What You Haven't Been Told About End-Times!

Many believe the end is very close. Even among skeptics, there is a feeling that we have reached a critical mass. But the Bible has predicted these days and God has given us very clear signs regarding this time. "Understanding Bible Prophecy” unlocks the mysteries and dispels the myths. We are introducing the church to the 7 Lost Keys of the End-Time Scriptures. Are you ready to hear what you have not been told about the End-Times?

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12 Reasons Preterism is False Teaching

Untitledby PJ Hanley

Preterism is the view that all of the prophecies concerning the end of the age occurred in 70AD and there is no End-Time events on the horizon. Everything in the world is getting better until it is all Christianized. This view of Scripture was compiled by a Jesuit Priest (Jesuit Luis de Alcazar 1614) during the Counter Reformation,  to combat the claims of the Protestants who believed the Pope was the Antichrist. It is being made popular today, particularly in the Revival Movement, by people like Jonathon Welton and many others. However, it’s a very bizarre twisting of Scripture, that undermines the authority of the Bible, and sets believers up for serious deception. Yet, one does not have to be a scholar to see how foolish it is. In this article I have listed 12 reasons it cannot be true. I could have listed hundreds, but there is no need. Just one of these points shows that it is seriously flawed.

  1. Preterism is built on Replacement Theology.[1] If Replacement Theology is false, so is Preterism. There are so many promises given to Israel, that have not been yet fulfilled or rescinded, and cannot be applied to the church. The following are just a few:

“Thus says the LORD, who gives the sun for light by day, and the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar; the LORD of hosts is His name: ‘If this fixed order departs from before Me,’ declares the LORD. ‘Then the offspring of Israel also will cease from being a nation before Me forever.’” Jer 31:35-36

“‘Behold, I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that causes reeling to all the peoples around; and when the siege is against Jerusalem, it will also be against Judah. It will come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who lift it will be severely injured. And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it. In that day,’ declares the LORD, ‘I will strike every horse with bewilderment and his rider with madness. But I will watch over the house of Judah, while I strike every horse of the peoples with blindness. Then the clans of Judah will say in their hearts,’ “A strong support for us are the inhabitants of Jerusalem through the LORD of hosts, their God.”” Zech 12:2-5 

“And I will set My glory among the nations; and all the nations will see My judgment which I have executed and My hand which I have laid on them. And the house of Israel will know that I am the LORD their God from that day onward. The nations will know that the house of Israel went into exile for their iniquity because they acted treacherously against Me, and I hid My face from them; so I gave them into the hand of their adversaries, and all of them fell by the sword. According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions I dealt with them, and I hid My face from them.’” Ezek 39:21-24

“For behold, in those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all the nations and bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat. Then I will enter into judgment with them there on behalf of My people and My inheritance, Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations; and they have divided up My land.” Joel 3:1-2

  1. In response to the question as to what was the sign of the “end of the age,” Jesus said it was the Abomination of Desolation mentioned in Daniel. This was confirmed by Paul, as the occasion when the Antichrist literally sits in the Holy Place in Jerusalem, and proclaims himself God.[2] This sign is preceded, according to Jesus, by the preaching of the gospel to the whole world. How did this happen prior to 70AD, and when did the Antichrist take his seat in Jerusalem? Preterists say that Nero was the Antichrist. However, Nero never stood on the Temple Mount and declared himself God. He was a nutty despot, who burned Rome and used the occasion to enlarge his palace.
  1. The Tribulation is described by Jesus as a time of such distress, that there was never anything like it before, nor will there be again. He said that if it had not been cut short, no life would have been saved. The tribulation that Israel endured in 70AD, though it was horrendous for them, cannot be construed as a global event? Furthermore, if that was it, then there would not have been any event occurring afterwards, that could compare or cause more suffering. However, in the 20th Century alone, there were two world wars, where the toll of death and destruction was much greater. Fifty million died in World War II, not to mention the horrendous barbarism of the holocaust, and the Nuclear bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Honestly, such a claim is insulting.
  1. Jesus said that there would be great signs at the end of the age, such as; the sun becoming dark and the moon red blood (not an eclipse), stars falling from the sky, the powers of the heavens shaken, and men fainting from fear because of the roaring of the sea and the waves (great tsunamis). Luke 21:25-26, Mt 24:29-30 If the end of the age took place in 70AD, then all these things should have taken place then.
  1. According to Partial Preterists, Jesus came in the clouds in 70AD, pouring out wrath upon the Jews. If that were true, it would fulfill the following passages.

“And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory. And He will send forth His angels with A GREAT TRUMPET and THEY WILL GATHER TOGETHER His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.” Mt 24:30-31

“And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, ‘KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.’” Rev 19:11-16

“BEHOLD, HE IS COMING WITH THE CLOUDS, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen.” Rev 1:7

If these verses were fulfilled in 70AD, or anytime close to that, then we must ask the following:

  • When did all the tribes of the earth mourn for Jesus?
  • When did the Jewish nation mourn over Jesus whom they had pierced?
  • When did every eye see Him coming through the clouds?
  • When did He gather the Jews from the four corners of the earth, or even Christians for that matter?
  • In 70AD Jerusalem was destroyed, and the Jews scattered. This was indeed, an outpouring of wrath as Jesus and the prophets predicted.[3] However, when it says that Jesus will come through the clouds with power and great glory, it says he will strike down the nations and fulfill the “great supper of God” prophecy of Ezekiel 39:17-20. When did this take place? Also, we are told that the Antichrist and the kings of the earth will make war against Jesus. When did this happen?
  1. Jesus said that the end of the age would be like the days of Noah. The implication is clear, that people would be evil, and clueless of the judgment that was coming. Then suddenly it came upon them, and they perished, but a remnant was delivered.

“For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be. Then there will be two men in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one will be left.” Mt 24:38-41

How can 70AD be compared to such a time for the nations, when they were, in fact, reveling in their victory over Zion? When did the destruction come upon them? Who were the ones rescued and snatched away from destruction? Furthermore, how can that time be considered more a fulfillment of the days of Noah, than today? There is more evil on the earth today, like that of Noah’s time, and Sodom and Gomorrah. Have the days of Noah come again, during the Millennium?

  1. The Bible promises a bodily resurrection at the end of the age.

“But as for you, go your way to the end; then you will enter into rest and rise again for your allotted portion at the end of the age.” Dan 12:13 Emphasis Mine

“And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection.” Rev 20:4-5 Emphasis Mine

Preterists say that the first resurrection has already taken place, since they claim that the end of the age was 70AD. Thus, they deny the bodily resurrection promised at the end of this age, or say that it has already come and was not literal, but spiritual. How then can they escape the claim that their teaching is heretical?[4]

  1. The Hebrew believers were told that Jesus would come again for them without reference to sin.[5] They were also told that they could see the day approaching.[6] Since Preterists say Jesus came in 70AD in judgment, and not without reference to sin, when were these verses fulfilled? And how could they be fulfilled in the future since there is no Day of the Lord approaching, and no signs.
  2. Preterism depends on an early date for the Book of Revelation, yet, the testimony we have, says it was written in 95AD, during the time of Domitian.[7] Also, if it were not after the destruction of Jerusalem, how do we account for the time of worldwide persecution which sent John to exile on Patmos?

10. Preterists use Mt 24:34 as a proof text to say that all the prophecies would be fulfilled in the 1st Century. But they take the verse out of context, and ignore what they can’t explain. Here is the verse in context:

“Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near; so, you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door. Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.” Mt 24:32-35

First of all, Jesus did not say that specific generation would see it all, but the one than began to see the prophecies fulfilled. This is even clearer in Luke 21, where Jesus says, “when these things begin to take place.”

“But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” Luke 21:28

Jesus clearly stated, that all that the prophets had spoken would come to pass in the specific generation mentioned. If that was 70AD, then why did so many of the prophets words not take place then? Examples are:

“For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” Hab 2:14

“And the wolf will dwell with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the kid, and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little boy will lead them. Also the cow and the bear will graze; their young will lie down together; and the lion will eat straw like the ox. And the nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child will put his hand on the viper’s den. They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.” Is 11:6-9

“And many peoples will come and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; that He may teach us concerning His ways, and that we may walk in His paths.” For the law will go forth from Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And He will judge between the nations, and will render decisions for many peoples; and they will hammer their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, and never again will they learn war. Come, house of Jacob, and let us walk in the light of the LORD.” Is 2:3-5

Also, what redemption came for all believers in 70AD?

11. The events described by Paul, and referred to as the Day of the Lord, included the coming of Jesus for the church in the rapture, as well as the Abomination of Desolation. [8] Therefore, why did the rapture of believers not occur in 70AD?

12. Peter, speaking of the Day of the Lord, said the following:

“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.” 2Pet 3:10

Did the elements melt with intense heat, like that of a nuclear blast, in 70AD? I don’t think so. Furthermore, how could the cataclysmic events spoken of in Revelation have occurred in 70AD?

“And I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood; and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind. And the sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains; and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of their wrath has come; and who is able to stand?” Rev 6:12-17

[1] Replacement Theology is the view that Israel was rejected by God and all of her prophecies given to her replacement, the church.

[2] 2 Thess 2:3-4

[3] Luke 21:22-24

[4] 2 Tim 2:18

[5] Heb 9:28

[6] Heb 10:25

[7] “We will not, however, incur the risk of pronouncing positively as to the name of Antichrist; for if it were necessary that his name should be distinctly revealed in this present time, it would have been announced by him who beheld the apocalyptic vision. For it was seen not very long time since, but almost in our day, towards the end of Domitian’s reign.” Iraneus, Against Heresies, 30

Clement of Alexandria (A.D. 155-215) says that John returned from the isle of Patmos “after the tyrant was dead” (Who Is the Rich Man? 42), and Eusebius, known as the “Father of Church History,” identifies the “tyrant” as Domitian (Ecclesiastical History III.23).

[8] 1 Thess 4:13 – 5:11, 2 Thess 2:1-12

Trump, Globalism and Bible Prophecy

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by PJ Hanley

The election of Donald J Trump as President of the United States is a political earthquake, greater than Brexit, that is sending shockwaves throughout the world. Liberals freaking out, colleges having crying sessions, and young fascists shouting violence in the streets, underscore the great victory for freedom that has been wrought. The American people have decided who will represent them in Washington and the world condemns us again. For the last twenty years, these same people ripped us as power hungry colonialists for meddling in the Middle East, and having troops in their countries. But now that we have elected someone who wants to end all that, they seem to hate us more. Charges of Racism, Homophobia, Misogyny, Islamophobia, KKK, and every hate name in the book are being leveled against Trump and the sixty million “deplorables” who voted for him. But are these charges true? Of course not! This is the standard propaganda that comes from the “educated” elite who don’t want to be confused with the facts. The ones who have given their lives to the blurring of all moral lines that are suddenly shocked about Trump’s immoral past. But is all the anger and hate really about concern for people’s lives and freedoms? Hardly! It’s about something much more sinister – Globalism versus Nationalism. The dream of the socialist bankers and billionaires and the “New World Order” machine, that wants to eradicate all borders and dominate the world, has suffered a setback and they are ready to make us pay. It’s a “whitelash” they say (no racism in that) – white men are responsible. I didn’t know white opinions didn’t matter – did you? Ordinary people of rural America, who didn’t drink the Kool Aid of “higher learning” and refused the microchip of the liberal media have put a monkey wrench in the UN 2030 Agenda. But if you think this is the end of it, think again. The global elite who are certain they know what’s best for the world are not out of options. They will strike again and complete their Anti-Christ agenda. Concerning this the Bible is clear. However, since this is such a shift by a nation that, judging from all the hoopla is still considered the leader of the West, we must understand what it all means. How does it fit into Biblical Prophecy of the End-Times?

Revival in America?

Many church leaders have been suggesting that the Trump win would usher in a massive revival in the United States. There is no doubt that those who prophesied his rise to power were correct. However, this does not validate theologies that are contrary to God’s word. The ascendancy of Christians to important places of government (Mike Pence and others) will preserve religious freedom and ensure a better country for all in the short term, but it will not bring a spiritual awakening. Only a massive conversion of Americans could bring that about and history teaches us that even such awakenings are short lived. Nevertheless, the political environment will bring a relief of governmental repression of Americans, and especially Christians, who have long been the target of the social engineers. This truly is a major victory and one I am excited about. However, I am also concerned that those who teach Dominion Theology[i] will be emboldened and their message will become more palatable to believers on account of this development. Though God has a purpose and a plan for this new administration, it will not bring about revival. Only the Holy Spirit can bring revival to God’s people and politics are never going to usher in the kingdom of God. The moral decline that we have seen continues and was even advanced in some places by the events of the past week. We may have gotten the government off our backs but our enemies have become more radical. The Bible warns us that darkness will increase on the earth prior to Jesus’ return. Make no mistake about it we are at the end of the age and the events of the Tribulation period are on the horizon.

Is Globalism Dead?

Globalism and the emergence of a One World Alliance taken over by the Antichrist, is guaranteed to take place since it is prophesied in Scripture.[ii] However, on account of Brexit and now the Trump election, many are concluding that globalism is dead. But this is not the case. The globalists may be down but they are not out. On the contrary, they are more invigorated than ever. They are not going to let all their hard work be wasted. No indeed. They have achieved great success with the European Union and have succeeded in their goal to indoctrinate a whole new generation that is ready to execute their plan. Having been raised, or not raised, by morally bankrupt parents, they became wards of the State and have been enlisted to fight the fight of the ages. Having never fought in a real war, been under tyrannical rule, or tasted the cost of freedom, they see this as their great cause and they are ready to shed blood. Simply stated, it is to unite the world as one, shake off all vestiges of the “Christian” past, and create a Utopia where sensuous pleasure reigns, and religion, if it exists at all, is to support this goal. As we have seen with Brexit and now the election of Trump, Millennials are the one group that is not on the train. This is the guarantee that the nightmare of globalism is alive and well and will indeed fulfill the Prophetic Word.

Brexit +++

In the summer I wrote two articles on Brexit and why it would not signal the breakup of the European Union. Now just a few months later, despite the referendum, the plan seems to be stalled. Parliament has to vote. So much for the will of the people. But anyone who is paying attention knows that globalists are not committed to democracy. One has only to look at how the EU is structured. The parliament is meaningless and merely gives the people a feeling of self-government while the political elite in the EU Commission run the show. Now look at the US election. Trump has been the President Elect for only two days and there is anarchy in the streets. Millennials in the major metropolitan areas reject the votes of the people and insist that Trump is not their President. Why? Because he is not duly elected? No! Because he doesn’t have their agenda and they are burning effigy’s and the American flag and shouting death to the President Elect. Folks this is not Iran; it is the United States. Americans don’t burn effigy’s and the Star Spangle Banner? Americans don’t reject democracy? Do they? No, these are not Americans they are globalists and democracy means nothing to them. These are the “educated” – the Millennials, that have been raised and trained by the globalist leftist elite and they will stop at nothing to get their way. Dear friends, though we thank God for the years of freedom we are about to enjoy, it will not last. Storm clouds are gathering and the next time the globalists will leave nothing to chance.

Is Trump Cyrus?

Some Christian leaders have proclaimed that Trump would be elected and be a type of Cyrus the Great – a secular ruler who allowed the Jews to return to the land and rebuild the Temple, even financing the project. This was largely interpreted as a God given opportunity to advance the kingdom of God in America. I have already expressed my concerns along this line. There is no doubt that something miraculous has happened. We have been shown mercy by God. It is a Josiah moment.[iii] The world is stunned by it and none of them believed it was possible. Nevertheless, it has happened. Since we know that God is the one who rules over the affairs of men,[iv] despite their rejection of Him, why then has he raised up Donald Trump at this time? Perhaps it is to answer our prayers and give us a break. I accept that. But maybe it has greater ramifications for the prophetic timetable. Trump will likely be the friendliest President ever as far as Israel is concerned. Could this be the reason he has been raised up at this time? Could he actually be a type of Cyrus and his presidency be about Israel? Only time will tell. But the next restoration for Israel, and the next event to occur in the prophetic timetable, is the consecration of the Temple Mount and the rebuilding of the Temple. Could this be the mind of the Lord? Could this be a response to the demonic proclamations of UNESCO, declaring that Israel has no connection to the Temple Mount and even the Western Wall, and attempting to erase three thousand years of history? Is the building of the Temple about to begin? With the Jubilee anniversary of 1967, and the 70th anniversary of the founding of the State (1947/48) taking place in 2017, could there be something greater about to happen? Could Donald J Trump have come to the White house for such a time as this?

[i] The notion that Christians must take Dominion over the world before Jesus comes.

[ii] Rev 13:7-8

[iii] Josiah was a king of Judah who brought repentance and restoration to the nation the like of which had not been seen since the time of David. Yet it was too late. Judgment came after his death.

[iv] Daniel 4:17

Why Christians Should Wake up to the Agenda of the Rapture Haters

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By PJ Hanley

An article just appeared in Charisma titled, “Why Christians Should Stop Looking for the Rapture.” It was written by JD King of the World Revival Network. Of course, I recognized this article immediately as having appeared in Charisma last spring. It was hard to forget since it so incensed me the first time. However, the average reader is unaware that Charisma regurgitates these articles over and over again to push their agenda. Some may say that they publish all different points of view, and of course they do, since they thrive on promoting confusion. But if they are really balanced, where is the rebuttal? Where is the scholarly article written to support the rapture? Read More

7 Reasons Why the Beast is Not a Muslim Caliphate

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by PJ Hanley

The latest Brexit referendum and the failed coup and subsequent “cleansing” in Turkey, have given the Muslim Caliphate Theory of Joel Richardson new legs with many. However, there is no real reason for this.  So far Brexit is just a vote and even if it is actually carried out it does not mean the end of the EU. Furthermore, Turkey’s cleansing of more than 50,000 people, that is still going on, only indicates that it is unstable and could go either way. If it were to become a radical Muslim state aligned with Russia, it would still likely be temporary. As a Sunni state it would have to fight Iran and Iraq, as well as all the other Shia forces in the Middle-East, and convince the Saudis to join, to become a caliphate. This is very unlikely and Turkey could indeed become part of the EU as well as play a vital role in the Middle-East conflicts to come. The following are 7 reasons why I believe the beast of Daniel (2&7) and Revelation (13 & 17) will not be fulfilled by an Islamic Caliphate!

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Brexit – We’re Still Leaving Right?

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by PJ Hanley

Last week the British voted to leave the EU. Shockwaves went around the world as markets fell and fear gripped millions of people regarding their financial and political future. Others celebrated independence and sovereignty and the destruction of the New World Order. Talking heads on TV rattled on about the collapse of the EU and Globalism and the rise of a new era of “Populism” and “Trumpism.” And of course, the Preterists and Dominionists chimed in with condemnation and mockery of “doom and gloom” preaching, using the opportunity to authenticate their rosy view of a world getting better and better. But even more astonishingly, some of those who believe the EU has fulfilled Bible Prophecy were wobbling and buckling under the pressure and trying to come up with new alternatives. Read More

We’re coming to Europe!

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United Kingdom (9th – 17th August, 2016)
Republic of Ireland (18th August – 12th September, 2016)
Italy (13th September – 27th September, 2016)
Contact us to book PJ & Kathy Hanley to minister to your church, small group, or venue!

whatintheworldOn this trip we’ll be holding the Understanding Bible Prophecy Seminar .

And, for those who have been through the standard seminar before, PJ will be sharing a new, “What in the World?!” seminar update. This seminar will discuss current global trends and biblical prophecy in the news, to give you a hope filled, biblical perspective of the days ahead.

Follow us on Facebook for more upcoming itinerary and information.

Revived Roman Empire or Failed Experiment?

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Challenging the Mockers & Making Biblical Sense of the Brexit Vote

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The Sifting of the Church & Why You Shouldn’t Drink the Kool-Aid

siftingThe church is called to be a Bride made ready for the Bridegroom.[1] Her passion and pursuit is to be of Him and His presence. Bringing others to Him should be her commitment and dedication but not her preoccupation. Love for Him is to consume her as she eagerly awaits His return. Her hope is not in her ability to change the earth but on His promise to come back for her. This is the true apostolic teaching – the true apostolic emphasis (Consider Paul’s concern for the Corinthians in 2Cor 11:2-3). Today however, many are rising up within the church calling themselves apostles and leading believers astray. Whole movements and networks are embracing a man centered agenda of social transformation and calling it the kingdom. Others are embracing the age old heresies regurgitated and photo shopped for the 21st Century. The Scriptures clearly warned us that this would happen, yet it was hard to imagine it would come on such a grand scale and with such ease that the majority would be swept off their feet. But this is exactly what is happening. It is what John the apostle warned:

“Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us.” 1John 2:18-19

Twisted Brothers

It is absolutely astonishing to see how false teachers have become so popular and gained such ground, so much so that hardly anyone is confronting them. Something in them is awry as they twist the Scriptures and deceive people. They take the true doctrines of the faith and distort them replacing them with doctrines of demons, and the church is eating it up. And of course, they mock those of us who believe Jesus is coming soon. Peter warned us of this, and it is clear from his writing that he was referring to believers, since only they would speak of creation or “the fathers.”

“Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.’”2Pet 3:3-4

 Peter also identified two types of people who confuse and distort End-Time teaching – the untaught and the unstable.[2] The untaught distort Scripture because they do not have the background or training necessary to interpret it correctly. They are simply missing the context and information required to unlock passages or interpret revelation. They have either not been taught or they have been taught wrong.

The second group that distorts Scripture, according to Peter, is the unstable. The unstable have a propensity to twist the truth or spin it in such a way that it promotes their agenda or inner motive of the heart. This is a serious warning for all who teach the word to consider. It is not merely about some troubled souls who cannot overcome temptation or sin. It is addressing the ones who preach and teach the Bible but are operating out of some inner conflict or woundedness. This inner instability is distorting their perspective and leading them to erroneous conclusions and revelations that will ultimately result in derailment for them and their followers. They may have started well, but over time, this inner instability led them to force conclusions on Scripture that were complimentary to their “ministries.” They began to take license and liberty with verses, distorting their context and meaning because it was advantageous to their agenda.

Teaching Matters

Make no mistake about it, the condition of our heart and the healthiness of our soul will determine the soundness of our teaching. In addition, what we teach will have a profound effect on our practice as well. Wrong teaching will lead us to wrong conclusions and wrong conclusions can lead down the wrong path. How many good people have gone astray because they neglected the inner issues of the heart? How many good men and women have gone astray because they would not listen to the gentle rebuke of another and took their own perspective too seriously? This is a vital truth and one that all teachers, and especially those who make confident assertions about eschatology, must understand. In the same way, those who say that one’s position on End-Times or the Rapture is not important, are making a colossal mistake and throwing away the compass and revelation of God’s Word given to guide them through the difficult canyons ahead. They are assuming that “so long as we love the Lord it doesn’t matter.” By this, they are already embracing error. The End-Time revelation contained in God’s word is not just for debate and discussion. It is intended to guide us in faith and practice and to ensure that we have the correct stance at the end of the age.

The end of the age is a time of great sifting and testing and indeed, it has already begun. Those who are not aware of this are nonchalantly paddling their little boats toward the great Niagara. They may think all is fine and dandy but a rude awakening is coming. The Scriptures tell us that God will send a strong delusion in the last days and that the enemy will deceive all who have the ability to receive error. Anyone who has had to deal with error and deception in their own life, or the life of a friend or colleague, knows how easily it can creep in. And, though it is the result of something wrong in the heart, it can be brought on by wrong teaching or unhealthy reactions to something with which we disagree. Bad teaching sows bad seed in the heart that can latch on to some area not yielded to Christ. One has to prepare inwardly as well as outwardly for the Lord’s return. We need to keep our spirit, soul and body blameless until His coming.[3] How easy it is to become discouraged and take our eyes off Christ. How easily we can become arrogant, adopting some new plan or “revelation,” and dismiss those who do not “get the vision.” This kind of arrogance can set us up for failure and deception.

Too Nice to Confront Evil

Whenever one brings up the issue of false teaching, there are many who immediately flinch. Any thought of false teaching or Christian celebrities being confronted is “negative” to them. They find the thought of challenging the message of anyone who “loves Jesus” as divisive and against the Father’s love. Of course we know there are many who sow division and strife in what they write, particularly on the internet. The so-called Heretic Hunters are everywhere with poison on their lips. However in reaction to them the church seems to be refusing to confront anything no matter how outrageous it is. Surely this is not the attitude of leaders who are caring for Christ’s sheep.[4] It certainly wasn’t the attitude of the apostles who publicly admonished God’s people, often mentioning names. In fact, in one of Paul’s letters which was read publicly, two women were rebuked and told to get along (Phil 4:2). Indeed, when it comes to false teaching the Scriptures are very strong. Consider the following verses.

“Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them. For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting.” Rom 16:17-18

“This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you fight the good fight, keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith. Among these are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan, so that they will be taught not to blaspheme.” 1Tim 1:18-20 

“…preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.” 2 Tim 4:2

“Watch yourselves that you do not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward. Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son.” 2 John 8-9 

The Apostles of the Lord seemed to have this idea that they were protecting the church. Therefore, they confronted everything that was off whether it was absolute heresy or simply somebody saying something that is false. And they did this without being, critical, judgmental, or legalistic. They knew that false teaching would produce bad fruit, and that God’s people should be protected from it. But today however, one can hardly confront anything without being labeled divisive. Believers find it shocking when anyone disagrees with their celebrities. It’s the spirit of Hollywood among us. They have no use for theology and almost never read anything scholarly. Consequently, people just make up their own doctrine without checking the Scriptures. And rather than confronting what is false, they will often promote it because of the popularity of the speakers and their ability to draw crowds. It is no wonder that the church is in such a time of sifting and testing. Indeed, we have created the perfect environment for false prophets to flourish. When will we catch on? When will we speak the truth in love to one another?

When doctrine is promoted throughout the world that is false, we not only have a right but a responsibility to confront it publicly. And if it is dangerous we must mention names. How else will people know what we are talking about? Do we expect them to discern everything on their own? Hardly! That is not the attitude of a true pastor or apostle but merely political correctness masquerading as godly behavior. We must speak the truth in love and stop being children tossed here and there by the craftiness of those who call themselves apostles and prophets. If you love the truth, you will value correction. If you do not value correction, then you do not love the truth. It is possible to love one another while still confronting false teaching and/or simply disagreeing with direction or emphasis. If what we are teaching is true then scrutiny will only prove it. If it turns out to be wrong, shouldn’t we turn away from it?

Don’t Drink the Kool-Aid

Drinking the Kool-Aid is a figure of speech unknown to many millennials but it refers to an event that took place in the 1970’s. A cult leader named Jim Jones led his followers in a ritual drinking of poison laced Kool-Aid and they all died. Hence the expression, “Don’t Drink the Kool-Aid. The apostle Paul said something similar when he told us to “examine everything carefully” and “hold fast to what is good” (1Thess 5:21). Sadly, most are not in the habit of doing this especially in this era of social media. What is popular is embraced as the truth. After all, such famous and “anointed” leaders couldn’t be wrong, could they? If that’s the way you think, the Kool-Aid is already in your system. Wake up! Don’t just believe what is popular! Don’t just drink it because all the people in your network are! Don’t just believe it because it comes from some big name “prophet” or “apostle.” Examine it carefully! Ask questions. Is this true? Is it Biblical? What is the fruit? Since when has the truth become popular? There have always been more false prophets than true ones. Beware of all fads and new teachings that spread like wildfire! Reject any ministry that is unwilling to be challenged or submit to Biblical scrutiny outside of their circles. And never allow anyone to label you a rebel or divisive because you ask questions or respectfully decline to sip the liquid or align yourself with the latest “apostolic decrees.” This is a very serious matter because your eternal future may depend on it!

[1] Eph 5:25-27

[2] 2 Pet 3:14-16

[3] 1Thess 5:23

[4] John 21:15

The New Apostolic Crusaders and the U.S. Presidential Primaries

crusaderFor the past twenty years or so a new movement has been sweeping the church. It comes to us in many trendy packages and teachings designed to convince us that social transformation is the mission of the church. And sadly many are falling into its deception, especially the so called “millennials,” who want to be radical in their generation but lack the background and teaching to discern delusion. Some of the common themes associated with this movement are; “Kingdom Now,” “Taking the Seven Mountains for God,” “Dominion Theology,” “World Revival,” and of course “Transforming Culture.” Its leaders are big shot celebrities who live in a sort of Christian conference bubble that convinces them everything is getting better. Indeed, the predictions and decrees issued at these “apostolic centers” would suggest this transformation of the planet is well underway. Consider the following:

“The world is on the verge of massive change, and even though it looks very dark in some ways, God has a plan! We are in the birth pangs of a new world. 2012 is the year of shifting governments, as the church rises to take her place on the world stage, bringing the kingdom of heaven to earth.” (1)

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