January 29, 2005 ©Homer
Commentary — From the Margins
"This Vagueness Was Intentional"
Another Soapy Episode at Port Austin
The slipperiness of the natural mind, sculpted by the prince of the power of the air, causes servants of Satan to disguise themselves as ministers of righteousness (2 Cor 11:15). But their end, the end of the natural mind, will be death. Writing in the context of being ministers of the new covenant, the Apostle Paul says, "For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life" (2 Cor 3:6). Writing elsewhere, Paul says, "If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit" (Gal 5:25). Thus, the natural mind that picks through the ruble of the ministration of death with its stone letters deceives itself as it seeks a legal technicality by which the person might overturn his or her sentence to the cross. The natural mind seeks a loophole, a crack in the law, an overlooked detail by which this person can enter heaven without being born-from-above, little realizing that the person who "sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption [death]" (Gal 6:8). The person who looks for a technicality in the law that this person can bring to Christ’s attention when his or her judgment is revealed, thereby negating the lake of fire, mocks Jesus of Nazareth’s death at Calvary. This person has no spiritual understanding, and will be denied in his or her judgment.
The inclination of the mind and of the heart upon which the Holy Spirit has inscribed the commandments of God is to learn. With birth-from-above comes teachability. And following close behind this desire to be taught are false teachers, disguised ministers of righteousness (2 Cor 11:15), who make merchandise of disciples, tallying "converts" as if they were scalps taken by raiding war parties. The Churches of God have been split and split again by men who sought to build spiritual houses for themselves from a double hat-full of splinters and sawdust fines. The roster of the former Worldwide Church of God has been combed for slivers, as the tallying of scalps continues by headhunters sieving through the dust. Even the independent fellowships have had their "independence" shopped around as the marketing of disciples extends towards the midnight hour when the death angels will pass through spiritual Babylon.
False ministers and false ministries appear righteous, just as their father appears as a disguised angel of light. But inevitably, they are physically or naturally minded. Their walk is not spiritual, for they will, when caught in wrongdoing, seek justification in the letter of the law. An example is contained in the following passage:
Toward the end of July 2004, I wrote the following receipt to you: Received of Homer Kizer, $500 as down payment on Pleasant View Condominium unit 3, Port Austin Township, Michigan. Land contract to be assigned. No payments to be made until back property tax is resolved and the contract is recorded [signed] Norman Edwards. This was not a sale. The word "sale" or "purchase" does not occur in this receipt. You did not sign the document. No address of buyer and seller is included. All of these things are required for a buy-sell agreement in Michigan.…Notice that my receipt to you said "Land contract to be assigned", but does not say who will assign it to whom or when such assignment will take place. This vagueness was intentional. (letter from Norman Scott Edwards, dated January 25, 2005)
This vagueness was intentional—Edwards could not write words more spiritually condemning. His justification for his actions is in the letter of the law. He admits using words that were intentionally vague for his advantage.
Elsewhere in his letter of January 25th, Edwards acknowledges that a contract with Arthur Hawkins for sale of the residence existed, that he had verbal permission to convey this land contract, that he accepted moneys on behalf of Hawkins and ELBI and not on behalf of PASCC. Thus, Edwards legally functioned as an agent for Hawkins and ELBI, thereby raising the question of conflicting interests during the period when the Purchase Agreement known as Liber 1048, dated April 28, 2004, was being negotiated. But Edwards is, in the triteness of colloquial expressions, small potatoes. He lacks the financial ability to make the three defrauded trustees whole.
As the events of Port Austin slowly work toward their logical conclusion, with the shadow of Arthur Hawkins, whose appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court of his conviction for wire fraud was based upon him being tried in the wrong court and not upon the question of innocence, appearing as a larger than life player, a trail of deceit—a trail that might include gambling casinos—is yielding its secrets. The Christian walk of the players across the road is along this narrow path of deceit, a path that apparently leads into the wallets of independent Sabbatarians, who today are paying to keep alive Arthur Hawkins’ spiritual dreams, symbolically represented by the cross marking the conjunction of ley lines.
Certain geographical locations have become meccas that draw tourists from around the world. Inevitably, these meccas are at or near the conjunction of ley lines. For reasons that sometimes have a sound economic basis, developments at these locations flourish while developments even a short distance away do not. It is as if the natural mind of humanity is instinctively drawn to locations where ley lines converge. And corporations are employing those who dabble in witchcraft to determine where future tourist meccas should be constructed rather than allowing these "hot spots" to emerge through the natural gathering of tourists. It has been locally stated that one leading corporate contributor to Edwards’ Servant News, his largest contributor, employed a witch in a similar capacity.
It is easy to condemn what a person doesn’t understand. The splintered Churches of God have been quick to do this, too quick. But these slivers follow a long Christian tradition of disrupting the traditions of aboriginal peoples around the world without realizing the harm being done. The greater Christian Church taught the laws of God to cultures ruled by natural law, then taught these peoples to break those commandments God gave. The Church taught through words and deeds. And the aboriginal peoples recognized hypocrisy when they saw it: "white men speak with a forked tongue." Too many self-identified Christians spoke with the tongue of their father, the devil, that old serpent who is the father of lies and liars and all who justify themselves by the letter of the law.
Ley lines have been a traditional part of Native American lore. They exist, regardless of whether they are exploited. But within the greater Christian Church, they are viewed with suspicion—and their use remains consigned to shamans, witches and warlocks.
Christians should have nothing to do with witchcraft, white or black, a subject Edwards studied before writing and lecturing about how Christians should respond to witches. The natural mind, not the spiritual mind, is fascinated by the occult. And how ley lines, a grid of force vectors in the earth’s crust, can be used to one’s economic advantage is not a subject that interests the spiritual mind, or those who are spiritually minded. Yet this seems to be the allure of Port Austin, for if these lines, along which the former Air Force NORAD base sent radar beams, actually mark a future tourist mecca, then the actions of Edwards and Hawkins will pay off handsomely. The Sacred Purpose Trust that Edwards filed with just his signature allows him to sell or to convey shares as if the trust were a private corporation.
Port Austin isn’t about the SEE program, which Edwards acknowledges no longer exists ("SEE has now been cancelled by Frankford, Drieman and Williams, a majority of its founders" — Edwards’ letter of Jan 25, 2005). It never was. The program was an educational hoax from its inception. Rather, Port Austin is about the intermarriage of white witchcraft and Christianity, two incompatible partners for those who are spiritually minded. And the verbal animosity that has come out of Port Austin is the result of these two contrary spiritual forces fighting actual war against one another in the heavenly realm. No peace will occur until one of the two spiritual entities drives off the other.
The above sentences read like hyperbole. They can be dismissed as hyperbole, but battle lines were actually drawn in August 2004. Real skirmishes were fought throughout September and into October. Unfortunately, unless a person is here as a participant, the above sentences must read and remain as hyperbole. For beyond Michigan’s thumb, Port Austin seems little more than much ado about nothing.
As much ado about nothing, the lessons that can be taken from here and applied throughout the Sabbatarian community is the Cold War motto of Trust But Verify. Usual business procedures need to be applied even to transactions involving brethren. Here, three men allowed Edwards whom they then believed was their brother in Christ to negotiate on their behalf with Warwick Potts and Arthur Hawkins, not realizing that Edwards and Potts, and Edwards and Hawkins had relationships that went back to at least 2000. What they didn’t know came back to harm them. And the haste with which Edwards demanded that they sign the Purchase Agreement dated April 28, 2004 (haste expressly noted in Point 18 of the agreement) should have stopped the three from signing any agreement. The three knew that they were being pushed into a purchase they didn’t want. They had told Edwards that they should not have to give ELBI $420,000 for no specified assets (Point 8 of the purchase agreement). Nevertheless, because of the atmosphere of haste and because of them trusting Edwards, they did what they didn’t intend to do. They made a deal with two individuals who were not to be trusted. It seems that they were bewitched.
If a disciple encounters anyone who identifies him or herself as a Christian, yet spends his or her energies in wrestling the letters of the law into a doorway to salvation, the disciple should avoid this naturally minded person, who will only bring harm to the disciple. There are a few such individuals within the Sabbatarian community, so-called Christians who are more concerned about taxes and drivers’ licenses than about doing that which is right and shunning that which is wrong. The slipperiness of their natural minds will delude them into believing that the Spirit kills and the Law gives life. Thus, they twist the laws of God into instruments upon which they torture themselves as they await their own destruction. They should fearfully wait the revealing of their judgments, but they have deceived themselves into believing that the doorway to salvation is through tablets of stone. May God have mercy upon them, for they are utterly lacking in mercy, justice, and love.
The trail of undeveloped lands that slipped under investigators’ radar during Hawkins’ trial leads to Port Austin and the 501(c)(3) corporation Eternal Life Bible Institute (ELBI). The gems along this trail have other corporate names. Some of the real estate is being, or has been developed. All of it eventually will be. But the crowning piece is here, where the ley lines converge under an ugly cross, as if "x" marks the spot.
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"Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved."