March 26, 2003 ©Homer Kizer
Commentary — From the Margins
The Race for Baghdad
American and British troops are less than fifty miles from Iraq’s capital as I write. Two columns of Iraqis are on the move. Within the next day or two, the world will know if Saddam’s Republican Guard will use the chemical weapons that the Iraqi government claims not to have. By leaving their defensive positions around Baghdad, the Republican Guard will shorten this war by days, if not weeks, regardless of whether they use gas or biotoxins. They have transformed themselves and their equipment into moving targets—and in classrooms this coming Fall semester, military strategists will ponder their decision to expose themselves to the rolling thunder of high altitude bombardment. It will seem as if the Iraqi commanders suffered some form of sandstorm delusion, with both their field commanders and classroom strategists failing to comprehend the spiritual nature of this conflict for the mental landscapes of soldiers, politicians, protesters, and supporters for the minds of all humanity.
The attack of September 11th and the ensuing war against terrorism began the most pivotal period in recent human history. The Bush doctrine of military and ideological intervention in, perhaps, the last remaining region of the world that philosophically resisted democratic Capitalism—even China has been partially captured by Greek values—began as the physical manifestation of spiritual warfare in an unfurled dimension humanity is unable to enter or to observe, an alien concept to the social constructs underpinning current Western mental paradigms. Translated: the minds of men are manipulated by major and minor deities. The claim of God the Father is that He is the Most High God, that there is none like Him. But humanity doesn’t, even after a future catastrophe occurs that will leave a third of humanity dead, worship the Most High God, but rather, worships demons and the works of its hands (Rev 9:20). That worship of demons doesn’t begin during the Tribulation, but has been occurring all along. It occurs today. Both Muslim and Christian believe that Buddhists worship demons, without realizing that they, too, worship the rebelling angels whom the Father has allowed to reign over the mental landscapes of men until the lawlessness of humanity reaches its full measure (Dan 8:23). Then, and not before, the kingdom of this world shall be given to the saints (Dan 7:27). God the Father doesn’t even set about reclaiming the kingdom of the world until halfway through seven years of tribulation (Rev 11:15 & Dan 7:9–14). Only then is the old dragon cast from heaven (Rev 12:7–12 & Dan 12:1). Thus, the claim of premillennialist Christianity is that Christ, not Satan, will reign sovereign for a future millennium. The assumption present in this claim is that Satan reigns today. But we don’t see Satan (we will when he is cast from heaven and comes as the antitype antiChrist; the man of perdition is the antetype). We see men and women in political offices. So how does Satan and his most powerful cohorts reign, if he indeed does? Through control of the mental landscapes of humanity, that’s how. And how will Christ reign during the Millennium? The same way.
What the Iraqi commanders cannot appreciate is how controlled their thoughts are by spiritual entities outside of humanity’s perception. Commanders on both sides are air-breathing tin soldiers, carefully arrayed in a world that has more in common with Shandy Hall than we care to acknowledge. Fallen angels ride their hobby horses, each demon vying to prove that its construction of society will work better than the Most High’s. All swallowed Satan’s lie of competition’s superiority over cooperation, just as Eve swallowed the serpent’s lie that she would not die. Most of humanity still believes the lie of humans possessing an immortal soul, thereby possessing eternal life apart from receiving it as the gift of God. Likewise, the fallen angels reigning with Satan strive with one another as Satan reaps the rebellion he sowed through his advocacy of competition.
The United States had not previously ideologically occupied the Persian Gulf region—this war has never been about sandstorms, or GPS jamming equipment. From its conception, it’s about overturning the mental paradigms of one world order, and the ascendancy of the paradigms of another, Greek in values and ideals. For us, it is ideas that will get trampled as the he-goat representing the spiritual king of Greece flies out of the west to utterly destroy the two-horned ram representing the spiritual sar of the kingdom of Persia/Babylon. Thus, Babylon today is, for us, the philosophical construction of its spiritual king, Satan. It is the world-ruling image Nebuchadnezzar saw in vision. In the landscape of the mind, it has reigned continuously over the world since YHWH sent circumcised Israel into both physical and spiritual captivity. Daniel’s interpretation of the king’s vision has been trustworthy, but scholars have looked for physical fulfillment of world-ruling and endtime prophecies. Humanity doesn’t need prophecy to provide it with a history text written in advance of events; it needs prophecy to “see” into the supernatural realm where war is presently being fought between the spiritual king of Greece and the reigning prince of Persia. And when we “see” into this realm, we realize that the physical fulfillment of endtime prophecies is the uncoupled shadow of a reality that occurs outside of space-time. The outcome of the present struggle for occupation of humanity’s mental landscape can be seen by how Alexander defeated the Persians. Following his victory in the geographical landscape of Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, he ventured east to the Indus Valley where he defeated elephants with long spears before making an alliance and returning west to be broken in a drunken debauch. The spiritual first king of the fallen angelic coalition identified as the king of Greece will also be broken after he has prevailed with equal success in the mental landscape of all humanity.
Yes, what will be defeated in this war are the social constructs that inform all societies worldwide. What will emerge from this war isn’t a stronger United Nations, nor a politically powerful Europe, but an American philosophical hegemony that revolves around Athenian democracy and individual rights.
Iraqi commanders will never be able to fully explain why they left Baghdad. They will mention the sandstorm, and the bridge taken by American forces, and the aerial pounding they were taking where they were dug in. They will tell their captors that they were going to be destroyed if they stayed put, but it won’t occur to them to blame an angel, or a demon for their decision to leave Baghdad. The world is too sophisticated to truly believe spiritual powers directly and powerfully influence the minds of men. Even among Islamic fundamentalists, mistakes are The will of Allah. Humanity is programmed to mostly deny the possibility that an idea could be implanted in our minds by supernatural powers. We want prayers answered, but we don’t want God or any other spiritual entity exercising dominion over our thoughts. We want to receive a word from the Lord, but we cannot conceive of humanity being universally deceived—yet, that is the claim of the Book of Revelation (12:9). We cannot conceive the possibility that the received “word” was not from God or Christ, but from a demon.
Christians are commanded to test the spirit, but what test is applicable under the new covenant, especially if a dispensation of grace as opposed to law is falsely taught?
There really is only one test revealed in either the Sinai, or in the new covenant by which the spirit can be determined—“the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be” (Rom 8:7). The previous verse says, “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace”; so the juxtaposition of the carnal mind versus the spiritual mind is firmly established. The test then is to determine whether a person’s mind is subject to the law of God. The singular icon is more encompassing than when it is commonly used to represent a singular prohibition. It represents a single body of commandments, ordinances, statutes, and decrees as contained in the Sinai covenant, abolished by the death of Christ (Eph 2:15), or as mentioned by Jeremiah (31:31–34), or by Moses (Deu 30:11). When asked which was “the greatest commandment in the law” (Matt 22:36), Jesus summarized the law and the prophets (two of the three divisions of the Old Testament and a euphemistic expression for all of the Old Testament) by citing two commandments, one from Deuteronomy and one from Leviticus. So in Jesus’ use of language, the law of God can be summarized by the two commandments He cited. Therefore, there should be no debate over the law to which the spiritual mind is subject. Abraham kept YHWH’s ordinances, commandments, statutes and laws (Gen 26:5) long before ancient Israel agreed to do so and thereby become a holy nation. Under the new covenant, as a condition of being drawn, God the Father writes His laws on the hearts and minds of disciples. Accordingly, Jesus’ command to keep and to teach keeping the commandments of God is as binding on disciples today as when He addressed His original disciples (Matt 5:17–19). Theologians who teach otherwise are carnally minded, regardless of whether they believe Christ died for them and rose again after three days.
Yes, I meant what I wrote: theologians who teach a dispensation of grace are enslaved by a spirit of rebellion, or lawlessness. By definition, sin is lawlessness (1 John 3:4). To teach that disciples do not have to keep the laws of God is to teach disciples to sin, thereby leaving both disciple and teacher in bondage to sin. Thus, through its teaching of a dispensation of grace—not understanding what grace is—the greater Church of God has taken spiritual Israelites captive, and has done the work of the prince of the power of the air through deceitful ministers of righteousness. A harsh claim? Certainly. But a supportable claim, for a deceived person does not, nor, indeed, cannot realize that he or she is deceived, or no deception has truly occurred.
If you, as a Christian, are hostile to the laws of God that were written on your heart and mind as a condition of being placed in a new covenant relationship with Christ and the Father, you are carnally minded; you are not spiritually minded. You are still in bondage to sin in your mind. And until you are liberated from this bondage, which will, every time, cause you to want to keep the laws of God, you remain a mental bondservant to Satan. You were not called by God to become a spiritual Gentile, but a spiritual Judean, in that you will live as a Judean would, sans the physical sacrifices. Your submission to the laws of God is your reasonable service to God, considering that Christ’s atoning sacrifice is all the work that ever needs done. Submission to the laws of God is not doing works. What work is involved in not doing murder, in not committing adultery, in not coveting the things of your neighbor, in not taking God’s name in vain. It takes works to violate the laws of God; it takes works to labor on the Sabbath, to create idols, to bear false witness. The teaching of a no-works gospel always has disciples doing the heavy work of breaking God laws. Fornication is work of the flesh. To not commit fornication is the application of not committing a proscribed act. So those who teach a dispensation of grace have inverted word usage, for grace covers all of those times when the flesh defeats the spirit after a real battle. A person mocks Christ by willfully practicing lawlessness/sin. Again, the Father didn’t write His law on your heart and mind for you to ignore the fine print.
The race for Baghdad has been won—I know for the shadow of what will occur is available to be studied in many historical texts. Alexander’s victories are ours.
Time has been created along with matter. The war presently occurring in the spiritual realm for the mental landscape of all Babylon occurs outside of time. Thus, the shadow of these real events can appear anywhere within time, depending on the location of the light source. Just as your three-dimensional body casts a two-dimensional physical shadow, three-dimensional spiritual entities cast their two-dimensional shadows on the mental landscapes of humanity. Their shadows cause human psyches to act out the dramas of the spiritual realm, as if humans were mental automatons. When a person is drawn by the Father (John 6:44, 65), the person receives a small measure of the Holy Spirit, enough so that the person can break free of the mental paradigms of Babylon. Usually, the person’s body isn’t enslaved, but the person’s mind is. Christian conversion is liberation of the mind. And at some future hour, all who self-identify themselves as Christians will be mentally liberated following the slaying of spiritual and physical firstborns not covered by the blood of the Lamb. Shortly afterwards, the remainder of humanity will be liberated 1260 days before Christ returns as the all powerful Messiah. Unfortunately, two of every three Christians, when liberation is offered, will not place themselves under the blood of the Lamb. They will perish, because they are never able to comprehend the possibility that they are presently enslaved by mental paradigms that celebrate lawlessness.
The spiritual war being fought is for control of your mind, with neither side representing Christ. However, for those disciples who are being called out of season—they need to be in place and at work teaching the gospel of Christ prior to the liberation of greater Christianity—the battle you have to fight will be for control of both your mental and geographical landscapes. Christ has armed you for this fight by giving you the very Breath of God. No demon can prevail against Christ, so to the extent that you have the mind of Christ in you, your mental landscape is liberated territory.
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