At this time of year, people who otherwise give little or no thought to God or Christ give lip service to the idea that more than 1,900 years ago Jesus was born in Bethlehem and “there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews?” (Mt:2:1-2). Oddly, many Christians who believe Jesus was born “King of the Jews” attach no literal meaning to that title, especially one that has anything to do with Jews. Prophecies concerning Christ ruling the world from David’s throne in Jerusalem are taken as metaphors referring to His present rule from heaven.
Jerusalem was founded by King David 3,000 years ago. No fewer than 40 times the Bible calls Jerusalem “the city of David.” There God established David’s throne forever, and on that throne the Messiah, King of the Jews, descended from David, must reign over Israel and the world (2 Chr:6:6 ; 33:7; 2 Sam:7:16 ; Ps:89:3 ,4,20,21,29-36, etc.). Jerusalem is named more than 800 times in the Bible and is central to God’s plans. He has placed His name there forever.
Knowing that only the Messiah, descended from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, can defeat him, Satan has inspired 3,000 years of anti-Semitism. Destroying all Jews would have prevented Messiah from being born. Satan lost that round. But if all Jews were destroyed today, God couldn’t fulfill His promises that Christ would reign as King of the Jews on David’s throne at His second coming. God would be a liar and Satan the winner. God’s integrity and eternal purposes are linked to Israel’s survival!
Yasser Arafat claim[ed] that Israel has always belonged to Arabs and that Jerusalem has been an Arab city for thousands of years. In fact, it isn’t even mentioned in the Qur’an! On July 15, 1889, the Pittsburgh Dispatch reported that of Jerusalem’s 40,000 residents, 30,000 were Jews and most of the others were Christians. In 1948, when Israel declared its independence, only 3 percent of Palestine was owned by Arabs. Israel has its Knesset in Jerusalem. But the world won’t accept that, and foreign embassies are located elsewhere. In defiance of God and His King (Ps 2), the world has its own plans for Jerusalem.
Here we confront the broader aspects of anti-Semitism’s war against God and the King of the Jews: the attempt to control Jerusalem and God’s land (Lv:25:23). Incredibly, the UN Security Council has devoted nearly a third of its deliberations and resolutions to Israel, a country with less than one-thousandth of earth’s population! The UN has never condemned the Arabs for their terrorism but has condemned Israel more than 370 times for defending itself. In March 1999, the EU notified Israel again that it “does not recognize Israel’s sovereignty” over Jerusalem. In a papal bull on the Year 2000 Jubilee, Pope John Paul II once again rejected Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem.
We see the continuing fulfillment of Christ’s remarkable prophecy that Jerusalem would be “trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled” (Lk 21:24). The capture by Israelis of East Jerusalem in 1967 seemed to mark the end of the “times of the Gentiles.” But in a surprising move, Israel turned the Temple Mount back to the custodial care of King Hussein of Jordan, leaving the very heart of Jerusalem in Gentile hands. In 1994, Yasser Arafat and his PLO took control.
Roman Catholic doctrine that the nation of Israel has been replaced by that Church is spreading increasingly among evangelicals. This replacement of Israel is a subtle form of anti-Semitism. Instead of sending Jews to ovens, their significance and even their existence is denied: by some twist in history, those now commonly called Jews are supposedly not really Jews—the real Jews are Mormons, or British Israelites, or Catholics, or Christians!
The shameful horror of historical anti-Semitism provides a shocking exposé of the human heart. Satan found multitudes of partners (many of whom called themselves Christians) only too eager to malign, persecute, and kill God’s chosen people. Hitler’s “final solution to the Jewish problem” was known to Roosevelt, Churchill and other allied leaders, who did nothing. Neutral Switzerland and Sweden turned escaping Jews back to Hitler’s ovens. [See Mar 2000 Q&A]
Incredibly, a typical Jordanian textbook equates Zionism with Nazism! Yet Arabs applauded and aided Hitler—and Islam pursues Hitler’s “solution” to this day. Hitlerian threats pour continuously from Muslim religious and political leaders on TV and over radios and loudspeakers in mosque and street. The battle between Yahweh, the God of Israel, who loves Jews as His chosen people, and Allah, the god of Islam, who hates them with a passion, is building to an awesome climax.
It is every Muslim’s religious duty to exterminate the Jews. Muslims dream of destroying Israel. They name holidays and streets after murderers of innocent Israeli citizens and hold celebrations honoring terrorists. Islam’s leaders have called for a spiritual revival as the key to Israel’s destruction—and Islamic fundamentalism, which brazenly employs terrorism worldwide, is now sweeping the world.
Islamic scholars agree that it is the sacred duty of every Muslim in every age to wage jihad (holy war) to force the entire world to submit to Islam. There are more than 100 verses in the Qur’an about fighting and killing in that quest. A Libyan cabinet minister explained, “Violence is the Muslim’s most positive form of prayer.”
In spite of his rape of Kuwait, Saddam Hussein [was] beloved by millions of Arabs because his scud missiles heavily damaged Israeli civilian targets, and he repeatedly call[ed] for Israel’s destruction. When Kaddafi scream[ed], “The battle with Israel will be such that...Israel will cease to exist!” he [spoke] for every Muslim. Islam’s founding prophet, Muhammad, declared, “The last hour will not come before the Muslims fight the Jews and the Muslims kill them.”
Islam’s desire to exterminate Israel is taught from childhood. A Syrian Minister of Education wrote, “The hatred which we indoctrinate into the minds of our children from birth is sacred.” A ninth-grade Egyptian textbook declares, “Israel shall not live if the Arabs stand fast in their hatred.” And a fifth-grade textbook states, “The Arabs do not cease to act for the extermination of Israel.” It is suicidal for Israel to trade strategic land for “peace” with such enemies—but the world forces her.
Muhammad showed Muslims how to make “peace.” In AD 628 he made a peace treaty with his own Kuraish tribe. Two years later, he suddenly attacked Mecca and slaughtered every male. Arafat publicly declared, “In the name of Allah...I am not considering it [the Israeli-PLO peace accord] more than the agreement signed between our prophet Muhammad and the Kuraish tribe....Peace for us means the destruction of Israel....” No place for the King of the Jews! This is Islam—take a close look!
Muslim nations arm themselves with missiles capable of delivering chemical, biological, and nuclear warheads. Syria has manufactured thousands of chemical warheads, has huge stores of biological weapons, and has tripled its military and air power since the 1973 Yom Kippur War. The whole world knows these weapons have one purpose: to destroy Israel. But Israel also has nuclear weapons (now deployed in new, efficient submarines) and would use them if needed. Who will bring peace?
Christ warned of such incredible destruction that if He did not intervene to stop it, no flesh would be left alive on earth (Mt 24:21-22). That remarkable prophecy anticipated today’s modern weapons. No wonder the God of the Bible, who twelve times calls Himself “the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob,” promises repeatedly to defend Israel and Jerusalem in the last days! Having brought Israel to birth in 1948, God will complete His purpose. He declares, “Shall a nation be born...? Shall I bring to the birth,...saith the Lord...and shut the womb?” (Is 66:8-9).
In its mad rebellion against God, the world rejects the “King of the Jews” and His promised rule of international peace from David’s throne in Jerusalem and makes its own plans. The ideal of a humanistic world government has been pursued since Babel. In 1921, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) was established. The next year its journal, Foreign Affairs, stated that there would be “no peace or prosperity for mankind...until some kind of international system is created....” In 1934, H. G. Wells declared, “There must be a common faith and law for mankind....The main battle is an educational battle.” Children are being educated to reject God and embrace Antichrist. In 1973, in the Saturday Review of Education, Gloria Steinem, feminist leader, stated that by the year 2000 “we will, I hope, raise our children to believe in Human Potential, not God.”
In May 1947, Winston Churchill declared, “Unless some effective world supergovernment...can be set up and begin to reign, the prospects for peace and human progress are dark and doubtful....” In 1948, in UNESCO: Its Purpose and Its Philosophy, Sir Julian Huxley, its first director-general, explained that “The general philosophy of UNESCO should be a scientific world humanism, global in extent and evolutionary in background...to help the emergence of a single world culture....” UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said that the “concept of national sovereignty” is being redefined and would have to be set aside. In 2000, in a step toward a world religion, “the UN will extend its peacekeeping role into spiritual territory” and call for “its first summit for world religious leaders.”
No matter the form of government, rulers are selfish and oppressive. That has been repeatedly demonstrated worldwide. Africa threw off white colonial rule, but instead of freedom, there was new bondage to black despots. Instead of peace and prosperity, there is growing chaos, poverty, unrest, and tribal and ethnic wars, with blacks killing blacks, repeated coups, and revolutions that gain nothing.
Communism was once the big hope. The communist revolution in Russia was financed to a large extent by some of the wealthiest and most powerful men in America. Praising its enforced atheism, John Dewey wrote in The New Republic in 1928 that communism would “counteract and transform...the influence of home and Church” and ultimately fulfill the goals set forth in The Humanist Manifesto.
It sounded so good: equality for all. But those who enforced this “equality” were tyrants, looking out for their own selfish interests, who oppressed and stole from the people under them. Corruption flourished in the Soviet Union and China and still does in every communist nation.
The same has always been true of Islam. Muhammad imposed Islam with the sword. As soon as he died, much of Arabia tried to abandon Islam, but was forced back into submission in the Wars of Apostasy, in which tens of thousands were killed. Nor did that bring peace. Muhammad’s closest companions and relatives fought savage wars for leadership, slaughtering one another for Allah and their dead prophet. Thousands of Muhammad’s followers were butchered by one rival faction or another.
Islam hasn’t changed. Between 1948 and 1973, there were 80 revolutions in the Arab world, 30 of them successful, including the murder of 22 heads of state. Sunnites, the largest Islamic sect, and Shi’ites, the next largest, still fight one another. In the eight-year war between Iran and Iraq, 1,000 tons of poison gas were used, and there were more deaths than in World War I. Islam can’t even bring peace among Muslims. Yet British Prime Minister Tony Blair said that Islam is synonymous with “peace, tolerance and a force for good.” Incredibly, the [former] Crystal Cathedral housed a joint “Christian and Muslim Institute for peace.”
Peace? Islamic countries are dictatorships that were led by ruthless murderers and international terrorists such as Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, Libya’s Kaddafi, and Hafez Assad of Syria. In the name of Allah, these men and others have imprisoned, tortured, and killed tens of thousands of their own citizens and train and finance worldwide terrorism. In PLO territories taken from Israel, as in every Muslim country, there is no freedom of conscience, speech, religion, election, or the media.
Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East, and she has the problems that democracy breeds. The Holy Land is plagued with drugs, pornography, prostitution, youth rebellion, rape, robbery, and murder. Selfishness pits Israeli against Israeli. More than 200,000 Israeli women are victims of domestic violence each year. The savagery in Israeli schools rivals that of the United States. Violent crime among Israeli youth more than doubled from 1993 to 1998. There is hostility between religious and secular Israelis and increasing disillusionment with Judaism, especially among youth.
Were Jeremiah alive today, he would warn Israel once again of coming judgment. Israel must repent to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. But what if she were to do so? The rabbis have no forgiveness to offer. They’ve had neither temple nor sacrifices for sin for 1,900 years—exactly as foretold (Hos:3:4 ; Lk 21:20-24)!
Why would God prophesy and allow this condition? Only if Jesus is the Messiah who, as the Lamb of God, died for the sins of Jew and Gentile. If His sacrifice on the cross fulfilled all the Old Testament sacrifices, they are no longer needed. That is the only explanation for God having left Israel without temple and sacrifice all these years.
The Hebrew scriptures contain more than 300 prophecies telling when and where the King of the Jews would be born, all about Him, including His rejection, crucifixion, and resurrection. All were fulfilled to the letter in Jesus Christ. If He is not the Messiah, there is no Messiah. On the very day the angel Gabriel foretold to Daniel (Dan 9:25), Jesus rode into Jerusalem, was hailed as the Messiah as Zechariah had prophesied (Zec:9:9 ), then was crucified for our sins and resurrected as Israel’s prophets had foretold. On the cross above His head, Pilate placed this accusation: “THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS” (Mt 27:37).
According to indisputable history and Israel’s own prophets, it is over 1,900 years too late to expect the first coming of the Messiah. Israel’s only hope is His second coming. Tragically, it will take Armageddon for Israel to recognize her Messiah. When Yahweh personally appears to rescue Israel from destruction, every Jew alive will see that He is the man who was pierced to the death for their sins and resurrected, the very Messiah promised by their prophets, whom they have rejected. Then all Israel that is still alive will believe. And the King of the Jews at last “shall reign for ever and ever”! Right now He offers forgiveness, peace, eternal life, and a benevolent reign on the throne of every heart that will open to Him.
As noted in part one of this series, there is a coming world religion (CWR), and it is advancing rapidly. One of the significant elements that expedites its growth is mysticism, which is a belief system that ultimately rejects teachings that involve objective laws, rules, requirements, obligations, dogmas, doctrines, and the like, in favor of subjective experiences and intuitive feelings. The goal of the CWR (also known as the religion of the Antichrist) is to bring all religions under its patronage and control. Since all religions have doctrines that separate them from one another, even to the point of hostility in some cases, their doctrines must be compromised or altered in order to be acceptable to all—or they must be removed altogether. Mysticism facilitates doctrinal compromise because of its subjective nature. In other words, the objective meaning of a doctrine must give way to one’s subjective interpretation, i.e., how one feels about it. When such a belief system is in place, there can be no absolute truth; so-called truth is whatever an individual feels it is. It’s in the mind of the beholder.
Religions that are heavily legalistic in their theology must change in order to fit in with the ecumenical CWR. Two such religions are Roman Catholicism and Islam. In part one of this series we documented how the Church of Rome is well along the way of shifting from its highly legalistic system of rules and obligations toward a more mystical process. The Catholic Church has more than a billion followers, and they also must be included in the religion of the Antichrist. Islam, too, has greater than a billion adherents, so it also must become a part of the CWR. However, it is legalistic—and aggressively so—in its doctrine and practices, far more so than any other religion in the world. Consequently, many doubt that it could ever change.
Some have suggested, therefore, that the religion of the Antichrist will be Islam itself. For that to happen, the conversion of the world to Islamic beliefs would follow its historical method, which is at the point of a sword. Although that worked to a large degree in the past, it falls far short of what is necessary to spiritually transform the entire world. Additionally, there are obvious problems for this belief system regarding the coming religion of the Antichrist. The fact that the entire world will worship the Antichrist as God is inconsistent with and opposed by the Muslim worship of Allah. Sharia law, which is the Islamic code of law, is derived from the Qur’an and the Sunnah (Muhammad’s teachings and examples). Consequences for disobeying Sharia laws are the harshest among religions. Its rules are overtly abusive regarding women. Furthermore, Islam’s collectively intense hatred of Jews and Christians, as well as “all infidels,” is diametrically opposed to the CWR’s necessary ecumenism. These doctrines of Islam work against its efforts to attract followers to the coming world religion. What then, if anything, is there within Islam that might reconcile the billion-plus Muslims to the religion of the Antichrist, with its mystical underpinnings? The answer is Sufism.
Sufism is the mystical Islamic belief and practice through which Muslims seek to find the truth of divine love and knowledge by way of a direct personal experience with Allah. This is Islam in the throes of experiential and subjective beliefs and practices. Being functionally at odds with Sharia laws and practices, many Sufi practitioners reject the rules of Sharia outright, regarding mysticism as the most direct way to achieve union with Allah. Moreover, where it has been historically practiced throughout the world, Sufism has had no problem coexisting with other religions. This is not the case, as we’re well aware, for Sharia-law Islam.
One mystical aspect of Sufism is for its practitioners to put themselves into an ecstatic trance or altered state of consciousness through whirling. These individuals are known as Whirling Dervishes. According to one source, “The hundreds of the Dervish twirling rotations (20-30 per minute) coincide with the theta rhythm in the brain, and the chanting (they repeat the word ‘God’ [more likely ‘Allah,’] about 99 times) makes the dancers dissociate from reality and enter a different state of mind. When the ceremony is over, the dervishes return, side by side, in front of the sheikh [master and guide] and then move to another room to meditate. The physiological goal of the whirling is for the dervish to ‘empty’ himself of all distractions” (www.sleepandhealth.com/whirling-dervishes-altered-state-consciousness/). It should be obvious that this is just another form of Eastern mystical meditation along with the contemplative forms practiced by more and more professing Christians in the West.
The various exercises of mysticism are similar throughout the world, even where there has been no connection between the cultures or people groups. Sufi meditation and yoga employ the same lotus sitting position and a hasta mudra (with the thumb curled and touching the tip of the forefinger). Sufi whirling has the same effect as the uncontrollable shaking in the Dynamic Meditation practiced by the followers of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. The Sufi Shaykh is similar to the guru in yoga in terms of the practitioner’s absolute submission to him and obedience to the guidance given. In some practices, the Shaykh is a transcended spiritual entity channeled by the meditator. The Encyclopedia of Islam lists a number of manifestations found within the meditation practices of Sufism, e.g., “barking and howling” (MacDonald, D. B. “Darwish (Darwesh),” Encyclopedia of Islam, Second Edition, edited by: P. B. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C. E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel and W. P. Heinrichs, Brill Online, Augustana, 21 Sept 2009), behavior that was also exhibited through the so-called impartation of the Holy Spirit in places such as the Toronto Airport Vineyard, Pensacola and Lakeland, Florida, International House of Prayer (IHOP), and Bethel Church in Redding, California, among numerous others. These experiences taking place throughout the world should give one more than a hint that spirit entities, contacted through altered states of consciousness and meditation, as well as some people’s faith in the false signs-and-wonders methods, have been facilitating Satan’s goal of seducing and controlling the consciousness and beliefs of mankind. “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils” (1 Timothy:4:1 ).
Mehmet Oz, better known as Dr. Oz, is someone whom I would describe as the poster boy for everything that I’ve been noting in this article, which is the acceptance of all religions in the formation of a one-world religion. He is a Muslim—a Sufi Muslim. He is also a New Ager and a national spokesman for Transcendental Meditation or TM (www.doctoroz.com/videos/oz-transcendental-meditation). TM is the pseudo-scientific title conjured up by Hindu guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. The Maharishi, who came to fame as the spiritual advisor and guru to the Beatles, began teaching meditation in US schools as the Spiritual Regeneration Movement, but it was shut down because the courts realized that it was clearly a religion. The Maharishi simply renamed it The Science of Transcendental Meditation [emphasis added]. This incredibly important alteration was not only successful in promoting his Hinduism in schools, but it also opened the door for other pseudoscientific forms of meditation such as Mindfulness and MindUP, which have been overwhelmingly accepted by our school systems here in the US.
Dr. Oz is a protégé of Oprah Winfrey, who is the leading advocate of New Age beliefs and practices in America. Dr. Oz, a Muslim, is a close second. How can that be? Oz has explained that he grew up in America with parents who were diverse in their Muslim beliefs—one leaned toward Sufism and the other toward Sharia law. “I found myself tugged more to the spiritual side of the religion rather than the legal side of the religion….[Sufism] is the order I resonate to because it’s much more mystical….[Sufis] are more concerned with the true connection with God….But when you get caught up in the religious legal aspects of religion, it frustrates me to no end.” Dr. Oz also noted with enthusiasm that his wife, a “Protestant,” is a follower of the teachings of Emanuel Swedenborg who was heavily involved in mystical experiences (as well as blatant biblical heresies).
Dr. Oz personifies what I have been trying to explain regarding what could attract humanity to the coming subjective, experiential, and feelings-oriented one-world religion. Laws, rules, doctrines, and requirements are out; intuition, feelings, and mystical experiences are in. Dr. Oz’s charisma and enthusiasm for the mystical have already deceived millions, Christians and non-Christians alike, toward the direction of the CWR. Rick Warren had Mehmet Oz as a teacher of meditation (read “occult meditation”) for the “Daniel Plan” weight loss program that Warren promoted for his Saddleback Church members and his followers.
Changes are taking place in the world—new concepts that are speeding along at a breathtaking rate. Furthermore, these are changes that defy logic and reason. As the lyrics of a modern song plead seductively, “If it feels so right, how can it be wrong?” And an even more recent popular tune exclaims in its title, “Wrong feels so right!” The very idea that something could be considered “wrong” has not only been questioned, but it is now regarded as belonging to the “archaic realm of judgmentalism.” Daring to call something wrong has become the social sin of the day, and it’s being drowned in the deluge of “let your feelings be your guide.”
In the 1977 blockbuster, Star Wars, which was the most financially successful (and therefore influential) movie series in the history of motion pictures, Yoda (as in “Yoga” – see www.yogapoint.com/articles/yogaandstarwars.htm, etc.) instructs Luke Skywalker to control the Force with this admonition: “Luke, trust your feelings.” Eastern mysticism has gone viral in the West. What were once foreign terms such as karma or guru or deva or mantra have become commonplace. What used to be the Young Men’s Christian Association has morphed into the Yoga Mastery Coaching Association. The latest survey has the number of practitioners of yoga at 37 million people in the US, with projections of 80 million over the next few years. Numerous evangelical churches have pushed aside pews in their sanctuaries in order to practice “Christian” Yoga. Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!(Isaiah:5:20 ).
The chief reinforcement from the world for the development of the mystical religion of the Antichrist, however, comes from the pseudoscience and religion of psychology. Psychology has duped mankind into accepting psychotherapy as a science when it has no basis in true science. Most of the practice comprises a subjective belief system, i.e., a religion. This is abundantly clear particularly as it pertains to counseling, which is overwhelmingly the largest field of psychology. How, then, does psychotherapy bolster the development of the Antichrist’s mystical spirituality? Consider just a few of psychotherapy’s Antichrist beliefs: 1) Mankind is innately good. That innate goodness, we are told, is the source of the “true self.” Getting back to our true self is accomplished through the psychotherapeutic process of self-actualization. Self-actualization, conjured up by Abraham Maslow, is no different from the Eastern mystical teaching of self-realization—realizing one’s godhood. 2) Sin is simply wrong thinking. Sin, we are told, is a construct of judgmental religions imposing their beliefs and practices upon humanity. It is a control mechanism that prohibits mankind from reaching its potential—which, again, is godhood. 3) Being guided by one’s feelings is the basis for true wellness. Feelings emanate from one’s subconscious, which, we’re told, is where one’s true self resides. Being true to one’s feelings, therefore, is the ultimate path of truth.
Carl Jung, who is highly favored in Christendom, claimed that the comprehension of Eastern mystical thought was essential if Western psychology was to develop. Psychology Today years ago added its own confirmation to the changes we’re seeing now by declaring that Eastern mysticism would come to the West through psychology. It has, and it will continue until the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The demonic strategy of mysticism (which is union with God) is to make man believe that he is God. That lie had its beginning in heaven when Lucifer declared, “I will be like the most High [God]” (Isaiah:14:14 ). His prideful self-delusion turned him from being a “light bringer” (which was what his name meant) to what he is now—God’s chief adversary and the ruler of the darkness of this world, Satan. He then introduced the lie of Godhood to humanity by convincing Eve that she could become a god (Genesis:3:5 ) and this lie will culminate with the Antichrist, “…who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God” (2 Thessalonians:2:4 ).
Of course, the lie of godhood will not be exclusive to Antichrist but rather will be all-inclusive. Universally, it will likely take on the form that we find in the Namaste of Hinduism, where a person “recognizes the divinity of another” by declaring, “I bow down to the god in you,” or the grand delusion of Mormonism: “As man is, God once was; and as God is, man may become.”
That is the religion of the Antichrist. It will continue to increase in various forms until it reaches its fulfillment when the “man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition” (2 Thessalonians:2:3 ). As our Lord warned us, the times prior to His return for His church will be days of great spiritual deception (Matthew:24:4 ). How, then, should believers who are living in these perilous days not only protect themselves spiritually but also be fruitful and productive in order to do His will and look forward to His coming? That will be the subject of Part III.
Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. —2 Thessalonians:2:3-4
And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? —Revelation:13:3-4
And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. —Revelation:13:8
According to the Scriptures, in the last days prior to Christ’s return a religion will appear that will deceive virtually the entire world into following it. It will be led by the Antichrist (“the beast”), who will be worshiped as God.
Scripture also indicates, however, that the bride of Christ will be removed from the earth in the Rapture (Jn:14:1-3 ; 1 Th 4:16-18) before that religion is fulfilled. If true, then why would the knowledge of the coming world religion be of value for true believers in Christ?
There are a number of reasons. First of all, the biblically false content of the coming world religion doesn’t suddenly appear overnight. The seeds of it began in the Garden of Eden with Satan’s seduction of Eve (Gn 3:1). His first words, “Yea, hath God said…?,” set forth his strategy of undermining God’s commands and instructions. That has continued right up to this present time and is increasing exponentially. Secondly, Satan’s offer of godhood to Eve has manifested itself throughout history. Most of the religions of the Far East teach that God is everything or in everything, making everything and everyone God or part of God. Many of the Caesars and other rulers imposed the worship of themselves as deities upon their people. Those forms of idolatry will culminate in the worship of self, the Antichrist, and Satan.
Thirdly, Jesus characterized the days prior to His return for His bride as a time of great deception. He told His disciples, “Take heed that no man deceive you” (Mt 24:4 - emphasis added). His warning included deceits such as false Christs, lying signs and wonders, and unbiblical doctrines and teachers. Some have wrongly concluded that Christ’s warning wasn’t for believers, asserting that verse 24 implies that it would be impossible to “deceive the very elect” (24:24). That can’t be the case because Jesus addressed this warning (v. 4) to His disciples—who were certainly His “elect.” Fourthly, the Word of God gives multiple instructions on how to protect ourselves from the lies of Satan that can adversely affect our fruitfulness in the Lord.
These seductive and deceptive devices of God’s chief adversary will increase prior to the Rapture, but God’s Word gives us the prevention program against being seduced by Satan’s lies: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Pt 5:8).
The Apostle Paul pointed to a time in the history of the church when a condition would be prevalent that would greatly undermine the faith of professing and true believers: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (2 Tm 4:3 ). Sound doctrine—what is that? It’s simply the teachings given to mankind by God through His prophets. It is God’s written Word, His objective communication to humanity, containing information that comes directly from Him without the input of mankind. That’s what makes it sound doctrine. God, being infinite, has communicated to finite man what He wants him to know and do. That’s the only way finite humanity can truly know their infinite Creator and what He has in mind regarding them.
Undermining sound doctrine is Satan’s primary goal in his attempt to shipwreck the faith and fruitfulness of believers. The strategy involves corrupting the Word of God by adding to it or subtracting from it. Thus the Scriptures are distorted through the input of fallen, finite man and the contributions of seducing spirits and doctrines of demons (1Tm 4:1). Such modifications demolish the objective truth of Scripture. The Bible no longer stands as God’s Word when “adjustments” are made by other sources. This is taking place today in unprecedented fashion, especially through the introduction (or re-introduction) of mysticism.
The antithesis of the objective Word of God, mysticism is defined by The Merriam-Webster Dictionary as “the belief that direct knowledge of God, spiritual truth, or ultimate reality can be attained through subjective experience such as intuition or insight,” and adds that it is “vague speculation, a belief without sound basis.” Google gives this definition: “belief characterized by self-delusion or dreamy confusion of thought, especially when based on the assumption of occult qualities or mysterious agencies.” A mystical worldview, which is intensifying in both the world and its religions, will be foundational to the coming one-world religion.
Among many reasons, the primary one is that mysticism has a universal appeal that will attract and unify all the religions of the world. Why? Because it avoids doctrine (rules, regulations, commandments, obligations, requirements, etc.). The doctrines of the Bible are given by God and are to be obeyed; not obeying them is rebellion, which is the state of the world as well as the state of many within the church. The religions of the world also have doctrines, albeit false ones, against which their followers often rebel. Doctrines divide because people don’t particularly like rules that demand obedience. The stricter the rules, the less attractive the religion. That’s a potential problem for the religion of the Antichrist because its goal is to attract other belief systems and draw all people into its spiritual web.
Mysticism avoids objective rules and requirements, whether biblical or not. It’s a belief system without a sound (objective) basis that majors on subjective experience, insights, intuition, dreamy confusion of thought (e.g., altered states of consciousness), speculation, and mysterious agencies. So the arbiter of what is right and true is how one feels: “If it feels right, then it must be right, and therefore ultimately true.”
In order for mysticism to become the foundational belief system of the one-world religion, it must include all the world religions. With rare exceptions, the religions of the Far East are fundamentally mystical, so little change is necessary for them. But what of the law-oriented religions of RomanCatholicism and Islam? Their combined numbers exceed two billion followers, so they must be included in the religion of the Antichrist. Yet they are both legalistic—Catholicism with its canons and decrees, inquisitions, and obligations, and Islam with its Sharia laws. Obviously this must change in order for them to fit in with the necessary ecumenism of the one-world religion.
Such a change will likely be facilitated by the roots of mysticism that have been a part of both religions for centuries. In Roman Catholicism, for example, the influence of the Desert Fathers began in the third century, just before Constantine, and continued past the time of Augustine in the fourth and fifth centuries. These were hermits and mystics, living in seclusion, in caves, some of them attempting to imitate Jesus in His personal desert confrontation with the devil. Their fleshly attempts at overcoming Satan and his demons often led to madness. They lived in caves, isolated from the rest of civilization, which also led to altered states of consciousness. As we know today, that condition opens a person to communication with the spirit world, i.e., demons. An altered mental state often creates the illusion of oneness, or union, with God—the ultimate goal of mysticism.
This system of isolation was in place at the beginning of the development of the Roman CatholicChurch. It was furthered through monasticism, in which monks and nuns withdrew from society by entering monasteries. The idea was to fully commit themselves to God by separating from the secular world. Some monastic orders took vows of silence. That left them vulnerable to the spirit realm. (Silence, by the way, is a huge feature of and heavily promoted by the contemplative movement today.)
In the sixteenth century, a Spaniard named Ignatius Loyola, who was the founder of the Jesuits, fostered mysticism through his Spiritual Exercises. They are enormously popular among Catholics and contemplative evangelicals today. One Jesuit source tells us: “Ignatius was convinced that God can speak to us as surely through our imagination as through our thoughts and memories. In the Ignatian tradition, praying with the imagination is called contemplation” (Kevin O’Brien, The Ignatian Adventure: Experiencing the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, p.141). “Praying with the imagination,” by the way, is another term for creative visualization, a powerful occult technique that ushers the visualizer into the spirit realm.
Contemplative techniques have divorced the practitioner from the objective Word of God, leading one into the subjective arena of the imagination and feelings. This is what people like Richard Foster (Celebration of Discipline) and Sarah Young (Jesus Calling) are promoting. The practical consequences of disregarding critical judgment are often disastrous. Yet that is and will be the outcome of a religious system that people will flock to in the Last Days.
Following the mystical practices of Ignatius Loyola in our day were Catholics Thomas Merton and Henri Nouwen. Both are deceased. Merton was a Trappist monk and priest; Nouwen was also a priest, and both were well-known mystics. They were paragons of the modern contemplative movement and greatly influenced leading evangelicals such as Richard Foster, Dallas Willard, Eugene Peterson, Beth Moore, Kay Warren, and others. Merton studied the Desert Fathers and the Christian mystics and recognized their connection with the meditative practices of Eastern mysticism in Zen Buddhism, Taoism, and Sufism, which he taught and practiced. Asked if he felt that “turning away from traditional Christianity toward the East” would cause “an eventual turning back to a different form of Christianity, one that might even be more genuine,” Merton replied, “Yes, I think so” (Merton, Thomas Merton: Preview of the Asian Journey, 53-54).
Henri Nouwen has become the favored mystic among evangelicals. One of his most popular books isBehold the Beauty of the Lord: Praying with Icons. It’s an instruction manual on how to use imagery as the window of heaven in order to enter into the deeper things of the soul. Nouwen espouses mysticism because he sees it “as my call to help every person claim his or her own way to God.” That doesn’t seem to faze Rick Warren, who quotes him favorably in his best-selling Purpose Driven Life, or Kay Warren, who recommends Nouwen’s books, or Philip Yancy, who sings his praises in Christianity Today, or Chuck Swindoll, who is enamored with his contemplative teachings, or Tony Campolo, who calls the deceased Catholic priest “one of the great Christians of our time.”
Of late there is Pope Francis. Surging ahead at an ecumenical and mystical speed that thrills the world’s religions and has left traditional Catholicism in its wake, the pope and his ecumenism has many professing Christians flocking to Rome at his personal invitation: Kenneth Copeland, James Robison,Rick Warren, Geoff Tunnicliffe, John Arnott, and Joel Osteen, to name a few. After meeting with the pope, Osteen said, “I like the fact that this pope is trying to make the church larger, not smaller. He’s not pushing people out but making the church more inclusive. That resonated with me.” Luis Palau has been a long-time friend of the pope, and Timothy George wrote an article for Christianity Today titled “Our Francis, Too: Why we can enthusiastically join arms with the Catholic leader.”
The most influential evangelical pastor today, Rick Warren, refers to him as “our new pope.” Pope Francis is certainly the man for the renewal of mystical Roman Catholicism. He’s a Jesuit, fully rehearsed in the Spiritual Exercises. In his address before the US Congress recently, he praised mystic monk and priest Thomas Merton.
Many were appalled that one of the first overtures of the new head of the Roman Catholic Church in regard to winning and influencing evangelicals was to send a personal greeting to a conference led by Kenneth Copeland. Was the pope clueless about Copeland’s false doctrines, his charismatic abuses, his prosperity distortions of Scripture, not to mention his con-man-like greed? I think not. Why? Because it doesn’t really matter. Doctrines, whether true or false, take a back seat—or no seat at all—in mysticism. Remember, as noted, doctrines divide. Therefore they need to be pushed aside in order to make room for what helps people to get along, what encourages relationship building, what feels right. That was the gist of the Christianity Today article, “What Evangelicals Like about Francis.” Never mind the theology of the pope. It’s how he makes everyone feel. More and more, it seems, this is what’s important to people.
Fewer and fewer evangelicals today seem to care that all the feel good stuff that Francis reflects personally won’t save him or anyone else. Neither will the gospel of his Church save anyone —whether it’s the new or the old Catholicism. The following quotes in the official Catholic catechism have been a mystery for quite a while. Many within and without the Church have been at a loss as to how to interpret them: “For the Son of God became man so that we might become God....The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods” (CCC paragraph 460). What is now becoming apparent is the way those statements fit perfectly with the foundational objective of mysticism: union with God.
The seeds of mysticism have certainly found fertile soil within legalistic Roman Catholicism, but what of the even more oppressive Sharia law that is foundational to Islam? Are Muslims therefore impervious to mystical beliefs? [To Be Continued]
Last month we noted that the only true God, the Creator of the universe and all things therein—the God of the Bible—has linked His name with and tied His integrity to Israel. Yet many evangelicals, including well-known leaders, insist that Israel is of no significance to God any longer, having been cut off for rejecting Christ and now having been replaced by the church. There are even groups (not only among white supremacists or cults such as Herbert W. Armstrong’s die-hard followers today) who persist in the ridiculous theory that the “Ten Lost Tribes” of Israel migrated to the British Isles and that therefore all those of British descent are the true Jews today. Some go so far as to say that all of the “white races” are the true Jews—as though not only England but all of Europe and Russia was uninhabited wasteland until these remnants of the “Ten Lost Tribes” settled there.
We have proved that the ten tribes taken to Assyria (2 Ki:17:6-23 ) were not “lost” but make up most of those called Jews today (see 2 Chr 34,35; Q&A Nov ’92, May ’96). Far from Israel being cut off, hundreds of prophecies foretell Israel’s importance in world affairs in the last days, the attack of all the world against her at Armageddon, her rescue by the Messiah, and her glorious final restoration in the Millennial Kingdom. Nor is there ever a reference to Israel anywhere in Scripture that could possibly be interpreted as meaning the British Isles or the British people, much less the “white races”!
Most of the more than 2,000 references to Israel or Israelites in the Bible and the thousands of prophecies (already fulfilled or yet to be fulfilled) pertain to the historical land of Israel in the Middle East, whose boundaries are clearly described (Gn 15:18-21), or to the people who lived there for nearly 2,300 years, were cast out under God’s judgment, and will be brought back by God so that not one ethnic Jew will be left outside Israel (Ezk 39:27-29).
We know who the Jews are today by DNA testing. The Israeli Immigrant Liaison Bureau requires DNA tests where there is some question as to the authenticity of claimed Jewish ancestry. Such tests would draw a complete blank if applied to the average person of British descent, and prove British-Israelism to be utter folly. No other ethnic group without its own land and scattered around the world for more than 2,000 years has or could maintain its DNA identity as have the Jews.
It is not important to know who is an American, German, Arab, Greek, et al. In contrast, it is vital to know who is a Jew. Why? About 70 percent of the pages of Scripture are taken up in recounting Israel’s history and prophesying her future: her continued and unrepentant rebellion against God, His reluctant and long-delayed but finally severe discipline (the worst of which is yet to come), the Jews’ worldwide dispersion, their re-gathering from all over the world back into their own land in the Last Days, hundreds of prophecies concerning Israel’s present key role in world affairs, of her greatest trial just ahead (Jer:30:7) when two-thirds of all Jews on earth will be killed (Zec:13:8,9), and of her final restoration under the Messiah (Zec 12-14). Unquestionably, Israel is the major subject of God’s Holy Word. To be wrong about Israel is therefore to be wrong on almost everything in the Bible.
The One whom the Bible 203 times calls “the God of Israel” has sworn by an everlasting covenant that Israel, three times called the “apple” of His eye (Dt 32:10; Lam:2:18; Zec:2:8), will never cease to exist as a nation : “Therefore fear thou not...O Israel...though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee: but I...will not leave thee altogether unpunished” (Jer:30:10-11 ). “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that the city [Jerusalem] shall be built...it shall not be plucked up, nor thrown down any more for ever” (Jer:31:38-40 ). The language could not be clearer here and throughout God’s Holy Word.
These and hundreds of other promises from God to Israel recorded in Scripture are a sharp rebuke to those such as Hank Hanegraaff, D. James Kennedy, R.C. Sproul, et al., who teach that the church has replaced Israel. “Thus saith the Lord, which giveth the sun for a light by day...moon...and...stars...by night...if those ordinances depart from before me...then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever...” (Jer:31:35-36 ); “While the earth remaineth...day and night shall not cease” (Gn 8:22); “Behold, I will gather them out of all countries, whither I have driven them in mine anger...and I will bring them again unto this place [Israel], and I will cause them to dwell safely: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God...so will I bring upon them all the good that I have promised them” (Jer:32:37-42 ).
Israel has failed to fulfill her calling to be an example to the world of holiness in dedication to God (Lv 20:22-24, 26; Dt 6:4-5; 7:6, etc.). While there are many believing Israelis, some even within the military, Israel today as a whole remains as wicked and godless as America and the rest of the nations. God’s “chosen people,” living once again in the Promised Land in fulfillment of many specific biblical prophecies, refuse to honor in their daily lives the God of their fathers who has brought them there. Even in the present distress related to Gaza and Lebanon, the vast majority of Israelis trust in their own arms and determination instead of trusting the only One who can protect them and has promised to do so.
The triumph of tiny Israel in every war and against impossible odds is admitted by many in the IDF as defying ordinary explanation. Military officers giving pep talks to new recruits often tell of amazing events they have witnessed in past wars, but rarely is God’s intervention hinted at, even when no other explanation would be possible. Israel as a whole has not yet been humbled to the point of acknowledging what the Psalmist prophesied: “If it had not been the Lord who was on our side, now may Israel say...when men rose up against us: then they had swallowed us up quick.... Blessed be the Lord, who hath not given us as a prey to their teeth....Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth” (Ps:124:1,2,6,8). At Armageddon, however, this prophecy will become a reality to all who survive.
In contrast, Britain, along with America, will be among those “all nations” that God will gather and destroy at Armageddon (Jer:30:11; Jl 3:2;Zec:12:9, 14:2, etc.) for their mistreatment of Israel, and especially for dividing His land. In fact, Britain played a key role in robbing Israel of its land and giving most of it to the Arabs for oil. Both Britain and America have betrayed Israel many times, and the U.S. State Department and British Foreign Service have opposed Israel from the beginning, as we document in Judgment Day . Those facts alone prove the lie of British Israelism.
So why would God faithfully help faithless Israel? He makes it clear to Israel from the very beginning, “...because the Lord loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the Lord brought you out...from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt...” (Dt 7:8). As we noted last month, referring to her ultimate restoration and blessing (which He has promised through the Messiah), the God of Israel declares: “Thus saith the Lord God; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name’s sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen...be ashamed and confounded for your ways, O house of Israel...I the Lord have spoken it, and I will do it” (Ezk 36:22,32,36, etc.). In spite of Israel’s present disregard of Him, “the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob” (Ex 3:15,16 and ten other places in the Bible) is fulfilling His promises to those patriarchs through their descendants—and the day is coming when all Israel who survive Armageddon will believe.
Most Jews worldwide await the Messiah’s first coming, unaware that He already came and was rejected and crucified. Jesus warned the Jews, “I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive” (Jn:5:43). Tragically, it will take Armageddon for the surviving Jews to repent, turn to the God of Israel, and embrace the One who comes in His Father’s name. In that greatest distress ever faced by Israel, God declares that the one-third whom He will bring alive “through the fire...refine[d] as silver is refined...as gold is tried [shall] call on my name, and I will hear them” (Zec:13:8,9).
When they see with their own eyes the Messiah come to rescue them, and discover to their shame who He is, “...they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him...a great mourning in Jerusalem...” (Zec:12:10-14 ). Why such extreme sorrow at being rescued by the Messiah? The God of Israel declares: “they shall look upon me whom they have pierced” (12:10)!
At Armageddon, when Yahweh comes to the rescue, He reveals Himself as the One whom Israel has pierced! Pierced?! When and how could Israel pierce the One who told Moses, “there shall no man see me, and live” (Ex 33:20)? God, “a Spirit” (Jn:4:24), cannot be pierced—but the Messiah coming as a man could be. Jesus, who fulfilled every Messianic prophecy, was pierced on the cross. Why was He crucified? For claiming to be God (Jn:10:30-33 )!
Yahweh is speaking in the first person, yet two persons seem to be involved: “...they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him ....” This him seems to be another person—and yet He must also be Yahweh! Is Yahweh two persons? In fact, He declares Himself to be three in one! Consider this: “I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I...” (Is 48:16). Surely the one speaking must be God because He has been speaking from the very beginning. Yet He adds, “The Lord God, and his Spirit, hath sent me” (Ibid.). Here we encounter God, the Lord God, and the Spirit of God.
Could this be what the Holy Spirit inspired the Apostle John to write, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”? Surely this One called the “Word,” who existed from the beginning and is God, must be the same God to whom Isaiah refers who speaks from the beginning.
But the similarities in these two verses don’t end there. Both raise almost identical questions. In Isaiah, how can God be sent by God; and in John, how can God be with God? There is only one solution: the Messiah must be God. When Jesus said, “I and my Father are one” (Jn:10:30), the Jews accused Him of blasphemy. When they picked up stones, Jesus asked why they wanted to kill Him. Their instant reply was, “for blasphemy...thou, being a man, makest thyself God” (vv. 31-33). For the Messiah to declare His deity was the ultimate heresy, worthy of death? No!
According to the Hebrew prophets, the Messiah had to be God and, at the same time, the Son of God. If God has a Son, who Himself is God and one with His Father, that would dissolve the rabbis’ objections. We encounter God’s Son a number of times in the Hebrew Scriptures. Speaking prophetically, the Psalmist presents God as declaring of one who is to come, “Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee” (Ps:2:7). Jehovah’s Witnesses and others who deny Christ’s deity take this as referring to Christ’s birth on earth as the beginning of His existence. That cannot be the case, however, because God speaks of His Son as already existing and warns a God-defying world, “Kiss the Son, lest he be angry....Blessed are all they that put their trust in him” (v 12).
That the Son of God already existed before His incarnation is clear from a number of other statements by the Hebrew prophets. Solomon quotes the prophet Agur asking this question: “Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? Who hath gathered the wind in his fists? Who hath bound the waters in a garment?” The obvious answer is “God.” Then he asks, “what is his son’s name...” (Prv 30:4), proving that the Son of God already existed at that time. Shadrack, Meshach, and Abednego were cast into a huge furnace so hot that the flames killed those who threw them into it. Nebuchadnezzar, astonished to see these three Hebrews walking alive in the flames, observes another with them and in wonder exclaims, “the fourth is like the Son of God” (Dn 3:25)!
While promising salvation through the coming Messiah, Yahweh repeatedly declared that He himself was the only Savior: “I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no savior” (Is 43:11); “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else” (Is 45:22). And yet this salvation goes to “the ends of the earth” by another who must Himself be God and the Messiah: “I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth” (Is 49:6). Of whom does God speak?
Unquestionably, the Hebrew prophets all agree that God exists as a tri-unity: three persons (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) but one God—and that in the Messiah He becomes man without ceasing to be God. Christ’s claims that He was God and man, and one with His Father, agree with the prophets. Isaiah declared: “For unto us a child is born...” (Is 9:6). This refers to His humanity, derived, as foretold, from His virgin mother, Mary: the “seed” of the woman (Gn 3:15). But Isaiah adds, “unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder....Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David...” (Is 9:6,7). Surely the Son given must be the already-existing Son of God—and He must be the Messiah, because He will rule on David’s throne.
But Isaiah declares that the Messiah is God! His name is “Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God.” And He is also “The everlasting Father.” Here is the same mystery: God is both Father and Son, and He alone is the Messiah! Most Jews still refuse to recognize this identity of the “God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” This is one place where they agree with their bitterest enemies, the Muslims. The Qur’an condemns to hell anyone who believes in the Trinity (Sur 5:72-74)!
So the fact that Yahweh has come as a man who was pierced to the death, resurrected, and will return to rescue Israel at Armageddon is in perfect agreement with the Hebrew prophets. When Israel sees her God in this form coming to her rescue, it will be painfully clear that He has been to earth before, where He was rejected and pierced to the death. So Jesus was only echoing the prophets when He said to the inhabitants of Jerusalem as He was being “brought as a lamb to the slaughter” (Is 53:7) on the way to the Cross: “Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord” (Mt 23:39). At last they will understand “the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob”—and “all Israel shall be saved” (Rom:11:26)!
Hunt, Dave. (2016, September 1). God of Jacob, God of Israel Part Two. thebereancall.org. Retrieved September 5, 2016 from http://www.thebereancall.org/content/god-jacob-god-israel-part-two