The Brisbane Christian Fellowship Cult – The Thin End of The Corruption in Leadership Wedge.

zzwarrior.jpg

Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and also took Titus with me. And I went up by revelation, and communicated to them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to those who were of reputation, lest by any means I might run, or had run, in vain. Yet not even Titus who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised. And this occurred because of false brethren secretly brought in (who came in by stealth to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage), to whom we did not yield submission even for an hour, that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.

Galatians 2 NKJV

What does BCF cult leader Victor J. Hall, Joseph Biden former US Vice President and Harvey Weinstein disgraced Hollywood Director have in common?  They are essentially the same men in different guises. This blog post is all about seeing the culturally sanctioned abuse of the powerless by the powerful in both the world and the church as one and the same.  They are rooted in sin and the flesh and they are empowered by demonic forces.  This is not the time to be mincing words and pandering to the desperate need of the powerful to silence their victims through the forced submission to politically correct thinking and cowardly acts of what some call love and respect but others see as accommodation and sycophancy.

When we left the cult Brisbane Christian Fellowship in 2004 I remember saying to Steve that what we had experienced was the thin end of the wedge.  I had no idea what I was about to get myself into.  Those words were prophetic. As we found, it is the thin end of the wedge in so many ways not the least important or puissant being that of morally corrupt men having the power to abuse women and children. In the last thirteen or so years we have amassed a huge body of knowledge and experience of the world and the rest of the church which has stood testimony to this truth.  I thought once I healed from the abuse that I would no longer want to talk about it.  If BCF had been the thin end of a very small wedge then that would probably have happened.  The fact that the wedge is not just large but universal and that this behaviour is being repeated throughout both Christendom and the world makes it practically and ethically impossible to put your spiritual feet up and just live your life as you would wish.  No woman naturally desires to fight anyone or anything.  Our God-given affections lean towards sustaining relationships not relational or even physical aggression.  Those who do, and I was raised by one so I know what I am talking about, are either corrupted by abuse themselves or simply have a preternatural bent towards manipulation and control.  Frankly my own opinion is that these women are demonically influenced or actually possessed. But that is another story.

I recently saw a video of Joe Biden the former Vice President during Obama’s reign.  I had heard his name but knew nothing about him and wasn’t inclined to find out. Australians don’t usually follow U.S. politics unless it has something to do with them personally.  Really, we are pretty ignorant of foreign governments and their personalities unless we make a habit of watching Fox News or CNN or some other mainstream media broadcast based in the U.S. That being said, I found this video to be more than intriguing, it was in fact deeply disturbing.  I also wondered as I skipped through the most painful bits (involving mainly little girls) how something like this just gets ignored or dismissed.

The problem is this. In any institution which has an established culture and long running traditions and a huge power pyramid the little guys always bow to those higher up in the pyramid.  So people like Joe Biden who is second only to the President end up with a huge attitude of entitlement. He is the stunt double of the ‘leader of the free world’. He gets to do whatever he wants right? Wrong. He has MORE responsibility for his actions because they affect so many others.  This is not tolerable.  It is bad enough that old white guys with patriarchal, misogynistic and predatory modes of operation run governments. But if there is literally no sanctuary with God’s people then where do we turn for comfort and support?  THIS, ladies and gentlemen, is the essence of the crime.  It is not just a crime against the poor, the widows, the orphans and the disenfranchised, it is a crime against God.  For God himself says he will take revenge on those who are the victims of the power-hungry corrupt men who say they are God’s shepherds and prophets and teachers.

It doesn’t appear, at first google, that Biden has a great reputation amongst his countrymen. A lot of people are awake enough to recognise his behaviour as not just creepy but sexually abusive. Nobody should get a free pass to touch anyone at anytime. We have personally experienced pastors and elders of churches who think that by virtue of the fact that they are leaders, men and ‘christians’ that they can touch anyone in any way they want to and if anyone complains they were either ‘just joking’ or you are ‘just too sensitive’.  They may apologise to your face but you will get the sharp end of their gossiping tongue and probably get shunned as we did.  And I am not referring to BCF here but a recent foray into a church which was also established by Ray Jackson Junior.

Jackson was a sexual predator and apparently a lot of churches he established have this kind of culture within their doors.  It is NEVER OK to treat anyone with disrespect but in Biden’s case, this man was swearing-in the members of the Senate in an official ceremony replete with photo opportunities and cameramen filming his every move.  If these videos are all over the internet, and this was not  his first public outing as a sexual predator, then this man clearly does not see any reason to change his behaviour.  He is obviously being sanctioned by those at the top of the pyramid and those in the Whitehouse to whom I would assume sexual predation is normal.

Before I go any further, here is the video of Biden I was referring to.

The first family to enjoy Uncle Joe’s special attention is the worst and most uncomfortable thing to watch, especially for the poor little girl in the red dress who simply couldn’t get away and was unable to get any help from the men around her, in particular her father who appeared not to even notice what Biden was doing.  Often however, these kinds of things are part of the general cult mentality in these institutions.  Hollywood is another culprit for allowing this kind of thing to carry on without question. I do not for a moment think that the latest Oprah Winfrey speech at the Golden Globes or the self-righteous declaiming of all things Weinstein is going to change anything.  This abuse has been part of the Hollywood backstory and ongoing culture and is not going to stop.  For some reason they have thrown Weinstein  under the bus, he is the sacrificial goat for this year.  The fact that so many have denounced Oprah’s speech is because she has been well known as one of the supporters and even enablers of Weinstein.  Nobody is going so far as to call Oprah a pimp, but she appears by some accounts to certainly have helped Weinstein’s lecherous behaviour.

Despite all appearances to the contrary there is actually a difference between pastors and elders behaving like Joe Biden and Joe Biden. And what is that difference?  The difference in these men is not in their base nature or their capitulation to it.  The difference is in the way God sees them.  God’s anger and judgement upon the wicked is one thing, his anger and judgement upon those who claim to be His people is something else.  They may both end up in hell but one group are supposed to be under the grace of the blood of Jesus Christ.   We expect the unsaved to act like citizens of Sodom despite the fact that certain of them like Biden are again, ostensibly, elected officials who are supposed to be above reproach (or at least that is the fairytale we have listened to for centuries).

Our fight however is ongoing.  We seek not to out these men for the sake of feeling justified in ourselves or making ourselves seem more righteous because of it.  In my experience there is a vast difference between the Christian who has suffered at the hands of unscrupulous church leaders who have taken advantage of his trust and loyalty and those who grandstand about their own purity at the expense of other’s reputation. We have not chosen to call out corruption.  Well, OK, yes we have.  I mean, we blog, we talk about it frequently and we are not going to stop talking about it.  Until these men repent, and frankly I am not expecting it any time soon, we must call them on their pretence.  Again, a snake who doesn’t pretend to be anything other than a snake is far preferrable to a camouflaged predator who fools the prey into thinking they are safe and then makes a jump for them when they are not looking.  These are cowardly acts.

To say nothing, to pursue our own comforts and a life outside of all corruption and false teaching would mean that we go back to sleep.  Once awakened, a sleeper is ready to go out into the sunlight and live.  To love sleep is to love sin and ignorance.  Look at Jonah. We choose to act, to speak and to oppose false shepherds and predators of every stripe.  It is not ‘our best life’, humanly speaking.  But it appears to be what we have been formed for.

Take care Vic Hall and every man who runs Brisbane Christian Fellowship.  Your judgement is upon you and even now if you repent you will be able to escape God’s wrath.  If you do not, even unto death, then you will face His great wrath against you at your death.  Hell is forever gentlemen and there is no escape.  And to any Christian who has left BCF and no longer believes in Hell, I feel sorry for you.  God is just and righteous and it is a truly terrible shame that people who formerly believed and loved Him have been turned away by abuse and false teaching.  God has mercy upon you and will seek after you as a shepherd after a lost lamb, but He will have no mercy on those who have done this to you.  Of that I am certain and know it for sure to the bottom of my very soul. I also include those leaders such as Raymond Guyatt and Graeme Harry and other men who have left BCF and not repented of their sins against the Church.  Do not think that just because you are out you can just carry on with  your lives and ignore the terrible damage you have inflicted.  You need to repent and ask forgiveness of those you have abused.  REPENT gentlemen or you will perish!

If it wasn’t for the fact that the Bible itself has prophesied that this would happen, I would be crying out how it is possible for the church to come to this terrible place.  Things are going to get worse, a portion of the church, the largest portion I am afraid will reject the Bible, the orthodox teaching of Jesus and Paul and the Prophets and Apostles and follow after man-made fables and false gospels.  They will eventually become the end times church which will hail the Antichrist as Jesus himself.  So, while we still fight the good fight, we fight with the end in sight and the end for us is not on this earth.

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Get Your Skates On


roller-skates-381216__340.jpg

 

So the service of the house of the Lord was set in order. 36 Then Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced that God had prepared the people, since the events took place so suddenly.

2 Chronicles 29:29

 

It never ceases to amaze me the level of hostility directed at those who believe in the taking up of the Church before the Tribulation period.  It’s been called ‘The Rapture’ and that is how it is known by those whose faith is in the knowledge that God will cause a means of escape for His people.  In fact, God has been giving His people a means of escape for ever.  He provided animal skins for Adam and Eve to cover their nakedness. This is believed to be the first animal sacrifice for their sins.  He provides a way of escape from temptation.

No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.

1 Corinthians 10:13

He provided a way of escape for the Israelites when He first of all gave the instruction to place the blood on the lintels and doorposts of their houses so the Angel of Death would not visit them.  He also later provided a way of escape from Egypt through the Red Sea.

He will likewise provide a way for His people to escape in the end times.

36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

Luke 21:36 NKJV

There are multitudes of pages on the internet describing the reason for the belief that Dispensational Theology is scriptural and was accepted and preached by the early believers, Paul included.  There are just as many pages which would like to discredit that belief.  Honestly? If you have a different eschatalogical belief, by all means make your case, but what is the point of attacking others who have different beliefs.  In my opinion this is just more proof to me that the great falling away has begun.  Men, who previously simply had their own opinions, now seek to not just discredit but besmirch anyone who thinks differently to them.  And Dispensational Theology along with Pre-Tribulation Rapture has been historically vindicated, it is not some sudden onset Darby-esque revelation given by a child ‘prophet’.  That is a straw man argument which I am not going to go into here, but suffice to say anyone with any intellectual integrity will go to the source of these rumours and deal with what they find there. But this is not the main point of this post.

There are many who believe the rapture is soon and they are getting all excited about it.  There are many who, every year right about now, start setting dates.  They do not do any good for the rest of us by making these ridiculous appointments.  We DO NOT know the day or the hour.  What about this is hard to accept?

36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven,[e] but My Father only. 37 But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 38 For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 40 Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. 42 Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour[f] your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. 44 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

Matthew 24 NKJV

Yet the date setting continues and probably will even after the Rapture has occurred.  The whole point of an imminent return of Christ, or rather, an imminent catching up, which is what the actual term means, is that we will not know the exact date, and we need to ready ourselves.  If you read the scripture at the top of the page, which comes from 2 Chronicles, you will note that God prepared the people because the ‘events took place suddenly’.  The Rapture is one of those events that God will cause to happen suddenly.  In fact, it will be so sudden, it is described as happening in the twinkling of an eye.  Not a blink, not a wink, a twinkling.

50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed

1 Corinthians 15  NKJV

The issue here is immanency. If we don’t know the day or the hour we are expected to be prepared.  When Hezekiah renovated the Temple which lay in disuse and disarray with all kinds of rubbish and blasphemous desecration within it, he also called the priests and Levites to be ready to begin to make sacrifice for the whole of Israel.

Hezekiah’s words to the priests were “My sons, do not be negligent now, for the LORD has chosen you to stand before Him, to serve Him and that you should minister to Him and burn incense. (2 Chron.29:11).

The first thing King Hezekiah did was to restore the Temple.  Specifically, in the first year of his reign, in the first month he opened the doors of the house of the Lord and repaired them.  The temple had lain desecrated and unused, an unthinkable thing in the days of Temple worship.  God himself dwelt in the Temple, and therefore everything that was done there was done in relation to God himself.  As they carried out the laws and ordinances that God had given for life in the Temple, their obedience showed not only God but all other nations that God lived, that His people were kept and protected by Him and that His presence was venerated and worshiped by His people, the ones He had chosen.  It was not just a mark of respect, it was a sign of love for God.  To not just turn away from God but to have the whole nation despise the Temple in such a way was to prove that even the sacred, even the elect were no longer pure.  It is like saying salt is no longer salty or light is now darkness.  Therefore, Hezekiah, like Nehemiah after him, saw to it that the Temple was restored first and foremost, and like Nehemiah, he dealt with the gates and doors first. But his actions were obviously not expected because everbody, as well as everything, lay in disarray and in a state of unpreparedness.

They had to move their annual events around a bit to make way for the cleansing of the Temple and preparing the priests.  Later in this chapter it says that “the Levites were more diligent in sanctifying themselves than the priests” (v 34). The priests who were supposed to function in the temple were not ready, therefore their brethren, the Levites, were called upon to help them in their work.  This is an interesting verse.  It is the preparedness of the workers in the Temple which determined how fast the work was done. The tribe of Levi was the tribe from which the Priests of the Temple were chosen, but not all Levites were priests, they were all given a tithe, but they did not all do the special work of the priests in the Temple with regard to sacrifices etc.  See here for further reading regarding the differences. 

Like the Levites, believers are called to prepare themselves to go before the presence of the Lord. In the earthly Temple, if a Priest was not found to be sanctified when he entered the Holy of Holies, he would die.  It was the reason they used to tie a rope around his ankle so that if he did perchance drop dead, they could drag his body out of the Holy of Holies without having to go in and risk death themselves. We Christians tend to think of God and the Rapture and Heaven itself as being a kind of rest camp.  But we forget that God is holy and cannot look upon sin.  That is why He sent Jesus to take the punishment of our sin.  We may not be sent to Hell, but we will be judged for our works. Ostensibly, Ananias and Sapphira were believers yet they were judged for lying to the Holy Spirit in Acts chapter 5.  We will still need to consider whether we are ‘worthy to escape’ meaning not that we will need to be perfect but that we will be sanctified.  We are called to ‘work out our salvation with fear and trembling’. The book of Revelation contains warnings from Jesus to the churches to ensure that they will ‘endure to the end’ and that in some cases their names will still be in the Lamb’s Book of Life.  This is a serious warning.  We need to be examining our lives with a view to the catching up of the body of Christ.

 

 

 

Plan ‘B’

pug-801826__340

Living in chaos from earliest memory, it has been important to have a Plan B in place for all contingencies.  Some people have called this Defensive Pessimism, or more recently a Pre-mortem.  It involves examining all possibilities, usually negative ones and then working out what you will do if those possibilities become realities.  Like a postmortem you need to carefully look at what could happen – rather than what did happen – and work backwards.

The trouble with Plan B’s is that you are not living in reality you are living in possibility and worse, you are living in negative possibilities.  So if all you are seeing is the negative, you are not seeing the good stuff.  Moreover, you are not interpreting what happens from a godly perspective.

If God made you and put you here, and He did, then what happens to you is His concern, not yours.  Your concern is to respond to God, your creator.  If your response is gratitude, love and worship, coming from a heart which has been changed and cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ, then you are going to know God’s love to you in a much deeper way.  You are going to experience the peace and joy that comes from knowing and SEEING God work in your life.

This is actually the trouble that a lot of unsaved, or unbelievers, experience.  They say ‘If God loves me then why did he let this terrible thing happen to me’.  They don’t, and I hesitate to use this phrase, ‘feel the love’.  They don’t feel it, because they don’t know it.  Scripture tells us that God’s love abides in us and we know that because we have ‘love for the brethren’.  In other words, if you love God’s people, then the love of God is present in you.  If you don’t love God’s people, and that covers most unbelievers, then God’s love is not in you.  If God’s love is not in you, then you are not going to either see God the way He is, nor are you going to understand why God allows things to happen to you. Nor are you going to recognise that a lot of what happens to unbelievers is because they are walking in disobedience to and rebellion against God.  God does love unbelievers in the same way He always has.  But if you are not interested in God’s love and work actively against God and His people, then you had better watch out.  No.  God is not going to ‘get’ you.  But the principle or law of sowing and reaping is always active in the world.  God won’t get you, but the results of your own actions will. Also, God’s word tells us that vengeance belongs to Him.  If you attack him, and attacking His people is the same thing, then He will take vengeance. (Psalm 34:21)

It is interesting that many Christians will also ask this question or express the concern that they are not ‘feeling’ the love of God.  God helped me see the reason for this some time ago.  I had been getting more and more agitated that I didn’t feel loved by God. I wanted God to somehow show me that He loved me and was really looking for some kind of overwhelming tsunami of emotion to hit me to prove that I was being supernaturally loved.  What God showed me was that this is not love.  Human beings think love acts a certain way and they tend most of the time to think that it has something to do with feeling emotionally excited the same way they would if they had just ‘fallen in love’ with somebody.  In fact, this ‘falling in love’ thing is not love at all, it is a mixture of a lot of emotions, and a lot of the emotion is lust not love.  Genuine love is not an overwhelming feeling, or at least not most of the time, it is a steady, strong sense of an open heart full of affection, adoration (in the right sense), the desire to bless and edify, belonging and loyalty as well as a host of others.  It is almost impossible to describe genuine love in anything other than a very long complex description because it is an incredibly rich sense, and I would not call it an emotion, but a way of seeing somebody.

In God’s kingdom, His love is encapsulated in the fact that He gives His people the Spirit of Adoption which cries ‘Abba’, Father. This is the term Jesus himself used when addressing the Father just before His crucifixion.

36 And He said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.

Mark 14 NKJV

Paul also encouraged both the Galatians and the Romans by exhorting us to cry out to God the same way, to our Father in heaven, not just a name, but an actual, in fact the very first ever, creator and progenitor of children.

15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”

Romans 8 NKJV

And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!”

Galatians 4 NKJV

He has made us His own.  That is a very special feeling.  It is the epitome of His love, the sense not just of belonging to God’s family but of being cared for.  If your father was a good man who loved you affectionately and openly, you can thank God for that.  You have a good inheritance to pass on to your children. If not, you can still thank God.  Psalm 27:10 tells us that when our mother and father forsake us, the Lord will take us up.  David, the writer of the psalm, knew what that meant.  His family forsook him, yet God anointed him as king of Israel when he was just a boy, and the youngest boy in the family at that.  The others saw him as just a shepherd boy, the least important and least vital member of the family.  But God made him king because he had a ‘heart after God’.

God showed me that I did indeed know the love of God. He asked me whether I loved Him.  When I examined my heart, I realised I did indeed love Him.  That, He said, was His love.  We can’t love God unless He has put a love for Him in our hearts first. And that genuinely is love, it has all the attributes of the love we have for the human beings we care deeply for and it also has a supernatural quality, but it’s not something I can describe, you have to experience it for yourself.

Some unbelievers at this point might say well if God is the one who puts the love in your heart then what’s the point?  It’s up to God isn’t it?  God tells us that He knows His own, and also that His people know His voice.  But in order to come to God, you still have a choice.  If you truly want to know God and want to know His love in your heart, all you have to do is come to Jesus.  Talk to Him!  Tell Him what is in the depths of your heart.  There is no sinner on the face of the earth that will be turned away by God if they truly come with an open heart and wish to do business with Him.  Only God can show you what is in your heart, and only God can cleanse you from what is in there.  If you know that your heart is filled with dirt and filth, and if you are honest you will know what kinds of dirt and filth you have been playing with all your life, then the blood of Jesus Christ can cleanse us from that filth so that we can come before God with clean hands and a pure heart.  Every true believer wants to have a pure heart.  Even David when he committed adultery with Bathsheba came before God with a repentant heart and cried out “Cast me not away from your presence O God, take not your Holy Spirit from me!”.  He had known the presence of God and His blessings.  But he also knew that, in the time before Christ, he had to come to God and make confession so that he could be made clean and the proper sacrifices made to cleanse him.  In the Old Testament, men laid their hands on the animal to be sacrificed to transfer their sin to the animal and the animal was then killed and its blood sprinkled on the altar.  God cleanses us today through the final sacrifice of His Son upon the altar of Gethsemane, and if we come to Him and recognise that He bore our sins that day on the cross, we will be cleansed, made whole, made clean and made acceptable to God.

God sent Jesus because He so loved the world that He was willing to die for us.

We don’t need any more proof of God’s love than this, and it is this single most important event in the history of Humankind that will determine whether we will know God’s love within our own heart.  We Christians can tell you that God loves you til we are blue in the face, but you won’t know that love in your heart until you are first made clean by God himself and then filled with His love and His Spirit.

If you want to make that choice, all you need to do is understand and accept the final sacrifice of Jesus, the Lamb of God and ask Him to cleanse you from your unworthiness.

We are all unworthy before God.  There is none good, not one.  We have all sinned and fallen from the perfection God meant every human being to have.  There is no need for me to be making Plan B’s.  God doesn’t need a Plan B.  His Plan A, Jesus Christ, is the only provision I need.  It is only my flesh, my old nature, the nature I was born with that pushes me to anxiously analyse and plan.  It is not peace and joy, it is torment and agitation. This is not God’s plan for me or for anyone.

 

 

 

 

Cartographers for Political Correctness

 

 

 

Here is something I didn’t know until I watched this clip. We don’t have a TV so although I knew about West Wing I had never watched it.  The map we all know and love, the Mercator Projection is not accurate.  It’s not geographically correct.  Another map, the Gall-Peterson map is geographically correct.  Apparently.  The West Wing and ‘maps relating to political correctness’  seems to be a favourite with Youtubers as there is an other clip of the US President (or the guy acting as the pretend president – same difference) being given an 18th century map of the Holy Land which nobody in the White House will allow him to put up on the wall because ‘people will be offended’ by the absence of the depiction of the nation of Israel despite the fact that Israel was not created as a modern political state until 1947. Nobody mentions that the Holy Land was named that way for a reason and the whole of the Western world understood that Jerusalem, the Holy City was located in ‘the Holy Land’ for centuries.  It is implied perhaps.

The aides and white house staff were swift to reassure the ‘president’ that it was not they who were offended and thus officiously refusing to allow him to plant the map,  apparently, it was just ‘people’.   But that is actually the essence of political correctness.  It’s never about a specific person, its about ‘them’ a vague term relating to a nebulous group of human beings not connected to the person speaking. It’s also never about the facts. Its about what people think the facts are. Unless of course ‘they’ get in your face and make you adjust your own opinions to fit with theirs. Then the facts tend to change people’s lives in fairly impactful ways.  Like losing your livelihood.  This is when politically correct lobby groups join with the legal system to become a posse comitatus. Never forget the aphorism that “a man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still”. Even a lynch mob can’t change the facts.

This scene was all about what we think reality is and what reality actually is.  Regardless of whether it ‘freaks us out’ or not, facts is facts.  Or as Ben Shapiro famously likes to have it ‘facts don’t care about feelings’.

Usually political correctness regards ‘people’ without much examination of the essence of the group of human beings we are talking about.  ‘Gay people’ has now diversified to become the LGBTQ etc, .  There has been a lot of talk recently about transgender folk, people who identify as the opposite gender to their physical bodies.  I would have thought that this is not a physical issue but a psychological one. If a person has a perfectly healthy female body but the soul inside it ‘feels’ male then there is clearly a conflict. This can be expressed by dressing differently, as many in the past have.  But you can’t blame the body.  We are all born a certain way due to genetics and the miracle of creation (Psalm 139). Nobody is able to choose their bodies before birth, and nobody really knows why some people ‘feel’ the opposite gender to their bodies.  It certainly becomes a desperate issue when little children are taught that gender is not determined by bodies but by souls and then enabled to literally change their bodies before they have even reached puberty.  This in my opinion is child abuse.

But political correctness has now spread to scientific method.  What reality tells you is not true apparently, you must change reality to suit what you believe.  On the other hand human beings have been doing this for millennia, its just now become ‘politically correct’ to not only endorse it but agree with it.  To each his or her or their own.  What another human being does with their bodies is their issue.  However, what a large section of the media, and let’s face it this whole thing is driven by the media and not by individuals or groups of individuals, is now telling us is that we must now not offend ‘people’ who might identify as other genders when their bodies tell the public that they are the opposite gender.

The public is expected to act in ways that it is not possible for the human psyche to maintain for any length of time, especially in today’s fast paced, tense and erratic world. We are, most of us, so consumed with simply surviving in the mad, mad world we inhabit that anything further required of us is completely disregarded.  We are not wired to be continually assessing either other people’s susceptibility towards offense or their sensitivity regarding certain issues.  It is not only physically impossible, there would be no room for conducting business or going about your daily routine for example, but it is not desirable.  Nobody is THAT considerate.  Life in western culture would have to go back 200 years to expect that kind of behaviour from others. We can definitely conduct ourselves with a modicum of decency, and most will do this without thinking because their characters have been formed like this by good parenting.  However, many people have not had this training and certainly not looked for it as adults. This is why most people are inveterately rude, completely dismissive of other’s delicacies and overtly aggressive when asked to consider others. Try asking your neighbour to turn their music down.  Recently in fact, one of our neighbours got upset that somebody in the street sent them an anonymous note to ask them to stop their dog from constantly barking.  People are very aware of the growing hostility of the general public.  It’s why they write notes and don’t talk in person.  In fact even the word delicacy suggests that somebody might be a bit of a hysteric.  This is not true.  There are a great many sensitive and or delicate people in the world, the bible even talks about such people in the book of Deuteronomy.

 The sensitive and very refined man among you will be hostile toward his brother, toward the wife of his bosom, and toward the rest of his children whom he leaves behind

Deuteronomy 28:54

This verse by the way relates to the curses that Israel will suffer if they disobey the laws that God has set them.  Interesting that the human beings are now the epitome of this description.  Not all of us all the time mind you, but these problems are overwhelmingly the daily experience of most of us.

Another point in this argument is that while most people will not consider other’s sensitivities, neither can they be expected to assess from the outer appearance of another human being whether they are transgender or not.  Sometimes you can tell if a person is clearly male and dressed as a woman, but often it is not possible to tell considering the styles of women’s clothing these days.  Even if a woman is dressed as a man, she may be a lesbian not transgender.  Regardless, the transgender ‘group’ appears to have been selected as a test case for the politically correct ‘intelligence’ of the general community and specifically of certain individuals who they deem easy targets, or should we perhaps say the original target, those who don’t, by nature, ‘get with the programme’.

We spent 15 years in a religious cult whose sole existence was centered on eliminating those couples, families and individuals who did not conform to their demands.  This is the definition of a cult.  The desire to control and manipulate members in abusive and harmful ways to conform to the leader’s rules and expectations.  The whole of society is being conformed to cult-like expectations without consultation and without reasonable discussion.  Discussion or debate, and most of it is online,  always descends into ad hominem attacks and aggression, often fueled by trolls or shills working for the opposite or politically correct viewpoint.  And those viewpoints seem to be, more often than not, embedded in and codified by some kind of organisation even if it is just the broadcast media.

But back to our maps.

The way we see the world does indeed change the way we treat others. The Cartographers for Social Equality were concerned that because of the Mercator map’s inaccurate portrayal of various countries, especially ‘third world’ countries, it gives those in more affluent, Western countries a big head.  We look down on those beneath the equator and see those above the equator as being superior. Frankly, with all the fuss about maps, why don’t we just use the United Nations map which is totally distorted in relation to either the Mercator or Gall Peterson.  No problems with weirdly shaped countries there apparently. The United Nations tends to see things a particular way, and is lauded as being the greatest force for the greater good in existence.  They must have a reason why they chose their map rather than the usual Mercator?

Political correctness aside, if we truly believe for example that every human being should be allowed to indulge themselves in whatever changes to their bodies and lives they deem necessary for their own survival and benefit then we will not blink an eye at what happens in the future or however strange or foreign it will seem to our eyes.  We will simply shrug our shoulders and say ‘right on’.

However, while this seems very ‘do unto others’ it does not seem to be working out that way in practice.  Because what began as a means to live and let live has now become a means to force society to conform to the beliefs of a small minority.  It is one thing to pass a law, it is another thing to change the way we see reality on a grand scale, and I don’t mean that anybody is changing reality on a grand scale, it is the delusion that is grand, and in fact, this was foretold in Scripture.  In the end times, there would be worldwide mass delusion. People will believe whatever they are told because they will have lost a love for the truth.

The truth does indeed set us free, but not just any truth.  The truth that the sky is blue (or was before they started ‘cloud seeding’ this morning) or that the sun is yellow is not going to change anybody’s prison sentence.  It will be just as blue behind bars as it is in the prison yard, you are still not free.

As with most misquotes and subsequent platitudes, they do more harm than good and in fact don’t make any sense.  You have to examine the actual source in order to glean the facts.

31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

33 They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?”

34 Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. 35 And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. 36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.

John 8 NKJV

Jesus was talking about freedom from sin.  All the PC rants in the world, all the PC laws or law enforcement in the world (thus making non-PC attitudes a crime!!!!!!!!!!!!!??????) is not going to make anybody free.  To be free from the selfishness or intolerance of others we would have to be dead.  Which means we would be standing before God, which means we had better get biblically correct and make that our standard before we become politically correct.

Political and social ideas change and evolve, just study history. If we want to be politically correct and make the world our friend in order to play nice, we will not just lose our freedom we will lose our identity. Scripture tells us that if we are a friend of the world, we can not be a friend of God. (James 4:4).  We are called adulterers, in fact, if we want to be a friend of the world.  Being politically correct is being a friend of the world.

If you really want to change your nature and actually be tolerant, kind, gentle, long suffering and loving, become transformed by the renewing of your mind. (Romans 12:2). This, above all else, is going to set not just you free, but others.  The trouble with this is, the world hates Christians, and not just for the religiously correct reason that is often quoted.  We are told by people identifying as Christians that the world hates us because we don’t act nice to them, or that we don’t support them or because we don’t cosy up to them.  WRONG!  The world hates Christians because the flesh is at enmity with God.  It would not matter what you did as a Christian, they are going to hate you because if you are NOT at enmity with God then you have to be an enemy of the world, ie, non-Christians.  Which is why Jesus told us to love our enemy.  He didn’t, by the way, tell us to be nice to abusive, violent, aggressive or hostile people, and the whole world is quickly becoming this way.  He said love them, and love means that you speak the truth, you don’t conform to their ways just to get them to like you because that will guarantee that they will hate you.  Anyone who has ever been in high school knows that the fastest way to be rejected is to suck up to others.  EVERYBODY hates a suck up.

The way we see the world will determine the way we see others and the way we treat others.  If we see others as God sees them, we will not only treat them with respect and dignity, we will make a huge difference in the world around us. We will be different, but we will also be tolerant, in the right, biblical way, without conforming and without compromising.

 

 

Sombody Else’s Jesus

Jesus Christ crown of thorns and nail

Look at the proliferation of images of Jesus Christ on the Internet.

Just type the parameters into a search engine and you will get everything from images of  illuminated manuscripts hundreds of years old to renaissance paintings and statues which depict Christ to kitsch Catholic ‘sacred heart’ illustrations to profoundly blasphemous modern day images which defy description. Few people would actually worship these images, but many, and I don’t just mean Catholics here, would take some of these images to be actual depictions of what Jesus looked like when He was on earth. I have seen a lot of the very effeminate white long haired Jesus illustrations on evangelical Christian’s websites.  I do not know what they were thinking but it makes me very uneasy when I see this kind of thing.  We need to be particularly careful what we post on the Internet.

The Shroud of Turin is another source of images of Jesus and another source of controversy amongst evangelicals.  Some are outspoken in their defense of this artifact (if it is indeed as old as it is described).   I personally don’t believe this item is a legitimate depiction if for no other reason than that scripture tells us that Jesus had a head cloth and a body cloth.  I don’t buy the new interpretations that his resurrection burned his image into the material.  Secondarily though I don’t believe that anything that causes human beings to worship an image is legitimate scripturally. (Deuteronomy 5:8) And there are many who treat this object as sacred and therefore treat it as ‘untouchable’ going so far as to say that if you don’t see this it as legitimate then you aren’t really a believer.  I understand the desire to believe in something which, especially with recent technological innovations, could possibly prove Christ’s resurrection empirically.  But do we need new empirical evidence?  We have not needed it for the past 2000 years and people have been getting saved all that time. If it was necessary to see an image of Jesus for salvation would God not have provided it sooner?

Not one of the apostles, including Paul, ever described Jesus’ physicality on earth.  John the Revelator describes Jesus thus:

14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.

Revelation 1 NKJV

And this description of Jesus in heaven matches that of Daniel’s vision in the tenth chapter of his book.

 Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz:His body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude.

The disciples however didn’t even talk about how they felt when they were around Him, what it was like talking to Him, what His eyes looked like, nothing whatsoever which would appeal to our human carnal need to know what it was like to experience Jesus face to face.  There is a reason for that.  God is not going to give us some definitive description so that we can become enamored with that and be lead away from focusing on our actual relationship with Him.  In particular, we need to know Him in the Spirit, not in the flesh because we walk by faith not by sight.  I don’t think the Father is going to want to give fallen human beings any more reason to worship a deity of their own making even if they do fashion it after an image depicted in scripture.  That sounds contradictory, but even when there are actual descriptions of things in the bible men take them and mess with them anyway.  Hollywood has been doing it for decades.

Recently there have been various depictions by  young people who have apparently seen ‘visions’ or gone to heaven and met Jesus.  Colton Burpo, a four year old who apparently went to heaven and had a conversation with Jesus endorsed the painting by New Age artistic savant Akiane Kramarik.  When he saw her painting of Jesus, he testified that this was indeed the Jesus that he saw in heaven.  However, Colton’s story of heaven and Jesus has huge holes in it.  I won’t go into them here, you can read another discussion of little Colton’s story here and the author goes into much more detail of why he could not possibly have been transferred to heaven.  Akiane Kramarik claims she is a Christian but in true New Age fashion, she also endorses other religions and does not now have an exclusive faith in Christ, but is very much akin with eastern mysticism and occult influences . For more reading about how Akiane’s ‘faith’ is not actually Christian go here.

In short, I believe that any time you see a physical depiction of Jesus by a human being you are being led up the garden path.  Demonic forces are just as capable of transforming themselves into any image that will deceive or mislead us.

If it is possible that there might be exceptions to this, they would be far and few. One I can think of off hand was the story of an American missionary who was being tortured by terrorists in Iran. He was detained for nine weeks and came to the end of his strength and was getting ready to commit suicide to put an end to his torment when Jesus appeared to him in his cell to encourage him and uphold him and give him strength.  Now this man was a christian already and a strong believer.  His pain was so great he was being led into sin by the enemy, and Jesus appeared to give him a way to overcome his temptation.  This is scriptural.  What is more, several of his prison guards were won to Christ because of his testimony, and I presume these men were Muslims.  So overall, this story has all the hallmarks of an exceptional event which occurred to save both this man and his jailers.  It is worthy of being described as a Pauline experience.

 

Please note on this video, and I truly hope you watch it for yourself, he does NOT describe what Jesus looked like, only what Jesus said to him.  Even in the midst of a vision of His saviour, he does not focus on physical attributes, only on the glory and power of God.

Jesus himself, the real person, told his disciples that one of the signs of his return was that people would say ‘here is Jesus’ or ‘there he is’, but that we should not believe them.

23 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. 24 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand.26 “Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it. 27 For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 2

Matthew 24 NKJV

This scripture can be used against images of Jesus or those who tell us they saw Jesus come to them in their rooms or they visited heaven.  Too many say ‘this is what Jesus looked like’ and describe contradictory images.

There is actually only one scripture which tells us anything about what Jesus would look like and it is from the Old Testament. The prophet Isaiah was not given a vision exactly, but he told us who Jesus would be.  And remember that the book of Isaiah is one of the most verified authentic historical documents we have.  There were over 20 copies discovered amongst the Dead Sea Scroll find at Kumran.  So Isaiah tells us this:

Who has believed our report?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant,
And as a root out of dry ground.
He has no form or comeliness;
And when we see Him,
There is no beauty that we should desire Him.
He is despised and rejected by men,
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He opened not His mouth;
He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.
He was taken from prison and from judgment,
And who will declare His generation?
For He was cut off from the land of the living;
For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.
And they[a] made His grave with the wicked—
But with the rich at His death,
Because He had done no violence,
Nor was any deceit in His mouth.

10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him;
He has put Him to grief.
When You make His soul an offering for sin,
He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days,
And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.
11 He shall see the labor of His soul,[b] and be satisfied.
By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many,
For He shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great,
And He shall divide the spoil with the strong,
Because He poured out His soul unto death,
And He was numbered with the transgressors,
And He bore the sin of many,
And made intercession for the transgressors.

Isaiah 53 NKJV

This is all we need to know about what Jesus looked like, and all we need to know about who He was when he walked on this earth and who He is now.

THIS is my Jesus.  Everybody else can have the accounts of various members of the public, Christian and non-Christian.  They can have the creepy Jesus paintings, they can have the weird image from the Turin cloth. I know who my saviour is, and I  know what He looks like.  I am made in His image after all.  Though I have never seen Him, I know Him. Not as much as I would like, but I know Jesus. And most importantly, He knows me.

The Dumbing Down of Christianity

low-light-2606154__340

We are supposed to be lights in the darkness.

But the light of most of the evangelical church today is shrouded by deception, false teaching and an almost joyful embrace with the world.

You might say that this has always been the case.

Paul had to talk to Peter about sucking up to the Judaizers.  Paul also warned us about false teachers, false Christs, false brethren and so on.  Jesus, when asked by his disciples about the signs of the end times, told them to see to it that they were not deceived.  But deception comes on quiet feet.  It moves imperceptibly.  One minute you are in a loving caring environment with free preaching of the gospel and a joy in the new life you have been given through Christ’s death and resurrection.  Next you are being told who to marry, what job to do and where to live.  We have seen it happen.

The one and only provision against a false gospel is to know the true gospel.

The one and only provision against the invasion of the world into your church is to ensure that you are walking in the Spirit on a daily basis.  We need to pray, we need to fight and we need to stay alert.  It has ever been the case.

But what happens when pastors, elders and congregation members are willing to have all kinds of false teaching walk into their church and are not willing to question or to speak against what is in many cases a blatant heresy?  It means that people have become lazy.  They have become unwilling to guard their hearts, and the lives and families of their friends and brothers and sisters in Christ.  We need to ensure that the checks and balances of our lives are being checked and balanced.

The problem is that too many congregations and individuals are not checking because they feel safe.  They feel comfortable.  They feel that it is somebody else’s job to do the checking and they don’t want to stick their necks out.  Nor do they want to have to do their own research and reading.  They don’t want to have to think that it’s all down to them. But if we are going to maintain our integrity as Christians, we need to recognise that maturation as believers involves looking out for the souls of others.  We need to be our brother’s keeper.  We don’t take responsibility for their lives of course, only God does that.  But we do keep watch, we do speak out when we see somebody about to fall, and we walk in love.

The apostle John talked of a love for the brethren.  He said that if we don’t have that love, then the love of God is not in us.  It is a staggering thought.  The thing is that our love for our brethren is only there because God’s love dwells in us.  It is in fact the love of God itself which loves any of us, our own human affection is not capable of loving as God loves.  In fact, left to our own devices, most of us would not fellowship with each other at all. We are not brought together by mutual interests as every other group in the world is.  We are brought together by the love of God and the salvation of Jesus Christ.  We are new creations.  We are something completely different to every other human being on the earth. Therefore, this life which is born in us compels us to do things we would not naturally do.  Not only that, but our hearts are changed.  Our hearts now love whereas before they did not love others they only loved ourselves and those we deemed worthy of that love.

So why do so many Christians think nothing of joining themselves together with the world?  We cannot join with unbelievers.  We who love cannot be joined to those who do not love.  We are of a different nature. We cannot join light with darkness, there is no grey area, there is only light and lack of light.  There is not a place where both co-exist. We may think that twilight can count as light. But we are wrong.  Twilight is the recession of light, it proves the moving away from the light, not the source of light. And if we have the light within us, then there can be no twilight.  Everywhere we go there is light.  But if we choose to join with the world and shade the light with our own flesh, there is nowhere else to go.  The trouble with this is that we don’t often even know we are doing it.

It happens imperceptibly.

You ignore the still small voice of the Holy Spirit speaking so quietly about something which you know is wrong.  You hush the voice of your conscience, you go about doing what you know you shouldn’t do.  Then you do it again.  Then you keep doing it. Finally the voice is silenced, but it doesn’t go away.  If you keep doing that enough and keep doing it every time the Holy Spirit speaks, you will grieve the Holy Spirit and He will eventually stop speaking at all.  Before you are aware of it, He will retreat to some place where you are not, and finding God will be that much harder next time. Not impossible, but not without difficulty.  If you are not quick to remedy the breach, the breach will grow wider.  Eventually your whole life becomes so backslidden that you no longer have a desire to even pray.  You push it away and don’t think that it is even important.

Soon you will get to a place where you can comfortably call yourself ‘Christian’ because you still go to church, even if  it is only now and again, but you are actually living in the world and you have become ‘of’ the world.  Soon, all that will be left is an empty shell and even that will only have a passing resemblance to anything religious.  You will have a ‘form’ of godliness without any of its power.  And what is the power of godliness?  Is it holiness?  Is it faith?

I will let Charles Spurgeon answer this question.

Let us now remember what they did not have. They had “the form” of godliness. But they were denied “the power.” What is that power? God Himself is the power of godliness; the Holy Spirit is the life and force of it. Godliness is the power which brings a man to God and binds him to Him; godliness is that which creates repentance towards God and faith in Him; godliness is the result of a great change of heart in reference to God and His character. Godliness looks towards God and mourns its distance from Him. Godliness hastens to draw near and rests not till it is at home with God. Godliness makes a man like God; godliness leads a man to love God and to serve God. It brings the fear of God before his eyes and the love of God into his heart. Godliness leads to consecration, to sanctification, to concentration.
The godly man seeks first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and expects other things to be added to him. Godliness makes a man commune with God, and gives him a partnership with God in His glorious designs. And so it prepares him to dwell with God forever. Many who have the form of godli-ness are strangers to this power, and so are in religion, worldly, in prayer mechanical, in public one thing and in private another. True godliness lies in spiritual power and they who are without this are dead while they live.
What is the general history of those who have not this power? Well, dear friends, their course usually runs thus—they do not begin with denying the power but they begin by trying to do without it. They would like to become members of the church and as they fear that they are not fit for it, they look about for something which looks like conversion and the new birth. They try to persuade themselves that they have been changed—they accept emotion as regeneration and a belief of doctrine for belief in Christ. It is rather hard at first to reckon brass as gold, but it grows easier as it is persisted in. Patching up a conversion, and manufacturing regeneration, they venture forward. At the first they are a good deal suspicious of themselves, but they industriously kill every question by treating it as a needless doubt. Thus, by degrees, they believe a lie. The next step is easy—they deceive themselves and come to believe that they are surely saved. All is now right for eternity, so they fancy. And they fold their arms in calm security. Meeting with godly people, they put on a bold front and speak up as bravely as if they were the true soldiers of King Jesus. Good people are charmed to meet with fresh brethren, and at once take them into their confidence; thus they deceive others and help to strengthen themselves in their false hope.
Spurgeon talks about those who have had a false conversion, and it is these ones who contribute to the darkness in the congregation.  But I am talking about those who fall away from the faith through lack of attention to their relationship with God and also, it pains me to say, the lack of due diligence by those around them.  If you see a brother or sister falling away, say something.  Don’t just assume that its none of your business.  Is it your business if somebody else’s child is in the middle of the road and about to be run over by a car?  No sane human being would allow the child to be run over if there is life in their body and strength in their limbs.  We would rush over to save them.  In the same way, we rush to save those who are about to fall and hope to appeal to their consciences.
No, in the church today, there is a lack of those who are willing to make those choices.  They don’t want to be seen as busybodies.  They don’t want to rock the boat.  It is an even worse case if pastors and elders fail to reach out, yet so many of them do.  If you go to them, they are even more hostile.  Nobody is allowed to even entreat a leader who has aligned themselves with the world or with false teaching.  You become a threat, an annoyance and a scoundrel who should mind their own business.  You make them feel uncomfortable therefore you are wrong.  There is no real desire to listen,  nor is there a desire to really consider what is being said.
Each one of us is accountable to God for our choices.  We are not responsible for somebody else’s fall from Grace.  But consider this.  Eternity is a very very long time.  And there is no end to it.  If walking with the Lord and continuing on in the faith means that you end up walking with the Lord and living with Him in Eternity and seeing your eternal reward, whatsoever that might be, then wouldn’t you rather tolerate discomfort and even a little pain now if it means your reward is greater?
There is too little preaching about heaven and hell today.  There is too little understanding of what it means to be with Jesus for all eternity.  If we took these things seriously we would not be making friends with the world, we would be looking to save them.
I leave you with the transcript of the words found on an old cassette tape in a Chinese house church in 1995 where the group were praying and bringing messages in tongues and translations.  When the tape was played back a song was being sung where there was no singing and certainly no musical instruments.  But the message was clear.  If you wish to hear the tape for yourselves you can hear it here.  It was called the Shandong miracle, and here is the translation of the message.   Jesus is returning soon.  Let us be prepared!
1. The famine is becoming more and more critical. There are more and more earthquakes. The situation is becoming more and more sinister. People are fighting against each other, nation against nation. Disasters are more and more severe.
2. The whole environment is deteriorating. Disasters are more and more severe. People’s hearts are wicked, and they do not worship the true God. Disasters are more and more severe.
3. Floods and droughts are more and more frequent. There is more and more homosexuality and incurable diseases. Disasters are more and more severe.
4. The climates are becoming more and more abnormal. The earth is more and more restless. The skies have been broken. The atmosphere is distorted. Disasters are more and more severe. Chorus: The end is near. The revelation of love has been manifested. Rise up, rise up, rescue souls. The end is near. Rise up, rise up, rescue souls.

Lining Up Your Ducks

zz ducks.jpg

We have spent a great deal of time examining our past and dealing with what we found there.

But what we have discovered in doing so is that it ‘distracts from the now’ to quote Edna Mode.

 

I  have always wondered what that even meant.

zz distracts from the now

This is New Year’s Day.  Hooray.  Where we live there wasn’t a great deal of celebration last night, it was unusually quiet.  I mean, its quiet around here anyway, its why we live here, but it was eerily quiet.  People were probably out ‘living in the moment’ somewhere else, getting drunk and enjoying the holidays.  Not that those two are necessarily synonymous.

We like to get our ducks lined up regarding, well – everything actually.  We are inveterate duck herders.  If we have all the facts straight and all the lines organised we can proceed.  But what are we proceeding with and to?

I was thinking that, since we are now into a new year that I should say something profound. Ironically, the same thought occurred to me exactly ten years ago.  Here is an excerpt from a blog post I wrote back then. The blog was entitled ‘The Introvert Myth’ and was a foray into pop psychology which appealed to me back then.  Interestingly, whilst looking back ‘detracts from the now’ , it also highlights how far you have come.  I present exhibit ‘A’….

 

I have been trying to think of something profound to say to start off The New Year.

Nothing…….zip……..a blank.

I fear my normally reliable level of profundity has been affected by the packing frenzy we are currently in the middle of. We will be moving house shortly.

Actually, its more a sort of a packing hiatus at the moment. Its only a frenzy when my husband is home. He is a Packer extraordinaire. No relation to Packer the media magnate I hasten to add. No, I refer to his preternatural ability to fit small irregular shapes into large regular ones. Examples of this are….groceries into a trolley, or groceries into kitchen cupboards, builder’s paraphernalia into a builder’s Ute, household articles into packing cases. He can wrap pack and load more boxes in an hour than I can in a week. After roughly twenty years of marriage and nearly as many moves I have learned to leave him to his own excellent devices. I go and clean things while he packs. It seems an uneven workload but trying to help him or even match his pace would be like trying to make a bed in the middle of a tornado; not only completely redundant but possible lethal. I focus instead on working alongside him, the paramedic to his Jaws of Life.

What is profound anyway?

To be labelled ‘Profound’ to my mind, something should articulate the mysteries of our existence in ways which had previously not been thought of. Profound is supposed to be the opposite of trite, yet surprisingly, profound statements are often so stunningly simple we marvel that we didn’t think of them ourselves. Surprisingly too, Great Men or Professional Thinkers do not often produce profundities. Often they come from the mouths of the temporarily enlightened, or even very small children. Four year olds are the great observers of human nature and could teach a few psychologists of my acquaintance a thing or two about the bleeding obvious. “The Emperor is naked” is a very profound statement. Not because it is a sign of genius, but because it is the sign of somebody whose moral compass is not aligned to the ‘moral majority’. Not that a four year old is necessarily conscious of a majority of anything except his bad self. It explains the moxie they perpetually exhibit. But I am shooting myself in the foot here. The child who spoke those immortal words was purely verbalising what all around him thought. “A word spoken in season is like apples of gold in settings of silver” says the book of Proverbs. Profundity is like that. Profundity is truth plus timing.

Here is some divine profundity.

14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

1 Corinthians 2:14 NKJV

We proceed forward with Christ and towards Christ.  Though the things of the past have stayed with us in one form or another, but we press on towards the high calling, and to the finish line which is up ahead. When we left lawlessness we were ourselves lawless yet had no real understanding of it.  Now, we look back, see the rebellion and the self clinging to what comforted us despite the difficult circumstances.  God had mercy on us and did not save us from the battle and the tribulation but saved us from ourselves and the wounds of evil.

This world is slowly moving towards its close.  Many will think that I am crazy for saying this, but it is.  Most discerning Christians, and this includes those from all walks of life and ethnicity, are aware that we are in ‘the last days’.  Not all who identify as Christian believe this and many preachers actively promote the opposite.  Regardless of who says what,  soon we will be facing a unified world with a leader who will appeal to every form of religious and ethnic background and who will be powerful both in natural and supernatural ways.  He will be the messiah that Christians look to, the Maitreya that the Theosophists seek, the Muslim Mahdi, the Buddha, the deliverer and wise sage of every age and religion and belief. But he will not be Christ, he will be the antichrist.  Nobody will believe that of course because they will have departed from the truth and will be given over to a strong delusion.

More profundity.

7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders,10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

2 Thessalonians 2:10-13 NKJV

The difference for Christians is that the Bible gives specific and explicit instructions, not just in the book of Revelation, but the book of Daniel and Ezekiel and in places where Jesus, Paul and others spoke.  Jesus will return, but it will not be to save the world, He has already done that.  He will return in judgement. He also said that many will say ‘look, here is Jesus’ but not to believe them.  Some years back a hippie wanna-be messiah turned up in Queensland.  A.J. Miller, a former Jehovah’s Witness elder and computer programmer  claims to be Jesus reincarnated, and many of his followers totally believe it to be true.  He now has a Youtube channel and website ‘Divine Truth’ in which he offers his opinion regarding just about everything and offers counseling in the form of ‘assistance groups’. He also has a large donation page.  It is truly amazing what people will believe.  Remember though, Jesus fakes like this are not just nutters with the ability to manipulate, they are truly demon possessed.

The difficulties in the world are already proof.  The bible calls them ‘birth pangs’. (Romans 8).  The world is experiencing horrors the like of which they have not seen before.  The horrors of the Tribulation period, the seven year period which will occur after the Rapture of the Believers, will make the current circumstances look like a Sunday School picnic. Once the Holy Spirit is removed from the world, the real end begins.

We have an opportunity to make this New Year truly new.  Right now, the sufferings for westerners living in sufficiency are nominal.  We have what has been sarcastically called ‘first world problems’.  This will not stay like that for long.

Knowledge has increased.  The bible predicted that in the book of Daniel (12:4).  The internet is a great source of information.  It is also a great source of surveillance by the forces that run the world, and I am not talking about the governments, although they are of course making the most of it.  Our Iphones are being used against us in all sorts of ways.  And while this may seem more than a little paranoic, rest assured that the information is all there, all you have to do is look.  Google it. Yes, it is ironic. Look up Google Deep Mind. Or… what about Google’s involvement with Ancestry.com.  All the information you give about your family now belongs to somebody else to use as they want for whatever nefarious reason.

We are being brainwashed by the media, by the internet, by everything we read and hear and by those who repeat the mantras they are fed.  “You are just a conspiracy theorist”.  That phrase was coined by none other than the CIA with regard to those who wouldn’t accept the official explanation of the Kennedy assassination.  50 or so years later, there are more people than ever before who don’t buy the official explanation of anything, let alone the murder of a president.  911 was an inside job.  Sounds crazy, but NONE of the official story makes any sense and there is a massive groundswell of expert analysis to prove it.  We have been so brainwashed into accepting the official story that we dare not, in fact don’t want to, question it.  When the world is going mad, it pays to have somebody in charge who knows what’s going on and can keep you safe.  The problem is that the people in charge know what’s going on because they are in charge of what’s going on.  They are lying to us because they will benefit from lying to us and keeping us asleep.  The ‘Matrix’ wasn’t just a movie, it was a playbook.

I am not saying anything profound here.  Nor is this anything new.  The corrupt powerful oppressing the impoverished (both mind and body) masses has been the way of the world since the world began.  Nobody has any issue with  Roman emperors acting like nincompoops, but they won’t buy that an American President would, or even an Australian Prime Minister.  We say we don’t trust our politicians and laugh it off. But if you try and tell them that they really are working against us, people don’t want to hear it.  It’s too scary, its too real, its too much like forcing us out of our comfort zones.

So, not good news for the New Year.  But then, the gospel isn’t called the good news for nothing.  We won’t hear good news from the world but we will hear it from God.

It is ironic enough that New Year is one week after Christmas.  That the celebration of Christ’s birth (so called) is just before the old New Year’s resolution tradition, the idea of making the new year, a clean break from the old ugliness we have lived with that we know is not good for us.  Christ came to set us free from the ugliness of our flesh, of the natural human condition.  But we ignore that.  It’s too much like having to actually change, and that is far too difficult to cope with.

My brother-in-law committed suicide 29 years ago today.  Steve came home about two weeks earlier because God had told him to go home to Christchurch.  He had been with his brother Kieran and told him about Jesus.  Kieran said ‘Well, its great that you found what you are looking for’.  Clearly it didn’t have an impact on him.  His mind was already made up at that point.  Then he waited until everyone had gone to Nelson to celebrate the New Year and fixed his car exhaust to fill the car, turned on the engine and died.

What I hate the most about this time of year is that churches go on hiatus at a time when they should be keeping their doors open to people like Kieran.  He might not have gone through the doors, but he might have.  At the very least there needs to be the recognition that Christmas and New Year are NOT the happy happy joy joy times that we have been brainwashed (there’s that word again) into believing they are.  We no longer celebrate Christmas.  It is in fact traditionally the time of the birth of the god Tammuz in Babylonian culture.  In fact the Bible talks about this guy as well.  He was worshiped by the Israelites when they were captive in Babylon, and his worship is an abomination to God.  Yet Tammuz’ birthday was slated as the 25th December.  His mother was called ‘the Queen of Heaven’, the very name that the Catholics give to Mary.  I could go on, but we just don’t do the whole Christmas thing anymore and not just for that reason.  Its funny though, we have had a lot of conversations with strangers at supermarket checkouts when asked ‘what we are doing for Christmas’.  We sometimes say ‘we don’t do Christmas’, and it is amazing how many people say with real energy ‘yeah, I wish we didn’t have to do Christmas’.  People are becoming more and more aware how much of a drag it is, and how little it actually has to do with genuine joy, love and peace on earth and goodwill to men.  Those words were spoken about Jesus. Not Santa.

He is our joy, our peace and our salvation.  God’s mercy towards men was the goodwill that the angel talked about.   He continually offers it to us, and along with it, the new life, the eternal life and the peace with God that is ours not just for the New Year but for all of our existence, which is eternal.

It is deeply and truly profound.  God is our very present help in trouble, and this year will be no exception.  Life is going to get more difficult and troubling, but God has offered a light in the darkness.  It is up to us whether we take it.  I don’t know whether Kieran did or not.  He was offered the opportunity and given the good news.  I pray that everyone reading this will likewise not miss the opportunity to find peace and salvation through the blood and name of Jesus Christ.

If, like us, you get a real kick out of having all your ducks lined up, this post will help you get a good headstart for the new year.