September 4, 2010 ©Homer Kizer
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Commentary — From the Margins
The Inevitability of an American Reichstag Moment
In Berlin, on the 27th of February, 1933, an arson fire burned the Reichstag building where the German Parliament assembled. Nazis blamed the fire on Communists. Adolf Hitler, Chancellor of Germany for just four weeks, convinced the elderly German President and respected Prussian general and statesman Paul von Hindenburg to pass emergency measures against the Communist Party, with the measures suspending the civil liberties of Communists. As many Communists as could be located were arrested, and with the Communist delegates to the national assembly arrested, Hitler’s Nazi Party became the majority party.
In March 1933, Paul von Hindenburg signed the Enabling Act, a bill passed by Hitler’s parliamentary majority to give Hitler’s administration legislative powers, thereby rendering the German Parliament irrelevant. When the 86 year-old Hindenburg dies in office in 1934, Hitler declared himself Fuhrer and Reichskanzler, thereby making himself the head of state … there would be need for no further elections until Allied Armies defeated the Armies of the Third Reich in 1945.
Could such an event happen here in the United States of America? Could a locked-step Democratic majority in the House and in the Senate pass legislation conferring legislative power to the President? Has that not already been done? Is America merely awaiting the moment when the President, by executive order, declares that for the protection of We the People, he must temporarily suspend civil liberties to ensure that the functions of government continue in whatever crisis is at hand? Is the President really concerned about reelection in 2012, or are there already plans in place for him to assume the powers of a dictator to ensure that a functioning Federal executive bureaucracy continues if chaos erupts in America?
In the 1960s, when World War II wasn’t 65 years in the past but was a culturally recent memory, few citizens considered the possibility of a dictatorship occurring in America, the bastion of freedom and republican democracy. But a Reichstag Moment has always been possible, especially with Franklin D. Roosevelt being elected President of the United States for four terms, and elected President for his third and fourth terms with little or no campaigning—
My father was drafted in the first lottery of 25-year-olds in April 1941. He was out of basic training and assigned to his unit before Pearl Harbor occurred; thus, he was with the first American troops to invade North Africa in February 1942. And from somewhere in Sicily, he wrote a letter to the Bluffton (Indiana) News-Banner which published portions of the letter in its Wednesday, August 11, 1943, edition, page three. In the portion published, Dad wrote a sentence that caught my attention when I first saw the letter in 1997: “We might think things are tough in the States, and that we are being mistreated, and at times falsely led, but until one sees the once well-to-do people on the streets begging for food, because they have nothing to eat for days, then and then only can we realize just how fortunate we of the United States are.” … How did the phrase, at times falsely led, get past military censors?
In the former Soviet Union, at about the same time, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, then an artillery captain in the Red Army, wrote an offhand comment about the man with the moustache to a fellow officer. The phrase, the man with the moustache, landed Solzhenitsyn eight years in the Gulag.
American wartime letters from the front lines to newspapers were less censored than were Soviet letters from soldier to soldier, but then, isn’t that the expectation all Americans have, that they are free to express themselves?
Unfortunately, Dad died when I was eleven. While Dad lived, I never had the chance to read his letters that were published: Grandpa Kizer saved the newspapers in which they were printed, but he died when I was ten and we were then in Oregon, two-thirds of a continent away; so I don’t know what Dad meant when he wrote, at times falsely led. I suspect FDR wasn’t as well liked as historians have portrayed him; for who would have been mistreating Americans on the home front other than the national government? And why would the newspaper publish that portion of a long letter if the paper’s editor did not also share those sentiments?
The radio talk show host and television commentator Glenn Beck fears an American Reichstag Moment, for again, the legal basis for suspension of American civil liberties is already in place. Any serious civil disruption, from a natural disaster to rioting in the streets of America, is enough cause to national authorities to declare marshal law in the area, or in the region, or in the nation. And with a declaration of marshal law, civil liberties will be gone and will not return—what Beck fears, might realize, but doesn’t know for certain is that democracy in America has to fail before the end of the age comes upon all of humanity. A Reichstag Moment isn’t a possibility, but is inevitable. What Beck doesn’t today realize is that whenever this Reichstag Moment occurs, shortly afterwards the President will be supernaturally killed by God in a massive taking of lives that begins the seven endtime years of tribulation. Democracy or representational democracy will never again return; for what did Korah say that was wrong when he confronted Moses and Aaron: “‘You have gone too far! For all in the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the Lord?’” (Num 16:3)
When Moses called out Korah’s supporters, they answered Moses, “‘We will not come up. Is it a small thing that you have brought us up out of a land flowing with milk and honey, to kill us in the wilderness, that you must also make yourself a prince over us? Moreover, you have not brought us into a land flowing with milk and honey, nor given us inheritance of fields and vineyards. Will you put out the eyes of these men? We will not come up’” (Num 16:12–14).
Was ancient Egypt a land flowing with milk and honey? Is the United States of America today a land flowing with milk and honey? Was Israel a free people in ancient Egypt?
Beck has his finger on the pulse of America; he feels the oncoming collapse of the nation financially and politically, a collapse that cannot be avoided although he prays for God’s intervention to save the nation. What Beck doesn’t understand—and what will eventually condemn him—is that democracy isn’t of God but of the Adversary, the anointed cherub in whom iniquity was found.
Until the single kingdom of this world is given to the Son of Man halfway through seven endtime years of tribulation, all governance in this world comes through the present prince of this world, the same prince about whom Jesus said, “‘Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself’” (John 12:32 emphasis added) … has the glorified Jesus drawn all people to Himself? He has not, has He? But He will when the kingdom of this world is given to the Son of Man (Dan 7:9–14; Rev 11:15–19), and the world is baptized in spirit through the pouring out of the spirit on all flesh (Joel 2:28). Then all of humankind will be called by God: “Then I [John] heard another voice from heaven saying, ‘Come out of her, my people, / lest you take part in her sins’” (Rev 18:4). Then, every person who endures to the end—endures without taking onto him or herself the mark of the beast—will be saved (Matt 24:13), and it is this good news that must be proclaimed to all nations as a witness to all peoples before the end comes (v. 14).
Today, all authority to govern—authority that originates with God—has been given to the prince of the power of the air, the demonic king of Babylon (see Isa 14:4) who spiritually serves the Most High God as the earthly king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, served the Lord in the days of Jeremiah.
Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts: Because you [the people of Judah] have not obeyed my words, behold, I will send for all the tribes of the north, declares the Lord, and for Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and I will bring them against this land and its inhabitants, and against all these surrounding nations. I will devote them to destruction, and make them a horror, a hissing, and an everlasting desolation. (25:8–9)
The Adversary appears before the Lord at the appointed time for angelic sons of God to appear (Job 1:6; 2:1), and the Adversary serves as the unwilling servant of the Most High, the reason Paul wrote the following to the saints at Corinth:
For though absent in body, I am present in spirit; and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment on the one who did such a thing. When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord. (1 Cor 5:3–5 emphasis added)
The Lord delivered the people of Judah into the hand of the king of Babylon for the destruction of the city of Jerusalem and the razing of the temple: if the people of Judah and of Jerusalem would have willingly surrendered to the king of Babylon, they would have lived physically as slaves to the king of Babylon. But those who continued to fight against the Lord’s servant, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, would and did perish. And when moving from physical to spiritual, the Adversary as the spiritual king of Babylon serves the Lord as a destroyer of the enemies of God, with the Adversary himself as the ultimate enemy of God eventually being cast into the lake of fire.
A great many good people listen-to and agree with Glenn Beck about America’s need to return to God, but were there Sadducees or Pharisees when Jesus lived in the 1st-Century that did not believe Israel had returned to God when the sons of light rose up and defeated the Seleucid Empire two centuries earlier … there were some that came to hear the preaching of John the Baptist: when John “saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, ‘You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not presume to say to yourselves, “We have Abraham as our father,” for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire’” (Matt 3:7–10).
Even now, the axe is laid to the trees grown from the Root of Righteousness: Christians are to bear good fruit or they will be thrown into the lake of fire—and what Christendom doesn’t presently understand, and frankly, cannot conceive, is that Christians are not under the New Covenant, which will have the Torah [the Law] written on their hearts and placed in their minds so that all Know the Lord and there will be no need for Christian ministry. Rather, Christians remain under the Passover covenant made with the fathers of Israel when that nation left Egypt, for this covenant was ratified by the shedding of blood by both Israel [in the sacrifice of unblemished lambs of the first year] and by the Lord [the death of uncovered firstborns of men and of beasts in Egypt] and this Passover covenant would remain in effect until it ended with another shedding of blood by both Israel and God …
The Father didn’t kill Christ Jesus, the unblemished Lamb of God; Israel did through the Romans. And Christ’s blood shed at Calvary is equivalent to Israel in Egypt sacrificing bleating lambs.
The Passover covenant made in Egypt will continue in effect until God again takes the lives of men (Isa 43:3–4), all uncovered firstborns, at a Second Passover liberation of Israel. Then and not before then, will the New Covenant be implemented: circumcised-of-heart Israel will be filled-with and empowered by the spirit of God so that sin and death will no longer reside in the fleshly members of Christians. Every Christian will have the Law of God written on his or her heart and placed in his or her mind. All will know the Lord. No one will have to teach neighbor and brother to Know the Lord. But with having the Law written on hearts comes the responsibility to bear fruit in keeping with repentance.
God will deliver lawless Christendom into the hand of the Adversary for the destruction of the flesh so that the inner selves of Christians, each born of spirit as a son of God, might be saved when judgments are revealed. For the man who was with his father’s wife did physically what the Church has done spiritually; i.e., Christians as the circumcised-of-heart nation of Israel have embraced the unbelief and lawlessness of the ancient circumcised-of-foreskin nation of Israel, Christendom’s figurative father.
Paul wasn’t breaking new ground when he commanded the saints at Corinth to deliver the man who was with his father’s wife to Satan for the destruction of the flesh. Rather, Paul understood the significance of the Lord using Nebuchadnezzar, king of earthly Babylon, as a tool to root from Israel unbelief and all impurity.
The axe has been laid to the root of Christendom’s present unbelief that produces its near universal lawlessness: it is too late to undo the felling of this tree—Josiah became king when he was eight years old, and in the eighteenth year of his reign [in the fourteenth year after Jeremiah began to prophesy], in renovating the neglected temple, the Book of the Law was found and read to the king … how could the priests of Israel lose the Book of the Law in the temple? What were they doing every Sabbath? Obviously they were not reading from the Law—and Israel under the kings forms a shadow and copy of Christendom, which has lost the Law and neglects the Passover.
In the year when the Book of the Law was found in the dilapidated temple, King Josiah commanded the people, “‘Keep the Passover to the Lord your God, as it is written in this Book of the Covenant.’ For no such Passover had been kept since the days of the judges” (2 Kings 23:21–22).
King Josiah sought to do what was right in the eyes of the Lord: he “put away the mediums and the necromancers and the household gods and the idols and all the abominations that were seen in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, that he might establish the words of the law that were written in the book that Hilkiah the priest found in the house of the Lord. Before him there was no king like him, who turned to the Lord with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might, according to all the Law of Moses, nor did any like him arise after him” (2 Kings 23:24–25). Yet despite all Josiah did, the Lord still “did not turn from the burning of His great wrath, by which His anger was kindled against Judah, because of all the provocations with which Manasseh had provoked him. And the Lord said, ‘I will remove Judah also out of my sight, as I have removed Israel, and I will cast off this city that I have chosen, Jerusalem, and the house of which I said, My name shall be there’” (vv. 26–27).
When the nation of Israel that left Egypt repented in the wilderness—“And they [Israel] rose early in the morning and went up to the heights of the hill country, saying, ‘Here we are. We will go up to the place that the Lord has promised, for we have sinned’” (Num 14:40)—their repentance wasn’t accepted; the nation’s condemnation could not be undone. Except for Joshua and Caleb, all the men numbered in the census of the second year died in the wilderness and did not enter the Promised Land.
Likewise, in the days of Josiah, the king’s repentance and goodness could not undo the nation’s condemnation. Nor can any turning to God now, when the end of the age is near, undo or even delay circumcised-of-heart Israel's liberation and delivery into the hand of the Adversary.
In the prophet Daniel’s sealed and secret visions [that is, sealed until January 2002], Daniel sees a little horn appear among ten horns on the head of Death, the fourth king/beast, the demonic king that is the king of the North. And about this little horn, Daniel is told,
He shall speak words against the Most High,
and shall wear out the saints of the Most High,
and shall think to change the times and the law;
and they shall be given into his hand
for a time, times, and half a time. (7:25)
The referent for the pronoun “they” in the fourth line is vague and could be either the saints of the Most High or could be times and the law … when vague referents occur, a person should assume all possible referents are in play, meaning that both the saints and the times and the law will be delivered into the hand of the little horn for a time, times, and half a time.
Who does the delivering, the giving of the saints into the hand of the little horn?
The prophet Zechariah records,
“Awake, O sword, against my shepherd,
against the man who stands next to me,”
declares the Lord of hosts.
“Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered;
I will turn my hand against the little ones.
In the whole land, declares the Lord,
two thirds shall be cut off and perish,
and one third shall be left alive.” (13:7–8)
Jesus identified Himself as the man who stands next to the Lord of Hosts, the shepherd who would be struck (Matt 26:31), making His disciples the sheep that would be scattered … who strikes the Shepherd? The Adversary does, but does so by command of the Lord of Hosts. And it is the Lord of Hosts who turns His hand against the little ones, delivering two parts to death—
Most Americans assume that the United States of America is the nation best representing God here on earth, and that American Christians are the elect of this world.
· Americans assumed that God was on America’s side in a Cold War struggle against atheist Communism;
· Americans assumed that America could do anything, an assumption reinforced by Americans walking on the moon in 1969.
· Americans today assume that America can defeat all adversaries.
But America cannot defeat itself: even in the good times of the early 1960s, there was an ugly underbelly to American democracy, a latent fear that the Federal Government was too large and too invasive, the fear I found in my dad’s 1943 letter—
How big of a national government is too big?
Two 1962 novels helped influence a generation: Fail-Safe, by Eugene Burdick and Harvey Wheeler; and Seven Days in May, by Fletcher Knebel and Charles W. Bailey II. In both novels, the largeness of the military-industrial complex, a concern of President Eisenhower, threatened the security of the nation through the size of the national government needed to neutralize nuclear threats. But it was perhaps Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring that has had the most enduring effect.
I am of the first of the Baby-Boomers, the generation that practiced duck and cover under grade school desks in case nuclear war occurred. I followed closely the Cuban missile crisis as the White House ordered in pizzas so that no one would leave and tip-off the world to how close humanity was to destroying itself in avoidable nuclear war. … Although I started grade school when almost seven years old (because of the date of my birth), I graduated from high school with the last of the War Babies in 1963, and I saw the educational difference between how Baby-Boomers were taught and how War-Babies were taught for I did 6th, 7th, and 8th grades in one school year and went from beginning 5th grade in 1957 to beginning high school in 1959. There was a difference that lies outside of historical texts, a real difference that affects how the world was and is perceived, a difference that is not easily vocalized, but a difference that would have mobilized Americans to resist any attempt to impose a dictatorship Of the People upon the citizens of the nation.
When the last of the War Babies graduated from high school, a cultural shift began that caused recent high school graduates to not only fear an overreaching Federal government but to spurn all centralized authority. The backlash to Don’t Trust Anyone over Thirty is to not trust anyone and thereby have no emotional attachment to the U.S. Constitution, to the nation’s founders, to the Christendom of the founders, a necessary cultural development before Christendom can actually turn to God and some Christians be saved … that is correct: most of Christianity will rebel against God as Israel rebelled against the Lord on Mount Sinai, then again in the wilderness of Paran, then again when the nation demanded a king. As outwardly circumcised Israel’s rebellion against God was continuous, Christendom’s rebellion against God has been continuous, with Beck’s Restoring Honor rally being only the latest chapter in a rebellion that has a very unhappy ending for almost all of today’s self-identified Christians.
The axe is laid to the tree that has grown from the Root of Righteous, for the tree is not righteous and does not bring forth fruit worthy of repentance. It is too late for collective repentance, but not too late for individuals to turn to God, and by faith begin to keep the commandments.
Greater change began in 1962 than the world will realize until the day after a third of humanity, all uncovered firstborns, dies suddenly, with the selectivity of the deaths disclosing that it was God who took those unconsecrated lives that belong to Him, a God that neither Christians nor Jews today know.
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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."