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Daniel’s 70 Weeks
(first published May 26, 2014) (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143,firstname.lastname@example.org)
Daniel’s “70 week” prophecy is one of the most amazing and important prophecies in Scripture. A Book that foretells the future in detail with perfect accuracy is obviously a Divine Book!
“Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall beseven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate” (Daniel 9:24-27).
The occasion of this prophecy was Daniel’s prayer that God would have mercy on Israel. The vision is God’s answer. In this vision God reveals to Daniel the time schedule and major events which will lead to the establishment of Israel’s Messianic kingdom.
The purpose of the 70 weeks (Dan. 9:24)
The prophecy pertains to Israel and to the holy city Jerusalem.
1. The prophecy describes the finishing of the transgression and the making of reconciliation. During the 70 Weeks, Israel’s rebellion will be finished, and she will be cleansed from her sin. Israel’s rebellion was the reason for the destruction of Jerusalem by Babylon in 586 BC and by Rome in AD 70, and she has never repented nationally. This will happen at the end of the 70 Weeks, and she will be cleansed by the atonement of Christ.
3 The prophecy describes the sealing up the vision and prophecy. It will be the fulfillment of all of the Messianic prophecies.
4. The prophecy will result in the anointing of the most Holy. The temple will be desecrated by the Antichrist, but upon Christ’s return a new temple will be built and anointed by Christ’s own presence.
The length of time of the 70 Weeks
The Hebrew term for weeks (shebuah) means “sevens.” The context must determine whether it is a week of days or of years.
1. The weeks which have already been fulfilled show that these are weeks of years rather than of days. We know that by any reckoning, it was almost 500 years from the rebuilding of Jerusalem until the coming of Christ. This fits the testimony of Daniel 9:25, which places 69 weeks of years (483 years) between the two events. It is only reasonable to believe that the 70th week shall also be a week of years.
2. The concept of weeks of years was familiar to Jewish thinking (Lev. 25:3-9). There was a weekly sabbath and a yearly sabbath.
3. At the time of the vision, Daniel had been thinking in terms of weeks of years (Dan. 9:2). He was considering the 70 year captivity, which was 10 weeks of years (2 Ch. 36:21).
The events of the 70 Weeks
1. During the first 7 weeks (49 years) Jerusalem was rebuilt in troublous times.
a. The commandment to rebuild Jerusalem was given in 445 BC. The walls were completed the next year, and work of rebuilding the city apparently continued on for another 48 years.
b. This was accomplished “in troublous times,” as we see in Nehemiah. The rebuilding was accomplished in the face of great opposition.
2. The next 62 weeks (434 years) extends from the rebuilding of Jerusalem until the coming of the Messiah.
a. When did the 69 weeks (the 7 weeks and the 62 weeks) end?
It ended when Messiah came as prince (Dan. 9:25). This was when Christ entered Jerusalem on the donkey a few days before the crucifixion and was acclaimed as “the King that cometh in the name of the Lord” (Zech. 9:9; Lk. 19:37-38).
b. When did the 69 Weeks begin?
It began with the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem (Dan. 9:25). This was the commandment by Artaxerxes for Nehemiah to rebuild the walls and the city (Neh. 2:1-8). In 536 BC, Cyrus commanded Zerubbabel to build the temple (Ezra 1:1-3), but that isn’t the commandment described in Daniel 9:25.
c. There are some difficulties in determining the exact dates for the beginning and ending of the 69 Weeks.
First, Jews and Babylonians and Persians used different calendars with different months. The Julian or Roman calendar that we use today is different. This is why it is difficult to know exactly what years by our calendar Christ was born and died. Second, the Jewish and Persian calendars were 360-day years instead of the 365-day years on our Roman calendar. This means that the 483 years (69×7) of Daniel 9 was 173,880 days or 476 of our years.
By some reckoning, Artaxerxes’ commandment to Nehemiah was in 445 BC and by other reckonings, it was 444 BC. Sir Isaac Newton set that date at 457 BC, and this date was placed in the margin of the King James Bible beginning in 1701.
Sir Robert Anderson, a lawyer and an investigator with Scotland Yard and a brilliant Bible student, concluded that the commandment was given March 14, 445 BC and Christ entered Jerusalem on the donkey April 6, 32 AD. He documented this position in his 1895 book The Coming Prince.
John Phillips summarizes this position as follows: “We know from Nehemiah 2:1-8 that the commandment to restore and rebuild Jerusalem was given in March (Nisan) of the twentieth year of Artaxerxes, who ascended to the throne of Persia in 464 or 465 BC. Thus the beginning of the prophetic period would be 445 BC. Some commentators actually fix the date at March 14, 445 BC., and claim the support of astronomy for so doing. After sixty-nine of these ‘weeks,’ the Messiah would be ‘cut off’ (69 x 7 = 483 years) bringing us to AD 39. Since the Biblical year is 360 days and not 365 days, the difference (5 x 483 – 2,415 days – 6.6 years) must be deducted, bringing us to AD 32. The Lord’s ministry began in the ‘the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar’ (Luke 3:1). This Caesar began to reign on August 19, A.D. 14, so that the Lord commenced His public ministry early in A.D. 29. The first Passover of the Lord’s ministry was in the month of Nisan of that year. Three Passovers later, in AD 32, He was crucified. Sir Robert Anderson contends that this prophecy of Daniel was fulfilled to the very day.”
The important thing to understand is that the Jews of Christ’s day knew how to figure these dates, and they had no excuse for not knowing exactly when Messiah the prince would come or what would happen when He came.
3. After the 69 weeks, the following events will happen (Dan. 9:26).
a. Messiah is cut off, but not for himself. This refers to Christ’s crucifixion and His substitutionary atonement. He did not die for Himself, because death is the wages of sin, and Christ had no sin. He died for man’s sins (Isa. 53:5).
b. The city and the sanctuary are destroyed. This occurred in AD 70 at the hands of the Roman armies under the generalship of Titus.
c. There are wars and desolations until the end. The Hebrew word translated “desolation” is also translated “destruction (Hos. 2:12).
(1) This is a perfect description of the last 2,000 years of Israel’s history since Christ was “cut off.”
(2) Even today, though Israel is back in the land, she has no peace and war and desolations continue, and she will have no peace until she repents and receives her Messiah, Jesus.
(3) It also describes what will happen to Israel just before the return of Christ as recorded in Matthew 24 and Revelation 6-18.
4. Between the 69th and 70th week is the interlude of the church age.
a. It is called a “mystery” because it was not revealed to the Old Testament prophets (Eph. 3:3-6). The church age is like a valley that the Old Testament prophets did not see between the peaks of the first and second coming of Christ.
b. During this time, Christ is calling out a people for His name from among the nations (Ac. 15:14-18).
c. Paul describes the church age as the time of Israel’s blindness in Romans 11:25-27.
The 70th week (the final seven years) (Dan. 9:27)
The final week, or seven years, of Daniel’s prophecy remains to be fulfilled.
It is this period that Jesus describes in Matthew 24:3-31.
1. The final week is divided into two parts (Dan. 9:27).
a. At the beginning of the seven years, the Antichrist will make a false peace covenant with Israel.
(1) The Antichrist is a prince of the revived Roman Empire. He is identified as the prince of the people who destroyed Jerusalem after Messiah’s death. This was Rome.
(2) Revelation depicts the Antichrist coming on the scene on a white horse, signifying peace, and carrying an empty bow (Rev. 6:2). The horse and empty bow signifies that the Antichrist will have the capability to make war but initially he will come as a man of peace. Five times in Daniel the Antichrist is called a liar and a flatterer (Dan. 11:21, 23, 27, 32, 34). Daniel says by peace he will destroy many (Dan. 8:25).
(3) This is probably when the Jewish Temple will be rebuilt. When he comes on the scene, the Antichrist will be the greatest diplomat the world has ever seen, and he will doubtless solve the “Israel-Palestinian problem.”
(4) It is probable that either the Antichrist or his prophet or both will be accepted by the Jews as their Messiah and by apostate Christians as theirs and by the Muslims as the Mahdi. Both Sunnis and Shiites believe in an Islamic messiah, the Mahdi, who will appear at the end of the world to establish a global caliphate in Allah’s name and rule for a period of time (seven, nine, or nineteen years, according to varying interpretations), ridding the world of evil before the day of judgment. The coming of the Mahdi is believed to coincide with the second coming of Jesus, whom they call Isa, who will join hands with the Mahdi against a false messiah or antichrist.
b. Mid-way through the seven years the Antichrist will break this covenant and exalt himself as God.
(1) The abomination that makes desolate is the desecration of the Jewish temple by the Antichrist. Compare 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4.
(2) This event marks the beginning of the 3.5 years of the Great Tribulation (Mat. 24:15).
(3) Revelation 6-19 describes the same period of time (the final “week” of Daniel’s vision), and Revelation also divides the time into two 3.5 year periods.
– During the first half of the Tribulation, the two witnesses of Revelation 11 will preach for 1,260 days, or three and a half years (Rev. 11:3).
– During the second half, the Antichrist will rule for 42 months, or 3.5 years (Rev. 13:5), and converted Israel shall flee into the wilderness for 1,260 days, or 3.5 years (Rev. 12:6).
David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, email@example.com
Distributed by Way of Life Literature Inc.’s Fundamental Baptist Information Service, an e-mail listing for Fundamental Baptists and other fundamentalist, Bible-believing Christians. Established in 1974, Way of Life Literature is a fundamental Baptist preaching and publishing ministry based in Bethel Baptist Church, London, Ontario, of which Wilbert Unger is the founding Pastor. Brother Cloud lives in South Asia where he has been a church planting missionary since 1979. OUR GOAL IN THIS PARTICULAR ASPECT OF OUR MINISTRY IS NOT DEVOTIONAL BUT IS TO PROVIDE INFORMATION TO ASSIST PREACHERS IN THE PROTECTION OF THE CHURCHES IN THIS APOSTATE HOUR.
Way of Life Literature – http://www.wayoflife.org
copyright 2013 – Way of Life Literature
by Glenn Christopherson
A new form of Christianity is rapidly taking shape in our world.
It’s a “Christianity” which speaks long and loud about social justice and veers from mentioning God’s justice.
It has turned it’s back on the clear waters of God’s Holy words to drink at the muddied wells of human philosophies, pseudo science and religious counterfeits.
It is proud of it’s boasted achievements and seemingly ignorant of God’s marvellous, perfect and eternal accomplishments.
This new form of “Christianity” is virulent and contagious infecting multitudes with it’s new forms of worship. Worship that is rejected by the Living God.
It is strong on the supposed value of “faith traditions”, but weak on the absolute need for faith in Christ.
It promotes the brotherhood of man, and neglects the sinfulness of man.
It falsely promises temporal pleasures while studiously ignoring the sure and certain promise of eternal bliss…for Christ’s blood purchased brethren.
This false Church is impressed with the pomp of men and their religious systems and sneers at the simplicity of the ancient and true gospel.
It whimpers regularly in bored oratory about the love of God but never in awed reverence lifts up the majestic holiness of our Sovereign and Creator.
This new form of Christianity doesn’t disturb men, it lulls them into a deadly sleep.
It doesn’t convict men of eternal danger, it convinces them to carry on untroubled.
It doesn’t open up eternal vistas it simply refocusses men’s myopic gaze on the temporal.
This new form of Christianity has a new “Christ”. An invented Christ; who is weak and ruled by tolerance rather than holiness. A messiah who accepts and even rejoices in our sin. An unnecessary Saviour dying on an unnecessary cross.
This new form of Christianity, insidiously spreading as yeast through the church world, doesn’t worry the devil…in fact it is his creation..
No, Christianity Should Not ‘Welcome’ or ‘Include’ Your Sinful Lifestyle
By Matt Walsh
I got this email a few days ago insisting Christians need to be more “inclusive” of open homosexuals. It’s a popular notion these days, so I thought I’d share this with you and respond here publicly:
Matt, you put yourself on a pedestal as this “great Christian” but you do more harm to the religion than anyone else. As a gay man I can say I’m happy to see how finally a lot of Christians and different churches are realizing that Christianity has to be INCLUSIVE of the LGBTQ community and other lifestyles. Not judging of them. Gays and trans people have felt alienated by Christianity and now progressive Christians have finally started to pull the religion into the 21st century and reach out to all of us. Jesus preached tolerance for all people and lifestyles not HATE. The prodigal son was WELCOMED back not told to go away! You are still trying to make divisions and tell some of us Christians we are not Christians just because we live differently. You are a truly sh*tty person and you come off as a bad writer and an uneducated idiot. Just stop talking. You make Jesus mad every time you write your garbage.
-A gay man who loves Jesus
Hi. Thanks for writing. A few points.
First, as I’m constantly reminded, the sins of homosexuality and fornication have existed since Biblical times. Still, it was prohibited in the Old and New Testaments (Genesis 19:1-13, Leviticus 18:22, Romans 1:26-27, 1 Corinthians 6:9) and by every Christian church for the first 20 centuries of Christianity’s existence. Since you are a self-identified Christian who thinks the moral teachings of the Bible should now be suddenly updated, I have to ask: What changed?
What was revealed in the last few years that proved the prophets, the apostles and all Christian denominations until recently wrong? What new piece of information did humanity obtain? What great revelation occurred? You think a 2,000-year-old faith that professes timeless Truths should “keep up” with the whims of modernity, but why? What do we know in our time that the Church didn’t know — that God Himself didn’t know — up to now? Be very careful in how you answer that question.
Second, I have never referred to myself as a “great Christian” — or a “great” anything for that matter — so I’m not sure why you put “great Christian” in quotes. I consider myself a greatly flawed Christian, even a “sh*tty” one, as you so helpfully and compassionately noted.
See, you need to stop reading with your emotions and read with your brain, man. Your emotions tell you that anyone who advocates virtue is automatically claiming to be virtuous, because it’s easier to dismiss a point based on the perceived motivations behind it rather than consider the point on its own merits. It’s like I’m saying two plus two equals four, and you’re countering that I’m not such a brilliant mathematician. Well, right, but I never said I was a brilliant mathematician. I just said two plus two equals four, because it does, and because even a stupid man can see that.
It’s difficult to have grown-up conversations these days, because people like yourself see every mention of moral truth as either a personal attack or a statement of superiority. This is the real damage you cause in the Faith. It’s not that you’re sinful — we all are, to be sure — it’s that you want to be coddled. You want to shut down professions of Truth that are inconvenient or uncomfortable. You want to modify Christian teachings not because you tried them and found them wrong, but because, to paraphrase Chesterton, you found them difficult and don’t want to try them.
I have many sins, but I will not tell you they are not sins. I come to Christ a sick and broken man looking for healing. You apparently come a sick and broken man looking to be assured you were never sick and broken to begin with. That is the only real difference between us. Or I should say, it’s the only real difference between Christians and “progressive Christians.” Both groups are sinful, both groups are weak, both groups need Christ desperately, but one wants — though they may so often fail — to go Christ’s way, and the other wants Christ to go theirs.
Third, I’m tired of hearing this “inclusive” stuff. Yes of course the Faith is made for people like you. It’s made for all people. It’s not a cult or a club. There’s no entrance exam or membership fee. Christianity is for everyone. If that’s what you mean by “inclusive,” fine, but a better word would be “universal.” In any case, that isn’t what you mean, is it?
When you ask for an “inclusive” Christianity, you ask for a Christianity that, rather than calling you to serve it, bends down and serves you. You’re asking to be “included” in the Faith on your own terms. That’s just not how this works, brother. As Christians, we have no authority to “include” you in that way. You must include yourself.
We go out into the world and proclaim the Gospel. We offer an invitation. We extend a greeting. We fight to win souls. But the souls must come of their own accord and must accept the Truth of Christ willingly and in its fullness. You must enter into the Truth. You must be the one who accepts it. You must be the one who “includes” the Truth in your life. Your lifestyle must change to accommodate the Truth, not the other way around.
By the way, Jesus never uttered the word “lifestyle,” much less did He preach that they all ought to be tolerated. Recently, we’ve started referring to sins as “lifestyles” and pretending that this rhetorical maneuver somehow changes the morality of the issue. It doesn’t. A sin is still a sin, and He instructs us all to “go and sin no more” (John 8:11), which often means dramatically altering our lifestyles.
Indeed, when people came to follow Him in Scripture, He told them to first leave their earthly pleasures behind and then continue along the road (Luke 18:22). He made it very clear that there is in fact a correct lifestyle, a correct way to live, and that way is narrow. Matthew 7:13 tells us the broad and “inclusive” road is the one that leads to damnation. You must choose, then, to walk through the right path, the narrow path, but it will be difficult and demanding, and it will not and cannot be widened to include you.
We all struggle with sin. But struggle is the keyword. Struggle. Fight back. Plead with God in agony to help you defeat these demons. Go to Christ begging that He help you overcome your temptations and live with chastity and temperance. Don’t demand that your sin be allowed to accompany you into Heaven. It can’t. We can accompany our sins into Hell, or ditch the whole ugly package on the side of the road and come Home.
In “The Great Divorce,” C.S. Lewis said, “If we insist on keeping Hell, we shall not see Heaven: if we accept Heaven, we shall not be able to retain even the smallest and most intimate souvenirs of Hell.”
That’s our choice, in a nutshell.
Yes, as you mention, the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11) was welcomed back by his father. But have you read the entire parable? The son realizes the error of his ways, makes the journey back home, and when he arrives he pleads for forgiveness. “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.” Wow, that’s, like, a pretty intense declaration. Notice he didn’t waltz back to his dad’s place and casually brag that he blew his fortune on hookers and booze but he’s not sorry and intends to get right back to it first thing tomorrow. If he had, I think the story would have ended differently.
We see the same sort of thing play out in the passage about the two criminals crucified next to Christ (Luke 23:39-43). One of the criminals is unrepentant and demands that Jesus rescue him from his fate and allow him to continue on sinning. The other realizes he deserves his punishment and, in those final moments before death, professes his faith in Christ and repents of his sin. Christ assures the repentant man he will be with Him in paradise. Our Lord very noticeably does not make this guarantee to the other. A really bad sign for that dude, to say the least.
But for the penitent criminal, imagine the joy. What a beautiful thing, what a privilege it must have been to die next to Christ, to be forgiven everything he’d ever done and welcomed into eternal salvation. Now, that is inclusive. And that is an opportunity open to all of us.
It’s so simple, really. The message is so hopeful and good and joyous, which is why I resent attempts to dilute it into oblivion. All we have to do is follow Christ, spread the Gospel, fight against our sins, and repent for the times when we fail in that fight. That’s all. That’s the “how to” of Christianity. It seems you want to remove, well, all of those ingredients and still call yourself a Christian. You might as well remove all the yeast and flour from a mixture and call the goop of water, butter, and salt that remains “bread.”
I’m reminded of a great moment from a fantastic book called “The Power and the Glory,” set during the persecutions in 1930s Mexico. The protagonist, a sinful, degenerate, alcoholic priest with an illegitimate daughter, is facing execution for his faith. Hours before they march him to death by firing squad, he’s in his cell reflecting on his life and praying for forgiveness:
He felt only an immense disappointment because he had to go to God empty-handed, with nothing done at all. It seemed to him at that moment that it would have been quite easy to have been a saint. It would only have needed a little self-restraint and a little courage. He felt like someone who has missed happiness by seconds at an appointed place. He knew now that there was only one thing that counted — to be a saint.
Powerful. The man knows he has failed God so many times in his life, he lacked even the little restraint and courage that was required to follow Christ perfectly, yet because he believed, because he repented, because in these final moments he hungers for the Lord’s embrace, he will enter Paradise all the same.
Inclusive? Sure. I’d call that inclusive.
The point is, Christianity includes us, Christ includes us, but He will not include our sin. We have to choose to shed our sin, pick up our cross, and follow Him. That’s what it means to “be included.” You say that’s what you want, but do you? Do you want to leave your earthly pleasures behind, cut off whatever parts of your life are causing you to sin (Matthew 5:30), and die with Christ? I can’t answer that question for you. I have a hard enough time answering it affirmatively myself every day.
Christianity is truly a simple formula, but a painful one. If we will not include the pain and sacrifice in our lives, we will not include the Faith.
Fourth, Christians churches in America were never guilty of “alienating” unrepentant sinners like the “LGBTQ community.” They are so attached to their sin that they literally define themselves by it. They look for ”community” not with the Body of Christ, but with those who share their urges and fetishes. They elect to reject the difficult aspects of the Faith. They alienate themselves.
There are many accounts in Scripture where Jesus delivers a controversial message that is hard for people to accept, and many of his followers abandon Him altogether because of it. You’ll notice that Jesus never backtracks and apologizes. He never chases them down as they walk away and explains that He didn’t really mean all that stuff and really they were just taking it out of context.
In John 6, after Christ proclaims Himself the bread of life, many of his disciples are upset and threaten to leave. He does not beg them to turn around. He just continues right along speaking the Truth. He does not change His Word to cater to those who choose not to accept it. They are alienated by their sin, not by Him.
With that said, I do think many churches are guilty of alienating a certain group. As others have pointed out, the minority that rightly feels disaffected are those striving to live the Christian life. While western Christendom has worked so hard to shelter and welcome people who do not even desire to follow His Word and who, in fact, wish to subvert and change it for their own purposes, the ones really left out in the cold are those who try to be virtuous, chaste and faithful.
The Christians who would now be called “extremist” or “fundamentalist” or “conservative,” who stand against the cultural tide, who resist the temptation to succumb to the heretical fashions of the day — these are the Christians we need to include more. They have accepted the Faith for what it is, they are trying, though imperfectly, to walk through the narrow gate, but what do they find? Churches that treat them like nuisances. Church services designed to appeal to the secular crowd at the expense of giving the faithful the sacred and invigorating experience they deeply crave. Christian leaders who provide no leadership. A faith muted and watered down for the benefit of those who wish to destroy it.
These believers are trying their best to keep their hearts pure in a society that heaps mockery and scorn upon such efforts. They despair sometimes wondering how they’ll ever manage to raise their children to love Jesus in a country where even His supposed followers celebrate sin and bestow blessings on the worst kinds of evil. They’ve watched their nation discard virtue and truth and God. They feel isolated. They feel betrayed. They are beaten and exhausted in their fight against sin because they feel like they are fighting alone. They feel like Christ on Calvary shouting, ”My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
Of course, God has not forsaken them. But many Christians have. Many churches have. Many pastors have. Many Christian leaders have. They need to be equipped, encouraged and inspired in their mission to defeat sin, follow the Word and walk the narrow path to salvation, but these Christians are frequently left wondering where to turn.
Certainly the culture is no help. The education system is usually just another obstacle. The government, the media, even sometimes their own families are against their quest for holiness. So they run to their churches and their ministers and their fellow Christians and often they are greeted with secularized gospels and “progressive” gospels and “prosperity” gospels and gay gospels when all they want is the Gospel, in all its truth and fury.
John Chrysostom said the Holy Scripture should be “engraved upon our hearts.” There are some Christians who wish to adhere to it with that level of severity. They are the minority that all churches should be bending over backwards to embrace. They are the ones who need to be included again. They are the life of the Faith in this country.
Frankly, the church has not failed if it makes open homosexuals or anyone else feel uncomfortable in their sin. That is a success. That is the church doing what it’s supposed to do. But it has failed if it makes the faithful and the sincere feel unwelcome. This is the real problem, the real crisis.
I’ll pray Christian churches in this country always “include” the Truth, not liberal sexual dogmas or any other form of blasphemy.
As for you, I’ll pray you leave your sin behind and come to Christ remorseful and empty handed, ready to be His servant.
As for me, please pray I do the same.
Matthew Henry – Commentary on 2 Peter 2
The apostle, having in the foregoing chapter exhorted them to proceed and advance in the Christian race, now comes to remove, as much as in him lay, what he could not but apprehend would hinder their complying with his exhortation. He therefore gives them fair warning of false teachers, by whom they might be in danger of being seduced. To prevent this,
- I. He describes these seducers as impious in themselves, and very pernicious to others (v. 1-3).
- II. He assures them of the punishment that shall be inflicted on them (v. 3-6).
- III. He tells us how contrary the method is which God takes with those who fear him (v. 7-9).
- IV. He fills up the rest of the chapter with a further description of those seducers of whom he would have them beware.
- I. In the end of the former chapter there is mention made of holy men of God, who lived in the times of the Old Testament, and were used as the amanuenses of the Holy Ghost, in writing the sacred oracles; but in the beginning of this he tells us they had, even at that time, false prophets in the church as well as true. In all ages of the church, and under all dispensations, when God sends true prophets, the devil sends some to seduce and deceive, false prophets in the Old Testament, and false Christs, false apostles, and seducing teachers, in the New. Concerning these observe,
- 1. Their business is to bring in destructive errors, even damnable heresies, as the business of teachers sent of God is to show the way of truth, even the true way to everlasting life. There are damnable heresies as well as damnable practices; and false teachers are industrious to spread pernicious errors.
- 2. Damnable heresies are commonly brought in privily, under the cloak and colour of truth.
- 3. Those who introduce destructive heresies deny the Lord that bought them. They reject and refuse to hear and learn of the great teacher sent from God, though he is the only Saviour and Redeemer of men, who paid a price sufficient to redeem as many worlds of sinners as there are sinners in the world.
- 4. Those who bring in errors destructive to others bring swift (and therefore sure) destruction upon themselves. Self-destroyers are soon destroyed; and those who are so hardened as to propagate errors destructive to others shall surely and suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.
- II. He proceeds, in the second verse, to tell us the consequence with respect to others; and here we may learn,
- 1. Corrupt leaders seldom fail of many to follow them; though the way of error is a pernicious way, yet many are ready to walk therein. Men drink in iniquity like water, and are pleased to live in error. The prophets prophesy falsely, and the people love to have it so.
- 2. The spreading of error will bring up an evil report on the way of truth; that is, the way of salvation by Jesus Christ, who is the way, the truth, and the life. The Christian religion is from the God of truth as the author, leads to true happiness in the enjoyment of the true God as the end, and works truth in the inward part as the means of acceptably serving God. And yet this way of truth is traduced and blasphemed by those who embrace and advance destructive errors. This the apostle has foretold as what should certainly come to pass. Let us not be offended at any thing of this in our day, but take care that we give no occasion to the enemy to blaspheme the holy name whereby we are called, or speak evil of that way whereby we hope to be saved.
- III. Observe, in the next place, the method seducers take to draw disciples after them: they use feigned words; they flatter, and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple, inducing them to yield entirely to the opinions which these seducers endeavour to propagate, and sell and deliver themselves over to the instruction and government of these false teacher, who make a gain of those whom they make their proselytes, serving themselves and making some advantage of them; for all this is through covetousness, with a desire and design to get more wealth, or credit, or commendation, by increasing the number of their followers. The faithful ministers of Christ, who show men the way of truth, desire the profit and advantage of their followers, that they may be saved; but these seducing teachers desire and design only their own temporal advantage and worldly grandeur.
Men are apt to think that a reprieve is the forerunner of a pardon, and that if judgment be not speedily executed it is, or will be, certainly reversed. But the apostle tells us that how successful and prosperous soever false teachers may be, and that for a time, yet their judgment lingereth not. God has determined long ago how he will deal with them. Such unbelievers, who endeavour to turn others from the faith, are condemned already, and the wrath of God abideth on them. The righteous Judge will speedily take vengeance; the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste. To prove this assertion, here are several examples of the righteous judgment of God, in taking vengeance on sinners, proposed to our serious consideration.
- I. See how God dealt with the angels who sinned. Observe,
- 1. No excellency will exempt a sinner from punishment. If the angels, who excel us vastly in strength and knowledge, violate the law of God, the sentence which that law awards shall be executed upon them, and that without mercy or mitigation, for God did not spare them. Hence observe,
- 2. By how much the more excellent the offender, by so much the more severe the punishment. These angels, who had the advantage of men as to the dignity of their nature, are immediately punished. There is no sparing them for a few days, no favour at all shown them.
- 3. Sin debases and degrades the persons who commit it. The angels of heaven are cast down from the height of their excellency, and divested of all their glory and dignity, upon their disobedience. Whoever sins against God does a manifest hurt to himself.
- 4. Those who rebel against the God of heaven shall all be sent down to hell. There is no place nor state between the height of glory and the depth of misery in which they shall be allowed to rest. If creatures sin in heaven, they must suffer in hell.
- 5. Sin is the work of darkness, and darkness is the wages of sin. The darkness of misery and torment follows the darkness of sin. Those who will not walk according to the light and direction of God’s law shall be deprived of the light of God’s countenance and the comforts of his presence.
- 6. As sin binds men over to punishment, so misery and torment hold men under punishment. The darkness which is their misery keeps them so that they cannot get away from their torment.
- 7. The last degree of torment is not till the day of judgment. The sinning angels, though in hell already, are yet reserved to the judgment of the great day.
- II. See how God dealt with the old world, even in much the same way that he dealt with the angels. He spared not the old world. Here observe,
- 1. The number of offenders signifies no more to procure any favour than the quality. If the sin be universal, the punishment shall likewise extend to all. But,
- 2. If there be but a few righteous, they shall be preserved. God does not destroy the good with the bad. In wrath he remembers mercy.
- 3. Those who are preachers of righteousness in an age of universal corruption and degeneracy, holding forth the word of life in an unblamable and exemplary conversation, shall be preserved in a time of general destruction.
- 4. God can make use of those creatures as the instruments of his vengeance in punishing sinners which he at first made and appointed for their service and benefit. He destroyed the whole world by water; but observe,
- 5. What was the procuring cause of this: it was a world of ungodly men. Ungodliness puts men out of the divine protection, and exposes them to utter destruction.
- III. See how God dealt with Sodom and Gomorrah; though they were situated in a country like the garden of the Lord, yet, if in such a fruitful soil they abound in sin, God can soon turn a fruitful land into barrenness and a well-watered country into dust and ashes. Observe,
- 1. No political union or confederacy can keep off judgments from a sinful people. Sodom and the neighbouring cities were no more secured by their regular government than the angels by the dignity of their nature or the old world by their vast number.
- 2. God can make use of contrary creatures to punish incorrigible sinners. He destroys the old world by water, and Sodom by fire. He who keeps fire and water from hurting his people (Isa. 43:2) can make either to destroy his enemies; therefore they are never safe.
- 3. Most heinous sins bring most grievous judgments. Those who were abominable in their vices were remarkable for their plagues. Those who are sinners exceedingly before the Lord must expect the most dreadful vengeance.
- 4. The punishment of sinners in former ages is designed for the example of those who come after. “Follow them, not only in the time of living, but in their course and way of living.’ Men who live ungodly must see what they are to expect if they go on still in a course of impiety. Let us take warning by all the instances of God’s taking vengeance, which are recorded for our admonition, and to prevent our promising ourselves impunity, though we go on in a course of sin.
When God sends destruction on the ungodly, he commands deliverance for the righteous; and, if he rain fire and brimstone on the wicked, he will cover the head of the just, and they shall be hid in the day of his anger. This we have an instance of in his preserving Lot. Here observe,
- 1. The character given of Lot; he is called a just man; this he was as to the generally prevailing bent of his heart and through the main of his conversation. God does not account men just or unjust from one single act, but from their general course of life. And here is a just man in the midst of a most corrupt and profligate generation universally gone off from all good. He does not follow the multitude to do evil, but in a city of injustice he walks uprightly.
- 2. The impression the sins of others made upon this righteous man. Though the sinner takes pleasure in his wickedness, it is a grief and vexation to the soul of the righteous. In bad company we cannot escape either guilt or grief. Let the sins of others be a trouble to us, otherwise it will not be possible for us to keep ourselves pure.
- 3. Here is a particular mention of the duration and continuance of this good man’s grief and vexation: it was from day to day. Being accustomed to hear and see their wickedness did not reconcile him to it, nor abate of the horror that was occasioned by it. This is the righteous man whom God preserved from the desolating judgment that destroyed all round about him. From this instance we are taught to argue that God knows how to deliver his people and punish his enemies. It is here presupposed that the righteous must have their temptations and trials. The devil and his instruments will thrust sore at them, that they may fall; and, if we will get to heaven, it must be through many tribulations. It is therefore our duty to reckon upon and prepare for them. Observe here,
- (1.) The Lord knows those that are his. He has set apart him who is godly for himself; and, if there is but one in five cities, he knows him; and where there is a greater number he cannot be ignorant of nor overlook any one of them.
- (2.) The wisdom of God is never at a loss about ways and means to deliver his people. They are often utterly at a loss, and can see no way; he can deliver a great many.
- (3.) The deliverance of the godly is the work of God, that which he concerns himself in, both his wisdom to contrive the way and his power to work out the deliverance out of temptation, to prevent their falling into sin and their being ruined by their troubles. And surely, if he can deliver out of temptation, he could keep from falling into it if he did not see such trials to be necessary.
- (4.) God makes a very great difference in his dealings with the godly and the wicked. When he saves his people from destruction, he delivers over his enemies to deserved ruin. The unjust has no share in the salvation God works out for the righteous. The wicked are reserved to the day of judgment. Here we see,
- [1.] There is a day of judgment. God has appointed a day wherein he will judge the world.
- [2.] The preservation of impenitent sinners is only a reserving of them to the day of the revelation of the righteous judgment of God.
The apostle’s design being to warn us of, and arm us against, seducers, he now returns to discourse more particularly of them, and give us an account of their character and conduct, which abundantly justifies the righteous Judge of the world in reserving them in an especial manner for the most severe and heavy doom, as Cain is taken under special protection that he might be kept for uncommon vengeance. But why will God thus deal with these false teachers? This he shows in what follows.
- I. These walk after the flesh; they follow the devices and desires of their own hearts, they give up themselves to the conduct of their own fleshly mind, refusing to make their reason stoop to divine revelation, and to bring every thought to the obedience of Christ; they, in their lives, act directly contrary to God’s righteous precepts, and comply with the demands of corrupt nature. Evil opinions are often accompanied with evil practices; and those who are for propagating error are for improving in wickedness. They will not sit down contented in the measure of iniquity to which they have attained, nor is it enough for them to stand up, and maintain, and defend, what wickedness they have already committed, but they walk after the flesh, they go on in their sinful course, and increase unto more ungodliness and greater degrees of impurity and uncleanness too; they also pour contempt on those whom God has set in authority over them and requires them to honour. These therefore despise the ordinance of God, and we need not wonder at it, for they are bold and daring, obstinate and refractory, and will not only cherish contempt in their hearts, but with their tongues will utter slanderous and reproachful words of those who are set over them.
- II. This he aggravates, by setting forth the very different conduct of more excellent creatures, even the angels, of whom observe,
- 1. They are greater in power and might, and that even than those who are clothed with authority and power among the sons of men, and much more than those false teachers who are slanderous revilers of magistrates and governors; the good angels vastly exceed us in all natural and moral excellences, in strength, understanding, and holiness too.
- 2. Good angels are accusers of sinful creatures, either of their own kind, or ours, or both. Those who are allowed to behold the face of God, and stand before his throne, cannot but have a zeal for his honour, and accuse and blame those who dishonour him.
- 3. Angels bring their accusations of sinful creatures before the Lord; they do not publish their faults, and tell their crimes to their fellow-creatures, in a way of calumny and slander; but it is before the Lord, who is the Judge, and will be the avenger, of all impiety and injustice.
- 4. Good angels mingle no bitter revilings nor base reproaches with any of the accusations or charges they bring against the wickedest and worst of criminals. Let us, who pray that God’s will may be done on earth as it is in heaven, imitate the angels in this particular; if we complain of wicked men, let it be to God, and that not with rage and reviling, but with compassion and composedness of mind, that may evidence that we belong to him who is meek and merciful.
- III. The apostle, having shown (v. 11) how unlike seducing teachers are to the most excellent creatures, proceeds (v. 12) to show how like they are to the most inferior: they are like the horse and mule, which have no understanding; they are as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed. Men, under the power of sin, are so far from observing divine revelation that they do not exercise reason, nor act according to the direction thereof. They walk by sight, and not by faith, and judge of things according to their senses; as these represent things pleasant and agreeable, so they must be approved and esteemed. Brute-creatures follow the instinct of their sensitive appetite, and sinful man follows the inclination of his carnal mind; these refuse to employ the understanding and reason God has given them, and so are ignorant of what they might and ought to know; and therefore observe,
- 1. Ignorance is the cause of evil-speaking; and,
- 2. Destruction will be the effect of it. These persons shall be utterly destroyed in their own corruption. Their vices not only expose them to the wrath of God in another world, but often bring them to misery and ruin in this life; and surely such impudent offenders, who glory in their shame, and to whom openness in sin is an improvement of the pleasure of sinning, most justly deserve all the plagues of this life and the pains of the next in the greatest extremity. Therefore whatever they meet with is the just reward of their unrighteousness. Such sinners as sport themselves in mischief deceive themselves and disgrace all they belong to, for by one sort of sins they prepare themselves for another; their extravagant feastings, their intemperance in eating and drinking, bring them to commit all manner of lewdness, so that their eyes are full of adultery, their wanton looks show their own impure lusts and are designed and directed to kindle the like in others; and this is what they cannot cease from-the heart is insatiate in lusting and the eye incessant in looking after what may gratify their unclean desires, and those who are themselves impudent and incessant in sin are very diligent and often successful in deceiving others and drawing others into the same excess of riot. But here observe who those are who are in the greatest danger of being led away into error and impiety, even the unstable. Those whose hearts are not established with grace are easily turned into the way of sin, or else such sensual wretches would not be able to prevail upon them, for these are not only riotous and lascivious, but covetous also, and these practices their hearts are exercised with; they pant after riches, and the desire of their souls is to the wealth of this world: it is a considerable part of their work to contrive to get wealth; in this their hearts are exercised, and then they execute their projects; and, if men abandon themselves to all sorts of lusts, we cannot wonder that the apostle should call them cursed children, for they are liable to the curse of God denounced against such ungodly and unrighteous men, and they bring a curse upon all who hearken and adhere to them.
- IV. The apostle (v. 15, 16) proves that they are cursed children, even such covetous persons as the Lord abhors, by showing,
- 1. They have forsaken the right way; and it cannot be but such self-seekers must be out of the right way, which is a self-denying way.
- 2. They have gone into a wrong way: they have erred and strayed from the way of life, and gone over into the path which leads to death, and takes hold of hell; and this he makes out by showing it to be the way of Balaam, the son of Bosor.
- (1.) That is a way of unrighteousness into which men are led by the wages of unrighteousness.
- (2.) Outward temporal good things are the wages sinners expect and promise themselves, though they are often disappointed.
- (3.) The inordinate love of the good things of this world turns men out of the way which leads to the unspeakably better things of another life; the love of riches and honour turned Balaam out of the way of his duty, although he knew that the way he took displeased the Lord.
- (4.) Those who from the same principle are guilty of the same practices with notorious sinners are, in the judgment of God, the followers of such vile offenders, and therefore must reckon upon being at last where they are: they shall have their portion with those in another world whom they imitated in this.
- (5.) Heinous and hardened sinners sometimes meet with rebukes for their iniquity. God stops them in their way, and opens the mouth of conscience, or by some startling providence startles and affrights them.
- (6.) Though some more uncommon and extraordinary rebuke may for a little while cool men’s courage, and hinder their violent progress in the way of sin, it will not make them forsake the way of iniquity and go over into the way of holiness. If rebuking a sinner for his iniquity could have made a man return to his duty, surely the rebuke of Balaam must have produced this effect; for here is a surprising miracle wrought: the dumb ass, in whose mouth no man can expect to meet with reproof, is enabled to speak, and that with a human voice, and to her owner and master (who is here called a prophet, for the Lord appeared and spoke sometimes to him, Num. 22:23, 24, but indeed he was among the prophets of the Lord as Judas among the apostles of Jesus Christ), and she exposes the madness of his conduct and opposes his going on in this evil way, and yet all in vain. Those who will not yield to usual methods of reproof will be but little influenced by miraculous appearances to turn them from their sinful courses. Balaam was indeed restrained from actually cursing the people, but he had so strong a desire after the honours and riches that were promised him that he went as far as he could, and did his utmost to get from under the restraint that was upon him.
- V. The apostle proceeds (v. 17) to a further description of seducing teachers, whom he sets forth,
- 1. As wells, or fountains, without water. Observe,
- (1.) Ministers should be as wells or fountains, where the people may find instruction, direction, and comfort; but
- (2.) False teachers have nothing of this to impart to those who consult them: the word of truth is the water of life, which refreshes the souls that receive it; but these deceivers are set upon spreading and promoting error, and therefore are set forth as empty, because there is no truth in them. In vain then are all our expectations of being fed and filled with knowledge and understanding by those who are themselves ignorant and empty.
- 2. As clouds carried with a tempest. When we see a cloud we expect a refreshing shower from it; but these are clouds which yield no rain, for they are driven with the wind, but not of the Spirit, but the stormy wind or tempest of their own ambition and covetousness. They espouse and spread those opinions that will procure most applause and advantage to themselves; and as clouds obstruct the light of the sun, and darken the air, so do these darken counsel by words without knowledge and wherein there is no truth; and, seeing these men are for promoting darkness in this world, it is very just that the mist of darkness should be their portion in the next. Utter darkness was prepared for the devil, the great deceiver, and his angels, those instruments that he uses to turn men from the truth, and therefore for them it is reserved, and that for ever; the fire of hell is everlasting, and the smoke of the bottomless pit rises up for ever and ever. And it is just with God to deal thus with them, because
- (1.) They allure those they deal with, and draw them into a net, or catch them as men do fish; and,
- (2.) It is with great swelling words of vanity, lofty expressions, which have a great sound, but little sense.
- (3.) They work upon the corrupt affections and carnal fleshly lusts of men, proposing what is grateful to them. And,
- (4.) They seduce persons who in reality avoided and kept at a distance from those who spread and those who embraced hurtful and destructive errors. Observe,
- [1.] By application and industry men attain a skilfulness and dexterity in promoting error. They are as artful and as successful as the fisher, who makes angling his daily employment. The business of these men is to draw disciples after them, and in their methods and management there are some things worth observing, how they suit their bait to those they desire to catch.
- [2.] Erroneous teachers have a peculiar advantage to win men over to them, because they have sensual pleasure to take them with; whereas the ministers of Christ put men upon self-denial, and the mortifying of those lusts that others gratify and please: wonder not therefore that truth prevails no more, or that errors spread so much.
- [3.] Persons who have for a while adhered to the truth, and kept clear of errors, may by the subtlety and industry of seducers be so far deceived as to fall into those errors they had for a while clean escaped. “Be therefore always upon your guard, maintain a godly jealousy of yourselves, search the scriptures, pray for the Spirit to instruct and establish you in the truth, walk humbly with God, and watch against every thing that may provoke him to give you up to a reprobate mind, that you may not be taken with the fair and specious pretences of these false teachers, who promise liberty to all who will hearken to them, not true Christian liberty for the service of God, but a licentiousness in sin, to follow the devices and desires of their own hearts.’ To prevent these men’s gaining proselytes, he tells us that, in the midst of all their talk of liberty, they themselves are the vilest slaves, for they are the servants of corruption; their own lusts have gotten a complete victory over them, and they are actually in bondage to them, making provision for the flesh, to satisfy its cravings, comply with its directions, and obey its commands. Their minds and hearts are so far corrupted and depraved that they have neither power nor will to refuse the task that is imposed on them. They are conquered and captivated by their spiritual enemies, and yield their members servants of unrighteousness: and what a shame it is to be overcome and commanded by those who are themselves the servants of corruption, and slaves to their own lusts! This consideration should prevent our being led away by these seducers; and to this he adds another (v. 20): it is not only a shame and disgrace to be seduced by those who are themselves the slaves of sin, and led captive by the devil at his pleasure, but it is a real detriment to those who have clean escaped from those who live in error, for hereby their latter end is made worse than their beginning. Here we see,
- First, It is an advantage to escape the pollutions of the world, to be kept from gross and scandalous sins, though men are not thoroughly converted and savingly changed; for hereby we are kept from grieving those who are truly serious and emboldening those who are openly profane; whereas, if we run with others to the same excess of riot and abandon ourselves to the sins of the age, we afflict and dishearten those who endeavour to walk as becomes the gospel, and strengthen the hands of those who are already engaged in open rebellion against the Most High, as well as alienate ourselves more from God, and harden our hearts against him.
- Secondly, Some men are, for a time, kept from the pollutions of the world, by the knowledge of Christ, who are not savingly renewed in the spirit of their mind. A religious education has restrained many whom the grace of God has not renewed: if we receive the light of the truth, and have a notional knowledge of Christ in our heads, it may be of some present service to us; but we must receive the love of the truth, and hide God’s word in our heart, or it will not sanctify and save us.
- Thirdly, Those who have, for a time, escaped the pollutions of the world, are at first ensnared and entangled by false teachers, who first perplex men with some plausible and specious objections against the truths of the gospel; and the more ignorant and unstable are hereby made to stagger, and brought to question the truth of doctrines they have received, because they cannot solve all the difficulties, nor answer all the objections, that are urged by these seducers.
- Fourthly, When men are once entangled, they are easily overcome; therefore should Christians keep close to the word of God, and watch against those who seek to perplex and bewilder them, and that because, if men who have once escaped are again entangled, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.
- 1. As wells, or fountains, without water. Observe,
- VI. The apostle, in the last two verses of the chapter, sets himself to prove that a state of apostasy is worse than a state of ignorance; for it is a condemning of the way of righteousness, after they have had some knowledge of it, and expressed some liking to it; it carries in it a declaring that they have found some iniquity in the way of righteousness and some falsehood in the word of truth. Now to bring up such an evil report upon the good way of God, and such a false charge against the way of truth, must necessarily expose to the heaviest condemnation; the misery of such deserters of Christ and his gospel is more unavoidable and more intolerable than that of other offenders; for,
- 1. God is more highly provoked by those who by their conduct despise the gospel, as well as disobey the law, and who reproach and pour contempt upon God and his grace.
- 2. The devil more narrowly watches and more closely confines those whom he has recovered, after they had once gone off from him and professed to be the followers of the Lord Jesus Christ (Mt. 12:45); they are kept under a stronger guard, and no wonder it should be so when they have licked up their own vomit again, returning to the same errors and impieties that they had once cast off and seemed to detest and loathe, and wallowing in that filthiness from which they appeared once to be really cleansed. Well, if the scripture gives such an account of Christianity on the one hand, and of sin on the other, as we have here in these two verses, we certainly ought highly to approve of the former and persevere therein, because it is a way of righteousness, and a holy commandment, and to loathe and keep at the greatest distance from the latter because it is set forth as most offensive and abominable.
Commentary by Jack Kelley
For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way (2 Thes 2:7).
The number of emails I receive from people who are discouraged, frustrated, even despondent, is steadily increasing. They point to current conditions in the world and wonder how much worse things can get.
You no longer have to be an astute observer to notice how rapidly our world is changing. It wasn’t that long ago when the standard measure was a comparison between what was acceptable to people in their time with what was acceptable in their grandparents’ time. Now we only have to compare what’s currently acceptable with what was acceptable just a few years ago to see measurable change. Not only are things changing, but the rate of change is accelerating.
A person with discernment can’t help but see a supernatural component in all this. It’s true that the heart of man is incurably wicked (Jeremiah 17:9) but these days society seems to be under a compulsion to see just how wicked they can become. All around us we see God’s Laws being conspicuously broken, His word being stifled, and His people, both Jewish and Christian, being persecuted. It’s like it doesn’t matter how twisted something is, as long as it’s a slap in God’s face, it’s bound to catch on.
This obviously couldn’t be happening without man’s active participation, but I’m becoming convinced there’s more to it than a natural progression of things. I think there’s growing evidence of a malevolent power accelerating this and to me that means the time during which the restrainer holds back the secret power of lawlessness (2 Thes. 2:7) is rapidly drawing to a close.
Pope Francis Tells Priests and Nuns: If They Do Not Love the Mother (Mary), and Pray the Rosary, Then Mother (Mary) Will Not Give Them The Son!
Source HERE from Soul Refuge
I came across an article written by the Catholic News Service on the Cruxnow website, that truly reveals the gross deception and falsity of the Roman Catholic gospel. Here are some excerpts from the article entitled: “Mother and son: Pope Francis has a personal, intimate devotion to Mary.”
VATICAN CITY — From Easter to Pentecost — and especially during the Marian month of May — Catholics recite the “Regina Coeli” prayer “with the emotion of children who are happy because their mother is happy” that Jesus has risen from the dead, Pope Francis said.
Although his devotion to the Mother of God is profound, it is simple in many ways: Mary is a mother to every believer; Jesus would not leave his followers orphans.
While his connection to Mary clearly is a matter of heart and mind, it is also physical. Whenever Pope Francis passes a statue or icon of Mary, he kisses it or allows his hand to rest tenderly upon it.
Honoring the Mother of God, of course, is a solid part of Catholic tradition and a mainstay in the devotion and teaching of the popes. St. John Paul II’s motto, “Totus Tuus” (“All yours”), and the large M on his coat of arms were just the most graphic elements of a devotion that led to a whole body of teaching about Mary, her role in Catholics’ faith life and the importance of praying the rosary.
The following statement by Pope Francis is nothing less than amazing to me:
Visiting Naples in March, Pope Francis told priests, nuns, and seminarians that one way to make sure Jesus is the center of their lives is to ask “his mother to take you to him. A priest, a brother, a nun who does not love Mary, who does not pray to her — I would even say one who does not recite the rosary — well, if you don’t love the mother, the mother will not give you the Son.”
The Pope told the leaders in his very own Roman Catholic church that Mother Mary would take them to Jesus, and that was the sure way of their making Jesus the center of their lives. Then Pope Francis went on to say that if they did not love Mary, and pray to her (including the Rosary) then the Mother would NOT give them the Son! Folks listen to me here. Pope Francis is NOT speaking under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, but he is being led by a demon spirit, and that same spirit caused him to talk that way!
Take a good look at the “coat of arms” and notice the large “M” at the bottom right. That large “M” represents “Mother Mary” and that was the coat of arms for the late Pope John Paul II. Pope John Paul II had the saying “Totus Tuus Sum Maria” sewed on the inside of his garments also. Do you want to know what that saying means in English? It means “Mary, I am totally yours.” Do you think that the late Pope John Paul II was being led by the Spirit of the living God? The late Pope John Paul II is now a Catholic “Saint” and Catholics are already praying to him! Folks it is time to study the scriptures for yourselves, and to come out of the modern day political churches for the sake of your own soul. Much of the modern day television ministries are nothing more than “Christian clownery” and they are encouraging people to join in unity with Rome. Do not fall for that lie, because they have already been seduced.
Many ministers will point their people to the “Apostles Creed” in their attempt to convince Christians (and to avoid persecution and controversy), that the Roman Catholic people hold to the same core teachings, and are believers just like them. That is a very BIG deception though, because I recited the “Apostles Creed” for years but I was sitting in a church that preached a soul damning gospel. The “Apostles Creed” did not tell me that I could be justified by the blood of Jesus Christ. The “Apostles Creed” did not tell me that the Roman Catholic priesthood was a bogus priesthood! The “Apostles Creed” did not tell me that I did not need the Catholic Mass to satisfy the justice of God for my sins! The “Apostles Creed” did not tell me about the necessity of being born again the BIBLICAL way. I needed to be REGENERATED by the Holy Spirit but the “Apostles Creed” could not help me. The “Apostles Creed” did not tell me that I was deceived into believing that I was “born again” when I had my infant head sprinkled with water by a Roman Catholic priest!
I would not be surprised if you could teach a parrot to recite the “Apostles Creed” if you wanted to. (well maybe one line anyway).
I am a former Roman Catholic, and it was the Spirit of God who opened up my spiritual eyes to see the gross deception that I was in. In fact I did the exact opposite of what Pope Francis encouraged his own Priests and Nuns to do. I stopped praying to Mary, I stopped praying my rosary and I turned to the Lord Jesus Christ the Saviour of my soul. Mary is NOT my mother! I have been saved since 1989 and I did not need “Mother Mary” for anything, because the Holy Spirit was the one who brought comfort to my heart!
That article went on to say that Jesus would not leave his followers orphans, but that is NOT the job of “Mother Mary” but it is clearly the job of the Holy Spirit to COMFORT the hearts of the Lord’s followers!
“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” John 14:16-18
The word “comfortless” that is used in this passage is the Greek word orphanos (or-fan-os) and it is defined as follows: bereaved (“orphan”), that is, parentless: – comfortless, fatherless.
So when the Lord Jesus Christ told his followers that he would not leave them “comfortless” he was telling them that he would not leave them orphans! It is the Holy Spirit and NOT Mary who helps the followers. The Holy Spirit is called the COMFORTER by the Lord Jesus Christ in the scriptures.
Pope Francis is certainly NOT led by the Spirit of the LIVING GOD, but he is being led by a DEMON spirit for sure. The Jewish apostle Paul warned us about such things, but few seem to take heed to the warnings anymore. We are living in a day of incredible APOSTASY, and the modern day professional ministers, are simply going along with the flow.
“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;” 1 Timothy 4:1
The Roman Catholic church is chock full of the doctrines of devils (demons) which Paul warned us about, and many sincere Christians have been deluded by their compromising pastors who are nothing more than sleeping watchmen.
“His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter.” Isaiah 56:10-11
James Robison used to speak out against the church of Rome, and he once addressed the issue with Billy Graham. After conversing with Billy Graham James Robison changed his views on the church of Rome. That is so sad, because Billy Graham has been faithful in his compromise with Rome for 65 years now, but the Word of God (Scriptures) will NEVER change! James Robison emotionally declared that he was witnessing the UNITY that Jesus prayed for, happening right before his eyes! Sorry Mr Robison, but this is NOT the UNITY that Jesus prayed for at all. THAT UNITY is speaking about TRUE believers who have been born again of the Spirit, through FAITH in Jesus Christ. The New Birth does NOT come through INFANT baptism as the church of Rome teaches! THAT UNITY is talking about TRUE Christians who BELIEVE that Jesus Christ, and HIM ALONE, is the REDEEMER for their souls, minus a co-redeemer, and co-mediator, named Mary! The Lord Jesus Christ would NEVER encourage his followers to join hands with those who preach a FALSE gospel as the church of Rome most certainly does. The TRUE Spirit of God delivered my soul out from the church of Rome in 1989 and I will not be returning anytime soon.
I am also happy to inform you, that I am probably under, all of the hundred or so anathemas (curses) that Rome placed upon those who disagree with her false teachings. Those curses were instituted at the Council of Trent basically in response to the reformers who stood against Rome. The reformers OPPOSED the church of Rome, and stood against her false teachings, and many were tortured and slain for that stand! Rome took Protestant-bashing to the ultimate extreme with those killings! Rome’s anathemas (curses) were UPHELD by the Council at Vatican II (1964-65), but very FEW are aware of that fact. Vatican II made nothing more than SURFACE changes, but Rome’s false teachings remain the same. You cannot teach an old WOLF new tricks.
Mr Robison, UNITY with Rome is not the UNITY which Christ prayed for at all, BUT IT IS the DECEPTION and APOSTASY which Jesus Christ WARNED his disciples about all those years ago:
“And Jesus answered and said unto them, TAKE HEED that NO MAN DECEIVE YOU. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.” Matthew 24:4-5
Here is an image of James Robison slapping a high-five with the Roman Catholic Pope Francis. Kenneth Copeland is also seen with the Pope.
The late Leonard Ravenhill hit the nail on the head with his assessment of the Roman Catholic Church in his book “Why Revival Tarries” and that assessment is still a perfect description of the cult of Rome today!
“Evangelists today are wide-eyed to the might of Communism, but tight lipped at the menace of Romanism. America would shake from coast to coast in twenty-four hours if some preacher, anointed with the Holy Ghost, gave the Roman Catholic Church a broadside! We stir national interest against the cruel, half-civilized Mau Mau (wicked enough), but powwow with, and pander to, the Roman Catholic Church! These priests who dope mens souls, these idolatrous “masses,” these Calvary eclipsing prayers to Mary, these miserable millions cheated in life and in death by the greatest forgery Lucifer ever made.” (Why Revival Tarries by Leonard Ravenhill, Bethany House Publishers, 1988, Copyright 1959)
Do not forget the words of the late Keith Green, and then compare his words with what you are hearing from people such as James Robison, Billy Graham, Franklin Graham, Luis Palau, Kenneth Copeland and tons of others.
To merely call such a system “a cult”, would be to throw it into the vast category of religions and quasi-religions that are currently making the rounds of our college campuses and city streets, snatching up many an unsuspecting youth. No, the Roman Church is not a cult. It’s an empire!
With its own ruler, its own laws, and its own subjects! The empire has no borders, it encompasses the globe with its eye on every person who does not vow allegiance. It calls the members of other faiths “separated brethren” (The term used by Vatican II to describe the members of Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, and Protestant churches.) and has as its goal the eventual bringing together of everyone under its flag.
I know that many will not be convinced or moved by this article (or any of the others) to make such a conclusion. They are impressed by what they’ve heard about recent stirrings among the Catholics in the “charismatic renewal”. Many evangelicals (especially Charismatics) have been thrilled by the reports of Catholics speaking in tongues, dancing in the Spirit, having nights of joy and praise, even attending “charismatic masses”.
Mouths that used to speak out boldly against the Church of Rome have been quieted by the times. It no longer is in vogue to speak of the pope as “the antichrist” (Although the following people unhesitatingly did: Martin Luther, John Bunyan, John Huss, John Wycliffe, John Calvin, William Tyndale, John Knox, Thomas Bacon, John Wesley, Samuel Cooper, John Cotton, and Jonathan Edwards.) or the Catholic Church as the “whore of Babylon”. Now Protestants unwittingly believe that “our differences are not so great”. Ah, that is just what She needs us to think!
I’ve never completely understood why God led me to write these articles. But it becomes more clear with each day of study, and each page of research. Never has something so black and wicked, gotten away with appearing so holy and mysteriously beautiful . . . for so long! (Keith Green-The Catholic Chronicles)
Were the TRUE Christian reformers wrong in their stand against the Roman Catholic church? Did you know that the teachings of Rome have not changed since that time? Do you care?
By Marsha West
Is it possible for a Christian to know God’s will and not have to agonize over it? Should a believer make a decision without first spending hours in prayer, asking God to reveal His will? Must a Christian avoid making a decision until he or she has a “peace about it”? What about waiting for a “sign” from God? Is it okay for a Christian to consult a psychic or a Ouija board to seek God’s guidance?
A married couple, John and Tina, is faced with a dilemma. They would like to move to Colorado to be closer to John’s family. They’ve been praying about it, asking God to show them His will. Their decision must be made before the end of the week, yet they’re still not sure what God wants them to do — should they stay or should they go?
Naturally John and Tina are confused and frustrated. John is leaning toward moving because he knows it will be good for the kids to live close to their grandparents. He’s even getting excited about it. Not Tina! She wants to wait for a “confirmation,” from God before they pull up stakes and move half way across the country.
John and Tina are in the proverbial pickle.
Many Christians talk about finding God’s will as though it were some deep dark secret, hidden away in the pages of Scripture. Maybe God doesn’t want us to find it.
Where does the Bible teach that God tries to hide His will from us?
Tina and John believe their heavenly Father loves them, yet they’ve decided that He’s hiding His will from them. Maybe God likes playing hide and seek.
Most good parents want what’s best for their children, right? So does it make sense that God would want to hide His will from those He loves? If Tina and John really believe He’s a loving Father, why are they clinging to the ridiculous notion that He wants to keep them in the dark?
Have you ever gone to church leadership because of some alarming things being taught in your church?
As the Great Falling Away continues in our beloved church communities, it seems that even those who once were thought “solid” are not immune to the yeast of false teachings and rogue leadership bent on silencing concerns. It may have happened to you.
A friend of mine allowed me to re-publish her testimony on our site, and it’s one that might stir a lot of emotions for many of you. What happened to her and her family is very sad, but what her family is doing now serves as a tale and a trend you are going to be hearing a lot more about in the year ahead.
Suffering for the Truth By Jenna Guerette (Originally published at Truth or Trend)
This ministry received a cult-like following at my church.
The next Sunday, a congregational meeting was held. They stated that my family hadn’t been kicked out. Bits of my letter were read out of context. A man who had eaten numerous dinners in our home, slandered my Mom and myself in front of the church. A trusted friend told me what happened at this meeting. All in all, the meeting was a complete snow job. It was my family’s word against the elders. The elders were anointed by God. How could they be wrong?
From The End Time
Gnosticism part 1: secret knowledge
Zondervan’s NIV bible lists 6 elements that comprise Gnosticism. They are not exclusive, as Gnosticism has several branches and many different elements can be said to comprise the philosophy. In addition, several other false doctrines overlap Gnosticism, such as Mysticism and Legalism, for example. But for the sake of brevity (sort of) we will stick with the Zondervan 6. They are:
1. secret knowledge,
3. depreciation of Christ (lowering Him in name and in glory),
4. strict rule-keeping, ceremonies, or rituals
5. worship of angels,
6. and reliance on human wisdom and traditions
Today we will take a look at the element of “secret knowledge”.
David Grabbe wrote in “Whatever Happened to Gnosticism?” that “Gnosticism was the predominant source of heresy when the New Testament was written. The books of John, I Corinthians, Galatians, Colossians, I and II Timothy, Jude, and I John all combat various elements of Gnosticism. Even the book of Revelation cites a couple of Gnostic beliefs and practices, referring to “know[ing] the depths of Satan” and “the Nicolaitans” (Revelation 2:6, 15, 24).”
Gene Edward Veith wrote in World Magazine in this 2006 article “The Return of the Cainites,” “The Gnostics were eastern mystics who taught that the physical realm is intrinsically evil and that the spirit can be freed from its bondage to physicality through the attainment of secret knowledge (or “gnosis”). They rejected the Christian doctrine of creation (saying that the material world is evil). They denied the incarnation (saying that Christ was a spiritual being who brought the secret knowledge and denying that He became “flesh”). And they denied the redemption (saying that sin is not a moral failure – since what we do in the flesh does not affect our spirits – but simply a lack of spiritual knowledge).”
Jennifer Trafton and Rebecca Colossanov wrote in “Gnostics: Did you Know?” that “The Gnostics sometimes claimed that secret truth had been handed down by one apostle to a select group of insiders. But Christian opponents like Irenaeus argued that the true church represented the teaching of all of the apostles passed on in many locations.”
The word “Gnosticism” comes from the Greek word gnosis, which means “knowledge.” Gnosticism rejects the doctrines of original sin, human depravity and salvation through the substitutionary death of Christ. It emphasizes transcendence through inward, intuitive knowledge, i.e., “gnosis,” of the “divine spark in each individual.” (source)
Make no mistake. As a follower of Jesus Christ you are under attack. Constantly. Darkness came with the fall of man and it will loom as an ugly blossom until the second coming. But how do you protect yourself from spiritual attack? How do you battle?
Be warned that there are many false teachers out there. The range and scope of these men and women are enormous. The Bible teaches that they disguise themselves as sheep among us but that they are wolves. How do they pull you away from truth? Remember that they are not after unbelievers. Satan is content to let them wallow in their rebellion against God. These false teachers, leaders, book writers, sensationalists, fake watchmen are professing Christians. How can you know them? Test them. Test their fruit. What are they concerned about?
True men and women of God are concerned about the souls of others. They know that truth is found in God’s Word. They will keep in you the Canon. They will always speak wisely in the ways of the Lord and lead you to put on Christ’s righteousness.
False teachers will be after your money by selling countless books and DVD’s. When their false predictions do not come true they just write another book.
False teachers will lead you out of God’s Word by various means such as using non-biblical sources such as “hidden books”, Bible codes, ancient writings or reliance on mystical personal revelation or leadings. Many prophecy sites are notorious for these evil things.
One needs to stay in the Word of God which means an open Bible policy. (btw “The Message” is not God’s Word) Study scripture, meditate on it night and day, (read Psalm 119) and apply it to your life.
Today I present to you this article.
Source – Marsha West on Stand Up For the Truth
Some of the news headlines this past week gave me reason for concern. Here are a few of them:
- Satanic Temple Approved for [Florida] Capitol Holiday Display
- Legal group: repeal of D.C. amendment will have ‘severe impact on religious liberty’
- ‘We love Jesus!’ – Iraqi children proclaim love for Christ in face of Islamic beheading
- Court orders school district to pay $75,000 for denying boy use of girls’ restroom
- Rick Warren’s call for Christians to unite with Catholics, ‘Holy Father’ raising concerns
Satanism…religious liberty…beheadings…gender confusion…ecumenicalism. My tendency is to fret about such things, even though God reminds us in His Word:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Phil 4:6-7)
Likewise, 1 Peter 5:7 commands believers not to be anxious but to lay all our worries on God because He cares for us. So is there any question that His people are to go to Him with the hard things, lay them at His feet, and trust that we can literally “let go and let God”?
Listen to the comforting words our Lord Jesus:
And he said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest? (Luke 12:22-26 Also see Matthew 6:25-34)
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30)
What must the believer do when a black cloud forms over her head and follows her wherever she goes?
Finish article HERE