And the Spirits Danced, Part 2 (#654)

Last week Bob Prater shared a vision he had recently and their processing of it went way beyond one podcast, so they return now to finish that conversation. If you haven't heard the first podcast, giving it a listen first will help this one make so much more sense. That leads them to a discussion of how easy it is for our best intentions to be seduced by the desire for power or money, and how Father has asked us to impact the world through generosity and love, not the power of trying to lord over others.

Podcast Notes:
Part 1 of this podcast, played last week
Bob's podcast, A Christian and a Muslim Walk Into a Studio
Previous podcasts with Bob 
The latest news from our project in Kenya

39 Comments

  1. Thanks for the part 2 of this dialogue. Not many words to say, I also want to stay away from that fleshly influence and learn how to live closer to the Shepherd. As I process my own prayers “Please show me how You see this” with Him, value hearing both of you “walk through” some of that dialogue. Blessings, Sue

  2. You never pray for healing until you realize you have an ailment.

    For me, an on-the-job injury left me physically incapacitated. The pain would not go away, so I prayed, in desperation, for healing. At the time I did not know what I was asking for. I entered a season of life where my brokenness was exposed so that God could heal it. A progression of exposure from the physical into the spiritual. An exposure so deeply personal and painful that I know it is the greatest blessing that the Spirit of God can bestow on a human being. The healing of a human soul & spirit is the process of new creation.

    Because I have been intimately aware of this transformation process through my own life experience, I can see the Spirit moving in society in the same way. Exposure. We were born into a society that is broken. We’ve been in denial. We’ve become polar and opposite and divisive and extremist and destructive — all of which further expose the brokenness. The band-aids we have put in place are peeling off, and even the checks and balances are unable to hold. Thankfully, as brokenness accelerates, so does its exposure.

    So the healing has already begun, on a small scale, individually. Beginning to see what IS broken AS broken. The trick is to let go of what is broken so you can grab on to what is newly created. And to continue to surrender to the process, and to let go of everything that hinders the process. It all starts with exposure.

  3. Thankful for this vision and hoping as I get together with family this fall that I can dance to the rhythm of wisdom and grace and help my family in that dance so we are not entangled into the dance of these counterfeit spirits…my husband and I are pretty a-political but we have family members who are passionate of their side of thinking:) which is fine to be passionate yet not belittling.
    I found myself last Christmas entering into a political dialogue with my brother and then ended up having venom come through my mouth to him:( so sad and I’ve repented but unfortunately hard to have those words erased. He was talking of how there is no injustice in America and how it’s wrong for people to kneel during the patriotic song and said the problem with black families is they have broken families with no father and I said back to him to not be a hyprocrite (as his ex took majority custody of kids) but that hurt him deeply as it wasn’t his choice to get divorced. I shouldn’t have made it personal. When I’m around strongly opinionated people I think I need to know when to say anything and when not to:(…I’m going to be with family this fall that I disagree with and I pray I simply be led by His Spirit to know when to offer a different insight and when it’s just not going to bear fruit.
    The picture of the door is neat…the door is not able to open if it’s walked over or bull dozed over so I would say wisdom allows us to shine Him as the Door and we entrust Him to protect us and have healthy boundaries to continue the door to stand open to let people see the Kingdom.

  4. Craig I love your statement “I entered a season of life where my brokenness was exposed so that God could heal it. A progression of exposure from the physical into the spiritual. An exposure so deeply personal and painful that I know it is the greatest blessing that the Spirit of God can bestow on a human being. The healing of a human soul & spirit is the process of new creation.” We are all works in progress it seems the more we die the more we become more alive. The mystery of the work of the cross in our lives. “
    This world is broken and we are broken, my experience was “I was sick and I did not know it. I was blind, deaf and even dead and did not know it”.
    As a young man I quickly became disillusioned in mankind and in this world in general. Life seemed just an existence from one day to another. It was as if I was waiting for something, but I did not know what. I was later to realise I was waiting for something that would give me hope.
    One day, I was found of Him who I did not seek and was found of Him who I did not know. At last I had found a firm foundation for my life. (Isaiah 65:1 and Romans 10:20 ) I came alive, my life now had purpose and meaning, my feet had been placed on a rock. I had never known such a love inside me and a fullness that satisfied my very being.
    Politics mean very little to me, but I do pray for our government that we may have peace and for those in authority as I believe the Lord has placed them there.
    I remember reading some letters of the early Church fathers and was astounded as to their prayers and to their attitude towards the Romans who abused them so cruelly. They prayed for the Romans and served them so righteously . Their living before God so impressed me, it gave me a desire that the Lord should touch my life in such a way also.
    We are a people who look for the Lord’s return – then will a King reign in righteousness and Princes will rule in justice. In the meanwhile, it is wonderful to realise that in the new creation, we are all works in progress and that the transformation process is something the Holy Spirit is undertaking in us all

  5. Thanks Craig and Ray for your comments. Speaks to a deep process with Christ which He is walking me through right now. Hope one day to see more of the joy in this. Blessings, Sue

  6. Too often we confuse the Kingdom of God with the ways of men

    I’ve landed on the idea that I’m always operating within the KoG. I’m either contributing to the advancement or contributing to the retreat

    I must be awake and pay attention

    At the same time, I operate within the systems of men

    I go to the bank, grocery store or watch a football game

    And while Wayne may believe God favors the Packers, I’m not so sure ?

    But I think as believers we have a role to play in the operation of those man made systems

    Political arena being one of them

    The danger is assigning Gods name to our choices

  7. Perhaps we’ve moved further in this modern era in search of personal freedom both in church & in the world to a similar era before the Kings. Perhaps into a time like the Judges when every man did what was right in his own eyes. People are not happy with any form of government (waves & seas are tossing to & fro)
    Perhaps Trump is more like Samson and fights with the jawbone of an ass

  8. I believe this podcast(s) was a good demonstration of the problem. More on that later.

    What would be helpful would be debriefings of “bridge builder” type sessions with people otherwise alike but on different sides of the political spectrum. For example, all believers or non-believers. All people with knowledge of issues who can separate issues from personalities. All people who deal only with one-liners. All people who deal mostly with rumors. But in each case, there would be people on both ends of the political spectrum. Hearing how a good facilitator worked with these groups could be quite helpful.

    But this podcast came across as “speaking down” to the audience as yet another set of people who are “right” about politics – all others are divisive. I long ago talked among Christians of the necessity to be able to debate without name calling and without reducing absolutely everything to an absolute moral issue (clearly some small number of matters are, but most things are matters of policy, goals, or strategy). This podcast goes back to the idea that a debating is “divisive”. At its worst, this podcast simply tried to dress up Trump bashing with spiritual clothes – I presume thinking that gives Trump bashing legitimacy. It doesn’t. Sadly, it reduces the legitimacy of the spiritual clothes (the two spirits) which resonated with me as God speaking.

  9. Here, here! I very much resonate with the second half of Earl Rodd’s comments.
    My yuck factor was off the charts with this podcast.

    The thing is, my spirit was immediately intrigued by the vision Bob saw. I bore witness to it. The vision is something that ought to be pondered and given careful consideration. I was grateful that Bob had said that he was still processing it. The idea of true Jesus followers being seduced and deceived by the song and dance of religious and political evil spirits rightfully troubled him. There can hardly be a more sobering thought.
    As Bob began to share in part 1, my heart and spirit trembled with my own perceived understanding.

    When the first part ended I impatiently waited for part 2 to be available.

    It is incredulous that the weighty matters that were shown and discussed the week before, were, in part 2, used as a platform for Wayne and Bob to promote identity politics. This vision turned into one more opportunity to vent their angst against the religious right. Instead of carefully unpacking the potential meanings of the vision that was presented, we were served a predigested interpretation that flows predictably in line with Wayne’s and Bob’s pet perspectives.

    I do not say this in anger, but there is a condescension projected in this podcast that is offensive and very much at odds with the usual tone of The God Journey.

  10. The comments are appreciated. The podcast was entered into with a bit of trepidation on my part with the full knowledge that this could easily be both misunderstood and even a bit divisive. Please know that wasn’t the intent. I’d be a liar if I said I didn’t have a point of view on our current state of affairs. And I believe everything I said in the podcast, but at nearly 62 years old, I’m still trying to figure out the best ways to “deliver the mail.” If there was condescension, it certainly wasn’t my heart to convey it. I’m just a guy who believes it’s possible to see healing on the Earth. And I’ve always been a man who isn’t shy about sharing what he sees. I appreciate all the kind words.

    • Dear Bob thank you for your response.
      I just want to clarify something. It was not your political point of view that disturbed me nearly as much as using the vision,( that I believe has real validity), to validate your point of view at the expense of what God may have intended.
      I understand that this gets subjective.
      That is why we need several view points .

      P. S. I am 63.
      Jesus embraced me back in 1972.

      • Hi Linda. Thanks for sharing your thoughts here. Of course, Bob and I can only talk about it from our own perspectives. What else have we got? And I don’t know that we were trying to validate anything. It seems to me these conversations grow not by labeling someone’s thoughts as “condescending” or “using it to promote identity politics”, neither of which is in my heart. I would love to hear your viewpoint on the prophecy and what you took away from it that was different than what we did.

        • You say “you can only share from what you have.” That is true. If you have true spiritual insights on divisiveness, that is something that believers submit to each other. But once you start assessing “blame” for divisiveness, you have entered politics which is OK. But be straightforward and talk about issues, personalities, and specifics. Learning to share what we think in ways that don’t reduce those who disagree to unworthy human beings is something worth modeling. But being vague with only hints while trying to say “above the fray” comes across as very condescending – and in this case pretty much rendered powerless what I saw as a word from the Lord.

    • Thank you, Bob. You and I are of the same vintage. Over the past fifteen years or so, everything I have ever believed has come under review. This has occurred by receiving a lot of “mail” as you put it, and receiving a massive encounter or message inside every envelope. I couldn’t help but surrender to a huge change of perspective. God is making a believer out of me. Like your vision, the things I hear expose the truth of what is really going on — inside of me, and inside of society.
      Like you, “I’m still trying to figure out the best ways to “deliver the mail.”” Many of my contemporaries are receiving “mail”, but most either ignore it or shrug it off. Some respond to a bit of it and then get stuck. There are many obstacles and biases inside our sensibilities that we have developed over our lifetimes. Exposure to Truth, the prime ministry of the Spirit, is, quite frankly, offensive. [John 6] Many disciples quit walking with Jesus … Each of us is severely broken, and society just magnifies and multiplies the damage. We need to be sure that Truth and Love and Healer are the same Person, or we will continue to resist. We need to be dancing with the Spirit that opposes what is broken in us.
      I know there is hope for healing on the Earth, because I am living an internal healing. But, as I mentioned in an earlier post here, “You never pray for healing until you know you are sick.” The first thing Truth exposure reveals is what is broken, or sick. The healing, as I surrender to it, is what changes my perspective.
      So, Bob, keep sharing your visions, your healing, and your “mail.” Keep having those conversations eyeball-to-eyeball. I, for one, am listening.

  11. Hi Bob & Wayne Thanks Bob for sharing the picture or perhaps a GodTube. I’m from the Land of Song (Wales), what caught my attention was the music, and I love music.
    A few years ago whilst away on a holiday my wife and I, found ourselves in conversation, with a Baptist minister and his wife. We reminisced about the many church rules and fads from our younger days. Much centred around what you couldn’t wear, where you couldn’t go and with whom, where you wouldn’t want to be if the trumpet sounded. At the time it seemed a throw away remark, that I made, but it has troubled me ever since, “In 20 years’ time what will be recalled in a similar conversation, about today”. It is my opinion the conversation will be asking, why Christians were so obsessed with music, at the cost of so much else. I would say we are already spellbound.

    Jesus stilled the wind and calmness came, but the next miracle in the 21st century would have been how the disciples could have worshipped? How many songs? Repeated how many times? The necessary worship band (the stillness short lived) and with all the movement, and the boat not capsize? Would Jesus have had time to pray in Gethsemane? (After singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.)

    Apologies for the British sense of humour and if I appear flippant.

  12. Thanks, Wayne,
    I think part of my frustration comes from the format of a Podcast. It is reminiscent of sitting in a pew. By choice we listen. Often, we are edified and would love to join in and add to the conversation. But, because the Podcast is not in real time; one wonders what difference it would really make. At other times we eat the meat and spit out what we judge as bones. Such is life. Then, there are those Podcasts where things turn political. I remember the first time you were interviewing someone and he slammed President Trump with his words. As a nation, under the past administration, we were regularly reminded that “we must respect the office.” I was sure that you or Brad would temper your guest’s statement in kind but, no such thing happened. From that point on when the subject of Trump or politics came up, your stance seems adversarial. Once, when speaking to Brad you called PresidentTrump ” your guy”
    as opposed to the President and insisted that Brad give an account for his support of the man. Now, you are entitled to your political point of view. Brad is certainly able to speak up for himself but, a tone was and is being conveyed that is troubling. The drip, drip, drip of it takes its toll.

    Here is the take away from the accumulated conversations including the recent Podcast where the Mocker in Chief becomes a partner to the demons dancing in the vision.

    You Christian Trump voters are letting your fears and your prejudices guide you. You all live in a world of,” us against them.” You look to Trump as a savior and are mixing religion with politics. You live a law and order life and don’t have pity on the plight of the less fortunate. The Trump voters are homophobic and unsympathetic to the racial inequities.
    That is a mighty broad brush.

    Do I believe for one minute that you intend deliberately to convey this impression, No I don’t! Do I believe that this is your heart NO, NO, NO! Do you mean to come across as condescending in this area, No! But, put yourself in the shoes of those of us who are being insulted. What I am saying is that there needs to be a rebuttal point of view occasionally. Christians who support and vote for President Trump are looking at the big picture and have carefully and thoughtfully researched the issues. This segment of the Christian community is voting by the light of their convictions.

    I guess it is true that we will not always agree. I keep listening and will keep listening as I have done for years. The conversations with you and Brad have enriched my life. Thanks for listening to the piper in the pew.

    Before I write about what Bob saw I need a bit more time to process and ponder.
    I will get back to you. How do I private message you?

    • Hi Linda, this is from Wayne. Thanks for responding and sharing your concerns. And yes, we feel the limitations of this podcast being a one-way conversations, which is why I enjoy so much the dialog I get to have with many listeners when I travel. It is so much more enlightening and effective.

      To be fair, however, I called out Obama on my concerns with is divisiveness as well. Both he and George w. Bush ran campaigns promising to bring us together as a country and end the divisiveness in Washington. Neither of them even tried when they got in power. And I don’t believe in “respecting the office” so much that we don’t call out our presidents (who are also our fellow-citizens), when they turn destructive. I’m not a Trump hater, nor was I an Obama hater. They’re men. They’re flawed. We get the good with the bad, but if we reward the bad, we’ll only get more of it.

      I don’t think I’ve made the characterizations of Trump voters that you suggest here. I’ve never called anyone homophobic. I have said their is a racist element to SOME Trump supporters, and that he doesn’t mind appealing to those inclinations as a way to bolster his support. But, I’ve not said that MOST of his supporters are that way. I don’t believe that.

      I liked how Bob was generous to say most people being swept into this dance just don’t realize what spirit they are of. He compared them to James and John, hardly a condescending reference. Is it happening to many of my Christian friends on the left as well? Certainly. It’s the divisiveness that I’m most concerned about, the picking of sides and the vilifying of the other. If I’m hardest on those on the right, it’s because that’s where I come from. Those are my roots, the people I know and love, and those whose choices reflect on the Jesus they claim to follow. I want to encourage any who will to become voices of love and compassion across the political divide. It does bother me that those who support Trump don’t challenge him when he mocks people so derisively. He is deepening the layers of coarseness in our national dialog along with key leaders on the Democratic side as well. I won’t sit by and watch it happen without speaking up.

      As with all our conversations we speak frankly and hopefully with compassion. I’m sorry you felt insulted. We realized many people would find that podcast challenging and others would find it illuminating. As for a personal message, you can write me directly at waynej@lifestream.org if you wish.

      • I found the comments about being “swept in” quite condescending and even insulting, references to apostles notwithstanding. My political decisions were weighed with heavy examination of what was going on and trying to find what direction the Lord would have me, as one believer in His Kingdom, take. I’m old enough to have few illusions about politics somehow sweeping us into the kingdom.

        That said, I do believe that what I often see as the president’s weakness, his relentless taking on of those who slander etc. (as opposed to debate issues), turned out to be necessary. My favored candidates with regard to character, temperament, and political philosophy would, I fear, have been destroyed by the slander machines. I don’t like that it takes a Trump like character to survive the left/media slander machine. But the alternative is one-party rule – a bad thing regardless of the party of leaders.

  13. I personally didn’t hear “Trump bashing” in the podcast per se. I heard hearts filled with hunger for freedom from religion mixed with politics. The vision was interesting. It’s evident in our society that we are all quite easily being deceived and seduced.
    I voted for Mr. Trump to be “our deliverer” for these 4 years, and will likely vote for him again in the next election. I’ve taken up “independent” voting status looking for a way to select political leaders who might stem the tide. It’s not a great option.

    Our government of the people, by the people, and for the people is weak and growing weaker, especially compared to Heaven’s Kingdom.

    I loved the “door/ doorkeeper” idea revealed by the transcript. We need the “kingdom of heaven’s” king loosed among us for just such a time as this,—- until He appears—-and that time draws near!

    Trump fights with crude weaponry for America and freedom embodied there, like Samson did with a literal jawbone of an ass. However, He seems to me to be a part of the restraining force set in place that Paul spoke to the Thessalonians about. Yet at the same time, President Trump’s actions also flow with seduction similar to what Samson fell prey to. His actions are not a wonderful restrainer of evil.

    It looks to me like human government in general has devolved into the clay & iron, (Daniel’s vision) that cannot support the weight of governance much longer. What better times to be a “door” for the kingdom? 🙂

    If the restrainer, ( seen as the ability of human government) that’s been holding back the fuller revelation of antichrist, is being taken out of the way, — then Yaaaaaaaaa!! What a time to be alive!!

  14. My 2 cents; if anyone cares. I love, love, love Wayne and Brad’s podcasts. They are like refreshing drinks of cold water to a broken person who desperately needs to understand how much God loves her.

    It’s with no hesitation that I say, I love my country. But I am white, average middle class, so perhaps it is easier to love the America I grew up in, to cling to my Bible and the Constitution and pursuit of happiness. (If I sound a bit corny and old fashioned..I am 63, after all. I learned Civics in high school back when it was still okay to be patriotic.) With that said, I am of the Mark Taylor mindset that Trump has been placed where he is by God at such a time as this. I have come to believe that Trump is a wrecking ball; there for a purpose planned by God. I am waiting to see if Kim Clement’s prophetic word in 2004 comes to pass where he speaks of this president entering the Oval Office whispering God’s name and by the time he leaves he will be shouting His name.

    I am convinced the Leviathan spirit suffocating our nation is not of flesh and blood, not Democrat vs. Republican, not black vs. white, not gay vs. straight, not woman vs. man but rather good vs. evil. I agree with this podcast that this Leviathan (Luciferian) spirit wants us divided. I also agree with Taylor that God is altering the enemy’s timeline and America has been given a reprieve. The devil’s timeline has been interrupted and his rage is apparent. I pray I have not been misled in this belief. I have asked Jesus to straighten my thinking on this, If I am wrong. He does that.

    One of my favorite Founding Father quotes, familiar to many is when outside Independence Hall when the Constitutional Convention of 1787 ended, a woman named Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia asked Benjamin Franklin, “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” With no hesitation whatsoever, Franklin responded, “A republic, if you can keep it.” In my opinion, in the human realm that is what is at stake here. Our precious Republic. That’s the outcome of this (so-far) bloodless war: its survival or its demise. I feel it’s worth keeping and am hopeful that perhaps God is giving us more time. I hope so. For the sake of my grandchildren, I hope so.

  15. Good topic.

    I have been in overseas trip since last month. – several countries.
    When I get into conversation / discussion about politics, response is same. – political corruption.

    Since the time of “Constantine”, Christians are “seduced by the desire for ( political ) power / money” – in Christian History.

    My perspective is that Christians need more discernment at this
    hour.
    – Maybe too much focus on “political power”game..

    • Excellent reminder: I believe there can be good reasons to be involved in politics, especially local, but in the heat of the process, it is all too easy to remember that our hope is NOT in politics or the works of men or in a particular man or woman! I am constantly reminded of the song “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus Christ…”.

  16. I just want to touch on one thing which you guys spoke about and that is the life of Jesus. How he was loved by children and the only people he was Hard on was the religions leader.
    In a previous podcast you spoke about reading the bible as a narrative. I started doing that with the Gospels and WOW.
    I suddenly saw a Mans who loved people, all people, the Samaritan woman at the well, the woman caught in adulatory, even the religions leader when he spoke to them in a way to get them back to His Father. Everyone He met He loved and demonstrated that love. No wonder He could say that if you have seen me you have seen the Father.

    • Hey, Stan, I think you hinted at something huge. The Life of Jesus. That he lived his human life as intended by Father-Son-Spirit on behalf of all of Adam’s offspring (a birth, a childhood, a growing-up, an adulthood, a death, a resurrection). Established the Way that human life was meant to be lived. That his life was lived True to his identity; True to his humanness (Son of Man); True to his Godness (Son of God); born a human (Child of God). Established The Image that all humanity is intended to be transformed into (the resurrected Jesus). All of this Life was created and established by God in OUR timeline.
      But there’s something major that I have been missing. “In Him.” What does this mean, really? Did Jesus really carry me ‘in him’ through HIS birth, childhood, growing-up, adulthood, death, and resurrection? Isn’t this the promise hidden in John’s gospel? Isn’t this the realization that Paul emotes about throughout his letters? If this is true, then I was a participant ‘in him’, in his whole life before I was even born! That ‘in him’ was intended before the foundation of the world, for all of humanity. I don’t know the truth or reality of this yet, but that day is coming. “In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.”

      • Hi, Craig, I always look forward to your comments as they are often food for thought. Something that really helped me was the realisation that spiritual laws and natural laws operate very differently. Christ is the door (I am the door) therefore He is enterable and so are we, for He knocks at the door of our heart. We are ”IN HIM” that is in Christ, how did we get there? Of God are you in Christ. It’s a huge subject and a Divine Mystery. Many do not approach this subject because of its spiritual complexity. The bible teaches that if any man is in Christ he is a new creation, all things are passed away and all things have become (Gk. Begin to be) new.It is the first step on the path to our living in the new creation. Paul speaks of “a glorious mystery” ie – Christ in you, the hope of glory. One is us being in Him and the other Him being in us – it’s a mutual abiding. Col. 1:27 to them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. We have been baptised by one spirit into one body (the body of Christ) and all made to drink of the one Spirit. (The Spirit is the life flow within our very being) It is the outflowing of this life that God desires to see.
        If we consider God choosing us in Christ before the foundation of the world, before we were even born. Eph. 1:4 and Rom.8:29 God had a plan and a purpose for man. To make man in His image, but man fell in Adam. Gods will cannot be fraughted. Gods way is Christ, by Him the world was created, for out of Him and through Him are all things and by Gods plan for us before the foundation of the world, before we were even born, to be holy and without blemish or holy and blameless in his sight, in love he predestined us unto sonship in accordance with his good pleasure and will.
        Another mystery is that we died in Adam I Corth. 15:22 God only looks at man as either being in Adam or Christ. We are either dead in Adam or alive in Christ. The Christian life is a grafted life, like a branch in a vine; the branch survives by its abiding. If we are part of Adam we are dead but if we are joined/grafted in to Christ we are alive. When he was born, the Lord took on our humanity and by His death on the cross He raised us up together with Him. I believe that “In that day” refers to the day of our new birth. Our realization of Christ being in us and us being in Him seems to be a progressive revelation, that grows and increases in us, through our enjoyment in Him. I may be wrong for we know in part.

        Ray

  17. The podcast brought out many thought provoking comments. Following the remarks about Trump and Cyrus I have copied and pasted some of what I have read which you might find interesting.

    Cyrus the Great respected the customs and religions of the lands he conquered. This became a very successful model for centralized administration and establishing a government working to the advantage and profit of its subjects. In fact, the administration of the empire through satraps and the vital principle of forming a government at Pasargadae were the works of Cyrus. What is sometimes referred to as the Edict of Restoration (actually two edicts) described in the Bible as being made by Cyrus the Great left a lasting legacy on the Jewish religion.

    While Cyrus was not Jewish and did not worship the God of Israel, he is nevertheless portrayed in Isaiah as an instrument of God — an unwitting conduit through which God effects his divine plan for history. Cyrus was therefore, the archetype of the unlikely “vessel”: someone God had chosen for an important historical purpose, despite not looking like — or having the religious character of — an obvious man of God.
    Note, ( this is a deduction I personally would not make.)

    Although it can not be confirmed, it is reported that Cyrus’s notions of human rights influenced the U.S. Constitution—Thomas Jefferson is reported to have been inspired by the 2,500 yr old Cyrus cylinder. Eurocentricism has led many to overlook Cyrus’ contribution to governance, such as his system of administrative divisions. Cyrus was exemplary for upholding universal religious freedom; he is perhaps most widely known for allowing the exiled Jews to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple.

    The Cyrus Cylinder from 2,500 years ago, which is sometimes considered the first declaration of human rights. It commemorates the declaration of Cyrus the Great, King of ancient Iran, granting individual and religious freedoms to those within his empire.

    I also could not see a connection between President Trump and King Saul. I find President Trump a rough diamond, but a man who can relate to those that normally would consider those in position of authority unapproachable.

  18. I enjoyed the vision that Bob shared and the ensuing conversation has given me much to ponder on over the last couple of weeks. It was a timely reminder to me that within each one of us, in our old man, exists a religious and political component. As part of the old creation, our old man dances to the tune of this world.However, the source of our living now should be the new life in the new creation. We are in this world but not of it

    Although we live in New Zealand, our household has felt a burden to pray for the USA since before your last election. The outcome of your election extends far beyond the USA. The issues that are prevailing in your country are issues that have no borders. Divisiveness, corruption, selfish ambition etc are all symptoms of the fallen creation, expressed through fallen/broken humanity.

    For a couple of years now, we have been considering our personal living in light of “for His name’s sake”, understanding that our lives reflect either His life and nature, or our old broken corrupted self life. Individually we have a daily choice whether we will behold and reflect Him or whether we will chose to be consumed by and express our old self-centered life.

    I’m not sure how any individual can change the expression or direction of society as it is today. The old creation is unfixable which is why the Lord redeemed us out of that and transferred us into a new creation. That said, we do have a human life to live and human authorities to submit to during our sojourn here on earth. Society can not exist without boundaries and as far as it is within my power and understanding to do so, I feel a responsibility to uphold the Lord’s principles of righteouseness and justice.

    I find myself considering the very fierce spiritual war that is raging at this time. If there are not spiritual forces at work in the current situation, how are we to explain the extremes of human behaviour we are witnessing, behaviours that far exceed the boundaries that society would normally deem to be acceptable.

    May the Lord grant us all ears to hear what the Spirit is speaking and strength to obey what He’s saying.

  19. I’ve enjoyed reading the various comments and replies on this thread. It seems pretty clear that this audience is a good model for how to talk about our faith and its intersection with politics. Reading thoughtful ideas free of rank partisanship (where every personality is a 100% or 100% sinner) is refreshing.

    As I have reflected on my own original comments, I have a new thought. It is related to my thoughts that Christians (and others) need to learn how to debate as apposed to accuse, debase, or insult. But debate requires something to debate about. To this end, I wonder if meta-discussions about “civility” are actually counter-productive because there is so little to say other than talk about whose “fault” incivility is? I find it frustrating listening to anyone talk about the meta-issues when they don’t disclose their own preferences. I can freely say who I voted for in primaries and why, who I voted for in general elections, my reasons, my uncertainties, my hopes. These are things to talk about – and learn about each other and from each other.

  20. Bravo, Earl!

    I have enjoyed how people have worked through this as well, from both sides. I think that’s the spirit of politics and control that Bob was seeing. I know some took our comments about Trump to suggest the anyone who supported Trump were dancing with spirits, and to the degree that we gave any that impression, we misspoke. There were many good reasons to vote for Trump in that election, not the least would have been the other option. She had deep character issues and agendas that would have also been harmful to this country.

    I don’t think everything Trump is doing is wrong; what pains me is when he resorts to mockery, name-calling, and debasing other people, he is participating in the dance. To the degree that his supports revel in it, they are in the dance, too. One major evangelical spokesman took to his feed to say that anyone who does not support Trump was a knucklehead and couldn’t be a true Christian. Even though we didn’t bring his quotes into this discussion, that’s what Bob and I were referring to.

    A lot of my friends who are passionate Trump supporters, are hesitant to criticize him for anything, because they think he already gets such an unfair, biased rap by the mainstream media. It bothers me when evangelical leaders stay silent on Trump’s demeanor for fear that he will turn on them next or not serve their hopes. And, yes, those on the left draw just as deeply from the well of deceit and rancor. To me that’s the dance, and the vitriol that flows from it is dividing families and destroying the fabric of our society.

    This conversation is way more nuanced than one side is all bad and the other all good. I’m glad those podcasts spawned the conversation it has here and that all have remained civil in discussing their views and concerns. It speaks well of all of you and I’m grateful.

  21. Great podcast, enjoyed the comments esp Craig’s. I think Wayne and Bob are too soft on Trump. We should go back in history to see how the x-tian community threw in their support for Hitler … even x-tian leaders at the time were unwilling or could not see the threat posed by HIM. Only Dietrich Bonhoeffer saw through him. I just can’t get my head around x-tians who say Trump is God’s chosen … 70 to 80% of evangelicals voted for Trump … I can’t see this being a good thing for the gospel. Staying silent is not an option, sorry, not sorry.

    • Many of us who may have voted for Mr. Trump are well aware he is a human with human flaws. We are choosing policy. When you sling the “Hitler” line, you are obligated to say what you see about either Mr. Trump or Christian voting support than is analogous. Was the alternative to Adolph Hitler someone whose most tightly held policy was continuing and expanding the killing of unborn (and born) children? Christians in 1930’s Germany, like all Germans, were under immense pressure to avoid severe persecution. Are threats by Mr. Trump to clamp down on Christians causing Christians to vote for Mr. Trump or support some of his policy initiatives today?

  22. When I became a follower of Christ at age 40, back in ’98, I was comforted and being slowly yet radically renewed by the Holy Spirit. At the same time, I was drawn into a small community of men, within a “church fellowship”, who were passionate about Jesus. These 10 to 12 men, all of whom were anywhere from 4 to 20 years further down the road with Jesus than me, each played a part in decipling me for the next 6 plus years. I loved being around them!

    During the first 2 years of my Christian experience, I took a Job working from 10 pm to 6 am. On Saturday mornings I would hurriedly leave work and drive about 3 minutes to a small diner to have breakfast and fellowship with 2 or more of my new brothers from the men’s group. Then it was on to a 7 am worship/prayer/Bible study at the “church bldg.” After that, I’d get together with two more of the guys that hadn’t come to the 6 am breakfast fellowship time, and do a smaller repeat at a fast food joint. Again, I loved being in the presence of those guys, and they loved me.

    One Sunday, after the conclusion of the service, one of these guys walked me up to the Sr. pastor to introduce me. My friend declared to the pastor that I was “really on-fire for the Lord!” I remember in one of those breakfast fellowship meetings, really feeling an abundant filling of the Holy Spirit and saying to my new brothers, “if someone told me right now that I had just won the lottery, I wouldn’t even care”.

    As I progressed into my “Christian” experience, I began to learn the Bible, the doctrine of our non-denominational church franchise, that we were Bible-believing, evangelical-Christians and eventually, as such, should always vote for conservatives. At the time this seemed to be a very easy no-brainer, as I had since about age 21, seen myself as a conservative and mostly Republican except for the 2 times I voted for Perot. The next 2 to 5 years progressed with me getting more involved in “serving” the church-machine, being baptized into the waters of legalism, the 2000 election, dimple-chads, 911, Afghanistan and eventually Iraq. I was beginning to feel a little uneasy about some things going on in my spirit & unsettled by so much that was going on and felt a little too owned by politics, so in 2004 I registered as an independent, but would still vote republican in the next 2 general elections.

    In the election of 2016, I was so dumbfounded by where we had ended up that I refused to vote. On election night I was tremendously vexed in my psyche that we would end up with either Hilary or Trump. I was not really following the results that night but when I went to bed, it sounded like Hilary would win. I lamented and turned in for the night. In the morning I avoided the news and after arriving at work, I learned that Trump had won. I continued my lament!

    Since the 2016 election, God has been gently nudging me back (I pray) to the time when I first believed! Actually his Spirit had probably been more or less grieved & quenched in me for a decade and a half or maybe even longer. He was always around me, just not filling me to overflowing like in those early days. He has always been whispering to me, even after I became a Pharisee, I’ve just been resisting him with my own echoing of the things of the world. Next up; the Kingdom of God, and the rest of the story…

    • Something I found helpful along this path came in the 1990s. I was quite involved in a third party, the then US Taxpayer’s Party, a Constitutional conservative party. Of course, it was made up of a variety of people including many evangelical Christians, old line ultra-conservatives, and a strong Mormon group. The long-time chairman who at times seemed to hold National Committee meetings together by his humor, described his job as “herding cats.” But he often said something else that stuck with me: “This is a political party, not the church.” Political parties exist to elect candidates and affect policy, not bring the Kingdom to earth or all to eternal life. I think this distinction is made more difficult because in so much of modern church life, conformity is valued above seeking such that Christians are not taught to discern the difference between eternal issues and lifestyle choices (The Amish and Mennonites seem better at this). Further, in the church, debate is often treated as heresy or rebellion which leads to a view of politics that every choice is a matter of absolute, eternal truth. Yes, there are I believe fundamental matters that can guide us. But when it comes to predicting how a particular candidate will act in office or the long term effects of a policy idea, there is a lot of room for constructive debate. Also, in politics, we often must deal with tactical choices even when we agree on a strategic goal – again lots of room for constructive debate.

    • Perry:
      Your last paragraph really rang true to me. “… back to the time when I first believed!” I was a child, age 5, who asked Jesus into his heart. It was pure and untainted; a child of God and his Father; the simple trust of a child. Well before my own misinterpretations of transgressions by persons toward me, and hurts ’caused’ by God. Well before becoming diluted and obscured by years of Sunday School, bible memorization and self-study, attempts at applying “truths” to life, and attaining to a collective moral standard. “He has always been whispering to me”, but, like you, awareness of his overflowing presence only managed to poke through a handful of times.
      It is such a blessing to have the loving Spirit break through my resistance and restore my untainted childhood to me, and pure Fatherhood to me. I am inspired by John 13:3. “Jesus, knowing that … he had come forth from God, and was going back to God …” [moved forward in the power of that knowledge] Like Jesus, we need to dwell in that Father-to-Child reality.

  23. Can you share with us a time when you’ve been the most filled with the spirit? I love hearing about peoples journey on this topic.

  24. Had I been asked about a time when I was most filled with the spirit through the 90’s I would have said I was the most filled by the Holy Spirit for war during that decade— I was “onfire”!!

    I, along with many, many others found my way into a company of men founded by Bill Hamon called Christian International. Many independent Charismatics found their way into this organization or something similar. In this particular bunch, we saw ourselves restoring the missing offices of the prophet & apostle necessary to complete the restoration of the “5-fold-ministry of Eph. 4:11. With prophet and apostle added to the pastor, teacher & evangelist, restored from 1500–1980’s we were convinced we would be loosing the equipping of the “Saints Movement”, which would usher in the Kingdom Restoring movement, paving the way for Jesus Return. Wow!! what a mission we had undertaken!!

    By 2001 my fire was cooked–I was out of money, motivation, house, and spiritual home. By late in 2003 I had resigned all my “official positions” in ministry , left following spiritual-organizations of men, and from The Song of Solomon–” sat down under His Shade with great delight”. Since 2003, I’ve embraced living loved as a lover, loved by My Father, and loved by, and-most-filled-with “The Spirit”.

    • That is a beautiful testimony.
      The Passion Bible says it like this..
      Psalm 23 – He offers a resting place for me in His luxurious love.
      His tracks take me to an oasis of peace, the quiet brook of bliss.
      That’s where he restores and revived my life. He opens before me pathways to God’s pleasure and leds me along in His footsteps of righteousness so that I can bring honor to his name.

  25. Hey Linda, I loved reading that “amplified version” from the Passion Bible
    Wow! I had never heard of the Passion Bible.
    Would to God that “sitting down” under “His Shade” with “great delight” for us would have been a “Smiley-Faced-Facebook-image” of Sharon,(my wife of 41 years) and I, sitting with our shades on, in a pool, sipping a cool drink, on a hot day, while floating about. Aaaaaahhhh! the Facebook images are so beautiful. But, for the Holy Spirit to fill all our nooks and crannies that HE’s still filling with Himself, our real life story, (of necessity I think) has had a great deal of “deprograming, disillusionment, division from friends and family we were close with, disinterest in things we used to love to do, and re-development of a ” new, more normal Christian life that others around us (at least initially) perceived to be heretical.
    Delight of this kind, is developing, sometimes fleeting, but ever increasing as we have continued on this journey.

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