Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Road Ahead in the Era of Responsibility.

Visit to see 47 other pictures taken on inauguration day.

On Tuesday, January 20th, just after 12pm, Barack Hussein Obama was sworn in as America's 44th president. Approximately 2 million people flocked to Washington D.C. so that they could take part in this historic transfer of power. It must have been an intimidating show of support; Obama seemed calm, confident, and happy when he walked out to his seat, but when he swore in, his poise faltered in the first few lines of the oath. Conspiracy theorists everywhere are seeing that moment as a loophole in the transfer of power. But when I saw it, I was reminded of the fact that Barack Obama is a human being, facing down an army of 2 million jubilant supporters, and he was a little more nervous than he let himself show.

During the past two years, Barack Obama rose up from the ranks of campaign democrats, and successfully out-shined republican challenger John McCain, mostly fueled by peoples belief in one thing: Hope. He personified, and very eloquently expressed Hope from the very beginning. He even released a book called, "The Audacity of Hope". The hope for a change in leadership, hope for an affirmation of promises made by Civil Rights giants 40-50 years ago, and hope that we would be made to face the energy and environmental challenges that have been ignored for too long have made this rise to power possible. The first two hopes have been realized, and the third is next in line.

We have come this far on the fuel of hope, but all of the millions of people who have been mobilized so far need to start moving by another motivation. We need to step up to the plate, and change the way we relate to one another. We need to remember what it means to love our neighbors as ourselves, and we need to put that knowledge into practice. We need to see the light of the coming day of peace as something that is not coming from the white house, but is shining within our spirits, within our grasp, manifesting itself in every loving choice we make.

At this point, a lot of people are being tempted to sit back, and be passively led by our new president. The temptation is to dismiss the idea that the ball is in our court, that the challenges which face our president are facing us as well...Obama's charge and challenge is to correct this perception. That seems to be a high priority for him. His inauguration speech is a testimony of that.

We cannot see Barack Obama as our savior. We must maintain our composure, and understand that he is just a leader, who is trying to guide us in the right direction, and that the real anointing belongs to a larger group that Christ refers to as "the elect" in his explanation of the last days in Mark 13. This is a very sobering passage for any believers who are tempted to refuse their responsibilities in this day by deifying our new leader. Let me share just a few selections from it to show that Christ knew there would be real power from God in many people at the same time that there will be false saviors and false prophets in the earth. It's a very confusing time, but this is precisely as confusing as a field of wheat mixed with weeds at harvest (which is another, powerful last days parable given by Jesus in Matthew 13).


The "Elect":

Mark 13:9-11,13
"You must be on your guard. You will be handed over to the local councils and flogged in the synagogues. On account of me you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them. And the gospel must first be preached to all nations. Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit... All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved."
vs 20
If the Lord had not cut short those days, no one would survive. But for the sake of the elect, whom he has chosen, he has shortened them.
vs. 27
And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.
Warnings of False Saviors:

Mark 13:5-6
Jesus said to them: "Watch out that no one deceives you. Many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am he,' and will deceive many.
vs 21-23
At that time if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or, 'Look, there he is!' do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and miracles to deceive the elect—if that were possible. So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time.
A lot is going to be happening all at once; the "birth pains" of the last day are in full swing right now. We've got to set our eyes on the narrow road that leads to righteousness, take up our crosses, our burdens, and follow through, no matter what happens. We can overcome as long as we follow through.

George Bush was the kind of leader who told this nation to sit back, relax, and shop while he took care of the challenges and problems that we encountered under his reign. W assured the people that he would take care of security after 9-11-01 (our borders are still embarrassingly porous and vulnerable, and America has made more enemies under Bush's leadership than ever before). He also promised to rescue New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and let four crucial days go by without making any effort. Mark 13 contains the famous line, "Abomination that causes desolation", which I think is still clearly Bush. So far, Barack Obama has only inherited desolation, caused by the last abomination.

I think the main red flag we should look for from Barack Obama's leadership is if he ever tries to take away the burden of responsibility that he is placing on us now. That is the real test of the spirit behind him.

God does not seek to glorify any one man above his own begotten son, who was sent to Earth with the wonderful news of his Father's Kingdom burning in his heart, eager to be told. Jesus was embraced by many common, simple people; recognized and accepted for the light of the world that He is. Some teachers accepted him as well, but he was eventually murdered by a conspiracy of religious leaders. After his resurrection, there sprang a church that was anointed in power, filled with Joy, infecting the Roman empire with it's message of hope, love, King Jesus, and his coming Kingdom. The message of that kingdom has been lost over time, and the church is not the spotless, righteous institution that it wishes it were. Likewise, in this day, there will not be any single person who will prepare the earth for the return of Jesus. Jesus is the head of a body of promise. In proper birth, the head comes out first, and the feet are last. So will it be in the last days; not another child (like Jesus) but the completion of the body of Christ in a group of equally blessed, equally necessary people working together in common purpose (the feet).

The distinction between one messiah, and a group of anointed people is so crucial in developing our understanding, and our faith in what the last days will be like. It is not proud to believe and hope to be a part of God's plan to change the world, and to devote your life with integrity and honesty to that hope. If you focus on God, and his power and promise of deliverance, and you pledge to do whatever you can to serve and help God, He will use you. God is recruiting from the highways and bi-ways, calling all who are willing to take part in his great celebration of marrying his son (Christ) to his Bride (the real church, the remnant around the world). If you want to make the world a better place, figure out the best way that you can take action on that desire, and go for it! The time for this sort of revolutionary responsibility is right now.

1 Corinthians 1:26-31

For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the LORD.”

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

On Trial: Zion vs. Zionism

Daniel 7: 9-10
"And the Ancient of Days was seated; His garment white as snow, And the hair of His head like pure wool. His throne a fiery flame, Its wheels a burning fire; A fiery stream issued And came forth from before Him. A thousand thousands ministered to Him; Ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him.

The court was seated, And the books were opened
The passage above comes from the middle of Daniel's most famous end-times vision; of four beasts rising up from the sea, (combined to match precisely with the beast from the sea in Revelation 13) and a "Little horn", or pompous, and boastful leader of an empire in the days leading up to judgment. It reinforces the reality that these final days are like an actual trial, for each and every soul on the planet. As I said in my last post, a lot of religious leaders are behaving in terribly unrighteous and unmerciful ways, while thinking of themselves as prosecution attorneys for the heavenly court, and not co-defendants.

Thousands of years ago, lots of warnings were planted for believers living in the last days. These warnings have rested protected and mostly dormant in Bibles around the world. Scriptures warn of false teachings, covetous temptations, the trappings of worldliness, and the spread of false gospels. Mainstream churches sometimes ignore these passages, sometimes use them to accuse other congregations nearby or abroad, and very rarely compare them to their own behavior. Because of that, the benefits and wisdom of these warnings isn't really clear. and a great majority of so-called Christians will be caught unawares and unprepared in the time of his return.

After a few intense years of studying the scriptures, and coming from a strictly evangelical childhood, I have come to believe that very few Christians even know the full gospel. What is being passed as the gospel for saving souls is not complete. It is a mass-produced, misinterpreted, cliffs-notes version of the real thing. This is a gospel that pays lip service, but ignores the responsibility of those who are called of God. It produces millions of spiritual babes, who are then left in a perpetual state of spiritual infancy through a lack of mature nourishment, or proper direction.

There are two sections of "The gospel" according to the New Testament: The Milk and the Meat.
Paul constantly taught about that difference, using that same analogy. Jesus also talked about it on occasion, but in parables and riddle sentences like; "If I tell you of earthly things and you do not believe me, how can you believe me when I tell you of the things of heaven?"


The milk of the Gospel is this:

Jesus Christ is the son of God, who came into the earth to teach us how to live righteously, and who died on the cross as a payment for our sins. It is by him that all who love him (and obey him) will be saved from eternal death through faith in Him, and by the grace of God. There are none who haven't sinned, and all who are saved by the blood of Christ will have eternal life.

The meat of the Gospel is this:

God plans on establishing his kingdom on earth. This establishment happens first in the hearts of people, then spills out into the rest of the earth. At an appointed time, there will be a massive awakening of the Holy Spirit in the living body of Christ. All that is wrong, sour, and bad about the earth will be removed; bound up for a millennium as the earth is restored to a state very close to what Eden might have been like. This advance of the army of God will be swift and definitive. All who follow Christ and serve him will have a place in that kingdom, for a thousand years of peace (after a very dark, relatively short time of tribulation). Most importantly: all must be ready to prepare the way for Christ to return. Those that have lived in readiness, and died before the return will be resurrected in this "Last day"; those who are alive when the time comes for it to be established will be a living army of God, the "feet on the ground" who will be led step by step, sealed and set aside, to subdue God's enemies by nothing less than the Power of his Holy Spirit.


It is very important to remember that Jesus himself preached the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. That was the subject of most of his parables, and in Luke the first thing Jesus preaches after his baptism is: "Repent (change your hearts and lives) for the Kingdom of God is near!"

The way the evangelical movement glosses over this meat is very clever. The term "Kingdom of God" has been replaced with "Kingdom of Heaven". The power of God's promises are all stored away in an ethereal heavenly realm, to be enjoyed after death (or after a pre-tribulation "rapture"). Under these circumstances, Christians can see themselves as mighty warriors of the faith, even if they don't know how to put on their armor properly, or even how to swing their swords in the present world. If our eternal destiny is simply hinged on the passive belief that Christ died for our sins, there's not a whole lot left for us to do. Many Christians are content in simply watching the world come apart around them, because they are waiting for their rescue. They see themselves as damsels in distress, and Christ in the clouds as their White knight. It is a completely helpless, passive, and lazy approach to the gospel. According to this doctrine, the world is to be merely endured, and not overcome. But God does not promise to raise up damsels in the last day: he promises warriors.

In the days of Christ and the early church, spirits of the adversary were already at work trying to corrupt and compromise the Gospel. The entire book of 2 Peter is a reminder of our responsibility, potential, and destiny in Christ (1/3rd of it is also a warning against false teachings). He wrote it because he knew he was close to death, and he knew that the enemy would try to disconnect God's people from the power of faith in His promises. Within a few hundred years of the death of Christ, this effort succeeded. The body of Christ, and the potency of the gospel of the Kingdom of God were buried and bound by the religion of Christianity. Cells within that body were born, lived fruitful lives, and have died to be reserved for the last day, but the body as a whole has been dead for two millennial days. Darkness has crept in to take back the dominion of light that was established by Jesus Christ. But this light is being restored even now. Eyes and ears are being opened.

We, who have been born just before the first early morning rays of the third millennium after the crucifixion of Jesus, are blessed because of the promise of resurrection. Cells of this body who are alive now will venture forth into all the world, swiftly, and sure of foot, carrying the message of God's kingdom to all the corners of the earth. God has been preparing his messengers for years, working with each of us at a pace that we can bear, faithfully attending to all of our hearts with His personal attention.

Time and time again the prophets speak of the "army of God", the "wise", the "remnant", but the most common scriptural reference to this group of people is "Zion". The Zion of the last days is a group of believers who overcome the trappings of Babylon, the seduction of Satan, and the corruption of their own flesh. It is Zion that will prepare the way for the coming of the Lord. It is Zion that will crawl into the windows of Babylon like thieves in the night. It is Zion that will conquer the full Promised Land of earth, as the army of Joshua did in Israel.

What's more, this true army of Zion will not use Scud missiles, or tank shells filled with white phosphorous (which can burn through flesh like it was hot butter, right to the bone in seconds) in it's process of overcoming. The weapon that Zion will use in this conquest is the truth of the promise of God's kingdom. And the enemies of this Zion will be burned by the Glory of the coming of the Lord. That distinction is very crucial. Zionism is another doctrine of racial supremacy (just like Nazism). Nothing more, nothing less. Innocent people are suffering under the creed of Zionism because it is being guided by a spirit of evil.

If Barack Obama safetly takes office on Tuesday, and George Bush finally leaves the White House, I plan on writing a book about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, because it's a message that needs to be remembered. Over the last four years I have been engaged in a race against time to understand the nature of the last days, and the message of the scriptures. The full Gospel, and the promise of the Kingdom of God is that message.

I believe that anything could happen in the next four days, because it only took 3 days for the son of God to be arrested, tried, executed and resurrected. Plus, God's judgment will strike swiftly and suddenly, catching the world off-guard. But during these four years I have learned that the identity of the final Antichrist is not as important as the destiny and duty of the body of Christ. There have been antichrists since the first century AD, and there will continue to be antichrists until God decides to declare his great and terrible Day. Because of this, all who are a part of the body of Christ must always take up the cross of resisting the power that is behind these antichrists. The purpose of all cells of the body of Christ is to demonstrate to those around them what it means to live as though God were enthroned here on earth, ruling over us all, setting rules that we must follow as subjects of his kingdom. Thankfully, the rules are just, kind, and common sense.

We must believe that God is close in order to perceive that he truly is. We must live as though we were already in the kingdom of God, because as long as we have the light of Christ within us, we are. The rules and guidelines of this kingdom are saturating the scripture. It is our responsibility to take them seriously, and to act obediently. When we choose to do what is right, honest, merciful, loving and peaceful, we are advancing the light of Christ. We must be bold on behalf of truth, and not allow the corruption of fear, pride, or hatefulness to overcome us. We can only survive this battle if we are equally aware of the danger around us, and the power behind us. Our responsibility is to prepare ourselves spiritually for the time that the last trumpet sounds, and to demonstrate our readiness by living as strangers in this world, obeying the rules of the Kingdom of God even when no one else does. If anything disconnects us from love, we must resist it. And we must remind our children, our parents, our siblings and neighbors about the truly good news of the Kingdom of God.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Gaza -Zionism and the Ongoing Muslim Holocaust.

On December 27th, Israel began bombarding the Gaza strip with missile air attacks, wiping out civilians without regard, blasting densely populated areas near schools in their supposed pursuit of Hamas leaders and retaliation for rocket fire. The entire middle east is up in arms because of the attacks, which have left 421 Palestinians dead (as of Friday, January 2nd), and thousands more injured so far. The Isreali army says that their campaign of state-sponsored terrorism is a response to smaller rockets that have been fired by Palestinian militants from Gaza. So far in the fighting, less than a dozen Israelis have died from Palestinian rockets. I do not mean to discount the value of life by saying, "Less than a dozen", but that is the comparison; more than 30 Palestinians dead for every 1 Israeli. There is no honor, or courage in this sort of overwhelming force.

It absolutely amazes me that Zionists (both Jew and Christian) can possibly imagine that they are sitting under the blessing of God when they spill the blood of innocent civilians so eagerly, and defiantly claim to be taking the high road while doing it. Jeremiah 6: 13-15a describes this exact mentality:
“From the least to the greatest their lives are ruled by greed. From prophets to priests, they are all frauds. They offer superficial treatments for my people’s mortal wound. They give assurances of peace when there is no peace. Are they ashamed of their disgusting actions? Not at all—they don’t even know how to blush!"
People who think this way (and there are plenty of them) are so drunk with the wine of Babylon (That is, filled with a self-appointed sense of piety) that they have lost their sense of dignity, and conscience. They are acting, before God and all the world, like the spiritual equivalent of angry, drunken, violent jerks: and they see absolutely nothing wrong with their abusive behavior. But unlike normal drunks, they aren't just embarrassing and/or hurting themselves. In the case of this past week, hundreds of people have died, some of them schoolchildren; thousands have been wounded; power is lost to hospitals in Gaza, food supplies have been cut off, nobody knows when those crucial supply lines will be reconnected.

The atrocity of life in that narrow strip of land right now is beyond the scope of most people's comprehension. And so rather than force ourselves to go through the painful process of learning how to wrap our minds around it, we put it out of our heads. We rationalize to ourselves, "It can't be that bad." We thank God that we aren't Muslim (unless you are, in which case you probably thank Allah that you are, because the one true God is merciful to all who are oppressed, and fair in judging both the righteous, and the unrighteous).

In the 1940's, a lot of people around the world were hearing rumors of terrible mistreatment, demonization, and persecution of the Jews under Adolf Hitler. There were stories from those who escaped the Reich from time to time. Most would shake their heads and think about how terrible it was that the Jews were being singled out that way, and then concentrate on other matters of the war, or the world, or their own lives. People didn't allow themselves to believe that a holocaust actually existed until after it stopped, when they saw the evidence of it first hand. There was a blind spot that covered the eyes of the world 65 years ago. The same thing is happening right now in the world. Only this time some Jews are the attackers, and not the victims. The alliance between the United States and Israel has rendered the peacekeeping power of the United Nations obsolete. And the target of their war machine is Islam.

Think about it in these terms: There are three Monotheistic faiths that all claim Abraham as their father. The first Antichrist was Nero, who persecuted the Christians; the second Antichrist was Hitler, who persecuted the Jews; Our current Antichrist is Bush, who persecutes Muslims.

I believe that the Iraq war is not so much a terrible failure as it is a twisted, mislabled extermination project against the people of Iraq. This is also the motive behind the so-called "Global War On Terrorism". There is a massive, and totally inhumane campaign of American Empirical expansion (supported by Israel) which seeks to subdue and trample the entire Eurasian area, reforming them in an American image. It is not democracy that we wish to spread throughout that region, for Hamas is a democratically elected ruling party, and we are not coming to their assistance. We also didn't defend Lebanon from being riddled with advanced Israeli missles a couple of years ago, and they are another democracy. In fact, America's best friends in the region are Israel, and Saudi Arabia. Both nations are serious violators of the basic human rights and liberties that our constitution swears to defend and uphold...Our proud, patriotic, pro-democracy self image is a complete farce.

Friends, we must all pray that we never lose our sensitivity to God's impartial eye. He is a fair judge, who does not show any favoritism, but judges each of us based on our hearts and our actions. All those who repent must first come to terms with this fair, all seeing, all knowing power of God; but the principal can be easy to forget. That is exactly what's happened to the religious/political establishment of our time, in America and Israel. In the immediate aftermath of 9-11, the wounds of our national trauma were bandaged with bumper stickers that said "God Bless America". We are going boldly forth into the world, torturing, poisoning, exterminating both enemies and innocents along the way, and we believe that God is going to bless us...God will deliver the weak from their oppressors. He sees through the boastful, self-righteous posturing that has been used as a blanket to cover serious, ongoing crimes against humanity. God is very near to us, and near to them. This will not continue indefinitely. Vengeance will be his. But never forget that there is a remnant that belongs to the Lord in every Nation (including Israel). Those in Christ have brothers and sisters everywhere. God will sort them out. One of my favorite statements of Paul is, "Be not deceived, God will not be mocked: every person will reap what they sew".

Jeremiah 7:1-15

The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: "Stand in the gate of the LORD’s house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the LORD, all you men of Judah who enter these gates to worship the LORD. Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Amend your ways and your deeds, and I will let you dwell in this place. Do not trust in these deceptive words: 'This is the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD.'

"For if you truly amend your ways and your deeds, if you truly execute justice one with another, if you do not oppress the sojourner, the fatherless, or the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not go after other gods to your own harm, then I will let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave of old to your fathers forever.

"Behold, you trust in deceptive words to no avail. Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, make offerings to Baal, and go after other gods that you have not known, and then come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, 'We are delivered!'—only to go on doing all these abominations? Has this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? You know, I too am watching, declares the LORD.

Go now to my place that was in Shiloh, where I made my name dwell at first, and see what I did to it because of the evil of my people Israel. And now, because you have done all these things, declares the LORD, and when I spoke to you persistently you did not listen, and when I called you, you did not answer, therefore I will do to the house that is called by my name, and in which you trust, and to the place that I gave to you and to your fathers, as I did to Shiloh. And I will cast you out of my sight, as I cast out all your kinsmen, all the offspring of Ephraim.