Hey! You! Get off of my cloud!

Updated: Jan 30

In late 2006, I published my book The Letters of Nostradamus.  The subtitle of that book is Realizing a Prophecy of Jesus Christ, which was not only a statement to the world that Nostradamus was a true prophet of the Lord, but it was also a statement of what I had come to fully realize about Nostradamus, from understanding his letters.


FrontCover

Second Edition – 2010


After the book became available on Amazon.com, I began to join in discussions in the Amazon book blogs, as a way of promoting awareness of what I had found.  I entered the realm of Christian Books and found it was an ongoing battleground between Christian believers and atheists.


The dialogues on the various “threads” (topics of discussion) were hostile.  Insults of every kind flew openly and often.  In a category that would lead one to think only Christians would share support with one another, in a friendly atmosphere, the title “Christian” attracted non-believers in droves.


It became obvious how better prepared the atheists were at insulting the Christians, and how angry that made the Christians.  The atheists had read more of the Holy Bible than most Christians, and they used that knowledge to belittle how Christians could not put deep thoughts into their statements of faith.


I entered thinking the Christians would appreciate my support, but quickly found that the name Nostradamus made me the target of ridicule and insults from both atheists and Christians.  It was easy for me to argue against the lack of logic that atheists and Christians alike put into their judgments about Nostradamus, as neither knew anything of value about him and no one was willing to learn.


government fight

I am reminded of those days by reading in Mark’s Gospel, where he wrote, “John said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name and we tried to stop him.’”


I was attacked because I would dare to cast out the demons of ignorance about The Prophecies of Nostradamus, in the name of Jesus Christ.


One Christian woman in the Amazon forum, whose profile identified her as a Filipino, would use all-caps as an indication of her hatred of Nostradamus (and by default me) by her “screams” that repeatedly told me how Nostradamus was a false prophet of Satan.  She basically told me I would roast in hell for trying to get anyone to believe that Nostradamus was a prophet of Jesus Christ.


Meanwhile, most of the atheists simply belittled me for believing in a charlatan, someone they thought had surely been disproved long before.  They then would turn and attack the Filipino woman’s use of Biblical quotes – the arrows she believed would slay all non-believers – as the tools of the ignorant.


arrows

After a couple of frustrating months of defending my views and pointing out the logical errors of others, I stopped entering that environment.  I imagine the same antagonistic rhetoric is still battered about there.  It was a hostile environment then, which constantly challenged one’s beliefs of faith, and I doubt anything has changed.  The war battles on.


The only positive conclusion that can come from such storms of doubt is the realization that one’s beliefs of faith must resist the mightiest of winds; but those beliefs have their greatest strength in times of peace and calm.


Since then, I have experienced more hurtful frustrations from family and friends, business associates, seminarians and clergy, all who have seen my views as repulsive.  The difference is they have mostly seen it as too “politically incorrect” to attack me openly … usually because I married a saintly woman.  Instead, they take the path of avoidance and silent rejection, much unlike the atheists and Christian Book Forum Christians.


Few of the people I knew before I rediscovered my faith in God and Christ, through my understanding of Nostradamus, have shown support towards me.  None have put their arm around me and asked me to tell them more.  When I urge people to please tell me what they think, they scowl and say they think I am wrong.  The worst hurt comes from my Christian “family” treating me exactly as John of Zebedee did to someone he saw “not following us.”  Anyone on a different path to the same place must be his enemy.


Fellow Christians see me as someone to stop, just as the disciples of Jesus admitted they “tried to stop him,” the one who was casting out demons in the name of Jesus the teacher and miracle worker.


That emotion expressed by John is why there are many different Christian denominations in the world today, each secretly or openly attacking the others, because the others represent “someone not following us.”  The attitude is: If one is not with us, then one is against us.


The most dangerous Christians are actually not the ones that hurl biblical arrows, with spit spewing from their lips from anger and fervent hatred.  Instead, the most dangerous are those who silently plot and refuse to debate.  Their minds have been made up, and they are closed to any ideas not taught to them in Sunday School.  In reality, they fear exposing their weaknesses, because their faith is too thin to defend it.


In the readings today, we have an example of this type of person, one possessing the same poor spirit.  It is a universal spirit found in people who say they believe in God, or believe in something like a god, or who deny any existence beyond the physical realm.  That example is Haman, the plotter of evil in the story of Esther.


According to Abarim.com, the name “Haman” implies “Certainty, Noise, or Thought Police.”  With a name like that, he symbolizes one who is certain his beliefs are the only ones of merit.  Accordingly, Haman plotted to exterminate all the Jews who had been brought to Persia, after Cyrus the Great overran Babylonia and freed the Jews.


antisemitism

While not read today, Esther 3:13 states, “Dispatches were sent by couriers to all the king’s provinces with the order to destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jews–young and old, women and children–on a single day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar, and to plunder their goods.”  This order was arranged by Haman, after he had convinced King Ahasuerus (Xerxes I) to give his approval.


Queen Esther was the wife of the king, but it should be realized that King Ahasuerus had many wives, with all of them called “Queen.”  Esther was chosen as his queen after his wife Vashti refused to appear before the king and dance for him.  Esther was one of many who “tried out,” because the king demanded a new wife.


Esther was the niece of Mordecai and both were Jews living in Persia.  King Ahasuerus did not know either Esther or Mordecai were Jews, as that fact did not matter to him.  Loyalty and service were more important traits of character to the king.


The plot by Haman, which King Ahasuerus had approved, fell apart when the king was told the truth – that his respected queen and an honored servant were both Jews – AND that many innocent Jews were to be killed, simply because of Haman’s biased belief.  Haman had planned to impale Jews on a 50 cubits high pole, built at his own house; but it would be only Haman who would experience that fate.


This is how God’s justice was served.  Queen Esther and Mordecai were gentle, peace-loving sacrificial lambs.  They did not plot anyone’s death, but the boomerang effect caused the one who did wish ill upon others to have that ill-will come back upon him.


boomerang effect

This is why Jesus told John not to try to stop anyone from casting out demons in his name, even if there were those doing that who were not disciples of his.


While not stated clearly in the New Testament, EVERYONE Jesus healed, who he touched by his presence, who he told, “Go.  Your faith has made you whole,” THOSE were the first Apostles, who did not need to follow Jesus as disciples.  They had already received the Holy Spirit and were acting as Jesus reborn, even as Jesus was still alive.


In reality, God is the only one who casts out demons; but God only does that through those who welcome God into their hearts and receive the same mind of Christ, as Jesus had.  Anyone who would cast out demons in the name of the Son of God would be risking his own life, if it were not the truth.


Jesus not only told John to leave the man healing in his name alone, but he added, “Whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose the reward.”  That means John was told to support the man casting out demons, by giving him emotional aids that kept the man doing what he was doing.


Jesus was saying, “We are all family, who are committed to serving the One God.  Welcome him as your brother and show him the support of love he deserves.”


In a world that can often feel as cold and unwelcoming as an Amazon Book Forum, where there are only two sides – the one for and the one against.  Jesus was promoting support for a stranger who meant no harm and served God in the name of His Son.


The Good Samaritan

The Good Samaritan


James, then, gave an indication of how one “gives a cup of water” to one who already professes to be filled with the Holy Spirit – in the name of Jesus Christ.  James said, in effect, “You send a prayer to the one casting out demons.  You sing songs of praise to God, rejoicing that another one has been found who serves Him.  You send prayers of support, as an elder, for the one who is being healed of demon possession.”


Obviously, Amazon.com will never be the place to go for such moderation in a real-world Christian Forum.  Not many “cups of emotional support” can be found from atheists there.  Places like that are like those streams of water James wrote of, which flow forth both fresh and brackish water.


In our zeal to defend our beliefs, we can easily act like John of Zebedee and the other disciples.  Saying, “We tried to stop him” can mean the use of condemnations sent hurling through the air like poisoned Biblical arrows.  Fighting evil with Scriptural one-liners always finds an atheist with multiple one-liners that seemingly contradict what was first said.


When Jesus said, “Whoever is not against us is for us,” he meant there were already holy prophets spreading the good will of Jesus.  More were to come in the future, from unexpected places and in unconventional characters.  People condemned wrongfully for expressing the talents of the Holy Spirit would be heard.  They would not have their voices silenced by ignorance.


Thus, Nostradamus has remained a name on the world’s conscious mind for over 450 years.  Had he not written the truth, his words would have dissolved into nothing long ago.


James wrote, “If any among you wanders from the truth and is brought back by another, you should know that whoever brings back a sinner from wandering will save the sinner’s soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.”  It is then important to realize the books of the Holy Bible are the “truth,” and wandering from that truth means an inability to discern that “truth,” or a rejection of that “truth” is there.


Christians, those who wear quivers of memorized Biblical quotes, armed so they can sling condemnations upon other Christians and foes alike … they represent the wanderers in our world.  They know truth is there, but they have wandered from the purpose of truth.


Armed to do battle

Armed to do battle


The atheists, the believers of other gods and those possessed by demons, are those who are lost, wandering far from the light of truth that Scripture brings.  Those who carry the truth correctly will shine lights that attract the lost to them, bringing the lost into the proper light of truth, so they can be found.


Jesus called those wanderings “stumbles.”  He then said anyone who keeps people lost and stumbling will be drowned in a great sea of misery.  If you know the light of truth, you MUST make it available so others can find the path to truth.


Jesus then mentioned three body parts that causes wanderers to stumble: a hand; a foot; and an eye.  You should see this as representing one’s lack of lending a helping hand to others.


It means not holding out a hand to help others, or extending a hand of peace.  It represents the steps one takes away from God.  It shows how a foot can so easily be put on the throats of those in need; and how it becomes a foot used to kick at those seen as in our way.  It represents an eye that only sees what one wants to see.  It means a vision of only one path to righteousness, and blindness to truths others see clearly.


When Jesus said, “Everyone will be salted with fire,” he meant Christians will be preserved (as salt was used to cure meats and fish) through the Holy Spirit.  One’s drive to act will be the fire that burns the sacrificial lambs upon the altar before God.  All God’s servants will be prepared as spiritual food for others to consume … spiritual food full of flavor and essential life-enhancing qualities.


To be preserved is good, but to never become a burnt offering before the LORD is to lose the flavor of the reason and purpose the Holy Spirit came into one in the first place.  If one loses that gift, no other gift can replace it.  All other spices fail to compare.


Thus, all Christians are called to “be at peace with one another.”


We must support each other, as we must love one another.  We must praise one another for sharing insights we did not have before.  We must heal one another’s wounds of persecution, through staying together as “elders of the church” who are filled with healing talents.


Get by with a little help from my friends

Get by with a little help from my friends


Queen Esther and Mordecai were Jews in a foreign land, both of whom respected the Persian kings for freeing their people from slavery to Babylon.  They chose to go to Persia and serve the king, while also maintaining their covenant with God.


They had wandered, but they refused to be forced to stumble.  They learned of a plot to have all the Jews in Persia killed.  That was not by accident, but because their faith in God allowed them to be enlighten by God, for the purpose of acting to prevent that end.


They did not likewise plot evil upon Haman.  They did not hate all Persians because one Persian hated them.  They prayed for favor from King Ahasuerus, whom Esther and Mordecai had served faithfully.


King Ahasuerus was not a Jew, meaning he did not follow their religious ways … but by siding with Esther and Mordecai he was not against them.  He was for them.


The yearly Jewish holiday known as Purim was ordered by King Ahasuerus … a Persian.  We read how Haman’s plan for sorrow and mourning was turned into a holiday of gladness, when “sending gifts of food to one another and presents to the poor” would forever be remembered.


The “someone” John reported seeing casting out demons was probably someone affected by coming in contact with Jesus, who Jesus then sent out into the world, after their faith had healed their stumbling block.


John of Zebedee would be another “someone” who would be found no longer following Jesus, after Jesus had Ascended; but John would be leading others who followed him, to likewise cast out demons in the name of Jesus Christ.


Nostradamus was yet another “someone” who the Holy Spirit fell upon, causing him to cast out the demons that were not yet endangering the world, but those to come.  That future evil would be made possible by those whose masters always plague the wandering and stumbling minds of human beings.


My ears were allowed to hear that message cast by Nostradamus; and because I listened and did not try to stop the voice of Nostradamus, I have been also shown the light of Scripture.


I, therefore, am just one more “someone” who is trying to cast out demons with truth and light, which has been given to me like food from heaven, intended to be shared with others, as presents to the poor.


Christianity represents a continual feast of Purim, where a second chance at life means to be reborn as Jesus.


Purim seems like Mardi Gras and happens in March usually

Purim seems like Mardi Gras and happens in March usually


Therefore, we must all realize this world is too big for any of us to control more of it than the small space we each take up.  God is who we must serve, as individuals and as supportive collectives.  Praise God and pray for God to use you properly.


As Jesus said, “Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.”


After all, whoever is not against us is for us.


Amen

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