A Polite Society

A Polite Society
Vol: 49 Issue: 19 Wednesday, October 19, 2005

1950’s-era science fiction writer Robert F. Heinlein observed, in one of his science fiction novels in which he depicted future society as a kind of Wild West in which all citizens were armed and duels were commonplace; “An armed society is a polite society.”

In the American West in the 1880’s, a man could find himself in a fight to the death over a perceived insult. Shooting a card cheat caught in the act was justifiable homicide in practice, whether or not it was codified in law.

Disrespecting decent women was an offense that could put one on Boot Hill pushing up daisies before sundown. And one thought twice about using a gun to commit a robbery, since the odds were better that even that every other person in the room was armed, as well.

That is not to say I am an advocate of returning to the era of vigilante justice as handed down from the barrel of a .44 Colt. That said, it doesn’t change the basic truth behind Heinlein’s contention: An armed society IS a polite society. Moreover, an armed society is a safer society.

Consider, for a moment, the terror inspired by the Beltway sniper case. People living in the area surrounding the Washington DC area were terrified by the prospect of being gunned down at random in the streets by a crazed gunman. (Or gunmen, as it turned out)

Had John Muhammed and Lee Malvo had to worry about whether or not every person they saw might be armed with a weapon, the killing spree might never have begun. Throughout America’s cities, gang violence runs rampant. Gangs control entire neighborhoods in some cities, terrorizing and victimizing with relative impunity.

Some Los Angles gangs require prospective members to commit a murder as a form of initiation. To fulfill their initiation, they just walk up to a stranger in the street at random, pull out a gun, and shoot him in public in front of witnesses.

Gangsters call that ‘making their bones.’ Such murders are seldom solved, since random shootings leave little for police to follow up on, greatly diminishing the chance of getting caught. Remove the risk of getting shot by some bystander, and it is practically risk-free.

If the possibility existed that armed passers-by might pull out their own guns and shoot them in return, the practice would suddenly become a whole lot riskier. And a whole lot less common.

I recall a movie I saw once in which a couple of crooks decided to stick up a neighborhood bar. They walked in, took up positions on either end of the bar, and announced it was a stickup. What they didn’t know was this was a bar frequented by off-duty police.

Every cop in the bar simultaneously pulled his weapon and pointed it at the bad guys. The robbers, outnumbered thirty guns to two, surrendered meekly in what was a visually hilarious scene.

One of the many terrorist manuals confiscated in Afghanistan included a plan in which various terrorist cells would send its members out knocking on doors in American neighborhoods and then shooting whoever answered the door. When revealed by authorities, the plan sent chills up and down spines across America, as it was intended to do.

But if behind every door was an American armed with a gun, the terrorists’ plan would have been noteworthy only because of its stupidity.

The Swiss have the most liberal gun laws in Europe. Every Swiss citizen is required to both own, and be proficient with, his own gun. That is the secret to the famous Swiss neutrality that has kept it free from invasion for centuries. Even Adolf Hitler respected Swiss neutrality. Switzerland, with its armed population of gun enthusiasts, would be too costly to take by force.

A relative handful of well-armed and motivated citizens can hold even the most powerful military forces at bay. Just look at what a handful of armed insurgents — out of fifty million Iraqis — have been able to accomplish against the most powerful military forces the world has ever seen.

Pretty much every American concerned with homeland security recognizes the threat posed by our porous border with Mexico. For years, the federal government argued that federal agencies were doing the best that they could.

Until armed members of the “Minutemen’ took up positions along the border and illegal immigration was immediately choked off.

Assessment:

The 2nd Amendment says, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed”.

The Supreme Court decided in a landmark case styled “The United States v. Miller” that the 2nd Amendment did not apply to ordinary citizens, but instead conferred a special privilege on the National Guard.

This interpretation was one of those that make you go, “Hmmm.” In this view, the 2nd Amendment confers the right to bear arms to the government. It would, therefore, be the only amendment specifically granting a special right TO the government among a series of amendments designed to LIMIT the rights of government and to enumerate the rights of the people.

It is simply ludicrous that the Founding Fathers would convey the right to bear arms to itself. They already conferred the responsibility to provide for the common defense to the Congress.

Did the Founding Fathers feel the need to tell the Congress, (via the people’s “Bill of Rights” no less), that the Congress could use GUNS to defend against foreign enemies? What did they think Congress was going to use, absent the 2nd Amendment? Spitballs?

The Supreme Court’s interpretation grows even more bizarre when viewed in light of USC Title 10, Chapter 13, Section 311 (a);

“The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are commissioned officers of the National Guard.”

And, “(b) The classes of the militia are- (1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and (2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia.”

Note that Title 10 doesn’t identify those who are qualified to join a militia, or even those who have, but identifies all able bodied Americans between 17 and 45 as already being members of ‘the militia’ by default.

Ummm, run that Supreme Court decision by me again? The 2nd Amendment gives the right to bear arms to the militia, but not to ordinary citizens?

Despite propaganda to the contrary, guns are used in America more than twice as often for defensive purposes as they are for offensive purposes. Bad guys choose their victims based on the likelihood they might be armed.

When I was a police officer, our department issued a cruiser to each officer to take home, and to use off duty within the city limits. The idea was to convey the image of a much larger police presence on the street than there actually was. In addition, an off duty officer in his cruiser was automatically available for backup as needed.

It also accomplished something else. In ten years, I never had to lock the doors to my house when I went out, as long as that cruiser was parked in my driveway. The homes of police officers are rarely deliberately chosen by burglars as preferred targets.

Especially if there looks like there might be someone home.

Noted John Stossel in a recent column, “As Alex Kozinski, a federal appeals judge and an immigrant from Eastern Europe, warned in 2003, “the simple truth — born of experience — is that tyranny thrives best where government need not fear the wrath of an armed people.”

“The prospect of tyranny may not grab the headlines the way vivid stories of gun crime routinely do,” Judge Kozinski noted. “But few saw the Third Reich coming until it was too late. The Second Amendment is a doomsday provision, one designed for those exceptionally rare circumstances where all other rights have failed — where the government refuses to stand for reelection and silences those who protest; where courts have lost the courage to oppose, or can find no one to enforce their decrees. However improbable these contingencies may seem today, facing them unprepared is a mistake a free people get to make only once.”

Under the Ramadan Moon. . . 2005

Under the Ramadan Moon. . . 2005
Vol: 49 Issue: 18 Tuesday, October 18, 2005

President Bush hosted another dinner this year for Muslim leaders at the White House for the traditional meal that marks the end of a daily Ramadan fast.

Hosting Islamic leaders at the White House has become an annual event, one which began in 2001 after Islamic terrorists slammed three aircraft loaded with innocent Americans in the World Trade Center and Pentagon building and crashed a fourth filled with passengers into a field in Pennsylvania.

I always thought that an odd tradition to start, given the circumstances. Sort of like hosting an annual Shinto celebration in Washington, starting right after Pearl Harbor.

Bush’s guest list this year includes prominent Muslim-Americans and ambassadors from large Muslim countries. In previous years, Bush hosted prominent Muslim-American leaders with strong connections with terrorism, like Muzzamil Siddiqi and Abdurahman Alamoudi.

Of his guests this year, President Bush noted;

“Our distinguished guests represent the millions of Muslims that we are proud to call Americans, and many Islamic nations represented here that America is proud to call friend.”

Dr. Tom W. Smith, a nationally recognized expert in survey research, is director of the General Social Survey at the National Opinion Research Center of the University of Chicago. He authored a 2001 study entitled, Estimating the Muslim Population in the United States.

The best adjusted, survey-based estimate puts the total Muslim population at 1,876,000, writes Dr. Smith. Even if high side estimates based on local surveys, figures from mosques, and ancestry and immigration statistics are given more weight than the survey-based numbers, it is hard to accept estimates that Muslims are greater than one percent of the population, or 2,814,000.

Dr. Smith’s figures coincide with the 1% Muslim population figure cited by the CIA World Factbook’s online edition as well.

The National Mental Health Association says that approximately 2.2 million Americans, or 1.1% of the population, suffer from schizophrenia. Another 3.3 millions Americans suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder. Where are the dinners for them?

A survey conducted by the prestigious Roper Poll organization in 1991 concluded that nearly 4.1 million Americans, or one in fifty, believed that they had been abducted by UFOs. (I’m not making this up!! Copies of the report, “Unusual Personal Experiences,” are available from The Roper Organization, 205 East 42nd Street, New York, NY 10017)

So, there are fewer ‘millions’ of Muslim Americans than there are schizophrenic Americans. There are fewer ‘millions’ of Muslim Americans than there are bi-polar Americans. And there are at least four times as many ‘millions’ of Americans who have been abducted by UFO’s than there are Muslim Americans.

None of America’s schizophrenic population have declared holy war on America. None of America’s bipolar population are a threat to national security. And our ‘millions’ of UFO abductees are not only NOT a threat, but having them over would make for some interesting dinner conversation.

I know I’d have more fun to listening to a guy in a tinfoil hat talking about his cosmic adventures than a guy wearing a diaper and a fanbelt on his head explaining why the chant, ‘Death to America’ is a religous expression reflecting ‘faith and family’.

Indeed, President Bush spoke of Islam as a religion that emphasizes faith and family. And he urged all those in the room to join a number of well-known Muslim scholars in denouncing those who – in his words – commit evil in ‘God’s name.’

What IS there about the Ramadan moon that turns the Commander in Chief into America’s Theologian in Chief?

And while I am asking questions, where the heck are all those ‘separation of church and state’ guys?

Assessment:

Here is a prime example of why I’ve repeatedly said I wouldn’t vote for a candidate based on his expression of faith. I get a lot of comments about President Bush and whether or not he is a ‘true’ Christian.

Things like; I used to think Bush was a Christian, but how could a Christian . . . ? [fill in your complaint here].

I’ve said before that I believe George Bush is a Christian, because the qualification for being a Christian does not include being 100% in agreement with my understanding of Christianity.

The qualification for becoming a Christian is being a sinner in need of forgiveness. The qualification for being a Christian is being a forgiven sinner.

Bush’s equating ‘Allah’ with ‘God’ is an example of his spiritual ignorance. Spiritually ignorant people are capable of being forgiven, as well. Few people, I would wager, first came to Christ with degrees in Christian theology.

But Bush’s annual Ramadan Moon dinner displays an almost breathtaking ignorance of Islam, one so profound it is difficult to believe that somebody in his administration would have pointed out some of the more salient truths about the religion of ‘faith and family’.

Sura Anfal:12ff and Sura Muhammad:3ff command the beheading of unbelievers; Sura al-Nisa :34ff allows for beating of one s wives; verses 74ff and 94ff, promise great reward for those who die fighting for Allah; Sura al-Ma idah:51 says, Believers, take neither Jews nor Christians for your friends.

Prior to Islam’s birth in AD 622, the indigenous Arabs weren’t sitting around waiting for Mohammed to explain the mysteries of Allah. Like the Greeks and Romans of Jesus’ day, they had plenty of religion already.

Until Mohammed, the religion of the peoples of the Arabian peninsula involved 360 gods who were believed to live in the Kabah in Mecca. One of their gods was the moon god who was married to the sun goddess. The stars were their children.

Worship of the moon god, coincidentally ALSO named Allah, (actually Alliah) involved bowing in prayer toward Mecca several times per day. Pre-Islamic Arab worshippers coincidentally ALSO made a pilgrimage to Mecca.

There, they would sacrifice animals at the stone temple called the Kabah. After circling the Kabah seven times, they would throw stones at the devil. During the month of the moon god, worshippers would fast from the appearance of the new moon until the following new moon.

The symbol of the moon religion that was the predominant religion of Mohammed’s day was the crescent moon.

The crescent moon remains the symbol of Islam. The practice of making a pilgrimage to Mecca, running around the Kabah seven times, throwing stones at the devil and fasting from crescent moon to crescent moon is still part of Islamic worship.

One can only pray that Bush’s ignorance is assumed for the benefit of his guests, using the old axiom; “keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.” There is no other way to explain Bush’s equation of Allah with God.

At least, none that makes sense to me.

The ‘Fear Factor’

The ‘Fear Factor’
Vol: 49 Issue: 17 Monday, October 17, 2005

The ‘Fear Factor’

I am not much for Stephen King novels, although I admit his talent is enormous. I’ve read several that I liked, but I’ve read more that I didn’t.

King is a compelling writer; its just that his chosen genre is not my cup of tea.

That said, one of Steven King’s novels, “The Stand” was made into a miniseries a few years ago. It was an apocalyptic morality tale that openly pitted good versus evil.

The story begins with the emergence of a strange killer virus simply called “The Flu”.

The Flu races through the population, killing all but a handful of survivors with a natural immunity to the strain. King’s depiction of the horror associated with such a pandemic certainly earned him his title as King of the Horror Novelists — one is drawn into the story inexorably, relentlessly. . .

I felt much the same sense of horror as I was researching the new H5N1 ‘bird flu’ virus that I felt reading King’s “The Stand”.

To summarize, the bird flu known as H5N1 is shaping up to become a global pandemic on a level not seen since the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic that swept the planet in the wake of World War I.

The Spanish Flu killed more people in six months than were killed in the four years of the First World War. It killed more humans than any other disease of similar duration in the history of the world, says Alfred W. Crosby, who wrote a history of the 1918 pandemic.

It killed so quickly that a man could be perfectly healthy one morning and be dead by nightfall. It is estimated that the death toll from the 1918 Spanish Flu was between fifty and one hundred MILLION people.

H5N1 is known to have infected 117 people in Asia so far. It killed sixty people, MORE THAN HALF of those known to be infected. The fear is that the bird flu virus could evolve into a form that is easily spread among humans.

That could happen if a person who had a case of the ordinary human flu became infected with bird flu. The two viruses could recombine inside the victim’s body, creating a hybrid transmissible between humans the way ordinary flu virus is transmitted, but with H5N1’s destructive capabilities.

H5N1 is a new flu virus strain, which means that humans have no natural immunity to it. An immunity is developed when a person contracts the disease and then fights it off. If the disease never existed before, there is no way to be immune.

Because of that, its effects are more severe and put an even greater number of people at risk of succumbing to the virus.

The World Health Organization announced Friday that H5N1 is showing signs that it can evade what is currently our first line defensive drug, Tamiflu. And that it has found a way to transmit itself from one human to another.

They found so-called resistant strains in a Vietnamese girl who recovered from a bird flu infection after being treated with Tamiflu. They also found evidence she was directly infected by her brother and not by chickens, a rare case of human-to-human transmission of the virus.

At present, the World Health Organization says the main route of human infection from birds is direct contact with infected poultry, or surfaces and objects contaminated by their droppings.

The report, to be published in the journal Nature next week, is bad news for doctors who already have precious little in the arsenal against bird flu should it become a human disease.

Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt said Saturday that his tour of Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam convinced him that the chances of containing the virus, should it mutate, “are not good.”

There is no medicine to cure it. Antibiotics won’t work. There is an experimental vaccine for H5N1. But at present, there is nowhere nearly enough to inoculate everyone against the virus — the US has a contract with Sanofi Pasteur to supply two million doses.

Since the current annual vaccine-production capacity worldwide is about 1 billion doses of the 15 microgram antigen vaccine, right now we have the ability to produce less than enough vaccine for 100 million people in the first year of a pandemic — or less than 2% of the 6.5-billion world population.

According to some experts, if avian flu becomes a pandemic, there will be two types of people in the world: those who are exposed to it and die, and those who are exposed to it and live.

Assessment:

One can almost taste the fear. It isn’t just The Flu. It’s everything. Consider some recent headlines: “2005 Second Hottest on Record”, for example.

Within the body of the story we read that the five hottest years on record were the first five years of the 21st century.

This morning, forecasters are warning of a potential Category 3 Hurricane Wilma that, at this moment, is tracking back into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening the already devastated Gulf Coast.

With six weeks left to go in the Atlantic Hurricane season, Wilma is also noteworthy for being the last hurricane on the official names list.

That is another record event. The contingency plan (never used) is to roll over to the Greek alphabet. The storm that follows ‘Wilma’ will be called ‘Alpha’. That has never happened before in the history of meteorology.

The Atlantic Coast was flooded by a series of freak storms that dumped as much as two feet of rain in some places previously stricken by drought. The resulting flooding has caused tens of millions of dollars in damages and a number of deaths.

The death toll from last week’s earthquake in Pakistan was revised upward to 54,000 and the Pak government says it expects the final toll to exceed one hundred thousand people.

The devastation is being spoken of in the same terms as were used to describe the Asian tsunami, which claimed a quarter million lives.

In economic terms, there have been only 19 disasters in history that have caused more than $1 billion in damages. Every one of them struck after 1983.

According to the Reinsurance Association of America (RAA), nearly 50 percent of the insured losses from natural catastrophes during the past 40 years have been incurred since 1990. That represents a fifteen-fold increase over the past fifteen years.

When we aren’t rolling our eyes in fear at the non-stop natural assault on human civilization, we are looking over our shoulders nervously at strangers carrying back packs, while the government continues to install sniffer-devices designed to detect nuclear and biological weapons on the streets of our cities.

Not just in America, but in Europe, Russia, Australia, the UK and any other nation or region that has caught the attention of Islamic terrorism. In almost every instance, the threat is in some way related to that nation or region’s relationship with Israel.

Social scientists the world over bemoan the impending collapse of civilization as we know it, as such basic social building blocks like the family unit become increasingly anachronistic.

Note also that these seemingly unrelated trends coming upon THIS generation, are, according to the virtually unanimous verdict of scientists, economists and sociologists, increasing in both frequency and intensity.

Try to imagine, if you can, what this world will look like after twenty years of annual Katrinas, killer earthquakes, floods, global pandemics and terrorism. New Orleans, one of America’s oldest cities, has been destroyed not once, but twice, in a single hurricane season. And it is at risk of being ‘destroyed’ (if that is possible), yet a third time, should Wilma continue on her forecast path.

Some commentators and pundits have noted a palpable increase of fear, something that is beginning to show up statistically as plummeting consumer confidence levels.

(One can learn a lot about what people fear by watching where they put their money).

A few years ago, these trends were only noticeable if one tracked them carefully. Those who noted the trends were dismissed as ‘alarmists’. Those who related the trends to the prophecies of the Bible were dismissed as members of the religious lunatic fringe.

While Bible prophecy may be dismissed as ‘doom and gloom’ it is actually exactly the opposite. It is really cause for celebration. The fulfillment of Bible prophecy in this generation, on schedule and in precise order, is our assurance that what is going on all around us is controlled chaos.

It is proof positive that God remains on His Throne. It is proof positive that we are not following “cunningly devised fables” (2nd Peter 1:16) but rather, we ourselves are “eyewitnesses of His Majesty.”

Jesus warned of earthquakes, famines and wars, all of which He noted, would increase in frequency and intensity as the time approached.

He warned of “signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.” (Luke 21:25-26)

That ‘distress of nations’ is so palpable that national governments globally are spending billions combing the sky for the Next Killer Asteroid on a par with the one that evolutionists say killed off the dinosaurs 85 million years ago.

The UN is warning of an ever-increasing level of disasters in the years ahead. Wrote UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in September, 1999;

“The tragic earthquake in Greece and the enormous devastation and suffering wrought by the recent earthquake in Turkey are reminders of one of the most pressing challenges of our time: the extraordinary increase in the number and extent of natural disasters.”

Note that Annan wrote that column, entitled, “An Increasing Vulnerability to Natural Disasters” more than six years ago.

To argue that the current scenario does not comport to the scenario outlined by Bible prophecy for the last days requires one of two things.

Either a complete ignorance of what Bible prophecy forecasts, or a blind faith in coincidence.

“Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of His coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” (2nd Peter 3:3-4)

The Promise of His coming is all around us.

“And when these things BEGIN to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” (Luke 21:28)

A Lynch Mob in Search of a Scandal

A Lynch Mob in Search of a Scandal
Vol: 49 Issue: 15 Saturday, October 15, 2005

A tax-payer funded federal investigation into whether or not White House senior advisor Karl Rove broke the law by leaking the name of CIA supervisor Valerie Plame to a Washington columnist is on the verge of wrapping up a TWO-YEAR investigation.

I emphasis ‘two years’ because, in the final analysis, even if Rove did everything the most rabid Democratic rival accused him of doing in the ‘Plame Affair’ was true, it still didn’t break the law — something already understood before the investigation was launched.

Rove is accused of ‘outing’ an undercover CIA agent, a federal crime punishable by a long federal prison sentence. The law was passed after CIA traitor Aldrich Ames sold out his colleagues to the Russians and got a number of them killed.

The law passed in the wake of Aldrich’s Ames’ act of treason was simply co-opted by unscrupulous political hatchet-men and used as if Rove’s act was morally equivalent to that of Ames.

The Democrats and their allies in the press have been throwing around such words as ‘traitor’ to describe Rove and ‘treason’ to describe his having, ‘revealed the classified name of an undercover CIA agent’ who was, to quote Dr. Howard Dean, ‘fighting on the front lines of the war on terror’ until Rove ‘destroyed her career’.

Except that to break that law, Rove would have to have met a number of conditions. The first was that he obtained the information from classified documents. There is ample evidence that Plame’s job and identity were well-known within the Washington Beltway.

Only weeks before the Novak column ‘outing’ Plame, she and her husband, high-profile Ambassador Joe Wilson, were the subjects of a Vanity Fair photo spread.

Rove would have had to have known Plame was a CIA covert operative before disclosing her name. To be a ‘covert operative’ under the law, the CIA would have to show they had made efforts to conceal her identity. She would have had to have worked outside the United States in a covert capacity within the past five years. None of these apply.

In addition, Rove testified that he had discussed, in passing, the fact that Wilson’s wife worked for the CIA. Rove and the reporters involved agree it was in reply to a question about why the administration would send someone as opposed to the war as Joe Wilson to Niger on behalf of the administration?

Rove said Wilson was probably selected because of his wife’s high-level job at the CIA.

It not only makes sense in context, but the 9/11 Commission Investigation determined it was also factually true.

So why waste all that time and all those taxpayer dollars to investigate facts already in evidence in order to determine if a crime was committed where no crime was possible?

Assessment:

The Washington Post headlined an article this morning: “Scandals Take Toll On Bush’s 2nd Term.” (I think it worth noting that the Post’s headline was sandwiched between similar headlines from Cuba’s ‘Prensa Latina’ and al Jazeera when I googled it. Good news travels fast.)

The Post endeavors to create the vision of an administration totally riddled by scandals that have destroyed the Bush administration’s ability to focus on the war on terror.

To some degree, there is some truth to the story, however. The administration has been distracted by all the allegations of scandal and that has hurt the war effort.

But the list of Bush ‘scandals’ pale in comparison to those of previous administrations, including that of the first Bush presidency. And it is minuscule in comparison the Clinton administration.

All the Post’s efforts to collect the Bush ‘scandals’ into a pile accomplished was to show how small the pile actually is. The Post begins with the Karl Rove ‘scandal’. The Post then moves to the Harriet Miers ‘scandal’. (What scandal? Miers is a Christian)

From there, we move to the Tom DeLay ‘scandal’. DeLay was indicted in Texas by an activist Democratic prosecutor in Texas on charges so thin it took three grand juries to get an indictment. (Even many Democrats are backing away from Travis County DA Ronnie Earle.)

The next ‘Bush administration scandal’ involves a subpoena issued against Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist after he sold stock contained in a family business blind trust.

The next ‘scandal’ ‘plaguing the Bush administration’ was the Abu Graibh incident, through what the Post described as ‘a bi-partisan rebuke of Bush over ‘torture’ policies.

(Helpful, coming on the heels of Al Gore’s charge in Sweden that our forces routinely torture prisoners. No wonder the Post story was so popular with the Cubans and the Arabs.)

From there, the Post goes through possible investigations of a number of other Republican officials by name, before tossing out a line about “against DeLay and nearly a dozen other lawmakers, Democrats included.”

(Since most of the dozen are Democrats, the Post had to find a way to include them without anybody noticing. Nice job.)

Take a look back up the Washington Post’s list that defines a “scandal ridden Bush administration”;

Karl Rove mentioned Joe Wilson’s wife used her job at the CIA to help get him an assignment. (True) Note also that Karl Rove is an actual member of the Bush administration, appointed by George Bush and part of the Executive Branch.

Tom DeLay is as much a part of the ‘Bush administration’ as Nancy Pelosi is. Bill Frist is as much a part of the ‘Bush administration’ as Teddy Kennedy is.

They are all members of the Legislative Branch of government, Constitutionally separate from the Executive Branch, sent to Washington by their state constituencies. No Senator or Congressman could be part of the Bush administration without first stepping down from their elected post.

The Post also mentioned what might qualify as some genuine administration scandals, such as the federal failures following Katrina, but only in passing, since the scandal began with New Orleans’ mayor, a Democrat, and moved up the chain to Louisiana’s governor, also a Democrat, before it got to the federal level.

Time to tally the score. The Washington Post, with all its resources and all its archives and all its reporters, sat down to tell the story of how the Bush administration is hamstrung by all the scandals tarnishing its image.

They did the best they could, adding everything they could think of, right down to the Bush nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court, (which it managed to mention twice.)

Once distilled, what is left is the Karl Rove ‘scandal’. (That’s the best they could do after five years?)

But that isn’t what the rest of the world, unfamiliar with the nuances of American politics, the separation of branches of power, or American law take away from the Post story.

They come away with exactly what the Post’s headline suggests: that America is run by criminals and moral bankrupts.

The Post, of course, wants Americans to believe that so that the voters will turn them out of office. The fact it fans the flames of anti-American sentiment sweeping the globe is secondary to achieving their political agenda of seizing power.

By deception if necessary.

“Christians” Without Christ

“Christians” Without Christ
Vol: 49 Issue: 14 Friday, October 14, 2005

“And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.” (Revelation 13:11)

This verse serves as the introduction to the false religion that will sweep the world under antichrist during the tribulation. Note than John describes the False Prophet has having two horns like a lamb, but that he ‘spake as a dragon’.

The symbolism here is sublimely obvious. This is, after all, the Bible. We are introduced to the ‘dragon’ during the Tribulation in Revelation 12:3, where “there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.”

The dragon is clearly identified in Revelation 12:9: “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”

So, the dragon is Satan and it is his doctrine that will form the foundation of the religion of antichrist. However, it will appear to be a form of Christianity, symbolized by ‘the lamb’.

The identity of the Lamb within the context of the Book of the Revelation is equally unquestionable: “These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for He is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with Him are called, and chosen, and faithful.” (Revelation 17:14)

It is tempting to insert Islam as the false religion of the last days that will sweep the world during the Tribulation Period. Islam already claims a third of the world’s population, practices forced conversions, routinely uses beheading as a form of execution, and pretty much fits the character of the theocracy in John’s description.

But it is an impossible stretch to envision Islam in the context of a counterfeit Christianity. Islam’s hatred of Christianity stretches back to the time of the Crusaders, and its hatred of Israel traces back to the sons of Abraham. No Islamic would identify themselves religiously with either Christianity or Judaism.

But the antichrist is accepted, at least for a time, as Israel’s messiah. (2nd Thessalonians 2:4, John 5:43, Matthew 24:15) That completely disqualifies Islam from either direction.

And John is too definite about his depiction of a form of Christianity without Christ for us to wish away as inconvenient to a theory.

Assessment:

When asked of the signs of His impending return by His disciples, the very first sign Jesus cited was that of religious deception.

“For many shall come in My Name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.” (Matthew 24:5)

“And He said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in My name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.” (Luke 21:8)

In the last century, there has been an explosion of religious cults that claim to be Christian, while simultaneously denying Christ.

Most call themselves ‘Christians’ use the Bible as their Sacred Scripture, and may even have the name of Christ in the title of their church… but they say that “Jesus is not God”, or that Jesus Christ is god as much as you and I are god, like the Mormons or Jehovah’s Witnesses.

A research paper entitled, ‘Churches and Church Membership in the United States, 1990’ ranked the Jehovah’s Witnesses 9th among the top 10 religious bodies with the most churches in the US.

The Mormons ranked 8 among the top ten, whereas the Episcopal Church, the American branch of the Church of England, ranks 10th.

The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, the official name for the ‘Jehovah’s Witnesses’ was founded by Charles Taze Russell in 1852, with the first formal organization being founded in Pittsburgh in 1872. They now number three million worldwide and growing, based on the following doctrine:

Jehovah’s Witnesses see the doctrine of the Trinity as a demonic doctrine. Their theology strips Jesus of His Deity, claiming He is not God, but ‘a god’ a created being on a par with Lucifer. They deny the physical resurrection of Christ, and deny the doctrine of an eternal hell.

In the past, they have officially announced the date of the Second Coming of Christ and Armageddon on six different occasions: 1914, 1918, 1920, 1925, 1941, and 1975. Yet their membership is among the most active, and their ranks continue to swell.

The Mormons are officially called “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.” Numbering over ten million, they are one of the fastest growing religious cults in the world. Among their doctrinal teachings is that God was once a man who became God.

The Mormon god has a physical body, as does his wife, the heavenly mother. Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are three separate gods.

Worthy men may one day become gods themselves. Jesus was married and had children with the two sisters of Lazarus, Maria and Martha… and Jesus became God. And so can a Mormon.

“As man now is, God once was; as God now is, man can become”, is one of the most famous aphorisms of the Mormons. This elevation to godhood is only open to faithful male Mormons, but this concept of .”every man is god”, has been taken up by the New Age Movement, (but using different methods to become god.)

Man as god is also the central tenet of secular humanism, another ‘religious’ cult that has taken root and thrived in the very heart of our global institutions, as well as most national governments.

Then there are the others; Christian Science Church, founded in 1875 by Mary Baker Eddy. The cult is neither Christian, scientific, nor a church, but wields huge influence through its prestigious daily newspaper, “The Christian Science Monitor.”

The Church of Scientology was founded in 1954 by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard. It’s doctrine is utterly bizarre; Mankind is descended from a race of interplanetary omnipotent gods called “thetans”.

Gradually they evolved by reincarnation to become humans who could not remember their deified state, but every human is a god! The problem is the “engrams”, the traumatic experiences in past lives, which impede spiritual progress, and they are the reason of all diseases.

The only remedy is ‘auditing’ which is very expensive. Auditing runs about $300 per hour, and courses, high level courses, of up to $10,000 or $50,000.

In Scientology, Jesus is not the creator. He was in control of supernatural powers, “cleared” from mental defects, but he was not an “operating thetan”. Initially, Hubbard taught that Jesus did not exist. When Hubbard later acknowledged his existence, he claimed Jesus was gay. The Holy Spirit is not mentioned. Salvation comes after many “auditings.”

The Worldwide Church of God was founded in 1934 by Herbert W Armstrong. At his death, his son, Garner Ted Armstrong took over the leadership of the Church. It teaches that the 10 lost tribes of Israel are the British and that the American descendants of the British are the “Chosen People of God”. England is “Ephraim”, and the USA is “Manasseh.”

The WWCG teaches that all other churches teach in error. They deny the existence of the Trinity, and include keeping the Jewish feasts, the Sabbath, and keeping kosher. Armstrong once taught that Queen Elizabeth now sits on the Throne to which Christ will lay claim at His return.

Each of these former cults are now part of mainstream American Christianity, with huge influence that is translating into rapid growth.

Scientology’s apologists include people like Tom Cruise, John Travolta, Kirstie Alley, Isaac Hayes, Patrick Swayze and even Greta Van Susteren of Fox News.

Christian Science has the ‘Monitor’; the Jehovah’s Witnesses sell 100,000 tracts every day door to door; and the Mormons have their own state, Utah, complete with senators and congressmen.

Armstrongism has its “Plain Truth” Magazine, “The World Tomorrow” television program and Garner Ted Armstrong’s “Philadelphia Trumpet” and “Key of David” television program.

Then there are the ‘Moonies’, founded in 1954 by Sun Yung Moon. The ‘Moonies’ are nothing short of nuts. They deny Christ’s Deity, claiming Jesus was the illegitimate offspring of Zechariah and Mary.

Moon claims to be the third Adam, the second Christ, and God himself incarnated. AND . . . Moon owns “The Washington Times” and “Newsworld Magazine.”

The point is this. Each of these cults, claims to be Christian, while simultaneously denying His Deity. Each is in a position of tremendous influence.

While some of the media organs are currently benign, (Moon has a ‘no-influence’ contract with Washington Times Editor in Chief Wesley Pruden, who insisted on it before accepting the job), it wouldn’t take much for them to be retooled as propaganda tools to advance the concept of Christians Without Christ as a workable religious system.

The proof is in the preponderance of them that exist already.

“Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. . . And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.” (1st John 2:22, 4:3)

Losing By Winning

Losing By Winning
Vol: 49 Issue: 13 Thursday, October 13, 2005

The recently-released communications intercept between Iraqi al-Qaeda leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and al-Qaeda No. 2 leader Ayman al Zawahiri, is filled with evidences that suggest they are losing the war.

The most telling admission contained in the message was a plea from Zawahiri for money. On September 11, 2001, Osama bin Laden’s personal fortune was estimated to be in excess of $300 million. al-Qaeda had become a far-flung economic enterprise, with al-Qaeda investments funding hundreds of legitimate companies via dummy corporations.

Using all that money, al-Qaeda was able to assemble a fleet of ships, creating a kind of terrorist ‘navy’ capable of transporting troops, smuggling drugs, and shipping weapons from one part of the world to another.

Many intelligence analysts believe that al-Qaeda has used their vast worldwide financial investments to purchase weapons of mass destruction, and possibly even nuclear weapons.

It takes money to run an international jihad — lots of it. Plane tickets for jihadists are expensive, so are training camps and accommodations. It takes money to bribe one’s way across borders. It takes money to buy the silence of the communities in which they hide.

Osama was reputed to have buried boxes of cash in dozens of locations in the Afghani mountains.

Saddam’s sons emptied Iraq’s central bank of several billion dollars in US currency, much of which was unrecovered and thought to be buried in various locations around Iraq.

In light of all this, it is nothing short of amazing that the mainstream media has missed the most significant phrase in the entire communique.

“So, if you’re capable of sending a payment of approximately one hundred thousand, we’ll be very grateful to you,” wrote Ayman al Zawahiri, the Number Two Supreme Leader of All al-Qaeda Forces Worldwide.

One hundred thousand dollars? The amount reveals three major pieces of intelligence that fairly scream al-Qaeda’s impending defeat. They practically demand we increase the pressure on al-Qaeda, rather than discuss pulling out.

Yet the mainstream media, with all their analysts and intelligence resources, seem to have missed them.

First, al-Qaeda’s vast economic empire is [or was] al Zawahiri’s piggy bank. If he needs a hundred grand, then al-Qaeda’s global headquarters is in serious financial trouble.

One hundred thousand dollars isn’t operational money for a global terror network, it’s eating and bribe money for two guys on the run. It also reveals that those boxes of money buried in the mountains have either been captured, lost or stolen by the locals.

Secondly, the amount says that Zarqawi’s money supply is drying up, as well. Those boxes of US cash stolen by Uday and Qusay have also been exhausted, or nearly exhausted. As in the case in Afghanistan, most of Zarqawi’s money has probably been stolen, captured or exhausted through other means.

Only a few years ago, such a transfer would be numbered in the millions. And if Zawahiri is so broke that a hundred thousand sounds like a lot, then the fact that is all he asked for is significant in that it reveals he knows Zarqawi’s almost as broke as he is. “If you’re capable” of sending “approximately” one hundred thousand dollars, the communique says.

Third, it reveals how important the elimination of al-Qaeda’s top financial wizard, Abdallah Najim Abdallah Muhammad al-Juwairi, actually was to the war effort. It shows that Osama is so broke that he has been relying on Zarqawi for support for some period of time.

(al-Juwairi was killed by US forces in a gunfight in Baghdad).

The communique also contains another major piece of intelligence that the mainstream media is loathe to discuss in public. It reveals just how useful the Useful Idiots in America are to the al-Qaeda war effort.

Zawahiri writes; “Things may develop faster than we imagine. The aftermath of the collapse of American power in Vietnam and how they ran and left their agents is noteworthy.”

Assessment:

One of al-Qaeda’s most useful idiots came within a hair’s breadth of having been the President of the United States on September 11th.

Having been unsuccessful in defeating George Bush politically, Al Gore has made it his mission to punish Bush for his victory, no matter what it may cost America strategically.

Al Gore was among the first to declare Iraq ‘another Vietnam’ — a cry that has been echoed throughout the liberal mainstream media and included in every Democratic talking points papers since the March, 2003 invasion.

In Sweden yesterday, before an international economic forum, Al Gore proved again how close America came to political catastrophe in 2000. Blustering about how bad things are under Bush and how good they would have been, if only Al had won, he told the group;

“We would not have invaded a country that didn’t attack us,” he said, referring to Iraq. “We would not have taken money from the working families and given it to the most wealthy families.”

“We would not be trying to control and intimidate the news media. We would not be ROUTINELY TORTURING people,” said the man who almost won the White House.

Tracey Schmitt, spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee, called Gore’s comments “fictitious rants that border on dangerous.”

“To accuse Americans of participating in ‘routine torture’ is absurd and reveals that while Al Gore may no longer be a leader in his party, he still embodies the maniacal anger that guides Democrat leaders in Washington today,” Schmitt wrote in an e-mail to The Associated Press.

‘Maniacal’ is an excellent adjective when describing post-Election Al Gore. Right now, America has several hundred thousand troops in harm’s way in Iraq and Afghanistan.

And Al Gore, Almost President of the USA, is confirming to their enemy that, if they are captured by the Americans, they will be ‘tortured’ by American troops, who conduct such ‘torture’ on a ‘routine’ basis.

Think about what the phrase ‘routinely tortured’ means to someone who lived under the regimes of Saddam Hussien or the Taliban.

How many additional fighters will ignore their instinct for self-preservation, fighting to the death to avoid being captured and tortured by American forces? How many more Americans will die as a consequence of the enemy’s increased resistance?

Zawahiri is counting on guys like Al Gore to fulfill al-Qaeda’s goal of winning the war by convincing the American public to withdraw, ‘run and leave their agents’, as Zarqawi put it, like we did in Vietnam.

What is chilling about this is the fact that the major pieces of intelligence that indicate al-Qaeda is losing were largely ignored by the mainstream media.

The liberals share Al Gore’s contempt for George Bush and Red State America, a contempt so deep that it overshadows all else, including the best interests of America at large.

If America is winning, then the Left is losing. It is in their political interests that the war in Iraq fail, even at the cost of American lives and possibly, the loss of Iraq to the Islamic jihad.

You needn’t take my word for it. Just monitor the liberal mainstream news media. Any news that points toward American successes in the war are ignored, while the Useful Idiots like Al Gore grab all the headlines.

Since I live between two Marine Corps bases, I talk with Marines returning from Iraq on an almost daily basis. To a man, they are astonished at how the war is reflected by the mainstream American media. I’ve yet to speak to a single Iraq veteran who thinks the war is portrayed accurately.

The epithet being voiced most often by the liberals is the label ‘right wing’. If a liberal wanted to throw the worst insult he could think of at another liberal, it would be to accuse him of being a ‘right winger’.

But ‘right wing’ is an incomplete label. It is off balance, like the old ‘shave and a haircut’ knock, without the following knocks for ‘two bits’.

The complete phrase is ‘right wing Christian.’ When you knock off the word ‘Christian’ you haven’t changed the meaning, just the phrase.

It still identifies a member of the ‘right wing’ as anti abortion, anti euthanasia, anti-gay, “pro-gun and pro-God,” as Howard Dean described Southern voters in the last election.

“Right wing’ doesn’t mean ‘Christian’ but to a liberal, it means someone of faith who shares the deepest values of the Christian right.

And to the liberals, ‘getting’ the ‘right-wing’ is even more important than ‘getting’ al-Qaeda. To them, Christianity is as dangerous as Islam. Maybe even more so.

“And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.” (Matthew 10:36)

The Last Trump

The Last Trump
Vol: 49 Issue: 12 Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Israel celebrates Yom Kippur, or ‘the Day of Atonement’ beginning tonight (October 12) at sundown and lasting until sundown tomorrow night. (October 13).

Yom Kippur occurs on the tenth day of the Hebrew month of Tishri. It is the most solemn and somber day on the Jewish calendar. Even many Jews who do not regularly observe other Jewish feast days make an exception for Yom Kippur. The Jews call it ‘judgment day’.

Jews practice repentance, say prayers, and give charity to obtain God’s forgiveness for the sins of the previous year. Yom Kippur is the culmination of a process that began a month earlier, during the Hebrew month of Elal. It follows Rosh Hashanah and the New Year’s activities.

The ten days from the Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah) are known as the Ten Days of Awe, or Ten Days of Repentance, offering Jews a chance for spiritual renewal and repentance before the Day of Atonement. During the afternoon prayers on the day before Yom Kippur, a viddui, or confessional, is said. It is repeated during Yom Kippur.

Observant Jews fast for twenty-five hours before breaking their fast with a festive meal. After the meal, two candles are blessed and then lit. There is no more eating or drinking. A series of prayers is said.

Until the Destruction of the Second Temple in AD 70, the focal point of Yom Kippur involved the High Priest entering the Holy of Holies. The high priest sacrificed a bullock as a sin offering for himself and for his house. (Leviticus 16:6)

After filling his censer with live coals from the altar, he entered the holy of holies where he placed incense on the coals. Next, he took some of the blood which was taken from the slain bullock and sprinkled it on the mercy seat of the Ark of the Covenant (Leviticus 16:13) and also on the ground in front of the mercy seat, providing atonement for the priesthood (Leviticus 16:14-15).

Then he sacrificed a male goat as a sin offering for the people. Some of this blood was then also taken into the holy of holies and sprinkled there on behalf of the people (Leviticus 16:11-15). Next, the high priest took another goat (called the “scapegoat”), laid his hands on its head, and confessed over it the sins of Israel.

After the confession, the scapegoat was released it into the desert where it symbolically carried away the sins of the people (Leviticus 16:8,10). The remains of the sacrificial bullock and male goat were taken outside of the city and subsequently burned; the day finally concluded with some additional sacrifices.

According to Jewish custom, three books are opened on the Feast of Trumpets: the Book of Life for the righteous, the Book of Life for the unrighteous, and the Book of Life those for in-between.

If a man is deemed righteous, his name is written in the Book of Life for the righteous at the Feast of Trumpets. If a man is unrighteous, his name is written in the Book of Life for the unrighteous, and he will not survive the year.

If a man is deemed in-between, judgment is delayed for ten days from the Feast of Trumpets to the Feast of the Day of Atonement. It is during that period of time that a man is given opportunity to repent before the book is closed and his destiny sealed.

Assessment:

It is important to remember that rituals of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur were ordained by God and recorded in Scripture. And Scripture was written for all men, in all times.

Even Scripture addressed to a particular group, like the Jews. And, through the Holy Spirit, all Scripture illuminates and reveals God’s purposes and plans as relevant to all men of all ages.

Examined closely, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur rituals constitute a prefiguration of the Church Age, its conclusion, and reveal the ultimate purpose of the Tribulation Period.

Jesus, who had no sin to bear or confess, became the ‘scapegoat’ upon which our sins were carried away into the ‘wilderness’. The names of those who trust to His completed work are already written into the Book of Life.

Then there are those who are ‘in between’. It is for those Jews and Gentiles that are slated to go through the Tribulation Period to have one last opportunity to repent before the books are closed and their destinies are forever sealed.

There are only four types of created, sentient, spiritual beings identified in the Bible. First, there are the angels, both elect and fallen.

Secondly, there are the Gentiles, which is the spiritual state of unregenerate, fallen man. Through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, a third spiritual creation is introduced, the children of Israel, out of whom came the Lord Jesus Christ.

The fourth spiritual creation was created by Jesus Christ Personally. “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)

A Christian is an entirely unique spiritual creation, like a moth becoming a butterfly. It is a one-way spiritual metamorphosis. The old creation no longer exists.

A Christian can no more turn himself back into the Jew or Gentile he had been before regeneration than a butterfly can turn himself back into a moth.

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

The Tribulation’s purpose is to give Jews and Gentiles one final opportunity to repent of their ways, trust Jesus for their salvation and be transformed into the new creation before the Books are closed on them forever.

Note several things. First, our scapegoat, upon Whom all our sins were carried away and our names were written into the Book of Life.

Second, the penning of our names into the Book at salvation is part of our transformation into a new spiritual creation. Like a moth into a butterfly, a Christian’s spiritual transformation is permanent.

One cannot, by an act of his own will, revert back to his old spiritual form, whether Jew or Gentile, anymore than one can become an angel. All four are distinct and different from one another.

Third, the Tribulation Period is the ‘time of Jacob’s Trouble’ — a last chance for Jews and Gentiles to turn to Christ and be saved. All three books are open. Those who enter into the Tribulation are those whose names are currently written into the Book of ‘In-Between’ — unregenerate Jews and Gentiles.

One can accept Jesus and have one’s name written into the Book of Life, as the Bible says the Tribulation saints and martyrs will do.

It is also a time during which one can write his name into the Book of Unrighteousness by accepting the Mark of the Beast.

The Church, having already been written into the Book of Life, has no role to play in the Tribulation Period. The Bible says that God will ‘seal’ 12,000 of each of the 12 tribes of Israel as His chosen evangelists during the Tribulation (Revelation 7) who will carry on the work the Church does during the Church Age.

We find then, a number of truths confirmed. First, our eternal security. One cannot revert back to his or her previous spiritual state, since, at regeneration, the old man no longer exists to revert back TO.

Instead, “he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

Second, it is obvious that the Church not only has no role to play during the Tribulation, but it plays no role. The task of the Church is given to the 144,000 Jewish evangelists.

Third, the Tribulation Period is the time when the Book of ‘In-Between’ is opened. Rosh Hashanah is the Feast of the Trumpets, and the feast concludes with the blowing of the last trumpet.

After Rosh Hashanah, there is a ten-day period during which one has an opportunity to have his name registered in the Book of Life before the Day of Atonement when the Books are closed for the Day of Atonement.

The Body of Christ is already recorded in the Book of Life. All our sins were atoned for before the last trumpet sounded. To the Church, all the Books are already closed. We don’t belong. A pretribulation Rapture isn’t a ‘great escape’ for the Church, it is an utter necessity to the Plan of God moving forward.

Without a pre-trib Rapture, the purpose of the Tribulation Period reverts from a final opportunity to write one’s name in the appropriate Book to a period of indiscriminate judgment inflicted on a trusting Church, who by virtual of irreversible spiritual transformation, cannot possibly benefit from the ‘last chance’ period between the ‘last trump’ and the Day of Atonement on the plains of Megiddo at the Second Coming.

In fact, if one moves the ‘last trump’ into the middle or to the end of the Tribulation, it no longer has an discernible purpose apart from punishing the inhabitants of the earth indiscriminately.

Think of it this way. If the purpose of the Tribulation is to punish the wicked, it seems like a case of overkill, since the wicked are already slated for eternal punishment. On this side of the Tribulation, God doesn’t punish evildoers on earth.

As far back as David, believers lamented, “how long shall the wicked triumph?” (Psalms 94:3) Psalms 73 asks the same question, before answering it in verse 17: “Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end.”

If God reserves punishment for the wicked until eternity on this side of the Tribulation Period, why would He design a seven year period that, apart from a last chance at redemption, constitutes a special, dual punishment for one wicked generation out of all generations in human history?

Bottom line: Salvation is an eternal condition that begins at that point when one trusts Jesus. Once becoming a new spiritual creature, the old one no longer exists to revert back to, even if one were so inclined.

Those who are saved are written in the Book of Life. Those in the Book of Life have no further need of a last opportunity at atonement during the Tribulation Period.

The work of the Church during the Tribulation Period is carried on by Jewish evangelists chosen and sealed by God for that purpose.

The Church has no purpose assigned to it during the Tribulation, apart from being martyred, which makes Paul’s admonition to ‘comfort one another with these words’ [of the Rapture] somewhat meaningless.

Without a period between the last trumpet and the Day of Atonement, there is no opportunity offered for those whose name is written in the ‘Book of In Between’ to choose either the Book of Life or the Book of the Unrighteous.

“Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the LAST TRUMP: for the trumpet SHALL sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” (1 Corinthians 15:52 )

The ‘mystery’ must happen first, before the Tribulation can begin. And NOW, Paul’s admonition finds a context:

“Wherefore, comfort one another with these words.” (1st Thessalonians 5:18)

Special Report: The Last Days of the Church

Special Report: The Last Days of the Church
Vol: 49 Issue: 11 Tuesday, October 11, 2005

In the Book of the Revelation, Jesus instructed John to “Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter.” (Revelation 1:19)

There is much to be learned from this verse. First, John was instructed to write down what he is seeing; that is to say, Jesus didn’t dictate the whole Book, but rather, for the most part, John witnessed the events and described them in his own words.

His vision was of things which ‘are’ (from John’s place on the timeline), and of the things which shall be ‘hereafter’ cover the timeline from the Church Age through to the Great White Throne Judgment at the end of time.

John’s narrative begins with the things ‘which are’ and is the only part of the Book dictated directly by Christ. The first three chapters outline the seven letters to the seven Churches that existed in Asia Minor in John’s day.

The Lord outlined the relative strengths and weaknesses of each Church. In hindsight, Bible scholars found that each letter also addressed the particular characteristics that dominated during particular periods of time, or ‘epochs’ within the Church Age.

The sixth letter was written to the Church of Philadelphia, often called, “the Missionary Church.” Of the Church of Philadelphia, Jesus writes,

“I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept My word, and hast not denied My Name.”

Although most Bible scholars calculate the demise of the ‘Missionary Church’ as coinciding with the 19th century ‘Age of Enlightenment,’ the Laodicean Age has not yet formally begun.

The Church at Philadelphia is the final Church of the Church Age, and it concludes with the Rapture. Comparing the modern state of the Church with that of the Church of Laodicea is tempting, but the Word, rightly divided, says we are the members of that Church ‘which hast a little strength.’

Despite global efforts to outlaw Christianity, no man has yet been able to ‘shut the door’ on Jesus. There are still Christians in this present age who bravely keep His Word and proclaim His Name and the Good news of salvation by grace through faith.

Although in every age, believers looked up expectantly for His return for His Church, Jesus promises the Church of Philadelphia that He will come ‘quickly’. And He promises a special ‘crown’ to the Philadelphia Church.

“Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.”

There is only one ‘crown’ that fits the context;

“Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing.” (2nd Timothy 4:8)

It has been a long, long wait, but there remain those in this present age that continue to patiently proclaim His soon return. The Lord promises a unique reward to those patient Philadelphians:

“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)

Note that Jesus refers to the ‘hour’ of temptation that He will keep the Philadelphians from experiencing. The use of the word ‘hour’ is significant. It signifies a brief but intense period that will “try ALL them that dwell upon the earth.”

But the Philadelphians, because they patiently waited and trusted in His Word, will be ‘kept’ from that ‘hour’. The Apostle Paul describes the fulfillment of that ironclad promise, issued directly from Jesus, to the Philadelphia Church:

“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)

Having explained it, Paul tells us why;

“Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” (1st Thessalonians 4:18)

Another Sign of the Times

Another Sign of the Times
Vol: 49 Issue: 10 Monday, October 10, 2005

One of the world’s most famous post millennial evangelists said the recent spate of earthquakes, hurricanes and other natural disasters may mean we ‘might’ be in the end times before the return of Christ as described by the Bible.

Interviewed on CNN, former presidential candidate and shoot-from-the-lip evangelist Pat Robertson told the audience:

“If you read back in the Bible, the letter of the apostle Paul to the church of Thessalonica, he said that in the latter days before the end of the age that the Earth would be caught up in what he called the birth pangs of a new order. And for anybody who knows what it’s like to have a wife going into labor, you know how these labor pains begin to hit. I don’t have any special word that says this is that, but it could be suspiciously like that.”

In a nutshell, the post millennial school of interpretation teaches that Jesus will not return until Christianity becomes the prevailing global religion. Writes A. H. Strong in his Systematic Theology;

“Through the preaching of the Gospel in all the world, the kingdom of Christ is steadily to enlarge its boundaries, until Jews and Gentiles alike become possessed of its blessings, and a millennial period is introduced in which Christianity generally prevails throughout the earth.”

Postmillennialists, therefore, believe that Jesus does not return until AFTER the Millennial Kingdom comes to a close. They believe it is the Church, not Christ Himself, that establishes the Kingdom of heaven here on earth.

Jesus does not return until His kingdom has been prepared to receive Him. It isn’t Jesus that claims dominion over the earth, but rather, it is the Church that presents it to Him.

The millennium is not understood to involve a visible reign of Christ in the form of an earthly monarchy, nor is the millennial period to be taken literally as necessarily 1000 years long.

By contrast, I am a pre-millennialist. I believe Jesus will return for His Church before the Tribulation, and then He will return as conquering King at the conclusion of the Tribulation Period. He will then set up His earthly kingdom at Jerusalem, where He will rule the world for a thousand years.

Postmillennialism also teaches that there is no distinction between the Church and Israel. post millennial teaching says the Church IS spiritual Israel. The modern state of Israel has no place in God’s plan for the last days.

Writes Charles Ryrie, “Postmillennialism conceives of the unfilled Abrahamic promises as being fulfilled by the church and, of course, not in any literal sense. It’s method of interpretation is generally to spiritualize prophecy.”

Pat Robertson holds to a form of postmillennialism called dominion theology or dominionism.

Robertson s best-selling 1982 book, “The Secret Kingdom”, written after the first “Washington for Jesus” rally and while he was beginning seriously to consider running for public office, could qualify as a primer on dominion theology.

Robertson told CNN; “What was called the blessed hope of the Bible is that one day Jesus Christ would come back again, start a whole new era, that this world order that we know would change into something that would be wonderful that we’d call the millennium. . . And before that good time comes there will be some difficult days and there will be likened to what a woman goes through in labor just before she brings forth a child.”

When asked if the world was approaching that moment, Robertson said, “It’s possible. I don’t have any special revelation to say it is but the Bible does indicate such a time will happen in the end of time. And could this be it? It might be.”

Assessment:

This isn’t intended to ridicule Pat Robertson, although to me, the whole Reconstruction/Kingdom Now/Dominionist scheme of interpretation is ridiculous. Robertson said he had ‘no special revelation’ that these are the endtimes, but this ‘could be it.’

More or less. I suppose. Maybe. Or, maybe not. Who knows?

That’s the problem with interpreting the Bible literally throughout, while allegorizing and spiritualizing away those passages that deal with the last days. It works just fine until you realize you’ve run face-first into the last days, but NOW you’ve got the problem of figuring out what the heck to call them.

Robertson’s social gospel begins to fall apart once one stops allegorizing away troublesome problems like predictions dealing with the apostasy of the last days leading to a major spiritual decline, rather than the Dominionist ideal of conquering the world for Christ before He returns.

The social gospel of amillennialism demands a spiritual resurgence that results in the ‘kingdom of Christ steadily enlarging its boundaries, until Jews and Gentiles alike become possessed of its blessings’ — end times prophecy promises the exact opposite.

The Bible promises that ‘evil men and seducers will wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.’ (2nd Timothy 3:1-7) It promises that a global apostasy and spiritual decline will lead the world away from Christ and into the waiting arms of the antichrist. (2nd Thessalonians 2:7-8)

But there isn’t a lot of prestige or money attached to being a premillennial Dispensationist — who wants to be known as a prophet of doom and gloom?

Hal Lindsey is pretty famous because he awakened a sleeping world to the signs of the times, but it is the prophets of the social gospel who are the regular religious commentators on CNN and Fox that get all the airtime.

There will be those who will get angry at me or will write to point out this comment or that from Pat Robertson that suggest Robertson is a supporter of Israel, or a believer in the Rapture or takes Bible prophecy seriously. But that is because Robertson’s theology shifts with the political winds.

It was only a couple of months ago Robertson was praying on-air for a liberal Supreme Court justice to die so there’d be an opening on the court. A week before that, he was advocating the assassination of Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez.

But the point isn’t Pat Robertson. It isn’t even postmillennialism.

The point is that Robertson, a life-long advocate of the postmillennialist social gospel, seems to be preaching a form of premillennial Dispensationalism. But not because life-long advocates of premillennial Dispensationalism convinced him they were right.

The signs of the times did.

Perspectives on the Rapture

Perspectives on the Rapture
Vol: 49 Issue: 8 Saturday, October 8, 2005

You wouldn’t know it to listen to a debate on the subject, but all three parties in the Rapture Debate believe that they are the ones who have the right position and have the Scriptures to back them up.

Whenever I write on the subject of the Rapture, I get email from those holding a different view and it never ceases to amaze me how nasty some of them are.

I’ve been called a false prophet (for the record, I’m not any kind of prophet, false or otherwise), a false teacher, a liar, a purveyor of the doctrines of demons and more.

More than one has accused me outright of knowing the truth (their position, naturally) and deliberately spreading deception to some nefarious end that never quite gets explained to me.

But the fact is that those who believe in a pre-Tribulation Rapture are no more sincere than those who believe the Rapture comes at the midpoint in the Tribulation.

The mid-tribulational view divides the Tribulation into two periods of 1260 days each, according to Daniel 9:27 and Daniel 12:7 and sees the Rapture of the Church occurring at that mid-point.

There are plenty of Scripture verses that can be used to support a mid-Trib Rapture. “Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” Matthew 24:9-13

It would seem to indicate here that Jesus is exhorting us to “endure to the end’ tying our endurance to being saved from the Great Tribulation.

Similarly, Jesus’ reference to the Abomination of Desolation (Matthew 24:15) is followed by a warning to flee, (21)”For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.”

(40-41)”Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.”

The mid-tribulationist equates the beginning of the Great Tribulation when the antichrist abolishes Temple worship and begins his persecution of Israel with Rapture.

The problem with the mid-Tribulation view is it fails to explain WHY the Church endures the first half of the Rapture. The final week of Daniel is clearly set aside for the national redemption of Israel. (Daniel 9:24)

In order to make the mid tribulational view work, Jesus must be speaking to the Church when He is answering the question posed Him in Matthew 24:3 “What will be the sign of Thy Coming and of the end of the world?”

If Jesus were addressing the Church in the last days, why would He say, “But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath Day:” (20)? The Church is under no Sabbath Day restrictions.

Jesus makes plain the perspective from which He was speaking and to whom, saying, “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in JUDAEA flee into the mountains: (15-16)

Jesus warning of being delivered up to be afflicted, and killed, and to be hated of all nations for His Name’s sake isn’t a reference to the Church. He is addressing Israel, who has been delivered to affliction for 2000 years as ‘Christ-killers’.

He is NOT addressing the Church. The Church is not here at that time.

But Jesus WAS addressing the Church when He said:

“In My Father’s house are many mansions: 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)

In Rev. 2 and 3 we have Jesus talking to the Seven Churches, but what I want you to notice is where Jesus is in relation to these churches. “Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith He that holdeth the seven stars in His right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;”

Now, from Chapter 4 to 19, Jesus is no longer on earth, but in heaven. So, if Jesus is no longer on the earth during the Tribulation period and He promised us we would always be with him, it would seem to indicate that we are going to be in Heaven with Jesus during the Tribulation period.

No matter how many ways I look at it, I just can’t overcome a few problems reconciling Scripture with the mid-tribulation view.

What purpose is served by having the Church participate in the first half of the Tribulation but not the second if the whole ‘week’ is set aside for Israel? Why have a Rapture at all?

Why would Jesus be positionally in the midst of the 7 Churches for the entire Church Age, but positionally in heaven from Revelation 4:1 forward if the seven golden candlesticks remain on earth during Daniel’s 70th Week?

Why is there no reference to the Church from Revelation 4:1 and forward?

These are serious problems from my perspective.

But again, that is not to say that those who hold to a mid-tribulational Rapture haven’t searched the Scriptures and found answers that satisfy those questions in their minds. They are as sincere as I. We simply disagree.

Assessment:

The third possible Rapture view is called post-tribulationism.

The third possible timing of the Rapture would take place at the end of the Tribulation. This is called the post-tribulational view.

In this view, the Church goes through the entire Tribulation Period, together with the ‘earthdwellers’ and Israel and is Raptured to meet the Lord in the air as He is returning at the 2nd Coming.

As in the case of the other views, this view can be supported by Scripture. As I mentioned before, I’ve received email accusing me of deliberately spreading error and of being a false teacher because I espouse a different Rapture scenario than they do.

Such nonsense is just that – nonsense. Believers are believers BECAUSE they believe. If someone is a sincere, Blood-bought, born-again believer, why would they adopt a position they don’t believe is supported by Scripture? Beyond that, why would a believer teach a position they KNEW to be wrong?

Supporters of the post-Tribulation position are sincere, as are those who hold to either the pre-trib or mid-trib scenarios.

In Matthew 24:30-31, Jesus speaks of a great gathering.

“And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”

It certainly sounds like the Rapture, and it sounds like it occurs at the end of the Tribulation. But Matthew 24, as I pointed out previously, is given, not from the perspective of the Church, but from the perspective of the Jews.

Jesus spoke of the abomination of desolation (25:15) — a distinctly Jewish blasphemy, followed by a warning to those in JUDEA (16) to flee, and for them to pray their flight be not on the Sabbath Day (20).

Now compare Matthew 24:30 with Zechariah’s description of the coming of Christ from the perspective of the Jews. “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)

In Matthew 24:31 we see that the ‘elect’ gathered by His angels are gathered, not from the earth, but from ‘one end of HEAVEN to the other’.

Revelation 19:14 says “And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.” As we’ve already seen, those in white linen are the Bride.

The post-trib position is that ‘one end of heaven to the other’ really means the Rapture of earthbound believers at the end of the Tribulation Period.

But reading what Scripture SAYS, rather than interpreting what it ‘really means’, indicates the elect gathered AFTER the Tribulation are gathered FROM heaven, which is consistent with the pre-trib view that says that is where the Church was all along.

Bible prophecy is unfolding according to a systematic theology that shows that God dealt at different times throughout history in different ways through a system of progressive revelation. This systematic theology is called Dispensationalism.

The main points of dispensationalism are:

1. The recognition of a distinction between Israel and the Church.

2. A consistently literal principle of interpretation — particularly of Bible prophecy.

3. A basic working and conception of the purpose of God as His own glory rather than as the single purpose of salvation.

Dispensationalism demands:

1. The O.T. prophecies of the restoration of national Israel to the land in the last days will be literally fulfilled. (Any newspaper confirms that prophecy is being fulfilled before our eyes.)

2. The 70 weeks of Daniel spoken of in Daniel 9 refers to a period of 490 years and apply only to Israel. The first 69 weeks have been fulfilled historically, ending at the first coming of Christ.

3. When the Jews rejected the Messiah, the 70 weeks were suspended and a new age or dispensation called the Church age began. The Last or 70th week of Daniel, the last seven years, has yet to be fulfilled.

4. This last week will immediately precede the second coming of Christ.

The book of Revelation after the letters to the seven churches is a prophecy concerning events that will occur during the last seven years before the second coming or 70th week.

This 70th week is called the tribulation period. The last half of this week (the last 3.5 years) is the Great Tribulation spoken of in Dan. 9 and in the Olivet Discourse (Matt. 24). This tribulation period is a time when God will pour out His wrath on a sinful world (earthdwellers).

It is at this point that the mid-tribulationists believe the Rapture occurs.

The coming of Christ will occur in two phases. The Rapture, and His Second Coming at the conclusion of the Battle of Armageddon.

Dispensationalism concludes the Church cannot be here during the tribulation period because God has ended the Church age and resumed dealing with Israel.

The Church is also raptured to keep the Christians from the wrath of God which according to Romans 5:9 Christians will not experience.

The second phase is Christ’s second coming at the end of the tribulation with His saints to begin the Kingdom Age dispensation.

History consists of different dispensations or ‘economies’. A dispensation is a period of time during which man is tested in respect of obedience to some specific revelation of the will of God.

Systematic theology reveals seven distinct Dispensations of God.

Creation to fall – Innocency

Fall to flood – Conscience

Flood to Abraham – Human Government

Abraham to Moses – Promise

Moses to Christ – Law

Church Age – Grace

Millennium – Kingdom

A new period or dispensation begins when God introduces a change in the principles or ordinances valid up to that time. For example a number of ordinances are introduced at the time of Noah. With the coming of the Church Age, the Mosiac Laws or ordinances are annulled.

In order to hold to a mid or post position it is necessary to deny Dispensationalism, claiming it is a recent invention. But at the same time, all three scenarios recognize the Church Age as a distinct dispensation.

We began this series with the intent, not to change anybody else’s view, but to explain why we hold to the view that we do.

Our mission at the Omega Letter is to equip the saints with evidence and hard facts that point to the reality that these are the last days, not to engage in a pointless debate.

The Rapture will happen when it happens and nobody will know for sure who was right until it doesn’t matter any more anyway.

Our purpose was not to argue FOR a pre-tribulation rapture so much as it was to clearly outline what we believe and why we believe it.

We view unfolding prophecy through the systematic theology of Dispensationalism because, without rightly dividing the Word, prophecy makes no sense.

For example, Jesus said the Comforter would remain with the Church until He comes. Yet the only reference to the Holy Spirit during the Tribulation is Revelation Chapter 7 when Jewish evangelists are miraculously ‘sealed’ (indwelt) by the Holy Spirit the way Church Age believers are now. That indwelling gives the Jewish evangelists ‘power’ to preach.

Together with 2 Thessalonians 2:7 we see the Restrainer is taken out of the way, saying that once that is accomplished, “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.” (8)

If the Church goes through the Tribulation, then Jesus’ promise of a Comforter until He comes needs rewriting to say, “I will send you a Comforter Who will stay with you until you need Him most, and then you are on your own for seven years.”

Without an understanding of the divisions between the Dispensations, (like the Church Age and Daniel’s 70th Week) prophecy is contradictory.

Jesus promised the Church in Matthew 16:18 that “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” But we then read in Revelation 13:7 “And it was given unto him (the religious beast) to make war with the saints, and to overcome them.”

Which is it? Do we prevail, or does the antichrist? Apart from Dispensationalism, the two statements contradict.

But if the Church Age is over and the Tribulation period is the time of ‘Jacob’s Trouble’ and judgment against ‘them that dwell upon the earth’ rather than for the Church, then Scriptural harmony is restored.

As I pointed out elsewhere, the major problem with the mid-trib view is that it fails to explain what role the Church plays in the time of Jacob’s Trouble — even the first half.

The major problem in the post-tribulational view adds to that problem the problem of mathematics.

Revelation 13:15 says of those who do not worship the beast and accept his mark that he would “cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed”.

So we see two kinds of people in the Tribulation period. Those who take the mark and those who are killed. When the Tribulation is over, where are the living believers who get raptured?

For there to be believers left to Rapture, they will have to escape the antichrist’s global positioning surveillance systems, satellite thermal imaging systems, police and military dragnet, unable to buy or sell, living in caves for seven years.

A couple of decades ago, that seemed at least possible. But not so likely today. We saw how effective a strategy that was for al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. And the antichrist is unlikely to follow the same civilized rules of engagement Washington must observe today to avoid global condemnation.

We conclude the Pre-tribulation Rapture scenario is the view that is most harmonious with Scripture, particularly when given the added dimension of actually watching the preparations unfold before our very eyes.

But our faith isn’t in WHEN Christ comes, it is in the fact that Christ IS coming soon. And the Rapture Debate is one more evidence of that fact.

Notice that the debate isn’t over whether or not the Lord will come in this generation. For most, that is not even an issue.

A century ago, they were debating over whether He was coming at all. Today, we’re fighting over His coming within a seven-year time frame.

Regardless of what you believe concerning the timing of the Rapture, the soon coming of the Lord is proved by the fact such a debate exists at all. And no matter what you believe about the timing of the Rapture, and no matter who turns out to be right in the end, the important thing to remember is WHAT we are debating.

We are living in the last generation in history. There are people reading my words — right now — who will never, ever die in the traditional sense, but will be caught up bodily to be with the Lord.

“Wherefore comfort one another with these words” – (1st Thessalonians 4:18)