Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Impending Spiritual Disaster (a dream)

Ignoring a Tornado Dream
January 26, 2014

Last night I had a dream that I was on the second floor of my old house in Maryland. I was looking out the window and saw a tornado coming. Alarmed, I ran downstairs and shouted to everyone that a tornado was coming and we needed to get underground. I couldn't see anyone, but I could hear their voices around me continuing on as usual and not paying attention.

God, as I record this, I'm just filled with so much grief and weeping.

I asked You what this meant, Lord, and You answered:
"Disaster is coming to the church in America!
Already many of My people have chosen
to love the world and fight to the death
to keep their world from being taken away.

As in Noah's day, they are absorbed in their world
—absorbed in earthly liberty and material things—
and cannot see the danger that they will be in
when their beloved idols are threatened.

Already the spirits of many have faded
as they trade in the gospel for the glory of America.
I will send them messengers to awaken them,
to call them to the foundation of Christ alone.

Will they return to the gospel
when the glory of America is threatened?
Or will they continue to let their love grow cold
and remain in slumber until they are no more?"

"Do not love the world or anything in the world.
If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.
For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh,
the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—
comes not from the Father but from the world.
The world and its desires pass away,
but whoever does the will of God lives forever."
(1 John 2:15-17)

"All people are like grass,
and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;
the grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the word of the Lord endures forever."
(1 Peter 1:24-25)

Monday, January 27, 2014

The Gospel of Another Fire

A few days ago I was sharing with a brother the pictures and messages of the two Bibles that the Lord had me desecrate a year ago. As I also shared about the burden on His heart for many of His beloved children in charismatic churches, the Spirit moved me and told me to make a third desecrated Bible:

"Paint a lion's face on an open Bible,
for many of My people in charismatic churches
have covered over My words with their word
about the glory of supernatural power.

Paint it in gold, for they have lusted
after dazzling signs and wonders,
worshiping the ability to perform miracles
and those who perform them.

Put feathers around the lion,
just as My people have collected "evidence"
of angels to confirm their good feelings
about their leaders and their meetings.

Cut out words from the gospels about miracles
which My people love to hear and use,
just as they cut My words out of their context
to support their demand for the miraculous.

Bind the rest of the pages with wire and tie barbs
to keep other passages from being read,
for My people have forbidden allowing their teachings
to be challenged and tested by the context of My words.

Paint the barbed wires gold,
for My people use having or lacking "faith"
to make My children doubt themselves
instead of teaching them to test all things.

Make this golden image over Acts chapter 4,
for My people have made an idol
of the supernatural signs and wonders
that were performed by the early church.

Do this on your book of Luke and Acts,
for many of My people in charismatic churches
have isolated the miracles of Christ and the apostles
as if these are the good news and the kingdom."


Then I asked,

"God, I love Your words, and I love it when You do miracles and wonders.
But is it really this bad? Why is it wrong for us to emphasize the miraculous?"

He answered:

“A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now something greater than Jonah is here. The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, and now something greater than Solomon is here.”
(Matthew 12:39-42)

Then He said,

"My wisdom and My teaching should be enough."

I asked again,

"But surely it's not wrong to pray for healing?"

He answered,

"No, but many of My people are demanding it,
commanding it of Me or My servants,
determining My will for Me
and refusing to listen to My answer.

My answer is what will best help you and those you love,
not only for today but for eternity.
Trust in My timing, and trust that I love you
more than you are able to understand.
My 'no' is just as loving as My 'yes',
and I will not give you something you ask for today
if I have something better for you in the future.

I am the Lion of Judah, the Messiah and King,
but I am revealed to you as the Lamb who was slain,
and you are to follow Me in the path
of submission to My Father that I walked in as the Lamb.
When you cannot understand, say with Me to our Father:
'Not my will, but Your will be done.'
Do not presume to calculate My Father's will,
but wait for Him to answer in His time and in His way."


To make this desecrated Bible, God told me to use a volume of Luke & Acts I'd found at a used book sale some years ago. I loved the little volume and thought it neat that someone had put Luke's two books into a single volume. I loved the cover design and the title, too. But honestly, I never really used this little volume. I used my whole Bibles and New Testaments far more. This was more of a novelty item, truthfully, and I didn't actually need it at all. But it was so nice that I still wanted to keep it for myself, even when He called me to ruin it for this message.

As I reflected on this, the Spirit moved me and said that this has meaning, too:

"Much of the passion of My people for the miraculous
is for novelty's sake and for their own desires,
but I am calling them to let go of these
and pray instead for people who are truly in need.

I promised to baptize you with My Spirit and fire,
but My Spirit is a fire of passion for the world,
for you, your neighbor, and your enemy;
do not accept any other fire than My agape love!"


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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Fear of Slavery (a dream)

A couple of days ago I saw and posted on Facebook an article about Martin Luther King, Jr., describing and reminding readers of the terror Blacks lived under in the South, how Dr. King taught them to face their worst fears and take beatings, and how they were set free that way.

One of my friends in America read the article just before going to bed. At night she had a frightening dream of being chased and caught to be sold into slavery:

In the dream, I was walking down the street, then someone started chasing after me. The guys who were chasing me in the dream had a whip, and were yelling something about slavery.

So I ran. Then a friend of mine showed up and he ran with me. We hid together. But when the chasers caught up with us, my friend turned me in to them so he could escape. Then I woke up. Awful dream.

I remember more about my bodily reaction (tense) to the dream than the dream itself.

I felt strongly impressed by the Lord that the dream had meaning, and to ask Him to interpret it. So I prayed and asked what this is about and who it is for. He answered that it is for Christians in America.

I thought I should ask for understanding about the meaning of "slavery" but instead I was impressed to ask about the "running away" and trying to hide first.

I asked, "What are we running away from, Lord?"

He said that Christians in America are running away from persecution, and trying to hide from having to suffer with Christ.

The way that we are running is by fighting, particularly by using violence (as has been done in America since the beginning). In waking life fighting seems to be the opposite of running away, but in the Spirit, fighting is often just another form of fleeing from His call to share in His sufferings.

That is what the "friend" represents in the dream. In America we used violence to achieve independence from Great Britain, and ever since have used it as a means of solving disputes. Like the friend in the dream, it *seems* to help us and go along with us. But in real life, it will eventually betray us.

When we use violence to avoid being slaves (as we fear will happen if we don't fight) and secure our "freedom", the acts of violence speak louder than the justness of our cause. As a result, the violence provokes more violence instead of pricking the conscience of the oppressor.

When we take up the sword, we give the other side a reason to hate us and fight. But Dr. King saw nonviolence as a different kind of sword:

"Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon. It is a weapon unique in history, which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals."

("Why We Can't Wait", 1964)

Dr. King's nonviolent vision (which he learned from Jesus) of "a sword that heals" comes from the desire to have love and community with one's enemy rather than seeking to destroy them. Instead of trying to defeat the other person, Dr. King sought to win them to his side. Instead of trying to shame them, he sought to make them neighbors and better people.

But today in America, many Christians are just *tense* like my friend was in her dream. Many are very afraid of President Obama, the government, having their guns taken away, terrorists, the "wrong" person getting into office and more.

Many are talking like they'd better be prepared to fight, like it's important to have guns for this very time and reason. When you hear many Christians talk about the things in the nation that worry them, you can hear the absence of peace.

The author of the article testified that Dr. King and the civil rights leaders taught another way:

"They told us: Whatever you are most afraid of doing vis-a-vis white people, go do it. Go ahead down to city hall and try to register to vote, even if they say no, even if they take your name down.

Go ahead sit at that lunch counter. Sue the local school board. All things that most black people would have said back then, without exaggeration, were stark raving insane and would get you killed.

If we do it all together, we'll be okay.

They made black people experience the worst of the worst, collectively, that white people could dish out, and discover that it wasn't that bad. They taught black people how to take a beating—from the southern cops, from police dogs, from fire department hoses. They actually coached young people how to crouch, cover their heads with their arms and take the beating. They taught people how to go to jail, which terrified most decent people.

And you know what? The worst of the worst, wasn't that bad.

Once people had been beaten, had dogs sicced on them, had fire hoses sprayed on them, and been thrown in jail, you know what happened?

These magnificent young black people began singing freedom songs in jail.

That, my friends, is what ended the terrorism of the south. Confronting your worst fears, living through it, and breaking out in a deep throated freedom song. The jailers knew they had lost when they beat the crap out of these young Negroes and the jailed, beaten young people began to sing joyously, first in one town then in another...

Please let this sink in. It wasn't marches or speeches. It was taking a severe beating, surviving and realizing that our fears were mostly illusory and that we were free."

When oppression, tyranny, persecution and fears assault us, we have to follow the Lamb. He suffered and taught us to respond in love towards our enemies.

But we ran away from that in America from day one, and have twisted Scripture so that we could justify our violence and wars. Listening to the fearful way Christians talk about the government and the world (etc.), one can see that we're still deathly afraid of suffering and being persecuted. We may celebrate the martyrs in our books, but in our lives we are all about fighting for our independence and our rights.

Pray that more and more of us choose to lay down fear of losing freedoms! Pray that we will know His peace instead, whether we have freedoms or not. Pray that we will embrace the Cross instead of trying to escape it. If we run from this, we are slaves even if we are free. But if we join Him in His sufferings, we are free even if we are slaves.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

The God of Christian Zionism

"I am he who sent Israel
to be the way by which
the nations will be judged:

Whoever loves Israel loves me,
but whoever does not love Israel
does not love me and will be judged.

I am he who gives Israel
to be the salvation
for the world."

—the God of Christian Zionism


Art: "Christian Zionism"