By SHARON K. GILBERT
January 22, 2009
ALTHOUGH Stephen King hardly professes to believe in Christ as Savior, he does spend a great deal of his writing in a quest for spiritual truth. King’s complicated characters fight internal and external battles, and that is–for me, at least–why his fiction rises to the top of the secular heap: because it’s the internal struggle that is the real source of conflict.
In some ways, King’s supernatural monster is the McGuffin (a Hitchcock term for a literary ‘red herring’ used to lure you into the real meaning of the book or film). King’s protagonists usually shelter hideous personal demons within their spirits. It’s these inner monsters that often prove the real, and all too often unbeatable foe.
I bring up Stephen King, because, as I watched Tuesday’s ‘coronation’, I kept recalling one of my favorite King novels: The Stand. It’s a shame this book wasn’t written with a clearer, more accurate and Biblical portrayal of the real spiritual battle between ‘Good’ and ‘Evil’, for the characters and basic premise are compelling.
The plot is simple: A worldwide plague has killed nearly all of mankind, leaving those who survive on a living battlefield–with God and Satan as generals. King’s masterful storywriting imagines a massive, worldwide chess match, where humans can either submit as pawns to Satan (the default setting) or Stand.
A central character is Abagail Freemantle, a 108-year-old black woman who visits survivors in dreams from her Nebraska front porch. Freemantle bridges the world of human and divine in an almost Christ-like role. (Remember, this book is NOT Biblically accurate, but the general theme is worth contemplating).
Wearing ‘the mantle’ of post-apocalyptic prophetess, Freemantle instructs the dreamers to come to her, to choose the side of God, and of ‘good’–and many do. Some, however, who come to Nebraska, do so with reservation–with secret sins and dark inner voices. These later ‘fall away’ and ‘fall’ into Satan’s trap. (Shades of the apostacy to come–see II Thess. 2:3). T
he remnant who remain with Abagail are warned by her ‘to Stand’. The phrase implies courageous action, determination in the face of adversity, and an inherent refusal to sit down.
We see this same language in Daniel 12:1, when the Angel of the Lord tells the prophet:
And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people…
Michael is Israel’s protector and prince. His sole job is to act as Israel’s defender, and when he stands up, it’s to do battle.
The angel delivering this message to Daniel might be Gabriel, who has already visited the prophet twice before. If it is Gabriel, Daniel doesn’t seem to recognize him. Daniel is also very weak and barely alive from fasting for three weeks–seeing a heavenly messenger in such a weakened state has caused Daniel’s body to collapse. Whether this is Gabriel or not, this is a mighty angel, and the prophecy he brings is so important that ‘the Prince of Persia’ (most likely one of the Seventy who rule the Earth — for more in this, see Mike Heiser’s Divine Council) engages him in battle–an historic battle that lasts three weeks (in human time).
The Prince of Persia wants to keep the message of the Seventy Weeks from being delivered, and he might have succeeded, were it not for Michael. Seeing God’s messenger to Daniel needed help, Michael the Archangel stood up and joined in the battle against the Prince of Persia, remaining there so Gabriel (or the unnamed angel of Daniel 9) could be free to speak with Daniel, who is in living in Babylon, a land ruled by Persian King Cyrus at the time.
So, what does Stephen King’s ‘The Stand’ have to do with Michael and Daniel’s vision?
With the inauguration of the ‘President of the World’, Barack Obama, the United States of America is now on the fast track to global governance without borders. Not just Americans but all the peoples of the world have been called to serve the ideal of freedom by the man known as the Leader of the Free World.
Up until January 20th, the peoples of the world would have begged to differ with such a presumptuous title. They tolerated Clinton, despised Bush, but oh, how they love Obama. O-ba-ma (Persian for ‘He is with us’) is the mantra on nearly every person’s lips. And it demands that you and I take notice–and that we choose.
The notion of a political leader who is worshiped by so many worldwide must ring alarm bells in the hearts of the Church. And those bells call us to wake up.
Is Barack Obama the one prophesied by Daniel — the ‘King of the North’? I honestly don’t know for certain. However, if December 21, 2012 is the midway point of the Tribulation period, then the timing would be right. The Winter Solstice of 2012 is when the new cycle of the Leviathan precession begins–the dawn of a ‘New Age’ or Aeon. At this time, the sun rises in Sagittarius, centaur with a bow–a symbol for Nimrod, out from the mouth of Leviathan (see David Flynn). A new sun ‘god’ will be born–Nimrod/Osiris will rise again.
Are those hoofbeats we hear? The time has come to determine which side you wish to take. Taking no side, is the same as taking the wrong side. In Revelation 3:16, Jesus says that the Laodicean believers nauseate Him, because they are neither hot nor cold. Lukewarm doesn’t cut it. Halfway standing up won’t do it. The default setting is not acceptable.
Many of you know that I love to sing. As a child, one of my favorite parts of any worship service was the singing of the old hymns. I can still picture the aging hymn books at Dupont Baptist Church with the ragged blue covers–some with crackes spines–all well-used and beloved. My friend Sandy or perhaps Mrs. Phillips would play piano or organ )or both on Sunday mornings), and every mouth would open to praise the King. One favorite hymn was Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus!:
Stand up, stand up for Jesus;
The trumpet call obey;
Stand forth in mighty conflict
In this his glorious day.
Let all his faithful serve him
Against unnumbered foes;
Let courage rise with danger
And strength to strength oppose.
Stand up, stand up for Jesus
As soldiers of the cross.
Lift high his royal banner;
It must not suffer loss.
From victory unto victory
His army he shall lead
Till every foe is vanquished
And Christ is Lord indeed.
Soon, dear friends, Michael will stand up. Are you prepared to stand up with him and lift high the cross of Christ? Our battle is a spiritual one–our sword is the Word of God. Our helmet is Salvation. Our shield is Faith. We are not called to serve a human world leader but the King of the Universe, the only begotten Son of the Living God, Jesus Christ, Yeshua. We fight for the souls of those yet to proclaim Christ as Savior and Lord. Lukewarm will not cut it. Half stance will not work. We must rise up fully, stand up, set our feet upon the ground that God Himself created and proclaim Christ as King.
Soon–and very soon–the Lord Christ will soon return to take His Bride out of Tribulation, it is important that He find us awake and ready and watching–Standing as we lift high the Cross.
Gird up, dear friends. And prepare to Stand.