Marla Ilona counts down the Top Ten false teachings and false beliefs in the Christian Church (Part 2): from Number 5 to Number 1. Explosive!
Myth Number 5: The Israel Myth
This particular lie is gaining a lot of ground within the body of Christ today. The Israel deception has the vast majority of students of Bible prophecy believing that a third temple will be rebuilt on the Temple Mount, that the anti-christ will sit in that temple, that animal sacrifices will be resumed, that the anti-christ will stop those sacrifices, that Armageddon will take place in the Middle East with the drying up of the Euphrates River and that the Great Tribulation will primarily fall upon the Jews living on the West Bank. This is all false interpretation of Bible prophecy and I’m going to show you why.
The Israel Deception is one of the greatest red herrings Satan is using in the endtime to divert the focus of God’s people away from the nerve of the war. Thinking that the country of Israel and the Middle East region will be the stage where endtime prophecy will be fulfilled misleads God people. It takes their energy and attention away from the more relevant and strategic endtime battles that will take place across the whole world and more pointedly in the US.
What then is the truth? The question of Israel is actually a very important question because up until the Book of Acts chapter 7 the Bible story is all about the Jewish people. The truth about Israel is very nuanced. Let’s review the main points of biblical truth and some of the key scriptures.
First truth about Israel:
God told Abraham “I will make you a great nation;?I will bless you?And make your name great;?And you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you,?And I will curse him who curses you;?And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Genesis 12:2-3. Unlike other Bible blessings and promises which are conditional upon good behavior, there is nothing conditional about this blessing. Abraham would be the root of the promised redeemer, and Israel would be the land where the Saviour of all mankind would be born in whom all the families of the earth would be blessed.
Some of you may be familiar with a video which has been widely circulated on the internet where President Chavez of Venezuela was making a televised speech in front of a large audience in. In a horrifying public declaration Chavez said that he cursed Israel from the root of his belly, and he said it three times. Exactly one year later Chavez died of cancer in the intestines. We can safely presume that the cancer took root the moment he finished uttering the curses, and took a year to spread and kill him.
The land of Israel is holy. God also put His name in Jerusalem. “Yet I have chosen Jerusalem, that My name may be there, and I have chosen David to be over My people Israel.’ 2 Chronicles 6:6 After the millennium the New Jerusalem will come down from Heaven onto that land where God put His name.
Second Truth about Israel:
However, through their repeated rebellion and disobedience that culminated in their rejection of their heaven-sent Messiah, the Jewish nation did not fulfill the expectations of God’s chosen people. The Jewish people as a nation led by their religious leaders lost rejected their Messiah and 3.5 years later stoned Steven. Steven was the last prophet sent to the Jewish people. He was killed by the Jewish leaders and became the first Christian martyr.
In the book of Exodus chapter 19, the Israelites were camped at the foot of Mount Sinai. “And Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel: ‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself. Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.” (Exodus 19:3-6)
Please notice that here God’s promise is conditional. “If you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people.” God’s favor and blessing are always contingent upon faith and obedience. Once Israel finally made it into the promised land, most of them strayed from the path and broke the covenant with God. For many centuries the Lord sent them prophets to chastise them and plead with them to repent. Finally, in 722 B.C. the cruel Assyrians carried off the Northern tribes of Israel away to Assyria, and in 586 B.C. Judah was taken into Babylonian captivity by King Nebuchadnezzar. The Judeans remained in Babylon 70 years as prophesied by Jeremiah and at the end of the 70 years they were sent back to rebuild and restore Jerusalem. That was based on a decree given by King Artixerxes in the year 457 B.C. according to Ezra 7:7.
From that moment started ticking the famous 490-year prophecy described in Daniel 9 starting in verse 24. This 490-year period was a sort of last grace period for the Jewish nation. Towards the end of that 490-year period Messiah the Prince meaning Jesus would be born “to fulfill the covenant with many for one week”. The Jews rejected their Messiah. During the 3.5 years after Jesus died the disciples were still preaching the gospel only to the Jewish people. Then we read in Acts chapter 7 how Steven was stoned by the members of the Jewish Sanhedrin. This brought an end to vision and prophecy for the Jewish nation. God sent no more prophets to the Jewish people.
Shortly after this tragic event Saul had his encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus and then the order is given, both to Saul and to Peter in very different circumstances, to take the gospel to the gentiles. That was the close of the grace period for the Jewish nation to repent and to receive their long-promised Messiah. Because they “knew not the time of their visitation” as Jesus said, Jerusalem was totally destroyed in 70 A.D.
Third Truth about Israel:
There is an Israel of the flesh and an Israel of the spirit. They are not necessarily the same. The Jews in the flesh are members of the Jewish nation or people. The Jews in the spirit are those who believe in Jesus and follow His commandments. The promises and the blessings are for the Jews in the spirit (spiritual Israel), and hence the prophecies also.
In the book of Romans Chapter 9 Paul discusses the rejection of Jesus by the Jewish people. Let’s listen to a couple of points he makes: First: “For they are not all Israel who are of Israel, nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham; but, “In Isaac your seed shall be called.” That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed.” The Abrahamic promise is based on faith, so the children of faith are counted as the seed. Second: “For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.” (Romans 2:25-29)
There’s a lot more scripture to this effect, but the important point to understand is the following: God’s promises will be fulfilled in the Israel of the spirit, and His blessings will be given to that spiritual Israel as well. God’s promises are always conditional, and only those who believe and obey – spiritual Israel – will receive the fulfillment of the promises. In like fashion when it comes to Bible prophecy, the prophecies will be fulfilled not in the Israel of the flesh, meaning the genetic Jews or the Jewish nation, but in all of spiritual Israel.
Fourth Truth about Israel:
There’s a very important prophecy in Daniel 9, we already mentioned it, the famous 490-year prophecy. This prophecy is largely misunderstood today and misinterpreted to refer to the anti-christ. In reality it refers to Jesus. The prophecy talks about 70 weeks, but the “week” is actually 7 years because in Bible prophecy a day equals a year, therefore a week or 7 days equals 7 years in prophecy, which is how we get the 490 years. The prophecy says that “Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself? … Then He shall confirm a covenant with many for one week. But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.” The one confirming the covenant with many is Jesus, not the anti-christ. It is Jesus who, with His perfect sacrifice, brought an end to animal sacrifice and sin offerings.
Yet most prophecy teachers today apply this text to the anti-christ. Then they take this text and combine it with another prophecy in 2 Thessalonians 2:4 which does indeed refer to the anti-christ and says “who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” And this is how they conclude that there will be a third temple and that the anti-christ will sit in that third temple and stop the animal sacrifices that will be resumed at some future time and by the way claim that he is God.
The first deceit here is that Satan takes a prophecy about Jesus and applies it to himself, and the second deception is that both of these prophecies have already been fulfilled. If we fail to realize that we fail to understand who is the anti-christ.
Fifth Truth about Israel:
There will never be a third temple. I’ve heard some people say “There’s no third temple yet because the conditions aren’t right”. Wrong. There will never be a third temple not because conditions aren’t right but because God will not allow a third temple to be built – that would be the greatest affront against His Son Jesus.
There are three distinct Bible passages that give us an idea of the evolution in Jesus’ relationship with the temple.
In the first passage, Jesus has just made His triumphant entry into Jerusalem, and was disgusted to find the temple filled with merchants and money changers. Matthew 21:13 He cast them out and said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’” So here the temple was still My House.
Later, immediately after the famous “woes to the scribes and Pharisees”, Jesus said about the temple: “Your house is left to you desolate” – this is in Matthew 23. We can see the shift here. What was initially My house is now Your house which Jesus leaves desolate, by withdrawing His Spirit from it.
Finally, let’s review what happened to the temple when Jesus died. In Mark 15:37-39 we read: “And Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and breathed His last. Then the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. So when the centurion, who stood opposite Him, saw that He cried out like this and breathed His last, he said, “Truly this Man was the Son of God!” This last passage closes Jesus’ relationship with the temple. His death caused the sacrifice in the temple to cease literally because it took some time to repair the veil and figuratively because His perfect sacrifice replaced all other sacrifices and sin offerings.
To have a third temple rebuilt would mean another official denial by the Jewish nation that Jesus was their Messiah, another rejection of their Savior. In His infinite mercy God the Father would not allow the Jewish people to do such a thing, because of the terrible consequences of such an affront. When the Romans sieged Jerusalem in 70 A.D. they totally destroyed the second temple and caused the death of at least one million Jews who perished inside the city walls. Only the Christian believers were saved because they knew the prophecy Jesus had given and left the city in time.
Finally, there is not one single verse of scripture saying that the temple will be rebuilt. All of the scriptures used by those putting forth this point of view are incorrect interpretations.
Sixth truth about Israel:
The endtime theater of war will not be primarily the land of Israel, the Middle East and the Euphrates River, but every country in the world with the United States playing a leading role.
By now you have a good understanding of this concept of spiritual Israel being all of those who, whether Jew or Gentile, have accepted and follow the Lord Jesus, as opposed to physical Israel referring to the Jewish nation or even the Jewish people living in other countries. When it comes to the interpretation of prophecy a similar principle applies. When we read about many things in the Book of Revelation such as Babylon, the battle of Armageddon, the River Euphrates, Gog and Magog, the Kings of the East, etc., all of them are symbols or spiritual representations.
Let me give you an example of how these names and places are not to be taken literally but symbolically. Revelation chapter 17 talks about the great whore Mystery Babylon who sits on many waters. Later in that same chapter the Bible gives us the meaning of the waters, which symbolize peoples, and multitudes, and tongues, and nations.
Let’s now connect this definition of the waters which represent peoples of many tongues and nations with the sixth bowl of judgment in Revelation 16:12 which talks about the Euphrates River drying up, this is the passage: “Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, so that the way of the kings from the east might be prepared.” What this is saying is not literally that the Euphrates River will be dried up. It is alluding to the capture and fall of Ancient Babylon where King Cyrus and the Medo-Persians caused the Euphrates River to dry up and were able to take the city that way.
What will happen in the end time prophecy is that the multitudes and nations supporting the harlot church will dry up. That church will run out of support at the end because people will realize they have been deceived. Then they will turn against her. “And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.”
A few verses earlier we’re told what the ten horns represent: “And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.” So the kings or presidents in our modern language who give their support to the beast will have a very short tenure and they will end up deserting Mystery Babylon, the harlot church, who made the multitudes drunk with her wine of deceit. The short tenure of these leaders is one more sign that the final movements of human history will be rapid.
This same symbolic system applies to all of the other references to literal places: Armageddon, Gog/Magog, and so forth. These places are not to be taken literally. The final events will take place all over the world in spiritual Israel, with the United States playing a leading role in what is to come and in giving power to the beast.
Seventh truth about Israel:
God has not forsaken the Jewish people. Although they rejected their Messiah, God is still faithful to them. Although they didn’t keep the covenant, God is faithful and keeps His covenant with them. The Bible assures us that the Jewish people will come to Jesus.
In Matthew 23:38-39 after saying to the Jewish leaders “Your house is left to you desolate” Jesus added “for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ”
In Zechariah 12: 10-11 the prophet prophecies that the Jews will mourn over the piercing of Jesus “And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn. In that day there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning at Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo.” Then in Zechariah 13:6 we read “And one will say to him, ‘What are these wounds between your arms?’ Then he will answer, ‘Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.’”
Then in a long passage in Romans 11, Paul who was chosen to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles, explains that Israel’s rejection is not final. The Lord has not totally cast them off, but will give them the grace to see and understand that Jesus is the Messiah. Paul explains that “blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in”. At that time the Lord will call His chosen people away from sin and ungodliness. Because “they are beloved for the sake of the fathers. For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” (Romans 11:28-29) And this is how All Israel will be saved.
At the end of time, there will only be two groups. Jesus makes this very clear in many of His parables relating to the end time. And the two groups will not be Jews and Gentiles. In Ephesians 2:11-16, Paul explains that Jesus has broken down the wall between Jews and Gentiles, ending the enmity between Jews and Gentiles and reconciling both to God in one body through the cross. The two groups at the end of time will be the saved and the lost, and each group will be composed of both Jews and Gentiles. And as we have saved, blessings and prophecy will be fulfilled wherever the body of Christ is found.
Myth Number 4: The Immortality of the Soul
What? Indeed, you may be very surprised to learn this, but the soul is not immortal. The immortality of the soul is a pagan doctrine that entered the Church very early on, in the first few centuries of the Christian era. The Egyptians, the Assyrians, the Babylonians also known as the Chaldeans, the Greeks and the Romans, all believed in the immortality of the soul.
What’s most shocking however is how many Christian pastors believe in the immortality of the soul. But the Bible doesn’t teach that when we die we go to Heaven. In fact, nowhere in the Bible do we read the words “immortal soul”. The immortality of the soul is not biblical. In fact, the immortality of the soul is in direct opposition to what the Bible teaches about the resurrection of the dead. Let’s go back to the Bible to get the full picture.
A soul is the combination of body and breath
How God created man is described in Genesis 2:7: “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground (body), and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life (spirit); and man became a living soul.” James 2:26 says that the body without the breath or the spirit is dead.
So a living soul is the combination of body and breath, or body and spirit. When a person dies “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.” At death the spirit returns to God. It doesn’t go to Heaven nor to Hell nor is it floating around anywhere.
Only God is immortal
Only our God has immortality. In 1 Timothy 6 we read that “our Lord Jesus Christ … who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; Who only hath immortality…”
We as sinners are mortal. The Bible says in Ezekiel 18:20 “The soul that sinneth it shall surely die”. We are all sinners therefore we die.
The dead know nothing
The Bible also tells us that the dead know nothing and do nothing. Psalms 115:17 says “The dead praise not the Lord”. Psalm 146:4 “His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.”
King Solomon speaks about death in Ecclesiastes 9: “For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope: for a living dog is better than a dead lion. For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion forever in any thing that is done under the sun. … Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.”
Our spirit doesn’t go to heaven or hell directly after death
People do not go to Heaven or Hell when they die, otherwise there would be no point in resurrecting. There is also no reincarnation whatsoever. Souls are resting in a state of total unconsciousness until they are woken up by God either at the first or the last resurrection.
So the dead are asleep in a state of total unconsciousness until the resurrection of the righteous which is the first resurrection (“the dead in Christ shall rise first” 1 Thessalonians 416) or the resurrection of the unrighteous which is the second resurrection which happens after the millennium.
We read in Job 14:12-15:“So man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep. O that thou wouldest hide me in the grave, that thou wouldest keep me secret, until thy wrath be past, that thou wouldest appoint me a set time, and remember me! If a man die, shall he live again? All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come. Thou shalt call, and I will answer thee”. Clearly Job is saying that man dies, goes into a state of sleep, they won’t awake nor be raised until the last day, when the just shall be resurrected. Job says “I will wait, till my change come”.
What is the change that Job is waiting for? It’s the change from unconsciousness to consciousness, from mortality to immortality, from corruption to incorruption. 1 Corinthians 15:51-53 – “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we (the living) shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.”
The deception of the immortality of the soul is copyrighted by Satan
Where does this deception come from? It goes all the way back to the beginning of the world. We read in Genesis 3: “And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die.” The devil used the serpent to channel the first lie. This lie “Ye shall not surely die” is one of the primary deceptions of the devil.
Let’s be clear. Whenever people are talking to someone whom they believe is a dead relative or friend, in reality they are talking to demons, fallen angels. We’ve seen that the dead are not available for any experience until God resurrects them. So if it’s not our dear departed ones who we’re talking to, then it’s what the Bible calls familiar spirits. Familiar spirits are fallen angels falsely impersonating the deceased to bring deceptive messages to the living.
The immortality of the soul is Satan’s invention, he has the copyright on it. Truly a brilliant idea, it has deceived billions of people throughout the ages. This single lie has opened the door to so many abominations before God. Remember, Lucifer was perfect in all of his ways until iniquity was found in him. “Thus saith the Lord God; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. … Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness” (Ezekiel 28).
Satan is full of perverse wisdom, he’s crafty and cunning. We can’t keep up with his lies. Our best and only protection against Satan is knowing the Word of God, “thus saith the Lord”. The final test of any doctrine or minister or teacher: “If they speak not according to this Word, it is because there is no light in them”. Isaiah 8:20
Myth Number 3: Forgetting about the Final Judgment
We’re getting closer to the top of the countdown! Coming in at No. 3 of the Top Ten Myths in Christendom is the belief that there is no final judgment, no day of reckoning, that once saved always saved, and that it is enough to accept by faith Jesus Christ as our Savior in order to gain eternal life. This is a huge misconception that might result in the loss of eternal life for many Christians. Many of today’s teachers and preachers of the Word conveniently fail to talk about such a critically important topic.
The final judgment is the defining moment that our lives tend toward, because our passage on earth is a period of probation and there is a day of reckoning. “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter. Fear God and keep His commandments,?For this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgment,?Including every secret thing,?Whether good or evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14)
Now what you may be surprised to learn is that the Judgment has already started. What? The Judgment has already started? I thought the Judgment happened on the Last Day. Well, let’s take a closer look at scripture and reason this through. We said earlier that when Jesus comes on the Last Day the dead in Christ will rise first, then the living will be transformed into glorified beings and will rise to meet Jesus in the clouds. In order for Jesus and the rest of the universe to know who are His rightful heirs and who are not there must be a Judgment beforehand that allows Him to separate the wheat from the tares.
The first of the Three Angels’ Message in the Book of Revelation says “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come.” (Revelation 14:6-7) It doesn’t say will come, it says IS come, it’s in progress even now as I speak. “Judgment must begin at the house of God” (1 Peter 4:17).
Let’s step through this by first taking a look at where’s the courtroom, who’s the judge, what is the law against which we’ll be judged, what’s the legal evidence for or against us, who’s our accuser and who’s our defender.
The heavenly courtroom
There is a courtroom in Heaven. This is why in Isaiah 43:26 the Lord says “Put Me in remembrance;?let us contend together;?state your case, that you may be acquitted.”
Heaven is a kingdom with laws and that there is a courtroom in session right now. In Revelation 11:19 we read “And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in His temple the ark of His testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.” What’s in the ark of His testament in the Heavenly Sanctuary is the same law that was in the earthly sanctuary: God’s Ten Commandments. This is the standard we’ll be judged against, and we’ll either be acquitted (in Bible language the word is “justified”) or we’ll be condemned.
God presides over the judgment
In Daniel 7:9 we learn who presides over the Judgment: “I watched till thrones were put in place,?and the Ancient of Days was seated;?His garment was white as snow,? and the hair of His head was like pure wool.? His throne was a fiery flame, its wheels a burning fire. A fiery stream issued? and came forth from before Him.? A thousand thousands ministered to Him;? Ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him.? The court was seated, and the books were opened.” So God the Father, the Ancient of Days, presides over the Judgment.
Jesus is the judge
John 5:22-23 tell us “For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father.” Romans 14:10 also states “for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.”
But our judge is fully committed to our cause if we have surrendered our lives to Him and He’s truly our Lord and Master in addition to being our Savior. Daniel 7:21 says “the Ancient of Days came, and a judgment was made in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came for the saints to possess the kingdom.”
In Hebrews 4:14-15 we read “Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.” 1 John 2:1 says “We have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” So our advocate in Heaven is sympathetic to our cause, He can relate to us as no one else in Heaven can, because He had the direct experience in the flesh to live on this sinful planet.
The evidence is in the books
What then is the evidence that will be used to justify or to condemn us? Daniel 7:10 tells us that “the books were opened”. There’s a book used to record all of our actions and words and all of the details of our lives, and there’s also a book called “The Lamb’s Book of Life”. Let’s read about these two books in Revelation chapter 20:
“Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.”
Who’s the accuser? Satan of course is the accuser according to Revelation 12:10: “Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, ‘Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.’”
No condemnation to those who are in Christ
But in Romans 8:1 the Bible tells us “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” So if we are in Christ Jesus and walking according to the Spirit we will be justified in this trial. Those who claim to be Christians will be judged first. And yes we are saved by faith in grace and in Jesus’ perfect sacrifice, because no amount of works can gain us salvation. But we will be rewarded based on our works according to Matthew 13:41: “Behold I come quickly and my reward is with me to give every man according as his work shall be.”
The timing of the judgment
We said earlier that Judgment begins in the House of God (1 Peter 4:17). The Bible actually provides firm dates regarding when the first phase of the Judgment begins in Heaven. In Daniel chapter 8 Daniel is given a revelation about the cleansing of the sanctuary: “Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.” This is the 2300-year prophecy and it begins in 457 B.C. with the decree of King Artixerxes’ of Persia to rebuild and restore Jerusalem. The prophecy ends in 1844.
The cleansing of the sanctuary is in fact the beginning of the Pre-Advent Judgment. The Pre-Advent Judgment is the Judgment that takes place before the Second Coming of Christ to determine which are truly God’s people who will rise to meet Jesus in the clouds when He comes again.
The timing of the second phase of the Judgment will not be until the end of the millennium after the Second Coming of Jesus, which is also the Last Day. During one thousand years all the saved in Heaven will be reviewing in detail the lives of the souls who were lost. 1 Corinthians 6:2-3 says “Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? … Know ye not that we shall judge angels?” The outcome of this second phase of the Judgment will be that the righteous will confirm God’s decision about every lost person and agree that God is just.
What you need to take away from all of this is that the day of reckoning will come for each and every one of us. If we’re walking with Jesus and have made Him Lord and Master of our lives He will intercede for us and we will be justified into eternal life. If instead Jesus says of us “Depart from Me you worker of iniquity, I never knew you” we will be forever lost. God loves you very, very much. He gave His Son that you may be saved. The Lord is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
The Judgment is in session right now, and we are in the time of sealing. God’s people are being sealed before the winds of strife are unleashed. Humble yourself before the Lord. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1John 1:9) There is nothing on this earth worth giving up Heaven for.
Myth Number 2: Religious Unity under Rome
There is a dangerous deception fast emerging in the Christian Church: the Catholic Church’s call to unity of all religions under Rome. Pope Francis is moving full steam trying to coalesce not only Christians under the umbrella of Rome, but also Muslims, Jews, and Buddhists. In doing so the Pope is fulfilling Bible prophecy for the endtime.
There are three long passages in the Bible that describe the anti-christ power: Daniel 7, Revelation 13 and Revelation 17. On previous programs we’ve carefully dissected some of these Bible passages to clearly demonstrate that the Roman Catholic Church (which sits on the city of seven hills, Rome) is Mystery Babylon, the harlot church of Revelation 17, and the anti-christ beast of Daniel 7 and Revelation 13. Let’s go point by point and see how this description given in the Bible has been, is being and will be fulfilled until the consummation.
Committed fornication with the kings of the earth:
The harlot church fornicated with world powers and governments instead of staying pure and chaste and seeking only God’s kingdom. Forbes Magazine, the prestigious US business magazine, recently ranked Pope Francis as the 4th. most powerful figure in the world after the Presidents of Russia, the USA, and China.
For the record, the Pope is one of the very few remaining absolute monarchs. He is the absolute ruler of the Holy See, the government of Vatican City.
Made the world drunk with the wine of her fornication:
Mystery Babylon made and continues to make the world drunk with the wine of her deception and false doctrines. In his quest for unity Pope Francis is willing to compromise on sound doctrine, praying to Allah the god of the Muslims, assuring us that all gods are the same, trying to persuade us that we all worship the same god. This is a dangerous deception. All gods are not the same. The God of Israel is the one only true God, the Creator.
Would think to change times and laws:
Part of this deception is how the Catholic Church altered God’s Ten Commandments in order to make concessions to paganism, these concessions included worshipping idols and worshipping on the day of the sun. 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 says referring to the anti-christ “who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” So the beast power changed God’s law in order to welcome the pagans of the Roman Empire into her fold. Today Pope Francis is willing to compromise sound doctrine in order to bring all religions under her umbrella.
Is drunk with the blood of the saints and the martyrs of Jesus:
The harlot church will be given power again to persecute the saints of Jesus as she did during the Dark Ages. During 1260 years of Inquisition many millions of victims suffered atrocious deaths and torture for deviating from the ways of the Catholic Church. And just in case you thought that was only in the past, the Office of the Inquisition was reopened for business in the 1980’s and is now relabeled Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith led by Joseph Ratzinger.
Make no mistake about it: Rome is a persecuting power. Her nature hasn’t changed despite all of the Vatican’s glittery PR. The moment that Rome recovers her position of power she will show her teeth again and persecute the saints of the Most High.
During the Protestant Reformation which started in Europe in the 1400’s millions of God-loving Protestants were persecuted, tortured and murdered for seeking the truth of the Word of God and rejecting Rome’s rituals and dogmas. Many chose death and torture so that we may have the legacy of free access to God’s Word.
And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him
The central issue is worship. God wants our worship and the anti-christ wants our worship. Remember, “he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” (2 Thessalonians 2:4). This means that he sits not in a future third temple that will be rebuilt but sits in the church of God, the temple of God’s Holy Spirit, taking God’s place, claiming to be the “Vicar of Christ”. The Greek particle “anti” doesn’t mean against, it means in place of, a substitute or a replacement for.
Receives a deadly wound but the wound is healed:
“Was, and is not” refers to the deadly wound the harlot church received when its power was taken away from it by the sword, in 1798 when one of Napoleon’s generals invaded Italy and the Vatican and toppled the papal power. But as we’re seeing in our time, the deadly wound is healed. A few months ago Time Magazine named Pope Francis “Person of the Year”. The world is now starting to wonder after the beast.
Pope Francis is a Jesuit:
You need to know that the Jesuit order was tasked with the purpose of destroying Protestantism and their methods are ruthless. Nicolini of Rome wrote in his History of the Jesuits: “The Jesuits, by their very calling, by the very essence of their institution, are bound to seek, by every means, right or wrong, the destruction of Protestantism. This is the condition of their existence, the duty they must fulfill, or cease to be Jesuits.”
The rise of the anti-christ power:
The anti-christ power is rising before our very eyes. Pope Francis is leading a massive charm offensive to bring all religions under his control. He is positioning himself to be the One World Pope i.e. the One World Religious Leader of the New World Order. And all of this is consistent with Bible prophecy. Unfortunately American Protestant leaders and Mormon senators engaging with the Pope are totally naïve and no match for the Vatican’s cunning. They appear to be totally ignorant of history and Bible prophecy. Don’t be fooled by the Pope’s outreach. His hidden agenda is to impose Sunday worship on all.
Enforcement of Sunday worship
Why Sunday worship? Because Sunday is the day of the dragon. Satan is the one receiving worship on the day of the sun. The whole world will wonder after the beast, but don’t you fall for it. The Second Angel’s message starts with “Babylon is fallen, fallen”. The Lord Himself is saying “Come out of her My people that ye be not partakers of her plagues”.
“If any man have an ear, let him hear.” (Revelation 13:3-9)
Myth Number 1: Sunday instead of Saturday as God’s holy day of worship
The Number 1 deception in all the land is the transfer of the day of worship from Saturday to Sunday. This has to be one of history’s greatest cover-up’s: God’s hallowed day of worship which He made into a Commandment was changed. Commandment means that it’s non-negotiable and applies at all times to every human being. The result is that the overwhelming majority of Christians go to church and worship God on Sunday instead of Saturday, which is the day that He instructed us to worship Him.
As we are almost at the end of time, the battle is heating up. Worship is an incredibly strategic issue because both God and Satan want our worship. Remember when Jesus was tempted in the desert, Satan promised Him all the kingdoms and riches and glory of the world if only Jesus would worship him. Ultimately that’s what Satan wants, and he’s willing to lie to us to get it. God on the other hand gave His children very precise instructions about when to worship Him and how to keep that day holy: We read in Exodus 20:
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.”
This is the only one of the Ten Commandments that starts with the word “Remember”. God knew the end from the beginning, and He knew this commandment would be changed. Therefore He made it very clear in His Word that we are to remember this commandment.
There are seven reasons why we should keep the Sabbath:
No. 1: Obedience to God’s Ten Commandments
No. 2: The Sabbath is a day with a special blessing where we have audience with God
No. 3: We worship God the Creator on the Sabbath
No. 4: The Sabbath is the Seal of God
No. 5: The Sabbath is for all people, not only the Jews
No. 6: The Sabbath is a permanent covenant between God and His people
No. 7: We need a day of rest from our labor
God equates love with obedience. 1st John 5:3 tells us “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous”. Jesus said “If you love me, keep My Commandments” (John 14:15). And furthermore in Matthew Chapter 5, Jesus reaffirms His commitment to the law, in case anyone might think it was no longer applicable: “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” (Matthew 5:17-18) So the Ten Commandments are definitely still binding.
The Seventh Day has a special blessing:
God worked 6 days and rested on the seventh day. So it’s not any day that we can substitute for this day, it has to be the seventh day which God is asking us to keep holy. God blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it. No other day of the week has that special blessing and holy character that God gave to the Sabbath.
Sabbath honors the Creator:
The Sabbath was established in commemoration of the act of creation. But there’s a very contemporary aspect to this. When we worship on Sunday we’re not sure who we are worshipping. This is why Revelation 14 reminds us to worship the Creator, and the Creator is worshipped on the Sabbath: “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven … saying with a loud voice … worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” In other words, worship the Creator. To worship the Creator we need to worship Him on the Sabbath.
The Sabbath is the Seal of God:
Exodus 31:17 says, speaking of the Sabbath, “It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.”
This is confirmed in several other scriptures including Ezekiel 20:12: “Moreover also I gave them my Sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them.”
The Sabbath is for all people, not only the Jews:
We already established that all who follow Jesus are Spiritual Jews and therefore need to observe the Sabbath. The Sabbath is not only for the Jewish people or the Jewish nation but all who believe in the God of Israel, the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Sabbath is a perpetual covenant between God and His people:
The Sabbath is not obsolete. God is very clear about the permanence and validity of the Sabbath. Exodus 31:16 says: “Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.”
In fact, because the Sabbath was part of God’s original plan when He created the Earth, Sabbath observance will continue after this earth passes away and God creates the new earth and the new heaven. In Isaiah 66, the Lord is talking about the New Jerusalem. Listen to verses 22 and 23: “For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain. And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord.”
The day of worship is changed:
This change took place back in the Roman Empire. Constantine was emperor of Rome and was challenged with needing to integrate the well-established pagan religions of the Roman Empire with the new Christian religion that arose with such strength. He needed to do this to preserve cultural cohesiveness within the Empire. The young Apostolic Church was rising up as a mighty force across all of the Roman Empire. Constantine needed to do something to stem the tide. So in 321 A.D. Constantine ordained that Sunday become the holy day of worship.
We read in a history book called Paganism in Our Christianity (New York: Putnam’s Sons, 1928):
“The Church made a sacred day of Sunday…largely because it was the weekly festival of the sun; for it was a definite Christian policy to take over the pagan festivals endeared to the people by tradition, and to give them a Christian significance.”
What began as a pagan ordinance ended as a Christian precept.
The Sabbath is the end time obedience test:
From the moment of Creation, God instituted the Sabbath as His holy day of worship. He hallowed it and sanctified it as a memorial of Creation. Satan rose up against that, and has deceived the Christian world into worshipping on the wrong day. In a remarkable phenomenon of mass hypnosis, hundreds of millions of Christians go to church on Sunday. The change from Saturday to Sunday is an act of the Catholic Church and a mark of her ecclesiastical power and authority in religious matters.
But at the end of time God will give mankind an obedience test, in the same way that at the beginning of time He gave Adam and Eve an obedience test. Our test will revolve around worship. The Lord will soon ask us to take a stand to worship Him on Saturday or to worship the beast on Sunday. Sunday worship will become the mark of the beast when it is enforced as a condition to having a job, buying groceries and marketing your services. Those who decide to worship on Sunday will take the mark of the beast, with catastrophic and irreversible consequences.
The warning about the mark of the beast is contained in the Third Angel’s Message. “And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation; (NOTE: without mixture means without mercy – until now God’s judgments have always been tempered with mercy) and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.”
So now you know about the biggest deceptions in the Christian Church today. You have biblical knowledge that will enable you to make right choices in these perilous times. Israel was the vine and the seed of Abraham. But now Jesus is the vine and if we are Christ’s, we are Abraham’s seed. And to Abraham and the seed were God’s promises made. If you stand firm in Jesus until the very end, you will inherit the kingdom and spend the rest of eternity with our Lord Jesus Christ.