October 16, 2019

A Biblical and Historical Perspective on Cremation

by James Carlton Stephens

Carlton W. Stephens in his Army uniformIt was the most intense spiritual pain I had ever felt. I doubled to the ground weeping as I heard that my Father Carlton had just passed into eternity. Death waits for no man, it comes suddenly and then the preparations need to be made. The mortuary called. “Do you want him embalmed? Is there going to be an autopsy?”

As I spoke with the funeral director I asked him, “How are Christian’s and Jew’s burials traditionally handled?”

“They are buried. Some are put in a simple white shroud.” The option of cremation did not even come up. The body was not embalmed, nor made up, but placed in a simple closed pinewood coffin, and shipped to Texas for transport to Oakland Cemetery near Gorman where Carlton grew up and his parents are buried.

Our family flew out and the memory of the drive in the station wagon hearse through the countryside, the farmers pausing in the field, removing their hats, and bowing their heads in respect of one of theirs who had passed was deeply moving.

A Texas colleague Brant Pelphrey had kindly driven down to conduct the graveside service. Relatives we had never met were in attendance from the Stephens’ family line, an emotional passage in time.

God was so gracious to us throughout the process. Our fellowship group, Joint Heirs had pulled together finances enabling our family to fly out to Texas. Elizabeth’s father David had contributed $500, and then the mortuary bills amounting to $5,000 were taken care of in a rather mysterious chain of events.

When Dad passed, his second ex-wife called me to pick up his belongings, items she decided not to keep. One of our interns Randy Ritzema accompanied me to her home in Camarillo. I’d asked Elizabeth as I prepared to go to throw the dolly in the back of the pick-up, but somehow it was overlooked.

As we were taken into the room where he passed I recalled the conversation I’d had with the paramedic, himself a Christian, who said his countenance was full of light as if he had just seen Jesus receive him in his home going. It was encouraging. He said he’d seen the contrary, too many times; the horrible countenance of those who passed into eternity without making peace with their Creator Jesus Christ.

I was taken aback when I discovered evidence that his suits and clothes had been gone through as if she had been searching for something. After we’d cleaned out his closet I turned my attention to his three drawer file cabinet. As I opened the file drawer, she said, ‘I did find a rough will for you.’

As I prepared to move the filing cabinet to the pick-up, we didn’t have the cart, so we took out one drawer at a time. As I took out the final bottom drawer, there at the bottom was an envelope with a cartoon drawing that my Dad loved to doodle so often. His ex-wife excitedly said, “Open it!”

So I did and as I opened it, my eyes were met by $100 bills, $5,000 to be exact. The amount that the funeral bills totaled! Nothing takes God by surprise! Earlier I had asked my brother and mother to help, but to no avail. And his ex-wife snidely added, “O that’s where he hid it.”

The mortuary director prior to my finding the envelope had suggested a payment plan, but I in faith said, “I believe God will take care of it. Could you hold the credit card payment for a day? God is faithful He knows what we need before we even ask.”  Our faith was cemented in place by God’s goodness.

At Oakland Cemetery, after the internment we had communion and concluded by singing the great hymn, “Great is Thy Faithfulness.” Unbeknownst to me it was written by Thomas O. Chisholm in 1923, the same year my Dad Carlton was born.

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee,
Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not,
As Thou hast been, Thou forever wilt be.


Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me!

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon, and stars in their courses above;
Join with all nature in manifold witness,
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy, and love.

 

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today, and bright hope for tomorrow
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside.

 

God had shown His merciful hand to our sorrowing family as only He can. His presence was strong that day. On my Dad’s tombstone is now engraved, “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”   Psalm 73:26

Indeed His Word is a light to our path and a lamp unto our feet. “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”  -Proverbs 3:5-6.

A  Biblical Perspective on Cremation

Ever since our landlady’s daughter ran out of the house screaming after she found her father’s cremains in a jar, I have been wrestling with the subject of cremation and proper Christian burial rites. While she had the option of taking them to the local cemetery, she instead chose to bury them in the front yard under a juniper tree.  It was quite uncomfortable thinking about Ernie being buried on the premises.

As I thought back on the course of my arrangements with the mortuary, I realized that the subject of cremation had never once come up with the mortuary director.  I assumed that the Christian perspective on burial was settled; that is until I started a search on the internet where I discovered a wide range of opinions about this increasingly delicate subject.

So why is a biblical perspective necessary? A survey conducted by George Barna’s group the American Culture and Faith Institute on May 24, 2017  revealed a disturbing gap in the Church which may provide some justification for presenting a biblical perspective, in which they found that “only 30% of born again adults have a biblical worldview.”  Few pastors touch on this subject and not a few prominent pastors permit the practice.  Most believers are familiar with junk mail that arrives periodically in their mailbox touting the services of the Neptune Society who remind us,   “It’s cheaper! It’s environmentally friendly!”  Teaching on the subject is almost nonexistent.

However, tales of ashes being spread at Disneyland at one’s favorite ride abound.  The ride, “It’s a Small World,” the Haunted House, and Space Mountain seemed be among the favorites.  Others have chosen  a more expensive and otherworldly method by having their ashes delivered into space on Space X.  One Buddhist friend has a vase with one of his members in his home; another neighbor has his mother’s on his shelf.  When the choice of burial is left to the public, let the family fights begin.

Who’s in charge of Ernie’s ashes? Do we inter cremains (the term applied to the remains left after cremation) in our front yard under the juniper tree or at Forest Lawn’s Columbarium established for individual memorial spaces?  Their memorial cremation package starts at $5,595 and that doesn’t include the columbarium and the burial sites which range in price up to $16,500 in the Garden of Contemplation.  If you choose your ashes to be interred in one of the 4,794 underground crypt spaces in the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles you should expect to shell out $20,000 as a starting price for one of the 4300 crypts or cremains niches to lay beside the likes of Gregory Peck or the third century Catholic martyr Saint Vibiana.

A Brief History of Cremation in America

Until the late 1800’s,  the question of cremation was reserved to those few on the fringes, such as Colonel Henry Steele Olcott and Madame Blavatsky, Theosophists and known widely in Buddhist circles as the White Buddhists.  Olcott in particular was set on introducing the Hindu practice of cremation into the US and did so through an immigrant from Europe who wanted the right to be buried as Hindus and Buddhists were in Asia. Olcott exclaimed when Baron Joseph Henry Louis Charles De Palm made his burial plans explicit, “Here, at last, was the chance of having a body to burn.”  And so the wheels were set in motion to host the first cremation.  His biggest hurdle was that crematoriums did not yet exist in America.  When Olcott announced the cremation, over two thousand tickets were sold and the press was set in a feeding frenzy.  Madame Blavatsky, completing her magnum opus Isis Unveiled was to be present with her disciples performing their incantations, waving palm leaves over the coffin surrounded

by seven candles representing seven planets.  As the ceremony began Olcott, exclaimed, ““There is but one first cause, uncreated,”

A Methodist minister interrupted and exclaimed “That’s a lie!”

It was written in the Theosophical account of the ceremony, “As the troublesome Methodist was led away by the police, Madame Blavatsky, seated among the audience, stood up and pointed accusingly at him. “He’s a bigot—that’s what he is!” she yelled indignantly. The crowd burst into laughter, and any remaining tension was harmlessly dissipated.” Human nature has not changed as social justice warriors pushing cultural and religious boundaries continue to attempt to push their own agendas.

Although an open air cremation was not allowed at the time, the Baron’s body was preserved in clay until a crematory could be found. It was not long until an eccentric doctor who had built a crematory offered to perform the ceremony. The press attended and wrote that it was a horrific sight as the Barron’s burning remains looked like a mummy or as one journalist wrote, “a roasted pig.” Afterward the ceremony, they scattered his ashes in a local body of water.

Whose Authority Are We Under?

For Hindus and Buddhists cremation has been an ancient cultural practice that continues to this day.  Recently, the world’s longest reigning monarch, King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand  passed away and preparations for his cremation involve a temple to perform his last rites. It will take over a year to construct and will be accompanied by elaborate ceremonies across the nation.

November 19 2012 Obama pours water on Friday Buddha at Swedegon Pagoda in BurmaWhat pattern are we following as Christians?  We are taught “Do not imitate the detestable practices of the nations” (Deuteronomy 18:9). Wayne Jackson in “The Burial of Christ’s Body” is careful to emphasize not only the death, but also the burial of Jesus Christ.  It was the custom of the ruling Sanhedrin  for any sentenced to death “not to be buried in the sepulchers of their fathers; but two burying places were appointed by the council, one for those that were slain by the sword and strangled, the other for those that were stoned who also were hanged and burnt (Lightfoot, 2.374; emphasis original).

When our LORD Jesus Christ died His body was prepared by Joseph, a secret believer within the Sanhedrin, according to Jewish tradition and laid it in his sealed tomb prior to His physical resurrection.

Have we sought to carefully search the Scriptures regarding the subject of cremation?  Some use the excuse that the subject of cremation is not prohibited in the Bible, so is not an issue.  Other individuals resort to pragmatic, non-biblical reasoning and claim that it is ecologically friendly and inexpensive.  As Bible believing Christians our source of authority is not pragmatism, but the Word of God.

But, claims one believer a medical doctor in Santa Barbara, there is nothing wrong with cremation, it is good for the environment. He said, ‘I think it would be peaceful having my ashes sprinkled among some trees.’  Although the following passage does not directly relate to cremation, it reminds us of our duty to diligently search the Scriptures to make sure that what is being taught is according to His Word. “Jesus answered and said unto them, you do error not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God (Matthew 22:29).”  In the parable of the wedding feast Jesus spoke about His Kingdom in a parable and how the acts of disobedience were treated by the King. Their mistreatment of His Son was not taken lightly as those who delivered the invitation were brutally murdered. His just response was the burning of their city. Yes, burning.

“The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them. But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage (Matthew 22:1-9).”

Cremation Scriptures:

The following Scriptures speak about the undesirable nature of cremation, of burning human remains and the importance of the human body, soul and spirit. Our Lord Jesus Christ was not cremated, but was crucified, died, and interred in a rich man’s tomb according to a 700 year prophecy in Isaiah 7:14, and rose from the dead.  His body, soul and Spirit served as a witness to those who did not believe in the bodily resurrection.  He appeared to his disciples and others who beheld Him and also ate a meal He prepared for them of fish on the Sea of Galilee which He partook of, demonstrating that He was and is not a ghost, but the Risen Savior of the World.

So why has cremation as a burial rite grown so dramatically? In 1999, over 25 percent chose cremation and it is predicted that by 2017 it will be 50 percent.  Are there fewer Christians or has the Church adopted the wishes of its congregants? In response to the rapid adoption of cremation permitted by the Catholic Church since 1963, the Vatican announced in 2017 that it does not support the scattering of ashes, nor keeping loved one’s ashes at home in an urn or being made into jewelry. It reconfirmed that they believe in a bodily resurrection of the dead and urge those who have chosen cremation to have their loved ones interred in a cemetery or columbarium awaiting that final call.

Why are there no crematories in Israel?

08 02 2017 Yom HashoahThe Nazi extermination program at Auschwitz of the Jewish people was heavily weighted towards cremation.  The acrid white smoke of burning human flesh hung over the valleys and was a daily reminder to those imprisoned that their time was short.  The survivors of Auschwitz, including my late father in law David Lascar, himself a prisoner and laborer in various concentration camps in Germany, spoke little about the horror of his experience.  He was assigned as a gas pipefitter.  One can only imagine what his assignment was. As he lay on his death bed he moaned, “Save the children from the gas chambers!”

The memory of Auschwitz is fresh in the minds of those who survived and in the generations following who annually commemorate Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day.  A crematorium would be an anathema to the Jewish people, salt in fresh wounds.

Americans don’t like to talk about death the prerequisite for cremation. One doesn’t see many mortuary door to door salesman peddling crypts to a neighboring cemetery.  But death comes and few plan for its arrival.  What’s the easiest way to dispose of Ernie’s ashes? Depends on where one lives.  Today, it seems it is more often than not left to chance or a family squabble.

Why then is cremation an anathema?

Many initially begin with the death of King Saul on the battlefield with his sons (I Samuel 31:12; II Samuel 2:4-6). However, some read more into the rationale for cremation than is actually in the text. Recall, King Saul was decapitated by his enemies who proudly displayed his remains on their city wall.  His body stripped of its armor and dignity, the Israelites retrieved it and decided to burn him as his body was marred almost beyond recognition.  They did however preserve his bones and gave them a stately burial.

According to a search of the Hebrew scholars website Sefaria which has digitized over a million pages of Hebrew related text, Hebrew religious expert David Zimmer emphatically states, “We can find no source in Tanakh (Old Testament) for cremation of the human body as part of a Jewish tradition for honorable burial.”  The Scriptures wholeheartedly attest against the practice as a close study of the Word will demonstrate.

As one remembers Achan who fought in a battle alongside of Joshua who commanded that no spoils be taken from their enemy. Achan, enticed by the beauty of an embroidered fabric, bars of gold and silver, chose to hide the forbidden booty under his tent. An example was made of his disobedience and his entire family and flock stoned and then burnt them. (Joshua 7:15, 25).

In the Torah, burning was required for certain types of immoral behavior.  “And if a man take a wife and her mother, it is wickedness: they shall be burnt with fire, both he and they: that there be no wickedness among you” (Leviticus 20:14).

Recall also the prophet who lived almost 300 years before King Josiah in I Kings 13:1-2.  There “came a man of God out of Judah by the word of the Lord unto Bethel: and Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense. And he cried against the altar in the word of the Lord, and said, O altar, altar, thus saith the Lord; Behold, a child shall be born unto the house of David, Josiah by name; and upon thee shall he offer the priests of the high places that burn incense upon thee, and men’s bones shall be burnt upon thee.”

And then in fulfillment of the man of God’s prophecy, Josiah enters the scene.  “Furthermore, the altar that was at Bethel and the high place which Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel sin, had made, even that altar and the high place he broke down. Then he demolished its stones, ground them to dust, and burned the Asherah. 16Now when Josiah turned, he saw the graves that were there on the mountain, and he sent and took the bones from the graves and burned them on the altar and defiled it according to the word of the LORD which the man of God proclaimed, who proclaimed these things. 17Then he said, “What is this monument that I see?” And the men of the city told him, “It is the grave of the man of God who came from Judah and proclaimed these things which you have done against the altar of Bethel.”…

After James and John, the sons of thunder itinerating with their LORD Jesus observed that His message was not received asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them (Luke 9:54)?”

Jesus replied indirectly and likened their judgment to those cities which were unrepentant, “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted to the heavens? No, you will go down to Hades (Matthew 11:21).”

Jeremiah the prophet spoke directly to the King carrying forth the Word of the LORD warning of the destruction to come upon the city if he did not repent.  “All the counsel you have received has only worn you out! Let your astrologers come forward, those stargazers who make predictions month by month, let them save you from what is coming upon you. 14 Surely they are like stubble; the fire will burn them up. They cannot even save themselves from the power of the flame. These are not coals for warmth; this is not a fire to sit by. 15 That is all they are to you— these you have dealt with and labored with since childhood. All of them go on in their error; there is not one that can save you” (Jeremiah 29:22).

The more one searches the Scriptures, the more on discovers that the refining fire of God purges and is a tool He uses to judge His enemies and chasten His disobedient people.  The very Scripture that originally convicted me of sin and my need for a Savior was “But the Day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat. The earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.”

But with judgment there is also a promise and directive from the LORD, “Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells (2 Peter 3:10-11).

Justifying cremation is difficult in the full light of Scripture. While nothing is impossible for God, e.g., reconstituting those who have been burned in horrible fires or burned at the stake, our LORD Jesus’ burial provides a clear example of a dignified rest of the human body bought with His precious blood. We are not our own, but totally belong to Him in body, soul and spirit.

May the LORD enlighten our eyes and give us wisdom and understanding when death visits and we or our loved ones are ushered into your eternal rest.

May you know Jesus Christ and Him crucified, believing on His atoning blood as our faithful High Priest and find rest in Him as our sole refuge and consolation for all eternity.

 

 

Cremation Study Scriptures

Leviticus 20:14; 21:9

1 Samuel 31:12; 2 Samuel 2:4-6; 2 Samuel 23:7.

Joshua 7:15, 25.

1 Kings 13:1-2.

2 Kings 1:10; 23:4; 23:15, 16.

1 Chronicles 14:12.

Deuteronomy 13:16; 32:21-22; 9:21.

Ezekiel 28:18.

Isaiah 47:9-15.

Jeremiah 29:22.

Revelation 20:9

Dragonboat Race on the Sea of Galilee Israel

URGENT Gatekeepers Alert: Immediate Need for Prayer in Israel

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Dragon Boat Races will be taking place on the Sea of Galilee which is at the intersection of three borders, Israel, Syria, and Jordan. Nearby on September 3, 1260 the invading Mongolian Empire suffered a crushing defeat from the forces of the Sultan of Egypt that stopped their westward expansion and conquest of Jerusalem less than 100 miles away. The Mongolian conquest rivaled that of Alexander and Napoleon.

Over 70 Syrians were reportedly killed at the Syrian Israeli border as the civil war in Syria is heightened by proxy troops from Iran. Intercessors on the Israeli side of the border physically smelled death over the area.

They are there to intercede against the Dragon Boat Races being held on the Sea of Galilee from May 17-18, 2012 which are being held for the first time in its history.  Already officials have publicly welcomed the races and Buddhist priests have painted in the spiritual eyes of the Dragon Deity. Although it seems like a harmless tourist attraction, according to an intercessor from New York City who has been an eyewitness to the races in Flushing Meadows, it is anything but. Rather it is an act of provocation against God, as they make incantations to bring in the Dragon Deity.

The following three issues which build upon one another need immediate prayer as our team is now engaged on the ground in fierce spiritual warfare.

  • Dragon Boat Race on the Sea of Galilee Israel.
  • Buddhist Tantric Vases (“Peace Vases”) buried in Israel.
  • Buddhist Blood Relics Displayed in Old Jerusalem.
     
 
 
Intercession for the Dragon Boat Race on the Sea of Galilee  
 
Submitted by an Intercessor in New York City

Dragon Boat Racing is the fastest growing water sport, if not the largest in the world. Dragon Boat Races originated in China over 2,000 years ago to honor the memory of Qu Yuan, the famous Chinese statesman and poet who drowned himself in the Mi Lo River in protest of government corruption.

Dragon boat races are now occurring in an increasing number of cities around the world every year.  Few believers are aware of dragon boat races in their community or know of its global popularity. Even fewer know of its spiritual significance and the dark forces promoting it.

 

 

Dragon Boat Race Concerns

Spiritually astute observers have been lead to conclude that dragon boat races are not as benign as they seem. The religious rituals to “awaken the dragon spirit” conducted during the opening ceremonies of dragon boat festivals may even have “end time” significance. The participation of leaders in these rituals ranging from government agencies,  banks, corporations, and community organizations appear to be creating a global ceremonial platform which inadvertently acknowledge the Dragon from the book of Revelation. 

This year, in the Chinese “Year of the Dragon,” the first Dragon Boat Race will be conducted in Israel on the southern shores of the Sea of Galilee, May 17-18. The area of the event is known as a stronghold of occult practices. 

 Israeli and American believers interceding in advance of the Dragon Boat Race have been reporting the “smell of death.” As the site is situated where the borders of Israel, Syria, and Jordan converge, it is believed that the Dragon, Satan may be seeking to ignite a war that would engulf all three nations. 

An additional note: In 1996, the Dragon Boat Races were reinstituted at the same site where it all began in China. Stories abound of human sacrifices to the Dragon Deity in which no one was allowed to help other teams whose boat happened to capsize as their lives were an offering to the Dragon. In recent years, there have been tragic accidents in Malaysia and Singapore that have claimed the lives of over ten young men and one coach. Kate Middleton and Prince William were both on Dragon Boat teams. Presently, a large statue of the Red Dragon is being built in Wales which is taller than the Statue of Liberty in New York City’s Harbor.

 

Requested Intercession

  •  Please pray that the church becomes more aware of the dragon boat race phenomena and its spiritual significance.
  • Pray that the forces of darkness associated with Dragon Boat Races are resisted globally and specifically in Israel.
  • Pray against the Dragon’s strategy to unleash regional war against Israel.
  • Pray protection for the intercessors from Israel, Asia, and the US who are praying on site.
  • Pray that the LORD of Hosts imparts strategies that are victorious over the dragon according to Isaiah 27:1 and Revelation 12:11.

 Fifteen Buddhist “Peace Vases” Planted in Israel

Submitted by an intercessor in Los Angeles.

“Watch, stand fast in the belief, be men, be strong.” 1 Cor 16:13

In 1991 , six thousand earthen vessels were constructed by Tantric Buddhist Lamas in Bhutan, the Land of the Thunder Dragon and were filled according to occult instructions with ocean water, ground precious stones, and “nectar”  bound together in balls according to ancient ritual practices. In Los Angeles, tantric substances used in skull mandalas were publicly said to contain human feces, seminal fluids, Ox fluids and other defiling substances disgraceful to mention. Vases and lotus flowers in Buddhism represent the vagina, and their goddess Kannon, or Kwan Yin, the female counterpart of Avalokitsevara, the patron deity of Tibet which is said to inhabit the Dalai Lama. The express purpose of these vases which are identified by GPS coordinates, is to establish a spiritual grid across the globe to bring peace and healing to the environment bringing it under the dominion of the Adi Buddha, the universal religious emperor. However, this idolatrous practice is an act of defilement as they have been planted all around the globe including in Indonesia to establish Buddhist dominion. They have already placed them over all the designated sites in Indonesia and the USA, including all the state capitols, all the major rivers, sacred sites, Great Lakes, Washington, DC, and on major mountain peaks as their high places. You can see the map and vase locations by googling Siddhartha’s Intent Peace Vases.

In Israel, they have buried them on two points of the Sea of Galilee, Jordan River, the Dome of the Rock, the Wailing Wall, Bethlehem, Dead Sea, Golan Heights, Haifa, Jericho at Hishams Palace, Mt. Meron, Mt. Precipice, Nazareth, Tel Aviv Yafo, West Jerusalem.

Prayer Points:

Awaken Gatekeepers in Israel to the serious consequences of allowing modern sophisticated idolatry into Israel in the guise of tourism, “peace vases”, sand mandalas and seemingly harmless rituals of the Dragon Boat Races dedicated to the Dragon deity.

Ask YHWH to pour out a spirit of intercession over Israel. Sound the shofar and warn them not to imitate the detestable practices of the nations.”  And the consequence. “New gods were chosen and then the enemy was in the gates.”  Prayerfully read Isaiah 28-29.

“Do not imitate the detestable practices of the nations.”  (Psalm 2)

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem and Israel (Psalm 122:6-9). Long ago, during Nehemiah’s day, there were over 172 Gatekeepers raised up from Akkab, Talmon and brothers to protect Jerusalem. “They took upon themselves a curse and an oath to walk in God’s law, which was given through Moses, God’s servant, and to keep and to observe all the commandment of God our LORD, and His ordinances and His statues” (Neh. 10:29). Pray for national repentance for all the idolatry that is being allowed into the land through the disobedience of their spiritual gatekeepers and for a new generation of gatekeepers zealous for the glory of YHWH.

Ask God for forgiveness for the defilement that has been allowed into Israel and for a cleansing of the land where these items have been placed. “Howl, you shepherds, and cry! And roll yourselves in the ashes, you leaders of the flock! For the days of your slaughter and scattering are completed, and you shall fall like a choice vessel (Jeremiah 25:34). “Yisra’el has been swallowed up. They have now become among the nations as a vessel in which is no pleasure” (Hosea 8:8). Why do you displease YHWH? “Does not the potter have authority over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for value and another not for value (Romans 9:21)?” Beseech the LORD to be merciful in His chastening.

Pray for a Psalm 91 covering over all those who are interceding on the behalf of Israel during the Dragon Boat Races and for those in the Covenant Community who are called out ones who follow the Lamb of God. “Praise Him, O servants of the LORD” (Psalm 135).

O LORD God, YHWH, God of Hosts, who is like Thee, O Mighty LORD? Who are we to approach You, for You are HOLY, HOLY, HOLY. Only by the blood sacrifice of Yeshua our Messiah, who purchased us by His death on the cross. “Thy faithfulness surrounds Thee.” We confess with grief the shame of Israel and the false bride of Christ, who have allowed their defenses down so far as to even consider and now to invite the Dragon Boat races to Israel which opens the gate to the worship of false gods & for serving Mammon & not God. 

“Thou dost rule the swelling of the sea” sadly, horrifically some are praying to a false god, who is not god, but a Dragon Deity who sits on the sea proudly usurping the glory that is due to no one but YOU. YOU who “when the waves rise, Thou dost still them. Thou Thyself didst crush Rahab like one who is slain.” “Was it not You who cut Rahab to pieces, who pierced the Dragon? (Is. 51:9).  It is You YHWH “who stirs up the sea and its waves roar.” (Is. 51:15). The LORD of Hosts is His Name! They have forgotten their Maker. They are ignorant and willful. Chasten them unto repentance. Your Word has not changed.

Do not despise the Warnings of the LORD. While there are many participants who are simply involved in this event to raise money for noteable charities, we believe that the event itself is a poor choice as the underlying deity it honors is displeasing to the LORD as the Dragon as perceived by Holy Scripture is considered to be equivalent to Satan and in a Holy War against YHWH, the Torah and all that Christians and Jews stand for.

To the Israeli’s “Did not your fathers do the same so that our God brought on us and on this city, all this trouble? Yet you are adding to the wrath on Israel by profaning the Sabbath” (Nehemiah 13:18). By going against the commandments of the LORD GOD of Israel. Do not make a covenant with death. Follow Yeshua Ha’Moshiach who resisted the temptations of Satan in the desert who had promised all the kingdoms of the world if Yeshua would only bow down and worship him. Resist the Devil and he will flee. All the earth is YHWH’s and all it contains, not Satan’s. He is a dispossessed deity.

“And I saw an angel coming down from heaven having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old who is the devil.” Revelation 20

Pray for strength for those who repel the onslaught at the gate” (Isaiah 28:6) and for the protection of the remnant of His people for whom YHWH is a glorious diadem.

Heart Shrine Relic Tour Hosted in the Old Jerusalem Quarter January 2012

In January 2012, the Old Jerusalem quarter was host to a collection of Buddhist relics collected over the last 2500 years which were displayed and worshipped by visitors. It has been touring the globe to raise funds for the construction of a 500’statue of the Maitreya Buddha in India housing over 2,000,000 idols. The exhibit in Jerusalem was specially renamed“Pearls of Compassion” although around the world it has been called “Heart Shrine Relic Tour.”  These supposed “pearls” are remains sifted out of the ash left behind after the cremation of Buddhist monks which form mineral deposits which they consider holy. As Christians we are not to worship any relics, but are to worship the LORD GOD and Him alone.  In a video of the ceremony in Old Jerusalem, they are held to the heads of participant’s and those who are arranging the relics to receive the deceased energy. It is forbidden by Holy Scripture to touch these defiled objects or to worship them. “You shall not make for yourselves idols, nor shall you set up for yourselves an image or a sacred pillar, nor shall you place a figured stone in your land to bow down to it; for I am the LORD your God” (Leviticus 26:1).

Pray that the eyes of the priests in Jerusalem and others hosting these objects be opened to the liberating truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the only Messiah that can save us from our sin. “For they are a nation lacking in counsel, and there is no understanding in them. Would that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would discern their future” (Deuteronomy 32:28-29).

Pray against the influence of this defilement. “Do not defile yourselves by any of these things; for by all these the nations which I am casting out before you have become defiled. For the land had become defiled, therefore I have visited its punishment upon it, so that the land has spewed out its inhabitants.” (Leviticus 18:24,25; Deuteronomy Chapter 28).

“Do not turn to idols or make for yourselves molten gods; I am the LORD your God.” (Lev. 19:4). “I then will destroy your high places, and cut down your incense altars, and heap your remains on the remains of your idols; for My soul shall abhor you” (Leviticus 26:30).

Pray that Christians, Catholics, Jews, Buddhists, New Agers and Moslems repent for their idolatry as representatives from all these groups have attended these ceremonies. “All that is hidden shall be revealed.”  (Deuteronomy 32:15-22).

Repentance from spiritism: “As for the person who turns to mediums and to spiritists, to play the harlot after them, I will also set My face against that person and will cut him off from among his people. You shall consecrate yourselves therefore and be holy, for I am the LORD your God.” (Leviticus 20:6-7).