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  1. BEWITCHING BELIEVERS THROUGH THE HEBREW ROOTS MOVEMENT January 1, 2014 Fisher, G. Richard The old hymn “I Would Be Like Jesus” has a chorus that has the hymn singers assert, “Be like Jesus, this my song, in the home and in the throng; Be like Jesus all day long! I would be like Jesus.” Many Christians don’t realize that there is a battle being waged between Jewish externals and rituals as a means of spirituality and sanctification and truly biblical means that are internal heart issues. None would argue that being more like Jesus is a very commendable goal. After all, we are to constantly look to Him (Hebrews:12:2 ) and see Him as our ultimate example (1 Peter:2:21 ). But with every journey in life we must decide how we are going to get there. The larger issue of being like Jesus is: What does it really mean? What does it look like? and Just how is it accomplished? The late Jewish scholar and researcher of first century life in Israel, David Flusser, said rightly; “Jesus was a Jew in every way” (Jewish Sources in Early Christianity, Adama Books, New York, 1987, p.7). There is absolutely no denying that Jesus was born a Jew and lived an observant Jewish life. He did this to fulfill completely every demand of the law, He did it for us (Romans:8:1-4 ), and He continues to do it in us if we are true believers. So if we want to be like Jesus, does that mean that we must become observant Jews, as some allege? Is that what being like Jesus really means? Should Gentile believers try to be Messianic Jews? Can they? Should Gentiles don a yarmulke, worship in a synagogue, blow a shofar, wear a prayer shawl, call Jesus Yeshua or Yeshu, keep the Old Testament feasts and dietary laws, and give their pastors the title of Rabbi, even though Matthew:23:8 says otherwise? Are Jewish ceremonies and practices efficacious? Do we need to restore first century or later Jewish practices to really be good Christians? The Pharisees practiced all the ceremonies, but theirs is a cautionary tale since Jesus told them that they did these things in vain (Matthew:15:7-9 , See also Matthew 23). So, is Jewishness next to godliness? One very modern movement would answer the question with a loud—“yes, more or less!” This growing movement is called the Hebrew Roots Movement (HRM). Unfortunately, it lacks a shared, coherent, consistent theology, an internal mechanism of doctrinal control, and it is filled with mavericks who seem to be making it up as they go along in terms of attachment to Jewish accoutrements. Some in the HRM are way over the edge in their denial of the Trinity and seem to know Jesus only in the flesh. As we will see, this movement is an idea, a view, an attitude, or a philosophy; a shared concept that Jewish traditions and Judaism are far superior for the church, a sure fire way to a deeper sanctification and with some, possibly even salvation. It’s hard to define the HRM because it is so diverse and made up of so many disparate groups and individuals. It’s a moving target. It’s a vast smorgasbord of everything from scholarship, as in the Jerusalem School of Synoptic Research, to so-called Third Questers, to individuals practicing subjective pop (make-it-up-as-you-go) Judaism. It can even include the medieval mystical Kabbalah, with its esoteric numerology. More often than not there are no distinctions made between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant or between the Bible and the Talmud. This movement can impose legalism with a vengeance or in some instances may simply suggest Jewish practices that they say will give us deeper insight and understanding as well as make us more “authentic” believers. Here, then, is a loose definition of the Hebrew Roots Movement. It is a very modern movement that insists that we must resurrect first-century Judaism (our Jewish Roots) and the milieu and lifestyle of first-century Jews and impose them on both Jewish and non-Jewish believers. This is not just an academic study to better understand Scripture and its setting but is rather a movement of restoration that claims that the church has moved off its Jewish foundation and must return to a more Jewish way of life to be authentic. Although there is great benefit in studying the archaeology, geography, sociology, religion, and customs of the ancient biblical world, it does not follow that we must reinstitute and copy those times, replete with language, customs, and even dress. It is obvious in much of the HRM that it’s not just the study of the first century for interpretation, information, and illumination that carries the day but keeping the traditions and practices of the Jewish Talmud, which was completed long after Jesus in the years 400-500 (The Encyclopedia of Jewish Religion, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, New York, 1965, p. 374). Actually, there are two Talmuds, namely the Babylonian Talmud and the Palestinian Talmud. The Talmuds vary in many of their customs, traditions, and practices. Jewish believer Stephen Katz expresses his concerns when he says, “Much of the Jewish Roots Movement is actually based on later Jewish/rabbinic tradition. More importantly, the question of whether Gentiles need to add Jewish lifestyle and return to Jewish roots was settled by the Jerusalem Council described in Acts 15. The remarkable news of the Gospel is that, in Y’shua, Jews and Gentiles have direct access to God” (“The Jewish Roots Movement: Flowers and Thorns,” March 1, 2001). In practice, many promoters of the HRM draw their content more from Talmudic Judaism than from Old or New Testament Judaism. Acts 15 addresses head-on the relationship of Gentile believers to Judaism. The Apostle James told the Jewish believers that they should not disturb Gentile believers. In verse 19, James strongly commanded, “I judge that we [Jews] should not trouble those from among the Gentiles who are turning to God.” Then an official letter went out to the Gentiles reaffirming the decision: “Since we heard that some who went out from us have troubled you with words, unsettling your souls, saying, ‘you must be circumcised and keep the law’—to whom we gave not such commandment” (v. 24). In other words, “Back off trying to make Gentiles into Jews!” Messianic Jewish believer Stan Telchin sees the imposition of Jewish law and practice on Gentiles as one of the more troubling aspects of the Messianic Jewish Movement: “I know that the overwhelming majority of Jewish believers do not attend Messianic synagogues. It has been suggested that less than five percent of the Jewish believers in the United States attend them….Many Jewish people who I have brought to such synagogues have told me they felt as though they were looking at a caricature—an imitation and not the real thing” (Messianic Judaism Is Not Christianity, Chosen Books, Grand Rapids, MI, 2004, p. 83). If Telchin’s statistics are even close, it means that up to 95 percent of the attendees at Messianic synagogues are Gentiles and only 5 percent are Jews. This tells us that Gentiles are being “converted” to forms of Judaism that even many Jews reject. That turns Acts 15 on its head. The really big question that Hebrew Roots teachers must answer is, “Why are there far more Gentile believers than Jews in Messianic synagogues and Messianic fellowships?” This imposition of Jewish practice on non-Jewish believers really does constitute a serious issue that promotes elitism, unnecessary division, wide confusion, and unbiblical practices. We can almost understand Jews who convert to Christ who still try to keep some of the cultural aspects and celebrations of their familial heritage. If their intentions and motives are not legalistic, and if these things are not done for salvation or out of religious elitism, there may be some minor benefit. Yet to impose them on Gentiles (as is the case, more often than not) is a direct violation of Paul’s words to the Colossians: “So let no one judge you in food or drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ” (2:16-17). So Paul tells the Gentiles at Colossi that they are not to let anyone force Judaism on them. Didn’t Paul tell the Ephesians that saved Jews and Gentiles were now one new body and one new man—the church (Ephesians:3:1-8 )? We have already mentioned the very confusing practice of superimposing the later Talmud and Talmudic traditions on New Testament believers (Jew or Gentile). Isn’t this as serious as any of the extrabiblical books imposed on cult followers? Some of the Talmud has nothing to do with the New Testament and only reflects later Judaism without a land, a temple, a priesthood, or a sacrifice. The Hebrew Roots Movement is cavalier and does nothing as far as the above cautions. The use of later rabbinical material must be done with much care, that is, sparingly and judiciously. We must be sure that it can be verified and corroborated by earlier or contemporary sources. It is our only safety. If we are unsure of a later source, would it not be dangerous to add it to the Bible (Revelation:22:18-19 )? One very important and urgent issue that the Hebrew Roots Movement never addresses is—which Judaism? This is the elephant in the room. It would be more correct to speak of Judaisms. There were different streams of Judaism in the first century. Is it to be the religious Pharisees? And, if so, is it the school of Shammai or Hillel? Or is it the religion of the Sadducees? Why not the Judaism of the Zealots or the Herodians? Is it to be the Judaism of John the Baptist? Better yet, the purists—the separatists called the Essenes. As has been mentioned, any first-century Judaism of any stripe cannot be fully practiced since there is no temple, no priesthood, and no animal sacrifices. Some in the Hebrew Roots Movement seem to be enamored with modern Orthodox Jews. But the large and unanswered question is: which Orthodox group? In the complex world of Jewish Orthodoxy, there are a myriad of competing groups with different dress and different traditions, all claiming to have their corner on the truth. A few of the somewhat cloistered groups in Jerusalem are the Ger Hassidic Dynasty, the Belz Hassidic Dynasty, the Karlin Stolin Hassidic sect, the Breslav Hassidic Dynasty, the Samar Hassidic Dynasty, the Chabad Hassidic sect, and the Neturi Karta. (For details, differences, and dynamics of these groups, see The Mysteries of Jerusalem, Adam Ackerman, Multipress, Jerusalem, 2007, pp. 61-77). Which one is right? There is an almost total ignoring by the Hebrew Roots Movement teachers of two-thirds of the New Testament, namely the Epistles of Paul (as well as the other Epistles). There is some tipping of the hat to selective pieces of Romans that in their view speak of Abraham and also of being grafted into Judaism, or Jewish Roots. It is clear that being grafted into Israel has to do with Abrahamic and Messianic blessings—not cloning or trying to act like Jews. These spiritual privileges are real spiritual and eternal blessings. They do not mean dressing up and pretending to be of some other nationality or religion. Gentile believers have received the Word of God, the Messiah, and His salvation. Being grafted into Abraham’s blessings is as beautiful and as simple as Gib Martin and Larry Richards explain: “The olive tree…is a familiar and beautiful part of the landscape of Israel. It is a symbol of both strength and blessing. David penned in Psalm:52:8 : ‘I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the mercy of God forever and ever’….Paul uses the branch of an olive tree to picture what God has done in grafting in the gentiles, the ‘wild olive tree’ (Romans:11:17 ) into the cultivated olive tree, Israel. In Paul’s metaphor, some of the olive tree’s branches were broken off and wild shoots were grafted into the tree. God was turning the Gentiles into fruit-bearing people….Paul is pointing them to the very source of their lives: God. God is the Keeper of the vineyard, the ultimate Gardener” (The Book of Romans, Thomas Nelson, Nashville, TN, 2007, p. 168). Ignoring the Epistles is one way to avoid a deluge of material about New Testament church life, church structure, church officers, church practices, and beliefs. It’s no wonder that those in Hebrew Roots have a truncated and skewed message. I say this with sadness. What we are dealing with is both foundational and fundamental. Is it to be synagogue or church? The Jews had a practice that if anyone professed Christ they were to be thrown out of the synagogue (John:9:22 ). Yet those in the HRM would try to pretend that synagogues are good places to be—or at least to emulate or push their way back in. Can we merge church and synagogue? Should we? We need to remember that Jesus said clearly, “On this rock I will build my church.” He did not say, “I will build my synagogue.” Is it to be law or grace? The Book of Galatians deals with that in great detail. However, as I said, the Epistles are neglected and ignored, and Galatians is skipped over. It is interesting to note that Paul told the Galatians that a trip back to Judaism indicated that they had become both “foolish” and “bewitched” (Galatians:3:1 ). The word “bewitched” is the Greek root baskano, and it means to be allured and drawn into false doctrine. Is it Old Covenant or New Covenant? If it was anything but New Covenant, Jesus would have never said at His last supper, “For this is My blood of the new covenant which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matthew:26:28 ). This is repeated in Mark:14:24 and Luke:22:20 . The repetition must be there for a good reason. Jesus must have known that some would ignore much of the New Covenant or get the two covenants confused. Is it the Passover or the Lord’s Supper? Paul reminded the Corinthians what the Passover stood for and what was really central: “For indeed Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us” (1 Corinthians:5:7 ). It’s clear that all the Old Testament ceremonies, symbols, and feasts were types and shadows pointing to Jesus (Colossians:2:16-23 , Hebrews:10:1-10 ). Is it Saturday or Sunday? Saturday (the seventh day) was clearly attached to the finishing of the Old Creation (Genesis:2:1-3 ). Sunday, the first day of the new week celebrates the Resurrection and the new creation in Christ. Christians are a new creation (2 Corinthians:5:17 ). Is it Jewish externals and superficial ritual purity or internal cleansing and heart purity? Psalm 51 answers that question clearly: “Sacrifice you did not desire or I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart—these, O God, You will not despise” (vv. 16-17). This brief article is not intended to be an exhaustive analysis of the Hebrew Roots Movement. For now we are just asking questions. There are detailed larger articles and a book in production to examine in depth and detail the entire movement. We hope to offer corrections to many aberrant practices and deal more fully with some of the issues raised in this piece. Stay tuned.https://www.thebereancall.org/content/january-2014-bewitching-believers-hebrew-roots
  2. What is the Hebrew Roots movement? Question: "What is the Hebrew Roots movement?" Answer: The premise of the Hebrew Roots movement is the belief that the Church has veered far from the true teachings and Hebrew concepts of the Bible. The movement maintains that Christianity has been indoctrinated with the culture and beliefs of Greek and Roman philosophy and that ultimately biblical Christianity, taught in churches today, has been corrupted with a pagan imitation of the New Testament gospels. Those of the Hebrew Roots belief hold to the teaching that Christ's death on the cross did not end the Mosaic Covenant, but instead renewed it, expanded its message, and wrote it on the hearts of His true followers. They teach that the understanding of the New Testament can only come from a Hebrew perspective and that the teachings of the Apostle Paul are not understood clearly or taught correctly by Christian pastors today. Many affirm the existence of an original Hebrew-language New Testament and, in some cases, denigrate the existing New Testament text written in Greek. This becomes a subtle attack on the reliability of the text of our Bible. If the Greek text is unreliable and has been corrupted, as is charged by some, the Church no longer has a standard of truth. Although there are many different and diverse Hebrew Roots assemblies with variations in their teachings, they all adhere to a common emphasis on recovering the "original" Jewishness of Christianity. Their assumption is that the Church has lost its Jewish roots and is unaware that Jesus and His disciples were Jews living in obedience to the Torah. For the most part, those involved advocate the need for every believer to walk a Torah-observant life. This means that the ordinances of the Mosaic Covenant must be a central focus in the lifestyle of believers today as it was with the Old Testament Jews of Israel. Keeping the Torah includes keeping the Sabbath on the seventh day of the week (Saturday), celebrating the Jewish feasts and festivals, keeping the dietary laws, avoiding the "paganism" of Christianity (Christmas, Easter, etc.), and learning to understand the Scriptures from a Hebrew mindset. They teach that Gentile Christians have been grafted into Israel, and this is one reason every born-again believer in Jesus the Messiah is to participate in these observances. It is expressed that doing this is not required out of legalistic bondage, but out of a heart of love and obedience. However, they teach that to live a life that pleases God, this Torah-observant walk must be part of that life. The Hebrew Roots assemblies are often made up of a majority of Gentiles, including Gentile rabbis. Usually they prefer to be identified as "Messianic Christians." Many have come to the conclusion that God has "called" them to be Jewish and have accepted the theological position that the Torah (Old Testament law) is equally binding on Gentiles and Jews alike. They often wear articles of traditional Jewish clothing, practice Davidic dancing, and incorporate Hebrew names and phrases into their writing and conversations. Most reject the use of the name "Jesus" in favor of Yeshua or YHWH, claiming that these are the "true" names that God desires for Himself. In most cases, they elevate the Torah as the foundational teaching for the Church, which brings about the demotion of the New Testament, causing it to become secondary in importance and only to be understood in light of the Old Testament. The idea that the New Testament is faulty and relevant only in light of the Old Testament has also brought the doctrine of the Trinity under attack by many advocates of the Hebrew Roots beliefs. As opposed to what the Hebrew Roots movement claims, the New Testament teachings of the Apostle Paul are perfectly clear and self-explanatory. Colossians 2:16,17 says, "Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day – things which are a shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ." Romans 14:5 states, "One person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind." Scripture clearly indicates that these issues are a matter of personal choice. These verses and many others give clear evidence that the Mosaic Covenant laws and ordinances have ended. Continuing to teach that the Old Covenant is still in effect in spite of what the New Testament teaches, or twisting the New Testament to agree with the Hebrew Roots beliefs, is false teaching. There are aspects of the Hebrew Roots teachings that certainly can be beneficial. Seeking to explore the Jewish culture and perspective, within which most of the Bible was written, opens and enriches our understanding of the Scriptures, adding insight and depth to many of the passages, parables and idioms. There is nothing wrong with Gentiles and Jews joining together in celebrating the feasts and enjoying a Messianic style of worship. Taking part in these events and learning the way in which the Jews understood the teachings of our Lord can be a tool, giving us greater effectiveness in reaching the unbelieving Jew with the gospel. It is good for Gentiles, in the body of the Messiah, to identify in our fellowship with Israel. However, to identify with Israel is different from identifying "as" Israel. Gentile believers are not grafted into the Judaism of the Mosaic Covenant; they are grafted into the seed and faith of Abraham, which preceded the Law and Jewish customs. They are fellow citizens with the saints (Ephesians 2:19), but they are not Jews. Paul explains this clearly when he tells those who were circumcised (the Jews) "not to seek to be uncircumcised" and those who were uncircumcised (the Gentiles) "not to become circumcised" (1 Corinthians 7:18). There is no need for either group to feel they must become what they are not. Instead, God has made Jews and Gentiles into "one new man" in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:15). This "new man" is referring to the Church, the body of Christ, which is made up of neither Jew nor Gentile (Galatians 3:27-29). It's important for Jews and Gentiles to remain authentic in their own identity. In this way a clear picture of the unity of the body of Christ can be seen as Jews and Gentiles are united by one Lord, one faith, one baptism. If Gentiles are grafted into Israel, becoming Jews, the purpose and picture of both Jew and Gentile, coming together as one new man, is lost. God never intended Gentiles to become one in Israel, but one in Christ. The influence of this movement is working its way into our churches and seminaries. It's dangerous in its implication that keeping the Old Covenant law is walking a "higher path" and is the only way to please God and receive His blessings. Nowhere in the Bible do we find Gentile believers being instructed to follow Levitical laws or Jewish customs; in fact, the opposite is taught. Romans 7:6 says, "But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code." Christ, in keeping perfectly every ordinance of the Mosaic Law, completely fulfilled it. Just as making the final payment on a home fulfills that contract and ends one’s obligation to it, so also Christ has made the final payment and has fulfilled the law, bringing it to an end for us all. It is God Himself who has created a world of people with different cultures, languages and traditions. God is glorified when we accept one another in love and come together in unity as "one" in Christ Jesus. It's important to understand that there is no superiority in being born Jewish or Gentile. We who are followers of Christ, comprised of many different cultures and lifestyles, are all of value and greatly loved because we've entered into the family of God.https://www.gotquestions.org/Hebrew-roots.html
  3. Can you not stay away from her or talk to your boss?
  4. Welcome to Worthy
  5. Maybe ask the Lord to see people in a different light,they all need Jesus,if you're a Christian your light will shine on the darkness where you work and people will see Jesus in you,the Lord puts us in places where we don't expect to be to be a witness for Him ,let the people see by your conduct that Jesus lives in you,in the meantime pray if God wants you to have a different job that He will provide you with a different job ?
  6. How closer you are to God how more discernment He will give you,read His Word and ask Him to give you the discernment you need at the time you need it,God is good and will help you to understand what is going on, your job is to surrender to God. Are you a born again Christian who accepted Jesus as his Savior?First things first ,seek Jesus first and all those things shall be added on the you.Seek and ye shall find.
  7. You can post it in the news section,just use this thread as a link , Christian persecution is very much on the rise...:( Jesus come soon....
  8. Everything went down after the fall... It's ridiculous what they try to do with food ,how to so called improve it but at the same time it could make us very sick. It's up to us to be aware of what we put in our body,nothing is the same anymore but have hope , everything will be restored as it ones was some day
  9. It's not fake news Mabel, it's actually amazing news, this never happened before, now it will be all about the oil and Russia is after the oil, so can this be the hook which they will use?
  10. Observations I receive several phone calls each year from people — some of them ministers — asking me if I think we are in the Tribulation yet. I always respond by telling them that when the Tribulation begins, the people who are on earth will not have to call anyone to find out for sure whether or not it has begun. The Tribulation will be a living hell with a degree of violence that is unparalleled in all of history. The Bible gives us a lot of information about this horrible period of seven years that is fast approaching. The entire book of Zephaniah is devoted to it. In addition to many other Old Testament passages, like Isaiah 24, fourteen chapters in the book of Revelation focus on it (Revelation 6-19). But despite all this information, there are many myths concerning the Great Tribulation that circulate among Christians. For example, many argue that the first half of this time period will be peaceful and that only the second half will be characterized by intense warfare. Other misconceptions relate to the Antichrist and the Church. The Biblical Basis Before we consider some of these myths and misconceptions, let’s familiarize ourselves with the concept of the Tribulation. Where does the idea come from, and what does it mean? The Concept The first mention of the Tribulation in the Bible is found in Deuteronomy 4:27-30. Before the Children of Israel entered the Promised Land, Moses warned them that if they were unfaithful to God, they would be scattered among the nations. He then prophesied that “in the latter days” they would come under “distress,” and the result would be their “return to the Lord.” Centuries later, Jeremiah used the same terminology when he referred to the Tribulation. He called it “the time of Jacob’s distress” (Jeremiah 30:7). In like manner, Daniel called it “the time of distress,” and he prophesied it would be the worst period of trouble in the history of the Jewish people (Daniel 12:1). Malachi stated it would be a time of refining for the Jews, as when silver is purified by fire (Malachi 3:1-4). And Zechariah used the same imagery when he prophesied that two-thirds of the Jewish people will perish during this time. Of the remnant remaining, he wrote, “I [the Lord] will bring the third part through the fire [and] refine them as silver is refined…” (Zechariah 13:8-9). The Scope The Jews will not be the only ones to suffer during this period of unparalleled trouble. The Bible makes it clear that all the nations of the world will experience catastrophic calamities. Isaiah says it will be “a day of reckoning” for all the nations of the world (Isaiah 2:10-17). Zephaniah says that “all the earth will be devoured in the fire of God’s jealousy” (Zephaniah 1:18). Here’s how the psalmist Asaph put it: “A cup is in the hand of the Lord, and the wine foams… surely, all the wicked of the earth must drain and drink down its dregs” (Psalm 75:8). The Length The prophet Daniel defined the length of the Tribulation. He said God would accomplish all His purposes for the Jewish people during a period of 70 weeks of years (490 years). Sixty-nine of those weeks of years (483 years) would lead up to the death of the Messiah. The final week of years would occur at the end of the age, right before the return of the Messiah (Daniel 9:24-27). This concluding week of years (7 years) corresponds to the Tribulation for, as Daniel put it, it will mark the time when “the prince who is to come” will “make desolate” — a reference to the Antichrist. The timing established by Daniel is confirmed in the book of Revelation where the Tribulation is divided into two periods of 3 1/2 years each (Revelation 11:3,7 and 13:5). The dividing point between the two halves of the Tribulation will occur when the Antichrist reveals himself by entering the rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem, stopping the sacrifices, and declaring himself to be god (Matthew 24:15; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4; and Revelation 13:5-6). The Starting Point When will this terrible period begin? The Bible says in general terms that it will start after the Jews have been regathered and have been re-established in their homeland and in their sacred city of Jerusalem. Specifically, the Bible says it will begin at a time when all the world comes together against Israel over the issue of who will control the city of Jerusalem (Zechariah 12:2-3). In short, we are on the very threshold of the Tribulation today as we witness the United Nations, the European Union, the Vatican, and the Arab nations demanding that the Jews surrender their sovereignty over Jerusalem. The specific event that will mark the seven year count down of the Tribulation will be the signing of a peace treaty between Israel and her Arab enemies — a treaty that will allow the Jews to rebuild their Temple (Daniel 9:27). The Nature The unparalleled horror of the Tribulation is spelled out in detail in both the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament. Isaiah wrote that it will be a day of “terror of the Lord” when “the pride of men will be abased” (Isaiah 2:10,17,19). Zephaniah proclaimed that it will be a “day of wrath,” “a day of trouble and distress,” and “a day of destruction and desolation” (Zephaniah 1:15). Men will stumble around like they are blind and “their blood will be poured out like dust”(Zephaniah 1:17). This dreary picture is echoed in the New Testament. Jesus said it will be a time of tribulation “such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall” (Matthew 24:21). In fact, Jesus said it will be so terrible that if it were not stopped at the end of seven years, it would result in the destruction of all life (Matthew 24:22). The Apostle John states that the chaos will be so great that the leaders of the world will crawl into caves and cry out for the rocks of the mountains to fall upon them (Revelation 6:15-16). Misconceptions With this biblical background, let’s turn our attention now to some of the misconceptions that exist regarding the Tribulation. Five of the major ones that I would identify are listed below: The Antichrist will rise to world power through cunning, flatter, and deception. The whole world will flock to the Antichrist in awe and adoration. The Jews will accept the Antichrist as their Messiah. There will be 3 1/2 years of peace followed by 3 1/2 years of war. The Antichrist will be the most brilliant and effective leader in world history. The Antichrist’s Rise to Power The idea that the Antichrist will rise to world power through shrewdness and skilled diplomacy is based on Daniel 8:23-25a. These verses say a king will arise who is “skilled in intrigue” and who “will succeed through the practice of deceit.” But the same passage also says that he “will destroy to an extraordinary degree.” He will destroy both “mighty men and the people of the saints.” Many of these he will destroy “while they are at peace” (Daniel 8:24-25a). These verses make it very clear that the Antichrist is going to use bothdiplomacy and military power to gain control of the world. The likeliest scenario is that he will initially rise to power in Europe through the use of shrewd diplomacy. But he will extend his power from his European base through war. The World’s “Acceptance” of the Antichrist I believe his conquering of the world through the use of military power is what is pictured in Revelation 6:1-8. This passage pictures the Antichrist going forth at the beginning of the Tribulation with a bow “to conquer.” A red horse representing war “takes peace from the earth.” The result is widespread suffering and the death of one-fourth of humanity by the sword, famine, pestilence, and wild beasts. It is a misconception to believe the non-European world will flock to the Antichrist in awe and adoration. The world outside of Europe is not going to submit willingly to the control of the Antichrist, no matter how charismatic and dynamic he may be. Keep in mind that the nations of Asia, Africa, and Latin America have fought for the past 200 years to rid themselves of European colonial rule. They are not going to passively submit themselves to a renewal of that rule. They will fight, and the result, as Revelation 6 so clearly indicates, will be a horrible world war of unprecedented magnitude. Acceptance of the Antichrist by the Jews The idea that the Jews will accept the Antichrist as their Messiah during the Tribulation is based upon a statement by Jesus that is recorded in John 5:43. Jesus said, “I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another shall come in his own name, you will receive him.” But the relevant end time passages in Daniel and Revelation seem to make it clear that the acceptance of the Antichrist by the Jews will be as a political redeemer who miraculously works out a peace settlement what will guarantee their safety and will enable them to rebuild their Temple. There is no indication that they ever accept the Antichrist as a spiritual redeemer — as their Messiah. In fact, when the Antichrist enters the Temple in the middle of the Tribulation and declares himself to be God, the Jews revolt against him (Revelation 12:13-17). When the revolt occurs, the Antichrist becomes obsessed with annihilating the Jewish people. That is when the “great tribulation” spoken of my Jesus in Matthew 24 will begin. The Tribulation Holocaust that will occur during the last 3 1/2 years of that terrible period will be far worse than the Nazi Holocaust. Two-thirds of the Jews will be killed (Zechariah 13:8-9). The Antichrist will be possessed by Satan (Daniel 8:24), and Satan is determined to annihilate the Jews. Satan’s obsession with the Jews stems from the fact that he hates them with a passion. He hates them because they gave the world the Bible. He hates them because the Messiah came through them. He hates them because God loves them, and because God chose them to be a witness of what it means to have a relationship with Him. And Satan hates the Jews because God has promised over and over in His Word that at the end of the Tribulation, He is going to bring a great remnant to salvation through faith in their Messiah, Yeshua (Romans 9-11). The First Half of the Tribulation Another misconception relates to the nature of the first half of the Tribulation. Many believe that this period of 3 1/2 years is going to be a time of peace that will be followed by 3 1/2 years of war. Some feel so strongly about this that they use the word, Tribulation, to apply only to the second half of the seven year period. This view is based primarily on a statement Jesus made that is recorded in Matthew 24. According to this passage, Jesus referred to the last half of Daniel’s 70th week of years as “the great tribulation” (Matthew 24:21). But it must be kept in mind that these words of Jesus were directed specifically to the Jewish people. The second half of the Tribulation will truly be the “time of great tribulation”for the Jews. That’s because they will live in peace during the first half of the Tribulation under a covenant guaranteed by the Antichrist. During that time, the Antichrist will be focused on conquering the world. Once he has accomplished that goal — as he will (Revelation 13:7-8) — he will go to Jerusalem, enter the Temple, stop the sacrifices, and desecrate the Temple by erecting a statue of himself (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4). The Jewish people will be outraged and will respond in a revolt. When they do this, the Antichrist will become obsessed with destroying them. That will be his primary goal during the second half of the Tribulation. So, to summarize, the Jews will live in peace during the first half of the Tribulation, but not the Gentile nations of the world. The wars of the Antichrist will devastate the world. One-fourth of humanity will die in the initial war (Revelation 6:8). That’s 1.5 billion people in today’s terms. According to Revelation 8 and 9, when the war resumes, one-third of those left alive will die (another 1.5 billion). The first half of the Tribulation is going to be anything but a time of peace. It will, instead, be a time of unimaginable carnage, for one-half of humanity will die in the first 3 1/2 years! The Quality of the Antichrist’s Leadership The erroneous concept that the Antichrist will be the world’s most brilliant and glorious leader is based on Revelation 13:7 where it says he will gain authority over “every tribe, people, tongue and nation” on planet earth — something no other person has ever done. But the evidence of prophecy points to the fact that his reign will be anything but brilliant and glorious. For example, his conquest of the world will devastate the earth. It will be like Napoleon’s “victory” in Russia — he will win the battle and lose the war. The Antichrist will end up with a world that is devastated and polluted beyond imagination. Furthermore, the world’s subservience to him and worship of him will be based to a large degree on force, deception, and terror — not just genuine admiration. Also, his obsession with the Jews will undermine his kingdom and ultimately lead to its destruction. Daniel 11:40-45 indicates that when his attention is diverted to the destruction of the Jews, a worldwide revolt will break out against his kingdom. Nations will send armies against him from the North, East and South. The Antichrist may prove to be a successful military conqueror, but he will be a miserable leader whose world wide empire will last only 3 1/2 years — and during that time, it will be constantly ravaged by internal revolt. A Misconception Concerning the Church Another popular misconception about the Tribulation is that the Church will go through it and suffer mightily at the hands of the Antichrist. This concept is based upon verses like Revelation 13:7 which says that the Antichrist will “make war with the saints.” But I believe the saints referred to here are those who are saved during the Tribulation. There is going to be a great harvest of souls during the Tribulation. Some will be saved in response to the Rapture. Others will respond to the preaching of the Two Witnesses in Jerusalem (Revelation 11). The response of others will be stimulated by the Tribulation judgments which will motivate many to repent. Still others will respond to the special angel who will be sent by God near the end of the Tribulation to proclaim the Gospel to every living creature (Revelation 14:6-7). Many will be saved, but most of these will be martyred for their faith (Revelation 7:9-17). There is no purpose for the Church during the Tribulation. This will be a time of God’s judgment upon the unbelieving Gentiles and Jews who have rejected God’s grace, love and mercy expressed in Jesus. Some argue that the Church must go through the Tribulation to be purged or cleansed. But the true Church has already been purified by the blood of Jesus (Ephesians 5:25-27; 1 John 1:7; and Romans 8:1). The Tribulation is not a Protestant purgatory. The symbolic imagery of the New Testament focuses on the Church as being the Bride of Christ. Is the Bridegroom going to beat up His Bride for seven years before He comes for her? I think not. The Bible says that Jesus is coming to deliver His Bride from the wrath that is to come (1 Thessalonians 1:10). Also, Revelation 19:8 and 14 pictures Jesus returning with His Church at the end of the Tribulation, indicating the Redeemed will be taken out of this world before the Tribulation begins. Revelation focuses on the Church in its first three chapters. Beginning with chapter 4, there is no more mention of the Church during the entire period of the Tribulation. The Church is not referred to again until Revelation 22:16. The Purpose What’s it all about? Why is there going to be such carnage? How could a God of grace, mercy and love allow such an outbreak of unbridled terror and bloodshed? One reason is to satisfy the justice of God. Yes, God is characterized by grace, mercy and love, but He is also a God of perfect justice, righteousness, and holiness. There fore, He must deal with sin. His justice demands it. Even His love compels it. How could a God of true love simply overlook the actions of a murderer or a pedophile? The prophet Nahum understood the true nature of God. He wrote that “The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble, and He knows those who take refuge in Him” (Nahum 1:7). That is the love and mercy of God. But the same prophet wrote (Nahum 1:2-3): “A jealous and avenging God is the Lord; The Lord is avenging and wrathful. The Lord takes vengeance on His adversaries, And He reserves wrath for His enemies. The Lord is slow to anger and great in power, And the Lord will by no means leave the guilty unpunished.” Truly, the Lord is “slow to anger.” He allows the iniquities of Mankind to accumulate over long periods of time because He doesn’t wish that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9). His desire, instead, is that all should come to repentance. But there is always a day of reckoning, just as there was in the days of Noah, and such a day has been set for this age. Paul referred to it in his sermon in Athens when he said, “He [God] has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness” (Acts 17:31). A second reason for the Tribulation is to bring people to salvation. Amazingly, even when God pours out His wrath, His fundamental purpose is not to destroy but to save. Isaiah 26:9 explains it this way: “When the earth experiences Your judgments, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.” The brutal fact is that God often has to hit us over the head with a two-by-four in order to get our attention and motivate us to repentance. The equally brutal fact is that most people respond to such discipline by either cursing God or continuing to ignore Him (Revelation 9:20-21). But some people always respond in humility and are saved. As Billy Graham has put it: “The same sun that melts the butter, hardens the clay.” When God’s wrath is poured out during the Tribulation, some hearts will be melted, but most will be hardened, illustrating once again that nothing is as “deceitful” and “desperately sick” as the heart of Man (Jeremiah 17:9). Man is frivolous about sin. God is serious. The Tribulation will be a graphic expression of how serious God is about Mankind’s rebellion against Him. The signs of the times are shouting that we are standing on the threshold of the Tribulation. The message of the Holy Spirit is “Come out of Babylon”(Revelation 18:4). That message means for us to separate ourselves from the love of this world and prepare ourselves for eternity. For believers, it means a commitment to holiness. For unbelievers it means a commitment to Jesus as Lord and Savior before He returns as God’s avenger. The time remaining is short. The time for action is now.https://christinprophecy.org/articles/the-great-tribulation/
  11. Amen Spock, I agree for 100 % with what you said..
  12. Hello Just You're not allowed posting video's in this section,can you repost it in the video section? Most like it will be removed from where it is now. I watched it yesterday, isn't it amazing what just happened? Only God can do that, it's all part of His plan,we have to wait to see what Russia will do with this,will this be the hook? Praying brother...
  13. Amen ,I think you might find this video helpful in understanding who the Restrainer is
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