This is from the blog Red Sky in the Morning:
Does Lightning Strike Twice?
When Roman Emperor Nero committed suicide in AD 68, a 120 foot high painting of him in the gardens of Maius, four kilometers away, was destroyed by a bolt of lightning … on the same day.
Nero was infamously known as the Emperor who “fiddled while Rome burned.” He blamed the Christians for Rome burning, and had many of them thrown to the wild beasts or crucified. He also burned them to death at night, where they served as ‘lighting’ in his gardens, while he mingled among the watching crowds. It is this brutal persecution which immortalized Nero as the first Antichrist in the eyes of the Christian church.
The lightning bolt is associated with Lucifer, who Jesus saw fall from heaven like lightning. It’s also a symbol for Zeus (same god with a small ‘g’). The symbol was used in the swastika (turn the Z’s around) and in the Waffen SS.
Which brings us to the modern-day Roman Emperor. When the last Pope suddenly resigned, a lightning bolt hit St Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican repeatedly.
I think there’s more to that sudden resignation than we’re being told. But I don’t think Ratzinger went to Hollywood.
Pope Francis, the latest Roman Emperor, is very popular. He looks gentler and softer than the previous Pope.
Here’s Pope Francis being promoted in this kid’s cartoon by Fox. But see the lightning bolts on his sunglasses? Interesting. My daughter tells me the lightning bolts are used in cartoons to denote reflections.
The sign of the hammer and sickle
The Pope will be addressing the U.S. congress on the day the French Foreign Minister warned we’d have ‘climate chaos’. The next day the Pope will be addressing the U.N. when it launches its ‘sustainable development’ agenda for the world.
Sustainable development” is a communist buzzword that means population control, which is not what the Pope should be about, unless he’s changing the Roman Catholic church’s stance on family planning, amongst other things. Religion should have nothing to do with Agenda 21.
No wonder president Morales of Bolivia, himself an Atheist Marxist, clearly seemed to think the Pope would be pleased with a hammer and sickle crucifix.
After The Pope has spoken at the UN and Congress this month, he leaves for Rome on the eve of the last blood moon. I see a bad moon arising.
Let’s see what he’s got planned. He may look like a lamb but he’s speaking like a dragon.
The UN, The Pope, Israel & The Significance of 70 Years (The Shemitah)
Is Pope John Paul II in Hell?
This is from the blog Richard’s Watch:
Are subtle changes in the British and American political scene afoot, and is there a spiritual link between them?
Could a positive trend relating to revival come from the ‘mother’ nation to its ‘adult child’? A trend that includes a rebellious, corrective ‘fight-back’ from Christians!
Reading a few remarks on the US mid-term election results, comments upon our fuel prices and on the Labour party leader’s about-face, a provocative notion popped into mind. Just like one of my loaves it began to rise, and my premise is submitted for what it may be worth. Now it’s out of the ‘oven’ and not half-baked, I’d value your tasting and opinion, so kindly bear with me.
Let’s bite and chew upon these facts as they emerged over weekend 7-9th November:
1. Rick Joyner’s prophetic bulletin arrived whilst I was drafting POTUS’ party pummelled and, although I’d only skimmed it, his careful consideration of the results was evident. He’s of the opinion the GOP now has a mandate from the people – but not necessarily so, because turn-out was low with Democrat supporters staying away in droves. One could, however, argue they couldn’t care less, or that their own president’s policies are so chronic his voters are against him. Moreover, the mandate comes from many who are sufficiently concerned about state of the Union to express this by their vote.
Rick suggests two main questions need answering very quickly with the new Congress:
- Will Republican leaders lead with the resolution needed to fulfill their mandate?
- Will President Obama now work with Congress to make the mandated changes or will he become an obstructionist President? (Do leopards change spots? RB)
He refers to Bill Clinton’s wise course of action after a mid-term rebuke as shown in his working with Republicans and their ‘Contract with America’. Incumbent Obama has the same choice but, “If he doesn’t get the message and act accordingly, it will get very ugly, and impeachment will not be off the table for the abundance of crimes committed by his Administration”. (Now where did I blog about that? – ah yes, on 4th June 2013.)
Rick comments upon voters’ main concerns as revealed in exit polls and I noted nearly half (45%) saw the American economy as an issue. In recommending how GOP should proceed, he refers to Joshua’s defeat at the battle of Ai and how he learned to prevail and concludes:
To effectively deal with the threats to our existence that are still gathering against us, it is imperative that we throw off the extreme devotion to political correctness that has blinded us from seeing or confronting some of the biggest threats…
After elections that seemed to go in our favor, Christians and conservatives have often relaxed. Some would just go back to sleep. If that happens now, it can prove fatal…
“This election was a great victory, but it is just the beginning of getting America back on course. This is no time to let up, and this is no time to become arrogant.
[FYI: Rick Joyner is a founder of ‘a grassroots movement to unite, mobilize, equip, and activate Christians to be the salt and light they are called to be by engaging in the great issues of our time from a sound biblical worldview’ known as The Oak Initiative. Its rise was rapid across all 50 states and over 50 nations worldwide, as well as attracting over 300 Christian leaders.]
2. Friday’s Eye View From The White House from William Koenig connected right into Rick’s remarks about Clinton. He opens from his personal, frontline coverage with header; Defiant Obama Completely Misses the Point of His Political Party’s Shellacking (transl: ‘thrashing’)
I was at President Obama’s White House press conference Wednesday afternoon. As I listened to him explain what happened in the 2014 mid-term election, I thought, “Does he really not understand that this election was a shellacking about him and his failed agenda? Is he that far removed from reality or in total denial?” This was one of the largest political defeats in modern election history at all levels of government, both national and state.
But Obama refuses to take responsibility despite the fact that his political party did not invite him to do any national or local political campaigning, which he said he loves to do…
As Obama’s yet to learn from the 2010 fiasco, as in this from BBC on ‘shellacking’, the chances of his now changing attitude seem negligible!
Bill’s review continues with quotations from leading left- and right-wing journalists who hammer Obama’s denial and defiance of sweeping GOP gains in the Senate, House and governorships. He also quotes National Review’s article on the Democrats in States Legislature sinking to levels only known prior to the Great Depression!!
3. The most surprising element of Bill Koenig’s ‘Eye View’ is on Christians’ decisive role in the Democrats’ demise! Political involvement by churches in the US is regarded by Brits as an American peculiarity, probably because of our centuries of politico-religious conflicts and state-established Anglican church presided over by the monarch. Yet we need to be aware and appreciate what’s happened…
The Faith & Foundation Coalition report upon a post-election survey showing, ‘Self-Identified Conservative Christians Comprised Record Share of the Electorate, Backed GOP Candidates by 8 to 1 Margin’. Bill quotes FFC founder Ralph Reed,
Their share of the electorate exceeded that of the African-American vote, Hispanic vote, and union vote combined. Religious conservative voters and the issues they care about are here to stay. They will be equally vital in 2016. Politicians of both parties ignore this constituency at their peril.
It’s instructive to note the Christian share of the vote was almost 1 in 3 and that those who identified themselves as believers voted as follows:
- conservative – 82%:12% GOP:Dem (approx 52.4% GOP vote-share)
- evangelical – 82%:18% GOP:Dem (constitute 23% electorate)
- Catholic – 70%:30% GOP:Dem (constitute 9% electorate)
4. On Saturday I read about the reasons UK motorists are being ripped off and this cast doubt on claims about the state of the US economy being a major factor in the election results.
In his Business Comment, Allister Heath explains horrendous tax rates are the real reason why petrol is still so expensive and that international oil prices are directly connected to the petro-dollar. This is only one reason why falling prices are not quickly reflected in pump prices. A drop in price can be cancelled out by weak value of sterling against US dollar, as is happening today. “The value of the pound has slumped to a 14-month low against the dollar, partly as a result of strong employment figures from the US.”
Costs at the pump are hiked up by fuel duty and value-added tax totalling 63.4% of retail price. [At 1.60 £/$, petrol at just under £1.25/litre = $2.00. So 1 gallon here costs £5.68 = $9.10 : that is, $7.60/gallon (US).]
So, I thought this commentator’s remark ran contrary to US exit-poll reasons. Of course what really counts is voters’ personal perception and experience of economic realities. It is another thing for economists to look at leading indicators showing the US economy is now strengthening (eg. Guardian’s Trevor Williams, Calm down financial markets; the message on UK and US growth is good).
5. Then in the same paper I espied an op-ed’s strap-line ‘Sooner or later a line has to be drawn – and anti-Semitism is surely a good place to start’. Dan Hodges’ Politics has become detached from morality opens on Tory strategists’ ideas to counter UKIP’s poaching conservative voters. Apparently, UKIP Leader Farage did a deal with a notorious extremist leader of a far-right Polish party who admires Hitler and denies his involvement in the Holocaust. But the author changes tack, as follows…
After the week’s reports of challenges to Ed Miliband’s leadership of the Labour party, it is noteworthy that Dan writes, “This week a voice was raised against anti-Semitism. It was that of Ed Milibrand…on his Facebook page (he said) ‘We need a zero-tolerance approach to anti-Semitism in the UK and reaffirm our revulsion to it in all its forms’…”
Not so laudable as it seems, because its belies his 3-line whip preventing Labour MPs’ free vote in the motion favouring a Palestinian state (see MPs ignore Koranic scholar’s warning). Miliband’s ardent support for Palestinian goals seems mutually exclusive to any concerns over anti-Semitism and, by inference over anti-Israel sentiment.
Dan exposes the hypocrisy of Milband’s insistence upon a ‘zero-approach’:
A clear and principled statement. Except, it wasn’t a clear and principled statement, but a statement born of political calculation.
A week earlier, Miliband had received a high-profile rebuke from Labour supporter Maureen Lipman. “Just when the anti-Semitism in France, Denmark, Norway, Hungary is mounting savagely, just when our cemeteries and synagogues and shops are once again under threat”, she wrote in Standpoint magazine, “in steps Mr Miliband to demand that the government recognise the state of Palestine”.
Lipman’s comments, in particular her concern about the Labour leader’s silence over anti-Semitic attacks, were quickly echoed by other senior members of the Jewish community.
So 24 hours later that silence was suddenly broken. Reporters at the Jewish Chronicle and Jewish News were phoned with quotes condemning a recent attack on Luciana Berger, the Jewish Labour MP. And a couple of days later, Miliband’s Facebook article appeared.
H O L D O N – wot woz zat?
Suddenly, I sense an invisible jigsaw again taking shape…
A corrective trend?
I’d closed my previous post by quoting Apostle Paul on the futility of our mocking God’s ways and precepts, as in the earliest document of the New Testament. Also, I related it to the acceleration in applying that law as recently taught by Neville Johnson.
So now I’m suddenly struck, not by the Labour’s leader’s expedient about-turn, but by the fact of his leadership being challenged that week – see How Labour rebels turned on their leader. This isn’t at all surprising as a consequence of the party’s deep decline in Scotland.
But there may be another dimension to all this…a provocative notion springs to mind: I’m struck by the possibility he may be reaping what he’s sown against Israel.
Now, where did I note a similar party political upheaval before? Answer: Alex Salmond and his failed personal ambition to persuade Scotland to vote for leaving the UK! As a result, he stood down from leadership of the Scottish Nationalist Party.
Moreover, in blogging on Salmond’s possible Islamist stance, I noted he’s vociferously anti-Israel. Perhaps the Lord ensured he reaped his reward for what he’d sown against His people? And perhaps the most appropriate time was an election/referendum?
After the ground was shaken from under the Scottish First Minister, the notion popped into mind that this may the reason it’s starting to shake under Ed Miliband’s feet too?
And it’s happened in the very same week for POTUS and the Democrats! Obama mocked the Lord God throughout his tenure, has been against Israel and displays personal animosity towards its Prime Minister (click image to read why). As the renowned investigative journalist Daniel Greenfield now blogs at ‘Sultan Knish’, The Democratic Party’s Civil War is Here.
Also, lest we forget, two Christian leaders prophesied about Benjamin Netanyahu being elected into office for more than a single term, one as far back as 1980 (as told here). Therefore, he is the Lord’s man for this time in Israel’s history.
- the above political leaders have made declarations and decisions in varying measure inimical to the well-being of the Jewish people and Israel and have then come a cropper. It’s quite possible the Lord is now taking them to task for that.
That this Galatians 6:7-8 action has started in the UK before the USA, where the sowing of defective seed has been extensive, may be related to the fulfilment of prophecies for the British Isles and what the Lord is already doing here.
That is, it’s necessary to correct UK’s ungodly situation first – or because the spiritual atmosphere is opening – in order for the harvest to ripen as people awaken to the Lord.
Whereas in the States, an enormous spiritual schism had opened up across the nation (as seen by Chuck Pierce in 2008) which will need extensive repair with repentance, or face an increase of the judgement that’s already come upon it. Comparatively, the USA may therefore be further down the line for revival than the UK yet be blessed by what he Lord will do here.
Hence, the mid-term elections and the possible consequential actions could be a vital corrective action for the sake of America’s spiritual well-being. Perhaps that trend has already started here in the UK and will come to affect the USA too?
That concept was voiced in March by Charles Shamp about the British Isles,
“Whether we are discussing the First and Second Great Awakenings…God has always seemed to release the fresh movement of the Holy Spirit on these Islands that has gone on to affect the entire earth.
“My love for Church history and the moves of the Spirit caused me to recognize that what took place within these nations directly affected America and the move of the Spirit in my nation.
“Although we are an ocean away, we are connected in the realm of the Spirit, and as the song of Heaven would arise over the UK, it would carry all the way to the shores of America and revival would begin to come forth in these United States….” (read full word here)
[Hand Pressing News Icon by Watcharakun and Puzzle in Sky by Idea Go are courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net]
Obama as Stuart
A History Lesson: Colonel Isaac Barre
On 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta–or should it be 1,400th?
‘Biblical’ floods in UK, unbiblical laws, and Acts of God
A Vision of Britain and the United States
D-Day, 2017: British and American Christianity
The British Are Coming!
Cover Design by Gary Kelley
Walkin’ Joe and the Midnight Marauders
By Dennis R. Waller
Page 241: “Joseph Smith. Born in Buffalo, Wisc. on Sept. 9, 1901. Died in Cherokee, Ia. on Dec. 21, 1970. Occupation, retired farmhand. Relatives (living or dead), none known. Activities, organizations, military service? All blanks. The newspaper obituary fact sheet is pretty bare for Joseph Smith, who is being put to rest today, Thursday, Dec. 24, after services at McCullough’s Funeral Chapel at 1: 30 p.m.
“To many of Algona residents over 25, Joseph Smith was a colorful character known as ‘Walkin’ Joe’. Many people can tell a tale or two about this big man who walked the streets of Algona for some 30 years. That Joe could ‘work like any two men’ is an often-heard remark. Some farmers in the area can vouch for his strength, endurance and appetite by first hand experience.
“But the black and white facts that should fill in a normal obituary form are missing from Joseph Smith’s 69-year term on earth. According to that cold sheet of paper the only things that ever really happened to Walkin’ Joe were his birth and death.
“He was mysterious as he was colorful, but not by his own choice. He talked to very few people and when he did he said very little.
“He’d spend his hours walking and resting at various locations near downtown when he couldn’t get work as a farmhand. For the past few years, he spent a lot of his time dreaming and napping on a bench in front of the courthouse.
“Residents in Algona during World War II recall that Joe used to work with the crews of German prisoners-of-war around town. He evidently was of German descent and could speak a little of his native language.
“Working with the POW’s led to nicknames like ‘Dutch’ or ‘Kraut’ and were yelled at him for years after the War by local youth. The tradition of teasing this grumbling, big man (6’2′ and 260 lbs. in his prime, he told one man) was passed from kid to kid by the bicycle generation. Tormenting taunts led to rock throwing and even shooting with BB guns by youths with an ignorant impression of how to have a good time. He became a real source of amusement because he would chase his tormentors.
“It must have been out of fear and wonder that young boys bothered this mysterious, powerful man, who only wanted to be left alone.”
Page 243: “He was taken to Cherokee, where he died. Leo Cassel last visited him six months ago in Cherokee. He was confused and having some leg trouble, but seemed happy.
“Exactly where Joe came from and what he did for his estimated 69 years is unclear. By talking to those who knew him casually, you can pick up tiny pieces of what seems to be a sad giant puzzle.
“He must have gone through life with only the clothes on his back. When his body was shipped here from Cherokee, his personal property included work clothes, underwear and shoes. No papers, pictures, identification or mementos.
“Holidays probably didn’t mean much to him, since he didn’t have a family with which to spend them, but he’ll be buried at Riverview Cemetery on Christmas Eve. I’ll be there, because I owe him for some rocks and name-calling.
“In the years I knew of him, I never once saw a grin on that weathered old face. I would hope he’d smile if he knew how sad his blank obituary form makes me.”
Page 245: “So that’s the end of ol’ Joe, right?” he asked. “Guess you have some interesting recollections, now don’t you?” He showed a sly smile. “I know you do for sure, Skag. Probably all of you. Wish I’d known about your story, Mr. Waller. There was something about Joe’s background that you didn’t mention. He was on one of those orphan trains as a kid. I was never able to find out anything more on that. He always clammed up.”
Larry recalled the time guys were bellied up at the bar, talking about the old days, when passenger trains were a new big thing. “Heck, we’d take Marykay and Judy down to the depot just to see the big locomotive come chugging in. Kids screamed at the big, loud monster coming right at us, but they loved it.
“Anyhow, Joe came walking up to the bar for his glass of beer and he’d been listening. Never did that before. He stood back, but I could tell he was interested. When the topic changed and I turned to leave, Joe tugged at my sleeve—something he’d never done. He was a man of few words, but that day he said, very plainly—with his German accent—‘I come on orphan train. Mean Wisconsin farmer. No pay.'” Larry said he had tried to ask Joe a few questions but Joe had said all he cared to and the subject never came up again. “My assumption is that some Wisconsin farmer needed a hired man, but Joe wasn’t yet big and strong enough to do the work, so got bounced and either was on an orphan train or simply hopped freights. Eventually landed in Algona. But hey, I really don’t know.”
Page 268: Even now, many years later and at unexpected times, my mind often travels back to the bittersweet memories of our childhood days seeking adventure. They always trail off to the snowy vision upon leaving the pauper’s gravesite on the Christmas Eve of 1970.
We drove away from the chill at Riverview Cemetery and returned to the snug security of our families, warm homes, hot meals and the fruits of love and labor. But if I think back upon my life, the earliest regrets are there. They’re in the deep part of my conscience, where I am unable to wish away poor decisions of my youth.
And it is there, in the recesses, where Walkin’ Joe trods silently.
Walkin’ Joe website
A Man’s Foes Shall Be They Of His Own Household
A Conversation with a Vietnam Veteran
The Jerry Shey Family
Algona Upper Des Moines Newspaper
This is from the blog Called Out: Now What?
The Early Christians Were Intensely Christ-Centered
by Ray Spellbrink
The early Christians were intensely Christ-centered. Jesus Christ was their pulse beat. He was their life, their breath, and their central point of reference. He was the object of their worship, the subject of their songs, and the content of their discussion and vocabulary. The New Testament church made the Lord Jesus Christ central and supreme in all things.
The New Testament church had no fixed order of worship. The early Christians gathered in open-participatory meetings where all believers shared their experience of Christ, exercised their gifts, and sought to edify one another. No one was a spectator. All were given the privilege and the responsibility to participate.
The purpose of these church meetings was twofold. It was for the mutual edification of the body. It was also to make visible the Lord Jesus Christ through the every-member functioning of His body. The early church meetings were not religious “services.” They were informal gatherings that were permeated with an atmosphere of freedom, spontaneity, and joy. The meetings belonged to Jesus Christ and to the church [Ed: the people]; they did not serve as a platform for any particular ministry or gifted person.
The New Testament church lived as a face-to-face community. While the early Christians gathered for corporate worship and mutual edification, the church did not exist to merely meet once or twice a week. The New Testament believers lived a shared life. They cared for one another outside of scheduled meetings. They were, in the very real sense of the word, family.
Christianity was the first and only religion the world has ever known that was void of ritual, clergy, and sacred buildings. For the first 300 years of the church’s existence, Christians gathered in homes.
On special occasions, Christian workers would sometimes make use of larger facilities (like Solomon’s Porch [John 10:23, Acts 3:11] and the Hall of Tyrannus [Acts 19:9]). But they had no concept of a sacred edifice nor of spending large amounts of money on buildings. Nor would they ever call a building a “church” or the “house of God”.
The only sacred building the early Christians knew was the one not made with human hands.
The New Testament church did not have a clergy. The Catholic priest and the Protestant pastor were completely unknown. The church had traveling apostolic workers who planted and nurtured churches. But these workers were not viewed as being part of a special clergy caste. They were part of the body of Christ, and they served the churches (not the other way around). Every Christian possessed different gifts and different functions, but only Jesus Christ had the exclusive right to exercise authority over His people. No man had that right. Eldering and shepherding were just two of those gifts.
Elders and shepherds were ordinary Christians with certain gifts. They were not special offices. And they did not monopolize the ministry of the church meetings.
They were simply seasoned Christians who naturally cared for the members of the church during times of crisis and provided oversight for the whole assembly.
Decision making in the New Testament church fell upon the shoulders of the whole assembly. Traveling church planters would sometimes give input and direction. But ultimately, the whole church made local decisions under the lordship of Jesus Christ. It was the church’s responsibility to find the Lord’s mind together and act accordingly.
The New Testament church was organic, not organizational. It was not welded together by putting people into office, creating programs, constructing rituals, and developing a top-down hierarchy or chain-of-command structure. The church was a living, breathing organism. It was born, it would grow, and it naturally produced all of what was in its DNA. That would include all the gifts, ministries and functions of the body of Christ. In the eyes of God, the church is a beautiful woman. The bride of Christ. She was a colony from heaven, not a man-made organization from earth.
Tithing was not a practice of the New Testament church. The early Christians used their funds to support the poor among them, as well as the poor in the world. They also supported traveling itinerant church planters so that the gospel could be spread and churches could be raised up in other lands. They gave according to their ability, not out of guilt, duty or compulsion. Pastor/clergy salaries were unheard of.
Every Christian in the church was a priest, a minister, and a functioning member of the body.
Baptism was the outward expression of Christian conversion. When the early Christians led people to the Lord, they immediately baptized them in water as to testimony to their new position. The Lord’s Supper was an ongoing expression whereby the early Christians reaffirmed their faith in Jesus Christ and their oneness with His body.
The Supper was a full meal which the church enjoyed together in the spirit and atmosphere of joy and celebration. It was the fellowship of the body of Christ, not a token ritual or a religious rite. And it was never officiated by a clergy or a special priesthood.
The early Christians did not build Bible schools or seminaries to train young workers. Christian workers were educated and trained by older workers in the context of church life. They learned “on the job”. Jesus provided the initial model for this “on-the-job” training when he mentored the Twelve. Paul duplicated it when he trained young Gentile workers in Ephesus.
The early Christians did not divide themselves into various denominations. they understood their oneness in Christ and expressed it visibly in every city. To their minds, there was only one church per city (even though it may have met in many different homes throughout the locale). If you were a Christian in the first century, you belonged to that one church. The unity of the Spirit was well guarded. Denominating themselves (“I am of Paul”, “I am of Peter”, “I am of Appolos”) was regarded as sectarian and divisive (See 1 Corinthians 1:12)”
I do believe these are some of the aspects of God’s vision for His church. Remember, the goal in our lives and in our church should be the absolute centrality of Jesus Christ. Nothing less will suffice.
We need more revolutionaries today who will stand against the religious system of our day. I encourage you to catch the vision God has for His church! The freedom His plan and will brings is beyond words! Let’s “buck the system” and seek a complete upheaval of those church practices that are so engrained in our churches today that are contrary to biblical principles. Let’s build on the right foundation – Jesus Christ. Anything less results in defect.
Let’s return to Bible basics and New Testament Christianity where Jesus is Lord!
BE A REVOLUTIONARY!
Until next time, enjoy the journey!
“If someone proved to me that Christ
is outside the truth, and that in reality the truth were outside of Christ, then I should prefer to remain with Christ rather than with the truth.”