ARCHIVED NEWS REPORTS
know this update is overdue. It's amazing how much time slips by, so quickly,
with so little (relatively speaking) achieved. However, as you may have
noticed, I have been busy producing more articles for the Web Page, (and
elsewhere). Unlike some who grab other's articles off the Net ready-formatted,
(and I don't criticise that practise; I do so myself on occasion) I need
time to research, write and format my articles all by myself, so this
explains the time delay.
it offers you is a unique outlook, albeit from my personal angle. But
at least you find articles here that you won't find ANYWHERE ELSE.
want to share various pieces of news with you here.
Of course, there's MUCH more floating around the Net, and possibly more
significant items of news that you will find elsewhere, but this happens
to be my personal collection of things that may interest Christians.
also want to make a few comments, firstly on the subject of FADS.
time goes by, it seems to me that more and more previously sound Christians,
opposed to the various errors and heresies drifting about the Church,
are nevertheless drifting in another direction - towards fads and fancies.
you also noticed this trend? It appears to me that people are developing
"itching ears" for the latest bit of spiritual gossip, or exciting
titbit to keep themselves busy and amused.
is a sort of low-season for Christians. Ministry work is almost non-existent
as we all wait in a kind of limbo for the next step. Not only that but
even fellowship is hard to come by, and church life for many has been
destroyed by Toronto and other heresies.
many receive no input or stimulation and perhaps that's the reason why
they are filling their time with other things. When challenged, they often
angrily claim that what they are following after is "true".
Yes, but just because something is true, doesn't make it EDIFYING!
more. The things people commit themselves to are often "right",
they are often worthy causes - but the real question is - DID GOD REALLY
INSTRUCT YOU AS HIS SERVANT TO DO THAT? What God does not initiate, we
have no right to do. We are servants, we wait for HIS command, rather
than fly around everywhere dabbling in this and that to keep ourselves
is often said that "the Devil finds work for idle hands" and
in this case it's true. Christians who feel they "ought" to
be "doing something" often cast around for any old thing to
keep them occupied, even if its mounting a crusade against the NIV, or
writing to politicians about homosexuality.
problem is compounded by pangs of guilt when we are accused of "doing
nothing for the Lord". However, the remedy is not to drum up time-wasting
"good works" to keep ourselves busy, to avoid criticism or a
guilt conscience. No, the remedy is to rest in the Lord and await His
call to ministry.
we do outside of God, in the flesh, can glorify God in the long run.
Our own efforts to keep busy will all turn to sand. As well as that, we
are wasting time that could better be spent in close fellowship with the
Lord, studying His word, praying, clearing out the hidden layers of sin,
and making preparations for the difficult days ahead.
other aspect of this syndrome is fad-chasing. Instead of getting
stuck into biblical doctrine and genuine concerns that present actual
danger to the Body of Christ, many Christians are off chasing spiritual
butterflies. Some examples that spring to mind are Torah Codes; Bible
Translations; Hebraic Roots; UFO's; Demonology; Once-Saved-Always-Saved
and similar doctrinal arguments; Rome; Cults; New World Order; and that
ever-popular game "Hunt The Antichrist".
immediately you will object that all these things have merit and need
research. Yes, of course. I don't dispute that at all. But what worries
me that people are making these things their priority and becoming almost
obsessed with them, instead of treating them as the minor, secondary items
that concern us all from time to time.
is much merit in exploring the Jewish roots of our faith, and nobody could
be more interested in Israel than I, but when I see lovely Gentile Christians
sweating over Hebrew language lessons, celebrating the Jewish feasts,
singing only Jewish songs and attending only Saturday worship patterned
after the synagogue I think it's gone too far. Their whole lives revolve
around Israel and the Jews, and without it they would have nothing of
substance. It has become an obsession. Furthermore, they look down their
noses at anyone who has "just" an ordinary Gentile existence
in the Church. They consider themselves not only superior in faith, but
somehow they know more about the Bible, because they read it (poorly)
also know people who have become obsessed with books on Satanism (all
good Christian testimonies, of course!!) so they become fearful and they
adopt peculiar rituals like anointing the chimney-breast, doors and windows
with cooking oil in the vain notion it will keep the demons away.
are just random examples. There are many more. Not all are extreme, but
I meet people whose minds are taken up with conspiracies, so that they
often end up suspecting everything and everyone. Their homes are full
of faded photocopies of Project Monarch and Gulf War Sickness and Majestic
UFO briefings. But of what lasting value is all this, and what are they
learning. Is any of it of eternal worth? Even if all of those things are
true, what could we DO about it?
this kind of thing just what Paul warned against in his letter to Timothy?
In his day the fascinations were genealogies, numerology, or the hidden
wisdom to be found in the scripture texts. (Torah Codes???) There were
also a number of esoteric cults with supposed depths of wisdom on offer
to initiates, but Paul told Timothy to shun all this and stick to sound
doctrine in the Word.
give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions,
rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do. Now the end of
the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience,
and of faith unfeigned: From which some having swerved have turned aside
unto vain jangling; Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding
neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm." 1 Tim 1:4-7
refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto
godliness." 1 Tim 4:7
the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after
their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching
ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall
be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions,
do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. 2
strange phrase VAIN JANGLING is in Greek 'mataiologia' which means
random talk, or idle chatter. It comes from a root word meaning "without
any profit, empty"..
we lost our ability to reason? Are we becoming unbalanced? Has Toronto
unhinged us to the extent that we grasp at any straw now? Surely the Lord
brings balance to our minds, not a feverish search for things that amuse
and titillate the senses?
those looking for amusement can find much planted by the enemy to keep
them entertained. Propaganda, counter-propaganda, myths and legends are
circulating as never before. We cannot simply accept every story that
comes down the lane, even if it does come from a "reliable"
oft-repeated "Angelic Hitchhiker" story is just one example
of a Christian myth, and it's been circulating since the 1970's if not
before - yet people today repeat it as "gospel" even so. There
is absolutely NO evidence to back up these stories, so why do Christians
believe them? We must train ourselves to stop being so darned gullible.
We are making ourselves easy prey for our enemies.
requires much wisdom to live in these endtimes, and part of that wisdom
is the ability to hear all, consider all, weigh all and to respond when
a response is called for, without becoming fearful, unbalanced or obsessive.
We also need to develop spiritual discernment, so that the Holy Spirit
can ring the alarm bells even if something doesn't actually smell fishy.
light of the above remarks, I am reprinting the following e-mail in good
faith, as it was given to me. Before accepting this, it would be wise
to do your own investigation. However, if TBN are soliciting funds for
non-existent projects, the truth should be told.
Sun, 31 Aug 1997, in alt.religion.christian Kevin Cornell <email@example.com
am a web page designer and do a web page for my father in law who has
for the last 13 years been the chief engineer over all operations at Ampex
Corp, and the resident engineer for the International Christian Embassy
in Jerusalem, Israel.
he came across some information regarding claims that the Trinity Broadcasting
Networks has four Television stations in Israel. After a week of investigation
it he has come to find out that there are no such broadcasting stations
anywhere in the country and writes this:
we were home travelling amongst many of your Churches we were asked
this question over and over as one of the large organisations on TV
are telling you that they are operating several TV Stations through
out Israel and they need your contributions badly to continue......."
be advised that with great sadness in my heart I have to report the following:
TBN (Trinity Broadcasting Network) claims that they are operating TV Stations
from the following areas in Israel. From atop of the Mount of Olives,
From Ramallah, From Bethlehem, From Jericho and that they have plans for
7 additional such stations through out Israel. After spending several
days checking out these sites with electronic equipment it is quite evident
that none of these stations exist and what is interesting is that the
Christian Arabs who live in these areas know nothing about these stations.
claims that they are broadcasting on channels 21, 23, & 25 and that
the Government and the people are so thrilled and blessed to be able to
hear these broadcasts. If these stations exist in Israel they would be
deemed by the Israeli Government as pirate radio stations and would be
closed down as they would be operating in Israel proper without a license.
In Israel we have the equivalent of the FCC which is called the Ministry
of Communications and they have full authority to arrest and disassemble
any TV or Radio station operating without being licensed by the Israeli
have emailed TBN several times questioning where these stations are operating
and why we cannot hear or see them since we live just two miles from the
top of the Mount of Olives. The reply (a canned reply) that is always
returned is...that due to our thousands of requests we cannot reply to
your request at this time.
can check into the Internet and download all of their information complete
with pictures at the following web site: http://www.tbn.org/ Check in
and decide for yourself...TRUE or FALSE?
Larry J Hawks, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
American people are being bilked and swindled out of money in the name
of Religion. It is time the American people new the truth.
Cornell: Webpage Developer, E-Mail: email@example.com
have a suggestion. It is radical - but perhaps it could work. Why don't
we all just stop giving these people our money? Yes, save your money for
your local fellowship or good causes that you KNOW are real, genuine and
bona fide. (If necessary you could check people and organisations out
think, if people stopped giving Rodney-Howard Browne their hard-earned
cash, he would be forced to stop travelling round the country preying
on innocent Christians with his laughter nonsense.
if Kenneth Copeland and those like him are so convinced that their FAITH
can provide, why don't we give them a chance to PROVE IT - and stop
providing for them ourselves. Either their faith would fail them (and
thus prove them to be charlatans) OR they would experience a miracle of
provision and receive a hundredfold without our help. That would be just
great for both of us, wouldn't it?
about it? Let's start a new campaign, the "We Don't Support You
- God Does" campaign, and let's save our money for providing
for our own families and churches for a change.
somebody else who has been pulling the wool over our eyes for decades.
He's already been exposed as a Mason, and now this:
BELIEVES MEN CAN BE SAVED
APART FROM NAME OF CHRIST
Robert E. Kofahl, Ph.D. Date: 17-Aug-97 7:44
by Way of Life Literature's Fundamental Baptist News Service. August 14,
1997 (Fundamental Baptist News Service, 1701 Harns Rd., Oak Harbor, WA
following is from Foundation magazine, May-June 1997, Fundamental Evangelistic
Association, P.O. Box 6278, Los Osos, CA 93412, (805) 528-3534 (voice),
INTERVIEW OF BILLY GRAHAM BY ROBERT SCHULLER.
1, AN APPROXIMATELY 7-MINUTE-LONG BROADCAST IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA ON
SATURDAY, MAY 31, 1997.
FOLLOWING IS AN EXACT TRANSCRIPT* OF AN EXCERPT CLOSE TO THE END OF THIS
Tell me, what do you think is the future of Christianity?
Well, Christianity and being a true believer--you know, I think there's
the Body of Christ. This comes from all the Christian groups around the
world, outside the Christian groups. I think everybody that loves Christ,
or knows Christ, whether they're conscious of it or not, they're members
of the Body of Christ. And I don't think that we're going to see a great
sweeping revival, that will turn the whole world to Christ at any time.
I think James answered that, the Apostle James in the first council in
Jerusalem, when he said that God's purpose for this age is to call out
a people for His name. And that's what God is doing today, He's calling
people out of the world for His name, whether they come from the Muslim
world, or the Buddhist world, or the Christian world or the non-believing
world, they are members of the Body of Christ because they've been called
by God. They may not even know the name of Jesus but they know in their
hearts that they need something that they don't have, and they turn to
the only light that they have, and I think that they are saved, and that
they're going to be with us in heaven.
What, what I hear you saying that it's possible for Jesus Christ to come
into human hearts and soul and life, even if they've been born in darkness
and have never had exposure to the Bible. Is that a correct interpretation
of what you're saying?
Yes, it is, because I believe that. I've met people in various parts of
the world in tribal situations, that they have never seen a Bible or heard
about a Bible, and never heard of Jesus, but they've believed in their
hearts that there was a God, and they've tried to live a life that was
quite apart from the surrounding community in which they lived.
[R. S. trips over his tongue for a moment, his face beaming, then says
I I'm so thrilled to hear you say this. There's a wideness in God's mercy.
There is. There definitely is.
INTERVIEW OF DR. GRAHAM BY DR. SCHULLER CONTINUED:
II WAS BROADCAST ON SUNDAY, JUNE 8.
FOLLOWING IS AN ACCURATE TRANSCRIPTION OF A SEGMENT.*
You knew ... Fulton Sheen. You knew these men. Your comments on both of
these men [Fulton Sheen and Norman V. Peale].
The primary way of communicating is to live the life, let people see that
you're living what you proclaim.... [comments on his friendship and conversations
with Fulton Sheen] I lost a very dear friend, and since that time, the
whole relationship between me and my work, and you and your work, and
the Roman Catholic Church has changed. They open their arms to welcome
us and we have the support of the Catholic Church almost everywhere we
go. And I think that we must come to the place where we keep our eyes
on Jesus Christ, not on what denomination or what church or what group
we belong to.
HISTORICAL BACKGROUND FOR UNDERSTANDING
BILLY GRAHAM'S SHOCKING PROFESSION
OF ROMAN CATHOLIC STYLE UNIVERSALISM IN 1997:
Graham's first great city-wide evangelistic campaign was held in Los Angeles
in 1949. At that time he made a public promise that he would never have
any theological modernists (theological liberals) on his platform. Dr.
Graham's first evangelistic campaign in England was held in the summer
of 1954. On that tour he was accompanied by Dr. John Sutherland Bonnell,
the pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in New York City. Dr. Bonnell
was also the president of the Ministerial Association of New York City,
which was dominated by modernist ministers and churches. On Dr. Graham's
British tour Bonnell was working to persuade him to hold a campaign in
New York in 1956 under the auspices of the liberal Ministerial Association.
During that time a group of Bible-believing pastors and laymen sent Dr.
Graham in England a telegram asking him to hold an evangelistic series
in New York City sponsored by "a committee of twice-born men."
his return to the States Dr. Graham announced that he would come to New
York in 1956 sponsored by the Ministerial Association of New York City.
The committee of Bible-believing men sent a delegation to Dr. Graham begging
him not to confuse the line between the gospel of grace and the false
gospel of the modernist churches represented in the Ministerial Association.
Graham turned a deaf ear to them, and came to New York with the requirement
that all churches should be invited to participate in the campaign. In
that campaign, the Billy Graham Association trained counselors sent from
all sorts of churches, including the Roman Catholic Church. The policy
was established of directing each inquirer during the campaign to his
or her home church. Some Protestants were sent to modernist churches.
Roman Catholics were directed back to the priest of the Roman church nearest
to their home address. This policy of cooperation with the Roman Church
continues to this day.
Graham has received honors from Roman Catholic circles, including an honorary
degree from a Catholic college. In his last campaign in the British Isles,
two leading prelates in the Roman Catholic Church in England sent out
pastoral letters encouraging Catholics to attend the Graham meetings.
One of these prelates explained to his parishioners that "Billy Graham
knows our limits." That is, the Roman Church can count on him not
to touch on any theological doctrines that contradict official Romanist
teachings. Thus Dr. Graham will not explain that a sinner trusting in
the Lord Jesus Christ for forgiveness of sins and eternal life must give
up any trust he might have in any other object of faith; that he or she
must trust in the Person, Jesus Christ, and Him alone, not trusting in
Mary or saints, rejecting any trust in the sinner's good works or religious
observances, relying totally on His perfect work of redemption, a substitutionary
atonement on the cross, taking the sinner's place under the judgment of
God and receiving in His body the total punishment for sin that the sinner
deserves, and through repentance and faith receive the perfect righteousness
of Christ, imputed by God to the believer, that makes the sinner forever
acceptable to a holy God, and immediately a possessor of the gift of eternal
life that cannot be forfeited or lost, kept by the power of God throughout
all eternity. If Billy Graham were to preach this biblical and complete
doctrine of salvation, he would at once lose the support of the Roman
Catholic leaders. Multitudes of Roman Catholics would be warned and frightened
from attending Billy Graham meetings.
doctrine that Dr. Graham expressed to Dr. Schuller is exactly what the
Pope and the Ecumenical Institute in Rome have been teaching for years.
This is the idea that any pagan, practising idolatrous worship, having
no slightest knowledge of the Bible, the gospel of grace, or the Person
and name and redeeming work of Jesus Christ-if he is a "good person"
and if he is sincere in whatever he may believe-is automatically "redeemed
by the blood of Christ." This false doctrine of salvation was clearly
and explicitly asserted and defended in debate about four years ago on
radio stations KABC and KBRT by Father Vivian Benlima, then Director of
the Office for Ecumenical and Interdenominational Affairs of the Archdiocese
of Los Angeles, who just returned from a year's study at the Ecumenical
Institute. It is the official teaching of the Roman Church.
Billy Graham Evangelistic Association was the primary force for the founding
of the Lausanne World Evangelism Conferences back in the 1980s. Especially
in recent years these conferences have called on all churches, including
the modernist ecumenical churches of the World Council of Churches and
the Roman Catholic Church to cooperate with the evangelical churches in
evangelizing the world for Christ. At Amsterdam '86, billed as a "school
for evangelists" and sponsored by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association,
Graham revealed his ecumenical, inclusivist approach to worldwide evangelism.
In the final press conference, Dr. Graham was asked by Dennis Costella,
a news correspondent for Foundation magazine, how he could justify this
melding together of such a disparate crowd of theologically disunited
religious groups. Dr. Graham responded, "Evangelism is about the
only word we can unite on. ... Our methods would be different and there
would be debates over even the message sometimes, but there is no debate
over the fact that we need to evangelize. ... I think there is an ecumenicity
here that cannot [be gotten] under any other umbrella."
he averred, all the churches must be willing to disagree even on the question
of what the Christian message to the world is.More recently, in the spring
of 1994, a group of both evangelical and Roman Catholic leaders signed
a document called "Evangelicals and Catholics Together" (ECT).
This document asserts that there is one Church (including both Protestant
and Roman churches), that, therefore, they must work together in evangelizing
the world for Christ, and agree that there will be no sheep-stealing,
that is, proselytizing of members of one church to depart and join another
church. ECT dismayed multitudes of Christians and elicited vigorous criticism
from many Christian circles.
can be little question that Dr. Billy Graham during almost forty years
laid the major foundation for ECT. Where will the Billy Graham Evangelistic
Association go in the future? Will the leadership that succeeds the founder
continue down the same perilous path of compromising and diluting biblical
truth until we arrive at total syncretism and universalism? May God forbid
and warn His people!
Robert E. Kofahl, Ph.D., and the Rev. Harold L. Webb certify the accuracy
of the transcripts from Parts I and II, respectively, of the televised
interview of Dr. Billy Graham by Dr. Robert Schuller.
CHANGING FACE OF THE ALPHA COURSE
to get their own version!
comes as something as a shock to evangelicals to discover that a popular
course designed to present the scriptural truths of salvation to unbelievers
is being widely used in Roman Catholic parishes. However, given the bland
nature of the course and the emphasis on supernaturalism, this was inevitable.
Holy Trinity Brompton who developed and own the course have actually done
ecumenism a great favour in producing an evangelistic course almost devoid
of evangelism! This makes it ideal for making church members rather than
Christian converts, something Rome has been accomplishing for years by
more traditional methods. Now they are providing Catholics with a version
of their own. It would be interesting to see what changes have been made!
following piece written by an Anglican Priest in the "New Directions"
paper (produced for Anglo-Catholics within the Anglican tradition) illustrates
the trends towards ecumenism in the Alpha course. It also provides a non-biased
confirmation of the defects of the Alpha Course, which actually had to
be adapted to provide more traditional scriptural teaching! HTB have now
stopped this practise of adaptation by insisting the Course must be run
as written (including, supposedly, the pro-Toronto teaching and the Holy-Spirit
weekend that introduces All the candidates, saved or not, to an "experience"
of the Holy Spirit).
(Summer 96) article on the Alpha Course for more details on
Crack A Nut" by Tony Roake
of St. Andrew's, Bennett Road, Bournemouth.
TWENTY years ago when I was a curate in Nottingham, our parish helped
pilot a course called Saints Alive, which had been written by the
then vicar of St. Margaret's, Aspley, one John Finney, and his pastoral
assistant, Felicity Lawson. Since then, John and Felicity have moved on
to new things, and have, along the way collaborated with others in producing
the Emmaus teaching programme published by the Bible Society.
Alive emerged during a time when the charismatic renewal movement
was taking hold in the Church of England. Our parish stood within the
Catholic tradition and St Margaret's, Aspley was evangelical in background,
yet Saints Alive proved a good fit, and a more than useful tool
for bringing people to Christ and into a personal experience of the healing
love of God.
Saints Alive was taken up by the Anglican Renewal Ministries and
marketed quite widely. On reflection, Saints Alive was quite clearly
a forerunner of Alpha, thereby proving the truth of the adage that
there really is nothing new under the sun. Saints Alive did not capture
the imagination of the Church in the way that Alpha has. Alpha's
phenomenal success and influence has made a widespread impact on the Church
in this country right across the churchmanship board. In my present deanery
alone, nearly every parish has, at the very least, discussed the possibility
of using Alpha, such is its reputation, and many have adopted it
as a means of bringing people to Christ.
despite all this success and popularity all is not calm on the Alpha
front. Alpha is owned and produced by Holy Trinity Brompton (henceforward
"HTB"). NIB has found it necessary to issue a warning about
copyright to users of Alpha. Users are told in no uncertain terms that
they must neither "depart from, not qualitatively alter" the
teaching outlined in the Alpha course and that any changes or alterations
must be minor and confined to use in the parish or church making the alterations.
There is also a proviso that any alteration should not change the "essential
character of the course".
of this is understandable because HTB has discovered that some churches
and Christian groups are using the name of Alpha to describe something
else entirely - it is clearly wrong to be marketing something in a bogus
manner. However, I believe that it is also possible to detect, as a subtext
of the HIB statement on copyright, a degree of antipathy on the part of
HTB toward those who take a "pick and mix" attitude to Alpha.
from my researches and experience it would appear that a large number
of those using Alpha take a more casual approach to it than HTB
would seem to be prepared to countenance.
Alpha's startling success and popularity, it must seem churlish
and ungrateful to attempt any criticism of it, yet the ubiquity of the
"pick and mix" approach does beg the question: Why do parishes
treat Alpha as a flexible friend?
of the answer can be found in dissatisfaction with the content. For instance,
some parishes and groups have felt that there is insufficient emphasis
on the Trinity and have consequently produced an extra session on the
Fatherhood of God. Others, while understanding that the purpose of Alpha
is, as its name suggests, a starter course for non-Christians and fringe
members, have felt that bringing people to new birth in Christ on a firm
foundation requires much more emphasis on repentance and the Cross and
have modified Alpha accordingly. Some have found the charismatic
emphasis on speaking in tongues and healing unbalances the course and
have played these sections down.
are significant criticisms, and modifications that would seem to fall
foul the recent strictures from HTB. However, my overall impression of
the way in which Alpha has been used is that it has been used widely
on a "pick and mix" basis and has seldom been taken "neat".
hope is that HTB will recognise this and not apply the rules too harshly
and quench the blessing. In any event, HTB has implicitly recognised the
difficulty is which Anglican Catholics have with aspects of a Alpha
by virtue of its preparation of a version is designed for Roman Catholics.
It will be interesting to see what alterations will be made to content,
and to monitor the uptake amongst Anglicans of this revised course.
the Torah Codes issue. Ever since I first heard
about this concept, I have been concerned that Christians are being swept
along in another fad which would discredit both them and the Church as
a whole. Even more worrying is the thought that the Torah Codes will be
used to "prove" some coming world event that is intensely anti-Christian,
and those who have believed in the codes and promoted them will be left
with egg on their faces.
concerns were not alleviated by hearing of national names like Grant Jeffrey
writing books about the topic, and ministers like Texe Marrs praising
the Codes as "proof of the infallibility of the Word of God".
Texe Marrs has now, interestingly, backed off from his early enthusiasm.
one or two more sensible articles have appeared, pointing out the problems.
I am grateful to Orrel Steinkamp for the following piece in his newsletter
ID number 102046,2250)
Torah Code and Biblical Cryptography
controversial new book claims that buried within the Bible is a "secret
guide to all that was, is and shall be" is the subtitle of an
article in a June 1997 issue of Newsweek. (1) Events allegedly encoded
in the Torah include:
and "Dallas"; "economic collapse" and "1929";
"Hitler," "slaughter," and "Nazi and enemy";
"Wright Brothers" and "airplane"; "Edison,"
"light bulb," and "electricity." The code is said
to reveal "Shoemaker-Levy" and "will pound Jupiter"
(the Shoemaker-Levy Comet did, in fact, hit Jupiter in 1994). The decoders
believe they found the exact date the scud missiles hit Israel during
the Gulf War. The most famous example, however, is the apparent prediction
of Yitzak Rabin's assassination. Events that are yet to happen are apparently
hidden in the code, for instance, an earthquake hitting Los Angeles in
the year 2010. (5770 by the Hebrew calendar) (2)
the Divine inspiration of the Bible now been proven beyond all doubt?
Do Christians now have a new and indisputable claim to the supernatural
nature of Scripture? Might the Code be an end-of-themillenium "quantum
leap" in the unassailable defense of the truthfulness of the Old
Testament and also of the Christian faith? If God has indeed encoded all
this in the Bible, then it changes everything about the signiticance of
the Bible for both Christian and non-Christian.
1996 book The Bible Code by Michael Drosnin (3) is built upon the work
of three Jewish mathematicians (4). Their discoveries depend on the exact
positioning of all the Hebrew consonants in the Torah. Hebrew is a Semitic
language whose alphabet contains only consonants; vowels are understood,
but not written. (In the 8th century A.D. the Masoretes, a group of Jewish
scribes and scholars invented a system of points to indicate vowels, but
even modern Hebrew does not print these vowel points. For example, "th
Gspl f Jss Chrst" would be read as "the Gospel of Jesus Christ.")
is this supposed encrypted code decoded? First the 304,805 consonants
of the Hebrew Torah are put into a continuous line (no spaces between
words, and of course, no vowels). Then, beginning with the first letter
in Genesis 1:1, a computer scans the line searching for a key word by
employing a selected "skip code" which reads every nth letter
(the skip code assigned may, for instance, be every 9th, or 36th, or 1897th
letter) until it "hits" the key word. If there is no hit, the
process is repeated beginning with the second letter of Genesis 1:1, and
so on. If there is a hit, the computer then selects every Hebrew letter
according to that particular skip code and places them in an array or
grid of lines (line length equals the skip code number). The array is
then searched vertically, backwards, and diagonally for any intersecting
words that may be related to the hit word and that may give additional
meaning to the hit word.
advertising "The Signature of God" by Grant Jeffrey,
(5) the Christian Book Distributors catalog suggests that "his
research will help you prove the word of God is the inspired word of God...
the mysterious codes in the Old Testament refer to Hitler, Rabin and Jesus."
(This book has been listed as 7th on a recent top seller list in "Christianity
Today".) More recently the Trinity Broadcasting Network and Paul
Crouch endorsed this book and the secret revelation of God within it.
Is this a new and exciting discovery for the faithlul or something old
that has simply been recycled at the end of this century?
concept of hidden and/or encrypted revelation in the Bible goes back at
least to a medieval Jewish occult practice called the Kabbalah (or Cabala).
In the 12th century a Jewish sect combined elements of sorcery, pantheism,
and Gnosticism with numerology from the Torah. (Hebrew consonants are
used for numbers and have assigned numerical values.) As with the present
phenomena, the premise was that there are secret numeric codes in the
Torah. Writings of the Kabbalah eventually were translated into Latin
and certain 15th century Catholic theologians attempted to use these numeric
codes as a means of converting Jews.
Reformers rejected all this, asserting that there were no hidden messages
which only an elite and trained priesthood could discover, that these
so-called codes would destroy the biblical concept of the priesthood of
all believers. (6)
searching for hidden codes continues. In 1977 Del Washburn and Jerry Lucas,
a former NBA basketball player, took up a numeric code method and produced
a book entitled "Theomantics" (7). Harold Camping used
numeric codes in his book 1994 to predict a date for the Lord's return."
That year passed and the Lord did not return. (8)
problems in the skip code method are greater than any supposed gain in
proving divine inspiration of Scripture or prophecy of the fliture. A
skip code used on the Hebrew translation of "War And Peace"
hits on the word "Chanukah" and fifty-nine related words,
including "miracle of lights" and "Maccabees," are
found nearby. (9) Even though the odds are high against this happening,
does this imply that either God or Tolstoy encrypted revelation within
problem is that the method itself, which seems so dramatic, is flawed.
Statisticians call it "data mining." This means that the thousands
of possible skip code sequences combined with the thousands of possible
starting points in the Torah combined with vertical, backwards, and diagonal
reading will eventually yield some, possibly many, "hits" or
finds. Note that Hebrew, because of its structure, is prone to word play;
Hebrew words are built on a root system of three consonants; with the
spaces removed, letters can be combined and understood in a variety of
disturbing is the sometime "need" to transliterate Hebrew letters
into the English alphabet (laclif = L. A. CALIF) to get a sensible hit!
(10) The Newsweek article cited above quotes Don Foster of Vassar College,
who uses computers to analyze Shakespearean texts, as saying, "...these
[code finders] could do the same thing with a telephone directory if they
thought it was a spiritually significant text." (11)
cryptology and numerology has been applied to the Koran by Islamic apologists,
allegedly proving the divine inspiration of the Koran. Are the Bible the
Koran both divinely inspired? How can a questionable method be considered
a medium of revelation from God? Torah Code methodology was employed by
a small group of Hasidic Jews to refute Christianity. Using a skip code
of 50 they "demonstrated" that Jesus was an idol made of wood.
If one can use a method to "prove" anything, everything, and
even contradictory things, then the method is invalid. Anyone can use
it for his own purposes.
commend Grant Jeffrey and others in their desire to defend the inspiration
of the Bible, but resorting to methods like these casts suspicion on the
Bible's authority rather than establishing it.
a converted Jew, asserted in Galatians that the Mosaic Law was obsolete
(the letter being replaced by the Spirit). Would God, in the Mosaic Law,
encrypt a secret code revealing both historical and spiritual truths that
only an end-of-the-second-millenium computer program could find? This
and other biblical codes "prove" too much and lead to error.
Is our doctrine of inspiration so weak that we must shore it up with a
flawed method? Let us show our belief in the reliability of God's words
which were written down for all to read and understand without resorting
to secret codes. The Christian church does not need a Christian "Kabbalah"
or scrabble game to buttress its faith in the inspiration of God's word.
The Apostle Paul did not hint at a hidden code in Scripture. Read his
words in 2 Timothy 3:16-17:
Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting
and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly
equipped for every good work."
agree with the great Princeton Old Testament scholar 0. T. Allis: Words,
sentences, and phrases in the Bible usually have a plain and obvious meaning;
attempts to find mysterious numerical patterns and values is, to say the
least, a tremendous waste of time and effort. What is far more important,
resting as it does on principles that are demonstrably false, is that
it may lead to serious, even disastrous consequences. One whorests his
faith in the truthand trustworthiness of the Bible on "biblical"
codes or numerics "is trusting a broken reed, which if leaned on,
will pierce his hand." (12)
Sharon Begley, "Seek and Ye Shall Find," Newsweek, June 9, 1997,
lbid., (earthquake illustration), p.67.
Michael Drosnin, The Bible Code, Simon & Schuster, 1996.
Doron Witziuni, Eliyahu Rips, and Yoav Rosenberg, "Equidistant Letter
Sequences in the Book of Genesis," Journal Of the Royal Statistical
Society (1988), 15 1:1, pp.177. Reprinted in Statistical Science (August
1994), vol.9, no.3, pp. 5429ff.
Grant Jeffrey, The Signature of God, Frontier Research, 1996.
Robert Morey, Truth Seekers, November 1996, p.2.
Jerry Lucas and Del Washburn, Theomatics, Stein and Day Publishers, New
Harold Camping, 1994, Vantage Press, 1992. 'Begley, p.66.
Begley, (earthquake illustration), p.67.
Numencs, Presbyterian and Reformed, Phillipsburg NJ, (no date), p.24.