Wednesday, December 30, 2009



Under inspiration, Paul warns in 1 Corinthians 12:3: “Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, (anathema) and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.” Anathema meant a thing devoted to God without being redeemed, doomed to destruction (a sinner, or satanic being). If Christ became sin He is accursed, which is exactly what some Bible teachers are saying today. While Jesus became a curse in our place this is a different word than accursed.

The Bible commends those who study to show themselves approved by rightly dividing the Word of truth. This often takes time and effort to get a true revelation from the Scriptures. There are those who claim to have a revelation, but investigation determines that their source was not the Scriptures but knowledge from another source outside of Scripture. They then conform the written Word to this new revelation. “New” more often means false! As the saying goes, if it’s new it’s not true: if its true it’s not new. There is too much untrue new today that has replaced the old that is true. Peter says, “you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior” (2 Peter 3:2).

There is no greater example of this than from the word faith teachers who have taken certain Scriptures as proof text of their teaching that Jesus died spiritually not only physically on the cross. They claim when he was on the cross he became sin, he died sinful and descended into the earth for three days. He did not recover from this condition until after he became born again, as the first born of many brethren. They state the reason he needed to be born again is because he died spiritually and became sin. Then Jesus found himself in the same position as anyone else born in sin. This makes Christ a sinner without being born in sin or ever sinning.

The question everyone needs to ask is, does the Bible actually teach this? If so we should embrace it. If not, what does it do to the Jesus of the Bible?’ Numerous cult groups have changed Jesus into a mere man or an angel, or someone other than the God who became sinless man and was victorious by dying on the cross. This Jesus could be worse.

To start we need to look at their view of the cross and what exactly was accomplished there. Lets hear them tell it for themselves…Kenneth Hagin, “The death of Jesus Christ was not a physical death alone. If it had been a physical death, Abel would have paid the price for mankind. He was the first man that died because of honoring God and His Word. If it had been a physical death only, it wouldn't have worked! And if He hadn't died spiritually, that body never would have died.” (What Happened From the Cross to the Throne, Tape #00-0303)

Notice the distortion of understanding the Biblical facts. Abel was murdered by his brother, it was not a willing sacrificial death. Jesus, although murdered by his brethren, went willingly. It was not a mistake. It was done at a specific place at a specific time in a specific way. God ordained it through the hands of men of Israel and the Roman authorities.

Kenneth Hagin again states, “He (Jesus) tasted spiritual death for every man. And his spirit and inner man went to hell in my place. Can’t you see that? PHYSICAL DEATH WOULDN’T REMOVE YOUR SINS. He tasted death for every man. He’s talking about spiritual death.” (How Jesus obtained his name tape # 44HO1 side 1)

Kenneth Copeland also reiterates what his mentor says, “When His blood poured out it did not atone.” (Kenneth Copeland: From a personal letter to D.R.McConnell, dated 12/3/79. Cited in A Different Gospel, p.120) Just to be sure this is not misinterpreted he says the same to The Christian Research Institute that requested a statement “...When His blood poured out, it did not atone. It did away with the handwriting of the ordinances that were against us.” (K. Copeland, Form letter, March 12, 1979 )

Copeland teaches, “Because his physical death was not enough for the payment of sins there was a another way for sins payment. Jesus put Himself into the hands of Satan when He went to that cross, and took that same nature that Adam did [when he sinned].” (Kenneth Copeland, The Incarnation (Kenneth Copeland Ministries, 1985, audiotape #01-0402) side 1.)

What actually did happen to Christ’s spirit is seen in Luke 23:46: “Father, into Thy hands I commit My Spirit” ( Matthew 27:50; John 19:30). Jesus put Himself into the hands of the Father, not Satan. He pronounced His time of departure, yielding His spirit to God the Father, and then breathed His last. He gave His body for us, and committed His spirit to God. His spirit did not die, or go to sleep, nor was it taken captive in hell. The cross was a place of victory not of defeat. In response to CRI concerns of his view of the atonement and spiritual death Copeland sent to answer their questions concerning his view of Christ's atoning work - “Since He (Jesus) was made to be sin, He had to pay the penalty for sin. He had to die spiritually, which took Him into the regions of the damned, before He could redeem us.” K. Copeland, Form letter dated March 12, 1979 (Christian Research Institute).

The Bible-God was reconciling the world to himself (2 Corinthians5:19). Jesus never had the fallen nature of Adam. If he did, it would have disqualified Himself as the sacrifice. How could he reconcile the world if he became something other than the sinless sacrifice? The Bible teaches that Christ was separate from sinners and did not atone for himself.

Common sense should prevail. God in Isaiah 53:11 calls Jesus as His “righteous servant” during the time of His suffering on the cross? If Jesus were truly transformed into a Satanic being or had the nature of Satan he could not be called righteous by God. If Jesus took on the nature of Satan he would hardly be praying for His enemies, instead of “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do,” (Lk.23:34) he would also be asking for revenge. Satan's enemy is the Church, so then Christ would not be dying for the forgiveness of sins. He would not want to remove sin if he had the nature of Satan, instead he would want to promote it. Which is unconsciously what the faith teachers do when they move the atonement event to a later time and place.

Which death paid for our sins

Because of their expanding theology, which brings the atonement as a continuation, they have read into passage to conclude Jesus died a double death, both physically and spiritually. One of the main texts they make use of to promote the double-death of Christ (physical and spiritual) is Isaiah 53:9, “He made His grave with the wicked, and with the rich in His death...” In the Hebrew the word for death in this verse is in the plural form, deaths. This is interpreted as proof that Jesus suffered a double-death, both physical (his body) and spiritual (his spirit) death on the cross! Was Jesus’ death both a physical as well as spiritual one?

The word for DEATH in Hebrew is mawet; it appears 150 times in the Old Testament. The foremost and obvious interpretation of this passage is in the context itself. “With the rich in His death;” this is in reference to his body being buried in Joseph of Arimathea’s tomb. (Matthew 27:57-60) It would be ridiculous to say that both his body and spirit were in the tomb, since that would go against Scripture as well as the doctrine the faith teachers are promoting.

D.R McConnell explains the Hebrew plural in this text in relation to Kenyon's teachings: “Plural nouns are extremely common in the Hebrew Scriptures. They are not just used to denote numerical plurality, but also to emphasize a particular meaning of the noun. In Hebrew, plural nouns express majesty, rank, excellence, magnitude and intensity. In Isaiah 53:9, 'deaths' is a plural of intensity used by the writer to indicate that the death mentioned was a particularly violent one. It no more means that the king of Tyre died two deaths than that the Messiah died two deaths.” (D.R. McConnell, p.128.)

V. 9 reads: “And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his deaths” (bemotav). In his deaths is a Hebrew way of speaking and means in His violent death or something of that type. That the word death is plural and says nothing about the servant. For even though the plural death is used, the reference remains singular: his. There is no reference to a subject, or to a servant, in the plural form. That would be, in their deaths, bemotehem.

The verse has, “in his deaths.” The word “deaths” is in the plural. The Hebrew plural form “deaths” can also mean violent death. Then the translation would be: “And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his violent death.” Christ's death was not something he deserved, but did for us.

Isa.53:9 The plural deaths intensifies the force, Adam by sin `dying died' (Gen. 2:17, margin) incurred death physical and spiritual. So Messiah, His substitute, endured death in both senses: spiritual, during His temporary abandonment by the Father; physical, when He expired. (from Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary)

Greek Scholars agree it was a violent death. Another example of this interpretation is in Ezek. 28:8-10, which depicts the violent and certain death of the king of Tyre: “you will die the death of those who are slain.” Keil and Delitzsch, in their Commentary on the Old Testament, Vol. 7, Isaiah, inform us that in both the Isaiah and Ezekiel passages, the plural form for death is an example of pluralis exaggerativus: “it is applied to a violent death, the very pain of which makes it like dying again and again.” It obviously does not mean that you will literally die more than one death, no one dies over and over. It is describing of the intensity of that one death.

Jesus himself explained what his death meant when he told us to remember him by partaking in both the body and blood. These are physical elements of a physical activity with a spiritual meaning (Luke 22:19,20; 1Corinthians11:24-26). In 1 Corinthians 11 we are told that as often as we eat the bread and drink the cup we are “proclaiming the Lord’s death till He comes.” Which death are we announcing? This Scripture speaks of only one death involved in redemption, a physical death. This is the death we are to remember him by. The wafer represents His body and the wine represents His blood. The wafer was made with no leaven in it, as leaven is a symbol of sin. Therefore Christ was sinless. Mark 14:22-24 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” Then He took the cup, and when He had given thanks He gave it to them, and they all drank from it. And He said to them, “This is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many.” Paul states in 1 Cor. 10:16-17: “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? Hebrews 13:21 calls this sacrifice the “blood of the everlasting covenant.” In other words, without the blood we cannot have a relationship with God; this involves his physical death. There is no element in the Lord’s Supper to remind us of his “spiritual” death. Jesus spoke of laying down His physical life in John 15:13, not his spirit.

In John 6:51, Jesus describes Himself as, “...the living Bread which came down from heaven, and the bread which I shall give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” He did not speak of giving his spirit with his body nor his spirit separately- but HIS FLESH for the life of the world. The word “flesh” indicates the body. Jesus never teaches anything about his spirit being involved in the atonement.

This sacrifice is dependent upon a physical death. Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins. The atonement came by the blood, the life of man. The blood atones, not any suffering by itself, before or after the cross. All the Old Testament types and symbolic usages of sacrifices show Christ as the fulfillment of the law and the sacrifices. No Old Testament animal sacrifice had any relationship to a spiritual death. John uses Old Testament typology as he introduced Jesus as “the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world”; this was done by death.

The Bible- Col.1:20: “And by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross… yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach.”

This is related to a physical death. Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins. Even if he did die spiritually, Its not his spiritual death that could have any importance but the atonement through the blood, the life of man. The blood atones, not any suffering by itself before or after the cross. The whole Old Testament types and symbolic usage's of sacrifices show Christ as the fulfillment of the law.

Both Paul's epistles to different churches explain the very same things.

Col. 1:14: “In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.”

Eph. 1:7: “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.”

Heb. 10:19-20 “Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh.”

Revelation 1:5“...To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood.”

He suffered only one death and it was on the cross, the death of his flesh. In this death he became obedient to the Father (Philippians 2:8). It is by this act of submission that we were redeemed and restored to fellowship.


2 Corinthians 5:21 Word-Faith promoters confuse the meaning of this passage, since it is important for their doctrine of substitution and validates the idea of Jesus suffering in hell. Paul says: “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us that we might be the righteousness of God in him.” Isaiah 53:5 tells us that the chastisement of our peace was laid “upon” Him. Isaiah 53:6 say’s the Lord laid our iniquity “on” him, not “in” him; there was no change in nature. Our sin was laid to his account. He bore its penalty as a punishment, as our substitution; he carried it away (fulfilling the typology of the scapegoat in Lev.16), not becoming sin or crushed by it. As it says in v.10, it pleased the Lord to bruise him. How? By being a lamb led to the slaughter. V.12 tells us he made intercession for the transgressors, which would be hard to do if you became one of them. Since God does not hear the prayer of a sinful man, especially the sin fullest human that ever lived. (the faith teachers he became worse than all having every sin imaginable).

It was E.W. Kenyon that explained “When this happened, spiritual death, the nature of Satan, took possession of His Spirit.... He was to partake of Spiritual Death, the nature of the Adversary.... Jesus knew that the moment had come, and He was to be made Sin. He must partake of that dread nature of the Adversary. His body would become mortal. Satan would become His master.... He [Jesus] had been lifted up as a serpent. Serpent is Satan. Jesus knew He was going to be lifted up, united with the Adversary.” (What Happened from the Cross to the Throne Kenyon's Gospel Publishing Society, 1969, 20, 33, 44-45)

Creflo Dollar “He’s got to look like a sinner. Or they’re not going to receive Him into hell, you’ve got to be a sinner. He’s got to somehow look like that serpent on that stick in Moses’ day. He’s got to look like a serpent in order to be taken in. And Jesus who had never sinned, made an exchange with His covenant partner. He says “Let Me wear your coat of sin. It’ll make Me look like a sinner. I’ve never sinned, but if I can put your coat of sin on, when I get back I’m going to give you my coat of righteousness. So The bible says that He who had not sinned was made sin. (Our Equality with God Through Righteousness 1/21/2001)

Jesus had to “accept the sin nature of Satan.” (Kenneth Copeland, What Happened from the Cross to the Throne, side 2.)

Nowhere in the Scripture does it say, God made Him to be a sinner' but 'He had made Him to be sin.' This occurred by taking our place as a substitution. Contrary to Kenyon's theology Jesus always was mortal in his human nature, and nowhere does Scripture say Satan became his master. God subject to Satan is not the teaching of the bible in any shape or form.

Jesus speaking to Copeland teaches him, “It was a sign of Satan that was hanging on the cross....I accepted, in my own spirit, spiritual death; and the light was turned off.” (Kenneth Copeland, What Happened from the Cross to the Throne, side 2.)

Benny Hinn agrees “Ladies and gentlemen, the serpent is a symbol of Satan. Jesus Christ knew the only way He would stop Satan is by becoming one in nature with him. You say, 'What did you say? What blasphemy is this?' No, you hear this! He did not take my sin; He became my sin. Sin is the nature of hell. Sin is what made Satan...It was sin that made Satan. Jesus said, 'I'll be sin! I'll go to the lowest place! I'll go to the origin of it! I won't just take part in it, I'll be the totality of it!' “ (Benny Hinn” program, TBN, 12/15/90 )

First we need to know that the origin of sin was not Hell nor does Hell have a nature, therefore Jesus did not become or go to hell. The origin of sin for mankind the bible teaches is found in Adam the first man (Rom.5:12). Many of these men teach on Hell not as a place to avoid for punishment from our sin, but a place that Christ went because of sin! (Think about it, you rarely hear about eternal judgment as the consequence of not having your sin forgiven).

Paul warns in 1 Cor. 12:3 “Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, (anathema) and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. “ Anathema meant a thing devoted to God without being redeemed, doomed to destruction (a sinner, satanic being). If Christ became sin he is accursed, which is exactly what the faith teachers are saying. This would be different than the curse of the law in Gal. 3:13-14 “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”) this shows he took the law away that made one guilty when they did not keep it perfectly. It also shows it occurred on the cross.( Col.2:14-15)

2 Cor. 5:21 In Adam Clarke's commentary he states “He made him who knew no sin (who was innocent), a sin-offering for us. The word hamartia (NT:266) occurs here twice: in the first place it means sin, i.e. transgression and guilt; and of Christ it is said, He knew no sin, i.e. was innocent; for not to know sin is the same as to be conscious of innocence; … to be conscious of nothing against one's self, is the same as … to be unimpeachable.

In the second place, it signifies a sin-offering, or sacrifice for sin, and answers to the chaTa'ah (OT:2401) and chaTa'at (OT:2401) of the Hebrew text; which signifies both sin and sin-offering in a great variety of places in the Pentateuch. The Septuagint translates the Hebrew word by hamartia (NT:266) in 94 places in Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers, where a sin-offering is meant; and where our version translates the word not sin, but an offering for sin. Had our translators attended to their own method of translating the word in other places where it means the same as here, they would not have given this false view of a passage which has been made the foundation of a most blasphemous doctrine; namely, that our sins were imputed to Christ, and that he was a proper object of the indignation of Divine justice, because he was blackened with imputed sin; and some have proceeded so far in this blasphemous career as to say, that Christ may be considered as the greatest of sinners, because all the sins of mankind, or of the elect, as they say, were imputed to him, and reckoned as his own. One of these writers translates the passage thus: . … God accounted Christ the greatest of sinners, that we might be supremely righteous. Thus they have confounded sin with the punishment due to sin. Christ suffered in our stead; died for us; bore our sins (the punishment due to them), in his own body upon the tree, for the Lord laid upon him the iniquities of us all; that is, the punishment due to them; explained by making his soul-his life, an offering for sin; and healing us by his stripes. (from Adam Clarke's Commentary)

Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown's Commentary on 2 Cor. 5:21 “…the representative guilt-bearer of the aggregate sin of all men past, present, and future. The sin of the world is one; therefore the singular, not the plural, is used; its manifestations are manifold (John 1:29: cf. Rom 8:3-4; Gal 3:13). [For us]-Greek, `in our behalf' (cf. John 3:14). Christ was represented by the brazen serpent, the form, but not of the substance, of the old serpent. At his death on the cross the sin-bearing for us was consummated.(from Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary)

Albert Barnes notes on 2 Cor. 5:21, If the declaration that he was made “sin” hamartian (NT:266) does not mean that he was sin itself, or a sinner, or guilty, then it must mean that he was a sin-offering-an offering or a sacrifice for sin; and this is the interpretation which is now generally adopted by expositors; or it must be taken as an abstract for the concrete, and mean that God treated him as if he were a sinner. The former interpretation, that it means that God made him a sin-offering,”

2 Cor. 5:21 Locke renders this: probably expressing the true sense, “For God hath made him subject to suffering and death, the punishment and consequence of sin, as if he had been a sinner, though he were guilty of no sin.” To me, it seems probable that the sense is, that God treated him as if he had been a sinner; that he subjected him to such pains and woes as would have been a proper punishment if he had been guilty; that while he was, in fact, in all senses perfectly innocent, and while God knew this, yet that in consequence of the voluntary assumption of the place of man which the Lord Jesus took, it pleased the Father to lay on him the deep sorrows which would be the proper expression of his sense of the evil of sin; that he endured so much suffering, as would answer the same great ends in maintaining the truth, and honor, and justice of God, as if the guilty had themselves endured the penalty of the Law. This, I suppose, is what is usually meant when it is said “our sins were imputed to him;” and though this language is not used in the Bible, and though it is liable to great misapprehension and perversion, yet if this is its meaning, there can be no objection to it.

(Certainly Christ's being made sin, is not to be explained of his being made sin in the abstract, nor of his having actually become a sinner; yet it does imply, that sin was charged on Christ, or that it was imputed to him, and that he became answerable for it. Nor can this idea be excluded, even if we admit that “sin-offering” is the proper rendering of hamartia (NT:266) in the passage. “That Christ,” says an old divine commenting on this place, “was made sin for us, because he was a sacrifice for sin, we confess; but therefore was he a sacrifice for sin because our sins were imputed to him, and punished in him.” …”All such views as go to make the Holy Redeemer a sinner, or guilty, or deserving of the sufferings he endured, border on blasphemy,” etc. Nor is it wiser to affirm that “if Christ was properly guilty, it would make no difference in this respect, whether it was by his own fault or by imputation.” What may be meant in this connection by “properly guilty,” we know not. But this is certain, that there is an immense difference between Christ's having the guilt of our iniquities charged on him, and having the guilt of his own so charged.” (from Barnes' Notes)

A.T Robertson states He made to be sin (hamartian epoieĆ“sen). The words “to be” are not in the Greek.
“Sin” here is the substantive, not the verb. God “treated as sin” the one “who knew no sin.” But he knew the contradiction of sinners (Heb 12:3). We may not dare to probe too far into the mystery of Christ’s suffering on the Cross, but this fact throws some light on the tragic cry of Jesus just before he died: “My God, My God, why didst thou forsake me?” (Matthew 27:46). (Robertson's Word pictures)

Robertson’s comment,” We may not dare to probe too far into the mystery of Christ’s suffering on the Cross.” Meaning its depth is left to God alone. But this is exactly what the faith teachers do, and because of this they come to the wrong conclusions. By going beyond what the Scripture states!

I John 3:5 says, “And you know he appeared to take away our sins, and in him, THERE IS NO SIN,” literally meaning that he had no sin before, during, nor after the cross. While many shift the atonement event to after the cross, there are some who may not understand that they are saying that there is NO salvation in the cross! But Paul states in 1 Corinthians1 that there is no salvation apart from the cross.


E.W. Kenyon wrote “We have sung `Nearer the cross' and we have prayed that we might be `Nearer the cross' but the cross has no salvation in it. It is a place of failure and defeat” (Advanced Bible Course, p.279)

Here is where Hagin and Copeland his disciple get his non-fundamental ideas. No salvation in the Cross! What does Paul say in 1 Cor.1, there is no salvation apart from the cross.

“Satan conquered Jesus on the Cross and took His spirit to the dark regions of hell” (Kenneth Copeland, Holy Bible: Kenneth Copeland Reference Edition 1991 p.129) To put this statement in the bible as a commentary (his edition) shows ones contempt for the truth.

Did Jesus say, “It is unfinished!”? Or “FINISHED” The Greek word for “it is finished means “paid in FULL.” It was used to wipe away any debt that someone would owe to another.

Copeland is adamant “The plan of redemption BEGAN when Jesus said “It is FINISHED”.” (Classic Redemption, p.13) “Jesus death on the cross was not enough to save us.” (What Happened From the Cross to the Throne, Tape #00-0303), (Believer's Voice of Victory, September 1991)

After he dies spiritually he is not made alive (born again) until his suffers for our sin in HELL. According to Frederick Price's gospel: “Do you think that the punishment for our sin was to die on a cross? If that were the case, the two thieves could have paid your price. No, the punishment was to go into hell itself and to serve time in hell separated from God…Satan and all the demons of hell thought that they had Him bound and they threw a net over Jesus and dragged Him down to the very pit of hell itself to serve our sentence.” (Frederick K.C. Price, Ever Increasing Faith Messenger (June 1980) 7)

The evidence of Scripture is overwhelming testifying to the fact that Christ’s death upon the cross was a physical death only, there was no suffering in hell. He had victory on the cross, not defeat! (John 2:19-21; Ephesians 2:15; Col. 1:22; Hebrews 10:10; 1 Peter 2:24; 3:18; 4:1). One does not have to investigate all the Greek definitions to understand this. All they need to do is rightly divide the Word, looking at all the information on salvation and the crucifixion, to see what God has said about the event and what occurred.

The Bible- Galatians 6:14: “But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,” 1 Cor.2:2. “I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” Why say this if it is a place of defeat?

“Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God” (Romans 3:25).

“How much more shall the blood' of Christ, who through the eternal spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Hebrews 9:14).

A sin offering was to be pure without ANY DEFECT! What made Jesus' offering acceptable to God was that His was a sinless offering, a Holy and unblemished offering to God. How could Jesus have literally become sin when Hebrews 9:14 tells us that He offered Himself “without blemish to God”. “ Leviticus 6:25-29 clearly shows that the sin offering was “most holy” to God both before and after its death! 1 Peter 1:18-20 “knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. ...a Lamb without blemish. “ Just as 1 Jn.3:5 states, in him was NO SIN.

“How much more shall the blood' of Christ, who through the eternal spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Hebrews 9:14).

Paul wrote the Ephesians that “Christ loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.” (Eph. 5:2).

Benny Hinn actually says, “Had He (Jesus) not offered Himself through the Holy Ghost, He would not be accepted in the eyes of God the Father. Nor would He have endured the sufferings of the cross. Had He not presented Himself through the Holy Ghost, His blood would not have remained pure and spotless. And let me add this: Had the Holy Spirit not been with Jesus, He would have sinned.” (Benny Hinn, Good Morning Holy Spirit, (Word, 1991) p.135)

What Hinn is proposing is that Christ was not God in his intrinsic nature and needed the Holy Ghost to keep him sinless. While it is true as he was in a state of submission that the holy Spirit was involved, it does not mean he lost his nature as God at any time, not before nor after the cross. But Hinn says he took on he nature of Satan when he was on the cross. In a conversation with Paul crouch he states Benny Hinn: “Jesus Christ destroyed the power of Satan on earth, but destroyed Satan in the under world, the Holy Ghost wasn’t there. Think about that.” Yes, Think about that!

Notice what the book of Hebrews states, which is a NT commentary on the book of Leviticus.

The Bible Heb. 9:11-13 “But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. “So he entered the most holy place. How could he do this if he was made sin if he was defiled in ANY way?

Heb. 9:18-22 “Therefore not even the first covenant was dedicated without blood. For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which God has commanded you.” Then likewise he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry. And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.”

Heb 10:4-10 “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins. Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure. Then I said, 'Behold, I have come--In the volume of the book it is written of Me--To do Your will, O God.' “ Previously saying, “Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them” (which are offered according to the law), then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.” He takes away the first that He may establish the second. By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”

Lev. 17:11 for ...the life of the flesh is in the is the blood that maketh atonement for the soul.”

Going to Hell to suffer

The faith teachers explain that all was lost on the cross, nothing won. Jesus became the victim of the satanic kingdom tortured unlike any other because he came to save us.

Jesus said on the cross before he expired “Father into your hands I commit my Spirit,” but according to their view it didn't happen he was committed into Satan's hands. This means the Father did not accept the sacrifice, but instead rejected it by allowing him to be taken into the enemy hands. Lets hear them tell it as they express it in many different ways.

Hagin “Do you think that the punishment for our sin was to die on a cross? If that were the case, the two thieves could have paid your price. No the punishment was to go into hell itself and to serve time in hell separated from God ... Satan and all the demons of hell thought that they had him bound, and they threw a net over Jesus and they dragged Him down to the very pit of hell itself to serve our sentence.”

“Satan conquered Jesus on the Cross and took His spirit to the dark regions of hell” (Kenneth Copeland, Holy Bible: Kenneth Copeland Reference Edition 1991 p.129.)

“Jesus went into hell to free mankind from the penalty of Adam's high treason . . . When His blood poured out it did not atone. . . . Jesus spent three horrible days and nights in the bowels of this earth getting back for you and me our rights with God”. (Kenneth Copeland: From a personal letter to D.R.McConnell, dated 12/3/79. found in his book A Different Gospel, p.120)

Notice the clear statement, he went to hell to pay the price. But more importantly is his distorted view of what Jesus is paying for. Its not about high treason its about the sin nature we inherited from Adam and have thus become separated from God.

Copeland defends this, declaring, “it must be preached because it's ... the Truth and it sets people free.” “The day that Jesus was crucified, God's life, that eternal energy .. moved out of Him and He allowed the devil to drag him into the depths of hell as if He were the most wicked sinner who ever lived..[and] to come under Satan's control .. [or] His body would have never died. ...” ( Believer's Voice of Victory, quoted in Berean call September, 1991)

Copeland describes “...Got Him (Jesus) in there. Jesus said three days and three nights the Son of Man will suffer in the heart of the Earth like Jonah in the belly of the whale. Suffered there. suffered your penalty. Suffered my penalty. … the moment God was satisfied, He said, and He shouted right at the very portals of Heaven, and His word went into the pit, into that pit, the lousy guts of this earth, and He bypassed paradise...Jesus is down in that pit. He’s suffering down in there and all of a sudden (yells)”Thy throne O God is Forever !!!(crowd cheers) He went deeper into that pit than any man had ever gone. He suffered all sin. No man has ever committed “all” sin, but that One suffered all sin, all sickness, all disease - the entire curse of the Law. “Made a curse for” - we don’t have any concept of what He went through down there in the bowels of that place called Hell. (Believers voice of victory, Copeland 9/24/97) despite his saying this he is able to describe in detail what the bible does not.

“He [Jesus] allowed the devil to drag Him into the depths of hell....He allowed Himself to come under Satan's control...every demon in hell came down on Him to annihilate Him....They tortured Him beyond anything anybody had ever conceived. For three days He suffered everything there is to suffer.” (Kenneth Copeland, “The Price of It All,” 3.)

The Bible says it was for three hours on the cross the judgment of God fell on Jesus for our behalf. This is not enough according to Copeland and others, so it becomes days long. The location, HELL!

Joyce Meyers writes, “During that time He entered hell, where you and I deserved to go because of our sin. He paid the price there. plan was too extreme. ...” (The most important decision you will ever make p. 35, J. Meyers)

To her credit she also says....... that sinless blood had been shed to pay for man's sins.” p. 38. But she then writes, “For three days He was alone paying for our sins as “only a man.” Its somewhat confusing on what she actually believes. Which is it, the cross or the cross plus. To say he atoned for our sins as “only a man” seems to deny the hypostatic union of the two natures in the person of Christ as well.

Fred Price has allegiance in the same camp as he also teaches “Do you think that the punishment for our sin was to die on a cross? If that were the case, the two thieves could have paid your price. No, the punishment was to go into hell and to serve time in hell separated from God....Satan and all the demons of hell thought that they had Him bound and they threw a net over Jesus and they dragged Him down to the very pit of hell itself to serve our sentence.” (F.K.C. Price, Ever Increasing Faith Messenger, Newsletter Crenshaw Christian Centre, Inglewood, CA. June 1980, p.7.)

How does Price also describe something the bible does not? The devil drag Him into the depths of hell! Satan doesn't run Hell. He hasn't even been there, and He has every intention of never being there. Neither will he have the ability to torture lost souls in Hell, because He (they) will themselves be tortured.

It becomes clear that the faith teaching states there would have been no price paid for sin if Jesus had finished his work on the cross and went to Paradise.

Charles Capp's says “ If there's any part of hell Jesus did not suffer, you'll have to suffer it. But, thank God, Jesus suffered it all, for you! In the place of the wicked dead, all the demons of hell and Satan rejoiced over the prize. The corridors of hell were filled with joy. 'We've done it! We've captured the Son of God! We'll no longer be in the pit of the damned! The earth and all that is therein is ours! Forever it will be ours!' Rejoicing in hell had never been so great as it was that day. But it was short-lived.” (Authority in Three Worlds, 143 )

The word/faith teachers deny What Jesus told the apostles “This is My blood...which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Mt. 26:28).

If Jesus was not victorious on the Cross, then he wasn't victorious AT ALL!

Did Jesus enter Hell or Hades?

Matthew 12:40, “ shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” The use of this word heart meant the interior of a thing or of being in it. Here it is referring to the tomb he was in. Yet he did continue to exist as a Spirit (who is God in his nature).

Because they do not believe he was God in the flesh, but a man empowered by the spirit they can come to the erroneous conclusion that he was tortured in Spirit (if you think this is not so. Go to quotes on this teaching)

When Jesus used Jonah as an example it was to point to a location, and the manner of death not to punishment.

Kenneth Copeland states this as Bible when he says, “For three days He suffered everything there is to suffer. Some people don't want to believe that. They want to believe that after His death, Jesus just stayed in that upper region of Sheol that the Bible calls paradise, but they're mistaken! If He had simply stayed there, there would have been no price paid for sin.” (Believer's Voice of Victory, Vol. 19, No. 9, Sept. 1991)

Cerflo Dollar echoes his mentor saying, “So now Jesus entered in legally into hell. But He was there illegally. Because once you get to hell there’s got to be some record of your sin. Now He had to stay there 3 days and 3 nights. You better hope He went to hell because if He didn’t go you and I would have to. You better hope He became every sickness, disease and depression and every piece of mess in the world because whatever He didn’t become you and I would have to become ”(Our Equality with God Through Righteousness 1/21/2001).

Copeland again states “I can't understand Christians that refuse to believe that Jesus went to hell. I want to tell you something if he didn't go, you're going to have to.” (The Christian Channel Europe “(Believer's Voice of Victory” May 1998)

No, the point is that He shed his blood on the cross so you would not have to. To put him in the exact place we end up (as sinners) as an equalizer is wrong, dead wrong! He was speaking of the work the Father had given him to do. Then Jesus' statement "it is finished on the cross" was a lie for it was not finished yet, then Eph. 2:16 is false, “that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross” is not possible. It should read through suffering 3 days and nights in Hell!

Joyce Meyers echoes Copeland showing the ties she has with his heresy and this movement.

“There is no hope of anyone going to heaven unless they believe this truth I am presenting. You cannot go to heaven unless you believe with all your heart that Jesus took your place in hell” (In her 1991 booklet, The Most Important Decision You Will Ever Make).

She explains Christ’s atonement: “During that time He entered hell, where you and I deserved to go (legally) because of our sin. He paid the price there ... no plan was too extreme ... Jesus paid on the cross and in hell” (The Most Important Decision You Will Ever Make 1991 p. 35,). “He went to hell to pay the debt you owed. (p.41 first edition)

“His spirit went to hell because that is where we deserved to go.” (The Most Important Decision You Will Ever Make 1991, p.36.).

The Bible- I Peter 3:18, He writes “ For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being “Put to death in the flesh, but quickened (made alive) This does not mean that He died spiritually and now he is spiritually resurrected, or by the Spirit. It means he died in the body, he was “Put to death in the flesh” not the Spirit. The spirit of Christ did not die, his flesh did. He continued his life existing in the spirit.

Christ died in body only and continued too exist in Spirit as he was before he came to earth. He was put to death in the sphere of the humanity but continued to be alive in the sphere of the Spirit. So his existence in his earthly life ended but continues He continued his life existing in the spirit inside the earth.

I Peter 3:18 states, “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened (made alive) by the Spirit.” This does not mean that He died spiritually and then was spiritually resurrected by the Spirit. It means He died in the body, He was “put to death in the flesh,” not the spirit. The spirit of Christ did not die; His flesh did. He continued his life, existing in the spirit. Christ died in body only and continued to exist in spirit, just as He did before he came to earth. He was put to death in the sphere of the flesh but continued to be alive in the sphere of the spirit. So His existence in his earthly life ended but he continued his life existing in the spirit inside the earth before he resurrected.

V. 19-20: “By whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison, who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water.” The spirits He went to preach to were those from the time of the flood; the word for “preach” is in Gr. Kerysso, meaning to proclaim or announce (judgment). This is different than to evangelize and proclaim the good news of reconciliation for salvation, which is used in 1 Peter 4:6. This proclamation is directed to either the fallen angels or the human souls that died in the flood (Jude 6; 2 Peter 2:4). Probably having to do with announcing that their judgment is imminent, as he had just come from the victory on the cross. Col. 2:15, “Having disarmed principalities and powers, he made a public spectacle of them triumphing over them in it.” When? On the cross (v.14), this could never have occurred if Christ was suffering in Hell, as they claim.

The Bible-Acts 2:27, “For you will not leave my soul in Hades, nor will you allow your Holy One to see corruption.”

Christ experienced no suffering from others, since that would be corruption. Peter repeats himself just a few verses later in Acts 2:31: “His soul was not left in Hell (Hades), nor did his flesh did see corruption.” Notice it says neither soul nor body saw corruption. Certainly to say that he became sin and was tortured as any other sinner would mean He did see corruption. The verse quoted by Peter is Psalm 16:10. The King James Version uses the word hell; a more accurate translation would be Sheol in Hebrew, which encompasses both Abraham’s bosom and hell. Sheol is used 65 times in the Old Testament; rarely is it used to denote a place of torment. The customary meaning is realm of the dead, meaning the state of death or the grave (Gen. 37:35; 1 Sam. 2:6; Psalm 141:7). In New Testament Greek the equivalent for Hades is often interpreted as the realm of the dead. We find in Luke 16:23,25 that Hades can mean a place of torment, though it may equally be described as a place of rest, in Abraham’s bosom, depending on which side you are on. The context should bear it out.

Jesus never suffered in hell under the torments of Satan. In fact, He told the thief on the cross that he would be with Him in paradise that very day (Luke 23:43). If the atonement had not been completed on the cross, He could never have said that the thief would be in paradise with Him. The thief would have then entered suffering with Jesus.

There is no salvation apart from His blood sacrifice; without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins. Hebrews 10:29: “Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? The Bible teaches that our redemption comes “through the blood of the cross” nothing else (Ephesians 1:7; Col. 1:14, 20).

His victory in HELL

After the three days of a mockery and the torture Charles Capps writes “When Jesus was in the pit of hell. in that terrible torment, no doubt the Devil and his emissaries gathered around to see the annihilation of God's Son. But in the corridors of hell, there came a great voice from heaven: 'Turn Him Loose! He's there illegally!' And all of hell became paralyzed.” (Authority in Three Worlds, 143 )

“Why did He (Jesus) need to be begotten, or born? Because He became like we were: separated from God. Because He tasted spiritual death for every man....Jesus was the first person that was ever born again.” (K. Hagin, How Jesus Obtained His Name, Tulsa: Rhema, audiotape #44H01)

Contrary to his human reasoning the meaning is the firstborn from death unto eternal life. It has to do with physical body not the Spirit.

Hinn teaches Christ's “rebirth” in hell: “My, you know, whoosh! The Holy Ghost is just showing me some stuff. I’m getting dizzy! I’m telling you the truth-it’s, it’s just heavy right now on me…He’s [referring to Jesus] in the underworld now. God isn’t there, the Holy Ghost isn’t there, and the Bible says He was begotten. Do you know what the word begotten means? It means reborn. Do you want another shocker? Have you been begotten? So was He. Don’t let anyone deceive you. Jesus was reborn. You say, ‘What are you talking about?’…He was reborn. He had to be reborn…If He was not reborn, I could not be reborn, I would never be reborn. How can I face Jesus and say, “Jesus, You went through everything I’ve gone through, except the new birth?” (Benny Hinn, Our Position ‘In Christ,’ Part 1 (Orlando, FL: Orlando Christian Center, 1991), videotape #TV-254)

Consider the concept “If He was not reborn, I could not be reborn.” According to the Scripture Christ was not reborn so that means you were not either! [To be reborn means one needs a new nature because they are a sinner.]

Copeland states “Jesus was reborn in the pits of hell.” (What Happened From the Cross to the Throne)”He was the first man to ever be born again from sin to the righteousness of God. Hallelujah !!! (9/24/97 video)

“The day I realized that a born-again man had defeated Satan, hell, and death, I got so excited..!” September, 1991, Believer's Voice of Victory)

“God rose up from His throne and said to demon powers tormenting the sinless Son of God, ‘Let Him go.’ Then the resurrection power of Almighty God went through hell and filled Jesus ... He was resurrected from the dead - the first born-again man” (The Most Important Decision You Will Ever Make, pg. 36, 1991 booklet)

Contrary to their imaginations he did not become born again in Hell only those who have the nature of sin need a new birth.

Ask yourself What kind of teaching is this that Christ suffered in hell only to be reborn like any other man? No one in Church history had taught such a thing until today's new spiritual revelators came along.

Charles Capp's goes even further, “Jesus was born again in the pit of hell. He was the firstborn, the first begotten, from the dead. He started the Church of the firstborn in the gates of hell... He went down to the gates and started His Church there....The Church started when Jesus was born again in the gates of hell.” (C.Capps, Authority in Three Worlds, op. cit. p.212-213)

The Bible-Acts 2, the Church was born on Pentecost when the Spirit of God was sent to those in the upper room and the gospel was preached at Jerusalem where 3,000 were saved.

Heb.10:29: “Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?”

The Bible teaches that our redemption comes “through the blood of the cross” (Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:14, 20).

“The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin.” (1 Jn.1:7). All Sin; which means there was nothing needed to be added. When He said, “it is finished” on the cross, that is exactly what He meant.

We receive this gift is by faith: “It pleased God, by the foolishness of preaching, to save them that believe” (I Cor. 1:21). Believe what? The Gospel! It is “the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes.” (Rom 1:16). Believe what? I Cor. 15:1-4 that “Christ died for our sins, was buried and rose again.” That is it, no more no less.

Where did He die for our sins becomes the crucial question? I ask you, do these teachers present the blood of Christ as the finished atonement for sin or suffering in Hell. If a Bible teacher presents the blood of Christ as not the finished atonement for sin and further suffering is included; whether Gethsamane or Hell is required, this is a false representation of Jesus’ work to atone for sin. This is no different than one mischaracterizing the person of Jesus at the incarnation. It becomes a different Jesus, and a different Gospel -- a Jesus who did not save through the atonement on the cross, and instead redeemed us in Hell! What a terrible distortion of the most important event God did for mankind. Only teachers in biblical ignorance and sinister ministers would promote this “new, improved version” of the New Covenant.

Philippians 3:18: “For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ.”


Monday, November 23, 2009

Brian McLaren Wants End Time Believing Christians Robustly Confronted

Brian McLaren Wants End Time Believing Christians Robustly Confronted
May 4th, 2009 | Author: Lighthouse Trails Editors

[B]eloved, Inow write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way ofremembrance: That ye may be mindful of the words which were spokenbefore by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostlesof the Lord and Saviour: Knowing this first, that there shall come inthe last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? II Peter 3:1-4

If you are a Christian who believes that the Bible is God’s inspiredWord and believe that Jesus Christ will be coming again, you are beingmarginalized. And you might not even know it. It may surprise you toknow where this marginalization is coming from. We’re not speaking ofthe world today . . . we are talking about people who say they are Christians and who happen to be very influential. In fact, one of them, Rick Warren, was just named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the entire world.1

In an April 2009 article in Sojourner’s magazineby emerging church leader, Brian McLaren, McLaren clearly has targetedChristians. But not just any Christians. McLaren is talking aboutChristians who believe Jesus Christ is coming back again, suggestingthat these type of Christians are the reason there is no peace in theMiddle East. He says what these end-time believing Christians are doingis “terrible,” “deadly,” and “distorted.”

McLaren says that he grew up with a dispensational view (the beliefthat Jesus Christ will return and establish his kingdom on earth) buthas come to realize this view is “morally and ethically harmful.” Helikens this belief system to racism in the 50s and 60s and says:

These doctrinal formulations often use a bogusend-of-the-world scenario to create a kind of death-wish for World WarIII, which–unless it is confronted more robustly by the rest ofus–could too easily create a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Anyone who is familiar with the writings of occultist Alice Baileyor New Age author and futurist Barbara Marx Hubbard knows that theybelieve this very thing. In fact, McLaren is sounding more and morelike them all the time, and his article in Soujourners is further proof of that.

It isn’t just Bible-believing Christians who McLaren is upset with –he’s also angry about Israel and the very idea that she is a specialnation in the eyes of God. This is why he names Christian Zionists andDispensationalists in particularly, because they tend to be two groupswho hold fast to the belief that Israel is indeed a special nation tothe Lord.

It is ironic that just a week ago, the House of Representatives passed the HR1913 hate crimes bill,which is supposed to deter hateful behavior toward others. Here,McLaren, who was chosen to be an advisor to Obama (a strong proponentof hate crime legislation), is speaking so hatefully about those whohold to biblical beliefs saying they must be robustly confronted by “the rest of us” [all human beings except the biblical ones].

Others have joined McLaren in this effort to silence and marginalizebiblical Christians. Rick Warren’s chief apologist (and we were told astaff member at Saddleback) recently posted an article on the Internetthat said ministries that defend the faith (he referenced LighthouseTrails) were like mentally unstable cultists, “who are not normalpeople, average complainers, critics and typical dissidents who aregenerally unhappy about life itself . . . they are deadly.” (Please contact Saddleback Church to verify this: (949) 609-8000.)

Tony Campolo, in his book Speaking My Mind,says that “‘rigid’ Christians who believe in the possibility of Jesus’soon return” are “the real problem for the whole world.” According toCampolo, they are to blame for wars, and a host of other evils in theworld. This is what Alice Bailey and Barbara Marx Hubbard believe–andtheir obvious hostility towards believers shouts out from the pages oftheir writings.

There are others too who speak in derogatory language aboutChristians who believe Titus 2:13, which is: “Looking for that blessedhope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour JesusChrist.” In Mark Driscoll’s book Vintage Jesus, he ridicules Christians who believe there will be an Armageddon and a rapture (pp. 44, 157).

Perhaps one of the more serious attacks on Christians waiting forChrist’s return (serious primarily because of his huge influence) comesfrom Rick Warren where he states in The Purpose Driven Life thatthose who study Bible prophecy are not fit for the kingdom of God. Mostreaders may have missed this because of the way the passage isorganized, but if one studies this carefully, with a Bible by theirside, it is not difficult to see. Roger Oakland explains:

Warren tells readers to think about something other thanBible prophecy: “If you want Jesus to come back sooner, focus onfulfilling your mission, not figuring out prophecy.”

Warren ends this section of his book by stating that Satan wouldhave you “sidetracked from your mission” and by quoting Jesus out ofcontext, Warren says, “Anyone who lets himself be distracted [bystudying Bible prophecy] from the work I plan for him is not fit forthe kingdom of God” (Living Bible). But Jesus was not referring to His return when He made that statement, which in the King James Versionsays: “No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, isfit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62). The Purpose Driven kingdom ofGod leaves no room for Bible prophecy, and in fact, condemns those whostudy it. The apostle Peter, inspired by the Holy Spirit, had adifferent view. He writes: “We have also a more sure word of prophecy;whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth ina dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in yourhearts.” (II Peter 1:19)

Christians are called to witness and be watchmen. No Scriptureexists that tells us to ignore the events that have been pointed out assignposts indicating the return of Jesus. If we do, we might be likethe foolish virgins who fell asleep waiting for the bridegroom (Matthew25:1-13).(from Faith Undone, pp. 154-157)

In Warren Smith’s book, Reinventing Jesus Christ,Smith discusses something Barbara Marx Hubbard calls the SelectionProcess. This is a process that New Agers believe in which Armageddonwill only have to happen if those who believe in it (biblicalChristians) remain on the earth for thus there would be aself-fullfilling prophecy. She believes, as does Alice Bailey (thewoman who coined the term New Age), that the world cannot evolve, andthere cannot be peace until it is rid of these kind of people. If itis, then there can be what is termed an Alternative to Armageddon.Sound far-fetched? Just keep in mind that Barbara Marx Hubbard is arespected author–in fact, she was instrumental in the early stages ofwhat is now the lobbying group for the soon-to-be Department of Peace that over 60 Congressmen are supporting.

We believe that this effort to put labels like cultist on believerswill only grow. Another example is emerging church writer ThomasHohstadt, who asked in a recent article: How Do We Know We Are Not in a Cult?He answered this question by basically saying that you are a cult ifyou believe you have all the answers and if you believe truth can becontained or absolutely defined. You see, in emerging spiritualitydoubt and uncertainty are exhalted, and the opposite“virtues,”–certainty and faith–are condemned. Incredible as it seems,those who stand on the Word of God will, in the end, be called evil,deadly, and cultish.

The growing hostility against Bible-believing Christians continues.And yet, in Matthew 24:6, Jesus comforts us with these words: “[S]eethat ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, butthe end is not yet.” Let us remember and take heed to the words Jesustold his disciples: “I must work the works of him that sent me, whileit is day: the night cometh, when no man can work” (John 9:4). Asbelievers we will stand for the truth, but we will continue to lovethose who persecute. We are inspired by the many saints who have gonebefore and courageously, by His grace and strength, stood. “Therefore,brethren, stand fast.” (II Thessalonians 2:15)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Pastor Billy Joe Daugherty passed away Sunday morning.

TULSA, OK -- Victory Christian Pastor Billy Joe Daugherty passed away Sunday morning. Church pastors announced at early morning services that Daugherty died at 4:40 a.m.

The founder of Victory Christian Church, Pastor Billy Joe Daugherty's battle with cancer took a turn for the worse on Friday as he fought an infection at Houston's M.D. Anderson Hospital.

Daugherty is survived by his wife, Sharon, and four children: John, Paul, Sarah, and Ruthie. His two son-in-laws are also active in the congregation.

Daugherty was 57.

Victory Christian has 17,000 members, making it one of Green Country's largest churches. Daugherty also founded Victory Christian School and the Victory Bible Institute.

"We're going to give thanks. We're going to celebrate his life, and then as a church we're going to pick up the baton and run the race," Pastor Bruce Edwards told the congregation Sunday morning.

"I can tell you, his prayer is for us to move forward with the vision," Edwards said of Daugherty.

Services are planned for Monday, November 30 at the Mabee Center. More information will be announced.

The family is returning to Tulsa today, congregation members were told at Sunday's 11 a.m. service. They ask that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Victory Christian Church to help carry on Pastor Daugherty's work.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Rapture Of The Church.

In 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 from the Expositors Study Bible KJV, we read:V15 FOR THIS WE SAY UNTO YOU BY THE WORD OF THE LORD (presents the Doctrine of the Rapture of the Church as the "Word of the Lord), THAT WE WHICH ARE ALIVE AND REMAIN UNTO THE COMING OF THE LORD (all Believers who are alive at the Rapture) SHALL NOT PREVENT THEM WHICH ARE ASLEEP. (This refers to the fact that the living Saints will not precede or go before the dead Saints). V16 FOR THE LORD HIMSELF SHALL DESCEND FROM HEAVEN WITH A SHOUT (refers to "the same Jesus" which the Angels proclaimed in Acts 1:11), WITH THE VOICE OF THE ARCHANGEL (refers to Michael, the only one referred to as such{Jude v 9}), AND WITH THE TRUMP OF GOD (doesn't exactly say God will personally blow this Trumpet, but that it definitely does belong to Him, whoever does signal the blast): AND THE DEAD IN CHRIST SHALL RISE FIRST ( the criteria for being ready for the Rapture is to be "in Christ", which means that all who are truly Born-again will definitely go in the Rapture): V17 THEN WE WHICH ARE ALIVE AND REMAIN SHALL BE CAUGHT UP (Raptured) TOGETHER WITH THEM (the Resurrected dead) IN THE CLOUDS (clouds of Saints, not clouds as we normally think of such), TO MEET THE LORD IN THE AIR ( the Greek word for "air" is "aer", and refers to the lower atmosphere, or from about 6,000 feet down; so, the Lord will come at least within 6,000 feet of the Earth, perhaps even lower, with all the Saints meeting Him there; but He, at that time, will not come all the way to the Earth, that awaiting the Second Coming, which will be seven or more years later): AND SO SHALL WE EVER BE WITH THE LORD. ( This presents the greatest meeting humanity will have ever known.)

This glorious event called the Rapture could take place at any moment. It is the next great event on the horizon of time. The literal Greek phrase calls for us to be snatched away. This is where we derive our word, Rapture.
Jesus Said in Matthew 24:36 that no one knows the day or the hour. Only the Father Knows. We should resist any temptation to engage in date setting. What we do know is that while there are no specific "Rapture" signs that need to be fulfilled; many of the signs that point to the second coming are being fulfilled at breathtaking rapidity: so how much closer is the Rapture to taking place. The Rapture will take place very soon, at some point prior to the inception of the Great Tribulation.

Christ's own words are the reason for this view. Jesus warned us to be alert for His imminent return (Matthew 24:42,44), and a pre- tribulational Rapture is the only position that allows for His at-any-moment arrival.
The Second Comin, then, is best thought of as a separate event, when our Lord returns following the 7 year Great Tribulation to defeat His enemies. At that time, Satan will be bound and remain so during Christ's 1,000 year millennial reign.
At the Rapture, the Lord comes for His People; at the Second Coming, He comes with His People.
After the 1,000 year millennial reign, the Lord will conduct the Great White Throne Judgment in which unbelievers of all time will be judged and cast into a place called the lake of fire, eternally separated from a loving, living, Holy, and just God.
Believers, however, will enjoy eternity in the presence of God, beginning at the Rapture.

Here are some vital distinctions between the Rapture and the Second Coming.
1- The Rapture takes place before the Tribulation (1 Thess. 4:16-17) but the Second coming takes place at the end of this period. (Matt. 24:29-31)
2- At the Rapture, all believers on Earth will be taken to Heaven, but at the Second Coming, God will bring us back to this Earth.
3- The timing of the Rapture is completely unknown (Matt. 24:36-41), but the Second Coming will be marked by several predicted signs. (Matt. 24:29-30)
4- The description of the Rapture makes no mention of Satan, but he will be bound and cast into the lake of fire at the Second Coming. (Rev 20:2,10)

As we live in these exciting times, we must focus our attention on Jesus Christ and anticipate His return. We must be faithful disciples, making soul-winning a active and vital part of our lives. We have a message that others need to hear. We must share it while there is still time. That message is Christ and Him Crucified.

Scripture assures us that Jesus will come for His Children personally. In John 14:3, the Lord promised that He was going to prepare a place for us. When the time comes, He will return for us to take us there. Let us be busy about our Fathers business and take as many with us as possible. God Bless.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Freedom Watch

Freedom Watch

America, the land of the free and the home of the brave, is all about religious freedom. Yet, in the name of separation of church and state, religious groups have often had to battle for equal access to public facilities or the freedom to teach the Bible. Even then, simple letters can usually clear up situations in which Christians face discrimination.

Santa Rosa County, Florida:
The ACLU filed a lawsuit against Florida’s Santa Rosa County School District last year and, in response, the school district agreed to a consent order that ended with the banning of religious activities at county schools. As a result, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes was prevented from renting school facilities at Jay High School and teachers were forbidden to attend baccalaureate services.

When contacted about the issue, the Alliance Defense Fund wrote a letter to inform the school district that these prohibitions were unconstitutional. The school district then reversed its policies and allowed the Christian athlete group to meet on school property and renewed teachers’ freedom to attend private baccalaureate services on their own time.

San Diego County, California:
A pastor and his wife were cited and their home Bible study in Bonita, CA was shut down, making national news. On April 11, David and Mary Jones were told they had to get a permit in order to hold the home studies, in which between five and 27 people gathered each week.

“She asked me if we sang songs, said Amen, praised the Lord or not. I don’t even think I answered because I was so taken aback” said Mary Jones, whose home had been used for the Bible study for five years.

When the event made the news, the county at first explained that the whole thing was about parking. One of the neighbors had apparently complained about inconveniently parked cars. Last week San Diego County finally made an official apology to the couple. The county’s chief administrative officer Walter Ekard wrote a letter on Wednesday, June 3 to say that the citation should never have been written and the Jones family was not required to get a permit.

Tulsa, Oklahoma:
For two decades, Child Evangelism Fellowship has put on a Bible-based summer vacation program for kids in Tulsa’s inner city projects. The fellowship’s goal is to help these high-risk kids stay out of drugs and crime through fun activities and messages that also teach them about God. A non-profit group that administers recreational programs for the Tulsa Housing Authority, Youth At Heart, recently told Child Evangelism Fellowship that they could not run programs that spoke about God or Jesus. Youth at Heart informed the Christian group that religious instruction was not permitted on public housing property. They said the policy had been in place for a long time, but just had not been enforced.

Mathew Staver of the Liberty Counsel commented, “There is a mistaken notion if you allow equal access to a religious group, you’re violating the Constitution.” So far the housing authority has declined to comment, but a 2001 US Supreme Court ruling makes the case clear; religious groups have the same rights to access public facilities or property as any other group.

Larry Koehn, head of Child Evangelism Fellowship in Tulsa, is not very worried. “Last fall, one of our schools said we couldn’t hold a club after school for the same reasons,” he said. “I contacted the Liberty Counsel and they wrote a letter to the school board explaining equal access, and they let us in.”

Religious discrimination continues to take place in America, but Americans have a number of legal groups ready to assist them when problems and confusions sprout up. Those who experience daily religious freedom around the world should praise God for the liberty they enjoy. It is a precious gift that should never be taken lightly.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

ROMANS 8 Part 6

To view this entire series on Romans Chapter 8; please go to You may also download some of the telecast on itunes at The Len Paxton Teaching Series.

Monday, June 8, 2009

San Diego County Formally Apologizes to Local Pastor

San Diego County Formally Apologizes to Local Pastor
Posted on June 8, 2009 by revlenpaxton

San Diego County Formally Apologizes to Local Pastor

The Christian Post reports that San Diego county officials have issued a formal apology to a pastor who was told he couldn’t hold Bible studies in his home without a permit. County Chief Administrative Officer Walt Ekard sent the letter to Pastor David Jones on Wednesday, fulfilling Jones’s demand for the rescinded decision in writing. “Christians should not be punished simply for holding a Bible study in their home, so we are very encouraged by the county’s response and their commitment to immediate corrective action,” said Dean Broyles, president of the Western Center for Law & Policy and Jones’ attorney. The county offices were reportedly flooded with complaints when several media outlets printed the story in April.

Monday, June 1, 2009


Pastor Cited for Holding Home Bible Study Without Permit

Christian Post reports that a California pastor and his wife face legal action from San Diego County for holding a weekly Bible study at their home. Officials informed the couple on Good Friday that the meeting constitutes a “religious assembly” and requires an expensive permit. Pastor David Jones and his wife Mary say the “assembly” is simply dinner, fellowship and Bible study in their home. The Joneses and their attorney argue that forcing them to get a permit is unconstitutional under the First Amendment. “The implications are great because it’s not only us that’s involved,” Mary Jones told Fox News. “There are thousands and thousands of Bible studies that are held all across the country. What we’re interested in is setting a precedent here — before it goes any further — and that we have it settled for the future.”
Len Paxton

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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Seven Major Prophetic Signs Of The Second Coming

Seven Major Prophetic Signs Of The Second Coming

8th Annual Update January 2009 by Jack Kelly
There are seven major prophetic signs of the Second Coming, and for the first time in history all seven are in some stage of fulfillment. As in years past, I’ll list the seven with their primary biblical references and offer commentary from current events.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The whole world was astonished and followed the beast.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other Signs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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