Prophetic Economics 01

The Social Sciences are the study of human nature. It includes things like history, archeology, geography, sociology, government and political theory, psychology and so forth. But they are based on Western assumptions, so it all rests on the pretense of reasoned analysis and objectivity. While these sciences recognize that human nature is flawed, they assume it could be better and the whole point is to study how to make it better.

In particular, economics pretends to objectivity even as it manifests wildly conflicting forecasts based on the competing theories. People who study economics take their science too seriously, pretending that if they could just fix some basic theoretical disputes and come up with a unified model of human economic behavior, they could solve humanity’s problems.

Obviously I disagree, but it comes after having studied economics for a long time. You see, I studied it from the cynical point of view that comes from rejecting Western assumptions in the first place. My rejection wasn’t wholly conscious at first, but I was far down that road before I took those college courses. I understood what the professors and books were trying to get across and made some of the highest grades in each class, but I didn’t swallow most of it.

So I neither recommend such education, nor will I attempt to summarize it for you. Rather, I’ll give you a contextual digest of what I believe matters most right now. Those who have studied economics will recognize some of this.

You can grow an economy without credit, but it takes longer. Without debt, wealth grows much more slowly and requires far more work. Biblical Law says you should avoid greed in the first place and realize the shepherd’s call in trying to benefit everyone, because that is your own best interest long term. To put it bluntly: If you can’t embrace that moral necessity, then you’ll always be tormented on some level in this life, and you’ll likely end up in Hell after you die. What you do in this world must serve genuine human need, and Biblical Law sums up that need in the term “moral social stability” — a manifestation of shalom. So the goal is not some imaginary economic efficiency, as if the economy was just a machine. The economy is a living thing that must be nurtured according to its needs, or it will not help you make the most of this life. So don’t juice it up with large doses of credit steroids or it will sicken and die before its time. Treat it with respect.

Economies all die sooner or later, but it can be done gracefully and cooperatively (and they usually give birth to new economies). If you don’t place the image in your mind of an economy as a living being with sentience and its own will, you will never understand it. They belong to the civilization in which they stand, and they are only so healthy as the moral climate of the civilization itself.

Ours is hollow and nearly dead. It’s a science fiction horror monster. Still subject to the moral fabric of the universe as expressed in Biblical Law, even as our global economy dies, we can still harvest what little good is available.

So the starting point for you individually is to remind your flesh that it will not get everything that it wants. It’s not supposed to. You have to understand that there is a permanent disconnect between your instinctive wishes and what God says is in your best interest. No matter how much we grant to the flesh, it cannot be satisfied. Annoyances are the norm; navigate your best path between them. Find a peaceful place so you can learn to live with them and be grateful. The power of joy is inside of you, not in the things you have.

You won’t get that from the academic study of economics. What it will tell you is that the debt system is what is most at risk of collapse. There is a tremendous mass of notional debt with nothing of value behind it. At some point, the sheer volume of debt will drag big finance to a halt as the debt servicing falls too far behind. What keeps the system alive is the perception that the debts are being paid back at some profitable level. Perception at the upper levels does lag reality; most of the big money pushers don’t know when to back off because it appears too profitable. Even the factor of inflation that lowers the value of a particular debt doesn’t change the very real loss of the consumers’ power to repay. Their income doesn’t keep pace with the inflation because of a systemic cultural bias among financiers that pressures employers to hold wages down. Having an MBA degree means you see things only from the financiers point of view.

As previously noted, this is a bad time to be in debt. Resolve those obligations as best you can, because each one represents a dependency and vulnerability to the ravages of plutocrats scrambling to save their vulnerable wealth when this system breaks. Do what you can to shield your assets and resources from repossession, because that’s coming. However, always bear in mind that the one thing no one can take from you is what’s inside of you. Things may get so ugly as to result in a literal form of slavery; the laws can change without notice because the plutocrats are the government. On top of that, most laws have loopholes that allow all kinds of new tricks not yet declared illegal. Prepare your mind for the worst in those terms. Nobody can predict how debt obligations will be shifted to new owners and how financiers will attempt to squeeze the last bit of value from them. It will likely be chaotic.

Beyond that remains the exchange of things that don’t require debt. I find it improbable that our economy will be reduced to barter. There are simply too many options that even local governments can take to keep things moving. This lower economy will take on a life of its own. Individual actors will have a stronger influence at this smaller scale. This is where you and I can exploit the power of Biblical Law, using its power to harvest something better than mere survival. By preparing beforehand to operate without the cushion of borrowing, your instincts take a different path entirely. The whole system of running a household or business means the terminology takes on a wholly different definition.

You are likely to perceive two ways in which a Biblical Law approach will benefit you. First, this is how God operates, so He’s going to steer reality in your favor. All of those things nobody can possibly understand and control will fall your way. Of course, God also retains His inscrutable purpose and your individual hassles will reflect His plan for you, but you can’t do better than doing this God’s way. Second, your attitude will influence others. So if your landlord sees your determination not to push the burden off unfairly onto him, perhaps he will seek ways to keep your rent within your budget. When the ultimate ownership on paper starts jumping around, the managers on the ground will often have a freer hand to deal. But you’ll notice that both of these two ways of benefit are linked, because staying in God’s favor means He moves in the hearts of others to favor you, as well.

That’s it for now. Ask questions if you have any.

Psalm 126

This Song of Ascents refers to the Exile and Restoration, but looks back upon it from a later date. Yet still fresh in memory was the giddy joy of the imperial announcement that the Judeans could go home and rebuild their city and temple. The terminology in the first refers to a restoration of something that was confiscated. But restoring the freedom to live in the place God granted their Father Abraham, and the ridge line where David built his royal capital, seemed almost too good to be true.

So even as they were preparing to depart, they were singing with irrepressible joy. The other nations crowded into the Babylonian ghettos around them were echoing the celebration in recognizing that Jehovah had finally called His people back home. Wasn’t it a wonderful thing to watch? Yes, say the Judeans, what a wonderful thing He has done for us and we can’t keep it to ourselves.

But everyone knows that when they did come home, it was anything like the dreams they had treasured for so long. There was trouble from every side and it seemed to take forever before they started rebuilding the city, and yet longer still to build the Second Temple. Frankly, there was precious little of the giddy joy left as the Returnees clustered around the city and the vast majority stayed behind in Babylon, never to return. Some Restoration!

Lord, can we go back and finish it? Can we even today, return to the purity of devotion that drove us back here, but keep our faith intact this time? It would be like that brief rainy season in the southern wastes of Judea. For most of the year the wadis were dry, but for just a week or so those watercourses were roaring torrents. We need a heavy rain of Your Spirit, O Lord.

Imagine the farmer who lives in troubled times. He faces great anxiety and serious hunger, but he must sow his grain on the ground when planting time comes. Once that harvest comes, though, the bad times are forgotten in the abundance of blessings.

God’s Warning to Trump

The standard prophetic caveat: You need not take me seriously if this strikes you as objectionable. However, I regard this as a prophetic word from God and I cannot be silent.

In the end, we are all mere vessels. When our human purpose is accomplished, we will be shattered and return to clay. Some of us will during our lives hold treasures; others are chamber pots. A few will hold the fire or God’s wrath.

God’s wrath will fall on America because of sin. However, there are particular sinful problems that are worse than others, and these problems will be hit hardest. The people associated with those problems will get an extra heavy dose of wrath.

Trump is God’s vessel of fire and destruction. He does have some options: He can do it very well or he can do it poorly. Right now, he’s doing it poorly. His mission from God is a dirty business, much as Nebuchadnezzar and Pharaoh, but both of those men were much more faithful and focused. Whatever rewards God had for those ancient men, they received richly. Trump looks to lose his.

For whatever reason, Trump is not careful about his staff. He’s got some people very good at political warfare, but too many of them are not loyal to him or his agenda. Then again, it appears Trump is not too well focused on his mission in the first place. That mission will happen, but sometimes in spite of his bumbling. And instead of a clean and clear message that shatters his enemies, it will drag on and on with many questions that go unanswered.

This is going to raise the pain level on everyone. Whatever little bit of justice Trump might have given America, he lets is slip through his fingers. He was pushed into office by God on the power of frustration in the electorate. He will frustrate them further, and they will be forced to take matters into their own hands. This will make it far messier and more painful than is necessary. But it will come to that because Trump has not kept his hand to the plow.

If Trump had been more careful and pulled in a much tighter team, and pushed more forcefully the vengeance and dirty politics that are required, he would still be the hero who won by an electoral landslide. There may still be some time, but it seems unlikely because the window of opportunity has almost closed. This is why there will be right-wing backlash at the ground level. Trump will fail the right-wing masses. You should understand that God’s instrument of wrath depends on the raw anger of the right-wing, and this determines the flavor of that wrath.

So God is going to raise up smaller figures who will do this dirty work and make His wrath happen. The ones who do it best will be those who understand political OpSec (operational security), people who know how to work with a smaller team more personally loyal to them. So if someone has a mind to do something about it, this is the time to begin forming your team and committing resources.

The wise ones will recognize this for what it is and will stand close to the work of avenging angels. But this is the wrath of God and plenty of them will have dirty hands. The difference is not properly understood by American moral sensibilities, but it requires the moral truth revealed in the Ancient Hebrew culture as to what is right and wrong. Such is the culture God designed for His revelation. This is the culture we seek to understand, dear readers.

If you are going to watch this mess unfold, then the least you can do is see it through God’s eyes.

05 The Sheikdom of Heaven

Paul was merely following the customs of his day when he wrote his letter to the Ephesian churches. Those first verses in chapter 1 string together a huge image, and in most English translations, it’s poorly rendered. That’s because it’s written by a Hebrew mind trying to stuff mystical truth into the Greek language, and this passage is one those where English just fails completely. You have to read it over a dozen times and toss it around in your head for a little while.

It helps if you avoid any translation that uses “dispensation” in verse 10. That is an inexcusable mistranslation, exposing a serious anti-Hebrew bias. Here’s the deal: Paul chose the Greek word oikonomia to capture the image of a very large Ancient Near Eastern (ANE) feudal sheikdom. You really need to move as far away as possible from words that permit Western notions to leak back into this picture. His words draw the image of a very powerful ANE nomad potentate living in tents. Someone like that doesn’t think in terms of real estate; he has the power to protect his turf and keep out folks who aren’t welcome. But it’s not a permanent occupation; intruders can have it once he moves on.

Rather, his true wealth is his people. It’s not even the flocks and herds, because that’s the means to keep his people alive and healthy. But his people are the real treasure, because good people can always produce more material goods. Being nomads, their needs are pretty simple in the first place. His whole focus in life is their social stability and welfare. His sole claim to greatness is his success in those terms. Wherever they travel on his business, they flaunt the richness of his provision. That’s his glory.

Paul’s point here is that we need that image to understand how God does things. His primary objective in what He does in this world is just like any ANE nomad sheik. He has His one Heir who has entered His co-regency apprenticeship, having performed the heroic act of winning back the rightful inheritance consisting of many souls. So there’s this transition period where He demonstrates His rightful place on the throne by carrying on His Father’s business. At some point that apprenticeship will be complete and the Father will call in all His vassals and settle up, ensuring that the Son knows precisely the magnitude of what He inherits.

Meanwhile, this is feudalism; the Son has called into His service all kinds of folks and adopted them as kin so that they can inherit their own share of interest in this sheikdom. People with a shared investment tend to act together with an eye to increasing value. And their whole business is to carry His fame throughout the world and attract more investors, people who will in their turn become vested family members, too.

All of that is in those first few verses of Ephesians, folks. This isn’t about you finding your personal peace and keeping it inside. It’s about showing off the glorious treasure of our Divine Sheik, flaunting His rare and fascinating symbols of wealth. We are so loaded up that we can afford to leave our loose change and small bills on the counter when we leave. In other words, we see no great need to correct people’s minds on some objective truth. Rather, we display our casual attitude about concrete reality in favor of what really matters — moral discernment. They can keep all they want of this world, but that means we know they aren’t moved by the implication that they could have something far better. If they want that better stuff, they’ll have leave this world behind, same as each of us have done.

Again, we are raiders of souls. We don’t intend to colonize; we don’t want this world. Let the dead keep their dead world. We’ll sneak in and flash His glory around until someone reaches out for it. Then we’ll hook them up with our Rich Daddy Sheik and keep fishing for more. Eventually our mission will end and we’ll go back home to our own noble household within the Sheik’s domain.

And somewhere way down the road will come that Final Day when the Son is finally paraded before the world as the Heir, and He’ll take possession of everything. Those who cling to this world and their moral blindness will be forced to stand in His Holy Presence with no protection of kinship. God alone knows what that will be like, but for the rest of us, it’s a whole new dawn into some blissful eternity none of us can imagine.

04 The Lost Heritage

After completing the full loop around Draper Lake today, I stopped off at Daniel’s Hill. Removing my helmet and facing into the wind, I prayed aloud.

“Lord, I’m grateful for the way You have carried me through all the long journey to discover the vast riches of Your shalom. But it shouldn’t have to be that hard. How did we get like this? How was it that the churches surrendered so quickly and easily after the First Century? Is there some way we can make this thing more painfully obvious and provide a better hedge? And Lord, can we please include more people in this rich heritage of Your blessings in this life?”

Two things stick out in my mind: The Laws of Noah and heart-led living. I was teaching Noah years ago, and before that I was teaching how convictions in your heart are written by God and should reign over your reason. Convictions look just like the Law Covenants (Deuteronomy 30:11-14).

There is nothing legalistic in the Law Covenants. Legalism is something you have to bring to the Law, usually because of the influence of Hellenism. Both Moses and Noah are inherently mystical in tone. Anyone living at the time they were published would have presumed them a parabolic image of something far deeper. Both of them presume you are living from your heart. So if you walk in Christ, it’s going to look like Noah. And Moses is a particular instance of Noah, so the promised blessings are the same for both.

Thus, if you are living in communion with Creation through God’s Spirit, nobody really has to explain why you might, for example refuse to eat meat that hasn’t been properly drained of its blood. It’s a matter of reverence for the life in Creation. Draining the blood before eating meat is a symbol of that communion we all have with Creation. Blood is life and we offer it back to God who gave it as covering for our fallen nature. People in tune with Creation and Christ don’t consume blood as food, not intentionally.

But it’s not a nit-picky rule or law; it’s a symbol, a parable of truth.

If we are to build a genuine parallel society, we have to manifest a common departure from Western moral mythology. For at least the past two years I’ve been steadily trying to contrast Noah from Western assumptions. That most of Western Christianity adheres to the false, heathen moral assumptions of the West only complicates our message. So we have to distinguish ourselves from mainstream Christians, too.

Hellenism is the root of Western intellectual traditions. Aristotle was a key element in Hellenism, and he assumed that humanity has always been like this. Indeed, he figured that gods would be just as morally weak as humans. There is no room in Hellenism for the notion of the Fall, because Scripture posits a world aside from this world. The Bible teaches that it wasn’t like this in Eden, that we weren’t made for this. Jehovah, unlike the pagan deities of Greece and others, is morally perfect, the definition of moral truth. We know that we shall never experience that moral purity directly in this life, but we will become aware of it in rich living detail through our hearts.

But Aristotle’s assumption about human nature rears its head in some smaller Christian denominations (Jehovah’s Witnesses deny the Fall, for example). Most Westerners are convinced the only hope is asserting the power of reason over our whole being. Thus, regardless of what they may say, they all act as if the human reason isn’t fallen. Therefore, becoming less worldly to them means becoming merely more cerebral. All you need is a better content in your head and your own power to live by your reason. So legalism is entirely natural for them, because it constitutes a call to better knowledge and better performance. It doesn’t work too well.

Western Christians don’t have a lot of genuine shalom. We need to show them what it is and where it comes from. I’m hoping that we can present a fairly consistent witness that restores the heritage of faith to those Christ calls to spiritual life. We should naturally join with nature in crying out for someone to please ditch the false assumptions about faith and reality and join us in this eternal celebration of God’s glory.

03 Come and See

Your true will longs for something better than what society offers. The effect of moving your conscious awareness into the Spirit Realm means pulling your head along behind into a different space of moral discernment. You realize that the moral implications are the only thing that matters.

You realize that changing the facts of your situation is not a matter of human capabilities, but weaving yourself into the moral fabric within Creation. Change yourself and Creation plays along. There is a whole different universe waiting to be born into your life. Your flesh won’t appreciate the time lag, but your heart will know that time is measured in terms of ripeness, not scheduling. All good things from God come in His time, and our patience is strengthened. Your heart retrains your mind to believe in things your senses cannot perceive. You have to sense from your heart and train your brain to process it as truth.

God is not reticent with us. He has poured out revelation that could overwhelm the ability of all the world to receive. One of our regulars here has said that most people are caught off guard and don’t recognize a vision from God when it comes. It’s an image of a different reality that creeps into your awareness, confirmed by your convictions as the truth of God. It’s not a question of showing you something others may or may not see; it shows you things God wants you to see. But it still requires the brain getting the right message from it in order to act on it, and your mind will make some mistakes for awhile. However, when that vision gets stored as a persistent representation of what your heart knows is true, you gain the confirmation that you are on the right track.

We live in a world that is far, far away from giving credence to such things. This is why it is so very hard for many of you to make it work. For example, the term in Scripture translated as “a vision” need not register as visual, but can be any number of different impressions that mimic the five senses — any or all. It can be strong enough to seem utterly real in all respects, but it varies from person to person, and context to context. It’s intent is always to strengthen your moral resolve to obey the Spirit of God.

The obedience aims to manifest His glory in your conduct before a watching world. It’s not just that you do the right things, but that the sum total of your choices also brings a selection of blessings. Part of it is learning what is and isn’t a blessing. These things are poorly assessed by the flesh, but you have to see the interplay between what your heart knows and what human minds can pick out. They may not see a blessing for what it is, but looks for “good” that isn’t actually a blessing. Meanwhile, it takes a long time to get your own fleshly mind used to this way of doing things. So your failures are part of the bigger picture of His glory.

The one thing that no one can dismiss or dispute is your compassion and joy. Indeed, they cannot take that away from you unless you surrender it willingly. Not even Satan has that power.

This is why I make so much of turning on your sensory heart to nature. If you can just make that connection, then on a regular basis you can go into a quiet moment away from this world and hear that glorious celebration that is constantly roaring in nature. Catching a dose of that tends to put things back into their proper perspective and makes suffering seem light. God always makes a way for us to come out of the cacophony of fallen human distractions so that we can experience just a fragment of nature, and move outside of our fallen self for just a little while.

I know that for me, it’s more than reason enough for my persistent efforts at fitness. If my workouts serve no other purpose, that’s more than enough reason for the struggle. Getting out away from human noise, including my own inner noise, and tasting the ever fresh newness of praise in Creation is a joy unspeakable.

We live in a universe that this world cannot perceive.

Psalm 125

A song of security, scholars suggest this was not originally meant as a pilgrimage psalm. However, it fits the theme well enough referring to the geography around the City of Jerusalem. One can hardly approach the city without climbing over at least a few mountains along the way because it sits in the midst of them.

Despite a few earthquakes now and then, the shape of Zion had never changed in the human memory. Those who trust in God are just as stable and solid. Like the mountains ringing the city, you have to get past God who watches of it.

For this reason, the psalmist is confident that no foreign invaders could permanently conquer the land. If something like that happened, there was no hope for keeping the people righteous. It would have to mean Jehovah had abandoned them.

So the psalmist prays the God would continue to protect and prosper the righteous. And if anyone in the land forsook the Covenant, let them be led away as prisoners to some other land. Thus, would the nation remain in God’s shalom.

02 Big Dig

Who are you?

Who did God intend for you to be? There are several parables for this. I rather like the image of God handing Moses two stone tablets. Try to wash from your mind the popular artwork depicting Moses slogging something as big and heavy as a tombstone. It would be more like a pair of thin slices of slate displaying a fairly small font size, and more likely a change in coloration than heavy cutting. It would be something a human craftsman could not replicate.

Contrast that with Jeremiah 31:31-34 — “I will write My Law on their hearts.” He says pointedly that it will not be the same as the Covenant of Moses. The writer of Hebrews in chapter 10 really brings this out, quoting that part of Jeremiah. The presence of the Holy Spirit changes everything.

This would have had an obvious meaning to the Ancient Near Eastern (ANE) cultures in general, and Hebrew culture in particular. To a people already well versed in mysticism as the norm, there was nothing new about keeping the focus of your conscious awareness inside your heart instead of your brain. They considered living in the brain as living by the flesh. You got that way because you made no room for God in your heart. Instead, your heart was closed off from God, filled with all kinds of other deities or just plain junk, lesser commitments.

We have a tough time reading the Bible from that point of view, but those people presumed it as the norm, something so obvious that it just didn’t require frequent comment. And they were used to the idea of having to stay focused and striving through many years of this powerful personal commitment to Jehovah before one could sense a living Presence in the soul. Precious few could manifest that kind of vivid commitment early in life. They would have regarded it as a form of genius, a moral precocity. It was also a mark of God’s favor. We should hope it meant you’d have everyone else’s favor, as well.

So when God promised to make that happen on a wider scale, it was viewed as a fine miracle, indeed. Consider the impact of Jeremiah 31:34:

“No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.” (NKJV)

Your community shalom wouldn’t depend so heavily on that constant battle of reminding folks to live by the heart and not by their heads. So on the one hand, every human at any given time could learn to live in their hearts, and could eventually get so accustomed to it that it was the same as having God Himself living in your soul. On the other hand, God was promising He would make it the norm to invade their souls before they had time to work that hard at it. They could all be precocious moral geniuses.

So instead of building a life like a fine mansion with those stone tablets displayed prominently on the wall, it would be a mansion built on those stone tablets in the first place. That Law of God would become much bigger than a mere tombstone; it would be the massive cornerstone set firmly into the hillside so that everything you build rests on it from the start. Indeed, that cornerstone would naturally be there in the first place, waiting for you to come and build.

It would up to you individually to first find the place God wanted you to build your life. Then you might have to remove some rubble and dirt to find that cornerstone. But eventually it would become clear as day with the building plans inscribed on it. So you would begin to follow those plans and build out, cutting a terrace for your life that would never collapse. Your life would become a shelter for many others, as well.

If you and I come into this promise from our Western heritage, it’s not just a building project, but a massive archeology dig. We have a lot more dirt and rubble to remove and it could easily be a never-ending project. It’s worth it, but that may not be obvious from the start, given how so few folks around us have any appreciation for such things. Worst of all, we will be treated like some kind of traitors for leaving behind the cerebral existence. They cannot comprehend a life lived by sheer conviction without first filtering it through reason.

Your reason is not who you are. It might be the core of your existence without the Holy Spirit, but that’s not what God intended. You cannot know yourself that way and make it mean anything. You have to know yourself in that other way, based on convictions that God wrote in your heart.

So the quest remains that of finding out who you were meant to be.

01 An Elder’s Moral Covering

I’m not a leader; I’m an elder. I don’t lead; I provide moral covering.

You’ll find plenty of biblical references to the symbol of “covering for sins.” It goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden and the Fall. In their innocence, Adam and Eve had no sin to cover. Once they ate of the Forbidden Fruit, their sins were apparent to themselves and they came up with a form of covering that might be okay in the Garden, but would serve no useful purpose once they were driven out. They needed a covering that God provided, and it came at the price of blood.

The symbolism is what we are after here. It rested on symbols common throughout the Ancient Near East (ANE). Somebody has to sacrifice, to shed blood so that we can reclaim the available measure of Edenic living that God allows. It takes sacrificing whatever we think we have in this life to reclaim what we could and should have under God’s covering. Returning to Eden means facing the Flaming Sword of revelation.

He revealed that His covering includes a certain amount of sacrifice by people appointed for the role. It’s a burden that requires a strength only God can provide. For an elder, it’s not a choice. It’s a role chosen by God, though it is rather predictable. It follows established protocols.

If you observe that my life is blessed and seems like a taste of Eden, then you can grab a share of my blessing by coming under my covering. The purpose is not to boost my domain, but to justify having one in the first place. The whole purpose of moral dominion is to provide incubation for other folks who should become elders themselves. I’m propagating my blessing. I’m providing the covering you need long enough and strong enough for you to grow into that role on your own terms before the Lord.

So it’s not a permanent arrangement. And while literal progeny don’t have a lot of choice in who their first elder is, they are always free to run out from under his moral covering and face things on their own. Of course, if they simply stick around and refuse to obey, they will be punished as a means to awakening the awareness of sin’s costs. An elder cannot allow anyone to threaten the covering. Elders were empowered under the Covenant of Noah to execute those who pushed too far, too long, in threatening the covering and refusing to take their sin outside the household.

That’s a symbol of how the church was supposed to operate. It was your moral family household, never mind physical DNA. But here at Kiln of the Soul, we have to reinterpret that for the virtual world. We can’t hug, for example. And we really can’t get to know each other that well personally, though some of you have caught on how to make the most of what’s possible. So there are some of you who cling to my moral covering with a strong kinship despite the geographical distance.

It’s not possible on a purely psychological level. It only works when we share communion on a higher plane. We are trans-dimensional people. We don’t cease being humans, but we have an added component that trumps everything else about us. This alone is capable of making a virtual parish work. Without this higher faculty, there is almost nothing I can do to provide covering. But if you can tolerate what comes with embracing me as elder, then it’s a sure thing you’ll be covered under my shalom of divine moral blessings.

So I’m not here on this blog giving directions. I do set limits, but that’s the definition of covering. You can wander off as you see fit. God knows: What works for me may not work for you. Still, you’ll have to find your own dominion or suffer the loss of some of my blessings. And as long as you stay close, you’ll always be liable to suffer my sorrows, because none of us is perfect. Still, I’m hoping to see you take to your own wings sooner or later. You can keep on bringing your strength back to this virtual parish, but it means sacrificing some things in order to keep things under my covering.

In that sense, perhaps we can redefine the meaning of “leader” and “leading,” but because of the cultural baggage, I would still avoid those terms.

Some Prophetic Insight

See the bigger picture.

Consider Romans 9:14-24 and Jeremiah 18. God is the Potter; His plans and motives are inscrutable to us. But His moral character is fully revealed. If we see that a country is not obeying the Covenant of Noah, then we know it is doomed. We can analyze that country in detail and see why it is doomed, and can usually discern how the doom will come. That is, we know that God typically allows nations enough rope to hang themselves; their doom will be consistent with their sin.

From our perspective, it doesn’t matter much how a particular country came into being. God grants them all a certain space for repentance. At what point has the US ever turned to God? At what point did America repent according to Biblical Law and strive to obey? I’ve seen no evidence of it, either.

So the Lord has called me to prophecy to America of her sins and to warn of the coming doom. I will contend that what I see is not unique to me; whatever wisdom and vision I have is hardly special. All of it could and should be obvious to anyone who seeks a genuine heart of faith and conviction. Granted, an awful lot of believers are blinded by a Western bias about faith and revelation, but the remedy for that is easily found. All that I’ve written against Western intellectual assumptions can be found in other works by better writers who knew more than me. I’m hardly the only Christian scholar who knows this stuff.

On top of that, there are a great many very intelligent minds who can see that doom from an entirely secular approach. All you have to remember is their secular motives that color how they address the topic. Most of them are trying to sell something, so it’s not a matter of prophets but profits.

There is no sin in trying to profit from America’s demise. However, keeping it clean before the Lord means keeping track of how He does things. If you obey Biblical Law, then part of the shalom He has promised includes a measure of prosperity. If you are living according to His calling on your life, then by all means, exploit this situation for His glory, for therein is much profit, both moral and material.

By no means should you resist what God is doing. Try to understand what’s happening and pray accordingly. God’s wrath is upon America and she will not return to her former power and glory. Never mind what Trump says about “make America great again” — it ain’t on God’s agenda. But there are some other things God has in mind for Trump to do as a vessel for wrath. At a minimum, his election has provoked the end game. I can’t suggest to you any kind of time table, but there is no turning back. Something in this conflict between his supporters and his foes will forever destroy the system.

If you understand Noah’s Covenant, then you probably understand that centralizing government control is inherently evil. Biblical Law rests on protocols and layers of dominion. The US as it currently exists even within her own borders qualifies as an empire. In the Bible, emperors are not permitted to make laws that dig too deeply into the daily life of subjects. We see from examples on the Old Testament that a good emperor can demand tribute and some amount of direct service, to include a military draft. If he has any sense, he stops at around ten percent. In return, the emperor must provide protection from both external and internal enemies. But he cannot set detailed policy for daily life. He deals only with the existing leadership of the people — ideally kings and tribal leaders.

Thus, policy is limited to keeping trade peaceful and fair between vassals. Translate that into our context today. There is justification for education policy at all, and no justification for any kind of inheritance tax or physical property tax. There is no justification for corporations as persons to limit individual liability. There can be no impersonal shareholders, no stocks and bonds. There can be no government bureaucracy making rules and regulations, only executing them. Everything must be personal; all property must be owned under the name of an individual. And we haven’t even mentioned the issue of respect for Creation. Those are just a few examples; do you begin to see how it deals with greed and lack of accountability?

So it stands to reason that our screwed up evil system is what will implode. That’s how God’s wrath works: Whatever characterizes an evil empire as peculiar sins is what will eat it alive, and it’s what God’s wrath will correct. Thus, we should expect that there will be a catastrophic decentralization of US political power. And because the US has done so very much evil to other countries, there will be further complications too numerous to mention here.

If you understand what draws God’s ire, you can estimate where His wrath falls. There are people and agendas that will fight tooth and nail to keep the evil centralizing going, trying to make it even worse. Those will suffer. So for example, Trump’s presidency will open the path for the destruction of both the globalists and imperialists. Within your calling and mission from God, if you see a chance to exploit and profit from that situation, jump right in. Otherwise, try not to stand too close to any of it when it implodes.

I reiterate my personal conviction that we need not fear an apocalypse. The national system can break down without destroying everything you know. It will be rough in some ways — it has to be. But there’s no reason to think life support will come to a screeching halt. Your local and state governments will vary widely in their response to the way stuff changes, so you’ll have to stay nimble. Make certain in your own heart that you are already where God wants you, then pray and keep your eyes open for what comes.