Monday, July 24, 2017

Giving Prophecy: Addenda

                                                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                                              

I always find it interesting that so many Trump-supporters and "conservatives" are quick to take criticism of "liars" and "evil-doers" as criticism of their leader and their faction.  It reminds me of a story I heard in the Navy, about a sailor being court-martialled for striking an officer.

One of the men working beside the accused sailor that day was being questioned about events that led up to the assault.  He testified that the accused had told their work-crew, "The next time that stupid son-of-a-bitch gets in my face, I'm gonna punch him out."

The questioner asked, "And how did you know that Seaman Smith was referring to Lieutenant Jones ?"

The witness replied, "Everybody knows, Sir, that Lieutenant Jones is a stupid son-of-a-bitch."

I find it interesting that even the followers of Trump and the "conservatives" know their leaders are "liars" and "evil-doers"

                                                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                                              

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Giving Prophecy

                                                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                                              

As we began discussing the book of Zechariah in Sunday School class today, brother Rob said he had to wonder what things we are doing that "make God mad," so much that He would send a prophet to tell us, "Just STOP that !!"

Rob's a good brother, whose honesty I admire a lot: and hearing his question, I felt like God was saying to give him the message I've been hearing from Him.  (There's such a thing as doing the right thing at the wrong time or in the wrong way, so I was careful to ask God if I should speak it out right then in class, or tell Rob privately later.)

So after class I caught Rob, and referenced his question.  I think I remember, a few hours later, pretty verbatim what God gave me to say.   I first urged Rob to discern, as we're commanded to do in scripture, if what I spoke was God's word.  Then I told him, "God says, 'My people must stop following liars and workers of unrighteousness, and saying "This is God's way." ' "  Then I told him again to discern if this was God's word.

On the face of it, I don't see how "stop following liars and workers of unrighteousness" could be discerned as a word NOT from God's Spirit.  Who but God would say that ?  Obviously the "father of lies" would not be in the business of telling Christians to NOT listen to his recruiters.

But the biggest discernment problem for Christians in America in these times is discerning anything that touches on politics.  Some Christians react strongly against speaking about anything politically controversial: which lets virtually all individual and societal sin off the hook, in a time and a nation where politicians have made everything political.  Other Christians are so governed by a factional mindset (which they often self-delude is a "Christian" mindset) that they can only believe any word critical of their faction and its beliefs is the work of the "enemy" faction...and could not possibly be from God.

Probably many American Christians in those two camps would hear the prophecy God gave me as being "political"...which it is.  Those who follow Trump and the "conservatives" would hear it as critical of their faction...which it is, though not about their faction only.

The discernment problem I would most foresee is that both the Trumpites and the don't-touchites would be unable to hear God saying anything that didn't fall comfortably within the circle of acceptability they themselves drew.

The reasoning seems to be that God doesn't give "political" prophecies.  Or that He doesn't prophesy against our politics: how could He, when our faction is on His "side" !?!?.  But scripture shows, MASSIVELY and REPEATEDLY, He does.

I can't help being curious what Rob will do with discerning the word I gave him from God.  If God wants me to know, I'm sure He'll let me know.  But the point was obeying Him to give His word, and let it do His work, to His glory.

And AMEN !!

                                                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                                              

John Wesley on A Christian Nation

                                                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                                              

"Where, I pray, do the Christians live Which is the country, the inhabitants whereof are all thus filled with the Holy Ghost -- are all of one heart and of one soul cannot suffer one among them to lack anything, but continually give to every man as he hath need; who, one and all, have the love of God filling their hearts, and constraining them to love their neighbour as themselves; who have all 'put on bowels of mercy, humbleness of mind, gentleness, long-suffering' who offend not in any kind, either by word or deed, against justice, mercy, or truth; but in every point do unto all men, as they would these should do unto them ? With what propriety can we term any a Christian country, which does not answer this description ? Why then, let us confess we have never yet seen a Christian country upon earth."
                           --  John Wesley, "Scriptural Christianity," preached at Oxford University, 1744

                                                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                                              

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Mourning

                                                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                                              

Does God raise up men of violence; men of lies, greed, and hatred; because they are men after His Own Heart ?  Does He raise unrighteous men to places of honor so His people will honor and follow their ways ?

Many "faith-leaders" in America have told us so.

Or does He raise such men to the heights so that, when His swift justice strikes them down, His rule and His glory will be visible throughout the earth, and make even those who see from afar cry that "The Lord, He Alone IS God."

What do the scriptures say ?

I wear an armband of mourning for America's Christians.  Deceived by their leaders, they know God so little that they believe the lies they are told about Him.  Like the Sadducees Jesus' dismissed from His Presence, America's Christians do not know the scriptures, or the power of God.

I wear an armband of mourning, deep mourning, for America's Christians.

                                                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                                              

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Pray for Those in Authority

                                                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                                              

 It's been amusing to see how many TV preachers are currently talking about scripture's admonishments to honor and pray for those in authority, such as I Timothy 2:1-2, I Peter 2:17, and Romans 13:1.

In very many cases, these are preachers who have "discovered" those scriptures only since the election of a man they supported.

When the peoples' shepherds are hypocrites, despising God's charge to accurately handle the word of truth (II Timothy 2:15), will God sleep ?

Now, King of Glory, regard the gross deception these unrighteous do in Your Name.  In Your great mercy towards us, protect Your sheep from these false shepherds.  Execute Your judgement on the liars who have come among your flock to mislead and harm those You love.

In Jesus' Name, Amen !!  Amen !!

                                                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                                              

Friday, June 16, 2017

Who's Next ?

                                                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                                              

Many people, even some of his former followers, are beginning to see that Donald Trump's presidency is disastrous for our country.

It makes me cautiously hopeful.  It's always good when people are honest about reality.  Living by lies (or the "spin" today's deceivers give it, "alternative facts") inevitably brings people, and nations, to a bad end.  Jesus said He IS "the Truth" (John 14:6): and scripture affirms that people and nations perish when they will not "...receive the love of the truth so as to be saved" (II Thessalonians 2:10).

It will be good when Trump is removed from the office where he has the power to do harm to the country.  But no individual politician completely embodies the enemy's destructive spirit, until antiChrist comes on the scene.

It's been clear from the start that; as much as he operates in the enemy's spirit of lies, immorality, pride, unrighteousness, and greed; Trump is neither smart enough nor "slick" enough to fill the role of anti-Christ.  According to scripture, anti-Christ will be a unifying figure who is almost universally adored and trusted.  Jesus said that deceiver would be able to "...mislead, if possible, even the elect" (Matthew 24:24).  But it's increasingly clear that the majority of  people...maybe even millions of his white "evangelical" followers..no longer believe or trust Trump.

I think it's easy to see how the enemy might manipulate our current politics to his purposes.

Those who've tied their political fortunes to Trump will frantically try to disassociate themselves from him as he sinks in public estimation.  They will try to shore up their political fortunes by putting forward a "leader" perceived, in contrast to Trump, as honest, intelligent, and likeable.  They will easily find such a person: 99% of people meet that criteria.

But in the political nature of things, many who've become disgusted with the evil politics that Republicans (and the vast majority of America's Christians) have so long practiced, will be convinced that only voting counter-Republican will "save" them.

If the enemy is smart...and he is, very... he can be expected to manipulate the other parties to also offer a person smarter, more attractive, and more masterfully deceitful in hiding his evil spirit, than Trump.  The enemy's surest deception might be to give us a Democrat, or Independent, or third-party, evil "savior:" someone who appears personally and politically opposite to Trump.  That ploy could be very successful with the simple-minded, the politically-minded, and those lacking spiritual discernment...surely the large majority of humanity.

I think the Spirit is saying we should be alert, and sharply discerning, towards anyone presented us as the "anti-Trump:" and especially careful to not be deceived by his anti-Trump political credentials.

                                                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                                              

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Unrepentance

                                                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                                              

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
 Nor are your ways My ways,”
declares the Lord.     --  Isaiah 55:8

In his seminal "Agreeing With God," my beloved teacher Derek Prince emphasized that it's critical we agree with God's definitions.  What God says anything is, is what it absolutely is.

Last week I was meditating on repentance.  I often find it helpful, in getting a clear and full idea of a subject, to consider its opposite, so I was searching for scriptural references to "unrepentance," "unrepentant," and related words.

There were none, in any of the top three English translations of the Bible (the King James, New American Standard, and NIV versions).  I found it remarkable that the Bible speaks so often of "repentance" and "repenting," but not once of its opposite.  But clearly God thinks in different terms than I do.

When I told Donna about it, she immediately came up with the same word I did, as scripture's characterization of the unrepentant: "stiff-necked."

That's the beginning of another study, of what scripture says about being "stiff-necked."

But in the meantime...while I was working in the garden yesterday and pondering these things, a thought came very clearly to mind.  We often hear these days of public figures who are publicly shamed for telling lies or doing wrong.  It is amazing to me how often they justify their lies and unrighteousness, rather than repenting of them.

The term that's commonly used to described their self-justification is "doubling down."  Rather than admit they've lied or done anything wrong, they angrily "double down" on their sin.

The thought God put strongly in my mind is that I should think "stiff-necked," and "unrepentant," each time I hear that someone "doubles down" on his lies and unrighteousness.

                                                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                                              

Friday, June 02, 2017

"Conservatives" and Their "Reality"

                                                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                                              

Had to compress my comments, talking on a local site to a guy bloviating all the standard "conservative" talking points and attitudes.

Rather liked that the short-form comment seemed to get to the point (better than I usually do):
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Bob: did you notice I strongly recommended, above, a belief in "objective truth" ?

If so, you can see why you're wrong-footed from your first statement, that "there [are} facts and there are Liberal facts."  Objective truth is, by definition, the same for everyone: and not under the control of any faction.

No, Bob: there are facts, and there are lies (or as "conservatives" like to call them, "ALTERNATIVE facts").

Reality is what it is: not what ANY human being ("liberal" or "conservative," since those seem to be the poles of your worldview) wants to conjure it.

To live in objective reality, you have to admit it exists; and you have to acknowledge reality is sovereign to your personal interpretation of it.

Those who aren't God, but want to believe reality is their own creation, really REALLY need to repent.

                                                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                                              

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

What Should Christians Do About the "Homosexual Agenda" ?

                                                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                                              


"I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people;  I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world. But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? But those who are outside, God judges."          I Corinthians 5:9-13

My thanks to Onesimus, brother Tim in Australia, for reminding me of this scripture today !

                                                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                                              

Monday, May 29, 2017

Patriotism, False Patriotism

                                                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                                              

On this Memorial Day, with its patriotic sentiments, every person in America has a choice of patriotisms.

By patriotic, I mean what "patriotism" really means: how we truly show "love of country," when "love" means intense desire for what is good for our country.

We all know that God promises that if His people called by His Name will humble themselves, pray, seek His Face, and turn from their evil ways, He will "heal their land" (II Chronicles 7:14).  That seems to me exactly what any true patriot would desire for his country.

We also have the politicians' contrary promise: that pride, greed, contempt for "losers," a belligerent attitude toward others, and lies upon lies will "make America great again."

Why do those called by Christ's Name believe the politicians instead of God ?  When God promises His wrath against unrighteousness, why do those who know the scriptures follow the liars and ungodly who say their ways will bring God's blessing on America ?