Contemplations At The Crossroad

Sep. 30, 2020

 

inAUGURation: Is It For The Birds?

These are some musings, ramblings, questions, and explorations all tossed into one. This isn’t real refined, but I thought that maybe you, dear reader, would like to explore the trail with me. It’s a longer one than usual…

Don’t you find it interesting that the word “inauguration” has in it the word “augur” as its central feature? We don’t hear the word “augur” much in the 21st century, so, what is an “augur”?

In ancient Rome there were officials - augurs - charged with observing and interpreting omens for guidance in public affairs. The word can also be used as a verb which means to divine and predict omens, to conjecture from signs.

This practice, was originally done by way of observing the flight, behavior, patterns, or sounds of birds. This religious / occult practice was called “taking the auspices”, and went back to Greece, Egypt, and probably earlier. King Alasia of Cyprus was said to have sought “eagle diviners” from Egypt. As time went on, this was augmented by sacrificial divination through examining the liver of the sacrifice. That was called hepatoscopy.

It was all about discerning the will of the “gods” as to what course of action should be taken at the highest levels of government, or how the gods might be pleased to insure good crops, adequate rainfall, fertility, etc. This was the basic m.o. of all ancient pagan “wisdom” and how they ran their governments and lives. It was a form of divination, of which there are many.

The Biblical Law and prophets - Isaiah, for example, (approximately 740-686 B.C.) warned about this sort of divination of the Philistines which had been first systematized by the Chaldeans. The Bible refers to this sorcery, but also all other forms of divination, including the sacrifice and burning of their children in honor of Moloch, the use of divination and enchantment, etc. Leviticus 19:26, Deuteronomy 18:10,14. Isaiah 2:6. There are many more… 

Apparently this was rather widespread “priestcraft” throughout the ancient world, right up through Rome, which sought to please chiefly Jupiter’s will through the auger of birds, through “vitia,” or signs.

Words matter. So this begs the question about “inAUGURation,” a word still used to describe the event of the installation of high level government officials: Just how “elected” are they, or do we merely get a choice between 2 individuals who always seem to be the lesser of two evils, chosen by some still invoked method of augury - that seem to be more about the pleasing of the god of this world, the “prince of the power of the air.” (Deals with the devil?) 

Air is where birds fly, so would not they carry the messages of the “gods” inhabiting the regions “above”? We know there has, traditionally always been plenty of occult activity related to secular governments. But how “secular” are they really? Or have “lesser gods“ often been a part of decision making in government circles? (What? Isn’t religion supposed to be separated from politics? But I digress. Yet perhaps not.)

Another fascinating similarity is that around 300 B.C. Rome required 9 augurs. The SCOTUS has 9 Justices who make decisions and rulings. Some of which have been wildly ungodly in the last 40 plus years. Are they deciding based on reasoning and Law, or are there other “factors” of augury at play? In fairness, after that number 9 became the standard in Rome, there were times when the number of augurs fluctuated. But 9 is a heavy duty occult number, and is often associated with Mars, the Roman god of war. War has to do with territories and control and real estate, etc. Perhaps (my conjecture) that is why they chose 9 augurs, in honor of Mars - making expansion of territories through war and conquest, in the name of a “god.”

Could there be an association between the eagle of Rome - the great bird - and its employment as the symbol of the USA? What’s going on here? So, specifically, “ornithromancy” - reading the signs through birds - was invoked for all undertakings: political, public, and private. Might the eagle be the channel of Mars, as he soars high above all the other birds? Interesting food for thought.

After a time in Roman government, expertise in augury (“aug” means to prosper, increase) was required of senior ranking magistrates, military and civilian. Therefore these state positions were also religious offices

Here’s where it gets interesting, in my opinion. The founding of Rome was based on augury. In the later Republic, augury was supervised by a college of pontifices. Eventually there was one leading Pontifex Maximus. Caesar Augustus was one of these. The Pope sometimes is also referred to as well as the Pontifex Maximus. The pagan title sticks to the office to this day!

Is this why the Vatican, although the seat of the Roman Catholic religion, is also a city state of great influence, with ambassadors, and a seat at the UN? Has this “form" of doing things really ever left us, even in the 21st Century? This awakens some juicy questions. And directions down forbidden trails. Questions we’re not supposed to ask. Conclusions we are told we cannot draw… Oh?

In order for augury to be properly performed, there had to be sacred temple spaces that had to be square, with only one entrance, and purified according to certain rituals. The architecture was specific to the god being invoked.

And, lest we leave out the ladies, there was also in the Roman culture the College of Vestals, regarded as fundamental to the continuation and security of Rome and her interests. The Vestals - serving the goddess Vesta (or in Greek Hestia), goddess of hearths and homes - were usually selected by the Pontifex Maximus anywhere from the age of 6 to 10. They were under his authority and protection. They were celibate, virtuous, and virgin with a 30 year vow of chastity - after which they were free to leave the order and marry if they wished. They devoted themselves to study and correct observance of state rituals which were forbidden even to the colleges of male priests (and augurs). They were quite powerful and influential in the years prior to the Caesars. The College of the Vestals began early on about 717-673B.C. with King Pompillius. 

Their influence continued on with the Caesars who included them in all major events. They were highly respected and protected. They were attributed with magical powers and it was thought that the gods listened to their prayers more readily than to others’. They were diviners and wise women who were as highly respected as the augurs, and their duty was to tend the sacred flame of Vesta in their temple which was never to be extinguished. The Vestalium Maxima, greatest of the Vestals, oversaw the order. They had unusual rights and privileges, including the writing and safe keeping of wills and testaments. 

Vestal chastity was considered to have a direct bearing on the health and wellbeing of the Roman state, where if they engaged in sex, it was considered an act of treason punishable by being buried alive in an underground chamber with only a few days supply of food and water.

The Vestal order existed for over 1000 years! It was put out of existence by the Christian emperor Theodosius in about 394 A.D. This was after Emperor  Constantine legitimized Christianity as the state religion and forbade all others (pagan, gnostic) in the Empire. This was also the time when the Scripture Canon came to be, a hard fought victory within the Church! 

What a time of tumult that must have been! The augurs with their craft and the Vestals through their divination skills, obedience, and chastity supposedly kept order in the Empire, on behalf of the gods Jupiter, Mars, Vesta and the rest of the Pantheon. Paganism was being supplanted by Christianity - the Body of Christ, under Her Head Jesus Christ, to Whom was given all power in heaven and on earth.

But, I’m surmising here: What if the best form-ideas from the pagan world (specifically Roman forms, words, titles, ideas, and archetypes, etc) were “fused” into Christianity, and overtook the Gospel of Jesus Christ as a counter coup

Followers of the Way, the Truth, and the Life do not need vestments, or Roman style pageantry, a Pontifex Maximus, a non-scriptural Mary/Vesta with supernatural powers who gets prayers answered faster than the humble penitent who believes he or she cannot approach God on his own. (This is not a denial of the Virgin Birth, or to call Mary blessed, which is clearly taught in Scripture.)

All of that came to an end, along with the Jewish Temple systems and sacrifices when our sin was put to death on the cross - through the body of the God Man Jesus Christ, the One Who carried the fullness of the Godhead bodily in His human form - and Who was raised from the dead for our justification. When Christ died, the Way was made to go directly to the throne of Grace to receive all we need from our Father, God Who is Love! He will give the Holy Spirit to all who truly continue to ask, seek, and knock. There is no need for any sort of divination!

He came to us through Jesus Christ and revealed Himself. “If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father,” said Jesus. There is now no need for auguries or magical repetitive prayers and incantations, sacrifices, elaborate rituals, or the observance of days, and the like required to please Him, or to know His will or to receive His grace / His love! He has spoken to us by His Son Jesus, revealed to us through the Scriptures, and is revealed to our hearts by the Holy Spirit. He has come to redeem and to heal and to restore sinners, and by so doing to heal the world He gave to us from the beginning.

It is the meek - those surrendered to His transforming amazing grace - who will inherit the Earth.

It doesn’t belong to Mars or Jupiter. That too is for the birds!

Sep. 21, 2020

 

(Subtitled, How Hungry Am I?)

See Matthew 18:21-35, especially verse 35, where Jesus makes it clear that we must forgive from the heart... But there is one little problem: the human heart is desperately wicked and deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9). Nothing of our natural self desires anything to do with forgiveness. (So much for “follow your heart!”) Watch the social media commentary. Most Christians would rather see their enemies “get theirs.” Forgiveness does not come naturally, and if we try to produce it ourselves, there always comes that point where we are abject failures.

There’s always that certain someone or several someones in our life who push our buttons and who keep on pushing. We find forgiveness to be impossible to dispense. “I have had it with you!” Even considering this, the faces of the usual suspects appear in our mind’s eye, do they not? “The usual suspects.” The guilty. The repeat offenders.

To truly forgive as Jesus forgives requires the very heart of Jesus Himself. We don’t have that when we're born into this life. We are born in sin! It is necessary to ask and continue to ask, “Create in me a clean heart, O God...” Psalm 51.

There must be a Holy Spirit work of the removal of our heart of stone, to be replaced by the pure and loving heart of Jesus. That is the only degree of forgiveness God will accept, in order to forgive us. It cannot be found in our natural heart! Ouch! Where to from here?

So per usual, we must “show up for work” - that of God’s work in us through the Holy Spirit via Word and Sacrament. Otherwise, if we are trying to rely on our own works to proceed out of an unregenerate heart, one of two things happen. When we think we are successful of our own powers to forgive, we become prideful. Or when we fail, and at some point we always do, we’re always in despair before a holy God who demands perfection, because we cannot produce “70x7”! So as Pastor Bryan Wolfmueller says, we wind up on a pendulum that constantly swings from pride to despair, since somewhere along the way we have bought into the lie that we have to save ourselves by good works of our own righteousness, but always find that we are unable to do so!

Yet this is what most “religion” wants us to produce and the platform it advocates and advances: self righteousness, which is essentially the righteousness of the Pharisees, the really “good” people who delight in their own righteousness and their own perfect observation of religious rituals, practices, days, and the like. Yet they always look down their noses at those who cannot keep the Law, according to their interpretation of it. And Jesus, much to our chagrin makes it clear that unless our righteousness exceeds that of the Pharisees, we cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven! Matthew 5:20.

So, I realize that I am seriously deficient in and of myself to produce anything like the righteousness of even the Pharisees, let alone that of God, in whatever area I can come up with. Woe be unto me if I remain so where it concerns the righteousness of God! Without holiness, no one will see the Lord! Hebrews 12:14.

Yet along comes Jesus with this wonderful promise, according to Matthew 5:6. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.” The Greek Word used here for “righteousness” is “dikaiosynen” coming from “dikaiosune” which means equity, especially justification. Justice, justness, righteousness - the righteousness of which God is the author, a divine righteousness. The only one by which we ever can be justified!

However, the beauty of this verse also reveals an elephant in the room: what fallen, completely corrupt human heart would even desire divine righteousness?! Yet here is Jesus proclaiming how blessed are those who hunger and thirst for that very thing!

Here’s the clincher: that anyone even desires this is evidence that the Holy Spirit is at work creating the appetite, the sense of need, for the righteousness of God is outside of and beyond the sinful self and devious, corrupt heart that is quite comfortable in its delusions that it can please Him or attain Heaven by its own works.

To desire righteousness (including the ability to forgive as Jesus forgives) is not the natural desire of the heart. If the appetite is there, it has been given by the Holy Spirit. Often this hunger awakens when we see our sin and really perceive how hopeless is our fallen condition! The Holy Spirit brings this awareness (it’s called “conviction of sin”). This is the 1st spiritual sight or awareness we have, and a vital comprehension, and so we cry out as King David, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me!” Psalm 51.

Then He also supplies us with the cure for the remission of our sinful condition and its manifestations, as His word directs us to the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, where He has paid the penalty of all sin, the debt we could never pay.

How do we connect with this? It is vital - for one thing - to attend Divine Service and to hear the pronouncement of the absolution of sin which we have confessed and desire to repent of, to hear the Gospel - the Good News - of forgiveness, and to receive the Lord’s Body and Blood in Holy Communion. Here is one place where we “show up for work” - that of receiving His work from the Great Physician, Whose benefits we must never forget: that He “pardons ALL your iniquities; Who heals ALL your diseases; Who redeems your life from the pit; Who crowns you with loving kindness and compassion...” See Psalm 103:1-5.

Here is where the Gospel comes in, when the Law condemns us, and we do stand condemned before a righteous God! Yet it is by His Word, His Truth, His promises in Christ Jesus that He addresses our hopelessness with His hope, which does not, cannot, and never will disappoint us. “And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us. For at just the right time, while we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.” Romans 5:5,6.

This Gospel is something that changes us, as we receive Him. Not only do we receive Him through Word and Sacrament in the Divine Service, where we gather with our brothers and sisters here on earth, as well as with all the company of heaven - God the Father, Jesus Himself, the Holy Spirit, angels, archangels, and saints now made perfect.

There is more. Beyond the church doors where we have all met, we do well to cultivate spending time with Him in our own prayer closet each and every day. Like Mary of Bethany we can sit at His feet, as we cling to His Word and imbibe it - by continuing to ask, seek, and knock for the Holy Spirit and the “good things” promised to those who ask. (Matthew 7:11, Luke 11:13 Read and contemplate these often in the context of their narrative!). These are the good things which are provided in Christ alone.

Mary chose this “good part” which would never be taken from her (Luke 11:42).

He is always “near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth.” (Psalm 145:18) The Truth is that we have nothing to bring to the table of our salvation. We are utterly needy! It is however imperative for us to come to Him, to take and eat and drink, and thus taste and see that the Lord alone is good, and that He has provided for all our need, according to His riches in glory, by Christ Jesus! (Philippians 4:19)

Amen.

 

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Sep. 14, 2020

 

"At that time His voice shook the earth, but now He has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth, but heaven as well.” The words “Once more signify the removal of what can be shaken— that is, created things— so that the unshakable may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving an unshakable kingdom, let us be filled with gratitude, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe." Hebrews 12:26-28.

Did not the demons tremble and shake and cast into fire and water, and cause great torment to those whom they possessed? Did not those manifest contortions and lack of self control and great evil who were under the domain of darkness? Did they not cause great havoc and oft with great strength - especially as the Lord of Lords and King of kings drew nigh to them to evict them from the afflicted individuals?

Do we think it any accident now, as His final drawing near approaches, when every eye shall see Him, that destruction arises in the cities as the servants of darkness tear them apart? Is it really odd that they lie and create every obfuscation and sleight of hand to maintain their hold? Should it be thought so odd that there is devastation on every level?

Should we consider it odd that all that can be shaken is being shaken? That society is falling apart? That the organized (and unorganized) religions are falling apart, yet what is of Him Who is the Truth is being revealed, yet the horrors of darkness that have been serving the Father of Lies are also being made visible? Even though they have been hiding in plain sight?

These are the signs of the close of the age!

Someone made commentary yesterday on social media that what America is experiencing is a great exorcism.

The truth is that is yet to come! What we are seeing is that the unseen powers of darkness which have held the kingdom in captivity know that the great and terrible day of the Lord is at hand. They tremble because they are being shaken.

And so they are literally raising hell as they never have before. They and their works are being shaken. Their illicit claims and stranglehold to the kingdom won by the blood of the Lamb will soon no longer be in effect. And they know it. They also know that their time has come to go into the Lake of Fire! Why would anyone think they will go easily? They are like wicked tenants who have not cared for the land or their peoples, and are being evicted. Such often destroy before vacating the space.

 

Other related references for contemplation:


"Though the mountains may be removed and the hills may be shaken, My loving devotion will not depart from you, and My covenant of peace will not be broken," says the LORD, who has compassion on you." Isaiah 54:10


"For behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind." Isaiah 65:17

 

Sep. 10, 2020
 
 
"Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come." ~ St Paul to the Corinthians, ch 10:11. NKJV~
 
In reading the Old Testament prophets, it becomes evident that they too were likely regarded as "dooms dayers" and peddlers of fear in the midst of a let-the-good-times-roll society.
 
Grumpy old patriarchal curmudgeons! Tsk, tsk. So much "negativity." Besides, anyone who serves a God who isn't all fairy dust, 'inclusive' of pagan practices, and all about tolerance for unrestrained sin surely is not to be listened to," they say. Adding, "MY God is all loving and makes me feel good!" A God in one's own image and according to one's desires, but not the holy God revealed in Scripture, Who is about the redemption of souls.
 
Consider this: The very person who is likely sounding the warnings about the future most often has your best interests in mind. He or she doesn't have a dog in the race of this world and its lying, self- glorifying religions, and they are filled with a tough love and compassion for lost souls. They have in mind the redemption of your immortal soul.
 
So, don't shoot the messengers. Although given the track record, an unlikely request to be honored.
Aug. 31, 2020

There's a Jacobin revolution going on in the USA. It's here. It's now. Whether you want it or not. Enter, AKA, "the Great Reset", the "New World Order." Race baiting features as both its lure to the unsuspecting, and means of intimidation even to those who simply want to walk away, without having a racist bone in their body. Even if they simply choose to try to walk away. This is a satanic tsunami to the core. Make no mistake...

Nobody in his right mind wants this. But these are trouble makers in the truest sense of the word. They have created a problem, are banking on a reaction, and have been given the solution by their puppeteers. 

The Coronavirus so called "pandemic" was used as the kick-off to shut down everything and destroy the economy. A crisis not allowed to go to waste. Even if the virus wasn't really a crisis, it was made into one - to set the stage for what's here and unfolding. Anybody who goes around saying that things will go back to normal "when this is over" are delusional, in my opinion. It will not be the old normal or the new normal in the wake of this tsunami. It will be abnormal entirely, strategized and implemented since the  beginning of time, now reaching its culmination. 

Anything "patriots" think they can throw at this thing will be about as effective as a squirt gun on a forest fire. The assailants are highly funded, armed, and trained to intimidate and to beat the bloody pulp out of anyone who gets in their way. Just because they can. This is not demonizing anybody. They are already demon possessed, as this level of venom goes way beyond human vitriol or insistence upon justice. What these programmed individuals have been pawned out to has only "just us" in its mind. Justice is, hopefully what they will get. At some point in future. They don’t know they’re referred to by their keepers as “useful idiots."

Obama's promised "army":  BLM & ANTIFA are their "brown shirts." They have co-opted politicians and many religious leaders, and intimidated the police into cowering into a corner. They attack duly elected officials and ordinary people who, for whatever reason, happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. 

I believe this is THE 2nd Thessalonians 2 moment. It's "Satan's Little Season." Don't expect to be whisked away in the clouds of the air. It is the ultimate test. "Stay in the boat," repent, pray, believe and trust in God's promises, and obey His Word if you are Christian. If you are not, turn yourself fully and unconditionally over to Jesus Christ, repent of sin and lawlessness, and surrender yourself to Him, if you have never done so before. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you for Who He really is. His promises are vital! And you will need to be fully convinced in the days ahead.

"Be still and rest in the Lord; wait for Him and patiently lean yourself upon Him; fret not yourself because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked devices to pass. Cease from anger and forsake wrath; fret not yourself—it tends only to evildoing. For evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait and hope and look for the Lord [in the end] shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while, and the evildoers will be no more; though you look with care where they used to be, they will not be found.But the meek [in the end] shall inherit the earth and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace." Ps 37:7-11. ACV.

 

 

See this informative article from Capstone Report:

 https://capstonereport.com/2020/08/28/a-rebirth-of-america-or-the-great-reset/34895/