Category Archives: Politics

The Enthroned One is Laughing

blueberriesWhy do the nations conspire
and the peoples plot in vain? (1)
The kings of the earth take their stand
and the rulers gather together against the LORD
and against his Anointed One. (2)
“Let us break their chains,” they say,
“and throw off their fetters.” (3)

The One enthroned in heaven laughs;
the Lord scoffs at them. (4)
Then he rebukes them in his anger
and terrifies them in his wrath, saying, (5)
“I have installed my King
on Zion, my holy hill.” (6)

I will proclaim the decree of the LORD:
He said to me, “You are my Son;
today I have become your Father. (7)

Ask of me,
and I will make the nations your inheritance,
the ends of the earth your possession. (8)

You will rule them with an iron scepter;
you will dash them to pieces like pottery.” (9)

Therefore, you kings, be wise;
be warned, you rulers of the earth. (10)

Serve the LORD with fear
and rejoice with trembling. (11)

Kiss the Son, lest he be angry
and you be destroyed in your way,
for his wrath can flare up in a moment.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him. (12)
Psalm 2 NIV (1984)

If we take our cue from the Lord, we will remain in peace today, and every day. We might even be able to enjoy him and this amazing world with which he has blessed us.

The mustard seed is still growing (see Matthew 13:31-32).

Shalom.

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President Obama’s Trip to Iran

turkeyNo, our president has not yet announced that he plans a trip to Iran. However, rumors of a planned visit to Tehran have been swirling for a year or more, and those rumors take on even more plausibility as Washington and Iran edge closer to a historic nuclear treaty.

Until Tuesday morning I had given zero thought about a presidential trip to Iran. That changed because of a detailed dream I had on Tuesday morning about just such a trip and its awful result. I dream often, and I can tell when a dream is personal, or when it describes events that are beyond my personal spheres of experience. This was a dream that stretched far beyond my personal experience to touch on world affairs.

Without getting into all the details of the dream, Iran is not a safe place for our president. I do not believe that we can trust the leaders of Iran, especially in view of their overt antipathy to the United States. Iran is a dangerous place to put the president of the Great Satan, the term Iran’s leaders use to describe the United States of America. When you have indoctrinated an entire population for almost a generation in the belief that a country is the Great Satan, it is certainly not circumspect for the man who is the face of that country to attempt a cozy visit.

That was clearly the message of the dream. In it, our president visited Iran, but things took a disastrous turn during the visit. As a result, the United States was forced to take critical action, including unleashing an intense military response. During the course of this dream, I was first an observer of the president’s trip, then a participant in the planning session about how to respond to Iran’s actions, and finally an Iranian citizen watching as the United State’s response unfolded in Iran. The fact that I played so many different roles, and saw so many details, made this dream even more disturbing. It had the marks of a visionary experience rather than a dream.

Do I believe that our president is planning a visit to Iran? I would not be surprised to discover that he is, especially since he has been working toward what many perceive as a significant nuclear agreement with Iran. Do I believe that such a trip would expose him and the people of both countries to grave dangers? That certainly is what the dream was about. But if the dream truly represents a future reality, why would Iran risk doing something that would provoke a destructive military response?

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in his speech to the United Nations on September 29, 2014, has helped us with the answer to this question. In his speech, available at the C-SPAN website, he shares insights about the type of militant Islam that Iran represents. Iran is seeking to restore a worldwide Islamic Caliphate that it would lead. At its root, this militant strain of Islam is anti-American and anti-Israel. This fact alone is sufficient answer to the question.

However, there is even more cause for concern. Many militant Islamists look to the return of the Mahdi, a messianic warrior, who will lead Islam to victory around the world. Many from militant Islam believe this messianic figure will be revealed, as Prime Minister Netanyahu stated at the UN, when the militants trigger the Mahdi’s apocalyptic return through their violent actions. Many strains of Islam, some present among the highest ranks of Iranian leadership, look for the return of Mahdi during a time of apocalyptic war, and perhaps even nuclear exchange.

The beliefs espoused by militant Islam, and held by many in Iran, certainly are cause for concern. They provide a theological basis for something that would be entirely incomprehensible to the western mind. It would simply never enter our minds that someone might see a state visit as the perfect opportunity to release the apocalyptic events that are said to precede the Mahdi’s return. People who are rooted in western Christian culture, and even the now prevalent western humanistic culture, simply do not think in those terms. But Iran is not western.

If this dream was from the Lord, he gave it so that his people would reverse the real Satan’s plans in this arena. We have been given the keys of authority by Jesus (see Matthew 16:18-19 and Matthew 18:18-19). While Satan would love to stir up hatred and death, Christians can release peace and life. Where Satan would love to release irrational action and confusion, we can pray for wisdom and clarity.

President Obama has slightly over a year and a half left of his term. I do not know if a trip to Iran is in his plans. However, at this point, if such a trip is announced, I know how I will pray. I will pray that every one of Satan’s plans against him, our country, and Iran’s people will fall to the ground without being accomplished. I will pray that those who have a fevered vision for chaos are absolutely disappointed by what does transpire. I will pray for peace.
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The Curve

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November 27, 2012

On September 30th of this year, the Lord told us that we were about to enter a sharp curve on the road ahead of us. He warned us that that the curve was so sharp that it would feel like a change of direction. However, he also indicated that we would still be on the same road to the same destination. When we pursued him on this rather startling bit of revelation, he added that the curve would help us avoid some time-wasting obstacles that otherwise would have appeared on the road ahead.

When he first gave us this word, I took it as a personal word. However, as time has gone by, I have realized that it is an important word for the Body of Christ in the United States. We are on a curve. We wanted the road to go in a different direction. For our own good, and so that we do not lose precious time in the days in which we live, the road curved away from our desired route. We are still headed to the same place. It is certainly a more scenic route, but we will not miss our destination.

On November 10th, the Lord spoke about this curve again. He showed us two more specific things about the curve. The first, is that it isn’t just a curve, it also goes uphill. The second is that it is a shortcut. Then, on November 12th, he told us we were already on the curve.

Because we had just come through the presidential election in the United States, I began to understand what the Lord was saying. By November 10th, the Body of Christ in the United States was reeling from the elections. We knew the direction that we needed to go in order to bring back moral sanity to our nation, but our nation did not go there. The path to our destination, a destination that includes renewal and revival, suddenly seemed very steep. It suddenly looked like we were on the wrong road. The elections certainly threw us a curve. But here is the key point: It is really a shortcut to our destination.

That shortcut part didn’t make much sense to me, but when we pursued the Lord asking how it could be a shortcut, he simply reminded us that our thoughts are not his thoughts; his physics are not our physics. He then spoke to us about a scene from The Great Mouse Detective. The Great Mouse Detective is an animated Disney movie from the eighties. At a certain point, the movie’s evil genius sets up a false leader over the people to control them. However, even as the evil genius attempts to do so, the hero of the movie exposes the charade, and the evil plan fails in a spectacular way. As a result, the entire populace is awakened to the danger, and begins to respond to the threat.

Those of us who have been praying for revival in America can easily recognize the themes. Even though I do not understand our Hero’s methods, I know I can trust him implicitly when he tells me we are still on the right road. I can trust him to expose Satan’s plans against America, and watch every false leader be exposed and/or revived. God’s righteous plan is still on track.

I already feel some of those who are reading this article protesting: “You are looking for a silver lining in this debacle. The prophets were wrong. The United States is under judgment. We are no longer on the right road.” All I can say to you is, “I understand your turmoil.” The Lord graciously began to speak to us about this curve back in September. We certainly did not understand it then, but as I began to understand what the Lord was saying, it has helped me stay out of turmoil and stay focused on the Lord’s supernatural physics. Let me try to help you, if I can.

Many people are disappointed that gifted and well-known prophets appeared to back the wrong horse in this election cycle, but I am not so certain that they did. Can I challenge us all to grow up a little in our walk with the Lord? Can we leave childish things behind for a moment?

I am asking serious questions of you. We need to grow in our understanding if we are going to grasp the Lord’s methods. We will start with another question: Was Jonah wrong when he prophesied that Nineveh would fall in forty days? The Lord told him what to prophesy, but then circumstances changed in Nineveh because the leaders and the people repented. As a result, God released mercy. Here is the point we need to grasp. The people of Jonah’s time did not have the book of Jonah. When Nineveh was not consumed, Jonah looked like he had been absolutely, completely wrong. But he was not. He had prophesied correctly.

What about Ezekiel? You may not know this more obscure story. But the Lord told Ezekiel to prophesy against Tyre because it had gloated at Jerusalem’s fall. This is what he told Ezekiel to prophesy:

“For this is what the Sovereign LORD says: From the north I am going to bring against Tyre Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, king of kings, with horses and chariots, with horsemen and a great army. He will ravage your settlements on the mainland with the sword; he will set up siege works against you, build a ramp up to your walls and raise his shields against you. He will direct the blows of his battering rams against your walls and demolish your towers with his weapons. His horses will be so many that they will cover you with dust. Your walls will tremble at the noise of the war horses, wagons and chariots when he enters your gates as men enter a city whose walls have been broken through. The hoofs of his horses will trample all your streets; he will kill your people with the sword, and your strong pillars will fall to the ground. They will plunder your wealth and loot your merchandise; they will break down your walls and demolish your fine houses and throw your stones, timber and rubble into the sea. I will put an end to your noisy songs, and the music of your harps will be heard no more. I will make you a bare rock, and you will become a place to spread fishnets. You will never be rebuilt, for I the LORD have spoken, declares the Sovereign LORD. (Ezekiel 26:7-14 NIV)

Then, sixteen years later, the Lord told Ezekiel that Tyre had not fallen. He told him to prophesy this:

In the twenty-seventh year, in the first month on the first day, the word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon drove his army in a hard campaign against Tyre; every head was rubbed bare and every shoulder made raw. Yet he and his army got no reward from the campaign he led against Tyre. Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am going to give Egypt to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and he will carry off its wealth. He will loot and plunder the land as pay for his army. I have given him Egypt as a reward for his efforts because he and his army did it for me, declares the Sovereign LORD. (Ezekiel 29:17-20)

I am certainly not attempting to shake your faith in prophecy today, but I am asking you to leave childish things behind. The Lord is sovereign, of that there is no doubt. But in his sovereignty, he has given the earth to man (see Psalm 115:16). When Nineveh repented, God adjusted his plan to fit the change in human hearts. Prophecy is a conversation between God and man. God announces to man what he intends to do. Man then continues on his path, or responds in a way that changes how God accomplishes his plan. If we can grasp this aspect of prophecy, we will have matured a bit more in our faith.*

Israel prayed that Nineveh’s scourge would be lifted from her back. God sent Jonah to lift the scourge. When Nineveh responded to the prophetic conversation with humility, God did not overthrow Nineveh. However, Israel’s prayers were still answered since Nineveh’s new-found humility and repentance lifted the scourge from Israel for a generation. Mercy triumphs over judgment (see James 2:13).

In the same way, the Remnant of Israel prayed that Tyre would experience justice for its wickedness in gloating over Jerusalem’s demise. Through Ezekiel, God announced that Nebuchadnezzar would release his justice by destroying Tyre. However, by the time Nebuchadnezzar arrived at Tyre sixteen years later, something on the ground had changed. Perhaps God had raised up intercessors who responded to Ezekiel’s prophecy by praying for mercy. Perhaps the leaders of Tyre read Ezekiel’s prophecy and repented. They still received a cleansing judgment—Nebuchadnezzar did ravage and destroy the settlements on the mainland and subjected Tyre to a ruinous siege—but again, mercy triumphed over judgment. Tyre did not receive the total judgment that Ezekiel had prophesied. Yet Ezekiel prophesied correctly.

Is it possible that this is what has happened in the United States? God’s people were praying that the moral scourge released in our current administration would be lifted from our nation. Did God announce the lifting of this scourge through his prophets, so that his people could pray and mobilize? Is it possible that his people humbled themselves so ardently, that they fasted and prayed so fervently, that they moved the heart of God? Is it possible that God has now moved to speed up the timetable for revival, that he has changed our direction so that we get to our destination more quickly? Has he honored the word of the prophets and answered our prayers according to his divine physics in a way that we do not yet understand?

We may not be able to answer all of these questions yet, but I do know that God’s people truly listened to his Spirit and prayed for this election like never before. Please don’t confuse the visible church with the people of whom I speak. The visible church is a mixed bag of non-Christians, lukewarm Christians, and on-fire Christians. I am discussing the on-fire Christians. I watched them pray ardently, fast fervently, and move the hand of him who rules this world. I know they did their job. In fact, they might have done it so well that we are now on a curve which is a shortcut to our destination. It may not look like one, but it is.

We are not children. We do not need simplistic answers. We are the growing and maturing Bride of Christ. We are leaving childish things behind and growing into perfection. This curve is one of the tools the Lord is using to get us there.

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*There is always a prophetic tension as a result of this “prophetic conversation.” The prophets are truly dependent upon the Lord to sustain them, because on occasion their prophecies will appear incorrect as events on the ground change, and God releases mercy into the mix. This does not justify a prophet’s refusal to be corrected, or to blindly hold on to a prophecy that appears to have been incorrect. However, it does help us to release mercy when established prophets (such as Jonah and Ezekiel) appear to miss on a prophetic word.
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The City on a Hill Shines

The Kingdom of God grew and matured yesterday. It was good to see it. I watched Christians by the millions vote on Christian principle. They voted for Kingdom issues rather than selfish self-interest. They voted with passion, not for a man or against a man, but for what they believed Jesus Christ desired. They prayed fervently, and participated diligently and kindly. Throughout this election season we watched an amazing display of the maturing Church in action.

Oh, I know, those who are concerned about biblical principles did not see a lot of encouragement from the raw vote totals yesterday. But you have to mine the exit polls, you have to uncover how and why people were voting to see the light shining in the darkness. Remember, the angels are praising around the throne right this instant because the whole earth is full of his glory (see Isaiah 6:1-3). If you are having a hard time seeing that glory today, you must not be looking in the right places. Let’s look into some of those places.

When you check the exit polling data, you can look for the negatives, or you can look for the glory. I choose to look for the glory. As I check the 2008 election demographics, and compare them to yesterday, I am encouraged. The Roman Catholic vote and the White Evangelical/Born Again vote both shifted 4% toward the party with the more biblical platform. Among the Black population, that same shift is happening, though not quite as fast. In 2008, the Democratic party received 95% of the Black vote. This year the party, which has taken an even more active stand against biblical morality than in 2008, only received 93% of that vote. I’m certain that Black evangelicals drove that shift.

These may not sound like huge numbers, but they are. Each percentage point represents hundreds of thousands of souls who have begun to think Kingdom at a higher level.* We must see this. You can either focus on the negatives, or you can focus on the glory of what is happening. Millions of people’s hearts are being changed.

Jesus taught that the Kingdom grows in increments, and often without much observation. Jesus said:

He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches.”
He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked all through the dough.” (Matthew 13:31-33 NIV)

However, because our two-party system has now morphed into a national referendum on biblical principles, we have the privilege of measuring some of the growth of the Kingdom. Every four years, the Lord gives us a national test that gives us the ability to measure, at least at some levels, how the mustard seed is doing. Election polling data provides us a snapshot of where we stand. I am encouraged that we are doing better than four years ago. You may wish the trends were moving more quickly, but the truth is that mustard seeds don’t grow all that quickly. The truth is that it takes a bit of time for the yeast to work through the dough.

Jesus called his Church a City on a Hill. He said that you can’t hide such a city. This means, that as the mustard seed grows, as the Kingdom grows and matures, you should be able to see the light shining forth in some quantifiable ways. I believe our nation as a whole failed some fairly significant biblical tests yesterday. But, at the same time, it is evident that the Church is understanding the Kingdom at a higher level. That light will continue to grow. It will continue to provide light to a popular culture steeped in ever-increasing darkness. It will continue to make a difference, and will do so with ever-increasing influence.

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* To be more specific: Approximately 1.2 million Catholics, 1.2 million evangelicals, and over 300,000 Black voters shifted allegiance toward the more biblical position. That is almost three million people who began to shine more brightly this presidential election cycle over the last one.

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Mitt Makes It To the Second Floor

Mitt Romney

September 15th, 2012

I thought I would dust off a relatively old dream this morning. It dates way back to January 6th of this year, which in political terms, is the dinosaur days of the current presidential race. This was right after the Iowa caucuses, but before the first Republican primaries began in earnest. At that time, we did not know who the Republican nominee would be. Here is the dream:

Mitt Romney was at an event, trying to get to the second floor, but needed to figure out how to get up the secret elevator. He finally did, but it was cobwebby and dark. He got to the top and went to meet in a room with some small business people.

First, a disclaimer, I didn’t really care much for Mitt Romney during the primaries. I certainly believed he was a good businessman with some wonderful virtues, but I was more focused on the Christian candidates. So I really didn’t appreciate this dream back on January 6th. Whatever else it meant, I knew that it included the fact that Mitt was going to be the Republican nominee. I didn’t embrace this; in fact I did my best to forget it all through the primary season as I looked at one candidate, and then another. But finally, inexorably, Mitt found the secret elevator. It wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t glamorous, but he won the nomination and is now the Republican presidential nominee.

I’ve been thinking about this dream lately. I’m wondering if it refers to more than winning the Republican nomination. Back in January I was focused on the Republican primaries. Along with the rest of the nation, I wanted to find out who would step forward from the Republican field to win the nomination and run for president. Because of this, I could not see beyond the primaries in my interpretation. However, it could indicate that Mitt Romney will win in November.

The thing I’ve been chewing on lately is what it means for Mitt to make it to the second floor. I have assumed that the second floor was the party’s nomination, however, I have begun to question that interpretation. Mitt Romney was the governor of Massachusetts. He was the chief executive of one of our fifty states. I don’t think that winning a party’s nomination is reaching the second floor when one has been the chief executive of one of our fifty states. All that winning a nomination does, is allow you to campaign for the presidency. It is grueling and difficult (cobwebby and dark). I don’t believe just winning the nomination is making it to the second floor when one has been a governor. The next step, the next floor for any governor, is that of being chief executive of the United States.

So while I am not prophesying that Mitt Romney will win in November, I am intrigued by this dream. I believe, if I am understanding it correctly, that it may indicate that he will. If he does, it will be because small business has rallied around him (the job makers in our economy). It will also be because the prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective.
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