Tag Archives: San Francisco

Spiritual Warfare in San Francisco (Part 9)

Seven weeks later, on the first Sunday in February, the sun shone brightly. But we natives knew the weather can change quickly so I carried an umbrella with me as I walked to a local Starbucks. I ordered a large coffee and sat down in an easy chair, which was part of a four-chair setting, surrounding a large round coffee table. The other chairs were empty.

A copy of the Sunday Chronicle lay in the middle of the table. I picked it up and scanned the front page. A bold headline, “Are Christians Acting Crazy Again,” captured my eyes. I thumbed through the newspaper’s pages until I found the full article.

The journalist replayed the words of Bob and the three computer programmers in the telling of a possible nuclear catastrophe occurring in San Francisco. He contrasted the actions with what Christians were doing and saying with what Harold Camping and his zealots did a few years earlier.

Camping’s followers believed his doomsday prophecies, too. They quit their jobs, wasted their money, and then nothing happened. Although the zealots felt the pain of losing everything, their total financial affect on America amounted to less than a drop of water in the Pacific Ocean.

This time was different.

The article estimated 40,000 Christian families packed up and left San Francisco. A few, like Bob, sold their homes and their businesses at deep discounts, but most were less fortunate. The sheer glut of homes dropping onto the real estate and rental markets depressed housing prices in the city almost overnight.

Even more than that, 40,000 Christian families amounted to an estimated total of 156,000 people or 20% of the city’s population. The numbers further broke down into 60,000 job losses, $1.8 billion of gross income losses, and $400 million of tax losses for the city. The losses had already begun to fuel layoffs at schools and retail stores. The Christians shredded San Francisco’s economy into pieces by their mass departures.

“What do you think of the article about the Christians?”

I lowered the paper and looked at a middle-aged woman with green eyes sitting in a chair across from me. Her deep voice did not match her petite shape and thin lips. Although not beautiful, her face had an alluring radiance about it.

“I don’t know what to think,” I replied.

“Do you think God will destroy San Francisco because the city cares about gays and lesbians?”

I shrugged.

“Good question.”

“Or do you think God is just mean?”

“I don’t know.”

“Well, I do.”

“Really?”

“Yes, I do,” she said, moving forward in her seat. “God is a God of love. He loves gays and lesbians. He loves people. He would never allow San Francisco to be bombed. Those fundamentalists are so deceived…they just make me want to scream.”

I laughed.

“My name is Jackson Edwards. What’s yours?”

“Holly Brightman.”

“Do you always get so worked up over fundamentalist Christians?”

“Yes, I do. My dad pastored a fundamentalist church forty years ago. I’ve listened to a thousand sermons about how God is always angry with sinners. It wasn’t until I attended Berkeley that I learned there are progressive Christians who understand God is a God of love.”

“Sounds interesting.”

She looked at her watch and jumped up.

“I have to go. I have a meeting at 9, but maybe we’ll see each other again,” she said, waving her hand and heading toward the door.

I watched her leave, wishing I had asked for her phone number.

Talk radio, TV, and other media ranted about the newspaper article over the next week and how San Francisco’s citizens were left holding the bag because of the Christians’ departure. Politicians jumped into the fray, adding their two bit’s worth. Some even advocated bills not allowing new churches to be opened in the Bay Area.

Everyone had an opinion about the Christians and why they left San Francisco.

(Excerpt from Deceived Dead and Delivered by Larry Nevenhoven, © 2013, Amazon eBook)

Would God ever ask every Christian to leave San Francisco, or for that matter, any city? Has He ever done that?

In 68 AD, a prophecy warned every Christian to leave Jerusalem and they did. Two years later, Jerusalem was destroyed by the Roman army under General Titus. The Romans slaughtered one million Jews.

(Continued in Part 10…the full series to date  can be read here.)

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Spiritual Warfare in San Francisco (Part 8)

God looked at Adam and saw that he needed a helper, a person providing him assistance and support in good times or bad. The person who God created to help Adam was like the first man, but different. She was a woman.

Adam and Eve then became God’s pattern for humans. God blessed the first couple and gave them His plan for mankind —

“Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over living thing that moves on earth. See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food.” (Genesis 1:28-29)

God’s plan for mankind was given to a couple: a husband (male) and wife (female) team, not to two men or two women. 

Satan also knew God’s plan for mankind. The evil one understood that if man and woman followed God’s plan, mankind would continue to be blessed forever and ever by God. Satan’s desires to be like the Most High would then never happen.  So, he had to do something to further his ambitions, but what?

From experience, Satan knew he could not defeat God, but he also knew God would not put up with the sin of rebellion. His plan was simple: deceive Adam and Eve into rebelling against God.

“You will not surely die…you will be like God…” (Genesis 3:4-5)

Eve saw the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was good for fruit, it was pleasant to her eyes, and she desired it.  She took the fruit and ate it.

Adam watched Eve eat the fruit and noticed she didn’t die. He then ate the forbidden fruit, too.

Rebellion!

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience (Ephesians 2:1-2)

 

The Bible – from Genesis to Revelation – is a heterosexual book. Period.  And where homosexuality is mentioned in God’s Word, it’s referred to as being immoral and sinful. God’s revealed plans for a married couple – a man and a woman – is that they will “be fruitful and multiply…and have dominion over the whole earth.”

So, what is God’s revealed plans for same-sex couples or gays or lesbians?

Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality…I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19, 21)

Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:19)

For a person to “not inherit the kingdom of God” or to be known as the “least in the kingdom of heaven” for all of Eternity is a horrendous ending for a human, especially a believer. I don’t claim to know how this will affect salvations, but what if gay believers end up in the outer reaches of heaven? So then, the little bit of light they have, may seem like darkness, causing them to end up weeping and gnashing their teeth?

Not a happy thought, right?

Sadly, the same Satan who deceived Eve and caused Adam to rebel in the Garden of Eden is the one who speaks to the minds of gays, saying, “God is a God of love and as long as you’re in love with your partner, there’s no problem. After all, didn’t He create you this way?”

And as soon as a gay sins, Satan stands before God, accusing the gay, saying, “He has broken Your word, according to Leviticus 20:13, and deserves to die.”

How long can we believers ignore how the kingdom of darkness has imprisoned gays in their sins? Some of whom are believers who have been bought with the blood of the Lamb?

What can we do?

(The above is taken from my 9-part series, “If We Just Ignore Gays, They’ll Go Away, Right?” The full series can be read here.)

(Continued in Part 9…the full series to date  can be read here.)

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Spiritual Warfare in San Francisco (Part 7)

King Nebuchadnezzar reigned over Babylon (605 – 562 BC) and defeated all of his many enemies, including Assyria and Judah. The powerful king was a ruthless, ambitious ruler, but in 582 BC, he had a dream that frightened him.

Nebuchadnezzar called for his magicians, enchanters, astrologers, and fortune tellers to come to his court and interpret the dream for him. They could not do it.

Then, the king called for Daniel (also known as Belteshazzar in the Babylonian language). Daniel came and interpreted the dream by saying that the king would be driven from his throne by a unique madness, live in the fields, eat grass with the animals for seven years, and remain that way until King Nebuchadnezzar understood that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom He chooses. 

Daniel then said:

“Therefore, O king, may my advice be pleasing to you: break away now from your sins by doing righteousness and from your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor, in case there may be a prolonging of your prosperity.” (Daniel 4:27)

The prophet Daniel’s advice to the king mirrored the words of John the Baptist and Paul the Apostle when both said, “Repent, turn to God, and perform deeds in keeping with your repentance.” 

Daniel did not guarantee that King Nebuchadnezzar would be able to avoid God’s judgment by following his advice, but felt God might lessen His judgment against Nebuchadnezzar if the king repented.

Of course, we know by reading the rest of the Daniel Chapter 4 that Nebuchadnezzar turned a deaf ear to Daniel’s advice and went through a seven-year judgment, but in the end the king said:

Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, for all his works are right and his ways are just; and those who walk in pride he is able to humble. (Daniel 4:37)

I believe the city of San Francisco is now in the same position as Nebuchadnezzar when Daniel spoke his prophecy and advice to him.

(Continued in Part 8…the full series to date  can be read here.)

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Spiritual Warfare in San Francisco (Part 6)

 

A Paraphrase of a Paraphrase

Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, but early the next morning He was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and He sat down and taught them. As He was speaking, a crowd of Evangelicals and their pastors brought a man who had been caught in the act of homosexuality. They put him in front of the crowd and before Jesus.

“Teacher,” the Evangelicals said to Jesus, “this man was caught in the act of homosexuality with another man. The Law of Moses says he must be killed because homosexuality is an abomination. What do You say?”

The Evangelicals were trying to get Him to say something they could use for their cultural and political arguments, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with His finger. They kept demanding an answer, so He stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” Then He stooped down again and wrote in the dust.

When the Evangelical accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the man. Then Jesus stood up again and said to the man, “Where are your Evangelical accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”

“No, Lord,” he said.

And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go.” (Paraphrase based on John 8:2-11 NLT)

The Law of Moses required the death of adulterers and homosexuals. So my paraphrase is not off the mark in a biblical sense. Yet it is in error because of my omission of the last four words Jesus said at the end of verse 11: and sin no more.

This omission is where the spiritual battle is being fought in San Francisco and in the rest of America.

(Continued in Part 6…the full series to date  can be read here.)

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Spiritual Warfare in San Francisco (Part 5)

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)

Because of space-time continuum thinking, it’s hard to wrap our minds around the simple truth that God, the Son, and the Holy Spirit never had a beginning. They always were and always will be.

This simple truth is the foundation for all of our Christian faith and belief in God. It is one which cannot be partially accepted, but must be believed in whole, in order for us to have a vibrant faith in God. Anything less than 100% on this truth will create doubts which will limit the work of God in our lives.

Okay, assuming we all accept this simple truth, how did God create the heavens and the earth?

   Then God said, “Let there be light; and there was light.” (Genesis 1:3)

For years, I figured God spoke His words, wiggled His nose, much like Samantha on the TV program, Bewitchedand then presto, light and all the rest of creation appeared on the scene. But there are other scriptures which give us a better glimpse of how God created the heavens and earth.

 Bless the LORD, you His angels, mighty in strength, who perform His word, obeying the voice of His word! (Psalm 103:20)

The English word angel is translated from the Hebrew word malak which actually means messenger, representative, or deputy. Therefore, God has deputy helpers who perform His words.

The Bible gives names for three angels: Gabriel, Michael, and Lucifer.

Gabriel (strength of God or warrior of God) is an archangel who was sent as a messenger with important messages for humans, such as Daniel, Zacharias (John the Baptist’s father), and Mary.

Michael (who is like God) is a chief archangel, a protector of Israel, and the leader of God’s heavenly angel army.

Lucifer (light bearer or morning star) was also a chief archangel.  In Jude 9, Michael still respected Lucifer’s high level of authority, even though he had fallen and was now known as Satan.

Okay, now let’s do some digging.

  For He has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to   angels. (Hebrews 2:5)

For whatever reasons, God set up our present world to be in subjection to angels or under an angelic form of governmental system. God created this system to be obedient to His words, but obviously, angels have a free will, much like humans do. Sadly, the system was corrupted with Adam’s fall in the Garden of Eden.

Yet, God being true to His own system had the Law brought to man under the direction of angels.

Now, the idea of creating man and man’s home here on earth was always in God’s heart. It was His highest priority as He longed to share His love and fellowship with other beings. And it’s only natural to assume that His angels all knew about the importance of earth and how a being called man would eventually fit into God’s plan for His kingdom on earth.

So, who did God choose to be His chief angel over earth?

You [Satan] were in Eden, the garden of God… (Ezekiel 28:13)

You [Satan] were the anointed cherub who covers, and I placed you there. You        were on the holy mountain of God; you walked in the midst of the stones of fire.       (Ezekiel 28:14)

Eden, the garden of God, and the holy mountain of God were located here on earth, not in heaven. Thus, it is my belief that Lucifer (Satan) was chosen by God to be the head angel, or His chief ambassador, here on earth. If so, this means Satan was actually created to be a chief helper and a minister to us humans, not our accuser and destroyer.

But Lucifer (Satan) was proud of his authority over earth and wanted to exalt his throne over all of all the other angels and also to be like the Most High God. Then because of Satan’s iniquity, war broke out in heaven. This war continues today, but it will not be until the last days that Michael and the good angels will drive Satan and his horde (a third of all the angels) out of heavenly realms.

Who were Satan’s angels?

Most likely, Satan’s angels were those he had authority over here on earth when he was God’s amabassador. Later, Paul referred to a part of Satan’s fallen angel horde as principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this age, spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Keep in mind: Satan is not a creator. He is a liar, a deceiver, and a usurper of God’s creation and His plans.

Thus, when Eve was deceived and Adam sinned in the Garden of EdenGod’s authority to rule on earth passed from man to the fallen angel, Satan. He became the god of this world.

And because Satan had authority on earth and in the heavens surrounding earth, Satan’s angels replaced God’s angels in the spiritual governmental system reigning over earth. Satan’s angels were already trained from their earlier experiences, but instead of obeying God, these fallen angels now obeyed the father of lies, Satan.

The bad news is that we are stuck with this corrupted angelic system until Jesus returns. But the good news is we have a new spiritual governmental system on earth, not subjected to angels. It is the Kingdom of God.

Are you scratching your heads and wondering what this has to do with San Francisco?

(Continued in Part 6…the full series to date  can be read here.

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Spiritual Warfare in San Francisco (Part 4)

He pointed down again.

“Look.”

There just below us, was a student resembling a fluorescent light bulb walking across the esplanade. She lit up the whole area around her as she hurried on her way. Unlike the others, she did not have a creature sitting on her shoulder, but instead, one hovered around her head, trying to alight on her, but for some reason, the creature could not land. Deep frustration etched a gully in the creature’s face.

“Listen,” said the angel.

My ears adjusted themselves to only listening to the girl. Her footsteps and the movement of her arms came through loud and clear, but also something else.

“Dee, dee, bah, bah, hooka mah hundae,” she whispered over and over.

She spoke in tongues as she walked along.

“Your message to Christians on college campuses is very simple,” said the angel. “It’s the same one Paul gave to the believers in Ephesus when he said, ‘Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, with all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.” Then he added, “In case you have forgotten, these scriptures are located in Ephesians 6: 17-18.”

It bugged me he knew I had not read my Bible for years. What else did he know?

He grabbed my ponytail and took off. We retraced our flight to the apartment where we landed in the kitchen, back where this began forty minutes earlier. We stood there, staring at each other. Neither of us spoke for a minute or so.

“Today, you’ll begin your journey as a prophet, a bondservant of Christ. You will prophesy, proclaiming the words the Lord gives you. You will speak in tongues like you have never spoken before in your spiritual life. No more baby tongues for you, but your strongest gift will be distinguishing of spirits. You will see into the spirit realm.”

Talk about a person’s life being turned upside down and shredded into pieces, it happened to me right then and there. I was a contented progressive Christian who had turned his back on Charismatic mumble-jumble years earlier and now, I was about to drown in a sea of spiritual gifts.

“But how? Amanda. My job. My Berkeley buddies. My life. This destroys me, doesn’t it?” I screamed in anger, not caring what he thought.

“The Lord’s grace will be more than sufficient for you. The Spirit of the Lord is about to descend on you, anointing you for the mission ahead.”

Those were the last words I remembered hearing before falling to the floor. I was out.

(Excerpt from Deceived Dead and Delivered by Larry Nevenhoven, © 2013, Amazon eBook)

(Continued in Part 5…the full series to date  can be read here.)

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Spiritual Warfare in San Francisco (Part 3)

This time the spiritual darkness over the university cleared up enough so I could see through it. There, directly above Sather Tower, was a tarnished brass throne and sitting on the throne was a creature, which resembled a monstrous, grotesque gargoyle. It had an elongated, dragon-like face with horns next to its pointed ears, man-like arms with talons for hands, a scaly reptile-like main torso, and wolf-like hindquarters. A long tail wrapped itself around the being’s front paws.

I realized the spiritual murkiness over the campus originated from this creature. It controlled what looked like a tinted screen layer over the whole campus, which filtered out rays of light from the heavens above the screen. The atmosphere below the screen was murkier and darker than the one above it. Not only was the creature filtering out light rays: it was also spewing out, in rapid AK-47 salvos, what looked like commands from its mouth to the ground below.

“What you’re seeing is the governing demonic principality over the University of California, Berkeley. It’s a religious one, and one of the gatekeepers mentioned by Jesus in Matthew 16:18. Now, look down,” he said, pointing to students walking along the sidewalks below us.

I watched various students crisscrossing the Campanile Esplanade on their way to classes. They looked normal, wearing typical college apparel. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. My spiritual eyes then kicked in, and what appeared normal in the natural realm was not so normal in the spiritual one.

Have you ever seen pictures of a flying dinosaur known as a pterodactyl? It has a long, slender head with a mouth of sharp teeth, scaly-like body, web-like wings, and talons for feet. This sort of resembles the creatures I saw, sitting on the shoulders of almost every student walking below me. Each creature was the size of a large crow and had wolf hair on its body and a slender rat’s tail. They constantly whispered into the ears of students while holding a wing over the students’ other ears. The creatures also defecated and vomited on the students so that each person dripped with slop and sewage. It was ghastly and I yearned to warn the students.

“Follow those two over there,” said the angel, pointing toward two guys.

I focused on the two students. They continued talking to each other as they walked into a free speech area where a street evangelist preached the gospel of the kingdom of God. Both stopped and listened. I watched the pterodactyl-like creatures use their beaks to snatch the seeds of the gospel out of the twosome’s hearts with swift surgeon-like precision. The two students walked away after a few minutes, none the better for their experiences.

I wanted to shout and warn everyone. Someone needed to do it. Why not me?

The angel touched my shoulder again with his hand. I turned toward him.

“Now, it’s time for your spiritual ears to be opened.”

He reached up and touched both of my ears with his hands.

Wouldn’t you think it would be quiet in the spiritual realm over the University of California, Berkeley? Well, it is not. There is constant clamor, reverberating throughout the whole atmosphere, most of which comes from the ruling principality. But what really shocked me was the demonic principality’s words mirrored the liberal attitudes on the campus, from the deans down to the professors, and then, to the students. The religious principality constantly spewed out proclamations like:

“All white Americans are racists… All wars are immoral and wrong… Homosexuality is not a sin… Pro-choice is a woman’s right… Same-sex marriage is morally acceptable…Traditional Christianity is irrelevant, mean, hateful, judgmental, and dogmatic…Jesus never said anything about homosexuality…Jesus is the Way which is open to other ways, such as Hare Krishna, Buddha, and Mohammad…God is a God of love and not judgment… Satan and demons are fictional beings, thought up by fundamentalist nuts…The Bible contains no more authority than the Koran, Buddhist sutras, Veda, and other spiritual writings…Creating social justice is the main emphasis of the gospel…Global warming is a Christian stewardship concern…”

I stood there with my mouth open, drool running down my chin.

“Hey, many of these statements I agree with,” I muttered aloud, not realizing I had done so.

“And that’s why you are deceived.”

“Deceived? Me?”

“Yes, you and most liberal Christians who believe such garbage.”

“But, but –”

“Not only are you deceived, but your faith is dead when it agrees with Satan’s agenda. He’s always a liar, even when his words sound like truth. Your faith, in order to have life, must be based on what the Lord has stated in Scripture and is presently saying to His church.”

I kept quiet as his words ripped my theology apart.

He paused for a beat or two.

“Not only is this IOU collection day, but it is your deliverance day,” he said in an authoritative voice. “Your past deception, your dead faith, and your deliverance from all of it will give you an understanding of the spiritual battles taking place on America’s college campuses, beginning with the University of California, Berkeley.”

His eyes locked on mine.

“But how –” I stopped myself. How could I complain when I did not know what I was talking about?

The angel almost grinned.

“Now, you’re starting to learn.”

(Excerpt from Deceived Dead and Delivered by Larry Nevenhoven, © 2013, Amazon eBook)

(Continued in Part 4…the full series to date  can be read here.)

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