- The Temple Mount and biblical prophecy.
- As in the days of Noah
- Fun in the Cathedral.
It’s all coming together.
The Bible contains around 500 prophecies of events that will happen before the return of the Messiah Jesus. All these signs are coming together in our time, telling us that humanity is on the way to this event which will be preceded by the Great Tribulation, a seven year period of trouble on earth.
Here are three current events and trends which line up with Bible prophecies written centuries ago and all of which come together in our time.
1. The coming Middle East war.
The key sign that this is about to happen is the restoration of Israel as a Jewish homeland in 1948. Iran has declared its intention to destroy Israel and is funding its proxies in the region with missiles in order to do this. It is extending its influence into four Arab countries, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen, and using its proxies in these countries for its conflicts with Israel and Saudi Arabia. The Shiite militia Hezbollah in Lebanon, has around 130,000 Iranian supplied missiles pointed at Israel. Iran has set up bases in Syria in support of the Assad regime along with Russian forces operating in that country. Israel has mounted several raids attacking these bases in what is already a low level war between the two countries. Russia has warned Israel not to continue these attacks.
Iran is operating in Iraq setting up bases in Shiite areas of that country as well as backing the Shiite Houthis in their war against the Sunni government of Yemen. It has supplied them with missiles which have been fired at Saudi Arabia. The attack on the Saudi oil refinery at Abaqaiq on September 15 was claimed by Houthis from Yemen using Iranian supplied drones, although it now appears that the missiles came from Iranian militias operating in Iraq. This situation could lead to war in the region.
There are growing border skirmishes between Israel and Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon. After rocket attacks on Israel coming from Gaza, Israel may have to resolve the situation militarily and bring down Hamas. In this case Iran may instruct its Hezbollah allies to open a second war front and launch missiles against Israel from Lebanon. Israel would hit back with devastating force, most likely crippling Lebanon’s infrastructure as well as hitting Iranian bases in Syria and Iraq. One Israeli commentator said that any weapon coming from Hezbollah should be treated as though it came from Iran prompting direct Israeli attack on Iranian cities.
This could bring Russia into the conflict which will lead to the fulfilment of the prophecy of Ezekiel 38-9, the war of Gog and Magog, written around 2500 years ago. For the first time in history Russian and Iranian forces are stationed in Syria to the north of Israel. As Ezekiel 38.8 says at this time Israel will be regathered from the nations to the land of Israel, and be in control of the mountains of Israel, the Golan Heights. Israel will survive this war due to the direct intervention of God on their behalf (Ezekiel 38.18-23 and 39).
Ezekiel 38.2-6 mentions Persia (Iran) by name and also speaks of the involvement of a great power to the uttermost north leading it (Russia). Ezekiel 38.13 also says that western nations (Tarshish) and Sheba and Dedan (Arabia) will be among the nations opposing the invasion. These details written 2500 years ago line up with the present Middle East situation.
2. The environmental crisis.
Fear is taking hold of people around the world about the state of the environment. Environmentalists say we have 18 months to 12 years to fix the world before irreversible climate change leads to the world becoming uninhabitable by the end of this century. The last five years are said to be the hottest on record and at this rate the temperature will rise by 3C degrees by the end of the century. Heatwaves, droughts, floods, burning forests, melting ice sheets are being blamed on human activity, especially the burning of fossil fuels. Drastic solutions are proposed, including cutting out car and airplane travel, and closing down power stations fuelled by fossil fuels. Some are calling for an end to capitalism and a reduction in the world’s population from the present seven and a half billion to under one billion, in order to save the world. Microsoft billionaire, Bill Gates has launched the SCoPEx project to create ‘a chemical cloud to cool the earth’ by seeding the atmosphere with chemicals designed to reflect the sun’s rays back into space and cool the temperature on earth. Critics of the scheme say it would release chemicals into the atmosphere which could pollute the skies across the planet, dim the sun and lead to a collapse of the global biosphere and mass starvation as food crops fail.
There are those who say that doomsday prediction are exaggerated and that changes in the climate have more to do with changes in the sun, cloud cover, wind direction, ocean currents and occasional disasters like volcanic eruptions. Humans can do nothing about this. Some climate scientists question the evidence for man made climate change. A recent report “No Experimental Evidence for the Significant Anthropogenic Climate Change.” https://arxiv.org/pdf/1907.00165.pdf said that human activity can account for no more than 0.01 degrees increase in global temperatures.
Whatever the truth on this matter, it appears from the prophecies in the Bible that there will be an environmental disaster in the last days. This prophecy in Revelation 9.2 is like a description of a great volcanic eruption: ‘And he opened the bottomless pit, and smoke arose out of the pit like the smoke of a great furnace. So the sun and the air were darkened because of the smoke of the pit.’ Revelation 16.8-9 says that great heat at the end of this age will be the result of change in the sun rather than man made global warming: ‘Then the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and power was given to him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat, and they blasphemed the name of God who has power over these plagues; and they did not repent and give Him glory.’ Revelation 16.8-9.
In Luke 21 Jesus spoke of ‘men’s hearts failing them with fear for what is coming on the earth, the sea and the waves roaring’ in the days before His return. The fact that these things are beginning to happen in our time is another sign that the human race is approaching the Great Tribulation period and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. See Isaiah 24, Luke 21.10-11, 25-28, Revelation 8.7-12, 16.1-21
3. Financial crisis.
Peter Oborne wrote an article in the Daily Mail on August 17 with the headline ‘Red lights are flashing. An economic hurricane is coming…and we should all be scared.’ He wrote that this is not ‘a normal recession of the kind that comes along every decade or so, but a global phenomenon that could take down the whole system.’ He said that Germany’s economy, the powerhouse of the EU is shrinking, Italy is a disaster waiting to happen, while China’s currency, the yuan, has just devalued to a record low raising fears of a coming currency war, which will affect the whole global system. Other issues threatening the economic future are the US trade war with China, the possibility of a Middle East war shutting off global oil supplies and uncertainties over Brexit.
He wrote of huge and mounting global debt far higher than at the time of the 2008 recession. In 2008, governments around the world were able to save the situation by investing huge sums, bailing out banks and re-floating the economy via quantitative easing. In the process trillions of dollars of unreal money was created to keep the system afloat creating world debt which now stands at $246 trillion, three times global GDP. He pointed out that this is unsustainable and that a day of reckoning is on its way. He wrote ‘A global debt time bomb ticking away that will lead to the disintegration of all paper wealth on the planet.’
A number of leading politicians and economists are saying the same thing, predicting radical change in the western system of banking and national economies. US Senator Elizabeth Warren (Democrat candidate for US President) said on July 22nd that “the country’s (USA) economic foundation is fragile. A single shock could bring it all down.” France’s Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire has said the Bretton Woods system which established the post World War 2 international monetary system ‘has reached its limits’ and that we need a ‘New World Order.’ Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England has said that the US dollar may need to be replaced as the world’s reserve currency with some form of cryptocurrency.
Analysing where this is going, Matthew Ehret quoted Lord Rothschild who said a time would come when an economic crisis would cause “two broad types of giant institutions, the worldwide financial service company and the international commercial bank with a global trading competence, to converge to form the ultimate, all-powerful, many-headed financial conglomerate.” https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/08/07
This all powerful financial conglomerate sounds like a power over the world political and economic system controlling how nations and the people within the nations spend their money. It would need some kind of computer linked system through which all financial transactions have to be made. This would fit in with the Bible prophecy of the Antichrist world system in the Great Tribulation period. In Revelation 13, as the beast or Antichrist comes out as the head of the global economic and political system and imposes a New World Order in which you cannot buy or sell without submission to him: ‘He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.’ Revelation 13.16-18
Revelation 6 also contains a prophecy of great scarcity on earth – ‘A quart of wheat for a denarius’. A denarius was the average pay for a day’s wages and the implication is that at this time you will only be able to buy a very small amount of food for this sum. Revelation 18 prophesies a time when the whole system collapses, the ‘Fall of Babylon’ when ‘the merchants of the earth will weep and mourn for no one buys their merchandise any more.’ James 5 contains a prophecy for the rich in the last days who see all their wealth suddenly disappear, an event which is another sign of the coming of the Lord. Signs that this is beginning to happen now is another indication that we are indeed living in the last days.
In addition to all this we see other signs prophesied in the Bible coming together in our time.
- The earth full of violence ‘as in the days of Noah’ and sexual immorality, including the spread of homosexuality ‘as in the days of Lot’ (Sodom and Gomorrah). Luke 17.26-27 / Genesis 6.11, Luke 17.28-29 / Genesis 19.
- Nations rejecting God’s commandments and order, causing a time of lawlessness and great stress for individuals and society. Psalm 2.1-3, 2 Timothy 3.1-9.
- Conflicts caused by racial and religious hatred, famines, drug gangs, terrorism and other causes creating misery, unrest and a massive outflow of refugees. Matthew 24.6-8, Luke 21.25-6.
- An increase in knowledge, technology and travel leading to the globalisation process and an antichristian global system. Daniel 12.4, Revelation 13.
- An attack on the basic truths of the Bible and opposition and persecution of those who teach the Gospel. Matthew 24.5, 10-11, 2 Timothy 4.2-5, Revelation 17.1-6.
- The message of the Gospel going out to all nations. Matthew 24.9-14, 28.18-20.
Ingenuity films has put together a film called ‘Convergence’ which is being promoted by Prophecy News Watch, illustrating all of this. It begins with images set in the Great Tribulation as ‘the tribulation girl’ walks through the ruins of a great city. She speaks as one who missed the signs of the coming tribulation, having previously lived in partying and distractions of the world. Now she gives a warning to our time to heed the signs and repent and believe the Gospel.
The film continues with a number of commentators showing how current events are all converging on this unique time in history, prophesied in such detail in the pages of the Bible. These are some of the conclusions the film comes to:
No other book comes remotely near the Bible in making such prophecies, which are not just generalisations of what might come to pass, but very specific in detail. It points to prophecies already fulfilled as evidence of the Bible prophets’ foreknowledge of events which could only be known to God and communicated by the Holy Spirit. For example, the prophecies in Ezekiel 26 describe in detail the destruction of the city of Tyre by Alexander the Great two hundred years before it took place.
There are around 300 specific prophecies in the Hebrew Bible fulfilled by the Lord Jesus concerning his life, death and resurrection, including specific details about the crucifixion written about 400 years before it was known as a means of execution. The prophecy of Daniel 9.26 also pinpoints the timing of the crucifixion of Jesus, around 40 years before the destruction of the second temple in 70AD.
Jesus Himself prophesied how the Temple would be destroyed, leaving not one stone on another, and the Jewish people would be scattered to the nations (Luke 19.41-44, 21.20-24), and pointed to a return of the Jewish people to Israel in the days before His return (Luke 21.24, Matthew 23.39).
The parable of the fig tree blossoming spoken of by Jesus in Luke 21.29-32 fits in with the rebirth of Israel prophesied in Ezekiel 36-37 and the prophecy of Isaiah 66 that the nation of Israel would be born in a day, when David Ben Gurion proclaimed the establishment of the State of Israel, in Tel Aviv on May 14 1948.
The restoration of Israel in 1948 is the trigger for the rest of the prophecies to be fulfilled. Over the years that follow we see an unprecedented series of global events taking place, a time of global change unlike any other that has happened in human history. Out of this time of crisis the film foresees an increase in wars and conflicts, an economic crisis bringing down the world trading system, and a series of natural disasters and increase in great earthquakes leading to the fulfilment of the prophecies in Revelation. These crises will lead to a world government offering people ‘peace and safety’ seeking to unite the world and making a peace settlement in the Middle East.
It will create a man centred empire which may appear to be right to man but is in fact a way of death. The world’s final dictator, the Beast or Antichrist, takes the reins of power and makes the final great act of rebellion against God proclaiming himself to be god and requiring people to bow down to his image (Daniel 11.36-7, 2 Thessalonians 2, Revelation 13).
This will set off the final period of Great Tribulation of which Jesus spoke in Matthew 24.21-22. If God did not cut short this time it would result in the end of life on earth. These days will be cut short by the physical return of the Lord Jesus Christ to the earth with His saints, when He will set up His Messianic kingdom as ‘the kingdoms of this world become the kingdom of our God and of His Christ / Messiah and He shall reign forever and ever.’ Revelation 11.15.
The blessed hope.
At some time in this process the event known as the rapture of the church will occur: ‘The Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words’ (1 Thessalonians 4.15-18).
This is the ‘blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ’ (Titus 2.13). In Luke 21.28 Jesus said, ‘Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads because your redemption draws near.’
This is the hope for the believer in this present time. We must be ready to meet Jesus at His coming or at the moment of our death. To be ready we must repent of our sins and be born again to new life in Him. We must believe the Gospel that Jesus the Messiah died for our sins, was buried and rose again to give eternal life to all who accept Him as Saviour and Lord. Then we ask God to fill us with His Holy Spirit so that we may be sanctified, set apart for the Lord to do His will and keep His commandments. We are to live our lives to bring Him glory and to share the good news of the Gospel that others may come into His kingdom and be part of the glorious company of believers who will be forever with the Lord.
There is an incredibly hopeful end to all of this when Jesus returns – but it is only hopeful to those who have first made their peace with God by accepting Jesus as Saviour and Lord. If you have not done so, please do so now. Go to the end of this magazine for a prayer of salvation to ask the Lord to save you and make you His son or daughter.
The Temple Mount and biblical prophecy.
August 11th 2019 was the Jewish fast day of Tisha b’Av, the ninth of Av, the day when Jewish people remember the destruction of the first Temple by the Babylonians in 587 BC and the second Temple by the Romans in 70 AD. Both these disasters happened on the same day in the Jewish calendar, along with a number of other tragic events in Jewish history.
This year Tisha b’Av coincided with the Muslim holy day Eid al Adha, which commemorates Ibrahim (Abraham) sacrificing his son, whom Muslims believe to be Ishmael. Sura 37 in the Koran which describes this event does not mention the name of the sacrificed son which it says took place on Mount Arafat near Mecca. The Bible says it was Isaac who was the son of promise to be sacrificed in the land of Moriah (Genesis 22.2), generally believed to be the place where Solomon built the first Temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem (2 Chronicles 3.1). In the Bible God used this incident to test Abraham’s faith and stopped him carrying out the deed at the last moment, supplying a ram to be sacrificed instead and promising that God Himself will provide a lamb for sacrifice. Christians believe the lamb in question was Jesus the Messiah sacrificed nearly 2000 years later in Jerusalem as the final sacrifice for the sin of the world.
Islam changes the Biblical account of the stories so that the covenant with Abraham goes through the line of Ishmael to the Arab Muslims, as opposed to the line of Isaac to the people of Israel. This remains an issue to this day in the competing claims to Jerusalem and the Temple Mount between the descendants of Abraham through Ishmael (Arab / Muslims) and the descendants of Abraham through Isaac, the Jewish people.
Because the two festivals came together on the same day this year, there was a clash on the Temple Mount between Orthodox Jews who wanted to pray there to remember Tisha b’Av and Muslims who wanted to claim the ground exclusively for their use. Muslims purposely blocked the way for Jews to enter the Temple Mount, leading to clashes with Israeli security forces. Eventually a small number of Jews were allowed inside.
After the event Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said “I think there is an injustice in the status quo (on the Temple Mount) that has existed since ’67. We need to work to change it so in the future Jews, with the help of God, can pray on the Temple Mount.” Jordanian Foreign Minister, Ayman Safadi, accused Israel of “violating the status quo” on the Temple Mount and strongly rejected Israel’s Gilad Erdan’s plea for a change in the “status quo in occupied Jerusalem” which he said would threaten international peace and security.
The issue of the Temple Mount has long been a source of tension. In the Six Day War in June 1967 Israeli soldiers captured the Old City of Jerusalem and gave out the legendary message of ‘Har ha bayit be yadenu’ – ‘the Temple Mount (literally ‘the hill of the house’) is in our hands’. Many Bible believing Christians saw this as a prophetic moment, remembering Jesus’ words ‘Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled’ in Luke 21.24. Jerusalem and the Temple Mount back in Jewish hands was seen as a sign of the end of days and the return of Jesus.
Israel’s Prime Minister, Levi Eshkol, decided to return the Temple Mount to the Wakf, the Islamic authority responsible for maintaining it for centuries, thus leaving control of the site to the Muslims. Israel feared that the Muslim world would never accept Jewish control over the al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, meaning that the most significant place in Jerusalem is still in non Jewish hands.
Muslims believe Muhammad made his fabled night journey from Mecca to the Farthest Mosque (Masjid al-Aqsa), believed to be al-Aqsa in Jerusalem, on a mythical horse called al Buraq. From there he was transported to heaven, where he spoke with Abraham, Moses and Jesus, who confirmed his mission as Allah’s final prophet. Eventually he reached the seventh heaven where he spoke with Allah. This makes it the third holiest place in Islam after Mecca and Medina, despite the fact that this story cannot be true as Muhammad died about 60 years before al-Aqsa was built. From the Christian point of view Muhammad’s revelations were inspired by the spirit of antichrist, denying that Jesus is Son of God, equal with the Father and making him just a prophet. It also denies that the Lord Jesus died on the cross as a sacrifice for the sins of the world and rose again from the dead. For more on this send for our article Bible or Koran http://lightforthelastdays.co.uk/articles/islam-issues/bible-or-koran/
As it developed Islam became the most consistent competitor and opponent of Christianity, one of the many antichrists described in 1 John 2.18-23: ‘Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.’ The Dome of the Rock mosque contains inscriptions which are inspired by this spirit, saying ‘Jesus son of Mary was only a messenger of Allah’ and ‘There is no god but Allah. He is One. He has no associate. And there is none comparable unto Him. Muhammad is the Messenger of God’.
These statements are an attack on Christianity, specifically the belief that God is a Trinity (three in one) and that Jesus is the Son of God. They deny that God has a partner, referring to the false Muslim idea that Christians believe God had a wife who produced Jesus as the son and that Jesus is the begotten son as stated in John 3.16. I have written an answer to objections to the divinity of the Lord Jesus and the tri-une nature of God at https://messiahfactor.com/three-or-one-or-three-in-one/. Written copy available on request.
The antichrist text in the Dome of the Rock has led some to see this as the ‘abomination of desolation standing in the holy place’ which Jesus spoke of in Matthew 24.15. I don’t think it is the actual abomination of desolation, but the fact that there is a text denying the basic message of Christianity in the very place where the Temple once stood has to be significant.
Today the status of the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa mosque has become a big issue in Islamic world. In the British Mandate period the Mufti of Jerusalem (an anti-Semite and Nazi sympathiser), sought to convince the Arab world that the Jews intended to demolish the Al Aqsa Mosque and replace the Dome of the Rock with the Third Temple. He accused Jews of defiling the holy places of Islam, leading a massacre of Jews at the Western Wall in 1929. That remains a propaganda tool for the Arabs to this day. The phrase “Al Aqsa is in peril” is still routinely used by Palestinian leaders as a rallying call to get support from Arabs and Muslims around the world. On August 10 Palestinian Authority President Abbas (Israel’s supposed peace partner) spoke near Ramallah, pledging, “We shall enter Jerusalem — millions of fighters! We shall remain there and nobody can remove us from our homeland.’ He went on to speak of removing every Jewish building in the land and concluded ‘Jerusalem is ours whether they like it or not.” The audience then broke into a chant: “To Jerusalem we march, martyrs by the millions!”
The Bible speaks of Jerusalem as the ‘burdensome stone, burdening all nations’ which will trigger the final war in history (Zechariah 12-14). Israelis want to avoid this war at all costs and most do not wish to inflame tensions with the Arabs. Their concern is to keep the country safe for the Jews and to preserve it from those who seek its destruction. Most secular Israelis are completely opposed the religious parties who want a Third Temple and do not wish to change the status of Temple Mount by giving a motive for the Muslims to attack her. Mainstream Orthodox Judaism teaches that the rebuilding of the Temple cannot come until the Messiah comes and until that time it is forbidden for Jews to visit the Temple Mount.
However a number of religious Zionists, particularly the Temple Mount Faithful, are encouraging their followers to defy this prohibition and go the Mount and work for the restoration of Temple worship in preparation for the coming of the Messiah. For a number of years the Temple Institute has been working to recreate the vessels required for the Temple, some of which are on display in its building in the Old City of Jerusalem near the Western Wall. Priests are being trained to make sacrifices as prescribed in Torah, and a Sanhedrin has been appointed which is committed to the restoration of Temple worship, appointing a High Priest and preparing priests to carry out sacrifices.
Rabbi Weiss said, ‘The only obstacle preventing the Temple service today is the political issue. If that should suddenly change, as it very well could, we would be required to begin the Temple service immediately. It is therefore necessary that we have a candidate prepared to fill the role of the High Priest, especially now that we have kohanim (priests) prepared to serve in the Temple.’
The political obstacle is a very big one. Firstly as things stand no Israeli government would sanction any building of a Temple on the Temple Mount, especially now that Israel may end up with a coalition government that excludes the religious parties. Secondly the Muslims would see any attempt to do so as a cause for war. So could it happen?
There is one circumstance which could cause this to happen. If we are correct in saying that the War of Gog and Magog (Ezekiel 38-9) happens before or at the very beginning of the Great Tribulation period, then the results of this war will be a clear intervention of God, who saves Israel from a mainly Islamic enemy coming against them to destroy them (Ezekiel 38.3-6, 18-23, 39.21-24). The event will be accompanied by a great earthquake in the land of Israel (Ezekiel 38.19-20), which may bring down the Dome of the Rock, the Al Aqsa Mosque and the Western Wall. There will also be a devastating effect on nations around the world, ‘fire on Magog’ (Russia?) and the coastlands (USA / Europe?) Ezekiel 39.6 . People in Israel will turn to God in thanksgiving for their deliverance (Ezekiel 39.21-29). Islam will suffer a devastating defeat at the hands of God which will cause disillusion and loss of faith amongst Muslims.
One view of prophecy is that the Antichrist will arise after this event, bringing an offer of global peace and safety (1 Thessalonians 5.3, 2 Thessalonians 20), and some kind of peace settlement in the Middle East (Daniel 9.27, Isaiah 28.14-22). This will allow for the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem (Isaiah 66). At the mid-point of the tribulation period, the antichrist will break his word to the Jews and require his image to be placed in the holy place. This is the abomination of desolation, (Daniel 11.31, Matthew 24.15-16) connected to the image of the beast of Revelation 13.14-17 and the Antichrist claiming to be God (2 Thessalonians 2.4). This will provoke outrage and opposition from the Jews which will lead into the ‘time of Jacob’s trouble’ (Jeremiah 30, Daniel 12), the last battle (Zechariah 14, Revelation 16.12-16) and the return of the Messiah Yeshua (Revelation 19) to set up His Messianic kingdom (Isaiah 2.1-4, Zechariah 14, Revelation 20). Messiah will then set up the Millennial Temple from where He will rule the world in Millennium (Ezekiel 40-48).
According to the scriptures any Temple rebuilt before the return of the Messiah will not be blessed by God. Isaiah 66.1-4 speaks of a building which God will not favour and says of any sacrifices offered in it: “He who kills a bull is as if he slays a man; He who sacrifices a lamb, as if he breaks a dog’s neck; He who offers a grain offering, as if he offers swine’s blood; He who burns incense, as if he blesses an idol.” Any sacrifice offered in it is an abomination in God’s sight and is a product of not hearing God’s voice rather than obeying God. This cannot apply to either the First or the Second Temples or the Millennial Temple where Jesus will reign from. It could apply to a temple built before the return of Jesus.
The prophecy goes on to say “Hear the word of the Lord, you who tremble at His word: “Your brethren who hated you, who cast you out for My name’s sake, said, ‘Let the Lord be glorified, that we may see your joy.’ But they shall be ashamed.” Isaiah 66.5.
This speaks of a group of people, who must be Jewish, who do hear and obey God’s word and as a result are cast out by their brethren ‘for My name’s sake.’ In the end this group of people will be justified in God’s sight while those who cast them out will be ashamed. Who could they be? According to Revelation 7 at the beginning of the tribulation period, a large number of Jewish people will turn to Jesus as Saviour and will be largely responsible for evangelising in the tribulation period after the rapture of the church. They will most likely have a supernatural conversion experience like the Apostle Paul. They will certainly experience rejection by their Jewish brethren who remain committed to Judaism, especially those who are working for the rebuilding of the Temple. In the end they will be vindicated and those who support the Third Temple will find out that they have been deceived by the antichrist and be put to shame.
For believers in Yeshua the coming of Messiah in the person of Jesus, means that the Temple is no longer required by God as a place to make the sacrifice for atonement from sin. Jesus has made the final sacrifice for sin and in so doing has put an end to the need for the Levitical sacrifices and priesthood.
At the time of the crucifixion ‘The veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split’ (Matthew 27.51). The veil separated the holy place from the most holy place (holy of holies) where the presence of the Lord was and only the High Priest could enter once a year to offer the sacrifice for sin on the Day of Atonement. The veil of the Temple being torn at the time of the crucifixion means that the way into the presence of God is now open for any person, through faith in Jesus, His death and resurrection. Paul wrote that the true believer is now the Temple of the living God indwelt by the Holy Spirit: ‘Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?’ 1 Corinthians 3.16.
Jesus prophesied the destruction of the Second Temple by the Romans in AD 70: ‘Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, “For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.” Luke 19.41-44. Jesus also prophesied the dispersion of the Jewish people to the nations, Jerusalem being ruled for centuries by non Jewish powers until ‘the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled’ (Luke 21.24), implying that at the end of this age there will be a return of the Jewish people to Israel and a restoration of Jerusalem.
As we have seen in this article, the Bible’s prophecies do show the possibility of a rebuilt Temple in the days immediately before the second coming of Jesus. But it will be a Temple that God will not bless. It will be defiled by the Antichrist, leading to the Great Tribulation and the final battle for Jerusalem, which will bring about the physical return of the Lord Jesus and the final Temple which God will bless and where the Lord will be present during the Millennial reign of Messiah. Following the Second Coming of Jesus the Millennial Temple (Ezekiel 40-48) will be built where the Lord will dwell and rule the earth from. The last word on this Temple and the city of Jerusalem is found in the last verse of Ezekiel: “The name of the city from that day shall be: Adonai shamah- THE LORD IS THERE.” Ezekiel 48.35.
As in the days of Noah
In our article ‘Genesis Matters’ in our last edition we looked at reasons to believe the early chapters of Genesis as real events and advertised the DVD ‘Genesis is history.’ We saw how the event of the Fall of Genesis 3 changed the very good world which God created into an imperfect world, knowing sin, decay and death. God promised to send the ‘seed’ of the woman who would bruise the head of the serpent, a prophecy fulfilled in the Messiah Jesus who defeated Satan at the cross when He died as a sacrifice for our sins and rose again from the dead. In this article we will look at the Flood in Genesis 6-8, which made a further change to the very good world which God created.
Jesus said, ‘And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. … I tell you, in that night there will be two men in one bed: the one will be taken and the other will be left. Two women will be grinding together: the one will be taken and the other left. Two men will be in the field: the one will be taken and the other left.” Luke 17.26-27.’
In this statement Jesus tells us two things.
- The Flood was a historic event and Noah was a real person who lived on earth.
- There is a connection between the Flood and the Second Coming of Jesus.
1. The Flood as a historic event.
The Bible teaches that there was a literal flood which changed the face of the earth. The Hebrew Prophets believed in a literal flood (Isaiah 54.9, Ezekiel 14.14) and the Lord Jesus related the events of His second coming to the days of Noah. Noah is mentioned as a historical figure in Hebrews 11 and in 1 and 2 Peter. There are stories in cultures around the world which tell of the world being destroyed by flood and a just man and his family being saved by going into a boat.
2 Peter 3.3-6 tells us that ‘in the last days scoffers will come’ who will deny the biblical teaching about Creation and the Second Coming. They will also deny the historical event of the Flood: ‘For they wilfully forget that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the word that then existed perished being flooded with water.’ 2 Peter 3.6.
That day has come as most people today believe Genesis is a myth and that our present day existence is the result of millions of years of evolution in which death and decay have been part of earth’s history from the beginning. By contrast Genesis 1-3 teaches that God created the heavens and the earth in a short time, that the perfect world He created was spoiled by the Fall of man as a result of which sin, decay and death came into the world. Genesis 4-6 describe the development of human society, with two lines descending from Adam, one going through Seth when people ‘called on the name of the Lord’ and one going through Cain that turned away from God. By the time of Noah we read that wickedness had increased to the point that God decided to destroy the human race and save just Noah and his family in the ark.
The Lord sent the Flood which destroyed all living humans and land animals except those that went into the Ark. The Bible is clear that this was not a local flood but a world wide event. The Hebrew word used for Flood in Genesis is ‘mabbul’ meaning destruction, a word only used in the Bible for Noah’s Flood. The Greek equivalent word used in the New Testament is ‘kataklysmos’ from which we have the word ‘cataclysm’.
According to Genesis 7.11-12 the Flood was caused by a unique cataclysmic event, not an unusual rainstorm: ‘In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. And the rain was on the earth forty days and forty nights.’ Genesis 7.11-12.
The waters above and below are described in Genesis 1.6-7: ‘Thus God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so.’ As well as the seas and the rivers, these waters were found in a canopy of water above the earth which was much greater than the present atmosphere and a huge reservoir of water under the earth. The breaking up of these waters caused the deluge that flooded the earth, something that could not have happened from any amount of normal rainfall.
The canopy of water above the earth before the Flood would have caused a good ‘greenhouse effect’ creating a uniform temperature around the earth, making the earth very fruitful and screening out harmful rays from the sun. This would have created much better conditions on earth than the ones we now have and led to the long life span of the people who lived before the Flood.
‘Answers in Genesis’ has produced a useful guide to ‘The Global Flood’ giving reasons to believe that the Flood was a real event in history, the catastrophe which changed the world and which explains many geological features in the world today. The booklet tells us: ‘Evidence for Noah’s Flood can be seen today all over the earth from sea beds to mountaintops. The physical features of the earth’s terrain clearly indicate a catastrophic past, from canyons and craters to coal beds and caverns. Some layers of strata extend across continents revealing the effect of a huge catastrophe. The earth has massive amounts of layered sedimentary rock, sometimes miles deep. These layers of sand, soil and material, mostly laid down by water, were once soft like mud, but now they are hard stone. Encased in these sedimentary rocks are billions of dead things (fossils of plants and animals) buried very quickly. The evidence all over the earth is staring everyone in the face.’
Evolutionists tell us the rock layers and fossils found in them are millions of years old. However creationists argue for their rapid creation in the Flood. Some reasons for this are these:
- Massive fossil graveyards are found in sedimentary rocks all over the world. These include millions of fish, leaves and other life forms which would not solidify under normal circumstances of death, but would just decay or be eaten by other creatures. The evidence is that they were overwhelmed by a catastrophe which buried them suddenly and caused them to solidify into the rocks that were formed by this disaster. The Flood would explain this exactly.
- Polystrate fossils. There are fossilised tree trunks found projecting vertically through a number of horizontal rock layers, showing that the rock strata must have been deposited quickly, not over millions of years.
- Sedimentary rocks are found in strata thousands of feet thick that are tightly folded and twisted. These formations show the time interval between deposition and folding must have been very short, most likely formed by the rapid flow of waters off the land after the flood.
The booklet gives many other pieces of evidence for the Flood as a real event. It is available from us for £5 including postage.
2. The Flood and the Second Coming.
According to Genesis the reason for the Flood was God’s anger at the wickedness of humanity. By this time humans had multiplied in wickedness and were filling the earth with violence. ‘Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the Lord said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.’ Genesis 6.5-8.
The text also tells us that ‘the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose.’ It goes on to say ‘There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.’ Genesis 6.2-4.
This passage has some difficulties as to what it means. One interpretation is that it means that the godly line of men through Seth married into the ungodly line of Cain and were corrupted by beautiful, but evil women. The other one is that the sons of God were fallen angels (demons) who lusted after beautiful women, took on human form, interbred with them and produced a race of giants (Hebrew word is Nephilim meaning fallen ones).
This view is backed by the fact that the phrase sons of God refers to angelic creatures when it is used the three other times in the Old Testament (Job 1.6, 2.1,38.7). Jude 6 tells us of the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own habitation. Jude goes on to tell us they sinned in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh. Here in Genesis 6, as in Sodom and Gomorrah, there was an unnatural sexual union. The book of Enoch is not inspired scripture but it does comment on the Hebrew Bible. It gives an account of this event which describes these sons of God as fallen angels having relationships with women and producing giants leading to the corruption of the human race. Commentators have said that if this process was not stopped by God destroying humans apart from Noah and his family it would have led to the total corruption of the human gene pool.
Others say any such relations between demons and humans are impossible and the explanation of the problem is that this was a case of natural reproduction between men and women. Fallen angels led by Satan in his rebellion against God were creating a situation where men were looking at women solely as sex objects and engaging in promiscuous sexual unions. In the phrase ‘they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose’ the Hebrew word translated ‘wives’ is nashim. This is the ordinary word for women, so it could mean they were having multiple sex partners and not keeping the biblical pattern of marriage as given in Genesis 2.24 ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and they shall be one flesh.’ This means one man being committed to one woman and being one flesh in sexual union in order to bring forth children they would care for.
All sexual relations outside of the marriage covenant are wrong in the sight of God and committed under the influence of Satan who encourages sexual immorality and the breakdown of family life. Although there are some difficulties with this solution it does tie in with the reference in the New Testament to the conditions at second coming ‘as in the days of Noah’.
In our day we have lust and pornography poisoning people’s attitudes towards sex and resulting in promiscuity as well as occult and demonic influences leading people into wickedness and violence, as in the days of Noah. The conditions of the world before the coming of Jesus will be like the conditions of the world before the flood bringing God’s judgment upon it. In Revelation 9.21 at the time when the judgements of God are striking the earth in the great tribulation period we read ‘And they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries (Occult / drug taking), or their sexual immorality and their thefts.’ It is ‘as in the days of Noah.’
The Ark and salvation.
‘But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.’ Genesis 6.8. God made a covenant with Noah, so that he and his family would be saved along with a pair of each animal, so the earth could be populated with people and animals after the flood. The way to be saved was to go into the ark that Noah was making. From the measurements given in Genesis we can work out that the ark was a huge box shaped structure about 438 feet long, 73 feet wide, 44 feet high. It has been calculated that it would had been extremely stable, difficult to capsize, a perfect design if you have to keep afloat in turbulent waters but were not in a hurry to get anywhere. Its total volume space is around 1,400,000 cubic feet, which would give it space for over 125,000 sheep. A sheep is the average size of an animal, between an elephant and a mouse. Noah would have needed to take only one kind of the animals, not all subspecies, meaning there was plenty of room for all animals. God brought the animals to Noah and would have kept them safe while they were in the ark, perhaps sending them into some kind of hibernation.
The ark was made of gopher wood, the exact nature of this is unknown but it would be hard, waterproof and resistant to decay. This resistance added to by being covered in pitch inside and outside. The word for pitch is kopher equivalent to Hebrew word ‘kaphar’ to cover, the word used for atonement in Yom Kippur, the day of atonement. The covering or atonement keeps out the waters of judgement, just as blood of sacrificed animal keeps out judgement and provides atonement for soul.
The ark had just one door to go through. Once you went through that door you were safe from the judgement coming on earth. In John 10.9 Jesus said, ‘I am the door. If anyone enters by Me he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.’ He also said, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except by Me. John 14.6.
The word used for the ark is tabhah, the same word used for Moses in the bulrushes. It meant a wooden construction meant to float on water. It was a huge construction which must have been a sign to Noah’s contemporaries. According to 1 Peter 2.5, Noah was a preacher of righteousness, so we can believe that in the 120 years that he was constructing the ark he was telling people of God’s righteousness and the coming judgement and warning them to repent and believe in the Lord. The people did not listen to him as for the most part they do not listen to us when we tell them of the second coming of Jesus. They considered it impossible for such a thing to happen as they scoffed at Noah and went on living their lives as normal until the flood took them all away.
In all these ways we see the ark as a supernatural construction given by God for the saving of souls in the days of Noah. God has made a way for us to be saved from the judgement that is coming on the earth, through repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. He is making a way for us to be rescued from the judgement that is coming when He comes to take those who believe in Him at the rapture of the church, while the unbelievers are left behind.
Now we have to make a decision to accept the salvation God is offering us in Jesus Christ or face the judgement of God that is coming on the earth. In the days of Noah there was one way into the ark through the door which God shut when all of those who were to be saved were gathered in. So there is one way into the presence of God and His mercy, through repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Those who refuse to receive this salvation will find the day coming when the door into God’s presence will be shut and they will be left outside (see the parable of the wise and foolish virgins in Matthew 25.1-13).
In the days of Noah the Flood came suddenly, unannounced on the world as it went about its business as usual. Jesus speaks of His coming for His people, the true church, happening suddenly, unannounced as life is going on as normal and people are going about their daily business. God wants people to prepare people for this event by accepting salvation through repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus.
God kept those in the ark safe and brought them to a secure resting place after it was over. All those who were in the ark were preserved so that they could repopulate the earth with humans and all species of animals. In the events of the last days the Lord will keep safe all those who trust in Him. He will take them to be with Jesus in the rapture of the church and return to earth with them in glorified bodies to be part of the great work of restoration of the earth after His second coming to the earth for His 1000 year reign on earth in the Millennial kingdom.
In the days after the Flood, Noah and his family found themselves living in a world that had been changed from the world they knew before the flood. Before the Flood there was no rain on the earth and there was a uniform benign temperature all over the earth. After the Flood there was winter and summer, cold and heat (Genesis 8.22). Because of the changed conditions on the earth humans would now be permitted to eat meat and not just green herbs (Genesis 9.3), most likely because the vegetation would not be so abundant and not able to meet their need for food. One explanation for this change is that the canopy that existed over the earth before the Flood had been removed by the deluge and with it the benign greenhouse effect that gave the earth its uniform warm temperature and created the great fertility on earth before the Flood. It is interesting that fossils of coral reefs have been found near the North Pole. Coral can only live where the temperature is uniformly around 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
The scriptures indicate that God formed the deep ocean basins and raised up the high mountains to drain off the water from the earth. Psalm 104 may refer to this event. As a result of the Flood the earth’s crust was destabilised by the eruptions which caused the waters of the great deep to come up when the Flood began. This destabilisation led to the possibility of earthquakes and volcanoes happening during the post Flood age.
In the last days before the return of Jesus there will be an increase in earthquakes and volcanoes and disturbance to the environment which will bring the earth to the brink of ruin. Then following the return of Jesus to the earth there will be a wonderful clean up operation which will change the earth for the better in the glorious Millennial kingdom when Jesus will rule the earth with His people for 1000 years. Waters will be released from beneath the earth causing rivers to flow in the desert and cleaning up the earth from the pollutions of our present time as described in Isaiah 35, Ezekiel 47 and Zechariah 14. Animals will change their nature and no longer eat each other and snakes will be poisonous no more as the ‘earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea (Isaiah 11.6-9). Those born on the earth in this time will live hundreds of years as before the Flood (Isaiah 65).
In that day the Lord God of Israel revealed in the Messiah Yeshua / Jesus will be King over all the earth and in that day it shall be ‘The Lord is one and His name one.’ Zechariah 14.9. Satan will be bound and unable to influence the nations any more as King Jesus rules with His saints for 1000 glorious years (Revelation 11.15, 20.1-6).
Will you be there to enjoy this time, which is a prelude to the eternal state when we will be with the Lord forever in heaven? Now is the day to heed the warning of coming judgement on this generation and come into the ark of salvation in Jesus the Messiah. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved.
Fun in the Cathedral.
Anglican cathedrals set out to increase both their appeal to the public and to get more people into their buildings with some new initiatives over the summer. Manchester Cathedral organised a gin and rum festival. A mini golf course was built in Rochester Cathedral over the flagstones where pilgrims have knelt in prayer since the 7th century, and Norwich Cathedral set up a helter skelter in the heart of the building. Southwark Cathedral held a fashion show with scantily clad male and female models. Peterborough Cathedral offered a programme called Awe and Wonder that uses ‘the ancient traditions of yoga to harness our connectedness with the natural world and link to the Gaia Earth led by priest and creative yoga practitioner, Helena del Pino.’ This follows St Paul’s Cathedral, Southwark Cathedral, Newcastle Cathedral and Peterborough Cathedral embracing Islam by celebrating the Iftar meal during Ramadan.
Many people saw these activities in buildings supposedly set apart for Christian worship and teaching as defiling the faith and bringing unclean things into the church. However the Bishop of Norwich gave a sermon from the top of the helter skelter in which he said ‘God is a tourist attraction. God wants to be attractive to us for us to enjoy ourselves and the world around us and this glorious helter sketer is just about that.’
Dr Gavin Ashenden from Anglican Unscripted criticised this thinking as displaying “some very impoverished theological conclusions” from the cathedral clergy. He said, “Their understanding of God, their understanding of who Jesus is, their understanding of the Kingdom, is so far away from radical, traditional Christianity, which takes evil seriously, believes in Heaven and Hell, knows that people have to be reborn and must be saved. Faced with the challenge to convert or be converted, the Church of England appears to be willing to surrender to the preoccupations and preferences of the lost people it was sent to save. But since it may no longer believe in heaven and hell, salvation and judgement, it may have downgraded itself to be a distracting, source of spirituality, offering distraction and entertainment rather than healing to sick souls. It may well be religion, but not as Jesus knew it, taught it, commissioned it or recognises it.’
Countering this criticism, the magazine ‘Christian Today’ commended the project saying, ‘It’s exactly by changing the perception of a church that Christians will progress in their mission in the world. A helter skelter and a golf course welcomes people in from every background, ethnicity, class and identity and shows them that worship spaces and our faith aren’t just for some elite group of holy people. Working to democratise cathedrals, churches and any Christian space is absolutely what the Church should be doing in living out the call to embrace everyone no matter where they come from.’
This sounds like another restatement of the diversity and inclusivity agenda which is the real religion of Britain today, and is being taken on board by much of the Church of England in place of the authentic message of the Gospel. This means that the faith is not just for ‘some elite group of holy people’ but for ‘everyone no matter where they come from.’
The basic idea of inclusive Christianity is that all are included in God’s family, and there should be no divisions of race, religion, class or life style and sexual identity. Galatians 3.28 is the text to base this thinking on: ‘There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.’
It is true that people of any race, class or gender may be included in God’s family, but the key phrase in this quote from Galatians is ‘in Christ Jesus.’ Saving faith is only available to the people who have called on the name of the Lord Jesus.
The article in Christian Today talks about an ‘elite group of holy people’, which sounds negative, but a true Christian place of worship is made up of people who are saved and made holy by faith in Jesus Christ, referred to by Paul as the elect of God (Colossians 3.12). They may be male or female or come from any race or class, but they must call on the Lord Jesus for salvation and repent and believe the Gospel in order to be accepted by God. Cathedrals and church buildings (so called holy spaces) were not available to the Apostles in the days of Book of Acts, yet the Gospel managed to penetrate every level of society through the preaching of the word from house to house and in public places. The Greek word ekklesia translated ‘church’ in the New Testament actually means ‘those called out’, in other words those called out of the world which is under God’s judgement into the kingdom of God in which there is salvation. In other words it is talking about a group of people not a building or an organisation.
Whether they meet in a designated church building (which they did not in the days of the Book of Acts) or in a home or in secret under persecution is irrelevant to their status before God. Going into a cathedral to play crazy golf or ride down a helter skelter makes absolutely no difference to anyone’s status before God. Unless people hear the Gospel message and believe it they are no nearer to God.
God sees two groups of people on earth, those who are lost and those who are saved. Where we come from is not important, where we are going to is absolutely vital. While we are alive in this world we must make the decision which will affect where we spend eternity in the world to come, by accepting the Gospel of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.
Revelation 21 tells us the destiny of the saved and the destiny of the lost. It speaks of the holy city, New Jerusalem, where God dwells with His people “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” … It also speaks of the place outside: “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” Revelation 21.1-6
Jesus spoke of the two roads before us: “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” Matthew 7.13-14.
The visible church today is offering the world a path along the broad road, inclusive of all, including every religion and every life style. It ignores and rejects Jesus’ word ‘I am the way the truth and the life and no man comes to the Father but by Me’ (John 14.6), by preaching an interfaith message that all religions are acceptable to God. Only Jesus offers us eternal salvation and no matter how sincere or devoted people are to other faiths, they can only be saved by repenting of sin and believing the Gospel.
Inclusive Christianity is also accepting all kinds of alternative sexual relationships to biblical marriage, meaning sexual union between one man and one woman as taught in the Bible. It ignores Paul’s admonition to the Corinthians: ‘Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.’ 1 Corinthians 6.9-10.
We note that Paul says here ‘And such were some of you.’ People may come to Christ and be accepted by God having previously committed every sin in the book. In this sense the message of the Gospel is completely inclusive and puts no barriers of race, class or gender to people coming to Christ. But we don’t continue in these things. These are part of our past, not our present, because now we are washed from our sins in the blood of Jesus. The first words of Jesus in Mark’s Gospel are “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” Mark 1.15. Repentance means turning away from those things which are defiling in our lives and separate us from our holy God. The problem with modern inclusive Christianity is that people are accepted if they continue in the things which defile them, including practicing homosexuality.
There is provision for sins committed after coming to Christ: ‘If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’ 1 John 1.9. However we are not to continue in a life style which God calls sinful.
We also see that the cathedrals are accepting other religions as equal to Christianity, allowing them to be used their buildings for worship and teaching. This is shown by Muslim ceremonies taking place in cathedrals and the Peterborough Cathedral programme led by a female priest and yoga practitioner.
Islam denies the fundamental truths of the Bible, in particular the nature of the Lord Jesus as Son of God and His death and resurrection at the cross. Islam is the chief persecutor of Christians world wide. While Christians living in Muslim majority countries face harassment, persecution and often death for their faith, deluded western church leaders join hands with Muslims in saying prayers to Allah in supposedly Christian churches.
Yoga contradicts the teaching of the Bible and our understanding of who we are and who God is. Yoga teachers affirm that God dwells within us, making us little gods. Its purpose is to enable us to discover the god within. Swami Muktananda said, ‘The only way out is in’ ‘Kneel to your own self. Honour and worship your own being. God dwells within you as You.’ Marilyn Ferguson wrote in Yoga Journal, ‘The myth of the Saviour ‘out there’ is being replaced by the myth of the hero ‘in here’, its ultimate expression is the discovery of the divinity within us… In a very real sense we are each other.’
The Bible teaches us that ‘no good thing’ dwells within us, but rather a sinful nature (Romans 3.9-26), which we need to be delivered from by the Saviour Jesus Christ. He does come from ‘out there’, from heaven, to deliver us from the power of evil (Satan) and take the punishment for our sins at the cross so that we might receive eternal salvation (Philippians 2.5-11).
‘And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.’ Ephesians 2.1-10.
It is time the Church of England set apart their buildings for Christian worship and practice only and also took this message out into the world, evangelising the people outside the church building, not waiting for them to come in. It is the only message that can bring salvation in this lost and desperate world. As we see the day approaching for the Lord’s return let us make known the truth that ‘Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.’ 1 Corinthians 15.3.