Now take a deep breath.
As reluctant as I am to risk sounding overly dramatic there are a few things I need to say here for the sake of context. Since coming on the mission field, we have seen people shot and killed, run over by trucks, hacked to death with machetes, and children abused in ways I won’t mention. We have seen normalized poverty and suffering beyond anything most Americans can imagine. We have come to understand that suffering is and always has been the norm for most of the world. For the record, if you have the ability to read this then you are part of the less than 1%.
We have stared down the barrels of M-16s certain we were going to die. We have been present when an AK-47 was about to be unloaded on a crowd then miraculously broke in half before it could be fired. We ministered in the Amazon basin to Huaorani who had recently killed 19 Teromanane because they had kidnapped three Huaorani children and smashed the skulls of others on trees, then watched God orchestrate a miraculous reconciliation when a blood bath should have been the norm. We’ve been surrounded by spear-wielding Shuar tribesmen at a roadblock. “Oh God no!” Oh please Jesus no!” our drivers exclaimed. Once again we were sure we were going to die only to be saved because our driver had recently introduced their chief to Christ.
We trusted God and chose not to flee when it looked like Honduras was descending into civil war.
We did the same when Covid began, borders closed and the US state department said the last emergency evacuation flights were departing. We did the same when Eta hit and again during Iota. Once again we nearly died and were delivered instead. We lost everything we owned and became homeless then found the greatest blessing in that loss. We gave up careers, family, and prosperous life in Hawaii that most people only dream of because we endeavored to follow Jesus’s command to forsake all we owned, pick up our cross and follow him.
In the midst of all this, we have found the tribulation of Rom 5:1-5 and the patience of James 1:1-4 to be vital to understanding the word of God and God’s ultimate plan. We have walked all of this out in the context of Prov 3:5-6. We have had zero income for over four years yet God provides exactly what we need to survive just as He does for the birds of the air. He guides us to whom we should serve and provides for them too.
The proverbial midnight hour is His favorite time to come through.
Contrary to the “name it and claim it” in the 1st world church, we have learned that the purpose of prayer is for us to align with God’s will – not His will with ours. We have learned that His will is best even when it seems to fail in our eyes and external circumstances appear tragic. We have learned that His will has little if anything to do with our comfort in this life. Any prosperity is always incidental to His purpose. Today we own almost nothing and we are more grateful than ever. Still, when we look at the suffering that surrounds us we feel powerless, greedy, and spoiled.
We have it too easy. We have too much.
We have learned that the Christian walk is NOT about our being blessed. Rather it is a stripping away of the desire to be blessed. It is a burning up of all the fluff, our silly significance, our image, our performances, facades, and narcissism to reveal the body of death that hangs around all of our necks for which God gave His only begotten Son.
We have come to understand that our life is not about OUR identity.
It’s about His.
Today we look at ourselves in the mirror and see that much dross remains, much that needs to be stripped, much in us that still needs to die. Being on the mission field just makes it easier to remember the reflection we saw after we walk away. We understand that this makes zero sense to those who presume to teach and promise Justice or Heaven on earth now. Ironically we have friends whom we love and who insist on preaching the very things we have already obediently rejected. The mere fact that we are alive today is a testimony of Jesus.
Still, I’m always a little afraid that people will read what I write, and get caught up in the drama of the tale, and focus on the deeds of man rather than the deliverance of God. Therefore I am compelled to remind you that I am a true off-scouring of all things, the guy who was delivered from 20 years of addiction amidst a suicidal charge at a man with a shotgun because I didn’t have the guts to do it myself. I abandoned my kids and came to know Jesus during a 5-year prison stint. I am the very definition of a weakling and loser.
I can’t even take credit for surrendering to Jesus because I was apprehended by Him.
I needed to write this in order to give context to the hard things I am about to say.
Many Christians placed their faith and hope in politics and the reelection of Donald Trump. For the record, I wanted him to be reelected and there was a part of me that wanted to believe the myriad Trump prophesies that guaranteed it. Not because I am a Trumpophile who believed he was a Cyrus like savior. I simply looked at his policies aside from his tweets and media spin. His policies supported biblically sound Christianity. That sounds honorable enough; right? Yet if I am brutally honest it’s because Trump’s policies made my life easier.
Biden’s policies Do Not.
While the “Trump prophets” spoke with convincing authority and conviction and people we love sent us video after video of them, I had serious doubts because what God was supposedly saying to His alleged prophets wasn’t lining up with what God had already said in the bible.
Amos 3:7 was foundational for those who wanted to believe in a prophetically declared Trump second term.
“For the Lord GOD does nothing without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets.”
Ironically the book of Amos tells the story of Israel falling into idolatry and hypocrisy during a time of political stability and prosperity.
And God said,
“I hate, I despise your feasts, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them; and the peace offerings of your fattened animals, I will not look upon them. Take away from me the noise of your songs; to the melody of your harps, I will not listen. But let justice roll down like waters…” Amos 5:21-24
Paul acknowledged a gift of prophecy for comforting, encouraging, and exhorting. Yes, I am aware of Eph 4:11. However, I remain thoroughly unconvinced that an official office of Apostle and Prophet are valid today. We know a tree by its fruit. Many Trump prophecy adherents became obsessed and angry to the point of threatening violence toward those who would dare to question “God’s Prophets” and even the prophets themselves when they repented. Jeremiah Johnson received multiple death threats after he repented. That said, there are true biblical prophecies that have been fulfilled and whose accuracy is historically verified. Many still remain. However, nowhere in the New Testament are we commanded to submit ourselves to the authority of a contemporary prophet.
Rev 19:10 seems clear
“And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”
Jesus and Paul warned about a coming multitude of false prophets. What so many fail to realize is that we are not commanded to be seers and followers of seers. We are commanded to STUDY. Therefore a good rule of thumb is
The times NEVER determine truth. Rather the Truth illuminates the times.
While there is no doubt that Donald Trump was elected according to God’s will in 2016, the same biblical principle applies to the election of Joe Biden in 2020. Do I like it? No. But at the end of the day, it is God who establishes Kings. Nothing on earth happens that He doesn’t cause or allow.
To say otherwise is to invalidate the sovereignty of God.
Any despondency on the part of Christians now is a result of unmet expectations, and in many cases, because they asked amiss James 4:2-4. They definitely failed to understand the times. Jesus warned about this. Interestingly He was rebuking the Pharisees when he declared “a wicked and perverse generation seeks after a sign.” Later in the same chapter, He warns about the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees who in addition to being the religious leaders of the day were also opposing political factions. This is worthy of reflection in the context of those seeking after the myriad politically leavened Trump prophecies that have so damaged the witness of Christians today.
Am I saying that Christians should not be involved in politics? Of course not. I am saying the inane politicization of our faith rooted in bad exegesis and wrong eschatology has resulted in absurd alignments with controlled opposition like Qanon and other false prophetic movements. These may now be used as criteria for our identification and vilification possibly followed by our nullification and destruction. That is exactly what the Nazis did to the Jews and Communists did to Christians during the previous century.
Today we have friends and family along with as much as half of America that genuinely believes that white supremacy, Qanon, Proud Boys, Neo-Nazis, and Donald Trump, are true representations of Christianity. Now the media is selling people on the idea that the political left has the moral high ground and that Joe Biden and his WOKE neo-Marxist entourage will bring moral correction to white cisgender male-dominated alt-right Christian extremists. And don’t try to change their minds.
They’ve seen it in the news.
Replacement theology holds that the Jewish people broke their covenant with God when they crucified Jesus and therefore were rejected by Him. The church became the new Israel, and Christians, not Jews became God’s new chosen people. Its seeds were probably sown in Germany after the Protestant Reformation When Martin Luther copped a resentment and wrote “Set fire to their synagogues or schools, ”. Of course, he also chastised the Catholic church for its mistreatment of Jews. So who knows? Regardless of who started it, many Christians are unwittingly impacted by a false ethnocentric and contemporary nationalistic view of scripture.
They mistakenly if not unconsciously correlate end-time prophecies about Israel with the USA.
All other errors that result from the politicization of Christianity flow from there. Any belief that holds God’s ultimate plan to be about the USA, conservatism, and patriotism is just as aberrant as those who believe Jesus was a social justice warrior who came to oppose an economic and political system on behalf of minorities.
He came to conquer sin and death.
Let’s get something straight.
Replacement Theology is antisemitic and was the basis for Nazi theology. The Nazis were not Christian. They were occultists masquerading as Christians in order to leverage the political influence of the church. Bad exegesis and eschatology on the part of believers permitted it. It is questionable whether the Nazis would have come to power all had there been enough biblically sound Christians making disciples. There Jesus covered this in Mat 7:21-23. Still, there were true Christians amidst the Nazis like Deitrich Bonhoeffer, Corrie ten Boom, and Oskar Schindler to name a few. In addition to 6 million Jews, there were countless other Christians numbered among the additional 5 million non-Jewish misfits that perished in Nazi concentration camps. Interestingly one major attraction of the Nazi version of replacement theology was the promise of a “make Germany great again” type of blessing and prosperity under a human savior in accordance with Rom 13. Please do not misunderstand.
I am not saying that Trump or Pro-Trump Christians are Nazis, or that simply loving one’s country makes one a Nazi.
I am saying many are oblivious to the roots of the current exegetic and prophetic apostasy and the appearance of evil that the Bible commands us to avoid.
Lots of people and groups claim to be Christian today. But going to church and claiming to be a Christian do not in themselves make one a Christian. Many people exalted Trump as a prophesied “man of prayer”. Still, we know a tree by its fruit provided we are willing to honestly look at the fruit. I have no doubt that Trump grew in his walk with Christ since 2016. Still,
Donald Trump is at best a baby born again believer.
Today the media is promoting Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as devout Christians.
Yet the criteria for being Christian is determined by Jesus and the correct application of the words written in the Bible not its counterfeits, detractors, and abusers. Trump supported Christianity by supporting his Christian base, but Trump rarely talked or behaved like a Christian let alone a prophesied “man of prayer”. While Christians hung on every word that might be correlated with the Bible and held him up as America’s MAGA savior, Trump himself said that he’s never asked for forgiveness. That’s kind of important. Now a devout Joe Biden is financing global abortion and promoting transgenderism to name a few. It doesn’t matter if it’s a neo-Nazi, a neo-Marxists, a WOKE Christian, a modern-day Pharisee, a uni party Rebublicrat misrepresenting God for political gain, or a false for-profit prophet claiming God said things He never said.
Any position or TEACHING that violates scripture is false and represents the same spirit of anti-Christ that blinds the world.
Rick Joyner is notorious for the prophetic. We’ve always liked him because he tended to look inward regarding things that need to change. Unfortunately, he bit the “Trump is God’s anointed” bait hard, went off the proverbial Richter, and started talking about a coming civil war led by veterans and members of law enforcement. That narrative resulted in the moderate left freaking out and an open door for extreme left opportunists like John Brennan.
Recently Rick Joyner publicly repented. Now he is saying that God told him Trump lost because America and especially God’s people did not turn from their 2 Chron 7:14 wicked ways. I didn’t need a prophetic word for that to make perfect sense to me.
2 Chron 7:14 has always applied to God’s people even though we consistently apply it to everyone but ourselves.
Ron Cantor said God told him in September that Joe Biden would win. He said the Lord told him that while His original plan was for Trump to serve two terms and that Trump supporters would ultimately provoke Trump to become more like Jesus,
Trump supporters became more like Trump.
The odds of flipping a coin to determine whether a politician will win or lose are 50/50 from the start. Those are better odds than day trading stocks where the odds begin at 33 1/3. In any case, guessing looks like prophecy or brilliance when you are right. If that sounds complicated the Bible simplifies it even more. Deuteronomy 28 says if a prophet says “God said” and what he says does not come to pass then God didn’t say it. Do not listen to them.
We have a wagon load of false prophecy today.
1 John 4:1 says “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” Part of that testing involves discerning who is being glorified. Is Jesus being lifted up or is someone else? Are we more fascinated with the prophets we chase from meeting to meeting and conference to conference always in search of yet another feel-good word for or about ourselves? We must ask ourselves, “am I really praying “Thy will be done”? Or do I believe what I hear because they say what I want to hear?
Answering that requires some deep and potentialy uncomfortable honesty.
Today the Church has the false WOKE gospel with its neo-Marxist roots that make Jesus into an earthly political revolutionary. Most Christians don’t know it exists let alone its insidiousness. On the other hand, racism does exist. But instead of addressing it as an individual sin we have institutionalized it and are teaching a racially divided interpretation of the Gospel in direct opposition to Gal 3:28-29 and 2 Cor 5:16-19.
“We are to regard no one after the flesh.“
We have cheered the bombing of innocent people to hell in the name of American interests. We abhor our children are being offered up to Moloch in the name of women’s health but only a relative few do so in public. Instead of repenting, we are now moving to kill babies outside the womb. Meanwhile professing Christians and even pastors are giving their consent. We are perverting the Imago Dei by sexualizing children, normalizing paraphilias, and following the exact path of reprobates that Paul described in Rom 1:18-32. Our silence guards our comfort.
The Body of Christ is more divided than ever and our children are deconstructing in droves. Why? Because we taught them to idolize their IDENTITY rather than worship the sovereign God. We have Interfaith, Chrislam, and the Perenialism of Oprah and Richard Rohr masquerading as the true gospel. We have the fake prosperity gospel and NAR pastors signing off on practices as insane as grave sucking and canceling racism by the authority of Gandalf. We have the Vatican siding with globalists, validating the New Age and denying the existence of Hell. We have mega churches and billionaire pastors who rail against homosexuality while world-renowned ministers and heads of Christian Universities are living in sexual sin until they are caught and in some cases until they die. Many embrace the message that because Abraham was wealthy it is God’s will to make them wealthy while ignoring the words of Ezekiel.
“Look, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: She and her daughter had pride, fullness of food, and abundance of idleness; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.”
Finally, we have political prophets and the Qanon movement that promised a Storm that would culminate in a 3rd Great Awakening (a.k.a.. revival) ushered in by Donald Trump and led by John F Kennedy Jr. who is still alive.
It doesn’t matter if you can look at that list above and say “well none of that applies to me.” That’s not the point. When God judges a nation he judges a body not just one part.
Ironically the aforementioned sins are the exact ones for which God sent Israel into bondage. That so many continue to proclaim Trump will still be President in 2021 as if he were a messiah and the USA were the fulfillment of the gospel of the Kingdom is the very reason why the left correlates Christians with Nazis, atheists call us crazy, people fall away, and God may have removed His hand from the USA.
I’m ok with being persecuted for righteousness’s sake but not stupidity.
Apart from the Jewish people, the Bible is clear that God has no national preferences Rom 2:11-16 Acts 10:34-35. Granted some administrations and citizenry have been decidedly more Christian and God-fearing than others. Still, the fact remains that Jesus was not an American and the bible does not mention the USA.
Not even once.
The biblical story in a nutshell is God’s plan to redeem ALL of His fallen creation. That said, the story of His current emerging earthly government begins in Genesis with Jacob and ends in Revelation with the restoration of Israel and Jesus on the throne in Jerusalem. There’s a whole lot of tribulation in the interim. While it is the primary responsibility of the Church to preach the gospel of Salvation and the Kingdom with the hope of provoking the Jewish people to jealousy, the culmination of the kingdom story always was and always will be first and foremost about the Jewish people. The most significant final events will play out in Israel and the surrounding nations,- not the USA.
Any other eschatological view will always result in some form of apostasy.
Listen, I love my country too. But the USA is not the center of HIS-story. Many people point to Trump’s support of Israel as a reason why God put him in. However, as I will show in upcoming posts a sound scriptural argument can be made for a second Trump term being an impediment to God’s stated plan. It is a plan that gives a lot more reason to be hopeful than a little old MAGA plan. Bottom line, nothing happens that God does not cause or allow.
There is a part of me that genuinely grieves for those who are feeling so lost and confused and even in denial. But then the best thing I can do is to refer them to the first few paragraphs of this blog. “all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” Not Prosperity.
Joe Biden is President.
Kamala Harris is next line followed by Nancy Pelosi, Patrick Leahy, then Antony Blinken if something happens to him.
Things will become more clear when we stop asking “Why?” and start asking “What?”
Jesus was extremely clear in answering the disciple’s question regarding what would be the signs of His coming and the end of the age?