A BORN-AGAIN BELIEVER

THE RIGHT CLICK

Scripture calls the serpent the most subtle of all creatures.

Jesus calls him the Father of Lies.

The devil is such a subtle and skillful liar that most people have difficulty discerning his lies as lies.

One of his greatest achievements, as we know, has been to convince most people that he doesn’t exist. Another of his achievements has been to rebrand sin as virtue. So, for instance, attacking God’s justice has been rebranded as “social justice”, depravity has been rebranded as “liberation”, and tolerance of depravity has been rebranded as “love”. The devil has also convinced many Christians that killing is OK, as long as it’s done in the name of the state or in self-defence.

The devil feeds on people’s ignorance of God’s Word. He does so by feeding their pride, vanity, lusts, and fears. If your pride, vanity, lusts or fears are being triggered, you know the source is the devil, not God.

Whether we consciously realize it or not, we’ve all had dealings with the devil, mainly through his minions. Jesus had up-close and personal experiences with the devil during a series of temptations. Satan made personal appearances in Jesus’ case, as Jesus would have been quite a feather in the devil’s cap had he caved to the temptations. 

You can tell those who have caved. If they’re not born-again but they’re at the top of their field or are a household name, they’ve caved. Jesus tells us that the world is under Satan, so anyone in positions of power or authority, or anyone who’s attained a certain level of success or celebrity who is not born-again has had to cave to the devil’s temptations, and they’re warned never to talk about it. There is no other way for them to achieve sustained success above a certain level except to be born-again, and very few born-again believers are drawn to the entertainment or arts industries, or to politics, law, business, banking, professional sports, medicine, etc., or religion.

Yes, I said religion.

Genuine born-again believers are not religious. Jesus was not religious. He did God’s will, he kept the Commandments, and he preached and taught the Word, but he wasn’t religious. In fact, he overthrew most of the tenets of the Judaic religion by claiming that the hundreds of Mosaic laws were no longer required. Jesus overthrew religiosity in the same way he overthrew the money-changers’ tables in the temple.

Unfortunately, very few Christians got that memo and so have continued to follow religion rather than Jesus, ritual rather than faith, lies rather than Truth. The devil has a field day with these people. They’re how Christianity is being destroyed from within.

The key to discerning the devil’s lies is to view the world through the lens of God’s Holy Spirit, as Jesus did. This can only be done if you’re born-again. The day I was born-again, I remember feeling that everything had clicked into place and the world finally made sense. It was like when you’re getting your eyes tested, sitting in the dark behind the eye-testing gizmo. You strain to make sense of the blurry letters on the wall as the optometrist clicks through one lens at a time, and then suddenly, with the right click — YOU SEE!

I’d strained to make sense of the world for years until I was born again, but since then, the way of the world appears self-evident to me. In fact, it’s now so self-evident, I can’t unsee it, and it boggles my mind that I could have been so blind to it all those years. But the blindness was supernatural, just as the clarity of vision is supernatural. I didn’t make myself blind any more than I made myself see. This is all God’s doing.

As subtle and as skilled a liar as the devil is, Jesus tells us that we born-agains have the capacity, through the power of God’s Spirit, to be as wise as him. Just as we can know God’s mind, we can also know the devil’s and the minds of those who serve him. And in knowing their minds, we can discern their lies.

But in striving to be as wise as a serpent, we need to remember to remain as gentle as a dove. The devil uses his wisdom to harm people; we need to use ours to help them.

SINLESS

There’s a difference between perfect and sinless.

During his time on Earth, Jesus wasn’t perfect, but he was sinless. The sinless part is what counts in the spiritual realm.

Mistakes are built into the human experience and therefore unavoidable. If Jesus hadn’t made them, he wouldn’t have been human. Mind you, he made a lot fewer mistakes than we do, but he did make a few boo-boos of note. We know this, because some of them were included in the Gospels. This was done purposely to show us that Jesus wasn’t perfect. Even so, humanity didn’t need a Jesus who was perfect; humanity needed a Jesus who was sinless, and we got that.

Being imperfect and making occasional mistakes, Jesus could not possibly have been God, because God is perfect. Scripture is crystal clear about that. God doesn’t make mistakes, so Jesus could not possibly have been God. If Jesus hadn’t made mistakes during his time on Earth, he would have been God, but he wasn’t. He was fully human and infused with a full measure of God’s Spirit, more fully than any human before or since. But he wasn’t God and he wasn’t perfect.

It was sinlessness that made Jesus the Messiah, not perfection.

God doesn’t change. Scripture tells us that. So if God doesn’t change – ever – than how could he have changed himself into mortal form, shed his perfection and every other absolute characteristic, and come down to Earth as a human? God’s changes in appearance are only due to the perceptions of those who behold him. God himself never changes (scripture says that when we get to Heaven, we’ll see God as he is). Change implies imperfection, and God is perfect.

We also know that, physically, Jesus was not a heart-throb. In fact, he was described as “despised” (not attractive) and less than commanding (not tall). This was during his time on Earth. Since his glorification, Jesus has been physically perfected. He is now gloriously beautiful and perfect, like everyone in Heaven is beautiful and perfect. He started to change physically already during his post-resurrection appearances, for the 40 days before he ascended. The disciples recognized him by the things he said and did, not by his appearance.

We need to remember that Jesus made occasional mistakes and that he wasn’t perfect. We don’t follow an automaton; we follow a sinless human who made occasional mistakes but who has since been glorified and now lives in perfection at the right hand of God. We follow the example of someone who was once an imperfect but sinless human who is now perfected, as we will be perfected if we make it home.

So if someone tries to tell you that Jesus is God, tell them he can’t be God because he wasn’t perfect, and God is perfect. If they then tell you that God “shed” his perfection to dwell among humans, tell them that God doesn’t change. Scripture says so.

Jesus was imperfect but sinless. Thank God, he was imperfect but sinless. His mistakes make ours more bearable and him more approachable, and his sinlessness gives us a way home.

A SHOUT-OUT TO THE SIDE-STEPPERS

I write this for those of you who have side-stepped the tyranny thus far and who have no intention to stop side-stepping it.

As you know, there are very few of us left. I wanted to reach out to you to let you know you’re not alone, and to encourage you to continue the side-stepping. Not defying, side-stepping. Finding ways around the obstacles, like Jesus did, always following what Jesus did. Continuing your life as before, but side-stepping while you’re doing it. Kind of like stepping over and around steaming piles of doggie-do on the sidewalk. No need to plow through them when you can just side-step around them. God will show you how.

The news of the world is not good today (when is it ever?). One by one, countries are falling to ever-worsening tyranny. Of course, tyranny is nothing new. It’s just that most of us in the Western world were lulled into thinking we would never have to deal with it in our day and on our own turf, and yet here we are.

Boot, meet face.

Jesus lived under a double-whammy tyranny of the Roman occupation and a tyrannical king. Even so, that didn’t stop him from doing what he came to do. God enabled him to side-step the tyranny until it was his time.

The ever-worsening tyranny outside our windows shouldn’t stop us, either. We just need to avoid certain places until it’s our time.

I wrote earlier about how the tyranny has created a dividing line between those who submit to it and those who don’t. There is no instance anywhere in the Gospels of Jesus submitting to tyranny, medical or otherwise. He just didn’t do it. He was a healer; he didn’t need to go to the world for healing: the world came to him. Anyone who claims that Jesus would have gone to the world for healing or would have told his followers to go to the world for healing doesn’t know God and doesn’t know Jesus and has no authority to speak in their names.

The Old Testament tells us what God thinks of worldly medicine men. King Asa, after relying on Syria to help him win a war rather than relying on God, then suffers a rapidly-deteriorating foot disease that ultimately kills him. Instead of going to God for help, King Asa goes to a series of doctors, all of whom fail him. This reminds me of the woman with the issue of blood who spends everything she has on doctors for 12 years, to no avail. But when she reaches out to Jesus as he passes by, she’s instantly and thoroughly healed. It was that simple. No reason to believe that every healing can’t be that simple, o ye of little faith!

We side-steppers know that God, through his Spirit, is the source of all genuine healing. Jesus healed by the power of God’s Holy Spirit. We, as Jesus followers, also heal by the power of God’s Holy Spirit. To turn our backs on God, like Asa did, and to go to the world for healing, like Asa did, is not an option for us, will NEVER be an option for us. Those who truly love God and truly follow Jesus will agree with this 100%.

No bribe is large enough and no threat is dire enough to make us change our minds. Jesus tells us that the most the world can do to us is kill our body. Well, our body has to die, anyway, for us to get to Heaven, so if that’s the worst the world can do, there really isn’t anything to fear, is there?

We just need to hang onto God’s hand for the rest of our time here. Side-step the tyranny until God signals our time is up, but otherwise hang on tight to God’s hand and follow behind Jesus.

We can do this.

We’ve come this far doing it.

We can keep on doing it to the end.

THE ONE WHERE JESUS TELLS US TO GET A SWORD

God’s Commandments are inviolable. That means there are no asterisks (*) next to them denoting exceptions to the rule. If you break a Commandment, you will suffer for it – not because God is punishing you, but because you will cause others pain, which will come back to you in kind. Jesus tells us that the measure we mete out is the measure we get back. So when you break a Commandment and suffer for it, God isn’t causing your suffering: you’re doing it to yourself.

Killing people is a humongous no-no. It’s so big, it’s a Commandment. Killing someone (including yourself) for any reason is a violation of the Commandment. No exceptions. No asterisks. Just plain don’t do it.

If killing under any circumstance is a no-no, then why did Jesus tell us to get a sword?

Keep in mind that Jesus didn’t say to get a knife or a spear or slingshot or some other form of weapon: He very specifically said to get a sword. In Jesus’ day, swords were considered lethal weapons. Unlike knives or spears, which could be used for other purposes (e.g., hunting), swords were almost exclusively used to kill people. So, when you picked up a sword or carried one, it was assumed you were planning to kill with it.

But here’s the problem – if we kill someone, we’d be violating the Commandment, and we know with 100% certainty that Jesus would never advise us to break a Commandment. So how does Jesus telling us to get a sword align with God’s Commandment not to kill?

Over the centuries, most people have taken Jesus’ advice to get a sword to mean he’s giving them license to kill, with his blessing. Nothing could be farther from the truth. A closer reading of scripture shows us that Jesus advised his followers to get a sword under certain circumstances and for a certain reason, and that reason was not to kill or even to wound. This we know for sure from scripture, for three main reasons.

First, God’s Commandment not to kill is inviolable. Jesus knew this and he also taught us that we are to keep God’s Commandments – all of them. It would be contradictory for Jesus to teach us not to kill, and then for him to turn around and give us his blessing to kill, and Jesus never contradicted himself. He also stood firmly on God’s Word, stating several times that scripture cannot be broken, and elevating scripture to a much higher position than “doctrines of men”. There are no instances in the gospel of Jesus killing or counseling to kill, and we are to live as he lived. That’s what it means to be his followers.

Second, Jesus immediately heals the soldier whose ear is chopped off. If Jesus meant for us to use a sword either defensively or offensively, he would have let the soldier suffer the wound. But he healed it instead. He did not want his followers even to wound someone, let alone kill them, and certainly not in his name.

Third, Jesus warns us that those who live by the sword, die by the sword. Here, again, we see Jesus reminding us that the measure we mete out, we get in return. He warned his followers against using a sword to kill, and reminded them over and over again to put their faith in God, not in their own devices.

Why, then, did Jesus tell us we needed a sword?

Note that Jesus didn’t tell his disciples to get a sword at the beginning of his ministry, but at the end. At the beginning of his ministry, there were no restrictions on Jesus’ movement or on what he could say. He was not considered a “transgressor” at that time. But as his ministry proceeded and he started to get in the faces and up the noses of the religious ptb, he became a marked man, and his movements were more and more restricted. He eventually couldn’t go to certain areas unless he wanted to be arrested (which he didn’t want to be, so he didn’t go to those places). And yet, even under these ever-worsening restrictions and threats, he still didn’t counsel his followers to arm themselves.

It was only at the very end of his ministry, just before he permitted himself to be arrested and crucified, that Jesus advised his followers to get a sword. He explained that while earlier they had no need to be armed or even to carry any money (as everything was given to them and they were welcomed in most places they went), now things would be different. Now they would not be welcomed and would in fact be considered enemies of the state and enemies of the people. They would live as outlaws – transgressors – and be persecuted wherever they went.

Outlaws live on the fringes of society, without the protection of the state. They usually travel at night and off the main track, and live as surreptitiously as possible. To get what they need to survive, they have to rely not on people living within the bounds of mainstream society, but on shady characters who will very happily get them what they need, for a certain price. So Jesus’ followers would need money to deal with these characters and a sword to show them they weren’t to be messed with.

In other words, the sword is meant as a deterrent. Jesus never intended for his followers to use the sword to kill, but to appear as if they would. Otherwise, without a sword, they wouldn’t survive the rough world of outlaws that they would be plunged into as his followers.

I do not believe that we in Western society are yet at the point where we need to carry a weapon as a deterrent. As Christians, we can still move freely in society; we are not under threat of arrest for being Christian. Yes, many Christians have violated health protocols and have gotten arrested or restricted for doing that, but again, the arrests weren’t because these people were Christian, but because they were violating health protocols.

While we are still free to move around AS CHRISTIANS and don’t have to live on the run because we’re Christians, there’s no reason for us to carry a weapon. Jesus didn’t. Throughout his entire ministry, Jesus never carried a weapon, even when he was threatened with arrest in certain areas. It was only at the very end of his ministry that he counselled his followers to get a sword, as at that time they would be treated as criminals simply for being his followers.

Do I believe the time will come when we, as Christians in the Western world, will again be persecuted for being Christians (not simply for violating health protocols)? Yes, of course, the time will come. Scripture is very clear that it will. Whether or not it comes in our lifetime remains to be seen.

But for the time being, while we’re still free to move around AS CHRISTIANS, we have no need to arm ourselves. And if the time does come for us to arm ourselves because we’re being persecuted AS CHRISTIANS, we need to remind ourselves that our weapon is for the purpose of deterrence only, not for killing under any circumstance.

Jesus’ teachings and God’s Law should be our guide on weapon use, not the laws of the land. As born-again believers, we are Christians first and foremost and only. If the laws of the land give us permission to carry a weapon or to kill in self-defence, we are obligated by God’s Law not to do either, even though the state gives us permission. In Western society, we are not currently being persecuted AS CHRISTIANS, so we cannot justify before God carrying a weapon. Again, what the laws of the land permit us to do is irrelevant; before God, we cannot currently justify carrying a weapon. We are to live as Jesus did, and Jesus never carried a weapon: he only advised carrying one under extreme circumstances of persecution.

I know this teaching will not sit well with most Americans, but you have to decide whether you want to follow God’s Law or American law. I pray that you choose God’s Law, because being American does not make you exempt from the Commandment not to kill. There is no circumstance where killing a human being (including yourself) is justified before God. Killing is a violation of the Commandment, full stop.

If the time comes for us, as Christians, to carry a weapon, we will do so with God’s blessing, but only if we use our weapon as a deterrent.

WHEN THE MARK OF THE BEAST WILL COME

Sometimes you hear a phrase or read a line that triggers an understanding of something else tangentially related. This happened to me yesterday when I was glancing through an online forum thread about the newest variant. Someone had asked: “Can babies take the mark?”

There’s been a lot of speculation about whether or not the injections currently making the rounds are the mark of the beast. I would say they are not, mainly (but not only) for the following reason.

Scripture tells us that the mark will be mandated for everyone, no exceptions. The current injections include exceptions, and they also (for the time being) exclude babies and young children. But there will be zero exemptions for the mark of the beast. That is understood. Zero exceptions and zero exemptions:

AND HE CAUSETH ALL, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads….”

REVELATION 13:16

As we see from the scripture above, the mark will be mandated for everyone. But the taking of the mark is not something that can be done lightly, in the spiritual sense, as scripture also tells us that those who take the mark will be shut out of Heaven. This is the worst possible outcome for a human soul. So there has to be a free-will and informed decision involved in taking the mark. SOMEONE ELSE CANNOT MAKE THIS DECISION FOR YOU.

Babies and young children cannot make free-will informed decisions. In fact, God considers anyone under the age of 20 unable to make decisions that affect their immortal soul. We know this, because everyone under the age of 20 when they left Egypt during the Exodus was permitted to enter the Promised Land, regardless of the type of life they’d led until then. There might have been a few minor exceptions (during general purges, like when whole families were obliterated), but the general rule was that those who were over the age of 20 at the Exodus had to perish in the desert (except for Caleb and Joshua), while those under the age of 20 at the Exodus could enter the Promised Land.

Which brings me to the point at hand – if the scripture states that everyone has to get the mark, this cannot by definition include those under the age of 20, which means there mustn’t be anyone under the age of 20 alive on Earth when the mark is made mandatory for everyone.

Think “Children of Men”, the movie, where no children have been born for nearly 20 years. This is the scenario that would have to occur for the mark to be made compulsory for everyone: There would have to be no-one under the age of 20 alive when the decree goes out for “ALL” to get the mark.

We know that the goal of the globalist eugenicists has been to take over the role of reproduction and control it. This is in the process of being done now, mainly through various injections causing sterility, along with technologies that literally cook and irradiate sperm and ovaries, and abortions and abortion pills that are readily available on demand. Added to that, of course, are the chemicals infusing our food, water and household items that are so much a part of modern life, no-one pays much heed to them anymore, even though their negative effects on human reproductive health are well-known, well-documented, and well-publicized.

That’s not to say that, along with sterilization, there won’t also be a sudden die-off of people under the age of 20. But I think the psychopaths who run this world will arrange instead for mass sterilization, miscarriages, still births, and abortions until there are simply no more births. And then perhaps they’ll kill off any under-20s who still remain, the way Herod had those under the age of 2 massacred.

There is definitely a precedent for killing children by decree.

So to answer the person’s question about whether or not babies can take the mark – no, babies can’t take the mark, as such a momentous decision with eternal ramifications cannot be made on someone’s behalf by someone else (such as parents or doctors or politicians). Babies can’t take the mark, children can’t take the mark – in fact, no-one under the age of 20 can take the mark. Which means that when the mark is finally given, there’ll be no-one under the age of 20 in the world, unless they’ve been marked with God’s seal and are in hiding.

Watch for signs of “unexplained” falling birth rates and rising incidences of miscarriages and still births, along with mass deaths of young children by SIDS or other inexplicable causes. As Jesus warned us:

“And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!”

MATTHEW 24:19

BLESS YOUR CHALLENGES, DON’T CURSE THEM

We live in an age that values convenience and instant gratification.

But life doesn’t work that way. Life isn’t convenient and instant: It’s full of challenges.

The most successful people in life, whether in the world or in the Kingdom, bless their challenges rather than curse them. They see challenges not as barriers but as opportunities to make themselves better.

Jesus was famous for embracing challenges, including his enemies. He never shied away from them, but always faced them head-on, guided and strengthened by God. We are to follow Jesus in everything we do, so if he embraced and blessed challenges, so should we.

All too often, our default (as modeled to us by the world) is to complain about challenges and barriers. Sometimes we complain to God, but mostly we complain to the world. We complain that things are too difficult. We complain that someone else has an unfair advantage by virtue of their sex or skin color or language or heritage. We complain about the transit system. We complain about bad drivers. We complain about the produce selection. We complain about the weather. We complain about prices going up and our income going down. We complain about our health. We complain about our relationships. In fact, we’re so good at complaining about our challenges, we’ll even complain on behalf of other people for challenges that don’t affect us and are in fact none of our business – but heck, if it’s a challenge, it needs to be cursed and complained about.

Right?

Not anymore.

We need to put that complaining mindset behind us as a relic that no longer has a place in our lives. We’re in the Kingdom, not the world, and Jesus showed us that challenges and barriers are opportunities to better ourselves, and so should be embraced, not cursed. That is the basis for his teaching on loving our enemies. We don’t curse those who hate us or challenge us; we love and bless them, and we embrace them even as we embrace the challenges they present to us.

Of course, like everything else in our lives, we’re not going to be able to bless and embrace our challenges without God’s help. Also (and this is important, so pay attention here), we’re not always going to succeed at overcoming our challenges. Sometimes – even after asking God’s help – we’re going to fail, because we need to fail occasionally.

That’s how we learn best and stay humble. Failure is as important to our progress in the Kingdom as success is, and like challenges (and enemies), failure should be embraced, not shunned and complained about.

Considering the above, I would like to challenge you right here and right now to make a list (even just a mental one) of all the things that you see as dragging you down or as being barriers to your success. Then I’d like to challenge you to take that list and turn it inside out, so that the challenges and curses become opportunities and blessings, so that instead of complaining about your challenges, you use them as a starting point and an opportunity to make yourself better.

Remember – you don’t overcome evil by cursing; you overcome evil by blessing. Jesus taught us that.

Now let’s put it into action.

A HOUSE FLY NAMED PRISCILLA, AND ALL OF GOD’S CREATURES

A family of coyotes sang outside my window last night. They woke me up after midnight to serenade me. Eastern coyotes are part wolf, and you can hear that in their howls and see it in their face and fur. Sometimes these coyotes are mistaken for wolves, and vice-versa.

I came face-to-face with a coyote a few years ago. It wasn’t planned. Just before going to bed, I’d opened the basement door to throw a bag of garbage into the enclosed stairwell. A coyote was crouched over a bag that was already there. I’m not sure which of us was more surprised, but I screamed and he yipped, and we both beat a hasty retreat.

I followed his paw prints the next day through the snow before losing track of them in thick underbrush. They plotted a straight line, like wolf prints, but I knew it had to be a coyote. Wolves haven’t been spotted in Nova Scotia for years.

Eastern coyotes have learned to fear humans, and for good reason: We’re always killing them. Back in 2010, the government of Nova Scotia, after decades of “following the science” (which clearly indicated that culls are counter-productive), suddenly did an about-face and called a cull that lasted several years. Most of the fur you see trimming Canada Goose jackets and hats is the bounty of that cull. I’ve often wondered if the main reason for the cull in the first place was to supply that industry.

The coyote population has rebounded in NS since the cull ended. I was overjoyed to hear the family singing last night. I would never lure them to my house, but I would also never chase them away. All animals, whether footed, winged or finned, great or small, are God’s babies, and he doesn’t look kindly on those who mistreat them. Scripture says that God has given us stewardship over all of them, which includes the right to eat some of them, but we are to treat humanely even those we slaughter for food.

Culling is not humane treatment, particularly culling by trap.

In the first three weeks after arriving at the farmhouse where I am now, I made friends with a house fly. It wasn’t my first impulse to be friends with her. I kept trying to shoo her away, but she was very persistent and very affectionate, so eventually I just let her hang around. I called her Priscilla. She would sit with me at my laptop while I was working, and take naps in the little crevices between the keyboard keys. Sometimes she would chase the cursor around the screen, like my cat used to do with her paw.

She was a very petite house fly, one of the smallest I’d ever seen, but she was so full of life. I would watch her bathe, which she did nearly half of her waking hours. When people say that flies are dirty, they’re dead wrong. Priscilla bathed as frequently as my cat, Pumpkin, used to bathe, maybe even more so. And like Pumpkin, she’d start at her head and make her way down to her butt, leaving out nothing in between. She’d pay special attention to cleaning the top of her head and her wings.

I’d never watched a house fly bathe before. I’d also never watched a house fly take naps or eat. I started to share my meals with Priscilla – she had a particular fondness for hot chocolate and anything sweet. I’d put little bits of everything I was eating on a plate for her, but like a little kid, she still wanted what was on my plate, not what was on hers, even though they were the same things.

When she wasn’t hanging out with me at my work desk, she’d be in the kitchen waiting for me to cook up some more hot chocolate. She never tried to go outside, although I left the windows and doors open on occasion. She was a true house fly.

The night before she went home, we sat in the kitchen together and I told her about Heaven. I knew her time was coming, because she was getting slower in her movements. Wherever I was those last few days, she’d sit next to me and rest. I’d put my finger right up to her and almost touch her, but she’d never budge. She had no fear of me at all. That last night, I read to her from the Bible, after I’d told her about Heaven and the kind of life she would live there.

The next day she went home.

I’d never cried over a house fly before, but I cried over Priscilla. Even so, I was happy that she was home, and I know I’ll see her again, if I make it there, too.

A few months ago, I’d talked to God about getting a pet. But God told me that the life I would be leading from hereon in would make it impossible for me to keep an animal. So he sent me a house fly named Priscilla instead. And now he’s sent me a family of wild coyotes to sing me lullabies.

I know that wherever I go for the rest of my time on Earth, God will send his babies to amuse me and awe me and keep me company. Just like all the Earth and everything on it is mine by virtue of being God’s daughter, all the creatures on it are mine, too. I don’t need one particular pet, because I’ve got all of God’s babies, and he’ll be sending them to me one by one (or family by family), as the need arises. And from each of them, I’ll learn something I need to learn at that particular time.

God’s Kingdom isn’t only people – it’s all of God’s creatures, and they preach and teach the Word just by living their lives.

PROVOCATIONS

The next few weeks and months are going to be full of provocations for born-again believers.

When these occur, we need to follow the example set by Jesus, not the example set by the world or the worldly church.

There are three paths we can choose from here on in – one of them follows the world, the second follows the worldly church, and the third follows Jesus.

Following the world looks like this: Complying with mandates and/or protesting the mandates.

Following the worldly church looks like this: Complying with mandates and/or protesting the mandates.

Following Jesus looks like this: Removing yourself from or avoiding areas that have mandates; finding work-arounds for the mandates; doing whatever it takes not to be caught in the web of the mandates; suffering whatever it takes not to be caught in the web of the mandates; submitting to the mandates only when it’s your time; and never protesting the mandates.

What we’re going through now is similar to what Jesus went through during his ministry years. At first, he was free to roam wherever he wanted, to live wherever he wanted, and to say whatever he wanted. There were no restrictions on his movements or his speech. But then, as he got more and more in the faces and up the noses of the religious ptb, his movements started to be restricted. He could no longer preach or teach in certain areas, though everywhere else he was still free to live, roam, and speak his mind.

As his ministry progressed and the religious ptb became ever more determined to get rid of him, Jesus started taking the back roads and sleeping rough. His days of renting houses or hosting large events were over. He kept a low profile. Instead of going openly to religious festivals accompanied by his disciples, he went secretly and alone. When he ran out of food, he took whatever was to hand. He operated on a day-to-day survival mode basis, but he kept on teaching and preaching.

When the decree finally went out for his arrest, with execution as a likely outcome, Jesus set his sights firmly on Jerusalem. He entered the city not through the back roads, but on the main highway, and not alone or in secret, but with full fanfare and riding on a colt, as prophesied of the King of the Jews. From that point onward, he again openly taught and healed in the temple and synagogues. When he was arrested, he didn’t run from those who came for him and he didn’t fight them: he let them do their job. At no time did he curse them or struggle against them. He didn’t even speak up in his own defense at his trial. He fully submitted to what he knew was the will of God for him at that time.

In terms of what Jesus went through during his ministry years, we are now somewhere between having our movements and speech restricted and a decree going out for our arrest. Just like in Russia during the early days of the Soviet revolution and in China during the Cultural Revolution, born-again Christians are not welcome in the new political and cultural order being set up. We will eventually be rounded up along with all the other non-compliants and sent to internment camps for “re-education”. If we refuse to be re-educated, we will either be outright killed or kept in such poor conditions that we’ll die in a short time. Jesus tells us that when we get jailed, we need to “endure to the end” to be saved.

I’m not being overly dramatic here. I’m just laying it on the line and explaining the way forward if you want to follow the example set by Jesus. The world’s way and the worldly church’s way are dead ends. You don’t want to follow those ways. And if you’ve taken a few hesitant steps down one of those two paths regarding the mandates because you felt you had no other option at the time, it’s not too late to change course. It’s not too late today, but it may be too late tomorrow.

Don’t ask “what WOULD Jesus do” but “what DID Jesus do”, because everything we need to know about how to survive the current provocations and the provocations to come, Jesus modeled for us.

So what did Jesus do?

He didn’t comply with the ptb’s mandates until it was his time, and he never protested.

That’s your path. That’s your way forward.

God will fill you in on the details as you need them.

DANGEROUS TIMES

When Joseph was warned in a dream to flee the country with Mary and Jesus, it must have seemed like a nightmare to the young family as they snuck away in the middle of the night with just the clothes on their backs. The world they knew had suddenly become hostile and frightening, and all they could likely think about was getting someplace safe, at any cost. How ironic that their “safe” place would be the very nation the children of Israel fled during the exodus, and that the man (Herod) they were fleeing from would be a descendant of the children of Israel. Strangers who were former enemies were now a safer bet to Joseph, Mary and Jesus than their own people.

Three decades later, Jesus would again be faced with the same threat of danger from his own people, only this time, instead of warning Jesus to flee, God guided him to stay and face the danger head-on.

All of us, at different times, will be guided by God either to flee or to stay, depending on the circumstances. The same nightmare forces that threatened Jesus all those years ago are still in play today and are still seeking to eliminate Jesus’ followers. Thank God for our sake that God is still one step ahead of them.

I’ve written here before about the importance of keeping your head down. Over the past few months in Nova Scotia alone, two tight-knit Christian communities that openly defied the mandates and restrictions were suddenly struck with widespread outbreaks that affected nearly every member. The communities were then vilified in the media, and their international leadership publicly ordered them into compliance.

The nightmare that Joseph, Mary and Jesus fled from all those centuries ago is alive and well and living wherever you are. It may be hiding under a rock for the time being, but it’s there, waiting for the signal to emerge. I’m sure what happened to the two shamed Christian communities in Nova Scotia was just a coincidence and was in no way a planned event to make an example of Christians in general, as a warning. I’m sure everything that’s happening now is entirely natural and in no way being statistically massaged to support an unpublicized agenda. I’m sure our elected and unelected officials are making choices based on the best interests of the people they serve, and not on their own best interests or on the interests of those pulling their strings behind the scenes. I’m sure integrity abounds in the ptb and that we can believe at face value everything they tell us, all the time.

Meanwhile, back in reality, we need to be equally ready either to flee or to face our nemesis, depending on what God guides us to do. This is not the time to be putting down roots or planning anything long-term, unless you’re willing to walk away from your roots and plans at a moment’s notice. The last thing Joseph and Mary were likely expecting was to have to flee into the night, leaving everything behind.

As Christians, we’re equipped by God to be as wise as serpents and gentle as doves. We need to use that equipment now more than ever and not be lured into making a bad situation worse by fighting fights that are not ours to fight. Jesus never protested the Roman occupation of his country. He never protested the abuse of his people by the Roman soldiers. But he did go head-to-head with the religious powers-that-be who taught lies in the name of God and oppressed the poor by withholding God’s Word from them.

Our enemies are the same today as they were Jesus’ day and our battles should be the same. When God gives us the signal to flee, we flee; when God gives us the signal to stay, we stay; and when God gives us the signal to fight, we fight. God’s signals will not be vague or require the services of a tea-leaf reader to discern; they will be as blatant and vivid as the burning bush was to Moses, or the dream to flee was to Joseph.

No matter the situation, wait for God’s directive. Don’t act on an emotional response or at the goading of some well-meaning but misguided person. Wait for God’s directive.

The times are dangerous for us Christians and growing more dangerous by the day.

When God says “Go”, go.

When God says “Stay”, stay.

And when God says “Fight”, fight as if your very soul depends on it, because it does.

“FOR THE GREATER GOOD”: A CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE

I was raised to be fiercely independent. That’s not always been to my benefit, since I have, at times, used my independence unwisely. But on the strait and narrow, being fiercely independent is the best way to proceed. In fact, I would say it’s the only way to proceed.

Jesus was also fiercely independent. That’s not to say he wasn’t 100% reliant on God; that’s only to say that he wasn’t reliant on people. You can’t rely on people the way you can rely on God. You can partially and occasionally rely on people for things that are not that important, and only when God gives you the go-ahead to rely on them, but otherwise, it’s best to remain fiercely independent when it comes to humans, though fully dependent when it comes to God.

I wasn’t raised to question, but I learned to do that, anyway, as a natural extension of my independence. One thing God encourages from his children is questioning. Because his law and his will are perfect, God has no problem explaining either of them to those who ask in sincerity. He enjoys sharing his wisdom. That’s why he inspired so many people through the ages to write and preserve his Word in scripture. Being fiercely independent and a fierce questioner makes me highly attuned to sniffing out BS, and boy, is there a lot to sniff out these days.

In the Garden of Eden, the serpent baited and then trapped Eve by deceiving her about what was “good”. Eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was, according to the serpent, “good”, not only because the fruit was good to look at, but because it would increase Eve’s knowledge to the point where she would become like a “god”. That God had expressly warned Eve not to eat that particular fruit (on pain of death) was dismissed by the serpent as a minor detail that could easily be side-stepped and should be side-stepped, since God, with his selfish prohibition, was obviously keeping Eve from being the best she could be.

The devil is superb at inverting God’s Truth. In fact, it’s what he was created and equipped to do. He is the tempter, and his temptations will always lure you into what is ultimately bad for you, though he dresses it up as something good.

Case in point is the annoyingly grating and now unfortunately omnipresent phrase “for the greater good”, lifted straight from the communist propaganda playbook. It’s as hollow as it is grating, which is probably why it’s become the latest rallying cry for the superficially virtuous and openly evil alike.

There’s no such thing as a “greater good”. It’s a fictional construct that has no basis in reality. Even from a logical standpoint, it’s nonsense: wouldn’t a “greater good” just simply be a “better”? Jesus tells us that no-one is good but God, and no-one can be better than God, so there’s no such thing as a greater good. It is a nonsensical phrase.

Collectivist societies, like cults, thrive on guilting their adherents into sacrificing whatever may be to their own benefit in order to allegedly benefit others. Only, the others never actually benefit, either, because they, too, are being guilted into sacrificing, more or less for the same reason. In a society that aims to do all “for the greater good”, none of those sacrificing for this hollow and inane directive ever benefit. It’s what is known in more profane company as a “circle jerk”.

Here’s a classic Canadian example of “for the greater good” in action. A sidewalk is shoveled just wide enough for one person to walk on it. On either side are three-foot-high slushy, dirty snowbanks, pocked with dog pee and poop. Along come two people, from opposite directions. They have no problems walking along the sidewalk when they don’t have to be in the same place at the same time, but as they approach each other, they face a dilemma: They both can’t walk on the shoveled portion of the sidewalk together in order to pass each other. So what do they do? How can they resolve this seeming impasse?

I have witnessed this countless times, so what I write here is a true example of “for the greater good” as it plays out in reality in Canada – instead of negotiating that one person will remain on the sidewalk while the other climbs up on the snowbank, BOTH CLIMB UP ON THE SNOWBANK, getting their shoes or boots full of slushy snow in the process and their clothing and hands soiled with the dirty snow. Meanwhile, the disputed portion of the sidewalk remains completely clear and untrodden by either party. This is what “for the greater good” looks like in reality: a clear sidewalk flanked by two miserable humans with dirty hands and cold wet feet, slip-sliding up and down a poopy snowbank.

I’m glad I was raised to be fiercely independent and encouraged by God to question everything. I do not believe in “for the greater good”; I believe in optimal outcome for all parties involved, like God does. Based on optimal outcome for all parties involved, this is how you negotiate a single-lane sidewalk flanked by snowbanks: When you see someone else coming from the other direction, you don’t wait until you meet up and then scramble onto the filthy snow to get past each other; you courteously stand and wait at whatever shoveled driveway or street corner is positioned before the impasse point. One person stands and waits, and the other walks through the narrow passage until both of you are at the driveway or street corner, which is broad enough for you to easily pass by each other.

Again – you change your strategy to benefit both of you; you don’t wait to be forced (or allow yourself to be forced) to do something that you know in your gut is to your detriment. You change your strategy, and in so doing, everyone benefits, with a benefit that is clearly perceived by all parties involved.

There is no such thing as “for the greater good”. It’s just a nonsensical pie-in-the-sky slogan brought to you by the same serpent that hoodwinked Eve.

Please don’t fall for it.

Be fiercely independent and question everything, like Jesus.