COMMITTED to train men and women
to have minds for the Lord Jesus,
hearts for the truth, and
hands that are skilled to the task.

Sermons by Pastor Ernest Amstalden

WHAT IS MISSING?

Daniel Webster, 1837
“I fear that they may place too implicit a confidence in their public servants and fail properly to scrutinize their conduct; that in this way they may be made the dupes of designing men and become the instruments of their own undoing. Make them intelligent, and they will be vigilant; give them the means of detecting the wrong, and they will apply the remedy.”

The Declaration stated;
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable RIGHTS, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

In 1859 Charles Dickens wrote the famous historical novel titled: A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
Here is how Charles Dickens describes the chaos, confusion and societal darkness during the French Revolution:
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity; it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way.”

Richard Gardner wrote a seminal paper published in FOREIGN AFFAIRS in 1974.
He is an academic with membership in the TRILATERAL COMMISSION which has as its ultimate stated purpose THE CREATION OF A NEW INTERNATIONAL ORDER.
Gardner titled his article: “THE HARD ROAD TO WORLD ORDER”
“In short, the ‘house of world order’ will have to be built from the bottom up rather than from the top down. It will look like a great ‘booming, buzzing confusion,’ but and end-run around national sovereignty, eroding it piece by piece, will accomplish more than the old-fashioned frontal assault.”

Patrick Wood in his book “Technocracy” writes:
“If today’s technocrats are meticulously working toward a scientific dictatorship and applying a specific strategy to get there, wouldn’t you think that they have a specific list of criteria that must be met before “game over” can be called?
With the rapid advances in Smart City technology, mass surveillance, the Internet of Things, 5G rollout and now massive censorship of all opposing positions, it seems that “game over” may have actually already been called; if not, it is certainly very close.
China is now widely acknowledged (in academic circles, at least) as having transitioned to a full-blown Technocracy. It has the outward trappings of Communism left over from the last century, but it has now superseded Marxism and Communism, and has promoted it to other nations around the world.
The China transformation was aptly predicted by Trilateral Commission co-founder Brzezinski in his 1970 book “Between Two Ages; America’s Role in the Technetronic Era. He maintained that Marxism, Communism and Socialism were merely the necessary stepping-stones to reach his “Technetronic Era” but were not themselves the intended endgame.”

“A book was released by Dr. Parag Khanna in 2015 titled, TECHNOCRACY IN AMERICA, issues a blunt call to implement a direct Technocracy in the U.S. He calls for the abolishment of the Senate, the replacement of the Executive office by a committee of co-Presidents and the surrender of the Constitution to the Supreme Court for modernization.”
The new telecom standard, 5G, is stampeding into cities around the world with such blinding speed that there is hardly time to mount a protest. Leaders of the 5G revolution like AT&T and Verizon, have bluntly and openly stated that 5G is not about SmartPhones but rather about enabling the Internet of Things and all other Smart City technologies.
It should be clear that the march toward Technocracy is neither Democratic or Republican, liberal or conservative, Marxist or Capitalist. Since 1973, every Administration has promoted it and followers of every ideology have served as its “useful idiots”.

Proverbs 2:6
For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.

What is wisdom?
Wisdom is the ability to discern before you make a judgment based upon knowledge.

What is knowledge?
Biblical knowledge is not morally and ethically neutral. It’s either “good” or “evil”. We get knowledge through Biblical examples, truths and commands that God wants us to know, believe, and apply to our lives.

Did you know that the first Technocracy Study Course was offered in 1934?
In this course you find details on how they plan to implement Technocracy into our world:
“Technocracy is dealing with social phenomena in the widest sense of the word; this includes not only actions of human beings, but also everything which directly or indirectly affects their actions. Consequently, the studies of Technocracy embrace practically the whole field of science and industry. Biology, climate, natural resources, and industrial equipment all enter into the social picture.”

In 1938, their official magazine THE TECHNOCRAT, offered the same core belief with some additional clarification:
“Technocracy is the science of social engineering, the scientific operation of the entire social mechanism to produce and distribute good and services to the entire population.”

When the Technocracy Study Course was first offered in 1934 they included:
”Science is, in a dynamic sense, essentially a method of prediction. It has been defined as being the method of the determination of the most probable.”

The Father of all scientism and Technocracy is French Social Reformer Henri de Saint-Simon (1760-1825). In 1803 he wrote:
“A scientist, my dear friends, is a man who foresees; it is because science provides the means to predict that it is useful, and the scientists are superior to all other men.”

Patrick Wood in his book writes:
“This is the same siren call of Scientism that persists to this very day, and we see these same attitudes in all the modern aspects of Technocracy, such a Sustainable Development, Agenda 21, 2030 Agenda, Biodiversity, Global Warming, alternative energy, etc. In every case, the “science” is presented as “settled” with the implicit assumption that nobody has a reason to dispute either the science or the remedial actions that are specified to fix some perceived problem.
To a hammer, everything looks like a nail. To a Technocrat scientist or engineer, everything looks like a problem begging for a scientific or engineering solution.”

Reuters just reported that:
“The White House has been reaching out to social media companies including Facebook, Twitter and Alphabet Inc’s Google about clamping down on COVID misinformation and getting their help to stop it from going viral, a senior administration official said.
“Disinformation that causes vaccine hesitancy is going to be a huge obstacle to getting everyone vaccinated and there are no larger players in that than the social media platforms” a source with direct knowledge about the cooperation told Reuters.
The White House acknowledged working with tech giants like Facebook and Google and the issue.
“We are talking to them….so they understand the importance of misinformation and disinformation and how they can get rid of it quickly. It’s not censorship, they exclaim. It’s a private company and can do whatever it wants with its property.
Except now, that ‘private’ entity is working directly for the government as the Biden administration is not even trying to hide the relationship.”

In 2018 Caitlin Johnstone was warning of the slippery slope that Big Tech and its liberal minions were embarking on as the corporate-sponsored cancel-culture began.
“In a corporatist system of government, wherein there is no meaningful separation between corporate power and state power, corporate censorship is state censorship.”
Then she was labeled a conspiracy theorist.

“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” George Orwell.

WAGE A GOOD WARFARE

Lucado, the teaching minister at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas and the author of books that have sold more than 120 million copies, penned a Feb. 11 apologetic letter to the Washington National Cathedral in which he said his 2004 sermon “wounded people.”
“In 2004 I preached a sermon on the topic of same-sex marriage. I now see that, in that sermon, I was disrespectful,” he says in the letter. “I was hurtful. I wounded people in ways that were devastating,” he said in the letter. “I should have done better. It grieves me that my words have hurt or been used to hurt the LGBTQ community. I apologize to you and I ask forgiveness of Christ.”
Lucado, in the letter, does not specify which parts of the sermon trouble him.
“Faithful people may disagree about what the Bible says about homosexuality, but we agree that God’s holy Word must never be used as a weapon to wound others,” he said in the letter. “To be clear, I believe in the traditional biblical understanding of marriage, but I also believe in a God of unbounded grace and love. LGBTQ individuals and LGBTQ families must be respected and treated with love. They are beloved children of God because, they are made in the image and likeness of God.
“Over centuries, the church has harmed LGBTQ people and their families, just as the church has harmed people on issues of race, gender, divorce, addiction, and so many other things. We must do better to serve and love one another,” he wrote in conclusion. “I share the Cathedral’s commitment to building bridges and learning how to listen – to really listen – to those with whom we disagree. That work is difficult, it is hard, it is messy, and it can be uncomfortable. But we need it now more than ever.”
Published in www.Christianheadlines.com

PROCLAIMING THE AUTHORITY OF GOD’S WORD WITHOUT APOLOGY.

This brings me to an especially important point. The Apostle Paul knew that Timothy was CALLED into the ministry. What does that mean?

C.H. Spurgeon published “LECTURES TO MY STUDENTS”
“Lectures II: The Call to Ministry” Spurgeon writes:
“Do not enter the ministry if you can help it.
If any student in this room could be content to be a newspaper editor, or a grocer, or a farmer, of a doctor, or a lawyer, or a senator, or even a king, in the name of heaven and earth, let him go his way. For a man so filled with God, would utterly weary of any pursuit, but that for which his inmost soul pants.”

Chuck Swindoll in his commentary on 2 Timothy makes this observation:
“The call of God includes a sense of destiny combined with an all-absorbing passion to work for the Lord. When complete and confirmed, the call of God manifests itself as an undeniable, unavoidable assurance that one should do nothing else.
A divine call to ministry is God’s leading an individual AWAY from other worthy pursuits to devote himself or herself to vocational ministry. This call also blends giftedness with diligence and responsibility, resulting in benefit to others. If the gift is teaching, others are taught. If the gift is preaching, congregations are challenged.”

Eric Pollard is the founder of ACT-UP (a militant homosexual group). Janet Folger in her book “The Criminalization of Christianity” quotes Eric Pollard who openly admitted that Hitler’s MEIN KAMPF was the model used for the group’s strategy.
Eric Pollard quoted from MEIN KAMPF:
“The magnitude of a lie always contains a certain factor of credibility, since the great masses of the people in the very bottom of their hearts tend to be corrupted rather than consciously and purposely evil, and that, therefore, in view of the primitive simplicity of their minds, they more easily fall a victim to a big lie than to a little one, since they themselves lie in little things, but would be ashamed of lies that were too big.
By clever and persevering use of propaganda even heaven can be represented as hell to the people, and conversely the most wretched life as paradise.”

Erwin Lutzer in his book «When a Nation Forgets God” writes:
“Hitler, you will recall, said that it was necessary to go beneath rational arguments, and tap into the emotions of an audience. Thus the gay movements’ strategy is to “portray gays as victims, not aggressive challengers.” They use the language of victimhood, to appeal to American’s basic sense of fairness and liberal guilt about anyone who claims to have been oppressed. Thus, they have created an atmosphere in which they portray themselves as a victimized class in need of special protections. Of course the buzzwords are TOLERANCE and FAIRNESS and LOVE. And portraying themselves as a persecuted minority, they have gained the sympathy of Americans. But as one former homosexual put it: “It’s an amazing thing to watch a group that said they were oppressed become the oppressors.
Remember that the emotions are more powerful than rational arguments. In short, simply demonize the opposition!”

In a post on Facebook, Grace Pointe Church in Nashville Tennessee posted a recap of a message titled “The Bible | What Is Progressive Christianity?” from lead pastor Joshua Scott’s Feb. 7 sermon.
“As Progressive Christians, we’re open to the tensions and inconsistencies in the Bible”, the church wrote in the caption. “We know that it can’t live up to impossible, modern standards. We strive to more clearly articulate what Scripture is and isn’t,” the church noted before further expanding on what the church believes the Bible is and is not.
Grace Pointe Church added that the Bible “isn’t: the Word of God, self-interpreting, a science book, an answer/rule book, inerrant or infallible.”
Instead, the church argued, the Bible is “a product of community, a library of texts, multi-vocal, a human response to God, living and dynamic.”

“It carries the idea of replacing incorrect ideas with correct ideas. As it relates to sin, this is a command to help others understand the truth regarding their sinfulness. The pastor cannot hedge or hold back. Sin needs to be exposed. Otherwise, the people have no hope but to remain trapped in a cycle of ignorant wrongdoing.” Chuck Swindoll
The Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA) recently announced that they have revoked their ordination of late apologist Ravi Zacharias after an independent investigation revealed that he engaged in sexual abuse.
After findings were released by Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM) last week, the C&MA published a statement expressing “great sorrow” concerning the fact that Zacharias, who had served with the C&MA as a licensed evangelist for 46 years, had engaged in a “pattern of predatory behavior”.
“Mr. Zacharias’ actions were in direct violation of his obligation to demonstrate his commitment to serve Christ and His people through his devotion, character, lifestyle, and values,” the statement reads. “In recognition of this gross violation and its painful consequences to the victims and others who were impacted, the C&MA posthumously expels Mr. Zacharias from licensed ministry in our denomination. This comes with the automatic revocation of his ordination.”
In pushing for increased accountability, the denomination announced that itinerant ministers will now report to a district office instead of being licensed nationally.

CREATED TO IMAGE GOD

Rod Dreher in his book titled: “Live not by Lies” writes:
“Over the past few years, America has seen the rise of a chilling ‘soft totalitarianism’ -something more ‘Brave New World’ than ‘1984’.
Identity politics are beginning to encroach on every aspect of life. Progressives attempt to marginalize conservatives, traditional Christians, and other dissenters, sneering at the idea of civil liberties protecting their beliefs. Corporations now censor opinions with which they disagree. Technology is inching us toward a surveillance state, and consumerism has dulled our spirits and made us willing to accept a secularism imposed not by gulags but by ‘softer’ means.
Despite these warning signs, many American Christians fail to recognize the dangers, and even fewer know what they can do to resist. Meanwhile, the men and women who survived communist oppression have been sounding the alarm that their souls and their liberties are already at stake.”

Later in his book he makes this observation:
“The modern age is built on the Myth of Progress. By “myth,” I mean that the concept of historical progress is foundational to the modern era and built into the story we tell ourselves to understand our time and our place in it. Believers in the Myth of Progress hold that the present is better than the past and that the future will inevitably be better than the present.
The myth is a powerful tool in the hands of would-be totalitarians. It provides a transcendent source of legitimacy for their actions, and frames opposition as backward and ignorant. Understanding how communists manipulated the Myth of Progress is important to grasping how today’s progressives roll over the opposition.
Those steeped in the teachings of Marx believed that communism was inevitable because History – a force with godlike powers of determination – required it.”

The author Milan Kundera published the book “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” (originally written in Czech)
“A leftist is a shared belief that humanity is on a “Grande March” toward Progress.
The Grand March is the splendid march on the road to brotherhood, equality, justice, happiness; it goes on and on, obstacles notwithstanding, for obstacles there must be, if the march is to be the Grand March.”

Rod Dreher makes this comment about the “Grand March”:
“If Progress is inevitable, and the Communist Party is the leader of society’s Grand March to the progressive future, then, the theory goes, to resist the Party is to stand against the future – indeed, against reality itself. Those who oppose the Party oppose progress and freedom and align themselves with greed, backwardness, bigotry, and all manner of injustice. How necessary – indeed, how noble – it is of the Party to bulldoze these stumbling blocks on the Grand March and make straight and smooth the road to tomorrow.”

LTC Robert Maginnis “Progressive Evil”: “In 1956 Russia’s Communist leader Nikita Khrushchev said: “We will take America without firing a shot. We do not have to invade the U.S. We will destroy you from within…”
Progressives are fulfilling Khrushchev’s promise by making this country impotent, a socialist state controlled by amoral wealthy elites who seek to overthrow America from the inside out by redefining our rights, our institutions and ideals.”

Dr. Michael Heiser “The Unseen Realm”
“Humankind was created as God’s image. If we think of imaging as a verb or function, that translation makes sense. We are created to image God, to be his imagers. IT IS WHAT WE ARE BY DEFINITION.
The image is not an ability we have, but a status. We are God’s representatives on earth. To BE human is to image God.
This is why Genesis 1:26-27 is followed by what theologian call the “dominion mandate” in verse 28. The verse informs us that God intends us to be him on this planet. We are to create more imagers in order to oversee the earth by stewarding its resources and harnessing them for the benefit of all human imagers.”

Rod Dreher in his book titled: “Live not by Lies”
Believers in the Myth of Progress hold that the present is better than the past and that the future will inevitably be better than the present.

The Czech playwriter and future post-communist president Vaclav Havel published an essay in 1978 titled:
“The Power of the Powerless; Citizens Against the State in Central-Eastern Europe”
“A person who lives only for his own comfort and survival and who is willing to live within a lie to protect that, is a DEMORALIZED PERSON.
The system depends on this demoralization, deepens it, is in fact a projection of it into society. Living within the truth, as humanity’s revolt against an enforced position, is, on the contrary, an attempt to REGAIN CONTROL OVER ONE’S OWN SENSE OF RESPONSIBILITY.”

A.W. Tozer in his book “The Dangers of a Shallow Faith” writes:
“Christian liberty is freedom to live in the Spirit, unhindered by externals. Christian liberty is freedom from fear of the government, freedom from fear of your sins, freedom from fear of God’s service, freedom from fear of the devil, freedom from black cats and birds and amulets and spells and charms and wizardry, freedom from religious bondage of every kind, and freedom from the iron yoke of traditions. Christian liberty is freedom to live in the Spirit and worship God in Spirit and Truth.

WE WILL NEVER BOW

Erwin Lutzer in his book “We Will Not Be Silent”; sub-titled:
“Responding Courageously to Our Culture’s Assault on Christianity”, writes:
“In one of George Orwell’s essays we are given a graphic image of human lostness. He describes a wasp that was “sucking jam on my plate, and I cut him in half. He paid no attention, merely went on with his meal, while a tiny stream of jam trickled out of his severed esophagus. Only when he tried to fly away did he grasp the dreadful thing that had happened to him. It is the same with modern man.”
“Everything might seem normal among us. We have our homes, our vocations, and our salaries. Like the wasp, we are content because we still have elections, we still have courts. We still have a congress and a president. We are still able to preach the gospel in our churches. But recently we have faced a health pandemic, an economic crisis, and heightened racial conflict amid political wrangling and increased polarization. The underbelly of our nation is being eaten away and, like Orwell’s wasp, we might not recognize our true condition until we wake up and realize our wings have been severed. The America we thought we knew is no more. And our churches have accepted these changes with little more than a whimper.”
We are in a firestorm for the future of America. But more importantly, we are in a firestorm within our churches, some of which have already substituted culture in the place of the gospel. I want to inspire us to have the courage to walk toward the fire and not run away from the flames. God has brought us to this cultural moment, and our future cannot be taken for granted.
As has been said, “In a time of universal deception, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

In 2010, Erwin Lutzer published the book “When a Nation Forgets God”
“Martin Niemoller and Dietrich Bonhoeffer gathered opposition to Hitler’s intrusion into the affairs of the church. When Hitler heard that there might be a church split because some pastors objected to his agenda, he summoned the leaders of the churches to a personal conference on January 25, 1934.
Niemoller and other members of the clergy walked past the SS guard to the Reich Chancellery in Berlin and soon were ushered into Hitler’s study:
Hitler began by reproaching his guests, treating them to a tirade about how he was misunderstood. “Peace” he said, is all that he wanted. “Peace between Church and state.” He blamed them for obstructing him, sabotaging his efforts to achieve it. Niemoller was waiting for a chance to speak, and when he had the opportunity, explained that his only object was the welfare of the church, the state, and the German people. Hitler listened in silence and then said, “You confine yourself to the Church. I’ll take care of the German people.”
The conversation then drifted to other themes. When it was over, Hitler shook hands with the clergy and Niemoller realized this would be his last opportunity to speak his mind. Carefully choosing his words, he said: “You said that ‘I will take care of the German people.’ But we too, as Christians and churchmen, have a responsibility toward the German people. That responsibility was entrusted to us by God, and neither you nor anyone in this world has the power to take it from us.” Hitler turned away without a word.
That same evening, eight Gestapo men ransacked Niemoller’s rectory for incriminating material. A few days later a homemade bomb exploded in the hall.”
“These threats were easier for Niemoller to bear than some of the criticism he received from his colleagues for his strong words to Hitler. Clearly the majority of the clergy had adopted an attitude OF SAFETY FIRST. More than two thousand pastors who had stood with Niemoller and Bonhoeffer withdrew their support. They believed that appeasement was the best strategy; they thought that if they remained silent, they could live with Hitler’s intrusion into church affairs and his political policies.”

One of Bonhoeffer ‘s famous quote is:
“The test of the morality of a society is what it does for its children.”

IT’S FOR THE COMMON GOOD, IT’S A MATTER OF RIGHTS, IT’S A MATTER OF JUSTICE.

George Orwell in his novel ‘1984’ the world is ruled by three superstates.
Oceania covers the entire continents of America and the British Isles. They are the main locations of the novel. George Orwell describes a chilling totalitarian state where the so-called MINISTRY OF TRUTH uses sinister language called NEWSPEAK, to brainwash the people. The slogan of Oceania is “WAR IS PEACE; FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH.”
In other words, the elimination of individual freedom was sold to the population as a plus. Slavery to the state was presented as the gateway to freedom and prosperity. Conquest was sold as liberation. And everything done was always for “the good of the people”.

His name is Edward Bernays. He is the one who pioneered the scientific technique of what he called “engineering of consent”. During World War I, he was an integral part – along with Walter Lippman – of the U.S. Committee on Public Information (CPI), a powerful propaganda machine that advertised and sold the war to the American people as one that would “MAKE THE WORLD SAFER FOR DEMOCRACY”. The marketing strategies for all future wars would be based on the CPI model.
In this book Edward Bernays writers: “we are governed, our minds molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of…..It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind, who harness old social forces and contrive new ways to bind and guide the world.”

You have heard it say that THE ONE WHO CONTROLS THE LANGUAGE WILL CONTROL THE DEBATE.

It’s another way of propaganda. The Bible calls it deception. Let’s just take one issue: Abortion!!!
• Those who oppose abortion are described as being “at war with women”.
• Pro-abortion advocates are “protecting women’s health”
• Pro-abortion advocates sponsor the “REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH ACT”
These are all propaganda slogans.
REALTY IS WE ARE KILLING PREBORN INFANTS.
Let me tell you, Hitler would have put it more delicately: “We will just put the baby on a low-calorie diet.”

WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

Winston Churchill was once asked to give the qualifications a person needed in order to succeed in politics, and he replied:
“It is the ability to foretell what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month, and next year. And to have the ability afterwards to explain why it didn’t happen.” Winston Churchill

On May 22, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson spoke at the University of Michigan these words: “In your time we have the opportunity to move not only toward a rich society and the powerful society, but upward to the GREAT SOCIETY.”
President Lyndon B. Johnson

“Look to others and be distressed;
Look at yourself and be depressed;
Look to God, and you will be blessed.”

A Former KGB Agent by the name of Yuri Bezmenov defected to the United States in 1970.
He gave an interview in 1985 (which is still on YouTube today) were he revealed the strategy Communistic regimes are using to bring down the United States and the Western World.
“Marxism-Leninism ideology is being pumped into the softheads of at least three generations of American students, without being challenged or counter-balanced by the basic values of Americanism and American patriotism.
The demoralization process in the United States is basically completed already…Most of it is done by Americans to Americans thanks to lack of moral standards.
As I mentioned before, exposure to true information does not matter anymore. A person who was demoralized is unable to assess true information. The facts tell nothing to him. Even if I shower him with information, with authentic proof, with documents, with pictures. Even if I take him by force to the Soviet Union and show him concentration camp he will refuse to believe it until he is going to receive a kick in his fat bottom. When the military boot crashes him, then he will understand, but not before that. That’s the tragic of the situation of demoralization.” Yuri Bezmenov
“The United States is in a state of war. Undeclared total war against the basic principles and the foundations of this system……
The time bomb is ticking. Every second, the disaster is coming closer and closer. Unlike myself, you will have nowhere to defect to unless you want to live in antarctica with penguins. This is it. This is the last country of freedom and possibility.” Yuri Bezmenov

Francis Schaeffer in his book “How Should We Then Live?” published in 1976 wrote these words:
“The danger in regard to the rise of authoritarian government is that Christians will be still as long as their own religious activities, evangelism, and life-styles are not disturbed.
We are not excused from speaking, just because the culture and society no longer rest as much as they once did on Christian thinking. Moreover, Christians do not need to be in the majority in order to influence society.”
“If we as Christians do not speak out as authoritarian governments grow from within or come from outside, eventually we or our children will be THE ENEMY OF SOCIETY AND THE STATE.
No truly authoritarian government can tolerate those who have a real absolute by which to judge its arbitrary absolutes and who speak out and act upon that absolute. This was the issue with the early church in regard to the Roman Empire, and though the specific issue will in all probability take a different form than Caesar-worship, the basic issue of having an absolute by which to judge the state and society will be the same.”
“To make no decision in regard to the growth of authoritarian government is already a decision for it.” Francis Schaeffer

Bill Muehlenberg wrote “A commentary on issues of the day” in CUTLURE WATCH. He published it September 4, 2018
“The Christian claim that Christ is Lord always puts it at odds with the state and other power structures. Demand of absolute loyalty to God alone makes the faith something that will threaten rulers who seek to have total control and demand complete allegiance.”

What are you waiting for?
• A supernatural event that would change our circumstances?
• A powerful political leader that would lead us out of this mess?
• A powerful religious leader who understands the spiritual battle?
• A 100% proven effective vaccine that eradicates COVID-19?
• A power economic miracle that would promise a better standard of living than we ever had before?
Isaiah 40:31
But they that WAIT FOR THE LORD, shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.

THE DAY IS COMING

Chuck Swindoll in his commentary on Malachi writes:
“The people of Judah began to be exiled from the Promised Land in 605 B.C. and returned from Babylon about seventy years later. By the time of Malachi, they had been back in the land for more than a hundred years and were looking for the blessings they expected to receive when they returned.
Though the temple had been rebuilt, the fervor of those early returning Israelites had given way to a thorough apathy for the things of God. This led to rampant corruption among the priesthood and spiritual lethargy among the people.
Malachi came along at a time when the people were struggling to believe that God loved them. The people were focused on their unfortunate circumstances and refused to account for their own sinful deeds.
So, God pointed the finger back at them, and through Malachi, told the people where they had fallen short of their covenant with Him. If they hoped to see change, they needed to take responsibility for their own actions and serve God faithfully according to the promise that their fathers had made to Him on Mount Sinai all those years before.”

In his book ‘DARK AGENDA’ – “The war to destroy Christian America”, author David Horowitz (published 2018) writes:
“Religion must die in order for mankind to live”, proclaims left-wing commentator and comedian Bill Maher in RELIGULOUS, the most watched commentary feature of 2008.
Both title and script were transparent attempts to stigmatize religious people as dangerous morons whose views could not be taken seriously. Through the film, Maher travels to Jerusalem, the Vatican, and Salt Lake City, as well as other centers of religion, interviewing believers and making them appear foolish. How did he gain interviews with his victims? HE LIED TO THEM, SAYING HE WAS MAKING A FILM CALLED ‘A Spiritual Journey.”
According to Maher, “THE IRONY OF RELIGION IS THAT BECAUSE OF ITS POWER TO DIVERT MAN TO DESTRUCTIVE COURSES, THE WORLD COULD ACTUALLY COME TO AN END.” He predicts the destruction of the human race as a result of “religion-inspired nuclear terrorism.” Hence the need for religion to die if mankind is to live. Maher’s views accurately reflect the attitudes of a movement called THE NEW ATHEISM, whose leaders are prominent scientists and best-selling authors, far superior in intellect to Maher but equally contemptuous of religion and religious believers.
Like Maher’s film, the New Atheism movement seeks to discredit all religious belief by caricaturing its adherents as simpletons, and worse. The goal of the New Atheism is to delegitimize and extinguish the religious point of view.”

Most people don’t realize that if God is dead,
THEN EVERYTHING IS PERMITTED, BECAUSE THERE ARE NO GROUNDS FOR CALLING ANYTHING – AN ACT, A STATEMENT, AN EVENT, A CHOICE, EITHER GOOD OR BAD, RIGHT OR WRONG, VALUABLE OR WORTHLESS, IMPORTANT OR UNIMPORTANT.

Richard Dawkins “The God Delusion” (2006)
“Do we know of any……examples where stupid ideas have been known to spread like an epidemic? Yes, by God! Religion. Religious ideas are irrational. Religious believes are dumb and dumber. Religion drives otherwise sensible people into celibate monasteries or crashing into New York skyscrapers. Religion motivates people to whip their own backs, to set fire to themselves or their daughters, to denounce their own grandmothers as witches, or, in less extreme cases, simply to stand or kneel, week after week, through ceremonies of stupefying boredom.”

C.S. Lewis in his book “The Abolition of Man” writes:
“The triumph of personal desire over objective validity as a standard of behavior creates what is tantamount to a moral vacuum into which will rush disordered passions bloated in their abnormal freedom from any constraint.
The three passions are: THE LUST FOR SENSATION, THE LUST FOR MANIPULATIVE KNOWLEDGE, AND THE WILL TO POWER, respectively.
The egotistical will to power and pleasure supersedes any less explicit idea or sentiment of obligation to some criterion or good outside of self.
It assumes that the pleasure of self is the highest good and that life is an aesthetic phenomenon; under such conditions, society becomes a jungle in which eventually a contest for the survival of the fittest can only favor the Nazi, the Hell’s Angel, the robber baron, and the gangsters.”

JESUS IS FAR ABOVE ALL POWERS

Chuck Swindoll in his Daily Devotional from December 31, 2020 writes:
“A new year is smiling at us, with twelve months of the unknown. I feel like we’re sitting on the beach, an entire ocean of possibilities, including both sundrenched days and a few storms with howling winds and giant waves, stretched out across the unchartered waters. If you and I let ourselves, we could become so afraid of the potential dangers that we would miss the adventure.
Becoming a couch potato is an option. You’d look toward the horizon, entertain a few thoughts that start with “Someday……” but then lean back and just keep looking and longing. Hawaii would never have been discovered had everyone chosen to sit tight and stay with a sure thing.
Sandwiched between January 1 and December 31 are twelve exciting yet unlived months of opportunities. Challenges brought on by changes await us. We will be shoved out of our comfort zones and required to respond. We can do so positively or negatively, with optimism or with pessimism. Even the familiar beach we have gotten used to is in for some changes, forcing us to leave our “spot” and accept new surroundings. If you are not careful, you’ll be so preoccupied with complaining, you’ll miss your golden moment to grow a little…to make some new discoveries…to switch from being a passive sitter on the beach to becoming an active participant in the adventure beyond the familiar.

THE STAKES ARE HIGH

Corrie Ten Boom (1892-1983) “Marching Orders for the End Battle”
“In order to realize the worth of the anchor we need to feel the stress of the storm.”

“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” Corrie Ten Boom

Dr. Michael Heiser in “The Unseen Realm” writes:
“The New Testament marks the rebirth of a struggle thousands of years in the making. The people of God have been isolated and under foreign rule. The divine presence of the days of Moses, David, Solomon, and the prophets is nothing but memory. When angels visit Mary and Zechariah to announce the impending births of Jesus and John, centuries of divine silence are broken. Thirty years later, JUDEA WILL EXPLODE. The unseen spiritual conflict is even more volatile.
Every chapter of the New Testament provides a glimpse into this conflict. The cosmic geography of the Old Testament is evident in the New. Where Jesus goes and what he says and does when he gets there is FRAMED BY CONFRONTATION WITH UNSEEN POWERS. The conflict pursues him unto death – as God had planned, and as Jesus provoked.
The Kingdom of God establishes a permanent beachhead at the foot of the cross and the door of the empty tomb.”

Dr. Michael Heiser: “The Unseen Realm”
“The seed of Abraham, scattered to the winds in exile, turn out to function like spiritual cell groups secretly planted in every nation under the dominion of the hostile gods. The kingdom spreads slowly but relentlessly, one new believer at a time. Every church is a new pocked of resistance, every baptism another pledge of allegiance to the Most High, and every celebration of the Lord’s Supper a denial of fellowship with lesser masters and a proclamation of the success of Yahweh’s mysterious plan. The lines are drawn. The stakes are high. The enemy desperate. The fullness of the Gentiles will come, all Israel will be saved, and the Deliverer will come from the heavenly Zion. IT’S JUST A MATTER OF TIME.”

“Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed Lamb contesting the vote.” Benjamin Franklin

THE PRINCIPLE OF AGREEMENT IS FUNDAMENTAL HOW THE SPIRITUAL WARFARE OPERATES
“In reality, what Christians call “spiritual warfare” is more than just spiritual; it’s a collusion of spirits and human organizations that have the power to either heal and reconcile or divide and conquer the nation by stirring hatred between genders, races, and social economic classes. I believe that riots and civil unrest in cities are connected by a threefold cord joining the vulnerabilities of people, the agenda of political/social organization operating in cities, and the territorial spirits that dominate a geography. As activities come into a territory, they activate the people and stir up the territorial spirits to mobilize manifestation.” Lance Wallnau “God’s Chaos Code”

On June 15, 2020, a program hosted by the Fowler Museum at UCLA, Cullors and Melinda Abdullah, co-founders of Black Lives Matter-Los Angeles, discussed the role that spirituality has played in the Black Lives Matter movement. “In the interview, Abdullah said it took her almost a year before she realized BLM was much more than a racial and social justice movement. “At its core, it’s a spiritual movement,” she said.
Cullors, in startling detail, revealed the extent to which they are tapping into the spirit realm when calling out the names of the victims.
“It is literally almost resurrecting a spirit so they can work through us to get the work that we need to get done.” Abdullah added that, “We become very intimate with the spirits that we call on regularly. Right, like, each of them seems to have a different presence and personality. You know, I laugh a lot with Wakiesha, you know, and I didn’t meet her in her body. Right, I met her through this work. Wakiesha Wilson was an African American women found dead in a Los Angeles jail in 2016.
These are more than slogans; they are an appeal to the spirits of the deceased to rise up and work through her and others.” Lance Wallnau “God’s Chaos Code”

Bob Woodson is a faith-filled man who works with people that are struggling:
“Spiritual work is practical work, and the real systemic problem isn’t racism, it’s greed.
In 1960, when the government started spending 22 trillion, 70 cents of every dollar did not go to the poor, it went to those who served the poor. They asked not which problems are solvable, but which once are fundable. And so what happened is we’ve created a commodity out of poor people.
And so, as a consequence, there was no incentives to solve problems of the poor because the careers of those serving them were dependent upon having people to serve.
Up until 1960, eighty-five percent of all black families had a man and a women raising children. That figure is now reversed; 75 percent of all African American families today are single-parent house holds.
So social policies of the 60s did what racism couldn’t have accomplished before. And that’s why in the black community, you’ve seen the families disintegrate over the last 50 years, when prior – but a hundred years prior to that, black families were intact.” Bob Woodson “Countering NY Times 1916 Project”

“The American storm is larger than racial, gender, and political division. When the disciples feared that the storm would sink the boat, they cried out and waakened Jesus who arose to rebuke the storms. The challenge for us is that there is no physical Jesus to awaken – IT IS THE SLEEPING BODY OF CHIRST THAT MUST AWAKEN AND SPEAK TO THE STORM.
Angry waves have overtaken the ship, and demonic winds may lash the vessel violently, but God is on board this boat. To quell the ferocity of the storm, it’s going to take all of us finding our place in the midst of the crisis, the chaos, and the call of God.” Lance Wallnau

WHAT IF?

Stuart Briscoe in his book titled: “Vital Truths to Shape Your Life”
“Freedom creates options. Political freedom allows me to vote for the politician whose platform most closely reflects my political opinions – or not to vote at all. Religious freedom allows me to worship at the church, synagogue, mosque, or temple that I believe teaches the truth. Or I am free not to believe anything. Economic freedom allows me to live where I wish, drive what I prefer, travel where I want, wear what I like, associate with whom I choose. BUT ALL THESE OPTIONS REQUIRE ME TO CHOOSE. “

Ian Thomas comments on this text: “Those who would have you reject the Virgin Birth of Christ, would have you believe that He was the illegitimate child of a woman who was both unfaithful and a liar! Others would have you believe that a matter of such gravity is of no particular consequence! Remember that every lie is a lie about the truth – and every lie comes from the same source, the big Lie, who is the father of lies.”

Ian Thomas: “By the Word of God, through the Holy Spirit, acting on the obedience of Faith. That is how the miracle took place, and Christ was born in Bethlehem. …By His incarnation the Lord Jesus Christ had established a precedent in procedure for spiritual regeneration.

BE A HONEY BADGER

Gad Saad wrote the book titled: “The Parasitic Mind” subtitled: “How Infectious Ideas Are Killing Common Sense”
“Many people living in the West tell me they want to defend our liberty but cannot do so publicly because they could suffer professional or social consequences. Therein lies the problem. Did the young, Allied soldiers landing on the shores of Normandy in World War II ask for a guarantee of their safety before charging German machine guns and mortars?”
Their selfless heroism granted me the freedom to type what you are currently reading. Millions of individuals have sacrificed their lives so that your children and mine could live in free societies. And yet, most people today are unwilling to speak their minds lest they be unfriended by an acquaintance on Facebook. Cowardice should be added to the list of seven deadly sins.
THERE IS NO WAY TO PARTICIPATE IN THE GRAND BATTLE OF IDEAS FOR THE SOUL OF THE WEST WITHOUT FACING ANY THREATS.”

Paul Joseph Watson wrote on article published under www.summit.news
“Senior U.S. Army Official Says There Will Never Be a Return to “Normal” Post-COVID”
“During a speech at the U.S. Army’s annual conference, Bruce Jette, assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology, said that measure implemented across the country will remain in place across the defense industry to protect against the shutdown of production facilities.
He also suggested that the restrictions should remain in place for the general public.
“I would say we don’t back off of the COVID-19 standards because it will also reduce the impact of flu and other illnesses,” he added. “We think continuing to apply these same techniques would be further beneficial to the people and to the Army overall.”
Here is what he put up on Twitter:
“A vaccine on its own will not end the COVID-19 pandemic. We will still need to continue:
• Surveillance
• Testing, isolating & caring for cases
• Tracing & quarantining contacts
• Engaging communities
• Encouraging individuals to be careful.

Author Joseph Massey commented: “I’m not a conspiracy theorist, nor am I a COVID denier, but people like this make it difficult not to believe that lockdowns are more about social engineering than they are about stopping the virus. A vaccine is not a ‘COMPLEMENT” to being isolated and muzzled like an animal”.

How did the Nazi Government in Germany get away with all this? They called it “Enabling Act of 1933, which formally granted the government the authority to issue whatever edicts it wanted under the guise of remedying the distress of the people.”
Do you know that on November 18, 2020, the German parliament passed a law, the so-called ‘INFECTION PROTECTION ACT’ formally granting the government the authority to issue whatever edicts it wants under the guise of protecting the public health.

“Carl Teichrib “Game of Gods”: From politics to transhumanism to the interfaith movement, western culture is quickly turning away from a Biblical Worldview AND EMBRACING A False Gospel of ONENESS.”

GO TELL THAT FOX

King Herod was the tetrarch of Galilee meaning “ruler of a fourth,” for the kingdom was divided) He was King of Judea and he ruled the territory with Roman approval. While Judea as an independent kingdom it was under heavy Roman influence and HEROD came to power WITH ROMAN SUPPORT. It was in Herod’s territory where Jesus was ministering. We all know about Herod the Great, the one who was in power when Jesus was born and who slaughtered the innocent children after the Magi told him about the Christ child, but this is his son, Herod Antipas. What do we know about him? Well, when Jesus calls him “that fox,” he is not just saying that he is as sly as a fox but Jesus is actually insulting him, for a fox is an unclean animal in the Israelite holiness codes. Herod the Great (Herod Antipas’ father) was by descent an EDOMITE, whose ancestors had converted to Judaism. Herod was raised a Jew.

C.S. Lewis, “The Abolition of Man”
“Man’s conquest of Nature, if the dreams of some scientific planners are realized, means the rule of a few hundreds of men over billions upon billions of men.”

As John Whitehead wrote:
“Like it or not, the COVID-19 pandemic with its veiled threat of forced vaccinations, contact tracing, and genetically encoded vaccines is propelling humanity at warp speed into a whole new frontier – a surveillance matrix – the likes of which we’ve only previously encountered in science fiction. Those who eye these developments with lingering mistrust have good reason to be leery.
The government has long had a tendency to unleash untold horrors upon the world in the name of global conquest, the acquisition of greater wealth, scientific experimentation, and technological advances, all packaged in a guise of the greater good.
Indeed, “we the people” have been treated like lab rats by government agencies for decades now: caged, branded, experimented upon without knowledge of consent, and then conveniently discarded and left to suffer from the after-effects.
“There is a sinister world beyond that which we perceive, one in which power players jockey for control over the one commodity that is a necessary ingredient for total domination: YOU.
By you, I mean you the individual in all your SINGULAR HUMANNESS.”
“Remaining singularly human and retaining your individuality and dominion over yourself – mind, body, and soul – in the face of corporate and government technologies that aim to invade, intrude, monitor, manipulate and control us may be one of the greatest challenges before us.”
These COVID-19 vaccines, which rely on messenger RNA technology that influences everything from viruses to memory, are merely the tipping point.
The groundwork being laid with these vaccines is a prologue to what will become the police state’s conquest of a new, relatively unchartered, frontier; mental, emotional, of the human race.”
If you were unnerved by the rapid deterioration of privacy under the Surveillance State, prepare to be terrified by the surveillance matrix that will be ushered in on the heels of the governments, rollout of this COVID-19 vaccine.”

The term “SINGULARITY” – that is, computers simulating human life itself – was coined years ago by mathematical geniuses Stanislaw Ulam and John von Neumann.

“The ever accelerating progress of technology gives the appearance of approaching some essential singularity in the history of the race beyond which human affairs, as we know them, could not continue.
The plan is to develop a computer network that will exhibit intelligent behavior equivalent to or indistinguishable from that of human beings by 2029. And this goal is to have computers that will be a billion times more powerful than all of the human brains on earth.”
John von Neumann

Science and Technology Journalist Marcelo Gleiser published an article under the title :”The Transhuman Future; BE More Than You Can Be”
“How is it that we define a human? Is it our body? Our genome? Our behaviors? Our self-awareness? Our compassion? Our minds? All of these and then something more? What now may be obvious to most people about being human will become less so as we become progressively more integrated with technology both inside and outside our bodies.”
“The future? Transhumanism will only grow. Technological devices will be implanted in our heads and bodies, our used peripherally, like Google Glass, extending our senses and cognitive abilities. Why see only in the visible portion of the electromagnetic spectrum? Let’s go ultraviolet! Infrared! Let’s extend our hearing range, our memory capacity, our immune defenses, our life span, our brainpower.” Marcelo Gleiser

Ray Kurzweil is the brainchild behind what Google is doing. This is what he sees:
“Google will know all the answer to your question before you have asked it. It will have read every email you’ve ever written, every document, every idle thought you’ve ever tapped into a search-engine box. It will know you better than your intimate partner does. Better, perhaps, than even yourself.

Ray Kurzweil wrote in his book titled:
“SINGULARITY IS NEAR: When Humans transcend Biology”
“Artificial circuits replicating themselves at a molecular level will merge with the biological circuits that constitute our nervous systems, giving rise to an ENHANCED HUMAN SUPER INTELLIGENCE. Once this starts happening, what we now call the Internet will in effect become telepathic, giving these enhanced humans instantaneous access to all available knowledge and information as they fashion their brave new world. You see how explosive this gets? And its just the beginning.
Once the process gets underway, the evolving superintelligence keeps expanding until it permeates the entire planet and, still accelerating, eventually the universe.
That movement should one day facilitate rapid travel beyond our own galaxy, taking the process literally everywhere.”

STAND FIRM

Pamela Popper and Shane Prier published a book under the title:
“COVID OPERATION; what happened, why it happened and what’s next”
“The most consequential thing to happen in the world since World War II, this event has been perpetrated by a wide network of enemies of the people who have managed to disguise themselves as public servants,
health professionals, and founders and heads of global non-profits. They are everywhere, they are incredibly rich, they are powerful, and they are intent on getting their way.”
“Scenarios for the Future of Technology and International Development”
The First Scenario is titled: “LOCK STEP” a world of tighter top-down government control and more authoritarian leadership with innovation and growing citizen pushback.”
“The pandemic also had a deadly effect on economies: international mobility of both people and goods screeched to a halt, debilitating industries like tourism and breaking global supply chains. Even locally, normally bustling shops and office buildings sat empty for months, devoid of both employees and customers.
The United States initial policy of strongly discouraging citizens from flying proved deadly in its leniency, accelerating the spread of the virus not just within the U.S. but across borders. However, a few countries did fare better – China in particular. The Chinese government’s quick imposition and enforcement of mandatory quarantine for all citizens, as well as its instant and near-hermetic sealing off of all borders, saved millions of lives, stopping the spread of the virus far earlier in other countries and enabling a swifter post-pandemic recovery.
During the pandemic, national leaders around the world flexed their authority and imposed airtight rules and restrictions, from the mandatory wearing of face masks to body-temperature checks at the entries to communal spaces like train stations and supermarkets. Even after the pandemic faded, this more authoritarian control and oversight of citizens and their activities stuck and even intensified.
In order to protect themselves from the spread of increasingly global problems – from pandemics and transnational terrorism to environmental crisis and rising poverty – leaders around the world took a firm grip on power.”
“At first, the notion of a more controlled world gained wide acceptance and approval. Citizens willingly gave up some of their sovereignty – and their privacy – to more paternalistic state in exchange for greater safety and stability.
In developed countries, this heightened oversight took many forms: biometric ID’s for all citizens, for example, and tighter regulation of key industries whose stability was deemed vital to national interests.”
“Technology in Lockstep is largely driven by government and is focused on issues of national security, health and safety:
Scanners using advanced functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) technology become the norm at airports and other public areas to detect abnormal behavior that may indicate “antisocial intent.”
“Many people might conclude that either the authors of this document had incredible psychic powers or that the document is being used worldwide today as a handbook for decision-making.” “COVID OPERATION by Popper & Prier”

We hear a lot about CCP, the Chinese Communist Party Virus. The Chinese Communist Party is built upon THE COMMUNIST MANIFESTO, written and published by Karl Marx and Fredrick Engel in February 1848.
In this manifesto Marx and Engel advocated the violent destruction of private enterprise, social classes, nations, religions, and the family.

Chuck Swindoll wrote an article with the title: “Don’t Quit”
“There is not an achievement worth remembering that isn’t stained with the blood of diligence and checkered with the scars of disappointment. To quit may feel good now, but it’s a bummer when life’s bills come due. Giving thought to giving up? Considering the possibility of quitting? Looking for an easy way out? Entertaining the idea of running away…stopping before it’s finished…escaping from reality? Admittedly, the holiday season only encourages such feelings of despair. Don’t! Instead, I urge you to draw near to God and to His people. Don’t retreat, but rather surround yourself with loving, supportive friends. And let God be gracious to you. It’s always harder to quit when a few friends stand with you.”

THE FAITH FACTORY

C.S. Lewis published the out of print book titled:
“The Humanitarian Theory of Punishment” sub-titled: “God in the Dock”
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victim may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated, but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their conscience.”

January 29, 2020 Timothy Akinyomi published an opinion article in the “Businessday.ng” In the article he quoted Ronald Coase, Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago Law School, “If you torture data long enough, it will confess to anything”.

Louis Mencken was an American journalist, essayist, satirist, cultural critic, and scholar of American English. He commented widely on the social scene, literature, music, prominent politicians, and contemporary movements. Wikipedia. “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.”

On April 2, 2020, Madeline Chambers wrote an article in the “Thomson Reuters Foundation News” titled:
“Germans Snitch on Neighbors Flouting Virus Rules, in Echo of the Stasi Past”
In the article the reporter explained that “Munich police took up to 150 calls every day last week from citizens reporting alleged breaches of corona rules.”

Douglas Axe, William Briggs and Jay Richards, have just published a book under the title:
“THE PRICE OF PANIC” subtitled:
“How the Tyranny of Experts turned a Pandemic into a Catastrophe”
Under the chapter: “What about Masks?” they write:
“At first, neither WHO nor the CDC encouraged masks for healthy people, perhaps because it’s so easy to misuse them and they feared shortages among healthcare workers. Moreover, the WHO report says: “There is a moderate overall quality of evidence that face masks do not have a substantial effect on transmission of influence.”
The message from WHO and the CDC did not inspire confidence. They seemed to be saying both that masks don’t work, and that people shouldn’t hoard them because healthcare workers need them. Surgeon General Jerome Adams managed to distill this confusing message into a single tweet.
On February 28, he wrote:
“Seriously people – STOP BUYING MASKS! They are NOT EFFECTIVE in preventing general public from catching #Coronovirus, but if healthcare providers can’t get them to care for sick patients, it puts them and our communities at risk.”
It looks like the CDC was trying to herd sheep rather than reason with adults.
In the end, face coverings may have been as much about signaling and social control as about science and safety.”

Under the chapter: “High School Science Fair” they write:
“Perhaps the weirdest fact about coronavirus models was described in a NEW YORK TIMES article: “THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE BIRTH OF SOCIAL DISTANCING.”
The idea started as “an important discovery kicked off by a high school research project pursued by the daughter of a scientist at the Sandia National Laboratories.”
In 2006, fourteen-year old Laura Glass developed a model of social networks in her high school in Albuquerque. That’s impressive. But what’s troubling is that this science-fair project gave rise to the template of shutting the world down on the signal from health authorities.
This dystopian progression started when Laura’s dad, Sandia National Laboratories scientist David Glass, took notice. The two expanded on the idea by applying the model to a pandemic, and they published a paper on it with two other authors in a CDC journal. It’s called: “Targeted Social Distancing Designs for Pandemic Influenza.”

“The excited authors of this paper sent their simulation to a
Dr. D.A. Henderson, who was, as the New York Times explains, “the leader of the international effort to eradicate smallpox and had been named by (President) Bush to help oversee the nations biodefense efforts after the 2001 terrorist attacks.”
Henderson pushed back, saying that “it made no sense to force schools to close or public gatherings to stop.” Indeed, if authorities adopted such policies, he rightly discerned, the result would be “possibly serious economic problems.”
Henderson had vast scientific expertise and broad and pertinent experience dealing with such crisis. His advice? We should “TOUGH IT OUT: LET THE PANDEMIC SPREAD, TREAT PEOPLE WHO GET SICK AND WORK QUICKLY TO DEVELOP A VACCINE TO PREVENT IT FROM COMING BACK.”

Francis Schaeffer in his book published in 1968 “The God Who is There” writes:
“Demonstrating God’s character must be existential. As far as living is concerned, we are on the knife-edge of time.
What will matter is our relationship to the Lord Jesus, individually and then corporately, at this existential moment. What counts, as men look upon us individually and corporately, is whether we are exhibiting God and His character NOW. The Christian position is not static, but is LIVING.”

THE FEAR FACTORY

Some years ago, the late Nobel prize-winning Dr. Albert Schweitzer was asked by a reporter: “Doctor, what’s wrong with men today? The great doctor was silent a moment, and then he said, “Men simply don’t think!”

In 2015 R. Nelson Nash, the founder of the Nelson Nash Institute, wrote an article titled:
“How did Governments build a trap to enslave people financially?”
Surely, by this time in your life, you have a deep-seated feeling that there is something fundamentally wrong in the financial world today. There is debt of unbelievable proportions! There is confused thinking that results in irrational behavior as a matter of course. We are treated to a plethora of information daily to substantiate this truth. As a result of all this, I see a lot of despair and anguish expressed by a large segment of our population. I really think that it is the feeling of most people, they are saying, “What a mess we are in!” What are they going to do about it? We need to get the right folks in our government offices! Get out and vote! That is our only hope! Of course, there is another large faction that is totally consumed with apathy. They do not have a clue as to what has happened – and what is currently happening. What happened to cause this deplorable situation? These things just don’t happen by chance. There is always an underlying cause.”

Peter is telling us that we HAVE TO BE SOBER MINDED and WATCHFUL
(1 Peter 5:8) because we do have an adversary which we cannot ignore.
Chuck Swindoll in his Study Bible makes this comment:
“Please be careful about identifying every ache and pain and problem you encounter as being satanic in origin. When every difficulty we encounter is regarded as a demonic attack, it’s a form of sickness, not a sign of maturity. At the same time, we should not be flippant about our adversary. We should stay alert in readiness but not in fear. Peter tells us to “stand firm against” the devil. I see nothing of fear in those words. Christian, don’t run scared of the enemy. But don’t play with him either.”

“Give me control of a nations’ money and I care not who makes the laws.” Mayer Amschel Rothchild

“The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed, the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influences, are usually slaves of some defunct economist.” John Maynard Keynes

Who is Klaus Schwab?
Born in Ravensburg in 1938, Klaus Schwab is a child of Adolf Hitler’s Germany, a police-state regime built on fear and violence, on brainwashing and control, on propaganda and lies, on industrialism and eugenics, on dehumanisation and “disinfection”, on a chilling and grandiose vision of a “new order” that would last a thousand years.
Schwab seems to have dedicated his life to reinventing that nightmare and to trying to turn it into a reality not just for Germany but for the whole world.
Worse still, as his own words confirm time and time again, his technocratic fascist vision is also a twisted transhumanist one, which will merge humans with machines in “curious mixes of digital-and-analog life”, which will infect our bodies with “Smart Dust” and in which the police will apparently be able to read our brains.
He and his accomplices are using the Covid-19 crisis to bypass democratic accountability, to override opposition, to accelerate their agenda and to impose it on the rest of humankind against our will in what he terms a “Great Reset“. off-Guardian.org

“Sooner than most anticipate, the work of professions as different as lawyers, financial analysts, doctors, journalists, accountants, insurance underwriters or librarians may be partly or completely automated… Klaus Schwab

Schwab predicts:
“As capabilities in this area improve, the temptation for law enforcement agencies and courts to use techniques to determine the likelihood of criminal activity, assess guilt or even possibly retrieve memories directly from people’s brains will increase. Even crossing a national border might one day involve a detailed brain scan to assess an individual’s security risk”. Klaus Schwab
“The mind-boggling innovations triggered by the fourth industrial revolution, from biotechnology to AI, are redefining what it means to be human,”
“The future will challenge our understanding of what it means to be human, from both a biological and a social standpoint”.[1]
“These technologies will operate within our own biology and change how we interface with the world. They are capable of crossing the boundaries of body and mind, enhancing our physical abilities, and even having a lasting impact on life itself.”

A few weeks ago Colin Todhunter wrote an outstanding article and published it in the (off-Guardian.org)
“The great reset entails a transformation of society resulting in permanent restrictions on fundamental liberties and mass surveillance as entire sectors are sacrificed to boost the monopoly and hegemony of pharmaceuticals corporations, high-tech/big data giants, Amazon, Google, major global chains, the digital payments sector, biotech concerns, etc.”
“Using COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions to push through this transformation, the great reset is being rolled out under the guise of a ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ in which older enterprises are to be driven to bankruptcy or absorbed into monopolies, effectively shutting down huge sections of the pre-COVID economy. Economies are being ‘restructured’ and many jobs will be carried out by AI-driven machines.”
The jobless (and there will be many) could be placed on some kind of universal basic income and have their debts (indebtedness and bankruptcy on a massive scale is the deliberate result of lockdowns and restrictions) written off in return for handing their assets to the state or more precisely the financial institutions helping to drive this great reset.
“The WEF says the public will ‘rent’ everything they require: stripping the right of ownership under the guise of ‘sustainable consumption’ and ‘saving the planet’. Of course, the tiny elite who rolled out this great reset will own everything.”
The billionaire class who are pushing this agenda think they can own nature and all humans and can control both, whether through geoengineering the atmosphere, for example, genetically modifying soil microbes or doing a better job than nature by producing bio-synthesized fake food in a lab.
They think they can bring history to a close and reinvent the wheel by reshaping what it means to be human. And they think they can achieve this by 2030. It is a cold dystopian vision that wants to eradicate thousands of years of culture, tradition and practices virtually overnight.The great reset includes farmerless farms being manned by driverless machines, monitored by drones and doused with chemicals to produce commodity crops from patented GM seeds for industrial ‘biomatter’ to be processed and constituted into something resembling food. What will happen to the farmers?
“The massive technocratic transformation currently envisaged regards humans as commodities to be controlled and monitored just like the lifeless technological drones and AI being promoted.But do not worry – you will be property-less and happy in your open prison of mass unemployment, state dependency, track and chip health passports, cashlessness, mass vaccination and dehumanisation.” Colin Todhunter

THE LUST FOR POWER

In the Epilogue to his “Caesar and Christ (1944), historian Will Durant noted that,
“A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself within. The essential causes of Rome’s decline lay in her people, her morals, her class struggle, her failing trade, her bureaucratic despotism,
her stifling taxes, her consuming wars.”

Lawrence Reed a historian and economist wrote in 2014 an essay titled: The fall of the Republic
I don’t really disagree with Durant’s statement. However, if pressed to describe in one word why the ancient Roman Republic fell, I wouldn’t choose any that Durant mentions here. I would not choose corruption, nor any of the other usual suspects: war, socialism, slavery, the welfare state, envy, civil strife, foreign invasion, erosion of character, taxes, bureaucracy, spending or debt. Those were all important factors, but they were symptomatic rather than causative.
More than anything else, the drawn-out demise of Rome’s 500-year-old Republic must be laid at the doorstep of the most corrosive influence in the affairs of humankind. It’s a mental poison that twists and warps even the best of men and women if they allow it to take root in their souls.
I refer to power—the exercise of control over others. Simply the pursuit of it, whether one ultimately attains it or not, is itself an intoxicant.
Since most people don’t want someone else to control them, one who wishes to control others must sooner or later convince his victims (if he doesn’t kill them first) that it’s good for them to either embrace it or refrain from resisting it. That invariably requires lies and deception and, ultimately, force and violence. The more I observe the ways that power-seekers behave—present company as well as the hordes from history’s dustbin—the more I’m convinced that power is the principal way that pure Evil manifests itself.”

The ESV Study Bible has commentaries on the Roman Empire and the Greco-Roman World at the time of the New Testament.
Under the title: “Religion and Magic” we find this comment:
“Most today think of Roman religion in terms of its pantheon of gods and goddesses, such as Jupiter, Venus, and Mars (or their Greek counterparts Zeus, Aphrodite and Ares). Certainly, this pantheon was central to civic life. Touring an ancient city, one would see dozens of temples (some of immense size) dedicated to such deities. These gods were thought to act as benefactors both to the individual and to the city. Yet, should one neglect these deities, they could become angry and injure the individual or society.”

Hitler’s Monsters: A Supernatural History of the Third Reich”
published 2018 by Eric Kurlander, Professor of History (Author)
“The Nazi fascination with the occult is legendary, yet today it is often dismissed as Himmler’s personal obsession or wildly overstated for its novelty. Preposterous though it was, however, supernatural thinking was inextricable from the Nazi project. The regime enlisted astrology and the paranormal, paganism, Indo-Aryan mythology, witchcraft, miracle weapons, and the lost kingdom of Atlantis in reimagining German politics and society and recasting German science and religion. Even as popular occultism and superstition were intermittently rooted out, suppressed, and outlawed, the Nazis drew upon a wide variety of occult practices and esoteric sciences to gain power, shape propaganda and policy, and pursue their dreams of racial utopia and empire.”

Bestselling author Sidney Kirkpatrick in his book “HITLER’S HOLY RELICS” tells the riveting and never before told true story of how an American college professor hunted down and recovered the most cherished symbols of Hitlers 1000 year Reich before they could become a rallying point in the creation of a Fourth and equally unholy Reich.

“From Paris to Stalingrad, the Nazis systematically plundered all manner of art and antiquities. But the first and most valuable treasures they looted were the Crown Jewels of the Holy Roman Empire.
Anticipating the Allied invasion of Nazi Germany, Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler had ordered a top-secret bunker carved deep into the bedrock beneath Nürnberg castle. Inside the well-guarded chamber was a specially constructed vault that held the plundered treasures Hitler valued the most: the Spear of Destiny (reputed to have been used to pierce Christ’s side while he was on the cross) and the Crown Jewels of the Holy Roman Empire, ancient artifacts steeped in medieval mysticism and coveted by world rulers from Charlemagne to Napoleon. But as Allied bombers rained devastation upon Nürnberg and the U.S. Seventh Army prepared to invade the city Hitler called “the soul of the Nazi Party,” five of the most precious relics, all central to the coronation ceremony of a would-be Holy Roman Emperor, vanished from the vault. Who took them? And why? The mystery remained unsolved for months after the war’s end, until the Supreme Allied Commander, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, ordered Lieutenant Walter Horn, a German-born art historian on leave from U.C. Berkeley, to hunt down the missing treasures.

To accomplish his mission, Horn must revisit the now-rubble-strewn landscape of his youth and delve into the ancient legends and arcane mysticism surrounding the antiquities that Hitler had looted in his quest for world domination. Horn searches for clues in the burnt remains of Himmler’s private castle and follows the trail of neo-Nazi “Teutonic Knights” charged with protecting a vast hidden fortune in plundered gold and other treasure. Along the way, Horn has to confront his own demons: how members of his family and former academic colleagues subverted scholarly research to help legitimize Hitler’s theories of Aryan supremacy and the Master Race. What Horn discovers on his investigative odyssey is so explosive that his final report will remain secret for decades.”
“Hitler’s Holy Relics: A True Story of Nazi Plunder and the Race to Recover the Crown Jewels of the Holy Roman Empire”; Sidney Kirkpatrick, 2011

KEEP YOUR THOUGHTS PURE AND GUARD YOUR MIND AT ALL TIMES. Serving instead of being served is the answer to never LUST FOR POWER.

FREEDOM IS RESPONSIBILITY

Freedom IS RESPONSIBILITY
Freedom is a MEANS to live within the truth.

As we have learned last Sunday, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the Russian philosopher and author who wrote the “GULAG ARCHIPELAGO” and with it exposed the rottenness of Soviet totalitarianism wrote: “The foundation of totalitarianism is an ideology made of lies. The system depends for its existence on a people’s fear of challenging the lies.” Alexander Solzhenitsyn

In his book “The Deeper State” Lt. Col. Robert Maginnis gives us this definition:
“Globalism is a synonym for globalization, the system of global economic interconnection that is embraced by liberal groups like labor unions, climate change alarmists, and the wealthy, self-righteous elite. Many of those same advocates mistakenly claim globalization is a dispassionate concept that describes the associated increasing connectivity throughout the world that makes our lives better. That’s at best A HALF-TRUTH.”
He goes on to say:
“The core of the world’s globalist community is a worldwide network of self-consumed elitists and their mass of naïve supporters – international financiers, the royal landowners and wealthy political figures who seek TO CONTROL EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE ON EARTH.
They use their wealth to exercise CONTROL OVER THE GLOBE’S POWER CENTERS -corporations, the media, education, governments, religion, medicine, and even the military.”

In 1964, then Senator Barry Goldwater published a book titled:
“WITH NO APOLOGIES”. In it he exposed the globalist agenda.
“David Rockefeller’s newest international cabal (The Trilateral Commission) is intended to be the vehicle for multinational consolidation of the commercial and banking interests by seizing CONTROL of the political government of the United States…
The Trilateral Commission represents a skillful, coordinated effort to SEIZE CONTROL and consolidate the four centers of power: political, monetary, intellectual, and ecclesiastical. What the Trilateral Commission intends is to create a worldwide economic power superior to the political governments of the nation states involved. As managers and creators of the system, they will rule the future.”

Well, in 1991 David Rockefeller, the founder of the Trilateral Commission, confirmed what Goldwater published 27 years earlier
“We are grateful to the Washington Post, The New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years. It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subject to the bright lights of publicity during those days.”
The work is now much more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national auto determination practiced in past centuries.”

Quoting Lt.Col. Robert Maginnis one more time:
“The problem is that most of the public hasn’t a clue about the danger posed by elite globalists, which reminds me of something Adolf Hitler,
the genocidal Nazi dictator, once said about the German masses:
‘HOW FORTUNATE FOR LEADERS THAT MEN DO NOT THINK.’
It’s time the masses awaken to the globalist threat and think about the likely consequences of their agenda.” Lt.Col.Robert Maginnis

Before I read to you her definition of TOTALITARIANISM, let me give you the definition of AUTHORITARIANISM.
AUTHORITARIANISM is what you have when the state monopolizes political control. That is also known as dictatorship – bad as this is, totalitarianism is much worse.

“A totalitarian society is one in which an ideology seeks to displace all prior traditions and institutions, with the goal of BRINGING ALL ASPECT OF SOCIETY UNDER CONTROL OF THAT IDEOLOGY. A totalitarian state is one that aspires to nothing less than defining and controlling reality. TRUTH IS WHATEVER THE RULERS DECIDE IT IS. Wherever totalitarianism has ruled it has begun to destroy the essence of man.” Hannah Arendth “The Origins of Totalitarianism”

Rod Dreher in his book “Live Not By Lies” unmasks those people this way:
“Back in the Soviet era, totalitarianism demanded love for the Party, and compliance with the Party’s demands was enforced by the state. Today, totalitarianism demand allegiance to a set of progressive beliefs, many of which are incompatible with logic – and certainly with Christianity. Compliance is forced less by the state than by elites who form public opinion, and by private corporations that, thanks to technology, control our lives far more than we would like to admit.”
“Soft totalitarianism exploits decadent modern man’s preference for personal pleasure over principle, including political liberties. The publish will support, or at least not oppose, the coming soft totalitarianism, not because it fears the imposition of cruel punishments but because it will be more or less satisfied by hedonistic comforts.”
“Soft totalitarianism makes use of advanced surveillance technology not yet imposed by the state, but rather welcomed by consumers as aids to lifestyle convenience – and in the post pandemic environment, likely needed for public health. It is hard to get worked up over Big Brother when you have already grown accustomed to Bid Data closely monitoring your private life via pass, credit cards, and smart devices, which make life so much easier and more pleasurable.
In Orwell’s fictional dystopia, the state installed “telescreens” in private homes to keep track of individual’s lives. Today we install smart speakers into our homes to increase our sense of well-being.”

“The death of God in the West had given birth to a new civilization devoted to liberating the individual to seek his own pleasures and to managing emergent anxieties. Religious Man, who lived according to belief in transcendent principles that ordered human life around communal purposes, had given way to Psychological Man, who believed that there was no transcendent order and that life’s purpose was to find one’s own way experimentally. Man no longer understood himself to be a PILGRIM on a meaningful journey with others, but as a TOURIST who traveled through life according to his own self-designed itinerary, with personal happiness his ultimate goal.”
“For the first time, humankind was seeking to create a civilization based on the negation of any binding transcendent order.
The Bolsheviks may have been godless, but even they believed that there was a metaphysical order, one that demanded that individuals subordinate their personal desires to a higher cause.” Philip Rieff
Rieff is famous for writing: “Even the church leaders were lying to themselves about the ability of the institutions they led to resist the therapeutic.”

In 2005, the sociologists of religion Christian Smith and Melinda Lunquist Denton coined the phrase: Moralistic Therapeutic Deism

“If true freedom is defined as freedom of choice, as opposed to the classical concept of choosing virtue, then the door is wide open to reforming religion along therapeutic lines centered around subjective experience. This is why so many conservative Christians did not see, and still cannot explain, the ongoing victories of transgenderism in the culture war. The transgender phenomenon, which requires affirming psychology over biological reality, is a logical culmination of a process that started centuries earlier.
Christian resistance on a large scale to the anti-culture has been fruitless, and is likely to be for the foreseeable future. WHY? Because the spirit of the therapeutic has conquered the churches as well – even those populated by Christians who identify as conservative. Relatively few contemporary Christians are prepared to suffer for their faith, because the therapeutic society that has formed them denies the purpose of suffering in the first place, and the idea of bearing pain for the sake of truth seems ridiculous.” Rod Dreher “Live Not By Lies”

LIVE NOT BY LIES

In September of this year, Rod Dreher published a book titled “Live not by Lies.”
“Identity politics are beginning to encroach on every aspect of life. Civil liberties are increasingly seen as a threat to “safety”. Progressives marginalize conservative, traditional Christians, and other dissenters. Technology and consumerism hasten the possibility of a corporate surveillance state. And the pandemic, having put millions out of work, leaves our country especially vulnerable to demagogic manipulation”. Rod Dreher

Here is the method of resistance he gleaned from those people who lived through totalitarianism:
• SEE: Acknowledge the reality of the situation.
• JUDGE: Assess reality in the light of what we as Christians know to be true.
• ACT: Take action to protect truth.

“Though lies may conceal everything, though lies may control everything, we should be obstinate about this one small point:
let them be in control but without any help from any of us…
It is the easiest thing for us to do and the most destructive for the lies. Because when people renounce lies, it cuts short their existence.” Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Even if, Solzhenitsyn continued, “we do not march into the squares and shout the truth out loud… let us refuse to say what we do not think…let us each make a choice: whether to remain consciously a servant of falsehood…or to shrug off the lies and become an honest man worthy of respect from one’s children and contemporaries.”
Such a person, Solzhenitsyn wrote:
•will not sign, write or print in any way a single phrase which in his opinion distorts the truth;
•will not utter such a phrase neither in private conversation nor in public, neither on his own behalf nor at the prompting of someone else, neither in the role of agitator, teacher, educator, nor as an actor;
•will not depict, foster or broadcast a single idea in which he can see a distortion of the truth, whether it be in painting, sculpture, photography, technical science or music;
•will not cite out of context, either orally or in writing, a single quotation to please someone, to feather his own nest, to achieve success in his work, if he does not completely share the idea which is quoted, or if it does not accurately reflect the matter at issue;
•will not allow himself to be compelled to attend demonstrations and meetings if they are contrary to his desire;
•will immediately walk out of a meeting, session, lecture, performance or film if he hears a speaker tell lies, or purvey ideological nonsense or shameless propaganda;
•will not subscribe to or buy a newspaper or magazine in which information is distorted and primary facts are concealed.
While these are not “all possible and necessary ways of avoiding lies,” wrote Solzhenitsyn, “whoever begins to cleanse himself will easily apply the cleansing pattern to other cases.” And then he warns,
“It will not be the same for everybody at first. Some will lose their jobs. But there are no loopholes… Either truth or falsehood: towards spiritual independence or towards spiritual servitude. If we are too frightened, then we should stop complaining that we are being suffocated. We are doing this to ourselves …”

Paul Craig Roberts, an American economist, and a professor of economics at several U.S. universities wrote in a recent article:
“The question each of us needs to ask ourselves, and one another, is why do we get so much misinformation about Covid from public health authorities, political authorities, and press prostitutes?
We get a lot of misinformation from health practitioners, because they get the bogus information from health authorities and from researchers ASSOCIATED WITH BIG PHARMA.
Take the issue of masks.
If the masks people are wearing protected against bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens, there would be no point in N95 and higher rated masks. Medical authorities know this, so why are people told, indeed forced, to wear ineffectual masks?
Public health authorities know that the Covid death rate is greatly exaggerated. In the USA, only 9,000 were due to Covid alone.
So why do public health authorities withhold this information from political authorities and the public, and why do reporters not ferret it out? The information exists. It just isn’t reported.
Covid is being used to serve many interests. Among them, Covid is being used to complete the universal Police State by digitizing money. Once electronic money takes the place of currency, checks, and coins, your financial privacy and your control over your money and wealth will disappear.
Are Americans capable of learning? How many lies do they have to be told before they begin to wonder?” Paul Craig Roberts

GROUND ZERO

Chuck Swindoll in his commentary on Mark writes:
“Luke mentions Mark several times in Acts. A budding Jerusalem church meets in his mother’s home.
He starts the first missionary journey with Paul and Barnabas but goes home early. He later travels with Barnabas to Cyprus for more mission work. Then he ends up becoming significant in the life of Paul and is one of the last people the apostle mentions in his final letter to Timothy.
However, Mark’s most significant personal connection was the one he had with Peter, who was likely Mark’s source for the material in his Gospel. Mark’s mother’s house was a regular enough stop for Peter that one of the servants recognized him by his voice alone.
It also appears that Mark may have been present at Gethsemane, a young man watching the proceedings from a safe distance (Mark 14:51-52).
The evidence for this leads some scholars to believe that the Last Supper took place in Mark’s home.”

“Satan presumed power and ownership of something that, ultimately, was not his but God’s. The messaging behind Jesus’ answer is clear: Yahweh will TAKE THE NATIONS back by HIS OWN MEANS and in HIS OWN TIME. He does not need them to be given away in a bargain.
Jesus was loyal to his Father. Since reclaiming the nations was connected with salvation and redemption for the effects of the fall in Eden, accepting Satan’s offer would have undermined the necessity of the atonement of the cross.” Dr. Michael Heiser “The Unseen Realm”

In his newest book titled: “COLLISION COURSE” LTC Robert Maginnis writes:
“You cannot understand the anti-Christian movement today without first knowing about the enemy and the particulars of his strategy. The problem for many is that although the anti-Christian war may manifest itself in the visible domain, most of the real fight against Christians is waged in the invisible realm, which makes this such a hard fight to understand.
Yes, the battle Christians face today is a spiritual one, where fallen angels rule. Jesus wants us to understand that this fight is not one of just the physical realm, but o the spiritual, which REQUIRES FAITH. And, of course, as a result, one must be spiritually discerning to even “SEE” the overwhelming evidence of the ongoing battles.” LTC Robert Maginnis
Of course, Robert Maginnis has read and studied the old Chinese compilation of thousands of years of war experiences called
“SUN TZU, THE ART OF WAR”
“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a handful battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

Dr. Michael Heiser
«Caesarea Philippi is adjacent to the Pharpar River. Noting this geography, we can see exactly where Jesus was when he uttered the famous words about “this rock” and the “gates of hell” to Peter.
Caesarea Philippi was located in the northern part of the Old Testament region of Bashan, the “place of the serpent” at the foot of Mount Hermon.
…This site was famous in the ancient world as a center of the worship of Pan and for a temple to the high god Zeus, considered in Jesus’ day to be incarnate in Augustus Caesar.
As one authority notes:
“More than twenty temples have been surveyed on Mt. Hermon and its environs. This is an unprecedented number in comparison with other regions of Phoenician coast. They appear to be the ancient cult sites of the Mt. Hermon population and represent the Canaanite/Phoenician concept of open-air cult centers dedicated, evidently, to the celestial gods.”
The reference in the quotation to ‘celestial gods’ takes our minds back to the “host of heaven” the sons of God who were put in authority over the nations at Babel (Deuteronomy 32:8-9) who were not to be worshiped by Israelites.”
Michael Heiser then summarized the entire quotation with these words:
“The “Rock” refers to the mountain LOCATION where Jesus makes the statement. When viewed from this perspective, Peter confesses Jesus as the Christ, the Son of the living God, at “this Rock” (Mount Hermon). Why? This place was considered the “gates of hell” the gateway to the realm of the dead, in Old Testament times.

BUILDING THE TEMPLE

“THE STARS OF GOD” are probably symbolic of angels or Elohim
(spiritual beings of the Divine Council over which Yahweh presides)
“MOUNT OF THE CONGREGATION” refers to meeting place of spiritual rulers around God’s throne.
“THE HEIGHTS OF THE CLOUDS” refers to God’s spiritual magnificence, the Shekinah glory.

Dr. Michael Heiser in his book “Supernatural” writes:
“He got a rude awakening. Since the Serpent’s deception led to Adam and Eve’s sin, he was expelled from God’s home and banished to earth – the place where death reigns, where life is not everlasting.
He became lord of the dead, which meant that the great enemy now had claim over all humans since the events in Eden meant the loss of earthly immortality. Humanity would now need to be redeemed to have eternal life with God in a new Eden.”
“The fallout was a series of curses. The curse upon the Serpent included a bit of prophecy. God said Eve’s offspring and that of the Serpent would be at odds. “Then Yahweh God said to the serpent……I will put hostility between you and between the women, and between your offspring and between her offspring” (Genesis 3:14-15 LEB).
Who are Eve’s offspring? Humanity. And who are the Serpent’s offspring? Well, that’s more abstract. The apostle John gives us examples – like the Jewish leaders who hated Jesus. “You are of your father the devil.” Jesus told them (John 8:44). Jesus called his betrayer, Judas, a devil (John 6:70). The serpent’s offspring is anyone who stands against God’s plan, just as he did”.

Carl Teichrib in his book “Game of Gods” writes:
“Humanity has three great desires:
• TO BE AS GOD
• TO BE MASTERS OF MEANING AND DESTINY
• TO BUILD HEAVEN ON EARTH”

This is nothing new: In 1891, Ernest Renan published the book titled: “The Future of Science”
“Science is a religion, science alone will henceforth make the creeds, science alone can solve for men the eternal problems, the solution of which his nature imperatively demands.”

Simon Schama published the book “Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution”
“Christianity, “that infamous thing,” was to vanish in revolutionary fervor. Politicized Christendom would be overthrown by the enlightened masses who, armed with reason guided by passion, were themselves led by men of conviction. Churches were vandalized, mounds of hymn books burned, and “ceremonies of mockery” witnessed priests denouncing their faith. Even the Gregorian calendar was dissolved, with its even-day week replaced by a ten-day cycle dedicated to the veneration of nature. And as each month was structured with an even thirty days, the year would end with an extra five-day block set aside for humanist festivals.”

On November 10, 1793, a Festival of Liberty and Reason was held in the “liberated” Cathedral of Notre Dame. Yale Professor Franklin Baumer in his book “Religion and the Rise of Scepticism”, describes what happened:
“As the Spectators entered the cathedral, they saw, some doubtless with astonishment, the insignia of Christianity covered up and their place taken by the symbols of a strange new religion.
Rising up in the nave was an improvised mountain, at the top of which perched a small Greek temple dedicated “TO PHILOSOPHY” and adorned on both sides by the busts of philosophers.
Halfway down the side of the mountain a torch of TRUTH burned before an altar of REASON. Then ensued a bizarre ceremony which culminated in the emergence from the temple of a beautiful women, an actress of the Paris Opera, dressed in red, with, and blue garments, who personified LIBERTY.
The spectators proceeded to render homage to LIBERTY by stretching out their arms to hear and singing a hymn…….”COME, HOLY LIBERTY, INHABIT THIS TEMPLE, BECOME THE GODDESS OF THE FRENCH PEOPLE.”

Carl Teichrib observes:
“Modernity is an umbrella label for an epoch that witnessed a number of movements and ideas expressing a similar outcome – the humanist progression of society, wherein authentic knowledge and meaning are discovered by NATURALISTIC determination and no Christian revelation. In general, Modernity, often used interchangeably with MODERNISM, upheld humanistic rationalism as the arbitrator of truth. Reason, therefore, proclaimed the goodness of Man over the Christian teaching of original sin, celebrated individual autonomy without moral guilt, worked through industries to harness the beast of nature, and looked to naturalism social guidance. Man became the center of the universe.”

In 1918 Benjamin Kidd, a British social theorist, published his book titled: “The Science of Power”
“Once effectively imposed, this idealism (humans are molded by the social pressure) becomes the expression of the living soul of a people. Its influence cannot be estimated. It subordinates everything. It becomes Power incarnate.
The great secret of the coming age of the world is that civilization rests not on Reason but on Emotion.
It is clearly in evidence that the science of creating and transmitting public opinion under the influence of collective emotion is about to become the principle science of civilization to the mastery of which all governments and all powerful interests will in the future address themselves with every resource at their command.”

EATING THE FRUIT

In his book “The Beginning – Genesis” Les Woodson writes:
“If man were to share the Creator’s likeness, he must be allowed the use of his will. Where there is no choice, will is not only superfluous but nonexistent. Only in the midst of creative tension which provides at least one option can man be other than a non-choosing beast. The continual conflict made possible by the presence of a choice between two alternatives is an essential ingredient in RESPONSIBLE LIVING.”

Carl Teichrib in his book “Game of Gods” describes him:
“The one before Eve is shrewd and deliberate, showing an exceptional understanding of the human propensity to rationalize. The serpentine-dragon imagery is a powerful expression of his very potent nature. In the Garden he comes to dialogue, to question and test, and to masterfully engage in the salesmanship of self-justification.”
One more quote from Carl Teichrib’s book:
“THE BENEFITS OF PARTAKING APPEARED TO SURPASS THE COSTS: Life would go on, wisdom was to be granted, and the human status would be elevated. This “knowledge”, allowing one to apparently become as Yahweh Himself, would achieve A GREATER GOOD.
Enlightenment was before them. Following the angelic advice, they engaged in the act of taking and eating, the first TECHNIQUE of human-proclaimed self-divinity.”
In so doing, they discovered the tempter had wiled them with a HALF-TRUTH. Immortality vanished and the idea of becoming “as God” proved illusionary. Of course, the truth-part was we “experientially and spiritually” entered the realm of the “knowledge of good and evil”. We had now tasted its capability, but as the Garden incident demonstrated and human history shows, we were personally and collectively unable to control its capacity.
IT CONTROLS US.”

Dr. Michael Heiser in his book “The Unseen Realm” answers that question:
“God is not evil, there is no biblical reason to argue that God predestined the fall, though he foreknew it. There is no biblical reason to assert that God predestined all the evil events throughout human history simply because he foreknew them….
God does not need evil as a means to accomplish anything.
God foreknew the fall. That foreknowledge did not propel the event. God also foreknew a solution to the fall that he himself would guarantee…
Evil does not flow from a first domino that God himself toppled. Rather, evil is the perversion of God’s good gift of free will. It arises from the choices made by imperfect imagers, not from God’s prompting or predestination. God does not need evil, but he has the power to take the evil that flows from free-will decisions – human or otherwise – and use it to produce good and his glory through the obedience of his loyal imagers, who are his hands and feet on the ground NOW.”

The fact and the truth are amazingly simple: The responsibility to choose how we act and react is on us. It also means that what we choose to do is an important part of how things will turn out.
WHAT WE DO MATTERS; PERIOD.

The Swiss Theologian Emil Brunner in his book “Man and Creation” wrote:
“Man is, and remains, responsible, whatever his personal attitude to his Creator may be. He may deny his responsibility, and he may misuse his freedom, but he cannot get rid of his responsibility. Responsibility is part of the unchangeable structure of man’s being. That is; the actual existence of man – of every man, not only the man who believes in Christ – consists in the positive fact that he has been made to respond – TO GOD.”

Occult historian Richard Cavendish writes the following regarding the BLACK ARTS.
“The driving force behind black magic is hunger for power. Its ultimate aim was stated, appropriately enough, by the serpent in the Garden of Eden.
“Ye shall not surely die; for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.’ In occultism the serpent is a symbol of wisdom, and for centuries magicians have devoted themselves to the search for the forbidden fruit which would bring fulfillment of the serpents promise. Carried to its furthest extreme….to make himself a god.”

In 1988 Mark Braham published the book titled: “New Ideas in Environmental Education” which was used as the resource book by the INTERNATIONAL UNION FOR CONSERVATION OF NATURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES/ COMISSION OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNTIES.
“The source of our planetary problems lies at that point in evolution at which instinct was transformed to intention through the agency of human life. Like so many events, it is recalled in myth and retold down the ages in the legend of the Garden of Eden.
Traditionally, the Serpent is the symbol of Wisdom, and God’s messenger on Earth. Hence, the Serpent symbolizes consciousness, a point well understood by yogis and those practitioners who know somewhat of kundalini, the ‘serpent power’, that, rising, through the hierarchy of chakras or centers of consciousness, as they are understood to be in Hindu and Buddhist thought, enables the initiate to acquire successively higher states of awareness.”
“The Serpent, as the principle of consciousness, fecundated Eve, the Earth Mother, who in turn, gave is to a new Adam, a new type of Man…
By eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, Adam broke the bounds of instinct and entered the realm of mind, with its potential for reflection and choice. Our time is one that is marked by a spiritual quest. Although there has been a loss of faith in traditional religious practices, and little satisfaction in the secular of the past decades, there is a widespread search for meaning that may include, but cannot be satisfied by, ordinary rationality.”

UNDERSTANDING THE CONFLICT

Stanley Ellison in his book “Three Worlds in Conflict” writes:
“Back to the future is no longer an oxymoron; it’s a fact of life. It’s where we live. We all have a bit of the prophet in us as tomorrow keeps crowding in on our agendas.
History is passe and we often neglect its lessons. Our focus is more on the ecstatic hype and hope of tomorrow. This game of trying to beat the odds of the future is one we all play, and for any entrepreneur bent on getting a “leg up” on the competition, it is almost essential. In business, medicine, sports and entertainment, success very often depends on one’s ability to outguess the future. Like it or not, tomorrow with its fears occupies much of our thinking today.”

Michael Horton in his book “Christless Christianity” writes:
“What would things look like if Satan really took control of a city? Over a half century ago, Presbyterian minister Donald Grey Barnhouse offered his own scenario in his weekly sermon that was also broadcast nationwide on CBS radio. Barnhouse speculated that if Satan took over Philadelphia, all the bars would be closed, pornography banished, and pristine streets would be filled with tidy pedestrians who smiled at each other. There would be no swearing. The children would say: “Yes, sir” and “No, ma’am”, and the churches would be full every Sunday………WHERE CHRIST IS NOT PREACHED.”

Robert Schuller’s book: SELF-ESTEEM – THE NEW REFORMATION
“A Church can afford to think in a God’ centered fashion, but a mission must put humans at the center.
It was appropriate for Calvin and Luther to think theocentrically, but now the scales must tip the other way toward a human needs approach. In fact, classical theology has erred in its insistence that theology be God-centered, not man-centered.
Sin is defined as any act of thought that robs myself or another human being of his or her self-esteem….
And what is hell? It is the loss of pride that naturally follows separation from God – the ultimate and unfailing source of our soul’s sense of self-respect.
A person is in hell when he has lost his self-esteem. The cross sanctifies the ego trip.”

One more quote from Stanley Ellisen’s book: “Three Worlds in Conflict”
“Contrary to many naïve notions, the devil is not a green monster with a pitchfork. He is often a do-gooder. His goal in life is not to produce gangsters and drunkards, but to counterfeit the works of God. This has been his ambition ever since he went into business for himself, saying I his preamble: “I will make myself like the Most High” (Isaiah 14:14). The effect of this ply is that he more closely imitates God’s models in his people, the less likely they are to be inclined to seek God or pursue His will. He is a master imitator of God.
Why then does God allow this counterfeit operation to continue? A part of the answer is to intensify man’s spiritual choice and remove it from the arena of mere morality to aesthetics. False religions often have strict morals and beautiful rituals that don’t necessarily make them authentic. TRUE FAITH RESPONDS TO GOD’S WORD, not to attractions of religious niceties. The net effect is that Satan’s kingdom serves as a giant magnet to attract the superficial.”

BEARING GOD’S NAME

Carmen Joy Imes is an associate professor of Old Testament. In her dissertation titled: Bearing YHWH’s Name at Sinai: A Reexamination of the Name Command of the Decalogue” she writes:
”bearing the name of Yahweh is comparable in meaning to the High Priest bearing the names of the tribes of Israel on his breastplate and bearing the name of Yahweh on his forehead. He represents – in both directions – those whose name he bears. Similarly, those who bore the name of Yahweh, like those who bear the name of Christ, represented that name before a watching world. Israel was called to live in the midst of the nations as the people who bore the name of Yahweh and made Yahweh “visible” in the world by walking in his ways and reflecting his character. To bear the name of the Lord was not merely an inestimable privilege and blessing but a challenging ethical and missional responsibility.”

50 years ago, Os Guiness wrote a book titled: “The Dust of Death” with the subtitle: “The sixties counterculture and how it changed America forever.” He republished the book again 2018.
“Western civilization is in decline, and its lead society, the American Republic, is as deeply divided as at any time since just before the Civil War. But why? Is it simply a clash between the “coastals” (New York and California) and the “heartlanders” (the Midwest and the South), or between the “nationalists and populists” (President Trump’s “forgotten people”) and the “globalists” (of the George Soros-like Western elites)?
There are multiple causes of the deep and bitter polarization, but the deepest of all has been almost completely overlooked, and the sixties provided a massive thrust forward in this development.
The ultimate source of the current divisions in America is between those who understand the Republic, and above all freedom, from the perspective of the American Revolution and those who understand the Republic and freedom from the perspective of the French Revolution and its heirs and their ideas.
Stop to reflect on ideas such us “progressivism,” “postmodernism,” “political correctness,” “identity and tribal politics”, “multiculturalism”, “social constructionism,” the “sexual revolution,” the recent rage for socialism, or the leftward drift of the Democratic party and many in the media.
It quickly becomes clear that these ideas have little or nothing to do with 1776 and the American Revolution and its views of freedom. Rather, they are rooted in ideas that come directly or indirectly from 1789 and the French Revolution, and behind it the French Enlightenment and its later heirs such as Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche, Antonio Gramsci, Wilhelm Reich, Herbert Marcuse, Saul Alinsky and Michel Foucault.
Hence the significance of the 1960s and its expression of the “revolutionary faith” that has flowed down from the French Enlightenment and the French Revolution.
The “seismic sixties” was the decade when the radical ideas first broke through into mainstream American thinking and life. Even more importantly, the sixties were the years when many of the seeds of today’s most radical ideas were sown, only to flower more recently in their most destructive forms.”

Antonia Gramsci is such a person we never hear of. He was sitting in jail under Mussolini in the 1920 when he formulated the revolutionary vision into what is known as CULTURAL MARXISM. In his PRISON NOTEBOOKS he argued that
“the timeline should be slow and incremental rather than sudden. It’s goal must be to gain dominance in the “ruling class” through penetrating the “gatekeepers” and the “switch points” in a society – first “demoralizing” the previous leaders of the ruling class, and then slowly replacing them with new revolutionary ideas and narratives. If revolutionaries were to gain “mastery of human consciousness” in this way, they would not need concentration camps and mass murder. Even the KGB would be less important than the winning of the cultural gatekeepers.”
He called this process “The Long March”.

Os Guinness comments on this
“Fifty years later, it is clear that the long march through the institutions has succeeded beyond the wildest dreams of the late sixties. In much of the worlds of colleges and universities, the press and the media, and Hollywood and entertainment, many of the prominent ideas and attitudes reflect the thinking of 1789 and its heirs and not the ideals of 1776. America has been bewitched. The great American Republic is in the process and switching revolutions from the American to the French.
…the sixties sowed the dragon’s seeds that are producing the bitter harvest being reaped today. The roots of those ideas go back far earlier than the sixties, but it was the sixties that gave them the thrust that made them the destructive force they are today.”

Adam Sedgwick, Darwin’s former mentor in natural science at the University of Cambridge, wrote a letter to Darwin after reading ‘the origin of Species’.
In it Sedgwick wrote:
“Passages in your book…greatly shocked my moral taste. There is a moral or metaphysical part of nature as well as a physical. A man who denies this is deep in the mire of folly.
Tis the crown and glory of organic science that it does, through final cause, link material to moral. You have ignored this link.”

Robby Kossmann, a German zoologist who later became a medical professor, wrote an essay in 1880, titled:
“The Importance of the Life of an Individual in the Darwinian World View”.
He declared: “The Darwinian world view must look upon the present sentimental conception of the value of the life of a human individual as an overestimate completely hindering the progress of humanity. The human state also, like every animal community of individuals, must reach an even higher level of perfection, if the possibility exists in it, THROUGH THE DESTRUCTION OF THE LESS WELL ENDOWED INDIVIDUAL, for the more excellent endowed to win space for the expansion of its progeny…..
The state only has an interest in preserving the more excellent life at the expense of the less excellent.”

Richard Weikart in his book “From Darwin to Hitler” subtitled:
“Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics, and Racism in Germany” wrote:
So, what are the connection between Darwinism and Hitler and are they really all that significant?
First, Darwinism undermined traditional morality and the value of human life. Then, evolutionary progress became the new moral imperative. This aided the advance of eugenics, which was overtly founded on Darwinian principles. Some eugenicists began advocating euthanasia and infanticide for the disabled. On a parallel track, some prominent Darwinists argued that human racial competition and war is part of the Darwinian struggle for existence. Hitler imbibed these social Darwinists ideas, blended in virulent anti-Semitism, and – there you have it: HOLOCAUST.

Madison Grant, president of the New York Zoological Society, in 1916 published a book titled: “The Passing of the Great Race”
“Mistaken regard for what is believed to be divine laws and a sentimental belief in the sanctity of human life tend to prevent both the elimination of defective infants and the sterilization of such adults as are themselves of no value to the community. The laws of nature require the obliteration of the unfit, and human life is valuable only when it is of use to the community or race.

Richard Weikhart summarizes the devastating impact Darwinism has in Europe and in America.
“Leading Darwinists agreed that natural processes could account for all aspects of human society and behavior, including ethics. They denied any possibility of divine intervention, heaped scorn on mind-body dualism, and rejected free will in favor of complete determinism. For them, every feature of the cosmos – including the human mind, society, and morality – could be explained by natural cause and effect. Everything was thus subject to the ineluctable laws of nature. As a corollary to this, science became the arbiter of all truth. Not even ethics or morality could escape the judgments and pronouncements of science.”

1 Corinthians 15:45-49
Thus it is written, “The first Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.
But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven.
As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven.
Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.

Matthew 10:28-33
“And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.”

LIVING HOPE

1 Peter 1:3-21 (open your Bible and let’s read it)
You see that hope is more than mere wishful thinking. Hope is a vital necessity of life. Hope is a gift that God wants to give all of you. When your faith and hope is in God alone, dark pessimism, anxiety about the present and the future, depression and in some cases even suicidal thoughts, will evaporate.
Verse 13
Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the GRACE that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
There is Hope, LIVING HOPE, found in Christ Jesus alone.
Verse 24-25
All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass.
The grass withers, and the flower falls,
BUT THE WORD OF THE LORD REMAINS FOREVER.
And this word is the good news that was preached to you.

George Orwell in his novel 1984 writes:
“We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes a revolution in order to establish a dictatorship…
The object of power is power.”

In 2006 Richard Dawkins wrote the famous book “The God Delusion”. The idea behind the book is TO EXPLAIN HOW THE IDEA OF GOD IS ONE GRAND DELUSION THAT HAS INFECTED HUMANKIND, AND THE CURE IS ATHEISM.
In chapter 2 we find this opening statement:
“The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction; jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully. Those of us schooled from infancy in his ways can became desensitized to their horror.” Richard Dawkins “The God Delusion”
On Page 321:
“As a scientist, I am hostile to fundamentalist religion because it actively debauches the scientific enterprise. It teaches us not to change our minds, and not to want to know exciting things that are available to be known. IT SUBVERTS SCIENCE AND SAPS THE INTELLECT.”

David Berlinski, a secular Jew who holds a Ph.D. from Princeton University had to respond to Richard Dawkins book with a book on his own titled:
“The Devil’s Delusion; Atheism and its scientific Pretensions”
“If science stands opposed to religion, it is not because of anything contained in either the premises or the conclusions of the great scientific theories. They do not mention a word about God. They do not treat of any faith beyond the one that they themselves demand. They compel no ritual beyond the usual rituals of academic life, and these involve nothing more than the worship of what is widely worshipped. Confident assertions by scientists that in the privacy of their chambers they have demonstrated that God does not exist have nothing to do with science, and even less to do with God’s existence.”
“While science has nothing of value to say on the great and aching questions of life, death, love, and meaning, what the religious traditions of mankind HAVE said forms a coherent body of thought. The yearnings of the human soul are not in vain. There is a system of belief adequate to the complexity of experience. There is recompense for suffering. A principle beyond selfishness is at work in the cosmos. All will be well. I do not know whether any of this is true. I am certain that the scientific community does not know that it is false.
Occupied by their own concerns, a great many men and women have a dull, hurt, angry sense of being oppressed by the sciences. They are frustrated by endless scientific boasting. They suspect that as an institution, the scientific community holds them in contempt. They feel no little distaste for those speaking in its name. They are right to feel this way.” David Berlinski “The Devil’s Delusion”

A great many scientists are satisfied that at last someone has said out loud what so many of them have said among themselves:
“Scientific and religious belief are in conflict. They cannot be both right. Let us get rid of the one that is wrong.”
Quote from Peter Atkins, professor of physical chemistry at Oxford University and an ardent atheist.
In the course of an essay Atkins denounces not only theology but poetry and philosophy as well. He observes favorably of himself that scientists “are at the summit of knowledge, beacons of rationality, and intellectually honest”.
It goes without saying, Atkins adds, that “there is no reason to suppose that science cannot deal with every aspect of existence.” Science is after all, the apotheosis of the intellect and the consummation of the Renaissance.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci was interviewed by Michael Caputo on June 17, 2020
“ Well, one of the problems we face in the United States is that unfortunate, there is a combination of an anti-science bias that people are, for reasons that sometimes are, you know, inconceivable and not understandable, they just don’t believe science and they don’t believe authority. So, when they see someone up in the White House, which has an air of authority to it, who’s talking about science, that there are some people who just don’t believe that. And that’s unfortunate because YOU KNOW, SCIENCE IS TRUTH. AND IF YOU GO BY THE EVIDENCE AND BY THE DATA, YOU’RE SPEAKING THE TRUTH.” Dr. Anthony Fauci

There is no LIVING HOPE in science alone. You are still not convinced:

The first premise:
If God does not exist, then everything is permitted.

The second premise:
If science is true, then God does not exist.

The conclusion:
If science is true, then everything is permitted.

In 2007, a number of scientists gathered in a conference entitled:
“BEYOND BELIEF; SCIENCE, RELIGION, REASON, AND SURVIVAL”
The physicist Steven Weinberg delivered an address. He is one of the authors of the theory of electroweak unification, for which he was awarded a Nobel Price. Needless to say, he is a person of great stature among the scientific community. Here is what he said during this address:
“Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.”

FOR I AM SURE…..

Ryan Holiday is the author of a book titled: “The Obstacle Is The Way”
“There is an old Zen story about a king whose people had grown soft and entitled. Dissatisfaction with this state of affairs, he hoped to teach them a lesson. His plan was simple; He would place a large boulder in the middle of the main road, completely blocking entry into the city. He would then hide nearby and observe their reactions.
How would they respond? Would they band together to remove it? Or would they get discouraged, quit, and return home?
With growing disappointment, the king watched as subject after subject came to this impediment and turned away. Or, at best, tried halfheartedly before giving up. Many openly complained or cursed the king or bemoaned the inconvenience, but none managed to do anything about it.
After several days, a lone peasant came along on his way into town. He did not turn away. Instead he strained and strained, trying to push it out of the way. Then an idea came to him; He scrambled into the nearby woods to find something he could use for leverage. Finally, he returned with a large branch he had crafted into a lever and deployed it to dislodge the massive rock from the road.
Beneath the rock were a purse of gold coins and a note from the king, which said:
“The Obstacle in the path becomes the path. Never forget, within every obstacle is an opportunity to improve our condition.”

As Susan Perlman in an article she wrote for “Jews for Jesus” publication said:
“One might ask, “What do we need pain for? Couldn’t we accomplish the same things with pleasure?”
The answer has to be that in pleasure we focus on ourselves and our feelings and our perceptions, which makes us to be mindful of ourselves and our will to be pleased; whereas pain helps us to focus outside of ourselves, to reach beside ourselves, to find out what’s there. Pleasure tends to make one self-centered, whereas pain tends to make a more noble person, other-centered and, hopefully God-centered.
A crisis becomes an occasion for declension or advance. A self-centered person in a crisis can become more self-centered and wallow in self-pity. God-centered or God-seeking persons can be propelled forward in their quest for meaning.
It is important to know that we are not helpless and we are not hopeless. We can choose to decide how we will deal with pain. We cannot choose whether or not we will have pain, but we can decide whether or not we will ALLOW PROBLEMS TO AFFECT US.
To live is to endure the pressures of life. But we can decide if we are going to let these things press us down or if we are going to let them lift us up.”

David Aikman wrote a book titled” GREAT SOULS” and in it he writes:
“I have always personally been inspired by the lives of great people. It is hard not to be energized by the stories of how individuals have risen above adversity or suffering or have maintained a purity in the face of great temptation. Our age, with its habit of instantly judging a man or woman’s life based on the fragmentary and proverbial sound bite, is often impatient with detail, nuances, depth.”

Chuck Swindoll writes about Joseph:
“Here is one on the list of God’s “greats”…….a life lived for His glory and, equally significant, though he was terribly mistreated, lived high above the all-too-common reactions of rage, resentment, and revenge. Here is one who deliberately chose to overlook unfair offenses, to overcome enormous obstacles, and model a virtue that is fast becoming lost in our hostile age – forgiveness.”
At the outset, Joseph’s life showed little promise – a simple shepherd, twelfth of thirteen children, a dreamer hated by his brothers. So how did he become a man so extraordinary that Moses spent almost fourteen chapters in the Book of Genesis telling his story? Where did Joseph get the qualities of integrity, leadership, and godliness in such measure that they took him from the pit of slavery to prime minister of Egypt?”

Through Joseph
• God explained dreams
• Revealed the future
• Saved Egypt and Israel from starvation
• Demonstrates the depth of love God has for all of us.

Paul is right:
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, not height not depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

WHAT SHAPES OUR FUTURE?

Dr. Michael Heiser in his book: “The Unseen Realm” makes this statement:
“The seeds of that failure were sown in the events of the conquest. For whatever reasons – lack of faith or lack of effort, or both – Israel failed to drive out their enemies. They allowed vestiges of the targeted bloodlines to remain in the land in the Philistine cities. They chose to coexist (Judges 1:27-36). The visible Yahweh, the Angel, asks the rhetorical question, “Why would you do such a thing?” and he announces the consequences: “Now I say, I will not drive them out from before you; they will become as thorns for you, and their gods will be a trap for you” (Judges 2:2-3). The name of the place where he uttered these words was thereafter appropriately remembered as Bochim, a Hebrew word that means “weeping”.

John North wrote the foreword to Malcolm Muggeridge’s book titled: “The End of Christendom”
The book is based on Malcolm Muggeridge’s lecture series given in 1978 at the University of Waterloo, Ontario.
“Most of the great universities of the West were founded with the conviction that theology is the queen of the disciplines, and that the key to man’s wholeness is the pursuit of the truth of God through Jesus Christ. Apart from that truth, it was believed, all other expressions of truth are fragmentary and sterile. Now, in the latter part of the twentieth century, that tradition has almost disappeared. Where Jesus Christ and Christian doctrine are the subject of formal study, it is usually as a minor are of Comparative Religion or in a divinity school well segregated from the general student body. Religious enthusiasm among students is an embarrassment; belief in the authority of the Bible and the deity of Jesus Christ is treated as naivety to be enlightened rather than life to be nourished. Scholars in the arts, letters, and sciences who show signs of Christian devotion are likely to be shrugged off as simplistic and eccentric. Coincidentally, truth itself has become devalued, especially in the humanities and social sciences and increasingly in the pure sciences, its consequence and even existence of matter of doubt.
Universities seem to promote fragmentation, in part by undermining general studies in favor of specialized and practical studies, in part by ignoring the signs of decay in the spiritual, moral, and emotional health of the academic community.”

IS IT REALLY THAT HOPELESS?

The historian Will Durant made this comment:
“There is not greater drama in human record then the sight of a few Christians, scorned and oppressed by a succession of emperors, bearing all trials with a fearless tenacity, multiplying quietly, but building order, while the enemy generated chaos. Fighting the sword with the Word of God, brutality with hope and at last defeating the strongest empire that history has ever known.
Caesar and Christ had met in the arena, and Christ had won.”

Chuck Swindoll in his commentary on these verses writes:
“During the interval of time between our Lord’s departure from the earth and His return, He is involved in two projects. One; to prepare a place for His children. Two; to prepare His children for a place. He is engaged right now in preparing heaven for His own. That’s what’s happening away from our sight. But on this earth, He is also engaged in preparing us for the life we will live in eternity with Him.”

THIS TIME IS NOT FOR THE FAINT-HEARTED

“Lacking the courage to face something difficult or dangerous” Webster’s Dictionary

“If you describe someone or their behavior as FAINT HEARTED, you mean that they are not very confident and do not take strong action because they are afraid of failing.” COBUILD Advanced English Dictionary

James Madison, drafter of the Constitution, recorder of the Constitutional Convention, author of the Federalist Papers, and 4th president of the United States, was born on a plantation in Virginia.
“It is proper to take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties. We hold this prudent jealousy to be the first duty of citizens, and one of the noblest characteristics of the late Revolution. The freeman of America did not wait till usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise, and entangled the question in precedents. They saw all the consequences in the principle, and they avoided the consequences by DENYING THE PRINCIPLE.” James Madison

Reuters reported:
“As the United States begins reopening its economy, some state officials are weighing whether house arrest monitoring technology – including ankle bracelets or location-tracking apps – could be used to police quarantines imposed on coronavirus carriers. But while the tech has been used sporadically for U.S. quarantine enforcement over the past few weeks, large scale rollouts have so far been held back by a big legal question: Can officials impose electronic monitoring without an offence or a court order?”
More to the point, as the head of one tech company asked,
“Can you actually constitutionally monitor someone who’s innocent? It’s uncharted territory.”

John Whitehead in his book titled: “Battlefield America” with the subtitle: “The war on the American People”, writes:
“The war on terror, the war on drugs, the war on illegal immigration, asset forfeiture schemes, road safety schemes, school safety schemes, eminent domain; all of these programs started out as legitimate responses to pressing concerns and have since become weapons of compliance and control in the police state’s hands.
It does not even matter what the nature of the crisis might be – civil unrest, the nation emergencies, unforeseen economic collapse, loss of functioning political and legal order, purposeful domestic resistance or insurgency, pervasive public health emergencies, and catastrophic natural and human disasters – as long as it allows the government to justify all manner of government tyranny in the so-called name of national security. It’s hard to know who to trust anymore.”
Later in this chapter, John Whitehead goes on to point out the danger James Madison was warning us about 250 years ago:
“in this post 9-11 world, we have been indoctrinated into fearing and mistrusting one another instead of fearing and mistrusting the government. As a result, we’ve been forced to travel this road many, many times with lamentably predictable results each time; without fail, when asked to choose between safety and liberty, Americans historically tend to choose safety.
Failing to read the fine print on such devil’s bargains, “we the people” find ourselves repeatedly on the losing end as the government uses each crisis as a means of expanding its powers at taxpayers’ expense.”

What are the schemes of the devil right now where we are?
Adolf Hitler in “Mein Kampf”
Through clever and constant application of propaganda, people can be made to see paradise as hell, and the other way around to consider the most wretched sort of life.”

Bruce Levine in his book titled: “How TV Zombifies and Pacifies us and subverts Democracy” writes:
“Television is a “dream come true” for an authoritarian society. Those with the most money own most of what people see. Fear-based TV programming makes people more afraid and distrustful of one another, which is good for an authoritarian society depending on a “divide and conquer” strategy. Television isolates people so they are not joining together to govern themselves.
Viewing Television put some in a brain state that makes it difficult to think critically, and it quiets and subdues a population. And spending one’s free time isolated and watching TV interferes with the connection to one’s own humanity, and thus makes it easier to accept an authority’s version of society and life.”

Aldous Huxley in his masterpiece: “Brave New World”
“describes a vision of an unequal, technologically advanced future where humans are genetically bred, socially indoctrinated, and pharmaceutically anesthetized to passively uphold an authoritarian ruling order – all at the cost of our freedom, full humanity, and perhaps also our souls.”

Neil Postman in his book titled: “Amusing Ourselves to Death” explains what Huxley tried to communicate:
“What Huxley teaches is in the age of advanced technology, spiritual devastation is more likely to come from an enemy with a smiling face than from one whose countenance exudes suspicion and hate. In the Huxleyan prophecy, Big Brother does not watch us, by his choice. WE WATCH HIM, by ours. There is no need for wardens or gates or Ministries of Truth. When a population becomes distracted by trivia, when cultural life is redefined as a perpetual round of entertainments, when serious public conversations becomes a form of baby-talk, when, in short, a people become an audience and their public business a vaudeville act, then a nation finds itself at risk; a culture-death is a clear possibility.”

In 1958, Journalist Edward Murrow warned in a speech:
“We have currently a built-in allergy to unpleasant or disturbing information. Our mass media reflect this. But unless we get up off our fat surpluses and recognize that television in the main is being used to distract, delude, amuse, and insulate us, then television and those who finance it, those who look at it, and those who work at it, may see a totally different picture too late.”

Revelation 22:3-7
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth have passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.
And he who was seated on the throne said: “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me; “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.

LET’S GO TO A HIGHER VANTAGE POINT

Jordan Peterson wrote the bestseller “12 Rules for Life” – An Antidote to Chaos. It was published in 2018
Peterson’s book became an incredible bestseller because he was able to take ETERNAL TRUTHS AND APPLY THEM TO OUR MODERN PROBLEMS.
The foreword was written by Dr. Norman Doidge, MD, who authored the book titled ”THE BRAIN THAT CHANGES ITSELF”.
Let me read a short excerpt from this foreword that will lead us back to the Biblical text in a few minutes:
“Rules? More Rules? Really? Isn’t life complicated enough, restricting enough, without abstract rules that don’t take our unique, individual situations into account? And given that our brains are plastic, and all develop differently based on our life experiences, why even expect that a few rules might be helpful to us all?
People don’t clamour for rules, even in the Bible…..as when Moses comes down the mountain, after a long absence, bearing the tablets inscribed with ten commandments, and finds the children of Israel in revelry. They’d been Pharaoh’s slaves and subjects to these tyrannical regulations for four hundred years, and after that Moses subjected them to the harsh desert wilderness for another forty years, to purify them of their slavishness. Now, free at last, they are unbridled, and have lost all control as they dance wildly around an idol, a golden calf, displaying all manner of corporeal corruption.
“I’ve got some good news…….and I’ve got some bad news,” the lawgiver yells to them. “Which do you want first?”
“The good news!” the hedonists reply.
“I got Him from fifteen down to ten!”
“Hallelujah!” cries the unruly crowd. “And the bad?”
“Adultery is still in.”
So, rules there will be – but, please, not too many. We are ambivalent about rules, even when we know they are good for us. If we are spirited souls, if we have character, rules seem restrictive, an affront to our sense of agency and our pride in working out our own lives. Why should we be judged according to another’s rule?
And judged we are. After all, God didn’t give Moses “The Ten Suggestions,” he gave Commandments; and if I’m a free agent, my first reaction to a command might just be that nobody, not even God, tells me what to do, even if it’s good for me. But the story of the golden calf also reminds us that without rules we quickly become slaves to our passions – and there’s nothing freeing about that.
And the story suggests something more: unchaperoned, and left to our own untutored judgment, we are quickly to aim low and worship qualities that are beneath us – in this case, an artificial animal that brings out our own animal instincts in a completely unregulated way. The old Hebrew story makes it clear how the ancient felt about our prospects for civilized behavior in the absence of rules that seek to elevate our gaze and raise our standards.
One neat thing about the Bible story is that it doesn’t simply list its rules, as lawyers or legislators or administrators might; it embeds them in a dramatic tale that illustrates why we need them, thereby making them easier to understand.”

Francis Schaeffer in his book: “The God Who Is There”
“The Christian is to resist the spirit of the world. But when we say this, we must understand that the world spirit does not always take the same form. So the Christian must resist the spirit of the world IN THE FORM IT TAKES IN HIS OWN GENERATION. If he does not do this, he is not resisting the spirit of the world at all. This is especially so for our generation, as the forces at work against us are of such a total nature. It is our generation of Christians more than any other who need to heed these words attributed to Martin Luther:
“If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved, and to be steady on all the battlefields besides, is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.”

God highlighted 3 specific and important things for Joshua to do:
1. The Law was not to depart out of Joshua’s mouth. In other words, Joshua was to talk about the book of the Law.
2. He was to meditate on it day and night. In other words, Joshua had to reason out what Moses wrote down within it’s context.
3. Joshua was to practice the commands in his historic space-time situation.

HOW COULD THIS EVER HAPPEN?

About 40 years ago, Francis Schaeffer and C. Everett Koop, the former surgeon general of the Unites States, gave a lecture in which Francis Schaeffer made an astounding prediction. Ravi Zacharias attended this lecture and recalls it in his book titled WHY JESUS?
“At that talk, Schaeffer made a comment that caught me by surprise.
He said that the day was coming in the West when the name of Jesus
would not be recognized by the average young person; and if it were recognized, not a single historical fact about him would be known.
At that time I found this statement a bit hard to swallow and wondered
if he had said it just to be provocative. But a generation later, it is appearing to be quite true.”

Let me quote one more time Ravi Zacharias here:
“When you look back in the Old Testament, you see that in spite of all the instruction about worship, often repeated, and astounding loss nevertheless had occurred. All that the priests could control, they did. All that the ceremonies could control, they used to their advantage. And when a select or elect few control and sell salvation, the victim is always the common person. No religion is spared here.
One would think that this New Spirituality has brought about a new Eden and that its river flow peacefully and calmly. But it is not so…In fact, it has never been so. Few arenas lend themselves to abuse and loss as that of religion.”

Ravi Zacharias writes:
“It has been the beautiful teaching of the Word of God across time that has given this nation its ethos. It was this Word of God that put a song into the hearts of slaves during their darkest days. It was this Word of God that gave William Wilberforce in England the conviction and the courage to speak out against slavery and sustained him in the long struggle to see it abolished in the British Commonwealth. It was this Word of God that inspired Martin Luther King Jr. in his pursuit of civil liberty…And the same Word of God has transformed the life of many a prisoner, and of many others I could tell of, from some of the darkest parts of the world where the light of God’s Word has shone. Any nation that neglects teaching the sacredness of life and the family does so at its own peril. Any nation that sanctions the removal of God’s boundaries will destroy its own.”

Ravi Zacharias’ commentary on John 18 says:
“If there is any passage of Scripture that accurately describes our modern-day contempt for truth, our attachment to power, and our voluntary surrender to culture, it is this. It is not accidental that religious authorities, political appointees, and cultural symbols have come together to crucify him once again in our day. Barabbas was released…a cultural practice was fulfilled. “We have a law” … Political correctness was enjoyed. “he claims to be the Son of God…kill him” …all at the behest and with the blessing of religion. The irony is that he wanted to be owned by none of the three: culture, politics, or religion.”

THE RISE OF SECULAR POWER

In 1933 a group of 34 liberal humanists in the United States defined the philosophical and religious principles that seemed to them FUNDAMENTAL. They drafted humanist manifesto I which for its time was a radical document. It was concerned with expressing a general religious and philosophical outlook that REJECTED ORTHODOX AND DOGMATIC POSITIONS and provided meaning and direction, unity and purpose to HUMAN LIFE. It was committed to REASON, SCIENCE, AND DEMOCRACY.
HUMANIST MANIFESTO I
“The time has come for widespread recognition of the radical changes in religious beliefs throughout the modern world. The time is past for mere revision of traditional attitudes. Science and economic change have disrupted the old beliefs. Religions around the world labor with the task of coming to terms with new conditions created by a vastly increased knowledge and experience. In every field of human activity, the vital movement is now in the direction of a candid and explicit humanism. In order that religious humanism may be better understood we, the undersigned, desire to make certain affirmations which we believe the facts of our contemporary life demonstrate.”
“Today, man’s larger understanding of the universe, his scientific achievements, and his deeper appreciation of brotherhood, have created a situation which requires a new statement of the means and purposes of religion. Such a vital, fearless, and frank religion capable of furnishing adequate social goals and personal satisfaction my appear to many people as a complete break with the past. While this age does owe a vast debt to traditional religions, it is none the less obvious that any religion that can hope to be a synthesizing and dynamic force for today MUST BE SHAPED FOR THE NEEDS OF THIS AGE. To establish such a religion is a major necessity of the present. It is a responsibility which rests upon this generation. We therefore affirm the following:”
“The humanists are firmly convinced that existing acquisitive and profit-motivated society has shown itself to be inadequate and that a radical change in methods, controls, and motives must be instituted. A socialized and cooperative economic order must be established to the end that the equitable distribution of the means of life be possible. The goal of humanism is a free and universal society in which people voluntarily and intelligently cooperate for the common good. Humanists demand a shared life in a shared world.”

Paul Kurtz and Edwin H. Wilson wrote the preface to the manifesto II:
“As we approach the twenty first century an affirmative and hopeful vision is needed. Faith, commensurate with advancing knowledge, is also necessary. In the choice between despair and hope, humanists respond in this Humanist Manifesto II with a positive declaration for times of uncertainty.
As in 1933, humanists still believe that traditional theism, especially faith in the prayer-hearing God, assumed to love and care for persons, to hear and understand their prayers, and to be able to do something about them, is an UNPROVEN AND OUTMODED FAITH. Salvationism, based on mere affirmation, still appears as harmful, diverting people with false hopes of heaven hereafter; REASONABLE MINDS LOOK TO OTHER MEANS FOR SURVIVAL.”
Among the revised principles of Humanist Manifesto II, you find statements like this:
• “We find insufficient evidence for belief in the existence of the supernatural.”
• “Promises of immortal salvation or fear of eternal damnation are both illusory and harmful.
• “Modern science discredits such historic concepts as the ‘ghost in the machine’ and the ‘separable soul’.”
• Humane societies should evaluate economic systems not by rhetoric or ideology, but by whether or not they increase economic wellbeing for all individuals and groups, minimize poverty and hardship, increase the sum of human satisfaction, and enhance the quality of life.”

It even gets better: Principles 12-17 illustrate humanism’s missionary zeal. It is bent upon the creation of a global society.
“We deplore the division of humankind on nationalist grounds. We have reached a turning point in human history where the best option is to transcend the limits of national sovereignty and to move toward the building of a world community in which all sectors of the human family can participate.
The problems with economic growth and development can no longer be resolved by one nation alone; they are worldwide in scope. It is the moral obligation of the developed nations to provide – through an international authority that safeguards human rights – massive technical, agricultural, medical, and economic assistance, including birth control techniques, to the developing portions of the globe.
World poverty must cease. Hence extreme disproportions in wealth, income, and economic growth should be reduced on a worldwide basis.”

AT THE CROSSROAD

Ravi Zacharias
“The Camera had won the battle OF SEEING AND BELIEVING. The world, and America in particular, was foundationally transformed. The zeal of young, combined with the material means that their parents had fought to give them and the invasiveness of the medium of television, made for a powerful overthrow of the reigning worldview.
The battle was carried into the universities, whose own academic experts were flaying America, and the intelligentsia hit hard at political demagoguery, as they called it.
…And all this was reflected in the arts as rock stars changed the mathematical rules of music and discord became entertainment. Noise became deafened to reason.
…At the time, most people failed to understand the power of the media to change their views and reshape their thinking. Instead of viewing the world THROUGH the medium of television, they allowed the medium TO DEFINE THE WORLD FOR THEM.”

In the same book “WHY JESUS” Ravi goes on to explain:
“There is a war raging. It is the battle for thought and belief through a weapon of mass deconstruction. In that battle, it is not firepower we need to fear as much as it is electronic power. From the conscious to the subconscious we are in its grip. From wars in different lands to battles for moral acceptability, the television set has won the day. I stress this because I believe that almost none of the NEW SPIRITUALITIES would be so pervasive if it were not for the genius and built-in distortion of television. It reinforces what WE WANT TO BELIEVE, and if what WE WANT TO BELIEVE is WHAT WE ARE TOLD TO BELIEVE THROUGH THE MEDIUM, no amount of logic or argument can shake that conviction. Whichever way you want to look at it, television – and now viral media – is the SHAPER OF EVERYTHING WE THINK AND BELIEVE.”

The word translated “healthy” is “HAPLOUS” which means “motivated by singleness of purpose so as to be open and above board, single, without guile, sincere, straightforward.”

Tom Landry, the legendary coach of the Dallas Cowboys and a committed follower of Jesus, said: “The job of a coach is to make men do what they don’t want to do, in order to be what they’ve always wanted to be.”

Blaise Pascal, the French mathematician and philosopher, wrote:
“There are only three kinds of persons; those who serve God having found him; others who are occupied in seeking him, not having found him; while the remainder live without seeking him and without having found him. The first are reasonable and happy; the last are foolish and unhappy; those between are unhappy and reasonable.”

REVOLUTIONARIES FOR JESUS

Robert Maginnis in his book “Collision Course – The fight to reclaim our Moral Compass before it’s too Late” writes:
“Even though the pain of the cultural revolution is especially acute at present, the truth is it started decades ago when the so-called progressives began planning the gradual destruction of America. Their achievements were gradual such as removing God from the public square, making our public schools into leftist brainwashing machines that teach children to hate God, country and their parents.”

HARVARD UNIVERSITY
“Let every student be plainly instructed and consider well that the main end of his life and studies is to know God and Jesus, which is eternal life and therefore to lay Christ in the bottom as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and learning.
Everyone shall so exercise himself in reading the Scriptures twice a day that he shall be ready to give such an account of his proficiency therein.” Harvard student directives, 1643
YALE UNIVERSITY
“In all, have an eye to the great end of all your studies, which is to obtain the clearest conception of Divine things and to lead you to a saving knowledge of God in His Son, Jesus Christ.
Thomas Clapp, Yale President 1740

Yale’s Requirements:
“All scholars are to live a religious and blameless life according to the rules of God’s word, diligently reading the Holy Scriptures, and constantly attending all the duties of religion.
Yale student regulations, 1745

PRINCETON UNIVERSITY
“Every student shall attend worship in the college hall morning and evening and shall attend public service on the Sabbath. There shall be assigned to each class certain exercises for the religious instruction. And no student belonging to any class shall neglect them.
He is the best friend to American liberty who is the most sincere and active in promoting true and undefiled religion and who sets himself with the greatest firmness to bear down on profanity and immorality of every kind. Whosoever is an avowed enemy of God, I hesitate not to call him an enemy of this country.”
John Witherspoon, President of Princeton University

What one generation tolerates; the next generation will embrace.” John Wesley

The following letter from college student Marcy Musgrave in the editorial section of the Dallas Morning News on Sunday, May 2, 1999.
“Generation NEXT has some Questions. I am a member of the upcoming generation – the one after Generation X that has yet to be given a name. So far, it appears that most people are rallying behind the idea of calling us Generation Next. I believe I know why. The older generations are hoping we will mindlessly assume our place as the “next” in line. That way, they won’t have to explain why my generation has had to experience so much pain and heartache. “What heartache?” you say. “Don’t you know you have grown up in a time of great prosperity?” Yea, we know that.
Believe me, it has been drilled into our heads since birth. Unfortunately, the pain and hurt I speak of can’t be reconciled with money. You have tried for years to buy us happiness, but it is only temporary. Money isn’t the answer, and it is time for people to begin admitting their guilt for failing my generation. I will admit that I wasn’t planning to write this. I was going to tuck it away in some corner of my mind and fall victim to your whole “next” mentality.
But after the massacre in Littleton, CO, I realize that as a member of this generation that kills without remorse, I had a duty to challenge all of my elders to explain why they have allowed things to become so bad. Let me tell you this; These questions don’t represent only me but a whole generation that is struggling to grow up and make sense of this world. We all have questions; we all want explanations. People may label us Generation NEXT, but we are more appropriately Generation “WHY?”
“Why did most of you lie when you made the vow of ‘til death do us part’?
Why do you fool yourselves into believing that divorce really is better for the kids in the long run? Why do so many of you divorced parents spend more time with your new boyfriend or girlfriend than with your own children? Why did you ever fall victim to the notion that kids are just as well off being raised by a complete stranger at a daycare center than by their own mother or father? Why do you look down on parents who decide to quit work and stay home to raise their children? Why does the television do the most talking at family meals? Why is work more important than your own family? Why is money regarded as more important than relationships?
Why is ‘quality time’ generally no longer than a five-to-10 minute conversation each day? Why do you try to make up for the lack of time you spend with us by giving us more and more material objects that we really don’t need? Why does your work (in the form of a cell Phone, laptop computer, etc.), always come with us on vacations? Why have you neglected to teach us values and morals? Why haven’t you lived moral lives that we could model our own after? Why isn’t religion one of the most important words in our household? Why do you play God when it comes to abortion? Why don’t you have enough faith in us to teach us abstinence rather than safe sex? Why do you allow us to watch violent movies but expect us to maintain some type of childlike innocence? Why do you allow us to spend unlimited amounts of time on the Internet, but still are shocked about our knowledge of how to build bombs? Why are you so afraid to tell us ‘NO’ sometimes? Why is it so hard for you to realize that school shootings, and other violent juvenile behavior, result from a lack of your attention more than anything else? Call us GENERATION NEXT if you want to, but I think you will be surprised at how we will fail to fit into your neat little category. These questions should, and will, be asked of the generations that have failed us.” Marcy Musgrave, a junior at Texas A&M University

“Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.” Vladimir Lenin

Ravi Zacharias in his book “Jesus among Secular God’s” (2017) makes this observation regarding Europe:
“I will go so far as to say that the West is on the verge of collapse at the hands of its own secular intellectuals. It is only a matter of time. The Christian faith brings with it convictions by which to stand and build a moral framework. The secular thinker, with his implicitly amoral assumptions, imagines that knowledge without a moral base has enough sustaining power. It simply doesn’t.
Watch Europe cower under the heel of Islamists who have not forgotten that they were stopped from overtaking Europe and beaten back by Charles Martel thirteen centuries ago. Now, with patience and the clever control of demographics and a gullible media, they stand by, ready to one day take over the structures and edifices built by a different ethic and a different belief system. It is only a matter of time, and they are in no hurry. Thirteen centuries ago, Europe was able to stop the theocratic Islamic tidal wave BECAUSE IT HAD A FAITH TO DEFEND. The value-less culture of today will not be able to withstand the attack.”

The same year (2017) Douglas Murray published the book titled: “The Strange Death of Europe”
He starts the Introduction with these words: “Europe is committing suicide. Or at least its leaders have decided to commit suicide. Whether the European people choose to go along with this is, naturally, another matter.”

The Latin for radical is ‘RADIX’ which means “to cut to the root”

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. warned: “If the church does not recapture its prophetic zeal, it will become an irrelevant social club without moral or spiritual authority.”

THE FUTURE IS UP TO YOU

Before we go into our biblical text, let me quote Chris Hedges, a war correspondent who witnessed plenty of power struggles:
“Not having to make moral choices frees you from a great deal of anxiety. It frees you from responsibility. And it assures that you always be wrapped in the embrace of the powerful as long as, of course, you will do or dance to he the tune of powers play… When you do what is right, you often have to understand that you are not going to be lauded and praised for it. Making a moral decision always entails risks, certainly to one’s career and to one’s standing in the community.” Chris Hedges

“It is perfectly possible for a man to be out of prison and yet not free- to be under no physical constraint and yet be a psychological captive, compelled to think, feel and act as the representatives of the national state, or of some private interest within a nation wants him to think, feel, and act… To him the walls of his prison are invisible and he believes himself to be free.” Aldous Huxley “A Brave New World Revisited”

“So, you see, that the world is governed by very different personages to what is imagined by those who are not themselves behind the scenes.” Benjamin Disraeli (1801-1884)

“The world is divided into three kinds of people – a very small group that MAKES THINGS HAPPEN, a somewhat larger group that WATCHES THINGS HAPPEN, and a great multitude that NEVER KNOWS WHAT HAS HAPPENED.” Dr. Nicholas Murray Butler (1862-1947)

Pastor Erwin Lutzer in his book subtitled “A defense of Christ in an Age of Tolerance” writes this hypothetical story:
“In A.D. 303, the Emperor Diocletian has issued a new order, requiring all people to attend the religious/political ceremony designed to unify the nation and revive lagging patriotism within the empire. Specifically, this ceremony involves burning a bit of incense and saying simply: CAESAR IS LORD. Those who do this receive a seal of approval; those who don’t might well be put to death.
Christians discussed the issue and what their response should be. The answer is not as obvious as it seems. For one thing, they actually would not have to stop worshiping the true God; after they have sworn their allegiance to Caesar as Lord, they are free to privately worship whatever god they wish. Every religion is tolerated; freedom to choose ones own god is generally accepted. Indeed, there is richness in diversity.
Second, this was not simply a religious decision, but a political one. Caesar was convinced that it was not possible to be a good citizen without affirming his lordship. The argument was that if one had allegiance to a god above Caesar he could not be trusted in time of national emergency, a war, for instance.
Third, this requirement was but once a year. Even if one did not tell a lie, forgiveness through Christ was readily available. Why not argue, as some did, “For a moment my mouth belongs to the Emperor, though my heart always belongs to Christ.”
Rome was cruel. Many converted pagans who were now in the church had observed firsthand the brutality of the Roman citizens.
If Christ were seen as one option among many, Christians could give allegiance to other expressions of the divine. Why not find common ground, the central unity of all religions.
So the choice, strictly speaking, was not whether the Christians should worship Christ or Caesar; it was whether they would worship Christ AND Caesar.”

Edward Gibbon in “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” stated:
“All religions were regarded by the people as EQUALLY TRUE, by the philosophers as EQUALLY FALSE, and by the politicians as EQUALLY USEFUL.”

WE BOW TO A HIGHER AUTHORITY

February 6, 2009, the National Religious Broadcasters adopted what they called:
“A Declaration of Unity in the Gospel”
“We fully accept our charge to faithfully obey the command of Christ to preach the Gospel, even if human governments and institutions attempt to oppose, constrain, or prohibit.”

John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople, wrote:
“WE must not mind insulting men, if by respecting them we offend God.”

J. Vernon McGee once made this statements about the prophet Daniel who suffered persecution for his faith:
“The reason the lions didn’t eat him is because he was three-fourths backbone and the rest gristle!”

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe observed:
“None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.”
In 1931, Philosopher Aldous Huxley wrote the novel ‘BRAVE NEW WORLD”
He wrote this book before world war II.
“There will be, in the next generation or so, a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude, and producing dictatorship without tears, so to speak, producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies, so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them, but will rather enjoy it, because they will be DISTRACTED FROM ANY DESIRE TO REBEL by propaganda or brainwashing, or brainwashing enhanced by pharmacological methods. And this seems to be the final revolution.” Aldous Huxley

Yuri Alexandrovich Bezmenov, a former KGB agent who defected to Canada in 1970.
Here’s how Bezmenov described the state of a “demoralized” person:
“As I mentioned before, exposure to true information does not matter anymore,” said Bezmenov. “A person who was demoralized is unable to assess true information. The facts tell nothing to him. Even if I shower him with information, with authentic proof, with documents, with pictures; even if I take him by force to the Soviet Union and show him [a] concentration camp, he will refuse to believe it, until he [receives] a kick in his fan-bottom. When a military boot crashes his balls then he will understand. But not before that. That’s the [tragedy] of the situation of demoralization.”
It’s hard not to see in that the state of many modern Americans. We have become a society of polarized tribes, with some people flat out rejecting facts in favor of narratives and opinions.
Once demoralization is completed, the second stage of ideological brainwashing is “destabilization”. During this two-to-five-year period, asserted Bezmenov, what matters is the targeting of essential structural elements of a nation: economy, foreign relations, and defense systems. Basically, the subverter would look to destabilize every one of those areas in the United States, considerably weakening it.
The third stage would be “crisis”. It would take only up to six weeks to send a country into crisis, explained Bezmenov. The crisis would bring “a violent change of power, structure, and economy” and will be followed by the last stage, “normalization.” That’s when your country is basically taken over, living under a new ideology and reality.
This will happen to America unless it gets rid of people who will bring it to a crisis, warned Bezmenov. What’s more “if people will fail to grasp the impending danger of that development, nothing ever can help [the] United States,” adding, “You may kiss goodbye to your freedom.”

POWER TO ENDURE

Journalist Kylee Zempel
“Christians have for months been separated from one another thanks to state lockdown orders. The overwhelming majority of congregations have honored the coronavirus regulations imposed by authorities who would sooner dispense with communion than lottery tickets. To love their neighbors, protect the vulnerable, and remain above reproach, Christians stayed home, resorting to virtual meetings, sermon archives, and other poor substitutes for fellowship. In the process, we sacrificed our spiritual vitality.
As anti-religious leaders and malicious media predictably shamed communities of faith, believers rolled over, our good intentions of meek compliance manifesting in cowardice. When the media employed scare tactics — “gathering will kill Grandma” — Christians fearfully relented. When detractors peddled bogus rhetoric masquerading as science — shopping is fine, but singing is way too “dangerous” — believers capitulated.
We were told groups of more than 10 people were simply not doable. Outdoor services were deemed unsafe. Even parking too closely in a lot or having too many people in a vehicle during drive-in services was prohibited. Police surveilled churchgoers, recording the license plate numbers of service attendees as “the only way we can ensure that your decision doesn’t kill someone else.” The message from the media and oppressive leaders has been clear: Church gatherings are deadly.
But now the game has changed. As brutal anarchists take to the streets alongside masses of peaceful protesters, all the media’s cards are on the table. Progressive governors have shown their hand. The coronavirus scare tactics have largely ceased.
Believing fast food is essential while the Lord’s Supper is nonessential has always been ridiculous. But believing worshiping is lethal while looting is warranted is downright infuriating.
Of course, states have kicked off their reopening plans, including, at the behest of the president, allowing churches to reopen with largely arbitrary regulations. But these rules are stifling. We cancel our song services, worship in shifts, and fracture our bonds by congregating in coteries at six-foot intervals.
Religious leaders have bent over backward to ensure public safety and care for their congregations, taking full precautions, but to what end? When will we say enough is enough? Scripture commands submission to government authority, but at some point, believers “must obey God rather than men.”
When have Christians ever regarded physical health above spiritual health? When has enduring persecution ever entailed abandoning firmly held belief? How can Christians expect spiritual revival, racial harmony, and peace, while neglecting our assembly together?
It’s time for believers to sing from the tops of our lungs in one, full accord — not sit silently in countless rotational services that undermine the unified body of Christ. It’s time to gather around the table, contemplating with holy reverence Christ’s body broken and blood shed for us. It’s time to confess our sacred doctrine and call upon our great Redeemer in corporate praise. No longer can we afford to live in fear.”

G.K. Chesterton said:
“When men stop believing in God, they don’t believe in nothing! THEY BELIEVE IN ANYTHING.”

Chuck Swindoll in his daily devotional writes:
“When trouble comes we have two options. We can view it as an intrusion, an outrage, or we can see it as an opportunity to respond in specific obedience to God’s will – that rugged virtue James calls “Endurance”. Endurance is not jaw-clenching resignation, nor is it passive acquiescence. It’s a long obedience in the same direction. It’s staying on the path of obedience despite counter-indications. It’s a dogged determination to pursue holiness when the conditions of holiness are not favorable. It’s a choice in the midst of our suffering to do what God has asked us to do, whatever it is, and for as long as He asks us to do it. As Oswald Chambers wrote: “To choose suffering makes no sense at all; to chose God’s will in the midst of our suffering makes all the sense in the world.”
These words are directly related to what James is telling us:
James 1:2-4
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness (endurance). And let your steadfastness (endurance) have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

Ravi Zacharias once commented
“When you start a train of thought, it’s important to check the ticket to see where it is going to let you off.”

George Mueller, who cared for 2,500 orphans a day by faith alone, said.
“The only way to learn strong faith is to endure great trials. I have learned my faith by standing firm amid severe testings.”

Greg Hinnant in his book “Spiritual Truths for overcoming Adversity” writes:
“The power to endure is the ability to bear stress with ease, to be in distress without distress being in you. It’s God’s supernatural grace manifested in us. Situations that wear out others don’t bother us. We go through the fire, but are not burned. We walk calmly and steadily through the midst of the most dreaded difficulties conceivable without mental, physical, or emotional damage. In fearful circumstances, we’re calm and unafraid; in offensive situations, we’re not offended; when faced with a deadline, we’re not at our wits’ end. Where does this grace come from, this power to endure? Not merely from Bible study, not merely from prayer, not merely from fellowship with other disciples, but from PERSONAL VICTORIES GAINED IN PERSONAL TESTS.”

ACTIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCES

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.” C.S. Lewis
“Only a mob and the elite can be attracted by the momentum of totalitarianism itself. The masses have to be won by propaganda.” Hannah Arendt

I think Ravi Zacharias said it right when writing about the devastating consequences of Pluralism:
“A friend was considering enrolling his kids in a reading program. He asked, “What are they reading?” The leader of the program responded: “ANYTHING, JUST AS LONG AS THEY ARE READING.” It is interesting that we would never respond that way about eating. We would never think it is OK to eat anything, just as long as we are eating. Why do we think, as a society, we are happy to judge right and wrong when it comes to what we put in our bodies but are averse to judging right and wrong with respect to what we put in our minds and souls?”

God was at work on behalf of his people but the consequences of their actions could not be nullified.
• The prophet Elijah left this earth without dying (2 Kings 2:1-18)
• The waters of the Jordan River rolled back twice (2 Kings 2:8, 14)
• The prophet Isaiah was living during the same time period.
• The prophets Joel, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, and Jeremiah prophesied in Judah, warning people of the coming consequences of their actions.
• The prophet Elisha was living during that time period.
• Israel’s kings are recorded in 2 Kings as having led the people into idolatry.
• Judah, on the other hand, had some very loyal kings; Joash, Uzziah, Hezekiah, and Josiah.
It is this Hezekiah who held off the Assyrians by fortifying Jerusalem and building up his military. It is this Hezekiah who was faithful to Yahweh and prayed to him when the king of Assyria came to destroy the city of Jerusalem. And a look how this confrontation came down will teach us a lot about our time and HOW IMPORTANT A FEW LOYAL LEADERS, political and religious, are during such times. While the consequences of the nations actions cannot be avoided, they can be delayed by godly people interceding before God Almighty on behalf of the nation.

A CIVILIZED NATION

Author Israel Shamir wrote an article In the UNZ Review titled: “Coronavirus Conspiracies”
In it he says:
“We are still in the early stage of the ongoing transformation, we still hope it will be over in the summer, or at least at autumn, or next winter, but most probably our life was we knew is over. Can we blame it on the virus, even if it was manufactured in the evil labs of the US or China, as has been convincingly suggested by Ron Unz?
There are millions of viruses, and mankind had managed to live with them all. There was no reason to freak out and destroy our civilization for another virus.”
As journalist Israel Shamir wrote:
The process of shedding millions of workers in the existing economic system is likely to be painful for the unemployed. The virus-blamed lockdown and digital control allows the owners of the digital companies to carry out the REVOLUTION with minimal risks for them. What would need an army and police involvement against riotous unemployed workers, can be achieved with greater ease under threat of the pandemic. The economy will be modernized and made more efficient.”

But there is good news, there is a spiritual government in place that cannot be touched, manipulated or taken hostage by evil forces. This government is the true body of Christ, those who have been born of the spirit of God and are follower of Jesus, under the headship of Jesus Christ. This is not a government that WILL BE ONE DAY COME TO FRUITION. This Government, this kingdom is already here on this earth.

What is the Kingdom of God? Where is the Kingdom of God?
Wherever God (through Jesus Christ) is in authority, the Kingdom of God is present.
There are three phases of the Kingdom of God in the Bible:
• When Jesus was in person on earth, the first phase of the Kingdom was present.
• The second phase of the Kingdom is the age of the Church, the invisible Kingdom in the hearts of men, women and children.
• The third phase of the Kingdom will begin when Jesus returns to earth and establishes His Kingdom worldwide.

Robert H. Bennett writes in his book “AFRAID – Demon possession and spiritual warfare in America”
“Is American spirituality afraid? Modern-day society lives in fear. With the decline in modernity and the rise of postmodernism, people are required to form new ways of understanding their world. They are reverting to a form of religious paganism that is the basis of all tribal and animistic worldviews.
Many churches have accepted a theological pluralism (an acceptance of diverse theological belief) that can also be described as spiritualism. But the spiritualist worldview that has become prominent in today’s churches is nothing new to Christianity. The Christian Church has existed in the midst of pluralistic religious environments since its establishment by Jesus and the sending out of His disciples.
All of the creeds and confessions of historic Christianity are in response to the heresies of history. The difference between the churches of the past and the churches of today lies in their response to attacks, which are increasing with ever-growing frequency. Rather than continuing to PROVIDE A PLACE OF SANCTUARY from the lies of Satan, his demons, and the world, many churches have embraced a concept OF PERSONAL EXPERIENCE THAT OVERSHADOWS DIVINE REVELATION.
In a sense, churches have let the demonic genie out of the bottle and welcomed him into the church.
This became evident in the church-growth movement, which sought to make worship “more relevant” so as to bring more people into the church. As a result of focusing on personal comfort and experience, the church-growth movement replaced (or at least added to) the truths of Scripture with modern marketing techniques connected to the social sciences.
The problems such an inconsistent theology can bring to those within the Church who have minimal biblical knowledge should be evident: INCONSISTENCY LEAD TO ANXIETY DURING TIMES OF PERSONAL STRUGGLES, AND ANXIETY LEADS TO FEAR. The Christian faith is not one of fear nor is it an inconsistent faith.”

In 1910 Teddy Roosevelt gave the famous speech titled:
“Citizenship in a Republic” here is a passage of this speech.
“If a man’s efficiency is not guided and regulated by a moral sense, then the more efficient he is the worse he is, the more dangerous to the body politic. Courage, intellect, all the masterful qualities, serve but to make a man more evil if they are merely used for that man’s own advancement, with brutal indifference to the rights of others. It speaks ill for the community if the community worships those qualities and treats their possessors as heroes regardless of whether the qualities are used rightly or wrongly. It makes no difference as to the precise way in which this sinister efficiency is shown. It makes no difference whether such a man’s force and ability betray themselves in a career of money-maker or politicians, soldier or orator, journalist or popular leader. If the man works for evil, then the more successful he is the more he should be despised and condemned by all upright and far-seeing men. To judge a man merely by success is an abhorrent wrong; and if the people at large habitually so judge men, if they grow to condone wickedness because the wicked men triumphs, they show their inability to understand that in the last analysis free institutions rest upon the character of citizenship, and that by such admiration of evil they prove themselves unfit for liberty.”

“The cost of freedom is always high, but Americans have always paid it. And one path we shall never choose, and that is the path of surrender, or submission.” John F. Kennedy

THE GAME of KINGS AND THRONES

Let me remind you that the word of God has a historicity of conflict reflected in a constant struggle between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of darkness for the souls of all men and women on planet earth.

2013 Kaleb Nation has published the novel “Harken”
Drawing upon three years of research and real-life interviews, in his book he weaves fact with fiction and explores questions many are afraid to ask. Who really controls our world? Are disasters coincidental or planned?
How much of Harken is true? This is his conclusion:
“Coincidence is merely the puppeteer’s curtain, hiding the hands that pull the world’s strings.”

Journalist McLean Gordon wrote in 2012
“In a system like Nazi Germany, where social acceptance was the reward for evil, the socially normal individual sees evil as good. Doing evil becomes nothing more than healthy self-interest, and the horrifying irony is that the person committing unimaginable cruelty comes across in other social contexts as a perfectly “normal” uninteresting individual, no more conspicuous than the rumbled businessman sitting next to you in the train.”

“Adolph Eichmann, the Nazi bureaucrat who supposedly signed off on the Holocaust and helped organize Hitler’s death camps, was not necessarily a blood-hungry monster. To look at, he was an average looking guy with thinning hair, a pencil pusher.
“Except for the extraordinary diligence in looking out for his personal advancement, the had no motives at all,” Hannah Arendt, a survivor of the Nazi concentration camps, wrote in her searing account of Eichmann’s 1962 war crimes trials; Eichmann was, as he tried to explain at his trial, “just following orders.”

Journalist Yasha Levine in his book “Google’s for-profit surveillance problem”
“The Google services and apps that we interact with on a daily basis aren’t the company’s main product: They are the harvesting machines that dig up and process the stuff that Google really sells: for-profit intelligence.”

Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt
“We know where you are. We know where you’ve been. We can more or less know what you’re thinking about.”
“It’s a future were you don’t forget anything…..In this new future you’re never lost…..We will know your position down to the foot and down to the inch over time… Your car will drive itself, it’s a bug that cars were invented before computers……you’re never lonely….you’re never board….you’re never out of ideas….we can suggest were you go next, who to meet, what to read….What’s interesting about this future is that it’s for the average person, not just the elites.”

Bruce Schneider “Don’t listen to Google and Facebook”
“With every smartphone we buy, every GPS device we install, every Twitter, Facebook, and Google account we open, every frequent buyer card we use for purchases – whether at the grocery, the yogurt shop, the airlines, or the department store – and every credit and debit card we use to pay for our transactions, we’re helping Corporate America build a dossier for its government counterparts on who we know, what we think, how we spend our money, and how we spend our time.
What’s worse, it’s not just the surveillance you CONSENT to that’s being shared with the government, however. It’s the very technology you happily and unquestionably use which is being hardwired to give the government easy access to your activities.
The government motives aren’t too difficult to understand, but what do corporate giants like Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Apple stand to gain from colluding with Big Brother? Money, power and control.
The main focus of massive Internet companies and government agencies both still largely align: TO KEEP US ALL UNDER CONSTANT SURVEILLANCE.
When they bicker, it’s mostly role-playing designed to keep us blasé about what’s really going on.”

The Art of War is one of the most useful books regarding wisdom when confronted by an enemy.
The Chines warrior Sun Tzu wrote it about 500 B.C. It would be very beneficial every Soldier of Jesus Christ to read and re-read this book.

Let me give you a few quotes:
“The art of war is of vital importance to the State. It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin. Hence it is a subject of inquiry which can on no account be neglected.”

“Hence to fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in braking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.”

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

“We cannot enter into alliance until we are acquainted with the designs of our neighbors.”

“Rapidity is the essence of war.”

If the enemy leaves a door open, you must rush in.”

ESCAPING THE DECEPTION

Let us go on a fast-paced history journey:

In 1932 Aldous Huxley wrote the novel: “Brand New World”
In it he made the prediction that mood enhancing drugs and genetic engineering will be a part of our life.
Several decades later in 1950, antidepressants were first popularized to the masses, and in 1972 the first DNA manipulation was announced.

In 1948 Novelist Ray Bradbury wrote the book: “Fahrenheit 451”
He envisioned a world in which people were tuned into TVs and tuned out to each other.
Decades later, iPods, cellphones, and earbuds would take the world by storm.

In June of 1949 British novelist George Orwell wrote the book: “1984”
In it he warned against a world in which the government spies on its citizens. It would take us only about sixty-five years to realize he was right.

October 2, 1959 the Emmy Award-winning TV series called “The Twilight Zone”, written and produced by Rod Serling was launched.
He wrote over 80 episodes that were filled with a mix of comedy and superstition.
Here is what the author said:
“This is not a new world: It is simply an extension of what began in the old one. It has patterned itself after every dictator who has ever planted the ripping imprint of a boot on the pages of history since the beginning of time. It has refinements, technological advancements, and a more sophisticated approach to the destruction of human freedom. But like every one of the super states that preceded it, it has one iron rule: ‘LOGIC IS AN ENEMY, AND TRUTH IS A MENACE.”

In all these novels and TV series and movies, the writers and filmmakers sounded the alarm bells HOW DECEPTION WILL BE THE WEAPON OF CHOICE TO BRING EVERYONE INTO SLAVERY.

John Whitehead in his book “Battlefield America” published in 2015, writes:
“How do you get a nation to docilely accept a police state? How do you persuade a populace to accept metal detectors and pat downs in their schools, bag searches in their train stations, tanks and military weaponry used by their small town police force, surveillance cameras on their traffic lights, police strip searches on their public roads, unwarranted and forced blood draws at drunk driving checkpoints, whole body scanners in their airports, and government agents monitoring their communications?
Try to ram such a state of affairs down their throats, and you might find yourself with a rebellion on your hands. Instead, you bombard the citizenry with constant color-coded alerts, terrorize them with reports of shootings and bomb threats in malls, schools, and sports arenas, desensitize them with a steady diet of police violence, and mesmerize them with entertainment spectacles (what the Romans used to refer to as “Bread and circus” distractions) and electronic devices, while selling the whole package to them as being in their best interests.
ll the while, the American people remain largely oblivious to the looming threat of their freedoms, eager to be persuaded that the government can solve the problem that plague us, whether it is terrorism, an economic depression, an environmental disaster, OR EVEN A VIRAL EPIDEMIC.”

HOW CAN SUCH A THING BE HAPPENING RIGHT UNDER OUR OWN NOSES? HOW IS IT POSSIBLE THAT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE NOT SEEING IT ALL FOR WHAT IT REALLY IS?

Nazi Field Marshal Hermann Goering was one that was on trial. At one point during his trial he made this remark:
“It is always a simple matter to drag people along whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. This is easy.
All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country.”
On July 18, 1925 Adolf Hitler wrote the book: “MEIN KAMPF”
“The very first essential for success is a perpetually constant and regular employment of violence.”

I quoted earlier Rod Sterling who is the screen writer for the TV series “The Twilight Zone”.
“We’re developing a new citizenry. One that will be very selective about cereals and automobiles BUT WON’T BE ABLE TO THINK.”

We live in an electronic concentration camp. Call it what you will, the meaning is the same: in our quest for less personal responsibility, a greater sense of security, and no burdensome obligations to each other or to future generations, we have created a society in which we have NO TRUE FREEDOM.

Before we take a closer look at the letter the Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Colossae, let me give you a quote from Dallas Willard found in his book “The Divine Conspiracy: Rediscovering Our Hidden Life in God”
“Their union with Jesus allows them now to be a part of his conspiracy to undermine the structures of evil, which continue to dominate human history, WITH THE FORCES OF TRUTH, FREEDOM, AND LOVE. We can quietly and relentlessly align ourselves with these forces, wherever they are, because we know what is cosmically afoot. To overcome evil with good, in the apostle Paul’s words is not just something for an individual effort here and there, is actually what will come to pass on this earth. The power of Jesus’ resurrection and his continuing life in human beings assures of this.”
“If cheap propaganda stunts does not secure the compliance, open threats will suffice. (here goes the freedom: the second force)
For instance, in the US, city mayors and local politicians have threatened to “hunt down”, monitor social media and jail those who break lockdown rules.”

TAKING THE RIGHT ACTION

Dallas Willard “The Allure of Gentleness”
Therefore; Christianity is false, since God is either not benevolent or not powerful, to which the presence of suffering testifies.
“God’s love is not a sentiment, but a well-reasoned devotion to the good or well-being of its objects. We have a terrible time understanding love, because we confuse it with desire. DESIRE AND LOVE ARE TWO UTTERLY DIFFERENT KINDS OF THINGS. Not only is desire not love; it is often OPPOSED to love.
Right action is the act of love, regardless of the desires of anyone involved.

Jeremy Bentham is his book: “Intro to the Principles of Morals and Legislation” writes:
“Nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure. It is for them alone to point out what we ought to do, as well as to determine what we shall do. On the one hand the standard of right and wrong, on the other the chain of causes and effects, are fastened to their throne. They govern us in all we do, in all we say, in all we think; every effort we can make to throw off our subjection will serve but to demonstrate and confirm it. In words a man may pretend to abjure their empire; but in reality, he will remain subject to it all the while.”

Dallas Willard writes:
“It is only in the heat of pain and suffering, both mental and physical, that real human character is forged. One does not develop:
• courage without facing danger,
• patience without trials,
• wisdom without heart- and brain-racking puzzles,
• endurance without suffering
• temperance and honesty without temptations.
These are the very things we treasure most about people. Ask yourself if you would be willing to be devoid of all these virtues. If your answer is no, then don’t scorn the means of obtaining them.
The gold of human character is dug from torturous mines, but its dung and dirt are quite easily come by. And it should come as no surprise to us that in our time – the time of the great flight from pain, such virtues as these are conspicuous only by their absence.
I’m not saying that we should go looking for pain, so that we can develop character. This is not at all necessary. All we need to do is make an honest and thorough effort do discover what is right and wrong, good and bad, when we are convinced on these points, then simply go out and face life for what it is worth. There will be plenty of opportunity to develop character.”

C.S. Lewis in his book “The Problem of Pain” writes:
“It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest, most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or the other of these destinations….
There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations – these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit – immortal horrors or everlasting splendors……..
YOUR NEIGHBOR IS THE HOLIEST OBJECT PRESENTED TO YOUR SENSES.”

A PLACE OF BECOMING

Chuck Swindoll in his book “The Church Awakening” wrote:
“It is precisely these four areas the adversary will attack so he can disrupt and, if possible, destroy the church. That’s why it’s important to keep our priorities straight. It’s essential that we do not get distracted by all that we CAN do as a church…and stay focused on only what we MUST do as a church. Otherwise we may be attracting a crowd for the wrong reasons.”

Genuine authentic fellowship with other followers of Jesus is the soil for becoming contagious. There are way too many Christians that sit in church every Sunday, they take notes, walk out, and come back next week, to sit, take notes, walk out, and return again next week…
…….UNTIL JESUS COMES BACK. Such Christians will grow stagnant. They come, sit, soak and sour.
Fellowship is much more than coming to church to hear a sermon every Sunday, or engaging in weekly Bible studies, or subscribe to 5 daily devotionals, or to read 5 books a week. Fellowship is physical getting together to share LIVE WITH ONE ANOTHER.

Warren Wiersbe in his book “On Being a Servant of God” writes:
Christian service means invading a battleground, not a playground; and you and I are the weapons God uses to attack and defeat the enemy. When God used Moses’ rod, He needed Moses’ hand to lift it. When God used David’s sling, He needed David’s hand to swing it. When God builds a ministry, He needs somebody’s surrendered body to get the job done.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer in his book “Life Together” wrote:
“The pious fellowship permits no one to be a sinner. So everybody must conceal his sin from himself and from the fellowship. We dare not be suddenly discovered among the righteous. So we remain alone with our sin, living in lies and hypocrisy. The fact is that we ARE sinners! But it is the grace of the Gospel, which is so hard for the pious to understand, that it confronts us with the truth and says:
You are a sinner, a great, desperate sinner; now come, as the sinner that you are, to God who loves you. He wants you as you are; He wants you alone. “My son, give me thine heart” (Proverbs 23:26). God has come to you to save the sinner. Be glad! This message is liberation through truth. You can hide nothing from God. The mask you wear before men will do you no good before Him. He wants to see you as you are, He wants to be gracious to you. You do not have to go on lying to yourself and your brothers, as if you were without sin; you can dare to be a sinner.”

ARE YOU CONTAGIOUS?

Chuck Swindoll in his book “The Church Awakening” wrote:
“It is precisely these four areas the adversary will attack so he can disrupt and, if possible, destroy the church. That’s why it’s important to keep our priorities straight. It’s essential that we do not get distracted by all that we CAN do as a church…and stay focused on only what we MUST do as a church. Otherwise we may be attracting a crowd for the wrong reasons.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer in his book “Life Together” wrote:
“The pious fellowship permits no one to be a sinner. So everybody must conceal his sin from himself and from the fellowship. We dare not be sinners. Many Christians are unthinkably horrified when a real sinner is suddenly discovered among the righteous. So we remain alone with our sin, living in lies and hypocrisy. The fact is that we ARE sinners! But it is the grace of the Gospel, which is so hard for the pious to understand, that it confronts us with the truth and says:
You are a sinner, a great, desperate sinner; now come, as the sinner that you are, to God who loves you. He wants you as you are; He wants you alone. “My son, give me thine heart” (Proverbs 23:26). God has come to you to save the sinner. Be glad! This message is liberation through truth. You can hide nothing from God. The mask you wear before men will do you no good before Him. He wants to see you as you are, He wants to be gracious to you. You do not have to go on lying to yourself and your brothers, as if you were without sin; you can dare to be a sinner.”

Warren Wiersbe in his book “On Being a Servant of God” writes:
Christian service means invading a battleground, not a playground; and you and I are the weapons God uses to attack and defeat the enemy. When God used Moses’ rod, He needed Moses’ hand to lift it. When God used David’s sling, He needed David’s hand to swing it. When God builds a ministry, He needs somebody’s surrendered body to get the job done.”

JESUS IS IN THE CRISIS

The Lebanese Christian author Charles Malik in his book “CHRIST AND CRISIS” writes:
“Are you perplexed? Do you “feel” the crisis? Do you “feel” something profoundly wrong, both in your life and in the affairs of the world? Do you as it were “hold your heart in your hand”, fearing that at almost the next moment something terrible is going to break out -both in you and the world? Have you reached the state where you simply do not quite trust the processes of the world (including nature, science, economics, politics, and even the best good will), suspecting that there is in them a flaw somewhere, a false note, an immanent principle of darkness, destruction, and death?
He wrote that book in 2015!

Mark Sayers in his book “Reappearing Church” writes:
“Our cultural crises show us the consequences of what happens when we try and take over the controls of the world.
To the contrite heart, the humble, the meek in spirit, God’s presence is received as waves of love. Yet for the proud, the rebellious, the autonomous, the individuals and systems that wish to continue Adam and Eve’s rebellion to reanimate the project of Babylon, to reach for progress without presence – for such people and systems, those same waves of love that are God’s presence are experienced as judgment.”

In 1966 Lesslie Newbigin published a book titled: “Honest Religion for Secular Man”
“After Christ had humiliated the power and principalities upon the cross, the sacred order of the world was exposed. It was either God’s unmediated presence or nothing.
As a Christian I see this process of secularization as an extension of the prophetic attack, in the name of the living God, upon all structures of thought, patterns of society, idols whether mental or metal, which claim sacred authority”.

THERE ARE TWO PLANS

JESUS CAME TO PROCLAIM THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM.

Chuck Swindoll in his commentary on this text writes:
“For many years, faulty information had been taught by the religious aristocracy. With unquestioned authority, these religious leaders twisted the meaning of Holy Scripture, offered interpretations that were simply wrong, and demanded applications that were frankly impossible. Not content to let God’s Word speak for itself, they added to the commandments of God and required that everyone obey their additions without hesitation.
When Jesus sat down and delivered His illustrious Sermon on the Mount, jaws must have dropped as His audience heard an entirely different interpretation, delivered in an entirely different mode of communication.”

Dr. Michael Heiser in his book “Supernatural” writes:
“Though Eden was lost, God intends that it be restored. Ultimately, his rule – his kingdom – will return in its full scope when Jesus comes back and God creates a new heaven and earth (one that, in Revelation 21 and 22 looks a lot like Eden.)
In the meantime, we can spread the truth of God and the gospel of Jesus everywhere. We can also represent God to everyone we meet and in every place. We are God’s agents to restore Eden in the here and now, looking forward to the day when Jesus brings that plan to a climax.”

John Stott says it this way in his commentary on Matthew:
“Christian righteousness is greater than pharisaic righteousness because it is deeper, being a righteousness of the heart.
The righteousness which is pleasing to him is an inward righteousness of MIND AND MOTIVE.”

AN EXCITING OPPORTUNITY

Then, Jesus makes these remarkable statements:
• You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.
• You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.
• In the same way, LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE BEFORE OTHERS, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
Remember, Jesus spoke these words to a crowd that has lost hope. It is easy to lose hope when things don’t look good and uncertainty and fear is dominating our very lives.

Mark Sayers in his book “The Disappearing Church” has a chapter titled:
Creative Minorities: Going Deep
“The huge tree wins the race by doing something counterintuitive. While the others fight for space, air, and light, it goes underground. While the others head upwards pushing through the surface, it goes deep. While the others pursue, visibility at the expense of stability, the tree remains underground, hidden, building powerful roots. The deep underground foundation grown by the tree ensure that it is connected to deep and unseen sources of water, nutrients, and life. Once these are secured, growth can then happen.
The tree is willing to lose the initial battles in order to win the war.”
“In our culture, which corrodes and seduces us, which erodes commitments, faith, and covenant, we need to be like the tree. The response to a culture built on superficiality, which reduces the world to a shallow secularity, is depth. We need sources of life and sustenance not found in the adulation or respect of the public. In our culture which rips at roots, which tears at foundations, we need depth, we need roots, and we need foundations.”

Richard Foster once said:
“The desperate need today is not for a greater number of intelligent people, or gifted people, but for deep people.”

CHRISTIAN COUNTER-CULTURE

This account shows everyone is living the same life on Instagram by Cara Curtis —
“When scrolling through your Instagram feed, do you ever feel like you’re getting déjà vu? This is probably because people seem to be living the same life on Instagram.
Whether it’s a perfectly shot piece of avocado toast alongside an artistic looking latte or a breathtaking image of someone jumping from a waterfall, it’s been done before. A million times.
Long before over-sharing online was a normal thing to do, humans have always been attracted to tourist destinations to capture the perfect photograph.
I think we’re all guilty of it to some extent, but now, instead of taking home a gift shop souvenir and relaying your trip to your close friends, people post every detail of their lives online to hundreds of followers who they may not necessarily even know.
Because of this urge to document our lives in real time, originality is becoming a thing of the past and a new-age of copycatting is creeping up on us.”

Before we go to our text, let me read from a chapter titled “the Instagram Life”
“Every society has a way of transmitting its values to the young. Some societies do it through religious festivals or military parades. One of the ways we do it is through a secular sermon called the commencement address……Many young people are graduating into limbo. Floating and plagued by uncertainty, they want to know what specifically they should do with their lives. So, we hand them
• THE GREAT EMPTY BOX OF FREEDOM.
The purpose of life is to be free. Freedom leads to happiness! We’re not going to impose anything on you or tell you what to do. We give you your liberated self to explore. Enjoy your freedom!
The students in the audience put down the empty box because they are drowning in freedom. What they’re looking for is DIRECTION. What is freedom for? How do I know which path is my path?
So we hand them another big box of nothing –
• THE BIG BOX OF POSSIBILITY!
Your future is limitless! You can do anything you set your mind to! The journey is the destination! Take risks! Be audacious! Dream big! But this mantra doesn’t help, either. If you don’t know what your life is for, how does it help to be told that your future is limitless? That just ups the pressure. So they put down that empty box. They are looking for a SOURCE OF WISDOM. Where can I find the answers to my big questions.
So, we hand them
• THE EMPTY BOX OF AUTHENTICITY.
Look inside yourself! Find your true inner passion. You are amazing! Awaken the giant within! Live according to your own true way! You do you!
This is useless too. The “you” we tell them to consult for life’s answers is the very thing that hasn’t yet formed. So they put down that empty box and ask, “What can I devote myself to? What cause will inspire me and give meaning and direction to my life?”
At this point we hand them
• THE EMPTIEST BOX OF ALL – THE BOX OF AUTONOMY.
You are on your own, we tell them. It’s up to you to define your own values, No one else can tell you what’s right or wrong for you. Your truth is to be found in your own way through your own story that you tell about yourself. Do what you love!
You will notice that our answers take all the difficulties of living in your twenties and make them worse. The graduates are in limbo, and we give them uncertainty. They want to know why they should do this as opposed to that. And we have nothing to say except. Figure it out yourself based on no criteria outside yourself. They are floundering in a formless desert. Not only over their heads.

David Brooks “The Second Mountain – The quest for a Moral Life”
The author summarizes the big SIM TO NOWHERE with these words:
“The average American has seven jobs over the course of their twenties. A third of recent college graduates are unemployed, underemployed, or making less then $ 30,000 a year at any given moment. Half feel they have no plan for their life.
These are peak years for alcoholism and drug addiction. People in this life stage move every three years. 40% move back in with their parents at least once. They are much less likely to attend religious services or join a political party. People in their odyssey years tend to be dementedly optimistic about the long-term future. 96% of 18-24-olds agree with the statement “I AM VERY SURE THAT SOMEDAY I WILL GET TO WHERE I WANT TO BE IN LIFE.”
But the present is marked by wandering, loneliness, detachment, doubt, underemployment, heartbreaks, and bad bosses, while their parents go slowly insane.”

You still don’t believe it; let me give you one more example written by the same author:
“When enough people are going through this phase at once, you end up with a society in which everything is flux. You end up with what the Polish philosopher Zygmunt Bauman calls “liquid modernity.” In the age of the smartphone, the friction costs involved in making or braking any transaction or relationship approach zero. The Internet is commanding you to click on and sample one thing after another. Living online often means living in a state of diversion. When you’re living in diversion you’re not actually deeply interested in things; you’re just bored at a more frenetic pace. Online life is saturated with decommitment devices. If you can’t focus your attention for thirty seconds, how on earth are you going to commit for life?
Such is life in the dizziness of freedom. Nobody quite knows where they stand with one another. Everybody is pretty sure that other people are doing life better. Comparison is the robber of joy.”
“You know that at some point you should sit down and find some overall direction for life. But the mind wants to wander from the meaty big questions, which are completely daunting and unanswerable, to the diverting candy right on your phone – the tiny dopamine lift.”
All of this points in one direction; INTO THE DITCH. Political freedom is great. But personal, social, and emotional freedom – when it becomes an ultimate end – absolutely sucks. It leads to a random, busy life with no discernible direction, no firm foundation, and in which, as Marx put it, all that’s solid melts to air. It turns out that freedom isn’t an ocean you want to spend your life in. Freedom is a river you want to get across so you can plant yourself on the other side – and fully commit to something.”

Dallas Willard in his book “Divine Conspiracy” writes:
“Perhaps many people will find that they are already humble. Just be humble, they say. But such a way of reading the beatitudes also gives various other kinds of people automatic access to the kingdom of heaven in terms nicely suited to them – especially if they have a distant God and not a present King. If they are not in a position to be humble, they perhaps can mange to mourn, or be meek, or become persecuted, and then one of the other Beatitudes will, on the interpretation in question, take over to secure their blessedness.

THINGS ARE ABOUT TO CHANGE

Dallas Willard in “The Divine Conspiracy”
Bar-Code Faith
Think of the bar codes now used on goods in most stores. The scanner responds only to the bar code. It makes no difference what is in the bottle or package that bears it, or whether the sticker is on the ‘right’ one or not. The calculator responds through its electronic eye to the bar code and totally disregards everything else. If the ice cream sticker is on the dog food, the dog food is ice cream, so far as the scanner knows or cares.
On a recent radio program a prominent minister spent fifteen minutes enforcing the point that ‘justification’, the forgiveness of sins, involves no change at all in the heart of personality of the one forgiven. It is, he insisted, something entirely external to you, located wholly in God himself.
His intent was to emphasize the familiar Protestant point that salvation is by God’s grace only and is totally independent of what we may do. But what he in fact said was that being a Christian has nothing to do with the kind of person you are. The implications of this teaching are stunning.
The theology of Christian trinkets says there is something about the Christian that works like the bar code. Some rituals, some belief, or some association with a group affects God the way the bar code affects the scanner. Perhaps there has occurred a moment of mental assent to a creed, or an association entered into with a church. God ‘scans’ it, and forgiveness floods forth. An appropriate amount of righteousness is shifted from Christ’s account to our account in the bank of heaven, and all our debts are paid. We are, accordingly, ‘saved’. Our guilt is erased. How could we not be Christians?
For some Christian groups the ‘account’ has to be appropriately serviced to keep the debts paid up, because we really are not perfect. For others – some strong Calvinist groups – every debt past, present and future is paid for at the initial scan. But the essential thing in either case is the forgiveness of sins. And the pay-off for having faith and being ‘scanned’ comes at death and after. Life now being lived has no necessary connection with being a Christian as long as the ‘bar code’ does its job.

R.T. France in his commentary gives us the answer:
“These large “crowds” are said to “follow” Jesus, the same term which in verses 20 and 22 denoted the first disciples’ total change of lifestyle….
A radical commitment to accompany Jesus.
Yet as the narrative progresses, we shall find only a few who are Jesus’ constant and committed companions, while a less easily defined “crowd” comes and goes. This wider group represents a pool of possible “full-time” recruits, but generally their “following” seems to be more sporadic and temporary.
The verb “follow” alone is not therefore a sufficient indication of full-scale discipleship. Mark 3:7-8 is perhaps more exact in describing this interprovincial crowd as simply “coming to” Jesus.”

Michael Heiser in “Supernatural” writes:
“The members of God’s family have a mission: to be God’s agents in restoring his good rule on earth and expanding the membership of his family. We are God’s means to propel the great reversal begun in Acts 2, the birth of the church, the body of Christ, until the time when the Lord returns.
As evil had spread like a contagion through humanity after the failure of the first Eden, so the gospel spreads like an antidote through the same infected host. We are CARRIERS of the truth about the God of gods, his love for all nations, and his unchanging desire to dwell with his family in the earthly home he has wanted since its creation. Eden will live again.
Everything we do and say matters, though we may never know why or how. But our job isn’t to see – it’s to do. Walking by faith isn’t passive – its purposeful.”

THE NAZARETH MANIFESTO

Christopher Wright in his book “The Mission of God”, writes:
“The reign of YHWH, when it would finally come, would mean justice for the oppressed and the overthrow of the wicked. It would bring true peace to the nations and the abolition of war, the means of war, and training for war. It would put an end to poverty, want and need, and provide everyone with economic viability (under the metaphor “under his own vine and fig tree”). It would mean satisfying and fulfilling life for human families, safety for children, and fulfillment for the elderly, without danger from enemies, and all of this within a renewed creation free from harm and threat. It would mean the inversion of the moral values that dominate the current world order, for in the kingdom of God the upside down priorities of the beatitudes operate and the Magnificat is not just wishful thinking.”

J.D. Green in his book “Christology in Cultural Perspective”
“As Jesus stood on trial before the highest political-religious authority in all Jewish society, he calmly took to himself the identity of the “Daniel’s Son of Man”, whose authority would ultimately overthrow the beast of oppressive and persecuting powers (Daniel 7).
No wonder the chief priest tore his robes and cried blasphemy. It just won’t do when the chief priest is cast in the role of chief beast. Jesus’ radical claims and teachings were not just bursting old wineskins; they were enough to burst some political blood vessels.”
Matthew 4:17
From that day Jesus began TO PREACH, saying: Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

John McArthur in his commentary on this verse writes:
“Jesus preached His message with certainty. He did not come to dispute or to argue, but to proclaim, TO PREACH. Preaching is the proclamation of certainties, not the suggestion of possibilities.”
“Repent involves a change of opinion, or direction, of life itself. To repent is to have a radical change of heart and will – and, consequently, of behavior.”

Christopher Wright writes:
“A change of political or economic or geographical landscape, a change of government, a change of social status may all be beneficial in themselves, but they will be of no eternal benefit unless the spiritual goals of exodus are also met. So to change people’s social or economic status without leading them to saving faith and obedience to God in Christ leads no further than the wilderness or the exile, both places of death.”

DO YOU BELIEVE?

Carmen Joy Imes in her book “Bearing God’s Name” writes:
“Matthew’s gospel breaks neatly into five blocks of teaching, mimicking the five books of the Torah (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy).
These five blocks of teaching are preceded by an introductory story in which Jesus’ life is in danger because King Herod, like Pharaoh, is killing Jewish babies. To escape, his parents take him to Egypt. It’s an inside-out Exodus story. When the coast is clear, they return to Palestine, retracting Israel’s journey from Egypt to the promised land. Next, we fast forward to Jesus’ adulthood, where he passes through the waters of baptism in the Jordan, reminding us of Israel’s crossing both the Red Sea and the Jordan.
After this, Jesus is sent by the Spirit into the wilderness for forty days, where he reenacts Israel’s wilderness wanderings.”

Baptism does not produce salvation in this text, Rather, it corresponds to something that does, THE DEATH OF JESUS (v 19) and the RESURRECTION (v 21)
“Baptism saves” if one makes a decision; a pledge of loyalty oath,
a public proclamation of who is on the Lord’s side in the cosmic war between good and evil.
Every Baptism is therefore a reiteration of the past and future doom of the Watchers in the wake of the gospel and the kingdom of God.
Early Christians understood the typology of this passage and its link back to 1 Enoch and Genesis 6:1-4.
This is why early baptismal formulas included a renunciation of Satan and his angels. Baptism was anything but routine. It was a symbol of spiritual warfare.” Dr. Michael Heiser “Reversing Hermon”

Who is Azazel?
We find the Biblical text in Leviticus 16:7-10
“And Aaron shall take the two goats, and he shall present them before Yahweh at the tent of assembly’s entrance. Then Aaron shall cast lots for the two goats: one lot for Yahweh and one for Azazel. And Aaron shall present the goat on which the lot for Yahweh fell, and he shall sacrifice it as a sin offering. But the must present alive before Yahweh the goat on which the lot for Azazel fell to make atonement for himself, to send it away into the desert to Azazel.”

R.T. France
“His Father is testing him in the school of privation, and his triumphant rebuttal of the devil’s suggestions will ensure that the filial bond can survive in spite of the conflict that lies ahead.”

Dr. Michael Heiser in the “Unseen Realm” makes this comment about that temptation:
“Had Jesus given in, it would have been an acknowledgment that Satan’s permission was needed to possess the nations. It wasn’t. Satan presumed power and ownership of something that, ultimately, was not his but God’s. The messaging behind Jesus’ answer is clear: Yahweh will take the nations back by his own means in his own time. He doesn’t need them to be given away in a bargain. Jesus was loyal to his Father.”

A NEW BEGINNING

Christopher Wright in his book “The mission of God” asks the question:
“How big is our Gospel? If our gospel is the good news about God’s redemption, then the question moves on to, “How big is our UNDERSTANDING OF REDEMPTION?
Where do we turn in the Bible for our understanding of redemption?
If you would have asked a devout Israelite in the Old Testament period “Are you redeemed?” the answer would have been a most definite yes. And if you had asked “How do you know?” you would be taken aside to sit down somewhere while your friend recounted a long and exciting story – THE STORY OF EXODUS.”
Christopher Wright is referring to Exodus 6:6: Say therefore to the people of Israel, “I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from slavery to them, and I will REDEEM you with an outstretched arm and with great acts of judgment.

Repent is not a feeling, repent is an ACTION.
Repentance speaks of a CHANGE OF DIRECTION,
NOT A SORROW OF HEART.

Michael Heiser in “Unseen Realm» comments on this chapter:
“In Isaiah 40:1 we learn that God is the speaker. He issues four commands. All four commands are grammatically plural in Hebrew. That means that Yahweh is commanding A GROUP. The group cannot be Israelites or a collective Israel, since it is Israel that Yahweh is commanding the group to comfort, speak to, and call. You should know the identity of the group by now: THE DIVINE COUNCIL.”

“In response to the commands in Isaiah 40:1-2, a lone response comes:
A VOICE IS CALLING IN THE WILDERNESS, “CLEAR THE WAY OF YAHWEH! MAKE A HIGHWAY SMOOTH IN THE DESERT FOR OUR GOD!” (Isaiah 40:3)

Michael Heiser comments on this scene:
“Like the prophet of old, John the Baptist has “stood in the council and answered the call. To a Jew familiar with the Old Testament, the pattern would not be lost. As had been the case at the time of Isaiah, Yahweh’s council had met in regard to the fate of an apostate Israel. Isaiah had been sent to a spiritually blind and deaf nation. The calling of John the Baptist tells the reader that Yahweh’s Divine Council is in session again, only this time the aim is TO LAUNCH THE KINGDOM OF GOD WITH THE SECOND YAHWEH, NOW INCARNATE, AS ITS POINT MAN.”