Thursday, July 18, 2024

Another Presidency???

I will be disappointed if Donald Trump got elected again as I don’t have great expectations for his presidency, but I have even less confidence in the American political system, so I realise that it could easily happen. Trump is now eight years older than when he was last elected, so his focus and energy levels will have declined. I expect that he will be as mediocre as he was last time.

  • The United States is probably heading towards a serious economic crisis. Trump does not have the skills to deal with a crisis. The economic progress during his presidency was just a continuation of the slow recovery from the global financial crisis and had very little to do with his policies.

  • Trump's policy of imposing punitive tariffs on China will make the world economic situation worse. Bifurcating the world economy will reduce specialisation and eliminate some of the benefits of economies of scale. Inflation will make everyone worse off.

  • The people living in the “Rust Belt” cities feel aggrieved by the way that their nation robbed them of their economic livelihood by sending their jobs to China and other parts of Asia. Trump has tapped into their grievance, but he does not have economic policies that would restore their economic situation. He instinctively supports policies that benefit the wealthy, so many of those who have supported them the most will experience the greatest disappointment.

  • Christians who assume that he will place restrictions on the availability of abortion will be disappointed.

  • Trump loves military power. He liked the thought of having his finger on the nuclear button. The thought that he could release the power of the American armed forces when he chose animated him. He enjoyed launching 60 cruise missiles against Syria, even though his efforts there failed. There is a danger that he will blunder into another war due to his over-confidence and ignorance of foreign policy. His unpredictability scares the people of the world.

I don’t believe that Trump is capable of being a dictator. I don’t believe that he is even capable of being an effective president. I suspect that if he is elected again, he will be a second-rate president, but that the political system will constrain his worst pretensions.

And it is not a foregone conclusion that he will win. We will have to see what they do with Joe Biden, and who the Democrats put up in his place 

But life will go on, and Jesus is still King.

Tuesday, July 16, 2024

US Dictator???

The Democratic Party in the United States has created a serious problem for itself, and it has been made worse by the attempted assassination of Donald Trump. The Democratic Party wants to remove Joe Biden, due to his age and perilous health, but they can’t because they are panicked by Donald Trump.

The Democrats and the news media have so seriously demonised Donald Trump that the possibility of his being elected to the presidency is terrifying. Their scaremongering and attack adverts equating Trump with Hitler have totally spooked their people. Sadly, some Christian thinkers have joined in this excessive demonization of Trump.

So they have to keep tired Joe Biden on because they think that he is the only one who can keep Trump out. So they are clinging to Joe Biden in desperation because they are freaked out by Donald Trump.

I believe that the Democrats and the news media have greatly the danger of Trump. In my view, he was a mediocre and ineffective president last time around, and I don’t expect him to be any more effective than he was last time that he was president. (Sadly, the US political system seems to be designed to throw up mediocre leaders). There are several reasons for his failures.

  • Trump is an extremely effective campaigner who loves debating hostile politicians and TV interviewers. He has the gift of the gab. But the skills that make him good at campaigning make him poor at governing. His rhetoric always outruns his ability to get things done. Changing reality is much tougher than speaking the truth.

  • Trump is proud and arrogantly thinks that he knows everything. He is not willing to take advice. During his presidency, he preferred watching Fox News to reading detailed position papers.

  • Trump is lazy, so he is not willing to put in the effort that a president leading a powerful country needs. He assumed that he could give orders and the people in his administration would just carry them out. He did not do the work necessary to ensure his instructions were followed.

  • Trump made bad judgments when choosing the people to serve in his administration. He did not understand that when people with political skills are appointed to a political role, they bring a political agenda. Many of his appointees thwarted his policy goals. They need to be watched carefully to ensure that they are implementing the president’s policies. Trump seemed to be too lazy to do this, so many of his appointees were able to work against him and undermine his policy goals. Accordingly, he failed to achieve his main policy goal, which was to build a border wall to prevent illegal immigration from Mexico.

Dictator???
Many Democrats and commentators are suggesting that if Trump is elected, he will set himself up as a dictator. These claims are totally unrealistic.

Trump is too lazy and too old to become a dictator. Being a dictator is a young man’s game. Stalin and Hitler were both in their late forties when they gained power. I can’t think of any historical dictator who rose to power when they were nearly eighty.

A dictator has to control everyone who works for them. They have to watch all their lieutenants to check that they are doing what they are told and that they are not planning to overthrow their leader.

A dictator cannot rest, because there is too much to control, and someone will always be plotting against them. There is no time for golf. Donald Trump simply does not have the energy or the skills needed to be a dictator.

Washington is controlled by a massive and deeply entrenched political system. If they were to close ranks, Trump would not be able to control them. Even if he gets control of both houses of Congress, many of those elected would not dance to his tune. If they were to stand against him when he became autocratic, he would not have the energy or organisational skills to beat them.

Some commentators cite January 6th as an example of Trump trying to organise an insurrection to destroy the democratic system. For me, that event is proof that he is incapable of it.

I doubt that Donald Trump was trying to start an insurrection, but if he was, then all he achieved was a shamble. A few protestors broke into the Congress building, but when they got there, they did not know what to do, except to pose for selfies. There was no plan for actually seizing control. The protests took over the grounds of the New Zealand parliament for several weeks were far better organised, and they did not achieve anything either.

Trump’s legal efforts did not do any better. There were plenty of problems with the 2020 election process, due to absentee voting because of COVID. The politicised electoral systems were not up to the task due to inadequate registration processes, but Donald Trump was simply incapable of organising a single successful legal challenge. There was a lot of rhetoric, but now realistic action. The judicial system should not be trembling.

Another example of his incapability is the top-secret documents stored in his Palm Beach. His supporters assumed that he kept evidence that would expose the crimes of people in government. But it turned out that he had nothing. The documents were there because they had to be removed from the Whitehouse and he had not bothered to deal with them and he arrogantly assumed that he could declassify them.

There is simply no evidence that Trump is capable of becoming a dictator, even if he wanted to, which seems unlikely because he hates failure.

Organising an insurrection in an unstable with outside interference by a great power is not that easy. Getting an insurrection going in a developed country with a robust political system is extremely difficult. It is far more difficult than most commentators assume. The American Fathers managed to organise an insurrection that shook off the British, but they had two big advantages. Britain was constrained by its ongoing war with the French, which was a far greater threat to the British Empire. Secondly, the British were already getting tired of the fractious colonists and were soon glad to be rid of them. If the British had been able to put all their resources into the task, the revolution would most likely have failed.

I am certain that Donald Trump is incapable of organising a successful insurrection that would enshrine him as a dictator. If the United States ever becomes a dictatorship, it will be because the political establishment gets frightened during community breakdown, economic collapse or massive military defeat and installs a dictator to turn the situation around; it will be one of their own. The political establishment might be tempted to install a dictator who would have the power to bring about massive changes that they think their country needs, but which the electorate rejects. Any potential dictator will be a political insider, not someone from the fringes of power.

Saturday, June 29, 2024

Aratere

Last weekend, the ferry Aratere that links the north and south islands of New Zealand ran aground about 3 kilometres out of Picton, the port at the southern end of its journey. The Maori name of the ferry means “quick path”. The loaded ferry was travelling slowly at about 3 knots when it unexpectedly turned sharply to the right and ploughed straight into the steep bank on the edge of Queen Charlotte Sound. I wondered if this event was a sign to the people of New Zealand about the state of our economy.

In an election a year ago, New Zealand turned to the right, by replacing a centre-left government with one from the centre-right. The new government promised that the changes they would bring would put the nation on a “quick path” to economic prosperity. However, since the election, the economy has stumbled along, not getting much worse, but not improving either.

The Aratere ran into the steep bank of the sound. The bank that is holding back the growth of the New Zealand economy is the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, our central bank. It has consistently held interest rates high (currently the official cash rate is 5.5 percent, and businesses are paying even higher rates). The bank has not committed to reducing these steep rates soon, despite the economy struggling and unemployment increasing.

I wonder if the actions of the Reserve Bank will become an obstacle causing the economy to grind to a halt, despite the turn to the right, and the promise of the quick path to prosperity.

Saturday, June 22, 2024

Modern Politicians

Aurelien explains why most modern politicians are not up to the task.

They will know a great deal about how to make a good career, who to suck up to, and how to please important people. They will have effectively zero relevant experience as public servants...

This is important, because the skills needed to succeed in politics today have very little to do with the skills needed to be a good politician. That may sound odd, so let’s set out the differences. Traditionally, politicians seeking high office had to be fairly robust, managing on little sleep, largely foregoing real vacations, ready to give up evenings and weekends, able to absorb insults and invective without worrying about it. They had to be able to think on their feet, deal with an unscrupulous media, master detailed briefs quickly and sound at least half-way intelligent at seven in the morning or at midnight. As they advanced, they needed a sense of what their parliament and their public would accept, how to present themselves to the media, and how to retain the support of their colleagues. At a high level, they needed to be able to distinguish between causes that were hopeless, and causes worth fighting for.

Modern politicians are generally better educated (though not necessarily more intelligent) than those of previous generations, but they are not necessarily educated in the right things. It’s more important to have gone to the right University, and studied the right subject, than it is to know anything about anything. Their skills are those of survival and advancement inside an organisation... with the end of fundamental political differences between parties and the increasing homogenisation of the political class itself, it is the skills of advancement in an organisation that count. Belonging to the right faction, attaching yourself to rising stars, having the right opinions at a given moment: these are the skills to cultivate.

Almost by definition, such people are unprepared for the responsibility of running a Ministry, let alone a country. They have not done the kind of job, in politics, in business, in the media, even in academia, where they have to take responsibility for things. They do not know how to manage, and so they practice “management,” as ticking boxes and reciting slogans is now known. Unfamiliar with the need to engage with detail, they are obsessed with image and presentation...

The full article is here.

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

European Politics

Alistair Crooke explains the reason for the political shift in recent European parliament elections.

The European MEP election outcome may come to be viewed as the ‘first swallow’ signalling a substantive change in the weather...

Many in the West now see only too clearly that the western ruling structure is no liberal project per se, but rather is an avowedly illiberal mechanical ‘control system’ (managerial technocracy) – that fraudulently poses as liberalism.

Clearly many in Europe are alienated from the Establishment. The causes may be multiple – Ukraine, immigration or falling living standards – yet all Europeans are versed in the narrative that history has bent to the long arc of liberalism (in the post-Cold War period).

Yet that has proved illusory. The reality has been control, surveillance, censorship, technocracy, lockdowns and climate emergency. Illiberalism, even quasi totalitarianism, in short.

He traces this back to when Zbig Brzezinski (who was to become National Security Adviser to President Carter) published a 1970 book entitled: Between Two Ages: America’s Role in the Technetronic Era. In it, Brzezinski argued:
“The technetronic era involves the gradual appearance of a more controlled society. Such a society…dominated by an √©lite, unrestrained by traditional values…[and practicing] continuous surveillance over every citizen … [together with] manipulation of the behaviour and intellectual functioning of all people … [would become the new norm].”

Elsewhere he argued that “the nation-state as a fundamental unit of man’s organised life has ceased to be the principal creative force: International banks and multinational corporations are acting and planning in terms that are far in advance of the political concepts of the nation-state”. (i.e. Business cosmopolitanism as the future.)

Read the entire article.

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Identity Politics

The latest article by Aurelien explains the emergence of “identity politics”, which dominates the Western wor’d. Other connections that unite people have been destroyed by liberalism.

I just want to discuss the damage that Liberalism has caused to the traditional intermediate structures of western societies, and that has provoked the disastrous attempts to make up for it through Identity Politics, or, as I would prefer to call it, the Politics of Grievance.

Some of these problems could legitimately be described as side-effects. The worship of property-ownership and the encouragement of speculation drove ordinary people out of cities, and scattered families around the country, to wherever they could afford to live. The financialisation of the economy destroyed entire industries, devastated entire communities, made health-care and education more difficult to obtain, and destroyed careers and the stability that went with them. The preference of governments for cars and motorways rather than public transport destroyed city centres, the abolition of barriers to movements of goods, capital and people produced a race to the bottom which has benefitted almost nobody.

Yet, whilst people have got rich from these developments, and whilst there were certainly those who saw political profit in some of them, most ordinary Liberals who went along with them did so because of a naive belief in “freedom,” and in the ability of the market to sort everything out. Even now, some hold desperately to the belief that “flexibility” of some kind, or more education, or information technology, or artificial intelligence, or something, will put things right again.

Liberalism was impatient with the past, and wanted to sweep away traditions, superstitions, religion, history, even nations, and replace everything with rational, mathematical calculations of the common good. So instead of compassion we get Quality-adjusted Life Years, instead of education being a public good and a means to personal betterment, it is a cold investment intended to produce a revenue stream later. Instead of citizens, with rights and responsibilities, we have residents who might as well be customers, paying fees to governments and benefiting from services, like shareholders in a company... Most of the points through which individuals were previously able to situate themselves with respect to others simply disappeared.

Read the full article to understand the implications of these changes.

Wednesday, June 05, 2024

Israel or Judah

The prophet Jeremiah promised the restoration of both Judah and Israel. Here are a few examples.

In those days the people of Judah will join the people of Israel, and together they will come from a northern land to the land I gave your ancestors as an inheritance (3:18).
In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety (Jer 23:6).
The days are coming, when I will bring my people Israel and Judah back from captivity and restore them to the land I gave their ancestors to possess (Jer 30:3).
The days are coming," declares the LORD, "when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah (Jer 31:31).
I will bring Judah and Israel back from captivity and will rebuild them as they were before (Jer 33:7).
The days are coming,' declares the LORD, 'when I will fulfill the good promise I made to the people of Israel and Judah (Jer 33:14).
"In those days, at that time," declares the LORD, "the people of Israel and the people of Judah together will go in tears to seek the LORD their God" (Jer 50:4).
In those days, at that time," declares the LORD, "search will be made for Israel's guilt, but there will be none, and for the sins of Judah, but none will be found, for I will forgive the remnant I spare (Jer 50:20).
Israel refers to all the descendants of Jacob (twelve tribes) or the ten northern tribes that broke away under Jeroboam. They were sometimes called Samaria. After Jeroboam and Ahab led them into sin, they exiled to Assyria where they were scattered and lost their identity after they mingled with the local people.
In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured Samaria and deported the Israelites to Assyria. He settled them in Halah, in Gozan on the Habor River and in the towns of the Medes (2 Kings 17:6).
The southern kingdom based in Jerusalem lasted much longer. It included the tribes of Judah and Benjamin (small) and the Levites living amongst them. They were exiled to Babylon, but returned to their land seventy years later under the leadership of Ezra and Nehemiah. Ezra records that those who returned consisted of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin and some priests and Levites (Ezra 1:5). These two tribes were referred to as the Jews in Jesus' time. They were exiled and scattered amongst the nations by the Romans in AD 70, as he had prophesied. They managed to keep their identity in exile.

The current state of Israel is actually the nation of Judea comprising Judah Benjamin and some Levites. More correctly, it should be called the state of the Jews. And they can only claim land in the south that God gave to them, ie Judea.

This means that the current state of Israel is not a fulfilment of the promises of Jeremiah cited above. For these words to be fulfilled, the twelve tribes of Israel will need to be restored to blessing and restored to their land, as Paul promised in Romans 9-11.

All Israel will be saved (Rom 11:26).

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

American Prophecy (4) Prophetic Blindness

American prophets have been blinded by two things.

1. Hatred of Iran
The American prophets hate and fear Iran, despite it not being a serious threat to the United States. Iran it is vastly weaker, both economically and militarily than the United States.

The reason that American prophets and the American people are so obsessed with Iran is that the Iranian people gave the United States a bloody nose in 1979. Following the Iranian revolution in 1978, when the Iranian people threw off the US-supported Shah and his cruel security forces, a group of Iranians seized the US embassy in Teheran and took 53 Americans captive. The hostages were held for 444 days. Teams of students put together shredded documents to show that the US had been involved in trying to undermine the revolution.

President Carter ordered the U.S. military to attempt a rescue mission, called Operation Eagle Claw. This attempt failed with great publicity and was a huge embarrassment the United States because eight servicemen were killed when one of the rescue helicopters crashed into a transport aircraft.

The American establishment has never got over this humiliation, and have had an irrational hatred of Iran ever since. The American prophets have absorbed this hatred and fear, too, and this makes them blind to the truth. This fear has caused them to believe that Iran is capable of doing things far beyond its capability.

2. Zionism
Zionism is an ideology that claims that the Jewish people have a right to the land of Palestine, and that the people of other ethnic groups that live in the land should be pushed out, or subjugated to a Jewish state. Absorption of this belief, along with end-times teaching, has blinded the American prophets.

Loyalty to Israel has prompted American prophets to support the Israeli destruction of Gaza with American-made bombs. They have remained silent about the massacre of the residents of Gaza. They claim that those who support the people of Gaza are “empowered by the spirit of Amalek”. The prophets accuse their “people of holding anti-semitic and anti-Jewish ideas, and having hatred in their hearts”.

Their blatant support for this ugly massacre and cruel starvation of the people of Gaza is repulsive to the people to the people of the world, and to many Americans. This horrible behaviour will do immense harm to the gospel. In a detailed article called Israel and Gaza 2024, I explained the consequences of this support.

The blanket support of Israel by Christians, particularly in the United States, is disturbing. Thousands of bombs made and paid for by Christian America have been dropped on trapped civilians, but no one cares.

The euphoric and jubilant approval of this destructive violence by Christian leaders is disturbing. A steep price will be paid in increasing hostility to the gospel, particularly in the parts of the world where the deliverance from evil that Jesus died for is so desperately needed. God's people have become an embarrassment to God.

The dreadful silence of the American internet prophets is distressing, but not unexpected.

What happens spiritually to a nation whose prophets and spiritual leaders spill out hatred and anger, and suck in lies with keen willingness; especially when they don't realise that the hatred and anger is there, because they have been with them for so long that they have become their friend, and the lies have become so comfortable that they seem like the truth.
The shame that has been released is a blot that can never be covered up.
Blind support of a doctrine like Zionism, which must inevitably result in either apartheid or ethnic cleansing, is dangerous for Christian prophets.

Saturday, May 25, 2024

American Prophecy (3) Repentance

The prophetic message calls the church to repentance. However, the word does not really explain what sins the church and the nation must repent from. I have recently been reading Jeremiah, and the contrast is striking. He calls for repentance, but he spells out in detail the nature of the sins that they need to turn from.

This is what the LORD says: Do what is just and right.
Rescue from the hand of the oppressor the one who has been robbed.
Do no wrong or violence to the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow,
and do not shed innocent blood in this place (Jer 22:3).
Woe to him who builds his palace by unrighteousness,
his upper rooms by injustice,
making his own people work for nothing,
not paying them for their labor.
He says, ‘I will build myself a great palace
with spacious upper rooms.’
So he makes large windows in it,
panels it with cedar and decorates it in red (Jer 22:13-14).

But your eyes and your heart
are set only on dishonest gain,
on shedding innocent blood
and on oppression and extortion (Jer 22:16).

These verses are just an example from a single chapter, but Jeremiah lays out the failings of the people and the nation in great detail through many chapters.

In contrast, the American prophets are vague about the sins needing repentance. They are stirred up about sexual and emotional abuse in the church, but that is too late to be taken seriously. They also speak about apathy in the church.

They say that university students protesting against the violence against women and children in Gaza need to repent, which is bizarre. I can remember when students were protesting against the Vietnam War. Four students were killed at Kent State. History demonstrated that the students were right and those who persecuted them were wrong.

When it comes to the sins of their nation, the prophecy expresses concern about materialism, but ignores the harm to the poor being perpetuated by the rich and powerful in their nation.

The American prophets are mostly concerned about abortion. Every abortion that occurs is sad. In recent decades, hundreds of thousands of innocent children have been killed and injured all over the world by American-made bombs, but there is no call for repentance for the terror and pain that this has caused. I find this hypocritical. I am sure that if Jeremiah was alive in the United States at the current time, he would be calling out this slaughter of “innocent blood”.

A related problem with the word to the nations is the assumption that if the church in a nation repents, God will protect the nation from external attack. This promise cannot be validated from the scriptures. While the moral state of the church has an effect on the state of the nation, it is not always determinative. There are plenty of examples from history of situations where the church was purified, but the rulers of the nation went in the opposite direction and were subject to an external attack. The Jerusalem church in AD 70 is one example.

Followers of Jesus would be unwise to trust the promise of the American prophets that if the church repents, their nation will be kept safe from external attack.

Those who live by the sword will die by the sword. That includes prophets.

Friday, May 24, 2024

American Prophecy (2) External Threat

The first theme of the American prophecy is a bizarre claim that a caliphate led by Iran. (They don’t seem to realise that Iran is Shia Moslem, which is a heresy to the Sunni Moslem nations that dominate the Middle East. That would be like assuming that fundamentalist churches in the United States would accept the Pope as their spiritual and political leader. Neither group would ever submit to it). Iran is a weak nation with very limited capability. It would not risk a major attack on a state with nuclear powers.

In the comments she claimed that the United States needs a war president to resist this malign force. This stirring of fear and hatred is dangerous, as it empowers the military-industrial complex that dominates the US political system.

The irony that escapes these prophets is that all the nations that they see as threatening have been invaded or overthrown by the United States in recent times: The US fought a pointless but destructive twenty-year war against Afghanistan; US bombing of Libya destroyed a prosperous nation and released a destructive civil war; a US invasion of Iraq killed hundreds of thousands, destroyed a flourishing economy, and empowered Iran. The US fostered an illegal civil war in Syria, training and equipping groups linked to Al Qaeda and stealing oil. The United States organised a coup in Iran that overthrew a democratically-elected leader and imposed the Shah as dictator with the support of violent security services. The US is now facilitating another massacre and famine in Gaza. So, it is not surprising that the people in these nations are angry with the United States. If a nation goes around the world fighting and destroying, it should not be surprised that it is hated.

There has been no repentance for these immoral and disastrous US actions. The US prophets were cheerleaders for all these US wars and military actions, and they seem to want more.

The United States is a massive island, which has never been invaded (except by Europeans in the 18th century). The nations of the Middle East simply do not have the military capacity to invade the United States. If the US remains united, Islamic movements would not be capable of destabilising it. The American church has the best gospel ever, so if it can’t win migrants from the Middle East for Jesus, it should look at itself.

If the United States faces any threat, it comes from division within (not from external foes). The warmongering of successive presidents has released powerful spirits of violence and war in their nation. If these are not removed by genuine repentance, The US will experience increased internal violence and fighting between feuding factions that will severely weaken the nation.

The US prophets seem to be so blinded by fear and xenophobia that they are oblivious to these risks. Their warmongering actually empowers the violent/warring spirits that are attacking their nation.

In the last few decades, the United States has wrecked dozens of nations without regret: Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Syria, Libya, Lebanon, and now Gaza. Using military force to do good, but creating evil and disasters seems to have become America’s forte.

The American prophets don’t seem to care about the people suffering in these nations (I presume they blame the people for not accepting America’s perverse generosity). They only seem to care about what happens in their own nation.

In this season, I find Jonathan Cook, a secular journalist living in Nazareth, and Chris Hedges, who pastured a small church while studying at Harvard Divinity School, to be far more prophetic than those who call themselves prophets.

Thursday, May 23, 2024

American Prophecy (1) Too Late

Cindy Jacobs from Generals International recently released a prophecy for the nations. I found it quite disturbing.

The prophecy had two main themes.

1. Too Late
The second theme is a fairly ceiled critique of sexual immorality and emotional and sexual abuse in the church. In my view, this is lame, and far too late. The Roys Report has been exposing this stuff for years. Secular journalists have been doing the same, with the church objecting strenuously. The prophetic movement is late to the party.

Sexual abuse in the prophetic movement and the prayer movement (eg IHOP) is only just being exposed now, with the leader of these movements kicking and screaming. I can't believe that the leaders of these movements, who meet regularly together, could not discern what was happening in these movements. These are people who claim it hear the voice of the Spirit.

If the prophet movement could not discern sexual and emotional abuse in its midst, it cannot be very prophetic.

My next post will comment on the substance of the prophecy.

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

New Caledonia

Our television news reports each night on the violent protests in New Caledonia. The presenters seem to be glad that France is sending gendarmes and soldiers to bring the situation under control. The New Zealand government is sending planes to rescue tourists. However, there is an elephant in the room, which everyone is ignoring.

What right does France have to be ruling a south pacific nation? I thought that the days of colonialism were over.

New Caledonia is the third-largest exporter of nickel, which is an important commodity for electric vehicle batteries, as well as stainless steel. The territory is home to the fifth-largest nickel reserve in the world, so it is not surprising that the French are so keen to keep control of their colony. I presume that the profits from nickel-smelting go to France and not to the local people.

And the French don’t have a great record in this part of the world. They tested their nuclear bombs on a south pacific atoll with no concern for the people living in the area, because it was too risky to do it in their own back yard. They deliberately bombed a protest ship in New Zealand (Rainbow Warrior) killing a crew member without remorse. The perpetrators were let off.

The French should get out of the South Pacific and let the Kanak people decide how they want to live. The French don’t have any right to be there.

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Why No Action (2)

Although forty-five years have gone by, the Commando Vision has not yet been fulfilled. God tried to do it several times, in 1987 - share market crash, 1997 - Asian crisis, 2008 - global financial crisis, 2021 - Covid crisis, but in each case, he had to hold back because his people were not ready.

Hearers of the vision picked up on the economic crisis, but they ignored the message about the Commando Armies. The latter were the key to victory and without them the church would be swamped. God has been unable to fulfil the vision because the commando units have not formed and prepared. His people never got ready, so he has been unable to complete his plans.

People listened, but they did not hear
A word that is not heard,
cannot be fulfilled.
God shared his strategy,
and people listened,
but they did not hear
Crash, Crash, Amen, Amen! they said,
but no one got ready.
So God could do nothing,
he could not fulfil his word.
A word that is not heard,
cannot be fulfilled.
The church has had forty years to prepare, but has done very little. Most Christians are still not in a place where they could cope with a real economic crisis. Very few could be strong during a time of disaster. Despite the advance warnings, we are not ready.

God still has the same plan, but an easy victory is no longer possible, because during the last 35 years, evil has become far more entrenched in the nation. A few years ago, I wrote an article that explains more clearly what is happening. I suggested that the next economic crisis will be the "Devil’s Depression", because the spiritual powers of evil now realise that they can cement in their position further while the church is unprepared. See Economic Turning Point.

Why has the Commando Unit message been missed? My thoughts are as follows.

  • The Holy Spirit has done an amazing job of spreading this message. I am just amazed at how far it travelled. I used to get letters from people who had read or heard it saying that it resonated with them. These days, it is by email. And it still seems to get shared by someone on a platform every few years. For example, the operator of Inspirational Tapes did a special article on it, before he wound up his tape library. God certainly got it out there right from the beginning.

  • There is always a gap between hearing and acting. We all hear tons of things that resonate with us, but we only act on a few of them. It often takes something extra to get people to take action. One vision might not be enough.

  • Our society is extremely individualistic. I suspect that most people who received the vision did not have anyone with whom they could work together to form a commando unit. In a way, that was true of us. I presumed that someone would eventually come along, and waited for that to happen, but they never came, so we never did anything.

  • I suspect that many people who received the vision did not know what to do with it. They might have wanted to respond, but they were confused about how to do it. This confusion might be the reason they did not act. I suspect that people needed clearer instructions or guidelines about how they should get started and how they should go on.

  • Looking back, I suspect that the vision was not very clearly written. I mixed the vision up with the interpretation, which is not good practice. I suspect that the explanation of the commando units was not clear enough. Many people understood the economic crisis, but they did not understand how the commando units were relevant.

  • I wrote the book called "Bride of Christ" and its sequel, Being Church Where We Live, to explain how the Commando Vision could be implemented in practice, but I suspect those links were not clear to people who understood the vision.

I believe that the biggest issue was the lack of people stepping up to be leaders of commando units. In any move of God, leadership is critical.
  • Lots of people have heard or read the vision, but it might not be the people with influence. I only ever heard of one person who said that it was not from God. I suspect that the vision resonated with the people on the fringe, and they probably share it amongst themselves, but maybe it has not got to the leaders who could implement it. The leaders of the church possibly never heard it, and if they did, it probably did not resonate with them.

  • Peter Drucker, the management guru, noted that visionary people assume that “ideas move mountains”, but they are wrong. He said that it is “bulldozers move mountains”. That is so true. Ideas don’t change things. In the Christian context, it is apostles who make things happen. There is a desperate shortage of real apostles in the modern church. There was an absence of people stepping up and looking to lead a commando unit. I suspect that most Christians expected someone else to do it.

  • What Peter Drucker said made sense to me. I have written seven books that fit together to describe the church and the Kingdom of God. When I go back and read them, I am amazed at some of the insights and wonder where they have come from. No one has ever pointed out anything in them that is contrary to the scriptures. Yet, they have had almost no influence on the church in New Zealand. (Although they are being implemented by people in a few poorer nations). I just trust that they will be ready for the church remnant when the time comes that they need them.

  • Strangely enough, I was recognized as a visionary in the government agency where I worked for many years. It had no eternal significance but the work provided sufficient income to support my family while I was doing the task I believe that God had called me to. I was asked by the head of this agency to write a vision for how it could do its work more efficiently in the modern world where information technology has become ubiquitous. When I shared my forty-page document, the senior managers were impressed and decided to implement the vision. Even though I have retired, some of my ex-colleagues are still working on the full implication of that vision. The big difference with this vision was that there were leaders/managers who committed to its implementation.

  • Furthermore, when I shared the same vision at an international conference, people were amazed and thought it made sense. I was invited to one Asian nation to share the vision, and within a few years, they were well on the way to implementing it. Again, the difference was leaders stepping up to lead the implementation of the vision.

Leadership is essential for fulfilment of vision.

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Why No Action (1)

I received a vision about a Commando Army in 1977. I can't remember the process by which I received it, but I have the version of the vision that I recorded on paper at that time. Usually, when I receive a vision, I do not actually see it with my eyes, but I can remember it, as if I had seen it. The Holy Spirit lodges the picture in my memory. Accordingly, I can still remember the vision.

I did not know what to do with this vision, but a few years later, when I was preaching on wealth and poverty at a church where a friend was the pastor, I shared the vision. My friend asked for a copy of it.

In 1982, David Pawson, an evangelist from the UK, was invited to speak in New Zealand. He had a reputation as a bible teacher, so people the people of Wellington were surprised when he said that he had a prophecy to share. He carried two burdens that God had given him for our nation. One burden was as follows:

God wants New Zealand back.
He wants New Zealand back as
a nation that will be a model to the nations
of a people who are living under the government of God.
God intends New Zealand to be one of those nations
where he demonstrates his Kingdom.
God wants New Zealand back.
He is wanting his people to reign with him.
Don't wait for eternity to begin to reign with him.
He is looking for a queen to reign with him now,
because New Zealand has a king and his name is King Jesus.
This country needs a change of government.
New Zealand is a nation that could be brought
under the government of God
and be a light to the nations.
This first burden was not understood; his second burden was simple:
God wants to bring revival to New Zealand for the first time.
God will bring revival through economic ruin.
He then asked, "Who is willing to pray for economic ruin, to make revival possible". This burden was not well received in Wellington.

I was unable to get to hear David Pawson in Dunedin, but my friend handed him a copy of the vision of a Commando Army because he believed that it confirmed his burden. David Pawson took the message of "revival through economic ruin" to some of his meetings in New Zealand. I did not know that David had shared it until another friend gave me a copy of a talk that he had given in Auckland, where he read out the commando vision before he spoke in a talk called "God Wants New Zealand Back".

David Pawson was well known in New Zealand through his Bible teaching tapes, so his authority was widely acknowledged. He took the Commando Army vision around New Zealand without me having anything to do with it.

The burden of David Pawson contained four important points.

  • God will establish his kingdom in New Zealand
  • This will be a model that other nations can follow
  • A great revival will advance the kingdom of God rapidly
  • The revival will come through economic ruin.
The burden he shared has mostly been misunderstood or forgotten. This is sad, because God was providing a wonderful strategy by which he could bring about a great victory. He was challenging and warning his people, so they could prepare in advance.

In my next post, I will explain why this vision has not been fulfilled.

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Proving the Existence of God

Many Christians are sharing this interview of Stephen Meyer by Piers Morgan. It is a very interesting discussion. Stephen Meyer does a good job of exposing the weakness in modern cosmogonies and the theory of evolution.

My only concern is that I think it is too strong to say that he has proved that God exists. Proof is a fairly slippery concept. Mathematical proof is different from scientific proof, which is different from the legal concept of “beyond reasonable doubt”.

The scientific method uses repeatable experiments to confirm or disprove concepts. This method cannot tell us anything about the origins of the universe, or the origins of animal life, or the existence of God, because it is not possible to do an experiment that would test any of these theories. The best that can be done is to establish an experiment to test various small steps in the evolutionary process, but scientists can never test the whole thing to prove that the entire process works. Likewise, it is not possible to create an experiment replicating the origin of the universe or the existence of God.

So scientists fall back on adopting a theory that explains all facts about the world as we currently have them (subject to Occam’s razor). But that is not sufficient to establish the truth. Most current theories cannot explain everything, hence the need for dark matter. Worse still, a theory that provides a plausible explanation for every fact currently known could prove to be inadequate when further facts about the universe emerge. Plausibility does not equate to truth.

A general definition of proof is evidence sufficient to establish the truth of a proposition. The problem with the evidence that Stephen Meyer produces is that it might be sufficient to persuade a Christian, but it is probably not sufficient to persuade someone who has not received a revelation from God.

Stephen Meyer does not prove the existence of a Christian God. All he can do is point to the existence of a very powerful being, who is personal in some way. But judging on the history of human life, this God could be capricious, rather than good. We can only get to a God of love through revelation by the Holy Spirit.

My view is that it is impossible for a finite human to prove or disprove the existence of an infinite God. I believe that we should be humble about the origins of the universe, because we cannot know that much about it origins without revelation from God, and he has not given us much detail about how he did it. Because we are finite, and our thinking is distorted by sin, we cannot know God apart from revelation from him.

Saturday, May 11, 2024

Esther

The book of Esther is interesting because, throughout the book, God is not mentioned, although he is clearly behind some of the events described. God rescues Esther and her Uncle Mordecai from an evil political leader called Haman. This is an inspiring event, but there are a couple of difficulties with the book.

The first tricky issue is that Esther was chosen to be a member of the king’s harem (Esther 2:8) As an exile in Persia, Esther only had the rights of a slave. If she had refused to join the harem, she would have been killed. She chose to save her life and submit to the king. God blessed her decision, so we have to assume that he did not have a problem with her choice. He understood that she had very limited scope for action.

The second problem is more difficult, due to unjustified violence. Haman told the King of Persia that the Jews were keeping themselves separate and were a risk to his empire. He claimed that they did not obey the king’s commands (Est 3:8). Haman persuaded the king to issue a decree that the Jews could be massacred on a particular day without any recriminations.

The royal secretaries were summoned. They wrote out in the script of each province and in the language of each people all Haman’s orders to the king’s satraps, the governors of the various provinces and the nobles of the various peoples. These were written in the name of King Xerxes himself and sealed with his own ring. Dispatches were sent by couriers to all the king’s provinces with the order to destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jews—young and old, women and children—on a single day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar, and to plunder their goods. A copy of the text of the edict was to be issued as law in every province and made known to the people of every nationality so they would be ready for that day (Est 3:12-14).
This was a terrible menace to the future of God’s people. Fortunately, Esther was able to intervene with the king and explain that her life and the lives of her people were in jeopardy. The king was enraged, and Haman was hung (Est 7:5-10). The king issued a new edict giving the Jews the right to defend themselves against any attack on them or their property.

The king’s edict granted the Jews in every city the right to assemble and protect themselves; to destroy, kill and annihilate the armed men of any nationality or province who might attack them and their women and children and to plunder the property of their enemies... A copy of the text of the edict was to be issued as law in every province and made known to the people of every nationality (Est 8:11,13).
This new edict turned the situation around. The people of Persia became afraid of the Jews, and any who had planned to attack them quickly changed their minds. On the day when they were due to be attacked, the Jews gathered together to protect themselves (Est 9:2-3). The Jewish response was extremely harsh.
The Jews struck down all their enemies with the sword, killing and destroying them,and they did what they pleased to those who hated them (Est 9:5).
Eight hundred people were killed in the Citadel of Suza, where the king lived. Seventy-five thousand people were killed in the rest of Persia on the 13th and 14th day of the month of Adar.

Mordicai established these days as a feast for the Jews.

Mordecai recorded these events, and he sent letters to all the Jews throughout the provinces of King Xerxes, near and far, to have them celebrate annually the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the month of Adar as the time when the Jews got relief from their enemies, and as the month when their sorrow was turned into joy and their mourning into a day of celebration. He wrote them to observe the days as days of feasting and joy and giving presents of food to one another and gifts to the poor (Est 9:20-21).
This feast is called Purim, and it is celebrated by the Jews to this day. However, it is different from the main feasts of Israel (Passover, Weeks, Trumpets, Tabernacles). These were formally instituted by God (Lev 23), whereas Purim was instituted by a human appointed by a pagan king (not by God). The decree was confirmed by Queen Esther (Est 9:32). Feasts initiated by God have more vailidity.

Several things should be noted about the events behind this nasty event in Persia.

  • Standards of justice were low in the Persian Empire. As exiles in the land, the Jews were bound to obey the decrees of the Persian king, but they also subject to a higher law. They were not entitled to act according to the commands of the king, if they were contrary to the Torah.

  • God did not command the Jewish people to attack and kill their enemies in Persia. The king had given an edict that allowed this response, but the decision to attack and kill people was taken by the people themselves. They effectively chose to become a lynch mob.

  • The violent action of the people could not be justified by the Jewish law. The Torah allows people to defend themselves if they are attacked, but it does not allow pre-emptive attacks against potential enemies.

  • The Jews organised for the ten sons of Haman to be killed on the gallows. According to the Torah, children are not to be punished for the sins of fathers (Deut 24:16; Ezek 18:17-18).

  • Celebration of unjustified violence is a dangerous practice for a nation, as it opens it up to spirits of violence.

  • The Purim event is used by modern Israel to justify pre-emptive violence against its enemies. This practice is wrong because it is contrary to the Torah’s teaching on Defence and War.

The book of Esther must not be used as a justification for pre-emptive military strikes. For God's people, war must always be a last resort, preceded by strenuous to make peace.

Thursday, May 09, 2024

Jeremiah

Jeremiah said about Judah,

This is the nation that has not listened to the voice of Yahweh its God...
Truthfulness has perished... (Jer 7:28 Goldingay).
Apt for this time.

Saturday, May 04, 2024

Rampant Militarism

The UK Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, said recently,

Defending against Russia’s brutal ambitions is vital for our security and for all of Europe. If Putin is allowed to succeed in this war of aggression, he will not stop at the Polish border.
Many western politicians are saying something similar. This is part of a shocking militaristic shift is taking place across the Western world. It is the most serious in Europe. Most of the fear is unjustified, but it could make politicians do stupid things.

New Zealand is isolated, so there is not much to fear here. However, the government is talking about the need to buy big ticket military equipment from the United States to protect us. They would get far better bang for the buck if they bought a few dozen Iranian drones of the type that the Houthis are using in the Red Sea. They would protect us from invading ships with minimal cost. Modern technology makes defence much cheaper than it was, but the big weapons companies prefer to push expensive boondoggles.

Military fever is stronger in Australia, where people seem to be looking for a war with China. This is odd because Australia is working flat out to dig minerals out and ship them to China, so I can't see why they would want to invade Australia. The Chinese are already getting everything that they need from Australia cheaply without the need to rule unruly Australians. I don’t think that they are stupid enough to take that on.

Australia has formed an AUKUS partnership with the US and the UK. I am not sure why Australians would trust the United Kingdom to protect them. The Brits cannot even get its aircraft carriers out of port without them breaking down, so I don’t see how they can have much influence in the soutehern Pacific.

In the United States, the militiarismic fears are far worse. Many Americans seem to believe that war with China is inevitable. Given that they could not win in Vietnam, Korea, Syria, Afghanistan or Ukraine, I am not sure why they think that they could beat China.

I believe that most political leaders don’t believe their narrative about the Russian threat. However, they are all under serious political pressure, so touting an external bogeyman is a good way to increase their political support. For example, Rishi Sunak is predicted to massively lose in the upcoming UK parliamentary election, but he understands that a war in the Falklands helped Margaret Thatcher get re-elected, so he is trying the next best thing.

I believe that western political leaders are being cynical. They know the Russian threat is not real, but they talk it up anyway to maintain political power. That is a dangerous game.

The truth is that Russia has no interest in invading Europe. James Richard summed this up well in an article that I read today.

First off, the theory that Putin will invade other countries if he wins in Ukraine is nonsense. The Russian army lacks the men and materiel to occupy Ukraine while simultaneously invading other countries.

This isn’t the Soviet Union with its massive tank armies poised to roll over Western Europe. And Soviet communism is long dead, so there’s no ideological basis for Russia to invade Europe. These days, Russia is a conservative, Orthodox Christian nation.

But more importantly, Putin has absolutely no incentive to invade any of these nations, which are NATO members. What do they have that he wants?

All it would do is trigger Article 5 of the NATO Charter, which stipulates that an attack on one member is an attack on all, inviting a massive NATO response. At that point, you’re on the fast track to nuclear war.
Putin is fully aware of that.

Fearmongers like to point to what Putin once said in a speech:
“Whoever doesn’t miss the Soviet Union doesn’t have a heart.”
They take that as proof that he wants to recreate the Soviet Union.

But they conveniently omit what he said next:
“Whoever wants it back doesn’t have a brain.”
Whatever you think of Putin, he definitely has a brain. He has no intention to restore the Soviet Union.

To reach Germany, Russia would have to cross Poland. That involves crossing at least two large rivers (Oder and Bug). It took the Soviet Union two years of violent war with the loss of millions of soldiers (that sapped Hitler’s military power) before it could get to the place where it could invade Germany during World War 2. The Soviet Union had far greater population and economic resources than Russia. So an invasion of Germany is probably an impossibility, especially with modern satellite surveillance, missiles and drones, which makes it impossible to concentrate a large force for an attack.

If Russia gets control of the four Eastern oblasts that have voted to join it, it will need to station large numbers of troops there for a long time to protect against terrorist attacks. It will need a de-militarised zone between it and the Dnieper to protect those oblasts from artillery and missile attacks. This would make any invasion further west almost impossible.

As Putin has said (I have read his speeches, and he is clear about his objectives), Europe has nothing that Russia needs. It already has the biggest territory of any country in the world. It has all the minerals, oil and grain-growing land that it needs. There is no benefit to it in trying to control hostile nations. Putin learnt that when he was posted to Germany.

On the other side of the equation, the West is incapable of fighting a war against Russia. They have run out of artillery tubes and shells for the support of Ukraine. They don’t have the industrial capacity to produce sufficient for Ukraine, let alone a peer-to-peer war.

Western nations just don’t have the military capacity to fight a serious war. The UK military is the smallest it has been since 1720. Many of its soldiers are only suitable for guarding Buckingham Palace. I gather Germany’s forces are equally weak. I understand that French forces are only fit for beating up rebels in its old colonies in Africa.

The United States is having difficulty recruiting into its military, and polls say many people do not want to fight in a war in Europe. Many of its troops are on foreign bases where they tend to get soft because Mcdonald's and Coke are available on the base, along with other junk food. The United States probably has the military equipment needed for a war, but the task of getting it to Europe in sufficient quantities would be almost impossible.

European leaders say that they want to build up their military, but they do not have the financial resources to achieve that goal. Without increasing taxation, which would not be accepted, they don’t have the ability to seriously re-arm. They are struggling to find money to support Ukraine, given all the other pressing problems that they have to deal with. I understand that Germany is borrowing money to get to two percent of its GDP on defence spending. That is not sustainable.

Although political leaders are talking a big game and calling for preparation for war, I believe the leaders of their military will tell them that it cannot be done. So, we are in a situation where there is much talk about war for political gain, but either side is capable of doing it.

I presume that these militarily weak nations, if they want to go to war, will pick a fight with weak African nations that they know they can beat. I suspect the United States is more likely to invade Mexico than pick a fight with China that it probably cannot win.

Wednesday, May 01, 2024

United States Invades Israel

The entire world is outraged by the behaviour of Israel. The callous slaughter of women and children is brutal. The destruction of buildings and land is barbaric. I believe that the time will come when the United States will be forced to invade its favourite ally to rein it in and stop the wanton violence. I am not sure how soon.

Daniel explains that the King of the North (the United States) will respond to the outrageous behaviour of the Israeli government by sending military forces against it in an attempt to recover the situation and restore peace.

Then the King of the North will come and spread out, and he will seize the fortifications of an armed fortress. The military forces of the South will not be able to stand, even their special services will not have the strength to resist (Dan 11:15).
The United States will come to the Middle East. It will either invade Gaza directly to establish a beachhead, or it will enter Egypt and take over a military base on the Egyptian side of the border with Israel.
The one who comes against him will do as he pleases, and no one will be able to stand against him; he will be able to stand in the Glorious Land, but with destruction in his hand (Dan 11:16).
The military forces encountered will be unable to resist. The President of the United States will be able to do as he pleases, ignoring pressure from other nations and flouting the decisions of international organisations. The "Glorious Land" is a reference to Israel.

The United States will establish a military base in Israel, possibly in Gaza. Daniel explains that the Israeli Defence Forces will have to surrender the President of the United States because “destruction in his hand”. This is a reference to overwhelming military power. It might even be a threat to use nuclear power against Israel if it does not submit to the President’s demands.

The United States will have all of its massive power behind its demands. Israel could be surrounded by a dozen aircraft carriers with their supporting fleet. The President has the power to destroy Israel.

He will set his face to come with the power of his whole kingdom, bringing with him a proposal of peace which he will put into effect (Dan 11:17a).
Some English translations describe this peace proposal as “equitable conditions”. This could be a reference to a peace plan that would provide equity between the Jewish and Palestinian people. The President of the United States will be determined to “put this plan into effect”.

In an attempt to establish the peace deal, the United States will create a formal alliance with Israel, which it has not previously had.

And he shall make the daughter into a wife to weaken her position, but this will not succeed, nor will she be for him (Dan 11:17b).
The United States will formalise an alliance with Israel in return for peace and prosperity for the Palestinian people. It will be hoped that this will weaken Israeli hostility to the Palestinian people.

The United States will attempt to bring peace to the Middle East peace through this alliance (In traditional cultures, alliances were cemented by the marriage of sons and daughters). However, these plans will fail when Israel refuses to go along with the Western plans for peace. They will twist the treaty and continue oppressing the Palestinian people.

More at Whats Going On.

Saturday, April 27, 2024

Zelensky Ukraine and Biden

Zelensky has not acted with truthfulness and integrity
His lies will be exposed
A bad spirit will come between Zelensky and the western news media.
When they realise that he has duped them
They will be filled with scorn,
They will turn on him and attack him with a vengeance.

They will accuse him of doing the things
that he has accused his enemies of doing.
His false accusations will turn back on his head,
and he will lose his place.

A bad spirit will come between Z and his people.
When they realise that he has lied to them,
making false promises that he cannot deliver
and used their men as cannon fodder for no benefit,
destroying their country
and wrecking their economy,
while stealing their wealth.
They will hate him, and he will lose his place.

The battle has been heavy
but he did not acknowledge it
so something bad will close in on them.
Some of the soldiers whom he betrayed
will be so angry
that they return to Kiev
and destroy him.

Ukraine will be given into the hands
of the people who have plundered them.
The oligarchs and neo-nazis who rule the country
will be exposed
when they openly seize control.
Their true character will be revealed.

God will surrender them in the hands of the nation they hate
His hand will be against them
so they cannot stand against it.
Things will go badly for them
as they come under intense pressure.

Western military and political leaders
will be embarrassed when they realise
who they have been supporting
and will turn against them with a vengeance.
They will break faith with each other,
and blame each other for their failures.

Joe Biden has not acted with truthfulness and integrity
so God will release a season of fire in his nation:
His funding and equipping of bloodshed
to strengthen the hand of evil
will come back on his head
Violence will come home on him
and release a spirit of violence amongst his people.
Fire will come out and devour him.
A flood of violence will sweep across the land.

God will send a bad spirit between Biden and his people,
His bad actions will be turned back on his head.
He is playing God, and trying to weaken Russia,
but his nation will be divided and weakened under his rule.

God will be against Biden
He will not be able to stand against the flood
moving across the southern border.

Biden He will believe he is winning,
but it is just chasing the shadows of mountains.
God will be against him.
A woman will fracture his authority
and his power will be destroyed.

(December 1922)