Justin Peters: Trips to Heaven


December 17, 2014

Justin Peters 2

And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgmentHebrews 9:27 (ESV)

Over the last few years, there have been several books, movies, and other accounts of people visiting both Heaven and Hell. The three most memorable being Colton Burpo, a (then) four-year-old boy who supposedly visited Heaven; Don Piper, supposedly killed instantly in a car accident, and visited Heaven for 90 minutes before being revived; and Bill Wiese, who claims to have been dead for 23 minutes, visiting Hell during that time.

Justin Peters, of Justin Peters Ministries, travels the US and overseas to give seminars on the Word-Faith movement, and other discernment topics, joins Echo Zoe Radio this month to discuss these stories, and compare them to Scripture and each other to demonstrate their falsehood.

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Dan Phillips: The World-Tilting Gospel


November 23, 2014

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“These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also, and Jason has received them, and they are all acting against the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus.”Acts 17:6b-7 ESV

Dan Phillips is pastor of Copperfield Bible Church in Houston, Texas. He has a Master of Divinity from Talbot Theological Seminary. He also writes for the collaborative blog Pyromaniacs, and his own blog, Biblical Christianity. He’s the author of two books, The World-Tilting Gospel, and God’s Wisdom in Proverbs.”

I’ve had in mind to ask Dan for an interview for Echo Zoe Radio for quite some time. His book The World-Tilting Gospel is a wonderful read, about the most dear subject to any Christian’s heart: the Gospel. For this episode, Dan and I discussed the book, and through it, the Gospel.

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Nick Coldagelli: The Love of God


October 26, 2014

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One of the most commonly held beliefs held by everyone, from evangelical Christians to unbelievers, is that God loves everyone. Christians often present the Gospel by saying that “Jesus loves you and died for your sins.” But is this what the Bible teaches? Who does God love? How does He manifest that love? How does the Bible describe the love of God?

For this month’s podcast episode, Nick Coldagelli returns to share with us his study of God’s love. He lays out what the Bible teaches about the love of God. He also addresses commonly held values held by most Christians that can’t be found in the Scriptures.

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Cameron Buettel: Hillsong


September 13, 2014

Hillsong_Church_New Cameron is a seminary student at the Master’s Seminary in the greater Los Angeles area. He also works at Grace to You, the media ministry of pastor John MacArthur. Cameron has a blog called “The Bottom Line“, and he also has a website at onceuponacross.com. It was on that blog that Cameron published years worth of correspondence and critique of Hillsong, which is a mega church movement and franchise based in Sydney, Australia. Cameron joins me to discuss Hillsong.

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Ryan Habbena: The Holy Land


August 23, 2014

Ryan Habbena in front of Cave 4 at Qumran.

Ryan Habbena in front of Cave 4 at Qumran.

In February of this year, I joined Ryan Habbena and the Mount Moriah Foundation on a tour of Israel. It was my hope during that tour to sit down with our guide for about 5 minutes at the end of each day to talk briefly about the sites we had visited that day, but logistically that just didn’t work out. Instead, Ryan joins me this month to talk about the things we saw in the Holy Land.

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Richard Bennett: Roman Catholicism


July 26, 2014

richard_bennett Richard Bennett originally comes from Ireland. He was trained by Jesuits in his early years, and received eight years of theological instruction and preparation for the priesthood with the Dominicans. He completed his education at the Angelicum University in Rome in 1964. He spent twenty-one years as a Catholic parish priest in Trinidad, West Indies. He had, therefore, the best of academic training in things Catholic, plus twenty-one years of being a parish priest applying Catholic teachings to everyday life. After a serious accident in 1972, in which he nearly lost his life, he began to study seriously the Bible. After nearly fourteen years of contrasting Catholicism to Biblical truth, he was convicted by the Gospel message. In 1985, he saw that justification is not being inwardly just as Rome taught, but being accepted in Christ. He was then saved by God’s grace alone and formally left the Roman Catholic Church and its priesthood. He has founded an evangelistic ministry to Catholics called “Berean Beacon.” He joins Echo Zoe Radio this month to share his testimony and to talk about Roman Catholicism.

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A Look at the Rapture, Part 4: Imminence


June 25, 2014

So far in the “A Look at the Rapture” series, we’ve introduced the subject, laid out the basic differences between the Pre-Tribulational rapture view and the Pre-Wrath rapture view, walked through Matthew 24, and we took a look at the differences between the 70th Week of Daniel, the Tribulation, and the Day of the Lord.

In this installment, it’s my intention to address the question of imminence.

“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Matthew 24:36-39

This passage certainly leaves the impression that the Lord will return at a moment no one suspects to gather His elect. It is a key passage in the Pre-Tribulational view. No other single aspect of Pre-Tribulationalism has as firm of a grip on the people who hold to the Pre-Trib view as does the doctrine of imminence. The fallacy of equivocation, which we discussed in part 3, often comes up because it is necessary to the Pre-Tribulational understanding of imminence.

So just what is imminence? The Pre-Tribulational view of imminence is the teaching that Jesus could (and will) return to gather His church at any moment, with no advanced notice, and no signs necessary for it to happen. They essentially teach that, following Pentecost, there are no more prophecies that must be fulfilled before Christ can return to gather the Elect. The word “imminent” could mean that something is certain to happen, it’s only a matter of time. We speak of imminence in our daily lives in this manner often. For example, at the time of this writing, there have been tensions in Ukraine for a few months between the pro-western Ukrainians that live mainly in the western part of that country, and the pro-Russian Ukrainians that live mainly in the east. It seems that a civil war, or even a Russian invasion, are imminent. Pre-Tribulationists use this very meaning of imminent, be the certainty of Christ’s return is assured, not just assumed, as in the case of war in Ukraine.

Another way of looking at imminence is simply to say that something is certain to happen, and we know when it will happen. Independence Day, 2014 is imminent. We not only know it’s coming, we know it’s a week from Friday. The midterm elections are also imminent. They will happen on November 4th, 2014. Knowing the day does not make it any less imminent than the imminence of the next major California earthquake.

Along the lines of the second understanding of imminence, there is the case of knowing something will happen, and knowing generally when it will happen, but not knowing exactly when it will happen. In Minnesota, the first major freeze is generally in October or November. We don’t know exactly when it will happen, it could be mid-October to as late as the end of November, but we can be certain it will happen. If I don’t get the water in my irrigation system blown out before it happens, I can be certain I’ll be digging up busted pipe the following spring if I wish to water my lawn again. My dad, who blows out irrigation systems in the fall for extra cash, generally comes over sometime in the second week of October to do it for me.

It is this latter understanding of imminence that Pre-Wrathers look to in our understanding of the timing of the return of Christ. Having looked at Matthew 24, we’ve already dealt with this to some degree. Also, looking above to the quote of vs. 36-39, it would be the Pre-Wrath view that we do know the season of the Lord’s return to gather His elect (like we know the season of the first hard freeze in Minnesota), we just don’t know the day or hour.

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A Look at the Rapture: Part 3 – The Fallacy of Equivocation


June 21, 2014

So far in this series on the rapture, we’ve introduced the subject, explained the basic differences between the Pre-Tribulational and Pre-Wrath views of the rapture of the church, and looked at Matthew 24, a key passage in regard to the timing of events leading up to Jesus’ return for His church. In this installment, we’ll investigate the differences between three key time periods immediately preceding the return of Jesus Christ at the end of the age. It is my contention that proponents of the Pre-Tribulational view of rapture commit the fallacy of equivocation in regard to these three periods, arguing that they are all different terms referring to the same period of time.

The distinction between these time periods is very important to the discussion of rapture. If these time periods are, in fact, the same, then several passages of scripture require a Pre-Tribulational rapture. If they are not the same, but rather are ways of breaking down a larger period of time into smaller periods within that larger period, then the Pre-Wrath view does a much better job of harmonizing the passages of scripture that point to the return of Christ.

The three terms, or periods of time, that we are going to look at here are as follows: The 70th Week of Daniel, the Tribulation, and the Day of the Lord. Because the proponents of the Pre-Tribulational view see all of these periods as being the same, and the terms as synonymous, the following description of each is the view held by the Pre-Wrath view.

The 70th Week of Daniel

Perhaps the most common term used to refer to the final few years at the End of the Age is “The 70th Week of Daniel.” This term is derived from Daniel 9:24-27

Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, land to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place. Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time. And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed. And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.” emphasis mine

When Daniel prophesies of “weeks,” he is referring to seven-year periods, or weeks of years, not weeks of days. This is not controversial, Bible scholars of all persuasions agree on the usage of the terms here.

Of the 70 weeks (of years) described above, 69 have already come to pass. From the end of the Babylonian captivity, which Daniel was writing from, until the time that Jerusalem and the Temple would be rebuilt would be seven weeks, or 49 years. Immediately following, there would be 62 weeks until Messiah would come, minister, and “be cut off.” In other words, this 62 weeks terminates with the crucifixion of Christ. That leaves us with a total of 69 weeks that commenced with the decree of Cyrus the Persian to rebuild Jerusalem (Ezra 1) and terminated with the death of Jesus Christ.

Pre-Trib and Pre-Wrath agrees that this period of time is seven years in duration. There has been no serious disagreement over that of which I am aware. One week is seven years.
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Bob DeWaay: The Works of the Holy Spirit


June 18, 2014

shepherd Bob DeWaay has, on many occasions, taught, written on, and presented on the Works of the Holy Spirit. Beginning in the 1990’s when a woman at his church wondered if the manifestations that happened at a Charismatic gathering were truly from the Holy Spirit as claimed by those conducting the gatherings. Bob works us through verse after verse in the Scriptures to show us exactly how we can know when we encounter true works of the Holy Spirit, as opposed to fraudulent works posing as if from the Holy Spirit.

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An Outline of the Discussion
  • Many people wrongly see the “gift of discernment” as a subjective sense about whether something is good, bad, right, wrong, etc. They confuse it with human intuition. Others attend gatherings that involve various “manifestations” and don’t know if it is the Holy Spirit or not.
  • The way you know that the Holy Spirit is at work is that Christ is preached and confessed.
  • John 15:26 – “When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me” Gatherings with false manifestations and healings will be apparent in their false status in that Christ is not preached.
  • 1 John 4:1-2Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; There is a connection here between testing spirits and false prophets, the spirits work through prophets. Many “Christian” groups will claim to follow the true Christ, and will tell you what you want to hear, but will not preach Him from the pulpit.
  • 1 John 4:3, 5and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world… They are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them. False teachers claim an anointing, but their anointing is not from God, as is apparent in that they will not preach Christ.
  • 1 Corinthians 12:3Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus is accursed”; and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. A false teacher (such as Kenneth Copeland) can utter the words “Jesus is Lord,” but they do not preach the Christ of the Bible. Copeland’s Jesus lost his divinity on the cross and battled Satan in his humanity.
  • Revelation 19:10Then I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus; worship God. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” True prophecy professes [the true] Christ.
  • 2 Peter 1:20-21But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a (matter) of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God. All of Scripture is about Jesus Christ.
  • Luke 12:10And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him. Christ is the only ‘anointed one,’ and the Holy Spirit testifies of Him. To reject that testimony is to reject the only means available for the forgiveness of sins.
  • Acts 1:8but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth. The sign of the Holy Spirit is that we preach Christ.

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A Look at the Rapture, Part 2: Matthew 24


Previously, I began this series with an introduction to the issue, and a look at the differences between the Pre-Tribulational and the Pre-Wrath views of the rapture of the church. “Rapture” is a transliteration of the Latin word rapturo, which means “catching up,” and refers to the gathering of the elect before the Day of the Lord. In this installment, it is my intention to take the reader through the 24th chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, in order to show how clear the text really is about the events surrounding the end of the age. In part 1, I asked the reader to read Matthew 24 before proceeding; if you didn’t do that, please do so now, before proceeding.

Matthew 24 flows directly from Matthew 23, which consists of the famous woes to the Pharisees, and ends with this passage:

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! See, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’” Matthew 23:37-39

Then we proceed into Matthew 24, which begins with the disciples commenting on the architecture of the city of Jerusalem:

Jesus left the temple and was going away, when his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple. But he answered them, “You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.” Matthew 24:1-2

He’s clearly upset, but as long as he brought up His return and the destruction of Jerusalem, the disciples ask privately how we’ll know when to expect that:

As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you dare not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.

“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom swill be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. Matthew 24:3-14

Already we are starting to see Jesus paint us a picture of the last days. In order to maintain the focus on Matthew 24, I won’t get into some of the parallel passages, such as Revelation 6, but I will recommend to the reader that you read that chapter to see how well the events parallel what Jesus describes here. Before you do that, let us continue.

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