Saturday, July 22, 2017

Prophesying to Political Leaders

When a prophet has a message for a political leader, they must ask the Lord how it is to be delivered. Jeremiah’s words got through to the king, even when he was under guard. The prophet should be asking the Lord how he wants your message to be delivered. If it is important, God will have a pathway and establish connections to get it there. God will establish relationships for the prophet to link up to the right people.

There is more to being a prophet to the nation than announcing judgments on political leaders. Often the political leader is not the problem. The heart of the nation is more important. The heart of the nation will usually have allowed an evil person to rise to power. A nation gets the leaders it deserves. An evil leader might be the judgement on the nation, rather than the one who need to be judged.

Jeremiah spoke to the people of Judah first, because their rebellion against God was the real problem. It had brought on the attack of the Babylonians and the despicable kings that preceded them.

Speaking to the political leader perpetuates the idea that political power is ultimate. It makes an idol of political power. It assumes that a change in political power will solve the problems. That is never the case, because the principalities and power that control the nation remain the same.

The prophet should be asking the following question. What principalities and powers control the nation? Why are they there? Who gave them authority to be there? How does God plan to remove them? If you want to see you nation changed you will need to understand the spiritual situation and how God plans to change it.

A prophet should understand God’s plan and purpose for the nation. How is this going to work out in the current situation? How is God going to bring it about? These are things that a prophet to the nation needs to understand. A message that judgement is coming is incomplete. An effective prophet will share a vision of God’s plan for the nation. They will explain to the people of God what they need to do to be prepared for what is going to happen.

What is the state of the church in the nation? When the political situation in a nation is a mess, it is usually because the Church is not doing its job. Is the gospel being shared effectively? Is the church proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom? I would expect that change will have to come in the church first. How does it need to change? Are the prophets speaking God’s word clearly to the church?

A true prophet will share a gripping vision for the future, and a strategy for how to get there. They do not just give warnings of judgment.

A prophet warning of judgment must have an understanding of the stage the nation is at? I have delineated the stages of judgment at Prophetic Events. The type of judgment varies depending on the season the nation is in. I explain this in Discerning Seasons.

The role of the church is different in each type of season. It will usually need a prophetic warning to prepare the events in the right way. God wills often not send judgment until his people understand and prepare for what is coming. His prophets must assist with that.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Spiritual Struggles

The spiritual powers of evil are a powerful hierarchy of evil spirits, but they are not united. They do not like each other. Throughout history, they have fought with each other for control of the hierarchies of power. At different times, different strong spirits have been in ascendancy. Often two powerful spirits have operated alongside each other.

I have just published an article on Kingdom Watcher that describes some of their conflicts and struggles. This article is a bit speculative, as the Bible does not give the spiritual powers of evil glory by describing their activities in detail. It just gives odd hints of what is happening. I have tried to spell out some of these hints.

To read more, follow this link.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Dutch Sheets

In a recent talk, Dutch Sheets said,

Authority is government. All government on earth is supposed to be a direct extension of the government of God, flowing through human beings into the earth, to release his justice, his righteousness, his peace, his salvation, his ways into the earth.
However, Dutch did not explain how this would happen. Government of God describes how the authority of God flows through his people to bring his peace and justice to earth.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Healing and the Gospel

When Jesus sent out the seventy-two disciples, he told them what to do when they entered a house.

Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ And if a person of peace is there, your peace will rest on it; if not, it will return to you. (Luke 10:5-6).
We need to think about what Jesus was saying here. When the disciples declared “Peace to this House”, peace will rest on the person of peace in the house.

How does this happen?

The Holy Spirit is our peace. The fruit of the Spirit is peace. So when a pair of disciples made the declaration, the Holy Spirit passes from them to the people in the house. These people will have the Holy Spirit resting upon them for the entire time that the disciples are in the house, even if they not yet know Jesus.

With such a strong presence of the Holy Spirit, speaking faith, bringing conviction and offering peace, these people would soon to follow Jesus and trust in him.

If the owner of the house is not a person of peace, the peace will return to the disciple. The Holy Spirit will flow back to the disciples who are visiting. Matthew says that in this case, the disciples should shake the dust from their feet and leave the house (Matt 10:13). They should go to a house where they are welcome.

Jesus approach would only work if the disciples are aware of the Spirit of Peace flowing from them to the people in the house. They should also be aware of the Holy Spirit returning to them, if he is not welcome. That is a challenge.

If we are serious about sharing the gospel in the way that Jesus recommended, we need to learn how to declare peace to a house with faith, so that the Spirit of Peace flows out from us to the people in the house (John 7:38).

We also need to learn how to discern the Spirit of Peace returning to us, when he is rejected by a person who is hostile to him.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Bizarre Behaviour

Looking from the outside, the behaviour of journalists, academics and politicians in the United States seems bizarre. I cannot understand how politicians, academics and journalist can make such a song and dance about American democracy, but then work so actively to undermine its results.

They all seem to have accepted the Russians “hacked” the US presidential election story. There is no evidence for this, and no one has explained how it actually happened. Hillary did enough to lose the election by running a weak campaign for the role she believed she was entitled to.

The best suggestion is that the Russians hacked the servers of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and released a stack of embarrassing emails. This was only a problem, because the emails showed that key democratic leaders were engaged in dodgy activities. You can hardly blame the Russians for their bad behaviour. If the DNC emails were boring administrative stuff, as they should have been, they would have been quickly forgotten.

The news media are not stupid, so they know there is nothing in it. The problem is that they hate Donald Trump more than they love the truth.

Before the election, they said that Trump was stupid and that he would not get elected. Trump bypassed them and proved them wrong, about the second point anyway. They like to think they have a big say in who wins the election. They seem to be angry that they were ignored and beaten by a man they do not like.

It seems that they hate Trump more than they love democracy. Trumps character may be a bit dodgy, but he was elected in a national election. None of the politicians, academics and media commentators seeking to undermine him were.

They say that they believe in democracy, but when they don’t like the outcome, they are happy to undermine it. That seems odd, but the elite knows best.

The worst thing about this situation is that the media and many politicians are spewing out hatred towards the Russian. I presume that they like the “Russia hacked the election” narrative, because if that had happened, Trump would not be legitimately elected, so they would be justified in seeking to throw him out.

They are pushing the hatred of Russia to justify their efforts to depose Trump. This is scary. The biggest risk to the word is not global warming, but a nuclear war between the Russians and they United States. A war that caused them to fire off their massive nuclear arsenals would be a huge disaster for the world.

I am old enough to remember the Cuban missile crisis. I remember how scary it was, and how relieved the world was when Khrushchev and Kennedy agreed to an uneasy peace deal. The world heaved a great sigh of relief. If McCain rather than Kennedy had been in the Whitehouse, we would still be in the midst of a nuclear winter.

The world does not need confrontation between the United States and Russia. One of the few good things about Donald Trump was that he wanted to stabilise the US relationship with Russia. Unfortunately, that has not happened. Instead the news media and many politicians are stirring tension between the two countries.

Russia is not a threat to the United States. It is massively weaker than the Soviet Union. Its economy is slightly smaller than Italy’s. Russian does not have enough troops to invade and control Eastern Europe, and it does not seem to want to.

So the Russian mania is hard to understand, and the media knows this. The problem is that they need hatred of Russia to support their attacks on Trump. If Russia is not a threat, then Russian collusion with Trump ceases to be a problem.

I can only assume that the media, and many politicians, hate Trump more than the care about the peace of the world. They seem to be willing to risk peace by stirring up hatred of the Russians to bring down Donald Trump.

From here, I see a nation freely submitting to a spirit of deception, by choosing to believe a lie. The sad thing is that the "Trump is Saviour" crowd is surrendering to the same spirit, by choosing a different lie.

The irony is that history shows that great nations and empires are not usually destroyed by an invading enemy power. They collapse from within.

Friday, July 14, 2017

First Sin

Adam and Eve committed their first sin some time before they ate of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. They could hear God’s voice, but had decided to listen to other voices and decide if they really were evil. This was an insult to God, who is good and perfectly wise. Deciding not to trust God was their first sin. When they made this decision, God’s presence left them.

He was already gone when the serpent approached them, because he could not have come near to do evil, if God had been there. The serpent could not tolerate God’s glory, when he was planning to do evil.

Eating the forbidden fruit was not the first sin. It was the inevitable outcome of losing God’s protection. Without God, Adam and Eve were never going to be a match for the cunning of the devil.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Freedom and Truth

To abandon facts is to abandon freedom. If nothing is true, then no one can criticise power, because there is no basis upon which to do so. If nothing is true, then all is spectacle. The biggest wallet pays for the most blinding lights.
Timothy Snyder in On Tyranny (p 65).

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Tyranny

Most of the power of authoritarianism is freely given. In times like these, individuals think ahead about what a repressive government will want, and then offer themselves without being asked. A citizen who adapts in this way is teaching power what it can do.
Timothy Snyder in On Tyranny (p 17).


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Political Power

Christians have always been uncertain about what to do with political power.

  • The most popular option has been for the church to use political power to impose Christian standards on society. During the middle ages, the Pope was able to impose considerable control over the political leaders of Europe. Because most people believed themselves to be Christian, this was usually accepted. However, when people lost faith, they hated the Catholic church, because they saw it as a controlling organisation, forcing them to do things they did not want to do.

    The same thing happened in the United States, when the Moral Majority gained political influence. Some laws were changed in a Christian direction, but people who did not believe in Jesus started hating the church, because they believed, it was forcing them to behave in a particular way.

    Using political power has not really been a successful option, because it creates hostility to the gospel.

  • The other common option has been withdrawal from political power. This leaves the people of the world holding the reins of power. Unrestrained power often leads to evil. In the worst case, Christians are persecuted for their faith.

  • These days, most churches have adopted a Goldilocks option: not to hot and not to cold. They get sufficient involvement in political power that they avoid persecution and oppose really bad laws. But they do not get so involved that they can be accused of controlling society, or imposing God’s standards on people who do not believe in him.

    The Goldilocks option tends to produce a slippery slope away from the gospel.

Each of these options tries to answer the question, who should control political power. Should it be the people of the world, or the people of the church?

This is the wrong question. The real problem is not who holds political power. The real problem is with political power itself.

Political power allows one group of people to impose their view on another group of people. That is always wrong, even if the group in control is a majority. God has not given any group of people authority to control other people.

Political power also amplifies the power and control of the spiritual powers of evil that control cities and nations.

Political power is always the problem, not the solution, no matter who exercises it.

In my book, Government of God, I describe a system of government that does not need political power.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Redistribution

Bill Bonner writes well, and he has a sneaky sense of humour.

For instance, a robber puts a gun to our head. “Your money or your life,” says the well-read thief. And if you could engage him in conversation, you might find plenty of plausible “reasons” for the larceny.

He was abused as a child. He is a member of a disadvantaged minority. He went to public school. He needs the money more than we do. He is only stealing it to give it to the poor.

“Stealing from the rich,” he says, “will reduce wealth inequality. And since we know from reading Stiglitz, Krugman, Piketty, et al. that wealth inequality slows down growth, making everyone poorer, redistributing wealth will make us all better off. I’m just a facilitator. I’m helping to create a fairer society.”

You see immediately that the robber has a future in politics!

“The risks are lower… and the payoff is greater,” you tell him. “And the work is essentially the same – transferring wealth from the people who earn it to the people who are favored by the robber.”

Back-alley stickup men get caught... or shot... from time to time. The politician, almost never.

Instead, he is re-elected… moved from one committee post to a more powerful one… where he is able to redistribute more wealth.

And when he eventually retires, he has a job waiting for him among the plumy cronies – in the think tanks, lobbying firms, or big business.

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Government of God in NZ

The paperback version of Government of God has arrived in New Zealand. Two weeks from South Carolina to Christchurch is not bad.

People living in New Zealand can now purchase the book directly from Kingwatch Books for $NZ12.00. Delivery is by standard post. Go to this link and scroll down to the New Zealand section.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Gang

Francis Chan was shocked by the response of a youth from a gang that he baptized. He was quite involved in the church for a while, but then stopped coming.

One of my friends asked him, 'Hey, how come you're not at Cornerstone anymore?' He said 'I didn't understand church. When I was baptized, I thought that was going to be being jumped into the gang where it's like 24/7 they're my family, because I didn't know it was just somewhere we attend on Sundays’.

That makes me so sick, that the gangs are a better picture of family than the church of Jesus Christ. I can't live with that... We're going to do something different.

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Francis Chan

In a talk to Facebook employees, Francis Chan explained why he left his thriving mega church in California and started a house church.

I got frustrated at a point, just biblically. I'm going; wait a second. According to the Bible, every single one of these people has a supernatural gift that's meant to be used for the body... And I'm like. 5,000 people show up every week to hear my gift, see my gift. That's a lot of waste.

Then I started thinking how much does it cost to run this thing? Millions of dollars! So I'm wasting the human resource of these people that according to Scripture have a miraculous gift that they could contribute to the body but they're just sitting there quietly. Meanwhile, they go to their companies, and they are running big companies, and doing this and that, yet they just sit there and listen to me.

I got so convicted.

The Bible says we are supposed to love one another. That is not a small command. Jesus said this over and over again. They will know you are my disciples by the way you love one another. There are fifty one anothers in the New Testament.

I said to God, “I am so sorry”. Our people don’t even like each other. I make them greet each other for 30 seconds, but that is the extent to it. We like people if they are like us, so we pick little cliques.

I was like, God, you wanted a church that was known for their love. You wanted a group of people where everyone was expressing their gifts... We're a body. I'm one member, maybe I'm the mouth. But if the mouth is the only thing that's working and... I'm trying to drag the rest of the body along, chewing on the carpet...

What would a body look like where everyone is using their gifts, and where everyone is seriously seeking the spiritual gifts, like in 1 Corinthians 12. What would it look like? Is it even possible?

Could we, by the power of the Spirit, love each other so much that it would blow people’s minds? Where none of us have a need. Can we be known for this?

Monday, July 03, 2017

European Union

Diana Johnstone has an interesting comment about politics in the European Union.

The EU is in serious trouble politically, because the elites love it, and ordinary people do not.

This is scarcely surprising since for over half a century the elites “who know what is best for the people” have been forcing European integration down their throats, with massive propaganda to justify major binding decisions taken without consulting the people (or, when the people are consulted, the result is ignored).

The vast majority of Europeans were not even aware of how their democracy was being overruled and made obsolete. “Europe” meant escape from the bad past and the promise of a beautiful future of peace and prosperity.

The elites saw to it that the real existing “Europe” is based on two principles: “free movement” of everything and absolute respect for “competition”. Presented as the apex of European values, these principles are neither moral nor democratic. They simply give all power to international financial capital.


Saturday, July 01, 2017

Political Systems

Most authors of books on political theology begin with an existing political system, usually their own, and look for scriptures that justify it. Sometimes, they will suggest modifications to the system to make it a little more Christian.

I have tried to work the other way round. I have spent years studying what the scriptures teach about economics and politics. I have now drawn those insights and principles out into a system of government.

The government that I describe in the Government of God is totally different from anything that currently exists, but I believe that it is the government that God wants for his people.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Poltical Heroes

I was intrigued by this comment by Paul C. Bermanzohn.

The US political system is arranged to assure that we remain passive – political spectators. And spectators need heroes. We the people are supposed to choose a savior every four years who will rescue us from our miserable conditions. This is why they all run on “hope.” Call it the mendacity of hope.

Heroes are as American as violence and apple pie. Most Americans have no real power under the capitalist plutocracy that runs our lives and commands our deaths. Yet official mythology says that all Americans have power because this is a democracy where all people have equal rights and the government is “of the people, by the people and for the people.”

The yawning gap between the mythology and the reality creates a need and a market for heroes. Heroes are larger than life individuals who right the wrongs. Heroes make things come out as they should, with the common man’s rights preserved for him.

People should have their victories won for them, not by them. A core principle of the system is to keep the people passive, “to prevent insurrection,” as James Madison wrote.

The US has been saturated with heroes since its inception, but especially since the birth of the modern media. As early as 1932, the Lone Ranger in his white hat and black mask, rode across the Plains on the radio, and on his white horse, to protect the ordinary (white) settler family from evil-doers. In 1939, Superman joined him to fight for “Truth, Justice and the American Way.”

Many superheroes have joined since then. Kids dress up every Halloween as superheroes, proving the continued fascination with these icons of impotence. As politics merges with entertainment, the political leader becomes a superhero.

Powerless people hunger for heroes. Only changing the conditions that require heroes will free us from the American hero’s grip.
The Government of God does not need heroes, because the humble are raised up.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Sharing a Vision

Writing a book is a challenging task. In my most recent book, Government of God, I had to put in a lot of wisdom and knowledge. Getting that written down was relatively straightforward.

I also have a vision for the way the government could be. Getting that down on paper is much harder. It’s one thing to see something in your minds eye. It is another thing to describe it in words that another person can read, and see what you have seen. I have tried hard to share the vision, but I am not sure if I have succeeded.

Time will tell.


When I wrote my first book, it was well received, but I soon realised that many of the people who said they like it did not understand the vision that I was sharing. I rewrote the book with diagrams to describe the vision more precisely (Being Church Where We Live). I think the vision was clearer, but some people did not like it as much.

That is life. Time will tell if I have succeeded this time.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Government of God

At last, it is done.

The book that I have been working on for the last two years is complete. Government of God is now available in paperback and kindle formats on Amazon (paperback books will not be available at Kingwatch Books for delivery in New Zealand until July, as they have to come from Charleston, South Carolina).


I believe that this is the most important book I have written. It has also been the hardest to write. I have had to organise and present a huge number of important insights and ideas about government in a way that can be easily understood. Not a simple task!

I suspect that the church is not yet ready this book. Most Christians still have significant faith in political power. They might be frustrated with the current crop of political leaders, but they still hope that the right leader could made a difference. They have not yet given up hope that this person will turn up and rescue their nation.

My task is to get this book out now, so that it is there, ready for the time when hope in political power is gone.

For those who are not ready, the book contains a huge range of insights about government, the nature of political power, God’s system of justice, caring for the needy, defence and war, and the morality of taxation.

Monday, June 26, 2017

America's Cup

New Zealanders love a David Goliath challenge. Taking on Larry Ellison and Oracle is about as good as gets, even if Emirates are the main sponsor.

Huge numbers of people in New Zealand are getting up at 5am to watch the America’s Cup on television. I presume that most Americans do not even know it is on.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Loss of Truth

Last week, I listened to a talk called The Loss of Truth by Ravi Zacharias. He describes how Western Culture has lots its way by ignoring God.

During the talk, Ravi read a poem called Creed by Steve Turner. It cleverly illustrates the futility and folly I have trying to live in God’s world while pretending that he does not exist. The poem is funny and disturbing at the same time.

Creed
We believe in Marxfreudanddarwin.
We believe everything is OK
as long as you don't hurt anyone,
to the best of your definition of hurt,
and to the best of your knowledge.

We believe in sex before during
and after marriage.
We believe in the therapy of sin.
We believe that adultery is fun.
We believe that sodomy's OK
We believe that taboos are taboo.

We believe that everything's getting better
despite evidence to the contrary.
The evidence must be investigated.
You can prove anything with evidence.

We believe there's something in horoscopes,
UFO's and bent spoons;
Jesus was a good man just like Buddha
Mohammed and ourselves.
He was a good moral teacher although we think
his good morals were bad.

We believe that all religions are basically the same,
at least the one that we read was.
They all believe in love and goodness.
They only differ on matters of
creation sin heaven hell God and salvation.

We believe that after death comes The Nothing
because when you ask the dead what happens
they say Nothing.
If death is not the end, if the dead have lied,
then it's compulsory heaven for all
excepting perhaps Hitler, Stalin and Genghis Khan.

We believe in Masters and Johnson.
What's selected is average.
What's average is normal.
What's normal is good.

We believe in total disarmament.
We believe there are direct links between
warfare and bloodshed.
Americans should beat their guns into tractors
and the Russians would be sure to follow.

We believe that man is essentially good.
It's only his behaviour that lets him down.
This is the fault of society.
Society is the fault of conditions.
Conditions are the fault of society.

We believe that each man must find the truth
that is right for him.
Reality will adapt accordingly.
The universe will readjust. History will alter.
We believe that there is no absolute truth
excepting the truth that there is no absolute truth.

We believe in the rejection of creeds.


Steve Turner