Category Archives: Politics

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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Always Winter, Never Christmas

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The Lord used Narnia to speak to us the other day. Those of you who have read C. S. Lewis’ delightful tale, The Chronicles of Narnia, know that there is a lot in those books that the Lord can use to highlight current events and his plans. Lewis had the wonderful knack of building deep Christian themes into his fantasies. If you only know Narnia from the movies, do yourself a favor and buy the books. The inane drama and silly plot devices of the most recent movies have deprived viewers of Lewis’ overall vision and purpose. Lewis built his series like a caramel apple. He used the sweet covering of his story to flavor the nutritious fruit of his theme underneath. While the first movie was fairly faithful to the original tale, the producers of the second and third movies injected artificial flavoring into the caramel of the story covering, and pretty much did away with the apple. The third movie was so bad, my kids, who have loved the Narnia books, decided that it would take a lot for them to go see another one of the movies.

So what did the Lord say to us through Narnia’s images? He told us that the long winter is just about over for the United States. He showed us that the plans of those who have prolonged this winter are no longer going to succeed. If you remember from The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, the white witch wanted to keep Narnia frozen in winter. Narnians despaired of the weather because it was always winter, but never Christmas. But as the Great Lion, Aslan, began to move, the witch’s plans were thwarted and Father Christmas, with spring right on his heels, came to Narnia for the first time in one hundred years. From that point on, the witch’s hold on Narnia was broken. While the struggle wasn’t over, the Great Lion was now in control and was able to direct events so that the witch was defeated, and her hold was broken forever.

Of course, those who have read the Narnia stories know that the Great Lion represents Jesus in these stories. While Lewis theology wasn’t always orthodox—this is most evident in his display of universalism in The Last Battle—he had a firm grip on King Jesus. So when the Lord told us that the long winter is ending for the United States, he was also telling us that King Jesus is on the move. He is working behind the scenes even now to rally his people and break winter’s grip over the United States.

There are a lot of ways that the United States has been held in winter’s grip, but the Lord made certain we knew exactly what he was showing us. He told us that the policies and control emanating from Washington D.C., currently personified in President Obama’s administration, represented the reign of the white witch. Before we get all caught up in politics, let’s remember that the power of the white witch held Narnia under the spell of winter for one hundred years. So winter began its long reign in the United States long before our current administration.

In order to fully understand what the Lord is saying, we need to understand a tiny bit about the book of Revelation. In Revelation 13 we are introduced to the beast from the sea. Without going in to great detail,* suffice it to say that the beast from the sea represents governments that attempt to replace or displace the authority and priority of the Kingdom of Christ in the world. Beast governments attempt to step into the place of the true Church by attempting to meet the needs of the governed in ways that only Christ truly can. Along the way these beast governments supplant and often persecute the true Church—while the false prophet church openly supports beast governments, fulfilling their role as the beast from the land.

Of course, you can see the hoof prints of the beast government in the current contraception/abortifacient drug mandates aimed against the Catholic Church. In this debate you see the mature beast government boldly attempting to displace and replace a Christian institution by these wicked mandates. You can also easily see the false prophet church in action supporting and defending these wicked mandates. It doesn’t get much more obvious than this.

So, if the winter represents the rise and maturing of the beast government revealed in Revelation, we would expect to see it begin its rise one hundred years ago—the length of time winter reigned in Narnia. What happened one hundred years ago? Well, among other things, Woodrow Wilson was elected for his first term as president of the United States. Again, without getting into a lot of historical detail, Woodrow Wilson is the president whose vision initiated and gave impetus to the government programs and mandates that have finally begun to mature in our current administration. We are currently reaping what Wilson sowed. His beast government policies, which moved government from its rightful role as defender and protector of the people, to the beast role of nurturer and provider for the people, began their long ascent throughout the United States political system. Since his time, the government of the United States has moved steadily toward the fullness of beast government policy that we see today.

But that winter is ending. The Lord still has plans for the United States. He still plans for the people of the United States to be a vital and free people. Beast governments and true freedom, especially religious freedom, cannot coexist.

In his 2012 Shepherd’s Rod, Bob Jones prophesied that President Obama’s purpose and plans would be exposed this year, and as a result they would fail. I believe that process is already beginning. Roman Catholics are experiencing the negative results of our beast government policies. They recognize that their very survival as a charitable institution in the United States is at stake. They are currently the most visible victims of these policies, but untold victims have been trodden under this beast’s feet for the past one hundred years. Religious organizations that were once vital and active transformative agents in our culture have been turned to stone as government policies, procedures, and restrictions have undermined their ability to complete their mission over the past one hundred years. That is about to change. Once again, the Church is going to take up the mantles that government has taken away. Once again, the Lamb is going to lead his people to the fullness of their calling and purpose.

Spring is coming.

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*Shameless Plug: I have produced a 36 DVD series on the book of Revelation that does go into great detail. It is a study that does not get bogged down by idle speculations, but stays firmly grounded in the context and themes of Scriptures. It reveals the major “behind-the-scenes” players of world history in an understandable way. It is entitled Revelation Unfolded. You can get the series at my congregation’s DVD Store.

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Where’s Perry?

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Some people have been wondering who the third Republican Presidential contender is that the Lord spoke to me about (See “What About Mitt Romney?” and “What About Newt Gingrich?” to get the background details). The third candidate is Rick Perry. The Lord spoke to me about him just a couple days before he suspended his presidential campaign. While the Lord gave me face-to-face encounters with Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich (in dreams), he did not do so with Rick Perry. The dreams about Mitt and Newt gave me a behind-the-scenes look at their passion or personality. The dream about Rick Perry included a bit about his circumstance, and maybe a little on his heart.

Rick Perry suspended his campaign on the Thursday before the South Carolina primary. On Monday night of that week I had asked the Lord for an outline of what was going on in the Republican primary. That same night I dreamed about Perry the Platypus. That wasn’t quite what I expected, but you work with what you get.

If you have been so culturally deprived that you have never seen a Phineas and Ferb episode (the show in which Perry appears), you should correct that deficiency. A whole generation is growing up with Perry as an iconic figure. “Where’s Perry?” is the question in every episode, just before we find undercover Perry the Platypus involved in some adventure to save the the people of his city. After he has accomplished his mission, he reappears to the exclamation, “Oh, there you are Perry!” If you Google Where’s Perry or Oh, there you are Perry, you will get all the Perry the Platypus information you ever wanted to know.

After I asked the Lord about the Republican primary, he gave me this dream about Perry the Platypus. Perry was high up on a bluff overlooking a sheer cliff that fronted the ocean. Water was surging through the rocks at the base of the cliff. A giant foot was coming down to crush Perry, but just at the last moment he dove off the cliff into the water at the base of the cliff. His dive carried him safely between the rocks. The rocks and the water sheltered Perry from the giant’s foot. Even though the giant attempted to crush Perry, the rocks held his foot up so that it could not come down on Perry.

You can imagine that I woke up from that dream a bit perplexed. Then I remembered that I had asked the Lord about the Republican primary field. I realized that this dream must be about Rick Perry. I didn’t really understand what it meant. I thought it might have meant that Rick was off to a rocky start, but that he was being protected from a crushing blow from his opponents (or the media) simply because he lacked front runner status. It wasn’t until that Thursday, when Rick Perry dove out of the spotlight by suspending his campaign, that I realized what the dream had been about. The Lord was trying to show me (unsuccessfully, I might add) that Perry was about to drop out of the race, and that this was a strategic move that would protect him from becoming road kill. The dream was clear that this move preserved him for future events.

I don’t know exactly where this bit of information leaves Rick Perry, but I’m not sure it means that he is finished yet. As I wrote above, at the end of virtually every episode of Phineas and Ferb, Perry the Platypus reappears and someone says, “Oh, there you are Perry!” Perry always makes an appearance at the end. I may be pushing the interpretation a bit too far, but perhaps this means that the door is still open for Rick Perry to play some future part in the Republican primary process.

Did the dream show my anything else about Rick Perry? If so, it was all positive. Perry the Platypus is humble, fearless, and willing to serve with no real reward except serving. Those are admirable characteristics in a cartoon hero. If they describe Rick Perry’s attitude and passion, that would be admirable, and exactly what we need in a president. In that case, we will probably hear from him again in the future. In the meantime, he is safely waiting out of the spotlight. While we may not hear it this election cycle, I have no doubt that we will hear it eventually, “Oh, there you are Perry!”

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What About Newt Gingrich?

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As I wrote in my previous post (What About Mitt Romney?), I have asked the Lord for an outline of the Republican primary candidates. So far he has given me insight on three different candidates. Only two of them are still actively in the race, so I am sharing what the Lord gave me about those two first.

When I had the dream about Mitt Romney, he was instructing me in a way that gave me insight into his nature and character. The same thing happened with the dream I had about Newt Gingrich. I believe the Lord was giving me some insights into who Newt really is.

On the evening I had the dream about Newt, I had awakened knowing I had been dreaming about Newt, but I really couldn’t remember what it was about because it was so indistinct. I believe that is part of the message about Newt. We all think that we know him because he has been around for so long, but the passage of time, and the distortions of media and memory, have not helped us in our quest to understand this Republican candidate. Since I knew the Lord wanted to show me something beyond that, and help me understand Newt a bit more, I prayed and asked him to give me something I could remember. He graciously did.

In the second dream, Newt was showing me two different apartments. He first showed me the apartment of a man who was working for a living. The apartment was not fancy, but it wasn’t a hovel either. It was an adequate place to live. Then he took me to the apartment of someone whose housing was provided by the government. As we entered the apartment, I recognized the person who lived in this apartment because the person was a fairly well known Olympic athlete. I also noted that the apartment was a much, much nicer apartment than the one we had first seen. It was almost luxurious compared to the first apartment we had toured. It was obvious that Newt did not think that this was appropriate. He did not think that it was right that people who were working for a living were living in less luxurious apartments than those who were receiving their apartments as a part of the government’s welfare programs.

Of course, this dream reminded me of the welfare reform act that Bill Clinton signed into law in 1996. He and Newt Gingrich worked together to reform welfare in a way that empowered people. As Bill Clinton described it in an editorial in the New York Times,

“In my first State of the Union address, I promised to “end welfare as we know it,” to make welfare a second chance, not a way of life, exactly the change most welfare recipients wanted it to be.”

This reform passed with resounding bipartisan support, and had positive impact on the lives of many people. I believe that the main goal of this act, as outlined by President Clinton above, would be violated if we make not working more advantageous than working. That was the point of the dream. Newt wanted to show me the disparity between the working class apartment and the one provided by the government. I was seeing the Newt who is campaigning to help people help themselves.

When I was working out the interpretation of this dream, I also understood why an Olympian was living in the apartment. The United States government does not support our Olympic athletes. In fact, many of them eke out a living working at odd jobs while they train for the Olympics hoping to do well enough to achieve corporate sponsorships. They are often like the man living in the first apartment that Newt showed me. They work hard and live modestly as they pursue their goals. Even though they bring glory and honor to our nation when they win, we do not provide financially for them.

Unlike the United States, many governments support their Olympic athletes in some way. In fact, because they bring benefit and honor to their government and country when they are successful, some countries support their Olympians at quite a high standard.

I believe that this symbol reveals Newt’s heart a bit more. When we support people who are not producing or bringing tangible benefit to our nation in the same way that many governments support very fruitful members of their culture, we have strayed. When we support them at a higher level than truly productive members of our culture, something is fundamentally wrong. At that point we begin training people to be unproductive because it pays more.

Of course, I’m not saying that is the way things are in the United States at this moment. I do not know. What I do know is that Newt Gingrich does not want it to get that way. That, I believe, was the point of the dream.

While Newt comes with a fair amount of baggage because of his history, I know that the Tea Party would be comfortable with this core part of his belief system. Christians are all about forgiveness when someone repents over his past, as Newt has done, but that doesn’t automatically mean that we think such a person should be president. It also doesn’t mean that we believe they are disqualified because of their past. Our decision-making process is more complex than that. As the Lord gives us insights such as these dreams, he is helping us through the process.

Again, whether Newt is the best candidate or not, I do not know. I have had three dreams of this type. None of the dreams were an endorsement of a candidate, but highlighted the candidate’s heart or circumstance. I believe that will help us as we make our decisions.

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What About Mitt Romney?

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I haven’t spent much time writing about the current election cycle. That doesn’t mean that I’m not watching it with interest, it just means that I didn’t have much from the Lord to share. However, after one of the debates, I asked the Lord for an outline of the Republican Primary contest. Since then, he has given me dreams about three of the candidates or former candidates. This article is about one of those dreams, and provides a bit of insight on Mitt Romney.

In the dream, I was having a conversation with Mitt Romney. We were discussing the fact that he was giving a donation to an institution of some type; it felt like a college or university. The institution was going to use the money to put up a statue. They wanted to put the statue on one end of the campus away from the main road. Mitt told me that it was a terrible location because it didn’t have enough visibility. He thought that there was a far better location near the main road completely on the other side of the campus. Then he told me that you had to help people to whom you were giving money, so he tied the donation to the fact that the statue had to be placed in the location he knew to be best.

Honestly, I awoke from this dream/encounter feeling very good about Mitt Romney as a person. One of the accusations against him is that he appears insincere or artificial. While I was speaking with him I was struck by how genuine he was, and how much he really wanted to help people. In fact, I was aware that he would be pleased to put someone like me in charge of his charitable giving arm so that it would run even more effectively.

All in all, this was a very positive dream, except for that one point about tying the donation to a particular location. Those who do not like big government recognize the tactic. Federal funds always come with strings attached. Mitt truly desired to help people, in fact he told me that when you gave people money you were obligated to help them make the right choices. The strings he attached to his donation were designed to motivate the people to make the right choices.

All this really means, is that the Tea Party would not necessarily think that Mitt was their candidate. But many other Republicans will not have an issue with this. The federal government, under both Republican and Democratic administrations, has always used funds this way. Those who are trying to shrink the government will not be excited about this, but it doesn’t make Mitt a bad person, it just makes him a part of the Republican mainstream. The fact that he wanted to put someone like me in charge of his charitable giving arm puts him in the same league with our most recent President Bush, who wanted the Church involved in meeting people’s needs through his Faith Based Giving Initiative.

Whether he is the best candidate or not, I do not know. As I wrote above, I have had three dreams of this type. None of the dreams were an endorsement of a candidate, but highlighted the candidate’s heart or circumstance. I believe that will help us as we make our decisions.

I share the dream about Newt next.

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