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On Walls

Mason turns thirty-one on February 21 this year. He’s finally joined the over-the-hill gang, that crossing of the mysterious line separating the whippersnappers from the hoary-headed (whatever a whippersnapper is). What a fine man he must be by now. I say "must be" because I haven’t seen him since 1972. Mace was twelve when he left his mentally handicapped earthsuit behind and, like a burned out rocket booster that has served its purpose, it fell away into the Oklahoma soil.

Mace lived his entire life on Planet Earth as a prisoner behind a wall of clay. His earthsuit was faulty: its brain prevented him from communicating with those outside his wall, and consequently he could only transmit and receive communication at a level less than 1% of that of a normal human. But behind the clay wall, everything was okay with my son. The problem lay with the faulty brain in the clay suit. Now that he has sloughed it off, he’s doing great, and you can only imagine how excited I am to meet the real Mason for the first time.

The death of Mace’s clay suit was an answer to prayer. Anabel, the boys and I had driven to the Enid State School for the Mentally Handicapped for one of our regular visits with Mace. After our visit and prior to leaving, we circled the bed (to which he was confined) to have prayer. Over the years, Mason’s earthsuit had steadily deteriorated: it weighed only 53 pounds, and it could not see or speak. His was a life of solitary confinement behind a wall of clay. We asked God to release him in our prayer; we said that if He did, we’d do our best to use his death to bring honor to Jesus. Within 24 hours, Mace’s clay wall came down. Mason’s release was an awesome "burning bush" experience for our family, a revelation of the reality of God and His mercy.

Like Mace’s clay wall, the Iron Curtain has come down, dropping into heaps all across Eastern Europe. I never dreamed I would live to see the fall of communism. The fear, the tragedy, the atrocity and the injustice inherent in those forty years of oppression… done and gone! Encouraging winds of change are bringing promises of comfort to those dear people who have been imprisoned behind the iron wall for so many years. Many of them are experiencing spiritual freedom as they respond to the gospel of Jesus. And how can we ever forget the expressions we saw on the faces of East Berliners, awed by the abundance of food stacked in the groceries, by the glittering storefronts and all the remarkable freedoms, as they strolled down the streets of West Berlin? How can we forget their hammering away at the massive, concrete wall? When Mr. Gorbachev was visiting the United States last fall, I saw a photograph of him standing with President Reagan and Vice-President Bush on a New York City waterfront, the Statue of Liberty in the background. His smile beamed, and his eyes were so full of joy. I looked at that picture and the thought came to me: Lord, has that man become a Christian? He almost glows! Sometime later, a friend of mine showed me a feature article from the Wall Street Journal in which the author speculated on Gorbachev’s spiritual condition. It stated that Mr. Gorbachev had made remarks to various western leaders expressing his belief in God’s power over the affairs of men and that his mother is a Believer. The article went on to tell how she bakes him a cake each year on his birthday (during the Easter season) decorated with an inscription referring to the risen Christ, and that her custom for years has been to pray for him daily.

Now I’m not saying the man is a Christian; I don’t know. I’m wondering aloud. Look at what God did with Saul of Tarsus, the Christian-killer. He had a Christian hunting license; he had an unlimited bag limit, and he was well on his way to breaking the Israeli record for "number in possession." Is it possible that, like Paul, God called Mr. Gorbachev out? That He broke his heart with conviction, brought him to Himself, and established him as leader of the USSR? Is it feasible to think that God wishes to bring about the demise of communism through him, that He will preserve him in his position of power,and give him favor to accomplish the task? Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever, for He alone has all wisdom and all power. World events are under His control. He removes kings and sets others on their thrones. He gives wise men their wisdom, and scholars their intelligence (Daniel 2:20,21; LB; emphases mine).

Regardless of what Mr. Gorbachev’s spiritual condition may be, God is in control, my friend. Those East bloc rulers didn’t fall like dominoes by coincidence… God brought them down. That wall of iron didn’t come down by chance. Those news clips we saw of the politburo voting unanimously for the cause of freedom were the same people who would have voted nyet a matter of weeks earlier…. God wanted that wall down, He wanted those borders free– and today they are.

In the crumbling walls of communism, we have witnessed one of the most phenomenal spiritual power moves in the history of the world, much of it without the firing of a single shot. Hey, as they’d say in East Texas, "He put the whup on ’em!" But though communism is apparently through (the only people still adhering to its creator’s original idea being a smattering of professors in east and west coast universities, the liberal press, and a few dictators), the radical changes fostered by perestroika and glasnost have also radically revised the weaponry in Satan’s arsenal: Nikita Khrushchev thought nothing of ordering the murder of friends, and yet you may recall that he was scandalized by a cancan dance he saw while visiting New York. As evil and cruel as communism was and is, it did impose restrictions limiting the ability of those behind its wall of oppression to practice certain deeds of immorality.

Shortly after the initiation of Budapest’s open market, Playboy hit the newsstands. Did you see the AP photograph of the East German soldier sandwiched between the first two East Berlin Playboy bunnies? And one of the first reforms of the new government of Romania was to legalize abortion… glasnost for women, right? Praise God that innocent Romanians will no longer be exterminated en mass under Ceausescu’s reign, but the survivors of his holocaust have now elected to massacre millions of innocent future Romanians one at a time in hospitals! They’ve legalized yet another holocaust! Such acts demonstrate there is a spiritual wall, yet static throughout our world today, a wall by which Satan blinds the eyes of many: …the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God (II Corinthians 4:4).

Perhaps you, like I, have at one time or another entertained the notion that communism might be the vehicle through which the Antichrist would assume rulership of the world. In light of glasnost, this notion would now seem to be defunct. I would like to present a different (and perhaps a bit radical) hypothesis: Biblical prophecy forecasts world-wide hedonism in the end times (2 Tim. 3:1-4). I contend that this hedonistic pandemonium can occur only after the restraining walls of societal, political and cultural taboos are pulled down, and that this will happen only to the degree that the parameters of governmental restrictions permit it; in other words, this can happen only in the environment ripe with freedom taken to the ridiculous extreme.

I’m not talking about a world without laws; I’m talking about a world whose laws protect and defend this "freedom," this gross excess of "liberty." I’m referring to the once beautiful dream of democracy and what it seems to be evolving into today–I’m referring to the free West. Our democratic ideals are continually watered down into absurd extremes of "individual rights," where the ACLU leaps to defend the "freedom" of the porn producer, where people are "free" to murder millions of children in their wombs, and where those who intervene on behalf of the innocents are dragged away to jails as kooks who oppose individual "rights." All our cultural mores are rotting away. God is allowing Satan to bring down all false restraining walls (I call them "false" because the Holy Spirit is the only true Restrainer, [2 Thes. 2:7-8]). These cultural "no nos" have been preserved for years, not out of a yearning to obey God, but because of societal tradition. The lost man in Oklahoma wouldn’t divorce his wife 30 years ago because friends would reject him and it would hurt his business. Culture, not God restrained him.

I suggest that, with the new freedom from oppression that has emerged in the East, the subsequent "liberties" that will flourish will ultimately parallel the demise of cultural mores that is occurring in the West. It will open the way for the international collapse of morality.

It will all be a part of God’s plan…. as the world sates the flesh. He is revealing more of Himself to those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, to those who long to know God and the wonders of His Person. This process is slowly polarizing the world into two camps (Rev. 13:8). As Satan’s spirit of hedonism sweeps morality aside, the natural man will begin to cry out for a leader who can bring order to the resulting anarchy and abuse of liberty. Finally, and only in God’s timing, the Restrainer Himself (the Holy Spirit) will depart leaving all men to be controlled by their fleshly appetites (As for the work this man of rebellion and hell will do when he comes, it is already going on, but he himself will not come until the One who is holding him back steps out of the way. Then this wicked one will appear, whom the Lord Jesus will burn up with the breath of His mouth and destroy by His presence when He returns [II Thessalonians 2:7,8; LB]). In an effort to bring order out of the chaos, to bring relief and some sense of security, people will flock to support the antichrist’s rise to power. According to the Bible, the world will fall for his peace plans, his miracles and his wisdom, and all but the elect will sell out to him (Rev. 13:3-8). Hedonism will have scribed its full circle, and then the King of Kings will return.

God is performing mighty acts in the world today, my friend, accelerating His spirit-wall demolition program. Day is dawning. Perhaps very soon you and I will shed our walls of clay; that wall which has contained us all these years will be brought down. I want to make you a promise. Soon after it happens I’ll have you over to dinner and introduce you to a fine young man that I’m proud to say is my son, Mason.

About the Author

Bill founded Lifetime Guarantee Ministries to encourage people to experience the reality of Christ as life. His transparent, humorous, down-to-earth style and sense of humor made him one of the most effective teachers of his time. He communicated with great clarity the full extent of what God accomplished in Christ and what that means for the Christian identity. Although Bill passed away in June 2011, his messages are timeless and will continue to impact generations to come.