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Signs of Babylon:

Changes to the Word of God & The Mark of the Beast


A Cut in the Heart of the Church

The Church of God today is a very fractured organization. People from a wide range of beliefs claim to believe in God and acknowledge His Messiah. Obviously, they all can’t be right, yet it seems to my eye that all retain some shadow of the original truth. Perhaps if all sides had listened more carefully to each other, we might have found our way to the truth rather than hanging onto the little we have and condemning our brethren for being wrong (Rev 2:4-5, 3:2-3), for all have been struggling to understand.

John warns that the spirit of antichrist entered the church at his time (1 Jn 4:1-3; 2 Jn 7). So we must take this warning seriously. When Jesus warns that even the very elect are almost fooled (Mt 24:24), putting it all together is not an easy challenge. However, we have the advantage of history and the lessons it offers, if we take the time to dig for that truth and are not afraid to go where the investigation leads.

After talking and studying with members of many faiths, and after almost four decades of following a passion for prophecy, I feel the Holy Spirit has led me to categorize the major shifts of apostasy in the early church in the following way. I offer it as my opinion and for your discernment, and to ask the Holy Spirit to use this as a catalyst to lead you to whatever understanding is appropriate for your journey (Mt 13:24-30).

The fundamental sin of the early church was to give into its fear of Rome and its persecutions and to fall into judgment and blame, rather than hanging onto their original love and passion for the Messiah, and thereby seeing through the eyes of mercy and forgiveness. Those negative emotions became manifest in the effort to divorce from anything Jewish, and so the sect of Judaism known as the Way that recognized Jesus as the promised Messiah, became a minority. It was replaced by the church, and they turned their back on Judaism and have not looked back since, until perhaps this past century with the rise of Messianic Judaism.

This hardening of the hearts and sin toward the Jews led to dropping the observance of God’s Holy Feast Days in favor of pagan holidays, ignoring the Law and minimizing or even ignoring the Hebrew Scripture, now called the Old Testament. The title itself contains an inherent judgment of this testament. It is this cutting off of its own root that is the primary reason the church became ungrounded, fractured and eventually blinded to the truth. The irony is that the resolutions of the tough theological questions lie in the Hebrew Scripture and language, especially in the Law.

Once Satan had accomplished exploiting the sins of man, their lack of confession and forgiveness, and gotten the church to divorce from the Law and things seen as Jewish, rejecting the feast days and Sabbath worship, this left the church vulnerable to the Mark of the Beast. This would make it easier for the Great Deceiver to get the church to accept certain pagan ideas in three major spiritual areas defining who we are and our relationship to God. The added difficulty of the mark is that these ideas interrelate with each other, making it very difficult to resolve any one issue by itself. Trying to address all three concepts at once is often too much for the average person, so it becomes a dangerous and difficult trap that affects how one sees oneself and God, and it affects how one interacts with the world at large.

The Bible uses the symbol 666 to represent the mark of the beast. The Revelation also tells us that this is the name of a man. One level of this application will be revealed in the next section. Since the number 6 represents falling short of perfection, the number 666 also means 3 mains ideas that fall short of perfection, i.e. 3 main ideas that are not Biblical. In taking John’s warning seriously, we will explore the early changes to God’s Word. With the perspective of seeing that it was built  upon rejection of the Law and the Feast Days, here’s one opinion of the core pagan theological aspects of Babylon, as represented by the Mark of the Beast, that have entered God’s church:

  1. The Holy Trinity: Jesus, the Father and the Holy Spirit are separate persons yet the same God.
    An extension of this is that Jesus is the only Son of God.

    The Truth
    Jesus is the Messiah, the anointed Son of God. Jesus and the Father are separate gods.
    Jesus was given the power & authority to forgive sins by the Father.
    The Father is the Supreme Eternal God and Creator of all. The Father created the Son. For details see:
    Sons of God and The Only Begotten Son of God
    The Bible: Truth, Alterations & Discernment
    Arius spoke this truth in the early church but was condemned by the 1st Ecumenical Council.

  2. We have only one lifetime, and then we immediately face the eternal judgment of Heaven or Hell.

    The Truth
    We have many lifetimes to mature to be sons & daughters of the Almighty in Christ.
    All souls were created before, and witnessed God lay the foundation of the world.
    Final judgment, the Great White Throne judgment, is not until the end of the millennium.
    Sacrifice, the Sanctuary & Sacrifice
    Jesus Rose Again From the Dead! What is Meant by Again?
    Principles of My Ideal Congregation
    Origen spoke this truth in the early church but was ultimately condemned by the 5th Ecumenical
    Council, yet then Pope Vigilius refused to sign this anathema that was being forced by the Emperor.

  3. The Daily Sacrifice was ended and the blood of Jesus absolves our sins by magic, depending on
    the variation of the abomination that comes from the Harlot or one of its daughters:
    · We enter heaven on Jesus’ merits alone.
    · The power lies in the sacrament created by the priests.
    · The concept of sin no longer applies once you are a believer. OR other variations…

    The Truth
    Jesus is our only Mediator and High Priest in the Heavenly Sanctuary.
    The blood of Jesus is used at time of confession & repentance to pay the price of sin.
    The power lies in the Holy Spirit and change occurs when we ask for it & commit to it.
    Jesus did not end the daily sacrifice. He showed that Communion is the spirit of the law. For more, see:
    Sacrifice, the Sanctuary & Sacrifice
    Principles of My Ideal Congregation
    Suggested Liturgy for Communion

This opinion of the true covenant has been developed in detail from the Word of God and with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The supporting material for these ideas are found via the primary links shown above. The purpose of this page is not to develop the ideas here, but to explore and document the earliest and most fundamental pagan influences that altered that view. We will take this journey through the eyes of prophecy.


The Mark of the Beast

[Mark of the Beast jpg image not ready yet.]



Follow the Moving Mark

The Bible warns that antichrist is that entity that would dare to change God’s law and appointed times. When Jesus uses the symbol of 666 in Revelation, I believe he is amplifying Daniel and also giving us a clue of how to follow the attack on God’s Word.

The Roman Emperor Caesar Nero was the first to persecute Christians. The Jewish revolt against the Roman Empire began under his watch in 66 AD. The Jews captured Jerusalem, freeing it from being under the “beast”. In Revelation, when describing the beast there is a cryptic reference to 7 heads that are 7 kings but also 7 hills. In amplifying the 7 kings interpretation of the symbol of 7 heads, John writes, “Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come;” (Rev 17:10). So five kings of the empire John is referring to have passed, one is currently ruling the empire, and one will yet to come in the future. We understand from context that this future king is a very distant future king, the final tyrant, the antichrist.

To deepen the mystery further, John states that this beast with the 7 heads, is a beast who at the time of the vision “once was, now is not, and will come up” (Rev 17:8, 11) again in the future, at the time of the future antichrist. The interesting thing to note here is that for the time frame of the vision, at the time of the sixth head or king (“Five have fallen, one is”) of this beast empire, in some sense at the same time it is also not a beast (“now is not”), so how can this be?

I believe the answer is Jerusalem, and this is born out through a study of prophecy and history. As others have stated, and I add my voice in agreement, Jerusalem is God’s timepiece. The major events of prophecy revolve around the issue of who controls Jerusalem? In studying Daniel and history, it becomes clear that the kingdoms of Babylonia, Persia, Greece and the Roman Empire did not just exist sequentially in history but some of them overlapped for long periods of time. What made them sequential in this order from a biblical perspective? This is the order in which they controlled Jerusalem. It is precisely the time when these empires conquered Jerusalem that they became the governmental beasts over God’s people, the biblical perspective. So the capital and center of the beast has changed and shifted, but it all started in Babylon.

Using this perspective and understanding from Daniel, when we look again at these cryptic messages in Revelation, I believe John is saying the very same thing. In knowing history, it was during the reign of the Roman Emperor Caesar Nero, the fifth king (emperor) of Rome, that the persecution of Christians began. It was under this environment that the Jews in the province of Israel revolted and in 66 A.D. actually recaptured Jerusalem during Nero’s watch. In fact the Jewish hold on Jerusalem was so strong the Romans could not win it back for several years and the problem passed to the next Roman Emperor, the sixth head.1 So if the biblical definition of a beast is when an empire takes control of Jerusalem, then it follows that it is no longer “the beast” when it loses control of Jerusalem, as the beast title passed from Babylon to Persia to Greece and finally to Rome, so the title had fallen away from Rome when it no longer controlled Jerusalem. (The beast was mortally wounded.) So this is a way to understand how the beast with 7 heads could be a beast for 5 heads, yet still exist with the 6th head yet not be a “beast” in the same prophetic sense.

By the way, the latest that most scholars say Revelation was written is 96 A.D. The Pope at the time was Clement I, who was the fourth Pope of the Roman church, so this thinking cannot apply to the church directly. It points to the Roman Empire as the fourth beast of Daniel. Daniel also speaks of a 7 year time period that involves Jerusalem with the end-time Antichrist.

However, the influence of the mark of the beast, 666, extended from the fourth beast of the Roman Empire and shifted into the Roman church later on, but I believe it will shift again, away from the Roman church before the end of prophecy. And if you don’t follow that shift in the end, you will be focused in the wrong place and not see the religion of the Antichrist coming until its too late.

So I believe the historic application of 666 to the name of Caesar Nero is correct and one level of this meaning, and thereby Jesus, through John in the Revelation, was amplifying and affirming Daniel in saying that indeed the Roman Empire is the fourth beast of Daniel. However, that is not the end of its meaning and I feel there are also other applications of 666 that we will return to, but for now the important point is that when the Roman Empire lost control of Jerusalem, the beast was no more.

The Romans destroyed Jerusalem in 70 AD but then rebuilt it as a Roman city. Jerusalem remained under Roman control and when the empire split, it was ruled from Constantinople of the Eastern Roman Empire. This empire was also known as the Byzantine Empire. It lost control of Jerusalem to the Muslim Arabs in 638 AD, and so the fourth beast was no longer in control of Jerusalem. Nonetheless, the empire continued so it was not conquered, but relative to Jerusalem it appeared to be mortally wounded. Many thought this beast died when the Byzantine Empire came to its end. However, when the Ottoman Empire took over this empire's capital, Constantinople, it did not change the government, it adopted the city's flag and the people looked at themselves as Romans, as they did before, and so the beast actually continued. It just changed its name again.

The Ottoman Empire grew and eventually took control of Jerusalem in 1516 AD. Since the Ottoman Empire is the descendant of the Roman Empire, it is the fourth beast, so as it took control of Jerusalem at that time, we had the resurrection of the fourth beast. Since the Roman Empire is also the 7th Head, we have witnessed the mortally wounded head that has healed. After World War I and the defeat of the Ottoman Empire, its territory in the Middle East was divided up and a number of kingdoms were created. We can count 9 kingdoms coming out of this beast, and so we witness the creation of the majority of the 10 "Toes" prophesied to come out of this empire. (For greater details on this fulfillment of Daniel, see the Keys of Daniel.)

In part as a form of restitution for the consequences of World Wars I and II, another nation that came out of the former Ottoman Empire's territory in the Middle East was Israel in 1948. After almost 2,000 years Israel had returned as a nation, just as the Bible predicted! However, it was immediately attacked by many of the other nations to come out of this same former empire. Later in this ongoing conflict, Israel captured the old city of Jerusalem in 1967. Israel now had control of its holy city again; however, the Bible predicts that one final beast will control Jerusalem before God's Rock will smash all the beastly kingdoms and establish God's righteous kingdom on earth.

For the beast to take control of Jerusalem again it might be through giving part of the city as a capital for a Palestinian nation or perhaps the security of the city will be given to an international force. This is a way for the city to be “trampled under foot” of an army yet not be at war. Either way, this control of Jerusalem will be expressed through the peace treaty affecting Israel and determining the status of God’s holy city, which Daniel and the other major prophets speak of in Dan 9:24, 27, Isa 28:14-19, Jer 50:11 and Ezek 36:1-7.

We should make note here of the importance of Daniel in clarifying and focusing prophecy at both comings of Christ.

In another sense, one could say that God has stopped the prophecy clock and will resume the count where he left off, by completing the final shabua of Daniel’s 70th week leading to the great Jubilee year of our Lord’s return. This will occur when the beast takes control of Jerusalem in the contract that begins this prophetic time period.

This traces the geographic and governmental path of prophecy through the image of the beast. Lets return to tracing the theological path through the image of the Harlot and the mark. We return to the early church and the Pagan influences from Babylon that people allowed into the Roman church, and then were endorsed by the beast.

The Beast Puts Its Mark Upon the Church

Unfortunately, information on the early church during the first couple of centuries is unclear, with missing pieces. Apparently, we do not even have copies of the original Gospels. There is much more of a written record available from the 4th century on, with the church councils from that time period, beginning with the First Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D. This council was called to resolve controversies in the church, so some time before this time; Pagan ideas had entered God’s church and caused division, just as the Apostle John had warned.

The Roman Empire which was the fourth beast, but no longer, did play a role in giving the Roman church more power than the other bishops, and in endorsing its view of church theology. According to Wikapedia2, the key events in the “History of the Roman Catholic Church” include the following. The writings of Clement I, Ignatius of Antioch and Tertullian lay key ground work for the Roman point of view. In October of 312 A.D., Emperor Constantine leads the forces of the Roman Empire to victory. According to tradition, due to a vision the night before, he conquered in the name of Christ, having put his letters, XP, on their shields, even though he was not baptized until shortly before his death.

Nonetheless, in 313 he issued the Edict of Milan declaring the Roman Empire neutral toward religious views, effectively ending the persecution of Christians. In 321 Constantine grants the Church the right to hold property and gives land to the Bishop of Rome. This is the beginning of the Vatican. On May 20, 325 A.D., the First Ecumenical Council of Nicaea is convened as a response to the Arian controversy and establishes the Nicene Creed, declaring the belief of orthodox Trinitarian Christians in the Holy Trinity. The Emperor Constantine had a major role in deciding issues. He was not a theologian and did not make decisions based upon an understanding of the Bible. He was a politician and made decisions to achieve the goal of one view and end division. His concern was not biblical accuracy. So which ideas are pagan and where did they come from?

Reverend Alexander Hislop in his book “The Two Babylons” makes the point that while Rome is a symbol of Babylon, physical Babylon in ancient Persia is also a symbol of Babylon and the original center of Paganism. Hence we have the title of his book, “The Two Babylons”.3 He also makes the case that the concept of a triune god, or a trinity, is a pagan concept. A good part of this website is devoted to making the case that the Bible does NOT teach a Trinitarian view of Christ, but that he IS a fellow created being given power and authority by the Father and thereby, of all God’s offspring, Jesus is the anointed son, the Messiah. This view is not in agreement with the majority of Christians today and, sadly, is not even considered debatable by most who accept it.

Rev. Hislop makes a noble effort to identify the pagan elements from Babylon that have entered the Roman church. I suspect some of his analysis is overstated but find it hard to debate due to lack of written evidence, so I take a different approach. I believe Christ clarified the message, so we should encounter the same pagan elements if we carefully trace the changes to the Word of God since the coming of Christ.

As stated above, the First Ecumenical Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D. was convened as a response to the Arian controversy. What is this controversy about?

According to Wikipedia4, Arius lived from 256-336 A.D. He was a pupil of Lucian of Antioch who was both a celebrated Christian teacher and a martyr for the faith. Arius was an early Christian theologian and writer. He got into trouble when he took the following position:

‘If,’ said he, ‘the Father begat the Son, he that was begotten had a beginning of existence: and from this it is evident, that there was a time when the Son was not. It therefore necessarily follows, that he had his substance from nothing.’

He taught that the Son of God was not eternal, and was subordinate to God the Father. This view is known generally as Arianism. For this he was called a heretic and the council of Nicaea condemned him. Because of this condemnation, most of his writing was destroyed and is not available to us today.

I believe Arius was right with this simple and direct observation from Scripture. He was also not the only one to believe this position. There was a council held in Sirmium in 357 A.D., which made the statement “that the Father is greater than the Son”. However, the Trinity view of Christ eventually won out and became the orthodox view. But the Arian thinking has never completely disappeared, because it is the truth, and this position is represented today in the thinking of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Unitarians and the Mormon church.5 It is ironic these churches are not considered Christian because the Trinity has become a core definition of Christianity. So the truth about the Son is not even considered a debatable position within today’s church. Indeed the mark is strong.

The Nicaean council of 325 A.D. also condemned those who did not follow the Roman church’s calculation of the celebration of Easter. Those condemned were called “Quartodecimanisms” and tried to follow the feast days, which this web site has taken a clear stand on the importance of doing this. The term “Quartodecimanism” is derived from the Vulgate Latin version of Lev 23:5 for the date of the feast: quarta decima, meaning fourteen. It refers to the custom of Christians celebrating Passover on the 14th day of Abib, according to God’s instruction in Scripture. From my perspective, the Eastern version was correct for the date of Passover, yet the Roman version won out despite the fact it changed the name of God’s feast to one derived from name of the pagan god Ishtar, the "Mother of God and Queen of Heaven". Jeremiah warns against the Queen of Heaven in 7:18 and chapter 44. Is it not clear which version of the feast came from Scripture and which did not?

So for two major decisions, Constantine backed the pagan versions. In so using his beast power, that of the empire identified by John in Revelation, he was transferring the mark of the beast, the influence of Pagan thinking, from the Empire to the church. So here is how I see the shift occurring from the Roman Empire to the Roman Church, as we follow the influence of the mark of the beast.

Another subtext that caused great controversy was the teachings of Origen. He was a very revered and respected writer for God in the early church. His influence began before Arius and continued long after. It took until the 5th council in 553 A.D. before his ideas were fully addressed and finalized, as far as the Roman church is concerned.

Similar to Arius, Origen spoke against the Roman version of the trinity for he felt the Son was subordinate to the Father. But Origen is most known for taking his stand that souls pre-exist before birth. This is foundational for the belief that souls may incarnate in the body again. Origen taught that the source of our souls is God and that the soul was traveling back to oneness with God through the lessons learned over many lives. The orthodox position that won is that souls are created at some point during conception and birth, which has no biblical foundation. Yet Job 38 clearly states that souls were created before God laid the foundation of the world, that we witnessed this event, yet implies that we forget. The pre-existence of souls is supported by other Scripture, including the beginning of Ephesians and in Jeremiah 1:5, to name a few. So the Pagan, non-biblical, view won again. By the way, the belief in the pre-existence of souls before birth is held by at least one modern church, the Mormons.

It should be noted that even though the Roman church now supports the pagan view of our soul, it was actually the Emperor Justinian who applied the full power of Rome and his authority to stop the belief in reincarnation. He forced the cardinals to draft a papal decree against Origen:

If anyone asserts the fabulous preexistence of souls, and shall assert the monstrous restoration which follows from it: let him be anathema.
Anathema against Origen attached to decrees of the Fifth Ecumenical Council.

Most who know something of church history may tell you that the writings of Origen were condemned by the Fifth Council, but how many know that Pope Vigilius disagreed with the Emperor’s position on the writings of Origen. The Pope believed the teaching of Origen was consistent with the teachings of Jesus the Messiah. Pope Vigilius refused to sign a decree condemning Origen or his writing. Because of this, the Emperor planned to jail the Pope, but he escaped to avoid being forced to condemn Origen’s writings. How many know this aspect of the story, that the beast of Rome used its power to force the influence of Satan upon God’s church yet again?6

Keeping the knowledge of those who have supported this position in our history suppressed has successfully added to the illusion that the church never seriously believed that souls may incarnate again into this world. Indeed the mark is strong!

What Was The Normal View At the Time of Christ?

Some have said that to incarnate again was the natural view at the time of Jesus Christ and the early church. Is there any further evidence to support this? Yes there is, and it comes from the very well respected historian Josephus.

The Jews had for a great while three sects of philosophy peculiar to themselves; the sect of the Essenes, and the sect of the Sadducees, and the third sort of opinions was that of those called Pharisees; …
Now, for the Pharisees, they live meanly, and despise delicacies in diet; and they follow the conduct of reason; … They also believe that souls have an immortal vigor in them, and that under the earth there will be rewards or punishment, according as they have lived virtuously or viciously in this life; and the latter are to be detained in an everlasting prison, but that the former shall have power to revive and live again; …
But the doctrine of the Sadducees is this: That souls die with the bodies; …
The doctrine of the Essenes is this: That all things are best ascribed to God. They teach the immortality of souls, and esteem that the rewards of righteousness are to be earnestly striven for; and when they send what they have dedicated to God into the temple, they do not offer sacrifices, … , but offer their sacrifices themselves; …
The Works of Josephus, The Antiquities of the Jews, Book 18, Chapter 1, Sections 2-5, p. 477.

Therefore, when you operate from the perspective that all souls were created before the foundation of the world and that most souls don’t face the final judgment of the Lake of Fire until after the millennial reign of Jesus Christ and the Great White Throne judgment, then it just seems natural for souls to have many opportunities to learn and grow. And if reincarnation was a natural part of the historic perspective of the time, for it certainly was for the Pharisees, then it is certainly valid to read the Bible from this perspective. With this view in mind, the support for incarnating again becomes strong, yet a subtle background theme7, as explored and described by the following piece:

Sacrifice, the Sanctuary & Sacrifice

If reincarnation is indeed the way of the world and the actual truth of the Bible, then somewhere there should have been a rebellion against the orthodox view, which in this regard is pagan. When one reviews the opposition to the Roman church, termed “heresies” by the church, one frustrating aspect of the usual summary is that the beliefs of the heretics are often not described completely, or in detail, or just summarized by use of the person’s name. One must dig to understand the beliefs of those who opposed mother church. So it is difficult to say how often this belief came up, but it did, at least in one crusade where the opposition fought long and hard to the bitter end for what it believed.

In 1209 an army of some thirty thousand knights and foot soldiers from northern Europe descended like a whirlwind on the Languedoc – the mountainous northeastern foothills of the Pyrenees in what is now southern France. …
This war, which lasted for nearly forty years, is now known as the Albigensian Crusade. It was a crusade in the true sense of the word. It had been called by the Pope himself. Its participants wore a cross on their tunics, like crusaders in Palestine. And the rewards were the same as they were for crusaders in the Holy land – remission of all sins, an expiation of penances, an assured place in Heaven, and all the booty one could plunder. …
In the words of Church authorities the Languedoc was ‘infected’ by the Albigensian heresy, ‘the foul leprosy of the south.’ And although the adherents of this heresy were essentially nonviolent, they constituted a severe threat to Roman authority, the most severe threat, indeed, that Rome would experience until three centuries later when the teachings of Martin Luther launched the Reformation. By 1200 there was a very real prospect of this heresy displacing Roman Catholicism as the dominant form of Christianity in the Languedoc. …
The heretics were known by a variety of names. In 1165 they had been condemned by an ecclesiastical council at the Languedoc town of Albi. … they were often called Albigensians. On other occasions … Cathars … also branded or stigmatized with the names of much earlier heresies – Arian, Marcionite, and Manichaean. … The heretics in question comprised a multitude of diverse sects - …
In general the Cathars subscribed to a doctrine of reincarnation
Holy Blood, Holy Grail by M. Baigent, R. Leigh, and H. Lincoln p. 49-52.

One of the major heresies that existed from the time of the early church, and even continues today, is Gnosticism. While this philosophy, like many others, has some truth, such as accepting reincarnation, it has a major cornerstone of its perspective that I strongly disagree with, that Satan is the God of the Old Testament. I believe this is completely opposite of the truth, that Jesus is this god. One aspect we would agree upon is that the god who spoke directly to the Patriarchs in the Old Testament was not God the Father. However, seeing the god as Satan has impact on other aspects of their belief and so I would agree it should be a heresy.

In my opinion, all the groups named here have some aspect of the true covenant, yet all fall short. For example, even though the Cathars did accept reincarnation, they appear to have been Gnostic, so their view of the Hebrew Scripture would be tainted, and perhaps that is why they didn’t find more of the truth. Like so many others over the centuries, blinded by their lack of forgiveness. Of all the so-called followers of Christ we have seen through history, which group had more of the true covenant than another? It must truly be hard for God to judge, at times, when all sides are appealing to Him for help in their conflicts.

We know that Jesus Christ brought the light to the world. I believe the apostles maintained that light, but as that first generation passed away and for the next couple of centuries, the spirit of antichrist and the pagan influences of the Master Deceiver entered the church and began to choke its root. As we have seen here, this included a separation from the Law and things seen as Jewish, especially God’s Holy Feast Days, the creation of the Holy Trinity, which is now a core concept in Christianity, and also the elimination of the belief in reincarnation, to the point that today most Christians don’t even consider it debatable. By the end of the 5th Council, the pagan entanglements in the church had grown and were evident of the influence of the mark of the beast.

What About The Blood?

There is one more area of pagan influence we shall explore. And it is perhaps the most important one involving the biggest breaks from the Catholic Church. First are Martin Luther and the Reformation, for it involves the most central and sacred ritual of the church, Communion. It was the last instruction given to the Apostles before Jesus offered himself as the Passover sacrifice.

What did Jesus mean and intend at the “Last Supper”, which he asked us to do in remembrance of him? Most agree that the shedding of Jesus’ blood affects how our sins are forgiven by God. The devil, though, is in the details and many variations have arisen as to exactly how this works.

The position taken by this web site is that Communion is the spirit of following the law of the Daily Sacrifice, a summary form for the whole sacrificial system. In order to see and understand this application of following the spirit of the law, one must have a deep and thorough understanding of the whole system as defined in the Law of Moses. Once achieved, then one can appreciate that Communion, with proper preparation and commitment to follow God’s Spirit, is really the same and a reflection of the whole. The core difference between Communion and the Temple sacrifices is that now we approach our High Priest in the Heavenly Sanctuary through prayer and ask Jesus to sprinkle the heavenly ark over our hearts with his blood at the time of our confession. This then pays the price for our sin, one step in the overall process of facing our sins. We are also expected to still do the work of apology, healing and restitution.

The development of the theology and rituals of the Mass and the Eucharist of the Catholic Church capture many of the aspects and dimensions of the guilt offering; however, it steals the main power from the individual by telling them it comes from the priesthood, which creates the sacrament, instead of coming from above in the form of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38-39, 2 Cor 3:3).

To give the Roman Catholic Church it’s due and acknowledge what is good, I feel the following elements represent important aspects of the Daily Sacrifice. The Catholic view makes clear by words and ritual the inextricable relationship between confession and preparing one's vessel to receive. However, we differ on what we receive. I'm clear the focus is on the Holy Spirit, while theirs is on the blood. The church ritual also makes clear that confession is not just to God, but also to the one sinned against.7.5 The fact that Mass is offered every day reflects the basic responsibility that is, ideally, daily.

The abomination of the Catholic Mass, the Catholic theology, is that they twist the concept of the sacrifice into the ongoing mass, the resacrifice of the Lord each time they perform it, in direct violation of Scripture as stated in Hebrews 7:27 & 9:27-28. So this allows the believer to partake of the elements Jesus said to take, so as to affect the forgiveness of sins. But the literal interpretation is not what Jesus meant, since that would violate the law (Lev 19:26; Deut 12:23-28; 1 Sam 14:34) and should have been a big clue. But most Christians don’t see this because they ignore the Law. The concept of sacrifice has been inverted. The sacrifice is supposed to be by the worshiper, as a sign of one’s total dedication to the Father, just as Jesus offered himself as a whole burnt offering to the Father.

Furthermore, the Catholic theology teaches that the power lies in the sacrament, which can be blessed only by their priesthood. This creates the illusion that the power lies in the priesthood and its line back to Peter, with some mysterious keys that have been passed down. It was supposed to be simply that the priests reflect living a righteous and committed life, which allowed one to approach and enter the Holy place to make petition for the people.

Martin Luther was correct in identifying this abomination with the sacrament and correctly pointed out that the power lies in one’s faith and in the asking for the Holy Spirit to come into oneself. Luther’s abomination comes in his lack of understanding of the ongoing application of Jesus’ blood at the time of confession. The extreme perversion growing out of this error is the belief that when you accept the Lord, his blood washes your sins clear into the future and that there is no need for future confession after confessing his name, since you are now covered by his righteousness and will get into heaven on his merits; instead of growing in a righteous relationship with God through the covenant of confession and repentance.

So rather than teach that the once and done blood already shed is used at the time of your confession by your High Priest in heaven to be sprinkled on the heavenly ark, by faith, to pay the price set by the Law, and to additionally ask the Holy Spirit to come into one's heart to strengthen one to follow the promise you just made to stay in covenant and thereby actually achieve righteous behavior by being a slave to the Holy Spirit; the Catholic abomination puts the power in the sacrament and priesthood rather than in one’s marriage with the Holy Spirit and thereby reduces the process to works. The Protestant abomination corrects this error and describes the walk of sanctification with the Holy Spirit but too often it removes the obligation for the confession of sin, takes responsibility off the individual and causes one to feel it is not even possible to achieve righteous behavior. Some variations of this abomination include the belief that we enter heaven on Jesus’ merits alone, covered by his righteousness. Still others may say that once you confess you are a believer, the concept of sin no longer applies.

I believe that because of these various false interpretations and abominations of our Lord’s Communion, the book of Revelation is saying that these warped views of communion create the “maddening wine” of the Harlot and its daughters (Rev 14:8 NIV). By drinking the wine, one shares in the abomination by giving support to the Harlot, by not questioning beliefs, and by not taking responsibility for one’s actions. For when one gets enticed into breaking the covenant and walking a path of rebellion, one can expect to drink from the cup of God's wrath.

Luther was not the first to question the “maddening wine” of the Harlot. Mohammad also correctly rejected the concept of transubstantiation; however, he did not wait to receive what Jesus actually meant by the Last Supper, so he threw out the whole system all together and created the religion with no daily sacrifice at all, i.e. a religion with no path of blood atonement for sin. So the only exception to the scales of balance is martyrdom, the only option for those who’s past burden of sin could never be outweighed with good acts. At least Christianity retained a shadow of the true blood atonement through confession, repentance and restitution in Communion, although watered down in the Protestant faiths.

In the book "The Great Heresies", Hilaire Belloc presents Islam as a Catholic heresy and not as a new independent religion. This is a very interesting perspective because it directly compares and contrasts the core Christian concepts to those of Islam. I wish to quote from this source to make clear these differences, but also want to note that the book is written from the Catholic perspective and its bias is clear.

Mohammedanism … began as a heresy, not as a new religion. … It differed from most (not from all) heresies in this, that it did not arise within the bounds of the Christian Church. … Mohammed himself, was not … a man of Catholic birth and doctrine to begin with.  He sprang from pagans. But that which he taught was in the main Catholic doctrine, oversimplified. It was the great Catholic world, on the frontiers of which he lived, whose influence was all around him and whose territories he had known by travel, which inspired his convictions. …

He took over very few of those old pagan ideas which might have been native to him from his descent. On the contrary, he reached and insisted upon a whole group of ideas that were peculiar to the Catholic Church and distinguished it from the paganism which it had conquered in the Greek and Roman civilization. …

If anyone sets down those points that orthodox Catholicism has in common with Mohammedanism, and those points only, one might imagine if one went no further that there should have been no cause of quarrel. … He gave to Our Lord the highest reverence, and to Our Lady also, for that matter. On the day of judgment (another Catholic idea which he taught) it was Our Lord, according to Mohammed, who would be the judge of mankind, not he, Mohammed. …

But the central point where this new heresy struck home with a mortal blow against Catholic tradition was a full denial of the Incarnation. … He eliminated the Trinity altogether.

With that denial of the Incarnation went the whole sacramental structure. He refused to know anything of the Eucharist, with its Real Presence; he stopped the sacrifice of the Mass, and therefore the institution of a special priesthood.  In other words, he, like so many other lesser heresiarchs, founded his heresy on simplification. …

Mohammed's teaching never developed among the mass of his followers, or in his own mind, a detailed theology. He was content to accept all that appealed to him in the Catholic scheme and to reject all that seemed to him, and to so many others of his time, too complicated or mysterious to be true. Simplicity was the note of the whole affair; and since all heresies draw their strength from some true doctrine, Mohammedanism drew its strength from the true Catholic doctrines which it retained: the equality of all men before God: "All true believers are brothers." It zealously preached and throve on the paramount claims of justice, social and economic.
The Great Heresies, Chapter 4.

The Religion With No Daily Sacrifice

Mohammad, as did Martin Luther, stood against the Catholic concept of transubstantiation as the explanation of how Communion works. For this they were both correct; however, Luther still honored communion but brought to light the role of faith in revealing Christ. Mohammad, on the other hand, rejected the ritual altogether and thereby created a religion with no daily sacrifice, since the Law of Moses is no longer represented in even a shadow form.

Mohammad also rejected the trinity. So Mohammad was correct in identifying two major pagan aspects of the Catholic Church, transubstantiation and the trinity. Because of these important corrections, the Catholic faith has some vulnerabilities here, which may be one factor in why Islam is winning converts. However, from my perspective, Islam does have some shortcomings.

The Quran rightly identifies Jesus as Messiah (3:45; 4:171). It also identifies Jesus as a prophet sent from God (2:87; 2:253; 3:84; 5:110). So Islam appears to pass the test of 1 John 4:1-3 in that it declares that Jesus came in the flesh as a prophet from God and that he is Messiah, the Christ. However, we must take the whole letter of John to fully understand all aspects of the test.

The Quran further states the truth when it acknowledges the virgin birth of Jesus (3:47), and declares that Jesus is righteous (3:46; 6:85), and that he is a fellow created being (3:59; 3:164), thereby rejecting the trinity concept (4:171). It also states that he came to teach Torah and to preach the Gospel (3:3; 3:48; 5:46; 5:110).

Nonetheless, Islam denies the full Gospel when the Quran states that Jesus is not a son of God nor does God beget any sons (4:171; 6:101; 10:68; 19:35). John's first letter makes very clear that you don't have the truth unless you state that Jesus is the only Begotten Son of God (1 Jn 2:22-3, 4:9, 15, 5:1-5). The Quran further states that Jesus is not Lord over us (3:80), that Jesus is not our savior (4:173) and that Christ was never crucified (4:157-8). Islam believes that the Christ was taken up to God before the body of Jesus was arrested.

The Quran also states that Jesus does not have the authority to forgive sins (3:135 vs. 1 Jn 5:6-8 NIV) and that no one can bear the sin burden of another (6:163-4). This means that in Islam, Jesus the Christ never fulfilled his role as Lamb of God, never provided the blood for purification of sins and is not recognized as our High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary. Thereby, there is no blood atonement for sin in Islam. The only aspect of the daily sacrifice, the sacrificial system, that is preserved is daily praise and worship.

Atonement is obtained in Islam through fasting, charity, freeing a slave, paying compensation, or by feeding and clothing the poor, depending on the situation. Muslims believe in atonement, just not in blood atonement through the sacrifice of one for another.

So Islam may have some intellectual appeal in correcting some false ideas, but then it has created some others, in my opinion. Even though I believe Christianity does not have a correct understanding of the role of Jesus’ blood in our salvation, at least Christianity preserves the concept that if you confess your sin, ask for forgiveness, and truly repent, you will be forgiven by God, which is the truth. This is done in Christ, so his blood pays the price demanded by the Law and he sends the Holy Spirit, which makes a new creation. So there still is the path to redemption when you commit a bad sin, even though I feel the understanding of that path is partial.

But in Islam, if you commit a major sin, this path of blood atonement does not exist, and so it becomes dangerous. As I understand Islam, if you commit a great sin that counterbalances all the good you’ve done, the only path of redemption is martyrdom. In a world lost in sin, for people in a faith to not have a path of forgiveness and true redemption through the power of the Holy Spirit but just martyrdom as the only assurance, many will be willing to die for the cause.

So when people who claim to follow Christ and want to argue there is no daily obligation here, might you be willing to take another look at your position when you consider the extreme of no obligation at all? (For Scriptural references to our daily obligation see: God's Holy Calendar.)

The concepts of the mark of the beast are here now. The book of Revelation seems to be warning of a coming device in the end-times, culminating from the influence of the pagan ideas. When I observe the suicide bombers, it is clear no device is needed to be completely owned by a religion with no daily sacrifice, and thereby, and sadly, have no other path to atonement for shedding the burden of any heavy past sin. I would surmise, though, people might have many reasons for giving up their lives in this situation, but certainly gaining atonement is one of them.

All faiths call for some form of submission. What is critical is to know to whom you submit. So even though the influence of certain thinking can be so strong as to put one in a position to be controlled, the ideas alone are not enough to have an irrevocable hold on one. Revelation 13:16-18 warns that no one will buy or sell without the mark. This strongly implies it is a physical device.

He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name. This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man's number. His number is 666.

However, the Greek word for “receive” has the flavor of delegation of authority. The mark might be about having the name and authority of the beast, about empowering individuals to pass judgment and take the law into their own hands, about venting one’s anger on another. Don't allow the beast of rebellion to rise within yourself!

So a device may not be needed to fulfill this prophecy. Considering the mark includes the idea of no daily sacrifice, of hiding from one’s sin and denying one’s anger, one must consider the impact of short cuts, getting even, and paths to easy money that hurt others and society at large. The accumulated affect over time is levels of corruption, deception, lack of integrity and transparency, crumbling institutions and pollution that affects all the goods we buy and sell, puts us at odds and at risk, and makes us sick. So perhaps the verse above warns that all goods and services will be affected by the mark and one will avoid it only if we have been a set apart people.

Revelation also warns that judgment comes to all who accept the mark, implying no chance for repentance. Since we know God will always accept a repentant heart, this would again imply a physical device and that once one accepts it, one’s mind is affected to the point of never considering repentance. The pagan concepts of the mark have been working to set one up to not resist accepting the device from the beast once it comes. The Mark of the Beast is the counterfeit to the Seal of God. (This will be explained in more detail later.) The seal of God is about keeping God's Law in one's mind so that it affects one's actions. This leans me back to the other side, that a device is not needed and it is about allowing the beast within oneself to rise, about giving into one's anger and being a willing participant.

Another reason I suspect the ideas alone are not enough to keep one bound is personal experience. I was raised a standard Lutheran and thereby was raised on the Trinity (of which I was suspicious from the start) and Heaven or Hell after this lifetime. I believe I have come out of Babylon, so it must be possible for others; that is, before accepting any device, for only then may it be too late. Or it may be about being overwhelmed with confusion when certain old beliefs are proved wrong while other new deceptions are created at the same time, and then just going along with the majority, unless you are truly grounded in the Lord's truth.

Come out of Babylon while you can!


The City of 7 Hills: Which One Are You Watching?

Back to the book of Revelation and John’s cryptic reference in 17:9 to 7 heads that are 7 kings but also 7 hills. We talked about the 7 kings, now let’s focus on the 7 hills. Many know that Rome is, and was at John’s time, known as the city on 7 hills, so many people in prophecy jump to the conclusion that this must be referring to the city of Rome, and thereby pointing only to the Roman Catholic Church. Well, we have already identified a pagan tie here but is that all this image is saying?

When one takes the time to study history, I was surprised to find that there are actually four (may be more) cites which have claimed the title of “city on seven hills”. Most know of Rome, and many also know that when Constantine made Byzantium the new capital of the Empire, he renamed it “New Rome” because it also was built on 7 hills. This made it the new Christian capital. Later this city became the final seat of the Islamic Caliphate, after it was known as Istanbul, the capital of the Ottoman Empire.

What may surprise you is that Jerusalem has also been known as the city on 7 hills. Starting on the east side of Jerusalem we have the Mount of Olives that contains 3 hills (Scopus, Nob and the “hill of Corruption”). On the south side is the original Mount Zion. Then Ophel mount, and to the north is the “Rock”. Finally, there is the southwest hill now known as the new “Mount Zion”. So we have a total of seven in all.8

There is one more ancient city that was called the “Seven Hilled City”. It is Babylon, the capital of the first beast in Daniel and the original center of paganism in the Bible. It was also a center of the Persian and Greek Empires, but after Alexander the Great died there, and the fighting to follow, it was never the same. It is currently being rebuilt in the modern country of Iraq. Babylon was not been occupied since it was destroyed in ancient times, so this is an unusual sign.

The city of Babylon is located in the fertile Mesopotamian plain between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. This is an important geographic aspect of this city. It means it is a seaport. And what about the other three who compete for the title of city on “seven hills”? As it turns out, Constantinople and Rome have access to the sea, but Jerusalem does not. So Jerusalem is the only city among the four that is not a seaport.

The book of Daniel tells us that the Antichrist will eventually make his headquarters or capital (“royal tent”) in Jerusalem (Dan 11:45). The same section indicates that his original capital is somewhere east of Jerusalem, for he invades from that direction fighting against the kings to the north and south of Jerusalem (Dan 11:40-41). (He must be from the east since the Mediterranean Sea is to the west.) Revelation 11:1-2, 8 also say that the Antichrist will eventually control Jerusalem. So is the capital of the beast kingdom of the Antichrist, symbolically called Babylon, is it the city of Jerusalem?

Revelation 18 tells us that Babylon, the primary and original capital of the beast empire, will become corrupted (18:1-3). This could be Jerusalem when it falls under the shadow of the beast. 18:11 indicates this city will control the world’s commerce. Verse 17-18 describe the city as a seaport and verse 21 says that once destroyed by God’s judgment before the Second Coming of Christ, it will never rise again. This could never apply to Jerusalem because it will be Jesus’ capital after his return. Furthermore, Jerusalem is the only city of those called by “7 hills” which is not a seaport, so the original capital of the beast cannot be the city of Jerusalem; however, it may be its last.

Of the remaining three cities called by “7 hills”, which seaport will be the physical capital and source of the beast power? Is it Rome? Many are certain that it is. Perhaps, but it does not fit the images of Daniel 11 cited above. Babylon is the only city of 7 hills that is east of Jerusalem, and it is due east of the Holy City. So when one puts Daniel and Revelation together, for Revelation unseals Daniel, then I believe it is clear that the physical city of Babylon will also be the symbolic Babylon, the main capital of the Antichrist. Furthermore, since we know Jerusalem fits this name also and will eventually be conquered, perhaps this is a hint that in the rise of the beast power centered from physical Babylon, it will conquer the other capitals as well. Two of these 4 cities, Rome and Constantinople, are symbolic of Christianity. In fact, that is pretty much the case already for the city of New Rome, since becoming Istanbul. Once in history Islam almost controlled all 4 cites of the 7 hills. Only Rome escaped, and narrowly, due to the efforts of the crusaders.9

While Rome helped us to see the Mark of the Beast and to follow the Pagan influence into the Roman church, unless you understand this conceptually, you will stay focused on the Roman church and Satan will fool you again. You will be tricked, for you will miss the final shift and where to look to see the religion of the Antichrist. Because it seems to my eye that Judaism, Roman Catholicism and most of the standard Protestant faiths keep some aspect of the core concept of the daily sacrifice. It is only the faith started by Mohammed that is the faith with no path of blood atonement remaining from the daily sacrifice at all!

So only if you are keeping watch for ALL of Daniel’s 70th Week,
knowing that at the midpoint many are affected when the daily sacrifice is removed,
will you truly recognize the religion of the Antichrist?

For Daniel 9:27 clarifies that it is this concept that remains to focus upon, of all the Pagan influences that began in Rome. Actually it began in Babylon, so there have been several shifts of the “capital”, so the shift back to physical Babylon should not be surprising. This will be the religion of the False Prophet and his Antichrist from a prophetic view and is in line with the current practical realities.

What is the Sign of God’s True Covenant?

Satan loves to distract folks from the clarity of God’s Word by creating counterfeits for the signs of God. One great example is 666, the Mark of the Beast. What a dramatic symbol indeed, for it has captured the fear and imagination of people for many centuries. It has been so dramatic a symbol that most don’t even know that it is a distraction against the sign of God’s covenant. It is a prophetic principle that Satan creates counterfeits to draw one’s attention away from the true signs of God. When we understand the Lord’s signs, then we are best armed to recognize the actual counterfeit in the real world.

God’s sign is the seal He places upon the hand and forehead of the faithful, i.e. in one’s mind and thereby affecting one’s actions and so, you reflect God here on earth. God’s seal is a sign of the covenant relationship we have entered into. The sign of God’s covenant is emphasized in the models and lessons of His Holy Feast Days, beginning with the first, Passover.

In Exodus 13 the Lord tells Moses, “Consecrate to me every firstborn male.” (NIV). The KJV uses the verb “Sanctify”. Sanctification is a process of maturing in the Spirit of the Lord. It is a process of growth that takes time. This growth and maturity is obtained by staying in covenant relationship with God, which is subsequently described in the chapter.

Then Moses said to the people, "Commemorate this day, the day you came out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery, because the LORD brought you out of it with a mighty hand. Eat nothing containing yeast. Today, in the month of Abib, you are leaving. When the LORD brings you into the land … he swore to your forefathers to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey—you are to observe this ceremony in this month: For seven days eat bread made without yeast and on the seventh day hold a festival to the LORD. Eat unleavened bread during those seven days; nothing with yeast in it is to be seen among you, nor shall any yeast be seen anywhere within your borders. On that day tell your son, 'I do this because of what the LORD did for me when I came out of Egypt.' This observance will be for you like a sign on your hand and a reminder on your forehead that the law of the LORD is to be on your lips. For the LORD brought you out of Egypt with his mighty hand. You must keep this ordinance at the appointed time year after year.
… This is why I sacrifice to the LORD the first male offspring of every womb and redeem each of my firstborn sons.' And it will be like a sign on your hand and a symbol on your forehead that the LORD brought us out of Egypt with his mighty hand.
Ex 13:3-10, 15-16

This ordinance is to be performed everywhere within one’s border. Ostensibly, this is referring to everyone within the borders of Israel, within the nation in covenant relationship with God. On the primary level it refers to the borders of one’s own home. The Hebrew word here is very general and means “boundary”. The same word is used in Ps 78:54, which refers to the border of the sanctuary. Since the overall context is about searching for sin, it is also talking about searching within oneself, within the boundary of your soul.

On a spiritual level this passage says to me, if we declare that we are in covenant relationship with the Father, circumcised of the heart to God (whether your outer sign is publicly declared of water or on your flesh), we are to search within every corner of our spiritual bodies to find that which may lead to hidden sin and confess it. God is not concerned about scraps of food rotting in your physical home. He is concerned about held anger and resentment rotting your soul, robbing your joy and holding you back from reflecting the love of God.

This requirement to search the house of one’s soul for any sin is really the same call we see in the 7th month for the fall feast days. From the Blowing of Trumpets until the Day of Atonement, one is called to clean house and get right with God before the Day of Judgment. Since the core activity for Passover and the Day of Atonement is essentially the same, one cannot argue that it is a once a year responsibility. As stated in Exodus, the Passover observance is to serve as a reminder of the whole law. It is why one offers sacrifice on this day, not just for that day, but also as a sign of the continual covenant.

Considering this search within is the primary call at each of the major feast days, and given that it is the same call in the Daily Sacrifice, one must conclude that the feast days are not exceptions but actually are meant to emphasize the daily responsibility. Observing this sacrifice is a sign of staying in covenant relationship with God. Being in the habit of sacrificing one’s ego when confession is needed keeps one humble and helps prevent one from becoming self-righteous.

Deut 6:4-9 and 11:18-21 make clear that this sign within our heart and upon our hand and foreheads involves following all of God’s law. Observing all the law in Christ is about sanctification. The road to sanctification involves daily devotion of praise and worship, confession when convicted of sin along with apology and restitution. But most importantly it involves a daily desire to seek and be led by the Spirit of God. The seal of God is the deposit of the Holy Spirit, an investment that leads to maturity when we walk with that Spirit (2 Cor 1:21-22; Eph 1:13-14).

In order to properly observe the covenant of Daily Sacrifice, one must have a clear understanding of Jesus as our High Priest and of the role of his blood in paying the price of our sin through confession and repentance. This brings in the aspects of knowing that Jesus’ blood is not magic, of knowing who Jesus is and is not, and of trusting completely in God’s justice and mercy so as to release any held resentment and achieve true forgiveness.

If you see the blood as representing an event in the past only, and that by the action of accepting the knowledge of that event, in and of itself, as being the qualifying element for entry into “heaven”, you believe in magic.

The blood is the path to our High Priest, Jesus. The blood is to be understood as the cleansing agent applied by our High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary, who is actively and currently hearing our confession when we approach him through prayer, and as our High Priest appointed by the Father, has the authority to forgive sins and the power to send the Holy Spirit to currently and actively transform the heart of both the sinner and those affected by the sin. This is what is efficacious in changing a person.

Unless you see Jesus as a being currently active as High Priest in the Heavenly Sanctuary, listening to our confessions and petitions, judging and dispatching the Holy Spirit, then you don't understand how the blood pays for your sins.

The blood does not give permission to go past the priests and enter heaven on a pass when you are not truly righteous. The blood calls you to be a priest and through confession to the High Priest, we open ourselves to be led by the Holy Spirit and this gives the true means to become righteous.

It is interesting to note that the Hebrew word used for “sanctify” in Exodus 13:2 is the same word used in Joel 2:16. Here the call is to bring the whole nation into sanctification. The next verse warns the priests, those responsible for guarding and guiding the path to sanctification, to weep between the temple porch and the altar. This would seem a warning to stay on guard against paganism, to not become like the time in Ezekiel 8:14-16 where the women weep for Tammuz (source of the trinity concept9.5) and the priests worshiped the sun god. (Perhaps facing east was a reference to Babylon and not to the rising sun.)

This same Hebrew word for “sanctify” is also found in Leviticus 20:7-8 where the Lord makes clear that to become sanctified one must faithfully follow the law, which details the covenant.

Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God. 
And ye shall keep my statutes, and do them: I am the LORD which sanctify you.

The same word comes up in Job 1:5 where we are told it is Job’s continual practice to rise early in the morning to offer “burnt offerings” which means praise, worship, sacrifice and prayers of confession on behalf of his children to keep them and himself sanctified.

Job, by his daily practice, demonstrates that he is sealed to God. The sign that one is in covenant relationship with God is when you actually take the time to sacrifice to the Lord and do the search for leaven, to do the search for hidden sin and its consequence, held anger and resentment. God recognizes your sign when you actually do the time, when one sacrifices all else for one’s daily devotion. Daniel, another righteous man, also had this sign.

In the KJV of 2 Tim 2:19-21 Paul says that those who have the seal of God must depart from their “iniquity”, from their sin. To do this, one must follow the instructions of the covenant. In the next verses Paul makes clear that if one purges oneself of sin, then you will become a vessel “unto honour” and be sanctified. This shows that to become honorable before God is a matter of our choice and of following God’s covenant of daily devotion. We have the power to choose!

This reference harkens back to Paul’s description in Romans 9 of Jacob and Esau where one vessel is made for honor and the other for destruction. It says that God hated Esau before he was born, so when was his time to choose? This section of Scripture has raised a controversy about the role of free will versus God’s sovereignty as it applies to God’s Elect. The elect are the ones who receive the seal of God when the Holy Spirit is poured out. Some say they are pre-determined before time, but this does not support free will. One resolution of this dichotomy that preserves free will and honors the mercy which Paul makes a point about, is seeing that Esau had a previous life in which to choose. If he had made decisions leading to destruction in his previous life, then only in this light can we see his life as Esau as a sign of God’s mercy, for Esau did not receive the just punishment of destruction for what he did before. This argument can be read in detail on the page The Elect: the Firstfruits of a Greater Harvest to Come.

So we see that the path of sanctification is the sign of God’s covenant, and tracing references to it brings us to the elements of the covenant that have been attacked by the Mark of the Beast. The ideas presented here may be challenging to the average believer but then again they should be. Why? Jesus warned that the false prophets and ideas might almost fool the elect (Mt 24:24). This means the pagan ideas are so much a part of one’s faith that it is very difficult to know the difference. We have also traced the pagan influences that entered the early church from the Beast and these are the same elements we just touched again.

Paul points out in Romans 11 that Israel was blinded to the Messiah when he came because of pagan elements they allowed into their faith. Paul warns the church that they are also letting pagan elements in the faith, just as the ancient Israelites did, and this sin will result in a blinding for them also. Revelation makes clear that when the Holy Spirit is poured out in the end-times and God’s Elect receive His seal, they will be only Israelites. In the light of what Paul says, this means that when the Holy Spirit is poured out (Ezek 36:24-27) and faithful Jews realize the One whom they pierced (Zach 12:10-14) and the restrainer of the law is removed as they see the freedom they have in Christ (2 Thess 2:5-12), they will become God’s Elect because they are not encumbered by Christian paganism. Christians, who have been blinded by the elements of paganism identified here, will not fully embrace the covenant and, at best, will be running into the wilderness to hide rather than being empowered to show God’s love and witness in the face of the Antichrist. (Rev 7 indicates there will be some Christians among the elect. See the first note in The Matrix.)

Jesus came to offer the living water of God, the Holy Spirit. Those who drink from his well will never be thirsty. One of the signs that you are in true covenant with God and led by Spirit is the ability to show mercy and help those in need. If you are not in covenant relationship with God, and see the blood as magic so as to hide from your sin, then you will tend to operate from fear and anger and not be able to show God’s love.

When Jesus, the one who showed compassion and mercy and helped those in need, had his time of trouble on the cross, when he was in need and cried out for help saying he was thirsty, what did he receive? Vinegar! When the Son of God was kicked as he was down, did he curse those who hurt him? No. He remained silent and allowed the Father to express His justice, which He did through the Psalm that was referenced by the context of this suffering in which our Lord simply said he was “thirsty”.

Scorn has broken my heart and has left me helpless; I looked for sympathy, but there was none, for comforters, but I found none. They put gall in my food and gave me vinegar for my thirst. May the table set before them become a snare; may it become retribution and [Or snare / and their fellowship become] a trap. May their eyes be darkened so they cannot see, and their backs be bent forever.
Psalm 69:20-23 NIV

So the Father will bring a darkening, or blinding, to the church for allowing pagan elements into its faith, just as the Israelites had and were blinded to the Messiah. As this web page has explored, the church has allowed pagan elements into its faith, most especially with the Lord’s communion. Jesus set this table before us, on behalf of the Father, but for most the blood is used as an excuse to avoid one’s sin rather then face it, and so the table has become a snare.

Sin creates a wall of separation, so that wall must first be torn down through confession in order to open the gates of one’s heart to the Holy Spirit. If one does not even see one’s sin, then tribulation is necessary to break the blindness of pride. In addition, God does not want to trust His power to those who are not ready to admit when they are wrong, to have mercy, to forgive and to trust God and follow His Spirit.

Embrace God’s covenant! When facing one’s anger and desire for revenge, leave justice totally and completely to the Lord God, sacrifice your ego and prepare a temple with mind and body ready and willing to serve God by being ambassadors of love. Master the beasts within!9.7 By staying in covenant relationship with the Father, one will be prepared to receive power when the time is right. Only then, will God be ready to anchor His presence on this planet and spread His Spirit through the universe.

Given what I feel I have been shown and taught by the Holy Spirit, I also feel compelled to make the following statements:

All those who don’t practice a covenant relationship of confession and repentance where there is sin, but use the blood of Jesus to deny their responsibility in apology and restitution deny Christ and contain the mark of the beast.

All those who don’t declare Jesus as Messiah, Lord10, King of the Earth and the one and only Mediator between the Father and us, nor declare that he is a fellow created being given power and authority from the Father, but instead promote the Trinity concept, or any version where he is the same god as the Father, deny the true nature of Christ and deny our true nature and potential to also be sons and daughters of God, and so they also contain the mark of the beast.

All those who go around boasting and speaking with an outstretched neck, sitting in judgment of others everyday, using their tongue for slander, thinking and even daring to assert who will certainly go to hell after this life, instead of declaring Christ by one’s actions of love, compassion and mercy, while knowing that souls have lifetimes to grow and mature, these people deny Christ by not being a light of the way to others and betray their submission to the mark.

If you accept and have within your forehead, within your mind, the mark of the beast, it will control and taint every action of the hand. If you retain anger and resentment instead of releasing it through the covenant of daily sacrifice, which also hinges on completely trusting God for justice, then this root of bitterness will pollute one's soul and whole being. And so the mark helps to keep one under Satan’s control by having this mire of negative emotions and negative thinking that he may exploit at any time to keep one out of the covenant relationship and out of the love of Christ and thereby find oneself not led by the Spirit of Love. Without God’s Spirit, there is no chance of actually achieving righteous behavior.

As a sub theme to the mark, I believe it can affect how one understands prophecy. From my perspective, I’ve come to see those who preach a pre-tribulation rapture, or those who deny we are to keep watch for all of Daniel’s 70th Week, or those who deny the Latter Rain, the greater outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the end-times, are all signs of being affected by the thinking of the mark of the beast.

When the Antichrist confirms the covenant with Israel for one week of years, this is the counterfeit of when God will confirm the everlasting covenant with Israel through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the sealing of God's Elect.

Once one understands that the blood of Jesus is not magic and that one’s salvation depends upon one staying in covenant relationship with God, upon using his blood through prayer to our High Priest in ongoing confession and repentance; then seeing Jesus as a fellow created being given power and authority by the Father is no longer a factor affecting how one understands the actual role of Jesus’ blood in paying the price of our sins. From my perspective, only if one sees the blood as magic should it be a problem if Jesus is not actually the same god as the Father, the Lord God Almighty. This is how the 3 in 1 concept of the Holy Trinity interrelates with the maddening wine concepts of the Christian church.

As for accepting the principle that we have many lifetimes to mature to be sons and daughters of the Most High, to mature to be like our elder brother Jesus, I suspect it is a matter of unforgiveness. For most who don’t practice some form of daily sacrifice, and thereby don’t frequency ask the Holy Spirit to change their heart, tend to hold onto their anger and resentment and have not truly forgiven, just buried it by force of will below the surface. So they must believe in a hell for those who have wronged them to be punished one day and then they will feel vindicated, instead of truly letting go of the negative emotions and trusting God to eventually bring them to repentance, yet all the while still apportioning out the appropriate mix of justice and mercy.



Who is Antichrist?
That entity that would think to change God's times and laws. (Daniel 7:25)


The Mark of the Beast is Lucifer's counterfeit for the Seal of God.


The Seal of God

[Seal of God jpg image not ready yet.]


Footnotes

1 For a list of Roman Emperors, see Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Roman_Emperors

2 Citation is from following Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Roman_Catholic_Church

3 For a copy of “The Two Babylons” by Rev. Hislop see:
http://philologos.org/__eb-ttb/
http://www.biblebelievers.com/babylon/

4 Citation is from following Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arius

5 I can add my voice in agreement on this one issue but I disagree on other issues with these denominations. It is not the purpose of this page to further define those differences.

6 For a book and description of the battle between Pope Vigilius and Emperor Justinian on reincarnation see:
http://reluctant-messenger.com/reincarnation-pope.htm

7 The fundamental theme of the cycle of life is seen in the terms "revive again" and "rose again" which are explored in the web page Jesus Rose Again From the Dead! What is Meant by Again?

7.5 A word to the wise: Confessing a sin to one not involved, instead of to the one sinned against or those directly affected is worse than not confessing at all. It only puts one in a position to be manipulated if the listener is not a moral person, and then to have to add lies to further cover what one was unwilling to properly confess in the first place. Confessing to one not involved is appropriate if it helps in coming to see one’s sin and helps one to prepare to confess to the right person, or if one needs help in facing the person(s) affected. If one is hurt by a sin and it’s not reasonable to face the sinner, then professional help may be needed to deal with hurt feelings.

8 For an article on The Seven Hills of Jerusalem see: http://askelm.com/prophecy/p000201.htm

9 So perhaps the symbol of 7 hills is a clue of the rise of a world empire. It starts in physical Babylon, and in its rise to world domination it conquers Constantinople (now Istanbul) and then eventually Rome and Jerusalem. When one focuses on the image in Revelation 17, the Harlot rides the beast and this indicates the Harlot dominates the beast. If the 7 heads of the beast seen as 7 hills includes Rome, then it is odd most see Rome as being in control when the image says to me that Rome is controlled by the final form of the Harlot. This harlot is clearly labeled as Babylon. (In this case, the maddening wine is the blood of martyrdom for atonement.)

Another hint may be in the prophecy of the antichrist conquering 3 of the 10 kings (horns) when the beast comes to power (Dan 7:7-8). The primary meaning is that the Antichrist, the little horn, will conquer 3 of the 10 kings who form an alliance to create the beast power (Ps 83). A secondary meaning is that the 3 may be a reference to the sign of Jonah, a veiled reference to the trinity, and thereby a hint of the conquest of the Christian capitals.

9.5 Hislop, Chapter II.

9.7 Becoming a son of God means mastering the desires and urges of the lower four chakra centers of the body. These lower charkas include the physical needs of the body and the instincts of the beasts that we evolved from. The fourth center is the heart and it can be centered on the desires of the body or the love of God, depending on the choice of the individual.

One level of meaning of the throne of God having 4 beasts to support it (Ezek 1 & Rev 4) is that to be a son of God one must master the beasts within and not let them rise to control you. We are composed of 4 bodies: the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual bodies. If any of these are allowed to get out of balance by focusing on serving self rather than God, then they become beasts which control you. (The Keys of Daniel page also shows that history seen through the eyes of Daniel is an object lesson of the consequences of the lack of self-control of our 4 bodies.)

When it comes to facing sin, make the right decision before committing the sin, so one doesn’t have to offer sacrifice later. This is developed through disciple, self-control, sacrifice and preparing a vessel within which the Holy Spirit may reside. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we can have the strength of will to make the right decision before sinning. So don’t be a wimp to your lower 4!

10 In most English translations of the New Testament, the word LORD is used as a translation for the original Hebrew of the sacred name for the father, YHWH. These four letters are referred to as the Tetragrammaton. The Hebrew Scriptures have only consonants and no vowels. So to determine the actual sound of this name is also a matter of interpretation. Strong’s Concordance gives the definition of H3068 as “from 1961; (the) self-Existent or Eternal; Jehovah, Jewish national name of God: - Jehovah, the Lord.”

The Sacred Name philosophy within Messianic Judaism makes the point that Jehovah was incorrectly derived from combining the Tetragrammaton with the vowel points from “Adonai”. Also, Hebrew has no “J” sound, so the original pronunciation of God’s name could not have been Jehovah. They say that Yahweh is a better transliteration of the Tetragrammaton. This makes sense to me, so I go with Yahweh as a better Hebrew version of God’s name, but I am comfortable with the majority translation in Bibles, Lord, as long as one remembers what it is a translation of, namely the Tetragrammaton YHWH.

Without getting tangled in a discussion of what the original form of the Gospels might have been, we can know the intention of the word “Lord” by checking those cases in the New Testament that directly quote the Old Testament. One example is Mt 3:3 which quotes Isa 40:3 where Lord is YHWH. Another is when Jesus tells the Devil to “Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.” which is a quote of Deut 6:13. Here also Lord is from the Hebrew YHWH.

One phrase that I believe clarifies the use of the title “Lord” is “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” This is a quote of Psalm 118:26 and again the word Lord comes from YHWH. This phrase makes clear why we would use the title for the Father with Jesus’ name, when one believes they are two separate beings. When we say Lord along with “Jesus Christ” we are acknowledging that the Father has put his name upon his anointed son. The word “Lord” is a title showing that the son comes with the Father’s approval and authority.

Bearing this in mind, I believe when we say the title:

Lord Jesus Christ

A better translation would be:

Jesus the Messiah (Christ), the one who comes in the Name of the Father,
in the Name of Yahweh (Lord being derived from YHWH)

Coming "in the Name of the LORD" means representing the Father's holiness by living according to His covenant with the power of the Holy Spirit. For a more in depth discussion of these concepts, see the web page: In the Name of the LORD.

While I believe the Sacred Name movement has done an extremely valuable service in educating believers as to the meaning and probable sound of the Hebrew names for the Father and His Messiah, there is an extreme version that has gone too far. There are some within Messianic Judaism who insist that one should refer to the Father and His Messiah only by their Hebrew names, and further, that the English names are pagan and thereby pagan ways to refer to them. So in their view, one should never use the terms “God” and “Lord”. This extremism even goes to the point of interrupting one speaking who might use these names and insisting they change before being able to continue to speak, thereby imposing their view on another. This is an abomination to the Lord God Almighty! It is a terrible thing to make anyone feel guilty about saying God or Jesus’ name in the language one was raised in (Deut 5:16) and no one should ever be intimidated by this false thinking, fear mongering and form of spiritual abuse! This effort at identifying “paganism” truly misses the boat and the big picture when you turn on the terms “God” and “Lord” rather than pursuing the theological concepts presented in this web page.

In being challenged by this extremism, and being forced to think deeply about God’s Name, something good came out of it. I believe I now have a clear understanding of why YHWH’s Name would be used with Jesus when he is not the same person as the Father. It is because it is a designation that he comes in the Father’s Name. I believe I would not have come to the clarity of this understanding if I had not been pushed and challenged by this extremism. So I am grateful for the experience; but now that I understand, I must speak what I believe YHWH has led me to understand via His Spirit.

All those who say "Lord" is a pagan title, that it belongs to Baal, and that we shouldn’t use this English term when referring to Jesus are wrong. The title Lord belongs to our Savior and no one should allow the Dark One to usurp it or take it from its rightful and sole owner, the anointed son of the Most High, Jesus.

I believe what is most important in determining a pagan view of Jesus is one's concept of who he is, not the language with which one says his name. Jesus is a separate being created by the Father, not the same god, person or some dimension of the Father. If one sees Jesus as some eternal dimension of the Father rather than as a separate being with a beginning, then I believe you have a pagan understanding of Jesus whether you call him Jesus or Yahshua.

Remember, on the day on Pentecost, the Feast of Weeks, those who converted to Judaism that day heard the message and the name of God in their OWN language. Learning Hebrew greatly enhances one’s understanding of God’s message but is not required to address our Messiah or the Father. I cannot believe that the Father would require people around the world to know a foreign language just to be able to pray. That being said, I also believe we have lost a great deal of understanding by not knowing the language of Scripture, Hebrew. I also believe the sound of the original language has a certain power, so I've come to use Yahweh and Yahshua as part of my natural language.

I feel very strongly that saying the equivalent of LORD Jesus Christ when addressing our Savior, in whatever language is natural for you, is important because saying LORD expresses an understanding that it is a title given to Yahshua (Jesus) from the Father as a specific validation of the authority given to His anointed son. Furthermore, since we can only offer our “sacrifice” where the Father has placed His Name, and since the Father has placed His Name on the Son and on His people (Num 6:22-27), then by saying the Father’s name of YHWH in our own language, we are validating the confession to follow, as long as we understand what we are saying; that it is a reference to the Father's Name.

This bottom line, of knowing conceptually who you are talking about, without having to say the Father’s Name in one very specific way of quoting exactly the original language is shown in the Lord’s prayer when Jesus himself shows us exactly how to address the Father in Matthew 6:9:

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.

The Greek for the word “Father” clearly means a paternal father and not some derived reference to the Tetragrammaton. Jesus also acknowledges that the Father’s name is hallowed, is sacred, yet he simply refers to YHWH as “the Father”. So what is important is to know whom one is referring to conceptually and to have a clear understanding when using that person’s Name. (The same idea is expressed in Eph 3:14-15 which also uses the same Greek word for "Father".) As to the Name to use, we must show respect and not choose any name, but choose any of the many names for God and His anointed Son found in the Bible. So when Jesus refers to YHWH as the “Father”, I find that to be a simple and comfortable Name:

Praise the Father!



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©2005, 2009 Collins Hamblen
First Posted: 11/27/05
Last Update: 03/10/09