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Feature Article – Dave Hunt

 

Revival or Apostasy?

 

Knowing that we are in the last of the last days, with an imminent Rapture a very real hope, our thoughts often (and indeed should) turn to the signs that Christ said would herald the nearness of His return. The signs that are most widely cited include “wars and rumours of wars…[when] nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom…and…famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes…these are the beginning of sorrows” (Mt 24:6-8). 

Unquestionably, these specific “sorrows” have been both prominent and accelerating since Israel again became a nation in 1948. Since that time, the intensity and frequency of these signs have increased like the birth pangs of a woman approaching her time of delivery, exactly as Christ foretold. However, the first sign that Christ gave has been largely overlooked and His solemn warning neglected:

 

And Jesus answered and said…Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many….And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many….For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. (Mt 24:4,5,11,24) [Emphasis added.]

 

Concern for this prophesied deception has marked this ministry. Let us take a closer look at the religious deception that Christ foretold. He issued a warning: “Take heed [beware] that no man deceive you.” Its seriousness is emphasized by being thrice stated. Its nature is specified: false Christs, false prophets, and false signs and wonders. His repetition four times of the word “many” indicates a worldwide deception of multitudes.

 

Paul issued a similar warning: “Let no man deceive you by any means….” He explains that the spiritual deception to which Christ referred will infect the professing church. That is evident from his words “falling away,” or apostasy:

 

For that day [of the Lord] shall not come except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin [Antichrist] be revealed, the son of perdition.” (2 Thes 2:3)

 

Although a true Christian cannot fall away, a false Christian can. Fall away from what? From the faith in Christ that he or she has outwardly professed without inward reality. Those few apostates who announce themselves as atheists or convert to Buddhism or Hinduism are not the concern of Christ and Paul in this verse. They are warning of a turning from the truth within the professing church. Other scriptures confirm this, as we shall see.

 

Paul warns us not to be deceived into thinking that the apostasy won’t come. It must. Such a warning can mean only that in the last days many will reject the biblical teaching that apostasy is inevitable. The false prophets to whom Christ refers will use their signs and wonders to support their false teaching that revival, not apostasy, is underway. Paul therefore warns us not to be deceived with talk about revival: the apostasy must come, or Christ will not return!

 

False signs and wonders will be an integral part of the apostasy. The departure from the truth will be spearheaded by apparent miracle workers, and the delusion will be made possible by a prevailing emphasis upon experience over doctrine: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine” (2 Tm 4:3). Christ declares,

 

Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (Mt 7:22-23)

 

These apostates of whom Christ speaks do not lose their salvation; they were never saved (“I never knew you”). Yet they are high-profile Christian leaders apparently performing signs and wonders in the name of Christ. Tragically, they seem to think that their ability to prophesy and to perform wonders proves that they belong to Him. The signs and wonders are so impressive that doctrine no longer matters – exactly what we see today!

 

Surely these of whom Christ speaks in Matthew 7 must be the same “false Christs and false prophets” to whom He refers in Matthew 24. Moreover, the signs and wonders they are able to perform are apparently so impressive that without discernment by the Holy Spirit even the very elect would be deceived by them. Obviously, something more than mere trickery is involved. These miracle workers are backed by the power of Satan, whom they unwittingly serve in the name of the Lord.

 

The Bible clearly predicts a last-days signs and wonders movement – but it will be of Satan, and thus a delusion that will deceive many. After a solemn warning that in the last days “perilous times [not revival!] shall come,” Paul makes this remarkable statement:

 

Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these [apostates] also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. (2 Tm 3:8)

 

Jannes and Jambres were the magicians in Pharaoh’s court who, through the power of Satan, duplicated (up to a point) the miracles that God did through Moses and Aaron. Paul thus declares that the last-days opposition to the truth will not come so much from outside the church but from those within who are reprobate concerning the faith: depraved men who corrupt the truth. And they do so by performing apparent miracles in Christ’s name some of which (when more than mere trickery) are actually of Satan. In that way, they deceive and lead many astray – not out of the church but into false doctrine and thus a false hope within the church. Satan has no more effective tactic to damn souls!

 

Such [deception] involving the whole gamut of today’s revival scene must be seriously faced! Videos of the services show people crawling on the floor, howling like wolves, barking like dogs, roaring like lions, going through bodily contortions impossible without the aid of some spiritual power, unable to speak or even remember their names when they try to give a testimony – and worse. Many of those being baptized seem to lose consciousness or shake so violently that they must be carried out of the baptismal tank or they would drown. Others flail about so wildly as to require several men to handle them. That such things could now be widely accepted as evidence of the Holy Spirit can only testify to the depths of the delusion!

 

Jude exhorts us to “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). Contend against whom? Surely not primarily against godless enemies outside the church. The warning concerns those within: “For there are certain men crept in unawares” (v. 4). Crept in can only mean inside the church.

 

Paul confirms Jude in addressing the Ephesian elders: “For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them” (Acts 20:29-30). The spiritual deception of which Christ warned would be rampant within the church.

 

In further confirmation, Christ warned His disciples that “the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service” (Jn 16:2) – a most remarkable prophecy. He can’t be referring to the slaughter of Christians by the Caesars or by Mao or Stalin or Hitler, for they did not believe they were thereby serving God. Yes, when the Jews of Jesus’ day killed the early Christians, they thought they were serving God; so did the Roman Catholics when they slaughtered the true Christians before and after the Reformation; and so it was when Muslims killed Christians. But none of this was the complete fulfillment of Christ’s prophecy.

 

“Whosoever” is the key. Neither the Pharisees, the popes, nor the Muslims were alone in killing Christians. Others pursued them to the death at the same time. But Christ is saying that a time is coming when whosoever (in other words, everyone) who kills Christians will think he is serving God thereby. That can only mean that a world religion to which everyone must belong is coming, a religion that will seek to exterminate true Christians in the name of God. John saw the same scene in the future:

 

And it was given unto him [Antichrist] to make war with the saints, and to overcome them….And I beheld another beast…he exerciseth all the power of the first beast…and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast….And he had power to…cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. (Rv 13:7-15)

 

To summarize, the scriptural warnings foretell the very delusion we find in our day: 1) a false signs and wonders movement led by many false prophets; 2) many being deceived through these seeming miracles; 3) the rejection of the biblical teaching concerning apostasy, and the insistence that we are in the midst of, or at least building up to, the “greatest revival in the history of the church.” The promise of revival will be part of the last-days deception, Paul warns, so beware! Instead, in the days preceding the Rapture there will be a great apostasy, a falling away from the faith. Don’t be part of it!

 

That we must earnestly contend for the faith against those who have crept into the church implies that the battle is not so much one of faith against unbelief, but rather of true faith against false faith. And that, too, is precisely what we see today. Articles in leading medical journals cite studies showing that those who have any “religious faith” are more likely to recover from illness. Christianity Today ran a major article naïvely promoting these studies as though they were supportive of the truth.1 Thus God has been reduced to a placebo that can come in any shape, size, or color.

 

Multitudes of Christians imagine that faith is believing that what they are praying for will happen and that if they truly believe, they will have whatever they ask. Obviously, if things happen because one believes they will, then one doesnʼt need God. This is mind power, not the faith in God that Christ taught (Mk 11:22)….

 

An Afterword from T. A. McMahon

 

In the eighteen years since Dave wrote the above article, the apostasy has intensified in ways that are mind numbing. I write this from the perspective of one who worked with Dave for more than three decades and learned from him how to discern trends that are taking hold in the church, drawing both professing and even true Christians away from the Word of God. I remember that just three years following our book The Seduction of Christianity: Spiritual Discernment in the Last Days (1985) we were astonished by how much worse things had become, spiritually, during that short time. But that was then. 

Today seems like light years (or “dark years”) away. At that time, the New Age was dawning. Today we have “Christian” yoga practiced in church sanctuaries. Back then, evangelical leaders were dialoguing with Roman Catholic leaders; today Lent, Ash Wednesday, and the sacred Catholic ritual of the Stations of the Cross have become popular among “Protestants.” In those days, Christian youth were mostly being entertained in their fellowships; now they are being led into emergent contemplative and social gospel ideas. Then, the cults were making headway; today cultic teachings abound throughout Christendom. Then, “Christian” psychology was infecting the church; now, that pseudo-science has contaminated “biblical” counseling. Bible studies (where the Bible was actually studied) and prayer meetings were then rare; currently, books by popular Christian authors have displaced Scripture completely, and prayer has turned into “Lord, give me…” sessions. Back then, faith was being turned into a “force”; today, rare is the Christian who can tell you what biblical faith even is. False prophets used to be found primarily on “Christian” TV; now they proliferate on bestseller lists and head up prosperous “non-profit” organizations. We used to see TV preachers encouraging greed; currently, they sell survival food that they promote through fear-mongering techniques.

 

We are in those days characterized by Scripture as ones in which the church “will not endure sound doctrine” (2 Tm 4:3). Discernment has all but disappeared. The only antidote lies in the Word – diligence in studying it, reading it, and obeying it by the Spirit.

 

 

The topic on everyone’s lips and mind today is revival. Christian TV and radio and best-selling books persuasively argue that we are in the midst of the greatest revival of Christianity in the history of the world….It comes as a shock to many to learn that the word “revival” does not appear even once in the entire King James Bible. The hope of revival, which excites so many today, is not even a biblical concept. Ask yourself a few questions: Is Christ not indwelling us? Is He not in our midst each time we meet? Are we not to be filled with the Holy Spirit at all times? Is not the Word of God sufficient? Why, then, run after signs and wonders as though unusual manifestations prove that God is at work while neglecting what God has already given us? In the meantime, undertake a study to see what the Bible says. Check every source (including TBC) against Scripture! Be a Berean.  TBC

 

First published in October 1997 

 

EndNotes

  1. Christianity Today (Jan. 6, 1997), 20-30.

 

 

Bibiographic details:

 

 

From the Berean Call Newsletter

written by T. A. McMahon

 

As was noted in part one of this series, prophecy is a very important ingredient in the Bible. In a general sense, the entire Bible is prophecy because God has given mankind His words through His prophets. It is also God foretelling what will take place in the future. That forecasting is what God presents to set Himself apart from the false gods that mankind is deceived into worshiping. God alone knows the future events, which He has declared hundreds and even thousands of years before they take place. Moreover, His foreknowledge of such events, revealed in more than a quarter of the Scriptures, is proof of the supernatural origin and nature of the Bible – that it is indeed God’s communication to mankind (Isaiah 42:9; 46:9-10; 48:5).

 

Prophecy is often a warning regarding what lies ahead so that believers can discern the times and take appropriate action. This gives unbelievers the opportunity to repent in order to avoid God’s judgment. Noah, a preacher of righteousness, was told by God that He would destroy everything that lived upon the earth by a flood (which didn’t come until about 120 years later) and that He would save Noah and his family; He told Abram that his descendants would remove the Canaanites from their land because of their wickedness, an event that took place four centuries later; Joseph was able to interpret the dream of Pharaoh warning of the famine to come upon Egypt in seven years, and then he was given a plan to keep the Egyptians from potential starvation; Jonah warned the Ninevites of God’s impending judgment unless they repented, which they did. Yet most of the Old Testament prophecies from Genesis 3:15 through Malachi 3:1 anticipated the first coming of Israel’s Messiah and have been fulfilled perfectly by Jesus Christ.

 

Prophecies in the New Testament primarily address events associated with the time period of the Second Coming of our Lord. Matthew 24 begins with Jesus characterizing that time with a warning of great deception, including false christs, false prophets, and lying signs and wonders. It then foretells “great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened” (vv. 21-22). The book of Revelation supplies some of the Tribulation details as God pours out His wrath in judgment upon the earth. There will be a conquering army of the Antichrist, world war, worldwide famine, the death of half of the world’s inhabitants (Revelation 6:8, 9:15), the massive martyrdom of believers, worldwide physical catastrophes involving mountains moved out of their places, and mankind trying to hide itself from God’s judgment. Of those who turn to Christ and are martyred for their faith during the Great Tribulation, Scripture tells us, “the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes” (Revelation 7:17).

 

So there is good news and bad news in biblical prophecy. The best of the good news was the first coming of Jesus in order to pay the full penalty for our sins and to reconcile us to God by our faith in Him alone. Having received the gift of eternal life, the next best prophetic good news for a believer is the first phase of Christ’s Second Coming, known as the Rapture. The Apostle Paul refers to that event as the believer’s “blessed hope,” which we are to anticipate with joy because Jesus is returning to take us, the bride of Christ, to Heaven for a wedding: “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).  “For our [citizenship] is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20). “And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God” (Revelation 19:9). That is indeed good news.

 

Sadly, when a professing or true Christian sets a date for the Rapture to take place, an act that is contrary to what the Bible teaches (Matthew 24:36, 44; Mark 13:32; 1 Timothy 6:14-15), and that event fails to happen, people grow disillusioned and the good news becomes bad news. In some cases, the date setting arises out of a sincere desire for Christ to return for His bride. At other times, it comes from the pride of having an alleged insight into a biblical interpretation that no one has discovered before. Although both predictions may be sincere, they are sincerely wrong and have caused physical and/or spiritual problems among those who believed their erroneous teachings.

 

No matter who brings the false teachings, some experience disastrous consequences from them. In the 1980s, millions believed the calculations of former NASA scientist Edgar Whisenant regarding Christ’s return through his booklet 88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will Be in 1988 and his other misfires in 1989, 1993, and 1994. Also in the ’80s, Southwest Radio Church published Apocalyptic Signs in the Heavens, which saw catastrophic consequences for the earth due to the “Jupiter Effect,” a planetary alignment that would purportedly alter our solar system. Just prior to that, Southwest Radio’s David Webber and Noah Hutchings co-authored Is This the Last Century? published by Thomas Nelson. Based in part on Hal Lindsey’s calculation that the Rapture would take place in 1981, they concluded that the seven-year Great Tribulation would begin soon after.

 

Although many conservative Christians considered the “rapture and doom” prognosticators to be sensationalists, attitudes changed as the turn of the century drew near. The increasing talk of a worldwide computer meltdown was too much for many Christians to brush off, especially when Y2K concerns were being raised by respected evangelicals such as James Dobson, Gary North, Jerry Falwell, Jack Van Impe, Chuck Missler, and many others. The year 2000 made its debut in grand fashion when the world, rather than hunkering down, began celebrating the new century with spectacular fireworks. On the other hand, many of those who were misled by church leaders suffered “survival” consequences: losses from selling their homes, quitting their jobs, and relocating to the country, along with the expenditure of large amounts of money for stockpiles of survival food, firearms, generators, and other survival equipment. Many were overtaken by fear, and some succumbed to suicide over their financial losses.

 

Fast-forward to 2012 and the Mayan Calendar scare, another “prophesied” end-of-the-world apocalyptic nightmare that turned out to be wrong. Fear is often the response of those who have no hope, not having put their trust in Jesus, the only One who can make us eternally secure. Sadly, even many of those who claim to have a personal relationship with Christ by faith alone demonstrate by their actions that their trust is elsewhere.

 

Of course, we are not saying that we shouldn’t be prudent in making preparations for potential disasters whether they are natural, technological, or financial. Having a one- or two-week supply of food and water on hand could be very helpful, especially if one lives in an area that is prone to weather-related catastrophes. A reasonable amount of accessible cash may also be practical. In most cases, however, to go much beyond this may lead to a self-oriented “survivalist” mentality, which is at odds with the examples and instructions of the Word of God. Stockpiling food or turning to gold for survival could create an attitude of selfishness, especially when others in the disaster are without and in great need. To share, or not to share, that is the biblical question. Does one protect his goods at all cost? Scripture tells us, “And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise” (Luke 6:21). Who would deny that they would want someone to share their food with them if they and their families were hungry? Furthermore, the Bible tells us how we are to treat our neighbors and even our enemies: “Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink” (Romans 12:20).

 

Believers need to think such things through in the light of Scripture, particularly since our days are loaded with fearmongering false prophets and some “survival food” con men preaching certain doom. The latest to conjure up forthcoming dark clouds on the horizon are those who promote the teaching that there may well be a combination of two prophetic events taking place in the year 2015 that could result in unprecedented physical cataclysms and financial crashes. The use of italics for “may well be” and “could” is given to note that those purveyors of disasters have used such language in order to cover themselves from being accused of false prophecy. Even so, those “disclaimer” terms are lost in the hyperbole of their fear mongering.
The two leaders in this alleged confluence of biblical tribulations are Jonathan Cahn (The Mystery of Shemitah) and Mark Biltz (The Blood Moons). They are supported by a cast of false teachers and sensationalists and their associated organizations that include Jim Bakker, Sid Roth, John Hagee, Pat Robertson of the 700 Club, and Joseph Farah of WorldNetDaily, to name but a few.
What then of the biblical significance of the so-called mystery of shemitah and blood moons? There is none in the context in which Cahn and Biltz present them. Cahn promotes shemitah as a universal principle that applies to all nations and “their financial and economic realms.” No. Shemitah was given exclusively to Israel as a blessing should God’s chosen people follow His commandment. It involved obeying the seventh day of the week as a day of rest and every seventh year as a year of rest. God promised to make provision on the sixth day and year to supply the Israelites’ needs during their day/year of rest. Also, during the seventh year there was to be a “release” of all the debts of the Israelites. Jonathan Cahn further compounds the central error that he taught in his book The Harbinger by applying a law of God to America – a law that applies only to God’s exclusive covenant people: the Jews. This is false prophecy in the sense that it seriously misrepresents the Scriptures. Cahn is heavily promoted by WorldNetDaily, which heralds him as a modern-day prophet and revealer of “The Ancient Mystery That Holds the Secret of America’s Future.” Joseph Farah, WorldNetDaily’s chief, is the producer of Cahn’s documentary Isaiah 9:10 Judgment, and the website is a chief supporter of Cahn’s books.
The blood moons teaching of Mark Biltz is also false prophecy because, as with Cahn’s abuse of Scripture, Biltz forces the biblical term into his own agenda. The Bible clearly applies the conditions and the consequences of a blood moon (singular) to the seven-year Tribulation period: “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken” (Matthew 24:29); “I beheld when he had broken the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; and the stars of the heaven fell unto the earth” (Revelation 6:12-13). If Biltz concurs that the “blood moon” verses take place during the Great Tribulation, then 2015 must occur in the latter part of the Tribulation. What does that indicate for a Pre-Tribulation Rapture? It either took place in 2008 and was a partial Rapture, or it will be a Post-Tribulation Rapture, neither of which is biblical.

 

If Cahn’s and Biltz’s beliefs were merely a matter of false teachings that are of the faith-wrecking kind among the multitudes of those who buy into their unbiblical assertions, it would be tragic enough. They have, however, become the latest tool of the evangelical fearmongers as they apply their prophetic distortions to alleged soon-coming financial crashes and physical catastrophes worse than any thus experienced on the earth. Their promotional appearances with Jim Bakker, as just one example, would give credibility to the snake oil pitchmen of yesteryear (2 Peter 2:3). After Biltz declares, “I think we have one year to really prepare for what God [has] coming,” Bakker responds, “It’s time to get ready. That’s why God has called me to tell you to store food…you don’t have to order from us to hear the Word of the Lord. But you should have food….What are you gonna do when the stock market crashes?….We have the Morningside recipes….We have the Year of Food for $550 dollars….One of these days it will all be gone. One more event…I’m telling you, if we have a big earthquake on the West Coast or say a volcano going on, or something major, there will not be any food left for months and months….We have…’The Time of Trouble’ offer, and that’s a seven-year food offer, and that’s for a donation of $3,000…[that’s] 7,700 meals.” Biltz adds that what’s ahead is the “Super Bowl of human history and people need to get ready and that’s what I believe these are signs of” (http://jimbakkershow.com/video/mystery-sevens/). Joining the false signs-and-wonders teacher Rodney Howard-Browne for his Celebrate America Conference, Jonathan Cahn told the audience, “The financial collapse of the US dollar may happen on Sunday the 13th of September 2015 corresponding to the 29 of Elul 5775 on the Hebrew calendar, the next shemitah of the 7 year cycle.”

 

WorldNetDaily devotes numerous pages to selling survival food as well as self-defense and preparedness gear. Thomas Horn, author of Nephilim Stargates, is another distorter of biblical prophecy who claims that the Nephilim have returned and who also sees blood moons as a foreboding of things to come. As CEO of SurvivorMall.com, his website features hundreds of supplies to supposedly help Christians to be prepared for the last days.

 

What’s wrong with the present conjured-up scenarios that relate to pending catastrophes? Will there be a time of utter devastation that the world hasn’t experienced since Noah’s worldwide flood? Yes. However, it will happen according to God’s chronology and not according to man’s ideas about when it will happen and how to prepare for and survive it. The timeline is given in the Scriptures, beginning with Christ’s returning for His bride (believers in Him) to take them to Heaven prior to the time of Jacob’s trouble, the Great Tribulation, during which God pours out His wrath upon the entire world. Even a cursory reading of what takes place as presented in the Book of Revelation clearly shows the futility and folly of imagined survival tactics. No, survival during the Great Tribulation will be only by God’s miraculous intervention for those who come to Christ during that time period. Prior to the Tribulation, believers are “to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come,” keeping in mind that “God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him” (1 Thessalonians 1:10; 5:9-10).

 

Our living together with Him involves pleasing Him in every way, and our waiting involves opportunities by His grace to be fruitful and productive with joy as we look for our “blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).
TBC
Part one can be found HERE

Transcript:  From The Berean Call 

 

TBC Logo

Gary: Welcome to Search the Scriptures 24/7, a radio ministry of The Berean Call with T.A. McMahon.  I’m Gary Carmichael. Thanks for tuning in. In today’s program, Tom addresses the question: “Is the History Channel’s Mini-series, The Bible, Biblical?  Joining Tom is TBC staff member, Edwin Newby.  Now, along with his guest, here’s TBC Executive Director, Tom McMahon.

Tom: Thanks, Gary. Today, as Gary mentioned, we’re going to address the Bible as interpreted by Hollywood, in particular the History Channel’s five-week mini-series titled The Bible. And it started off, in terms of interest in it-well, it broke records for the History Channel.

But here in the studios is my associate, Ed Newby. He’s a staff member, and Ed is our resident Q&A correspondent, producer of our online updates, and a contributor to TBC’s newsletter.

Ed, thanks for joining me today on Search the Scriptures 24/7.

 

Ed: Thank you, Tom, for the invite.

Tom: I want to start with some background on the production of The Bible. For example…well, let’s start with the producers. What can you tell me about them?

Ed: Well, this is produced by Roma Downey and her husband, Mark Burnett. Mark Burnett, of course, he’s a very successful Hollywood director, primarily television, directing such high-rated programs as SurvivorAre You Smarter Than a Fifth-Grader?, and other reality shows of that nature.

Roma Downey’s background is far more easy to determine. She is clearly identified with Mind Science teaching. She was with the successful program, Touched by an Angel.

 
Her costar, of course, was Della Reese, who pastors her own religious science church that she founded. And everything we’ve seen about her indicates that she’s fully lodged in the New Age, Mind Science-however you want to categorize her. As a matter of fact, I read one of the Hollywood blogs talking about her, and she talks about “as someone who’s been on a spiritual journey for many years.”

Roma Downey attends the University of Santa Monica private graduate school founded by New Age spiritual and self-help guru, John Roger, and will graduate with a master’s degree in Spiritual Psychology.

Tom: Wow. Well, the production–again, it’s a 10-hour series, so as I understand it, they’ve been working on this for three years. It was shot in Morocco. What can you tell me about the lead character who plays Jesus?

 

Ed: Well, he’s a Portuguese actor. He was specifically chosen by Roma Downey. By the way, everything that they have done, they have attributed to being directly guided by the Lord in all of these things. They’re very open with saying that, and they specifically say the actor who portrays Jesus–and, also, he’s not identified earlier in the series, but he plays the role of the Lord as one of the three men that appears to Abraham in the plains of Mamre.

So, this man was seen by Downey in a production. She felt a “spiritual rapport” with him, and of course, all the way through this production, they talk about all of these spiritual things that they attribute to the Lord-guiding and directing and ultimately producing this program.

Tom: Yeah. Ed, going back to Downey and Burnett, I remember you earlier in the week telling me about an interview they had with Bill Reilly?

 

Ed: Bill O’Reilly, yes.

Tom: Bill O’Reilly. Tell me about that.

Ed: Well, O’Reilly, of course, came off as the worse–you know, he’s a Catholic, he says…or, no, he was raised a Catholic, but he was asking them questions, specific, like “You actually believe these things?” And they said, “Yes, we believe the Bible.”

“Do you believe these things, particularly the account of creation? Are these accurate?”

And they sort of dodged that question and fell back on “We believe the Bible.” That was the line that they gave.

Tom: Mm-hmm. But I also remember you telling me that in the conversation, as they were sort of backpedaling about the issue, didn’t he challenge them about whether this was accurate in every case? What was the response to that?

Ed: They didn’t really answer that, other than “We believe the Bible to be true. It’s truth.”

Tom: So they just hung out there.

Ed: Basically.

Tom: Well, you know, that would be an attitude that we would take, so we would applaud them on that. But again, you can believe the Bible to be true–but tell me your impression of Part 1 of the program.

Ed: The program, of course, is probably one of the most lavishly produced Bible-themed movies or productions ever made. Top-flight production, video, visuals, they have a huge number of British actors that are very good in their craft. So if you look at it strictly as a production, it’s very good. However, that’s not the job that the Lord has called us to. They’re going to go through the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and they’re going to accomplish that in ten hours. As a consequence, they have cut out much of the Bible, and much that they have retained is very hurriedly paced through. They have dropped a number of very important points that the Scriptures raise, particularly concerning the faith of Abraham.

And it’s interesting that in an interview with Focus on the Family, Mark Burnett specifically said that his goal was to “hit the emotional highs.” He wanted to be able to stir the emotions of the viewers. And I have to admit, watching it–it’s very well acted. They’re dealing with a lot of very traumatic situations in the lives of these biblical characters, and it’s emotionally stirring. And there are things that they get right.

Tom: Ed, I’m looking at an article in Charisma magazine on “The Bible Made for TV”-that’s the title of it–and there are actually some comments in here that are kind of stunning. In one sense, he says that because…”Look, you can’t do the Bible in ten hours.”

Ed: Absolutely, yeah.

Tom: Well, first of all, I would say you can’t do the Bible–you can’t bring it to the screen, but that’s…we’ll save that for part 2 of our series here. Nevertheless, I’m looking again at an article in

Charisma magazine, and this is March 2013, obviously, and here’s what they say: Well, first of all, they admit that the Bible is not very descriptive–doesn’t give you details.

Ed: No…

Tom: Mel Gibson had the same problem with The Passion of the Christ, which we’ll talk about in the second part. But this is what they say: “So when Mark Burnett and his wife, Roma Downey, producers of the forthcoming History Channel mini-series The Bible, worked with directors and set designers to create a dramatic retelling of the story, they had a measure of creative license available to them.”

Now, is that a problem or not?

Ed: Granted by whom? (laughing)

Tom: Exactly. So, give us some examples of the creative license that you saw, at least in the first part.

Ed: Well, as I said earlier, Burnett wanted to hit the emotional highs. He wanted to draw people in through touching their emotions.

So they added things: Noah and the ark-children on board. The Bible very distinctly says, “Whereas eight souls were saved”: Noah, his wife, three sons, and their wives. No children on the ark.

Secondly, Noah is walking around on the deck of the ark after the Lord specifically shuts the door to keep them inside. How did he get up there?

Tom: Somebody’s not paying attention to even the detail that’s in the Scriptures. But this is creative license, remember. Keep going.

Ed: Creative license–there’s one thing I want to touch on later that’s really critical, that they removed a very specific Messianic marker from the text, but in the occasion when the Lord asked Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac, that is totally whacko. Mainly because the Bible specifically says it was three-days journey to Mount Moriah; he took some servants with him and pack animals. In Downey and Burnett’s version, the mount they’re going to is just a hop, skip, and a jump–you can see it from their tent–and so, Abraham takes his son, Isaac, and they go climbing up the hill. The dramatic license they use there is to stir your emotions, because Sarah looks up, sees them silhouetted against the top of the ridge of this hill, realizes they don’t have an animal to sacrifice, so she literally freaks out and runs and begins frantically clawing her way up the mountainside in the utmost anguish. There’s that.

The angels that went into Sodom. License? Now an angel–other commentators have referred to this as the “Ninja scene” in Sodom. So these two angels–one is an individual of African descent, the other one is an Asian fellow–and they’re going into Sodom. Talk about license…

Tom: Now, wouldn’t that be license right there? Do you know of any angels that are ever described as being…

 

Ed: Particular racial types?

Tom: Exactly. Okay, well, let’s keep going.

Ed: And in the biblical account, Lot–he’s apparently a prominent citizen in Sodom because he’s sitting in the gate, where all the business, the judicial things, are transacted, and when he sees these two men coming, he recognizes who they are. He’s at least that spiritual, he can pick up who they are, and he immediately invites them to his house “that you don’t spend your night in the streets.”

In the production, they come into this town, and…oh, by the way, while this is happening, you’re thinking, Well, what about the sin of Sodom? What about the homosexuality?
 
So, the narrator is saying, “Sodom had corrupted itself greatly and was deeply in sin.” And so they’re showing all these heterosexual couples that are caressing each other, kissing each other, in the streets, and the only reference they make to the other thing is one very effeminate-looking guy standing there all by himself, smiling. That’s it.

And so, when the…

Tom: Well, it did have one sodomite in Sodom.

Ed: Yeah.

Tom: Wow.

Ed: The token sodomite. So as these angels are going into the town, these men start following them, obviously with intent to do them harm or something. And they end up running to Lot’s house, banging on the door frantically. Lot opens the door, and they say, “Please! Please! Help us! Hide us from these…” These are the angels!

And so, Lot is reluctant at first. His wife doesn’t want them in there at all, but eventually they go in. Then Lot goes out to calm down the crowd, which somewhat follows the plot in the Bible. Well, the angels, you know, the crowd starts to go wild, and then the angels reach out, pull Lot in, and then they strike these people with blindness, as the scriptural account goes, which apparently lasts only a few seconds, because pretty soon these guys are drawing their swords. So one of the angels takes charge, getting Lot and his family ready to flee. The other one goes out and…I forgot to mention, their attire-they look like Jedi knights straight out of a George Lucas production. They’re wearing the cowls, the cassocks, or whatever you want to call them…

Tom: From the first Star Wars…

Ed: Yes. You know how the Jedi knights dressed. And so, he walks–this one angel walks out of Lot’s house, throws off his robe, and he’s wearing this shiny Roman-style armor, then he reaches over his shoulders and pulls out two swords, just like a Ninja, and then he starts hacking these people. The other angel gets Lot and his family out of the house, takes them out and tells them to run for the gate, they’ll be with them in a minute. He draws his sword and they spend the next few minutes hacking all these Sodomites to death.

Tom: What does the Bible tell us took place at that point?

Ed: The Bible says that they struck them with blindness so that these individuals, it said, “wearied themselves to find the door.” They were blinded but they were still following their lust to do something. And then the angels tool Lot and his family out of the city.

Tom: Now, for our listeners that say, “Oh, well, come on. You guys, you’re nitpicking.” Folks, no. We’re not nitpicking. This is a representation of the Bible. That’s the name of the series: The Bible. The title of this program is Search the Scriptures 24/7. So, what we’re doing is we’re comparing what is being presented, again, out of Hollywood, what is presented as being biblically accurate–true to the Bible.
You know, as I said, earlier–well, I referred to earlier–Mel Gibson tried to do the same thing in

The Passion of the Christ. And the problem here is–yes, the Bible is a huge book, and you can only select certain things to present or a program like that would be on 24/7-it would be on all the time.

But they did select parts of the Bible to present. Question is, is this accurate with regard to what the Bible says very clearly?

So, Ed, I mean, this is…you probably already answered this question, but on a scale of 1-10, what number would you give the production in terms of being true to the Bible?

Ed: Well, Tom, you know, I…I try to be a fair person, and…

Tom: Well, it’s just going to be your opinion, but, you know, with what you articulated-give us your opinion.

Ed: I’m going to say no higher than 2. I would really tend to say, “Can we give it a zero?”

Tom: Yeah, well, you’ve got all the numbers before you. And, again, here is our problem. For some people who’ve never read the Bible, even those who profess to be Christians, and they’ve never really taken the time to read through the Scriptures, this is all they know.

And for others who are not Christians but are viewing this, whatever religious background they come out of, or they’re in right now, this is what they think the Bible is about.

Ed: Yeah.

Tom: I spent a number of years as a screenwriter in Hollywood. You know that, Ed, just for our audience’s sake. So when I see a presentation–you know, I’ve been a believer for about 35 years, and I’ve studied the Word of God every year of that. I’m more excited about it today than at the beginning because I know it better and better. But this is an abuse. This is a distortion. This is a corruption.

Now, I know a lot of people are excited about it because, well, you mentioned Focus on the Family–I’ve got Charisma, this is a magazine right in front of me. They’re giving it not just two thumbs up but they’re tremendously enthusiastic about this. But it’s the Bible. It’s the Word of God. “Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”

Now, as I mentioned, you know, in our next session, we’re going to talk about can the Bible–should it be–is it legitimate to translate it visually? But we’ll hold onto that for a second.

I want to go back to Downey and Burnett, the producers. In what you have researched here, what was their goal, their objective, in presenting the Bible visually, whether it’s a valid thing to do or not–we’ll talk about that later–but where was their head, their heart in this? What did they have in mind?

Ed: Well, Mark Burnett stated very specifically, “By telling these emotionally connected big stories, hopefully millions of people will reopen their Bibles.”

Tom: Yeah.

Ed: And they repeated that several times.

Tom: And how could you argue with that? That’s something that we all want. Especially in this day, as we move more into apostasy, more into deception, delusion, not just in the world, but certainly in the church. That’s what you want, you know, the solution: “The B-I-B-L-E, that’s the book for me.” That’s where we want people to be. But now the problem is how do you go about that? Do you present the Bible as man sees it? With drama, with creative license, all of these things? Do you create something–I mean, this is marketing more than it is the heart to present the Bible and to encourage people to get into the Bible.

I mean, what are they going to do? Let’s say young people. They see these two angels, so-called…

Ed: Right.

Tom: …coming off like–somebody said, “Well, they’re like gladiators.” I don’t care if you call them gladiators or Ninjas or whatever, you get somebody excited about this highly dramatic thing, and then all of a sudden they go and read the text, and they say, “Wait a minute! I don’t find any of that there.” In other words, they’re being misled by creating a distortion–a representation of the Bible that is just not there.

So, my point here is it’s counterproductive to what he said. Yeah! You’ve love The Bible to motivate people to get into the Bible, but when mankind is creating artificial things, or dramatic issues that are not there, it’s just not going to work, even if it was the right thing to do, which it’s not. It’s not the right thing to do from the scriptural standpoint.

Ed: Absolutely. And, as I mentioned earlier, one of the things that I specifically thought were–well, let’s be frank–it was terrible. The omissions! They missed Abraham–when the Lord appeared to him and took him outside the tent at night and said, “Look up at the sky. Count the stars if you’re able to do that. So shall thy seed be.” Don’t have that at all. They have, afterwards, he’s sitting outside the tent, he’s kind of rocking back and forth a little bit, and he’s repeating, “The stars, all the stars! Our seed! Our children!”

And Sarah comes out and says, “What’s wrong? What’s wrong?”

And he says, “Our children! The Lord showed me our children will be as the stars of heaven-our descendants.”

And Sarah goes, “It’s too late for me.”

Well, what they omitted was Abraham’s belief–Genesis 15:6: The Lord told him, “Count the stars. Your seed’s going to be just as numerous as that.” And it says in verse 6: “…and Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness.” That’s all left out. They leave out several of those, we call them Messianic markers, or whatever you want to call them.

Tom: Well, again, what we find in the Tenakh, the Old Testament, is these are types of Christ. All of these things pointed to Christ and what He would…how He would be born of a virgin, and how He would–God would become a man, and go to the cross and pay the full penalty for our sins, and we have, throughout the Old Testament, types of this that point to it. We know this early on in our walk with the Lord, Ed, that those in the Old Testament–how were they saved? Well, you just mentioned it. Abraham was saved by faith, the same way every believer is saved–by faith, and faith alone. How did this happen by faith? Because, as you said, quoted the scriptures, “he believed God and it was appointed to him as righteousness.”

But what was he doing? He was looking ahead to the cross.

Ed: Amen.

Tom: We, today, as believers–we look back to the cross as what Christ accomplished for us, and we put our faith in that. That’s what being born again is all about. That’s…you, we’re, born again of the Spirit of God, and because we believe that He, Jesus, God became a man, went to the cross, paid the full penalty for our sins–that’s the only way anyone can be saved, according to the Scriptures.

Now, we’re still dealing with the first part of the series, okay. They’re not there yet, but the point is that these things that took place and were presented is a distortion of what the Bible says. So, consequently, what value is it?

Now, Ed, 15 million viewers, according to the results of this presentation.

Ed: And the demographic: age 20-39.

Tom: Unbelievable in terms of, hey, that’s what we want. We want people to respond to the Bible, to the Word of God. It’s not that the Lord won’t prick a heart or use this. But this is not God’s way. You don’t encourage people, you don’t try to bring them to Christ, you don’t try to bring them to the Word of God by distorting it, by abusing it, by corrupting it. And all of that, nevertheless, I’m looking at this Charisma article–They believed “it was clear that something supernatural” (I’m quoting) “and wonderful had just arrived and shown up,” and they believed that “there was an encounter with the Holy Spirit.” That this thing-all the terms that are used in this Charisma
article, which you’d expect, all the terms have to do with God being behind this, and people praying for it, and so on.

But let’s have a little–folks, let’s have a little discernment here if you’re enamored with this production. This is not the Bible. This is the creation of men to the distortion of the Word of God.

Ed: Along with your comment about “by faith alone,” the narrator says, and it has to do with the time that he’s asked…Abraham is asked to sacrifice his son: “To Abraham being chosen by God is both a blessing and a test. He must prove his faith again and again.” That’s works.

Tom: Yes, absolutely. Works-salvation. It boils down to this: There is either putting your faith in Christ and what He’s accomplished or there’s works-salvation. There’s working it out on your own, which is an impossibility.

Ed, the Lord willing, next week we’re going to cover, really the bottom line in all of this. Should, could, is it valid? Is it legitimate? Is it true that the Bible can be translated, interpreted visually? And that’s an important issue in here, because it really applies not just to the Bible, this History series, but to all the other productions, whether out of Hollywood or not, whether or not it is a legitimate application of presenting the Bible.

Well, next week we’ll talk about it.

Ed: Very good.

Gary: You’ve been listening to Search the Scriptures 24/7 with T.A. McMahon. We offer a wide variety of materials to help you in your study of God’s Word. For a complete list of materials and a free subscription to our monthly newsletter, contact us at PO Box 7019 Bend, Oregon 97708. Call us at 800.937.6638; or visit our website at the bereancall.org. I’m Gary Carmichael, join us again next time as Tom continues his discussion with Edwin Newby about the TV mini-series The Bible. Thanks for tuning in and we encourage you to search the Scriptures 24/7.

Discerning Reviewers of “The Harbinger”

by David Troxell

There has been considerable controversy and diverse opinions about reviews of the book, “The Harbinger” by Jonathan Cahn . “The Harbinger” is a book in fiction format.

And, in addition, much criticism has been directed at recognized authors and discernment teachers who examined this book according to the Word of God, and drew various conclusions –

So, to help the Body of Christ, I have written this “Short Biography” note to recognize (and applaud) the diverse and multifaceted lives of the reviewers who have spent years in The Word, and many years of discernment research.

The format is simple – Short Bio – Article Review Link

Some of their closing remarks include:

* Jeremy James – “It will reinforce the modern trend of interpreting Bible prophecy out of context and without proper regard to the totality of God’s Holy Word.”

* T.A. McMahon – “We also need to pray for and encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ that we all might be biblically discerning regarding the latest agenda, movement, trend, or popular book that is adversely influencing multitudes in the body of Christ.”

* Larry DeBruyn – “As this review and commentary indicates, while I do believe there is much in Jonathan Cahn’s assessment that harbingers, like a sword of Damocles, are hanging over America’s head, I do not believe, for biblical and theological reasons stated, that they (the harbingers) are in anyway imbedded in the forth-telling prophecy of Isaiah 9:10, or in its context.”

* Gary Gilley – “At this point the author massages Scripture and current events in an attempt to prove that God’s judgment on the United States has been hiding in these verses from the day they were given by Isaiah, but have now been unlocked by the careful investigation of Cahn.

Nothing could be further from the truth and, even more importantly, once someone decides they can cherry-pick verses at will, change the meaning of these texts to fit his theories and use random hermeneutical methods, anything can be ‘proven.’ ”

* Dave James – “Unfortunately, The Harbinger is a distraction from properly understanding the Word of God, particularly prophecy and so can legitimately be characterized as dangerous. It conveys what the author believes is a prophetic message, but the book clearly does not meet the tests for a prophetic Word from God.”

* Berit Kjos – “Rabbi Cahn calls his message “The Ancient Mystery that holds the secret of America’s future,” but it’s no mystery to those who are familiar with God’s warnings through Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel and other Old Testament prophets.

Their words and insights demonstrate God’s concern for His wayward people and His loving forgiveness when we humbly repent and return. We would be foolish to ignore them, and wise to heed them.

We have posted a list of warnings and prophecies on these three pages: God’s Warnings for our Times, Fulfilled Prophecies and Prophets who mislead their flock. Even though Rabbi Cahn only mentions one such warning, there are countless others. Many are far more explicit and appropriate for our times than Isaiah 9:10.”

* Jack Kelley – “In summary, it’s not the Church’s job to save America. Our job is to store up treasure in Heaven by helping those who can no longer help themselves on Earth. In this way we show forth the light and love of the Lord in this dark and dying place. Selah”

* Joseph Chambers – “I am overwhelmed with the church’s utter lack of discernment. The so-called prophet in this book is utterly possessed with all the characteristics of the occult. Almost every action of a Psychic Practitioner is evident in his book. His use of Scriptures from Jewish history and the application of those Scriptures to the New Testament era is “Replacement Theology”. On and on goes the list of this book’s Luciferian thinking.”

* Christine Pack – “Does The Harbinger hold clues to helping America find her way back God? In my view, Jonathan Cahn’s book is “hooking” those Christians in America who are burdened over the rising tide of immorality in our country, and who desire for America to repent and come back to the Lord. This is not a wrong or wicked desire…..it’s just that, it might not play out that way, in God’s sovereign plan. And this desire can become problematic, especially when Christians begin linking with non-Christians (as Jonathan Cahn did with Mormon Glenn Beck) in an effort to force those desires to come to fruition.

“Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14)”

* Ken Silva – “This brings me to the critical issue I spoke of earlier: Is Jonathan Cahn trying to have his cake and eat it too? In other words, is TH really prophesy or is it fiction? He cannot have it both ways, which it appears to me he is trying to do. Allowing himself to be portrayed a prophet but leaving an escape hatch open by also claiming fiction.”

Bios of Reviewers

About Berit Kjos

“Berit Kjos is a respected researcher, the author of many books and magazine articles, and a concerned parent (and grandparent) who has extensively studied religious trends, today’s social changes, the roots and branches of the United Nations, the rising worldwide management system, and – most alarming of all — the transformation of the church.

Kjos first became aware of New Age and occult influences in our society at a 1974 conference on holistic health. As a registered nurse, she was interested in methods of healing, but soon discovered that the occult powers found in New Age methods brought bondage instead of true healing. As a parent, Kjos became aware of similar New Age influences in education. She began to monitor the schools for classroom programs that taught occultism and New Age spirituality, then began to share what she learned with other parents and teachers…..

Kjos’ book, Brave New Schools, surveys the scene in today’s public schools and provides guidelines for parents who are concerned about their children’s education. Kjos shows how myth, feeling, imagination, and politically correct stories are replacing truth, facts, logic, and history in the classroom. She… is also the author of A Twist of Faith, Your Child and the New Age, Under the Spell of Mother Earth, and A Wardrobe from the King….”

What’s Wrong with The Harbinger’s “Ancient mystery”?

* * *

About Dave James

Dave James is a co-founder of The Alliance for Biblical Integrity and the ministry coordinator, responsible for the development of ABI. Dave served with Word of Life Fellowship from 1988 to 2009, with 16 of those years as a missionary in Hungary (1993-2009). He is the founding director of the WOL Hungary Bible Institute. Dave is a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary, Word of Life Bible Institute and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.

The Harbinger: Fact or Fiction?

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Dr. Gary E. Gilley

Dr. Gary E. Gilley has been pastoring at Southern View Chapel for more than 33 years. He is author of four books, and has also contributed to two other books, including Dispensationalism Tomorrow & Beyond, a Tribute to Charles Ryrie.

Pastor Gilley received his B. A. from Moody Bible Institute and his M.B.S and Th.D from Cambridge Graduate School. He is a frequent speaker at Bible conferences and writes the monthly study paper, Think on These Things and is the Book Review Editor for the Journal of Dispensational Theology. He is also a board member of Brazil Gospel Fellowship Mission, Personal Freedom Outreach and New Tribes Missions.

Pastor Gilley and his wife Marsha have two adult sons and five grandchildren.

Gary Gilley Reviews The Harbinger By Jonathan Cahn

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About Jack Kelley

Jack Kelley is a Christian writer with several books to his credit, including “Children’s Stories of the Bible, The Adult Version” and “The Stories of the Patriarchs” a fictionalized account of the Book of Genesis. His book entitled “The Seven Churches Chronicle” is a commentary on Revelation 2-3 that appears in eBook form on this website and is based on a research trip to Turkey and Greece, where he visited the actual sites of these churches as well as other prominent New Testament locations.

Jack was a successful management consultant who “grew up” in a main line denomination but 25 years ago experienced a radical conversion to Evangelical Christianity. Since that time he has devoted most of his time and energy to studying and teaching the Bible, conducting studies throughout the western US and serving as teacher, counselor, and lay pastor. He has led several pilgrimages to Israel and Jordan, and is the author of all the website’s articles.

These articles and his answers to questions on the Bible have been read by millions of pastors, teachers and students in over 180 countries and territories around the world and are regularly used as sermon topics and Sunday School lessons. Jack and his family currently reside on the Baja Peninsula in Mexico where they serve as volunteer missionaries. (Jack is not the former USA Today reporter, nor is he the former TV star and game show host.)

A Critique Of The Harbinger – A Critique by Jack Kelley

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About Jeremy James

Jeremy James (bio from author by way of email)

“Jeremy James came to the LORD at age 52. Raised a Roman Catholic in Ireland, he suffered terribly from its false teaching. This in turn drove him into a New Age cult at age 19, which he followed and promoted actively for the next 33 years. He published two books on the New Age and had two others accepted for publication before he was saved. He also spoke regularly at New Age events in various parts of the US, including California, Texas, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Ohio, Kentucky, N Carolina, and Connecticut, and was the official guest speaker at New Age conferences in countries such as England, Switzerland, Sweden, Austria, Mexico, and Ghana.

While in Africa in 2008 he was subjected in his sleep to a vicious demonic attack which went on for about 10 minutes or so. A coven of witches had organized this attack for 1 August, one of four human sacrifice ‘feast days’ in the occult calendar. The huge hate-filled demon would have destroyed him had he not received total protection from an ‘unknown’ source. When he awoke from this terrible experience he knew he had been marked for death by practitioners of black magic but that some invisible agency had placed a mantle of protection around him. Over the following four weeks he came to realize that his Saviour had been Christ. He repented and was born again in Christ on 2 September.

Ever since then he has been trying to alert the public to the dangers of the occult and the New Age, primarily through his website www.zephaniah.eu. From his background in the New Age, he could see very clearly that much of its philosophy had already infiltrated the church and was giving rise to a false form of Christianity that had no power to save anyone. He has published detailed warnings about the false Emerging church, the false prosperity gospel, the false Word Faith church, the false Purpose Driven church, the paganized form of Christianity taught by CS Lewis, and the terrible threat posed to true Christianity by the Ecumenical movement. He has also tried to raise awareness of the dangers of the New World Order, Freemasonry, the secret Roman Catholic agenda, and the coming One World Religion that will usher in the Antichrist.”

More Insights into The Harbinger – A response to What’s Wrong with The Harbinger’s “Ancient Mystery”? By Jeremy James April 27, 2012

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About Joseph Chambers

Joseph Chambers (born January 19, 1936) is a Classical Pentecostal and has authored six books, co-authored 2 books,[1] has written over 185 booklets,[2] and made over 18 videos[3] on various Christian related subjects and is famous for his video series, which is an exposé on Benny Hinn, Kenneth Hagin, and The False Anointing.[4] He is married to Juanita H. Chambers and has three children and six grandchildren.

He was a pastor in Tabor City, NC between 1957–1958, then Rockwell, NC between 1958-1964 He then became the pastor in Black Mountain, North Carolina between 1964-1968 – then Senior Minister in Paw Creek in 1968 where he still resides and is still Senior Pastor of Paw Creek Ministries, Charlotte, North Carolina.

“THE HARBINGER” AND RICK JOYNER By Pastor Joseph Chambers

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About Pastor Larry DeBruyn

Pastor Larry DeBruyn

A native of Grand Rapids, Michigan (Central High School, 1962), Larry DeBruyn is a graduate of Taylor University (B.S., 1968) and Dallas Theological Seminary (Th. M., 1974) where he received the Charles A. Nash Award in Church History. He has been married to his wife for forty-three years. They have two grown sons.

A former public school teacher, Pastor Larry ministered to three local churches in Michigan, Missouri and Indiana for forty-three years. He has also taught on the adjunct faculties of Taylor University, Upland, Indiana (1979), Crossroads Bible College, Indianapolis, Indiana (1990-1999), and Word of Life Bible Institute, Tóalmás, Hungary (2006). Since 1990, he has ministered in Eastern Europe teaching several times at the Kiev Theological Seminary, assisting to plant churches in Lithuania and Ukraine, and preaching in Latvia (2011), Australia (2010, 2011) and New Zealand (2011).

In addition to contributing articles to various websites, to Christian magazines such as Christianity Today, to theological journals such as Bibliotheca Sacra and Contending Earnestly for the Faith, he has authored three books: Church On the Rise: Why I am not a ‘Purpose Driven’ Pastor (2007), Drumming Up Deception: Whether in Celebration or Contemplation– ‘Feeling’ the Beat (2008), and Unshackled: Breaking Away from Seductive Spirituality (2009).

He is an Indianapolis Colts and Indiana Pacers fan.

The Harbinger – A Review and Commentary – By Pastor Larry DeBruyn

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About T.A. McMahon

T.A. McMahon is president and executive director of The Berean Call ministry, editor-in-chief and contributing writer for The Berean Call newsletter, co-author of The Seduction of Christianity, America: The Sorcerer’s New Apprentice, Understand the Times , and author of Showtime for the Sheep? and Temporal Delusion .

Holder of a master’s degree in communications, he has researched and written numerous documentaries and scripted several feature films. His writing/producing for Christian videos includes The Cult Explosion, The God Makers, The New Age: Pathway to Paradise? The Evolution Conspiracy, A Woman Rides the Beast, Israel, Islam & Armageddon, and Psychology and the Church.

The Harbinger – A Matter of Critical Discernment by T.A. McMahon

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About Christine Pack

Christine Pack

(edited for a more concise bio for this note)

Sola Sisters are two sisters (Christine Pack & Cathy Mathews) who were saved out of New Age Spirituality, and who now have a deep love for the Word of God. Instead of standing on the shifting ground of whatever new teaching-fad-class-book-technique-discipline-etc. to come along, we now stand firmly upon the Rock of Christ. The name of our blog comes from the rallying cry of the Reformation, because it was through understanding and studying the “Solas” that we became firmly rooted in Truth.

Sola Fide (by faith alone)

Sola Scriptura (by Scripture alone)

Sola Gratia (by grace alone)

Solo Christo (through Christ alone)

Soli Deo Gloria (to God alone be the glory)

This blog also came about because of our concern over false teachings that we realized were coming into today’s Church. Having both been saved OUT of the New Age and occultism, we were alarmed when we began to see some of the same things we did in the New Age creeping into the church……only now, these practices have been cleverly repackaged with Christian terminology, rendering them all the more deceptive.

We therefore want to sound a warning to the church today, and to encourage and equip others who might be having a similar experience in their own churches. As Christians, we must remember that God has called his people to be set apart unto him, to be in the world, but not of the world. Syncretizing our worship of the LORD with pagan practices is a practice that the LORD calls “detestable.”

A Commentary on The Harbinger Posted by Christine Pack

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About Rev. Ken Silva

Rev. Ken Silva, an ordained SBC minister

(edited for a more concise bio for this note)

“THE MISSION OF APPRISING MINISTRIES

Apprising Ministries is a non-profit and tax-exempt labor extending as a fully integrated auxiliary from Connecticut River Baptist Church (CRBC). Rooted in classic, historic, orthodox Christian theology, AM, as in Awaken—It’s Morning, is actually to be a bit similar to the type of ministry done by Dr. Walter Martin (1928-1989), founder of the Christian Research Institute, only in an updated fashion. The idea is to also handle Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism, apostate Roman Catholicism as well as to deal with issues related to semi-pelagian postevangelicalism and the postliberalism of the Emergent Church in addition to counter-cult evangelism.

AM is the vision of its president, Rev. Ken Silva, an ordained SBC minister who has been led of the Lord to move beyond the typical “plus-minus” type of apologetic so common today and to return to more of the aggressive polemic an Irenaeus might use. Although what is written at AM may often be quite blunt, considering the time of rampant apostasy in which we now live, this also is by design. It needs to be understood that in Special Ops often unconventional warfare techniques become the norm.

Early in 2006 the Lord moved Ingrid Schlueter, former host of the popular radio program Crosstalk and author of the popular, but now offline, Slice of Laodicea, to give Ken Silva the Christian Research Net, which she had founded. CRN is now itself an outreach extending from Apprising Ministries with multiple volunteer contributors who are under Silva’s ministerial supervision as General Editor, four of which are also pastor-teachers themselves as he is.”

The Harbinger: Prophetic Fact Or Fickle Fiction?

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David Troxell – Editor of Discerning Reviewer Bios of “The Harbinger” by Jonathan Cahn

First Load Up – Spending Time With the Master eBook

Encourager Software

In addition, I design software and have a unique software program and data set concept called Profile Exchanges.

Philadelphia Promise Profile Exchange

Philadelphia Promise Profile Exchange is designed to help you find discernment information on the Internet more quickly in an organized fashion.

Use a software program – Product Scope 7 – Product Scope 7 Viewer IS free to use and NO registration fee! AND a data version of a Profile Exchange provide – Pricing, product description in memo format, display product images, order links, download links, and easy ways to view multiple products by category, and more!

Just one more way to inform the Christian public of critical discernment issues. Some of my research for posts to Facebook are added to the Philadelphia Promise Profile Exchange, including “The Harbinger Biblical Reviews”.

We need to pass this on…..

QUANTUM MYSTICISM IN THE CHURCH

COSMS, CODES, AND CRYPTOLOGIES

PART 1: Crossing the Boundaries of Reality and Scripture

“For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ…”

(2 Peter 1:16)

By Gaylene Goodroad

“We are stumbling within this interval between the miracle of our origin and the mystery of our destiny. And we are now beginning to realize that the most critical aspects that impact our destiny lie just outside the ostensible boundaries of the veil surrounding only a ‘virtual’ reality.”

“This field of study is called ‘Quantum Physics’ and its philosophical implications can be shattering to our presuppositions about our ‘reality.’ We now discover that the physical reality that surrounds us is only a virtual simulated reality—made up of indivisible, electrically charged particles: in fact, we exist within a digital electrical simulation!”

“Does the ‘Paranormal’ lie within the margins between the ‘Metacosm’ [a larger reality beyond the macro/microcosms consisting of 10 dimensions or more] and the virtual reality established by the digital simulation?”

— Chuck Missler, Systems Engineer, Author, & Bible Teacher (Introduction to God’s Ghostbusters [italics in original, bold added])[i]

When I began reading successful evangelical author, publisher, and former pastor Tom Horn’s recent book, God’s Ghostbusters, dealing with classic horror film themes (vampires, ghosts, aliens and werewolves), I didn’t expect to encounter these Chuck Missler quotations above dealing with the new science/new math of quantum physics or quantum mechanics.

Initially, terms such as Chaos Theory, Metacosm, and Hyperdimensional or Holographic Universe seemed starkly out of place. Familiar with the bizarre teachings and science fictionesque concepts of Tom Horn (the subject of two previous Herescope articles),[ii] the more I read, the more I began to see other ominous connections between Horn, his collaborators, and New Age physics.[iii] These men are not only taking their readers beyond physical realities, but beyond what is written in Scripture.[iv]

Finish HERE

 

A report and comment on religious trends and events being covered by the media. This week’s item is from the Birmingham News.

 Before the first feather appeared November 16th, Pastor Sam said he had been preaching that his interdenominational congregation was on the verge of something big. “God’s fixing to do something that we’ve never seen, he told his flock, and it’s going to blow our mind.” But even the pastor said he got uneasy when the unusual events began. While his church is openly Pentecostal, Sam said he had never veered into “wild, loony stuff.” “When you say you are receiving manifestations of angels, people think you’re crazy,” Sam said. To the natural ear, it sounds foolish. The pastor said he may have the feathers tested, but no matter what the findings, he’ll always believe they came from God. “I’ve had around 15 feathers appear before my eyes,” he said. The evidence is just overwhelming. Sam said, “Miracles shouldn’t seem out of the realm of possibility for a God given credit for such things as parting the Red Sea, crumbling the Walls of Jericho, and raising Jesus from the dead. It’s just amazing how close we walk to the supernatural realm,” he said. “The only thing hindering us from it is our own faith.”

 

Tom:

Dave, feathers-we’ve had gold dust, we’ve had gold teeth and feathers. That’s interesting.

 

Dave:

Well Tom, you’re trying to be kind. It’s-oh, I shouldn’t use the word, it is a bit ludicrous. I don’t think angels have feathers on their wings. The Bible very clearly says, “He maketh his angels spirits and his ministers a flame of fire,” Hebrews 1. So the idea that angels would have physical form and that they would have physical feathers- I mean you are going to fly to Heaven with wings made out of feathers? It doesn’t compute Tom, it doesn’t make sense.

 

Tom:

Well Dave, years ago, Pastor Buck, remember Pastor Buck?

 

Dave:

Sure.

 

Tom:

Pastor Buck was taken up into the 3rd heaven and he was right there in the throne room of God and when asked how he knew it was the throne room of God he said well there are feathers on the floor. You know and he was quoting what is it-Psalm 91? “He shall cover you with his feathers and under his wings you shall take refuge and his truth shall be your shield and buckler.”

 

Dave:

Yes, well Tom right there in the portion that you quoted, you have the refutation of-God is some kind of big bird with feathers. “His truth shall be your shield and buckler.” How do you make a shield out of-shield and buckler, that’s what it means, you know the buckler is what you hold on to that shield with. How do you make a shield out of truth? And Paul writes “…taking the shield of faith where with you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” Now if demons are shooting fiery arrows at us, then I guess angels have wings with feathers, but that’s not what it is talking about and one of the basic errors that man has fallen into is exchanging the spiritual for the physical. We become earthly minded; we become materialistic and we think something isn’t real unless it is physical. So, it doesn’t make sense. I mean what is the point?

 

Tom:

Dave before you address the point, in the Old Testament we have angels described with feathers, whether it be the cherubim or the seraphim. But it is interesting-

 

Dave:

Where does it say feathers? It says wings-

 

Tom:

I’m sorry-wings-I’m sorry. Wings-you’re right, but there they are with wings. All right? Now, what’s interesting is that in the New Testament with all the manifestations of angels, you never hear about wings, you never hear about feathers and we have many manifestations. So now what is the point of this? A man has a church, there are feathers flying down every which way-what does that mean?

 

Dave:

Tom, as I said, we are trying to have some physical evidence for a spiritual reality. That an angel would leave a feather-what does that mean? Is that going to be the basis of my faith now? And the man says that even though an analysis may show these are chicken feathers-he didn’t use those terms but how are you going to find out whether it was really an angelic feather? Well they will show that those feathers, I can guarantee you, belong to some fowl that lives on this earth. The Bible says that He makes His angels spirits. Flames of fire, ministering spirits to minister to those that shall be heirs of salvation. It tells us to not even try to look into who the angels are, what they may be doing and so forth. That is not our job. Our trust is in God and our faith is not in some feathers. Our faith is in the Word. That is why we call this Search the Scriptures Daily. Our faith is in the Word of God not in some physical manifestation. When Jesus said “I am the Bread of Life,” is He a loaf of bread? You know when He said I am the True Vine you are the branches, is He a grape vine and we are branches? No-so you have this sort of thing all through the Bible. So when it says He will cover you with His feathers and under His wing shalt thou trust, Jesus said, “how often would I have covered you-gathered you as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings and you would not.” Jesus doesn’t have wings. This is an allegorical statement.

 

Tom:

These are metaphors that people could relate to and identify. Dave the sad thing about this is that the very things that we’ve been talking about, evidence and faith-this man has, wittingly or unwittingly, has undermined.

 

Dave:

This is not the kind of evidence the Bible gives us. This is not the evidence upon which I would hang my eternal destiny and whether an angel appeared or not-what does that have to do with Jesus Christ being the Savior of sinners and man’s eternal destiny? So it is a way of side tracking people from what is really important.

:::::::::::::::

For further reading please read

http://www.christianresearchservice.com/FeathersFromHeaven.htm

Excerpt from the above article by Bud Press

It must be emphasized that a claim without solid evidence is like a bird without feathers–it won’t fly. The burden of proof rests with the one making the claim. Chad Leatherby claims to possess numerous “angel feathers.” He provided CRS with what he believes to be “angel feathers,” and was informed upfront that the feathers would be analyzed and examined by qualified experts. However, the feathers Leatherby provided were BIRD FEATHERS!

Psychology-1

 

Dave Hunt on Christian Psychology

Excerpts taken from Radio Transcripts, air date March 7th 2009

“Yes, Carl Jung had his own spirit guide.  Philemon he called him, that’s where he got most of his major theories.  “A screeching chorus of ghosts….”   These are his words, filled his home outside of Zurich and in three days and three nights under their inspiration he wrote his major work Septem Sermones ad Mortuos-The Seven Sermons to the Dead.  He believed that he traveled with the dead in the spirit world that he was the preacher, the pastor to the dead, and it goes on and on.  His major theories came out of the occult and we could talk about Carl Rogers and many others and so this is where it comes from.”

“Now I want to quote Martin L. Gross.  He is an investigative reporter, not a Christian; in fact he is an anti-Christian, so that makes all these words all the more interesting.  He says, “Freud’s atheistic ideas have paradoxically influenced ministers, priests and rabbis who now flock to courses in pastoral counseling making many members of the cloth seem more Freudian than Christian.”  Rather interesting, so Christian psychology isn’t Christian psychology.  It is psychology from the world which is atheistic, it’s occult manifestations actually, that’s the origin of it, much of it, not all of it and they’ve brought it into the church and they’ve dressed it up in biblical language.”

“So let’s take it from James Dobson himself.  We’re not trying to criticize James Dobson, he’s a very sincere man, a lot of what he does we have to commend him for, but on the other hand in his Focus on the Family magazine he said that (well I’m going by memory) this is a paraphrase, but it is very close to an exact quote.  He said “Christian psychology is a good profession, a wonderful profession for any young Christian to aspire to (now these are his words) provided their faith is strong enough to withstand the humanism to which they will be exposed.”  Now you have to ask yourself why do Christians have to go to humanists?  They are anti-Christians, they hate God, they hate the Bible, but why must we go and study under them and study humanism in order to learn how to improve the Bible and to counsel from the Bible.  It doesn’t make sense, but this is exactly what it is.  In fact, Dr. Dobson and Dr. Gary Collins-he was interviewing Collins on his radio program, they pointed out that psychology is based upon the same five foundation points as atheistic humanism, but they said we can integrate it with the Bible.”

“Now I believe that the Bible is sufficient. It’s been sufficient for Christians, for centuries, for thousands of years. Why then do we have to integrate godless theories that aren’t scientific, that don’t work and that are even harmful? Well, but we are going to sort through them and we’re going to throw out the ones that aren’t right, but we’ll use the ones that are biblical. I want to quote again the last few verses of one of my favorite poems. It says: Who would leave the noon day bright, to grope mid-shadows dim, and who would leave the fountain head to drink the muddy stream where men have mixed what God has said with every dreamer’s dream? I don’t think we should mix this stuff in with the Bible, because the Bible is perfect. This is God’s Word, and it claims as you quoted earlier 2 Peter 1:3 “According as his divine power hath given us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue…” Now the whole secret to the Christian life-I mean it’s not me struggling to live a good life-it’s Christ in you, Christ is my life and I do not believe that Christ in me needs any help from a psychotherapist and I don’t care whether you call it Christian psychology or what. What we need is to allow Christ to have his way in our lives. We need to deny self and take up the cross and follow Christ and trust Him to live His life through us. That’s all we are saying  Tom. Search the scriptures daily, get back to the Word of God. Unfortunately Christian psychology undermines our confidence in the scripture because it says it’s not sufficient and we need some help.”

I have enjoyed immensely Dave Hunt’s book, “An Urgent Call to a Serious Faith, A Prophetic Alarm for the Bride of Christ.”

I want to share these excerpts:

The situation in the church today is reminiscent of the last days of Israel’s kingdom. Instead of heeding God’s Word, God’s people consulted spirit mediums (Isaiah 8:19). Israel had sunk into the mire of occultism, astrology, and idolatry (Jeremiah 19:4,5,13; 32:29). Immorality was rampant even among the priests (Ezekiel 16:15-59; Hosea 6:9). God’s righteous judgment was about to fall, as it is upon today’s church and world.

Israel desperately needed rescue from a merciless, invincible invading army, but deliverance could only come through repentance and submission to her Lord. God had patiently sent prophet after prophet to indict Israel with her rebellion, idolatry, wickedness, and occult practices and to plead with her to repent, but she would not. She needed to face the truth, but turned instead to the numerous false prophets who lulled her to sleep with their soothing lies. [pg. 219]

While being soothingly assured by today’s “prophets” that we are in the “greatest revival ever,” the church is sinking deeper into the last-days apostasy foretold by Christ and His apostles. [pg. 220]

Isn’t this so true. The church today is embracing mysticism by walking labyrinths, centering prayers by focusing on one’s “inner-self”, and doing “Christian” yoga.

There is a new wave of Taize services being conducted in the churches. These services are created to appeal to the general worshiping public so it contains no doctrine. But you will find mind-numbing repetitions that serve to dull the thinking of the participant. This process may elevate or heighten feelings, but it is self-serving. What glory does this bring to Jesus Christ? How can we worship in Spirit and Truth, when we just want to make ourselves look and feel spiritual?

So we are repeat offenders. The church is falling into the same trap that Israel did. But God always saves a remnant of true believers.

For those who truly belong to Christ, though they mourn for the delusion and disaster they see coming upon the world, there is a joy and excitement of knowing that it cannot be long until they will hear that shout from Christ Himself calling them to meet Him in the air.

What motivation that realization give for both holy living and for declaring the clarity God’s message to mankind! [pg.221]

Find Dave Hunt’s book, “An Urgent Call to a Serious Faith”

Here  at the Berean Call

An Urgent Call to a Serious Faith

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