THE NEW COVENANT
Between Church and State:
Yahweh's Call to Norway
This article was originally written in 1997 and has been updated (2016)
These words were spoken by the navi (prophet) Habakkuk sometime towards the end of the seventh century B.C. when the Babylonians were in power. He was deeply disturbed by the violence of these cruel people, and asked Yahweh, "So why are you silent while they destroy people who are more righteous than they are?" (Hab.1:13). Yahweh's answer was that He would take action in His own good time, and meanwhile "those who are rightous will live because they are faithful to Elohim (God)" (Hab.2:4).
"Those who are evil will not survive, but those who are righteous will live because they are faithful to Elohim (God)" (Habakkuk 2:4, GNB)
The question asked by the navi (prophet), "Why don't you do anything, Master?" is not a new one. Many people are asking it today. The righteous wait in emunah (faith), knowing that Elohim (God) truly is in control even though, with our limited spiritual vision, we may erroneously conclude that He isn't.
The world of Habakkuk, you may think, is far removed from the end of the 21st century. But you would be wrong. Indeed, the closer you study the conditions that obtained at the end of the seventh century B.C. the more you will become convinced that spiritually speaking the conditions are almost identical.
False "Christian" Revivals in the Last Days
Habakkuk wrote his prophetic book shortly after a decisive battle in which Pharaoh Necho of Egypt was defeated by the Babylonians at Carchemish in 605 B.C. Allying himself with his former enemy, Assyria, he hoped to play the two superpowers -- Assyria and Babylonia -- against one another to his advantage. Judah had suffered long and hard under Assyrian occupation and now it looked to them as though freedom was at last on its way. Many began to dream of a return of the Kingdom of David. As Assyria weakened so a religious revival began to take root. People started returning to Yahweh, pagan religions were purged, and the Jerusalem temple redeciated. In parallel with this religious revival came a militant nationalism. And as so often occurs when religious revival and nationalism occur side by side, the two became blended into one and the distinction was soon lost.
I lived in Norway now for 9 years and I watched this nation very closely. One thing that interested me was the way in which the Norwegian people have reacted to the prospect of their country becoming a part of the EU (European Union), and particularly those in the churches. I have been to some anti-EU meetings and listened to Christian leaders speak. Many of us there distributed our own pamphlet on the subject warning Norwegians of what is to happen. Of all the pamphlets we have distributed this has undoubtedly been the most popular -- we have even had other Christians buying them in large numbers and distributing them for us. Yet these same people have invariably reacted with suspicion or hostility when given other literature we have produced.
A Fatal Mixture: Religion and Nationalism
As most of you here know, we received a prophecy which states that Norway would one day be forced to join the EU which is one of the modern Babylonian systems. To all intents and purposes, Norway now is, except in name, having changed its laws to comply with EU requirements. Norway is today as divided over the issue as it was when it was offered membership before. The response of Christians was particularly interesting and I noticed that the opposition to the EU was as much on religious grounds as on nationalistic ones. The anti-EU lobby in Norway is not at all unlike the anti-Assyrian lobby in Habakkuk's day -- religion and nationalism have become blended -- and often the true motive for being anti-EU is not clear.
We in as Messianic Evangelicals are opposed to the EU for many reasons, not least because it is an unjust system that exploits the weak and lines the pockets of the rich and powerful. But it is also a precursor to the last great Babylonian system that will envelop the world, the politico-religious system that will come under the control of the Anti-Messiah (Antichrist). Yet I am also for the EU -- not because I love it, but because I can see with prophetic foresight that Elohim (God) is going to use this institution to bring the nation of Norway to repentance, just as He used Assyria and Babylonia to bring errant Judah to self-awakening. For Norway, like so many other Western countries, is drunk on its own prosperity. It is an extraordinarily blessed nation, made rich not by its own efforts but by the gift of Elohim (God) -- namely, oil. Without it Norway would be considerably poorer. My own country of Great Britain was blessed in a similar way, with enormous natural resourses, paricularly coal, that made her a world imperial power. But she has fallen low, so low, because of greedy materialism.
Judah in Habakkuk's day found herself sandwiched between two superpowers, each as evil as the other. When the yoke of Assyria was broken, an even harsher yoke of Babylonia came. When Judah and Israel wandered from Yahweh, which was frequent, they were subject to civil war and invasion from foreign countries. When they lived by the mitzvot (commandments), they dwelt in shalom (peace).
Now modern Norway is not exactly the same as ancient Judah or Israel. For one thing, Yahweh has not established a covenant with this nation -- Norway has never been a divinely ordained theocratic nation as Israel was but has nevertheless received the light and keys of a degree of the Besorah (Gospel) of Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ). When Elohim (God) imparts light to a nation and expands their awareness of right and wrong, that nation becomes morally responsible. Without a doubt Norway has substantially departed from her Christian roots, and is departing more and more from them as time goes on. It has not yet persecuted Christians as, for example, communist Russia did -- look at the fruits that nation has reaped for itself. Norway has traditionally in recent times been a tolerant nation but has let its tolerance swing too far in that it is now accepting deviant practices and its institutions are becoming totalitarian; it tolerates the mass murder of the unborn and is not showing any signs of reversing its abortion laws. Back in 1997 the United States elected a liberal President who reversed many of the previous administration's restrictions on abortion and pushed for more homosexual 'rights'. The descent into immorality has spiralled almost totally out of control since, hastening that nation's slide into eventual anarchy.
Both Liberals and Conservatives are Guilty
But I don't want you to think that I am only poking at the liberals for that isn't what Judah's problem was in Habakkuk's day. No, the problem was with the conservatives. You see, the people had already reacted against the corruptions of King Manasseh and were reforming the nation spiritually. The Law of Moses was being observed again, the pagan shrines were being removed, and the temple was being used for the worship of Yahweh again. Yet Elohim (God) still sent in the Babylonians. Why? Why, if the nation was reforming spiritually, was it still punished? Why, when in 1997 the previous Republican President of the United States was causing pro-Christian laws to be enacted, did America still slide deeper into recession? And will the new conservative Trump administration make any difference in 2017?
Europe is experiencing a right-wing swing -- people are disillusioned with socialism after the fall of communism. But you see, the reforms don't go far enough. True, Judah got rid of its paganism but it was not living the Torah (Law) from the heart. The god of the hearts of the people of Judah was not Yahweh but a misguided nationalism, just as it is today in America in 2016. It is the same old cycle over again. We have seen it before, and within living memory. After the First World War Europe rejected the rigid morality of the Victorian Era and started the long and destructive swing into liberalism. So-called Christianity had lost its claim to moral authority by endorcing a brutal and ghastly war, and in the name of 'God'. Christianity was disgraced. Then came the fascists who replaced the Elohim (God) of Israel with the god of nationalism -- the communists did the same, elevating the state above the individual to the extent that individualism was considered evil.
After the Second Word War the established churches lost even more moral authority. Most collaborated with either communists or fascists and money became the new European god. But that god is already failing. Look at Germany. Germany worshipped Mammon after its defeat in 1945 and grew prosperous. But that god started to run out. So what is it doing now? Turning to nationalism. Everywhere people are increasingly turning to nationalism -- the worship of the state or country, in recent years transferred to suprenationalism as the EU State is worshipped. Norway suffers from this disease particularly badly though nowhere near as badly as in the former Yugoslavia, for example, where tribes were killing one another. But the potential exists here as elsewhere.
I wish to state here and now that I am not suggesting anyone should be against his country. The Bible commands us to love our country and pray for our government. But nowhere are we told to worship the country or its institutions. Well, Judah started doing that. And three hundred years later when Yah'shua (Jesus) came on the scene she was still doing it. Most people wanted not an invisible, heavenly Kingdom of Elohim (God) but a political one with all the pomp and glory of the Davidic and Solomonic throne. The Zealotes, as you know, where the political movement who tried to throw off Roman oppression, best exemplified by Barabbas and Judas Iscariot. The people in Yah'shua's (Jesus's) day were very religious, just as they were in Habakkuk's, but that didn't stop Yahweh driving them out of the Holy Land altogether after the Bar Khochba revolt. Indeed, the people were very righteous outwardly -- the trouble is, it was only skin deep.
What is a Christian?
Ask most Norwegians if they are Christian and the majority (though it is rapidly shrinking) will say they are. The same is true in England. But ask how many of them are active, committed, church-attending Christians and the response you will get is tiny. And this must surely lead us to ask the question: what is a Christian (or Messianic)? Is it simply saying that one is? Is one a Christian because the state is at least nominally Christian? The vast majority of people would say that they were Lutheran yet if Martin Luther were alive today and were to make a tour of Norway do you think he would feel at home? Now I am not a Lutheran -- I believe Luther was wrong in many things, but to my way of thinking he was a Christian in the truest sense of the word for he was a sincere believer in Messiah and lived his religion. But most modern Lutherans don't, any more than most Anglicans in England don't.
If you go to Great Britain today you will find as a people that the majority are very patriotic. The British people are very proud of their heritage. But do you know who claim to be the most patriotic people in Britain? The Protestants of Northern Ireland. And the most 'patriotic' of these are the gunmen of the illegal Ulster Defence Army (UDA). Similarly, the people who would claim to be the most patriotic in the Irish Republic are the gunmen of the illegal Irish Republican Army (IRA). Both have used patriotism, better described as nationalism, to cover up their wickedness. In England we have a saying to describe this phenomenon, and it's this: Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundral. Put in another way, patriotism or nationalism is the last line of defence of the sinner who is in rebellion against his Elohim (God).
Freedom "To" or Freedom "From" Sin?
The Judahites did it in Habakkuk's day and in Yah'shua's (Jesus's) day. The killers are did it in Ireland, Yugoslavia, and almost everywhere in the world. People are killing in the name of their country. They are sinning in the name of their country, hiding behind the morality and good name of the past, true or mythical. The killers of Northern Ireland hide behind the British flag. Homosexuals, who constitute a large minority in the United States, hid behind the American flag for a while. All use the catch word 'freedom' -- not freedom from sin, but freedom TO sin.
The 1998 Winter Olympics was one of the greatest religious events in modern Norway's history. Religious?! you ask me. Yes, religious. It overshadowed everything else. Not many Christians were at church on the Olympic Sunday.? The Winter Olympics was exploited to the full as the opportunity for Norway to show off to the world. Hundreds of thousands of people wore olympic pins on their clothing. Everywhere you looked the Olympics were being advertised, even by people who had nothing to do with it.
But the Norwegians weren't alone. The communist Chinese fell over backwards to make sure they hosted the 2000 Olympics. The local people were forbidden to burn coal so that the Olympic Committee would be favourably impressed by the cleanliness of usually polluted the air. They even released some political prisoners. Why were the Chinese so keen? Because it deflected attention away from their oppressive politics and dampened the memory of the Tianmen Sqaure massacre which left hundred of students dead. Hitler exploited the 1936 Berlin olympics to the full -- it was a stunning propaganda victory for his nazi régime.
Norway, and particularly Lillehammer, bankrupted itself to host the 1994 Winter Olympics just as the Canadian town of Calgary did -- they're still paying the bills years after the event. Everyone of us paid for Lillehammer with increased taxes.
You see, the Olympics, just like Christmas, star football matches, skiing competitions, etc., have simply become the tools of sinners to do everything but repent. People want to have a good time -- have a party, and celebrate victory, but they won't repent. The Americans spent millions' of dollars on the inauguration ceremonies for Bill Clinton -- what insanity! Yet such behaviour is perfectly consistent with the Baylonian mentality -- that ferocious spiritual virus that has infected almost everyone on the planet, Christians as well.
Yes, brethren and sisters, the unrepentant sinners of this evil world are hiding their sins behind the profitless activities of the world. Of themselves these activities may seem inoccuous but the way in which they are used is nothing less than pure evil. Of such people Job said:
"There is no dark place, no deep shadow, where evil doers can hide" (Job 34:22, NIV)
But Yahweh, He sees, and He knows. He sees the greedy materialism of this and other nations around the world. And He warned us of this wickedness in a parable:
"Woe to those who go to great depths to hide their plans from Yahweh, who do their work in darkness and think, 'Who sees us? Who will know?'" (Isaiah 29:15, NIV)
""The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. He thought to himself, 'What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.' Then he said, 'This is what I'll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I'll say to myself, 'You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.' But Elohim (God) said to him, "You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?" This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich towards Elohim (God)" (Luke 12:16-21, NIV).
Poor and Rich Alike
My country, the nation of Great Britain, was once the wealthiest nation in the world. It had the greatest empire that has ever existed -- indeed, it used to be said that the sun never set on the British Empire. Today Britain is one of the poorer of the Western nations. And it's getting poorer, more violent, and more criminal. Norway is about 5 years behind Britain, and about 10 years behind the United States. What you see in America you will see there too. Norway will catch up. You can be sure of it. As Job observed: "Those who plough evil and those who sow trouble reap it" (Job 4:8). In America you can't afford to be ill -- only those with lots of money can afford to be sick. And in Britain, which had the best medical care in the world, the same thing has started to happen. And it will happen in Europe too. Already the right-wing parties want to copy the American example.
Do you believe that the poor are going to be better off in the future? I tell you in the Name of the Master that they will not. The rich will get richer and the poor poorer...everywhere. Listen to what Yahweh said through the prophet Amos: "For three sins of Israel, even for four, I will not turn back my wrath. They sell the righteous for silver, and the needy for a pair of sandals. They trample on the heads of the poor as upon the dust of the ground and deny justice to the oppressed" (Amos 2:6-7, NIV).
It is good to be wealthy so long as that wealth is imparted to the poor. The rich have invariably despised the poor and will continue to do so. As the rich get richer, so the poor will get poorer. It is happening in Russia. There are now super-rich people and desperately poor people...and little inbetween. And who are rich? It is, for the most part, the former communists who exploited their positions of power.
Now this Besorah (Gospel) we preach is for both the rich and the poor, for to Elohim (God) there is no difference between them as far as their spiritual worth is concerned. Satan makes no distinction between them either and he will as happily recruit the poor as he will the rich. Indeed it says in the Book of Revelation that the Anti-Messiah (Antichrist) "forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead..." (Rev.13:16, NIV).
Nevertheless, Yahweh knows -- and we ought to know -- that it is better to be poor than rich. The apostle James wrote: "Listen, my dear brothers (and sisters): Has not Elohim (God) chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the Kingdom He promised those who love Him? But you have insulted the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? Are they not the ones who are slandering the noble Name of Him to whom you belong?" (James 2:6-7, NIV).
And what did Yah'shua (Jesus) Himself say? He said: "I tell you the emet (truth), it is hard for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Again, I tell you, it is easier for a rope to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Elohim (God)" (Matt.19:23-24).
Brethren and sisters, the whole political-economic system of the West is geared to getting rich. It's a free for all, a 'first come, first served' system. It is the system originally conceived by the devil and started by Nimrod of old. It is not Yahweh's system, and it will be overthrown. The EU, like the United States, personifies this system.
Norway will be dragged into the EU against her will and will find itself hopelessly outclassed. It will suddenly become poor, bought up by the richer and more competitive nations. Back in 1997 I saw a program on TV where Norwegian egg farmers visited an egg farm in Holland. You could see the panic on their faces for the Dutch produce larger and better eggs at half the price. Virtually every industry will be affected.
Yes, Norway will be exploited and bought low but in a way it's her own fault. She will become a colony of Europe. But don't be upset! Rather, praise Yahweh, for He is working His own good through this nation. The times of hardship that are coming are for the spiritual salvation of this lost tribe of the House of Israel. My fatherly council to you, brethren and sisters, is not to get sucked into the Babylonish system -- don't go chasing after money. Don't embrace the system -- Yahweh has something infinitely better. If you do, you'll end up like the Laodicians and Elohim (God) will spit you out. I'd like you to read Chapter 3 of the Book of Revelation when you all get home for this country comes very much under the Laodician category. Yah'shua (Jesus) says:
Whether you like it or not, this is the end time. The world is now walking a course for which there is no turning back. There is no more chance for national salvation. In the past if a nation sinned it could repent as a nation, like a bruise being cut out of a damaged apple. But today there is no real national spirit anywhere, at least not in the divine sense. Now the apple is rotten to the core and it is the good bits -- those who repent and receive Messiah and obey His mitzvot (commandments) -- who will be cut out and saved. The scriptures call this condition of no return being "ripened in iniquity". When a nation has crossed this line of no return then its only course is destruction. That, alas, Habakkuk and others had to anounce to Israel. Today, friends, we have to announce it to the world. There is not one righteous nation in the world! The one remaining superpower, the United States, is as corrupt as hell -- the real power is the criminal fraternity. There is no nation upon the face of the earth with true moral authority left, even though some would like to think that they have it. Alas, it is their pride that deludes them, and their only recourse is a sick nationalism.
"You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realise that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, so that you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so that you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so that you can see. Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, AND REPENT! Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with Me on My throne, just as I overcame and sat with My Father on His throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says..." (Rev.3:17-22. NIV).
I pray, brethren and sisters, that you will be alert and sensitive to the truth of what is going on around you. Discern the spirits and let noone deceive you. Remember that your true citizenship is not here in this world but in heaven -- there will be no Norway or England at the end of the Millennium!
This fellowship -- this New Covenant -- has been raised up by Yahweh to deliver a prophetic message to the nations and to begin gathering out the elect. Through the grace of Messiah, we are laying a vitally important groundwork, the theocratic Kingdom of Elohim (God), which like twelve small particles of yeast, will be plucked from the world and hidden away around the world during the Great Tribulation that is to come. And then, these tiny particles - small, vibrant, and full of the glory of Yahweh - will burst forth and spread across the whole earth. I invite you to be a part of this work, to do your part in the building of the Kingdom of our Elohim (God), that glory and honour may be given to Him, and Him alone, through our Master and Saviour Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ). Amen.
This page was created on 30 December 1997
Updated on 23 December 2016
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