Beware of the “Anointed Ones”

Beware of the “Anointed Ones”

While this was not intended to be an exhaustive study on the matter of the “Messiah,” “Christ,” or “anointed ones,” it soon became apparent that it would be rather involved. I still don’t intend to do an exhaustive study on this, but I want to focus rather on how the term “anointed one” as it relates to false “anointed ones.”

In the Old Testament the Hebrew word “mashiyach” refers to priests (Lev 4:3,5,16), kings (1 Sam. 24:6,10), the Messiah (Ps. 2:2), and even to the whole Hebrew nation (1 Chr. 16:22; Ps. 105:15). This Hebrew word “mashiyach” occurs in the following passages: Leviticus 4:3,5,16; 6:22; 1 Samuel 2:10,35; 12:3,5; 16:6; 24:6 (2x),10; 26:9,11,16,23; 2 Samuel 1:14,16,21; 19:21; 22:51; 23:1; 1 Chronicles 16:22; 2 Chronicles 6:42; Psalm 2:2; 18:50; 20:6; 28:8; 84:9; 89:39,51; 105:15; 132:10,17; Isaiah 45:1; Lamentations 4:20; and Habakkuk 3:13.

In the New Testament the Greek word “christos” is used hundreds of times to refer to Jesus Christ, but it is also used of false “christs” (Matt. 24:5,23,24; Mark 13:21,22; the word is implied in Mark 13:6 and Luke 21:8), in John the Baptist’s denial that he was the Christ (John 1:20,25; 3:28), and with the preposition “anti” to refer to antichrists, (1 John 2:18,22; 4:3; 2 John verse 7) and to the Antichrist (1 John 2:18).

This brings me to the issue on which I wish to focus—false “Christs,” or false “anointed ones.” Everywhere we turn these days we see preachers, teachers, and other “Christian” leaders claiming to have an “apostolic,” “prophetic,” or “healing” anointing, and an increasing number of them are bringing in other supposed “anointings.”

Christians are being led to believe they must go to this “prophetic” convention, that “healing” service, or that “apostolic” conference to get something from God. Many of these people, especially those who go to the “healing services,” are absolutely desperate for help, and they are convinced that if they can just get to that event they will be healed. It is true that God can and does heal, and He may even heal at an event held by some gospel hukster because God honors His word and the faith of His people in spite of the flawed vessels preaching His word. However, that does not excuse those false “anointed ones” who make merchandise of God’s people for their own unethical and immoral gain.

Matthew 24:5, 23, 24 says, “5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many…. 23 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. 24 “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” NKJV

 

Mark 13:6, 21, 22 says, “6 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and will deceive many…. 21 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘Look, He is there!’ do not believe it. 22 “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” NKJV

Coupled with this information about false christs or false anointed ones is the warning or admonition not to be deceived. The warning occurs four times in Matthew 24 and several times in Mark 13 as well. Today many professing believers are being deceived by false anointed ones, false prophets, and false teachers. These false ones are slick and undermine the authority of the Bible and sound doctrine in many ways. A lot of conservative Bible believing Christians are aware of the problems with the liberal emerging church and social justice preachers who are trying to bring in “the kingdom of God” through their leftist social justice efforts, and now that movement is spreading throughout Evangelical, Pentecostal, and Charismatic churches. However, many are falling for the false teachings of those who have been, at least in the past, more conservative in their theology. People are being deceived by the prosperity gospel, teaching that God wants everyone wealthy and healthy, and if you’re poor and sick there must be sin in your life. That is another form of legalism. Many of these false teachers have become part of a conservative movement known as the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR). They are attempting to bring in the kingdom of God by taking over the “7 Mountains” or “7 Spheres” of culture. Rather than focusing on liberal social justice programs, they believe they will “Christianize” the world (http://www.apologeticsindex.org/794-new-apostolic-reformation-2, https://bereanresearch.org/dominionism-nar/). This teaching is also called Kingdom Now, Reconstructionism and Dominionism among other names. It is the old teaching of Post Millennialism with a new face and varying degrees of intensity. But basically it teaches that the church will so influence the cultures of the world that Jesus will need to return to govern the kingdom the church has established for Him. As I look at church history and the current state of the church, I’d say we haven’t made much progress in taking over the “7 mountains” of culture (Education, Religion, Family, Business, Government/Military, Arts/Entertainment, Media). In fact, we’ve lost a lot of ground in the last 30 years, and especially in the last 3 years.

Now a lot of teachers in mainstream Evangelical, Pentecostal, and Charismatics circles are calling into question the historicity of the events recorded in the Bible, such as the creation account, the existence of Adam and Eve, Noah’s flood, the Exodus, David and Goliath, and other events. Here’s a link to just one example of this: (http://0352182.netsolhost.com/PREACHING%20ROCKETAndy%20Stanley%20creation%20-%20YouTube.mp4). This teacher has gone further off the deep end since that was recorded a few years ago.

Another false teaching gaining popularity is that all religions worship the same “god.” That is especially common when people are talking about Islam. They will say that the Yahweh of the Bible is the Allah of the Koran. That is a lie. The Allah of the Koran is likely Satan in the Bible, but he certainly isn’t Yahweh God. Brian Houston of Hillsong flatly stated that Muslims and Christians serve the same God. To the best of my knowledge he has never corrected or retracted this as a misspoken thought (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0M2T9gYOH4). Rick Warren calls Muslims his “brothers” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3uPGzTN8mI). And the Chrislam movement is spreading throughout the church (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnV0Oe-WMdg).

When I hear teachers or preachers on television or radio claiming to be “God’s anointed,” my heresy antenna goes way up because I have learned through life they are usually preparing the hearers to receive some false teaching—some lie that promotes their heretical agenda. But too many people listen to these preachers with an open mind rather than an open Bible. We need to start being Bereans again. Acts 17:10-12 says, “Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. Therefore many of them believed, and also not a few of the Greeks, prominent women as well as men” (NKJV). If the Apostle Paul commended these people for searching the scriptures to see if what he said was true, then how much more should we be checking out what teachers tell us now?

We need to get back to the Bible, and stop being deceived by all these false teachers, with their false teachings (study the Bible rather than someone’s book or study guide about the Bible), their books, DVD’s, and CD’s. It’s time we get to know the Jesus Christ of the Bible, rather than chasing supposed “christs” or “anointed ones” all over the country, the internet, the Christian television and radio networks, iTunes, and the Christian bookstores. I’m not saying there aren’t some very good and valid materials for Christians to use and learn more about the Bible, but we do need to be very careful because there are many false teachers and their numbers and influence are increasing. Two of most dangerous places for a Christian, especially an immature one, these days is a Christian bookstore, and watching a Christian television network. In fact, William Paul Young, author of the theological abomination called “The Shack” has his own show on TBN called “Restoring the Shack” (https://www.tbn.org/search?s=the+shack&=Apply). The only reason a program like this can exist on a “Christian” television network is because there are so many biblically illiterate professing “Christians.” To paraphrase an old Sherlock Holmes line, The game is afoot, and the game is deception! Do NOT be deceived!

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He Shall Be Called a Nazarene

He Shall Be Called a Nazarene

 

Matthew 2:19-23

19 But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, 20 saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the young Child’s life are dead.” 21 Then he arose, took the young Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea instead of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And being warned by God in a dream, he turned aside into the region of Galilee. 23 And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, “He shall be called a Nazarene.” NKJV

 

I’ve heard many people, including some Christians and even some “scholars,” insist that Matthew 2:23 is a glaring error on the part of the Apostle Matthew because no Old Testament prophecy mentions the Messiah being called a “Nazarene.” But is this really the case?

While it is true that the word Nazarene appears no place per se in the Old Testament, it is still a huge leap into the dark (just before landing in the firey pit) to say that Matthew is in error. The problem has to do with the original languages of the Bible (Hebrew, Aramiac, and Greek) that do not easily or readily translate into English. Sadly, ignorance of the prophetic Scriptures on the part of the translators only compounds the problem at times, as do the theological biases of the translators. But to be fair to those who work so diligently to give us GOOD translations, they suffer with the same malady of fallibility as the rest of us, being prone to errors, whether intentional or not.

In reality, this problem can be solved through an examination of the original languages and the theology in the passages involved in this matter.

Matthew did not quote a particular prophet, but alluded to the predictions of the prophets in general. However, Matthew certainly did acknowledge that the Old Testament prophets predicted the Messiah would be called a Nazarene. The Hebrew word nay’-tser means “a branch,” and in Isaiah 11:1, 14:19; and Daniel 11:7 it refers directly to the Messiah as “branch.” And it is believed that “Nazareth” comes from this Hebrew word “nay’-tser.”

Isaiah 11:1 There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, And a Branch shall grow out of his roots. NKJV

Isaiah 14:19 But you are cast out of your grave Like an abominable branch, Like the garment of those who are slain, Thrust through with a sword, Who go down to the stones of the pit, Like a corpse trodden underfoot. NKJV

Daniel 11:7 “But from a branch of her roots one shall arise in his place, who shall come with an army, enter the fortress of the king of the North, and deal with them and prevail. NKJV

Interestingly, Isaiah 14:19 mentions that this one is cast out of the grave like an abominable branch, and thrust through with a sword. Of course, we know Jesus was pierced with a sword, and that he did rise from the grave because death couldn’t hold Him and had to give him up.

A Nazarene (nay’-tser) is different than a Nazirite (naw-zeer’). They come from different Hebrew words. A Nazarene is a person from Nazareth, while a Nazirite is someone who took a vow to abstain from certain foods and cutting of the hair during a certain period of separation or consecration (Numbers 6:1-21).

Another interesting point to be made in this regard is that Nazareth was a place of low regard among the Jews. Nathaniel asked, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” (John 1:46). It was this very kind of scornful attitude the prophets predicted would await the Messiah (Psalm 22:6; 118:22; Isaiah 53:3; Daniel 9:26; Zechariah 12:10; Matthew 21:42; Acts 4:11; 1 Peter 2:7).

Therefore, Matthew 2:23 is not an error, and the Apostle Matthew knew exactly what he was talking about when he wrote of Jesus and His family, “And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, ‘He shall be called a Nazarene.’” Our Savior and our Bible are true!

The Sheep and the Goats

The Sheep and the Goats

Matthew 25: 31-46

31 ” When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.

32 “All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.

33 “And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.

34 “Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

35 ‘for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in;

36 ‘I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?

38 ‘When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You?

39 ‘Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’

40 “And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

41 “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:

42 ‘for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink;

43 ‘I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’

44 “Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’

45 “Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’

46 “And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” NKJV

Many people use this passage to try and prove various theological and doctrinal errors, such as that Jesus is in everyone, or that we can be saved by good works, or that everyone is part of the family of God, and will be saved in the end (universal reconciliation). However, this passage teaches none of these things.

First of all, this is an eschatological (end times) passage that deals with the judgment of nations at the time of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. It is not the same as the Great White Throne Judgment described in Revelation 20:11-15, which takes place after the Millennial Kingdom (Revelation 20:1-10). Matthew 25:31-46 deals with the judgment of Gentile nations (ethnicities) and how individuals within those nations treated believing Jews during the Great Tribulation period (Revelation 11-14). Matthew 25:40 says, “And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’” Not all human beings are the brethren of Jesus Christ, but only those who have trusted Him for salvation through faith.

It is true that every human being is in the image and likeness of God, but that image has been marred by sin. Yet, while the image of God is in everyone, the presence of God does not abide in every person, but only in those who are saved. Therefore, this passage cannot be dealing with our general responsibility to minister to others, especially the poor, the widows, and orphans (2 Corinthians 9:1-15; Galatians 2:10; James 1:27). It specifically refers to those who minister to the persecuted Jews during the Great Tribulation period. So, Christians need to stop saying that Jesus is in everyone because that IS NOT true. Minister to the needs the Lord brings to your attention as best you are able, but tell them about Jesus while you do. Otherwise, we send them to hell with their thirst quenched, their bellies full, their minds educated, and their health improved.

Second, this passage does not mean that all will be saved in the end. In fact, verses 41 and 46 clearly state that those who did not care for the needs of Jesus’ brethren during this time will be sent to everlasting punishment.

41 “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 ‘for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; 43 ‘I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’ 44 “Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ 45 “Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 “And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” NKJV.

The obvious reason for their refusal to minister to these needs is that they are unbelievers. Sadly, we are seeing a trend in the Western world even now where unbelievers are becoming ever more belligerent toward believers in Jesus Christ. While this attitude has been pervasive in most of the world for most of the history of the Church of Jesus Christ, it is a relatively new phenomenon in the West. This attitude is also experiencing a resurgence in areas that had been fairly tolerant of Christians until recently, which is largely the result of the resurgence of fundamental Koranic Islam. Again, we should minister to the needs the Lord brings to our attention as best we are able, but let’s tell them about Jesus while we do. Otherwise, we send them to hell with their thirst quenched, their bellies full, their minds educated, and their health improved. Let’s not fail to give them the Gospel of Jesus Christ, whether a government likes it or not.

For more information than I can put into this short post, see the following sources:

The Bible Exposition Commentary. Copyright © 1989 by Chariot Victor Publishing, and imprint of Cook Communication Ministries

AN INTERPRETATION OF MATTHEW 24-25: Part 39 – Matthew 25:31-46 Christ’s Glorious Coming and Judgment, by Thomas Ice

September 23, 2017 the Date of the Lord’s Return?

September 23, 2017 the Date of the Lord’s Return?

Extremist people in the kook fringe of the Pre-Millennial, Pre-Tribulation theology camp seem intent on shooting themselves in the foot. Even though the Bible clearly states, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only” (Matthew 24:36) regarding the Rapture of believers, there are always those who insist they can tell when the Lord will return for His Church.

This same idea of not knowing when the Lord will return is also related in Matthew 25:13; Mark 13:32; and Luke 12:46, Of course, on the other hand, Matthew 24:50 says, “The master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of” (NKJV).

One would think that with the failed prophecy debacles of the late Harold Camping, along with the Shemitah (Jonathan Cahn) and four blood moon nonsense (Mark Biltz, John Hagee) these folks would have learned their lesson, but not so. No, these folks say they have finally figured it all out, and they know when the Lord will return, and it’s September 23, 2017. Why? Because they interpret the woman with the sun, moon, and stars in Revelation 12:1 to be the constellation Virgo aligning with other stars and planets. These people assert this happens only once every 7,000 years, but it actually occurs about every 11 years.

However well-meaning these folks may be, their prophecy will prove to be false, as have the scores of other predictions about the date of the Lord’s Return for His Church. Frankly, I’m sick of these theological midgets who insist on defying the words of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. With the number of believers I’ve known through the years who have become disillusioned with Christianity and left the Church altogether because of these false predictions, I no longer have any patience or niceties for these supreme blasphemers, who say that God has shown them something, when He has shown them NOTHING. They reject the very Scriptures they profess to believe, and they end up preaching what amounts to another Gospel, which is not THE GOSPEL. Paul proclaims ANATHEMA (damnation) on such people. May they repent or be silenced before they discourage and destroy the faith of more believers.

Revelation 12 is actually a prophecy about God’s protection for national Israel during the second half of the Great Tribulation period. If we allow Scripture to interpret Scripture, we learn that this woman with the sun, moon, and stars is found only one other place in the Bible, and that is in Genesis 37:9-11. It clearly refers to Israel. The child Israel bore is the Messiah, Jesus Christ, and the devil tried to destroy Him. Although Jesus died, He was caught up to heaven as the firstfruits of resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:20-23). Although the devil tries to destroy the woman during this time of tribulation, God protects her in the wilderness, and the archangel Michael and his angels fight against the dragon (Satan) and his fallen angels. Michael and his angels prevail, and Satan and his angels are thrown out of the heavenly realm altogether. Since the woman is protected in the wilderness, the dragon goes to make war with the rest of her offspring who are not in the wilderness camp.

Revelation 12:1 Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars. 2 Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth. 3 And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. 4 His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born. 5 She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne. 6 Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days. 7 And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, 8 but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. 9 So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. 10 Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. 11 “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. 12 “Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.” 13 Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child. 14 But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. 15 So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. 16 But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. 17 And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. NKJV

TO ALL STUDENTS OF PROPHECY, PLEASE STOP SETTING DATES! YOU WILL BE HUMIULIATED AND PROVEN A FALSE PROPHET. YOU ARE HARMING THE VERY MESSAGE YOU CLAIM YOU WANT TO PROMOTE WITH YOUR FALSE PROPHECIES AND DATE SETTING!!!! REPENT!!!

The Beginning of Sorrows

The Beginning of Sorrows

 Matthew 24:1-8

1 Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple. 2 And Jesus said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” 3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” 4 And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 5 “For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. 6 “And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 “For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8 “All these are the beginning of sorrows. NKJV

Of all the things Jesus teaches the disciples, and us, in this chapter, His overriding warning is against being deceived. Verses 4, 5, 11, and 24 all include this warning, as follows.

Matthew 24:4 And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you.

Matthew 24:5 “For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.

Matthew 24:11 “Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.

Matthew 24:24 “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect

Verse 3 makes clear that Jesus had given the disciples enough teaching regarding the end times for them to know the difference between His “Parousia” or coming for the Church, and the “End of the Age.”

So, the three questions of the disciples are:

  1. When will these things be? (What things? The destruction of the Temple).
  2. And what will be the sign of Your coming? (Parousia).
  3. And of the end of the age?

In Matthew 24, Jesus doesn’t answer their first question about the destruction of the Temple because He is dealing with the end of the age when the Jews will turn to Him in faith as a nation. Luke 21:20-24 deals with the destruction of Jerusalem. Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21 are all apocalypse chapters and while there is a great deal of overlap in teaching, there are also some differences in emphasis and details. The main point of this posting is Jesus’ warning to His people not to be deceived, especially at the “end of the age.”

There is little interest in Bible prophecy or Eschatology in most Church circles these days, and at least some of the blame lies squarely at the feet of those who teach on prophecy. On the one hand, we have people trying to predict the date of the Lord’s return, contrary the Lord’s own words in Scripture (Matthew 24:36, 42, 44, 50; 25;13; Mark 13:32), and trying to play pin the tail on the Antichrist, even though he won’t be revealed until Christians are taken out of the world by the Lord (2 Thessalonians 2:7-8). On the other hand, there is a new breed of prophecy teachers with a Postmodern worldview who are looking at the merging of man and machine or man and spirit beings, called Transhumanism. This is the flipside of the kook factor in the Bible prophecy movement, and it is gaining ground by leaps and bounds. Popular teachers are embracing it, and it is leading to great deception regarding the potential of humans. However, it’s basic ideas mesh very well with the human potential movement. Basically, it communicates the idea that mankind’s potential is unlimited, and presents an almost evolutionary view of humanity, but this is a deception and a delusion, and may well play a part in leading to what the New Testament calls “the lie” (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12). At any rate, the study of Bible prophecy is being discredited by those within our own ranks who go beyond Scripture and get into wild speculations, and they don’t admit their speculations (Numbers 22:18; 24:13). Those of us also who are students of prophecy are responsible to expose these false teachings, so that we are not taking part in their unfruitful deeds.

While we all think a lot about the enemies of the Church without, the main emphasis probably should be on the enemies of the Church within. The enemies without have always been savage and persecuting the Church, trying to destroy it, which never succeeds. Today, however, we are facing enemies within the Church, perhaps to an extent not known before because they are accepted as true teachers by so much of the visible Church. This being the case, there is rampant false teaching within the Church, just as we were warned (Acts 20:29; 1 Timothy 4:1).

Yet most pastors are not warning their flocks of false teachers for any number of reasons. Perhaps Pastors and leaders are unaware of the teachings being promoted by so many today. Perhaps there is ignorance of the nature problems on the part of the Pastor or leaders of the Church. Perhaps the Pastor or leaders are not well versed enough in the issues to know how to refute them, so they decide to just be quiet about it, and hope it will blow over. But it almost never does. Another reason is that too often Pastors and leaders unwittingly embrace false teachings because they trust the teacher or author whose work may have been recommended to them by someone they respect.

These Pastors and leaders may be on top of it when it comes to apologetics (defending the faith from outside attacks), but they are not aware of, or willing, to deal with matters that require a polemic response (attacking and refuting false teaching from within the Church). Leaders often prefer to avoid the whole subject and practice of polemics because it is aggressive and controversial on its face. It is the nature of polemics to be controversial and aggressive in attacking error. Unfortunately, this is VERY unpopular today, as we are told never to be aggressive or controversial, and certainly we aren’t supposed to attack anything or anyone as false. However, this isn’t the pattern of the Bible. The New Testament deals forcefully with error and with enemies of the Gospel message within the Church. The Book of Galatians is a prime example. The Churches of Galatia were the only Churches Paul gave no thanks for, and because of his love and concern for them, he rips them to shreds verbally for relying on works added to faith for salvation. The Book of Galatians is not a nice or gentle book. It is angry, confrontational, and even condemning of the people teaching errors that are leading the believers away from faith in Jesus Christ. Paul even says, “Let them be damned” (Galatians 1:8-9). The Greek word is anathema, meaning cursed or damned. Strong language to be sure. However, Paul was afraid the Galatians had departed the faith and gone back under the Law, which no one can keep.

In conclusion, let us be watchful not to be deceived by anything or anyone in this last time, especially as it pertains to our faith in Jesus Christ and our relationship with Him and His Body, the Church. Anything you read or watch, do it as a good Berean (Acts 17), with a discerning eye and an open Bible you are searching daily to know whether what someone is saying is true. The Bible is the authority.

P.S. I am including a chart that presents one possible scenario of the time leading up to the Great Tribulation period and beyond into the New Heavens and New Earth.

 

revelation-timeline-chart-with-covenant

 

The 70 Weeks of Daniel

The 70 Weeks of Daniel

As the 70-year Babylonian captivity was drawing to a close, God sends a messenger to tell Daniel there is yet another 490-year period left in Israel’s history in which He will specifically deal with His Chosen People, the Jews, and the Holy City, Jerusalem.

Daniel 9:1-2 says, “In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the lineage of the Medes, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans — in the first year of his reign I, Daniel, understood by the books the number of the years specified by the word of the LORD through Jeremiah the prophet, that He would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.” NKJV

Jeremiah 25:11-12

11 ‘And this whole land shall be a desolation and an astonishment, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. 12 ‘ Then it will come to pass, when seventy years are completed, that I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation, the land of the Chaldeans, for their iniquity,’ says the LORD; ‘and I will make it a perpetual desolation. NKJV

Jeremiah 29:10-14

10 For thus says the LORD: After seventy years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform My good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place. 11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, says the LORD, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the LORD, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive. NKJV

Daniel’s captivity began in 605 B.C., and it was now 538 B.C, about 67 years after the initial fall of Jerusalem. Zechariah says the 70-year period began with the destruction of the Temple in 586 B.C. (Zechariah 7:5). This means the time of the captivity was going to end in just a few years, probably in 516-515 B.C. The decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem was issued by Artaxerxes March 15, 445 B.C. (Nehemiah 1-2), and Jesus Christ was cut off 69 weeks (483 years) later.

Daniel 9:24-26 gives the only date prophesied ahead of time in the Bible—the coming of Messiah.

Daniel 9:24-26

24 ” Seventy weeks are determined For your people and for your holy city, To finish the transgression, To make an end of sins, To make reconciliation for iniquity, To bring in everlasting righteousness, To seal up vision and prophecy, And to anoint the Most Holy. 25 “Know therefore and understand, That from the going forth of the command To restore and build Jerusalem Until Messiah the Prince, There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; The street shall be built again, and the wall, Even in troublesome times. 26 “And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; And the people of the prince who is to come Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined. NKJV

Prior to the prophecy of verses 24-27, we see Daniel in fervent prayer, and the prayer is worthy of a separate study of its own. However, for the purpose of this article, we are focusing on the prophecy of verses 24-27, introduced first by verses 1 and 2.

While Daniel was praying, the angel Gabriel, appearing in the form of a man, appeared to him to give him this great prophecy that would cover many centuries, even though the total number of years with which the prophecy dealt were only 490. He introduced the prophecy with these words:

Daniel 9: 20-23

20 Now while I was speaking, praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God for the holy mountain of my God, 21 yes, while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, reached me about the time of the evening offering. 22 And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, “O Daniel, I have now come forth to give you skill to understand. 23 “At the beginning of your supplications the command went out, and I have come to tell you, for you are greatly beloved; therefore consider the matter, and understand the vision: NKJV

Then Gabriel went on to say,

Daniel 9:24-27

24 ” Seventy weeks are determined For your people and for your holy city, To finish the transgression, To make an end of sins, To make reconciliation for iniquity, To bring in everlasting righteousness, To seal up vision and prophecy, And to anoint the Most Holy. 25 “Know therefore and understand, That from the going forth of the command To restore and build Jerusalem Until Messiah the Prince, There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; The street shall be built again, and the wall, Even in troublesome times. 26 “And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; And the people of the prince who is to come Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined. 27 Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate.” NKJV

There are several things that must be noted about this prophecy, and the first of those is that it is a time specifically determined upon the Jewish people and Jerusalem. The words couldn’t be clearer, and any effort to make this prophecy apply to the Church is to pervert the meaning of the passage. God IS NOT finished in His dealings with the nation of Israel and the Jewish people. No matter how hard many Replacement Theology teachers and Christians who follow them try to twist the Scriptures to say that God is finished with Jewish people because they rejected Jesus as their Messiah. They have suffered much because of that rejection, but God is slowly bringing them back to Himself. I have a number of earlier articles on this subject posted at this blog, which anyone can read to learn all the reasons why God is still dealing with the Jewish people and the nation of Israel as a whole. Today they are in their own land, mostly in unbelief, which the Scriptures predicted. Again, read my prior articles dealing with this subject for references, but one such reference is Ezekiel 36. Others include Isaiah 25-27. With that said, the 70th week of Daniel is a primarily Jewish time period of 7-years.

What had been the transgression and sin of Israel? Idolatry. Any cursory reading of the Old Testament will reveal that. Every time you turn around, the Israelites are worshiping false gods. And the one lesson the Jews have learned in 4,000 years of history is that YHWH God haters idols worse than He hates anything else because idolatry always leads to other sins, especially sexual immorality.

Then the passage at hand says that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem Until Messiah the Prince, there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; the street shall be built again, and the wall, Even in troublesome times. This accurately describes the time of Ezra and Nehemiah. In fact, in the Hebrew Bible Ezra and Nehemiah are one Book.

Verse 26 goes on to say, “And after the sixty-two weeks [of years] Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself.” This happened 483 years later to the day. Jesus Christ was cut off, or killed, but not for Himself. In other words, He died not because of anything He had done, but rather He died for us to bring us salvation. Then it says, “And the people of the prince who is to come Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined.” The people who destroyed the Temple were the Romans under General Titus. The prince who is to come in this verse is the still future Antichrist. Verse 27 says this Antichrist, “Shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate.” NKJV

This means the Antichrist will confirm a covenant with Israel and the Jews for 7-years, giving them the right to rebuild their Temple and make sacrifices, but he will break that covenant in the middle of that 7-year period. There is only one place in the world the Jews can make sacrifices and offerings, the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, and they must have a Temple rebuilt in order to make it legal in their system. However, when the Antichrist breaks the covenant in the middle, he sets up his image in the Temple and demands to be worshiped as God (Matthew 24:15; Mark: 13:14). And Jesus spoke of it as a future event.

People want to ask why there has been a break between the 69th and 70th weeks of Daniel’s prophecy. This gap is the current Church Age, where the Church is God’s primary agent in the world, with Israel more or less in the background. However, when the Church is taken out of the world in the Rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18), Israel once again becomes God’s primary agent in the world, with Gentiles still being drawn to God too (Revelation 7:9-17). In fact, Jeremiah 30:7 calls this period of time “the time of Jacob’s trouble.” Take special note of 1 Thessalonians 4:17—harpadzo means to snatch up, seize up, or catch up with great force, which is exactly what the word Rapture means, hence the class of birds called Raptors. And the Latin word from which we get the word rapture is in the Latin Vulgate.

So to summarize the 70th Week of Daniel in an outline, we see the following.

  1. The 70th Week of Daniel is the Great Tribulation period—7-years in duration, and based on the lunar calendar. That means each year has 360 days, rather than 365 like our solar calendar.
  2. The Great Tribulation is a time specified upon the Jewish people and Jerusalem and has nothing to do with the church.
  3. The 70th week of Daniel is the Great Tribulation (Dan. 9:1-2, 19-27).
  4. When Daniel wrote, the Jews were in Babylon, nearing the end of the 70-year captivity brought on by failure to let the land have its Sabbath every 7th year (Lev. 25:1-6; Dan. 9:1-2; Jer. 25:11; 50:33-34).
  5. The reason for the 70 weeks of years (7 x 70 = 490 years) is to complete the history of Israel. It is a time appointed for Daniel’s people, the Jewish people, and the Holy City, Jerusalem.
  6. Six things happen during the 70 weeks (Dan. 9:24-27):
  7. Finish transgression—the transgression of Israel was idolatry.
  8. Make an end of sins.
  9. Make reconciliation for iniquity (Israel: 70 weeks—For your people and for Your holy city).
  10. Bring in everlasting righteousness.
  11. Seal up the vision and prophecy.
  12. Anoint the Holy of Holies.
  13. The decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem was issued by Artaxerxes March 15, 445 B.C. (Nehemiah 1-2), and Jesus Christ was cut off 69 weeks (483 years) later.
  14. The Romans destroyed Jerusalem in A.D. 70, but the ultimate fulfillment of the “prince who is to come” is the Antichrist (Dan. 9:26-27).
  15. The “prince who is to come,” Antichrist, will make a covenant with the Jews for one week (7 years), but he will break it after 3 1/2 years and set up the image (“the abomination that makes desolate”) in the rebuilt temple (Dan. 9:27; Matt. 24:15; Mark 13:14; Rev. 13).
  16. The Holy of Holies will be anointed when Jesus returns (Ezek. 40-48).

 

Below is a link for a PDF file of this post.

2016-09-01 70 Weeks of Daniel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bible Translation Perversions

Bible Translation Perversions

In my last post I mentioned that Jesus’ most emphatic warning to His church regarding the last days was against deception. I mentioned that in His last lengthy discourse of Matthew 24-25, being on guard against deception was the primary emphasis—giving that warning no less than 4 times in that passage.

Matthew 24:4 And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. NKJV

Matthew 24:5 “For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. NKJV

Matthew 24:11 “Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. NKJV

Matthew 24:24 “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. NKJV

I discussed a number of issues in that article, but the issue that seems to have raised the most attention is my criticism of two newer “translations,” The Message and The Voice, which are demonstrably perverted for a New Age purpose. Since it caused concern for some folks, I decided to give some further demonstration of the problems with these products. For the sake of brevity and because it seems ironically proper, I will from here on in this article refer to The Message as MSG and The Voice as TV.

Lest someone accuse me of being a KJV Onlyist, or something, I wish to add that I worked on a multi-volume Old Testament Study Bible, Translation, Commentary, and Lexicon set for over 6 years. Also, my personal favorite English translation remains the New American Standard (NASB), even though I wish they had not relied on the critical text, which relies on the work of Westcott and Hort, and the texts of Codex Sinaiticus and. Codex Vaticanus. Both of which are corrupted texts with thousands of changes that do not even agree with each other. Yet the NASB remains an excellent translation of the Greek text used for the New Testament. The textual issues causing all the problems are almost exclusively related to the New Testament. There are other adequate, even good, English translations, as well. The English Standard Version (ESV) is very popular and quite accurate too. The 1984 New International Version (NIV) was good, so far as thought for thought (dynamic equivalence) translations go, but the new edition of the NIV and a host of others have gone with a gender neutral translation, which cannot be done with losing or changing the meaning of the biblical text. The New Living Translation is not among my favorites, but it isn’t going to spiritually derail someone. I even sort of like the old Living Bible Paraphrase as just a reading Bible for children and those new to the faith, although it is much better in the Old Testament than in the New. The real downside is that you don’t know which English word comes from which Hebrew or Greek work, so it is useless as a study Bible.

So now let me get to the matter at hand. I will repeat some of my material and add new examples that seems fitting to make the point that too many people in the church today don’t see the problems with their favorite translations because they are ignorant of the issues in Bible translation. Worse yet, they are ignorant of the biblical text as a whole.

In what is commonly called the Lord’s prayer, there is a major problem in The Message. First, I will quote the New King James Version of the Matthew 6:8-15 passage. In the formatted version, which I will post as a separate file I will put some other examples side by side for the reader to examine.

Matthew 6:8-15

8 “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. 9 In this manner, therefore, pray:

Our Father in heaven,

Hallowed be Your name.

10 Your kingdom come.

Your will be done

On earth as it is in heaven.

11 Give us this day our daily bread.

12 And forgive us our debts,

As we forgive our debtors.

13 And do not lead us into temptation,

But deliver us from the evil one.

For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

14 “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

NKJV

To read the rest of this article in its formatted form click here or below.

2016-04-16 Perverting The Bible