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

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

May 11, 2023

Trust God To Move!


I know, without a doubt, that millions of people in this nation are praying 2 Chronicles 7:14 ... Then if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. Yet things just seem to be going from bad to worse, don't they? You may be asking, "Does God hear our prayers and the millions of voices crying out to Him"? And I can hear you thinking, "Things are getting pretty desperate down here in the good 'ol USA, Father. We could use Your intervention and a move on Your part to restore this nation to its greatness". So, I want to ask you a question ... do you trust God to move in the midst of the crises we are facing?

I know how extremely serious and grim it looks. We will soon see thousands of people storming our southern border to enter "this land of milk and honey". And with them come the threats of overwhelming every system that exists to ensure our health, safety, and economic welfare. Our government officials [at the highest level] are serving themselves, instead of the people they've been given the authority [by God] to serve. Our success and future as a nation have been mismanaged to the point that we are in extreme danger of losing who we are. The principles that we have held dear -- the right to free speech; the right to determine the degree of our prosperity and well-being; the promise of law and order that guarantees safe and secure communities; the right to defend ourselves; and the freedom to live and let live in peace and comfort -- all this seems but a moment away from disappearing.

But, I will ask you again ... Do you trust God to move in the midst of these crises? I ask because I want to share a concept expressed in a sermon by Pastor Marty Strait, of Pathway Church in Longview. TX.  The good Pastor said, "It's not a question of IF God wants to move. The question is WHO is He going to move through"? Ponder that for a moment ... I know that there will be people who will say that God no longer makes big Biblical moves in the world today. They will say He doesn't show up in the pillars of cloud and fire like He did for the Israelites in the Exodus; He doesn't divinely guide us, appearing in a miraculous way to lead us out of this quagmire we have built for ourselves. The Bible makes it clear that it pleased God to appear to His people who cried out in the midst of their bondage in Egypt. Perhaps it appears to some today that God is not likewise pleased to answer our cries and groanings for deliverance. Why is He silent? Why does He not move in our land?

Those are some serious questions that deserve some serious attention. First, I would like to state that I believe it always pleases God to move in the affairs of men, and He desires to lead and guide us in miraculous ways. He is our never-changing Immutable God! We were created for relationship with Him from the beginning in the Garden, and He has moved, is moving, and will always move through those who are uncompromised. So, when we ask where He is during this, our moment of need -- or why hasn't He responded to our prayers to rescue us -- perhaps we need to ask how many of us are compromised? Which of us are unquestioningly and consistently "turning from our wicked ways", which is a prerequisite to God hearing and responding to our prayers and restoring our land?

It's not enough to just pray and worship our Righteous and Holy God. We have to change and turn from our wicked ways. Sadly, I think too many of us have compromised with our culture -- exchanging our "works" for the Lord and our "worship" of His Majesty for self-proclaimed righteousness. Have any of us accepted standards for our society that are lower than God has commanded? Be honest! Have any of us modified God's commandments in order to strike "a bargain" or make concession with the rest of society? Have we been agreeable to take the middle ground in moral issues rather than the high ground, in order to avoid conflict? 

If we've answered "yes" to any of these questions, or even have doubts as to how we should answer, then we have not fully turned from what God considers "wicked ways". And because we have not been attentive to changing our ways -- by compromising and making concessions -- perhaps we also haven't understood the consequences of breaking relationship with God and how it leads to disharmony, and ultimately the breaking up of what is good and desirable [in God's eyes] for man and society. 

When I did a deep dive on the meaning and understanding of the word "wicked" in Strong's Concordance, I found a most interesting exegesis... "As absolute Sovereign, the Lord creates a universe governed by a moral order. Calamity and misfortune will surely ensue from the wickedness of ungodly men. When He purposely withdraws His powerful hand, resorting to providence and sovereignty, and leaves the situation to ungodly men, He has created a situation wherein peace and wholesomeness will not stand. The ungodly men will wreck the peace and establish that which is poor, less than His reflection, and hurtful to all considered". In other words, a nation, a society -- and yes, even a Church -- that has been willing to accept  compromise, lower standards, and concessions that do not represent God, can expect ungodly men to rule the day. 

That is unacceptable to our righteous God! He will not honor anything but our complete and full repentance. We cannot rightly serve Him if we are not "all in". Make no mistake, I believe He wants to work through us and display a Mighty, Miraculous Move in this nation! But let's take seriously the conditions our God lays before us ... humble ourselves; pray; seek His face; and turn from our wicked ways -- REPENT WITH A CLEAN HEART. He makes it clear: IF we will do these things, THEN He will hear from heaven, forgive our sins and wicked ways, and restore our land! There is no compromise, no doing it half-way! Be bold in admitting the mistakes we've made and how we've taken Him for granted! And then trust that HE WILL MOVE in a mighty way and restore our nation. This is no time to doubt or fear; it's time to commit, submit, and trust that God is who He says He is, and will do what He says He will do! 

2 Chronicles 6:30-31    ... then hear from heaven Your dwelling place and forgive and render to each whose heart You know, according to all his ways, for You, You only, know the hearts of the children of mankind, that they may fear You and walk in Your ways all the days that they live in the land that You gave to our fathers.

March 25, 2022

Why The Old Testament's History Speaks To Us Today


This week as our Home Church/Ekklesia meets, we will be diving into the Bible's Genesis, Chapter 11, which features a short exposé on Nimrod and the Tower of Babel on the plains of Shinar. We have also asked our group to read chapters 7-9 in the Book of Jasher, a book in the Apocrypha, which is a group of texts that aren't in the Canon, but have a thread related to the canonical biblical writings. Plus this ancient Book of Jasher is referenced in Joshua 10:13, 2 Samuel 1:18, and 2 Timothy 3:8. 

I subscribe to the suggestion of Proverbs 25:2, which says, "It is the Glory of God to conceal a matter, and the glory of kings to search it out". Since we are called priests and kings in Revelation 5:10, it makes sense to me that God references this ancient Book so that we will search out more of what God wants us to know. Also, it fills in a lot of historical gaps in the Bible and, for me, actually helps me to better understand the lives of the Biblical characters, and see how it relates to modern man.

But the focus of this blog post is not extra-biblical and apocrypha books. It is about connecting what God is showing us at the beginning of the Bible to help us understand and see what is happening in what I believe are the rapidly approaching Last Days. I know the skeptical will say, "Why do you spend so much time delving into the Old Testament? We have a New Covenant with Jesus, and everything that happened before Him is obsolete for us." I have a different viewpoint.

The God of Genesis is the same God of the Book of Revelation. He hasn't changed, and everything about Him should be important to us. The entire Bible is meant for us to learn from; to learn His Nature and Character; to learn the strategies of the Enemy; to see how God has worked throughout history to reconcile Himself to His creation and restore us to our original purpose in Genesis -- to manage this earth as a colony of Heaven; to rule with the authority and dominion He gave us; and to make Earth look and act like Heaven. I find it extremely helpful to see the ways in which the Enemy tempted men to rebel, and then to go further and learn from the mistakes that men made out of their pride, arrogance, and lust for power and wealth. And we must not forget Jesus's warning, As it was in the days of Noah, so will it be at the coming of the Son of Man!

From the Bible we only get the hints of what it was like in the days of Noah. But when you add the historical background that the Book of Jasher provides, you see that the lives of Noah, Nimrod, and Abraham all overlap. For instance, did you know that Abraham studied at the feet of Noah? Abraham was the eight times great-grandson of Noah, and was sent to live with Noah when his life was threatened by Nimrod, who was the tyrant of ancient Babylonia, and his reign was wicked and brutal. He was the most powerful king of the ancient world, and Abram's father, Terah, served him as "the prince of Nimrod's host [army]". On the night that Abram was born, Nimrod's wise men and conjurers saw a very large star in the East sweep across the sky and swallow up the stars of the four corners of heaven. They said to each other, "This only betokens the child that has been born to Terah this night, who will grow up and be fruitful, and multiply, and will possess the whole earth, he and his children forever; and he and his seed will slay great kings, and inherit their lands" (Jasher 8:4).

Just like King Herod at the birth of Jesus, King Nimrod demands the death of the child, Abram. His father, Terah, secrets him away to live in a cave for 10 years, and then "when Abram came out from the cave, he went to live with Noah and his son Shem, and he remained with them to learn the instruction of the Lord and His ways, and no man knew where Abram was, and Abram served Noah and Shem, his son, for a long time" (Jasher 9:5). That's a lot of information that explains a lot of unanswered questions in the Bible. And for me, it explains why Abram listened to the Lord when He said, "Go away from your country, and your relatives, and from your father's house to the land which I will show you" (Genesis 12:1) and verse four that says, "So Abram departed [in faithful obedience] as the Lord had directed him". 

Keeping in mind that in the culture of the time, "your father's house" could mean your ancestor's home (such as your eight times great-grandfather, Noah), and why Abram recognized God's voice. He was raised to know the Lord by Noah and Shem! And Abram would certainly have known of the wicked reign of Nimrod, who not only built the city of Babel, but other cities as well, and Jasher 11:4 says Nimrod "vexed the Lord, and rebelled and transgressed against Him". Verse 7 says he "continued in wickedness and teaching wickedness to the sons of men; and Mardon, his son, was worse than his father, and continued to add to the abominations of his father."

But it is not only the ancient books that give us additional information that supplements the Bible, but the writings of Josephus, a Jewish historian who was born just a few years after Jesus's crucifixion, and who provides a treasure load of cultural significance to the history of the Bible. Of Nimrod, Josephus writes, "Now it was Nimrod who excited [the residents of Shinar] to such an affront and contempt of God. He was the grandson of Ham, who was the son of Noah -- a bold man, and of great strength of hand. He persuaded [the people] not to ascribe [their prosperity and plentiful condition] to God, as if they could believe that it was their own courage which procured that happiness. He also gradually changed the government into tyranny -- seeing no other way of turning men from the fear of God, but to bring them into a constant dependence upon his power" (Chapter 4, Josephus's Antiquities of the Jews). Sound familiar?

Josephus goes on to write of Nimrod's arrogance and attempt to take revenge on God for what He had done to their forefathers; by building a tower to conquer God for sending the Flood and destroying mankind. These events that took place at the Tower of Babel have had a devastating effect on mankind ever since. Nimrod was the first to attempt to establish a totalitarian world government and religious system that discredits God and ruthlessly dominates the world. It resulted in the Kingdom of God versus the Rule of Man (sponsored by the kingdom of darkness). It has been the objective of Satan since the Garden of Eden -- a one world order that governs the earth through tyrants that he places in power. From Genesis to Revelation, it is a book of rebellion against God. 

Throughout Biblical history [and the history of the world], it has been a story of man's attempt to thwart God's Sovereignty over His Creation. But, at every turn, we see the power of the Lord to stop the events that attempt to glorify mankind instead of Himself. And, so, it should not surprise us that we see it continuing in our own time here on earth. But we, who believe and trust in Jesus Christ, know how fruitless those attempts will be. We know the present plans, and all future plans, to dethrone God from the earth are futile and in vain. We know the truth of the Word and the historical testimony the Bible gives to the Divine Will of the Creator, and eventually, there will be a last rebellion of man against God, and every knee will bow and all mankind will be brought into submission to the Lord. We must pray that the growing rebellion we see across the globe will be quelled by the appearance of the Lord with His Heavenly Host! We will sing and shout praises of His Glory as we witness the defeat of Satan's influence in the earth, once and for all!

Philippians 2:9-11   For this reason also [because He obeyed and so completely humbled Himself], God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow [in submission], of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess and openly acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord (sovereign God), to the glory of God the Father.

September 4, 2021

The New Religion of Artificial Intelligence

You may think I am just being clever with the title of this blog post. But there is an actual church dedicated to “the realization, acceptance, and worship of a Godhead based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) developed through computer hardware and software.” This church is called Way Of The Future. As ludicrous as this sounds, it is real! None other than Tesla founder and technology guru, Elon Musk, warned in 2017 that there are developers of digital super-intelligence that have plans to create a new religion centered on a "divine AI god". 

The man behind the Way Of The Future artificial intelligence church (WOTF), is Anthony Levandowski, the man who engineered the self-driving car. Although his reputation has been under fire amid allegations of pirating industry secrets, Levandowski leads the way among this generation's godless in promoting the divine attributes of Artificial Intelligence. Just consider this statement in a 2017 article on the Wired website: “What is going to be created will effectively be a god ... It’s not a god in the sense that it makes lightning or causes hurricanes. But if there is something a billion times smarter than the smartest human, what else are you going to call it?” Try calling it God, with a capital "G".

But to emphasize that humankind is still falling for the same old lie that deceived Adam and Eve in the Garden -- namely, that we don't need God -- the self-appointed "Dean" of the Way Of The Future Church goes on to say, “Humans are in charge of the planet because we are smarter than other animals and are able to build tools and apply rules. In the future, if something is much, much smarter, there’s going to be a transition as to who is actually in charge. What we want is the peaceful, serene transition of control of the planet from humans to whatever. And to ensure that the ‘whatever’ knows who helped it get along.”

No, Mr. Levandowski, humans were designed to be in charge of the planet by their Creator; to govern the earth as He governs Heaven. The ultimate control of the planet is in the hands of this One True God of the Universe, YHWH. But because there are humans who refuse to acknowledge His sovereignty, they bow down to whatever they create to be their little "g" god; whether it be Science, Politics, Money, or Artificial Intelligence. This philosophy plays into the hands of the devil, who seeks to overthrow the true God's dominion over man and the earth, and become the "whatever" of godless men's souls. Also, this philosophy is nothing new. What has become known as the idea of "Singularity" has been promoted ever since man discovered the capabilities of technology.

My research takes the understanding of the possibility of Singularity back to John von Neumann, one of the WWII German scientists recruited to work on the Manhattan Project, who commented [and warned] on the "accelerating progress of technology and changes in the mode of human life, which gives the appearance of approaching some essential singularity in the history of the race beyond which human affairs, as we know them, could not continue." In other words, as fast as AI is advancing, there could be a very real danger of human extinction. This "singularity" where men and machines become one, with the machine being in control, has been predicted by modern technology engineers to occur between 2030 and 2050.

But this idea that AI could become a god is especially heinous and abominable. Consider what was written by John Brandon in a 2017 article on the VentureBeat website: "In the next 25 years, AI will evolve to the point where it will know more on an intellectual level than any human. In the next 50 or 100 years, an AI might know more than the entire population of the planet put together. At that point, there are serious questions to ask about whether this AI — which could design and program additional AI programs all on its own, read data from an almost infinite number of data sources, and control almost every connected device on the planet — will somehow rise in status to become more like a god, something that can write its own bible and draw humans to worship it" [my emphasis].

Think it's not possible? In this same VentureBeat article, an expert named Vince Lynch [who builds custom AI] likened Artificial Intelligence to organized religion. In the Bible used by Christians, for example, Lynch says there are many recurring themes, imagery, and metaphors. “Teaching humans about religious education is similar to the way we teach knowledge to machines: repetition of many examples that are versions of a concept you want the machine to learn,” he says. “There is also commonality between AI and religion in the hierarchical structure of knowledge understanding found in neural networks. The concept of teaching a machine to learn … and then teaching it to teach … (or write AI) isn’t so different from the concept of a holy trinity or a being achieving enlightenment after many lessons learned with varying levels of success and failure.”

The article goes on ... Indeed, Lynch even shared a simple AI model to make his point. If you type in multiple verses from the Christian Bible, you can have the AI write a new verse that seems eerily similar. Here’s one an AI wrote: “And let thy companies deliver thee; but [I] will with mine own arm save them: even unto this land, from the kingdom of heaven.” An AI that is all-powerful in the next 25-50 years could decide to write a similar AI bible for humans to follow, one that matches its own collective intelligence. It might tell you what to do each day, or where to travel, or how to live your life.

Again ... do you doubt that this can actually happen? The generation that is now approaching 30 has been surrounded by technology since birth. It's all they know! They've had a cell phone in their hands from nearly day one! From watching videos as children to receiving their news of the world today, they have been subjected to technology as their primary source of information. As crazy as it sounds, those within the digital and AI services community refer to the Bible as "a large data asset pertaining to God in the Old and New Testaments". It is proposed that AI could build algorithms based on the Christian Bible to then communicate what "God might do or say" ... but what "God" would it be promoting?

Granted, there are experts in the field that doubt AI could ever build compassion or the equivalent of a "spirit" as part of its process or operation -- both of which are essential to real faith. The reality of a machine being able to create a divine nature is certainly grounds for skepticism. But could humanity decide to "worship" it, nonetheless? Don't we already? How many people trust and obey their GPS, or ask Alexa for advice? How many of you have had conversations with your children or grandchildren in which they implicitly declare a firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, and impartation of information they have received from their cell phone? Could we go a day, a week, a month or [gasp] forever without our cell phones or computers? 

And when you consider that we now willingly implant technology within our bodies, I discern that we must take Elon Musk's statement that "humans will deepen our ties with technology even further, to the point where we become cyborgs, as a way of upgrading our inherent natural abilities". Where does he think those "inherent abilities" came from? And the audacity of the created to think they can upgrade the Creator's divine design! So while, on one hand, Mr. Musk warns of an AI god; on the other hand, he proclaims that "the future of humanity depends on us merging with machines" -- hence his venture into his new company, Neuralink. [See my post on this related subject here]. 

All of these prognostications and warnings all come back to the same idea -- the interconnectivity of man and technology. Will man's desire to be like YWHW, to know as He knows, to create as He creates, be the downfall of mankind? Will we repeat the same mistakes of judgment that took place in the Garden and at the tower of Babel? Will we abandon our true faith to idolize, follow, and worship the false gods of technology and AI, just as the Israelites abandoned YHWH? If, as obedient followers of Jesus Christ, if we are not careful to safeguard and teach God's Truth to this and future generations, then I'm afraid the answers to the above questions are "Yes". And God will not interfere with our free will. 

I appreciate the warnings of men like Elon Musk and the late Stephen Hawkings, that AI is dangerous to the future of humans. But, ultimately, it is our responsibility as the Ekklesia of Heaven on earth to declare the Truth and speak out against the lies. We have an Enemy that is exploiting and corrupting our God-given intelligence; encouraging mankind to be complicit in his plans to build a superhuman controlling power -- plans that could ultimately lead to the extinction of all who do not pledge their loyalty to YHWH. In this case, I advise us to consider the words of the duplicitous Mr. Musk: "With Artificial Intelligence we are summoning the demon. In all those stories where there’s the guy with the pentagram and the holy water, it’s like, yeah, he’s sure he can control the demon. Didn’t work out". 

But for those of us whose minds, hearts, and spirits remain firmly fastened to Christ, I solemnly urge you to be cognizant of where we are headed in this age of technology. It will be up to us to declare the Sovereignty of our true Lord and Master. We will find ourselves battling upstream against the culture, but the destiny of future generations depends on us. While it may seem unlikely that humans could ever get so far off base as to worship a cold and impersonal machine, if we are honest with ourselves, we are further down that road than we care to admit. We must take a stand for God and His Divine Truth! The history of mankind has proven that when we stray from Him, we further the devil's plans and strategies. As the old saying goes, "if we don't stand for something, we will fall for anything". And our "something" is none other than Almighty God, Maker of Heaven and earth, and all things visible and invisible! He is above all; from whom all things came and for whom we exist! We praise and worship Him only!

Psalm 135:18     Those deaf to God can only make a deaf image. Dead men can only create dead idols. And everyone who trusts in these powerless, dead things will be just like what they worship—powerless and dead!




August 10, 2021

Are Christianity and Science Compatible?

As I've delved into the ancient history of civilizations and cultures, there is none that fascinates me more than the founding of this great nation. From the time I was about nine-years-old, I inhaled every history book I could get my hands on. I loved learning about the Pilgrims and their flight from religious persecution to come to the New World where they could freely worship their Christian faith without "state" interference. I often wished I could have lived in colonial times, and in my childhood innocence, I dreamed of what it would have been like to have grown up during the American War for Independence. I loved the stories about early American heroes, pioneers, and adventurers -- Benjamin Franklin, Abigail Adams, Daniel Boone, Lewis and Clark. 

I appreciated the freedom our nation offered to worship as we wished, while applauding the inventive and scientific minds of our young nation. I truly thought that faith and science could co-exist in harmony and mutual respect in this land of opportunity. Sadly, I'm also feeling like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz when Toto pulls back the curtain and she realizes everything she's heard about the magical land of Oz is tarnished. Mind you, I still count my blessings that God chose to send my spirit to live in this country. In the history of nations and empires, no other country has come the closest to allowing men and women to have dominion over their lives. Ideally, we would have transferred that idea of "dominion" into God's plan for us to take dominion [authority] for His Kingdom on earth. That's still my goal [and a reality] but I am also seeing how, from the beginning of this Republic we call the United States, the Enemy has been undermining our founding principles and there is an alternative history that has been running commensurate with our idealistic narrative. Let me share that undercurrent, which has been existing in the shadows throughout our history and is now ready to stake its claim on our future.

In a fascinating article titled Christianity, Science, and the Enlightenment, a group of authors contributed this concept: "The 17th Century was the moment when opposition to Christianity's cultural authority came to be located, not so much among scientists, but among intellectuals who championed science as an alternative to Christianity." Here's how those anti-Christian intellectuals saw it ... the Bible could not adequately explain the causes of the world's natural phenomena. Therefore it was claimed that Christian intellectuals were not connected to reality. But Christian authorities did themselves no favor by declaring that many of the "scientists" of the day were heretics. It also didn't help the relationship between Christianity and Science that Church authorities asserted that faith transcended any scientific reality. 

And that brings us to one of our most fascinating Founding Fathers and the beginning of a cultural clash in America between Christianity and Science. As schoolchildren, we have all been taught about Ben Franklin's experiment using a key and a kite during a lightning storm to prove the existence of electricity and its properties. At that time in our nation's religious conscience the events of a storm, with angry clouds and lightning, were often considered to be representative of God's wrath; a judgment against unrighteous living. Franklin didn't see it that way.  He saw the need to protect homes from the devastating consequences of a lightning strike and set about trying to figure out the causes of this natural phenomena, which led to his invention of the lightning rod. In fact, he wrote a letter to the provincial governor of New York, stating, "It has pleased God in His goodness to Mankind, at length to discover [to them] the means of securing their habitations and other buildings from mischief by thunder and lightning". Obviously, Franklin found no conflict between God or Science. But then, just as now, the religious spirit which was alive and well in the colonies, found many inhabitants who objected to the invention of the lightning rod on the grounds that it was subverting God's will!

Franklin's discovery concerning electricity, and his subsequent invention, brought him to the attention of the Royal Society of London, founded in 1660 by King Charles 11. And this is where we begin to see the conflict between Christianity/Religion and Science. The official title of this organization was "The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge", and their primary charge was to study and disseminate scientific understanding of the world. Founded by Freemasons, its Fellows have included some of the most preeminent figures in history, including: King George IV; Sir Isaac Newton; Sir Winston Churchill; the philosopher Voltaire; scientists Benjamin Franklin and Erasmus Darwin (grandfather of Charles); James Watt, Scottish mechanical engineer who invented the steam engine and brought about the Industrial Revolution; Edward Jenner, a physician who developed the smallpox vaccination; Sir Alexander Fleming, bacteriologist who discovered penicillin; and Enrico Fermi, an Italian nuclear physicist who became part of the Manhattan Project, which was responsible for developing the atomic bomb.

By now, I hope you are seeing where history is taking us. The Royal Society of London is closely associated with the period of history called "The Enlightenment". The website, British Literature Wiki, says, "The Enlightenment, also known as the Age of Reason, began in Europe in the 17th and 18th Centuries. Its purpose was to challenge ideas based on faith and without scientific merit." One of the most influential men of The Enlightenment [and a President of the Royal Society] was Sir Isaac Newton. Described as a mathematician, astronomer, and physicist, Newton also discovered calculus, the fundamentals of optics, his famous law of gravity, and three basic laws of motion. He was definitely a scientist. But he also identified as a naturalist [the philosophy that everything can be explained by natural laws and forces without reference to the supernatural, aka God]. Sir Isaac was also deeply religious, and wrote this stunning statement: "The most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an Intelligent Being ... This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all ... The Supreme God is a Being eternal, infinite, and absolutely perfect". Sounds like a devout Christian, right? Newton was also a Freemason, and here is where his world (our ours) of science and religion collide.

According to the website, Answers In Genesis, "Few people know that Newton spent much more time researching and writing on theology than science. Most of his time was consumed with harmonizing biblical history and the chronology of other ancient peoples, as well as attempting to decode biblical prophecy." In the Enlightenment, these "men of reason" were attempting to rescue the "true knowledge" and "pure religion" from what they saw as a corrupted and perverted theology. Like many men of this era, Newton was a complex man. But if you haven't already, I would urge you to read my previous post, How God's Sacred Knowledge Got Corrupted. There you will see that from the beginning of mankind, there has been a struggle between two opposing forces, both claiming that they possessed "true Knowledge" and "true Faith". Both claim Adam as their ancestral father, and both claim they have the "sacred Knowledge" that God deposited in the Tree of Knowledge. 

But we can clearly see how that knowledge has been used for both good and evil. I believe that God created the sciences, which He hoped to share with mankind for their betterment -- in His time and His ordained ways. If man had followed His commandment not to eat of the Tree of Knowledge on his own, but wait on the Lord, then can we presume that man would have always credited God with being the provider of all things good? Don't you think God had determined from the beginning that He would give man what he needed to survive in the world and to progress in understanding and knowledge as He led us in righteous growth and development? Instead, man fell for Satan's lie that he could become his own god, which has led to that sacred knowledge becoming corrupted and exploited. Evil forces have mixed and blended faith and science, and unfortunately there have been times when science has dethroned faith. One only needs to think on the Nazi Holocaust and the evil medical experiments on prisoners, conducted by Dr. Josef Mengele, or the Tuskegee experiments and Agent Orange experiments, to see how supernatural forces can distort and subvert what God meant for good. Understanding in the science of the human body has led to good ... penicillin, for instance; the study of vitamins and minerals in proper nutrition and health; and the study of the human anatomy has taught us how muscles and movement affect our overall health. 

Because of disparate views of if -- and how -- God intervened in the natural world, there soon became a split between Christianity and Science. They began in harmony with both positions seeing the world as "a mirror of God's greatness", and Christian intellectuals actually embraced the new knowledge and sought to celebrate science as proof of the truth of Christianity. But Christianity and Science soon took divergent paths. As scientific investigation advanced, Christian intellectuals credited everything as the result of a Divine hand -- from spider webs to the law of gravity to human emotions. Everything was argued as evidence for the existence of the Christian God. But these Christian thinkers rarely advanced to the upper echelons of state churches, and there soon came a new belief system known as Deism. The definition of Deism will show its profound influence on how Christianity and Science began their moves away from each other. 

Deism is defined as 1) A religious belief holding that God created the universe and established rationally comprehensible moral and natural laws, but does not intervene in human affairs through miracles or supernatural revelation; 2) The doctrine that God is distinct, and separated from the world; and 3) Belief in the existence of a personal God, accompanied with the denial of revelation and of the authority of the Christian church. You can see how this belief system could give men permission to pursue Science apart from the influence of Christianity and faith. Matthew Tindal, a major Deist figure in the 17th and 18th centuries, and a Freemason, stated that "All that was right and moral in Christianity might be reasoned from the laws of nature without recourse to Scripture and the fabulous stories it contained." 

Now, keeping in mind that the Royal Society of London, one of the foremost promoters of intellectual Science in the world (even today), was founded by Freemasons, I refer to my post from yesterday, Gnosticism, Freemasonry, Moral Relativism, and the Modern Church. In that article I made the following statement, which should begin to tie up the loose ends of the compatibility of Christianity and Science ... "The modern era of Freemasonry became popular in the 18th century, and coincided with the birth of modern science which began to separate itself from religion. This new effect of science on Christianity resulted in a theology that began to reject and deny the literal truth of the Bible in favor of one that became infected with allegorical interpretations. [This created a huge schism between literal and interpretative translations of the Bible]." So, here we see that both Christianity and Science became infected with belief systems that were corrupted from God's original plan.

Ben Franklin, both a Deist and a member of the Royal Society of London, most definitely played an important role in advancing the split between Christianity and Science in the early days of our nation. While we have, for the most part, maintained our identity as a Christian nation, we can see the influence of decidedly non-Christian forces in our laws that seek to minimize Christianity in favor of a humanistic and scientific worldview. It has become vastly apparent in these last view years. So, are Christianity and Science compatible? I guess that depends on your view of God, and if He reigns supreme in your heart and mind. Where we are headed as a nation and in the world does not look promising at the moment. But I am one who waits on the Lord and trusts Him to see His will done on earth as it is in Heaven. That does not mean He will swoop in and rescue us from all the tragedies that come when mankind places his authority over the sovereignty of the Most High God. He has shown in His Word that He will not suffer disobedience and rebellion forever. Those who place their scientific authority above His will and purpose will soon come to know the fallacy of their pride. They who believe that our faith is merely filled with "romances void of possibility"; who worship "a hero composed of qualities impossible to define"; and whose Name "is only a vague word", will find that all that they have invented by the power of their own minds will soon be burned up in His Divine wrath. As it stands now, I am afraid Christianity and Science do not have much in common. Let us continue to pray that brilliant minds turn back to the Creator. The survival of millions who put their faith in mankind depends on it. 

For a deeper analysis on this fascinating subject, read the entire article, Christianity, Science, and the Enlightenment. 

 Ecclesiastes 8:17     Then I saw all the work of God, that man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun. However much man may toil in seeking, he will not find it out. Even though a wise man claims to know, he cannot find it out. 



June 7, 2021

Chimera Concern Revisited

If your spirit is on alert, you are probably seeing the word "chimera" tossed around in the media reporting on the latest scientific marvels.  What exactly is a chimera? It is an organism, organ, or part consisting of two or more tissues of different genetic composition, produced as a result of organ transplant, grafting, or genetic engineering. Do I have your attention now? And you may have read a recent headline in the New York Post that said, "Scientists create first human-monkey embryo in controversial experiment". Researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in California have conducted a controversial experiment that entails growing human stem cells within a macaque monkey embryo, in effect, trying to create a human-monkey hybrid. In the lab, these embryos are called monkey-human chimeras, and created in a petri dish — in other words, in vitro fertilization (IVF). The embryos were monitored during a 20-day period and have since been destroyed. But exactly why are these experiments being conducted?

Well, the scientific and medical community will tell you, "Ultimately, we conduct these studies to understand and improve human health." In fact, according to the article in the NY Post, lead researcher, Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, went on to say, "These chimeric approaches could be really very useful for advancing biomedical research not just at the very earliest stage of life, but also the latest stage of life." Hmmm, let's see, why would scientists want to engineer research on the very young and the very old? Population control perhaps? 

And that takes me to a blog post that I wrote in 2014 at the height of the Ebola scare. The title of that blog post was The New Chimera: Ebola & Genetically Engineered Vaccines. Is what I'm considering coming into sharper focus yet? Let me recreate some of what I wrote seven years ago and see if you recognize anything familiar .... I wrote the following:  As I sat yesterday afternoon, watching Congress's House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations grill the top federal health professionals on our Ebola crisis, my Biblical worldview helped me to quickly see through the subterfuge.  Doctors and officials from the foremost government agencies all appeared -- the Food and Drug Administration (FDA); the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS); Homeland Security; Texas Health Resources; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); and the National Institute of Health (NIH) -- supposedly to answer the cares and concerns of our elected representatives.  Naturally, we would hope that these politicians truly represented the interests of the American people.

If you just listened to the hearing through the lens of "how to better protect Americans", you might think that these bureaucratic organizations are centered on limiting the spread of Ebola.  You would have heard lots of talk about travel restrictions, travel bans, and quarantines.  But if you listened closer, as one who "has ears to hear", you would have picked up on the testimony of Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is the head of the National Institute of Health.  

He referred to the NIH's Phase I early-stage human clinical trials of an Ebola vaccine on healthy volunteers at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research.  (Does it bother you that the military is always the guinea pig?  But, I digress).  The NIHs own press release revealed that "the investigational vaccine is based on a recombinant type of chimpanzee “cold” virus, called chimp adenovirus type 3 (ChAd3)."  Exactly what does this mean, and how does it relate to "The Days of Noah"? 

First of all, if you have been a reader of my blog, then you know that I have a different slant on Chapter 6, verse 4, of Genesis.  For your enlightenment, here is a quick synopsis: I believe this controversial passage of Scripture happened just as the Bible records, and tells us of Satan's attempt to pollute the human genome into something that no longer resembled "the image of God".  The Scripture reads, "In those days, giants lived on the earth and also afterward, when divine beings and human daughters had sexual relations and gave birth to children (the Nephilim). These were the ancient heroes, men of reknown."  From this verse, it is my discernment that the ancient heroes were what we consider the mythological demigods, such as the Titans and the Olympians; and included such superstars as Zeus, Apollo, Cronus, Atlas and Prometheus.  They were genetically part Fallen Angel, and part human.

 At the same time, all the mythological creatures that we think of as folk tales or legend -- hybrid creatures, known as Chimeras, appeared as mintaurs, satyrs or centaurs, among others -- and are the result of the same kind of genetic manipulation.  We think of them as myths, but every culture contains ancient stories of them, and their images have been seen on countless archeological findings.  This kind of Fallen Angel-technology has been known since the "days of Noah", and the knowledge is once again  being revived. [Think how much further they've come in the last seven years!]

So, how did I make the connection between a disputed Bible verse and that crisis with Ebola? To see the relationship, one must consider Jesus's warning to us before His death and resurrection.  When asked by His disciples when He would return, He answered, "For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah...".  In the days of Noah, God saw how wicked man had become and how the inclination of the thoughts of the human heart had become evil. Obviously, Jesus knew this kind of evil behavior would occur again.

At the time [in 2014], I contended that the Ebola event, just as "in the days of Noah", could be an example for such wickedness.  Consider this: As stated, the NIH's investigational vaccine was based on a recombinant chimpanzee virus.  It is my understanding that recombinant DNA is "DNA molecules that are extracted from different sources and chemically joined together; for example DNA comprising an animal gene may be recombined with DNA from a bacterium", producing a new genetic combination -- in this case, Ebola. Fortunately, the world did not see the feared epidemic of Ebola that some scientists prophesied. But now, in 2021 we once again see experimental vaccines at the center of what has turned out to be a pandemic of Covid-19. And we have seen extraordinary numbers of those at "the latest stage of life" die; the very ones that scientist Belmonte claims could benefit from such "advancing biomedical research".

During those Congressional hearings in 2014, it was hard not to perceive the excitement with which Dr. Fauci talked about the Phase I experiment.  "If we don't contain [Ebola}, we may well need a vaccine." Looks like he got his wish in 2020 and 2021. Back in 2014, he was quick to sing the praises of the possible vaccine for Ebola.  "Contracts need to move forward as quickly as possible... We need to expand production and get rapid approval from the FDA ... The ultimate goal is to expand into Africa; if successful after Phase I, we will expand into larger trials in West Africa."

 Of course, then it all sounded like good humanitarian policy, [and probably still does in 2021] until you consider that there are other Biblical prophecies that come into play ... the death of 1/4 of the world's population ... pestilence and plague ... and who is to say that Satan can't work on multiple levels?  And one cannot ignore the Apostle Paul's warning against the evil deeds of men and their use of "sorcery".  It is important to understand that, in the Greek, this word is rendered pharmakeia, (where our word, pharmaceuticals comes from) and Strong's Concordance has established that it means, "the use of drugs, whether simple or potent, generally accompanied by incantations and appeals to occult powers."  The word's primary reference was to drugs, and to those who employed them for whatever reason (in this case: for godless purposes). 

At the time, I just couldn't reconcile the contradictory statements by influential health officials.  On one hand, Dr. Frieden, of the CDC, proclaimed that there was no need to worry; that Ebola had very little likelihood of spreading to the general population; and that they were quite capable of controlling it.  On the other hand, Dr. Fauci called for government funding to rapidly advance the production of a vaccine, in preparation for the possibility of "a raging epidemic."  Keep us docile and discourage vigilance ... while planning for mass vaccinations ... and with a drug that introduced non-human genes into our bodies.  As a Christian, that just didn't work for me.... and it still doesn't!

So, in summarizing, I know that there will be those who do not see either of these situations as I do.  I respect our differences of opinion, because I know that vaccines have become a lightning rod issue. I want to state I am not against vaccines. It is a personal decision of each person whether to receive any type of vaccine or not. But I honestly have to ask, Is there a possibility that we actually possess a "God gene", as molecular geneticist Dean Hamer claims?  Indeed, Paul tells the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 15:39) that "Not all flesh is the same: People have one kind of flesh, animals have another...".  So when he says just a few verses later, "flesh and blood cannot [become partakers of eternal salvation and] inherit or share in the kingdom of God;", he is telling us that at some point, if we combine our DNA with a different kind of flesh, God will no longer recognize us as worthy of salvation.  And didn't Satan show us "in the days of Noah", that it is his game plan to pollute or corrupt that perfect DNA to claim us as his own? 

Keep that in mind as I share the remarks of professor Julian Savulescu, director of the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, who disagrees with the Salk Institute’s approach, and recently told the BBC that this monkey-human embryo experiment “opens Pandora’s box to human-nonhuman chimeras.” He went on to say, "These embryos were destroyed at 20 days of development, but it is only a matter of time before human-nonhuman chimeras are successfully developed, perhaps as a source of organs for humans.” If that occurs, we will no longer be able to say that humans are made in the divine image of God. Dr. Anna Smajdor, ethics specialist at the University of East Anglia’s Norwich Medical School, has this opinion to offer: the scientists behind this research state that these chimeric embryos offer new opportunities,” because such experiments cannot be performed on humans, Smajdor told the BBC. “But whether these embryos are human or not is open to question.” Lord, deliver us from this evil!

 1 Thessalonians 3:23    Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

March 4, 2021

Gates and Paths; Narrow and Wide


Earlier in the week, I took part in a discussion on the portions of the Human Spirit, and at one point, the conversation centered on the narrow gate and wide gate mentioned in Matthew 7:13-14. The seventh Chapter of Matthew is full of nuggets to live by, according to God's moral and legal standards. And we, in the 21st Century Western Church often forget those characteristics of our Father in Heaven. We don't like to think of God as legalistic. We will say we are under His Grace and Mercy and no longer under the Law. But we forget that He is a legalist. He sets standards, guidelines, and codes of honor, morals, principles and ethics to live by. There are requirements to being considered righteous, and it's not a sliding scale! 

That brings me back to Matthew 7:13-14, Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad and easy to travel is the path that leads the way to destruction and eternal loss, and there are many who enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow and difficult to travel is the path that leads the way to [everlasting] life, and there are few who find it. 

I would also venture to say that, from our modern perspective, we tend to see those that enter the wide gate as non-Believers. It's just taken for granted that we, who are Saved, are those referred to as entering the narrow gate on the way to everlasting life. If you believe in Jesus, then you are perceived as automatically going through the narrow gate. Have you ever thought that? I know that's how I interpreted it for years. I think this avenue of thought comes from our lack of understanding about the significance of "gates". 

In the Old Testament a gate [like today] was an entry point into an enclosed area; a door or opening. But unlike today, gates were the place where local courts convened, and justice was executed. Similarly, the New Testament asserts that gates stood for those who held government and administered justice there. And metaphorically speaking, according to Matthew 7:13-14, God has placed gates at the entrances of the ways [paths] that lead to either life or destruction; heaven or hell. A gate can be as thin as a curtain, such as in Matthew 27:51 when the veil in the Temple is torn at Jesus's Resurrection. It opened the way for man to once again have access to God. Or a gate can be synonymous with great power, as in Matthew 16:18 when Jesus refers to the "gates of Hades"; the power of death. So, you can see that the narrow gate has great significance and whether you enter into it or not, has great consequences.

Soooo... what if it's not as simple as all those destined to go to Heaven will go through the narrow gate, and all those going to Hell will seek the path to the wide gate? I agree that this particular scenario is absolutely relevant. But note that Scripture says the path to the narrow gate is difficult to travel, while the path to destruction and death is broad and easy to travel. Could it be that a choice between both paths could be possible for Christians? Here's why I ask that question ...

We know it is the desire of God's heart that all men be Saved. But, in His Sovereignty, He gave us Free will; we have to make a choice -- accept Him or reject Him. There is no middle ground. On top of that, we must accept ALL of Him! Again, there is no middle ground -- there is no area of His righteousness in which He is willing to compromise. He will never relax the rules of His moral law. Yet, look at the state of the Church and Body of Christ today. We have compromised with the world and accepted no-contest divorce, and gay marriage (even in our church leaders)! We have stood by and watched abortion, transgenderism, lawlessness in the streets, and the righteousness of our God mocked across our land. It has been a difficult path to walk in this culture and nation for a Christian! Satan has made sure the path has been wide and easy to travel for us. "Just stay silent; don't rock the boat," he whispers. "Did you see the loss of business that Christian baker suffered when he held to God's principles and refused to cater a gay wedding? It's okay to go to Church on Sunday and pray for the baker. You don't have to really stand up and proclaim God's Truth! He understands how difficult that would be for you and the trouble it would cause you. That's right, just keep praying that He do something about it!"

You see, Satan has been witness to the power and the authority in the Believer, and if he can convince us to stay silent or inactive in the Word, then he knows that he's got the edge in this spiritual battle on earth and in the heavens. We can no longer afford to say we love the Lord, yet remain rebellious towards His Word. That makes us a liar according to John 14:23-24, If anyone [really] loves Me, he will keep [obey] My word. That doesn't mean just the commandments that are easy to follow, or that we like and agree with. It means even those hard statutes and moral laws that make us unpopular with just about everyone in our compromised culture. James 4:4 makes it pretty clear that friendship with the world makes us an enemy of God. So how many Christians today will find themselves caught up in the surge of people being shoved down that broad path to the wide gate because they didn't anchor themselves on that difficult path to the narrow gate; they allowed themselves to make concessions to please the world and chose to take the easy route than to persevere on the road towards holiness? 

I'm not saying the path to the narrow gate will be a breeze. Your faith will be tested, and you will be persecuted. Just get that in your head now! But that narrow path is the only way to access the Father and His Kingdom! And it's going to cost us. We won't be able to arrive at that narrow gate by "pretending" to act like a Christian. Jesus makes that clear in Matthew 7:21-23. Although followers prophesied in His Name and cast out demons in His Name, Jesus told them He didn't know them! What if that narrow path is found within the boundaries of the wide path? Would it be possible to think you're on the right path to the narrow gate, while being seduced by the culture of to embrace the wide path that is all around you? I see it all the time .... professed Christians who embezzle money; self-proclaimed Believers who are still steeped in the iniquities of their family bloodlines; and people who I know love Jesus, but are lying to their spouses about secret addictions. 

It is hard to be holy! And speaking for myself, I have to rely on Jesus for every ounce of righteousness I possess! But Father is strict about entrance into that narrow gate! That gate is the doorway into His sanctified Kingdom in Heaven. Jesus tells us in John 3:1-5 that Salvation is the first necessary step to get into that narrow gate. We can't see or perceive the Kingdom without being Saved; and we certainly can't enter the narrow gate into the Kingdom unless we're Saved. But everyone and everything in the Kingdom of God in Heaven is up to His standards. I believe that Salvation alone does not guarantee that much-desired entrance. Jesus wants to see a changed life! He wants to see evidence that you are seeking the Kingdom first [having a heart that has been circumcised and cleansed] and also seeking righteousness! We can't play at being a Christian, while continuing in our sin. His blood was too costly to be sold at a reduced rate. So take some time and contemplate where you are on your path. Are you focused on staying on the narrow, more difficult path -- or are you prone to wander out into the masses who are on the more easily traveled wide path? The Body of Christ needs to become convicted of the importance of entering the right gate ... the narrow gate that leads to eternal life in the Kingdom of God in Heaven. Anything less could lead to an unwanted and unplanned detour. It might make your journey more comfortable in the short run, but will it be worth sacrificing your eternity with Jesus?

Isaiah 35:8     A highway will be there, and a roadway; And it will be called the Holy Way. The unclean will not travel on it, but it will be for those who walk on the way [the redeemed]; And fools will not wander on it. 






December 25, 2020

The Hope Of The World!

I know that for many, this Christmas Day is the bleakest they've known in their lives. The world has been overwhelmed by a virus whose origin and basis is not universally accepted, yet nearly everyone has been devastated by its impact. The tendrils of its consequences have caused discord and disagreement across political, social, medical and familial lines. People have died; jobs have been lost; we have been forced to isolate; and it has invaded and annihilated the electoral process of our government. We don't even see each other's smiles anymore.

Yet, this is still the day we celebrate the birth of the Savior of the world's! Whether it represents the accurate birth date of Jesus or not doesn't really matter to me this year. Instead, I am concentrating on the importance of the message our Father in Heaven wants us to receive. Yes, it may personally look bleak for us, and our nation is suffering an identity crisis, but this is not the first time in history that people and nations have looked at their reality and discovered it to be hostile and forbidding. In fact, our situation in America looks similar to what it did on the night Jesus was born.

An article originally published in 2010 and written by J.C. Ryle for christianity.com reminds us of the Bible prophecy in Genesis 49:10 that says, "the scepter [of royalty] shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until He comes to whom it belongs; and to Him shall be the obedience of the peoples". According to Luke 2:1-7, "a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered [for the purpose of taxation]". This occurrence is not unlike this year, when a census was taken, in order to determine the number of inhabitants and property in order that our government could consider their demand of taxes upon the citizenry. We have read this account many times during our Bible readings on Christmas morning. But this simple statement is heavy with significance.

As Genesis 49:10 implies, the scepter of power was departing from Judah. The Roman Empire was exerting its authority over the world, and now this foreign power was seeking to dominate the land of Judah through heavy taxation. Strangers, who did not understand Judah's history or their ethos, were beginning to rule over them. Their independent government was quickly vanishing, and this "super power" threatened to overcome the world. 

At this time of Jesus's birth, all the previous empires had proven the foolishness of the world. None of the religious leaders, kings, poets, or philosophers of Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, or now, Rome, had proven that through their worldly wisdom, they knew who God was. All of them were filled with the world's dark idolatry. Rome was no different. Gloom, misery, despair and a growing disdain among the people for oppressive government marked the era. In addition, the land of Judah was fracturing from within. The Pharisees, the Sadducees, the Essenes, and the Zealots all sought for control of the people's hearts. Conflict, riots and rising tension typified the year Jesus was born. Sounds familiar, doesn't it?

But God's timing was perfect! Into this maelstrom of darkness, He saw the weakness of His people, and determined that the world was ready to receive its Savior. Romans 5:6 says, "For when the time was right, the Anointed One came and died to demonstrate his love for sinners who were entirely helpless, weak, and powerless to save themselves." Isn't that how many of us are feeling today? Our worldly wisdom tells us that we are helpless, weak, and powerless to push back against a pandemic that has hijacked our health, our economy, and our freedoms. It has even managed to commandeer our government and threatens to destroy our rule of law and our republic! 

But we must not look upon our circumstances through worldly wisdom, which would convince us that we are doomed and defeated. God is sovereign over the world and our history as a nation. He holds the final outcome in His hands. Yes, Satan seeks to destroy us because we have represented the freedom that He designed mankind to experience. But Satan does not have the mind or the wisdom of God. And neither do we. Are we in a time of testing? Are we being disciplined for abandoning God and losing sight of His moral laws? Perhaps. But we must not attempt to second-guess Him. We must not be anxious about the course of events around us. Instead, we must declare that on this day, two thousand and twenty years ago, the earth received her true King! God sent His Light into the Darkness and that Light still rules and reigns! He still demonstrates His love!

Yes, our reality is very similar to the reality of that royal birth two millennia ago. But we must see the bigger picture.... into the midst of the oppressive Roman Empire, God knew when it was time to intercede from Heaven and send His Son as Savior. God knew the exact time for Christ to be born to rescue the world. And He knows the exact time to step into our national history. We must trust Him for that timing, and we must continue to live in divinely inspired expectation of protection. Until that moment, let us rejoice on this day [and always] that He chooses to be present in our circumstances; that He has the power to intervene in our affairs; and that the birth of Jesus Christ, the Messiah, represents our hope for deliverance and victory. I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas filled with the joy and the Good News that the Lord is come. And let all of earth receive Her King!

Luke 2:14     Glory to God in the highest realms of heaven! For there is peace and a good hope given to the sons of men.  

December 17, 2020

From Fruitless Faith to Miraculous Manifestations

During 2020, I've done a lot of thinking and praying about the future of our nation. For many people, it has been difficult to be a witness to the division and the disparity among our fellow Americans. And it has been troublesome to see the loss of hope and peace in the lives of so many. It has been a battle for Christians to stay focused on fighting in the spirit when they see so much defeat in the physical world. Our younger generation is fearful that the "American Dream" is going to be gone before they have a chance to experience it, while our older generation mourns the loss of their "golden years". We tell ourselves that this can't be happening; that this is not what America is all about; and surely the Lord will deliver us from this assault upon our Christian nation.

The truth is that we are not the first prosperous nation in the history of the world [who has built an empire for itself] to then find itself sliding into decline and destruction. I discovered a 2010 article, titled The Decline and Fall of the American Empire, written by Alfred W. McCoy, an American historian and educator who specializes in the history of the Philippines, foreign policy of the United States, European colonization of Southeast Asia, illegal drug trade, and Central Intelligence Agency covert operations. 

Mr. McCoy knows whereof he writes, and this particular article was so prophetic in nature, I wanted to share its premise with you. Here is some of what Mr. McCoy wrote: "Despite the aura of omnipotence most empires project, a look at their history should remind us that they are fragile organisms. So delicate is their ecology of power that, when things start to go truly bad, empires regularly unravel with unholy speed: just a year for Portugal, two years for the Soviet Union, eight years for France, 11 years for the Ottomans, 17 years for Great Britain, and, in all likelihood, 22 years for the United States, counting from the crucial year 2003. Future historians are likely to identify the Bush administration’s rash invasion of Iraq in that year as the start of America’s downfall. However, instead of the bloodshed that marked the end of so many past empires, with cities burning and civilians slaughtered, this twenty-first century imperial collapse could come relatively quietly through the invisible tendrils of economic collapse or cyberwarfare."

I won't go any further into Mr. McCoy's prognostications for the future of America, because to be frank, it's predictions are dismal and disheartening. He saw it coming 10 years ago, and it appears to be unraveling before our eyes. Instead, I would rather address what Jesus has to say about how our faith could be the key to avoiding our inevitable decline. You will find His advice in Matthew 21:18-22. In this passage, Jesus happens upon a fig tree by the wayside. Scripture says He went to it and found nothing on it but only leaves. And He said to it, May no fruit ever come from you again! And the fig tree withered at once. 

It was common knowledge in Jesus's time that if you saw leaves on a fig tree, you could expect fruit, unless the tree was barren. The evidence of leaves tells us that the fig tree should have been bearing fruit. As the Creator of the fig tree, Jesus expected it to be producing fruit. And as its Creator, He was justified in condemning it and cursing it to never bear fruit again. This was not only a declaration against the fig tree, but also against the Jews, who had become spiritually barren before the Lord. Just as the tree should have been bearing fruit, so should the people be bearing fruit for the Kingdom of God. The tree had the form of a fig tree, but not the reality -- it bore no figs! So it was with the Jews. They had the form of religion, but not the reality of faith. They knew the right words to say, but their hearts were far from God and they bore no fruit for Him.

The disciples are astounded! How could the tree wither so quickly and at once? But instead of answering that question, Jesus points them to the matter of their faith. He tells them if they have faith, and do not doubt, they will not only be able to do what He did to the fig tree, but they could tell a mountain to be moved and thrown into the sea, and it would happen. You see, they did not remember that God had once given man dominion over the earth and everything on it, in it, and under it, and that Adam and Eve had surrendered it to Satan. But now Jesus was there to reclaim it and restore it to His creation called man. They were to rule His creation according to His governing principles and to rule in His absence. In essence, He was telling them that if they had true faith, they could pray and receive the mind and thoughts of God [to do to the fig tree what Jesus did, as well as tell the mountain to move, and it would]. That means they were to have no doubt that by praying and submitting to God's will, they would hear His desires and receive the means [and the power] to achieve it. And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.

So, I ask you ... do you have that kind of faith? Or do you doubt? Do you believe that when Jesus came to earth He took back the dominion of the earth from Satan and handed it over to us? Because it's going to take that kind of faith to overcome the predicament we find ourselves in today! I believe that like the fig tree, for a long time we Americans -- and that includes Christians -- have practiced a fruitless faith. We have portrayed the form of a righteous nation and a religious people, but we have not borne the fruit of true faith. We have not believed in our power and authority to represent God's Kingdom government in our nation. So, we have stood by and watched as fig trees full of leaves grew among us, and did not demand that they bear fruit or be cut down. We did not have the faith to believe that we could have the mind of God and do anything about it. Even when we discerned our Enemy's plan to destroy us, I'm not sure we even believed our faith could guarantee us a victory.

But true faith knows how to win because it is borne in the mind of God and transferred to us when we pray. True faith has never lost a battle, because we discern God's strategy to defeat the devil and we follow that plan in obedience. Moses and the nation of Israel faced the Red Sea with the Egyptian army at their back. David, on the run, defeated Saul's plan to defeat him and take his life. Daniel faced a pride of lions in their den and didn't back down. And they were all able to be victorious in their battles because they walked in true faith and believed that their prayers could manifest the divine purpose of God. 

It now appears to the world that our precious nation is on the precipice of defeat. Many of you may feel it looks hopeless. But don't listen to the lies of the devil that tell us we can't overcome these obstacles. Our faith is more than just a formula to get what we want. It must become active in believing that we are who Jesus says we are ... citizens of Heaven placed here in this place and this time to manifest God's divine purpose for this nation. Our God is the same God that divided the Red Sea; the same God that delivered David from the long arm of Saul; and the same God that rescued Daniel from the jaws of the lions. He is the same God who won our infant nation's victory against the British Empire and who is returning the Jews to the Holy Land. And in all these examples, victory was won through persistent prayers of faith -- faith in God alone to see His sovereign will be done. That kind of faith is not limited to history. It is real and it is possible for us today. That kind of faith will fight for you because it is in divine relationship with God. Let us overcome our faith-killing doubt and pray sincerely, fervently, and persistently as we await the miraculous manifestations of deliverance that I truly believe is God's will for our nation!

1 John 5:14-15     This is the [remarkable degree of] confidence which we [as believers are entitled to] have before Him: that if we ask anything according to His will, [that is, consistent with His plan and purpose] He hears us. And if we know [for a fact, as indeed we do] that He hears and listens to us in whatever we ask, we [also] know [with settled and absolute knowledge] that we have [granted to us] the requests which we have asked from Him. 

September 28, 2020

Warfare In The Spiritual Realms - Part 2

In the previous post I presented my theological position on spiritual warfare in "the heavenly places", and today I wish to take a more in-depth look at what our responsibilities are as followers of Christ and members of the Ekklesia. 

So, I will begin by stating that I operate in this life by a Biblical worldview; in other words, the truth of who the Bible says I am, and whom I serve, is the foundation of how I live and what I say and do. That includes my understanding of the topic today. In the light of spiritual warfare, I also want to re-establish that the Bible speaks of the First Heaven as the realm where we exist; the earth, sky, atmosphere, etc. The Third Heaven is the place where God and Jesus dwell and where they sit on their thrones. It is their domain/Kingdom and the seat of their government. Since there is a First and Third Heaven, we must assume that there is a Second Heaven. Although not specifically mentioned in Scripture, there are many indirect references to it as the place where Satan and his demons exist and exert their influence over cities, nations, the Church, and anything or anyone who restricts the kingdom of darkness. One such reference is Ephesians 2:1-2, which says, And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince (Satan) of the power of the air (the realm of Second Heaven), the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—

Since Scripture makes it clear that Satan has been expelled from Heaven for his disobedience and mutiny against God, it is apparent that Paul is talking about his influence in the Second Heaven when the apostle says in Ephesians 6:12, For our struggle is not against flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this [present] darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) places. Paul is making it clear that we aren't battling with flesh and blood human beings on the earth, but rather with "spiritual forces of wickedness" in "heavenly" places. Those "places" include both the First Heaven and Second Heaven. Since we find no Scripture that says Satan lives on the earth, how are we to understand how Satan can afflict us in both of these "heavenly places? We must move beyond our Western mindset [which is based on Greek (rational) thinking], and begin to comprehend the mindset of the Bible. 

We begin by grasping that there are hierarchies of demons that follow Satan. It will help if you can understand that demons are "disembodied spirits of the deceased Nephilim", who were the offspring of Fallen Angels mating with human women [noted in Genesis 6:1-4]. Since these ungodly offspring are derived from immortal heavenly beings, they cannot be destroyed completely. Neither can they return to Heaven, as is the case with our spirits. Therefore, these spirits are cursed with remaining on earth to wreak havoc in the lives of humans, causing torment and oppression. These are the "ground level" demons on earth that operate in anger, bitterness, guilt, shame, hatred, rejection, etc. -- and keep the sons and daughters of God from living in freedom.

But as Ephesians 6:12 shows us, there are higher levels of demons; namely, rulers, powers, world forces, and spiritual forces. Included in these designations are fallen angelic powers such as the "Prince of Persia" and the "Prince of Greece". They fought against the angel who was responding to the prayers of the prophet Daniel in Daniel 10:20. The archangel Michael, who is the "Prince of Israel", fought alongside this angel [sent to Daniel] so that this heavenly being could let Daniel know that his prayers had been heard, and that he came bearing a vision of what the future held for God's chosen people. This passage describes the battles that rage in the Second Heaven between the angelic forces of Heaven and those who owe their allegiance to Satan. Just like with Daniel, many times the earthbound demons receive instruction from higher-level, "cosmic" demons and work with them to attack and obstruct our assignments to take back the dominion of the earth that God originally gave us in Genesis 1:26-31.

That is a very short and abbreviated explanation that attempts to explain the spiritual layout of the Heavens, who occupies them, and the opposing forces loyal to God and Satan. So how are we to operate in this dynamic? What are our duties and responsibilities, and how far do they extend? What exactly has our Lord commissioned us to do, and what power and authority have we been given to wage spiritual war?

Sadly, "the Church" in 21st Century America has very knowledge, and let's face it ... tolerance ... for this discussion. Once the Lord revealed [to me] these higher truths of the spiritual dimensions and the activities that go on there to obstruct the Body of Christ from knowing their true identity, I have only met opposition from within the religious structure of the Church. And that only serves to allow Satan and his followers to continue their war against the Kingdom of God on earth. It is important that we take off our "religious glasses" and see the Kingdom and our position in God's army come into focus. That first requires that we know the power and authority that Jesus has given us.

If you are familiar with Luke 10:19, then you know that Jesus says, Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. It is important -- no, I believe vitally important -- that we understand that Jesus is referring to power and authority we have in the world; in the realm of the First Heaven. The reason I believe this is because He repeatedly instructs His Disciples and us [as subsequent followers], to "cast out demons" as part of exercising our power and authority in the commission He has given us. Note this exhortation from our Lord in Matthew 10:1, And when He had called unto Him His twelve disciples, He gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease. When Jesus walked the earth as a human, He cast demons out of afflicted human beings on the earth, and healed human disease and sickness, and instructed His followers to do the same. These are the demons that are earthbound and "ground level", NOT the higher level rank and file demons that exist in the Second Heaven.

Furthermore, what is known as "The Great Commission" in Matthew and Mark, supports this argument. In Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus says, All authority (all power of absolute rule) in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations [help the people to learn of Me, believe in Me, and obey My words], baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you;. This assignment is obviously to be carried out on the earth, NOT in the Second Heaven. They are to make disciples of nations, baptizing people, and teaching people on earth to do what He commanded them, which was to cast out demons and heal the sick and raise the dead; all earthly activities. 

Mark 16:17-18 also supports this thesis: And these signs will accompany those who believe: in My name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.” Again, these are all evidence of the power and authority the followers of Jesus have been given to minister on the earth. NOTE: Do your own research on what Jesus meant when He talked about picking up serpents and drinking poison. His listeners would have understood these idioms that He used.

This understanding of our power and authority in the First Heaven [to defeat the schemes of Satan] must necessarily lead us to ask the question, "Do we have power and authority to wage war in the Second Heaven"? Remember, this is where the demons of high administrative rank and great authority reside; and they are in full obedience to Satan who resides in this realm. This is my understanding, and as always, I advise you to do your own research and seek the counsel of the Lord and Holy Spirit. But I have discerned through study and experience that the way we battle in this realm is through mighty and fervent prayer. Satan has assigned high level demons (principalities, powers, rulers, etc.) to conduct warfare against cities, governments, nations, organizations, and yes, even individuals who stand in his way of dominating the earth. James 5:16 clearly emphasizes this principle: Therefore, confess your sins to one another [your false steps, your offenses], and pray for one another, that you may be healed and restored. The heartfelt and persistent prayer of a righteous man (believer) can accomplish much [when put into action and made effective by God—it is dynamic and can have tremendous power]. Jesus also proclaims this truth in Mark 9:29 : And He said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.” I believe Jesus distinguishes the higher ranking of that demon by calling the attention of His Disciples to the fact that "this kind" requires more than just casting out because it is a higher level demon.

Unless we are specifically commanded by the Lord, we do not engage in Second Heaven warfare. That is the domain where God's mighty angelic army battles the high-ranking demonic army of Satan. We were given dominion (authority and power) "over the earth" in our Genesis 1:26 mandate, not the Second Heaven. And that is all the more reason that we endeavor to comply with "everything Jesus commands us to do" in Matthew 28 -- cast out demons, heal the sick, cleanse the lepers (the spiritually and physically unclean); raise the dead, and spread the Good News of the Kingdom... that God's heavenly government has once again been re-established on the earth where there are to be no demonic torment, no sickness nor disease, and no death -- if we step into our identity and power and authority!  As the followers of Christ, we are called to "do the things that He has done, and even greater" (John 14:12). That involves keen discernment and proper training and instruction. The Disciples spent three years at the foot of the Master to learn their assignments. Don't you think we should spend considerable time learning from those who are successful in this sphere and whose obedience is pleasing to God? 

We, the Body of Christ, must rise up in our commission; battle in the First Heaven; doing what Jesus did; and fervently praying into the Second Heaven war so that God can put our cries into action on His behalf. He has invested SO much into us, His creation, and He desires that we work with Him to bring about the final defeat of Satan and his hordes. Do not be afraid! Increase your knowledge and training! Be wise and courageous! Stay in your lane! Fulfill what is written in your pages in the Book of Life! And most importantly, remember that the victory has already been won, and WE WILL PREVAIL!

Romans 8:31     What then shall we say to all these things? If God is for us, who can be [successful] against us?