-And the LORD answered me, and said,
             Write the vision,and make it plain upon tables,
                    that he may run that readeth it. 
                   - (Hab 2:2)



_________



Eight Souls
In the age when men lived to be nearly a thousand years old, wickedness became so great that God only saved eight people.


The Power Of The Blood
The power of the blood of Christ to cleanse us from all sin.

Power Of Prayer
A look at prayer and and its great importance to a genuine Christian.

Prayer: Standing In The Gap


The Sufficiency Of Christ



An Open Letter To Black Lives Matter:
How to avoid being ensnared in the ongoing Federal operation 'Ni∓∓er Catcher' and 'Black Snare', run out of the US intelligence community and certain sections of Law Enforcement. These operations do exist, though naturally not with those pejorative titles. They are not legal, nor are they officially recognized but key people in high positions run these operations that specifically target Black Americans and certain White Americans who seek justice, truth and use their rights to bring these things back to our once great nation. The impetus comes from the US Intelligence community - LE does the footwork. This is what they did to so many civil rights leaders back in the 60's and 70's. They have honed their skills for the technology of the 21st century.


An Open Letter To Senator Mikulski And The Senate Select Committee On Intelligence


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Last Updated
7 Nov 2019

-

For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words,
of him shall the Son of man be ashamed,
when he shall come in his own glory,
and in his Father's, and of the holy angels.
(Luk 9:26)



I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand,
I shall not be moved.
(Psa 16:8)

***

Mark can be reached here.



7 Nov

Nehemiah XLIII

 And for the villages, with their fields,
some of the children of Judah dwelt at Kirjath–arba,
and in the villages thereof, and at Dibon,
and in the villages thereof, and at Jekabzeel,
and in the villages thereof,
And at Jeshua, and at Moladah, and at Beth–phelet,
And at Hazar–shual, and at Beer–sheba,
and in the villages thereof, And at Ziklag,
and at Mekonah, and in the villages thereof,
And at En–rimmon, and at Zareah,
and at Jarmuth, Zanoah, Adullam,
and in their villages, at Lachish,
and the fields thereof, at Azekah,
and in the villages thereof.
And they dwelt from Beer–sheba
unto the valley of Hinnom. The children
also of Benjamin from Geba dwelt at Michmash,
and Aija, and Beth–el, and in their
villages, And at Anathoth, Nob, Ananiah,
Hazor, Ramah, Gittaim, Hadid, Zeboim,
Neballat, Lod, and Ono,
the valley of craftsmen. And of the Levites
were divisions in Judah,and in Benjamin.
(Nehemiah 11:25-36 [KJV])

These passages follow the last ones as a kind of 'census' of Israel at the time of the return of the exiles. This part is merely a list of who lived where. These passages are usually skipped over by commentators. I will not spend too much time on them but some things are of note.

Kiriath-araba as mentioned here is actually better known as Hebron (Judges 1:10). This city as you know, has a long and venerable biblical history. Abraham liked to live there and it is where his wife Sarah died. Dibon is thought to be the modern city of Dhiban, which today is situated in Jordan, about 12 miles east of the dead sea. Some of these other places names are not well known as to the exact location today. Those of you who are curious, the Bible Atlas has a tool where you can look up the names and get a map showing where they think it is.

The peoples who are listed here are the people of Judah, and Benjamin - the Northern tribes. The Levite are mentioned here as also having land among both tribes, though here the location of land is not listed.

These passages are mostly historical records, but also demonstrate just how God did restore the two northern kingdoms after the fall of Jerusalem.

5 Nov


Habakkuk Part XI


Thy bow was made quite naked,
according to the oaths of the tribes, even thy word.
Selah. Thou didst cleave the earth with rivers.
The mountains saw thee, and they trembled:
the overflowing of the water passed by:
the deep uttered his voice,
and lifted up his hands on high.

(Hab 3:9-10)

Here the prophet continues on his poem/prophecy about the exodus. The bow God was going to use for Judgment, was naked. That is, it was taken out of its scabbard and was ready to be wielded. This is poetic language that shows that God will indeed avenge and in this instance, protect his people according to his promise (oaths of the tribes, even thy word). Verse 10 describes the parting of the sea for the children of Israel. Yet the first part of the verse which references the mountains is not. The prophet here seems to draw on events that took place and others that will take place in no particular order. The prophet here is mostly extolling God's power and wonders on behalf of his people.

Thou didst march through the land in indignation,
thou didst thresh the heathen in anger.
(Hab 3:12)


Here the prophet speaks of God marching through the land in anger. God is very upset and goes after the nations in his wrath. While the passage may have some apocalyptic overtones, it is probably more in keeping with the clearing of the land of Canaan for his people, as in Joshua's day.

K&D seems to think these whole poem is one of the coming redemption of God's people and less about the miracles of the past, but whose imagery draws on those bygone miracles in this vision of the future. This idea may be seen to some degree in the following verse.


Thou wentest forth for the salvation of thy people,
even for salvation with thine anointed;
thou woundedst the head out of the house of the wicked,
 by discovering the foundation unto the neck.
 Selah.
(Hab 3:13)


Again, unless one looks at this carefully, the reference of the past to a future fulfillment could be lost. Here the ancient reference is clearly to Joshua, who was indeed God's anointed to take the tribes of Israel into the promised land. But what is the connotation of the word anointed?
H4899
mashiyach
maw-shee'-akh
From H4886; anointed; usually a consecrated person (as a king, priest, or saint); specifically the Messiah: - anointed, Messiah.

It is where we get the word Messiah.

The prophet in the second part of the verse is almost certainly referencing the episode in the moves against Pharaoh and Egypt where the first born of every home was slain. Clarke remarks that this move left no hope for the families as the household heir had been cut off.

At the prophets Selah, let us all pause and consider just how powerful, awesome our God is and what how he deals with his stubborn and recalcitrant enemies.


31 Oct

Babylon

(Note: This was written a couple of years ago for insiders. I say these things as a long time student of Bible Prophecy. I hope you all - saved and unsaved are able to understand what is at stake and what the Bible has in store for the world we all live in. Know this - your belief or disbelief in these things are not going to effect them transpiring.)

When Babylon falls, the world will wonder. When Babylon falls there will be great weeping. When Babylon falls the world will change significantly and a new global system will be instituted. Now none of you here needs to ask me who Babylon is. To me, this is not a matter of opinion and or speculation.  These things are spiritually discerned.

This is also true of Gog And Magog (see Ezekiel Chap 38 and 39). There are and are going to be a plethora of sites playing up that Russia is Gog and that a major invasion of Israel by Russia is right around the corner. I am not buying it and neither should you. A thorough look at the passage in Ezekiel and the companion passage in Revelation (Rev 20:7ff) do not clearly predict any such invasion BEFORE Christ returns. No reasonable extrapolation of the description of Israel in those passages in Ezekiel could possibly line up with Israel's current state right now, with terrorists, knife stabbings and great giant walls to keep out Palestinians. The passage in Ezekiel make it plain that she will have no walls and that she is dwelling in a peace Israel has never had since 1948, but will only have during the millennium.

I say these things because there are those who will wrest the scriptures and get people most confused in these times of trouble. If in doubt go to the Bible, read it and the words (EXACTLY) and don't make the mistake of so many and reinterpret the clear meaning of the words to fit your own preconceived notions or to be popular with the religious crowd. That is the way to error, not truth.

The central focus I want to talk about is Babylon. The mother of Harlots. How she goes out.

She goes out violently, suddenly in the space of 'one hour'.

What do I think is going on today? I think the world is going to undergo continued changing and shifting and leaders around the world are going to begin to quietly and not so quietly set up a post-US world order. But the US is not going to go quietly. So the enemies of this nation are going to hatch a plot to overthrow us, suddenly violently and utterly.

These rulers will do this at the bidding of God, even if this fact is unbeknownst to themselves. Those shiftings are already apparent and those are things I have been posting to all of you insiders here for many years. The signs of a shift can be seen in many different things, the rise of SCO, Russia, China. The slow move of the EU to create her own army and independent foreign policy, its slow growing need and closeness to Russia and China. These are all potent signs of a world that is hedging its bets and shifting away from America.

When these leaders finally get ready to do away with Babylon, they will hatch a plot and set up 10 kings, 10 'overseers' if you will, who will, from all we can gather from the scriptures, be transitory figures whose sole purpose is to force a transition to a post 'Babylonian' world order under the ruler ship of the Man of sin, false prophet and the devil.

 And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings,
which have received no kingdom as yet;
but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.

 These have one mind, and shall give their power
and strength unto the beast.

(Rev 17:12-13 [KJV])


 And the ten horns
which thou sawest upon the beast,
these shall hate the whore,

 and shall make her desolate and naked,
and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.

For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will,
and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast,

until the words of God shall be fulfilled.
(Rev 17:16-17 [KJV])


I think we have some time before that happens but let me leave you with this. As I read the ancient prophecies, I see the attack upon America coming from the North. Arrows we see in those old prophecies? I see missiles? Babylon? I see us as the daughter of it.


Come down, and sit in the dust,
O virgin daughter of Babylon, sit on the ground:
there is no throne, O daughter of the Chaldeans:
for thou shalt no more be called tender and delicate.
(Isaiah 47:1 [KJV])

Yes, there is a good reason that John the Revelator is doing what he did and showing us a Babylonian empire. Remember, there was no Babylon in his day. Rome ruled the world and the Babylon of Jeremiah and Isiah had long faded into the history books. John who gave us this vision in heaven of the woman, is describing a SPIRITUAL entity. An entity that also had an earthly kingdom that exists in the last days right in the run up to the 42 month system of the antichrist. It is an entity that I have long held is a spiritual stronghold that has existed in many places before. John's description is her final place before the Lord comes.

We know her characteristics and I will not rehash them here, other than to say this. She is arrogant and sits at the pinnacle of global power and does not think she will ever be removed from her perch. God has other plans.

 
And thou saidst, I shall be a lady for ever:
so that thou didst not lay these things to thy heart,
neither didst remember the latter end of it.
Therefore hear now this, thou that art given to pleasures,
 that dwellest carelessly, that sayest in thine heart,
 I am, and none else beside me; I shall not sit as a widow,
neither shall I know the loss of children:
But these two things shall come to thee in a moment in one day,
the loss of children, and widowhood: they shall come upon thee
in their perfection for the multitude of thy sorceries,
and for the great abundance of thine enchantments.
For thou hast trusted in thy wickedness: thou hast said,
None seeth me.


Thy wisdom and thy knowledge, it hath perverted thee;
and thou hast said in thine heart, I am, and none else beside me.
Therefore shall evil come upon thee; thou shalt not know from
whence it riseth: and mischief shall fall upon thee; thou shalt not be able to put it off: and desolation shall come upon thee suddenly, which thou shalt not know.
Stand now with thine enchantments,

and with the multitude of thy sorceries,
wherein thou hast laboured

from thy youth; if so be thou shalt be able to profit,
if so be thou mayest prevail.

Thou art wearied in the multitude of thy counsels.
 Let now the astrologers,

the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators,
stand up, and save thee from

these things that shall come upon thee.
Behold, they shall be as stubble;
the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves
from the power of the flame:
there shall not be a coal to warm at,
nor fire to sit before it.
 Thus shall they be unto thee with whom thou hast laboured,
 even thy merchants, from thy youth:
they shall wander every one to his quarter;
none shall save thee.
(Isaiah 47:7-15 [KJV])

Keep in mind that the passages of Isiah 47 are directed not so much at Babylon but at the DAUGHTER of Babylon. But because the spiritual entity behind each is the same, they could easily apply to both.

This whole passage is descriptive of the ancient Babylon no doubt, but like the Mother, so is the daughter. She is puffed up with pride and is having a really good time. They were trusting in their own peculiar brand of sorceries. Babylon is well known for Astrology but they certainly had other forms of divination. This is what they trusted in. Like America trusts in her Freemasonic traditions. There are some of the highest places in our government that one will have great difficulty in holding without being a Mason or a Masonic affiliated organization. There are many in power who dabble in all manner of witchcraft, necromancy, astrology and outright devil worship.

The Daughter of Babylon is blindsided. When her destruction comes she is not going to know from where it comes nor will she be prepared. All of her intelligence agencies, her major 'deep state' contractors. They will not see this coming.

If the 10 kings are a bit of a mystery, this may be one of the reasons why. They destroy Babylon and she has no clue as to the plot. They rise up for a exceptionally short period of time for one specific purpose.

So you ask me how does Babylon fall? I say, Suddenly and without aid.

God's people on the other hand will be given divine unction as to the time as there will be a call to leave Babylon before she goes. 'Come out of her my people' (Rev 18:4), is a command and like all such commands God's people will know it when they hear it and will obey it when it is uttered.

Blessings to you all in Christ and may he watch over all of you in the difficult days that lie ahead for the those 'called out' ones (who serve and obey Jesus Christ) and for the world.

---End two year old excerpt
***
I say these things not because I take any pleasure in seeing this nation fall or wish her harm, but to lay out to you where the trends we are already seeing in America will lead her.

Also this is why I can't get all upset about the sins, corruptions, abominations, trends, craziness etc., going on in DC and throughout the nation. I care, but looking around at what America and Americans are rapidly becoming, I have to distance myself from it and them so that I do not soil my spiritual garments. What is happening to this country is as predicable as prognosticating the symptoms of someone with a dreaded, fatal disease. One physical horror follows another until they die, barring a miracle. America could fix what is wrong with her if she and her people wanted to. The problem is they don't want to. They want to flip God the bird and go on with their drug abuse, sexual perversions and licentiousness, their hate, their wars, their thefts and their murders.

Neither repented they of their murders,
nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication,
nor of their thefts.
 (Rev of John 9:21 [KJVA])


We are not there yet, but one day, it will become a habitation of devils (Rev 18:2). But today, people want devils. Look at the rise of witchcraft and devil worship in the US and the western world!  Today is Halloween. Did you know that it is fast becoming one of America's most popular holidays?

In conclusion, Let us all be sober and watchful. Know the times and understand the spiritual lay of the land. This is a battle and those who don't know that will be shocked when an enemy shell winds up blowing up in their vicinity, and they are laying in a foxhole riddled with shrapnel. 

May God bless you all. Those who need light, with light. Those who need love, with love. Those who need wisdom, with wisdom and those who need guidance, with a lamp of God's word shone upon the path on which they should follow.
28 Oct

For Bloggers

I hope bloggers, particularly Christian ones, but bloggers from all over the country and from all peaceful political persuasions can profit by what follows. I hope my views will be helpful and my offbeat sense of humor offends no one.

This is election season and woe be to those who blog who don't know the danger blogging can bring, even here in the USA. What follows are a few links and a rework of several longer posts written for insiders. If it does not flow well, it is because it is a rough edit of several posts on subjects that touched on this.

Let's start with the positive. The FBI has warned those who run political campaigns on the danger this election poses. There is a danger. A big one not just to campaigns but to bloggers who are supportive of political candidates, particularly if you have large followings.
Protected Voices

The FBI has a great page on the issue. What do they mean protected voices? Mostly political campaigns. But anyone who blogs politically should be aware. Moreover, the tips on the page are good for anyone and everyone. So check it out. They talk about router hardening, VPN's, social media, ransomware, browser settings... the gamut.

If you remember a few days ago I told you what I was working on this summer. It was basically some aspects of this. The election season is upon us and well, you know what that can mean.

But all of you would be wise to look at these issues carefully for yourself. They are good security tips that all should take note of.

Don't take the cyber-threat lightly. They can do a lot of damage to you if you are ignorant of the threat or too lazy to take simple precautions.

On that note, I do want to give a little explanation of some of the changes on the site since summer.

This summer was kind of a major behind the scenes redo of the site. It mostly involved me taking down the bulk of several thousand files on my server. I had a lot of very old files and articles, audio and more that was dated... very dated. It was time much of that stuff went. Some will eventually return, but not this or next year. I plan on re-working and updating some of the prophetic materials and some will eventually return to the public page, others will remain for insiders. The basic flow of the site will however remain the same. Daily updates for insiders and 2-3 times a week with much smaller updates for the public.

Again, I will explain  that this is for many reasons, the age and relevance of some of the old stuff was a big reason for the change. But the other quite frankly was the upcoming election cycle. I just get the impression this is going to be the nastiest election the nation has ever witnessed, and if these impeachment proceedings are of any indication, it will be very, very nasty.

That means that bloggers could very well be targeted. GOP bloggers by DNC operatives and vice versa. Foreign nations will get involved, though they will probably mostly be targeting campaigns and election officials. But those who have influence on the prevailing narrative (large sites with large followings) will almost certainly be attacked in some of the ways they tried to get me. They'll follow you around, break into your home/place of business, hack your router, computers, physically harass, digitally harass - mess with you at your local establishments and just try and make your life miserable for the crime of using your rights as an American to speak freely.


So I decided that this time around, I will deliberately keep a very low footprint and profile during the election season. I went from several thousand files a few months ago to now 55 49 on the public page (that includes graphics). I have also removed the archives for now.

For me right now, lower traffic numbers are better. I don't want political activists linking to my material and get this site any more on the radar of these 'deep state demons' than I already am.

A recent report may be of interest to all of you. It's called FBI: Still Spying On Dissent

It gives a lot of history on how they surveilled many organizations, including Black Lives Matters, Standing Rock, Occupy Wall Street, etc. The danger is that in this Presidential election cycle, people inside these deep state agencies will set up law abiding Americans in order to be put under just this kind of surveillance. I don't want to single out the FBI they are not the only ones bloggers need to be worried about.

Just remember this - in the lexicon of the devil, laws (including surveillance laws) are meant to be broken and in some of these agencies they have more than their fair share of 'devils' in them. But let me make this very clear. There are many fine, hard working and honorable people who really are trying to do the right thing in these agencies as well. I don't want to focus in on the bad and let the good go unrecognized.

Please understand, this is not paranoia, these are the kinds of things that are part of the tradecraft of those who work in the worlds intelligence agencies. They just are not supposed to be using those tools on law abiding Americans. But in today's hyperpoliticized environment and the low grade/quality of people now working in these agencies, this is the result. Drop arms to terrorists and attack law abiding Americans.

So yes, there have been some pretty big changes here and at first some very polite complaints about old pages that went missing (from non-insiders). 

But I have gotten the site about where I want it on size and footprint. In January 2021, we will revisit the public page and then move forward, but not before.

Other bloggers seem to be throwing in the towel, the threats and harassment have gotten to be too much. Harassment and threats contributed to the sale of Pando.com.

So keep these things in mind - you may not think you are having an impact, but you are and if they are coming after you, you can be certain you are.

My point is this - if you have a big site that deals in any way with politics - Be warned. Your careful observance of federal, state and local law is not protection from persecution or even prosecution. If they want you bad enough they will have you in jail for crimes you never even thought about committing before you know what hit you. They will smear you, destroy your rep and make it so no jury on earth will acquit you, despite the fact that they have no evidence against you.

Yet my suspicion is that after what they tried to do to me and a few others, there may have been some significant positive changes in how they deal with bloggers and journalists as long as they are not leakers of classified data and are not in bed with foreign powers. The problem is that men who have 'special skills' can make it so that those truly innocent bloggers look like (via a false trail of evidence) they are one or the other, just to get them put under surveillance, when in fact they are neither - just a blogger that someone wants to silence.

***

If I thought the country was really worth saving and the people in it would really profit by what things I share with insiders, I would put more stuff up here. But I have moved past America. I care about the country, but see where she is heading. Like I told my sister a few nights ago when we were talking, I feel like a guy in a lifeboat in the North Atlantic, right after the Titanic just hit the iceberg. I can see the first smoke stack slowly being submerged into the icy water and the drunken fools who were partying and living it up before the accident begin to finally realize just how much trouble they are in. From that lifeboat I can also know that before long, all that will visible where that huge ship was, will be a calm, cold sea.

We are the titanic, and we who are sane and sober (about 30% of the population) can see major icebergs our ship of state are heading into. But the captain, be he Democrat or Republican continues to drive the ship full steam ahead right into that icerberg (National Bankruptcy). Meanwhile, the first officer is trying to knife the captain (think impeachment hearings) so he can have the joy of trying to get more speed out of the engines. One can only wonder if we have passengers on board or escapees from a lunatic asylum because no one is pushing the captain to change course or reduce speed.

That may be too cynical for many of you. Perhaps it is. But one look at what passes for debate in this country and the often downright deranged hyperpolitical environment that has beset the nation, I can have little hope that the nation will survive as a free and prosperous people. The country's enemies have done a number on America and Americans. The problem is that in my view, most Americans are too dumb or are too stuck in their partisan dysphoria to figure out just how much their anger and hate-filled stupidity has helped those foes, both inside and outside of the country.

I will keep my focus on those things that matter to Christians - real Christians - not this cacophony of confusion that called itself the Church here in America and continue to keep the better posts for a small group of mature and praying Christians and watch the sinking of the Titanic from a safe distance; more as an ongoing tragicomedy than anything I can positively effect. I simply refuse to be too depressed about all of this nor will I lose my sense of humor. Watching crazy people can be both tragic... and funny.

I have done my share for this country and if this new generation of Americans cannot get their minds right about what made this nation what it is today, then frankly the country is not worth saving and my efforts will have been spent for nothing.

The biggest problem with America today is not Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Mitch McConnell or Nancy Pelosi, its millions of Americans who don't care enough about the country and their own future to use the remaining embers of their often damaged brains to see and think more clearly about what we need to fix and fix now in this country and understand and respect the nations common future, left and right, black and white.

Rather than fixing these common solutions we fall into the political trenches and fire political and economic shells at our own countrymen. This is exactly the kind of social environment this country's enemies have spent so much time and effort to bring about.

It is my hope that we maintain a healthy diverse, but respectful debate in this country. That all sides can have a say and do so safely and freely.

Note that I said hope, not prediction.



24 Oct

Prophets

Today, I want to spend a bit of time just talking generally about prophets. I lay no claim to being one. So let's get that straight first. When the Lord called me to this unusual ministry, he did not say prophecy, he said write and warn. It's why I don't do talk radio, sermons, 'words from the Lord' or YouTube interviews. It is not within the scope of what God told me to do. He said write, so that is what I do. I cannot rebel against what he wants me to do. I tried that once and as you can see... I am still writing(!)

But when God sends in a prophet, it means that whomever he is addressing is in need of serious correction. This is how the Old Testament Prophets operated. When Israel sinned, God sent them warnings, often in nature (ie, famine) or in the political realm (war or threats thereof) but he often sent them prophets to warn them as well as to what the Lord wants them to do or cease doing. Our Bibles are full of the warnings of the Prophets.

From Enoch (Jude 1:14) to Moses onward, men of God whom God specifically chose to fulfill a ministry of prophecy went forth and spoke the words that God gave them to speak. And this is an important aspect of prophecy. A true prophet speaks in the name of the Lord. His words are not his, but are the Lord's words to whomever the message is addressed. We, or at least I often look at prophets in the Old Testament sense, as addressing a wayward people gone astray after sin and idols whom the Lord is trying to get back on the right path so that they can escape punishment and judgment. We see this kind of prophet in Jeremiah, Ezekiel and of course in the books of the minor prophets.

In the New Testament, their job is the same though a bit different. God has ordered prophets in the Church. Yes, he has though today a real one will probably be thrown out on his ear in a great many assemblies.


 And God hath set some in the church,
first apostles, secondarily prophets,
thirdly teachers, after that miracles,
then gifts of healings, helps, governments,
diversities of tongues. Are all apostles?
are all prophets? are all teachers?
 are all workers of miracles?
(I Cor 12:28-29 [KJVA])

In the New Testament, at least as it effects the Church, they have a specific ministry within the Church. But when they speak, the people were to judge what the message they had was weather it be correct. We find that in (1Cor 14:29). This probably is not so much to determine falsity but perhaps to give another prophet a chance to expound upon or give a complimentary revelation, though censure is in order if there was error.

Here the prophet is to minister, not to the wayward and the lost; or to those in rebellion against God as in the Old Testament, but to guide, comfort and build up the body of Christ. That is his job within the body of Christ. He can often warn of impending trouble for some, as Agabus did for Paul and in predicting a major drought in the book of
(Acts 11:28, 21:10).

Why am I writing to you about this today? Well, we can all see how the world is changing and not for the better. The people on this earth, with many notable exceptions, are becoming more and more removed from God. They are getting violent, crazy, hateful, drug addicted and perverted. There is a cruelty about in the world today. A stubborn, recalcitrant, spirit seems to be taking over the world and its governments. The incendiary language we see in many of the world's capitols is a sign of our troubled times. Men spout off words of violence and arrogance, without thinking that God may have something to say about whatever controversy has stirred them up. They have placed themselves many times as 'judge and jury' with no regards for right, wrong or just what God may think about what is going on.

I look at our leaders on both sides of the political aisle, but particularly on the left and what I see is not only a disregard for God, but open contempt for him. Knowing his ways, they have foisted on the nation an epidemic of sexual licentiousness and confusion that now is effecting the children. What has happened to the nation that once honored and respected God? We have changed and changed significantly and not for the better.

But most Americans don't want to step back and look at where we are as a nation, spiritually and morally. How far we have fallen. They look about the nice city streets, the nice cars and homes, the good jobs, etc and see no problem. That is until you begin to look under the covers and see where decay is already taking place in the country. Look at the rise of diseases in many of the Nation's major cities, due primarily to a growing epidemic of homelessness. The administrative incompetence in so many places and its political and administrative leadership. The decline of the US military because she cannot attract and certainly not keep good recruits. They are often driven out with the current obsession with political correctness. The way its going, our military will be the most politically correct, sexually liberated and diverse corpses ever to be defeated on a battlefield.

The nation is in trouble. Though many see it, but no one wants to come to the God who blessed this nation with all of the blessings she now enjoys so that he might bring healing to the nation. Yes even to much of the western world. Instead we insult him with our arrogance, hatred of God and our growing licentiousness of many different varieties.

But given where the nation is at right now spiritually and where she is clearly heading, when will God send in the prophets? When will he send in those mighty, fearless men of God who will go out and proclaim what it is God wants to tell the nation, west and world?

I think it not so long when such men begin to rise up. Some 'minor' prophets have appeared, many were not really walking in the spirit, fell by the wayside and went into error. Others have been attacked by satanic elements operating inside of other religions, secret societies and even Americans intelligence and law enforcement communities. Prophets have many enemies. They can and will come at them from directions that most never even considered. This is why they need a strong divine covering in these treacherous and evil times (See 2Kings 6:15ff). Satan and his ministers will stir up all the hounds of hell to tear one down once he starts his ministry, particularly if it is effective and people start to repent.

Who will be that prophet?. We can only guess. He could use a well known pastor or evangelist, but I don't think that likely. Many of them are too hooked in with the system to come out and be separate from that system to minister the way a true prophet should.

He may choose a foreigner or a man of little and no repute to prophecy to his people. I have always suspected one such man who came to America (and died many years ago) from abroad and he could see the real America. This is one thing I can say after living abroad for 10 years of my adult life. When I came back I could 'see' things about America that Americans just were not capable of seeing. Now understand, I don't want to get into the whole 'down on America' and negativity thing. But the reality I saw was that Americans are for the most part, very strange people. They don't seem to know how to think - I mean really think (use their own brains rather than recite what they heard or the opinions of others). Moreover many are so materialistic, superficial and narcissistic. They don't see these things in themselves and many get offended when you point these things out. Collectively as a nation we are exceptionally violent, reaching for our massive weapons arsenal at every minor incident on the planet that angers someone who has too much sway in DC.

My point is that much of the problem with America and Americans is not seen by Americans, particularly a great many, probably most Church-goers. Many of them are caught up in their own pursuit of American materialism, careerism and pleasure seeking.

No, I suspect God may raise up a prophet, but he may be a foreigner, a person from abroad who has known persecution firsthand, knows and trusts his God and who will do as the Lord commands when he tells him 'Go and prophecy to the people in the Churches as well to the Nation of America and tell them....'

Such a person will probably minster for a few years and be secretly killed (made to look like an accident or illness) by demonic forces.

The slaying of prophets is nothing new.

From the past..
.


Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted?
and they have slain them which shewed
before of the coming of the Just One;
of whom ye have been now
 the betrayers and murderers:

(Acts 7:52 [KJVA])

For the future...

And in her was found the blood of prophets,
and of saints, and of all that
 were slain upon the earth.
 (Rev 18:24 [KJVA])


One of the key traits of someone under demonic influence is their willingness to betray... particularly those whom God has sent. This is why the man whom God sends to the nation will probably be murdered and betrayed by other men who pretend to be Christians and friends, as our Lord was betrayed.

How will the world treat God's two witnesses when they come onto the scene?

I will tell you.



 And when they shall have finished their testimony,
the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit
 shall make war against them, and shall overcome them,
and kill them. And their dead bodies
shall lie in the street of the great city,
which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt,
where also our Lord was crucified.
And they of the people and kindreds and
tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies
three days and an half, and shall not suffer
their dead bodies to be put in graves.
And they that dwell upon the earth shall
rejoice over them, and make merry,
 and shall send gifts one to another;
because these two prophets tormented
them that dwelt on the earth.
(Rev 11:7-10 [KJVA])

It will probably be a while before these two witnesses show up on the scene and prophecy, but it may not be so long before God sends some witnesses here to the US to warn the nation of its errors and what God has in store for such a nation that refuses to change its ways.

I suspect that these prophets messages will be sent to the nation more by way of Divine courtesy, than any real expectation that the nation as a whole will repent. I don't think it likely, but some individuals souls and even institutions may indeed be convicted and do as this coming prophet bids.



...for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
 (Rev 19:10b [KJVA])


22 Oct

Habakkuk Part X


God came from Teman, and the Holy One from mount Paran.
Selah.
His glory covered the heavens,

and the earth was full of his praise. And his brightness
 was as the light; he had horns coming out of his hand:
and there was the hiding of his power.
(Hab 3:3-4)

Here the prophet hearkens back to the days of Moses and his song which is found in Deuteronomy, 33:2 where it says.

And this is the blessing,
wherewith Moses the man of God blessed
the children of Israel before his death.
And he said, The LORD came from Sinai,
and rose up from Seir unto them;
he shined forth from mount Paran,
 and he came with ten thousands of saints:
 from his right hand went a fiery law for them.
Yea, he loved the people; all his saints are in thy hand:
and they sat down at thy feet;
every one shall receive of thy words.
(Deu 33:1-3)


So this is a reference to the days of the Exodus and wilderness experience almost certainly with this song of Moses in mind. Teman was a son of Eliphaz (as we remember from the book of Job - see Gen 36:11). It is connected with Edom. The Smith Bible Dictionary says this.
...it is probable that the land of Teman was a southern portion of the land of Edom, or, in a wider sense, that of the sons of the east. Teman is mentioned in five places by the prophets, in four of which, it is connected with Edom, and in two with Dedan. - Smith Bible Dictionary
But the KJV may not have done the passage correctly when it put the tense of this passage in the past (God came from...) when it is more properly rendered in the present or future tense 'cometh'. The sense here is that the Lord will once again do what he did back in the days of Moses and make himself known.

The prophet then describes the epiphany with his poetry and how his glory covers the heavens and the earth praised him. This poetry, from my view is both retrospective and prospective in its timing.

Verse four goes on to describe the Lord in his glory. His brightness is described here and the word light is this one in Hebrew.
H216
'owr
ore
from 215; illumination or (concrete) luminary (in every sense, including lightning, happiness, etc.):--bright, clear, + day, light (-ning), morning, sun. see HEBREW for 0215

So it could be rendered his brightness is like the lightning or sun.

The next stanza had horns coming out of his hands was an unfortunate rendition by the KJV translators, in my view. Yes, the word can be translated horn, but given the previous passage, it is much better rendered 'rays'. Here is the Hebrew word.
H7161
qeren
keh'-ren
from 7160; a horn (as projecting); by implication, a flask, cornet; by resembl. an elephant's tooth (i.e. ivory), a corner (of the altar), a peak (of a mountain), a ray (of light); figuratively, power:--X hill, horn. see HEBREW for 07160
Now we get I think a better sense of what the prophet is saying. His brightness was like the sun and he had rays of light shining from his hand. But we must also remember that horns were symbolic of power.

As for the phrase 'hiding of his power' this phrase is probably in reference to his hands and the power in it - something that is very great but almost never used, hence the word hiding.

This is so telling and something that I think we forget. That God's real power is almost never shown. He has his heavenly host who are given responsibilities to implement his will, but his own power? He rarely displays it. If I may for a second say this - I think God's power resides outside of our narrow existential confines. He is neither bound by the matter that binds up the universe, nor time which orders it. The powers that God possess that exist outside of these confines he rarely needs to display. He can give an order to Micheal or Gabriel or one the thousands of Angles who serve him and they can do the bidding of God. But his real own power - it is there and this may be in some manner be what the prophet is referring to.

God's power is total and it is his protecting hand that shields his sheep. Consider...

My sheep hear my voice,
and I know them,
and they follow me:
 And I give unto them eternal life;
and they shall never perish,
 neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
 My Father, which gave them me,
is greater than all;
and no man is able to pluck them out
of my Father's hand.
 I and my Father are one.
(Joh 10:27-30)


This this great eternal power looks over God's elect and those who serve Jesus  Christ. No man can take them out of God's hand. It is not possible. We who are called, chosen and elect can rest assured that we are jealously guarded by the God who loves us all by a power that is beyond human comprehension. God here is shown in his great power and splendor.

Before him went the pestilence,
and burning coals went forth at his feet.
He stood, and measured the earth: he beheld,
and drove asunder the nations;
and the everlasting mountains were scattered,
the perpetual hills did bow:
 his ways are everlasting.
(Hab 3:5-6)


Here the prophet goes on to describe God's power and amazing wonders both in his personal attributes and his wondrous works. Verse six is rather interesting as the KJV uses says God measured the earth. But the word can also mean to shake (see H4128) which is how some other versions translate the word.

As we read this song/poem by the prophet let us keep in mind that these are more like words to a song and there is always some literary license to its truths. But the prophet seems to be showing us is that this theophany is like a great storm.


I saw the tents of Cushan in affliction:
and the curtains of the land of Midian did tremble.
Was the LORD displeased against the rivers?
was thine anger against the rivers?
 was thy wrath against the sea,
that thou didst ride upon thine horses
 and thy chariots of salvation?
(Hab 3:7-8)


During this storm he saw the referenced peoples in affliction. Who Cushan here is is not 100% clear. Barnes thinks it is a people in Mesopotamia and mentioned in Judges 3:8. Clarke thinks they are Arabians, who dwelt in tents. Other see a people who lived in Midian, which lines up with the succeeding stanza. It does not appear to refer to African Cush. Again this whole episode appears at least in part to hearken back to the time of the Exodus. God's anger at the rivers again hearkens back to the days of the Exodus and the question is rhetorical, no the waters did not anger him, he did what he did for the sake of his people.

The last stanza, regarding the horses is poetic license. But shows is a truth about God and his army.

And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD,
when I have gotten me honour upon Pharaoh,
upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen.
And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel,
removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud
went from before their face, and stood behind them:
 And it came between the camp of the Egyptians
and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them,
 but it gave light by night to these: so that the
one came not near the other all the night.
And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea;
and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a
strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land,
and the waters were divided.
(Exo 14:18-21)


Here is the passage from Exodus that shows the power of God against Pharaoh and the rivers.

Such is the power of our God to protect his people. He can and will protect his own, in his own way and in his own time. When persecution and trials come, however we must submit ourselves to God and whatever purpose he has in mind during it. He does not always explain what he is doing or why - that is where faith comes in.

Remember Job.

We will continue our look at this wonderful prophet's book soon, God willing!!

Brother Mark

17 Oct

Impeachment Watch

Well, I don't want to write on this today, but feel led to do so. This post may wind up in some form on the front page (MSW)

Where is this going? Will they vote articles of impeachment? I don't know. I cannot answer that. What I will do is make a few observations from my own non-partisan perspective. It's true, I am not a Democrat and I am not a Republican and am emotionally detached enough from both parties to give a perspective that those with significant emotional, political, financial and psychological investment in one or the other party are incapable of making. I hope my views are helpful.

First of all, impeachment is as much a legal process as a political one. We must not ever forget either aspect of it. If the House were full of Republicans, there probably would be no inquiry. But since it is filled with Democrats, there is one. Many on the left have been looking for dirt on Trump - impeachable dirt on the President for some time - really since he came into office and before. The real issue is less about pure partisanship I think as it is about the terrible disappointment that many Democrats and their wealthy donors felt when Mrs. Clinton did not win the election in 2016. Even before President Trump took office, operatives with loud voices and lots of money were working very hard to find a way to overturn the results of the election. Ultimately, this is how I see the current obsession with removing the President. It has far less to do about any crime the President may or may not have committed, but to undo the results of the last election and ensure that whomever the DNC puts up as their nominee has a fairly clear road into office in 2020. Trump should not be underestimated by those on the left. They did that once before and came away bitterly disappointed... with an emphasis on the word bitter...

But this lingering bitterness and these attempts to undo and overturn the election are doing the country tremendous harm. The actions of those on the left are in my view very damaging to the long term political stability of the country. Understand, I am not saying that the House does not have a right and duty to investigate wrongdoing by a sitting President. It has both. But I personally think this particular inquiry is, based upon the few facts that have leaked out into the media, including a transcript of the President's conversation with a foreign leader is not very sound in its basis for its initiation. While the prevailing narrative in the media is one of 'righteous indignation' of one whistle-blower at the behavior of the President, the actual conversation itself does not appear to veer even peripherally, into the criminal, at least not to my non-legal mind.

It can be and has been characterized by the Presidents enemies as a crude attempt by the President to enlist Ukrainian help to find dirt on the former Vice President's son, and by extension, the former Vice President himself. But such is only one, dark and probably politically motivated interpretation of things. A far more reasonable one goes more like this. The President has held up aid money from Ukraine. One of the biggest concerns that the US has with doling out aid to Ukraine has been the systemic corruption that has racked the nation both before and after the Revolution/coup and before and during the Trump administration. It is not a little issue. It is one of the biggest sticking points in relations between the two nations right now.

Should the President just hand out hundreds of millions of US dollars to a country like this? Should not some degree of due diligence be made about where some of the previous aid money has gone?  Should we hand over a few hundred million dollars to Ukraine only to find out it all went to some rich Oligarch to build a new wing in his mansion, or purchased planeload of heavy weapons to some of the heavy militarized fascist groups in Ukraine who openly praise Nazi-ism? Or have the money laundered so that plane loads of dope can be purchased? Or even laundered back into the US and its political system? Should the President not at least ask that these things be looked into? Should he be prevented from doing this just because an investigation may involve his political rivals?

Just because he is a Republican, does that prevent him from doing his job when it comes to looking into Democrats? Granted, politics probably did enter into the President's inquiry with the Ukrainian President, but when all of that money at issue, questions should be asked... even about Democrats who have lamented long and loud about the Presidents alleged corruption. What about them?

Now that he is doing his job regarding both foreign aid and possible political corruption what happens? He gets an impeachment inquiry. Why? Because of the perception that he is playing politics. Well, as shocking as it may sound, politics is what DC is all about. When Bill Clinton was impeached, I think the Congress was right in their inquiry. but frankly his behavior while most disappointing on many levels did not veer into textbook criminality. Yes, he was wrong, but no, he did not really break the law. Sex between two consenting adults is legal in America, even for the President.

So to me, the politics are real, but lets get to the law. Did the President break the law by asking Ukraine to look into Biden's son? I just don't see it. Yes, somewhere deep in federal regulations you may be able to contort something and try and make it apply. But I just don't see anything overtly criminal in what he did.

But the bigger issue I see in this whole affair is that it is just continues to cement America's path on the road to internal political destabilization, something many of America's enemies have worked long and hard to bring about. By Leftwingers listening to the rants on news networks and blogs with gossip, rumor, innuendo and fake news... lots of fake news, they become enraged at the real and purported misdeeds of the President and then call their Congressmen to 'demand' that they impeach the President.

Rightwingers are just as guilty as many knee jerk support every move the President makes. There is just too much hyper-partisanship. What does this hyper-partisanship do? It cripples the thinking processes of adults and turns them into unwitting propagandists, willing to speak and spread anything - truth or lie, that will bring about a desired political end. In this instance for the left, the impeachment and removal and the undoing of the 2016 election results.

Many are just not interested in the facts, they never accepted the election results of 2016 and never will. This is what makes the current environment so dangerous for us all, for when the people cease to respect elections, leaders cease to be chosen by them. That is when genuine political instability sets in.

Once before we had a very divisive election in America and the election of that President was one of the key reasons why America went into a literal Civil War. That President's name was Lincoln. They talked about his backwoods vulgarity and his crude ways, not unlike they do with this President. This was the opinion and mindset of many from the South. Mind you, I am not comparing the two as both being 'Great Presidents', but rather only to point out that crudeness does not necessarily make for a bad President and let's face it, President Trump can at times be rather crude.

What I don't want to do or become is some great defender of the President, politically speaking. He has done more than a few things that have really upset me. Such as his overturning of Net Neutrality and the way it was done. The way the CPFB has ceased to have the kind of relevance that the last President wanted it to have, having been born in a mortgage crisis that put many an American out of their homes via some very questionable legal moves taken by large corporations. That agency was set up to protect you and me. The last President did not get enough credit for the creation of that agency.

Then there are the things I have liked that he has dealt with, if not necessarily the way he went about it. The border is one issue I see that way. I think it is long overdue someone dealt with that long standing crisis. It is an organized crime crisis, a drug crisis, a humanitarian crisis and political crisis all rolled up into one. It is great that something is being done, not so great the way he has handled it, even if just the PR of the program. As stated before, I love immigrants, they are what this country is all about. If you are not a Native American you are an immigrant or the son of an immigrant. We cannot turn our backs on them. But we should not let those who commit crimes to get into the country and 'jump the fence' ahead those who use the legal system and go by the rules to obtain residency and citizenship. No one ever likes to talk about those who apply legally and go through the administrative and legal hurdles for citizenship. Too often, the political tears are only shed as they can be used to strike out at the President, as with illegal immigration.

My view is that we need to know who is coming in here and what their plans are. With the problems we have with gangs, drugs and stories of some of these gangs and their infiltration of local police departments, why should the President not be concerned about what is going on at the border? Unlike the others up there in DC, he has not been derelict in that most important duty. But yes, in a PR sense and the perception that has been created about moves along the border. One gets the impression that gas chambers and incinerators are being used on immigrants, if you listen to some. The saddest part is, some simple minded people actually believe such things or are willing to spread such rumors for a political end.

Finally the President has moved America in a very different foreign policy course. Peace talks instead of troop deployments has characterized his moves in this arena. Such policies makes any President, regardless of political party some very powerful enemies. Remember JFK.

What Goes Around...


It does indeed come around again at you. I speak here not so much about impeachment of a Democrat or Republican. No, there is a bigger picture here that needs to be seen. America for many years was really into destabilization, regime change and other covert means of changing governments or just bringing in chaos to those governments it did not like. There is a long, long history that can be found on the web (though that is getting harder to do). The words 'regime change' have often been used by American political leadership.

What the US has done to others is slowly happening to the US. The winds of political destabilization are blowing over our system and I see no way it will end, except in tragedy. Mature leaders and wise men are few and demagogues are plentiful in 21st century America. Men who can see past the partisanship and their immediate political future and see where any path that they may take could take the nation seem to have been eviscerated from our political system. Such men and women are not electable. People now want a leader who will 'go after' the other party, the Christians, the Gays, the Muslims, the Conservatives, the Liberals and use government as a tool for a manufactured enmity that cannot possibly lead to any kind of political utopia, but rather to the fires of political violence - these are more and more the leaders Americans seem to want into office. 

The political gun powder of political destabilization is already being poured into the keg, it only takes the adept lighting of the fuse at the proper moment, probably by political forces within our own government but who are under the influence of foreign powers to ignite it at the proper time. And the great American political experiment that most of us take very much for granted, will come to an end - a free people who can freely elect a government and live in peace one with another despite many religions, racial and cultural differences - E Pluribus Unum


All sides need to step back and re-evaluate the current political crisis. The election is just a year away. If the nation really wants a new President, it can have one. If it does not, they can re-elect Donald Trump. What I see more and more and what troubles me is that some just don't want to deal with another election with Donald Trump running, so they want to fix that situation to make sure he doesn't and can't.

Impeachment at this time over this issue to me is not a wise move. Not with the ill social winds blowing in the nation. We need leaders on both sides who can calm the restless, angry and misinformed natives, not inflame them.

Brother as the scriptures say, a house divided against itself cannot stand and unless more Americans come out of their political and ideological bunkers, neither will America.
16 Oct

Soiled, Defiled And Rejected


This piece is meant soley for genuine Christians who love the Lord Jesus Christ and have turned their faces fully and completely to the task of striving to enter into the strait gate, and not merely seeking to (see Luke 13:24).

Today, we are going to leave the news, chaos and madness of the present age behind and talk for a while about some spiritual matters.

As I write on news daily, it becomes apparent to me that our nation, this nation is not salvageable. Sure many think it can be saved and turned around. I don't want to argue with them or discourage them from any work that God (rather than they themselves) may have called them to. Rather I want to deal with a couple of issues specifically regarding our times.

The key problem that we believers will face in these times is one of spiritual defilement and having our garments soiled. Just before God lowers the boom on Mystery Babylon, he warns his people to come out of her. He says get out lest you share in her plagues.

 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying,
Come out of her, my people, that ye be not
partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
  For her sins have reached unto heaven,
and God hath remembered her iniquities.
(Rev 18:4-5 [KJVA])


There is a clear separation that God demands from his people in Babylon. Some believe it is a physical separation, others a spiritual one - my own view is that it is largely both, but the second is by far the more important. I say it is more important because a person who is steeped in sin and evil but leaves Babylon physically is still on his way into God's wrath. But a person who has kept themselves pure, even in the midst of great wickedness, if God does tell them to get up and move out, there will be no hesitation in so doing, in fact, such a person probably has already sought the Lord about it long before the command went forth. But like all things, timing is everything with God.

The issue of spiritual defilement is an important one. It is one that we must always keep in mind. What can defile us? What can make us unacceptable to God?

For whoremongers, for them that
defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers,
 for liars, for perjured persons,
and if there be any other thing
that is contrary to sound doctrine;
 (I Timothy 1:10 [KJVA])

If any man defile the temple of God,
him shall God destroy; for the temple
of God is holy, which temple ye are.
 (I Corinthians 3:17 [KJVA])

 And he said, That which cometh out of the man,
that defileth the man. For from within,
out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts,
 adulteries, fornications, murders, 
Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit,
 lasciviousness, an evil eye,
 blasphemy, pride, foolishness:

 All these evil things come from within,
 and defile the man.
(Mark 7:20-23 [KJVA])


We are to be unspotted by this world and its wickedness (see James 1:27).

I say these thing with a specific idea in mind. Far too many of us spend far too much time trying to save America or the world system for that matter, or trying to fight the social war going on out there. I know many of you with kids want people like me to be more vocal and try and get people roused up to fight many of the trends on our society. The things happening in our government or schools and with our children. I feel for those of you who want me to do that. But I do not feel led to help lead crusades to end this or put a stop to that in our society. My first love is for God, Jesus Christ and his kingdom, not this present system.

Some of you want me to support one candidate who will drop bombs on children so that they can stop teaching transgenderism in school, or want me to go ballistic against one party who has a good abortion stance so that that same party can start new wars and create a new wave of refugees, cripples and deaths.

Those of you who are willing to turn a blind eye to one abomination in order to stop another, you too are guilty of defiling your garments. Evil is evil and the devil is a master at getting people to support it. That is why this country is on a downward spiral today - the ethical, moral and spiritual trade-offs people make.

Christians are by no means any kind of exception. You see, while many are out there fighting the social battle (cultural war), they have forgotten the spiritual battle. They are fighting legal battles in the natural and forgetting the source of our power as Christians, that being God and the source of many of the issues that our world faces, the devil and his host of fallen angels. Going on and on about about the evils transpiring in society, that is not my job. Yes, at times, that is exactly what God wants me to do. But other times... most of the times, it simply is not.

I know many of you have kids and are concerned about things or are working jobs where you are treated like dirt because you are a Christian. I am not unsympathetic. I am however only somewhat concerned about it. Why is that? Why am I not enraged and outraged?

Because this is a sinful world and it is full of sinners and if you did not know, this let me break it down to you - sinners have a tendency to sin. That is what they do. Should I be shocked when a dog barks, a cock crows or a sinner sins? Brothers, these things are about as shocking to me as turning another page on the calendar at sunrise. It's expected.

Please understand, I am not complacent about sin and evil, not in the least, but when I fight these evils, I don't do as the world does and try and start a media/internet campaign of signatures and letter writing, I don't try and go on some billionaire owned TV station who will probably only contort what I say when all is said and done.

No, I go the Lord in prayer and when necessary, enjoin others to do the same when I think it meet. This is where our power comes from. It comes from the spiritual world and the spiritual battle going on behind the scenes of which we are only vaguely aware. This is where so many Christians miss the point. This is a spiritual battle that will only be won with spiritual weapons. The devil is real good at getting us to misdirect our energies into temporal battles. He does this for a reason. He is genuinely afraid (terrified may be a better word) of the effectual prayer of a righteous man (Jam 5:16). He knows that when old man Jones or grandma Smith gets on their knee's and starts praying, the Kingdom of hell starts to shake and shudder under the weight of their supplications.

But my concern is that in the desire many Christians have to save America using temporal tools, they become defiled. You who hate abortion and vote accordingly, do you support murder and vote accordingly at the same time? You who are deeply worried about trends in sodomy, do you support bribery and corruption by default? You see, we must be careful who or how we lend our support and time. We may honestly think we are doing good, but in reality we may be doing a lot of harm when we don't fight these battles the way God wants us to fight them.

Can a person so deceived by the devil to support say, the razing of Christian villages and the enslavement of Christian women get into the Kingdom? No, such a person has been deceived and is in serious danger of being defiled. We are to have nothing to do with the works of darkness. NOTHING. We cannot point a finger of accusation at those who support sexual licentiousness, when our own deeds point to support of a trail of innocent blood. God will hold both groups to full account.

Then there is the issue of America as a whole. What is God's opinion of her? Is he in love with America. I rather think not. I think he has honored her and blessed her because she was such a blessing to others and was so very useful in spreading the Gospel message around the world. But as we have more and more forgotten and even reviled the God of heaven, so God has also noted it.
I say these things not because I take any pleasure in seeing this nation fall or wish her harm, but to lay out to you where the trends we are already seeing in America will lead her.

In conclusion, let us all be sober and watchful. Know the times and understand the spiritual lay of the land. This is a battle and those who don't know that will be shocked when an enemy 'shell' winds up blowing up in their vicinity. and they are laying in a foxhole riddled with spiritual 'shrapnel'. 

Let us be good servants of the Lord, keep our eyes open, obey the voice of our God and do those things he commands us. Let the issue of spiritual defilement always be on our minds when we go out into the world. Let us be holy, pure, humble, merciful, full of love, but also watchful, careful and not so quick to open our mouths.

God is not going to let the defiled into his kingdom any more than we would let portions of a toxic waste dump into our living rooms. It messes up everything. That is what a defiled person does, he messes up everything. Such people are not going to heaven. If you want a scripture verse on that, here it is.

And there shall in no wise enter
into it any thing that defileth,
neither whatsoever worketh abomination,
or maketh a lie: but they
which are written in the Lamb's book of life.
 (Rev 21:27 [KJVA])


May God bless you who love our Lord Jesus Christ.



10 Oct

Nehemiah XLII

Also of the Levites: Shemaiah the son of Hashub,
the son of Azrikam, the son of Hashabiah, the son of Bunni;
And Shabbethai and Jozabad, of the chief of the Levites,
had the oversight of the outward business of the house of God.
And Mattaniah the son of Micha, the son of Zabdi, the son of Asaph,
was the principal to begin the thanksgiving in prayer: and Bakbukiah
the second among his brethren, and Abda the son of Shammua,
the son of Galal, the son of Jeduthun. All the Levites in the holy
city were two hundred fourscore and four. Moreover the porters,
 Akkub, Talmon, and their brethren that kept the gates,
were an hundred seventy and two.
(Neh 11:15-19)

This passage takes up with who actually dwelt in Jerusalem. As stated before, many came there by casting lots. They did not particularly want to come, but did as they were bid. Shemaiah's lineage can be traced back to Merari, one of the sons of Levi (1Chr 9:14). Also mentioned are the chief of the Levites as dwelling here.

I think it clear that Nehemiah was going to do his best to once again make Jerusalem and the Temple the center of Jewish life. That could not be done with the city basically uninhabited and broken down.

Jozebad, this name in the past was associated with the Porters (2Chr 31:13) Gill says this about Shabbethai and Jozebad

the oversight of the outward business of the house of God: who had the care of the repairs of the temple, and of getting in the wood for the altar, as Jarchi, and collecting the third part of the shekel, to purchase things with for the use of the temple. - Gill

This passages seem to indicate that those families who had duties before the Exile had similar ones after.  The following verses follow along this theme, with the sons of Asaph in charge of the thanksgiving prayer. Those of you who know your Psalms know that many of them were written by Asaph. So again, we see a pattern of blood-line genealogy related to specific temple duties. I don't want to make too much of it, but still it is rather interesting to note. Finally we have the watchers of the gate, the nightwatchmen if you will. These too are mentioned and given honor.

Keep in mind that these are not complete genealogies and constitute a kind of census that took place. I do not think they were 100% accurate, but were meant to give an account of how many were dwelling there and who they were and their prominence. I behooves us to keep some things in mind when dealing with the numbers of people who were there. 

The situation here was while not tumultuous, was clearly primitive when it came to basic necessities. Perhaps some who were told to go up, went and decided to go back when they saw the work ahead. Family members who may have arrived but departed soon thereafter. There are many reasons why this could be so, so too much stock should not be taken of them other than we get a real good idea as to how few people actually moved into the city at first and that some had to be induced to do so.

Second - keep this in mind about them. When there are two separate genealogies (again, Chronicles gives us another one taken around the same time) we must keep in mind that it is possible that they were taken at two different times by two different people and what is recorded for us are merely extracts of those public records.  They may have had different methodologies for counting. One may have been conducted in the winter, the other in the fall. Moreover, one group of census takers may have decided to count those who were of 'foreign' extraction and were peripherally attached to a household, where as the other census taker would not count such a person. Frankly, I think the discrepancy is a pretty strong testament to the honesty of both the text and the fact that no scribe later tried to do a 'creative reconciliation' to force the lists match. Even in the 21st century with the advent of computer technology, we don't have a 100% accurate census.


And the residue of Israel, of the priests, and the Levites,
were in all the cities of Judah, every one in his inheritance.
(Neh 11:20)

This passage is self explanatory. The rest of Israel lived in the rest of Israel.


But the Nethinims dwelt in Ophel:
and Ziha and Gispa were over the Nethinims.

(Neh 11:21)

As I talked about in the last update on Nehemiah, the Nethinim's were temple servants but were probably those of foreign (non-Israelite) extraction. They are given their own place to live and may not have much with the holy bloodline of the sons of Abraham. This may have been by clear design by Ezra and others who mentioned matters along these lines before. But still, they seem to have been given a place of honor near the temple and not out in the 'slums' as one could suppose.

The overseer also of the Levites
at Jerusalem was Uzzi the son of Bani,
the son of Hashabiah, the son of Mattaniah,
 the son of Micha.
Of the sons of Asaph,
the singers were over the business of the
house of God.
For it was the king's
commandment concerning them,

that a certain portion should be for the singers,
due for every day.
And Pethahiah
the son of Meshezabeel, of the children of Zerah

 the son of Judah, was at the king's
hand in all matters concerning the people.

(Neh 11:22-24)


Here we see that there was another overseer of the Levite's, this one was Uzzi. Why two groups of overseers? Because each probably had different sets of priests to oversee who had different responsibilities. One may have taken care of the menial tasks, another the singing and still others teaching and preaching. This group appears to be a bit different in that the King had a specific commanded regarding them.

So who was the king? Some say David (by ancient command), but this is not likely. King Xerxes certainly the one referred to here. Verse 24 confirms this and mentions two sons of Judah who were at the kings hand in these matters.  Pethahiah - this person's actual role is not clear, other than as stated here. He was clearly some kind of official in the kings service and probably was the real political power with regards to imperial (Persian) matters effecting Jerusalem. This presents an interesting problem. Up until now, it seemed clear that Nehemiah was the effective governor of the area. Now we have a new person who is at the Kings right hand. But this passage does not actually say he was governor, nor does it clearly state that he was even in Jerusalem. He probably resided in Susa with the King and was kind of an administrator and adjutant to the king regarding Jewish affairs. Perhaps Nehemiah reported to him directly. We do not know. What we do know that as a result of this person, the command regarding the temple priests was issued.

I find it interesting that the King used an Israelite and not a native Babylonian to do this job. Keep in mind that Xerxes also had a Jewish wife. Was her (Esther's) influence the reason for this? Perhaps, after all, she was Queen.

So the king wanted to make sure that the Jewish people had singers and that they were paid for their music and that those who kept the temple were paid for it. This is rather remarkable. A 'heathen' King wanting to make sure Jewish worship was conducted and that those who did it were not doing in for charity.

Clearly someone wanted Jewish life to remain Jewish and the Jewish God to remain at the center of their lives.

This may have been for two reasons. Smart Kings like to rule over happy subjects. When you start telling people who to worship, restricting their heritage and culture, you get a focus for resistance. Ruling over an huge empire, Xerxes knew this. Why make trouble when you don't need to? Happy subjects make loyal subjects. Let them worship their God.

8 Oct

Climate News

There has been a lot of news of late on the Climate. Mostly the prevailing narrative being carried by the mainline media that is being pushed by climate alarmists. We have all heard that side of the story, that if we don't take drastic action we're all going to burn up and die. But while that is the loudest and most well funded side of the debate, it isn't the only side and its not necessarily based on the best and 'neutral' science. By neutral I mean science that is based on science without undue political and financial influence on those conducing the studies. Here is one that I think may be of interest. It's linked in this update from Earth Changes news group.

But being a skeptic on the whole man-made Global Warming narrative being pushed does not make you 'evil' as some would suggest. It just means you have moved beyond panic stricken headlines into what has become a forbidden art and ability in our world today - cold, hard analysis better known as thinking. Not reciting what one read on the internet or from cable TV, but thinking for yourself based on information from multiple sources from a variety of perspectives.

Can you put aside your prejudices, what you think you already know and question those beliefs based on the evidence you may not have heard? Not many can do that. It takes a significant degree of humility and courage to do that. These are two traits that are sorely lacking in 21st century Homo Sapiens. Thinking might make you come to the right conclusions - a non politically correct solution. It's why thinking today is a lost art and people are so easily swayed by emotions, fake news, propaganda and foolishness.

You all may find this pdf of interest. I am a skeptic on man made climate change. I think there probably has been some effect on overall temperatures, but not enough... not near enough to justify the extreme panic so many are pushing into the media. Whatever changes we have seen lately are probably due to long standing cycles (such as solar) that scientists don't fully understand the cause of, or don't want generally known lest the panic narrative be exposed for a ruse.

Look, this whole climate agenda is having real effect on economics. The latest speech by the child celebrity climate activist came with a legal complaint that certain nations reduce their carbon emissions.

I think you may find this of great interest.


Sadly this climate panic looks like one giant PR stunt all based on shaky science, but could be a real economic boon to nations who don't have to get saddled with carbon penalties and what may soon follow if they don't comply - sanctions. Now of course you have these 'Climate Strikes' happening. This looks very much to me like a coordinated campaign (climate protests, climate strikes) and there are not many people or entities who have the money, power and influence to coordinate such things including a speech at the UN as we saw recently'.

There is money and power behind this agenda. They seem though to be in almost a panic. Like they don't have a lot of time to push their agenda so they are going full throttle. Why the panic? Why the push? I don't know but more and more scientists seem to have found their 'manhood' and are speaking out and countervailing this well coordinated and financed global propaganda campaign. We just don't know - really know - about long term Climate Change to jump to the conclusions that many are paying a lot of money to make sure we come to. But there are strikes, protests and much more going on right now globally. So this is not some isolated event. They shut down DC.

Well, I wanted to spend just a bit of time on this subject today, since panic has stricken the hearts and minds of so many well meaning people who really do care about the world we live in. I fully confess, I am one of those. I do care very much about the environment and the earth we all must live on. I am not a Climate Change denier. Climate change happens, always has and always will. My point is fundamentally different one. What is causing it... really? How about the Sun? Geothermal activity? I don't know. I am not a scientist, but I do know a propaganda campaign when I see one and that is what I see as being waged today.

In closing, I think any genuine Christian will be deeply concerned for the earth an all the creatures on it. God created these things and he cares about his creation. Did you now that those who destroy the earth will fall under heavy judgement in the last days and that destroying the earth is one major reason that God's wrath falls on mankind?


And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come,
and the time of the dead, that they should be judged,
and that thou shouldest give reward
unto thy servants the prophets,
and to the saints, and them that fear thy name,
small and great; and shouldest destroy
them which destroy the earth.
 (Rev of John 11:18 [KJVA])


We are to be good stewards of the earth, not its assassins. But we should not allow ourselves to be deceived by others into fixing problems that don't really exist so that real ones continue to grow right under our noses.

To conclude, my view is the Climate Hysteria is being used to to assist in the process of globalization. The Trump administration has put the brakes on Economic Globalization and as President, the forces of Globalization have great difficulty in forcing him to stop. But here is an issue that the President has less power and influence. Note that this has gained considerable traction at the UN and globally with the Thunberg's speech? The UN, the world's nascent, wannabe global governance authority? Who did Thunberg file her legal complaint with? The UN. Who is she charging? - nation states. Yes, my view is that this is about Globalization and who controls nations. The people who elect governments or the United Nations? Who drives their policy? A 16 year old kid or the electorate? I say these things not to question the sincerity of the beliefs of Young Ms. Thunberg, but to question how her and millions of others had those beliefs shaped in the first place.

I think these questions are ones that we should always keep in mind as this propaganda campaign rolls on and we are all spoon fed news reports telling us that the world will catch fire if we don't hand more power over to global institutions.

3 Oct

Encouragement


I write this for every true believer in Jesus Christ, who has come to know him in a real and personal way and who genuinely seeks to please God and to do his will. It is meant for no one else but such as those who know him and honor the Lord and savior Christ Jesus.

***


 There shall not any man be able to stand
before thee all the days of thy life:
as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee:
I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee
Be strong and of a good courage:
for unto this people shalt thou divide
for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto
their fathers to give them.  Only be thou strong
and very courageous, that thou mayest observe
to do according to all the law, which Moses
my servant commanded thee: turn not from
it to the right hand or to the left,
that thou mayest prosper
whithersoever thou goest.
(Joshua 1:5-7 [KJVA])


As we watch many of the things going on in the world, we must not become depressed. I know many of you are concerned about the drama in DC and the impeachment moves, the President, the ultra-liberals, the whole direction the nation is heading. It is times like these that we need... really need to step back and keep one thing firmly in mind. What is that you may ask? for the true Christian, this world is not our home. There is a class of people that the scriptures tell us that the world is not worthy. In the great panorama of faith we find in Hebrews Chapter 11 we find this passage...

 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings,
yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: 
They were stoned, they were sawn asunder,
were tempted, were slain with the sword:
they wandered about in sheepskins
and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; 
(Of whom the world was not worthy:)
they wandered in deserts, and in mountains,
and in dens and caves of the earth.
And these all, having obtained a good
report through faith, received not the promise: 
God having provided some better thing for us,
 that they without us should not be made perfect.
(Hebrews 11:36-40 [KJVA])

Brothers, I often look at the things going on in this world and am thankful that my God has called me out of it. We must diligently seek our place in Christ's kingdom and hold that place with our dear lives, literally. For the devil will do all in his power to distract us and keep us from a marvelous inheritance in Christ, even to the point of killing us, as he already is in so many places in the world today.
While I do spend much time on the news events of the day, I never lose sight of whose property I am. I belong to and am a bondservant of God and his son Jesus Christ. I have been purchased with a price (1Cor 6:20). The price was paid to take me out of this wicked system and into the kingdom of God. This is one reason why I cannot get all worked up about about what is going on in DC or in many parts of the world. Yes, I do care about those who are suffering and being badly mistreated, but the political drama - I am concerned, but at the same time, I am not. I often look at what is going on in DC like I see two wolves fighting over a piece of meat. Growling and tearing at each other like wild beasts. Does it really matter which beast gets the meat (worldly political power)? In the overall scheme of things - spiritually speaking, it doesn't, at least not much.
No, rather I look to press on in Christ, keep my self standing on the firm foundation of Jesus and to not be like Lot's wife and start looking back.
So as I write on things like the trouble in the Bond markets, Repo operations, inverted yield curves, impeachment inquiries, deep state machinations and other things (these things are written on daily for insiders), keep in mind that these things are important insofar as we must understand the times and the lay of the land. We must not be ignorant of the times brothers nor of the things going on in our world. Christ told us to watch and that is exactly what he meant. So I will do so, but never lose sight of the author and finisher of our faith, even Jesus Christ and his Kingdom.
So let NONE OF US BE DEPRESSED but rather give thanks for the things we have, be encouraged and press on in Christ Jesus!!!

Yes, Press on! Remember what the Lord told Joshua, be strong and of good courage!! Despite all the trouble that we have to face, God will be with us all if we have faith in him and obey him. Joshua, after receiving the above promise had to fight many a battle, some of them long and very hard fought. He did not promise him a life of ease and comfort, only that God would be with him as he did as God commanded.

Yet, we should find rest for our souls in Christ, even in the midst of trials and tribulations.

These things I have spoken unto you,
that in me ye might have peace.
In the world ye shall have tribulation:
but be of good cheer;
I have overcome the world.
 (John 16:33 [KJVA])

Did Christ not say that we are going to have tribulation? Yes, but even in the midst of it, we should be of good cheer!

So brothers, this AM rather than do news I wanted to give each and everyone of you a strong word of encouragement. No matter what you are doing, what jobs you have, what issues you are dealing with on the job, at home or elsewhere, God knows and he is with you. Take your cares to him in prayer.

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God,
that he may exalt you in due time:
Casting all your care upon him;
for he careth for you.
(I Peter 5:6-7 [KJVA])


Blessings to you all in Christ Jesus.


1 Oct

A Reader...

...sent me an email this AM and asked me this. I thought I would pass this along to all of you It was about Revelation 3:15ff and the subject of Laodicea's lukewarmness.

Response

Blessings,

Great to hear from you!!

I think the idea that is being conveyed was that they were kind of in the middle. They weren't cold and indifferent to spiritual things, but they weren't on fire either. The Church at Laodicea was 'lukewarm'. They weren't necessarily evil, but they weren't on fire for God either. They probably had little 'fire' or zeal for the things of God. Yes, they were part of the Church and part of the body, but kind of had a kind of careless attitude about their faith and life in Christ.

Lukewarmness is just that to me, it is borderline spiritual indifference while claiming to be Christ's. If we note that God was looking for a return of love and affection on other Churches (see Rev 2:4). I think if we look at the passage along those lines, it becomes clearer. The problem with Laodicea was that she was rich and had need of nothing. It made her somewhat cold and indifferent spiritually speaking. When folks get rich, the cares of this life tend to choke out the word (Luke 8:14).

This was the danger that the Church from Laodicea was in. They were rich and had need of nothing.

I think the key here is that being 'in the middle' and spiritually 'on the fence' in Christ is a very dangerous place to be. I note that the Christ threatens to spew them out of his mouth. They are going to make him vomit. But I think the connotation is much more serious because you know what? If they are being thrown up out of Christ, they are no longer part of the Body of Christ. We are part of that body and Christ was about to reject them as being something wholly unpalatable and unworthy.

Yet he still loves them and is about to rebuke them (Rev 3:19). This love that he has shown us, God wants returned and this is done is by obeying is commandments (John 14:21).

So in answer to your question, I think both answers you gave are correct in so far as we need to not be indifferent to others or what is going on around us and measure all things according to the Gospel and the Holy Spirit that dwells within all of us who are of Christ.

But ultimately this is about their (and our) attitude to the Gospel and the things of God. Are we on on fire, cold or lukewarm? Lukewarmness not being that 'safe place in the middle' but a very dangerous place spiritually speaking. They were as a Church, in danger of being cast off by the Lord.


I think this passage is so pertinent today to the spirit of so many Churches in the West. The real things of God, they ignore or are indifferent to. They have created their own 'gospel' that sounds good and is full of a kind of theology, but it cannot save souls.

There is lots of money, the parishioners are wealthy (by the world's standards), and lots of activity, but their spirituality is highly questionable. Are these so called believers of the variety that says 'Lord' but have not really made him so and will one day be cast out by him?

Not every one that saith unto me,
Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven;
but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
 Many will say to me in that day, Lord,
Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name?
and in thy name have cast out devils?
and in thy name done many wonderful works?
And then will I profess unto them,
I never knew you: depart from me,
ye that work iniquity.
(Matthew 7:21-23 [KJVA])


There are a lot of folks out there making a lot of noise about being saved, but are they... in the eyes of Christ?

I think one major issue is that the 'salvation' gospel being preached is not one that fully presents the potential believer with what is excepted of them when they are saved. The forsaking all and doing as God commands is not clearly outlined for them. They don't understand that it means what it says. Second, I think the whole idea of easy faith - that 'mental belief' leads to salvation, is not sound. The whole idea of faith - saving faith is not laid out. Yes, we are saved by faith and faith alone! But faith requires actions based upon it. In Hebrews Chapter 11, the Apostle tells us what faith is - it is much more than just mental belief. It's not works that save us, but works and action are evidence of saving faith. How did James put it?


Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well:
the devils also believe, and tremble.
(James 2:19)

But wilt thou know, O vain man,
that faith without works is dead?
 (James 2:20 [KJVA])

For as the body without the spirit is dead,
so faith without works is dead also.
 (James 2:26 [KJVA])


Did not our Lord tell us that we are judged by our works, and not our faith (Rev 20:12). Indeed in the very same passage that is cited about Laodicea, what did our Lord say, 'I know thy works... (Rev 13:15a)

James lays out what faith is as well and what God expects of his people. This is one major problem I see in today's 'easy believe-ism' gospel. Faith is taught as a mental phenomenon and not one that translates into concrete action (works).


I think this is one, but only one reason why the Church is often lukewarm. I think the key is that we have to let go of the protections we come to expect in this world, the good jobs, careers, social position and future material rewards and lean on, trust and depend on God. This is done through obedience, not fully understanding the why's and wherefores of God's commandments, but putting our trust fully in God. This was very hard for the Laodiceans because they were rich and had need of nothing. Abraham had to leave the familiar and the safe, and trust fully in God. This is not so easy. In fact, this kind of faith is rare and rather difficult. Abraham, the father of faith and friend of God, he had to get up, leave his homeland and travel to a place that God would show him. He had no idea where he was going. That was faith! Could you do that? I mean really? Brothers that is a hard thing to do.

But a person who has forsaken all to follow God and do his will... he isn't going to go back and is not upset when the bridges back to the old life get burned. He hopes they never get rebuilt again. He is going forward, onwards and will not be like Lot's wife and start looking back.

Love and faith - saving faith. These are two important things God is looking for in us. If we have both, we need never worry about becoming lukewarm
I hope this helps!

Brother Mark



27 Sept

Nehemiah XLI

 And at Jerusalem dwelt certain of the children of Judah,
 and of the children of Benjamin.
Of the children of Judah;
Athaiah the son of Uzziah, the son of Zechariah,
the son of Amariah,
the son of Shephatiah, the son of Mahalaleel,
of the children
of Perez; And Maaseiah the son of Baruch,
the son of Col–hozeh, the son of Hazaiah,

the son of Adaiah, the son of Joiarib,
the son of Zechariah, the son of Shiloni.

All the sons of Perez that dwelt
at Jerusalem were four hundred
 threescore and eight valiant men.
(Nehemiah 11:4-6 [KJV])

Here, Nehemiah continues on and gives us a genealogy of those who lived within the confines of Jerusalem. We find many notable names, One is Athaiah, who can trace his lineage all the way but to Uzziah, who was one of the good kings but got proud in his old age and started to sin. He then tried to usurp the role of the Priests and burned incense. See 2Chron Chapter 26.

The problem that Nehemiah faced must be understood here. There just were not that many people in the city and not many who seemed to want pull up stakes and move there and do the work of rebuilding the city. The passages above deal with the house of Judah. The sons of Perez were also of the house of Judah (1Chr 2:3). We also note the decedents of Baruch, one of the names in the Bible that perhaps people don't give enough 'respect' to. He was a man who was clearly of some note in his times, probably of noble blood who probably had a high position in Israel at the time, but nevertheless threw in his lot with the Prophet of the Lord, Jeremiah whom no one really liked. He forsook temporal position and threw his lot in with God, who rewards his servants with eternal rewards.


And these are the sons of Benjamin; Sallu the son of Meshullam,
the son of Joed, the son of Pedaiah, the son of Kolaiah, the son of Maaseiah,
the son of Ithiel, the son of Jesaiah. And after him Gabbai, Sallai,
nine hundred twenty and eight. And Joel the son of Zichri was their overseer:
and Judah the son of Senuah was second over the city.
(Neh 11:7-9)


Then we have the other house that was left to David when the Kingdom broke up, Benjamin. This was the only tribe that remained loyal to the House of David. The other ten tribes as you know made up the northern Kingdom. Of the house of Benjamin we find that they were both overseer and second overseer of the city, that would be like 'Mayor and Vice-Mayor' today. Why Benjamin and not Judah have these positions is not clear to me. But it may have just been prudent politics. If they had put someone from Judah in there, the accusations that they were setting up a new monarchy and thus threatening the Emperor would have been given dangerous weight. But that is just my own personal 'aside' on this. Nehemiah was far too prudent a politician to give his enemies that kind of political ammunition.

 Of the priests: Jedaiah the son of Joiarib,
Jachin.
Seraiah the son of Hilkiah,
the son of Meshullam, the son of Zadok,

the son of Meraioth, the son of Ahitub,
was the ruler of the house of God.

 And their brethren that did the work of the
house were eight hundred twenty and two:
and Adaiah the son of Jeroham, the son of Pelaliah,
 the son of Amzi,
the son of Zechariah,
the son of Pashur, the son of Malchiah,

And his brethren, chief of the fathers,
two hundred forty and two:

and Amashai the son of Azareel, the son of Ahasai,
the son of Meshillemoth,

 the son of Immer, And their brethren,
mighty men of valour, an hundred
twenty and eight:
and their overseer
was Zabdiel, the son of
one of the great men.

(Nehemiah 11:10-14 [KJV])

Now comes the Priestly tribe, of whom three well known houses are mentioned. It is noteworthy that the title given to Seraiah is 'the ruler of the House of God'. This title implies that he may have been acting as High Priest at the time. This is the view of the Geneva Bible, but other commentators only mention the possibility that this was so rather than the fact.  Two other titles of note here 'Mighty men of Valor' and 'Great men' are used. These are terms usually associated with warriors, soldiers, particularly Might Men of Valor.

So these priests were probably also warriors or so the passage implies. Given the situation at the time, men who bore arms and knew how to fight may have been necessary.

Let me add one thing about Biblical genealogies. They are often not complete. Why? This is often debated by many scholars. Some may have been added to or amended later, others may have been altered during copying (which was an arduous process before the printing press and digital media). Often names are transliterated differently from book to book in different time periods by different people who knew the names of the families with different transliterations and pronunciations than were at the time of occurrences.

I don't like to spend too much time on them, other than to understand the basics of the what is going on and remember those whom the Lord honored to such a degree that their names are recorded in Scripture.

But avoid foolish questions,
and genealogies, and contentions,

and strivings about the law;
for they are unprofitable and vain.

(Titus 3:9 [KJV])


 
24 Sept

Donald Trump: Peacemaker?

One of the things that has really struck me about the President is that while he does appear very much to want to arm America better and spend a lot of money on our Defense Establishment, he has been very reticent to use armed force to attempt to solve the geopolitical problems that confront him and the country. This is quite a departure from the norm of American Presidents of either party. In the past Presidents were very quick to fire off missiles, launch an airstrike or use secret raids and covert ops to attempt to correct behavior that the US policy establishment felt needed to be corrected. While today, sanctions seem more and more the weapon of choice for 'solving' these problems, unilateral military force seems less and less an option that this President is going to employ to 'change behavior'.

Even in the early days of his Presidency when an all too convenient reason materialized to hit Syria with force, the President was reticent to do so. He was being egged on by all the usual suspects of the foreign policy establishment to retaliate against Syria for a Chemical attack of a highly questionable nature. He finally launched the attack with 59 cruise missiles, many of which went astray. I long suspected that this whole incident was a 'set up' to get the President to take stronger measures to remove the Assad regime, something that many NeoConservatives on both sides of the political aisle have long wanted but were not able to do. Donald Trump, who ran on a platform of wanting to reel in Americas foreign wars was caught in an all too convenient trap. Not strike and look weak or strike and appear to have broken his promises.

He chose to strike, but without getting into details, some of the elements who pushed for this and other 'cowboy' foreign polices of America have ceased to be players in DC. This has given the President the opportunity to pursue a somewhat different line of foreign policy that is not so quick to 'bomb first and ask questions never', but realizes that there are significant problems and drawbacks that accompany the use of unilateral military. Additionally, such actions may turn out to be counter productive on many levels.

First of all, it is counter productive because increasingly, American military hardware, once the very best, isn't any longer. It's good, mind you, but it is ageing and often not as effective as it could be against opponents systems. The Tomahawk strike in Syria being a perfect example. The inability of US made Air Defense systems to effectively protect against the recent drone/missile strike in Saudi Arabia being another. The use of force like this can expose major weaknesses in the hardware that America possesses and embolden others who see the growing ineffectiveness of these weapons.

Despite the enormous amounts of money being spent on the next generation of weapons, they too are likely to be just as ineffective. The reasons are many, but two big ones are that military contractors are running the procurement process. Their aim it seems to this author, is less about effectiveness in war than it is about profit. The second and it is related is the revolving door between senior Generals and military contractors. These high ranking officers can often get top jobs at these contractors after their years of service and by steering contracts to future employers as they are on the down side of their military careers.

The consequences of not fixing a system that is this broken is that in 15 years we have weapons systems that do not meet the real needs the nation faces, but can face threats that only exist in the minds of contractors who have difficulty seeing past the profits in the next cost overrun. Now I say this not to blast or denigrate many of our military leaders, many of whom who see these and other problems and do what they can to fix these problems or at least mitigate the damage these things can do. This is not a slam at the military or many of its leaders, but at a system that is broken and has lots of money that can be spread around DC to make sure it stays broken.

Reform at the Pentagon? That is not going to be possible. Those who have tried don't last long over there. Accounting? Real responsible accounting? It's not something that the Pentagon has been able to do. We don't know where a great deal of the money sent over there goes. It has been a longstanding problem and one that no one seems willing to tackle with real 'gusto'. The good news is that last year there was an Audit of the DOD. The first ever. It failed.

What the audit did not uncover or find (at least in publicly available versions) is widespread fraud. But since many of the DOD's programs are highly classified and auditors may or may not have been cleared, briefed or may even have been given false and/or misleading information by those who operate in exceptionally highly classified portions of the National Security State, what this audit actually told us or Congress may not nearly be as clear or as definitive as we or even Congress has been led to believe. I say this by way of a relevant digression. America's use of unilateral force will be constrained in the future if America continues to keep a broken procurement system in place to build and create the weapons of the future. Contractors are interested in money and when you have those in the DOD who are supposed to be determining what the nation needs and who gets to build it working for the very contractors who are making billions off the taxpayer, a major conflict of interests results and the result of that is things like a Trillion dollar flying Turkey that can't fly as advertised nor shoot straight. This in my view is a direct result of a tragicomically broken defense procurement system.

In one respect this is all very bad news for US military power. But the bright side of it is that now and probably for the foreseeable future the US will be forced to rely on other tools to implement its foreign policy. Donald Trump's moves throughout the world may be an acknowledgement of these trends.

The President has started and maintained serious negotiations with the regime in North Korea. He has pushed ahead at least until recently, negotiations with the Taliban, even inviting some of its leaders to a then secret meeting at Camp David. He has tried to meet with Putin, though the pushback from the Neoconservatives/Russophobes on both sides of the aisle have not allowed for substantive talks. He has offered to negotiate with the arch enemy/bogeyman of all Neoconservativism, Iran.

My read on this President is that it is not just the reasons cited above that have given rise to his reticence to use unilateral military force, but perhaps a genuine dislike for the unnecessary loss of life. Many of the President's political enemies particularly on the political left, have long supported Presidents who blew up things with reckless abandon, killing thousands and making millions, literally millions into homeless refugees. They cite how 'evil' President Trump is for protecting America's borders and the 'horrors' of having people detained for illegal entry into the country, but refuse to be equally outraged at the actions of the last President and yes, this one in Yemen.

Syria? That was on Obama's watch, when our own military-intelligence complex was dropping arms to terrorists. It was the Obama administration, with Joe Biden sitting in the National Security Council (by law the VP sits on it) that was involved in the insanity that gripped Ukraine when the democratically elected government was toppled and replaced by a Pro-US government with very troubling ties to far right fascists. Then there are the reported economic ties to the VP. That all happened during the Obama administration.

To me the question is not so much who tried to get who to investigate whom as the prevailing narrative is being spread in the media, but how did the whole Ukrainian policy got started in the first place, why and who stood to make a mint if it came off right? That is the question no one is bothering to answer.  Even today, the civil war continues. While Trump may be getting the 'evil President' moniker, my perspective is that, it is often being placed on him by those whose hands are stained in innocent blood and are itching to get their hands on the armaments of state to stain them some more. Understand, I am not trying to ascribe guilt to anyone in the recent political flare up, but only to put it in perspective and ask some better questions.

No, the President is correct to make every reasonable attempt at settling differences peacefully but when the only thing others understand is action, then as he is doing now with China, sanctions, tariffs and trade strangulation is a far better course than bombings, missile strikes and special op raids.

I can only express pleasant surprise that the President has risen above the usual lust for violence that has typified the usual 'swamp' foreign policy that has long characterized America's foray's into the world. President Trump is far from perfect, but one thing I suspect is that this President has an honest revulsion for war and the innocent blood that always gets shed when some America 'Hawk' politician wants to make a point to show how 'powerful' they can be. When those devils begin to croak, some poor innocents die in some forgotten part of the world and America is none the stronger after the bodies are buried.

But I think God is slowly beginning to clip America's wings. That she, who ruled the nations from the air and could bomb at will anyone, at anytime without anyone being able to stop her... those days are passing. America has to face very serious internal problems that she refuses to face as long as the foreign policy bunglers continue to call for wars, strikes, raids and other military actions that the nation can ill afford, either fiscally nor in the realm of diplomacy and international stature.

The nation has to begin to do something different. It needs to do some soul searching. It needs to decide what kind of America will we be in just a few short years when the cash register runs dry for things like Social Security, Medicare, while she continues to sink money into more trillion dollar flying Turkey's and hundred billion dollar 'stealth ships' that are also plagued with issues.

What are the fundamental issues facing the country? I think the President is facing one of them and that is America must end its obsession with war and unilateral strikes. It is getting the country nowhere fast but deeper into debt.

Second America needs to get real and stop telling itself fanciful lies that somehow Americans debts can pay for themselves. These fairy tales are fit children and the mentally deficient but they are not reality. Reality is that America has to get real about the deep and growing fiscal issues it faces. This is not so much directed at politicians but at the voters, many of whom seem to actually believe these fiscal fairy tales. The tragedy is that they vote accordingly.

The way I see it, we as a nation are putting ourselves in a position where peace and diplomacy will be the only option on the table because the nation will be too broke to fight a sustained conflict with the lackluster array of weapons systems she is currently constructing.

God? I think he has long seen what harm this nation has done to so very many people and rather than lower the boom on America, he may be getting ready to clip her wings and perhaps the nation will begin a rigid self-examination of its actions and begin to change directions and depart from the use of violence to retaliate against others for actions that often have their beginnings in polices that were hatched out of the US. Or where situations have been created by the Americans (in secret) to force a President to take firm action against a State that he would not have taken if a 'set up' had not occurred by elements inside and outside of the US government.

Two things we can all be assured of no matter how many MSM talking heads, politicians and liars for dollars tell us. Those two things are this.
1. Time Passes
2. Bills eventually come due.
This is as much true in the fiscal sense as it is in the Spiritual sense.

But these two principles remain in force.


Let us all pause and consider this.

Be not deceived; God is not mocked:
for whatsoever a man soweth,
that shall he also reap.
 (Gal 6:7 [KJVA])
If we as a nation wish to reap peace, we need to be sowing it.





www.markswatson.com



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