Saturday, March 31, 2012

Cults & Religions: Biblical Christianity vs. Christian Science

(The following is a comparison. It shows the differences and similarities
and why Jesus said to "Beware of false teachers!" We must "test the
spirits to see whether they are from God;" ( 1 John 4:1-3).                                            

 Key Person or Founder,    
Date, Location
Mary Baker Eddy

  • Biblical Christianity: Jesus Christ. Founded about AD 30-33, in the Judean province of Palestine (Israel today), under the Roman Empire. Followers of Jesus Christ become known as Christians.
  • Christian Science:  Mary Baker Eddy (1821-1910). Founded 1875 in Massachusetts. Headquarters in Boston, MA.
Key Writings
  • Biblical Christianity: The Bible, written originally in Hebrew and Aramaic (Old Testament), and Greek (New Testament).
  • Christian Science: Science and Health, With Key to the Scriptures; Miscellaneous Writings; Manual of the Mother Church; and other books by Mrs. Eddy. The Bible (not as reliable). Christian Science Journal, Christian Science Sentinel, and other official periodicals.
Who is God?
  •  Biblical Christianity: The one God is Triune (one God in three persons, not three gods): Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Often the title "God" designates the first person, God the Father. God is a spiritual being without a pyshical body. He is personal and involved with people. He created the universe out of nothing. He is eternal, changeless, holy, loving, and perfect.
  • Christian Science:  According to Mrs. Eddy, God is an impersonal Principle of life, truth, love, intelligence, and spirit. God is all that truly exists; matter is an illusion.
 Who is Jesus?
  • Biblical Christianity: Jesus is God, the second person of the Trinity. As God the Son, he has always existed and was never created. He is fully God and fully man (the two natures joined, not mixed). As the second person of the Trinity, he is coequal with God the Father and the Holy Spirit. In becoming man, he was begotten through the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. Jesus is the only way to the Father, salvation, and eternal life. He died on a cross according to God's plan, as the full sacrifice and payment for our sins. He rose from the dead on the third day, spiritually and psychically immortal. For the next 40 days he was seen by more than 500 eye-witnesses. His wounds were touched and he ate meals. He psychically ascended to heaven. Jesus will return again visibly and psychically at the end of the world to establish God's kingdom and judge the world.
  • Christian Science: Jesus was not the Christ, but a man who displayed the Christ idea. ("Christ" means perfection, not a person.) Jesus was not God, and God can never become man or flesh. He did not suffer and could not suffer for sins. He did not die on the cross. He was not resurrected physically. He will not literally come back.
Who is the Holy Spirit?
  • Biblical Christianity: The Holy Spirit is God, the third person of the Trinity. The Holy Spirit is a person, not a force or energy field. He comforts, grieves, reproves, convicts, guides, teaches, and fills Christians. He is not the Father, nor is he the Son, Jesus Christ.
  • Christian Science:  Holy Spirit is defined as the teaching of Christian Science. Impersonal power.
How to be Saved
  • Biblical Christianity: Salvation is by God's grace, not by an individual's good works. Salvation must be received by faith. People must believe in their hearts that Jesus died for their sins and psychically rose again, which is the assurance of forgiveness and resurrection of the body. This is God's loving plan to forgive sinful people.
  • Christian Science: Humanity is already eternally saved. Sin, evil, sickness, and death are not real.
What Happens after Death?
  • Biblical Christianity: Believers go to be with Jesus. After death, all people await the final judgement. Both saved and lost people will be resurrected. Those who are saved will live with Jesus in Heaven. Those who are lost will suffer the torment of eternal separation from God (hell). Jesus' bodily resurrection guarantees believer that they, too, will be resurrected and receive new immortal bodies.
  • Christian Science: Death is not real. Heaven and Hell are states of mind. The way to reach heaven is by attaining harmony (oneness with God).
Other Facts, Beliefs, or Practices
  • Biblical Christianity: Group worship, usually in churches. No secret rites. Baptism and Lord's Supper (Communion). Active voluntary missionary efforts. Aid to those in need: the poor, widows, orphans, and downtrodden. Christians believe that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah promised to Israel in the Old Testament (Tanakh). Jesus said his followers would be known by their love for one another.
  • Christian Science: Members use Christian Science "practitioners" (authorized professional healers who "treat" supposes illnesses for a fee) instead of doctors. Healing comes through realizing one cannot really be sick or hurt and that the body cannot be ill, suffer pain, or die since matter is an illusion. Attracts followers by claims of miraculous healing. Publishes Christian Science Monitor newspaper.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

And Now a Word from Our Sponsor

The saturation in today’s world of television, movies, and other forms of visual media has had an adverse effect on our ability to listen, think, and reason. It’s as if the entire society is suffering from attention deficit disorder. Sadly, many preachers decided to make major accommodations to the appetites of a generation weaned on media and entertainment; but they left biblical preaching behind.

Have you ever noticed how many television commercials say nothing about the products they advertise? The typical jeans commercial shows a painful drama about the woes of adolescence but never mentions jeans. A perfume ad is a collage of sensuous images with no reference to the product. Beer commercials contain some of the funniest material on television but say very little about beer.

Those commercials are designed to create a mood, to entertain, to appeal to our emotions—not to give us information. They are often the most effective commercials because they make the best use of television. They are the natural product of a medium that offers a surreal view of the world.

On television, reality mingles imperceptibly with illusion. Truth is irrelevant; what really matters is whether we’re entertained. Substance is nothing; style is everything. In the words of Marshall McLuhan, the medium has become the message.

Amusing Ourselves to Death is the name of a perceptive but disquieting book by Neil Postman, a professor at New York University. The book argues powerfully that television has crippled our ability to think and reduced our aptitude for real communication.

Postman says television has not made us the best informed and most literate generation in history. Instead it has flooded our minds with irrelevant and meaningless information. Television has conditioned us only to be entertained and has therefore rendered other critical forms of human interaction obsolete.

Even the news, Postman points out, is a performance. Suave anchormen coolly present brief segments about war, murder, crime, and natural disaster. Those are punctuated by commercials that trivialize the news stories and isolate them from any context. Postman recounts a news broadcast in which a Marine Corps general declared that global nuclear war is inevitable. The next segment was a commercial for Burger King.

We are not expected to respond rationally. In Postman’s words, “The viewers will not be caught contaminating their responses with a sense of reality, any more than an audience at a play would go scurrying to call home because a character on stage has said that a murderer is loose in the neighborhood.”[1]

Television cannot demand a sensible response. People tune in to be entertained, not to be challenged to think. If a program requires contemplation or demands too much use of the intellectual faculties, it will die from lack of an audience.

Television has shortened our attention span. Would anyone in our society, for example, stand for seven hours in a sweltering crowd listening to the Lincoln-Douglas debates? It’s frankly hard for us to imagine that our great-great-grandparents had that kind of stamina. We have allowed television to convince us we know more while actually lowering our tolerance for thinking and learning.

By far the book’s most trenchant message is in a chapter on modern religion. Postman, no evangelical, nevertheless writes with piercing insight about the decline of preaching. He contrasts the ministries of Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, and Charles Finney with the preaching of today. Those men relied on depth of content, profundity, logic, and knowledge of Scripture. Preaching today is superficial by comparison, with the emphasis on style and emotion. “Good” preaching by the modern definition must above all be brief and amusing. It is entertainment—not exhortation, reproof, rebuke, or instruction (cf. 2 Tim. 3:16; 4:2).

The epitome of modern preaching is the slick evangelist who overstates every emotion, struts around the platform with a microphone wired to his ear, and gets the audience clapping, stomping, and shouting while he incites them into an emotional frenzy. There’s no meat to the message, but who cares as long as the response is enthusiastic?

Of course, preaching in most conservative evangelical churches is not that exaggerated. But sadly, even some of the best of today’s preaching is more entertainment than teaching. Most churches typically feature a half-hour sermon with lots of amusing anecdotes but little doctrine.

In fact, many preachers think of doctrine as undesirable and impractical. A major Christian magazine once published an article by a well-known charismatic speaker. He mused for a full page about the futility of both preaching and listening to sermons that go beyond mere entertainment. His conclusion? People don’t remember what you say anyway, so most preaching is a waste of time. “I’m going to try to do better next year,” he wrote; “that means wasting less time listening to long sermons and spending much more time preparing short ones. People, I’ve discovered, will forgive even poor theology as long as they get out before noon.”[2]

That perfectly sums up the attitude that dominates most modern preaching. There is an obvious parallel between that kind of preaching and those trendy jeans-perfume-beer commercials. Like the commercials, it aims to set a mood, to evoke an emotional response, to entertain—but not necessarily to communicate anything of substance.

Such preaching is sheer accommodation to a society bred by television. It follows what is fashionable but reveals little concern for what is true. It is not the kind of preaching Scripture mandates. We are to “preach the word” (2 Tim. 4:2), “speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine” (Titus 2:1), and “teach and preach…the doctrine conforming to godliness” (1 Tim. 6:2-3). It is impossible to do those things and always be entertaining.

If the tragic course of modern preaching is to be changed, Christians must insist on biblical preaching and be supportive of pastors who are committed to it. How does a pastor of integrity reach people who may be unwilling or even unable to listen to carefully reasoned expositions of God’s truth? That may be the greatest challenge for today’s Christian leaders. We cannot yield to the pressure to be superficial. We must find ways to make the truth of God known to a generation that not only doesn’t want to hear, but may not even know how to listen.

John MacArthur 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Spiritual Depression (Book Trailor)

      Spiritual Depression is something of a manual for the Christian life and can be read again and again with real profit. With regard to happiness and fulness in the Christian life, it is perhaps the greatest book ever written. First published in 1965, its enduring message continues to strengthen and uplift generations of Christians across the globe.

To Order:

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Biblical Illiteracy

During my days serving as a pastor in New England, I heard of a teacher named Thayer S. Warshaw who quizzed a group of college-bound high school juniors and seniors on the Bible. The quiz preceded a Bible as Literature course he planned to teach at the Newton (Massachusetts) High School, generally considered a top public high school in the nation. Among the most astounding findings he got in his replies from the students were:
Sodom and Gomorrah were lovers.Jezebel was Ahab’s donkey.
Some students thought that the four horsemen appeared on the Acropolis, that the New Testament gospels were written by Matthew, Mark, Luther, and John . . . that Eve was created from an apple and that Jesus was baptized by Moses. Seriously! The answer that took the cake was given by a fellow who was in the top five percent of the graduating class, academically.
The question: What was Golgotha? The answer: Golgotha was the name of the giant who slew the apostle David. 
If it were not so pathetic, it would be hilarious. Isn’t it amazing how pitifully illiterate John Q. Public is of the written Word of God? In a land filled with churches and chapels, temples and tabernacles, there is only an insignificant handful of fairly well-informed students of the Book of books. We have Scripture in hardback, paperback, cloth, and leather . . . versions and paraphrases too numerous to count . . . red-letter editions, large-print versions, big as dictionaries and small as microchips . . . yet the years roll by as one generation after another passes on its biblical illiteracy. 
Our nation’s technical knowledge and scientific expertise overshadow our grasp of Bible basics to an appalling degree. We are, therefore, moving toward an era similar to the Dark Ages when copies of Scripture were chained to the pulpit in Latin—the private language of the clergy . . . when the public was kept stone ignorant of the life-changing teachings of the truth. But I see one great difference; in those days, biblical ignorance was forced . . . in our day it is voluntary. Therein lies the saddest fact of all. 
Upon whom do we rest the blame? Who deserves to have the finger of accusation pointed at him or her? Some would say the fault lies with the seminaries of our world. Part of the problem indeed rests there. As we look around our world, we can find seminary professors who no longer hold to such foundational truths as the deity of Jesus, His substitutionary death, or His second coming. While this troubles us, we thank God for those seminaries that continue to place their focus in the right place . . . teaching and preaching the whole counsel of God.
Others choose to blame the pulpits of our land. Weak preaching can take a terrible toll on a congregation. I’ve said for years that a mist in the pulpit will invariably cause a fog in the pew. Far too many preachers are specializing in longhorn sermons—a point here and a point there with a lot of bull in between. Our preachers must get back to their primary responsibility: to proclaim Scripture to God’s people and point the way to reconciliation with Him.
Still others would blame this satanic, pressurized system we call the world—society, with its persuasive pleadings and so-called academic arguments—on “a fanatical, foolish belief in the Bible.” To embrace its truths, we have been told, is tantamount to committing intellectual suicide. The morticians promoting this lie have nothing to offer in the Bible’s place but the grave . . . a cold hole in the ground.
But in the final analysis, biblical ignorance is a personal choice—your choice. If something is going to be done to plug the dike, it will take your finger to stop the leak . . . and I mean fast.

by Charles R. Swindoll 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Rapture of the Church (Part 4)

The Glorification of Dead Christians
The most detailed description of the rapture of the church is found in Paul's first letter to the persecuted Christians whom he left in Thessalonica. He wrote this letter from Corinth, where he confronted much confusion about the personal destiny of believers. Some Christians in Thessalonica had already died (perhaps by martyrdom), and the saints there were concerned that their dead loved ones would miss out on the second coming
of Christ.
But dead Christians will not be forgotten by God at the second coming. In fact, they will be the first humans to experience glorification since the Lord Jesus. Yes, Christ was "the firstfruits." He is the first and only human ever to have been glorified. But "afterward" – nearly 2,000 years already – members of His body and bride, namely, "those who are Christ's," will share His glory "at His coming" (1 Cor. 15:23, NKJV).
Now Paul was emphatic in his letter to the believers in Thessalonica on this one point: Dead Christians will be glorified even before living Christians!

"For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words." (1 Thess. 4:15-18).
It is fascinating to behold the order in which transformations to glory occur: (1) our Lord first; (2) dead Christians next; (3) living Christians moments later; (4) the two witnesses three-and-a-half years later (Rev. 11:1-12); and (5) tribulation martyrs and all pre-Pentecost saints three-and-a-half years later still, at the second coming of Christ (Dan. 12:1-2; Rev. 20:4). Yes, "each one in his own order (Greek: tagma)" (1 Cor. 15:23), like a magnificent parade through the ages.
The Rapture of Living Christians
It is the third in this order of transformations that we must carefully examine now. After dead Christians are resurrected – hundreds of millions of them instantaneously all over the world – "Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds (perhaps glory clouds) to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord" (1 Thess. 4:17).
Watch that word – "caught up." The Greek word chosen by the Holy Spirit is harpazo, meaning to snatch away.

"The dead in Christ . . . will be the first to share in the glory of his visit. Then the living among whom Paul still hoped to be (cf. 'we') will be suddenly snatched away (harpagesometha, 'caught up'; cf. Acts 8:39; 2 Cor. 12:2, 4; Rev. 12:5). This term in Latin, raptus, is the source of the popular designation of this event as the 'rapture.' So sudden will it be that Paul likens it to a blinking of the eye (1 Cor. 15:52). In this rapid sequence the living will undergo an immediate change from mortality to immortality (1 Cor. 15:52, 53), after which they will be insusceptible to death" (Robert L. Thomas, in The Expositor's Bible Commentary, Vol. 11 [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1978], p. 279).

It is frankly impossible to imagine such a spectacular scenario. Hundreds of millions of people will suddenly disappear from the earth – perhaps more than 50 million from China alone! Every single believer, even those who have known the Lord only for a few minutes – like the thief on the cross – will vanish.

It will not be a "partial rapture," with only the most worthy Christians going up. If that is the qualification that God requires of us, then none of us can be raptured, for none of us is worthy. "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast" (Eph. 2:8, 9).

To Be Continued…

By John C. Whitcomb, Th.D.

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Rapture of the Church (Part 3)

Corinthians and the Rapture
The church which Paul (and later Apollos) established in Corinth had a special problem with the doctrine of bodily resurrection. Like all Greeks, they rejected this concept because they wanted to be free at last from all physical limitations in the afterlife. That is why we read of the Athenian philosophers: "When they heard (i.e., from Paul at the Areopagus) of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked" (Acts 17:32, NKJV).
So Paul, as the apostle to the Gentiles (cf. Gal. 2:7-9), devoted a large section of his first letter to the Corinthians to the nature and reality of Christ's resurrection and the resurrection of all believers (1 Cor. 15:3-56).
But the climax of his entire discussion is the rapture of the church. "Behold, I tell you a mystery (Greek: mysterion – something previously unknown but now revealed): We shall not all sleep (i.e., die), but we shall all be changed- in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed" (1 Cor. 15:51-52).
Paul's Deep Desire
It is important to note that Paul included himself among those looking for this miraculous, instantaneous, spectacular change: "we shall be changed!" And what kind of a change will this be? "This mortal (body) must put on immortality (i.e., become incapable of dying)" (1 Cor. 15:53).

Even the most victorious Christian today would have to agree with Paul that "we who are
in this tent (i.e., mortal body) groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed (dead), but further clothed (glorified), that mortality may be swallowed up by life. Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee (down payment)" (2 Cor. 5:4-5).

It was the apostle Paul who stated that dead Christians are in a "far better" state than living Christians: "For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better" (Phil. 1:21-23). It will not be a loss, but a "gain."

It will be "far better" because, for one thing, we will be sinless for the first time in our personal existence.
But Paul did not want mere sinlessness. He wanted glorification!

"For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit (i.e., born again Christians), even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body" (Rom. 8:22-23).
And so the apostle Paul, having experienced regeneration – and by now nearly 2,000 years of sinlessness, is still awaiting resurrection and glorification – the redemption of the body.

We are awaiting that too, but with this additional blessed hope: glorification without dying by means of the rapture!

To Be Continued…

By John C. Whitcomb, Th.D.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


For many Christians, the most exciting events happening in the world today surround the reformed state of Israel and the turmoil of world events which the Bible tells us will lead to Armageddon. The Biblical conflict surrounds the city of Jerusalem and the Jewish people:
"Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of
trembling unto all the peoples round about,
when they shall be in the siege both against
Judah (the Jews) and against Jerusalem. And in
that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome
stone for all peoples; all the burden themselves
with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the
nations of the earth be gathered together
against it." (Zechariah 12:2-3)
Tel Megiddo in northern Israel (Site of Armageddon) 
While God beforehand had declared that the Jewish people would be driven out of their land into all the nations of the earth (an historical event known today as the Diaspora), He promised to restore them to their land (Ezekiel 36:22-24); and that once they were brought back, they would "no more be pulled up out of their land" (Amos 9:15).
In the last two thousand years, since Jesus' prophecy about the destruction of Jerusalem, wherein he confirmed Deuteronomy 28:63-64 saying, "… these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled" (Luke 21:22) and that the Jews would "be led away captive into all nations" (Luke 21:24), the restoration of Israel has never before happened. For this reason, many students of prophecy consider the restoration of Israel in 1948 to be one of the greatest signs that Armageddon is near.
As the above scripture from Zechariah reveals that the Jewish people needed to be back in the Promised Land, and back in Jerusalem in order for the "siege" against them to be at fulfilled. This siege is said to reach its climax at Armageddon, just before the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:
"Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and
thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee.
For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem
to battle … Then shall the Lord go forth, and
fight against those nations, as when he
fought in the day of battle.
And his feet shall stand in that day upon the
Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on
the east …" (Zechariah 14:1-4)
When the Lord descends upon the Mount of Olives, it will fulfill the promise of His return, as given to the apostles in Acts 1:10-11.
Prophecy & Anti-Semitism
Of great concern to many Christians and Jews alike is the rise of anti-Semitism in the world today. As more people join the ranks of "holocaust deniers" the desire to blame the Jews for just about everything has reached alarming levels. I recently watched an HBO documentary called "The Protocols of Zion," that explores the document by that name which supposedly reveals the Jewish plot to take over the world. At one point, the filmmaker interviews Frank Weltner, the founder of an anti-Jewish website called "Jew Watch" ( which for a time was reportedly the #1 Googled website in the world! One of the subheadings for the site is: "Keeping a Close Watch on Jewish Communities and Organizations Worldwide."
In 1993, PBS produced a documentary called "The Longest Hatred: A Revealing History of Anti-Semitism." This film "shows how anti-Semitic sentiment has accompanied a growing nationalism in Europe in recent decades, causing a mass exodus of Jews from Russia, and even resurfacing in Poland and Austria, where few Jews remain. And in Germany, the remarkable collapse of the Berlin wall has been followed by the rise of neo-Nazism among German youth." (Source: The Longest Hatred, back cover of the DVD)
While the memories of all the Jewish people suffered during WWII are being forgotten, along with the modern persecution of Jews by Muslims, the world is continually outraged by any action on the part of Israel to defend itself. Weltner's "Jew Watch" website (a classic example) is careful to point out the "atrocities of Israel," but makes little or nothing of the fact that Israel has been defending itself against an Arab/Muslim agenda aimed at the annihilation of the Jews. Jew Watch posts the tragic photos of Palestinian children killed by an Israeli attack, but nowhere shown are the victims of countless suicide bombers that have been terrorizing the Jewish people for decades. But this desire by Muslims to destroy Israel comes from the prophet Muhammed. In the Hadith (Islam's other holy book) which is comprised of the "sayings and deeds" of Muhammed, the prophet declared:
"The Day of Resurrection will not arrive
until you make war on the Jews, until a Jew
will hide behind a rock or tree, and the rock
or tree will say: Oh Muslim, servant of
Allah, here is a Jew behind me, kill him!'"
-- The prophet Muhammed
More importantly, this hatred and desire to annihilate "Israel" is clearly prophesied in the Bible some three thousand years ago:
"Keep not thou silence, O God; hold not
thy peace, and be not still, O God. For, lo,
thine enemies make a tumult, and they
that hate thee have lifted up the head. They
have taken crafty counsel against thy people,
and consulted against thy hidden ones.
"They have said, Come, and let us cut them
off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance."
(Psalm 83:1-4)
Deuteronomy chapter 28, perhaps better than anywhere else in the Bible, reveals in great detail the phenomenon of anti-Semitism. God warned the Jewish people that if they rebelled against Him, they would be hated, hunted, and persecuted until they would "become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword among all nations …" (Deut. 28:37). No one who truthfully examines the history of the Jewish people could argue, but that this prophecy has indeed come to pass. Nevertheless, the Lord loves Israel and has also promised her restoration.
"For thus saith the Lord, As I have brought
all this great evil upon this people, so will I
bring upon them all the good that I have
promised them." (Jeremiah 32:42)
All the same, it seems that the hatred against the Jewish people will continue right up till the end, and seems to be the driving force for Armageddon. At this time, the Scriptures tell us that Antichrist and the kings of the earth will make war against the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ (Revelation 17:14, 19:19). Prior to this, they have been gathered at Armageddon, which is the valley of Megiddo about 60 miles north of Jerusalem. It would seem that from there, they will march south to attack Jerusalem itself, in accordance with Zechariah 14:1-2. Yet prior to that, they have been "gathered" in a common cause. The scriptures tell us this cause is demonic:
"For they are the spirits of devils … that
go forth unto the kings of the earth and of
the whole world, to gather them to the battle
of that great day of God Almighty …. And
he gathered them together into a place
called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon."
(Revelation 16:14,16)
Revelation 16 tells us that "the spirits of devils" are sent to gather the kings and nations of the world. And why do they gather? Not only to form a single world order, but to eventually come against Jerusalem and the Jews. As such, could it not be said that the ever-increasing hatred against Israel is of demonic inspiration? This would certainly account for the often unjust and irrational criticisms that come against the Jewish people, who are continually reproved for defending themselves against their enemies.

An Ancient Hatred
In his book, A Cup of Trembling, author Dave Hunt points out that the Holocaust against the Jews in Nazi Germany was not the single invention of Adolf Hitler. While Nazi extremism is often blamed, history reveals that Hitler was only playing upon the long standing hatred of Europeans against the Jews.
"It is only within the context of widespread
anti-Semitism which had been practiced for
centuries … that one begins to comprehend the
resident evil which found its full expression
through Adolf Hitler. The methodical extermination
of a race is far more horrible when it is seen
as an act of cultured European society rather
than the obsession of one madman. And that
was indeed the case, despite the popularly held
misconception of Hitler and his cohorts as the
sole instigators and perpetrators."
(Hunt, A Cup of Trembling, p. 173-174)
Hunt goes on to reveal that Hitler was not some raving madman who rushed in to wipe out the Jewish people. In fact, he was much more calculating and wanted to be certain he would have support for his agenda:
"… Hitler 'proceeded quite cautiously, as if
testing whether his passion for persecuting
Jews would meet with an significant reprisal
at home and abroad. He said as much to a
meeting of party cell leaders on 29 April 1937,
when he explained that he was biding his
time on the Jewish question until he could
resolve it without risk to himself …"
(Hunt, p. 174)
It could be said that Hitler did not brainwash the German people into hating the Jews. Rather, Hitler was the manifestation of an evil already present in European society.
"From Russian to Spain and Portugal, from
Scandinavia to the toe of Italy's boot, Europe
was no stranger to anti-Semitism. Martin
Luther had declared that the Jews' synagogues
should be burned down and their homes destroyed,
and that Jews themselves should be put to
the most menial labor, deprived of their property,
and, if need be, driven from the country. Many
of the popes had treated the Jews in the same
manner: confiscating their property, including
even their Scriptures, shutting down their
synagogues, confining them to ghettos, and
making them wear an identifying badge."
(Hunt, p. 178)
Through the Middle Ages, the Jews had been consistently persecuted and murdered as "Christ killers" throughout Catholic Europe, as many sources reveal:
"In Medieval Europe, many persecutions of
Jews in the name of Christianity [Roman Catholicism]
occurred, notably during the Crusades – when
Jews all over Germany were massacred – and a
series of expulsions from England, Germany,
France, and, in the largest expulsion of all, Spain.
Jews were frequently tried and put to death
for a variety of imagined religious offenses
against Christianity [Roman Catholicism]. On
many occasions, Jews were accused of a
blood libel, the supposed drinking of the
blood of Christian children in mockery of the
Christian [Catholic] Eucharist. Jews were also
falsely accused of torturing consecrated host
wafers in a reenactment of the Crucifixion; this
was known as host desecration."
(Source: Wikipedia)
The Jews were (and still are) blamed for the woes of the world. In the fourteenth century, they were said to be a cause of the Black Death:
"In reaction to the Black Plague, six hundred
Jews and the town Rabbis were burned at the
stake. 140 children were forcibly baptized. The
victims were left unburied, the cemetery destroyed
and the synagogue turned into a church. The
remaining Jews were expelled and not readmitted
until 1869." (Source:
When one tracks the history, it becomes apparent that anti-Semitism is a trail of blood and humiliation that leads up through the 19th, and into the early part of the 20th centuries.
"Jew hatred, with its two-thousand-year old
history, could arise both as a spontaneous
outburst of popular instincts, and as a deliberately
fanned instrument of scapegoat politics …
Even as the First World War ended on the
western front, more than fifty Jews were killed
by local Ukrainians in the eastern Polish city
of Lvov. In the then independent Ukrainian
town of Proskurov, seventeen hundred Jews
were murdered on 15 February 1919 by followers
of the Ukrainian nationalist leader, Simon
Petlura, and by the end of the year, Petlura's
gangs had killed at least sixty thousand Jews.
These Jews were victims of local hatreds
reminiscent of Tsarist days, but on a scale
unheard of in the previous century. In the
city of Vilna, the 'Jerusalem of Lithuania,'
eighty Jews were murdered during April 1919;
in Galicia, five hundred perished.
'Terrible news is reaching us from Poland,'
the Zionist leader Chaim Weizmann wrote to
a friend on 29 November 1918. 'The newly
liberated Poles there are trying to get rid of
the Jews by the old and familiar method which
they learnt from the Russians [i.e. murder].
Heart rending cries are reaching us. We are
doing all we can, but we are so weak!'"
(Martin Gilbert, The Holocaust: A History of
the Jews in Europe During the Second World
War, pp. 19-22, cited by Dave Hunt in A
Cup of Trembling, p. 179)

Prophecy, Israel & the Church
"We have also a more sure word of
prophecy; whereunto ye do well that
ye take heed, as unto a light that
shineth in a dark place …"
-- 2 Peter 1:19
An important purpose for understanding prophecy is so that, like the sons of Issachar who "had understanding of the times" (1 Chronicles 12:32), we might know what we ought to do. Jesus rebuked the Jewish leaders of His day for failing to "discern the signs of the times" (Matt. 16:3), and because they "knew not the time of [their] visitation." (Luke 19:44) There are many professing Christians who, having fallen victim to the belief in a "world wide Jewish conspiracy" are given over to teaching propaganda against Israel, as if they are somehow doing work for God. I have come to believe these teachers are likely helping to lay the groundwork for the "Final Solution" program of Antichrist, when he seeks to destroy Israel. Such teachers often champion the cause of Palestinian Muslims whose faith not only seeks to "wipe Israel off the map" in accordance with Psalm 83, but openly denies the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
It makes little sense that the Jews would be controlling the world, since the Lord called these "the times of the Gentiles" (Luke 21:24), during which, Jerusalem would be "trodden down" by the Gentiles. If the Jews cannot completely reclaim Jerusalem, how can they control the world? And if they are manipulating governments behind the scenes, why could they not save their own people during the Holocaust? Are we to believe that "Jewish bankers" took over in a few short decades after World War II? Such thinking is ridiculous and stands contrary to what Bible prophecy tells us would be happening through the time of the end. The final world empire, as Daniel 7:23 reveals, is an empire composed of the former world empires – all of which were Gentile kingdoms where the Jews were in subjection, not in control. It makes no sense that "Judah" would be in charge, especially when they are the very target of world powers at Armageddon (Zechariah 12:2, 14:2).
Even now, the signs that God's prophecies about the gathering of nations for Armageddon is occurring before our eyes; and as they come together, with them comes this growing hatred against Israel. The treachery of the international community against the Jews was documented in the book, The Secret War Against the Jews: How Western Espionage Betrayed the Jewish People, by John Loftus and Mark Aarons. These secular journalists spent twelve years and interviewed more than 500 former intelligence authors about every "hostile operation they had carried out against the Jews" (xi). Keeping this in mind, consider the opening line of the introduction:
"The major powers of the world have repeatedly
planned covert operations to bring about the
partial or total destruction of Israel. Long before
there even was a Jewish state in Palestine,
Western spies already were out to wreck the
Zionist dream. The savage extent of the
secret wars against the Jews will horrify
the Western public."
(Introduction, The Secret War Against
the Jews, p. 1)
Among the more "horrifying" information is the role played by the Vatican, the U.S. State Department, and the British secret service in smuggling Nazi war criminals out of Europe after the Second World War. This was the subject of an earlier work by Loftus and Aarons, Unholy Trinity. From the back cover of "Secret War," the publishers also state the following:
"The authors demonstrate that numerous Western
countries, especially the United States and Great
Britain, have conducted repeated and willful spying
missions on Palestine and later Israel over many
decades. While on the surface these two countries
and others profess to be ardent allies of Israel, they
work, in fact, through their intelligence services to
betray Israel's secrets to the Arabs. Their motive:
oil and multinational profits, which must be attained
at any price through international covert policies.
'The pageant of characters appearing in this
narrative is vast and shocking. This is not only
a compelling work of history, but also a volume
whose grave allegations will be debated for
years to come." (The Secret War Against the
Jews, Loftus & Aarons, back-cover)
The Christian Conclusion
As Christians who love God and our Lord Jesus Christ, our hearts should rejoice that the Lord is fulfilling His prophecies where Israel is concerned, and that the hour of Christ's return is nearer than ever before. It is important to recognize the signs the Lord has given us in our own times, examine these things through the lens of Bible prophecy, and be certain we are on God's side in the battle!

By Chris Pinto

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

What does the Bible say about the end of the world?

Answer: The event usually referred to as “the end of the world” is described in 2 Peter 3:10: “The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.” This is the culmination of a series of events called “the day of the Lord,” the time when God will intervene in human history for the purpose of judgment. At that time, all that God has created, “the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1), He will destroy.

The timing of this event, according to most Bible scholars, is at the end of the 1000-year period called the millennium. During these 1000 years, Christ will reign on earth as King in Jerusalem, sitting on the throne of David (Luke 1:32-33) and ruling in peace but with a “rod of iron” (Revelation 19:15). At the end of the 1000 years, Satan will be released, defeated again, and then cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:7-10). Then, after a final judgment by God, the end of the world described in 2 Peter 3:10 occurs. The Bible tells us several things about this event.

First, it will be cataclysmic in scope. The “heavens” refers to the physical universe – the stars, planets, and galaxies—which will be consumed by some kind of tremendous explosion, possibly a nuclear or atomic reaction that will consume and obliterate all matter as we know it. All the elements that make up the universe will be melted in the “fervent heat” (2 Peter 3:12). This will also be a noisy event, described in different Bible versions as a “roar” (NIV), a “great noise” (KJV), a “loud noise” (CEV), and a “thunderous crash” (AMP). There will be no doubt as to what is happening. Everyone will see and hear it because we are also told that “the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.”

Then God will create a “new heaven and a new earth” (Revelation 21:1), which will include the “New Jerusalem” (v. 2), the capital city of heaven, a place of perfect holiness, which will come down from heaven to the new earth. This is the city where the saints—those whose names were written in the “Lamb’s book of life” (Revelation 13:8)—will live forever. Peter refers to this new creation as “the home of righteousness” (2 Peter 3:13).

Perhaps the most important part of Peter’s description of that day is his question in verses 11-12: “Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.” Christians know what is going to happen, and we should live in a way that reflects that understanding. This life is passing away, and our focus should be on the new heavens and earth to come. Our “holy and godly” lives should be a testimony to those who do not know the Savior, and we should tell others about Him so they can escape the terrible fate that awaits those who reject Him. We wait in eager anticipation for God’s “Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come” (1 Thessalonians 1:10). 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Parker Brothers did not invent the Ouija Board. It had already been around for awhile when it was bought by Parker Brothers in 1966 and turned into a commercial success as a board game. Its beginnings lie in the distant past when an earlier version (a tripod device) was used in the ancient ws of Babylon and Greece to contact departed spirits. The tripod became the pointer now used with the Board, which is printed with the alphabet, the numbers 1-9, a 0 (zero), and the words 'Goodbye', 'Yes', and 'No'. There are other boards like this with different names, but with the same history and purpose. The modern version of this game was developed by a man named Planchette, a spiritualist (someone who contacts the dead as part of their religion). The Board was further transformed around the turn of the century under the direction and ownership of two men, Elijah J. Bond and William Fuld. Fuld's name can be seen on the Ouija Board today. The name Ouija is a combination of the French and German words for 'yes': Oui and Ja. According to Bond and Fuld, the Board suggested its own name. The primary purpose of the board is and always has been to contact disembodied spirits. Contacting the dead is called necromancy, and contacting spirits is spiritism, both strongly condemned by God (Deut. 18:9-12; Lev. 19:31, 20:6; I Sam 28, II Kings 21:6; Is. 8:19, 19:3-4). The Board's translated name, 'yes, yes', is an ingenious and subtle way to invite spirit contact. Dead people cannot hang around after death; you cannot communicate with a dead person. The practices and techniques of contacting the dead and contacting spirits are used widely in the occult. Although the pointer is often moved intentionally or subconsciously by the players, you are putting yourself in a vulnerable position when using the Board. By 'playing' this 'game', you are showing an interest in spirit contact. If contact is made, it is demons (evil spirits, fallen angels), not the dead, who are responding. If Satan can disguise himself as "an angel of light" (2 Cor. 11:14), then it is not improbable that fallen angels can disguise themselves as the dead. The Ouija Board is not harmless just because it is marketed as a game. Satan, the master of deception and seduction, is good at twisting the truth into lies (Gen. 3:1-6; Jn. 8:44). Satan likes disguises and his lies are often disguised as games. The next time you are tempted to play the Ouija Board as a game, look beyond its disguise and see it for what it really is. Think about this: Just what or who are you trying to contact? God tells us to seek Him instead of the dead (Is. 8:19), and Christ "lives forever to plead with God" on behalf of those who believe Him (Heb. 7:25b). Who wants the Ouija Board when you can know the One Who has "complete authority in heaven and on earth!" (Matt.28:18). If you are wondering about Christ, think on His words in John 5:23b-24, "He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father , who sent him. I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life."

(Taken from: