Sunday, July 16, 2017

President Abraham Lincoln involvement with the Occult


One of the most fascinating characters in American history was undoubtedly President Abraham Lincoln. In addition to his many contributions to our history,  connections between Lincoln and the supernatural were maintained throughout his life, and some say beyond it. Much has been made of Lincoln’s prophetic dreams and of his belief in the spirit world and of course, of the hauntings which are said to be connected to his home in Springfield and his mysterious tomb. Stories have also been told of his belief in the spirit world and for our purposes here, that is what I wish to focus on.
Did séances really take place in the Lincoln White House? Did Lincoln really believe in Spiritualism? And if so, what event occurred that could have caused him to want to make contact with the dead?

Lincoln in Illinois
Abraham Lincoln was always a melancholy person. The death of his mother when he was still a child, hard labor to make an existence for himself in the wilderness and his struggle for an education, all combined to make him a serious man, even when he was making a joke. The Civil War caused him great sorrow and the heavy losses on both sides filled him with sadness. Lincoln paid obsessive detail to everything about the war and by 1864, portraits of him show a face etched with lines. He slept very little in those years and during the five years he lived in the White House, he spent less than one month away from work. His only escape was afforded him by the theater, a late night buggy ride or from his books.

Abraham Lincoln was born in Kentucky in 1809. His father, Thomas Lincoln, had married Nancy Hanks, a tall, pretty, uneducated girl, three years before and they had built a log cabin at a place called Sinking Springs Farm. Later, the Lincoln family pulled up stakes and moved across the Ohio River to Indiana, where they settled on Little Pigeon Creek.  In 1818, Lincoln’s life changed abruptly when the family was struck by a terrible frontier disease dubbed "milk sickness". Tom and Betsy Sparrow, close friends of the Lincoln family, died first, while Nancy Lincoln faithfully nursed them to their last hours. Then, Nancy too was struck down with the disease and followed her friends to their graves. Abraham helped to fashion his mother’s coffin with his own hands and then placed her in the ground. It was later said that he held his head in his hands and wept for hours. At that point, his father and sister forgotten, Lincoln later said that he felt completely alone in the world.

In 1820. the Lincoln's moved to Illinois. Thomas had re-married and for a time, the family lived in a small cabin outside of Decatur. The younger Lincoln later moved to New Salem and Springfield after working on the riverboats and serving in the military during the Black Hawk War.  He began working in a law practice and found that he had a gift for politics and oration. He was soon a popular young man about town. In 1839, Lincoln met a young woman named Mary Todd and after a rocky courtship, they were married in 1842.
Lincoln’s love for travel and the law caused his marriage to suffer badly in those early years. At that point in his career, he was active in court cases all over Illinois and was constantly away from home. Mary gave birth to a son, Robert, and their second son, Eddie, was born in 1846 but only lived to the age of four. Willie followed in 1850, not long after the death of his brother, and Thomas "Tad" Lincoln was born in 1853.

Mary Todd Lincoln around 1846

Lincoln served a term in Congress in the late 1840’s, but his law practice kept him too busy to consider much of a political career. He had always been opposed to the further spread of slavery in the country and was contented that the Missouri Compromise had outlawed slavery further west, where America’s future would be built. But in 1854, a congressional act provoked by Lincoln’s long-time personal and political rival, Stephen Douglas, threatened to allow slavery in the territories. Lincoln’s anger at this got the best of him and he made the decision to return to politics.

Lincoln’s Prophetic Vision
In the summer of 1854, Lincoln decided to campaign for a seat in the Illinois State Assembly. He easily won the position, but then quickly resigned. What he really wanted was a seat in the US Senate, where he believed he could really make a difference for his country. In February 1855, he sought but failed to get the coveted seat. Things started to change in early 1856 however, as a new political party was created called the Republican Party. In these years, passions were beginning to ignite in the nation and dire predictions began to be made about the possibilities of secession and Civil War. In Illinois,  Republicans nominated Lincoln to run against Stephen Douglas for a seat in the Senate in 1858.

On July 24, Lincoln proposed that the two opponents meet in a series of debates before audiences all over the state. Douglas agreed and the two began a series of appearances that have become legend in Illinois for their volatile content. "The prairies are on fire," wrote one reporter, after witnessing a clash between Lincoln and Douglas. The debates were bitter and powerful between the two long-time rivals. Lincoln argued that slavery must be abolished, while Douglas insisted that it could be contained and allowed to flourish in the South, as long as the states there wished it. The final debate was held in Alton and the story was reported all over the country in newspapers.
Finally, in November, word reached Lincoln that he had lost the race for the Senate seat. Surprisingly, this loss was the best thing that could have happened to him. Wise political analysts, on both sides, had watched this race very closely and had seen the way the debates had captured the attention of the entire country. Soon, word among the Republicans began to favor Lincoln as their choice for President in 1860.
Lincoln began to travel all over the country, backed by the Illinois Republican contingent, making his name known and becoming a recognizable entity. On May 16, 1860, the Republican National Convention opened in Chicago and ended with a presidential nomination for Lincoln.  The city of Springfield had a carnival-like atmosphere about it that summer, highlighted with a Republican rally at the fairgrounds. The parade took more than eight hours to pass the Lincoln home and ended with a picnic, where tubs of lemonade and whole cooked steers awaited the revelers.
Election Day in the city dawned with rousing blasts from a cannon, with music and contagious excitement. Lincoln spent the day and evening with friends at a telegraph office. By midnight, it was clear that he had been elected President of the United States. A late night dinner was held in his honor and then he returned to the office for more news. Guns fired in celebration throughout the night. Lincoln may have won the day, but he fared poorly in the popular vote. He had soundly defeated his closest opponent in the Electoral College, but had won just forty percent of the vote among the people. He had become a minority president with no support at all in the southern states.

Lincoln as he would have looked around the time of his vision in Springfield
Lincoln finally managed to return home in the early morning hours although news of victory and telegrams of congratulations were still being wired to his office. He went into his bedroom for some much-needed rest and collapsed onto a settee. Near the couch was a large bureau with a mirror on it and Lincoln started for a moment at his reflection in the glass. His face appeared angular, thin and tired. Several of his friends suggested that he grow a beard, which would hide the narrowness of his face and give him a more "presidential" appearance. Lincoln pondered this for a moment and then experienced what many would term a "vision"... and odd vision that Lincoln would later believe had prophetic meaning.

He saw that in the mirror, his face appeared to have two separate, yet distinct, images. The tip of one nose was about three inches away from the other one. The vision vanished but appeared again a few moments later. It was clearer this time and Lincoln realized that one of the faces was actually much paler than the other was, almost with the coloring of death. The vision disappeared again and Lincoln dismissed the whole thing to the excitement of the hour and his lack of sleep.

Later on that evening, he told Mary of the strange vision and attempted to conjure it up again in the days that followed. The faces always returned to him and while Mary never saw it, she believed her husband when he said he did. She also believed she knew the significance of the vision. The healthy face was her husband’s "real" face and indicated that he would serve his first term as president. The pale, ghostly image of the second face however was a sign that he would be elected to a second term -- but would not live to see its conclusion.
Lincoln apparently dismissed the whole thing as a hallucination, or an imperfection in the glass, or so he said publicly. Later, that strange vision would come back to haunt him during the turbulent days of the war. It was not Lincoln’s only brush with prophecy either. One day, shortly before the election, he spoke to some friends as they were discussing the possibilities of Civil War. "Gentlemen," he said to them, "you may be surprised and think it strange, but when the doctor here was describing a war, I distinctly saw myself, in second sight, bearing an important part in that strife."
Lincoln & the War
Lincoln was soon sworn in as President and began one of the most troubled periods of American history. The great loss of life and the bitter turmoil of the war took their toll on him. His personality changed and he became more bitter and dark. He became a sad, gloomy leader who was prone to severe depression. It was as if the weight of the entire nation had fallen on his shoulders.
Documents of the Union War Department contain one occasion when Lincoln burst into the telegraph office of the department late one night. He had visited earlier, looking for the latest news, but when he came back, he was in a panic. He ordered the operator to get a line through to the Union commanders. He was convinced that Confederate soldiers were just about to cut through the Federal lines. The telegraph operator asked where he had obtained such information and Lincoln reportedly answered, "My god, man! I saw it".
The war took a terrible toll on President Lincoln but there is no doubt that the most crippling blow he suffered in the White House was the death of his son, Willie, in 1862. The boy had been born in Springfield in 1850, shortly after the funeral of the Lincoln’s second son, Eddie. Willie was much like his father and probably because of this, was the special favorite among his much-loved sons. William Wallace Lincoln, named for a family doctor in Springfield, was a quiet, thoughtful boy who excelled at reading and education. His brother Tad was just the opposite and could not read or write by age 12, while Willie was beyond the basics by 8. He had a wonderful memory and could recite long passages from the Bible with ease. He often told his parents that he was going to be a minister when he grew up.

The tragic figure of Willie Lincoln

Lincoln and Mary grieved deeply over Willie’s death. Lincoln was sick at heart over Willie’s death and it was probably the most intense personal crisis in his life. Some historians have even called it the greatest blow he ever suffered. Even Confederate President Jefferson Davis expressed condolences over the boy’s death.

Lincoln did not fare well in the days that followed the boy's death. Willie had been embalmed to make the trip back to Springfield and be buried beside his brother, but Lincoln changed his mind about that at the last minute. He accepted an offer made to him by a friend, William Thomas Carroll, to place the body of Willie in one of the crypts in the Carroll family tomb. This would be until Lincoln retired from the presidency and returned to live in Springfield himself. He could not bear the idea of having Willie so far away from him just yet. In fact, Lincoln returned to the cemetery the next day to watch the body as it was moved from the cemetery chapel to the crypt itself. Word got out that Lincoln returned to the tomb on two occasions and had Willie’s coffin opened. The doctor had embalmed Willie so perfectly that he everyone said he just seemed to be sleeping. The President claimed that he was forced to look upon his boy’s face just one last time.
After the funeral, Lincoln tried to go on about his work, but his spirit had been crushed by Willie’s death. One week after the funeral, he closed himself up in his office all day and wept. It has often been said that Lincoln was on the verge of suicide at this point, but none can say for sure. He did withdraw even further into himself though and he began to look more closely at the spiritual matters that had interested him for so long.
Lincoln & The Spiritualists
Although many Lincoln scholars say otherwise, it is more than possible that Abraham Lincoln didn’t just believe in the supernatural, but that he actually participated in it. Many have scoffed and said that Lincoln had no time for ghosts and spirits, but there are others who say that he actually attended séances that were held in the White House. Whether he accepted the movement or not, it is a fact that many Spiritualists were often guests there. Several of them were even said to have given him warnings about the dark shadows that hung over his life.
Of course, Lincoln himself was convinced that he was doomed and adopted a very fatalistic attitude during his presidency, especially after Willie’s death. His friends stated that Lincoln would often watch the door while he worked, as if expecting the boy to run through it and give his father a hug, as he often did in life. Lincoln also began to speak of how Willie’s spirit remained with him and how his presence was often felt in his home and office. Some mediums theorized that Lincoln’s obsession with the boy’s death may have caused Willie’s spirit to linger behind, refusing, for his father’s sake, to pass on to the other side.
Regardless of how he felt about Willie’s spirit, Lincoln publicly avoided connections to the Washington spiritualists, so much of what is written about his contact with them comes through accounts and diaries written by friends and acquaintances.
While Lincoln avoided the spiritualists in public, Mary embraced them openly. She had been quick to turn to contact with the other side for comfort after Willie’s death. Once he was gone, Mary never again entered the White House guest room where he died or the room in which the funeral viewing was held. Some historians claim that this was the beginning of Mary’s mental instability, but not because of the mediums, because of her fervent grief instead. The obsession over Spiritualism was just one of the symptoms, but none could ignore the fact that her headaches, mood swings and bursts of irrational temper were growing worse.
Mary began meeting with a number of different Spiritualists and invited many to the White House, as each claimed to be able to "lift the thin veil" and allow Mary to communicate with Willie. Mary’s closest spiritualist companion, and one of whom there is some record that Lincoln also met with, was Nettie Colburn Maynard. Many are familiar with a tale told about a séance held by Nettie Maynard in 1863 where a grand piano levitated. The medium was playing the instrument when it began to rise off the floor. Lincoln and Colonel Simon Kase were both present and it is said that both men climbed onto the piano, only to have it jump and shake so hard that they climbed down. It is recorded that Lincoln would later refer to the levitation as proof of an "invisible power."

Rumors spread that Lincoln had an interest in the spirit world. In England, a piece of sheet music was published which portrayed him holding a candle while violins and tambourines flew about his head. The piece of music was called The Dark Séance Polka and the caption below the illustration of the president read "Abraham Lincoln and the Spiritualists".

It was also rumored that Lincoln consulted with these mediums and clairvoyants to obtain information about future events in the war. He found that sometimes they gave him information about matters as mundane as Confederate troop movements -- information that sometimes matched his own precognitive visions.
Illustrations from a book in my collection called "Was Lincoln a Spiritualist?", which was written by medium Nettie Colburn Maynard

During a séance that was supposed to have been held at the home of a Mrs. Laurie in February 1863, a spirit come through Nettie Maynard who identified himself as Dr. Bamford. Lincoln was allegedly in attendance at this séance and listened as the spirit described the critical conditions of the Federal Army at the front lines. Lincoln replied that the spirit seemed to understand the situation and asked what he would do to remedy it. The spirit answered that he did -- but only if Lincoln had the courage to go through with it. Lincoln said that he did and asked for assistance.

The spirit told Lincoln that he should make an informal visit to the battle front, accompanied by Mrs. Lincoln, and that he should mingle with the men and hear their grievances and stories. This, said the spirit, would unite the men behind him. Lincoln followed his advice and managed to rally the troops behind the cause. By July of that year, the Union was dominating on both the western and eastern fronts with victories in Vicksburg and Gettysburg. The following of the spirit's advice was credited by many for beginning the turning point of the war. 

The Foreshadowing of Doom
Despite these somewhat apocryphal stories, there is little doubt that Lincoln believed a dark cloud hung over his head. The constant threats of death and violence that he received kept he and his bodyguards on edge at all times. It is also believed that some of his spiritualist friends felt the end was near. During a session that he was said to have had with Nettie Maynard, she allegedly told him that "the shadows others have told of still hang over you." Lincoln told her that he received letters from spiritualists all over the country that warned him of impending doom. When she got ready to depart, the president insisted that she come and visit he and Mary the following autumn. "I shall come, of course," Nettie answered, "that is... if you are still among us."

Perhaps the most famous supernatural incident connected to Lincoln would be his last prophetic dream of the assassination.

One of Lincoln’s old friends from Illinois was a lawyer with whom he had ridden the legal circuit named Ward Hill Lamon. Lincoln had appointed him to a security position in the White House and he worried constantly over Lincoln’s seeming indifference to threats and warnings of death. Lamon often resigned his position because his friend did not take the danger seriously. Lincoln always convinced him to stay on, promising to be more careful.... as he vanished out of the White House at night, or attended the theater without protection.

Lamon became obsessed with watching over Lincoln and many believe that the president would not have been killed at Ford’s Theater had Lamon been on duty that night. As it turned out, the security chief happened to be in Richmond, Virginia, on an errand for the president, when disaster struck. He would never forgive himself for what happened -- especially since he believed that he had a forewarning of the event, from Lincoln himself.
Years later, Lamon would remember that Lincoln had always been haunted by the strange vision that he experienced in the mirror in 1860. Several years after that, it was to Lamon and Mary Lincoln to whom the president would recount an eerie dream of death, just shortly before his assassination.
"About ten days ago, I retired late. I soon began to dream. There seemed to be a death-like stillness about me. Then I heard subdued sobs, as if a number of people were weeping. I thought I left my bed and wandered downstairs. There the silence was broken by the same pitiful sobbing, but the mourners were invisible. I went from room to room; no living person was in sight, but the same mournful sounds of distress met me as I passed along.
"It was light in all the rooms; every object was familiar to me, but where were all the people who were grieving as if their hearts would break? I was puzzled and alarmed. What could be the meaning of all this? Determined to find the cause of a state of things so mysterious and so shocking, I kept on until I arrived at the East Room, which I entered. Before me was a catafalque, on which rested a corpse wrapped in funeral vestments. Around it were stationed soldiers who were acting as guards; and there was a throng of people, some gazing mournfully upon the corpse, whose face was covered, others weeping pitifully.
" ‘Who is dead in the White House?’, I demanded of one of the soldiers.
" ‘The President’, was his answer, ‘He was killed by an assassin.’
"Then came a loud burst of grief from the crowd, which awoke me from my dream. I slept no more that night; and although it was only a dream, I have been strangely annoyed by it ever since."
Lincoln was murdered just a few days later and his body was displayed in the East Room of the White House. Mary would recall this dream of her husband’s quite vividly in the days that followed. It was said that her first coherent word after the assassination was a muttered statement about his dream being prophetic.

On April 14, 1865, a few days after the horrifying dream and on the night he was to attend Ford’s Theater, Lincoln called a meeting of his cabinet. Edwin Stanton, Lincoln’s Secretary of War, arrived twenty minutes late and the meeting began without him. As Stanton and Attorney General James Speed were leaving the meeting, Stanton commented to him that he was pleased about how much work was accomplished.

"But you were not here at the beginning", Speed said. "When we entered the council chamber, we found the president seated at the top of the table, with his face buried in his hands. Presently, he raised it and we saw that he looked grave and worn".
" Gentlemen, before long, you will have important news", the President told them. The Cabinet members were anxious to hear what news Lincoln spoke of, but he refused to tell them anything further.

"I have heard nothing, but you will hear tomorrow, " he said, and then continued, "I have had a dream. I have dreamed three times before; once before the Battle of Bull Run; once on another occasion; and again last night. I am in a boat, alone on a boundless ocean. I have no oars, no rudder, I am helpless. I drift!"

That evening, while attending a performance of a play called Our American Cousin at Ford’s Theater, Lincoln was killed by an assassin named John Wilkes Booth. He died the next morning, April 15, the anniversary of the southern assault on Fort Sumter, the event which officially started the Civil War.

Lincoln spoke of death and prophecies to other members of his staff also, like Colonel William H. Crook, a member of the White House security team and one of Lincoln’s personal bodyguards. Crook took his task seriously, often staying awake at night and sitting outside Lincoln’s bedroom while the president slept. Crook even refused to read a newspaper while on duty so that he would be ready should an emergency arise.

Crook was on duty the evening of April 14 and that same afternoon, Lincoln spoke to him about the strange dreams that he had been having. Crook pleaded with the president not to go to the theater that night, but Lincoln dismissed his concerns, explaining that he had promised Mary they would go and that he needed a night away from the problems of the country. Crook then asked to accompany the president, but Lincoln again refused, insisting that Crook could not work around the clock.
Lincoln had a habit of bidding Crook a "good night" each evening as he left the office and went to his bedroom. On that fateful day, according to Crook, Lincoln paused as he left for the theater and turned to the bodyguard. "Good-bye, Crook," he said significantly.
"It was the first time that he neglected to say ‘Good Night’ to me", Crook would later recall. "And it was the only time that he ever said ‘Good-bye’. I thought of it at that moment and, a few hours later, when the news flashed over Washington that he had been shot, his last words were so burned into my being that they can never be forgotten."

Bible verses about contacting the dead

Not only is necromancy evil, it is forbiddenPlaying with things of the occult like Ouija boards is very dangerous and Christians should have no part of it. Let’s say you try to contact dead family members you are not speaking with them. You are speaking with demons and you will indeed open your body up to them. All it take is one time.
Wiccans will not get into Heaven. The more and more you mess with demonic things the more you will start changing. Demons can indeed attack you and remember all it takes is one time and you will start growing deeper into darkness. It might seem harmless, but it’s not. Don’t let Satan deceive you. You have no business trying to contact the spirit world. 

What does the Bible say?
1.  Leviticus 20:5-7 I myself will set my face against him and his family and will cut them off from their people together with all who follow him in prostituting themselves to Molek. I will set my face against anyone who turns to mediums and spiritists to prostitute themselves by following them, and I will cut them off from their people. Consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am the LORD your God.

 Image result for rabbi kris kringle jew watch is a fake

Friday, June 23, 2017


What is the difference between exegesis and eisegesis?

exegesis eisegesis
Question: "What is the difference between exegesis and eisegesis?"

Exegesis and eisegesis are two conflicting approaches in Bible study. Exegesis is the exposition or explanation of a text based on a careful, objective analysis. The word exegesis literally means “to lead out of.” That means that the interpreter is led to his conclusions by following the text.

The opposite approach to Scripture is eisegesis, which is the interpretation of a passage based on a subjective, non-analytical reading. The word eisegesis literally means “to lead into,” which means the interpreter injects his own ideas into the text, making it mean whatever he wants.

Obviously, only exegesis does justice to the text. Eisegesis is a mishandling of the text and often leads to a misinterpretation. Exegesis is concerned with discovering the true meaning of the text, respecting its grammar, syntax, and setting. Eisegesis is concerned only with making a point, even at the expense of the meaning of words.

Second Timothy 2:15 commands us to use exegetical methods: “Present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” An honest student of the Bible will be an exegete, allowing the text to speak for itself. Eisegesis easily lends itself to error, as the would-be interpreter attempts to align the text with his own preconceived notions. Exegesis allows us to agree with the Bible; eisegesis seeks to force the Bible to agree with us.

The process of exegesis involves 1) observation: what does the passage say? 2) interpretation: what does the passage mean? 3) correlation: how does the passage relate to the rest of the Bible? and 4) application: how should this passage affect my life?

Eisegesis, on the other hand, involves 1) imagination: what idea do I want to present? 2) exploration: what Scripture passage seems to fit with my idea? and 3) application: what does my idea mean? Notice that, in eisegesis, there is no examination of the words of the text or their relationship to each other, no cross-referencing with related passages, and no real desire to understand the actual meaning. Scripture serves only as a prop to the interpreter’s idea.

To illustrate, let’s use both approaches in the treatment of one passage:

2 Chronicles 27:1-2
“Jotham was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem sixteen years. . . . He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, just as his father Uzziah had done, but unlike him he did not enter the temple of the LORD.”

First, the interpreter decides on a topic. Today, it’s “The Importance of Church Attendance.” The interpreter reads 2 Chronicles 27:1-2 and sees that King Jotham was a good king, just like his father Uzziah had been, except for one thing: he didn’t go to the temple! This passage seems to fit his idea, so he uses it. The resulting sermon deals with the need for passing on godly values from one generation to the next. Just because King Uzziah went to the temple every week didn’t mean that his son would continue the practice. In the same way, many young people today tragically turn from their parents’ training, and church attendance drops off. The sermon ends with a question: “How many blessings did Jotham fail to receive, simply because he neglected church?”

Certainly, there is nothing wrong with preaching about church attendance or the transmission of values. And a cursory reading of 2 Chronicles 27:1-2 seems to support that passage as an apt illustration. However, the above interpretation is totally wrong. For Jotham not to go to the temple was not wrong; in fact, it was very good, as the proper approach to the passage will show.

First, the interpreter reads the passage and, to fully understand the context, he reads the histories of both Uzziah and Jotham (2 Chronicles 26-272 Kings 15:1-632-38). In his observation, he discovers that King Uzziah was a good king who nevertheless disobeyed the Lord when he went to the temple and offered incense on the altar—something only a priest had the right to do (2 Chronicles 26:16-20). Uzziah’s pride and his contamination of the temple resulted in his having “leprosy until the day he died” (2 Chronicles 26:21).

Needing to know why Uzziah spent the rest of his life in isolation, the interpreter studies Leviticus 13:46 and does some research on leprosy. Then he compares the use of illness as a punishment in other passages, such as 2 Kings 5:272 Chronicles 16:12; and 21:12-15.

By this time, the exegete understands something important: when the passage says Jotham “did not enter the temple of the LORD,” it means he did not repeat his father’s mistake. Uzziah had proudly usurped the priest’s office; Jotham was more obedient.

The resulting sermon might deal with the Lord’s discipline of His children, with the blessing of total obedience, or with our need to learn from the mistakes of the past rather than repeat them.

Of course, exegesis takes more time than eisegesis. But if we are to be those unashamed workmen “who correctly handle the word of truth,” then we must take the time to truly understand the text. Exegesis is the only way.
Recommended Resource: Basic Bible Interpretation by Roy Zuck

Related Topics:

Why is it important to study the Bible in context? What is wrong with taking verses out of context?

What is Biblical hermeneutics?

What is good Biblical exegesis?

What is the difference between a Christocentric and a Christotelic hermeneutic?

What is Biblical typology?

The Harbinger is dangerous for Christians! False Teacher Series #10


Jonathan Cahn's 9 harbingers were after-the-fact analysis or opinions of his own personal doing. They are not really prophecies or special revelations given to him by God's Spirit which he falsely claims. THE HARBINGER WAS A CONCEPT WHICH MR. CAHN DEVELOPED OVER A PERIOD OF 5 OR MORE YEARS WHILE MAKING MULTIPLE VISITS TO GROUND ZERO IN SEARCH OF HARBINGERS. IT WAS PREACHED BY HIM TO HIS CONGREGATION IN A FORM OF SERIES BEFORE FINALLY BEING PUBLISHED. I WAS THERE DURING THOSE YEARS TO WITNESS FIRST HAND IT'S EVOLUTION. It was all an elaborate fabrication  based on an application of eisegisis of Isaiah 9:10, and he successfully duped millions of Christians around the world and made a fortune in the process together with his team of religious cronies. 
  It is a literary work based on EISEGESIS.  What do I mean by that? Eisegesis involves 1) imagination: what ideas do I want to present? 2) exploration: what Scripture passage seems to fit with my ideas? and 3) application: what does my idea mean? In eisegesis there is  no cross-referencing with related passages of scripture, and no real desire to understand the actual meaning of the sacred text as the biblical author originally intended for his readers. Scripture serves only as a prop to the interpreter’s idea. 

I read the book myself and I submit my findings. EXAMINE THE EVIDENCE BELOW FOR YOURSELF:  


1. Hedge of protection removed/breach: pure speculation-we don't know if there is or ever has been a hedge of protection. 9/11 was not the first attack on U.S. soil, it was not a military breach, and it did not weaken America's defenses in any way.

2. The terrorist: The Assyrians were hardly the first one to use terror tactics-it is just a way to instill fear. The 9/11 hijackers were not Assyrians (which is still an ethnic group that is mostly Christian).In the Harbinger page 40 Mr. Cahn CLEARLY IMPLIES that the Ancient Assyrians were the BLOODLINE ANCESTORS of the 19 hijackers! What a blunder. THE ORIGINS OF THE 19 HIJACKERS ARE AS FOLLOW: 15 FROM SAUDI ARABIA, 2 FROM UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, 1 FROM EGYPT, & 1 FROM LEBANON(cf with

3. The fallen bricks: in Israel, fallen bricks meant the nation was leveled by the attacks. On 9/11 there were just a few square blocks of one city. In Israel, most buildings were made of bricks, while in America bricks were only incidental with no significance.

4. The tower: Completely manufactured only using the Septuagint translation, not the Hebrew(MASORETIC TEXT). If one uses the Septuagint then both the sycamore and cedar harbingers disappear. HISTORICAL FACTS REVEAL THE SEPTUAGINT VERSION IS NOT A UNIFORM AND CONSISTENT TRANSLATION. It was done by many different hands whose skills, and even philosophy of translating varied considerably. These transmission errors found in the Septuagint include the addition of words to create longer versions of some texts, most notably parts of the book of Jeremiah, and other variants that were the result of misunderstanding or misinterpreting a Hebrew word or phrase.

5. THE GAZIT STONE: Israel rebuilt using gazit (which is just quarried stone), didn't just lay a gazit cornerstone-they replaced the bricks. In America there was only a single cut cornerstone that ended up not even being used at all.
The buildings in Israel were constructed of bricks and easily destroyed when the Assyrians attacked. Israel would rebuild with much stronger quarried stone (gazit). When the tower was to be rebuilt at Ground Zero, a single quarried stone was to be placed as a cornerstone--but even that was later moved and never became a part of the new structure.

6. The sycamore: The sycamore of Israel (fig-mulberry) and that in America are two completely different kinds of trees. In Israel these fig-mulberry trees were cut down by the Assyrians all across the country. In America a single tree (that was not a fig-mulberry) just fell because of the falling buildings.

This is yet another forced parallel that does not withstand closer examination. First, the sycamore (fig-mulberry) of ancient Israel and the American sycamore are two completely different trees that are unrelated in any way. They are not the same species ( Ficus sycomorus vs. Platanus occidentalis ) . They are not in the same genus ( Ficus vs. Plantanus ), nor even in the same family ( Moraceae vs. Platanaceae ). In spite of this, the author tries to make the connection on a linguistic basis. . . .

The tree in Israel is a fruit-bearing tree, with the English translation ultimately coming from the Greek for "fig-mulberry" which is sycomoros . However, this tree is shaqam in Hebrew. So it is not legitimate to claim that this tree was a "sycamore" to the ancient Israelites, who lived long before the influence of the Greek Empire. It was a fig-mulberry--it was a shaqam to them.

In contrast, the American sycamore, as stated before, is not botanically related in any way to the fig-mulberry. There is no semantic connection. Of course, both trees carry the same name--but this is true only for English-speakers , not for Hebrew-speakers.

7. The erez: The cedar of Lebanon in Israel, but a Norway spruce in America-two completely different kinds of trees. In Israel, cedars were much stronger and much more valuable trees to be used in many different ways. But in America a single symbolic tree, that is not necessarily stronger than the tree it replaced.

Cahn's reasoning reveals that he is depending on the taxonomic classification system to make his case. The taxonomic system is based on a hierarchy of seven ranks for classifying all living things on earth.

The first problem with appealing to this classification system is that it is based exclusively on evolutionary theory. In addition, as evolutionary theory evolves, so does the classification system itself, and it can change significantly over time. . . .

The Norway spruce planted at Ground Zero is biblically a different kind of tree than the cedars of Lebanon in Isaiah:9:10. Although the Bible is not a scientific textbook, it is accurate in those matters of science about which it speaks. Consequently, based on the authority of the Word of God there is no amazing coincidence. There is no match. There is no parallel. And there is no harbinger.

8. The utterance: In Israel there was a defiant spirit directed toward the Assyrians and God, ignoring God's direct warnings by the prophets he had sent over and over to his chosen people. In America there was no intentional, prideful, arrogant defiance of God.

9. The vow: In neither case was the statement "we will rebuild" a biblical vow, it was just a statement. Beyond that, how many ways can someone say "we will rebuild?" And how many Bible verses talk about rebuilding? It is no big coincidence that Isaiah 9:10 was used (although wrongly) because what other verses could be used if someone wanted to give hope from the Bible concerning an attack that destroyed buildings? It is not like they just picked one out of 30,000 verses as Cahn says-it is basically one out of one. There is no mystery in that.

10. The Shemitah: This was only for Israel and God wiped out the country after they failed to observe the Sabbath year for almost 500 years. America is not obligated to this and what has happened in America is not the tiniest fraction of what happened to Israel. It is not even remotely close, this is most half of the book, but it is elaborately manufactured out of nothing. The Shemitah/Sabbatical Years was STRICTLY GIVEN TO THE NATION OF ISRAEL UNDER THE MOSAIC COVENANT AND TO NO OTHER NATION IN HUMAN HISTORY. In the Harbinger page 159 Jonathan Cahn claims that the Shemitah was given to America as a sign. NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH! There is absolutely no SCRIPTURAL BASIS from Genesis to Revelation which he fails to provide to validate his claims.

Cahn determines that this text in Isaiah contains a mysterious prophecy directed not to ancient Israel but to modern America. At this point the author massages /MANIPULATES Scripture, American history and current events in an attempt to prove that God's judgment on the United States has been hiding in these verses from the day they were given by Isaiah, but have now been unlocked by the careful investigation of Cahn. (IN OTHER WORDS MR. CAHN HAD TO PERFORM THEOLOGICAL GYMNASTICS BEYOND OLYMPIC PROPORTIONS IN ORDER TO ACCOMPLISH THIS FEAT). Nothing could be further from the truth and, even more importantly, once someone decides they can cherry-pick verses at will, change the meaning of these texts to fit his theories and use random hermeneutical methods, anything can be "proven." However, very few people will recognize what Cahn has done, and fewer still will do the hard work of investigating his interpretations.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017


Question: "What is an apostle?"

The word apostle means “one who is sent out.” In the New Testament, there are two primary usages of the word apostle. The first is in specifically referring to the twelve foundational apostles of Jesus Christ. The second is in generically referring to other individuals who are sent out to be messengers/ambassadors of Jesus Christ.

The twelve foundational apostles held a unique position. In referring to the New Jerusalem, Revelation 21:14 states, “The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve foundational apostles of the Lamb.” The twelve foundational apostles are also referred to in Matthew 10:2; Mark 3:14; 4:10; 6:7; 9:35; 14:10, 17, 23; Luke 6:13; 9:1; 22:14; John 6:71; Acts 6:2; and 1 Corinthians 15:5. It was these twelve foundational apostles who were the first messengers of the gospel after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It was these twelve apostles who were the foundation of the church—with Jesus being the cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20).

This specific type of foundational apostle is not present in the church today. The qualifications of this type of apostle were: (1) to have been an witness of the resurrected Christ (1 Corinthians 9:1), (2) to have been explicitly chosen by the Holy Spirit (Acts 9:15), and (3) to have the ability to perform signs and wonders (Acts 2:43; 2 Corinthians 12:12). The role of the twelve foundational apostles, laying the foundation of the church, would also argue for their uniqueness. Two thousand years later, we are not still working on the foundation.

Beyond the unique twelve foundational apostles of Jesus Christ, there were also apostles in a generic sense. Barnabas is referred to as an “apostle” in Acts 13:2 and 14:4. Andronicus and Junias are possibly identified as apostles in Romans 16:7. The same Greek word usually translated “apostle” is used to refer to Titus in 2 Corinthians 8:23 and Epaphroditus in Philippians 2:25. So, there definitely seems to be room for the term apostle being used to refer to someone besides the twelve foundational apostles of Jesus Christ. Anyone who was “sent” could be called an apostle.

What exactly would be the role of an apostle outside that of the twelve  foundational apostles? That is not entirely clear. From the definition of the word, the closest thing today to an apostle, in the general sense, is a missionary. A missionary is a follower of Christ who is sent out with the specific mission of proclaiming the gospel. A missionary is an ambassador of Christ to people who have not heard the good news. However, to prevent confusion, it is likely best to not use the term apostle to refer to any position in the church today. The vast majority of occurrences of the word apostle or apostles in the New Testament refer to the twelve foundational apostles of Jesus Christ.

There are some today who are seeking to restore the position of foundational apostle. This is a dangerous movement (NAR). Frequently, those claiming the office of apostle seek authority equal to, or at least rivaling, the authority of the original twelve foundational apostles. There is absolutely no biblical evidence to support such an understanding of the role of apostle today. This would fit with the New Testament’s warning against false apostles (2 Corinthians 11:13).

In a sense, all followers of Jesus Christ are called to be apostles. We are all to be His ambassadors (Matthew 28:18-20; 2 Corinthians 5:18-20). We are all to be “ones who are sent out” (Acts 1:8). We are all to be preachers of the good news (Romans 10:15).


Recommended Resource: Biblical Eldership by Alexander Strauch

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