Sunday, February 27, 2011
Sunday, February 20, 2011
Jesus said something very peculiar to his disciples after giving them their first commission to heal the sick, cleanse the leper and raise the dead in Matthew chapter 10: Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves (Matthew 10:16). The serpent is used metaphorically in the Scripture and throughout history to represent satan, yet Jesus cautioned his disciples to embrace this same metaphor. What could possibly be the strategy in this apparently bizarre instruction? What virtue does a serpent possess that would prompt Jesus to charge his disciples to impersonate one?
If we examine these words of Christ in Matthew and consider the nature of a serpent, we observe something that is inherent in one of the most subtle creatures in the animal kingdom, and it is this innate skill that gives it an advantage over its prey. A serpent never overexposes itself and will generally slither unnoticed past a predator, and it is this same knack for stealth that makes it so lethal to its prey. Consequently, by the time a serpent’s victim realizes its impending doom, it has already been beset with a massive injection of poisonous venom. It is this ability to remain concealed from predator and prey alike that is the serpent’s greatest asset, and it is this skill that prompted Jesus to direct his disciples to mimic this virtue that is found in all animals of prey.
As we examine Matthew 16:10 in context, what is implied in Jesus’ charge to his disciples is that if they pursued a promotional campaign announcing their arrivals at various destinations, it would expose them to persecution and possible death at the hands of men who scorn the Gospel. After charging his followers to take on the virtue of a serpent, Jesus warned them to always be on guard against their enemies:
17.But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; 18.And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles...21.And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. 22.And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake (Matthew 10:17-18, 21-22a).
As Jesus prepared His disciples for their maiden voyage, He sounded the alarm that there would be a heavy price to pay for following Him; however, He simultaneously gave them a glimpse into the pathology of satan. Although the serpent is not the universal symbol of the devil, God chose to use this imagery in the Garden of Eden to demonstrate his wily skills of deception. [s]atan has been depicted as a dragon, as a gargoyle, as a goat, as a ram’s head, and as a number of hand signs and geometric figures; yet, none of these satanic icons carry the implied capacity of stealth like the serpent. Most people who are struck by serpents, never see them coming.
The metaphor of a serpent seems to suggest, among other things, that satan will never announce his arrival; consequently, those looking for him to show up with his tail in one hand and a pitchfork in the other will certainly miss him. It is with a fair amount of irony that those who are looking for a depraved, sex driven, thieving, murdering megalomaniac, may unwittingly make their way to the alter during the call for prayer and not know that the man laying hands on them has been planted by the devil. Contrary to the misguided depictions of satan and his followers as stark-raven maniacs, the Scripture advises us of their ability to transform themselves into apostles of Christ and satan himself into an angel of light: 13.For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14.And no marvel; for satan himself is transformed into an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:13-14).
Most illustrations of satan fail to adequately demonstrate his ability to appear as a concerned spiritual leader. He is typically portrayed as one who steals, kills and destroys, which is certainly correct; however, it just isn’t complete. [s]atan has a level of guile that most people will never appreciate or understand with the explanation that human language offers. This is why the Scripture refers to his activity as a mystery (see part 1 of this series for an analysis of the mystery of iniquity), and in order to comprehend a mystery, it must come from a revelation. In other words, it takes a spiritual insight to fully grasp satan’s ability to deceive. Many people reading this series, particularly parts 7 through 14 on Western Civilization’s Unrelenting Expansion, will have difficulty embracing some of the concepts that I advance about the unadulterated guile of satan, and his ability to deceive the leaders of society. Many patriotic, American Christians will find it impossible to digest the notion that satan has been the hidden hand behind human government, including the United States and its NATO allies, since the very first civilization.
Revelation 2:24 will come up periodically in this series, because it does a greater job at graphically demonstrating the naïveté of many Christians than any other verse in the Scripture. In one of his letters to the seven churches, John admonished the church at Thyatira that there were some who had not “known the depths of satan”: 24.But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden. 25.But that which ye have already hold fast till I come (Revelation 6:24-25, emphasis mine).
Thyatira, according to Revelation 2:20, followed the teachings of the New Testament Jezebel; a self-proclaimed prophetess, who offered lessons on sexual intimacy: Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols (Revelation 2:20). This is extremely heavy drama, because the Christian Church, as well as many other expressions of faith, ban sexual activity between men and women who have not committed to one another in the sacred covenant of marriage. Yet, here we have a church hierarchy that is so saturated with satanic influence, that it is teaching men and women how to become skilled sexual predators; however, the training that was provided by Jezebel went beyond lessons on seduction. The saints at Thyatira were trained on the art of sex and the skills that are necessary to bring enormous pleasure to one’s partner and extreme satisfaction to oneself.
In order to fully grasp the extent of what was being offered in Thyatira, we need to understand that Jezebel was not simply offering a how-to lesson on the mechanics of sex, where she would describe the human anatomy and instruct her followers on the proper use of their sex organs. I mean, does any man, woman or beast need a seminar on reproduction? What we have in Thyatira that so graphically demonstrates satan’s knack for beguiling the people is an environment that cultivated and encouraged sex before marriage and sex outside of marriage. In verse 20 above, we note the fornicators, and in verse 22, we note the adulterers: Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds (Revelation 2:22).
Jezebel was highly skilled at the art of sex, and she offered the saints lessons in sexual techniques that would have made one irresistible in the bed. The cruel irony behind her training in Thyatira is that it most likely would have been scripturally permissible had she only offered it to married couples and then drawn clear lines of demarcation between the act of lovemaking and the forbidden zone sexual activity of fornication and adultery. However, she created an atmosphere of debauchery by fertilizing the sexual passions of those who were single and stimulating the sexual fantasies of those who were married. By deductive reasoning, I have concluded that sex is the first law of nature (see note at the end of this article), and Jezebel fed the sexual passions of the weak and desperate by sanctioning a free-sex zone right in the church.
A discussion about the possible techniques that were taught by Jezebel is beyond the scope of this article. However, when one’s sexual passions arise to a near orgasmic state, a highly skilled sexual predator can make them surrender everything that they ever held sacred and abandon a chaste life. This was the spiritual atmosphere in Thyatira, and whether one agrees with the depth of Jezebels training, what is irrefutable is that the plague of fornication and adultery slithered into the church and became a part of the spiritual culture.
…to be continued
NOTE: If survival is the first law of nature, then isn’t sex about survival? Consequently, we can safely conclude that sex is the first law of nature.
About the Prelude to the anti-christ: I will be publishing a 18 part series titled, Prelude to the anti-christ, which will be divided into three segments: First, The Mystery of Iniquity will be a 6-part series that demonstrate that there has been a furtive hand in the affairs of humanity to create the rich soil for the anti-christ to rise; second, Western Civilization’s Unrelenting Expansion will be a 8-part expose on Western Civilization’s effort to control the destiny of human civilization; and third, The Rise of the anti-christ will be a 3-part series on the rise of the global leader who will lead humanity over the precipice into oblivion; and the final article will be a summary and postscript of the entire sequence of series. The introduction to this series was published on Sunday, January 23, 2011, and each subsequent article will be published on each successive Sunday through May. Your comments are welcome.
Thursday, February 10, 2011
The concept of belief in God arches above every other ideal embraced in the human spirit, because for most people, the rewards of faith yield an everlasting return, while the rewards of other ideals are not as enduring. Islamic suicide bombers have been convinced that after they carry out the will of Allah by becoming martyrs in the war against the “infidels,” they will receive a much greater reward and garner more favor from Him once they enter Paradise. Although the Qur’an seems to ban suicide as a weapon against defenseless citizens (see note at the end of this article), deceitful men have seized control of the interpretation of the Muslims’ holy book and have convinced many naïve followers that it is permissible. This demonstrates that other belief systems are not immune to the deceptive practices of devious men, inspired by the devil.
The Apostle Paul took special care to alert the Church that the mystery of iniquity would make bold, surreptitious incursions into its hierarchy. It would not simply attempt to corrupt the work of God by infiltrating into the choir or Deacon Board, but the furtive servants of satan would impersonate the highest officer in the Church – the apostle – in order to lead the followers of Christ away from the profound and deep mystical truths of the Scripture:
4.For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him…13.For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14.And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15.Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works (2 Corinthians 11:4, 13-15).
The workers of satan have secretly pursued a course that permits them to control the destiny of the congregational churches, thus limiting its influence in society. By furtively acquiring positions of leadership, these false prophets can spoon-feed their followers a diluted Gospel message. This is why many in the modern church have no idea who Enoch really is; or who Noah really was; or who Nimrod really was; or who Moses really was; and lest we forget the man in the New Testament who, according to Paul, may have been permitted to enter Heaven with his fleshly body. However, notwithstanding that the Scripture does not give us his name, most Christians have never heard of him (see 2 Corinthians 12:1-5 for (I’ll call him) Anonymous).
It is the objective of the satanic powers to diminish the legacy of great men of God in order to reduce the possibility that anyone will aspire to be like them. For the last six months, I have been randomly querying my Christian brothers and sisters the following question: What was Job’s profession before his encounter with satan? And to my astonishment, no one has responded properly, which buttresses my point that the cabal of men who seek to control the interpretation of the Scripture, do not want us to know who Job and others really were. If young men understood that Job was the greatest social advocate of human existence, and if they could see the remarkable passion that he had for the downtrodden and exploited (see Job 29), then perhaps there would be a few who would seek to be like him. However, the men who sit in the pantheon of the satanic gods and who simultaneously control what many of God’s people consume spiritually, work fervently to conceal Job’s and other great men’s legacies.
When wicked men ascend into positions of great authority in the church, they are doing enormous harm to the spiritual lives of the church members, and their work reduces the possibility that another Job, or another Ezekiel, or another Isaiah will rise in the midst of the people. This is why when Paul discovered fraudulent leaders, he immediately cast them out of the church: 4.And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage: 5.To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you (Galatians 2:4-5).
Paul, who had a reputation for being unyielding, moved swiftly against these men, because he knew he was dealing with individuals who could not be converted. This speaks simultaneously to their spiritual blindness and to the depth of their allegiances with the powers of darkness.
The evidence of satanic influence in the church is overwhelming in the Scripture. This is why the apostles labored under the heavy burden of warning the followers of Christ that satan could transform himself into an angel of light and that his demonically inspired disciples could become ministers of righteousness. To simply say that satan is deceptive does not adequately portray his ingenious ability to beguile, because an illusionist is deceptive; as is a skilled general plotting strategy during wartime; as well as highly trained intelligence officers, who practice deceit in defense of their nation. However, satan has affixed to his resume one feat that is unprecedented in recorded history: through an unbelievable performance of deceit, he tricked angels into rebelling against God.
[s]atan has mistakenly been reviled down through the ages for being less than intelligent for his rebellion and subsequent removal from Heaven. This may be true, but intelligence, or the lack thereof, is not what motivated him. [h]e was driven by a deep-seated compulsion that is beyond the capacity and grandest ambitions of any human. He wanted to share God’s throne:
12.How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! 13.For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14.I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High (Isaiah 14:12-14).
This indictment by Isaiah only tells part of the story behind the fall of the lucifer. What God refused to reveal in His Word is a blow-by-blow account of lucifer’s surreptitious scheme that triggered the angelic rebellion. It is my firm belief that this plot by lucifer was so thoroughly deceptive that God deliberately declined to offer it as part of the Scripture. He knew that canonizing lucifer’s rebellion in His Word would wreak confusion in the minds of the most spiritually adept of the human family, causing many to embrace the logic behind his rebellion. I buttress my belief with Matthew 24 where the Scripture says that God will shorten the days of human civilization in order to prevent the very elect from being conned by satan:
22.And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened. 23.Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. 24.For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect (Matthew 24:22-24).
This is such a profound assertion by Jesus; it should prompt us to vigilantly guard our hearts and minds against false and diluted doctrines. He suggested that it would not be possible for the very elect to be deceived, in the sense that they would abandon redemption for a false, satanic system of belief. However, He did not rule out that they would not fall prey to a weakened state of faith. In fact, he seems to suggest that there would be a lack of faith in the earth when He returns. Speaking on the condition of the church during the end-times, Jesus wondered out loud if there would be men of faith able to meet the needs of the most at-risk members of society:
2.Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: 3.And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary…7.And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? 8.I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth (Luke 18:2-3, 7-8, emphasis mine)?
If this is the last days as spoken of by the prophets, then Jesus’ words take on a much more significant implication. Certainly He saw the Christian leaders of today who are revered by so many and who would be considered great men of faith; yet, He still posed the question if He could find faith in the earth. This is deeply troubling, because it suggests, among other things, that we are not discerning the lack of faith in the church. Furthermore it seems to demonstrate that our model of Christianity may be significantly misaligned with what Christ’s expectations are for His last day church. Whatever may have been Jesus’ motivation for questioning the faith of the end-time leadership, it is clear that He was cognizant of the fact that the mystery of iniquity would make damaging incursions into the end-time church in order to curb its impact on society.
The mystery of iniquity has spent thousands of years weaving a near inescapable web of deception. Over the course of human existence, satan has deceived angels; he has inspired men to successfully masquerade as apostles, prophets, and other church leaders; he has established his global headquarters from the pulpit of a local church (this will be addressed in Part 4 of this series); he has been successful in assuming the identity of Christianity (this will be addressed in Part 5 of this series); he has nearly destroyed the concept of faith for the last day’s church (see Luke 18:8 above); and before the end of our age, he will trick the vast majority of humanity into worshiping him as their god: And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him [satan], whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8).
In Revelation chapter 2, John admonished the church at Thyatira that there were some who had not “known the depths of satan.” Because of their naiveté, he was unable to give them deep, mystical insight into God’s Word through his writing: 24.But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden. 25.But that which ye have already hold fast till I come (Revelation 6:24-25).
…to be continued
NOTE: It is commonly held in the United States that suicide bombers are taught that they will receive 72 virgins once they enter into Paradise; however, I have been unable to confirm this as Islamic doctrine. Perhaps suicide bombers are lulled by the prospect of living in eternal bliss with beautiful maidens, but this notion is not defined in the Islamic Holy Book – the Qur’an. In fact, the Qur’an seems to expressly prohibit suicide Bombing: 29.O believers, you should not usurp unjustly the wealth of each other, but trade by mutual consent; and do not destroy yourselves. God is merciful to you. 30.If some does so through oppression or injustice, [W]e shall cast him into Hell: this is how (the Law of) God works inevitably (the holy Qur’an, verses 4:29-30). Another version puts it more succinctly: 29.But let there be amongst you Traffic and trade by mutual good-will: Nor kill (or destroy) yourselves: for verily God hath been to you Most Merciful! 30.If any do that in rancour and injustice,- soon shall We cast them into the Fire: And easy it is for God (the holy Qur’an, verses 4:29-30).
Also, the Bukhari and Muslim Hadiths are second in authority to the Qur’an, and neither of these endorse suicide bombing. According to Bukhari Volume 2, Book 23, Number 445 the prophet pronounced the judgment upon a man who committed suicide by forbidding him to enter Paradise: “Narrated Jundab the Prophet said, ‘A man was inflicted with wounds and he committed suicide, and so Allah said: My slave has caused death on himself hurriedly, so I forbid Paradise for him.’”