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Please begin with an informative title:

Yesterday, we revealed that John Hagee's church is confirmedly within the "Joel's Army" movement--a group of the "most extreme of the extreme" of neopentecostal dominionists, who believe they are part of a "third pentecost" designed to raise a group of divine ubermenschen to "name and claim" the world for their theology.

One of the parts of their theology that is very rarely discussed--save by a few of us researchers--is that they are one of the very few groups on the planet to literally have a theological mandate for not only genocide but near omnicide--both pre- and post-Tribulation.  Combined with the known use of coercive tactics and the decidedly unique interpretations of Biblical verses that claim they're part of an end-time army of "God Warriors"...it's not exaggeration to state this is a potential threat to humanity.

Intro

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Things re "Joel's Army" Hagee doesn't want you to know

One thing Hagee may not want folks to know about is the fact that "Joel's Army" is a kissing cousin to the horribly racist "Assemblies granddaughter" Christian Identity--namely, one big thing they both promote (though in different contexts) is the concept of "Phineas Priests".

Again, Let Us Reason notes this:

Rick Joyner teaches ""What is about to come upon the earth is not just a revival, or another awakening; it is a veritable revolution. The vision was given in order to begin to awaken those who are destined to radically change the course, and even the very definition of Christianity. The dismantling of organizations and disbanding of some works will be a positive and exhilarating experience for the Lord's faithful servants...the Lord will raise up a great company of prophets, teachers, pastors and apostles that will be of the spirit of Phinehas ... this "ministry of Phinehas" will save congregations, and at times, even whole nations. ...Nations will tremble at the mention of their name..."(THE HARVEST, Rick Joyner)
So does Paw Creek:
Since Joel's Army is supposed to be men and women taking possession of this earth for their King, a second class of warriors becomes necessary. These they call the "Phineas Priesthood." Rick Joyner made mention of those with the "spirit of Phineas" in his book, The Harvest.

"The dismantling of organizations and disbanding of some works will be a positive and exhilarating experience for the Lord's faithful servants.....a great company of prophets, teachers, pastors and apostles will be raised up with the spirit of Phineas..." (THE HARVEST, Rick Joyner).

A book written by Richard Kelly Hoskins entitled, "Vigilantes Of Christendom," describes these warriors. He says of them, "As the Kamikaze is to the Japanese, As the Shiite is to Islam, As the Zionist is to the Jew, So the Phineas priest is to Christendom." It is very clear that they are preparing to slaughter those who resist their authority. Jesus warned that, "They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service." (St. John 16:2). That sounds exactly like the great inquisitors of the dark ages.

It's interesting--and more than a bit disturbing--to discuss the one usage of the term outside of Joel's Army circles.

The one other group that talks about "Phinehas Priests" aside from "Joel's Army" neopentecostal dominionists...happens to be Christian Identity groups (of note, Christian Identity itself can be considered to be a particularly racist split from an early "Joel's Army" movement called "Manifest Sons of God").  The Anti-Defamation League has more info on the racist version:

A police search of Furrow’s car yesterday reportedly revealed a copy of War Cycles/Peace Cycles, a book written by Richard Kelly Hoskins, an adherent to the racist and anti-Semitic "Identity" movement. Hoskins’ 1990 book, Vigilantes of Christendom: The Story of the Phineas Priesthood, is a lengthy manifesto that perverts passages of the Bible to justify anti-Semitic and racist acts of violence.
. . .
The "Phineas Priesthood" is a violent credo of vengeance that has gained some popularity among white supremacists and other extremists in recent years. Unlike other extremists groups, the Phineas Priesthood is not a membership organization in the traditional sense: there are no meetings, rallies or newsletters. Rather, extremists become "members" when they commit "Phineas acts:" any violent activity against "non-whites." In this way, achieving Phineas Priesthood status has become the goal of extremists committed to perpetrating violent crimes.
. . .
In 1990, Hoskins published his bizarre magnum opus, Vigilantes of Christendom: The Story of the Phineas Priesthood where he claimed that the "Phineas Priesthood" are Christian guerillas who avenge Judeo-Christian traitors. While assuming a posture of impartiality, he speaks with clear sympathy of The Order, of Adolf Hitler, and of murderers of homosexuals and interracial couples.
"Phinehas Acts" are becoming much more common in regards to domestic terrorism tied to Christian Identity groups; they've also become quite common among domestic terrorist acts linked to neopente dominionist and Christian Reconstructionist groups (like clinic bombings, assassinations, and so on):
Paul Hill, the anti-abortion activist, was convicted of murdering Dr. John Bayard Britton and his escort outside a Pensacola, Florida, abortion clinic in 1994. Hill had written an essay advocating the commission of "Phineas actions" a year before.
(Paul Hill was a domestic terrorist and assassin who was ultimately executed in part because of this murder--part of a campaign of domestic terrorism conducted by a group calling itself the "Army of God".)

Hidden messages for divinely-sanctioned slaughter

It's also worth noting the Biblical context of this--and why it's so worrying.  Phinehas (which is the more proper transliteration) is described in Numbers 25 as being the leader of a particularly bloody purge in Jewish history.    In Numbers 25:1-3 the introduction of the worship of Ba'al-Peor (a local mountain deity) via Moabite and Midianite influence--including, notably, intermarriage with the Moabite and Midianite peoples--is noted, and in Numbers 25:6-8 the level of Phineha's zeal is revealed when Moses commands the mass slaughter of anyone who's had truck with veneration of Ba'al-Peor:

[6]And behold, one of the people of Israel came and brought a Mid'ianite woman to his family, in the sight of Moses and in the sight of the whole congregation of the people of Israel, while they were weeping at the door of the tent of meeting.
[7] When Phin'ehas the son of Elea'zar, son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose and left the congregation, and took a spear in his hand
[8] and went after the man of Israel into the inner room, and pierced both of them, the man of Israel and the woman, through her body. Thus the plague was stayed from the people of Israel.
(RSV)

(Yes, you read this right.  He literally shish-kabobbed not only the Midianite lady but her Israeli fiance--whilst the two of them were boinking their brains out in the temple.)

Phinehas is not only hailed for this, but in Numbers 25:11-13, is made head of a hereditary priesthood; the families of the two persons involved in the affair become cyphers.  

The bloodshed doesn't stop here.  In Numbers 25:17-18, the example of Phinehas's sex-kabobbing of Cozbi and her fiance is given as an example of what should be done, and in Numbers 26:1-10 the death of 250 men "swallowed up by fire" is described in a census conducted for the purpose of raising an army.  After said census is conducted, Numbers 31 describes how an army of 12,000 is called up and the entire country of the Midianites is destroyed in a scorched-earth campaign lead by Phinehas (including the slaughter of literally every person in the country with the exception of female virgins, who were claimed as literal spoils of war).  

Phinehas also shows up again in Joshua 22:9-34--this time to squelch what was mistaken as a separatist movement among a few of the ancient Israeli tribes who made the fatal mistake of setting up a temple on land they had recently reclaimed.  This eventually led to the entire Israeli army being led against the tribes of Reuben and Gad (and the demitribe of Manassah)--and they would have been utterly exterminated by Phinehas were it not for some quick explanation that the temple that had been built was a memorial, not an attempt at separatism.

If anything, the Joel's Army interpretation is even more extreme than that of racist groups--they literally believe they are commanded to exterminate not only anyone non-dominionist but anyone felt to have been tainted by non-dominionists.  In short, pretty much all of non-dominionist America is equated to Midianites tempting people into the moral equivalent of conducting a live sex show in the middle of St. Peter's Cathedral--and both they, and the people within the group seen to have been "friendly" with them...well, in their view, we're all to be destroyed by "God Warriors".

"Joel's Army" theology as popular entertainment

As strange as it may sound, omnicide of over 99.99% of the world's population is now a topic of a popular media series--the "Left Behind" media empire, which include not only a series of books but a video game (which was originally planned to be marketed to children as young as six and primarily within neopentecostal dominionist churches), several movies, and even a few spinoffs.  The entire series is essentially a fictionalised version of post-Rapture "Joel's Army" theology--including the formation of a "Tribulation Force" comprised of post-Rapture convertees to Joel's Army theology who form a guerilla resistance.  The book series in particular also gives a rare semi-public glimpse as to the actual sorts of theology being preached in your average "Joel's Army" church.

The final book of the series, "Glorious Appearing", promotes the idea in Joel's Army circles of the Prince of Peace being hip-deep in the blood and entrails of the slain in an image that would even shock the Norse skald's images of Ragnarok:

Jesus has been depicted as a lamb and a shepherd, a rock star and a lowly carpenter. In "Glorious Appearing," the climactic twelfth installment in the Left Behind series released this week, Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins give us Christ the Destroyer.

Here's the Christ Triumphant speaking as he encounters the army of the Anti-Christ near the ancient city of Petra in Jordan: "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and Last, the Beginning and the End, the Almighty." Upon hearing these words, the Anti-Christ's minions fall dead, "simply dropping where they stood, their bodies ripped open, blood pooling in great masses." Later, as the Lord rides his white horse to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, the saved sing "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God."

This vision of Christ, who eviscerates his human foes and drops them to the desert floor, is fast becoming the Savior for our times. He is Jesus the Warrior, who has gone in and out of fashion for most of the 20th century. "We're looking for a much more martial messiah," says Stephen Prothero, chairman of Boston University's religion department and author of the recently published "American Jesus." "In part, it's a response to 9/11 and the war in Iraq," he says, pointing out that the militant Jesus was popular during and after both world wars. "In the '60s and '70s, this Jesus nearly disappears," says Prothero. "You get the sense now that we are swinging back."

The images are more akin to the final scene of "Raiders of the Lost Ark" than to anything in the conventional Biblical sermon--bodies literally melting, Christ (who is apparently played by the genetic lovechild of Chuck Norris and John Rambo) literally causing people to split open and their entrails pouring out by just speaking, graphic descriptions of chucking the Bad Guys (pretty much most of humanity) into the sulfurous pit of Hell, with the God Warriors eventually kicking everyone's asses (along with the Raptured coming back down--and all parties involved being provided white horsies Just Like Jesus to slaughter the rest of humanity).  A Harper's review (noted below) goes into more detail:
The armies of heaven, also on white horses, follow, though their role in the battle ends up being superfluous. The Antichrist's black-clad legions ride horses, too, possibly because they explode so satisfactorily. No sooner does Jesus speak than the carnage begins. Carpathia's legions begin to fall dead, “their bodies ripped open, blood pooling in great masses.”

Seeking a better view of the action, Rayford abandons his ATV for a Hummer, “riding shotgun,” which, write Jenkins and LaHaye in something less than a Proustian reverie, “transported him back to college when he and his fraternity brothers would compete to call the favored seat, sometimes as much as twenty-four hours before a trip.” Meanwhile, the slaughter runs on for close to eighty gleeful pages:

    Rayford watched through the binocs as men and women soldiers and horses seemed to explode where they stood. It was as if the very words of the Lord had superheated their blood, causing it to burst through their veins and skin. . . . Their innards and entrails gushed to the desert floor, and as those around them turned to run, they too were slain, their blood pooling and rising in the unforgiving brightness of the glory of Christ.

The glory of Christ, mind you. Blood is described roaring through the Holy Land in rivers five feet deep. At one point, the Antichrist's Humvee sinks up to its axles in a swamp of blood-mud.

The rest of the books in the series are just as bad--in a scene disturbingly reminiscent of Hagee's claims that the Eastern and Western Seaboards would be nuked--and Assemblies' claims of Russia nuking the US--there is a scene in "Nicolae" where most of the world's major cities are nuked by the titular Nicolae Carpathia (who has in the meantime converted the UN into the One World Government--a popular scenario in "Joel's Army" circles since before the fall of the Soviet Union).

Now, it's bad enough that an entire cottage industry has come about over the fictionalisation of what amounts to a disturbing theology of Jesus "Hulkamaniac" Christ (now we know what the "H" in "Jesus H. Christ" stands for, apparently) coming down with an army of God Warriors.

What's worse, though, is that to "Joel's Army"...this isn't fiction, and they expect to be the guys literally swimming in everyone else's blood as they descend from Heaven at the end of the Tribulation and slaughter the world.

God-Warrior mandates and physical violence in the name of "spiritual warfare"

Combine this with a major scripture-twisting of Joel 2 that describes themselves as not only a "third Pentecost" but as a locust-like army of God Warriors and the known use of extremely coercive tactics that have been documented to cause personality changes in less than three days...

...well, if you aren't disturbed, you should be, seriously.

And if this isn't enough to worry you, think of this--the goal is ultimately omnicide of the entire world population other than neopentecostal dominionists (no, Jewish people don't get an out unless they convert to "Messianics") via thermonuclear war.  The mere promotion of this in churches (which has gone on for quite a long time; I've personally witnessed it since the late 70s in the Assemblies church I am a walkaway from, and this sort of thing has been promoted since at least the fifties in the context of nuclear warfare) is scary enough.

However, there's been a distressing trend over the past twenty years or so of the concept of "spiritual warfare" being increasingly embraced in the physical realm as well.

One area is with paramilitary training of youth and indoctrination.  "Jesus Camp" detailed what is actually a mild version of this in Assemblies of God circles; increasingly common are literal boot camps, including literal paramilitary training in the Assemblies' "Christian alternative" to Scouting.  Movements popular in the Assemblies and its "daughters" tend to be even worse; Bill Gothard runs a literal paramilitary training facility for "Joel's Army" youth.

This also means that the US military has become an increasing target for infiltration.  The very paramilitary training camp noted above has gotten quite official sanction by the general in charge of most of the US Air Force's military recon and IT security.  This effort has become disturbingly successful; no less than two of the primary parties involved in the Abu Ghraib scandal including policymaker William Boykin are directly involved in the Assemblies and the "Joel's Army" movement within the denomination, and in many cases the US government has literally been paying for packing the chaplaincy of the US Army and Air Force with "Joel's Army" promoters.  (Boykin is especially interesting in this regard; he has quite explicitly referred to Joel's Army theology in speeches to his fellow soldiers.)  One of the major groups involved in infiltration of the military, Campus Crusade for Christ, has been known to promote this sort of theology as well.

Increasingly, though, these groups aren't restricting themselves to infiltrating the military (or political parties, for that matter) or having their kids play soldier in "Bible boot camps".  Increasingly, "Joel's Army" theology is leaking into real world violence--including the neopentecostal dominionist hategroup "Watchmen At The Walls" (which has received official support from the Assemblies of God as a whole) as well as domestic terrorism (such as targeted assassinations of women's clinic workers and bombings of not only women's clinics but adult bookstores and LGBT nightclubs).  Not only this, but increasingly "Joel's Army" is no longer even bothering to keep a "private face"--such as Joseph Fuiten's call for the mass denationalisation and deportation of non-dominionists.

And if this doesn't scare you yet--these groups may have influence to the very highest levels of government and documented histories of particularly horrific genocides (ask Guatemala about the hell it endured under Gen. Rios Montt sometime)...and the largest denomination embracing "Joel's Army" theology has an estimated membership of nearly three million people...and they've rather explicitly targeted the largest Protestant denomination in the US, the Southern Baptist Convention, for total conversion from within.

Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to dogemperor on Wed May 21, 2008 at 02:12 PM PDT.

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