Dear Christian friend,
I write this with a heavy heart. Like you, I have
been in shock over today's horrifying news of the senseless attacks against tens
of thousands of civilians in New York City.
My day began somewhat normally, as I tried to catch up
on some of the Internet duties I have been behind on. An e-mail message
from my mother alerted me to the attacks. So I hurried to the TV (which
use; the signals are so poor up here in Tehachapi), and sat for hours in stunned
disbelief, watching again and again the video of the airliner crashing into the
World Trade Center tower, and the collapses of these huge buildings.
At the time, my thoughts were centered on our dear
friends in New York, former Chinese refugees who were imprisoned unjustly by our
government for years in Kern County's Lerdo Detention Facility. I thought
of our wonderful visit to the World Trade Center with these friends, less than
two years ago (it was around Halloween, in case you wonder about the bats,
etc., in the picture).
Several times I heard the TV reporter say "this may look
like a movie, but it isn't." It seems that our nation's senses
have become so dulled that we need such reminders nowadays just to recognize
what is reality and what isn't. (This isn't entertainment...
thousands of real people were dying at that very moment.)
It was finally British Prime Minister Tony Blair
who jolted me out of my state of shock. "The
people who perpetrated this act had no regard for the sanctity of human
life," Blair proclaimed from his powerful pedestal.
Maybe I should have applauded, but hearing Blair
speak these words just made me want to cry. Maybe it's natural to
take refuge in the concept of the "sanctity of human life" on a day
when so many were senselessly killed; maybe Blair said this to show that
the "civilized" nations of the world have the moral high ground in this
battle against these nameless, faceless, terrorists.
Would that it were true.
Sadly, we have lost the moral high
ground. Our society has lost our right to speak against the
lack of regard for the sanctity of human life demonstrated by these
criminals. "Judge not, or you too will be judged," Jesus said in Matthew
7:1. Yes, there is a time to proclaim God's judgment against
evildoers (Matthew 7:5; Ezekiel 33:1-20; Romans 2:1-4; 1
Corinthians 5:13; 1 Corinthians 6:2; John 3:16-21; etc.) but we must
first examine ourselves, to ask ourselves whether or not we
are guilty of the same evil deeds. If we will not recognize the
disregard for the sanctity of human life which has been demonstrated by
ourselves, our churches, and our nation, we have no business in pointing
out the disregard for human life shown by these terrorists.
As Tony Blair's words shocked me into reality, I sensed
that this burning, imploding mass of people in one of our nation's greatest
landmarks was a sign of God's judgment against our
nation. I began to search the scriptures, starting with Isaiah,
asking the Lord to show me how he looks at today's acts of terrorism. I
saw several examples of God saying that He was using a particular evil nation
(for example, Assyria; see Isaiah 10) to come against His people to punish them
for their evil deeds. (We can take a little comfort in the fact that God
also said He would eventually punish the evil nation which attacked His people;
see for example Isaiah 10:12.)
But does that necessarily mean that God used these
terrorists today to punish our nation? Maybe not... I kept searching
the scriptures. After several hours of searching and meditating, I came
upon Amos 3:6-7:
"When a trumpet sounds in a city, do not the people
When disaster comes to a city has not the
LORD caused it?
Surely the Sovereign LORD does nothing
without revealing his plan to his servants the
Well, there it is, in plain
black-and-white. Either we recognize this disaster as coming
from the Lord, or we deny His inspired Word.
But why? If God caused these terrorist attacks
today, why did He do it? Amos 3:7 assures us that God would not do such a
thing without revealing His plan to His servants. Did God's servants know
about today's attacks, and did they warn us about it?
Yes, you may not have known about it, due to our media's
usual efforts to censor anything which promotes the sanctity of human life, but
just three days ago (Saturday, 9/8/01), a group of
Christians gathered in Washington DC to proclaim God's truth to our
nation, and to call our government to account for disregarding the
sanctity of human life, using our tax dollars to "play god" with stem cells from
murdered human embryos (while our pro-life leaders wash their hands like Pilate,
claiming innocence by saying "we didn't kill them ourselves").
Rev. Flip Benham of Operation Save America led a group
of Christians who knelt in prayer in front of the White House, preaching on our
nation's need for repentance for shedding innocent blood, and proclaiming
that without repentance, God would certainly bring judgment on
our nation. "America, this is your third and final
warning!" Flip declared, as an officer from the National
Park Service warned him for the third time to stop preaching. Rev.
Pat Mahoney preached on God's imminent judgment upon a
nation which rebels against the God who created each of us in His
image. Michigan missionary Cal Zastrow prophesied publicly that
God would send crushing judgment on this nation for the
shedding of innocent blood. Cal preached to hundreds of watching
tourists that the judgment of God would soon smite this nation because we
have sinned and violated His Law, and Cal cried out that the innocent
blood which has been shed in our land will be avenged by Almighty
God. Cal prophesied that God would send down fire
on our country like He did on Sodom, and that horror, terror,
and death would come upon our nation because of our national sins
including pride, greed, and abortion.
If you fully obey the LORD... the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations... If you do not obey the LORD your God... The LORD will send on you curses... until you are destroyed... because of the evil you have done in forsaking him... The LORD will bring a nation against you from far away, from the ends of the earth, like an eagle swooping down... They will lay siege to all the cities... until the high fortified walls in which you trust fall down...
(With thanks to The Covenant News)
King James Bible paraphrase
Ultimately Flip, Pat, and 17 others were arrested
for preaching and praying on the public sidewalk outside the White House.
Did our nation listen? No, just as Israel rebelled against the message God
sent through His prophet Ezekiel (Ezekiel 3:7), our nation ignored these
modern-day prophets. But the word God sent through them did not return
void. God will not be mocked.
It can be a horrible, awful thing to be a part
of a prophetic ministry, especially on a day like today. I wish I
could just bury my head in the sand and pretend today's atrocities never
happened, or at least pretend I didn't know why they happened.
I pictured myself as a gatekeeper at
the Boston airport early this morning, suspecting that a certain individual was
a terrorist, but allowing him to board the flight anyway. Now I see the
fiery holocaust which resulted from my neglect. It is
a horrible thing to be a part of a prophetic ministry. The responsibility
I feel from God to proclaim His truth is more than I can bear. Quite
frankly, I have sensed God calling me to proclaim His message to the pastors of
Bakersfield in recent weeks (focusing on Isaiah 1), but somehow the mundane,
everyday priorities of caring for a family and paying the bills have prevented
me from doing so. (Or is it just that I'm afraid?) In either case, I
can deeply sense today the bloody consequences of failing to follow through with
what God has called me to do. May God have mercy!
Can I really believe that our loving God
would bring such devastation upon our great nation? Not unless I read His
Word: "The sin of the house of Israel and Judah is exceedingly
great; the land is full of bloodshed and the city is full of
injustice.... So I will not look on them with pity or spare
them, but I will bring down on their own heads what they have
done" (Ezekiel 9:9-10). Sometimes it's hard to hear
God speaking over the "don't worry, be happy" message which prevails in
Christendom today, but I believe if you join me in spending some serious time
focusing on what His Word says about what happened today, you will come to the
same conclusion. God has allowed our nation's disregard for
the sanctity of human life to lead to this act, in hope that we will see in
today's carnage our need to come back to Him, and to restore our commitment to
reestablishing a respect for the sanctity of human life in our
Do you grieve over the lives lost
today? I join you in that grief, and in praying to God to comfort those
who are bereaved.
But do you grieve over thousands of little
lives, the innocent, helpless children (without any way to escape the hands of
the bloody abortion-terrorist) who were sacrificed today in our
nation's temples of sexual indulgence (including dozens here in Bakersfield,
though Terri reports that at least three were saved)? Do you grieve
over this vast holocaust which, within the course of just a few days, eclipses
the devastation of today's attacks? Do you really? If so,
your grief is a mark from God, to guard you from the terror which is to
come. (Ezekiel 9:4-6) If not, it's time to ask God to
change your heart of stone to a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 11:19), or to
tremble in fear for your own future (Hebrews 10:31).
If you believe that this is an
Old Testament message, and that in this Age of Grace the wrath of God will
not come against His people, please meditate on 1 Corinthians 10:1-22,
especially verse 11. God in His eternal love and His desire
for a pure and spotless bride has sent warnings throughout the ages to His
people, killing His own people for their disobedience.
Killing baptized believers (1 Corinthians 10:2).
Killing those who drank Christ's living water (1
Corinthians 10:4). Killing those who participated in His
body and His blood (1 Corinthians 10:16).
These things are "warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the age
has come" (1 Corinthians 10:11). You can choose to continue
believing in another "gospel," and another "Jesus" (2 Corinthians 11:4,
Galatians 1:6-9), but your choice will leave you with no
Jesus, and no good news. Yes, our God is a
God of mercy, but He is also a God of justice.
I write these things knowing that they will be
misinterpreted by many, and that I will be accused of being "too
judgmental." So be it. We know from 1 Corinthians 14:3 that
"everyone who prophesies speaks to men for their strengthening, encouragement,
and comfort" but we also know some will receive prophetic ministry by
feeling God's judgment, feeling that their privacy has been violated,
and being convicted of their sin (1 Corinthians 14:24-25). I know that God
wants me to send this message to you today to encourage you to repent of
your evil deeds, and to stop using the members of your body as agents of sin but
to surrender each member of your body to Him to bear fruit for God (Romans
7:4-5). I know that you will only find true satisfaction in life as you
surrender yourself to God to fulfill the purpose for which He made you, and that
all other pursuits in life are just vanity. But those who harbor sin
in their hearts will receive this prophetic message as one of
judgment. (Some may even receive this anti-terrorist message as
if they had received a terrorist message, according to Proverbs 21:15.) So
be it. The response reveals what is in the heart of the recipient, not
what is in the heart of the sender. He who has an ear, let him
God is not an agent of destruction, in spite of what you
saw today. Satan has come to destroy us, but Jesus came that
we might have life (John 10:10). Today's acts of terrorism don't
change that fact. Yes, God lifted His hand of protection from over this
nation, but we recognize that it is Satan who filled the hearts of these
terrorists and motivated them to seek to destroy thousands of people and fill
our nation with fear. May this act today help us to see how
we have been vulnerable to attack all along, but we have been protected
by the hand of a loving God. When God lifts His hand of
protection from us, somehow we think we can blame Him, instead of thanking Him
for the protection He has mercifully given us for so long. May
this act today help us to turn to God in repentance, instead of continuing to
turn away from Him in rebellion.
God created each of us for a good purpose, and
He has us here on this earth during this critical time to be His agents,
boldy shining His light in the darkness of this fallen
world. He has called us to be advocates for those who cannot speak for
themselves. If we refuse to use ourselves and our bodies for the purpose
He created us for, we are hurting ourselves. In the end, as we saw today,
many other people may be hurt too.
I'll close with this prophetic admonition I
received today from Cal Zastrow: "May God have mercy on us. May people
repent and flee from the wrath to come! As I pray and seek God, I sense
that He warns me that more judgment is forthcoming. Thus, I will
continue to prophesy. God will continue to show Himself as a holy
righteous Judge. Today can be a day of grace for those who call upon
the Lord and turn from all sin. Tomorrow may not provide time for
grace or repentance."
In Christ's service for those who cannot speak for
More letters from the Palmquist family