666 or 616? – The Number of the Beast

666 or 616

Some modern versions of the bible as well as recent news articles call the accepted reading of Revelation 13:18 into question. Do these claims have merit?

Pick up almost any English version of the Bible, and turn to Revelation 3:18. It will read something like, “Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.” While this Biblical verse may not be the best known, the number six hundred and sixty six contained within it is recognized by most. This number’s association with the last days’ character known as the antichrist has caused it to be popularized, sometimes glamorized, and often feared by religious and non-religious people alike. However, some have cast doubt on the authenticity of this reading, and asked the question, “Is 666 really the number of the beast?” For example, the margin of the New Revised Standard Version (a corrupted translation) reads, “Other ancient authorities read six hundred sixteen.” The notes in the New American Standard Bible say, “One early manuscript reads 616.” Furthermore, news articles have appeared with such ominous titles as, “Beast’s Real Mark Devalued to ‘616’” and “666 Wrong Number of Prophetic Beast?” All of these things raise the question, “What is the real number of the beast as recorded in Revelation 13:18?
Answering this question accurately is of great importance for two reasons. First, this verse was not penned in a casual work of literature. Its origin is the King James Holy Bible, God’s Word. How important is the Bible? Deuteronomy 8:3 states clearly that, “Man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD.
The Book of Revelation gives clear warning that its words are precious, and are not to be tampered with. In Revelation’s closing verses, we find Jesus saying,

For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” – Revelation 22:18-19.

Knowing the number of the beast as given to John by God and not changing it is essential, if we are to please the Lord. The second reason for seeking an answer to this question is found in Revelation 13:18, the verse under discussion. It begins, “Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast.” It is God’s will that mankind gain wisdom and understanding from His Word with respect to end time Bible prophecy and the signs given therein – including the number of the beast. Only by having an accurate understanding of the number of the beast can mankind successfully interpret Bible prophecy as it relates to the person of the antichrist. Given that we live in the last days, where many of these prophecies are now being fulfilled, this understanding is essential. Because Revelation 13:18 is found in God’s unchanged Word (KJV), and because we know that God wants us to understand Bible prophecy, let’s look at the evidence and answer the question, “The number of the beast – 666 or 616?

NEW TESTAMENT MANUSCRIPTS

Understanding why some question the reading “666” in Revelation 13:18 as well as determining the correct reading of this verse requires an investigation into the area of New Testament studies known as textual criticism. Textual criticism is a branch of philology that studies manuscripts or printings to determine the original form of a text. New Testament textual criticism seeks to study the large body of manuscripts, early quotations, lectionaries (readings used for church services), and translations in an effort to ascertain the accurate reading of the New Testament. Some would ask, “Why is this necessary? Don’t we have the original manuscripts, as penned by their authors?” The answer unfortunately is no. No original New Testament writings exist today. However, we do have an abundance of New Testament manuscripts written in the original Greek language. In addition we have many citations of the New Testament contained in quotations from early church writers and lectionaries, as well as numerous ancient translations into other languages such as Latin, Coptic, and Syriac. With such a large number of documents spanning such a long period of time, it is no surprise that some differences have emerged between manuscripts, including those of the book of Revelation. New Testament textual criticism seeks to understand and resolve these differences. Textual criticism is an area of study that is very deep and very wide. In fact, some scholars are dedicated to nothing but the study of New Testament textual criticism. In light of that, it is impossible to present a complete treatment of the textual factors that go into determining the number of the beast in this article. In addition, research in this field continues and new discoveries are continually made. However, what follows is an overview of key factors that help to explain the questions and seek to provide reasonable answers.

TEXTUAL WITNESSES

The Text of the New Testament”, a well known text on New Testament textual criticism, over 2300 Greek manuscripts of the New Testament exist today [“Text of NT” 83]. Of these manuscripts, more than 280 contain some or all of the Book of Revelation. Examining Revelation 13:18 in these manuscripts reveals that here are differences between them. Some manuscripts spell out the number using Greek words, some use letters to represent numbers (similar to Roman numerals). Although the vast majority of manuscripts give the number of the beast as six hundred sixty six, four (two pre-sixth century and two no longer existent post-eighth century) are known to state 616 as the number and one 11th century manuscript gives 665. This explains why the question about 666 vs. 616 has been raised. Although one could argue that the fact that the majority of manuscripts contain 666 closes the question, textual criticism acknowledges that not all manuscripts are created equal. Some are more reliable than others, based on numerous factors, including age, condition, and history. So, let’s look at some of the oldest and most respected Greek manuscripts that contain this passage.
Much of the recent stir about 616 has arisen due to renewed studies of a group of very old manuscripts originally discovered in 1895 by archaeologists at the site of an ancient garbage dump in Oxyrhynchus in Egypt (today’s false “bibles” are derived from this manuscript). Many of the Oxyrhynchus manuscripts consist of New Testament papyri, and are very old when compared to other manuscripts. One of them named P115 (also called P. Oxy. 4499), dates from around 300 AD and contains some or all of 12 chapters from the Book of Revelation, including Revelation 13:18. It records 616 as the number of the beast using Greek letters. Because of this manuscript’s age, some have jumped to the conclusion that this must be the original reading. However, this conclusion cannot be made. Other evidence must be considered. For example, three manuscripts from the Chester Beatty Papyri include portions of the New Testament. One of these named P47, dates from the 3rd century and contains chapters 9-17 of Revelation. In its reading of Revelation 13:18, it states that the number of the beast is 666, using Greek letters. So, two equally old papyri have both readings – 666 and 616.
Other ancient manuscripts contain similar differences. The uncial manuscripts consist of those written with Greek capital letters. Around 100 of these date from before the 7th century. Six uncials are known to contain Revelation 13 [“Text of NT” Chart 6K] and are noteworthy in this discussion. Codex a(Aleph – the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet), also known as Sinaiticus, was discovered by Constantin von Tischendorf in St. Catherine’s Monastery on Mt. Sinai in 1859 (today’s false “bibles” are also derived from this manuscript). It dates from the fourth century and is one of the most revered (falsely so) NT manuscripts, due to its age as well as the fact that it contains all of the New Testament. Its reading of Revelation 13:18 denotes 666 as the number of the beast, spelled out with Greek words. Codex Alexandrinus (A/02), a fifth century uncial as well as Codex P/025 of the ninth century, and codices 046 and Codex 051 of the 10th century all agree with Codex in their reading of 666 (with slight spelling differences). However, Codex C/04 of the fifth century has 616 spelled out with Greek letters as the number of the beast. So, it agrees with P115 as the only other ancient witness of this alternate text.
In summary, of the almost 300 Greek manuscripts containing Revelation, almost all of them state 666 as the number of the beast. The two oldest papyri are evenly divided in their reading, and over 80%of uncial manuscripts hold the reading of 666.

EARLY CHURCH WRITINGS AND TRANSLATIONS

In addition to the evidence of Greek manuscripts, we can also look to Biblical quotations found in early church writings, as well as ancient translations of the New Testament. One early church writer by the name of Tyconius recognized 616 as the number of the beast in his 4th century Latin version. In contrast, the writings of Origen and Hippolytus (both of the 3rd century) attest strongly to the value of 666 as the correct reading [Burgon 136]. Most noteworthy however are the statements of Irenaeus, the 2nd century bishop of Lyon, known to be a disciple of Polycarp. Polycarp is believed to have been a disciple of John, the author of Revelation. In his treatise, “Against Heresies”, Irenaeus deals with the subject of Revelation 13 and the number of the beast. In Book 5, Chapter 28 of this work, he states that the number of the beast is 666. In addition, Chapter 30 of the same work makes the following statement regarding the number 666:

“Such, then, being the state of the case, and this number being found in all the most approved and ancient copies [of the Apocalypse], and those men who saw John face to face bearing their testimony [to it]; while reason also leads us to conclude that the number of the name of the beast, [if reckoned] according to the Greek mode of calculation by the [value of] the letters contained in it, will amount to six hundred and sixty and six…(portion elided)…I do not know how it is that some have erred following the ordinary mode of speech, and have vitiated the middle number in the name, deducting the amount of fifty from it, so that instead of six decads (author’s note: a decad is 10) they will have it that there is but one. [I am inclined to think that this occurred through the fault of the copyists, as is wont to happen, since numbers also are expressed by letters; so that the Greek letter which expresses the number sixty was easily expanded into the letter Iota of the Greeks.] Others then received this reading without examination; some in their simplicity, and upon their own responsibility, making use of this number expressing one decad; while some, in their inexperience, have ventured to seek out a name which should contain the erroneous and spurious number.” [Roberts 558]

In this illuminating passage, Irenaeus states that 666 is the reading found in the most reliable copies of Revelation, including those copied by men who saw John. In addition, he acknowledges the existence of the 616 reading, but considers it erroneous, attributing it to copying errors and the failure of some to properly examine the authenticity of the alternate reading.
As the knowledge of Greek decreased in the ancient world, many translations of the Greek New Testament into the common languages of the people were created. These early translations agree in their readings of Revelation 13:18. The 5th century Armenian, the Syriac of the 6th century, the Old Latin of the 13th century, the Coptic, and the Latin Vulgate all agree that the number of the beast is 666.

PROVIDENCE OF GOD

While New Testament textual criticism seeks to understand and resolve differences among versions of the Greek New Testament, our confidence in the text of the Bible is not reliant upon the intellect of men or the tools of science. Most importantly, we have a promise from God that He will always preserve the integrity of His Word. Psalm 100:5 states that, “His truth endureth to all generations.” With this promise, we can rest, knowing that God has carefully watched over the transmission of the New Testament from its original writing to the present day. Whereas 666 has always been the dominant reading of Revelation 13:18, it is clear through faith in God’s promises that this is the original reading of the verse as penned by John on Patmos.

CONCLUSION

And his number is Six hundred threescore and six.” This statement from the last days’ prophecy of Revelation 13 gives a clue to the identity of the antichrist. God’s stated purpose in this verse is that we understand it correctly. This is especially true for those of us who live in the days immediately preceding the coming of Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, some have questioned the accuracy of 666 as the number of the beast. Some have suggested that 616 is the real number. However, the majority of almost 300 Greek manuscripts, including the oldest and most valued (and corrupted), along with the evidence of early church writings and translations, all stand together as a great witness to the authenticity of 666 against a rather small set of four manuscripts and one early writer that make their claim for 616.
By Dave Novick

Endtime Magazine – Nov/Dec 2007

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Why sound doctrine is so crucial

Most churches have doctrinal statements, written creeds filled with absolutes. Such documents pose a problem for people who view absolute statements with suspicion. Modern culture downplays the importance of doctrine or rejects it as divisive and insensitive, but does that mean that churches should adapt their theology or jettison creeds altogether? Does it make a difference what the church teaches?


Biblically, yes, what the church teaches does matter. Sound doctrine is crucially important. Perhaps we should define sound. In this blog, we’ll take it to mean “solidly orthodox, conforming to biblical truth.” Sound doctrine is teaching that agrees with the Bible.

Paul tells Titus “speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:” (Titus 2:1). Titus’ teaching had to correspond with God’s Word. The apostles were the pitch pipe, so to speak, through which God sounded the note to harmonize His church.

So, the main reason sound doctrine is important is that God directed us to teach it. There are other, secondary, reasons such as the fact that our faith is centered on a specific message. The Bible defines this message explicitly: “Christ died for our sins according to the dcriptures … he was buried …  he rose the third day according to the scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). This is the clear-cut news we are to share. Paul said he “….delivered unto you first of all ” Change the original message, which is done in modern “bibles”, and the basis of faith crumbles. JESUS WARNED US TO BUILD OUR LIVES ON THE IMMOVABLE ROCK OF HIS TEACHING, NOT ON THE SHIFTING SANDS OF MAN’S PHILOSOPHY (Matthew 7:24-27).

Another reason sound doctrine is important is that the gospel is a sacred trust. WE DARE NOT tamper with God’s communiqué. We are the couriers of the message, not its editors. Jude was insistent that the church defend sound doctrine: “…earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” (Jude 1:3; see also Philippians 1:27). To “contend” means to strenuously fight for something and to hold nothing back in the struggle. We should neither add to nor subtract from God’s Word as modern “bibles” do (Revelation 22:18-19). We receive what has been entrusted to us and we must “Hold fast the form of sound words, …..  in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 1:13).

Also, sound doctrine is important because what we believe has an impact on what we do. There is a direct correlation between belief and behavior. Maya Angelou put it this way: “When you know better, you do better.” A belief that one is invincible can easily lead to foolhardy behaviour. In the same way, a man who rejects the idea of God and judgment will make very different choices than a man who fears God. First Timothy 1:9-10 mentions a list of sins and concludes with “whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine.” In other words, bad behavior is out of sync with true belief. Sound doctrine curbs corrupt conduct.

Sound doctrine is also important because we must be able to distinguish truth from falsehood. “...because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). Jesus said there are tares among the wheat and wolves among the flock (Matthew 13:25Acts 20:29 . The best way to spot a counterfeit is to be familiar with the real thing; to identify the lie, we must know the truth.

Sound doctrine is important because of its end. Sound doctrine leads to life. “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.” (1 Timothy 4:16). On the other hand, unsound doctrine leads to ruin. Jesus spoke of the “great … fall” awaiting the one who builds his house on the sand (Matthew 7:27). Jude wrote of false teachers whose condemnation was sealed. Their crime? Teaching unsound doctrine, specifically, “turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness,” and rejecting Jesus Christ (Jude 1:4). Preaching another gospel (“which is really no gospel at all”) brings down an anathema: “let him be accursed.” (see Galatians 1:6-9).

Finally, sound doctrine is important because it encourages believers. A pastor “holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.” (Titus 1:9). Believers naturally “desire the sincere milk of the word,…” because they want to grow (1 Peter 2:2). Sound doctrine is that “sincere milk“, wholesome, unadulterated, and vital.

Did Jesus Sweat Blood?

HEMATIDROSIS

Luke, the author of the New Testament books of Luke and Acts, who himself, by profession, was a physician. His writings manifest an intimate acquaintance with the technical language of the Greek medical schools of Asia Minor.

Of the four gospel writers, only Luke referred to Jesus’ ordeal as “agony” (agonia). It is because of this agony over things to come that we learn during His prayer “And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” (Luke 22:44). Only Luke referred to Jesus’ sweat (idros)—a much used term in medical language. Only Luke referred to Jesus’ sweat as consisting of great drops of blood (thromboi haimatos)—a medical condition alluded to by both Aristotle and Theophrastus.1 The Greek term thromboi (from which we get thrombus, thrombin, et al.) refers to clots of blood. 2Bible scholar Richard Lenski commented on the use of this term: “‘As clots’, thromboi, means that the blood mingled with the sweat and thickened the globules so that they fell to the ground in little clots and did not merely stain the skin.”3

The Greek word ώσεί (osei {in context, “as it were”}) refers to condition, not comparison, as Greek scholar Henry Alford observed:

The intention of the Evangelist seems clearly to be, to convey the idea that the sweat was (not fell like, but was) like drops of blood;—i.e., coloured with blood,—for so I understand the ώσεί, as just distinguishing the drops highly coloured with blood, from pure blood…. To suppose that it only fell like drops of blood (why not drops of anything else? and drops of blood from what, and where?) is to nullify the force of the sentence, and make the insertion of ίματος (aimatos {blood}) not only superfluous but absurd.4 We can conclude quite justifiably that the terminology used by the gospel writer to refer to the severe mental distress experienced by Jesus was intended to be taken literally, i.e., that the sweat of Jesus became bloody.5

A thorough search of the medical literature demonstrates that such a condition, while admittedly rare, does occur in humans. Commonly referred to as hematidrosis or hemohidrosis 6, this condition reults in the excretion of blood or blood pigment in the sweat. Under conditions of great emotional stress, tiny capillaries in the sweat glands can rupture7, thus mixing blood with perspiration. This condition has been reported in extreme instances of stress8. During the waning years of the 20th century, 76 cases of hematidrosis were studied and classified into categories according to causative factors. The most frequent causes of the phenomenon were found to be “acute fear” and “intense mental contemplation9. While the extent of blood loss generally is minimal, hematidrosis also results in the skin becoming extremely tender and fragile10, which would have made Christ’s pending physical insults even more painful.

From these factors, it is evident that even before Jesus endured the torture of the cross, He suffered far beyond what most of us will ever suffer. His penetrating awareness of the heinous nature of sin, its destructive and deadly effects, the sorrow and heartache that it inflicts, and the extreme measure necessary to deal with it, make the passion of Christ beyond comprehension.

ENDNOTES

1 William K. Hobart (1882), The Medical Language of St. Luke (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1954 reprint), pp. 80-84.

2 W. Robertson Nicoll, ed. (no date), The Expositor’s Greek Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans), 1:631; M.R. Vincent (1887), Word Studies in the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1946 reprint), 1:425.

3 R.C.H. Lenski (1961), The Interpretation of St. Luke’s Gospel (Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg), p. 1077.

4 Henry Alford (1874), Alford’s Greek Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1980 reprint), 1:648, italics in orig.; cf. A.T. Robertson (1934), A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research (Nashville, TN: Broadman Press), p. 1140.

5 Cf. A.T. Robertson (1930), Word Pictures in the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker), 2:272.

6 A.C. Allen (1967), The Skin: A Clinicopathological Treatise (New York: Grune and Stratton), second edition, pp. 745-747; “Hematidrosis” (2002), Dorland’s Illustrated Medical Dictionary, p. 832, https://goo.gl/U192fY.

7 R. Lumpkin (1978), “The Physical Suffering of Christ,” Journal of Medical Association of Alabama, 47:8-10.

8 See R.L Sutton, Jr. (1956), Diseases of the Skin (St. Louis, MO: Mosby College Publishing), eleventh edition, pp. 1393-1394.

9 J.E. Holoubek and A.B. Holoubek (1996), “Blood, Sweat, and Fear. ‘A Classification of Hematidrosis,’” Journal of Medicine, 27[3-4]:115-33. See also J. Manonukul, W. Wisuthsarewong, et al. (2008), “Hematidrosis: A Pathologic Process orStigmata. A Case Report with Comprehensive Histopathologic and Immunoperoxidase Studies,” American Journal of Dermatopathology, 30[2]:135-139, April; E. Mora and J. Lucas (2013),“Hematidrosis: Blood Sweat,” Blood, 121[9]:1493, February 28.

10 P. Barbet (1953), A Doctor at Calvary: The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ as Described by a Surgeon (Garden City, NY: Doubleday Image Books), pp. 74-75; cf. Lumpkin, 1978.

Was the Darkness of the Crucifixion Merely an Eclipse?

For those who have experienced a total solar eclipse, the event is awe inspiring. Solar eclipses are incredible because they are a multi-sensory experience, from the amazing environmental changes of temperature and weather, to the sounds of nocturnal animal life, to the visual changes of the slowly dimming daylight and the brief darkness of totality. Lunar eclipses are similarly compelling as the Moon gradually changes from its usual bright white appearance to a more dim reddish hue. Yet, when we compare these physical events that have happened throughout history with the history changing event of Jesus’ crucifixion, can we understand the element of darkness on that day as an eclipse event?

While this question has been posed by many people from many different contexts, we want to confront the reasoning of some who deny any supernatural descriptions for biblical events. This type of blatant denial of any supernatural elements is a ploy toward an ultimate denial of God. Rather, when we consider the historical reality and the blending of both God’s supernatural power with God’s establishment of physical laws, we find a full account that has both investigative and descriptive power to understand the unique events depicted in Scripture.

A MATTER OF TIMING

As we discuss the timing of the crucifixion, we need to note the particulars necessary for solar and lunar eclipses to occur. First, a solar eclipse supposedly involves the Moon passing between Earth and the Sun, casting its shadow on Earth. This means that the Moon’s phase is always a New Moon during solar eclipses. In contrast, a lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth supposedly passes between the Sun and Moon, casting its shadow across the Moon. During a lunar eclipse the Moon’s phase is always a Full Moon.

As an overview, here is the timeline for the relevant events of the crucifixion. According to Mark 15:25, Jesus was crucified at the third hour of the Jewish day or 9 a.m. which, from the context, we can understand as the initial placement of Jesus on the cross. Then at the sixth hour (12 p.m. noon) there came darkness over all the land for a duration of three hours until the ninth hour or 3 p.m. (Matthew 27:45Mark 15:33Luke 23:44). At this point, Jesus cried out three of His recorded sayings on the cross: “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34); “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.” (Luke 23:46); and “When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished:…” (John 19:30). At the point of Jesus’ death, the darkness appears to have ended, as each account describes the darkness lasting for three hours, then Jesus giving His life.

With the particulars of both the crucifixion timeline and the necessary timings of eclipses established, we can address whether a solar or lunar eclipse could be a possible explanation for the darkness that occurred. We can quickly rule out a lunar eclipse as the cause, since lunar eclipses do not affect the appearance of the Sun and would not have any impact during the time of Jesus’ crucifixion from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

When we consider solar eclipses, there is a definite affect on the Sun and the daylight levels as they occur. Solar eclipses, especially in the narrow path of total solar eclipses, have dramatic periods of darkness. However, we can confidently say that the darkness during Jesus’ crucifixion was not the result of a solar eclipse event. This statement can be made based on the timing particulars that the Bible defines: first, the time of the month that the Jewish Passover occurs and, second, the duration of darkness outlined by the text.

Jesus’ trial and crucifixion happened near the feast of the Passover, which occurs every year in the same month and the same day of the month. According to Leviticus 23:5, the Passover began on the evening of the 14th day of the first month. Important is the fact that the accounting of Jewish time is based on a lunar calendar, where each month follows the lunar cycle beginning on the New Moon. This connection can be seen by the Hebrew word often translated as month, chodesh, which originates from a root meaning “new.” In context, this word is either translated as “month” in regards to time, or as “New Moon” in regards to a physical description. We can see a use of the physical “New Moon” translation in the account found in 1 Samuel 20 involving David and Jonathan: “And David said unto Jonathan, Behold, to morrow is the new moon, and I should not fail to sit with the king at meat: but let me go, that I may hide myself in the field unto the third day at even.” (20:5). Here we have the New Moon (chodesh) used in conjunction with a time period of waiting till the “third day” of the month.

Thus since Jesus’ crucifixion happened near the middle of the month at Passover, the phase of the Moon was near a Full Moon instead of a New Moon, which is the complete opposite for a solar eclipse in apparent and physical orientation.

While the time of month for the crucifixion completely dispels the possibility of a solar eclipse, reasoning based on the darkness duration provides additional evidence for a supernatural origination. The Bible describes a three hour timeframe for the darkness (Mark 15:33). As we consider a solar eclipse, it is true that the entire event can be approximately three hours. However, this period includes the entire process from the point when the Moon begins to cover the Sun until the Moon finally completes its recession off the Sun. The partial eclipse phase of a total solar eclipse is a gradual process of slowly dimming to a point of maximum eclipse, then slowly brightening after maximum. This gradual variation does not match the succinct description of darkness over all the land that the Bible defines. Those who have witnessed a total solar eclipse would agree that “darkness” does not characterize the Earth until the brief maximum darkness phase of the eclipse. The duration for the maximum darkness of a total eclipse, however, is only a matter of minutes, not hours. The 2017 total solar eclipse that crossed the United States only had a maximum duration of two minutes and 40.2 seconds.1 In fact, the maximum duration possible for any total solar eclipse is less than seven minutes.2

CONCLUSION

When we reach the climax of God’s plan at the cross, we see God using all elements of the event to highlight the incredible uniqueness of Jesus’ innocence, sacrifice, and love. One of these elements was God causing a great, supernatural darkness to cover the land and extend to the point of Jesus’ death. This darkness was not a simple coincidence, nor was it simply some usual event. Rather, it played a part in showing those at the cross then, and those who come to the cross today, the crucial message of salvation that Jesus brought to the world.

ENDNOTES

1 https://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEgoogle/SEgoogle2001/SE2017Aug21Tgoogle.html

2 Jean Meeus(2003), “The Maximum Possible Duration of a Total Solar Eclipse“, Journal of the British Astronomical Association, 113[6]:343–348, December.

What is the whole armour of God?

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The armour of God is described in Ephesians 6:10-18. In this passage we are told that our primary battles are of a spiritual nature and that we need spiritual armour to be able to stand firm in the midst of these battles. The armour includes the following pieces:

Loins girt about with truth: Truth is as a belt and the first item in our arsenal. A belt holds the other pieces of clothing and armour together. It secures the outfit and allows a soldier to move freely. Truth both secures us and gives us freedom (John 8:32). One of satan’s greatest offensive tactics is to deceive us; he is the “father of lies(John 8:44). With the belt of truth around our waists, we are prepared to defend against this. This truth also applies to the way we live our lives. When we live with honesty and integrity, the other pieces of our armour – what could be considered our spiritual selves – stay intact. A life of integrity is not easily torn asunder.

Breastplate of righteousness: The breastplate of righteousness covers our hearts and other vital organs. In a sense, the breastplate covers the most vulnerable areas of a warrior. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” The righteousness that guards a believer’s heart is the righteousness of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Feet ready with the preparation of the gospel: Our feet are to be “…shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;” (Ephesians 6:15). Because we know the good news of Christ and by that knowledge experience peace in Him (John 14:27), our feet are willing to move. In obedience to Christ, we will flee temptations (1 Corinthians 10:14; 1 Timothy 6:11; 2 Timothy 2:22) and walk into whatever He has called us to (Psalm 86:11; Isaiah 30:21; John 15:10).

Shield of faith: The shield of faith is used to “… be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” (Ephesians 6:16). When satan attacks us, our faith in Christ lessens the blow. We are able to withstand the attack because we know whom we have believed (2 Timothy 1:12).

Helmet of salvation: A helmet protects the brain, basically our minds. It is because of salvation that our minds can be sound. We are assured of our eternities, and made righteous recipients of peace, practitioners of faith, and knowers of truth. Our minds are protected because of Jesus’ work on the cross; we have been given the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:12-16). A helmet can also serve as a signifier. When the enemy looks at us, he sees that we belong to Christ. We carry with us the seal of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13-14).

Sword of the Spirit: Which is the Word of God. This includes God’s written Word (the KJV Bible), God’s incarnate Word (Jesus as Logos), and God’s spoken Word (Holy Spirit within us). The sword is the one offensive weapon in the list. We are told, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12). 2 Timothy 3:16 speaks of Scripture as being “…given by inspiration of God.” When God spoke, creation came into existence. As He breathed life into Man so He also breathed into His Word. There is power in the Word of God; this is why it is our best offense.

Praying: Prayer is an often forgotten part of the armour of God, but is essential to using the armour of God well. Prayer is the way we draw strength from God and rely on Him. In essence, it is what “activates” the armour. Apart from God, and reliance on Him through prayer, our efforts in spiritual battle are ultimately futile. 2 Thessalonians 5:17 tells us to “Pray without ceasing.

The full armour of God is a way to describe some of the blessings of God in the life of a Christian and the tools with which He has equipped us to stand firm against the evil one and have spiritual victory over the enemy.

Jesus Wept

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2 Simple Words with Incredible Depth

The shortest verse in the Bible is John 11:35: “Jesus wept.” But for all its grammatical simplicity, it’s packed with unfathomable complexity.
Jesus wept after speaking with Lazarus’ grieving sisters, Martha and Mary, and seeing all the mourners. That seems natural enough. Most of us would have wept too.
Except that Jesus had come to Bethany to raise Lazarus from the dead. He knew that in a few short minutes all this weeping would turn to astonished joy, and then tearful laughter, and then worship. He had come to Bethany to bring these mourners the best news they could have imagined.
So one would think that Jesus would be a confident, joyful calm in that storm of sorrow. But he was “troubled” (John 11:33) and he wept. Why?
One reason is simply the deep compassion that Jesus felt for those who were suffering. It is true that by not speaking healing from a distance like he did for the centurion’s servant (Matthew 8:13) or by his delay in coming (John 11:6) he had let Lazarus die. He had really good and merciful and glorious reasons for doing that. But this did not mean Jesus took the suffering it caused lightly. “For he doth not afflict willingly
nor grieve the children of men.” (Lamentations 3:33). Even though Jesus always chooses what will ultimately bring his Father the most glory (John 11:4)—and sometimes, as in Lazarus’ case, it requires affliction and grief—he does not take delight in the affliction and grief itself. No, Jesus is sympathetic (Hebrews 4:15). And as “the image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15), in Jesus at the tomb of Lazarus we get a glimpse of how the Father feels over the affliction and grief his children experience.

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Another reason Jesus wept was over the calamity of sin. As God the Son who had come into the world to destroy the devil’s works (1 John 3:8), Jesus was about to deliver death its deathblow (1 Corinthians 15:26). But sin grieves God deeply and so do the wages of sin: death (Romans 6:23). Ever since the fall of Adam and Eve he had endured sin’s horrific destruction. Death had consumed almost every human being He had created [Enoch and Elijah are the only exceptions in the biblical record]. It had taken Lazarus, and it would take him again before it was all over. Tears of anger and longing were mixed with Jesus’ tears of grief.
A third reason for weeping was the cost that he was about to pay to purchase not only Lazarus’ short-term resurrection, but his everlasting life. The cross was just days away and no one really knew the inner distress (Luke 12:50) Jesus was experiencing. No one really understood yet what he was about to do. Lazarus’ resurrection that day would look free and be experienced by Lazarus and everyone else as a gift of grace. But oh, it was not free. Jesus was going to die a horrific death to purchase it. And the most horrific part was not crucifixion, as unimaginable as that alone would have been. He was dreading his Father’s wrath. Jesus, who had never known sin, was about to become Lazarus’ sin, and the sin of all who had or would believe in him, so that in him they would all become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21).

He was looking to the joy that was set before him (Hebrews 12:2). But the reality of what lay between was weighing heavily.

A fourth possible reason for Jesus’ tears was that he knew that raising Lazarus would actually cause the religious leaders to finally take action to put him to death (John 11:45-53). In this account, most of us probably marvel at Jesus’ incredible trust that his Father would answer him. We have such little faith. If Jesus had any struggle that day would not have been whether his Father would answer, but what would result when his Father answered. Calling Lazarus out of the tomb would have taken a different kind of resolve for Jesus than we might have imagined. Giving Lazarus life was sealing Jesus’ own death.
Just these few reasons for Jesus’ weeping at Lazarus’ tomb give us a glimpse into how God views our suffering and death. His reasons for not sparing us these things are righteous and glorious. But in them he is full of compassion (Psalms 103:13), he hates the calamity sin brings, and he himself has suffered more than we ever will ever know in order to pay the full cost of our eternal resurrection.

WHO is (the) Holy Spirit?

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Many people misunderstand the identity of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is commonly thought of as an impersonal force. Some people think of it as a healing or protective power to which God gives a believer access. But what does the Bible say about the Holy Spirit? Scripture tells us that the Holy Spirit is not just an impersonal power or a force, but a person – the third person of the Trinity, in fact. The Holy Spirit is God Himself.

(The) Holy Spirit appears synonymously with God in many places in the Bible, both in the New and Old Testaments. In Acts 5:3-4, Peter asks Ananias why he has lied to the Holy Spirit, and it is clear that lying to the Holy Spirit is the same as lying to God. He shares the characteristics of God, such as omniscience and omnipresence, as seen in Psalm 139:7-8, which says “Whither shall I go from thy spirit?
or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there:
if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
Again in 1 Corinthians 2:10-11, God’s attribute of omniscience is also present in (the) Holy Spirit: “But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

The Holy Spirit is a divine person, and He is intimately involved in our salvation, along with the Father and the Son, as shown in Romans 8:11 which says, “11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” The Holy Spirit has thoughts and knowledge (1 Corinthians 2:10), and He can feel sorrow and grief (Ephesians 4:30). (The) Holy Spirit can make intercession for believers (Romans 8:26-27). He also has a will and makes decisions (1 Corinthians 12:7-11).

In Summary, Holy Spirit is God. He is the third person of the Trinity. Only as that divine person can Holy Spirit be to believers a Comforter and a Counselor, according to the promise of Jesus (John 14:16, 26; 15:26).

The Lord’s Prayer

How is the Lord’s Prayer a model for our prayers?

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The Lord’s Prayer, also sometimes called the Disciples’ Prayer, is found in Matthew 6:9-13 and Luke 11:2-4. It has been memorized by countless people throughout history and is often recited corporately. Rather than view the prayer as a sort of magical formula or rote prayer, it is helpful to see it as a model.

Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name: Jesus begins His exemplary prayer by acknowledging to whom He is praying. God is our Father, meaning that He cares for us. God resides in heaven, implying that He is above us (Isaiah 55:8-9). We hallow His name, meaning we declare that it is holy. This opening line, then, recognizes that God is both our Father and our King. He loves us, and He is far greater than we.

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven: After acknowledging the character of God, we pray for His purposes. Because God cares for us and is greater than we, we submit our will to His. We trust that His way is better and pray that His will be accomplished on earth.

Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors: We not only desire God’s will on a grand scale, but also on the smaller scale of our lives. We look to Him for our daily needs—spiritual, practical, relational, emotional, and physical (Matthew 6:33).

Our biggest need is to be forgiven. Without God’s forgiveness, we are dead in sin (Ephesians 2:1). With His forgiveness, we are made alive in Christ (Colossians 2:13). Because we are forgiven, we are called to forgive. Forgiveness restores our fellowship with God and with others. With forgiveness, we can obey the command to love God and love others (Matthew 22:37-40).

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: This final request demonstrates a heart that is eager to please God. God will not lead us into temptation (James 1:13); He is not the author of evil. This prayer is an agreement with God that we do not want to sin against Him. We pray to be aware of the evil that tempts us and to readily see the escape He has provided (1 Corinthians 10:13). Some say that “temptation” in this verse may also refer to trials. In this sense, we are asking God to keep us from harm.

The Lord’s Prayer is a model provided by Jesus for how to pray. We recognize who God is, ask for His will for the earth, ask for His provision in our lives, seek forgiveness, seek protection, and seek continued obedience. We praise God for who He is, submit to Him, and make requests based on our knowledge of Him.

Did Jesus Bear Our Sins? Our Sicknesses? Or Both?

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Was healing included in the Atonement? is a question often asked by Christians pondering the topic of divine healing. A simpler and more broadly understandable question would be: “Did Jesus bear only our sins, or did He bear both our sins and sicknesses?” For that answer let’s look, not to man’s experiences, but to the Scriptures.

DID JESUS BEAR OUR SINS? YES!
Matthew 1:21  “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

An angel had appeared to Joseph in a dream and told him that his virgin wife-to-be Mary was miraculously pregnant by the supernatural agency of the Holy Spirit. Joseph was instructed to name the child Jesus, “…for he shall save his people from their sins.

It was God’s intention, from even before Jesus’ earthly birth, that He would be the Saviour, the One who would bear the sins of mankind and thus open the way to salvation by God’s grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8).

Matthew 26:28  “For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

At the Last Supper, shortly before His crucifixion, Jesus clearly alluded to the blood He would soon shed at the cross “for the remission of sins.” He was crucified that very week, and rose from the grave on the third day, and as a result has freed us from our sins by his blood (Revelation 1:5).

1 Peter 2:24Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

Jesus bore our sins. He bore them and the punishment due to them on the cross. This truth is unmistakable and is held dear by all genuine Christians. Our sins had separated us from God the Father. Then the only perfect sacrifice, Jesus the Son of God, came to earth and bore our sins and sin’s penalty upon Himself at the cross on Mount Calvary.

Luke 24:47And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

This message of the salvation that Jesus wrought through His death and resurrection is to be preached in all nations. The Son of God died for us, He bore our sins, the perfectly just and holy One on behalf of us lost sinners. He rose from the dead and commissioned His people to tell the world this Good News and to encourage them to faith in Jesus Christ and for “repentance and remission of sins”.

So yes, to answer our opening question, Jesus did bear our sins. Now what about our sicknesses?

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DID JESUS BEAR OUR SICKNESSES? YES!

Matthew 8:16-17  “When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick:  That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, .

The inspired writer of Matthew’s Gospel is generally believed to be the apostle Matthew, one of the Twelve. By the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Matthew speaks of Jesus healing the sick as a fulfillment of Isaiah’s beautiful prophecy, where the prophet wrote (53:4, KJV): “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows:

Jesus bore the infirmities and diseases of the people 2,000 years ago. Jesus still bears the infirmities and diseases of those who come to Him in faith for healing, because the Bible declares that He is “the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (Hebrews 13:8). The Jesus who bore diseases in the first century is “the sameLord who bears our diseases in this 21st century.

IN SUM, JESUS DID (AND STILL DOES!) BEAR BOTH OUR SINS AND OUR SICKNESSES

This is not a new thought that started with the New Testament in the first century. Far from it. Many centuries before Christ came to earth, the Psalmist King David wrote: “Bless the Lord , O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:  Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;” (Psalm 103:2-3). A few centuries later — still long before Jesus’ time on earth — the prophet Isaiah wrote his famous 53rd chapter, called by many “the Fifth Gospel.” Isaiah saw and wrote of this twofold blessing the Messiah would bring:

• 1) He would bear our iniquities (vs. 11). With prophetic future insight, Isaiah said, He carried the sin of many (vs. 12). The apostle Peter confirmed this (1 Peter 2:24): He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross.

• 2) Isaiah also saw the Messiah [Jesus] bearing our diseases: (Matthews 8:17, quoting from Isaiah 53:4).
Jesus did both these things while on earth twenty centuries ago. He still forgives sins and heals sicknesses today, because He is the same yesterday and today and forever (Heb. 13:8).

Look to Jesus the Savior for the forgiveness of your sins. Look to Jesus the Healer for the healing of your sick bodies. “Bless the Lord , O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:...

Beware of Spirituality Without Theology

John 5:39, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

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Alice Ann Bailey’s (1880-1949) occult writings are archived and promoted by the organization LUCIS TRUST,” which originally began in 1922 as “LUCIFER TRUST.” She was extremely intelligent as a writer, but unsaved and a devout Luciferian-worshipper. She woefully lacked the wisdom of God. For obvious reasons, the devil-loving company changed their name in 1925 to avoid public scrutiny…
The Lucis Trust’s publishing company was founded in the early 1920s as the Lucifer Publishing Company. The Lucis Trust says that the name was probably chosen to honor Lucifer. The name was changed in 1925 to the Lucis Publishing Company. In Latin lucem ferre means “to bear light” and lucis means of light. The company has headquarters in New York City, London, and Geneva.

SOURCE: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The stated purpose of Lucis Trust is to help prepare the world to receive the coming Antichrist…
“The coming world Teacher will be mainly concerned, not with the result of past error and inadequacy, but with the requirements of a new world order and with the reorganisation of the social structure. World Goodwill distributes educational and informative literature on these themes.”

SOURCE: Lucis – Purposes And Objectives

As I was doing some research today, I ran across the following disturbing writing by Alice Bailey, which prompted me to warn my page visitors about an increasing trend in the world, society and churches to pursue spirituality without theology. That’s all we hear nowadays from Oprah Winfrey and umpteen new agers, who speak of spirituality while expressing disdain for organized religion and Christian fundamentalism. I think it is safe to say that Alice Bailey could be called the mother of new age today. According to Alice Bailey, this trend is ushering in the New World Order (NWO) faster than we think.
Listen to what this evil woman, devil in disguise and mega false prophetess says…
The new world religion is nearer than many think, and this is due to two things: first, the theological quarrels are mainly over non-essentials, and secondly, the younger generation is basically spiritual but quite uninterested in theology. The intelligent youth of all countries are rapidly repudiating orthodox theology, state ecclesiasticism and the control of the church. They are neither interested in man-made interpretations of truth nor in past quarrels between the major world religions.
At the same time, they are profoundly interested in the spiritual values and are earnestly seeking verification of their deep-seated unvoiced recognitions. They look to no bible or system of so-called inspired spiritual knowledge and revelation, but their eyes are on the undefined larger wholes in which they seek to merge and lose themselves, such as the state, an ideology, or humanity itself. In this expression of the spirit of self-abnegation may be seen the appearance of the deepest truth of all religion and the justification of the Christian message.
Christ, in His high place, cares not whether men accept the theological interpretations of scholars and churchmen, but He does care whether the keynote of His life of sacrifice and service is reproduced among men; it is immaterial to Him whether the emphasis laid upon the detail and the veracity of the Gospel story is recognised and accepted, for He is more interested that the search for truth and for subjective spiritual experience should persist; He knows that within each human heart is found that which responds instinctively to God, and that the hope of ultimate glory lies hid in the Christ-consciousness.
Therefore, in the new world order, spirituality will supersede theology; living experience will take the place of theological acceptances. The spiritual realities will emerge with increasing clarity and the form aspect will recede into the background; the new emerging truths. These truths will be founded on the ancient realities but will be adapted to modern need and will manifest progressively the revelation of the divine nature and quality. God is now known as Intelligence and Love. That the past has given us. He must be known as Will and Purpose, and that the future will reveal.” [emphasis added]
SOURCE: Alice Bailey, The Externalisation of the Hierarchy, pp.201-202.

Alice Bailey was a devil. I don’t know if you caught it in the preceding quote, but Miss Bailey teaches that Jesus doesn’t care if people accept or reject the Gospel, just so long as they have what she terms, “the Christ-consciousness”…
Christ, in His high place, cares not whether men accept the theological interpretations of scholars and churchmen, but He does care whether the keynote of His life of sacrifice and service is reproduced among men; it is immaterial to Him whether the emphasis laid upon the detail and the veracity of the Gospel story is recognised and accepted, for He is more interested that the search for truth and for subjective spiritual experience should persist; He knows that within each human heart is found that which responds instinctively to God, and that the hope of ultimate glory lies hid in the Christ-consciousness.” [emphasis added]
SOURCE: Alice Bailey, The Externalisation of the Hierarchy, pp.201-202.

In other words, Alice Bailey is teaching people to reject everything that the Word of God teaches, except for Christ’s life of sacrifice for others. In the shameful, satanic world of Miss Bailey, Christianity is summed up and limited to living for others without being born-again. This is why we often hear new agers talking about Christ’s love, helping others and forgiveness; but they reject Christ’s preaching against sin (John 7:7), the need for the new second birth, His command to “SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES” (John 5:39) and the Lord’s teachings on everlasting Hell, fire and damnation for the unsaved (Matthew 18:8; 25:41). Effectively, new age retains the outer shell of Christianity, while hollowing out the interior and instead filling it with Luciferian doctrine. In other words, new age is repackaging devil-worship in a Christian wrapper. The Bible warns us that this is how satan normally operates…
2nd Corinthians 11:13-15, “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
My Christian brethren and sisters, what I have just shared with you ought to compel you more than ever to do three things:
Support your local King James believing new testament church. You can learn all about the Church from Pastor Jack Hyles’ awesome Scriptural Bible study titled, what else, “THE CHURCH”. Alice Bailey said that the NWO is happening faster than expected because today’s youth are uninterested in orthodox theology (Bible fundamentals) and the Church. Again, as you just read, she states: “the younger generation is basically spiritual but quite uninterested in theology. The intelligent youth of all countries are rapidly repudiating orthodox theology, state ecclesiasticism and the control of the church. They are neither interested in man-made interpretations of truth nor in past quarrels between the major world religions.” Isn’t that terrible. Do you know why youth are no longer interested in the Church? It is because the Church is no longer interesting.
interesting.
Pastors don’t preach with authority anymore, because our churches have been infiltrated with corrupt authorityless Bible versions. The churches have lost their authority. We’ve been hearing a lot of talk lately from actors, singers, athletes and religious people, saying that they are “spiritual” but not religious. They are caught up into new age without even realizing it. This is why believers must support their local fundamental churches, who use only the King James Bible, go soul-winning, run bus routes, preach the simplicity that is in Christ and teach Biblical theology. Remember, the Church is the pillar of truth, which is build upon the foundation of Jesus Christ (1st Corinthians 3:11). 1st Timothy 3:15, “But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.” Matthew 16:18, “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter (Greek: petros, pebble, a small piece of rock), and upon this rock (Greek: Petra, a mass of rock, a mountain) I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” The foundation of new age is Lucifer and their pillars are manmade occult doctrine.
Preach and teach the great theological doctrines of the inspired Word of God in our churches.
It is alarming that so many churches these days are telling children’s stories, singing songs, watching religious YouTube videos on large overhead projection screens, having Watchcare (cell block) Groups, enjoying special music and orchestras; but the doctrines of the Word of God are not taught, or barely taught. Every pastor and Christian worker ought to regularly teach the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith; namely, the Godhead, Christ’s deity, the inspiration and inerrancy of the Holy Scriptures, the blood applied in Heaven on the mercy seat, the virgin birth of Jesus, Christ’s sinless life, the simplicity that is in Christ (the Gospel), Christ’s imminent return (Rapture) and the Second Coming, Christ’s vicarious (substitute in our place) death on the cross, the Lord’s bodily resurrection, and all the Word of God.
Beware of spirituality creeping into the church without theology.
Theology is the study of God. Increasingly we are hearing America’s most famous preachers give motivational speeches (like Joel Osteen), deliver political speeches (like Mike Huckabee), and teach religious psychology (like Pat Robertson and James Dobson). This is not Biblical preaching! The great need of the hour is preaching preachers who preach nothing but the pure Word of God. I agree with Brother Lester Roloff that our Bible colleges ought to require preacher boys to memorize one full chapter of the Holy Bible each month. Our churches have lost their authority because our preachers don’t abide in the Word of God anymore.
Jesus said concerning the human heart of man, “for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh” (Luke 6:45). Most preachers merely surf the internet, read blogs, listen to liberal heretics like MacArthur and it shows in their lame authorityless sermonettes on Sunday. We’ve got to get into the Word of God if we are to preach with authority, because the Word of God is authoritative. Acts 4:13, “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.

These days our church pulpits are filled with all kinds of substitutes for Biblical theology. Beware of teachings of spiritually that are empty of the Scriptures, and talk of bettering human nature without the need for the new birth by faith in the Gospel (good news) of the Lord Jesus Christ. Religious humanism and new age go hand-in-hand. Any spirituality without the Holy Bible is satanic. “Ye must be born again” (John 3:5-7).
God deliver our churches from the curse of Joel Osteen’s motivational messages, Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Life ecumenical garbage that eviscerates the old-time religion, Billy Graham’s Catholic-embracing ecumenical nightmare, John MacArthur’s false plan of Lordship Salvation and his error that Jesus’ blood is not applied to the heavenly mercy seat, and so forth! Our churches are in trouble. Rick Warren is a member of The Council On Foreign Relations (CFR), which is affiliated with Lucis Trust…
Lucis Trust is run through an international board of trustees whose membership is said to have included: John D. Rockefeller; Norman Cousins; Robert S. McNamara; Thomas Watson, Jr. (IBM, former U.S. Ambassador to Moscow); Henry Clausen, Grand Commander of the Supreme Council, 33rd Degree, Southern District Scottish Rite and Henry Kissinger. This would then tie Bailey’s influential occult organization into the international conspiracy of elitists, including the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the Bilderbergs, and the Trilateral Commission. [emphasis added]
SOURCE: Lucis Trust, Alice Bailey & World Goodwill

Remember that Helena Blavatsky said occultists would infiltrate the churches. The founder of “Lucifer” Magazine in 1887, Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (1831-1891), and editor Annie Besant (1847-1933), along with other occultists believed that Christian churches were the key to introducing the doctrines of Lucifer to large masses of people. The 1904 annual report of the Theosophical Society stated:
I believe it is through the Churches and not through the Theosophical Society that Theosophy [the worship of Lucifer]… must and should come to large bodies of people in the West.
SOURCE: Transactions of the Theosophical Society, H. P. Blavatsky, Annie Besant, 1904, p. 377.

Alice Bailey Mentions “Christ” 666 Times in Her Book!
In all her ungodly writings, Alice Bailey continually speaks of Jesus and Lucifer both as “Christ.” She does this deliberately to confuse, deceive and mislead the naive reader into believing that the coming Antichrist will be Christ himself.
The preceding quote comes from Alice Bailey’s book titled, “The Externalisation Of The Hierarchy”, in which the word “Christ” appears 666 times!!! Yes! Search the document for yourself! This is a .pdf document, which opens with Adobe Acrobat. Every computer/smartphone/android device should have this free program/app installed, so you can read .pdf files.
It is no coincidence that Bailey mentions Christ 666 times, for this is the number of the Beast! Revelation 13:18, “Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.” Alice Bailey is as satanic as can be, mocking the Lord Jesus Christ by associating Him with 666. It should be visibly clear to the Christian reader that Miss Bailey wants to deceive her readers into recognizing the coming Antichrist (the Beast) as the true Messiah, the Christ.

It is not a coincidence that Christ-rejecting Jews (Judaism) and Arabs (Islam) are both awaiting their messiah, who will be the Antichrist. Both Judaizers and Muslims reject Jesus as the only begotten Son of God, the Christ, Who came 2,000 years ago to die on the cross to redeem men from their sins. Judaizers and Muslims are still awaiting their messiah (who will be the Antichrist – 2nd Thessalonians 2:4). We are now living in the end times, in which we will increasingly hear more about the coming Antichrist, who is called: the teacher, Maitreya, Mahdi, a world leader, Messiah, Christ, et cetera. Matthew 24:23, “Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.
Even more frightening is that the word “church” appears 119 times in the same book, evidencing Miss Bailey’s burning passion to corrupt the churches with her Luciferian doctrine!!! Read the following blasphemy by Miss Bailey, where she denies Christ as being the only begotten Son of God…
The Christian Church has laid so much emphasis on Christ’s unique position as the one and only Son of God that great error has crept in and has been fostered for centuries; Christ Himself foresaw the possibility of this error and tried to offset it by pointing out that we are all the “sons of God” and that “greater things than I do shall you do”—a statement which no commentators have ever understood or adequately explained. The occult fact is that there is no being on Earth, from the very lowest form of life to the very highest, who is not moving onward towards a greater and finer expression of divinity, and Christ Himself is no exception to this universal evolutionary law. [emphasis added]
SOURCE: Alice Bailey, The Externalisation of the Hierarchy, pp.201-202.

As evidenced by the preceding demonic quote (which is nearly identical to what Mormons teach), the philosophy of new age is that all men can be gods just as Jesus Christ. New agers and Mormons believe that Jesus was no more God than what is attainable by all men through religious enlightenment. In sharp contrast, the Holy Bible teaches that Jesus is Almighty God. The Godhead indwelt the fleshly body of the Lord Jesus Christ. Seventh-Day Adventists and Jehovah’s Witnesses errantly teach that Michael the archangel became Jesus. That is blasphemy! Jesus never was, nor ever will be, an archangel. Jesus is God, “the almighty” (Revelation 1:8 – King James Bible). John 1:1-3,14 and John 10:33 evidence that Jesus is God Almighty! If you want to get to know God, then you must get to know Jesus, the only begotten Son of God, by abiding in the Word as a born-again child of God.

All Modern Bible Versions Hide Lucifer, Just As Alice Bailey Does
In her writings, Alice Bailey continually makes references to the Kingdom of God, Christ, God, the church and many other religious terms; yet she deceptively hides her true allegiance to lucifer, satan! Likewise, all modern Bible versions have been corrupted, removing the only mention of “Lucifer” from the Bible in Isaiah 14:12. The following is a drastic comparison between the beloved King James Bible and the New International Reader’s Version (a teen Bible version that’s virtually identical to the NIV)…
KING JAMES BIBLEIsaiah 14:12-15, “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
NEW INTERNATIONAL READER’S VERSION — Isaiah 14:12-15, “King of Babylonia, you thought you were the bright morning star. But now you have fallen from heaven! You once brought nations down. But now you have been thrown down to the earth! You said in your heart, ‘I will go up to heaven. I’ll raise my throne above the stars of God. I’ll sit as king on the mountain where the gods meet. I’ll set up my throne on the highest slopes of the sacred mountain. I will rise above the tops of the clouds. I’ll make myself like the Most High God.’ But now you have been brought down to the grave. You have been thrown into the deepest part of the pit.
Praise God for the trustworthy King James Bible!!! If you have a corrupted modern Bible (and they’re all corrupt), Lucifer is gone!

The New World Order Will Be Implemented By Apostates in the Churches!
Alice Bailey foretold that the satanic New World Order will be implemented and developed in the churches…
Nothing can prevent the new world religion from eventually emerging. It always has down the ages and it always will. There is no finality in the presentation of truth; it develops and grows to meet man’s growing demand for light. It will be implemented and developed by the spiritually minded in all churches, whose minds are open to the new inspirations of God’s Mind, who are liberal and kind and whose individual lives are pure and aspiring…. The problem of the freedom of the human soul and its individual relation to God Immanent and God Transcendent is the spiritual problem, facing all the world religions at this time.” [emphasis added]
SOURCE: Alice Bailey, Problems of Humanity, pp. 138-139.
If your church is using any Bible version other than the King James Bible, or in addition to the King James Bible, then Alice Bailey’s Luciferian doctrine is already in your church!!! All modern Bible versions totally remove the word “Godhead.” “Calvary” is gone too! And don’t look for the “Comforter,” because He’s missing as well!!! In the 1984 NIV, Jesus (the chief cornerstone) is changed to the Capstone” (see the All-Seeing-Eye at the top of the pyramid on back of every U.S. one dollar bill). Remember, Lucifer-lover Alice Bailey mentions the word “Christ” 666 times in her book, “The Externalisation Of The Hierarchy.” Literally, Miss Bailey wants to mislead you into thinking that the coming Antichrist is the Christ. The Devil is envious of God’s authority, just as feminists resent men being in authority. The God of the Holy Bible is an authoritative God. It is His way or the Highway to Hell.

My friend, Luciferian-worshippers are behind all modern Bible versions and very few pastors care enough to research the matter, or else they are too cowardly to go against their apostate headquarters (Moody Bible SINstitute, Bob Jones PANTSiversity, GAYlor University)! I was disgusted reading today that the student senate at Baylor University (a Baptist Bible college) want the school administration to remove the ban in their policy against “HOMOSEXUAL ACTS”. There is no controversy if you believe the Holy Bible!!! No Christian is right with God who supports LGBT rights! Homosexuality is a deviate form of behavior and a sin according to God’s Word (Romans 1:24-32). If your church or college supports gay rights, please leave if you love God! You cannot love sin and be God’s friend (James 4:4). Tragically, our churches are becoming indifferent, apathetic and complacent. This is why so many young people no longer respect the Church. They’ve lost their Biblical authority!
I think in the future, if the Lord tarries His return, that the time will come when there will be a big push to completely rid the churches of the beloved King James Bible. As the vile homosexual agenda is pushed upon American society and the churches, most of them will eventually embrace LGBT homosexual rights. At such a time, liberal churches and the leftist media will intensify their smear campaign against the King James Bible, demonizing God’s Holy Word is a terrorist’s manual, bigotry, hate-speech and inappropriate for the new reorganized social order.
All of the following words (and there are many more) are missing in the New International Version (NIV), which is tragically the most popular and best-selling Bible version in the world today…
Sodomite, regeneration, mercyseat, Calvary, remission, Jehovah, immutable, omnipotent, Comforter, Holy Ghost, Godhead, quickened, infallible, fornication, trucebreakers, propitiation, winebibbers, impute, carnal, slothful, unthankful, effeminate, backbiting, vanity, lasciviousness, whoredom, devils, Lucifer, damnation, brimstone, and the bottomless pit.
Whoa, they eviscerated the Holy Scriptures! The new corrupt Bible versions all attack Christ’s deity, remove the Godhead, diminish Christ’s preeminence and remove all of the important theological terms—thus changing the Word of God from a theological book into a spiritual book. It should be obvious to you now why—because satan wants to weaken, water-down, and corrupt the Word of God, so that the next generation of churchgoers will be much more susceptible to embrace the coming Antichrist. You can expect to see SYMBOLS of The Great Pyramid and the All-Seeing-Eye increasingly creeping into the churches. At present, the symbols are being crept in on Bible covers (see the Triqueta 666 symbol on the corrupt New King James Version), symbols on religious music CD labels, et cetera. Many churches are saturated with occult symbols, from the building architecture to the crosses on the altar.

There is much information available online.
The corrupters at Biblica got smart. Instead of publishing a new Bible version every few years to make money, they just keep updating the NIV. The NIV 2011 changed 38.8% of the content from the NIV 1984. Can you imagine, if the Lord tarries His return, how much more they will hollow-out the Word of God in the next 20-30 years? If the present trend continues, the NIV Bible version in 10-15 years will be so lacking of any theological terms that it will become a mere spiritual book for the unconverted, shallow, religious but lost, new age crowd. As the churches become more worldly, so also is the world becoming more churchy!
Notice that the updated NIV 2011 is 38.8% different than the original NIV 1984…
The NIV 2011 should be considered the offspring of the TNIV (Today’s NIV), and the grandson of the NIV 1984. The genetic stock shared by all three translations is 18859 verses, which is 60.7% verse similarity. Some genetic traits skip a generation, and this is the case 0.6% of the time, where the NIV 1984 and the NIV 2011 share 171 verses of commonality against the TNIV. But as one would imagine, the child is more similar to the parent, and the TNIV and the NIV 2011 share 31.3% genetic makeup, or 9736 verses. But genetics alone cannot prevent mutations and variation, so the NIV 2011 is unique 7.5% of the time, or 2320 verses of originality. Broken down, this means that the NIV 2011 is 38.8% different than the NIV 1984 and 8% different than the TNIV. (See Robert Slowley. John Dyer has slightly different figures).
SOURCE: SBC VOICES and see also, NIV2011 comparison with the NIV1984 and TNIV.

The dark predictions of Helena Blavatsky and Alice Bailey concerning the churches being infiltrated by the occult is a present-day reality. It’s already happening! If today’s churches are embracing the vile homosexual agenda, and are voting for sex-perverted Mormon leaders like Mitt Romney, and have bought into the state’s 501c3 licensing bribe, and worship present-day apostate and satanic Israel, and are using satanic corrupted Bible versions—you can be assured that they’ll also embrace the Luciferian doctrine, which substitutes new age spirituality in place of Biblical theology. Without the time-tested, pure, preserved, inspired, inerrant, infallible, precious, Words of God in the King James Bible, the churches won’t stand a chance against the devil.
Please get you a King James Bible if you don’t have one already; love it, use it, read it, preach it, study it, memorize it and keep it by your side at all times. Don’t let the devil’s crowd take your King James Bible in exchange for a satanic “bible” version that has removed or changed 64,000 words in the butchered NIV as compared to the trustworthy King James Bible. satan is diluting the theological integrity of the Bible, making it read like a comic book. The devil’s greatest weapon is to con people into living the Christian life without ever being born-again, which is exactly what new age is doing! JESUS IS PRECIOUS!!! END