Ascension to Royalty

“I have a diagnosis: You’ve come down with a case of Ascension to Royalty – osis!”

Rev. Ross L. Riggs, D Min. True North Ministry

From the days of the earliest kingdoms, in lands far across the globe, intrigue, the lust for power, the plotting of unscrupulous persons and often the murder of those who stood in the way of an elevation to the throne were the hallmarks of the ascension to royalty. When Joseph’s brothers, all sons of Jacob, patriarch of Israel, learned of God’s plan to anoint Joseph as ruler, they plotted to kill him; eventually selling him into slavery and telling their aging father that Joseph was dead, mauled by wild animals. Entire families have been decimated to clear the way for a rival to take over the throne.

 

In 2 Chronicles chapter 22 is the story of Ahaziah, Athaliah, Jehosheba and Joash. Ahaziah had been an evil king following in the idol worship by his predecessor, King Ahab. Ahaziah’s kingship was jealously guarded by his mother, Athaliah. When she learned that her son had been killed “…she proceeded to destroy the whole royal family of the house of Judah… But Jehosheba took Joash son of Ahaziah and stole him away from among the royal princes who were about to be murdered and put him and his nurse in a bedroom… He remained hidden with them at the Temple of God for six years while Athaliah ruled the land.”[i]

 

The Roman Empire fared no better. The evil among the ruling class was known across the Roman world. The famous line from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, when the ego maniacal Caesar looks into Brutus’ eyes, even as his lifeblood flows from the stab wound inflicted by Brutus; he says,
“Et tu Brute?”[ii] 

 

“Good” King Henry IV of France around 1600 survived at least 12 assassination attempts until finally succumbing to a stab wound by a fanatical Catholic who believed that Henry was too much a ‘Calvinist’ to hold the throne of France. Even so, Henry’s son succeeded him.

 

In the early period of the Turkish Ottoman Empire (from the 14th through the late 16th centuries), the Ottomans practiced open succession, or what historian Donald Quataert has described as “survival of the fittest” not eldest, son.”[iii] The Turks, though not the only group to use violence as the path to the throne, were certainly known for their brotherly approach to it. The practice of fratricide, first employed by Mehmed II, soon became widespread. Both Murad III and his son Mehmed III had their half-brothers murdered. The killing of all the new sultan’s brothers and half-brothers (which were usually quite numerous) was traditionally done by manual strangling with a silk cord. As the centuries passed, the ritual killing was gradually replaced by lifetime solitary confinement in the kafes (“Golden Cage”) from which escape was impossible.

 

In November of 2008, modern science unraveled the mystery of the murder of one of the last emperors of China. The murder, over one hundred years old in its setting, was ready for a resolution. Mystery writers have been ahead of the curve for some time realizing that if the method of doing the dastardly deed is that of poison, one might expect that it will been orchestrated by a femme fatale. And that appears to be the case in the murder of Guangxu who ascended to the Chinese throne in 1875, around age 4. Because of his youth he was under the watchful eye of his biological aunt, the Empress Dowager Cixi who arranged to adopt him just before he became emperor. Even when Guangxu was in his twenties he remained, to a degree, under the thumb of his driven aunt. As he sought to modernize China, she found a way to have him placed under house-arrest in 1898 where he remained the rest of his life and she, Empress Cixi maintained the throne. In 1908 Cixi knew she was soon to die. Investigators believe that she feared Guangxu would retake the throne on her death, so, it appears; she poisoned him! Former Emperor Guangxu was dead at the age of 36. Empress Cixi, however, committed the murder for naught for within 22 hours, she died at the age of 74. Upon her death, a new emperor was named, and Puyi ascended the throne at the age of 2. Within a very short time the Peoples’ Revolution took place and Communism fell to be the lot of the Chinese people. “The revolution ended with the abdication of the ‘Last Emperor Puyi (who was only six years old) on February 12, 1912, that marked the end of 2,000 years of imperial rule…”[iv] (Note on Puyi’s age added by author)

 

In the United States of America, shortly after the Revolutionary War, a Constitutional Convention worked diligently to lay the foundation for the new Republic. There was pressure for George Washington to become the first king or some other fashion of ruling monarch, which he thankfully turned away. The Office of President of the United States remains, however as close to royalty as can be held in the U.S. with the amount of prestige, honor and standing that is given the person who holds that office. Whether it is the total access of the motorcade or a right to supersede any event in the country by executive privilege, the perks of the position are many. According to a NY Times article in 2011 “some analysts believe that President Obama, who raised and spent about $750 million in the 2008 campaign, will come close to $1 billion in the 2012 campaign…”[v] A November 2012 article reported that Romney and Obama combined to spend $2 billion on the campaign.[vi]

 

Every position of royalty that has ever been filled by some personality, whether obsessed with themselves or serving gallantly on behalf of the people they represent, has commonalities. Each is temporary, finite and restricted by the ruler’s own mortality. There is but one, and only one, who has ever deserved all of the honor and glory of the highest of all royals, ever in time. And it was that one, the single highest of all royalty, the King of kings and the Lord of lords who loved and cared for his people so much that he was willing to give it all up so that he might save them. The Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Philippi explaining that of Christ Jesus, “Who being in the very nature of God did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in the appearance as a man, humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross. Therefore God exalted him to the highest place, and gave him the name that is above every name.”[vii] The Apostle Paul used the example of Christ to encourage his readers that they should consider Christ’s example and “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interest of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.”[viii]

 

Can you imagine, if just for a moment, what our world, our nation, even our cities would be like if those who hold powerful offices took on the humility of Christ? He loves His people so very much that He was willing to turn His back on every great joy of being the exalted God, Creator and Master of the universe and beyond so that He could reach out to the lowliest of the low and give them His righteousness, to impute upon them His holiness. And He did it all so that each person who accepted His gift could live throughout eternity with Him, enjoying all the abundance of every spiritual blessing!

 

As citizens of our country, our local cities or states, we cannot even get an appointment to speak to most of those in public office much less to have them seek us out, in our home, at our employment (unless they are campaigning en masse for our votes) to learn how they can be of service to us. That brings to mind a term that one does not hear much any longer, public service. There are accounts as to how, as recently as President Lincoln in the 1860’s, the Chief Executive of our nation would hold sessions each week, if not sometimes daily, where his office door was open and, though still in an orderly fashion, citizens could come and present their concerns or questions directly to the president. It was expected that this public servant was there to help them and, more often than not, each received a response if not immediately, within an appropriate amount of time.

 

Sadly, some of our mega-churches in the U.S. and abroad have become so large that it is difficult, if not impossible, to gain time to speak to the senior pastor. Mission organizations have become so modeled after the hierarchy of the world business model that you cannot get an audience with the president or CEO without jumping through several hurdles. Even some in the mission who have some responsibility of supervision or administration have elevated themselves in such a way that even getting a reply to a letter or e-mail is difficult. When Christians have done that in such a way within their organizations, how can it ever be expected that those same folks will do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit and focus on reaching out to the most humble of the lost? Hopefully, the percentages of these folks in organizations are smaller than those who are still there with a desire to help.

There is a child’s television program that features a young cartoon girl whose mother is a doctor.  The child imagines herself a doctor to her stuffed animals that seem to come to life and talk to her as she plays make-believe. In the  process, this young ‘Doc’ will usually come up with an interesting diagnosis for whatever is ailing a given stuffed animal or toy. The diagnosis is then recorded, with the help of her stuffed hippopotamus nurse, into the Big Book of Booboos. Well, when it comes to many in the church today and for some mission agencies, as the cartoon ‘Doc’ would say, “I have a diagnosis: 

            You’ve come down with a case of Ascension to Royalty – osis!”

 

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS

A quick view across history, as we have taken here, has shown that selfishness, ambition, malice, ego and just plain ol’ pride has led to the most horrific of results in the worlds wherein the ‘royals’ reside. How awful to consider that rather than living out the example that Christ gave us, some in Christianity have fallen into the trap of what the world sees as power and authority. It comes to light as avarice and a loss of vision for service above self. We must follow the admonition of the Apostle Peter to “Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God so that He may exalt you in due time.”[ix]


[i] II Chronicles 22:10-12 The Life Application Bible (NIV) Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton IL 1991

[vii] Philippians 2:6-9 The Life Application Bible (NIV) Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton IL 1991

[viii] Philippians 2:3-5 The Life Application Bible (NIV) Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton IL 1991

[ix] http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Peter+5%3A6-9&version=NASB

 

 

He… Shall Laugh

However, there is a concern that Kim has backed himself into a fool’s corner by his determination for arbitrament by the sword and may be required to, as the colloquial saying explains it, ‘put up or shut up.’

Psalm 2:1-5 “Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying, let us break their bands asunder and cast away their cords from us. He that sits in the heavens shall laugh and shall have them in derision. Then shall He speak to them in His wrath and vex them in His sore displeasure.”

Kim Un Jong declares State of War March 2013

(http://news.msn.com/world/n-korea-says-it-has-entered-state-of-war-against-s-korea?ocid=ansnews11)

The passage from Psalm 2 is perhaps the most appropriate caption for this picture of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un who ordered his country’s missiles to be aimed at Hawaii, Los Angeles, Austin Texas and Washington D.C. and in the next instance on March 29th declared that North Korea was in a State of War with South Korea. In part, the statement itself is redundant since North and South Korea have been only on a ‘cease fire’ or armistice since July 29, 1953. There never was a ‘winner’ in the Korean War however, Kim’s statement yesterday indicates his willingness to reconmmence hostilities. During the war in the 1950’s United Nations troops from across the world battled not only North Korean forces but Communist Chinese as well. Millions of Chinese troops did what the North Koreans could not and that was to hold the advance of the U.N. troops, led by the United States from entering and controlling North Korea. One must wonder whether China, although belligerent and at war with the U.S. already in a ‘cyber-warfare’ that is costing billions of dollars in losses; would be willing to enter into a shooting war with the U.S. and South Korea along with othe U.N. forces that may be required to fulfill their obligation under the armistice to protect South Korea from renewed military offensives.

The United States has maintained troops in South Korea specifically at the Demilitarized Zone since the armistice began. The 38th parallel has been the enforced ‘no-man’s land’ for 60 years as of July 27th of this year. The bellicose Kim appears once again to be ‘blowing smoke’ as far as his declaration that the missiles aimed at the U.S. would be “merciless” in their attack against the American people and his threats to reinvade South Korea. However, there is a concern that Kim has backed himself into a fool’s corner by his determination for arbitrament by the sword and may be required to, as the colloquial saying explains it,  ‘put up or shut up.’ To save face, he may very well act foolishly.

A large concern will be whether the Chinese once again come to the aid of their Communist neighbor and secondly, will Kim flex his nuclear muscle and bring with him his minion from Iran, Ahmadinejad?

Yesterday, B2 bombers based in Missouri flexed a little of the U.S. might as “the strategic stealth bombers flew from Whiteman Air Force Base in the U.S. state of Missouri to drop inert munitions on an island off the southwestern coast of the Korean peninsula before heading back to their home base – a 20,000 kilometer non-stop trip.”1

B-2 Spirit
B-2 Spirit

One can be certain that as tensions mount around Israel, as Syria continues to implode with all of the consequences that will bring for Israel; the fact that Christ is coming again soon is more obvious than ever. An exciting time to be about the Lord’s work as no doubt He will be calling many to Himself in these last days and Satan will be battling strong for every single soul. May we all geared up as Paul admonishes in Ephesians chapter 6 and best we all be ‘prayed up’ ready for battle. “Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?” Isaiah 6:8 – Let us answer with Isaiah, “Here I am Lord, Send Me!”

1 http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/news/2013/03/mil-130328-voa01.htm?_m=3n%2e002a%2e765%2exb0ao042ml%2ep3p

Failed Safe

dmz DE-MILITARIZED ZONE: JULY 27, 1953 – the ceasefire began…

Battling since June 25, 1950 soldiers from both North Korea and China had relentlessly sought to over power the armies of the democratically free South Korea and their international allies including the United States. That CEASEFIRE may be cancelled – March 2013 – four months shy of 60 years that it has held.  The Korean War never ended. There was no victor. There was no treaty. Only a cease-fire brought relative normalcy back to the peninsula. Now… it could all erupt into war. This time a threat of nuclear war looms large.  North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un, has threatened to begin hostilities anew after international action has been taken in the form of sanctions following the nation’s third nuclear test in February. According to ‘The Blaze’ “Without elaborating, the Korean People’s Army Supreme Command warned of “surgical strikes” meant to unify the divided Korean Peninsula and of an indigenous, “precision nuclear striking tool.”   The threats fall upon those guarding the De-militarized Zone (DMZ) particularly U.S. forces there with a heavy hand. Reports have indicated that present at the last North Korean nuclear test was Iran’s nuclear scientists, validating a suspicion that the two countries have been working together to build some form of immediate nuclear strikes capability against both South Korea and Israel.  It is not certain what might take place over the next several days. The 1963 film, Fail Safe, showed a calm and collected President (Henry Fonda) sitting in a nuclear bunker far underground beneath the White House negotiating with a calm and strikingly rational Russian leader analyzing the options with Fonda as the clock ticks down to when the nuclear bombs would fall on Moscow.  Fonda, to prevent a massive counter strike by Moscow sends his own U.S. planes to drop a nuclear bomb directly on New York City as a show of good faith that the bombing of Moscow was unintentional. It was part of the drama that the President’s wife happened to be where the bomb would go off when he dropped it. The key difference between the film and today’s drama is that both sides in the movie were acting calmly and wisely. That is not something we can expect out of either Kim or Ahmadinejad. Maybe it is time someone with some better sense picked up the phone.

1964 Movie - Nuclear War -last chance dmz fonda

CYBER WAR: Forward to the Past

Dr. R.L. Riggs, Director           Security Consulting Investigations, LLC  

22 February 2013

 

Thirty years ago, in March, President Ronald Reagan approached the American public and the Congress of the United States and gave them the hard facts about the future. In fact, he was very clear how important he felt the cause, or as he defined it, the duty is, that he was bringing before the American people. He said that it was “the most basic duty that any President and any people share – the duty to protect and strengthen the peace.” Either the United States prepares for a war from outer space or enters the 21st century with the awareness that their failure to prepare could bring annihilation.   President Reagan said that his plan would provide “new hope for our children in the 21st century” and now we stand in need of that hope. The political opponents mocked his ‘Chicken Little’ approach to his Star Wars Defense Initiative. America’s enemies, particularly Russia and China supported the President’s detractors hoping to forestall America enhancing its satellite defense systems. President Reagan saw only too clearly the threat of nuclear attacks from the upper atmosphere. He did not have the context to see, however, the role that electronics and computerization would have in this century both for good and evil. And so went the years, the changing of the guard, new presidents with new initiatives, new challenges to take up the attention of the American people and Congress. Then came the 21st century, right on schedule and America was embroiled in a war of more basic weaponry; until China unveiled their forty year quest for weapons aimed for the stars.

America and the world have flown into the cyber future at nano-speed to where almost every part of our culture is somehow inter-connected with those streams of 1’s and 0’s. Your car’s ignition will not turn over without the electronic signal from its computer chip. The traffic lights at the corner cannot function nor can water get to your home. Your furnace won’t light and your appliances will grind to a halt. For those who are dependent on medical equipment which in turn is dependent on electronics, you will need help; but, don’t try to use your cellphone to call for help… the cellphone signal won’t get through and even if it did, the ambulance drivers won’t be able to start their trucks. Prevention and deterrence are too late then.

President Reagan understood deterrence. He said, Deterrence means simply this: Making sure any adversary who thinks about attacking the United States or our allies or our vital interests concludes that the risks to him outweigh any potential gains. Once he understands that, he won’t attack. We maintain the peace through our strength; weakness only invites aggression.” That is the whole premise behind the much mis-quoted Admiral Yamamoto warning of a ‘rifle behind every blade of grass.’

Cyber-war involves electronic attacks that need not come from a satellite. The international electronic infrastructure of the internet itself is a pathway for attack. Just this week a report by Mandiant, a major cyber-warfare defense entity clearly showed evidence of China’s involvement in the thousands of hacking attempts against the U.S. corporate structures. The connection in China went directly to a specialized unit of the PLA (People’s Liberation Army) known as APT1 (Advanced Persistent Threat) a subdivision of the PLA’s 61398 unit located just outside of Shanghai.

In an almost laughable response to the allegations that his country is behind the cyber-warfare, China’s Defense Ministry told reporters of AFP (Agence France-Presse) this week that “… there was no internationally agreed definition of hacking.”[i] An AFP photographer was detained by Chinese authorities shortly thereafter when found taking photographs of the non-descript warehouse near Gaoqiao, a suburb in the north of Shanghai. The security breaches themselves are an immediate threat that must be dealt with at all possible speed. The possibility that China could use its technology for a laser attack against our power grid is even more disconcerting.

The Defense Science Board released this statement regarding Directed Energy and Electric Weapons Systems (DEEWS) almost six years ago:  

As far back as 1964, Dr. Qian Xuesen issued to China his 640 Directivve with the blessing of Chairman Mao Zedong. Among other things, the 640 Directive called for the development of a laser capable of shooting a missile out of its trajectory. The Shanghai Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics (SIOM) was created. In 1970, the Anhui Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics (AIOFM) came into being alongside the already functioning SIOM. Thousands of persons have been working on the systems for decades. In 2006, “China reportedly fired a ground-based high-power laser at and blinded U.S. surveillance satellites in orbit over China.”[ii] Sean O’Conner, an internationally known analyst and author of the IMINT and Analysis blog has identified “the potential sliding hangar locations of space-oriented Free Electron Lasers at the AIOFM center in Hefei, the Chinese Academy of Engineering Physics (CAEP) center in Mianyang, and the laser Anti-Satellite (ASAT) site in Xinjiang province.”[iii]

As of now, we know of three lasers: the banned blinding ZM87, the JD3 (which serves as a ‘range-finder and self-defense device’ and can be mounted on battle tanks) and the laser that blinded the U.S. satellite in 2006. Work continues, according to sources across China, on the newest and best models. Bryan McGrath of the Information Dissemination Net is concerned that the U.S. determination to get the laser weapons into the hands of the ‘warriors’ who find much more intriguing ways to utilize such weapons will not match that of the Chinese. You may want to find that old hand crank ice cream maker your grandfather used on hot summer days. It could be your only cooling thought when the winds of war blow across the barren wasteland after a DEEWS attack. President Reagan said in his ‘Star Wars Speech’ in March of 1983, We start by considering what must be done to maintain peace and review all the possible threats against our security. Then a strategy for strengthening peace and defending against those threats must be agreed upon. And finally our defense establishment must be evaluated to see what is necessary to protect against any or all of the potential threats.” Let’s pray that someone will explain that to President Obama and Chuck Hagel.

UN-welcome News

Dr. Ross L. Riggs – Riggs Ministry Minute – A ministry of True North Ministries – 15 February 2012

The most recent news from New York – that part of New York that isn’t New York, it isn’t even American – the ghastly string of buildings in Manhattan that proudly declares it is everything that it must be to be anti-American and still we host them at amazing cost to the tax payers. But I digress… the news from the U.N. is most ‘unwelcome’ particularly as it has to do with Israel, Iran and Syria. A recent bill in the U.N that was to go before the Security Council to enforce a strong resolution against the civilian carnage in Syria never left the Security Council chambers. Dual vetoes by Russia and China, according to The Weekly Standard contributor, John Bolton- former ambassador to the UN, “made it clear that the U.N. will play no role contrary to (Russia’s and China’s) interests.”

For the nuclear issue in Iran, the stage then has been set. Bolton wrote, “… there will be no dramatic Security Council action to administer the coup de grace against Iran; no further UN. Sanctions; nothing that could be used to enforce exiting sanctions militarily…” If Israel were not hanging out on a limb all alone before, they are now and the U.N. just handed them a two ton brick to hold. According to Bolton, “We now have no prospect through diplomacy or sanctions  of preventing Iran from crossing the finish line essentially at a time of its choosing.” On January 31stof this year, the U.S. Director of Intelligence, James Clapper testified before the Senate regarding Tehran’s nuclear program. He said, “The sanctions imposed so far have not caused them to change their behavior or their policy.”

U.N. Headquarters New York

Ambassador Bolton believes that the Obama administration is so open about the possibility of Israel conducting a preemptive strike against Iran this spring because private pressure against Israel to back away has not worked. He is concerned, as all Israel should be when he writes, “Who knows what sensitive information Team Obama will next reveal: Israel’s flight plan to the Iranian targets? Israel’s order of battle?” His conclusion is that “Since there is almost no chance that Obama will act (to stop Iran militarily), the pressure on Israel intensifies.”

Finally, in this report, the Former Ambassador states it plainly regarding Israel’s current position as it regards Iran. “…in the absence of American leadership, David needs to decide on his own whether to pick up his slingshot.” It cannot be stated more plainly. I would conclude that if at any time Christian’s ever prayed for the peace of Jerusalem, the time is now to do so; as well as for all God’s people to pray that His will should be accomplished in these last days.