Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Will You Deny God To Save Yourself From Financial Pressure?

     "According to the belief held by proponents in their secret Pre-Tribulation Rapture escape to heaven theory, the Christian Church will not have to endure any form of persecution before The Second Advent. Instead, it will be “caught up” to meet the Lord in the air and then whisked up to reside safely in heaven during a time of great tribulation that supposedly will last between three and a half to seven years. The Christian Church, then, supposedly returns with Christ after this a period of great tribulation on earth, which is to include the punishing of the Jacob’s descendants (Jews) unto repentance. As their theory goes, the Christian Church will be Raptured (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17) before this awesome period they call The Great Tribulation."
     The above statements come for this author’s book, “Why Christians Will Suffer Great Tribulation,” words that were written over 25 years ago. Basically this sentiment continues to be the primary doctrine being promoted by most preachers and authors amongst most evangelical Christians. This is also the mantra being extolled through chat rooms on the Internet by many novice theologians, who have built thousands upon thousands of web sites promoting the Pre-Tribulation Rapture.

     Basically these folks have read (and bought into) books which have been written by many financially successful authors for the last 25 years, the likes of Tim LaHaye, Chuck Missler, Mike Evans, John Hagee, Jack Van Impe (and the prince of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture mythology, Hal Lindsey) just to mention a few. Their basic claim is that the Bible clearly states (in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17) that the dead in Christ are raised first and those who are still alive at that time are “caught up together” to be with the Lord in heaven. In essence, born again Christians will be rescued up to Heaven, will have VIP seats in heavenly grandstands, from where they can view those remaining on earth (the so-called Left Behind crowd) who will suffer great tribulation as all hell breaks loose on earth. Then after seven years, they will return to earth with Jesus Christ to rule and reign with Him for 1000 years.
     They also preach from the scripture 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 that that day (not the Pre-Tribulation Rapture), but the coming of the Lord, to rule and reign for 1000 years, will not come until the rebellion (the apostasy of the church) occurs and the man of lawlessness (the Anti-Christ) is revealed. At this point in time (as the discussions as to who is Left Behind, who is the Antichrist, is the rescue to heaven a pre, mid, post or even a pre-wrath Rapture) the theories are many and confusing to say the least. But the most important issue in this post is the “Apostasy!”
     What is Apostasy?
     In a recent article that appeared in Christian Newswire Service (March 23, 2010) it stated that “Nearly 40% of churches across the country (speaking of the USA) experienced a decline in church giving and offerings in 2009, representing two consecutive years of significant decreases, according to the 2nd annual "State of the Plate" research by Maximum Generosity and Christianity Today International.
     The article went on to say that "Churches today are in unchartered waters financially," says Brian Kluth, founder of Maximum Generosity. "After the October 2008 stock market drop, 29% of churches experienced a decline in giving and this past year the number has climbed up to 38% of churches. Multiple research projects last year documented the sharp decline in church giving and our research this year shows things have only gotten worse for a growing number of churches."
     This phenomenon (among several other frailties impacting those of the Christian faith) is a vivid example of the apostasy that was predicted over 2000 years ago that would precede the imminent return of Jesus Christ. I wrote at great lengths about this in my book (Why Christians Will Experience Great Tribulation) during the prosperous times of the early 80’s, before America recently experienced the largest stock market crash since back in 1929.
     While many ersatz prophets point to news items such as political and civil unrest in the Middle East, wars, rumors of wars, and earthquakes in diverse places, to validate their claims that the end is near, and the Rapture is right around the corner, I have always believed that the issue of finances would impact the Christian faith more so than natural calamities and a political atmosphere that has been prevalent in that region throughout history.
     Americans (especially) do well during earthquakes, floods and fires, always rising to the occasion and helping their fellow man. But, when economic crisis’ hit home, this is when most folks’ faith in God buckles under the pressure, including self-avowed Christians.
     Many theorists pose the theory that the Apostasy is not describing the Christian community, because most believe in that old adage that “once saved, always saved.” In other words, Christians, once they accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior, can never lose their salvation. They believe the Apostasy has to do with mankind’s overall declination of things spiritual or religious as it moves downward from a once revered moral paradigm to a more enlightened secular belief that mankind has the inner power to chart its own course through life's journey, without God’s wisdom or help.
     The word “apostasy” means an “abandonment of one's religious faith, a political party, one's principles or a cause. It comes from the Middle English apostasie, from Old French, from Late Latin apostasia, defection, from Late Greek apostasi, from Greek apostasis, revolt, from aphistanai, aposta, to revolt!” The word apostasy is used only twice in the Bible, in Acts 21:21 and 2 Thessalonians 2:3, the latter being the one verse that speaks about this revolt. Obviously, from its true rendering, the word cannot be applied to people’s evolution from a quasi-moral state to an enlightened one; it can only be applied to those folks who once believed in the true faith in Jesus Christ. 

    Theorists contend that the apostasy mentioned in 2 Thessalonians 2:4 does not apply to the Christian Church because it will have been secretly caught up from earth to heaven before the increasing times of great tribulation. They contend that the apostasy here should be applied to the so-called “Roman Church” or other humanistic oriented religious groups, which will be more prevalent during this time. But, if they apply their theories solely to these groups, or to unbelieving Jews, how can they see someone fall away from something they never had, which is true faith in Jesus Christ?
     Since the time of Christ’s resurrection, ascension and subsequent outpouring of the Holy Spirit (which sealed the down payment on God’s redemption program), the single most important requirement for the true church has been to preach the Gospel and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ by faith and “Thou shalt be saved, (Romans 10:9, KJV).” Throughout the beginning of time, and even more so since the resurrection of Christ, it has been Satan’s primary mission to hammer a wedge between the believer and God. This historic war has been waged from the time of Adam and Eve and continues to this very day. However, during the last days (when tribulation will increase exponentially, leading to Christ’s return), the battle will intensify as never before. One of the missions (if not the primary one) of Satan (during this period) will be to try even harder to separate as many believers as he can from their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, because he knows his time is short.
     This is why during this period of persecution we should be witnessing the greatest evangelizing season in history, a time of reckoning where all of humanity (especially Christians) should be choosing their undeniable allegiance to God regardless of the consequences! Sadly, the church has turned away from trusting God to provide all of its needs but is more focused on financial security; many of its preachers extolling soothing prosperity and "get rich now"messages rather than preparing the church to deal with the more important subject of tribulation.
     Many in the Christian Church today believe that when they accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior they now have immunity from persecution and a safety net in what theorists call The Rapture. They believe that by merely accepting Jesus Christ in their hearts, everything in their Christian journey from now on will be one smooth ride to heaven. The debate between those who believe that “once saved, always saved” continues to this very day. The author will not enter this debate other than to say scripture clearly says two things about this issue. One is found in Romans 8:1, 35-39, which basically states that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. However, even though He will always be committed to loving us, can we say the same thing about Him, regardless of the horrendous circumstances that await the ecclesia before The Second Advent?
     Therefore, the proverbial question begs to be asked: Can a person lose their salvation after coming to Christ?” The answer is “Yes!” (Hebrews 6:1-6) Can our salvation be lost or taken away without our acquiescence? The author believes the answer is a resounding no! In Romans 8:35-39, it emphatically states that nothing can separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus. He will forgive those who seek Hisforgiveness.             
     However, during the times of increasing tribulation, many that profess to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ will rebel and will turn away from their faith in Christ! During these times of trials and testing, many will renounce Jesus Christ as Lord and savior merely to survive tribulation (financial and otherwise) at the hands of the money-changers of the world!
     One of the greatest phenomena being experienced in evangelical circles today is the massive rallies and crusades that feature dynamic preachers extolling the gospel of Jesus Christ. At these events, many are moved to a so-called conversion by the charisma of the speakers and the great emotional swell that springs up from the crowds. The author believes that many are sincere when they come to the forefront and truly surrender their hearts to the calling of the Holy Spirit. But have they surrendered all to follow Christ? Have they made a commitment to pick up their cross and give up everything, even their life to do his will?
     The author believes that many are caught up more so with the swell of emotional and euphoric experience produced by the theatrics of the event, and possibly experience a brief moment of remorse. But, for the most part, many have not really made a true commitment to the totality of the Christian walk. While many enjoy the healing, forgiveness and the blessings contained within Christianity, most are not prepared to surrender everything and make Jesus the Lord and Master of their lives. They love the blessings, but won’t pick up their cross! Instead, they are more pre-occupied with their finances than they are with one of the church’s most important missions. They now withhold what little they may have given to help the poor and needy to stock up for their own financial salvation.
    They now voice overzealous acrimony at former or current impotent government administrations and cast negative epithets at anyone or anything they believe is causing their economic woes, such as blaming those who merely seek work in this country to provide food to their impoverished family members, while the faithless continue to overindulge their own flesh cravings and other predilections.
     Throughout history, satanic forces have waged a spiritual warfare against God and His people, and they continue to this very day. However, as the persecutions increase throughout the world, many Christians are abandoning their faith in God in droves. While many in the evangelical community continue to feed their coffers through much commercialism and theatrics, Satan’s power is being felt with greater measure because he knows his time is short. A quick cursory glance in media reports, we can see Satan intensely pumping the bellows of his furnace of deception, hatred, violence and chaos, which, unfortunately (due to the incessant exploitation of these maladies by media) has numbed much of Christendom throughout the world, thereby fanning the flames of apostasy as never before. These flames are reaching greater heights and, unfortunately, we see way too many Christians falling away in order to secure their economic status rather than trusting in God for their provisions, enduring the financial trials and testing and working towards bringing more lost souls into the Kingdom of God. All money is God's money; we are mere stewards. How we handle the funds He has entrusted us with (by helping those less forunate) actually ensures our financial security!
     But yet, there are a few, way to few, who do indeed trust in God to supply all of their needs, staying in the front lines, working with the poor, the downtrodden, the homeless, orphans, and others in a far worse financial state than they, invoking the Gospel of Jesus Christ through charitable action, not just through words. Who are these people and what do they really believe in:
     You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, 11 persecutions, sufferings – what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. 12 In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evil men and imposters will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scripture, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work, (2 Timothy 3:10-17, NIV).
     These faithful will be the called out ones of Christ, God’s ecclesia, who will be victorious in this increasing spiritual warfare, such as never been witnessed by mankind. These will be God’s Christian Soldiers of the Cross, who will be preaching the gospel to the end, even if it means giving up their lives so others can live in eternity with Jesus Christ, our Lord and our God!
Are you more concerned about your finances than you are about serving God, regardless of the costs? Are you prepared to suffer great tribulation for Christ? Will you be among those who will endure and persevere under this time of great testing?

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Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Evil Blind Spot Of Religious Fundamentalism And How It Is Used To Distort The Message

by Roger W. Hubbard, PhD

     The savage attack on New York on "9/11" and the massive loss of innocent lives has impacted the entire world and has resulted in the "International War on Terror" producing deadly wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. A list of all the atrocities carried out in the name of religion would be redundant here and not germane to the main points of this discussion. Neither do I wish to trace the history of the "Arab-Israeli Conflicts" except to note that radical Islamic fundamentalists believe that they are honor bound to convert or eliminate "Unbelievers" and that by fostering world war and world chaos, they will hasten "the return of the 12th Imam".
     As a layperson, I would say that this is not the message taught by Christians for establishing the "Kingdom of God". Clearly there is something amiss here. How can two great religions dedicated to peace have extremist fringes compelled to kill or eliminate people they consider evil sinners under the influence of Satan?    
     We are all aware that the state of Israel is considered the "Little Satan" and the United States of America is considered the "Great Satan" by Arab fundamentalists and the Iranian regime in particular. Thus, it would be safe to assume that at least one small seed for this ideological position can be revealed by examining differences in "core beliefs" as found in their respective scriptures. The intent here is not to try to label the Islamic faith as "bad", for there is much to recommend it, or to try to label the Christian faith as "good" in all of its forms and expressions, for that is not the case.
     Rather, the intent is to uncover just "one seed" in the formation of "radical thought and mind set" leading to either self-righteous license by religious terrorists or simply to unwarranted actions by heretical leaders that harm innocent individuals. If this "evil seed or blind spot" can be exposed then we can guard against it from creeping into our Christian faith, denominations and practice and thereby prevent well meaning individuals from acting upon heretical views and producing great harm in the process. Like all demonic plots this evil seed or blind spot will masquerade as good. It will appeal to common sense and have substantial human experience to support it. It will be difficult to change the "mind set" of the proponent groups even though it is based upon heresy. In any case, the main focus is on Christianity and not Islam or Judaism.

     There is one striking difference between Islam, versus Judaism and Christianity. That difference is their stated position on the consumption of alcohol. The prohibition of alcohol in the Qur'an is found in the following verse:

O ye who believe! Intoxicants and Gambling, (Dedication of) stones, And (divination by) arrows, Are an Abomination of Satan's handiwork; Eschew such (abomination), that ye may prosper. [Al-Qur'an 5:90]  

     Thus, it is indisputable that Islam believes that the consumption of alcohol is an evil abomination and the handiwork of Satan. The same ascetic views were prevalent in Judaic society in the first century from Pythagorean and Gnostic sources within Cabbala. These same ascetics penetrated Judaism, Heathenism, and later Christianity. These were the same Pharisees that called Christ a glutton and a wine-bibber because he drank with publicans and sinners (Mat. 9:10-11; Mk. 2:15-16 reference: ( see "Wine in the Bible", edition 1.1 19970104-19990109, Christian Churches of God, PO Box 369, Woden, Act 2606, Australia, Copyright 1997,1999, Wade Cox).
     This text confirms that Christ sat at meat and that he was with publicans. We see that he drank wine with them. Matthew 11:19- "The son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Behold, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!' Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds." (RSV ibid above). To suggest that Christ drank grape juice while the publicans drank wine in the normal sense, yet was condemned for drinking with them, is ludicrous. These same publicans and harlots believed and were converted.

     Thus, the first serious expression of the "spirit of the antichrist" co-opted by the Pharisees was to slander Jesus for drinking wine while he was trying to reach the lost. Once co-opted and acted upon this evil spirit was fed and grew in strength until the compulsion by the Pharisees to plot, implement and kill Jesus was carried forth. 
     This raises the obvious question: Was drinking wine prohibited by the Jewish faith and tradition? Unfortunately, for the Pharisees the law gives the right to any form of alcoholic beverage and not just wine. Deuteronomy 14:22-26 says: "Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed that the field bringeth forth year by year. And thou shalt eat before the LORD thy God, in the place which he shall chose to place his name there, the tithe of the corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear the LORD thy God always. And if the way be too long for thee, so that thou art not able to carry it; or the place be  too far from thee, which the LORD thy God shall chose to set his name there, when the LORD thy God hath beseeched thee: Then shalt  thou turn it into money, and bind up the money in thine hand, and shalt go unto the place which the LORD thy God shall choose: And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the LORD thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household".
     Thus, far from being prohibited wine was used in celebrations and considered "one of the good things... for good people" (Ben Sirach, Ecclus. 39:25-26). 

     The Interpreters Dictionary of the Bible, in its article on wine says that from ancient times Syria-Palestine was famous for the quantity and quality of its wine (vol. 4, p. 849). In fact there are at least eight Hebrew words translated as wine in the bible (yayin, mishrat anavim or expressed grape, tirosh a poetical expression for ritual wine, chemer a form of red wine, shekar or strong drink, asis or sweet wine of the vintage year, sob'e a source of drinking to excess or adulterated wine (Isaiah 1:22), mamsak or spiced wine (Proverbs 23:20), shemarim or old wine, 'ashishah or flagon of wine, KJV (2 Samuel 6:19: "And he dealt among all the people, even among the whole multitude of Israel, as well to the women as men, to every one a cake of bread, and a good piece of flesh, and a flagon of wine. So, all the people departed every one to his house (KJV)". 

     Condemning Jesus for what the law allowed was heresy and an attempt by the spirit of the antichrist to turn something good (the drinking of wine) into evil. Jesus considered the Pharisees self-righteous in their own eyes and justified by their own behavior and for this reason said: "Verily I say unto you, that the publicans and harlots go into the kingdom of God before you", Matt. 21:31.
     The concluding statement from "Wine in the Bible" (ibid, above) states in part: "To suggest that wine was non-alcoholic grape juice when spoken of in a positive sense in biblical literature is an insult to the intelligence of the average bible student. Rabbinical authorities regard it as absurd. ... It is, however, a heresy that has been rejected by all other forms of Christianity because of the perversion of the scripture." 

     Thus, to slander a brother or sister for consuming alcohol under appropriate conditions is heresy and co-opting the sprit of the antichrist. It acts to condemn the Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Episcopalians and others for drinking wine during Holy Communion. This is an unbiblical position and a mind set and blind spot that co-opts the same evil spirit of the Pharisees and that fosters misunderstanding, division and separation within the "Body of Christ".  
     When discovered to exist, it should be rejected and corrected and replaced with a spirit of tolerance and acceptance of diversity amongst different denominations more reflective of Christian and Canadian values. Moreover, to act in a negative or heavy handed manner against an individual  brother or sister who sits and drinks with sinners he or she is trying to reach for Christ is to insult the actions of Jesus and is to take a heretical world view and position more in line with fanatical religious cults than mainstream Christianity.

[Roger W. Hubbard, Ph.D is a Consultant and Formerly Directorate Director, Environmental Pathophysiology Directorate, U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Natick, MA. In addition to other education credentials, he attended Brown University in Providence RI in 1966 and earned a Ph.D. in (Biology)-(Physiological) Chemistry. He is retired and spends time as a Bible teacher at his local church in Nova Scotia, and hunting and fishing with his family.]

Due to several weeks of being burdened with the flu, I'm extremely grateful to my "guest" writer friends for filling in the gap. Special Thanks to God's servants and dear friends such as Dave MacPherson and Roger Hubbard. Click here>Joe Ortiz for more information.

Monday, March 15, 2010

God Is Not a Railway Porter

Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, measured heaven with a span and calculated the dust of the earth in a measure? Weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance? (Isaiah 40:12)

We must be concerned with the person and character of God, not the promises. Through promises we learn what God has willed to us, we learn what we may claim as our heritage, we learn how we should pray. But faith itself must rest on the character of God.

Is this difficult to see? Why are we not stressing this in our social media circles? Why are we afraid to declare that people everywhere must come to know God Himself? Why do we not tell them that they must get beyond the point of making God a lifeboat for their rescue or a ladder to get them out of a burning building? How can we help our people get over the idea that God exists just to help run their businesses or fly their airplanes?

God is not a railway porter who carries your suitcase and serves you. God is God. He made heaven and earth. He holds the world in His hand. He measures the dust of the earth in the balance. He spreads the sky out like a mantle. He is the great God Almighty.

He is not your servant. He is your Father, and you are His child. He sits in heaven, and you are on the earth. Faith Beyond Reason, pp 44, by A.W. Tozer.
And yet He weeps for all of us, He desires your healing, your safety, your welfare and that of your family and friends. But we have too much pride to seek Him, to find Him and be His friend! Why?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Spiritual Cleansing and Detox

Brian Shilhavy
     At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:3-7)
     We live in a very polluted environment these days, and much of our food is mass produced and altered in such a way that we end up consuming toxins that our body needs to process and eliminate in order for us to enjoy good physical health. There are a variety of cleansing and detoxification protocols and products used today for these physical cleansings of the body.
     But your spirit also is subject to spiritual toxins, and we are all in need of spiritual cleansing on a regular basis to keep our spiritual life healthy. The initial spiritual washing and renewal happens during our spiritual rebirth. As is written in the verses above in Paul’s letter to Titus, “He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.” Without this spiritual rebirth and cleansing, we cannot enter the Kingdom of God and inherit eternal life, and the new future body that God has for each one who is a member of his spiritual kingdom.
     As this passage in Titus states, before we experience the spiritual rebirth we are “enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures.” (Some translations say “lusts” instead of “pleasures.”)     
     These are the spiritual toxins in our life that cause us to live “in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.” When we are enslaved to our sinful nature and the passions and lusts of our sin nature, we produce many spiritual toxins. There are many lists recorded throughout the Bible that give us examples of these types of spiritual toxins. Read the words of Jesus himself:
     He went on: "What comes out of a man is what makes him 'unclean.' For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man "unclean.'" (Mark 7:20-23)
     So the first step in spiritual renewal and cleansing is the spiritual rebirth. When we repent and receive God’s forgiveness through Jesus Christ, we receive a new spirit, and we are no longer slaves to our passions and lusts.
     But we still have the sinful nature, so spiritual cleansing and detoxification is a continual and ongoing process. Those who concentrate only on the physical body and physical health are missing an even greater opportunity to achieve real health, which first comes through the spirit, NOT the body. Your spirit will live forever, while your current body is decaying and growing old, and is only temporary.
     If one is truly born again spiritually and has the Holy Spirit living within them, then the spiritual cleansing and detoxification process is one of submitting to the leading of the Holy Spirit, and allowing him to work in and through our lives, rather than giving in to the passions and lusts of our flesh:
     So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law. The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. (Galatians 5:16-26)
     Notice the list of spiritual toxins that Paul wrote here in this letter to the Galatians, and its contrast to the fruit of the Holy Spirit. A spirit cleansed from these toxins can produce the spiritual fruit of the Holy Spirit which accomplishes God’s purpose in our lives.
     When we do fail to listen to the Holy Spirit, and instead give in to our sinful desires, we can experience immediate spiritual cleansing by confessing our sins to God:
     If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:8-9)
     No one likes to think of themselves as a bad person, so our natural tendency is to deny our sins, or excuse them away. These are the spiritual toxins in our life. “Repentance” means “to change one’s mind,” to admit and confess the sins in our life. Truth must have its reign in our hearts and minds, leading us to spiritual renewal and cleansing.
     The first truth we must recognize and acknowledge is that evolution is a lie, and that there is a Creator God who created you and has a specific plan and purpose for your life. The second foundational truth we must recognize and acknowledge is that we are sinners before God, and that our only hope for spiritual renewal and life is through the forgiveness that Jesus Christ offers us through his death and resurrection.
     If you don’t have a clear understanding of these foundational truths, take some time today to read the foundation articles on this website that clearly explains these truths. Then take time each day to spend in prayer and reading God’s word to have your mind and spirit renewed, and find the spiritual cleansing and detoxification that leads to total health!
     Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. (2 Corinthians 7:1)

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Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Dave MacPherson Finds Note of Rapture Vision by Margaret MacDonald

Copy of Handwritten Note by Woman Who Introduced the Pretribulation Rapture in 1830 is Found!

     My dear friend and colleague, Dave MacPherson, has been in the forefront for several decades in presenting data and other facts about the origin of the “Pre-Tribulation Rapture mythology. As a matter of fact, when I first started doing research for my two books back in the late seventies, his was the only material in publication that outright refuted the whole left behind notions that were being promulgated by author Hal Lindsey's mega hit book, The Late Great Planet Earth!
     Many other premillennial dispensationalists began popping up after Lindsey’s book grabbed the attention of not only the Christian community (especially evangelical organizations such as the Assemblies of God, Calvary Chapel and many “pop” evangelical groups) but by mainstream media as well!
     Authors such as Robert Gundry, Alexander Reese and George Eldon Ladd opposed the premillennialist juggernaut, but did not necessarily come out and outright refute the Pre-Tribulation Rapture! Dave MacPherson did and has been providing more evidence to shore up his polemic against the likes of Tim LaHaye, Jerry Jenkins, Tommy Ice, John Hagee, Mike Evans, et al.     
     Well folks, Dave MacPherson has done it again by obtaining a copy of Margaret MacDonald’s handwritten note of her 1830 ‘pretrib rapture revelation,’ which pretty much pounds the last nail on the coffin of thousands of ersatz prophets who claim the Pre-Tribulation Rapture theory was founded by John N. Darby.
     The End Times Passover blog and web site is honored to be the first to ever present a copy of part of Macdonald’s handwritten note, along with a brief narrative of this historical discovery by author Dave Macpherson. Here it is again folks!

(zoom in to see the document up close)

     "A handwritten copy of Margaret Macdonald's 1830 "pretrib rapture revelation" was finally located in 2009 at the British Library after a decades-long search! This is a facsimile (underlining mine) of the history-making portion in lines 58-63 - the first instance of "seeing" a rapture before the revealing (II Thess. 2:8) of the Antichrist who reigns during a future "tribulation."
     This document is part of the "Clement Boase" collection of Irvingite material (British Library shelf mark 764.n.14). Margaret made a number of handwritten copies of her novel interpretation before she married her biographer, Dr. Robert Norton. After her 1840 death, others made copies of her copies, at least one of which was erroneously titled "Mary McDonald's Vision" - evidently a mix-up with her older sister Mary who also handwrote and distributed copies.
     For further information on the history of this 19th century theory which has captivated many evangelicals (especially in America), see my Google articles including "Pretrib Rapture Diehards," "X-Raying Margaret," "Edward Irving is Unnerving," "Thomas Ice (Bloopers)," "Deceiving and Being Deceived," "Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty," and "Scholars Weigh My Research." For the most accurate documentation on pretrib history to be found anywhere, read my 300-page book "The Rapture Plot" (available online at Armageddon Books etc.)"  ~ (Dave MacPherson)  

    Much thanks to Dave and his wife Wanda for their over forty years of diligent research and writing books, in an effort to inform not only Christians as to the fallacy of a Pre-Tribulation Rapture escape to Heaven, but non-believers as well. Not only Christians need to prepare to suffer great tribulation, but all humanity must recognize that time is short and it's running out! It's time for all mankind to prepare for the impending horrors that lay before us, such as nation shattering earthquakes, wars, floods and total chaos!
     How? Simply draw closer to Jesus than ever before, because he can (and will) provide His Children of Promise a way to escape persecution through The End Times Passover!
     Dave and Wanda MacPherson (left to right) attend Disneyland with Martha Ortiz and her journalist/author husband, Joe Ortiz, last year. Few people are aware that Dave MacPherson (Disneyland History) has the distinction of being the first person to cross the gates of Disneyland at its grand opening in 1955.
     For more information about Joe Ortiz and his books, click here Joe Ortiz web sites and blogs ~