Walking in Dust

We were with South Sudanese Refugees in the Rhino Refugee camp in Northern Uganda when our team was asked to address leaders from multiple tribes several of whom had previously fought one another in the ongoing civil war. Unity was the theme. We were all assigned a time slot in which to teach. I felt completely inept and I don’t remember anything said by our team only one South Sudanese leader, a former child soldier and “Lost Boy” who stood up at the end and proclaimed,

“There is no good tribe! There are no good people! There is only one who is good! That one is Jesus!” He went on to say, “We must forgive. We must turn the other cheek. We must love our enemy!”

After praying with a woman whose child had just died Cathy asked the man with whom she was walking. “How do you cope with all this pain?” “We have nothing…” He smiled as he continued,

“…but we have Jesus!”

These doctors, nurses, lawyers engineers, teachers, professors, and preachers in the camp never imagined they’d end up living in the dust with their children in scorching heat without food or water for days at a time. They never imagined that at least one of their children would die every day due to starvation or a lack of medical care. Now they understood the futility of human resolutions and justice. Now they were on fire for God in the spirit of 2 Chron 7:14.

“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

I can not even describe how much we loved these people.

If there is any other place we would most like to serve as missionaries it would be there in the dust with Jesus.

I recently wrote a blog about the Fourth Turning by two historians who observed an Ecclesiastes 1:9 and Chapter 3 cycle in American history. They identified a pattern where a new era, a season, or “Turning” emerges every 20 -25 years. Four turns or seasons amount to a Saeculum or the length of a long lifetime. If you are unfamiliar with the Fourth Turning you can get the breakdown here Character.

Here are a few highlights.

“Sometime before the year 2025, America will pass through a great gate in history, commensurate with the American Revolution, Civil War, and twin emergencies of the Great Depression and World War II.”

“…The risk of catastrophe will be very high. The nation could erupt into insurrection or civil violence, crack up geographically, or succumb to authoritarian rule…”

“ …Through much of the Third Turning, we have managed to postpone the reckoning. But history warns that we can’t defer it beyond the next bend in time…”

The Reckoning is Here

We were in the beginning stages of the Corona crisis when I said I believed we are in another 4th Turn Crisis that will ultimately culminate in another 1st Turn High.

I have since revised my outlook.

This is the beginning of sorrows.

I want to scream every time I read things like the over 74 people shot one of whom was a 5-year-old in Chicago on, and immediately following Memorial Day weekend. What happened to George Floyd was dead wrong. But where is the logic? Where is BLM when scores of black people are being killed by black people in inner cities every day?!

Why do black lives only matter when a white person takes a black life?

I don’t see how we move forward without first identifying the truth regarding all the bogus agendas. Lately, I’ve been battling a temptation to make another appeal to critical thinking on social media. I wrote about cognitive dissonance in The Devil Went Down to Georgia. The problem is that the agendas of man are at the center of everything and emotion in King. Suffice it to say that given the reactions I received, things probably would not have gone well for me if I were saying all this in the street. Luckily I am safe in Honduras. How’s that for irony?

Anyway, I’m just gonna leave this here…

The black life of this former police chief killed by a looter mattered so much that Twitter took it down.

The most recent the FBI UCR Crime Stats are nearly the same

Offenders:  54.9 percent were Black or African American, 42.4 percent were White

Victims: 53.3 percent were Black or African American, 43.8 percent were White

46 million slaves in 167 countries today.

the problme is that too many refuse to see, hear, and be confronted with facts.

Either you agree and “virtue signal” your approval or you are regarded as the enemy.

I was living on my own by the age of 14. I understand the temptation to hate, to succumb to fear, and the trauma that arises out of violence. I’ve been robbed at gunpoint and beaten down by a mob. I’ve had my nose broken, jaw broken and my neck fractured. As a young adult, I lived in a neighborhood full of crack houses and nightly gunfire. My ex-wife was raped by a gang of black men and our house was burned to the ground. The difference is that I never once blamed it on the perpetrators being black. Instead, I blamed it on crack!

Besides, most people said we deserved it. After all, I was a drunk and my ex-wife was a heroin addict.

My healing came years later when I surrendered to Jesus, repented before God and forgave man.

Now I’m supposed to get on my knees and repent to man for being created white?!

Then the Lord spoke to my heart.

This is exactly what the enemy wants; everyone acting like donkeys instead of horses. When threatened, donkeys look outward to focus on an enemy and then proceed to kick each other. Horses look inward and do the opposite.

I’ll let you decide which one applies.

Like a lot of people I was getting sucked into a world over which I have no control, and of which I am not supposed to be a part.

Even so, I am human and it can hard to avoid. That’s why God gave us His Word. I don’t know about you but Cathy and I are in a season of Sola Scriptura because

sound doctrine is being sacrificed on an altar of secular humanism masquerading as love and Holy Spirit.

Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. Mat 24:4-5

“According to both the Hebrew Bible and Jewish oral tradition, a Messiah is a king, a warrior, a political figure, or a revolutionary whose mission is divine and specific to the Jews. But the leader is neither divine nor a savior concerned with the afterlife of humanity. Neither is a Messiah worshiped as a deity.”

It seems like this fits the definition of a contemporary secular social justice warrior, more than some poor nut job claiming to be God.

Yeah I know… But think about it

“And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” Mat 24:6-8

Ethnos is the Greek word for nation.

Ethnos means people group. It is the word from which we derive the English word ethnicity.

For Ethnos will rise against Ethnos

And there will be famines, pestilences

Global deaths due to hunger are predicted to double this year thanks to wars and rumors of wars, and ongoing pestilences like Ebola, COVID, and locusts in Africa and Eurasia to name a few.

and earthquakes in various places.

According to the NOAA and the National Disaster Database there has been a 400% percent increase in yearly natural disasters since 1970.

As for the character of people; Paul nailed it again.

But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves,

lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,  having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was.2 Timothy 3:1-9

Jannes and Jambres were sorcerers and we know from 1 Sam 15:23 that God views rebellion and sorcery as the same.

Furthermore, Jesus warned us to avoid the leaven of Herod which is the politicization of a spiritual issue. Mk 8:15

There is a whole lot of rebellion and Herodic leavening going on today.

“For the time is coming when people will not endure sound doctrine, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions.” 2 Tim 4:3

There is a famine of sound doctrine.

To paraphrase a comment on a recent blog that I read,

“The problem started when we stopped teaching our children right from wrong and began discussing it instead”

Today there are growing numbers of Christians who pursue Jesus but seek identity in everything but Him. There is lip service to the Word. But individual actions demonstrate an identity and faith more rooted in worldly things like psychology, the enneagram, and postmodern political solutions to spiritual problems. There is a celebration of God’s power when He heals a headache, but a deference to the world’s methods the moment God doesn’t come through as expected. There is a cherry-picking of scripture to fit an unbiblical narrative supporting a path to justice in a Postmillennial kingdom of heaven on earth. Most are sincere and not even aware that they are in error. Still, others are blinded by resentment and pride. This latter group is growing fast.

The error is rooted in an interpretation of reality according to experience instead of experiences according to the Word of God.

Jesus has become a social justice warrior within instead of the substitutionary, propitiation for sin. This movement is obsessed with worldly justice. As a result, it has become a friend of the world James 4:1-4 in unwitting opposition to the scheduled fulfillment of biblical prophecy regarding God’s redemption of man and the reestablishment of His Kingdom on earth as it is in Heaven. Its priests and prophets are the likes of Antifa and Black Lives Matter. The media is their pulpit and smartphones their sanctuary. It is fraught with anxiety, and a false understanding of John 13:35 Koinonia. This movement emphasizes fellowship with the body at the expense of Truth. It pursues consensus, comfort, and validation in lieu of conviction. It’s adherents expect to be seen, heard, and pursued. Questioning them is regarded as harsh, intolerant and unloving, sexist, or racist. While the outward compassion of this group may manifest “a form of godliness, it denies its power”. 2 Tim 3:5 The growing Deconstructionist movement and the subsequent abandonment of the faith by so many should be no surprise as self-centered, worldly expectations of a narcissistic generation become impossible for a headless body to fulfill.

Paul was clear that this must happen as well.

“Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first…” 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3

As for the current chapter in the ethnos versus ethnos conflict…

Even TD Jakes recently admitted “we are in the last days” and said “this is not about black and white. It’s about right and wrong.”

He also said, “We need truth”.

We do need truth.

“Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.Rev 12:10

The Greek word for ACCUSER in this verse is katēgoréō. It is the word from which we get the English word

“Category”.

Satan literally categorizes us before our God day and night.

His minions in the media and the streets are doing the same.

Black and White are categories.

They are not identities.

Not Godly ones anyway.

If you are really a Christian then your identity is in Christ. Eph 2:4-6

PERIOD.

The job of those in Christ is to preach the Gospel to every Ethnos and invite them in.

Judgment and the sword of justice will come with Jesus when He returns. And for the record, Isaiah 61 isn’t talking about narcissistic Christians anointed to bring forth justice on their own.

Its a prophecy about the anointing and justice of Jesus.

In the meantime…

It doesn’t matter if its the cop who killed George Floyd, George Floyd, Ahmad Arbery, or the father and son who killed him. It doesn’t matter if its an abusive black cop, white cop, Hispanic cop, Asian cop, or a BLM member shooting at cops in the streets. It could be a SJW repenting for white privilege, the thug beating up the SJW, or the Antifa methhead throwing Molotov cocktails at SJWs in a suburb. They could be looting a home or defending a store. Jesus said we will all spend eternity in hell unless we repent to God.

“Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered such things? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. Luke 13:1-5

The desire to repent and power to forgive is a true sign and wonder that follows the preaching of the Gospel.

All our empathy, virtue signaling, inner healing, and understanding of enneagrams isn’t going to change a thing. All the repentance for being created white won’t help either. It just perpetuates a false worldly narrative. All the protesting and demands for reparations, all the secular counseling, committees, political parties, and political solutions in the world will never bring an end to racism and true social justice to fruition. That’s because secular justice is of the world and according to the flesh.

In case you didn’t know or forgot, it was the myth of Jewish privilege that justified the Holocaust in the minds of German Nazis.

Secular justice simply tips the scales in the opposite direction.

Biblical justice is the ministry of reconciliation.

Reconciliation is not appeasement.

“From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Cor 5:11-21

One thing is certain. God is no respecter of individual differences or the ways in which we categorize each other. His only categories are those who love Him and obey His commandments versus those who don’t. Acts 10:34-35

Period.

For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Gal 3:27-28

As for us, we are on our knees with broken hearts. This is a season of Lamentation. We need to learn to sit in the dust and lament instead of taking to the streets in protest, to pursue the knowledge of Christ and Him crucified so that we may do our best, incompetent as we are, to disciple the Ethnos God puts in our path. Mat 28:19

Even so, the only prayer we seem to be able to pray is

“Thy will be done. Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus!”

The hardest part is coming Mat 24:9-14

COVID Correlations and Conspiracies – Watch and Abide

Like a lot of people, I’m still trying to make sense of this COVID crisis and all of its attendant spiritual, political, and socio-economic issues. When it all started, I began by erring on the side of compliance and adopting the data sets supported by those in authority. I wasn’t about to join a proverbial crazy train without looking at the evidence on both sides. I was subsequently attacked, called a communist, and unfriended on Facebook for going along with the mainstream narrative. Now it seems like every new revelation and data set is quickly contradicted by another and you can be attacked or blocked for saying anything.

“The vulgar crowd always is taken by appearances, and the world consists chiefly of the vulgar.” – Niccolo Machiavelli-

The biblical word for “Watch” in the greek is gray-gor-yoo to “be vigilant, awake, take heed lest through remission and indolence some destructive calamity suddenly overtakes one.” Col 4:2. In that sense, I have always been a watchman. Watchers watch because we are in pursuit of God’s will, and we want to understand the times. We tell people what we see because we love them and enjoy conversing about various topics. Perhaps you have a different view of recent events and the road ahead. That’s fine. What I write here should not be taken as my opinion carved in stone let alone a declaration of any absolute truth. I’m looking at things from a different vantage point in this post. I’ll probably try others on for size in subsequent ones. At the end of the day, I’m just thinking aloud and saying what I see.

That still irritates some people.

He answered and said to them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red; and in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times. Mat 16:2-4

“In A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance, Leon Festinger proposed that human beings strive for internal psychological consistency… Coping with the nuances of contradictory ideas or experiences is mentally stressful. It requires energy and effort to sit with those seemingly opposite things that all seem true. Festinger argued that some people would inevitably resolve the dissonance by blindly believing whatever they wanted to believe.” Simon and Garfunkel said the same thing.

“A man sees what he wants to see and disregards the rest.”

There is a story circulating online regarding a 2010 white paper by The Rockefeller Foundation and the Global Business Network titled, Scenarios for the Future of Technology and International Development. Those posting it, are alleging that it outlines a plan for authoritarian global domination. I’m not so sure about that but it’s definitely an interesting read. As the title implies, scenarios are the subject.

“Scenario planning is a methodology designed to help guide groups and individuals through exactly this creative process. The process begins by identifying forces of change in the world, then combining those forces in different ways to create a set of diverse stories—or scenarios—about how the future could evolve. Scenarios are designed to stretch our thinking about both the opportunities and obstacles that the future might hold; they explore, through narrative, events, and dynamics that might alter, inhibit, or enhance current trends, often in surprising ways…Importantly, scenarios are not predictions. Rather, they are thoughtful hypotheses that allow us to imagine, and then to rehearse, different strategies for how to be more prepared for the future—or more ambitiouslyhow to help shape better futures ourselves.”

Interesting…

hmmm…scenerios...

They call it a conspiracy theory when we do it.

Whatever the microbiological truth is about COVID, it’s cause, Ro factor, and what the mortality rate finally ends up being, one thing is certain. Some very interesting information has come to light. The crisis is driving a fresh narrative in what I call “Tribulation Now” eschatology. For the record, I do not believe we are in the final Rev 13 tribulation. So there is no need to explain that point. But I noticed that people who believe that the biblical mark of the beast is upon us were receiving the same sort of abuse that I was getting for advocating a Rom 13 response to government-mandated mitigation procedures. Anyway, I decided to take a Berean approach and look into the reasons for their concerns. What I found was a proverbial pandora’s box labeled

“Vaccines”

I started reading and hearing more about people like Bill Gates, the computer guy with zero medical background who was leading the charge in managing a viral pandemic. Initially all the numbers and mathematical projections that the CDC and NIAH were using to advise the president came from his foundation. Bill’s dad was Eugenicist who headed up planned parenthood. Bill has spoken for years about the need for global population reduction through vaccination. He’s a guy who was the second biggest donor to the WHO. A guy who is currently being held accountable in places like India and Africa for injuries and death caused by his vaccine experimentation. A guy to whom ideas like “kill granny, hire a teacher” and “death panels” are attributed, and who now wants to save the old people by vaccinating the world?

I’ve never had a strong opinion about vaccines in the past because I never took the time to investigate the claims of people I thought were just loonie, conspiracy theorists.

Yup, I’m guilty of marginalizing people based on my own biases too.

Call me old fashioned. Call me biased. But it’s hard to reconcile the seemingly benign and geeky guy who gave us the word processor with the fact that he repeatedly hung out with people like Jeffery Epstein.

Even if you deny the fact that bad company corrupts good character, you’ll have to admit that Gates has some pretty weird tastes in art, friends, and recreation like Spirit cooking with Marina Abramović. Bill recently resigned as CEO of Microsoft but he remains the largest shareholder. That means he is basically still the boss. As for Abramović I never knew how popular and influential she was among the Hollywood and DC elite until Microsoft made her their poster child. That didn’t last long as the public outcry resulted in a freak out at MS headquarters and she was quickly removed. But it helped to expose some serious darkness.

Not to worry. The internet thoroughly debunked the idea that she’s a Satanist.

“Indeed, Abramović’s art has frequently involved blood, bodies, nudity, pain, and tension, but that doesn’t make her a demonic worshipper of dark entities; it just makes her daring!

Apparently, cannibalism is art.

Who knew?!

“Occasionally words must serve to veil the facts. But let this happen in such a way that no one becomes aware of it; or, if it should be noticed, excuses must be at hand to be produced immediately.”– Niccolo Machiavelli-

Originally, it was my interest in currency trading that lead me to the truth about global markets and the events and people that drive them. I found there are myriad globalist and philanthropist biographies and white papers that illuminated and illustrated their long-standing intentions and plans.  People like David Rockefeller, who said: “competition is a sin”. He collaborated with the Nazis in WWII and assumed financial control of nearly every area of American society including medical education in order to sell his petroleum-based drugs. Henry Kissinger was a national hero for opening up China to trade with the west. He had a plan to use food among other things as a weapon to depopulate the third world. When I started trading George Soros, an uber-successful Hungarian Jewish trader seemed like a good mentor because he nearly bankrupted the Bank of England when he shorted the British Pound. He finances a lot of ahh…social activism through his Open Society Foundations around the world. It looks good on the surface until you learn that he finances and hedges the conflicts he foments around the world. He describes his boyhood time with the Nazis as one of the happiest years of his life and stated that he was not the least bit disturbed by having to remove and inventory the possessions of his Jewish brethren while they were being hauled off to gas chambers. ‘If I hadn’t done it someone else would have’ he explained. That’s how traders view markets which is probably why he is so good at it. Imagine my surprise when I learned that even one of my childhood favorites Walter Cronkite who told us “the way it is” every evening had in fact sided with Satan while excepting a World Federalist Association award for his support of global governance. One of my favorite authors as a kid, Aldous Huxley whom I thought only wrote fiction explained the whole globalist plan to Mike Wallace in 1958. He said that in the future old forms of terror would be done away with. Instead, people would love their slavery.   Don’t believe me? Just click on the hyperlinks.

I know. Getting Red Pilled can be traumatic at first.

Needless to say, I did not get rich from trading. But God certainly used it to illustrate the reality of Mathew 6:24

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

As I watched the tsunami roll over Fukushima Japan in live time in 2011, I was more than a little horrified that my very first thought was not the suffering and tragic loss of life, but my own self-interest in the form of a Dollar / Yen trade.

I looked in the mirror and I saw George Soros.

Then shut my computer down.

As I applied my former research to the Tribulation Now narrative I found it is composed of familiar recurring motifs in the form correlations and coincidences like the Gates Foundation’s Event 201 in October 2019, that war-gamed the current pandemic. There is Bill’s Quantum Dot tattoo, for Vaccine registration, to be required if you want to be allowed out of your home to work and travel. There’s his “1bn dollar plan to cover the earth in video surveillance satellites”. This correlates with ID2020, which in turn correlates with the new Microsoft Cryptocurrency System Using Body Activity Data. People will perform various tasks like I don’t know… maybe bowing to the coming AI god in Anthony Levandowski’s Way of the Future Church to earn digital money with which they can buy sell and trade. Yes, these are real things and real intentions. Of course, Elon Musk’s Neuralink Implantable brain chips scheduled for roll out this year should fit right in. Then again, Gates and Musk might be competing, more than conspiring with each other. However, I can’t help noticing that Quantum Dot Tattoos would go in the hand or arm. While Nuerolink chips will be implanted directly in the head. Even so, Musk’s Starlink Satellite system is designed to provide 5G coverage to even the remotest locations on earth and might help provide the required digital infrastructure for these systems. Not sure if or how AOL’s new database MOLOCH fits in but a God to whom people sacrificed their children sure is a weird choice of names. In any case, you can be certain that these advancements are connected to the Transhumanist Agenda of Global Futures 2045. GF2045 was originally lead by Google’s head of R&D Ray Kurzweil who among other things plans to merge man and machine in what he calls the “Singularity” by 2045 and live eternally. Of course, any such agenda would be intimately connected with Gates and his UN partnership, and support for UN Agenda 2030 which in my opinion makes Hunger Games look like a fun day at Disney Land. That’s the same UN that appoints medically untrained members of a designated terror group to lead its world health organization and whose spiritual arm is the Lucis Trust. The Lucis Trust names Lucifer as its archetypal model because after all, he is the “angel who brought light to the world”. Its foundation is based on the teachings of Alice and Foster Bailey, theosophical founder, HP Blavatsky, and their Lucifer Publishing Company. 

Why does this matter? Well, Jesus commanded us to not be deceived. Mat 24:4-5 I could be wrong but it seems like an AI god just might qualify as a false Christ.

Maybe this sounds crazy to you. It sure does to me. In fact, I’m feeling a lot like Ezekiel, as I imagine it, in Ezekiel 8.

“Go in, and see the vile abominations that they are committing here.” 

In any case, it should be clear why mistaken or not, a certain eschatological scenario might emerge in the minds of some bible-believing Christians. And while I definitely do not believe we are in the final Tribulation,

I am certain that birth pangs have started.

That said, if you believe what is written in the bible then you already know the entire world system is under the control of “the angel who brought light to the world”. 1 John 5:19 Those who conform to it are blinded by him. 2 Cor 4:4 The bible says these people are enemies of God. James 4:4, Of course, all of us were His enemies at one time. Colossians 1:21

“The welfare of humanity is always the alibi of tyrants”. -Albert Camus-

The question for Christians is how should we respond? Colossians 4:2 says we are to “devote ourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” Obviously, I am biased toward the watchful part. You might disagree but I think that includes challenging cognitive dissonance through the kind of thinking that goes into the scenario planning that I mentioned at the beginning of this blog. Historically unchallenged cognitive dissonance has resulted in real-life scenarios where people ignore the obvious and obediently march off the edge of the proverbial cliff simply because they are told to. Extreme as it may sound, cognitive dissonance is what allowed the German Jews to obediently stand in line awaiting their turn to be gassed or shot.

Cognitive dissonance also resulted in German Christians consenting to the genocide of God’s chosen people.

People in the free world aren’t likely to be lined up and shot…just yet. But they might be lined up to take a shot. In any case, the pertinent question now is; how should we respond as Christians if that happens? And should we speak up before it happens?

After all, Adolf Hitler was elected.

It takes courage to call a spade a spade, to oppose evil, stand for truth, and be mocked or worse. There are always a few with the courage to speak up. We are seeing more than a few scientists and doctors doing exactly that regarding COVID.

Most people are simply managed as planned.

“Engage people with what they expect; it is what they can discern that confirms their projections. It settles them into predictable patterns of response, occupying their minds while you wait for the extraordinary moment, that which they cannot anticipate.” – Sun Tzu- The Art of War

A watchman looks for that which most people do not anticipate.

As we sit at home, in accordance with our “nonessential” designation, perhaps we should consider the possibility that in the future we might be designated under the heading of what Eugenicist Philosopher Bertrand Russel called useless eaters and as George Bernard Shaw recommended, be brought before a panel every five years to justify our continued existence. These are the guys my teachers and professors idolized when I was in Highschool and College. Consider the possibility that as two California ER Doctors suggested, the powers that be may be evaluating the statistical probability of how much and how fast we can be manipulated into giving up our rights and made to conform. Consider the possibility that there are influential and powerful people who truly believe that 90% of the human population needs to be culled in order to save the planet. Granted, the ideas of a lone missionary in Honduras do not carry a lot of weight. But then these are not my ideas. All I’ve done is compile the ideas and words of others whose ideas may be on the verge of implementation now. There’s no denying they are real unless of course, you have your head in the sand. The question is whether or not we should actively oppose them as Dietrich Bonhoeffer opposed Hitler?

Or remain passive and trust God like Corrie ten Boom.

Or hide in our houses and tell ourselves it has to get better until it doesn’t like Władysław Szpilman the Polish Jew upon whom the movie The Pianist was based depicting the Nazi persecution of Jews in Poland during WWII.

And while you ponder Scenarios that stretch your thinking about both the opportunities and obstacles that the future might hold… perhaps ask the Lord to clarify the hill you should be willing to die on.

For those Christians who still think this is just another conspiratorial crazy thought train; consider this. The entire old testament was a shadow of things to come. Everything from Abraham and Issac, to the story of Joseph, to the detailed construction of the tabernacle and the sacrifices performed there, pointed to Jesus and God’s plan for mankind’s redemption. Why should things be different now? Many scholars have suggested that the Holocaust is a shadow of things to come for the Church in the last days as described in Mat 24. Similarly, what if the crazy globalist, hive mind, matrix-like techno tyranny scenario to which I provided links isn’t Rev 13 in real-time but also a shadow of things to come? How we respond now will likely determine how we respond when the real “Mark” comes. Again, I am not a prophet. I’m simply looking ahead and imagining Scenarios. “Scenarios are not predictions. Rather, they are thoughtful hypotheses that allow us to imagine, and then to rehearse, different strategies for how to be more prepared for the future.”

Whatever that looks like, the bottom line remains the same.

If you followed the Walter Cronkite link and watched the video, where he sided with Satan, then you also heard him mock Pat Roberson’s statement that the only way ‘we will achieve world government is when the messiah returns.’ This has been the crux of this issue since, the question that led to the fall of man in Genesis Chapter 3,

“Did God really say…?

Adam and Eve ate the fruit of their disobedience and their eyes became opened and fixated upon themselves. They realized they were naked, tried to cover themselves, and self-centeredness was born. The same question and scenario has been repeated throughout history with the exact same results. Mankind questions what He already knows is right, acts in accordance with self-interest then eats the fruit of his own disobedience. Over and over the cycle repeats from being cast out of the Garden, destroyed in the flood, throughout Israel’s repeated cycles of blessing, rebellion, and captivity, to the Tower Babel, to today. God blesses us and we question His sovereignty. He allows us to be broken and then blesses us again. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

He won’t allow it to repeat forever.

Whatever is and is to be with regard to COVID, it seems to me that this crisis has brought us back to two root questions.

Is God Sovereign? If so what is the responsibility of man?

We know the days are evil. The question is, what does it look like to be wise? What is the Lord’s will for us in these times? Eph 5:15-17 Should we actively oppose the Eph 5:11 darkness or submit to it as Jesus submitted Himself to His tormentors and the Cross?

And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony, and they loved not their lives unto the death.

-Rev 12:11-

I don’t know what lays ahead. I don’t know what or who is to blame or if evil plans and intentions can be stopped. I don’t know what the correct mitigation or treatment for the virus might be. I don’t know if we should oppose or submit continued lockdowns and to a mandatory Covid vaccine. What I do know is that lies upon lies and confusion abound more than I have ever seen. I know that Satan is the author of both and that any possible conclusion drawn from it will always result in cognitive dissonance. Cognitive Dissonance always births the question,

“Did God really say…?

Finally, unity matters. Its the only way that the church will fulfill its purpose and make the fellowship of the mystery known to men as well as the manifold wisdom of God to principalities and powers in heavenly places according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Eph 3:8-12 Before you engage someone in a heated debate because you think they are so blatantly wrong or that Christians shouldn’t be discussing certain things; be like the Bereans in Acts 17. Make your point. But also hear them out and look for reasons why they might be right. No one solves a puzzle with just one piece. The fact that God is showing you something different may simply mean that you have a different piece to the puzzle. We need all the pieces. And for God’s sake, don’t let ideas become the identity you have to defend at all costs. You are not your ideas. You are God’s idea. Be the branch you were created to be. Share your perspective and tell others what you see. That takes courage, and a willingness to be vulnerable and wrong. But it’s the only way we will ever get to the truth of any matter. It’s the only way we will be wise as serpents, and aware of the wiles of the devil so that after having done all to stand, we will be able to stand… Eph 6:13-14

Now more than ever

it is time to stand watch and abide together in the vine.

Character

We are locked down in Honduras as I write. COVID cases have begun to double on a daily basis. The borders and airports are closed. No one can come in or go out. There’s a 6 month to 2-year jail sentence awaiting anyone who violates a curfew.  Hondurans in our little community are obedient and calm. They are familiar with crises.  Two older American friends in another part of the country are locked down too.  He is a retired architect and has had a series of strokes. His wife is left to cope with his rapidly deteriorating condition by herself. They don’t have COVID but COVID is placing his life in jeopardy.

Meanwhile there are about two hundred North Americans, most of whom are short term missionaries stranded here.  Several of them are demanding their rights and that the US State Dept does something to evacuate them.  We strongly encouraged people to postpone their trips weeks before COVID first reared its head.  Unfortunately confirmation bias reigned supreme. I guess their plans, ministry and mission were too important.  I can empathize. I remember thinking and feeling the same way as a short-term missionary myself. 

As Seth Barnes founder of Adventures and Missions, (AIM) an organization with whom we serve as World Race GAP Year Coaches, said in his blog Courage and Prudence

“We are now in a wartime footing in most of the country. Most of us have no idea how to live life there. The things that worked before no longer work. COVID-19 is changing everything.”

Several months ago, I gave a teaching based on the book

The Fourth Turning: An American Prophecy-What the Cycles of History Tell Us About America’s Next Rendezvous with Destiny. By William Straus and Neil Howe. I had no idea at the time how prophetic it was.

Howe and Strauss are Historians and social scientists who observed an Ecclesiastes 3 cycle in American history that shows a new era, a season or “Turning” every 20 -25 years. Four turns or seasons amount to a Saeculum or the length of a long lifetime. In simplest terms, the most recent “First Turning” 1945 -65 was the “High” and could be likened to a honeymoon period.  It was marked by the end of WWII and the birth to the American dream. Families were strengthened as were social institutions like schools, local governments and church. Individual roles both inside and outside the family were clearly defined.

The “Second Turning”, 1965-85, the “Awakening”, was a period of questioning all those things. It was a time of spiritual upheaval, when the old order came under attack. It was marked by things like the birth of ERA, the Vietnam war and the subsequent student lead peace movements, the Water Gate Trial and Impeachment of Richard Nixon. Basically, every social institution was challenged. 

The “Third Turning”, 1985-2005, the “Unraveling” was a time when the individual reigned supreme. Punk rock and rap glorified criminality and anti-social behavior, swinging, divorce and open homosexuality became normalized. And culminated with the HIV AIDS epidemic and the destruction of the twin towers in New York.  Post Modernism grew to become the dominant world view and continued corruption and government scandals fueled an already growing distrust of nearly all established authority and institutions.  

The “Fourth Turning” 2005 -25 is the “Crisis”. We are in the thick of it now.

As Straus and Howe wrote in 1996.

“The next Fourth Turning is due to begin shortly after the new millennium, midway through the Oh-Oh decade. Around the year 2005, a sudden spark will catalyze a Crisis mood. Remnants of the old social order will disintegrate. Political and economic trust will implode. Real hardship will beset the land, with severe distress that could involve questions of class, race, nation, and empire. . .The very survival of the nation will feel at stake. Sometime before the year 2025, America will pass through a great gate in history, commensurate with the American Revolution, Civil War, and twin emergencies of the Great Depression and World War II.”

The risk of catastrophe will be very high. The nation could erupt into insurrection or civil violence, crack up geographically, or succumb to authoritarian rule. If there is a war, it is likely to be one of maximum risk and effort — in other words, a total war. Every Fourth Turning has registered an upward ratchet in the technology of destruction, and in mankind’s willingness to use it.”

Howe and Strauss predicted we Americans will be forced to make decisions that mirror the hardest ones made by our predecessors as

“great peril provokes a societal consensus, an ethic of personal sacrifice, and strong institutional order”.  “And it will require us to admit that our faith in linear progress has often amounted to a Faustian bargain with our children. Faust always ups the ante, and every bet is double or nothing. Through much of the Third Turning, we have managed to postpone the reckoning. But history warns that we can’t defer it beyond the next bend in time.”

There is always talk of the end of days whenever a major crisis hit. I don’t claim to be a prophet and I certainly don’t know for sure.  My own bias is to doubt it.  Even so, my wife Cathy made a keen observation the other day. The beginning of sorrows that Jesus spoke about in Mat 24:8-13 translates to “Birth Pangs”.  Birth pangs progressively increase in frequency and intensity until the water breaks and the baby is born.  If this is the beginning of sorrows it will usher in the millennial reign of Christ. Fourth Turns gradually come to an end and are followed by another High.  

In either case if we are to survive in a war time footing, we need to accurately discern the time. Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for their lack of discernment in Mathew 16:1-4.

“Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times.” A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.”

Everything they needed to identify Jesus was already in the scriptures.  The problem was that Jesus did not match their interpretation and resulting expectations and Jesus remained hidden in plain view.

A lot of us have the same problem today.

Signs, wonders and spiritual gifts are all the rage these days.  Myriad charismatic leaders inspire people to follow in their footsteps.  Evangelists, prophets, those with gifts of healing and an angle on prosperity abound. Those with the most dramatic, feel good performances and the biggest followings on social media become heroes of the faith even if their teachings are scripturally unsound.  Jesus said,

“Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for so did their fathers to the false prophets.” Luke 6:26 and “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.” Mat 24:37 Noah preached repentance and righteousness 2 Pet 2:5 then built an ark in the middle of the desert. He was mocked and rejected as a result.  How much more are those who preach the same message in 2 Timothy 3 world rejected?  

Cathy just read some headlines as I write. 

“Vegas strip club offers drive through peep shows” in response to COVID and “Man beaten to death by mob for having Corona Virus.” 

You might be on fire for Jesus.  But a quick skim of the daily headlines should be all one needs to discern the times and the message that the world needs.

Discernment drives action

I’ve heard people quote and seen people post Psalm 91 so many times in the past few weeks that everyone including unbelievers should have it memorized by now. Problem is – many receive it as a magic incantation that allows them to fearlessly continue with their lives as if nothing was happening.

A cursory word study quickly reveals that dwelling in secret place of Psalm 91:1 upon which one’s protection is contingent, refers to both the secret place Jesus talked about in Mat 6:6 . It also means a literal “shelter, a hiding place.” 

By the way, has anyone stopped to consider that COVID could peak during Passover?

I’m sure that’s just a coincidence.

If nothing else this situation is facing us with a very real question.  God or mammon?  

Many young people are assuming, they are invincible and choosing to party rather than comply with recommendations, warnings and ordinances.  We have young friends and relatives who seem utterly oblivious to the crisis at hand.

Spring Break 2020

The keys to surviving a crisis and thriving in the subsequent high lay in how we respond. There were people who jumped to their deaths from high-rises when the market crashed in 1929.  Those more prudent made fortunes. The most grievous error we can make is to fail to discern the time. We may assume a Fourth Turn crisis is the end and enter what AIM calls the “Q” (quit) zone. Or we could mistake the crisis for a First Turn high as so many spring breakers are doing now.

Good things come out of crisis. Rom 8:28

“Great peril provokes a societal consensus, an ethic of personal sacrifice, and strong institutional order.”   That means a return to First Turn values. People have been praying for and prophesying revival for decades.  Yet how soon we forget that revivals begin with radical repentance.  More often than not this repentance is preceded by an event that causes people to recognize their spiritual bankruptcy. An event like like the great San Francisco earthquake that preceded the Azuza Street revival in 1915.   Yes, Jesus healed and does heal people but His primary reason for coming was to be a propitiation for our sin. He came to rescue us from hell.  Miracles and healing look more spectacular to our disbelieving and entertainment hungry eyes. But they are secondary to dealing with our sin. John 1:22   As Ray Comfort says, “God comes to us with a subpoena in one hand and a pardon in the other.”  We love to tell people about the loving pardon while avoiding the subpoena all together. 

As the current COVID crisis grows, I have yet to hear anyone under the age of 85 preach a message of repentance.  There seems to be a correlation between this and the fact that those 80 and older were alive during the previous Fourth Turn.  Hope for a nation that has murdered over 61,000,000 babies’ since Roe v Wade, maligned the name of Jesus as a matter of public policy and rejected His substitutionary work on the cross isn’t going to be found in Psalm 91 without embracing 2 Chron 7:14 first.

“if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

My oldest surviving uncle Lester will be 90 in June.  He built his own sugar house and makes his own maple syrup in Ashfield Massachusetts because he needs something to do when it’s too cold to work. 

His wife Nancy is a retired biologist with a passion for conservation.

The last time I visited, Aunt Nancy had just chased a mother bear and her cubs away from her beehives on foot. At dinner Lester and I spoke about the last Fourth Turn. Uncle Lester is a retired Navy Vet. His brother fought at Normandy.  He doesn’t speak a lot but when he does it behooves people to find the parable. Uncle Lester grew up poor during the Great Depression but says he didn’t know it. He never complains and talked a lot about the value and power of gratitude and community during hard times.  Elders in places like Ashfield Mass still work hard and have a lot of character. They are our national treasures.

I recently saw a meme directed at chronic COVID complainers.

If our culture persists in a collective belief that our individual rights reign supreme, that we are somehow owed something and that it’s the government’s job to provide it for free at the expense of other people simply because they have more; then I can assure you that the authoritarian outcome or worse mentioned by Straus and Howe is almost certain.

Instead I found an example of the requisite attitude for success, especially for Christians during a Fourth Turn in Acts 14. During the Apostle Paul’s 1st missionary journey he and Baranabas were kicked out of Antioch. So they traveled 85 miles to preach the Gospel in Iconium. Unbelieving Jews stirred up dissension and tried to beat and stone him.  So, Paul and Barnabas moved on to Lystra and Derbe where taught and people were healed. Everyone thought they were Zeus and Hermes and started to worship them.  No sooner had they put an end to that craziness then the previous Jews who had followed them from Iconium showed up.  This time they were successful in stoning Paul.  They dragged what they thought was his dead body outside the city gate and left him there. The disciples gathered around him probably in mourning. But before they could do anything Paul jumped up brushed himself off and went back into the city where;  

“Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.” Acts 14:22

This May we will have lived in Honduras for three years. We’ve been through our share of crises and we stocked up on beans and rice a few weeks ago in anticipation of what is happening now. The other day we gave some away to a neighbor in need. I’ve been racking my brain as to how we are going to feed people when the food runs out. What will we do if someone gets sick?  How will we care for people?  Last night some girls from the tiny Catholic church down the road delivered dinner to our door.  Being a full-time missionary is teaching me just how unimportant I am.  

I don’t know what is happening or is going to happen. If you read my previous blogs, my conclusions regarding COVID remain the same. 

Believe what we want “We still don’t know jack.”  

What I do know from both God’s Word and my own experience is that

Jesus did not come to give us our best life now. He came to redeem and transform us.

Everything will be shaken. Only what can’t be shaken will remain. Heb 12:26-28

Who we are and what we do “will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work.” Only that which is of God will survive. 1Cor 3:12-15

While our eternal hope is definitely in Jesus. Our ability to remain in that hope will be determined by our individual and collective character.  Character is produced by perseverance. Tribulation is its catalyst. Rom 5:3-7

Please keep us in prayer. Apart from divine intervention we are in big trouble if COVID gets a hold of us.

If you are receiving this it’s because we love you.

En El Nombre De Jesus!