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The Second Coming of Hercules

The gods of Greek mythology are real. They’re angry, and they’re coming back.

Wait, you’re thinking. I thought this guy was a Christian.

Exactly.

The Greek tales of their deities and demigods are bastardized versions of true history. Zeus is Satan. The Titans are the “sons of god [who] came in to the daughters of man.” The heroes of the Golden Age were “the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown.”

Now, let’s be clear: We Christians do not seek truth in the myths of Greece and Rome. We can, however, gain a deeper understanding of the Bible by viewing the world through the eyes of the prophets and apostles, and they knew very well what their pagan neighbors believed. Much of what they wrote was directed at the pagan gods.

If you were brought up in church, there’s a good chance that, like me, you were taught that the idols of the pagans were lifeless blocks of wood and stone. That’s true, to a point. The pagans didn’t worship those carved images. An idol was like an antenna, a spiritual receiver that gave a god locality—a place to appear when the faithful called.

Those gods, though—they’re real.

That’s not the default teaching of most Christian churches. Sadly, most are out of step with the God they serve. God called the idols gods, so I’m on solid theological ground here. He’s judged them, found them wanting, and proclaimed a sentence of death on these rebels.

But they’re not dead yet. And just as you and I have free will to choose between right and wrong, so do they. God, who has seen the end from the beginning, has revealed enough about their plans through prophecy in the Bible to tell us that the ride on earth will get rough before Christ returns. Reading those prophecies with a better understanding of what the Hebrew prophets knew about the pagan gods reveals some startling insights about what lies ahead.

In my 2018 book Last Clash of the Titans, I presented evidence for a number of claims, many of which haven’t been made before to the best of my knowledge:

  • The Amorites of the ancient world are far more important to history than we’ve been taught.
  • The Titans, the old gods of the Greeks, are the biblical Watchers, the sons of God who took daughters of man as wives as described in Genesis 6:1–4.
  • Their offspring, the Nephilim (later called Rephaim), were the heroes and demigods of the Greeks.
  • The Amorites summoned the spirits of the Rephaim through necromancy rituals and believed they were the ancestors of their kings.
  • Balaam’s prophecy over Israel foretold the final destruction of the Nephilim by the Messiah.
  • Ezekiel’s prophecy of Gog and Magog tells us when and where they’ll be destroyed.
  • Gog won’t be human, and Magog is not Russia.
  • The spirit of primordial chaos, Leviathan, returns from the abyss as the Antichrist.
  • The Titans and their seed, the spirits of the Rephaim, return in the last days to fight at Armageddon.

As you may have noticed, the book focuses on the supernatural players of the end times. We spend too much time debating whether Vladimir Putin is Gog and not enough trying to discern the principalities and powers behind the scenes.

Now, I could be wrong about much of this. However, my analysis is backed by peer-reviewed, academic research. Most of it comes from secular scholars with no dog in the eschatological hunt. They’ve found many of the pieces of the puzzle, but they don’t see the whole picture because the missing pieces are in the Bible—and most of those scholars just won’t look there.

Likewise, many learned students and scholars of the Bible don’t look to secular academia for information. We Christians do see the big picture, but much of the background image is missing. There is no context for the crossing of the Red Sea, the march around the walls of Jericho, or the confrontation between Elijah and the priests of Baal. Why did God ask such things of His people? There are answers to those questions rooted in the history, culture, and religion of the people who lived in the lands of the Bible during the age of the prophets and apostles.

Is understanding that context essential to your eternal salvation? No. If you’ve accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, your future is secure.

But understanding how the pagan gods of the ancient world have successfully rebranded themselves as action heroes for major motion pictures might be useful to reaching the lost. As Baudelaire wrote, “The finest trick of the devil is to persuade you that he does not exist.” Recent research shows that nearly 60 percent of American Christians have fallen for that lie.[1] God’s statement is as true today as it was 2,700 years ago: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”[2] How do you resist an enemy you think is make-believe?

Zeus, Hercules, the Olympians, and the Titans are real. They hate us, they want to kill us, and they’re coming back.

Get ready.

[1] Barna Group (2009). “Most American Christians Do Not Believe that Satan or the Holy Spirit Exist,” https://www.barna.com/research/most-american-christians-do-not-believe-that-satan-or-the-holy-spirit-exist/, retrieved 4/29/18.

[2] Hosea 4:6.

Storm-god Rising

Baal (properly spelled Baʿal) was the main enemy of Yahweh in the Old Testament. One could argue that he was even more of a villain in the Bible than Satan, whos only mentioned in fourteen Old Testament verses, in the books of 1 Chronicles, Job, and Zechariah. Baal, on the other hand, appears 106 times in 88 verses (including personal and place names, like Baal-zephon).

Baal is first mentioned in the Bible in Exodus and he was still around 3,400 years later in the New Testament. Jesus discussed him with the Pharisees (see Matthew 12:22-28; Beelzebul means “Baal the prince”).

Stela at the Louvre from the ancient city of Ugarit depicting Baal in characteristic “smiting” pose, holding mace and thunderbolt

Baal isn’t a name, its a title. It means “lord,in the same way we Christians usually say Lord (and our Bibles read Lord) instead of saying Yahweh or spelling out YHWH. It’s rather arrogant, when you think about it. And Baal wasnt the only one; over time, Babylons chief god Marduk came to be known as Bel, which likewise means “lord.

Baal has had a long career. Hes not recognized as an active deity in our world today, at least not by the secular scholars who have researched the people who worshiped him. It’s safe to say most American Christians think of Baal as a sort of cosmic imaginary friend of the pagan nations around ancient Israel—but surveys show that most American Christians don’t believe in Satan or the Holy Spirit, either.

There may be a few neopagans here and there trying to recreate the old religion of the ancient Canaanites, but like aging pop divas, the old gods reinvented themselves as time and people moved on. Weve already seen how Sumerian Inanna became Babylons Ishtar, the Semitic Astarte, Aphrodite of Greece, and Venus of Rome. Today, the old gods condemned by Yahweh in Psalm 82, Isaiah 24:21-23, and elsewhere, are viewed as characters in ancient literature, if they’re considered at all.

Over time, Baal replaced the original name of the West Semitic storm-god Hadad (or Haddu), who was also called Adad/Addu by the Akkadians. Baal has also been identified with the Hurrian god Teššub, the Hittite god Tarhunt, the Urartian god Teisheba, the Sumerian god Iškur, the Amorite god Amurru (incorrectly, as it happens), and others.

Of course, Baal is best known as Zeus to the Greeks and Jupiter to the Romans.

The earliest of these storm-god manifestations was Iškur (note: the š sounds like “sh”). However, Iškur was a minor deity in the Sumerian pantheon. Thats logical; in a land thats mostly desert, a god of storms and life-bringing rain wasnt as important as Enki, who controlled the fresh waters of the Tigris and Euphrates. Irrigation was far more important than rainfall for growing crops in southern Mesopotamia. Farther north, where rain was key to agriculture, Iškur played a larger role in the pantheon.

The chief god Enlil and his son, the war-god Ninurta, also had storm-god characteristics. This left Iškur looking like a pale imitation of the others, a third-tier superhero in a comic book universe. He was believed to be the son of Anu, although some traditions claimed that Enlil was his father. This could mean that Iškur wasnt a native Sumerian deity but an import from Sumers Semitic-speaking neighbors. As the patron god of Karkara, a minor city near Uruk in southern Mesopotamia, Iškur’s cult center didnt have enough political clout to elevate him into the upper rank of the pantheon, as Babylon later did for Marduk.

The first written evidence of the cult of Iškur comes from the cities Lagash and Adab in the middle of the 3rd millennium BC Adab was near Karkara, site of Iškur’s temple, the House of the Big Storms. Unfortunately, the ruins of Karkara havent been discovered yet, so we dont know much about the cult of kur or local traditions about him. But based on prayers and rituals that have been preserved, it appears Iškur, like most of the Mesopotamian gods and goddesses, could be good or bad depending on his mood. The storm-god brought necessary rain for the crops needed to survive but he could also destroy fields with wind, hail, and flood.

He first appeared under the name Hadda at Ebla around 2500 BC, and as Adad in Old Akkadian texts, the period of history that began with the empire of Sargon the Great around 2330 BC We know theyre the same because the Sumerian logogram for Hadda/Adad was the same used for Iškur (dIM). As god of the heavenly waters, Iškur was sometimes praised as the twin brother of Enki. This may be an early example of the twin godsmotif in ancient mythology. Sometimes theyre brother-sister twins, such as Apollo and Artemis; sometimes divine-mortal twins, like Castor and Pollux; and sometimes, as in this case, a pair of brothers, one more important than the other, at least in the early days. Until the early 2nd millennium BC, it wouldnt have been a compliment for Enki, the god responsible for the fresh water of the abzu and the fundamental laws of civilization, the mes, to be compared with a minor deity like Iškur.

kur-Adad, later Baal, played a key role in the cosmology of Mesopotamia for the next 2,500 years. His importance to the cultures of the region grew with the political influence of the Amorites, who may have introduced Iškur into Sumer, reaching its peak in the 2nd millennium BC and lasting through the time of Jesus.

At Mari, which was on the Euphrates about 75 miles southeast of the modern city of Deir ez-Zor, a powerful but short-lived Amorite kingdom grew from the ashes of an older state that had been smashed by Sargon the Great. The name Haddu often appears in texts found at Mari alongside Dagan, a grain god (contrary to common belief, Dagan/Dagon was never a fish god), and Itūr-Mēr, the patron god of the city of Mari, as one of the three great gods of the kingdom.

As political control of Mesopotamia shifted from Akkad to Ur and then to Babylon between 2150 BC and 1900 BC, powerful Amorite kingdoms in Assyria, Mari, and Yamad (modern Aleppo, Syria) emerged alongside the old Babylonian empire. At the same time, the storm-gods identity gradually shifted from Sumerian Iškur to Akkadian Adad and his importance in the pantheon grew.

By the time Hammurabi brought Babylon to the greatest extent of its power, around 1750 BC, Adad—Baal—was firmly established among the great gods of Mesopotamia.

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“A 15-minute Vision checkup”

Ask your core leaders these seven questions. If they answer no or show hesitation you are overdue for a vision checkup.

If your core leaders show any doubt rest assured the team members on the outer edge don’t have a clue. It’s the “outer-edge” team members that have the initial and most frequent contact with those you serve or are trying to reach.

1. IMAGINABLE: Does our vision convey a compelling picture of our future?
2. DESIRABLE: Does our vision appeal and grab the attention of at least two generations?
3. FEASIBLE: Is our vision built on reasonable, stretchable and achievable goals?
4. FOCUSED: Does our vision guide and dominate our decision making process?
5. FLEXIBLE: Does our vision allow for individual creativity and changing conditions?
6. COMMUNICABLE: Can all of our core leaders “Tell our story” and describe our vision in 100 words or less?
7. EXECUTABLE: Is our strategy (action plan) well-conceived, understood and embraced by all team members?

You get the best results when your team members feel they can be brutally honest, especially with their leader. Great leaders keep drilling down until they discover what every team member really thinks, not just what they think the leader wants to hear.

Until you have that degree of openness and honesty by everyone on the team you have not taped into the full potential of your team. Until you ask your team for just a little more than they think they can give, you won’t get all they can give. That takes commitment, trust and honest answers to these seven questions.

When’s the last time you and your team had a vision checkup? Poor attitudes, low energy and lack of engagement may indicate its time.

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Pastors Sharpen Pastors and Prayer is the Sword!

Pastors we need each other and our families need us to be strong.

Watch this short video and be encouraged!

The Mountain of Enlightenment and the End of the Age


A mountain in Arabia is responsible for what statisticians say will be the world’s largest religion by about 2070 unless something drastic happens. In that regard, we must give credit where it’s due—this mountain was, without question, the site of the most successful supernatural PSYOP in history.

The Arabic name of this peak means “Mountain of Enlightenment.” Jabal al-Nour is near Mecca in western Saudi Arabia. It’s the site of the cave where Muhammad was visited by an angel calling itself Jibril, or Gabriel.

There is no way to sugarcoat this: The message was not from God. Yahweh does not contradict Himself, but the Quran clearly does. Muhammad saw something, of that we have no doubt. But it was not a messenger from Yahweh.

Islam has a role to play in the future war for God’s holy mountain. Sadly for Muslims, the part the Fallen wants them to play is very simple—to die.

Allah is the name used for the god of Islam, but it’s also the name used by Arab Christians for the God of the Bible. This is somewhat confusing, which is, of course, intentional. Just as El was the name of the chief god of the Canaanites and a generic name for God in Hebrew, “Allah” is another PSYOP by the Fallen to muddy the water.

Many Christians assume that Muslims worship the same god they do, and so they aren’t surprised to learn that Arab Christians apply the same proper name to the God of the Bible. This is the same mistake as assuming a pagan Amorite in the 15th century B.C. who prayed to El was calling on the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Muslims, who believe that Allah has no son, have put their faith in something they think is the God of the Book (the Bible). How can that be, when there are fundamental differences between Allah and Yahweh?

Some Christian scholars draw a link between Allah and older deities worshiped in Arabia prior to Muhammad. This isn’t universally accepted, but it doesn’t have to be to make a case for the god of Islam being something other than Yahweh.

Etymologically, the explanation that seems to make the most sense, and the one accepted by most scholars, suggests that Allah is a contract of al-lāh, “the god.” That’s like the old Semitic use of El, a proper name that grew out of the generic Proto-Semitic word ʾil-, meaning “deity” or “god.” Variant forms show up in Akkadian (ilu), Ugaritic (il), and Hebrew (eloah, the singular form of elohim).

Still, differences in the fundamental characteristics of Allah and Yahweh force us to conclude that one of two things must be true: Either, 1) Allah and Yahweh are one and the same, and the Bible doesn’t accurately record the way Yahweh revealed Himself to the prophets and apostles; or, 2) some thing lied to Muhammad in that cave on Jabal al-Nour, and Allah is not the God of the Bible.

Given that we have Old Testament texts that can be reliably dated to at least two centuries before Jesus (the Septuagint translation from Hebrew into Greek), and most scholars would accept earlier dates for the authorship of those books, and that the books of the New Testament are the best attested documents from the classical period, there is compelling evidence that the Bible has not been corrupted or substantially changed since it was written by the apostles and prophets. While there are minor differences between some texts, the sheer number of manuscripts and documents that quote scripture, like letters from the early church fathers, provide plenty of material to cross-check the books of the Bible and confirm its reliability.

In contrast, the Quran was compiled into its final form about twenty years after the death of Muhammad from several competing versions. By the time of the third caliph, Uthman ibn Affan, Islam had spread from Arabia into Iraq, Syria, Egypt, and Iran, cultures that were different from one another and from the origin point of the faith. Uthman was reportedly motivated to take on the project by disputes between some of the new followers over the correct way to pray. So, to prevent Muslims from fighting over the book, texts were collected from around the caliphate and compiled into an “official” version, and variant copies were destroyed.

Even Muslim scholars—mainly Shia, who believe that Muhammad’s cousin and son-in-law was the rightful heir to the prophet’s growing empire—admit that Uthman corrupted the Islamic holy book by his action.

There is more to the story, of course. Scholars spend entire careers studying the Quran just as others do the Bible. But the fundamental difference between the Quran and the Bible is that there is no comparison between the two when it comes to the quantity and quality of the source material.

We take no joy in saying so. Literally billions of humans will pay the ultimate price for the supernatural deception worked on a charismatic Arab trader fourteen centuries ago. And billions more will be destroyed in the cataclysmic final battle for the holy mountain of Yahweh. The bloodthirsty gods are preparing for war.

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Here is where another brief review of history may be helpful. We’ll get a little speculative, and because we’re dealing with the spirit realm there is only so much we can say with one hundred percent confidence.

What happened to the Amorites? Scholars have been exploring that question ever since their existence was confirmed by sources outside the Bible in the 19th century. They were pushed out of Mesopotamia by the Kassites, who took Babylon in the 16th century B.C., and native rulers near the Persian Gulf called the Sealand Dynasty. We’ve already discussed how the Amorite Hyksos rulers of Lower Egypt were evicted by native Eygptians around the same time.

They Amorites disappear from history around the time of the Sea Peoples invasion of the Levant and Egypt in the late 13th and early 12th centuries B.C. This coincides with what scholars call the Late Bronze Age collapse. Over a period of about fifty years, between about 1200 and 1150 B.C., the major states of the eastern Mediterranean from Mycenaean Greece and Hatti to the Amorite and Canaanite states of the Levant were destroyed.

This was the event that ended the kingdom of Ugarit during the reign of the ill-fated Ammurapi we mentioned in an earlier chapter. A small kingdom southeast of Ugarit called Amurru, named for the Amorites, was also wiped out around this time.

This was the period of the later Judges, a time that set the stage for the emergence of the kingdom of Israel. Barak and Deborah’s destruction of Hazor, which some scholars think may have belonged to the kingdom of Amurru, may be dated to this time.

The bottom line is that only Egypt and a few small kingdoms in northern Syria appear to have survived this wave of destruction. The Philistines settled in what we call today the Gaza Strip, and they may have been part of the Sea Peoples coalition. Emerging from the ashes of this turmoil alongside the kingdom of Israel were several Aramean kingdoms, with Damascus and Hamath being the largest.

Because they came out of the same area formerly associated with the Amorites, it’s easy to assume that the Aramean people were just descendants of the Amorites who carried on as best they could after the disasters of the Late Bronze Age collapse. But we can’t make that assumption any more than we could assume that the Israelites were just Canaanites with a repackaged religion because of where David came to power.

By analyzing texts that have been found from the Neo-Assyrian, Neo-Babylonian, and later Egyptian kingdoms, we can piece together a history that seems solid. While the name “Amorite” fell out of use after the conquest of Canaan, there are a couple of tribal names that bridge the period between the disappearance of the Amorites and the emergence of the Arameans. Specifically, the Aḫlamū, sometimes called Aḫlamū-Aramayū (Aḫlamū-Arameans) by the Assyrians, and our old friends the Suteans.

Together, these two tribal names appear to be used, at least sometimes, interchangeably with both Amorite and Aramean nomads, mainly in the steppes of Syria and the Transjordan. After the conquests of the Assyrian empire through the 7th century B.C., even the Arameans fade from history, although the Aramaic language, because it was adopted as the lingua franca by Assyria, became the language of trade and cultural exchange in the Near East from about 600 B.C. to around the time of Jesus before giving way to Greek.

In short, scholars can document a “geographical, historical and linguistic continuity” between the Amorites of the Old Babylonian period and the Arameans of the Middle Babylonian era.

Recent history in the old Amorite homeland, which includes Iraq, Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon, points to a troubled future for the Holy Land. We mentioned earlier the existence of territorial spirits, the main biblical example being the Prince of Persia that tied up the messenger to Daniel for several weeks. We can’t know for certain, but it’s worth mentioning because, as you’ve noticed by now, this author doesn’t put much stock in coincidence, especially where it concerns the Bible and the ongoing spiritual war.

Here are the relevant questions: Can it be just a weird coincidence that the hot spots in the Middle East, especially since the emergence of the Islamic State since the summer of 2014, are a match for the areas defined as the homeland of the Amorites four thousand years ago? Is it just a cosmic accident that the land of the Amorites, especially central and northern Syria, are far more important in the eschatology of Islam than Arabia, the land of Islam’s birth?

Consider the otherwise inexplicable atrocities in the Islamic State’s capital, Raqqa, which lies on the west bank of the Euphrates close by Jebel Bishri, the ancient mountain of the Amorites; or the destruction in Aleppo, called the City of Hadad when it was ruled by Amorite kings in the days of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The prophecies that guide the leadership of the Islamic State focus on lands where the old gods of the Amorites once reigned supreme.

In Iraq, where ISIS is hard pressed at this writing by Iraqi, Kurdish, Turkish, and American forces in the city of Mosul, analysts at the Combating Terrorism Center at the U.S. Military Training Academy at West Point suggest that ISIS has already prepared a fallback plan in Diyala province if they can’t hang on in Mosul. The analysts feel the terrain and the demographic makeup of Diyala is especially well suited for an ongoing insurgency.2 That’s the area northeast of Baghdad along the Diyala River toward the Hamrin mountain range, where more than four thousand years ago the doomed Sumerian kings of Ur built their futile Amorite-wall-which-keeps-the-Tidnum-at-bay.All of this begs the question: What foul spirit is at work in MAR.TUki, the ancient land of the Amorites?

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“Energizing your team for change, is your greatest leadership challenge.”

Astronaut James Irwin said, “You think going to the moon was the most scientific project ever, but they literally threw us in the direction of the moon. We had to adjust course every ten minutes and landed only 50 feet inside a 500-mile radius of our target.”
On that mission every change, no matter how small, was essential to success. So it is with yours. If you resist even the slightest change long enough, you may find yourself off course, too late to adjust, and have to abort the mission.
What causes a lack of behavioral or organizational change? Team members are seldom the problem but get most of the blame. Senior leaders create most of their own problems by their lack of leadership in one or more of the following four areas:
First, lack of clarity about the rationale not only for the daily action plan, but more so for the long-term goals and strategy for change. People seldom buy into what they cannot see and understand.
Second, lack of commitment and passion for change by the core leadership team. Passion, or the lack of it, is contagious. There must be consensus and one hundred percent buy in by the core team. If not, delay the change or change players on the team.
Third, lack of accountability on a regular basis to reinforce positive sustainable change. Without accountability there is no improvement of what already exists much less changing it.
Fourth, lack of trust by the team in their Leaders’ decision-making skill in leading change. Trust is the glue that holds teams together when they face the unknown and the lubricant that enables them to flow together till the needed change becomes a way of life.  
Average leaders can keep the car between the guardrails most of the time. However, it takes outstanding leaders to lead when the way forward is no longer on the map and current conditions demand a change of direction.
“Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” George Bernard Shaw
Why not ask your leadership team which of the four areas above challenge them the most. Great leaders constantly ask this question and many others that make their leadership vulnerable and open for inspection. Weak leaders avoid questions about their leadership at all costs.
Technology-driven smart phones, tablets and laptops, microwave ovens, computer-flown airplanes, robots that can do just about anything, most kids toys and big box stores filled gadgets unheard-of a generation ago. 
They are today’s reality as a result of that first trip to the moon led by men and women not threatened by change. The wealthiest corporations on earth today were founded and continue to be led by leaders who declare war on the status quo every day.
Remember, without change your organization has no future. Without you personally changing your team remains stuck in “today” and only dreams about a better tomorrow.

Atty. David Gibbs III, I Support Pastors, You should too!

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Pastor’s Resource Tool Kit

The Resource Tool Kit is what every Pastor needs. What you will find here will make your life and ministry much easier and also flourish like never before! This “Tool Kit” provides you information about People and Ministries that have excelled with great success across the country. The links and videos below provide resources and training that will increase church attendance, bring in more tithes and offerings, strengthen and refresh marriages, teach tactical leadership skills, provide free legal counsel, cutting edge sermon material, complimentary pastor vacations and much more. Click on the names and videos below to learn more.

Scroll down to watch a short introductory video from each. 

BlessEveryHome.com  is the premier tool for any pastor who wants to get his church praying. This powerful ministry tool is unlike any other. Watch the video to see what thousands of pastors are doing to get many of their people working for the kingdom without ever leaving the house.

Saturate USA is providing FREE OF CHARGE any church in America the tools to EASILY get the gospel into every household in their city. This ministry is reaching every city with the gospel and inviting every church to get involved. Watch their video for detail.

Game Plan for Life is a ministry founded by re-known(3) Super Bowl winning and (4) NASCAR Championships Coach Joe Gibbs. Every Pastor we talk to states that they need more men involved and need them discipled to be faithful leaders. This unique and powerful ministry reaches into the heart of most men and is designed to reach men for Christ. The GPFL discipleship material is second to none. This ministry is a premier partner with All Pro Pastors International and provides many unique benefits to the pastors who join us.

National Center for Life and Liberty provides free legal counsel, legal documents, and educational seminars. Attorney David Gibbs, III represents the Christian community every day against the legal attacks in America, going all the way to the Supreme Court on several occasions.

Restoring Hope Global  Ever feel tired, exhausted with your job?  Where do you turn?  What do you do to refuel, to keep going in your mission?  Think about it pastor; where do you turn?  Where do you get to escape to?  The good news is there is “Restoration House”, a place for pastors and leaders to turn when work has exhausted you. Call today!

Mike Williams Ministry The 2017 Dove Award winner is known for his brilliance as a comedian and also as one of America’s leaders in bringing your congregation on board your ministry as an “All In” giver.  Mike’s new book “Reboot Church Giving” is a handbook for pastors.

Liberty Pastors/Reclaiming America for Christ is teaching the heritage of Pastors in America and how to get their church back to the evangelistic roots we were founded on. Learning the truth can sometimes be hard and it is these hard places that God opens our hearts and minds to change and grow. Pastor Paul Blair shares why we all need to look in the past to back on the straight road.

SkywatchTV is a new paradigm in Christian broadcasting, examining everything from ghosts, UFO’s, giants, demons, artificial intelligence, trans-humanism, the occult, evolution and many other subjects that are often uncomfortable to discuss in the average church environment. This is critical information when teaching discipleship and preparing yourself to face the enemy.  Warning: The video below is an example of what SkywatchTV investigates.

Time to Revive is the discipleship training ministry that is bringing revival across the country. Every church that engages in their teaching and follows their instructions will see an immediate impact on their church/community.

Please take a moment now and watch the videos below to learn more:

BlessEveryHome.com

Saturate USA

Game Plan for Life

 

National Center for Life and Liberty

Restoring Hope Global This is an All Pro Pastors “Premier Partner” for APP Pastors who need a Free place to get away to be refreshed, relax and recharged. 

 

Mike Williams Ministry

Liberty Pastors/Reclaiming America for Christ

SkywatchTV  

 

Time to Revive

There is a pastoral crisis… There is a pastoral cure…

 

When Pastors succeed, churches succeed. When churches succeed, families succeed. When families succeed, communities succeed. The glorious message of the gospel rises or falls in direct proportion to the health of the local pastor.

A recent church leadership survey reported that 27% of pastors had no one to turn to if they were facing a crisis, 35% were battling depression on a daily basis, 50% would abandon ministry if they had another job option and 70% say they do not have a close trusted friend. All Pro Pastors partners with pastors to change that.

The same survey announced that 90% of pastors believe they inadequately manage the demands of their job, and 53% felt their seminary training did not equip them for today’s church ministry. All Pro Pastors offers real world training resources to pastors where they are.

From medical help, mentoring, or the use of a vacation home for a sabbatical, All Pro Pastors works to connect Christian business professionals who are willing to help pastors succeed in their personal world. All Pro Pastors is a pastors friend.

Based on the simple example of Jesus, the All Pro Pastors Champions Table brings strength, encouragement, and restoration to pastors. A Champions Table consists of four strategically placed pastors partnering together for the growth of each other, their marriage and family, and the growth of their church. Best of all… IT WORKS.

A one hour weekly investment in yourself, your church, and your family through a Champions Table will transform your future. Please invest in your own personal emotional and spiritual foundation as a pastor. Then you will be able to stand for the long haul and be glad you did.

Be a part of All Pro Pastors. We are in this together for you, your family, and your church.

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From ChurchLeadership. org  & ChristianityToday. org Survey of Pastors:

Only 35% feel beloved or cared for by their church

46% have seriously considered leaving the ministry or are looking to do that right now

and 22% of pastors would not be a pastor if they had to do it all over again.

50% are so discouraged you would abandon ministry if you had another job option

44% of pastors do not like their church

28% are spiritually undernourished and 9% are burnt-out

23% are still distant to their families

57% are not receiving a livable wage

34% of pastors battle discouragement on a regular basis

35% battle depression and fear of inadequacy

27% can’t find 30 minutes a day to study the word for their own personal growth

81% have been tempted to have an inappropriate liaison with a church member

14% admit they currently struggle with using pornography

27% of pastors say they have no one to turn to if they are facing a crisis

90% of pastors feel they inadequately manage the demands of their job

53% say Seminary did not equip them for church ministry

44% of pastors claim the biggest challenge they have is recruiting or developing volunteers

78% of Pastors feel that their congregation is not tithing to their potential

89% have projects that could be accomplished if they had more funding too

This is why we need Paul Pickern and All Pro Pastors!

How to Listen so My Spouse Will Talk!

CONFLICT RESOLUTION IN MARRIAGE

The premise of productive listening is with our hearts. It is imperative that we grow in equanimity (having soundness of mind with spiritual discernment). Listen, any marriage that is successful values emotional connectivity as a jewel of understanding.

 

 

  • During the conversation exchange, if you don’t hear the words, “I need your advice,” then don’t give any. Generally, when a man speaks, facing times of conflict and problems, it is a picture of what he is thinking in terms of solutions and advice, or how to fix it. He is by nature, thinking logically about the problem and may offer advice too quickly. The need for discipline and self-control is essential.

 

 

Usually, when a woman speaks, facing conflict and problems, what she says is a picture of what she is feeling. By nature, she is emotionally expressing herself; however, emotional balance and temperance is a signature value for her.

 

It is vitally important that both husband and wife learn to listen and not lecture and to console and not counsel.

 

 

  • Show humility and empathy (John 11:30-36).                                               Jesus identified with the people at Lazarus’ death, displaying a powerful emotional moment. In times of conflict, emotional stress, or marital perils, spouses should demonstrate genuine care and concern for each other.

 

 

 

  • When you hurt with words, heal with words.                                                     Our Father God has given us some awesome guidance. Let’s look at Proverbs 25:11-“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” Tactful words are always the right words. Let’s look at one more scripture; Col. 4:6a –“Let your speech always be with grace and seasoned with salt.”

 

 

 

  • Healing also comes with touch. A study was done of 200 hospital patients. One hundred were touched and one hundred were not touched. The ones who were touched healed much faster than the ones who were not touched.     

 

Husbands and wives, take advantage of the healing and comfort of touch.

 

Take the other person by the hand and pray. Prayer lifts the person from feelings to faith (Matt. 18:19-20).  Because of marriage, you have a permanent lifelong prayer partner. We say that there is power in prayer, so let’s take advantage of the power that God has given us.                                                                                          

Titans, the Angels Who Sinned, and the Origin of Demons

Who were these meropes anthropoi, and what’s the connection to the Rephaim of the Bible?

Homer named a few of them in The Iliad: Theseus, who killed the Minotaur on Crete; Aegeus, the mythical founder of Athens; Polyphemus, the cannibalistic giant son of Poseidon, one of the Cyclopes; Caneus, a nigh invulnerable warrior, transformed from a woman into a man by Poseidon; Dryas, leader of a tribe that fought a long war with the Centaurs; and so on.

Significantly, Hesiod mentions that the meropes anthropoi became daimones after death, although he viewed them more favorably than Jews and Christians do demons:

But after earth had covered this generation — they are called pure spirits dwelling on the earth, and are kindly, delivering from harm, and guardians of mortal men; for they roam everywhere over the earth, clothed in mist and keep watch on judgements and cruel deeds, givers of wealth…

Hesiod, Works and Days, emphasis added

The Book of Enoch offers a slightly different explanation for the origin of demons:

And now, the giants, who are produced from the spirits and flesh, shall be called evil spirits upon the earth, and on the earth shall be their dwelling. Evil spirits have proceeded from their bodies; because they are born from men and from the holy Watchers is their beginning and primal origin; they shall be evil spirits on earth, and evil spirits shall they be called. [As for the spirits of heaven, in heaven shall be their dwelling, but as for the spirits of the earth which were born upon the earth, on the earth shall be their dwelling.] And the spirits of the giants afflict, oppress, destroy, attack, do battle, and work destruction on the earth, and cause trouble: they take no food, but nevertheless hunger and thirst, and cause offences. And these spirits shall rise up against the children of men and against the women, because they have proceeded from them.

1 Enoch 15:8-12 (R.H. Charles translation), emphasis added

Thus, between Hesiod and Enoch we can connect the meropes anthropoi, the men of the Golden Age, to the Nephilim, children of the fallen Watchers. Both lived during a pre-flood age, and both, upon death, became wandering spirits called demons. It’s just that the Greek view of daimones was more favorable than the Jewish (or Mesopotamian, for that matter) understanding of demons.

Needless to say, that’s another PSYOP by the Enemy.

Kronos, Saturn to the Romans, was king of a race of gods called the Titans, who reigned supreme after Kronos deposed his father, Uranus (with extreme prejudice—Kronos castrated him with a scythe). The golden race of men created by the Titans was the only one that lived during the reign of Kronos. Told that he would be deposed in turn by his children, Kronos tried to preserve his kingship by eating his kids as soon as they were born. Zeus was spared that fate by his mother, Rhea, who gave Kronos—obviously not a picky eater—a boulder wrapped in a blanket instead. When Zeus was grown, he freed his siblings and led a war to depose the old tyrant. The Titans were defeated and imprisoned in Tartarus.

So through the link between the Semitic root mrp’ and the Greek word meropes, we have a connection between the Nephilim and the heroic men of the Golden Age of Kronos, the meropes anthropoi, “the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown.”

Now, back to the Bible: Og, last “of the remnant of the Rephaim”, ruled the land of Bashan, a territory that included Mount Hermon, the place where the rebellious Watchers descended. In Deuteronomy 1:3, Joshua 12:4-5, and Joshua 13:12, we’re told specifically that Og “lived at Ashtaroth and at Edrei and ruled over Mount Hermon.” Edrei was the site of the battle between Israel and the forces of Og. And one of the Ugaritic texts, KTU 1.108, confirms the link between Og and the Rephaim as denizens of the netherworld.

May Rapiu, king of eternity, drink wine, may he drink, the powerful and noble god, the one who rules in Athtarat [Ashtaroth], the god who reigns in Edrei…

KTU 1.108

In other words, the Amorites of Ugarit believed that a god named Rapiu, a singular form of the word rpum (Rephaim), ruled exactly the same territory as Og, king of Bashan. And since Rapiu, the king of eternity, was linked to the Rephaim, the honored ancestral dead, Og’s kingdom around Mount Hermon was essentially the gateway to the underworld.

Here’s another interesting data point: In Ugaritic, Bashan, which Ugaritians pronounced with a “th” instead of an “sh”, meant “place of the serpent”—a callback to the divine rebel, the nachash, of Genesis 3. Remember from Isaiah 14, the nachash was cast down to Sheol where the dead kings of the nations reside. Did that happen at Bashan?

Canaanite myth offers another link between Og and the Rephaim: Danel (the Ugaritic equivalent of the Hebrew name Daniel), the hero of a Canaanite myth called The Legend of Aqhat, is described in the story as a mt rpi. According to Amar Annus, mt rpi, which means “man of Rephaim”, is a linguistic match for meropes anthropoi. That specifically links the golden race men from the age of Kronos—i.e., the Nephilim—to the Rephaim, and thus to the council of the Didanu.

But get this: Danel is also called mt hrnmy, which probably means “man of Hermon.”

Yeah. That Hermon.

So now we can link the biblical Rephaim, the mythical meropes anthropoi of the Golden Age of Kronos, the Nephilim, the Watchers of Genesis 6, and the mysterious council of the Didanu—which, remember, was probably the name of an ancient tribe of Amorites claimed as the ancestors of the kings of Ugarit, Assyria, and Babylon.

This is a good time to point out that the ill-fated Ammurapi III of Ugarit mentioned above shared a name with the most famous king of the old Babylonian empire, Hammurabi. Scholars typically translate their names, ammu rapi, as “my kinsman is a healer.” This draws on the possible meaning “healer” of the Semitic root rpi.

Although this author is not a scholar of ancient Semitic languages, in the context of what we’ve just read, a more accurate rendering of Ammurapi/Hammurabi might be “my kinsman is a Raphi’“—one of the Rephaim.

Since you’re perceptive, you’ve probably already figured out where this is leading. But to put this on the record, we will now lay this out in black and white: The name of an ancestor of several Amorite royal houses, Dedan, whose descendants were called the Didanu, Tidanum, and variations thereof, is the name from which the Greeks derived the word titanes—from which we get the name of the Titans.

Dedan is a name attested in the Bible. Dedan and Sheba are locations in western Arabia mentioned several times by the prophet Ezekiel (about which more later). It’s also the name of one of the leaders of Korah’s rebellion against Moses, Dathan (see Numbers 16).

One of the nephews of Nimrod was named Dedan, maybe not coincidentally. Could his name have been in honor of the Titans, the old gods who descended at Mount Hermon in the dim, distant past?

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While we’ll never identify for sure the Dedan whose name became synonymous with the old gods, or why the Amorites appear to have carried the belief that they were their heirs, we can document the connection between the Watchers of the Bible and the Titans of Greek myth.

When the Olympians defeated the Titans, Zeus banished them to Tartarus, a place of torment for the wicked as far below Hades as the earth is below heaven. That just happens to be the current address of the Watchers who landed at Mount Hermon.

For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment;

2 Peter 2:4 (ESV), emphasis added

The Greek word translated “cast them into hell” is the verb ταρταρόω, tartaroo, which literally means “to thrust down to Tartarus.” This is the only use of that word in the New Testament. Hades, meanwhile, is mentioned nearly a dozen times, including twice by Jesus. That distinguishes Hades from Tartarus, which was apparently reserved as a special place of punishment for angels who sinned. And the only explicit example of angels sinning in the Bible is in Genesis 6:1-4, which is confirmed by the passages in 2 Peter and by Jude, who clearly linked the punishment of the angels to a sexual sin.

Further, the Jewish scholars who translated the Hebrew scriptures into Greek two hundred years or so before Jesus’ birth into the text called the Septuagint understood the link between the Rephaim and the pagan gods. In 2 Samuel 5, the scholars translated the site of David’s battle against the Philistines, emeq rapha, as Valley of the Titans.

So. The Titans of the Greek myths were the “angels who did not stay within their own position of authority,” the Watchers of Genesis 6. They are bound in Tartarus, kept “in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day.” Their children, the Nephilim, whose spirits are the demons that plague the earth to this day, were the shades of Sheol, the Rephaim, who were summoned in rituals by Amorite kings who believed they were their honored dead ancestors.

Seriously.

Does the phrase “the iniquity of the Amorites” (Genesis 15:16) begin to make more sense?

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Summoning the Rephaim

Let’s bring our timeline of history into focus: The Bible tells us that Abraham arrived in Canaan 430 years before the Exodus. With the Exodus at 1446 B.C., that puts Abraham in Canaan in 1876 B.C., just as the fog over the political situation in Mesopotamia lifted with Amorites in control.

So let’s review:

  • Amorite kingdom of Babylon founded — 1894 B.C.
  • Abraham arrives in Canaan — 1876 B.C.
  • Isaac born to Sarah — 1851 B.C.
  • Isaac marries Rebekah — 1811 B.C.
  • Hammurabi crowned king of Babylon at Eridu — 1792 B.C.
  • Jacob and Esau born — 1791 B.C.
  • Abraham dies — 1776 B.C.
  • Hyksos take over Lower Egypt — c. 1750 B.C.
  • Jacob arrives in Egypt — 1661 B.C.
  • Ahmose drives Hyksos out of Egypt — c. 1550 B.C.
  • Moses leads the Exodus — 1446 B.C.
  • Joshua leads the Conquest of Canaan — 1406 B.C.

 

Interesting, isn’t it, that the Amorite domination of Mesopotamia began just as God called Abraham and directed him to Canaan? And that Babylon reached the peak of its power with the ascension of Hammurabi the Great just about the time Jacob and Esau were born?

At the same time, a Semitic-speaking, Baal-worshiping state emerged to take control of northern Egypt just before the arrival of the house of Jacob. Wouldn’t it be, you know, coincidental if the Hyksos rulers of Lower Egypt were Amorites, too?

Well, yes, it would—if we believed in coincidences. And as it happens, scholars do, in fact, believe the Hyksos were Amorites.

The best-known of the Hyksos kings, Khyan, is attested from inscriptions found as far from Egypt as Cyprus and modern-day Baghdad (probably originally in Babylon). An Amorite king with the same name, spelled Hayanu, is listed in a genealogy as a distant ancestor of Šamši-Adad and the royal house of the old Assyrian kingdom.

Scholars have also noticed strong similarities in the burial practices of the Hyksos and various Amorite kingdoms, especially the practice of sacrificing donkeys for burial with important people and under the doorways of new buildings.

So yes, it’s strangely coincidental, if you’re a believer in coincidence theories. Otherwise, it seems an unseen hand or hands moved the Amorites into position in Egypt and Canaan just before the Israelites arrived—almost as if they’d been placed there to wait for God’s chosen people.

It’s also noteworthy that while the Anakim were confirmed in Canaan by extrabiblical sources from Egypt, the Anakim haven’t been found anywhere else in the ancient Near East.

But you know by now we’re not coincidence theorists. Let’s pull these historical threads a little harder. Why did God link the timing of Israel’s return to the iniquity of the Amorites?

We’ve established that the Amorites founded Babylon. This is documented mainstream history, unquestioned by secular scholars. The Amorites are also linked by historic records to a tribe called the Tidnum/Tidanum which seemed to have a strong military reputation, troublesome enough that the last Sumerian kings of Mesopotamia built a very long wall in a futile attempt to keep them away. That is also solidly documented mainstream history.

The Bible links the Amorites to the Anakim (Deut. 2:10-25). The Transjordan campaign was aimed at two Amorite kings, Sihon and Og, who were both remembered as giants. Remember that the Amorite king Og was called the last of the Rephaim (Deuteronomy 3:11). Texts found throughout Mesopotamia identify the Tidnum/Tidanum as a tribe of the Amorites. In Ugarit, the spelling is usually Ditanu or Didanu. And those texts are usually in the context of venerated dead ancestors, especially the honored royal dead.

The city-state of Ugarit, usually described as Canaanite by Bible teachers, was more accurately an Amorite kingdom. The tablets found by archaeologists there have provided a wealth of knowledge about ancient Hebrew and the history of the period around the time of the Exodus. And some of the connections between secular history, the Bible, and the supernatural realm are absolutely fascinating.

For example, a funerary text identified as KTU 1.161, or RS 34.126 (designations that identify the tablet in question), plainly connects the Amorite tribe of Didanu (Ditanu/Tidnum/Tidanum) with the biblical Rephaim—in a ritual to summon them from the dead!

“Sacrifice of the Shades” liturgy:

You are summoned, O Rephaim of the earth,
You are invoked, O council of the Didanu!
Ulkn, the Raphi’, is summoned,
Trmn, the Raphi’, is summoned,
Sdn-w-rdn is summoned,
Ṯr ‘llmn is summoned,
the Rephaim of old are summoned!
You are summoned, O Rephaim of the earth,
You are invoked, O council of the Didanu!1

(Emphasis added)

Yeah, I know! What?!

Scholars who look at this text from a secular perspective tend to view it as an academic curiosity, a window into the psychology of people who lived 3,500 years ago. But as Christians, filtering this through the lens of truth, we get a whole different picture.

In this ritual, the Rephaim, a group that included the “council of the Didanu,” were invoked to accompany the recently deceased king of Ugarit, Niqmaddu III, to the underworld. They were also there to bless the new king, Ammurapi III, who—although he probably didn’t know it—was the last king of Ugarit. His kingdom was about to be overrun by the so-called Sea Peoples sometime around 1200 B.C.

The Rephaim and the council of the Didanu were apparently summoned to impart to the king the power to overcome death, and to make the living king one of the rpum—the Rephaim. Assuming this ritual wasn’t an invention for Ammurapi, and evidence from Babylon suggests it wasn’t, it appears that the coronation rites of the Amorite kings of Ugarit (and maybe other Amorite kingdoms) summoned the king’s dead ancestors, who they identified as the Rephaim.

Imagine a ritual like that in front of the White House on Inauguration Day!

Now, buckle up, because we’re going to work through some challenging stuff in the rest of this. Most of what follows comes from a paper published in 1999 by scholar Amar Annus of the University of Tartu, Estonia,2 whose research into the Mesopotamian origins for some of the weirder themes in the Old Testament, like the Watchers and their sin, is truly groundbreaking.

For starters, Annus concluded that the West Semitic root for the word Rephaim, mrp’, appears to be the origin of the Greek word merops. The word can have a similar meaning in both languages, “healer” or “healing.”

Kos, an island in the southeast Aegean Sea off the coast of Turkey, was formerly called Meropis, after one Merops, the mythical first king of the island. Merops was thought to be an autochthon, an original inhabitant of the land, one who sprang from the rocks and trees as opposed to a foreigner who settled in it. His people, then, were the Meropes. The key point is that Merops, Meropis, and the Meropes all derive from the Semitic root mrp’.

We also find that root as the basis of the phrase meropes anthropoi. That phrase was used by the Greek poet Hesiod in his famous poem Works and Days to describe the men who lived in a long-ago Golden Age.

First of all the deathless gods who dwell on Olympus made a golden race of mortal men who lived in the time of Cronos when he was reigning in heaven. And they lived like gods without sorrow of heart, remote and free from toil and grief: miserable age rested not on them; but with legs and arms never failing they made merry with feasting beyond the reach of all evils. When they died, it was as though they were overcome with sleep, and they had all good things; for the fruitful earth unforced bare them fruit abundantly and without stint. They dwelt in ease and peace upon their lands with many good things, rich in flocks and loved by the blessed gods.

Hesiod, Works and Days

Who were those meropes anthropoi, and what’s the connection to the Rephaim of the Bible? We’ll pick up there next month.

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1 Suriano, Matthew J. “Dynasty Building at Ugarit: The Ritual and Political Context of KTU 1.161,” Aula Orientalis 27 (2009), p. 107.

2 Annus, Amar. “Are There Greek Rephaim? On the Etymology of Greek Meropes and Titanes,” Ugarit-Forschungen 31 (1999), pp. 13-30.