Saturday, December 29, 2012

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Bible Believers Persecuted by Catholics in Mexico

Just posted at my Catholicism blog Chris Pinto's plea for prayer for persecuted Mexicans, important enough to flag here:

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

More on the push for gun control

Chris Pinto's latest radio shows, dealing mostly with the tragedy in Connecticut and related matters:

The Connecticut Tragedy

The predictable calls for gun control are everywhere in the wake of this tragedy as usual, and one of the claims is that gun control in the UK is a good example of success in cutting back on crime.  Not according to this article:

Culture of violence: Gun crime goes up by 89% in a decade  

Gun crime has almost doubled since Labour came to power as a culture of extreme gang violence has taken hold.

The latest Government figures show that the total number of firearm offences in England and Wales has increased from 5,209 in 1998/99 to 9,865 last year - a rise of 89 per cent.   In some parts of the country, the number of offences has increased more than five-fold.  

In eighteen police areas, gun crime at least doubled. The statistic will fuel fears that the police are struggling to contain gang-related violence, in which the carrying of a firearm has become increasingly common place.  

Last week, police in London revealed they had begun carrying out armed patrols on some streets.   The move means officers armed with sub-machine guns are engaged in routine policing for the first time.  

Shadow Home Secretary, Chris Grayling, said last night: 'In areas dominated by gang culture, we're now seeing guns used to settle scores between rivals as well as turf wars between rival drug dealers.  

'We need to redouble our efforts to deal with the challenge.' He added:

'These figures are all the more alarming given that it is only a week since the Metropolitan Police said it was increasing regular armed patrols in some areas of the capital'.

Read more:

And not according to this video either:

And here's today's Chris Pinto radio show on more or less the same subject:
America in Decline

And here's a video of the similar situation in Australia since their gun confiscation:

And Chris Pinto's next show (Wednesday the 19th) is on the subject of this Australian confiscation.

(Note: He starts this radio show with a plea he received for prayer for Mexican believers who are being persecuted by Catholics.)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Singing In the Christmas Season

Oh hear them sing the Truth in public places:

Christmas Carols Flash Mob in a Mall:

Joy to the World in a Mall Food Court

Hallelujah Chorus at Macy's

Sing praises to His Holy Name!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Treachery in the Founding of America

A few weeks ago Jan Markell hosted a discussion on her Understanding the Times radio show, America's Roots and Founders, about the Founding Fathers of America, with Eric Barger and Jill Martin Rische, along with pastor Dan Fisher, in which the aim was to argue against those who say that the American Founders were not Christian. 

It was clear right from the start that there's a really huge confusion about these things that has to be resolved.  I was rather surprised that the main focus was on proving that the Founders were not Deists, surprised because I did think that idea had been clarified by now. 

First let's be clear that the Founders whose faith is in question are mainly the Big Five: Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Franklin and Thomas Paine.  Although I was vaguely aware of problems with their beliefs for some time, over the last few months I've been convinced in stark and startling ways, mostly through Chris Pinto's film Hidden Faith of the Founding Fathers, that they were far from Christian, and in fact were clear rejectors of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  This is what needs to be discussed here.

Other men involved in that era were brought up on the program but they only tend to confuse the issues further.  Patrick Henry for instance was clearly a Christian, he referred to Christ and to the gospel of salvation on many occasions.  Many preachers of the gospel were also discussed who were certainly Christians.  John Jay was mentioned, who was definitely a Christian.  There were many true Christians in various roles in government during the founding era, and in the Revolutionary War.  Much time was spent on the subject of the "Black Robed Regiment"* made up of Christian pastors who preached for Revolution and willingly fought and died for it.  And certainly the Christian foundations of America go back to the earliest settlers who were also true Christians, the Puritans and Pilgrims, and the nation can look back to them for strong Christian inspiration. 

But there is nevertheless a controversy about the true beliefs of the five founders I list above, the shapers of the new union through the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and other documents.

It is quite true, as the participants on the program all agreed, that these Founders were not Deists in the sense that we understand that term to mean belief in a God who is not involved in human affairs.  Certainly Washington, Adams, Jefferson and Franklin believed in Providence and in prayer, and the protection of God over a country that adhered to His moral laws.  And a great deal of what they say along those lines can sound awfully Christian to Christian ears, much of which was quoted on the program.  Franklin, for instance, who was considered the least religious, nevertheless is the one who called for prayer by the Constitutional Congress. 

The confusing thing is that they can sound so Christian and yet in fact reject the essentials of the Christian faith.  ALL of them deny the Deity of Christ, even in the case of Adams and Jefferson ridiculing it.  Adams was a Unitarian, so he officially denied the Trinity, he also ridiculed it in his letters as did his wife Abigail, and ridiculed such basic Christian doctrine as that Christ was God incarnate born of a virgin.   Jefferson denied ALL the supernatural elements of the Bible.  Franklin said he doubted the deity of Christ.  Washington refused to take communion at his Anglican church while he was President in Philadelphia.  His pastor called him a "Deist" in so many words, though there is reason now to regard that designation as not quite on the mark as I go on to discuss below.

Yet they all approved of the MORALITY of Jesus Christ, or at least some of the morality taught in His name.  That's really ALL they approved of.  They thought it would be fine if the nation were founded on that MORALITY, but certainly not on the gospel of salvation by Christ, which they considered to be a primitive myth not worthy of belief by intelligent people   They were men of the Age of Reason, as Paine titled his book that made it once and for all evident that he was no Christian however much he might have supported Christian principles in a general sort of way through the Revolutionary era.  These were Enlightenment men, who believed that human reason was the arbiter of all truth, so they rejected all claims to supernatural occurrences such as a virgin birth or resurrection from the dead as contrary to Reason, and believed humanity was growing up and would soon do away with such foolishness.  Sound familiar?  Lot of that we hear today as well.

The God they believed in was the God of Masonry and Unitarianism or even the God of Reason if that makes any sense, but NOT the God of the Bible.

Gregg Frazer is a scholar who is affiliated with John MacArthur's Masters College who did a thorough study of the beliefs of the Founding generation and published his findings in a book, The Religious Beliefs of America's Founders: Reason, Revelation, Revolution in which he argues that they were neither Deists nor Christians.  He came up with a new term, "theistic rationalism" to describe their beliefs. 

They did believe in a God who intervened in human affairs, they did believe in prayer, they did believe the nation needed to submit to God's moral law if it was to prosper, but they also adamantly and pointedly rejected the fundamental tenets of the Christian faith.

Surely it doesn't serve our cause to go on being deceived by this.  America has plenty of true Christian history to lean on that we can invoke, including true Christian leaders who went on affirming the Christian nature of the nation even after the Founders had done their dirty work of treachery against the majority Christian population. 

And that is how I've come to think of it. They were traitors.  Chris Pinto's film Hidden Faith of the Founding Fathers, makes this clear.

The Understanding the Times broadcast starts out quoting the famous line from the Declaration of Independence:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights...
And we as Christians have pointed to that reference to the Creator to prove the Christian underpinnings of the Declaration.  But this turns out to be a deception.  Chris Pinto in his film about the founders points out that the concept of "self-evident" truths is an Enlightenment idea, that in fact it was specifically put in the Declaration as a CONTRADICTION to the Biblical claim that it is GOD who determines our equality, NOT REASON.  Reason declares some philosophical positions to be self-evident according to human judgment but to a Christian it is the Biblical revelation that establishes humanity as equal because of our descent from Adam and Eve.  The "Creator" referred to in the Declaration is not the God of the Bible, but "the God of Nature" who is more compatible with the antiChristian beliefs of the Founders.

In his film Pinto also interviews ex-Mormon and expert on Mormonism and Masonry, Ed Decker, who states that the Declaration of Independence was written on a MASONIC LAMBSKIN.  THAT was supposed to be such a great boon to the nation, but to a Christian it ought to be recognized as blasphemy and a denial of the God of the Bible.

A pastor who researched the beliefs of the founding fathers is also quoted in the film as having discovered that they were all "infidels," and also that it had been debated whether or not to refer to God in the Constitution and it was decided NOT to.

Now, that ought to be enough to show that the founders that are so often misreprsented as Christians were actually antichrists (those who deny that Jesus is God come in the flesh) and traitors to the Christian population of America.

But Pinto also delves deeper and finds some very interesting historical background on the concept of "religious liberty" as written into our Constitution.  This concept goes back to the Catholic monarch James II of England who introduced something called The Declaration of Indulgence which would have rescinded strict limitations on the role allowed to Catholics and others in political positions.  Here's what I found Douglas Wilson saying about that, which is what Pinto's film also affirms:

Why Anglicans Matter to the Rest of Us by Douglas Wilson.

In the brief and troubled reign of James II, an event took place that illustrates how connected Anglicans and non-Anglicans can sometimes be.  James the Second was a fervent supporter of the interests of Rome, and during his reign—in the memorable phrase of J.C. Ryle—“traitors were hatched in the sunshine of corruption.”

James had begun his reign by persecuting the Nonconformists—jailing the great Richard Baxter after a farce of a trial, for example, and being responsible for the death by drowning of the young Scottish martyr Margaret Wilson. Because of this kind of thing, the pitch was set for the song he intended to sing, and the Nonconformists were reinforced in their intention not even to get their Psalters out.

But in April of 1688, James issued a “Declaration of Indulgence” along with a requirement that the declaration be read in all the chapels and churches of the kingdom by their officiating ministers. Seven bishops refused to have anything to do with it, and their subsequent trial was the cause celebre that brought James down in the Glorious Revolution.

But there was a striking element in this Declaration of Indulgence. James was trying to make room for the Church of Rome, and yet the declaration allowed both Roman Catholics and Protestant Dissenters the freedom to perform worship publicly. Before the bishops had made their decision to refuse to obey the king, the Nonconformists stepped forward, in the words of Ryle, “to their eternal honour,” and offered their support to the bishops in their defiance of the king, even though it meant their continued exclusion and exile. “They refused to be bribed just as they had formally refused to be intimidated.”
 “They would have none of the Royal indulgence, if it could only be purchased at the expense of the nation’s Protestantism.  Baxter, and Bates, and Howe, and the great bulk of the London Nonconformists, entreated the clergy to stand firm, and not to yield one inch to the King.” (J.C. Ryle,
Light from Old Times (London: Thynne & Jarvis, 1924, p.438)
How NICE the idea of Religious Liberty sounds.  And haven't we all affirmed this idea with pride in our tolerant nation?  We've even thought it is in keeping with Christian principles.  How hard it is then to begin to consider that it could be a huge deception that is only turning the nation over to internal enemies.  What Muslim nation allows nonMuslims to hold office?  NO nation that has an established religion allows members of another religion that kind of power.  But America stupidly does.

James was looking for a way to give Rome a foothold in England again after they had so wisely limited her influence, and the nation wisely rejected his plot.

But guess what. What England so intelligentlhy rejected got enshrined in our American Constitution. Plots within plots that nobody ever suspected.

Things are NOT what they seem.  We Christians need to wake up and start to realize that we're threatened in ways we had no idea.  May God give us wisdom even at this late hour.

* The stories of the Black Robed Regiment which were told by Pastor Dan Fisher on the radio show, are very inspiring and something we should know more about.  But I have to wonder why nothing was made of the fact that Mormon Glenn Beck has been invoking the Black Robed Regiment in a way that confuses the "Christian" basis of American history even further.  Understanding the Times is a DISCERNMENT ministry.  Let's have a little more DISCERNMENT there folks.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Post on the Wiles of Rome

Been falling down on the Blog Upkeep here.  Working fitfully on a post that's really hard to get organized, but hope to get it up soon.  Also distracted elsewhere. 

But I did just put up a new post on my Catholicism blog, so thought I could post an advertisement of that here for now.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Judgment abides on the American Church because of the Church's compromises. It's the Church that needs to repent.

Chris Pinto had a good radio show, well two shows Thursday and Friday, and I got a needed reminder from him how the election is God's judgment, on the nation yes, but first of all on the church.  This is a recognition I sometimes have clearly in mind myself but then lose for a while.  Why not talk about the merely political side of it occsaionally?  Well, that's OK, but not when I leave out the overarching picture of God's judgment.  He's sovereign, He's in charge of the election as well as everything else, it doesn't matter how Obama got into office from a human or political point of view, he got into office because God allowed him to be in office.  Nothing but nothing happens without God's willing it.

He also made the point that it isn't just a matter of abandoning God's law, important as that is, but that we've abandoned the gospel itself and that means the CHURCH has abandoned the gospel.  He referred to a recent article by Brannon Howse, which I haven't read, about the compromises true Christians have been making by joining with nonChristians for the sake of political conservatism.  That's a denial of the gospel of Christ, it's a denial of Christ Himself.  Glenn Beck is not a Christian, his beliefs are in fact what scripture calls antichrist, scripture warns us we must not have anything to do with such a person or we share in his sin.  Yet apparently true Christians, or we've assumed they are, such as David Barton, are receiving him as if he were a true Christion.  This is a denial of Christ, and if Barton doesn't soon see it and repent of it he'll only destroy his own spiritual life if he really is a Christian. 

We ought all to know that when Joel Osteen says he thinks Glenn Beck or that Mormons in general are really Christians he's compromising the gospel too, he's denying the gospel of Christ, he's speaking in the spirit of antichrist.  Are there Christians in Joel Osteen's church?  I don't know, but if there are they need to leave so as not to come under his condemnation.

Then there's that question of appearing on a program such as Beck's or at a prayer rally that includes apostates such as the one Rick Perry held a few years ago that I wrote about here, or Glenn Beck's, or a conference with the leaders of the New Apostolic Reformation who hold apostate views, whether that also compromises the gospel.  There is no doubt that Christians cannot, must not, pray with apostates and unbelievers.  That I have no doubt about.  We must not pray with Mormons or NAR members or with Catholics either.  This principle is violated all the time in many ways among conservatives who want to see the nation returned to God, including many I know to be true Christians. 

As for merely appearing on a program where you might be inadvertently giving public support to the unbelieving host, such as Glenn Beck, I've gone back and forth on this one.  I think there must be some borderline cases, or certainly cases where it is done innocently where the person does not come under condemnation, but I'm coming back to the position that this is something that only feeds the lies of Satan and should be shunned.  And I'm now including those time honored Fox shows like Hannity and O Reilly and whoever else there is Catholic, which is a lot of them, IF your message is a Christian message.  If it's just politics there's less of a problem although I even wonder about that these days.  Yes, think about it, they're Catholics and no matter how good their conservative politics by bringing a Christian message through them you are treating them as Christians WHICH THEY ARE NOT. 

I'm glad I finally got this cleared up in my own mind, I've been suffering from some confusion and oppression about these things for some time. 

So I have to step on some toes of people I happen to like and think are true Christians. 

There are bloggers who are true Christians who "host" many friends who come to comment, who are Catholics, Jews, Mormons, even one who out and out denies the deity of Christ, even treating them as Christian, even defending them against true Christians who try to tell them truth.  The reasoning is that you must be nice to everbody, they hold siolid conservative beliefs, and if you're nice to them they may come around to true Christianity because you're being a proper representative of Christ.  And occasionally the gospel may be given in rather mild terms.  Well, niceness has some place of course, but compromising the gospel for the sake of niceness is denying the Lord yourself.

And it's inviting judgment on America.  the very judgment conservatives are working so hard to push back, by all the wrong methods, methods that only invite more judgment.

Michele Bachmann was very wrong to appear with the apostate group the NAR.  I have no reason to doubt that she's a true Christian but she too needs to separate herself from those who aren't if she wants God to work through her.

Jonathan Cahn is wrong to appear on Glenn Beck, on Sid Roth, on any platform where women pastors are accepted, on any platform that recognizes NAR members, and his doing so can only defeat the very purpose for which he's doing it, to promote his book which he believes is a message from God.  Yes, I've come to believe that is the case.  I do not see the problems with the book itself that his critics claim to discover in it, I see all that as an expression of their own bad Dispensationalist theology (which I believe they need to repent of and apologize for), but I do agree with them to the extent that Cahn is compromising the gospel by his appearances on some public media and in some false church contexts, certainly Benny Hinn's show, Roth's, possibly also Jim Bakker's but I don't know enough about Bakker's current theology to be sure in that case.

Jonathan says he is doing it to get the message of his book to as many people as possible, and he believes the message to have come from God.  But if it is from God then God must get it to the public, and Cahn knows that sometimes, forgets it at others.  Accepting invitations to publicize the book in venues that promote a compromised or blasphemous version of the gospel is a decision made by the flesh.  The only way the message COULD get out in the power he hopes for it is if he gives it completely over to God and steps out of the picture as far as his own decision-making goes.

The one thing that is absolutely necessary if we want God to withhold judgment on the nation, if we want revival, is holiness, that is, separateness from the world and especially separateness from anybody who represents a false belief in God, and it is this one thing that Christians are compromising at an astounding rate these days.  \

Whatever we do in the flesh is going to come back to us in the flesh.  If we promote revival in the flesh we may get revival in the flesh and what would that be but a work of the devil?  We can even get a phony repentance of the flesh.  If we want a true move of God Himself, our job is to DIE TO OURSELVES and to all the work we think we're doing for God and to all our aims, hopes, ambitions and whatnot, and lay ourselves at His feet to wait on Him and Him only.  THEN He may do what we are hoping He will do.  He may not, but He's ceertianly not going to do it as long as we're depending on "the arm of flesh" and compromising with His enemies.

Yes, HIS ENEMIES.  Catholics are His enemies, sorry to say but it's so, they have to come out from under that antichrist church if they believe even vaguely in the true gospel, and Mormons are even more obviously His enemies because they don't even have a shred of right understanding of the true Christ, which at least the Catholics do.

Thou shalt have no other Gods before Me.  This is what we are compromising.

Again,the nation is being judged by God BECAUSE of all these compromises among His people these days.

Do we want revival, do we want the true repentance that Cahn's book promotes?  Then we have to be ABOLUTELY uncompromising in our separateness from the world and especially from false Christians.

Holiness COSTS.  Many relationships have to go.

Oh if we would do that, cut ourselves free from our compromising connections and methods, blessings would rain down on the Church and the nation, there is no doubt. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Another case of Dispensationalist literalmindedness? -- the Jewish food laws

Got into a discussion about the food laws God gave the Israelites, the distinction between clean and unclean and why God forbade the eating of unclean animals.   Friend has the belief you sometimes hear preached these days that these laws were given in God's wisdom for their health and nutritional value.  I've always thought that idea to be one of those physicalistic interpretations that drag God down to our level, like those ideas that try to explain the parting of the Red Sea in some naturalistic terms.  But apparently this is a common way of thinking about the food laws among Christians these days, and I'm beginning to suspect this is another piece of nonsense out of Dispensationalism.

I've understood that the food laws were one of the ways God required that the Jews be separate from the nations surrounding them, partly because those nations used unclean animals in their sacrifices but at least as a way to make a distinction between God's people and the heathen.  There may be deeper explanations than I'm aware of, but to sum up my understanding, the food laws were a "type" or a picture, or a symbol, of holiness, the holiness of God's people, kept apart from the uncleanness of the world. 

When God told Peter in Acts 10 that he was now no longer to make a distinction between clean and unclean foods because God was accepting the Gentiles into His flock, the message to my mind is that the food laws never were a mere matter of what's the right thing to eat, but symbolized something else, and again, it would have to be the separateness or holiness of God's people from the heathen.  Now that the Gentiles are being brought into the fold there is no longer a distinction between Jew and Gentile but all are one in Christ.  The distinction is now between the saved and the unsaved, believers and unbelievers.

 Here's what one source said:

Although God did not reveal the specific reasons some animals may be eaten and others must be avoided, we can make generalized conclusions based on the animals included in the two categories. In listing the animals that should not be eaten, God forbids the consumption of scavengers and carrion eaters, which devour other animals for their food.

...When it comes to sea creatures, bottom dwellers such as lobsters and crabs scavenge for dead animals on the sea floor. Shellfish such as oysters, clams and mussels similarly consume decaying organic matter that sinks to the sea floor, including sewage.

A common denominator of many of the animals God designates as unclean is that they routinely eat flesh that would sicken or kill human beings. When we eat such animals we partake of a food chain that includes things harmful to people
There can't ever have been any health reason or nutritional reason for the food laws.  People have eaten pork and lobster forever without problems. When God told Peter he was no longer to regard foods as unclean that the Gentiles ate, do you think He was giving the Gentiles some kind of second rate form of salvation?  Shouldn't he have said that Peter should explain to the believing Gentiles that they shouldn't eat some of the foods they'd always eaten because they are part of a "chain that includes things harmful to people?"

Clearly not eating scavengers is symbolic of something, like touching dead bodies was also. It isn't ABOUT what's "suitable for human consumption," it never was. It was about keeping Israel separate from the unclean idolatrous heathen and their worship of demons.

The metabolic systems of the "unclean" animals clean up the stuff they eat, reduce it to its constituents, sugars, proteins, fats and so on, which happens with ALL the digestive systems of all the animals. That's why as far as mere food goes it's fine for us to eat it. Pork and shellfish are WONDERFUL foods. I wouldn't eat bugs myself but some cultures do apparently without harm and I'm not going to say they're wrong to do so even though the idea turns my stomach. Apparently it can be life-sustaining if necessary.

It's a kind of Judaizing to treat the Jewish food laws as nutritionally superior to what Gentiles normally ate. If it had anything to do with the value of the food itself then God would be at fault for depriving the Gentile believers of that supposed wisdom.

This kind of literal-minded teaching misses the whole spirit of the Bible.

Again, I'm supposing this is just another of those wrongheaded Dispensationalist "hermeneutics" that I've identified as the basis for the attacks on The Harbinger.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Right Wing is NOT Christian. We need a new true Protestant Reformation or we're sunk

This video was posted on the "humor" thread at EvC because to them the opinions and worries of conservatives are laughable. It's a production by Right Wing Watch, who also apparently think the Right is funny. So polarized is this nation.

There's some good stuff on it, by true Christians, but what scares ME the most is how many on the "conservative" side are in fact apostates, that is, pseudoChristians like Mormons and Catholic priests, all of them antichrists by the Biblical definition of that term.  MOST of the spokesmen on the video have to be described as apostates.  This makes a HUGE difference because God is NOT going to hear the prayers of those who have such false and unBiblical views.

Such as Glenn Beck has for instance. He's a true-blue conservative, a very good spokesman for the conservative cause, but when he appeals to God he's appealing to an idol and not the true God. That is not going to do the nation one bit of good.

And there he has David Barton with him on his show, they've become good buddies. All that proves is that David Barton's Christian beliefs are strongly compromised, if not completely cancelled out.

The very fact that we had a Mormon as our Presidential candidate already gave me a case of clenched teeth. Nice guy, good family man, solid patriot, important experience that could help the economy, great Presidential looks and so on, but a voting record against core Biblical positions, although he waffled on all that which doesn't help matters, and a blasphemous idea of God. How does that help the country?

Then there was Rick Joyner, again a good spokesman for the Right but he represents an apostate Christian positiion, the New Apostolic Reformation that accepts false prophecies and so on.  Joyner even apparently approvingly, even believingly, quoted the Mormon "prophecy" that a Mormon would become President just in time to save the Constitution which was to be "hanging by a thread" when he came to the office.

It's been hanging by a thread for years, if it's still hanging at all, and really, it isn't, it was done in years ago already. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Neurosurgeon's "heaven" story. More credible with the science believers?

The story about a visit to heaven by this neurosurgeon Eben Alexander, Proof of Heaven, is now available at Amazon, and is also getting some positive publicity at various blogs I visit, one of them run by a Christian who should know better, but I've found for some time now that even people I do regard as true Christians in fact don't have a biblical perspetive on these things.  If it's supernatural they buy it as if all supernatural experiences must be in tune with the Bible.  What a recipe for deception!  And Satan's hordes are having a field day with this stuff.  Must be fun inventing "heaven" for the easily deceived. 

I also got an email about this one from a friend who's heavy into the New Age and will hear nothing about the gospel from me.  That alone ought to show that such experiences have nothing to do with the gospel of Jesus Christ.  It should be obvious enough anyway from the stories themselves to anyone who has a Biblical perspective on these things.   

This particular story is written from the point of view of one who had believed the outrageous claims of materialist "science" that everything proceeds from the material so that such experiences are understood to be mere products of a disordered brain and the like. 

The following is from the Amazon Eben Alexander page:
His experience clearly revealed that we are conscious in spite of our brain - that, in fact, consciousness is at the root of all existence.
His story offers a crucial key to the understanding of reality and human consciousness. It will have a major effect on how we view spirituality, soul and the non-material realm. In analyzing his experience, including the scientific possibilities and grand implications, he envisions a more complete reconciliation of modern science and spirituality as a natural product.
He has been blessed with a complete recovery, and has written a book about this most powerful, life-changing story. Simon & Schuster will publish his book, entitled "Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife" on October 23, 2012. 
For more information, including video links and reading list, visit 
Yes, we are conscious in spite of our brain.  I've experienced that myself as a matter of fact although I wouldn't try to persuade someone else based on my experience.  We are immortal souls.  We will live forever. 

But what you aren't going to find out from this kind of report is that there is such a place or state as Hell, which IS an afterlife after all, in which SOME will live forever if that can be called "living."  These out-of-body experiences are designed to mislead you into believing EVERYBODY is going to have this very pleasant afterlife experience.  That's obviously the purpose of them.  No Hell, no worry, just look forward to intense beauty, color, interesting creatures, forever.  THAT's the delusion in these things. 

The whole point is to deny the testimony of the Bible, a testimony given to us to lead us to truth and save us from such deceptions by the demonic hordes.  Keeping you away from THAT is their aim.  God became a man in order to die to pay for our sins so we won't have to go to Hell?  Na, there's no such thing as sin, no such thing as Hell, we like our own delusions better. 

So are Hitler and Stalin and Jack the Ripper having a nice time in one of these otherworldly paradises do ya think?

Anyway, maybe his story will persuade some of the "science"-bound to believe in the existence of an afterlife (not in the God of the Bible, of course, not in salvation from sin through faith in Christ's death on the cross in our place), just because he's a neurosurgeon I suppose, who's sort of in the science arena and may therefore be considered particularly credible for no good reason whatever. Just that he too was deceived by "science" so that makes him more credible? Something like that. So he might be believed by some who wouldn't listen to the Bible which is full of witness testimony to things miraculous and otherworldly but will listen to just anybody today with an experience.

In reality, there's no more evidence for such things from this story than there ever is, of course: You either believe this guy or you don't. That's the way it always is in the end. Unless you have such an experience yourself all you have is witness testimony. That's the way it is with the Bible and that's the way it is with ALL testimonies to anything you can't prove from material evidence or personally prove from yur own experience, such as a spiritual life apart from the body.

I just happened to write about this at my evolution blog this morning, about how faith is based on witness testimony, in response to a post at EvC (Evolution versus Creation forum), as the poster tried to dismiss faith as having no rational grounds whatever.  They simply define it out of existence.  

But as I say at the other blog, faith is believing witnesses, and you believe on the basis of judging their testimony to be credible, and you don't believe if you don't think it credible -- or just because you are one of those who won't believe anything whatever unless you can see it and touch it and feel it for yourself (or so you think, since in reality everybody believes tons of stuff on witness testimony alone).  

I found the statement at this link to be an interesting clue:
Although I considered myself a faithful Christian, I was so more in name than in actual belief. I didn't begrudge those who wanted to believe that Jesus was more than simply a good man who had suffered at the hands of the world. I sympathized deeply with those who wanted to believe that there was a God somewhere out there who loved us unconditionally. In fact, I envied such people the security that those beliefs no doubt provided. But as a scientist, I simply knew better than to believe them myself.
He considered himself to be a "faithful Christian" although he never attended church (he doesn't identify the church he feels is his either) and he doesn't give one iota of evidence that he understands anything that has to do with being a Christian, and as far as this goes he believes nothing any more Christian after his experience than before it.

Yahoo report on this story

And a followup.  Somebody posted a comment in relation to a report on this book about how a small child on leaving the gravesite of the grandmother who had doted on him suddenly looked up toward the sky and said "I'll miss you too."  That's very touching and full of implications about what the child was supposedly responding to.  Even the "Christians" at this website took it as the grandmother's saying goodbye from heaven.

Question:  Does this story in any way suggest the necessity of faith in Jesus Christ for salvation, or does it instead suggest universalism, that is, the belief that everybody goes to heaven?

The latter obviously.  No mention was made of this family's beliefs if any, just this experience.  This alone OUGHT to alert a Christian to the fact that this sort of thing is a deception for the purpose of detracting from the gospel of Christ.  We have to assume the child heard SOMETHING in order to respond as he did, and if you believe the Bible you should know it could not have been his grandmother in heaven because we don't have communication with the dead, but demons may impersonate people and they are the ones who have the motive to detract from the gospel.

Wake up, Christians!  The devils don't mind using a three-year-old to deceive sentimental souls who would not let themselves question such a supposedly tender moment. 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

How do we find Biblical Truth in the midst of today's doctrinal chaos

We are in a time not only of deteriorating morality and spirituality in the world, inviting God's judgment particularly against the once-Christian western nations, and in the cults and the obviously apostate churches, but questionable leanings by EVERY ministry we'd generally consider to be orthodox within the church. 
I was surprised when it turned out that the criticisms of The Harbinger seem to come predominantly from Dispensationalism, a theological system within the Church holding views not normally regarded as cause for division among Christians, but in this case being applied against The Harbinger in a surprisingly dogmatic way, as if it is THE biblical standard and all opposition to it is to be condemned as apostate.  Mostly I've found that the critics are misreading the book to hold the views they are condemning, erecting a straw man argument in other words, but nevertheless their willingness to condemn this straw man opponent of their theology is surprising. 

Normally a criticism of the sort coming against The Harbinger would expose errors based on Biblical principles common to all Christians, such as clearcut doctrinal deviations as from the Deity of Christ, which is held by the "liberal" churches and by the Jehovah's Witnesses for instance, or from a false works-based idea of salvation, which is held by Catholicism and by Mormonism.  A critique from within a theological system normally considered to be within orthodoxy would ordinarily identify that system and not take a condemnatory stance toward the other, but this is what has happened with respect to The Harbinger.   They multiply objections against the book, often with a dogmatic condemnatory thrust, but so far I haven't found a single one that sticks from a truly Biblical perspective.

Sometimes the truly apostate gets mixed up with these merely in-house differences.  I was just reading an article in The Berean Call finding fault with The Truth Project, a series of teachings on DVD I saw a couple years ago, aimed at defining a Christian Biblical worldview, taught by Del Tackett of Focus on the Family.  I found that series to be extremely well done but I fault it myself for including a Catholic priest, and McMahon of The Berean Call shows that that particular Catholic priest has his hands in the gay movement among other things, making it even worse. 

He also objects to the fact that the series was put out by Focus on the Family which also bothers me because that ministry treats Catholicism as Christian and because they promote psychotherapy concepts that shouldn't be in the church at all, and I agree with him about both.  But I don't find the psychotherapy focus in The Truth Project itself and I think McMahon is going too far there --  he thinks Tackett's saying that God has given us all a desire for "significance" amounts to an emphasis on self as in the psychotherapy framework, but I didn't hear it that way.  I hear it rather as a desire as creatures made in the image of God for something better to define our lives than this fallen world has to offer us, which seems to me to be perfectly within biblical implications. 

And beyond that McMahon objects to some Calvinist teachings in the series, even objecting to its quoting from the Westminster Confession of Faith.  Well, I consider myself to be a Calvinist so that's a plus for the series in my mind. I don't claim to know enough to argue the Calvinist-Arminian dispute beyond some basics, so I hold it all somewhat loosely and generally avoid getting into the debate.  As McMahon points out, however, there are some directions today's Calvinists go that I WOULD object to, such as Reconstructionism, which McMahon also criticizes, and their tending toward Amillennialism and Preterism.  None of these doctrines was held by the original Reformers and I reject all of them.  

I made my own attempt to grapple with Amillennialism a couple years ago, which I spell out at my blog End Times Monitor, and found it a frustrating exercise in nonsense.  To this day I still don't have a well worked out end times theology of my own.  I tend to think some things are yet future, I think for instance that there must be a role for national Israel yet to play out in the drama of Planet Earth, I haven't seen a convincing interpretion of the Seventy Weeks of Daniel that treats it as anything but a specific period of years of which 69 were fulfilled at the coming of Christ, leaving seven of them yet future, yet overall I reject Dispensationalism which treats Old Testament Israel as a separate entity from the Church. 

I like some things about Historicism, such as that it preserves the historical FACT that Roman Catholicism was recognized as the Antichrist by Bible believers down through the centuries from very early on, and that recognition has been lost with the rise of these other eschatalogical (end times) systems such as Amillennialism, Preterism and Futurism.   THAT is a major disaster for the Church it seems to me.  If there is one major mistake being made by the churches it is in treating Roman Catholicism as just another Christian denomination.  THAT's the Trojan Horse within the Church these days, the one we should all be learning to identify and eject from our midst and I strongly appreciate Chris Pinto's work toward this end. 

Beyond that obvious glaring mistake, it's like there's no such thing as a pure ministry anywhere these days.  I could list all my own beliefs and objections to various systems of thought just as many others could and I think I'm right just as they think they are right.  So in my opinion McMahon gets some things right, lots of things right overall, even in his criticism of The Truth Project but also gets some things wrong.  The Truth Project gets most important things right in my opinion but does get a few things wrong and that Catholic priest is no SMALL thing that's wrong with it, although I don't find that it affects what the series actually teaches, and overall its doctrine remains creditable in my judgment.  Take out the priest, take a clear stand against Romanism, and psychotherapy too, and get some other ministry than Focus on the Family to sponsor it and I wouldn't have any objections to it. 

It's rather like The Harbinger perhaps, in that there is nothing doctrinally wrong with it although it has some associations that should rightly raise some eyebrows.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Some comments I wrote at Dave James site

Dave James said at his site Biblical
“However, much of the understanding and application of Cahn’s “insights” into Isaiah 9:10 have not been revealed by God as even a cursory study of the passage clearly demonstrates.
I show this in great detail in my book.”
Hello Dave,
Cahn has offered no special “insights” into Isaiah 9:10, he reads it as all of us read it, as a description of Israel’s attitude of nonrepentance after God’s first wave of judgment against them by the Assyrians.

All Cahn did was notice that this verse describes America’s attitude after 9/11, that various American politicians even quoted it in connection with 9/11, thereby declaring the same attitude of nonrepentance it describes of Israel, and that certain physical “harbingers” also appeared in America that emphasize the same message:   That America is in defiance of God, refusing to acknowledge that we are under judgment and that 9/11 was judgment, a first warning judgment so that if the nation doesn’t turn back to Him there is to be more to come.

It’s all in the meaning of the Isaiah passage itself and its undeniable application in America.

I really have no clue what more God could have done to impress on us the understanding and application of that verse in relation to America than He has done in the ways Cahn has pointed out. You seem to be asking for something impossible, in fact I have no idea what you ARE asking for it’s so strange to my thinking.

One more thing, you make far more of the idea of the first American settlers’ having a covenant with God than Cahn does. You claim in your book (p. 58) that “there would be no basis for the book or for any of Cahn’s major ideas” without the belief in such a covenant relationship with God. That is simply not true. God brings ALL nations under judgment, and the evidence that America is under judgment is present whether or not we had a covenant.

And as usual you just run roughshod over Cahn’s endless denials of all the critics’ accusations, in this case his denial of this very thing where you quote him saying (your book p. 67) “…America has been blessed. But the idea that this necessitates such a covenant, or that God entered into such a covenant, is never claimed anywhere in the book."

This is true, but it doesn’t seem to matter what Cahn says or anybody else says, you remain convinced of your own view of it which you are apparently willing to assert no matter what anyone else says.

You go on from that quote to cast suspicion on Cahn’s lack of certainty whether we’re in covenant with God or not. But he clearly has no basis for certainty and was acknowledging that. We know the Puritans and Pilgrims wanted to live as in covenant with Him, they committed themselves to Him, they had the “aim…to advance the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ” in America. They considered themselves under covenant but there is not one hint that this was the same KIND of covenant Israel had and it would be stupid for anyone to make such a claim. The Bible is clear that God initiated THAT covenant.

To call America the “new Israel” does not have any implication of replacing Israel, merely following Israel. And a desire and sincere effort to follow God even after the pattern of the Laws God gave Israel would PROBABLY be honored by God. Cahn says as much. There is no certainty, there is no covenant like Israel’s, but there was a way that America was dedicated to God that DID make it unique among nations and I for one find it compelling that all that DID put America on a special footing with God.


Today Oct 15:
What happens is if you take the Reformed approach, the it becomes a theological hermeneutic rather than a literal, grammatical, historical hermeneutic. Rather than allowing the text to speak for itself, our understanding of a particular theological issue can get imposed back on the text so that we say “this is what it really means” when the writer would never have understood that meaning in a million years. This completely undermines the idea of the perspicuity of the Scriptures.
 I recently posted a couple of talks at my blog on Reformed hermeneutics by [a local] pastor in which he discusses this and makes what apparently is a standard Reformed argument that the OT writers did in fact understand that they were writing of Christ, so that the surface meaning isn't all there is to it even in their minds.  

He starts from Jesus' and the disciples' own interpretations of the OT, who of course ought to be authoritative --  or do you claim they got it wrong about the OT? 

He also refers to a "grammatical historical" hermeneutic by the way and gives some reasons why "literal" doesn't work. 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Dispensationalists are true Christians but misled by Rome

I am aware that major players on both sides of this Harbinger dispute are Dispensationalists, and very likely Jonathan Cahn as well. 

It's one of the areas of disagreement between me and others even on my side of this issue, such as Jan Markell's ministry, and I've posted on some topics where it is a problem I have to mention, but it never is such a problem as it is with David James and the other critics of The Harbinger.  I don't know how to account for this, I can only figure there are some Dispensationalists who are theologically more rigid than others, but I'm now completely convinced that it's the critics' Dispensationalism that is the root of their attack.  

And I should say that I do not regard this as an issue to divide Christians.  Angry though I can be to see how Dispensationalist tenets are being used against The Harbinger, it's not the PEOPLE that are the problem.  I'm not dividing from Christians on this, I consider them all to be brothers and sisters in Christ and good Christians  -- merely in thrall to a truly bad theological and hermeneutical system.  

The first thing they accused The Harbinger of was Replacement Theology.  David James realizes that's not the case but he still applies his Dispensationalist assumptions to the point of claiming that Cahn has put America in the place of Israel in some sense.  This to my mind is utterly absurd and not borne out in the book, although if it were it wouldn't necessarily be an offense to my Reformed views anyway.  It's simply false, absurd.  But David James is a nice guy and a good Christian man from all I can tell, perhaps simply too good an exponent of the Dispensationalist system of hermeneutics and theology.  This is NOT personal.

I don't believe there is such a thing as Replacement Theology, that's a Dispensationalist misrepresentation of the Reformed position.  (I gather the Reformed position is called Covenant Theology but I'm not up enough on all these different categories to know quite what that means yet so I'm simply referring to the whole theological divide as Reformed versus Dispensational.)  

The very term "Replacement Theology" makes one a Dispensationalist because their main tenet is that Israel and the Church are to be regarded as separate entities, so that the Reformed's seeing the promises as all fulfilled in the Church rather than in Israel is to their mind a "replacement" of Israel by the Church.  The Reformed side believe that the Church always WAS Israel from the beginning and is the fulfillment of all the promises, there is no replacement because there never were two separate entities, and the Old Testament is entirely a preparation for the coming of the Messiah Jesus in whom all the promises are fulfilled. 

However, I'm not Reformed ENOUGH according to some of the Reformed I know, who believe that the state of Israel has NO biblical justification whatever.  Pastor Borgman's studies on these things that I recently posted are very very good, but I still end up thinking there HAS to be SOME purpose for the state of Israel in the end times, and it helps to my mind that the Protestant Reformers also had this point of view.  You never know where I'll end up if I keep studying all this but this is where I am now and where I've been for some time. 

I've been particularly influenced by Chris Pinto who gave the information that the Reformers believed there is still to be a role for national Israel, also that the Dispensationalist system of theology is part of the Roman Church's Counter-Reformation as formulated by their Jesuit attack dogs.  Also Arminianism.  They've certainly succeeded in their aim to get the onus off the Vatican as the seat of the Antichrist which was the Reformed position and in fact the position of true Christians back 1500 years or so, also succeeded in undermining formerly solid Protestant theology.  The Futurism of the Dispensationalist camp is a major coup as now everybody is looking for some personality to be the Antichrist who has nothing to do with the Roman Church, though it was the papacy itself, pope after pope after pope, who were recognized as THE Antichrist until all these new theories took over.  Interestingly, Preterism also has the same effect of taking the heat off Rome and is also a new invention by Jesuits.  If they don't get you one way they'll get you the other and the Church falls for it.

Lord willing, and if He tarries, and I live long enough, I want to pursue all these connections, learn more, and be part of the Counter-CounterReformation.

Are the Harbingers merely meaningless Coincidences?

Near the beginning of his book critiquing The Harbinger, David James has a short section on Coincidences, intending to suggest that even the most uncanny coincidences aren't to be taken seriously, of course implying that's also true of the harbingers of judgment, that they are merely the same sort of meaningless coincidences.

He gives two main examples of extremely uncanny coincidences.  The first was the uncanny correspondences between the Presidencies of Lincoln and Kennedy exactly a hundred years apart, including the names of their Vice Presidents, secretaries and details about their assassinations. 

The other was a novel written fourteen years before the Titanic disaster, which describes an almost identical sinking of an almost identical ship and it was called The Wreck of the Titan

There is no doubt that those are two examples of extremely uncanny coincidences that are clearly without any useful import.  All you can do is say "Wow, that's amazing" but also "What's the point?"

But the problem in comparing this kind of coincidence with the harbingers, which so uncannily correspond with a verse in the Old Testament, is that these are not meaningless useless coincidences but highly charged with meaning that carries the weight of the Bible and God's warnings of judgment on a nation and even without them the Bible verse clearly describes America after 9/11.  We're clearly being given a warning and the harbingers set it in stone as it were.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Some more background on Dispensationalism

I'll never master all this theological stuff, I can hardly keep most of it in mind for any length of time.  But once again I feel a need to TRY to get a better understanding of this pernicious doctrine called Dispensationalism, in this case because it's the main source of the criticism of The Harbinger.  If it weren't for this sort of discovery, of how a theological system can so unfairly assault other Christians and bring suspicion on valid biblical reasoning from another theological system, I'd so much rather just forget all this stuff.

But anyway, as I'd heard many times but never really checked out, it's fair to call Dispensationalism a JESUIT PLOT.  The link above gives a historical sketch, and includes this summation:
Through the espousal of Jesuit Futurism by J. N. Darby and his followers, some one thousand five-hundred years of orthodox Christian prophetic history was discarded. Rome wants everybody to believe that the interpretation placed on Bible prophecy concerning anti-Christ has nothing whatever to do with the Roman Church. The Papacy wants us to believe that when Rome fell prophetic fulfilment halted, and will continue to be fulfilled from the time of the supposed Rapture
Some quotes from some anti-dispensationalists from that same site:
"My brother, I am a constant reader of my Bible, and I soon found that what I was taught to believe did not always agree with what my Bible said. I came to see that I must either part company with John Darby, or my precious Bible, and I chose to cling to my Bible and part from Mr. Darby." George Müeller (1805–1898)

I am quite convinced that all the promises to Israél are found, are finding and will find their perfect fulfilment in the Church. It is true that in time past, in my expositions, I gave a definite place to Israél in the purposes of God. I have now come to the conviction, as I have just said, that it is, the new and spiritual Israél that is intended. G. Campbell Morgan (1863-1945)

Dispensationalism is a device of the enemy, designed to rob the children of no small part of that bread which their heavenly Father has provided for their souls; a device wherein the wily serpent appears as an angel of light, feigning to "make the Bible a new book" by simplifying much in it which perplexes the spiritually unlearned. It is sad to see how widely successful the devil has been by means of this subtle innovation. A. W. Pink (1886-1952)

It is mortifying to remember that I not only held and taught these novelties myself, but that I even enjoyed a complacent sense of superiority because thereof, and regarded with feelings of pity and contempt those who had not received the "new light" and were unacquainted with this up-to-date method of "rightly dividing the word of truth." For I fully believed what an advertising circular says in presenting "Twelve Reasons why you should use THE SCOFIELD REFERENCE BIBLE," namely, that: "First, the Scofield Bible outlines the Scriptures from the standpoint of DISPENSATIONAL TRUTH, and there can be no adequate understanding or rightly dividing of the Word of God except from the standpoint of dispensational truth."

What a slur is this upon the spiritual understanding of the ten thousands of men, "mighty in the Scriptures," whom God gave as teachers to His people during all the Christian centuries before "dispensational truth" (or dispensational error), was discovered! And what an affront to the thousands of men of God of our own day, workmen that need not to be ashamed, who have never accepted the newly invented system! Yet I was among those who eagerly embraced it (upon human authority solely, for there is none other) and who earnestly pressed it upon my fellow Christians. I am deeply thankful, however, that the time came (it was just ten years ago) when the inconsistencies and self contradictions of the system itself, and above all, the impossibility of reconciling its main positions with the plain statements of the Word of God, became so glaringly evident that I could not do otherwise than renounce it. Philip Mauro (1859-1952).
Ex-Catholic-Priest Richard Bennett is a great source of knowledge about the history of Catholicism and its plots against Protestantism.  In this talk he only mentions Dispensationalism briefly, as one of Catholicism's plots so it's not a study of that theology itself, just a confirmation of how it serves Rome. 

Roman Catholic Counter Reformation, Antichrist, Dispensationalism, Jesuits, Islam ...

The following links are to a series of teachings by Pastor Borgman I may have heard when he gave them though I'd forgotten most of it if so.  It's very thorough but although he mentions that it was a Jesuit who invented it to get Rome out from under the label of Antichrist, he doesn't pursue the implication that Rome is still plotting against the Reformation and succeeding.

The Origins of Dispensationalism

The Spread and Influence of Dispensationalism

The Teaching of Dispensationalism

Of particular interest to me in the third of this series was Pastor Borgman's observation that Dispensationalism engenders an attitude of suspicion toward those who don't believe as they do, which is what I've been noticing about the attitude toward Jonathan Cahn.  And again, it's not that I'd be completely in favor of Cahn's theological system either, as I have my own objections to elements of the Messianic movement, but overall he's completely within orthodoxy as far as I can tell from his book and information at his site, and the suspicion creates doubts that are undeserved and unfairly poison people's minds against him.

You can find arguments against all this of course, even calling this point of view a conspiracy theory and so on. 

"Heaven" stories believed because the Bible is undermined?

I got this message today on that same post on the Heaven stories that still attracts so much attention:  "Counterfeit "heaven" stories deceive even Christians...":
I disagree about the author of this articles position about ' scripture being enough' for true Christians. I work hard to stay in the word, but there are often times I am challenged or am unable to interpret the meaning of a passage or a chapter. There are numerous translations which change meanings slightly. If a good person is motivated to pray more, to accept Christ or to perform works for others, then why is it impossible to believe that God is using it as a tool to reach people. The bible is a collection of historic stories written over hundreds of years. Why cannot the 'stories' be continuing to evolve? I don't think you can believe Jesus Lives and say that his word is unchanged since his death?
I don't know what branch of the Church this person belongs to but if he/she is in a standard evangelical/Bible-believing church this is a very sad message.

I didn't say God can't use these stories to reach people, I'm sure they can be used for that purpose just as so many other things can be, but that doesn't make them true in themselves.   The problem is that these stories teach a false Christ so you can't say that they lead people to "accept" the true Christ. 

But what is most distressing about this comment is the way the Bible is treated as something that could continue to evolve rather than the foundational truth it is.  Truth can't "evolve" in the direction of something that contradicts it and that's what these stories do.  Yes I certainly CAN say His word is unchanged since He lived on this earth.

This comment also suggests exactly what I've been trying to get across on my blog about the Bible versions, The Great Bible Hoax of 1881 It is only too clear that at least for some people the many different "translations" only lead them into distrusting God's word, and I suspect they have some of that effect on all of us even if we don't go as far as this writer does.

I feel a terrible sadness when I hear a good sermon preached quoting from one of the newer Bibles, because of the lack of sensitivity to the problem of confusing the listeners among other things. 

In Isaiah 9 just for an example, "But His hand is stretched out still" in the KJV becomes "But His hand is still stretched out" in one of the newer translations and nobody recognizes that that simple little change, so inoffensive, so merely more in our own style, contributes to the undermining of trust in the Bible, and to the problem in the churches of a confusion of tongues, and the very fact that such a LITTLE change was made is an affront in itself to God and to His people.   

I had to live in this problem for a while before that became clear to me so I can't expect anyone to recognize it just on the basis of my say-so, but how I wish I could.  This is the biggest most destructive Trojan Horse within the Church there has ever been, and its armies are devastating the people of God and hardly anyone notices.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Another "Heaven" Lie

Yikes, more of this out-of-body stuff that supposedly proves the reality of "heaven."  This is one from Eben Alexander, a neurosurgeon who had such an experience and of course wrote a book on it, Proof of Heaven.  It's not out yet but Amazon has a page on it started.

The demons are working awfully hard promoting this particular deception these days. 
If you know and believe the Bible you should be able to spot these reports as false, but those who reject the Bible may fall for them.

Notice that they NEVER give the gospel of Jesus Christ, that He is God incarnate who died for our sins. They give an otherworldly experience and often a false idea of God and Jesus -- that is, false according to the Bible.

As a Bible-believer I know these stories are deceptions.  I believe they are real, however, in the sense that they are actual experiences of a real spiritual realm these people are having, and not hallucinations or tricks of the mind. But Heaven isn't the only spiritual realm, and demons are very clever at deceiving people.

Jesus died for your sins and ONLY those who are saved by believing in Him, saved by the blood He shed on the cross to pay for our sins, saved by faith alone in Christ alone through grace alone, can expect to see Heaven or the new earth.

These illusions are all designed to deceive unbelievers into thinking they, and everybody else, will go to heaven. It's an evil lie concocted by the demons, or fallen angels.   Unfortunately some Christians believe this stuff too and contribute to the deception.  Really depressing. 

A teaching on Hermeneutics from the Reformed perspective, specifically opposing Dispensationalism

Since I've identified Dispensationalism as the source of so much of the craziness the critics of The Harbinger are bringing against it, in an effort to get a better grip on the theological issues I've been listening to a series on hermeneutics from a Reformed perspective and skipped to the two parts that clearly apply to this question. 

This is a series by a local pastor, in fact the pastor of the church I'd be attending if I were attending church, and I have to give lots of caveats here because he doesn't agree with me about some things so I don't want to make it appear that there's some kind of accord that doesn't exist.  I simply strongly appreciate this particular teaching and am learning from it.   I'm already basically Reformed in my thinking, but this particular teaching deepens that perspective a great deal.

As for The Harbinger I have no idea what Pastor Borgman thinks of it, if he even knows about it, and it could well be that he would have many objections to it.  

I'm also aware that a Reformed perspective probably doesn't accord with Jonathan Cahn's theology either, which I've felt all along even as I've been defending his book.  But this isn't a problem with The Harbinger's interpretation of Isaiah 9:10, which is pretty simple and straightforward.  The only reason Dispensationalism is an issue is that it is apparently the basis for some of the objections of this particular camp of critics that I've been arguing against, who fault Cahn's interpretation for supposedly denying the state of Israel its biblical preeminence according to their theological system. 

This elevation of Israel as the main object of the Old Testament is precisely what the talk linked below answers.

Hoping that covers all necessary caveats, I want to recommend listening to these talks at the links, the first one titled

Hermeneutics: Apostolic Exegesis - How the NT interprets the OT

Toward the end of the talk [about 1:07:40], he says this: 
So what do you have [referring to Luke 24]?  You have Jesus interpreting the Old Testament in a way that pointed to ... Israel? 
To who?  To Himself!

You should be really thankful that I'm completely out of time because this is a soapbox issue for me.  To read the Old Testament as if it points us to the nation Israel, either in the past, the present or the future, is to miss the divinely appointed purposes of the Old Testament.  Jesus said the whole thing was about Him.  It all points to Him.
And here's the following talk that continues the same theme:

Hermeneutics: How do Jesus & the Apostles Interpret the Old Testament

Pastor Borgman did a series on Isaiah some years ago, and this is the sermon on Isaiah 9

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Why this discussion cannot be cordial

I'm realizing the Harbinger critics are dangerous.  They are branding Cahn as pretty much a heretic -- everything from false prophet to mystic -- based mostly on their own false Dispensationalist assumptions, and anyone who defends him comes under the same suspicion.  There is no way to have a theological discussion with respect on both sides because failure to meet their standards brands you a heretic.  If by their standards you are supporting "extrabiblical revelation" although their judgment of what this amounts to is false, you won't be able to escape being convicted of that charge, and the charge of violating Sola Scriptura along with it.  Their arguments are NONSENSE but they are far from seeing their error and they have a fair amount of influence.  Listen to the call-ins on Brannon Howse's show, go read the comments at Dave James' site.  Their fans just ape their conclusions and accuse their opponents of all manner of serious doctrinal deviations without justification.

 The divide between the supporters of The Harbinger and its critics is astonishing to say the least.  Just about every single point James makes that he thinks shows serious doctrinal issues in The Harbinger hits me for one as an outrageous twisting of truth, an absurdity, a piece of insanity.  Yet, again, I keep realizing these guys BELIEVE what they are saying.  I'd never have guessed it was possible to have such adamantly entrenched positions among Christians on both sides of an argument like this.

As I discovered some time ago, much of the difference is due to the critics' Dispensationalism.  How much I haven't quite figured out yet, but the major argument that Harbinger doesn't give the right weight to Israel and the Old Testament comes from that theological camp.  I don't know what theology Cahn follows, but I consider my own to be basically Reformed and nothing in his book is a problem for me theologically. 

Maybe the most offensive attitude of the critics is that they pronounce judgment from the standard of their own system as if it is THE biblical system and there is no other.  THAT is REALLY offensive.  Cahn just IS commiting hermeneutical error, period, although there are conservative biblical hermeneutical systems other than theirs that wouldn't judge his as error.  There is something rotten to the core about that way of dealing with a fellow Christian who is following another theology.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Supernatural Manifestations met with a Skepticism gone too far?

Let's try to be clear about this:  The Harbinger makes an extremely unusual claim, something unprecedented as far as I know, a claim that God Himself has acted to bring about certain signs or harbingers in America, that carry the message of judgment to come unless the nation repents. 

This is a claim of supernatural intervention that simply does not happen in this world according to our usual expectations.  As I say, I don't think something like this has happened before.  We have to acknowledge that this is extremely unusual.  Therefore it would only make sense if people are skeptical of such a claim.

Yet as the facts are presented I also don't see how they can be denied.  The efforts to deny them by the critics come across as trumped-up to my mind.  They are trying to MAKE the facts fit their theology, and it is apparently a theology that denies the possibility of such a supernatural intervention by God in our world.  At least since apostolic times.  If it isn't that then I don't know how to explain their determination to interpret the harbingers in such a way that they become illusions, mere meaningless coincidences.

This is beyond cessationism.  Cessationism says that the gifts of the Spirit to individuals are no longer in operation.  It doesn't necessarily deny that God may intervene in this world supernaturally, or even that individuals may on occasion receive a supernatural power.  I posted a quote here some time back by the early Protestant reformer Jan Hus saying that God had told him that in a hundred years' time He would raise up a "swan" who could not be silenced as he, Hus, "the goose" was silenced in his day.  This was clearly a prophecy of the future Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation, and I don't see how even a cessationist could deny that Hus did in fact hear from God in this way.

Let's be clear about this too while we're at it:  There is NOTHING in The Harbinger that attributes supernatural powers or acts of any kind whatever to any human being.  "The Prophet" does not prophesy anything, he simply passes on information about Isaiah 9 and its relation to America in our time, bringing the biblical message and its manifestation in real events in America to the attention of Nouriel the journalist and therefore to the reader of the book.  He's called a prophet but he doesn't DO what prophets do, and for the critics to take him as some kind of apologetic for the gift of prophecy today is to be peculiarly blind to what is actually going on in this book. 

As for the harbingers, there is no way any human agent could have planned to bring them about, so there is no apologetic there either for any of the supernatural gifts.  If you believe that God is sovereign over all things, that nothing happens without Him then you MUST believe that He brought about these harbingers. 

What's the alternative?  Chance?  Then you don't believe in an all-sovereign God.  Satan?  He'd have had to scramble mightily in order to deploy his armies to bring about all these harbingers but I suppose it's possible.  But if it's Satan, 1) he can't act unless God allows it, which means God is in charge here too; or 2)  what would Satan accomplish by assembling all these harbingers to prove that America is under God's judgment?  I wouldn't put it past him if it would serve his purposes but I can't think what purposes it could serve.

Certainly, God's planting a collection of visible documentable signs in our world that clearly reflect an Old Testament verse IS a very unusual occurrence in our time.  Of course if they are merely illusions that's something else and the critics have worked quite strenuously to prove that this is all they are,  that the signs or harbingers don't even really exist, it's all a mirage. 

I've worked through these arguments and keep coming back to their undeniable material reality myself.  One problem is that even if some of it is an illusion the fact is that Isaiah 9:10 only too perfectly describes America's attitude of defiance instead of repentance, just as it describes that of ancient Israel in similar circumstances, AND American political leaders actually quoted that verse, all of which along with the bricks and stones and trees amount to a mutually-confirming set of events.  If some of it's illusion the rest of it isn't, but since some of it is undeniable that to my mind supports the whole picture, all of it coming together as a whole.

But the critics try to minimize all this.  It's all "coincidence."  Or the verse was ONLY to Israel, they say.  Or it doesn't apply because our leaders weren't intentionally being defiant and so on (however, they were defiant in exactly the sense meant in Isaiah 9:10, as were the leaders of Israel). 

Well, I've answered all this and will probably go on answering it, but I did want to acknowledge that we're talking about something supernatural here and skepticism has to be expected.

Sometimes it seems that the critics are like the anti-Christian skeptics who simply refuse to consider for a moment that supernatural claims could have any reality whatever, and they are very adept at multiplying arguments to "prove" that they don't. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Gazit Stone According to David James

I've already answered this subject in general, the bricks and stones, the sycamore and the conifer.  The objection that for the harbingers in America to BE harbingers they must be more similar than they are to the originals in Isaiah doesn't hold water.  You can't expect as much similarity as is being demanded between cultures and times and climates as far apart as ancient Israel and modern New York City. 

There must be very clear similarities, of course, so that the connection between the contemporary circumstances and the passage of scripture is inescapable, but it is equivalence as defined by the different circumstances that makes for the necessary similarity, and as I argue in a recent post, the harbingers that occurred in America are really perfect in that respect as they are the best 21st Century American equivalent in each case of the event in ancient Israel. 

But James objects to the hewn stone or Gazit Stone on another ground as well. 

He starts with the usual ridiculous requirement that the new skyscraper must be BUILT WITH hewn stones, that the single twenty-ton quarried cornerstone
has the feeling of yet another stretch in the author's attempt to demonstrate a parallel that simply doesn't exist.  In Isaiah's prophecy, it is clear that in place of clay bricks being the primary buiding material, hewn stone would be used.  However, the new Freedom Tower was never to be build with stone any more than the original structures were built with bricks [p. 95].
This is New York City 2001, Mr. James, you aren't going to build skyscrapers with clay bricks or hewn stones.  Does the lack of a correspondence between their methods and ours mean God can't talk to us at all through Isaiah 9:10?  Funny, the attitude expressed in that verse so perfectly describes America's after 9/11 it seems a shame to tell us that we can't heed its so specific description and warning of judgment because skyscrapers aren't built with bricks and stones.

And then too, it is already amazing that the WTC rubble was described as looking like a pile of bricks and that a quarried stone was brought in to be the start of the rebuilding, actually part of the new structure.  Both those facts tie 9/11 to Isaiah 9:10 quite well really, and the wonderful cultural equivalcnce between the trees and the even more wonderful fact of the speeches quoting that verse really seal the deal.

But he even goes on to suggest that the fact that the cornerstone didn't get used after all somehow makes it even less of a harbinger.  Kind of totally misses the point, I'd say, as the mere fact that it was intended for the purpose and dedicated for the purpose -- with a speech said over it and all -- makes it even more of a harbinger than if it had been used, because it shows that God wanted it to be in the picture here, wanted us to notice it, record it. 

And Isaiah 9:10 is not about actually rebulding, it's about the INTENTION to rebuild, that's the attitude of defiance itself right there.  Even if nothing is built at all this defiant intention to do so is the whole point, it's what the harbingers point us back to.  That's the function of the harbingers, to show us our own defiance just as it is described in that verse, and show it to us in an unforgettable way.  

That verse would describe America's attitude even if there were nothing that could have been called a pile of bricks or a hewn stone nor any trees involved at all in the destruction of the WTC, but the fact that there were, and such literal equivalences too, really ought to show God's hand in making this connection to even the most skeptical.  The parallel is there without all the signs and harbingers, but with them it ought to be a really LOUD wake-up call even to the hard-of-hearing.

However, I'll agree with James that Cahn's explanation that the removal of the cornerstone was part of the judgment isn't a very effective answer.  I've given my own which I think is better:  the mere bringing in of the stone is the necessary equivalence with Isaiah 9:10, as it expresses the intention to rebuild as described in the verse, and it's something only God could have done.

Then James goes on to object to Cahn's way of dramatizing the hewn stone as The Gazit Stone with capitals, which he says would lead the average reader to
assume that a "Gazit Stone" was a specially named ceremonial stone that was laid when Israel embarked on a building project [p. 96].
I agree that this way of describing it assigns a special quality to it but I don't see that it does so for Israel, although it does for America, where since it is one gigantic quarried stone it seems to deserve the special designation.  This is just Cahn's love of dramatization taking over here, and I don't see it as a problem myself. 

James says, 
...[A]ncient Israel did not lay a 'Gazit Stone.'  They built or rebuilt with gazit -- it was simply the building material.
True, but nothing he quoted from The Harbinger suggests that Israel used this specially designated stone, only America, and in America where it was a single gigantic symbolic stone it seems appropriate enough to me to give it that special ceremonial title. 

It is simply not a harbinger
says James.

Why, because Cahn gave it a noble title befitting its noble role?  It's a quarried stone.  The parallel with the quarried stones of Isaiah 9:10 sure occurs to some of us, if not David James, and that's what makes it a harbinger.  For some of us at least.  If you spend all your time making the visible invisible and the material nonexistent I guess you'll have to do without the signs from God.