Testing the Spirits
A Brief Review of 1998 (31 Dec 98)
1. Due to a need to address various issues regarding our current world situation, our journey through the Old Testament didn't get as far as I thought it would last December. In particular, we have yet to specifically examine what the authors of the New Testament were REALLY talking about when they referred to such topics as "forgiveness of sins", "everlasting life", etc., although we did cover many of the historical experiences which contributed to the development of such teachings. In 1999, we'll develop a further understanding of those issues as we examine how those historical experiences influenced the teachings of the great prophets of Israel (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and others). In the processes, we shall not only "nail down" the fact that the "abomination that causes desolation" referred to by Daniel is the idolatrous concept that were refer to in this age as "national sovereignty", we shall also consider WHY those prophets were inspired to make such prophecies regarding the "end times".
2. However, at this point, let's review some of the most noteworthy events of 1998 from the point of view of God's two most fundamental commandments:
2a. Last summer, in deference to the desires of our Pentagon and the congressional representatives of America's "Christian Right", the Clinton Administration voted AGAINST the rule of law embodied a treaty to establish an International Criminal Court. (That treaty was nevertheless was approved by an overwhelming majority of the nations of the world.) Then, in response to the bombing to two of our embassies in Africa, the Clinton Administration launched missile attacks against suspected "terrorist facilities" in Afghanistan and the Sudan, thereby proving that that our government is no more "moral" than the terrorists who bombed those two embassies. The civilian victims of our acts of state-sponsored terrorism are just as dead (and missed) as the victims of the acts of terrorism that supposedly triggered our retaliation. Will such acts of state-sponsored terrorism prevent further terrorist actions against the United States? Not likely. Experiences in Northern Ireland and Palestine have shown that such actions are more likely to create new terrorists and encourage further retaliations in a cycle of violence that won't end until both sides put their faith in the "rule of law" (which the Clinton Administration has rejected).
2b. In February 1998, the forces of reason prevailed over right-wing-promoted efforts to punish Saddam Hussein when President Clinton called off his planned air strikes in exchange for some promises of cooperation from Saddam. A similar scenario occurred again in November. Then in December, President Clinton responded to Saddam's obstinacy by ordering a four-day air attack on various Iraqi government and military facilities. Evidently, Saddam considered the fact that he wasn't actually killed in those raids to be a "victory" of some sort. Now that he as demonstrated that he can "survive our best shot", he is probably specifically planning some sort of retaliation against US citizens somewhere. Do you remember what happened to Pan Am Flight 103 as a result of President Reagan's popularly supported air attack against Libya?
2c. On 26 December, the editors of The Boston Globe published an editorial entitled "The only solution for Iraq" in which they advocated that the United State sponsor an anti-Saddam "Iraqi National Congress" insurgency movement in Iraq. WHOA! Think about that! Didn't Presidents Carter, Reagan, and Bush already try that Ho-Chi-Minh-like strategy to help remove a Soviet-backed government in Afghanistan? Consider what they REALLY accomplished by using such ungodly tactics. The Soviet-backed government they were targeting was indeed overthrown, but that was largely because the Soviet Union itself was dissolving, so at best that Ho-Chi-Minh-like US policy can only be given partial credit for that outcome. One thing is for sure: LOTS of people got killed in Afghanistan as a result that US-sponsored effort (and its subsequent anarchy). Furthermore, also partially as a result of that US policy, the unfortunate survivors in Afghanistan are now being ruled by a far more oppressive group of "Islamic" extremists who, by the way, also have a history of supporting international terrorism. It was that Ho-Chi-Minh-like US policy that produced the people who masterminded the bombing of our World Trade Center in New York City! How many more lessons like this will it take for the editors of The Boston Globe (and others) to realize that EVIL ACTIONS TEND TO GENERATE EVIL REACTIONS? By failing to educate the people of the world regarding this historically proven phenomenon, our religious leaders have failed God and the people of the world MISERABLY! As worse yet, some of our most popular "Christian Right" religious leaders have even been among the world's most effective OPPONENTS of the rule of law. The rule of law IS the godly solution to dealing with people like Saddam Hussein. The editors of the Boston Globe were "dead wrong" when they claimed that their Ho-Chi-Minh-like proposal was the "only" solution for such problems.
THE CLINTON-JONES-LEWINSKY-IMPEACHMENT FIASCO
3. This whole situation reminds me of the Uncle Remus story about a "tar baby." The more dirt and tar the Republicans attempt to add to that baby, the more they end up getting stuck in it! They too are ignoring the fact the evil actions tend to generate evil reactions.
3a. If the Republicans REALLY wanted President Clinton to be subject to the rule of law regarding that perjury charge, they would be insisting that President Clinton not be pardoned but be put on trail for that charge after his term is up. That way, all of the witnesses would be subject to cross examination, all of the evidence would be subject our nation's established rules of evidence, and the political consequences of the verdict would no longer be such an issue. Perhaps even more importantly, he would be judged by a jury of his peers rather than a committee of politicians whose judgements are governed by "political concerns." Instead, the Republicans have been insisting that President Clinton's conduct be "judged" using processes which they themselves politically control.
3b. I find it encouraging seeing that substantial majorities of the American people have not been fooled by such deceptive Republican tactics. Perhaps, more than anything else, it has been the mean-spirited conduct of the Republicans and Ken Starr's abuses of power that have made President Clinton "look good" by comparison.
3c. It's also interesting to note that those public opinion polls indicate a substantial majority of the American people "don't buy" the Levite/Pharisee-like "morality" teachings of America's so-called "Christian Right" movement. Among the various religious and political groups that Jesus encountered during his ministry (including Samaritans, Pagans, etc.), it was the Levite-like Pharisees (and their associates) whom Jesus criticized the most, because THEY were the ones who were using God's name in vain by claiming to represent God while teaching and practicing violations of God's two most fundamental commandments (Matthew: 22:37-40). Apparently, judging form the public opinion polls, a majority of the American people share that view regarding America's so-called "Christian right."
A STATUS REPORT ON THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST
4. As "one grain of salt", my efforts are just a small part of the currently evolving event which Christians refer to as the "Second Coming of Christ." As shown above, a majority of the American people are already in some ways more Christ-like in their thinking than many of the religious leaders who have been dominating America's air waves (and the Republican Party). If I had predicted ten years ago that the Soviet Union and the Berlin Wall would both crumble out of existence within five years, would you have believed me? Probably not. The Second Coming of Christ will likewise culminate far more rapidly than most people ever thought possible.
4a. As pointed out in my earlier articles, the world's various denominations of "Christianity" have all been subordinating God to Satan in one way or another in order to accommodate the worship of "national sovereignty" (the bloodiest idol ever created by man). As a result, there are at least as many different definitions of what constitutes a "true Christian" as there are denominations of Christianity. [Even most of the members of Adolph Hitler's infamous SS considered themselves to be "true Christians."]
4b. In response to the advice in 1 John 4:1, "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world", each denomination of Christianity has developed its own set of man-made criteria (criteria other than God's two most fundamental commandments) for distinguishing between "true Christians" and false prophets. My 18 Oct 98 article "Selling a Cadillac with no engine" provides an excellent illustration of how one of our more popular religious leaders (Dr. Charles Stanley) defines what it means to be a "true Christian" while conspicuously avoiding any mention of God's commandment of love your neighbor as yourself. Other religious leaders offer convoluted definitions of "legalism" as their basis for determining the difference between "true Christians" and false prophets. As far as I have been able to determine, none of them are actually teaching the Kingdom of God as taught by Jesus Christ, because if they did, they would have to confront and teach the truth about the ungodly (idolatrous) nature of "national sovereignty" worship.
4c. As Jesus said in Matthew 24:14, "And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come." Since that hasn't happened yet, the end of our present ungodly (at least 10,000-year-old) "age of idolatry" hasn't occurred yet either. But it's going to happen sometime in the not-too-distant future, because God's guiding principles of truth and love are more powerful than the present censorship practices of our news agencies or the insincerity of many of our present religious leaders. Like Jonah, they cannot run way from God forever.
4d. Some have commented that I may be "coming down too hard" on our present religious leaders and their organizations. After all, even though they haven't been applying the Ten Commandments and the teachings of Jesus Christ to the worship of national sovereignty, they have been doing many good works that do indeed conform with God's commandment to love our neighbors as ourselves. That's true. But God also expects them to apply His guiding principles of truth and love to EVERYTHING that mankind does, because when they fail to do so, the consequences for mankind are horrendous! Bishop Tom Gumbleton of the Archdiocese of Detroit appears to be doing this better than most with his scathing criticisms of the Clinton-led economic embargo against Iraq and his efforts to help the real Iraqi victims of that embargo. And there are other signs that God's truth may finally be "breaking through" the censorship. When Pope John Paul II talks about "opening the door" next Christmas, is His Holiness simply referring to the main doors of St. Peter's Basilica, or is he considering "opening the door" to truly understanding the allegorical teachings of Jesus Christ?
one grain of salt
(whose only "credentials" are God's two most fundamental commandments, Matthew 22:37-40)
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Last modified on Friday, May 03, 2002