Friday, February 28, 2014

FOUNDATIONS: The Apprehension of Truth

In posting the previous chapter of this book I have anticipated some objections that may be raised to what has been set forth. In trying to keep each post to a reasonable length it becomes untenable to attempt to address in one writing every concern, question, or objection to a doctrine as profound and far reaching as the relationship between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I believe a good beginning was made in the previous chapter. I will now proceed to build upon that foundation.

I encourage those to whom this teaching is new to search the Scriptures as did the noble Bereans, to see whether the things being declared are true. Truth does not fear scrutiny. It is error that must ever hide in the shadows, and falsehood that does not assent to be questioned. In your searching you must not fail in diligence. Do not be content to grasp that which is on the surface alone. You must dig deep to discover what lies beneath.

One of the most irresponsible things we could do is to reject a teaching out of hand, saying, “That is not what I have been taught. What you are sharing offends me.” It is common to view with fear that which contradicts what we have received as the orthodox view of the church, especially if it was communicated to us by someone we admire. I have experienced this emotion myself, but I have listened to that still, small voice that told me to hear before I judge, and to test all things before rejecting them.

Perhaps you were taught that God the Father created the heavens and the earth and it troubles you to hear it taught that all things (other than the Son Himself) were formed by the Son of God. In the preceding chapter there were numerous Scriptures cited in support of this teaching. The skeptical reader should examine each verse to see if it truly says what this Bible teacher is declaring. They should also look for other Scriptures that may affirm, or refute, the conclusions shared. If they had done so, they may have come across the following passage.

Hebrews 1:1-2
God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.

These words of one of Christ’s apostles very succinctly summarize the role of the members of the godhead in the creation. The translation above does contain an inaccuracy. The word “world” is translated from the Greek “aion” which means “an age.” A more literal translation would say “through whom also He made the ages.” This is in fact the meaning that Young’s Literal Translation, The Amplified Bible, and others bring forth. Rendering aion as age does no harm to the point being made, for we see the Son being the agent through which the Father is creating the ages. I would also suggest that “the ages” encompass all that is contained within them, including the heavens and the earth.

The Father can be said to have formed the creation, but He did so through the agency of the Son. As John testified, nothing came into being apart from the Son. The great truths of Scripture do not stand alone on one verse, or one statement. A truth may be declared in one passage, but additional insight is obtained in other Scriptures. We must take the entire counsel of the word of God and form a comprehensive view of truth where all the various passages complement one another to form a harmonious whole. If we find a passage that contradicts, then we have either understood verses incorrectly, or there may be a translation error. Translation errors are abundant in Scripture, for men translate according to their understanding, an understanding that is often faulty.

Fitting All the Pieces Together

In the previous chapter we looked at a number of Scriptures that reveal that the Son’s being and existence is subordinate to the Father. The Son of God did not always co-exist with the Father. The Bible reveals that at some point the Son was generated from the Father. He is the “monogenes” of the Father, the only direct generation of God. In contrast, the Bible reveals that God the Father has always been.

Isaiah 43:10
Before Me there was no God formed, and there will be none after Me.

Yahweh is the self-existent One. The Son is not self-existent. He came forth from the Father. As one considers what the terms Father and Son mean, and what is entailed in being “born,” they will see that it would be inconsistent to speak of Yahshua as the Son of God while holding to the view that His existence and beginning is identical to that of the Father. How can Christ be the “first-born” of the Father and always have existed with Him? How can it be said that a son has existed as long as his father?

Being born implies that one had a beginning and arose out of another. You are the offspring of your father and mother. You had a definite beginning. We can debate whether your beginning was at the moment of birth, the moment of conception, or whether you existed further back as the seed of your father and ancestors. We could even suggest that your beginning lay as far back as the thought of God before the earth was formed, for the Bible says “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you...” (Jeremiah 1:5), and “And all who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain” (“Revelation 13:8). What is indisputable is that in your bodily form as a descendant of Adam, you had a definite beginning.

The same is true of the Son of God. Perhaps He always existed in the mind of the Father. Yet even as a thought does not take on substance until a man exhales his breath and forms a word that others can hear, so too there was a definite point in time when Yahweh breathed out His Spirit and formed “the Living Word.” That Yahshua is a part of the creation of God is plainly stated in the Bible.

Revelation 3:14
The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this...

Colossians 1:15
And He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation.

Hebrews 1:5
For to which of the angels did He ever say, "You are My Son, today I have begotten Thee"?

Of God the Father no similar statement can be made. There was not a day in which the Father was begotten. He was not generated by another. He always has been. He is the great I AM.

Part of the confusion that exists in the church today regarding the Son of God’s origin and beginning comes from a lack of patient and careful consideration of the Scriptures. There are a number of passages of the Bible that declare the Son to be one with the Father.

John 10:30
“I and the Father are one.”

Some have assumed that this statement means that there is no difference between them. Such a conclusion does not stand up to scrutiny. Most assuredly there are differences between them. One is the Father. The other is the Son. One is called Yahweh. The other is called Yahshua. One is Spirit who no man has ever seen at any time, the other was incarnated in the form of man, and the disciples saw Him, handled Him, and spent several years of their lives walking with Him. Furthermore, we have Christ’s own confession that the Father is greater than Himself.

John 14:28
“You heard that I said to you, 'I go away, and I will come to you.' If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced, because I go to the Father; for the Father is greater than I.”

None of these truths diminish the honor and glory of the Son of God. Christians need not be afraid that acknowledging the Son as subordinate to the Father, and the first creation of the Father, in any way is a denial of His preeminence, or of His identity as God.

On the other hand, I have had conversation with numerous individuals over the course of my ministry who deny that Yahshua is God. It was not atheists making this claim. It was men and women who profess to be Christians. The views on this are many. Some claim that the Son of God is the same being as the archangel Michael. Others who are non-trinitarian in their beliefs, deny that Yahshua could be God, for the Bible says there is only “one God.”

Deuteronomy 6:4-5
“Hear, O Israel! Yahweh is our God, Yahweh is one!”

I Timothy 2:5
For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Yahshua...

Some who oppose the trinitarian view would point to the verse above from Timothy and confidently assert that only the Father is God, and Christ is a man, albeit a glorified man. This reveals the error of focusing too narrowly on a single passage of Scripture. For a doctrine to be true it must accord with the entire testimony of the Bible. There are numerous passages that attest to the truth that Christ is God.

John 1:18
No man has seen God at any time; the only begotten God, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.

John 20:28
Thomas answered and said to Him (Yahshua), "My Lord and my God!"

Philippians 2:5-7
Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.

Titus 2:13
Looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Yahshua.

If we would walk in truth we must not neglect those Scriptures that serve to refute some doctrinal belief we have adopted. There are men and women who are zealous in their contention that the Father and the Son are in every way identical to one another. To the other extreme there are those who declare that Christ is not God at all. Both positions are proven false as we apply ourselves to “rightly divide the word of truth.”

I am in no way intending to criticize those who have sincere objections that hinder them from being able to accept specific truths. The world is a very confusing place. There are a myriad of voices declaring a plethora of contrasting and often incompatible beliefs. The church itself is fractured into thousands of denominations that are largely divided along doctrinal lines. As I demonstrated in the writing Yahweh’s Book, even our Bibles are leavened throughout with error. Yahweh has not preserved the Bible without error anymore than He has preserved the body of Christ without error. This may seem to some to be a bad thing, but it is in an environment of error, deception, and lies that Yahweh is best able to prove those who are lovers of truth, and to cause His people to exercise themselves in the pursuit of the same.

I have observed a similarity in the zeal of some who are offended at the teaching that reveals that the Son of God is a creation of the Father and the zealousness of those who are offended when they hear it declared that there are contradictions in the Bible. I understand the reaction. Some believe that teaching that Christ was created by the Father is an attack on the Son of God’s divinity. Similarly, some believe to describe the Bible as anything other than perfect and inerrant is an attack on God or Christianity. When strong emotions are aroused people tend to lose their ability to reason. Fear and anger are hindrances to the apprehension of truth.

An example of the errors in the Bible is readily observed in books of the Bible that parallel one another, but differ in their accounts. The books of Kings and Chronicles give accounts of similar things, but contain differences. The same is true of the Gospels, particularly the synoptic Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. I will cite a couple of examples.

Describing the Bronze Laver, also called the Molten Sea, that Solomon had constructed to hold water for the ceremonial washing of the Levitical priests, the book of I Kings and the book of II Chronicles differ by a third in its capacity.

I Kings 7:26
And it was an hand breadth thick, and the brim thereof was wrought like the brim of a cup, with flowers of lilies: it contained two thousand baths.

II Chronicles 4:5
And the thickness of it was an handbreadth, and the brim of it like the work of the brim of a cup, with flowers of lilies; and it received and held three thousand baths.

Similarly, we see a discrepancy in the number of days that passed from the time Christ was said to have taken Peter, James, and John up to the mount of transfiguration.

Mark 9:1-2
And He was saying to them, "Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who shall not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power." And six days later, Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John, and brought them up to a high mountain by themselves.

Luke 9:27-28
"But I say to you truthfully, there are some of those standing here who shall not taste death until they see the kingdom of God." And some eight days after these sayings, it came about that He took along Peter and John and James, and went up to the mountain to pray.

These type of errors are not uncommon in the Bible. What are we to attribute them to? Did the Holy Spirit inspire the original writers of these books to present contradictory information? Have these writings been altered over the millennia as scribes copied and re-copied the Scriptures? Are there errors in translation that can account for these differences? Certainly the role man has played in copying and translating the Scriptures has led to a great many errors. In the case of the above two examples, it would be very easy for a scribe, or a translator, to change one number to another by accident.

There is another type of Bible error of which those who seek truth must be aware. It is an error of understanding. When the Bible is translated from one language to another those laboring to produce a copy of the Scriptures must not only have an understanding of the original language of the Bible, and the language to which it is being translated, they must also understand the truths contained in the Bible. It is common for a single Hebrew or Greek word to bear a diversity of meanings. If a translator does not have an accurate understanding of what is being declared in a Bible passage, he/she will find it difficult to identify correctly which meaning a Hebrew or Greek word was intended to convey. This is a very problematic issue. A man could be the foremost Hebrew or Greek scholar of his day, and not understanding the truths of the Bible, he would err in bringing forth a translation.

As an example of the wide divergence of meaning that can be derived from a single verse, let us look at the following Scripture.

I Timothy 1:17
Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

I Timothy 1:17
And to the King of the ages, the incorruptible, invisible, only wise God, [is] honour and glory - to the ages of the ages! Amen.

Comparing this verse in the King James Bible with the same verse in Young’s Literal Translation, we find that very different information is conveyed. Not only is the information different, but in some instances it is contradictory. Is the King “eternal” or is He the “King of the ages”? The KJV translation places the emphasis on the King Himself. The word “eternal” becomes an adjective to describe the King. Young’s Literal Translation places the focus upon the duration of the King’s reign. The words “eternal” and “ages” are widely divergent in meaning. Eternal means without beginning or end, yet the word “ages” speaks of that which has a definite beginning and a recognized end point.

There are other marked differences in information conveyed in these two translations. Who is right, or are either of them correct? The problem we find here did not arise as much from a misapprehension of the Greek language as it did from a difference of doctrinal views. The KJV translators were charged to not derive any interpretation of the Scriptures that would upset the orthodox teachings of the Anglican Church of which King James was the titular head. (This present series cannot address the doctrine of the ages of creation at length. Those who are interested in pursuing the subject further will find it set forth at some length in the book God’s Plan of the Ages.)

I chose the above verse as an example of contradictions that exist between Bible translations because it bears directly on the subject of the attributes of the Son of God. Identifying the King as Yahshua, we find one Bible attributing to the Son an eternal existence while the other does not. We have already read in a number of Bible passages that the Son was “born,” He is the “beginning of the creation of God.” Therefore, a contradiction arises when we read in the KJV Bible, and numerous other translations, statements that ascribe to Yahshua an eternal character. We find this same contradiction among Bible translations in the following Scripture:

Hebrews 1:8
But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.

Hebrews 1:8
And unto the Son: 'Thy throne, O God, [is] to the age of the age; a scepter of righteousness [is] the scepter of thy reign;

Is the Son’s rule “for ever and ever,” or is it “to the age of the age”? These are very different expressions. The KJV rendering indicates that there will be no end to the Son’s rule. Once again the translators have rendered the Greek word “aion” as “for ever” while Young renders it more accurately and literally as “age.”

I have found that people are often not convinced by arguments based upon the meaning of a Greek or Hebrew word. This is understandable, for very few Christians today, myself included, can lay claim to being advanced scholars of these ancient languages. How then are we to know which translator has done the better job? The way many Christians resolve the issue is to accept the word of their pastor or some trusted friend. Many saints simply adopt the view that they have been taught from early on to view as correct.

There is a better way to resolve the matter, however. Contradictions such as these can be settled as we become conversant with the entire testimony of the Bible. This is one reason it is important for Christians to independently study the word of God. If you have applied yourself to the study of Scriptures then the Holy Spirit is able to bring to mind other passages that will lead to understanding. For example, as I consider the verses above, desiring to know what is the proper interpretation, my mind is quickened to the following passage from Paul’s address to the Corinthian believers.

I Corinthians 15:24-28
Then comes the end, when He delivers up the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death. For He has put all things in subjection under His feet. But when He says, "All things are put in subjection," it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him. And when all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, that God may be all in all.

The apostle Paul reveals that the reign of Christ will have an end. At some point in the distant ages the reign of the Son will have accomplished its purpose of subjecting all things to the Father. When this is accomplished, all rule and authority will be abolished. The Son’s reign will also come to an end as all things are subjected to the Father and He becomes “all in all.”

People of God, as we look to the entire counsel of the Scriptures to inform our judgment we are able to see that Christ had a beginning as the firstborn of the Father. We are told He is “the beginning of the creation of God.” The Son is ancient of days, but He is not eternal. He has a beginning, and his rule will have an end when He has subjected all things to the Father. It is therefore inaccurate to describe the reign of the Son of God as “for ever and ever.” His reign will be to the end of the ages. It is also incorrect to describe the Son as “the King eternal.” Robert Young has translated the passage properly for us when he rendered it as “the king of the ages.”

Many more examples of this type of conflict and resolution, leading to a harmonious view of the whole of Scriptures could be cited, but I will cite only one more that a reader cited after the previous chapter was posted. He asked me about the testimony found in the following Scripture.

Isaiah 9:6
For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

Once again we find a verse that is conveying information about the Christ that contradicts with that which is revealed elsewhere. How can the Son of God be rightly described as “Eternal Father” if He has a beginning, and His reign will come to an end at the end of the ages? How would we test the matter? How do we arrive at truth?

My intent in this writing is to do more than supply the reader with answers to doctrinal difficulties. My desire is to demonstrate to the reader how to resolve doctrinal difficulties themselves. There is a proverb that states, “Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime.” I would much prefer to teach the people of God how to arrive at truth for themselves than to tell them what truth is.

The place to begin is always to pray, for Yahweh is the possessor and guardian of all truth. There is nothing that is hidden from His sight. He has also admonished His people to seek Him if they lack wisdom, or need understanding.

James 1:5
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

John 16:23
“And in that day you will ask Me (the Son) no question. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you shall ask the Father for anything, He will give it to you in My name.”

It would be presumptuous of any man to think that he can arrive at spiritual truth apart from the aid of God the Father. At the same time, we would be negligent if we asked Yahweh to instruct us and then neglected to apply ourselves to the study of the word of God. We should invite our heavenly Father to guide us in our study of His word.

How might we begin to test Isaiah 6:9 to see if our English translations that describe Christ as “Eternal Father” are correct? A good place to begin would be to see what Hebrew word lies behind the word “eternal.” We could look up the word in Strong’s Concordance where we would find this entry:

ad; from OT:5710; properly, a (peremptory) terminus, i.e. (by implication) duration, in the sense of advance or perpetuity...

This leads us in turn to another Hebrew word, Strong’s number 5710, from which this word is derived.

adah; a primitive root; to advance, i.e. pass on or continue; causatively, to remove; specifically, to bedeck (i.e. bring an ornament upon):

Perhaps these definitions are a bit cryptic. James Strong had a pretty good vocabulary. He used many English words that are relatively obscure today. What after all is a “peremptory terminus”? The word peremptory signifies that which is definite, unable to be challenged, and unchangeable. The word terminus refers to an end point. Together they describe something that has a definite end point, either a beginning, or an end, or both, that is fixed and definite. This describes very well an age, or any period of a fixed length. It does NOT accord well, however, with the word “eternal.”

The Study Light Forum has an entry for this Hebrew word. On it they list a Greek equivalent word. These equivalent words are at times obtained by looking for quotations of Old Testament passages that are cited in the Greek New Testament, for these quotations are in abundance. An equivalent Greek word may also be found by looking at ancient versions of the Old Testament that exist in the Greek language. The Septuagint is an example of such a Greek translation. Although these word equivalents cannot be considered conclusive, they do show how some ancient Greek speaking people understood Hebrew words.

The Greek word equivalent for “ad” that is listed is “aion.” This is the same word we have just looked at in a number of New Testament passages. We saw that the KJV Bible was rendering aion as “eternal” or “for ever” while Young’s Literal Translation was consistently interpreting it as “an age.” The definition of aion as “an age” accords very well with the “proper” meaning of the Hebrew word “ad” as defined by James Strong. It is a duration of time with a “peremptory terminus.” In other words, it indicates a span of time that has definite end points.

As we look at other passages where this Hebrew word is used, we find that the KJV translators ascribed to it a range of meaning. Following are a couple examples.

Job 20:4-5
Knowest thou not this of old (Hebrew “ad”), since man was placed upon earth, that the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the hypocrite but for a moment?

“Eternal” would not be a suitable English word to use to translate this Hebrew word in the verse above. We would not say “Knowest thou not this of eternity...

Another instance of this word is in the following verse:

Psalms 104:23
Man goeth forth unto his work and to his labour until (Hebrew “ad”) the evening.

Keep in mind that Strong’s Concordance tells us that the proper meaning of this word refers to a “peremptory terminus” or a definite end. We can see then how this word was employed in the original Hebrew of this verse. Men work “until” a certain end, which in this verse is identified as “the evening.” Men do not work perpetually, or eternally.

The King James translators most often rendered this Hebrew word as “for ever.” Yet, we must question whether they have done well in doing so in all instances. Following is one example.

Numbers 24:20
And when he looked on Amalek, he took up his parable, and said, Amalek was the first of the nations; but his latter end shall be that he perish for ever (Hebrew “ad”).

Following is how the New KJV translates this same verse.

Numbers 24:20
Then he looked on Amalek, and he took up his oracle and said: "Amalek was first among the nations, but shall be last until (Hebrew “ad”) he perishes."

Again, the word until carries with it an understanding of something coming to a peremptory terminus. Amalek was prophesied to exist “until he perishes” (comes to a peremptory end). It would appear that the NKJV has done a better job of expressing the meaning of the Hebrew word.

We have seen that there is a range of meaning that can be ascribed to this word. We have seen it properly employed to mean “old,” or “until” some indicated end. Could this verse in Isaiah be translated differently, in a manner that accords well with the proper meaning of the Hebrew word “ad,” and at the same time find a harmony with the testimony of the rest of Scripture? It certainly can. Following is one possible translation.

Isaiah 9:6
For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Ancient Father, Prince of Peace.

The Bible does describe the Son of God as ancient. We have already read that the Son of God existed before the heavens and earth were formed. He is described elsewhere as “ancient” of days.

Micah 5:2
But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.

Brothers and sisters, I wish to assure you that I have no interest in leading you astray. I recognize that people have very strongly held beliefs about the Son of God. It is a very sensitive issue to many to be presented with thoughts about the identity of the Son of God that are contrary to what one was raised to believe. Many have been taught that Christ is no different from the Father. Some have heard it repeated ad infinitum that He is eternal. My desire is to cause you to look to the entirety of Scripture to see what is testified about the Son of God.

When you do so you will find clear statements that the Son had a beginning, and His reign will have an end. You will find that the Father is declared to be greater than the Son. These truths must be reconciled with the rest of the Scriptures. When you encounter contradictions in the Bible, as you surely will, it is requisite that you tarry until you resolve the contradiction. Exercise patience. Demonstrate that you are a skillful workman who is able to rightly divide the word of truth. Look to the Father to guide you.

If you would be established in truth, you must labor to clear away all the confusion, deception, and lies, that are characteristic of this dark and evil age in which we live. The rewards are worth the effort. Press forward brothers and sisters. The truth awaits you.

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Monday, February 24, 2014

FOUNDATIONS: The Only Begotten Son

John 1:14
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

From the time I was a child I heard Christ described as “the only begotten son.” Like many Christians I could quote John 3:16 from my youth.

John 3:16
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.

Astoundingly, although I heard this expression thousands of times throughout my life, I had never heard any minister, author, Bible teacher, or Christian explain what the words “only begotten Son” meant in a way that was clear and satisfying. There was always a nagging thought that something was missing, or not quite correct, in the common explanations of this Biblical expression. Following are a few more occurrences.

John 1:18
No man has seen God at any time; the only begotten God, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.

John 3:18
He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

I John 4:9
By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.

The Greek word translated as only begotten is “monogenes.” You may recognize elements of this word. The prefix mono means “one.” It is from this prefix that the English word “only” finds its way into the expression “only begotten.” The latter part of monogenes is taken from the Greek word ginomai. Strong’s Concordance defines this word in the following manner.

ginomai (ghin'-om-ahee); a prolongation and middle voice form of a primary verb; to cause to be ("gen"- erate), i.e. (reflexively) to become (come into being)...

What this Greek word is expressing is that Jesus Christ/Yahshua the Messiah is the only Son that was directly generated from the Father. There are other beings that are referred to in Scripture as the “son(s) of God,” but none of these beings were the direct generation of Yahweh God, the Father of Yahshua. Consider the following Scriptures. In Luke chapter 3 we are given the supposed lineage of Yahshua through Joseph the husband of Mary. I use the word “supposed” because this how the lineage is presented.

Luke 3:23
And when He began His ministry, Yahshua Himself was about thirty years of age, being supposedly the son of Joseph...

The following genealogy is interesting because it follows a very consistent pattern. Each man listed is declared to be the son of his father. Following is just a portion.

Luke 3:23-25
Yahshua Himself was about thirty years of age, being supposedly the son of Joseph, the son of Eli, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph, the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos...

This lengthy genealogy continues all the way to its root in Adam, whereupon we read the following:

Luke 3:38
...the son of Adam, the son of God.

In my years growing up in church I never heard a minister or teacher define what the difference was between Adam’s creation and Christ’s creation. (Some may be troubled that I use the word “creation” in reference to Christ for many have been taught that Christ has always existed co-equal with the Father and is not a created being. Please be patient as I will address this momentarily.)

What was unclear to me in childhood was how Christ and Adam differed as sons of God. Both are called “the son of God.” Yet only Yahshua is called “the only begotten Son of God.” Did not God also beget Adam? Was not Adam the direct generation of God? The answer to these questions has in part been obscured due to the way in which various Hebrew words in the book of Genesis have been translated into English. For example, we read:

Genesis 1:27
And God (Elohim) created man in His own image, in the image of God (Elohim) He created him...

Genesis 2:7
Then the Lord God (Yahweh Elohim) formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

When we read these statements in English we do not clearly see what was expressed in the Hebrew. The word Elohim is a plural word. The singular form is Eloah. Both words are masculine gender. Whenever the Bible uses the word Elohim as a reference to God (uppercase) it is a reference to the godhead. The godhead is comprised of God the Father, God the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Because there is more than one member of the godhead, the Hebrew language uses the plural word Elohim in reference to the godhead, rather than the singular Eloah.

In Genesis 2:7 the expression “Yahweh Elohim” is also a reference to the godhead. If the writer had meant to speak of the Father only, who is called Yahweh, he would have written “Yahweh Eloah,” or even just “Yahweh.” What is actually being communicated is that the godhead of Yahweh, which includes the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, acted in concert to create man (Hebrew Adam). This becomes apparent in other verses in Genesis.

Genesis 1:26
Then God (Elohim) said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness...”

The words “us” and “our” indicate a plurality. The members of the godhead are speaking to one another when they say “Let US make man...” This raises an interesting point for consideration. If Adam was directly formed by Yahweh the Father, then we could not say that Yahshua is the monogenes, only direct generation, of the Father. We have to look to other passages of Scripture to resolve this conundrum. In his gospel, the apostle John speaks of Yahshua as “the Word.” What John states about the Son of God is pertinent to our investigation.

John 1:1-3
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.

The apostle Paul provides further insight in his epistle to the saints in Colossae.

Colossians 1:13-16
For He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. And He (the Son) is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation. For by Him (the Son) all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities - all things have been created by Him and for Him.

Contained in these passages is a very important revelation. From the Father came forth the Son at the beginning of the creation. This is what is declared as the apostle states that “He (the Son) is... the first-born of all creation.” Yahshua the Son was the ONLY direct generation from the Father. All other things were created through the instrumentality of the Son. Both man and the angels were created directly by the Son. The Son did not create anything of His own initiative, however, for we are told that the Son ever lives to do the will of the Father.

John 4:34-35
Yahshua said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to accomplish His work.”

John 5:30
I can of mine own self do nothing... because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.

These verses, and many others, reveal that the Son has always existed to do the will of God the Father. Although it is common to depict God’s hands forming the creation, the Bible tells us that the creation was spoken into existence.

Psalms 33:6
By the word of Yahweh the heavens were made, and by the breath of His mouth all their host.

For those who are quick of spirit, you may have noticed that a double meaning lies hidden in the verse above. Suppose we change one letter above from lower case to upper case. Consider what revelations would then come forth.

Psalms 33:6
By the Word of Yahweh the heavens were made, and by the breath of His mouth all their host.

At some time determined by the Father, the Son of God began to act to accomplish His Father’s will by forming the creation; the heavens and the earth and all that is in them. “For by Him (the Son) all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible.” Solomon, in the book of Proverbs, affirms this truth as he speaks of the Son of God under the simile of Wisdom. That the Son of God is Wisdom is affirmed in various Scriptures.

I Corinthians 1:24
Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

Observe then the parallels between the declarations of the apostles John and Paul, and the words of King Solomon.

Proverbs 8:12, 22-30
I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, and I find knowledge and discretion... Yahweh possessed me at the beginning of His way, before His works of old. From everlasting (literally, “the age”) I was established (anointed), from the beginning, from the earliest times of the earth. When there were no depths I was brought forth, when there were no springs abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills I was brought forth; While He had not yet made the earth and the fields, nor the first dust of the world. When He established the heavens, I was there, when He inscribed a circle on the face of the deep, when He made firm the skies above, when the springs of the deep became fixed, when He set for the sea its boundary, so that the water should not transgress His command, when He marked out the foundations of the earth; Then I was beside Him, as a master workman...

“As a master workman” the Son of God formed the heavens and the earth, mankind and angels. When the apostle Paul states “whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities - all things have been created by Him and for Him,” those beings named are members of the heavenly host. They are angelic beings. The Son of God has created them all.

Some are offended when they hear it taught that the Son of God is also a created being. They fear that to believe Yahshua was created in some way diminishes His divinity. Yet, those who would “rightly divide the word of God” cannot escape the truth of His creation. At the same time, the Son of God is preeminent, for He is the only begotten of the Father. He is the only direct generation of God. All other things were created by the Son, and for the Son. The apostle Paul continues to extol the surpassing greatness of the Son of God in his epistle to the Colossians.

Colossians 1:17-20
And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the first-born from the dead; so that He Himself might come to have first place in everything. For it was the Father's good pleasure for all the fulness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.

It is in the son’s ministry of reconciliation, the returning of all the creation to a state of peace and oneness with the Father, that we find an affirmation of the truth that the Son of God came forth from the Father at some time in the distant past, and at the end of the ages He will return to the Father.

I Corinthians 15:25-28
For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death. For He has put all things in subjection under His feet. But when He says, "All things are put in subjection," it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him. And when all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One  who subjected all things to Him, that God may be all in all.

In the end of the age when all things that came forth from the Son are subjected to the same, the Son will in turn return to the Father that God may be “all in all.” Paul writes of this mystery elsewhere.

Ephesians 1:9-10
He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him with a view to an administration suitable to the fulness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things upon the earth.

The English word “sum” is derived from the Latin “summa.” When the Romans would add together figures they would put the total, the sum, at the top of the list of numbers. This is the opposite of how people in English speaking nations do sums. The expression “to sum up” is a direct reference to the Roman practice of placing the sum at the top of a list of figures. It is from the Latin summa that we derive the English word “summit,” meaning the highest point.

When Paul wrote to the Ephesians he had the Roman practice of summing up in mind. Consider that when we sum up a list of numbers that the sum necessarily encompasses and contains everything that is being summed. The reconciliation of the heavens and earth will only be accomplished when all that is contrary to the nature of God has been removed. All rebellion and all sin must cease. Those who were angry with God, the rebels and the wicked, must repent and be purified by fire before all can be summed up in Christ. There can be nothing unholy, and no rebellion, that is contained in the Son of God.

Isaiah 45:23-24
“I have sworn by Myself, the word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness and will not turn back, that to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance. They will say of Me, 'Only in Yahweh are righteousness and strength.' Men will come to Him, and all who were angry at Him shall be ashamed.”

The fact that these former rebels are ashamed reveals that repentance has come to them. That they would freely confess that “Only in Yahweh are righteousness and strength” demonstrates that the ministry of reconciliation has been fully accomplished by Yahshua, the Son of God.

Philippians 3:20-21
For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Yahshua Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.

When Yahweh’s plan of the ages has finished its course, all that came forth from the Son will be reconciled to the Father. All things, whether in heaven or on earth that have been in a state of rebellion and sin will be reconciled to the Father. All will be subjected to, and summed up in, the Son of God. He will in turn be subject to the Father so that He is “all in all.” This is the glorious cycle of creation established by the Father. Solomon observed the cycle of creation in that which is observable on earth.

Ecclesiastes 1:5-7
The sun rises and the sun sets; And hastening to its place it rises there again. Blowing toward the south, then turning toward the north, the wind continues swirling along; And on its circular courses the wind returns. All the rivers flow into the sea, yet the sea is not full. To the place where the rivers flow, there they flow again.

The grandest cycle of all began with the creation of the Son of God. Before there was anything, the Son came forth as the only begotten of the Father. Through the Son the heavens and the earth were made, and all they contain. We are now seeing the firstfruits of the creation returning to Christ as those who are overcoming sons and daughters born of the Spirit of Christ are being cleansed of all sin and that which defiles. Yet these are merely firstfruits. The entire creation must be restored to the Son, and then the Son Himself will return to the Father so that He is “all in all.”

Thus, we see in the creation cycle the preeminence of the only begotten Son of God. At the same time we understand that the Father is the source of all. It should not be surprising to anyone to learn that the Son had to arise out from the Father. The very words “son” and “father” convey a sense of order. A father always exists before a son. Likewise, a son always comes out of a father. Mankind was created in God’s image. The mystery of the godhead is revealed in humanity. Even as a man contains seed that must come out of the man to form something in his image, so too did the Son of God proceed out of the Father.

Some may still be troubled to think that the Son being created somehow diminishes His divinity. It is difficult to cast off the false concepts in which a person has been instructed for many years. A believer may inquire, “How can Christ be the direct generation of the Father and yet be One with the Father?” There are mysteries contained here, but Yahweh has not left us without understanding. In the creation itself Yahweh has demonstrated the glorious mystery of the godhead. He has revealed the relationship between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit through the example of speech. Having written on this subject previously in the book God’s Plan of the Ages, I will repeat a passage from that writing here.
Some years back I was meditating upon the doctrine of the Trinity. I wanted to understand the nature and relationship of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Yahweh, as He often does, brought understanding through means of a parable.

As I was sitting before the Father He asked me, "If you want to see the soul of a man, how would you view it?" I knew the soul to be invisible. It will not show up on an x-ray, or a CAT scan or MRI. A person cannot take a picture of the soul of man. Nonetheless, the soul can be seen. Yahshua said,

Luke 6:45
"The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.”

The heart is a metaphor of the soul. A man's soul can be seen in His words. Do you want to know if a soul is evil, listen to the words that come from a man's mouth. One can discern if a man is lustful by listening to his words. If the man is ruled by anger in his soul, his words will reveal it. Rebellion, covetousness, jealousy, pride, envy, and every evil characteristic of the soul of a man is exhibited in a man's speech.

The righteous man is also known by his words. You can discern whether a man is pure in heart, whether he is loving, merciful, patient, longsuffering, humble, and selfless by observing his conversation. Surely a man's soul is revealed through his words.

As the Father directed me to contemplate these things, He revealed to me the relationship of the Spirit and the Son to Himself through the parable of speech. Every created thing was crafted with masterful design to show forth hidden mysteries of the kingdom of God. Yahweh has revealed the Trinity through the miracle of speech.

Every word begins with a thought in the mind of man. The thought is made visible as a man exhales air from his lungs and shapes identifiable sounds as the air passes over the vocal chords. These sounds exit the man as words, and the words reveal the hidden things inside the soul of man.

Yahweh the Father is Spirit. No one has seen the Father at any time. The apostle John shared the following words of inspiration with the saints.

John 1:18
No man has ever seen God at any time; the only unique Son, or the only begotten God, Who is in the bosom [in the intimate presence] of the Father, He has declared Him [He has revealed Him and brought Him out where He can be seen; He has interpreted Him and He has made Him known].
(Amplified Bible)

God wanted to make Himself known to the creation. Yet a physical creation cannot see that which exists in Spirit alone. Yahweh had to do something to reveal Himself even as a man must do something to make the thoughts of his mind known to others. Yahweh formed a Word.

John 1:14
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Yahweh exhaled His Spirit and formed a Word. It was a perfect Word that fully revealed Himself. This Word became flesh so that mankind could perceive it. The Word is the Son of God. The Son has perfectly declared, manifested, and made known the Father.

John 14:9
Yahshua said to him, "Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father..."

When the Father wanted to reveal Himself to creation He formed the Word. As the Father showed this to me He showed me the process by which a word is formed. We utter forth speech as we breathe out. Yahweh designed speech to be accomplished in this manner. Speech is accompanied by the exhalation of man's breath.

Throughout the Bible the word for Spirit is always related to the word for breath, air, or wind. In the Old Testament the word is "ruach." The first occurrence is found in the second verse of the Bible.

Genesis 1:2
The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit [ruach] of God was moving over the surface of the waters.

This same word is used in the following verses.

Genesis 7:22
All in whose nostrils was the breath [ruach] of life, of all that was in the dry land, died.

Genesis 8:1
And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark: and God made a wind [ruach] to pass over the earth, and the waters assuaged...

When man who has a body of flesh breathes out his exhalation is air. When Yahweh who is Spirit breathes out, His exhalation is Spirit. Even as man's breath is used to form words, so was the exhalation of the Spirit of God used to form Christ, "the living Word."

Luke 1:35
The angel answered and said to (Mary), "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God."
[End Excerpt]

What Yahweh did in sending His Son to the earth in the form of man was a physical re-enactment of what the Father did in the very beginning of the creation. He breathed out His Spirit and formed the Word, the only begotten, directly generated Son of God. This Son is a perfect expression of the thought, mind, character and being of the Father. All that pertains to the Father was embodied in the Son. Yet, the Son’s body in His original creation was different from the human form He took on when He was born of a virgin woman. The Son of God received a heavenly body. It was a body of great glory and immeasurable power. By the exercise of this body He created all things. We are told that when the time came for the Son of God to be born of a woman in order to redeem mankind, He had to lay aside the glorious form of His first creation.

Philippians 2:5-7
Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Yahshua, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.

When the time came for the redemption of man to take place, Yahweh prepared a different body for His Son. It was a body like unto our own.

Hebrews 10:5
Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says,"Sacrifice and offering You have  not desired, but a body You have prepared for Me...”

From the beginning of the creation the Son existed in the form of God. His was a celestial body. He was the heavenly vision of the invisible God. As the Son, Yahshua was granted the wisdom, character, and power of God the Father. By exercise of these attributes, and in subjection to the Father, the Son created all things.

If you are able to receive these things, you can then understand what is meant when the Bible describes Yahshua as “the only begotten of the Father.” In a sense we can say that all things have come forth from the Father. Yet, only one being was the direct generation, the monogenes, of the Father. This is the Son, the firstborn, the preeminent One of all creation.

Adam came forth from God, but he is not a direct generation of the Father. He was formed by the Son through whom all things both visible and invisible were made. The angels came forth from God, but neither were they directly generated by the Father. It was the Son who created principalities and powers, thrones and dominions. All things were created by Him and for Him.

It has been granted to mankind to become sons of God, yet there will only ever be one who is the only begotten Son of the Father. He issued forth at the very beginning of the creation. He is before all things, and through Him all things consist and hold together. Glory and honor belong to the Son of God!

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Friday, February 21, 2014



Psalms 78:2-4
I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings of old, things that we have heard and known, that our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of Yahweh, and His might, and the wonders that He has done.

It first entered my mind some years ago to write a book that addressed the beginnings of the creation. It seemed needful to lay a solid foundation for understanding the first things pertaining to this creation: the first appearance of the Son of God; the formation of the heavens and the earth; the creation of the angelic hosts; and the birth of mankind.

We live in an hour when there is much discussion in the church about ancient times. Doctrinal models pertaining to the state of humanity before the flood of Noah, the appearance of Nephilim - giants and mighty men of old who were the offspring of fallen angels and women, theories of alien visitors, and Kabbalistic teachings about an evil race of mankind referred to as “the serpent seed,” have become the fodder for Internet discussion, best selling books, and Hollywood productions.

There is a vast amount of error being taught about these matters. Rarely does one encounter teaching which is Biblically sound. Satan seems intent in sweeping all mankind away on a tidal wave of false histories, fictional mythologies, and lying fables. If Christians do not understand the beginnings of their history, and the rudimentary facts of the creation of God, they become easy prey for false doctrines and speculative fantasies that captivate the naive and Scripturally ignorant.

In this hour, many Christian teachers and authors are looking to extra-Biblical sources: apocryphal writings, pseudepigrapha, the occult teachings of Kabbala, the holy books of false religions, even the writings of Freemasons and Rosicrucians, to guide them. An increasing number of books and blog sites are serving up teachings derived from unclean, Satanically inspired sources which are unwisely used as guides for interpreting the Bible. The result is a growing darkness that is permeating the culture of the church of Christ.

This book will look to the Bible alone, and the tutelage of the Holy Spirit, as the authorities upon which an understanding of the foundations of this present creation might be established. There is a Latin saying that is recorded as “hominem unius libri timeo.” Translated into English the statement reads, “I fear the man of a single book.” This saying is attributed to Thomas Aquinas. By this phrase he meant to convey that a man who has thoroughly mastered one good book is dangerous as an opponent.

The Bible is THE Good Book. To many who occupy the seats of teaching among the body of Christ, the Bible has become a secondary source of information. Like the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints who interpret the Bible through the matrix of The Book of Mormon, many bloggers, book authors, and Christian teachers are promulgating spurious explanations of Bible passages as they look to an array of extra-Biblical writings for insight.

What the church needs are saints who have cut their teeth in the study of the Bible. It needs men and women who have immersed themselves in that text which alone bears the testimony of being written by “men moved by the Holy Spirit who spoke for God” (II Peter 1:21). Rather than interpreting the Bible through a confusion of writings whose pedigree is far inferior, the Bible should be used as the standard to judge them. By this measure, many of these extra-Biblical writings stand condemned as works of deception, false copies of more ancient works that have been lost, and intentional works of darkness inspired by the enemy of mankind who desires to replace truth with lies.

As we near the end of the age and the soon revealing of the Son of God, Satan will increase the flood of deceptive works in an attempt to sweep away the people of God to destruction.

Revelation 12:15
And the serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, so that he might cause her to be swept away with the flood.

The people of God need a sure anchor to resist the fierce current of the times. They need to look to the Spirit and the Word to hold them fast to the bedrock of truth. As we look to understand the foundations of this present creation we need to hold fast to the one sure foundation of truth which is Jesus Christ/Yahshua the Messiah.

I Corinthians 3:11
For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Yahshua Christ.

May you be blessed with peace and understanding in these days.

The Foundation of Truth, Wisdom, and Knowledge

An appropriate place to begin a book titled Foundations is to speak of the foundation of Christian truth. Where does spiritual revelation come from? How does a man or woman arrive at the knowledge of the truth, specifically those truths that are the focus of the Bible? Let us begin to answer these questions by considering what passes for truth today.

At this present hour there are a myriad of books being marketed to the millions who identify themselves as Christians. Many of these books are fantastical. Their subject matter ranges from stargates to nephilim, ancient astronauts (aliens) to the spawn of the serpent and Eve. These writings allure with a promise of mysteries explained. They titillate with conspiratorial theories of the working of Satan in these last days before the return of Christ.

These books are rife with error, spurious conjecture, and unsupported speculation. Imaginative descriptions of the ancient history of the creation, and spectacular predictions of future events, are boldly proclaimed. A wide range of Scripture passages are cited as “proof” of an author’s theories. Yet, a careful examination of the Scriptural interpretations and arguments presented reveals their naked deception. Sensational doctrines are revealed to be founded upon faulty exegesis (critical explanation or interpretation of a text, especially of Scripture). The author is revealed to have practiced unethical eisegesis (an interpretation that expresses the interpreter's own ideas, or bias, rather than the meaning of the text).

Nevertheless, many readers never discover the error. The vast majority of Christians today have neglected to devote themselves to the study of the word of God. In fulfillment of the ministry entrusted to me I encounter these individuals frequently. I am appalled at the absence of Bible knowledge among people who have been Christians 5, 10, 20, even 30 years or more. Many have rarely opened the Bible outside of a church service. Few have made the apprehension of Biblical truth a focus of their lives. They have been content to let others tell them what to believe, and to permit strangers to interpret the Bible for them.

One of the complaints I frequently hear in letters sent to me is that the Bible is a closed book, hard to understand, and that study of it is dry and bereft of fruit for the individual. Having found the Bible to be an enigma, its treasures difficult to mine, its secrets shrouded as if by an impenetrable veil, many Christians lose interest. Because the fruit of knowledge and understanding does not drop readily into their grasp, many Christians abandon personal Bible study.

The veil over the Scriptures perceived by these individuals is not an illusion. It is quite real. In the Bible we read:

Proverbs 25:2
It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search things out.

Yahweh has locked understanding of the mysteries of His kingdom away as with a key. Truth is highly valued by Yahweh. It is not dispensed indiscriminately. Those who prove themselves worthy are granted access to the secret things of God. Notice the condition to gain understanding that is set forth in the following verses.

Psalms 119:100
I understand more than the ancients, because I keep Your precepts.

Psalms 25:14
The secret of Yahweh is for those who fear Him, and He will show them His covenant.

The guarding of truth has ever been the practice of Yahweh. The concealing and restricted unveiling of divine truth was demonstrated vividly in the life of Christ. When speaking to the multitudes Christ cloaked His meaning through the use of parables. It was before His disciples alone (those who followed Him obediently, sharing in His sufferings) that He would remove the veil from His words and explain to them the hidden things of God.

Matthew 13:10-11
And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” And He answered and said to them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted.”

Mark 4:33-34
And with many such parables He was speaking the word to them as they were able to hear it; and He did not speak to them without a parable; but He was explaining everything privately to His own disciples.

Christ is called “The Word made flesh” and the Bible is known as “the Word of God.” Both are an enigma. The apostle Paul speaks the following about the Messiah.

Colossians 2:2-3
Christ in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

Note carefully that the apostle does NOT say “Christ in whom are contained all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” If the Son of God was merely a container for the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, then all mankind might be able to come and take freely of these treasures. The apostle says that in Christ are “hidden” all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. The Greek word from which the English “hidden” is translated, is derived from the root “apokrupto.” Strong’s Concordance defines this Greek word in the following manner.

apokrupto; to conceal away (i.e. fully); figuratively, to keep secret:

In Christ are “concealed away” all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. If one would gain access to these concealed treasures they must be intimate with Christ. Like the disciples who went aside from the multitudes and privately inquired about the meaning of the parables, those who want to arrive at the knowledge and understanding of the secret things of God’s kingdom must prove that they are disciples, and not merely confessors, of Christ. The qualifications of discipleship are exceedingly high. It will cost a man or woman everything in order to be a disciple of Yahshua.

Luke 14:26-27
“If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.”

Luke 14:33
So then, any of you who does not forsake (renounce, surrender claim to, give up, say good-bye to) all that he has cannot be My disciple.
[Amplified Bible]

Understanding that the treasures of wisdom and truth are concealed by the godhead, to be revealed to those who will pay the cost of surrendering their lives to the lordship of Christ, one can begin to perceive why the Bible remains a closed book to so many. It also explains why many authors, teachers, and Internet bloggers are deriving so many spurious interpretations of the mysteries contained in the Bible. The price of access to divine truth is costly. Many look for a way to acquire knowledge while avoiding the high cost of discipleship with its self-denial, and suffering.

Many of the best selling authors in Christendom today are promulgating doctrines and theories which did not originate in Christ, who is the source and guardian of divine truth. Their teachings have arisen from the counsel of their own soul, the fruitless imagination of the carnal mind. Many are looking to occult and deceptive writings for inspiration. Consequently they are being led astray into much error and are influencing others who stumble with them in the darkness.

In discoursing with a brother in Christ on this subject recently, I shared with him the following:

I have often reflected on the error of the Christian religious system that has chosen its own model to prepare men for ministry. Christ's model was to take a group of men and have them walk with Him, to share in His trials, His hardships, and His reproaches. Mankind today virtually ignores this experiential aspect of discipleship and training for ministry. Instead it substitutes classroom instruction, the reading of text books, and written and oral examinations. Bible colleges and seminaries have become a substitute for a life of surrender to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is little wonder that so many come out of these institutions with their minds confused, and filled with the errors that pass for orthodox belief today.

Brothers and sisters, the greatest safeguard against error and apostasy is to embrace a life of surrender to the leading of the Spirit of Christ. If we do not walk with Christ in a surrendered life we will find ourselves separated from Him, and lacking that intimacy that is necessary to hear His voice and be guided into all truth. A self-directed life, no matter how noble in appearance, does not bear the same fruit as a life of abandonment that has yielded to go wherever Christ says go, and to do whatever He commands.

Because the price of discipleship is so high, there are very few Christians today who qualify as disciples. There are myriads of confessors of Christ who are following the counsel of their own soul, pursuing the course that seems good to them. Many of these individuals aspire to be ministers, Bible teachers, and authors. Yet, because they are not disciples who are denying themselves and bearing their cross, they are often found to be running with a message that Christ has not given them. Not having access to the privy counsels of Christ, they feed upon one another, repeating and embellishing the ideas of other men and women.

Jeremiah 23:30-32
"Therefore behold, I am against the prophets," declares Yahweh, "who steal My words from each other. Behold, I am against the prophets," declares Yahweh, "who use their tongues and declare, ‘He says.’ Behold, I am against those who have prophesied false dreams," declares Yahweh, "and related them, and led My people astray by their falsehoods and reckless boasting; yet I did not send them or command them, nor do they furnish this people the slightest benefit," declares Yahweh.

Foundations are extremely important things. The psalmist laments, “If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?" (Psalms 11:3) If the foundation of truth is not firmly established in a man’s life, seeking to access the treasures of wisdom and knowledge according to the divine pattern of obedience and surrender, the beliefs and doctrines of the man will be unstable.

Foundations undergird everything that rests upon them. If the foundation is flawed, the structure arising from it will be unsound. Many are attempting to be teachers of the Bible, expositors of the mysteries of creation, without embracing the suffering of the cross. Consequently, their teachings are riddled with corruption. The things they so confidently proclaim do not stand the test of truth.

Foundations are lowly things. To lay a sure foundation of truth a man or woman must humble themselves. The cross is an instrument of abasement and humility. The cross will put the self-life to death. The cross engenders reproach. Those who desire popularity, acclaim, and riches will inevitably despise the disciple’s cross. Refusing to humble themselves, they will not receive the grace of God that alone results in an unveiling of divine truth.

James 4:6-7
God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Submit therefore to God.

There are numerous men and women who are selling millions of books, audio messages, and videos. People flock to their conferences in great numbers. Media tables are set-up at their speaking events where those in attendance converge to fill up bags with books and videos that promise to impart to them the secrets of successful living and happiness, or to unveil the hidden things of God. Yet, the vast majority of this material is bereft of the divine truth it promises. Both shepherd and sheep are drinking from polluted streams, lying down in defiled pastures. Many of those who promote themselves as guides are in fact blind leaders of the blind. What is needed is a return to the foundations of truth.

Proverbs 15:33
The fear of Yahweh is the instruction for wisdom, and before honor comes humility.

There are no shortcuts to truth that circumvent the obedience of the cross. This is as much a fact for the readers of books as it is for the authors. The apostle Paul described those in the church who were “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (II Timothy 3:7). Christians may be purchasing millions of copies of the latest religious best sellers, but what are they gaining? They are not arriving at the knowledge of the truth. The church must embrace the cross. They must accept the cost of discipleship if they are to receive from Christ access to His most holy things.

The apostle Paul in writing to the Hebrews addresses the problem of feeding on “strange” and erroneous teachings. In his words are contained a deep truth, conveyed through means of symbolic speech.

Hebrews 13:9-10
Do not be carried away by varied and strange teachings; for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, through which those who were thus occupied were not benefitted. We have an altar, from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat.

Teachings are compared to food. The soul feeds on ideas in the same way the body draws sustenance from various foods. Yet even as there are junk foods in abundance at this hour, there are also teachings in abundance that do not profit. There are multitudes of books, sermons, and videos that do not lead to truth. They do not nourish the soul. Instead, they produce weakness and sickness among the body of Christ.

Paul states “We have an altar, from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat.” What does the apostle intend to convey by these words? The fleshly body is described in the New Testament as a tabernacle, or temple, in which the Spirit of God resides. The apostle Paul has himself frequently resorted to this imagery.

I Corinthians 3:16-17
Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.

How do men destroy, or defile, the temple of their body? They do so by indulging the flesh. In this same epistle the apostle chastises men in the church who have been fornicating with prostitutes from the local pagan temples.

I Corinthians 6:15
Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot?

These statements of the apostle reveal the symbolic meaning of his statement in the book of Hebrews. Those who serve the tabernacle are those who serve the flesh. The apostle states that such ones are restricted from receiving food from the holy altar of God. When Paul says, “We have an altar...” he is speaking of himself and those other obedient disciples of Christ who buffet their bodies and keep them under subjection. He is speaking of those who do not live for the flesh, but live to do the will of Yahweh.

If you would be assured that you are not counted among those professors of Christ who are “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” then you must not serve the flesh. You must be a servant of God, living to do His pleasure and to fulfill His righteousness. Then Yahweh will take food from His holy altar and give it to you to eat. If you will answer the call to “take up YOUR cross and follow” in the footsteps of Christ, then He will call you aside and explain those things that are hidden to the understanding of the multitude. Obedience to God is the foundation upon which truth must be established.

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Apollyon Rising 2012 - Book Review

Joseph Herrin (02-19-2014)

I have been reading a number of books in preparation for a new series of writings. This is one of the reasons I have not been posting many writings of late. Much of my present time is being spent in research, collating notes, and clarifying various ideas for this new series. I had not intended to read Apollyon Rising 2012 as I had a general impression of the author and his books as being sensational, straying far into areas of conjecture while advancing claims that are not Biblically sound. My impression of the author was not formed from having read any of his books previously. I had, however, watched some videos on YouTube where Tom Horn was interviewed, and read excerpts of his ideas on various sites where he was quoted.

I was familiar with the fact that Tom Horn was writing some wildly popular books. It was reported that combined print and e-book sales of Apollyon Rising 2012 exceeded one million copies on its first day of availability. That was enough to assure it a spot on the New York Times Bestseller List. I am wary of highly popular books for I understand that in the last days before the return of Christ that truth is despised by the majority (including those in the church), and that the multitudes will turn aside to myths and fables. The apostle Paul in writing to Timothy describes the character of the last days as that in which men will heap up to themselves teachers to tickle their ears, telling them the things they want to hear. He also describes it as a time when “men will not endure sound doctrine.”

There have been many books in this generation that have done exceptionally well in sales, but which contain dangerous deceptions and doctrinal error. Among them are the Left Behind series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins, The Shack by William Paul Young, The Prayer of Jabez by Bruce Wilkinson, The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren, Your Best Life Now by Joel Osteen, and Heaven is For Real by Todd Burpo. All of these books have some appeal to the masses. Nevertheless, these best selling books are filled with false teaching and deception, and are leading Christians into ever increasing spiritual error and darkness.

I am consequently wary when another Christian best seller comes along for I know that even as truth was rejected by the masses in Christ’s day, the same situation remains to this very hour.

John 15:20
“Remember the word that I said to you, 'A slave is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also.”

After three and a half years of ministry, there were only 120 dedicated disciples of the Lord gathered in the upper room in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost in obedience to Yahshua’s instructions. The multitudes that had clamored around Him when He was performing miracles and feeding thousands had proven their true character. When their Messiah’s words became difficult to embrace, and the cost of following the Savior was revealed to be exceedingly high, the multitudes returned to the comfort of their false beliefs, and the leavened teachings of the Pharisees. The apostle Paul in writing to the saints in Thessalonika shared the following admonition.

II Thessalonians 2:1-3
Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Yahshua Christ, and our gathering together to Him, that you may not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first.

The word “apostasy” is defined as a falling away from truth. It shares a similar root with the Greek word for “divorce.” Apostasy is a divorcement from truth to be wed to myths and fables. We are plainly told that Christ’s return will be preceded by a state of apostasy in the church. It is the remnant who will hold fast to the truth. The vast majority of Christendom will fall away into deception and error.

There is good reason to be wary of best selling books that the church is devouring in great numbers. A sober-minded disciple of Christ should question whether there is present in the book something that is “tickling” the ears of the readers. Sensationalism sells. People are naturally drawn to conspiracy theories, and to claims that excite their minds and imagination. There is present in the nature of the Adamic man a tendency that wants to chase ambulances to learn the details of the latest tragedy, or to scan the headlines to find out the salacious facts of the most recent scandals.

I have commented before that whenever I post writings on current events, or expose the evil workings of this world system, the readership of the Parables Blog shoots up. As a case in point, the recent series I posted on the history of the Bible which was titled Yahweh’s Book had a small, but steady following. There were between 400-600 readers of this series according to the Google analytics that are provided to users of their blogging sites. When in the midst of this series I posted a writing titled In the Presence of Evil, about the bizarre sign language displayed by an erratic personality at Nelson Mandela’s memorial and commented on the train wreck where the engineer’s name was Rockefeller, readership quadrupled for that post. After finishing the Yahweh’s Book series I posted a writing about the Illuminati message presented during the last Super Bowl and readership was six times the average for the Yahweh’s Book series.

Why does this occur? Were these two popular posts more important than what was being communicated in the Yahweh’s Book series? I do not believe this to be the case at all. Yet, there is something present in these popular posts that “tickles” the ears, for even truth can be sensational. Many more people are attracted to that which is exciting, scandalous, or provocative, than those who are attracted to the serious and sober truths that comprise the majority of important subject matter.

Book authors, editors, and publishers understand this. There was a time when I first began writing books more than a decade ago that I sought to get my writings published by a Christian publishing house. I submitted several books to a number of publishers, but was shown no interest. One of the reasons cited for the rejection was that my writings diverged too much from what is considered “orthodox” belief today. Undoubtedly, another reason was that my books focused much on the cost of Christian discipleship, and a message of suffering has little appeal to the masses. Publishing houses make money by selling books. They are more interested in what sells than they are in promoting truth.

I sought the Father regarding the matter of getting my books in print and distributed by a publisher of Christian books and I sensed Him saying this was not an avenue He wanted me to pursue. There is too much commercialism present, too much pressure from publishers and editors to coerce the writer to give the people what they want. Yahweh instructed me to make my writings freely available on the Internet in various forms, and to trust Him to lead the people to the books whom He wanted to read them. The Spirit of Christ counseled me to rest in this matter, for in looking only to the Father for my daily provision (instead of publishing houses), and by choosing not to promote my books through carnal means, I would be relieved of the pressures to give people what they want. I would be freed up to listen to that still, small voice of the Holy Spirit who would guide me to write on the subjects of God’s choosing.

I do not claim to have been perfect in this. Throughout the course of my ministry I have battled against the temptation to write on subjects I sensed would be popular. I have a pretty good sense of what is popular. I could easily let my site devolve into a prophecy/conspiracy/doomsday website that would attract much higher numbers of readers. I have been invited to speak on some popular Internet radio shows, and to post my writings on sites that generate millions of views a month. In response to one owner of a very highly trafficked site who had contacted me, I told him that the articles of mine he was familiar with were only one part of what I focused on. I told him that in addition to writing about a Biblical understanding of current events that I also focused much on establishing Christians in sound Biblical doctrine, and in exhorting believers to embrace a Spirit-directed life. I wrote much on the necessity of laying down one’s will, plans, and desires, that the believer might take up the cross and follow wherever Christ would lead. The man never wrote me back. He was evidently not interested in my having a regular column on his site if all of my writings were not sensational and ear tickling.

For those who are concerned, please rest assured that I am not about to abandon the pattern of following the Spirit of Christ that I have walked in for the past 14 years of ministry. I do not find it an attractive prospect to abandon writing about the topics the Father directs me to in order to give people what they want. I fear God. I want to honor Him with my life, with my labor, and by yielding the reins of my life to His direction and control. The lure of popularity and riches is quite feeble in comparison to my desire to hear Yahweh say, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Lord.” The acclaim of man and the material success of this world are both fleeting and precarious. An inheritance with Christ in glory is of far greater worth.

I would have you be aware, however, of the temptations faced by Christian men and women who write books, have websites, churches, or some other type of following. These individuals are faced with frequent, and at times powerful pressures that would urge them to produce what is popular. Such ones must choose to turn a blind eye and deaf ear to the voices of this world that they might be guided by the Spirit alone.

Many have turned aside at some point. They may have had some niggling thoughts warning them that they were straying from the narrow path of obedience to God. Yet, the voice of conscience can be overridden when the profits and praise that attend popularity begin to be entertained in one’s mind. Slowly, or quickly, a man or woman can depart from a path of soundness and end up selling out to the highest bidder. They may still believe they are promoting truth, but the Spirit of Christ is no longer the One determining what subjects they devote their life and labors to. When this occurs they often lose the ability to discern between truth and error.


Back in 1998 Tom Horn wrote a book titled Spiritual Warfare - The Invisible Invasion. This does not sound too sensational, and the book cover is certainly tame in comparison to his more recent writings. I have not read the book, but the reviews on Amazon indicate that numerous readers view it to be “fundamental,” a “traditional approach,” and to be promoting “time tested and proven principles of spiritual warfare.” Although the subject of demonology does excite the soul to some degree, many reviewers of this book viewed it as taking a pragmatic and reasoned approach to the topic. This book, published 16 years ago, was followed seven years later by The Ahriman Gate, a novel co-written by Thomas Horn and his wife Nita in 2005.

The ad line at the bottom of the front cover states, “The most intense piece of Christian fiction in a long time.” National Book Review

Listed under Book Description on Amazon’s site is the following information.

This supernatural thriller tells the incredible story of a young Marine and his sister who discover information connecting the U.S. Government with UFO's.

"...brings the reader face to face with the return of the Nephilim... a little too close for some folks!" -- Dr. Lynn Marzulli, Best Selling Author Of

"...the world is right on schedule, winding down. Our redemption is ever closer..." -- Cal Thomas, LA Times Syndicate, on the Transgenic Research of The Ahriman Gate

"Dr. and Mrs. Horn are obviously conversant with ancient Biblical sources, and make good use of it in their novel." -- Legendary Ufologist Dr. I.D.E. Thomas

"Scared the Hades out of me! Then I realized, that's what it's SUPPOSED to do!" -- Historian of the Year, Egyptologist Dr. Donald C. Jones

"Thomas Horn... has got his answers, and I've got to tell you, they'll put chills down your spine!" -- Barbara Simpson, The Babe in the Bunker, On Coast to Coast
From the Publisher

The words “intense,” “supernatural thriller,” “Nephilim,” “the world is... winding down,” “Scared the Hades out of me,” and “chills down your spine,” reveal the character of this book. Not only is it a work of fiction, but it is written to tickle the ear, excite the soul, and inflame the emotions. Sadly, once one has begun to go down this path, it is very difficult to arrest one’s momentum. If an individual is working with editors and publishers, they will be encouraged to give the readers more of what they want in an effort to generate sales. It becomes increasingly hard to step back and produce a less thrilling, more subdued and well reasoned tome.

In 2009 Tom Horn published Apollyon Rising 2012. Although Tom Horn has said publicly that he is NOT a date setter, the year 2012 was clearly listed in the title of this book. No one could escape the massive build-up of anticipation regarding the year 2012. Speculation was rife as frequent mention was made of the end of the Mayan calendar on December 21, 2012 and other prophecies that suggested that 2012 might be the end of the world as we know it. Clearly, the book’s publisher sought to play upon this sensationalism by emphasizing the year 2012 in the title of this book.

Before focusing on the actual subject matter of the book, I would make mention of what Tom and Nita Horn have written since this book was published. The runaway success of Apollyon Rising has led to a profusion of books being released much more rapidly than their previous writings. In January 2011 Tom and Nita Horn published Forbidden Gates: How Genetics, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Synthetic Biology, Nanotechnology, and Human Enhancement Herald The Dawn Of TechnoDimensional Spiritual Warfare.

In July 2011, just 6 months later, Tom Horn led a group of authors in publishing a compendium of writings titled Pandemonium's Engine: How the End of the Church Age, the Rise of Transhumanism, and the Coming of the bermensch (Overman) Herald Satan’s Imminent and Final Assault on the Creation of God.

In September of the same year Nita Horn was similarly involved with a compendium that was titled God's Ghostbusters: Vampires? Ghosts? Aliens? Werewolves? Creatures of the Night Beware!

In November of 2011Tom Horn released The Researchers Library of Ancient Texts: Volume One The Apocrypha - Includes the Books of Enoch, Jasher, and Jubilees.

This book reveals the extra-Biblical sources from which Tom Horn derives many of his theories and claims relating to what he believes will occur in these last days, as well as what he claims occurred in the ancient past. His next book would relate to another extra-Biblical source, St. Malachy’s prophecy of the Popes that was recorded in 1595. This book is titled Petrus Romanus: The Final Pope Is Here.

The book Petrus Romanus was co-written by Tom Horn and Cris Putnam. One thing publishing houses will at times do when they have a very popular author, is to supply him/her with a co-author, or even a ghost writer, who will write books in the popular author’s name. Anyone familiar with Tom Clancy, author of The Hunt for Red October, will recognize that this is a procedure adopted by various publishers. It enables them to get more books out in a short period of time, and it also allows them to introduce new authors who will themselves become popular by association and be able in turn to sell millions of books. Note that in the book above that Thomas Horn’s name is listed before Cris Putnam’s. This does not necessarily mean that Mr. Horn wrote most of the material. He was, however, the more recognized name.

Later in 2013 Horn and Putnam had another book published. Notice that on the cover of Exo-Vaticana that Cris Putnam’s name is listed first. How much of the book was written by either man is hard to tell. I suspect most of it was written by Putnam, but it still has the advantage of bearing Thomas Horn’s name, insuring a great many sales.

Following up the year 2012, and giving some explanation to what he thinks may have occurred in that year, Tom Horn published two books that relate back to the year 2012. Evidently, the world as we know it did not end in 2012, so some explanations are made about what may have actually taken place. In August of 2013 Thomas Horn published Zenith 2016: Did Something Begin in the Year 2012 that will Reach its Apex in 2016?

In November of 2013 he released Nephilim Stargates: The Year 2012 and the Return of the Watchers. With this, he was able to get three books published that took advantage of the hype centered around the year 2012.

It is hard to avoid the conclusion that Tom Horn (and his wife) have given themselves to producing sensational writings. God’s Ghostbusters? Nephilim Stargates? These titles intentionally evoke images of the fantastic fictional productions that come out of Hollywood. Ghost Busters was the name of a 1984 Hollywood film that featured Bill Murray, Dan Akroyd and Sigourney Weaver. It was billed as a supernatural comedy. Surely Nita Horn and those who joined with her in this compilation of writings must have known that adopting the name Ghostbusters would cause people to view their book with a lack of sobriety.

A few days ago I watched a video where Tom Horn was speaking at a conference sponsored by Mike Hoggard. One thing that struck me was the demeanor of Tom Horn. He was telling jokes, and frequently laughing as he was giving his presentation on some of the material contained in Apollyon Rising 2012. His demeanor appeared to me to be incongruous with the seriousness of the subject matter he was discussing.

This causes me to reflect upon the fact that many people are being conditioned to talk about the most sober and serious subjects, including the arrival of the antichrist, the slaughter of vast portions of the world population, and even the triumph of Satan over the people of God, as if they were discussing some fictional movie they just saw at the theater. I am concerned that Christians are merely being titillated by what they are hearing, viewing, and reading. Many are having their ears tickled, but the information being presented to them is not having the sobering effect upon them that it should. This is at least partly attributable to many of the authors and speakers who are presenting the information. They are failing to manifest a sober spirit in their communications. If a man stands in front of a crowd of people and tells them exceedingly dark things, yet he acts nonchalant, manifesting a carefree attitude, and does not impress upon the people the need to walk in the fear of God and get their spiritual life in order, then he has done a disservice to the people of God.

Looking back over the covers of these books, what I am impressed with is sensationalism, and entertainment. The last book on Nephilim Stargates makes a clear reference to the multiple television series that have arisen around the science fiction theme of stargates, or portals, that can transport beings from one location in the universe to another.

A Stargate from the Television Series

The impression I am left with as I look at the subject matter and book covers that Thomas Horn’s name is associated with is that there is a mixing of Hollywood sensationalism and Biblical truth. There is a confusion of science fiction and spiritual reality. I am therefore immediately on my guard in reading these writings to discern where truth has given way to fiction, and to discern where error, conjecture, and falsehood have intruded into what is being presented as a Christian and Bible based view of the world, both ancient and modern.

In the video I have mentioned, Tom Horn states that although he makes reference to numerous extra-Biblical sources, that he does NOT place any of them on the same level as Scripture. I did not find this to be accurate when reading Apollyon Rising. The manner in which extra-Biblical sources were cited, and conclusions drawn from them, evidenced that the author was using them to interpret the Bible.

I had started reading one of his books that he had co-written with Cris Putnam at the suggestion of a brother in Christ a few weeks earlier. The book, Exo-Vaticana, may have been more the product of Cris Putnam than Tom Horn. I did not get very far into the book when I became troubled by numerous statements that I found both doubtful and very poorly reasoned and supported. I wrote the following to this brother:

Hello Brother (Name Withheld),

I have begun reading the book Exo-Vaticana. It is possible that part of the end-times deception will include fallen angels masquerading as an advanced alien race who appear as the saviors of mankind. The authors are certainly intent on building a case for such a possibility. At the same time, I do believe they are wresting some pretty dubious interpretations of Scriptures in support of their thesis. What I wanted to comment on at this time, however, is an unusual thing that occurred this morning.

I had never heard of Cris Putnam until you mentioned this book to me. This morning a sister in Christ wrote to me in response to my most recent post on the Satanic symbolism of the Christmas tree.

A Rockefeller Christmas - Redux

This sister began her letter by telling me how much God had shown her about the substitution that has occurred in Christianity whereby the feasts of Yahweh have been replaced by pagan holidays. She spoke of the vileness of the "holidays" and she seemed to be tracking right along with what my own writings were saying. However, at the end of her e-mail she stated that she still decorated a Christmas tree in her home every year, and she saw nothing wrong with it. To support her actions she sent me a link to a brief article posted by Cris Putnam on his website where he asserts that the Christmas tree has no pagan origins.

I at once recognized the name Cris Putnam as being a co-author of the book Exo-Vaticana, and I considered this an unusual coincidence that I should pay attention to. I read his brief article, finding it wholly dissatisfying, especially for a man who claims to be a researcher. He has certainly NOT researched this issue about the origins of the Christmas tree. In my response to this sister in Christ, I shared the following with her:
The decorated Christmas tree can be traced back to the ancient Romans who during their winter festival decorated trees with small pieces of metal during Saturnalia, a winter festival in honor of Saturnus, the god of agriculture.

A far more scholarly account of the ancient pagan origins of the Christmas tree and the candle lighting can be found in Alexander Hislops' excellent book The Two Babylons. I will cite a pertinent section from that book.

The candles, in some parts of England, lighted on Christmas-eve, and used so long as the festive season lasts, were equally lighted by the Pagans on the eve of the festival of the Babylonian god, to do honour to him: for it was one of the distinguishing peculiarities of his worship to have lighted wax-candles on his altars. The Christmas tree, now so  common among us, was equally common in Pagan Rome and Pagan Egypt. In Egypt that tree was the palm-tree; in Rome it was the fir; the palm-tree denoting the Pagan Messiah, as Baal-Tamar, the fir referring to him as Baal-Berith. The mother of Adonis, the Sun-God and great mediatorial divinity, was mystically said to have been changed into a tree, and when in that state to have brought forth her divine son. If the mother was a tree, the son must have been recognised as the "Man the branch." And this entirely accounts for the putting of the Yule Log into the fire on Christmas-eve, and the appearance of the Christmas-tree the next morning. As Zero-Ashta, "The seed of the woman," which name also signified Ignigena, or "born of the fire," he has to enter the fire on "Mother-night," that he may be born the next day out of it, as the "Branch of God," or the Tree that brings all divine gifts to men. But why, it may be asked, does he enter the fire under the symbol of a Log? To understand this, it must be remembered that the divine child born at the winter solstice was born as a new incarnation of the great god (after that god had been cut in pieces), on purpose to revenge his death upon his murderers. Now the great god, cut off in the midst of his power and glory, was symbolised as a huge tree, stripped of all its branches, and cut down almost to the ground. But the great serpent, the symbol of the life restoring Aesculapius, twists itself around the dead stock, and lo, at its side up sprouts a young tree--a tree of an entirely different kind, that is destined never to be cut down by hostile power--even the palm-tree, the well-known symbol of victory. The Christmas-tree, as has been stated, was generally at Rome a different tree, even the fir; but the very same idea as was implied in the palm-tree was implied in the Christmas-fir; for that covertly symbolised the new-born God as Baal-berith, * "Lord of the Covenant," and thus shadowed forth the perpetuity and everlasting nature of his power, that after having fallen before his enemies, he had risen triumphant over them all.
Baal-bereth, which differs only in one letter from Baal-berith, "Lord of the Covenant," signifies "Lord of the fir-tree."

Therefore, the 25th of December, the day that was observed at Rome as the day when the victorious god reappeared on earth, was held at the Natalis invicti solis, "The birth-day of the unconquered Sun." Now the Yule Log is the dead stock of Nimrod, deified as the sun-god, but cut down by his enemies; the Christmas-tree is Nimrod redivivus--the slain god come to life again.
 [End Excerpt]

It does trouble me that Cris Putnam is manifesting an intellectual bias and is misrepresenting the truth of this matter. It does cause me to wonder what liberties he is taking in the Exo-Vaticana book in order to cause the "facts" to fit his hypothesis. I would definitely counsel great scrutiny in testing all of the claims in this book.
[End of letter]

Although I had some reservations regarding Tom Horn’s writing, due to what little familiarity I had with them I did not judge him by the errors of Cris Putnam. It was highly concerning, however, that a man whose primary occupation is a researcher and author could err so egregiously in suggesting that the Christmas tree has no pagan origin. Clearly the Christmas tree has no Biblical origin. Nowhere do we read in the Old Testament Law that God commanded the Israelites to bring a fir tree into their homes, to decorate it and adorn it with candles, as part of one of their annual feasts. Nowhere in the New Testament do we read of the apostles or churches commemorating the birth day of Christ at all, which certainly did not occur on December 25th. Nor do we have any mention of the apostles passing down a tradition of adopting the fir tree as a symbol of the eternal life of the Son of God. The origins of this practice are entirely pagan.

As I was doing research on the series I am at present preparing for, I came across a website that included some excerpts from Thomas Horn’s book Apollyon Rising 2012. Some of what was stated was explaining precisely the subject I was investigating at the moment, so after some consideration I purchased the book. The Preface is quite lengthy and was written by Christian J. Pinto, a filmmaker who has produced the documentary series Secret Mysteries of America’s Beginnings. I have watched the documentary, and found both it and the Preface to this book to be well composed. Claims are well documented. Sources are abundantly cited. Well reasoned explanations and arguments are presented in support of the thesis that America’s government was formed by men who were not Christian in their beliefs or actions. Indeed, these men manifested very much the spirit of antichrist.

What Christian J. Pinto wrote was continued by Tom Horn in the first part of the book. The first five chapters written by Tom Horn focused on America’s founding fathers, their associations with secret societies, and their influence in the design of the nation’s capital as a Masonic city, the Great Seal with its occult symbolism, and various other evidences of the dark underpinnings of America’s government. Tom Horn, like Christian J. Pinto, included copious references, and other than a couple of statements that deviated from the main focus of these opening chapters, I found what was written to be excellent. I began to question my former opinion of Tom Horn and his writings for what he was sharing was not unlike the information I have set forth in the book Dragon Flood. Nor did I note a tendency toward sensationalism. The author’s arguments and claims were well-reasoned, and amply supported by historic evidence.

Around chapter 8, however, the wheels began to fall off. What had been rolling along so well suddenly veered off into great conjecture and very poor exegesis of the Scriptures. As Horn began to build a case for Nimrod being changed into a Gibborim, which he equates to the offspring of the Nephilim (the fallen angels), he began to make claims and to express conjecture that is readily refuted. Following is an excerpt from his book:

While I believe the theory of DNA corruption as an intended method for halting the coming of Christ has merit, an alternative reason the Watchers may have blended living organisms exists. This theory is original with me and grew from my need to incorporate the voluminous historical texts, which described this peculiar history, into a consistent account that corresponds with Scripture...

Let me stop here and share a few comments. Thomas Horn is building upon a thesis he has already expounded where he contends that before the flood of Noah all mankind’s DNA had become corrupted due to tampering by the fallen angels. This is not an uncommon theory, although the manner in which Tom Horn believes the DNA corruption occurred is unusual. Many have put forth the argument that due to the cohabitation of fallen angels with human women, the genetic make-up of man became corrupted. Out of these unions came the mighty men of old. These were giants, and beings of great strength. It is suggested by some that ONLY Noah and his family remained the pure seed of Adam. They contend that this is the meaning of the following Scripture.

Genesis 6:9
These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.

Some suggest that the phrase “perfect in his generations” does not refer to Noah being a morally righteous man, but that it is in fact a reference to his genetic make-up. Tom Horn embraces this view, for in his book he writes:

That God had to send such a universal fiat like the Flood illustrates how widespread the altered DNA eventually became. In fact, the Bible says in Genesis 6:9 that only Noah and by extension his children were found “perfect” in their generation. The Hebrew word for “perfect” in this case is tamiym, which means “without blemish” or “healthy,” the same word used in Leviticus to describe an unblemished sacrificial lamb. The meaning was not that Noah was morally perfect, but that his physical makeup-his DNA-had not been contaminated with Nephilim descent, as apparently the rest of the world had become.

The Bible does not support the conclusions set forth here. First, God declares to Noah the reason that He is going to destroy all mankind in the flood. In declaring the reason to Noah, Yahweh makes no mention of the Nephilim or contaminated DNA.

Genesis 6:13
And God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth.”

Yahweh specifically mentions the violence of man. In this same passage, we are given additional insight into the cause of the flood and the reason for which Noah found grace.

Genesis 6:5-9
Then Yahweh saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And Yahweh was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So Yahweh said, "I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them." But Noah found grace in the eyes of Yahweh... Noah walked with God.

The Bible contrasts here the wickedness of men on the earth and the righteousness of Noah. It is not the genetic makeup of Noah that is declared to have caused Noah to find grace in the eyes of Yahweh. It is Noah’s righteousness. This is a truth supported elsewhere in other Scriptures. The Bible, inspired by the Holy Spirit, names Noah among the most righteous men to ever have walked upon the face of the earth.

Ezekiel 14:12-14
Then the word of Yahweh came to me saying, "Son of man, if a country sins against Me by committing unfaithfulness, and I stretch out My hand against it, destroy its supply of bread, send famine against it, and cut off from it both man and beast, even though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job were in its midst, by their own righteousness they could only deliver themselves," declares Yahweh God.

It is clearly stated in this passage from the prophet Ezekiel that Noah was viewed as righteous in the eyes of Yahweh. In a generation when all flesh had corrupted itself with violence, and the thoughts of their hearts were evil continually, only Noah walked with God.

From where did these aberrant ideas arise? Thomas Horn states that he is seeking to reconcile “the voluminous historical texts” with the Biblical account. What he is identifying as historical texts are books of deceptive origin. Volumes such as The Book of Enoch, The Book of Jasher, and Jubilees are known by scholars as pseudepigrapha. This word literally means “a falsely attributed writing.” The prefix “pseude”comes from the same source as the prefix of the English word pseudonym. A pseudonym is a false name that an author uses when publishing a writing. For example, Samuel Clemens used the pseudonym Mark Twain. Even so, books that are identified as pseudepigrapha are known to be false writings masquerading as that which is authentic.

Although the Bible mentions a Book of Jasher (Joshua 10:13, II Samuel 1:18) and the writings of Enoch (Jude 14), the original writings referred to have been lost. The books that exist today bearing these names are much more recent writings than the originals. They have been produced by deceivers who have sought to pass them off as copies, or translations, of the originals. These books can hardly be described as “historical texts.” They are in fact historical impostors.

It is a fool’s errand to try to reconcile the Biblical account of history with lying and deceptive sources such as these. One will end up in the same error as those who seek to interpret the Bible through the framework of The Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon distorts and corrupts the account of the Scriptures. It is not coincidental that The Book of Jasher, a book many Christian writers today have embraced as authentic to their own hurt, is published in Salt Lake City, Utah, the home of the Mormon religion. Mormon’s hold The Book of Jasher (published by their own people) to be an accurate English translation of the original book named in the Bible.

Thomas Horn suggests that the fallen angels did not merely cohabit with women, but that the angels used some unknown ancient science to manipulate the DNA of mankind, combining human DNA with angelic, animal, and plant DNA. Recently, a sister in Christ wrote to me and asked the following:

I have a in 2 Samuel 23:20....the lion like men of Moab....does that suggest that they are a type of hybrid or is it more of a fierce type fighter and warrior? How do I look this up? I understand that there is symbolism used in the Bible and also some words are literal in their meaning.

When I read her question I was curious as to where she had come up with such a novel interpretation of Scripture. I had never heard anyone suggest previously that the Bible describing men as “lion like” could possibly be interpreted to mean that they were a part human, part animal hybrid. After reading Apollyon Rising 2012 I now recognize the source of this notion. Thomas Horn promulgates this interpretation of the Scriptures in his book.

Other books such as “Jubilees” add that this interspecies mingling eventually resulted in mutations among normal humans and animals whose “flesh” (genetic makeup) was “corrupted” by the activity, presumably through crossbreeding (see 5:1-5; 7:21-25). Even the Old Testament contains reference to the genetic mutations that developed among humans following this time frame, including “men” of unusual size, physical strength, six fingers, six toes, animal appetite for blood, and even lion-like features (2 Samuel 21:20; 23:20).

Jubilees is another example of pseudepigrapha that Thomas Horn has included among that which he defines as “voluminous historical texts.” It is NOT an authentic historical text. It is a falsely attributed writing. This book is defined as pseudepigraphal rather than simply apocryphal because it pretends to have been dictated to Moses, and to be older than the book of Genesis. Scholars have established a more accurate date of origin as somewhere between 150-160 B.C.. This is more than a millennia after the life of Moses.

Regarding this spurious interpretation of the Biblical mention of lion-like men, I shared the following with the sister who wrote to me.

Hello (Name Withheld),

To describe men with attributes of a lion is an example of using simile or metaphor. Following is a definition of these two English terms.

a figure of speech in which two unlike things are explicitly compared, as in “she is like a rose.”

a figure of speech in which a term or phrase is applied to something to which it is not literally applicable in order to suggest a resemblance, as in “A mighty fortress is our God.”

You began by asking about the following verse of Scripture.

II Samuel 23:20
And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man, of Kabzeel, who had done many acts, he slew two lionlike men of Moab.

The inclusion of the word "like" indicates that this is a simile. Two unlike things are being compared, men and lions. I would mention that some Bible translators differ on the actual meaning of this passage. The word lion in Hebrew is "ariel." Some have understood this to be the name of the men's father rather than a reference to a lion. Following is how the New American Standard Bible renders this same verse.

II Samuel 23:20
Then Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man of Kabzeel, who had done mighty deeds, killed the two sons of Ariel of Moab.

Neither of these translations are intended to convey that these men were actually part lion. The original author of the book of II Samuel was not speaking of hybrid men. There is no mention of animal/man hybrids anywhere before or after this passage in the Bible. The only mention of mixed flesh breeding is between the sons of God (angels) and the daughters of men. Their offspring were giants and mighty men. They were called by the names Nephilim, Anakim, Zamzummin, Rephaim, and Emim.

The same lion like description is given to the men of the tribe of Gad who joined David in the wilderness.

I Chronicles 12:8
And from the Gadites there came over to David in the stronghold in the wilderness, mighty men of valor, men trained for war, who could handle shield and spear, and whose faces were like the faces of lions, and they were as swift as the gazelles on the mountains.

Such descriptions were used to convey information about the countenance of these men. Their faces represent their countenance. It is a way of saying these were men of a fierce countenance. A similar thing is spoken by David about Saul and Jonathan.

II Samuel 1:23
Saul and Jonathan, beloved and pleasant in their life, and in their death they were not parted; They were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions.

I see no evidence anywhere in the Scriptures that would indicate that any of these men were a type of hybrid. Indeed, there is no evidence I am aware of anywhere to suggest that men and beasts have shared DNA to arrive at some type of hybrid creature. Such thoughts have to be relegated to the realm of implausible speculation.
[End Letter]

Thomas Horn goes on to write much on the subject of transhumanism. He strongly advocates the idea that the angels used some form of unknown science to alter mankind’s DNA in ancient times and that they will do so again at the end of this age. He argues that Nimrod had his DNA altered during his life, and this began to transform him into some type of super human entity. Thomas Horn writes:

Earlier we pointed out how Apollo is reanimated on earth in the end times when “the Beast” ascends from the bottomless pit and goes “into perdition” (into Apolia, Apollo...) The story of Nimrod (Gilgamesh/Apollo/Osiris) in the book of Genesis may illustrate how this could happen through genetic influence or a retrovirus of demonic design that integrates with a host’s genome and rewrites the living specimen’s DNA... Genesis 10:8 says about Nimrod: “And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth.”

Three sections in this verse indicate that something very peculiar had happened to Nimrod. First note where the text says “he began to be.” In Hebrew this means “to become profaned, defiled, polluted, or desecrated ritually, sexually or genetically.” Second, this verse tells us exactly what Nimrod began to be-“a mighty one” (gibbowr, gibborim), one of the offspring of the nephilim... And the third part of this text says the change to Nimrod started while he was on “earth.” Therefore, in modern language, this text could accurately be translated to say:

And Nimrod began to change genetically, becoming a gibborim, the offspring of the watchers on earth.

Wow! I am astonished that Mr. Horn would suggest that Genesis 10:8 “could accurately be translated to say” that which he suggests. There is a vast difference between the following two sentences.

Genesis 10:8
Now Cush became the father of Nimrod; he became a mighty one on the earth.
[New American Standard Bible]

Genesis 10:8
And Nimrod began to change genetically, becoming a gibborim, the offspring of the watchers on earth.
[Thomas Horn Translation]

The three sections of this verse that supposedly prove that “something very peculiar” happened to Nimrod, are readily understood without such a fantastical explanation. The Hebrew word chalal that is rendered as “he began to be” is defined in the following manner by Strong’s Concordance.

chalal; a primitive root [compare OT:2470]; properly, to bore, i.e. (by implication) to wound, to dissolve; figuratively, to profane (a person, place or thing), to break (one's word), to begin (as if by an "opening wedge"); denom. (from OT:2485) to play (the flute):

We see that this word has a wide range of meaning. Following is another instance of this word in Genesis.

Genesis 9:20
And Noah began (chalal) to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard:

I chose this verse because it is the closest in proximity to Genesis 10:8. It is the same book, written by the same author, and is used in a similar circumstance. Even as Genesis 10:8 tells what Nimrod began to be, Genesis 9:20 tells us what Noah began to be. We have no record of Noah being a husbandman prior to the flood. Yet at some point Noah “began to be” an husbandman and he planted a vineyard. Similarly, Nimrod was not always a mighty one on the earth, but at a certain point Nimrod “began to be” a mighty one. It seems reasonable from the context of the passage that Nimrod’s might was related to his prowess as a hunter in the same way that Noah was accounted a husbandmen by virtue of his planting a vineyard.

Genesis 10:9
He was a mighty hunter before Yahweh; therefore it is said, Like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before Yahweh.

Secondly, the Hebrew word gibborim is NOT used exclusively to refer to descendants of the Nephilim as Thomas Horn suggests. This is a very common word used widely throughout the Old Testament. Although the offspring of the angels and women may legitimately be described as “mighty” or “gibborim,” they are NOT the only ones described as mighty.

Yahweh is described as “gibborim.”

Deuteronomy 10:17
For Yahweh your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty (gibborim) and awesome.

The strong warriors of Israel were described as “gibborim.”

Joshua 8:3
So Joshua arose, and all the people of war, to go up against Ai; and Joshua chose thirty thousand mighty (gibborim) men of valor and sent them away by night.

Would one dare to suggest that Joshua chose 30,000 descendants of the Nephilim from among the tribes of Israel to go fight Yahweh’s battle? There are many more instances where the term gibborim is used to describe the mighty warriors of Israel.

Gideon is called a “gibborim.”

Judges 6:12
And the Angel of Yahweh appeared to him, and said to him, "Yahweh is with you, you mighty (gibborim) man of valor!"

If God hates the descendants of angels and women, would He choose one to be a judge over Israel and a deliverer of His people?

Jepthah was also described as a “gibborim.

Judges 11:1
Now Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty (gibborim) man of valor...

I do not agree that something “very peculiar” is indicated by the Bible describing Nimrod as gibborim. Thomas Horn is reading into the Scriptures that which he wants to see.

Thirdly, there is nothing peculiar about the statement that Nimrod began to be a mighty one “on the earth.” The earth is, after all, where mankind resides. Nimrod’s fame was a terrestrial one. He slew animals and he built cities on the earth. The realm of Nimrod’s might was “on the earth.” The same Hebrew word (erets) translated as “earth” is used to describe Nimrod’s earthly kingdom

Genesis 10:10
And the beginning of [Nimrod’s] kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land (erets) of Shinar.

These two verses are in the same passage, being separated by only one verse. Considering that Nimrod became the ruler of a domain on earth, perhaps the very first king on the earth, is it not appropriate to say that “he began to be a mighty one on the earth”? Nimrod may have been the first man to gain ascendancy over other men, serving as a ruler of a kingdom. He is the first man named to have had a kingdom. This explanation of the meaning of Nimrod being a “mighty one” is far more plausible than to embrace the Thomas Horn Translation.

Genesis 10:8
And Nimrod began to change genetically, becoming a gibborim, the offspring of the watchers on earth.
[Thomas Horn Translation]

I thought it profitable to provide this review of the book Apollyon Rising 2012 as these ideas are gaining traction. I am encountering them more frequently in the letters I receive from others. It is needful for the saints to test all things carefully. I admonish those who read this blog to practice due diligence in examining all things. The Scriptures are before you. Biblical study tools are at your disposal. The recent series Yahweh’s Book was written to demonstrate the need to test all things carefully as well as to show the saints what tools are available for them to do so.

May you be blessed with peace and understanding in these days.

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