the tremendous confusion and lack of biblically thinking we see abounding inside the Christian community today.

 

 

After having Young tell me face to face that he was not a universalist, I asked him about Dr. De Young’s paper. He bristled at me and made several accusations about De Young which I now understand to be unfounded. Since the meeting with Paul Young, I had the opportunity to meet personally with Dr. De Young for several hours. In our meeting he shared another yet-to-be-released paper with me which he has written exposing Paul Young’s very bold defense of universal reconciliation. I can best describe the information in it as shocking. In fact, in the Spring of 2004, Paul gave one of the most complete defenses of universal reconciliation imaginable and reiterated this position on at least two occasions – the latest being in May-June 2007 – after writing The Shack.

 

 

Having had no previous indication that a staunch believer was in their midst, Paul Young’s revelations heralding universal reconciliation came as a complete blind-side to the M3 Forum members. After the group contested Young’s ideas, Dr. De Young gave a lengthy rebuttal to all of Paul’s points, branding Young’s position as heretical, citing a church council decision from the 6th century. After this event in 2004, Paul Young ceased participating in the M3 Forum.

 

 

In reflecting on my personal conversation with Young at Warner Pacific in October 2008, I wish I had asked specifically “Are you now or have you ever been an advocate of universal reconciliation?” (Note that classical universalists believe that all religions lead to the same place where as those who hold to universal reconciliation believe that all men <read that “ALL”> are already saved because of Jesus’ work on the cross.) This position purports that there is no penalty for sin, no literal hell and no need to accept Christ and repent of one’s sins. It dramatically undermines the work of the Church, evangelism and the core teachings of the New Testament. It is a satanic trap denying essential beliefs taught by Jesus, the Apostles and Bible believers throughout the Church Age. It is also exactly what Young believed in 2004. It is what he believed when he wrote The Shack and whether he believes it today or not you can be fairly certain that with millions of dollars at risk he is not about to re-edit The Shack to try and make theological corrections – at least without an act of God anyway. Again, it is not how skillfully Young may craft his words in denial of being a universalist or even what he may actually believe today that is the real question. It is the theological contents of The Shack that orthodox Christian critics are concerned with. Besides, universalism is but one of the many glaring unbiblical aspects of the book.In reflecting on my personal conversation with Young at Warner Pacific in October 2008, I wish I had asked specifically “Are you now or have you ever been an advocate of universal reconciliation?” (Note that classical universalists believe that all religions lead to the same place where as those who hold to universal reconciliation believe that all men <read that “ALL”> are already saved because of Jesus’ work on the cross.) This position purports that there is no penalty for sin, no literal hell and no need to accept Christ and repent of one’s sins. It dramatically undermines the work of the Church, evangelism and the core teachings of the New Testament. It is a satanic trap denying essential beliefs taught by Jesus, the Apostles and Bible believers throughout the Church Age. It is also exactly what Young believed in 2004. It is what he believed when he wrote The Shack and whether he believes it today or not you can be fairly certain that with millions of dollars at risk he is not about to re-edit The Shack to try and make theological corrections – at least without an act of God anyway. Again, it is not how skillfully Young may craft his words in denial of being a universalist or even what he may actually believe today that is the real question. It is the theological contents of The Shack that orthodox Christian critics are concerned with. Besides, universalism is but one of the many glaring unbiblical aspects of the book.

 

 

The REAL Problem

The bottom line concerning books, movies, television shows and other input like The Shack is that if our emotions rule and we fail to use scriptural discernment we can be taken captive by “evil imaginations”

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit… – Colossians 2:8

Knowing that the author actually portrayed himself as both Shack characters Missy (the violated-then-murdered six year-old) and her father, Mack (the one searching for God in a painful world) one’s heart surely breaks for what Paul Young has evidently endured in his lifetime. However, if readers fail to think biblically and allow only The Shack’s emotional storyline to grip them, they chance becoming prey to the very thing that I believe has duped many Christians into accepting and even endorsing the book. Empathy towards the author or his characters or becoming enamored by what many testify to as the positive real-world outcome of reading the book cannot trump one’s biblical analysis of the work. Young plays upon emotions constantly in the book and also as he lectures publically equating that because hearts are allegedly being touched that God must be giving approval to The Shack. When speaking to me personally, he emphasized the concept that results are all that matters. I responded that just because people testify that the book is somehow helping them, this does not necessarily mean that it is actually ordained by God. After all, God can use many means to reach people. God regularly uses disasters, accidents and tragedy of all sorts – even unorthodox or cultic books for His glory. This however doesn’t mean that God somehow deems heresy or terrible events as somehow good or positive in and of themselves.

The Nicest Heretic

Paul Young is perhaps the nicest heretic I have ever dealt with personally. That may sound flip but it’s true. He is a very nice guy who is presenting and defending some very dangerous even seductive heresies. As one who wears his emotions on his sleeve and who found himself being swayed by the heartbreaking storyline of The Shack, I must again caution. To allow a gripping story to cloud our ability to detect even the subtle theological errors strewn throughout its pages is exactly what Dr. Michael Youssef meant when he described The Shack as “a deep ditch that’s covered by beautiful landscape.”

The disturbing truth is that books like The Shack would never become a bestseller in the Christian world if Christians were on guard, thinking biblically and were willing to follow the Scriptures! In these dangerous days it is paramount that we actively develop “eyes of understanding” which constantly check everything by the Word of God – especially the stuff that claims to be of God. The Scripture implores us to prove or test all things (I Thessalonians 5:21-22) and this test can only be accomplished one way – by knowing the Bible and then utilizing what we know from it. Every Believer needs to be alert to the reality that in these last days deception is going to come at a rate never fathomed before. Mark my words, as time passes Satan is preparing to use unheralded and brazen trickery that will look and sound very spiritual, even Christian. The only hope we have to successfully avoid the traps is by prayerful, dedicated and aggressive study of God’s unchangeable Word. Otherwise, sooner or later we’ll find ourselves amongst a growing number from previously trustworthy evangelical circles that are heading straight for apostasy.

Jesus warned us in Matthew 24 that if the end days were not shortened by His return even the very elect would be deceived. Can we not assume that many who currently hang around the Church – and even some who preach or write books now popularly accepted in Christian circles – may in reality never endure to the end and are thus actually wolves in sheep’s clothing?

 

Source:

http://www.ericbarger.com/emailers/2008/update11-22-2008.htm

http://filesfromtoni.blogspot.com

Apostate Rick Warren Utters Qu’ran Inauguration Prayer (Todd Friel Video)


 

Watch Todd Friel go through a skit here of Rick Warren praying a prayer from the Qu’ran at Obama’s Inauguration
The Scripture tells us, “Hear, oh Israel, the Lord is our God; the Lord is one.” And you are the compassionate and merciful one. And you are loving to everyone you have made.
I humbly ask this in the name of the one who changed my life, Yeshua, Isa, Jesus [Spanish pronunciation], Jesus, who taught us to pray.
Muslims will tell you god has no son, and he was not crucified, as taught in the Qu’ran, so obviously, Isa, the ‘muslim Jesus’ is not the same Jesus Christ who was crucified, died and rose from the dead on the third day according to the scriptures. So who was Rick Warren praying to is the question?

Here is a video of Rick Joyner at Morningstar Ministries.

This U-Tube video rightly asks if this is revival or paganism. Please watch with discernment.

The young man at the end of the clip  utters between convulsions:

“I need your hearts”

“You’re my people”

“I long for you”

“You are my creation”

Sadly, I do not think these words are from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

 

 

 

Morningstar is linked with IHOP ministries, Freshfire Ministries (Todd Bentley) and many false teachings on godtv.

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