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Mark Dankof on The Monica Witt USAF/OSI Spy Defection Case and Marzieh Hashemi of Press TV/Iran

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Gareth Porter at the New Horizons Conference in Iran with Marzieh Hashemi of Press TV in 2014. Hashemi and New Horizon NGO are now fingered in the Monica Witt Spy Case.

 

     One has to be oblivious to international and national news stories not to be aware of the breaking Monica Witt spy/treason/defection case involving this young lady Texan in the United States Air Force’s Office of Special Investigations (OSI).  News agencies are reporting en masse that “Individual A” in the 27 page Federal Grand Jury Indictment in United States District Court is thought to be Marzieh Hashemi, the Press TV News Anchor in Tehran.

     Hashemi is the former Melanie Franklin of New Orleans and still an American citizen.  When she was recently arrested in St. Louis at the airport and subsequently detained without charges in Washington, D. C., I and others wrote honest op-eds in defense of her work as a journalist.  Mine may be accessed on this very website.  It will remain there.

     Nonetheless, articles emerging in places like Clearance Jobs prove increasingly damning to both Witt and Hashemi.  The case for espionage and treason by two American citizens on behalf of a foreign power seems powerful.  I have read the entire 27 page Grand Jury indictment with an eye on the media reports.  None of it is good.  All of this will soon be discussed publicly on National Bugle Radio on the Republic Broadcasting Network with host Dr. Patrick Slattery.

     The New Horizon NGO of Iran is also under the official sanction of the U. S. Treasury Department as having been a willing front in this espionage/treason affair aimed at the United States.

     This is especially interesting to me, given the multiple invitations issued to me by this organization in years past for journalistic conferences in Tehran, including the time Monica Witt was in attendance in 2012.  But the Iranian government always managed to never issue me a visa, despite the fact that all of the official paperwork was submitted on time.

     I chalked this up to the fact that my status as a member of the NRA and a critic of  the Marxist-oriented Black Lives Matter, an organization Marzieh Hashemi has been working closely with, didn’t fit what the New Horizon Conference organizer, Reza Montazemi, was aiming for.  I also suspected my late Father’s past as an Air Force logistics advisor in Iran for the Shah’s Air Force in the last 5 years of the Pahlavi regime might have made the Iranian government suspicious of my own possible links to American intelligence.

     But 2014 confirmed that it went way beyond that, with the catastrophic public relations nightmare that befell Iran and the New Horizons NGO in the so-called Gareth Porter/BuzzFeed/New Horizons/Reza Montazami debacle.  Dr. E. Michael Jones of Culture Wars wrote the real inside story on that insidious mess in the December 2014 issue.  It was all stripped bare for all to behold in the cover story, entitled The New New World Order.  Yes, that’s Marzieh Hashemi, a.k.a. Melanie Franklin on the cover with Gareth Porter, whose own nefarious role over 4 years ago in Tehran is completely exposed in Culture Wars.

     Marzieh Hashemi took personal charge of making assurances to me that my visa wouldn’t fall through the cracks again in 2014, as it had repeatedly for a series of years in the past.  But it didn’t happen.  And she disappeared without a subsequent trace or apology to me.

     Nonetheless, I can understand how she was caught up in things that year that went well beyond her authority or ability to make right.

     [I can also understand why Reza Montazemi of New Horizon NGO stopped talking to me after a 2014 conference call he set up with Mark Glenn and Mark Dankof with Ken O’Keefe as intermediary with video and sound.  Montazemi later brought Mark Glenn to Tehran in an attempt at reconciliation.  E. Michael Jones later made it after the Culture Wars cover story he penned on the Gareth Porter/BuzzFeed/New Horizon/Reza Montazemi incident.  I never did.  I must confess what I told Montazemi to his Skype video face in that conversation, albeit true, did not comport well with being a Lutheran pastor (smile).  But he knew I was finished with him, and subsequently he with me.]

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Free Speech Advocate or IRI intelligence operative in the Monica Witt Spy Case.  Is Marzieh “Individual A?”

     But in 2019, allegedly being involved as an American citizen as a knowing operational liaison between Islamic Republic of Iran intelligence and an American USAF/OSI technical sergeant from Texas bent on betraying her country and her oaths, Marzieh Hashemi has lost all credibility with me as a human being and an independent journalist and activist. Her dropping of all communication with me after the Gareth Porter/BuzzFeed/New Horizons/Reza Montazemi circus of late 2014 takes on new meaning with what continues emerging in the Monica Witt spy affair.

     I want to make it clear that I am proud of my past appearances on Press TV, and the things I and other honest American journalists have been allowed to bring forth globally there over the past decade on the New World Order, Zionism, and the hijacking of the American government by the Israeli government and its Lobby in the United States.  I do not apologize for any of it.  But much as I am sickened by the sellout of the people of the United States by who it is that controls the globalist American political elite enamored of fiat money; wars for Israel; false flag operations; and illegitimate aggression against Iran, Russia, Ukraine, Syria, Palestine, Libya, and Venezuela among others, I cannot endorse work in a journalistic context with people involved in espionage and treason against my own country and ironically enough, what was their own. If I could, I’d work for the Israelis.  Their pay scale is much better.  They have a good retirement plan also.

     Marzieh Hashemi has given the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai Brith, the Southern Poverty Law Center, Israeli intelligence, the Bolton/Pompeo/Elliott Abrams War Party, The Daily Beast, BuzzFeed, and the entire Neo-Conservative American MSM a propaganda field day.  She has betrayed Americans across the political spectrum who risked their lives and livelihoods to speak the truth to the people of the United States and the world on what was involved in 9-11 and in all the events that followed by appearing on Press TV. Her recent attempt to paint her detention in Washington as a case of white racism against all black folks and Muslims is straight out of the Black Lives Matter playbook.  It is also, sadly enough, now a transparent case of complete bullshit.

     That shall be the ultimate irony of this entire episode, with future innocent victims on both sides in the war that is coming an absolute guarantee.

 

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Beautiful red poppies on Mount Damavand in Iran.

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Father Joseph Gleason of Russian Faith: Follow Him Out of Dodge If You Can

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Polycarp of Smyrna and Christian Martyrdom: One of Mark Dankof’s icons on his studio/library wall.

 

     It goes without saying that Father Joseph Gleason of Russian Faith is making his mark in the world for the Kingdom of God in Jesus Christ.  His theological journey has finally taken him into the priesthood of the Russian Orthodox Church.  Geographically, the journey he and his family have embarked upon has taken them from the United States to Russia and a place called Rostov-The-Great.  His is a story worth following on an ongoing basis.  I sense his personal odyssey may prove larger in history than he or anyone else imagines right now.

  His most recent entry on the Russian Faith website is entitled, “Homosexuals Persecuting Christians in America:  Do You Feel The Walls Closing In?” This marvelous piece is 5,050 words long.  My succinct initial response to his labors before even reading the essay itself was–and is–a simple “Yes.”

     I do not come to this conclusion quickly or without study and engagement.  Since 9-11, I have set aside most of the rest of my life to attempt to bring the people of America to an awareness of how late the hour is, and the perilous state of both individual souls and a collective people that has turned its back on God in favor of an Empire built on narcissism, militarism, usury, and sodomy.

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     But the painful truth is that I have failed.  I have lost 17 years of my life in the process. I admitted as much some years ago in a well publicized essay entitled, “Why We’re Finished.”  Later, I found myself being pilloried by the Jerusalem Post and the international Jewish press for telling Press TV Iran the truth after the infamous Obergefell Supreme Court decision of 2015 about who played a pivotally disproportionate role in bringing this latest advance of Cultural Marxism to pass in the United States, as was the case in the Roe v Wade decision of January of 1973.  Joseph Biden said the same thing I did, only he hailed the development as a new dawning in America.  I didn’t.  Thus, I was in the crosshairs of the usual suspects.  Not one of my Lutheran colleagues in the United States came to my public defense.  I was on my own and I knew it, just as I have been for years in these circles for discussing 9-11, Empire foreign and military policy, the Kennedy Assassination, and the abortion and LGBTQ issues among many others.

     Nothing in the last 4 years has changed the equation.  I said as much in an essay entitled, “A ‘Communist’s’ Thoughts on the 4th of July,” appropriately retitled, “Russia is a Beacon of Promise for a Christian Future” for Russia Faith and Russian Insider readers.  The thousands of hits on those sites revealed I had struck a chord or a raw nerve depending on the perspective of the reader, which is why editors like Charles Bausman and Father Joseph Gleason have increasingly come under attack by MSM rags in the United States like The Daily Beast as agents of the Kremlin, which assaulted me well before it did these fine people.  I wore that as a badge of honor. I still do.

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The Ancient of Days (Daniel 7) on Mark Dankof’s radio studio/library wall.

     Which brings me back to Father Gleason’s latest post.  His conclusions about what the LGBTQ movement and the power elite’s goals are in both the United States and globally in regard to authentic Christianity and its adherents are no different than what Rod Dreher wrote in Time Magazine after the Obergefell decision, only sharper in focus in the implications.  This sharpening of focus leads the American Christian who prayerfully contemplates the reality of the homeland advances of the New World Order to examine his or her position very carefully as the Holy Spirit of God leads and directs.

     For the record, after examination over time, I humbly conclude personally that: 1) Father Joseph Gleason has made the right decision for himself and his family in moving to Russia; 2) Recent developments in that country and elsewhere make it clear to me that Orthodoxy is especially being used of God in the proclamation of the Gospel in an age of advancing heresy and apostasy–not declining Lutheranism, Catholicism, or a Protestant Evangelical movement overcome with worship of Zionism and increasing pop accommodation to cancerous American and European cultures headed for absolute shipwreck;  3) For young believers around the world including a couple I have recently read about in Brazil, and young American Christians feeling bewildered and embattled as they Feel the Walls Closing In, examine the Lord’s will very closely in regard to the beckoning of Father Gleason and his migrating minions to the place that the Triune God is restoring at this eschatological hour in history to counter the evil plans of a Western Globalist and Zionist movement bent on using moral and sexual perversion, mass media manipulation, consumerism, economic sanctions, and overt military aggression to achieve Satan’s final victory in this present realm;  4) The latest actions of the United States in the Ukraine in sewing discord in the Orthodox Church only underscore the depths to which the political leadership in America will go on behalf the objectives of the New World Order, along with the entire spectrum of moves being made by The Empire against Iran, Syria, Russia, and Venezuela;  5) When all of this is understood in discernment by the Christian believer in the West in terms of prophetic developments, those of us whose circumstances mandate remaining in our earthly homeland in exile must do so only in the clear understanding that the outcome is not merely an exilic experience of alienation and marginalization, but one which promises martyrdom itself.

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     My last public address to a Lutheran group discussed this.  I’m still not sure those in the lecture hall in upstate Wisconsin last year really had the foggiest notion of what I was trying to say in the Lord to them.  But Father Joseph Gleason knows of what I speak, and so do most of his readers at Russian Faith. There are a few Christian homeschoolers in Texas who certainly understand. For those in the United States and the West in a position to make choices for themselves and their families on the basis of their individual circumstances and Christian witness for the truth in history, follow him to higher ground.  Get out of Dodge while you can.

     I believe God has truly raised this man up at this most critical and final hour in world and redemptive history. Consider his witness and his words carefully. That is my best advice to you.  The clock is ticking to midnight.

Written by Mark Dankof

January 31, 2019 at 9:19 pm

The War on Free Speech Escalates: The American Arrest of Press TV Anchor Marzieh Hashemi

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What the hell? Let’s have a war with Russia, Iran, China, Venezuela, the Constitution of the United States, and any American who believes in the Bill of Rights, all at the same time!

     The assault on freedom of speech, freedom of association, and the right to oppose Israeli crimes and wars in the Middle East courtesy of American arms, money, and Zionist political support, has reached a new and ominously draconian level this week with the arrest and Federal detention of Press TV Iran’s anchor Marzieh Hashemi. Of the international news agencies who have covered the story since this past January 16th, Fox News would seem to have the most details presently known in this murky affair being conducted in the netherworld of the American National Security Police State.  Hashemi is an American citizen, and was attempting to fly from St. Louis to Denver to visit a brother terminally ill with cancer, when arrested at Lambert International Airport.  According to Fox, the FBI subsequently transported her to a presently unknown Federal detention facility in Washington.

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An American citizen arrested and Federally detained without legal charges brought forth.  What was Marzieh Hashemi’s real offense?  Allowing free international TV discussion of Israel and 9-11, the Lavon Affair, the Lansky-Ben Gurion-Dimona link to the Kennedy Assassination, the USS Liberty attack, the Pollard spy case, the MEK assassinations of Iranian scientists, and the use of Al-Qaeda and ISIS against Assad?

     I will state again the summary of what I told Iran’s Press TV on this matter on open international TV on January 17th, on National Bugle Radio on the Republic Broadcasting Network with Dr. Patrick Slattery on the same date, and in subsequent conversation with Jonas E. Alexis of Veterans Today:

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Locked Up Because She Spoke Up:  Take note, American Anti-Zionist, Anti-New World Order dissidents.

     First, the arrest of Marzieh Hashemi of Press TV and her subsequent detention is a violation of International Law and the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution.

     Second, the significance of the arrest and detention without charges is heightened by her status as an American citizen.  Every American should understand that what is directed against her now could and will be targeted at he or she tomorrow.

     Third, I am telling my responsible colleagues on the American Alt Right and Left that this arrest, in conjunction with the actions of the American National Security State against domestic activists in Alternative Media in working with Facebook, Google, Twitter, You Tube, and their “experts” at the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai Brith (ADL) and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) to hinder freedom of expression in matters related to the Zionist State of Israel, the domestic Jewish Lobby in the United States, and the marriage of the advocates of War for the American Empire with the Zionist Beast, represents a level of desperation and lawlessness not seen at any previous time in American history.

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Solzhenitsyn identifies the ultimate perpetrators of the Marzieh Hashemi arrest and Federal detention without charges in Washington.

     Fourth, this level of desperation and lawlessness indicates that the desire of the Zionist New World Order Beast to facilitate a war with Iran and possibly Putin’s Russia, now knows no boundaries.  In conjunction with the employment of the MEK to assassinate Iranian scientists on Iranian soil, the illegitimate cancellation of the P5+1 deal with Iran, the subsequent illegitimate imposition of economic sanctions on that country, and the employment of ISIS and Al-Qaeda terrorists in Syria against the Assad regime, the Marzieh Hashemi arrest and detention suggests 2019 will bring a level of escalation against the Tehran government by the Netanyahu government in Israel and Jewish Neo-Conservatives in the United States to the brink of actually achieving the war they have desired for so long.

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Marzieh Hashemi of Press TV: Fair to all, tough as nails, articulate, of keen mind, dedicated to freedom of speech, and a threat to Washington, Tel Aviv, and Riyadh because of it.

     There are four wild cards that can and will bring down the New World OrderOne: An Iranian military capability and national will to fight consistently stronger than is understood in the United States, Israel, or the West generally.  Two:  A military intervention on behalf of Iran by Mr. Putin’s Russia.  Three:  Ongoing political and economic bankruptcy in the United States in a new phase of armed conflict which will exacerbate both. (For openers, David Stockman predicts a $40 trillion dollar national debt for the Washington Regime by the end of the decade.)  Four:  The Anti-Zionist, Anti-NWO American Right will move into a new phase of resistance, along with their counterparts on the American Antiwar Left, once the real shooting commences in the launching of a wider global conflict leading to World War III.  For real Christians in America not enamored of the American political elite, Zionism, or wars launched by both, I have recently warned of this in an essay on Christian Martyrdom and the American Empire.  The bumpy road for Marzieh Hashemi this week is about to be everyone’s bumpy road as the countdown to conflict continues apace.

     The clock is ticking to midnight.

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The most evil gameplan in human history must be stopped.  Marzieh Hashemi and Colleagues understand this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christian Martyrdom and The American Empire: Mark Dankof On The New World Order

(Lutheran Pastor Mark Dankof was invited to a private session of Texas homeschoolers and their parents in a secluded home in San Antonio, to speak on a critically important subject deliberately avoided in American schools, including the Christian academies, and especially in IRS tax exempt 501(c)3 churches drenched in the doctrines of American and Israeli Exceptionalism. Readers of Russia Insider and Russian Faith may find the greatly edited version interesting in revealing serious truths about the present situation in the United States for the Christian believer.)

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Have Show, Will Travel:  Press TV Iran, David Duke on Rense, National Bugle Radio on RBN, Andrew Carrington Hitchcock on EuroFolkRadio, CII International’s Global Dynamics, American Free Press Radio.

     It is a Saturday night here in the Alamo City, also known both in this country and outside it as Military Town USA.  It is noteworthy and more than understandable that I have been invited to speak on this topic in a private home, devoid of any advance or subsequent publicity, and without the sponsorship of any educational or church organization in this 7th largest city in the continental United States.  There is ample reason for this.  We unfortunately live in a climate of fear where tonight’s topic is concerned, a climate which produces only occasional furtive glances and whispers in rooms with darkened shades among those who sense as Christian believers that something is deeply wrong in our land, so wrong that our educational and religious leaders have not only maintained sustained silence on a healthy discussion of a topic that shall not go away, but in many cases have served as sycophantic cheerleaders for that which I believe to be evil.  For some, it is the desire to be popular in the community.  For others it is the danger of being libeled and slandered that is paramount.  For yet others, it is the fear of losing a tax exempt status courtesy of the IRS and the Federal Surveillance State which is well represented in this city. Many pastors and teachers sadly confuse Empire Deification and Emperor Worship with Biblical faith and American “patriotism,” which suggests that the core lessons and warnings of the Prophets Jeremiah, Amos, and Daniel, along with John’s writings on Patmos during the reign of Domitian (81-96 A. D. ), continue to be missed, along with the basic teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ about what really constitutes the Kingdom of God and who the Israel of God is really comprised of.

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Exile on Patmos: An Aegean Sunset.

     I pray we shall not miss what I truly believe to be the teachings of the Holy Spirit of God conveyed by these Biblical writers, or what I believe is being conveyed about both Martyrdom and Empire.  So we quite rightly gather on a Saturday night on our own time to examine that which is not being examined elsewhere around San Antonio this evening, as the days and nights continue to unfold before the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.

     My opening premise tonight is this:  The American Empire and its linkage to the Zionist State of Israel is intrinsically evil.  These entities are at the center of the drive to the New World Order, which in turn encompasses the ideology of world government; central banking; a controlled news media; the Culturally Marxist ideologies of radical feminism, abortion-on-demand, the LGBTQ agenda, societal acceptance of pornography, and an inherent opposition to authentic Christianity.  These entities seek to enslave the entire globe with this Satanic ideology, utilizing internal subversion, wartime economic sanctions, a global surveillance police state, and overt threats of military force against nation-states who do not acquiesce to the Beast.  Iran and a post-Communist Russia being revitalized by Russian Orthodox Christian spirituality and culture are but the latest targets. The symbols of the Christian Cross and the American Flag and Constitution shall be those chosen to sell lies to the American public and the American churches as to what this coming battle is about.  Make no mistake about it.  The New World Order is about neither.  It is the avowed enemy of both, no matter how many United States Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Navy recruitment ads appear during NFL games suggesting otherwise.

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The Ancient of Days (Daniel 7: 9, 13, and 22) on the Mark Dankof Library and Radio Studio Wall.

     I have not come to this conclusion lightly or without personal study or sacrifice.  I will simply invite you to peruse a recent article of mine, “ACommunist’s Thoughts on the 4th of July,” both because of a young man I discuss in that essay who is a microcosm of the deception of millions of Americans who believe they are following Christ in this arena when in fact I believe the opposite is true, and also because that essay contains many links to presentations and articles I have been preparing since 9-11, often times at considerable risk over these years.  Read these articles; listen to many TV and radio broadcasts since The War on Terror began 17 years ago.  My work will lead you to that of many others of equal or greater importance than I.  Begin this journey in earnest and you will encounter a world deliberately being withheld from you by your schools, your churches, most of your textbooks, as well as the news media most of you encounter when at all. I simply ask all of you to follow the dictum of Francis Bacon:  “Read, not to believe and take for granted, nor to contradict and confute, but to weigh and consider.” Bacon’s prescription, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit of God, is a portion of the Full Armor of God available to the believer in an unprecedented age of evil, deception, and mass communications technology designed to disguise Satan as an Angel of Light ( 2 Corinthians 11: 14) on both a national and global basis.

     After all, how many of us have really examined the historical “truths” in our textbooks and presented on television about the Federal Reserve Board, the World Wars, Pearl Harbor, the Kennedy Assassinations and that of Martin Luther King?  Have you ever heard of Deir Yassin?  The Lavon Affair?  The USS Liberty Attack?  The Pollard Spy Case?  The real story on 9-11?  Or these Gulf Wars which began in earnest with Desert Storm under George Herbert Walker Bush in January of 1991?  What is really the truth about why our government has taken such a bellicose stance on Iran and Russia in recent years? Why has our government supported ISIS and Al-Qaeda affiliates in destroying Syria?  Why are we supporting the genocidal war of Saudi Arabia in Yemen?  Who is really behind the Pussy Riot desecrations of the Russian Orthodox Cathedral in Moscow and why?

 My second premise is this:  The American Empire today is a 21st Century repristination of the empires God has judged throughout history.  If you believe your homework assignment as a homeschooler with parents curious to find out more about about a demonized Christian pastor and commentator named Mark Dankof ended with my own recommended articles, you’re wrong (smile).  I assign you to take a closer look at the conditions mentioned by the Prophet Amos during the reign of Jeroboam II, and his prophesies about the coming judgment of the Northern Kingdom of Israel at the hands of the Assyrians who would sack Samaria in 722 B. C.  I also assign you to read the relevant Old Testament texts about God’s impending judgment upon the Southern Kingdom of Judah (605 B. C. to 586 B. C.) and the reasons for it.  Lastly, take a look at the words of our Lord in the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21) as they pertain to the pronouncement of judgment upon Judah coming in the form of the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem by Titus and the Romans in A. D. 70, or the character of the evil Ancient Roman Empire which serves as the backdrop of the martyrdoms of Peter and Paul, and the exile of St. John to Patmos described in Revelation for his refusal to venerate Emperor Domitian as the virtual Incarnation of God on earth.

     Think about itIf my analysis is correct as the Spirit of God has guided me over many years, why drape the American Empire in the Christian Cross and the American Flag?  More importantly, why should Christian parents, pastors, and churches urge the participation of our kids in killing, wounding, and displacing millions of innocent people overseas who threaten neither our faith nor our real homeland security, but whose sole transgression is failing to acquiesce in a New World Order which identically threatens Christianity itself, both in the United States, in Putin’s Russia, and on a global basis generally?  I believe this is a repudiation of the words of the Lord Jesus Christ about the nature of the Kingdom of God, and a repudiation of the Just War Theory of St. Augustine which has guided Western Christian thought for centuries on the issue of when and why a believer in Jesus Christ may take up armaments.  Perhaps even more significantly, an Empire which has become largely Antichrist in its society and in its political leadership and apostate churches, cannot possibly invoke God’s name or His blessed protection in unjustifiable and aggressive conflict and expect righteous victory to come its way.  God Bless America in the current situation in this country presumably carries absolutely no weight with the Holy Trinity, a situation which as already mentioned mirrors the worst conditions of the aforementioned empires in Biblical history recommended for study and examination.

     I am no pacifist.  I believe in St. Augustine’s Just War Theory.  I come from a lifelong Air Force family.  I am no stranger to weaponry. I would fight for the legitimate defense of the United States against domestic criminals and foreign aggressors as I would for the innocent in our own community in San Antonio whose lives are being threatened and who are defenseless.  As a personal example 3 years ago, I almost had to shoot a criminal malefactor to death who was in the process of beating a woman to death in the parking lot of my apartment complex in San Antonio, even as a 3 month old infant lay injured underneath the couple’s car.  I truly thank God everyday that circumstances that prevented that justifiable development from having to happen did take place.  You may read about it briefly hereThe point is thisWhat the American Empire and the Zionist State of Israel it supports in the Middle East have been doing for years has no such similar Biblical, moral, and legal justification.  Take a close look at the grim reality of this truism in Palestine, Gaza, the Occupied Territories, and East Jerusalem, along with Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Southern Lebanon, or Ukraine.  The coming war with Iran and Putin’s Russia will bring this evil New World Order agenda to an apocalyptic crescendo.  Christians should refuse to take up arms on behalf of this, and protect the rights of their children and church members to tell Caesar he shall not have that which belongs to Christ and Christ alone. Period. This is not Augustine’s Just War Theory operating in what we are examining here.  It is mass murder, past, present, and undoubtedly future, largely for an entity that claims a divine right to Palestine and surrounding territories, even though it rejects the Gospel of Christ in favor of a doctrine of racial supremacy, world government, a kingdom of this world not the next, and a kingdom whose instruments are not love and brotherhood but armaments of mass destruction and mass surveillance in the interest of theft by terror and death. It bears no resemblance to the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, but to Barabbas and the Jewish mob clamoring for his release at the expense of He who knew no sin. This Satanic counterfeit of the Israel of God shall even set the stage for the appearance of Antichrist, and his usurpation of the temple of God to show himself as God (2 Thessalonians 2). St. Paul warns us in this very chapter of Satanic power, signs, and wonders, and God’s sending of a strong delusion upon those who have already rejected His Son for His Son’s very antithesis.  This delusion will lead to the destruction of those who believe the lie.

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St. Polycarp of Smyrna, an icon on the wall of Mark Dankof’s Library and Radio Studio.

     Let me add one sobering thought for your long term consideration tonight. My final premise is this:  It may not simply be enough to refuse to kill innocents on behalf of the American Empire and its Emperors.  The Lord may require that we be willing to die a death of Martyrdom Witness by the hand of this Empire at a time of His choosing.  Stephen, Peter, and Paul come to mind instantly as New Testament examples.  Revelation 2: 8-11 and The Cry of the Martyrs found in the 5th Seal of John’s Apocalypse in Revelation 6: 9-11 are verses which accompany these Saints of God in constant reverberations within the heart, the mind, and the soul of those in closest union with Christ.

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St. Polycarp of Smyrna, rejecting Emperor Worship and the Synagogue of Satan (Revelation 2:9) for Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ Only, Forever and Ever.

     And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive; I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan. Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.  . . .

     And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:

     And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?

     And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

     I believe these cited verses, among others, provide us with a New Testament doctrine of witness and faithfulness unto death.  It is not an accident in redemptive history that the first example this post-apostolic faithfulness unto death proves to be St. Polycarp of Smyrna.

     Polycarp (A. D. 69-155) is one of the 3 chief Apostolic Fathers, along with Clement of Rome and Ignatius of Antioch.  His name translates into Greek as “much fruit” (Πολύκαρπος).  The two chief works which enable us to have some access to his life and death in Christ are The Martyrdom of Polycarp (Μαρτύριον του Αγίου Πολυκάρπουand his Letter to the Philippians (Επιστολή προς Φιλιππησίους). You are assigned each of these for reading and contemplation, as your parents work these into your homework schedules.  Of the many things that are exciting about homeschooling, the experience of an entire family learning together is chief among them.  So shall it be here also.

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The Lord Jesus Christ to the Church of Smyrna and The Israel of God Through the Ages:  “Be Thou Faithful Unto Death, and I Will Give Thee the Crown of Life.”

     Irenaeus indicates that he heard Polycarp in his youth.  Tertullian informs us that Polycarp had been a disciple of John the Apostle, our author of the Gospel of John, 1st-2nd-3rd John, and the Revelation on Patmos.  Jerome later conveys to us the fact that John had ordained Polycarp the Bishop of Smyrna.  Keep in mind that the Church of Smyrna in Revelation 2 was the economically poor but spiritually rich church, the church in Asia Minor warned specifically about the Synagogue of Satan, and the church instructed to be faithful unto death against the backdrop of an evil Roman Empire.  It is the prototype of the remnant Israel of God at the end of history, as the people of Christ watch spiritual darkness and apocalyptic political developments engulf the planet while clinging to the Word of God, the Holy Sacrament, and the testimony of Prophets, Apostles, and Saints.

     Lutheran scholar turned Orthodox, Jaroslav Pelikan notes this backdrop of the execution of Polycarp in Credo:  Historical and Theological Guide to Creeds and Confessions of Faith in the Christian Tradition, page 223:

     When, in the first postbiblical account of a Christian martyrdom, The Martyrdom of Polycarp, the Roman proconsul, Statius Quadratus, the political and spiritual descendant of Pontius Pilate and the representative of Emperor Antoninus Pius, orders the aged Polycarp, “Swear by the fortune of Caesar!” Polycarp instead confesses “with boldness, ‘I am a Christian.  And if you wish to learn what the doctrines of Christianity are, appoint me a day, and you shall hear them.'”  And so he went to his death.  The twentieth century, which saw the rise of both Nazi and Communist totalitarian regimes that were inimical to Christianity, also therefore produced several such confessions that were political acts in this special sense. [see Barmen Declaration of 1934]

     And so we come to the end of the hour with the question of the day being this:  While virtually everyone here will accept at face value the evil character of Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon, the Ancient Roman Empire, or the Hitler and Stalin regimes, is the American Empire somehow a beacon of light and hope to the world as our educational system, pastors, and churches often insist that it is, or is the verdict of the Activist Post more devastatingly accurate over 7 years ago in its essay, “10 Reasons America Will Be Judged as the Most Brutal Empire in History?”  Put another way, will our young people be doing the will of the Lord in serving in The Empire’s War on Terror, or is the way of Polycarp, the way of Peter and Paul, and the exilic path of John, Solzhenitsyn, Sununu and Assange, His will for the lives of those who gathered here tonight if the situation so requires?

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American Christians:  Shall They Support the New World Order’s War on Putin’s Russian Orthodox Christian Renaissance?

     For the Christian living in the United States, that question will not go away.  I hope each person here tonight will avail himself or herself of the links to articles and broadcasts over time necessary to examine the question at hand, and to search the Scriptures prayerfully and diligently.  I am thankful that a remnant of people in this city have sought to examine the evidence for themselves and to allow the Lord to lead them in the truth over time as He wills.  And in these dark days and nights, with the eschatological time clock of God ticking to the end of this present cosmos and the beginning of eternity, let us think tonight not only of our own families and friends, but those around the world already mentioned as among those most presently persecuted and endangered.  The Lord’s admonition of Revelation 2:11 echoes once again in our hearts, our minds, and our souls:  “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death. . . .

     And so we close tonight with that prayer.  May we have ears to hear.  May we hear what the Spirit says to the churches.  May we overcome.  May we be spared the second death in the Lake of Fire.  For the end fast approaches.  Amen.

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The Mystery of the Word Who Became Flesh and Dwelt Among Us, The Light Who Permeates The Darkness.

 

The Jam-e Jam (Iran) Interview with Mark Dankof on the U.S.-Iran Standoff

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Jam-e Jam newspaper in Iran

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Who are the real adversaries of Iran, Russia, Syria, and American Nationalists?  Solzhenitsyn knew.

 

Alireza Hashemi of Iran’s Jam-e Jam Daily chats with Mark Dankof about the U. S.-Iran standoff and its implications.  

Alireza Hashemi: The 40-year standoff between Tehran and the US has entered a new phase. Washington has just reinstated the remaining part of anti-Iran sanctions suspended under the nuclear deal, with US officials describing anti-Iran punitive measures unprecedented in history.

Apparently, Washington likes Iran to be stuck between two choices: Caving into US demands or starving to death and probably suffering a subsequent US military invasion.  

The Iranian Leader, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, has said Iran will by no means enter into talks with the US and that Washington will never dare to attack the country.

There are calls inside and outside the country that Iranian officials would do well to get real about the US demands and drink the cup of poison sooner rather than later. They say the US “maximum pressure campaign” has already inflicted acute strains on Iran’s economy. What’s your view? What should Iran do? Will Iran prove capable of enduring the sanctions?

Mark Dankof: Let me say at the outset what a privilege it is to speak with you and the people of Iran from my heart about this terrible situation.  Your newspaper, the Fars News Agency, the Tasnim News Agency, IRIB radio, and Press TV have all been most gracious to me and a handful of others in the United States who have spoken out against the Zionist New World Order and the menace it poses to both of our nations.  Quite some time ago, it was my privilege to grant an interview with Reza Saidi of the Tasnim News Agency on a letter to youth written by your Supreme Leader on Western duplicity.

This duplicity has only worsened since the unilateral and illegitimate cancellation of the JCPOA/P5+1 nuclear treaty with Iran and the subsequent wartime sanctions on Iran placed upon it by an American government clearly under the heel of the Zionist Lobby which controls both the Executive and Legislative Branches of the Government of the United States and the 6 Media Consortiums under Zionist control which came together due to the American Communications Act enacted during the Clinton Administration in the 1990s.

Those of us on the Alternative Right in the United States who are anti-Zionist, and unalterably opposed to the New World Order have been most effective since September of 2001 in circumventing Zionist control of the airwaves and print publications by developing our own networks and utilizing social media to get the word out regarding what has happened and is happening in the West generally, and America specifically.  We have been so effective that in the last year, the draconian economic, political, and military actions being taken by the United States against Iran and Russia are now being directed against American dissidents opposed to these policies.  It is now a matter of public record that the Israeli Government, Israeli Intelligence, and Jewish-controlled organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai Brith (ADL) have been working hand-in-glove with Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube, and Google to eradicate broadcasts and articles from these entities that expose the Zionist entity’s plans for further war in the Middle East, and the destruction of elements both in the United States and around the world that have stripped them naked for the entire world to see without Mainstream Media Blinders of Deception.

A classic example of this is a recent broadcast I did with Dr. Patrick Slattery of National Bugle Radio on the Republic Broadcasting Network that was subsequently uploaded to You Tube.  It is entitled, “Saraqib as Sarajevo?: Constellis and the Olive Group in the False Flag Shadows in Syria.”  Using mainstream publicly available sources, that radio show underscored the identity of these organizations working with the so-called White Helmets in Syria to pull off a chemical weapons incident that would falsely be blamed on the Assad regime.  Within 24 hours of the posting of that broadcast, YouTube banned it from something like 40 countries in the world with no explanation of why.  You and your readers will know why.  Another broadcast undertaken by us for the Republic Broadcasting Network told the truth about the real John McCain right after his death, along with the plans of Zionist John Bolton to ignite a war with both Russia and Iran.  That broadcast suffered the same YouTube censorship.  This week, Dr. Slattery and I discussed the implications of the fine video by Alison Weir of If Americans Knew entitled, “Israel’s Censorship War.”  I suspect it will also be negated by Israeli censors working obviously and publicly in the United States and globally.

I go into this detail with you and the readers of Jam-e Jam to explain what it is that I and others are up against in getting the word out about what is going on and what is being planned.  There are other things I cannot discuss openly, which you may imagine.  It is bad enough that I am actually writing about the grave possibility of eventual martyrdom of Christians in the United States who oppose the New World Order for Russia Insider and Russian Faith.

Alireza HashemiUS officials have openly talked about the need for regime change in Iran. It seems they currently hope that the Iranian people will distance themselves from their government and enact pressure for change from within the country that will yield the results desired in Washington. Are such hopes realistic? Will the US see the end of the Islamic Republic without shooting even a single bullet?

Mark Dankof:  Iran can defeat the New World Order.  There are a number of reasons I say this.  First, the attempt to declare war on Iran by covertly backing acts of terror in your country by the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK/MKO) and the Sunni Wahhabic terror groups operating in Syria courtesy of the United States, Israel, and Saudi Arabia, shall only strengthen the resolve of Iranians across the political spectrum to oppose these obviously criminal acts and conspiracies being directed from abroad.  Secondly, the American military is obviously floundering in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria.  The public in the United States is getting increasingly restive about these miserable wars and the seemingly endless character of them.  Iran has a much stronger military capability than any of these countries.  I believe Iran does possess the will and the means to block the Strait of Hormuz in the event of an American-Israeli war of aggression.  That would tank the global economy, cause a skyrocketing price in oil per barrel, and send the American Petrodollar into the proverbial dumper.

Last but not least, it is Putin’s Russia and China who are the wild cards in this entire matter.  They both understand that what is targeting Iran illegally, illegitimately, and immorally is yet to be aimed at them.  Look at these outrageous NATO military exercises in the Black Sea, the Baltic, on Mr. Putin’s borders, and the CIA-coup launched in Ukraine.  Look at the American Navy’s popup cruises in the South China Sea.

I feel that President Putin will call Washington’s military bluff if there is an attack on Iran.  American aircraft carriers and their task forces might be blown out of the water by the new and highly touted Russian hypersonic missile assets.  The actions of BRICS to marginalize the American Petrodollar as the Reserve Currency of the World will be intensified by Russia and China for the sheer survival of countries resisting the Zionist-Globalist game plan.  At that point, a United States Government which will have a $40 trillion dollar national debt by the end of the decade, and a deeply divided country politically, culturally, economically, and demographically, will begin to come apart like a cheap suit.  And last but not least, as Paul Craig Roberts has hinted, the real American Right which is as much of a Zionist target as Iran and Russia are, will take up arms to attempt a Second American Revolution and the restoration of the Old American Republic.  The Zionist Bully will get its comeuppance at the hands of both international resistance and the rising up of the phenomenon Dr. Roberts referred to in a recent article.

Alireza Hashemi: Many members of the international community oppose the US withdrawal from the nuclear accord and its restoration of anti-Iran sanctions. Europeans seem to be serious about keeping JCPOA in place. Some other countries, notably Turkey, have openly censured the US sanctions and seem to be ready to defy them. The US government was forced to exempt 8 countries from oil sanctions, despite earlier announcements that no country will get such exemptions.

Will other countries heed to US demands? Is Washington still the sheriff in the town?

Mark Dankof:  Washington is still the Sheriff in Town but not for long. It is obvious that Europeans and others under the thumb of the Zionist New World Order being directed from Washington up to now have begun to figure out how deeply they and their people will lose it all if this lunacy planned by a Zionist Occupied Government, as Pat Buchanan so aptly puts it, is put into its final phases of operation.  When domestic American political opinion finally turns on their Zionist leadership, these guys are finished.  Properly speaking, those who love the Old American Republic and want to destroy the 5th Column in their own country, recognize that Putin’s Russia, Iran, and Syria are their partners and their friends.  Together we can put this Beast out of business once and for all, but at an admittedly terrible price.  That price, however, is nothing compared to the price and the blood to be exacted by appeasement of an evil entity that will stop at nothing short of its own annihilation in history.

Alireza Hashemi:  Some believe Iran and its allies will be able to shape the New World Order in case they manage to resist the US pressure and pass the current stage of crisis. What’s your take on that?

Mark Dankof: Iran will manage to resist the Zionist New World Order as it has no choice but to do so.  A post-Communist Vladimir Putin led Russia, experiencing a pre-Communist renaissance of nationalism guided by a return to Russian Orthodox Christian Culture, has no other choice.  Mr. Assad and the Syrian people have already paid an awful price in lives and destruction in resisting these demonic people and their global plan for a World Government they control.  They are not about to quit now. And the anti-Zionist, anti-New World Order American Right that wants its country back understands what is at stake as well.  Together, we must unite in complete resolve to defeat a Global Zionist Beast which has as its foundation a cancerous Culturally Marxist, fascist Multi-National Corporate Conglomeration held together by its coercive Central Banks, accompanied by a desire to destroy anyone and anything in its path. With our unequivocal resolve, we can and will annihilate them.

Mark Dankof on Modern Zionism and Biblical Authority: A Clarification

The Church of Smyrna speaks to the Confessing Church of Christ in This Darkening Hour: Mark Dankof on Tribulation, Remnant, and Martyrdom for the LMS-USA 2017

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Jesus Christ, the Logos, speaks to the Apostle John in exile on Patmos regarding the Church of Smyrna in Asia Minor: Revelation 2: 8-11.

And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write:  ‘The words of the First and the Last, who died and came to life.  I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich), and the slander of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a Synagogue of Satan.  Do not fear what you are about to suffer.  Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you in prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation.  Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.  He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.  The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death.”

Jesus Christ speaks to the Apostle John on Patmos (Revelation 2: 8-11)

(Pastor Mark Dankof’s presentation to the LMS-USA national conference in Wisconsin chronicled here is a condensed and edited version of his remarks delivered on June 9th, 2017. This presentation was preceded by previous lectures in the last two (2) decades, including Creeds and Confessions as Liturgy; The Famine, The Watchman, and The Remnant; The Chosen People of God:  Who are They?; and The Hands of Time and The Appearance of Logos.)

———————-

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The Logo of the LMS-USA and the Pillars of Luther’s Reformation: Christ Alone, Faith Alone, Grace Alone, Scripture Alone.

 

     We have been privileged today to have two (2) fine presentations by Pastor Erickson and Pastor Spears. Pastor Erickson’s summation on The Early Church and the Need for Continuing Reform is an excellent overview of centuries of church history from Pentecost to the Protestant Reformation.  I especially value his repristination of a list of ancient heresies similar to my own presentation in Indianapolis in 1996, since those challenges to orthodox Biblical and Creedal theology continue to reappear in various forms and guises over time, especially in this 21st century milieu of heresy and apostasy in which the Remnant Confessing Church of Christ finds itself, especially in a post-Christian Western World which includes our own United States.

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Pastor Ralph Spears of Indianapolis, Indiana presents a paper on the Reformers and the Martyrs at the LMS-USA Conference in 2017.

     Pastor Spears’ presentation of The Reformers underscores the character of key figures in the 16th century and their traits which mirror Biblical reformers throughout redemptive history.  As he reminds us there, “Reformers are people of faith who lived and were willing to ‘lay down their lives for their conviction of faith.'” We will shortly see how the theme of Martyrdom in both of these fine discussions appears again in what I am about to share with the faithful people of Christ Lutheran Church in Chetek, Wisconsin from John’s Apocalypse (Revelation 2: 8-11).

     Let me say at the outset that we will not be discussing the dreadful developments in the Lutheran Church specifically and the American Church generally which have been sufficiently covered in previous conferences.  I will simply state again that in my lifetime, as American culture and life continues its precipitous downturn into the bottomless abyss, our own denominational tradition and affiliation has degenerated into an absurd dialectic between the apostate universalists, higher critical cynics, and Cultural Marxists on the left, and a compendium of isolationists and sectarians on the right for whom the use of the term evangelical is tragi-comic.  In the left-right dialectic in American Lutheranism today, rampant institutional political power struggles and pathology on both ends of the spectrum are strikingly identical.  The proclamation of the Gospel and Biblical teaching and instruction often seem but an afterthought, where everyday ministry to those starved for the Word, proclamation of forgiveness of sin in Jesus Christ and His love to all who believe, historic worship, and evangelical outreach and vision, are all too often lost in the shuffle of business-as-usual.  Jeremiah described this very sort of scene in the 6th century B. C. context of disaster which had befallen Jerusalem and ancient Judah as the Babylonian Exile and Temple Destruction unfolded:  “Her gates have sunk into the ground; He has ruined and broken her bars; her kings and princes are among the nations; the law is no more, and her prophets find no vision from the Lord.” (Lamentations 2: 9)

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Pastor Mark Dankof, whose presentation on the Church of Smyrna in John’s Apocalypse instructs a segment of the Believing Remnant of the Confessing Church of Christ at the LMS-USA national conference.

     If this looks increasingly like the unfolding and impending state of the American Empire and Church it should.  The hour is increasingly late (Matthew 24).

     Where does all of this leave the Believing Remnant of the Confessing Church of Christ?  Put more directly this afternoon, where does this leave you and I as a part of such a fellowship and movement?  Where is God in all of this for you and me?  Where are his promises?  Where is hope for the present and the future? How does he provide for the Remnant when none of the present circumstances in history are favorable to our sustenance and survival?

     It is these questions to which we shall now turn.  The key prototypical Confessing Church for our purposes today is the Church of Smyrna in Asia Minor during John’s exile on Patmos courtesy of the edict of Emperor Domitian of Rome (AD 81-96). As already read, our text is Revelation 2: 8-11.

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Pastor Tylan Dalrymple of Christ Lutheran Church in Chetek, Wisconsin and the Subscriptional Clergy Roster of the LMS-USA.

     It is noteworthy that the exile of the Apostle was due to his refusal to acquiesce to the demands of the Roman Emperor that Domitian be venerated and worshiped as the virtual incarnation of God on earth.  Put slightly differently, John understood what was Caesar’s, and what belongs to Christ alone.  For that faith and confessional witness, he found himself in the Roman penal colony on Patmos, an island 4×8 miles in the Aegean Sea, 50 miles southwest of Turkey.  It is identically noteworthy that Smyrna (modern Izmir) was closely aligned with the Roman Empire and had a large, active, and hostile Jewish population in open hostility to the Gospel (see Romans 2: 28-29; Matthew 26: 57-27:44; Revelation 3:9 to the Church of Philadelphia). Confessing faith and witness in this context often led to incarceration and/or death.

     My counsel and admonition to all of us who are Remnant Believers today:  It is not hyperbole to understand and acknowledge the evidence of increasing hostility to the Gospel in a post-Christian America and Western World in the 21st century, accompanied by lawlessness, decadence, perversion, blasphemy, violence, deception and societal disintegration on a breathtaking scale.  The Satanic forces in play are reminiscent of those between 81-96 A. D. during the reign of Domitian.  The challenge to us is the same challenge posited to the Church of Smyrna, but so are the reassuring provisions of God to His people that underscore His sovereign control of events in history, and His love of those who are faithful.  The key point is this:  God’s people are entering what is eschatologically the most dangerous period in all of linear time and redemptive history (Heilsgeschichte).  We must be prepared for any contingency thrust upon us by Satan and the world.  But nothing can separate the believer from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8: 31-39).

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Martin Luther: We are Justified by God Through Christ Alone, Faith Alone, Scripture Alone. (Pastoral Library: Christ Lutheran Church of Chetek, Wisconsin)

     Let me emphasize four (4) points from the Apocalpyse in today’s conversation about the assurances of God to the Israel of God, the Confessing Church of Christ, throughout time.

     The first (1) is this:  God provides for His people through select individuals who accomplish the Lord’s purposes for those purchased with the Blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ. Pastor Spears’ presentation and overview illustrated some key people throughout history who carried out God’s directives to provide for and nurture those otherwise in isolation and despair in a hostile world.  Look at the way in which the Word of the Lord during the persecution of believers during Domitian’s reign continues to be proclaimed through the selection of the Apostle John (Revelation 1: 1-3) on Patmos to reveal mysteries and reassure the People of God.  Tellingly, John states in 1:9 that, “I John, your brother and partner in the tribulation, and the kingdom, and the patient endurance that are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos on account of the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus.”

(Ἐγὼ Ἰωάννης ὁ ἀδελφὸς ὑμῶν καὶ συνκοινωνὸς ἐν τῇ θλίψει καὶ βασιλείᾳ καὶ ὑπομονῇ ἐν Ἰησοῦ
ἐγενόμην ἐν τῇ νήσῳ τῇ καλουμένῃ Πάτμῳ διὰ τὸν λόγον τοῦ Θεοῦ καὶ τὴν μαρτυρίαν Ἰησοῦ.)

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John on Patmos Pens The Apocalypse: Exiled Because of Resistance to the Emperor Worship Cultus of Domitian (A. D. 81-96).

     How much plainer can it be? Although we have no living Apostles or inspired writers of Scripture in our midst today, God continues to provide brothers and partners in the trials and tribulations of our lives as believers in this darkening age and world.  These brothers and partners are also ours not simply in trials and tribulations, but in the Kingdom of God both present and future.  Just look around this classroom. I recognize people here who joined me in the uphill fight to preserve the Biblical faith in our tradition over 30 years ago.  Among those in that category, I’m unbelievably the youngest one of the 4 still left and who still perseveres alongside these men.  Because of their faithfulness to the Gospel and their enduring friendships with me, I’ve been encouraged to continue when the temptation to give it up in these last 3 decades intensified.  Because I continued by the grace and provision of God alone, I’ve come to know many of the rest of you who have attended these conferences for 22 years now.  We are brothers and sisters in the trials and tribulations present and future.  Can we be any more blessed than this?

     Mysteriously, we possess the Kingdom of  God now, and yet not completely until the return of the Lord.  And how we presently possess the inspired, inerrant, inscripturated Word of God of the Prophets and Apostles, including John right now in our midst, assuring us of blessings present and future through Christ! This empowers God’s humble people, such as all of us gathered here in Wisconsin today, to rejoice in the midst of sorrow, to be confident in the midst of unspeakable trials and discouragements, and to have the faith which comes only from the Holy Spirit of God. Forget the numbers game of the Church Growth Movement in America.  Jettison the “Health, Wealth, and Prosperity” philosophies of the televangelists and the worship fads of an American Church that looks more like the world of sin, the flesh, and Satan with each passing week.  Embrace the joy of the Biblical Gospel, worship in continuity with the Confessing Church of Christ of the Ages, read and take to heart the Lutheran Confessions and what they affirm about sin and salvation only in Christ.  And be confident that God has not forgotten his Remnant People wherever they may be, as He has numbered the very hairs on our heads and has our names written in the Book of Life.

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30 years together in joint fellowship and proclamation of the Gospel in the Lutheran Church since 1987: Pastor John Erickson, Pastor Ralph Spears, Pastor Donald Thorson, and Pastor Mark Dankof (L to R).

     The second truism (2) is this:  God works through select groups of remnant believers throughout the trials and tribulatons of His people in the midst of hostile societies, natural disasters, wars and rumors of war, and upswings in Satanic activity throughout human history.  When we look for a select group of remnant believers in the past to serve as a prototype to be emulated by faithful Christians today in the midst of the perils of the 21st century, we need look no further than the Church of Smyrna.  What characterized this Confessing Church in the all seeing eyes and all knowing mind of our Lord Jesus Christ?  He states that, “I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich), and the slander of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a Synagogue of Satan.”  (Revelation 2:9)

(Οἶδά σου τὴν θλῖψιν καὶ τὴν πτωχείαν ἀλλὰ πλούσιος εἶ καὶ τὴν βλασφημίαν ἐκ τῶν λεγόντων
Ἰουδαίους εἶναι ἑαυτούς καὶ οὐκ εἰσίν ἀλλὰ συναγωγὴ τοῦ Σατανᾶ.)

     The characteristics of the Confessing Church of Smyrna are thus clearly discernable, as are the characteristics of the Remnant in historical and eschatological times of political, cultural, moral, economic, and theological disturbances which seek to devour those who are Christ’s and Christ’s alone.  There was and will be tribulation (θλῖψιν)There was and will be slander (βλασφημίαν) against God’s people until the end of linear time and redemptive history.  These slanders emanating from the Synagogue of Satan (συναγωγὴ τοῦ Σατανᾶ) are to be understood as a phenomenon manifested in both the 1st century and the 21st (see Romans 2: 28-29 and Dr. E. Michael Jones’ The Jewish Revolutionary Spirit and its Impact in World History for the enumeration of the context of Revelation 2:9).  

     And yet with all of these sobering facts and developments, the Lord reminds the Church of Smyrna, and our gathering here today, that we are yet rich (ἀλλὰ πλούσιος εἶ )The world cannot know this richness, because it cannot know Jesus.  The world cannot know this richness, which can only be revealed by the Holy Spirit of God to the believer (I Corinthians 12:3).  Only the believer can possess all that is contained in this spiritual richness, juxtaposed in this case with worldly richness, and understand that tribulation, slander, and economic poverty cannot separate he or she from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8: 31-39).  This is the faith that leads to eternal life. This is the faith that remains when Emperors and Empires fade away in the twilight of time and space, be it the Babylonian version, the Medo-Persian version, the Greek version, the Roman version, or the American version as the years pass in this 21st Century.

     And make no mistake.  There is no doctrine of American exceptionalism here to the Biblical principles that have governed Empires and Nations from Genesis to Revelation to the present.

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St. Polycarp of Smyrna, rejecting Emperor Worship and the Synagogue of Satan (Revelation 2:9) for Faith in Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ Only, Forever and Ever.

     The third truism (3) is this:  The Remnant Confessing Church that is poor but rich, sets a foundation for many fruits to be made manifest in the future glorification of God and the proclamation of His kingdom in Christ.  In the case of the Church of Smyrna of the 1st century, its foundation produced the 2nd century Bishop of Smyrna, Polycarp (A. D. 69-155).  He is regarded as one of the 3 chief Apostolic Fathers in history, along with Clement of Rome and Ignatius of Antioch.  It is no accident or coincidence of history that the name Polycarp literally means, “much fruit.” A disciple of the Apostle John, and ordained by him as a Bishop, we must turn to 3 primary sources for information about this embodiment of witness to the Crucified and Risen Christ whose life and death continue to resonate now, even as I speak.  These 3 sources are 1) The Martyrdom of Polycarp, a circular letter composed by the Church of Smyrna and distributed to the churches of Pontus; 2) Irenaeus’ Against Heresies, which I first encountered in my first year of theological study in California almost 40 years ago; and Polycarp’s Letter to the Philippians.

     Let’s cut to the chase here.  If the issues of Emperor Worship and oppression of the Christian in the 21st century Western World’s Central States increasingly looks like the ideological matrix that exiled John to Patmos and executed Polycarp, can we envision ourselves having to make the ultimate choice of Christ or Caesar, Christ or Antichrist, under penalty of death for an evangelical confession and proclamation of faith?

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Polycarp of Smyrna (69-155).

     The subject of martyrdom came up in a systematic theology course I was taking in suburban Chicago years ago under Dr. Paul D. Feinberg at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.  The question of Martyrdom for the Faith was under intense scrutiny and examination one particular day and lecture.  I can’t say to anyone that I thought I was brave enough then–or now–to follow in the footsteps of Polycarp or any of the other martyrs for Christ.  I will say to all of us here what Dr. Feinberg told me then in response to my questions and doubts about being able to cling to the Lord and witness to the truth under penalty of the ultimate sanction.  He said that we should never ask for the dying grace of God before we actually need it (Matthew 24: 9-14).  If or when we face contemporary versions of the Sanhedrin with its demands for recantation and capitulation, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit of God will give us the thoughts and the words to say when we are not capable of otherwise standing up to those who seek our very lives (Mark 13: 9-11; Luke 21: 12-15).

     Polycarp understood this; the Lord was faithful to him in his ultimate hour of need.  In the case of the former’s death, we read that:

In the Martyrdom, Polycarp is recorded as saying on the day of his death, “Eighty and six years I have served Him, and He has done me no wrong”, which could indicate that he was then eighty-six years old or that he may have lived eighty-six years after his conversion. Polycarp goes on to say “How then can I blaspheme my King and Savior? You threaten me with a fire that burns for a season, and after a little while is quenched; but you are ignorant of the fire of everlasting punishment that is prepared for the wicked.”

Polycarp was burned at the stake and was pierced with a spear for refusing to burn incense to the Roman Emperor. On his farewell, he said “I bless you Father for judging me worthy of this hour, so that in the company of the martyrs I may share the cup of Christ.”

     These words have haunted me at night for almost 40 years since first reading them late one evening in a dormitory room on the highest peak in Berkeley, California that overlooked the Pacific Ocean and the Golden Gate Bridge of San Francisco.  It was an irenic visual scene I enjoyed for almost a year.  But my night thoughts about the Apostle John and Polycarp of Smyrna were anything but irenic.  Would I really ever have what it took to confess the faith under their circumstances? 

     I don’t recall having read this sort of thing recently in any of Joel Osteen’s books I have perused at Barnes and Noble (laughter).  I couldn’t find a single thing on Polycarp when I checked several of their stores around San Antonio either.  His witness runs counter to everything I see in contemporary American “culture,” which like its ancient Roman counterpart is increasingly evil and antithetical to the Gospel.  But if we follow John’s witness on Patmos, and the subsequent witness of the 2nd century Bishop of Smyrna, we will experience the fruits of the endurance (ὑπομένω) that God promises His people in their darkest hours, and in the darkening skies of the present historical horizon (Matthew 24:13).

     Finally, there is the fourth truism (4) bequeathed to the Church of Smyrna by the Lord.  It is also your promise and mine :  “Be faithful unto death and I will give thee the Crown of Life” (Revelation 2: 10).

(γίνου πιστὸς ἄχρι θανάτου καὶ δώσω σοι τὸν στέφανον τῆς ζωῆς.)

     It is this foundation alone which gives us peace, the peace (εἰρήνη) which only the Lord gives and which the world and its Prince with his targeted tribulations and attacks can never know (John 16:33). We are guaranteed to experience these trials and tribulations, and an intensification of such in the context of the approaching eschatological signs of the end of the age.  But Jesus assures us he has overcome the world, an assurance He gives to the disciples just before experiencing the most agonizing death in all of history, a death to be followed by the evidence of his overcoming of sin and the world in the reality of the Empty Tomb.

     Take heart today my friends. Be encouraged. As deception, wars and rumors of wars, famines, earthquakes, persecutions and martyrdoms of believers, apostasy, evil, and lovelessness continue their present upswing (Matthew 24) leading to the appearance of the Antichrist in history, we will “overcome and will not be hurt at all by the second death” (Revelation 2:11).

     We have gathered again in Wisconsin today to reaffirm the truths of God to His people in Christ, and to rejoice that as orthodox Lutheran Christians, we are but a small slice of the Confessing Church in history and presently, focusing only on the things of the Lord in Word and Sacrament and our love for one another, even in the midst of a nation and a world that increasingly does not know Him and which is coming to despise who and what we are.  We must be discerning about the truth and the hour.  We must be ready.  And together, we shall be.

(Ὁ νικῶν οὐ μὴ ἀδικηθῇ ἐκ τοῦ θανάτου τοῦ δευτέρου.)

PatmosAegeanSunset

The Island of Patmos in a peaceful Aegean Sunset.