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Moriel Response to Philip Powell

Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
- 1 Peter 5:8

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.
- Philippians 2:3-4

  October 11, 2013
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In This Alert
1- Moriel Statement Concerning Philip Powell
2- Statement by Mike Oppenheimer
3- Statement by Pastor Bill Randles
4- Statement by Bob Mitchell
5- Clarification of our View of Pre-Tribulation
6- Upcoming Teaching Engagements
7- 2014 Bible Study Tours with Jacob Prasch Announcement
8- Key Moriel Links
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Moriel Statement Concerning Philip Powell
Moriel Ministries

MORIEL MINISTRIES - By James Jacob Prasch - October 8, 2013   


[Ed. Note: The following is a response to Christian Witness Ministries (CWM) October CWM-E-Mailer and another email that mentioned
Shadows of The Beast specifically.]



A recent attack has been launched by Philip Powell following his statement regarding Brian Gemmell, whose 10-day pre Parousia return of Jesus ideas borrowed from Paine & Ware we also decry as false.


Philip Powell's recent reaction to this Paine & Ware errors propounded by Brian Gemmell contained Docetic error that is even more serious than the errors promoted by Brian Gemmell. Docetism comes from the Greek term "docen" meaning "appears" or "seems". There are different kinds of Docetism including the incarnational Docetism refuted by Ignatius in the early church, which taught Jesus only appeared to have a physical body. The Gnostic Docetism of the Gnostic Gospel of Peter was promoted four centuries later by Sabien. The Jehovah's Witnesses have a resurrectional Docetism claiming Jesus only appeared to physically have arisen from the dead. Islamic Docetism teaches Jesus only appeared to die on the cross. We now have a statement we can provide anyone wishing to see it that Philip Powell and his accomplices denied that Jesus will return in His risen body despite Zechariah 12:10 and Revelation 1:7 stating His physical pierce marks will be visible. It was the erroneous contention of Philip Powell's group that Jesus will return only in His Divine state as He appears in The Book of Revelation. This is theologically Docetic. Jesus will return just as He left according to Acts 1 in His risen body; not a doubly incarnated one, but the one in which He left. When challenged about his original statement Philip Powell then denied he was docetic and was forced to publicly climb down and revise his statement because as stated his remarks were heretical and cultic. It is uncertain to us if he is docetic in his beliefs but his statement is docetic theologically.


In my own book Shadows of The Beast I have gone to the greatest lengths to stress the dangers of Gnosticism, the falsehood of rabbinic Judaism, and to cite the places the term Midrash is found in the scripture (four times as a compound term, 'm-drash; literally "from the drash") and the term 'drash' or "exegetically inquiring into" being used dozens of times in the original Hebrew text. I made it absolutely clear that the scriptural uses of Midrash as a hermeneutic is not to be confused with the midrashic writings of unsaved rabbis written centuries later any more than the later Gnostic gospels of Peter and Thomas should be confused with Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. More than 60 major conservative Evangelical scholars from John Lightfoot to EE Ellis to TS Doherty to RN Longenecker have contended Midrash explains how the New Testament handles The Old Testament.


Philip Powell himself once did a cover article in his magazine promoting Midrash, but now brings the malicious and utterly false allegation that in authoring Shadows of The Beast, extra biblical and gnostic books were used to arrive at my doctrine. As anyone reading Shadows of The Beast can readily read for themselves, Philip Powell has deliberately and slanderously born false witness. No place in my book (or in any of my books) is midrashic or extra biblical books ever cited as a basis of doctrine or revelation and there are absolutely no quotes from the later midrashic writings of the rabbis which I firmly reject and which the book states I reject.


Philip Powell has not told the truth, and anyone can verify that for themselves. Philip Powell cannot produce a single quotation from any rabbinic Midrash in any of my books including Shadows of The Beast. He has fabricated a defamatory and vicious untruth.


The New Testament twice cites apocryphal books as a historical source, as I have and made reference to historical material in Josephus etc., but never once in my life as a basis for doctrine.


Such blatant and demonstrable dishonesty itself reflects an ethical bankruptcy. However, the hypocrisy of publishing a promotion of scriptural uses of midrashic exegesis yourself and then attacking another for it adds unprincipled hypocrisy to the dishonesty with an aim of deceiving Christians.


Philip Powell has been associated with our ministry for years and Shadows of The Beast is not a new book. It appears Philip Powell shifts his doctrine in accordance with his opportunistic agenda of the moment. One is left with the unfortunate impression that as a former Assemblies of God theocrat disowned by them, Philip Powell simply jumped onto the discernment bandwagon in order to have a platform to get back at the Assemblies of God establishment for booting him out of their club.


More hideous is his newfound cause of attacking those who do not hold to pre tribulational rapture immanency as heretical and as false teachers. Again, he has known my views and those of others like me for many years and has never once raised the issue before until the theocratic politics of his game required a new straw to grasp at.


In the Olivet Discourse when Jesus was asked for the sign of His coming He did not teach immanency but gave a long list if things that needed to happen first including the great apostasy (something Philip Powell always himself said he believed).


The doctrine of immanency is that Jesus can indeed come at any moment for any one if us and we should live accordingly. Immanency does not necessarily have anything to do however with the timing if the rapture. To call heretics and false teachers those who take 2 Thessalonians chapter 2 literally - believing the Man of Lawlessness (anti christ) must come first is a ludicrous assertion since the bulk of the patristic historical evidence shows the pre Nicene church widely believed it and believed that the apostles taught it.


To state that we should be looking for Christ instead of anti christ is like a pregnant mother to be stating I am only expecting a baby, not the maternal labor pangs and contractions that precede the baby's arrival.


I accept there are those who take another view, many of them solid brothers in faith and close personal friends, but we must remember that pre trib Scholars, authors, and theologians themselves admit a Pre Tribulation immanent rapture is not stated in scripture. Dr. John Walvord , former president of Dallas Seminary who is the intellectual patriarch of modern pre tribulationism and the doctrine if pre tribulational immanency admitted this in his book on the rapture and John Mac Arthur states " the Pre Tribulation rapture is never stated in scripture but is between the lines". Now however, Philip Powell, who is no sense a bible expositor, a Greek or Hebrew scholar, or a theologian - has come along and stated that those not accepting something that is not even stated in scripture is a heretic. This can only be described as the folly of a theologically ignorant man.


My public challenge to Philip Powell is to produce a single place where I have ever even quoted from the midrashic writings if the rabbis or based a doctrinal position on any extra biblical source. If he cannot he publicly stands as a documented bearer of false witness with the malicious intent to deceive.


I find this very painful and unpleasant. It was not a confrontation I ever desired. But false witness is false witness.


We can no longer endorse the ministry of Philip Powell on ethical grounds nor sanction his church. We urge our readers to avoid him.


In Jesus,


Jacob Prasch


Unedited :: Link to Original Posting  


Statement by Mike Oppenheimer

Greetings Jacob and to all those this concerns,


I read Philip's letter[s]. Since I have been referred to, let me comment on this present escalation. The Bible speaks of having maturity and wisdom that is exhibited by how quick someone is willing to yield to the word of God or harden their divisive position.


Factually, Jacob promotes being a Berean and he does not define his points and teachings from non canonical books.


Its unfortunate that a long friendship can end up like this. But I can relate, as I have recently had a difficult experience with freind, though not directly over doctrine.


Let me explain: There is a difference between the book of midrash and a midrashic interpretation of Scripture (which is a valid hermeneutic that rabbis used). This is a useful tool in determining the meaning of a text.


What Jacob does to elucidate scripture is not Gnostic and someone who uses this argument does not have a grasp on what Gnosticism actually is (secret meanings hidden from the uninitiated into the mysteries).


Peter says of Paul speaking hard things to understand (2 pt.3:16). Then could Paul be considered Gnostic by his interpretations in the book of Galatians.

Does not Paul use this method to explain the law and the Messiah in chpt.3. Or chapt 4, slaves and sonship, Abraham's two sons; the bondwoman and the freewoman, symbolic of the two covenants.


What of John in his opening of his gospel, of the light that is with them, relating it to the creation account. This is not Gnostic, but a valid and Judaic way to present the Scripture but it rubs against the westernized (American way) to determine the meaning.


When agreements have concluded a fire reignited should be avoided. We are to have peace among ourselves, there is an enemy that is gaining on so many fronts and we should not open a door for him to come in with such a vapid argument.


In Christ's service,

Mike Oppenheimer

Let Us Reason Ministries

Statement by Pastor Bill Randles

I want to go on record as saying that I do not regard Jacob Prasch, our brother and gifted teacher as a gnostic. Neither do I see Midrash as anything but a biblical hermeneutical tool. I strongly advice Philip Powell to reconsider what seems to be being said in the above email he sent out. It is very important to keep separate real personal problems between brothers and serious accusation about doctrines. I urge all involved to prayerfully work out any differences in the spirit of Christ with forbearance, humility and love.


Pas. Bill Randles


Statement by Bob Mitchell

I agree wholeheartedly with my brother's above statement .

Jacob's teachings have brought blessing and understanding of God's word to many.

I too pray Mr Powell will reconsider his statements toward a brother in Christ.


Also may I add, Philip Powell has gone on record describing those of us who do not believe in a pre-tribulation rapture as false teachers and heretics.


I stand on the word of God on this matter as I know my pre trib rapture friends believe they do also.


We cannot both be right.


What is needed is a scripture that clearly states when Jesus will return for his own.


I believe Matthew 24:29-31; Mark 13:24-27; Luke 21:25-28 from the lips of the Messiah himself gives us clearly his message to us regarding his coming for his own.


And we cannot tell exactly when that day will be.


Remember, although Antichrist rules for seven years the bible clearly shows he treads down Jerusalem for the final three and a half years....but the tribulation itself is cut short.


So his rule and the tribulation are not the same.


The treading down and the tribulation begin at the mid point of the 7 years. Antichrist's rule runs its predicted length but the tribulation is shortened.


And we cannot tell by how much.


The only clue we have will be the signs in the sun moon and stars also known in the prophets as the Day of the Lord as precursors to his coming . And Jesus said they occur after the tribulation.


It is then and only then we lift up our heads.


Also the tribulation is not God's wrath. It is Satan's wrath after being cast down to the earth knowing he has a short time left (Revelation 12).


As for scriptures from my friends showing Jesus comes before the tribulation........I am still waiting.


They show me scriptures such as "We are not appointed to wrath" meaning God's wrath, to which I heartily agree.


But God's wrath, also known as the Day of the Lord as we have seen comes AFTER the tribulation.


They also show me allegories such as Noah, Lot etc. where these worthies are removed from the scene as judgement is about to fall. As before I agree with them.


We shall be removed before judgment falls.


But the prophets and especially the Lord Jesus himself tell us exactly when this will happen: After the tribulation of those days.


I would also humbly ask my dear pre-trib friends to watch this short video I recorded recently on this very subject:


So who are the false teachers and heretics? I balk at calling men I love and fellowship with false teachers or heretics.


But the truth is neither Mr. Powell or my friends have as yet shown me a scripture that can nullify the words of the Messiah himself on Olivet when he told his closest friends when he would return.


So to call us heretics and false teachers is a bit much to swallow when I am still waiting for a pre trib proof verse.


May our Lord Jesus lead us all into truth. And may we all be willing to listen and change if need be.


Bob Mitchell

Shofar Ministries


Clarification of our View of Pre-Tribulation

Moriel 2013

MORIEL MINISTRIES - By James Jacob Prasch - October 5, 2013


A recent article by a Moriel missionary described the pre-tribulational position of John N. Darby as being demonically deluded.


John Nelson Darby was indeed in our view seriously deluded by the hyper dispensationalism to which he propounded and which factored into his split from the Open Brethren and Plymouth Brethren and has laid the ground work for closed brethren groups such as the Taylorites which we consider to be a cult that is indeed demonic. Darby's hyper dispensational theology, among other problems, carries subtle influences of ancient Marcionism. Darby's erroneous actions have unfortunately and unjustly tarnished the good name and reputation of more scripturally based Brethren groups and of moderate dispensationalists and caused rapture belief itself to be discredited.


While Moriel moreover does indeed believe the rapture of the church cannot transpire until the faithful church, on the basis of 2 Thessalonians chapter 2 identifies the Man of Lawlessness (ultimate anti-christ), there are other ministries which we otherwise appreciate and even endorse that do not share our position.


It is not our intention to in anyway describe our many friends and colleagues who still hold to pre-tribulational views as being demonically deluded, although that is our impression of John Darby. We apologetically regret any misunderstanding that may have resulted from the phraseology of the newsletter article in the October UK edition.


Our arguments are rather with those who deny there is a rapture. Also, in agreement with many pre-tribulational brethren, we reject the new fangled notion that the prophetically predicted great apostasy of 2 Thessalonians is the rapture. In context and by virtue of the other scriptural usages of 'apostasia' and the normal meaning of the underlying 'aphistemai', the apostasy is a falling away in the church that precedes the rapture and the advent of the anti christ as has been traditionally believed and accepted.


Our low regard for John Darby in no way suggests an automatic low regard for all pre-tribulationalists. This is certainly and definitely not our position. On the contrary, a number of our closest hold to this position although it is not our own.


Again, we regret any misunderstandings.


In Jesus,


Jacob Prasch

Unedited :: Link to Original Posting 


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October 2013 - UK

Saturday 12th October - 6.30pm
Moriel Teaching Event
Tabernacle Church (Opposite ESK)
Cambridge Road, Hastings
CONTACT Bob Mitchell 07938014657 or
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Sunday 13th October -11:00am
Light & Life Mission, Hills Rise,
Lanes End, Darent, nr Dartford
CONTACT Bob Friends 07970320417

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Bridge Lane Chapel
54 Bridge Lane, London
CONTACT Tony Pearce 0208 4451451

Scottish Conference 18th - 20th October
What does The Bible really say about Spiritual Warfare?
CONTACT Shona Ferry 01383 850784
Marilyn Clunie 01577 863648

Monday 21 & Tuesday 22 October - 7:00pm
Hope Christian Fellowship
Hope Hall, Church Street
Baillieston, Glasgow
CONTACT Pamela McLemman 0141 5736840

Irish Tour

Friday 25th - Sunday 27th October
Agape Christian Fellowship
Orange Field Crescent,
CONTACT Robert Hunsdale 02890 796368

Monday 28th & Tuesday 29th Oct - 8:00pm
Jackson's Hotel
CONTACT Martin Kelly 74 97 35136

Wednesday 30th October - 8:00pm
Enniskillen Baptist Church
Kilmacormick Road, Enniskillen
CONTACT John Bryars 028 66387126 or

Thursday 31st October - 7:45pm
Calvary Pentecostal Church 102 Doagh Rd., Abbotts Cross, Newtownabbey CONTACT Stephen or Alex Trimble 02890 866913

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