Illusion and Reality
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A common adage states that “Seeing is believing.” This expression has never been less true than in this modern age of television, broadcast media, and the Internet. A disciple of Christ would be very ill advised to believe what their eyes see and ears hear in the media today. Everything needs to be tested.
In the image above all that was necessary to create the illusion of a man hanging from a parking lot stripe with his briefcase falling downward was to rotate the image 90 degrees to the left. There is no image manipulation, nothing computer generated, only clever framing and the positioning of the subject in order to create an illusion.
From the very earliest days of “moving pictures,” from which the current term “movies” is derived, the big screen was used to make that which is false appear as reality. Most people have seen movie sets where entire towns were constructed that appeared substantive and real, yet every building on the movie lot was nothing more than a facade. Only the front face and a limited portion of the sides of each building were constructed. Viewers could not perceive the deception. If a person were to walk around the back of the buildings they would discover that the majority of the structure was missing. Yet, by skillful placement of the cameras, the ruse could not be detected by the movie or television viewer.
Berlin Street Stage Set
The greatest amount of material broadcast over the television, projected onto the movie screen, or displayed on a computer, has always been fiction. In many cases there is no deliberate fraud involved, for the viewer is informed that what they are watching is fiction. There are many genres of fictional entertainment, including Horror, Science Fiction, Drama, Romance, Action, Comedy, Fantasy, Westerns, Musicals, etc.. Directors, cameramen, actors, staging, wardrobe, special effects, and other personnel involved with the television and movie industries who can create the most realistic productions are accorded the greatest honor and receive the most generous compensation.
The world rewards these individuals for their accomplishments in being skilled deceivers. The world rewards those who demonstrate the greatest ability in making that which is false and illusory appear as real. I am fully persuaded this will no longer be true once the kingdom of this world becomes the kingdom of our Lord and Christ. This present world is dominated by, and in the power of, the great deceiver. Consequently the world idolizes and rewards those who are deceivers. We live in a twisted world where honor, fame, and riches are accorded to those who most exemplify the nature and actions of Satan.
Consider the role of an actor. Their job is to skillfully and convincingly pretend to be someone they are not and to exhibit qualities, emotions, and reasoning that is not their own. This is often described as “getting into character.” Actors have to become very proficient in the art of deception. They have to be able to exhibit anger on demand, or to shed tears of sorrow or grief. They have to be convincing in their portrayal of romantic interaction with a person they hold no such feelings for, and may not even like.
Richard Gere and Debra Winger – An Officer and a Gentleman
One of the most popular movies of 1982 was An Officer and a Gentleman starring Richard Gere and Debra Winger. They were convincing enough as lovers that the movie which cost $7.5 million dollars to make grossed $129 million dollars at the U.S. box office alone. It garnered another $55 million in rentals, and in the relatively small market of Sweden the movie was viewed more than one million times while in theaters. It was the highest performing R rated movie of 1982 and the 3rd highest grossing of all movies for the year. Yet, in reality Gere and Winger did not even like one another. According to Louis Gossett, Jr., another actor in the film, Debra Winger hated making the movie and she described Richard Gere as a “brick wall,” and the movie’s director Taylor Hackford as “an animal.”
In Greek society, these stage actors would be called “hupokrites,” or hypocrites. Fallen humanity has always inordinately, and unjustly, rewarded the hypocrites. Those who are most able to deceive mankind are inevitably showered with honor and material wealth by society. Two thousand years ago in the land of Judea the masters of illusion and hypocrisy were the religious elite. The Son of God identified the Scribes and Pharisees as hypocrites, or stage actors. These men were every bit as much pretenders as the A-list actors and directors of Hollywood today. Like present day performers, the Scribes and Pharisees were elevated to a status which was undeserved.
Matthew 23:14, 27-28
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you devour widows’ houses, even while for a pretense you make long prayers; therefore you shall receive greater condemnation… Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. Even so you too outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.”
We have already observed that the word “hypocrite” describes a stage actor, someone who is playing a part. Christ further stated that these men made long prayers in public for a “pretense.” They were “pretenders.” Outwardly they appeared beautiful, but their true character was ugly, offensive, being marked by gross wickedness. Nevertheless, it was very profitable to be a pretender in Jewish society in Christ’s day even as it is profitable to be a deceiver today. Christ stated:
“They do all their deeds to be noticed by men; for they broaden their phylacteries, and lengthen the tassels of their garments. And they love the place of honor at banquets, and the chief seats in the synagogues, and respectful greetings in the market places, and being called by men, Rabbi.”
The Scribes and Pharisees were the most disreputable, the most morally repugnant, and the least humanitarian members of society. Furthermore, they were the greatest exemplifiers of the character of Satan, to the point that Christ declared them to be the offspring of the devil.
“You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He… does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature; for he is a liar, and the father of lies.”
The Son of God declared the truth. The Scribes and Pharisees were charlatans. They were liars, pretenders, and there was no truth in them. Yet, in spite of this reality, the Jewish people showered these men with honor and material reward. They reserved for them the seats of honor at their banquets. They greeted them with words of respect. They spoke reverently of them as their “rabbis” which means alternately both “teachers” and “great men.” We see the same regard accorded to the Hollywood elite of our day, and if you can receive it, Hollywood has become the religion of the people, populated with its numerous “idols.”
And beware, lest you lift up your eyes… and see… the stars… and worship them.
I want to emphasize that societies are culpable for the deceptions foisted upon them. Whenever evil men and women perpetrate great deceptions upon a populace, the people themselves share responsibility. The Scribes and Pharisees would not have been able to attain to such exalted roles, and remain in them, had not the Jewish people given them their support. Similarly, the populations of nations today are responsible for the deceptions they fall prey unto. This may appear on the surface to be counterintuitive, for a person who is deceived does not know he or she is deceived. The responsibility of the people lies at a more foundational level, however. People are deceived because they do not love truth. A people who do not love truth will become susceptible to lies and deceptions.
The Bible teaches that sinful man, the descendants of Adam, are predisposed to prefer lies rather than truth. I believe that as Christians we must acknowledge this reality or we will not be able to comprehend how governments and other agents could possibly pull off immense deceptions of the scale of the Apollo moon landings. If we begin with the assumption that most people love truth and are not easily deceived, we are beginning with a worldview that is not in agreement with the testimony of Yahweh.
“The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule on their own authority; and My people love it so!”
“For this is a rebellious people, false sons, sons who refuse to listen to the instruction of Yahweh; Who say to the seers, ‘You must not see visions’; And to the prophets, ‘You must not prophesy to us what is right. Speak to us pleasant words. Prophesy illusions.’”
These are remarkable declarations! Yahweh testified that His chosen people love false words. When He would send to them prophets to speak truth to them, they would seek to silence the prophets. They would demand that the messengers of God prophesy illusions. This condition of fallen man continued after the time of Christ. Men have always loved their illusions. Humanity has a predilection for falsehood and lies.
II Thessalonians 2:10-11
Because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved… for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie.
Nor is this merely a Jewish problem. It is the condition of fallen humanity. The apostle Paul declared this to be the condition of all men, both Jews and Gentiles.
Well then, are we [Jews] superior and better off than they? No, not at all. We have already charged that all men, both Jews and Greeks (Gentiles), are under sin [held down by and subject to its power and control]. As it is written, None is righteous, just and truthful and upright and conscientious, no, not one. No one understands [no one intelligently discerns or comprehends]; no one seeks out God. All have turned aside; together they have gone wrong and have become unprofitable and worthless; no one does right, not even one!
The testimony of Scriptures is that fallen Adamic man prefers lies over truth. It was a lie that Eve believed when she ate of the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. Adam also chose to embrace the lie of Satan rather than to walk in the truth of Yahweh. From that moment forward, men began to demonstrate a preference for lies rather than truth. It was not long before man had exchanged the truth of the Creator for lies as they began to worship the sun and moon and stars, and began to fashion images of men and animals and creeping things out of wood and metal in order to worship these objects as god.
Some would protest, “But those were days of darkness and ignorance. Mankind is much more intelligent and sophisticated today!” Yes, they are so advanced that they reject the fact of their creation by God and have embraced the lie that life emerged in the distant past from the primordial soup as single celled amoebas, an arrangement of molecules into proteins and other biological building blocks that eventually led to more advanced life forms. At some point life began to flourish in the oceans, and then emerged onto the dry land where it continued to diversify and attain ever more complex forms until it could be described as “intelligent life.”
This same “scientific” theory suggests that man descended from a common ancestor as the great apes. The mass of humanity who adhere to this pseudo-scientific confusion deny that the creation arose from intelligent design, from a Creator. This garbage science that men call Evolution, promoted by a man who was a racist eugenicist, is taught in all of the public schools, colleges, and universities of the land. (Note: The full title of Darwin’s book was On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.) Evolution is the ONLY explanation for the origin of mankind that is treated as having any credibility by the governments and academics of this world, yet there is no truth in it.
Evolution by Daniel Lee
Brothers and sisters, if this world system under the dominion of Satan will believe the enormous lie of the evolutionists, and will “exchange the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures” (Romans 1:23), then why should it be difficult to conceive of man having been duped into believing that in the late 1960s the American space program sent men to the moon to walk about on the surface, hold a telephone conversation with the President, and then climb back into their space ship and fly back to earth? The very nature of this age we live in is one of great deception. Men are not walking in truth. Their minds are filled with the falsehoods of Satan which are promulgated by his human servants.
I John 5:19
We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.
We live in a time when Christianity observes two pagan holidays, Christmas and Easter, as their most sacred events of the year. It would require only a minimal effort on the part of the believer to discover the true origins of these observances. Christmas is nothing more than the Roman Saturnalia repackaged for Christian consumption, and Easter still bears the name of the pagan goddess it honored in its origination. The name Easter is a form of the Germanic Eostre, the Babylonian Ishtar, the Aramean Astarte, and the Canaanite Ashtoreth who is named as one of the false deities worshiped by pagan cultures in the Old Testament, and which the Israelites so often embraced at the displeasure of Yahweh.
I Kings 11:5
For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians…
One of the most commonly recognized symbols of Christianity today is the steeple resting atop the churches which lie at every street corner in America.
The steeple, like the holidays of Christmas and Easter, were borrowed from ancient idolatry. They hail from the land of Egypt where the obelisk was the ubiquitous symbol of the solar deity, the sun god. The Protestant churches have followed the pattern of the mother harlot, the Roman Catholic Church, who stole her obelisks directly from the land of Egypt and set them up in prominent locations, revealing the profane nature of her character.
The Lateran Obelisk
The obelisk in the picture above is located on the grounds of the Papal Archbasilica of St. John Lateran in Rome. It was commissioned by Pharaoh Thutmose III and finished by his grandson Thutmose IV. It was erected in the temple complex of Karnak, a center for the worship of the Sun god Amun-Ra, but later moved to its location next to the Mother Church of Roman Catholicism. An even more famous obelisk stands in the center of the plaza of St. Peter’s Basilica. This obelisk was taken from Heliopolis, the center for sun worship in Egypt. The very name Heliopolis means “City of the Sun.” This obelisk is seen in the image below on the far right.
The word obelisk means “shaft of Bel.” Bel is an alternate spelling of Baal. The obelisk alternately symbolizes a ray of light from the sun, for Bel/Baal was a solar deity, and the male sexual organ as shown in the central image above. What should be obvious to any Christian who studies the Bible is that there is no mention of Christ or His disciples erecting an obelisk or a steeple in association with the worship of Yahweh. Neither is there any Biblical precedence for Christians observing Christmas or Easter. What we do discover is that Yahweh’s people in the Old Testament fell away into gross idolatry as they worshiped both Baal and Ashtoreth, an act which always resulted in judgment.
Then the sons of Israel did evil in the sight of Yahweh, and served the Baals, and they forsook Yahweh, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods from among the gods of the peoples who were around them, and bowed themselves down to them; thus they provoked Yahweh to anger. So they forsook Yahweh and served Baal and the Ashtoreth (Ishtar/Astarte/Easter).
The Israelites served Baal and Ashtoreth. Today the churches have an obelisk atop the building, denoting Baal worship, and their most holy day of the year is Easter, which is synonymous with Ashtoreth. Nothing has changed. Satan is the great deceiver who deceives the whole world.
Brothers and sisters, nothing in this world is as it seems. We live in a world of falsehood, lies, and deception. These things are not the exception, they are the rule. How many churches today have a steeple atop the place where they meet? How many churches observe Easter, mixing the profane symbols and rites of the fertility goddess (Easter eggs, colored grass, flowers, bunny rabbits) with the holy sacrifice, death, and resurrection of Christ? How many Christians serve the traditional Easter ham, an animal that was loathsome to the Jews and declared unclean by Yahweh? How does the meat of a pig symbolize the pure and spotless Son of God? Yahshua was crucified at Passover, fulfilling the symbolism of the Passover Lamb. Yahshua is the Lamb of God, not the ham of the goddess.
The origin of the Easter ham is not difficult to discover. The son of Ashtoreth was Tammuz. From ancient times his devotees taught that he was slain while hunting a wild boar. The razor sharp tusk of the boar cut into the leg of Tammuz and he bled to death.
Tammuz Dying – Note Gash on Thigh
Tammuz was considered a god, and was worshiped by the Canaanite people among whom the Israelites dwelt. They adopted the worship of Tammuz, and of his mother whom they called “the queen of heaven.”
The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead dough to make cakes for the queen of heaven…
It is not coincidental that the Roman Catholics refer to Mary, the mother of Christ, by the same phrase. They have attributed to Mary the same worship and veneration which idolaters have from ancient times accorded to Ashtoreth, the queen of heaven. To commemorate Tammuz’s death each year the ancient Canaanites would mourn for forty days. This is where the Roman Catholic observance of Lent arises. On Ash Wednesday ash is applied to the forehead of the worshipers in the emblem of the Tau, the first letter of the name Tammuz, and his ancient symbol. For the next forty days Catholics fast from certain pleasures as a sign of mourning, culminating on Easter morning when Tammuz was reported to be reborn.
Then He brought me to the entrance of the gate of Yahweh’s house which was toward the north; and behold, women were sitting there weeping for Tammuz. He said to me, “Do you see this, son of man? Yet you will see still greater abominations than these.” Then He brought me into the inner court of Yahweh’s house. And behold, at the entrance to the temple of Yahweh, between the porch and the altar, were about twenty-five men with their backs to the temple of Yahweh and their faces toward the east; and they were prostrating themselves eastward toward the sun.
Brothers and sisters, even the church has not escaped the deceptions of Satan, the most cunning of all created beings. He has filled the world with lies. The church itself is walking in an illusory world where the holy and profane are vilely mixed together without knowledge or understanding. Only a few perceive the profaning work of an enemy who has sown tares among the wheat and filled the churches with doctrines of demons and many idolatrous practices.
I ask you, if Satan can induce the church of Christ to place obelisks on their buildings, and replace the feasts of Yahweh (Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles) with pagan observances that were not practiced or sanctioned by Christ or His apostles, a deception that has encompassed millions of people and has persisted for more than a millennia, then why should it be deemed incredible that Satan has deceived mankind for the past 45 years regarding man having walked on the moon. It would not be any more challenging or difficult for Satan to pull off a moon landing deception than it would be for him to persuade mankind that the universe began with a Big Bang from matter whose existence is impossible to explain, that living matter arose spontaneously from that which was inanimate, that God is a golden calf, that Christ was born on the Saturnalia, that Easter is a Christian holy day, or that churches should have obelisks on top of them. Satan is the GREAT DECEIVER who deceives the ENTIRE WORLD. Those who walk in truth are always a small minority, and they are commonly declared to be heretics and deceivers. The light shines in the dark, but is rejected by the people, for their deeds are evil.
Before setting before your view the evidence of the moon landings having been merely one more lie of Satan carried forth by his earthly disciples, I have sought to lay a foundation by which the reader might recognize that deception is pervasive throughout the world. It should not seem incredible to any believer that great deceptions are carried forward with immense success in this world. Deception, illusion, and men of darkened understanding are what we should expect in a world that lies in the power of the evil one.
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