Stairway To Babylon

It has been said that the surest way to aim large groups of people in a particular, desired direction is to push them hard towards its opposite. I can’t help but wonder if that’s what we’re seeing in the world today. Is a steady diet of violence, racism, political unrest, and division creating a hunger for peace, inclusion, universal governance, and unity? I think that it could be so. And as I contemplate these things I can’t help but imagine that such a climate sets the stage perfectly for Babylon and the Beast. “And it makes me wonder.”

The last time that all the people of the earth were unified and of the same mind was after the Flood, on the plains of Shinar, in ancient Babylon.

Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. And as people migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. And they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.” And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.

If you haven’t guessed it already this is a segue into the story we know as the Tower of Babel. Mankind was all together, of one mind and one accord, seeking to establish themselves as god. Babylon, in its earliest geopolitical and prophetic form. And perhaps it is here that we catch our first glimpse of the “beast” and see the essence of “Mystery Babylon, Babylon the great, mother of prostitutes and of earth’s abominations”: mankind, unified and deified. We are, you are, I am god. Our desires, our appetites are not to be denied for we are divine. Let us recognize the common divinity we share as men, and establish ourselves as one upon the face of the earth. We will put an end to war, racism, political divide, any and everything that would separate us. There is no religion other than the worship of ourselves. Together, we shall prevail! “And it makes me wonder.”

Many, if not the majority of Christians see the world in a state of progressive deterioration. “Things are only gonna get worse,” they say. But what if things “get better”? What if people start coming together, loving each other, and laying all of their differences aside? Doesn’t that sound like the exact thing we’ve all been praying for? Doesn’t it sound beautiful? Surely, only a god could accomplish such a thing! “And it makes me wonder.”

 …and all who dwell on earth will worship it [the beast], everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain.

And the dwellers on earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world will marvel to see the beast, because it was and is not and is to come.

For years now I have pondered and prayed over II Thessalonians 2. The passage is never far from the forefront of my mind. And although many now see Islam as the Beast or Babylon or the end- time religion, I always come back to the place where it is said of the “antichrist/beast,”…who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.” These words remind me of how man sought to establish himself as God upon the plains of Shinar. “And it makes me wonder.”

This is not the place where I put a stake in the ground and build my whole eschatological paradigm. But it would seem that the time is right for a season of “peace,” “self-realization,” and “human divinization.” Rampant violence, racism, political unrest, and division are pushing humanity to seek another direction, one that may appear good, but its true end is destruction. Even many within the Body of Christ have abandoned their First Love for “good causes.” Among the religions of the world, Islam has successfully been demonized, and soon true Christianity will be labeled as hateful. Why not simply do away with all religion and focus upon the only thing suitable for worship- US.

Then I saw the beast and the kings of the world and their armies gathered together to fight against the one [Jesus,] sitting on the horse and his army.  And the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who did mighty miracles on behalf of the beast—miracles that deceived all who had accepted the mark of the beast and who worshiped his image. Both the beast and his false prophet were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. Their entire army was killed by the sharp sword that came from the mouth of the one riding the white horse. And the vultures all gorged themselves on the dead bodies.

“And it makes me wonder.”






Operation Cold Heart

And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.

One of the most if not the most tragic signs of the end of the age is one we tend to overlook the most-hearts in which love has grown cold. The Christian heart, indwelt by the Holy Spirit is to be ablaze with love for God and love for others. But as we witness the strategies of the Evil One being played out across the land, we understand that perhaps his primary goal is to replace the flame of a heart filled with the love of God with the icy resolve of love for self.

True agape love as it is understood within the context of the Trine God is always “other than.” The Father says of the Son, “Your throne, O God, is forever.” The Son says to the Father, “I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will sing your praise.” The Spirit glorifies the Son as God’s love is poured out in our hearts, and we cry, “Abba!” And then ultimately we see God’s “other than love” realized in the person of Jesus who gave himself for and to us. This heart of humility, preference , and sacrifice as seen in Christ is to burn within us. We are to have the same disposition as was found in Jesus who, “though he was God, did not demand and cling to his rights as God, but laid aside his mighty power and glory, taking the disguise of a slave and becoming like men. And he humbled himself even further, going so far as actually to die a criminal’s death on a cross.” This is a heart on fire with love! A stark contrast to the cold, self-centered heart we see on display in many who name the name of the Lord today.

Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons.

Sadly, even now many of us are being deceived and have grown cold as deceptive spirits and demonic teachings insinuate themselves into our hearts. One characteristic that is always present in a heart grown cold is the emphasis on “my, me, and mine.” As lawlessness increases the heart can be taken captive by “causes, movements, and things.” The sad result is a heart that once burned with the love of God and others becomes a cold heart that loves itself more than anything or anyone.

Fortunately, when it comes to “Operation Cold Heart,” we have been provided with a fullproof defense: “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.”


I guess I’ve just about ran the spectrum when it comes to “eschatological paradigms.” I think a lot about prophecy, the last days, etc…, and it’s kind of been like watching a trial on “Court TV”: all the arguments sound believable until you hear the next one. I’ve also been told that we shouldn’t think too much about these things, and I understand where most of the folks who say that are coming from. But then as I read scripture, I observe that the Holy Spirit has given a considerable amount of space to the topic; so, I know it’s something that at the least He wants us to consider. And so, lately I’ve been thinking about the “mark of the beast” and the “seal of God” as mentioned in the book of Revelation. What does it mean, and why should we even care?

I guess at this point I could say, “I don’t know,” conclude this article, and everybody go and have a good life. But I do think these things matter. And while I don’t “know” for sure, I’d like to make a few comments that I think are applicable to us “upon whom the end of this age has come.”

WE ALL WILL BE MARKED. In one way or another, each of us will be “marked” as this present age comes to a close. A “designation of ownership” is going to be signified within each of our hearts and perhaps upon our bodies as well. It is not an event that will sneak up on you, surprise you, and you wake up one morning to find: “Oh no!! I’ve taken the mark of the beast.” Or, “What is this mysterious seal of God on my forehead?” No, each of us will be marked because the lives we have lived, the decisions we have made, and the disposition of our hearts will reveal us to belong either to the “Lamb who was slain before the foundations of the world” or “the lawless one whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming.” And whether it be a bar-code, implant, tattoo, visible seal, or an invisible brand upon our very hearts, make no mistake; even now, the truth of who(se) we are is being made manifest.

It’s true, some of us can get carried away when it comes to these things, and I most definitely concur that our intimate attention is to be centered upon the person of Jesus. But I also believe that part of the “Revelation of Jesus” includes prayerful, humble consideration and discussion concerning these matters, with an understanding that we need each other as none of us has fully comprehended “the entire counsel of God.” When it comes to being “marked” I do believe that perhaps the most important thing we need to keep in mind is that a mark or a seal simply reveals to whom or what we belong. And we all belong to someone.

I have a friend, a pastor in Maryland (Timmy Mac!!) who I talk with about these things from time to time. And he told me something the other day that I thought was so perfect, truthful, and eloquent (the kind of thing I wish that I had said). I’ll share it with you: “It takes a lamb’s heart and the seal of God on the forehead to recognize and resist dragon talk.”





Continue reading “Marked”


These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland.  If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.

No, this is not a review of the upcoming season of the Showtime series “Homeland.” I’m sure that Carrie, Quinn, and Saul will continue to strategize, lie, cheat, seduce, and “disappear” the necessary bad guys in order to preserve homeland security. Instead this article is a result of my pondering on the verses displayed above and how they may apply to us 21st century American Christians, many of whom have forgotten just what/where their homeland is. And nowhere is this “lapse of memory” more evident than when it comes to American politics.thCK82J2W1

It doesn’t take too long a visit to the popular social media sights to figure out that many of us have forgotten who/se we are and where we’re going. I think it’s safe to say that a vast number of American Christians no longer see themselves as “strangers and exiles on the earth” and have fallen in love with the “American Dream.” Instead of being Christians who happen to be Americans, they tend to see themselves more as Americans who happen to be Christians. Consequently, they eagerly support the political candidate they think will best keep the dream intact, i.e., please no one come and take all my stuff. I honestly do think it’s our “stuff” that we are so earnestly trying to guard, and we have forgotten that “strangers and exiles” are transient, rarely holding on to anything too tightly.

One also has to be saddened by the divisiveness politics reveals among Christians. So called leaders will vehemently endorse or oppose different candidates, their acolytes will rally behind the leader, and carnal arguments play out on Face Book for all the world to see. And it seems that nowadays, racism of all colors, shapes, and sizes figure into the arguments, creating further division and bitterness. I even read an article the other day in which a pastor blamed the “Left Behind” series for paving the way for a Donald Trump presidential candidacy. Now while I don’t subscribe to Tim Lahaye’s eschatological paradigm….REALLY!!!!?????  I could go on, but I think you get my point. Brothers and sisters, all of whom love the Lord, arguing the politics of a homeland that is not even their own.

We know that God works through, in and among the nations of this world. He sets up kingdoms and removes them. And the writer of the book of Hebrews tells us that men and women of faith have been used of God to “conquer  kingdoms, enforce justice, obtain promises, stop the mouths of lions, quench the power of fire, escape the edge of the sword, made strong out of weakness, become mighty in war, and put foreign armies to flight.”But I would submit to you that most of what we see happening when American Christians become political today is a result of a people who have ceased walking by faith, looking for “that city whose builder is God” and have instead embraced the United States as their ultimate homeland. And out of a disposition of fear, they desperately desire a political leader who will shore up their treasured kingdom.

So, what is the answer to dilemma? First, we must remember that as Christians, our true Homeland is a “better country, that is, a heavenly one.” While we are of this world, this nation, we are now first and foremost citizens of the kingdom of heaven. But we are not merely holding on, waiting for Jesus to come snatch us away from all this trouble. No, in Christ we are men and women of faith who know that TRUE FAITH sometimes mean that the people of God have also “suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated— of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.”

Finally, it is our abiding intimacy with Jesus that ensures our proper understanding of homeland. He who is the author and finisher of our faith, the One who will rule over all the nations of this world, is the overcoming Lord who sits at the right hand of the Father until all his enemies are made into a footstool for his feet. We do not put our trust in political leaders. Nor do we allow nationalism of any kind to separate us from others in the Body of Christ. In fact,  I would say that perhaps it is nationalism itself that we American Christians must lay aside as “a weight and the sin which clings so closely,” hindering our walk with Jesus and his people.

Homeland. Home, the city prepared for us by God himself.

And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb.  And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb.  By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it,  and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there.  They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life. Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb  through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.



Golden Years?

 “Jeroboam thought to himself, ‘Unless I am careful, the kingdom will return to the dynasty of David. When these people go to Jerusalem to offer sacrifices at the Temple of the Lord, they will again give their allegiance to King Rehoboam of Judah. They will kill me and make him their king instead.’

” So on the advice of his counselors, the king made two gold calves. He said to the people, “It is too much trouble for you to worship in Jerusalem. Look, Israel, these are the gods who brought you out of Egypt!”

He placed these calf idols in Bethel and in Dan—at either end of his kingdom. But this became a great sin, for the people worshiped the idols, traveling as far north as Dan to worship the one there.”

One of the oldest tricks in the book is the consolidation of political power by manipulation of religious systems. And strangely enough, God’s people have fallen for it time and time again. I believe we are witnessing this same deception play out in American politics, and Christians are eating it up. We as followers of Jesus need to realize that while God most definitely works in and through the nations of this world, there is a danger that like ancient Israel, we too will find ourselves drawn away from following Jesus, going instead after “idols.”

I believe that the most dangerous form of politics is that which appears to shape its ideology around biblical theology. Christians have swallowed conservatism without even chewing it to see what it tastes like. And I wonder if many of us are not being deceived by those who hold to a form of godliness, but deny its power. We hate those accursed liberals, the baby killers, the gay rights activists, etc…, and we fear that they are destroying our nation. But I believe that it is the appearance of piety without true intimacy with Jesus which poses the more lethal threat. We must never forget that our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against evil spiritual forces that disguise themselves as angels of light.

My dear brothers and sisters let us hold fast to our Lord Jesus. May we come to know that the answer we seek does not lie in any political ideology, but in the grace, mercy, and love of our God. We must be being continuously filled with his Spirit, asking for wisdom and discernment that we may rightly interpret national and global events. For the kingdom of this world (even America) will become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ. The Spirit and the Bride say come!

Being A Christian In Babylon: An Introduction

“By Silvanus, a faithful brother as I regard him, I have written briefly to you, exhorting and declaring that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it. She who is at Babylon, who is likewise chosen, sends you greetings…” (1 Peter 5:13)

Babylon. Peter’s code-word for Rome. All through the Hebrew scriptures, from the plains of Shinar, to the deportation of the Jews, Babylon is depicted as a world system whose opposition to God was manifested in every facet of its culture. At its very core, Babylon was anti-God and for Peter- anti-Christ. Writing from the “belly of the beast” to the believers scattered across Asia Minor who were also living under Babylon’s domain, Peter wanted to tell them how to be Christians during their “exile.” How were they to exist in an environment in which they possessed no political influence? How were they to understand the suffering they endured in a culture that was diametrically opposed to everything they believed in? As we “continue to live out the biblical story,” we 21st century American Christians need to understand that he was writing to us as well.

I think there are basically three major “knee-jerk” ways in which the Christians who inhabited Peter’s Roman Babylon and we “present day Babylonians” tend to respond in such an environment : assimilation, isolation and rebellion. But I also believe that Peter offered them and us a fourth way, an alternative that invites us to see our “exile and suffering in Babylon” in the context of Jesus’ life, death, resurrection and our relationship with him.

There’s absolutely no way I can include everything I’d like to say in one article, so, I’ll break it up into a series of articles: “Being A Christian in Babylon.” We’ll first look at the three “knee-jerk responses” and then conclude with what I believe to be Peter’s fourth way. I’ll publish part one shortly, but in the interim, I encourage you to read the book of 1 Peter, not as a stale historical letter to some obscure community of believers, but as a fresh word from the Spirit to you.

Lord, as we look at 1 Peter, by your Spirit, speak to our hearts and let us hear what you would say to us right here and now. Be glorified Jesus, and strengthen the hearts of your people.

A Dream and A Word

I want to share with you two things that happened to me back in 2010. One is a dream, the other, something the Lord spoke to my heart. Both the dream and the word have stuck in my heart, always somewhere in the back of my mind. Although I’ve shared bits and pieces, sneaking them in various articles, conversations and what not, I’ve only told a few people of the actual experiences. I don’t know, I guess maybe I didn’t want people to think I’m any crazier than they already do, and I’m honestly not one who’s all into dreams. Could be it was just pride and fear. But I talked with a brother today, a brother who I respect and trust, who has walked with Jesus a lot longer than I have, and he suggested that I share. So, without even knowing what it will accomplish or anything, I felt like I should.

The dream:
I was sitting in a room with sliding glass doors, adjacent to a swimming pool. I was seated at the end or head  of the table. (I don’t know which, the other end was vacant.) To my right was President Obama, to my left, a woman I didn’t recognize. I heard a voice say, “Is she trying to make me think I’m the false prophet or something?”
I next found myself standing outside by the pool. There were military men all around, high ranking if the medals on their chests were any indication, and we were all looking into the evening sky that was filled with war planes.
That’s it.

The word:
My dog woke me up about 3:00a.m. When I woke up, I felt the presence of the Lord in a very intense way. Being the spiritual man I am, I said, “Lord, I’ve got to get up in a couple of hours, so I’ll get with you then.” I figured I’d just ignore my dog (and the Lord I suppose), but neither the dog nor the Spirit would relent. I KNEW I needed to go before the Lord. I went back to my little prayer room, and got on my knees.
The Lord led me to Genesis 11, on the plains of Shinar. “Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. And as people migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. And they said to one another, ‘Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.’ And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. Then they said, ‘Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.’”
He impressed upon my heart that mankind is “back there,” at Shinar again. And this time, they will “succeed” for a “moment.” Then I heard in my spirit, “The beginnings of the rumblings of the beast.”

That’s it. I welcome any feedback.

Stay sober and alert. Watch and pray.

The REAL “Game” of Thrones

“Signs, signs everywhere are signs…”

It is your throne Lord that is established forever. Give us, your people, wisdom. Give us discernment that we might recognize the times in which we live. Give us hearts that burn for you! Stir us by your Spirit that we may be roused from our sleep. O Lamb of God, you are Lord of all lords and King of all kings!

“Come out, come out from her my people.” As it was in the days of Noah, Genesis 11, the plains of Shinar, Nimrod & Semiramis, Mystery Babylon, mother of prostitutes and earth’s abominations, I.S.I.S…

“One of the seven angels who had poured out the seven bowls came over and spoke to me. “Come with me,” he said, “and I will show you the judgment that is going to come on the great prostitute, who rules over many waters.  The kings of the world have committed adultery with her, and the people who belong to this world have been made drunk by the wine of her immorality.”

“So the angel took me in the Spirit into the wilderness. There I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that had seven heads and ten horns, and blasphemies against God were written all over it.  The woman wore purple and scarlet clothing and beautiful jewelry made of gold and precious gems and pearls. In her hand she held a gold goblet full of obscenities and the impurities of her immorality.  A mysterious name was written on her forehead: “Babylon the Great, Mother of All Prostitutes and Obscenities in the World.”  I could see that she was drunk—drunk with the blood of God’s holy people who were witnesses for Jesus. I stared at her in complete amazement.

“Why are you so amazed?” the angel asked. “I will tell you the mystery of this woman and of the beast with seven heads and ten horns on which she sits.  The beast you saw was once alive but isn’t now. And yet he will soon come up out of the bottomless pit and go to eternal destruction. And the people who belong to this world, whose names were not written in the Book of Life before the world was made, will be amazed at the reappearance of this beast who had died.

“This calls for a mind with understanding: The seven heads of the beast represent the seven hills where the woman rules. They also represent seven kings.  Five kings have already fallen, the sixth now reigns, and the seventh is yet to come, but his reign will be brief.

“The scarlet beast that was, but is no longer, is the eighth king. He is like the other seven, and he, too, is headed for destruction.  The ten horns of the beast are ten kings who have not yet risen to power. They will be appointed to their kingdoms for one brief moment to reign with the beast.  They will all agree to give him their power and authority.  Together they will go to war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will defeat them because he is Lord of all lords and King of all kings. And his called and chosen and faithful ones will be with him.”

“Then the angel said to me, “The waters where the prostitute is ruling represent masses of people of every nation and language.  The scarlet beast and his ten horns all hate the prostitute. They will strip her naked, eat her flesh, and burn her remains with fire.  For God has put a plan into their minds, a plan that will carry out his purposes. They will agree to give their authority to the scarlet beast, and so the words of God will be fulfilled. And this woman you saw in your vision represents the great city that rules over the kings of the world.”

From the Heart

When you start talking about eschatology (last days, consummation of the ages, etc…), you most definitely need to tread lightly. There are a host of views regarding the topic, and people are more than ready to adamantly defend their particular position. There are Preterists, Amillennialists, Premillennialists, Pre-Tribbers, Post-Tribbers, Pre-Wrathers and I’ve left out at least a dozen more. The thing is none of us can say we know for sure. So I guess in the end (no pun intended), all you can do is honestly try to allow God’s Spirit to sort through all of your assumptions and presuppositions, then speak your heart trusting God to correct your errors and protect others from the same. With that being said, let me say:

 I believe that we have heard the beginnings of the rumblings of the beast, and the time has come that we seek the Lord like never before. The mystery of lawlessness increases, and a delusional spirit is rapidly taking hold of all who reject the love of the truth so as to be saved. We must not be distracted by the smoke and mirrors of the political arena, nor ensnared by the various conspiracy theories that inundate the media. We must stay on our faces before God, come out from among “them,” and be separate unto the Lord. Then we will be given discernment by God’s Spirit as to the times, and He will show us how to pray. American Christians, the stability, peace, and freedom from fear you seek will not be given to you by any political group or ideology, but rather through increased intimacy with Jesus. It is the joy of the Lord that will be your strength though governments fall and tribulation abounds. We are to be people of God’s choosing, a holy nation, a priestly kingdom with loyalty to our Savior King, not citizens of the world in love with the things of the world and the American Dream.

It is through broken lives made whole by Jesus that we are to demonstrate to the world the grace and glory of God. It is the love of God poured out into our hearts by the Spirit of his Son and spilling over onto the people that surround us that will bring salvation and transformation. All of our protests and legislation do nothing to affect change in the hearts of men. It is the grace and mercy of God that come only through Jesus that will change the hearts and minds of people.

“Church” as usual is over. The religious kingdoms built and perpetuated by men have failed and are being exposed as the powerless institutions they truly are. We have made Christianity into a business and exported our idolatry across the globe. The false teachings and heresies that pervade our churches, communities, and nation are a reflection of the Christless gospel of our time. We disguise our desperation to hold onto our religious business with pretty paper and ribbons, but inside the box the same old motivations lie in wait. Society does not need a new relevant gospel, but rather a people who incarnate the good news. Our very lives are to be the tablets upon which the testimony of Jesus has been written. It is that testimony, while united in the content of its message (Jesus), which is as diverse and relevant as those who live it. The denominations and “isms” we love so much have robbed us of the beauty of the image of the Lord we are to reflect and brought us to a place where we have even had to invent other names for ourselves as the body of Christ in order to hide our shame. It is a people abiding in Christ, serving and loving one another that will display the glory of the One who said, “Take up your cross, and follow me.”

Brothers and sisters, I believe we are seeing eschatologically relevant happenings in our world today. I know that among those who read this will be a great variety of opinions as to the second coming, the rapture, and all of that kind of thing. So, if nothing else, take this as an exhortation to draw closer to Jesus. Though we live in uncertain times, when what we thought was solid has been revealed as shifting sand; there is no need to fear. Seek God with all of your heart, laying everything you think you know at his feet, and be willing for him to radically change both you and your theology. “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”