Satan's "game plan"!!
A Critical Review of the "Dispensational View" of the Bible and of America's "Christian Right" (Jul 98)
an Email to: William L. Barth
1. In May you invited me to purchase and review your book, "What Happened to the Church?" which describes the "dispensational view" for interpreting Bible prophecies. Having read it cover to cover, I've decided to use this opportunity to address (on my website, www.onesalt.com) a number of important issues raised by your book which the American public SHOULD be discussing openly, because the resolution or non-resolution of these issues WILL determine the difference between physical life and death (literally) for tens of millions (possibly even billions) of people within the next decade or so! So I thank you for providing me with this opportunity to respond to the points which you made in your book. You may not like all that I have to say about your book, but let's assume for the time being that God inspired you to invite me to review your book, and that God inspired me to respond as I have done in this article.
2. First let me explain "where I am coming from" on these issues. According to the 13 Jul 98 edition of The Nation magazine (page 14), in 1966 the Rev. Dr. Billy Graham used the following quotation by Jesus Christ to "morally justify" the actions of the US military in Southeast Asia.
Matthew 10:34 (King James Version (KJV))
"Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword."
The following is a more complete rendering of that portion of Matthew.
Matthew 10:34-40 (New King James Version (NKJ))
"Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to 'set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law'; and 'a man's enemies will be those of his own household.' He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it. He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.
Rev. Graham's "literal" interpretation of Matthew 10:34 implied that Jesus was referring to a physical sword, an interpretation which can be (and has been) used to "morally justify" all sorts of ungodly bloodshed over the past 1,900 years. But when we look at what Jesus said immediately after that, we can see that Jesus was actually referring allegorically to what I call "God's two most fundamental commandments" which Jesus summarized in
Matthew 22:37-40 (NKJ)
"[Edge #1] You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: [Edge #2] You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets."
This is Jesus Christ's "double-edged sword" of TRUTH and LOVE (Rev 1:16). It simply means that we should seek and follow the TRUTH relative to God's commandment to LOVE our neighbors as ourselves without placing any restrictions whatsoever on the applicability of either of those two commandments (Galatians 3:27-28). In response to the question, "Who is my neighbor", Jesus told the parable of the good Samaritan (who, by the way, was a no-doubt a product of "intermarriage"). As God demonstrated to Moses through the burning bush, neighbors are those whom you can help, even if they may be far away. These two commandments were the foundation of Jesus Christ's entire ministry on earth!
Over the centuries, theologians who were subordinating God to the concept of "national sovereignty" tended to downplay the importance of these two commandments, because their "expert" teachings often VIOLATED one or both of them. By examining such teachings for conformance with these two commandments (without restrictions), anyone can easily recognize which of their teachings were "of God" and which were "of Satan" (or what I refer to as being "Satanically inspired").
You're going to see for yourself what Jesus meant by this "double-edged sword", because I am about to use it on your book!
3. Overall, I found your book to be highly informative, with many excellent references to church history. I also commend you for recognizing the progressive or "evolutionary" nature of the points made in Christ's letters to the seven churches in St. John's Book of Revelation.
4. However, having read your book from cover to cover, I couldn't find any instance where you even mention God's commandment to "Love you neighbor as yourself." Even the Spirit of God's two most fundamental commandments (the Holy Spirit) can hardly be found anywhere throughout your book. You hinted at the existence of such commandments when you included 1 John 3:10 in a Biblical citation on page 273 and 1 John 2:23 in a Biblical citation on page 288, but you made no effort to elaborate on those particular points. This omission of any mention of God's commandment to love your neighbor as yourself was no accident, because your book is "loaded" with teachings that VIOLATE that commandment!
[Don't feel lonely. Hal Lindsey and Jack Van Impe do the same thing in many of their writings and videos.]
St. Paul's reaction to such writings would be something like,
1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (NKJ)
"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing."
For reasons that will become move obvious later in this article, Jesus Christ's reaction would have been even harsher,
Matthew 15:7-9 (NKJ)
"Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: 'These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'"
OK, let's look at some particulars.
DISPENSATIONS OR CYCLES?
5. On page 2 you liken "dispensations" to sets of household rules which vary from household to household (or rules which God had used to "manage mankind" during different periods) depending on the level of growth of the individuals involved and the particular circumstances of each "household" situation. Each dispensational period begins when God reveals his will to mankind and promises rewards for obeying His will and punishments for disobeying His will. Throughout history, in each of the dispensational periods that you identify, mankind failed to obey God's will, and the dispensational period ended with God's judgement.
I suppose that the advantage of this analytical approach is that it permits one to dismiss many of the ungodly teachings of the Levites during the "Law Dispensation" period as not being applicable to our present "Church Dispensation" period. But on page 304, your say that God's advice [according to the Levites] to practice genocide against the inhabitants of the "promised land" and to prohibit intermarriage with them "was good advice then, and is still good advice." So apparently, you're not really using your dispensational analysis to its full advantage.
6. If you take the time to read my article "How it all Began" on www.onesalt.com, you'll see that there is another way to view what you call "dispensation periods" based on the love-your-neighbor-as-yourself allegorical lessons that were carefully crafted into many of the stories in Genesis. Jesus not only recognized those allegorical lessons, he used the same symbolic scheme in his own allegorical parables regarding the Kingdom of God. In the carefully crafted allegorical interpretation of the Garden of Eden story, Adam represents mankind and Eve represents the early "church" (just as the "church" is portrayed as the "Bride of Christ" in Rev 21:9). The serpent, of course, allegorically represents Satan. Adam, Eve, and the serpent were expelled from the Garden of Eden (an understanding relationship with God, based on God's two most fundamental commandments) because they had decided to follow their own interpretations as to what is "good" and what is "evil". God warned them in Genesis 3:15:
"And I will put enmity between you [Satan] and the woman [Eve, the "church"], and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head [teachings], and you shall bruise his heel [fundamental assumptions based on criteria other than God's criteria TRUTH and LOVE]".
What you describe as "dispensation periods" can be more simply and consistently viewed as biblically recorded cycles where Satan has "bruised" the assumptions of the church for a while, but eventually the church recognized its error, repented, and proceeded to "bruise" Satan's ungodly teachings out of the "earth" of mankind's perceptions of popular truths. [Jesus used this same allegorical "earth" symbolism in his parable about the wheat and the tares in Matthew 13:24-30] From this love-your-neighbor-as-yourself point of view, what you call "dispensation periods" come out as follows:
6a. The story which you call the "Garden Dispensation":
In the seventh day of the creation story, Satan "bruised the assumptions" (deceived) the early church (Eve) into teaching mankind (Adam) to distinguish between "good" and "evil". But rather than following God's criteria of TRUTH and LOVE [the "tree of life"] for determining what is "good" and what is "evil", mankind began to make such judgements based on other (man-made) criteria [like "national sovereignty", for example]. That led to their expulsion from the Garden of Eden [a.k.a. "spiritual death"]. It would have led to the physical death of mankind as well, but Adam and Eve followed God's advice and bore children thereby "bruising Satan's head" (circumventing Satan's "logical" attempt to destroy mankind). So, even though Adam and Eve did in fact physically die, their species (and roles) lived on.
6b. The story that you call the "Flood Dispensation": The authors of Genesis actually combined two versions of this story into a story that eventually turned out to be a Hebrew allegorical adaptation of a popular Babylonian myth. The Babylonian myth itself may have been based on ancient stories recounting the massive flood that occurred when the Mediterranean Sea broke through the Bosporus Straights creating the Black Sea.
Then Satan "bruised the assumptions" of Adam and Eve's descendants leading them to become so evil that God felt compelled to cleanse the earth with a massive "flood" (the world's first "baptism"). But God had mercy and told Noah to build an "ark" [a covenant based on God's two most fundamental commandments without restrictions--even to the point of treating animals as neighbors], and that permitted Noah and his family (and all those animals) to rise above the waters and ride out the "flood" [kind of like Jesus "walking on water"]. So Satan failed again.
6c. The story which you call the "Babel Dispensation":
Then Satan bruised the assumptions of Noah's descendants by inspiring them to use "earthly" materials (bricks, asphalt, and ungodly concepts) to build a tower whose top extended into the heavens so as to "make a name for themselves lest they be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth." But their pursuit of those Satanically inspired concepts naturally led to divisions among them, restrictions on their definitions of neighbor, perceptions of multiple gods, "denominationalism", mutual fears and hatreds, differing languages--all of which ultimately produced the very "scattering" which they were supposedly attempting to avoid! [Such are the ways of Satan.] But God eventually convinced a shepherd named Abram that there was in fact just one true God, thereby once again "bruising the head" of Satan.
6d. The period which you call the "Patriarch Dispensation":
God promised Abraham (a.k.a. Abram) that his descendants would become great nations and that they would eventually inherit a land of "milk and honey" (Canaan and its surrounding territories). So Satan "bruised Abraham's assumptions" by inspiring him to "swear an oath" to selfishly keep that entire inheritance among his own present relatives (for example, by arranging for Isaac to marry his cousin Rebekah). That had the effect placing an ungodly restriction on his definition of "neighbor" [the restriction that you regarded on page 304 as being "good advice"]. He past that restriction on his definition of neighbor to his descendants which led to the incident where Abraham's great grandsons Levi and Simeon massacred all of the males in the town of Shechem. It also led to the enslavement of Abraham's descendants in Egypt, because they refused to assimilate with the Egyptian population as Joseph had done (Exodus 1:7-12). But God intervened again to bruise the "head" of Satan by showing a shepherd named Moses how to free the Israelites from Egyptian rule by applying the power of the World of God to Egyptian myths and religious teachings. [Ref. my article "How Jesus Christ viewed Moses, Part I, on this web site]
6e. The period which you call the "Law Dispensation":
Once in the wilderness, Satan "bruised" Moses' assumptions by convincing him to rely on the "hands of men" (military means) rather than the Word of God to fend off a tribe of Amalekites who were raiding some of the Hebrew camps. In the years that followed, the elderly Moses (or more likely a Levite imposter posing as Moses under that veil) created all sorts of Levite-serving restrictions on the Hebrews' definition of "neighbor" which (as shown in my earlier articles on this website) led to BLOODY consequences not only for the Israelites' neighbors but also for the Israelites themselves. Eventually, the elders of Israel decided they had had enough of the Levites' bloody theocracy (mixed every now and then with outbreaks of sheer anarchy), so they insisted on the establishment of a monarchy to maintain law and order within Israel and defend against outside aggression (from the Philistines in particular).
As shown in my earlier articles on this web site, the reign of the Israel's first two monarchs (King Saul and King David) were also very bloody for the Israelites as well as their neighbors, because they were still heavily influenced by the Levites' hate-your-neighbor teachings. Finally, God bruised Satan's "head" once again by granting King Solomon his request for wisdom (knowledge learned through following God's two most fundamental commandments). Then for a period of about 40 years, the ancient Israelites enjoyed more peace and prosperity they had ever seen before or would ever see again under the Davidic Dynasty.
Satan and the northern Levites knew that King Solomon was too wise and too powerful to be successfully challenged while he was still alive, so they waited until he died before making their move. Unfortunately for the Israelites, King Solomon's son Rehoboam turned out to be rather dumb. He played right into the hands of Levites like Ahijah who sought to empower themselves by splitting up the Kingdom. So David's the kingdom became a "house divided against itself", and the two half-kingdoms went pretty much "downhill" until the northern Kingdom of Israel was overrun by the Assyrians and the southern kingdom of Judea was overrun by the Babylonians.
When the Hebrews returned from their Babylonian exile to rebuild Jerusalem, they "intermarried" with the local women, many of whom probably had a mixture of Hebrew and Canaanite blood. Later on, a Levite named Ezra returned from Babylon with an early (much shorter) version of the Torah that he read in public. He then proceeded to order the Jews who were already there to "put away" their non-Hebrew wives and children. Through Ezra, Satan once again "bruised the assumptions" of the Israelites' religious establishment, thereby sewing the seeds for the destruction of the second temple for essentially the same reasons that the first temple was destroyed! Evidently, a small group of Hebrews [known in academic circles as "R" for "Redactor" and identified in Ezra 10:15] recognized the ungodly aspects of what Ezra was doing and somehow managed amend various portions of the Torah (as new, longer, versions were created) to include allegorical lessons and historical observations based on God's principles of truth and love. In effect, they turned the Levites' own writings into the object of a satire by documenting the ungodly consequences which resulted from many of the Levites' teachings. The Levite establishment at the time was apparently so "blinded" their own self-serving ideologies that they didn't recognize what the "R" scribes were doing. It was kind of like Jacob "pulling the wool" to trick his elderly father Isaac into believing that he was Esau.
[The story of the Israelites could easily have ended with the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem. If that had been the case, then the name "Jahweh" (if remembered at all) would be remembered today as the name of the mythological "war god" of the ancient Israelites, just as the name "Thor" is remembered as the name of the mythological war god of the Vikings. But the success of King Solomon's reign and the love-your-neighbor-as-yourself wisdom of his "proverbs" inspired the great prophets of Israel (and at least two of the authors of the Torah--referred to a "J" and "R") to sew the seeds of a true Kingdom of God (based on His principles of TRUTH and LOVE) that ultimately became the recurring theme of both the Old and New Testaments. This ensured the immortality of the Hebrew scriptures and showed the world how to "bruise the head" of Satan forever!]
6f. The period which you call the "Church Dispensation":
Jesus Christ recognized and taught the love-your-neighbor-as-yourself allegorical lessons which "J" and "R" had incorporated into the Hebrew scriptures, and his concept of a Kingdom of God on earth (comprised of people who take God's commandments of truth and love SERIOUSLY without restrictions) began to spread like "wildfire" throughout the Roman Empire. But Satan managed to "contain it" by "bruising the assumptions" of some of its teachers and by inspiring anti-Christian persecutions from competing religious sects and eventually from Rome itself. The Roman Catholic Church evolved to help protect many early Christians from such persecutions and to "weed out" teachings which they considered to be "heresies." Unfortunately, Satan succeeded in "bruising the assumptions" of the Roman Catholic Church as well, thereby inspiring it to engage in many ungodly practices. The most serious of these were the placing restrictions of their definition of neighbor and their attempts to use the "tools of Cain" (laws, jail sentences, death sentences, etc.) to wield bloody political powers rather than relying of the power of the Word of God. Such ungodly conduct naturally lead to theological resistance and the breakup of the so-called "Catholic" church in to the large number of "Christian" denominations that we presently have today, nearly all of which are NOT following God's two most fundamental commandments very seriously. [Satan must be delighted!] But God (through Jesus Christ and St John) provided us with all the tools we need to rid the world of most of Satan's power. Those tools are the teachings of Jesus Christ and St John's Book of Revelation, provided that we USE the teachings of Jesus Christ (as opposed to the Satanically inspired concept of "national sovereignty") as our BASIS for interpreting St. John's Book of Revelation. My article "What does the Second Coming of Christ REALLY mean?" on this web site provides such an interpretation of St John's Book of Revelation.
6g. The future period which you call the "Kingdom Dispensation":
Consider the following quote from St. John's Book of Revelation,
Revelation 2:20-29 (NKJ)
"Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent. Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds. I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works. Now to you I say, and to the rest in Thyatira, as many as do not have this doctrine, who have not known the depths of Satan, as they say, I will put on you no other burden. But hold fast what you have till I come. And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations--He shall rule them with a rod of iron; they shall be dashed to pieces like the potter's vessels'--as I also have received from My Father; and I will give him the morning star. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."
In the above quotation from Revelation, Jesus is promising us a "one-world government" guided by a "one-world religion" [the Kingdom of God as taught by Jesus Christ]-- two concepts which have been adamantly opposed by Satan and America's "Christian Right" organizations. Under a true world government, the myth of "national sovereignty" would no longer have any credibility, and Satan would no longer have the most effective tool he has ever had for diverting peoples' loyalties AWAY from following God's two most fundamental commandments. Without "national sovereignty", Satan would no longer be able to control the emotions and the conduct of most of the people of the world. Think about it. The very name "national sovereignty" is BLASPHEMOUS by God's standards! Throughout history, the national sovereignty system has permitted demagogues to define "national" in any way they please and then to use that concept to "morally justify" just about every kind of sin that has ever been committed on this earth. The concept of "national sovereignty" is the BLOODIEST IDOL ever created by man, and yet [like a "one-world religion"] it is still being worshipped by people all over the world (especially by America's "Christian Right"). Guess what is next on God's list for "bruising the head" of Satan!
RULES FOR OBTAINING SALVATION
7. On page 54, you summarize your analysis of the rules for obtaining salvation as follows, "Except a man be born again of the baptism of repentance, the baptism of water, the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and the baptism of fire, he cannot see or enter the kingdom of God." Your use of the terms "repentance", "water", and "fire" appear to be redundant, at least with regards to their functional significance which is to purge or cleanse ungodly concepts from the values which one holds dear. How do we recognize which of our concepts are ungodly? That's where the baptism of the Holy Spirit comes into play. To perceive the Holy Spirit, one must seek and follow God's two most fundamental commandments without placing restrictions on either one. It's easy to recognize those who are following the Holy Spirit and those who are not, simply by observing what they say and do relative to God's two most fundamental commandments. Often, when I'm "channel flipping" through the stations offered on my cable TV, I can recognize those TV preachers who do NOT have the Holy Spirit in a matter of seconds; it's as if they wearing a "666" sign on their foreheads!
7a. But that isn't what you are teaching in your book. Instead, on page 63 you teach that the way to identify "true believers" is to look for the presence or absence of the "Mark 16:17-18 signs".
Mark 16:17-18 (NKJ) purportedly quotes Jesus as saying, "And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."
7b. To begin with, that quote comes from a portion of the Bible that is of dubious authenticity. Verses 9-20 of Mark 16 were apparently added to Bible by the translators (or administrators) who created the King James Version of the Bible. Until then, the 16th chapter of Mark ended at verse 8. (Ref. The Gospel of Mark Home Page, www.geocities.com/Athens/Forum/2736/faq.html FAQ #9). Here is what Jesus REALLY said about those who seek "supernatural signs" rather than God's two most fundamental commandments:
Matt 12:38-41 (NKJ)
Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered, saying, "Teacher, we want to see a sign from You."
But He answered and said to them, "An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and indeed a greater than Jonah is here."
Mark 8:11-12 and Luke 11:29-30 provide further confirmation that Jesus actually made such a statement, and John 6:30-33 records:
Therefore they said to Him, "What sign will You perform then, that we may see it and believe You? What work will You do? Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written, 'He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'" Then Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world."
Matthew 24:23-24 (NKJ)
"Then if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or 'There!' do not believe it. For false christ's and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect."
So much for that "supernatural sign" criterion [and for any assumptions that Jesus agreed with all of the teachings attributed to Moses].
7c. I don't recommend that anyone "take up serpents" or "drink anything deadly" unless those statements are interpreted allegorically as challenging the truthfulness of Satanically inspired teachings. As for "casting out demons", that's easy. Once a person commits to following God's two most fundamental commandments (i.e. to become a member of the Kingdom of God as taught by Jesus Christ), all one needs to do is to point out that a concept that they are using is violating either or both of those two commandments, and "poof" that demonic concept will no longer have any control over him or her (Luke 11:20). If one ignores such guidance as Jack Van Impe has done, then it is clear that person is NOT following the Holy Spirit.
7d. According to your (page 290) teachings based on Mark 16:17-18, those who have the Holy Spirit can cure people with diseases like AIDS or cancer simply by "laying hands" on them, and those who can't perform such miracles do not have the Holy Spirit (and will not be saved). If what you say is true, then have YOU cured any people of such diseases in such a manner? If not, then why not? Your book provides no evidence that you have actually performed such cures yourself. If it were that easy (and cheap) to cure people of diseases such and AIDS or cancer, then why are so many people physically dying of such diseases each year? I'm sorry, but my concern for the TRUTH prevents me from believing such dubious Mark 16:17-18 teachings, especially since those teachings tend to mislead people from REALLY understanding and following God's Holy Spirit (by following God's two most fundamental commandments).
WHAT DOES THE "WORD OF GOD" REALLY MEAN?
8. Consider the first three of the Ten Commandments as recorded in Exodus 20:3-7 (NKJ):
 You shall have no other gods before Me.
 You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
 You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
And now consider
John 1:1-5 (NKJ)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
8a. Both of the above quotations were written long before the existence of the "Holy Bible" as we know it. On page 287 you correctly refer to "God and his Word for they are both eternal", and on page 292 you state that "...God is a spirit and so is his Word". However, in many other parts of your book you seem to have "swallowed" the teachings of Hal Lindsey, Jack Van Impe, etc. that the Bible itself is "the inerrant Word of God." Anyone who reads Richard E. Friedman's book "Who Wrote the Bible?" can see that the claim that the Bible itself is "the inerrant Word of God" is a flagrant lie. Such claims also violate the second of the Ten Commandments, because they are designed to inspire people to regard the Bible as an idol. The Bible is in fact a documented history of the Hebrews' and Christians' evolving understanding of God, including many of the lies and mistakes that were made along the way. The evil acts and "dirty laundry" that were recorded in the Bible were deliberately put there to show the dire consequences that tend to occur when people use God's name in vain (i.e. when people claim to represent God while advocating violations of God's two most fundamental commandments). But over the centuries, many of those who claimed that the Bible itself is "The World of God" and that it should be interpreted "literally" have demonstrated time and time again that they can turn their idolized portrayal of the Bible into "market basket" for "morally justifying" many kinds of evil as well as good. For example: on page 305 you quote
Numbers 25:1-9 (KJV)
And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab. And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods. And Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel. And the LORD said unto Moses, Take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before the LORD against the sun, that the fierce anger of the LORD may be turned away from Israel. And Moses said unto the judges of Israel, Slay ye every one his men that were joined unto Baalpeor. And, behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought unto his brethren a Midianitish woman in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, who were weeping before the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from among the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand; And he went after the man of Israel into the tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel. And those that died in the plague were twenty and four thousand.
Although you don't quote it, the rest of that chapter is significant and relevant to this sicussion.
Numbers 25:10-18 (KJV)
And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, hath turned my wrath away from the children of Israel, while he was zealous for my sake among them, that I consumed not the children of Israel in my jealousy. Wherefore say, Behold, I give unto him my covenant of peace. And he shall have it, and his seed after him, even the covenant of an everlasting priesthood; because he was zealous for his God, and made an atonement for the children of Israel. Now the name of the Israelite that was slain, even that was slain with the Midianitish woman, was Zimri, the son of Salu, a prince of a chief house among the Simeonites. And the name of the Midianitish woman that was slain was Cozbi, the daughter of Zur; he was head over a people, and of a chief house in Midian. And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Vex the Midianites, and smite them: For they vex you with their wiles, wherewith they have beguiled you in the matter of Peor, and in the matter of Cozbi, the daughter of a prince of Midian, their sister, which was slain in the day of the plague for Peor's sake.
8b. Then you say, "If you are still uncertain as to God's feeling on sexual immorality consider His treatment of the Midianites", and you quote
Numbers 31:1-18 (KJV)
And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites: afterward shalt thou be gathered unto thy people. And Moses spake unto the people, saying, Arm some of yourselves unto the war, and let them go against the Midianites, and avenge the LORD of Midian. Of every tribe a thousand, throughout all the tribes of Israel, shall ye send to the war. So there were delivered out of the thousands of Israel, a thousand of every tribe, twelve thousand armed for war. And Moses sent them to the war, a thousand of every tribe, them and Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest, to the war, with the holy instruments, and the trumpets to blow in his hand. And they warred against the Midianites, as the LORD commanded Moses; and they slew all the males. And they slew the kings of Midian, beside the rest of them that were slain; namely, Evi, and Rekem, and Zur, and Hur, and Reba, five kings of Midian: Balaam also the son of Beor they slew with the sword. And the children of Israel took all the women of Midian captives, and their little ones, and took the spoil of all their cattle, and all their flocks, and all their goods. And they burnt all their cities wherein they dwelt, and all their goodly castles, with fire. And they took all the spoil, and all the prey, both of men and of beasts. And they brought the captives, and the prey, and the spoil, unto Moses, and Eleazar the priest, and unto the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the camp at the plains of Moab, which are by Jordan near Jericho. And Moses, and Eleazar the priest, and all the princes of the congregation, went forth to meet them without the camp. And Moses was wroth with the officers of the host, with the captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, which came from the battle. And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive? Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD. Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.
8c. As I mentioned above regarding Phase IV of what you call the "Law Dispensation", the authors referred to by Richard E. Friedman as "R" (the redactors) added many of these "dirty laundry" details to the Torah in order to tell the REST of the story, thereby in effect turning the Levites own writings into the object of a satire. What I find disturbing about this is that you have apparently "swallowed" the Levites' claims and point of view "hook, line, and sinker." It's as if you went to see the Charlie Chaplain's movie "The Dictator" and came away saying, "Wow! That Hitler fellow was really neat! We should emulate him!" In 1 Kings 11:15-16, we learn that King David and his general Joab spent six months slaughtering every man, boy and male infant they could find throughout the territory of Edom, but King David claimed to represent God, so that was OK as far as you are concerned. Right? Palms 137:9 says, "Happy the one who takes and dashes your little ones against the rock!" That's OK with you too, because it's in the Bible. Right?
We'll such conduct is not OK with me, and it was not OK with Jesus Christ. Here's what Jesus had to say about those who embraced such concepts.
Matt 23:33-35 (NKJ)
"Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell? Therefore, indeed, I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city, that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.
Jesus was not only criticizing his Pharisee contemporaries; he was ALSO criticizing their ideological forefathers, including the Levites, all the way back to Cain!
8d. As revealed in the portion of Numbers 25 which you didn't quote, the Levites used that episode where Aaron's grandson Phinehas murdered the Simeon prince and his Midianite mistress to justify the their claim that God had granted "a covenant of an everlasting priesthood" (i.e. the exclusive right to serve as priests) to the Levites. Evidently, this was based on their "zealous" willingness to kill people "for God" (i.e. their willingness to use God's name in vain). This was the same Phinehas who went on to inspire a genocidal military campaign against the Bejaminites that slaughtered ALL of the women and children of the tribe of Benjamin and came within 600 men of wiping out the entire tribe (as described in chapters 19-21 of Judges). For nearly 40 years, the Levites had had enjoyed a monopoly of religious control over the children of Israel (with questionable success) while they wandered through the wilderness. When they finally encountered other civilizations having other religions that threatened their monopoly; rather than relying on the power of God's principles of TRUTH and LOVE, the Levites chose instead to inspire their followers to "utterly destroy" their competition (literally, every man, woman, child, and animal) and to prohibit the making of any treaties or covenants with those whom they were unable to utterly destroy. The Levite conclusion that the murder of that Simeon prince and his mistress brought an end to a plague wasn't the only Satanic "leap of faith" that they promoted.
8e. The elderly "Moses" who claimed that God had granted that special covenant to the Levites (and who ordered the massacre of ALL of neighboring Midianties except for their virgin daughters) may not have been Moses at all. As pointed out in Exodus 7:7, Moses was already 80 years old when he led the Israelite exodus out of Egypt, and this incident occurred nearly 40 years later. According to the real Moses, God wanted the entire nation of Israel to become a "kingdom of priests and a holy nation" (Exodus 19:6, see also Number 11:29). However, by the time of chapter 16 of Numbers, the "Moses" that was hiding under that veil was claiming an "exclusive right" to interpret God's will for the Israelites. I suspect that by then the "elderly Moses" who was hiding under that veil was in fact a Levite installed imposter. Either way, it is quite clear now that the Biblical claim that God had granted the Levites a "covenant of an everlasting priesthood" was a lie.
8f. In your book, you were quick to condemn numerous atrocities committed in past centuries by leaders of the Roman Catholic Church even though they were claiming to represent God at the time, so why does it appear to be "OK" with you when the Levites do the same thing? Is it simply because the Levite claims happened to be documented in the Old Testament? If so, then you are making an idol out of the Bible-an ungodly idol at that. Jesus used the Hebrew scriptures to support his teachings, but he didn't idolize them, and neither should you. Jesus viewed and evaluated the Hebrew scriptures (including the "dirty laundry" lessons) from the point of view of God's two most fundamental commandments, as I am doing in this article. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
8g. On page 291 you say, "the only way to separate tradition from the factual Word of God is go get yourself a copy of the Bible and read it for yourself." That's not true. The Bible is quite useful for helping us to better understand particular applications of Word of God in various situations, but as even you admit, the Word of God is an eternal spirit. The Word of God and the Holy Spirit are one and the same-the guiding Spirit of God that anyone can perceived simply by seeking the TRUTH relative to God's commandment to LOVE our neighbors as ourselves (without restrictions). Following God's two most fundamental commandments is the only way to "separate tradition from the factual Word of God", regardless of whether or not a particular situation was addressed in the Bible. On page 271, you actually got it right (perhaps without realizing it) when you said, "The method Jesus used to distinguish between those of God and those of Satan was based on their ability to hear God."
John 3:1-8 (NKJ)
"The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit."
AMERICA'S SO-CALLED "CHRISTIAN RIGHT" MOVEMENT
9. On page 267 you explained that the meaning of the name "Nicolaitanes" (whose deeds were hated by Jesus in Revelation 2:6) was essentially those who "use words and deeds to attain control over people". You criticized the Roman Catholic Church for such attitudes and practices, but he same can be said about the attitudes, teachings, and practices of the "Christian Right" background which you apparently come from.
9a. On page 282 you say, "Today the public education system in the United States is totally anti-Christ, anti-God, and anti-Bible. It is literally against the law of the land to pray, teach, or read the Bible in a public classroom. The government allows the teachers to call themselves Christians, but they must limit Christianity to Sunday, and teach antichrist principles during the week. They can spend one day a week teaching Jesus is the Creator and he completed creation in six days, as long as they spend five days a week discrediting the Word of God by teaching that mother nature was the creator. These teachers are a product of the Laodicean church congregation, where the separation of Church and State means that Christianity must not interfere with government, business, schools, social laws, or the judicial system. It is not a matter of compromise, because there is no compromise between Christianity and Satanism."
Then on page 292 you say, "Since faith comes from the Word of God, it is easy to see why the natural man has no God-pleasing faith. Since they view the Word of God as foolishness, they also view faith as foolishness. This is why the evolutionist rejects the Bible account of the creation as foolishness."
To begin with, your statement that it's "against the law of the land to pray, teach, or read the Bible in a public classroom" is not true. Students will not be thrown in jail if the decide to pray for better test scores or whatever. What is illegal is for governmental agencies (federal, state, or local) to organize and require formal "prayer programs" to be conducted in public classrooms. Many religious organizations in America support that separation of church and state, NOT because they view the Word of God as foolishness, but because they realize that if such organized school prayer programs were permitted, Americas' "Christian Right" organizations would seek to use those school prayer programs to propagandize America's school children with their Satanically inspired misinterpretations of the Bible. They also realize that not all children in America share the same religion, and that the public classroom it not an appropriate place to allow religious organizations to seek "converts."
9b. A classic example of such Satanically inspired "Christian right" misinterpretations of the Bible is their position which you referred to above regarding the theory of evolution. Apparently, you would agree with the following statements by Jack Van Impe which I quote here from his 15 Dec 97 promotional letter,
" One of the greatest hoaxes ever foisted on the human race is the absolute lie  that people evolved from lower life forms-the theory of evolution!  This teaching discards the book of Genesis and replaces it with manmade malarkey! With or without your awareness, this outrageous 'evolutionary" system of thought-utterly unsupported by genuine scientific evidence--has been strongly promoted to you, to your children, to your grandchildren, and to everyone around you. Evolutionary philosophy has been so widely propounded in our culture that it has seeped into the thinking of millions without even realizing it-and without recognizing  the spiritual devastation that comes from incorporating this kind of error into one's thinking!"
The numbers that I put in brackets delineate the four portions of Jack's quote above which are themselves outright lies. To begin with, if the stories in the first three chapters of Genesis were intended to be interpreted as the "literal truth", then who was the "eye witness" who recorded those events? And how does the theory of evolution in any way "devastate" a spiritual desire to follow God's two most fundamental commandments? As I pointed out in my article "How it all began" on this web site, the stories in the first three chapters of Genesis were deliberately designed to be interpreted allegorically, based on God's commandment to seek the truth relative to His commandment to love our neighbors as ourselves (without restrictions). Jesus recognized those allegorical interpretations and used many of the same allegorical symbolisms in his own teachings and parables. The Satanic purpose for insisting that those stories be interpreted "literally" (talking snakes, and all) is to divert attention AWAY from those allegorical love-your-neighbor-as-yourself interpretations that served as the basis for Jesus Christ's entire ministry on earth. The last thing Satan wants is for the people to recognize what Jesus Christ was REALLY teaching (Luke 11:52); so in that respect, your book appears to have been designed to serve Satan fairly well. If the theory of evolution is devastating anything, it is merely "devastating" one of the ungodly ideological tactics which America's "Christian Right" has been using to divert peoples' attention AWAY from following God's two most fundamental commandments.
9c. On page 163 you say, "You see Babylon when you elect Christian government officials and they vote to legalize murder by supporting abortion. We send politicians to Washington believing they will honor or defend the Constitution, and they jump on the bandwagon to take away our birthright to keep and bear arms. In Luke 11:21 Jesus says, "when a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace", but they don't believe him. They read the Bible where it says, "if any would not work, neither should he eat" (2 Thessalonians 3:10), and they see people abusing the welfare system until they get elected and then they go totally blind to everything except votes. It is impossible to be Christian one day a week and a sinner the other six. That is confusion and that described Babylon."
The anti-abortion stance of America's "Christian Right" is one of the few issues they have that actually DOES conform with God's two most fundamental commandments, although their tactics often violate those two commandments. If they really believe that abortion should be defined as "murder", then why aren't they openly advocating that the laws be changed to require (15-year?) jail sentences for the women AND men involved? These are valid issues for public debate; even if it would require a constitutional amendment to make that change. However, as things stand now, abortion is not legally defined as "murder" in the United States, so those who claim that abortion is "murder" in the United States are lying [and seriously damaging their credibility]. Killing yes. Murder no. It appears to me that the reason these religious organizations are having to seek to use the "tools of Cain" (jail sentences, etc.) to reduce abortion rates is because their Satanically corrupted teachings have lacked the credibility needed to successfully convince women themselves not to have abortions. If our religious organizations were seriously teaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of God as taught by Jesus Christ (based on God's two most fundamental commandments without restrictions), I believe the resulting abortion rates would be far lower than if we relied on using the "tools of Cain" to for such purposes. The entire issue would be dealt with in a far more godly manner as well.
9d. In your point about there being a "bandwagon to take away our birthright to keep and bear arms", you were taking a quote from Jesus seriously out of context. The following is a more complete rendition of the quote you used to support that point.
Luke 11:21-26 (NKJ)
"When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are in peace. But when a stronger than he comes upon him and overcomes him, he takes from him all his armor in which he trusted, and divides his spoils. He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters. When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he says, 'I will return to my house from which I came.' And when he comes, he finds it swept and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first."
The first two sentences in the above quote describe one of the enduring (ungodly) characteristics of the national sovereignty system and the folly of relying on "armor" for peace. Jesus' point doesn't support your point at all. Like Jesus, those who follow the Holy Spirit may criticize the hell out of you, especially if your are claiming to represent God while advocating violations of His two most fundamental commandments, but they would NEVER advocate that anyone be physically killed. Our readers can count on that. What our readers CAN'T count on is whether or not YOU might advocate that THEY should be killed if for some reason you decide to exclude them from your definition of neighbor! If the kind of "Christianity" you are teaching in your book is typical of what is being taught in America's "Bible belt", then it is little wonder that a gun-loving 13-year-old boy who supposedly "found God" last September went on to organize a shooting spree which killed four girls and a teacher in an Arkansas school yard last March. Obviously, the people who led him to believe that he had "found God" were NOT teaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of God as taught by Jesus Christ!
9e. With regards to your quote from St Paul that "if any would not work, neither should he eat", you are again taking a statement out of context. The following is a more complete rendition:
II Thessalonians 3:7-15 (NKJ)
For you yourselves know how you ought to follow us, for we were not disorderly among you; nor did we eat anyone's bread free of charge, but worked with labor and toil night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, not because we do not have authority, but to make ourselves an example of how you should follow us. For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies. Now those who are such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ that they work in quietness and eat their own bread. But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good. And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother".
Clearly, St Paul was NOT thinking in terms of forcing hundreds of thousands of women and children to live on the streets as our "Christian Right" organizations and their "mouth pieces" in Congress are doing in order to make more funds available for their beloved "corporate welfare" programs. The early Christians took care of such people, even if they couldn't earn any income, because they regarded them as neighbors.
9f. On page 369, you say, "We have educated ourselves to the point where we are a nation of fools. Just a hundred years ago, we hanged people for stealing a 20-dollar horse. When our government set the Bible aside, they decided it was wrong to punish criminals and our most intelligent supreme court made a royal commandment to rehabilitate them. They put rotating doors on luxurious prisons and honestly believed the problem would go away. How intelligent they were can bee seen a little further down the road when repeat offenders are responsible for eighty percent of the crime in our country. We are too intelligent now to get a rope and reduce the crime rate by 80 percent within the week. Our government in all its wisdom will solve the problem with another royal commandment: raise the taxes, employ more police, build more prisons. When that doesn't work, they will raise taxes and try it again, and again. Have you ever wondered why our government does not tell us monthly what the national budget is for security guards and systems, law enforcement, prisons and repeat offender judicial cost? If rehabilitation is the answer to the sin problem, somebody needs to tell God so he can rewrite the Bible. If God would write a book that would solve all the problems in our country, do you think our government would have the intelligence to make it top priority in our educational system?"
YIKES! Your suggestion that we hang all "repeat offenders" within a week is an excellent contemporary example of the kind of (Levite-like) reasoning that led Adolf Hitler to devise his "final solution to the Jewish problem." [It also shows quite clearly that the Holy Spirit is NOT dwelling within you]. To begin with, it's impossible to have a "perfect" law enforcement system, and ours is far from perfect. God only knows how many innocent people are sitting in jail now because overzealous prosecutors used Kenneth Starr-like tactics to compel witnesses to falsely testify under oath in order to "save their own skins." And God only knows how many people are sitting in your church congregation each Sunday who are deserving of jail sentences but were never caught for their crimes. It's clear that you do not consider prisoners to be your neighbors either. Here is what Jesus had to say about that:
Matthew 25:31-46 (NKJ)
"When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, 'Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me. Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.' Then He will also say to those on the left hand, 'Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.' Then they also will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?' Then He will answer them, saying, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.' And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."
As you can see, there is no need to "rewrite the Bible" to justify prisoner rehabilitation programs. Perhaps the reason that prisoner rehabilitation programs haven't been working as well as they should is that many of the religious organizations that have been involved in such efforts have been teaching the kind of "Christianity" you describe in your book rather than teaching the Kingdom of God as taught by Jesus Christ. There is, however, one organization called the United Prison Ministries International that seems to doing it right, with considerable success.
9g. On page 369 you say, "Homosexuality is a clear indication that God have given up a person and turned them over to a reprobate mind. When homosexuality is practiced openly and uncondemned by a society, it is a clear indication that God has given up on a society, and turned it over to reprobates. When the Church welcomes homosexuals with open arms, it's time for God to burn down the building. That is the degenerate state our nation and the Laodicean church congregation have reached. How much intelligence does it take to know, if God gave them up, they are hopeless? Anyone who has ever read past Chapter 19 in the Bible, knows how much God hates homosexuality."
So you don't consider homosexuals to be your neighbors either. My article "Weeding Satanically Inspired Doctrines Out of the Teachings of the Churches" as well as my Feb 98 and Jun 98 articles on this web site show in detail how wrong you are on this issue as well. In a nutshell, the Levites' prohibitions against homosexual conduct were inspired by Satan from the very beginning. They considered homosexual conduct to be a threat to the expected growth rates of their (financially supporting) human "flocks." Homosexual conduct between consenting adults is NOT a "sin", because it does NOT violate God's two most fundamental commandments. Preaching fear and hatred of homosexuals IS a "sin", because it DOES violate God's two most fundamental commandments. God has been creating homosexuals at least since recorded history began!
9h. On page 296 you say, "Humans under the guidance of Satan and his demons brought humanism, intellectualism, and emotionalism into Christianity. Humanism says we humans can do it ourselves through self-improvement or self-sacrifice, and rejects all spiritual intervention, even to the point of denying the existence of spirits. Intellectualism says we are improving ourselves, and the human race, through education without realizing the reasoning rejects revelation knowledge. Emotionalism introduced personal feelings, which become the foundation on which appeals could be made to motivate and control the congregation. Appealing to human emotions, guilt feelings, fear tactics, and the natural affections could be used to shame individuals into obedience. These are part of the doctrine of the Nicholaitanes or "people controllers" which were hated by Jesus and the Churches in the Ephesus Era as we saw in Rev 2:6. When the substitution was completed, worshipping God, in spirit and in truth, was replaced by unacceptable soul worship. Instead of the congregation being controlled spiritually by the Holy Spirit and the Word of God, they were controlled mentally by the Nicolaitanes and their doctrines. The Nicolaitanes then divided the congregation by making themselves the ruling clergy, and the people the obedient layman."
So if we seek to follow God's commandment to love our neighbors as ourselves, you (and America's "Christian Right") dismiss us as "humanists." [Pat Robertson uses the term "theocratic humanists" for this purpose.] And if we seek the truth without restrictions, we are dismissed as "intellectualists." And if get excited about all this, we are dismissed as "emotionalists." Rather than "shaming people into obedience", would you prefer that we shoot them? Once again, those neighbor-restricting teachings are NOT teachings of the Holy Spirit! Your remaining points about the Nicolaitanes seems to apply mostly to the Roman Catholic Church with their "Papal decrees" and to America's "Christian Right" with their Bible-is-the-Literal-Word-of-God-market-basket for "morally justifying" many kinds of evil as well as good.
10. Throughout your book, it is clear that you have "swallowed" the "rapture doctrine" preached by Hal Lindsey, Jack Van Impe, etc. As you point out, that doctrine is based on:
1Thessalonians 4:13-17 (NKJ)
But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
On page 20 you say, "The rapture will be restricted to church members only and will be the event by which Jesus separates true born-again believers from the Laodicean church members... After the rapture all the remaining church members will be grouped together to form a one-world church identified in Rev 17:6 as the 'hated whore.' This organization will be destroyed by the Antichrist during the first three and one-half years of the seven-year tribulation period.
This rapture will separate the true Church, presented in the Bible as the "Bride of Christ," from the false church, presented as the hated whore... Although a great multitude will be saved during the tribulation period, they will not be saved as Church members. Individuals who confess true faith must be killed by the Antichrist organization in order to inherit eternal life during the tribulation period...."
On page 135 you say, "The truth is Jesus will form the one-world church by the rapture, and Antichrist will spend the next three and one-half years destroying what Jesus left behind."
On page 352 you say, "The rapture will have ended the Church Dispensation and completed the bride of Christ. Those participating in the rapture were given their glorified eternal bodies at the instant the rapture occurred."
On page 148 you say, "I see worldwide judgement on the horizon, not world-wide revival." Then in the next paragraph you say, "Another reason why I don't see a worldwide revival preceding the rapture is because a dispensational period ends in judgement, not revival."
And on page 150 you say, "The church must be raptured within the next seven years."
10a. I know you say a lot more about the "Rapture" in your book, but I believe the above pretty well summarizes the gist of your teachings in that regard. The question I have for you is, "Where does God's commandment to love your neighbor as yourself fit in that analysis?" [Hint, hint: It doesn't!] What you (and America's "Christian Right") seem to be teaching is, "Don't worry if our anti-government, anti-United Nations, anti-European Union, anti-International Criminal Court efforts to promote international anarchy are literally killing MILLIONS of men, women, and children each year. When that anarchy finally comes back to bite (or smite) the United States, you'll be supernaturally saved by the Rapture!" Those lawlessness and "Rapture" teachings really ARE Satanic (See II Thessalonians 2:7-12). Such teachings also send the message, "Don't worry about taking God's two most fundamental commandments seriously at this time, Jesus will return and solve all those problems supernaturally...."
10b. If you read my article "What does the Second Coming of Christ REALLY mean?" on this web site, you'll see that what St Paul and the other authors of the Bible were REALLY talking about is that true Christians (and Jews, and others) throughout the world will spiritually "rise to the occasion" and utterly destroy the popularity of mankind's Satanically inspired "national sovereignty" idol once the truth about that ungodly idol is made known to them. Your dispensational analysis not withstanding, the Bible DOES predict a worldwide "revival" ultimately followed by a judgement,
10c. So let's recap the Satanically inspired lies I've identified so far in this article:
1) The Mark 16:17-18 teachings that the presence or absence of "supernatural signs" in a person or congregation indicates whether or not that person or congregation has the Holy Spirit.
2) "The only way to separate tradition from the factual Word of God is go get yourself a copy of the Bible and read it for yourself."
3) Claims that the Holy Bible [itself] is the "inerrant Word of God."
4) "It's against the law of the land to pray, teach, or read the Bible in a public classroom."
5) "One of the greatest hoaxes ever foisted on the human race is the absolute lie that people evolved from lower life forms-the theory of evolution!"
6) Your contention that the Jesus' teachings support "our birthright to keep and bear arms."
7) Using St Paul's statement "if any would not work, neither should he eat" to imply that he (or Jesus) would oppose welfare programs for the poor.
8) "If [prisoner] rehabilitation is the answer to the sin problem, somebody needs to tell God so he can rewrite the Bible."
9) "Anyone who has ever read past Chapter 19 in the Bible, knows how much God hates homosexuality."
10) "Humans under the guidance of Satan and his demons brought humanism, intellectualism, and emotionalism into Christianity."
11) Promoting international lawlessness and promising a "Rapture" to escape the bloody consequences of such actions.
12) Oh yes, and your comment on page 285, [referring to Revelation 2:12 and 19:21] "The sword out of the mouth of Jesus is his Word. It is a two-edged sword because his word is capable of both conviction and converting, condemning or setting free, killing or giving life."
10d. So! What do all of the above Satanically inspired lies have in common? They are ALL designed to divert attention AWAY from following God's two most fundamental commandments, especially His commandment to love our neighbors as ourselves without placing any restrictions on our definition of neighbor. They are also designed to help keep mankind's Satanically inspired "national sovereignty" idol from being exposed to the "Light of Day" (the light of God's principles of TRUTH and LOVE). THAT is Satan's "game plan" for maintaining control over the hearts and minds of the people of the world. And America's "Christian Right" organizations have been following that "game plan" with great enthusiasm!
WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW
11. I'm not going to take the time to address all that's wrong with your "seven year tribulation" analysis, because it is not only "off base", it's "totally out of the ball park" with regards to what the authors of the Bible were REALLY talking about. As I pointed out to Jack Van Impe in my Aug 97 article, your analysis is "barking up the wrong logical tree" (Satan's "national sovereignty" logical tree).
11a. I assume that you have the text of your book in a word processor somewhere. It wouldn't be that difficult for you to go back and purge out the Satanically inspired portions of your book and to redo your "seven year tribulation analysis" in a way that DOES conform with God's two most fundamental commandments. The historical facts and figures contained in your book will support this analysis as well. I'll give you some BIG HINTS. What you call the "seven year tribulation period" covers a period of time that began in Genesis and ends in this age. The vision of the woman giving birth in Revelation 12 allegorically refers to the birth, life, and ascension of Jesus Christ [and is the mid-point of that "seven year" period]. Mankind has been in second half of that "tribulation period" for nearly 2000 years now and has reached the point referred to in Revelation 5:12, "Who is worthy to open the scroll and to loose its seals?" The "ten toes" in Daniel 2, the fourth "beast" in Daniel 7, the seven-headed beast with ten horns in the 12th, 13th and 17th chapters of Revelation all refer to the concept that we call in this age "the national sovereignty system." The "little horn" is what I have referred to in this article as "the Christian Right movement", but it also includes national-sovereignty-oriented "right-wing" organizations in Israel and many Arab countries, all of whom are "antichrist" in nature (i.e. claiming to represent God but teaching the OPOSITE of what God's Holy Spirit would teach). Check out the historical roots where those movements began (II Thessalonians 2:7-12).
11b. As Jesus says, "Behold, I stand and the door and knock." "Seek and ye shall find." If you REALLY follow God's Holy Spirit throughout this rewrite of your book, I suspect that your analysis will end up looking very much like the articles which I will be publishing on my web site in the next few months, perhaps even better. You could be the FIRST to actually publish a book that gets it right!
(one grain of salt)
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Last modified on Friday, May 03, 2002