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Road to White House goes through Jerusalem

Always interesting to see how our government works. Most already know this but it’s handy to have it spelled out in black and white.

Article originally posted at the Jerusalem Post, by Douglas Bloomfield. (Secondary source)

Question: why would a well known pro-Israel/Christian Zionist website post this? 

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker just returned from one of the rites of passage for presidential hopefuls: a pilgrimage to Israel. He followed a well-worn path that will be trod several times by his rivals who believe the road to the White House goes through Jerusalem.

Ostensibly Walker, a Republican, and the others are honing their foreign policy credentials, and several will make other stops abroad, but that’s not the real reason.

They will boast of meeting foreign leaders and engaging in (superficial) conversations they will later claim gave them great insight into world affairs.

But the real goal is to win the pro-Israel primary by impressing deep-pocketed Jewish donors like casino mogul Sheldon Adelson.

That’s why Walker quickly tweeted his picture shaking hands with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and another taken at the Western Wall. The unstated inscription on the pictures was, “Dear Sheldon, Hey, look at me here with your boy Bibi.”

Walker echoed Netanyahu’s views about Palestinian statehood – maybe some day but not the foreseeable future – and how radical Islamist terror is the greatest threat facing the nation.

Walker’s trip was paid for by his own PAC and by the Adelson-funded Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC), which has been running such trips for years. The group took Texas Governor George W. Bush in 1998, when he got a helicopter tour from Ariel Sharon; Walker also got a chopper tour, with a nephew of Moshe Dayan. Sen. Barack Obama went in 2008 after securing his party’s nomination.

The presidential contender pilgrimages have been going on for months and will continue into next year. Sen.

Marco Rubio (R-Florida) is expected in Israel this summer.

No candidate in either party has been to Israel as often as Mike Huckabee. Other recent visitors include Senators Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham as well as Ben Carson, Bobby Jindal, Rick Perry, Chris Christie and Rick Santorum.

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The Gospel of the Kingdom: FORETOLD BY THE PROPHETS

This has turned out to be a very interesting little book. What has grabbed my interest, besides the obvious fact of it being about the Kingdom of God, is Mauro’s early grasp of how dangerous dispensationalism was, even at the early date in which this was written. He foresaw how, if not stopped, it would end up “Judaizing” the Gospel. He was correct; this is what we have today in the West.

I realize these are just sections of the booklet, portions which have caught my attention. But I hope something within a segment may interest you enough to follow the link and continue reading the entire booklet. Below are a few segments from chapter VIII.

CHAPTER EIGHT

THE KINGDOM FORETOLD BY THE PROPHETS

THE teaching of dispensationalism concerning the Kingdom is apparently founded upon two mistaken ideas; first, that the Kingdom foretold by the prophets of old–especially when the prophecy related to David or his house–was the earthly kingdom of Israel; second, that “the next thing in order” on the Divine program was the national restoration and earthly supremacy for the Jews. These two suppositions being taken for granted, it is easy to assume further that the Kingdom which the Lord said was at hand was the earthly kingdom.

     But in fact both the ideas set forth above are erroneous; for the Scriptures clearly prove that the Kingdom foretold by the prophets was the very same Kingdom of God based upon the death and resurrection of the Son of David, which was brought into the world by the coming of the Holy Spirit, and which has been extended throughout all the nations of earth, and through all the centuries of this era of grace “by those who have preached the gospel with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven.”

And in particular we are able to show that the prophecies which refer to David and his Seed have their fulfilment during this present age. The main facts concerning the Davidic prophecies are:

1. The work which, according to those prophecies, the promised Son of David was to accomplish was the two-fold work of saving sinners from among all nations and building the House of God (the church). Both parts of this two-fold work are presented in the Gospel of Matthew.

2. The “throne” covenanted to David’s Son was the throne of the universe, not the throne of the earthly Israel.

3. The prophecies require for their fulfilment that the promised Son of David should first suffer and die before He could reign, whether in heaven or on earth.

This third point is of special value for our present purposes, in that it makes it quite impossible that the earthly kingdom, even if such a thing were foretold at all, could have been proclaimed, or even contemplated, in the days of the Lord’s earthly ministry. It makes certain that the only kingdom which was, or could have been in view, was the spiritual Kingdom of God which was to be founded upon the death and resurrection of the “Son,” the “Christ” of God, Who also was God’s “King,” spoken of by David in the Second Psalm.

The fact that the expected Son of David must needs have suffered and risen again ere He could reign (whether in heaven or on earth), is clearly set forth by the apostle Peter in Acts 2:25-31; where he quotes Psalm 16 and explains that David was not speaking of himself when he said “Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt Thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption,” but was speaking of Christ. And then he further explains that David “being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, He would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; he seeing this before, spake of the resurrection of Christ.”

This gives us plainly the true meaning of God’s word and His oath to David in regard to the Throne, showing that the promise was to be fulfilled in resurrection.

Clearly then the Davidic promise would lead us to expect, not an earthly kingdom at Christ’s coming, but just what happened, namely His death, resurrection and ascension and His enthronement in heaven at God’s right hand, as foretold in Psalm 110, which Peter proceeds immediately to quote and apply (v. 33).

It is appropriate at this point to remind the reader that the Kingdom of Israel is not the Kingdom of God and was never called by that name. Therefore the very terms of the announcement made by Christ and His forerunner (John the Baptist) are proof to all who know the Scriptures that, whatever it was that God was then about to do, it was not the restoration of the earthly glories of Israel’s vanished sovereignty.

And specially is it to be remembered that the true Israel was never at anytime, in the purpose of God, an earthly nation or Kingdom. This being recognized, it will be clearly perceived without any further help from the Scriptures, that the whole rabbinical doctrine of an earthly Kingdom over which the Messiah, the son of David was to reign and to which all the nations of the world were to be tributory, was from top to bottom a work of their carnal imagination.

Turning back to Numbers 23:9 we read the word which Jehovah put in Balaam’s mouth, that ” the people (of Israel) shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations.” And Moses, speaking to God, had said: “So shall we be separated, I and Thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth” (Ex. 33:16). For God’s purpose was that Israel should “dwell in safetyalone” (Deut. 33:28). And that is still His will for those who are in His Kingdom today (2 Cor. 6:17; Phil. 3:20).

Therefore, pursuant to this purpose, the Lord Himself became their King, and reigned over them, until, as a punishment for their rebellion against Him, He gave them their own desire and made them into an earthly kingdom, with a human king, “like all the nations.” The record of this transcendently important event is in I Samuel, Chapter 8. There we read (v. 4) that:

“All the elders of Israel gathered themselves together and came to Samuel unto Ramah, and said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways; now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.”

This action of the nation by its elders displeased Samuel; but the Lord instructed him to hearken to the voice of the people, and to grant them their petition, in all they had asked; because,–and let the reason be noted and weighed–

“They have not rejected thee, but they have rejected Me, THAT I SHOULD NOT REIGN OVER THEM” (v. 7).

Thus Israel formally rejected the Lord as their King; and this, as He proceeds in the succeeding verses to declare, was the culmination of all their unfaithfulness and apostasy from the day He had brought them up out of Egypt even unto that day.

The earthly Kingdom of Israel, therefore, was the expression of God’s high displeasure with that people. As He said to them long afterward, “1 gave thee a king in Mine anger” (Hos. 13:11). And yet this is the Kingdom for whose restoration the rabbis of old were fatuously looking; and which they were so confidently expecting that they made it the foundation of their whole system of doctrine. Is there then anything stranger among the religious vagaries of our times than that the very same fatuous notion should have become the foundation of a strictly novel system of Christian doctrine? And does it not heighten the wonder that the leading teachers of that new system, with its foundation of sand, should be prominent amongst those who have elected to call themselves, Fundamentalists?

It was, of course, to be expected that the Jews of Christ’s day should have seen in the prophecies only what they wished to see–that is to say, the era of Israel’s earthly greatness. It is quite natural that they should have construed the prophecies in accordance with their own carnal desires and thoughts. And we have it on the highest authority that it was because they knew not their expected Messiah, when He came to them, “nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every Sabbath day, that they have fulfilled them in condemning Him” (Acts 13:27). Therefore it is not surprising that the coming of Christ should have meant for them nothing more or other than political deliverance from their Roman oppressors. But it is a cause for surprise, and for deep sorrow as well, that learned commentators in our day, men whose views are widely accepted as authoritative, should make the same fatal mistake. And the marvel of it is the greater because the New Testament Scriptures have made it plain to all Christians that the Kingdom foretold by the prophets of Israel and announced by Christ and His servants, is of a spiritual character–“not eating and drinking,” as the earthly minded Jews supposed (and still do), “but righteousness, and peace and joy, in the Holy Ghost” (Rom. 14:17).

The two disciples with whom the Lord walked on the way to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-27), and who were disappointed and grieved because they had hoped that it had been He who should have redeemed Israel, were rebuked by Him as “Fools (or senseless ones) and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken.” And thereupon, “beginning at Moses and all the PROPHETS” He proceeded to show them that the entire prophetic word made it necessary that He Who was “the Christ” should suffer those very things and enter into His glory.

Very likely we have felt pity for those foolish disciples, who ignorantly cherished an idea so contrary to the purposes of God as revealed by all His holy prophets since the world began. Yet surely much allowance is to be made for them, seeing that they were Israelites in the flesh, that they were actually under the heel of a despotic heathen power; and especially, seeing that their accredited teachers unanimously construed the prophecies in that sense. But how can we account for the fact that, in spite of the expositions of prophecy by the Lord Himself and by His inspired apostles which dispel completely the thought that the Lord’s first coming had anything whatever to do with the national independence of Israel, learned men of our day have revived that exceedingly “Jewish” idea, and have made it the corner stone of their system of teaching? A discerning servant of Christ has lately said that we have here the most extraordinary phenomenon to be found within the pale of orthodox christianity.

In the present chapter I propose to examine some of the prophecies which refer specifically to David, the object being to ascertain just what was promised in that connection. It is often taken for granted nowadays that, where David’s name is mentioned in a prophecy, the subject thereof is the earthly greatness of the nation Israel. In fact that idea has so completely taken possession of the minds of certain teachers that the very mention of David’s name in a passage of Scripture (as Matthew 1:1) is regarded as sufficient warrant for calling it “Jewish.” But the truth of the matter is that the prophecies linked with the name and history of David have to do specially with the gospel, and with the House of God, that is to say the Church.

What those prophecies really called for was the coming, through David’s line, of One Who should be the Saviour of the world. The gospel of God concerning His Son “which He had promised afore by His prophets” was connected with David as much as, and as closely as, with Abraham. Paul makes this very clear in the beginning of his inspired explanation of the gospel given in his Epistle to the Romans, where he says that “the gospel of God” was “concerning His Son” who was “of the seed of David according to the flesh” (Rom. 1:1-3). And the same apostle recalls this fundamental point of gospel-truth very emphatically in his last message in which he says: “Remember Jesus Christ of the seed of David raised from the dead according to my gospel” (2 Tim. 2:8, R.V.).

It is greatly to be regretted that David’s connection with the gospel has been almost wholly lost sight of in our day; for the facts in that regard are necessary to an understanding of the breadth and fulness of the gospel-message. However, it is not a difficult matter for any who are interested to possess themselves of those facts. We have endeavored to set them forth in some detail in a work entitled “Bringing Back the King,” in the section entitled “The Sure Mercies of David.” Hence we will confine ourselves at present to the consideration of only a few prominent points.

The main fact to be grasped is that the special promises of God which He is fulfilling in our day of grace and salvation, were given and covenanted to the two men, Abraham and David. Thus the gospel rests upon these two pedestals; and the promises to David (or concerning David’s Seed) were just as much for all mankind as were the promises to Abraham and his “SEED.” God made His “everlasting covenant” with Abraham (Gen. 17-7), and also with David (2 Sam. 23:5). It was the same covenant; and it was to be established by the death and resurrection of the promised “Seed”; for we read in Hebrews 13:20 of “the blood of the everlasting covenant,” which was shed by Jesus Christ. Moreover, our Lord Himself, in instituting His memorial Supper, said of the cup, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood which is shed for you” (Lu. 22:20).

We might concisely summarize the Gospel of God’s grace as that Divine message which brings to sinners of all nations “The blessing of Abraham” and “The sure mercies of David”; and since the “blessing” and the “mercies” are all secured through Jesus Christ, it is evident that Matthew 1:1 is the opening of this era of grace.

The “everlasting covenant” which God made with those two men was an unconditional covenant, that is to say a covenant of grace. Since God alone was bound by it, there could be no failure in it. That covenant had to do with matters which are infinitely great and of everlasting duration, namely, the Family, the Inheritance, the Blessing, (i.e. the Holy Spirit, Gal. 3:14), the Throne, and the House.Of these five infinitely great things the first three were embraced in God’s promises to Abraham, and the last two in His promises to David.1 With these simple facts in mind we will be able to arrive at a clear understanding of the main features of the Davidic prophecies.

All the five great things mentioned above are embraced in the “Salvation of God,” which is now proclaimed by the Gospel to sinners of all nations, in the Name of “Jesus Christ of the Seed of Davidraised from the dead.” All of them depend absolutely upon the blood of Jesus Christ the Lamb of God, apart from which there could have been no blessing of any sort whether for Jew or Gentile. Apart from the blood of atonement there was nothing for mankind but condemnation; for at the time of Christ’s first coming “all the world” had become “guilty before God.” It is simply an impossibility that an earthly kingdom could have been announced by God’s servants at that time, if ever.

God’s gospel is, as we have seen, that “which He had promised afore by His PROPHETS”; and therefore we must turn back to the prophets to find out just what the gospel-promises were and are. It is a greatly impoverished gospel when the promises concerning David’s Seed are taken from it, are characterized as “Jewish,” and are “postponed” to another age than this, and to another people than the redeemed of this age. And that is exactly what is being done under our very eyes. Let us therefore awake out of sleep, and realize what is going on.

Paul puts the matter very clearly also in his words recorded in Acts 13:22, 23, where, speaking in a Jewish synagogue concerning the people of Israel, he recalled that God, after removing Saul from the throne, had “raised up unto them David to be their king”; and he said: “Of this man’s seed hath God, according to His promise, raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus.” It was therefore, a Saviour that God had promised to Israel through David’s line; for it was a Saviour that Israel needed as much as other peoples of the world. The restoration of the earthly kingdom would not have met their need; much less would it have met the need of the world. That, however, was not in view at all. For “when the fulness of the time was come” and “God sent forth His Son” it was “to redeem them that were under the law” (Gal. 4:4, 5), not to restore their earthly greatness. And likewise, when Christ Jesus proclaimed with His own lips, “The time is fulfilled, Repent ye and believe the gospel” (Mk. 1:15), it was of “the Kingdom of God” He was speaking, and not of the earthly kingdom and He called it “the gospel.”

The apostle Paul in the discourse from which we have just quoted showed that the “Saviour” Whom God had raised up to Israel from the Seed of David was not for Israel only, but for “all who believe in Him”; and this is in exact agreement with the proclamation made by the angel of the Lord to the shepherds who were watching their flocks by night at the time of the Lord’s birth. The angel’s words were “Fear not: for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”

It is strange that this proclamation from heaven, which gives the Lord’s full designation “Christ the Lord,” and His birth “in the city of David,” and the purpose of His coming, as “Saviour” for “all people,” has been so completely ignored in the discussion of the matter in hand; for its decisive bearing thereon is evident. Much is made of the fact that the heathen Magi, who saw the star in the East, came with the query: “Where is he that is born King of the Jews?” (Mat. 2:2). That question of the Magi is often referred to as if it proved that Christ had come in connection with the earthly kingdom. It ought not to be necessary to say that the question asked by those Magi proves nothing of the sort. Coming from the East where the memory of Daniel’s and Ezekiel’s prophecies was doubtless preserved, and possibly Balaam’s also (Num. 24:17), they probably had received light in regard thereto. Moreover, the Lord was and is “the King of the Jews”; so that the question of the Magi was an intelligent one. It does not indicate at all that they were expecting the national emancipation of the Jews; for that would have had no special interest for them. The more reasonable explanation of their interest in the birth of Christ, and of the trouble they took to pay homage and “offer gifts” to Him (Psa. 72:10), was that it had been in some way revealed to them that the One who was born “King of the Jews” was to bring blessing also to the Gentiles. Therefore the coming of the Magi “to worship” Christ indicates an event of far greater importance than the birth of an heir to the throne of David. It is recorded that the Magi were “warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod,” from which it appears that they were being divinely guided in their mission.

It is clear, therefore, that the bearing of this incident is not at all what the advocates of the postponement theory make of it.

But the message of the angel to the shepherds at Bethlehem was an authoritative announcement direct from heaven; and it was given in plain words that leave nothing to conjecture. It tells the precise purpose for which Christ had been born; and its terms shut out all possibility that an earthly kingdom was in view. Indeed the purpose for which God sent forth His Son has been repeatedly declared in messages straight from heaven, through angels and men, as Zacharias and Simeon, and later by the inspired apostles, as well as by the Lord Himself. In not one of these declarations concerning the object of His coming is there the slightest hint of an earthly kingdom; but on the contrary they one and all reveal purposes utterly inconsistent with it. Nevertheless, in the interest of dispensationalism all these clear declarations are swept aside, while other passages of Scripture are forced and wrested in order to make them yield to it a semblance of support.

It is a significant fact that while the message brought by the angel Gabriel to Zacharias, who was to be the father of the Lord’s forerunner, was the first communication from heaven to earth after the stream of Old Testament prophecy had ended in Malachi, the first human lips that were opened to prophesy the beginning of the new and long awaited era of blessing were those of the women Elizabeth and Mary (Luke 1:41-55). The words uttered by the latter tell clearly that the new era then about to begin was to be–not that of any earthly kingdom whatever, but–that of “the mercy” promised to the fathers, “to Abraham and his seed forever.” And it was subsequently revealed through Paul that the “seed of Abraham” who were to inherit the promises are those who believe the gospel. For we read: “Know ye, therefore, that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham” (Gal. 3:7). And again: “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Jesus Christ. . . . And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Id. 3:26, 29).

In view, therefore of what has been said above I may briefly summarize the various predictions concerning the Seed of David by saying that what God promised to give through David’s line was not an earthly King for the Jews, but a Saviour for all the world.

Matthew records in his first chapter that He Who was born of the virgin of David’s line was a Saviour, and was named “Jehovah-Saviour” before His birth (Matt. 1:21). Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, prophesied of the Coming One as being a Saviour, saying that God had raised up an horn of Salvation in the house of His servant David; and further said that this raising up a Saviour in the house of David was in fulfilment of what God had spoken “by the mouth of His holy prophets . . . since the world began” (Lu. 1:68-70). Thus we learn (and many other Scriptures declare the same fact) that what was required for the fulfilment of that which all the prophets foretold was the coming in the house of David–not of an earthly king, but of–a Saviour.

Zacharias further prophesied concerning the ministry of John the Baptist that he was to go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways–not to give notice of an earthly kingdom but–“to give knowledge of salvation unto His people by the remission of their sins” (Lu. 1:77).

The angel of the Lord, in announcing the birth of Jesus to the shepherds on Bethlehem’s plain, spake not a word of His having come to reign over Israel, but proclaimed good tidings of great joy for all people; saying: “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour which is Christ, the Lord” (Lu. 2:10, 11). Here again, in a message brought straight from heaven, the promised One of David’s line is announced as a Saviour for all men! Not an earthly King for the Jews.

Simeon also, being filled with the Holy Ghost, and led by the Holy Ghost to the temple, took the infant Son of David from His virgin mother’s arms and spake of Him as God’s “Salvation” which He had “prepared before the face of all people”; and as “a Light to lighten the Gentiles” (Lu. 2:30-32). Thus the inspired messages through men and angels all testify clearly that the One Who had come of David’s line was the Saviour and Light of the world.

In due time “the word of God came to John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness,” and he preached to all the people of Israel. His message was in perfect accord with the word of all the PROPHETS; for he announced the coming of a Saviour Who should give His life for all men–“the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world”–and declared that “all flesh” (Jew and Gentile) should “see the Salvation of God” (John 1:29; Lu. 3:6).

We have also the testimony of the Lord Himself, the true and faithful Witness, declaring that He came not to be ministered unto” (that is to be served as kings are served) “but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:28). We have this same testimony from His own lips in many other passages (as Luke 4:18-21). And we have also the “good confession” which He witnessed before Pontius Pilate when falsely accused before him of attempting to set up an earthly throne, saying: “My Kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36; cf. Luke 4:5).

The apostles likewise, after the death and resurrection of Christ and their baptism with the Holy Ghost as promised by John the Baptist, proclaimed the same tidings of a Saviour for all men, Who had been raised up in the house of David. Thus Peter preached concerning David that he “being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, He would raise up Christ to sit on His throne; he (David) seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ”; and Peter continues the explanation of the prophecies concerning Christ, making it clear that the throne which He was to occupy in resurrection, according to God’s oath to David, was the throne of God in heaven (Acts 2:29-36).

And again Peter preached concerning Christ, saying: “Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins” (Acts 5:31).

Paul also connects God’s salvation for all men with David, saying, “Of this man’s seed hath God, according to His promise, raised unto Israel a Saviour” (Acts 13:22, 23). And in his epistle to the Romans, the same apostle unfolds “the gospel of God; which He had promised afore by His prophets in the Holy Scriptures,” telling us that the promised gospel of God was “concerning His Son, which was made of the seed of David, according to the flesh” (Rom. 1:1-3). And the last words of this great preacher and apostle of the Gentiles in regard to the gospel proclaimed by himself, is a stirring exhortation to “Remember Jesus Christ of the seed of David, raised from the dead according to my gospel” (2 Tim. 2:8, R.V.).

Thus we have the concurrent testimony of PROPHETS, angels, Spirit-filled men (Zacharias and Simeon), the Lord’s forerunner who also was filled with the Holy Ghost from his mother’s womb (Lu. 1:15), of the Lord Jesus Himself, and of the inspired apostles,–all declaring with one voice that God’s promise and purpose from of old, was to raise up of the seed of David One Who should save His people by the sacrifice of Himself, and should be straightway exalted to the heavenly throne of a heavenly kingdom. The whole voice of Scripture,–both in the Law, the PROPHETS, the Psalms, the Gospels, the preaching of the apostles in the book of Acts, and their teaching in the Epistles,–tells the same clear story of the steadfast purpose of God. In the light of these Scriptures, and of many others of like nature, it is as clear as that divine light can make it, that the Kingdom, promised afore by the prophets to the Son of David, was and is that spiritual and heavenly Kingdom which that (the) promised Son of David first announced, and then introduced by His death and resurrection, by sending down the Holy Ghost after He had been exalted to the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, and by sending forth the gospel into all the world.

NOTES

1. See “Our Liberty in Christ: A Study in Galatians” by P. Mauro, chapter on ‘The Everlasting Covenant.”

VIII – THE KINGDOM FORETOLD BY THE PROPHETS

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Bill Johnson and Prophetic “Vibrating Tuning Forks”

Its astounding just how bizarre these teachers are becoming. While I don’t believe any of this will surprise those who have been following the career of Bill Johnson and his ministry, it is interesting to see just how far their new age antics are being carried.

This was emailed out by Andrew Strom today.

SECOND WARNING – BILL JOHNSON and BETHEL CHURCH

A couple of years ago we sent out a Warning itemizing a number of facts about Bill Johnson’s ministry and Bethel church in Redding. Numerous witnesses and videos from Bethel show that this church is spreading an “anointing” very similar to Todd Bentley – ie. spiritual ‘drunkenness’, jerking, hysterical laughter, “angel orbs”, ‘fire tunnels’, spirit travel, mystical “portals”, etc. Plus constant talk in their ministry school of bizarre angel encounters and trips to the ‘third heaven.’ All of it has an extremely ‘New Age’ feel. And it is still going on today. (But even worse – as we shall see).

Bill Johnson strongly defended Todd Bentley – even after his divorce and remarriage. No wonder, for the ‘anointing’ that both men carry seems almost identical (though their “style” is very different). These facts are beyond dispute and have been confirmed by many witnesses.

But whenever I say such things about Bill Johnson, people rush to defend him, saying what a ‘great guy’ he is, and what a great ministry he has. And yes – he is a very charming man who does say good things. If he didn’t, he wouldn’t be so dangerous. Deception always wraps itself in the best “sheep’s wool” it can find. Otherwise it would have no chance of deceiving the sheep! Why do you think the Bible warns of “SEDUCING” spirits in the Last Days – and ‘LYING’ signs and wonders? If the deception was not so ‘seductive’ then nobody would fall for it. And this stuff is very seductive indeed.

THINGS Get WORSE

Several years ago the Bethel crowd put out a book which we only found out about recently. It was co-authored by Bill Johnson’s administrative assistant Judy Franklin with a foreword by Bethel pastor Kris Vallotton. Bill Johnson wrote two of the chapters and his wife Beni wrote another. In other words, it has Bethel’s stamp all over it. (It is still sold on the Bethel website).

So what is this book about? Here is what the blurb says-

“Exploring the mysteries of God in sound, light, vibrations, frequencies, energy, and quantum physics.”

Does that sound ‘New Age’ to you? Yes – and it gets even worse. Please remember that this book has Bill Johnson’s name on it – and Bethel’s strong endorsement and participation.

When you open the book you find chapter headings like this-

“Vibrating in Harmony with God”, ‘Good Vibrations’, ‘Quantum Mysticism’ and “The God Vibration”.

And some of the sub-headings are even more astounding:

“Dolphins and Healing Energy,” ‘The Power of Color’, “Human Body Frequencies,” etc.

You might ask, What kind of ‘Christian’ book is this? And the answer is that it is Bethel and Bill Johnson’s kind of Christian
book. It literally has Bill’s name on it. This is a peek into the real Bethel behind the scenes. When you look at this publication,
suddenly you understand why we see all these weird videos and testimonies from Bethel of strange ‘New Age’ terminology and bizarre spiritual practices. Now we know why. We have the evidence in black and white.

We have shown the contents of this book to leaders and people that have been fans and supporters of Bill Johnson. They have verified the source of it. And just reading this content has turned most of them from being a supporter of Bethel into an opponent in a matter of a few hours. It really is that bad. So openly ‘New Age’ you could hardly believe it.

With all this talk of “vibrations” in the book, perhaps we can now better understand why Bill Johnson’s wife Beni wrote in her blog:

“I was talking with Ray Hughes the other day and was telling him about using a 528 HZ tuning fork as a prophetic act. Someone told me that this tuning fork is called the tuning fork of LOVE… the sound of this fork brings healing.” (*Please note that crystals and tuning forks are used in NEW AGE therapy – not Christianity.

And by the way, Beni Johnson for years has been CO-PASTOR of Bethel alongside her husband Bill).

This might also help explain why Beni Johnson recently released a photo of herself “soaking” (lying down) on the grave of a dead Christian leader – and why Bethel students also put out photos of themselves “grave sucking” (as it is called) – trying to “soak up” the anointing from the graves of dead preachers. I am not exaggerating. They actually do this. I hope you can see how dangerous and unbiblical it all is. Somebody needs to confront Bill Johnson about it. That is why I am including a whole new section of these disturbing facts in the 2015 edition of my book ‘Kundalini Warning.’ And it is also why I am writing this article.

When Nadab and Abihu offered “strange fire” before the Lord in the Old Testament, they were consumed by God and died. (Lev 10:1-2). ‘Strange fire’ is still deadly today. The body of Christ needs to be warned.

As one of the graduates of the Bethel ministry school (BSSM) wrote to me:

“There would be all kinds of distracting behavior (random shouting, laughing, etc.) during school sessions and church services. When any guest speaker came to school, students would flock to the front to get as close to the speaker as possible. We were taught that any anointing we wanted could be received by simply “claiming it” for ourselves… The drunken behavior and questionable teachings from some, if not all, of these speakers was shocking at times… I would always hear people talking about their encounters with angels and how they visited heaven. One young woman I knew said she could see angels everywhere, she talked to them all the time, and she would help her friends to do the same.”

In summary, this is a very dangerous movement and the warning needs to be sounded as far and wide as possible.

PLEASE FORWARD this email to your friends. Feedback should be sent to – prophetic@revivalschool.com OR post a comment on our website – http://www.revivalschool.com

God bless you all,

Andrew Strom.

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Academics call on State Dept to revise its definition of anti-Semitism, respect criticism of Israel as protected speech

Its about time. This has gotten so out of hand it has become ridiculous. The term itself, anti-semitism, has lost all meaning. If someone questioned you as to the meaning of the term, what would be your answer?

From Mondoweiss

May 18, 2015–An open letter signed by over 250 members of the Jewish Voice for Peace Academic Advisory Council asks the U.S. State Department to revise its definition of anti-Semitism in order to prevent the charge of anti-Semitism from being misused to silence critics of Israel.

In light of recent high-profile stories that have conflated the debates over Israel politics on campus with reports of rising anti-Semitism, the letter asserts the crucial need to distinguish criticism of the state of Israel from real anti-Semitism.

Read the letter which was sent here

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Church-Goers Losing Interest in Partisan Religion

Excellent message by Buff Scott Jr. at Apostasy Watch.

If you’re a News addict, as I am, you have heard the report that a large number of church-goers and religious zealots have “given up the ship” and are no longer supporting and promoting partisan religion. Catholicism is losing more ground than her counterpart, Protestantism, as per the report.
The report indicates that many past believers no longer show interest in Christianity, and that churches across the country are feeling the pinch monetarily and in attendance.
Well, I’ve got news for those News reporters and Networks. In general, believers are not surrendering their allegiance to the God of creation or to the Son of God. Nor are they losing their faith. They have begun to think independently and are surrendering their allegiance to the Religious Establishment or Organized Church.
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Are You Prepared?

From Herescope

Reading and watching the video embedded within this article is a wake-up call to the Church in the West. It also bears witness to the ridiculous “non gospel” we dare call The Gospel which is taught and preached in America.  

quote:

While reviewing church history recently I was reminded of some of the things we should learn from history. But before I share those with you, I want to remind you that what normally passes for church history is the history of the apostate church (lower case “c”). The history of the true Church is not normally taught in Bible schools and seminaries except for a passing mention to the little groups of true believers that were a thorn in the side of the institutional churches.

The following are the central truths we learn from Church history:

  • Even in the darkest hours of the last 2000 years there have always been true believers and true Churches in this world.
  • The real Church has always been small in numbers and poor in political power, finances and popularity.
  • True churches and believers have always been persecuted.

It is on this third point I want to dwell. Persecution has come from many different sources, even though the ultimate origin is Satan and his forces.

The Jews, initially under the leadership of Saul of Tarsus, persecuted and killed believers beginning with Stephen. Of course Jesus was the first “Christian martyr,” and before the New Testament era many prophets were also brutally killed by Israel because of their message.

The Roman government persecuted and brutally martyred Christian believers for almost 300 years until Constantine in 312 AD.

Immediately after 312 the Roman church took over from the Roman government and began to persecute believers who did not submit to their authority. Persecution under the Church of Rome continued for the next 1700 years right up to the present, reaching its peak during the Inquisition (c. 1200 to c. 1600). It is very difficult to find an accurate estimate of the numbers of people killed by the Roman church, but the best studies indicate a number of around 80 million Christians, in addition to witches and others, killed by Rome![1]

Even while Rome was killing Protestants, the Reformation leaders were torturing and killing Anabaptists and other believers who disagreed with them. Just one of many to die at the hand of the Reformers was Michael Sattler, a true believer. “He was shamefully mutilated in different parts of the town, then brought to the gate, and what remained of him thrown on the fire, His wife and some other Christian women were drowned, and a number of brethren who were with him in prison were beheaded.”[2] Most of the Protestant leaders, including Luther and Zwingli, engaged in the most severe and cruel torture and murder of anyone who disagreed with them. But the most vicious of all was Calvin. In Geneva, Switzerland, he institutionalized torture and death as a legitimate means to change people’s views and purge the “church” of dissenters.

There have been massive persecutions of Christians all across the world, many still ongoing, by Muslims, Chinese governments, Communists, and all sorts of other unbelievers. Just recently I was shocked to hear that a friend and former colleague, as well as two women, were brutally killed and mutilated by Satanists in South Africa, making them (as far as I know) the first martyrs to die for the faith in South Africa. It is estimated that today[3] more Christians in the world are being persecuted than are free to worship the true God. A comprehensive Pew Forum study found that Christians are persecuted in 131 countries containing 70 percent of the world’s population. Other studies indicate that between 100,000 and 200,000 Christians are being martyred for their faith every year,[4] and that around 200 million Christians are denied fundamental human rights because of their faith. (See: Video: Islamic state threat: ‘A Message Signed with Blood to the Nation of the Cross’)

All this should not come as a surprise since the New Testament is replete with statements that persecution would be the norm for Christians. In Jesus’ first mention about the Church He spoke of the war that would be brought against His Church: “…[O]n this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it”(Matthew 16:18). Paul said: “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12). And Peter said “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you” (1 Peter 4:12).

In spite of the evidence of history, and the plain teaching of the Bible, the vast majority of Christians in the so-called “Free World” still believe that it is the right of Christians to be popular, fairly treated and respected, and that a “happy” life should be the norm for believers.

As I have been reminded how most true Christians have been mistreated, and how they lived as vagabonds and fugitives throughout the last two millennia, I began to think about my own life and how easily I complain about the relatively minor inconveniences and rejection I experience because of the Gospel. I feel ashamed that I dare complain when thousands, right now, are experiencing the most extreme physical pain, emotional anguish, and death for the sake of the Gospel of Salvation. Who am I to grumble when I am free to come and go, live in relative comfort, and enjoy the company of my wife, while others are in prison, being tortured and killed?

But I also thought about how easily many stay away from the gathering of believers because it is too hot, too cold, or they are too tired because of watching TV or partying too late on Saturday night. I struggle to reconcile this picture with the one of men and women being torn apart by dogs, their limbs pulled from their bodies on the rack, and the smell of burning human flesh on the fires of the persecutors. I struggle to understand how some are unwilling to give up their sinful pleasures when millions have to give up their very lives.

I struggle to understand how the pleasure-centered and self-centered “Christian” of the West can claim to share a common faith with the martyrs. I struggle to understand how preachers who preach a gospel of happiness, prosperity and popularity believe that their message is the same message that was preached by the faithful minority of the last 2000 years – believers who, like the prophets of old, “…had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented – of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth” (Hebrews 11:36-38).

Can the faith that results in persecution, torture, and death be the same faith that promises carnal happiness, a new Mercedes and popularity? Can the faith that pursues pleasure, comfort and earthly happiness be the same faith that counts it a privilege to suffer for His name?

Will the hedonist[5] and the martyr share the same heaven?

Endnotes:
1. David A Plaisted. Estimates of the Number Killed by the Papacy in the Middle Ages and Later. 2006.
2. E. H. Broadbent. The Pilgrim Church. Gospel Folio Press. Grand Rapids, MI. 1999. p182.
3. October 2012
4. David B. Barrett, Todd M. Johnson, and Peter F. Crossing in their 2009 report in theInternational Bulletin of Missionary Research (Vol. 33, No. 1: 32) say the figure is about 200,000 per year and rising.
5. Hedonist = a person whose life is devoted to the pursuit of pleasure and self-gratification.

*Adapted from Pastor Anton Bosch’s article titled “Hedonists and Martyrs,” originally published in the Discernment Newsletter, Nov.-Dec 2012:http://www.discernment-ministries.org/Newsletters/NL2012NovDec.pdf. This article will be included in a forthcoming book of devotionals by Pastor Bosch. Stay tuned to Herescope for details.

BE PREPARED! For additional encouragement, see our article series from January 2010, “Preparations for Sufferings,” where we reviewed John Flavel’s dissertation titled “Preparations for Suffering, or The Best Work in the Worst Times” (Volume 6), pages 3-83, found in the Works of John Flavel, Banner of Truth Trust (1820, 1968), ISBN 0-85151-060-4.

Part 1: Preparations for Sufferings
Part 2: Are You Prepared?
Part 3: Unanticipated Benefits of Sufferings
Part 4: Prodigious Sottishness
Part 5: Why God Warns
Part 6: Rest in the Day of Evil
Part 7: People-Lovers or God-Pleasers?
Part 8: The Necessity of Foresight
Part 9: The 6 Habits of Readiness
Part 10: Fool’s Gold & Fairweather Faith
Part 11: Sufficient Grace
Part 12: Faith Enough

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The Gospel of the Kingdom: THE BEGINNING OF THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST

A few points from chapter four of Mauro’s book, The Gospel of the Kingdom:

CHAPTER FOUR

THE BEGINNING OF THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST, THE SON OF GOD

THE words of our chapter heading are the first words of the Gospel by Mark. They are enlightening words; and indeed they are quite sufficient in themselves to answer a question that confronts us at this point: When did the Gospel era begin? It is exceedingly important that we should have the right answer to that question; and we know where to seek it.

We have seen that the Bible distinguishes two great eras, and those two eras are closely related, the one to the other, though there are marked differences between them; the first being variously designated as, “the old covenant,” “the law and the prophets,” or simply “the law”; and the second being variously designated as, “the new covenant,” “the kingdom of God,” or simply “the gospel.” Our Scripture tells us we are now at the “beginning” of something; and that that something is “the gospel of Jesus Christ.” Could we have a plainer answer to our question?

And the passage goes on to tell what it was that marked “the beginning of the gospel”; and further to declare that the event that marked it was something that had been foretold in the Scriptures. For we read: “As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before Thy face, which shall prepare Thy way before Thee. The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make His paths straight.” The reference is to Isaiah 40:3; and the prophecy was fulfilled, as this first chapter of Mark’s Gospel declares, in the preaching and ministry of John the Baptist.

This was the very “beginning,” the very first event of that long expected era. “THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST, THE SON OF GOD.” But John’s ministry (John the Baptist) was of short duration; for the enmity of the Jews was speedily aroused, because of the contradiction between his preaching and their expectations; and he was cast into prison. And then happened another event of transcendent interest; for the public ministry of Christ Himself (whose “way” John had been sent to “prepare”) forthwith began. For it is written:

Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the Kingdom of God, and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel” (vv. 14, 15).

These words make it evident that “the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God,” and “the gospel of the Kingdom of God” are one and the same. Moreover, the words, “The time is fulfilled” manifestly point to something of exceptional importance whereof promises had been given by the prophets. They refer, of course, to that promised era of victory over sin, that era of the bruising of the serpent’s head, of the salvation of God for all men through the coming of the promised Deliverer, the era of the everlasting covenant and the sure mercies of David; in a word, they referred to the appointed time for the fulfilment of all the glorious things that God had spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began. “The time” for the thing for which all believing hearts had looked and longed, was “fulfilled.” So said Christ; and He also exhorted those who heard the announcement, to repent, and believe the gospel.” Note that the proclamation that the time was fulfilled He calls “the gospel.”

But, in direct contradiction to these statements (which are as plain as is possible for anyone to make) the “Scofield Bible” asserts that the dispensation of the law, with its “pitiless severity” and all the appalling characteristics of condemnation, death and the curse which that publication attributes to it, continued until the crucifixion of Christ; and it further asserts that “the Kingdom of God” (which that dispensational authority takes to mean the earthly kingdom of Jewish expectancy) was not “at hand,” but was in the far distant future.

Here then we have a very serious situation. For if this era of John the Baptist were not “the beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God,” then the plainest of plain Bible words, which have been understood for nineteen centuries in accordance with their apparent sense, have a meaning altogether different to what has always been supposed. And if the Kingdom our Lord said was then “at hand,” was not at hand at all, but far away, He certainly caused those who heard Him believingly and all who have listened to His words for nearly two thousand years, to believe what was not true.

We take up first the question:

What Kingdom was it that Christ said was at hand?

In considering this question let it be noted that there was a “Kingdom of God” then at hand; for Christ’s servants shortly thereafter began to preach it as a present reality (Acts 8:12; 14:22; 20:25, etc.); and moreover, the apostle Paul, in his great Gospel letter, gave a definition of it (Rom. 14:17). Are there then two different Kingdoms of God; one of which was at hand, and one afar off in the future? Is God the author of confusion? And if there were two Kingdoms of God, one then close by and the other afar off, is it conceivable that the Kingdom of God which Christ said was then “at hand” was the one that was actually in the remote future?

How is it possible, I ask, for any who undertake to explain the Scriptures to arrive at the conclusion that the “Kingdom of God” which actually was “at hand,” is not the “Kingdom of God” which the Lordsaid to be “at hand”; or, (to state it the other way) that the “Kingdom of God” which the Lord publicly declared at hand, proved to be not at hand at all; whereas, marvelous to relate! another “Kingdom of God” whereof He made no mention, was at hand?

I have carefully examined the notes of the “Scofield Bible” in quest of the explanation of this. I find on one hand that no Scripture is cited to support the editor’s view; for there is not one word in the Bible to the effect that the Kingdom announced by the Lord has been “postponed” or is “in abeyance.” The Lord’s own statement, from first to last, never modified, but proclaimed with ever increasing emphasis, was that the Kingdom was “at hand.”

But the teaching of the Scofield Bible as to the Kingdom of God is founded nevertheless upon the baseless assumption that the prophets of Israel, in predicting the coming of the Messiah and of an era of blessing, salvation and victory for His people, were foretelling the restoration of the earthly greatness of the natural Israel. Therefore the editor of the Scofield Bible, having committed himself thoroughly to this startlingly novel idea, and having lost sight of the many interpretations of those prophecies in the New Testament which show that they referred (in figurative language) to Redemption and to the Spiritual Kingdom based thereon, has attempted in his notes to make the New Testament agree with his mistaken theory.

But the attempt is an impossibility. In fact the editor himself abandons it completely after carrying it partly through the Gospel of Matthew. Anyone can see this for himself who will take a little pains to examine the matter. For we have to begin with the bold but unfounded assumption that the words “Kingdom of God” and “Kingdom of heaven” on our Lord’s lips meant the earthly kingdom of Israel. Then we have the equally bold and equally unfounded assumption that the supposed “offer” of the earthly kingdom to the Jews of Christ’s day was rejected by them, and that, as the result of such supposed rejection, it was withdrawn and postponed; though there is no trace whatever in the inspired records of any such offer, or rejection, or withdrawal, or postponement; and though there is no hint that God’s purpose to introduce the Kingdom which He had announced (and announced without any qualification whatever) was, or could have been, defeated or postponed by the action of the Jews of Christ’s day.

In the “notes,” the alleged rejection is located at Matthew 11:20, as appears by the following statement:

“The Kingdom of heaven announced as ‘at hand’ by John the Baptist, by the King Himself, and by the twelve, and attested by mighty works, has been morally rejected.”

Then the Lord’s words recorded in Matthew 11:28, 29, are called by the editor, “The new message of Jesus–not the kingdom but rest and service”; and this, we are told, is “the pivotal point in the ministry of Jesus,”–that is to say the point at which He abandoned His message about the Kingdom’s being at hand, and began to substitute a message of entirely different character!

I earnestly protest that these statements are wholly erroneous, and confidently maintain that the Lord had but one message, which was the gospel of God, and that the Kingdom which He preached while on earth and introduced when He sent the Holy Ghost from heaven, is the very “rest and service” which He offered and still offers to all the weary and heavy laden ones.1

Following this is a note (on Mat. 12:46) which asserts that our Lord, “rejected by Israel,” now intimates the formation of the “new family of faith.” But the fact is that the “new family”–composed of the children of His Father in heaven–had been previously addressed at length and in the most precise terms as to their relationship with God, in the Sermon on the Mount. But inasmuch as it would upset the editor’s theory completely to find any hint of the “new family” in that part of Matthew, he firmly closes his eyes to the conspicuous presentation of it in those chapters, and locates the first“intimation” of it in chapter 12. For it is as plain to any babe in Christ as the sun in the sky at noonday, that in the Sermon on the Mount God, the “Father in heaven,” is speaking to His own “children” on earth, by the lips of His own Son. But that fact, so vital to all the household of God, would, if acknowledged, completely destroy the editor’s theory, so he ignores and even contradicts it.

In order to obtain an appearance of support to his views, the editor states in a note on the Lord’s interview with the woman of Syrophenicia, (Mat. 1:2 that “For the first time the rejected Son of David ministers to a Gentile.” This is necessary to the theory we are examining; for if Christ should be found ministering to a Gentile prior to Matthew 11, that action on His part would destroy the “Jewish” and “legal” character which the editor imputes to that part of the Lord’s ministry; and would demolish the theory completely. How is it possible then that the editor and associate editors and all who have been helping to correct the errors of his edition for more than a score of years, have been blinded to the fact that the Lord healed the centurion’s servant, as recorded in Matthew 8:5-10, and in connection therewith used those remarkable words, “Verily, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith no not in Israel”? And how can we account for the failure on the part of all those learned men to observe the record in Matthew 4:24 that the fame of Jesus went throughout all Syria, and they brought to Him all sick people, and He healed them? And for their failure to observe also that, even before the Lord began to preach publicly in Galilee, He ministered and revealed Himself as “Christ” to the woman of Samaria, and that many of the Samaritans believed on Him? (John 4).2

These are but a few of many instances which show that the advocates of the postponement theory are mysteriously blinded to the plainest facts when those facts are in conflict with that theory; while on the other hand they claim the ability to “see” things in the text of Scripture which support their theory, although others are utterly unable to find a trace of them. But, without dwelling upon this, I would ask particular attention to the fact that, even according to the kind of proof by which our friends seek to maintain their theory, the facts concerning the centurion’s servant and the Lord’s personal ministry of salvation (the “living water”) to the Samaritans, refute that theory completely.

Chapter Four is Continued HERE

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