Sunday, September 30, 2012


The conference venue in Seneca Falls, New York, was so first-century--with the exception that not many people wore togas. During my opening remarks on Friday night, I told the congregation, "I think Paul would have spoken at a place exactly like this." Then I added, "In fact, I think Paul did speak here on his way from Corinth to Ephesus." 

Last night was a first. The organizers, Len and Lenny, scheduling no formal speaking slots Saturday night. Instead, we opened the podium to those wishing to share their testimony. Never before had I seen a 7-11 p.m. time slot on a Saturday night, but this proved to be Len and Lenny' stroke of genius. Who sticks around until 11 pm? Everyone. Forty people became a family in a large, rustic living room with a roaring fire. Time disappeared as people shared their lives and trials. Not one person consulted a watch. No clock on the wooden walls marked beginnings or ends. The podium soon became irrelevant, and men and women spoke from their seats. How does it happen that people you have never met become, in so short a time, members of your family? It is the spirit of God, and the intimacy of membership in the body of Christ.  

Here is a slow pan of the well-peopled conference "hall" on Saturday afternoon, as the sun streamed into the east windows. A chill threatened the room, beaten back by the steadily-stoked fire. Clyde read an opening verse for Dan Sheridan as I hit "play," and Dan was quite pleased with the proceedings, as you can see. 


Greetings, everyone. This has been one of the most unique conferences ever. There is no way I could possibly tell you everything, here, now. I'm sitting at the kitchen table in the middle of the gorgeous a.m. cacophony of nine people readying themselves for the last sessions this morning. There is a light rain now on the lake, but even that can't help being beautiful.

Many of those in attendance this weekend, I have never met. Many things have happened at this conference, that have never occurred at any other. If I start writing now, I'll fail to properly capture the times and moods. For now, I will share some photos. This evening, look for a video that will communicate the feel better than 1,000 words. I'm running out of time this morning, so I will label these photos later. Please stop back.


Grace and peace,


(Click on photos to enlarge.)
Clyde Pilkington III, Harsh, Aaron Locker, Andre Sneidar, Nathan Pilkington.

Conference site

Nathan Pilkington

Steve Hill, Aaron Locker, Nathan Pilkington

Cayuga Lake, one of the five "finger lakes" of upstate New York.


Jon Krause

My sister Kelly and Clyde Pilkington

Len Paganelli, Kelly, Lenny Pappano

James Huff, Wallace Barnett

Clyde Pilkington III, Clyde, James Huff, Wallace Barnett
Aaron Locker

From the back porch of our house

Steve Hill

Dan Sheridan

Jon Krause

Steve Hill, and Kelly

Saturday, September 29, 2012


Paul writes in Philippians 4:12:

"I learned to be content in that in which I am. I am aware what it is to be humbled as well as aware what it is to be superabounding. In everything and among all am I initiated, to be satisfied as well as to be hungering, to be super-abounding as well as to be in want. For all am I strong in Him Who is invigorating me, Christ!"

We are trying hard here in New York to be humbled, hungering and in want (suffering for the evangel carries such rich future blessing), but it's not working too well. Future blessing is temporarily deferred, I guess, as we luxuriate in our God-appointed digs. Lenny Pappano rented a home for the speakers and their entourage at a lakeside vacation home, so here we are this morning, fellowshipping before a full day of fellowship.

Unfortunately, my wife Rebecca could not make this trip, and she is missed by everyone.

We miss you, Rebecca!

I needed last night at the conference site; it is so great to see the saints. Dan, Clyde and I each gave introductory remarks, but for 90 minutes afterward, all present contributed. The site is rustic and so first-century. The "round-table" discussion went on later and later; no one cared for the time. Several people remarked how badly they needed this this time together. I will take photos of the site and post them tomorrow morning, God willing. In the meantime, here is a photographic log of "the suffering nine."

My sister Kelly.
(Click on photos to enlarge.)
Clyde Pilkington III.
Making the best of things.

Suffering evil for the evangel is such a drag.

Dan Sheridan is in fine fettle this morning.
Wish Lenny had gotten us a better view of Lake Cayuga.
Kelly and Clyde III. And is that Moses?
Not exactly a day and night in the swamp.
Andre Sneidar, Clyde Jr.'s editor, publisher, and friend.
It rained all day yesterday, but today we see the sun.
Clyde Pilkington. 
Aaron Locker spruces up for the day.
Nathan Pilkington with his lover.
Early-morning sun.
Kelly and Clyde's wife, Janet.
What a privilege to work with my brother Clyde.

Thursday, September 27, 2012


Though I champion and live by the letters of the apostle Paul, there is one other Bible book that interests me nearly as much, and that is the book of Revelation.

It was not always this way. Anyone first reading the last book of the canon (God help the individual attempting it in one sitting), usually reaches for an adult beverage afterward. It was the same with me (except I ate peanut M&Ms). All that changed, however, when I read The Unveiling of Jesus Christ, by A.E. Knoch.

In 1930, A. E. Knoch wrote the definitive work on the book of Revelation. I believe Knoch to be the first writer holding mature truth to tackle this difficult book. What do I consider mature truth? That would be a knowledge of, 1) the eons, 2) the sovereignty of God, 3) the goal of the universe, and 4) the distinct evangel of Paul.

Most Revelation commentators founder on all four counts. Being ignorant of the eons, they imagine the judgments described here to be everlasting. Unaware of God’s sovereignty, they miss divine purpose. Because they imagine the goal of the universe to be eternal torment (how delightful), they must make the lake of fire “all she wrote” for the majority of humanity (how fun). And no one getting Revelation explained by an author ignorant of Paul ever finds comfort—or enough alcohol. Escape out of the coming indignation? Not quite. (Paul begs to differ: 1 Thessalonians 1:10). Rather, take a dose of a certain fearful looking for ill-tempered locusts and ninety-pound hailstones.  

The ultra-intelligent A.E. Knoch is still childlike enough to believe God means what He says. Allowing for figures of speech (the author’s grasp of these is exceptional), A.E. Knoch audaciously takes God at His Word. Is taking God at his word a scary proposition in the book of Revelation? You bet! But only if you, too, miss the four planks of full-grown truth.

Why don’t many people know about The Unveiling of Jesus Christ? That’s what I’d like to know. There are more revelations in one paragraph of Knoch than in entire volumes of seminary-trained drones. Rather than griping about it, I’m going to do something about it.

God willing, I will launch a video series on the book of Revelation, next month. I will base the series—set to broadcast five days a week—upon Mr. Knoch’s seminal work. No sense re-inventing the wheel; A.E.K. has already written a masterpiece. My contribution will be to “Zenderize” his words and concepts, making them digestible even by seminary-trained drones. Heck, I may even make some of his concepts funny.

Please pray for me, as I cannot do this work alone. It’s too damn hard; I’m not smart enough; I’m not disciplined enough; I’m not good enough; I become too easily discouraged by the uphill task and the downhill world. I could give you 122,465 more reasons why I need help and prayer, but these will suffice. Are you praying yet? Why not? Please pray now.

Really. Exactly. Truly.

Here is a promotional video, fresh out of the production department:

Friends, we are the first and only generation since John scribbled his head off on Patmos to witness the beginning of events God showed him, “in spirit.” These are the end times. Yes, I know every generation has said that.

But we are the first generation to be right.

© 2012 by Martin Zender


Sometimes, the best way to teach what is right is to put what is wrong on full display. I will do this in October, after returning from New York.

Many people believe that God is a well-intended old man who had such high hopes for his creation—up until Satan ruined his plans in the Garden of Eden. (I call this eternally disappointed personage, “the Christian God.”) Since then, the Christian God has scrambled night and day to salvage something, anything, of his universe. He sent his own son, Jesus Christ, to save as many as he could from a fate worse than death: burning in hell forever. 

Burning in hell forever is the worst thing imaginable. In fact, it is so bad, so evil, and so nightmarish (and so freakishly hot), that no one can possibly imagine it. Not even the Christian God can truly wrap his poor demented mind around it. He is sorry about it, really. But this is just what happens to people who don’t love him. All people have to do is love him. Is that so hard? The Christian God spends many long hours stroking his long, white beard in quiet contemplation, wondering why so many people can’t manage so simple a thing as loving him. Isn’t he the most loveable being in the universe? Of course. So why doesn’t his favorite saying, “Love me, or else!” attract more devotees?

The problem, of course (well, one of the problems), is that the Christian God gave every human being a free will. So while he may wish to influence these humans and bring as many as possible into his heavenly, air-conditioned home, he can’t. Once he gave away his sovereignty, he couldn’t get it back. Now, the best he can do is hope everything somehow works out. (He knows in his own heart—the one with the aorta and all the ventricles—that this is probably not going to happen. But it doesn’t mean he can’t wish for it.)

I have already shown you the Christian God in several of my Crack O’ Dawn Report videos. In case you have forgotten, here he comes now:

Some people get nervous about me portraying God. They think it’s sacrilege. But I’m not portraying God, I’m portraying a caricature of God—the weak, bumbling, co-dependent “deity” of the Christian religion. I can teach the truth about the true God straightforwardly, and often do. But sometimes the better thing is to let the error act and speak—give it its say—and let people see and hear for themselves how wrong it is. (This is the “show rather than tell” principle.)

I can stand under a tree, in a video, and—with accompanying violin music—talk about how great and wonderful the true God is. (Can you hear clicking sounds? That’s the sound of thousands of twenty year-old YouTube watchers rolling their eyes and moving to another channel.) Or, I can arrange for the Christian God to have his own comedy show, and put him on a stage before a live audience, to explain his sorry self.

I asked the Christian God about this possibility, and he jumped all over it. In fact, he was so excited he smoked seven filtered cigarettes. (Seven is the number of perfection.)

I have booked him into the famous Laura Ingalls Wilder Comedy Club in De Smet, South Dakota, for a series of engagements. The thing about this is, the Christian God is not intending to do a comedy set. He thinks he’s finally getting the opportunity to explain himself on YouTube in front of a friendly audience. See, I kind of didn’t tell him it was a comedy club. I kind of told him he’d be “giving a talk” at De Smet Community College. You may think it is mean to deceive the Christian God in this manner, and maybe it is. I am doing this for the greater good. When people start rolling in hysterics at the Christian God’s most earnest elucidations of how the universe got so whacked (“Shut up! What's so funny? You try creating tall grass, and then see if you can keep track of all the snakes!”), maybe he will get a clue.  

Here he is, last week, testing the sound system:


The Pop-Icon Jesus is also booked into the Laura Ingalls Wilder Comedy Club, but on different nights. The Pop-Icon Jesus, however, knows it’s a comedy club. I told him, and he embraced my concept. He, too, wants to tell his story. He knows how funny utter futility can be, and is ready to let 'er rip. (Here he is at the dress rehearsal.)

The Pop-Icon Jesus is not the true Jesus. He is the handsome, popular Jesus whose glittering jewelry adorns the necks of rock stars and Super Bowl heroes. The events of the past two millennia have very much disturbed him. In the old days—as recently as the 1960’s—the Beatles were more popular than he. But now, he has all the frenzied teenagers eating out of his hand. It disconcerts him. He never wanted to be a cult-leader, he says. He suspects that his father—the Christian God—has something to do with the downhill roll of things since Calvary, and is quite happy to incriminate him. (“He has a bee in his bonnet, that one. Or a crawfish in his crotch—something. Everyone is afraid of him. It’s great for the money plate, but I used to fling that stuff across the sanctuary in the good old days.”)

The Pop-Icon Jesus looks back at those ancient days—at how un-popular he was then—and instinctively recognizes them as days of truth. The mainstream religion (as well as the mainstream media) snubbed him, yes, but that’s because his message was spiritual, rather than emotional. His no-frill message rarely appealed to the carnal nature. There were no titillating songs back then repeating his name 95 times so that people swayed and swooned and wanted to make love to him. There was no stained glass back then, no large cathedrals, and no marble statuary honoring his dear mother. Back then, his mother baked fig bars whenever he brought “the boys” over for a visit. She had no halo then, and the paparazzi shunned her. (I am not disparaging Mary; her fig bars were moist and delicious.)

Treading the road less traveled is so timelessly true. The real Jesus knows it, as do we who seek Him. “Wide is the way that leads to destruction,” He said in the day. In this day, the popular path finds happy receipt in every pulpit. The Pop-Icon Jesus hates that, and now he'll have his say.  

Tickets are still available for both shows. Call today. Operators will be wearing riot gear. 

© 2012 by Martin Zender

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


When we think of all the blessings that have come from Paul’s letters, we forget he was only one man. We tend to think God needs an army to conquer such a large thing as the world, and to overcome such a prevalent thing as the stupidity of the world. He does not. It pleases Him to do the most with the least. This way, the credit and glory go to Him, rather than to the vessels He chooses for such stupendous work. It is simply impossible for one man (Paul) to take over the world. And yet, he does.

Along with eight others. Nine people, in all, brought us our faith. Yes, Christ brought it, absolutely speaking, and God brought it even more absolutely speaking than that, but the Powers That Be handed this faith to a single man headed down that dirt road to Damascus. This man, in turn, handed it to eight others, who found in their soul a burning desire to receive it, understand it, and pass it on.

Paul and Barnabas were the first believers of the new message (of the grace of God) to be called, “apostles” (Acts 14:4). In Romans 16:7, Paul refers to two believers named Andronicus and Junia, as being, “of note among the apostles.” In 1 Thessalonians 1:1, Paul associates Silvanus and Timothy with himself, saying in 2:1-1 that these men were “bold in our God to speak the evangel of God to you with much struggle.”

Paul mentions another man, Epaphroditus, in Philippians 2:25, calling him “my brother, and fellow worker, and fellow soldier.” Sosthenes (1 Corinthians 1:1) and Apollos (1 Corinthians 4:6) were with Paul when he wrote to the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 4:9—“I suppose that God demonstrates with us, the last apostles, as death-doomed, for we became a theater to the world and to messengers and to humans.”


Oh, what we owe this handful of faithful men who struggled in relative anonymity in a hot, cruel world, two millennia before any of us were born. They did it for God, but they did it, as well, for us. They gave themselves for the sake of people they’d never met, and for names they’d never heard. The men listed above deserve to be in the Faith Hall of Fame, and indeed, they are. Each of these will receive a wreath of glory from their Savior at the dais, rewarded for faithful service, compensated for the evils and frustrations endured here. We shall be present to see it.

I have written the names of these men on a small piece of paper that stays in my wallet. I feel close to them. I desire not only to see these men rewarded, but to stand with them. 

In 2 Timothy 2:2, Paul writes to his child in faith: “And what things you hear from me through many witnesses, these commit to faithful men, who shall be competent to teach others also.” By the time Paul wrote this letter, he suspected the era would be much longer than he’d originally anticipated. Thus, he commissions Timothy to commission other men after him—men who would be competent to commission yet others.  

It has come down to the present day. In my humble opinion, there are never more than nine people during any generation who struggle in relative anonymity to dispense the pure Pauline gospel of grace upon this same cruel proving ground on which the nine pioneers laid their sweat. The contemporary teachers, like their forerunners, herald the Word opportunely and inopportunely. Like these others, they hope, someday, to be compensated for their many and epic failures. 

In two days, I fly to Rochester, NY. I am meeting there with Clyde Pilkington and Dan Sheridan to herald the same word Paul taught, to a group of 50 believers to be gathered in a small building next to a lake. Four days ago, Clyde sent the following text message to Dan and me:

“Brethren, we are called of God, it’s our turn. We are the heralds of our day. We follow Paul in filling up what is behind in Christ’s suffering. We heed his parting challenge to endure hardness, to suffer evil with him, so that we can finish our course. We will fight a good fight together as a celestial band of brothers.”

Tears welled in my eyes as I read Clyde’s text. It is an honor to serve with these men. In fact, it feels impossible to serve without them. Paul and his band of brothers were “the last apostles.” I pray we are the last teachers. I pray that the baton Paul passed to Timothy, ends with us. I pray this, not because I would rob others of the message, but because I wish to see, with my own eyes, the fullness of the era of the Gentiles. I will be so bold as to say: I long to be present when the last member of the body of Christ says, “Yes.” Then, the entire body of Christ—including the nine pioneers—will meet its Head in the air, and they shall ever be with Him.  

I intend to write you from New York with an account of the gathering, and photographs. Stay tuned to this channel. Pray to God that the last member of the body of Christ comes to Him in the small building, next to the beautiful lake. I will attempt to photograph it.

© 2012 by Martin Zender