If you are looking for my examination of the uncut Cultures of Revolution video, click on this link to go to the MAVI MARMARA report.
Well, we certainly had a beautiful Indian Summer this October in Vancouver. I appreciate every sunny day that delays the grey drizzle of approaching winter. My daughter has been appreciating it, too, in the small town where she lives. She enjoys seeing the dawn arise and then walking her youngest child to kindergarten. She says they pass a field that has cows and a llama. The llama pops its head up to look at them every time they go by, and little Jake laughs every time. What a jolly memory that will be for him in later years when he recalls his school days.
Since the kids moved away, I have been attending church more often. Currently, the church is small, but our excitement is rising as we see more clearly what God wants to do in our area, and what our part will be in it. It is wonderful to fellowship with a group of people who are not complacent and content with playing church, but seriously want to follow Yehoshua and do the things that He told us to do, such as heal the sick, cast out demons, raise the dead, and make disciples for Him.
I have been listening recently to a lot of Sid Roth's radio archives. What a feast! It is a great privilege to have those programs available to us, to hear how God has dealt with mighty men and women of God and what He has taught them. One of the speakers whose interviews intrigued me was Jonathan Cahn. He noticed a tree that had been smashed by the 911 disaster when he was walking around there afterwards, viewing the wreckage. It happened to be a sycamore tree, which he soon realized was a harbinger of America's judgment. He spoke of how after that, he witnessed an evergreen being lowered by helicopter to replace the sycamore that had been uprooted, and he explained the significance of the sycamore being replaced with that particular species of tree.
Jonathan Cahn quoted Isaiah 9:10 that says, "The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones: the sycamores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars." It is very odd that anyone would go to so much trouble to replace that tree, unless one considers that they were compelled to do so by a rebellious attitude towards God that was running rampant in the nation. And it seems unusual to plant an evergreen, as most boulevard trees are deciduous, but maybe there was some creepy occult significance for choosing the evergreen, as they tend to figure big in pagan rites.
Jonathan spoke of how the majority leader of the Senate made a speech on Capitol Hill, in response to 911, quoting this very verse from Isaiah 9:10, boasting how America will build better and stronger than before, just as ancient Israel did when destruction started to come upon it, instead of repenting of their sins and turning back to God. The guy should have read the whole chapter and looked at the context of the verse, which predicted Israel's destruction because of their defiant attitude. Well, whether he was conscious of what he was doing or not, he was speaking for America and fulfilling another one of the signs that heralds the judgment of God. You can listen for yourself to JONATHAN CAHN'S RADIO INTERVIEW on Sid Roth's website, or watch his TV INTERVIEW on that site. I prefer to listen to the radio interviews because they give more details.
The night before I listened to Jonathan Cahn's interview, I dreamed that America was trying to defend itself with weapons, and just before I woke up, I said, "That's not how to do it." I knew that what would work was prayer. Then something directed my attention to Al Houghton's series on Jesus and Justice. I had been getting monthly emails on this series for over a year, but had not read them because I was into listening to Andrew Wommack preach on grace, and he had been saying that God is not judging at this time.
However, as I read my Bible, I noticed that Herod was stricken by the angel of the Lord and was eaten of worms, Sapphira and Ananias were struck dead for lying to the Holy Ghost, Elymas the Sorcerer was struck with blindness when he tried to undermine Paul's witnessing to a Roman official, and the Book of Revelation speaks of how God judged a woman who called herself a prophetess, but was leading His people into sin. Hmmm. This is New Testament, but it sounds like there was some judgment happening. I went to Al Houghton's website and downloaded his series on Justice. He cited these instances, too.
I didn't have to read very far before I realized that I had better get on the ball and pray for some justice against people who are leading others into sin, which is inviting judgment on our nations of Canada and the USA. It is better that they suffer for their sins, rather than get away to some sanctuary when judgment comes, while innocent, little children suffer the consequences of deeds that they had nothing to do with.
Al pointed out that Christians have been nicer than God, praying for Him to bless the enemies of righteousness, which has been holding God back from doing to those people what He needs to do to them in order to save our nation. We have been praying for mercy for them, which has been keeping them in power. Mind you, even before I read Al's series, I always prayed that God would raise up the righteous and cast down the wicked. I was not totally obtuse, but Al Houghton's teaching has been clarifying some things for me.
The Bible says that we are supposed to give thanks for our government leaders. This was written under the Roman tyranny. Even bad government is better than no government. At least some people get protection, instead of everyone being subjected to the whims of criminals who take advantage of the absence of law and order. But Romans 13 teaches what government is for – to execute God's wrath upon those who do evil. If a government is persecuting the Church and changing its laws to protect those who do evil (such as those who take innocent lives), then it is out of order and has become criminal. When this happens, we need to cry to God for justice, so that the government will be set right and do its duty properly.
Instead of letting the whole country be judged for the innocent blood that has been spilled, why not target with our prayers those responsible for promoting abortion and passing laws that permit it? We might not know their names, but God certainly does. Maybe it is time to pray that these people will be taken out of the way, if they will not repent of their evil. Oh sure, the elite have their agenda to reduce the world's population to 500,000,000 or less, but no matter what their plans are, through faith–filled prayer, we can refuse to consent to let our country assist them in their bloody work. Here is a link to Al Houghton's teaching on JESUS AND JUSTICE. You will need to click on the arrow link at the bottom right of the page to access the articles at the beginning. Just keep clicking until you find the one that was written in May 2010. And I still highly recommend ANDREW WOMMACK'S WEBSITE for excellent teaching on God's grace. I have been going through his Archives and so far have watched the first three years of his videos. We need both teachings on grace and justice for balance. Just sift the wheat and blow away the chaff, but for Heaven's sake (and your own), don't discard the precious wheat that Andrew shares with us because there is chaff in it.
We weaken our nation when we reduce our population, according to Proverbs 14:28, "In the multitude of people is the king's honour: but in the want of people is the destruction of the prince." Those millions of babies that were aborted was the army that was supposed to defend our borders from invasion, as well as provide a valuable resource of brain power. Some of those people who were destroyed through abortion had the answers to many of our problems: cures for medical conditions; equitable solutions for economic problems; a work force to support the older generation in retirement; visionaries with sane ideas for making the world a better place, and other people who would have helped our society to become more honourable and preserved our country longer.
Some would have turned out to be bad apples, but everybody is entitled to the chance to make their choices. The jewels in the population make it worthwhile to have to deal with the creeps who use their disadvantaged childhood as an excuse for criminal behaviour. Those who have been abused by the creeps may disagree, but people who kill babies are creeps. They might have some good qualities, in spite of having done this, but there are lots of people who have committed crimes who have some loveable or admirable qualities. It doesn't matter if abortion is legal; it is still murder according to God's laws, which are the laws that will be referred to when it is determined where we will spend our eternity. Good news, though. Even if a person has committed abortion, Jesus is willing to wash away all our sins, including that one, if we choose to turn away from our sins and turn to Him instead.
I went to a funeral this month. The deceased was a lady who had MS. I had met her only a couple of times; she was the mother of a friend of my daughter's. When the young lady was giving me a ride home, she argued for euthanasia, citing her mother's case as support for her argument, as her mother did not have quality of life. I said that only God has the right to decide whether or not a person has any quality of life and when it should end, and that with Him, there is always hope that a person can be healed, no matter how far gone their disease is. I asked if she was agreeable to me visiting her mother and praying for her healing. She said that would be fine with her.
The mother appreciated my visit. She let me pray for her healing, but her mind was not renewed to the point where she could receive it. At least she was a Christian, though not very mature in her faith. I was relieved to find out that she had received Jesus as her Saviour. She liked it when I read the Bible to her. I visited her again and she listened intently when I read to her about how Jesus said in His Father's house are many mansions and that He has prepared places in Heaven for those who have sincerely received Him as their Saviour. This lady was more alert than what her daughter conveyed to me, but perhaps the daughter was comparing her to how she used to be before her disease had progressed to that point.
This woman expressed her frustration over feeling useless. She also talked about her concerns for her children, because they were not interested in serving God. I said, "You can pray for them." She looked surprised and said, "I can?" She had been too absorbed in her pain, and too new in her faith to think of that on her own, but when I reassured her that she could, hope sprang into her eyes. She realized that she wasn't as useless as she thought she was, though she was confined to a hospital bed.
Who knows what prayers that woman prayed and what they set in motion before she died? God knows and He honours them. The woman suffered terribly, and she probably had a lot of doubts about God's goodness when her disease was first diagnosed, but eventually she let the experience of suffering help her to become better instead of bitter, developing more character than what she had before. The world measures us by our productivity, but God measures us by our character. He loves us for who we are, not because of what we can do.
Something very precious would have been lost, if medical staff had taken it upon themselves to put that woman "out of her misery", instead of giving her a chance to grow in the midst of her pain. It is easier to see this, if one does not have a materialistic, humanistic world view, which has got to be one of the most irrational points of view. Such people tend to regard those who believe in an afterlife as superstitious and weak–minded.
What would be the point of living, though, if we cease to exist when we die? Some with this view run after the sensual pleasures of eating, drinking, obtaining possessions, having sex without commitment, lording it over others (if they have the opportunity), generally being an annoyance to others, because they don't believe they will have to account for their actions after they die. Some atheists do actually care for others, and pride themselves on having some character, instead of being totally rotten. That helps keep the world from being totally miserable, but whether a person is good or bad, what is the point of existing for a short while, if afterwards one ceases to exist?
Life doesn't begin to make sense unless one figures into the equation that individual consciousness does not cease when one dies. I could never believe that I would cease to exist after I died; it was too illogical. For a while, I believed in reincarnation, but my sense of logic eventually told me that this is a ridiculous belief, though I did not consciously sit down and figure out what is so illogical about it. It would not be justice for God to consign people to a miserable existance in their next life without telling them what they had done in the previous life to deserve it. God is Love and Love is just. Love prefers to show mercy over meting out justice, if the requirements for mercy are fulfilled, but Love has to be just, having set laws, before it can show mercy.
In my journey where I was running away from God and His rules (which I erroneously believed to be unfair, not understanding them), I eventually chose to believe that after death, my disembodied essence would return to God and melt into a collective type of consciousness. This is called nirvana and touted as a state of complete bliss. I assented to it with my mind, but did not really think so in my heart. What is the point of that kind of existence, if one no longer has their own individual personality and thoughts?
It was an unsatisfactory belief, but I figured that it was better to give up my identity than go to Hell and have to pay for my sins, as the Bible teaches. I did not find any satisfaction in what I believed until I saw that the Bible is true and the God of the Bible is real, that He loves me, and that He designed me to be unique because He enjoys diversity, and He likes my individuality. It is kind of sad if people think that God wants us to all be one, big, homogenous "pudding", instead of diverse individuals who each have a unique love relationship with Him. God wants relationship with us, like a man who has a garden that contains one of each kind of flower, each with its own peculiar beauty and delicious scent for Him to enjoy, and for the "flowers" themselves to appreciate each other's unique beauties.
I have read of people who have had near death experiences, who were deeply disappointed. One person said that he discovered that the force that runs the Universe is entirely impersonal, that it is not love, as he formerly believed. That man trusted in his experience, rather than what the Bible teaches, and did not realize that satan, the enemy of his soul, caused him to experience this hallucination. Its purpose was to deceive him, and then let him live and tell others of it, to deceive them into thinking that what they thought was "God", was merely an impersonal force that did not care if they lived or died, or how they lived, so they might as well live for the pleasures of the moment, and possibly kill themselves if they did not like how their life was going, since they believed it would not make any difference to what happened to them afterwards.
A woman who had a near death experience saw ranks of grey–skinned, naked people staring like zombies at her, in a dead, greyish landscape. She woke up screaming that it was all a lie, that there is no Heaven. Neither did this strange world look like what she believed the Bible taught about Hell, for people assume that Hell is all about flames. Some parts of Hell are like that, but the Bible also talks about Hell as being outer darkness, and having different levels.
I personally believe that in Hell, people experience many different aspects of it all at once through different parts of their personality. If they loved to gamble, I think that a part of them experiences sitting in on a card game that bores them out of their mind, and it never ends, while another part of their personality experiences punishment for another kind of sin at the same time, perhaps making them feel that they are bathed in flames, and another part experiences being frozen, and another part experiences being bitten, or some other torment that is appropriate to what they did while they lived. It is a theory, but it seemed confirmed to me when I heard a man telling of his NDE, where he was in Hell, and his personality split into eight parts that simultaneously experienced punishments for things he had done. He probably experienced only a small part of what Hell is like. If he had stayed, his personality might have been split into hundreds of pieces, each experiencing a torment relating to his sins. Horrifying, eh?
Some might say, "Well, how can God be a God of Love, if He would let people suffer like that?" God is Love, and He offers escape from the eternal penalties of sin through Jesus, who was God come to Earth in a human body that could die, so that He could take our place on the cross as a ransom for our souls. People are not helpless, hopeless beings, of no more importance than an animal. Humans have been offered the opportunity to be redeemed through Jesus and rule with Him for eternity over God's angels.
Humans are the highest beings that God has ever created and ever will create. We might not seem so, in comparison to the angels, but that is only because we are in an embryonic state in the material realm, where the decisions we make in this life will determine whether we will be birthed into Heaven when we cast off the shell of our earthly body, or foolishly abort our soul into Hell. If people are so willfully stupid as to refuse God's amazing gift of salvation and the honour of ruling the Universe with Him, then they deserve to suffer the fruits of their selfishness forever. It would be unloving of God towards the inhabitants of Heaven to let rebels into its precincts because they would destroy it with their selfishness. The only suitable place for them is the garbage dump of the Universe, where they can't harm anyone outside of their prison.
That woman who went to Hell believed that she was going to go to Heaven when she died, without having a Biblical basis for believing herself to be eligible. She was so arrogant that she did not consider that she was a sinner who deserved to go to Hell. She probably considered herself to be a good person, but some good–living people are basically selfish people who treat others well for the sake of their respect and the influence it gains. If society's views on various issues change, contrary to what the Bible teaches, they tend to go along with what is considered politically correct, rather than stand up for what is actually right.
This woman may have gone to church, considering it a righteous deed that would get her into Heaven, but going to church does not save anyone's soul. Nor does any other good deed, for salvation is not through works, but is the gift of God that was obtained for us by Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah, through His death on the cross. Believing in Jesus as being God Himself in the flesh, and what He did for us, and turning away from our sins to Him is what saves us. Good deeds should follow as an expression of gratitude to Him for saving our soul. If the sinning continues after a person has professed to have received Jesus as their Saviour, then it is doubtful that the person is sincere. Though we must confess Him with our mouth, we must also believe from our heart, and be serious about not sinning any more.
Of course, we will still be pulled back into sin from time to time, even if we have sincerely received Jesus as a Saviour, because the flesh wars against the Spirit, and we have to put some work into renewing our minds through reading the Word of God and laying it up in our hearts, as well as getting help from other Christians to overcome our weaknesses. If we pray in the Spirit with the gift of tongues, it gives us another edge in the battle against our flesh.
That lady who went to Hell and saw the dead was probably only a nominal Christian, rather than one who was born again. Like that man who was accosted by the delusion that the Universe is governed by an impersonal force, she put her trust in her experience, rather than in the Word of God, which would have given both of them weapons to use against the hallucinations satan cast on them when they nearly died. God permits satan to do this to people, to test if we will trust His Word rather than those false visions.
Everything needs to be tested against the Word of God, even visions of Heaven experienced by genuine, born–again Christians. Satan is able to cast powerful illusions. I think that God sometimes allows him to intrude even on visions of Heaven that He has initiated, to test us as to whether we worship God alone, or if we worship our spiritual experiences and let them become a higher authority than His Word.
I read a book written by a woman who said that she experienced visions of Jesus and of Heaven. A lot of the things she told about sounded legitimate, and some of them only if she was seeing metaphors, rather than things that are meant to be taken literally. For instance, she said she was served animal meat in Heaven, but the Scriptures say that there is no death there. Aside from things that perhaps were merely symbolic, there were various things that lead me to believe that satan infiltrated the visions.
Some of the things she said that Jesus told her contradict a sound interpretation of the Word of God. They are in line with traditional interpretations of the Bible, and have a lot of appeal to pastors who teach those errors, but the real Jesus would not perpetrate those errors by presenting them in a vision as something He approves of, such as the celebration of Christmas on December 25, though He might bear with people who believe errors, blessing them with gifts at Christmas, until they are ready to get more serious about worshipping Him in purity and eliminating antichrist programming and/or legalism from of their lives. Yehoshua meets as where we are at, so that we will learn to appreciate and trust Him, and let Him lead us deeper into His truths and obedience to them.
The lady also said that Yehoshua spoke to her about tithing, reinforcing it as mandatory for New Testament believers. This teaching is contrary to sound interpretation of the Scriptures. After Yehoshua's resurrection from the dead, the Apostles only taught on giving. They never made mention of tithing, except to refer to how Abraham tithed to Melchizedek as an illustration that the Melchizedek priesthood is a higher order than the Levitical priesthood. At the time that Hebrews was written, the Levitical priesthood was still carrying on as usual, because the chief priests had rejected Yehoshua as their Saviour. The writer was not referring to tithes being paid to ministers of the New Testament Church.
It should also be noted that Abraham did not tithe his "increase" to Melchizedek when he gave Him one tenth of the spoils, for he did not take any of the spoils for himself. The portion of spoils given to God was never a set rate of one tenth; it was varying percentages, and sometimes He required the Israelites to give Him all of the spoils. The Bible does not say that Abraham ever tithed at any other time in his life. For pastors and teachers who assert that he did are making an assumption, but the Scriptures do show us that Abraham was a generous man. He may have given far more than a tenth of his wealth to Melchizedek at other times, not out of obligation, but out of recognition that Melchizedek was God in immortal human form, and gratitude to God for His goodness to him. My essay TO TITHE OR NOT TO TITHE goes into the tithe topic in further depth.
The woman who had this vision sometimes was rebuked when she danced in church. Some of the pastors believed she was out of order. Maybe she was. Or maybe she is right when she asserts that they were not in tune with the Spirit. Either way, I believe that this woman had hurt feelings about it, and satan was able to intrude on her visions to reinforce false teaching that has great appeal to pastors because the woman craved their approval. She was certainly baiting the hook for her book when she said that Yehoshua ratified tithing in her vision; she managed to get some really big name preachers to endorse it.
She sent me a CD of her relating her experiences with visions, and I couldn't stand to watch her. She began by explaining what physical sensations she usually experiences when she feels the Spirit coming upon her. Whether it is the Holy Spirit or some other spirit, I don't know, but her mannerisms gave me the impression that she wanted people to think that she was much more special than the average Christian, and possibly more special than most of the more committed ones. I found that listening to her and looking at her display her self–importance was like hearing someone scratch their nails across a blackboard.
In her book, she said that Jesus told her that she would be the last great prophet before He returns to rapture away the Church, so that right there tells me that something is seriously wrong. It is simply not true. I have watched a lot of Sid Roth's shows, and heard many people with prophetic ministries who seem to be doing more for God's Kingdom than that lady, and this was AFTER she published her book and established herself as the last great prophet before the Rapture.
That statement reminded me of when I had a nervous breakdown in 1986 after my husband left me, and satan was dumping delusions into my brain that I felt embarassed afterwards for having believed them because they were so ridiculously egotistical and downright illogical.
Anyway, it goes against the Word of God for Jesus to say something like that to a person. He said that John the Baptist was the greatest prophet that had ever lived up until that time, but He did not say it to John. He did not say it at all until after John's disciples had left the scene to carry back His message to John about how He was fulfilling the Messianic prophecies. It is doubtful that John found out before he died that Jesus had said this about him. Jesus probably would not say that to anyone until after they got to Heaven because it would be pretty hard for them to remain meek, if they were still in their flesh.
What was the point of her putting that statement in her book? It came across as a manipulative attempt to exalt herself as a greater authority than anyone else with a prophetic ministry. No, even our visions of Heaven have to be carefully dissected and inspected, in case satan or the flesh has managed to infitrate them.
Well, that just about wraps up my October newsletter. Other than the spiritual matters in my life, there hasn't been much excitement in it this month, except for when my ankle turned under me when I was on the way home last week. I had just about reached my yard when it happened and I knew that I was going to fall. I didn't want to fall on the pavement and end up in the hospital, so I ran as fast as I could towards the lawn. I just made it! My toe hit the curb and I went flying, landed splat with full body contact on the grass, and slid across the lawn a little ways. Praise God, my worst injury was a little scuff on the palm of my right hand, which hurt for about a minute and then didn't hurt at all after that. Thank You, Jesus!
I was so grateful because I was nearly finished with a two week course on job searching techniques, after having recovered from a frozen shoulder, and didn't want to end up with my arm in a cast and stalled again from getting a job. I sure enjoyed the people in that class. I was meant to meet them. I had tried to get into an earlier class, but hadn't been given enough information about it. I didn't have enough information to know that there was more that I needed to know. I thought I was signed up for it, but found out differently when I showed up for the first day and discovered that there was no room for another student.
I told the secretary it was all right because God always works things out for me, and that was what happened. In the class I attended, I met an amazing, young woman who doesn't know the Lord, yet, but God had been doing wonderful things in her life, and it was exciting to share with her about the Lord because she was so open to it.
We also had one man in our class, an ESL teacher who has recently returned from Japan with his wife, and he was hilarious. He has an ENFP personality and handled being the only man there very well. His wife has a part–time job teaching kindergartners and he said that she gets paid good money when she is teaching the class, but she has to spend a lot of time preparing for class. He said that when you divide the amount she is paid by how many hours she spends in preparation, she really isn't earning a good wage, but he dares not tell her that or he would be kicked out on the street. We all cracked up and he said, "Oh, don't get me wrong. She's beautiful, but you better not (tick) her off."
A few days later, this sagacious gentleman saved me from making a mistake. A friend sent an email with a coupon she found on the Internet for a free, 24 roll package of Charmin toilet paper, saying that it would genuinely be accepted when brought in to the store, as she had been able to redeem it. I got excited because I had meant to buy a 24 roll package of toilet paper that day, and I thought it was excellent timing to get that email. I intended to take advantage of it later, but first I enthusiastically forwarded the coupon to people in my job search class. My male classmate emailed back that he thought the coupon was fake, pointing out that there were no numbers on the bar code. He also sent a link for me to follow with some information about it, and he was right. The coupon might be accepted, but it would be ripping off the store.
I was so surprised. I had never imagined that anyone would counterfeit a coupon. What would be the profit for them? I guess it was just pure mischief. When I forwarded the link, one of my other friends sent back a comment that he guessed someone was trying to put the "squeeze" on Charmin. Ha ha! The lady who sent out the coupon was flustered to discover it was a hoax, explaining that the cashier had checked with a manager before accepting it, and it had been approved. Well, if a store manager who has a lot more experience with scam artists than what I have is snookered, then it makes me feel not so dumb for having been sucked into thinking that the coupon was genuine.
Live and learn, folks, live and learn. Check the bar code on coupons, and see if the Internet has anything to say about whether an amazing deal is a scam or genuine. Regardless of that coupon turning out to be false, good things are ahead. I am excited to see how God is going to unfold some things in my life that He has promised.
Copyright © 2011, Lanny Townsend
Page modified by Lanny Townsend on November 7, 2011
Scripture references on this website are closely paraphrased from e–Sword's King James Bible.