Friday, October 31, 2014

Little Red Hen

The story of the Little Red Hen is based on an old Russian folk tale. It was popularised when it became the basis for the fifth Little Golden Books published in 1942. The story was used by Ronald Reagan as an economic moral story. However, very few people want to live entirely at the expense of others, as most people have to work for their living. The following is a version of the story which is more realistic from an economic perspective.

One summer day, the little red hen found some grains of wheat that her mother had hidden many years before.
“Wheat” the little red hen said, “I plant it”.

She asked the duck, “Will you plant these grains of wheat for me, in exchange for a slice of bread”.
“I will” said the duck. The duck tilled the soil and planted the wheat.
The rain fell, the sun shone, and the wheat grew. One day it was ready to be harvested.

The little red hen asked the goose, “Will you harvest this crop of wheat for me, in exchange for a slice of bread”.
“I will” said the goose. The goose harvested all the wheat, separating the grain from the chaff. He brought sack of wheat to the little red hen.

The little red hen asked the pig, “Will you grind this wheat into flour for me, in exchange for a slice of bread”.
“I will” said the pig. The pig took the sack of wheat to the miller who ground the wheat into flour. The pig brought several bags of flour back to the little red hen.

The little red hen asked the dog, “Will you knead this flour into dough for me, in exchange for a slice of bread”.
“I will” said the dog. The dog took the some flour and added some yeast. The dog kneaded the dough until it has risen.

The little red hen asked the cat, “Will you bake this dough into bread for me, in exchange for a slice of bread”.
“I will” said the cat. The cat took gathered some sticks to heat the oven and baked the dough until the bread was cooked. The cat took a large loaf of bread and gave it to the little red hen.

As the little red hen got out the knife to slice the bread, the duck, the goose, the pig, the cat and the dog all gathered around. The little red hen cut the loaf into thirty thin slices. She gave a slice to the duck, a slice to the goose, a slice to the pig, the slice to the dog, a slice to the cat, and took 25 slice for herself.

And they all lived happily ever after.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Spiritual Mapping

A reader asked me about Spiritual Mapping. Here is my response.

I do not have any writing on spiritual mapping, but I think it is more helpful to focus on authority. Someone has authority over every piece of land on earth: usually the owner, or owners. Some pieces of land (and the buildings on them) have evil spirits attached to them. There will often be more than one spirit, but they work in hierarchies, so one will be in control.

The spirits will usually have got a hold on the land through their inference with a past or present owner. This will often happen when a traumatic events, like a war, massacre, or unjust events, that occurs there, especially one that creates fear or trauma for the person with authority in the land.

These evil spirits can only remain with the permission of the person who currently has authority over the land. That person often gives that permission unwittingly, by allowing the evil spirits to influence/control/dominate their life. If the person with authority over the land is a political entity, the position may have tactical importance for the spiritual powers of evil.

Insights into the identity of the spirit attached to a piece of land can be gained by looking at the history of the owners. Common patterns of behaviour might be obvious. These might show up in mottos and messages on tombstones and buildings.

People praying against these spirits need to know what they are doing. The spirits are there with permission of the person exercising authority over the land. We have authority to enforce them out, but the person with authority will be implicitly allowing them back, unless they have a change of heart, so our prayers may not have much effect.

Authority is crucial. The owner of the land usually has more authority in the situation than the person praying, so it is hard to triumph. So spiritual warfare must be accompanied by evangelism to be effective.

See Spiritual Realms.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Val Wolff

Soon after I became a Christian, I saw someone miraculously healed of sickness. That settled it for me. If God can heal one person, then there is no limit to what he can do. Our poor experience is our problem not God.

That is why I love reading accounts by Christians who have pressed into what God has made available through Jesus and his Spirit and are active in a healing ministry. Val off is one of these people. She is exercises a healing ministry in Durban South Africa.

Val’s book describes some of her experiences and the insights she has gleaned along the way. She begins with a testimony of her own deliverance from sickness after many years of suffering.

The book is relevant Christian who are wrestling with sickness. She explains how soul wounds can be the root cause of sickness. Val has some good insights about how speaking carefully is a key to healing and health. The final chapter explains how we can stand in victory.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Kingdom Communities (1)

During a Time of Distress, religious structures will be torn down and Kingdom Communities will emerge in their place. Christians will be forced into deeper relationships with each other to survive in the hostile world. The Holy Spirit will flood them with love as they live out Jesus’ new commandment (John 13:34).

Kingdom Communities will transform their neighbourhoods. As the structures of society fall apart, they will demonstrate a way of life that will appeal to a shaken world. The number of kingdom communities will grow quickly as the new way of living spreads from place to place as the Holy Spirit moves in power.

Each community will be a microcosm of the Kingdom of God, providing everything that governments have failed to deliver, but without Imposed Authority. They will be united by love and service under Free Authority.

This an excerpt from my new book Kingdom Authority, which will be available later in November.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Rib Raft Foundation

Many new houses in Christchurch are using Rib Raft foundations, because they cope better with earthquakes.

The ground is dug out to about a meter deep. A plastic sheet is put in, and then layers of shingle (heavy to light).

 The shingle is rolled hard like building a road.

 The hard shingle becomes the base for the floating foundation.

The polystyrene squares separate the ribs, which are filled with reinforcing steel.

Concrete is poured into the ribs and over the entire foundation.
The finished foundation, ready for the timber framing to be put in place.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Ode to Auckland

Auckland, you are a city where everyone has a scheme to better themselves,
but things are not as they seem.

You are a city where everyone is on the make,
but you have forgotten your maker.

You are a city where everyone is doing a deal to get ahead,
but your schemes will fail,
and your coffee houses will be left empty and your deals undone.

False dreams will turn to despair and pain,
but you will receive the gospel again.

You will gather together in your homes and cafes,
to honour Jesus,
to seek his kingdom,
by the power and friendship of his Spirit.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Maraetai Beach

On Monday morning, we had a cup of coffee at Maraetai Beach.

Thursday, October 23, 2014


We have just returned from a visit to Auckland. It is the largest city in New Zealand and is set between two natural harbours. We had lunch in the Skytower Cafe yesterday. The views are great.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Horned Prophets (6) Local Solution

Rick Joyner’s dream ended with people forming militias to protect their neighbourhoods. He seemed to be ambivalent about these militia, but they are God’s solution to political and spiritual power. Political power will be chopped up, pushed down and spread around to local communities.

Distributing authority is the best protection against the attacks of evil, because even if these powers gain control over individuals, they do not have much authority. Accumulating authority empowers the principalities and powers.

When God lead Israel into the Promised Land, the basic units of the new society were tens, fifties and hundreds (Deut 1:15). The cohesiveness of a society depends on the strength of these basic neighbourhood units. In the Western world, political power has been accumulated up and local communities have been fragmented by urbanisation and industrialisation. Megachurches have adopted the same industrial model that destroys local communities.

God wants to restore churches to local communities. He wants spiritual militia based in local communities providing spiritual protection and uniting neighbourhoods through love and service. The coming together of militia to protect their neighbourhoods, that Rick Joyner did not understand, represent living neighbourhood churches bringing life to their communities. Many will transform into Kingdom communities that bring God’s Kingdom to life in their neighbourhood.

Instead of being afraid of raiders crossing the border, Americans Christians should be getting prepared to serve God during a time of chaos. In the dream, the militias defeated the plague of evil that attacked the land. God is promising victory for those who are ready. If Christians are prepared, they can share with the Holy Spirit in a great victory as his spiritual militias destroy the powers of evil and establish the Kingdom of God.

For more on this topic see Ambush by Commando Units which are the modern equivalent of militia.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Horned Prophets (5) Spiritual Interpretation

The evil gangs that Rick saw sound like gangs of evil spirits attacking the United States. The intensity of their violence, cruelty and destruction points to the powers of darkness. The devil is the one who came to steal, destroy and kill. The horrific activities Rick saw sound like his work.

I believe that God is warning that large host of evil spirits is attacking the United States. They have been allowed in by the activities of the federal government. The people of the United States do not worship idols made of wood and stone. Instead, they have made an idol of the federal government. They expect it to provide with the blessings listed in Deuteronomy 28. They look to the federal government for peace and prosperity. Rick Joyner’s concern about the federal government’s failure to seal the borders reflects that attitude.

This faith in government is leading to a vast accumulation of power by the federal government. They are using fear and uncertainty as tools to gain greater power and authority. The TSA and the department of Homeland Security now have unprecedented authority and power.

Spiritual Disaster
This accumulating of political and military power has a perverse spiritual effect. The powers of evil are attracted to political and military power, because they can use it to leverage their power. This is why kings and governments end up being controlled by principalities and powers in the spiritual realms. The greater the political and military power, the more intense will be the spiritual attack, because the more the spiritual powers have to gain. They can massively amplify their power by working through political power.

God is warning that the unprecedented political power that has been accumulated by the federal government in the United States is opening the door for a massive spiritual attack by the powers of evil. This is probably the best opportunity that they have had since the days of the Roman Empire. The United States has more power than any nation that has ever existed. Much of that power is exercised by the president. The powers of evil are flooding into the United States to attack the president and federal authorities. Many have been carried back by servicemen returning from wars in the Middle East. This is why the attack was so serious in Texas.

The possibility of terrorist attacks is feeding the fear that increases political power, which strengthens the principalities and powers. Rick Joyner’s interpretation contributes to that fear, but an army of evil spirits will cause for more harm than a few terrorists groups could do. The terrorists might kill a few thousand people. That would be awful for the people concerned, but life in the rest of the United States would go on as usual. A host of evil spiritual powers will hurt and destroy millions. That is the real threat that Christians should be concerned about.

A spiritual attack of this scale should not be able to happen in a Christian country. The prayers of the saints should have sent them packing. That has not happened, because, like the second generation of Israel described above, the current generation of Americans has fallen into idolatry. They have made an idol of the federal government, so they have no spiritual authority to pray against spiritual attacks that are coming through it. Rick Joyner is a prophet, but his faith in the federal government to seal the border and solve the problem, limits his ability to pray against the real spiritual attack that is coming through this idol.

Hating Political Power
The intense spiritual attack against the United States that God is warning about will probably succeed. The result will be a terrible distress for a nation that has experienced amazing blessing. When things go wrong, people blame their god. When disaster strikes the United States, people will blame the federal government. The situation will get so bad that the people will turn upon their idol and hate it with a vengeance. This is what Rick Joyner saw in the latter part of the dream. He saw it as a problem, because he is a horned prophet, but it will actually be a blessing.

The people will wake up and realise that the federal government is not their saviour, but their enemy. They will realise that it is not capable of delivering the peace and prosperity it has promised. They will realise that the powers of evil have been using it do them in.

The people will rise up and throw off their shackles. The federal government will be forced to flee from many states. The states will reject power. Many people will reject the state authorities, because they have colluded with the federal authorities.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Horned Prophets (4) Rick Joyners Dream

In a recent series of posts I wrote about Prophets with Horns. I am beginning to wonder if Rick Joyner fits in this category. He supported the United States invasion of Iraq in 2003.

The lawlessness that is growing throughout the world would result in such chaos and destruction that things would be much worse if the United States does not become more assertive in its leadership. Now there are also major threats to us that in the United States that must be found and dealt with (Rick Joyner).
Last month he released a dream in a way that confirms this concern.

Gates of Hell Dream
In September, Rick Joyner saw a dream in which the gates of hell were opened. He saw numerous gangs of evil people entering the United States and killing thousands of people. The violence and cruelty was horrific. Their aim was to create pain and terror in the hearts of the people being killed. They raped and tortured with diabolical cruelty. Then they killed the victims in the most cruel, diabolical way imaginable. The ranking within the gangs was based on the extent of their cruelty. It spread like a plague across the south western states. It was like the bowels of hell had been opened.

Citizens were outraged. There were a huge outrage against the federal government. In some states, all federal employees had to flee for their lives. Many states rejected federal authority over their state.

Militias popped up like mushrooms all over the country. People said, “If the government is not going to protect us, we will protect ourselves.” In their mind, there was no federal government, so they were defending themselves. They looked upon the federal government as an enemy that was trying to do them. They bonded into groups to defend their neighbourhoods. These militias will stop the plague.

In his account, Rick Joyner mixes his interpretation in with the details of the dream. This is not good practice. He also includes some things that he did not see, which is unwise. He brings in events from Australia which are not relevant.

Literal Interpretation
Rick Joyner interpreted the dream literally. He saw the problem as cruel terrorist groups crossing the southern border into the United States. His solution is for the Federal government to seal the borders and keep the bad people out. He urged Christians vote to change the leadership, so the government wakes up and protect the borders. He believes that the government can prevent this event happening.

I believe that Rick Joyner took a physical interpretation of the dream, because he is a horned prophet, who believes in war as a solution the problems of the world. He believes that the federal government can use military power to seal the border and prevent the dream from being fulfilled.

Joyner’s solution will not work. It is impossible to seal the border of a nation against evil people while allowing travel and trade to continue, especially in a nation with a border as long as the United States. People who really want to get in will always find a way to get across the border. No matter how strong the federal government and how much military force it throws at the border, it cannot seal the border.

Border Raiders
The physical interpretation of the dream does not work. The history of the children of Israel in the Promised Land shows that military solutions do not work, because they do not deal with the problem. When the nation was being invaded by evil people, it was not a sign that the military leaders were not doing their job. It was a sign that the people had offended God by pursuing evil.
After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel. Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord and served the Baals. They forsook the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who had brought them out of Egypt. They followed and worshiped various gods of the peoples around them. They aroused the Lord’s anger because they forsook him and served Baal and the Ashtoreths. In his anger against Israel the Lord gave them into the hands of raiders who plundered them. He sold them into the hands of their enemies all around, whom they were no longer able to resist. Whenever Israel went out to fight, the hand of the Lord was against them to defeat them, just as he had sworn to them. They were in great distress (Judges 2:10-15).
Whenever raiders are coming across the border and plundering the people, it is because the people have forgotten God and are worshipping idols. The solution is not to go to war, because that will fail. The only solution that will work is repentance and faith.

Raiders across the border are not a problem to be resolved with military power. The are a sign that the United States has a spiritual problem. This is why Rick Joyner’s literal interpretation of his dream, does not work. Tomorrow I will give a spiritual interpretation that is more consistent with the scriptures.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

God’s Strategy Borrowed

The Islamic State has a clever strategy. It made me wonder how they discover it? The principalities and powers that control the Islamic States are not that clever, so they usually repeat the same old strategy. Where did they get this new strategy that is so effective.

The answer is that they are copying God’s plan. He used the same strategy when establishing Israel in the Promised land.

Step 1 Embrace Chaos
God placed the Children of Israel in a place that was shattered and broken. Immorality and depravity had hollowed out the Canaanite culture. They were controlled by more than fifty disunited kings (Jos 12:24). They were easy to defeat.

Step 2 Establish Enclaves
The tribes of Israel were established in the new land. Being slaves in Egypt without their own government, strengthened family and tribal connections. They were probably formed into tens, fifties and hundred by their slave drivers. These groupings became the basis of the new society.

Step 3 Control Resources
God had taken his people into a land where resources were plentiful. This allowed the people to be self-sufficient.

Step 4 Build Infrastructure
God planned to establish a new society by bringing order in the chaos through his people living under his law administrated by local judges. Because life was so chaotic, it was easy to build something better.

Step 5 Absorb the Oppressed
Once the children of Israel was established in the Promised Land, the next step was expanding out into the surrounding nations. This would happen as the surrounding nations who were oppressed powerful kings and emperors saw the blessing that comes from living under God’s law. The law would have expanded by coping and blessing.

God Again
God will use this strategy again, when times get tough. His people will need to understand that how it works. The difference is that we proclaim the gospel in the power of the Spirit, whereas ISIS has to use military power and violence, because they do not have the Holy Spirit.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Islamic State Strategy

In Syria/Iraq, an insurgency has morphed into a state. If we focus on the violence portrayed on television, we will miss an important strategic change that has taken place.

A more traditional insurgency focusses on undermining the ruling powers. They attack easy targets, wherever they find them, in a way that will gain maximum publicity. The aim is to weaken the will of their ruler and create fear among the population. They protect themselves by remaining underground.

The new strategy is a reversion plan to old-fashioned warfare with the aim of conquering land to establish a state. The leaders of Al Qaeda in Iraq developed this new strategy, when the George Bush bribed the Sunni tribal leaders to squeeze them out of Iraq during the so-called Anbar Awakening. Whereas previous leaders had focussed on attacking America and its allies, they set a long-term objective of becoming a significant state in the area. Their new strategy has five steps.

Step 1 Embrace Chaos
The first step in the new strategy was to move into a chaotic situation were the ruling powers were weak and where the influence of the big powers was minimal. The leaders of the ISIS moved into Syria in 2011, after being squeezed out of Iraq. They needed to regroup and rebuild. Syria was chaotic, so they went unnoticed. They were able to tap into sponsorship from the Gulf States, which was plentiful.

Step 2 Establish Enclaves
ISIS fought against the other rebel groups to gain territory. Because the situation was so chaotic, no one from outside realised what they were doing. They began a war of conquest that the outside world did not notice, or understand. ISIS gained control of small towns and villages. During 20011 and 2012, they were funded from outside. They obtained sufficient seed funds to take and establish their first enclaves.

Step 3 Control Resources
ISIS expanded out from the enclaves they controlled to conquer strategic areas in terms of material resources: oil and water. They used these resources to become self-sufficient by the end of 2012.

Mosul was conquered in 2014, because it provides control of water and oil.

Step 4 Build Infrastructure
Wherever they go, the Islamic State builds government, economic and social infrastructure, which is a welcome improvement over the chaos that prevailed previously. The Islamic State has set up Sharia courts to provide law and order. They collect taxes, do social work and control prices. They have entered joint ventures with local people to capture smuggling revenues and resource revenues. They organise distribution of water and electricity and the production of agricultural products. They have become a self-sufficient state.

The difference between Aleppo and Raqqa is illustrative. Aleppo was the most prosperous city in Syria, but it has now been totally destroyed. The city is controlled by war lords, criminal groups, rogue military commanders and jihadists.

Raqqa is different. It has becomes the capital of the emerging state. The Islamic State worked through the tribal leaders in the area. They restored infrastructure, supplied electricity, delivered water and built a new souk. Life is peaceful, because there is law and order (except for Christians, Shia and Alawites).

The Islamic state has implemented Sharia law. This scares people in the West, because it seems harsh, but in Syria and Iraq, Sharia law is an improvement over the existing justice system. State justice is administered to favour the rich and powerful. Judges and rulers exploited the poorer classes, so ordinary people had no hope of justice, without paying exorbitant bribes. Now ordinary people can go to a Sharia court and get a decision from people who respect their religion. Many are able to get justice for the first time. This is one reason why the Islamic State has attracted young people all over the world.

According to a Reuters report,

Isis set up services and institutions, stating it intended to use the area as a base in its quest to eradicate national boundaries and establish an Islamic “state”…The group “has restored and restructured all the institutions that are related to services”, including a consumer-protection office and the civil judiciary….Isis’s pragmatism, residents and activists say, has been vital to its success in holding on to captured land. To run Raqqa’s telecoms, Baghdadi has appointed a Tunisian with a PhD in the subject.
Baghdadi has also separated military operations from civilian administration, and has appointed civilian deputies called “walis”– an official similar to a minister – to manage institutions. Administrative regions are divided into waliyehs, or provinces, which, as with the case of the recently established al-Furat province, can span national boundaries. Employees receive a salary from a department called the Muslim Financial House, which is something like a finance ministry and a bank.
Poor families were given money. A widow may receive the equivalent of £60 for herself and for each child she has. Prices are kept low. Traders who manipulate prices are punished, and shut down if they are caught again. The group has also imposed Islamic taxes on wealthy traders and families.
Step 5 Absorb the Oppressed
Once they they had secured their economic resources, the Islamic State has pushed out and gained control of territory in areas that were controlled by governments who are hated. The towns and cities of North Western Iraq fell quickly, because the people distrusted the Shia-dominated government. They quickly gained control of the Sunni areas of Syria.

This region conquered by the Islamic State is predominantly Sunni Moslem. They have been mistreated by the Alawite government of President Assad for thirty years. In Iraq, they have been mistreated by the Shia dominated government. Their lives have been disputed by the ongoing violence of war. A Sunni state that brings law and order and ends most of the anarchy and pillaging is very welcome.

The conquered peoples may not like the harsher aspects of the Islamic State, but they fear the return of Shia and Alawite militia even more. If we do not understand this, we will not understand why the Islamic State has been so successful.

By the beginning of 2014, they had expanded out and established a state covering a broad area of land. In the future, we can expect the Islamic State to expand into Saudi Arabia, which is controlled by immoral and corrupt House of Saud.

Misunderstood Strategy
Western powers focus on the beheadings of hostages, so they assume they are fighting against terrorism. Labelling the Islamic State as terrorists is a good way to whip up support for a war against them, but it is not a good basis for strategy.

The West is still fighting a modern war against an insurgency, which isn’t one. Its impact has been limited. Bombs do not work because the Islamic State is integrated with the population. Anti-terrorist or anti-insurgency strategies will fail.

The Islamic State is fighting an old-fashioned war, and it is working for them.

The Islamic State strategy has been effective, because it was planned ahead. The same has been true of their fighting. In the past jihadist groups attacked targets that would create greatest publicity and the most fear. The Islamic State has a different strategy that they are applying consistently. They planned a traditional war to build a new state, and their battle tactics reflect that. That is why they have been successful.

The war on Kobani is an example. Western media are concerned the Kurdish inhabitants. The reason that the Islamic State have attacked Kobani is that it is the port of entry into Raqqa, their capital city. They need to control the Kobani to protect access to their core Sunni area and prevent an attack on their capital.

Social Media
The Islamic State uses technology very effectively. The Smartphone is there most important weapon. The Islamic state has used social media to promote their strategy.

Their social media strategy appeals to young people all over the world. The message is not, “Come and die in a suicide attack, so you can enjoy paradise with 72 virgins”. The message is different. “Come and fight with us to support this new state. This a just state, not corrupted like the existed dictators and kings of the Middle East. This is the true state of our religion”.

Young people are being invited by their peers to come and make a contribution to something new and better. They are offering a political utopia. For the first time since the collapse of the Ottoman caliphate, a true political utopia is being presented to young people. This message is very appealing to young people all over the world, who are struggling with the economic devastation in the wake of the GFC.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Coalition Calling

The Prime Minister of New Zealand is under pressure from Obama Barack to join the coalition fighting against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. He is holding off on his decision until the vote for the rotating seat on the UN security council he is hoping to win has taken place. I sent the following submission to him.

I understand that you are under pressure from the US administration to commit military support to the coalition fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. I urge you not to get us involved in this battle. We have no interest in the outcome.

  • Much of the anger in the Middle East is a consequence of Western meddling in the area. One reason young people are willing to fight and die is that they are fed up with seeing their future being controlled by Western powers, pretending to be working for their good, but pursuing their own interests. Another invasion from the West will just exacerbate that anger.

  • Obama has put together a coalition, but they have conflicting interests. Some just want to get rid of President Assad of Syria. The Turks want to restore their influence from the days of the Ottoman Empire. Others want to score some points against Iran. Some see the battle as a continuation of the long struggle between Shia and Sunni Islam. We have no interest in these struggles, so we should not get involved in them. A house that is divided cannot stand. A disunited coalition will eventually fail.

  • Obama’s coalition is a motley crew. Saudi Arabia is a greater threat to world peace than the Islamic State. They have been using their petro-dollars to export their virulent Wahabbi form of Islam for nearly fifty years. I understand that the Saudis have beheaded fifty people already this year, far more than the Islamic State. Many of the other members of the coalition are dictators who have no interest in freedom or democracy. The gulf monarchs are seen as immoral, corrupt and blasphemous by the Sunni people in the Middle East. They do not add credibility to the coalition. Their involvement will not encourage local support. We should not get yoked with such a motley group of nations.

  • The coalition has no clear goal. They want to get rid of the Islamic State, but they have no idea of what they would put in its place. The same Western nations blundered into Libya, and all they did was made the situation even worse. They have not admitted that they made a mistake, so I suspect that they will repeat the same mistake in Syria/Iraq. You should not start on a journey without knowing where you are going. This whole problem exists, because the US blundered into Iraq with no idea of what they were going to build once they won the war, except a vague dream of democracy. The current debacle is the result.

  • There is long-standing enmity between Iraq and the Gulf States. Allowing the Gulf states to bomb Iraq will add to ancient tensions. The fact that Obama thinks this will help points to the ignorance of his advisors about the historical and religious tensions that affect the region.

  • Many Moslems support Baghdadi, because his goal is to purge the region of corrupt dictators and monarchs. Some of his appeal comes from his role in resisting the corrupt powers that have dominated the region. Joining a coalition with these corrupt rulers undermines our credibility.

  • Iraq is permanently broken. The Sunnis west cannot be put back with the Shia east. Too much hatred and fear has been stirred up since Saddam was exited by George Bush. It is not going to be put back together, regardless of who Obama installs on the throne in Iraq. Humpty Dumpty has fallen and cannot be put back together again, so do not waste lives trying.

  • The national boundaries in the region were imposed by the Western powers at the end of the First World War They took no notice of tribal, cultural or geographical realities on the ground. Iraq was established to protect British access to oil in the region. Jordan was given a long north Eastern dogleg, to allow an oil pipeline between Mosul and Haifa to be built. Lebanon was split from Syria to create a Christian nation under French influence. These borders are now breaking down. We should let the local people decide where the boundaries should be and how they want to be ruled. Western intervention will just exacerbate the problem and cause the conflict to last longer. Let them sort out their own situation. It will be painful and will take time, but a Western military coalition will only muddy the process.

  • The Sunni Moslem people of Iraq and Syria are entitled to a state of their own. Those in Syria have been controlled by the Alawite dynasty of the Assads since 1970. Sunni Moslems in Iraq has been squeezed by the Shia since the fall of Saddam Hussein. The Western powers may not like the Islamic State, but it is tapping into these people’s aspirations for independence, so it will be hard to stop.

  • The Kurds will have to be allowed a state, although will lead to issues with the Kurdish populations of Turkey and Iran. But that problem can only be sorted out locally, not in Washington or New York.

  • Next year we will be celebrating the centenary of the Gallipoli invasion. While it was a pivotal event in our history, the reality was that young men from New Zealand had no business to be invading Turkey, a Muslim nation on the other side of the world. We will celebrate, but we should be slightly embarrassed, too. Now hundreds of years later, it is time for us to grow up and stop going on these military adventures to the other side of the world in places that we have no right or need to be poking our nose into.

  • New Zealand is skilled and generous in supporting refugees from warzones. If the time comes when they would be useful, we could provide peace-keepers. We should stick to what we are good at, because it gains us respect on the international stage. We should not be sending military forces into the war, either SAS or air support, as it would not achieve anything useful, but would make us a target for terrorist revenge.

In the recent election, you demonstrated courage by standing staunch against many hostile and unfair attacks by those who opposed you. I hope that you will demonstrate the same courage by resisting pressure from Obama to get involved in a war without end for no purpose. I realise that Obama Barack’s friendship is important to you, but this is a situation where New Zealand should come first.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Earthquake Repairs

Someone's house moved back on the section ready for an earthquake damaged foundation to be replaced.

Back on a new foundation and freshly painted. Waiting for the finishing touches.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Four for Key?

The national party led by John Key won the New Zealand election easily. The Labour opposition gained only 25 percent of the vote, and is now in disarray, arguing about the reasons and fighting over the leadership. The pundits are suggesting the John Key could go on to win a fourth term in three years’ time.

They are getting ahead of themselves. Not far into this current term, an economic shock will strike. The leaders who claim to be good economic managers will make some serious mistakes that plunge a downturn into a disaster. They will go from hero to zero in a short space of time.

This will not help the opposition. They will be equally confused about what to do. Both parties will be at a loss.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Elections and Civilisation

The election in New Zealand was won by John Key’s center-right National Party, which got 60 seats in the 121 seat parliament. This is the closest that any party has come to governing alone without needing coalition partners in an MMP election.

The leftish Labour Party got only 25 percent of the vote, its worst result in 50 years. The pundits are blaming David Cunliffe, the leader of the Labour Party, for their heavy loss. A torrid leadership struggle has now started, but the reason for the loss goes much deeper. The problem is afflicting parties from the left all over the world.

Os Guinness gives the reason in the following quote from his book called Renaissance.

The West has cut itself off from its Jewish and Christian roots—the faith, the ideas, the ethics and the way of life that made it the west. It now stands deeply-divided, uncertain of its post-Christian identity, and with its dominance waning in the global arena.
All over the world, parties on the left are finding it hard to find a role in a divided and uncertain post-Christian culture. They have focussed on the rights of minorities: women, indigenous peoples, racial minorities, and homosexuals. Others target the unions or the poor. The problem is that these groups have conflicting interests, which produces a divided party. They are too small to create a coherent governing majority. Without a cohesive and unifying vision for life in a post-Christian culture, they will continue to fail.

Parties on the right do slightly better, because they have a Christian memory, even if they have rejected the Christian vision. They appeal to nostalgia by pointing back to more stable times in the past, when the Christian influence was much greater. This is a fraud, because they are incapable of restoring the good times that they promise, because they have rejected the faith that made them possible. However, until this lie is exposed, nostalgia for a better time will continue to win elections.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Horned Prophets (3) Political and Military Power

Horned prophets and political and military power go together (like the beast and the false prophet in Revelation). It is often hard to tell which came first. Confidence in military power opens a young prophet to a warring and violent spirit. The words of a prophet who loves war deceive the people into trusting the military strength of their political leaders.

Political leaders are drawn to the horned prophets because their words feed their desire from more and more power. The people love the horned prophets, because it makes their words make them feel good about their nation, but they eventually lose their freedom.

Initially, the words of the horned prophet are self-fulfilling, the leaders of the nation are successful, and the people prosper. However, the deceptions of the horned prophets are eventually exposed. God’s judgment destroys the political leaders and the people who trusted them suffer defeat and terrible loss.

America has a problem with horned prophets. America has such immense military strength that some prophets get dazzled with it and fall in love with war. This makes them dangerous. Horned prophets tend to produce ruthless military and political power. They deceive the people into accepting big government and stir up their leaders to undertake grand military adventures. This seems to be happening now. However, the words of horned prophets will eventually be exposed, because military and economic disaster always follows close behind them.

Horned Prophets are really dangerous for America, as this is pivotal time for the nation. It seems to be poised on becoming a Beast that controls the whole earth. That might not happen, if there is a move back to God, but the political, cultural and military leadership seem to be going the other way. By supporting them, the horned prophets could be instrumental in making America into the Terrible Beast. That would end in terrible disaster.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Horned Prophets (2) Two Horned Prophet

A prophet with horns appears against in the book of Revelation. John saw a beast with two horns.

Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon (Rev 13:11).
This beast does not exercise military and political power. It is a speaking beast, so it is prophetic.

The beast looked innocent like a lamb, so most people will think it has come from God to represent Jesus. However, John realised that it speaks on behalf of the dragon, who is the devil. This makes this beast a false prophet. It has two horns, so it is the ultimate horned prophet.

This two-horned prophet loves war. It stirs up the world to give power and authority to the political power called the Terrible Beast in Revelation. When the church and its prophets love war, human political power is released.

Later in Revelation, the two-horned beast is called the False Prophet. He stirs up the nations of the world to fight against the people of God. He releases demonic spirits to stir up the leaders of the nations to get into a war that leads to a terrible judgment (Rev 16:13). The two-horned false prophet also stirs up the rulers of the nation to fight against those who have chosen to follow Jesus (Rev 19:19-20).

Zedekiah was the first horned prophet mentioned in the scriptures. The False Prophet of Revelation is the ultimate horned prophet. However, there have been many horned prophets in between. Wherever there is faith in political and military power, horned prophets will emerge. They will stir up the political leaders to engage in military activities. Their prophecies will often cause a growth in political control and military force.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Horned Prophets (1) Old Testament

God has always had a problem with prophets with horns. These are prophets who love war.

Horned prophets were a problem in Old Testament times (1 Kings 22). When Ahab asked him to join in a war against the Arameans, King Jehoshaphat requested guidance from the prophets. These were not prophets of Baal, because they spoke in the name of Yahweh (1 King 22:6), although they may have been influenced by them. These prophets of the Lord love war, so they urged their kings to fight.
Their leader Zedekiah son of Kennaah was the original prophet with horns.

Now Zedekiah son of Kenaanah had made iron horns and he declared, “This is what the Lord says: ‘With these you will gore the Arameans until they are destroyed’” (1 Kings 22:11).
A horn is a symbol of military power. Wearing horns on his head was a sign that he was a prophet who loved war.

When he was challenged by Miciah, Zedekiah turned violent.
Then Zedekiah son of Kenaanah went up and slapped Micaiah on the cheek (1 Kings 22:24).
The word translated “slapped” is “nakah”. It is a strong word that means “striking to cause a wound”. The violence of Zedekiah’s response reflects his inner spirit. He carried a warring violent spirit, which made him love war.

Micah the prophet explained to the two kings that the Lord had sent a spirit onto the prophets to deceive them. We tend to assume that this was a spirit of deception, because that is not quite right. All spirits are deceivers. The spirit that God sent to the prophets was a spirit of violence and war. This spirit had authority to work in Israel, because Ahab had brought violence and war into his kingdom. The spirit of violence and war was able to deceive the King of Israel and the King of Judah into fighting a war that God did not support. Warring and violent spirits can deceive prophets who are infatuated with the power of the King. When this happens they becomes horned prophets who love war.

Miciah was rejected and put in prison. The two kings obeyed the prophets with horns and went to war. He result was a disaster. Jehoshaphat, who was one of the best kings of Judah, was nearly killed. Ahab was killed. The armies of Israel and Judah fled, and the Arameans won a huge victory. Trusting the prophecies of a horned prophet is a mistake. Their words eventually release judgment, which destroys the leaders of the nation and defeats the people.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Wilderness and Prophets

A reader asked the following question.

I know that a prophet is prepared beforehand in the' wilderness'. When he comes out into the public life is he at full power or does God slowly built up his power and his wisdom through the Holy Spirit during his long-life ministry?
My answer is as follows.

Prophets are human. They are free. Their future will depend on how they interact with the Holy Spirit.

God can prepare a prophet anywhere. Daniel was prepared in the King’s palace school. There is nothing magical about being in the wilderness. Prophetic people can easily get bitter and resentful while they are in the wilderness. They can come out no better than they went in. Some end up in the wilderness due to their own mistakes. Being in the wilderness is only good preparation for a prophet, if they let the Holy Spirit expose the stuff that is wrong in their life.

The same applies when the prophet comes out of wilderness. He will only be as good as he has allowed the Holy Spirit to change him. He is still human and can grieve the Holy Spirit at any time.

The power of a prophet resides with the Holy Spirit, not with the prophet. A prophet can only be powerful, if remains in touch with the Holy Spirit. That is true whether he is in or out of the wilderness. The prophet can only speak what the Holy Spirit gives him. He can only speak in power, if the Holy Spirit anoints him.

Monday, October 06, 2014

Letters to the Seven Churches

Many commentators assume that John’s letters to the seven church in Revelation are prophecies for the future still waiting to be fulfilled. This is a mistake.

The letters were written to actual churches in the first century. The warnings would have been fulfilled at the time, unless the church repented.

Of course, the letters contain principles that still apply. If a church does this, that will happen. So we will see a particular letter being fulfilled from time to time, if a church behaves in the way described in the letter. ie if the cap fits you will wear it.

But the letters are not a sequence that cover church history.

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Islamic State (12) Israel

Israel should be careful about forming an alliance with the Islamic State. It seems likely that Israel has provided weapons and intelligence to ISIS in attempt to undermine President Assad of Syria (My enemy's enemy is my friend). That could back fire. Josiah was one of the best kings of Judah formed an alliance with the king of Assyria when he was attacked by Pharaoh of Egypt. Josiah was killed in a battle at Meggido.

While Josiah was king, Pharaoh Necho king of Egypt went up to the Euphrates River to help the king of Assyria. King Josiah marched out to meet him in battle, but Necho faced him and killed him at Megiddo (2 Kings 23:29).
This is probably a warning sign.

Isaiah warns that the Assyrian Spirit will be the club of God's wrath against a godless nation, which has angered God.

Woe to the Assyrian, the rod of my anger,
in whose hand is the club of my wrath!
I send him against a godless nation,
I dispatch him against a people who anger me (Is 10:5-6).
This word is also a prophecy against the Assyrian Spirit. It will eventually be destroyed.
When the Lord has finished all his work against Mount Zion and Jerusalem, he will say, “I will punish the king of Assyria for the willful pride of his heart and the haughty look in his eyes (Is 10:12).
The Spirit of Assyria will be destroyed, but not until God has finished his judgments against Israel and its rulers. This puts it well into the future after the Fullness of the Jews (Is 10:20,21). It will be followed by a season of great blessing on earth (Is 11:1-12).

Friday, October 03, 2014

Islamic state (11) Desert by the Sea

Before his prophecy about Arabia, Isaiah gave a prophecy against the Desert by the Sea. Experts says this refers to an area beside the Euphrates River, which is so swampy that it looks like a sea. This is the area that the Islamic State has been attacking. Isaiah describes an attacker that comes from a land of terror.

Like whirlwinds sweeping through the southland,
an invader comes from the desert,
from a land of terror.
A dire vision has been shown to me:
The traitor betrays, the looter takes loot (Is 21:1-2)
It creates extracts loot and creates terror. Isaiah says that it this will cause Media and Elam to attack (they are modern day Iran).
Elam, attack! Media, lay siege!
I will bring to an end all the groaning she caused (Is 21:2).
Iran will respond to the Islamic State attacks on Iraq by tightening its grip on the Shia regions. The overall effect is terror and fear.
At this my body is racked with pain,
pangs seize me, like those of a woman in labor;
I am staggered by what I hear,
I am bewildered by what I see.
My heart falters,
fear makes me tremble;
the twilight I longed for has become a horror to me (Is 21:4).
Fear and terror spreads everywhere.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Islamic State (10) Saudi Arabia

At this time, the most influential nation in the Middle East is Saudi Arabia. It has a tiny population, compared to Iran and Egypt, but its massive oil reserves have given it influence beyond its size. Saudi Arabia has become an important ally of the United States. In return for pumping oil to keep prices down, Saudi Arabia has been able to accumulate a massive arsenal of United States produced weapons.

This alliance is strange, because Saudi Arabia is the home of the Wahhabi sect, which is the most virulent and violent form of Islam of all. Saudi Arabia has used it petro-dollars to export this harsh form of Islam all over the world. Regular beheadings in Saudi Arabia are ignored by American media (42 this year). It is currently providing financial support to the Islamic State.

There is nothing in the scriptures to indicate that Saudi Arabia is dominated by a powerful principality or power in the spiritual realms. Without one behind it, the kingdom will not last. The only significant prophecy about Saudi Arabia is in Isaiah 21:13-16. This prophecy warns that Arabia will be attacked by the bow and the sword.

They flee from the sword,
from the drawn sword,
from the bent bow
and from the heat of battle (Is 21:15).
The primary bowman is Iran. The sword represents the Spirit of Assyria (Is 8:20). I presume that when the Islamic State grows stronger, it will eventually push into Saudi Arabia. The House of Saud is seen as idolatrous by most serious Moslems, so it the obvious target for the Islamic State.
This is what the Lord says to me: “Within one year, as a servant bound by contract would count it, all the splendor of Kedar will come to an end (Is 21:16).
The south-eastern province of Saudi Arabia has a large Shia population who have been treated badly by the Saudi princes. They do much of the work in the oil fields for poor returns and no political freedom. If the Islamic State invaded Saudi Arabia, Iran might invade the Shia regions to protect the Shia people living there. This would give Iran control of some Saudi oil.

Isaiah says that the surviving warriors will be few.

The survivors of the archers, the warriors of Kedar, will be few (Is 21:17).
The huge arsenal of military hardware built up by Saudi Arabia will fall into the hands of the Islamic State.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Islamic State (9) Fear of Islam

Many Christians are worried about Islam and the Middle East. They see it as a single entity fighting the west. For a start, the largest Moslem country in the world is Indonesia. The reality is that Islam in the Middle East will dominated by these three principalities and powers described in the previous post. They will always be in conflict with each other, so they will not be able to unite together for a common purpose.

The main role of the four horsemen is to produce fear. When the people of the world are afraid, they look to the political powers to provide peace. When fear turns into terror, the most powerful human government that the world has ever known will emerge. People and nations will surrender their freedom to the Beast in order to obtain security.

Christians in America seem to be really afraid of the Islamic State. I am not sure why, because it is not capable of inflicting serious harm on the United Sates. Many Christians are demanding that President extend American power to control and destroy the Islamic State. Fear of the world, and trust in political and military power to provide security are the attitudes that will allow the beast of revelation to rise to power.

Christians who trust in God should not fear the world. They should not look to political leaders for salvation. They already have a glorious saviour and wonderful comforter.

Do not fear what they fear, and do not dread it (Is 8:12).
This promise was given in the context of the Spirit of Assyria (Is 8:7).