Friday, May 29, 2009

The New Tolerance: Root And Consequences

Dr. David R. ReaganPDFBy Dr. David R. Reagan

This "New Tolerance" is a product of modern society's rejection of God. You see, if there is no God, then there are no objective standards. Every person's opinion is as good and valid as any other person's. And no one has a right to judge or condemn any one else — unless, of course, the person is exhibiting some form of intolerance!

That is the reason modern society hates the Ten Commandments so much. They are constantly ridiculed in the press. Ted Turner, the media mogul, has rewritten them, converting them into humanistic platitudes which he calls "The Ten Suggestions."

In colleges and universities across America, the worst thing that can happen to a student is to be accused of intolerance. Merely the accusation will often result in the accused person being required to take a course in sensitivity training, and this course must be finished before any other credit course can be taken! And what happens in the course? The person is bombarded with propaganda in an attempt to brainwash him into believing that all lifestyles have equal merit.


The Moral Consequences

The "New Tolerance" has created a moral vacuum that, in turn, has produced some very strange consequences.

A good example of what I am talking about can be found in the "Naked Guy" incident that occurred on the UCLA campus a couple of years ago. You probably remember seeing reports of it on television.

A student decided that he would start attending classes naked. For days he went from class to class stark naked, and no one was willing to stand up and say, "What you are doing is wrong. It is immoral. Put your clothes back on!" After all, to make such a statement would have been intolerant.

But when the incident got national attention through the media, the administration decided that something had to be done. So, the fellow was finally disciplined on the grounds of the politically correct charge of "sexual harassment."

Again, when God is removed from the picture, objective standards collapse, and all truth becomes relative.

This was illustrated vividly in a recent article in The Journal of Higher Education. Two college professors reported independently of each other that they had discovered their students were unwilling to make any moral judgments, even regarding the most obscene things. One reported that his students were unwilling to condemn the Holocaust; the other reported that his students could not bring themselves to condemn the Aztec practice of human sacrifice!


In the next part of "The New Tolerance," we'll look at how it has affected academia and American culture.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The New Tolerance: A False Virtue

Dr. David R. ReaganPDFBy Dr. David R. Reagan

Christians are admonished throughout the Scriptures to be virtuous. Peter writes: "Make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with stead-fastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love" (2 Peter 1:5-7). Paul cites a similar list of virtues in Galatians 5:22-23 and refers to them as "fruit of the Spirit."

Needless to say, virtues are supposed to be character traits that are good. The dictionary defines a virtue as "a characteristic of moral excellence or goodness." But the number one virtue being touted in America today is anything but good. It threatens to destroy both American and the Church.


A Shift in Values

Our number one national virtue used to be justice. That is the virtue that Martin Luther King, Jr. used to convict our consciences and call us to repentance for racial injustice.

But justice is no longer the primary virtue in America. If you want to know what that virtue is, just ask your children, because it is being hammered into their heads on a daily basis in their public school classrooms.

What is it? It is tolerance.

It sounds so good. It sounds so uplifting, so positive in nature. Your most likely response to your children is to say, "Oh, that's wonderful! Pay close attention to your teacher." But before you do that, let me warn you. The concept of tolerance being taught to our children today is anything but wonderful. It is downright dangerous.


The New Meaning

How can something that seems so good be so terrible? After all, isn't tolerance a necessary virtue to prevent prejudice, bigotry and hatred? The problem is rooted in the fact that the traditional concept of tolerance — the kind adults in America grew up with — has been redefined into a moral perversion.

The tolerance we grew up with was the kind that encouraged respect for differing viewpoints, religions, and life styles. It was the idea of treating with dignity and respect those who might disagree with us on fundamental concepts of life.

This traditional concept of tolerance is one of the foundation stones of American democracy. It produced the attitude of freedom of diversity — a freedom that has made it possible for Catholics, Protestants and Jews to live together in peace.

But this traditional concept of tolerance has been replaced by the "New Tolerance" that is being taught to our children today. The "New Tolerance" demands not only respect, but also endorsement and praise. Thus, it is no longer sufficient for me to simply tolerate the homosexual lifestyle. To be truly tolerant, I must also endorse it and praise it. And if I refuse to do so, I am a bigot!


A Twisted "Virtue"

The new form of tolerance is really no virtue at all because it is based on a lie. The lie that serves as its foundation is the belief that all values, beliefs, and lifestyles are equally valid.

Thus, democracy is viewed as being no better than dictatorship. Capitalism is considered no better than socialism. And Christianity is seen as being no better than Hinduism.

To summarize it in modern jargon: "Different strokes for different folks, with all judgment put aside."


An Ironical Virtue

But there is an irony to this "New Tolerance." The irony is that everything is tolerated except intolerance!

You can witness this irony in action by taking a look at any of the daily television talk shows which have been dubbed most appropriately as "trash TV." I'm speaking of programs like those hosted by Montel Williams, Jerry Springer, Sally Jesse Raphael, and Geraldo Rivera.

On these programs you will see a parade of moral perverts, like "mothers who sleep with their daughter's boyfriends." And if anyone in the audience has the audacity to stand up and say, "I think what you are doing is wrong," the audience will turn on that person in mob fury, denouncing him or her as an intolerant bigot. The result is what Isaiah pointed to as a basic evil in Judean society: "People call evil good and good evil!" (Isaiah 5:20).


In the next part of "The New Tolerance," we'll look at the problem and its consequences.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Two Reasons For The Tribulation

Dr. David R. ReaganPDFBy Dr. David R. Reagan

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 "the 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).

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?


1) The Justice of God

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. Therefore, 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 does not 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).


2) To Bring To Salvation

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.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Will The Antichrist Be A Jew?

Dr. David R. ReaganPDFBy Dr. David R. Reagan

Will the Antichrist be a Jew or a Gentile?

Most Christian are aware of the fact that there is a lot of disagreement about the interpretation of Bible prophecy between those who have completely different viewpoints, like the arguments between those who are Premillennial and Amillennial. But, what many people are not aware of is that there are some strong points of disagreement between those that take a literal viewpoint of end-time prophecies.

Recently, I attended a major Bible Prophecy conference in the Dallas area where I had the opportunity to interview a number of Bible prophecy experts. Out of 11 Bible prophecy experts I interviewed, only 3 said they felt like the Antichrist would be a Jew or that he could possibly be one. We'll start with one yes/no answer, one could be, and one maybe. The next seven people responded with a negative reply. The final expert I interviewed answer may surprise you. Finally, I'll conclude with my response.


Phillip Goodman

I do. I believe that he could, but I don't think the Bible tells us. The evidence is not strong enough.

There is a passage in Daniel 11:37 that says he will reject the god or the gods of his fathers. The language is not strong enough in there from the original language to let us know whether it is a plural or a singular. And, that is the primary passage that most people go to say that perhaps he is a Jew. Because if it is the god of his father, it is a very similar phrase we find all over the Old Testament. It is used of the Jews. Yet, that also could be a Muslim, so the evidence is not strong enough in the Bible really to tell us what his origination is in terms of a religious origin.

So, we have to look to the geographic/geopolitical evidence in the Bible to find out where he comes from. He could be a Jew. I am not convinced of it. I think he is a Gentile, because he will be ruling over the time of the Gentiles, according to Daniel 2 and also in Revelation. There is stronger evidence that he will be a Gentile.


Don Perkins

He could be, and my reasons for that is 2 Thessalonians 2, where the Scripture tells us that when the Antichrist comes into the Temple he will literally go into the Temple as God. Which the Temple would be in Jerusalem and he would be worshipped there as God. Now for that fact I believe that the Antichrist could be a Jew. I believe that Israel could literally worship him as a Jewish Messiah. Now, I know that goes a little different against other people's views or whatever, but I do believe that could very well be the case. He could be a Jew.


Todd Strandberg

I think he probably will be a Jew or it is highly likely, because the Antichrist is going to be a replacement for Christ, so he probably will be very much a mirror of Christ. Maybe the same age he will be. He will probably have to be Jewish, because the Jews won't accept someone who is not Jewish as Messiah, so I believe it very strongly. They are going to make lots of mistakes by accepting him as their Messiah. So, they might go beyond accepting someone who is not. They should accept him. The only reason they should accept him is because he is a Jew.


Daymond Duck

No, I don't think the Antichrist will be a Jew.

First, let's deal with a couple controversial passages on this issue concerning the Antichrist in Daniel 11:37. You can go to the King James Version of the Bible and there you will read that it says, "Neither shall he regard the god of his father." You can go to the New International Version or other translations and they will read neither shall he regard the gods (plural) of his fathers. Now, those who think the word is god singular, they say the Antichrist will come out of a monotheistic religion and he will probably be a Jew. Those who think the correct translation is gods plural say he will come out of a polytheistic religion and he will be a Gentile. Now, I am not enough an expert to settle whether it should it should be "god" or "gods." That has gone on for a long time, and I don't know anyone that has ever settled it.

Another controversial passage is John 5:43 and Jesus said, "I have come in my Father's name and you have received me not. If another shall come in his own name, him will you receive." And now you get into what Jesus meant by the word "receive." Some say that means that the Jews would receive him as Messiah, and they reason that the Antichrist will be a Jew because the Jews wouldn't receive someone as their Messiah who wasn't a Jew. And then there are others who say when Jesus said "receive" that meant that the Jews will receive him as a great leader who would guarantee the seven year covenant for peace in the Middle East. So, you got those two views. Those who think the Jews will receive him as a great leader, then they will believe that he will be a Gentile.

I don't guess I could settle this issue on either one of those passages of Scripture. But, I do think we have other passages of Scripture on this issue and here now I am talking about Daniel 7:3 and Revelation 13:1 where the Antichrist is described as a beast coming up out of the sea. And, of course, we know the sea is a symbol for multitudes, nations, peoples, tongues... in other words, for Gentiles. And so, I believe that those passages teach that the Antichrist will be a Gentile.


Don McGee

I do not believe that he will be a Jew, basically, for some of the same reasons he will not be a Muslim. Antichrist is going to be a man that is going to demand or command world-wide attention. For a Jew to be in that position would be a very, very long shot. But, if you take someone who comes from the European community, specifically with the credentials that a lot of those people have, he will be in a position automatically to be accepted by the entire world. Just like the Antichrist will probably not be a Muslim because of a religious connotation, so too will the Antichrist not be a person associated with any type of religion except the one he is going to institute for himself.


Nathan Jones

I don't. If you go to Revelation 13, it talks about the Beast that comes out of the sea. And typically, throughout the Bible, anything that is related to the sea is an outside nation from Israel. It is a Gentile nation. And, if you go to Revelation 13, it talks about a second beast, and I think this is the one we are talking about in that the False Prophet very well could be a Jew because he is the beast that comes from the land, and the land is always a reference for Israel. So, no, I do not think the Antichrist will be a Jew.


Arnold Fruchtenbaum

Now again, the passages in Daniel 9:26-27 specifies that he will be of the same ethnic identity as the people who destroyed the city and the Temple. And, in AD 70, it was the Romans that did so, which is why he has to be not only a Gentile, but a Gentile specifically of Roman origin.


Al Gist

No, I don't believe that he will be a Jew. I believe that when he makes his covenant with Israel that he will be speaking to a Jewish leader, probably the man who will end up being the False Prophet, and I do not believe that he will be a Jew. Some people believe this because they think he will claim to be the Jewish Messiah. But, I don't find enough biblical support to accept that. I believe that he will be an apostate Gentile, just like the Caesars of the Roman Empire. He will claim to be God, but he will be an apostate Gentile. I don't think he will be a Jew.


Mark Hitchcock

I think the biblical evidence is that the Antichrist will be a Gentile. He is going, according to Daniel, to lead the final great Gentile world empire, which seems inconsistent for a Jew to be the leader of the final great Gentile world empire. All the other empires in Daniel 2 and Daniel 7, the leaders of those were all Gentiles. Also, he is going to mercilessly persecute the Jewish people, which seems strange to me for a Jewish person to be persecuting his own people. Also, in Daniel 8, the only clear type of Antichrist in the Bible is Antiochus Epiphanes who was a Gentile, Syrian. And, also in the book of Revelation 13, this beast, this Antichrist figure rises out of the sea. In Revelation 17:15, it tells us the sea is representative of the nations. So, for those reasons, to me it seems clear that the Antichrist is going to be a Gentile.


Ed Hindson

No, absolutely not! I don't think the Antichrist is Jewish. I think the Antichrist, first of all, is a person who makes a treaty with the Jews. It isn't likely a Jew would make a treaty with the Jews. He is a leader of Gentile nations, if we can understand the prophecy in Daniel 9 correctly. If he is the leader of the revived Roman Empire — the leader that comes out of Europe — it is not likely that he is Jewish. He is, first of all an unbeliever, so it doesn't matter what his nationality is. He is not a believer. He does not regard the gods of his fathers or the gods of any faith system at all. He is what we call an atheist and an unbeliever who really ultimately thinks he is God. And, he will go to the Temple in Israel claiming to be God and demand the world worship him as God. So, in a sense, he is theocentric in the wrong sense in that he thinks he is God and everybody should worship him.


Ray Gano

I actually believe that the Antichrist will be of Hebrew descendent — Hebrew blood — but also practice the Muslim religion, and I use Daniel 11:37 to illustrate this. It talks in there that he shall not regard the god of his fathers in this phrase"god of his fathers," which is always associated to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. In fact, this statement "god of his fathers" is only used five times in Scripture. In every time it is associated to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. So I look at that.

Another thing that I look at is that we learn in Genesis 49:17 the tribe of Dan (these are last day prophecies that Jacob gave to his sons) and it says in Genesis 49:17, "That a serpent shall cause the rider to fall backwards." So, there is possibility that he actually may come out of the tribe of Dan. I also use Revelation 7:1-8 to back this up because this, the chapter where it talks about the 144,000 Dan is not named in the 144,000. So, there is speculation here or there is Scriptural evidence here I believe that shows that he will have Hebrew ancestry.

Yet, on the other side, he will also practice the Muslim religion, because we go to Daniel 11:38 and it says, "He shall honor the god of forces; and the god whom his fathers knew not." And so, he will not regard the god of his fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He will honor the god of forces, or a god of war which I believe is Allah, and it is a god that his fathers knew not. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob did not know about Allah, did not have any conception of Allah.

Another verse that people point to often is showing that he comes from the people of the prince. The verse they use is Daniel 9:26. And, in this, people often say that he comes from Rome. I believe that he comes from the Roman Empire, but I don't believe that he is Italian in descent, which a lot of people are pointing to. There's the Roman Empire. The eastern leg of the Roman Empire comes out of Constantinople, and Constantinople ruled for a 1,000 years after Rome ceded. And, the reason they point to this is the Tenth Legion of Rome that Titus invaded Israel and Jerusalem and overthrew that area in 70 AD. Titus was the only person who was pretty much of Roman descent, but he was an individual, not people plural. There was another individual. His associate's name was Tiberius Julius Alexander and he was actually the general that did all the work. Titus took the glory, Tiberius Julius did the work. Now the interesting thing is Tiberius Julius was actually an Egyptian Jew born in Alexandria. So, again, both of these people are individuals. It's the people of the prince. Well, history tells us the Tenth Legion was basically hired mercenaries, people from the area. That is what Rome always did. Any of the legions that Rome created they usually pulled from the local people right there. So the Tenth legion, who comprised of the Tenth Legion? They were Middle Eastern Arabs, Syrian, Moabites, Edomites — basically the enemies of Israel. Garrisons of the Tenth Legion were stationed in Judea, Samaria, Jerusalem, so forth, at no time were they ever stationed in Rome. It was only when Titus came back in victory when he entered Rome, and so it was the people of the prince, and I am saying that it is the people who invaded Israel and that was the Tenth Legion were the soldiers and not the individuals.

One more point is if he is of Roman or European descent — Italian descent — I question his names in Scripture. He is clearly called "the Assyrian." He is called the "Prince of Tyre." He is called "King of Babylon." He is called the "King Pharaoh of Egypt." These are all Middle Eastern titles, Middle Eastern names, and Middle Eastern places. If he was from either like Italy or Europe or something, why isn't he called the King of Italy, or the Duke of Germany, or the Prince of Rome, or something like that? I tend to read Scripture literally and maintain a basics in literalness and the golden rule of interpretation. I don't just dig into it more. And so, with these names I point to a Middle Eastern side.


Dr. David Reagan

That unique answer by Ray Gano to the question "Will the Antichrist be a Jew?" gives us a final total of 7 no's, 1 yes, 1 could be, 1 maybe, and 1 yes/no.

Now, until fairly recently, I would say that the majority viewpoint among those who interpret Bible prophecy literally was that the Antichrist will be a Jew. That was primarily due to a statement of Jesus that is recorded in John 5:43, where Jesus is quoted as saying, "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." Now the argument drawn from this statement was that the Antichrist would have to be a Jew in order for the Jews to accept him as their Messiah. It's a very logical argument, but it ignores the fact that other passages in the Bible make it very clear that the Jews will never accept the Antichrist as their Messiah. In fact, we are specifically told that when the Antichrist reveals himself in the middle of the Tribulation and claims to be God the Jews will be horrified and will totally reject him, causing him to turn on them in fury and launch an attempt to annihilate them.

So, what did Jesus mean when he said, "That if another shall come in his own name the Jews will receive him?" Well, those who argue that the Antichrist will be a Gentile responded by saying that the Antichrist will be accepted by the Jewish people as their political savior when he implements a treaty at the beginning of the Tribulation that will guarantee their security and enable them to rebuild their Temple. But, the Jews will never receive the Antichrist as their spiritual Savior, thus when he declares himself as God, they will reject him.

My conclusion is there is no Biblical reason that the Antichrist must be a Jew. And, there is some very strong Biblical evidence that he will be a Gentile. For example, Revelation 13:1 pictures him as a beast arising out of the sea. This is, of course, symbolic language, but it is significant because in the Bible and in Bible prophecy the sea is used to symbolize Gentile nations. For example, in Daniel 7 where there is a prophecy about four great Gentile empires, it refers to them as coming up from the sea. In contrast, the Antichrist's right-hand man and spiritual leader is pictured in Revelation 13:11 as rising up out of the land, or the earth in some translations. This reference to the land is an indication that the False Prophet will be a Jew who will rise out of the promise land of Israel.

Now, there is a logical reason we can assume that the Antichrist will be a Gentile, and it is one that Mark Hitchcock mentioned in his answer. And that is the fact that the book of Daniel reveals that the Antichrist is going to be the leader of the last great Gentile empire. It is simply not logical to assume that such an empire would be headed up by a Jew. Also, it is not logical to assume that a Jew would attempt to annihilate the Jewish people as the Antichrist will try to do. Finally, the clearest type of the Antichrist in the Scriptures is Antiochus Epiphanes who was a Greek tyrant.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Persecution of Christians... In Israel

Nathan JonesPDFBy Nathan Jones

Though I am a firm supporter and believe that the modern state of Israel is the prophetic fulfillment of Ezekiel 37, I am not blind to the fact that Israel persecutes its Messianic Jewish believers.

Some 15,000 Jewish believers in Christ reside in the nation of Israel. They believe that Yeshua (Jesus) is the Messiah the Jews are still waiting for. But, that belief flies in the face of the fundamental Orthodox Jews who firmly believe as the Gospel-time Pharisees did, that Jesus wasn't kingly enough for them to be the Messiah. As an expression of their disbelief, the Orthodox Jews harass and even attempt to kill believers in Christ in Israel. Israel is not a safe place for Christians.

Maoz Israel Ministries, is "a Messianic Jewish ministry in Israel... a catalyst and vehicle for evangelism, training, translating, publishing, economic and disaster relief, and established and underwrites a Hebrew indigenous congregation in Tel Aviv." Their May 13-19, 2009, Dateline Israel report tells of an unexpected support for the Messianic Jews. "After last year's attack on the Ortiz family [bomb], the Israeli press came out with several stories about the Messianic community — some very negative, but some — surprisingly positive." Maoz has packaged these press stories in the short video below.

Ezekiel 38-39 prophesies that the Gog-Magog victory God gives Israel against a massive Muslim invasion will make the Jews "know that I am the LORD" (Ezek. 38:23). Most Jews will then join the Orthodox Jews in their belief in God.

I just hope that many of those Orthodox Jews who currently persecute the Messianic Jews because of the Rapture will soon after have the scales fall off their eyes and realize that Yeshua (Jesus) is truly the Messiah. I hope they'll be part of the 144,000 Jewish evangelists who will share the Gospel during the upcoming 7-year Tribulation (Rev. 7, 14). I hope at the latest they'll be with those who weep like the rest of Jerusalem upon Jesus' Second Coming at the end of the Tribulation as they realize Jesus is the Messiah they've been waiting for, yet have rejected for so long (Zech. 12). If not, all their religious zeal will amount to nothing if they die without accepting God's Son and His salvation.

The very Messianic Jews the Orthodox Jews now persecute hold the final clue to what they are seeking — eternal life.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Going Ape Over Ida

Nathan JonesPDFBy Nathan Jones

With all the promotional power of a combined summer blockbuster extravaganza including Wolverine, Star Trek, Transformers and Harry Potter, evolutionists have released Ida, the lemur/monkey/pre-man fossil thingy.

Not just a quiet announcement by some paleontologist posting his scientific paper, the fossil called "Ida" was prepped for the full red carpet world release using an impressive media blitz. The fossil was unveiled on Tuesday, May 19, 2009, at a full-blown news conference at the famed American Museum of Natural History in New York City. The fossil can be viewed on its own fully interactive website. Television's A&E has a two-hour documentary already produced for showing on Memorial Day on the History Channel, later to be release on the BBC in Britain and ZDF in Germany. Ida also received exclusive appearances on "Good Morning America," "Nightline" and "World News." And, a book called The Link has already been written and published on the fossil, released the same week as the unveiling with 110,000 copies already shipped. Google even worked the fossil into their logo for a day. The world has been introduced to Ida by full multimedia spectacle.

Google Missing Link Logo


Why is the world going ape over Ida?

Well, because this fossil is being claimed to be the "missing link" in man's evolution, finally found since Charles Darwin first published On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life 150 years ago. Ida, it's been touted, proves the Theory of Evolution.

Ida Fossil

The fossil called "Ida" is scientifically named Darwinius masillae, in honor of Charles Darwin on his 200th birthday. According to Ida's website, the fossil is "a 47 million year old, perfectly preserved primate recovered from the Messel Pit in Germany. Ida is the most complete early primate fossil ever found, and scientists believe that she could be one of our earliest ancestors. She is a remarkable link between the first primates and modern humans and despite having lived 47 million years ago, her features show striking similarities to our own."

Long after it's initial discovery in 1983, Jørn Hurum found the fossil in a private collectors display and paid a small fortune to obtain it. Horum then studied the flattened but 95% preserved fossil for years before coming to the conclusion that the fossil shared the attributes of lemurs and monkeys and therefore, according to evolutionists, man. One scientist named the fossil after his 6-year old daughter, Ida, as the age would be compatible to the 9-month age the creature most likely died at. Ida's website describes the fossil having "four legs and a long tail, was about the size of a small cat, and had human-like nails instead of claws, along with a bone in her foot that is similar to humans." What makes the find exceptional to evolutionists is the perceived opposable thumbs on a lemur-like creature.

As Britain's famed nature television star and champion of evolution Sir David Attenborough proclaimed, "This little creature is going to show us our connection with the rest of the mammals. This is the one that connects us directly with them... Now people can say, 'OK, we are primates, show us the link.' The link they would have said up to now is missing — well, it's no longer missing."


Does Ida prove that the Theory of Evolution is true, and that mankind evolved from lumur-like monkey creatures?

Ken Ham, renouned president of Answers in Genesis says the "missing link" story is full of "hot air."

Ham is alarmed by the massive media blitz proclaiming the fossil as the "missing link," because few other scientists could also study the fossil to verify the claims, a staple tenet to the Scientific Process. "It's obviously a lot of media hype to promote an ideology," Ham told WorldNetDaily.com, reported in their Tuesday, May 19, 2009, article by Drew Zahn titled "Media blitz: 'We found missing link.'" He stated, "In the wake of a lot of controversies in creation vs. evolution, evolutionists want to be able to announce they have the ultimate proof… It's obviously a ploy to promote a book and a television special and to indoctrinate the public in evolution by making a lot of statements that are way beyond what the scientists themselves wrote."

Ham has released six of his own observations of the fossil.

  1. Nothing about this fossil suggests it is anything other than an extinct, lemur-like creature.

  2. A fossil can never show evolution.

  3. Similarities can never show evolution.

  4. The remarkable preservation is a hallmark of rapid burial.

  5. If evolution were true, there would be real transitional forms... [instead of] strikingly similar to organisms we see today.

  6. Evolutionists only open up about the lack of fossil missing links once a new one is found.

Ham concludes that Ida is nothing more than "a small, tailed, probably tree-climbing, and now extinct primate — from a kind created on Day 6 of Creation Week... Despite the headlines, Ida gives no support to primate (or human) evolution."

And, what does Ken Ham thinks about all the media hoopla over Ida? "For Attenborough to come out and say, 'We have the missing link; it's no longer missing,' only admits they haven't had missing links before this time. If evolution is so decided, why would they get all excited about one fossil that they find now, when they claim they've had proof of evolution for years?"


The Bible on Ida

No two topics are the most beat up concerning the Bible as the opening and closing books of Genesis and Revelation. To deny the Creation is to claim the Bible isn't trustworthy as the Word of God. To discredit the Bible is to deny the sovereign plan of God. And, to dispose of Revelation is to say that Jesus will not have His victory.

Many want to buy into Satan's lie of erasing the very notion of the one true God so that they can live lives apart from God's moral law. To support their delusion, deniers of the Creation and ultimately God will produce all sorts of "evidence" to support their desire to live apart from Him, which in reality is rebellion against their Creator. 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 explains how this rebellion works, and how God uses their rebellion against them.

"The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness."

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Israel Alone

Nathan JonesPDFBy Nathan Jones

With the May 18, 2009, Netanyahu-Obama meeting behind them, Jews around the world have begun to realize that they are now very much alone.

That's not to say that Israel doesn't have sympathy from countries like Germany and the Czech Republic. They even have two-faced "friends" like Egypt, Turkey and Saudi Arabia who say they are looking out for Israel's peace. But, since Israel became a nation again in 1948, it has had at least one true, friend with teeth in the United States. After the presidential meeting, it would appear that friends have parted ways.

Where past U.S. administrations stood by Israel while trying to appease Israel's hostile Arab neighbors, the Obama administration has made it clear it will stand by Israel's hostile Arab neighbors while trying to appease Israel.

Not only in words, but in action has the Obama administration stated where the United States now stands. Author Daniel Gordis summarized recent White House actions in his Jerusalem Post article "In Perspective: For the sake of clarity, a thought experiment" (Tuesday, May 19, 2009).

"At AIPAC's recent Policy Conference, Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. John Kerry made it clear that for the US to support Israel on Iran, Israel must settle the Palestinian problem once and for all. It has been widely reported that Rahm Emanuel, in an off-the-record session, said precisely the same thing. After decades of tacit agreement that the US would remain silent about Israel's nuclear capability, a State Department official publicly suggested that Israel sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, as if, on the eve of Iran's going nuclear and with Pakistani weapons in danger of falling into the hands of the Taliban, Israel's nuclear arsenal is the world's most serious concern."

The Israel Today Tuesday, May 19, 2009, article titled "Netanyahu holds fast against patronizing Obama" reports on the discordant tone in the meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Barack Obama. "The White House talks were expected to be tense, as both leaders came in with divergent views regarding the creation of a Palestinian state, how to deal with the Iran nuclear crisis, and the linkage between the two issues... Political spin doctors in both Washington and Jerusalem immediately went to work painting the meeting as a relaxed and friendly encounter, though the substance of what the two leaders told the press bespoke a far different reality beneath the surface."

While "Netanyahu maintained his refusal to publicly endorse the establishment of a sovereign Palestinian state," Obama told "reporters that his government will push hard for the birth of 'Palestine,' urging Netanyahu to grasp hold of this 'historic opportunity.'" The discussion over the Palestinians between the two left Netanyahu, according to Israel Today, "patronized."

Pres. Obama then went on to strong-arm Israel to create a Palestinian state or get no help from the U.S. on dealing with Iran's President Ahmadinejad mad desire to build a nuclear weapon to "wipe Israel off the map." Obama said, "To the extent that we can make peace with the Palestinians — between the Palestinians and the Israelis — then I actually think it strengthens our hand in the international community in dealing with the potential Iranian threat."

Obama concluded by making his intention known to push more Arab nations to directly join Israeli-Arab peace talks. Those are the same Arabs that wish Israel to pull back into an indefensible pre-1967 position. "The president indicated that he will unveil a new regional peace initiative when he visits Cairo next month."

Gordis sums up Pres. Obama's rhetoric like this: "A new message is afloat — Israel is the problem, and the US has had enough."

And so, Israel stands alone. The United States has now joined sides with Israel's enemies in their desire to see Israel give up half their land, land no larger than the size of the state of New Jersey.


Are Israel's Enemies Correct?

Since the whole world, even liberal members of Israel's own Knesset, see the birth of a Palestinian nation as the answer to peace in the Middle East, maybe Israel is wrong in not ceding half their land. Is Pres. Obama now leading the U.S. under an actually correct view of what should be done?

Gordis sums how the world views Israel. "Israel is the root of evil in the Middle East. It's the cause of checkpoints, of roadblocks, of a big ugly wall that runs along a border no one has agreed to. The Palestinians are desperate, and in the massive imbalance of power, they have no chance and no hope. Israel is the nuclear bully in a region that, were it not for Israel's existence, would no longer be on the front page. To achieve peace in the Middle East, Israel just needs to be subdued. Break Israel's intransigence, and we'll finally see progress."

Gordis puts this world view to the test. "Imagine that Israelis decide that by Jerusalem Day, this coming week, they want a deal. So we take down the security fence. We remove the checkpoints. We open all the roads, and Gaza's sea and air routes. We agree publicly to return to something closely approximating the pre-1967 borders, and we accede to the demands that parts of Jerusalem be internationally governed, or even put under Palestinian control." He then asks, "Does this end the conflict?"

The answer: "Of course it doesn't!" And, the reason for this answer: "The Hamas Charter calls not only for the destruction of Israel, but for Islamic war on Jews everywhere. (Why do we consistently refuse to believe that Hamas means what it says?) What would change? The noose would tighten. The rockets would be fired from a shorter distance and the demand for the return of refugees (thus ending the Jewishness of the state) would persist. As was the case when Israel left Lebanon in May 2000 or Gaza in the summer of 2005, Israel's enemies would smell a weakened, bloodied state and would prepare for the next stage of their war."

Gordis proposes a different strategy for the world to focus on.

"Imagine that the Palestinians decide that they have tired of the conflict, or their electorate begins its long-overdue rebellion and insists on a settlement. So the Palestinians, Hamas and Fatah, demand everything Israel's agreed to above — an end to roadblocks and the wall, an opening of Gaza, a bridge or a tunnel between Gaza and the West Bank and a return to the 1967 borders. Let's say that they even insist on Palestinian control of east Jerusalem.

But they also recognize Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state. They agree to an immediate and permanent cessation of hostilities and violence... and insist that any other outstanding issues be negotiated and resolved with the U.S. and the Quartet as intermediaries. And they require Israelis to vote within a month, no longer, on whether to accept the deal... In a matter of weeks, three quarters of a century of bloodshed and suffering would come to an end."

Gordis concludes that the world does not have a solution, because "It's never been up to us [Israel], and it's always been up to them [Palestinians]." The hostile Muslim world will never, ever, ever agree to recognize Israel as a state or even their right to exist. No matter how much Israel gave up, nothing short of total national suicide would appease Hamas and the Muslim world. And sadly, that would be the only action that would appease the rest of the world as well.

The world wants Israel as a nation to cease to exist. And, so too regrettably, does the United States, though we many not consciously know our nation desires Israel's demise.


God's Take

God through the prophet Zechariah in chapter 12 verse 2-3 prophesies that Israel will stand alone in the world, a prophecy finding fulfillment today. God said, "I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling."

Many nations will try to uproot Israel from their land and will fail. Eventually, all the nations of the world will come against Israel. "Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem. On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves." But, as Zechariah 12:9 states, "On that day I will set out to destroy all the nations that attack Jerusalem."

The United States has now sided with the enemies of God. Prophetically, we have instead sealed our own nation's demise.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The United States in Bible Prophecy

Dr. David R. ReaganPDFBy Dr. David R. Reagan

Why is the United States not specifically mentioned in end-time Bible prophecy?

This is one of the major mysteries of end-time Bible prophecy. I've interviewed Bible prophecy experts like Terry James and others to gain some keen insights into this mystery.


Q) What is the title of your newest book?

A) It is The American Apocalypse: Is the United States in Bible Prophecy?


Q) I would say that in conducting Bible prophecy conferences for 30 years now probably one of the number one questions always asked is, "Where is the United States in Bible prophecy?" And that has become even more acute question in these times because all the signs point to the fact that we are right on the threshold of the Tribulation and the end-time events, and we are the number one world power. So, why is it we're not mentioned in end-time Bible prophecy?

A) That is a strange thing because certainly the United States is the most powerful nation that's every existed on the face of the earth. It is the most blessed materially and certainly one of the most blessed spiritually that's ever existed. But, just the fact that it's the most powerful nation that has ever existed and brought forth the most technology and the fact that its not mentioned is just quite a thing to query, and I think its not mentioned for specific reasons.

The reason I believe the United States is not in Bible prophecy is because it has deserted its mission, which was basically two fold in my view. The first was to get the technology that would eventually get the Bible to the whole world. And that we have done and we continue to do it, and maybe that's one of our saving graces up to this point considering how far we've fallen in so many areas. But that was number one.

The second thing I think is to be the protector in the human sense. Now, God doesn't need anybody to protect Israel. But in the human sense, I think that the United States has been used as a mighty weapon to keep other nations from completely overrunning Israel. We acted as midwife with that with President Harry Truman having almost a supernatural insight in some instances into Bible prophecy and what it all meant. He was there at the right time at the right place. Not that we always would agree with his politics or anything like that maybe, but as far as using him as an instrument to protect Israel that has happened.

So America has had those two primary missions and I think we're still in the process of doing the first one and that is to bring the Gospel message to the whole world through the technology we develop. But the second, we are beginning to stray from and I think that is in dealing with Israel. We know that Genesis 12:3 says that, "God says I will bless those who bless three, curse those who curse thee." Of course, America has been the materially blessed nation on earth — no question about it.


Q) A good portion of your book is devoted to America straying from what God called us to do. What is the evidence that we have really strayed from that and that God's judgment may be upon us at this time?

A) We talked about the way America has been blessed because it's treated Israel well and blessed it. The second part is the sadder part and that is that America has begun to stray in a major way with dealing with Israel as we have put pressure on Israel to give up land for peace. What is particularly troubling is they've been pressured to give up part of east Jerusalem to a new Palestinian state; a "Two State Solution" they call it. And this I can tell you from God's Word flies in the face of the Lord. Anybody who touches Jerusalem touches the apple of His eye according to God and that's exactly what has happened. Joel 3:2 says that "I'll bring all the nations of the world into the valley of Jehoshaphat for dealing unjustly with my people Israel"... and that's exactly what's happened!

But, there are so many other things, too. Paul's perilous time of Second Timothy chapter 3 just runs rampant throughout America, from the proud boasts we see in all the political process and in every strata of American life, all the way through to people who become fierce, who become lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God — all these things. Particularly, I find a problem is the verse about "without natural affection." Paul says this and it's particularly applicable to abortion. More than fifty million babies murdered in their wombs since Roe v. Wade in 1973.

Secondly, the homosexual issue and the gay rights issue that is just pandemic. Every major empire that's ever crashed has had at the very end of its lifespan homosexuality, from Lot's time onward.


Q) I have found that many people including Christians believe that God's sitting on his throne wrapped in an American flag and that He would never ever touch the United States of America. Is that true?

A) Well, of course we both know that's just foolishness. Israel, who God calls "His chosen people," He has certainly taken them to the woodshed on many occasions. If it wasn't for His promises and His grace they would not be back in the land today. And America certainly is not mentioned, and the very fact that the United States is not mentioned in Bible prophecy despite it being far greater than Israel ever was materially, not spiritually, but materially... and to have such a great nation as the United States has been hailed to be and it's not mentioned anywhere in Bible prophecy by name? That in itself tells you how that America or no other entity is above God and His ways.


Q) Why isn't the United States mentioned in end-time Bible prophecy? People have speculated it's because we're going to be attacked by Russia or China. Others have speculated it's going to be interior terrorist attacks that will bring this nation into chaos. Others have suggested it will be moral rot that will cause the collapse of the nation. Others have said it's going to be economic collapse. What do you think it's going to be?

A) It could be all of the above! But, I really believe that this nation is going to come down hard when the Rapture occurs. There will be chaos beyond belief and I believe personally that every single child below the age of accountability (that age when they know to accept Christ or refuse), will be gone in an instant. Just that alone is going to cause chaos beyond imagination. God's going to make a definite statement, in my opinion, at that very moment about when life begins, because every woman left behind I believe who is pregnant will at that moment lose that child and they will be without that baby.

And so, many things we see right now that would completely tear down the sovereignty and autonomy of America has been going on for some time. It's happening now on a fast track in my opinion, and I think when the Rapture occurs it's going to be a complete collapse, not only of America but the whole economic situation. The scenario as I see it is that America will cease to be a super power because it will have lost its national and its economic and every other part of its equilibrium.


Q) People have never really thought of the incredible chaos that would occur with the Rapture. What do you think will be the result of that chaos?

A) I think the European Union is the answer now. Europe has turned out the gospel light long ago and the Islamic way is now taking over even the old churches. They're becoming mosques. And so they are still going to have a particularly strong structure called the EU at the time of the complete collapse. I believe at that time America and its leadership which will have been devastated is going to look for a strong way to restore equilibrium. The United States with its great power and technology is going to be accepted into the European Union and become a part of it.


Q) Where do you see the United States in end-time Bible prophecy?

Answer by Phillip Goodman) The United States in end-time Bible prophecy generically has to be classified with all nations. There's no specific reference to the United States. But generically, if the United States still exists and is still here as a nation, it's going to be like all the other nations. It's going to turn against Israel and it's going to come down upon Jerusalem in the last days. It's going to bow its knee to the Antichrist and it's going to come under the crux of the Antichrist. It's going to come under the same destiny of all the nations in the last days because of one of the nations.

But, there's a specific reference to or at least an illusion to the United States in Daniel 11. Daniel 11 begins in verse 36 talking about the Antichrist. You come down to verse 39 and it says the Antichrist will take action against the strongest of fortresses. The King James Version says "the most strongholds." The Hebrew word maoz means "the strongest of fortresses," or as the New International Version would put it, "the strongest against the mightiest of fortresses." You've got all of these different, but it all comes down to this term "the strongest of fortresses." In modern terms that is super powers. That's simply what it is. So this is a prediction that the Antichrist will take action against and will prevail over whoever the super power is in the last day, or the super powers. And, of course, right now the United States is seen as the super power in the world with Russia and China a close second. So this is a very, very strong illusion to the United States that it will fall. This answers the question of how the Antichrist is going to reign and rule over every nation, tribe, tongue and people including the United States in the last days.

Answer by Al Gist) I don't think the United States really plays a major role. For many years I've always preached that since World War II we've been the leading nation of the world — economically, politically, militarily. But, the Bibles is really clear that the kingdom of the Antichrist will be a coalition of European nations. Europe will be the leading power of the last days. It's through that power base that the Antichrist comes to reign and from that he will spread his evil tentacles eventually around the planet to control the entire world. Europe will be the leading nation of the last days and the Antichrist will come to power through that.

The United States I think is only mentioned indirectly, such as in Zechariah 14, where it speaks of the nations of the world coming against Jerusalem. I'm assuming that even though we may not be the leader of the world, the United States may still be in existence and may be part of the nations that come against Israel. So only in an indirect way do I see the United States mentioned in last days Bible prophecy.

Answer by Ed Hindson) Technically, no place. Specifically, now in one sense is the United States included in the whole world in the end-times? Certainly. The United States will probably still exist at the time of the end. Especially if we're near the time of the end the United States would be a player. The Antichrist the Scripture says will ultimately control the whole known world and impose the Mark of the Beast at the time of the end. That would include the United States. But, the Bible does not say anything about a nation like the United States having an active role in the end-times.

That may mean that the United States, number one, is part of the European coalition which is controlled by the Antichrist in the end-times. Assuming that many Americans are transplanted Europeans... although one could say that of Canadians and Australians and New Zealanders as well.

Or, it may mean number two, that the United States has fallen into some kind of economic disaster and is now a second rate nation in the world.

Or, number three, that the United States has been wiped out by a war, which is not prophesied clearly at all in the Bible.

Or, number four, that the Rapture has had such a devastating impact on America in the end-times that America is no longer a major player. I think of all those options, that is the most likely. If there really are millions of Christians, and I realize not everybody that professes Christ is a genuine believer, but assuming that there are millions of genuinely born again people in America, the Rapture would have as great an impact or greater on America than any other nation on the planet. America would be economically devastated — the police, the fire, the protection agencies, the hospitals, the doctors, the nurses, even the military would be thrown into disarray immediately. One moment after the Rapture changes everything. The United States would become a second rate power allowing Europe to move into that power vacuum and ultimately try to lead the world in promising to bring peace and stability to a world that has been left behind.

Answer by Dr. Reagan) I will wrap this up by sharing my viewpoint that I have developed in great detail in the latest edition of my book, America the Beautiful? The United States in Bible Prophecy.

I believe the United States will be greatly weakened in the end-times through remedial judgments of God, like the current financial crisis we are suffering. But, I believe our final demise as a world power will be the result of the Rapture. We have more born again Christians than all of Europe and England combined, and when the Rapture occurs our nation will be devastated and thrown into absolute chaos. Quite likely our only hope for survival will be membership in the European Union.

Although we are not specifically mentioned in end-time prophecy, we are there in prophetic type and that type is the ancient nation of Judah. We have been blessed like Judah with wealth, freedom, great godly leaders and with the spiritual opportunity to share the Gospel with all the world. But, we have sinned like Judah, giving our hearts to pride, materialism and hedonism. We are now being warned like Judah through prophetic voices and remedial judgments. And, we are responding like Judah by ignoring the warnings. The conclusion seems inescapable. We are heading for the same fate as Judah.

We need to pray for our nation's spiritual health as never before. Our hope is not a new political party or a new President or a new world order. Our only hope is Jesus Christ. And, since He is returning very soon, we need to proclaim the gospel to as many people as we can as quickly as we can.

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Unscriptural Doctrines of Masonry

Dr. David R. ReaganPDFBy Dr. David R. Reagan

Several doctrines taught by the Masons are particularly repulsive to the Word of God. One is that there are many ways to God. Consider, for example, this quote from Carl Claudy's book, Introduction to Freemasonry: "In his private petitions a man may petition God or Jehovah, Allah or Buddha, Mohammed or Jesus; he may call upon the God of Israel or the Great First Cause. In the Masonic Lodge he hears petition to the Great Architect of the Universe, finding his own deity under that name. A hundred paths may wind upward around a mountain; at the top they meet."1 By contrast, Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me..." (John 14:6).

In other words, Masonry teaches salvation through all religions, whereas the Bible teaches there is salvation in only one name under heaven — the name of Jesus (Acts 4:12).


Salvation by Works

Another unscriptural Masonic doctrine is salvation by works. Masonic literature is replete with references to being justified before God through good works.

For example, in the Kentucky Masonic handbook, the lambskin apron worn by Masons is described as a reminder "of that purity of life and conduct which is essential to gaining admission to the Celestial Lodge above, where the Supreme Architect of the Universe presides."2 The Holman edition of the Masonic Bible contains a Masonic Creed that asserts that "character determines destiny."3 The former Masonic Grand Chaplain of Pennsylvania summed it up this way:4

"The philosophy of Freemasonry is to make man the master of his own destiny, to show him that there also is an immortality on earth brought by his actions; that he can, through his own efforts... inscribe his name in the 'Book of Life.'"

This is a different Gospel, and as such, it is condemned by Paul in Galatians 1:8-9. The true Gospel is that we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus, and not through works (Ephesians 2:8-10).


Jesus is One of Many Saviors

A third unbiblical doctrine of Masonry relates to their view of Jesus. He is portrayed in Masonic literature as one of many Saviors. Consider this quote from the Kentucky handbook:5

"All antiquity... believed in a future life... and in a Mediator or Redeemer... The belief was general that He was to be born of a virgin and suffer a painful death. The Hindus called him Krishna; the Chinese, Kioun-tse; the Persians, Sosiosch; the Chaldeans, Dhouvanai; the Egyptians, Horus; Plato, Love; the Scandinavians, Balder; the Christians, Jesus; the Masons, Hiram."

As this paragraph indicates, Jesus comes across in Masonic literature as nothing more than one of many enlightened men. He certainly is not viewed as divine. Former Masonic leader, Jim Shaw, has written that in official Masonic doctrine, "Jesus is just a man. He is one of the 'exemplars,' one of the great men of the past, but not divine and certainly not the only means of redemption of lost mankind."6

In sharp contrast, the Bible teaches that Jesus was the unique and only begotten Son of God — that He was, in fact, God in the flesh (Philippians 2:1-9 and John 1:1-14).

One other thing — Masons are not allowed to pray in their lodges in the name of Jesus. Yet the Word of God says that Christians are to offer all prayers in Jesus' name (Colossians 3:17).


A God Alien to the Bible

According to Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia all men involved in Masonry must decide between the inferior Christian God and the true God of Masonry:7

"Men have to decide whether they want a God like the ancient Hebrew Jahweh, a partisan, tribal God, with whom they can talk and argue and from whom they can hide if necessary, or a boundless, eternal, universal, undenominational, and international, Divine Spirit, so vastly removed from the speck called man, that He cannot be known, named, or approached."

This quotation makes it clear that the God of Masonry, called The Great Architect of the Universe and symbolized by the all-seeing eye, is not the true God of the Bible. The Bible reveals that the creator of this universe is a triune God consisting of one God in three persons. The Bible further reveals that He is a Father God who desires intimate fellowship with His creation. He is anything but a "tribal God" who is aloof and unapproachable (Isaiah 57:15).

Although Masons are taught that the real name of God cannot be known because it has been lost, those who pursue the higher levels of Masonry are ultimately told that the secret name of the Masonic deity is Jabulon.8 This is an acronym for Jehovah, Baal (the ancient Canaanite god), and Osiris (an Egyptian mystery god). Can there really be any doubt that Masonry is steeped in paganism?


The Masonic Defense

Many Masons respond to these criticisms by observing that George Washington was a Mason and that fourteen of our Presidents have been Masons. But these facts are irrelevant. No one denies that many good and great men have been and are Masons.

Others defend the Masons by pointing out that many ministers are Masons. This too does not prove anything. Many ministers are also members of the apostate National Council of Churches, and many ministers are unsaved.

Another defense of Masonry is that it honors the Bible as God's Word. The Standard Masonic Monitor maintains that the Bible is "the Great Light in Masonry" and even advises Masons to study it diligently.9 But this claim is highly misleading. In actuality, the Bible is officially designated as a piece of "lodge furniture."10 In Utah, Masons place the Book of Mormon on their lodge altars. In India, the Hindu Vedras are placed on the altar, and in Muslim lands, the altar features the Koran.

The Masonic attitude toward the Bible is best summed up by an article that appears in the Masonic Bible that is published by Holman:11

"Thus, by the very honor which Masonry pays to the Bible, it teaches us to revere every book of faith... joining hands with the man of Islam as he takes his oath on the Koran, and with the Hindu as he makes covenant with God upon the book that he loves best. For Masonry knows what so many forget, that religions are many, but Religion is one... Therefore, it invites to its altar men of all faiths knowing that, if they use different names for "the Nameless One of a hundred names," they are yet praying to the one God and Father of all; knowing also, that while they read different volumes, they are in fact reading the same vast Book of the Faith of Man."

What incredible blasphemy of God and His Holy Word!

Finally, Masons try to defend themselves by pointing to the good works of the Masonic Order. But again, no one denies that Masons do many good works. Their good works are just not relevant to the issue. Furthermore, the Bible tells us that we are to do our good works in the name of Jesus so that He will receive the honor and glory (Colossians 3:17).


The Real Issue

The real issue is Jesus Christ. He calls us to be open about our faith. The Masons operate in secret. Jesus calls us to refrain from taking oaths. The Masons require blood oaths. Jesus call us to do all things in His name, to His honor and glory. Masons do their good works in the name of Masonry and to the glory of "The Great Architect of the Universe." The Word says Jesus is "the blessed and only potentate" (1 Timothy 6:14-15). Masons exalt their temple leaders by calling them spiritual titles like "Worshipful Master." Jesus said He is the only way to God. Masons argue there are many roads to God.

If you are a Christian and a Mason, I believe you should repent of your involvement and denounce the Masonic oaths you have taken. You should ask God to forgive you for ever having taken the oaths. You should resign your Masonic membership and rededicate yourself to Jesus and Him only.

Then you should start spending the time you used to spend in Masonry in your local church working to expand the Kingdom of God.


Good News Concerning the Masons

Masonic membership within the United States has been diminishing rapidly.

In 1958 the number of Masons in the U.S. stood at 4.2 million, or 2.4% of the total population.

By the beginning of 2005 the American membership had dropped to less than 1.5 million, or 0.6% of the population.

Most Masons today are over the age of 50. The movement is obviously dying, and we can be thankful for that.


Internet Resources


  1. Ex-Masons for Jesus: http://www.emfj.org/

  2. Ephesians 5:11: http://www.ephesians5-11.org/

  3. Saints Alive for Jesus: http://www.saintsalive.com/


Notes

1) Carl Claudy, Introduction to Freemasonry (Morristown, NJ: The Temple Books, 1931). This book is still in print in the form of three pamphlets.

2) Henry Pirtle, Kentucky Monitor (Louisville, KY: The Standard Printing Co., 1921), page 32.

3) Holy Bible: Temple Illustrated Edition (Nashville, TN: A. J. Holman Company, 1968).

4) Charles H. Lacquement, "Freemasonry and Organized Religions," The Pennsylvania Freemason, February 1989.

5) Pirtle, pages xiv-xv.

6) Shaw & McKenney, pages 126-127.

7) Coil, pages 516-517.

8) Ankerberg & Weldon, page 85.

9) George Simmons and Robert Macoy, Standard Masonic Monitor (Richmond, VA: Macoy Publishing and Masonic Supply, 1971), page 21.

10) Carrico, page 19 and Ankerberg & Weldon, page 61.

11) Joseph Fort Newton, "The Bible and Masonry," an article in Holy Bible: Temple Illustrated Edition (Nashville, TN: A. J. Holman Co., 1968), pages 3-4.

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Cultic Characteristics of Masonry

Dr. David R. ReaganPDFBy Dr. David R. Reagan

What are the cultic characteristics of Masonry? Two which cannot be denied by any Mason are the requirement of secrecy and the taking of oaths.

Masonry is a secret organization. Ask any Mason what goes on at his meetings, and he will start evading your questions. He is sworn to secrecy. This is a classic characteristic of cultic groups, and it is an attitude that stands in opposition to Scripture. The Bible says: "Everyone who does evil hates the light and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God" (John 3:20-21).

The irony in all this is that, in actuality, the Masonic Order really does not have any secrets because thousands of men have come out of Masonry and have exposed all its "secrets" in many publications. These revelations have shed light on a second cultic feature.


Blood Oaths

Every Mason is required to take three blood oaths.1 For example, in the first degree of Masonry, as an Entered Apprentice, the person is required to place a curse on himself by swearing an oath that he will bind himself "under no less penalty than to have my throat cut across and my tongue torn out by the roots... so help me God."

It is incredible that the name of God would be invoked in such a demonic oath, particularly when the Bible commands us not to take any oaths at all: "Do not swear at all... simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes' and your 'No' be 'No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one" (Matthew 5:34-37).

At the second degree, the Fellow Craft level, the Mason swears "to have my left breast torn open and my heart and vitals taken from thence and thrown over my left shoulder... if ever I should prove willfully guilty of violating any part of this my solemn oath or obligation... so help me God."

The third degree Master Mason swears "to have my body severed in two in the midst, and divided to the north and south, and my bowels burnt to ashes in the center, and the ashes scattered before the four winds of heaven... were I ever to prove willfully guilty of violating any part of this solemn oath... so help me God."

No Christian has any business putting himself under such oaths, even if they are not taken seriously. God takes them seriously, and so does Satan.

Further, in the case of married men, these oaths create a barrier to the marriage relationship because they put the Mason under an obligation to refrain from revealing his Masonic activities to his wife.

Also, in these oaths, absolute allegiance is pledged to all fellow Masons, many of whom do not even confess Jesus as Christ. This violates Scripture, for we are commanded not to yoke ourselves with unbelievers, "for what fellowship does darkness have with light?" (2 Corinthians 6:14).


The Different Levels of Masonry

In addition to the three oaths above that are required of all Masons, there are many other demonic oaths that are required should a person desire to go further in Masonry.

Most Masons are content to remain a third degree, Master Mason. Few venture beyond that point because each degree thereafter is expensive to obtain. But those who desire to go further have two choices. They can either pursue the Scottish Rite which advances by numerical degrees, beginning with the fourth and ending with the 32nd (the 33rd degree is honorary). Or they can seek to achieve the degree of Knights Templar by following the York Rite and its named degrees.

Both a 32nd degree Mason and a Knights Templar are eligible to become a Shriner. The Shriners are the most conspicuous part of Masonry. They wear red fez hats and ride motorcycles in parades. They are commonly referred to by other Masons as "the party animals of Freemasonry." Tom McKenney, who became one of the top leaders of Masonry before he found the Lord, states that the initiation ceremonies for Shriners are particularly childish, rowdy, and often vulgar and degrading.2

Most people are not aware of the fact that the Shrine is the Islamic expression of Freemasonry, making it clearly anti-Christian. The full name is "Ancient Arabic Order, Nobles of the Mystic Shrine," and everything about the Shrine is based on the Muslim faith and Arabic symbolism.


Other Demonic Oaths

All Shriners are required to take an oath in which they make several promises. They conclude the oath by saying that if they should ever break any of their promises, "may I incur the fearful penalty of having my eyeballs pierced to the center with a three-edged blade, my feet flayed, and... may Allah, the god of Arab Moslem and Mohammedan, the god of our fathers, support me to the entire fulfillment of the same, Amen." This is said by the candidate while he is kneeling before a Muslim altar with his hand on the Koran!3

The Scottish Rite tenth degree oath is also particularly demonic in nature. Notice how it commits the oath taker to commit murder, if necessary:4

"I do promise and swear upon the Holy Bible never to reveal where I have received this degree... and in failure of this I consent to have my body opened perpendicularly and to be exposed for eight hours in the open air, so that the venomous flies may eat my entrails, my head to be cut off and put on the highest pinnacle of the world, and I will always be ready to inflict the same punishment on those who shall disclose this degree and break this obligation. So may God help and maintain me. Amen."

When Tom McKenney was awarded the honorary 33rd degree at a special ceremony at the Masonic headquarters in Washington, D.C., he was required to drink wine from a skull and say, "May this wine I now drink become a deadly poison to me, as the hemlock juice drunk by Socrates, should I ever knowingly or willfully violate the same [his oath]."5

One Christian writer expressed it well when he referred to Masonry's "horrid oaths" and observed that they contain penalties which would "shame a common cannibal."6


Notes

1) The blood oaths of Masonry can be found in many publications and in articles on the Internet. One good source is The Guide for Ministry to Masons by David L. and Donna M. Carrico (Evansville, IL: Followers of Jesus Christ Ministries, 1997), pages 14-19.

2) McKenney, pages 37-44.

3) Carrico, pages 17-19. See also: McKenney, page 40.

4) Zenith Harris Merrill, "Freemasonry: The Devil's Playground," accessed on February 10, 2007.

5) Jim Shaw & Tom McKenney, The Deadly Deception: Freemasonry Exposed by One of Its Top Leaders (Lafayette, LA: Huntington House, 1988), page 104.

6) Martin Wagner, Freemasonry: An Interpretation (Grosse Pointe, MI: Seminar Tapes and Books, 1912), page 556.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Should Masons Hold Church Positions?

Dr. David R. ReaganPDFBy Dr. David R. Reagan

The Masonic Order has definite cultic characteristics, but it is not a classic cult because it does not require membership in it only, to the exclusion of all other groups or churches. In fact, Masons are encouraged to be an active member of a local church.

This distinctive feature of Masonry has given the organization far more influence within Christendom than all the recognized cults put together.

Rather than labeling Masonry a cult, I prefer to call it a false religion, and I think I can prove that assertion.


Church Prohibitions

Many Christian denominations have recognized the cultic nature of Masonry and have taken decisive steps to retard its influence among their members. For example, the Missouri Synod of the Lutheran Church prohibits Masons from becoming members of their church. Likewise, the Nazarene Church has banned from its membership any person who is a member of a secret organization like the Masons.

The Catholic Church has also taken a strong stand against Masonry. Ever since 1728 Catholics have been prohibited from joining the Masons. That stance was reaffirmed by the Vatican in 1984 with a pronouncement that any Catholic who joins the Masons is "in a state of grave sin and cannot partake in Holy Communion."1

The British Methodist Church also condemned Masonry at its General Assembly in 1985. The Assembly acted on a report of its Faith and Order Committee. That report, entitled "Freemasonry & Methodism," outlined the occultic nature of Masonry in detail. The report concluded with these words: "There is a great danger that the Christian who becomes a Freemason will find himself compromising his Christian beliefs or his allegiance to Christ, perhaps without realizing what he is doing."2

Many other denominations, both in the United States and abroad, have passed resolutions condemning Masonry as un-Christian in nature. Groups here in America include the Wesleyan Methodist Church, the Assemblies of God, the Evangelical Mennonite Church, the Christian Reformed Church, the General Association of Regular Baptists, the Greek Orthodox Church, and the Presbyterian Church in America — among others.3

The glaring omission, of course, is the Southern Baptists, and this is a very serious matter because many Southern Baptists, including pastors and deacons, are also Masons.

Many Southern Baptists who strongly oppose Masonry were able to get a resolution passed at their 1992 convention which asked their membership to avoid association with organizations that operate in secret and which espouse doctrines that conflict with clear biblical teaching.4

Even though Masonry was not specifically mentioned in this resolution, its wording infuriated Masons, and they went to work to override it. Thousands of Christian Masons were encouraged to attend the 1993 convention. A special publication was issued that showed Baylor University officials on the cover wearing their Masonic regalia. The publication declared that "Masonry is perfectly compatible with the classic Protestant belief in justification by faith."5

During the interim leading up to the 1993 convention, a special committee studied the issue and released an incredible report in which it admitted that there were things about Masonry that were pagan, unscriptural, and in conflict with basic Christian beliefs, but recommended nonetheless that membership in the Masonic Order "be a matter of personal conscience." The convention adopted this recommendation.6


A Personal Observation

In light of the strong bans against Masonic membership that have been pronounced by many Christian denominations, I want to make one thing very clear. I am not advocating that Masons be kicked out of their local churches. I know many fine Christian men who are Masons. Most of them are in the Masonic Order for business contacts or social purposes or because it is a family heritage. Most of them do not pay any attention to the organization's religious teachings. In fact, most are probably ignorant of what Masonry teaches about God.

In other words, I believe it is possible for a person who is ignorant of Masonry's religious teachings to be both a Mason and a Christian. But I do not believe a person can be an informed Mason and a committed Christian at the same time.

I have concluded that because of Masonry's cultic characteristics and its totally false religious doctrines, a Christian who is a Mason can never grow to his full potential in Christ. For this reason, I believe that no Mason should be put in a position of leadership in a local church. How can any person serve effectively as a Christian spiritual leader when he has compromised his commitment to Christ by participating in a cult-like organization that promotes a false religion?


Notes

1) Reverend Robert I. Bradley, S.J. "Catholicism vs. Freemasonry — Irreconcilable Forever," Eternal Word Television Network, accessed on February 10, 2007.

2) Christian Chapel CME Church, Dallas, Texas, "Freemasonry is a Non Christian Occult Religion," accessed on February 10, 2007.

3) Ankerberg & Weldon, page 131.

4) Ibid., pages 129-130.

5) Ibid., page 130.

6) Tom C. McKenney, Please Tell Me... Questions People Ask About Freemasonry — and the Answers (Lafayette, LA: Huntington House Publishers, 1994), page 23. See also: "The Impact of Freemasonry within the Church" by Ephesians 5:11, accessed on December 4, 2006.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Is Masonry A Fraternal Order Or Religion?

Dr. David R. ReaganPDFBy Dr. David R. Reagan

Masonry is a fraternal, social, and service organization. But it is more. It is also a religious organization.

The Masons nearly always deny this in their public statements, but their official literature and their actions make it clear that Masonry is a religion. They require a belief in God — any god — as a condition of membership. They have published a Masonic Bible that contains special study guides. They conduct funerals for their members. Most important, their official, non-public literature is filled with religious doctrine.

Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia, considered to be the most authoritative and influential Masonic book today,1 states point blank that "Freemasonry is undoubtedly a religion."2 In Albert G. Mackey's Manual of the Lodge he says: "As Masons we are taught never to begin any great or important undertaking without first invoking the blessing and protection of deity, and this is because Masonry is a religious institution."3 In another of his books, Mackey (considered the third most influential Masonic writer4) declares that "the religion of Masonry is cosmopolitan and universal."5

The greatest Masonic writer of all times, Albert Pike, argued that "every Masonic Lodge is a temple of religion; and its teachings are instruction in religion."6 He further stated, "Masonry is... the universal, eternal, immutable religion, such as God planted in the heart of universal humanity."7


Personal Experience

Some personal experiences have convinced me that many Masons look upon the Masonic Order as their church, or perhaps more appropriately, as their ticket to Heaven.

This conclusion is based upon the letters I received from the wives of Masons during the 22 years I had a nationwide radio program (1980-2002). Every time I would broadcast a series of radio programs about Masonry, I would receive a flood of letters from wives expressing deep concern about their husbands' involvement in the organization.

The letters read like a broken record. Over and over the same sentiment was expressed: "My husband is a Mason. He claims to be a Christian. Yet he never studies his Bible, rarely prays, and attends church with me only two or three times a year. But he never misses a Masonic meeting."

Another experience that I vividly remember occurred at a church in Indiana in the late 1980's. When I arrived to conduct a prophecy conference for them, I noticed a large chart in the foyer. A number of people were standing around studying the chart.

When I asked what it was all about, a man who introduced himself as one of the elders, explained that the pastor had called for a 24 hour prayer vigil at the church in behalf of the conference. On the chart were the names of dozens of people who had signed up to come to the church to pray for 30 minutes, day and night. I was impressed.

I turned to the elder and asked, "Where is your name on the chart?"

"Oh, it's not there," he said. "You see, last night was my Masonic lodge meeting, so I couldn't be here to pray."


Notes

1) John Ankerberg & John Weldon, Fast Facts on the Masonic Lodge (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers), page 17.

2) Henry Wilson Coil, Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia (New York: Macoy Publishing and Masonic Supply, 1961), page 158.

3) Albert G. Mackey, Manual of the Lodge (New York: Clark Maynard, 1870), page 46.

4) Ankerberg & Weldon, page 17.

5) Albert G. Mackey, An Encyclopedia of Freemasonry and Its Kindred Sciences, vol. 1 (Chicago: Masonic History Co.), page 301.

6) Albert Pike, Liturgy of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, part 2 (Washington, D.C.: The Supreme Council, 33rd Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry of the Southern Jurisdiction of the USA, 1982) page 167.

7) Ibid., pages 198-199.