A Modern Woman's Perspective On The Kingdom of God on Earth

Showing posts with label God's Holiness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label God's Holiness. Show all posts

April 21, 2023

How the Biblical Story of the Canaanite City of Ai Reveals our AI Dilemma

Once again, I am amazed how the Holy Spirit speaks a spiritual truth to me, seemingly out of nowhere. If you've been a reader of my blog since 2011, then you will know that both my husband and myself are just ordinary people who have made ourselves available to be used by the Lord to advance His Kingdom here on earth. We are not exceptional; and we hold no titles, other than "obedient followers of Jesus Christ". We don't seek unmerited favor, but are willing to receive whatever Word He has for us. So, when I suddenly [and amazingly] see a Biblical connection to something I've never been aware of before, I know, without a doubt, that it is something I need to consider and pursue. I will now share what I have discovered with you, put it into context with the the peril I believe we are facing, and ask you to pray about whether your spirit is in agreement..

Central to this article is the question, Is there a connection between the Biblical account of the Canaanite city Ai and our current unease regarding the rapid advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the world? In other words, can we make a link between Ai and AI, or is it just a coincidence? 

Because I have a strong Biblical worldview, and I believe that God is intimately involved in our daily lives -- just as He was in the lives of His chosen people in the Bible -- I believe that He wants to show us things so that we can align our spirits with Him, and partner with Him for His glory. So I began with a look at the city of Ai, first mentioned in Genesis 12, as a city where Abram pitched his tent as he journeyed to the land God promised him and his offspring. There he built an altar to the Lord and "called upon the name of the Lord".

NOTE: Let me digress for a moment, because our understanding of what it means to call upon the name of the Lord is important for the sake of this connection I'm trying to make between Ai and AI. To call upon the name of the Lord means "to pray earnestly in order to know how to serve Him in obedience; to submit ourselves to His authority and will; to repent of our sins, asking for mercy, compassion, and salvation/deliverance from our circumstances".  

But what is the significance of that Canaanite city of Ai in terms of our relationship with God? Historically, it is the site of a consequential defeat of the Israelites due to the open rebellion of a single man in Joshua's army. Here's the setting: The Israelites, with Joshua as Commander of the army, is on the precipice of taking possession of the land of Canaan, just as the Lord God had promised. Joshua and the people bind themselves in covenant with God to obey all of His commands, declaring that whoever rebels against any commandment will be put to death. The test of their faithfulness came in the battle for Jericho, a heavily fortified city, and a key component for conquering all of Canaan. If defeated, Jericho would open up the interior land and cities for easy conquest. 

You will recall the history of Jericho ... the Israelites were to march around the city walls once a day for six days, accompanied by the priests and the ark of the covenant, with trumpets blaring. On the seventh day, they were to march around it seven times, seven priests blowing the trumpets, and with a great shout from the people, the walls of Jericho would fall. Result: the city of Jericho was given to the Israelites by the Lord, with the command that everyone and everything within was devoted to the Lord to be destroyed.  (except for Rahab and her family, the prostitute who helped hide the Israelite spies). There was a specific commandment that nothing was to be taken as spoil from wicked Jericho because it would make the camp of the Israelites a target for destruction and "bring trouble to it". Furthermore, "all silver and gold, and every vessel of bronze and iron, are holy to the Lord; they shall go into the treasury of the Lord". 

Unbeknownst to Joshua, there was an Israelite man, named Achan, who willfully disobeyed the command of the Lord and coveted a beautiful robe and some gold and silver, taking it from Jericho and hiding it within his tent. Because Achan disobeyed the Lord regarding His commandment, "the anger of the Lord was kindled against the children of Israel", and He orchestrated their humiliating defeat at the small city of Ai. Joshua was distraught, not understanding why they were defeated, until God revealed that someone had violated the covenant and taken things from Jericho. God instructed Joshua to give the people a night to consecrate themselves and give the guilty party time to admit their wrong-doing. Until this was done, the Lord would no longer support the Israelites in battle.

The next morning, the tribes of Israel were called before Joshua to be questioned; tribe by tribe, clan by clan, and man by man. When he stood before Joshua, Achan did not repent, even though he confessed to his disobedience. And God's justice was swift. All of Israel stoned Achan and his family and burned them with fire. Then the Lord turned from His burning anger and delivered the city of Ai and its king into the hands of the Israelites. Their destruction was complete and Joshua renewed the covenant of the people with the Lord.

It was an important lesson for Joshua, and it's one we need to understand ourselves ... the nation of Israel had entered into covenant with God, and when one man transgressed, the relationship of the entire nation was at risk. In this ancient story we can clearly see God's Nature and how important His principles of obedience and repentance are to Him. We see His holiness and the consequences upon nations whose citizens are disobedient.

Can you see the connection between the Canaanite city of Ai and the danger of today's AI? The field of Artificial Intelligence research was founded at a workshop at Dartmouth College in 1956, and the US is a world leader in the high-performance infrastructure of AI research and has developed the world's most advanced AI systems [think GPT-3, for instance]. Increasingly, we are being warned of the dangers of AI, and the inherent destruction of our nation, all humanity, and the world. AI is a creation of man, and there is no identification with the spirit of God.

The ancient city of Ai points to the humiliating defeat of God's chosen people due to the consequences of breaking covenant with Him. It also is evidence that what God designated as holy was stolen from Him. Add to the list of sins the disobedience to His commandments and the refusal to repent. So, could the defilement of our covenants as a Christian nation, and our agreement with the modern-day AI lead to our own destruction? Remember, a whole nation is held liable for the ungodly actions of one man, or a few. Matthew 25 tells us that Jesus will judge between the sheep and goat nations [not just individual people]. Sadly, our leaders refuse to repent for the unholy laws we have instituted; have violated the sanctity of life; have stolen and lied to God, keeping His bountifulness for themselves; and opened us up to invasion and ruination. What can we do about it?

I think we must continue to do as 2 Chronicles 7:14 instructs us ... Call on the name of the Lord as a people -- praying earnestly to know how to serve Him in obedience; to submit ourselves to His authority and will; to repent of our sins, asking for mercy, compassion, and salvation/deliverance from our circumstances. As Scripture says, we must humble ourselves and pray, seek His face, and turn from our wicked ways, praying that He will hear and act on our behalf. But as the tale of the Israelites and their battles with the city of Ai show us, we, as a nation, may still be held liable for the sins of the unrepentant. Will the modern-day AI be the tool of our final destruction? If Chaos-GPT (an autonomous implementation of Chat-GPT) has its way, it will achieve its goals to destroy humanity, establish global dominance, cause chaos and destruction, control humanity through manipulation, and attain immortality.  Sounds like it is in league with the devil, doesn't it?

But never forget or lose hope! Our God is still greater than anything man and Satan can collaborate on! Jesus, our Savior, will forever be with us and is our Stronghold, Deliverer, and Protector. He will be going before us in battle and leading us to victory. Praise Him! Confess and Repent! And trust that we will be saved from our enemies. He is Jehovah-Chereb, The Glorious Sword! 

Let us consider [for ourselves] if what the Lord taught Joshua through an ancient city called Ai, could be relevant to us. Could our version of AI be the means of our destruction? Listen to what the Lord said to the Israelites:

Joshua 7:12    That is why the Israelites are running from their enemies in defeat. For now Israel itself has been set apart for destruction. I will not remain with you any longer unless you destroy the things among you that were set apart for destruction.  

May 13, 2022

The Psalms: Knowing The Fullness of God's Character


I have found myself spending a lot of time reading the Psalms lately. I don't know, maybe it's the wide range of personal experiences that are shared, where I know I will find something that will minister to my spirit. It doesn't matter what is on my heart, there is a Psalm that will speak to me and oftentimes open up a conversation between me and Jesus... jubilation, praise, sorrow, war, peace, worship, judgment, messianic prophecy, tribulation, God's love, God's wrath, deliverance, salvation, healing, discipline, and damnation -- there is not a topic that Jesus and I have discussed that it is not present in the Psalms. 

In fact, my husband and I [who often examine separate portions of the Bible during our study time in the mornings] both found ourselves reading Psalms this morning. On the days when I can't stand to hear another news cast, it somehow comforts me to read the same descriptions of human flaws, folly, and failings that I see in the world today. If God could rescue them from themselves, then surely there's hope for us! And the Psalms share the whole spectrum of this volatile and glorious relationship with our Father in Heaven!   

And it is exactly that hope amidst the accounts of man's rebellion and God's discipline and love that I am grateful for and celebrate in the Bible! I can hear God speaking to me [and all of us] in both Psalm 118 ("His Steadfast Love Endures Forever") and Psalm 78 ("Tell the Coming Generation"). So, why do I often find myself at odds with other Christians who question why I contemplate the less than cheerful and joyous verses in this confirming Book of man's experiences with God? Why do they misunderstand my ability to look at the "Big Picture" and full counsel of God's witness -- both the destruction of man and the redeeming love God displays?

For instance, in Psalm 78, there are some pretty scary verses that tell us what God is capable of doing ... In spite of all this, they still sinned; despite His wonders, they did not believe. So He made their days vanish like a breath, and their years in terror. That should be enough to make anyone stop and assess where we stand today. After all, He is still the same God and the Bible makes it clear that His attributes and character never change... I, the Lord, do not change (Malachi 3:6). Yet, within that same Psalm, we read this: Yet He, being compassionate, atoned for their iniquity and did not destroy them; He restrained His anger often and did not stir up all His wrath. And so, I recognize the immutability of God -- that He is unchanging in His character, will and covenant promises. But that immutability defines ALL of God's attributes ... among them, His wisdom, His goodness, His mercy, His grace ... and His righteous wrath and anger.

Have you ever found yourself in discussions with a fellow Christian where they only want to consider the "feel good" verses about God's love and mercy and our ultimate victory in Christ? And do you ever sense that they think all you ever do is look for the bad in the Bible? I have yet to find a way to make myself adequately understood that it is exactly because I am grounded and anchored in His goodness and love that I am able to look upon His wrath and anger with no fear; understand what led up to His reaction; and then caution the Body of Christ to guard against the same sins. For me, it is understood -- it is a given -- that if I call myself a Believer, I know the Lord's love endures forever. If it didn't, He would have every reason to destroy us and start over. And if I didn't believe in His love and our victory, I wouldn't be able to encourage others to battle in their power and authority in Christ.

But being the same God as He was throughout Psalm 78, I must also caution us not take Him for granted! If we are reading the Bible in Truth and Spirit, then we must not fool ourselves into thinking we will be exempt from "vanishing like a breath", should we continue to test and rebel against the Most High God and do not keep His testimonies; if we turn away and act treacherously and deceitfully; if we anger Him with our "high places" and our idols. We must not think He will no longer consider delivering "His power to captivity, His glory to the hand of our foe."

For He is a jealous God and a righteous one! But He will uphold those who walk humbly in His ways; He will uphold us with His mighty right hand! The Bible represents a composite picture of our Most High God and it is important we behold Him in His fullness. If we only look at the verses that make us feel comfortable, we will miss out on the "tough love" that assures us He loves us enough to train us up in ways that secure our eternity with Him. So, if you think I only depict the "doom and gloom" of the Bible, I promise you that my faith is solidly rooted in the goodness, love, mercy, kindness, and grace of God. And it is from that position that I am not afraid to share His attribute of righteous judgment against those who rebel against Him. Make no mistake, I know what it is to fear the Lord [in all that means] and I praise Him for all that He is! 

Psalm 118: 15-16    Songs of joy and victory are sung in the camp of the godly. The strong right arm of the Lord has done glorious things! The strong right arm of the Lord is raised in triumph.


December 9, 2021

Is The Body of Christ Suffering From Spiritual Inflation? Keep In Mind What God Weighs and Measures!

Inflation is on the minds of Americans these days because we are faced with the declining value of the dollar as the world's currency. And so we are all clear on the economic definition of Inflation, here is a simple definition that I think we can all agree on: Inflation is a general increase in prices; it is a fall in the purchasing value of our money, and resulting in a crippling rise in the cost of living for everyone.

  All of us are experiencing inflation in the world today. What we paid for a loaf of bread, a gallon of gasoline, or a new car last year has increased by 6.2% [according to the NY Times], the fastest rise in 31 years. And just try shopping for toys for Christmas this year! Approximately 80% of all toys worldwide are made in China, and because the value of the dollar is decreasing, it now takes $24 to purchase a toy that cost $15 last year. I am not schooled in economics, but this much I know ... as long as our government prints new money [to cover their deficit spending], and floods the market with worthless paper notes, the value of that paper is going to drop, and it is going to take more of those paper dollars to buy products than it has before.

Here's a bit of history you will find interesting; from 1878 until June 4, 1963, our money had "Silver Certificate" printed above the image of George Washington. That meant you could take a dollar bill into your local bank and exchange it for a silver dollar. That dollar bill was backed by a silver dollar which had real value. That coin was approximately one ounce of silver, at a value equal to the Silver Certificate. But the price of silver was on the rise, beginning in 1961 and soon an ounce of silver was worth more than that $1 dollar bill, so the government began to regulate the price of silver and discontinued the use of Silver Certificates. Our dollar bills now say, "Federal Reserve Note", and sad to say, the redemption of silver certificates into real coins of value was replaced with the issuance of paper money, which has steadily decreased in worth, with nothing to back up its value. For a far more educated discourse on how our money has lost its value, please read this informative article on CoinWorld.com. 

So, while today we might have more money, because workers demand higher wages to pay for the higher prices, the money we have buys less. Consider this: the dollars we earn for hard work have real value - something is exchanged for the monetary note deposited in your bank account. But mixed in with these dollar bills in our economy is all the money simply created by printing presses; the government pushes a button and no value is exchanged for these bills that flood the market. So how does economic understanding of inflation relate to Religious/Spiritual inflation? 

Within our Churches and the Body of Christ, there are millions of Believers who use terms like "born again", Spirit-filled"; "Revival"; "Kingdom". Now, I'm sure you will agree with me that these words and terms have real value; especially if you have a sincere and covenant relationship with the Lord and know the value His Word assigns to each. But what happens when those words become a "catch-phrase" or "buzz-word" and are over-used to describe Christian attributes in a vague or ambivalent fashion by millions of Christians with no real understanding to back their words? Let's say you are in a group of 15 Believers and the question is posed, "What does it mean to be born again"? If ten of that group stand up as mature Christians and give a substantial answer that reflects God's Word and His understanding of that term, then being "born again" has great value to the group. But if you have ten people who each give answers that are different, and which rely on their human interpretation without reference to God's Word, then what value can you assign that term? 

Can we say that the majority of the Body of Christ is Biblically sound in their understanding of Born Again? Yet nearly everyone will declare that they are. What about Justification and Sanctification? What does Redeemed mean? How would they describe Glory? And does the Body understand how, what, and where the Kingdom of God exists today? I agree that it's nice to hear these words in sermons and podcasts, but are they spoken of in terms of God's Truth with Biblical accuracy? Or have they become slogans with nothing of real value backing them? It is the Holy Spirit of God which backs up the true Biblical value of those words and phrases, giving them real worth because we have received the revelation of what it cost to pay for their existence and usage.

Among the warnings that Timothy gives us in the New Testament is the perilous times that will occur in the Last Days... He says [among the various translations] that people will become "lovers of themselves, boastful, proud, swollen with conceit, heady, high-minded, arrogant, puffed up with pride, and scoffers of God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly" (1 Timothy 3:1-5). In other words, they will value themselves and their ways more than understanding and acting in God's ways. They will weigh their self-worth in the Body and not find themselves wanting; they will be satisfied with measuring themselves by their own standards of faith and knowledge. 

But the Bible has a lot to say about weights and measures ... A just balance and scales are the Lord's; all the weights in the bag are His work (Proverbs 16:11) ... A false balance is an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight is His delight (Proverbs 11:1) ... Can I forget the treasures of wickedness in the house of the wicked, and the scant measure that is accursed? Can I tolerate wicked scales and a bag of dishonest weights? (Micah 6:10-11). In other words, I do not believe that God will tolerate an increase in unhealthy, unsound, or flawed representation of His holy precepts. He's not interested in flooding Christianity with a baseless currency of words. It is incumbent upon us as reliable witnesses of His Holiness that we not tolerate the degradation or dilution of His standards and principles. A minimal or barely sufficient understanding of God's commandments will not be adequate. In other words, it will be found scant and cursed, as it says in MicahLet us not flood the Body of Christ with deficient and weakened teachings that do not give the full and immeasurable quality of God, Himself. Let us be wary of the false prophets and teachers who do not demand full accountability of what it means to call ourselves a follower of Christ. 

So, just like the inflation we are facing in our monetary economy, we must be diligent to prevent inflation in our Churches and religious/spiritual organizations. We must back our faith with an understanding that is Biblical; real and tangible; worthy and of substance. The mere use of Biblical terminology does not mean one represents God accurately, just as saying a dollar bill is really worth a dollar. Biblical vocabulary does not guarantee Biblical value. Instead, let us demand more of ourselves and set standards for Biblical understanding, teaching, and leadership that pleases our Father. Let us show the world the true value of faith in Jesus Christ. Let us follow Paul's admonition to the Church at Corinth:  If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know ( I Corinthians 8:2). And Paul addresses the inflated Believer in Galatians 6:3, For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. We have far too much inflationary deception in our world as it is ... in regards to our economy, our government, the media, our educational system, the military, the entertainment industry, and our families. We don't need it in our Christianity! Let's guard against spiritual inflation and keep our faith free of inflated influences.

Thanks to Middletown Bible Church for their teaching on Inflation as one of the "Crises of Our Day".  

Romans 12:3    For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.  


December 1, 2021

God Is Watching!

God is taking particular interest in the affairs of our nation this week. Today, the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in regards to a Mississippi law that bans abortion after 15 weeks and is a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade. Furthermore, America awaits the Court's ruling on Texas Senate Bill 8, which bans abortion at the first sign of cardiac activity in a fetus, which is typically around six weeks. Both rulings will have significant impact on the future of this nation, as well as the spiritual consequences of these momentous decisions.

We are moving in the right direction, legally, but I'm not sure that is enough for our righteous God. According to the Centers for Disease Control, there is an abortion in the United States every 37 seconds. But based on the statistics we have received over the last two years from this federal agency during the Covid crisis, I'm not sure that is an accurate number, but I digress. Anywhere near that frequency is an abomination to the Creator of each of those babies! 

Frankly, it amazes me just how much the landmark Roe v. Wade decision in 1973 has become lionized. It's only been 48 years since that iniquitous decision, yet it is seen as a bedrock verdict for the right of every woman "to choose an abortion before viability". And the real question centers around when does fetal viability begin? The clinical definition of viability is "the ability of a fetus to survive outside the uterus. Fetal viability is generally considered to begin at 24 weeks gestational age, since at this point in the pregnancy, most infants survive a preterm birth." If my calculations are correct, that is around the 6-month mark, which is right before the third trimester. A nation that would make it legal to end the life of a 6-month-old fetus has no claim to righteousness!

Anyone who has seen 3-D images of a fetus in utero knows that they are witnessing a human being on that ultrasound. And for those of us who believe in the sanctity of life, we know that from the moment of conception, the spirit of Life is present in those cells. And it is a great offense to the Creator of Life to suggest that life does not exist at that stage! Sadly, our fixation with a mother's right to murder her child has become "a right"; an entitlement, a privilege. Furthermore, it is a form of child sacrifice that has been practiced throughout the ages of the ancient world. There are those who would argue that the sacrifice of children was part of an act of worshiping pagan deities such as Molech and Baal, and belongs to the very distant past. They would also contend that that practice has no connection with the choices made by modern 21st Century women. 

But it is as much a ritual today as it was thousands of years ago. The Canaanites may have been paying tribute to fertility gods, or seeking favor from gods of the harvest, or even obtaining a blessing from a vow made in the name of a god -- but it was ultimately for the benefit of the adult's life; it was done to bring advantage to their existence. Nothing has changed. Abortion in today's world accomplishes the same thing. It benefits the life of the mother; whether it is done for convenience sake, to avoid poverty, or to eliminate the consequences of a horrendous sexual sin against the woman. I believe it is never an easy decision. And it shouldn't be. Life is a gift from the One who created each of us -- no matter the circumstances under which that divine light results in conception. 

But there is another aspect of abortion that my spirit grieves. I understand that we were created as spirit beings in the image of God, and I know that we were "chosen in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him" (Ephesians 1:4). I believe that each of us is sent to this earth to represent His righteousness in the world, bringing the knowledge of Him and His character and nature to those who don't know who they were created to be... all for the glory of the One who created us. So, I think of the millions of spirits that were knit into wombs and never got the chance to discover and accept their identity, and instead were sacrificed to the lies that they were mere cells, and disposable and expendable.

So, the fact that it has only taken 48 years for this egregious act to become normalized in our society is the reason that the decisions made by the Supreme Court carry so much weight this week. It shows how far off track we are from God's will for humanity and for our nation. It is possible that these decisions will tell us if we survive the near future. We would do well to discern that the kingdoms of Israel and Judah's fall into idolatrous child sacrifice eventually became part of the reason God sent them into the Assyrian and Babylonian captivities. King Solomon turned his heart to the pagan gods of his foreign wives; King Manasseh offered his own son as a sacrifice and so did King Ahaz. The bottom line is this: God hates the shedding of innocent blood. It is clear in Proverbs 6:17 ... There are six things that the Lord hates ... and among them is "hands that shed innocent blood". 

We are no different than the Israelites described in Psalms 106:38 ... They shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters. By sacrificing them to the idols of Canaan, they polluted the land with murder. It is a fact that our land is polluted with the blood of innocent babies. And God is not only grieved, but filled with righteous anger. We have been a blessed nation for 245 years, and we are naive if we do not think God is watching how the Supreme Judges of our land rule, beginning today. I cannot stress enough how important it is that we all be praying today and that God hears our petitions to change the hearts and minds of the nine men and women who sit on the highest Court in the Land. Father, we fervently repent for the murder of millions of your children! We bow before You, humbly asking for forgiveness, and seeking Your guidance and wisdom to help turn this nation back to You. Do not forsake us, nor turn Your back on us! We hear the blood of these innocents crying out for justice, and we join our prayers with their righteous appeals! Deliver this nation from the abomination of abortion, in the Mighty Name of Jesus!

So, please join me and the millions of Christians who understand exactly how important today's oral arguments are, and that what this nation decides to do in the coming days to safeguard the lives of the unborn will have everything to do with whether America exists in the near future. But it is not for our safety that we pray; it is for the sacredness of Life and the right of every unborn child to live his or her divine destiny in the world. Please, Father, we pray for sanctified wisdom in our judicial branch of the government and that Your will be done today! Amen!

Ezekiel 20:31    For when you offer gifts to them and give your little children to be burned as sacrifices, you continue to pollute yourselves with idols to this day. Should I allow you to ask for a message from me, O people of Israel? As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, I will tell you nothing.





July 2, 2021

What Does The Lord Require Of A Nation?

At the end of my last post, I made the following statement: "We must recognize that our God and His ways are eternal; they are unchanging. And the words He spoke through His messenger Micah, nearly 2800 years ago, still ring true." If you read that post, and if you have taken the time to read the short Book of Micah, then you cannot deny that God spoke through the prophet Micah about ancient Israel's persistent rebellion and wickedness. The prophet made it clear that the earth and all men in it should be aware that the Lord God will be a witness against those who choose evil over righteousness. Micah particularly spoke against those who would use their social or political power for personal gain.

Micah warned that God would come down from His Holy Temple in Heaven and "tread upon the high places" and the worship of false idols. The Bible issues a strong warning against the oppressors, saying God is going "to devise disaster from which the rebellious will not be able to remove their necks". The rebellious nation will no longer walk in haughtiness [acting arrogantly superior and disdainful], "for it will be a time of disaster". 

Rulers and prophets of a nation who hate good and love evil will be denounced for all the sin they have engaged in; for the depraved and cruel things they have perpetrated. The Bible makes it clear God will bring a day of retribution for the leaders and prophets "who lead His people astray". There will be retributive justice for leaders who cry "Peace" to those who feed and bribe them, but declare war against those who are unable to put anything into their gluttonous mouths. In those days, says Micah, "the day shall be black" over such leaders; they shall be put to shame, and "there is no answer from God".

We must take these warnings from this ancient prophet seriously. It is folly for us Christians to think that the words spoken to ancient Israel and Judah do not apply to our beloved nation. And it is equally foolish and reckless to ignore the sins of our nation that are right before our eyes ... if we care to look at them. Remember ... as I told you in the last post, our God is Immutable. He does not change His character. The nature of His moral qualities are the same today as they were 2800 years ago when He spoke through Micah. Yes, there were good and righteous followers of Jehovah in that day, just as there are today. But we must not think ourselves and our nation superior to the rebellious kings and their followers in Micah's day just because we've had centuries of human inventions that have made our lives more convenient. We may be more technically and industrially advanced, but that doesn't make us more obedient to God. Nor should we consider ourselves more "spiritually" superior because we think we have figured out all there is to understanding God. We must not let our pride elevate us above those we think less worthy. If anything, I'm afraid mankind has raised the philosophies of humanism and rationalism above a belief in a sovereign, supernatural God. 

NOTE: Humanism emphasizes man's potential apart from any supernatural Being, and makes man the moral authority in both the individual and society; we are all able and responsible to lead lives that are personally fulfilling while also contributing to the greater good of society. Rationalism is the philosophy that reason and experience should be the basis of our opinions and actions, instead of any religious or spiritual belief system. In other words, there is no moral absolute, such as the Bible. Whatever seems right to the individual, will be his or her standard for behavior.  As a character in a fiction book I'm reading, says, "It would be best for men to deal decently with one another in accordance with God's principles. But what are we to do if we have men to whom God is of no account?" I think we can all see how far that is from God's plan, mandates and statutes. 

There is plenty in the ancient Book of Micah, and in our modern understanding of how far we have strayed from God's righteous principles, to warrant concern over how God regards our nation and the world. And if you do not understand that Jesus is throughout the Old Testament, and along with God, the Father, took a stand against disobedience and man's refusal to stay faithful to a covenant with his Creator, then you probably find it difficult to read the whole counsel of God in the Bible. But I'm not here to just sound the alarm against rebellion. I also want everyone to know there is HOPE! 

In the same chapter of Micah that the prophet repeats the Lord's warnings against the Rulers and Prophets, this bold prophet also declares, "But as for me, I am filled with power, with the Spirit of the Lord, and with justice and might, to declare to Jacob [Israel] his transgression, and to Israel his sin." Will not God give us the same power, justice, and might, because we are filled the Holy Spirit? We can call upon our leaders to lean on the Lord and return to His ways and walk in His paths. 

Throughout the Bible's long history we get a picture of God's justice in juxtaposition to His power and grace to save a remnant for His Name's sake. In the words of the 19th Century Christian theologian Charles Ellicott, "The thundercloud of darkness that descended upon sin again and again was always contrasted with a glimpse of sunlight through the storm clouds." From Noah to Isaiah, to Jeremiah, Paul, and John, in the Book of Revelation -- there is a picture of God's righteous anger, condemnation and wrath followed by His declaration to deliver and save a remnant, chosen by grace. Micah is no different. And because we are created by an Immutable God, the standards He held for all those who have come before us, are the same standards He holds for us. The violence, greed and deceitfulness of powerful men is leading to a demoralized state among mankind. Freedoms that Christ died to give us are being eroded and we see children treating their parents with contempt; as Micah says, a man's enemies are the men of his own house.

So, while we can look at the history of the Bible and see that the leaders and the people did not listen to their watchmen concerning the coming judgment and wrath, we can also see that the watchmen never stopped declaring their confidence in the Lord to deliver a remnant. And as much as we want to believe that all the world will come to the Light of the Lord, the Bible doesn't tell us that. Yes, the Gospel of the Kingdom is going out to all the world and then the end [of the kingdom of darkness] will come as the Lord descends from His throne -- but that does not tell us that all the world will receive the hope that is in the Kingdom; just that they were given the opportunity to hear and accept the promises that come with Salvation to enter the Kingdom.

I think I am not the only whose spirit discerns a terrible wickedness that is coming. And if we are able to learn the lessons from our Bible, then we know that it is time to repent and mourn lost opportunities; and to know the possibility that God may once again, in His Sovereignty, decide to consign our deserved punishment to our enemies. Just as Nebuchadnezzar and the king of Assyria carried out God's discipline against His beloved but faithless people, so might He deliver us into the hands of our enemies -- if we do not repent and return to Him. But are our wounds incurable? Are we doomed? The Destroyer is approaching. We should not be concentrating on the trouble in our enemies' cities, but need to bewail it in our own.

It is my earnest desire that all who stumble across this little blog will take notice of God's promises of both His Justice and His Deliverance. Take heart! We will see marvelous and miraculous things! Our enemies will eventually be defeated! There will be a remnant for His inheritance because He does not retain His anger forever. He delights in His steadfast love for those who seek Him in perseverance and righteousness. He will be faithful to tread all of our iniquities underfoot and cast all our sins into the depths of the sea. He will gather both Jew and Gentile to His bosom, as we, [all who remained the faithful remnant] reap the rewards of not bending our knee to the Enemy. Hang on, it's going to be a bumpy ride and rocky path we journey on, but if we hold to our testimony of Jesus, [and Him alone], we are assured of participating "in that day [when] the Lord of hosts will be a crown of glory, and a diadem of beauty, to the remnant of His people." The Lord, Himself, will come to lead His remnant of faithful children in a triumphant procession! Hallelujah!

Micah 6:8     He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?


April 26, 2021

Iniquity and Injustice: The Signs Of Our Time

I know it's been a few days since I've written a blog post. To be honest, my spirit has been in turmoil and I've been trying to listen to what God wants to reveal to me for this time. As you may or may not know, my husband and I live near the Texas border with Mexico -- close enough that our daily lives have dramatically changed from what they looked like just a few years ago. And what I'm about to share does not come from a political bias. Rather, the turmoil I am experiencing in my spirit comes from trying to see the humanitarian crisis before me from a biblical and historical perspective, as well as from the viewpoint of my Father in Heaven.

Here's the source of my unrest ... I see so much injustice all around me; it is affecting people of different ethnic backgrounds, different nationalities, different histories ... and it is all being incited by forces of evil that don't care who they destroy in the process. There is the injustice of the immigrants who have traveled (many of them walking) for thousands of miles because their nation's social and economic structures have collapsed and they are simply hoping for a chance to survive and thrive in America. There is the injustice of thousands of women and children being exploited for slave labor and the sex trade within our nation. There is the injustice of people paying thousands of dollars [and some tens of thousands, depending on their nationality] to be illegally smuggled across our border. There is the injustice of a mother having both of her legs broken by the cartel as she fought to join her four children who were loaded on a raft to cross the Rio Grande. But because she had lost her wrist band which indicated she had paid the smuggler, she was left on the Mexico side of the river, screaming in physical and spiritual pain. 

There are so many stories like that, and we have seen some of it on our nightly news. What we have seen far less of is the injustice suffered by peaceful residents of our Southern border states, whose cars are being stolen; who are finding dead bodies on their land; whose property is being destroyed -- houses broken into, fences mowed down, and ranches whose outbuildings are being taken over as "stash houses" as the smugglers move people from place to place. We are not adequately hearing about the over-worked law enforcement officers involved in high-speed chases and shootouts, or the overburdened Border Patrol officers taxed with the surge of over 2,000 immigrants per day [per county] in sparsely populated areas. It's an insurmountable problem! 

But like I said, I'm trying to wrap my brain and my heart and my spirit around the consequences of all this turmoil and danger and chaos. Does history have anything to say about similar periods of national upheaval? What does God think about it, and what role will He play in the near future? Believe me, I can see the iniquity of past generations coming to bear. I am not naive as I look upon this nation's need to repent for how it has treated indigenous peoples. I know that only a couple of hundred years ago, at the end of the Mexican-American War in 1848, the United States, as victor, took possession of land that makes up all or part of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada, Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. But before that, Mexico fought a revolutionary civil war to gain their independence from Spain, who had previously conquered the Aztec empire to reign over this disputed land. There is enough blood in the ground from all those wars and generations of fighting over the land. 

And I know that has been the way of the world ever since God set the boundaries of the nations after the Tower of Babel [when He took Israel as His spiritual territory, and left the rest of the earth in the possession of the lesser gods]. There have been wars over land, and nation has conquered nation. Boundaries and names of nations have changed throughout the centuries, and injustice has ruled the earth. And the rise and fall of nations and empires has resulted in generational iniquity. Wickedness has entered in the bloodlines of people through war and murder and evil wrought under the demonic influence of men [and women] who have sought to profit from the misfortune of others. Our nation is not immune from such human iniquity.

Yet, now I see that injustice is falling on Godly and righteous people, who through no fault of their own, find themselves in the middle of unjust policies and an invasion of the poor and disadvantaged who are being used by governments and illegal organizations to serve their own interests. Are we seeing the beginning of the collapse of our nation? Combine what we are experiencing along our southern border with our mounting national debt and the instability of our place in the global economy, and it is certainly conceivable that we cannot sustain the current crisis. We know by looking at history, that such collapses can take a century, perhaps decades, or happen overnight; coming like a thief in the night.

Wait! Doesn't the Bible have something to say about that? Now as to the times and dates, brothers and sisters, you have no need for anything to be written to you. For you yourselves know perfectly well that the day of the [return of the] Lord is coming just as a thief [comes unexpectedly and suddenly] in the night. While they are saying, “Peace and safety [all is well and secure!]” then [in a moment unforeseen] destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains on a woman with child, and they will absolutely not escape [for there will be no way to escape the judgment of the Lord] -- 1 Thessalonians 5:1-3. 

I've seen it in my lifetime! The Soviet Union, under Mikhail Gorbachev fell apart in less than five years. Do you remember how close the world came to complete economic meltdown in September 2008? I don't think any of us know just how desperate that situation was -- and our economic system still hasn't recovered! But there is one thing we all need to stay focused on ... the rise and decline of nations throughout history all have the hand of God upon them. Daniel, that great prophet of the Bible, who had favor and compassion from God, proclaimed that "It is He who changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and establishes kings" (Daniel 2:21). It is evident that God determines the ways in which a nation progresses and develops. If a nation and its leaders stray from the precepts of God's counsel, then history will see them exit the stage according to His will. 

The Bible gives us an example of this when Daniel interprets the handwriting on the wall at King Belshazzar's feast: God has numbered the days of your kingdom and put an end to it; —you have been weighed on the scales [of righteousness] and found wanting [deficient]. That very night, Belshazzar's kingdom fell to the Medes and Persians. It happened suddenly -- like "a thief in the night". Do you think the nations are found "wanting" today? What about the nations in Venezuela, Brazil and Central America whose governments have created such a surge of poor and desperate people to our borders? What about the nation of Mexico who has surrendered to violent organizations who extort its own people to benefit their trafficking and drug trade? What about our own beloved nation? What does God think of us as the Number One destination of trafficked and enslaved people? Aren't we due His wrath and judgment for failure to acknowledge Him as we continue to idolize wealth, power, sexual perversion and abortion? 

The injustice we have perpetuated through generations of iniquity will not be ignored by our Righteous and Just God. I know it must grieve His heart that we have fallen far from His ways. There is very little to connect us to our Biblical founding, except for the remnant who is faithful to exalt the Lord of Heaven and left the name of the Most High God above all other names. This remnant refuses to honor and worship the gods of gold and silver, or to bow down to the gods of greed and human power and influence. 

Last weekend, a small group of our Ekklesia spent the day traveling our surrounding counties, praying for redemption of the land and the blood that is crying out from all the wars and injustice through the centuries -- from the human sacrifices to the Meso-American gods of Kul Kul Kan, Vera Cocha, Ah Puch and Quetzacoatl; from the blood shed in the Texas Revolution to win independence from Mexico; and from iniquity of the drug and sex trade that travels through our state to the rest of the world. But I also know that we need to repent for the blood our ancestors shed in conquering the indigenous peoples who came before us; and for being the state that led abortion to become the law of the land. There is so much to repent for before our Righteous and Holy God! Forgive us, Father! We declare that we will continue to magnify You as our God who gave us Life from the breath of your Spirit. Will you join me in fervent prayer that the hand of Almighty God will turn the hearts and plans of this nation's leaders back to Him, that it might be said of us, "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom He has chosen as His heritage!" (Psalm 33:12).

Ecclesiastes 3:16-17    Moreover, I saw under the sun that in the place of justice, even there was wickedness, and in the place of righteousness, even there was wickedness.  I said in my heart, God will judge the righteous and the wicked, for there is a time for every matter and for every work.

January 17, 2021

An Old Testament Lesson For Today

I know it's not popular for many in the American Church of today to refer to Old Testament history as having relevance to our modern circumstances. But we can learn much about our God because the entire Bible is one long presentation of His character. And He is the same God in Genesis that He is in Jeremiah, Matthew, Corinthians, and Revelation. Actually, one of His characteristics is His immutability; the truth that He doesn't change over time and, in fact, cannot and will not change. That is why, in the New Testament, Jesus is so often quoted as saying, "As it is written", or "As you have heard", and liberally recites what the Prophets revealed about YHWH.

And I am always amazed when I am searching out an answer to a question I have in Scripture, I suddenly find myself being led to an Old Testament narrative that just screams relevance for today. This time, it was my husband who was searching for answers. He wanted to know if the Word, which I will remind you is alive and active, had anything to say about the possibility of being unqualified before the Lord for corrupting our DNA. 

This is relevant in the many [and varying] discussions among doctors, scientists, and the public regarding the efficacy of the Covid vaccines. Let me be clear, I am not a medical expert and the point of this blog post IS NOT to argue whether the vaccines are good or bad. That is a personal decision everyone must make for themselves. But what I do want to explore is God's reaction when we, His children and followers, are tempted to stray from His design for the human race. Again, this blog post is written for a discussion among Christians. If you are not a follower of Jesus and do not believe in the One True God, then this discussion has no real relevance to you and we are talking apples and oranges. What I hope to do is encourage my fellow Believers to press into God to see if what I am about to present still has relevance today in light of where we are at in history. 

[NOTE: I want to make it abundantly clear that I am not advocating the same physical punishments that God rendered in this Old Testament account, nor do I dismiss the atoning act of Jesus Christ for the similar sins that still exist. I simply want us to start being serious about how God views our sins, transgressions, and iniquities. They are as much an offense to Him today as they were nearly 3400 years ago]. 

So, let me share with you where my husband landed in Scripture during his search for answers to his question. It's a short chapter in the Book of Numbers; chapter 25 to be exact. To set the scene for Chapter 25, we must understand that the Israelites are now camped at Shittim, a valley in the land of Moab. Joshua and the Israelite army have defeated the two Amorite Nephilim kings, Og and Sihon, which ended Israel's desert wanderings and made way for their entry into the Promised Land. It is from Shittim that Joshua sends two spies to view the land and the walled city of Jericho. As the opening verses of Numbers 25 tells us, Israel is about to embark on a dangerous path.

Israel settled and remained in Shittim, and the people began to play the prostitute with the women of Moab [by being unfaithful to God]. For they invited the Israelites to the sacrifices of their gods, and the Israelites ate [food offered to idols] and bowed down to Moab’s gods. So Israel joined themselves to Baal of Peor [in worship]. And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel. I know that this might seem to have no connection to what we are facing today in our nation. But I ask you to look past the differences in the nations mentioned and focus on the people's actions and God's reaction to the unfaithfulness of His people. 

I am well aware that there are political operatives who are declaring Christians to be a threat to our nation's security. But I am even more grieved to read of fellow Christians within the family of God who are warning against "Christian nationalists", as if wanting our nation to remain true to Godly principles is somehow displeasing to the same God we all worship. I believe we need to see that we are in danger of following the example of the Israelites who compromised themselves and their faith when they abandoned God's statutes and principles and began worshiping the idols of the culture they lived in.

Baal was the god worshiped at the mountain Peor in the valley of Shittim. The rituals in the worship of this pagan god and idol involved adults gathering 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. So Israel joined themselves in worship to Baal of Peor. And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel (Numbers 25:3).  

Today, we have allowed our faith to be compromised; we have made concessions in order to "get along" with an unbelieving society and appear as pacifists and peacemakers. Let's face it, we have accepted standards that are lower than God desires. As hard as it is to look at the anger of God in that Old Testament chapter, His judgment against the people He loved was harsh and violent. God ordered that those who yoked themselves to Baal, the god of infanticide and sexual immorality, were to be killed. And while the people were weeping over their rebellion and the penalty of their sins, a man blatantly flaunted his union with the daughter of the Midianite chief. This may not seem worthy of what is to follow, but we must remember that God has always been a jealous God, warning those He calls His own to keep uncorrupted bloodlines and maintain their identity as His people.

The same holds true today. Through the idols of Science and Humanism, man is now promoting and idolizing Transhumanism. A rather moderate definition of Transhumanism calls it a "philosophical movement that advocates for the transformation of the human condition by developing, and making widely available, sophisticated technologies able to greatly modify or enhance human intellect or physiology." I will tell you, it is not just a "philosophy". This is in practice right now in the development of Artificial Intelligence, outsourcing our brains to the cloud, and the creation of hybrid man/machine cyborgs. And in case you haven't done your Biblical research, God hates this! He does not want His creation mixed with anything that has been tainted by Satan... whether it is the Nephilim offspring of fallen angels and human women, or the offspring born from the sacrificial blood orgies of Baal worship.

And there has to be some significance to God approving the zeal of Phineas, the grandson of Aaron, the Levite priest, who pierced both the man of Israel and the Midianite woman through her belly. He could have taken his spear to her head or her heart, but he chose to pierce the part of her that would have borne a child. His actions stopped the plague of death that God had brought upon the Israelites because God announced to Moses that Phineas "has turned back My wrath from the people of Israel, in that he was jealous with My jealousy among them, so that I did not consume the people of Israel in My jealousy." God then proceeded to give Phineas His covenant of peace "because he was jealous for his God and made atonement for the people of Israel". 

Are we jealous for our God in this day? Are we willing to call out the grievous sins of our nation? And this does not mean we take it upon ourselves to mete out God's justice. Remember: "Vengeance is Mine, saith the Lord!" We must not call for violence, but rather for atonement. That means we do not let our spirits be persuaded or consumed by the god of this world, which is Satan. God wants a relationship with our human spirit so that He can partner with us to battle against the forces of evil and Satan. That's why He is jealous for us! When our spirit is in partnership with God and His Spirit, He instills His zeal within us and we long to see His will "done on earth as it is in Heaven".

We must guard against our human zeal misplacing God's zeal in us. His zeal displays His righteousness and it is full of hope, as well as power. We must repent -- turn away from what Sin offers and seek after His will for our lives and our nation. And we must atone for our personal and national sins in ways that establish His will for His people. So, in the coming days -- whatever they bring -- let us remain mindful that God's call for us is to remain true to His commandments, no matter the pressure we get from the world. We must not partake in idol worship [whether it be political, religious, or social]. God wants to be in covenant with us, according to His standards. It won't be easy. Satan is moving his players into position rapidly. We must ready our spirits to hear from God. He will guide us in ways that acknowledge His Grace, Mercy, and Power. We are representatives of His superior Kingdom and the world will see Him in us! 

Revelation 3:19    Those whom I [dearly and tenderly] love, I rebuke and discipline [showing them their faults and instructing them]; so be enthusiastic and repent [change your inner self—your old way of thinking, your sinful behavior—seek God’s will].

December 8, 2020

What Is The Spirit of This Nation? Who Is It's god?

Yes, I realize that I have a small "g" god in my title. It was deliberate and the result of a question posed to me by a young man I'm proud to consider a spiritual son. He has found his freedom in Christ and is dedicated to representing the Kingdom of God to as many people as possible. He takes that responsibility seriously, and therefore spends lots of personal time in seeking the Lord and endeavoring to understand the "spiritual mechanics" of how we are to walk in our power and authority as sons and daughters of God, and citizens and ambassadors of our Father's Heavenly Kingdom.

With his goals set before him, this young man is learning how to specifically target his prayers as he wages war in the heavens, and he asked me for some information regarding the evil spirits or principalities over geographical regions in the United States. In light of our current situation in the country, I sure wish other Believers were this tuned in to this particular prayer strategy. So, I would like to share with you what I revealed to him as my understanding.

It should not surprise Christians when I say that there are territorial and regional spirits and forces that afflict and oppress people in communities, states, geographical regions, and even an entire country. In the Book of Daniel, Scripture makes it very clear the archangel Michael is in a spiritual battle with the Princes of Persia and Greece. We don't know what the particular characteristics of those powerful spiritual entities are, but I believe they reflect the sins of the people of Persia and Greece. Let me explain further... 

First of all, I do not have the mind of God, nor am I privileged to have all His knowledge or counsel. From what I have discerned, I see at least two paths for geographical regions and territories to become infiltrated with high-level demons and powers. The first is exemplified by Matthew 12:43-45. This passage tells us that when an unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, but finds none. Then when it decides to return to the house from which it was thrown out, it finds the house empty, swept, and put in order. Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there, and the last state of that person is worse than the first. 

This tells me that cast out demons try to find other avenues in which they can oppress people, regions, or territories where they can go and easily reside [rest]. But if those places are dry and unproductive for their evil proclivities (waterless), they decide to try and go back to the person or place from which they were cast out. Of course, because it is the power of Jesus that allowed them to be cast out, that place [or person] from which they came will be vacant; it will be warm and ready for occupancy again. You see, as soon as that place was rid of the evil influence, that vacancy should have been filled with the Holy Spirit [in case of a person], or transformed into a righteous, moral and virtuous environment [in case of a region or territory]. Tolerance, patience, mercy, grace and peace will characterize both people and territories that are not left void.

A second path that I believe demons and high-level principalities and princes can exploit to enter regions is when spirits and demons gain their power through the sins of the people who live in those places. In other words, a spirit of perversion did not target San Francisco, and come in, forcing people into ungodly lifestyles. Rather, it was the Biblical sins of those lifestyles that began to create an atmosphere that was inviting to demonic spirits; and the spiritual atmosphere of San Francisco became welcomed the spirit of perversion to take up residence. Does that make sense?

So, when asked how to specifically pray over the United States as a nation, I would ask you to consider this: What do we often identify as a feature of our national psyche? Don't we often say that "the spirit of Liberty burns in the hearts of all Americans"? Did you know that imperial Rome's goddess Libertas was fashioned after the Babylonian goddess Ishtar, who is the Canaanite version of Semiramis, wife of Nimrod? And did you know that this spirit of liberty is immortalized in America's Statue of Liberty? In fact, Liberty, also known as the goddess Columbia, and the goddess of Freedom, became a cult symbol for Freemasonry in the early years of our Republic. In fact, the Statue of Liberty was conceived, financed, and built by an Italian Freemason (Frederic-Auguste Batholdi), and envisioned as a statue of Nimrod's wife Semiramis (Ishtar, Isis, Astarte) holding a torch of illuminism to light the way to the land of freedom and opportunity. The only problem is that the people of America would enjoy only the "liberties" that the New World Order allowed them to have. She stands in the harbor of New York City as a symbol of wealth and power; and oversees her empire of greed and corruption.

Sadly, that spirit of Liberty that we Americans have come to idolize is tarnished with the reality that it is more like a symbol of the Queen of Babylon [or Queen of Heaven] than she is a spirit associated with our true freedom in Christ. Consider this passage in the 18th Chapter of the Book of Revelation: "After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, possessing great authority, and the earth was illuminated with his splendor and radiance. And he shouted with a mighty voice, saying, “Fallen, fallen [certainly to be destroyed] is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place for demons, a dungeon haunted by every unclean spirit, and a prison for every unclean and loathsome bird. For all the nations have drunk from the wine of the passion of her [sexual] immorality, and the kings and political leaders of the earth have committed immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich by the wealth and economic power of her sensuous luxury.” And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not be a partner in her sins and receive her plagues; for her sins (crimes, transgressions) have piled up as high as heaven, and God has remembered her wickedness and crimes [for judgment].  Repay to her even as she has repaid others, and pay back [to her] double [her torment] in accordance with what she has done; in the cup [of sin and suffering] which she mixed, mix a double portion [of perfect justice] for her.  To the degree that she glorified herself and reveled and gloated in her sensuality [living deliciously and luxuriously], to that same degree impose on her torment and anguish, and mourning and grief; for in her heart she boasts, ‘I sit as a queen [on a throne] and I am not a widow, and will never, ever see mourning or experience grief.’  For this reason in a single day her plagues (afflictions, calamities) will come, pestilence and mourning and famine, and she will be burned up with fire and completely consumed; for strong and powerful is the Lord God who judges her."

That pagan spirit of Liberty or Columbia or Semiramis, or whatever name she has gone by down through the centuries in the nations, has consumed our national soul and convinced us that we are a virtuous and upright nation; that we are indestructible and everlasting. But I would venture that Revelation 18 is a pretty good description of a nation so drunk on her own prosperity, that she refuses to acknowledge that it is the Most High God's grace and favor that are responsible for all she has. And there the Statue of Liberty sits in the Harbor of New York City; a natural portal into our nation. And that spirit of Liberty lives in statues across our land, and in every state flag that hangs over every state capital building, perpetuating the myth that she represents God's desire for our nation.

So, if you want to know how to pray for this nation, and how to wage spiritual war against the principalities that have gained such a stronghold in our land, pray that we would acknowledge the spiritual darkness that has crept into the halls of government and the boardrooms of commerce so that we can receive Jehovah Nissi's battle plans and defeat these oppressors of evil. It is not too late to delay the fire of judgment that our righteous God is justified in heaping upon us. We do not have to be completely consumed. But the clock is ticking and the time is NOW to reverse our trajectory. Father God wants to pardon us, but the sins are piled higher than is imaginable, and it is going to take a completely committed, sanctified, and surrendered Body of Christ to turn back His wrath. Don't give up; never give up! God's love endures forever for those who turn to Him in humble submission, acknowledging the sins of our nation and partnering with our Creator to restore our homeland to its Godly origins. Intercede for us King Jesus!

Jude 1:4    For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.




November 29, 2020

A Nation Divided: Are We Like The Kingdom of Israel? -- Part 1

A Nation Divided ... that is how the media pundits describe us these days. And I will agree that there are some major differences in ideologies, political positions, and societal standards among our citizenry. Neither is this the first time that our nation has come to this crossroads. It's been 160 years since the United States faced a split like this one, and it cost us dearly. I pray we can take a step back before we find ourselves at the edge of that cliff again. And we are not the first nation in the history of the world to find its internal conflict resulting in a fractured people.

And this got me to thinking how God regards nations. I am no theologian, but I am a seeker after God's heart on a myriad of topics, and this is one of them. I won't bore you with my line of reasoning, but I will tell you where my thoughts have culminated. Interestingly, they align with the beginning of the Bible and again, at the end. So let's take a look at the beginning ... The Word makes it clear in Deuteronomy, Chapter 32, that God gave the nations their inheritance, and separated them, setting the boundaries of the peoples (verse 8). This chapter also makes it clear that God established Israel as a nation and chose them as His portion among the nations (verses 6-9). All this happened after Nimrod encouraged the people to rebel against God and they attempted to overthrow Heaven. So God separated them, giving them different languages, and assigning them to different governing gods. 

And before you think I am theologically incorrect, I would refer you to Psalm 82, where God is standing in the Divine Assembly, and judging among the gods. In this powerful psalm, God is dressing down the lesser gods (whom He created and assigned to the nations) for not treating the peoples of the nations righteously or justly. The misunderstanding of this Psalm, combined with the mistranslation in Deuteronomy 32:8 that God set the boundaries "according to the sons of Israel", has led to centuries of confusion about God as the Most High God among the universe's multitude of lesser gods. You see, "sons of Israel" was originally written as sons of God in the Dead Sea Scrolls, and angels of God in the Septuagint. Our modern translations, which render the verse as sons of Israel, were written beginning in 1611 (and later), while the Dead Sea Scrolls were written in 150 B.C. and the Septuagint between 330 and 350 A.D., giving their translations precedence; at least to my way of thinking. So, I believe that this clearly shows us that nations were not only created by God, but how they came to be governed by the heavenly authorities established over them, and why all this is important to God. [NOTE: I could write an entire series of blogs on this concept, but for this discussion, I simply wanted to establish how God regards the nations].

So, let's take a look now at what is revealed about nations at the end of the Bible. In Revelation 21, the Apostle John is given a vision of the New Heaven and Earth, and the New Jerusalem, where the glory of God has illumined it; and the Lamb, Jesus Christ, is its lamp and light. The Bible says in verse 24, "The nations [the redeemed people from the earth] will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring into it their glory". And in Revelation 22:1-2, John is shown a river of the Water of Life, beside which is growing the renewed Tree of Life, whose leaves "were for the healing of the nations". This makes it obvious [to me] that God desires nations to be filled with redeemed servants of God, and that He has established a new Tree of Life by which nations will be healed and restored. 

So, what are we to take away from these disclosures in the Word of God? Should we pray for our nation to receive healing and restoration? Or are we doomed to follow the path of the ancient kingdom of Israel, who became a divided nation and ultimately went into physical and spiritual captivity? Can we learn from the mistakes that led to the northern nation of Israel and the southern nation of Judah; and can we see any similarities between their history and how ours is playing out? Let's consider a few things and then decide how we should pray for reconciliation in our land...

If you know your Bible history, then you are aware that the ancient kingdom of Israel became divided shortly after the death of King Solomon. It would be easy for us to surmise that his son, Rehoboam, failed at preserving the kingdom that his grandfather, David, had established, and that his father, Solomon, had expanded. But a closer look shows that Solomon actually set the eventual division of Israel into motion. An excellent publication by Liberty University faculty member, Wayne Brindle, educated me on all the issues that led to the dissolution of the kingdom of Israel. And I will endeavor to present a condensed argument that our own nation is in serious jeopardy of making the same mistakes. [You can download the presentation in its entirety by clicking here].  

The immediate image of the Kingdom of Israel under Solomon's reign is that it was idyllic - a time of peace and prosperity. He built a Temple to God that was beyond compare. It is described in the Bible as having walls that were lined with cedar, on which were carved figures of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers, which were overlaid with gold (1 Kings 6:29-30). Chains of gold further marked it off from the Holy of Holies. The floor of the Temple was of fir overlaid with gold. You get the picture, right? 

His accomplishments were known around the world, and he was sought after for his wealth of wisdom. Even the Queen of Sheba traveled for a state visit with King Solomon. He forged alliances with powerful nations and spent lots of money on fortifying the cities of his growing empire. And that required a standing army, with thousands of horses and horsemen -- all of which required enormous amounts of food and provisions. He developed comprehensive programs and built not only the glorious Temple of gold, but his own palace and other magnificent structures that befitted his status. All this at the expense of the twelve tribes of Israel, who made up the citizenry. So, how did he finance all these expenditures? The primary source was taxation, of course! 

But it seems that Solomon played favorites; the taxation was not spread evenly among the different tribes. In fact, if you read 1 Kings, Chapter 4, you will get an idea of how much it would cost to support Solomon's lifestyle. You will also discover that every tribe but Judah is called upon to foot the bill. Solomon was a member of that tribe and apparently he was not a proponent of economic equality. And his partiality towards the region of Judah found him taxing the northern regions of the kingdom more in order to build defenses for the southern part of the kingdom, where Judah existed. For all his wisdom and resourcefulness, [upon his death in 931 B.C.], he left his son, Rehoboam, with a diminished treasury and a "ripe for revolt" constituency in the northern part of the kingdom. Sound familiar? In the next post we will take a look at how this plays out for the troubled kingdom, and how the effects of Solomon's apostasy against the Lord results in judgment. Are we due for a similar fate?

Proverbs 29:2    When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, but when the wicked rule, the people groan.


July 31, 2020

Are We At An Isaiah 3 Moment In Time?

     Before we can have a conversation on the prophecy of Isaiah 3, we must take a look at it. In it's historical context this chapter of Isaiah describes how the corrupt leadership in Judah brought about the collapse of the social conditions of the nation and Jerusalem. It contains Isaiah's prophecies that "For the sin of the people, God will take away the wise men, and give them foolish princes". But it is also an excellent profile of a society under judgment. Since our God is Immutable [He never changes], we can expect that His standards of Righteousness and Justice are constant, steadfast, firm and unwavering, right? So, let's read Isaiah's prophecy and see what we can discern ...

For behold, the Lord God of hosts is taking away from Jerusalem and from Judah support and supply, all support of bread, and all support of water;
the mighty man and the soldier, the judge and the prophet, the diviner and the elder,
the captain of fifty and the man of rank, the counselor and the skillful magician and the expert in charms.
And I will make boys their princes, and infants shall rule over them.
And the people will oppress one another, every one his fellow and every one his neighbor; the youth will be insolent to the elder, and the despised to the honorable.

For a man will take hold of his brother in the house of his father, saying: “You have a cloak; you shall be our leader, and this heap of ruins shall be under your rule”;
in that day he will speak out, saying: “I will not be a healer; in my house there is neither bread nor cloak; you shall not make me leader of the people.”
For Jerusalem has stumbled, and Judah has fallen, because their speech and their deeds are against the Lord, defying his glorious presence.

For the look on their faces bears witness against them; they proclaim their sin like Sodom; they do not hide it. Woe to them! For they have brought evil on themselves.
10 Tell the righteous that it shall be well with them, for they shall eat the fruit of their deeds.
11 Woe to the wicked! It shall be ill with him, for what his hands have dealt out shall be done to him.
12 My people—infants are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, your guides mislead you and they have swallowed up the course of your paths.

13 The Lord has taken his place to contend; he stands to judge peoples.
14 The Lord will enter into judgment with the elders and princes of his people: “It is you who have devoured the vineyard, the spoil of the poor is in your houses.
15 What do you mean by crushing my people, by grinding the face of the poor?” declares the Lord God of hosts.

16 The Lord said: Because the daughters of Zion are haughty and walk with outstretched necks, glancing wantonly with their eyes, mincing along as they go, tinkling with their feet,
17 therefore the Lord will strike with a scab the heads of the daughters of Zion, and the Lord will lay bare their secret parts.

18 In that day the Lord will take away the finery of the anklets, the headbands, and the crescents; 19 the pendants, the bracelets, and the scarves; 20 the headdresses, the armlets, the sashes, the perfume boxes, and the amulets; 21 the signet rings and nose rings; 22 the festal robes, the mantles, the cloaks, and the handbags; 23 the mirrors, the linen garments, the turbans, and the veils.

24  Instead of perfume there will be rottenness; and instead of a belt, a rope; and instead of well-set hair, baldness; and instead of a rich robe, a skirt of sackcloth; and branding instead of beauty.
25 Your men shall fall by the sword and your mighty men in battle.
26 And her gates shall lament and mourn;  empty, she shall sit on the ground.

     Can you recognize the judgment that has come upon the nation of Judah and her capital city, Jerusalem, for the mistreatment of its citizens? Isaiah warns that there will be a shortage of food, water, and competent government leaders, as well as military commanders, judges, church leaders, advisors, and even those involved in the art of deception. They will be deprived of godly, capable leaders in all these areas. In their place will rise up immature, child-like leaders to rule over them.

     To make matters worse, oppression and conflict arise between the people; the youth disrespect their elders, and men of good reputation are treated with contempt and disdain. Does any of this sound familiar? Not only are we seeing shortages in our food supply, but we suffer from a vast poverty of righteous men to lead this nation. That includes those who practice the art of deception, as in the Media. Not to mention the incredible insolence and rebellion of the younger generation on the streets of our nation, and the deplorable treatment of the Attorney General of this nation by members of Congress.

     Isaiah's pronouncement of God's judgment is against a sinful and rebellious Judah. And remember, that God never changes. Because of our rebellion against YHWH's righteousness [through our practices of abortion, sex trafficking, pornography industry, and general immorality and debauchery], might we not expect God to bring judgment upon our nation by imposing ungodly, incompetent leaders, resulting in a breakdown of order in our society? We are certainly seeing it in cities like Portland, Seattle, and Minneapolis! Oppression among the people is evident everywhere!

     As verse 6 shows us, the people become so desperate for a return to normalcy, that they will accept even the smallest image of competency as qualifications of a leader. But things have deteriorated so badly, that no man wants the job. The words and deeds of people declare their rebellion against God, and sin is openly displayed; there is no shame or recognition of their offense against YHWH. But we cannot blame God for the mess we're in; we've brought it upon ourselves. God just left this nation to the desires of its heart.

     We are a nation that revels in its prosperity. But the leaders have become rich on the impoverishment of its citizens. The middle class is disappearing and the rich get richer. The Lord asks, "What do you mean by crushing my people and grinding the face of the poor?" A nation such as this will find themselves subject to the judgment of the Lord God. And I find it interesting that the prophet Isaiah spends a good portion of his prophecy warning against the gluttony and haughtiness of the women of Judah. I can certainly attest to the change in attitude and of women in my lifetime. I lived through the "Women's Liberation" era that fostered the intellectual concepts that women were equal to men; that they had a right to do with their bodies as they wished; to seek after power and influence; and that in the end, they didn't really need men to be whole or successful or fulfilled as women. Somewhere I have read that when the women of a culture become degenerate and ungodly, then the hope for the next generation is gone. But when the women of a culture turn to the Lord and His ways, then there is hope for the future.

     Please, do not misunderstand me -- I do not subscribe to women being mindless subjects of men. But our God has designed us all, both men and women alike, with a purpose for His Kingdom, and we are the most fruitful for the Kingdom when we honor and respect each other, seeking to raise Godly children together, and to glorify the Lord in humility and service. Outward appearances; lust for power and luxury; and rebellion instead of obedience, never result in a thriving culture.

     So, while I hope and pray that God will grant us mercy, I recognize that, by His Holy standards, this nation deserves any judgment He might decide to inflict upon us. I hope that a great revival might sweep this land, but I'm afraid I'm not as clear on that probability as many of today's modern prophets. I certainly do not see that prophecy in the Bible. There are plenty of prophecies of revival and reformation from the Old Testament prophets, but my discernment reveals them as pertaining to Israel and/or Jerusalem. That being said, I DO take great comfort and hope in Isaiah 3:10, Tell the righteous that it shall be well with them, for they shall eat the fruit of their deeds.

     We know, that as the truly righteous, we do not share the same fate as the wicked and rebellious. I believe God's promises to protect and bless those who obey His commandments. If we truly "Seek the Kingdom first [make it our priority] and righteousness, all our needs will be met". That includes safety in times of peril; nourishment in times of impoverishment; health in times of illness; and faith in times of doubt and unbelief. We will receive the rewards of our work on behalf of the Kingdom; if not in the present, then certainly in eternity.

     In summation, we must not ignore the righteous standards God has established since the beginning of time. And we must understand that He is a Righteous and Just God, and judgment is coming on those nations that do not turn away from rebellion against Him and His holy principles. I know that Isaiah 3 is aimed at Judah and Jerusalem, but we are foolish if we are unable to look in the mirror and see the unsettling likeness.  God will not cut us any slack! Lord God, deliver us from our rebellious nature and flagrantly and obstinately refusing to change our course of action. Have mercy on us!

Matthew 5:44-45    But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,