Hey everyone, sorry for the long wait since the last post. The reason has been that I’ve been putting together a new website! From now on all my posts will be over there, so switch you’re bookmarks!
7 One person pretends to be rich, yet has nothing;
another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth.
20 Walk with the wise and become wise,
for a companion of fools suffers harm.
21 Trouble pursues the sinner,
but the righteous are rewarded with good things.
22 A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children,
but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous.
Jesus himself said that the poor will always be with you. I think that statement would depress many people who dream of a world without poverty. Depress, or offend I suppose. In our cultural religion of Humanism defeating poverty is a major goal. Our government spends and plans copiously in the hope of fixing poverty, and our universities are full of theories and dreams. I think many in our culture would have a problem with what Jesus said.
But scripture is very clear that it’s a person’s sin and foolishness that lead him into poverty. Our culture likes to fixate on oppression as the cause for poverty, but though scripture acknowledges the effects of oppression, it does not judge it as the main culprit. Therefore policies that support wealth redistribution do not treat the root causes of poverty and so only delay true healing. The main principle is this: wisdom causes riches to increase, foolishness causes them to decrease.
It’s time we as a people stopped blaming others for the troubles that come upon the poor. Stop blaming the rich, the oppressors, the callous, etc etc. I’m not saying oppression doesn’t exist. I’m saying true wealth, both physical and spiritual, comes through wisdom and righteousness, and that despite oppression. Blaming others for one’s problems is a key sign of a poverty spirit, which is the very mentality that keeps one in poverty. To support policies and theories that reinforce the culture of blame is to help hold people in poverty.
Take note that the bible advocates riches so that one can be generous, not so one can spend on selfish pleasures. I’m not saying money = righteousness, only that there is a correlation. Having money is only a manifestation of having riches. The righteousness is the wealth, the money is only one manifestation of it. Likewise, the wealth of the wicked fades quickly, but the righteous establish culture that causes their money and that of their children to continually grow.
Being generous to the poor is essential, not because your generosity will make them rich, but because it will inspire them to wisdom. When we treat money as being less valuable than generosity (a form of righteousness) we impart an understanding that can bring true wealth.
To really understand something you must see the big picture. Don’t let political and economic “experts” confuse you with statistics and esoteric knowledge. The reasons why the American economy will probably have a major collapse in the near future are simple and easy to understand.
As a nation we are in huge debt. We bring in $2.2 trillion in tax revenue each year. our actual debt is probably around $100 trillion when you count social security, medicare, and all the stuff that they don’t include in the official national debt total (this article puts it at $200 trillion). Simply put: we have a very small chance of actually being able to pay off this debt.
How did we get into this mess? Keynesian economics. Keynesian economics is basically the idea that the government should mess with the markets by “stimulating” the economy to make it more efficient (avoid cycles of boom and recession). The problem is that government can’t actually create money with which to “stimulate” the economy. Any money it has has to be taken from the economy, or borrowed from another source. So in essence the government takes money (through taxation or borrowing) and then redistributes it (horribly) through entitlements, government jobs, handouts, or temporary tax breaks. The problem is all that “stimulation” hasn’t done jack; it’s only a completely short-term (and short-sighted) solution.
For further explanation of Keynesian economics: http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/are-we-all-keynesians-now/
The Obama (edit: and Bush) administrations have taken this “stimulation” to a whole different level with all the TARP/bailout/stimulus stuff. We have spent more in inflation-adjusted dollars than at any other point in our nations history, including both World Wars combined. It’s a completely different animal than before at this point. Contrary to propaganda, none of it was necessary. The markets would have corrected themselves through a good recession and we’d be making good economic progress at this point. Recessions are important to keep an economy healthy. They basically punish you when you act fiscally irresponsible. By fending off a recession at all costs, this administration (with help from the last one) has all but ensured a complete collapse. As a parental analogy, rather than spank the child, we’ve allowed it to become a full-bore criminal who’s headed for serious jail time.
Ben Bernanke, our Federal Reserve Chairman, is a die-hard Keynesian who has been ***wrong about pretty much everything***. Again, Keynesian economics works in the short term, but at the expense of long term economic health.
And the reason is simple. The bible is full of economic advice that we’ve ignored. Save, don’t go in to debt, budget well, don’t put money first, and above all know that God is the source of all lasting wealth. Our culture has stepped away from all of these principles. We encourage deficit spending, for our government and for our people (to “stimulate” the economy). We’ve fudged numbers for political purposes. And we’ve trusted in money rather than God for our happiness.
Stimulating the economy is easy by the way. Make it easy for entrepreneurs to create new businesses! This is how wealth is added to a culture. Protect them from frivolous lawsuits (and lawyers in general). Do not give in to over-regulation. Do not punish the risk-takers with high tax burdens. Do not take on the mandate to redistribute wealth. That’s folly and arrogance for a government to think that it can do that. Scripture is clear that as a principle the wise will increase in wealth while the wicked will always be in financial trouble. And you’re going to fix that through tax policies? Leave charity to the charitable and encourage that virtue rather than selfish consumerism! Let Americans help Americans by choice and out of love.
As I’ve said before this is a culture issue. Our culture has turned from godly principles to a human wisdom. Because of that there is no easy fix. There is hope for a turning, but at this point I believe the hope is slim-to-none of avoiding an economic collapse. Therefore prepare for it. Have stores of food and water. Turn some of your investments to precious metals and/or other commodities. And remember, this is not the end of the world. In every crisis there is opportunity. And here is an opportunity for America (and many other cultures) to embrace humility and turn to God. For us who are in the Kingdom, this Kingdom cannot be shaken regardless of what happens to America. This will be a great opportunity for us to free ourselves of ungodly influences and pursue the Lord with more devotion. And that makes me truly excited.
As I talked about in the Debt Ceiling post, America is becoming increasingly divided between right and left. The more accurate reality is that the whole country has been moving to the left and because of that those on the right are becoming more vocal than they were before. America has traditionally been right of center as a whole, and this for one reason: pulpits.
Our nation’s Christian heritage ensured that most Americans were taught every Sunday concerning what the bible said about life, including politics. The failure of the Church in recent times, however, has caused a mass exodus of Americans from that source of influence. Meanwhile Christians retreated from education, media, and entertainment because of false eschatology that taught us to view our mission as “holding on” until Christ’s return. Those influence centers now are dominated by liberal humanistic cultures. Today, the children of America are not taught in Sunday School; they are trained increasingly by Media and Arts, which are supported by Academia. Academia serves as the source of legitimacy. But it’s the Arts that truly influence a culture at the heart-level.
Specifically I’m talking about movies and music. The influence of these mediums cannot be overstated. Most are completely unaware of how much they are influenced by these sources, but they are. I’ll put it this way. Everyday companies spend millions of dollars on advertising. You see that Coca-Cola label about five times a day, so when you go to Safeway and look down the aisles Coke becomes the “default” choice. You understand you have a choice, but because of advertising, Coke becomes the product you choose against.
Today Humanism is that default choice. It’s what “everyone is doing”. It’s not actually, but because we are bombarded by Humanistic messages through Media, Arts, and Academia we get the sense that we who think otherwise are in the minority. “You believe in spirits? You must be crazy.” Do you understand that most people in the world believe in a spiritual or supernatural realm? Even in America there is a large portion of the population that believes in one also. And yet we become intimidated to believe such things or struggle with doubt because of the “advertising” of Artists, Journalists, and Professors.
In addition these professions are tightly controlled systems which requires that aspirants conform themselves before they are accepted. If you want to be a writer or director in Hollywood you have to sell your soul to become one – literally. They are, for the most part, demonically controlled. If you want to be a professor at a top university you will find yourself bombarded by pressure to conform to a Humanist mindset. So we either abandon hope for the fields ’cause we can’t get in, or we conform ourselves to their standards. Neither is acceptable.
We must create our own. The Lord has told me that if the Church is to arise in this age we must embrace an entrepreneurial mindset. We must create our own businesses, schools, entertainment industry, news outlets. We must build them according to Kingdom principles, understanding the purpose of these different aspects of the Kingdom.
Let me give an example. Today most of our entertainment is designed to distract humanity from its true purpose. We all know that. We know that when we sit down to watch TV or a movie or play a game we are essentially wasting our time. I loved video games so much when I was younger that I seriously considered going into the industry and helping create video games. I couldn’t get over the nagging belief though that I would be helping children destroy their lives. Which would have been true, if I had entered that industry without the understanding of how to create games that would actually bless people. And I don’t mean cheesy Christianese substitute crap that we have right now. We must find the purpose of what we call “entertainment”.
Here’s an idea. I want Christian movie makers to make movies that would show what life in the age to come will be like. What heaven really is like. Not clouds and harps! What the spiritual realm really is like. I would LOVE a movie that portrayed any of these things with real revelation. I would be highly entertained and I would be spurred to live rightly now because of my increased understanding of what is to come. Someone please seek God for revelation on these things and then make a movie!
Many Christians wrestle with whether God has really called them to enter these fields because it’s so hard to get a job in one of the them. That’s because they are demonically controlled! Don’t try to fit in to those systems! You must create your own! I’m talking about real sacrifice, real commitment, real purpose. Lay down your life for the mission of God! Risk poverty! Work for peanuts! Spend your life on a worthy calling. don’t sell out by getting a business or law degree when God hasn’t called you to! Or worse yet get a job in your industry that requires you bow down to Humanism. We must embrace the power God has given us to Create the systems, the organizations, the companies, the projects that we need to do his work.
We need 1. Real revelation on how our industry is SUPPOSED to function in the Kingdom of God. 2. The belief that we can create it ourselves.
As a last point I’ll say this. Our churches have overemphasized evangelism. Blasphemy! haha. I say that because we haven’t known the alternative. Most Christians I know in the work place have only the vision to make money for the church and evangelize to their friends. What a PISS POOR VISION. I’ve had that vision too. It’s bull. There’s so much more than evangelism and money. Please, evangelize! But recognize that more people are leaving our churches than coming in, and it’s because the FULL understanding of the Kingdom of God and all it entails, the mandate to disciple nations and not just individuals, has not been fully understood. As Christians we have come to overemphasize the work of the church (organization) at the expense of the Church, which is the body of Christ fulfilling it’s true purpose in the earth. We don’t need you bringing your friends to church, we need you living fully alive so your friends want to be like you! We don’t need your money so we can build multi-million dollar buildings that we use one day a week. We need Christians living in a full sense of purpose ALL THE TIME.
The great divide in the Church is not between Liberal and Conservative, Charismatic and Cessationist, Old and Young, Baptist and Presbyterian, Catholic and Protestant. These differences matter little compared to the great division.
The great division is between the Passionate and the Lukewarm. The growing and the dying. Between the forceful and the passive. There is no theological substitute for passion. It is love manifest. It is living desire. There is no maturity one can have to excuse apathy. Zeal without knowledge is foolish, but knowledge without zeal is a pit from which it is nearly impossible to escape. It is the religion of the dead.
We live in war. We were born into it. To be ignorant is to be dead already. The Kingdom of God is forcefully advancing and forceful men lay hold of it. We must take hold of that for which Christ took hold of us. We have purpose! A Kingdom to be won. There is no peaceful expansion. We take our eternal rewards violently, and from a determined Enemy. There is no final rest this side of death.
edit: Glory: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=–JiiuJNvt4
Everyone following the news at this point knows that there is a major fight going on in Congress right now. Democrats and Republicans are at odds over raising our debt ceiling. Obama has warned of a serious crisis if the debt ceiling is not raised, and yet Republicans are refusing to budge. The reason for this is that in the last Congressional election a wave of Tea Party fiscal conservatives were voted in that have pledged to stand firm on the issue of national debt. And they are. Democrats want to cut spending a little, and increase taxes. Republicans want to cut spending a little more and not raise taxes.
The media is portraying the fight as Republicans engaging in a dangerous game of brinksmanship to extract political concessions to protect rich constituents from paying more taxes. But that’s not what’s going on. The reality is that we’re already in a crisis. Our national credit cards are maxed. The only issue is whether we will take serious action to fix the mess, or will we let it all come crashing down one day soon. Drastic fiscal action is our only hope. Serious spending cuts. That’s the *only* hope. (We cannot cure a debt problem by increasing debt, which is what raising the debt ceiling would be doing!) Everything else is just pushing doomsday back and making it worse when it comes.
The fight over the debt ceiling is a symptom of a much larger issue. At this point in our history Republicans and Democrats loosely represent two widely different world views. The division in Congress exists because there is an increasing division in the American people. It is Humanism vs. Christianity on the political field.
A CNN/ORC International Poll taken July 18 through 20 found that only 34% of respondents backed only spending cuts, while 64% said the budget plans must including a mix of spending cuts and tax increases.
“(Polls show) that more people right now trust President Obama than the House Republicans on both the issue of the debt and the deficit,” said Ron Brownstein, CNN senior political analyst and editorial director at The National Journal.
That’s the real issue right now. Most people in America think tax increases are the right move. They see this as a relatively small problem that can be dealt with. Most people see the Republicans as the foolish ones, flirting with financial collapse just to save rich people from paying their fair share. It’s this deception in our national culture that is causing this crisis, and there is no easy fix to that. America is drifting from a biblical world view. Our money is stamped “In God We Trust” but the truth is that at this point we no longer do as a nation. Our devotion to God’s word was what enabled the prosperity we enjoy today. Our departure from it will have consequences. A shaking is coming and the wise will prepare for it. I love America but my allegiance is to a Kingdom that cannot be shaken.
If you have not seen this message concerning America’s economy, go watch it: http://www.god.tv/node/2401
Here’s another source from Ron Paul: http://www.youtube.com/user/ronpaul?v=UUNIeOB0whI&feature=pyv#p/a/u/1/h6joI9TAjV0
The word the Lord gave me for America is Isaiah 59 (and then 60). The corruption of justice (our eroding moral character) resulting in the shedding of innocent blood (abortion) is sowing a judgment that will come due. The only hope is for the Church to come out of it’s lukewarmness and to be the light. I believe a shaking will come. In that shaking the Church has the potential to mature quickly. If we respond rightly we can arise as a new leadership to lead America and many other countries into the destiny the Lord has for them.
7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul;
The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;
8 The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes;
9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold,
Yea, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
11 Moreover by them Your servant is warned,
And in keeping them there is great reward.
12 Who can understand his errors?
Cleanse me from secret faults.
13 Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins;
Let them not have dominion over me.
Then I shall be blameless,
And I shall be innocent of great transgression.
14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable in Your sight,
O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer.
<—-*wow a pic!*
The bible is clear that wisdom is more valuable than money. I truly believe that. If I was handing out $100 dollar bills I’d have hordes of people chasing me. The truth is that I’m offering better. I’m offering direction to wisdom that no amount of money could buy you. In our times we have almost unlimited access to information – the trick is finding the most valuable kind. It’s out there; it’s just hard to find in all the garbage. If you are a Christian, listen to me and take in some of this stuff. I know there’s tons of good stuff out there, but I’m trying to point out some of the best here.
Just going through all these resources would probably take you years, so I’ve put the stuff I really recommend in ***stars*** check those out first if you have not had a chance to.
1. Music – IHOP music is really the most anointed, dynamic stuff out there right now IMO. There’s plenty of quality music highlighting basic Christian truths, but right now IHOP is highlighting prophetically significant revelation to our generation in a creative way. you can find it here: http://store.ihop.org/store/
2. Online reading – Rick Joyner’s word for the week is awesome. I’ve read it for years religiously. There might be a more wise person on the earth than Rick Joyner, but I have never heard him. He combines an incredible storehouse of wisdom with exact prophetic timing. Several times in my life these studies have been prophetic barometers for me. I find myself going through something, and next thing you know the Word for the Week will address that very thing. You can find all of them here:
3. Video Sermons – Mike Bickle has amazing notes to go along with all his sermons, which are great. I consider his “judgment seat” sermon series to be *must watch* to our generation right now. You can find that series here: ***http://mikebickle.org/resources/series/the-judgment-seat-of-christ***, and the rest of his stuff here: http://mikebickle.org/
For a prophetic perspective of current times, look at Morningstar’s stuff: http://www.morningstartv.com/prophetic-perspective-current-events rick is not the most dynamic speaker (it’s a little slow/boring) but the content is great for understanding our current times.
I’ll also put a special mention to Francis Chan’s “Lukewarm and Loving it” sermon. I think this is must-watch. *We* are lukewarm and it MUST change. ***http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBhqrtMqrv8***
4. Audio Sermons – This is the biggest and most useful category i think. Put them on your ipod, listen in your car or when you run, etc. Just get it in you
Bill Johnson - http://www.ibethel.org/podcast This is a great resource to start with. Great teaching, awesome culture.
Chuck Missler is an awesome bible teacher. For illumination on specific texts in scripture, for in-depth analysis, check out his library of resources here: http://www.blueletterbible.org/audio_video/comm_author.cfm?AuthorID=21&l=1
5. Books – There are too many great ones to name. I think ***Final Quest*** by Rick Joyner is a must-read for every believer. After that take your pick. Bill Johnson, Robert Morris, John Piper. there’s a ton