Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Divided Household Should Be Our Greatest Concern! Who's Your Family?

Then came to him his mother and his brethren, and could not come at him for the press. 20 And it was told him by certain which said, Thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to see thee. 21 And he answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it, (Luke 8:19-21)

Being that my books deal greatly with the current trends in the eschatological arena, I find myself reading much about how the world is supposed to end, which includes (according to Pre-Tribulation theorists) nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, famines, pestilences and earthquakes in divers places, and other unimaginable horrors.

We are told by today’s so-called (and self-proclaimed) prophets that there shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be; and except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's (disciples of Christ) sake those days shall be shortened. They rightfully quote what is written in the entire chapter of Matthew 24, and usually throw in a few news reports from CNN, FOX and MSNBC, as they view B-roll footage of tanks exploding, tumultuous floods and raging forest fires.

What these prophets rarely mention in their discourse is found in Matthew 24, verses 9 and 10, scripture verses which state that they shall deliver Christians up to the ruling authorities to be afflicted, and they shall kill you. Who are they?

They go on to state that the disciples of Christ shall be hated by all nations solely because the disciples proclaim the name of Jesus; but, nevertheless, frightening and more horribly disconcerting, is that many people will be offended by others, they shall betray one another, and they shall hate one another. This is not speaking about Muslims hating Jews, nor even of Catholics hating Protestants, or whites hating blacks and Latinos (and vice verse); it is specifically speaking not only about our closest friends and colleagues, but by our very own family members, (Matthew 24:9-10).

Dear God help us!

But, then again, Christians should not be surprised about this aspect because Jesus did warn us this would happen:

Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. Luke 12:51-53. Other scripture go on to tell us that “brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. (Matthew 10:21, Mark 13:12 and Luke 21:16) New International Version.

Yes, family relationships have always been strained; however, they shall become more so as times of tribulation increases, to the degree that for many people (in order to survive anti-Christian onslaughts by the powers in charge), it will all boil down to an either you or me mentality.

Scripture in Romans and 2 Timothy vividly describes the newly adopted attitude that will take over and consume even our former fellow church members. These scriptures tell us how many, who once used to consider themselves (and or claimed to be) Christians, will turn away from the faith and will (in essence) turn their lives over to demonic forces.

They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; Romans 1:29-30 (New International Version) People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 2 Timothy 3:2 (New International Version).

We already see this prevalent in movies and television, magazines, paperback novels and especially on the Internet. We can see a runaway train of negativity as never before seen in mankind’s history. Many of us, who have been fortunate to acquire great friends and have sustained a loving and caring relationship with our blood brothers and sisters, will unfortunately be shocked when we experience betrayal as never imagined. Former brothers and sisters in Christ will turn on us to save their hides from the prevailing powers. But the horror of experiencing betrayal at the hands of our own blood brothers and sisters, and even our own sons and daughters, will be the greatest shock of all. It is going to happen, if it hasn’t happened to you already.

“Oh! I could never hate my relatives. Some may be a nuisance at times, but our family has always loved each other and will continue to do so regardless of the circumstances,” so you say!

This is all well and good, a noble and well intended sentiment. But, just as all the disciples of Christ abandoned Him when he was captured, flogged and crucified, there will be more than a tendency to deny our Christianity in order to save ourselves. This is called The Great Apostasy (Christians falling away from their faith in Jesus Christ) spoken of in 2 Thessalonians 2:3. Many claim this is not speaking about Christians but about non-Christians. What is it than non-Christians fall away from? How can they fall away from something they never had: Faith in Jesus Christ. No! This verse is speaking about current and self-proclaiming Christians falling away from the faith, a story that is rampant in today’s headlines.

“Yes,” you say, “I can see where nominal Christians could fall away from the faith, but my true flesh and blood relatives would never betray each other.”

I know of people who have such a close and loving relationship with their children, sons and daughters, almost to the point of idolatry, that they believe nothing could ever come between them. This is all well and good; however, as Christ said, He did not come to provide peace on earth (as many suppose) but to create division. He means that all of mankind has to make a decision. It’s either Him or friends and family. You will either be on His side or on Satan’s side. If your loved ones (relatives and close friends) do not pursue the (Jesus) path along with you, are you prepared to cut them loose forever?

“Hogwash,” you say?

Look closely at the scriptures. Jesus clearly stated (not hinted nor recommended) that you choose between Him and your closest relative (husband, wife, sons and daughters). He says it's either them or me! Are we prepared to make that decision?

“I’m not going to worry about it now; besides, God would never ask us to do this. And if He did, then I don’t need such a God, because my family (husband, wife, sons and daughters) are my entire life.”

So be it! But, yet, He clearly stated that He did not come to provide us with peace (especially in family relations), He said he has come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law, a man's enemies will be members of his own household. He adds (very clearly) that anyone who loves his father or mother more than Him is not worthy of He; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than Him is not worthy of He; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow Him is not worthy of He. (Matthew 10:34-38). 

But, at the same time, He tell tells us that "no one who has left home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this age and, in the age to come, eternal life." Luke 18:28-30 (New International Version).

Does this sound like a harsh, demanding and egotistical God? One who is only concerned about our devotion to Him and not our family members? Some say this, many believe God requires too much from us. But this is not true! Throughout scripture, God speaks about loving and caring for our family members. He tells us to be gentle with our wives and children, to be so loving and so concerned about our wives that we should even be willing to sacrifice our lives for them and our children. Wives should also have the same commitment (and respect) towards their husbands and children as well. And so it should be!

However, if those loved ones, those to whom you are the closest to, those to whom your very existence may well be for their sake, do not follow Christ, do not move daily in a Christ-like existence, do not manifest the attributes of a child of God, one who manifests the fruit of the Holy Spirit, which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, then you must make a choice, now, today, or become mired in a state of spiritual lethargy that will eventually cause you to fall away from the faith yourself.

“But I can’t turn away from my children, husband or wife,” not even for Jesus Christ! “You are asking me to choose between my brothers, sisters and parents? You go to hell mister!”

So be it! But the scripture says that the devotion you now feel and experience between your brothers, sisters, spouses and children, as glorious as it may be, could one day cause you more grief than you ever thought possible, as they slowly, and most assuredly, will betray and turn against you, Yes! Your very own children and parents will eventually turn against you, unless they love, revere and are willing to follow Jesus to the ends of the world.

The apostle Luke summed it up best as he described an incident that occurred while Christ was addressing a large throng of hungry people. Apparently his mother and brothers were trying to get to him, but, like VIPs and rock stars, they had trouble accessing Him among the thousands that were seeking His attention as well. They pleaded to gain access to Jesus, but His handlers obviously told them that that would be a problem. Nevertheless, one of Jesus' assistants relayed the message to Jesus, and this was His response:

Then his mother and his brothers came to him, but they could not reach him because of the crowd. And he was told, "Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you." But he said to them, "My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it, 
(Luke 8:19-21)."

Joe Ortiz is the author of two books that challenge right-wing evangelicals and Christian Zionists who promote or support the Left Behind and Pre-Tribulation Rapture doctrine. The books are The End Times Passover and Why Christians Will Suffer Great Tribulation, published by Author House. The End Times Passover


Thursday, August 27, 2009

APEX Review Gives Glowing Tribute To

Joe Ortiz’ Two New Books

End Times Passover
Joe Ortiz
Author House Publishing
Reviewed By Dominique Sessons

Official Apex
Reviews Rating:

End Times Passover
is the result of over 20 years of
painstaking research and analysis, presented by author & scholar Joe Ortiz in a masterfully seamless way. Not the typical mash up of "fire-and-brimstone" doomsday prophecy, Ortiz’s tome is an informative, enlightening dissertation on the contemporary applications of ancient scripture. Compiled from the study of –amongst many other resources–various biblical translations, The End Times Passover is quite the heavy read; certainly not recommended for na├»ve graduates of "cookie-cutter" Sunday School theology.

Fans of the Left Behind series (fictionalized narrative accounts of the events in the biblical book of Revelation) will find Ortiz rather detailed in manyareas that Jenkins & LaHaye treat with relative ambiguity. His comprehensive descriptions of the true intentions of the architects of the bible are eye-opening, and his fearless accostal of the tenets of traditional dogma are both inspiring and refreshing. Ortiz even delves deeply into the often overlooked area of misinterpreted
scripture, revealing the lasting, damaging effects that the basic "clerical errors" have left on the mindsets of millions of believers in the faith community over the years.

Most impressive about The End Times Passover is its relianceon sound factual support from numerous historical, archeological, and concordance sources. As previously mentioned, Ortiz invested over 20 years researching, analyzing, and compiling the foundation of his points, and his arguments present a formidable challenge to even the most seasoned, skeptical theological scholar.

The ending/beginning of new millennia are typical settings for the emergence of "End Times" hysteria and hype, and it’s often difficult to distinguish between the serious and the surreal; thankfully, The End Times Passover is a clear representation of the former, which offers those disillusioned with the latter a sound alternative, as well as a perfect opportunity to embrace the realistic prospects of an unknown world & time soon to come.

Why Christians Will Suffer "Great Tribulation"
Joe Ortiz
Author House Publishing
ISBN: 9781425984861

Reviewed By Dominique Sessons

Official Apex Reviews Rating:

The sequel to The End Times Passover, Why Christians
Will Suffer "Great Tribulation"
sees author & scholar Joe Ortiz picking up right where he left off: presenting thoroughly researched, cogent counterpoints to the standard arguments of biblical traditionalists. Just as with his first offering, readers will find Ortiz’s follow up tome quite informative – if not somewhat distressing.

The "tribulation" to which Ortiz refers, of course, is, according to the Christian religion, the time of great suffering that precedes the return of Jesus Christ.

Traditionally, theologians and scholars have posited that followers of the Christian faith will be spared when the times of tribulation emerge. Supposedly, all true believers will be instantaneously removed from the earth in a flash, an event commonly known as the "Rapture." Following their deliverance, the world left behind will experience years of agonizing toil and torment, setting the stage for Armageddon (the ultimate battle between good and evil), the defeat of Satan and his armies, and the subsequent eternal reign of the true biblical Kingdom.

In "Tribulation", though, Ortiz presents convincing evidence that followers of the Christian faith will not be so conveniently spared, and he also expounds on the disturbing reasons why. Relying on sound scriptural analysis and well-researched conclusions, Ortiz offers airtight, meticulous explanations regarding the true meanings behind biblical references to the "End Times" – even if such
explanations provide little comfort.

In recent times, countless individuals from all walks of life have sought to cast off the stranglehold of traditional religious dogma, instead seeking to learn the truth of all things for themselves. Why Christians Will Suffer "Great Tribulation" is a highly recommended starting point for such disillusioned souls, offering sound, factual interpretations of many previous legends & fables heretofore mistakenly applied. Though it sometimes gets a bit deep for the average casual reader, the strength & power of Ortiz’s arguments make his book required reading for believers and non-believers alike.

APEX Interviews Joe Ortiz

Apex Reviews: Joe, thanks for joining us for this interview. We're
looking forward to learning more about your books. You spent over 20 years researching and compiling both books. Why are you so passionate about the topics you address, and where does that passion come from?

Joe Ortiz: My passion comes from my early life, one where I have always been inquisitive about all things. My schoolmates used to tease me about my always asking the teachers questions, inferring I was kissing up to them. I wasn't, I genuinely wanted answersSecondly it also came from my experiences as a journalist, and my disappointment to find that not all we read in newspapers (and books), see on television or hear on the radio is true.

Therefore, when I first became a Christian (in 1975) I got really excited because my pastors and Bible teachers told me that God is truth and the Bible is His true word. However, when I started reading various Christian books and commentaries, I saw great differences between their books and the Bible. So who was I to trust, the commentators or the Bible?

Well, the Bible itself states (in 2 Timothy 3:16-17) that all 'scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.' Therefore I had to trust what the Bible says. However, believing and trusting what the Bible says and being able to interpret it correctly, meant that I had to dig deep and study key words correctly to understand their exact meaning.

So, how did I find out what certain words truly meant? For one thing, I used an etymological approach. What is Etymology? Etymology is the history of a linguistic form as a word shown by tracing its development since its earliest recorded occurrence in the language where it is found, by tracing its transmission from one language to another, by analyzing it into its component parts, by identifying its cognates in other languages, or by tracing it and its cognates to a common ancestral form in an ancestral language.

Without belaboring my answer to your initial question, I'll use the etymological example of the word "left" as is used in Luke 17:34, which is the basis for Tim LaHaye's Left Behind thesis, that sinners will be "left behind" at the Rapture and believers will be "taken" to heaven for seven years while all hell breaks loose here on earth. If examinecarefully (through an etymological approach) we find that the word "left" actually means "to forgive;" therefore, LaHaye's premise that bad folks are left behind and believers are taken to heaven has no biblical nor academic foundation whatsoever.

That one example alone should debunk LaHaye's Left Behind doctrine; however, I have about 150 other examples in my two books to nail shut LaHaye's Left Behind doctrinal coffin once and for all.

AR: After all the years of research and analysis, at what point did you decide it was finally time to bring the book to the light of day?

JO: I actually finished 95% of the book by 1986 and the full manuscript edit around 1999; however from 2000 to 2004, I perused these two books over and over and over again, cross-checking, cross-referencing the data to the point of exhaustion. Finally, around May of 2004, I felt a peace about the information I present in these two books, and decided to place them on the Internet, developed a web site and began giving it away for free.

After about three years, I decided to send it out to publishers to get more exposure and Author House Publishers became my official publisher.

AR: You offer very sound scriptural and historical evidence to back up your various claims. How were you able to come to such definitive conclusions?

JO: Once again, by using the etymological approach, figures of speech, Hebrew and Greek dictionaries, concordances, as well as reading hundreds of books on the same subject, mostly written by premillenial dispensationalists (like Tim LaHaye, John Hagee, John Walvoord, Hal Lindsey) and others who believe in the Pre-Tribulation Rapture and Left Behind doctrine. I began to examine what those writers claimed and matched their data to the Bible's and it didn't jibe. Actually, I was hoping their thesis could be confirmed because I kind of like the idea of a being whisked to heaven while all hell breaks loose here on earth. But that will not the case.

AR: Please share with our readers precisely why you think followers of the Christian faith will have to endure the "Great Tribulation"?

JO: The apostle Paul told us (in the book of Acts 14:22) that we must go through much tribulation in order to enter into the kingdom of God; but unfortunately, way too many Christians today would rather believewe are immune to persecution mainly because we are Christians. Iprovide a great amount of scripture, especially in "Why Christians Will Suffer Great Tribulation," to show that today's believer is not immune to persecution. For that matter, hundreds of thousands of Christians throughout the world are suffering great tribulation as we speak; however, American Christians, especially, believe that we will be protected from persecution because (up to recently, when we experienced 911) we have become accustomed to a predominately secure life in the USA.

Many American Christians rightly believe what is stated in 1 Thessalonians 4:9, which is that Christians are not appointed to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, which is true. However, there is a big difference between God's wrath on the unbeliever and the antichristian world's persecution of Christians. We are and have been destined for persecution. Why should modern day Christians receive greater treatment from the world than the millions who have been martyred for Christ throughout history?

AR: Our reviewer noted that, while informative, many of your claims are quite disturbing. Have you gotten any reactions from readers who think that your approach is too depressing or amounts to "doomsday prophecy"? If so, what has been your response?

JO: Yes, I have gotten a lot of heat from many who say that we (Christians) are not destined for wrath. Listen, truly walking with Christ is not going to be a picnic in the park. Christ told us to pick up our cross and follow Him. The cross is an instrument of death. We (Christians) are coming to a point in history where we will be asked by world oppressors to renounce our faith, or to choose between Christ and the world. You can read about these accounts where Christians are being killed today because they are standing up for Jesus in countries like China, Bangladesh, Indonesia, etc.

In other words, are we American Christians prepared to die for standing up for Christ rather than serve another god, such as the gods of money, military and political power, or other heathen religions? I share a great example of this with my readers in my second book (Why Christians Will Suffer Great Tribulation), where I speak about three guys (Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego) who would not serve King Nebuchadnezzar's gods or worship the image of gold he had set up. They were given a choice: Honor the king's giant gold statue or be thrown in the fiery furnace. The three guys responded and said they didn't need to defend themselves before the King in this matter.

They told the King that if they are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God they serve is able to save them from it, and he will rescue them. The amazing thing is what they said next.

'Even if God does not save, we want you to know, king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.'

King Nebuchadnezzar got furious with these three fanatics he ordered
the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual and commanded some ofthe strongest soldiers in his army to tie up the three servants and threw them into the blazing furnace. The king's command was so urgent and thenfurnace so hot that the flames of the fire killed the soldiers who took these three men, firmly tied, and pushed them into the blazing furnace. The end result is the three guys didn't burn.

This particular story is an example of a theme that is repeated throughout the Bible, where we see patriarchs like Noah, Daniel, Joshua, David, et al who are divinely protected by God when they place their complete trust in Him. These examples are what my books are based upon, that God is able to rescue His children without having to Rapture them to heaven. God takes us through trials, not out of them.

Will some Christians die from persecution? Yes, thousands have throughout history and thousands today and that many more tomorrow.

But, like the Apostle Stephen, the first Christian martyr in history, those who give their lives so others can live, as Christ did, will be rewarded in greater fashion than those who cower as tribulation increases.

AR: We can only imagine the kinds of criticisms you've had to endure as a result of the points you make. Have you encountered much resistance from religious traditionalists?

JO: Yes! Those who believe in the Left Behind and Pre-Tribulation Rapture doctrines are pretty adamant about their belief system. I have challenged them to read the book and then respond. They say they haven't the time, or they are convinced their belief system is sound enough. Yet, I have been blessed by those who have read the books and we have received from them glowing testimonies, including folks like Dave MacPherson, Rick Wiles, and Richard Deem and now from Dominique Sessons.

At the beginning (as I was conducting my initial research back in 1984) I could not find anyone who had written about the same evidence I present in my two books. Only recently (in the last 4 to 5 years) have I found other authors that have come to basically the same conclusions as I do, including authors such as Steve Wohlberg, Ted Noel, Stephen Sizer, Barbara Rossing and other emerging writers.]

AR: In light of all the resounding evidence that you present, what advice can you offer to those who still refuse to abandon the traditionalist dogma that was inculcated into them at an early age?

JO: Goodness! It's very difficult to change people's minds about their current belief system, which makes my work seem even slower and harder. Yet, those folks who have taken the time to read all the sound evidence I provide have come back and said they now have a greater understanding of God's end times program. I would encourage them to at least read the book, and then come back and share with me their concerns. If they can present evidence that refutes what I have presented, and it can be proven vis a vis the etymological approach I took, then I would consider making corrections. I tell folks that my books are not the end of the eschatological debate that still roars in evangelical circles.

However, those who are secure about their relationship with God have no need to fear or listen to another point of view. If anything, I believe they will grow in greater faith!

AR: What has your experience been like with Author House?

JO: Good! I have a strong background in journalism and working as a publicist; therefore, after they sent out their initial press release about my books, I chose to handle those duties myself. A book, as you well know, is like your child; you know it best and also know the character and image of the books you want to
project to the public.

AR: You've actually been involved in quite a number of different activities over the course of your life. Please share more with our readers about Joseph Ortiz, the man of many talents.

JO: Goodness! I believe (more so now) that God has His hand on me from an early age. Not that I was a religious person throughout my life. Other than a few years of Catholic training up to my early teens, I burned the candle at both ends until I accepted Christ in 1975, which was a major turning point in my life. Another turning point in my life came earlier when I landed on KABC Talk Radio in 1971. I wasn't looking for a broadcasting career; I was just at the right place at the right time. Someone threw me the broadcasting football and I've been running towards the goal line ever since.

I parlayed that opportunity into a very successful broadcasting, civil service,
teaching and public relations career. However, throughout that entire
journey, I was consumed with researching and writing this book. There
were years where I spent 80 percent of my time to the project, and
other times 30 to 40 percent due to supporting a family. However, from June 2000 until May of 2004, while I managed a homeless shelter in Palm Springs for 16 hours a day, seven days a week for about three and a half years without a day off, after work, totally exhausted, that's when I studied and wrote the best portions of the book. God had my attention like never before and that's when the books illuminated.

After I finished the final editing (in May 2004) I shared the manuscripts with renown authors like Ralph Woodrow and Dave MacPherson (experts in the eschatological genre), who read the books and encouraged me to get them out there.

Now, I'm semi-retired but still do some writing for various magazines and

newspapers throughout the country; a little PR for charities that deal with drug abuse, homelessness and unwed mothers, and I also manage a few blogs and my two web sites, promoting the books every chance I get.

AR: How can our readers learn more about you, your writings, and your various other efforts?

JO: I would refer them to either one of my two web sites and all they need to know (and more) is accessible:

Joe Ortiz

The End Times

AR: Any final thoughts you'd like to share?

JO: Yes! We are living in precarious times. The world is rapidly

changing as never before. Many Christians especially believe that the answer lies with new leadership and new changes in ourgovernment and then things will turn out alright. What I have been fortunate to have learned (having spent over 30 years in the political arena) is that mankind's problems will never be solved by governments or any secular philosophy. And it won't be changed either by those professing Christians who promote strong military might to solve the world's problems, or attempting to rid ourselves from the implied threat from radical fundamentalists and religious zealots, whether they hoist and carry a purported Christian, Judaic or Muslim banner.

My two books provide the evidence as to what believers should be doing today, and what their attitude should be concerning their family, community and members of their congregation. It describes the reality that God does not want His children to play church or religion, but rather to serve those closest to them. To do whatever they can to help them carry their crosses as well as ourown. It's not going to be easy. But, as the famous Apostle Paul stated in Romans 8:36-39, while portions of my books may appear like gloom and doom, people have to keep it all in perspective, because everything turns out OK in the end:

"As it is written, for your sake we face death all day long. We are considered as sheep to be slaughtered. No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

AR: Thanks again, Joe, and best of continued success to you in all your endeavors!

JO: My pleasure!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Joe Ortiz' Broadcasting Journey
Begins/Ends With Chico & The Man

(August 26, 2009) Joe Ortiz, a former newsman and radio-television talk show host, has had a unique if not an interesting career in and out of broadcasting.

Laying claim to being the first Mexican American to host a talk show on an English-language, commercial radio station, Ortiz’s entry into that medium is one he claims was being directed by someone else: God!

Though semi-retired, Ortiz continues to write for local and national media outlets, manages several Web sites and blogs when he isn’t working on his fourth book, or appearing on national media to promote his previous works.

“I didn’t go to school to study journalism and eventually end up as a talk show host, news reporter or newspaper columnist,” said Ortiz. “I just happened to be at the right place at the right time and fell into a broadcasting career that has lasted close to 40 years now.”

Joe says he believes the correct word for what he has done all of these years is one of being a “broadcaster,” which the dictionary defines as a person who goes about casting and sowing seeds in a broad and widely disseminating manner.

"Whether behind a church pulpit or a radio microphone, broadcasters are basically sowing seeds of philosophy, culture or religion,” said Ortiz. "Obviously, my earlier goal was to communicate the hopes, dreams and aspirations of the Mexican American community to the American public, a subject matter that I felt had previously received scant attention, either by being misunderstood and or ignored by mainstream America.”

Ortiz entry into broadcasting on radio was really a fluke. He was working as a Job Agent for the State of California in 1971 when he was approached by friend and salsa dj, Lionel “Chico” Sesma. Chico, who also worked with Joe Ortiz at the California State Department of Employment, asked Joe if he wanted to be on radio. Joe, thinking Chico was inviting him on as a guest, was told by Chico to go see Bob Walsh the station manager at KABC, and to take his resume.

When Joe arrived at the radio station located on La Cienega Blvd in West Los Angeles, still thinking he was going to be a guest on one of the station’s programs, he was surprised when Walsh took him into an empty studio and asked him to read a copy of a commercial for Lindberg Nutrition Store. After reading the commercial, Walsh told him “Thanks for coming in, we'll call you later.”(Photo: Chico Sesma in 1950 at 1580/KDAY)

A couple of days later, Walsh called Joe and told him he liked like his voice and his insights into the minority communities. Much to his surprise, Walsh told Joe he had the job, and asked if he would be willing to begin in two weeks and take on the Sunday morning show from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. He told Joe that Chico was hosting the job on a trial basis. He said that although Chico Sesma was a well-known radio man in Spanish language broadcasting, they were looking for a person who knew about and was more involved with Latino issues, which Joe Ortiz was.

Joe told Walsh that he did not want to take a job away from a good friend of his. Walsh said that Chico was not necessarily what they were looking for. He had a great voice and understood the mechanics of the console, but they wanted someone who knew the political issues and worked directly with various groups in the Hispanic community. Walsh said he asked Chico if he knew of someone that could fit that bill and he immediately recommended Joe for the job.

So Walsh asked: “Do you want the job or not?” Joe answered, “Of course!”

Two weeks later, Joe Ortiz became the only Mexican American in the country hosting a talk show on an English-language, commercial radio station. This opportunity resulted in a 21 year career as a talk show host, news reporter, newspaper columnist and a public relations career that is still online!

“I can honestly state that had it not been for Chico Sesma’s recommendation to KABC, I probably would still be working for the employment office as a Job Agent,” said Ortiz.

The Sunday before Joe started his newfound career, he sat in with Chico on his last day at the radio station, watching how he handled the telephone calls, which buttons to push and how to cue and handle the written commercials.

The following week Joe was on his own. He had to work a 5 hour shift, which is difficult enough for seasoned professionals. Walsh told him not to worry, that he was going to stay for the entire 5 hours of Joe’s first show, and the following weeks, if necessary, to help him out with any problems that may come up. Marty Capune, the show’s producer, also encouraged Joe and told him to merely relax and just have a conversation with the callers. Joe, to this day, remembers the first words he said over the Los Angeles airwaves. (Photo: Joe Ortiz at KABC in 1971)

“Good Morning Los Angeles. My name is Joe Ortiz. You can call me Joseph, you can call me Joe, or you can call me Jose, it really doesn’t matter what you call me, but do call me at 870-7263.”

After about thirty minutes into the broadcast, Walsh came into the studio cubicle where Joe was doing the show and said, "Hey kid, you are a natural. You don’t need any help. I’m going home."

Joe is soon gaining many fans and is featured in a two page article by Eastern Group Publications about his pioneering efforts in the broadcast arena. He quickly became not only the most recognizable voice for Latino issues in Southern California, the controversial talk show host became a positive role model for Latinos and paved the way for many of them who aspired to become news reporters and commentators.

After a year at KABC Talk Radio, he was asked to host another show on KABC’s sister station, KLOS/fm. He hosted a late night show called IMPACT, which focused primarily on minority issues. KCBS (then KNXT) Television soon offered him a job to host another talk show, called The Siesta Is Over, which was formally hosted by KNXT newsman Bob Navarro. Joe agreed to host the program but wanted to change the name. The producer (Jay Strong, at the time) agreed and they called the show BIENVENIDOS, which means ‘Welcome’ in Spanish. Joe hosted BIENVENIDOS for two years before the format was changed to include all minorities, not just Latinos. The name was changed to It Takes All Kinds. In the mid 70’s he was the only broadcaster hosting both a radio and television show, while working at a full time job as Press Deputy to Los Angeles City Councilman John Ferraro. In 1973 Joe received the Angel Award for Best Host, Los Angeles Television.

Coming to a cross roads between a political life and broadcasting, Ortiz left Ferraro’s office in 1975 to seek work at a news station to learn the ins and outs of news reporting. A friend of his, Moctesuma Esparza (now a renown film maker of movies such as Selena, Gods And Generals, Gettysburg, The Milagro Beanfield Wars, to name a few) was hosting a minority issues show on KPFK in early 1975. Esparza recommended Joe to KPFK news director Carol Breshears and he was hired as a reporter. A few months later Joe was appointed as the station’s Chief News Reporter. He was a member of the news team that won a Golden Mike Award for “Best News Team” in 1976. After a year and a half at KPFK, Joe found religion and left the station to pursue a career as an evangelist. He served in the ministry until 1987.

(KPFK-FM wins Golden Mike for "Best News Team" in 1976)

“Broadcasting is really about disseminating and sowing ideas, concepts and doctrine to the masses,” said Ortiz, who preached throughout the country, sharing the information he wrote in his first book, Saved? What Do You Means Saved?

“I was telling my audiences in churches throughout the country that religion is not about pontificating a holier than though attitude towards others; it’s about forgiving, consoling and helping the homeless, the infirm and the downtrodden,” says Ortiz (photo from pulpit by Gary Karno).

About eight years later, Joe developed a Christian talk show for a church he was attending in Highland Park, and launched a two hour talk show called Heart & Soul, at KPPC in Pasadena with the church's pastor, Mike O’Brien. The station's management was impressed with Joe’s talent and asked him if he would be willing to host his own show on KPPC-AM. Thinking his broadcasting days on secular radio were in the past, the exposure on Heart & Soul rekindled a little “fire under the belly,” and a few months later he launched “Prime Time with Joe Ortiz” at that station. Joe’s show was basically a general topics format, but he also allowed discussions about Christian topics to ensue from his callers. Joe felt that the two subjects (religion and world news) could be dealt with without any major problems. It worked!

After about a year at KPPC, his broadcasting friend Al Gross asked him if he wanted to bring that format to KPZE-AM in Anaheim where he was working. KPZE-AM was mainly a Christian-oriented station, but had decided to transition to regular talk programs. The station felt Joe’s “mixed” format could work well during the station’s transition. After conducting his weekend show for about a year, the station recognized that Joe’s format helped the station to smoothly segue from Christian programming to general topics discussions.

A few months later, the station manager at KPZE, asked Joe if he wanted to host the daily morning drive slot replacing the departing Al Gross who went to work for James Dobson’s “Focus on the Family” show. After a couple of weeks, Joe told management he wanted to bring on comedian Cris Franco, a friend of his, to co-host the show. Voila! “Mornings with Joe & Cris” was born and ran for over a year.

During this period, Joe was also hired by MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund) to raise funds and coordinate special events for the Latino advocacy organization. After one year at MALDEF, Joe fulfilled a life-long dream of operating his own public relations company, Joe Ortiz Associates, which he founded and still manages on a limited basis. In the 1988 edition of Hispanic Business Magazine, Joe was also listed among the 100 Hispanic Influentials along with Latino luminaries such as Rita Moreno, Paul Rodriguez, Geraldo Rivera and others, for his broadcasting excellence.

He eventually left the radio show in 1989 to handle the burgeoning public relations clientele he quickly acquired. In addition to his hectic schedule, Joe also wrote a syndicated column, It Seems to Me, for Eastern Group Publication’s 10 community-wide newspapers in the northeast section of Los Angeles. Joe was repeatedly asked by fans to return to the air waves however, as much as he enjoyed talk radio, it was not as lucrative as public relations.

But, Joe did return to radio for one last time! In 1992, he was called in by KABC management to see if he would sit in for (now nationally syndicated) Dennis Prager for one evening during the Desert Storm crisis. He said “Yes” and Joe conducted his last official show on the air, at the same station he began his career, 21 years earlier.

“I thought that was so cool,” beams Ortiz, “to do my last official on air appearance, my swan song, on the same station where I launched my career, was an amazing experience.”

Ortiz, who is often called upon by local and national media to expound on his three books on theology, and also on his views concerning the Latino community, said doesn’t believe there should be any dichotomy between world affairs and theology discussions, that the public should be allowed to intermingle religious dogma with the political. He believes this would bring greater understanding to the national and international dialogue in order to get a greater perspective as to how both genuinely are connected to each other.

“I’m a devout Christian and my books do present scripture in an orthodox manner; says Ortiz. “However, they also challenge right wing evangelicals who promote the Pre-Tribulation Rapture and the Left Behind doctrines of Tim LaHaye, Hal Lindsey, John Hagee and other Christians who promote war as a solution to world problems.” His books include The End Times Passover and its sequel, Why Christians Will Suffer Great Tribulation, both published by Author House.

In addition to his writing projects, Joe also serves as the President of the Official Tom Flores Fan Club. He has been friends with Flores for over twenty years and is working to get the former Oakland Raiders quarterback and twice Super Bowl winning coach for the Los Angeles and Oakland Raiders football teams, inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame.

“Until Jesus Christ returns to put all things back into their proper working order, my job is to continue broadcasting seeds of hope, charity, patience, forgiveness and caring for our fellow human beings.”

Joe Ortiz (r) and Lionel “Chico” Sesma (l) are reunited after not seeing each other in over thirty years, seen here enjoying lunch at an East Los Angeles restaurant last year. The two stay in touch through phone and emails on a regular basis. You can reach Joe

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

"Pre-Trib Brownies Recipe"

Copyright © 2004 Joe Ortiz


Six egg yolks from any chickens fed with corn or lats of haye (throw away clear stuff)

Half a cup of Lindseyd Oil (still cold pressed in Dallas)

Seven teaspoons of Kosher Salt

Six cups of Cain sugar (best if you are Abel to cultivate it on your own)

Six cups of flour (preferably grown, harvested and processed in Sco fields)

6 tablespoons of Darby syrup (sap easily collected from dead olive trees)

6 cups of yeast (dispensed cheaply at any Ben Hinn Rally)

Large bowl filled with doctored Ice (to my friends, they’re odd-shaped cubes)

Pre heat your oven at 666 degrees. Place mixture in the large bowl of Ice, mix all of the ingredients and beat them together until all the leaven has been incorporated. Then let it set without proofing it with pure water, it will rise on its own until all ingredients turn into a sticky, gooey, gaseous mixture. After letting it set for some time, pour olive oil on your hands (actually all over your entire body) so the mixture will not stick to you, as if you really kneed it. Mold the mixture into any shape you desire, but be careful you don’t let any of the ingredients soil your garments.

Place paper bowl inside the oven on the lowest rack, and keep the temperature at 666 degrees. No need to set any specific time for this concoction, unless you are an expert in this field. Many have tried to arrive at the exact hour to cook Pre-Trib Brownies throughout the last 200 years or so, but have failed to reach the mark. Actually, you are allowed to set the timer to whatever hour you wish, based on your own calculations. It doesn’t take that much experience. You can also find many varying recipes on the Internet. There are thousands of them popping up all the time. Therefore, feel free to take a guess at how long to bake your own mixture. Many novice cooks often tune into the news reports on certain media to determine the current and most popular time frames. Middle East news reports and the Weather Channel, especially, have helped to dispense varying time factors, especially for new beginners. But, Oh, What the Haye, pick whatever time suits you best!

Regardless, keep Pre-Trib Brownies in the oven until all the salt has dissipated, and the Cain sugar has turned into saccharin, which will make them taste sweeter than they really are. Whatever you do, don’t pull it out before it is finished; this concoction could Rupture!

However, if the oven starts smoking and a nasty aroma begins to stink up your house, for God's sake, get out of there as quickly as you can! Whatever you do, don't let your loved ones get Left Behind! Don’t feel bad about fleeing the place that taught you how to make Pre-Trib Brownies; feel free to go to another house, even if you have to get out into the desert. The new place you will be dwelling in may not be the easiest place in the world, but at least you will be able to eat good bread instead of being fed sweet tasting stuff all the time.

Warning: Pre-Trib Brownies always taste great at first, and may satisfy your hunger or whatever ails you at the moment. But in the end, they can cause a severe case of DIE REAL.

Joe Ortiz

First Published on the 4th of July, 2004

Joe Ortiz is the author of The End Times Passover and Why Christians Will Suffer Great Tribulation (Author House). He is the first Mexican American to host a talk show on an English-language, commercial radio station, beginning in 1971 at KABC-AM Los Angeles, California.