The Remnant Church - Prophetic Showdown Coming - I Will Exceed Your Expectations - IRAQ: Where Happiness Has Gone - Where Do We Go From Here? - Speaking Truth To Poverty - The Other Side of “The Days of Elijah’ - Three Words Progressives Can Use to Win Elections - Follow Me! - The Way to Peace Can Be Paved With Forgiveness, Reconciliation and Negotiation

April 19, 2008

Prophetic Showdown Coming

by Jennifer LeClaire

Could the apostolic be leading to a face off between holy and unholy prophets? Which side would you be on?

Just like Elijah confronted the prophets of Baal, the time is coming when God's New Testament mouthpieces will confront modern day merchandisers. The true will defy the false. The holy will challenge the unholy. Until that day, spirits of divination, with a little help from the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life, are working overtime to woo God's true prophets to the side of error.

Some merchandising prophets, with their miracle water, prophetic soap and prosperity oil, are catching naïve Christians hook, line and sinker. Other Gospel gainsayers are profiting with urgent announcements that God will heal the first five people who run up to the altar with $100 bill in hand.

But perhaps the most dangerous merchandisers are those who use their gift to tap into divination. These prophets announce what the believer wants to hear in order to sow a false seed of faith in his heart and reap an improper financial reward, inappropriately earned position or wrongly received recognition. No matter the merchandiser's brand of deceit, it is a practice that stinks in the nostrils of God.

"Then the Lord said, 'These prophets are telling lies in my name. I did not send them or tell them to speak. I did not give them any messages. They prophesy of visions and revelations they have never seen or heard. They speak foolishness made up in their own lying hearts. Therefore, says the Lord, I will punish these lying prophets, for they have spoken in my name even though I never sent them. They say that no war or famine will come, but they themselves will die by war and famine!'" (Jeremiah 14:14-15)

Of course, most false prophets don't start their ministries as false prophets; rather they are tempted and enticed by the idolatry in their hearts. Avoiding Satan's snare begins with the fear of the Lord and the promised wisdom that follows. After all, the merchandise of wisdom is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. Wisdom is more precious than rubies and all the things that you can desire are not to be compared to her (Proverbs 3:14-15).

The wisdom in God's Word plainly illustrates that with every temptation there is also a way of escape. By comparing the responses of Balaam with Daniel and of Jezebel's diviners with Elijah, we get a clear view of the trap, the way of escape, and the ultimate fate of merchandising prophets.

Balaam is best remembered for his talking donkey. He was a true prophet of God who went the way of divination for the promise of financial gain when King Balak offered him rewards to curse Israel. But Balaam did not fall into sin upon the first temptation. In fact, he refused the king's initial offer. His royal majesty then upped the ante, promising the prophet promotion, honor and power if he would curse the Israelites. Balaam once again refused, saying "If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the word of the Lord my God, to do less or more." (Numbers 22:18).

Despite his bold confession to obey the Lord's will, Balaam secretly desired to attain the rewards pledged by the king. And so the testing begins. Balaam would follow his rebellious heart 320 miles on a donkey's back to curse Israel and claim his coveted merchandise. But to his surprise, the Lord would not allow him to pronounce the curse when he arrived in Moab. Disappointed and still hoping to collect the king's bribe, Balaam shared a strategy to trip up the Israelites through sexual sin that led to the downfall of his brethren.

Balaam had a clear way of escape: Telling the king's messengers upon their first visit that the Lord forbid him to curse Israel. That would have closed the door to future offers and put an end to the temptation that would lead to his destruction. The end of Balaam came by the command of Moses at the sword of his own people "the Israelites he tried to curse through divination."

Daniel, on the other hand, refused to give in to the temptation presented in King Belshazzar's dilemma. Belshazzar and his guests were drinking from gold and silver cups that his father had stolen from God's temple and giving praises to idols when the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the palace wall. Belshazzar was frightened and summoned enchanters, fortune tellers and diviners to come, promising riches and power to anyone who could interpret it. When none could, the king called Daniel and made him the same offer (Daniel 5).

Daniel was faced with at least three choices at this critical turning point in his ministry. He could accept the king's offer to interpret the message, thereby merchandising his gifting. He could exercise the gift he had freely received from Jehovah to freely interpret the message, all the while knowing that such a harsh word from the Lord could land him in the lion's den. Or he could stand on his credible reputation as God's prophet to falsely interpret the warning message as a blessing message and in all likelihood collect the loot anyway.

Unlike Balaam, Daniel unlocked the hard truth in the writing on the wall. He told the king that his days were numbered and that his kingdom would be divided up and handed over to the enemies. Daniel refused to compromise, no matter the consequences, and God used the king to promote him. As one of his last acts as king, Belshazzar robed him in purple, draped a great gold chain around his neck and positioned him as third-in-charge of the entire kingdom.

King Ahab and his wife Jezebel took the tradition of kings calling on prophets to unlock the mysteries of God a step further, and a few steps too far. Jezebel had false prophets on her payroll. The wicked queen regularly fed 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah. Bible scholars estimate that feeding those false prophets cost her about $12,750 a week or $663,000 a year.That's a hefty price tag for a good prophetic word.

So while Jezebel's prophets had full bellies in a time of famine, the queen cut off the prophets of the Lord for fear of the truth (1 Kings 18:4). Obadiah, a type of religious spirit, hid 100 of God's prophets in caves and fed them bread and water. While this may appear like a good work on the surface, Obadiah was only facilitating Jezebel's plan to cut off the uncompromising prophetic word.

While Jezebel's prophets looked well-fed and God's true prophets looked like sheep being led to the slaughter, the story changes in a hurry when Elijah confronts the 850 merchandisers at Mount Carmel in what goes down in Biblical history as the ultimate showdown between the true and the false. Elijah threw down the prophetic gauntlet and challenged the false camp to bring fire down from heaven by calling upon their God. The merchandising diviners cried to Baal from dawn to dusk with no answer.

When the false camp had finally exhausted itself, Elijah built an altar holding a sacrifice to Jehovah, drenched it with four barrels of water, said a simple prayer, and watched as the fire of God fell from heaven and consumed the sacrifice, the wood, the stones, the dust and even the water in the trench. Then Elijah slew his false counterparts one by one. So the ultimate fate of the false prophets came at the hand of the true prophet, who was later taken to heaven in a chariot of fire.

Like Old Testament prophets, modern day prophets are also being tempted to merchandise the anointing for fame, fortune or friends in high places....

Recall Simon the sorcerer, who was highly esteemed among the Samaritans because he bewitched them. The apostles Peter and John met up with Simon after praying for the baptism of the Holy Ghost for the new believers there. When Simon saw that the people were filled with the Spirit when the apostles laid their hands on them, he offered them money. "Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God." (Acts 8:19-21). Simon may have repented and did ask the apostles to pray for him. Repentance is the appropriate response for New Testament prophets who fall into the trap of merchandising.

The decision to go the way of Baal and or to go the way of Elijah lies in the prophet's heart. If pride, self-will, anger, or lust occupies the place where obedience, love and truth should live, then the merchandising prophet may succeed in reaping worldly rewards for a season but the retirement fund built on ill-gotten gains leads only to death (Romans 6:23). While there is certainly abundant grace for the true prophet who misses it, the Book of Revelation makes it clear that the false prophets, those who purposely set out to lie and deceive God's people, will be cast into the lake of fire and brimstone and be tormented day and night forever and ever (Revelation 20:10).

I Will Exceed Your Expectations

Teresa Seputis

Child of Mine, it is time to stop limiting Me in your thinking and in your expectations. It is time to stop setting goals based on your estimation of your own ability and resources. It is time to start seeing what it is that I want to do, and then set your expectations accordingly.

I am the God of all power and all might, and I can do all things. I am able to do far more than you can think or imagine. And I am inviting you to do amazing things with Me.

But at the same time, you must understand that I am not interested in the agenda of man; I have My own agenda and it is very important to Me. I am looking for those who are willing to set aside their own plans and goals in order to embrace Mine, just as My Son did when He walked this earth. My kingdom is advancing forcefully on this earth, and it must continue to advance. Yes, dear one, I am looking for those who want to advance it with Me. Are you one of these?

It is My desire that My own dear children work with Me to accomplish My purposes. I am looking for those who say to Me, "Here I am Lord, send me. Here I am Lord, use me." I am going to empower these ones to advance My kingdom, and I am going to change their thinking to better line up with Mine. I am going to show them what it means to walk in the supernatural and to accomplish the impossible. I am going to teach them what it means live in the realm of faith, and to see the mountains move before them.

This is a season where I am removing all limitations off of My people; I am opening their thinking to expect greater things. This is a time and a season where I want to show My glory and My power and My great love to all men, so that many who are lost might come to believe.

I am looking for sons and daughters who are willing to embrace faith and do this with Me. I am looking for those who are willing to learn to trust Me, to know My voice and to believe that I really mean the things that I have said in My word. I am looking for those who will stop being limited by the constraints of this world and who will start moving according to the constraints of My will.

Dear one, learn to trust Me. Then watch and see how I will bring My glory into your life. What need do you have that I cannot meet? What obstacle is before you that is too hard for Me to overcome? There isn't any such thing--for I am greater than all, and I can indeed do all things through My own great power and might.

But despite all My power, My might and all My great strength, there Is still one that that limits Me. That thing is the faith and expectations of My own people. They think too small and they limit what they are willing to allow Me to accomplish through them. That must change, because I have great plans. It is time for My people to put off their the things that hold them back. It is time to for them to expand their tent pegs and embrace a larger vision. It is time for them to walk in faith.

My people, I am able to exceed your expectations, if only you will learn to put your trust in Me.

IRAQ: Where Happiness Has Gone

By Ahmed Ali and Dahr Jamail

BAQUBA, Mar 7 (IPS) - After losing sight of what they knew to be normal life, residents across Baquba seem to have fallen into a depression.

Close to the fifth anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, March 19, Iraqis today say they feel humiliated in their own country. "People have forgotten how to be happy," says resident Bashar Ameen. "Each day, we have only more suffering."

On the two main Islamic festivals through a year, Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, people customarily buy new clothes and decorate their homes. It is meant to be a time of happiness and reconciliation. Now it is on these days that depression is most apparent.

"We did not prepare for the recent festival because we do not feel it is the joyous occasion it used to be," Aiman Nory, an employee at the directorate-general of education told IPS.

Children are forgetting the joy of what were the big days for them. "Before the invasion, streets were full on festival days with children playing and families walking about," Abdul-Kareem Faraj, a 44-year-old who once owned a sweets shop told IPS. "This occupation has killed the happiness of children.

"We need to be happy for the sake of our children. Families used to buy large amounts of sweets for the festivals, and we used to prepare the shop to receive a large number of customers, but now I have closed my shop because people quit buying sweets."

For a start, festivals are days people visit one another, and feast. Over the last three years, it has become close to impossible to just move.

Feasting has always been a strong Iraqi tradition. Even during the economic sanctions of the 1990s, when food was scarce, Iraqis kept up this tradition, particularly on Fridays.

"Now, such traditions have been reduced to a minimum because of the bad security situation, high living expenses, and curfews," Diya Imad, a 43-year-old resident of the city told IPS. "We used to listen to each other, laugh, plan our days together, spend good moments, and forget our grief by giving comfort to each other. But now we have lost all this. This has deepened a feeling of depression in all of us."

"Not only people, but the streets and buildings are depressed," an engineer in the local municipality told IPS. Like many others, he did not wish to give his name, in view of the difficult security environment. "Streets are full of mud and dirt, and desolate; trees have been cut and burnt, buildings are pulled down, gardens are barren. Everything is grief-stricken and low-spirited."

Baquba has never much known the idea of psychotherapy. People have always relied on family and social networks to find mental and emotional support during difficult times.

But now the stress is taking a physical toll. "The majority of diseases I am seeing have moral and psychological causes," a pathologist at a local hospital told IPS. "For over three years now we have had thousands of cases of sudden death; due often to thrombus or angina pectoris, among young and old people alike. We never saw anything like this until the Americans came."

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees announced in January that Iraqi refuges in Syria are "suffering from extreme levels of trauma."

Its study, based on interviews with 754 refugees, and analysed by the U.S. Centre for Disease Control using the Hopkins Symptom Checklist (HSC) and the Harvard Trauma Questionnaire (HTQ), reveals that 89.5 percent refugees are suffering from depression, 81.6 percent from anxiety and 67.6 percent from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

"We are shocked by the statistics but not surprised because every hour of the day there is somebody who reports torture, there is someone who reports the devastating effects of the violence," said Sybella Wilkes, spokesperson for the UNHCR in Syria.

It is assumed that such statistics apply also to Iraqis who remain in the country. For more than two years now, Iraqi doctors have been reporting a dramatic increase in substance abuse and prescription drug addition.

(*Ahmed, our correspondent in Iraq's Diyala province, works in close collaboration with Dahr Jamail, our U.S.-based specialist writer on Iraq who travels extensively in the region)

Where Do We Go From Here?

By Amy Goodman

It has been 40 years since Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tenn., while standing on the balcony outside his room at the Lorraine Motel. King was there to support striking sanitation workers, African-American men who endured horrible working conditions for poverty wages. While King´s staff was opposed to him going, as they were scrambling to organize King´s new initiative, the Poor People´s Campaign, King himself knew that the sanitation workers were at the front lines of fighting poverty.

I went to Memphis on Dr. King´s birthday. There I interviewed Taylor Rogers, one of the striking sanitation workers who marched with King. He told me:

“Back in 1968, 1,300 sanitation workers—we were tired of being mistreated, overworked and underpaid. We decided that we were just going to stand up and be men and do something about our condition. And that´s what we did. We stood up, and we told [Mayor] Henry Loeb in the city of Memphis that ‘I am a man.´ ’

While he was organizing against poverty, King also came out forcefully against the Vietnam War, alienating his erstwhile ally, President Lyndon Johnson. Exactly one year before his assassination, on April 4, 1967, King gave his “Beyond Vietnam’ speech at Riverside Church in New York City. He said: “A few years ago, there was a shining moment in that struggle. It seemed as if there was a real promise of hope for the poor, both black and white, through the poverty program. There were experiments, hopes, new beginnings. Then came the buildup in Vietnam, and I watched this program broken and eviscerated as if it were some idle political plaything of a society gone mad on war. And I knew that America would never invest the necessary funds or energies in rehabilitation of its poor so long as adventures like Vietnam continued to draw men and skills and money like some demonic, destructive suction tube. So I was increasingly compelled to see the war as an enemy of the poor and to attack it as such.’

He went on, “I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today: my own government.’

Time magazine called the speech “demagogic slander that sounded like a script for Radio Hanoi.’ The Washington Post declared that King had “diminished his usefulness to his cause, his country, his people.’

King made an essential link between poverty at home and war-making abroad. The connection, sadly, is as relevant today as it was the last year of King´s life. A new report from the Institute for Policy Studies, “40 Years Later: The Unrealized American Dream,’ lays out key elements of the inequality that African-Americans experience in the United States around education, employment and wealth accumulation.

On education, the IPS report states that African-American college graduation rates will not be on par with white graduation rates for another 80 years. The income gap between blacks and whites will not disappear for more than 500 years at current rates. More than one-third of African-Americans earn less than $20,000 annually, before taxes.

African-Americans are also far behind in the accumulation of wealth. Add to all this higher incarceration, less access to health insurance and shorter life expectancy. King´s Poor People´s Campaign went beyond race, as he reached out to poor whites in places like Appalachia. Today, one in five residents of West Virginia is on food stamps, as is one in 10 Ohioans, and, according Jim Weill, president of the Food Research and Action Center, one in three children in Oklahoma has been on food stamps at some point in the past year. It is clear that Dr. King´s goal of bringing people “to the promised land’ is still far off.


Amy Goodman is the host of “Democracy Now!,’ a daily international TV/radio news hour airing on 650 stations in North America.

© 2008 Amy Goodman

Speaking Truth To Poverty

Cabinet post could at last spur measurable results

By Martin Luther King III

It has been 40 years since the last sermon my father gave at the National Cathedral in Washington, when he called upon our nation's leaders to eradicate poverty once and for all, explaining that, "There is nothing new about poverty. What is new is that we now have the techniques and the resources to get rid of poverty. The real question is whether we have the will."

Today, as our nation continues to be plagued by a poverty that is inexcusable when coupled with record riches amassed by the wealthy, the challenge that consumed my father toward the end of his life has remained comfortably entrenched within the realm of rhetoric and not action.

I therefore call upon all our presidential candidates to take a vow that, within the first 100 days in office as commander in chief, he or she will appoint a cabinet-level officer whose responsibility will be to make a measurable impact on eradicating poverty and allow more Americans to move up into our middle class.

A poverty cabinet member is necessary today more than ever. Our next president will be taking over a government that faces virtually the exact same poverty rate my father found so appalling back in 1968. The U.S. Census Bureau reports the current poverty rate is just over 12 percent, as it was in 1968, while the number of people living in poverty has grown from 25 million to more than 36 million, including 12 million children. Even worse, a family of four with two children and an annual income of $21,027 is not even considered poor by our government's reporting standards. Many people have become immune to these statistics, but we cannot wait for another Katrina to truly grasp that America is awash in poverty.

The work of the cabinet officer must transcend the ceremonial. His or her principal focus must be highlighting successful programs working at the local level, developing new, more accurate measurements for poverty, and setting benchmarks for success by which the administration will be judged.

We can look to the leadership of Mayor Michael Bloomberg for developing the Office of Financial Empowerment within the Department of Consumer Affairs of New York City, which utilizes strategic partnerships and innovation to educate, empower and protect low-income New Yorkers. Going far beyond New York's model, the national poverty office would investigate public policy that could boost income, increase savings, encourage asset building, protect consumers and work to bring about systemic change in the war on poverty. An emphasis would be placed on coordinating with the public, private and civic sectors to develop institution-based and action-oriented solutions while setting measurable benchmarks for success. This isn't just about speeches. Just as America created a middle class through deliberate action once before, we can take the steps to restore opportunity to all our citizens again.

Finally, the office would develop more accurate measurements for poverty that wouldn't overlook the family of four barely surviving on $21,000 a year. With real data, the office can generate meaningful reports on the causes and effects of poverty that will raise the profile of poverty as a national issue and highlight successful anti-poverty policies that can be promoted to Congress, the president and the public. In a nation heavily influenced by our market-based principles, we pay attention to what we can count. So it's time to start counting correctly.

My father spent his life in the trenches of a war that poses a true threat to our peace and security as a nation. He fought the war on poverty with the sanitation workers in Memphis, and he was moved to continue that fight as he witnessed barely clothed children in Marks, Miss., and a mother in Newark, N.J., raising her children in a rat-infested apartment.

Four decades have come and gone, but as I have traveled the country continuing the fight on poverty, I have seen firsthand that the poverty remains the same.

I urge our nation, our citizens, our businesses, our government and our presidential hopefuls to remember my father's caution in his final sermon: There is no such thing as a conscientious objector in the war on poverty.


Martin Luther King III is an international human rights activist and chairman and CEO of Realizing the Dream Inc.

For the Journal-Constitution

The Other Side of “The Days of Elijah’

Chris Anderson

Something doesn´t add up.

“These are the days of Elijah,’ we´ve heard it sung.

“These are the days of Elijah,’ we´ve heard it preached.

“These are the days of Elijah,’ we´ve heard it prophesied.

But then I look around. “Where is the Lord God of Elijah,’ I ask. How is it that for all this singing, preaching and prophesying about “Elijah,’ there´s next to nothing to be seen of the real spirit of Elijah in the land? There are some pretenders banging a few tinkling cymbals claiming to represent “Elijah. “ But where is the true spirit of Elijah—confronting kings, calling down fire, raising the dead to life?

As I mused on this—which I have often—the Lord used some writings of a respected prophetic mentor (long since gone to paradise) to remind me of the “other side’ of the days of Elijah.

It´s true that every time we hear the name “Elijah’ we immediately envision all the miraculous feats that marked his ministry. So this is naturally what we have been expecting in fulfillment of these prophecies. But when we read the entire story of Elijah, we see that there was more to his arrival than the obvious. Of special interest is the part of the tale from I Kings 17:2-5:

The word of the Lord came to Elijah: “Go away from here, turn eastward and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, east of the Jordan. You may drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to supply you with food there.’ So he went and did according to the word of the Lord…

This “hiding away’ of Elijah is of great significance. It comes from the very opening of the account of his ministry, long before a single miracle or power-confrontation is ever recorded. The context is this:

Elijah arrives on the scene to make a declaration of drought to king Ahab, and no sooner does he appear than he “disappears.’ He has come, and yet he just as quickly is “gone.’ He knows where he is. But nobody else does.

This “other’ part of the story of Elijah—the “hidden’ part—can go a long way to encourage those of us who have been hearing and believing in the manifestation of the end time Elijah spirit, only to see everything but! Let´s try to put some perspective on this. In the process, we´ll see that the days of Elijah are indeed here after all as predicted.


For decades, people with Elijah-class hearts have been sitting in the backs of churches ruled by Ahabs and Jezebels. Despite their best efforts to remain at peace and to hope for repentance and change, they have been eventually precipitated by the Spirit into confrontations where they have ended having to declare the departure of God´s glory (“Ichabod’) to the leaders of these ministries. This emergence and precipitation of believers to such declarations is in fact the first fulfillment of the prophecies of the return of the days of Elijah.

These “Elijah’ believers and their declarations have not made the headlines of the Christian tabloids. Usually they are known only within the church they´ve been led into confronting. And their departures are often a hush-hush affair. But their story has been multiplied thousands fold throughout the body of Christ. Warning after warning and declaration after declaration of the departure of the Spirit has been made by Elijahs to Ahab pastors and leaders of ministries of all sizes.

Now note more carefully the declarations and their effect. When translated into prophetic terms, the essence of these declarations is that “there will be no more rain’ in this church. Again, this has been prophesied multiplied times over in thousands of churches by innumerable Elijahs of all kinds—young ones, old ones; men, women; pew sitters, church staff; new comers, old comers—none of whom know the others across the body of Christ. And what we are seeing now in the body-wide church is a veritable dearth and famine in fulfillment of these words.

What is the consequence for the Elijahs? They have been of course ushered straight out the doors of the churches. They are no longer to found or heard. They are in fact, hidden away. This hiding is itself part of the pattern in early fulfillment of the days of Elijah. On the surface, it appears that the Elijahs have been “kicked out.’ But from the Spirit´s perspective they have in fact been led to hide themselves away.

Not that the Elijahs have understood this. They haven´t. They usually have not heard a voice saying, “go hide thyself by the brook Cherith.’ But in reality, that is what the Spirit has mandated—even against the attempts of the Elijahs to be profitably engaged with the body of Christ. Even in spite of themselves, the Lord has hidden them away.

Meanwhile the dearth continues. The real kingdom word of God and the power of the Spirit are hardly to be found in any western church today. The rain is indeed stopped, just as the Elijahs have declared it would. The land is utterly parched. There´s hardly a morsel of real bread to feed on anywhere. Lots of show and theater—“rainless clouds’ (Jude 12). Not much else. The prophecy has come true: a “famine for hearing the word of God.’

Not only this, but the famine in the church is affecting the surrounding culture and governments. The knowledge of God is disappearing from the face of the culture. It´s getting so bad that laws are being passed under various guises (such as “anti-hate speech’) to effectively prohibit the preaching of the gospel—in supposedly “Christian’ nations. The Elijahs hidden away and seeing this, like John the Baptist confusedly ask, “Where´s the kingdom power we´ve been looking for?’ They can´t understand why they aren´t being released to confront the society and the governments of this world with the bold claims of Christ—why their “hands are tied’ as if in prison, having to stand by and watch society totally kick out our God from its midst, and possibly even eventually kill them all like sitting ducks.


As one who lives in the “east’ of his country as Elijah was sent to, I have had larger cause to meditate on this story. But here is what God wants me to understand, and I pass on to you. A time is coming when we will indeed be released to confront the Ahab churches and the godless society they have allowed to fester under their watch. There will be a culture wide Mount Carmel showdown. There will be some kind of repentance, false prophets will be slain, and the true rain will indeed fall that has been prophesied. (Don´t ask me when or how). Meanwhile however, other things will still happen before this:

1)     The Elijah movement will still be fed and watered by the spirit in hiding. We will still find spiritual nourishment and can pass it on to one another, despite the surrounding famine.

2)     The “prophets of Baal’ serving a false culture-intoxicated “Jesus’ will still keep “rain dancing’ in the theater churches, singing meaningless songs about “revival’ that they don´t really understand and ultimately don´t really want. Such rain dancing will manifest itself in earnest at the Mt. Carmel confrontation to come.

3)      Before all this happens, the Elijahs will be paired with a “widow people’ in “Zarephath’ where together they will be mutually supplied by the Lord (the “meal’ of the Word and “oil’ of the Spirit will not fail here) until the confrontation back in “Israel’ is ready. Zarephath was outside of Israel. This means that the present hidden Elijah movement will make some kind of Spirit-directed encounter and form some kind of alliance with a divinely “prepared’ yet equally unknowledgeable people outside the church as we know it. Watch for this.


This is all for the time being. I hope it will help illumine those with burning hearts after righteousness who feel powerless to confront the church and society any longer, who watch the society closing in ever more to smother what little remains of the word of our Gospel, and who wonder “Where is the Lord God of Elijah?’

Be patient. I´ll tell you where He is:

“The spirit of Elijah does not come by looking for him. Neither will they say, ‘Look, here is Elijah´ or ‘There he is.´ For the spirit of Elijah is within you!’

Chris Anderson

First Love Ministry
- a ministry of Anglemar Fellowship

Three Words Progressives Can Use to Win Elections

By Bernie Horn

Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

In this poem, Langston Hughes famously evokes the spirit of the American dream. It is our soaring common vision -- a portrait of an America without tyranny, without injustice.

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed --
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.

The American dream is not about a society where government secures the greatest good for the greatest number. Our dream is personal. It's about a poor child delivering newspapers and one day ending up as the publisher. It's about an unskilled worker attending night school and becoming a successful manager. It's about individuals and families practicing their religion without interference, getting ahead through hard work, and being able to retire in security and comfort. The American dream is a prayer, a vision, a fervent hope that every individual may be given a fair chance to build a successful life.

The progressive-liberal-Democratic base of voters would gladly accept a communitarian philosophy. I, too, wish that American culture were more oriented toward altruism and community. But it isn't. A realistic progressive philosophy is one that accepts our national culture of individualism and -- nevertheless -- seeks to make the American dream accessible to all. How can we envision such a philosophy?

Balance Is Justice

Imagine a balance scale -- the old-fashioned kind with two pans, one suspended from each end of a bar. It's the kind of scale that symbolizes equal justice under law. In a progressive world, the role of government is to help balance the scale when powerful individuals or organizations compete against weaker ones. Government should function as a counterweight on the scale of justice. The greater the disparity of power between competing interests, the greater weight the government must provide to the weaker side.

It is not government's job to ensure that everyone wins every competition -- that would be a logical impossibility. Instead, government must ensure that, whenever possible, competition is both fair and humane. In other words, justice is the purpose of government, and in an individualistic society, balance is the means of achieving justice.

A system in balance rewards hard work, efficiency, and innovation -- which benefit all of society, and discourages crime, corruption, and schemes to game the system -- which rob all of society. But isn't balance an awfully broad principle? How do we apply it? Let's break down public policy into three situations, where: (1) government has no proper role; (2) government acts as a referee; and (3) government acts as a protector.


Where government has no proper role, because public action would violate individual rights, progressive policy should be based on freedom. By freedom, I mean the absence of legal interference with our fundamental rights -- freedom of speech, religion, and association; the right to privacy; the rights of the accused; and the right of all citizens to vote. Compared to an individual, government wields tremendous power, so a progressive policy adds great weight -- in the form of strong legal rights -- to the individual's side of the scale.

Freedom is the cornerstone of America's value system. For two centuries, America has been defined by its commitment to freedom. One poll found that Americans believe -- by a margin of 73 to 15 percent -- that freedom is more important than equality. But because it's so popular, freedom is the most misused of all political terms.

Neoconservatives have incessantly proclaimed to Americans that both the war in Iraq and the "war on terror" are in defense of our freedom. Don't believe it. Our freedom is not in jeopardy -- neither the Iraqis nor al-Qaeda are attempting to invade America and control our government. U.S. military and police actions might be said to protect our security, but not our freedom. So don't use the word freedom when discussing terrorism or Iraq -- it just provides a false justification for war.

Similarly, conservatives equate freedom with capitalism. Don't believe it. Our nation's market economy is not free from government control -- actually, it is dominated by government. Markets are based on a dense web of laws enforced by multiple layers of federal, state, and local agencies. Businesses are not free to sell diseased meat, make insider stock trades, pollute our air and water, or discriminate on the basis of race, gender, or ethnicity. So don't be fooled by the terms free market, free enterprise, or free trade, because they all support right-wing policies.

Most astonishing, I think, is the way religious extremists use the word freedom to mean the very opposite. They argue that freedom gives them the right to use the power of government to impose their religious views on the rest of us. When they pressure school boards to mandate the teaching of intelligent design in schools, when they erect monuments to the Ten Commandments in courthouses, when they work to ban all abortions, when they seek to promote prayer in public schools, right-wingers assert it's an exercise in religious freedom. Please, don't believe it. Freedom is the absence of government intervention.

When defined too broadly, freedom becomes an empty platitude that can be wielded as a bludgeon to pummel any side of any political argument. My freedom to operate a monopoly tramples on your freedom to buy cheaper products. My freedom to drive an unsafe vehicle tramples on your freedom to travel the same roads in safety. My freedom to smoke in a bar tramples on your freedom to breathe clean air. "Freedom to ..." and "freedom from ..." gets us nowhere.

Besides, progressives have had plenty of opportunities in the past few years to rally for freedom solely in defense of individual rights. To name just a few:

When the National Security Agency conducts warrantless eavesdropping on the phone calls and e-mails of innocent Americans, it's a violation of our freedom.
When the FBI's TALON database shows that the government has been spying on peaceful domestic groups, including Quakers, the Campus Antiwar Network, and Veterans for Peace, it's a violation of our freedom.
When the federal government arrests an American citizen, Jose Padilla, on American soil and holds him for years without the most basic rights afforded the accused, keeping him in almost complete isolation and preventing him even from talking to a lawyer during his first twenty-one months in a military prison, it's a violation of our freedom.
When, just forty-five days after the September 11 attacks, with almost no debate, Congress approves the USA Patriot Act, broadly increasing government power to search medical, tax, and even library records without probable cause, and to break into homes to conduct secret searches, it's a violation of our freedom.

After years of warrantless wiretapping, illegal imprisonments, and torture, we should all be saying the F-word with regularity. No, no, I mean freedom. Why do progressives seem allergic to this word?


Where government acts as a referee between private, unequal interests, progressive policy should be based on opportunity. By opportunity, I mean a level playing field in social and economic affairs -- fair dealings between the powerful and the less powerful, the elimination of discrimination, and a quality education for all. Competing interests usually hold unequal power, so progressive policy adds weight -- guarantees of specific protections -- to the weaker interest. For example, unskilled low-wage workers have no leverage to bargain for higher pay. That's why it is up to the government to impose a reasonable minimum wage. Quite simply, when social and market forces do not naturally promote equal opportunity, government must step in.

Opportunity means, more than anything, a fair marketplace. Although progressives tend to stress the rights of consumers and employees against businesses, opportunity also means fairness between businesses -- especially helping small enterprises against large ones -- and fairness for stockholders against corporate officers. Individual ambition, innovation, and effort -- harnessed by the market system -- are supposed to benefit society as a whole. But that can happen only when the competition is fair.

The concept of opportunity is an easy sell to progressives. Hubert Humphrey said, "The struggle for equal opportunity in America is the struggle for America's soul." Amen to that.

And yet, since the Reagan years, we've been losing that struggle:
Wage inequality has grown. From 1979 to 2003, income for those in the bottom tenth of wage earners increased less than 1 percent, and millions actually earn less today than they did then, adjusting for inflation. During that same period, salaries for Americans in the top tenth increased 27 percent.
The richest have gained the most. Between 1996 and 2001, the richest 1 percent of Americans received 21.6 percent of all the gains in national income. CEO pay, especially, has skyrocketed. Today, the richest 10 percent of Americans own 71 percent of all the wealth -- the top 1 percent own 33 percent of all assets.
Poverty has increased. Although the number of Americans living in poverty steadily declined from 1993 to 2000, at least five million have fallen below the poverty line since George W. Bush took office.
Educational inequality has worsened. Economic (and often racial) segregation of schools has increased, with schools in poorer areas having less money per student and paying less per teacher while dealing with larger class sizes, crumbling facilities, and inadequate equipment. Students who need more resources are given less.

Equal opportunity has taken it on the chin. The gauzy mist of the American dream is being blown away by a gust of savage reality. That's because the right wing opposes opportunity.

Conservatives have fought against ending discrimination, even though equal treatment is a precondition for equal opportunity. They don't even pretend to support equal opportunity in commerce; instead, conservatives lobby for government favors, no-bid contracts, and economic development giveaways. And right-wingers seek to destroy anything that allows individuals to stand up to larger economic forces, with labor unions, consumer protections, and antimonopoly policies under constant attack.

Our mission is clear. It is to guarantee that all Americans are able to realize their goals through education, hard work, and fair pay. We must provide every person, not just the privileged few, with an equal opportunity to pursue a better life -- equal access to the American dream.


Where government acts to protect those who cannot reasonably protect themselves, including future generations, progressive policy should be based on security. By security, I mean protecting Americans from domestic criminals and foreign terrorists, of course, but also insuring the sick and the vulnerable, safeguarding the food we eat and products we use, and preserving our environment.

There is always a threat that larger or unexpected forces will attack any one of us, so progressive policy adds weight, in the form of government institutions and programs, that helps protect us from harm. For example, society has a responsibility to protect the elderly, the disabled, widows, and orphans and that's why an aptly named federal program has functioned in that role for more than a half-century -- Social Security.

Progressives support the concept of security, of course. But as I've traveled around the country giving workshops to progressives, I notice that we usually detour around the word. To ignore security is to lose the argument.

And this is an argument we want to have. To quote the President, "Bring it on." Since 2001, conservatives have devastated national and individual security:
The Bush Administration's doctrine of preemptive war, its utter contempt for our traditional allies, its violations of the Geneva Conventions, and its refusal to comply with important treaties have sacrificed America's moral standing in international affairs. As a result, our nation is now far less able to protect Americans and American interests worldwide.
The right-wing attack on Social Security is just one small facet of a coordinated, cold-blooded plan to dismantle New Deal and Great Society programs that protect our health, our safety, and our environment.
The profligate spending and massive tax breaks for the wealthy enacted by a conservative-controlled Congress greatly restrict our nation's ability to deal with threats to our security -- from emergency preparedness to protection of the vulnerable in our communities.

In every important way, the right wing has made our country less secure. So let's keep the upper hand in this debate. Whether we're talking about Iraq or drug-related crime, progressives are for commonsense policies that will make Americans safer.

The All-American Philosophy

Now that you think about it, don't the principles of freedom, opportunity, and security sound kind of familiar?

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

This famous line from the Declaration of Independence is more than a set of high-sounding platitudes -- it is an assertion of American political philosophy. And it's a progressive philosophy.

By "Life," Thomas Jefferson did not mean simply the right to survival, which would suggest that being beaten almost to death is OK. He meant a right to personal security. By "Liberty," Jefferson was referring to the kinds of freedoms that were ultimately written into federal and state Bills of Rights, blocking the government from infringing upon speech, religion, the press, and trial by jury, as well as protecting individuals from wrongful criminal prosecutions. And how do we translate Jefferson's "pursuit of Happiness"? It cannot mean that everyone has the God-given right to do whatever makes them happy. Read "happiness" together with the earlier part of the same sentence, "all men are created equal." Jefferson is not saying that people have an unbridled right to pursue happiness; he is saying they have an equal right to pursue happiness. In today's language, we'd call that equal opportunity.

We progressives haven't forgotten the principles that inspired our nation. But we have misplaced them. And worse, we've allowed right-wing extremists to hijack our ideals and wave them like a flag, rallying Americans to their distinctly un-American cause.

It is time to right that wrong. Let's fit our progressive policies with a classic (and popular!) philosophical frame: freedom, opportunity, and security for all.

This excerpt was adapted from Chapter One of Framing the Future: How Progressive Values Can Win Elections and Influence People.

© 2008 Berrett-Koehler Publishing All rights reserved.
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Follow Me!

Debra Westbrook

"I have brought you out by a way that you had not known, to a place that you did not intend to be or did not really see. I asked you to follow Me.

In following Me, I am teaching you and have taught you to only look to Me. I have cautioned you about looking to the right or to the left for in doing that you would lose your way in peripheral vision.

I have asked you to look ahead and to focus on Me and in focusing on Me you would not lose your way in the non-essentials that bear nothing of eternal reality in their substance.

It has not been an easy way for any of you. For I take each of you by a narrow path that is formed by the truth of the light of My word and is forged by the reality of experience that is worked out through simple obedience to My call upon your life.

I am raising up an end time company of people that have been disconnected from any earthly kingdom that demands allegiance to its ways which run contrary to My ways. For My ways are higher than your ways and My ways may seem foolish at times but I say to follow Me.

Move in Me and live in Me and have your being in Me. This is not the time to make any decisions outside of My perfect will for your life. Time spent in the secret place of My presence will reveal what I have planned for you at this time. When I am silent it is because I am teaching you to focus on me and me alone and to reject the cacophony of noise that comes from the world around you. Yet I am in you and in that place, that secret place there is a peace that surpasses understanding.

The world would make decisions at this time based upon a future that they create in their own mind through presumption and assumption. They think that things can only get better and life will go on as it is. This future is created in the darkness of their own thinking based upon their own wisdom. Look around you. So many follow the desires of their own hearts building their lives on the pursuit of pleasure and self-gratification.

This should not be for any of those who call themselves My children. For my ways are not these ways. This narrow path that you find yourself on is one that I have called each of you to walk on in these times. Do not seek to understand the path. Seek only to follow Me and in following Me I will give you understanding with each step of faith that you take in Me and in Me alone. This is not a time to question. This is a time for simple obedience.

I am working a clear revelation of eternity in your hearts. A hunger for eternal reality. A desire for eternal reality. To live above all that you see, having an eternal perspective in Me. Truly being in the world but not of the world. That is My desire for each of you. Forsaking the kingdoms of this earth and following a path to a city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God."

Hebrews 11:8-10

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. 9 By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; 10 for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.


Hebrews 11:13-16

These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14 For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. 15 And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.


Hebrews 12:1-2

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.


Rivers of Eden
Debra & Marvin Westbrook

The Way to Peace Can Be Paved With Forgiveness, Reconciliation and Negotiation

by Olga Bonfiglio

Peace activists are often accused of being naïve dreamers when it comes to dealing with conflict or dangerous enemies.

So what is the alternative? Usually it´s to fight fire with fire (i.e., revenge and retaliation).

The very nature of peacemaking, however, is not to fight but rather to confront “the opponent’ with intelligence, craftiness, humor and a thirst for justice. We have some splendid examples of this approach in Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Dorothy Day, just to name a few. Skeptics recoil and sputter that such people were exceptions.

However, let´s not forget that these “peace heroes’ inspired ordinary people to follow them and choose to become part of a movement for change.

Skeptics also claim that the American “sheeple’ cannot be moved because they are asleep, unaware, too numb and too busy to care about injustices. They also say it is impossible to fight against the awesome power of Corporate America, Big Government and other power brokers.

OK, then maybe that´s a cue for peace activists´ next challenge: How can we inspire others so deeply that they choose to form a movement for change from violence and war to peace; from hatred to love; from revenge and retaliation to forgiveness and reconciliation; from an obstinate refusal to communicate to negotiation?

Let´s look at some recent examples of the impossible.

The Amish

On October 2, 2006, ten Amish girls were gunned down in a schoolhouse in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania.

A community known for its gentleness, religious faith and the rejection of modern technological society had been severely violated. However, within six hours of the shooting, Amish leaders reached out to family members of the killer to let them know that they forgave him and still regarded them as part of the community.

The typical Amish attitude about forgiveness is: “We have to forgive others so that God will forgive us.’ They formed this outlook on life 300 years ago when their ancestors, the Anabaptists, were persecuted and tortured by Catholic and Protestant religious authorities who objected to their belief in a second baptism. And even as they were burning at the stake, those same Anabaptist martyrs forgave their persecutors, just as Jesus did to his persecutors during his crucifixion 2,000 years before.

The Amish practice of humility, submission and patience “provides them with an enormous capacity to absorb adversity, forgo revenge and carry on-gracefully,’ say the authors of Amish Grace, a book about the Nickel Mines community´s response to this terrible tragedy. It was forgiveness that opened everyone to grace and everyone and everything was suddenly changed.

South Africa

April 27, 1994, marked the day apartheid ended and all of South Africa voted. Nelson Mandela, who had been released from prison after 27 years with 18 in solitary confinement, was elected South Africa´s first black president.

Mandela´s victory became even more incredible when he called on the post-apartheid government´s efforts to create peace and equality among the races. He did this by getting the new government to pass a general amnesty toward those who were guilty of the crimes and atrocities of apartheid as long as they made a full disclosure of all the facts of their activities.

The victims of apartheid would likewise waive their right to sue for compensation and instead accept reparations. Reparations, then, became a symbolic gesture of the nation that bore the victims´ pain and trauma. Mandela´s underlying assumption was that peace in South Africa could only be won when the people admitted that evil was present in everyone.

“We sat down and negotiated with our former enemies,’ said Bishop Desmond Tutu, presidential appointee of the Truth and Reconciliation Committees, the key instrument in healing the wounds of apartheid. “We forgot the past, looked for the best in everyone, and came to terms with the ghastly things done by both sides.’

Tutu illustrated how this worked by citing an “incredibly moving’ inter-faith service he attended in Pretoria.

Survivors who had endured the killing of 11 people in their community held hands with the white police officer who had given the order to kill their family and friends years before.

The officer had applied and was granted amnesty by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, but he also was required to make a public show of regret for his actions by asking the community to forgive him of his deeds. At first, the community was hostile toward him and disbelieved his repentance, but he pressed them to move beyond the past.

“In that moment, barriers toppled,’ said Tutu, “and the community forgave him.’

“We don´t know how it can happen, but it happened. Former enemies were able to find one another in magnanimity, even after they experienced untold suffering. They all had good reasons for revenge, but by discovering their own capacities for evil as part of the whole picture of themselves, they were able to forgive and forget.’


Burundi is a geographically-isolated country in the Great Lakes region of east-central Africa with a population of 6 million, down considerably after four decades of civil war, genocide, displacement and an epidemic of HIV affecting nearly four percent of the adult population.

Roughly 85 percent of the population is of the marginalized Hutu ethnic origin while most of the minority is the politically dominant Tutsi.

The coffee-based economy (78 percent of its export trade) make it the lowest GDP per capita in the world at US$90 compared to $43,594 in the United States.

It´s no wonder that Burundi was recently declared the country with the lowest “satisfaction with life“. Howard Wolpe, currently director of the Africa Program for the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and a former seven-term U.S. congressman, had been working with Burundi for 10 years including five years as presidential special envoy to Africa´s Great Lakes region. After getting the go-ahead from the World Bank, Wolpe instituted the Burundi Leadership Training Program (BLTP), which aimed to develop the leaders´ communication and negotiation skills needed to guide Burundi´s recovery and transition to democracy.

Wolpe went beyond conventional diplomacy, which is usually aimed at obtaining a “quick acceptance’ to agreements hammered out by lawyers. The missing element in that process is to take into consideration the personalities of the leaders who harbored decades of fear, mistrust and suspicion.

According to the Wilson Center Web site, the BLTP, “seeks to enable leaders from belligerent parties to address four challenges that are key to the achievement of a durable peace: (1) shifting key leaders from a zero-sum mindset to one that recognizes interdependence and the importance of collaboration; (2) rebuilding the trust and relationships among key leaders that have been fractured by conflict; (3) strengthening their communication and negotiation skills; and (4) rebuilding a consensus on how power should be organized and decisions made.’

The Burundi Program has been so successful that Wolpe has been invited to work with the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia and most recently, East Timor.

For those of us who want change we need to remember that just because our leadership does not possess the qualities of forgiveness, reconciliation and negotiation, does not mean that “we the people’ can´t. And if we really believe in democratic governance, then it is incumbent on us to initiate and “be the change’ in order to show our leaders the way.

Forgiveness, reconciliation and negotiation are not easy. However, they are essential if we are to move beyond our present divisions, hatreds, violence and war both at home and abroad.

Peace activists, in particular, can make a difference everyday to serve as bridges in our local communities so that the spirit of forgiveness, reconciliation and negotiation can spread throughout our country and the world.


Olga Bonfiglio is a professor at Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and author of Heroes of a Different Stripe: How One Town Responded to the War in Iraq. She has written for several national magazines on the subjects of social justice and religion. Her website is Contact her at

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