A Woman's Perspective On The Times We Live In


April 29, 2016

Don't Let Your Guard Down!

     What are you most concerned about these days?  If you listen to the media it should be all politics, all the time.  Every website, news program, and talk radio time-slot is consumed with this year's national elections.  I understand that our nation is standing at a precipice, and who becomes the next leader of the United States could well determine whether we continue in a position of power, or fade from history.  (By the way, the origin of that word precipice, is from late 16th Century Latin and denotes "a headlong fall" ... not very encouraging, is it?)
     I guess I'm asking because I'm starting to see people becoming more myopic; focused too narrowly on one thing or another that they hope will "fix" our nation and put us back on the path to greatness.  For some, that is hoping that a particular candidate will make good on their campaign promises and turn this big ship around.  For others, it is a big rally in the stock market, because their portfolio or bank balance is the barometer of their future security.  Still others know that these are not real solutions for what ails us, and they either turtle up and refuse to even think about the scary possibilities of the future, let alone take any steps to prepare for a different existence -- or they refuse to even entertain the thought that anything, or anyone, could defeat the mighty United States of America.
      And whether you are a person of faith or not, it seems to me as if we are all hoping, against hope, that we can escape what our very spirits and souls are telling us is imminent.  I am not trying to panic anyone or be a doomsday prophet.  I guess I am simply a realist.  As a Christian, I am secure in my eternal destiny; but I also know that this does not exempt me from having to face some very alarming situations in the present.  Recent events in Europe have shown us that our Western civilization is under physical attack.   Russian fighter planes are buzzing our Naval fleet in the Baltic Sea; coming within 30 feet of the ships' decks.  North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-un, ordered the country's nuclear weapons to be made ready for use at a moment's notice.  I think we can all agree that these are very real threats to not only our nation, but the world!  Yes, as individuals, there is very little we can do about the decisions made by world leaders.  But that doesn't mean we ignore them or fail to consider the consequences of such actions and how they might affect us and our families.
     These are examples of actions readily seen by the public eye.  What about covert activities being conducted outside the scope of public scrutiny?  Are you prepared for, or do you even think about, actions that could stealthily endanger you or your community?  Are you paying attention?  Or are you too focused on the big picture being orchestrated for you; or perhaps just the opposite, are you deliberately putting your blinders on and pretending everything is status quo?
     I suggest that we all get real, and begin paying close attention to what is going on around us, and here's the perfect reason why.... I am going to relate to you a very concerning situation that has come to my attention through a friend of my husband's who lives out-of-state.  I am not going to reveal any names or cities, because I want you to look at what I'm about to tell you with clear-sightedness; as if this could be any city in the country.  And believe me it could.
     This friend is the father of a daughter who attends an affluent private Christian school in a major city in the U.S.  Like any devoted father, he wanted to be involved in a meaningful way with the administration of his daughter's school.  Being a licensed firearms instructor, it was natural for him to become involved on the Security Committee at the school.  As the newest member, he wanted to become familiar with the team that had been hired to provide security for the school and its students.  (I am assuming that because the school is private and in an affluent neighborhood, they can afford to hire security teams, where public schools and perhaps less wealthy schools would not have this opportunity).
Wall of grief in Beslan
     You can imagine the concern that this father felt when he discovered that the private security team hired to protect his daughter's school was dubious, and the owner of the security firm raised some suspicions.  Now, before anyone accuses me of being bigoted or conspiratorial, I would remind you that this is a Christian school in an affluent American suburb.  If you can tell me that this would not raise a huge red flag for you, then I would like to remind you of the 2004 Beslan school siege (or massacre, as it was known in Russia), in which 1,100 people were taken hostage (777 of which were children), and 385 died.  It is the opinion of many security officials (and special forces operators) that Beslan was "the dress rehearsal" for more planned takeovers of schools.  If they are concerned, shouldn't we be?
     Why do I think that this friend and father has a right to be concerned?  Because our children are our most precious possessions, and the quickest way to bring this nation to its knees, and to rip our souls asunder, is to attack our kids.  Enemy terrorists only have to look at the response of our nation at any school shooting that takes place.  It rips the heart out of this country.
     In 2014, author William Forstchen wrote a book titled Day of Wrath, in which he painted an exceptionally vivid picture of this very scenario.  I read it and wrote a post about it, knowing full well that what Mr. Forstchen wrote as a fictional warning was very timely and necessary.  And if you think my friend is over-reacting about his daughter's security team, then I invite you to read the book (and the nearly 1200 customer reviews) and then tell me how you would feel if it was your daughter at that school.
     Believe me, I pray that the security team at this Christian school proves to be above-board, a team of consummate professionals, and everyone feels they are the right choice.  But God help us if the red flag that has been raised turns out to be valid.  All I'm saying is that we are living in times that are unprecedented and dangerous.  Our future in this world is precarious, and we cannot afford to be blindsided because we are letting down our guard.  Stay focused, tune in, and pay attention to what's going on around you.  Don't be afraid to ask questions and to demand answers.  And above all else, don't stop praying for God's Mercy on us!

1 Thessalonians 5:6     "So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober."


         

April 27, 2016

Are We Really Free To Express Our Faith?

     You may have heard the recent news story about the lay preacher, Dr. Eric Walsh.  If not, let me clue you in.  Dr. Walsh was offered a job as a district health director for the Georgia Department of Public Health.  Before he could even show up for his first day of work, DPH officers and other government workers began investigating his religious activities.  You see, Dr. Walsh is not only a physician, but a lay preacher for the Seventh Day Adventist Church.
     So, even though, by law, Dr. Walsh's religious beliefs are no grounds by which he is to be considered eligible for employment, "DPH officers and other employees spent hours reviewing these [beliefs] and other of Dr. Walsh’s sermons and other public addresses available online; analyzing and taking notes on his religious beliefs and viewpoints on social, cultural and other matters of public concern as expressed in his sermons and other public addresses."  Then barely a week later, DPH announced it had rescinded the job offer that Dr. Walsh had already accepted.
     According to the Fox News Opinion site, there were members of the Georgia Department of Public Health that do not share Dr. Walsh's Biblical worldview, and they used their power to punish him.  Perhaps they were heavily influenced by The Health Initiative, an Atlanta-based group committed to LGBT health issues, and strongly opposed to Walsh’s hiring.  So opposed, in fact, that they told The Georgia Voice, an LGBT-oriented bi-weekly newspaper based in Atlanta, Georgia, "Dr. Walsh’s public displays of anti-gay propaganda and religious rhetoric will become symbols of the department and will further isolate an already vulnerable population. We believe this hire is detrimental to the well-being of our community, as well as to the effectiveness of the Department to conduct meaningful outreach to LGBT Georgians."
     So what exactly was the "anti-gay propaganda and religious rhetoric" that the good doctor was spewing?  Well, Dr. Walsh preached sermons upholding the biblical stance on marriage (a union between one man and one woman), and other topics such as creationism, health, sexuality, world religions, science, and what the Bible says about homosexuality.  So, basically, he was fired -- before he ever started! -- because of something he preached in a sermon.  (NOTE:  The Georgia DPH has now released a statement saying, "During the background check process, DPH learned Dr. Walsh failed to disclose outside employment to his previous public health employer, which also was in violation of California law."  If that was the reason for his termination, then why all investigation into his sermons, and why the statement from The Health Initiative?  I'm not buying it!)
     But this wasn't the first time Dr. Walsh was discriminated against.  The website, Saved To Serve, reported that it all started when Dr. Walsh was invited to be the keynote speaker for a commencement at Pasadena City College in California. LGBT activists and students vehemently protested and Walsh backed out. Not satisfied with the cancellation, the LGBT community and its sympathizers wanted to further damage him emotionally and professionally which resulted in his resignation as director of Pasadena’s public health department. And then the hate followed him all the way across the country to Georgia.
     All this controversy brings me to what I think is a natural question ... Does Religious Freedom really exist in this country?  Or can one small group of the population control the nation's social conscious and launch what amounts to a legally-accepted act of discrimination against people of faith?  You see, the LGBT community in the Atlanta, Georgia region is only an estimated 4.2% of metro Atlanta's population.  Yet, they are able to work in cooperation with government agencies like the Department of Public Health, and corporate giants like Disney, Apple, Time Warner, Intel, and the NFL to coerce Christians from preaching their beliefs in their churches, and can actually effect opportunities of employment.
     One can see these same groups pressuring Georgia Governor Nathan Deal to veto the state's House Bill 757, which would have protected religious freedoms, and would have amended current law "relating to marriage generally, so as to provide that religious officials shall not be required to perform marriage ceremonies in violation of their legal right to free exercise of religion."  The Governor was quoted as saying, “Our people work side by side without regard to the color of our skin, or the religion we adhere to. We are working to make life better for our families and our communities. That is the character of Georgia. I intend to do my part to keep it that way. For that reason, I will veto HB 757.”  Well, Governor, can you show me where the good state of Georgia is willing to work side by side with those of Faith?  Are they to be silenced when they express their views of what they want for their families and communities?
     I have stated it over and over, and sadly, I feel it is necessary to do so again... I do not wish to force my religious views about sexuality or marriage upon another.   While I may not agree with the homosexual lifestyle (based on my faith), that same faith does not require that I force my opinion on another.  That is a decision that I am perfectly willing to let every individual choose for themselves.  I am not called to be another's conscience.  I do not want to control how you live your life.  (Those of my friends who are gay, can attest to the fact that their relationships do not interfere with our friendships). BUT, at the same time I expect to be allowed to live my life in the freedom of my faith, and that includes attending a church that teaches a Biblical perspective on marriage and creationism, for example.  Just as the LGBT community wants to be free to live their lives according to their belief system, I would ask that they offer me the same courtesy.  Allow me to choose for myself, the lifestyle I want to live; do not limit my voice in the public square, just as you want to have yours heard.  And, most of all, let the laws of the land protect my rights, as well as yours!
     It is becoming more and more apparent that we cannot count on the Constitution or our lawmakers to protect our religious liberties.  As long as churches and religious organizations tie themselves to the government's 501(c)3 shackles, it will allow the government, whenever it chooses, to control what is preached, taught, or done to a great extent within those institutions.  And we must admit that government is increasingly bowing down to the pressures of our culture.  Let's face it ... we are being judged ... and condemned ... by those who wish to silence our voice, even if it is done within the confines of the Lord's House.  The sad thing, for me, is that like any social or cultural force, it is the radical branch that wants to force their agenda.  
     So, right now, we are seeing professionals like Dr. Eric Walsh being fired for their religious beliefs.  Seems to me that we are not too far away from what the Bible tells us will be the result of standing for our faith.  Read about it in the Book of Revelation.  It starts out with threats; then we will be prosecuted, fined, and jailed.  And then it's only a step or two until we are being prohibited from buying or selling, and then ultimately killed for refusing to renounce our faith.  Those with no faith in the God of the Bible will say that is a ridiculous statement.  But can you look at what happened to Dr. Eric Walsh, and see that we are more clearly on that destructive path; more so than on a path towards mutual acceptance and tolerance?  How did we get here, so far and so fast?  The Enemy obviously knows his time is short, and we can take consolation in knowing that our Victory is on the horizon.

Revelation 2:10    "Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life."
     

April 25, 2016

Satan and Politics: A New Revolution?

     If you are like me, this whole political cycle is becoming tedious.  I do not happen to believe that we can change the direction of this country -- or the world, for that matter -- with a political solution. I believe our problems are much bigger than the contested Republican convention that is predicted; or the scandal over Hillary's emails, Benghazi, and the threats to national security.  I have huge doubts about the ability of any newly-elected President to turn around our failing economy, our immigrant/border problem, or the encroachment upon our national sovereignty by any foreign powers or global institution.  I think our problems are the result of our spiritual deterioration; our rebellion and rejection of God; and the doors we have opened to Satanic influence in our homes, our culture, and our churches.  In short, watching Fox News or CNN to get the latest political update seems like I'm watching a carefully scripted mockery of the delusion that we have any say in the future of this nation.
     That bit of pessimism aside, my always alert husband discovered an article he thought worthy of our discussion.  I read it, at first, with a sense of sad amusement -- that people could be so deceived as to actually be a follower of such nonsense -- but that was soon replaced with the very real sense that there are people who are hopelessly lost, and convenient tools of the dark side of this world.  Let me explain....
     This all may seem laughable, and unrealistic, but keep in mind that Satan seeks to enter all facets of our lives, and politics is a very impressionable and powerful subculture of our society.  And we have a generation of dissatisfied, alienated, and discontented youth who, like every generation before them, think that they have the solution for the "perfect revolution" to change the world.  It's just that in this time of history, the Enemy has done away with subtle and muted messages, and is openly identifying himself as an alternative choice -- even in politics.
The Satanic Temple performs a satanic ritual at
the Michigan State Capitol in December 2015
     So, you may be familiar with the organization known as The Satanic Temple.  They have made their presence known by demanding the same religious rights and privileges afforded to Christianity.  You may recall their campaigns to create satanic coloring books for distribution in schools in Florida and Colorado; bids to erect satanic “nativity scenes” on government property in Florida, Michigan and Indiana; offering prayers to Satan at a high school football game in Seattle; and demanding that a monument to the Ten Commandments at the Oklahoma State Capitol be accompanied by a monument to Baphomet (a goat-headed idol associated with witches' sabbaths).
     I've always assumed that they saw themselves as an alternative "religion".  But you should know that the foundation of their "movement" is political, and they have stated as such on their website:  "The Satanic Temple (TST) facilitates the communication and mobilization of politically aware Satanists, secularists, and advocates for individual liberty."  It is obvious they aim to make their presence known in politics!
     Their latest attempt to influence the political culture in this country came at South by Southwest (SXSW), an annual set of film, interactive media, and music festivals and conferences that take place in mid-March in Austin, Texas.  This event started out as a forum for talented, new, and independent artists, and as far as I'm concerned, has attracted far too many of the "fringe" and "bizarre" types.  But they open the venue to anyone, so what better place for The Satanic Temple to present a unique political message to the masses.
     First, you need to know that the TST political campaign involves the 2016 movie, "The Witch", a tale of a Puritan family turning on each other as they attempt to root out the supernatural evil plaguing their farm.  The film won the award for best director at the Sundance Film Festival – and even frightened horror master Stephen King, which is quite a feat, and enough to keep me from ever seeing it.  But the important fact, here, is that The Satanic Temple combined forces with A24 Studios, to promote a four-city tour called The Sabbat Cycle, which consisted of screenings of the film followed by politically driven satanic rituals.  I kid you not!  The stated goal of The Sabbat Cycle was to inspire a “satanic revolution.”  That got your attention, didn't it?
     Revolutions have always been about rebelling against the status quo, and who better than Satan, the first leader of an organized rebellion, to represent a burgeoning political movement?  But I think you should know exactly what The Sabbat Cycle is all about.  Obviously, it is meant to denigrate the Sabbath, a holy day as designated by God.  But in satanism it is also a supposed annual midnight meeting of witches with the Devil.  If you dare, you can click on this link to the website, but if you would rather skip the disgusting photos, then I can clue you in on their purpose and plan.  Here is the official mission statement:  "Inspired by the film The Witch, The Satanic Temple crossed the nation February 2016 to present a four-part cycle of interactive performances to reify the witch (to make something abstract more concrete or real) - and herald a new Satanic American era. A study of the pathology of religious hysteria, The Witch provides a glimpse into a dark period of our collective history, a  puritanical worldview turned parasitic.  Despite the mythology, supernatural forces do not inspire an attraction to the left hand path, rather it is the unnatural pressures of theocracy that ultimately produce a Satanic breakthrough. This is a timely film.  Nearly four-hundred years after the first execution of an American "witch," many in our nation still call for the establishment of an American theocracy and a return to the puritanical delusions of old.   In the face of relentless persecution, of unjust authority treading on our private, intellectual and sexual lives, we, the outsiders, the freethinking, and the godless have found ourselves strengthened.  We act now to righteously assert our American freedoms, for the edification of our communities and the future of the private citizen.  The Sabbat Cycle mirrors phases of "becoming" in the personal road to Satanism and is an invitation to join us in the Satanic Revolution."
     And to become part of this satanic political revolution, they apparently feel it is necessary to perform a satanic ritual.  You can read the full description, as provided by a reporter who decided to witness it for himself.  But here's the shortened version:  After viewing the film, the participants adjourned to a nearby bar where the entire area was adorned in black-and-white American flags, just like the ones that everybody in the room received as they entered. As all of this went down, a sermon played over loudspeakers, as a Christian minister described what Satan wanted from his followers—"Satan wants you to do what you want to do," a point that apparently both sides of the Jesus/Satan divide can agree on—while what the reporter described as "a punishing ambient soundscape provided by British electronic music weirdos Consumer Electronics" droned in the background.
     Then the head priestess or witch, whose name, believe it or not, is Jex Blackmore, came out from behind her black shroud and gave her own sermon.   "Who taught you to be ashamed?" and declaring that "satanism is the rational assertion of aggressive individualism." A naked couple, who were part of the show, got hoods draped over their heads, then removed them to chug down containers full of wine (supposed to represent blood). People in the crowd rushed to the front of the stage.  The priestess culminated her sermon by declaring, "We do not seek followers, we are seeking collaborators—individuals for a satanic alliance!" Then she instructed those collaborators to place their black-and-white flags outside of crisis pregnancy centers and the Texas governor's mansion. She ended the sermon by shouting "Hail Satan!" and raising her fist into the devil-horn sign, which the majority of the crowd of a hundred or so fired back, chanting "Hail Satan!" along with her, over and over again.
     Now, this might seem like an absurd exhibition, but we must never assume that it was nonproductive.  Anytime anyone praises Satan, or glorifies him, or honors him with worship, you can bet that our Enemy will take advantage of it and push his agenda.  He will use these willing dupes to present himself as a legitimate alternative to the religion of Christianity, as well as a genuine and different choice in the political arena.  But we must not forget that it is always a counterfeit option.  It is a false promise.
     Ms. Blackmore embraces her position as witch/political activist with relish. She sees the collaboration with the film, The Witch, as an opportunity to get more people involved and hasten their political revolution. She, along with the organization she represents (The Satanic Temple) want to challenge the popular belief that America is a “Christian nation.”  Seems like there are a lot of people in politics that hold that same belief system.  Can groups like TST and their occultic entourage change the landscape of our political consciousness?
     Are you willing to bet that they can't?  We have to face the fact that our culture and the nation's underlying foundation of the Christian Church has certainly changed in the last decade.  And Millennials now outnumber us Baby Boomers.  They don't see the big picture the way we do.  And if their picture doesn't include the reflection of God in their lives, their homes, our society, or our government, then they are inevitably ripe for deception and a counterculture that TST offers them.  We saw it happen in the 60s, when the youth of this nation forged new ideas of free sex, while protesting against the government, affluence, war, and any and all authority.
     Authority ... isn't that what Satan rebelled against, too?  God's Authority?  And now the youth of this nation openly hail God's Adversary by name.  But now that rebellion is moving from the religious sphere into the political arena, where the Bible tells us that Satan is ruler of this world.  Up to now, he has been able to work in relative obscurity -- most people are unaware that he is actually called the Prince of this world.  But now it appears as though he is coming out of the shadows and into full view amidst the corrupt, criminal, and immoral political landscape.  He should feel right at home.  And  now,  he's ready to get in the race.  Most of our spiritually protective walls have been torn down, and we already see the evidence of him winning court battles in Florida, Oklahoma, Colorado, Michigan, and Indiana.  When satanic rituals are allowed to be held in public, and are directed toward members of our government, then I fear that we have sealed our doom.  We are witnessing an unholy pact, and God help us!

Romans 1:32    "Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them."


   
   

April 24, 2016

2 Corinthians 10:3-5

 "For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh.  For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ."


     This is a powerful piece of Scripture!  And I wish every Christian would fully embrace the comprehensive message that the Apostle Paul is trying to tell us in this passage.  I've always thought of it as a companion to his message on the "full armor of God" in Ephesians.  But I am continually surprised at the number of my fellow Christians who apply his instruction on a limited basis.
     In Ephesians, Paul tells us that we do not fight against flesh and blood.  In other words, our enemies are not human like us, but are "cosmic" and "spiritual forces".  He even gives us the rank and serial number, so to speak, of Satan's army... rulers, authorities, powers, forces.  He tells us who we are fighting, and then tells us how to protect ourselves, and with what armor ... fasten on the belt of God's Truth (who He is, and who you are in Him); put on the breastplate of righteousness; put on the sandals of the gospel of peace; take up the shield of faith in all circumstances, and the helmet of salvation, along with the sword of the Spirit (which is the Word of God).  He then instructs us to pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.
     First of all, there are many Christians who do not understand that we are to put on the armor and all those components because WE ARE AT WAR!  Somehow, they think that putting on the armor is simply part of our daily walk with God.  But why would Paul use imagery of war and a battle, if he just wanted us to know God's Truth, be righteous, live a peaceful life, be faithful, accept our salvation, and read the Word?  The picture of putting on armor means you are going to be going to war, and are engaged in a fight.  He even tells us who the enemies are in the preceding verse!  But somehow some Christians ignore the first part of his message, and refuse to see the obvious... that we have very real spiritual enemies and there is a battle that needs to be waged -- why else put on armor?
     Then there are Christians who will get to Level One by admitting that they can see the implications of a spiritual battle, but cling to the part of the verse that says "pray at all times... with all prayer and supplication", as if that is the only thing we can do.  Please don't misunderstand!  I am not diminishing the power of prayer, but as Paul tells us in the Scripture I have selected for today, there are weapons of warfare that we need to employ.  Notice the plural of that word?  Prayer is important; it is vital in our battle plan, but it is not the only weapon we have at our disposal!
    I want to reiterate ...  in Ephesians, Paul tells us that our enemies are not flesh; but in 2 Corinthians, he tells us that our weapons are not of the flesh.  I think it is important to understand that he is trying to tell us that our human efforts are not enough to fight the spiritual enemies that Satan will send against us.  Notice that he says we "do not wage war according to the flesh".  Also note that he isn't as specific in 2 Corinthians, as to what those weapons are.  Let me share with you what the Lord has shown me.
     First of all, I believe today's passage shows us that we must be ACTIVE in using our weapons, in order to be effective.  Each of the weapons I am about to suggest involves us being active, and taking a stand; using a specific weapon to overcome the activity and influence of Satan and his army.
      The first weapon that I believe can be especially effective is PRAISE.  The devil hates to hear people praising God.  When we speak praise out loud, it releases the presence of God in our lives, and a divine connection (and protection) is initiated that the devil cannot penetrate.  Michael Fackerell, a Christian missionary to Romania, has explained the power of praise as a weapon, better than anyone I've ever heard.  He says, "Many of our problems would be solved if we could only get Satan and his demons to SHUT UP. They operate by injecting suggestions into our minds which seem plausible, but are rooted in unbelief and rebellion towards God. The suggestions come as if they were our own thoughts, when they are not at all! We lose battles when we believe and trust these demonic suggestions. These suggestions, thoughts and imaginations work to sow discouragement, confusion, fear, doubt and unbelief in our minds. PRAISE – be it spoken or sung to music, however, works to SILENCE the enemy. Perfect praise led by God’s Holy Spirit will completely silence the enemy."
     Please note that he has shown us how to be active in using the weapon of Praise, and how it brings us into partnership with the Holy Spirit.  That is the "divine power" to break strongholds, that Paul talks about in 2 Corinthians!
     A second weapon we have at our disposal is the Word of God.  We can see that this is the same weapon Paul says is part of our spiritual armor in Ephesians 6.  And it is the only piece of armor that requires action on our part; the only offensive piece of armor.  Everything else is defensive.  Once again, we see that actively speaking the Word of God out loud is a weapon that will overcome and defeat the Enemy.  He cannot stand against the Word!
     The next weapon that is active and effective against the devil is the Blood of Jesus.  We all sin, and by His blood, we are all cleansed, when we accept Him as our Savior, repent, ask for forgiveness and begin to walk out our salvation.  We must never listen to the lies of Satan, and let him condemn us by our sin.  We must actively apply the Blood of Jesus as a weapon in order to cover us and restore us to a place of acceptance with God, and peace with ourselves.  Remember that Revelation 12:13 says the saints "overcame the devil by the blood of the lamb".... This is a powerful weapon in our arsenal!
     Now we come to the weapon that Christians are most familiar with -- and oftentimes limit themselves to... Prayer.  We must prevail in prayer, keep praying, and believe in the power of prayer.  But prayer is not simply our request made known to God... it is so much more!  We can actually, in prayer, boldly enter God's throne room (in our spirit) and petition Him for help in a particular need (Hebrews 4:16).  The Bible has a lot to say about prayer, but perhaps we should pay particular attention to how Jesus told us to pray:  to acknowledge that our Father is in heaven, and His name is holy.  He also asked us to pray "that His kingdom come, His will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven...".  In other words, when we pray, we want to ask that our desires and our circumstances, here on earth, be brought into alignment with God in Heaven.  
     We know that God only wants what is best for us, and that if we are in dire straits here on earth, it is because the devil is being successful in attacking us through our sinful nature.  If we have anything that is separating us from God ... whether it be unforgiveness, unbelief, anger, bitterness, envy, self-rejection, or any of a myriad of weapons the devil can use against us ... then we are not in alignment with Heaven, and that's not how God wants us to live.  So we have to fight the devil with effective prayer; with the kind of prayer that destroys the stranglehold that the devil can get on us, so that our lives are out of kilter with God's kingdom in Heaven.
     Another powerful weapon is our Testimony.  Again, when we share our testimony of how God has delivered us from our bondage, and broken the chains of slavery that bound us to the devil, then that is an active word that the spiritual realm hears, and it is a very real strike against the forces of the Enemy.  You are taking an active part in the battle to win souls to Christ, which removes a target from the spiritual battlefield.  You may very well have snatched a victory out of the hands of the devil, and struck a blow for the glory of God!
     I can not over-emphasize the power of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.  Remember, this is a spiritual battle we are engaged in, and God, through His Holy Spirit, has given us gifts to help defeat our Enemy -- whether it be a Discernment of Spirits (to identify what kind of spirit or stronghold Satan is using to attack a person); a Word of Knowledge or Wisdom (a direct revelation from God);  the gift of Faith (in which the Christian receives a supernaturally strong and bold faith for a particular work God wants to do. This faith is far beyond the normal faith level of that person); a gift of Miracles (and yes, I DO believe that God still performs miracles today.  He is the same yesterday, today, and forever -- and He has given us the authority and power, through the Holy Spirit, to do the things Jesus did).  If He performed miracles in the past, He performs them today, and we can expect them tomorrow.  Any of these gifts are powerful weapons in the hands of Christians who fully comprehend the spiritual battle that we must fight.
     The Name of Jesus is also a potent and essential weapon as we fight in the spiritual dimension.   Jesus gave the 72 disciples He sent out into the world t(o spread the Good News) the most powerful weapon He could ... His Name.  They reported back to Him in Luke 10:17, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!”  In every instance in which Jesus interacted with the demonic influences on earth, they knew who He was, and they feared Him.  They also were subject to His every command.  And they still are!  When we encounter demonic activity in our lives, we can declare that it be bound, it stop, and it be cast away from us, In the Name of Jesus!  But here's an important addendum... we have to Believe it can be so!  Without Faith on the power of His Name, then Satan can just send a spirit of unbelief to sabotage our weapon.  It is imperative that we believe what the Bible tells us, if we are going to be victorious in our spiritual battles!
     The last weapon I want to point out is the weapon of Fasting.  It is more than just doing without food to cleanse and detoxify our bodies.  Fasting creates a hunger in our soul to be brought into line with God's will.  We can use Jesus as our role model.  Fasting precipitated His showdown with demonic power.  Jesus fasted in the wilderness (in those days he ate nothing), and Satan came at the end of it to test Him.  By speaking the Word in the face of great pressure, Jesus defeated Satan and was qualified to move in the power of the Holy Spirit as a MAN. That is the purpose of fasting as one of our spiritual weapons -- to prepare us to move in the power of the Holy Spirit, not our own.
     So, I hope I have shown you that we have an array of spiritual weapons in our war against the Prince of this world.  Prayer is a powerful one, but we should not rely on it as the only weapon in our arsenal; and we need to specifically realize that prayer in our own power is far less effective than when we utilize our other weapons to strategize and win victories over God's Enemy.  When we only pray in our flesh, we miss out on so much of the divine power available to us through our other spiritual weapons of warfare.  Remember, in our Scripture today, Paul tells us that our Weapons (plural) "have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ."  Are you willing to trust in his advice, and rely on the Word?
     

April 22, 2016

"The All Seeing Eye": Searching For The Light & Immortality -- Part II

   
      On Wednesday, I wrote about the history and symbolism of the Pineal Gland.  In researching this topic, I was amazed at the range of articles on this endocrine gland -- everything from occultic to scientific to the bizarrely spiritual. While I do not endorse all the references I have used, they have provided enough common ground that I think they warrant attention.  Today, I want to show you some rather unsettling theories that surround this mysterious gland, also referred to as the Third Eye, or the All-Seeing Eye, and why both ancient and modern cultures are so fascinated with it.
Eye of Horus (left) looks similar to pineal gland
(which looks similar to a womb)
     In fact, you might have heard "the All-Seeing Eye" also referred to as "the Eye of Horus".  Horus was one of the most significant deities in ancient Egyptian religion, who was worshipped from at least the late Pre-dynastic period through to Greco-Roman times.  He is most commonly understood as the son of the gods Isis and Osiris, and he plays a key role in the Osiris myth as Osiris's heir and the rival to Set, the murderer of Osiris.  But the one thing you need to understand is that he is just one more personification of the spirit of Nimrod, the original man of rebellion against God.  (Read my post on false gods and Nimrod to get the Biblical perspective).
     Then there was the Greek god, Hermes; the son of Zeus, who was considered a god of transitions and boundaries.  Mythology tells us Hermes wandered in a rocky, desolate place to meditate and pray. Following secret instructions of the Temple, he freed his higher consciousness from bondage to his physical senses. Thus released, his divine nature revealed to him The Mysteries. He beheld a terrible, awe-inspiring figure: the Great Dragon, with wings stretching across the sky and light streaming in all directions from its body.  The Great Dragon called Hermes by name, and asked why he meditated on the World Mystery. Terrified, Hermes prostrated himself before the Dragon, beseeching it to reveal its identity. The great creature replied it was Poimandres, the Mind of the Universe, Creative Intelligence, and Absolute Emperor of all.  Hermes besought Poimandres to disclose the nature of the universe and the constitution of the gods. The Dragon acquiesced, bidding Hermes hold its image in his mind. Immediately Poimandres' form changed. Where it had stood was a glorious, pulsating Radiant Light, the spiritual nature of the Great Dragon itself. Hermes was "raised" into the midst of this Divine Radiance and the material universe faded from his consciousness.
     Can you see how this search to discover a "higher consciousness" pervades all cultures, and has been sought after throughout history?  Can you see that man, in his desire to acquire this "All-Seeing Eye" is, in effect, trying to discover the mystery of God?  To become like God?  One only need to look at men like Nikola Tesla to see the beckoning call towards "higher consciousness".  In a post I wrote on Tesla, I discovered that he was aware, as a child, that there was an Energy in the Universe, and of trying to awake that energy, and figure out how it could influence people.  He told his interviewer,  "My eyesight and hearing are perfect and, I dare to say, stronger than other people. I hear the thunder from a hundred fifty miles away, and I see colors in the sky that others cannot see. This enlargement of vision and hearing, I had as a child. Later I consciously developed [it]."  I believe he was seeking this "enlargement" through the Pineal Gland.
      In an article by Naomi Astral, she writes that "the symbol of the All-Seeing Eye, has always been part of Earth's creation mythologies and mysteries. In Ancient Egypt, it was symbolised by the Eye of Horus, and conveyed protection, royal power, and good health. The symbol was passed down, through the ancient mystery teachings and can be found on the American dollar bill."
    She goes on to report that "the eye is the observer of reality - or the illusion of reality. This gland is activated by Light (her choice to capitalize the word), and it controls the various biorhythms of the body. It works in harmony with the hypothalamus gland, which directs the body's thirst, hunger, sexual desire and the biological clock, that determines our aging process."  You might be interested to know that this gland is larger in children, and as we age, it begins to calcify and harden.  This fact will become more important as I proceed in this article.
     But what I'm about to reveal to you was not only shocking, but frightening because of its implications.  The beneficial effects of the hormone melatonin (secreted by the pineal gland) have been part of the health supplement scene for some time.  In fact, high melatonin production is known to be synonymous with a high immune system, a low cancer risk, long life, energy, stamina, and according to many, enhanced spiritual awareness.  By now, you should be getting the picture ... many see the Pineal Gland as the doorway to longevity (if not immortality) and enhanced spiritual knowledge.  And this is where it gets a little creepy.
     According to the article I read, there is a tradition dating back to at least 1000 A.D. in which Arabs, and later Europeans, engaged in the practice of 'eating mummy'.  Ancient mummies were ground up and eaten for medicinal and occult practices.  The article maintains that certain secret societies still participate in the eating of "live pineal glands" from sacrifices, as part of their rites and ceremonies.  There was a time I would have dismissed such stories as beyond the realm of reality, but our Enemy has become ever bolder in showing us how he operates, so I am not quite ready to disregard these accusations.
     Apparently, this practice was widespread in Egypt and Western Europe and it consisted of countless ancient African mummies being burned, ground up and made into a kind of powder in order to be eaten. This incredible act of cannibalism was considered an effective medical practice and folk remedy. The belief became widely prevalent that cures could be obtained by eating ground-up preserved bodies. 'Eating mummy' was considered effective in treating contusions, coughs, epilepsy, migraines, ulcers, cases of poison and as a general panacea.
     I will admit that some of the information gleaned from these articles was beyond my ability to comprehend or embrace.  Occult and scientific writings are cited that seem so fantastical -- ancient races of people with three eyes; shamans that can see with their minds, rather than their eyes; cave-dwellers in Tibet who meditated while on mushrooms and knew of a galaxy years before scientists discovered it.... all associated in one way or another with the pineal gland.
     But I was truly astonished to run across old newspaper articles that referenced the eating of pineal glands.  One such article in 1914, ran in the Times Dispatch of Richmond, VA, and the headline read as follows:  "A Food That Does Away With Youth:  Remarkable Discoveries About a Gland in the Brain That May Enable Science Rapidly To Change Children Into Men, Chicks into Chickens, Calves into Cows, to Sate War's Appetite for Meat and Men." Another article ran in The Washington Times in 1915, and its headline read, "Backward Children Are Helped By Medicinal Use of Pineal Gland Extract."  It's not hard to see that there has long been an interest in consuming the pineal gland to enhance our health.  These scientists, doctors, and researchers would have made Ray Kurzweil proud!
     But perhaps the primary focus of the 20th and 21st Centuries has been in the area of aging and the quest for immortality.  We even have a medical field devoted to it ... gerontology.  In the study of aging -- or gerontology -- there are two main groups of thought. One group believes that aging is a natural process programmed in the body. Meanwhile, the other group believes aging is unnatural and it’s the result of cellular damage accumulated over time.
     Remember that in Part I of this article, I mentioned that some medical experts tell us that our pineal gland begins to calcify with age.  Actually, the human pineal gland grows in size until about 1–2 years of age, and scientists have actually shown that calcification begins at the age of 2.  But here is a truly amazing fact:  the pineal gland is activated in a fetus at 49 days!  This most powerful gland that controls our hormones and sexuality is active and functional at 49 days after conception! Many scientists have expressed that it is at its most potent state in utero.  And that leads me down a path I did not want to go -- Planned Parenthood.
     Remember the recent undercover Planned Parenthood video scandal?  The Center for Medical Progress began releasing a series of videos about the Planned Parenthood abortion clinics, which featured executives and staffers at Planned Parenthood and affiliated businesses discussing and demonstrating human organ harvesting and the fetal body part trade.  Thanks to a website, called The Federalist, I was able to go to one source to find a summary of all those videos and get a pretty good picture of what the harvesting was all about.
     Time after time, in the videos, PP representatives make mention of their desire to deliver the head of a fetus without crushing it; to procure "tissues like brain, livers, thymus, pancreas, heart, lungs ... and sell the parts to researchers."  In video #7 (which the media claims doesn't exist), Holly McDonnell, an ex-procurement technician, talks about harvesting a late-term abortion:  "… its nose was very pronounced, it had eyelids, and its mouth was pronounced. And then since the fetus was still intact, she said, ‘okay, well, this is a really good fetus, and it looks like we can procure a lot from it. We’re going to procure brains.’ ”  Is this a secret reason that some legislators are seeking to allow late-term abortions?
     I could go on and on, but I'm sure you get the picture.  So, is it too far-fetched to think that this harvesting of fetal brains could be tied to the procurement of pineal glands as some kind of magical cure for aging?  I mean, history shows it has been a practice for 1,000 years!  And with all the interest by transhumanists and the scientific community to achieve immortality, could this be an underlying benefit for the abortion industry?  I hate to admit it, but I believe the evil that is in the world will stop at nothing to offend God and His creation.  Just Google "eating pineal gland to prolong life" and see all the results that pop up!
     And, as if mutilating fetuses doesn't disgust God enough, there is always the search for an alternative spiritual experience; one in which man seeks to establish his own connection to the heavenly realms through his own power.  In essence, we are still in rebellion to God, and trying to become our own gods.
     As I have stated numerous times, nothing has changed since the Garden of Eden.  We are still rebelling, and trying to become equals with our Creator.  We are trying to set our own boundaries and lifespan, and seeking a more superior spiritual awakening.  But like Lucifer and Nimrod, and all who have come in a similar spirit, we will find that there is one set of Laws that govern the universe and all the heavenly realms.  In the end, it is His rules by which we must play.  For all the knowledge, and increased health, and "higher consciousness" that we gain, it will never be enough to usurp His Sovereignty.  And woe to those who try.

1 Timothy 6:16   "Who alone has immortality, Who dwells in unapproachable Light, Whom no one has ever seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen."




   
   
   
   

April 20, 2016

"The All-Seeing Eye": Searching For The Light & Immortality -- Part 1

     As I grow older, I am amazed at the unfolding of knowledge that God is granting me.  As my husband, PLW (Peace-Loving Warrior) likes to tell me, "It's like the layers of an onion... God peels back one layer at a time, revealing what we need to know for that season.  But we are always aware that there is another layer, just waiting to be peeled back, and giving us fuller knowledge of Him."  There are times I mourn that I didn't seek Him earlier in my life; I sometimes think I will run out of time before I know all I want to.
     That's why I am in awe of the younger generation who is on fire for God, and who is able to use the technology of this age to reach out to the youth and young adults with the Gospel Message.  But they inspire me far beyond fulfilling the commission we are all called to.  They are more bold and adventurous in seeking out the "fringe" topics that older, more mature Christians shy away from.
     They are unafraid to speak about demons, and the supernatural, and spiritual warfare -- all within a Scriptural context, mind you.  They seem to see things more clearly than those of us who have been influenced by church doctrine and "religion".  They are more pure in their willingness to believe God -- not just believe IN Him.  By that, I mean that they believe that Scripture means exactly what it says; not the contaminated and diluted interpretations that our various denominations have succeeded in convincing us is God's Truth.  They believe the Word is Truth, and are unafraid of accepting its veracity -- even if it points us to unconventional understandings of God's Power that is beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature.  They have no trouble in believing that we serve a BIG God!
     That's why one of my favorite podcasts to listen to is The Fourth Watch with Justen Faull.  Justen is part of that younger generation, and he is not only strong in his faith, but continues to edify and instruct me on topics that are Biblically sound and relevant to the craziness that we are witnessing in the world.  But, perhaps most importantly, he is able to speak God into his generation, and in a way that captures their attention, while telling them of His Truth.
     Recently, I listened to a podcast on a subject that not only fascinated me, but appalled me.  It centered around a popular conspiracy theory about "The All-Seeing Eye".  Justen and his guest speaker, Ark of DestinyLabs.com,  conversed on the resurgence of ancient shamanistic practices that involve the Pineal Gland in our brain.
     Before I go into the shocking information that was revealed on the podcast, we should understand why there is so much fuss over the Pineal Gland.  A simple definition of this gland is that it is "a pea-sized conical mass of tissue behind the third ventricle of the brain, secreting a hormonelike substance in some mammals."  Medical websites refer to it as "a nearly mysterious gland"; located deep in the center of the brain; shaped like a pine cone and involved with sleep/wake patterns.  Doctors tell us that the pineal gland secretes a single hormone—melatonin (not to be confused with the pigment melanin). This simple hormone is special because its secretion is dictated by light. Researchers have determined that melatonin has two primary functions in humans—to help control your circadian (or biological) rhythm and regulate certain reproductive hormones.  They also say it was once known as "the third eye".  I have news for them -- it still is!
     After listening to the Justen Faull podcast, I began to do some research on the Pineal Gland, and it led me down some fascinating and frightening trails.  I wanted to know why it's designation as "the third eye" would have significance to us as human beings, and as Christians.  Today, in Part I on this topic, I want to give you some information on the history and symbolism that surrounds the Pineal Gland.  And then, in Part II, on Friday, I will take you down the disturbing paths that this research led me.  I am by no means telling you things that you could not easily discover yourself; and these are not my original ideas.  But I found this entire topic compelling as I began to connect the dots.
     Did you know that there is actually a website called Third Eye Pinecones?  I'm not kidding!  This site reports that "throughout the span of recorded human history, Pinecones have served as a symbolic representation of Human Enlightenment, the Third Eye and the Pineal Gland... its spines spiral in a perfect Fibonacci sequence in either direction, much like the Sacred Geometry of a rose or a sunflower."  I would like to think that the creators of this website give credit to God for the repetition of this Fibonacci pattern throughout nature, but nevertheless, I found their site fascinating in its rich narrative regarding the Pinecone and its connection to the Pineal Gland and the All-Seeing Eye.
     And this site confirms the information found on the aforementioned medical websites ... Our “Pine”al Gland is shaped like (and named after) the Pinecone; is at the geometric center of our brain, and is intimately linked to our body's perception of light.  And not surprisingly, this website reports that the Pineal gland is considered by many to be our biological Third Eye, the "Seat of the Soul," the “Epicenter of Enlightenment” -- and its sacred symbol throughout history, in cultures around the world, has been the Pinecone.
     In addition to spiritual consciousness and enlightenment, pinecones have also historically been used as symbols of everlasting or eternal life. Ancient Assyrian palace carvings, dating back to 713-716 BC depict four-winged God-like figures purposefully holding aloft pinecones, or in some cases, using a pinecone to pollinate their depiction of the Tree of Life -- a tribute, perhaps, to both the Pinecone’s immortality symbolism and its role as an icon of enlightenment.
     Interestingly enough, the pinecone is depicted in many other cultures, as well -- The Egyptian Staff of Osiris, dating back to approximately 1224 BC, depicts two intertwining serpents rising up to meet at a pinecone. Modern scholars and philosophers have noted the staff’s symbolic parallels to the Indian “Kundalini,” a spiritual energy in the body depicted as coiled serpents rising up from the base of the spine to the Third Eye (Pineal Gland) in the moment of enlightenment.  Shiva, the most prominent god in the Hindu tradition, is consistently depicted with a head, or coiled hair, shaped in marked similarity to a pinecone and interwoven with a serpent or serpents.
     In yet another culture’s tribute to the Pinecone as symbolic of spiritual ascension and immortality, a statue of the Mexican god “Chicomecoatl” (“Seven Snakes”) again depicts the deity offering forth pinecones in one hand, and an evergreen tree in the other.  Romans later built an enormous bronze sculpture, the “Pigna,” in the shape of a huge pinecone three stories tall. According to a popular medieval legend, the sculpture stood on top of the Pantheon, as a lid for the round opening in the center of the building's vault. The Pigna is confirmed to have served as a large fountain overflowing with water next to the Temple of Isis in Ancient Rome.  However, the gigantic statue now sits directly in front of the Catholic Vatican in the “Court of the Pinecone.”
     One theory proposes that the Pinecone was actually the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, purported in Genesis to have been eaten by Eve at the urgings of a serpent, and leading to the eviction of mankind from the Garden of Eden. This concept proves particularly provocative given the consistent reappearance of pinecone images with serpents and snake references across cultures.
     I was particularly pleased to see the Bible referenced on this website, as follows:  "The Bible itself alludes to pinecones and the Pineal Gland on several occasions, sometimes quite specifically. Beginning in Genesis, Jacob wrestles all night with God, and is commanded to change his name to Israel. The Bible then records the following:  And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: “For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved. And as he passed over Peniel the sun rose upon him -- Genesis 32:30-31.  (Literal Biblical translation of the word “Peniel” means “Face of God”).
     In another interesting passage, Matthew seems to provide an uncannily similar description of the Third Eye as the texts of the Yogic and Hindu spiritual traditions. This verse is also interesting because the Pineal Gland is the only part of the brain that is “single,” not possessing a left and right hemisphere.  The passage in Matthew 6:22 reads, The light of the body is the eye: if therefore your eye be single, your whole body shall be full of light."
     In giving a complete history of the Pineal Gland/Pinecone/Third Eye connection, this website provides the conspiracy theory that points to the presence of pinecones in Freemason architecture and symbolism as another example of organized spiritual oppression. Theorists believe the Freemasons fully understand the spiritual significance of the Third Eye, and regularly pay iconic tribute to it, while continuing to placate the masses with a doctrine of religious and cultural dogma.
The staff of Osiris
     Pinecones regularly appear framed in Freemason Octagons, on the ceilings of Masonic Lodges; and Large Freemason sculptures on the side of the Whitehall Building in the New York Financial District goes so far as to depict two enormous intertwining snakes spiraling up to a pinecone overlooking Battery Place (which is strikingly similar to the Staff of Osiris).
     There are many who believe that the Third Eye/Pineal Gland is the source of the psychedelic Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) in our bodies.  They believe that large amounts of DMT are released in our bodies during heightened states of spiritual consciousness, such as birth, death and near-death experiences -- or, for those who seek spirituality in other places besides our God -- perhaps during the awakening of our Kundalini in a moment of Enlightenment.  A synthesized version of DMT, or plants containing DMT, are often used as recreational psychedelics, or in religious ceremonies, and a drug called Ayahuasca is now a popular street drug among some youth in America.  Users often report intensely entheogenic ("generating the divine within") experiences of spiritual awakening, contact with entities of supernatural or spiritual origin, and the dilation or compression of time.  The website says that it is worth noting that among reports of thousands of experiences with Ayahuasca, the Serpent is documented as the the most commonly appearing archeatype in their spiritual/psychedelic visions.
     It is easy to see the symbolism that is interwoven through our knowledge of the Pineal Gland.  It is a real gland in our bodies, and it serves a specific purpose in helping us to perceive light.  The Bible certainly seems to allude to it, but I believe it is in reference to the Light, with a capital "L".  And it is equally apparent that satan is attempting to mimic the power of God's Light, and has tried to present a deceptive resemblance to entice mankind, down through the ages, to come towards his unholy light -- which only leads to spiritual darkness.  On Friday, I will connect these dots and show you exactly how the Enemy is tempting modern man to fall for his lies, as they seek immortality and his false light, and why there is so much intense interest in the Pineal Gland today.  You won't believe where I am taking you!

John 1:9    "There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man."



   

   
   
 

April 18, 2016

We Will Take The Small Victory -- But Stay On your Guard!

     Thanks to a faithful reader who commented on a post, I learned that the replica of the destroyed Arch from the Temple of Baal has been cancelled for New York City and London!  Before I made it public on this blog, I wanted to be certain ... and sure enough, it was confirmed by several reliable sources on the internet.
     As far as I can tell, no replica arch will be constructed in Times Square, but London is going ahead with a reproduction of the Arch of Triumph, which the Romans originally built in Palmyra and that has nothing to do with Baal, the pagan god.  As you may or may not know, the United Nations (and UNESCO) wanted to construct these 3-D replicas as an "act of defiance" against ISIS, who destroyed the entrance to the Temple of Baal in Palmyra, Syria last year.
     I, for one, do not underestimate the importance of Christians across this country praying against the installation of such a pagan symbol in the city that represents this nation's economic prosperity.  And, in case you are unaware of this spiritual significance, I will let columnist Matt Barber explain it in clear and precise language:  "Baal worship involved burning infants alive, and ritualistic Baal worship, in sum, looked a little like this: Adults would gather around the altar of Baal. Infants would then be burned alive as a sacrificial offering to the deity. Amid horrific screams and the stench of charred human flesh, congregants – men and women alike – would engage in bisexual orgies... The ritual of convenience (of getting rid of the unwanted consequences of the orgies) was intended to produce economic prosperity by prompting Baal to bring rain for the fertility of 'mother earth'. "
     Do you see the connection between New York City/Wall Street and the worship of Baal to produce economic prosperity?  And do you also see the similarity between the ancient pagan "rituals" and our practices of abortion and sexual immorality?  By our prayers and repentance, did we convince God to delay His judgment for just a little longer, so that we might bring about a nationwide repentance?  I would like to think so... but for now, I am just thanking Him for His grace and mercy!
The real Arch of Triumph in Palmyra,
before its destruction by ISIS
     So, I'm here to tell you that we're not out of the woods by a long shot! We must remain on our guard and be vigilant.  We must not think the Enemy will give up this easily.  And, so I wanted to know the historical and spiritual significance of this alternate Arch that will be constructed in London; Trafalgar Square, to be exact.  What are the underlying implications of it's construction and what clues could I find in regard to the Enemy's next attack?
     To begin with, the Arch of Triumph in Palmyra, Syria, is also known as the Monument Arch, or the Arch of Septimius Severus, a Roman emperor who ruled from 193 AD to 211 AD.  After conquering his rivals for Emperor, he consolidated his rule over the Western provinces, and defeated the Parthian Empire in the East, which consisted of the political and cultural power in ancient Iran and Iraq.  Late in his reign, he actually travelled to Britain, strengthening Roman power in that region and invading Scotland.  But he fell fatally ill in late 210 AD, and died in early 2011, in what is now York, England.  His sons succeeded him as Emperor; and ultimately, Severus founded the Severan dynasty, the last dynasty of the empire before what became known as the "Crisis of the Third Century.".  This period was also known as the "Military Anarchy" or the "Imperial Crisis", (AD 235–284) in which the Roman Empire nearly collapsed under the combined pressures of invasion, civil war, plague, and economic depression.
     Are you starting to connect the dots yet?  Nothing ... and I mean nothing ... is really new in the history of the world.  It has always been about the same thing since the Garden of Eden.  Lucifer, the Enemy of God and His Chosen, is trying to convince the peoples of the earth to be disobedient to God's commandments; to place themselves as equals to the Creator; by tempting them to become like him:  a lover of self, rebellious, prideful, boastful, arrogant, and unholy.
     These Arches are monuments to empires ruled by pagan men who could not afford the division that Christianity versus paganism caused in their domains.  Although Severus was called both a persecutor and an apologist by early Church historians, he felt the need to promote religious harmony by promoting syncretism, and by possibly issuing an edict that punished conversion to Judaism and Christianity.  According to Wikipedia, Syncretism is "the combining of different, often contradictory beliefs, while blending practices of various schools of thought. Syncretism involves the merger and analogizing of several originally discrete traditions, especially in the theology and mythology of religion, thus asserting an underlying unity and allowing for an inclusive approach to other faiths." [My emphasis].
      Can you see where I'm coming from?  Do you think it is simply coincidence that the monument to a Roman Emperor, who promoted synchronization of different faiths is being constructed in one of the capitals of Europe?  Do you find it interesting that this monument, which was originally built in the heart of the Parthian Empire (a province that this Roman Emperor defeated in war), will now be built in the heart of modern-day western Europe?  Do you not think that this has mega-significance in the spiritual realm?  We must not lose sight of the fact that the early Roman acceptance of other cultures' religions into their own made it easy for them to integrate the newly encountered religions they found as a result of their expansion.  Could the Enemy be turning that historical fact on its ear, and could the building of this monument in London play into the current scenario of Islamic migrants and refugees flooding into Europe?
     Remember that Emperor Severus, for whom this Arch of Triumph was built, was part of the last dynasty before "the Roman Empire nearly collapsed (in the Third Century) under the combined pressures of invasion, civil war, plague, and economic depression."  Will we, in the 21st Century, see our own period of "Anarchy" or "Crisis" from invasion, civil war, plague, and economic depression?  Is this Arch meant to prophesy that coming doom?  Is it a symbol of the impending collapse of Europe?
     Here is what I want to leave you with ... While we can breath a sigh of relief that the entrance to the Temple of Baal will not be reproduced in New York City, there is no guarantee that this Arch of Triumph will not eventually be installed in Times Square.  The Institute of Digital Archeology (IDA), creators of the new monument, made this statement:  "There will be no simultaneous unveiling in New York – they may transport the London arch there later, or build another one...".  So, you can see, this may just be a brief respite before the Enemy tries another attack against our spiritual armor.  I would tell you to keep praying, repent of the sins of this nation, and ask God to forgive us.  Ask for a Holy Fire to sweep our land and renew us; ask that we not be led into temptation [to follow after our own desires and knowledge], but be delivered from Evil.  One more day of Grace means one more day to help save a soul.

Ecclesiastes 1:9   "What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; there is nothing new under the sun."


   

April 17, 2016

Isaiah 38:17

Indeed, it was for my own welfare
that I had such great bitterness;
but Your love has delivered me
from the Pit of destruction,
for You have thrown all my sins behind Your back.


     How many of us are familiar with the emotions that accompany this image?  Have you ever felt so far down in the "Pit of destruction" that all you can glimpse is just a small piece of a blue sky?  The Scripture that I have chosen today is speaking so strongly to what I have been witnessing over the last few weeks.
     As you know, if you are a regular reader, the Lord has brought new revelation to my husband and myself about our authority in Christ to receive spiritual healing.  So many Christians are secure in their salvation, but in misery in their bondage and oppression.  They love the Lord, but deep down in the recesses of their soul (their mind, emotions, and will), they do not trust Him to forgive them of their sins.  And, boy, does that present an easy target for the Enemy to disrupt our relationship with Jesus, and cause confusion and chaos in our lives.
     In Chapters 36 and 37 of Isaiah, we read of the challenge directed to God and His people by King Sennacherib of Assyria.  Remember, that in the Bible, Assyria represent's sin and man's intellectual reasoning for why he sins.  The result of this reasoning is that we end up justifying our sins instead of believing that God can truly rid us of them, if we will just turn towards Him in repentance and ask for His forgiveness.
     Historically, King Sennacherib has come against all the fortified cities of Judah and conquered them.  As he approaches Jerusalem, he mocks those who believe that the Lord can save them from his (Sennacherib) assault.  In Isaiah 36:4-5, the wicked king sends his emissary to speak to the Jewish king, Hezekiah: "Say to Hezekiah, ‘Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria: On what do you rest this trust of yours?  Do you think that mere words are strategy and power for war? In whom do you now trust, that you have rebelled against me?"
     This is exactly what the Enemy does to the faithful today!  He taunts us with whispers of doubt about our ability to truly trust the Lord.  He ridicules us for thinking that mere "words" can save us from the destruction he is trying to take us towards.  And so he sends spirits of bitterness, and anger, and self-rejection, and self-loathing for all the things we know we have done to offend our Lord.  And then he sends perhaps the strongest spirit to interrupt our salvation process ... unforgiveness; the unforgiveness we have towards others who have hurt us, and the unforgiveness we think we deserve. And the Enemy tells us that our human reasoning is right; that person deserves our anger or bitterness, and does not deserve to be forgiven.  Furthermore, we don't deserve to be forgiven because we harbor these sinful emotions.  
     I believe that is why King Hezekiah fell ill in Chapter 38.  Although God heard the prayers of Hezekiah and destroyed Assyria's attempts to defeat Jerusalem, Hezekiah could not let go of his guilt, shame, and bitterness over how the House of Israel had blasphemed and disobeyed the Lord.  He knew they had sinned against the Lord, but he allowed the Enemy to insert seeds of doubt about the Lord's trustworthiness, and his own unworthiness.  Upon the defeat of Sennacherib, Hezekiah had expected nothing but an uninterrupted peace to himself and his government, but he was suddenly seized with a sickness in his spirit; a knowledge of his pride, shame, and guilt.  This resulted in spiritual bitterness, and it resulted in such despair that it seemed to be the bitterness of death itself. This was his condition when God sent him deliverance and balm for his soul.
     This is what I have seen this week.  Wonderfully, faithful Christians have been brought to the depths of desperation because of the taunts and lies of the devil.  Just as Hezekiah says in verse 17, "It was for my own welfare that I suffered this bitterness [of soul]."  Because he was so sick in his soul, and at such a desperate place, he was ready to allow Jesus to minister to Him.  And that is what I witnessed this week... several women who were so sick and tired of being sick in their souls with shame, guilt, and unforgiveness, that they were ready to allow Jesus to deliver them from their own personal Pit.
     They were ready to hand over all the garbage that resulted from the lies of the Enemy to Jesus, and  let Him and the Holy Spirit remove the shame, and guilt, and bitterness from them, "as far as the east is from the west".  And then they were able to give Him the most destructive of all their sins... unforgiveness; the sin that keeps us in perpetual bondage, because we cannot be forgiven, if we don't forgive.  Once that millstone was removed, they could truly be set free from their spiritual oppression.  They were able to imagine, in their spirit, what Jesus did with those sins.  For one, it was throwing them into the Pit; for another, it was casting them into a Holy Fire.  But for both, it was similar to Hezekiah saying, "You have thrown all my sins behind Your back."
     It can be the same for all Christians today, if we would only allow Christ to heal our "sickness" as God healed Hezekiah's.  This King of Israel suffered the same spiritual battle that we face today.  The Enemy taunts us with our failures, and it is not until we are willing to lay those burdens at the feet of Jesus, and allow Him to plant the Cross and the empty tomb between us and our adversary, that we will be healed and set free.  Who wants to live their life with only a glimpse of that beautiful blue sky?  Let Jesus and the Holy Spirit deliver you out of that deep Pit where the Enemy has you bound, and come into the full and bountiful life a captive set free!

April 15, 2016

Why Religious Freedom Protection Laws Are Under Attack

     Frankly, I'm getting tired of Big Business and the Entertainment Industry distorting the attempt by state legislatures to apply some common sense to the culture war over same-sex marriage, transgenderism, and other LGBT issues.  I know we now live in a world where God's commandments are no longer seen as the guide by which we should live our lives.  And I realize that there is no way to put this genie back in the bottle.  The Supreme Court (man's law) has supplanted God's laws.... at least in the public square.
     It is hard to ignore the battle that is creeping across our land, as states enact individual laws that some Americans argue protect our religious beliefs and rights, while others argue that these pieces of legislation are discriminatory against the LGBT community.
     Mississippi and North Carolina are in the public crosshairs for their recently passed legislation that proposes to protect the religious beliefs of their citizens; but the truth is that nearly 200 bills have been proposed in various state legislatures in 2016.  I can't help but feel it is in response to the citizenry's alarm over businesses, such as bakeries and florists, who have not been allowed to run their companies according to their consciences, along with the disconcerting transgender bathroom movement.
     But perhaps just as unsettling is the distortion and downright lies being engendered by corporations and entertainers, who misrepresent what the laws are designed to accomplish.  Gina Miller, has written a sharp and incisive article on Barbwire.com, pointing out the inconsistencies and the misrepresentations of the Mississippi law.  In her article, she writes, "It’s certainly distressing to see the large corporations and senseless celebrities and politicians babbling their nonsense about a law that only reiterates our fundamental, God-given rights of conscience that are already protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution... This is not about a homosexual being denied generic products or services, nor is this about denying “single mothers baby shower services,” because none of that is happening."
     She continues:  "Another of the big lies pushed by opponents of Mississippi’s law is that it’s no different than “Jim Crow” laws, that this is a “civil rights” issue.  That is a grotesquely sinister affront to the genuine civil rights struggle that black people engaged in."  I must agree!  Black people, white people, yellow people, brown people, and all people are equivalent in God's eyes.  He created us all!  But when we are rebellious to His natural order; when we do not recognize His sovereignty in determining marriage, the sex of a person, or how we are to respect Him and each other, then by what "right" can we demand that all must conform?
     In essence, what the opponents of both the Mississippi and North Carolina legislation are trying to do is to "rebrand" religious liberty (upon which this nation was founded) as nothing less than bigotry, intolerance, and hatred.  Not so!  What the new laws are attempting to do is to prevent discrimination by ensuring the government will not force people to violate their conscience in very specific contexts spelled out by the law.
     As Jennifer Marshall at Religious News Service points out, "For starters, Mississippi’s new law ensures that churches and other religious groups aren’t punished for declining to host or solemnize weddings that would violate their conscience. Remember the controversy over Kim Davis, the county clerk in Kentucky? Mississippi won’t have that kind of a showdown because the new law ensures everyone eligible for a marriage license gets one without delay while also accommodating individual clerks who want to opt out of issuing marriage licenses altogether."  (While I'm pretty sure that this is still too accommodating for our Lord, how can anyone declare this is a hate law?)
     Ms. Marshall also points to the fact that "the law also ensures religious schools and ministries, [who are] serving those in need, can continue to set their personnel and housing policies in accord with their beliefs. (This provision covers only religious organizations, not businesses. The law has nothing to do with business hiring or landlord policies.) Faith-based adoption agencies will be free to continue placing every child they serve with a married mom and dad... While bakers, a photographer, and a florist in other states have faced massive fines, creative professionals in wedding-related businesses in Mississippi cannot be coerced to use their talents to celebrate same-sex weddings."
     Isn't it time that these business owners be protected, based on their faith?  And why should people of faith be forced to give in to the pressure for transgender bathrooms?  I applaud Mississippi's new law, which allows private businesses and schools to set their own policies for the use of bathrooms, showers, and locker rooms. But would it surprise you to know that PayPal announced plans to cancel an office expansion in North Carolina after that state passed a similar privacy protection measure?  Even though the law leaves them and other businesses free to make these policies however they see fit?
     Am I reading this wrong, but does it look as if Big Business and the Elite Corporations have no desire in compromising -- although I hate that word?  Doesn't it seem as if they want Christians and Christian businesses to bow down to the morally corrupt culture, and admit our defeat?  But here is the truth that they will never admit, and don't want the general public to know:  Most of the new law is about protecting religious groups and individuals who have a different perspective on marriage. It guarantees their religious freedom while not taking anything away from anyone else. What the new law is trying to express is that everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect regardless of differences.  Big Business and the Entertainment Industry believe in that precept, too -- unless you are Christian, and wish to live your life (which includes how you conduct business) according to your moral conscience and faith.
     I just want you to be cognizant of this media and marketing blitz that is going to come against the religious community.  We are already seeing it on nearly every TV commercial and prime time show. They are targeting our children in school, and portraying the faithful as bigoted, hate-filled, insensitive and intolerant.  "Transgenderism" is the new cause célebré; children are encouraged to seek their "true" gender, which could be the opposite of that in which they were born, or any number of variations, according to their desires and what they would "like" to be.  Experimentation and imagination are invited and cultivated.
     The Bible tells us that immorality will increase in The Last Days, and even tells us what an immoral society looks like:  People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.   I think men wanting to dress as women and using the womens' bathrooms pretty much hits the target of immorality, wouldn't you say?
     So, while we watch our society and culture grow further away from our Christian morals and values, we can expect the backlash and the distance between us to grow.  The discord between the faithful and the faithless will become rampant; and sadly, those weak in their faith will walk away from the hope that is Jesus, and distance themselves from us, too.  But I'm not telling you anything you didn't know.  It's just hard to watch it coming so fast, and almost without a fight.  At the same time, it is our privilege to stand for God in this battle, and to seek His Spirit for courage and endurance.  We know it's coming ... and we know what we must do!

Matthew 24:11-12    "Many false prophets will appear and mislead many.  Because lawlessness is increased, the love of most people will grow cold."