Jesus and the Apostles ministries were restricted
The book Harpazo by Jacob Prasch
In trying to unravel and understand the teaching of Jacob Prasch in his book Harpazo, one must read and re-read sections of his book. Most of which are extortionately contradictory, has missteps, and double speaks, while attempting to teach and explain his coined term/doctrine “the reversal of Pentecost”. As he continually moves the goal posts i.e. the timing of when the Holy Spirit/Restrainer takes on the role of restrainer and loses His role of empowering the body of Christ; along with no longer convicting the world of sin, righteousness and judgement. Also, once the Holy Spirit stops restraining, according to Jacob, the Holy Spirit becomes restricted in His role, function, and work that he had been poured out onto the body of Christ on the Day of Pentecost, thereby the body of Christ becomes powerless. Jacob also says this powerlessness and inability to minister is the same thing that happened to Jesus before His crucifixion and the Apostles in the book of Acts chapter 5. This is important to remember as we go through this. Jacob states that the Holy Spirit changes His role, character, and function from being outpoured onto the church (body of Christ) on the Day of Pentecost (which most will agree is called the birth of the church) so the question must be asked, how can one un-birth the church?
In addition to the Holy Spirit taking on the role of restraining “evil” Jacob sights 2Th.2:7 which is in error because what the “restrainer” is holding back is not “evil” but the revealing of who the antichrist is, so he is already off in his identification of what the “Restrainer” actually does. Please read 2 Th. 2:6-8
2Th 2:6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
2Th 2:7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
2Th 2:8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
This will be addressed in much more detail in another article but needed to be touched on somewhat to give a better understanding of what he says concerning the Holy Spirit no longer operating as he had since the outpouring on the Day of Pentecost, leaving a powerless church, during the first half of the 70th week of Daniel; because according to Jacob, the Holy Spirit has been restricted/reversed in His power, role and function once He ceases to restrain and how that also played out with Christ being restricted in His ministry and the Apostles in theirs. Of which he presents NO scripture for or at least any that supports his claims.
Additionally, I would like to add a short clip of Jacob speaking about the Holy Spirit as the restrainer and how he says that Jesus’s description of the working of the Holy Spirit was wrong.
6:15 mark: “The Holy Spirit will not restrain, he will not operate the way Jesus predicted he would in John’s gospel, convicting the world of sin, righteousness and judgement.”
I’ve added this clip where Jacob literally says that Jesus got it wrong or at best didn’t fully understand the complete function and working of the Holy Spirit and or forgot to mention that the Holy Spirit given to us from the Father would be limited and restricted, leaving the body of Christ powerless during the first half of the 70th week of Daniel. This video titled “On The Mark: A Word To John MacArthur part 1” came out in June of 2014 and his book “Harpazo” in September of 2014. What he is saying and implying about Jesus here is very serious and no, he doesn’t get a pass at misspeaking, he needs to be held accountable for it and give an explanation of why he said it. In essence he is saying that Jesus got it wrong and he knows the correct answer to how the Holy Spirit will function during the 70th week of Daniel. Note also that in his book Harpazo he uses the very verse that he mentions in the video of Jesus getting it wrong in John’s gospel; of the Holy Spirit convicting the world of sin, righteousness and judgement. Now he takes the verse and twists it to mean the Holy Spirit is “restraining” by convicting the world of sin, righteousness and judgement. Again, which is it Jacob, is Jesus right or are you? It can’t be both ways.
Here on Page 128 Jacob says:
“We must note, however, that in Acts 5, a point was reached where the Apostles could no longer preach prior to the arrest and rescue. The same will happen to the Church once the Restrainer (2Th. 2:6-7) no longer restrains and we are given over wholesale to persecution.
What happened to the Apostles at this point, replays what happened to Jesus in Gethsemane. (Mt. 26:36-56; Mk. 14:32-52; Lk. 22:39-53. Up to a certain point, although opposed, He was still able to continue in His ministry. But a time came when this was no longer to be the case. That time will once again come for the Church, and as with Jesus, there will be a betrayal from within our own ranks.”
Now the first thing I did when I read this, was, I noticed that he references Acts chapter 5 but does not reference any verse in particular, so perhaps the entire chapter speaks on how the Apostles ministry was restricted to the point to where “the Apostles could no longer preach”.
We will break this into two parts because of the seriousness of what is being said here in reference to Christ and His ministry. First concerning the Apostles; nowhere in chapter 5 of Acts does it say that the Apostles could no longer preach, in fact, if you look at verses 12-16 the opposite is true:
“And through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people. And they were all with one accord in Solomon’s Porch. Yet none of the rest dared join them, but the people esteemed them highly. And believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women, so that they brought the sick out into the streets and laid them on beds and couches, that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might fall on some of them. Also, a multitude gathered from the surrounding cities to Jerusalem, bringing the sick people and those who were tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all headed.”
The last two verses of Act 5 states:
“Act 5:41 And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.
Act 5:42 And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.”
Both before their imprisonment and after we see there is no restriction whatsoever, but the opposite, believers were increasingly added to the Lord and in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as Christ (vs. 14,42). Not only that but an angel broke them out of prison (Acts 5:19)! Yes, the church will be persecuted but that doesn’t restrict the Holy Spirit nor does the Holy Spirit just reside within the believer and not continue to fulfill all that Jesus said concerning the functions of Holy Spirit.
I encourage everyone who reads this to please read Acts chapter 5, it’s not that long.
Now the second part pertaining to Christ and His ministry:
What happened to the Apostles at this point replays what happened to Jesus in Gethsemane. (Mt. 26:36-56; Mk. 14:32-52; Lk. 22:39-53. Up to a certain point, although opposed, He was still able to continue in His ministry. But a time came when this was no longer to be the case. That time will once again come for the Church, and as with Jesus, there will be a betrayal from within our own ranks.” – Prasch (pg128)
While one can run a comparison with the Apostles being imprisoned and beaten and Christ being persecuted. What is most important in this paragraph is what he says concerning Christ’s ministry:
“Up to a certain point, although opposed, He was still able to continue in His ministry. But a time came when this was no longer to be the case. That time will once again come for the Church, and as with Jesus, there will be a betrayal from within our own ranks.”
Jacob references scripture supposedly showing where Jesus’s ministry was hindered to the point he could no longer minister. Mt. 26, Mk. 14 or Lk. 22 Christ was fulfilling prophesy AND HIS MINISTRY, and in Lk. 22:43 it says that Jesus was even strengthened by an angel.
Luk 22:43 And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.
He says that Christ couldn’t continue His ministry because he was opposed. Really? The Cross was His ministry!! Where was Christ powerless?
Mat 26:53 Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?
Mat 26:54 But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?
Mat 26:55 In that same hour said Jesus to the multitudes, Are ye come out as against a thief with swords and staves for to take me? I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and ye laid no hold on me.
Mat 26:56 But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled.
Mar 14:49 I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and ye took me not: but the scriptures must be fulfilled.
Luk 22:69 Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God.
Also see: John 10:17-18 Jesus didn’t just die; he died with power and authority. His life wasn’t taken from him; he laid it down willingly to die for our sins.
Joh 10:17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.
Joh 10:18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.
Heb 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
The question is, why would Jacob diminish the work and power of not only the Holy Spirit and the Apostles but Jesus Christ Himself? It’s impossible to wrap one’s mind around. According to Jacob what believers have to look forward to during the 70th week of Daniel, before the rapture is a diminished spiritual life that holds no power or at best very restricted power since the Holy Spirit only resides within the hearts of the believer as He did in the Old Testament; all the while the believers will be enduring a level of persecution that has never been before on the earth.
What does that do to the Cross? It null and voids Christ’s ministry completely. What does it say about the blood of Christ shed for us if the Holy Spirit reverts to dealing with believers as in the Old Testament?
“There was a gap when Jesus was raptured and sent the Holy Spirit, there will likewise be a gap when the Holy Spirit operates again in an Old Testament character and, as it were, this causes the Father to send back Jesus to harpazo His people. It was during this period, between the haprazo of Jesus and the Ascension and the coming of the Holy Spirit that the Apostles were caught in a limbo-like vacuum where the Church did not per se exist and the Holy Spirit had not as yet been outpoured, but Christ had left.” – Prasch
The Holy Spirit will dwell in the hearts of faithful believers as individuals only as He did in the time between John 20-22 and the Day of Pentecost. The Holy Spirit will no longer be uniting or empowering the church.
Joh 20:22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:
However I would like to add John 20-23
“John 20:23 Whose so ever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose so ever sins ye retain, they are retained.”
So, as we try to understand correctly, Jacob’s “reversal of Pentecost” we find believers will be trapped in this gap period between Christ’s ascension and the sending the Holy Spirit, it is only logical to conclude that Christ will have to return in order for the Holy Spirit to stop operating at full capacity, as He has been since His outpouring on the Day of Pentecost. Christ’s ascension was also part and parcel of fulfilling His ministry and fulfilling prophecy. They Holy Spirit has already been poured out on the Day of Pentecost, for Him to return to dealing with man as in the Old Testament and or “the gap” period Christ has to return/ descend from the Fathers right hand. The church did exist, Prasch himself says this in another video.
Joh 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate to be with you forever—
But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have told you.
Eph 1:19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,
Eph 1:20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
Eph 1:21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
Eph 1:22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
Heb 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
Heb 10:12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God;
It is troubling to conceive the eschatological events as Jacob Prasch perceives them.
- His arguments are faulty as he moves the goal post on timing issues concerning the restrainer.
- He provides no biblical proof that the Holy Spirit is the restrainer outside of John 16:8.
His presuppositions that the “convicting” of the Holy Spirit is synonymous with “restraining” is completely inconclusive providing a weak argument as the two are not the same.
- He diminishes the final work of Christ on the Cross and his provision to the Church in giving the Holy Spirit as a continued companion and power in the believer’s life. (See also Mark 13:10-11; Luke 21:12-15) as both show the believer empowered to witness during the Great Tribulation period.
- He diminishes the work and power of the Holy Spirit during the 70th week of Daniel with no biblical evidence whatsoever. In fact, Acts 2:14-21 demonstrates that the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and empowering of the Body of Christ to witness will continue up to the sign given by Joel which ends the Great Tribulation with the return of Christ to rapture the church and initiate the Day of the Lord. – Joel 2:28-31 (cf. Matt. 24:29)
- His reversal of Pentecost is unsubstantiated and cannot be exegetically demonstrated. Again, another presupposition on Jacob’s part.
- He spiritualizes Scripture (which he calls midrash interpretation) to fit is subjective theory of the reversal of Pentecost and the role of the Holy Spirit during the 70th week of Daniel.
- Lastly, Jacob’s understanding of the role of the restrainer deviates from what is clear in Scripture. He insist the restrainer restrains “evil” where 2 Thessalonians 2:3,7-8 is Eschatological and states it is the identity of the lawless one who is restrained.