"We see, in many a land, the proudest dynasties and tyrannies still crushing, with their mountain weight, every free motion of the Consciences and hearts of men. We see, on the other hand, the truest heroism for the right and the greatest devotion to the Truth in hearts that God has touched. We have a work to do, as great as our forefathers and, perhaps, far greater. The enemies of Truth are more numerous and subtle than ever and the needs of the Church are greater than at any preceding time. If we are not debtors to the present, then men were never debtors to their age and their time. Brethren, we are debtors to the hour in which we live. Oh, that we might stamp it with Truth and that God might help us to impress upon its wings some proof that it has not flown by neglected and unheeded." -- C.H. Spurgeon . . . "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31, 32 . . . . .

HTML

BOOKMARK AND SHARE

Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A Study in Paul’s Epistle to the Romans – “On the Road of Righteousness” Chapter Fifteen – The Glorious Gospel to Israel and the Church

~ By James Fire

The Glorious Gospel to Israel and the Church

I’ve been told that this epistle is often taught in colleges of law, not for its spiritual content, but for the irresistible logic that Paul the apostle uses to build his Scriptural arguments in assertion of the fundamental principles of the Gospel and all that this entails.

We have seen how the Law of God is used lawfully as a means to establish the holy standard of God’s righteousness and thus revealing the universal condition of mankind’s sinfulness and this without exception: all are condemned by the holy Law – the immoral pagans, the moral Gentiles and the religious Jews.

We have then seen how the Gospel is established as the exclusive means of salvation for all the world through Jesus Christ, the Messiah of Israel and Savior of all the world (that is, for all who call upon His Name) and the justification that is offered by His blood atonement on the Cross.

We then observed how sanctification is brought about in the life of the saint, once they enter into salvation via the justification of Jesus Christ; this is an initial step upon justification but also an ongoing process in the life of the saint that will know its completion once we are brought to heaven and meet our precious LORD face to Face.
At that time, we shall know glorification, and shall inherit incorruptible, immortal bodies fashioned after the LORD’s own glorified body which He presented to His disciples after His resurrection.

We then examined the latter half of the epistle in chapters nine, ten and eleven where Paul produces his evidences for Israel and how this nation yet still has a viable, and foreordained future (that is, the believing remnant) once the Messiah returns to claim His own and they receive Him as their reigning King – Who at that time will defeat the anti-Christ, the False Prophet and the kings of the earth that oppose Him at the so-called ‘battle’ of Armageddon.


Read more!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

EXPOSING ERROR

by A.M. Kisly

We are seeing a tidal wave of false teachers who have been given the green light to spread their poisonous doctrines because of a deafening silence among many Bible believers. Church congregations are being taken over by wolves in sheep’s clothing who are perverting biblical truth and ravaging the flock of God, leading many to their destruction.

Jesus stood face to face with false teachers and called them out publicly.  Matthew 12:24, "O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh."

In 1 John 4:1-6, we are warned:

1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.
We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error. 

Apprising Ministries recently posted a really great article written by Dr. Harry Ironside called, Exposing Error: Is it Worthwhile?  I really felt it was worth a re-post!
Read more!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

The Cross Is Not Necessary?



by A.M. Kisly

The warning against false teachers.


Christ said, “Beware of false prophets which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” (Matthew 7:15). For every true prophet calling people to the narrow way that leads to life, there are a multiplicity of false prophets calling people to the broad way that leads to destruction. Christ’s warning [about false teachers] was not new. Deuteronomy 13:1-5 documents the presence of false teaching during the days of Moses. In Isaiah 30:9-14 chronicles its existence in the kingdom of Judah.

There are many warnings about false teachers in Scripture.

In 2 John 7 - John said, Many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ cometh in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.”

And in the Book of Romans chapter 16:17-18 - Paul said, I beseech you, brethren, mark them who cause divisions and offenses 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 body, and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the innocent.”

And the blasphemers keep blaspheming, such is the case of Emergent Church leader Tony Jones.

In a recent blog post, Apostate Emergent Leader, Tony Jones, who, by the way, uses the term Christianity on his website as a means to deceive,  answered a write in question from a young lady who had a difficult time understanding how a loving God would allow His Son to suffer and die on the cross for the sins of mankind.

You won’t believe the response!


Read more!

EMERGENT is REGURGITANT – Part Four: Loving Evangelism, Emergent Style

By James Fire

The following is a treatment of the article written by Heather Kirk-Davidoff as found in the book An Emergent Manifesto of Hope.

Mrs. Kirk-Davidoff is the Enabling Minister of the Kittamanqundi Community (an independent church) in Columbia, Maryland. She is married to Dan Kirk-Davidoff a climate scientist. Along with writing partner, Nancy Wood-Lyczak she has authored two books, Talking Faith (Chalice Press, 2004) and Dare to Dive In (Abingdon, 2006). She can be reached at kirkwood associates.

Mrs. Davidoff relates an experience at the beginning of her chapter of visiting a bar in an attempt to conduct some “relational evangelism” and encountered a young lady who entered into some casual conversation with her. They spoke of common every day things (work, boyfriend, music, etc.) until the young lady asked her if she saw the stage musical, Rent. Her favorite character in the play was a drum playing homeless gay man who spends most of the show dressed as a drag queen Santa Claus named Angel. She remarks about his love having so “much power in the lives of the other characters. And his love doesn’t stop affecting them even after he dies (of AIDS) . . . it’s like his love is made more perfect in his death.”

Davidoff then stated that some see Angel as a ‘Christ-figure’ and asked what she thought about that. The woman stated that she felt a lot closer to Angel than she did to Jesus.
Davidoff admits she went to the bar in the hopes of offering something to the people there, but to her delight and surprise she was “the one who received an invitation to know Jesus better and to follow him more bravely.”

This, she received as a result of this young lady relating her feelings of identity and love for a homosexual more than to Jesus. This is what she found encouraging and was ‘hooked’ into this sort of evangelism. Yet how did this experience help her to know Jesus better??

This brought about a transition as she led her church out to the community, rather than attempt to draw the youth behind the walls of her church in a kind of evangelism that “…wasn’t motivated by a desire to grow my church. I was motivated by my desire to be in relationship with people who were in many ways different from me. I wanted those relationships because they helped me to understand what Jesus was doing in the world and how I might follow him, even as he led me out of the church and into the bar.”

One must wonder how one can follow Jesus better by going to a bar or find spiritual instruction from the unregenerate that can relate to those portraying homosexuals better than to Jesus, the Risen Christ and the Word of God. Indeed, we are to go out among the world, mix with the people, interact with them, but for the purpose of offering what the world cannot give - everlasting hope, through the eternal Gospel of Jesus Christ that transforms lives in the here and now, in preparation for the world that is to come!

While it is true that much of the church today is inverted or even perverted from what the LORD intended; many churches have become insular and isolated from the world and seeking only to draw in people in order to expand their ministry with a spiritually unhealthy perspective and motivation that only seeks its own betterment, rather than the betterment of souls that come to such places searching for truth. 

The primary focus of the church is to worship God, proclaim the Gospel, feed His sheep, make disciples who in turn go out into the world and proclaim the Gospel, allowing the LORD to add to the church daily “such as should be saved”. None of this involves building relationships with the lost at the expense of foregoing the biblical Gospel and as a result of such Gospel proclamation, behold sinners being transformed into saints and partake of that sort of relationship that is holy and godly fellowship.

Davidoff quotes Dallas Williard (contemplative prayer advocate and practitioner) in his book, The Divine Conspiracy: “When Christians focus on recruitment alone the ongoing nurture of relationships and practices in this life becomes nearly irrelevant.”

Davidoff had exchanged a ‘recruitment’ sort of attitude for the “cultivation of relationships” but both attitudes are wrong. We Christians are not to ‘recruit’ the lost as though we were inducting them into some society or organization. Rather, simply share the good news of Jesus Christ the Lamb Who was slain for the sins of the world, Who delivers all who come to Him from sin, death and hell. We witness the Spirit of God do His work of spiritual conversion, upon such a time these saved souls are not recruited, but redeemed, regenerated and baptized into the body of Christ which is not a society or an organization but a living entity: the church which the LORD founded upon Himself – the Rock (MATT 16:18). If the church ‘recruits’ then those recruited belongs to that church. If they are redeemed by the LORD Jesus Christ and His blood, then they belong TO HIM! Nor are we to cultivate relationships as an end of itself, and certainly not to better ourselves and, or our understanding of Jesus Christ, which is absurd.

While it is also very true that Christians who have an ‘agenda’ of making conversions (recruitment of prospective church members) are far less passionate and caring for lost souls than they ought to be; they are merely looking to make more ‘notches in their belts’ or as is quoted by Davidoff in the 1999 film, The Big Kahuna: “It doesn’t matter whether you’re selling Jesus or Buddha or civil rights or ‘How to Make Money in Real Estate with No Money Down’ . . . Because as soon as you lay your hands on a conversation to steer it, it’s not a conversation anymore, it’s a pitch. And you’re not a human being any more, you’re a marketing rep.”

I was once a witness of a professing believer who was sharing the Gospel in the form of the Four Spiritual Laws with a gentleman downtown. The Christian rattled off the four laws and accompanying Scriptures in an almost monotonous drone, reciting by rote this method of evangelism that he was taught, with barely a glace at the one he was speaking...at.

The man hearing him even said, “Wow, you got this thing down cold, don’t you?” Cold is the word I would have used as well. Emergents have a certain legitimate complaint about evangelical ‘recruitment’ (to build their own church-kingdom?) and the dispassionate demeanor of some who don’t at all seem interested in people but in their own purpose, however it must be understood that simply because the Gospel and the preaching of the Cross has been done inappropriately, that doesn't at all mean that it needs to be replaced by a relational gospel that’s all about conversation rather than conversion.

Conversations do nothing for the eternal soul that is under God’s condemnation because they have violated His Law. The conversion of the soul is brought about by the Word of God itself and the faithful preaching of it!

PSALM 19:7-8
7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. 8 The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes
.


She contends that “developing relationships with the people in their church and with their neighbors – and they find that their church grows without their even trying.” Yet one must ask, ‘Is this a healthy growth?’ In today’s church growth movement what we observe is not the transformation of the world into believers, but believers (so-called) being conformed to the world – a phenomena that is entirely contrary to biblical doctrine such as found in ROM 12: 1-2!

Davidoff states: “…the evangelism practices that [evangelicals] were taught no longer worked because they were grounded in assumptions that did not fit their current settings.” So, the Gospel as its been preached for 2000 years is no longer applicable universally to all cultures, peoples, places and times as was practiced in the Scriptures and Christians? Are people no longer sinners? Are they no longer separated from a holy God and destined for hell? Are they now no longer under God’s judgment for sins committed against His Holy Law? Is there now no longer any need for repentance from sin? Surrendering all of one's life to the LORDship of Jesus Christ?

“. . . we want to build relationships with other human beings. Because of that, we’re willing to give up just about everything we’ve ever learned about how to grow a church or spread the gospel,” says Davidoff.

Yet the LORD Jesus Christ is the One Who grows the church – not the church (ACTS 2:47). “But we won’t give up on relationship,” says Davidoff, “We want to be loved, to be known and understood. But what’s more, we want to know other people.”

It’s certainly vital that the church and its members have relationship and that the world sees that the love we have for one another is actually inhuman, and rather of divine origin, and because of such they will attest to the truth that we are “of God” (JOHN 13:34-35; 1 JOHN 4:12). That such love must be shown to the lost of this world, and never a greater demonstration can be made to express this love than the proclamation of the Gospel! What is most crucial is not that we know others or that they know us in relationship, but that they know God and that He knows them!

On that fateful Day of Judgment (that is certainly coming!) the scathing, damning words of the LORD Jesus Christ Himself against those that are truly not His are:

LUKE 13:24-28a
24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. 25 When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: 26 Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. 27 But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. 28 There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. . .

See also 1 COR 8:3; GAL 4:9; 1 JOHN 2:14.

“. . . our relationships with others give us the most insight into who God is and where God is leading us,” explains Davidoff. Oh really? When it comes to insight as to Who God is, and understanding the will of God and where He is leading us, looking to others (particularly the lost sinner who is blind to God and without spiritual understanding of Who God is) for revelation knowledge would be laughable if it weren’t so very tragic!

The greatest and only revelation as to Who God is, is in the recorded Scripture of God’s Holy Word and if we want to know the will of God, we need not go any further or to any other source whatsoever in order to acquire these precious truths. Yet for Davidoff, such insight and “connections” can easily be gained by “huddled bunches at the back of the bar [praying]; at the monastery, the yoga class, the silent retreat (another name for spiritual formation practices) . . .”

“And it is often through learning to love each other that we find ourselves opening to God in new and deeper ways,” says Davidoff. Yet my Bible states that:

1 JOHN 1:6-8
6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us
.

We come to know God more when we learn to die to self and identify with the Cross of Christ:

MATTHEW 11:28-30
28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light
.

MATTHEW 16:24-25
24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.

GALATIANS 2:20
20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

PHILIPPIANS 3:10-12
10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; 11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. 12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus
.

“What if our churches took on the practice of building relationships seriously? What if we not only cultivated Christian fellowship through worship and small groups but also held as a high priority the building of relationships with people who are not part of our church, even people who are very different from us? Far from becoming irrelevant, churches would become essential training grounds for a whole new breed of Christians who want to grow in their understanding of this spiritual path,” Davidoff states.

What sort of relational fellowship with unbelievers (those who are not part of the church of Jesus Christ via the spiritual rebirth as stated in John 3:3-5) is the saint, the follower of Jesus Christ encouraged to have in the Scriptures? Obviously we are to have some form of relationship with those not yet saved in order to deliver the Gospel, but this relationship may be superficial, in fact we can deliver the Gospel to total strangers and have godly results. Yet as far as “building relationships” with unbelievers, the Scripture states clearly:

2 CORINTHIANS 6:14-15
14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?

EPHESIANS 5:11-12
11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. 12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.

1 JOHN 1:5-7
5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin
.

This is not at all to say that we should be aloof to people, to have a cool and dispassionate demeanor. On the contrary, Christians should, above all people, have the deepest compassion, fervency and empathy for others - for our LORD Jesus Christ does, and we are His disciples! However, we are not to be influenced in any ungodly way by the lost, nor are we to adopt their lifestyles in order to 'connect' with them. We have what they desperately need - not vice versa. 
But Davidoff claims that by adopting this sort of relational style of ministry, churches would become “essential training grounds for a whole new breed of Christian. . .”

A rather peculiar notion since Christians are not trained by relationships with the spiritually lost. A whole new breed of Christians being trained by such methods will be ineffective at bringing anyone to the LORD for salvation; rather we are bred (born in fact to new life) by the Holy Spirit of God, the author of life eternal (JOHN 4:14; 6:27,63; 10:28; 17:2-3; ROM 6:3-5; 8:10; 1 JOHN 5:11-12) and the sort of training we undergo is by way of discipleship, i.e., spiritual boot camp as it were. And the church certainly is in dire need of returning Back to Basics!

In summary, Heather Kirk Davidoff’s concise treatment of Loving Evangelism, Emergent Style is heavy on relationship and light – almost non-existent – on the Gospel and a Jesus-centered theology, replacing it rather with a social gospel.

The question I’ve asked in reading this treatment is:

Which will portray Jesus more accurately:

1) As we ‘find Him’ in relationships with the lost? or
2) As we learn about Him and of Him as revealed in Scriptures and pass this knowledge on to others?

It seems a consistent habit of the Emergent Church Movement to put the proverbial cart before the horse – they use relationship with others to lead to discovering their Jesus; whereas as we Christians learn and share Jesus from the Bible and see people respond to the Gospel, a relationship is established by the Spirit in “adding to the church daily those that should be saved” and we discover new-born brethren who likewise walk in the Light as He is our Light, the Light of the world – and then, and only then can we have fellowship one with another!

It is rightfully noted that as followers of the Way: Jesus Christ Himself, that we not view the lost as prospective ‘recruits’ to build our own church-kingdoms (Our commission is to seek first the Kingdom of God, not our own fiefdoms in local churches) but rather to echo the heart of God and His love for these lost souls and touch their lives with the grace with which our LORD had touched ours!

Evangelism, of course is all about the heralding of the Gospel (good news) of Jesus Christ, and everywhere in Scripture, this proclamation is accomplished by very ‘non-Emergent’ means!
It is the ministering of the Truth to those who don’t know it and cannot begin to understand it apart from the Spirit of God! It is the giving of the Gospel of salvation which is something contrary to religious pride and greed to acquire ‘heavenly blessings’ by human efforts. It is the death of self, and new life in Christ Jesus the LORD of Glory and the WORD made flesh!

ISAIAH 61:1-2a
1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; 2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD . . .

MATTHEW 4:22-24
22 And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him. 23 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.

ROMANS 10:15
15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

ROMANS 16:24-26
24 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. 25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith
:

It is in these days a foregone observation that there are a multiplicity of ‘gospels’ out there, but the admonition from Scripture boldly states:

2 CORINTHIANS 11:3-4
3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.

GALATIANS 1:6-12
6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9 As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. 10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. 11 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. 12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ
.
Read more!

Monday, March 4, 2013

The HARBINGER – HOAX or HISTORY? Part Three

~ ~ By James Fire


As we continue in our examination of The HARBINGER, it’s vital to understand that the only nation that God has established a covenant with is Israel. Any covenant of God is that which the LORD Himself initiated and established, both in its terms and application. No nation can take it upon them selves to make a covenant with God, nor do we find any biblical precedent that exemplifies such an idea.


WHAT’S THE FUTURE HOLD – FOR AMERICA and ISRAEL?


To assume that America had inherited in some way, the beneficiary aspects of the covenant that God made with Israel, we would by necessity have to fulfill the covenant agreement geographically, as God spoke specifically concerning “the land” and its parameters:
“The extent of the geographical boundaries of the promised land is very specific and must be understood literally. To do otherwise is to spiritualize God’s promises and turn the historical text into an allegory.
"America’s founders were therefore biblically wrong on several counts. Those founders who may have held even an early form of Anglo-Israelism were wrong. Those who held an American covenant view were wrong."
Cahn never denies Israel in her present state as being the work of God, nor does he assert that Israel has no future; he simply doesn’t acknowledge any of this in his novel. Israel on her own merit is conspicuous in its absence in this book!The HARBINGER leaves ancient Israel lying in ruins and then jumps forward to twenty first century America, which does not include the whole story – a very important part of the story, in the context of judgment. It would be difficult to overstate just how serious this issue is.
“One significant problem is that the author fails to mention any of God’s unconditional promises to Israel concerning the land, descendants, and blessings . . . because [there are] many biblical promises that speaks of Israel’s assured future restoration after judgment.”
This would seem to suggest that Israel has forfeited her place in God’s eternal plan of the ages (and so now, its America’s turn?).

Cahn would not need to deviate from his exposition very far in order to bring these scriptural truths to the fore; in fact, he could use the very same chapter from Isaiah that is the basis of his book!


ISAIAH 9: 6 - 10
6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
8 The Lord sent a word into Jacob, and it hath lighted upon Israel.
9 And all the people shall know, even Ephraim and the inhabitant of Samaria, that say in the pride and stoutness of heart,
10 The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones: the sycomores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars
.


The coming Messiah will rule over the house of Israel at His second advent and the government will be established by Him and His reign will be forever (and EVER!). These are precious promises for the future of Israel that Cahn never even (briefly) touches on, and instead, focuses on America (which even if we are restored, after a time of repentance, is only a temporary nation that will not outlast this old Earth, or the nation of Israel which will find a future upon the New Earth and New Jerusalem!).


THE NINE HARBINGERS – The mystery of this story revolves around nine engraved discs from thousands of years ago; a tenth disc is given to Kaplan as a sign that he is appointed as a “watchman on the wall” to sound the alarm of America’s coming judgment and to call her to repentance before God’s final judgment is unleashed against her.


Originally used [for the purpose of this story] to warn Israel of impending judgment, these same discs were then employed to warn America of their own judgment. These discs are a literary device used by the author to convey the idea of incremental warnings of coming judgment, but while the discs are fictitious – as is much of the story – Cahn states that “what’s contained in the story is real.”
Yet how ‘real’ are they? Certainly these discs prove quite convincing as Cahn paints a prophetic picture, but what he doesn’t do is present all of the facts which would paint a different picture entirely. This we shall see as we follow David James along as he uncovers these things for us.


The FIRST HARBINGER: The BREACH –

~ Fact Concerning Israel: God removed His hedge of protection from Israel which allowed the Assyrians to attack the nation.

~ Claim Concerning America: God removed His hedge of protection from the United States, which allowed the terrorists to attack on 9/11
.


The term “hedge of protection” is used in two cases only in the Old Testament, once concerning Job (Job 1:10) and Israel (Isaiah 5:5); when addressed in the New Testament (Matt. 21:33; Mark 12:1) it’s in reference to the nation of Israel. While God can erect a “hedge of protection” anywhere, and with any one He wants, because He is sovereign and able to do so, there is no such indication anywhere in Scripture that He has in fact, placed such a “hedge” around any other nation other than Israel, including the United States.

Thus any claim that God has placed a “hedge of protection” around America is invalid, and if such a hedge never existed, then it could not be breached.
Furthermore, if that hedge was breached, then why aren’t there more attacks from the enemy on American soil, even though many dozens of attempts have been made since 2001? An average of about fifty five attempts daily or approximately 20,000 per year!

Terrorist statistics on U.S. soil

As David James has stated: “So on what basis does someone suggest that God has removed His hedge of protection – if such a thing even exists for any nation but Israel? Or would Cahn now need to say that God has put the hedge back into place? Cahn’s theory aligns with neither the biblical evidence nor with the contemporary evidence of current events.”


America has been attacked before, according to the findings of David James: Pearl Harbor of course (an American territory), and then the following year, Japanese occupation of two Aleutian Islands in Alaska (U.S. property); more than a century earlier (when America was a more righteous nation than perhaps ever before?) the British captured Washington D.C. and burned to the ground. In 1920 a TNT bomb on Wall Street killed 35 people (believed to be the work of Bolshevist and anarchist terrorists); Puerto Rican nationalists in 1975 claimed to be responsible for a bomb in New York City that killed four and injured more than 50 people. In 1993 the World Trade Center was bombed by foreign nationals (Al Qaeda was suspected) with the intent of taking down both towers (killing six and injuring over one thousand).


David James continues: “It becomes clear that any event could be interpreted any number of ways when the literary context doesn’t provide the exclusive framework for interpretation. It is this method of handling the biblical text that so frequently exposes Christians to the challenge of the well-woven cliché ‘Well, that’s just your interpretation.’ [Or even the New Age-friendly expression: ‘That’s your truth’].


Because of the fact that Cahn has inundated his story with countless details and facts, its easy for the reader to assume that it is factual indeed, and all the facts. Yet it behooves the careful student of Scripture to make sure the facts are truly representative of the truth, and especially in light of Scripture where scriptural suppositions are made.


The SECOND HARBINGER: The TERRORIST –


~ Fact Concerning Israel: The Assyrians who attacked the Northern Kingdom of Israel employed some tactics that would today be labeled terrorists.

~ Claim Concerning America: Multiple direct links between the 9/11 al Qaeda terrorists and the ancient Assyrians demonstrate that the historic fulfillment of Isaiah 9:10 is repeating itself
.


To make a more solid connection between the nation of Israel and America, Cahn necessarily had to provide a convincing argument that 8th century Assyrians were terrorists and thus linked (via their descendents) to 9/11:

[KAPLAN] “The Assyrians were terrorists?” I asked.]

[The PROPHET] “As much as any people have ever been. Terrorism is defined as the systematic application of terror, violence and intimidation to achieve a specific end. Terror as applied science – this was the dark gift of the Assyrians gave to the world.”

We are led to believe that the Assyrians more or less invented terrorism, according to Cahn, but is this so? What about the Moabites, Ammonites, Canaanites, the Philistines, the Egyptians and the Edomites? What about Babylon??

Certainly the Assyrians employed particularly savage tactics when it came to war, and prisoners of such (cutting off opposing hands and feet; piercing iron hooks through jaw bones, etc.) but to say that they created such horrific methods in brutal warfare is simply not true.

Why is it necessarily the case that Isaiah 9:10 in regards to Israel and her enemies – and how this supposedly ties into the terrorist attacks on 9/11 is limited to ONLY this instance? Israel has had a LOT of enemies (more so today than ever!) and such episodes of enemy attacks have been recorded in prophetic Scripture (as early as Gen. 15:13); why then, if there really is a valid connection between these two nations, have such prophecies not found a parallel between them?


Another instance of making a connection that really isn’t there:


[KAPLAN] “Assyria is Iraq?”

[The PROPHET] “It’s the same land.”

[KAPLAN] “The nation under judgment… is drawn into conflict with the land of Assyria… ancient Israel… and now America.”

[The PROPHET] “And American troops were now walking the same earth on which the feet of the Assyrian soldiers had once marched. And among those watching them pass by were those who could still claim to be the descendants of ancient Assyrians.”

[KAPLAN] “Their actual flesh-and-blood descendants?” I asked.

[The PROPHET] “Yes,” he replied. “And who knows but that the veins of the 9/11 terrorists did not also flow with the blood of the ancient Assyrians?”

[KAPLAN] “So ancient Israel, in it time of judgment, was drawn into war with Assyria, which is now Iraq.”
[The PROPHET] “Yes,” he answered.

[KAPLAN] “And now America was drawn into a war with the land of Assyria – Iraq.”

“Who knows” said the Prophet “but that the veins of the 9/11 terrorists did not also flow with the blood of the ancient Assyrians?” Who does indeed know? Yet by posing this question in this way, Cahn leads the readers to make an unfounded conclusion. Where is there a connection between Assyria or modern day Iraq and the Al Qaeda militant terrorists who were based rather in Afghanistan?


Al Qaeda ties to more than 70 nations, and while there is a representation of this terrorist group in so many Middle East countries, Iraq is not a prominent location for such. They reside mostly in Afghanistan, Egypt, Sudan, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia and other nations – not Iraq.

Viewing Al Qaeda and It's Global Presence


The majority of Assyrians today are Christians not Muslims any way, comprising about 95% of the population (having been reached with the Gospel by the apostles Thomas, Bartholomew and Thaddeus themselves.


Visit Ninevah.com for more of this and learn Who Are The Assyrians.



Cahn attempts a linguistic connection with the ancient Assyrian language, Akkadian, and the language spoken by the terrorists of 9/11; and while it is true that Akkadian was still a language used by Assyrian people in ancient times, and neo-syriac Modern Assyrian later, a transition towards the Aramaic language became the second official language as early as 752 B.C.


“Assyria’s attacks on Israel happened years after the transition to Aramaic were well underway, even though Akkadian was still spoken and incorporated into localized Aramaic,” states David James.


However, to use such thin lines in an attempt to make strong connections between an ancient language and modern usage of such by terrorists in the 20th century; Cahn also points out (validly) that the Assyrian people were “children of the Middle East” as were the terrorists holds no water whatsoever. They are a Semitic people, but so is also Israel.


The THIRD HARBINGER: The FALLEN BRICKS –


~ Fact Concerning Israel: Clay Bricks were originally used as the primary building material for the city walls, houses, and most other structures.

~ Claim Concerning America: Bricks fell from buildings when the World Trade Center collapsed
.


Again, what is recorded in Scripture, and what has actually transpired at the WTC on 9/11 has such tenuous association, that these threads must be ‘stretched’ in order to make connections, and Cahn does so as shall be demonstrated.


David James: “In both The Harbinger and the documentary, The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment, Cahn emphasizes that the significance is that the buildings fell – and this forms the parallel to the destruction at the hands of the Assyrians. However, as tragic as it was, only a relatively few buildings fell on 9/11 – not an entire city, let alone an entire nation.”


There is really no correlation between what happened to ancient Israel and what transpired on 9/11. True, the Pentagon was struck, but it was not an attack on our entire military defenses.
The buildings of ancient Israel that the Assyrians destroyed were composed of bricks – not stone or metal; however in the WTC, the buildings were constructed with “little or no masonry”.


Did Bricks Really Fall From The Towers?


A nearby brick building with a steel and concrete superstructure survived in much better condition.


David James once again: “However, with no intent to minimize the tragedy in any way, it must be recognized that compared to the utter devastation in ancient Israel, there was relatively little destruction in New York City. The small number of bricks that fell in 2001 was inconsequential – not at all comparable to what happened in the eighth century BC.”


Ancient Israel suffered the destruction of their entire northern kingdom; New York City suffered the loss of two enormous buildings amidst some few others – this can hardly be considered a prophetic parallel.


The FOURTH HARBINGER: The TOWER –


~ Fact Concerning Israel: Israel’s leaders demonstrated a spirit of defiance against God with their declarations that the destroyed city would be rebuilt with no thought of repentance.

~ Claim Concerning America: America’s leaders followed exactly in the footsteps of Israel’s leaders when they declared that the destroyed WTC towers would be rebuilt
.


Israel knowingly defied their God and thumbed their noses at their enemies as well; this is evident in the text of the ninth chapter of Isaiah:


ISAIAH 9: 8-14

8 The Lord sent a word into Jacob, and it hath lighted upon Israel.
9 And all the people shall know, even Ephraim and the inhabitant of Samaria, that say in the pride and stoutness of heart,
10 The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones: the sycomores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars.
11 Therefore the LORD shall set up the adversaries of Rezin against him, and join his enemies together;
12 The Syrians before, and the Philistines behind; and they shall devour Israel with open mouth. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.
13 For the people turneth not unto him that smiteth them, neither do they seek the LORD of hosts.
14 Therefore the LORD will cut off from Israel head and tail, branch and rush, in one day
.


Yet the American leaders were not defying God, as can be readily seen when one views the various news clips and articles in context; true – they were misapplying the passage from what was intended by those who made such defiant proclamations, but as a means of comfort and solace to the American people. However, Cahn has attempted to make his case, that this is exactly what they were doing.


”He contends that America’s leaders,” says David James, “were proudly and arrogantly acting in defiance of God when they spoke of rebuilding. Through the Prophet [in the story], the author cites those he says were defiant when they used the phrase, ‘We will rebuild’.”


[The PROPHET] “From the mayor of New York City in the wake of the attack: ‘We will rebuild . . .’

“From the state’s governor: ‘We will rebuild. And we will move forward.’

“From the state’s junior senator: ‘We will rebuild . . .’

“From the city’s mayor at the time of the rebuilding: ‘We will rebuild, renew, and remain the capital of the free world.’

“From the President of the United States: ‘We will rebuild New York City.’

“One way or another, each leader would end up proclaiming the same words of defiance proclaimed thousands of years before by the leaders of ancient Israel.”


“In the documentary Cahn says,


[Jomathan Cahn] ‘We’ll rebuild New York City. We’ll rebuld Ground Zero. We rebuild better than . . .’ again and again and again, without anything of repentance, that’s the key. So it becomes something of pride and arrogance – about we’re going to show the world, but we’re not turning to God at all.’”
David James recollects in his book the event of Obama visiting Ground Zero and writing on one of the steel girders, ‘We remember. We rebuild. We come back stronger!”


Cahn comments: “On June 14th two of the mysteries of The Harbinger, foreshadowed in the book came true. Obama went to Ground Zero … [and] wrote … ‘We Remember. We Rebuild. We come back Stronger!’
“Now the words and the tower have been joined together in reality – and the one who did it was the president of the United States. One subtle difference in the words is that the vow is spoken in the future tense. But now the words inscribed on the towers are in the present tense. In other words, they not only speak of the defiant vow, but of the fact that the vow is being fulfilled. This constitutes another ominous sign.”

Using the word “fulfillment” indicates by both Cahn and World Net Daily (that supports, promotes and is in agreement with Cahn’s writings and presentations of The Harbinger), that this is a matter of fulfilled prophecy from Isaiah 9:10 not just for ancient Israel but also for modern day America.
The claim is made that various leaders in America spoke their words of rebuilding in defiance of God, but in the context of what was said, these statements were in fact in defiance of America’s enemies (the terrorists of 9/11 and those that supported them).


Then the Prophet of The Harbinger states that it wasn’t merely the words proclaimed in themselves that was the problem, but rather “the spirit and the motive behind the rebuilding”. Yet, how could motives of these leaders or those committed to rebuilding could be known by Cahn or anyone else unless they were specifically asked what it was that they did mean by such statements?


As David James states: “It is one thing to make an observation and report what someone said; of course they said what they said. As Cahn notes, that’s a matter of public record. It’s quite another thing to assign motives without specific knowledge of what someone was thinking or what was going through someone’s heart. The Bible calls that judging and warns against it in very strong terms (Matt. 7:1-2).”


Mr. James observes further: “[Cahn] argues that in spite of what they said, the intention of each of America’s leaders was to be defiant. Yet later in the book, when discussing John Edwards and Tom Daschle in the context of the eighth and nineth harbingers, he tries to make his case that in spite of what they said and in spite of what they intended, they were being defiant. In this case Cahn argues that context and intention are everything, but in that case, he assures the reader that context and intention mean nothing. He attempts to make the same point in both places but with contradictory logic. He cannot have it both ways.”


Mr. James likewise points out the faulty logic of Mr. Cahn regarding the ‘tower harbinger’ and the American leaders who addressed the issue in public. Cahn asserts that these leaders failed to repent on behalf of the nation that they represent; however, since these were secular, political leaders and not spiritual leaders, they could represent no one (but themselves). Could these men have known that this was a judgment of God and that the LORD expected repentance from them? Could they possibly have drawn the conclusion that just as God judged Israel for their defiance, that God would likewise judge them for their own defiance of Him, which Cahn unjustifiably asserts?


Cahn leans heavily on a particular translation of Isaiah 9:10, from what is called the Septuagint (A Koine Greek version of the Old Testament created in Alexandria in late 2nd century BCE) rather than the more commonly used Masoretic text. In the Septuagint, the verse from Isaiah reads:


“The bricks are fallen, but come, let us hew stones and fell sycamores and cedars and let us build ourselves a tower.”

David James comments: “It’s impossible to say whether or not it was in the Hebrew text used by the translators of the [Septuagint]. It is also impossible to say that these were the words of Isaiah himself. Therefore, it almost certainly should not be used as a technical linguistic argument to prove a point such as this one.”


What is most telling is that Cahn quotes only the latter part of Isaiah 9:10 in the Septuagint, but not the earlier part. Had he done so, his readers would understand that this version expresses Israel as the one who cut down the sycamores and the cedars in order to build, rather than the Assyrians in wanton destruction, which would destroy his later arguments for the sixth and seventh harbingers.


David James concludes: “It is extremely misleading and highly questionable methodology to pick one phrase out of a translation in order to prove a point when the passage as a whole has a very different meaning. The Word of God should not be handled in this manner, and one’s audience should not be misled with such a dubious tactic.”


Thus we have completed David James review of four of the nine harbingers. In the next article we shall resume this review and examine the remaining five and see what can be truthfully known of these matters. Until then, remain in the grace and truth of God which is by Jesus Christ our LORD!
Read more!
ReferenceTagging.tag();