Dark Illusions Part 2: The Warning and the Threat

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This is not going to be easy.  There are many people who will consider what I’m going to write here nothing but fantasy. But there’s one thing upon which we can agree, either it is fantasy or it isn’t.  And if it isn’t fantasy, the implications are very dire.  All I can say is that what you will read next comes from many years of study and thought. But first…

I have done a considerable number of very stupid things in my life.

I’m going to tell you about what was arguably one of the stupidest of them all.  I arrived in Viet Nam in November of 1967 and was assigned to a frontline infantry battalion of the Ninth Division.  I was 21 years old, almost 22.  My first assignment in the battalion was not as a rifle platoon leader for which I had been trained.  I was assistant S4.  That was the department responsible for resupply.  Whatever the battalion needed from food to ammunition came through us and we distributed it out to the rifle companies that were on combat operations in the field. For me, this was actually enjoyable.  A company in the field would request resupply, we would get it together, load it onto a helicopter and I would fly with it to make the delivery. We would land in a perimeter and while the resupply was being offloaded I would wander around and talk to the officers of the unit who were all my friends. Then, I would board the chopper and fly back to our base camp. For a young infantry second lieutenant in a war zone, it doesn’t get much cushier than that.

This went on for weeks.  What was best about it? From the time I had landed in Viet Nam all through this period, I didn’t hear a shot fired in anger.  None of our rifle companies were having any contact with the enemy.  I looked forward to my little helicopter trips.  Viet Nam was actually pretty from 5000 feet. And it was cool up there, just a great ride.  I can’t remember exactly when the moment came, but at some point, a terrible idea entered my head.  Here I was flying in and out and things seemed perfectly safe.  The trips were short.   The question came to me, what was the point of carrying my M16 with all of that heavy ammunition?  It was just extraneous weight. So I started leaving it behind. This plan worked well until a particular day which I will never forget.

Just like all the other trips, we flew out to one of our rifle companies and landed.  While the resupply was being offloaded, I wandered over to talk to the CO.  Suddenly, we came under the crossfire from two automatic weapons hidden in a tree line.  The helicopter took off straight up into the air, leaving me on the ground, under fire, without even a butter knife to defend myself.  It is impossible to communicate what I felt at that moment.  That first experience of electrifying fear in combat? Yes.  But the fear was nothing compared to an overwhelming sense of idiocy.  Thankfully, I was surrounded by well-armed combat soldiers.  I could imagine that they were staring at me thinking, “Look at that second lieutenant ass.  He doesn’t have a weapon.” The contact was brief.  After firing a few rounds, the enemy faded away. It could have gotten much worse.

The first time a U.S. infantry soldier comes under enemy fire, he is awarded the Combat Infantryman’s Badge.  So that is how I won mine, a laughable “combat infantryman” totally unprepared for combat. Needless to say, I never made that mistake again. Why had we not had any enemy contact for weeks? Were they being kind?  Had the war ended and we hadn’t been told? A month or so later, we found out why.  They were gathering forces and preparing for what became known as the Tet Offensive.

What had been wrong with me? I had been trained for war.  I knew what the dangers were, but somehow part of my mind had been put to sleep by what I had accepted as “normal”.  This is a good example of what is called The Normalcy Bias.  In spite of all evidence that great danger is imminent, we humans insist on clinging to the fantasy that everything will be all right, everything will go on as “normal”.  After all, haven’t things been just the way they are as long as we can remember?  Therefore, we are not ready when the worst overwhelms us.

Imagine something with me.

Imagine being born in a combat zone where a vicious war is going on, but the direct fighting is not visible. It is too high up in the stratosphere around the Earth to be seen, but if you could see it you would be terrified. The truth about it is highly classified and hidden from almost everyone, so like everyone else you just go on with your life totally ignorant about that awful reality. However, there are hideous results of that war that appear on earth and are very visible.  People are suffering and dying, but you can’t link the cause of the suffering and death to anything that you understand. (It’s like Agent Orange for Viet Nam veterans. We know it was used and that it can cause deadly physical results, but linking it directly to each case is impossible, so the VA just assumes that certain health issues in Viet Nam veterans and their children are caused by it. But they could just as easily say, we don’t see any causal linkage and that would be “reality”.)

While the suffering from the unseen war high above goes on and on, you and many others do what you can to help people, but you struggle to find a reason for the suffering. It becomes a philosophical and moral question.  You grow depressed and cynical because you can’t find any answers and resign yourself to thinking there aren’t any. It’s just the way life is.

Then one day, a whistleblower tells you that all of this is happening because we are living in a combat zone with a hellish war going on so high above us that we can’t see it.  All we see down here are the terrible results. Would you believe him?  Probably not, because when you looked up into the sky all you would see were the clouds and blue of a gorgeous day.  You would say, “That doesn’t make sense. With a war like that, something would appear.”  The whistleblower would reply, “Things do appear up there, but you have been misled about what they are.”  Very likely, the Normalcy Bias would kick in and you would think the whistleblower was a lunatic. You would just walk away and go on with your life.

I’m not afraid of being thought a lunatic, so I’m going to tell you that an unseen war is going on.

Why is there such terrible suffering and agony that has continued for so long?  Every one of us has been born in the middle of a hellish combat zone that encompasses the entire world.  From the moment of birth, we are in that war whether we want to be or not.  Most of it is unseen, but often the violence and horror spill over into the world around us. The war is between vast invisible forces. And I’m not using war as a metaphor.  I mean actual war.

The philosopher G. K. Chesterton is reported to have said on his deathbed, “The issue is now clear.  It is between Light and Darkness and everyone must choose a side.” In this war zone, you are choosing a side whether you want to or not, whether you believe in that war or not.

There’s something else that is vital to know.  The two great forces at war with each other are fighting over us.  One side wants to save us, the other to destroy us because in destroying us they bring suffering to God, the Creator, who loves us beyond anything we could imagine.  God is at war and He is fighting for us.  You may ask, “If He’s God, why doesn’t he just win it and get it over with?” I don’t know the answer to that except to say that I think it is all bound up in His desire that we have true freedom to choose how we are going to live and which side of the war we will be on. True freedom of choice means having the freedom to choose what is wrong and evil. You can’t have real freedom without that possibility. But God didn’t just stand back and watch.  He entered this war in the person of his Son, Jesus, the Messiah, and suffered with us in order to lead us to victory.

All through the Bible in different ways, we are told about this invisible war. One example is found in the Old Testament Book of Daniel. As far as knowing what’s going to happen in the future, this book is one of the most important in the entire Bible. Daniel was a Jewish exile serving in the King’s court in Babylon.  He had many disturbing experiences. This is one of them:

Daniel 10:1-18:  In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a message was revealed to Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar. The message was true, but the appointed time was long, and he understood the message and had understanding of the vision. In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks. I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.

Now on the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, that is, the Tigris, I lifted my eyes and looked, and behold, a certain man clothed in linen, whose waist was girded with gold of Uphaz! His body was like beryl, his face like the appearance of lightning, his eyes like torches of fire, his arms and feet like burnished bronze in color, and the sound of his words like the voice of a multitude.

And I, Daniel, alone saw the vision, for the men who were with me did not see the vision; but a great terror fell upon them so that they fled to hide themselves. Therefore I was left alone when I saw this great vision, and no strength remained in me; for my vigor was turned to frailty in me, and I retained no strength. Yet I heard the sound of his words; and while I heard the sound of his words I was in a deep sleep on my face, with my face to the ground.

Suddenly, a hand touched me, which made me tremble on my knees and on the palms of my hands. And he said to me, “O Daniel, man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you.” While he was speaking this word to me, I stood trembling.

Then he said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia.  Now I have come to make you understand what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision refers to many days yet to come.

When he had spoken such words to me, I turned my face toward the ground and became speechless. And suddenly, one having the likeness of the sons of men touched my lips; then I opened my mouth and spoke, saying to him who stood before me, “My lord, because of the vision my sorrows have overwhelmed me, and I have retained no strength.  For how can this servant of my lord talk with you, my lord? As for me, no strength remains in me now, nor is any breath left in me.”

Then again, the one having the likeness of a man touched me and strengthened me.  And he said, “O man greatly beloved, fear not! Peace be to you; be strong, yes, be strong!”

So when he spoke to me I was strengthened, and said, “Let my lord speak, for you have strengthened me.”

Then he said, “Do you know why I have come to you? And now I must return to fight with the prince of Persia; and when I have gone forth, indeed the prince of Greece will come. But I will tell you what is noted in the Scripture of Truth. (No one upholds me against these, except Michael your prince.)

You may say that’s just a story. It can’t be real. But is that true? The actual truth is that you have no idea whether it is “real” or not.  You choose to believe it is untrue simply because it is so far outside what you consider “normal”.  But there are strong reasons to believe that the Book of Daniel is true. We’ll talk about that in more detail, but at the moment let’s take a brief but serious look at this story.

A powerful being, an angelic messenger from God, was sent to Daniel.  But to get to him, he had to fight another powerful being who didn’t want him to complete his mission.  And this opposing force was strong enough to restrain him in combat for 21 days. The only way he made it through was because another powerful being on his side of the war came to help him. And when he left Daniel, he says that he will have to fight again to get home. But this time there will be more than one enemy to confront.

Clearly, these enemies were not human princes, but unseen rulers of great evil who had authority over nations. And they were vicious warriors. Do you think this is just fantasy? That brilliant rabbi Paul, who wrote so much of the New Testament, didn’t think so. As evil as the human rulers were in his time, and one of them was Nero, he understood who the real enemies were. In his Letter to the Ephesians chapter six, he says:  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

That is an invisible war.

We live in a cynical, burned out age when people believe in nothing but what they can see on a cell phone screen.  It is an age of greed and lust and slavery that are sold to us as freedom. Consequently, it is also an age of anger, fear, and hopelessness. It is life in a war zone where we hear almost nothing but lies and propaganda, where evil wolves, servants of unseen lords, lead vast hordes of human sheep to destruction.  The Bible tells us that though this invisible war has been going on for eons, it will not go on forever.  Don’t be fooled by the Normalcy Bias. An End is coming.

Jesus talked a lot about the End of Days and what it would be like just before He returned in power to defeat evil in every realm.  In Matthew chapter 24 He said this “For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.”

Very strange and troubling words.  According to Jesus, preceding His return, it will be as it was in the days of Noah, just before the Great Flood destroyed everything. During that time, total destruction came unexpectedly and Jesus says that worldwide destruction will come again. Also, as in Noah’s day, there will be marriage and giving in marriage. Why would He point to that?  Why didn’t He just say, “Things will be going on normally?”  Clearly, that’s part of what He meant, but what was “normal” in that time?  He focuses on the union of marriage.  What was happening about “marriage” that was unique in the days of Noah? The people He was speaking to were average, educated Jewish men of the first century. What did they understand about the time before the Great Flood?

First, they were very familiar with the Book of Genesis in the Torah. They knew what was written in Genesis chapter six that I quoted in Part One.  Let me give those words to you again:

Genesis 6:1-8: “Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose. And the LORD said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.”

Also, the men who heard Jesus were very familiar with the Book of Enoch that I wrote about in Part One.  In it they would have read these words:

“And I Enoch was blessing the Lord of majesty and the King of the ages, and lo! the Watchers called me—Enoch the scribe—and said to me: “Enoch, you scribe of righteousness, go, declare to the Watchers of the heaven who have left the high Heaven, the holy eternal place, and have defiled themselves with women, and have done as the children of earth do, and have taken unto themselves wives: You have wrought great destruction on the earth…” (1 Enoch 10).

The men listening to Jesus would have understood that before the Great Flood, strange “marriages” were taking place all over the world.  In our day we would call it genetic manipulation.  The offspring of this manipulation, the combining of human genes with something that was not human, were giants called Nephilim, Fallen Ones.  The memory of them still lives in our mythologies. Until our day, many people would have felt that such crossbreeding of species was impossible.  But now hardly a month passes when news doesn’t reach us of such experimentation in scientific laboratories around the world.

So when Jesus spoke those words, they were filled with horrifying meaning.  Just before His return, that kind of genetic manipulation would be going on again.  Nonhuman genes would be combined with human genes to create a hybrid species. Could that be taking place today? Before we deal with that question, let’s look at another important prophecy regarding the Days of the End found in the Book of Daniel, chapter two.

King Nebuchadnezzar had a frightening dream.

In it he saw a gigantic statue and he wanted to know what it meant. He brought in Daniel, who gave him an accurate interpretation.  Here is what Daniel told him:

“You, O king, were watching; and behold a great image! This great image, whose splendor was excellent, stood before you; and its form was awesome. This image’s head was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. You watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed together, and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; the wind carried them away so that no trace of them was found. And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.

“This is the dream. Now we will tell the interpretation of it before the king. You, O king, are a king of kings. For the God of heaven has given you a kingdom, power, strength, and glory; and wherever the children of men dwell, or the beasts of the field and the birds of the heaven, He has given them into your hand, and has made you ruler over them all—you are this head of gold.  But after you shall arise another kingdom inferior to yours; then another, a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth. And the fourth kingdom shall be as strong as iron, inasmuch as iron breaks in pieces and shatters everything; and like iron that crushes, that kingdom will break in pieces and crush all the others. Whereas you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; yet the strength of the iron shall be in it, just as you saw the iron mixed with ceramic clay.

And as the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly fragile. As you saw iron mixed with ceramic clay, they will mingle with the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay. And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed, and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.  Inasmuch as you saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold—the great God has made known to the king what will come to pass after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation is sure.”

Look at the description of that last kingdom, the one that comes just before an eternal Kingdom arrives on earth that destroys all the others.  There is something very unusual about that fourth kingdom. It is described as a mixture of iron and clay that doesn’t adhere well together.  Is this just different groups of people that don’t get along or nations that can’t maintain unity in a coalition?  That’s what some people believe.  But Daniel uses exceedingly strange words to describe this mixture. He says that “they will mingle with the seed of men.” 

All through the Bible the word “seed” refers to procreation and the children brought forth through intercourse. The use of the word “mingle” elsewhere in the Old Testament often refers to the mingling of genetic material through intercourse. Scholars of the ancient language have written that the words translated “they will mingle” mean that whoever “they” are, they will be doing something both to themselves and with human genetic material at the same time. However, as with trying to mix iron and clay, the results of this genetic manipulation will not work well.

If the genetic material of these beings is different from the “seed of men” that means they are non-human.  So this last kingdom just before God establishes His Eternal Kingdom on earth will be both strong and weak because it is based in part on the genetic mingling of something nonhuman with humans.   That takes us straight back to the prophecy of Jesus and what happened before the Great Flood.  Jesus is saying that what happened then will happen again and it will lead to the End of Days and His return in power. Could this “mingling” be happening now?

Strange things have been appearing in our skies for a very long time.

As I write, the U.S. Navy has just acknowledged that three videos of unidentified flying objects are real. What they are and their origins are unknown.  “The Navy considers the phenomena contained/depicted in those three videos as unidentified,” stated Navy spokesman Joseph Gradisher. That is a first as far as an official announcement is concerned in the United States, but it comes after many years of qualified observers, including military and civilian pilots, reporting such phenomena.  Unexplained phenomena are being seen in skies around the world.  The vast majority go unreported because people don’t want to be mocked. But we are at the point where anyone who mocks such experiences is a fool.  The decades-long propaganda machine that has tried to hide the truth about all of this is crumbling.

Personally, I have been studying these phenomena for over 30 years and have developed a library of information. Overall these years, I have become increasingly alarmed, both by the phenomena and the reactions of people to it. Both governments and popular media have spewed nothing but propaganda, much of it is quite ridiculous. The result has been that anyone who has such an anomalous experience is considered a liar or a lunatic. But now the outer crust of the lies is breaking down. Unfortunately, I believe this makes way for an even Greater Lie.  My alarm is focused on the most disturbing aspect of these anomalous experiences.

Strange “craft” are being seen above cities all over the world.  They operate in ways that are impossible for the latest human technology. This has been going on for a long time.  What are they doing here, just flying around observing?  The deeper you study everything related to this phenomena, the more frightening it gets.

One man who has studied it for many years is David M. Jacobs, Ph.D., a professor at Temple University. The more he studied, the more worried Dr. Jacobs became.  These unknown “craft” weren’t just flying around.  Many people were having very personal and very frightening contacts with them. Dr. Jacobs was curious about how many were having such “contact” experiences, so he and several other researchers joined forces and constructed a survey. It was conducted in the summer of 1991 by the Roper organization, a highly professional group. It wasn’t conducted over the telephone as so many surveys are.  It was done in-home with an interviewer asking questions and recording answers on a form.

A typical national survey randomly selects 1600 people which is considered a large enough sample from which to project accurate results.  Knowing that their survey would be considered very controversial, Dr. Jacobs and his associates demanded a much larger sample.  Ultimately, personal interviews were taken with 5947 individuals in the United States.  Such a large sample gave an error range of only 1.4 percent.  Dr. Jacobs makes it clear that what was conducted was not an opinion poll, but one that examined personal experiences.  The number of people who reported terrifying experiences was frighteningly high.

18 percent had awakened during the night paralyzed with a strange, evil presence in the room.

15 percent had seen a terrifying figure.

14 percent had left their bodies.

13 percent had missing time.

11 percent had seen a “ghost”.

10 percent had flown through the air.

8 percent had seen balls of light in the room.

8 percent had puzzling scars.

7 percent had seen a UFO.

5 percent had dreams of UFOs.

The final analysis was that 2 percent of the American population, approximately 5 million people at that time, reported markers that were consistent with individuals who had experienced “alien” abduction.  This is defined as being removed from their homes against their will and being transported to a strange “scientific” environment somewhere above the earth where sexual experiments were done on them, the removal of sperm and eggs. In most cases of abduction, these experiences happened many times during their lives. There are many, many such reports.

You may ask yourself, how could a rational person believe such reports?  Doesn’t all of it fit into what are known as “night terrors”?  I am well aware of the psychological explanations regarding such experiences.  They are wholly inadequate to explain them.

My wife, Carel, will tell you what happened to her.

Carel:  There is a book by sociologist, David J. Hufford, entitled, The Terror that Comes in the Night. The subtitle of the book describes the contents as “An Experience-Centered Study of Supernatural Assault Traditions”. According to Hufford’s research about a sixth of the population experience the phenomenon described in his book, yet almost no one talks about it.  Dr. Hufford did his research while teaching at two different universities, one in Canada and the other in Southwestern United States.  The people in each city had no contact with each other, yet described very similar experiences.

In 1973 Coleman and I and our two baby boys lived in Virginia. Coleman was working for Christianity Today magazine as advertising manager and I was a stay-at-home mom doing some freelance artwork. One night I woke up instantaneously. My eyes flew open. I was totally awake with the sense that something was very wrong. That sense moved very quickly to terror. I was paralyzed, unable to move anything except my eyes.

To my left, over my husband’s sleeping body, I could see three figures gliding into the room. Their feet, which I couldn’t see because a monk-like robe covered them, never touched the ground. They were coming out of the walk-in closet and my first thought was, “How did they get into the closet?” It was communicated to me in some fashion, I don’t know how that they had come in through the large second-story window in the nursery where our little boys were sleeping. I knew they were very, very angry with me for some reason, but I didn’t know why. They communicated to me, without speaking, that they were going to levitate my stiff body, slam me through the window above our bed and drop me on my head killing me. They wanted me to know that my husband would be blamed for my death.

I had no doubt that they were capable of doing this and my terror escalated. I tried to scream at Coleman to wake up but I couldn’t. My vocal cords were paralyzed. Then I began to pray. I tried to call out, “JESUS.” Again nothing would come out of my mouth other than grunts. Once more I tried to say “JESUS.” More grunts. Finally, a garbled “Jesus” came out of my mouth. At the name of Jesus, the beings vanished into the air.

I immediately woke Coleman and told him what had happened. After comforting me, the inevitable question came. He said, “Are you sure it wasn’t just a bad dream?” Irritated, I replied, “Yes, I’m sure. Because if it was a bad dream I’m still dreaming. I awoke before it began and I have not awakened since. Besides, I just KNOW it was real.” At the time, neither one of us knew what to do with this experience, so I filed it away and didn’t talk about it again for 20 years.

Then about twenty years later Coleman was writing a pilot for a television series that was supposed to be about all sorts of strange phenomena. He gave me a book on alien abduction and asked me to read it and see if there might be any story ideas in it that he could use. As I read the book it struck me how similar these people’s experiences were to mine. Then I came across a drawing of one person’s alien abductor. It was eerie. He had drawn the same beings that had come into my room.

At the same time, I was reading a book about several missionaries who had gone to a variety of Third World countries. The book was entitled, Demon Experiences in Many Lands published by Moody Bible Institute in Chicago in 1960. In the preface we find this statement by the publishers: “It has been many years since any serious study of demon experiences has been published, and possibly never before a compilation from competent observers in many parts of the world. The reason for this omission is not clear, but the result has been a feeling on the part of many Christians that these strange (to us moderns) phenomena were only valid in Bible times.”

Several of the missionaries had this attitude themselves when their story begins. Most were totally unprepared for the assaults that they and their new converts would confront. Several of these experiences were very similar to the ones described in Hufford’s book and countless alien abduction books. A conclusion from Hufford’s book is that people unfamiliar with any notion of what he calls an “Old Hag tradition” describe their symptoms precisely in accordance with those who are aware of that tradition. All of these missionaries came to the same conclusion. They believed they were confronting evil spirits known as demons. Each looked to the Bible to learn how to deal with them.

As I began to form my own opinion about my night terror experience I went to the Internet to see if anyone else had a similar experience. Was I the only person who has used the name of “Jesus” to end a night terror or alien abduction? I found an article from Florida Today magazine for August 17, 1997, written by Rita Elkins concerning alien abduction and its similarity to demonic oppression. She quotes Joe Jordan, a director for the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) a clearinghouse for UFO related research. When he is not checking out UFO claims for MUFON he works in product development and engineering for Sea Ray Boats. He and his partner Wes Clark, also a member of MUFON, who is a quality control engineer at the Kennedy Space Center, have, through their work at MUFON, come across several people who have been able to stop their abduction experience by calling on the name of Jesus. He shared a taped interview with Elkins for her article in Florida Today:

Jordan punches buttons on a tape recorder. A nameless, 30-something man with an intelligent-sounding voice, slightly Southern, tells his story. Calmly at first.

“There were strange lights in a nearby woods at bedtime, barking dogs.” He is up and down a few times; yelling at the dogs while his wife sleeps soundly. Then lying down again…”I couldn’t move…grey fog. I couldn’t see anything, but it was like someone was here.” He felt himself lifted off the bed. “I was terrified, so helpless… screaming inside, but I couldn’t get it out.”

The voice is less calm now, but still certain, not hesitant.

“I thought I was having a satanic experience that the devil had gotten hold of me and had shoved a pole up my rectum and was holding me up in the air…so helpless. I couldn’t do anything.”

A non-religious person, he’d been to church with his wife a few times.

“I said, ‘Jesus, Jesus, help me,’ or ‘Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!’ And when I did, there was a feeling or a sound or something. That either my words that I had thought or words that I had tried to say or whatever, hurt whatever was holding me up in the air on this pole. And I felt it was withdrawn, and I fell. I hit the bed, because it was like I was thrown back in the bed. I really can’t tell what it was. But when I did, my wife woke up and asked why I was jumping on the bed”

Elkins goes on to say, “Relentless anonymity is given in abduction research. Nobody in their right mind wants family, friends and co-workers to know they’ve had their personal space violated against their will by strange-looking creatures whose existence isn’t even proven.”

Jordan told Elkins that three other researchers had had similar cases. They had not revealed this because they felt it would hurt their credibility, especially among the folks that invite them to speak at UFO Conventions. I certainly can understand this. A number of years ago, Coleman and I went to a UFO Convention in San Francisco. Most of the people there were definitely New Agers and didn’t seem to be open to traditional religion at all. In spite of the fact that abduction experiences are described as horrible, brutal and denigrating many believe they are done by “good aliens” and are somehow beneficial to humankind. So my question is, do you really think alien “space brothers” are assaulting us or could there be a demonic connection to these experiences? If there are people experiencing these assaults who want them to stop, I can offer hope.

My younger son was taking a college class at a local university. The teacher of this class, which was a language class and had nothing to do with what I am writing about today, began asking the same questions that were asked in the Roper Poll. After a few questions, one girl raised her hand and began to tell the class about her abduction experience. When she had finished, my son said to her, “There is a way to stop these experiences if you want to.” The teacher interrupted, “No, there is no way to stop them!” “Yes!” my son replied, “They can be stopped.” “No they cannot. We have to get back to our subject.”

I want people to know that my son’s teacher is wrong. There is a way to stop these experiences. Please don’t think that I am saying that the name “Jesus” is magic. It is not magic, but it does have great power. The Creator of the Universe knows his children. The Good Shepard knows His sheep. Surely if He was willing to die for our sins, He is able to protect us from the Evil Ones. Put your faith in Him. (End of Carel’s statement.)

We are in a war and the enemy is all around us.

 

Dark Illusions Part 1: The Key to the Future is in the Past

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A number of years ago I was on the staff of a television series with my old friend, writer/producer Bryce Zabel.  Bryce is the former president of the Hollywood Television Academy.  We discovered that both of us had done a lot of study about strange phenomena that is appearing in skies around the world.  We had many interesting conversations.  Each of us came at the subject from a different perspective but it was very informative and the conversations were enjoyable. When you are dealing with an unusual subject it is always a pleasure to converse with someone who knows what they are talking about.

Bryce went on to create the television series, Dark Skies, and to co-write a book with Richard Dolan entitled, A.D. After Disclosure. “The people’s guide to life after contact.”  It is available on Amazon.  Bryce was kind enough to ask me to write several paragraphs in the book about the Christian view of the phenomena, which I did.  Since that time, while maintaining a deep interest in it, I have written almost nothing about this subject.  That changes now and there are important reasons why.

I’m going to tell you some very strange stories because the world, including ancient history, is far stranger than we begin to understand. But first, let me share something with you.

I am a mentalist.

In the past, I have been a member of The Academy of Magical Arts at the world-famous Magic Castle in Hollywood.  What is a mentalist? One leading performer of the art described it this way.  A mentalist uses the five senses to create the illusion of a sixth. A good mentalist is a great storyteller and a master of illusion.

How did it start for me? In high school, I was a magician doing all the typical shows that teenage magicians do. It was great fun.  On my very first date with Carel, my lovely wife of 53 years, I made a saltshaker pass straight through a solid table right in front of her. She was utterly amazed.  What can I say?  I was 17 and with that incredible demonstration of power, she was mine. It wasn’t long before she was my beautiful assistant. Magicians get all the pretty girls.

I came home from Viet Nam and in early 1969 got out of the army.  At that time, there was a tremendous rise of interest in the occult and the supernatural.  As a magician, I had been aware of a unique area in the magical performing arts called mentalism.  It employed many of the basic principles of magic, but with an entirely different approach and effect.  Using those principles it was possible for a skilled performer to make people think that he actually had the power to read minds, predict the future, bend metal and move objects through thought alone, call up ghosts and much more.

When you see a master magician you wonder how he or she pulled off their amazing effects.  What you don’t believe is that this individual has real magical power.  No matter how great the performance, you know that what you saw was a trick, maybe sleight-of-hand or the use of expensive stage equipment.   It is not that way at all with mentalism.  The performances are very subtle, with no fancy equipment, no scarves, no birds, no flashy boxes, just pens, paper and common objects.  But the effect can be stunning. When performed with skill, it is easy to believe the mentalist has real psychic power.

Carel and I put together a program of mentalism that we called Beyond Reality.  Starting in 1969 we performed in many places around the Midwest.  We stopped performing when we came to Los Angeles.  It was just too difficult to start a writing career in Hollywood and stay current with the art. After retirement from the entertainment industry, for a few years, I got back into performing and enjoyed learning all the changes that had taken place in the art.

Over decades of studying mentalism and the principles of illusion, I learned a great deal about the human mind.  I learned that we thirst to believe in supernatural power.  We thirst to believe that there are humans who have it. Consequently, like children, we are easily tricked and fooled.  This includes scientists. In the past, one mentalist fooled scientists who were doing specific research into psychic phenomena under what they believed to be controlled conditions. And he fooled them for several years.  Needless to say, when the truth came out it was more than embarrassing.

I learned over many years, the incredible power of illusion and how easy it is to draw people in and control them. It is a lot of fun to let people believe you have real power.  Which leads me to the basic problem I had as a performer. My opportunities to perform were very limited because I insisted on one thing.  At a certain point in the program, I would stop and tell the audience that everything they had seen was a trick.  (Of course, I wouldn’t tell them how I did it. I’d paid a lot of money for those secrets and I wasn’t in the business of training new mentalists.) Then I would talk about where true spiritual power and transformation can be found in Jesus Christ. Insisting on this agenda strictly limited the places where I could perform.

The desire in so many people for the illusions of mentalism to be real is frightening.  After one performance, an audience member came up to me and said, “I know you told us it was all a trick, but I felt you entering my mind.”  All I could say was, “Whatever you felt, it wasn’t me in there”. My performances were based on storytelling.  I would set the scene for an effect with a story. Of course, none of the stories were true, but people thought they were true.  In one performance, a woman I had called up to assist me got so emotionally involved in the story that she started sobbing right on the platform in front of the audience. That was rather jarring even for me. Also, there were superstitious Christians who thought the demonstrations were real and I was demon-possessed.  Another limitation on the places you could perform.

From mentalism, it was an easy transition into Hollywood, one of the greatest centers of illusion in the history of the world.  Over many years, I have seen the incredible depth of emotional involvement that viewers invest in the stories, the characters, the illusions that we in Hollywood create. As I have written before, some people in New York believed so much that my friend and colleague, the wonderful actor, Edward Woodward, really was The Equalizer that they would come up to him on the street and ask for his help. He took to carrying the cards of organizations that might actually help them.

What is wrong with us? Why are we so prone to believing every strong illusion that appears? And we have been doing it for thousands of years.  I think humans are desperate to transform their lives.  We are desperate for someone to bring us a little bit of light. We want so much to believe that we are more than simply animated bags of meat and blood and bone that have mindlessly evolved in a cold, uncaring universe.  There is something in us that whispers that we are part of a great, unfolding mystery and we want to know our place within it. In a world filled with death, we are desperate for hope.

Our entire world is built on stories.

Our individual lives, our futures, our views of what we consider reality are built on stories.  Some stories are true, others are absolute lies that will destroy us.  The stories that tell us who or what we should worship are the most important of all.  And we will worship something, even if it is ourselves, because the need to worship is built into us. Though we may not call it a need to worship, we feel it when we see absolute magnificence that overwhelms us with majesty. And that can come in many forms from nature to observing great heroism and sacrifice.

But where did the hideous, lying stories come from, the ones that have brought horror onto the earth, the ones that told us we must sacrifice children on the burning arms of Moloch or cram Jews into gas chambers?  Did they originate only in the minds of twisted humans, or was there another source?

Ancient literature is filled with stories about people traveling to specific locations to meet the “gods” and find illumination that would transform their lives. A good example of this comes from ancient Greece and what is known as the Eleusinian Mysteries.  Over centuries, many thousands of people made the pilgrimage to the Eleusis shrine. After careful preparations, they would enter a large pavilion.  There the “gods” would manifest themselves in such overwhelming collective experiences that lives would be changed forever.

We know almost nothing about what happened during those events because everyone was sworn to absolute secrecy.  To speak about it to anyone would bring a curse and even governmental punishment.  All a pilgrim could say was that what he or she had seen was life-changing. It is clear from the ancient record that some kind of overwhelming manifestation swept through the gathered crowds.  Elitist moderns claim that it was all just trickery of the priests, a kind of magic show. They believe that those who made the pilgrimage to Eleusis were ignorant savages.  This is very foolish. As much as I love magic, a magic show of tricks could not have kept pilgrims coming for centuries and it could not have transformed lives.  Eventually, the truth would have seeped out from generation upon generation of people who were operating the stage shows.

Some scholars believe that a hallucinogen of the same sort as ayahuasca was given to all the participants.  But most hallucinogens give very individual experiences and the Eleusinian manifestations were collective, sweeping through large groups gathered in a wide area.  If a psychedelic was given, all it did was open the doors to a transcendent crowd experience.

The Bible has a story to tell about all of this.

In the Old Testament, there are many references that speak about people going to worship the “gods”.  Often this worship was centered in physically “high places”. Over and over, through His prophets, Yahweh warns the Children of Israel not to participate in this.  But the temptation to do so was extremely powerful.   Often this worship involved sexual orgies.  The male god of the sky needed to fertilize the female goddess of the earth so that plants would grow. Apparently, people needed to show these “gods” how to do it. Such orgies could be addictive.  But often it got even darker. The “gods” demanded the blood of human sacrifice to appease them or they would destroy the earth and everyone on it.  Where did these lying stories come from? Was the source only the perverted minds of human leaders or did they come from somewhere else?

Many ancient cultures worshipped what are called the “starry hosts” or the “host of heaven”. This does not mean that they simply worshipped the physical stars.  What is called the Hermetic tradition of the mystery religions goes back thousands of years.  Scholars of the Hermetic tradition are very clear about what ancient people worshipped.  For the mystery religions the physical stars stood for celestial, supernatural beings of great power who control the movement of the heavens and who exert lordship over the Earth. They had to be appeased and cajoled into helping people.  Was all of that just a fantasy? When vast numbers went up onto high places to worship and sacrifice, was it based on nothing but imagination?

In the mythology of a thousand cultures where do the gods come from?

Almost always it’s the same.  At some point in the past, they descended from the sky. If they had earthly homes often they were established on high places. Temples, centers of worship, were built on such heights. Why? When you see a great mountain for the first time, you are overwhelmed with its remote majesty. To climb to the top is difficult and dangerous. The physical climb can represent the mysteries of spiritual ascension toward illumination. A mountaintop is a logical place for a supernatural archon to make contact with lowly humans.

Also, a mountaintop is a logical focal point for unification.  Vast numbers of people can look up at it and fear the mysteries and the majesty that it holds. In the Old Testament, God used a mountaintop to reveal Himself.  Mt. Sinai was where He gave the Law to Moses. And the experience was terrifying to the people who were camped at the base.

When mountains weren’t available, pyramids and ziggurats were the next best thing. Two years ago, my family and I spent a week in Cancun on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico.  While we were there we took an excursion to one of the great Mayan centers of ancient evil, Chichen Itza.  We walked through the “football” stadium where the games were played with human heads.  We stood at the base of the Temple of Kulkulkan, the feathered serpent god, who demanded human sacrifice.  (A photograph of that pyramid is at the top of this article.) Thousands upon thousands of people were slaughtered on the pinnacle of his pyramid until the staircase and the sides were covered with heavy coats of dried blood and swarmed with flies.  Also, we looked into the cenote, the deep well into which they threw bodies.

In the temple complex stood an unusual building called El Caracol.  Our guide told us that it was an observatory for studying the stars and the ancient Mayans were very sophisticated in that study. Clearly, everything about Chichen Itza had been carefully built according to specific plans. But where had they come from?

Around the world, there are scores of ancient pyramids.  No matter where they are found they are remarkably similar.  These pyramids, many of them stepped ziggurats, were major worship centers where sacrifices were made to the gods.  When ancient records are available, the builders of these structures claimed that they were given the plans directly by the gods. And the similarity of the structures would argue for a shared pattern.  There are those who would tell us that these buildings were constructed just to track the seasons for the planting of crops.  That isn’t what the ancients believed. Their purpose was to draw down supernatural power from the depths of the universe.

The ancient hermetic tradition has a guiding principle, “As above, so below.”  If you want the power that comes from the supernatural beings in the stars you must copy the pattern of star groupings here on earth.   And that is what they did in places such as the Giza plateau in Egypt and elsewhere around the world. What did they draw down?

Ancient peoples stated that they met strange and overwhelming beings on sacred mountains, pyramids, and ziggurats. The power of these beings was such that they considered them deities. What was going on here?  Was this all imagination?  Materialists, those who refuse to believe in anything that cannot be tested and replicated in a controlled setting, would say yes.  But in our day, thousands of people report strange sightings and experiences that cannot be replicated but also cannot be explained away.  To disregard and mock them, as some do, is very foolish and potentially dangerous. Are ancient supernatural manifestations related to the strange, unexplained sightings that are appearing today in “high places” over cities around the world?  If so, our future may be found in the distant past.

Let’s go back into that very distant past. Let’s go back to the stories that are the foundation of it all.

Where did all of this strange contact with supernatural beings begin? The Bible tells us that there was a seminal moment in history.  It was an event that took place soon after the Great Flood of Noah and it involved the creation of a man-made “mountain”.

Genesis 11:1-9 records: Now the whole earth had one language and one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there. Then they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They had brick for stone, and they had asphalt for mortar. And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.”

But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. And the LORD said, “Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them. Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.” So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city. Therefore its name is called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.

The word Babel came to stand for the confusion of languages, but before that, it had another meaning, Gateway of the Gods.  The Bible records that the founder of Babylon and all the major cities of Mesopotamia was a powerful man named Nimrod.  Genesis 10: 8-12 tells us: “Cush was the father of Nimrod, who became a mighty warrior on the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord; that is why it is said, “Like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before the Lord.” The first centers of his kingdom were Babylon, Uruk, Akkad and Kalneh, in Shinar.  From that land he went to Assyria, where he built Nineveh, Rehoboth Ir, Calah and Resen, which is between Nineveh and Calah—which is the great city.

Buried in this short passage is the foundation of a stunning ancient culture. The great worldwide Flood of Noah had taken place several generations before.  And these were long generations of hundreds of years. Nimrod’s very name means Rebel, one who stands against. He’s called a mighty hunter before the Lord.  That doesn’t mean that God was pleased with his hunting. Very likely, he was a hunter and murderer of men and didn’t care what God thought about anything.

The ancient Jewish understanding of Nimrod is given by the first-century historian Josephus.  He says of this man: “Now it was Nimrod who excited them to such an affront and contempt of God. He was…a bold man, and of great strength of hand. He persuaded them not to ascribe it to God, as if it were through his means they were happy, but to believe that it was their own courage which procured that happiness. He also gradually changed the government into tyranny, seeing no other way of turning men from the fear of God, but to bring them into a constant dependence upon his own power. He also said he would be revenged on God, if he should have a mind to drown the world again; for that, he would build a tower too high for the waters to be able to reach! That he would avenge himself on God for destroying their forefathers!” (Ant. I: iv: 2)

Can we find Nimrod outside of Jewish/Biblical history?  There are many scholars who believe there is evidence that points to another name for Nimrod.  That name is Gilgamesh, the demigod of the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh.   A few lines from the Epic describe him his way:  “The one who saw all.  I will declare to the world, the one who knew all I will tell about.  He saw the great Mystery.  He knew the Hidden. He recovered the knowledge of all the times before the Flood.  He journeyed beyond the distant.  He journeyed beyond exhaustion, and then carved his story in stone.”

That is saying Nimrod/Gilgamesh recovered the knowledge from before the Flood.  Historians have been shocked at the speed with which the ancient Mesopotamian civilization appeared.  It virtually erupted from nothing “overnight”.  There is an answer to how that happened. Very likely, the sophisticated culture that Nimrod founded was what has been called a legacy civilization.  There is a strong possibility that its greatness was but a dim shadow built on secrets and mysteries passed down from a far greater civilization that existed before the Flood.  The monstrous and mysterious ruins of Gobekli Tepe could be remnants from this lost civilization or a monument to it.  It appears that Nimrod and the Kings who followed him were consciously building their world on the pattern of a world that had vanished away but had left records to be discovered.  And it isn’t just from the Epic of Gilgamesh that we learn about their knowledge of a previous world.

One of the most important finds of archeological history were the ruins of the great library of Nineveh. In this library were discovered 25,000 tablets.  Of these tablets ancient scribes wrote that many were copies of “olden texts.”  Much older than the foundation of the library.  On one of those tablets was a quote from Ashurbanipal, a great king of Mesopotamia.  He said this: “The god of the scribes has bestowed on me the gift of the knowledge of his art.  I have been initiated into the secrets of writing. I can even read the intricate tablets in Shumerian.  I understand the enigmatic words in the stone carvings from the days before the Flood.”

So what can we draw from this?  That the most ancient civilization that we know of, a civilization that created whole cultural systems that deeply influence our world today, was the inheritor of those systems.  What was the world like before the Flood?  Genesis 6:11-12 paints a frightening picture. “The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.”

The Hebrew word that is translated “corrupt” means utterly rotted.  All of humanity was unified in abject ruin, unified in total moral and physical rottenness and depravity. What did this result in?  Violence.  But the Hebrew word that’s translated “violence” is much broader than just physical violence or war.  It means absolute cruelty, total injustice, utter falseness, and crushing oppression. That was the heart of the Great Worldwide Civilization destroyed by God in the Flood, a civilization that passed its legacy to Nimrod/Gilgamesh and the ancient rulers of Sumeria and Babylon.

In Nimrod, we see the first great world ruler after the Flood and he is a pattern for many vicious tyrants that have appeared throughout history.  And one tyrant that has yet to appear.  The cities that Nimrod founded were centers of worship of the starry hosts and their dark gods. The foundation of Babylon was rebellion. Nimrod and his followers were disobeying the order and purpose of God.  In Genesis 9:1 God had told Noah and his children to be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth.  To do that you have to spread out over the earth.    But Nimrod and his generation said, “No, we’re staying in one place because together there is power and glory.”  God stopped them by confusing their languages.

But eventually, the city of Babylon and its tower were completed. On the most simplistic level, what was the stated purpose for building Babylon and the tower?  The people wanted to make a name for themselves.  They wanted to be famous. It was an act of arrogance. In this and other ways, Babylon is a unique sister city to Hollywood.

What is the power at the heart of Hollywood?

It is fame, celebrity.  Hollywood could not exist without it. There is real power in fame.  Few people have spent time with a major star in public. It is an amazing experience. Many years ago, I attended a play at the Goodman Theater in Chicago.  I was in a small group with a major Hollywood star.  It felt almost as though people were watching us more than the play, as though the power of the star were shining down on us who were with him.  People deal with celebrities in an entirely different way than they do with anyone else. They want their pictures taken with them. Why?  Because that simple association brings them a little prestige. To be famous gives real power over others.

So those who built the Tower of Babel wanted to make a name for themselves that would be feared and revered across the earth.  The Hebrew word that is translated “name” is spelled s-h-e-m. In it is the idea of a conspicuous position, a structure that would bring prestige and authority to them. To gain that they decided to build the tallest building anyone had ever seen, a tower whose top was “in the Heavens.” A cruder translation might be a house “of the touching of Heaven.”  Implied in that is “a house of contact.” The ziggurat in the ancient city of Larsa was named “The House of the link between Heaven and Earth”.  But a link to what?  Contact with what?  You don’t build a huge building for nothing.  What it will house is of utmost importance.  The builders of the Tower of Babel must have felt that the purpose for that tower, what it would house, would be the heart of their power and glory.   What was the purpose?  Why did they want to “touch heaven?”

The Apostle Paul gives us an important clue in his New Testament Letter to the Ephesians chapter six. He says, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.  Therefore take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”

According to Paul, there are hosts of evil, preternatural beings in “heavenly places”. What does preternatural mean?  Something outside nature, outside of the normal. For the ancient people of Babylon to “touch heaven” meant to contact the powerful beings that live outside of our natural world, known in times past as the starry hosts.

In the Bible, we are told that these beings have been in contact with humans for many thousands of years.  Close contact. The record is found in Genesis 6:1-8: “Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful, and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose. And the LORD said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.”

The Bible calls these hybrid creatures Nephilim.

In this passage we see the foundation of all the ancient myths in a thousand cultures that continue to influence our world today right down to superhero films. The story is clear.  Before the Great Flood of Noah interaction took place between preternatural beings called the Sons of God and humans that was never meant to happen.  And it opened terrible doors.

Mythology is built on such stories about contact between humans and “gods” or “godlike” beings.  Is it possible that myths are dim memories of things that actually occurred, but have been colored and twisted over long periods of time?  And perhaps they whisper of things that are yet to be in this great story that is unfolding.

Within the ancient Jewish tradition there are documents outside the Old Testament canon that purport to tell what happened before the Flood.  One is called the Book of Enoch.  It is considered a pseudepigraphal book because scholars think the name it bears isn’t that of the real author.  But that is speculation. We only have fragments of this document and the book is dated at about 200 BC.  But that date is based on the earliest copies that anyone knew about.  It’s clear that the Book of Enoch is much older. There are other documents such as the Book of Jubilees, part of the Old Testament apocrypha, and the Genesis Apocryphon discovered among the Dead Sea Scrolls. Our focus is on the Book of Enoch.  We know that two of Jesus’ Apostles knew of its existence and regarded it highly.  Jude quotes from it in his little letter toward the end of the New Testament and certainly Peter in his letters was deeply influenced by it.

The Book of Enoch tells us that the Sons of God, spoken of in Genesis 6, were angels called The Watchers. Not only did they break God’s Law by having sexual relations with women, the Book of Enoch says that they taught men and women many secrets that corrupted human life taking it to the depths of depravity that brought the Flood.   Among the things the Watchers taught were the secrets that became the foundation of all the mystery religions, secrets of the occult, the way to communicate with the invisible world of the “gods”, and the way to bring down and harness supernatural power.  The principle “as above, so below” had its beginning here.

The Sumerian king, Gudea, who lived about 2200 BC, left an inscription about his experience with those beings.  He says that there appeared to him a man who shone like the heaven with a crown on his head.  Next to him was standing a divine bird. With them was a goddess who held a tablet showing her favorite star. A third god held in his hands a tablet of precious stone.  On it was the plan of a temple.  Gudea said that the plan was given to him to follow.

In the trite storytelling that has such control of the human mind today, evil beings always look evil and good beings always look good. This is a most dangerous lie.  In the New Testament book of Second Corinthians 11:14, the Apostle Paul says, “…Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.” The beings that serve him can do so as well.  

So at the heart of the city of Babylon was a huge multi-stage ziggurat.

The ancient record tells us that at the top was a series of rooms, a kind of mansion chapel.  A place of sacrifice, but also rooms planned to be the home of a god, a place where a preternatural being of great power would appear in physical form and stay for a set time.  In it were all the luxuries that could be provided including a bed and a beautiful woman for the god’s pleasure.  When he came, there was great pageantry to welcome him.

And the ziggurat itself stood for the mysteries of the starry hosts, physically designed to bring down power for those chosen individuals, the elite priesthood who would pass through initiation moving from stage to stage up into transformation, becoming one with the god and serving him. This is the story of pagan, polytheistic religion in all of its forms. What began in Babylon was the whole gigantic system of idolatrous worship that will find its culmination in the Last Days that are yet to come.

What did Nimrod and all the royal builders of ancient Babylon and Sumeria give us? In the sense of historical time, almost overnight they brought into being the foundational culture of our world. Cities, written language, literature, schools, kings, courts, laws, judges, merchants, craftsmen, poets, dancers, sciences, mathematics, astronomy…and slavery to the Shining Lords of Darkness. It was in Babylon that the worship of the One True God was replaced with a pantheon of Fallen Angels.  And that Spirit Web of evil worship spanned out to the Indus valley, to Egypt, to Greece, to Rome, to a thousand cultures…and down to us.

It was in Babylon that sacred prostitution began, where all women, whether they desired to do so or not, were required to spend a day as prostitutes in the temples. Down through the ages, the Fallen Ones that present themselves as gods have meshed intercourse with the gaining of magical power.  In modern times examples of this are the occultist, Aleister Crowley, who founded the religion of Thelema and Jack Parsons, one of the founders of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, who created a series of occult sex ceremonies that he called “Babalon (sic) working”.  The Fallen Ones seem to have a particular hatred for women and children and a desire to abuse and murder them.

It was in Babylon that the idolatrous worship of the Mother and Son began that has appeared in a hundred forms, especially as Isis and Horus, who have been at the heart of so many mystery religions and continue to be so today. But a question:

If these beings are real and appeared in the distant past why aren’t they appearing now?

That is a question for Part Two.

The Brink – Concept for a Television Series By Coleman Luck & Coleman Luck III

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Three people.

Three case histories all true, but the names are changed.

Three military veterans on the brink.  They represent the heart of this series.

Robert Sanchez:  Mexican American, early 40’s.  He did three tours in Afghanistan as a Marine sniper and has over 50 kills on his record. A year ago, he was paroled after three years in a federal penitentiary.  When Robert left the Marines, he was recruited by MS13 to be a hitman.   Out of desperation because he couldn’t find any other work that would satisfy his shaky adrenalin addiction, he took the job.  As a hitman, he was the hunter, but also the hunted – by other gangs and law enforcement.  Robert was successful and very well-paid, but nightmares started coming.  Over the years, they got worse and worse.  Finally, during his last assignment, he was hit himself and left for dead. But he lived. He was caught and convicted, not for murder, but for conspiracy and membership in the gang.

The plea bargain took a fifteen-year sentence down to three years.  During his time in prison, Robert changed dramatically. He met a good woman, a teacher who taught in the prison, and they married.  Now they have a baby daughter. The last thing that Robert wants is to go back into the old business.  But suddenly, he is being pursued to do so by people who don’t like to be refused.  And the nightmares have returned.

Miriam Lubaton:  Filipina American, 37.  An extremely successful surgeon who earns in the high six figures. As a surgeon in the reserves, she was activated and did a long bloody, front-line tour in Afghanistan.  Coming home, she was never the same.  Every time she enters an operating room she has horrible flashbacks to the most terrifying experience of her life. In Afghanistan, her surgical unit came under mortar attack.  Several of her team died in front of her, blown to pieces and she was seriously wounded. Now her life is falling apart. She drinks, her husband, also a surgeon, is leaving her and taking their two children with him. Miriam is becoming more and more self-destructive.  Recently, in the middle of the night, she drove her Porsche at 120 miles an hour down a freeway. The car spun out and crashed.  It is a miracle that she is alive. But what will happen next time?

Douglas Schroonback:  African American, 93. When he was 18 years old, he was an Army infantryman who fought through the hell known as the Battle of the Bulge and then fought across Europe.  At the end of the war, Douglas came home and began a “normal” life. Working hard in spite of terrible discrimination, he became very successful as a welder.  In 1950, he married. Evelyn, who is still his wife, loves him deeply. Douglas has been a good man, a faithful husband and father. In spite of this, she has known that something was deeply wrong. Something very dark is bound up inside him and it has been there from the first moment they met. Through an iron will, he has controlled it, but in old age, nearing death, things have grown much worse.  Douglas carries a terrible secret from the war that he hasn’t been able to share with anyone and it is eating him alive.

True stories and there are thousands more.

Veterans on the brink. 

At the huge Manhattan VA Harbor Healthcare facility of New York, one of the bravest and most skilled psychiatrists in America stands with these suffering people.  His name is Daniel Brinkman. His patient clients all love him and call him “The Brink”, because of the way he keeps so many of them from falling into a dark abyss.

Brinkman is a graduate of Harvard and Johns Hopkins, but he holds to no particular school of psychotherapy. Many of his professional colleagues do not like the way he works because he is willing to do anything and everything necessary to save lives.  Along with traditional therapies, he uses hypnotherapy and is considered close to an equal with the greatest hypnotherapist who ever lived, the late psychiatrist, Milton H. Erickson.   Also, Daniel has used strange, new therapies such as Rapid Eye Movement and others. His work is not just in an office. He goes out into the streets, where so many lost veterans live.

From long experience, Daniel Brinkman knows that sometimes you must take a man or woman back into the darkest and most terrifying moments buried deep in memory. Above all else, he knows that every combat veteran comes home with a broken heart.  True healing can be found only through forgiveness, both giving it and receiving it.

As he helps so many others, Daniel carries heavy burdens of his own. At 54 years old, he has only been head of psychiatry at the VA hospital for three years. For many years before that, he was the highest level psychiatrist with the CIA and director of the High Value Detainee Interrogation Group, a joint task force of the FBI, CIA and DoD, charged with the ethical and legal interrogation of suspects who pose a potential threat or have information regarding such threats to the security of the United States. His Mobile Interrogation Team traveled to many of the world’s worst and darkest places to interrogate violent detainees.

Through two-decades of intelligence work, Brinkman grew deeply disillusioned. He lived through the years when physical torture was encouraged by the American government. As a young psychiatrist, he witnessed many awful sessions and the memories will not go away.  He counseled interrogators who had done horrifying things to other human beings and were haunted by what they had done. Brinkman nearly lost his career due to his strong objections to torture. At one point he took his objections all the way to the President of the United States.  Finally, he was given permission to form his interrogation group to show that there was another, far more effective and non-violent way, to get information.  He based his system on what is called The Scharff Method, perfected by a German interrogator during WWII who very successfully got information from American Pilots without torture.

However, in spite of all the evidence, many in the military and elsewhere believe that torture is the only way.  There are even leaders who want to go back to the secret techniques of MKULTRA and the “Terror Doctors”, whose highly classified files Brinkman has studied.  It was a constant battle and finally, Brinkman had enough.  He wanted to help people, not manipulate them to get information.  Though he left the CIA, for several reasons he cannot fully disengage.  A strange man named Ernest Lansing, a CIA Assistant Director comes to Daniel for help whenever there is a devastating crisis. It could be a high-value interrogation or a troubled, dangerous operative in the field.  It could even be a suicidal U.S. Senator.  The other reason he can’t disengage is his daughter.

Because of his globe-trotting years, Daniel Brinkman has paid a heavy price in his personal life. He is divorced. His ex-wife, Ella, an African American, is a pediatrician with a wealthy practice in Hartford, Connecticut. She blames him for the lives of their two oldest children.  Their daughter, Harper, 28, is a fast-rising young field officer in the CIA. Her father’s name helped her get into the agency right after college. Harper is very bright, very beautiful and very skilled. Ernest Lansing is quite willing to try to manipulate her to get what he needs from Daniel.  This is not easy. Their son, Daniel Jr., 25, was a Navy SEAL.  Tragically, he is serving a long sentence in the military penitentiary at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas for a crime that he swears he didn’t commit.  Their youngest child, Eric, 17, is adopted and has cerebral palsy. He lives with his mother and has no interest in anything relating to government, the military or medicine.  He wants to be a comedian and YouTube star like his hero, Zach Anner.  The kid really is funny with a biting wit which can drive his parents crazy.

Daniel Brinkman has lived his entire professional life walking on the razor’s edge of a moral and sometimes physical, abyss. Always, he is on The Brink.  Now it is for others.

Layout of the Series

Structured like The Equalizer television series, the first priority will be stories about crises involving veterans.  There are over 20 million living veterans in the United States. They and their families have given much to this country. Many of them are suffering. Veteran stories will include action flashbacks to the past and dangerous situations in the present. Hypnotherapy will offer unusual storytelling opportunities. With these will be season-long arcs dealing with Brinkman’s past, his current CIA involvement and his family.  Over these season arcs, there will be the very slow reveal of the ultimate antagonist.

Pilot Episode Concept

A montage of nightmares.  Day in a city in Afghanistan.  Carefully hidden in a tower, a Marine sniper and his spotter execute a perfect kill.  They are half a mile away from their target, a brutal-looking man. They take him out with one shot.  The shooter is Robert Sanchez. Quickly, the team packs up and leaves.  Night in New York City. Three men are torturing a young man who is hanging by chains from the ceiling. Suddenly, out of the darkness appears Robert Sanchez.  With three shots he kills them. The images speed up.  More kills in Afghanistan.  More kills in New York. Faster and faster they come in screaming horror … until the shot that almost killed him. Robert Sanchez lurches awake covered with sweat.  He’s in bed with his wife.  Sleeping near them is their new baby daughter.   His wife wakes up.  This has been happening almost every night and she’s deeply concerned.  Robert won’t tell her what he is dreaming about.  He has never told her that he was a hitman.  All she knows is that he was in a gang, but isn’t anymore.

Sanchez is sitting in a circle with ten other tough-looking veterans at the New York VA hospital.  Leading the group is Daniel Brinkman.  Robert is very emotional as he tells the story of what happened when he was in the Marines and afterward.  In Flashback, we see him recruited by MS13.  It was a frightening experience.  But he can’t tell the men what he did for them.  All he says is that he spent three years in a federal pen for his involvement with the gang. During that time, his life changed.  He’s been out a year, but bad things are starting to happen and he is desperate.  He would rather die than endanger his wife and little daughter.  The way he has screwed up his life, maybe death is the answer. That’s all he will say.  Everyone in the group is very concerned.  The other men try to talk to him, but he is a stone wall.

The truth comes out in a private session with Brinkman.  Together, they go to the place where Sanchez was shot and almost died.  Brinkman faces three problems in trying to help this man.  First, he must find out why he chose to be a sniper and how the kills changed him, leading him to kill for MS13.  Second, he must find a way to free him from the guilt that is destroying his life.  It means confronting the truth of what he has done. Third, somehow he must release him from the grip of MS13.  Accomplishing all of this will take Sanchez onto the ragged edge of sanity and both of them into physical danger.  But they aren’t alone.  Other combat vets will stand with them. “We never leave anyone behind.”

Season 1 Brinkman Personal Arc:   Daniel Jr. in Fort Leavenworth.

As Brinkman deals with veterans in crisis such as Robert Sanchez during the week, on the weekends he begins traveling to Kansas to have regular visits with the veteran closest to his heart, his son.  Daniel Jr. swears that he did not commit the horrible crime for which he was found guilty, but his memory is very foggy about a number of important details. He has terrible nightmares and sometimes feels as though he’s losing his mind. Though the loss of memory through PTSD is not uncommon for soldiers who have been in brutal combat, Brinkman senses that something far worse is going on. Though he doesn’t want to do it because it goes against his basic ethical standards, he feels he has no choice but to start therapy sessions with his son. This includes hypnotherapy to find out what might be buried in his subconscious memory.  Daniel Jr. is extremely reluctant to do this, but his father assures him that wherever his memories take him, and those memories will be very real, not like dreams at all, he will be there by his side.  (This will bring powerful visual storytelling, as Daniel Jr. is taken back into terrifying situations that he lives through as though they were actually happening, but also observes from the outside with his father beside him.)

Step-by-step through season one, Brinkman will discover increasingly odd memories buried deep in his son’s mind, fragments, pieces of horror, some of which are so frightening that he won’t let Daniel Jr. remember them when he awakens from a hypnotic trance.  What becomes clear is that his son has been powerfully manipulated by mind-control.  But who has done this and why? Ultimately, what he learns, takes Brinkman on a journey into the darkest, most evil corners of psychology and psychiatry. And into very real danger.

The Ultimate Antagonist

Imagine an antagonist who can make terrible things happen to innocent people but who never leaves a trace of his crime. This is because he is never present when the crime takes place. He is hidden deep in the minds of those he manipulates to do whatever he wants.  Because of his prestige and authority, he is never suspected.  Quite the opposite, often he is brought in to help solve the crimes that he has perpetrated. Meet Nathaniel Margrave, Doctor of Psychiatry, who holds the Distinguished Exdon Chair of Psychiatry at Cambridge University. His reputation for skill in psychotherapy is world-renowned and he has authored many books and professional studies.  Privately, Margrave has been a counselor to Prime Ministers and Presidents.  As founder and director of The Ilford Institute, he is a member and consultant to every powerful group from the Bilderbergers to the Council on Foreign Relations.

His institute, with offices in London and New York, but with secret “research facilities” in oppressive countries, is a dark center for the most dangerous psychological experimentation.  Using every technique from torture and hypnosis to mind-altering drugs, Margrave has gone light years beyond the primitive, mind control experiments of MKULTRA, MKSEARCH, BLUEBIRD, and ARTICHOKE. His great knowledge and willingness to quietly sell his expertise to any person or nation willing to pay his fee makes him one of the most dangerous men in the world. His goal is power, and money is the measure of that power. Yet Margrave considers himself a great philanthropist and that is the way the world sees him. Through the charitable wing of the Ilford Institute, he gives millions to suffering people.

In every way, Nathaniel Margrave is the exact opposite of Daniel Brinkman and views Brinkman as a tremendous threat to his activities. On the outside, Margrave presents himself as Brinkman’s friend and distinguished colleague on important projects, while secretly working to destroy him. As the Ultimate Antagonist, his true identity will not be revealed for several seasons.  But his shadow is buried deep in Daniel Jr.’s mind where not even Brinkman can find it.

With a bedrock of episodes confronting veteran crises both in the hospital and in the street and a larger battle with darkness that is encroaching into his life, Daniel Brinkman walks ever closer to The Brink.

(Note: Everything relating to mind control involving hypnosis, drugs, stress, etc., which will be presented in the series, will be based on specific research information obtained from the CIA through the Freedom of Information Act along with the personal statements of men who were involved in such operations. Reality is much stranger than fiction.)

Who are we?

Best known as the Showrunner and an Executive Producer of the classic series, The Equalizer, and the creator and Executive Producer of Gabriels’ Fire that brought an Emmy to James Earl Jones, Coleman Luck knows combat veterans because he is one. He spent 1968 as a First Lieutenant, an infantry platoon leader with the Mobile Riverine Force of the Ninth Infantry Division in the Mekong Delta of South Vietnam.  Because of his military experience and family, he has a deep concern for the welfare of other veterans, and active-duty personnel and their families, many of whom suffer in silence.  A frightening number of veterans are committing suicide. Coleman believes military families will love The Brink and the new national awareness it will bring.

Coleman’s son and co-writer, Coleman Luck III started working in television when he was a teenager, writing coverage for his father during staffing season. After earning his degree in English Literature, he worked as a writer, story editor and co-producer on six television series and wrote and was co-producer on one feature film.

Registered WGA

Representation:  Michael Lewis – The Michael Lewis Agency

The Scintillating Gifts of Evil

Serpent lips2

He passed away several years ago and he was my friend. People who lived through the sixties would know his name because at that time he was a Hollywood film star. I knew him much later when his stardom had long faded.  We were talking one day and he told me how utterly lost he was while in the middle of all that success. There is no other way to put it, looking back he viewed himself as a slave to evil.  When you are very gifted and enslaved often there are some amazing “perks”.  My friend told me a story that I wouldn’t have believed if it hadn’t come from him.   I know how absolutely truthful he was and he told it with sorrow.

What kind of evil “perks” did he enjoy?

One day he was flying to a distant city.  Of course, he always flew first class. Serving him was a beautiful flight attendant. There was little interaction between them during the flight. When the plane landed neither of them spoke. They got off together, went to a hotel together and spent the night together.  The next morning they parted, all without having any conversation whatsoever.  My friend told me that this was hardly the only experience of its kind in his life. There were many others.  Now, a lot of very stupid men would consider this a dream come true, beautiful women and great sex without the slightest obligation.  My friend would tell those fools that there is no such thing. Evil, selfish acts are never free.  There is always a price to be paid because what we sow, we reap. When you do evil things, it may take long and there may be an extended period of pleasure and apparent fulfillment, but you will never be satisfied. Eventually the web will strangle you.

My friend came to a point in his life where he was so low he did the thing that only desperate people will do. He understood who he really was, utterly lost and without hope. He gave his life to Jesus Christ.  In deep sorrow, he asked forgiveness for his many sins and received that forgiveness because that’s why Jesus came, to pay the price for our sins with his own body and blood on the Cross. My friend’s life was transformed.  No, he wasn’t a major star anymore. He had entered a different Kingdom and no longer served the Kingdom of Evil.  He married a wonderful woman and they became witnesses together to what Jesus Christ had done in their lives.

But I have to tell you something more, something he told me.

With each act of selfish pleasure it was as though he had driven a nail into his own body. There were a lot of nails.  Jesus removed those nails and healed him, but the scars remained. My friend told me that often he thought of all the women he had used without a single concern for who they were as human beings. Of course, they were all “consenting adults”, but as he looked back that didn’t matter. He knew what he had done.  He told me that as he drove around Los Angeles, he would see the places where he had taken his pleasure with women and was filled with deep sorrow. He wondered what had happened to them. And he prayed for them.

In the Bible, the writer of Hebrews tells us that sin gives pleasure for a season, but that season comes to an end.  And St. Paul in his letter to the Romans says that the “wages of sin is death”. There is always a hellish payday someday.

As I write, we have gone through months of press coverage revealing the evil life of multi-millionaire, Jeffrey Epstein. Much more is yet to be told. Several weeks ago, Mr. Epstein was found hanged in his prison cell. It was the brutal end of a life that had appeared to have everything, vast wealth, beautiful women, powerful friends, and acceptance in the highest circles of the world. For many years, his money bought him everything including little girls that he abused. It was a web of evil and finally he was caught in it.  His many foul friends are scrambling to escape.  The wages of sin is death, not just in this world, but living death in the next. Jeffrey Epstein escaped nothing by dying in that cell.  Death was the doorway to a prison where he will suffer forever.  (I have written about this in two blog essays entitled Flight Out of Darkness.  They are available to read on this site.)

During my career in Hollywood, I knew a few extremely evil and powerful people.

They were different than others. Most people vacillate between being good and bad. They are insecure and try to cover it with aggressiveness or charm or just plain blather. However, you aren’t with them long before you see through the camouflage.  They’re like you, just human.  But that isn’t the way of extremely evil, powerful people.  In their presence you experience the total confidence of absolute self-absorption expressed in a kind of condescending charm. There is no insecurity in them at all, just the smooth calculating knowledge that they will always get what they want no matter what it is. They look at you with the mesmerizing eyes of the serpent, measuring, determining how best to take control and what they can get when they do.

There is something about real power that can create a kind of flattering trance in those who enter its presence.  Your guard goes down. Why does it go down?  Because you want something that this person can give and you are flattered. Without the words ever being spoken, you know that you have received the great privilege of the inner sanctum where few people are allowed to enter. Your own soft lust, disguised as “self-interest” or “creative ambition” whispers that you should do anything necessary to show that you are capable and worthy to receive what you desire. You want the powerful person to like you.  I can tell you that it is very difficult to keep your head straight in the presence of real power.  It is hard to remember that Lord Acton’s famous dictum is always true, “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”.  Why is it so difficult to remember? Because greatly corrupted power is very scintillating and can disguise itself with a wonderful charm that can even appear to be an honest concern for your welfare.  But beneath the facade lives a serpent.

In the early 90’s, I created a television series for such a person.

From the first time we met, I did not like him. But I had entered into an “overall deal” and was exclusive to his studio before I met him.  I didn’t know anything about the man and you don’t have to “like” every person you work for.  But each time we had a meeting there was just something that didn’t feel good at all.  My work for him was very successful.  The series I created was the only new dramatic series picked up by that major network for their fall schedule.  Anyone who knows the Hollywood television business understands how unlikely that is to happen, especially during the period in which I was working.

I had spent almost four years working on The Equalizer series with all the support anyone could hope to receive.  Very quickly I realized how my situation had changed. Evil, powerful people can sense very clearly when you are resisting their control.  It wasn’t long before our business relationship came to an end.

The man with whom I had been dealing went on to become one of the most powerful CEO’s in all of media.

The true depth of his evil was finally revealed at the end of 2018 when the world learned that he had been sexually abusing women for many years. He was a sexual predator who used his power to get whatever he wanted.  I had not known of those activities while I was working for him.  But his evil was not just sexual.  He did great damage in other ways as well. Those who stood against him experienced destruction in their careers.  I was one of them.

There is no joy in writing this. I have prayed for the man for many years.   In the most humiliating way he was brought down in front of the entire industry where he had wielded so much power. He retains his great wealth, but he is now a pariah.  Knowing him, I am certain that every single day he is filled with rage, bitterness and self-pity. I’m sure he hates with a terrible passion the women he abused who were courageous enough to reveal his evil.  But even more, he must hate those who did not support him in his own organization.  What ingratitude, when he had given that pack of wolves their power and wealth.

I began working for the first truly evil man I had ever experienced just before I entered Hollywood.  He was a multi-millionaire who owned his own company and I came on as marketing director. I had never known anyone like him. He was a WWII veteran and as an infantry captain had won a Silver Star for bravery in Europe.  He was very intelligent, but his intelligence was shrewd and calculating, motivated entirely by lust and greed. I know it sounds odd, but you could see all of this in his eyes.  He was in the direct mail business, selling a training course to teach people how to start their own import/export companies.  He employed several of his wife’s family and there was something wrong with all of them. You got the feeling that they were there for one reason, to suck as much from him as they could, while he used and manipulated them to get what he wanted. Just delightful. When he hired me, I think he had the idea that because I was a combat veteran we had something in common.  We didn’t.

Looking back now, I understand so much more about the gifts of evil and how you can discern them.  Entering the man’s office was an experience in itself.  Like his life, it was large, luxurious and filled with expensive, but rather odd decorations. Also like his life, it was dark, slightly sinister and had no windows.  Going in for frequent meetings, did not feel good. Soon a lot of things became clear. The man was a serial adulterer and his wife was one of the angriest women I have ever met.   She was married to him because he had left his first wife and children during an affair with her. Now it was her turn and she handled the rewards of her evil with a lot of alcohol.  After a period of time, I realized that what the company was selling was like the man himself, an expensive and subtle fraud.  Finally, things came to a head and I left.  Ten years later, his wife murdered him and went to prison for it. For him the partial wages of sin was bullets from a gun in the hands of his wife.

From these and other experiences, I learned about human wolves.

But you can’t know about great, human wolves without understanding the lesser wolves who serve them and the sheep that are their prey.  I learned that rarely will lesser wolves defend their alpha if it is clear that he or she is going down. They don’t want to go down with the dying predator.  However, the sheep who follow wolves will continue to do so straight into absolute destruction. Nothing will turn them back.  They will grow angry and defensive of their wolf if you try to warn them.  This is the scintillating power of evil that takes control of the human mind and intelligent people fall victim to it all the time.  Often, those most under its control are the most vociferous in claiming that they are absolutely free and grow enraged when you suggest otherwise. Humans are sheep without a shepherd and we are prone to following any powerful, evil shepherd who tells us what we want to hear by appealing to our fear and self-interest, which really means our greed and lust.

I do not believe that it is possible to live “shepherdless” through this world.

We will have a shepherd, even if it is ourselves. Many of us think that we can be our own shepherd, and for a time that may seem to work. But a “self-shepherded” sheep is just a sheep with a big ego. Even after great success, ultimately, we find ourselves wandering and lost. One of the reasons that powerful, evil people can gain so much control over others is because deep in our hearts we yearn for a shepherd.  We may call that person a mentor, or a mother/father figure, whatever the term, especially when we are young we want someone to guide and protect us when we need it, who will always have our best-interests at heart, and who will not abuse and selfishly use us.  Over and over, we may think we have found that person, but at the very best, it doesn’t last. At the worst, we come away from such a relationship feeling betrayed, bitter and angry, vowing never to trust anyone again.  And so we wander until we are old.

I am not an easy case in this regard.  As a sheep I have long horns and I love to use them. It took a lot for me to stop trying to be the shepherd of my own life, a lot of failure, anger and frustration.  I understood a long time ago that, left to myself, I am not a nice person. I would much prefer to cut anyone to pieces who got in my way and consider it a necessary form of deconstruction.  But there came a moment when I gave up trying to run my own life and handed it over to the truly Good Shepherd.

Now, to be honest, I wasn’t happy doing so. It was no sweet, holy religious moment with church bells and choirs singing. Nowhere near. It was more like, “ALL RIGHT, ALL RIGHT, everything I do with my life turns to crap, so let’s see what YOU can do with it.”  That was the beginning of a great adventure.  By adventure, I don’t mean a fun, easy vacation.  Certainly there have been many wonderful times. I have been given so much that is good.  However, there have been many experiences that were brutal and full of wounds. But they did not destroy me because the Good Shepherd was there every step of the way, giving me strength, going through it with me, always guiding and healing.

The path of forgiveness is only for blood-stained feet.

It is up that path that Jesus leads His sheep, giving us the forgiveness of God and requiring us to forgive others. Even evil people who damage our lives. (Yes, try to do good for them.  Try to overcome evil with good, which includes speaking truth to them.  But when that doesn’t work, you don’t have to stick around and let them abuse you.)  Jesus called Himself the Good Shepherd who loved His sheep and would lay down His life for them. And that is exactly what He did for you. Take it from a tough, old ram who is experienced in “head-butting combat” and who doesn’t suffer fools lightly, Jesus is the only one to be trusted with your life.  No matter how smart you think you are, or how much success you have experienced, a different day is coming. And when it arrives, you aren’t intelligent enough or strong enough to handle it on your own.

Two paths are presented to each of us.  One path may appear to be just what you want and need. We could call it the Jeffrey Epstein Memorial Highway. It is full of people.  As you travel, for a long period of time there may be scintillating gifts of pleasure that seem to confirm you made the right choice. But they will fade and where that wide road leads you do not want to go.  The other path is narrow, hard and rocky, but there is a Shepherd waiting to guide you.  And where it ends there is joy forevermore.  If you are on the wrong path, it is not too late to change directions.

Nietzsche’s Over Man: The Rise and Fall of Donald Trump

Trump Photo

He was one of the greatest and most powerful world rulers of ancient history, but one night he had a troubling dream.  In it, he was standing outside and in front of him loomed a gigantic tree, far taller than any he had ever seen. It towered over the earth reaching to the heavens. It was so tall that it was visible in far-away lands.  The leaves that covered it were gorgeous and luscious fruit was on every branch. In it and swirling around it were birds of every kind and beneath it animals rested in the shade.  People from far away came to feast from it.

But then began a frightening vision.

A supernatural Being of great power descended from the sky and stood above the tree. A proclamation was given.  The tree was to be cut down, stripped of its leaves and branches and left in the field like a rotting skeleton.  Only the stump would remain, banded with iron and bronze.

Then the message of this supernatural Being became even more horrifying.  The tree represented a person.  This person would be given the heart of a beast and live like an ox covered with the dew of heaven and filling his belly with grass for seven long years. Why was this going to happen?  The Being stated the reason:

“This decision is by the decree of the watchers,
And the sentence by the word of the holy ones,
In order that the living may know
That the Most High rules in the kingdom of men,
Gives it to whomever He will,
And sets over it the lowest of men.”

When the ruler awoke, he was very disturbed.

Of course, the story is found in the Old Testament Book of Daniel, chapter four.  The world ruler was King Nebuchadnezzar, one of the most powerful men who has ever lived.

The morning after the dream, Nebuchadnezzar entered his courtroom, and called in his magicians and astrologers.  None of them could interpret what he had seen. Then he called in Daniel and described the vision.

When Daniel heard it he was stunned. For a long moment, all he could do was stare in horror. Instantly, he knew what the dream meant and it terrified him.  Before he gave his interpretation, he told Nebuchadnezzar that he wished with all his heart that it would apply only to the king’s enemies.  But it didn’t.  The tree was Nebuchadnezzar himself.  In spite of all his greatness and power, God had decreed judgement against him. These are Daniel’s words:

“They shall drive you from men, your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make you eat grass like oxen. They shall wet you with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over you, till you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses.”

 Then, with a broken heart, Daniel urges:

“Therefore, O king, let my advice be acceptable to you; break off your sins by being righteous, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor.”

 Nebuchadnezzar did not take this advice.

Instead, this is what he did:

At the end of the twelve months he was walking about the royal palace of Babylon.  The king spoke, saying, “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?”

While the word was still in the king’s mouth, a voice fell from heaven: “King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: the kingdom has departed from you! And they shall drive you from men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. They shall make you eat grass like oxen; and seven times shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses.”

That very hour the word was fulfilled concerning Nebuchadnezzar; he was driven from men and ate grass like oxen; his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair had grown like eagles’ feathers and his nails like birds’ claws.

This is a frightening story for the times in which we live.

I am not a prophet, only a storyteller.  But stories have meaning and if you listen they will whisper that meaning and whisper how they will end.  On 26 July 2016 I posted on this blog my essay, Over Man:  The Temptation of Donald Trump.  It is still available here to read. For me, the next phase of Mr. Trump’s story was becoming clear like an ever-growing wave. It was inevitable that he would be elected that fall.  At that time, very few people believed that his election could be possible. I’m not sure even he believed it.  Yet, that is what happened.

After three years, once again, his story is becoming clear.  Why?  Because never has such insane arrogance, such horrifying pride been communicated to the world by a President of the United States. As never before, his words and actions have revealed who he really is and has always been.

Every story has an end and the rhyme of it is there from the start.

As far as Donald Trump is concerned, there is no joy in writing those words, only sorrow. Nebuchadnezzar was not a man who had thousands of years of truth available to him as President Trump has had, truth about who God is and how he deals with leaders, truth about the absolute necessity to repent before it is too late.  God allows evil leaders to grow in power and glory for a period of time, but then they are destroyed. And the greater their arrogance, the more awful their fall.

Daniel urged Nebuchadnezzar to repent from his many sins, the worst of which was his staggering pride.  How should that repentance be displayed to the world?  By showing mercy to the poor. It seems clear that was something the great king had never done. Donald Trump has built a personal empire that seems to glitter with gold.  He has claimed world-renown for his great skills and wisdom.  But it is an empire built on lies and greed and the cleverness of a cheating thief.  What looks like gold is nothing but gold-plating to cover the feces inside.

Throughout his life Mr. Trump has been merciless to the poor.  He has cheated those who worked for him, keeping for himself money that was owed and calling his dishonesty and injustice shrewd business wisdom. He views his structures as fortresses and he is the god who rules over them. He worships himself. In that worship he has believed that anything he wants is there for the taking, from the power of the Presidency to the bodies of women.  His wedding vows have meant even less than the contracts he made with his builders. All of this is absolutely clear in the public record, the personal witness of so many and his very own words. He has stated that he feels no need to repent for anything.

During the three years of his presidency, Mr. Trump’s arrogance has grown beyond anything it was in the past. He rules through gloating mockery.  His greatest mockery is for the sheep who passionately follow him.  He mocks them by pandering to their greed and fear, by callously using their passion to advance his power and ego.  He cares nothing for the poor and needy viewing them as worthless trash to be removed.

As I have written before, to me the greatest tragedy is that so many who claim to be “Christians” have fallen under Donald Trump’s dark spell. They believe that God established him to “Make America Great Again”.  Not since the “Christians” of Germany passionately supported Adolph Hitler have “Christians” so blindly supported such a clearly evil man.  In their ignorance, they mistake what God has done. He didn’t anoint Donald Trump to save us.  He allowed Donald Trump to be President to show all Americans who we really are.  And that vision is frightening. On the left, the right, and in the middle, we are a nation that wallows in hate, anger, greed, self-pity and lust, yet we think of ourselves as good and righteous people. We have the First Executive of Fear that we deserve.

What is the end of the Donald Trump story?

I do not know the details, but such an evil story will have a frighteningly evil end. All the violence that he has done with his words and selfish deeds will come back on him and his children.  As he has done violence to so many and infected his followers with cold disdain for the poor and needy, so I fear great violence and disdain are coming on him. Why? Because God is not mocked, what we sow we reap. And all those who have so passionately supported him will reap bitterness, self-pity and rage when the end of his story arrives.

Woe to those “Christian” leaders, those wolves and false teachers, who have given this evil man their glowing endorsement and have encouraged him every step of the way instead of confronting him with the truth of his dire future.  Instead, to advance their own power, they have enticed millions to suck at Donald Trump’s foul nipple. They are blind leaders of the blind and will pay a special price. What sorrow!   I pray for President Trump and I pray for them all.

Will Donald Trump be re-elected?

I doubt that we will be free of him so easily, but whether he is or not, the great evil will go on. What comes after him may appear to be a relief to those who hate this President, but it will prove to be the opposite. Why? Because Donald Trump is not the cause of all the evil that is in us.  He is only an expression and an expansion of it. Those who hate him are just as deluded as those who love him. Both those who hate him and those who love him are his slaves.  He could not exist without their fervid passions that feed his soul. Those raging passions will continue after he is gone, growing worse in a swirling circle of hate and a desperate desire for revenge. One bloody expression of this will be in the physical violence that no gun control will begin to stop. The darkest spirits now rule this land and I mean that quite literally.  No election will remove them.  Their power will go on, expressed in the crushing fragmentation of America as we destroy ourselves.

What is the answer to all of this horror? Is there any hope? Neither side wants to hear the answer.  Neither side will believe it.  What was the only hope for Nebuchadnezzar?  What is the only hope for Donald Trump?  What is the only hope for us? It is not faith in our Constitution or form of government.  Our only hope is personal and national repentance before God, humbling ourselves beneath His mighty hand, repenting for all of our evil and asking for His forgiveness and healing. In particular, it means repenting for our heartless treatment of the poor and downtrodden, because they are close to God’s Heart. This includes the weakest and poorest among us, unborn children.  Repentance means turning away from the bloodthirsty lies that we have accepted as selfish “rights”.

But repentance will never happen because millions do not believe in God at all and millions think He exists to do their will. Millions more simply don’t care. What they believe in is nature, or Instagram or lattes.   But without national and individual repentance before our Creator we face doom. Will it come tomorrow or next year?  I don’t know, but it will come and probably like the slow cancer in the national soul that it really is. We are now under the iron rule of the Tyranny of Fear.

Writing all of this, I feel nothing but the deepest sorrow, sorrow my grandchildren and yours, sorrow for my great-granddaughter who is about to be born. I love America, but my faith has never been in this nation, her institutions, or her people.  It has never been in a single leader, political party or political philosophy.  My faith is in Jesus Christ, the King, and in His Kingdom. It is the true Kingdom of God that will come for those who repent and believe.  Sadly, for those who refuse to repent and believe, in the future they will see that Kingdom, but never share in it.

I hope that is not you.

A Swarm of Lies

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I will never forget one night in Viet Nam.  I was out on an operation with my platoon.  We were always at less than half strength, so there were about 20 of us.  It was night.  No moon.  A lot of stars. As usual, the monsoon had soaked us late in the afternoon so we were sleeping wet stretched out in a line on a rice paddy dike. Everywhere there was water and mud. We were wet and hot. My turn came to stand watch, which meant sitting for an hour scanning the darkness with a night-seeing device called a Starlight Scope, constantly searching for enemy that might be creeping up on us. I remember so well my thoughts as I sat there, far, far from home and my loved ones, lonely and in a dangerous place, not able to leave this hell-hole for months to come. I was what would be called today clinically depressed.  But none of that was the worst of it.

The worst of it was the mosquitoes.

Huge swarms of them attacked us all night. And those vile suckers were monsters, their needles went straight through our uniforms and I am not exaggerating when I say that. Sitting there hot and wet, I had to wrap myself in my rubber poncho, covering every bit of me with just a hole to see out of and a hole to breathe.  Even then I had to fight to keep the vampires from flying in the holes. I cannot describe to you how miserable I was.   I remember thinking, “I don’t want to forget this.  If I am ever miserable in the future I need to remember what real misery is like.”

Swarming insects that attack you are terrible. Depending on what they are, they can be physically dangerous. Covered with the filth of rice paddies every day, a single scratch on a mosquito bite guaranteed a serious skin infection that would ooze pus. After a couple of months, my legs were covered with open sores. Worse, there was the greater danger of malaria. We took pills every day to guard against that and they were effective.  But I have come to believe there is something even worse than swarms of dangerous insects.  It is swarms of lies. Swarms of insects attack your body.  Swarms of lies attack your soul and many of us are covered with them without even knowing it.

King Solomon, considered one of the wisest men who ever lived, wrote mysterious words.  He wrote that God has placed eternity in our hearts. (Ecclesiastes 3:11) What does that mean?

Deep in my memory lives the Ultimate Peach.

I absolutely love fresh peaches.  But not just any peaches. I grew up in the 1950’s near Chicago.  We didn’t have a lot of fresh fruit back then.  So for years all I tasted were canned peaches. Then one summer my father took us down to Georgia where he had grown up.  From a roadside stand, I tasted my first, fresh Georgia peach. I will never forget it.  It was so delicious with the sweet juice running down. I thought it must come from Heaven. How could anyone call the canned stuff I had been eating peaches?  From that moment, a hunger entered into me and I lost my taste for the canned pretension.

What did Solomon mean when he said God had placed eternity in our hearts? It means that He placed within us a hunger for the eternal, for something so perfect, so beautiful and so good that it will never disappoint us and never pass away. We can tell ourselves that such a hunger is just a fantasy, nothing like that exists, but it doesn’t do any good. The hunger is still there.  Without even being aware of it, everything is measured against it.  Every love, every ambition, every fulfilled desire ultimately fades away because it cannot fill that hunger for eternity.  For those of us in the arts and sciences, this is the source of our struggle for perfection. We hunger to achieve it and never do.  I believe it is the source of many broken hearts. The hunger for perfect love can never be fulfilled by another human being but over and over we search.

One writer asked the profound question, is it possible to hunger for something that does not exist?

If food did not exist how could you hunger for it? We were created to eat so food had to exist.  How could the hunger for perfection be in us if the fulfillment of that hunger did not exist somewhere? Did the hunger for a perfect love only come from romantic novels and films?  Or are the romantic novels and films just expressing a hunger that is always there, the whisper of eternity in our hearts.

The Bible teaches that God Himself is absolute Perfection and the source of all that is good. Our hunger for perfection is really a hunger for Him. That is what eternity in our hearts means. Maybe you don’t believe that.  Maybe all of your experiences have led you to disillusionment, exhaustion, a broken heart, even anger and bitterness, and you have given up hope that anything else is possible.  Maybe you are fighting swarms of despair. Can you imagine something with me for a moment?  Can you imagine that there really is a perfect God who is perfectly in love with you? And this God wants you to know Him, because in knowing Him you will find the fulfillment of all your hungers and all you were created to be.

You might ask, “If He’s real, where is He?  I don’t see him.  All I see is darkness.”  Is it possible that all you see are thick swarms of lies that have been blinding you your whole life?  The God I’m talking about has been telling humanity about who He really is from the very beginning.  But the greatest swarm of lies in history has been blinding us to what He has said and to His Presence.

Let’s take a look at some very strange information.

A wonderful book that should be in your library is entitled Eternity In Their Hearts written by the late missionary anthropologist Don Richardson. It tells the true story of God’s witness to some of the most primitive tribes on earth.

In 1867 a Norwegian missionary named Lars Skrefsrud and a colleague from Denmark were in India looking for new tribes that had never heard the Good News of Jesus Christ. They discovered a huge group of 2 ½ million people, a single tribe, living north of Calcutta that had never had any contact with Christian or Jewish influences.

The Santal spoke a unique language, but Skrefsrud had a great ability to learn new languages. In a surprisingly short period of time he was able to speak their language fluently.  As soon as he could speak it, he began preaching. The message that he preached absolutely electrified the Santal. One of the elders of the tribe stood up and said to the people, “What this stranger is saying proves that Thakur Jiu has not forgotten us after all this time.”

Skresfrud couldn’t believe what he was hearing.  In Santal, the word Thakur meant genuine and the word Jiu meant God.  The Genuine God. He began questioning them closely.  “How do you know this Genuine God?”  They replied, “Long, long, long ago our forefathers knew him.”  “Well, if you know him, why don’t you worship him instead of the sun, and evil spirits?”

In answer they told him an ancient story that had been handed down through countless generations.  That story was an amazing parallel to the Biblical story of the Garden of Eden, the creation and the fall of the human race.  But it didn’t stop there.  It went on to tell how the founders of their race had started on a long journey.  On this journey they came to a range of mountains and couldn’t find their way through them.  The Santal said that when their ancestors came to this insurmountable obstacle they became discouraged.  They stopped trusting in the Genuine God.  They said, “The spirits of the mountains have blocked our way. We must bind ourselves to them if we are to get through.”  And this is what they did.  Soon they found a way through, probably what is now known as the Khyber Pass.  Open before them were the plains of India.

From that time on, the Santal felt obligated to fulfill the oath that their forefathers had made to the Maran Buru, the evil spirits of the mountains, though for untold generations they had lived where mountains could not even be seen.  The Santal believed that this oath and worship had created a terrible rift between the Genuine God and their tribe.

In time the name Thakur Jiu had been applied to the sun.  But this is not what their forefathers had told them.  In the ancient past the Santal knew that the Genuine God was distinct from His creation. Though He could see all, He was not to be seen with human eyes. He made all things.   He set everything in its place and nourished all things from the great to the small, but their relationship with Him had been broken.  They were overjoyed to know that the Genuine God had sent His Son to tell the world about His deep love, to die for their sins and make a way for them to come back to Him.

Skrefsrud and his colleague were overwhelmed with people who wanted Jesus to be their Lord and Savior.  During those first decades, Skrefsrud personally baptized 15,000 people of the 85,000 who were baptized.  Long, long ago the seed of Eternity had been planted in their Hearts.

 Another story.

When the British arrived in Burma in the late 1700’s they found as expected that the Burmese were devout Buddhists. But deep in the mountains of Burma there were other tribes.  The Burmese hated them, considering them savages.  Worst of all, these stupid people refused to accept Buddhism.  They clung to their ancient folk religions.

The Karen people insisted on believing in a Supreme God whose Name was Y’wa. In a thousand villages there were teacher/prophets who constantly reminded them that way of Y’wa was entirely different than the ways of the nats – the evil spirits.  In the folk religion of the Karen there were hymns to the One True God.  Let me share several of them with you.  These songs have come down from the most ancient generations:

Y’wa is eternal, his life is long. One aeon – he dies not. Two aeons – he dies not. He is perfect in meritorious attributes. Aeons follow aeons.  He dies not.

Who created the world in the beginning? Y’wa created the world in the beginning. Y’wa appointed everything.  Y’wa is unsearchable.

The omnipotent is Y’wa: him have we not believed. Y’wa created men anciently.  He has a perfect knowledge of all things. Y’wa created men at the beginning.  He knows all things at the present time. Oh, my children and grandchildren, the earth is the treading place of the feet of Y’wa. And heaven is the place where he sits. He sees all things and we are manifest to him.

Y’wa formed the world originally.  He appointed food and drink. He appointed the “fruit of trial.” He gave detailed orders. Mukawlee deceived two persons. He caused them to eat the fruit of the tree of trial.  They obeyed not.  They believed not Y’wa. When they ate of the fruit of trial they became subject to sickness, aging and death.

Strangest of all, among the Karen there was a very ancient tradition – that someday a brother from far away would bring to them a book that had been lost that would tell them how to know the One True God.

The stories of God’s eternal witness to ancient humanity about who He really is come from around the world.  Darwin’s theory of evolution, now being seriously challenged as mathematically impossible by leading scientists, has brought horror into the human race. What do I mean by that?  I’m not talking about its teaching in the classroom.  That is bad enough.  I’m talking about the way it has been used to create swarms of lies that have attacked us all and hidden the truth. Let me explain.

After Darwin’s theory appeared many philosophers clamored to apply it to every area of human life.  I want to focus in one area where the ancient truth about God has been consciously replaced with swarms of lies.  That area is anthropology. Here’s the way early anthropologists tried to apply Darwinism to the development of a belief in one God.    To them it was impossible to imagine that monotheism had been the original form and that belief in many gods had come later.  So they created a hypothesis.

 They said religion began with the idea of the human soul which meant ghosts.

Out of fear, early man thought he had to offer sacrifices to keep ghosts under control. This led to fetishes and nature gods, rising finally to polytheism. As human society evolved to the place of having rulers or an aristocracy, religion followed behind with the creation of a hierarchy or pantheon of gods.  Finally, the idea of a king appeared in human government.  This led to the religious creation of a Supreme Being or monotheism.  This hypothesis was drawn up by an anthropologist named Edward Tylor.

In the early 1900’s dozens of young anthropologists spread out across the globe with the goal of proving his theory. Initially, it appeared that he was correct.  These young researchers ran into thousands of beliefs in spirits, taboos, sorcery and magic.  They came up with the term “animism” to describe this lowest stage of religious development.  And all the great evolutionary philosophers were pleased.  It was obvious that religion had developed mentally just as biological forms had developed physically.

But soon a problem began to arise, a tiny fly in their philosophical ointment.

As these young researchers continued their work, they started asking questions such as, “Who made the world?”  So many of the primitive tribes had the same answer, a single Being who lived in the sky. “Is he good or bad?”  “Oh, good, of course.” “Show me the idol that represents him.” “No, no, he must never be represented by an idol.”

The researchers came up with the rather denigrating name of the Sky God to describe this very ancient belief. The truth was they all knew that this belief would fly in the face of the leading Darwinian anthropologists.  You don’t advance your academic career by disagreeing with the current wisdom, so they downplayed what they were discovering.  Virtually the only man who was willing to write the truth was a researcher named Andrew Lang.

Then in the 1920’s a ground-breaking study began.  An Austrian scholar named Dr. Wilhelm Schmidt decided to compile a list of every “alias of the Almighty” (as he called it) that had been discovered around the world.  Schmidt was staggered.  Can you guess how large that list was?  It took six volumes totaling 4,500 pages to document them all. 90 percent or more of the primitive religions of Earth contain clear acknowledgement of the existence of One Supreme Being. Schmidt’s work was published in 1934.  Since then at least a thousand more examples have come to light.

A later writer named Foucart gave a full scale treatment to this subject in the Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics. This is what he says:  “The nature, role and characteristics of this universal Sky God may be concealed under the most diverse forms, but he is always more or less recognizable to the historian of religions and always identical in essential definition…the Sky God has reigned everywhere.  His Kingdom still covers the whole of the uncivilized world. No historical or proto-historical motive can be assigned as a cause, and neither the migration of races, nor the diffusion of myths and folklore affords the slightest justification of the fact. The universality of the Sky God and the uniformity of his essential characteristics are the logical consequence of the uniformity of the primitive system of cosmogony.” What do you think was the response of academic anthropology to all of that?  It doesn’t take much imagination.

They preferred their swarm of lies.

What is God’s attitude toward all those who have fabricated such swarms of lies that have so misled and destroyed humanity, which is his creation?  How would you feel if your name had been dragged through the dirt and endless lies had been told about you?  What is God’s attitude toward those who insist on believing those lies even when they are told the truth?

St Paul in the first chapter of his letter to the Romans writes this:

But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness. They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.

Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools. And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles.

 So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies. They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen.

Stern and frightening words and they need to be taken very seriously.  Why is there so much pain and suffering in the world?  The answer is here. As a race, we walked away from the truth about our Creator.  Why has God allowed such evil and suffering to go on for so long?  I don’t know, but I do know this.  He has shown who He is and how much He loves us in the most amazing way.  He came in the Person of Jesus, His Son, to suffer with us, to pay the penalty for our sins and give us citizenship in His eternal kingdom. But we have to want it.  We have to stop believing the swarms of lies. There’s something else.  Though it has gone on for thousands of years, the suffering and evil in this world will not go on forever.

A new world is coming.

This God who has been rejected has been proclaiming who He is and the coming of His Kingdom to earth for thousands of years.  Here is a little of what He has said:

Isaiah 2:2-4  Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.

Isaiah 32:1-4 Behold, a king will reign in righteousness, and princes will rule with justice. A man will be as a hiding place from the wind, and a cover from the tempest, as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. The eyes of those who see will not be dim, and the ears of those who hear will listen. Also the heart of the rash will understand knowledge, and the tongue of the stammerers will be ready to speak plainly

Isaiah 65:17-25 “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered or come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I create; for behold, I create Jerusalem as a rejoicing, and her people a joy. I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in My people; the voice of weeping shall no longer be heard in her, nor the voice of crying. “No more shall an infant from there live but a few days, nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days; for the child shall die one hundred years old, but the sinner being one hundred years old shall be accursed. They shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit. They shall not build and another inhabit; they shall not plant and another eat; for as the days of a tree, so shall be the days of My people, and My elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labor in vain, nor bring forth children for trouble; for they shall be the descendants of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them. “It shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, the lion shall eat straw like the ox, and dust shall be the serpent’s food. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, “Says the LORD.

Jesus proclaimed that the beginning of God’s Kingdom of Heaven had arrived with His coming to earth.  How did He describe the value of that Kingdom?

Matthew 13:44-46 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.  Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it. 

What do those words mean? They predict the ultimate coming of Absolute Perfection into this world, the fulfillment of every beautiful hope and hunger and dream. What is Jesus saying? If you could see the Kingdom of God as it exists right now in Heaven, if you could walk in its majestic and beautiful streets, if you could hear the singing, if you could experience a single minute in God’s Presence as all people do in that wonderful place, you would do anything to get there.  If it meant selling all that you had you would do it.  If it meant suffering you would go through it.  If it cost you your life you would give it. But that Kingdom is represented here right now by the people who have given their lives to its King.  Eventually, it will arrive in the fullness of total power. Everything beautiful in this world is simply a whisper of that which is to come.

To be a citizen of the Kingdom of God is the greatest possession that a person could ever have. Anything less is going to pass away.

When I was running TV series I would get stacks and stacks of headshots, photos of young actors, beautiful women, and handsome men, all desperate to become stars. But along with them, very frequently, I would get other photos of older men and women who once had been beautiful with dreams of stardom.  Many had given up their lives to that fantasy.  Some had given up husbands, wives, children, homes, happiness itself. Finally, the dream had died and they were struggling to survive.

But even more lost are so many who achieved their dreams. Over my career as a Hollywood writer and executive producer, I have known many stars and extremely wealthy people. I have known people who have made fortunes, whose faces have been on the covers of magazines. With only a few exceptions they have been miserable human beings, angry, unhappy, unfulfilled, and damaging to themselves and others.  The celebrity appearance of success and happiness was a complete fraud.

Why were they this way?  They had believed swarms of beautiful lies that were full of poison. They had given their hearts and souls to the wrong kingdom.  They thought they had found the hidden treasure, the pearl of great price.  But after they had sold everything to get it, they watched it turn to dust and vanish. What happens when you have attained it all and it isn’t enough? What happens when the terrible hunger is still there? Out of desperation flows anger.  In each one of us there is a hunger that only God’s Presence in our souls can fill. It is a hunger for Him and His Kingdom.

To become a citizen of the Kingdom of God will cost you nothing.  The price was paid by Jesus Christ on the Cross when He gave His life to pay for your sins. But there is more.  To live as a citizen of the Kingdom of God in this world, to be a true follower of the Jesus, the King, will mean that you give up your right to worship yourself. You give up your right to be your own little idol. It means you stop believing the swarms of lies that are doing nothing but destroying you.  It means giving your disillusionment, your anger, your sorrow, your broken heart into His Hands.  It means giving your hopes and dreams into His Hands. When you repent of your sins, the things you know you are doing that are wrong, and ask Jesus to forgive you and be the Savior and Master of your life, the Kingdom of God is yours.

But most people prefer the swarm of lies. 

A man named Jim Elliot who gave his life to tell others about Jesus wrote these words:  “He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”

Your choice.

Magnificent!

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I have many friends who are screenwriters. Often, they want me to read their work. I’m sorry to say that I don’t do that anymore.  There are a number of reasons why which I won’t go into here. But to all students of screenwriting I will tell you that the most important way to understand how to write screenplays is to read screenplays, not just watch films.  After you read a screenplay, analyze it, which means creating a “beat sheet”.  There should be a single beat for every three or four pages of script. In this way, you will see the structure that the writer used, including logical act breaks. Screenwriting is a highly structural activity. You don’t just sit down and start writing a script.  You create your story with a beat sheet, then you do a treatment in prose form.  In this way, you work out as many problems as possible before you type Fade In:  Novices and bad writers do not do this.

Several years ago, my son Cole and I decided to write a script that would encapsulate all that we have learned about screenwriting over the decades.  Also it would communicate what we believe on important subjects.  I hate the words “Faith Based”.  They are nothing but a marketing ploy that creates its own ghetto.  Are there marketing categories for films?  Of course there are, but “Faith Based” should not be one of them.  Almost always “Faith Based” films are poorly written pieces of treacle designed to please an audience that accepts such sticky drek and sucks it down.  That is not what Magnificent! is.  This is a script with a message and an edge. So if you want to understand how we write screenplays we offer this to you.

Magnificent!MMSW