Chapter Twelve ONE MORE TIME AROUND
That walk was very familiar. I stopped dead in my tracks, frozen as the figure continued his pace toward me, a large smile now consuming his face. And that sparkle in his eyes – that unmistakable sparkle. “Darren!” I had no other words. My heart was leaping inside of me, and my mind was filled with the same question echoing over and over again – how is this possible?? “Hi sport.” Darren was now right in front of him, and gently clasped his right hand on the side of David‟s neck in a kind of greeting, allowing his thumb to slowly lift David‟s head back with slight pressure under his chin, as he seemed to peer deep into David‟s eyes, almost as if he was looking for something particular in there. That big smile erupting over his face and eyes again. “Your looking better than the last time I saw you”. I just stood there and repeated his name, this time more like a question. “Darren?” “Yes sport its me…now don‟t go liquid on me. I‟ve missed you too.” “But I thought,” I stopped mid sentence. “They told me..…we had a memorial! I thought you were dead. Why aren‟t you dead?” “Well I‟m happy to see you too David.” “No, I mean”…..I suddenly rushed forward and through my arms around my friend in a big bear hug. “Whoa sport, take it easy or you may lose me again.” “I‟m sorry, I‟m just so - well amazed I guess. I never expected to see you again. It was like I lost part of myself. Please tell me what I am missing here. We thought you were killed in the explosion, you know, the car bomb.” “I know, but now I‟m back. I was written out, and now I‟ve been written back in.” “Written in by who?” “By the author I suppose, you know the one who is writing this story we are part of.” “You mean God?” “Is that who I mean?” “But you said we are in a story that someone is writing – that can only be God.” “So you finally believe He is the author of this book.”1 “I know He is.” “Good, I‟ve looked forward to hearing those words… Then can‟t the author of this story that we are characters in, put me in as easily as He took me out?” “But that‟s not how it works – that‟s against the rules.” “And who is the Ruler? Who is the Maker of the rules?” “God is.” “Well then, how about allowing Him some artistic license?” David just stood there, still somewhat stunned by this latest turn of events. “I can‟t quite handle this. I‟m just going to be glad your back from wherever you‟ve been. I don‟t want any more information than that right now.” “That‟s good, as I cannot tell you about it.” Darren put his hand back on David‟s shoulder. “Lets go.”
They started walking down the path toward the road. Neither of them spoke for quite awhile as David was given the time he needed to assimilate this most recent revelation, and the return of his friend. About half way to the town, David broke the silence. “Have you seen Sam or your mom?” “I‟ve kept in touch with them.” Darren never broke his stride or looked over at David. David let out a sigh, and decided very quickly not to question this last remark. There were obviously some things afoot that he was not privy to and he would just as soon keep it that way, at least for a while. “I spent almost ten months with Pinnacle in the Catskills, in Pennsylvania.” I was hunting for something to talk to Darren about. “That‟s funny, you don‟t look Jewish.” This time Darren looked over and smiled. I was trying to comprehend what the connection between Pinnacle and looking Jewish was. Darren knew I was Jewish. I must have looked quite perplexed. “It‟s a joke David.” “Oh,” I said, still without a clue what he was talking about. I had been getting myself in so deep, that this lighter stuff just whizzed right over my head. Watching Darren as we walked along, he reminded me of a little kid. He was shuffling along, smiling at every tree we passed as if it might be a friend. He was five years my senior, yet I felt like I was carrying a burden that he just didn‟t seem to have to carry. “So how did you like living with the Physics?” All of a sudden, coming from him, that seemed like such a huge question. There was so much to tell him that I had nothing to say. All the revelations, all the questions I had as I sat under the tutelage of Pinnacle. I had so wished he had been there to talk about things, and make sense of it all. And now I was walking next to him, and I was getting nothing. There was nothing to ask. Nothing to discuss. There was too much, to know where to begin. It suddenly dawned on me that Danalyn had been given to me to fill the space that Darren had left in my life. That‟s why the banter had seemed so familiar, so natural. A thought popped into my head. Maybe she had to leave so that Darren could return. That was too obscure, even for me. I couldn‟t go there and immediately shook it off. “What an enormous understanding of the nature of physicality they possessed for such a small sect of seekers.” “I know what you mean. Enormous.” David looked closely at his friend to see if he might be making another joke, but it was obvious that he was caught up in deep contemplation of the knowledge espoused by the Physics. “I still have a hard time calling them by that name. It seems almost too literal.” I paused, but there was no response so I continued. “I mean I know psychics have nothing to do with psychology really, but „Physics‟ to define their obsession with the nature of physicality seems almost plageristic. I mean we already have a science called physics wherein we study the nature of matter and energy. And „physicians‟ is already taken by the medical doctors. Why do they appropriate a name which has already been taken?” “Perhaps they feel it is an appropriate label to describe their field of study, and are not really concerned with what others call or define their own disciplines.” As we entered the small township of Afgard, Darren turned in to the walk leading to a quaint little Inn which had been set back far enough from the road that it would have been easy to walk by, without seeing it. As we entered, the Innkeeper smiled a warm welcome toward us, and I got the feeling that we were expected. There was no longer any apprehensiveness to
any of what I found myself party to, but a peaceful complacency as if I was in my own home. We walked up the stairs and down a curved hallway dotted with doors on either side. Darren stopped at one of them and motioned me to open it. “This will be your room. Dinner will be in about forty minutes in the dining room.” “Where is your room?” I did not want to lose track of my friend again. “I‟m in the Presidential Suite, all the way to the end on the left.” Darren winked and shot me that silly grin of his, then turned and walked on down the hall. I slipped my duffel off of my shoulder and entered the room. The room was small, but very quaint and even a bit rustic. A beautiful quilt covered the full size bed which seemed a lot higher from the floor than beds I was used to. There was an antique sink basin mounted in one corner for washing up and grooming, with clean towels neatly folded on the shelf to the side of it, but I had not thought to ask where the bathroom was located. At the appointed time I headed downstairs to find the dining room. Darren was standing just inside apparently meditating or just lost in thought. A long table with settings for twelve people occupied the center of the room. Along both walls were several heavily padded benches without backs, except for a serving table in the center of the left wall. Darren opened his eyes and smiled. He put his hand on my shoulder and walked me toward the middle of the right side of the table, where without a word he pulled out two chairs and we both sat down. “Why have you returned?” I knew immediately that it must have sounded pretty blunt, but I also knew it was OK. There were never any pretences between me and Darren. “It‟s getting late David.” Darren Paused as if trying to determine the best phraseology to bring clarity to some point that could be easily misunderstood. “We will soon be moving into a time of severe chaos and lawlessness at which time distributive communications and mass media will be severely impaired. When terror fills the streets and people leave their homes and cities seeking some sort of sanctuary and refuge, then many will seek after the word of God but will be unable to find it. 2There will be famines throughout the land so that we must not delay any longer, but take advantage of the means to communicate truth for the sake of those that will hear it, and while the means are still available.” Darren paused again, and then began speaking as if he were talking to himself. “While He still “restrains” 3 the evil which seeks to cover and destroy.” “Then the Day of the Lord is upon us?” “It‟s close David. Very close. You hear the news today overflowing with talk of war and crime and abuse and corruption, but this is still tame because it is still far away from the majority. But it is getting worse very quickly now. Even though most people are beginning to see and even acknowledge it, they don‟t know where to turn or what they can do about it, so they continue to believe the lies and to live their daily routines, hoping that somehow it will all work itself out. When the systems and governments they put all their trust and confidence in fall apart and fail, then it will come close and overtake them, and the news they hear about then will terrify them.4” Two men entered the dining room from the far end. Darren stood to greet them, so I did also. After a brief salutation I was introduced. They were both about our age. The first was Theron Ambry, a Norwegian with somewhat longish blonde hair. The other was introduced only as Conner. They took seats across from us, and I listened quietly as they exchanged pleasantries with Darren. In short order others began to arrive and were introduced, some only to me and some to
each other when new acquaintances. I detected a number of English accents and assumed that these at least were locals. I leaned over and whispered to Darren, “doesn‟t anyone around here have normal names like Bob or Joe?” Darren smiled. The innkeeper entered pushing a cart laden with bowls of soup which he began placing before each of us. I was not introduced to him, but soon learned he was Mr. Walsh. Throughout dinner, the conversation was mainly on the present condition of the church in America and Europe. For the most part it was fairly somber, but it was evident that the sobriety was out off concern and not criticism. At least everyone was polite enough to take turns speaking so that it was easy enough to follow the trend of what they were saying. I found the mix of people somewhat interesting, as they were all young men, most not much older than myself. I was used to hearing wisdom come from much older and therefore presumably wiser men. This in itself made me feel more comfortable and less an outsider. “Even for most of those so called “church goers”, their spiritual walk is more of a hobby than a vocation.” Gilbert Massingham had just taken the opportunity to jump in to the conversation concerning the lack of any real commitment on the part of most individuals that professed themselves to be Christians. “Christian living is something they do in their spare time, if business and social obligations allow and there are no pressing family activities to occupy their attention. Now don‟t get me wrong Harris, there are church picnics and church socials, even bible studies and prayer meetings as well as other activities within and around the church community, and these are all well and good, but I am confounded by this casual understanding that seems to permeate almost all of the religious groupings today that service to the King should not usurp family or work necessities on the grounds that that would be irresponsible…” “I think the problem Gill, lies in the fact that they no longer understand what service to the King entails. The churches and synagogues have them trained that it means taking part in the programs and services of the affiliated organization and its needs. For most unfortunately, their faith has become a spare time activity except for regularly scheduled meetings whether at church or synagogue or mosque.” “Its like they seem to say, I will be reverent in that environment when I get there, but during the week my time is my own.” “Kind of like the way most of them give away money.” Harris Hendrickson I would come to find out, was a master of digression. “Of course there are many exceptions, but most will give when it‟s available – if there‟s extra, once personal and family requirements are met. Only those that know Him and His provision will give out of their sustenance, and not just out of abundance if its there. Then we are sacrificing ourselves, and not just our stuff. This is what is pleasing to God. This shows what we trust in.” “I would like to make a comment here if I might.” Carl Bremmer had been introduced to me as the presiding chair of the School of Religious Studies at Oxford College. That peaked my interest as he could not have been over thirty five, and even that would be pushing it. “We have not come together here and now to be critical of the prevalence of ignorance which permeates the contemporary religious organizations. That is understood, else we would not be here. Our concern is for the lost souls that fill the benches in the various religious edifices, believing that they have attained eternal life in the Kingdom of God. Most of them are oblivious of their true conditions as they become
comfortable under the dogmas or doctrines of whatever religious group they have affiliated themselves with. I have come to believe that the lost people of the world (those they tend to look down on) that do not live in the pretense of spiritual righteousness are in much better position to be delivered from the grave then those in the church trying to give them the message from a position of spiritual sanctity.5 You see, at least the lost know they are lost. They pretty much know that they are swimming in an ocean that is too big for them to swim across, and they would like to be pulled out, rescued, and saved, except they don‟t see any hands reaching out to them that they want to grab hold of. Many would rather drown. And if you take a good honest look at the present condition of the established church in its various formats, I can understand why. Perhaps this is what Jesus was telling the crowd when He said that the spiritually poor were the ones that would ultimately inherit the Kingdom of God.” “Well, I think their confusion comes from the fact that they “say” they believe in Jesus, but they don‟t “live” like they believe in Him. It‟s becoming clear that they don‟t understand what the word “believe” means. In their contemporary colloquial dialog this word has devolved from its high meaning of “trusting” in something, to merely acknowledging its existence. They put believing in Jesus on the same plane as believing in UFO‟s or even believing in Santa Clause. Asking simply, if he is real, but then putting their trust in everything else except God. They don‟t seem to see it is in the “living” of it that the “believing becomes real. What I am saying is that trusting in God does not mean trusting in the worlds systems. The so called unsaved people trust in the worlds systems. That‟s why when they look at the church and see no difference they call them hypocrites with no answers to their dilemma there.” “Ok, so what have we got then? We know that God will not accommodate their needs except occasionally from His mercy, as long as they continue to look elsewhere and only run to Him when all else fails. If He did, then they would continue to trust in these other things. He has made it abundantly clear that we cannot have any other Gods in front of Him and still expect Him to perform when they all fail.6 So how can we communicate this to those without hope, when life itself has not been able to?” “The enemy is so adept at conditioning responses and thoughts through everything from video games to TV and movies. Can‟t we also use these mass media technologies to make our points?” “We could certainly use them at least to some extent, but not to condition response and thought patterns. As CS Lewis has pointed out, “we cannot tempt to virtue as the dark lord tempts to vice.” It would be self defeating.” “We somehow have to convince them to turn from their faith in their faith, which they have been taught by men, toward faith in God. Go to the source. Read the book for themselves. The inspired Word, not the re writes with their errant directions and agendas. Ask the Spirit to teach and explain it. They don‟t need other teachers once they start paying attention and begin to press in.”7 Up to this point Darren had not commented but had been carefully listening, noting the various directions the conversation had taken. Now he leaned forward and a hush came over the group in anticipation. “I believe gentlemen, that the contemporary church as you call it has simply become too comfortable. The separation between church and state has grown till there is a schism between the very guiding beliefs that an individual might harbor and his everyday lifestyle. This is true of believers and non believers alike. People no longer live
what they themselves believe to be true and appropriate. They become frustrated and unfulfilled, as they try to escape their own hypocrisy. An unfortunate disservice has been perpetrated upon them. In religious circles, they are given a name to identify with, but which in no way describes their lives in their present state. Led to believe they are saved with a simple prayer and confession from their mouths and a heartfelt belief that Jesus is the Messiah, they become satisfied with their state, thinking they have arrived and no longer need concern themselves with their position in eternity as they are told it is assured. Though everlasting life is certainly their gift through His grace, it is not at all clear that as in this world there are many different lifestyles and positions, so likewise in the next are far greater opportunities for those that are not luke warm, but press in for the highest prize they can obtain. The path to perfection they are taught to travel to fulfill their Christian obligations has been adapted to fit their modern lifestyles in the 21st century, rather than they adapting themselves to walk the path of Kingdom life. They hear gospels concerning sin management and gospels concerning the need for social reform, but no one has preached the gospel of the Kingdom that Jesus taught to them. They are therefore in the same position as the lost of the world inasmuch as they don‟t realize that, believing that their new name sufficiently distances them from those outside the church even though they live pretty much the same lives as those outside. It is His chosen that God is angry with for their rebellion in putting their faith and confidence in virtually everything besides Him, and it is His chosen except for a remnant, that will be cast out. The wicked of course will be destroyed, that‟s what they were created for.8 It is His chosen elect that God grieves for and seeks to have return from their religious prisons to His outstretched arms. The fact is, if these professed born agains actually believed that Jesus Christ is God revealed in flesh, the Creator of all the heavens and the earth and everything therein, than they would be inclined to do what he says to do and live the way He instructed them to live under the assumption that He knew more about what really works than Dr. Phil and Dear Abby combined. And yet it seems they are willing to seek out and learn from almost anyone else except Jesus. They simply don‟t know Him.”9 “So what do you propose Darren? You know you can‟t touch their hearts with persuasive words, only their minds, so the media is really not of great use. What can we do to open their eyes? Miracles don‟t increase their love for God or each other. If you demonstrate to them that believing works, than they will believe in believing and will follow after the believer who believed enough to make it happen, but they will not put their trust in what they consider to be an invisible God.” I could see by the intensity with which Professor Bremmer gazed at Darren that he would desperately like to hear some answer that he could grab hold of and run with. “Yes Darren, how do we help them to see that many have been sold a modern contemporary Christianity that has been molded and compromised to fit comfortably into their modern contemporary lifestyle so as not to cause any undue hardship? After all they have said the prayer and taken the name. What else was there? They pray for the sick and wonder why God does not answer, but it does not occur to them to question why not. They just seem to assume that the problem lies with the one who is sick or in their own insufficient faith or some other trial. They often assume the afflicted must have done something wrong or else God has other reasons we can‟t understand. It seems that unless the Spirit moves to open their eyes and ears and God calls them, there isn‟t much we can do to reach them.”10
Darren was about to answer the quandary that Herman Silverstein had so eloquently laid out, when who should come through the door but Mrs. Bruen pushing a cart laden with several large bowls and plates of food. For some reason seeing her here in Lancaster did not surprise me. I had come to understand that this was just how it worked sometimes. She smiled at me and nodded her head in greeting as she laid out the large plates and bowls of food on the table before us, but she said nothing. Darrin continued. “What you have alluded to with the blindness that permeates the modern Western church is exactly how we are going to penetrate the veil. You see, most of them have in fact been called of God but their minds have been veiled, that is blinded by the god of this world 11so that they lack understanding to know Him who is true. For the most part, they have become comfortable and complacent in their faith, having accepted the prevalent and common understanding that it is all about going to heaven, nothing more and nothing less. Of this they have been assured by the ministers and other spiritual leaders they look to for answers, if they are just fairly faithful to the doctrines and traditions of the church or denomination they are affiliated with. They are given to believe that they can be a Christian without becoming a disciple and apprentice of Christ. They verbally acknowledge and even praise God, but their hearts desire everything else.12 I propose with the help of God, to overturn that applecart. To make them aware that they have been conned. That they have been duped, and taught the traditions and doctrines and commandments of men, and hopefully then, angry enough with religion to seek out the truth. We are going to spread the teachings of Jesus from the scriptures that the church overlooks and glosses over. The teachings of how those that are called to the banquet will be rejected in favor of the less fortunate that are hungry for what is being served.13 The spiritually superior individuals will be passed over in favor of the spiritually poor who will inherit His kingdom. The last will in the end be chosen first.14 We need to somehow make clear, that being called out of the world is not sufficient to guarantee them entrance into the Promised Land. That they may well end up dying in the wilderness never entering God‟s promised rest, 15 unless the world is also cut out of their hearts, and their confidence in the worlds systems is circumcised completely from their hearts and minds.” I could see that Darrin was getting carried away and making some of the others uneasy with his passion and intensity. I carefully had moved my hand under the table trying to be as subtle as possible and tapped gently on his leg to get his attention. He quickly shot a glance at me and understanding my communication he immediately ceased his oratory and sat back in his chair quietly observing his empty plate. “Gilbert, would you pray for the food. I‟m sorry I have kept you from your warm meal. There will be time later.” When Professor Massingham finished giving thanks to God for His good provision, plates and bowls of food started quickly passing around and other than the sound of silverware against the plates the room became silent. As those around the table were finishing their meals and the dishes were being collected by Mrs. Bruen, Professor Bremmer took the opportunity to pick up the conversation where it had been left. “Do you really believe Darren that those that come to the church for comfort, even the comfort of shelter from the harshness and insecurity of the world will not find sanctity and peace in God who is so desirous to love and take care of them?”
“I believe that God already takes care of them, whether they look to Him or not. His love for us is not conditioned on our love for Him, nor is He stymied by whether or not we choose to follow Him as it is He who chooses whomsoever He will. His hand, through Christ, is extended to everyone, and anyone that decides to take hold of it can be lifted out of the pollution of this world‟s values into the purity of Christ‟s holiness. All I‟m saying is that they then need to let go of their grip on this worlds pollutions lest they be torn apart by the dichotomy. They need to at least intend to turn away and die to their prior values so that He can cleanse them from their unrighteousness through life‟s tests and trials. To be reborn, they must also be willing to die. They simply cannot serve two masters. It is only those that are comfortable with their present situation and content with their religious practice as it is, and cease to get on their knees and cry out morning by morning for God to redeem them from all their unrighteousness, that need something to jolt them from their lethargy. He only wants them to seek Him, seek Him with their hearts, not just their lips, and He will do the rest.” “It seems that back in your United States, that ministers attract parishioners with comfort. Comfortable air-conditioned sanctuaries with state of the art sound systems and projection TV screens to give the people the words to the songs they sing, and comfortable plush seats. I have almost been put to sleep when I have visited there. But most importantly, they seem to attract parishioners with comfortable sermons to live their lives by. Smooth words.16 Nothing that will dramatically alter their lives. They do not seek evil; although neither do they truly seek righteousness. They are as the Lord says, lukewarm. Believing they are rich (in the things of God) and needing nothing but they don‟t realize how poor and wretched they truly are.17We cannot restore them. But I think God has something in store for them.
Concerned for the churched people that were mostly lulled to passive participation in futile endeavors… .
(later on) How do I fit into this? What can I do? Laugh.. you can make all the difference. You can give them the hand that they are looking for. One that they will gladly grasp hold of. How? Because you have been chosen to be the Messiah. Don‟t be ridiculous. Jesus is the messiah…. He was. He came as the lamb to make a way. Now its up to you to take the next step. But your talking heresy… besides, you know me… you know I‟m no Messiah. What are you talking about? Besides, Jesus is coming back, isn‟t He? What do you think He‟s going to say if He comes back and finds me masquerading around as Him? He is coming back, but when He does, His name will not be Jesus, this time. I believe He will say „well done, good and faithful servant.‟ Don‟t let it swell your head. You are not alone in this. Many have been
chosen to be the physical manifestation of Christ on the earth. You along with the others give body and form to Him. A body that allows others to see Him, That manifests His presence to the world. The body of Christ, with Jesus (deliverance) as the head. Until He returns in the flesh Himself – you and the other “chosens” will be His flesh on the earth. But isn‟t that the function of the church. To represent Him. To be His physical presence in the Earth until He does return? (church from eclesia – to be called out) Many are called to this place… but few are actually chosen. That‟s my whole point if you can grasp it. When you look at the contemporary church do you see Jesus? When you look at the myriad‟s that associate themselves with that name for whatever reason, are you inspired to be like them? It‟s only those that are willing and able to allow themselves to die, so that those that seek will not see you, but will see Jesus who then lives through you. That is the great mystery ( Christ in you). There is a great concern among many of my counterparts that there has developed an unprecedented discontinuity of life from faith, not only in the secular which is expected by definition but also within the church in its many manifestations.” Can you translate for me?” “Peoples lives do not reflect their own declared beliefs. Of all the teachers in all the classrooms and pulpits that have been established, The one teacher that is conspicuously absent is Jesus. Most of the people you will encounter in the cities across this great country are obviously hungry for answers and seem like they are prepared to learn from almost anyone but Him. And He is always just a prayer away from anyone who truly seeks Him for answers. Remember the picture… the children of Israel which are delivered from slavery and bondage to the world (Egypt). They were saved out of the world, to be a chosen people of God, that through them and the blessings of God.. the world would come to know Him. The intent was for them to be Holy and demonstrate the love of God in the earth…but they rebelled… they did not thank their God but paid homage to others (more visible) So God delivered them from the world, but then allowed them to all die in the wilderness… never seeing the „rest He had promised. But God had promised to the seed of Abraham, so He left a small remnant to populate His promise. Most of the prophets are the story of God trying to conjole and afflict these into returning to Him…. But they would not. It is the same today.. He is choosing a people to be His representatives out of those that are called Christian or Muslim or Hebrew or Mormon etc. Again many are called by those names, but few are chosen… The mission of the various contemporary churches seems to be to persuade those looking for answers in a dead and dying world to chose God ( especially their particular brand and organization)… But they don‟t realize that we don‟t chose Him, but He chooses us. But what about all the whosoever will and He died for the whole world stuff? Through His death He gives whosoever will eternal life, so that they will never see death. But that‟s not what we have been discussing. We have been talking about those that He has chosen to be adopted as sons, to be part of the Royal family of God. We have been talking about those who will go on to be transformed to be like Him. Those that will rule and reign with Christ over all the nations who have received eternal life through the
gift of God. Those that will all know God and Christ and live in the paradise that God always intended for man. And treat each other as brothers. Those that are emptied of themselves don‟t require salvation as all that remains of them is Jesus, and He is without sin. The government that will prevail without end with Christ on the throne and His adopted siblings in various Lordships and subkingdoms where those will help judge the nations which will be their inheritance.
Hebrews 12:2 Amos 8:11,12 3 2 Thessalonians 2:7,8
Isaiah 28:19 As often as it goes out it will take you; For morning by morning it will pass over, And by day and by night; It will be a terror just to understand the report.”
Matthew 21:31 Isaiah 42:8
1 John 2:27 But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.
Proverbs 16:4 1John 2:3 10 Matthew 13:14-15 11 2 Corinthians 4:4 12 Isaiah 29:13 13 Luke 14:16 14 Luke 13:30 15 Jude 5 16 Isaiah 30: 10,11 17 Revelation 3:17