Saturday, November 8, 2008

What's Next?

On March 13, 2008 after a time of morning prayer, I wrote the following in an e-mail to friends:
I believe the Lord impressed upon … a looming US economic crisis that is a “beginning of sorrows” or birth pangs for the United States and possibly world financial markets.

I am not an economist and I make no claim to be a “prophet” … I believe other “birth pangs” will follow economic hardship … I believe that the US is going to suffer a major terrorist event(s) in the not too distant future.

On June 23, 2008, in a two-part post to my blog (Seeds for Good Soil), entitled, The End of America, I made the following assertion:

The years ahead will be characterized by a series of withering “birth pangs” that will grow in frequency and intensity. America will be hit by apocalyptic events from which we will not be able to recover.

On June 24, I wrote the following:

God is about to allow our nation to be crippled with an event or events so "apocalyptic" that they will end America as we know it and accelerate the world's progression to the end.

On September 21, 2008, I wrote this:

America’s woes will continue to escalate unless our nation repents of the sin of abortion.

On September 29, 2008:

America’s [economic] hemorrhaging will not abate unless and until our nation repents of the sin of Abortion. Even if our nation does repent, we may only be able to reduce or delay the inevitable, for we have sinned against great light.

During the weeks leading up to the election, my heart was heavy with a sense of foreboding. I knew that America would change dramatically if Obama won. That sense of foreboding has not abated.

I know many people, Christians among them, get angry when I say that the President Elect’s carefully crafted winsome persona hides a Marxist-Leninist heart. I discerned this very early in the campaign and tried in vain to warn friends and loved ones not to be duped. Some are not duped at all, but favor Obama’s radical agenda.

On election night I wrote the following:

I can’t say with pinpoint accuracy exactly when or what specific legislation Obama will introduce, but based on his voting record and some of the things he’s said during the campaign, I am fairly certain he will attempt to do the following:

  • He will do nothing to impede the wanton slaughter of the unborn, ensuring God’s retribution against our Nation.
  • He will appoint activist Supreme Court justices who will radically alter America. Two activist replacement jurists could sentence Scalia, Roberts, Alito and Thomas to a protracted minority role, rendering their opinions on constitutional issues, non sequitur.
  • With a filibuster-proof House and Senate, Obama will move quickly to reinstate the “Fairness Doctrine” in order to silence opposition voices. Make no mistake; the primary target of the Fairness Doctrine is “Talk Radio.”
  • Speaking of “prophecy,” Biden suggested that Obama’s perceived weakness on international diplomacy would invite an international crisis within the first 6 months of his presidency. I will be very surprised if it takes that long.
  • By his oft-repeated criticism of the Iraq war and stated commitment to withdraw US troops from the Iraq theatre, Obama has painted himself into a corner. His radical base will not tolerate a protracted withdrawal so he will need to act swiftly and deliberately in order to sustain his popularity among his base.
  • Obama will push for amnesty for illegal aliens, but much like the “Fairness Doctrine” euphemism, it will be presented as much-needed “immigration reform.” Since, as a voting bloc, the Latino community tends favor Democrats, he will want to open the floodgates to substantially increase the number of Latino voters. This could tip already razor-thin national election margins into the Democratic column for the foreseeable future.
  • He will introduce “hate speech” laws designed to silence anyone who is outspoken and “politically incorrect.” Smelling blood in the water, tort attorneys will launch into a feeding frenzy over just about anything said except “Good morning,” and “Have a nice day.”

Each of these policies are part of a carefully-conceived plan.

Americans’ bitterness toward the Bush administration combined with Obama’s hypnotic appeal fueled a wave of irrational exuberance for “change” that Obama rode to victory. By electing Obama as our 43rd President, Americans have put our nation in great peril. I do not believe many Christians realize how bad life is going to get under an Obama administration.

Here are a few of the things I believe are coming next in the unfolding of God’s judgment upon America. With significant majorities in the House and Senate, Democrats will move quickly to dismantle the American Republic in the following ways:

  1. A frightening cult-like blindness has shrouded the minds of the Obama faithful. Many, including "Evangelicals," have been seduced by Obama’s oratory prowess and utopian vision. This is characteristic of the “great falling away” that is already underway in post-Christian America and in the Church.
  2. Many Christians and Church leaders will be swept up in the euphoric call to join a movement for “national unity” and to be loyal to our new President. Many will adopt a hostile attitude toward fellow Church members who refuse to join the Obama jubilee. Democrats will use Christians who have embraced their cause as examples of "how a good Christian should act" to shame those who do not jump on the band-wagon.
  3. Pastors who refused take a stand prior to the election and who continue to refuse after the election, will lose the respect of their congregations when members begin to see how radical Obama’s agenda really is.
  4. Christians who were certain Obama would never be as radical as some Conservative voices predicted will, to their horror and dismay, learn differently.
  5. Many Christians who do not like “Talk Radio” will be glad to see it go. What they do not realize, however, is that this is only a first step toward speech suppression in our nation. Soon enough, the speech police will come for the Church. Do you think you are immune, pastor? Study Canadian and European policies for a preview of things to come.
  6. Weakened by a failing US economy, America’s enemies will be emboldened and attack. Not knowing how to respond, this administration will try to show “good will” by adopting a conciliatory disposition toward our enemies.
  7. Islamic influence in national, state, and local governments will increase dramatically. Islamists will be protected from open criticism by “hate speech” laws enacted by Congress and the President. I would not be at all surprised if we begin to hear some politicians call for a special dispensation in the application of sharia law to Muslim legal cases.

President-Elect Obama has moved quickly to appoint far-left political “gangsters” to key posts in his administration including Chicago political thug, Rahm Emmanual as White House Chief of Staff. So much for “governing from the center.”

Before Election Day 2008, I repeatedly warned that Obama, if elected President, would move swiftly to reinstitute the “Fairness Doctrine” in an effort to shut down “Talk Radio.” Yesterday, CNET news reported that the President-Elect had chosen Henry Rivera to head the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) transition team.

The CNET article failed to mention Rivera’s philosophy of communications and the policies he pursued as FCC Commissioner from August 10, 1981 to September 15, 1985. Well known for his leftist views, Rivera is a staunch advocate of the “Fairness Doctrine.” He is expected to spearhead the effort to take conservatism off the air.

Reinstituting the Fairness Doctrine will greatly demoralize conservatives and weaken their resolve to rally for conservative causes. Democrats are well aware of Talk Radio's effectiveness and this is why they want the Fairness Doctrine reinstated.

Obama also wants to see more regulation of the Internet. He will sell an intrusive Internet policy as the only way to guarantee “open access” for everyone.

If the first few days after the election are any indication of how Obama will govern, we are in deep trouble. He is proving himself to be calculated and deliberate.

As I’ve stated in the past, many in our society will “sleep soundly” through the bloodless overthrow of traditional American ideals and the Constitutional principles that made our nation great. Like the frog in the kettle, they will not know until it is too late, and many will never know.

The most powerful weapon the Church still has is prayer; we need to start in earnest, now.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Vote Like You Pray

(By William Cook)

After this manner therefore pray ye: ‘Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.’ (Matthew 6:9-10)

How many Christians who pray this prayer will vote in November for a president who is pro-abortion, favors same-sex "civil unions,” same-sex marriage, or the erasure of any reference to God from public life? How can we pray “Thy will to be done on earth as it is in heaven,” and then vote in a way that sabotages the answer to that prayer? If unfaithfulness in little things says big things about us, then who we vote for is not a trivial matter.

In his recently published book, “How Would God Vote? Why the Bible Commands You to Be A Conservative,” journalist David Klinghoffer presents a lucid theological apologetic suggesting that Christians and Jews should vote for those candidates most closely aligned with Conservative values. An orthodox Jew has it more right than many Bible-believing Christians.

What I’ve just written will trigger an intense knee-jerk reaction in some by offending the widely-held notion that political debate is too “controversial” or alienates seekers. Moreover, some Church leaders tend to behave as if preaching about relevant “political” issues is unethical. What has caused the Church in America to abandon this crucial dimension of our culture, a culture she is called to speak into?

Churches avoid corporate taxation as long as they remain compliant with 401(c)(3) restrictions on political activity. Since charitable giving tax-deductibility hinges on 401(c)(3) compliance, pastors and leaders are disinclined to say or do anything that might impact the bottom line. Conformity to 401(c)(3) prohibitions coupled with the human tendency to treat what is prohibited as unethical, gradually infuses the idea that political speech is out of bounds, especially if it is partial to candidates who favor Kingdom values or are less antagonistic toward the Church’s mission.

The problem is a purely economical one, however; there shouldn’t be any culturally-relevant issue that can’t be dealt with sensitively, cogently, and in accordance with Scripture, including who might be the better candidate. As salt and light, “a city set on a hill,” the “good works” Jesus said the Church should display must include voting for the best candidate. (Matthew 5:13-16) How can we push such a critical responsibility to the periphery by ignoring it? We minimize our impact on society by voting for candidates who espouse injustice or whose policies diminish the Church. Tax implications should not be permitted to hijack the Church’s role or message in society. If a tax deduction requires us to “sell out,” then we’d better give up the benefit. Who do we trust more, God or government?

Ignorance is no excuse. Klinghoffer has a far better grasp of the Bible than many Christians. He applies solid exegetical skills blended with a thorough knowledge of Scripture and Hebrew history, to make his case. Given the embarrassing number of trendy theological fads that I’ve seen come and go during my 34 years as a Christian, why shouldn’t I examine a Jewish guy’s Theo-political perspective? At least he uses Scripture to support his position.

In Chapter 6, “Abortion: A Litmus Test,” Klinghoffer writes, “More than perhaps any other issue, abortion ought to serve as a litmus test in American Public Life, allowing us to gauge the degree to which a candidate feels comfortable with the politics of God.” Right on! Rarely will you hear this concept taught from American church pulpits.

A significant number of Church pastors and leaders only give abortion token attention on Sanctity of Life Sunday. In the 1940s, there were “unchurched” Germans who believed euthanizing Jews was okay. If the gas chamber happened to be across the street from the meeting, however, concern that preaching against the Jewish liquidation might scare a visiting euthanist away seems vapid indeed. The same goes for Abortion. Babies are being slaughtered every day in our neighborhoods and hospitals and the Church behaves as if nothing significant is going on.

Some argue that God sees all sin the same, so abortion isn’t any worse than lying, stealing, or committing adultery? The issue isn’t whether one sin is worse than another; the wages of all sin is death. The issue is the depth of societal depravity indicated by each.

If the fetus is a human being, then abortion is murder, plain and simple. And if abortion is murder, the Church must not trivialize it by supporting candidates who sanction it. Otherwise, the Church is no better than WWII Germany’s citizens who opposed the holocaust, but remained silent as Hitler’s Waffen-SS liquidated six-million Jews. If an entire group of defenseless people are being systematically murdered in our society, then poverty, education, taxes, or any other issue for that matter, becomes absurd as a primary basis for voting one way or the other.

Here’s the bottom line: Unless both candidates happen to be pro-abortion, in which case you could flip a coin, people who vote for pro-abortion candidates are complicit in the slaughter and will someday have to explain to God why they voted to perpetuate such diabolical behavior resulting in judgment on America. How significant will poverty, welfare, the economy or taxes seem when weighed in the balance against the slaughter?

If all of this sounds too complicated, allow me to offer my two simple rules for choosing a candidate:

RULE 1: If they can’t get it right on human life, they can’t be trusted to get it right on anything less important.

RULE 2: Everything else is less important.

Anyone incapable of grasping this principle is dangerously insensitive toward God’s heart, truth, and the “Thy Kingdom come” prayer.

© 2008 Seeds for Good Soil. (Revised 09 September 2008)

Friday, July 18, 2008

Error-Proofing Your Life - II

Keep It Simple

"A child of five could understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five!" (Groucho Marx)

Paul the Apostle must've been a Groucho Groupie: "But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ." (2 Corinthians 11:3) Or was it the other way around? Sometimes I get my chronologies mixed up. Fortunately for me, the Christian life is attainable to a five year-old.

"Seven Steps to…” “Seven Habits of …” “Ten Principles of …” “A Systematic Approach to …” “Thirteen Keys to …” “Twenty-One Surefire Shortcuts to …” Consider this paradoxical book title: The Simplicity Survival Handbook: 32 Ways To Do Less And Accomplish More. Are you kidding me?! I feel like taking a nap!

Complexity is a common characteristic of false teaching; be leery of any teaching or theological framework that complicates the Christian life. The truth of God will astound you, but not because of its erudition or complexity. If you are looking for a theology that will turn you into a sophisticate, then the teachings of Jesus’ will disappoint you. If our theology doesn't work in the barrio, then we, like Mary, need to spend more time at Jesus' feet.

"Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her." (Luke 10:38-42)

Second only to the authority with which He delivered them, Jesus’ teachings were distinguished by their simplicity. Consider the Savior’s subject matter: birds, bread, candles, farmers, fire, flowers, grain, light, meals, rain, salt, seeds, sheep, shepherds, sowers, virgins, water, weather, weeds, wheat, widows, wind; not very esoteric, but certainly accessible to children and adults possessing childlike faith.

Compiled in one volume, Jesus’ teachings could be titled, “The Complete Idiots Guide to Following Jesus.” Were today’s Christian children’s book publishers unaware that Jesus’ teachings are in the Bible, they might pass over them as too dull for today’s video-game generation. Seminary scholars might grow bored in Professor Jesus’ Systematic Theology class:

"In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight." (Luke 10:21)

Apart from the grace of God, the Christian life would be impossible, but is not “rocket science.” If a 500-page book is needed to validate an idea, it should raise a red flag. Essential truths have been made unmistakably clear in the Scriptures, so clear in fact that it is easier for a “child of 5” to grasp them than for a mind drenched in knowledge. Here are some additional biblical references about simplicity:

"And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified … And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God." (1 Corinthians 2:1-2, 4-5)

"For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power." (1 Corinthians 4:20)

"Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned." (1 Timothy 1:5)

"The words of the wise are like goads, their collected sayings like firmly embedded nails—given by one Shepherd. Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them. Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body. Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil." (Ecclesiastes 12:11-14)

How can a “brainiac” be content with the childlike “simplicity that is in Christ?” By striving to know the source of all knowledge, God Himself. Jesus said, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me." (John 10:27)

Do you love theology, or literally, the “study of God?” Good. Just don’t forget Jesus words, "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me." (John 5:39) Paul wrote, "whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away." (1 Corinthians 13:8) No amount of knowledge can satisfy or thrill the soul like knowing Him, hearing his voice and following Him.

Complexity accompanies pride and leads to unhealthy dependence on the source. When someone begins to complicate the Christian life, steer clear. If you are going to err, err in favor of simplicity.

© 2008 Seeds for Good Soil. (Revised 16 July 2008)

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Error-Proofing Your Life - I

Two Essential Ingredients
(By William Cook)

And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God? … Ye therefore do greatly err. (Mark 12:24, 27)

The Sadducees held that there was no resurrection. How could they believe something so absurd? What factors contributed to their deception? Jesus said, “… because ye know not …” Here we see that deception begins with not knowing certain things.

The Lord spoke through Hosea, “My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge …” (Hosea 4:6a) Clearly, knowledge is important. But what kind of knowledge? Baseball statistics? The weather report? Financial trends? God didn’t say, “My people are destroyed because they don’t know what the morning newspaper says.”

The first essential ingredient that protects us against error is knowledge of scripture. Jesus said, “… because ye know not the scriptures …” Paul wrote to Timothy, “… from a child thou has known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation ..." (2 Timothy 3:15) Paul also wrote, “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15) By implication, wrongly dividing the “word of truth” leads to shame and God’s disapproval.

One of my first Christian mentors, now an 83-year old "father in the faith," wrote to me recently:

"Years ago, we didn't have computers, videos or TV and we spent time in the Word. When I hold meetings and quote part of a scripture verse, most people can't complete it. In the 1940’s and 50’s almost everyone in our church could quote hundreds of scriptures. Oftentimes I deliberately misquote a scripture and no one catches it."

How sad. How dangerous! We need to be diligent in our study of scripture. A thorough, accurate knowledge of scripture is essential if we are to avoid the tsunami of deception that is coming on the earth in these last days.

By itself, knowledge of scripture is not enough. The second essential ingredient Jesus emphasized is knowing the power of God, “… because … ye know not … the power of God …” [from Greek, ‘dunamis’] Many people know the Bible very well but do not know or do not believe in the power of God. They can quote scriptures, but they are still in error because they deny the power of God.

Paul did not mince words; he wrote that the last days would be perilous, featuring men who display an external “form of godliness” but who are practical atheists with respect to the power of God.

"Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof … ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth." [‘power’ from Greek, ‘dunamis’] (2 Timothy 3:1-7)

If we deny the power of God, then we do not believe Hebrews 13:8, "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever." We will tend to adjust our theology to accommodate our lack of power and supernatural experience. This is why some Christians deny that spiritual gifts, healing and miracles still happen today. Imagine Jesus telling his disciples "greater works than these shall [ye] do," (John 14:12) then in the next breath, "but make the most of it because after you guys go home to be with the Lord, miracles will cease" or, "After the canon of scripture is complete, miracles won't be needed anymore." How foolish. How heretical! We need the power of God more now than ever!

Error-proofing our lives requires two essential ingredients – knowing the scriptures and knowing the power of God. If either of these is missing or lacking, we are susceptible to error.


Lord, create a deep hunger in me for your Word, for man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. Show me Your power and glory.

© 2008 Seeds for Good Soil (Last updated 05 July 2008)

Thursday, July 3, 2008

The Lakeland Outpouring – I

The Gospel, Repentance and Holiness
(By William Cook)

To what, then, can I compare the people of this generation? What are they like? They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling out to each other: 'We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not cry.' For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, 'He has a demon.' The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, 'Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.' But wisdom is proved right by all her children. (Luke 7:31-33)

What is commonly referred to as “The Lakeland Outpouring” or “Lakeland Revival,” began on April 2, 2008, 93 days ago as of this writing. The meetings are being broadcast live every night on God TV to over 240 nations. The central figure in the revival is an unlikely character -- a 32-year old, tattoo-dipped, eighth grade-educated, Canadian evangelist named Todd Bentley who claims to have experienced angelic visitations, visions and “words from the Lord.” (

In May 2008, my wife, Judy, and I spent four days in Lakeland. We have also been watching the meetings every night live on God TV. This is the first in a series of blog entries about what I have seen first-hand, not a YouTube clip or someone else’s limited second-hand account.

In less than three months, what initially began as a 5-day series of meetings rapidly outgrew the 700-seat Ignited Church in Lakeland and then the nearby 8,000-seat Lakeland Center Arena. On June 10, meetings were moved to a newly-constructed 10,000-seat tent erected at Lakeland's Linder Regional Airport. Thousands of hungry souls from around the nation and the world continue to stream into Lakeland to receive a fresh impartation of the Holy Spirit. Revival is spreading to several other nations and to cities in America.

In less than three months, many Christian theological "watchdogs" have already rejected Todd Bentley as an heretic and Lakeland as a counterfeit move of God. It is as if Lakeland offers a “cause célèbre," a "discernment ropes course" to foster team spirit among "false doctrine police." Since so many seem to have an opinion, tossing my “needle into the haystack” shouldn't poke any other tush in the scrum.

At a time when the Church is in such desperate need of revival and a fresh move of God’s Spirit, I am amazed at the level of "fluting" and "dirging" I am hearing in response to Lakeland. I wonder if Bentley's critics would respond as graciously as he has to the scrutiny, criticism (and death threats, I might add) that he has received?

Are the Gospel, repentance and holiness being preached?

Contrary to some reports, the unvarnished Gospel of Jesus Christ is being proclaimed and demonstrated in Lakeland. Repentance and the need for personal holiness are also being taught and countless numbers are dedicating or rededicating their lives to Jesus Christ. Some are openly confessing sin before a live international audience. Alcohol, drug and sexual addictions are being broken.

Consider Todd Bentley's words in his May 20, 2008 message on repentance:

But what brings you into mercy (and compassion) is repentance. So, when you see repentance, you see mercy. And what do you see when you see mercy? Healing! Repentance, mercy and healing!—which is why I believe that repentance is the most beautiful thing in the Bible—it always brings you into a miracle. The word repent means—to turn from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment of one’s life; to change one’s mind, and to bring forth fruit worthy of repentance (Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary; Matt. 3:8). Genuine repentance is such a radical change in the life of a person that when you look at their character afterwards, you see fruit worthy of repentance. You can tell that something has happened!

Consider Todd Bentley's words in his May 26, 2008 message on repentance:

I believe today God wants us to return to Him. Before mercy and healing, I believe God is saying “I want repentance.” Maybe the Spirit of God has touched the attitude of your heart. Maybe you’ve seen something in your spirit, something that’s been there and God wants to just cleanse the core of your heart.

Does every message in Lakeland make explicit mention of the need for “repentance?” Did the Son of God mention the need for repentance in every one of His teachings? For those who advocate a "seeker friendly" paradigm, are sin and repentance preached in your church every Sunday? Should there be more emphasis on the need for repentance in Lakeland? Perhaps; but give it more time!

Oh Pharisee, Pharisee! The Church in America has needed revival for years. Lakeland began only three months ago. Maybe the Father doesn't want to emphasize sin right now as much as He wants to restore people’s faith that He's actually alive in the Church, not an "opiate of the masses," "God is dead," placebo, fairy tale character like Santa Clause or the Easter Bunny! Maybe he wants to convince the unconvinced of His great love for them by healing them -- even before they are believers!

Many in the Church have reacted "reflexively" to Lakeland, focusing mostly on apparent oddities and things they do not understand, largely ignoring the wonderful things God is doing there. If the American Church is not careful how we steward what God is doing in Lakeland, we could miss out on a visitation from God. Not possible? Jesus wept over Jerusalem because they missed the day of their visitation; they missed Him! (Luke 13:34-35)

How can we capriciously dismiss what God is doing when hundreds, if not thousands are making decisions to follow Jesus Christ? Instead of criticizing, why not find a way to encourage and nurture what God is doing? How can we pray, offer support or, if needed, correction? How can we encourage a shift in emphasis if it is needed? How did Priscilla and Aquila handle misguided Apollos? (Acts 18:26)

While the Church armchairs Lakeland, holding out for the “perfect revival," (How long have we been holding out?) the nation is burning to the ground. Endlessly parsing everything that is said or that happens in Lakeland is a convenient diversion. America is about to be shaken so hard that we may not recover.

If Lakeland is not a move of God, then we need to find the alternative and find it quickly. If repentance is Revival's historical distinctive and we aren’t doing it, let’s get to it. What is stopping us? If we know the word of God well enough to winnow goings on in Lakeland, then we know it well enough to winnow our personal lives.

© 2008 Seeds for Good Soil (Revised 03 July 2008)

Monday, June 30, 2008

John the Bamtist

I believe the Lord gave me the “parable” below in response to the skepticism and animosity that many in the Church have expressed toward Todd Bentley and the revival that is taking place in Lakeland, Florida. It is written from the perspective of skeptical onlookers offering their take on what is happening. For more information, go to or

A group of seven Jerusalemites were walking back to the city one day commenting on the ministry of John the Baptist. "Look," Adonijah the Priest said, "I know that large crowds are going out to hear that wild man. People claim to be getting saved and healed? But don’t let that fool you."

"Yea," Benaiah the Rabbi retorted, "It's a little strange that this guy lives out in the desert by himself. Even when no one is around, he stands out there and preaches into the sky. There’s a synagogue on every corner; if he wants to be heard, why doesn’t he just preach in the synagogues?"

Hanna couldn't resist, "I know God doesn't want us judging others by their outward appearance, but his outfit is shocking! Couldn’t he wear some decent clothes? Why he killed and skinned a camel and now he’s wearing the skin; no underwear I might add. He’s so unkempt. His mangy hair is down to his shoulders. Wouldn't a more clean-cut appearance make him more appealing to normal people? Whatever became of 'becoming all things to all men' to win them?"

"Don't forget his disgusting diet," Leah chimed in. "He eats bugs alive and robs beehives. I’ve seen him pick up a grasshopper, pop it in his mouth, and chomp down on the nasty thing. The thought of bug juice splattering in my mouth makes me gag. I’m surprised he hasn’t gotten some kind of stomach disease!"

"Everyone says he's preaching repentance and people are turning to God, but that's not enough for me," Adonijah said. "Have you noticed who is attracted to him? Ignorant and uneducated fundamentalists. You just wait. I’ve seen his kind before. He’s just baiting them. Once he wins everyone’s confidence, he’ll begin to introduce the false doctrine. When he does, I’ll be there to call him out."

"His message is over the top," Mered the Scribe asserted. "He claims to be the fulfillment of Isaiah 40. Says he’s the 'voice of one crying in the wilderness.' Isn’t that a role reserved for the forerunner of Messiah? I’ve read Isaiah 40 and this guy’s no forerunner. I’m concerned that he’s setting people up for disappointment."

Saul, the Ruler of the Synagogue, couldn't hold his peace, "When the senior pastors go to check him out, he becomes defensive and demeans them. Why he even called them a 'brood of vipers' and insulted their heritage. He insinuated that they needed to escape God’s wrath; they're pastors for heaven's sake! Then he embarrassed the hell out of the mayor by calling him out for commiting adultery with his brother’s wife, right there in front of everyone! Wouldn’t he catch more bees with honey? Each of those pastors has a Ph.D. and he doesn’t even have a high school diploma. What does he know?"

Naomi chirped, "He baptizes people in the polluted Jordan. Doesn't every synagogue in Jerusalem have a clean baptismal pool? People are going to get dysentery if they ingest any of that water."

Adonijah offered final comment, "I know I’m being a little picky, but every time someone comes up out of the water, he lays his hands on them and shouts, 'Bam!' and 'Sheeka Boom Bah!' I’m steering clear of this guy. This just isn’t for me."

Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are, that no flesh should glory in his presence. (1 Corinthians 1:25-29)

© 2008 Seeds for Good Soil (Last updated 30 June 2008)

Monday, June 23, 2008

The End of America - Part II

1962 – US Supreme Court (SC) ends prayer in public schools.
1965 – SC grants married couples the right to use contraception.
1972 – SC grants unmarried couples the right to use birth control.
1973 – SC, in Roe v. Wade, legalizes abortion on demand.
1977 – SC grants minors the right to use birth control.
2003 – SC strikes down a Texas law banning sodomy.
2003 – MA Supreme Judicial Court legalizes gay and lesbian marriage.
2008 – The CA SC rules that homosexual marriage is legal.

20?? – American economy enters second “great depression.”
20?? – Europe burns as Muslim riots break out in every major city.
20?? – France elects first devout Muslim Prime Minister.

20?? – France's Muslim PM declares France a Muslim country.
20?? – USA embraces Sharia as a basis for trying Muslims in court.
20?? – England embraces Sharia as a basis for trying Muslims in court.

20?? – Muslims take a majority of seats in British Parliament.
20??England is officially declared a Muslim country.
20?? – Germany is officially declared a Muslim country.
20?? – Russian government is overthrown in Islamic revolution.
20?? – Washington D.C. is obliterated by a terrorist nuclear weapon.

This is the second of two blog entries that culminate in a dire prediction about the future of America if the Church does not wake up and America does not turn back to God. As stated previously, America and the Church are in a spiritual and moral "state of emergency." Spiritual "air raid sirens" have been sounding for so long that they have become more "background noise." Our nation is decomposing from within. The glory has departed. Our national rebellion against the light and truth continues to increase and ferment and God has decreed destruction upon our land.

God has given America over to the lie of “multiculturalism” which energizes our rapid cultural transformation from a predominantly Christian society, to a melting pot of false, and in many cases, occult belief systems and religions, religions that import demonic influence and spiritual oppression, not to mention a divine curse (Galatians 1:8,9). A national landscape once dotted with neighborhood churches is increasingly dotted with Mosques and Hindu temples. According to a 2001 ARIS study, “The fastest growing religion (in terms of percentage) [in the United States] is Wicca, a religion that is sometimes referred to as Witchcraft. Numbers of adherents went from 8,000 in 1990 to 134,000 in 2001. Their numbers of adherents are doubling about every 30 months.”

God is giving America over to vile affections. (Romans 1: 28-32) At every level, our educational institutions have become indoctrination centers promoting every kind of deviant sexual behavior. Our courts have mounted a full assault on the traditional family, sanctioning sodomistic marriage, thus defecating on the seminal reflection of God’s glory on the earth, marriage union between one man and one woman. The night before their city became a "smoking hole," the men of Sodom surrounded Lot's home, demanding to sodomize his angelic visitors. In like manner, even in the so-called "Church," mainline denominations have trampled that which is holy by sacramentalizing homosexual marriage and ordaining practicing homosexuals. As the people of Sodom and Gomorrah discovered, this is a final flashpoint in a society's progression toward complete extermination.

Some will be offended when I say 9-11 was merely a warning shot. Americans watched in horror as people jumped hundreds of feet to their deaths in what became their "the end of the world." When the World Trade Center towers fell we should have known then that the hedge protecting our nation was seriously compromised. In His mercy, God allowed 9-11 to wake the Church and our nation; some are waking up, but for the most part the collective yawn smacks of Job's sons-in-law:

And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law. (Genesis 19:14)

Like those who abandoned themselves to gravity on 9/11, will the Church take drastic steps to save our nation? Or, will America continue to abort her divine destiny and, like the WTC towers, crumble into an ash heap of history?

Unless widespread, pervasive revival comes to the Church and our nation, I believe America is finished. The years ahead will be characterized by a series of withering “birth pangs” that will grow in frequency and intensity. America will be hit by apocalyptic events from which we will not be able to recover. Even if America turns to God wholeheartedly, I am not optimistic that it will do more than delay the judgement of God to a later generation.

I know much of what I have written will be dismissed. Others will nit-pick or find fault with my emphasis. If our hope is in Jesus, then He will comfort our hearts. He has promised us a Kingdom that can’t be shaken.


God wake us up!

© 2008 Seeds for Good Soil (Revised 13 June 2008)

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Stop Dog Abuse!

Television, radio, editorials, the Blogosphere, from the barroom to the bistro, from the clubhouse to the corporate “watering hole,” the outcry is unanimous. The verdict is in. Michael Vick’s dog fighting cruelties are unforgivable. According to a Gallup Panel survey, 58% of NFL fans believe Michael Vick should never play professional football again. 86% believe he should spend time behind bars. (Source:

As we armchair the NFL superstar’s case in the court of public opinion, however, we would do well to telestrate our own distemper over the matter. Allow me to offer my own color commentary.

If Michael Vick operated an abortion clinic for unwanted canine pregnancies, would there be more outrage than there is over the thousands of unborn human babies aborted in our society every day? And, what if some of the bitches got damaged by the abortion procedure? Would society take more notice than it does over the thousands of women’s lives that are physically and emotionally scarred as a result of sacrificing their babies to abortion?

Our society has become a literal “dogtopia.” We have dog resorts, dog salons, dog modeling, dog superstores, dog manicures, dog psychologists, dog whisperers, dog insurance, dog adoption services, dog hotels, and dog abuse police. We read, “Dog Fancy Magazine,” “Good Dog Magazine,” “Urban Dog,” “Dog World,” “Modern Dog Magazine,” “Show Dog Magazine,” “Lucky Dog Magazine,” to name a few. Who gets better treatment, dogs or unwanted unborn babies?

Stay with me; I’m not yanking your chain. If you are chasing your tail over the absurdity of abortion services for dogs you have completely missed my point. Heel! I have a few more bones to throw your way.

The aborted babies of this generation will rise up in the judgment against a society that incarcerates men for cruelty to animals but yawns over the slaughter of millions of innocents. Far-fetched? Hardly. Jesus said,

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 one greater than Jonah is here. (Matthew 12:41)

I wonder if society’s growls against dog abuse will be rebroadcast at the judgment, self-recriminating evidence against a backdrop of deafening silence over abortion. Absurd? Jesus said,

For by YOUR WORDS [emphasis added] you will be acquitted, and by YOUR WORDS [emphasis added] you will be condemned. (Matthew 12:47)

When America’s response to dog abuse is measured against our national disposition toward abortion, our nation has been “weighed in the balance and found wanting.” (Daniel 5:27) There is little hope for the future of any society that howls against animal abuse, but is silent in defense of the defenseless. If we are not careful about what we condemn, we may end up as witnesses against ourselves on the final day.


Lord Jesus, Help me speak in defense of those who can’t speak for themselves. Do not let me not grow cold regarding anything You treasure. Help me to measure injustice according to Your Kingdom priorities. Let Your Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.

© Copyright 2007, Seeds for Good Soil. (Created September 1, 2007)

Friday, June 13, 2008

The End of America - Part I

1962 – US Supreme Court (SC) ends prayer in public schools.
1965 – SC grants married couples the right to use contraception.
1972 – SC grants unmarried couples the right to use birth control.
1973 – SC, in Roe v. Wade, legalizes abortion on demand.
1977 – SC grants minors the right to use birth control.
2003 – SC strikes down a Texas law banning sodomy.
2003 – MA Supreme Judicial Court legalizes gay and lesbian marriage.
2008 – The CA SC rules that homosexual marriage is legal.

20?? – American economy enters second “great depression.”
20?? – Europe burns as Muslim riots break out in every major city.
20?? – France elects first devout Muslim Prime Minister.

20?? – France's Muslim PM declares France a Muslim country.
20?? – USA embraces Sharia as a basis for trying Muslims in court.
20?? – England embraces Sharia as a basis for trying Muslims in court.

20?? – Muslims take a majority of seats in British Parliament.
20??England is officially declared a Muslim country.
20?? – Germany is officially declared a Muslim country.
20?? – Russian government is overthrown in Islamic revolution.
20?? – Washington D.C. is obliterated by a terrorist nuclear weapon.

This is the first of two blog entries that culminate in a dire prediction about the future of America if the Church does not wake up and America does not turn back to God. America and the Church are in a spiritual and moral "state of emergency." Spiritual "air raid sirens" have been sounding for so long that they have become more "background noise." Our nation is decomposing from within. The glory has departed. Our national rebellion against the light and truth continues to increase and ferment and God has decreed destruction upon our land.

Over 40 million in utero American citizens have been murdered since January 22, 1973 as a direct result of the most self-immolating Supreme Court decision in our nation's history, Roe v. Wade. The blood of the innocents cries to God from the ground while their murdered souls cry out in heaven, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, doest thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth.” (Revelation 5:10) Lawmakers, political activists, educators and lobbyists demand the “right” to continue the slaughter. Our future has been euthanized and our nation is cursed with a curse.

The Church yawns in the face of the slaughter. Professing Christians vote, and in some cases even campaign, for political candidates who are committed to the prenatal holocaust. As the unborn are herded into abortion boxcars outside her doors, a disregardful Church implores God for a fresh outpouring of His manifest presence.

Abortion is rarely spoken of from Western pulpits except, perhaps, once each year on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. In many cases, Church leaders resist those would marshal fellow church-goers to action. Parishoners who advocate speaking out are treated with passive disdain. Mainline Christian denominations have even joined the fight for a woman’s "right" to kill her baby at any time for any reason.

According to a 1994-1995 Alan Guttmacher Institute survey of 10,000 abortion patients, one in five women having abortions are “born-again” or evangelical Christians. If you think the date of the Guttmacher study weakens its findings, ask yourself, “Could it be much better fifteen years later?” How much better would be better enough? Worldwide, Muslims have lower abortion rates than Christians.

How can we expect God to pour “latter rain” upon our churches when we are ambivalent about the murder of His babies? If the Salt of the Earth does not speak prophetically into our culture, who will? If God calls us to seek the good of the nation He has placed us in, then we have a responsibility to speak out forcefully. In a society that protects freedom of speech, we are without excuse.

Instead of embracing God’s command to “be fruitful and multiply and subdue the earth,” (Genesis 1:28) our nation has opted for a convenient, undisrupted existence with two-designer-children-families. Sadly, large Christian families are often viewed as aberrant within the Christian community. I can’t begin to count the number of times I’ve heard Christian couples blithely pronounce, “We’ve had our two and we’re done.”

Abortion, devaluation of children, and a concomitant decline in birth rates have left America with an aging society that will soon collapse under the weight of the entitlements it demands from shrinking younger generations. To “quick fix” the looming demographic and economic crisis, we, like Western Europe, have flung open our borders without demanding that would-be “citizens” fully embrace our language, culture, history, political system, and yes, religious values – Christian values that define us and that have made us the great nation that we are.

If America does not repent of the sin of abortion, our future is bleak indeed.


God wake us up!

© 2008 Seeds for Good Soil (Revised 13 June 2008)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Beauty of God

But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. (1 Corinthians 2:9)

This morning I awoke early. It was still dark. As is customary, I made my coffee and sat before the Lord, journaling my heart, reading His word, and listening for His “still small voice.”

As light began to break, I could hear birds singing through closed windows. As I often do, I opened the window to unmuffle the avian choir as they welcomed the morning with their simple songs. Different birds warbled different melodies. I could hear some in the distance; others were near.

I thought, “How beautiful.” What a gift from God! Each morning He gently awakens creation with birdsong, calling out to mankind, “I love you.” Perhaps this is one reason not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without Him noticing.

Each evening, God paints glorious moving sunsets on the canvas of the skies. Every sunset is an original masterpiece. Each sunset is God reminding man, “There is more. Wait until you set eyes on the beauty of heaven’s skies.”

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it. And there is nothing hid from the heat thereof. (Psalm 19:1-6)

If eyes are “the window of the soul,” creation is the window to God’s soul and heaven’s beauty. There is endless beauty in God’s creation. And yet, creation in all its beauty is but a faint glimmer of the beauty of God and the age to come.

Everything God has created reflects some aspect of His beauty. Now we see imperfectly. One day we will see Him, the sum of all beauty, face-to-face. And, contrary to our sojourn in time, we will never tire of heaven’s beauty or grow accustomed to His face.


Let me see Your beauty. Open my eyes to see Your glory in creation.

© 2008 Seeds for Good Soil; 27 April 2008.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Groping for God

Now when Job's three friends heard of all this evil that was come upon him, they came every one from his own place; Eliphaz the Temanite, and Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite: for they had made an appointment together to come to mourn with him and to comfort him. And when they lifted up their eyes afar off, and knew him not, they lifted up their voice, and wept; and they rent every one his mantle, and sprinkled dust upon their heads toward heaven. So they sat down with him upon the ground seven days and seven nights, and none spake a word unto him: for they saw that his grief was very great. (Job 2:11-13)

Their planned appointment with Job began well enough, but the “Comforters of Job” ended up garnering that moniker by espousing prevailing wisdom du jour which held that suffering was attributable to moral failure and prosperity to blameless living. If assessing suffering were a game of Blackjack, Job’s friends could be credited with playing the percentages. By asserting that His affliction was God’s chastisement for some moral defect, however, Job’s friends, like tardy theatergoers who arrive after the prologue, were oblivious to the true theme of the epic drama that was playing out in Job’s life. Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar didn’t enter the story until the end of chapter 2.

Eliphaz the TemaniteRemember, I pray thee, who ever perished, being innocent? Or where were the righteous cut off? Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same. By the blast of God they perish, and by the breath of his nostrils are they consumed. (Job 4:1, 7-9)

Bildad the ShuhiteHow long wilt thou speak these things? And how long shall the words of thy mouth be like a strong wind? Doth God pervert judgment? Or doth the Almighty pervert justice? If thy children have sinned against him, and he have cast them away for their transgression; If thou wouldest seek unto God betimes, and make thy supplication to the Almighty; If thou wert pure and upright; surely now he would awake for thee, and make the habitation of thy righteousness prosperous. (Job 8:1-6)

Zophar the NaamathiteShould not the multitude of words be answered? And should a man full of talk be justified? Should thy lies make men hold their peace? And when thou mockest, shall no man make thee ashamed? For thou hast said, ‘My doctrine is pure, and I am clean in thine eyes.’ But oh that God would speak, and open his lips against thee and that he would shew thee the secrets of wisdom, that they are double to that which is! Know therefore that God exacteth of thee less than thine iniquity deserveth. (Job 11:1-6)

Common sense may serve one well in card counting. If we want to be more than “latecomers” to the epic drama of someone else’s life, however, we must resist the natural impulse to depend on our own understanding. Myopic pragmatism will only serve to deepen discouragement, or worse, divert someone from the work God is doing in their life. If we hope to bring the encouragement of Christ to someone who is suffering, we will need to come with a listening heart that is tuned to Heaven’s higher ways.

Instead of soothing Job’s pain, his friends’ counsel salted his wounds and aggravated his suffering. An enemy’s kiss is deceitful, and the wounds of a friend may be faithful, but misunderstanding from a trusted friend can finish off a bruised heart.

Nobody sees with perfect clarity. Even the most highly revelated perspective sees imperfectly.

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. (I Corinthians 13:12)

At some point, every man finds himself groping to understand his own suffering. God will often withhold the explanation, however, because understanding or alleviating his pain isn’t nearly as important as groping for and finding God Himself. Job’s groping eventually brought him face to face with God and his understanding of God reached high-definition clarity.

Then Job answered the LORD, and said, ‘I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee. Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? Therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not. Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.’ (Job 42:1-6)

Job’s friends’ advice, on the other hand, incited God’s displeasure and He instructed them to ask Job to intercede for them.

And it was so, that after the LORD had spoken these words unto Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath. Therefore … go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and my servant Job shall pray for you: for him will I accept: lest I deal with you after your folly, in that ye have not spoken of me the thing which is right, like my servant Job. (Job 42:7-8)

In the end, both Job and his friends were humbled and found the grace that ensues. It is interesting to note that each found mercy and healing in relationship to the other. And God’s perspective ended up being the only one that really mattered.


Lord Jesus, I look to You. Give me ears to hear you and an understanding heart. Tune my heart and spiritual ears to Your infinitely higher way.

© 2008 Seeds for Good Soil. April 23, 2008.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

It's the Dunamis, Stupid

"And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence ... But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." (Acts 1:4-8)

During the 1992 U.S. presidential campaign, public anxiety ran high over the state of the economy. The mantra, “It’s the economy stupid,” coined by Democratic strategist James Carville, connected with the American electorate and helped put an Arkansas governor in the White House.

Much is argued in the Church today about what constitutes evidence of the infilling, baptism in, or baptism with the Holy Spirit. Some will say that “speaking in tongues” is the only reliable initial benchmark. Others will insist that love for others and the “fruit of the Spirit” provide ample proof. These “evidences” are essential, but before your autonomic theological response system kicks in, consider what Jesus said would characterize the Spirit’s coming,

“But you shall receive power [Greek, dunamis], after that the Holy Spirit has come upon you and ye shall be witnesses unto me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

It’s the dunamis, stupid. It’s the power. It’s the dynamite. There is a lot of potential in a stick of dynamite. If we think we have everything God has for us, but the power of God is not clearly evident among us, then, like an undetonated stick of dynamite, we are merely living in unrealized potential. The Spirit’s presence in our lives implies great potential, but we need to let God ignite the "fuse" so the power of the Holy Spirit can be released in and through us.

The subject of the Holy Spirit often triggers a reflexive “fight-or-flight” response when raised in conversation among believers. How sad. The net effect is that the person of the Holy Spirit, the “promise of the Father,” received by the Son from the Father and given as His most audacious gift to His bride, is left largely ignored, marginalized and uncelebrated. How can the subject of the Comforter create so much anxiety and animosity among God’s people?

What will it take to win our lost world to Jesus Christ? Have we not tried every technique known to man? Seeker-sensitive services, friendship evangelism, Servant Evangelism, Four Spiritual Laws, Evangelism Explosion; the list goes on, and on, and on, and on. No doubt these programs, techniques, and tools have had some success. But deep in our hearts we know that the Church is not living up to her potential. We have not “turned our world upside down” because we are not fully preaching the gospel. Paul said,

“… by the power of signs and miracles, through the power of the Spirit. So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ.” (Romans 15:19)

Dunamis power was the rule in Jesus ministry and assumed by the apostles and early Church. Jesus commanded his disciples to delay launch until they had received “power from on high.” Dunamis power defined Paul’s ministry.

“My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power.” (1 Corinthians 2:4)

“For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.” (I Corinthians 4:20)

An absence of dunamis power would have been cause for great alarm. Paul wrote,

"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall … Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away." (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

Why aren’t the “unchurched” more attracted to the Church? Maybe it is because we don’t have much to give them. When Peter turned his attention to the crippled-from-birth beggar at the temple gate he said, “such as I have give I thee. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.” (Acts 3:6) If we don’t have it, we can’t give it.

There is good news. Let’s not be stupid about dunamis! We can fake a lot of things, but we can’t fake power. Jesus has given the Holy Spirit to His bride as he promised He would. But we must ask. We must believe. We must receive. We must not settle for anything less or adjust our theology to accommodate our impotence.

"If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?" (Luke 11:13)

And we must keep asking, seeking and knocking until we know we have received everything He has for us.


Father, I ask, believe and receive Your Holy Spirit. Thank You for hearing me and filling me from the top of my head to the soles of my feet!

© 2008, Seeds for Good Soil, 13 April 2008

Friday, April 11, 2008

Deception: The Path to Insanity

My incredulity toward people’s espoused beliefs has been increasing in frequency and intensity. Someone will assert an absurdity I think can’t be topped; before the day is over, I hear something even more preposterous. I find myself squinting, “What are they looking at? What do they see?” Someone will insist that the blackboard is white, that two plus two equals eight, that water isn’t wet, that evil is good or that good is evil.

A cursory review of current mental health statistics in the United States indicates an alarming epidemic. According to the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, anxiety disorder, a common form of mental illness, affects 40 million adults in the US age 18 and older. If mental illness were a contagious disease, we would be facing an apocalyptic pestilence. The numbers continue to skyrocket.

If you think “people have gone crazy,” be encouraged; at least you aren’t oblivious. A society’s mental state will decay as people grow more hostile toward the truth. As a society grows more hostile toward the truth, it will become more hostile toward the Church, “the pillar and ground of the truth.” (I Timothy 3:15) Jesus said, “… the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.” (John 16:2)

Professing believers who tolerate untruths are not immune to mental disequilibrium. Paul said,

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2Timothy 1:7)

Paul also said,

“ … and be not conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, for your proving what [is] the will of God -- the good, and acceptable, and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)

If soundness of mind is dependent on consecration to the God of truth, what will be the eventual state of any psyche that abandons the God of truth? The human mind was not designed to believe lies. Churches that ignore biblical prescriptions for the things that ail members dispense placebo remedies. In his sobering charge to Timothy to persevere in preaching the entire counsel of God, Paul spoke of the days we live in:

"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." (2 Timothy 4:3-4)

When a nation abandons love for the truth, it will spiral into cultural insanity and eventual cultural demise. Insanity indicates late-stage deception. Cultural death always follows metastatic deception.

How is it that pre-World War II Germany, a nation possessing enough scientific and technological genius to field some of the most sophisticated military technology in history could follow Adolph Hitler into national ruin? Deception eventually left Germany in a heap of rubble. History is replete with similar examples of megalomaniacs who rose to power on a throne of lies, out of a citizenry left defenseless by ambivalence toward the truth.

If Jesus is the Truth and His word the truth; if He upholds “all things by the word of His power,” (Hebrews 1:3) then where does this leave societies and individuals who abandon the truth? Over the years, I have had many opportunities to pray with and minister to people who would be considered mentally ill. Not one of them possessed a healthy grasp of the truth. If there is no place in heaven for liars, then hell will be the repose of the insane.

It is interesting to note that Antichrist, the incarnation of megalomania, will be buoyed to power on a sea of apostasy and ambivalence toward the truth.

“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God … For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed … Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-12)

Only those whose hearts burn white hot with love for the truth will survive the tsunami of deception that is already overflowing the shores of all nations. Cultivate your love for the truth! Do not relax your grip. Do not yield. Those who endure to the end will be saved. The way that leads to destruction is broad. The way that leads to life is narrow; few find it.


Lord, cultivate in me a love for the truth.