The ‘New Creature’

The ‘New Creature’
Vol: 44 Issue: 19 Thursday, May 19, 2005

According to Scripture, there are four classes of created rational beings in the universe, namely, angels, Gentiles, Jews and Christians. That fact is critical to rightly dividing the word of truth. Each is a different spiritual being, each has a different origin, present estate and a unique destiny.

Angels are the first of the created, rational beings.

“Praise ye Him, all His angels: praise ye Him, all His hosts. . . Let them praise the name of the LORD: for He commanded, and they were created.” (Psalms 148:2,5)

The Bible teaches that their home is in heaven (Matthew 24:36), their activity is both on earth and in heaven (Psalms 103:20, Luke 15:10, Hebrews 1:14) and their destiny is the Eternal City of Revelation 21:12.

“But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels. . .” (Hebrews 12:22)

Angels are unique creations of God, not to be confused with any other of God’s created beings. Even though some fall, as was the case with Satan, the fallen angels remain angels throughout their existence. Their numbers are constant; they neither propagate nor die.

The second class of created beings are the Gentiles. The Gentiles trace their origin to Adam. They are partakers in the fall of man, but Scripture says that some of them will share, as a subordinate people, with Israel during the Millennial Kingdom. (Isaiah 2:4, 60:3,5,12, 62:2, and Acts 15:17)

As to their estate, from Adam until Christ, the Gentiles “without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world.” (Ephesians 2:12).

Since the Resurrection, the door of Gospel privilege has been opened to the Gentiles, and out of both Gentiles and Jews of this age, God is calling an elect company.

“Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as He did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God? When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.” (Acts 11:17-18)

The period of time bounded by the Babylonian captivity through to the end of the Church Age is called by Scripture “the times of the Gentiles.” (Luke 21:24)

The third class of created beings are the Jews. By the calling of Abraham, and all that God accomplished through him, a new race of beings was begun that, under unalterable Divine covenant and promise, continues forever.

So different is this race of created beings that some five-sixths of Scripture bears directly or indirectly on the Jews. The destiny of the Jews is traceable through the Millennial Kingdom and into the new heaven and earth which follows.

In this present Church Age, all Divine progress in the national and earthly program for Israel is on hold; individual Jews have the same privilege as the individual Gentiles of personal faith in Christ as Savior. But Scripture is clear that, when the present age concludes, God will again turn His attention to the national redemption of Israel.

The fourth class of created beings are the Christians. Christians are those called out of both Jew and Gentile, and are formed by the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit.

“For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him.” (Romans 10:12)

Christians are neither Gentile nor Jew, but a new spiritual creation in Christ.

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2nd Corinthians 5:17)

“For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.” (Galatians 6:15)

The Christian, indwelt by the Holy Spirit, is a citizen of heaven (Philippians 3:20), having been raised WITH Christ (Colossians 3:1-3) and are so different than any other created rational being that, of the Christian, Jesus says, “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” (John 15:19, 17:14,16)

Note carefully that the spiritual rebirth and heavenly position [in Christ] are by faith alone. By definition, human operation is excluded. The only responsibility imposed on the human side of the equation is trusting in the only One Who can save.

The Scriptures which direct a Christian in his walk with the Lord are adapted to the fact that the Christian is no longer striving to secure a standing before God, but is already ‘accepted in the beloved’.

“To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the beloved.” (Ephesians 1:6)

Christians, by their existence, have already attained every spiritual blessing; “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ . .” (Ephesians 1:3)

Obviously, no human effort can bring a person to fulfill God’s standard of sinless perfection. God, anticipating the believer’s inability to walk worthy of his high calling, freely bestows His empowering Spirit to indwell each believer.

Scripture also promises that when their elect number is complete, as unique citizens of heaven, they will be removed from the earth at the Rapture. The bodies of believers who have died will be raised and living saints will be translated. (1st Corinthians 15:20-57, 1st Thessalonians 4:13-18)

At the Bema Seat in glory, believers will be judged as to their rewards for service. (1st Corinthians 3:9-15, 9:18-27, 2nd Corinthians 5:10,11), the Body of Christ will be wed to the Bridegroom, (Revelation 19:7-9) and return WITH Him to share as His consort during the Millennial Reign.

This new creation, like angels, Gentiles and Jews, can be traced into eternity future, but they are unique from the rest. They possess no land, no house, no earthly capital or city, no earthly kingdom and no earthly king.

Scripture promises that the Jews will inherit the earth. The Gentiles will inhabit it with them as a subordinate people. But the Church does not share in that inheritance.

“And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together.” (Romans 8:17)

The Jews and Gentiles inherit the earth. Church Age believers inherit the universe!

The Age of Grace concludes at the Rapture. The Tribulation Period is the final seven years of the Age of Law, under which God will judge a Christ-rejecting world. During this period, some Gentiles will become believers, but, unlike during this present age, they are not indwelt by the Holy Spirit, Whose earthly ministry concludes at the Rapture.

During the Church Age, believers are promised to ‘resist the devil and he will flee from you,’ because ‘greater is He that is in you than He that is in the world. (James 4:7, 1st John 4:4)

But during the Tribulation, “it was given unto him [antichrist] to make war with the saints, and to overcome them.” (Revelation 13:7) Those who enter the beast’s worship system, believers or not, and accept his mark are forever lost.

Assessment:

As you can see from the revealed Word, there is no place for the Church during Daniel’s 70th week. The Church is excluded from the judgments pronounced against a Christ-rejecting world, and the Church plays no role in the national redemption of Israel.

Since the Church Age is characterized by the promise that, “He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever” (John 14:6) while, during the time of Jacob’s Trouble, the Holy Spirit’s role is limited to ‘sealing’ the 144,000 Jewish evangelists of Revelation 7:3-8, the Church’s presence on earth during the Tribulation has no place in the plan of God.

Since, by definition, Church Age believers are NOT Christ-rejecting and are NOT part of God’s plan for the national redemption of Israel, the only role the Church could play during the Tribulation would be to face the judgments of God, bereft of the indwelling Holy Spirit, comfortless, and with no earthly destiny or purpose apart from becoming the antichrist’s cannon fodder.

Consider it this way. For the last two thousand years, Church Age believers have enjoyed fellowship with God, thanks to the imputed righteousness of Christ and empowered by the indwelling Holy Spirit. Jesus promised He would not leave us comfortless, and that the Holy Spirit will abide with us forever.

But, in the final hours of human history, when man’s corruption has reached its peak and God pours out His judgment against them for their unrepentant sin, (“Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts,” – Revelation 9:21), some would argue that those living in those days will be stripped of their indwelling Spirit, God breaks fellowship with them, leaving them to face the worst period of spiritual trial in the history of creation alone.

For that to be true, of all the generations of believers from the Apostle Paul until the revelation of ‘that Wicked’ — the believers of the last days are the only ones to whom the promise, “I will not leave you comfortless” is meaningless.

The new spiritual creation must then, by definition, revert back to its old form of either Jew or Gentile, and share in the judgments being poured out upon them. The new creature, indwelt by the Holy Spirit and spiritually empowered to resist the devil, with the promise that ‘he will flee from you’ — will find that is no longer true. How else could they be ‘overcome’ by him as Revelation 13:7 says the Tribulation saints will be?

It is not POSSIBLE for Church Age believers to play a role in the Tribulation, other than as recipients of God’s justice for sin, although believers, by definition, have already been judged and found righteous at the Cross.

Consider the Promises of Jesus, given the Church, in the context of the Tribulation Period.

“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:26-27)

“Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. . . ” unless you are among those believers of the last generation. If the destiny of the Church is to partake in God’s judgment against the world, then my heart should be troubled indeed, and I should be very, very afraid.

His peace was for all the generations that went before. But not for mine?

The Scriptures say otherwise.

Today’s OL is a retread while I am traveling to Arizona. It was first published in September, 2005. Please keep me in prayer. – Jack

Descent Into Madness

Descent Into Madness
Vol: 44 Issue: 18 Wednesday, May 18, 2005

The Book of the Revelation, in describing the events of the Tribulation, paints a word picture of a world that has lost its collective sanity. Speaking of the political beast, John writes;

“And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?” (Revelation 13:4)

It paints the mental image we see in World War Two newsreel footage of Nazi Germany. Huge, thronging masses, eyes shining, arms upraised in the Nazi salute, as Adolf Hitler propagated his ‘master race’ theory and made his case for the mass extermination of inferior races.

“And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.” (Revelation 13:7)

Newsreel footage of columns of young Nazis, goose-stepping in perfect harmony, marching off on their mission to subjugate the world and introduce their new world order, is superimposed in my mind with images of the concentration camps that they were willing to give their lives to protect.

It was a form of demonically-induced collective madness that seized the citizens of one of the most cultured nations in Europe. There can be no other explanation that makes sense. It is no surprise that many people at the time feared Hitler was the antichrist himself.

Hitler appeared to fulfill many of the prophecies of Revelation. He allied himself with il Duce, the Italian dictator who saw himself as a reincarnate Caesar. The goal of Mussolini and his fascists was to recreate the Roman Empire with Mussolini as Caesar.

Hitler’s goal was the destruction of the Jews. To accomplish it, he set up death camps for the Jews and concentration camps for those who opposed him. Any who refused to go along with the Nazi program found themselves interned. As the Axis madness progressed, many of them were transferred to death camps as well, including evangelical Christians.

It seemed to fit Revelation’s outline like a glove; a European leader whose goal was the destruction of Jews and Christians. Hitler’s chief ally was Rome. Those Germans who were not members of the Nazi Party had trouble getting jobs, and, in some cases, were shut out of normal commerce.

World War Two Europe was like a dry run for the coming government of antichrist.

Assessment:

The nation of Israel was born under the slogan of “Never Again.” Never again would the Jews allow themselves to be marched helplessly to their deaths. Israel’s foundational principle was that of collective security.

The Bible says that in the last days, there would again be a nation called ‘Israel’ and that it would exist on the ancestral homeland of the Jews. The Bible said that in the last days, Jerusalem would again be in Jewish hands.

Satan attempted to bring about the Tribulation through Adolf Hitler, but he miscalculated. Instead of destroying the Jews, he became indirectly responsible for the restoration of the Jewish state. It was not the first time that Satan’s miscalculation fulfilled God’s ultimate plan.

“But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” (1st Corinthians 2:7-8)

Without the existence of a literal Israel on its ancestral ground, in possession of Jerusalem, God’s plan for the ages could not move forward, since the purpose of the Tribulation Period is Israel’s national redemption.

“Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.” (Daniel 9:24)

Note the angel is speaking to Daniel, and by extension, the Jews. “Thy people” and “thy holy city”.

The purpose is six-fold; to finish the transgression, make an end to sins, make reconciliation for iniquity, bring in everlasting righteousness, seal up the vision and the prophecy, and anoint the most Holy.”

The Church plays no role. Christians have no holy city of their own — we share Jerusalem with the Jews, but it is not ours. Jesus finished the transgression and put an end to sins at the Cross, offering Himself as a reconciliation for iniquity.

Those who trust Him for their salvation are already assured of everlasting righteousness. The ‘vision and the prophecy’ of a Redeemer is sealed by the Holy Spirit with His indwelling of believers. Believers are anointed BY the Most Holy.

“To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.” (2nd Corinthians 5:19)

The Jews, in contrast, continue to wait for their Messiah, blinded to the fact He has already come. When He comes again at the conclusion of the Tribulation Period, God says;

“I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon Me Whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourneth for his only Son, and shall be in bitterness for Him, as one that is in bitterness for his Firstborn.” (Zechariah 12:10)

Satan’s ‘Hitler’ experiment failed for several reasons. First, Israel had not yet been restored. Secondly, although Hitler was able to infect his own population and to some degree, the population of Nazi-subjugated countries, his reach exceeded his grasp. The technology of the day limited his fascist message to only those countries he could control.

Finally, Jerusalem was not under Jewish control.

The very existence of Israel provided the missing links. The whole world is united against Israel, over the question of who should possess Jerusalem. The Islamofascists who are the most dedicated to its destruction are not limited by technology, and they get ample assistance in spreading their message from the liberal American media.

And one can track the global descent into madness like it was scripted in advance. Let’s take the most recent example of the descent into madness, piece by piece.

Newsweek publishes a false report of US ‘desecration’ of the Koran. Global Islam reacts like a rabid dog, attacking and killing each other and burning down their own buildings.

The Koran is the inspiration for the enemy’s declaration of global war against Israel and the Christian West. When Islam begins snapping at itself in fury, the administration starts referring to the book of war as the ‘holy’ Koran and apologizing for an offense that it didn’t even commit.

The US liberal media, having recognized the damage it caused, launches a spirited defense of Newsweek by hinting the story is true, even if the ‘evidence’ is not, keeping Islamic fury at a fever pitch, so that the liberal US media can continue to discredit its OWN GOVERNMENT in the eyes of the enemy in order to win domestic political points.

And the uproar isn’t over the insanity of handing a mortal enemy a propaganda victory, but rather, a collective disappointment that the story itself isn’t true.

Although Newsweek extended its ‘sympathy’ to the victims and its ‘regret’ to US forces it put in harm’s way, its editors promise to keep looking and, if they can find proof, they’ll run the story again. Knowing what it caused the last time.

I’ve been watching Newsweek’s defenders, the administration’s critics, and the apologists for Islam making the case that Muslim reaction to the story was justified, given US treatment of Muslims.

They all had that same shining look in their eyes that I saw in the old German newsreels.

Islam Rejects Newsweek Retraction

Islam Rejects Newsweek Retraction
Vol: 44 Issue: 17 Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Pakistan dismissed an apology and retraction by the Newsweek magazine as ‘inadequate’ according to Pakistan’s Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed.

Reuters quoted him in an interview, saying, “The apology and retraction are not enough. They should understand the sentiments of Muslims and think 101 times before publishing news which hurt feelings of Muslims.”

While I am not much for worrying about hurting the feelings of Muslims until they start worrying about mine, I have to agree with the good sheikh at least in part.

Newsweek SHOULD have understood Islamic sentiments and thought 101 times before publishing news which hurts the United States of America.

Qazi Hussain Ahmed, head of a hard-line six-party Islamic alliance in Pakistan, said Newsweek’s retraction was unlikely to cool tempers in the Muslim world.

“Whatever the magazine has done now is under pressure (from the U.S. government),” he said. “It has not denied what it has reported and many people freed from Guantanamo Bay have narrated the same thing.”

A story in Zaman Online noted that, “The White House had earlier requested that the magazine withdraw the story.” To the Islamofacist world, THAT is the only line worth noting. In their world, if the government wants a story spiked, it is spiked. A retraction is meaningless.

“As outrageous as the story was, whether it was true or not, it goes to show that there’s such a culture of permissiveness (in the U.S. military) that after Abu Ghraib, it was entirely believable,” said James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute in Washington, D.C. “There’s no doubt that it was used by extremists for their own purposes,” Zogby said. “But for many people, it was too believable.”

THAT is the key issue here. “For many people, it was too believable.” Including the liberal mainstream media. There is no accusation one could level against the current administration that would be too UNbelievable.

Assessment:

Forgive me if I seem to be beating a dead horse, but the Newsweek story demands more attention. The Omega Letter’s mission is to analyze current events under the light of Bible prophecy.

Scripture says the antichrist is a deceiver who maintains his power through deception and propaganda. Scripture also describes the social decay that paves the way for his unholy government. Both are supremely evident in the Newsweek debacle.

Scripture also makes no reference to any global superpower resembling the United States during the final seven years of human government, either.

Newsweek’s article, and the mainstream media’s gleeful acceptance of it’s veracity, constitute more evidence of the growing danger posed by America’s Red State – Blue State civil war.

Newsweek’s story has damaged the US, handed a propaganda bonanza to our enemies, damaged the national war effort and put US forces in increased danger. It is responsible for sparking the rioting across the Islamic world that has killed at least sixteen people and injured hundreds of others.

Yet, even after it is retracted, die-hard liberals can’t bring themselves to admit that the story isn’t true — doing so would hand some small victory to the Bush administration.

Blue State liberals would rather hand a huge victory to Islam, if it means damaging the administration’s credibility. New York’s ultra-liberal ‘Newsday’ reported Newsweek’s retraction with this opening line;

“With the Bush administration bearing down, Newsweek yesterday retracted its report that U.S. interrogators flushed a Koran down the toilet at the detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.”

Newsday noted only that Newsweek couldn’t ‘verify’ the report, leaving open the impression that the report was true but that pressure from the administration forced the retraction.

Newsday was careful to note; “Newsweek had characterized the issue as an “honest mistake” and suggested that the allegation may still be true.” It quoted Tom Rosenstiel, director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism, who suggested, “The incident with the toilet bowl and the Koran may have occurred, but on the level of whether this story is accurate, what Newsweek published is not.”

The Islamic reaction to Newsweek’s story is also worthy of examination under Bible prophecy’s microscope. Islam claims its descendency from Ishmael, elder son of Abraham. Of Ishmael, God reveals;

“And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Behold, thou art with child and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the LORD hath heard thy affliction. And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.” (Genesis 16:12)

As Dennis Prager asked rhetorically in a Town Hall Commentary column;

“Did any Buddhists riot and murder when the Taliban Muslims blew up the irreplaceable giant Buddhist statues in Afghanistan?

Did any Christians riot and murder when an “artist” produced “Piss Christ” — a crucifix immersed in a jar of the “artist’s” urine? When all Christian services and even the wearing of a cross were banned in Saudi Arabia? When Christians are murdered while at prayer in churches by Muslims in Pakistan?

Have any Jews rioted in all the years since it was revealed that Jordanian Muslims used Jewish tombstones in Old Jerusalem as latrines? Or after Palestinians destroyed Joseph’s Tomb in 2000 and set fire to the rebuilt tomb in 2003?”

Good questions. Prager goes on to observe that, “It is quite remarkable that many Muslims believe that an American interrogator flushing pages of the Koran is worthy of rioting, but all the torture, slaughter, terror and mass murder done by Muslims in the name of the Koran are unworthy of even a peaceful protest.”

In point of fact, a three-page memorandum dated January 19, 2003, outlines the rules for handling the Koran by US interrogators. It says that only Muslim chaplains and Muslim interpreters can handle the holy book, and only after putting on clean gloves in full view of detainees.

The detailed rules require U.S. Muslim personnel to use both hands when touching the Koran to signal “respect and reverence,” and specify that the right hand be the primary one used to manipulate any part of the book “due to cultural associations with the left hand.” The Koran should be treated like a “fragile piece of delicate art,” it says.

Newsweek knew about the memo. Presumably, so too, does Newsday, since it published its defense of Newsweek AFTER the Pentagon released the memo to the mainstream.

The truth is immaterial, particularly if a lie is more damaging to the administration. Even if it hurts the whole country.

” . . . false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.” (2nd Timothy 3:3-4)

We can file away the Newsweek report under the heading, ‘Perilous Times’.

Newsweek ‘Got It Wrong’

Newsweek ‘Got It Wrong’
Vol: 44 Issue: 16 Monday, May 16, 2005

Newsweek’s managing editor, Mark Whittaker, is in full damage control mode after he was forced to admit that Newsweek’s report about US interrogators ‘desecrating’ the Koran wasn’t true.

The liberal mainstream, however, seem determined to keep the story alive, and in many of their reports, they’ve begun ‘softening’ Newsweek’s admission.

Compare these two headlines, the first from the Chicago Tribune, “Newsweek Editor Apologizes, Koran Report Inaccurate” and the headline from the ultra-liberal Detroit Free Press, “Errors Possible in Koran Abuse Story.”

So, which is it? Did Newsweek get it wrong, or are there only ‘possible errors’?

The Detroit Free Press, despite its headline, accurately reported that Newsweek’s original ‘source’ later admitted that he didn’t even have first-hand knowledge, but instead ‘remembered reading’ about it in a document, but can’t remember which document it was.

At least Dan Rather HAD documents, even if they were forgeries. Newsweek evidently doesn’t even need the forgeries — just a source who said he MIGHT have read something about it in documents nobody can even find.

Good plan. If Dan Rather had gone to press with just a ‘source’ who said he READ Col. Killian’s evaluation, instead of producing a fake version, he might have gotten away with it.

As you’ll recall, Rather spent two weeks defending the content of the documents, even though the documents themselves were faked.

Which isn’t too much different than Newsweek’s ‘apology’ in which they said they would continue to dig until they had REAL evidence.

The May 1 report said US military investigators had found that American interrogators at the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, had flushed a copy of the Koran, the sacred Muslim text, down a toilet.

A week later, when newspapers in Afghanistan and Pakistan picked up the item, it sparked anti-American demonstrations in the Afghan city of Jalalabad in which four protesters were killed and more than 60 injured.

A dozen more protesters were killed in the following days when the demonstrations spread across Afghanistan and to Pakistan and other countries.

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said in a statement that the original story was demonstrably false and irresponsible , and had significant consequences that reverberated throughout Muslim communities around the world .

Newsweek hid behind anonymous sources, which by their own admission do not withstand scrutiny, Whitman said. Unfortunately, they cannot retract the damage they have done to this nation or those that were viciously attacked by those false allegations.

Newsweek’s Mark Whittaker explained why they ran the story anyway;

“There had been previous reports about the Koran being defiled, but they always seemed to be rumors or allegations made by sources without evidence,” said Whitaker, referring to reporting by British and Russian news agencies and by the Qatar-based satellite network al-Jazeera.

In other words, the allegedly unbiased Newsweek sought to confirm al-Jazeera propaganda and kept digging until they could find somebody who could.

“The fact that a knowledgeable source within the US government was telling us the government itself had knowledge of this was newsworthy,” Whitaker said in an interview.

Newsweek’s ‘knowledgeable source’ remains unidentified to ‘protect’ him.

In the end, their ‘confirmation’ was about as credible as seeking out an al-Jazeera viewer and asking him to confirm the story based on what he saw on al-Jazeera.

Assessment:

For those who prefer to believe the worst of America, Newsweek’s retraction didn’t make much difference.

Not surprisingly, Newsweek’s sister ‘news’ organization, MSNBC, continues to give the story legs by focusing its attention on Muslims who say they don’t believe Newsweek’s retraction.

MSNBC ran its story under the headline, “Muslims Skeptical Over Koran Apology” and the sub-headline, “Many Believe US Pressured Newsweek to Backtrack on Report.”

To make their case, MSNBC quoted Muslim cleric Mullah Sadullah Abu Aman, who lives in the northern Afghan province of Badakhshan.

Have you ever even HEARD of Badakshan? Me neither. Is Mullah Aman a member of the Taliban? al-Qaeda? Don’t know.

MSNBC doesn’t ,either — they lifted their quote from a Reuters story. But they might just as well have gone with Newsweek’s tactic in its ‘apology’. Whittaker never actually ‘apologized’ but merely expressed regret that it wasn’t true.

In a ‘letter from the editor’s desk’ Whittaker wrote;

“Although other major news organizations had aired charges of Qur’an desecration based only on the testimony of detainees, we believed our story was newsworthy because a U.S. official said government investigators turned up this evidence. So we published the item.”

Whittaker’s tacit effort to spread the blame across the mainstream media spectrum is a textbook case of spin in action: in other words, “there is plenty of corroborating evidence, even though, in the end, our source was unreliable.” (Sounds Rather like another famous media ‘apology’ doesn’t it?)

“Top administration officials have promised to continue looking into the charges, and so will we. But we regret that we got any part of our story wrong, and extend our sympathies to victims of the violence and to the U.S. soldiers caught in its midst.”

In other words, “I’m sorry to report we can’t prove US interrogators did what we said they did – but we will.”

If they get the proof, will they STILL be sympathetic to the victims of the violence and the US troops the story put in harm’s way?

Or will they run it again, sparking a new round of riots, giving the US another black eye in the Muslim world, and putting American forces in harm’s way, because this time, they can PROVE it? They aren’t sorry for the chaos they caused, just sorry that they can’t back it up.

Whittaker’s extension of sympathies is transparently meaningless public relations double-speak. It’s ‘retraction’ left readers with the distinct impression that the only thing wrong with the story was that Newsweek couldn’t absolutely prove it, not that it didn’t happen.

In another section of Newsweek, Evan Thomas explained, “Given all that has been reported about the treatment of detainees including allegations that a female interrogator pretended to wipe her own menstrual blood on one prisoner the reports of Qur’an desecration seemed shocking but not incredible.”

So, Newsweek’s ‘apology’ sounds more than a little unconvincing — by design. One can pretty much pick out the liberal bias of each newspaper by reading their headline.

The conservative New York Post reported under the headline, “Newsweek’s Fatal Error.” The liberal Los Angeles Times headlined its story, “Newsweek Backtracks on Koran Report”.

Newsweek’s rival liberal standard, the New York Times, reported that Newsweek; “apologized yesterday for printing a small item. . .[B]ut the magazine, while acknowledging possible errors in the article, stopped short of retracting it.”

Do you see what is at work here? It’s the Dan Rather Syndrome all over again. Newsweek s ‘apology’ was NOT for getting it wrong. It was for not being able to PROVE it. The difference can’t be stressed strongly enough.

The NYTimes noted the Periscope item was ‘short’, ‘small’ and was only ‘a sentence’. In addition, the Times noted that the Newsweek account “had played ‘a significant role’ in inciting the violence in Afghanistan.”

A SIGNIFICANT ROLE? That’s like saying a bullet to the head played a ‘significant role’ to the death of an otherwise healthy individual.

(“He didn’t die from the bullet — he died when his heart stopped. The bullet just played a ‘significant role’.”)

Bottom line: There is a Blue State/Red State civil war raging in the media. A war that is killing people just as dead as they would be on the battlefield. Newsweek is part of the general liberal effort to discredit the administration in order to give the Democrats a shot at reclaiming power.

Newsweek couldn’t care less about the casualties, despite its transparent expressions of sympathy. They are just casualties of war, sacrifices that had to be made in order to further their agenda. Newsweek s ‘apology’ was an echo of Dan Rather’s — “I’m sorry I got caught.”

It is a 21st century war; a bizarre conflict in which the combatants use words as weapons from the safety of their computer screens, immune to the carnage and destruction they spawn, spinning their propaganda war as a ‘minor fact-checking error’ while continuing to press the attack.

The net result is two Americas attempting to face the same enemy using two contradictory tactics.

One America apparently wants to surrender, or, maybe just commit honorable suicide to make retribution for America’s many sins, like stealing Texas and California from the Mexicans, slavery, and the evil machinations of the military/industrial complex.

In this America, the war with Iraq was provoked by a corrupt US administration. So we MUST not win. (Watch the news from Iraq and see how many stories deal with the US building hospitals, schools, creating jobs, etc.)

There are 300,000 troops in Iraq. ‘Battles’ involve small units like squads. A big offensive might involve a company of several hundred troops.

What are the REST of our forces doing? Sleeping? Running for their lives? If one relies on the mainstream press, then one guess is as good as another.

The ‘Blue-State’ mindset of the liberal mainstream believes America MUST be mistreating detainees, and it believes that it is evil, so America deserves whatever it gets.

Even as NEWSWEEK expressed regret at putting US forces in harm’s way, it only regrets it because it can’t PROVE it. If it could, well, America would deserve it.

The other America wants to win the war with the terrorists by taking the war to the terrorists. The other America doesn’t see America as an evil place and doesn’t understand how anybody else can, either.

Paul wrote of the ‘perilous times’ that would befall the Church ‘in the last days’. I am increasing convinced that he used America as representative of the last days’ Church Age, just as he used last days’ Israel as representative of Judaism.

(Not all Jews live in Israel, just as not all Christians live in America. But in the last days, the battle lines are drawn up that way; Islam vs. Jewish Israel and Christian Crusader America.)

Paul wrote of what sounds very much like the civil war between the two Americas of 2005:

“Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good. Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” (2nd Timothy 3:4-5)

“Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.” (2nd Timothy 3:12-13)

Amazing, isn’t it? Paul’s letter to Timothy never ceases to rock me back on my heels as I consider its application to America’s political civil war and the issues behind it.

He paints a picture of a place where abortion would be rampant (without natural affection) while evil men and seducers, waxing worse and worse, would defend it by falsely accusing them of being ‘right wing Christian fundamentalists’.

A place where pornography would be protected by law, but Bibles are prohibited in classrooms. Where America’s enemies are of her own household.

It stuns me. Paul closes the chapter with words for the struggling Church of the last days;

“But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of Whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”

We are living in the last of the last days, and we are blessed beyond measure to be witnesses to the unfolding of God’s Plan of the Ages. War is terrible, but war is what the last days is all about — the war that culminates on the fields of Megiddo at Armageddon. And we know how it turns out.

So we needn’t live in fear as the chaos continues to erupt around us. That isn’t to say that things won’t get bad — there is no reason to believe the Rapture will happen before harm comes to America.

The Rapture isn’t a Great Escape, but is instead the evacuation of the Holy Spirit’s ministry so that, “THAT Wicked [can] be revealed” (2nd Thessalonians 2:8) at the beginning of Daniel’s 70th Week. When the Holy Spirit is withdrawn, we must be withdrawn WITH Him, since we are indwelt BY Him.

But no matter how bad things get, the unfolding of Bible prophecy reveals a Divine Purpose that proves beyond all doubt that God continues to be intimately involved in the affairs of men and that He will keep ALL His promises. He will keep His promise to Israel of its national redemption in the last days. He will keep His promise to the Church that He will never leave or forsake us.

He will keep His promise to come for us when He said, “if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” (John 14:2-3)

Our victory is assured! We know that on the same Authority that so exquisitely described the details of the last days that we can overlay them over today’s headlines like a template.

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” (2nd Timothy 3:16-17)

There is no ‘good work’ more precious in the eyes of the Lord than the salvation of a lost sinner. That is our battlefield, and time is not on our side. We grow closer and closer to the day when we will have no more chances — and neither will those we leave behind.

“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which ARE ALIVE AND REMAIN shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (1st Thessalonians 4:16-17)

It’s breathtaking to contemplate.

Note to the members:

A number of you responded to my email yesterday by exhorting me to take Sundays off on a regular basis. If I receive no objections from OL members, I would like to, and I thank you for the suggestion.

If there ARE any objections from our members, I will continue the seven day per week schedule. It’s YOUR Omega Letter. I leave the decision in your hands.

‘Desecration’ of Koran Sparks Global Islamic Fury

‘Desecration’ of Koran Sparks Global Islamic Fury
Vol: 44 Issue: 14 Saturday, May 14, 2005

According to Newsweek magazine, US interrogators at Guantanamo Bay defiled copies of the Koran by leaving them in toilet cubicles and stuffing one down a lavatory to rattle Muslim prisoners. The report sparked demonstrations by Muslims worldwide.

The first angry reaction came from Afghanistan, where protesters took to the streets in the eastern city of Jalalabad in the largest anti-U.S. demonstration since the fall of the Taliban regime three years ago. Demonstrators clashed with Afghani police and army troops as well as with U.S. forces after they ransacked a dozen government buildings and U.N. offices.

Protests expanded to neighboring Pakistan, where demonstrators took to the streets after Friday prayers in several cities. They burned U.S. flags and called on their government to stop helping Washington in its “war on terrorism.”

Hundreds of Indonesians gathered in a Jakarta mosque to condemn the alleged desecration of the Koran by the U.S. soldiers, while their government called for punishing “those who deserve it for their immoral actions.”

Saudi Arabia, the first Arab country to comment on the reports, expressed “great concern and urged Washington to conduct a quick investigation.” A Foreign Ministry statement said if such allegations were confirmed “deterring measures” should be taken “to charge those held responsible in a way that prevents its repetition and respects the feelings of the Muslims all over the world.”

In Lebanon the militant Hezbollah group described in a statement the alleged desecration of the Koran as “a blunt violation of divine values” and an expression of how “deep” U.S. enmity is toward Muslims.

The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt expressed “great anger and condemnation for such an act” and demanded Washington “to apologize and severely punish the criminals.”

In Khartoum thousands of Sudanese demonstrated after Friday prayers and marched toward the U.S. Embassy, shouting anti-U.S. slogans and calling on their government to sever diplomatic ties with Washington. But anti-riot police deployed in the area prevented them from reaching the embassy compound.

Sudanese officials remained silent and have made no comment on the reports so far.

In the Palestinian Gaza Strip followers of the Islamic movement Hamas set U.S. and Israeli flags on fire, denouncing the alleged desecration of the Koran.

Palestinian Minister for Endowments and Religious Affairs Sheik Youssef Salame called for “confronting and exposing such criminal acts” and for pressuring the United States “so that such an ugly crime is not repeated.”

In London, Secretary-General of the British Islamic Council Iqbal Sakarani demanded an immediate investigating and noted that “the problem seems not with the (U.S.) soldiers who are carrying out the orders” in Guantanamo, but rather with the way the prison is being run.

Masoud Shadjareh, the London-based president of the Muslim Human Rights Committee, summarized Muslim feeling toward U.S. anti-terrorism policies.

“It (desecration of the Koran) is disgusting and proves again that the war is not against terrorism but rather targets the feelings and emotions of Muslims everywhere.”

Newspaper headlines were uniform in their reports of the rioting, with headlines like “Koran Desecration Unleashes Muslim Anger” and “US Must Apologize Over Koran Report” etc., etc.

True to form, some fifty members of the House of Representatives (Democrats all) are calling for an ‘independent’ investigation by a ‘special counsel’, claiming higher-level military and U.S. government officials have been insulated and that only a ‘special counsel’ can ‘get to the bottom’ of it all.

Google returned more than a thousand hits when queried about the alleged ‘desecration’ — I found only three that didn’t treat the story as gospel fact. But buried between the headlines screaming about American brutality, if one looked hard enough, one could discover that the Pentagon has been unable to confirm any of it.

General Richard Myers, America’s top military officer, told a press conference that the general in charge of all U.S. military operations in that part of the world went to Guantanamo himself two days ago to supervise the investigation into the alleged incident.

General Myers reports the investigators began by looking through the interrogation logs for the period in question, in 2002, and could not find any incident listed that would confirm the Newsweek report.

The only report that came close was a log entry where a detainee was reported by a guard to be ripping pages out of a Koran and putting them in the toilet to stop it up as a protest.

Assessment:

The Pentagon says that the religious practices of the Muslim detainees at Guantanamo are respected. Detainees are provided with copies of the Koran, the opportunity to pray and other things needed for their religious observance, including appropriate food.

Guards at the prison receive special training to sensitize them to Islamic religious issues, according to officials.

On Thursday, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called any disrespect for the Koran ‘abhorrent’, and said it will never be tolerated by the United States. She promised that the military will fully investigate the allegation, and that if it is true appropriate action will be taken.

Whether true or not, one has to wonder if the world has lost its collective mind. Let’s stop and think about it for a second.

Every detainee at Guantanamo is there because they are members of an Islamic war machine dedicated to the destruction of the United States. The source of their inspiration to make war is the Koran. Ensuring each prisoner has a copy makes about as much sense as providing every Nazi POW with a copy of ‘Mein Kampf’.

Throughout the Muslim world, Christians are regularly targeted for imprisonment, torture and death for merely possessing Bibles. In Saudi Arabia, birthplace of Islam, possession of a Bible can be a capital crime. Christian worship services are illegal, as are Christian prayers. A person can be arrested for wearing a cross on a chain.

Since the war began, Islamic terrorists have treated Americans to videotapes of Americans and other Westerners being tortured and murdered on camera. Clearly, being disrespectful of a book pales by comparison.

Whether or not the reports are true is secondary to the reaction of the Muslim world to them. We’ve discussed in the past the fact that America’s liberal mainstream press cheerfully serve as al-Qaeda’s propaganda arm, providing al-Qaeda recruiters will ample evidence to back up their contention that America is the Great Satan.

Isikoff’s piece, evidently obtained from secret FBI documents, has already cost at least a dozen lives.

Undoubtedly, the anger he stirred up among the world’s Muslim population will cost many more lives before it is over with. If his report serves any purpose beyond embarrassing the administration, I can’t tell what it might be.

Which is the more important issue to you? Treating the source document for Islamic terror with more respect than we do our own Bible? (An American school teacher who brings a Bible to school can lose his job for violating federal law.) Or using whatever techniques are available to prevent another terrorist attack against American citizens on US soil?

In war, the objective is to win by whatever means are necessary. The terrorists who oppose us understand that. The terrorists that killed 3000 Americans on September 11 didn’t hesitate to commit suicide in order to complete their mission. Nobody is alleging that terrorists at Gitmo are being killed, maimed or tortured.

At worst, the allegation is that some Americans have no respect for the religion that is behind the deaths of more than five thousand Americans so far, and counting. Tens of thousands more have been permanently maimed by Islamic religionists inspired to commit mayhem by the same book Newsweek is horrified to discover was being ‘disrespected’.

Let’s look at what Newsweek’s report hath wrought: Afghanistan, who only last week requested a long-term American presence in that country, exploded into anti-American riots. Pakistan, a critical ally in the war on terror, has even less reason to want to help us than it did before. The Saudis are lecturing the US on ‘respect’ while protesters burn US flags and chant ‘Death to America’.

Newsweek gave Hezbollah the opportunity to repeat its call for jihad. Hezbollah held up Isikoff’s piece as ‘evidence’ of US hatred of Islam. The Sudanese, who only a month ago were under fire for acts of genocide against its Christian population, marched on the US Embassy, demanding Khartoum sever diplomatic ties with Washington.

And so far, nobody even knows if Newsweek’s allegations are even true!

In the last days’ scenario as outlined by Scripture, all of America’s traditional enemies play prominent roles, from the Russians to the Chinese to the Islamo-facist Middle Eastern states to Europe. The central focus of global attention is the tiny state of Israel. All the major players for the last days are on stage, already on their marks, and awaiting their cue.

Except America. For whatever reason, she isn’t there.

“And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.” (Matthew 12:25)

UN Sovereignty Trumps Congress, Rules US Judge

UN Sovereignty Trumps Congress, Rules US Judge
Vol: 44 Issue: 13 Friday, May 13, 2005

The United States Congressional committee investigating the Oil for Food scandal issued a subpoena for a former FBI agent who had worked as an investigator for the UN’s so-called Independent Inquiry Committee.

The committee, which was appointed by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, allegedly investigated Annan’s involvement in the Oil For Food rip-off. Following the release of its report, Annan took every available opportunity to describe it as a ‘vindication’ of charges of wrongdoing against him personally.

Annan established the Volcker committee in April 2004 to investigate allegations that U.N. official had engaged in corrupt activities.

The former FBI agent, Robert Parton, reportedly quit the committee in disgust after the committee ignored or covered up any evidence that pointed to Kofi Annan.

The committee, headed by former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker, faulted Annan for not conducting an adequate investigation into reports of possible conflicts of interest when the UN awarded Oil For Food contracts to a company that employed his son, Kojo.

The U.N. oil-for-food program was established in 1996 to exempt Iraq’s government from sanctions to sell oil to buy food, medicine and other humanitarian goods. The program was the brainchild of Kofi Annan, and Kofi Annan personally set it up.

Saddam extorted more than $2 billion in illegal kickbacks from companies that traded with it, and used oil vouchers worth millions of dollars to pay off corrupt UN officials to look the other way.

As a consequence, much of the medicine shipped to Iraqi hospitals was expired, allegedly fresh food arrived already rotten, while Saddam took regular delivery of UN-approved luxury cars and expensive cases of Scotch.

Parton s documents and audiotapes reportedly demonstrate proof positive that U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan s stories are conflicting regarding the world s largest bribery scandal.

In response to a subpoena from the House International Relations Committee, Parton turned over several boxes of papers and audio tapes to the committee, one of several that are conducting their own inquiries into the U.N.-administered program.

“I kept my copies of certain materials relating to the areas of the investigation for which I was responsible because of my concern that the investigative process and conclusions were flawed,” Parton said.

“Although I sought to avoid any public discussion of these issues, I had repeatedly voiced my concerns internally to the IIC and wanted to retain a record of my efforts so that, if it became necessary, I could establish that I was not associated with the path the IIC . . . chose to take.”

The Volcker committee went to court to block the Congress from hearing Parton’s testimony and sought the return of Parton’s documents. It told a federal judge that the Congress obtained the documents ‘illegally’ because the former FBI agent was covered by UN ‘diplomatic immunity.’

Diplomatic immunity is designed to enable UN officials to carry out their work without fear of interference by the governments of countries in which they are posted. It can hardly be applicable to US citizens who are former staff members of an outside inquiry into the UN.

Or so one would think.

Assessment:

U.S. District Judge Ricardo Urbina in Washington issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) after the United Nations filed a petition to block the Parton congressional subpoenas.

The ten-day TRO gives both sides, according to the judge, ‘some time to resolve the matter’.

Volcker’s lawyers argued that the US Congressional investigation would undermine the ‘integrity’ of the UN investigation and ‘lives may be in jeopardy’ if details of the investigation are leaked.

The judge apparently accepted Volcker’s unverified statement that ‘lives may be in jeopardy’ as fact and issued the injunction.

American lives have already been lost as a consequence of UN efforts to prevent the Iraq war and the Congress is investigating whether the UN Security Council’s involvement with Saddam Hussein played a role — which is its constitutional responsibility.

Let’s step back and take a look at the Big Picture issue here. The question before the judge was nothing less than determining who is sovereign under existing US law — the United States Congress or the United Nations.

The United States Congress issued a subpoena to a citizen of the United States compelling him to provide evidence of criminal wrongdoing to a US Congressional investigative committee. By issuing the subpoena, the Congress put the full weight of its Constitutional authority behind it.

Even the President of the United States is subject to Congressional oversight and authority. Richard Nixon tried to ignore Congressional authority. He became the first sitting president in US history to step down rather than face Congressional impeachment.

Bill Clinton tried to ignore the authority of the Congress, but he couldn’t ignore his impeachment trial. The Constitution gives Congress the authority to make laws, to enforce laws and to ensure that no person is above the law.

That power is granted by the sovereign authority of the United States Constitution, a document that can only be changed by a two-thirds vote by both Houses of Congress and ratification by three-quarters of the legislatures of the individual States.

Since the ratification of the Bill of Rights in 1791, there have been more than ten thousand proposed amendments to the Constitution, but only 21 have been adopted.

The US Constitution is unique among the nations of the world. Constitutional rights are not granted by the government under our system. Instead, they are granted by the Creator. What the Creator grants, only the Creator can take away.

Therefore, under the Constitution, US sovereignty is derived from the Sovereign Authority of God.

The federal TRO sets a precedent for making US sovereignty subordinate to the UN. In effect, Judge Urbina determined that the Congress exceeded its authority in subpoenaing a person covered by UN diplomatic immunity, even though that person is a citizen of the United States and not a foreign UN diplomat.

If allowed to stand, it means that UN law trumps US law, even in US courts and in the US Congress. And history proves that, once a precedent has been set, it is only a matter of time before it is stretched to the limit.

In 1973, the Supreme Court ruled abortion was legal in the first trimester. In 2003, the Bush administration fought a pitched battle to ban the practice of killing an infant at birth, provided its feet hadn’t left the birth canal.

Ten years ago, a ban was lifted on homosexuals in the military. Today, the battle is over the right of homosexuals to get ‘married’. It’s the old ‘give them an inch and they’ll take a mile’ axiom in action.

If the UN can trump the Congress in a US federal court on something as self-serving as protecting itself from a US criminal investigation, then it isn’t a stretch to expect the UN to trump Congress on some matter of international policy. Like preventing the US from defending itself — or a US ally, like, ummm, say, Israel?

The Scriptures tell us of a coming global government during the Tribulation.

“And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. . . and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.” (Revelation 13:2,7b)

According to the prophet Daniel, the final world government won’t be the United Nations, but will instead arise out of the revived Roman Empire.

But having once established that the United States HAS an international master, it doesn’t matter whether that master is the current UN, or its replacement.

The precedent has already been set.

“Fullness of the Gentiles”

“Fullness of the Gentiles”
Vol: 44 Issue: 12 Thursday, May 12, 2005

By every measurable historical standard, the city of Jerusalem should have fallen into oblivion centuries ago. The city was destroyed in AD 70 by the Romans and its founders and traditional inhabitants were killed or fled into exile in foreign lands.

It has no natural wealth. It has no coastline. It sits inconveniently upon a mountain. It overlooks nothing of strategic military value.

It is on no ancient trade route. The King’s Highway of David’s time ran north and south through modern Jordan. Jerusalem was well off the beaten path — folks didn’t pass through Jerusalem on their way to somewhere else — Jerusalem was the end of the line.

Like other historical ‘end of the line’ cities, once its reason to exist was extinguished by the destruction of its native population, so should its history.

The once-great city of Babylon, for example, is little more than a living museum, devoid of influence or even much interest outside scholarly circles.

Over the centuries, it has been fought over by the Assyrians, Babylonians, Egyptians, Greeks, Ptolemies, Seleucids, Romans, Byzantines, Persians, Arabs, Seljuks, Crusaders, Mongols, Mamelukes, by the Turks, the British, Jordan and most recently, by those Jordanians who became ‘Palestinians’ after Jordan’s defeat in the 1967 War.

Jerusalem remains one of the most contested cities on earth to this day. That list doesn’t include the approximately two hundred million Islamic fundamentalists or Islamic states like Iran or Saudi Arabia who have conducted a decades-long shadow war to ‘liberate’ the city from Jewish control.

Despite two thousand years of war aimed at destroying the Jews and seizing their city, in this generation, the Jews again inhabit an undivided Jerusalem.

“And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” (Luke 21:24)

Jesus’ sweeping prophecy concerning the future of city of Jerusalem and its inhabitants was fulfilled to the letter throughout history, including its restoration to Jewish hands. Note that its restoration signals the fulfillment of the ‘times of the Gentiles’.

The Apostle Paul called himself the ‘apostle of the Gentiles’ (Romans 11:13) but Paul had formerly been known as Saul of Tarsus, a Pharisee (lawyer) and Jewish religious leader. Paul explains that the Church is a ‘graft’ from the original tree (Judaism), saying,

“For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.” Romans 11:25)

Here we find the same phraseology that was employed by Jesus concerning the ‘times of the Gentiles’. Jesus referred to the times of the Gentiles as being ‘fulfilled’. Paul speaks of the ‘fulness of the Gentiles’.

Paul says that, following the ‘fulness of the Gentiles’,

“And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.” (Romans 11:27)

Paul notes that, during the Church Age, “As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes,” but Paul cautions; “but as touching the election, they are beloved for the father’s sakes.”

Then Paul wraps it all together by saying, “For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.” (Romans 11:29)

This is one of the great mysteries of Scripture. The Jews are enemies of the Gospel for ‘our sakes’. What does that mean?

Jesus taught that His mission was to come first to the Jews. When approached by the Samaritan woman begging Him to help her daughter, Jesus told her, “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (Matthew 15:24)

To the Jews He prophesied, “I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.” (John 5:43)

If the Jews had accepted their Messiah at His First Advent, there would have been no Church Age and the Lord would have set up the Millennial Kingdom right then and there.

Jesus prophesied that because of their rejection of Him, “Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.” His prophecy was fulfilled in AD 70 with the destruction of Jerusalem and the beginning of the ‘Times of the Gentiles.’

The usurper who comes in his own name and is received as the Messiah comes after the ‘fulness of the Gentiles’ is come in.

Jeremiah calls it the ‘Time of Jacob’s Trouble’ (Jeremiah 30:7). Jesus calls it the ‘Tribulation’ (Matthew 24:29). The prophet Daniel outlines the Tribulation’s six-fold purpose, from the perspective of Israel;

“(1) to finish the transgression, and (2) to make an end of sins, and (3) to make reconciliation for iniquity, and (4) to bring in everlasting righteousness, and (5) to seal up the vision and prophecy, and (6) to anoint the most Holy.” (Daniel 9:24)

Assessment:

Let’s connect the dots and see how the Big Picture develops here. Jesus said that the restoration of Jerusalem to Jewish control would signal that the ‘fulness of the Gentiles be come in’.

Jesus said of the generation on earth at that time, “This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.” (Luke 21:32)

Paul says that the Jews, as an institution, rejected Jesus so that the Gentiles would have a chance at salvation. He said that God would not return His attention to Israel until ‘the fulness of the Gentiles be come in’. The ‘fulness of the Gentiles’ indicates a finite number — a ‘quota’, so to speak — of Gentiles who will come to know Christ during the Church Age.

Once that quota — the Church Age ‘elect’ have been gathered, God returns His attention to the Jews, “And so all Israel shall be saved” — because “the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.”

That Jesus offered salvation first to Israel is confirmed by His own Words as recorded by John.

The ‘Time of Jacob’s Trouble’ is so-called because of its purpose as outlined by Daniel — the six-fold purpose that culminates with the ‘anointment of the most Holy’ as Messiah and the beginning of the Millennial Reign from Jerusalem.

Note how clearly the two Dispensations are divided. Until the Crucifixion, God’s attention was focused on Israel. Until the ‘fulness of the Gentiles be come in’ God’s attention is focused on the Church.

The Church, as the ‘Bride of Christ’ serves no role in Daniel’s six-point outline for the Tribulation Period. Take another look at Daniel 9:24 before we go on.

The transgression was finished at the Cross. The Blood of Christ takes away all sin. (1st John 1:7) His death and resurrection reconciled the Church to God.

“And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation. To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.” (2nd Corinthians 5:18-19)

To the saved believer reconciled to God by the Blood of Christ, ‘everlasting righteousness’ is a gift of grace through faith, ‘sealing’ the vision and prophecy of the Old Covenant and introducing the New Covenant with the Church.

The believer knows that Jesus is ALREADY anointed King of King and Lord of Lords and is awaiting His return at the end of the Church Age.

There is no role for the Church Age during the Time of Jacob’s Trouble — it doesn’t begin until after the ‘fulness of the Gentiles’ is come in. And this is the generation in which Jerusalem was recovered from Gentile control, signaling the approach of the fullness of the Gentiles’.

The Tribulation serves two main purposes; the first is the judgment of God on a Christ-rejecting world. The second is the nation redemption of Israel. By definition, Church-Age believers have NOT rejected Christ, and need no further redemption.

The Bible says that, before the unfolding of the Time of Jacob’s Trouble, there will come an ingathering of Church Age believers:

“Because thou hast kept the word of My patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.” (Revelation 3:10)

Jerusalem is the signal that this is the generation that will see the ‘fulness of the Gentiles be come in’. It was of that generation that Paul promised:

“For this we say unto you BY THE WORD OF THE LORD, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall . . . be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (1st Thessalonians 4:15,17b)

The time is short. Don’t let anybody steal your victory. Jesus is coming soon for His Church, and “THEN shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming.” (2nd Thessalonians 2:8)

Get excited! The time is short, the fulness of the Gentiles is at hand; the Lord IS coming soon!

“Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” (2nd Thessalonians 4:18)

The Safety of the Sea

The Safety of the Sea
Vol: 44 Issue: 11 Wednesday, May 11, 2005

There is something about a boat that makes me feel safe. I can’t quite put my finger on what it is, because at fifty miles out to sea in 100 fathoms of water, the boat is the only thing keeping you from becoming an hors de ouvres for sharks.

(There is also something about a boat that makes canned corn beef sandwiches and warm soda taste like a gourmet meal. You don’t even think about the fish guts all over your hands.)

We boarded ‘The Scarlet Lady’ at 2:58 AM, carrying our gear and wondering what in the world we were doing getting up in the middle of the night to take the four-hour trip out to the middle of nowhere so that we could work all day to catch something we could have bought across the street at the fish market for less money than we had invested in the food we brought with us for the day.

That is the sort of thing one wonders until one is fully awake. Then the madness sets in and such thoughts are banished as heretical; real men don’t buy fish — that’s what tourists do.

We were well out to sea before the sun came up — I got a beautiful picture of the sunrise coming up over the ocean’s horizon and all was right with the world.

(I will post a few pictures in the member’s forum later today)

We had a disappointing morning; we trolled for six hours without getting a single strike — but we had the consolation of knowing it wasn’t our fault.

The CB crackled all morning with other boat captains complaining that they were doing no better than we. By noon, most of them had called it a day and headed back to port.

The swells that morning were enormous — they looked like mountains of water. I asked our intrepid Captain, Rick, how high he estimated the swells were. “Three feet,” he grunted, as a huge swell caused a nearby fishing boat to completely disappear between the waves.

An even larger swell lifted us up a few minutes later. I asked Rick how high he thought that one was. He thought for a second, and said, “Four feet. Now leave me alone.” (Fishermen get really cranky when the fish aren’t biting, I noticed.)

We decided to change tactics and do some bottom-fishing. Personally, I prefer to troll for a strike. The fish are usually bigger and they are easier to get on the hook. The fish strikes the bait, the movement of the boat sets the hook, and they only thing left for you to do is fight the fish.

Bottom fishing is usually done in about 20 fathoms (about 120 feet), dropping the bait to the bottom and raising it up about two feet.

Thirty seconds after dropping the line, if you don’t have a fish on there, it means you don’t have any bait left, either. And bottom fishing is nowhere nearly as selective as trolling for tuna. Pretty much anything that will strike a trolling lure is worth the fight it puts up.

Bottom fishing means every other fish is either a shark or a manta ray or a moray eel. A shark will fight as hard as a tuna, but there isn’t much satisfaction in seeing one swim up to the boat. It usually means cutting the line and losing your tackle.

A manta ray is even tougher to drag up to the surface and even less fun to see on the end of your line — it’s like discovering you have the winning numbers on the lottery and then finding out you were checking last week’s ticket.

Bottom fishing is hard work. Every strike means setting a hook 120 feet down — you have to hit it pretty hard to set it, and, if you come up empty, you have to reel the whole mess back up from the bottom, re-bait, and send it back down to do it all over again.

But we didn’t come home empty-handed; between us, we filled the fish cooler with vermillion snapper (locally known as ‘beeliners’), grouper, sea bass and weird-looking little guys called ‘french grunts’.

By dusk, we had enough — we’d been at sea for some fifteen hours and I had a whole new series of bruises and bumps from trying to stand and fish a boat that was rocking from side to side all day.

There were four of us; Captain Rick, Wayne, a full-blooded Indian chief (literally) who runs one of Rick’s manufacturing plants and Curtis, one of Rick’s employees.

I liked Curtis immediately — he is one of those guys who can’t seem to do enough for you. Wayne was our resident expert, virtually having grown up on commercial fishing boats.

None of them seemed to notice that I was bouncing around the cabin like a pinball in an arcade. (Except once when I overheard Wayne say to Rick as I took a particularly nasty spill; “Man, that’s gonna leave a bruise!”)

Assessment:

As we were headed back, I decided to stretch out over the engine cover, put my hat over my face, and dwell a bit on what it is about a boat that makes me feel so safe.

I suppose that is when I really realized how unsafe I feel on shore. As I thought about it, I thought about all the dangers we face every day without realizing it.

Out at sea, one doesn’t worry about who is standing behind you at the ATM or what his intentions are. One doesn’t worry about locking up before bed in hopes that puny door look will prevent a determined burglar. One doesn’t worry about a terrorist attack, or even about the dangers posed by nuclear terror.

At sea, there is only God.

It is up to God whether or not you catch any fish. It is up to God whether or not the weather kicks up. It is up to God whether or not the boat sinks. At sea, one learns to trust God in a unique way.

On land, going about our daily business, we trust God for our eternity, but most of us prefer to take command of the ‘here and now’ ourselves.

A situation comes up and we handle it. Sometimes, we don’t even bother God with the details; it isn’t that big a deal.

Who prays before heading out to an ATM? Who prays that when they put their card in and punch in their pin number, that the machine will kick out the requested amount of cash?

Oh, we like to think we always pray before doing anything important, but we reserve unto ourselves the right to decide what we are going to turn over to God and what we are going to handle on our own.

When was the last time you prayed before going to the supermarket? When was the last time you felt an conscious reliance on God, to the exclusion of your own ability, while driving to or from work?

Now the kicker question: When was the last time you felt really safe?

Our children are being raped or molested in ever-increasing numbers by their teachers, serial killers roam our streets with seeming impunity, and those children who escape their teachers and the serial killers often end up victims of their own parents.

Driving your car on the freeway means taking your life into your hands; it isn’t just the bad drivers, there are the ‘road-rage’ nuts to contend with. And you just never know who might sitting on the shoulder of the road with a high-powered rifle, randoming picking off strangers as they drive.

The Iranians are ‘negotiating’ with the world community over Iran’s nuclear program. They are ‘negotiating’ terms best described this way: Allow Iran to enrich uranium or else they will break off talks and enrich uranium.

According to Israeli intelligence, Iran’s mad mullahs will pass the point of no return sometime next month and it will be too late to do anything to stop them.

The mullahs just completed a successful missile test in which they were able to detonate a warhead from 200 miles above the earth’s surface.

If they were to detonate a nuclear warhead from orbit 200 miles about America, the resulting EMP burst would wipe out our technological infrastructure, setting us back technologically about a hundred years.

The North Koreans are already nuclear and have hinted that they may pass nukes to terrorists unless the West plays ball according to Pyongyang’s rules.

Although we are making headway against al-Qaeda abroad, the administration’s inexplicable policy of tightening domestic security by turning a blind eye against illegal immigration means we have no idea who is inside our borders or what their mission objectives are.

At sea, there is only you, the sea, and the Lord.

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Like I said, I feel safe out there. There is a lesson in there, somewhere.

Confessions of A Techno-Junkie

Confessions of A Techno-Junkie
Vol: 44 Issue: 10 Tuesday, May 10, 2005

The Electronic Age has brought us wonders unthinkable a generation ago. When I was born, the fastest method of communication was the telephone. Live operators would manually connect callers to local numbers my dad s phone number was 654 that was the whole number.

One would pick up the phone, an operator would answer with, Number, please? , the caller would give the operator the number, (or the name, which the operator would obligingly look up) and connect the call. That was 1952.

Compared to today, it was primitive, but a half-century ago, it was state of the art. I was eighteen when I got my first 8-track tape player. It was wondrous! It was like having a record player right in the car and in STEREO! The alternative was the standard monaural AM radio FM radio was yet future.

A few years after that, I saw my first microwave oven in the lunchroom of the factory I worked in. I could hardly wait to come home and tell everyone about being able to cook a hotdog in 15 seconds! Nobody believed me.

I went right out and bought one — for a thousand dollars (Sears EZ five year payment plan), brought it home and demonstrated it by cooking a chicken.

After that, it became known as the Thousand Dollar Hot Dog Warmer.

In the mid-1970 s, the EZ five-year payment plan allowed me to be the first kid on the block to have a $1700 beta VCR. It was a huge, bulky affair that had a long cord with a toggle switch that served as a remote control pause. (It was an added feature).

Blank tapes were only twenty dollars (a half-day s pay) and you had to sign a rental contract agreeing to pay $100-plus replacement cost if your machine ate the tape.

It was a time of miracles, for sure!

In the span of ten years time, it became possible to listen to your own music on the drive home, sit down and watch a movie you missed while at work, while eating a hotdog that took 25 seconds from refrigerator to plate.

And if the phone rang (now it had a dial and seven numbers), you could MAKE THE MOVIE STOP until you got off the phone!

Could it get any better than this?

In 1980, the introduction of DOS meant the introduction of the personal computer. The first one I saw cost more than I made in a year, and came as part of a desk. It weighed about a hundred pounds and was not much more than a word processor.

Five years later, I bought my first PC. (Some of this will be Greek to some of you sorry) It was an 8088 Amstrad with an amber 12 monitor, a pair of 5 720K floppy drives and no hard drive for a mere $1700 (3 yr revolving charge plan).

Within a couple of years, I could use it to make forms for everything around the house, becoming organized in the Information Age.

Then came the internet. Then existing computers made it easier and faster to devise new computers and computing devices and Moore s Law was born.

(Moore s Law says that computer processing power and computer capacity will DOUBLE every eighteen months. And about every eighteen months since, I ve needed a new computer).

As computers got smarter, I noticed that I had to get smarter to keep up. I had to learn how to fix them, since in the early years, PC techs were few and far between and enormously expensive.

Exploring the internet makes you smarter whether you plan on it or not. It takes a while to learn to separate fact from fiction, but even that exercise in cognitive reasoning makes us smarter.

Today, I sit atop a database containing what is arguably the sum total of the world s accumulated knowledge every time I sit down to browse the internet.

What a journey in a single lifetime! From Number, please to chatting via Internet Messaging in real time anywhere in the world from my desk without ever picking up a phone.

From AM Radio and black and white network television to MP3 s and DVD s that I can watch or create on the same equipment that is my phone, television, radio, stereo, workstation, word processor, electronic document file, movie studio, sound studio, telephone answering service, fax machine, copy machine and printer. And a million other things.

Compare that to previous generations. My grandmother was born in 1898 and lived to 1995. She saw wondrous technological developments. But from her birth to mine technology went at a snail s pace, relatively speaking.

But compare her snail s pace to the pace of the generations before her. Her father died before riding in an automobile and before the Wright brothers proved flight was possible. His father s world changed relatively little from his father s, and so on.

The ships Columbus sailed to the New World in 1492 were not significantly different than the ship the Apostle Paul sailed on his Mediterranean missions in the first century.

Both presumably arrived at the dock by horseback, as did every generation up to and including my grandmother s.

My grandmother brought her family from England to Canada during the London Blitz in 1940 in a convoy of ships dodging German submarines as they made their way across the Atlantic. It took seven harrowing days, and was the fastest (and only) method of getting from the Continent to North America.

Today, the same trip could be made in three hours aboard the Concorde.

In about the middle of the 6th century before Christ, the prophet Daniel was given a vision of the world as it will be in the last generation before the return of Christ to begin the Millennial Kingdom foretold by the prophet Isaiah.

Imagine 6th century Daniel watching the scene unfold before him. I usually picture him as seeing something like a drive in screen where he is seeing battlefield footage of the Gulf Wars. Imagine what that technology must have seemed to Daniel, who never saw a machine that didn t need a horse or a man to power it.

Daniel was confused, as one might expect: And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are CLOSED UP AND SEALED till the time of the end. (Daniel 12:7-8).

The angel told Daniel that the vision for the end was for those who would be alive at that time.

Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand. (Daniel 12:11)

The revealing angel told Daniel that the words of the book were not for him, or even for subsequent generations, but that instead they would remain a mystery until the appointed time.

The angel also gave some details that would help the generation to whom the book was written identify the signs of the times.

But thou, O Daniel, SHUT UP THE WORDS, and SEAL the book, even TO THE TIME OF THE END: many shall RUN TO AND FRO, and KNOWLEDGE SHALL BE INCREASED. (Daniel 12:4)

As we just discussed, Paul traveled Asia aboard ship. Columbus came to America aboard ship. My mother came to North America aboard a ship. That covers 1900 years of technology.

I could make the same journey aboard a supersonic aircraft in three hours while I watched a DVD on my laptop.

Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.

Note:

This morning’s OL is a rerun of a May, 2003 Omega Letter. An opportunity arose to go out to the ‘blue water’ and chase some tuna around the ocean this morning. I grabbed it.

Eliminating Excuses

Eliminating Excuses
Vol: 44 Issue: 9 Monday, May 9, 2005

We’ve spent an unusually high percentage of our time this month dealing with issues of doctrine. Four of the last eight briefings were devoted exclusively to issues of doctrine, with the central theme being the doctrine of eternal security.

Why so much time on this one doctrine? Is it so important to me to prove I am right that I can’t let go? Is it just that I am arrogant and unwilling to consider any other view? Why this one issue above the rest?

I hope none of those apply — I earnestly pray that God will keep me from being arrogant, and protect me from propagating error.

[Speaking of propagating error, I received an email from a Marine Gunnery Sgt. who pointed out a factual error recently concerning the red heifer born in 2002. It has since grown three white hairs in its tail, disqualifying it as a candidate, so the search for a perfect red heifer is back on. The record is hereby corrected — with my apologies. (Thanks, Gunny! Semper fi!)]

Returning to the subject at hand, the reason I have spent so much time on eternal security isn’t because I haven’t investigated alternative interpretations — because I have. I don’t want to be in error, and I am even more worried about spreading error.

Despite the charges from my critics, I am not a false teacher, ‘sent by Satan to confuse the Church and teach a watered-down doctrine that will lead many to hell’.

My fear of teaching error is so much greater than my fear of being wrong that I have probably spent more time studying the alternative doctrines than I have the one I believe to be the correct one.

The Bible takes a dim view of false teachers and false doctrines, and I take Scripture at face value.

That said, the doctrine of eternal security is, according to Scripture, the most effective defensive weapon in the Christian’s war arsenal. Particularly for this generation, and even more particularly, at this point in time.

The Apostle Paul described the spiritual weapons available to the Christian preparing for battle, and their purposes.

“Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil,” Paul writes to the Church at Ephesus.

Note immediately two things. The first is that this armour is of God, and the second is that it is provided so that we can ‘stand’ against the devil’s deceptive ‘wiles’ — not engage in a frontal confrontation.

It is the enemy who fears a frontal confrontation. Scripture says that, “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.” (1st John 4:4)

The enemy knows he cannot win a direct frontal confrontation with a believer indwelt by the Holy Spirit. “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7)

Rather, Paul writes, “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” (Ephesians 6:12-13)

Here again, we find that our tactical mission isn’t to swarm and overcome, but instead, to ‘withstand’ and ultimately, to remain standing.

Paul describes a Christian in full battle dress as one, “having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.”

Note the tactical information we are able to glean from the type of combat gear we are issued for battle. In the hand-to-hand combat tactics of Paul’s day, as now, the most vulnerable place to strike an enemy is the groin area.

One needn’t strike a killing blow with an edged weapon to disable an enemy, the haft of a spear, a club, or even a raised knee is sufficient.

If one stands against the enemy and doesn’t have the truth, he will be disabled just as easily. A killing blow is not necessary. A glancing blow is enough.

The next largest vulnerability for a warrior is the chest area. It is a large target, and has many potential kill zones, including the heart. An unrighteous warrior’s heart is exposed to an enemy blow.

An ancient Roman battlefield tactic often employed was for one side to sew a potential battlefield with sharp stones, bits of metal, tacks, etc.

The Roman legions often met with barefoot ‘barbarian’ hordes, while Roman soldiers wore heavy laced sandals. Soldiers who can’t walk, can’t fight, and this tactic thinned out the enemy forces even before the first blow was struck.

Paul tells us to be on a firm footing with the Gospel if we want to be able to ‘stand’ in battle. One cannot do spiritual battle with the enemy if one doesn’t understand the Gospel.

“Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” (6:16)

Faith is our shield. ” . . . for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.” (2nd Timothy 1:12)

It is our faith that provides the most effective shield against the attacks of the wicked. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 1:11)

All of us have encountered some glib apologist for humanism, or a well-versed atheist eager to ‘prove’ that there is no God. Some of their arguments seem convincing, and without the shield of faith, we are vulnerable.

We have only two weapons left to fully equip us for battle. Finally, Paul tells us, “. . . take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

Note that our only offensive weapon is the Sword of the Spirit — the Word of God.

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)

The Word of God, Jude tells us, is so powerful that, even “Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.” (Jude 1:9)

Now we move to what Paul calls, “the helmet of salvation.”

Assessment:

A blow to the groin can disable an enemy, so can a strike to the chest. An army with bloodied feet can’t fight, and without shields, it is vulnerable to long-range attack from archers. But strike a blow to the head and your enemy isn’t just disabled, he’s dead.

I know of no quicker way to render a Christian ineffective for battle than to convince him the battle is already lost.

A Christian who is out of fellowship with God is reluctant to join the battle, one who believes he has lost his salvation is defeated before he steps out on the field. Why fight for a general who has abandoned his troops in the field?

How does one deploy the various defensive weapons AFTER one is already dead?

How does one take the battle to the enemy, when the strategic objective is a prize of no value?

“For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put Him to an open shame.” (Hebrews 6:4-6)

These verses are often used as ‘proof’ texts that a believer’s salvation is conditional on his maintaining a certain standard of conduct.

Note the elements: First, it is impossible for one who has been saved to be ‘renewed again unto repentance’, because it would demand ‘crucifying to themselves the Son of God afresh’ — something the Bible says would ‘put Him to an open shame.’ How so?

“But this Man, after he had offered ONE sacrifice for sins FOR EVER, sat down on the right hand of God.” (Hebrews 10:12)

Jesus said from the Cross, “It is finished.” If it is NOT finished, then He lied – hence the open shame.

Another ‘proof text’ is Hebrews 10:26 which says; “For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins.”

If those ‘proof texts’ are correct, then, instead of the doctrine derided as ‘Once Saved, Always Saved, we are faced with the Bible promise that, for a believer, the true doctrine is ‘Once Lost, Always Lost’ — unless it is possible to be renewed unto repentance, something the Scriptures say is IMpossible.

To the believer out of fellowship NOT protected by his helmet of salvation, stepping out into the field is pointless.

What good is the Sword of the Spirit to an otherwise unprotected warrior? One without the helmet of salvation certainly can’t wear the breastplate of righteousness. The breastplate of righteousness doesn’t fit the lost sinner.

The shield of faith is too heavy to lift. Their feet are unshod by the Gospel of peace. The ‘truth’ that protects their loins is the truth that they have lost their salvation and are unfit for battle.

How can the lost do battle with the lost?

The doctrine of eternal security is the helmet of salvation that protects us from that fatal head shot.

If one is secure in his knowledge of his righteous standing before the Lord because of his faith that Jesus paid the penalty for his sins and that it truly IS finished, then the breastplate of righteousness fits securely, the shield of faith becomes weightless, and the two-edged Sword of the Spirit only cuts one way.

I stress eternal security because there is no time left for excuses. We haven’t the luxury of malingering in the field, claiming exemption from battle because we aren’t fit for combat.

Not every combatant is eligible for the Medal of Honor. Some are just tired dog-faces who go where they are sent and fight when the battle is joined.

They haven’t any doubts about which side they are on. They can’t claim neutrality or unfitness for combat. They KNOW that, whatever doubts the enemy casts on their fitness for combat, in the end, they will be victorious, because, although the battle still rages, the war is won.

I often think of the embattled defenders of Bastogne during the closing months of World War Two. The 422nd and 423rd Regiments were surrounded by German forces, outnumbered, outgunned and cut off without supplies.

Militarily speaking, the condition was hopeless.

The Germans sent an ultimatum to General McAuliffe, demanding he surrender his forces. By every military standard, McAuliffe should have accepted. It was the coldest winter in living memory.

Within the first three days of battle, many units were decimated. The 106th Infantry suffered 564 killed in action, 1,246 wounded and 7,001 missing in action, for example.

But McAuliffe knew, even as the battle raged, as hopeless as things looked, that the war itself was already won. Germany could not sustain the offensive, and he knew US reinforcements were fighting their way to their defense.

All he had to do was ‘stand’ until the battle was over and victory was his. McAuliffe rejected the surrender ultimatum with a one-word answer, in popular lore, the word, ‘Nuts’.

His troops fought on, despite the losses, in the face of overwhelming odds, because they had faith in ultimate victory. They knew that their forces had already defeated the enemy and it was only a matter of time. They needed only to stand in order to win.

Now, consider the same situation in reverse.

German forces, surrounded by US troops, cut off from their supplies, outgunned, outnumbered, with no hope of retreat, and knowing that the writing was already on the wall.

There are no reinforcements, Germany is on the verge of collapse and the war already lost. General McAuliffe sends the German commander the same ultimatum; surrender or be annihilated.

(It makes a world of difference to know you aren’t fighting for a lost cause.)

Eternal security is the assurance that our cause is NOT lost. The ‘Battling Bastards of Bastogne’ had the constant assurance that, no matter how badly the battle seemed to be going, in the end, they would win. It kept them on the field despite the APPEARANCE that they were lost.

I have spent this much time on the doctrine of eternal security because it is the mission of the Omega Letter to train and equip an army of one-on-one evangelists prepared to step out onto the battlefield, regardless of conditions, certain of their ultimate victory, confident of their armor, and trained to use their sword effectively.

We are in the last days. There is no time to bandage the wounded before committing them to the battle. What may appear as defeat to you from your vantage point in the action may actually be a tactical victory somewhere else up the line. Only our General knows all the battle details, and He says, ‘Trust Me’.

We need to be “ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” (1st Peter 3:15)

That hope lies in our eternal security. It isn’t a minor point of doctrine, and it isn’t just an interesting doctrinal argument among Christians to see who can score the most debating points.

It is what guarantees us ultimate victory, and what makes us fearless warriors on the field of battle. That’s why Paul called it the ‘helmet of salvation’.

“I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” (Galatians 2:21)

It’s THAT important.

Note:

Please pray for the success of our mission. Support us when and where you can as the Holy Spirit moves you and the Lord gives you the increase.

Help us to get the message out. Post an occasional Omega Letter that you find particularly useful in some of the mainstream online forums, like Free Republic or some other mainstream forum sites you might belong to.

Get a dialogue going.

Let people see what we are seeing — that the stage is set for the coming of the Lord.

And may our God richly bless us all, until He comes.