Israel, The Unwalled Nation?

Israel, The Unwalled Nation?
Written by David Ettinger

EDITOR’S NOTE: One particular section of this article may appear to paint Israel in a very unsavory and negative light, hence providing fuel for Israel’s detractors. However, no such intention exists. The ministry of Zion’s Hope staunchly supports and loves the nation of Israel, prays for the peace of Jerusalem, and wholeheartedly believes that God will fulfill every biblical promise He has ever made to His beloved people. In the meantime, Israel – as does every other nation on the face of the earth – struggles with issues concerning sin and immorality. The facts in this article are presented to show the Israeli people’s desperate need for the Lord Jesus Christ, and also to illustrate how current issues of sin and immorality could possibly lead to the fulfillment of prophetic events concerning Israel’s future.
It is rare to watch a news report about Israel without reference to the nation’s military prowess. This is as it should be: pound for pound, Israel is a powerhouse. For her size, Israel packs as much proportionate punch as any nation on earth. It is with great perplexity, therefore, that we read end-time prophecies concerning Israel’s lack of military potency. Here is one of those puzzling prognostications:
After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them (Ezekiel 38:8).

“Dwell safely?” Israel? Really? Before we examine this confounding oracle, let’s explore this portion of Scripture a tad more deeply. The above prophecy is addressed to “Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal” (Ezekiel 38:2). It is beyond the scope of this article to attribute precise identities to Gog, Magog, Meshech, and Tubal, but suffice it to say that what is being pictured here is an invasion of Israel in the last days. This invasion will consist of a confederacy of nations primarily north of Israel, and several from south of the Holy Land. Possible aggressors include Russia (the main player), Turkey, Iran, Libya, Ethiopia, and many people with them (Ezekiel 38:5). What is most fascinating about this gathering of nations with bad intent is that they will not act on their own volition, but will be drawn into battle by God. Ezekiel 38:4 says:
And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords (italics added).

So, Israel will be invaded in the end days. However, at that time, according to verse 8, the people of Israel “shall dwell safely all of them.” Again, we must incredulously ask: “Dwell safely?” How can this be? Ever since Israel reemerged as a modern entity in 1948, the surrounding nations have wanted to obliterate her from the face of the earth. Article 22 from the infamous PLO Charter of 1964 states:
Zionism [Israel, the Jewish state] is a political movement organically associated with international imperialism and antagonistic to all action for liberation and to progressive movements in the world. It is racist and fanatic in its nature, aggressive, expansionist, and colonial in its aims, and fascist in its methods. … Since the liberation of Palestine will destroy the Zionist and imperialist presence and will contribute to the establishment of peace in the Middle East, the Palestinian people look for the support of all the progressive and peaceful forces and urge them all, irrespective of their affi liations and beliefs, to off er the Palestinian people all aid and support in their just struggle for the liberation of their homeland.

Such proclamations of doom give Israel no hope of dwelling in safety. Another Scripture, Ezekiel 38:11, asks us to digest this rather hard-to-swallow revelation:
And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates.

“Unwalled villages?” A people who are “at rest,” “dwell safely,” and “dwelling without walls”? Israel? How can she possibly allow herself to be “unwalled,” which can more accurately be read “unarmed”? Consider the hatred and vitriol the nations continue to hurl at Israel. During a speech in Iran on August 16, 2012, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spewed the following:
The Zionist regime and the Zionists are a cancerous tumor. Even if one cell of them is left in one inch of [Palestinian] land, in the future this story [of Israel’s existence] will repeat. The nations of the region will soon finish off the usurper Zionists in the Palestinian land. … A new Middle East will defi nitely be formed. With the grace of God and help of the nations, in the new Middle East there will be no trace of the Americans and Zionists.1

Sadly, Ahmadinejad’s statement is not the isolated ranting of one lone lunatic, but the rallying cry of those ravenously craving Israel’s destruction. No one understands this better than Israel. With such satanic hatred focused on her, how in the world will this beleaguered nation permit itself to be transformed from what it is now – a formidable military power – to what Ezekiel prophesies it to be – an unarmed nation at peace? . . . NOTES 1, “ ‘Cancerous tumour’ Israel will soon be destroyed, says Ahmadinejad” (August 17, 2012).

Russia Building Toward Military Dominance

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Russia Building Toward Military Dominance

Chuck MisslerBy Dr. Chuck Missler

Koinonia House

The U.S.S.R. has been gone for just over 21 years now, the terror it once exercised over the West deflated into a patched-up old Halloween ghost. Yet, despite the death of the superpower, Russia's determination to expand its military might has hardly waned. Russia has recently touted itself as producing the best military hardware in the world, and the nuclear power continues to provide all manner of weaponry to the buyers in the Middle East and elsewhere, despite complaints from the western countries whose enemies Russia is arming.
Russian President Vladimir Putin recently stated that Russia sold more than $14 billion in arms and services in 2012. Russia exports its weapons and hardware to eighty-eight countries. Fifty-seven countries are regular buyers, and India remains the largest buyer of Russian military equipment. Putin promises to increase his country's military spending by $770 billion from 2014-2020. Russia's booming sales and profits from their natural oil and gas resources have allowed them to increase their manufacturing of military hardware for export.
Russia's T-90, T-70 tanks, and Su-35M jets arm some of the strongest armies in Africa, namely Algeria, Uganda, and Chad. Business Insider has called the T-90 Russian battle tank "just as advanced" as the United States' M1 battle tank at more than half the cost. Russia plans to introduce the T-99 in 2014.
The Su-35 Russian jet is a twin-engine multi-role fighter, an old name on a new plane that Russia hopes will dominate the world market. Libya was a major buyer of the aircraft before the overthrow of the Gadhafi regime. Fresh talks between the new Libyan authorities and Russia are expected to resume military cooperation between the two parties. Libya recently signed a contract to upgrade 200 T-72 tanks, offering Russia another promising customer as it seeks to build business in the market of restoring, upgrading, and repairing military hardware.
Russia has a healthy portfolio of agreements with Iraq worth more than $4 billion. Between tanks and aircraft, other countries have a shopping list of items to purchase from Russia's weapons and hardware store.
  • Russia's MSTA-S 152mm self-propelled howitzer has been in service since 1989. There are currently 800 in Russia's inventory. The uniqueness of this weapon is the fact that it can run on six different fuel types, among them diesel, gas, aviation fuel, and spirit alcohol.
  • The Sukhoi T-50 is Russia's fifth generation of stealth fighter jets a likely contender with the U.S. F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jet and slightly faster than the F-22 Raptor by 190 km/h. The Russian Defense Ministry plans to purchase 60 of these fighters by 2016 while confining the development cost to $10 billion with a lifespan of 30 years.
  • The Yasen-class submarine has been called the quietest sub in the ocean by the Office of Naval Intelligence. It carries up to 32 cruise missiles and is scheduled for ocean deployment by 2015 at a cost of $1.2 billion each. Perhaps the development of the Bulava, Sineva, and Layner ballistic missiles best describe why Russia is obsessed with submarines.
    These three submarine-launched ballistic-missiles (SLBM's) are the forefront of Russia's naval missile defense. The Layner SLBM is scheduled to augment the Bulava and has 12 warheads capable of piercing anti-ballistic missile defenses. The Bulava SLBM nuclear warhead carries six 150 kiloton bombs with an effective range of 6,100 miles. They are expected to be in operation this year.
Russia is also expanding its littoral water fleet navy with the Steregushchy-class corvette ships. There are currently three ships in service with three under construction, and two more for export to Algeria. At a cost of $150 million per ship exported, these vessels are far more affordable than the planned U.S. Littoral Combat Ships with their price tag of $1.2 billion each.
Eurasian Union

Eurasian Union

Russia's key plan to strengthen its conventional military and strategic nuclear capabilities is perhaps the forefront of Vladimir Putin's vision to enact a Eurasian Union. The U.S. State Department has accused Russia of using the Eurasian Union as a cover to "re-Sovietize" those countries that were part of the former Soviet Union.
One of Russia's closest allies is Syria. Syria has opened its port of Tartus, allowing Russia's Black Sea Fleet to base their warships as a strategic show of force against the Mediterranean NATO fleets. Russia has not confirmed that it has exported a supply of S-300 surface-to-air missile systems to the Syrian government leadership under President Assad.
Russia has maintained a strong military presence in Syria, causing a challenge for a future U.S. led intervention in that region. Russia's military advisors are currently manning Syria's sophisticated missile-defense systems. Moscow has upgraded Syria's old surface-to-air systems and deployed new ones since the Syrian revolution broke out 21 months ago. The strategic deployment of these defense systems makes it risky and costly for any future western campaign to support a no-fly zone or air strikes against the current leadership.
Guy Ben-Ari, a senior fellow at the Washington-based Centre for Strategic and International Studies, said:
"They [Russia] didn't just sell the equipment. They also help man the crews and train the crews. Sometimes, there is just no domestic capacity to run these systems, and that is the case in Syria where Syrian crews are not capable of using the equipment to its full capacity."
Moscow has invested a great deal in Syria, and it doesn't want to lose that investment.
Putin is determined to have his Eurasian Union become "one of the global poles of power." Some analysts speculate that Russia intends to increase its annual budget for national defense and security by 30 percent. A show of increased military strength at home and abroad is Vladimir's warning to the U.S. that he is prepared to defend his Eurasian Union policy—with force if necessary.

They Claim to Speak for God (Part 1)

Friday, March 1, 2013

They Claim to Speak for God (Part 1)

T. A. McMahonBy T. A. McMahon
The Berean Call

A very large part of Christendom in the United States is enamored with those who claim to speak for God. If you think that’s an overstatement, simply tune into some of the programing on Trinity Broadcasting Network or some of the other cable religious networks. What you will see are churches filled with thousands of Christians hanging on to every word of a man or a woman who is declaring what God has just revealed to him or her. The content ranges from the mundane to the bizarre. To some observers who are fairly well versed in the Scriptures, what they are hearing and seeing is laughable. But that's a tragic reaction by some who are forgetting that many of those being led astray by the so-called new prophets and apostles are their brothers and sisters in Christ.
TBN world headquarters

Agenda and Methodologies Contrary to the Word of God

Most North American believers are wonderfully and prayerfully sympathetic to the plight of fellow Christians who are undergoing terrible persecutions for their faith in foreign lands, yet too few have a real concern for fellow believers here in the West who are being spiritually seduced and whose biblical faith is being critically undermined. The tendency is to write off most false preachers and teachers as religious kooks and to think no more about their captive audience. All true believers, whether or not they have been led into false teaching, make up the body of Christ. When one part of the body is seduced and suffers, it affects the entire body (1 Corinthians 12:25-27).
Not only is such a cavalier attitude wrong biblically, but it is extremely shortsighted and therefore blinds a person to the seductions and ultimate deceptions that are involved. In this series of articles we want to present a wider view of what's involved with those who "claim to speak for God," demonstrating that it's far more than a few delusional zealots but rather a host of men and women, ministries, and movements that have an agenda and methodologies, all of which are contrary to the Word of God. In that endeavor, they have captured the hearts and minds of multitudes of Christians, mostly those among the Pentecostals and Charismatics, as well as staggering numbers of young adults, many from conservative evangelical backgrounds.

Wandering Stars

Dave Hunt and I have addressed this subject in bits and pieces in our books and in many articles in The Berean Call newsletters, but we haven’t communicated in a comprehensive way the extent of the spiritually destructive teachings and practices involved in this movement nor the scope of this development and its agenda. Now, however, there is a book available that covers the topic more extensively than anything yet in print. Wandering Stars: Contending for the Faith with the New Apostles and Prophets, authored by Keith Gibson, not only explains the methods of this movement from beginning to end, but it also exposes its satanically inspired contribution to the progressive development of the kingdom and religion of the Antichrist. Gibson's observations need to be heeded:
"The majority of the church has not taken seriously the claims of the modern apostles and prophets [that they are] introducing a new paradigm into the Body of Christ. These claims are far more than idle boasts. Indeed the paradigm shifts have already begun in many segments of Christianity. To say that the movement has grown rapidly would be a gross understatement" (p. 10).

Rhema and Logos

The root fallacy of the movement is the view of how one receives communication from God. Most if not all of the leaders subscribe to the teaching that the Greek terms rhema and logos found in the Bible describe different ways of hearing from God. This has been a fundamental teaching among historic religious movements such as The Latter Rain, Manifest Sons of God, and the prosperity-and-healing-promoting Word/Faith teachers. They conclude that logos refers to the written word and rhema refers to the spoken word. Although the Bible uses the terms interchangeably, making no distinction, in practice this false teaching elevates what (supposedly) God has spoken to them as equal to or above what is written in the Scriptures. It goes far beyond someone stating that he "believes" that the Lord has impressed something upon his heart. Gibson comments:
"It is far different to claim an impression than it is to loudly pronounce, 'Thus saith the Lord.' The former is the hesitant expression of a thought, something that may or may not be completely true. The latter is a claim to divine revelation that by definition cannot contain anything but truth and which carries divine authority and must be obeyed."
Whether implied or declared, Gibson adds,
"The words 'Thus saith the Lord' change everything. A higher level of authority is being claimed. One should be extremely careful before one puts words in the mouth of God" (p. 8).

Dire Consequences

Many do not realize the dire consequences of being seduced by the "hearing from God" teachings. First of all, they completely undermine the objective nature of the Scriptures. In other words, when the Word of God is mixed with what some believe they've heard from God, it is difficult to objectively determine what is truly from God. That fundamentally destroys the value of the Bible in the lives of those who buy into the so-called new prophets of God. God’s written word is no longer relied upon as a determiner of truth, especially regarding the new doctrines presented, which those who are "hearing from God" promote in abundance. Unfortunately, that's fine with such false teachers because their "new thing that God is doing" cannot then be challenged by the "old written words" found in Scripture.
Gibson notes with great concern:
"No doctrine is under more regular assault from within the prophetic community than the doctrines relating to the Scriptures" (pp. 67-68).
He adds,
"Today’s prophets, and consequently their followers as well, are consistently sloppy in their approach to Scripture, frequently ignoring context, history, and grammar. They can even be seen redefining words when necessary to force verses to fit their preconceived ideas. The intent of the author of the text is rarely considered. The Bible is left to mean whatever the prophets say it means today" (p. 71).

The "Prophetic Hermeneutic"

If conservative evangelicals think that this drift away from God’s Word is a problem unique to Charismatics, they need to consider their own churches. Is discipleship a significant part of your fellowship? How about apologetics? In your Bible studies, are you actually studying books of the Bible or books by contemporary authors? Is the term hermeneutics a foreign word to most members of your fellowship? If that's the case, you also have something to be very concerned about.
In Wandering Stars, Keith Gibson underscores the critical necessity of hermeneutics for every believer.
"Hermeneutics has been described as the art and science of biblical interpretation. In handling the Bible properly, one should consider such things as context, history, grammar, and the genre of the literature among other things. The goal of hermeneutics is to understand the passage according to the original intent of the author, as inspired by the Holy Spirit."
Simply stated,
"The Bible should be studied in its historical and grammatical context and with the normal understanding of the words used. The intent is to discover the meaning intended by the author of the particular passage…. It is essentially a belief that God meant the Bible to be understood by the normal believer within the community of faith. This is sometimes referred to as the 'plain sense' principle of interpretation" (p. 70).
Simplifying it further, it involves not much more than what happens when two people have a normal conversation. Both are aware of the context of what they are communicating, know enough grammar to converse in sentences, and understand the meaning of the words used. We all do this every day, so it's mystifying that most misunderstandings of Scripture stem from not following the simple rules of hermeneutics.
Following such "plain sense" rules would eliminate the "prophetic hermeneutic" (i.e., believing what a dynamic preacher says just because he claims to be a prophet) that has caught many believers in the web of blindly following those who claim to be speaking for God. Gibson has seen the damage this has done to many believers' trust in God’s Word. He writes,
"The impact of this 'prophetic hermeneutic' is serious indeed. In the first place, as has already been stated, this type of approach to Scripture causes the Bible to lose its ability to provide boundaries for doctrine and practice because the Bible simply has no objective meaning. The Scripture means whatever any particular prophetic teacher declares that the Spirit has told him it means today. This style of teaching also serves to remove any definite understanding of Scripture from the common man who realizes that he simply cannot see all the things in Scripture that these teachers are seeing. This makes the average church person dependent on these 'inspired teachers' in order to know what the Lord has said" (p. 78).
Once that happens, the individual is vulnerable to whatever such a teacher dishes out and whatever direction the teacher wants to lead him.
Gibson spells out the tragic consequences of which few of us are aware:
"Because these prophetic teachers do not approach God’s Word properly, they reach false conclusions. These false conclusions then support aberrant doctrines and unbiblical practices. These unbiblical practices and false doctrines undermine the historic truths of the church and distract Christians from the pure faith and the true work of the ministry" (p. 80).

Scripture is "Yesterday's Manna"

It isn't only ignorance of the Scriptures or mishandling them on the part of many of the leaders of the prophetic movement. Some seemingly distort them for their own purposes. Gibson quotes Wendy Alec, from her very popular book Journal of the Unknown Prophet. This is what she claims she has received from Jesus:
"For the Word alone is yesterday's manna and even they [prophetic teachers] have seen deep in their hearts that it is no longer enough to feed my people" (quoted in Wandering Stars, p. 86).
So the written Word of God is not only "no longer enough," but it's also "yesterday’s manna." Scripture tells us that leftover manna "bred worms and stank" (Exodus 16:20). Who would believe that Jesus, who is the living Word, the same yesterday, today, and forever, the One who said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away" (Matthew 24:35; Mark 13:31; Luke 21:33), would have anything to do with such a blasphemous statement? Yet thousands accept it unquestioningly. We can’t judge Alec’s heart in this, but it is obvious that she has relegated the written Word at least to an inferior position in comparison to what she and others are supposedly hearing from God today. Again, tragically, this is infecting our brothers and sisters who are part of the body of Christ.

Doctrine Is Downgraded

The Scriptures give us a sober warning that I believe is most applicable to the day in which we live:
"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables."
Again, sound doctrine is simply the teachings of the Word of God, which every believer is to read, heed, and obey. Yet, according to these teachers, since biblical doctrine stands in the way of the "new things God is doing," it must be downgraded.
Gibson quotes prophetic movement leader Francis Frangipane:
"We have instructed the church in nearly everything but becoming disciples of Jesus Christ. We have filled the people with doctrines instead of Deity; we have given them manuals instead of Emmanuel" (p. 122).
Frangipane and his cohorts have in fact done none of that. Gibson notes:
"Frangipane seems oblivious to the fact that teaching people to become disciples of Jesus Christ would necessitate doctrinal instruction if for no other reason than because to teach them who Jesus is necessitates a doctrinal discussion. Additionally, how else is the church to follow the words of Christ given in the great commission and 'teach them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you' without instruction in doctrine?" (p. 114).
Gibson's response is stunning in its simplicity, yet what is even more amazing is that so many are not thinking through what they are accepting. He adds,
"It is simply neither possible nor profitable to attempt to bypass doctrinal instruction. Discipleship may certainly involve more than merely doctrinal instruction but it cannot involve less" (p. 114).
The leaders of the prophetic movement of necessity must make it "involve less." Rick Joyner, for example, declares:
"We must first understand that our unity is not based on doctrines. Such unity is superficial at best. Our unity can only be found in Jesus. To focus our attention on Him and learn to love and cover one another is far more important than agreeing on all doctrines. Having like doctrines is not a basis for is a basis for division!" (p. 115).
Although "doctrine divides" is the mantra of the new prophets and apostles, they are correct in a way with which they would not agree. Romans 16:17-18 sets the matter straight:
"Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple."
It is false doctrine, i.e., that which is "contrary to the doctrine" taught by the biblical apostles, that "cause[s] divisions."


Of necessity and hopefully for edification, this first article majored on the fundamental erroneous teachings of the New Apostles and Prophets movement, i.e., its own false doctrines. With that understanding, it should come as no surprise as to how bizarre their beliefs and practices could and have become. In the next part of this series, the Lord willing, we will glean (primarily from Wandering Stars) who the leaders are and what is involved in their global dominionist agenda.

144 Thousand

   144 Thousand

God's focus turns to Israel
The fullness of the Gentiles will conclude the age of Grace with the rapture of the Church. The Lord will then once again call on Israel to be a spiritual witness and light to the nations during the seven year tribulation that will follow. The Jewish witnesses will not only include the much speculated about Two Witnesses (many believe to be Elijah & Moses) (Revelation 11:3-13), but also 144,000 sealed Jewish witnesses made up of 12,000 Jews from each of Israel’s 12 tribes (Revelation 7:4-8).

A History of the 12 Tribes: 
Chuck Missler
Despite terrible persecution and martyrdom, hundreds of millions “of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues” will hear the witness that they proclaim about the coming Messiah (Revelation 7:9). As a result, these hundreds of millions will become tribulation saints (Revelation 7:14-17). During the Great Tribulation, many will worship the antichrist and take his mark (Revelation 13:8, Revelation 13:15-18). But others will see through his deception and teach the truth, even though it will cost them their lives (Daniel 11:33,35). These courageous believers who by the witnesses of the 144 thousand and the two prophets give their lives to Jesus will risk everything to lead others to Christ. Many will be martyred for their faith (Revelation 6:9-11, Revelation 13:10), but their very willingness to die for the truth will inspire some to seek Jesus. Though the world will heartlessly discard them, God will not forget them (1 Corinthians 15:58). To Him, will be “like the stars forever and ever” (Daniel 12:3).

These new believers are those to whom God will give “insight” (Daniel 12:3), an understanding of His Word and the time in which they are living. Wisely, they will give teach and give testimony to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ in order to encourage believers and reach people in the midst of the terrible suffering.

The Sealing of the 144,000

Even though the 144,000 Jews will be miraculously used by God, their life will be full of turmoil and persecution thanks to the Antichrist. Just as the Antichrist will demand his followers take the mark of the beast in either their right hand or forehead, the 144,000 witnesses will receive their own seal of God on their forehead. These 12,000 Jews from all twelve tribes of Israel will be tribulation evangelist. The seal of God upon this group will protect them as God judges and pours out His wrath on a non-believing earth. The non-believing earth will stand in rebellion against God, but the 144,000 as witnesses of God will faithfully proclaim the gospel. They will keep the commandments of God and hold the testimony of Jesus (Revelation 12:17) in the face of severe persecution inflicted on them by God’s enemies.

They will escape the impact of God’s wrath, such as the "locust" plague which will hurt only "the men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads" (Revelation 9:4). This will free them to conduct their worldwide ministry of evangelism in those last days. These faithful 144,000 will be His voice in a world marked by unbridled human sin and darkened by the reign of the false Christ. That will be their role.
Sealing of 144 thousand:
Chuck Missler

A Multitude Will be Saved
One of the most frequently asked questions in regard to the Tribulation time period is whether or not anyone will come to a saving faith in Jesus Christ during that difficult time.
2 Thessalonians 2:7
“For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way”.
After the Rapture the Holy Spirit will still convict people of sin, but his restraining ministry will be over and all of satan’s evil will break loose on earth. We already know that 144 thousand people from the 12 tribes of Israel will be set apart for the Lord, but they will not be alone!

Those who come to believe during the Great Tribulation will be in one of two groups. The first group will be the remnant of physical Israel sealed for protection and called to testify concerning Christ (Revelation 7:1-8). The second group will be comprised of the masses of gentiles who believe in Christ and suffer persecution and martyrdom for their faith. These martyrs will come out of the Great Tribulation through death, but their suffering will instantly give way to victorious worship as they join the heavenly chorus in praise to “our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb” (Revelation 7:10)
John tells us about them in his vision of a different group, other than the 144,000 (Revelation 7:9-17). We know this is another body of people because rather than definite number of 144,000, this group is comprised of a crowd so large that no one could count how many there were. Instead of coming from the twelve tribes of Israel, this crowd came from every nation. The fact that this large group "have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb" (Revelation 7:14) demonstrates that they have believed in Christ and had their sins forgiven. This large a gathering of believers—so large that they cannot be counted—may seem a bit surprising in light of Jesus’ teaching that many are called but only a few are chosen (Matthew 22:14) and that only a few enter through the narrow gate to find eternal life (Matthew 7:14); yet with the rate of growth of the world’s population so rapid, a few or a small percentage of the vast number now living still constitutes a considerable group. Remember that this crowd comes from "every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues" throughout the world (Revelation 7:9), so even though they are a small minority, the number is still significantly large.

This event will be the largest soul harvest the world has even seen. Some Biblical scholars believe that more people may come to Jesus in period than in the last 2,000 years since Christ first walked the Earth.

A Great Multitude Before the Throne:
Chuck Missler

What would it take for Israel to come to believe in Christ as a nation? Regrettably, it will take the awesome time of the Tribulation, with all of its judgments falling from Heaven, and its persecution of the Jewish people by the Antichrist. Through the testimony of the 144,000 Jewish evangelists and the Two Witnesses, by the end of the Tribulation Israel will be able, willing, and eager to receive their long-lost Yeshua as Messiah:
Zechariah 12:10
“And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon him whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.”
Zechariah 14:4
“And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east.”
When Israel repents and believes in the One whom they have pierced, the Lord Jesus Christ will return to the very place, the Mount of Olives, where He bade Jerusalem farewell so many centuries ago.

God will never leave the world without a witness to Himself. Fellow Christian, you and I are His witnesses during the present era as we await our Lord’s coming for His church. We must be faithful to represent Him because many around us need to hear and embrace the good news that Jesus saves. We will face opposition, but we can rest assured that He will protect us as long as He has a job for us to do just as He will protect the 144,000 in the future. The pressure upon us is far less direct and harsh than that upon our future fellow-witnesses, but on us the temptation to remain silent will perhaps be more subtle. Let’s not be lulled to sleep by the enemy. Let’s redeem the time because the days are evil.

Holy Bible
Dr. Thomas McCall: Zola Levitt Ministries
Chuck Missler: Koinonia House
Charles Swindoll: Daniel, Volume 2: God’s Plan for the Future
Charles Swindoll: Revelation—Unveiling the End
Tim LaHaye and Ed Hindson: The Popular Encyclopedia of Bible Prophecy
Grant Jeffrey: Countdown To The Apocalypse

"Psalm 83: The Missing Prophecy Revealed" by Bill Salus

Monday, January 28, 2013

"Psalm 83: The Missing Prophecy Revealed" by Bill Salus

28 January 2013: Bill Salus' newest book "Psalm 83: The Missing Prophecy Revealed– How Israel Becomes the Next Mideast Superpower" has been published and is available just about everywhere. If you never purchased Bill's first book (published in 2008), "Isralestine: The Ancient Blueprints of the Future Middle East,"  then your opportunity to purchase it in a greatly expanded and updated version has arrived with this new book. There are a total of 8 new chapters and 10 new appendices and you can receive a signed copy from Bill Salus for less than $22.00 shipping included, just follow the above embedded link. I just ordered my copy, so join me and order your own as this peerless book is certain to be a topic of discussion on Eschatology Today in the very near future.

The Timing of the Rapture - Part Two

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Timing of the Rapture - Part Two

The Pre-Ezekiel 38 Rapture Possibility

By Bill Salus
Recently I authored an article regarded with the timing of the Rapture. It was part one in an article series, and addressed the three primary Pre-Psalm 83 views about the event. This article can be viewed here.

For part two I thought to try something different. Part two addresses the Pre-Ezekiel 38 viewpoint about the Rapture’s timing. But, rather than doing a typical exposition, I’m presenting an unedited excerpt out of my upcoming book called Revelation Road.

Rev - Road begins as a novel but includes a full chapter-by-chapter "Companion’s Commentary" section. In the commentary I explain why I declared what I did within the novel portion of the book. What you are about to read is a conversation between two lead characters in the novel section of the book regarded with the Pre-Ezekiel 38 timing of the Rapture.
Below is an excerpt from Razz (retired General Robert Rasmussen) and his best friend George’s parlor conversation regarding the pre-Ezekiel 38 rapture.

“I also believe the Rapture is an imminent event and think it might occur before Russia, Iran, Turkey, and the other Ezekiel 38 invaders confederate against Israel. I believe this because Ezekiel identifies the Jewish people as “My people Israel” three times within his 52-passages,” Razz reported, as he opened up a nearby bible and began reading;”

“Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say to Gog, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “On that day when My people Israel dwell safely, will you not know it? (Ez. 38:14, NKJV; emphasis added.)

You will come up against My people Israel like a cloud, to cover the land. It will be in the latter days that I will bring you against My land, so that the nations may know Me, when I am hallowed in you, O Gog, before their eyes.” (Ez. 38:16, NKJV; emphasis added.)

So I will make My holy name known in the midst of My people Israel, and I will not let them profane My holy name anymore. Then the nations shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel. (Ez. 39:7, NKJV; emphasis added.)

“How do these passages suggest the Christian Church is absent?” George queried?

Razz replied, “Because they illustrate the importance of God upholding his holy name by performing upon the unconditional promises given to Israel. The thrust of the Ezekiel 38 episode deals with the Lord proving he’s a promise-keeper to the watchful eyes of the world at a crucial point on the end time’s line. Shortly after the Ezekiel event concludes, humanity will have to choose between Abraham’s blessed seed the Messiah, Jesus Christ, or Satan’s seed, the Antichrist.”

“Impressive, how did you arrive at that conclusion from these mere three passages?” George inquired.

Razz explained, “First the Promised People are mentioned as “My people Israel.” This indicates that when the invasion takes place the Jews will still exist! Considering the Jews have been targeted by repeated genocidal attempts, this is a crucial acknowledgement. The fact they are classified as “My people” forces us to recognize that they exist because God personally preserved them throughout their centuries of Diaspora. They have been safeguarded from complete extirpation, because the Lord is not done with them.”

“Furthermore, verse 14 causes us to recognize that the Jews dwell securely somewhere at the time. This is equally as important, considering the Jews were without a homeland for about 1878 years between A.D. 70 and A.D. 1948, and have been embattled with the Arabs ever since resuming nationhood. Reportedly, no other deported or dispersed ethnic group has ever survived without a homeland for more than 400-years. Now that Psalm 83 has occurred, (in the novel storyline) the Jews can dwell securely.”

“Second, the “Promised Land” is discussed. The invaders march against God’s land of Israel in verse 16. This passage compliments verse 14 by telling us when and where the Jews dwell securely. They exist and dwell securely inside the Promised Land in the latter days.”

“Lastly, in the final usage of “My people Israel” in Ezekiel 39:7 we are informed that the Lord uses the massive Mideast invasion to uphold his holy name through the Jews, in order to prove he’s a covenant keeping God.”

“Slow down, you lost me while connecting all the dots.” George confessed.

Razz clarified, “Let me summarize my thoughts. God promised Abraham 4000 years ago that he would father a great nation, and through him all the nations of the earth would be blessed. According to the account recorded in Genesis 15, we understand these promises to Abraham were unconditional. This age-old covenant is commonly referred to as the Abrahamic Covenant, and even though the preponderance of the international community is totally oblivious to it, it is still effectually intact. “

“In order to have a great nation, you have to harbor a sizable population, and harness a significant piece of land for them to inhabit. God promised Abraham he would have both. In Genesis 13:15 Abraham was promised a family tree forever, and in Genesis 22:17 he was informed he would have a multitude of descendants. Then in Genesis 15:18, Abraham was granted land extending east of the Nile River in Egypt all the way to the Euphrates River that courses through modern day Iraq and Syria.”

“Several passages inform us that the great nation promised to Abraham would come through the lineage of his son Isaac and his grandson Jacob, and extrapolate down through the Jewish people of today. But, the Jews were promised more than the formation of a great nation, they were bestowed the honor of being a blessing to all the families of the earth. This is because the Messiah would be a Jew, according to Genesis 22:18, 26:4, 24:18, and elsewhere.”

“Abraham’s Seed, the messiah would become the blessing to all the families. The Messiah is Jesus Christ, and although Christians are indeed spiritually blessed through faith in him, the prophecy of blessings to the nations finds literal fulfillment when he establishes his 1000-year Messianic Kingdom spoken about in Revelation 20:4, 6. At that time all the families of the earth, who make it through the Tribulation Period (trib-period) will be blessed.”

“Thus for the following two primary reasons I believe the Rapture could be a pre-Ezekiel 38 event:

1. The entire episode is regarded with God’s promises to Israel, which negates the need for the Church to be present upon the scene at the time.
2. The Holy name of God is revealed to the nations through Israel just before humanity has to make its final choices between Christ and the Antichrist.”
“Doesn’t the Church need to preach the gospel before, during, and after Ezekiel 38? How can the believing Church become negated at the time, because I don’t believe the faithful remnant of Israel comes to faith in Christ until the end of the trib-period,” George commented.

“You’re right, Israel as a nation does not appear to recognize Christ through either Psalm 83, or Ezekiel 38. However, the gospel can still be preached and disseminated to the Jew first, and then the Gentile in the aftermath via other means. Scripture informs us the gospel will go out through the following sources after the Church is removed:

1. The 144,000 Hebrew witnesses. (Rev. 7:1-8)

2. The martyred saints who come to faith after being left behind. (Rev. 6:9-11, 20:4)

3. Teaching materials, like articles, books, audios, videos, and movies produced by Christians before they are Raptured. (Evidenced by martyred saints above.)

4. The 2-Witnesses. (Rev. 11:3)

5. The angel with the everlasting gospel. (Rev. 14:6)

George then questioned, “Can you elaborate on your second reason about the importance of Pre-trib timing?”

Why Ezekiel 38 is Probably Pre-Trib
Razz responded, “Gladly, but this gets a bit more complicated. It requires a better-than- basic understanding about the distinctions between the first and second halves of the trib-period. During the first half, Israel enjoys a temporary peace derived from the covenant confirmed by the Antichrist in Daniel 9:27. This peace ends abruptly at the mid-point of the 7-year trib-period when the Antichrist enters into the third Jewish Temple, and fulfills the Daniel 11:31 and 12:11 prophecies Christ warned about in Matthew 24:15. From that point forward the Antichrist attempts a final genocidal attempt of the Jews.”

"Now, here’s why Ezekiel 38 is probably Pre-Trib. First, Israel burns Russian weapons for seven years, and second, the Antichrist causes people to lose their salvation by taking his mark.”

“What, come again,” George beseeched.”

“Exactly, I thought that would pique your attention. Allow me to explain further,” Razz requested.

“Ezekiel 39:9-10 suggests Israel will possess the know-how to convert the weapons of mass destruction possessed by the Ezekiel invaders into fuel. They will utilize these weapons for fuel and energy consumption for a period of seven-years. This will be no problem during the peaceful first half of the tribulation, but virtually impossible during the perilous second half, because Jews will be fleeing for their lives rather than harnessing this energy.”

“Therefore, many scholars suggest that Ezekiel 38 must conclude, not commence, no later than three-and-one-half years before the tribulation even begins. This allows the Jews seven full years to burn the weapons before they begin fleeing for their lives. Realistically, it will probably take approximately a year to even collect, dismantle, and covert the weapons cache prior.”

“Here’s how this could break down incrementally in real time. If the Rapture occurs, and the very next day Ezekiel 38 occurs, which is extremely unlikely, then allow at least one-year for the battle to occur and the weapons to be converted subsequently. Remember, assembling a coalition, and mobilizing an invasion of the scope described in Ezekiel 38 is no twenty-four hour undertaking. Then consider an additional seven-year span to burn the weapons. And lastly, add in the final three-and-one-half years of Great Tribulation, for a total of eleven-and-one-half years.”

If this hypothesis is correct this means that at least, underscore at least because it’s probably going to be longer, that from the time the Ezekiel 38 invasion begins until the Second coming of Christ to set up his Kingdom, there will exist approximately eleven-and-one-half years. I could be more technical on the timing, because Daniel 12:11-12 adds an additional seventy-five days to the equation. His infamous “Seventieth Week” ends, and then the two-and-one-half month interval kicks in, at which time the sheep and goat judgment of Matthew 25:32-46 takes place.”

“Now regarding the crucial timing of Ezekiel 38 I mentioned previously. The Lord utilizes Ezekiel 38 to uphold his Holy name. In his infinite mercy, and omniscient foreknowledge, he wants mankind to know that he is the promise-keeping God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the believers in Christ. Not only does he want them to know this, but he wants them to give them the opportunity to choose Christ before it’s too late and they are offered the alternative Antichrist worship system.”

“Without going into the supporting passages about the mark of the beast in Revelation 13, 14, 15, 16, 19, and 20, this mark condemns all who take it to hell. The Antichrist system appears to be established during the trib-period and therefore the Lord opts to uphold his holy name through the Ezekiel invasion prior.”

“Excellent explanation Razz, but what would you say to Catholics and Protestants that believe the Church is the new Israel. Many within their ranks teach that when the Jews rejected Jesus, that God rejected them, and that all their promises were bestowed to the Church at that time?” George questioned.

“That’s called Replacement Theology,” Razz replied.

To find out how this conversation ends pick up your copy of Revelation Road when it becomes available later this year.
* The book cover design and subtitle are still under review and may not be the same as shown in this article.

The Timing of the Rapture- Part One

Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Timing of the Rapture - Part One

The 3 Pre-Psalm 83 Rapture views
By Bill Salus

Like Harold Camping found out the hard way on May 22, 2011, the bible doesn’t predict the specific timing of the Rapture. Mr. Camping, the widely listened to broadcaster, president, and general manager of “Family Radio,” had previously predicted the Christian disappearance would occur the day prior on May 21, 2011. However, when he and his followers woke up in their same beds the next morning, they all realized that his prediction was dead wrong.

The five primary views about the timing of the Rapture are: Pre-Trib, Mid-Trib, Pan-Trib, Post-Trib, and Pre-Wrath. Mid-Trib and Post-Trib views are self-explanatory. A Mid-Tribber believes the rapture occurs in the middle of the Tribulation period (trib-period). Post-Tribbers believe the Rapture occurs after the trib-period has concluded. The Pan-Tribber is not dogmatic about any view but believes it all pans out in the end.

I’m a Pre-Tribber, which means I don’t eat Post-Toasties, buy green bananas, or drive in convertible cars unless the top is down. I believe the Rapture could occur at any moment between now and the commencement of the trib-period.

The Pre-Wrather tends to favor the timing of the Mid-Trib view, because they believe the wrath Christians are promised to escape begins about midway through the trib-period. They connect the wrathful events contained in the sixth seal in Revelation 6:12-17 to the relevant wrath Christians avoid via the means of the Rapture. Because Pre-Wrathers tend to teach all the Seal Judgments occur within the trib-period, they caution that the Rapture could occur at the Mid-Trib point.

As I demonstrate in my upcoming book series, Revelation Road, Apocalypse Road, and Tribulation Road, the Pre-Wrather is a Pre-Tribber for the most part because it appears at least the first five of the seven Seal Judgments occur before the trib-period even commences.*

I am often asked whether the Rapture could occur before Psalm 83, or Ezekiel 38 find fulfillment. Absolutely! It could occur before, during, or after either event. This is possible because, like the Rapture, these events appear to conclude before the trib-period commences. To discover why I order Psalm 83 before Ezekiel 38, read the article entitled, “Psalm 83 or Ezekiel 38, Which is the Next Mideast News Headline.”

The above article lists a flurry of reasons that Psalm 83 appears to precede Ezekiel 38. Since Ezekiel 38 appears to be a pre-trib event, Psalm 83 should certainly be also. A few reasons illustrating why Ezekiel 38 is probably a pre-trib event are included in part two of this article series.

Operating under the reasonable presumption that all three events, the Rapture, Psalm 83, and Ezekiel 38, occur prior to the trib-period, below are some views regarding a Pre-Psalm 83 Rapture.

The Pre-Psalm 83 Rapture
Explained below are three differing perspectives addressing the timing of Psalm 83 in relationship to the Rapture. They are, “Psalm 83 is now imminent,””The Church could be part of Psalm 83,” and “Israel, not the Church, is called “my people” when Psalm 83 occurs.

Psalm 83 is now imminent – Some suggest Mideast signs of the times signal that Psalm 83 has become an imminent event. They don’t see any further preconditions prohibiting its modern day fulfillment. For instance, the Psalm calls for the destruction of Israel so that “the name of Israel may be remembered no more.” In order for the Jewish State to be destroyed, and the name of Israel banished forever, the nation had to first exist. On May 14, 1948 Israel regained its nationhood fulfilling that precondition.

The Psalm also predicts that an Arab confederacy or league forms in order to destroy Israel. In Cairo, Egypt on March 22, 1945 the Arab League was formed. Presently it comprises 22-members, and includes the prominent members of Psalm 83, like Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Palestinian Authority, Iraq, and Lebanon. Originally it was established to unite the newly forming Arab States by developing their fledgling economies, resolving their regional disputes, and coordinating their collective political aims.

At the time there was no Palestinian Refugee crisis competing for the league’s agenda or resources. However as a result of the Arab – Israeli conflict, some suggest the Arab League has become pre-occupied with the plight of the Palestinians. The Palestinian Refugee crisis appears to be what motivates the prominent members of the league to confederate militarily against Israel according to Psalm 83.

The first member listed in the confederacy is the “tents of Edom,” which in large part, appears to identify today’s Palestinian Authority. Thus it can be presumed that this League, which vehemently opposes Israel’s existence, is also in place. Apart from fragile peace-pacts Israel has with Egypt and Jordan, the entire region is extremely volatile and war could break out between the Arabs and the Jews at any time.

Because the Psalm 83 Arab – Israeli war could occur without further preconditions, and the Church still occupies the earth, advocates of this argument believe the Church could experience the fulfillment of Psalm 83. Although this is entirely possible, this assumption is primarily based upon logic and newspaper exegesis rather than scripture.

The Church could be part of Psalm 83 –Another reason some think the Rapture can’t occur until after Psalm 83, is because they believe the Church is identified within Psalm 83. Subscribers to this reasoning point to Psalm 83:3 as their evidence.

“They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones.” (Psalm 83, KJV)
They identify “thy hidden ones” as the Church. To better understand their arguments and why I disagree with this possibility, read the articles called, “Is the Church Identified in Psalm 83,” and “The Treasured ones of Psalm 83.” Interestingly, this camp is split on whether or not the Rapture is a Pre or Post Psalm 83 event. Some suggest the church goes through Psalm 83, but are “hidden” or isolated from the event somehow. Whereas others believe the Church is previously Raptured and therefore “hidden” in heaven from the earthly events of Psalm 83. As pointed out in the two articles linked above, I believe the “hidden ones” probably represent the faithful remnant inside national Israel.

Israel, not the Church, is called my people when Psalm 83 occurs – This argument is
primarily based upon the description of Israel in Ezekiel 25:14, and secondarily supported by Obadiah 1:18. These passages seem to illustrate that the I.D.F. becomes the instrument used by the Lord to defeat the Psalm 83 confederacy. Ezekiel 25:14 identifies the Jews as “my People Israel,” during Psalm 83.

This chosen people classification suggests that Israel has been reinstated as God’s client nation by the time Psalm 83 occurs. If this is the case, then the whereabouts of the Church legitimately comes into question. Presently, believers in Jesus are considered to be God’s chosen people. If the Church is still present on the earth during Psalm 83, why is God calling the Jews “my People Israel?” This theme is developed thoroughly in the chapter called “My People Israel” in my book Isralestine, The Ancient Blueprints of the Future Middle East.
I will lay My vengeance on Edom (the tents of Edom in Psalm 83) by the hand of My people Israel, (the I.D.F.) that they may do in Edom according to My anger and according to My fury; and they shall know My vengeance,” says the Lord GOD. (Ezekiel 25:14, NKJV; emphasis added.)

Obadiah’s secondary passage below correlates with Ezekiel’s passage and pictures the houses of Jacob and Joseph as today’s I.D.F. (my People Israel.)

The house of Jacob (I.D.F.) shall be a fire, And the house of Joseph (I.D.F.) a flame; But the house of Esau (tents of Edom) shall be stubble; They shall kindle them and devour them, And no survivor shall remain of the house of Esau,” For the LORD has spoken. (Obadiah 1:18, NKJV; emphasis added.)

The startling comment made by Obadiah is that “no survivor” remains in Esau’s posterity. The I.D.F. destroys them! Today’s Palestinians have a remnant of Esau’s Edomite descendents inside their ranks. Not all Palestinians are Edomites, but as pointed out in the “Whodomite” chapter inside Isralestine, Obadiah appears to be alluding in large part to today’s Palestinians.

Connecting passages in Jeremiah read,
But I have made Esau bare; I have uncovered his secret places, And he shall not be able to hide himself. His (Palestinian) descendants are plundered, His brethren and his (Psalm 83 Arab) neighbors, And he (Esau’s posterity) is no more. Leave your fatherless children, I will preserve them alive; And let your widows trust in Me.” (Jeremiah 49:10-11, NKJV; emphasis added)

In the end analysis, it doesn’t appear that any of these arguments provide conclusive evidence that the Church experiences a Pre-Psalm 83 Rapture. The important thing for Christians to grasp is that if we are here to experience the Arab-Israeli war of Psalm 83, it becomes our fantastic witnessing tool. Unbelievers can be directed to the content of Psalm 83 and align it up to the Arab-Israeli war it describes. By then they will have witnessed the fulfillment of the prophecy and should appreciate the fact that the bible predicted it accurately over 3000-years prior.

*Watch for the soon release of book one, "Revelation Road." The book cover image in this article is approved for this article's use only, and may be altered by the time the book is release.

Apostasy in the Church


Apostasy in the Church

How it is accelerating and how it relates to the return of Jesus.



Apostasy in the Church
(Note: This article is a highly abridged version of a chapter from Dr. David Reagan's new book, Living for Christ in the End Times.)

The Bible clearly prophesies that the Church of the end times will be characterized by apostasy. Paul said that the Antichrist will not be revealed until "the apostasy comes first" (2 Thessalonians 2:3). Jesus prophesied that "many will fall away" and "most people's love will grow cold" (Matthew 24:10, 12).

In the book of Revelation, chapters 2 and 3, the Apostle John records seven letters of Jesus to seven churches in the area of modern day Turkey. Among other things, these letters present a panoramic prophetic survey of the Church in history. The last of the churches mentioned, the one that represents the Church of the end times, is the church at Laodicea. It is pictured as a church that is neither hot (healing) nor cold (refreshing), but rather is lukewarm or tepid (Revelation 3:15-16). In short, it is a church that is apathetic. Jesus also pictures it as a worldly church enamored with its wealth (Revelation 3:17). The Lord is so dissatisfied with this church that He declares, "Because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth" (Revelation 3:16).

Clues from the Apostle Paul

Paul supplies us with some strong clues as to why the end times Church will be weak, vacillating, and full of apostasy. One of those clues can be found in 2 Timothy 4:3-4 which says that "the time will come when they [Christians] will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires; and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths."

Another clue is located in Paul's famous prophecy about end time society, the one in 2 Timothy 3. After describing in graphic detail how society will fall apart in the end times, Paul adds that the basic reason will be due to people "holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power" (2 Timothy 3:5). There will be no lack of religion, says Paul, but people will deny the true power that is able to transform society for the good, producing peace, righteousness and justice.

What is that power? First and foremost it is the power of the blood of Jesus. It is also the power that comes from accepting the Bible as the infallible Word of God. It is the power of believing in a Creator God with whom all things are possible. And certainly it includes a belief in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Today, these essential beliefs, which constitute the power of Christianity, are being subjected to an unparalleled assault from within the Church itself. The Bible says that in the end times people will mock the promise of the Lord's return (2 Peter 3:3-4). What is so shocking is that most of the mockery is coming from within the Church!

The Root of Apostasy

How have we reached this crisis point in the Church? It is rooted in the German School of Higher Criticism which invaded this country big-time in the 1920's. According to the "scientific approach" of this school of skeptics, the Bible is not the revealed Word of God. Rather, it is Man's search for God, and therefore it is filled with myth, legend and superstition.

Today this viewpoint dominates the seminaries of America. The Bible is studied not to be believed and obeyed but to be analyzed, dissected, and criticized. The result is that the Scriptures have lost their authority.

Apostate Leaders

John Spong, Episcopal Bishop of New Jersey, has written books in which he denies the virgin birth, denies the miracles of Jesus, denies the resurrection, denies the Second Coming, and argues that Paul and Timothy were homosexual lovers. Bishop Spong has become so enamored with other religions that he has announced he will no longer witness to those caught up in the spiritual darkness of pagan faiths!1

Similar apostate thoughts were mouthed by Norman Vincent Peale in 1984 on the Phil Donahue program. Peale announced, "It's not necessary to be born-again. You have your way to God; I have mine. I found eternal peace in a Shinto shrine... I've been to Shinto shrines, and God is everywhere."
Phil Donahue was so shocked that he actually came to the defense of Christianity. "But you're a Christian minister," he retorted, "and you're suppose to tell me that Christ is the way and the truth and the life, aren't you?"

Peale replied, "Christ is one of the ways. God is everywhere."2

Look again at Peale's incredible statement: "It's not necessary to be born-again." What did Jesus say? "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born-again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3:3). Who are we to believe?

Schuller's Apostate Gospel

Peale's leading disciple, Robert Schuller, has outdone his teacher with the development of his "gospel of possibility thinking." In his book, Self Esteem: The New Reformation, Schuller states that the leaders of the Reformation Movement made a mistake in centering their theology around God instead of Man!3

Schuller teaches that the essence of Man's problem is low self-esteem.4 The Bible teaches it is pride. Schuller says that when Jesus referred in John 7:38 to "rivers of living water" flowing out of believers, He was speaking of self-esteem.5 The very next verse says He was speaking of the Holy Spirit. Schuller argues that sin is anything that robs us of our "divine dignity" (our "divine dignity"?).6 The Bible says sin is rebellion against God.

The Response of Christendom

Schuller's book calling for a "new reformation" caused a firestorm of controversy. The Evangelical magazine, Christianity Today, invited readers to give their opinions of the book, and many people wrote in to denounce it. One writer referred to Schuller as "a modern-day apostle of humanism."7
The letters continued to pour in for weeks, and they were so critical that Dr. Schuller decided to respond to them. In a long letter published in the October 5, 1984 issue of Christianity Today, he made an incredible comment that has haunted him to this day:8 "I don't think anything has been done in the name of Christ and under the banner of Christianity that has proven more destructive to human personality and, hence, counterproductive to the evangelism enterprise than the often crude, uncouth, and unchristian strategy of attempting to make people aware of their lost and sinful condition."
As a writer for Time put it in an article in 1985, "For Schuller, an acknowledgment of self-worth, more than a confession of sinfulness, is the path to God."9

Further Evidence of Schuller's Apostasy

In an appearance on the Phil Donahue show in 1980, Schuller tried, incredibly, to portray Jesus as an egotist! Here's what he said:10 "The Cross sanctifies the ego trip. That's very significant. In other words, Jesus had an ego. He said, 'I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men to me.'" Wow! What an ego trip He was on!

What blatant blasphemy — to accuse the One who was the very essence of humility of being an egotist!

Schuller gave a speech at the headquarters of the Unity Church in Lees Summit, Missouri and shared with their pastors his church growth principles. This is a cult that denies the deity of Jesus and which teaches reincarnation! He also dedicated a new Unity Temple in Warren, Michigan, in spite of warnings from a local Baptist pastor not to do so because of the errors of this cult.11

In a recent speech honoring an Islamic spiritual leader named Alfred Mohammed, Schuller said that if he were to come back in 100 years and find his descendants to be Muslims, it wouldn't bother him!12

An Apostate Seminar

Another modern day apostate is Robert Funk, a New Testament scholar at the University of Montana. He is the founder of the notorious Jesus Seminar which began operating in 1985. The avowed purpose of the Seminar was "to renew the quest for the historical Jesus."13 The Seminar conducted this quest in a very unusual way. Meeting twice a year for six years, the group voted on each of the sayings of Jesus recorded in the Gospels. They voted by dropping colored beads in a box. A black bead meant Jesus definitely did not make the statement in question. A gray bead meant He did not say it, but it might have represented His thinking. A pink bead meant He probably said something like this, but not in the words recorded. A red bead meant He definitely made the statement.14

As you can see, the very approach expressed contempt for the veracity of the Gospel accounts. What a spectacle this must have been to the Lord as He watched these so-called scholars vote on passages from His Word. "Professing to be wise, they became fools" (Romans 1:22).

The final product of the Seminar, published in 1993, was a blasphemy of God's Word. It was titled, The Five Gospels.15 The title comes from the fact that the Seminar decided to grant the apocryphal Gospel of Thomas equal standing with the four traditional Gospels.

Only fifteen sayings of Jesus made it into The Five Gospels in red! In Matthew's account of the Lord's Prayer, the only words that made it in red were, "Our Father." Only one saying in the entire book of Mark was colored red. It is the statement of Jesus in Mark 12:17 where He told His disciples to "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." Likewise, only one statement from the Gospel of John qualified for the red coloring: "A prophet has no honor in his own country" (John 4:44).

The chilling thing to keep in mind is that the men who produced this spiritual pornography are professors at seminaries across America. They are the ones who are training the current generation of pastors and teachers.

Apostasy in the Denominations

The apostasy is not confined to the seminaries. It is pervasive. It can be found in all denominations. Consider the following examples.

In 1997, on the eve of Lent, the Right Reverend Alan Smithson, the Bishop of Jarrow (Anglican Church in England), held a press conference in London. He announced that it was traditional for Christians to give up something during the forty days of Lent. He then dramatically announced that he had decided to give up Bible reading! He went on to explain that he was going to devote his time during Lent to reading the Koran, because he felt like the Muslim scriptures would make him "more understanding, more compassionate, and more fully human."16

R. Kirby Godsey, president of Mercer University, a school heavily supported by the Georgia Baptist Convention, "denies the infallibility of the Bible, the unique power and authority of God, the validity of the Gospel's account of the life and teachings of Jesus, the efficacy of Christ's atonement, and the uniqueness of Christ as the only Savior."17

In 1997 the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church sponsored a meeting in Kansas City that attracted 4,000 participants from all over the world. Called, "Global Gathering III," the conference featured a parade of speakers who attacked the fundamentals of the Christian faith. One speaker declared that the crucifixion of Jesus reveals an "abusive Heavenly Father who is not fit for Christian worship." The speaker urged instead that the Church revere all the world's children as little messiahs equal to Jesus.18

Apostasy in Local Churches

The spreading cancer of apostasy in the Church is not confined to theologians and church conferences. It can be found at the grass roots level, in local churches.

Consider, for example, The Episcopal New Church Center in Walkersville, Maryland. This church hired a public relations firm to develop a print and television advertising campaign. One of the first ads in this campaign carried a banner headline that read, "To Hell With Church!" It showed a man thinking, "If I want to feel guilty, I'll eat some cheese fries." Another ad in the series showed a painting of Christ nailed on the Cross. Scrawled over the painting were the words, "Of course people with pierced body parts are welcome in our church."19

The Maryland church really went wacky when it moved to producing TV ads. They hired a fellow known for the kinky cartoons he produces for Saturday Night Live. His first ad for the church opened with a father and son tossing a baseball to each other in the front yard.

"Guess what, Timmy?" the father asks. "Tomorrow your mother and I are going to take you to church." The father continues, "Not only will you be able to learn about the wages of sin and eternal damnation, but you can play fun games like 'Bible Sword Drill' and sing inspirational songs like 'Kumbaya' and 'I've Got Joy, Joy, Joy Down in My Heart.'"

Dejected by this prospect, little Timmy walks into the middle of the road and holds up his hands in surrender as a semi-truck blows its horn and bears down on him.20
Not only apostate, but sick.

Inter-Faith Apostasy

The big move at the grass roots level these days is interfaith worship services. I'm not talking about inter-denominational — rather, the emphasis is on inter-faith. Christians are inviting Muslims, Jews, Hindus, American Indian practitioners of "native religion," and others to join in worshiping "the one true god, regardless of the name you may give to him or her."

Pope John Paul II got caught up in this inter-faith fad in 1986 when he invited the leaders of the world's religions to come to Assisi, Italy to join him in praying for world peace.21 One hundred sixty representatives came, including the Dali Lama (who considers himself to be a god). Each representative prayed to his own god at the Pope's request! Did the Pope believe their gods were real? Or did he believe that they were all praying to the same god, but under different names?

The Challenge

Englishman William Booth (1829-1912), who founded the Salvation Army, was a man with a great zeal for the Lord and a passion for lost souls. He was also a man of vision. On the eve of the 20th Century when Christendom was caught up in euphoria about how the Church would soon take the world for Christ, Booth predicted that the Gospel would not fare well in the new century. Specifically, he prophesied that by the end of the 20th Century, much of the Church would be preaching:22
  • Christianity without Christ
  • Forgiveness without repentance
  • Salvation without regeneration
  • Heaven without Hell
That's exactly where we are today. Because of it, as we begin the 21st Century, Christians are faced with unparalleled challenges from the decay of society and the apostatizing of the Church. Increasingly, many are going to give up hope. Some will express this hopelessness by withdrawing from society and assuming a siege mentality. Others will throw in the towel and adopt the attitude, "If you can't lick them, join them."

Considering the magnitude of the challenge, is there any hope for triumphant Christian living? And if so, how then shall we live?

(Note: Dr. Reagan proceeds to respond to these questions in his new book by presenting ten chapters of down-to-earth guidelines for living as a victorious overcomer in these end times.)


  1. John Shelby Spong, Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism: A Bishop Rethinks the Meaning of Scripture (San Francisco, California: Harper, 1992). Another revealing book by Bishop Spong is Why Christianity Must Change or Die: A Bishop Speaks to Believers in Exile (San Francisco, California: Harper, 1999). A good summary of Bishop Spong's views can be found on the Internet in his "Call for a New Reformation,"
  2. Dave Hunt, "Revival or Apostasy," The Berean Call, October 1997, p. 2.
  3. Robert Schuller, Self Esteem: The New Reformation, (Waco, Texas: Word Books, 1982), p. 39. An insightful review of Schuller's writings can be found in an article by Joseph P. Gudel entitled "A New Reformation?" It was published in Passport Magazine, January-February 1988. It is available on the Internet at

    There are other excellent summaries of Schuller's thought that can be found on the Internet. One is an article by David W. Cloud entitled "Evangelicals and Modernist Robert Schuller" ( line_resources/evangelicals_and_modernist_robert_schuller.htm).

    Another good analysis is entitled, "The God of the Bible Versus the God of Multi-level Marketing: Positive Thinking," (
  4. Ibid., p.19.
  5. Ibid. p. 80.
  6. Ibid. p. 14.
  7. Hugh Cantelon, "More on Schuller," (letter to the editor), Christianity Today, October 19, 1984, p. 11.
  8. Robert Schuller, "Dr. Schuller Comments," (letter to the editor), Christianity Today, October 5, 1984, pp. 12-13.
  9. Richard Stengel, "Apostle of Sunny Thoughts," Time, March 18, 1985, p. 70.
  10. The Phil Donahue Show, transcript 08120, August 12, 1980, p. 10.
  11. Rick Miesel, p. 5. Schuller's support of the Unity Church is also documented in an article by Dave Hunt published in the CIB Bulletin, January 1988. In a letter to the author, dated January 24, 2000, Dave Hunt states that he has a tape recording of the speech that Schuller delivered to the Unity pastors about church growth principles.
  12. Dave Hunt, "What's Happening to the Faith?" The Berean Call, May 1998, p. 1.
  13. "The Jesus Seminar: The Search for Authenticity,"
  14. In April 1996, Time featured the Jesus Seminar on its cover under the title "The Search for Jesus." The cover article presented a comprehensive survey of the seminar's organization, methodology, and conclusions. See David Van Biema, "The Gospel Truth? — The iconoclastic and provocative Jesus Seminar argues that not much of the New Testament can be trusted. If so, what are Christians to believe?" Time, April 8, 1996.
  15. Robert W. Funk and Roy W. Hoover, The Five Gospels (San Francisco, California: Harper, reprint edition, 1997). A good review of this book can be found in an article by D. A. Carson entitled "Five Gospels, No Christ." The article appeared in Christianity Today, April 25, 1994, pp. 30-33.
  16. "Bishop gives up Bible for Lent" unsigned article, Daily Mail, London, England, February 14, 1997, p. 31.
  17. Dave Hunt, "What's Happening to the Faith?" The Berean Call, May 1998, p. 1. Dr. Godsey's views can be found in the book, When We Talk About God, Let's Be Honest, (Macon, Georgia: Smyth & Helwys Publishing Co., 1996). The Georgia Baptist Convention adopted a resolution of censure in November 1996 in which it asked the trustees of Mercer University to consider whether Dr. Godsey should be continued as president of the institution. The trustees voted to affirm his presidency.
  18. Mark Tooley, "Church Gathering Features Radical Speakers," AFA Journal, June 1997, p.19.
  19. John Kirkpatrick, "Ads fish for churchgoers with irreverent approach," Dallas Morning News, April 18, 1998, p. 1F.
  20. Ibid., p. 11F.
  21. Richard N. Ostling, "A Summit for Peace in Assisi," Time, November 10, 1986, pp. 78-79.
  22. Joseph Revell, "The Salvation Army Revisited," Report from the Wall, (an Internet daily devotional message sent from, December 18, 1998, p. 2.