“Moderate Islam Must Not Be Ignored”

“Moderate Islam Must Not Be Ignored”
Vol: 55 Issue: 18 Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Less than two hours before the new Israeli Knesset was sworn in, another Palestinian terrorist blew himself up outside a falafel stand in Tel Aviv.

Sami Hamad walked up to the falafel stand, which had been hit by a suicide bomber in January. The Israeli security guard, Binyamin Hafuta, spotted Hamad and blocked his entry into the restaurant, forcing Hamad to blow himself up outside. Hafuta’s fast thinking probably saved scores of lives, but it cost him his own. He was one of the nine victims of the attack who were killed.

Five of the victims were men, four of them women. Thirty-six others were wounded, including two children and a sixteen year-old American tourist (who is listed in critical condition.)

Sami Hamad had been a member of Hamas, but switched allegiances and joined Islamic Jihad, complaining that Hamas hadn’t killed any Israelis in a long time. Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the bombing. But it was Hamas’ reaction to the attack that made the headlines. Hamas member and Palestinian Authority Interior Minister said Palestinian security forces would not interfere with terror strikes against Israel.

“We will not put our sons in prison for political memberships or resisting occupation, because occupation is the reason for the problem,” Siam said.

The US condemned Monday’s attack, but WITHOUT the usual call for Israel to show restraint. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack issued a statement in which he “noted reactions by several Palestinian terrorist groups, including Hamas, that defend or even applaud these barbaric actions, as we have noted President [Mahmoud] Abbas’s swift denunciation of it.”

Abbas’ “swift denunciation” came in the form of a statement saying: “This attack violates the Palestinian national consensus and runs contrary to our interests, and we as an authority and government must move to stop it We will not stop pursuing anyone who carries out such attacks. . .”

In other words, it was ‘despicable’ because it harmed ‘Palestinian national interests’ and NOT because it killed five fathers, four mothers and wounded 36 other innocent Israelis.

The most interesting Israeli response came from Israeli President Moshe Katzav, who said he was perplexed by the silence of Islamic spiritual leaders whenever terrorist attacks were carried out against Israelis by young Palestinians.

“We are the ones who tell them that this is counter to the teachings of the Koran,” he said. “Why are the Imams not saying this? There is no religious justification for killing people of another faith.”

Katzav’s remarks were interesting because they went unanswered by any Islamic leader. We hear constantly that terrorism runs counter to Islamic teachings, that Islam is a religion of peace and love and that the majority of the Islamic world is ‘moderate’.

So, where ARE all the moderates?

Assessment:

Khaleel Mohammed, an assistant professor of religion at San Diego State University is an Islamic ‘moderate.’ But he is hardly a member of any Islamic majority.

In an article called, “Moderate Islam Should Not Be Ignored” carried in the Santa Cruz Sentinel, authors Ilan Benjamin and Tammy Rossman-Benjamin argued:

“Khaleel Mohammed is a courageous man. His critical analysis of contemporary Islam puts him at odds with most Muslims around the world. Scholars such as Mohammed are rare in the Arab world because those who dare to challenge the prevailing understanding of Islam may be targeted for assassination and must flee to the West.”

Hmmm. Does this mean the majority of Islam lives in the West? Take another look at the column’s title.

If moderate Islam is the majority, then why do Islamic moderates like Khaleel Mohammed have to flee to the West to prevent being assassinated?

The authors note: “. . .there is another reason why Mohammed s scholarship, which speaks directly to the serious threat that militant Islam poses for the entire world, is not being given the fair and objective hearing it deserves at universities around the country. In the current climate of political correctness that pervades so many of our college campuses, Mohammed s call for a return to a more tolerant and authentic Islam has, ironically, itself been labeled as a racist attack on Islam. . . “

They noted that Mohammed came to speak at USSC last month: “Of the 10 university departments, colleges and research groups that were asked to co-sponsor Mohammed s talk, not one agreed; one explained that Mohammed was too controversial, even though all 10 academic units had previously co-sponsored numerous talks and events vilifying America and Israel. Also, in the weeks leading up to his visit, fliers announcing his talk were systematically torn down or obscured by fliers of a Muslim student group, denouncing Mohammed and disputing the legitimacy of his scholarship.”

Why is it that ‘moderate’ Islamic scholars get the cold shoulder from US universities who find no conflict in inviting speakers that ‘vilify America and Israel’? Money.

Five million dollars was donated to USC Berkeley by two Saudi sheiks linked to funding al-Qaeda. The University of Arkansas got $20 million; $11 million went to Cornell; another $8.1 million to Georgetown.

Other recipients of Arab government largesse include UC Santa Barbara, UCLA, USC, American University, Columbia, Duke, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, MIT, Princeton, Rice, Rutgers, Syracuse, Texas A&M and the University of Chicago.

Imam Siraj Wahaj is another Islamic ‘moderate’. In 1991, Wahaj was the first Muslim invited to give the invocation opening the US Congress. Not long after 9/11, he went on record saying, “I now feel responsible to preach, actually to go on a jihad against extremism.”

But Wahaj also warned that the United States will fall unless it “accepts the Islamic agenda.” He has lamented that “if only Muslims were clever politically, they could take over the United States and replace its constitutional government with a caliphate.”

In the early 1990s he sponsored talks by Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman in mosques in New York City and New Jersey. The blind sheik was convicted of conspiring to blow up the World Trade Center in 1993. Wahaj was designated a “potential un indicted co-conspirator.”

Islam is an extreme ideology that only appears to be ‘moderate’ when its adherents make unprincipled exceptions to it’s teachings. Muslims in general do not like using the term, understanding it to indicate an individual who has politically sold out to the other side.

In some internal intellectual debates, the term ‘moderate Muslim’ is used as a pejorative to describe a Muslim who is more secular and less Islamic than he should be. Still, it appears that there IS at least one Islamic ‘moderate’ in America.

At least, until one of his co-religionists offs him for blasphemy.

Depicting Islam Unfairly . . .

Depicting Islam Unfairly . . .
Vol: 55 Issue: 17 Monday, April 17, 2006

US Islamic leaders are complaining about the way that Muslims are being portrayed on TV and in the media. They say conveying a peaceful image of Islam is much more difficult since September 11, and they blame what they call a ‘barrage’ of negative news stories.

By ‘negative’ news stories, they mean stories like the Afghani convert threatened with execution, the daily terror attacks by Islamic jihadists, the mass demonstrations protesting cartoons of Mohammed and the Islamic car-burning protests in France.

USAToday quoted Irfan Rydhan, 31, a spokesperson and organizer for the South Bay Islamic Association in San Jose, Calif.

We say we’re peaceful people, but it doesn’t matter what we say, he complained. They see these violent images on TV, and those people look like us.

It seems as if extremist voices have taken over, said Rana Abbas, a 26-year-old Muslim American who is deputy director of Michigan’s American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, a nationwide civil rights group based in Washington, D.C.

It makes your struggle so much harder. It makes it seem as if all your efforts are in vain. It’s really hard right now for moderate Muslims to get their message out.

James Zogby, the president of the Arab American Institute says Islamic terror isn’t Islam’s fault, at all. Instead, says Zogby, the Islamic world has been destablized by war.

The problem is not the nature of the religion; it is the dislocation and disruption of normal society brought on by the trauma of war, says Zogby.

It’s similar to what happened in our own country during the post-Civil War period where you had lynchings and the emergence of extremist currents that lasted for decades.

Imam Hassan Qazwini heads the largest mosque in the USA, the Islamic Center of America, based in Dearborn, Mich. Qazwini said he and other imams have grown weary of being made to answer for every violent act committed in the name of Mohammed.

This has become a daily nightmare for Muslims, Qazwini said. We’re upset. We’re frustrated. We cannot control every Muslim. We cannot be held responsible for everything.

By way of comparison, Qazwini asked, How is it that when Pat Robertson calls for the murder of the president of a sovereign country that nobody said Christianity is promoting violence and murder?

One suspects there is a difference between one guy calling for a political assassination and thousands of guys committing political assassinations, but therein lies the problem.

Assessment:

I admit that I feel bad for those Muslims who aren’t sympathetic to Islamic terror. But my sympathy is tempered by the fact that there are about a billion and a half Muslims and maybe a dozen of them have spoken out against the Islamic terrorists — the rest just complain they are being tarred with the same brush.

The ‘negative news stories’ that US Muslims say give Islam a bad name are NOT ‘made up’ stories. Afghanistan, the most moderate and US-friendly Islamic regime in the Islamic world WAS prepared to execute a guy for converting to Christianity.

There WERE hundreds of thousands of Muslims demonstrating, destroying property and burning cars over the publications of cartoons insulting Mohammed.

Why don’t people say Christianity promotes violence and murder, despite Pat Robertson’s comments?

Let’s see. Is Jesus regularly lampooned by the media? Yes. Do Christians react by rioting and burning private property? No.

Has a Christian ever been executed by his co-religionists for converting to Islam? No.

(And, for the record, Robertson’s comments were widely excoriated and Robertson subsequently apologized. I am waiting for an apology from Islam for promoting jihad)

Zogby’s argument that Islam seems warlike thanks to all the wars in the Islamic world is almost impossible to follow. What wars is Zogby referring to?

The five wars against Israel? (All were conducted in the name of Islam). The Sudanese civil war? (That is a war between Islam and the Sudan’s non-Islamic population.)

The UN charges of genocide were NOT leveled against the non-Islamic south, but against the Islamic government of Sudan.

The comparison to the American civil war is makes one wonder what in the world Zogby is talking about. The Civil War was about politics, not religion. It was between two clearly identifiable sides, not an assymetrical global war between the United States and stateless, faceless Islamic jihadists.

The imam complaining about the ‘daily nightmare’ for American Muslims has my sympathy. But, as noted, it is tempered by the fact their complaints are aimed at the US — not the jihadists. I don’t think there is any American who believes anybody can ‘control’ the jihadists.

But the reason that Christians couldn’t mount an effective terror campaign (apart from the fact is is wrong) is that they would immediately be slapped down by other Christians.

There was no groundswell of Christian support for Eric Rudolph, or James Copp, — or Paul Hill — who was executed in Florida for the murder of an abortionist in Florida. Murder is wrong, regardless of the reason behind it.

If the majority of the Islamic world was truly moderate then where are they?

There are two schools of thought regarding the best way to deal with the war with Islam. The first is the ecumenist school.

To the ecumenist, the aspect of Islam that represents a threat is the radical (false) Islam. That school of thought dictates that the West must empower ‘moderate’ Islam so that Islamic moderates can remake their world into decent, free societies.

The second school of thought is the ‘civilizationist’ view. The civilizationist school of thought sees the problem as not being one of a few radicals having hijacked a peaceful religion, but rather that the problem is the teachings of Islam itself.

The civilizationist school does not believe in the existence of ‘moderate’ Islam and efforts to co-opt them to our side has about as much chance of success as Israel had with the Oslo Agreement.

They fear the possibility of endless negotiation going nowhere while we empower our mortal enemies in the vain hope they will become our friends.

At its heart is Islam’s understanding of jihad. The way Islam understands jihad, it is the legal, compulsory, communal effort to expand the territories ruled by Muslims (known in Arabic as dar al-Islam) at the expense of territories ruled by non-Muslims (dar al-harb). In other words, it is an Islamic duty to destroy America.

Sheikh Faysal Mawlawi, deputy chairman of European Council for Fatwa and Research is one of those Islamic moderates who participates in Islam Online’s ‘Ask the Scholar’. Islam-Online.net describes themselves as: “adopting the middle ground of Islam, avoiding extremism or negligence, rejecting deviant or strange opinions.”

Mawlawi was asked if suicide bombers are striving in the cause of Allah.

Replied the moderate Sheik, “Martyr operations are not suicide and should not be deemed as unjustifiable means of endangering one’s life. Allah says in the Glorious Qura’n: “And spend of your substance in the cause of Allah, and make not your own hands contribute to (your) destruction; but do good; for Allah loveth those who do good.” (Al-Baqara:195)

He continues, “This means that martyr operations are totally different from the forbidden suicide. . . . In the light of the above-mentioned facts, I believe that those missions are a sacred duty carried out in form of self-defense and resisting aggression and injustice. So whoever is killed in such missions is a martyr, may Allah bless him with high esteem. ”

Islam Online is the voice of ‘moderate’ Islam.

Is anybody out there listening?

Another Easter, Another Gospel

Another Easter, Another Gospel
Vol: 55 Issue: 15 Saturday, April 15, 2006

“But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” (Galatians 1:8)

Let’s start a little differently. Who’s up for a quick Bible quiz? I know it’s early, but mental calisthenics help get the thought processes flowing.

Quick, if somebody preaches another Gospel, what does the Bible say about that preacher?

Got it? Good. Now a follow-up question: If the person PREACHING another Gospel is accursed, should Christians be studying the ‘other Gospel’ on their own?

Or put another way; can there be anything spiritually edifying to be obtained from something that God Himself has declared to be ‘accursed?’

I’m sorry, is this hard? It seems pretty straightforward. The Apostle Paul told the Galatians that there is but one True Gospel and pronounced a rare Scriptural curse on those who would purvey another.

Despite Paul’s admonition, ‘Christian’ leaders are hailing the allegedly ‘lost’ Gospel of Judas as a ‘watershed breakthrough’ that ‘might change our understanding’ of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I set off Christian and ‘watershed breakthrough’ in quotes because I doubt both. The most outspoken proponents of the Judas Gospel are professors of religion at major US universities.

Noted the New York Times’ account of the find, “The Gospel of Judas is only one of many texts discovered in the last 65 years, including the gospels of Thomas, Mary Magdalene and Philip, believed to be written by Gnostics.”

“As the findings have trickled down to churches and universities, they have produced a new generation of Christians who now regard the Bible not as the literal word of God, but as a product of historical and political forces that determined which texts should be included in the canon, and which edited out.”

The Gospel of Judas portrays Judas Iscariot as the Lord’s most favored disciple and willing collaborator. The four Gospels say Judas betrayed Jesus in exchange for thirty pieces of silver and later killed himself in remorse.

The Judas Gospel manuscript has been authenticated and carbon-dating says it is about 1700 years old. The authentication effort was organized by the National Geographic Society, aired the documentary on Thursday and plans a second airing on April 22nd.

National Geographic quotes Rodolphe Kasser, whom it identifies as a ‘clergyman and former professor in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Geneva in Switzerland’.

“This lost gospel, providing information on Judas Iscariot considered for 20 centuries and by hundreds of millions of believers as an antichrist of the worst kind bears witness to something completely different from what was said [about Judas] in the Bible.”

“But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.” (2nd Corinthians 11:3)

The National Geographic describes the Judas Gospel in breathless terms, saying the “text not only offers an alternative view of the relationship between Jesus and Judas but also illustrates the diversity of opinion in the early Christian church.”

Assessment:

Baloney. The ‘diversity of opinion in the early Christian church’ was hardly a secret. Neither was the Gospel of Judas.

The ‘Lost’ Gospel of Judas was composed by members of a Gnostic sect sometime around AD 180. It had already been thoroughly vetted by Iraenaeus, Bishop of Lyon, in his book Adversus Haereses (“Against Heresies”)

Iraenaeus, who published ‘Against Heresies’ in AD 180, dismissed it out of hand, saying of its Gnostic authors, “They produce a fictitious history of this kind, which they style the Gospel of Judas.”

The Gospel of Judas opens with the words;

“The secret account of the revelation that Jesus spoke in conversation with Judas Iscariot during a week three days before he celebrated Passover. … Jesus said to him, “Step away from the others and I shall tell you the mysteries of the kingdom. It is possible for you to reach it, but you will grieve a great deal.”

(No wonder the Apostle Paul lamented, “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel.” [Galatians 1:6])

What sets the True Gospels apart from the various alternative gospels is immediately apparent. The spurious Gnostic accounts all claim to offer a secret teaching.

The Gospel of Mary Magdalene allegedly reveals secret teaching that Jesus showed Mary in a vision. The spurious Gospel of Thomas opens with the claim; These are the secret words which the living Jesus spoke, and Didymus Judas Thomas wrote them down.”

Iraenaeus insisted that Jesus did not teach any of His disciples secretly, and the Scripture’s Gospel accounts bear that out.

When His disciples came unto Him ‘privately’ to ask Him of the signs of His coming and of the end of the world, His reply was recorded in three separate Gospel accounts.

Jesus told His disciples to go into all the world and teach what He taught them.

Iraenaeus wrote that “the heretics say that they have more gospels than there actually are; but really, they have no gospel that is not full of blasphemy.”

To suddenly embrace the Gospel of Judas in the 21st century as a ‘watershed’ that will ‘change our understanding’ of the Gospel while ignoring the perspective of Iraenaeus is nothing short of willful ignorance.

Iraenaeus lived within living memory of the Apostles themselves. The events described by the Gospels were as recent to Iraenaeus’ time as the First World War is to our generation.

There remained living links to the events of Jesus’ day in Iraenaeus’ time — and Iraenaeus dismissed the Gospel of Judas out of hand as a work of fiction.

To suggest that Judas will ‘reveal’ new insights into the Gospels to this generation that it didn’t reveal in Iraenaeus’ time is breathtakingly arrogant.

It is worth noting [again] that the ‘Gospel of Judas’ is mainstream news — [and so suddenly!] — because this is Easter.

This is the time of year when Christians recall the true Gospel of Jesus Christ:

“For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

Every year at Easter, there is a major media push to mythologize Jesus, to discover some ‘new’ and ‘secret’ evidence that Jesus was not really God come in the flesh, but some kind of religious huckster who has pulled the wool over the eyes of generation after generation. . . until this one.

It is a source of endless fascination to me to watch it unfold each Easter season. Every generation, from that of Iraenaeus to this one, has attempted to ‘prove’ the Bible is wrong, the Gospels are a work of fiction, and that there is no God.

There is no literary work of history that has been more thoroughly vetted, debated, examined and subjected to the level of textual criticism than the Bible.

“Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as their’s also was.” (2nd Timothy 3:8-9)

Every generation has raised its crop of skeptics determined to disprove the truth of Scripture. Each generation has had its share of thinkers shouting ‘Eureka’ — only to have their alleged ‘proof’ evaporate under the weight of new discovery.

Eighteen centuries after Iraenaeus’ evaluated and rejected the Gospel of Judas as a work of fiction, a new generation is shouting ‘Eureka’.

Every year at Easter, Jesus is suddenly discovered by the media to have been a fraud. Every year, being a Christian becomes a bit less fashionable, and, in some parts of the world, a bit more dangerous.

“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)

Despite the two thousand year constant assault on Scripture’s veracity, nobody has ever conclusively disproved a single word of Scripture.

Not a single point of science, medicine or history mentioned in Scripture has ever been contradicted by direct evidence.

Not a single thinker in all the generations of skeptics who ever shouted ‘Eureka’ in the last two thousand years ever became known to history as the man who disproved the Bible and destroyed the underpinnings of Judeo-Christianity.

And if such a person ever lived, we would certainly know of him.

Instead, on Easter, Christians talk about Jesus the Savior. The world talks about Jesus, the Myth.

Nobody seems to find anything of evidential value in the fact that, no matter what their perspective, whether their confession is positive or negative, EVERYBODY is talking about Jesus.

“For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” (Romans 14:11)

I pray each of you has a happy and blessed Resurrection Sunday.

‘Page Not Found. . .’

‘Page Not Found. . .’
Vol: 55 Issue: 14 Friday, April 14, 2006

Today is one of those days. For reasons known only to God and Bill Gates, all the various gizmos and gadgets that together make up my internet connection, Vonage connection and home network decided not to talk to each other this morning. No particular reason. Mad, I guess.

I sat down to my desk, opened a browser and got the ‘page not found’ screen instead. Our house is a “home office” in the truest sense of the word. I have an office in my attic; but that is a long way from where the cable comes in.

Thanks to wireless networking, I can put the modems and wireless router in the living room by the TV and connect from my attic office. Gayle and Robin also work out of another ‘office’ in my attic where there are two more computers.

But sometimes, I’m not in the attic. So I have a laptop set up in the kitchen. And another hooked up to my TV in the living room, just in case I get a brainstorm while watching the news. All this is made possible by a little gizmo with flashing lights and a set of rabbit ears on it called a wireless router.

Vonage is a pretty good deal. For twenty-five bucks a month, I get local and unlimited phone service via a Vonage modem connected in a daisy chain between my cable modem and my wireless router.

All the gizmos talk to each other in my living room, chattering away, night and day, lights flashing and blinking, and no matter what computer I go to, there I am, online and ready.

Welcome to the 21st century! George Jetson would have been astounded.

But this morning, when I plodded up the stairs to my tiny attic office and sat down at my computer, I got the ‘page not found’ screen.

So I stared at it for a minute. That didn’t help. I hit ‘reload’. It reloaded the ‘page not found’ screen. I rebooted the computer. Computer rebooted fine. Then it loaded the ‘page not found’ screen.

My router has a handy web-based interface from which it can be administered. I typed in that address.

It loaded the ‘page not found’ screen. So I tinkered with my computer’s network settings. Rebooted.

‘Page not found.’ Grrrr!

I plodded back down to the kitchen to check my laptop (and get a fresh cup of coffee). Coffee pot was empty and page was not found. GRRR!

I went in to check the gizmo array. There they sat, blinking and flashing just like they always do. I turned on the only hard-wired computer on my network, the one hooked up to the TV. Page not found. Grrrrrrrr!

I picked up the phone to call my son-in-law, webmaster and all around computer genius, Mike. HE can tell me what to do!

Dial tone not found. (The Vonage phone won’t work if the internet is down, genius!) GRRRRRRR!

Time for a cup of coffee, clear the cobwebs, and fight down the rising sense of panic. (Good heavens! I am incommunicado!) Wait! I have my cell phone! Battery is dead. Great.

Welcome to the 21st century. George Jetson would have been scared.

As I pondered my situation, I remembered that cycling off the cable modem would reset it. So I cycled it off. Then I waited for three minutes.

(Three minutes is a long time, BTW)

I powered the modem back up, and watched all those lights flicker and blink until the requisite number of them appeared.

Page not found. Dial tone not found.

So I recycled the Vonage modem off, waiting the three minutes before powering back up, waited for the flickering lights to stop flickering and checked it again.

Page not found. By now, I’ve wasted the better part of two hours. The phone still doesn’t work. I still can’t log on to the internet. But my wireless network thingy on my desktop says things are just hunky-dory. Everything is fine.

Provided I don’t want to check my email, make a phone call, or read the day’s headlines online. It’s all working perfectly. Except for the ‘page not found’ part.

Time for another cup of coffee. By now, I am awake. Indeed, my mind is racing. As I pondered my situation, my mind was going in so many different directions that I began to wonder how long it was since I last changed the oil in my truck . . . EUREKA!

Power off EVERYTHING! THAT should fix it! So I went over to the gizmo array, plucking power cables as fast as I could find them (I WAS on my fourth cup of coffee), before going turning off the computer in the living room, the kitchen laptop, up the stairs to the attic, turning off all of THOSE computers, and back down the stairs to relive my whole morning one more time.

Another cup of coffee. More pondering my situation, this time ignoring my oil change schedule, drifting to the unintended consequences of a US strike against Iran . . . (with a sixth cup of coffee, I could have solved the whole problem on my own)

As I began restarting the whole mess, I glanced at the clock. I’d been fighting the ‘page not found’ error for almost three hours. Good ol’ Bill Gates! He sure made life easier!

First, I powered on the cable modem. Once all THOSE lights were blinking, I powered on the Vonage modem. When THAT light STOPPED blinking (you’d think SOMEBODY would standardize stuff like that) it was time to power on the wireless router, which goes through several combinations of lights blinking and NOT blinking, all of which evidently means something.

(I just waited until whatever they were doing was consistent.)

Then, the big test. I fired up the computer closest to the blinking lights (maybe it could see them and wouldn’t be so shy about talking to them) and opened a browser. Tick, tick, tick, everything loads. . . . pause, the browser opens. . . pause . . . the status bar moves. . . pause. . . BINGO! I AM a genius! Now I only have to repeat the process four more times and everybody can go to work three hours late. . . .

Sigh. The 21st century looked like more fun on the Jetsons.

Report to the Members

Thanks to the time-saving miracle improvements of the 21st century, I am too stressed to write my regular column this morning. . .

Seriously, this is as good a time as any to bring everybody up to speed on our planned road tour this spring and summer. Finalizing things has been complicated, but we’re making progress.

Robin’s training is about completed and she will soon be assuming her duties running the ‘mother ship’ while we are on the road.

Our own Nicole Boedeker has been planning an Omega Letter members’ gathering in Branson, Missouri, tentatively set for June 1st. I know that a number of our fellowship are planning to attend. Gayle and I are looking forward to meeting as many of you as can make it.

Details of the Branson gathering are posted in the Omega Letter member’s forum, together with Nicole’s contact information. And thank you, Nicole, for all your hard work.

From there, we are going to head to East Texas and kick off our road tour from there. We’ll be posting an information page at the Omega Letter website with more details, a phone number, a comment section etc., this week. I look forward to meeting as many of you over the coming months as the Lord permits .

If He tarries that long, that is.

-Jack

The Who’s Who of Gog-Magog

The Who’s Who of Gog-Magog
Vol: 55 Issue: 13 Thursday, April 13, 2006

According to the prophet Ezekiel, there will arise in the last days, a massive military and political alliance more-or-less formally known as the ‘Gog-Magog Alliance.’

“Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him . . .” (Ezekiel 38:2)

According to Ezekiel, Gog and Magog will lead an alliance of nations in the last days in a disastrous [for them] invasion against the reborn nation of Israel.

In Ezekiel 38:3, Ezekiel clearly identifies Gog as a person, rather than a place; “the prince of Meshech and Tubal.”

The Scofield Reference Bible’s notes to Ezekiel claim that “Meshech” is a Hebrew form of Moscow, and that “Tubal” represents the Siberian capital Tobolsk.

That interpretation would make Gog both a ‘place’ — the Russian Federation of Nations — AND a ‘person’ — in the sense of a federated Russian leadership.

The Interlinear Bible (Hebrew – Greek – English) renders that verse as: “Son of man, set your face toward Gog, the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal; and prophesy concerning him.”

(In Hebrew, the word ‘Rosh’ meant, ‘chief prince’, or, the ‘chief of the chief princes.’)

Magog was a son of Japeth, who, together with his brothers Tubal, Meshech, and Togarmah (Genesis 10:2-3) settled what is modern-day Russia and the southern steppes of the Caucasus mountains.

And Ezekiel identifies ‘Gog’ as coming from the north of Israel. Following the compass due north from Jerusalem will take you through the center of Moscow.

The army of Gog and Magog primarily includes people from the nations of Gog, Gomer, Tubal, Meshech, and the house of Togarmah from the “north parts.” They will be joined by Persians from the East, Put from the West, Cushites from the South, and others.

“Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee. . . ” (Ezekiel 38:5-6)

“Gomer” is mentioned in Genesis as well as Ezekiel. The Jewish-turned-Roman historian Flavius Josephus identified Gomer with the Galatians.

“For Gomer founded those whom the Greeks now call Galatians, [Galls,] but were then called Gomerites.” (Antiquities of the Jews, I:6.)

Ancient Galatia was an area in the highlands of central Anatolia (now Turkey). Galatia was bounded on the north by Bithynia and Paphlagonia, on the east by Pontus, on the south by Lycaonia and Cappadocia, and on the west by the remainder of Phrygia, the eastern part of which the Gauls had invaded.

The modern capital of Turkey, Ankara, is part of ancient Galatia.

Historically, ‘Gomer’ is also linked to the ancient Cimmerians. The Cimmerians eventually settled the regions north of the Caucasus and the Black Sea, in what is now parts of Russia and the Ukraine.

The Cimmerians are believed to have migrated north from the region now called Azebaijan around the time of Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon.

Both the ancient Cimmerians and the Gomerites spoke a form of the Thracian or Persian language.

Tubal was another son of Japheth who settled the area. Josephus wrote: “Tobal gave rise to the Thobeles, who are now called Iberes”. Josephus’ ‘Iberes’ settled in the area of the former Soviet state of Georgia.

Ezekiel begins his listing of Gog-Magog’s allies with Persia, or modern day Iran. Iran’s allies, according to Ezekiel, include “Ethiopia” and “Libya.”

The Libya of Ezekiel’s day wasn’t Muammar Ghadaffi’s Libya. Josephus writes: “Phut also was the founder of Libya to the south and called the inhabitants Phutites, from himself.”

(Some versions of Scripture render ‘Libya’ (as does the KJV) whereas others render it ‘Put’ — a grandson of Noah.)

Put settled an area that included most of North Africa including Libya and parts of modern Egypt.

“Ethiopia” (also rendered by some versions as ‘Cush’) was a civilization centered in the North African region of Nubia, located in what is today southern Egypt and northern Sudan.

Cush was another grandson of Noah, and the father of Nimrod. Josephus gives an account of the nation of Cush, who is the son of Ham and the grandson of Noah.

“For of the four sons of Ham, time has not at all hurt the name of Chus; for the Ethiopians, over whom he reigned, are even at this day, both by themselves and by all men in Asia, called Chusites.” (Antiquities of the Jews I:6.)

In the 5th century AD the Himyarites, in the south of Arabia, were styled by Syrian writers as Cushaeans and Ethiopians, and it is certain that the present-day areas of Yemen and Eritrea were both ruled together by one dynasty at that time.

The African ‘Kush’ covered Upper Egypt, and extended southwards from the First Cataract. In addition, the Cushitic peoples, who live around the Horn of Africa and today comprise the Somali, Afar, Oromo and several other tribes, are popularly asserted to be the offspring of the Biblical Cush.

That the Biblical term was also applied to parts of Arabia is suggested by Genesis, where Cush is the eponymous father of certain tribal and ethnic designations that tend to point to Arabia.

Babylonian inscriptions mention the Kashshi or Kassites, and it was once held that this signified a possible explanation of Cush, the ancestor of Nimrod in Genesis chapter 8.

The rhetorical question, “Can the Cushite change his skin?” in Jeremiah 13:23 implies people of a notably different skin color from the Israelites, most probably an African race.

Also, the Septuagint Greek translation of the Old Testament, made by Greek-speaking Jews between 250 BC and 100 BC, uniformly translates Cush as “Ethiopia”.

Assessment:

So, this is what we know. We know that Ezekiel predicts that, ‘in the latter days’ the chief of chief princes of an alliance called Gog-Magog will arise from a location to the uttermost north of Israel.

We know that due north of the city of Jerusalem on the same longitude is the modern city of Moscow.

We know that Gog will be reluctantly drawn into a conflict with Israel. Ezekiel says Gog will be ‘drawn’ as if he ‘had hooks in his jaws’ into this conflict.

The Gog Magog alliance includes modern Russia, the Ukraine, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, North Africa, and the Middle East extending from the Meditterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf.

We also know that the target of the Gog Magog Alliance is the restored nation of Israel. And finally, we know the time frame. Ezekiel says it will take place ‘in the latter days’. Here is something else we know. Ezekiel’s alignment of nations was never possible in previous generations.

To begin with, Ezekiel’s scenario demands the existence of Israel, “the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations . . ” (Ezekiel 38:8-9)

From Ezekiel’s day until May 14, 1948, there was no place on earth called ‘Israel’. Prior to 1948, Russia had little interest in the Middle East. The Middle East had been part of the Islamic Ottoman Empire since the time of Columbus.

Ezekiel lived one thousand years before Mohammed introduced Islam to the world. Ezekiel lived twenty-five hundred years before David ben-Gurion announced the rebirth of Israel on May 14, 1948.

The fulfillment of Ezekiel’s Gog-Magog prophecy depends entirely on the simultaneous development of two concurrent events; the rebirth of Israel and the rebirth of Mohammedan-style radical Islam.

Look at Ezekiel’s main protagonists. There are three.

The first is Gog and Magog, the modern Russian federation. Gog and Magog’s participation in the invasion force, according to Ezekiel, comes as a result of God’s promise to “turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth. . .” (Ezekiel 38:4)

I’ve often pondered the phrase, ‘turn thee back’ (Hebrew ‘paqad’ or ‘call to remembrance’). I recall writing a piece for This Week in Bible Prophecy in 1992. The story was about the new Russian parliament suddenly breaking mid-session to rush out to the halls of the Duma where newly-admitted Western missionaries were handing out free New Testaments.

Having just emerged from a lifetime of godless Communism, Russians were eager to hear the Word of God and Christian missionaries were welcomed with open arms.

For several years, Russians were offered this ‘call to remembrance’ of Scripture before former KGB operative Vladimir Putin slammed the door shut on foreign missionaries. The Russian Orthodox Church — which was heavily inflitrated by the KGB during the Communist era — the only legal Christian religion in Russia.

The ‘call to remembrance’ was over. When Moscow later entered into its nuclear agreement with Iran, the hook was set.

The second of Ezekiel’s protagonists is the alliance itself.

Look at the list carefully. Every single nation and region named as Gog-Magog allies is part of the Islamic world. Every single one of them.

Islamic North Africa, [Ethiopia and Libya] including the Sudan, whose Islamic government is currently conducted genocide against its Christian population.

Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam and the heart and soul of radical Wahabbist jihadist Islam.

Turkey, (ruled by the Islamic Party), together with most of the Russian Republic’s Islamic ‘stans’.

Persia, or modern Iran, the ‘hook’ in Gog’s jaw. Iran’s nuclear program was built by, overseen, guarded and maintained by Russian scientists, technicians and military forces. Iran’s leader has made it something of a habit to mention the destruction of Israel in every speech.

That brings us to the third protagonist in Ezekiel’s scenario — Israel.

According to Ezekiel, the entire invasion force is assembled to one purpose. The destruction of Israel. Israel has but two choices facing it.

Israel can gamble that the rest of the world will restrain Iran’s mad mullahs from pulling the nuclear trigger against them. Or Israel can act militarily to remove the threat itself.

A third possibility, although not among Israel’s choices, is that the United States will act to remove Iran’s nuclear facilities before Israel faces the point of no return. The possibility the US will act in time is just that — a possibility.

Israel’s entire existence has been a gamble, but gambling that the world will protect them from Iran is an unacceptable bet. Gambling on US intervention is a long shot, but the odds are within acceptable ranges, so Israel can afford to sit tight for the time being.

But Israel will only gamble with its existence for so long before it is forced to push all its chips into the middle and take out Iran’s Russian-built, Russian-staffed and Russian-guarded nuclear facilities.

Setting the hook in Gog’s jaw and bringing all three protagonists together ‘against the mountains of Israel’ exactly as Ezekiel predicted would take place ‘in the latter days’.

“Iran Has Joined the Club of Nuclear Nations”

“Iran Has Joined the Club of Nuclear Nations”
Vol: 55 Issue: 12 Wednesday, April 12, 2006

“Iran Has Joined the Club of Nuclear Nations”

Israeli intelligence estimates dating back to 2001 concerning Iran’s nuclear timetable proved themselves to be off by about two weeks.

In ’01, the Mossad estimated Iran would announce its entry into the ‘nuclear club’ by March ’06. This is April.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made the announcement April 10 during a national televised ceremony aimed at building domestic support for Iran’s nuclear program.

“At this historic moment, with the blessings of God Almighty and the efforts made by our scientists, I declare here that the laboratory-scale nuclear fuel cycle has been completed and young scientists produced enriched uranium needed to the degree for nuclear power plants Sunday,” Mr. Ahmadinejad said.

“I formally declare that Iran has joined the club of nuclear countries,” he said. The crowd broke into cheers of “Allahu akbar,” or “God is great.”

The West broke out in a sweat.

The ceremony was bizarre; almost mystical. Costumed dancers performed while holding aloft vials of raw uranium, chanting ‘allahu akbar’ hypnotically.

Iran admits to having successfully built a 164-centrifuge enrichment chain. Western analysts say this means Iran is still a couple of years from having enough U-235 for a bomb, since it would take thousands of centrifuges to make a workable program.

But nuclear scientists say that getting the first centrifuge chain to work was the critical issue. Now that they have a working centrifuge chain, Iran’s estimate that it will have 3,000 centrifuges working by year’s end, they say, is entirely feasible.

Speaking before the president, Iran’s nuclear chief — Vice President Gholamreza Aghazadeh — told the audience that Iran has produced 110 tons of uranium gas, the feedstock that is pumped into centrifuges for enrichment.

The amount is nearly twice the 60 tons that Iran said last year that it had produced — an amount that former U.N. nuclear inspector David Albright said would be enough to produce up to 20 nuclear bombs if Iran developed the capacity.

Aghazadeh also said a heavy water nuclear reactor, under construction near Arak in central Iran, will be completed by early 2009.

The bottom line regarding Iran is that we don’t know exactly how long it will take, but the eventual outcome is certain. Iran will attain its goal of obtaining nuclear weapons. The nuclear Pandora’s Box will be thrown open to radical Islam.

And the global consequences are almost unthinkable.

Assessment:

Suppose Ahmadinejad DID get The Bomb? Would he really use it? It is hard to say, which doesn’t offer much in the way of assurance.

Ahmadinejad is a follower of the 12th Imam, (the Mahdi). Islamic tradition holds that the Mahdi will make his appearance on a white horse at the head of a global Islamic army he will lead to victory against the infidel world.

Islam scholars say Islam’s Mahdi is prefigured in the Book of the Revelation as the rider on the white horse of Revelation 6:3. (Christian scholars identify the rider on the white horse as the antichrist.)

The Mahdi’s war, Ahmadinejad believes, will kill a third of mankind before Islam achieves its ultimate victory. And Ahmadinejad believes that he is the one appointed to start that end-times’ war.

Finally, and most significantly, Ahmadinejad believes the Mahdi will make his reappearance in two years. That is about the same time that the majority opinion says Ahmadinejad will have at his disposal the means to achieve the Mahdi’s apocalyptic body count.

On the other hand, while Ahmadinejad might be a religious nut, he doesn’t seem to be a suicidal religious nut. There is only one workable defense against a nuclear attack — the military doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD).

The MAD doctrine kept the Soviet nuclear arsenal in check for forty years and it is what keeps Russian nukes at bay today. Ahmadinejad knows that any first use of a nuclear weapon would invite a nuclear response that would vaporize Iran’s Islamic Republic.

A missile launched from Iran would invoke an immediate nuclear response.

On the other hand, a nuclear attack by al-Qaeda would be far less cut-and-dried while accomplishing the same thing while intitally concealing Iran’s involvement.

A sneak nuclear attack without immediate evidence of the source would demand an investigation before any retaliation would be likely. Iran might eventually be linked as the source of the nukes, but Ahmadinejad is evidently gambling that by the time the link is established, the passage of time will have pushed the nuclear retaliation option off the table.

Ahmadinejad’s defiant proclamation that Iran has joined the club of nuclear nations leaves absolutely zero doubt as to his eventual intentions.

If Western estimates are correct, the Ahmadinejad ALSO knows it will take about two more years to enrich enough material for a bomb. Ahmadinejad’s expectation that the Mahdi’s appearance is about two years away is more likely a case of his telegraphing his battle plan than it is that it is a coincidence.

There is a common misconception about Bible prophecy and the Rapture among Dispensationalists that lends itself to the belief that nothing bad will happen until AFTER the Rapture has happened. I call that a ‘misconception’ because it has no Scriptural support behind it.

The Book of the Revelation forecasts judgments and plagues that will kill ‘a third of mankind’ or a ‘fourth part of mankind’ — which leads Dispensationalists to believe that Ahmadinejad’s planned Islamic war to kill off a third of humanity MUST be a post-Rapture event.

Not necessarily. If a nuclear war with Islam killed off half of the earth’s population tomorrow, it would have no impact on the horrific percentages forecast by the Apostle John. They would simply be percentages of a smaller surviving population.

I am in no way saying that Ahmadinejad’s Mahdi IS the antichrist, neither am I affording any credibility to any ‘prophecy’ of Islam, apart from the fact that Bible prophecy generally forecasts much the same future scenario.

But Ahmadinejad believes it. And HE is the one who will have his finger on the nuclear button.

The Land Nobody Wanted. . .

The Land Nobody Wanted. . .
Vol: 55 Issue: 11 Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The Land Nobody Wanted. . .

Except for a few decades of Christian control during the Crusades era, the land claimed by Israel was under Islamic control for 1300 years. That is one of the principle arguments advanced in favor of the Palestinian claim that Israel has no historical right to the Land of Promise.

That argument is bolstered by the existence of an Arab mosque atop what the Jews claim as Temple Mount, a mosque that has graced Mount Moriah for some 1,350 years.

According to Islam, the mosque atop Mount Moriah is the third-holiest site in Islam. Islamic tradition says the al Aqsa Mosque marks the place where Mohammed ascended into heaven aboard a winged horse. For that reason, it ranks third in line behind Mecca and Medina as Islam’s holiest cities.

In ancient times, Israel sat atop the most strategic crossroads of the known world. One couldn’t get from Babylon to Egypt by chariot without passing through it. Israel and Jerusalem have been fought over and conquered by the Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Egyptians, Romans, Arabs, Turks, and finally, the British in 1917.

In each of its conquests, Jerusalem was strategic because of its strategic value as Israel’s God-given capital. From Nebuchadnezzar to Titus, each successive conqueror acknowledged Jerusalem as the capital of the Jews.

When the region was conquered by Islam, taking Jerusalem was a strategic, rather than religious necessity. Whoever controlled the Jewish holy city controlled the remaining indigenous Jews.

The reconquest of Jerusalem became a holy religious duty only after the Crusaders claimed the city for Christianity. Since the city was holy to Judaism and holy to Christianity, it became holy to Islam, as well.

But ‘holy’ doesn’t mean the same thing to Islam as it does to Christians and Jews. To Christians or Jews, ‘holy’ means worthy of reverence, whereas to Islam, ‘holy’ means worthy of possession.

Under Islamic possession, Jerusalem was just another dusty city of the province of Southern Syria. In the four hundred years Jerusalem was under Ottoman rule until 1917, the city was never even a regional or provincial capital.

After the Ottoman Empire fell to the Allies in the First World War, British foreign secretary Lord Balfour put into writing Britain’s support for “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.”

When the League of Nations made Palestine a British mandate after the war, Lord Balfour’s declaration was assumed as part of the deal and the allied powers of the Great War all agreed. By 1935, there were more than 300,000 Jews in Palestine. Tel Aviv, founded in 1909, had 100,000 people.

In 1947 Britain, which had been handed the Palestine problem by the now-defunct League of Nations passed it on, with relief, to the newly born United Nations. The UN agreed to partition Palestine into a Jewish state, an Arab state, and a neutral UN zone containing Jerusalem, a city sacred to three religions. The Jews were thrilled, the Arabs adamantly opposed.

In late 1947 the plan was ratified by the UN, and the State of Israel proclaimed on May 14, 1948. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled the country. The the British pulled out completely, and most of the Arab world- Egypt, Transjordan (now Jordan), Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon, as well as Palestinians- immediately attacked in an attempt to destroy Israel.

By the time of armistice in 1949 Israel held three quarters of Palestine- twice as much land as the UN had proposed- Jordan had taken the land on the West Bank of the Jordan River, and Egypt had taken the Gaza Strip.

It is at this point in the story of the Middle East that history ends and the modern myth of the Middle East is born.

Assessment:

The modern myth is that at the end of the Israeli War of Independence, the indigenous ‘Palestinian’ people were dispossessed by Israel and left with nothing.

The historical fact is that, until the mid 1930’s, the term ‘Palestinian’ was a label applied to the Jews.

Until 1950, the name of the Jerusalem Post was THE PALESTINE POST; the journal of the Zionist Organization of America was NEW PALESTINE; Bank Leumi was the ANGLO-PALESTINE BANK; the Israel Electric Company was the PALESTINE ELECTRIC COMPANY; there was the PALESTINE FOUNDATION FUND and the PALESTINE PHILHARMONIC.

All these were Jewish organizations. In America, Zionist youngsters sang “PALESTINE, MY PALESTINE”, “PALESTINE SCOUT SONG” and “PALESTINE SPRING SONG”

In general, the terms Palestine and Palestinian referred to the region of Palestine as it was. Thus “Palestinian Jew” and “Palestinian Arab” are straightforward expressions. “Palestine Post” and “Palestine Philharmonic” refer to these bodies as they existed in a place then known as Palestine.

The adoption of a Palestinian identity by the Arabs of Palestine is a recent phenomenon. Until the establishment of the State of Israel, and for another decade or so, the term ‘Palestinian’ applied almost exclusively to the Jews.

The claims of the Arab ‘Palestinians’ to be a separate people is an utter fiction. There is no language known as Palestinian. There is no distinct Palestinian culture. There has never been a land known as Palestine governed by Palestinians.

Palestinians are Arabs, indistinguishable from Jordanians (another recent British invention), Syrians, Lebanese, Iraqis, etc.

Syria was created by the British and subsequently given to France as the French Mandate. The Syrians declared independence after the British left in 1946, two years before Israel did the same thing. Jordan was created by the British in 1921.

The same British government that created the modern Arab world in 1920 at the San Remo Conference in Italy — by decree — also created a Jewish homeland the same way at the same conference.

And the Jewish Palestine of the Balfour Declaration as confirmed at San Remo encompassed a much bigger chunk of ground than Israel claims today.

Until the Jews renewed their claim to the land of Palestine, nobody else wanted it. The Jews petitioned for statehood on the principle that Palestine was “a land without a people” and that the Jews were “a people without a land.”

Arab revisionist historians say that claim was ‘a myth.’ History and mathematics tell a different story — if anybody were interested in the facts, that is.

In 1948, there were about 735,000 Muslim and Christian Arabs in Palestine. There were about 716,000 Jews. Since the same land now supports a population of more than 12 million combined Arabs and Jews, the argument that the Arabs were ‘crowded out’ by the Jews makes no sense.

The ‘Palestinian refugees’ languishing in ‘refugee camps’ in Jordan, Lebanon and elsewhere, were not interned by Israel. They were interned by their own governments after those governments lost the war with Israel.

Those Jordanian citizens that lived in Jordan’s West Bank and the citizens of Egypt’s Gaza Strip (who, on May 30, 1967 were still Egyptians), became instant ‘Palestinians’ on June 7, 1967.

From the moment of its declaration of statehood, the Jews of Israel have lived under the constant threat of annihilation by the surrounding Arab states. As Golda Meir observed during the Yom Kippur War, “the Arabs can fight, and lose, and come back to fight another day. Israel can only lose once.”

What makes this significant is that NONE of this is a secret. Knowing this, the entire world prefers the fictional account advanced by the Islamic world; that the Palestinians pre-existed the Jews, that the Jews stole ‘Palestinian land’ dispossessed its inhabitants and locked them away in refugee camps.

It is nothing short of madness. But it is a madness that seems to have infected the world at large. The Islamic version of the Arab-Israeli conflict is a monstrous lie being advanced in favor of a claim to land that nobody wanted until the Jews did.

In the midst of a global war on terror, the world is prepared to countenance an openly terrorist government ruling over a ‘people’ that do not exist, (a people whose only goal is the ANNIHILATION of another people whose history is THE most documented record of ancient times) based on the argument that the Jewish claim to Jerusalem is historically invalid.

That lie is so delusional that it boggles the mind. Yet it is the basic reason for a global war on terror that now threatens to spill over into an all-out war of civilizations.

Israel, by its very existence, is a stench in the nostrils of the secular world. It is a constant reminder of the existence and reality of God, and therefore, man’s accountability before Him.

Paul explains it this way: “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind. . .” (Romans 1:28)

The secular world’s war against the Jews is unreasoning, blind anti-semitism so ingrained in its psyche it is blissfully unaware it even exists.

Any critically-thinking person can see the truth, yet the UN consistently finds the ‘anti-truth’ when it involves Israel. It is almost supernatural in its scope and breadth. In fact, scratch ‘almost’ from that last sentence.

It IS supernatural.

“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)

21st Century Newspeak . . .

21st Century Newspeak . . .
Vol: 55 Issue: 10 Monday, April 10, 2006

21st Century Newspeak . . .

In his famous book, ‘1984’ George Orwell introduced us to the words ‘doublethink’ and ‘newspeak’. A word Orwell DIDN’T use – but which combines the two – is ‘doublespeak’.

‘Doublespeak’ is saying one thing and meaning another, usually its opposite.

In Orwell’s ‘1984,’ when Big Brother and the Party say ‘peace’ they mean ‘war’, when they say ‘love’ they mean ‘hate’, and when they say ‘freedom’ they mean ‘slavery’.

Orwell’s thesis was that when words have no meaning, the events they were meant to describe lose their sense of reality.

For inspiration, Orwell drew on real-life examples; Hitler’s ‘Final Solution’ was a benign sounding euphemism for the destruction of an entire race of people. Communism’s ‘reeducation camps’ were euphemisms for political concentration camps.

Stalin himself once obliquely acknowledged the power of ‘doublespeak’, noting, “One death is a tragedy. A million deaths is a statistic.”

Orwell’s ‘1984’ was a precautionary tale penned in 1949 as an undisguised satire of Stalinist authoritarianism and its methods, inventing his ‘newspeak’ concept from the principles of Marxist/Leninism.

In Big Brother’s world, ‘peace’ means ‘war’ — but ‘peace’ as a concept remains subliminally desireable. One ‘hates’ a person they ‘love’, subliminally linking love and hate until the emotions they evoke can be manipulated by Big Brother as necessary.

When ‘freedom’ means ‘slavery’ then the distinctions between the concepts become blurry enough for Orwell’s characters to long for the freedom of Big Brother’s ‘benevolent’ oversight.

The connotations of words naturally change over time. Words like ‘idiot’ and ‘moron’ used to be neutral terms. When they became insults, ‘retarded’ was introduced as a replacement. Then ‘retarded’ became an insult, and was replaced by ‘special’.

‘Crippled’ was replaced by ‘handicapped’ followed by ‘disabled’ which is falling into disfavor in favor of ‘challenged’ (which is already losing its neutrality).

The word ‘fundamentalist’ used to have a specific meaning. It meant one who practiced the fundamentals of one’s faith. In 21st century ‘newspeak’, the word ‘fundamentalist’ is synonymous with ‘religious fanatic’.

Using the ‘newspeak’ definition of the word, it becomes possible for the majority of Islam to be peaceful and non-violent, while those who practice the fundamentals of Islam are jihadist warriors.

Redefining the word makes those who practice the fundamentals of Islam ‘evil’, but the religion that inspires the evil is ‘good’ – as long as one doesn’t take its fundamentals too seriously. Or something.

The phrase ‘pro-choice’ used to mean one who favors the right to select from a range of alternative options. The phrase is now used to describe pro-abortion groups that went to the Supreme Court in order to keep anyone offering alternatives to abortion 100 feet from any abortion clinic.

The phrase ‘pro-life’ used to mean people who believed life was something only God could give, and only God had to right to take. In contemporary usage, it is used to describe guys who bomb abortion clinics, shoot abortionists, and march in demonstrations.

The meanings of the phrases have become so confused that the majority of Americans in any given poll aren’t certain if they are ‘pro-choice’ or ‘pro-life’ — it all depends on how the question is phrased.

Ask yourself how anybody can take a middle-of-the-road approach to the question of WHEN it is moral to dismember a baby in the womb? How can there BE a middle-of-the-road position to take? How can it really even be a QUESTION?

Is there any pro-choice human being out there who wasn’t once an unborn baby? How can they really believe there was a time when they were themselves in the womb but somehow still non-existent?

It is only possible when ‘fetus’ no longer means ‘baby’ and ‘choice’ no longer means ‘alternative options’.

Assessment:

Millions of people continue to turn out for demonstrations opposing any legislation that would ‘criminalize’ illegal aliens. Let’s start there.

The word ‘illegal’ means ‘in violation of the law’. Another word for ‘criminal’ is ‘law-breaker’.

How does one ‘criminalize’ something that is, by definition, already illegal? First off, the phrase ‘illegal alien’ has to go. How about replacing it with ‘undocumented worker’?

Being an ‘undocumented worker’ doesn’t sound like criminal behavior. Indeed, criminalizing someone for not having ‘their papers’ sounds like a step TOWARD Orwell’s Big Brother.

Suddenly, the idea of ‘criminalizing’ undocumented workers sounds not just unAmerican, but somehow, unconstitutional.

In Maryland, one school district is giving students that participate in demonstrations opposing the ‘criminalization’ of ‘undocumented workers’ special credit.

Opponents claim that criminalizing illegal aliens (if words meant what they said, that phrase would end any further debate) will ‘make criminals’ out of people who help them either sneak into country or to get work once they get here.

Since both are already criminal acts by definition, the argument that immigration reform will ‘make criminals’ out of them also falls flat, unless you substitute the euphemism ‘undocumented worker’ for ‘illegal alien’ in order to cloud the issue.

Before anybody emails me to remind me again that America is a nation of immigrants, I already know that. But America is also a nation of laws, and there are laws covering legal immigration. Legal immigrants are not ‘documented workers’. They are legal immigrants.

The phrase ‘undocumented worker’ is a euphemism for illegal alien from the Spanish south. It isn’t applied to illegal aliens from the Middle East. It isn’t even applied to illegal aliens from Canada or Europe.

Even the Border Patrol uses a euphemism to differentiate between illegal aliens in their arrest reports. Illegals are either ‘M’ or ‘OTM’ [‘Other Than Mexican’]

Change ‘illegal alien’ into ‘undocumented worker’ and the whole debate shifts from whether or not America has a right to control her borders into one in which the debate is about whether or not breaking existing laws is ‘illegal’. It is an example of 21st century newspeak at its finest.

The immigration reform proposal with the best chance of success has yet to make it to any bill presented so far. Any mention of a border fence is immediately rejected by those claiming it will turn America into a ‘prison’.

Another loaded word. Prisons keep people IN. Fences keep people OUT. Putting up a fence is a sovereign right. I have a fence around my property because it is MY property and I have a right to control who comes inside its borders.

My fence keeps people out, not in. It imprisons no one. The gate opens from the inside. It is the very definition of ‘ownership.’ But the power of propaganda has made this ridiculously simple solution unmentionable.

There are those who believe that they are too sophisticated to fall under the propagandists’ spell. That arrogance is what makes them so susceptible.

“And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:” (2nd Thessalonians 2:10-11)

If you doubt the power of 21st century newspeak, remember the immigration debate. It is all about ‘criminalizing’ ‘illegal’ behavior.

Or something. I have to check my dictionary again.

Special Report: On Doctrine and Dogma

Special Report: On Doctrine and Dogma
Vol: 55 Issue: 8 Saturday, April 8, 2006

Studying Bible prophecy is, by definition, an exercise in subjectivity, since Bible prophecy is written in vague enough language to support any number of interpretations.

That is something of a bold statement for a prophecy teacher to make. Most are pretty dogmatic in their understanding, in many cases elevating their own interpretations to an almost doctrinal status.

‘Doctrine’ and ‘dogma’ are two words I throw around a lot. The dictionary defines ‘doctrine’ as, “A principle or body of principles presented for acceptance or belief,” whereas ‘dogma’ is defined as “A doctrine or a corpus of doctrines relating to matters such as morality and faith, set forth in an authoritative manner by a church.”

As used in theology, ‘doctrine’ means those principles clearly articulated by Scripture, whereas ‘dogma’ means principles articulated by a Church body.

Salvation by grace through faith is an example of Bible doctrine. The Roman Catholic ‘Immaculate Conception of Mary’ is an example of church dogma. There is both a distinction and a difference between the two terms.

Individual believers also have both universal doctrinal and personal dogmatic beliefs. Salvation, as noted, is an example of universal Christian doctrine.

Whether or not the revived Roman Empire consists of ten nations in Western Europe is a dogmatic, rather than doctrinal position. Doctrinal positions are absolute. One can change one’s dogmatic position without necessarily falling away from the faith.

There are those who are dogmatic that the antichrist will be a Jewish politician who will ascend to power via the Western European Union. The WEU consists of ten full members and eighteen members of lesser status. Daniel says the final world empire of antichrist will consist of ten ‘kings’.

The European Union has introduced the euro in the hope it will one eclipse the dollar as the de-facto global currency. The Bible clearly says the antichrist will use his control of the global economy to maintain his authority over both his government and the global religious system.

Revelation identifies the capital city of the antichrist’s government as a ‘city on seven mountains.’ Rome has been known by its nickname, ‘the city on seven hills’ since the days of antiquity.

Javier Solana is head of state for BOTH the EU and the WEU. The WEU is charged with the military defense of the entire European Union. The antichrist is a military leader who worships the ‘god of forces’.

Bible prophecy scholars have identified Europe with the government of antichrist for more than a hundred years; long before Israel’s restoration and several world wars before any European unity movement took hold. Europe’s reunification in this generation fits precisely with that interpretation.

For those reasons, together with many others, the majority of mainstream Bible prophecy teachers accept the identification of the Western European Union as the revived Roman Empire of Daniel as a matter of dogmatic truth.

Doctrine is unassailable without ripping the foundations out of the faith, but dogma is something a believer needs constantly re-examine if he hopes to be open to the Holy Spirit’s leading. In order for one to learn, one must first be teachable.

The Bible says that to be teachable, one must first humble oneself. A high opinion of oneself doesn’t change reality.

By way of illustration, two battleships were engaged in a training exercise in high seas. On being notified his ship was on a collision course with a light off his starboard bow, the captain ordered the other ship to change course.

The reply came back, “YOU change course.” The captain snapped, “I’m a captain. What’s your rank?” The reply came back; “I’m a lighthouse!”

The captain re-examined the situation in light of that new bit of information and re-evaluated his assessment accordingly.

The rise of Islam has forced me to go back and re-examine my dogmatic beliefs concerning the traditional dogma surrounding the antichrist and his government.

The Book of Daniel identifies a ten-nation confederacy. Daniel does clearly equate the antichrist with that confederacy, and he identifies the coming antichrist as a ‘prince’ of the people that would destroy Jerusalem and the Temple, which was accomplished by Titus of Rome in AD 70.

It logically follows that the antichrist will be a European, ASSUMING that the WEU is the revived Roman Empire of which Daniel speaks.

The old Roman Empire was vast, spreading from Britain in the north to south of Egypt, from Spain and North Africa in the west to the borders of Parthia (Iran) in the east. In the 1st century, the Empire’s European borders stopped at the Rhine and Danube Rivers.

It never included any significant portion of Germany or Eastern Europe. The center of the Roman Empire was never Gaul (France).

The heart of the old Roman Empire in the 1st century were the great cities of antiquity; Rome, Alexandria in Egypt, the Greek city-states, and the great inland Mediterranean cities of Antioch, Damascus and Jerusalem.

It was the peaceful Mediterranean trade environment that gave the Roman Empire its military power and economic unity and might. Political, legal and economic unity, along with reduction of piracy, made peaceful sea trade extremely profitable. Linguistic unity of the three great languages of Greek, Latin, and Aramaic made for a cohesive society.

Greek and Latin were the literary languages throughout the empire, Latin the official language of command throughout and the business language for the western empire, while Greek and Aramaic were the business languages of the eastern portion of the empire.

Historically speaking, and in particular, in looking at it from the perspective of the 1st century, the Roman Empire was a Mediterranean empire, not a European empire.

Germany and France were never major power centers in ancient Rome. While Spain was economically profitable, it played no major political role in the Roman Empire.

On the other hand, the Roman name for the Mediterranean was “mara nostrum”, meaning our sea. The Med region was the center and heart of ancient Rome.

Today, Europe is so completely overrun with Islamic immigrants that much of Europe has been dubbed ‘Eurabia’. But the Islamic power is centered in what was the economic and political center of the old Roman Empire — in what is today the center of the Islamic world.

Daniel pictures the revived Roman Empire of antichrist as an uneasy alliance; he describes the ten toes representing the ten kingdoms of the last days this way:

“And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. . . ” (Daniel 2:43)

There is a danger associated with interpreting Bible prophecy in light of current events. The Bible is eternal, whereas current events tend to shift as time passes.

But I believe this is the last generation and therefore time is rapidly running out. The Big Picture for the last days is not as murky as it has been in previous generations. At some point in time, the Big Picture will have to come into focus in its final configuration. I believe that we are seeing that final configuration taking shape right now.

Europe plays a role, but it grows increasingly obvious that Islam plays the major part.

The war between Islam and the West is not so much a clash of civilizations as it is a spiritual conflict between the forces of Islam and Judeo-Christianity. It is between the Islamic jihadists and the Zionists and Crusaders. The battle lines couldn’t be more clearly drawn.

Interestingly, Europe is largely exempt from the religious aspects, having been recognized by Islam as neither Christian nor Jewish, and therefore, claimed by Islam.

That Islam and Europe are reaching an accommodation regarding laws forbidding insults against Islam and its prophet is seen by jihadist Islam as the beginning of European capitulation to Islamic conquest.

I am just beginning to re-examine my long-held dogmatic position regarding the role Europe plays in the antichrist’s government. I am not certain where the journey will lead, but I will share my conclusions with you along the way.

The Scriptures admonish us to regularly examine our conclusions in light of the revealed Word:

“Prove all things, hold fast that which is good,” and “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (1st Thessalonians 5:21, 2nd Timothy 2:15)

Don’t misunderstand. I haven’t reached any new conclusions yet. But it should prove to be an interesting study.

Special Report: The Coming of the Beast

Special Report: The Coming of the Beast
Vol: 55 Issue: 7 Friday, April 7, 2006

Back in the 1990’s, I attended a lot of prophecy conferences. At the time, I worked with a ministry that hosted several major conferences a year. At every single conference, somebody would slip me their personal research identifying the antichrist.

Since then, determining the identity of the antichrist has become something of a cottage industry, particularly on the Internet. There are a number of Christian prophecy-oriented websites whose singular mission is to present evidence that they have figured out who the antichrist is.

One such theory is presented in “The Antichrist and a Cup of Tea” in which Charles, Prince of Wales, is the antichrist. Consider the following offerings concerning Prince Charles:

His name calculates to 666 in both English and Hebrew; the symbols in his heraldic achievement or coat of arms are identical to those of the “first beast” of Revelation 13.

He claims descent from David, Jesus, and Mohammed, he wants to be the King of Europe; he heads the United World Colleges; he steers the environmental ethics and business agendas of over 100 of the world’s largest multinational corporations; he is credited for the success of the Rio Earth Summit and thus the Kyoto Protocols, etc.

The late Charles Taylor proposed King Juan Carlos of Spain as an ideal candidate. King Juan Carlos has versions of his name in 10 languages, each using the same numbering system (except for Latin, which uses the Roman numeral system), which each add to 666.

King Juan Carlos is hereditary heir to the title, “King of Jerusalem”. King Juan Carlos has a sailboat named “The Dragon.” Spain is heavily involved in the Middle East peace process; (The Madrid Accords) and Javier Solana, a Spaniard, headed NATO.

Javier Solana is now de-facto head of state for both the European Union and the Western European Union. This co-mingling of authority was accomplished pursuant to WEU Agreement 666.

Both the EU and WEU arose out of the old Roman Empire as a consequence of the 1957 Treaty of Rome. For these reasons and others, there are entire Christian prophecy sites dedicating themselves to the proposition that Javier Solana is the antichrist.

Scripture paints a detailed portrait of the man Daniel said would be a prince of the people who would destroy the city [Jerusalem] and the sanctuary [the Temple]. Both were accomplished at the hand of future Emperor Titus of Rome in AD 70.

We know he comes from among ten ‘kings’ in a restored Roman Empire. (Daniel 7:7 7:24, Revelation 13:2) The Western European Union, interestingly enough, restricts its FULL member roster to ten nations. All other member-states are either ‘associate members’, ‘affiliates’ or ‘permanent observers.

“The 115 representatives (and an equal number of substitutes) from the ten signatory states of the modified Brussels Treaty have full rights,” says the WEU’s website. In the WEU document, the phrase, “ten signatory states of the modified Brussels Treaty” is offset in bold-face type to make sure nobody misses it. (http://www.assemblee-ueo.org/en/presentation/composition.html)

Daniel 7:8, 24 says that the antichrist will be among these European ‘kings’ but that he will be different. He will rise from obscurity, but with a ‘mouth speaking great things’. He will blaspheme God [Daniel 7:25; 11:36; Revelation 13:5] slandering His Name, dwelling place, and departed Christians and Old Testament saints [Revelation 13:6]

He will confirm a covenant between Israel and the ‘many’. [Daniel 9:27] This covenant will likely involve the establishment of a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. [see Dan 9:27; Matt 24:15]

He will put an end to Jewish sacrifice and offerings after 3 years and will set up an abomination to God in the Temple [Daniel 9:27, Matthew 24:15]. His power will be as absolute as any ‘king’ of the ancient Babylonians, Persians, and Greeks. [Revelation 13:2] He will not answer to a higher earthly authority; He will do as he pleases. [Daniel 11:36]

Daniel 11:37 says he will pay lip service to the religion of his ancestors, but will give honor to the ‘god of [military] forces. His whole focus and attention will be on his military. He will conquer lands and distribute them [Daniel 11:39-44]

He will claim that Jesus did not come in the flesh, or that Jesus did not rise bodily from the grave. [2 John 7]. He will deny that Jesus is the Messiah [I John 2:22]

He will be worshipped by many people [Rev. 13:8] He will hate a nation that initially will have some control over his kingdom, but he will destroy this nation [Rev 17:16-18] In some fashion, his name will be related to the number six hundred and sixty six but not necessarily in an obvious fashion. [Rev 13:17-18]

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, he will be indwelt and empowered by Satan himself. [Revelation 13:2]

Assessment:

I don’t believe it is important for the Church to be able to identify the antichrist. I believe the Scriptures teach it is the duty of the Church to be watching for the coming of Christ for His Church, not the coming of His enemy.

I don’t believe the Church will still be here when the antichrist comes to power, so his identity is largely irrelevant. ‘Largely’ irrelevant. Not completely.

The Bible goes into great detail concerning the antichrist, listing at least twenty-seven separate prophecies regarding the man of sin — of which we’ve touched on just a handful.

No Scripture is without relevance to the Church, including those concerning the antichrist. What is important is viewing those Scriptures from the right perspective.

In addition to the prophecies regarding the antichrist, the Bible gives dozens of other prophecies to the Church, most of which will not be fulfilled until after the Church has been Raptured.

That begs the question; “if we aren’t going to be here when it happens, why devote so much time to the details?”

In His Olivet Discourse, Jesus outlined events from the perspective of Israel at the time of the end. He described the Tribulation Period from two entirely different perspectives.

Matthew 24:4-14 describe the events now ongoing as the Church Age comes to a conclusion. Jesus speaks of global wars, rumors of wars, famines, earthquakes, etc., saying “all these are the BEGINNINGS of sorrows.” Jesus promises that, “he that shall endure to the end shall be saved.” (24:13) That He is referring to those Christians that are alive at His coming at the end of the Church Age is confirmed by the next verse:

“And this Gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and THEN SHALL THE END COME.” (Matthew 24:14)

Immediately after THAT ‘end has come’, there is a shift in focus from global events to localized events from Israel’s perspective, all of which are framed within the context of Jewish Law.

Jesus alludes to the ‘abomination of desolation’ (of the as-yet non-existent Temple.) (24:15) He addresses those specifically living in Judea (the modern West Bank). He makes reference to the Jewish Sabbath travel restrictions (not imposed on the Church).

THEN, Jesus says, “Behold, I have told you before.” For the Church, it is a warning that our time is drawing to an end, that the fields are white with the harvest, and that the harvest season is quickly drawing to a close. For the Jews, it is evidence that this same Jesus Who forecast the Tribulation will also return at its conclusion.

When He returns visibly at the conclusion of the Tribulation, Zechariah says that “they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him,” [Zechariah 12:10] ultimately resulting in Israel’s national conversion and salvation in accordance with God’s purpose for the ‘Time of Jacob’s Trouble.’

The details about the coming antichrist are useful to the Church because they impart a sense of urgency to fulfill the mission of preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom into the whole world BEFORE the end comes. As the saying goes, “if the calendar says Thanksgiving, then you know Christmas is right around the corner.”

If the symbols, heads, horns and beasts of Daniel and Revelation are beginning to make sense, then you know that this is the generation to whom they were addressed. Daniel didn’t understand all that he was seeing in his vision, and he asked for an explanation.

Instead, the revealing angel told Daniel, “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]

Over the next few reports, we’ll look more deeply at what the Bible says about the coming antichrist and his system and see where it leaves us on the Bible’s timeline.

Not because I am particularly interested in his identification. I don’t think we can identify him personally, anyway. How does one pick out a person who is ABOUT to be indwelt by Satan?

Rather, we need to take a closer look because the clearer the picture gets, the closer we are on the timeline to MISSING his unveiling. . . and the Rapture of the Church.

And THAT’s useful information to have handy.