March 23, 2003 ©Homer Kizer
Commentary — From the Margins
The Battle for the Mind of Humanity
When discussing Shakespeare’s King Lear, literary critics recognize that the mental and physical landscapes have merged when the tempest rages in the old king’s mind. The storm’s fury is no longer confined to the elements of nature, but has transcended the barrier of thought. Within the play, this link between geography and the domain of the mind exists for a temporary period. Within the theology of the primitive Christian Church, this linked landscape was the reality created by abolishing the covenant separating physically circumcised Israel from the uncircumcised world. Circumcision for disciples was of hearts and minds. Disciples were dead to the physical law, for disciples now lived in this linked landscape. The Apostle Paul’s one new humanity was created in this linked landscape; it was not created in a landscape bound by geographical coordinates. But it remained within existing geographical coordinates; i.e., the “flesh” of disciples. A born again disciple wasn’t suddenly vaporized to become like wind, but received a wind-like addition to the mental paradigms governing the disciple’s construction of reality. Eventually, this addition overwrote the disciple’s prior mental constructs in a manner similar to how a computer virus works. The disciple becomes Christ-like, becomes increasingly self-aware of his or her location within the person’s mental landscape that remains linked to personal geography until death, meaning that a born-again disciple’s behavior acquires greater spiritual attributes the more the disciple grows, with one of those attributes being awareness of life in this mental landscape.
How to write about the presently occurring worldwide war for domination of mental landscapes without using philosophical double talk remains the problem I must overcome if I am to effectively explain biblical prophecy. The war against Iraq isn’t limited to desert battlefields, but is being fought in Europe and here in the United States. American troops will not occupy Iraq for an extended period, but American hegemony will be established through our insertion of democratic ideals into the Islamic culture. Our mental occupation of Iraqis will continue in one form or another until Christ liberates humanity from mental bondage. Our victory in the desert, though, will be less important than the victory won against the established world order that has for centuries had its capital in Paris. Knowledge of this victory (and of what will happen next) is the message revealed in endtime biblical prophecies, which are about linked mental and physical landscapes with emphasis placed on the forces reigning over the minds of humanity. These spiritual entities reign in the physical realm through their control of humanity’s mental realm. Only occasionally does one of these entities actually enter the physical realm.
But the problem is less one of word usage than of culture acceptance. Is it really possible for all of humanity to be in mental servitude to spiritual entities when so many divergent ideas vie for ascendancy? Surely, not everyone is deceived? Someone must possess the Truth. Christians will tell all who listen that Christ’s words are truth, that they are the sole possessors of truth, that those who haven’t accepted Christ as their personal Savior are in spiritual bondage. But canonical Scripture says Satan has deceived the whole world (Rev 12:9); no caveat is given for Christians. And Islamic clerics label the United States as the Great Satan, because of our secular mores. So deception is widespread by everyone’s agreement, but no one wants to believe that he or she has been deceived and made a mental captive. No one wants to admit that he or she doesn’t fully control the thoughts of the person’s mind. Yet medically, we acknowledge that clinical depression can occur from chemical imbalances, producing in the person uncontrollable thoughts. If thoughts, then, can be connected to biology, why not to a deity?
Do Christians really believe that the Father hears unspoken prayers? If God the Father does, then it logically follows that life forms upon whom humanity has bestowed the concept of deity are able to influence thoughts.
In King Lear, audiences see enacted the linked mental and physical realms in a recognizable form, but in Shakespeare’s words, All the world is a stage, a statement never more true than today as American troops approach Baghdad. In vision, the prophet Daniel saw a he-goat fly out of the west to trample a ram. Also in vision, the symbolism was explained to Daniel by the archangel Gabriel, who said this vision was for the time of the end, that what Daniel saw was the king of Greece utterly destroying the king of the kingdom of Persia. The kingdom of Persia/Babylon would remain, but would henceforth be ruled by the king of Greece, but only for a little while. The he-goat is the king of Greece, not the horns even though the great horn is identified as the first king of Greece. The angel who brings Daniel the vision of what will happen to Israel at the end of age fights against the sar of Persia, and will have to fight against the sar of Greece. Both the sar of Persia and of Greece are rebelling angels. The sar of Greece, then, becomes the he-goat that supports a great horn, or its first king, followed by four additional horns or kings. The king or sar of Greece is not a human, but an angelic being. The shadow of his “time of the end” conquest of Persia occurred when Alexander the Great conquered all enemies with then lightning speed. But that shadow was of geographical landscape. The king of Greece mentally conquers the kingdom of Persia/Babylon when the end of the age is near. His first horn or king now isn’t Alexander, but a spirit being. Flesh and blood conquerors occupy physical territories, not mental territories. If they occupied the minds of the vanquished, there would never be rebellions. Only when a conqueror loses control of an occupied people’s mental landscape can rebellion occur.
The essence of Christianity is the liberation of disciples from bondage to sin or lawlessness through the forgiveness of sin and the creation of the “new man.” The assumption present in the concept of liberation is that of prior enslavement. We don’t see every disciple drawn coming from a physically enslaved population, so the assumption of enslavement must be of a mentally captured people. And we can begin to explain the reality of the passage that has Satan deceiving the whole world—all of the world has been taken captive by the prince of the air, who portrays himself as an angel of light. No exceptions are given. There is none for the French foreign minister, or for President Bush. There is none for the Muslim, or for the Christian; none for you, or for me (to the inverse of our possession of the mind of Christ, we are subject to being deceived). But the conjoined mental and physical landscapes conceal the reality of mental captivity.
A Christian can determine the extent of his or her captivity by the person’s attitude towards the law of God, for the carnal or natural mind is hostile to the law of God. The changed or liberated mind, then, is subject to the law of God. Sin is lawlessness (1John 3:4), or the practice of not keeping the laws of God that have been written on the hearts and minds of disciples as a condition of the new covenant (Heb 8:10; 10:16 & Jer 31:33). Thus, if you reject God or submission to God, you don’t claim to be in covenant with Him. As such, you are carnal, no question about it. But if you think keeping the law of God is a good idea, but are unwilling to actually put this good idea into practice, your mind is also carnal; you remain tacitly hostile to God. Same if you say keeping the law of God is legalism, and the great apostasy. Your mental landscape rejects the concept of you being required to observe the laws of God. You were mentally taken captive by “lawlessness” prior to your conversion, but you were not fully liberated by your conversion to Christianity. You are still in bondage to sin, even though you will vigorously deny that you are in bondage of any kind. And you are not even seeking to rebel against your captors; you’re a victim of the Patty Hearst syndrome. For God the Father would not have written His laws on your heart and mind unless He intended that you keep them. But your mental landscape remains part of the enemy’s territory. Literally, your lack of belief in God unto obedience has left you still brainwashed.
The ongoing battle for control of humanity’s mental landscape will be won by the spiritual king of Greece, but this king’s reign will be as Alexander’s once no empires remain to be conquered. The ideals of ancient Greece and modern America will prevail. An American hegemony will be established in both physical and mental landscapes, this hegemony won by bombs and bags of rice, missiles and medicine. Imbedded journalists as a tactic is an idea whose time has come. What nation or what peoples will want to fight against us, or will not want to be liberated by us? Imbedded journalists is a tactic worthy of the spiritual Alexander, for the victory won this time will not be by technology alone, but by the ideas producing that technology. Occupation will not be by foot soldiers, but by the exercise of democratic rule.
France has been the ideological center of the spiritual kingdom of Persia/Babylon. French fashion reigned supreme, as has French cuisine. The intellectual elite went to Paris. French loan words introduced sophistication into one’s writing. Derrida has confused a generation of literary critics, as deconstruction left the literary canon in shambles. And for a decade the French have fought against the introduction of American culture and language into France, but their fight against the mental hegemony of the spiritual king of Greece will fail, for the citizens of the nation are combatants in a battle they neither understand nor can conceive.
Just as the French foreign minister doesn’t understand the mental paradigms that have his government supporting the use of the United Nations’ inspectors, most 21st-Century Christians don’t understand endtime biblical prophecies because these prophecies are about the liberation of their minds—spiritual Israelites are like the enslaved Israelites in Egypt. They cry out to God for deliverance. They recognize their need for physical deliverance, and for spiritual deliverance. But their present pleas for liberation are really pleas for fewer “bricks” to be required of them. They seem perfectly content to remain in Egypt, where the leeks and garlic enhance French cuisine.
However, on a future Passover—on the night of the second Passover, taken a month after the first—spiritual Israel will again see death angels pass over the land, killing all firstborns not covered by the blood of the Lamb. These Israelites will finally be mentally liberated, will be delivered from bondage to sin. They will want to keep the laws of God; they will abhor themselves for not having kept the laws of God. Christians will return to being spiritual Judeans, not spiritual Gentiles.
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