GOOD NEWS – THE KINGDOM HAS COME!
In fact, it’s been here for nearly 2000 years!
Unlike the fake, uninformed, lukewarm, missing-in-action, or just plain lying Christians who make up most of what the world calls ‘Christendom’, the few true Christians alive today already know that the kingdom has come. They know it because they know God, they know Jesus, and they know scripture.
In Matthew 12:22, Jesus is casting out a devil by God’s Spirit, but the Pharisees accuse him of calling on Beelzebub to do so.
Jesus gets really really peeved about this, and says:
Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation…. And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself…. And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out?… But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come unto you.
There it is, folks: The kingdom of God has come unto us, and the proof is that Jesus was casting out devils by the power of God’s Holy Spirit nearly 2000 years ago.
In Luke 11:20, Jesus affirms the arrival of God’s kingdom even more explicitly:
But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you.
Did you catch that? I bolded it for you just in case you missed it. Jesus says no doubt the kingdom of God has come. He doesn’t say it’s highly likely or there’s a 50/50 chance it might be here, he says NO DOUBT the kingdom of God has come. So there is no doubt that the kingdom of God is here. Jesus said so.
No doubt means exactly that – zero chance of something being otherwise.
As a born-again follower of Jesus, I likewise have no doubt that the kingdom is here. Were the kingdom not here, I wouldn’t be writing this blog, as God’s Spirit wouldn’t be with me, as I wouldn’t be born again.
None of Jesus’ disciples would be born again, either, including Paul.
And Jesus would not be the Christ.
Let that sink in for a minute – if God’s kingdom has not yet come, then Jesus is not the Christ: He’s just another false prophet.
But we know of course that Jesus IS the Christ. The Old and New Testaments point to Jesus being the Christ, and he affirmed it numerous times with this disciples. Heck, even God yelled down from Heaven: “This is my son; listen to him!” For anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear, there is no doubt that Jesus is the Christ and no doubt that God’s kingdom has come.
Then why on Earth would anyone want to argue the contrary?
Enter Exhibit A, otherwise known as Revelation 20. This is the chapter in John’s book of Revelation that the supporters of “the kingdom has not yet come” movement point to when they claim that God’s kingdom has not yet come.
In fact, they’ve based their entire argument on this one passage. Ignoring clear evidence to the contrary from scripture, from Jesus, and even from God Himself, the deniers insist that John’s vision is about a post-tribulation geopolitical kingdom.
Where have I heard that before?
Ah, yes – the Jews. In Jesus’ day, the Jews refused to accept Jesus as their long-awaited Messiah (the Christ) because he had no military or political power and wasn’t interested in setting up a geopolitical kingdom. In Jesus’ own words: “My kingdom is not of this world.”
The spiritually deaf and dumb Jews were flummoxed by this assertion. They were expecting a cavalry, not Calvary. They were expecting their Roman conquerors to be annihilated by a vast Messiah-led army and their heathen enemies to be overthrown. But from what they could see, the most that Jesus had ever overthrown were a few tables belonging to the money changers. How could someone with so little earthly power or authority (not to mention dubious parentage) save them from their enemies?
Today’s clued-out Christians are falling for the same old lies that have been tripping up Jews for millennia – namely, that the Messiah (Christ) is going to set up a geopolitical kingdom.
But Jesus clearly said: My kingdom is not of this world.
If his kingdom is not, as Jesus stated, “of this world”, then why would Jesus plan to come back and set up a kingdom that was of this world? Certainly, Jesus is coming back, but not to set up a geopolitical kingdom. He’s coming back just long enough to say “I told you so”, grab the last of his followers, and hightail it back to Heaven. He has zero plans to hang around after that.
Revelation 20 is about God’s kingdom here and now, with Jesus as Lord and commander, and his followers as spiritual kings, priests, and prophets. In one of his letters, Paul also mentions that those who have died to the world are already kings and priests in God’s kingdom.
Then why has there been such a big push, especially over the last few decades, to try to convince Christians that the kingdom will only come after the tribulation?
Who is promoting this anti-Christ lie, and why?
(See Part Two to find out!)
There are only two kinds of born-again Christians: those who eventually give up, and those who never give up.
We are not born either one or the other, nor are we reborn one or the other: We choose it.
We all have the potential to give up, just as we all have the potential never to give up.
Jesus explained this in the parable of the good seed. Some people give up as soon as the going gets tough; some people keep going for a while and then give up; and some people are constantly diverted and distracted, which is the same as giving up bit by bit.
And then there are those who keep going no matter what.
“No matter what” can mean any number of things. It can mean working steadily towards the goal of Heaven, rarely or never swerving from the assigned course, or it can mean falling down and getting back up again.
And falling down, and getting back up again.
And falling down, and getting back up again.
It’s not the falling down that matters; it’s the getting up that matters.
Jesus says that only those who endure to the end will be saved. He didn’t say “only those who never make mistakes will be saved” or “only those who never fall down will be saved”: He said “only those who endure to the end will be saved.”
He meant that when you fall down, you get back up.
Jesus knew how hard it was to be a spirit in a human body. He knew, because he was one. He was like us in all ways, and was tempted to give up just as we are tempted to give up.
He knows it’s hard because he slogged right along with us. He earned the right to say “those who endure to the end will be saved” because he endured to the end. He knew what it took to make it because he made it not by divine intervention but by enduring to the end.
You fall down; you get back up.
You fall down; you get back up.
You never give up.
You fall down; you get back up.
The stakes are too high to do otherwise.
There are only two kinds of born-again Christians: those who give up, and those who never give up.
Which are you?
The Great Divide is not a geographical division but a spiritual one.
At some point, when the “times of the gentiles have been fulfilled”, every person who is yet alive on Earth will receive either God’s seal or the mark of the beast.
There is no third option.
At that time, if you are still alive and not a born-again follower of Jesus, you will willingly take the mark. No-one will force you to take it: you will willingly take it. You will not be deceived into taking it. You will not take it out of hunger or because you fear for your life or the life of your loved ones: you will willingly take it. I cannot stress this fact enough — that those who receive the mark will take it willingly. Some people are afraid that they might be tricked or forced into taking the mark, but this is not how it will be.
All those who bear God’s seal will clearly see the beast’s mark for what it is and will want nothing to do with it, even on pain of death. In contrast, everyone who does not bear God’s seal will willingly and unhesitatingly take the mark as if it were something to be desired, something of benefit to them, something they could never imagine doing without. The beast’s mark will be taken with complete compliance, the way some people now take flu vaccines, thinking the injected poison is good for them. Those who bear the beast’s mark will hate and hunt down all those without it.
God’s seal, on the other hand, is completely different. You will have no part in deciding whether or not you receive God’s seal. Your will plays no role here. God alone decides.
God’s seal is invisible to everyone but to those who have eyes to see and those whose principal dwelling is the spirit realm.
As scripture tells us, people who are sealed by God cannot be harmed by God’s angels of vengeance. Every spirit will see God’s seal just as clearly as every human will see the beast’s mark. The spirits are forbidden to harm those who bear God’s seal, but it’s “open season” on those who bear the beast’s mark.
Pray to be found worthy to receive God’s seal. And then pray to continue to be found worthy, because even some who receive God’s seal will fall away as times get worse and worse and lawlessness takes over the whole world.
Pray to be found worthy, and pray to continue to be found worthy to your dying breath.
In Dante’s Inferno, Satan is imprisoned in the lowest pit of Hell. He is held in place not by chains but by the ice of a frozen lake which was formed by his tears and fanned frozen by his perpetually moving wings. Other condemned beings are in the lake with him, frozen in various agonizing contortions. When viewed from outside Hell, Satan appears to be frozen upside down.
Cryonics is the ‘science’ of preserving living organisms (such as human bodies) by freezing them in liquid nitrogen. The human “patients” are frozen upside down.
(You can’t make this stuff up.)
The human patients are frozen upside down and stored in a pod with up to three other patients and/or a couple of severed heads. What drove them to agree to such an extreme form of live burial is the hope that someday they’ll be brought back to life and made “whole” by future medical advances.
Cryonics patients are considered legally dead but not actually dead. They are dead insofar as their heart has stopped beating, but they are not beyond resuscitation. They could be resuscitated, but instead their blood is drained and replaced with antifreeze. And then they’re hung upside down like a bat out of Hell and immersed in liquid nitrogen to freeze them solid.
The Egyptians were going for the same effect with mummification. The aim was to preserve the body toward some future resurrection and immortality. The mummies were entombed in a sarcophagus much like cryonics patients are entombed in a pod, which is for all intents and purposes a high-tech sarcophagus. Cryonics enthusiasts can only hope that cryonics will prove at least marginally more successful than mummification.
In ancient Egypt, it was mostly the so-called 1 percent who were mummified – the rich and famous; the pharoahs and their wives: maybe even some popular entertainers. Today, cryonics clinics take everyone, but given the price attached to the procedure, it’s mostly the 1 percent who can afford it.
The part that gets me about cryonics is that the patients are not actually dead. I was dead but not actually dead when I went through the process of being reborn. That’s when God gave me the chance to make a choice between forgiving and not forgiving. When I chose to forgive, I was exorcised of demons and then brought back to life. Lots of people are declared legally dead (or “brain dead”) and then come back to life. Legally dead is not actually dead. Believe it or not, people hanging upside down in liquid nitrogen are not actually dead.
Before I was born again, I used to suffer from frequent bouts of sleep paralysis. This was an ongoing occurrence from the time I was a child. As I grew older, I started to see figures sitting just beyond my full range of vision. I knew these figures were really there because, unlike figures in my dreams (which I saw with 20/20 clarity), the figures that appeared in my sleep paralysis episodes were blurry (I am almost legally blind). All I could make out was that the figures were clothed in black and had red eyes. I know now that these were demons, but at the time, as an atheist, I had no context for understanding who or what they were. I hated the sleep paralysis episodes, and dreaded each time they occurred. I have not had any since being born again 17 years ago.
Sleep paralysis is a horrible state to be in. You try to move, but you can’t. You’re frozen, trapped inside your own body. You can’t even scream. Imagine if cryonics were similar to sleep paralysis. Imagine if you’re in a state that is lucid enough to experience spiritual encounters like in sleep paralysis, but that you can’t communicate this to anyone because you can’t move. This, to me, would be a form of Hell on Earth.
Organ donors allegedly experience this very type of Hell on Earth. Donors who are declared brain dead may not in fact be actually dead. To bypass this inconvenience, and given that the organs are the most viable when the heart is still beating, doctors administer a drug that paralyzes the donor’s body so that the organs can be harvested as quickly as possible. No anesthetics (pain killers) are administered, just paralysis drugs. Opponents of this practice (including doctors and nurses who formerly supported organ transplantation) allege that some donors can actually feel their body being cut open and their heart, liver, pancreas, eyes, etc., being removed. They allege this because the deceased patients, who have been declared legally dead because they are allegedly brain dead, respond to the incisions by quickened heart and respiration rates and try to pull away from the scalpel; some even thrash around even after being administered paralysis drugs. I suggest that the terms “excruciating” and “terrifying” would not be sufficient to describe what these poor souls are experiencing, and yet this practice happens every day and has the seal of approval of most health care systems the world over.
Organ donation is, in effect, not that far removed from ancient rituals that saw sacrificial victims being held down while their still-beating hearts were ripped from their chests. The old practice required people to hold the victim down, whereas the new practice relies on paralysis-inducing drugs. “The more things change….”
When Satan is finally let loose from his prison, his second coming will in fact create genuine Hell on Earth. At that time, there will be very few believers remaining and everyone else will be damned. The damned will proudly bear the highly visible mark of Satan, and the believers will bear the invisible seal of God. The Age of Mercy will have ended (meaning, no more conversions) and the Age of Judgment will be in full swing. This is not a world I want to be part of.
And yet, the not-quite-actually-dead patients frozen upside down have willingly agreed to the cryonics “treatment” with the hope of some day returning to what they imagine will be a medically advanced world. The book of Revelation paints quite a different picture of future Earth, but sadly I doubt whether any cryonics enthusiasts are familiar with the New Testament.
Raising people from the dead was a hallmark of Jesus’ ministry; Satan and his demons often mimic what Jesus did, so raising cryonic patients from the dead would be right up their ally.
Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead after he was four days in the grave. He let Lazarus stay dead for four days to show that he was actually dead, not just legally or brain dead (or, as Martha described it, “stinking” dead). Many people began to believe Jesus was the Messiah after he brought Lazarus back to life.
Cryonics patients anticipate a significantly longer entombment than four days. I can only imagine what kind of spiritual state these resurrected people will be in, if and when they are brought back to some semblance of life some day.
I can only hope and pray that I’m not here to find out.
It’s later than you think.
Every day, more and more people pledge their allegiance to Satan. When you outright reject Jesus and consciously and consistently choose what you know is not right, you are pledging your allegiance to Satan. At some point, the scale is tipped, and even God himself gives up trying to woo you and accepts your decision to reject him.
This is the great divide that separates all humans into those who choose God’s way and follow Jesus, and those who consciously, consistently, and with full intent reject God’s way and in so doing reject Jesus.
Jesus said: I am the way. No-one comes to the Father except by me.
He also said: You must be born again to enter the Kingdom of God.
Is Jesus a liar? He must be a liar because we have leaders in denominational churches who now claim that the Muslim “Allah” is God, and, if God, then also the Father of Jesus and all those who are born-again. Yet Muslims do not have to be born again to enter the Kingdom; they just have to wear certain clothing, repeat certain phrases at certain times of the day, fast at predetermined seasons, convert or kill unbelievers, and never (on pain of death) blaspheme “Allah” or leave Islam.
Sounds very legalistic to me.
Islam also claims that Jesus was a prophet but not the Messiah.
Sounds very anti-Christ to me.
And yet these so-called Christian leaders are now equating the Father of Jesus with “Allah”, and the followers of “Allah” with the followers of Jesus. In so doing, they make Jesus a liar.
It’s later than you think.
When the Catholic organization slaughtered born-again Christians in the Middle Ages, its aim was to force people to renounce scripture and align their beliefs with papal doctrine. Those who refused to do so were tortured until they either caved or died. The Protestant revolution was fought against the a-scriptural doctrines and unspeakable cruelty of the Catholic organization, whose methods of surveillance and torture rivaled even Stalinist Russia and Nazi Germany. For centuries, Catholicism was outlawed across whole regions, the same way neo-Nazism is outlawed today. America was founded in large part as a bastion against papal coercion and violence. And yet the same organization that wholesale slaughtered born-again believers for centuries and replaced scripture with papal doctrine has once again appointed itself the foremost authority and mouthpiece of Christians worldwide, and so-called Protestants, without protest and in the name of ecumenism (rather than in the name of Jesus), are falling in line with them.
Ecumenism is yet another word for Satanism.
It’s later than you think.
This is the falling away that Paul warned us must happen before the “son of perdition” is revealed.
The sealing of God’s people mentioned in Ezekiel and the book of Revelation is almost over; all those who are not sealed are damned.
This is the great divide that separates one from the other. You are either sealed or you are damned; you cannot be both or neither.
It’s later than you think.
When people who profess to be born-again believers at the same time claim that Jesus is not the only way to God – it’s later than you think.
Beware of organized Christian religion. There is not one denomination that has not been compromised; they all preach another gospel.
The only church you need to be in is God’s church, headed by Jesus. There are no denominations in God’s church. The sole membership criterion is to be genuinely born-again. Those who are genuinely born-again are automatically made members of God’s church. No-one else can get in.
God’s church is the only true church on Earth. Other organizations may lay claim to that title, but they are lying. Other organizations are headed by the devil wearing various disguises. The devil’s goal is to lead you astray and then to get you to kill yourself spiritually by choosing another gospel. This is a test. All true believers are tested. Don’t fail this one.
When you are in God’s church, you are in church all the time. You never leave it (unless you choose to leave it, in which case you can never come back). In God’s church, your fellowship is with God and Jesus and with all those who are likewise in God’s church, whether you know them or not: You are joined in God’s spirit.
God’s church is growing smaller by the day. Jesus warned us that this would happen. He said: When the son of man returns, will he find faith on Earth? He meant: When I come back, will there be any true believers? We know there will be some, because Jesus also says he will send his angels to gather them and will then take them home. There will be some genuine born-agains even in the very last days, but not many.
There are not many now.
Even as the Earthly churches that preach another gospel number in the billions, there are very few genuine born-agains, and there are fewer and fewer every day as they either die (and go home) or fall away (never to go home).
The only place you need to stand fast is in God’s church. God says: I will never leave you nor forsake you. As long as you stand fast in God’s church, you will remain there. God will not forsake you, but you can forsake God.
Don’t ever forsake God.
Stand fast in the church that God has built for you. It is your spiritual safe space. Stand fast in Jesus. Stand fast in God’s holy spirit.
Steer clear of organized religion.
Steer clear of organized religion.
It’s later than you think.
I spent the day with flowers and clouds and cool wet sand under my bare feet, splashing in tiny warm pools of ocean water left behind by retreating waves. The tide was out and the sun was high. The fullness of summer was all around me in the warm salt breezes. These are God’s gifts. He gives to all freely, whether they love him or not, whether they seek truth or not, whether they’re going to Heaven or not. Jesus said God sends his rain and his sunshine on the good and the bad alike. God does this because he loves us all the same.
Christians forget that sometimes, that God loves us all the same. They forget that God is the judge, and that our job is not to do his job but to treat all others as we want to be treated, even and especially those who treat us badly. Because we will be treated badly. That’s a guarantee. And the closer we follow behind Jesus, the worse we’ll be treated.
That’s one of the reasons why God made days like today. It’s not the only reason, but it’s one of the reasons. That’s why he made the flowers and the clouds and tiny pools of sun-warmed salt water, toe-deep and just big enough to fit a foot. He made these to comfort us. And to remind us what is waiting for us if we make it home. I hadn’t planned to be standing there today, surrounded by the glory of a Nova Scotia summer, but that’s where I found myself at high noon.
God said: Remember these things. Store them up. These are the treasures you can take to Heaven.
I have seen Heaven. It’s like Earth, only perfect. The memories we treasure come to life in Heaven and remain there forever. The beach I was at today is perfected in Heaven and waiting for me whenever I want to visit. The flowers that are about to fade retain their full glory. The breeze is never too brisk or too cool, but always just right.
I have seen Heaven. And I have caught glimpses of it here, like a rough draft or what art students call a “quick and dirty”. I caught a glimpse of it today in a seagull tracing a perfect circle against the blue sky, and in the whiff of wild white roses sweetening the salt breeze. God puts all these things here for us, to comfort us and to let us build our very own customized Heaven. We do that one glimpse and one whiff at a time.
Tomorrow, if I go back to that same beach at high noon, the tide will be a little farther out. Maybe the pools where I walked today will have dried up already and the sky will have more clouds than blue. Maybe the wind will be blowing a little harder, maybe a little colder; maybe the rose petals will have faded one more day’s worth. The near perfection of today will have turned into a memory and a few digital pics, but not in Heaven. In Heaven, the full glory of today lives on forever.
Go out and see the world. God made it for you. See the mountains and the flowers and the birds and the trees. See everything God made – not what man has made, what God has made. It’s all for you, every last bit of it. It’s for you to enjoy now, and to take with you if and when you go home.
What does it mean to “love your enemies”? Jesus was very specific about what this “love” entailed – he said PRAY FOR YOUR ENEMIES and wish blessings on them. He said if they’re hungry, feed them; if they’re cold, clothe them. He said to choose to forgive them. He was very clear on what he meant by “love”.
He also called these people our “enemies”.
Think about that.
You can pray for someone, wish blessings on them, choose to forgive them, feed and clothe them, and still mostly steer clear of them. The two positions (loving them and staying away from them) are not mutually exclusive.
You don’t hang out with your enemies. Why on Earth would you want to do something as stupid as that?
God gave us a brain and common sense for one reason and one reason only: To use them.
Loving your enemies does not mean hanging out with them or letting them walk all over you or dictate to you. Jesus never said to hang out with your enemies and let them walk all over you and dictate to you. They’re your enemies. Jesus said to love them, and then explained what he meant by “love”.
If you’re still confused by what “love your enemies” means, look at Jesus. What did he do? He had enemies aplenty, and the more he preached, the more enemies he had. He did not go where he was not welcome (i.e., enemy territory), but when he did, he didn’t mince his words or try to ingratiate himself. He called a spade a spade. Followers of Jesus should take their cue from Jesus.
Scripture is always very clear; it’s people who don’t read scripture and then try to preach it who make it unclear.
But what is the point of loving our enemies? What possible good does it do them? What possible good does it do us?
The truth of the matter is – we are to love our enemies for OUR sake, not for theirs. Our loving them (through prayer and blessings and forgiveness and not trash-talking them behind their back) aids our soul, not theirs. We unburden ourselves of sin when we choose to forgive. We bless ourselves when we bless others. Jesus famous cry to love our enemies was an instruction to us on how to heal spiritually and renew our spiritual healing every day through our free-will choice to forgive and bless. Only by forgiving and blessing are we filled with God’s holy spirit, as God’s spirit cannot and will not live in a place that harbors hate and unforgiveness.
Loving your enemies doesn’t mean you let your enemies constantly abuse you; loving your enemies means keeping your distance from them (THEY’RE YOUR ENEMIES, AFTER ALL –WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO BE AROUND THEM????) while all the while praying blessings on them.
If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if your enemy is cold, clothe him: but otherwise, steer clear of him.
You love your enemies for your sake, not for theirs.
Again – YOU LOVE YOUR ENEMIES FOR YOUR SAKE, NOT FOR THEIRS.
That is how you stay holy (that is, filled with God’s spirit), and staying holy is how you get home.
When you’re born again, you leave the human race.
You are no longer quite human.
Your focus is no longer human-focused endeavors, but God-focused endeavors.
You live somewhere between Earth and Heaven, not completely in either place.
This is God’s Kingdom on Earth.
The closer I grow to God, the farther I grow from humans. This is the natural progression of born-again believers. Jesus also grew farther and farther away from humans. We can see this in how he distanced himself from his family and village, and then from his religion and culture. During his ministry, he engaged with the world not as a fellow human but as God’s suffering servant. Ultimately, he distanced himself even from the so-called normal human response of self-defense. At his crucifixion, he willingly permitted others to abuse and debase him as if it meant nothing to him, because it actually did mean nothing to him.
At that point, Jesus was no longer human.
This is what we are all aiming for – to be no longer human, to get to the point where what people do or say to us no longer matters because we’ve moved beyond being human and responding as a human.
Stephen got there. He was stoned to death for preaching the Word. Just before he died, he saw a vision of God and Jesus. The ecstasy of God’s presence sustained him as his enraged executioners buried him alive under a hail of stones. It’s an excruciating way to die, being stoned to death, and yet like Jesus at his crucifixion, Stephen simply let it be done to him. He didn’t try to flee, he put up no fight, and he even prayed for those who were killing him.
Jesus did the same.
And we’ll be expected to do likewise.
Paul called this process of dehumanization as “dying to the world”. In dying to the world, our focus shifts from desiring the values of the world (buying houses, getting married, building a career, making money, having children, accumulating possessions, protecting our possessions, protecting our loved ones, etc.) to desiring the values of Heaven (mercy, compassion, truth, honor, self-sacrifice, etc.).
Ironically, the farther away we grow from humans, the more merciful and compassionate we become towards them.
This is a great mystery.
We are not hard-wired to understand this mystery, but we are able, with God’s help, to become part of it – to extend mercy to the unmerciful, compassion to the uncompassionate, truth to liars. This is the opposite of what we are hard-wired to do. Being born-again rewires us spiritually and enables us to do what we couldn’t do before.
This, too, is a great mystery but one that we born-agains can understand because we live the reality of our spiritual rewiring every day.
I do not pretend to know how it is, but I do know that it is.
If it were not so, I, a former atheist, would not be writing this to you.
If you are truly born again, you know what I mean.
You, too, are no longer quite human and are aiming to become no longer human at all, like Jesus.
When you get there, nothing will be able to touch you – neither stick nor stone – because you’ll finally see as God sees and you’ll love everyone unconditionally.
And then you’ll get to go home.