Wednesday, April 1, 2015

(Updated) Why I won't be watching the miniseries A.D.: The Bible Continues (And I hope you won't be either)

Two years ago I wrote "Why I am Not Watching History Channel's 'The Bible'. That was the hugely popular, smash-hit television series produced by Roma Downey and husband Mark Burnett broadcast on The History Channel, purporting to show major biblical events from Noah to the Crucifixion of Jesus. In ten hours.

The series writers "took many artistic liberties to compress the story lines while hoping to remain true to the story. A public relations manager for the project described the liberties to me as “extra-biblical but not contra-biblical," CNN Blogs reported.

What people fail to understand is extra-biblical IS contra-biblical. Anyway, we don't need to rehash all of that, except to remark that the duo's movie theater version of biblical events called "Son of God" was equally atrocious. Now the duo is back with a continuation from 2013's televised cable series. This time the series will be on regular broadcast TV, on NBC. It will begin on Easter Sunday.

In 'A.D. The Bible Continues' the story presented to the world has admittedly even less content taken from the actual bible, and admittedly is even more human-centered rather than Jesus/Gospel focused. The following quote is from an Associated Press story whose title is 'A.D. The Bible Continues goes beyond the biblical epic'.
This new series, however, goes for a more gritty and human approach that tries to understand the characters as humans caught up in the politics of the day. Only about half of the material comes from the Bible, with the rest from historians of the period.
Downey said,
"If anyone comes to it expecting to see only the Bible, they will be interested to see that we have created a much larger and historic and political contest to set that story in, ... I think what it does it allows you to have a fuller understanding of that story because when you see the oppression of the times that they are living in, when you understand that danger lurks in every alley, and the inhumanity of the times."

So we have already see the following strikes:
  • The show's writers and producers are pagan and not Christian, therefore they have nothing to say to us about spiritual things (1 Corinthians 2:13, John 14:17)
  • They chose to destroy the sufficiency of scripture by adding extra biblical material, thereby 'improving on God', (Genesis 3:1-2)
  • They shifted the focus from Jesus coming to atone for sins to Jesus' sent ones coming to help the oppressed in their inhumanity (WHY are we inhumane? We sin, something the show divorces from the reason for Jesus' coming and the Apostles' going),
 And now this reason:


The article reports,
The series has several strong female roles in it, including Leah, the ambitious wife of High Priest Caiaphas (Richard Coyle), who pushes her husband to amass more power.
Phew. I'm glad that the writers rectified what was obviously a glaring omission in the bible of strong female roles and invented a few so we wouldn't have to take up our pitchforks or fire off 'strong' emails. Dorcas, Lydia, Phoebe, Anna, Mary, Susanna, Mary Magdalene, all the mothers who raised the Apostles, Elizabeth (mother of John the Baptist), Candace, Rhoda...etc were obviously either not women (lol) or not "strong" enough for the writers' tastes.

The bible of course records the story of Old Testament Leah. Biblegateway synopsizes her story, "The Woman Lacking Loveliness Was Yet Loyal, Scripture References—Genesis 29; 30; 49:31; Ruth 4:11". Deliberately naming a fictional woman in a New Testament tv show the same as a famous Old Testament saint is duplicitous. I notice that the writers also created a fictional male character and chose to name him Boaz. Doing this sows confusion.

Anyway, the wife of Caiaphas is not named in the bible nor is she even mentioned. The reference is in John 18:13, and only to introduce the fact that Annas and Caiaphas were linked through marriage. That's it. She as not named nor did she have a role in the New Testament, but she gets screen time, unlike REAL women in the bible, who won't get screen time. The quote from the article continues,
The role of Mary Magdalene is also central. While she doesn't quite attain the status of head of the nascent church given her by Dan Brown's "The Da Vinci Code," she is clearly one of the key members of the group as it tries to figure what comes next after the crucifixion.
But here is the revealing reason women are given such prominence in the series. It is sickening and is one of the many reasons I won't watch the show
"Our interpretation is that while many organizations are fronted by men, women were the ones that kept the cogs moving," said Chipo Chung, the actress that plays Mary
Aha. So while the chosen and called male apostles, prophets, and disciples risked their lives, glorified God, suffered and died grisly deaths, these men were only front men while the women did the real work.

So you see, it only takes a moment to read up on the background to the show, investing a bit of time to see what their agenda is. Their agenda is-
  • not to tell the story of the Gospel as spread by the ambassador Apostles and the early church
  • not to glorify Jesus and His monumental work of building the church composed of Jews and Gentiles and enduring persecution and staying strong despite man's puny political machinations,
  • not to accurately and with integrity share the stories of the men and women who laid the foundation of the faith.
Their intent is obviously to:
  • twist the bible to conform to fleshly, cultural, world tastes (Psalm 56:5, 2 Peter 3:16)
  • deny the sufficiency of scripture (2 Timothy 3:16)
  • reduce the message of Jesus from Deity atoning for our sins to nice guy helping the oppressed recover their humanity (2 Corinthians 11:4, Galatians 1:6)
  • confirm feminism and vault women to roles and political/cultural stature that proportionately reduces men in stature (Genesis 3:16)
So? Do not watch. The bible commands it.

I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. (Romans 16:17)

PS: Remember, this is the show that Dr David Jeremiah is promoting and broadcasting on his Turning Point channel. On Easter.

UPDATE. And the agony continues-

This Hollywood Star Is Reportedly Set to Play the Apostle Paul in Major Motion Picture
Actor Hugh Jackman, who has starred in a plethora of well-known films, including “Les Misérables” and the “X-Men” series, is set to reportedly add yet another major motion picture to his resume: “Apostle Paul.” Hugh Jackman will reportedly play the Apostle Paul. The faith-based project will center on Saul of Tarsus...Following the announcement, Jackman’s own religious views were given some attention. As noted by the Guardian, he told Parade Magazine back in 2009 that he follows the School of Practical Philosophy, a belief system that focuses in on the power of wisdom, though it appears that he has some evangelical Christian roots. His told the outlet at the time that his father took him to see famed evangelist Billy Graham when he was a child. “[My dad] takes his religion very seriously and would prefer I go to church. We’ve had discussions about our separate beliefs,” Jackman said. “I just find the evangelical church too, well, restrictive. But the School of Practical Philosophy is non confrontational.”

Well he's a perfect person to play the fierce and confrontational Paul.(1 Corinthians 4:21, 2 Corinthians 13:2). Not

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Tips for introducing false doctrine in your life, Sunny Shell on shallow prayer, Mission from Mongolia, Vidal Sassoon Jesus, more

Spring Break coming up in four days. The last school break we had was January 21, a three day weekend for Martin Luther King's birthday. It has been A LONG HAUL. I'm tired, is all I can say.

I'm looking forward to sitting in the lawn swing, watching the birds, picking the wildflowers that are blooming already, reading, studying the word, playing with my photos and using the Pixlr tutorials to learn how to edit them in hipster-beat-retro fashion, and taking naps. Naps. Naps.

As for the photos, For example, here is one that I liked a lot, and below that, my own clumsy attempt at replicating. You can see why I need an entire week off to learn more.

this one by Steve York

Anyway, here is some good stuff I hope you think is good stuff as well.

This was tongue in cheek good fun and informative as well. From "The Messed Up Church".

"Want Some False Doctrine in Your Life? Try These Handy Tips!"
Don't be shy about it-admit it: false doctrine is fun and, well, it just feels good. Here are some handy tips to keep you fully deceived and incapable of discernment:

We recently had a mission report at our church from a missionary we support. He serves in Mongolia. This article thus interested me. You can always be encouraged by a good mission report!

James Gilmour of Mongolia
Originally from outside of Glasgow, Gilmour (1843–1891) decided to dedicate his life to bringing the gospel to the people of Mongolia. His giftedness and zeal were evident to his friends in college, and some were surprised that he would choose to work in obscurity in a physically difficult place. From his base in Peking (Beijing), Gilmour repeatedly went into Mongolia with little equipment, encouragement, few or no companions, but strong conviction...

As always Sunny Shell has good thoughts on prayer, this time, shallow prayer. I think we've all been there.

When My Prayers Are Shallow
As I was considering why my prayers are sometimes shallow, I realized they stem from one source: lack of consistent reading, meditating and studying God's Word.

We are not passive consumers of 'meat'. We who are in the pews have a responsibility too.

The Listener’s Responsibility in Hearing an Expository Sermon
What responsibilities do Christians have to expository preaching? In an age when shallow preaching is common, both shallow hearing and personal application are also common. Jay Adams has observed,
Too many laymen speak about the preaching event as if it were a one-way street, as if the responsibility for what transpires when the Bible is proclaimed rests solely on the shoulders of the preacher. But that’s not so! Effective communication demands competence from all parties.
Understanding expository preaching would not be complete without a word about the listener’s responsibilities in the expository process. Everything culminates in the hearers. The science and art of producing an expository sermon are empty efforts if no one hears and assimilates the message. Three vital principles will aid the listener who wishes to gain the most from an expository message. They are at the same time his responsibilities as well as his privileges.

David Murray wrote a glowing review of A Readable And Enjoyable Book On Apologetics! If you're searching for a good book on apologetics, that is.

IVP sent me this book a couple of years ago and it went straight to my shelves unopened. I mean, 750 pages on apologetics! Who wants to read that unless they really have to? But a couple of weeks ago I had cause to take it down,dust it off, and have a look inside. And I was stunned. Despite its intimidating size, and despite it being an apologetics textbook, it was one of the best reads I’ve enjoyed in a long time. I know, it’s hard to imagine putting these three words in a headline – apologetics, readable, and enjoyable – but, really, that’s what this book is.... Instead of interacting with alternative Christian apologetic schools of thought (there are only a few paragraphs on Van Til’s presuppositionalism). Groothius’s agenda was to write a comprehensive and accessible book on classical Christian apologetics. He has succeeded magnificently.

Don't forget Adam Ford's continuing good work on Christian visual theology in the form of comics. Like this one:

Praising the Savior for oceans, tides, harbors, inlets, currents, seaweed, ...

Lubec Narrows. EPrata photo

Monday, March 30, 2015

Obama's Israel hate, his next moves could involve a covenant at the UN dividing Israel's land

Left, Israel's Netanyahu, right, Obama in 2012.
Their relationship has not improved since then. Source
Today Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, chief rabbi of Efrat, compared US President Obama to the biblical figure of Haman, enemy of the Jews. The Jerusalem Post reports,
“The president of the United States is lashing out at Israel just like Haman lashed out at the Jews,” he said. “I’m not making a political statement,” he clarified, “I’m making a Jewish statement.” ... Just as Mordechai was focused on saving the Jews of Persia from destruction, he said, so Netanyahu is focused on saving Israel and the world from destruction.
Rabbi Riskin is a prominent Rabbi in both the US and in Israel. Wikipedia lists Riskin's associations and accomplishments:
"Riskin is the founding rabbi of Lincoln Square Synagogue on the Upper West Side of New York City, which he led for 20 years; founding chief rabbi of the Israeli settlement of Efrat in the West Bank; dean of Manhattan Day School in New York City; and founder and Chancellor of the Ohr Torah Stone Institutions, a network of high schools, colleges, and graduate Programs in the United States and Israel."
In the article, Rabbi Riskin was referring to a recent round of nuclear talks between Israel and Iran with the US as mediator. The JPost article reported,
The World Values Network, founded and run by American rabbi and public figure Shmuley Boteach, took out a full page advertisement in The New York Times on Saturday comparing the deal being drawn up with Iran on its nuclear project to the Munich Agreement signed in 1938 by British prime minister Neville Chamberlain with Adolf Hitler, widely seen as an act of appeasement that emboldened the Nazi leader.
Foreign Affairs cover, 2012.
Six world powers and Iran are at work to meet a deadline Tuesday (March 31, 2015) for an agreement that would constrain Iran’s nuclear program or best case scenario, put it completely out of Iran's reach. The nations meeting to discuss this are the US, represented by Secretary of State John Kerry, Iran represented by Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Britain's Philip Hammond and top diplomats of Russia, China, France and Germany. This is the first time they are meeting since November. The Iran/Nuclear issue has actually been on the table as a UN agenda item for 12 years.

The issue is that Israel and the West claim that Iran is working assiduously to obtain a nuclear bomb. Iranian scientists are hard at work underground like worker bees with spinning centrifuges and scientific advances that will allow them to create and presumably use a nuke, presumably against Israel. Israel believes this is an existential threat against their existence because Iran has said many times that it wants to wipe Israel from the earth. Iran's use of a nuke on the tiny country would certainly go a long way toward that dastardly goal.

The other issue is that the 6 mediating nations, including the US, are taking Iran at their word when they say they will not use the bomb, that their pursuit is for "peaceful purposes."
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has blasted the impending nuclear deal between the P5+1 world powers and the Iranian regime, calling the accord a historically bad agreement that lets Iran race towards nuclear weapons development.
Worst, it has become clear that Obama is an enemy of Israel and a friend to Iran. The Jewish Press goes so far as to say that Obama's behavior toward Israel, our only Middle East ally, is actually a declaration of war against the Jewish nation. The American Thinker said today that Obama creates chaos and calls it peace. Of the proposed nuke deal with Iran, Fox News asks if Obama wants Israel to commit suicide.

And now we are back to that interesting quote from the Rabbi with which I opened this article Obama as Haman-type and Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu as a Mordecai-type.

In the bible, you might remember the book of Esther. The historical characters of Esther, Haman, and Mordecai are recorded in those 4 chapters. The Jewish Encyclopedia summarizes:
Son of Hammedatha; chief minister of King Ahasuerus (Esth.iii.1-2). As his name indicates, Haman was a descendant of Agag, the king of the Amalekites. On account of his attempt to exterminate the Jews in the kingdom of Ahasuerus, he is frequently called "the persecutor of the Jews" ( ; Esth. iii. 10; viii. 1; ix. 10, 24). His machinations against the Jews and his downfall are remembered during the Feast of Purim. Filled with annoyance because Mordecai did not bow before him, Haman resolved upon the extermination of the Jews throughout the whole kingdom. He drew lots to determine the day of the massacre, and the lot fell on the 13th of Adar (Esth. iii. 4-7). He offered the king ten thousand talents of silver for permission to do with the Jews as he pleased. The permission was granted, and he accordingly despatched letters to all parts of the Persian kingdom to massacre the Jews on the 13th of Adar (iii. 8-15). His intrigues, however, were baffled by Esther.
The Triumph of Mordechai, by Pieter Pietersz Lastman
It is interesting that the Rabbi would liken Obama to one of the most well-known of historical figures seeking to destroy all the Jews. In the end, Haman was hung on the gallows he had erected for Mordecai's hanging. Of course we know Hitler wanted to destroy all Jews, and actually killed 6 million before the Allied powers got to him. In history, another Hitler-type was Antiochus Epiphanes who also massacred many Jews (167BC). None of these and other historical-political Jew-haters were ultimately  successful, and the antichrist who will also seek to kill all the Jews in the future won't be successful either. (Revelation 12:13-14).

The prophecies state that Jerusalem will be a burdensome stone at the time of the end, (Zechariah 12:3a), that Israel's land will be divided, (Joel 3:2), that there will be no friend left to Israel, (Zechariah 12:3b, Zechariah 14:2) and that Israel's enemies will cry out to wipe Israel from the map (Psalm 83:4). Some of these prophecies have been partially fulfilled and some will be fulfilled at the end of the Tribulation, AKA Time of Jacob's Trouble.

There is another prophecy concerning the antichrist and the covenant he will institute with Israel and then break, triggering the Great Tribulation. It's seen in Daniel 9:27.

And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.

What Daniel recorded is the time of the end, when antichrist will lull Israel into a false sense of security by signing a covenant or decree. Israel will be given a place to perform sacrifices again, and will do so for three and a half years. Israel will be so lulled they will not have bars or walls up and will be living in peace. (Ezekiel 38:11). That's when the antichrist will go after the Jews, invade, seek to destroy, and massacre. Satan of course is behind this. See Matthew 24:15 where Jesus also speaks of this yet-future event.

Jackson Diehl, Deputy Opinion page editor of the Washington post wrote an analysis opinion piece today titled Obama's Next Earthquake:
President Obama’s rhetorical assault on Benjamin Netanyahu last week was in part the product of pique. But it also set the stage for what could be another crockery-breaking bid by Obama for a foreign policy legacy, on a par with his opening to Cuba and would-be nuclear deal with Iran.

By declaring Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations dead and blaming Netanyahu, Obama laid the predicate for a decision to go forward with a U.S.-backed U.N. Security Council resolution that would set the terms for a final peace settlement. Envisioned as an updating of U.N. Resolution 242, which has been part of the framework for the Mideast “peace process” since the 1960s, the idea would be to mandate the solution to the questions Israelis and Palestinians have been unable to agree upon for decades, such as the future status of Jerusalem. Not incidentally, it would provide Obama with the Mideast legacy he has craved since his first day in office. Whether or not it accelerated Palestinian statehood (and most likely it wouldn’t), Obama’s initiative would set off an earthquake in U.S. foreign relations and for Israel’s standing in the world.
Rush Limbaugh commented on Dieh's Op-ed today. It is additionally interesting because as far as I know Rush isn't a Christian and doesn't really pay attention to prophecy or biblical things.
One of the sidebar news stories about the Iranian nuclear talks is that Obama, there's a credible train of thought, folks, that is percolating inside the Beltway and up to New York, the New York-Washington corridor, that Obama is officially, within the next few months or so, is officially going to abandon Israel as a United States ally. The way it would happen, you know, we've been negotiating the Middle East peace process ...

The scuttlebutt inside the Beltway and up to the New York corridor is that Obama is going to solve the Middle East peace process by going to the United Nations, getting a resolution demanding a two-state solution and divvying up Jerusalem and giving part of it to Palestinian or the Palestinians, which would be a total sellout of the Israelis.
Make no mistake, taking this route would not be taken to protect or to enforce the rights of Israelis here. Obama would do this because Netanyahu will not agree with Obama, what Obama wants. And Obama now doubly insulted, not only will Netanyahu not cave, Netanyahu came and showed him up with that joint speech to Congress.  So it's get-even time. 
Now, I'm here to tell you, I don't know if there's any truth to this, but with Obama the experience teaches us never to discount these kinds of things, because they actually make perfect sense if you put them in context of the US foreign policy mission and directives during this administration. Folks, this is an act of hate. I mean, I hate to be so blunt about it, but that's what this is.

I did get chills when I read that. Satan does hate God's people and Israel with a white-hot, 6000-year-plus fury, which will be allowed to be fully expressed during the Tribulation. That satan is behind Obama's hate of Israel there is no doubt.

Our job as Christians is to persevere, pray, continue to be the Light of truth and good works in His name. The Lord will return in the air to gather His bride when He is ready. Is He getting ready? I hope so. I know I'm ready.

How can you be ready? By having confessed Jesus as Lord and Savior, asked forgiveness of your sins, understanding and believing Jesus was killed for the sins of His people, absorbed all of God's wrath for it, then rose again on the Third Day.

Here is a good resource called Getting the Gospel Right, it outlines what the Gospel is and isn't.

When the Lord comes for you and me, what a glorious day that will be.


Further reading:

The Tribulation, the antichrist, and the church

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Easter story movie clips

As we go into Passion Week, here are some video clips from the Resurrection story for you. Each one is a snippet from events during the week.

Here is one from The Jesus Film of His Triumphal Entry to Jerusalem: Palm Sunday.

Matthew 21:9     Mark 11:9     Luke 19:28, 35-41     John 12:13

Friday, March 27, 2015

Dr David Jeremiah's shocking apostasy

A few days ago, a friend emailed me a link to an invitation and announcement of an event at Dr David Jeremiah's Shadow Mountain Church. I was saddened but not surprised. It was indicative of the grievous trajectory one displays when one begins to depart from the faith. But first, let's go back and do some groundwork.

Apostasy - the Lord prophesied a massive falling away from the faith during the tribulation, and a ramp-up preceding it. (2 Timothy 3:13, 1 Timothy 4:1). Apostasy, according to Theopedia, is

what one commits when they denounce, reject, or fall away from their faith (i.e. religion). A person who commits apostasy is called an apostate.

People reject Christ. They always have. They always will. This rejection comes in different flavors. It is the flat-out atheist who says there is no God, and that he, the atheist, doesn't sin. There is the Catholic-Buddhist-Hindu-Wicca-New Age-Muslim who claims to believe something, as long as it isn't Jesus, the blood, resurrection, personal sin or wrath for it.

And there there is the false Christian. This is a person who is a tare that is mixed in with the wheat. The person whose heart was thorny ground or rocky ground when the word was delivered, and seemed to have thrived for a while, but then faded away. (Luke 8:6-7). Some people fall away from the truth quickly, like Charles Templeton. Others, like Billy Graham, take a lifetime to reveal themselves. Either way, for the person who doesn't truly believe, no matter how hard they try to blend in, their sheep mask will someday slip and reveal the wolf.

It is the case with Dr David Jeremiah.

There are many detailed examples I could give. I won't. I'll give three. They should be enough to demonstrate that the pastor of Shadow Mountain church and narrator at Turning Point television and radio is no longer to be trusted.

1. TBN

Jeremiah regularly appears on Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) alongside Paul Crouch (when he was alive) during their fall Praise-A-Thon. TBN is a broadcaster of heresy, an exporter of error, and a brood of vipers. Their prosperity Gospel, false claims of holiness healing, charismania, greed, and pure unadulterated contempt for the people watching is grievous. One look at their regular programming schedule from 2010 shows faithlessness at every hour. The schedule from today is equally bad.

Below is a screen shot from the November 2014 TBN Praise-A-Thon where Jeremiah is 'preaching' the sowing principle. Also known as 'sowing a seed,' in this still pic, Jeremiah was urging people to send money to TBN based on the sowing principle. He said that even God believes in the sowing principle, you know, He sent His Son to be sown into the world and now we are reaping the harvest.

At the crawl along the bottom of Jeremiah's 'sermon' was a promise that a donation of any kind will result in the donor being sent a bottle of "Psalm 45 perfume", fragrances from the bible bottled in an attractive container...and there were phone numbers along the top for people to call now. Gross.

At GotQuestions/Blogos we read of the seed sowing principle
A person wrote to GotQuestions about the doctrine of sowing a seed to reap a financial harvest. ... The central theme in seed faith giving is the money you give to spread the gospel God would multiply back to you thirty, sixty, and one-hundredfold.

TBN (Trinity Broadcasting Network) not only sponsors these false ministries but has unreservedly adopted the gospel of greed heresy. TBN is a major media portal to the world, responsible for sending the gospel of greed heresy to hundreds of millions of unsuspecting people, and taking what little money they have. The gospel of greed has become a means of livelihood for prosperity preachers who live lavish lifestyles while telling you to send money to get more money. Jan Crouch, in her soft sugary voice said on TBN, “God has a special blessing for the little women who have caught the vision of giving, even if only their grocery money.” While there are many Christians who see TBN and its association with the gospel of greed ministries as an abomination, many others (not well versed in the Bible) believe in the heresy and fall prey to its deception.
It is hard to find what was a bigger heretic than Paul Crouch (now dead). GotQuestions on Word of Faith movement that spawned this seed giving principle:
Word of Faith teaching is decidedly unbiblical. It is not a denomination and does not have a formal organization or hierarchy. Instead, it is a movement that is heavily influenced by a number of high-profile pastors and teachers such as Kenneth Hagin, Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, Paul and Jan Crouch, and Fred Price.
And not only is Jeremiah partnering with them, but is urging people to send money so the unbiblical heresies can continue being exported and the deception can be continued.

2. Roma Downey/Mark Burnett

Jeremiah was asked by the Downey/Burnett duo to write a companion book on Acts as a sequel to their miniseries titled "The Bible". The new tv show is called A.D. The Revolution Continues and will be broadcast on Easter. The married duo also produced The Son of God movie seen in theaters. You might remember Roma Downey in the long-running tv show Touched By An Angel. Pastor Justin Peters said that The Bible was so lacking in a Gospel presentation that it wasn't even accidentally given.

Below, Jeremiah and Downey/Burnett are at Shadow Mountain Church discussing the new tv show A.D. and Jeremiah's new companion book based on the biblical book of Acts. The interview was held on March 12, 2015 at the church.

From Shadow Mt. Church Facebook page

This is not surprising since Downey and Burnett aren't Christian. Downey says she is a devout Catholic and is also a mystic. She "sees God in everyone." and utters claptrap such as "The language of God is in the silence." She attained a Master's Degree from a New Age college in Spiritual Psychology. Her beliefs are not even close to being evangelical, born-again Christian. Further, she practices divination. She participated in a psychic show and allowed the medium to 'call up' her dead mother from the nether-realms and Downey talked with 'her'. This is divination and necromancy, part of a cadre of sorceries that God hates with a holy hatred. God said,

Thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of [the] nations. There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord. (Deuteronomy 18:9)

If a person performs any of these sorceries, that person is detestable to God. That person is an abomination to God. And lest someone wrongly claim that the Deuteronomy verse is outdated just because it's Old Testament, sorceries are also forbidden in the New Testament. Revelation 18:23 and Galatians 5:19-21 strenuously forbid such practices.

Downey and Burnett have produced a tv show that twists the bible, presents another Jesus, fails to offer the Gospel, and they themselves have participated in New Age, direct revelation, mystical practices, and sorceries. Yet a supposedly astute and mature bible teacher such as Jeremiah has invited the duo to his pulpit and interviewed them in order to promote the next tv series, A.D. and by the way, his new book. In the interview Jeremiah flatly said that the duo creates shows that honor the word of God and doesn't pervert it. Justin Peters was astounded to hear Jeremiah say this. Peters remarked that Jeremiah is well-versed in the bible and he knows when it's being twisted. The only possible explanation for Jeremiah saying that "The Bible" mini-series honors God's words is that he is being deliberately dishonest. If you know Justin Peters, you know he never says anything lightly, and rarely if ever, does he ever say anything like that. he was truly shocked.

As for Jeremiah's partnership on TBN with the Crouches et al, and with Downey/Burnett et al, the bible says

Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God... (2 Corinthians 14-16a).

John MacArthur explains what that verse means, and doesn't mean.
For believers there can be no compromise. We cannot engage ourselves with unbelievers in any spiritual enterprise. That’s the issue. “Do not be bound together with unbelievers.” That is he command that sets this text in motion. And it is an unmistakable call to believers to separate from unbelievers. No one could miss that that’s what it’s saying. The question is; what does it mean?

And as I said last time, it is essential to understand what it means, but first of all what it does not mean. Paul is not saying, cut off all contact with non-Christians. He’s not saying that because we have to reach them with the gospel. That is not the issue. He’s not saying don’t evangelize the unconverted; don’t confront people in false religions. He’s not saying that. We must do that.

Secondly, he is not calling for complete isolation on the part of the church. We are not to become isolationists. We are not to be monastics. We are not to go hide somewhere and pull apart from the world. Quite the contrary. We are to find unbelievers and love them and be their friend and set a model of spiritual example for them.

Furthermore, he is not saying you are to divorce your unsaved partner, or to sever all unsaved contacts. Or all contacts, I should say, with unsaved people in your family. He is also not saying that you can’t work or play or do business or be engaged in common earthly enterprise with unbelievers. He’s not saying that. Of course you can.

What he is saying is you cannot link up with unbelievers in religious causes or religious enterprises. You cannot go to their worship and become a part of it; you can’t make them a part of the kingdom of God. You can’t engage them in anything that involves ministry, teaching, or worship. Where there is ministry, teaching and worship there has to be absolute separation.
With Jeremiah, there is instead repeated partnership with darkness, evil, and error. He has no excuse.

3. Reading his own book from the pulpit

A friend who likes David Jeremiah was fully engaged in Jeremiah's recent series on Revelation. Knowing I enjoy studying prophecy, he urged me to tun in to the sermon series. I did. As the sermon opened I was assaulted by pounding music and slick graphics. Then Jeremiah began reading. I could not understand where he was reading from because the passage didn't sound like the Bible. I thought I must have missed something. I listened a bit more and then turned it off.

I tried again the next week, and I realized as I listened to Jeremiah read a lengthy passage, and I mean for 10 or 15 minutes, he was reading his own book, Agents of the Apocalypse.

I have a few things which are an immediate, instant determiner of my participation in or acceptance of an individual. When Rick Warren prayed in the name of Isa (a false God) at Obama's first inaugural, I immediately knew Warren was not a true Christian. I dismissed Warren from my mind then and there. When Billy Graham said that any person living in a jungle who never heard of Jesus or the bible is saved and going to heaven, I knew without a shadow of a doubt the man was false. And when Jeremiah read from the pulpit his own words instead of God's words, I knew he did not have the heart of a pastor nor did he have a transformed mind. How dare any person substitute or equalize man's words from the pulpit.

Can you picture the momentous scene in Nehemiah 8:1-2?
The public reading of the Scriptures was required by the law to be made every seventh year; but during the long period of the [Babylonian] captivity this excellent practice, with many others, had fallen into neglect, till revived, on this occasion. ~Jamiesen-Fausset -Brown Commentary
And all the people gathered as one man at the square which was in front of the Water Gate, and they asked Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses which the Lord had given to Israel. 2 Then Ezra the priest brought the law before the assembly of men, women and all who could listen with understanding, on the first day of the seventh month. (Nehemiah 8:1-2)

How tremendous! The people are all gathered for the first time in generations, eager to hear the word of God. They were joyous in being able to celebrate His holy word and adopt His statutes. What if Ezra had ascended the stairs, opened the scroll, took a deep breath, and said, "Before I launch into a reading of the word, let's listen to an excerpt from a book I wrote on traveling mishaps on the way to and from Babylon. It's called "Agents of the Captivity," and it is on sale in the temple bookstore."

Ezra Reads the Book of the Law, David Martin, 1659
How dare he! Is there no gravitas? Is there no pastoral respect for the pulpit? Is there no submission in fear of God? Is there no place one can bask in unadulterated holy scripture and not be pressed into buying something associated with it? Worse, is this message from Dr Jeremiah:
On Easter Sunday, Turning Point Television will begin airing our new series, A.D. The Revolution That Changed the World. This teaching series is the “Scripture behind the story” of the dramatic NBC television event, A.D. The Bible Continues.
Gross. Hollywood overtakes Shadow Mountain.

I am indeed sad that many people who like Dr David Jeremiah will be grieved to read this news, myself included. However, the work of the Christian is to uphold the glory of Jesus, to warn of apostates, and to encourage each other in the Word. When a man alleging to be an undershepherd of the Lord hawks his book from the pulpit during Sunday service, presses the poor to sow a seed so TBN can continue promoting doctrines of devils, and when he pollutes his own stage with a necromancer, we must call a spade a spade and glorify the Lord by warning about Dr David Jeremiah.

Please take these things under consideration, and continue to pray for wisdom and discernment as more and more men and women are revealed who have fallen prey to satan. Pray for them, and pray for your fellow church members. We are sheep among wolves.

Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. (Matthew 10:16). As Jamieson Commentary says of the above verse,
Alone, the wisdom of the serpent is mere cunning, and the harmlessness of the dove little better than weakness: but in combination, the wisdom of the serpent would save them from unnecessary exposure to danger; the harmlessness of the dove, from sinful expedients to escape it. In the apostolic age of Christianity, how harmoniously were these qualities displayed! Instead of the fanatical thirst for martyrdom, to which a later age gave birth, there was a manly combination of unflinching zeal and calm discretion, before which nothing was able to stand.

Let us in this age do the same.


Further Reading:

Tyndale House media release:
(Chicago, February 2015)— Tyndale House Publishers will partner with New York Times bestselling author and Bible teacher Dr. David Jeremiah to produce the companion books for NBC’s A.D. The Bible Continues television event, launching this Easter. A.D. The Bible Continues picks up where the smash-hit miniseries The Bible left off, continuing the greatest story ever told and exploring the exciting and inspiring events that followed the crucifixion of Christ as recorded in the Book of Acts.

Sunny Shell: History Channel's The Bible exalts man over God

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Passover Pesach 2015 Seder Rube Goldberg Machine from Technion in Israel

OK, this is fun... :)

Technion students get ready for Passover, the festival of freedom, and let their imagination run wild. Watch closely as this Rube Goldberg Machine created by students from the Faculties of Mechanical Engineering and Architecture and Town Planning relates highlights of the Passover story. Filmed in the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering in The Sydney & Shirley Gendel and Emanuel Friedberg Family Creative Design Student Laboratory, a Project of the American Technion Society, Cleveland Chapter

The power of the Resurrection vs. the Stupidity of Easter

I work as a teacher aide in a kindergarten. I was working in my small group, and they noticed that some new decorations had gone up. In the room I share there was a large chick coming out of an egg hanging on the door, and around the room were other eggs, in pastel colors and with some rabbits too. One girl asked about it and I said it's Easter decorations.

That got them talking about Easter and of course Easter egg hunts. They burbled and chatted.

Not my kids in kindergarten. This is an old picture I had taken
When's Easter anyway? asked a girl.
April 5th! answered a boy.
I asked "What is Easter about?"
They all explained "It's when you hide eggs with candy in them and hunt for them all around".
But what else is Easter for?
Again they explained that the "Easter Bunny comes and you find candy and eggs in a basket".
Anything else?
One girl explained, "When you go to church..."
Yes, yes? I eagerly leaned forward.
"...and you hunt for eggs and find candy."
But isn't it about Jesus?
The girl said, "Of course. He lays out the eggs."

The most beautifully decorated egg
pales in comparison to the beauty of Jesus
It's charming and sad all at once. Seeing the world through a child's eyes is always funny and they say unexpected things but they also have more truth in them than we like to think. To a kid life is all about getting to the next candy bonanza. To them, Easter is just another fairy tale that has fantastical, magical creatures like a rabbit that delivers candy and eggs in a basket filled with fake grass. Jesus doesn't figure into it at all or if He does it's messed up. We certainly give out mixed messages.

In his sermon, "The Power of the Resurrection", John MacArthur preached about the pagan mixture of Easter myths with the wonder and eternal glory of the Resurrection. He gave a good overview of the pagan origins of secular Easter celebrations and then he said,
While we laugh at that, we aren't laughing at the resurrection. We're laughing at the silliness of the world. But it really isn't funny, because it's another one of Satan's efforts to muddle the issue. If I just do one thing this morning, I'd like to separate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the stupidity of Easter.
I never liked Easter Egg hunts. This was because I never found any eggs. Even as a kid I didn't enjoy competitions, I was slow and ungainly, I didn't quite understand the point, and there were always lots of bullies intent in shoving you down to get that egg first. I left a grass-stained mess with bruises, hurt feelings and an empty basket.
In fact, the term Easter is not a Christian term at all. It is the name of the ancient Anglo-Saxon goddess of light, Estre, and you might be interested to know that Easter celebrations predate Christianity. ~MacArthur
I did enjoy the wonderful Easter baskets my parents left by the fireplace. They always held crinkly grass, chocolate, and pretty little jelly beans and more. They were always both artful and bountiful.
The egg is both, in ancient times, a symbol of fertility and a symbol of the sun because, of course, of the color of the yolk; and so eggs were used in ancient fertility rites as symbols offered to the gods and goddesses, and they were used in worship of the sun as sort of small emblems of the sun. ~MacArthur
I enjoyed dyeing the eggs too, a lot. There was always a new dress to wear, with hat and gloves, for Easter. It was the one time per year (maybe two) we attended a church. The point of the day was the dinner afterwards.
I wondered this week how the rabbits got into the scene...since rabbits really have nothing to do with eggs...and so I checked out some resources, and I found that in ancient Egypt, the rabbit is the symbol of birth, for obvious reasons if you've ever had rabbits...and the Egyptians used the rabbit as a symbol of birth, and also other ancient people considered rabbits the symbol of the moon; and since rabbits in Egyptian society were symbols of fertility and birth, and they were connected with spring when things came alive. ~MacArthur
Me, all dolled up for Easter

Yes, Easter the holiday has a mix of pagan rituals and myths. I am not a huge fan of churches holding Easter Egg Hunts. I'm not a fan of trunk or treat at Halloween either. However, the outreach possibilities at both holiday times are tremendous. Ministering to our neighbors with love,service, tracts, bibles, conversation, is a wonderful way to bring the Gospel to the world. So usually I leave it to Christian liberty and don't stress about differing views.

GotQuestions discusses this in an essay about the Easter Bunny:
Should Christian parents allow their children to participate in traditional activities that refer to the Easter Bunny? This is a question both parents and church leaders struggle with. There is nothing essentially evil about the Easter Bunny, unless it is used to promote the goddess of spring or fertility rites. What is important is our focus. If our focus is on Christ and not the Easter Bunny, our children will understand that, like Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny is merely a symbol. As with Christmas, Easter should be a time to reflect upon and celebrate the incarnation, the resurrection and the risen Christ.
Yes, it's all about Jesus. The crinkly grass, baskets, egg hunts, dyed eggs, ham dinners, and Easter outfits aside, the power of the resurrection is a wondrous event to contemplate. We take a special day to praise our Father for His power and His love in resurrecting His son.
So it is from the resurrection to the close of the New Testament, the theme is always that He rose from the dead. We must not be fooled by Satan's efforts to hide the resurrection in the foolishness of the world... ~MacArthur
I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades. (Revelation 1:17b-18)

So...hunt for eggs if you must. But look for Christ.