Friday, August 16, 2019

We Be Fools

When I went to college, I had never heard the term “frenemy”, but it definitely described people in a group I joined as a Freshman. It wasn’t exactly a fraternity, but it was a co-ed club where first year members went through a hazing period. After the first year, I had no desire to treat others the way I had been treated, and not having close ties to my acquaintances in that group, I found other interests and mostly kept a distance during my second and third year. A young man joined the group my second year (we’ll call him “Guy”), and I would often hear about his flaws whenever I attended the club events. From what little I knew about him, the criticism seemed legitimate, and so I mentally grouped him with the everyone else, keeping a healthy distance and judgmental attitude. As I entered my senior year, the leadership over that group asked for my help. The hazing had become abusive, with several of my Freshmen peers being the greatest perpetrators. The abuse had become so severe, the leadership were thinking of disbanding the group, and I became more active to try and salvage the reason why the group was formed. Guy was also asked to help, and in a few short weeks I discovered that Guy was actually a really good guy! We became friends and remain so today. 

I also discovered that he had kept his distance from me for the same reason I’d kept my distance. Our mutual acquaintances were very adept at pointing out our flaws and expounding upon negative perceptions. The truth is that everyone except God has flaws. We can focus on the chinks in their armor and start to despise them, vilify them and consequently ridicule them. Every strength can become a weakness, so it’s easy to exaggerate characteristics, pronounce judgements and repeatedly hammer away until others start to echo destructive words. Words when repeated enough start to form as “fact” in the mind of the listener, who subconsciously looks for ways to support their perception. We see it in corporate power-struggles and electoral politics. We saw it in the antisemitism of Pre-World War 2 Germany, and we see it in the depiction of Bible-believing Christians today. 

I don’t believe anyone would be surprised to know we have stark political division in America, and I hear that the political divide is equally pronounced in many other countries. I believe we’re being played as fools, creating an ever widening chasm between people who could otherwise come together and accomplish great things. E Pluribus Unum is the Latin motto for our country. It means that we have come from many and become one, but modern America is splintering, going in the opposite direction. 

I value truth, and it is truly reprehensible to me whenever I hear a lie. But there are others who can’t understand where I’m coming from. Remember Pontius Pilot when Jesus used the word “truth”? He responded with “What is truth?”. For some people, the concept of truth is irrelevant. They are all about agenda. Now everyone has agendas, and the pursuit of a worthy goal is a good thing. But agenda without truth leads away from the greater good; it is wickedness. It is in opposition to what is true and right. It is like the difference between righteousness and self-righteousness, one based in goodness and truth, the other founded on selfishness. Alliances are made to drive agendas, strengthen power, and edge out anyone that is seen as a threat who isn’t onboard. 

Their walk does not match their talk. They decry others in power to grow and solidify their own position. We have seen it in every Communist Revolution: mobilize the proletariat against the bourgeoise, take from the privileged class and redistribute the wealth… ultimately delivering that wealth into the hands of the revolution leaders! They convince people that religion is the opiate of the masses and declare that God is dead! Truth is not important; it is all about agenda, where the one most successful in advancing their agenda ascends to power. 

Crony capitalism is no better, and the financial elitists are growing their power through other means, and while each directs our attention to the other as the enemy, they collectively move toward a one-world collective alliance. They are godless globalists who arrogantly believe they are mankind’s hope for survival. After all, when the world has only one government and no religion, they will eradicate the evils of war, right? 

It is the epitome of lawlessness, rebellion against God, and an arrogant pronouncement of human-deity.  It is the new tower of Babel where the real war is a power-struggle of hell on earth. Ultimately, one person will come out on top, and when that happens who will be able to oppose him? Like the blood purges of Stalin, or the dynamic destruction of Hitler’s Third Reich, people will realize too late who their real enemy is, and the tragedy of global victory will be the end of checks and balances, where historically nations have allied themselves against a great evil. 

Yes, as terrible as war is, as terrible as any violent action can be, it is sometimes the last option to oppose a greater evil. People are not basically good, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Even if you do not believe in God and what the Bible says, you should be able to see where we are heading. The advances in weaponry, informatics, and communications are leading toward a global empire, complete with a global emperor. 

This can be truly scary for those of us not in the position to secure a power base fast enough. After all, in a world with limited resources that are rapidly being depleted by a planet with too many people, the upper echelons of humanity will find a way to reduce the overall population, right? I imagine the ones that are taken out first will either be the least talented or the most talented, who pose the greatest threat to those in power. 

Yes, it would be truly scary if we didn’t already know how this story ends: God wins! However it ultimately plays out, Yahweh told us about the growth of lawlessness, where everyone does that is right in their own eyes. He told us that one man would rise to power and stand in opposition to God and His ways. He told us that Jesus would return for His Bride, the Church. He told us that in this world we would have troubles but to take heart because He has overcome the world! 

Yes, God wins. His Kingdom prevails, and He even gave us a clear sign: Israel became a nation again after a couple thousand years. The Jewish people, God’s Chosen People, retained a common culture despite the long years of exile, and once again Israel became a nation so that the remaining prophecies of Scripture will materialize. The temple is about to be rebuilt, and the Man of Lawlessness, the Antichrist, the one world leader prophesied in Scripture will do that abominable act in the temple. This is what Scripture refers to as the Abomination of Desolation.

I believe a likely scenario is that he will declare the deity of man. More likely it will be a self-professed deity, and possibly through the advancements in AI and cybernetics, he may announce the evolution and synthesis of man with his technological creation to not just build a tower of Babel, but to become the very essence of that tower. 

Yes, we be fools, the fools who have helped build this new tower through our complicit bickering and failure to learn and believe the truth of Scripture, accepting false gospels of prosperity, altruism and social justice. We be fools who refused to be the blessed peace-makers and accepted agenda-driven identity politics.

But let me give you one more sign that Christ’s return is near as prophesied in Scripture: the very ridicule this blog post will receive, because we know that scoffers will mock any mention of Christ’s return. No, I’m not declaring a day or an hour, but I can tell by signs in the atmosphere when it is about to rain, and I can see that so much is lining up for what He told us would happen thousands of years ago. I can’t tell you when the first raindrops will hit, and I haven’t heard thunder yet, but storm clouds appear to be approaching. With God’s help, I will weather the storm. Will you?

copyright ©2019 Mitchell Malloy (http://mitchellmalloyblogspot.com/)

Sunday, August 4, 2019

The Kingdom of Hell

I have written about the Kingdom of Heaven in a previous blog. It is God’s rule in our lives and by extension through us it moves into the world around us. His love changes us (2 Corinthians 3:18 and other verses). Our response to His love is to love in return, loving others as we have now learned what love is (1 John 4:19). Love is the prevailing characteristic of Heaven.

In contrast to the Kingdom of Heaven, C.S. Lewis wrote the Screwtape Letters as a description of hell, where a major demon coaches a minor demon. I read where Lewis said that this book was the easiest for him to write, and yet it was the one he enjoyed writing the least. He modeled the culture of hell after corporate America, and as someone who has worked with many global enterprises, I understand why. In most corporate cultures, people are encouraged to be “nice” without being kind. They are driven by their personal agenda over the needs of others, often succeeding without thought to what is right. I believe the corporate culture is now the prevailing culture of society: it is commonplace in the American political environment as well as social media; I see love dwindle from society while lust gains an ever-stronger presence; I see the culture of hell advancing.
Love (agape) is a decision to give, and lust (eros) by comparison is the desire to get.
I don’t mean to sound pessimistic, but I’m pointing out my observation of what Scripture foretold long ago: in the last days the love of many will grow cold. (Matthew 24:12) It makes sense that the Kingdom of Hell, the reign of hell’s culture, would become the predominant worldview in the end times. It is made of many alliances, people joining forces to establish their position and advance their agenda. It is very much like the Survivor TV show, build an alliance with others so that you can get rid of the stronger, independent competition, all the while waiting for when you will betray your allies because they are no longer useful in achieving your personal goals. It’s like Hitler’s rise to power. It is like his speeches that were designed to appeal to the listening audience based on their reaction to his opening statements. He would tickle their ears, give them what they wanted to hear, appeal to their desires and manipulate them for his own purposes. His neuro-linguistic programming leading them to agree repeatedly on the way to a demonic conclusion. And wolves in sheep’s clothing are teaching in this way from the pulpit. 

Satan has been using this tactic for millennia: eat the fruit and you will be able to judge good and evil; you will be like God Himself. It is our own lust that makes us so pliable, useful to the Kingdom of Hell. Yes, everyone wants to be happy, and God gave us things to enjoy, both in this world and the next. But our pursuit of pleasure is what pulls us in the wrong direction. It is our avoidance of pain that hinders our growth. And our ancient enemy will try to exploit this weakness in us. Bait is placed upon the trap; will we pursue it? Gnats and adversity stand in our way; will we allow them to discourage us? 

We have no hope apart from Jesus. It is His daily working in us that allows us to will and act according to His good purposes (Philippians 2:13). Since ancient days, the alliances of the hell’s culture have been working in rebellion against the Kingdom of Heaven, and whether it is ultimately the financial elite, the socialist revolution, a caliphate, or an alliance that brings about one global kingdom, nothing surprises our God. We are told to trust in God and do good things, to live in the land and practice being faithful. (Psalm 37:3) We are told to surrender ourselves to the Lord and not to be preoccupied by the evildoer that succeeds in wicked schemes. (Psalm 37:7) We are told to delight ourselves in the Lord and He will give us the good desires of our hearts. (Psalm 37:4) When we trust Him, He acts on our behalf (Psalm 37:5), making our righteousness shine like a light (Psalm 37:6). It is only in His Presence that we are changed and made able to stand. 

So pray and in His power be made strong for one more day: give us this day our daily bread, the Bread of Life; lead us away from temptation and evil. Lord help us to spend each day in Your Presence, sensitive to the leading of Your Spirit, obedient to Your leading, in Jesus’ Name as King of All!

copyright ©2019 Mitchell Malloy (http://mitchellmalloyblogspot.com/)

Sunday, June 30, 2019

You Are Why the Time is Near

This is something you need to understand: You are the reason why the time of Christ’s return is near. That’s right: you. Assuming of course that you are the Remnant, the Confessing Church, the Bride of Christ. It is His love for you, for me and for all the hidden, universal church that will bring an end to this Age, a conclusion to the rebellion that began with the Serpent, Eve and Adam.

Now let me explain how you play such a critical role as this age comes to a close and Yahweh’s judgement draws near. First, let me be clear that I’m not declaring a day nor an hour of His imminent return. Scripture tells us that only the Father knows that. But look at the signs and just as the weather can be predicted (somewhat unreliably) by certain indicators, we can look at the prophecies in Scripture and recognize that everything is lined up. I won’t go into all the details, but Israel became a nation again and the generation that saw that pivotal event is in their latter years. The temple prophesied about in the books of Daniel and Revelations is about to be rebuilt, an unblemished red heifer is available for the prescribed purification ceremony, and a High Priest has been identified. The only thing remaining is to remove the political barriers for the construction. 

But it’s really about you. God’s judgement comes when the people of God are either inescapably oppressed or corrupted. Better the former than the latter. When we are oppressed, we see God coming as our Redeemer, our Savior, our Almighty God Who removes the yoke of tyranny and places us upon a pedestal that we truly don’t deserve. What a great rejoicing when we see Him coming to bring us the victory we can’t achieve in our own power, and He will do just that! 

However, when the church has been corrupted, that is a completely different story! 

The visible church has been infiltrated with agents of the Enemy since the time of the Church Fathers, and the plans of the wicked are coming to fruition. Yet Psalm 37:7 tells us not to be preoccupied with the success of the wicked. The preceding verses in that chapter encourage us to focus on our right relationship with God. He is God and we are not. He loves us unconditionally and has made a plan for restoring us to be the people He has made us to be. He has set us up as Holy Ambassadors of His Kingdom to this world to expand His Kingdom.

Let me quickly explain a key concept about the Kingdom of God. Jesus gave us many parables about the Kingdom, and I encourage you to look at those. But do we understand what the Kingdom is? It’s not some other-worldly-removed-from-physical-reality-esoteric-concept. In the Lord’s Prayer, we ask for His Kingdom on earth as it is in Heaven. It’s not some far removed time in the future, but it exists now. It is the Reign of God in our lives, and it is meant to impact the world around us. As we live according to Christ’s will in our lives, we change the very nature of the world around us through our obedience. It is like salt that brings out the best flavor of food; salt, which acts as a preservative. But as Jesus warned: if we lose our saltiness… what then?

The Antichrist is often called the Man of Lawlessness / Rebellion. What are he and his followers rebelling against? God’s reign of course. Jesus explained how He did not come to remove the Law but that He was fulfilling it (Matt 5:17). The Law is, was and always will be good. It reflects the reality that God created, and the Son upheld the Law of God. By grace we are freed from the consequences of being lawbreakers, and our love-response should reflect Jesus’ attitude. 

In contrast, Scripture warns us of wolves in sheep’s clothing, masquerading as ministers of righteousness who tickle our ears with what we want to hear rather than how we need to live. They pervert the Good News with false gospels of prosperity, social justice, cheap grace, awakening the god within us. Unfortunately, mankind prefers the darkness of these feel-good messages to the light of truth telling us: you are going in the wrong direction and need to turn back to living rightly. In other words: repent.

Yes repent! Turn away from your wickedness. Stop listening and stop supporting these agents of the Evil One. With love, speak the truth of God’s Word. Boldly and yet humbly represent the Kingdom of God in action as well as speech, seeking to advance the truth and love of the God of Scripture Who chastises His children out of love rather than placates to their pleasures and comforts. 

When the believers of a society have been corrupted by the world around them and choose a behavior that no longer reflects the rule of God in their lives, the wrath of God will become manifest. When that happens the worldly things that we have chosen over Him will be removed and revealed for all their ugliness. The Light of God will reveal our own ugliness and filth and prompt us to return to what is true, noble and right. The perpetrators of corruption will be destroyed, and the elect will be humbled through a discipline they could have avoided. 

So like Joshua to the people of Israel, I ask who you will serve? Who will you choose to find pleasure in? What is your plan for following through on this decision? It will not be easy, but I assure you it’s worth it. If you are seeking the pleasures and comforts of this world over the reign of God in your life, you need to turn back to your God, and change the way you think and act. I promise you that when you do, He will always be faithful to bring healing into your life!

If My people, who are called by My Name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My Face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sins and will heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:14
copyright ©2019 Mitchell Malloy http://mitchellmalloyblogspot.com/