September 14, 2005 ©Homer Kizer

Commentary — From the Margins

Katrina: An Act of God?

Primitive human cultures are, by description, superstitious. They usually perceive otherwise unexplainable acts of nature as acts of the gods, a correlation exploited in the comic movie, The Gods Must Be Crazy, in which a glass Coca-Cola bottle was pitched from an airplane window and fell among Bushmen. In the movie, what was initially considered a divine blessing became a curse that must be returned to the gods; thus, an epic journey was undertaken by a chosen Bushman. The movie was a parody of informing Greek myths that support the foundational constructs of Western civilization. European emigrants in Africa functioned as Pantheon deities. Hence, the scene of the Land Rover being driven chaotically in reverse gear addresses the situation of what happens when mere mortals acquire the technology of the gods. Everyone needs to look out for his or her safety.

Immediately following Katrina’s landfall, I received e-correspondence that claimed the hurricane was both created and guided by scalar electromagnetic wave technology, that globalist Illuminati leadership was wreaking havoc on an unsuspecting public to achieve a New World Order, that for the past thirty years this elitist leadership has caused to occur death, devastation, and disease from storms that would not have otherwise occurred, that Katrina is the stuff of which God’s Judgment of a nation is built. This past week, I received e-correspondence claiming that Katrina was the Most High God’s means of punishing disobedient children, that Christians should not interfere with God’s punishment by extending to the hurricane’s victims reasonable and customary human compassion, that certainly God’s tithes and offerings should not go to aid any of the victims, that moneys spent helping victims would be directly fighting God’s purpose. Also this past week, on an in-class writing assignment, I received from a Muslim student an essay claiming that Katrina, like the earthquake in Turkey, was Allah’s revenge against the enemies of fundamental Islam…it isn’t the gods that are crazy.

From the position of apparent sophistication, American (and worldwide) audiences enjoyed the humor created when the heroic Bushman ventured to the end of the earth to throw the Coke bottle back to the gods. We were at least amused by the juxtaposition of Western culture and technology with the Bush peoples’ values, with their uses for the Coke bottle, and with the disturbance caused by its possession. But this juxtaposition also indicts Western culture, which won’t give back its “Coke bottle” technology that retains nuclear annihilation as the preferred, politically viable defense strategy.

What about using electromagnetic technology to control weather and thereby circumventing a direct nuclear exchange that is, ultimately, survivable? Was Katrina created by the Russians, and then steered to where it would do maximum damage to this nation? Is God using elite globalists in His punishment of the United States? Is the United States, or New Orleans being punished? What about the Pantheon symbolically representing the Illuminati, or the Tri-Lateral Commission, or some other secret, super elitist organization such as high-order Masons? Are those men (and women) identified as Illuminati supra-mortals, functioning and behaving as a pantheon of gods?

When Greek mythology is critically examined, the reader realizes that mortals control the actions of the gods: Athena sprung from the forehead of Zeus, but the entirety of the Pantheon sprung from the foreheads of men—sprung as solutions to the difficulty of orality discussing hypothetical, or unassigned actions. In oral cultures, all action must be assigned to a referent. The mythical “they” can do nothing. So to discuss what hasn’t yet happened, or to discuss the consequences of bad behavior without actually experiencing the bad behavior, the invention of fictional characters was necessary; thus, a trickster figure, such as Raven or Coyote or Muskrat, entered Native American narrative. Prior to the Medieval period, North and West Germanic language users introduced the concept of faerie, a mythical landscape in which usual relationships and usual rules of behavior were suspended, to explore the hypothetical. Greeks constructed the Pantheon. And herein lies the explanation to the enduring existence of mythological technologies (such as the Philadelphia experiment, or scalar wave technology) and of secret, elitist oligarchies: they solve the problem of individual ineptness to affect or change national or worldwide social and political dilemmas.

When a culture moves from being primarily oral to primarily inscribed, trickster figures and mythical landscapes are recognized as fictional constructs of earlier superstitious, generations. This recognition is only partially true, for these fictional constructs were made necessary by other social limitations, such as widespread illiteracy. Superstitions, however, don’t go away; they merely reform around different, restricted concepts. Thus, the person who could not read or write generations later becomes the person who cannot vote out of office a president from Arkansas, or one from Texas. Now, if this person can blame his or her inability to right perceived social wrongs on the actions of super human beings, if this person can claim all political leaders are really part of a secret world government, if this person can excuse his or her personal inaction by citing a fictional work such as the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, then political discussions about what should be done can occur without any person having to take responsibility for doing nothing. The person can complain until satisfied. In the United States, the person can stockpile a little food, a rifle and ammo, and join with others who are equally powerless to affect national change. Or they can publish a few poorly written books, while constructing for themselves a Christianity that elevates their values. Therefore, a New World Order, or an Old World Order that began in ancient Babylon, or a shadow government consisting of world bankers—all have become necessary constructs within social democracies for the unempowered, or disenfranchised factions within the nation. They are as necessary as trickster figures are in Native American narratives. And their existence is as superstitiously real for the disenfranchised American as was the existence of Raven for a pre-European-contact Tlingit in Alaska.

In an era when everything is believed possible and is often seen as factual (certainly, the “impossible” can be produced through special effects that blend computer animation with newsreel footage), electromagnetic control of the weather has as much believability as weather forecasting. In 1960, the Olympic site at Squaw Valley, California lacked having enough snow to hold the winter games. Various weather-enhancing strategies, such as cloud seeding, were openly discussed in the news media. And hours before the games were to start, it began snowing in what seemed to be a “blinding” storm. But just as Vice-President Nixon stepped to the television cameras to speak, the snow let up. Nixon spoke for ten minutes. For ten minutes, no snow fell. But as soon as he quit speaking, the snow began again—and the Soviets were absolutely convinced that the United States could control the weather. I suspect our government did nothing to then dissuade them of that misperception. And I suspect nothing will dissuade Christians, who today believe that Russia is fully cooperating with globalist Illuminati, from believing that God has put it into their hearts to carry out His own purpose by acting in harmony in surrendering their royal power and authority to the beast. These self-identified Christians—as carnally minded as 1st-Century Pharisees—contend that when God gets ready to judge a nation for its sins, God raises up a military enemy and gives that enemy the ability to militarily overcome the sinful nation. Thus, these “Christians” really hate their own nation. Plus, they have no understanding of biblical prophecy, no understanding of circumcised Israel’s history, and no valid conception of God. The deity they profess to worship is a construction of their own intelligence, and is no more than a member of a pantheon.

The rationale of Christians who believe the Beast and his antiChrist will come through the machinations of secret societies originates in the social constructs that cause the political disenfranchisement of all fringe ideologies. These Christians may love each other, but they have no love for the politically empowered, an attribute of their theology that should give them a clue about whom they worship: their deity wrestles with these supra-mortals who are secretly trying to establish a New World Order. They are certain their deity will prevail, but only if they help by warning the “unsuspecting” masses of what is “really” happening. And it is here where the vital message of David C. Pack’s Restored Church of God enters the disenfranchised spectrum. Pack wrote, “[I]t is not the purpose of God’s true Church and Work to ‘repair’ or ‘fix’ a world cut off from God” (citation taken from Ambassador Watch’s website).

Who cut the world off from God? Did God not consign all of humanity to disobedience so that He could have mercy upon all (Rom 11:32)? The Apostle Paul certainly taught that He had. So whose fault [if this is the correct word] is it that the world needs to be repaired or fixed? Jesus said from darkness comes life. He said He came to sinners. He said He didn’t come to judge them—they already had a judge, the words of Moses. And their judgments will be revealed at the proper time, and in their proper order.

David Pack delivers a “warning” message about what about God is doing, and where humanity is in the plan of God without either understanding what is being done, or what will happen. His warning is to explain why God is punishing sinful human beings, who know nothing about Pack’s deity.

When the Lord appeared to Abraham by the oaks of Mamre (Gen 18), Isaac was not yet born. Abraham’s only son was Ishmael, the son of Hagar, a woman of bondage and allegorically comparable to present day Jerusalem (Gal 4:21-31). Abraham is called the father of the faithful, and he argues for the salvation of Sodom, the younger sister of Jerusalem (Ezek 16:46). Certainly Abraham knew of Sodom’s wickedness, for he argues for salvation based upon only a few righteous individuals being present among great wickedness. Abraham pleaded with the Lord that Sodom might be spared if only ten righteous men were found in the city, and the Lord agreed that for the sake of ten righteous men, the city would be spared. But here negotiations ended, for the Lord went His way (Gen 18:33). The Lord knew how many righteous men were in the city, and there were not ten. There was one, Lot, whose righteousness was not perfect. And for the sake of one, the Lord would not spare the city, but would remove the one from the city. Everyone else was utterly destroyed by baptism (i.e., immersion or submersion) by fire as an example of what the earth will experience prior to the coming of a new heaven and a new earth (Rev 20:14-21:1). Thus, when God sets His hand at punishing a people or a nation, He doesn’t do a halfway job of punishing. He doesn’t slay a few sinners, while allowing the many sinners to escape. He didn’t do so in the days of Noah, when the world was baptized unto a watery death. He didn’t in the days of Lot, the nephew of Abraham. And He won’t after seven endtime years of tribulation.

How many firstborn Egyptians survived the liberation of the physically circumcised nation of Israel? Not one. But the question is, did God have to “warm up” as a baseball pitcher might before He destroyed the nation of Egypt? Did He have to make practice runs before destroying sin? Did He need to practice breaking up the foundations of the deep before Noah was sealed in the Ark? No. The plagues that befell Egypt were to establish a difference between Israel and Egypt, a difference that became greater with each plague. And today, there is a difference between those human beings who have been born of Spirit, and those who have not yet been. No additional plagues are necessary to separate one people from the other, to separate spiritual Israelites from spiritual Egyptians. The presence or absence of spiritual life has already established the difference.

God doesn’t have to warm up by destroying a city here, or a nation there before He recovers a people, or slays sinners. Therefore, to assign to God the partial destruction of any city, or of any peoples is blasphemy, especially when the separation between who is of God and who isn’t was made at Calvary.

Isaac was the second born son of Abraham, and comparable to the Jerusalem above, which is of promise (Rev 21:2). This Jerusalem of promise is not today here on earth. And here is where wisdom is required: the Church began as the second Israel, the beloved son of Isaac that wrestled with the Lord and prevailed. But the Church is also the firstborn son of the last Adam, and the Church was born into bondage, in that the law of sin and death dwells in its members (Rom 7:25). Every disciple received spiritual birth when still a son of disobedience (Eph 2:1-3), and in a mystery that the Apostle Paul admits that he doesn’t understand, sin remains in the flesh even after a new creature is born within the thoughts of the mind and desires of the heart. Hence, the Church is as the nation of Israel was when that firstborn son of the Lord (Exod 4:22) dwelt in bondage to Pharaoh. The Church needs liberation from bondage to the law of sin and death that resides in its members. And the Church presently lives through the first half of the long night of watching that began when the Passover Lamb for the household of God was sacrificed at Calvary. Death angels will again pass throughout the land at the midnight hour, slaying physical and spiritual firstborns who have not covered their sins with the blood of the Lamb. Thus, the Church this night roasts its paschal Lamb with fire, and it eats of this Lamb with its feet shod and loins girded and staffs in hand. But it eats while still in bondage, while still in Babylon.

Because the Church remains in bondage to the law of sin and death that dwells in its members, the Church is as Ishmael was; i.e., it is presently the firstborn spiritual son of Abraham. The second son that is of promise will be born when the Holy Spirit is poured out upon all flesh (Joel 2:28) halfway through seven endtime years of tribulation. What happened on that day of Pentecost recorded in Acts foreshadows what will happen to humanity when the Holy Spirit is poured out upon everyone.

But Christianity is also the younger sister of present day Jerusalem. The greater Church’s spiritual lawlessness (most visible by the day on which it tries to enter God’s rest) is equivalent to Sodom’s physical lawlessness. Thus, the destruction of Sodom, Jerusalem’s younger sister, becomes a metaphor for the great delusion that will be sent over the Church (2 Thess 2:9-12). This delusion will send all those who did not love the truth enough to walk uprightly before God into the lake of fire. And the destruction of Sodom occurs before the son of promise is born, the spiritual reality of which is the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on all flesh. Thus, the destruction of Sodom occurs during the first half of the seven endtime years of tribulation. This destruction occurs during the ministry of the two witnesses (Rev 11:3-13).

The promise of Scripture is that everyone who endures to the end shall be saved (Matt 24:13). This promise is made to the son of promise, the third part of humanity (Zech 13:7-9) that will be born anew when the Holy Spirit is poured out upon all flesh, thereby changing even the predatory natures of lions and bears. Therefore, when Christ Jesus returns, every person will have been born from above for at least three and a half years. There will be no non-Christians. Islam as a religion will no longer independently exist, but will have become another sect within Christianity. Thus, the unenlightened belief that Allah is today punishing sinful nations will have given way to the acknowledgement that the prophet Jesus of Nazareth really was the one whose feet Abraham washed under the oaks of Mamre. The two who were then with the Lord represent (and are) the two anointed ones who stand by the Lord (Zech 4:14), the two olive trees.

The promise of Scripture also is that those human beings who take to themselves the mark of the Beast [chi xi stigma], the mark of death, the tattoo of the Cross, the fourth horseman of the Apocalypse (Rev 6:8), shall be killed by Christ Jesus and his returning army. No exceptions. No partial slaughtering of wrong-doers. No evacuations to the Jerusalem above. Enduring to the end means not taking the mark of death so that the person can buy and sell for a season. Enduring means trusting that God will provide those things that the person needs for life, means placing spiritual life before physical life, means loving God more than loving self.

Again, spiritually the Church is as Ishmael was…Ishmael dwelt in the Wilderness of Paran, halfway or so between Egypt [sin] and Judea [God’s rest]. Ishmael was physically circumcised, just as the Church today is spiritually circumcised. But Ishmael married an Egyptian woman; his mother was an Egyptian. And the greater Church today was conceived in sin, then married sin, with this lawlessness (1 John 3:4) being especially visible by the day upon which it attempts to enter God’s rest. And this one act of lawlessness (i.e., attempting to enter God’s rest on the following day) will be enough, when the Church is liberated from bondage to sin and death, to send each rebelling disciple into the lake of fire. Indeed, the two witnesses will lead from spiritual Sodom no greater percentage of the population than Lot and his daughters constituted.

Disciples should do as Abraham did: they should reason with God to save sinners for the sake of the righteous who dwell among them. These sinners will, someday, be born from above and will become the great harvest of God. In particular, if these sinners live to the middle of the seven endtime years of tribulation, they become the featured great harvest that is silently ripening even though they are not now part of the Body of Christ. They will become the Body when the Holy Spirit is poured out upon all flesh.

The Lord is today doing a mighty work apart from the efforts of the greater Church. This work is being done with a remnant of those spiritually circumcised disciples who left Babylon nearly five centuries ago. And in the near future, this work will be done by the two anointed ones who stand by the Lord of the whole earth (again, Zech 4:14 — compare to Rev 11:4). These two witnesses are like the two who went into Sodom to bring forth Lot. These two will enter the greater Church, an allegorical representation of enslaved Jerusalem, not the Jerusalem above, and these two will bring forth from the Body of the revealed Son of Man (Luke 17:26-30) those who have been made righteous through covering their sin with the blood of the Lamb. This is what David Pack, and all disenfranchised Christians do not understand.

As the two who met Abraham brought forth Lot and his family from Sodom, the endtime two witnesses will find few righteous sons of God within the greater Church, because during this long night of watching that began at Calvary, most Christians refuse to figuratively cover the doorposts and lintels of their fleshly tabernacles with the blood of the Lamb. They will not take the sacraments when and how Jesus established the example. And this will not change even with the spiritual empowerment of this holy nation. Most spiritual Israelites—Christians—are as Cain was, in that they offer to God the fruit of the land. Bread and wine are only the body and blood of the Lamb of God when they are taken the night Jesus was betrayed. On every other night/day of the year, they remain the fruit of the ground.

Cain would have been accepted if he had done well (Gen 4:7), for his offering did not cover the sin that lurked at his door. The same will apply to the Church when the Son of Man is revealed. Every disciple will be accepted by God if the disciple does well, which means keeping the commandments of God. The mantle of grace will be removed to reveal the naked body of the Son of Man—disciples’ only covering for sin will then be their obedience to God. And the completeness of the slaughter of uncovered physical and spiritual firstborns at the midnight hour of this long night of watching will remove any question about whether storms such as Katrina are of nature, or are of God.

 The Lord will not again destroy human beings with water: it wasn’t the Lord who caused people to die by drowning in the Southeast Asian tsunami last December, or in New Orleans this month. His promise is, never again (Gen 9:11). And while some will argue with the word “all,” those who would argue do so from ignorance. Again, destruction from the Lord is complete, as complete as the Flood of Noah’s day was when only the eight survived, or as complete as when Sodom was destroyed by fire, with only Lot and his daughters surviving. Destruction that comes from God doesn’t leave some who are unrighteous alive while killing some who are righteous. Rather, when destruction comes from the Lord, all of the unrighteous perish, and the few righteous live. And this is especially important to remember as wars and natural disasters become even more frequent.

Destruction that is of God will not leave a wet city able to rebuild itself. Katrina isn’t of God, which is not to say that God cannot use the disaster for His purposes. Indeed, He can, and He will. And one of His purposes is to see who will argue for the salvation of all for the sake of ten righteous individuals. God is not crazy. We are if we will not plead for the life of the sinner who will someday be offered salvation.

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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."

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