Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Trees & Prophecies

It’s been some time since I read The Harbringer by Messianic Rabbi Jonathan Cahn, and I’m looking forward to reading The Harbringer II. In the first book, he explains how America is following in the footsteps of Ancient Israel, describing how in the aftermath of 9-11 we even pronounced repeatedly the same verse: “Bricks have fallen, but we will rebuild with hand-cut stones. Fig trees have been cut down, but we will replace them with cedars.” (Is 9:10)

In our case, an old sycamore tree perished at Ground Zero, and the Tree of Hope was planted, a cedar tree. Cedars are a known to be a hardy plant and should have thrived, but instead the tree withered and died since the tree symbolized America's self-sufficent defiance rather than a renewed dependency upon Him. Isaiah 9:10 was repeated by statesmen and even written on the cornerstone as they rebuilt after 9-11, but as pointed out by Rabbi Cahn, this verse in context is an arrogant statement by ancient Israel that would prompt God to stir up the nation’s enemies. 

Similarly, the cedar tree was a metaphor used by the prophet Ezekiel to represent Pharaoh. The prophet predicted Assyria’s impending conquest over Egypt. (see Ezekiel 31) It was Pharaoh’s pride  that brought him down just as Ancient Israel was brought down by her pride, and America's emerging decline from superpower status flows from our pride and presumptive illusions that it is by our own strength America rose in power and favor. It is only God’s grace and provision, His blessing, that has prospered America, and when we turned from Him, we started in our decline.

So as the Tree of Hope withered and died, rather than turning back to God as our only Hope, the city of New York looked to another tree as symbol of hope: The Survivor Tree. Growing at Ground Zero the Survivor Tree is “ a living reminder of resilience, survival, and rebirth.” You can what the 911 Memorial has to say about this tree, but they don’t understand what it represents prophetically. The hope they have placed in this tree is like the hope some have placed in socialism. What they fail to realize is that the Callery Pear is an invasive plant that originates from China. It represents how they have placed their trust in an enemy who would overpower them, and in looking to this tree for hope and inspiration, they have further tempted the wrath of God upon their city.  

But I fear the time of wrath is rapidly approaching for New York City as symbolized by yet another tree. The city boasts of being the greatest city in the world. The prideful boasts of NYC are repeated in the festivities throughout the Christmas Season, starting with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree and the New Year’s Eve broadcast. This year, there has been a lot of gossip about the Norway spruce selected for Rockefeller Center: it’s roughed up appearance as well as the story of the owl found in it’s branches. 

I am reminded of the times that the Lord has said He will bring His wrath upon New York City and wonder… could this tree be a warning of His imminent judgement? I don’t have a clear answer, and I have not heard God speak clearly on this. However, I do know that He will judge it at some point, and I have a continued concern that this Christmas Season in NYC will be marked by tragedy. We often associate owls with wisdom, coming from their ties to the Greek goddess Athena and representing the wisdom of western civilization, the prevailing wisdom of this world, but owls in the Bible symbolize destruction and desolation. In many cultures, including some native American, they are a harbinger of death. The tree, the owl, they portend something in my mind. God has not spoken to me explicitly about this season, but I wonder if He is speaking through these circumstances. 

I don’t know if this tree is a warning of impending wrath, but I feel compelled to post this blog and my impressions before the NYC festivities start, encouraging others to seek God and His direction… all the more as we see the Day approaching!

Finally, I'm reminded of what God has spoken to me in visions about trees and fallen leaves, so much of which has come true as we approach the next step in that vision that I've yet to share in it's entirety. 

copyright ©2020 Mitchell Malloy (http://mitchellmalloyblogspot.com/) 


Saturday, November 21, 2020

Declaration of Thanksgiving 2020

“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.” (https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/declaration-transcript

The brave men who signed our Declaration of Independence quoted above were not quick to defy the rule of King George, and if you read through the entirety of that famous document you’ll see the reasons behind their decision. They signed that declaration knowing that it fully committed them to the cause of freedom, defying a supremely powerful military empire and entrusting their future to “the protection of divine Providence”. There was no turning back from their cause, and they understood that everything was on the line when they wrote: “we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”

In the same way, I don’t encourage civil disobedience lightly without considering the gravity and potential consequence of defying legally appointed authorities. I’m not saying it’s time to rise up in any physical way, and I’m not suggesting we draft a modern day Declaration of Independence, but I do believe we should look to the greatest law of this land and willfully disobey any unjust edicts that restrict our rights under the U.S. Constitution regardless of the origination: the President, Congress, state governors or legislatures. 

In the United States, the Constitution is the highest law crafted by man and the first ten amendments are known as The Bill of Rights. The First and Tenth Amendments speak volumes in the context of our current pandemic distress, where executive orders have shut down churches and now tell us how we are allowed to celebrate Thanksgiving. Let’s look at a couple of those rights:

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

The Bill of Rights

There are eight amendments between the two which I’ve copied in their entirety above, but just take a look at those two brief statements and consider: is there any legitimate basis for government to shut down the gathering of people who choose to worship? Certainly, they can educate us on how to limit the spread of a contagion, but it is entirely up to us on how to respond. Government was made for the people and not people for the government. 

So if in celebration of Thanksgiving to my God or as a matter of decision by family members, we choose to gather with more people than the state believes safe, it is our right to do so. We may choose to limit the number gathered or to have other safeguards, but it is our choice. I’m not encouraging anyone to be foolish or rebellious, but I am saying explicitly that the government has no legitimate right to make these decisions for us. Take precautions as you see fit but do not grant the state more authority in our lives than our greatest law in the land has already established. 

And in the days and years ahead if that greatest of human laws should somehow be dissolved replaced by a new “constitution”, there is still and shall remain a law higher even than any law of man. It is that same Legal Authority that empowered the brave signatories of our Declaration of Independence. It is that Higher Power that we must always obey first, always with respect and consideration for others, “We must obey God rather than people” (Acts 5:29)

There may be consequences for civil disobedience, but we owe it to those brave men who put everything on the line to establish this great nation, and we owe it to our children and our children’s children to fight for their liberty. We owe it to our future selves as well to be mindful and bold in each present moment to the protection of our liberties so we will have a clear answer when asked how we responded to the governmental threat on our civil liberties.

My Declaration of Thanksgiving is simply this: 

I am grateful to have been born and raised in this land and acknowledge my responsibility to live in the freedom bestowed to me at birth by the Constitution of the United States and its Bill of Rights, resisting all influences to relinquish those liberties for both my sake and for the benefit of all my countrymen. I choose to exercise my First Amendment rights in gratitude this Thanksgiving of 2020 in civil disregard for any executive order restricting how I celebrate Thanksgiving. 



copyright ©2020 Mitchell Malloy (http://mitchellmalloyblogspot.com/) 


Sunday, November 15, 2020

When to Fight

I blogged a couple years ago about How to Fight, embarrassed to find the typos that have been out there, and which I promptly cleaned up. (Well, at least the ones I noticed!) My typing hasn't improved, and my views haven't changed since I've written that blog. There is an appropriate way to fight, and it should always be with the right perspective of who we're fighting. It's not flesh and blood but principalities. Still, there is a time for taking decisive, physical action when the evil worked through human hands needs to be stopped.

Now, I believe that all truth is God's truth, so we can find God's hand outside of the Bible such as science or philosophy as long as those disciplines don't contradict what God has told us in Scripture. We know we have an enemy who is a great deceiver, who would appeal to our prideful understanding and use it to set up a barrier between ourselves and God. Because of this, we need to carefully seek the direction of the Holy Spirit in all learning, prayerfully asking for God to guide us. 

As a former naval officer as well as someone who has dabbled in the martial arts, I've been exposed to some different teachings about warfare. One that rings true with me are the five strategies. We often hear them referred to as elements, but they are really just symbolic of a fighting strategy, a mnemonic for assessing the right form of response. 

There's Earth, when you are strong enough to take a beating. It's like turning the other cheek and being able to endure an offense. And then there's Air, when you are neither changing the environment nor being impacted by it. I liken Air to being in the world but not of it, where we observe without interfering and where we are not changed by our environment. There is a time and place for this strategy, especially when we just need observe and gather more information before taking a stance.

When I first heard of the 5 elements, I had often wondered why Air and Wind were considered separate, but it makes complete sense in the context of a martial strategy. If Air is essentially avoidance, Wind attempts to the influence environment. Wind is a powerful force over time, like the power of the spoken word, that can build strength and wear down the strongest rocks. Water is similar to wind and more forceful. Much happens beneath the surface of Water, and just as Wind and waves are often seen together, so can Wind and Water be applied together to influence a societal environment while also changing it behind the scenes. 

Last of the five strategies is Fire. Fire is passionate and destructive. Fire is used to fight fires, and once you have chosen this strategy, it is difficult to come back from that path. As a midshipman, I learned that war has the tendency for the absolute, meaning that the intensity builds and retaliations escalate. When we think of fighting, physically fighting, Fire is the strategy that has been selected. 

Some people believe that physical violence is the greatest evil, and war should be avoided at all costs. But it is sometimes a useful tool to hold back tyranny, and it is always a last resort. Imagine if no one had opposed Hitler. Passivity can allow a greater evil to grow in power and secure a position that is not easily overthrown. Edmond Burke was correct in saying that the only thing evil needs to succeed is for good men to do nothing.

Looking at this polarized world, I wonder how close we've come to the point where Fire is the appropriate strategy. Two sides, claiming conflicting "facts", making it hard to discern what should be believed. The Air strategy would say: get more information. The conflicting facts can't both be true. The truth is by its very nature exclusive. It's possible that both sides are lying, but if that were the case, wouldn't we have a "middle ground' that consistently points out the lies of both polar opposites? No, it seems clear that one side has embraced lies as the Wind and Water to drive an agenda. It seems clear to me which side has no respect God or moral integrity, focused only on a lawless pursuit of agenda. Is it clear to you yet?

I had to go back to How to Fight to consider when to fight. When religious liberty and freedom of speech are taken away, then civil discourse can no longer oppose the threat of tyranny, and the only strategy left is Fire. When the other strategies are ineffective in opposing evil, then we have reached the last resort. When we are no longer strong enough to take a beating (Earth strategy), when observing and waiting is insufficient and inappropriate (Air strategy), and when the latency of Wind and Water strategies renders them ineffective in opposing tyranny, then Fire is the only strategy left. We have not reached that point yet, but I am concerned we are very close.

When Jesus sent His disciples out, it was as sheep among wolves. He told them in Matthew 10:16 to be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. It is the wisdom of snakes to avoid physical confrontation, to evade detection, position and strike quickly only when left no other choice.

copyright ©2020 Mitchell Malloy (http://mitchellmalloyblogspot.com/)