Monthly Archives: April 2011

Get Ready! The Prophets Are Coming! (Part 1)

The syndicated Harley-Davidson talk radio show aired on Monday through Friday afternoons from the Hearst Building on the corner of Third and Market Streets. Harley Irving and Vince Davidson ranted about politics, sports, religion and whatever struck their fancy on their top-rated West Coast talk program. Seven million people tuned-in as they drove their vehicles home from work.

The program on the day after Jeremiah’s second visit to City Hall bubbled over with more spirit than usual, even by Harley-Davidson’s outrageous standards.

“If you haven’t heard this clip from yesterday’s supervisors’ board meeting, it’ll make your teeth shiver. Roll it,” said Harley, a three hundred and seventy-five pound chocolate milkshake, cheeseburger and fries aficionado.

A two minute tape played Jeremiah’s prophetic words and his exchange with C. M. Thurston. No editing had been done to it because all of the chamber’s noisy reactions could be heard.

“What do you think, Davidson?” said Harley, pointing at his skinny partner with coke-bottle lens glasses, balancing on his nose.

Davidson grunted into the microphone.

“As our audience knows, I’m hardly ever a fan of Supervisor Thurston,” he said. “But this De Luz guy is dangerous. He believes he can speak for God? Sort of reminds me of Jim Jones.”

“Jim Jones, huh? I didn’t think of that connection – but you’re right. Jones was the pastor of the People’s Temple right here in San Francisco. He called himself a prophet, didn’t he? Even got involved in politics, Mayor Moscone gave him a seat on the Housing Authority and – ”

Davidson cut him off.

“No matter how you shuffle the cards, Prophet Jones’ claim to fame is that he convinced more than nine hundred people to commit suicide in Jonestown,Guyana, on November 18, 1978. Nice prophet, right?”

“So, what’s the low-down on this prophet stuff?” said Harley.

“Glad you asked,” said Davidson as if answering on cue. “Today, we have a guest who will shed some light on prophets. Reverend Elmer Jasnowski is a doctor of theology and a professor at Stanford University.” Davidson paused a beat, then said, “Rev. Jasnowski, welcome to the Harley-Davidson Show.”

“Thank you, it’s a privilege to be here,” said a booming baritone voice.

“So, Reverend, can you give us a little background on prophets?” said Harley.

“Yes, I can,” said Rev. Jasnowski. “Throughout the Old Testament, God spoke to Israel mainly through kings, priests and prophets. The prophets were generally not a part of the temple hierarchy and were sort of the lone wolves of their day. They received a message from God and then delivered it. Often, the message was not received well by listeners. Generally, it ran counter to the beliefs at the time and – ”

Harley interrupted to make a point.

“So, De Luz could be a prophet, right? Seeing that his views run counter to what we think here in the Bay Area.”

“It depends.”

“Depends on what?” said Davidson.

“It depends on what camp of Christianity you follow.” Rev. Jasnowski went on. “Let me add a little more background before I get into that, okay?”

“Sure,” said Harley.

“Did you know the Lord Himself was perceived as a prophet in His day? He was; and also, New Testament scripture states the Lord gave the church prophets, along with apostles, evangelists, pastors and teachers, when He ascended into heaven. A few examples of prophets in the New Testament are John the Baptist, Silas and Judas. Now, this is where it gets kind of tricky.”

“How so?” said Harley.

“Ah, you see, we have two extremes in Christianity. At the one end are the Cessationists. This group believes prophecy and the miraculous gifts were only given to the early church as launching pads for the spread of the gospel. Then, when the last apostle died and the New Testament was written, the gifts died out. At the other extreme are the Pentecostals. They are – ”

“Nuts and wackos,” piped in Davidson, finishing Jasnowski’s sentence. “I know. I really do! You want to know how I know? My sister-in-law is a tongue-talking weirdo. She’s always bugging me.”

Reverend Jasnowski laughed.

“The Pentecostals believe the miraculous gifts and the callings of apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor and teacher are still valid for today’s Christianity. They believe spiritual gifts reappeared with the Azusa Street Revival in 1906.”

“So, what are your beliefs about De Luz and prophets as a whole?” asked Harley.

“I’m like most Christians – middle of the road, not at one extreme or the other,” said Jasnowski. “We have the Holy Spirit. A complete Bible. Good churches. Pastors and theologians. Good seminaries. So, why does God need prophets? Plus, there is one other point.”

“Yes, go on,” said Davidson.

“God has a church government set in place with the pastor as the head,” said Jasnowski. “So, if God really wants to speak, He’d do it through pastors, not some unknown, untrained man without any accountability to a local pastor in San Francisco. After all, things must be done properly and in an orderly manner.”

“So, you sound sure we don’t need to worry about De Luz and his words?” said Harley.

“Fairly sure.”

“What percentage is fairly sure?” asked Davidson, pinning the theologian down.

“Ninety-nine point eight percent sure,” said Jasnowski.

Harley blew out a monstrous sigh into the microphone.

“As my daddy used to say, ‘the fastest horse doesn’t always win the race, but that’s how I’d bet my money.’ And, folks, I’m betting that Rev. Jasnowski is correct on this one.”

(This is an excerpt from my soon to be published book, Jonah.)  

(Continued in Part 2)        


Filed under Christianity

But First


It was only a dream, but it seemed so real.

I was standing on a starting line, ready to run some type of race. Off to my left was a man dressed in a long white robe, wearing leather sandals on his feet. His dark beard and long hair framed his bronze colored face. He had a starter’s gun in his hand.

He nodded at me. “Are you ready?” he asked.

I pulled my red track shorts up, yanked my white athletic tee-shirt out of my shorts for more freedom of movement and checked to see if my shoestrings were tied tightly on my Nike running shoes. Everything seemed ready. I nodded.

“Now remember,” he said, “you need to go as fast as you can. This is a timed race. You only have a limited amount of time to finish it, okay?”

I looked over the race course. In the distance, I saw the end point. There were finances, healings, deliverances, miracles, wonders, peace and joy just beyond the finish line. But between the starting line and the finish line was an obstacle course. Posts sticking out of the ground. Fences. Brick walls. Quicksand pits. Mud bogs. Trees. Rivers. Water falls. Railroad tracks. Highways. Tunnels. Dangerous cliffs. Fortunately, a narrow path wound its way back and forth through the course. It looked easy enough to me – just stay on the path and run as fast as I could.

I nodded to him

“Get ready.”

I got down on my haunches.

“Get set.”

I rose up into a sprinter’s position. My feet were set to slingshot my body forward.

Then, he said, “But first, you’ll need this.”

He walked over and covered my eyes with a black blindfold. Not one ray of light touched my eyes. It was perfectly dark – I could not see a thing.

“Now, don’t forget, you need to go as fast as you can.”

Behind me, I heard some whispering, a very quiet voice speaking something or other. I paid no attention to it.


I took off like an Olympic sprinter, running as fast as I could.

BAM! I hit a post and fell to the ground. My nose felt like it was broken, blood was gushing from it. I could feel the wetness soaking through my tee-shirt. It hurt so much that I wanted to just lay there and quit.

The dark haired starter walked over and stood over me. “Now don’t forget this is a timed race. You need to run as fast as you can,” he said.

I struggled to my feet. As I did, I heard the same quiet voice speaking some words behind me. But once again, I paid no attention to it and took off running.

YUCK! I fell into a quicksand pit and found myself sinking under some glop. The more I flailed my arms and legs, the faster I sank. Soon, the sandy goop was up to my neck and not far from my nose.

“Help me, Lord,” I shouted.

Somehow, I floated over to the edge and crawled out of the pit. I laid there. It was all I could do to catch my breath from the physical all-out effort of trying to survive the ordeal. I wanted to quit.

“Don’t forget. This is a timed race; you need to go as fast as you can!” the man exclaimed.

Why I stood up, I don’t know. Maybe, I am a glutton for punishment or possibly I am a modern day Don Quixote looking for futile endeavors to engage in. I brushed the sand off my legs and attempted to clean off my shoes. As I did this, I once more heard what sounded like soft whispers in the background. But again, I ignored them.

My sense of direction was completely turned around. However, I gave it the old college try and just took off running,

SPLASH! I fell into a deep river with fast-moving waters rushing over me. The hurtling rapids sent me flying downstream in a haphazard manner, smashing my body against rocks and floating logs. When I tried to swim toward either shore, my body was battered by the full force of the current and flung about like a rag doll in a typhoon.

“Lord, help me!” I exclaimed.

My hand reached out and grasped a tree limb. I pulled myself across the stream, hand over hand on the limb and climbed up onto the shore. I vomited water from my lungs. This was the end. I couldn’t take anymore.

As I sat there, I heard the quiet voice whispering to me. This time I gave it my full attention and listened. “Stand up,” the voice said.

I obeyed it.

“Okay, now turn to your right ninety degrees.”

Again, I obeyed.

“Walk four steps and stop.”

I stood waiting for the next command.

“Turn forty-five degrees to your left.”

I obeyed.

“You went too far. Turn to your right five degrees.”

I adjusted myself in accordance with the instructions.

“Walk ten steps forward and wait.”

After I had walked ten steps, I stopped. “Won’t this take a long time to finish this obstacle course?” I said.

The quiet voice laughed. “My way is the fastest route through the obstacle course. However, you can always choose to return to your running blindly methods, but as you know, that can be painful. So, what do you want to do?” the voice said.

“Lord, what’s your next instruction?” I said.

Then, I woke up with a scripture verse on my mind:

Your own ears will hear Him. Right behind you a voice will say, “This is the way you should go,” whether to the right or to the left. (Isaiah 30:21 NLT) 

(This is a short story excerpt from my upcoming book, Deceived Dead and Delivered. )   


Filed under Christianity