The word ‘worship’ is a translation of the Greek word ‘proskuneo‘ or ‘proskunhsei‘.
Paying ‘obeisance‘ is worshipful honor and respect. It is not in rivalry with worship of God but relative to it and for Christians, in conjunction with the worship of God.
Here is the definition of obeisance according to the Cambridge dictionary:
noun. a movement of the body expressing deep respect or deferential courtesy, as before a superior; a bow, curtsy, or other similar gesture. deference or homage: example: The nobles gave obeisance to the new king.
Hebrews 1:6 tells us it by the Father’s command that all the angels “worship” His “first-begotten”, Christ.
“And again, when he bringeth in the first-begotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship (proskunhsatwsan) him”.
Note too what Jesus said about his faithful brothers at the time of the End:
“Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship (proskunhsousin) before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee”.
Of course Jesus was not saying that they would be ‘worshipped‘ as we worship the Father. So, he is not contradicting the statement he made to Satan when being tempted by the devil:
“And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship (proskunhseis) the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve”.
Here the same Greek root word, ‘proskuneo‘ and ‘proskunhsei‘ is used as found at Hebrews 1:6 (proskunhsatwsan) and Revelation 3:9 (proskunhsousin).
Christ as both High Priest and as King is worthy of worshipful acts of obeisance because God glorified him to be worthy of such. As Hebrews 1:6 clearly states, it is God’s command. The command is not only for the angels in Heaven but applies to humans as well.
There is a difference between worshipful acts of obeisance honoring our Lord and the worship we on render exclusively to God Almighty.
Those Who Refuse to Give Proper Honor to Christ
Jesus said, “You will tell a tree by the fruit it bears”. Conversely it stands to reason that you can also tell about a “tree” by the absence of “fruit”.
This is the lesson found at Mark 11:12-14: ‘The Barren Fig Tree Is Cursed’
12 The next day when they came out from Bethany, He was hungry. 13 After seeing in the distance a fig tree with leaves, He went to find out if there was anything on it. When He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. 14 He said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again!” And His disciples heard it. (HCSB)
“Jehovah’s Witnesses” are among many other professed groups of disciples of Jesus who have all but omitted Jesus from their teaching. They talk around Christ if they even mention him at all.
They bear a type of “fruit” that glorifies others….organizations and men such as Charles T. Russell, J. F. Rutherford, and the man behind the men Frederick Franz. Doing so, they have no “fruit” with respect to Jesus and are “barren” trees according to the Lord.
The Organization and its leaders have become their own attempted intermediary with God in the absence of Christ.
Jesus told the outcome of such barren trees: Matthew 7:15-20
“Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravaging wolves. 16 You’ll recognize them by their fruit. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 In the same way, every good tree produces good fruit, but a bad tree produces bad fruit. 18 A good tree can’t produce bad fruit; neither can a bad tree produce good fruit. 19 Every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 So you’ll recognize them by their fruit”.
Those who attempt to worship God without Christ are ‘antichrist’. Antichrist is simply anyone or anything in opposition to the authority of Christ. Who were the antichrist when Jesus was on Earth? They were those who rejected him and sought salvation through another source…the Jewish State. Today that particular ‘antichrist’ is still in operation. In addition there have over the centuries arisen other antichrist.
Almighty God put Jesus Christ in the position of High Priest. Therefore there is but one means to approach God and that is through Jesus. No more than could a person approach the earthly temple of God and offer a sacrifice without the high priest positioned as the intermediary, can one approach God without doing so through Christ the eternal High Priest of God.
When you hear the words ‘Reason’ and ‘Logic’, what do you think?
Some people immediately are put off by the suggestion that we need to logically reason on matters. They somehow view logic as something foreign to “spirituality’.
The Bible teaches that God Almighty is a ‘God of Reason’. He is the One that designed us to have the capability to reason. Why would He create us with this ability if we were not to be expected to use it?
“But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;”
1 Peter 3:15
How can a person make a defense of their Christian faith unless they have based their faith on clear evidence and have reasoned on that evidence?
“Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the LORD, “Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool.”
Almighty God himself encourages reasoning; even reasoning with Him. God certainly does not discourage a person from using the power of reason.
“Put Me in remembrance, let us argue our case together; State your cause, that you may be proved right.”
Our beliefs should be tested. God challenges to us to “state our cause” and defend it.
“Now when they had traveled through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. And according to Paul’s custom, he went to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and giving evidence that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus whom I am proclaiming to you is the Christ.”
The earliest disciples of Jesus Christ reasoned with those they preached to, “giving evidence that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead”. Evidence is found by ‘reasoning’ on facts.
“When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.”
1 Corinthians 13:11
Paul was not satisfied with his current state of personal and spiritual growth and continued to advance through life in personal and spiritual growth. He no longer continued, to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts.”
Since God’s thoughts are “higher” than our thoughts, it should be obvious that we need to sharpen what reasoning ability we do have, in order to appreciate the higher and more lofty thoughts of God.
“For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them,”
Using the Holy Bible as a ‘test rod’ to determine whether our thoughts and behaviors are consistent with the will of God or they are not, will either defend our spiritual stance or condemn it. The above Scripture also points out that reason affects everyone’s life; including the unbeliever.
“Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the LORD, “Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool. “If you consent and obey, You will eat the best of the land;” Isaiah 1:18-19
Here is a clear invitation by God to reason. Not just to ‘reason’; but to reason with Him.
Babylonian Traits of Behavior
When examining the pattern of ancient Babylon and then comparing the traits found in modern “Babylon the Great”, the subject of ‘reason’ plays a significant role.
God put the workers of the Tower of Babel into a ‘confused’ state to break up their works and scatter them. Since they were no longer able to converse because their languages had been confused, they could not continue their plan. They were unable to ‘reason’ with one another.
Later in Daniel’s time, God caused King Nebuchadnezzar to go and live as the ‘unreasoning’ beast of the fields for 7 years.
He exhibited the behaviors of like a ‘wild beast’ and he thought unreasonably.
Today, we see humankind on a grand scale behaving in a confused, unreasoning manner. They think and act as the unreasoning wild beast do. What occurred at the Tower of Babel and what occurred to Nebuchadnezzar is now happening to all who remain under a demonic spell that the devil has cast.
Many will claim that they have ‘escaped’ “Babylon the Great”. But reason says that that cannot be true. While many have escaped the clutches of false worship, they have not escaped the global-reach of Satan’s influence. His influence effects more than organized religion. Babylon the Great is a ‘world empire’ just a the nation of Babylon was.
It was not until King Cyrus came and overthrew the Babylonians that the captives were freed.
There is a big distinction between being ‘free’ from the corruption of the devil’s empire by “not touching the unclean thing”, and being out from under its global influence and its ability to affect you.
So, we remain physical captives of Satan’s global empire until the time the “Greater Cyrus” who is the resurrected, glorified Jesus Christ comes and breaks forever the Babylonian yoke of slavery.
A person cannot simply ‘walk’ out of “Babylon the Great” any more than one could simply walk out of Babylon. One cannot just simply, “get away”. Was that to be expected then? Think of Jesus words in the Revelation He gave to John.
In the vision Christ Jesus gave to John that is recorded as the Book of Revelation, it opens by stating that John was by Spirit, “put into seeing symbolic events that referred to the Day of the Lord, the Day of his Second Coming, the Last Days.
Revelation chapter 2
9 “I, John, your brother and partner in the tribulation, kingdom, and endurance that are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of God’s word and the testimony about Jesus. 10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard a loud voice behind me like a trumpet 11 saying, “Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.”
So those involved in this messages Christ is giving are souls alive at this time. And also given that these are messages to the “angels” of the churches, then the condition apply to these body members of the church.
In His words to the church in Pergamum, Jesus describes their environment and their current living circumstances clearly.
Revelation chapter 2:
12 “Write to the angel of the church in Pergamum:
“The One who has the sharp, double-edged sword says: 13 I know where you live—where Satan’s throne is! And you are holding on to My name and did not deny your faith in Me, even in the days of Antipas, My faithful witness who was killed among you, where Satan lives.”
The Lord indicates an ongoing struggle against ungodly thinking and behavior in an extremely vulnerable proximity to the center of the devil’s operation. He did not instruct them to move somewhere else. Being under the dominance and control of the city-state world empire Babylon did not require one to be within the city’s ‘official’ walls where the throne of the king was. Being near the devil’s center of activity is no different from being on the far-flung edges of his empire Babylon the Great.
‘Babylon the Great’, the Demon-Controlled World Empire
Satan is the ruler of the present global system
3 But if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 In their case, the god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers so they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
2 Corinthians 4:3-4
Babylon the Great is a pervasive demon-inspired Global Culture. This demon-controlled World Empire controls governmental authority, exchange of goods, and set the ethical/moral/social norms.
That power continues to exist and exert itself on ALL of humankind. A key to it’s powerful hold is the element of ‘Blackmail’.
This scenario is well depicted in the Book of Revelation and it is quite recognizable. It is significant as its pattern is followed through, being acted out in the social behavior of human beings.
This form of ‘enslavement’ (the wild beast is enslaved to the harlot against its own will) exist throughout the world from top highest governmental relationships all the way through society to relationships among individual family members in the confined quarters of a single home. The whole world lies in the power of the “wicked one”.
The snare of entrapment centers on personal desire for immoral things and then the desire to hide one’s complicity (sin) so as not to suffer loss.
A person then falls into a baited trap: seduction, compromised interest, secrets that must remain secrets, and blackmailed into submission.
Ask: How does a prostitute gain control over a powerful man? Answer: blackmailed by all the “disgusting things” in her cup.
She holds these secret liaisons over the heads of the kings of the earth and then blackmail them into obedience.
As you look at the illustration, try to appreciate how pervasive and manipulative this wicked spirit has been and how widely blackmail is practiced today over millions, controlling great masses of people.
Surely, the wild beast has great cause to hate the mysterious Great Harlot that sits astride it’s back.
The “Wormwood” Effect
Wormwood is a result of mixing pure water (truth) with poison (lie). That is a process of adding something to something else.
The pure water is the knowledge from God received from accepting the Holy Scriptures as written. Drinking this knowledge itself requires no special powers of discernment. It only requires acceptance of what is written.
Wormwood is the adding of spurious teachings that distort the pattern of teachings one learns from reading God’s word the Bible. It results in a mixed ‘cup’ of knowledge.
Wormwood applies much more broadly than religious/specific teachings. Wormwood poisoning can be seen in all social settings humans engage in. The lacing of truth with lie is found everywhere.
The best admonition is that each person individually, pay attention to the ‘water source’ they are drinking from.
The pure knowledge of God will not make you doubt or be confused.
This poison water flows from out of the demonic kingdom of confusion, Babylon. Its purpose is to make a person question their own perception of reality and the foundation of their faith. Its purpose is to cause doubt, unsurety, and indecisiveness.
Two books offer the Watchtower’s most in-depth considerations of its interpretation of the Book of Revelation. These are “Babylon the Great has Fallen, God’s Kingdom Rules” and “Revelation-The Grand Climax is at Hand!”.
The Identity of “Babylon the Great”
The identity and scope of “Babylon the Great” is being revealed as the unfolding of events and circumstance reveal it. The word ‘revelation’ literally infers an unfolding exposé.
What was once considered to be correct conclusions of Babylon the Greats’ identity and nature must now be reconsidered.
As a child studying the “Babylon the Great has Fallen” book (mid 1960’s), I wondered how man could get rid of all religious worship in opposition to the true God. It was taught for decades that the United Nations was the “wild beast” in the Revelation to John and it would destroy all false worship.
I could not imagine how a group of humans could possibly accomplish this feat and how long it would take them to do it.
How do you destroy false religion without destroying the people who practice it? False worship isn’t buildings like cathedrals. It’s people and their practices.
It would require a house by house search of the entire world!
Much religious is secretive and not practiced in open sight. As the Bible testifies, people have gone to great lengths to practice pagan rituals. They did so from roof tops to remote sites in the woods according to Scripture.
Recall that in early human history it was customary for individuals to keep personal idols to false gods upon their person and in their homes.
Think of what that would take to stop false worship globally. False worship is practiced in every inhabited place on earth!
The belief Jehovah’s Witnesses have that all false worship will be destroyed before the end comes, is based on the phrase they have heard repeated over and over again in their publications and talks: “Babylon the Great, the world empire of false religion”.
This statement cannot be found in Scripture and makes Babylon the Great synonymous to and limited to organized false religious worship.
Given that mankind is on the brink of self-destruction, the vastness of the task of stopping false worship, and the time it would take to accomplish this feat if even possible…it seems quite implausible.
After the “beast” has turned upon it’s rider the Great Harlot, those remaining will still be worshiping the chief demon and his demon angels. This attack results only in a change in the hierarchy of demon authority and it’s control structure. Satan’s system is based on competition and a pyramidal scramble to it’s top.
In the Revelation, the dragon (Satan) gives his power to the beast and it this beast that is the object of worship.
4 They worshiped the dragon because he gave authority to the beast. And they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to wage war against him?” Revelation 13:4
It is not the rider, the Great Whore, who is the object of worship.
Since the beast has the power, the question arises: How does the harlot who sits astride the beast maintain control over it; the beast being more powerful?
It is by seduction, secrets, and blackmail.
So long as the demons are in power there will continue to be ‘false worship’.
That will not end until our Messiah, Jesus Christ, returns and cast the demons out of this realm of existence.
It would be good to re-examine your thoughts on this matter.
Failure to Grasp the Understanding of End Time Prophecy
You may be familiar with the Watchtower publication, “Revelation, Its Grand Climax At Hand!”. It was first published in 1984 and was offered to the public, as well as used as an internal study tool for over 20 years.
This book was being studied by Jehovah’s Witnesses in their weekly book study (book study is their choice of words) up until as recently as the year 2007.
So, attempting to prognosticate Biblical prophecy by the Watchtower is not something in the distant past as they are now claiming. They are simply attempting to cover over their past.
If you can obtain a copy of this book, you will probably be amazed at some of Watchtower’s interpretation of the Book of Revelation and its fulfillment.
An example would be the interpretation of Revelation chapter 9 concerning the “locust” released from the abyss by a “falling star” or fallen angel (see Revelation 9:1).
“And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.”
The Watchtower Society teaches that the locust described in Revelation chapter 9, were their spiritual leaders in 1919 A.D.
(See “Revelation Its Grand Climax At Hand!” pages 143-154)
Revelation 9:1 tells us that the locust were released by a “falling star” or a fallen angel. So, they are attributing their rescue from an “abyss of spiritual inactivity” in 1919 to a demon.
The locust were permitted to torment only those that did not have the “seal of the living God.”
If these locusts really pictured the anointed brothers of Christ, they would not have had to be instructed not to “harm” one another?
Fooled by as John puts it, “what ‘seemed’ to be gold crowns on their heads, the Watchtower leaders have assumed that the locust must be righteous. They saw these as the kingly crowns to be yet granted to the elect. (page 146)
They have based interpretations of Revelation chapter 9 on what is written later in Revelation chapter 20. That is a huge mistake. In Revelation 20, the circumstances have changed.
Revelation 20:1 refers to a later time when another angel is seen “coming down (not falling down) holding in his hand the key to the abyss”. At this time, that authority will have been returned to the One that has been given authority over all things at the End.
They teach that this latter angel is the same angel who has authority over the abyss in Chapter 9 (Abaddon, “The Destroyer”). That is an assumption.
Revelation chapter 9 is about fallen angels, jurisdictions under their control, and demonic activities. It has nothing at all to do with righteous activities direct by Christ.
Who are the Locust? What do They Do?
As noted in reading, Revelation chapter 9 foretells of the unleashing on humankind of ‘locust’ by a fallen angel called “the Destroyer”.
These demon spirits have been unleashed and they orchestrate anarchy by permitting people and groups of people to act out in anti-social, disruptive behaviors.
This is occurring on a global scale.
Today the grossly mentally ill wander the streets of community behaving in both bizarre and socially disruptive manners. Yet it is tolerated. Why? It is to plague and torment human society.
Criminals dangerous to society at large are released from prison unreformed back into communities. Yet it is tolerated. Plagued severely as the Revelation to John foretold, yet they refuse to repent and turn away from worshipping demons. Yet it is tolerated. Why? Again, it is to plague and torment human society.
It is obvious to most reasoning people that to allow these things is causing social disruption and dysfunction…the goal of anarchist. Their intent is to destroy the social fabric of humanity as Satan’s goal is to disrupt and destroy the fabric of creation.
Have they (the Watchtower Organization) been guided by ‘true’ spiritual light shed by Christ? Evidently not. He would not have led them to confusion and unholy acts.
Progressive understanding is much like a vision-scene that is crystallizing.
Increasing light as the day advances clarifies a dull image. What is in darkness appearing unclear, becomes solidly distinguishable in brighter light.
Example: If someone appears to be Abraham Lincoln in low light, bright light should not reveal that it was Donald Duck all along that they were looking at!
Increased understanding is not a totally new understanding.
When your views/beliefs morph into something different, that isn’t the light getting brighter at all; that is a change to something else unlike what you saw at first.
However this is the reasoning the Watchtower’s defenders use; which is the so-called reasoning used by all false prophets when their predictions fail to materialize.
Is the Bible all symbolism?
The Literal vs the Symbolic:
Is Armageddon a Real War?
Armageddon is God’s Holy war of Divine intervention into this realm. It is a supernatural event. Holy Scripture calls it, “the Great Day of God the Almighty”. Note Psalm 2:2
“The kings of the earth take their stand, and the rulers take counsel together against the LORD and against his Messiah.”
This war is wage by spirit creatures against real creatures (angels) cast from that supernatural dimension of creation, Heaven and these fallen angel’s human subjects.
Armageddon is a war to rid creation of these creatures and their seed in fleshly, human form.
Falsely defining the nature of the “Great war of God the Almighty” as an internal struggle among elements currently present in this realm, denies the necessity of Divine intervention to overthrow the devil. It also denies the need for Jesus, who is also real and not symbolic, to come and set creation free.
Ask yourself: At the end of what you see and have defined Armageddon to be, where will Satan and his demons be standing?
How and at what point are these wicked angels fought against and conquered literally?
Symbolic speech is used to describe ‘real’ things. Symbolic speech is not for the purpose of creating more symbolism. At what point does one understand and accept what the Bible says literally?
The ongoing spiritual struggle is preliminary to battle of Armageddon and cannot bring what only Christ can bring by fighting and winning.
The demons desire that those seeking to follow the will of God to be unsure, doubtful and confused. The Bible warns to not be turned aside by some ‘new’ teaching or interpretation. But we are to keep with the true gospel that we received by Spirit at the first.
How many of us were taught or have believed that Armageddon is anything other than described in the Bible and here?
The devil and his fellow fallen angels were ousted from Heaven as a result of war. They had to be thrown out.
They are not liking to surrender or go quietly from this realm either; especially knowing what their final destiny to be.
Armageddon is a war involving real spirit creatures, angels, in real combat. It is not symbolic of something occurring internally amongst the affairs of man and it is not a war of words among human beings as some are teaching. It is not telling of truth to conquer lies.
Wormwood affects ALL available knowledge and it is not limited to religious matters alone.
Struggling Against Demonic Attacks and Demonic Influences
At this time just before the conclusion of the system of things, the chosen children of God are under extreme harassment by the chief demon, Satan the devil (Daniel 7:25). As the prophet Daniel saw, he would orchestrate events in such a way as to confuse and disorient the chosen ones so that they would not be perceptive as to where they stand in the stream of events and times according to God. That prophecy assures that he would have certain success in doing so for a period. But not for the complete period as it would be cut short and interrupted.
These things are concerning the last days or the conclusion of the system of things. That is borne out by the words of the following verses that could only pertain to the end times:
“He will speak words against the Most High and oppress the holy ones of the Most High. He will intend to change religious festivals and laws, and the holy ones will be handed over to him for a time, times, and half a time.
But the court will convene, and his dominion will be taken away, to be completely destroyed forever.
The kingdom, dominion, and greatness of the kingdoms under all of heaven will be given to the people, the holy ones of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will serve and obey Him.’
“This is the end of the interpretation. As for me, Daniel, my thoughts terrified me greatly, and my face turned pale, but I kept the matter to myself.” Daniel 7:25-28 HCSB
Satan’s deception is fully at work now and explains the many competing opinions of where we stand in conjunction with the End. Most people have either been waiting so long that they are unsure why things are “delaying”. While others have convinced themselves by their own observations that this or that needs to occur, so it couldn’t be now.
The Lord will catch them because it was that they relied on their own perceptive powers. They are inattentive and will be caught asleep. But God’s children are not like these.
Added to this are the torments that this wicked world inflicts on all who will not conform and submit to it and the devil.
The artifacts of the occult and demonology are embedded or emblazoned everywhere one can see. They are on all the high places as much today as they were in ancient times. Many items people innocently purchase or possess are branded with symbols related to the worship of false gods. There is a current U.S. television series that portrays the Nephilim as “victims”… as fallen angels who want to be “righteous” but the holy angels are hunting them down. So that the bad becomes good and what is Holy and righteous is cast as bad. This is purely debased and demonic reasoning.
There is a significant trend of mother’s instilling thoughts and teachings of witchcraft and homosexuality in the minds of children at a very early age. It is a type of programming or conditioning to ensure they develop these traits. It is a sort of ‘social engineering’.
Witchcraft has become socially acceptable entertainment under sleek packaging like “Harry Potter” which is ladened down with demon iconography. This book is a witchcraft ‘How To’ guide.
We do indeed have a wrestling not against blood and flesh but we are at war with wicked spirit creatures in heavenly place; there they remain unseen harassing God’s true servants. Nimrod was a hunter of men. They hunt like Nimrod all the loyal ones. They possess Nimrod’s spirit; which is the spirit of the Devil.
The fallen angels, have existed from before the beginning of human history. They just find and use different bodies to inhabit along the course of time.
“When an unclean spirit comes out of a man, it roams through waterless places looking for rest but doesn’t find any.44 Then it says, ‘I’ll go back to my house that I came from.’ And returning, it finds the house vacant, swept, and put in order.45 Then off it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and settle down there. As a result, that man’s last condition is worse than the first. That’s how it will also be with this evil generation.”
You have brothers and sisters who are currently engaged in this struggle as the Devil more than anything else wants to corrupt the elect ones who have been chosen.
I ask that you include in your prayers your brothers and sisters who are involved in an intense struggle with wicked people and wicked angels in unseen places. Pray that they keep faithful and mindful that they fully discharge their obligation unto the Master, Lord Jesus Christ. And pray for yourself as well that you may not be seduced as Paul said.
“But I fear that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your minds may be seduced from a complete and pure devotion to Christ”.
2 Corinthians 11:3
The combination of events that are now occurring should be enough let you to know what time it is and that NOW is the time.
May our Father’s grace and blessings flow to both of you and may Lord Jesus be your constant guide.
In Romans chapter 1, Paul explains why people act in ungodly ways. It is because they desire ungodliness. Paul states that God yielded them over to the spirit they were following. Paul details how both their thoughts and their behaviors would stink deeper and deeper into mental and spiritual darkness and unreasonabilty.
Jude 10 puts it this way,
“But these men revile (scoff and sneer at) anything they do not happen to be acquainted with and do not understand; and whatever they do understand physically [that which they know by mere instinct], like irrational beasts—by these they corrupt themselves and are destroyed (perish).” AMP
‘Unreasoning’ and ‘Confusion’ are traits associated with Babylon from the time of the tower build to the time of Nebuchadnezzer to this very day.
“But solid food is for the mature—for those whose senses have been trained to distinguish between good and evil”. (HCSB)
The following is a brief article that explains the origin of the cross/crown symbol. It is not a consideration of the ‘cross’ nor of ‘crowns’; but of this particular symbol depicting a gold prince’s crown hung over a cross (red in particular)
Many have quickly embraced these symbols only seeing a cross and a crown and assumed that these must be in honor of Christ. Many who desire to be identified as Christian disciples use these symbols as depicted in the illustration as a cover photo on their Facebook pages without fully knowing their origin.
MASONIC AND EASTERN STAR SYMBOLS by Ray Denslow
One Masonic symbol that appears to be Christian is the cross and the crown emblem. However, this is not the case.
Masonic author, Ray Denslow, reveals:
“The Cross and Crown may be said to be confined almost exclusively to the historical degrees in Masonry as exemplified in the various orders of knighthood of York and Scottish rites. In Gaul we find the cross to have been a solar symbol when it had equal arms and angles; to the Phoenicians it was an instrument of sacrifice to their God, Baal; and to the Egyptians, the crux ansata was his symbol of eternal life.”’
In The Masonic Report we find more about this emblem:
“Question: What does Masonry’s emblem of the ’Cross and Crown’ actually symbolize?
“Answer: The ’Cross’ of Freemasonry is a philosophic- al cross, according to Albert Pike, ’Morals and Dogma,’ p. 771. It is philosophical in the sense that it represents the generating fecundating principle by the perpendicular shaft, and the matrix or womb of nature, the female producing principle. by the horizontal shaft. The philosophy of the Masonic cross is totally phallic.
“The ’Crown’ of this Masonic emblems is also phallic, it being the first emanation of the Cabalistic Sephiroth….”
A former Mason also explains:
“The other York Rite jewelry you may see is the Templar symbol….It is a large Maltese cross with a circle in the center. Inside the circle is a red Latin cross within a crown. Around the arms of the cross is the Commandery motto, ’In Hoc Signo Vinces.’ (In this sign, conquer!)
“Although this may seem harmless enough, the motto is originally attributed to the emperor Constantine, who used it in conjunction with a supposedly heavenly vision to begin the subversion and politicization of Biblical Christianity into the false, apostate Alexandrian cult….
“A similar shell game is played with the word ’sign.’… The sign Constantine referred to was NOT a Christian cross, but a kind of ’X’ which had both Christian and pagan associations. In modern magic, it is the sign of the slain and risen Egyptian god, Osiris (another version of the ’slain and risen’ Hiram Abif).
Again Masonry has downgraded Jesus and replaced Him with its own ‘christ’.”
Two other groups (both with Masonic connections) use the cross and crown. Charles Taze Russell was a Mason who started the Jehovah Witnesses.’4’ He used the red cross and other distinctive features of the Knights Templar logo.’”
He also used the Masonic symbol of the winged sun-disk with snakes and he is ”buried in a pyramid with masonic symbols on its capstone.”
The other group that uses the cross and crown emblem is Christian Science. This group was founded by Mary Baker Eddy in Massachusetts but Mason Henry Steele Olcott, who was co- founder of the Theosophical Society with Helena Petrovna Blavatsky,’” was an associate of Mary Baker Eddy.’”
Some Eddy Brothers held seances and it was at these seances that Blavatsky met Col. Henry Steele Olcott.’” Mary Baker Eddy herself had married a Mason and this was the only secret society which she allowed other Christian Science members to join.’” She even had some of her material published in the Freemason’s Monthly Magazine. ”4 Several people connected with Christian Science such as directors and board members and a number of the editors of The Christian Science Monitor were Masons.’” Even the presidents of the Mother Church in 1922-23 and 1923-24 were Masons.’”
“Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to Him: We ask you, brothers, 2 not to be easily upset in mind or troubled, either by a spirit or by a message or by a letter as if from us, alleging that the Day of the Lord has come. 3 Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way. For that day will not come unless the apostasy comes first and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction. 4 He opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he sits in God’s sanctuary, publicizing that he himself is God.”
The following article puts the ‘Interfaith Movement’ and ‘Christian Zionism’ ambitions and motivations into Biblical and historical context. As you read, reflect on what opposition the Lord Jesus and his first century disciples encountered.
What Is Antichrist?
Antichrist is that which is opposed to the complete acceptance of Jesus Christ as the only Messiah sent by God and the Kingdom of Heaven. Antichrist pose an ‘alternative’ means of salvation contrary to complete faith and obedience to Jesus Christ.
Christian Zionism and the Interfaith Movement is the modern-day antichrist.
The Interfaith Movement and Christian Zionism
It’s one of the most successful, and in some ways unlikely, interfaith movements in the modern world
On 23 June 1969, at the Midtown Manhattan headquarters of the American Jewish Committee, the evangelist Billy Graham met with two dozen rabbis and Jewish leaders. According to one rabbi, the meeting was to allow Graham to convey ‘the need for dialogue and communication’ between American evangelicals and American Jews, and to find common ground by explaining ‘his relationship with Israel’. It was a pivotal moment in the American Jewish and evangelical Protestant interfaith relationship.
Though some of the Jewish leaders were wary of the ‘wild raving fundamentalist’, Graham won them over. He cited the Hebrew Scriptures, or Old Testament, to describe his understanding of God’s covenant with the Jewish people, and explained his support for Israel as recompense for past Christian anti-Judaism. ‘All Christians are guilty as far as Jewish experience was concerned,’ he said. Graham also spoke of his conversations with the Israeli prime minister Golda Meir, and assured American Jewish leaders that the United States’ president Richard Nixon was ‘extremely sympathetic’ to Israel.
Today, for many evangelicals, Christian Zionism is no mere side issue. They believe that they are not only correcting the ancient injustice of anti-Semitism, but contributing to the salvation of the world and the completion of God’s redemptive plans. It is, for many, the metanarrative that makes sense of the biblical drama and current events, and provides a road map for the future.
That 1969 meeting contained all the essential elements characterising the exceptional support that evangelical Protestants in the US give to the state of Israel. The spirit of this meeting has since been replicated dozens of times. Graham weaved an evangelical reading of the Bible, a deep-seated longing to aid Israel, and the self-interested power calculations of both communities into a language of interfaith rapprochement and shared Jewish-Christian interests. His Jewish colleagues, concerned about the future of Israel, and cognizant of the evangelicals’ influence, were eager to create new lines of cooperation.
Pressed on theology, Graham would have affirmed his commitment to the exclusive truth claims of Christianity, while the American Jewish leaders undoubtedly retained their own theological exclusivity. Still, their peculiar set of shared interests led to a powerful and lasting partnership. Their alliance is one of the most notable instances of interfaith cooperation in recent history.
In the wake of Europe’s religious wars, exclusive claims to religious truth – ‘theological intolerance’, as Jean-Jacques Rousseau called them in The Social Contract (1762) – grew to be seen as an impediment to civil relations. ‘It is impossible to live at peace with those we regard as damned,’ wrote Rousseau, ‘to love them would be to hate God who punishes them: we positively must either reclaim or torment them.’ But the alliance of American evangelicals and American Jews proves that Rousseau’s dictum is not necessarily true.
Close to 50 years after that meeting, evangelicals and Jews remain at loggerheads on most theological and cultural issues. In the face of these vast differences, they have managed to unite – in ever closer cooperation – over support for Israel. No individual has inherited Graham’s stature atop American evangelicalism, and his multiple successors do not share uniform attitudes toward Israel. But many of them lead influential Christian Zionist organisations that constitute one of the most successful single-issue movements in modern US politics.
Christian Zionists have achieved exceptional unity and influence on support for Israel, using a sophisticated combination of religious, historical and political components. They emphasise a potent type of interfaith engagement that elevates biblical covenantal language, and offer a sanitized version of the Jewish-Christian past, yet also orient their work toward the pragmatic goal of increasing political influence.
Interfaith cooperation is a liberal ideal: the world can be a better place if different religions work together.
Understanding Christian Zionism as an important instance of interfaith cooperation helps us understand the powerful ways in which it has shaped not only relationships between Jews and Christians but the identity of American evangelicals.
Interfaith cooperation is at least as old as Moses’ flight to Midian, when he took refuge from his Egyptian pursuers with Jethro, a priest of an unknown religion, who became his father-in-law. Yet the mere fact of people of different religions working together is not the essence of interfaith cooperation. The term is a modern one, and its meaning is found in the 20th century.
Liberal ideas of interfaith cooperation lionize progressive values, expand tolerance, and help to build more democratic civil societies. And interfaith cooperation is a liberal ideal. From the British writer Karen Armstrong to the American campaigner Eboo Patel, its proponents claim that individuals and communities of different religious backgrounds will make the world a better place if they cooperate and work together.
Nonprofits such as Patel’s Interfaith Youth Core in Chicago and the World Faiths Development Dialogue in Washington, DC offer many historical examples of interfaith cooperation, and they’re always progressive. These include the civil rights partnership between Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr and Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, and the collaboration between Mohandas Gandhi and Bacha Khan in the movement for Indian independence. Sometimes, proponents reach back further, to the cooperative culture of Al-Andalus in medieval Spain and the enlightened reign of Akbar the Great of the Mughal Empire. These examples stand for more peaceful cohabitation, more equality, more happiness, more justice, and more civilisation.
But Christian Zionism rejects progressive ideals and embraces a very different understanding of the world. That’s why it’s seen – by mostly liberal social scientists and journalists – not as a pioneer in interfaith cooperation but as an apocalyptic movement, a Right-wing political grouping, or even a neocolonial venture. To be sure, these analyses offer useful insights, but as a movement of Christians seeking cooperation with Jews, Christian Zionism also represents one of recent history’s most important interfaith cases.
Christian Zionists are seeking to enact what they consider the values of Jewish-Christian cooperation in political and religious terms. Starting with a specific political issue – the wellbeing of Israel – Christian Zionism structures the interfaith relationship in its service. The movement is built to make the case that this goal is vital to evangelical Christians and their identity.
Christian Zionism projects a specific vision of God’s covenantal guarantees and their eschatological fulfilment. In short, it makes God’s promises and their scope more certain, more selective, more exclusive in understanding God’s dealings with humanity. This specificity sets Christian Zionism apart from other interfaith movements, and goes far in explaining its affinity to a certain understanding of Jewish identity.
The issue in which this specificity pays interfaith dividends is in securing Jewish possession of Israel’s covenanted land. The ‘land’ consists of the sites of biblical history and the biblically mandated borders that God in Genesis grants to Israel’s patriarchs. For Christian Zionists, these make up the ideal borders of the state of Israel and include the contested West Bank.
It’s key that US evangelicals’ political Zionism took shape after the Arab-Israeli War of June 1967. This timing meant that, post-1967, evangelical understandings of Israel became preoccupied with its sovereignty over the covenanted land. In the wake of that war, which saw Israel take control of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, Jews themselves were undecided on Israel’s significance. The trend, more obvious and expected in Israel, was to emphasise the centrality of land to Jewish identity. The entirety of Judaism could be distilled, in the words of the Israeli official Yona Malachy, to ‘the tripartite union of religion-people-land’. ‘The recognition of the tie between the Jewish people and their country must become the central theme of any future dialogue between Christianity and Jewry,’ he warned in 1969.
Among American Jews, there was less consensus on the preeminence of land to the meaning of Israel, though certainly many came to see the success of Israel as core to their own identity. One of the leading US conservative rabbis, Arthur Hertzberg, claimed in 1971 that ‘the state of Israel … is necessary for the continuity of Judaism and Jews’. Rabbi Marc Tanenbaum, the American Jewish Committee’s director of interreligious affairs and an organiser of Graham’s 1969 meeting, insisted that ‘Christians face and accept the profound historical, religious, cultural and liturgical meaning of the land of Israel and of Jerusalem to the Jewish people’.
American Protestant evangelicals found these demands compelling, mostly for reasons related to their own ideas about the ‘end times’ and Christ’s second coming. For some evangelicals, Israel represented ‘God’s timepiece’ and the centre of the fulfilment of biblical prophecy. For others, it was a testament to God’s fidelity to his chosen people. Many of these eschatological interests also emphasised the central role of Israel in the end times.
Each step that Christian Zionists take toward Jews in practice means a step away from Muslims.
Post-1967, Christian Zionists adopted the emerging Jewish emphasis on Israel as their own. For the US evangelical educator and activist G Douglas Young, the tragedy was that ‘Christians in the US did not, nor do they, understand the Jews’ self-understanding of themselves and their interest in the land of Israel’. Young headed an evangelical graduate school in Jerusalem dedicated to the mission of helping students ‘com[e] to grips with the problem of the Jew’s self-evaluation and his interest in the land’. His selectivity of who defined the Jewish interpretation of Israel (largely Israeli Zionists) should not detract from his explicitly interfaith understanding of his mission.
Other evangelicals soon followed. Along with Graham, the presidents of the National Association of Evangelicals and the Southern Baptist Convention in the late-1960s indicated an openness to adopting what they called a ‘Jewish self-understanding’ of Israel. It was basically a ceding of what Israel meant and should mean in the world today, while holding fast to an eschatology that forecast a bad ending for all non-Christians, including the vast majority of Jews.
After 1967, from the narrow starting point of overlapping concern for the security of Israel, Christian Zionists and their Jewish partners developed a shared set of values. Christian Zionists soon extended their thinking to related issues of anti-Semitism, religious persecution and secularism. Today, they are the most active partisans for Israel on US university campuses. They oppose the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, and lobby governments around the world to favour Israel.
A shared fixation on those deemed Israel’s enemies has been integral to this worldview. Arab Palestinians (both Christian and Muslim) hardly receive a hearing by Christian Zionists – a justification often voiced on grounds of interfaith solidarity with Israel. Each step that Christian Zionists take toward Jews, however, in practice means a step away from Muslims. The promise of an ‘Abrahamic’ dialogue or a tri-faith cooperative is nowhere dimmer than in Christian Zionism. In the name of interfaith cooperation, Christian Zionists find theological justifications for most Israeli policies.
Regardless of these political choices, Christian Zionists understand their support for Israel as participation in the redeeming work of God. At the dawn of US evangelical organisation for Israel, Young called for action as a necessary extension of Christian faith. ‘Are you helping the new nation of Israel?’ he asked in The Bride and the Wife (1960). ‘Are you helping them in material and physical ways? Are you expressing real friendship always?’ Assuming the burden of Israel’s security, Young argued, was a Christian duty and a tangible expression of interfaith solidarity between God’s two chosen people, the Church and Israel.
The influence of Zionism also led to recasting interfaith cooperation with Jews as a realisation, rather than a deviation, of evangelical identity. This is evident in the area of evangelical missions to the Jews – long the most contentious barrier to any type of Jewish-Christian rapprochement. Largely as a result of Christian Zionist activism, evangelical leaders – from John Hagee, the founder of Christians United for Israel (the largest Christian Zionist organisation in the US) to the European leadership of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (the largest Christian Zionist organisation in the world) – have disavowed missions.
Hagee’s book In Defense of Israel (2007) sought to curb the evangelical obligation of Jewish missions by claiming that Jesus never really meant to save the Jews. ‘The Jews did not reject Jesus as Messiah; it was Jesus who rejected the Jewish desire for him to be their Messiah,’ he wrote, seemingly opening the way for Jews to be saved through their own covenant with God. Outcry by fellow evangelicals led Hagee to revise this specific language, but not his organisation’s refrain from missions.
Rather than endorse missions, Hagee and other Christian Zionists recast support for Israel as necessary Christian penance for the Church’s past mistreatment of Jews. The guilt felt by Christian Zionists is often palpable. ‘Anti-Semitism,’ Hagee wrote, ‘has its origin and its complete root structure in Christianity, dating from the early days of the Christian Church.’ This language is an echo of post-Holocaust Christian theologians – including Father Edward Flannery, whose book The Anguish of the Jews (1965) Hagee cites as formative to his understanding of Jewish-Christian history.
Support for Israel is just one side of the recent evangelical revaluation of Judaism. Once maligned as the religion of ‘Christ-killers’ and ‘Pharisees’, Judaism is now seen by evangelicals in a better light. The reasons for the change include a decline, following the Holocaust, in anti-Semitic views among all Americans, the pluralism of postwar ‘Judeo-Christian’ civil religion, and, less well-known, a revolution in biblical studies and related fields that emphasise ‘Hebraic’ over ‘Hellenistic’ influences on the Bible. Yet it was not principled commitment to pluralism that raised the change in evangelical views of Jews and Judaism, but rather a confluence of politicised eschatology with new intellectual authority urging closer Jewish-Christian cooperation.
Even outside the Christian Zionist movement, evangelical scholars of early Christianity and Judaism have changed their understanding of Jewish-Christian relations. In evangelical colleges and seminaries across the US, instead of Judaism as the negative mirror image of Christianity (the ‘law’ to Christianity’s ‘grace’; the ‘particularism’ to Christianity’s ‘universalism’), scholars now emphasise the Jewish heritage of Christianity and the mutually reinforcing values of the two traditions.
They managed to link academic insights and political organising as two sides of evangelical identity
In the past couple of generations, many evangelical scholars propelling this trend have studied at Jewish institutions: Marvin Wilson, whose book Our Father Abraham: Jewish Roots of Christian Faith (1989) earned a PhD from Brandeis University in Massachusetts, which is sponsored by the Jewish community; the aforementioned Young, founder of Bridges for Peace, the oldest Christian Zionist organisation, earned a PhD from what was then Dropsie College in Pennsylvania and is now the Herbert D Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies. A later generation of evangelical scholars studied at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, including Brad Young (no relation to G Douglas Young), now a professor of Judaic-Christian studies at Oral Roberts University in Oklahoma who recently graduated his first Orthodox Israeli student in the same field. These scholars have, to varying degrees, personally supported Christian Zionist causes, all arguing that partnering with Jews on Israel is a moral and theological good.
Jewish voices have encouraged this change of attitude. David Brog, the director of Christians United for Israel, calls Jews and evangelicals ‘blood brothers’. Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, a founder of the West Bank settlement of Efrat, heads the Center for Jewish-Christian Cooperation and Understanding, organising joint Jewish-evangelical prayer groups, Bible reading groups and pro-Israel rallies.
The constituent parts of Christian Zionist thinking arise from this milieu of shifting and interacting evangelical and Jewish thought. Less acknowledged but no less important, other Christian work has also informed the transformation of evangelical attitudes. The pioneering scholarship of E P Sanders on Paul’s Hebrew background, the biblical archaeology of William Foxwell Albright, the New Testament research of the Israeli scholar David Flusser provided the foundations for the remarkable Jewish-Christian dialogues that have emerged across North America and Europe, from the Catholic Church’s Nostra Aetate declaration of 1965 to the World Council of Churches’ denunciations of anti-Semitism.
Unlike most interfaith encounters in the 20th century, Christian Zionists managed to bundle these insights and claims with an argument that cooperation was meaningful only if realised through political action. They managed, in essence, to link academic insights and political organising as two sides of evangelical identity. Few if any activists or special-interest groups have more effectively brought scholarship and political action into concert.
Like most American Jews, Israeli Jews differ with American evangelicals on a host of religious, cultural and political issues, from the economy to abortion to women in combat service. The cultural differences between evangelicals and Israelis are vast. Yet Christian Zionism shows that shared values need not be the basis of interfaith cooperation. The evangelical-Zionist bond has faced great challenges and has lasted by clinging to a very narrow set of shared interests. Yet the ideas underpinning Christian Zionism shape both evangelical identity and Israeli understandings of the US.
This is far from an endorsement of Christian Zionism. Criticisms of the movement’s politics, theology, tendency toward apocalypticism, ignoring and ignorance of the Palestinian experience and interests, anti-Muslim stereotyping, and near-unquestioning allegiance to Israel are all worthy of discussion. But Christian Zionism should not be misrepresented. A fundamentally interfaith alliance has informed and propelled Christian Zionists into the very halls of power. They have succeeded, in a way few interfaith movements have.
Have you noticed that many who have claimed that they are disciples of Christ and Christian messengers never even mention Jesus Christ let alone bear witness concerning him? Such absence is telltale and indicative that something is wrong.
Jesus himself counseled:
“You will tell a tree by the fruit it bears.”
If the “tree” is devoid of fruit should tell you something as well.
Some of these even claim to be part of the bride class and yet never mention the bridegroom.
They teach only about the older prophets prior to Christ and skip the Christ himself and what he said ; the one whom they claim they serve and belong to eternally.
Jesus gave this command before departing the Earth:
“Go therefore and make disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit teaching them ALL OF THE THINGS I HAVE COMMANDED YOU…” Matthew 28.
How can one meet this basic command without mentioning Jesus or mentioning what he himself said?
Did he command, “Go therefore and make disciples of Elijah or Isaiah or Daniel teaching them what these prior prophets said”? No. And while teaching what these prior prophets of God said is a very good thing, it cannot substitute for bearing witness to Jesus Christ.
These are aiding in suppressing and hiding the name and the teachings of Jesus Christ, which pleases his enemies and not him.
The Bible informs us that the Lord Jesus Christ instituted his evening meal on Nisan 14 the first night of the Passover celebration. (See Luke Chapter 22)
After eating the same meal that everyone else gathered in Jerusalem did that night, he took his closest twelve disciples to a private chamber and shared this special observance with them.
These facts are clearly written and cannot be honestly disputed (Luke 22). Yet, many have divined different ways of calculating, reaching other dates on which to observe the Lord’s evening meal that do not coincide with Nisan 14.
Some are celebrating on March 21, 2019, a full month ahead in Adar II. Others are celebrating on a day before or after Nisan 14.
Did Jesus violate the Law?
One woman who claims to be a ‘prophetess’ teaches that Jesus ate the Passover meal on Preparation Day (Nisan 13) which would mean that Jesus violated the Law. Jesus did not violate the Law in any way: he fulfilled the Law. Had he violated the Law he would have disqualified himself for the purpose of the ransom sacrifice. He ate the meal appropriately on Passover day, Nisan 14.
They believe that they as non Jews are better qualified to determine when Passover officially begins than people of Jewish heritage. So, rather than referring to a Hebrew calendar, they consult the moon and the stars themselves or listen to what principally Anglo gentiles tell them is correct.
God gave the Hebrew people the command to mark and celebrate this date perpetually after the actual Passover night in Egypt thousands of years ago. They have done so ever since year after year.
Reason on the matter:
Wouldn’t the Hebrew children know better than any others when Nisan 14 occurs?
Nisan 14 is a most important date to remember. It is the day that Jesus instituted this special observance of remembrance of the value of his body and blood that were sacrificed for the redemption of mankind.
And of further importance, it was in this same twenty-four hour day that Jesus was crucified providing that ransom sacrifice. Back to top
Students of the Bible understand that Jesus provided a ransom sacrifice spotless and unblemished as required by God to redeem mankind from the slavery to sin and death that Adam and Eve cursed all their descendants to.
1 John 2:1,2
My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2 He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
It should not be overlooked that the chosen one to be offered, had to be a ‘firstborn’ of at least equal value as Adam the firstborn of humankind.
Adam’s sin caused mankind to fall out of grace with God. It became necessary for there to be a means of reconciliation.
God found it acceptable to devise an act of propitiation that would be sufficient that he would open a means to be put right with him.
Propitiation is an action meant to regain someone’s favor or make up for something you did wrong.
He provided His only begotten son to serve as a sacrifice for atonement.
The meaning of the word atonement is simply at-one-ment, He was sacrificed to make all things in Creation at one with God again.
No firstborn animal of a lesser life form would meet the requirements satisfactory to God to serve as the ransomed one.
There is only one other firstborn mentioned in the Scriptures that would possibly qualify. That was the firstborn of creation, the only begotten son of God.
Although he was of much higher stature and value than Adam, he was the only possibility. There were actually no other option; no one else to be considered.
God in his wisdom and foresight withheld immortality from his only begotten son until after his resurrection for this purpose.
We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him.
Had God not withheld immortality from His son, this ONLY choice would not have been able to serve as the sacrifice that offset (atoned) for Adam’s transgression. He would not have been able to give up his life because he would not have been able to die. There would have been no one else worthy.
This demonstrates that Almighty God, the Father, knows all thing and he knows the finale from the very beginning.
God’s superlative sacrifice is of sufficient value to cover all things in both Heaven and on Earth. More was being brought back to oneness with God than fallen man. His sacrifice covers things that occurred in the Heavens as well.
1 Corinthians 15:20-28
20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. 24 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. 28 When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.
16 “Now, to what can I compare the people of this day? They are like children sitting in the marketplace. One group shouts to the other, 17 ‘We played wedding music for you, but you wouldn’t dance! We sang funeral songs, but you wouldn’t cry!’
That the people of his day, like the people of this day, often stage situations expecting others to automatically play a role they have been presented with. They behave like children who have put on a choreographed skit and then get frustrated that you will not play the part they have created for you.
Instead of excepting and conforming to what God was leading, they desired to bend things to their desire and will.
In the preceding verses, Jesus draws his listener’s attention first to John the baptizer and then to himself.
“When you went out to John in the desert, what did you expect to see? A blade of grass bending in the wind? 8 What did you go out to see? A man dressed up in fancy clothes? People who dress like that live in palaces! 9 Tell me, what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes indeed, but you saw much more than a prophet. 10 For John is the one of whom the scripture says: ‘God said, I will send my messenger ahead of you to open the way for you.’
But John did not fit their expectation and was rejected by the great many of his fellow Israelites. They saw him as some weird guy who didn’t fit in.
John preached about the “Kingdom of heaven” and not about the establishment of an earthly kingdom in the hands of men. This is the same ‘Kingdom’ all the preceding prophets before John had pointed to.
12 From the time John preached his message until this very day the Kingdom of heaven has suffered violent attacks, and violent men try to seize it. 13 Until the time of John all the prophets and the Law of Moses spoke about the Kingdom; 14 and if you are willing to believe their message, John is Elijah, whose coming was predicted.
It was so as well with the Lord Jesus himself.
Verses 18 and 19
18 When John came, he fasted and drank no wine, and everyone said, ‘He has a demon in him!’ 19 When the Son of Man came, he ate and drank, and everyone said, ‘Look at this man! He is a glutton and wine drinker, a friend of tax collectors and other outcasts!’ God’s wisdom, however, is shown to be true by its results.”
Jesus did not fulfill their expectations either. The Pharisees and others looked down on him because of his personal habits and the company he chose to keep. The Pharisees you may recall, were very elitist and would never be seen associating with the majority of the kinds of people the Lord was willing to expose himself to.
They had their own ideas of godliness and righteousness that Jesus would not become part of. And many Jews at that time had a Zionist vision that Jesus would have nothing to do with. They were NOT seeking the Kingdom of heaven. Some even wanted to make him their king, but he rejected the notion. And this frustrated them and made them question why.
So Jesus compared them to little children who had prepared a scene of their choosing but wasn’t what God had prepared. Think: If you heard wedding music but there was no actual wedding going on, would you start dancing as if there were? If you heard a funeral dirge yet no one had died, would you weep and mourn anyway?
Because Jesus did not fit their ideas and did not play to their tune so to speak, he was rejected. In rejecting Jesus, they were rejecting God and His divine plan.
Today we see the very same attitudes and behaviors in his fellow Jews and by so-called Christian-Zionist who seek not the Kingdom of heaven, but the establishment of and earthly world ruling government.
One of the groups that Hitler sent to concentration camps were Jehovah’s Witnesses. They were forced to endure unspeakable atrocities and many lost their lives. The individual actions of many Witnesses are commendable and the Watchtower holds up this part of their history in great esteem.
What is not discussed is the hypocritical actions of Rutherford in the lead up to these events. Early in 1933, the Watchtower office in Berlin was closed and Jehovah’s Witnesses were banned in many German states.
In an attempt to appease Hitler, Rutherford instigated a Declaration of Facts and sent a letter to Hitler discussing the Watchtower’s support of the Nazi regime.
Current Watchtower references provide a deceptive portrayal of these documents, through selective quoting. The Proclaimer’s book mentions that Rutherford wrote a letter to Hitler under the context of “facing Nazi oppression”, in which the Watchtower Society is made to sound as if they were firmly against the Nazi regime.
“Therefore, on June 25, 1933, a declaration regarding their ministry and its objectives was adopted by Jehovah’s Witnesses at an assembly in Berlin. Copies were sent to all the high government officials, and millions more were distributed to the public. Nevertheless, in July 1933 the courts refused to grant a hearing for relief. Early the following year, a personal letter regarding the situation was written by J. F. Rutherford to Adolf Hitler and delivered to him
by special messenger. Then the entire worldwide brotherhood went into action.
On Sunday morning, October 7,1934, at nine o’clock, every group of Witnesses in Germany assembled. They prayed for Jehovah’s guidance and blessing.
Then each group sent a letter to German government officials declaring their firm determination to keep on serving Jehovah.” – Jehovah’s Witnesses – Proclaimer’s Of God’s Kingdom p.693
It is quite surprising to find the opposite is true, which can be identified when reading the content of Rutherford’s
1933 letter to Hitler and the Declaration of Facts.
Russell, founder of the Watchtower, was a Zionist and sympathetic to Jews as part of modern-day fulfilment of Bible prophecy. Rutherford initially continued such support, but changed by the 1930’s to an anti-Semitic stance.
“Be it known once and for all that those profiteering, conscienceless, selfish men who call themselves Jews, and who
control the greater portion of the finances of the world and the business of the world, will never be the rulers in this new earth.
God would not risk such selfish men with such an important position” The Golden Age 1927 Feb 23 p.343
“The Jews were evicted from Palestine and ‘their house left unto them desolate’ because they rejected Christ Jesus, the beloved and anointed King of Jehovah. To this day the Jews have not repented of this wrongful act committed by their forefathers. … In 1917 the Balfour Declaration, sponsored by the heathen governments of Satan’s organization, came forth, recognized the Jews, and bestowed upon them great favors. … The Jews have received more attention at their hands than they really deserved.” Vindication – Book II (1932) pp.257-258
During the time of Rutherford, Witnesses became known as a religion of hate, due to the Watchtower’s tirade of insults against other Churches and governments. The Catholic Church come under the greatest condemnation and bought this to the attention of the Nazi government, petitioning against the Watchtower Society. In 1933, the Nazi government banned the Watchtower’s German operations.
“In June of the so-called “Holy Year” of 1933 Adolf Hitler’s regime seized the Watch Tower Society’s property in Magdeburg and banned the activities of Jehovah’s people in Germany as regards meetings and literature distribution, though the property was returned that October.” Yearbook 1975 p.174
In an effort to overturn the ban, Rutherford sent a Letter and a Declaration to Hitler, in which he could rightfully praise Hitler for his anti-Anglo/American campaign and his stance against the Jews.
“Following is part of an English translation of the Letter to Hitler. (known as the Declaration of Facts)
The Brooklyn headquarter of the Watchtower Society is pro-German in an exemplary way and has been so for many years. For that reason, in 1918, the president of the Society and seven members of the board of directors were sentenced to 80 years in prison, because the president refused to use two of the magazines published in America under his direction for war propaganda against Germany. These two magazines, “The Watchtower” and “Bible Student” were the only magazines in America which refused to engage in anti-German propaganda and for that reason were prohibited and suppressed in America during the war.
In the very same manner, in course of the recent months the board of directors of our Society not only refused to engage in propaganda against Germany, but has even taken a position against it. The enclosed declaration underlines this fact and emphasizes that the people leading in such propaganda (Jewish businessmen and Catholics) also are the most rigorous persecutors of the work of our Society and its board of directors. This and other statements of the declaration are meant to repudiate the slanderous accusation, that Bible Researchers are supported by the Jews.
The conference of five thousand delegates also noted – as is expressed in the declaration that the Bible Researchers of Germany are fighting for the very same high ethical goals and ideals which also the national government of the German Reich proclaimed respecting the relationship of humans to God, namely: honesty of the created being towards its creator. The conference came to the conclusion that there are no contradictions when it comes to the relationship between the Bible Researchers of Germany to the national government of the German Reich. To the contrary, referring to the purely religious and unpolitical goals and efforts of the Bible Researchers, it can be said that these are in full agreement with the identical goals of the national government of the German Reich.
We are looking forward to your kind approval, which we hope to receive soon, and want to assure our highest respect to you, honorable Mr. Reichskanzler.
Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society Magdeburg”
Since that time two groups have formed. One supporters of C. T. Russell (at some times called ‘Russellites’), and another group who support the views and teachings of J. F. Rutherford (Rutherfordites). This schism continues to exist until today. Each group claiming the other is wrong. The reality is that they are both out of harmony with the teachings of the Bible and both fall short of true obedience as disciples of Christ.
They each cling to an earthling man as their spiritual leader. They prove themselves to be disciples of men and not of Christ Jesus.
Paul spoke of this very phenomenon occurring in the first century.
1 Corinthians 1:10-13
“Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
11 For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.
12 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.
13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?”
Just substitute the names Cephas and Apollos with Russell and Rutherford. They both are doing the very thing the Apostle warned against.
Was it Russell that died for you? Was it in Rutherford’s name you were baptized?
They are divided because their discipleships are founded on men and their warring is divisive and hinders the operation of the Holy Spirit. They glorify men and man-made organization and entice others to follow their path.
It is Jesus Christ is who is to be followed. They need to stop putting faith in earthling man.
Charles Taze Russell mixed Bible belief with mysticism (example: seeking answers by studying the Giza pyramid). He was a man who held Zionist beliefs and expectations. He was a man who preached that a person could not come to an accurate understanding of the Bible without reading his books. And he shared other non biblically based thinking.
Joseph Franklin Rutherford was an anti-Semite who groveled at Adolf Hitler’s feet using anti-Semitic speech to appease him. He turned what Russell started into an organizational structure. He also initially share Russell’s Zionist vision of the restoration of physical Israel.
The followers of Russell and the followers of Rutherford offer a false dichotomy. If one chooses either, they are not true followers of Christ and they would have those who listen and believe what they teach remain connected to a house that has been condemned. They will not as Jesus admonished, “Get out of her my people, that you be not partakers of her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues”.
These have not really heeded Christ warning as they will not make a clean break from the Watchtower Society. They continue to malinger in a house that Christ has condemned.
At first notion that may seem to be a silly question to ask. But there is a good reason to ask it.
What was it that Stephen saw in Heaven?
The Bible in the Book of Acts chapter six, describes the man Stephen as, “a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost (Holy Spirit)…”. (KJV)
Stephen had a vision by means of Holy Spirit just before his death. After eloquently defending his faith in Jesus Christ before a mob who were about to take him out and stone him, this is the account of what he saw: Acts 7:55-60
55 “But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,
56 And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.
57 Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord,
58 And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul.
59 And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit”.
60 And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep”. (KJV)
Stephen said that he saw the resurrected Jesus standing, “on the right hand (on the right side) of God”. Stephen saw two distinct personages. He saw Jesus and he saw that he stood next to God Almighty.
This does not square with those who teach and believe that Jesus Christ was God come down to Earth in flesh.
For that belief to be true then either Stephen had a vision of God standing next to Himself which is impossible, or….Stephen had to have been cross-eyed and suffered from double-vision.
He didn’t see just one, he saw two individuals.
At the time when Jesus was baptized by John the baptizer, a voice was heard out of Heaven, “And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased”. Matthew 3:17 (KJV)
Do you believe that Jesus in some sort of trickery, pitch his voice in order to deceive those with him? Who then was it that spoke from Heaven if he were God on Earth?
Those who believe Jesus and God Almighty are one and the same person misinterpret John’s personal expression in found at John 1:1 as he begins his gospel in which he gives an account of what Jesus himself said and did. The words at John 1:1 are not the words of Jesus, but of John.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”. (KJV)
The John who wrote what is recorded as the Book of John is the same John who wrote what is recorded in the Book of Revelation. In reading the Book of Revelation it is quite obvious the John did not believe Jesus was God Almighty.
How is Jesus ‘godly‘?
Jesus is unique from all other creation. He is divine in that he is “begotten” of God. This mean God took of himself and formed His son. As your offspring are of your flesh, Jesus is of the same of what God’s body consist of and shares in this way godliness.
Jesus states himself as John records, what his relationship to God Almighty is. In John chapter 14 verse 28 we read:
“Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I“. (KJV)
Jesus clearly states that God the Father is greater than himself.
Also in the same Bible book of John chapter 6 verse 38, Jesus makes this statement regarding himself:
“For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me”. (KJV)
Who can send God Almighty anywhere? No one.
But God Almighty can send a lesser than himself to Earth and He did in sending His only begotten son.
Also note what occurred at the transfiguration scene found at Luke 9:34-35:
34 “While he thus spake, there came a cloud, and overshadowed them: and they feared as they entered into the cloud.
35 And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him”. (KJV)
If Christ were God in flesh, who was it that spoke from Heaven?
Paul said this about Almighty God,
“Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen”. 1 Timothy 1:17 (KJV)
God is and has alway been immortal. Therefore it is impossible for Him to die.
Yet we know the Jesus Christ did die and had to be resurrected. Ask yourself: By whom was he resurrected?
According to what is written in 1 Corithians chapter 15, it wasn’t until after Christ resurrection that he put on immortality.
While the picture illustration that accompanies this article may seem humorous, it should cause you to think quite seriously about the subject and what you have been taught.
Do you believe Stephen full of Holy Spirit and what he saw?
Do you believe Jesus and the words from his own mouth identifying himself as lesser than God the Father?
Do you believe God Almighty who twice identified Jesus as His son?
Or do you stubbornly insist on believing the misinterpretation of John 1:1 and ignore what the Bible clearly states concerning God the Father and Christ Jesus his son?