Even a Broken Watch is Right Twice a Day

Even a Broken Watch is Right Twice a Day
Vol: 76 Issue: 31 Thursday, January 31, 2008

I suppose I am accused of being a Calvinist, on average, about twice a week. Three times if I’ve written anything about eternal security or predestination.

John Calvin was a sixteenth century Frenchmen and Reformer. One of Calvin’s adherents, John Knox, founded the Presbyterian Church, based on the Five Points of Calvinism, known by the acronym “TULIP”.

In point of fact, (for all you purists out there), Calvin didn’t actually come up with the TULIP equation — the Synod of Dort did in 1619, more than a generation after Calvin’s death in 1564.

T=Total Depravity of Man This doctrine holds that man is born hopelessly enslaved to sin. It is not in man’s nature to do good, therefore all people are morally incapable of choosing to be saved on their own.

Calvinism holds that certain people are predestined to be saved by God, which leads to:

U=Unconditional Election which asserts that those who would be saved were chosen (elected) by God, irrespective of virtue, merit or faith, but grounded entirely in God’s mercy.

To a hyper-Calvinist, Unconditional Election means there is no need for a Christian to share his faith with the lost –since God has decided who will be saved, God will accomplish that person’s salvation on His own.

L=Limited Atonement holds that the sacrifice at the Cross was full payment for all the sins one had ever committed or would ever commit.

Hyper-Calvinists believe that Jesus died only for the elect, rather than for the sins of all men, and that therefore, certain people can never be saved.

I=Irresistible Grace describes the saving grace of God overcomes the resistance of the elect to the Gospel. To a hyper-Calvinist, a person whom God has chosen cannot resist the call of the Holy Spirit unto salvation.

P=Perseverance of the Saints is the Calvinist name for the doctrine of eternal security. To a hyper-Calvinist, this means that those God has called to salvation will continue in faith unto the end.

The Calvinist view of eternal security holds that, if a person continues in apostasy or habitual sin, it means such a person was never truly saved.


On the surface, my doctrine sure seems to be Calvinist, since I can’t find a lot about the main points with which I disagree. But I am not a Calvinist. That sounds contradictory, but it depends on whether one views it from man’s religious perspective or from the perspective of what the Bible teaches about faith.

On the total depravity of man, I agree, but not because John Calvin says so.

The Bible says so. Romans Chapter 7 is devoted to the subject of man’s depravity, a depravity so total that Paul likens it to being chained to a corpse, crying out, “Who will deliver me from the body of this death?”

Paul used a metaphor sure to be recognized by his Roman audience. It was a common form of execution to chain the condemned to a corpse. The Romans would withhold food and water and bet on how long it took the condemned to resort to cannibalism.

Paul chose this metaphor specifically to underscore man’s depravity, and that it is total. Jeremiah wrote, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)

“Desperately wicked” is a dictionary definition of the word ‘depraved’.

On the issue of unconditional election, I tend to agree, but only in the broadest possible sense. Calvinists interpret ‘election’ and ‘predestination’ separately.

Calvin’s ‘predestination’ means God has substituted His will for your free will — you have no choice in the matter. That isn’t what the Bible teaches.

One is ‘predestined’ in the sense of God’s foreknowledge. If by some miracle, I could move backward and forward in time, I could peek into tomorrow and see what you ‘did’.

The mere act of KNOWING what you ‘did’ tomorrow isn’t the same thing as causing you to do it.

If predestination (in the sense of Divine foreknowledge) is some kind of heresy, then what is Bible prophecy?

Nearly 150 years before his birth, God identified the Persian King Cyrus by name, calling him “His anointed” and listing the tasks that God had predetermined Cyrus would accomplish.

Cyrus was anointed, 150 years in advance, to capture Babylon, restore Jerusalem and rebuild the Jewish Temple. (Isaiah 44:24,26-28) Isaiah’s prophecy was so detailed it even detailed the battle tactics Cyrus would use.

Isaiah predicted the Cyrus would “dry up the rivers . . . . and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid.” (44:27-28)

Daniel says that the Persian Army, under the command of Cyrus, dammed up the Euphrates where it passed through Babylon, walked down the riverbed and captured the city and the kingdom.

Once in power, Cyrus authorized the repatriation of the Jews from Babylon and the reconstruction of both Jerusalem and the Temple.

Cyrus did precisely as he was prophesied to do, but Cyrus did so of his own free will. God simply knew what Cyrus would do, and revealed it to Isaiah in advance. Cyrus wasn’t a robot. He did what he did of his own free will. It just so happened that God knew just which free-will decisions Cyrus would make.

Calvinism’s ‘limited atonement’ suffers from the same doctrinal excesses that collectively make up what has come to be known as ‘hyper-Calvinism’.

The Bible teaches that the Cross is all-sufficient atonement for sin, and that nothing we do can add or detract from it. But the Bible does NOT teach that atonement is ‘limited’ to ‘the elect.’

1st Timothy 2:6 clearly teaches that Jesus gave Himself as “a ransom for ALL.” The doctrine of ‘whosoever will’ is untouched — due the fact that God already knows whosoever ‘did’.

The difference is, God knows, but I don’t. It is still my duty to spread the Gospel.

‘Irresistible grace’ may have been articulated as a doctrine by Calvin, but Calvin didn’t invent it, and therefore, one can recognize when something agrees with what the Bible says without automatically becoming a Calvinist.

“For He saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.” (Romans 9:15-16)

Paul wasn’t a Calvinist. The flaw in pure Calvinism is in assuming that, since grace is irresistible, there is no need to carry the Gospel message — the elect will ‘get’ it because God wills them to.

But God’s plan for salvation is in two parts: “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing cometh by the Word of God.”

God’s Word imparts the faith, but it must first be carried before it can be heard.

Finally, the perseverance of the saints, or ‘eternal security.’ Calvinism holds that, once a person is saved, he will be supernaturally able to resist the sin nature. If a person later falls away, it means they were never saved in the first place.

If anything, this is the opposite of eternal security. I know that I still fall into sin — I can pretend I don’t in front of other people, but I know better, and so does God. Calvinism gets around that by saying that means I was never really saved. So how could I ever be sure?

The Bible doesn’t have such an arbitrary benchmark for salvation.

“For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:10)

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

God’s benchmark for salvation is the sincerity and intent of the heart of the sinner. Calvin’s benchmark, in the final analysis, is based in works, not grace through faith.

The Bible is not Calvinist, nor Arminian, nor Catholic, Presbyterian, Lutheran or Methodist. It is the Word of God, and it is an individual love letter to each of us from God.

“Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (2nd Peter 1:21)

Bible doctrine isn’t Calvinist because Calvin expressed it. Some places Calvin got it right, others, he got it woefully wrong.

Even a broken watch is right twice a day.

Special Report: Letting God Sort It Out

Special Report: Letting God Sort It Out
Vol: 76 Issue: 30 Wednesday, January 30, 2008

“For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” (1st Corinthians 13:12)

There are as many interpretations of Bible prophecy out there as there are interpreters. Surely, they can’t ALL be wrong, or deliberately teaching falsehood, or doing the work of Satan.

[Although I am accused of all three — virtually every time I write a column teaching Dispensationalism or a pre-Trib Rapture.]

All of them are reading the same Scriptures, and presumably, all of them are sincere. It is incomprehensible to me that a person could trust Jesus for his salvation and then go out and deliberately teach error.

That is not to say that there aren’t false teachers deliberately teaching error, but I don’t believe that they are sincere Christians.

There is a lot of money to be made by telling people what they want to hear, and there are plenty of TV evangelists willing to bend the message to their advantage.

(For example, the guys who tell you if you send them $100, God will immediately send you $1000 in return.)

But, the fact remains that there ARE sincere Christians who read the same Scriptures everybody else does and come up with entirely different understandings of Bible prophecy.

To the preterist, all Bible prophecy, including that contained in the Book of Revelation, was fulfilled in AD 70 with the destruction of the Temple and the exile of the Jews.

(As one OL member noted recently, since Revelation was written more than a decade after the Destruction of the Temple, a preterist can’t even rightly argue that the events depicted in Revelation is even prophecy.)

To a futurist, Bible prophecy has yet to completely unfold. Even among futurists, there is dispute about when certain events take place. Some believe that the Rapture takes place at the conclusion of the Tribulation. Others believe it takes place at the mid-point in the Tribulation.

Others, me included, believe the Bible teaches the Rapture of the Church takes place before the Tribulation period can begin.

But, again, we are all reading the same Scriptures. And, presumably, we are all sincere in saying we believe our understanding is the correct one. After all, things that are different are NOT the same, and the Rapture can only occur once.

Is it before, during, or after the reign of antichrist? Hal Lindsey would confidently answer, ‘before’ and I know the depth of his sincerity first-hand.

Marv Rosenthal teaches something called the ‘Mid-Wrath” Rapture. I’ve met Marv, spoken with him at length, and I am as convinced as I can be of his sincerity.

I don’t know any post Tribulation teachers personally, but I would like to assume at least some of them are as sincere in their beliefs as Hal or Marv are.

About the only Christian doctrine upon which there is more or less universal agreement is that we are saved by grace through faith in the shed Blood and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

BUT, that is the only doctrine, in the final analysis, which really and truly bears eternal consequences. Preterists that trust Jesus for their salvation will meet up in heaven with futurists who trusted Jesus, who will fellowship with pre-tribbers, mid-tribbers and post-tribbers, who will fellowship with Calvinists and Arminians together.

Because if you trust Jesus Christ for your salvation, then you will go to heaven. That is the central message of the Gospel. The rest is the product of our longing to know God, and know the things of God, while blinded by the limitations imposed on us by our earthly perspective.

As the Apostle Paul put it, seeing the things of God ‘through a glass, darkly’. Paul says we know only ‘in part’ but the part that we all agree on is the only part that really counts. Salvation by faith.

In the story of the Tower of Babel, God explains how the various ethnic nations came to be.

“And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.” (Genesis 11:6-7)

By scattering man ‘among the nations’ and removing the common bond of language and ethnicity, God ensured that no one man could ever again rule all men, as Nimrod did until the construction of the Tower of Babel.

It prevented any one culture or worldview to dominate all mankind. That diversity is what allowed Christianity to flourish at the point when it was introduced into history.

The reason is because Christianity is a personal relationship with Christ, rather than a commonly-accepted cultural duty.

God built that same diversity into the Church, which accounts for how and why sincere Christians can read the same Scriptures and come up with such widely divergent doctrines as preterist historicism and pretribulationist futurism. It prevents any one teacher from becoming the only accepted source of information of the things of God.

If everybody agreed on every point of doctrine, then the guy who articulates it the best becomes the Great Oracle of God. (And what if he was wrong?)

So we have diversity of understanding, but the same Scripture. And we have diversity of teachings, but share the same salvation by grace through faith. And we are equally sincere, because we share the same awesome responsibility of accountability before the Lord.

In the end, we will be judged by how we used the doctrine God delivered to us to lead others to salvation in Christ.

The necessity of diversity of understanding in the Church Age is adequately demonstrated by a peek across the divide into the coming ‘Time of Jacob’s Trouble’ after the Church Age is concluded.

During the Tribulation, that diversity of understanding is replaced by a universal religion imposed by the false prophet and directed toward the worship of antichrist.

Because there are no (surviving) saved Christians, indwelt and guided by the Holy Spirit during the Tribulation, the efforts of the false prophet are amply rewarded with results that are unattainable in the Church Age:

“And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” (Revelation 13:7-8)

(The ‘saints’ referred to in verse 7 are the ‘tribulation saints’. Theologically, they are distinguished from the Church Age saints because, unlike Church Age saints, they are NOT indwelt at salvation by the Holy Spirit — that is reserved for the 144,000 Jewish evangelists sealed in Revelation Chapter 7)

The point is, the success of the false prophet comes from the loss of that spiritual diversity that is unique to the Church.

On doctrinal issues like the Rapture, for example, no matter what view one holds as doctrine, the essential fact that they are going go to heaven is not in dispute. So, in the eternal sense, it doesn’t really matter.

So why include it at all? Because we DO see through a glass darkly, because that is the way God intended things on this side of eternity.

I believe that the Bible teaches a pre-trib Rapture and I believe it because to me, it is utterly obvious from the plain reading of Scripture. But I don’t believe that those who disagree with me are deliberately teaching falsehood.

When the Rapture happens, we’ll all go at the same time. Whether they got the timing right or not.

So we’ll continue to teach what we believe to be true and let God sort out the rest.


Interesting morning. The cold front that swept the Midwest yesterday arrived in our neighborhood about four-thirty this morning, with accompanying winds approaching 70 mph.

I was halfway through my first paragraph when I heard what I thought was a thunderclap — but it was only half a thunderclap . . . no echo. At the same time, the lights went out.

No wonder. A sixty foot tree in my front yard toppled, taking out the power lines, cable lines, the top of a power pole . . . before coming to rest on our little gray car (which was completely crushed).

That poor little car. Its really sort of ironic. I bought it specifically to tow behind our RV during the Road Tour. In the past two years, its covered some 30,000 miles, choking on the RV’s dust, up the mountain and down the mountain, across burning desert and the vast expanse of the Midwestern heartland.

It’s been on the trailer and off the trailer, never failed to start, always had enough room, GREAT gas mileage. . . sigh. I really liked that car.

We’re still without power and operating off the RV’s generator and two extension cords. Winds are still gusting over sixty, but the utility guys are already out there, barely past dawn, and the debris should be cleared and power restored by mid-day.

But it’s already been an interesting morning. . .

Two For One is Two Too Many

Two For One is Two Too Many
Vol: 76 Issue: 29 Tuesday, January 29, 2008

“Clinton lied ten years ago about Monica Lewinsky and he’s lying about a very viable candidate and somebody who could really bring change in this country [Senator Barak Obama]. He [Clinton] is embarrassing poor Democrats.”

Who said that? Rush Limbaugh? Brit Hume? Bill O’Reilly? Would you believe . . . liberal talk-show host Ed Schultz appearing on uber-liberal Chris Matthew’s MSNBC program, “Hardball.”

As the primary season continues, more and more of the focus is on Bill Clinton, almost zeroing out Hillary’s best efforts to remind the electorate that it is she, and not Bill, who is running for president.

To be fair, it is a unique situation — nobody — not the Clinton campaign, the Democrat Party, the electorate or the pundits have any historical precedent to fall back on.

Bill has trotted out about the only precedent that applies, dredging up his 1992 campaign promise of “two for the price of one” in which he offered Hillary up as a kind of ‘co-president.’

Hillary first two terms as ‘co-president’ included “Billing-gate” ([the Rose Law Firm billing records that went ‘missing’ from 1994-1996);

“Cattlegate” where Hillary turned $1000 investment in cattle futures into $100,000.00 in a matter of weeks;

“Travelgate” where Hillary fired the entire White House Travel staff, gave their jobs to pals Henry and Susan Bloodworth Thomasson and then lied about it;

“Filegate” where Hillary was using FBI files against Clinton enemies — and then lied about it.

Hillary’s co-presidential staff included Craig Livingstone, an ex-bar bouncer with a history of cocaine use;

“Fostergate”, when Hillary’s former law partner [and a central figure in Whitewatergate, Filegate, among others] Vince Foster was found dead in a Washington park of an apparent ‘suicide’ in which he evidently shot himself in the head with his left hand, rolled himself up in a carpet, and then evidently unrolled himself and disposed of the carpet in Marcy Park before being found dead.

Leading Democrats have considered the ramifications of yet another Clinton co-presidency, and suddenly, the FOB list (Friends of Bill) began to shrink.

Former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich accused Billary of “leading a “smear campaign against Obama that employs some of the worst aspects of the old politics.”

“Bill Clinton’s ill-tempered and ill-founded attacks on Barack Obama are doing no credit to the former president, his legacy, or his wife’s campaign. Nor are they helping the Democratic Party,” Reich wrote on his blog.

In a recent conference call with reporters, former Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle criticized “President Clinton’s inaccurate descriptions of the differences between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton on the war, about his inaccurate portrayal of Barack’s comments … he made about Republicans.”

Former Clinton pal John Kerry warned that Obama’s record was being “swift boated” – to Kerry, a euphemism for being unfairly attacked.

Kerry did not name the Clintons directly as the perpetrators of the “swift boating,” but the implication was clear.

“The fight is just heating up,” Kerry said. “We won’t let them steal this election with lies and distortions.”

Nicholas von Hoffman, a veteran liberal columnist, wrote in the liberal flagship, “Nation Magazine” that Hillary Clinton is an “experienced political thug.” He also accused both Clintons of “playing demolition derby politics” likening the Clinton political machine to ‘a skunk’.

Hillary’s post-White House fundraising practices are also making former Friends of Bill nervous;

Hollywood mogul Peter Paul claims he spent about $1.7 million and arranged for hundreds of thousands of dollars of other in-kind contributions for both the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s Senate race.

Campaign finance laws required that those in-kind contributions be reported to the FEC. They were not, but since, like most Clinton allies, Paul was a twice-convicted felon, a Grand Jury refused to indict her.


The most crushing blow of all came yesterday when the entire Kennedy family came together to officially and loudly endorse Barak Obama’s candidacy.

Caroline Kennedy, the only surviving member of former President John F Kennedy’s family, has not endorsed a presidential candidate since 1980 when Uncle Teddy was running for office.

So when she not only endorsed Obama, but compared him favorably with her father, it was a double gut punch to the Clinton campaign.

Teddy’s endorsement also compared Obama to JFK, saying that Obama “inspires me, who inspires all of us, who can lift our vision, and support our hope and renew our belief that our country’s best days are still to come.”

The Kennedy mystique still resonates among Democrats, despite the best efforts of the surviving Kennedys to erase it with the Kennedy-Scandal-of-the Month.

(Being too scandalous for the Kennedys (!) is like being too liberal for Moveon.org or too Far Left for the New York Times. It boggles the mind)

The Clinton nomination is in serious trouble — trouble so severe it might possibly even be fatal to her presidential hopes.

It also creates a real problem for the GOP — who is betting it all on facing off against Hillary Clinton in the general election.

The GOP doesn’t think that Hillary can win, and they are probably right. I only chose the Hillary scandals that sprang off the top of my head — if I did a bit of digging, I could fill a whole page. (That’s what the GOP hopes to do during the general election.)

The worst thing that could happen to the GOP’s election year hopes is a Barak Obama candidacy.

Let’s face it — Barak Obama is an attractive candidate.

Leaving aside the ‘first black president’ (a first woman president cancels it out) Barak Obama’s negative baggage is limited to his middle name (“Hussein”), the fact his father and step-father were both Muslim, and that the pastor of his church is a supporter of Louis Farrakan’s Nation of Islam . . . and all that remains is his half-term Senate record.

His speeches are mesmerizing, his eloquence is almost musical, and his message of hope and unity are inspiring. Were it not for his pro-abortion, antiwar, ultra- liberal credentials, I think I’d be supporting him myself.

It is a real conundrum — one summed up well by David Limbaugh, who wrote:

“When you contrast this negative side of the Clintons against Obama’s image of hope and change — as shallow as that might sound to us conservatives — the Clintons might have just written the final chapter on themselves, just maybe.

As one who has never been an admirer of the Clintons, I would be celebrating over all this but for the stark reality that Obama could very well be much tougher to beat than Hillary Clinton. So it is with a profound sense of the bittersweet that I observe what could be the Clintons’ political demise.”

And with it, the real possibility that come November, America could elect its first wartime Democratic Chief Executive since FDR.

“This know also, that in the last days, perilous times shall come. . .” (2nd Timothy 3:1)

Special Report: The Other Side of the ‘Great Debate’

Special Report: The Other Side of the ‘Great Debate’
Vol: 76 Issue: 28 Monday, January 28, 2008

If one sits down with a Christian Reconstructionist to discuss the major doctrines of the Church, including salvation, sin and the Deity of Christ, one discovers that the proponents of that doctrine are as sincere as you and I, and love the Lord as much as we do.

They are as well-versed in Scripture as you and I and are as confident of their understanding as we are. Moreover, and maybe most importantly, they are as sincere and unshakable in their beliefs as you and I.

Did you ever wonder whether or not the Rapture detractors might be right when they make their arguments against what they deride as the ‘Great Escape’?

I mean, when you sit down and try to explain to someone what the Rapture is all about, doesn’t it occasionally make you wince? Don’t you ever wonder whether or not the Rapture really WAS an invention of J.N. Darby in the early 1800’s as the preterists often argue?

And don’t you sometimes wonder, if the Rapture is such a key component of Bible doctrine, why there are so many mainstream Christian denominations that neither teach nor believe in it?

Dispensationalists make up but a tiny minority of the professing Church, while almost all mainstream Protestant and Catholic Churches ignore Bible prophecy as irrelevant.

Indeed, the world’s largest Christian denomination, the Roman Catholic Church, denies any possibility of a Rapture at any time. Catholicism teaches that, even saved people still have unforgiven sins at the time of their deaths.

Purgatory, according to the Catholic encyclopedia, is a ” place or condition of temporal punishment for those who, departing this life in God’s grace, are, not entirely free from venial faults, or have not fully paid the satisfaction due to their transgressions. ”

Depending on one’s sins, one could spend hundreds, or even thousands of years, in Purgatory, unless some living person prays you out of there by obtaining from the Church something called a ‘Plenary Indulgence’.

A Catholic Rapture therefore stands in direct contradiction to the Vatican doctrine of Purgatory.

Christian Reconstructionism, which represents the majority of mainstrean theological thought, teaches that all Bible prophecy was fulfilled with the Destruction of the Temple in AD 70.

It teaches that Jesus will not return again until the Second Coming and His Second Coming will not occur until Christianity becomes the world’s dominant religion and the world itself is prepared by the Church to accept Him when He comes.

So, we return to the central question. Since they represent the majority of the professing Church, and are as studied, as certain and as sincere as you and I are, is it possible that maybe they are right, as well?

After all, each of us claims to serve the same Jesus and each of us uses the same Bible to gain our understanding of both Jesus and our faith. But we reach entirely different conclusions from our studies.

And things that are different are not the same.

When applied to a sinner seeking forgiveness for his sins and trusting in Jesus for salvation, sincerity is an essential element.

One cannot fool God. But sincerity is no substitute for scholarship, and one can be sincere and be sincerely wrong.

The doctrine of the Rapture, when expressed out loud and described to an unbeliever, sounds almost like a science-fiction story or a religious fable. Especially when one is articulating it to a skeptic.

Until one compares it to the more mainstream interpretations. They share a common denominator that, to a discerning Christian, leaves no doubt as to which view is in error.

Note that Catholics must finish paying for their sins in Purgatory before they can enter heaven. And whether or not they enter at all depends on their state of grace at the time of their death.

Whether or not they make it to Purgatory depends on their own works, and when they get out is conditional on their making their own payment for sin.

Note that Reconstructionism demands that man purify himself by his actions and conduct, thereby influencing the world for good until eventually, all men turn to Christ, at which time, the Lord will return.

In other words, Jesus can’t come back to the world until we human beings make it a fit place for Him to set Foot on. It is therefore not up to Him, but up to us.

Both views subtly deny His Deity, while elevating man to the place where he plays a role in his own salvation.

In this view, the forgiveness of Christ is not all-sufficient and His power is limited and conditional upon human behavior.

Jesus cannot keep you after salvation unless you are somehow able to keep from sinning from there on in. If you sin hard enough, you will sin yourself out of His Hands, in spite of His promise;

“And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My Hand. My Father, which gave them Me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of My Father’s Hand.” (John 10:28-29)

Man cannot help but want to play a role in his own salvation. It is a matter of pride. The very first time it rears its head in human history is in the Garden of Eden.

Compare the First Lie with the doctrine of conditional salvation:

“And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:5)

Starting back to front, is it possible for a fallible human being to know good from evil? We can know right from wrong, but good and evil are not actions, they are outcomes, and only God knows outcomes.

One can give a bum on the street some money for food. That is a good thing.

The bum spends the money on crack cocaine, and then kills an innocent person while under the influence. That’s an evil thing.

Both events sprang from your gift of money. Was giving the bum the money a good thing, or an evil thing? Right and wrong are obvious. Good and evil are the provinces of God.

But according to Reconstructionism, the world is too evil a place for the Lord to return to, and it is the role to the Church to make it ‘good’.

The next lie, in reverse order, is that ‘we shall be as gods’. James writes that, “There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy . . .” (James 4:12) Salvation is the sole province of God.

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8)

Note there are two elements to this verse, ‘grace’ and ‘faith’. One of them is a ‘gift of God’. Which? Is it ‘grace’? Only if one redefines an action to become a thing. ‘Grace’ means ‘a gift’.

One cannot give grace AS a gift. It is not a thing, it is the extension OF a thing. Which brings us to the second element, the element of ‘faith’.

FAITH is the gift of God, not grace, which is the extension of the gift itself. That means that even that saving faith is not of ourselves, but is God’s gift to us.

Our role as an active participant in our salvation is therefore excluded. We are not ‘as gods’ — no matter how sincerely we want to believe otherwise.

The third lie, in reverse order, is that by straying away from the Word of God, ‘our eyes will be opened’ to truths that would have otherwise escaped us.

Note that when the serpent asked Eve to repeat God’s prohibition, she replied, “of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.” (Genesis 3:3)

God never told her not to ‘touch it’ — she added that part, which provided the serpent with all the leeway he needed to cast doubt on her understanding of the rest.

“And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired TO MAKE ONE WISE, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat . . ” (Genesis 3:6)

Returning to the original question, is it possible that our understanding of eternal security is wrong and that the mainstream was right all along?

That there is no Rapture, that Bible prophecy was all fulfilled already, and that we are simply seeking some mythical “Great Escape?”

After all, they argue, why should one generation, out of all those who came before, be chosen as the generation that will never die? It is a compelling argument. Viewed that way, it doesn’t really seem fair. Who do we think we are?

The Rapture is as unearned and undeserved as our salvation, which we obtained through God’s extension of grace whereby He gifted us with saving faith. That saving faith is in the unearned remission of our sins which was obtained on our behalf on Calvary’s Cross.

We’ve explored the Scriptures that clearly promise a coming Rapture, and examined all the various views at one point or another. A pretribulation Rapture of the Church is in harmony with the Scriptures for the last days. Fairness, insofar as mankind views fairness, is irrelevant.

‘Fairness’ as we understand fairness, would be when each of us pays our own way. But all of us are saved on the understanding that Jesus was condemned ‘unfairly’ for sin and His payment was therefore acceptable payment for our own sins.

Faith in Christ means faith in Christ, not in men, or in our own actions, or in what we believe sounds fair.

“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in Me. 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 14:1-3)

Compounded Tragedy

Compounded Tragedy
Vol: 76 Issue: 26 Saturday, January 26, 2008

First, let’s get the disclaimer out of the way. I am terribly sorry to hear that actor Heath Ledger died at the tender age of 28.

The only thing that might mitigate my sorrow would be a revelation that at some point in his life, Heath Ledger had trusted his eternity to Jesus Christ.

In that case, what is a tragedy from our perspective would be a splendid blessing — from the perspective of young Heath Ledger. If Ledger put his faith in Christ, then his race is run.

No more tears, no more pain, no more sleepless nights, no fear. No more death, no more aging, (no more taxes. . .) — only peace, and joy and fellowship with the Lord. It sounds wonderful.

If his eternity was hid in Christ, then Heath Ledger went to sleep on this side of life and woke up to unspeakable joy in the presence of God and His angels. I am still sorry to hear of his untimely death, but I am not sorry for Heath Ledger. I am sorry for his parents, for his friends and for his daughter who will grow up without a father.

But if Ledger, the picture of health and vitality, possessed of youth, riches, good looks and an impossibly bright future, convinced himself that he had plenty of time left and put off that decision, then my sorrow is mostly for Heath Ledger.

If that is the case, he closed his eyes on this side of eternity and awoke to unimaginable horror on the other side.

According to the Word of the Lord, the poor man is now suffering the torments of the damned, tortured, nameless and alone with his memories of his own opportunities and in fear for his loved ones, that they may also end up in hell.

The Bible teaches us that hell was once divided between a place of torment for the damned and a place of comfort for the righteous dead. In Luke Chapter 16, the Lord tells the story of Lazarus and the rich man.

According to Jesus, there was a ‘gulf’ or chasm separating hell from Paradise, where Abraham, Lazarus and the OT saints awaited their redemption.

We learn from that story of the rich man’s torments, and are told he is conscious, ‘tortured by this flame’ and asked Abraham to send Lazarus to warn his father and brothers of what awaits them.

Jesus did not tell the story as a parable; He didn’t say, “Learn the parable of the rich man” — He said, “there WAS a CERTAIN rich man.” He was speaking from Divine Knowledge of a specific rich man and a specific beggar named Lazarus.

The rich man is not addressed by name because his name is irrelevant. He will hear it but once more — when he is summoned before the Great White Throne to be judged and condemned. Then he will have no need of it again — for eternity! This, Revelation 20:14 assures is, is the ‘second death’.

Lazarus has a name, the rich man doesn’t. Lazarus lives on, will interact with others, his family, his friends, the rest of Heaven’s citizens — he’ll need his name. The rich man will spend eternity in a kind of waking death — nobody will ever call his name again.

Heath Ledger is at this moment awake and conscious in one of these two places. I’d pray that he is in heaven, but at this point, the only prayer that counts is the one in which Heath Ledger either cried out, “Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner,” or he did not.

And if he didn’t pray that prayer sometime before Tuesday, January 21, 2008, then he is forever beyond the reach of anybody’s prayers now.


You may be thinking, “Good heavens, Jack, that’s harsh!” I agree. It is very harsh — so harsh that most Christians would rather talk around it than address it head-on.

It seems incredibly insensitive, as well. For all I know, some member of the Ledger family might read today’s OL, and if so, I would feel terrible. It isn’t very comforting — assuming Ledger followed the path of the rich man.

But it is what it is. God is either real or He is not. He either sent His Own Son into the world to convict the world of its sin and to secure a Pardon for sin for ‘whosoever will’, or He did not.

If He did, then Ledger’s eternity was decided, not by God, but by Heath Ledger. God did everything possible to prevent it — except make the choice for him. Each of us must make that choice for ourselves.

“I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.” (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Heath Ledger was found face-down, dead in an apartment that reportedly rented for $24,000.00 per month. Having that kind of money didn’t save him.

He was, by all accounts, in perfect health and, at age 28, no doubt expected to live a long, successful and productive life. But being young, vibrant and healthy didn’t save him.

Jesus DID tell a parable about another rich man. It was a parable, because He identified it as a parable:

“And He spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.” (Luke 12:17-19)

That is pretty much a description of us all. 401ks, IRAs, Social Security — we’re all worried about our retirement. We’ve all got plans for what we will do when we can finally rest from our labors.

“But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?” (Luke 12:20)

It is heartbreaking when a loved one dies young. It is a tragedy of incomprehensible proportions when there is no hope of resurrection.

(I don’t know what Heath Ledger’s spiritual condition was — but his role in “Brokeback Mountain” doesn’t exactly fill me with optimism.)

So what’s the point here? Heath Ledger’s untimely and unexpected death is an object lesson for us all. Everybody you meet in the course of a day is as close to eternity as Heath Ledger was — the day before he died.

He had no plans to die. As recently as two months ago, Ledger gave an interview in which he said, “I don’t plan to die young.”

There’s an old saying that goes like this: “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.”

I didn’t know Heath Ledger. But somebody did. Somewhere out there, there is a Christian grieving a double measure of grief — they remember when they had the opportunity to share the Gospel and they remember that they thought, like Heath Ledger, that there was still “plenty of time”.

“When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.” (Ezekiel 3:18)

If prayers in the Heath Ledger story are appropriate, (other than a prayer that I am wrong and Heath was indeed saved — God knows, I don’t) it is for that now-suffering Christian, whoever it might be, that failed to give him warning.

And for ourselves, that we don’t fail in our own mission.

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

And may our God strengthen and encourage us as we continue in our service to the Kingdom — and may we all be found faithful to our calling — until He Comes. Amen.

Not That It Matters . . .

Not That It Matters . . .
Vol: 76 Issue: 25 Friday, January 25, 2008

Up until 2003, the general consensus among Western intelligence agencies was that Saddam surrounded himself with ‘yes-men’ who told him what he wanted to hear and misled him into believing he had stockpiles of non-existent weapons.

On October 7, 2004 your Omega Letter told you that: “they got the situation exactly backwards. It was Saddam who kept his generals in the dark. Saddam was actually micro-managing Iraq’s weapons policies and kept even his most loyal aides from gaining a clear picture of what was going on and, more important, not going on with the program. . .”

“Saddam was convinced that the UN sanctions – which stopped him acquiring weapons – were on the brink of collapse and he bankrolled several foreign activists who were campaigning for their abolition.

He personally approved every [Oil-For-Food voucher]. Saddam focussed on Russia, France and China – three of the five UN Security Council members with the power to veto war. Politicians, journalists and diplomats were all given lavish gifts and oil-for-food vouchers. . . .

Russia, France and China — all permanent members of the U.N. Security Council — were the top three countries in which individuals, companies or entities received the lucrative vouchers. “

What I want you to pay attention to, almost as much as the content, is the publication date — October 7, 2004. The information itself came from the Iraq Survey Group, headed by Charles Duelfer, who reported the ISG’s findings to the Congress.

Why is that important? Because for the past four years, the politicians, media pundits, political activists and bloggers on the Left have built their worldview around the mantra, “Bush Lied, People Died.”

In the process, they’ve managed to convince a lion’s share of the American public, and the majority of the global public, that the President of the United States knew in advance of the March 2003 invasion of Iraq that Saddam did NOT have WMD and invaded anyway to seize control of Iraqi oil.

This week, CBS “60 Minutes” — perhaps recognizing that it can do the Bush administration no more damage — let the cat of the bag officially, so to speak, running an interview with George Piro, the FBI interrogator who spent nearly seven months questioning Saddam Hussein after his capture.

Piro gained Saddam’s confidence by convincing him he was a high-ranking official of the Bush administration who answered directly to President Bush. Piro became Saddam’s new best friend by ‘smuggling’ him treats like writing materials, snacks and extra toiletries.

That, and the fact that Piro is of Arab descent and spoke perfect Arabic, eventually convinced Saddam to open up to his interrogator.

Saddam told Piro that he was running a bluff because he was certain the US would not invade. Saddam expected something more along the lines of the 1998 four-day aerial attack dubbed “Operation Desert Fox”.

Piro told 60 Minutes’ Scott Pelley, “He survived that one and he was willing to accept that type of attack.”

According to Piro, Saddam wanted Iran to believe he had nuclear weapons because he feared an Iranian attack. If he admitted to the West that he didn’t, the US and its allies might stand down, but he was convinced that Iran would seize the moment and launch their own invasion.

Evidently, Saddam was less worried about his chances with the Americans than he was with the Iranians. Saddam fooled Western intelligence because he convinced even his top generals that Iraq had both a stockpile of WMD and an ongoing nuclear program.

Saddam knew that Western intelligence had compromised his military high command and that they were feeding the West information, so he constructed this elaborate ruse to maintain the fiction.

Saddam still wouldn’t admit he had no weapons of mass destruction, even when it was obvious there would be military action against him because of the perception he did. Because, says Piro, “For him, it was critical that he was seen as still the strong, defiant Saddam. He thought that [faking having the weapons] would prevent the Iranians from reinvading Iraq,” he tells Pelley.


I told you earlier to pay attention to that particular OL’s publication date — not to pat myself on the back — the Duelfer Report wasn’t exactly a secret — but to make the following point.

For almost four years, the Left has been constructing an edifice upon which to run this November — “Bush Lied, People Died.” I’ve amused myself during the Democratic presidential debates by listening to the various candidates compete for the title of “Most Anti-American”.

(John Edwards) “I was against the war from the beginning.” (Barak Obama) “Oh, yeah? I’ve been against the war since BEFORE the beginning.”

But my favorite is Hillary Clinton’s slogan, “It’s time we had a leader in the Oval Office that will tell the truth to the American people.”

In 2003, it was at least possible to argue that Bush knew something nobody else did — because nobody actually knew anything to the contrary. The ISG’s Duelfer Report plugged that loophole in 2004.

The effort to paint President Bush as a war-mongering liar, a global thief intent on swiping oil from a defeated Iraq, and a loose cannon on the deck of Good Ship America by America’s own elected officials, was a carefully crafted, deliberate lie — a transparent one, but a lie, nonetheless.

I knew (and therefore, so did you) that it was a lie in 2004 — while the Democrats were still calling the Bush coalition “a coalition of the bribed, coerced and extorted.”

And if I knew, then you can bet your bottom dollar that the Democrats knew it, too. (I don’t get regular briefings from the Senate Intelligence Committee — they do)

Still, this is how Jay Rockefeller, [D-W. Va] and co-chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee characterized it in 2004:

“Despite the efforts to focus on Saddam’s desires and intentions, the bottom line is Iraq did not have either weapon stockpiles or active production capabilities at the time of the war. In short, we invaded a country, thousands of people have died, and Iraq never posed a grave or growing danger.”

Rockefeller knew the truth in 2004. And it IS the truth. Saddam had little reason to lie to Piro, particularly since maintaining the lie would hurt his arch-enemy George Bush, and that admitting the truth would vindicate Bush’s invasion of his country.

Duelfer told the Senate Intelligence Committee in 2004: “The Iranian threat was very, very, palpable to him [Saddam], and he didn’t want to be second to Iran, and he felt he had to deter them. So he wanted to create the impression that he had more than he did.”

That is exactly what Saddam told Piro.

It is impossible to claim ignorance. At best, it was what the Apostle Peter termed “willfully ignorant” — or what Paul described as a “strong delusion, that they should believe a lie” — and for the same reason — because they “believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (2nd Thessalonians 2:11-12)

Or, more accurately for this particular instance, because they rejected the truth because there was greater political advantage in lying. It didn’t — and doesn’t — make any difference to them that maintaining the lie has done more damage to America’s international image than Watergate, Whitewatergate, Monicagate and the Clinton impeachment trial combined.

In the various ‘gates’ the allegations concerned the actions of corrupt individuals — the “Bush Lied, People Died’ allegation is an indictment against the entire sitting US government.

If the Left is correct, then the entire Congress and Senate are corrupt for authorizing the war. The entire Pentagon leadership is corrupt for prosecuting it.

And our brave military forces are merely pawns in a deadly game of political chess.

It is worth noting that in 2004, John Kerry got Osama bin-Laden’s endorsement, and the 2006 Democratic takeover of both Houses of Congress earned America a second Osama Seal of Approval. It would have been worth noting — had anybody noted it.

But by 2006, Osama bin-Laden had more credibility left than did the President of the United States of America. The truth is out there — not that it matters. The damage is done.

“Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof. . .” (And currently leading in the national polls.)

Perilous times indeed!

Understanding the Times of the Signs

Understanding the Times of the Signs
Vol: 76 Issue: 24 Thursday, January 24, 2008

From time to time, it is good to take a step back from all the minutiae and historical details and current events relative to Bible prophecy, and reconsider the awesomeness of Big Picture overall.

For two millennia, the faithful have kept watch, looking hopefully for signs that indicated that they might be among the generation whose time would see the coming of the Lord.

For the generation actually living in the times of the signs, there are so many signs to juggle that they almost become routine. There is yet another old saying to the effect that “familiarity breeds contempt.”

“Contempt” is too strong a word to apply here, except in the sense that when the miraculous becomes commonplace, it becomes somewhat less awe-inspiring, somehow.

We are living eyewitnesses to events for which the ancient prophets had no words, but somehow managed to describe in symbols decipherable only to one generation, somewhere in time.

The prophet Daniel was so confused by what he had witnessed, and so unsure of how to describe it adequately, that he actually complained to God’s Messenger about it:

“And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?”

Just try and see it from Daniel’s perspective. He had just absorbed a vision of Israel’s future, divided into seventy weeks of years.

God revealed to Daniel the rise and fall of four successive world empires; Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. Much of Daniel’s vision would have been somewhat familiar; the mechanics of government and technology of war didn’t change that much from the 5th century BC to the 1st century AD.

But Daniel’s vision took a hard right turn following the ‘cutting off of the Messiah’ (Daniel 9:26) and jumped from the middle of the 1st century to somewhere in the 21st century.

Daniel was transported from the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus in 70 AD to the confirmation of the seven year treaty by the antichrist and the start of the Tribulation Period — Daniel’s 70th Week.

Daniel had seen things that staggered him so much he didn’t know where to begin.

Consider the angel’s reply carefully:

“And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.” (Daniel 12:8-9)

There is a principle in Scripture that dictates that God does not repeat Himself unnecessarily. If God tells you something twice, it’s because it is so important that He really, really wants you to get it.

That is the case here. Earlier, Daniel had voiced a similar complaint, and the angel had already told him:

“But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end,” but in more detail, adding that, ‘in the time of the end’, “many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” (Daniel 12:4)

As I said, this is something important enough for God to tell us twice. The events that so perplexed the prophets, even Daniel, who was so in tune with the Mind of God that he could divine dreams, would remain a mystery to every generation except the one that would see its fulfillment.

Every generation since Christ has watched for the signs of the times pointing to His return.

The Church at Thessalonika, for example, was so convinced that the Lord had come and they’d been left behind that Paul wrote his 2nd Epistle to the Thessalonians specifically to reassure them. (2nd Thessalonians 2:1)

But the angel told Daniel that the Signs of the Times would only be understandable during the Times of the Signs.


There is a world of difference between ‘knowledge’ and ‘wisdom’. One can have great wisdom without much knowledge. Some of the wisest men I ever knew had little or no education.

And it is equally true that one can have a tremendous amount of knowledge and be utterly devoid of wisdom. The bookstores (and universities) are crammed with examples of Ph.D’s who have dedicated their careers to proving that proposition.

Wisdom and knowledge are but two components of understanding and in context, it was ‘understanding’ that Daniel was seeking from the revealing angel. Indeed, the angel went on to say;

“Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.” (Daniel 12:10)

The Proverbs of Solomon explain ‘understanding’ as an equation that could be expressed this way: “wisdom plus knowledge equals understanding.”

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” (Proverbs 9:10)

That is the whole purpose of the Proverbs; “To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding.” (Proverbs 1:2)

Daniel had wisdom, but the kaleidoscope of images from our time imparted no useful knowledge, so he therefore had no understanding of what he had just witnessed.

As I said, sometimes it is good to step back and take in the Big Picture in order to fully understand where waiting for signs of the times ended and living in the signs of the times begins.

It began when, for the first time since the times of Daniel, there is, in this generation, a political and national entity called “Israel” composed of Daniel’s people and living in Daniel’s city. (Daniel 9:24)

From the day that Israel was reborn (shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children. (Isaiah 66:8) on 14 May 1948, the countdown clock began ticking down.

One needn’t turn to Matthew 24’s ‘fig tree’ analogy to make that point. The point makes itself. Virtually every major component of Bible Prophecy’s Big Picture traces its genesis to the same point in modern history.

The same 1948 restoration of Israel is also the seminal event responsible for the current war on Islamic terrorism.

Daniel’s antichrist is a prince of the people who destroyed Jerusalem and burned the Temple. (Daniel 9:27).

Those ‘people’ were the legions of the Roman Empire. In 1948, the modern version of the Roman Empire, the EU, was born out of the Benelux Treaty.

The current East/West geopolitical alignment in the Middle East is a direct result of the US/Soviet Cold War which officially kicked off with the 1948 Berlin Airlift.

The first Constitution for a global government, the Universal Declaration of Rights and Freedoms was ratified by the UN Member States in 1948.

The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) Treaty establishing global economic policy rules (and ultimately evolving into the World Trade Organization) was signed and ratified by the UN in 1948.

The World Council of Churches was established under UN auspices in Amsterdam in August, 1948.

China and Taiwan were divided by the 1947-1948 Communist takeover of the mainland, giving birth to the inscrutable People’s Republic of China.

Muslim Pakistan broke from newly independent India in 1948, creating the Islamic republic that ultimately gave the world the first Islamic Bomb, the Taliban and Osama bin Laden.

All that is history, and therefore, common knowledge. But devoid of ‘wisdom’ (i.e., that it is evidence of the soon fulfillment God’s Plan for the Ages) the world can’t understand the Big Picture for what it is.

What they see instead is chaos and terror and war and upheaval and, more than anything, fear. That’s why so many people mutter “I don’t know what this world is coming to,” but flee the moment you start to tell them.

It is discouraging to wear the label of ‘prophecy nut’.

(But Noah preached for 120 years without a convert — now that is discouraging.)

So I think it is good to step back once in a while and drink in the awesomeness of the events to which we are now almost daily witnesses.

Our individual setbacks pale in comparison to the awesomeness of witnessing of the Hand of God directly interacting in our world to fulfill His Word in our generation.

If that isn’t encouraging, I don’t know what is.

Paul tells us of a special crown, the ‘crown of righteousness’ that is reserved in heaven, “not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing.” (2nd Timothy 4:8)

Titus 2:13 says that, believers with understanding aren’t quaking in fear “at looking at the things that are coming upon the earth,” but that, instead, they are;

“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” (Titus 2:13)

Looking at the signs of the times is terrifying. Understanding the times of the signs means a ‘crown of righteousness’ and represents our ‘blessed hope’– the soon Rapture of the Church.

Still, is natural to feel a sense of fear. After all, we all want to go to heaven, but none of us is eager to hasten the process by dying. Being afraid once in a while is not evidence of a lack of faith.

Paul explains that we are dual-natured creatures, part carnal and part spiritual, so it is not disloyal (or schizophrenic) to be afraid with the natural part and overjoyed at its spiritual implications.

That is what ‘understanding’ is all about.

“That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” (1st Peter 1:7)

Maranatha! (“the Lord cometh”)


We’ve been watching the mail logs, and in a number of cases, (especially Yahoo) delivery is being delayed after arriving at the ISP, sometimes by several hours from the time we are sending it out.

If you are still having delivery problems, please email Frank at the ‘contact us’ page on the website and let us know.

Special Member’s Report: The “New” OL

Special Member’s Report: The “New” OL
Vol: 76 Issue: 23 Wednesday, January 23, 2008

So far, the Omega Letter’s transition process is proceeding with considerably fewer hiccups than we had anticipated. Most of the email bugs have been nailed down, and by now, everybody should once again be receiving their Omega Letter by email each morning.

Frank had to literally track down and stomp on each bug individually, a process that was nothing short of heroic in terms of time and effort.

First, he had to contact every single ISP used by our membership and individually request the Omega Letter be ‘white-listed’ — that is to say, pre-approved for delivery by virtue of the fact it was specifically requested by the ISP in question’s customer.

It is a pretty long list; there were a lot of ISP’s who began blocking the OL as soon as it’s originating IP address changed.

But I think that all of those contacted have since responded and the number of OL members writing to ask, “Where’s my OL?” has dropped from the multiple dozens to just a handful.

(And Frank is working on those.)

Here’s what’s coming up next.

As soon as Frank gets the current website completely stabilized and finishes setting up a temporary member’s chat program for the Thursday night OL chats, we will begin a top-to-bottom redesign of your OL.

Our first step will be to set up something along the lines of a ‘steering committee’.

This committee is open to all members of the OL fellowship and is for the purpose of ensuring the new OL remains your OL and that its redesign addresses the concerns and desires of the fellowship.

There are two ways that you can get involved. The first will be to simply post suggestions, ideas and input about what you’d like to see included in the new OL in the forum set aside for that purpose.

There, we can kick ideas around together and figure out what works and what doesn’t — before it becomes part of the new OL.

The second way you can help will be to sign up as a beta tester.

Beta testers will have access to the development website. Their job will be to test various elements of the new OL during development and provide us live feedback during the development process.

The new OL will be just that — completely new. It will have a new look, a new interface, new features, and several new sections.

Some of the planned changes will be quite radical. One plan under discussion involves creating a three-tiered membership that will open up some of the current member’s features to non-subscribers, such as the briefing archives and daily OL email briefing.

To pay for it, we’ll embed commercial advertising in the non-subscribers’ pages and emailed OL briefing. The ads will be carefully screened before going live.

We are also going to create an ‘open forum’ of sorts. It will be unmoderated, unrestricted, and open to anybody — atheists, God-haters, preterists, Dominionists, Muslims . . . whoever wants to comment.

As such, it will be something of a ‘free fire zone’ — members enter at your own risk. We’ll keep it separate from the main OL site.

The plan is rooted in the hope that, among those who come to scoff, a few may stay to pray.

Logged-in subscribers won’t see the ads — and our current member’s forums will remain restricted to logged-in subscribers.

Unless you choose to enter into the free-fire zone, you won’t even know there is a non-member’s section.

The second-tier membership of logged-in subscribers will have the same access and same features they have now, plus additional features that we plan to introduce in the new redesign.

The third tier of membership will be the OL Insider Section. The Insider will feature my new weblog, or blog, where we will experiment with new technologies (well, new to us, anyway).

Under consideration are such things as live audio/video chat, something of a running diary of the day’s events, and a daily links page where I will post links to the various background sources for that day’s OL briefing.

The redesign is necessary for two reasons. The first is because it is well past time.

The Omega Letter went live back in 2001, and since then, we’ve had only one major facelift, and that was several years back.

Since then, website technology has advanced by leaps and bounds, and you deserve to benefit from those advancements.

The second reason is because we can’t afford not to. The OL has operated on a shoe-string budget since its inception.

For six years, it has operated with a staff of two — a webmaster and me. Over the years, we’ve had plenty of volunteer help, without which I doubt we’d have ever made it this far.

But volunteers, understandably have other priorities — and Murphy’s Law dictates that those other priorities always tend to rise to the top at exactly the wrong time.

The OL barely pays expenses and for a webmaster, but we need more help, both editorial and technical, if we are to survive and grow.

As it stands, both Frank and I have to work full-time jobs in addition to our OL duties in order to keep our heads above water — and I have to subsidize expenses where necessary out of my full-time job with Hal Lindsey Ministries.

By adding an advertising-supported section and a third membership tier, we hope to expand both our coverage and our income streaming enough to make the OL viable.

The Zzzzzzz Factor

There is another reason we need to expand and share the load — one that we’ll call the ‘Zzzzz Factor.’ I don’t want to sound whiny, but I suffer from narcolepsy. I’ve mentioned it before — but only when it was relevant and necessary.

A lot of folks don’t know what that is — I confess that I don’t know that much about it, despite the fact that it’s been a daily part of my life since the first onset of symptoms back in 1985.

Since it is relevant to outlining the OL’s future plans, I want to bare my soul, so to speak, and explain a bit about what it is, using a fact sheet provided by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

The entire fact sheet can be found at this address.

I’ll try and give you an executive summary of the high points, however.

Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder that affects 1 in 2000 Americans.

It is a chronic neurological disorder caused by the brain’s inability to regulate sleep-wake cycles normally. At various times throughout the day, people with narcolepsy experience fleeting urges to sleep.

If the urge becomes overwhelming, patients fall asleep for periods lasting from a few seconds to several minutes.

Contrary to common beliefs, people with narcolepsy do not spend a substantially greater proportion of their time asleep during a 24-hour period than do normal sleepers. In addition to daytime drowsiness and involuntary sleep episodes, most patients also experience frequent awakenings during nighttime sleep.

For these reasons, narcolepsy is considered to be a disorder of the normal boundaries between the sleeping and waking states.

Patients describe the daytime sleeping syndrome (called micro-sleep), as a persistent sense of mental cloudiness, a lack of energy, a depressed mood, or extreme exhaustion.

Many find that they have great difficulty maintaining their concentration while at school or work. Some experience memory lapses. Many find it nearly impossible to stay alert in passive situations, as when listening to lectures or watching television.

Involuntary sleep episodes are sometimes very brief, lasting no more than seconds at a time. As many as 40 percent of all people with narcolepsy are prone to automatic behavior during such “microsleeps.”

They fall asleep for a few seconds while performing a task but continue carrying it through to completion without any apparent interruption.

During these episodes, people are usually engaged in habitual, essentially “second nature” activities such as taking notes in class, typing, or driving. They cannot recall their actions, and their performance is almost always impaired during a microsleep.

Their handwriting may, for example, degenerate into an illegible scrawl, or they may store items in bizarre locations and then forget where they placed them.

If an episode occurs while driving, patients may get lost or have an accident.

And speaking from personal experience, it can also happen in the midst of preaching a sermon — something that is more than a bit difficult to explain.

I’ve had to stop mid-sentence, sometimes for several minutes, sweat pouring off profusely, while desperately trying to regain my thoughts and wondering how long I just stood there.

In addition to EDS (Excessive Daytime Sleepiness) that causes these ‘microsleeps’ are three other symptoms. Only ten percent of narcoleptics ‘enjoy’ all four — I am ‘blessed’ to be in that ten percent category.

The other three are cataplexy, sleep paralysis and something called ‘hypnogogic hallucinations.’

‘Cataplexy’ is a sudden loss of muscle tone that leads to feelings of weakness and a loss of voluntary muscle control. Attacks can occur at any time during the waking period, with patients usually experiencing their first episodes several weeks or months after the onset of EDS.

But in about 10 percent of all cases, cataplexy is the first symptom to appear and can be misdiagnosed as a manifestation of a seizure disorder. Cataplectic attacks vary in duration and severity.

The loss of muscle tone can be barely perceptible, involving no more than a momentary sense of slight weakness in a limited number of muscles, such as mild drooping of the eyelids.

The most severe attacks (the ones I am prone to) result in a complete loss of tone in all voluntary muscles, leading to total physical collapse in which patients are unable to move, speak, or keep their eyes open.

But even during the most severe episodes, people remain fully conscious, a characteristic that distinguishes cataplexy from seizure disorders.

Although cataplexy can occur spontaneously, it is more often triggered by sudden, strong emotions such as fear, anger, stress, excitement, or humor.

The loss of muscle tone during a cataplectic episode resembles the interruption of muscle activity that naturally occurs during REM sleep. A group of neurons in the brainstem ceases activity during REM sleep, inhibiting muscle movement.

Sleep paralysis is he temporary inability to move or speak while falling asleep or waking up also parallels REM-induced inhibitions of voluntary muscle activity.

This natural inhibition usually goes unnoticed by people who experience normal sleep because it occurs only when they are fully asleep and entering the REM stage at the appropriate time in the sleep cycle. Experiencing sleep paralysis resembles undergoing a cataplectic attack affecting the entire body.

As with cataplexy, people remain fully conscious. Cataplexy and sleep paralysis are frightening events, especially when first experienced.

Shocked by suddenly being unable to move, many patients fear that they may be permanently paralyzed or even dying. (When I experienced my first cataplectic attack, I thought I was having a stroke.)

However, even when severe, cataplexy and sleep paralysis do not result in permanent dysfunction. After episodes end, people rapidly recover their full capacity to move and speak.

Hallucinations can accompany sleep paralysis or can occur in isolation when people are falling asleep or waking up.

Referred to as hypnagogic hallucinations when accompanying sleep onset and as hypnopompic hallucinations when occurring during awakening, these delusional experiences are unusually vivid and frequently frightening.

Most often, the content is primarily visual, but any of the other senses can be involved. These hallucinations represent another intrusion of an element of REM sleep-dreaming-into the wakeful state.

Symptoms usually first appear between the ages of 35-45. (Mine first appeared at thirty-three). Whatever the age of onset, patients find that the symptoms tend to get worse over the two to three decades after the first symptoms appear.

Many older patients find that some daytime symptoms decrease in severity after age 60.

(My first onset was twenty-two years ago. Until this year, they were more or less controlled by medication. Now the medication is insufficient.)

Nobody is exactly sure what causes narcolepsy, but there is evidence to suggest it is a genetic defect.

A number of variant forms (alleles) of genes located in a region of chromosome 6 known as the HLA complex have proved to be strongly, although not invariably, associated with narcolepsy.

The HLA complex comprises a large number of interrelated genes that regulate key aspects of immune-system function. The majority of people diagnosed with narcolepsy are known to have specific variants in certain HLA genes.

Many other genes besides those making up the HLA complex may contribute to the development of narcolepsy. Groups of neurons in several parts of the brainstem and the central brain, including the thalamus and hypothalamus, interact to control sleep.

Large numbers of genes on different chromosomes control these neurons’ activities, any of which could contribute to development of the disease.

Scientists studying narcolepsy in dogs have identified a mutation in a gene on chromosome 12 that appears to contribute to the disorder.

This mutated gene disrupts the processing of a special class of neurotransmitters called hypocretins (also known as orexins) that are produced by neurons located in the hypothalamus.

As best as I can understand it all, in a normal sleep cycle, the brain confines sleep paralysis, (cataplexy) and hallucinations (waking dreams, not seeing pink elephants on the highway) to the sleep cycle.

With narcolepsy, they escape the sleep center of the brain and manifest themselves while the body is awake. And since narcoleptic sleep is only slightly better than no sleep at all, one is in a state of chronic sleep deprivation.

The best analogy is to consider a time where, for whatever reason, you went several days without sleep. When one is really tired, it is hard to focus one’s thoughts.

When I’ve had an attack, it looks to me like there are little champagne bubbles popping in the air for the rest of the day. My skin gets sensitive to touch, my hair starts to hurt, and my body aches everywhere. I get a blinding headache.

But the worst is the inability to focus my thoughts. (My thought processes are the clearest first thing in the morning, which is the main reason I don’t usually write the OL the night before.)

An attack of cataplexy is brutal. It starts with a burning sensation in my left eye that radiates down to my sinus area. Then comes waves of nausea, a tingling sensation in my face, hyperventilation, and then my muscles collapse.

During the attack, I can’t move or speak, except to make sleep noises, but I am wide awake and totally aware.

It doesn’t happen all the time — for most of the past twenty years, the bad attacks have been infrequent — less than once every two months.

However, in the past year, they’ve increased in both frequency and intensity, right on schedule, according to the fact sheet. (But the same fact sheet also extends the hope that they will start to diminish within a few years.)

It is a bit unusual for me to bare my soul in public like this. And more than a little embarrassing.

I’m sharing this with you as my friends — and also because you deserve an explanation for why the OL has been publishing later in the day than usual recently.

The stresses of the transition have been enormous, and the attacks of late have been commensurately brutal. I’m tired, and it shows.

But narcolepsy isn’t life-threatening, or even particularly dangerous. It is effectively controlled by medication, and when it does get bad, it doesn’t last long, and there are often several months between attacks.

I’ve taken this to the Lord on a number of occasions, but the answer remains the same one Paul received in 2nd Corinthians 12:7-9 (and probably for the same reason):

“And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. “

“And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”

So we’ll keep on truckin’ for as long as He gives me the grace to do so. There’s nothing to worry about — the Lord is in charge of His ministry and His message.

“Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

Light enough for even a lame donkey.

So we’ll hang in there, keep on working for the Kingdom, and when bad stuff happens, we’ll draw our lesson from Paul’s example.

“Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2nd Corinthians 12:9b)

“Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in Thy sight.” (Matthew 11:26)

The Reprobate and an “Inconvenient Truth”

The Reprobate and an “Inconvenient Truth”
Vol: 76 Issue: 22 Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Reprobate and an “Inconvenient Truth”

“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient . . “

There is a popular saying among mature Christians that goes like this: “Be careful what you pray for. You might get it.”

Since the September 11 attacks, much of the world has been ‘praying’ for “Death to America”.

Sometimes they chant that prayer to the god of this world, sometimes they join others in that prayer at public demonstrations, and sometimes they just do it quietly, but there are few places left in this world where “Death to America!” isn’t an alternative form of greeting.

As a USAToday feature from a couple of years ago noted:

“A mother lode of goodwill fostered in the decades after the defeat of Nazi Germany has been reduced to dust in recent years. A growing number of foreigners see some of the United States’ political decisions (pulling out of the Kyoto Treaty on global emissions) and personal choices (Americans’ penchant for gas-loving SUVs) as at best unilateral and at worst selfish. The confrontation over Iraq is just more fuel on a bonfire.

From Spanish plazas to Parisian metros, American tourists are being quizzed, grilled and even spat on by people who do not approve of the Bush administration’s drive for a war against Saddam Hussein.

As a result, a declining number of Americans (54% today vs. 79% a year ago) believes that the USA enjoys a favorable image abroad, according to a recent Gallup poll. And a majority of Americans (64%) cite a fear of unfriendliness as the top concern of traveling abroad during wartime, according to a survey in the February issue of Conde Nast Traveler.”

A report in today’s “Times of London” says that Russia sent two of its long-range bombers to the Bay of Biscay off the French and Spanish Atlantic coasts to test-fire new missiles in what Moscow called its biggest ‘naval exercise’ since the Cold War.

Noted the Times; “Firing missiles off the coastline of two NATO members is the latest in a series of Kremlin moves flexing Moscow s military muscle on the world stage.”

Russian military leaders have, in recent weeks, begun talking about reserving the right to employ a nuclear ‘first strike’ option, should it feel threatened.

What nation poses a nuclear threat to Russia?

And while France may have elected “Sarkozy the American” to lead it, there are no shortage of willing participants whenever somebody needs to organize a “Death to America” pageant in the City of Lights.

The same can be said for jolly old England, our former allies in Spain . . . I was trying to think of a country in Europe that America could actually trust and the list is miserably short. Poland, maybe the Czech Republic and a few other former Soviet bloc survivors. . .

But, as was noted by an American expatriate in Europe in the USAToday piece; “The era of Americans as heroes is over.”


The world woke up this week to a preview of what “Death to America” might actually look like, should the chanters and the marchers and the leftist politicians and the Islamists and their allies got their way.

Global markets began to plummet as international investors began to worry about America’s ability to forestall what appears to be a looming bear market. (A bear market occurs when the Dow falls by 20% or more from its highest level).

This morning, Dow Jones industrial average futures were down 436 points, or 3.6 percent, at 11,670, while Standard & Poor’s 500 futures were down 57.1 points, or 4.3 percent, at 1,268.

The Federal Reserve has indicated it will lower interest rates further, and President Bush has proposed an economic stimulus package that includes $145 billion in tax cuts.

But global investors are doubtful that the stimulus package will do much to stem the hemorrhaging.

Investors are losing confidence in the US economy — not surprising, given the marches, demonstrations, terrorist attacks and political machinations aimed at ending what Jacques Chirac famously called “a unipolar world” in which America is the lone surviving superpower.

But the only way to bring about “Death to America” is to bring America down economically, first — something the global financial community might declare an ‘inconvenient truth.’

The September 11 attacks weren’t aimed at America’s military destruction — they were aimed at its economy. The undeclared war between America and the Iran-Syria-Venezuela alliance is largely economic.

Hugo Chavez will only accept euros in payment for Venezuela’s oil exports, Ahmadinejad will trade oil only for euros or yen. Since 2001, the euro has doubled in value, while the US has been steadily falling against virtually every major world currency.

The “Death to America” crowd was overjoyed — until it began to realize it was the principle victim of its own success.

The British, who all but tarred and feathered Tony Blair for his support of the US war effort, watched 5.5% of its net worth evaporate overnight.

France’s market lost 6.8%, Germany’s wealth was reduced by 7.2%, and Japan’s Nikei, which suffered its worst two-day drop in 17 years, is forecast to fall by ten to fifteen percent over the next few weeks.

China’s ’emerging’ economy is submerging as well, off by almost six percent over the past few days.

“Death to America” sounds good, but it won’t pay the bills. America’s enemies are beginning to realize that if they win, they lose.

It is interesting, given that the battle cry of the “Death to America” crowd began as “no blood for oil” five years ago, (when oil was $18 a barrel).

Five years later, with oil passing $100 a barrel, the world has begun to re-evaluate its position, and is realizing too late that they are waging war against the goose that lays the golden eggs.

As the Apostle Paul noted, “Even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things that are not convenient.”

The dictionary defines ‘reprobate’ as “a person without moral scruples” — and it is America’s religious scruples that are at the heart and soul of her global unpopularity. America is, to the Islamic world, emblematic of the Christian ‘Crusaders’.

America’s defense of Israel is primarily religious — Americans see Jews almost as co-religionists — and America’s support of Israel has wide domestic support primarily for religious reasons.

(And it is for those same reasons that Israel finds itself the world’s only true pariah nation.)

But Paul says that the mind without moral scruples is prone to do that which is not ‘convenient’ — for religious reasons (refusing to retain God in their knowledge) because the white-hot hatred of all things Godly is so ingrained in our spiritual DNA that we can’t help but bite off our own noses to spite our faces, as the saying goes.

The more America stumbles, the more it hurts the rest of the world, but the world just can’t help itself. So far, the last six years of unrelenting anti-Americanism has cost the industrialized world more than ten percent of its accumulated wealth, but they just can’t seem to help themselves.

Another definition of ‘reprobate’ is: “one with a perverted sense of loyalty.” The world is loyal to its ideals of the supremacy of man, and remains united in its effort to eliminate American Christianity, even if that effort brings about its own financial destruction in the process.

A ‘reprobate mind doing things that are not convenient’ — it’s hard to come up with a more perfect summary than that.

“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)

“I Know Whom I Have Believed”

“I Know Whom I Have Believed”
Vol: 76 Issue: 21 Monday, January 21, 2008

According to the Books of Kings, Queen Jezebel was the daughter of a pagan king who led Israel into idolatry.

Jezebel was the wife of King Ahab, who was the first to be corrupted into practicing witchcraft and Baal worship. As Queen, she persecuted God’s prophets to the degree that they were forced to hide in caves.

An ancient seal that surfaced in Israel more than four decades ago belonged to the biblical Queen Jezebel, according to a new study released last year by a Dutch university.

The seal, which some scholars date to the ninth century BCE, was first discovered in 1964 by the Israeli archeologist Nahman Avigad, with the name “Yzbl” inscribed in ancient Hebrew, Utrecht University said.

The seal, which was donated to the Israel Department of Antiquities in the early 1960s by the private Voss-Hahn collection, not only bears symbols that indicate a female owner but also “well-worked” symbols that designate that owner as royalty, Korpel said.

After slaughtering God’s prophets, she was confronted by the prophet Elijah who charged her with abominations.

The Bible says she was eventually thrown to her death from a window, and her corpse was eaten by dogs.

Another team of archeologists from Netherlands and Israel, Drs. Bruins, van der Plicht, and Mazar, examined the ancient site of Tel Rehov near the excavated city of Beit Shean.

Radiocarbon dating connected Rehov to the conquest of the city by Shishak, (Pharoah Shoshenq I) between 940-900 BC.

The Bible says that King Shishak invaded Israel in the fifth year of the reign of Solomon’s son, Rehoboam.

The Biblical timeframe would place Solomon’s death at 930 B.C., putting Shishak’s invasion at 925 B.C., exactly within the range of radiocarbon dates (940-900 B.C.) for the destruction of Tel Rehov.

Previous studies had set the destruction of Rehov much later, which would have suggested the Bible’s timeline was wrong.

Turns out the Bible was right, after all.

The same for the ancient kingdom of Edom. Previous excavations suggested the dating of the kingdom of Edom was off by more than 200 years from the Bible’s timeline.

Until Canadian archeologist Russell Adams, along with Thomas Levy of the University of California at San Diego and Mohammad Najjar of the Jordanian Department of Antiquities recently discovered a monumental tenth century B.C. fortress at a site called Khirbat en-Nahas.

The new finds establish the existence of the Edomite kingdom at the time King David and his son Solomon ruled over Israel.

The Bible wins again.

Bible skeptics claim that much of the Old Testament’s historical accounts of the ancient Hebrew kingdoms contained in Samuel, Kings and Chronicles is largely fiction.

Those who don’t deny outright that there was ever a King David or a King Solomon claim that, at best they were just minor players.

They say that those accounts can’t be accurate because the Hebrews had no written language in the time of David and Solomon.

Until archeologists discovered an inscribed stone embedded into the wall of an extensive collection of buildings in Tel Zayit, about 35 miles southwest of Jerusalem.

The 40-pound stone consisted of two lines of incised letters, representing the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet.

The stone, dating to the 10th century BC, establishes beyond doubt that a written Hebrew language was already well established at the time the Hebrews were recording the written histories of that time.

In another find, a family seal dating from the fifth century BC confirms the existence of an obscure Jewish family mentioned in the Book of Nehemiah.

A black stone seal with the inscription of the name, “Temech” was found outside the walls of the old city of Jerusalem near the Dung Gate, during a dig headed by archeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar.

The discovery of the Temech family seal confirms the existence of an obscure family mentioned in the Old Testament book of Nehemiah. Most previous archeological digs had only confirmed biblical figures who were well-known kings.

And the discovery of a cuneform tablet dating to 595 BC acknowledges the receipt of about 1.5 lbs of gold from one Nebo-sarsekim in payment to Nebuchadnezzar.

The tablet confirms Nebo-sarsekim as one of the Babylonian officials mentioned in Jeremiah 39:3.

The Exodus from Egypt has long been the skeptic’s favorite Bible story. The skeptics claim the Exodus story is impossible and the Bible dating of the destruction of Jericho was off by two hundred years or more.

But a study by Drs. Hendrik J. Bruins and Johannes van der Plicht and published in the British journal, Nature confirmed the early date of Jericho’s destruction.

Another study, using carbon dating and tree rings found evidence of a volcanic eruption on the Agean island of Thera, dating to 1628 BC, coinciding with the plagues inflicted on Egypt.

Exodus 10:21-22 says, Then the Lord said to Moses, Stretch out your hand toward the sky, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even a darkness which may be felt. So Moses stretched out his hand toward the sky, and there was thick darkness in all the land of Egypt for three days.”

What a ‘coincidence!”


Archeology has long been the skeptic’s ace-in-the-hole when making the claim that the Bible is filled with historical inaccuracies.

Of course, even a single, conclusively proved inaccuracy would completely destroy the central tenet of Judeo-Christianity — the infallibility of Scripture.

A lot of times, when we ask God for something, we tend to ‘hedge our bets’ so to speak, by giving God some kind of ‘out’ by appending their prayer with something like, “if it is Your will.”

God doesn’t need an ‘out’. If we make a request that is within God’s will, we can be certain of an answer.

“And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing according to His will, He heareth us: And if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him.” (1st John 5:14-15)

The Bible says it isn’t necessary to give God an ‘out’. Jesus told His disciples, “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32)

If the Bible is proved fallible historically, then how could we know the promises of these verses aren’t equally faulty?

Worse, what about the verse; “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My Hand.” ? (John 10:28)

If Jezebel didn’t persecute God’s prophets, if Jericho’s walls didn’t come ‘a-tumblin’ down’, if Moses didn’t call down plagues on Pharoah, if David wasn’t Israel’s greatest king, if Solomon is an historical invention, then the Bible isn’t true, God isn’t real, we came from nothing and we are going nowhere.

That’s why the skeptics are so eager to reach into the distant, unknowable past to find their arguments that the Bible is not relevant today.

The last sixty years have witnessed an explosion of archeological finds in the Holy Land, from the discovery of Beit Shean to the Dead Sea Scrolls to the ossuary of Caiaphas, the Chief Priest of the Sandhedrin who presided over the trial of Jesus Christ.

Every discovery made confirms the Biblical accounts. Those accounts that remain in dispute are not disputed because of archeological finds, but rather, by the lack of them.

Until 1965, it was presumed by “scholars” that Pontius Pilate was a fictional character because no evidence had been uncovered identifying him as Roman procurator in Judea at the time of Christ.

Until a plaque from King Herod dedicating the amphitheater at Ceasarea Phillip to Pontius Pilate was discovered there.

Skeptics keep finding new objections, but they are based in the absence of evidence, rather than evidence that conflicts with the Bible’s account.

Skeptics argue that King David was a Bible myth because nobody has yet uncovered an autographed picture of King David wearing a crown and sitting on his throne.

However, there is no evidence that anybody else occupied David’s throne in Davids’ time. The same applies to King Solomon (despite the existence of the Western Wall of Solomon’s First Temple in Jerusalem).

Whenever archeology DOES find evidence from the Old Testament period, it confirms the Old Testament accounts.

The reason? Because the Bible is true.

Jezebel did sit as Queen of Israel, the Egyptian plague of darkness took place as described, Nebuchadnezzar did conquer Israel, Jericho’s walls did come ‘a tumblin’ down.’

And little details about minor historical personages establish the events to which they were a party.

You can be certain that your Bible is true in every area where its accuracy can be measured. The only ‘unproved’ parts of the Bible are those for which there is no evidence either way.

There are NO disproved parts of the Bible.

That means you can count on its promises. You can be certain of the promise of eternal life. You can trust Jesus, and you can trust the Word of God.

The same Bible that contains such tiny details as the existence of Nebo-sarsekim and Temach also promises believers:

“If ye shall ask any thing in My Name, I will do it.” (John 14:14)

You can trust Him. He means it.

A Personal Note:

We had a wonderful time of fellowship yesterday at the Oakfield (NY) Independent Presbyterian church.

The services went very well, with one little blip during the evening service when my narcolepsy made a brief appearance.

(No, I didn’t start snoring mid-sentence, but I did shut down long enough to require Pastor Bill Smith to come up and rescue me. Fortunately, he did it so smoothly I don’t think anybody noticed.)

Anyway, the episode passed quickly, praise the Lord, and I recovered in time for the Q&A session, which ran almost for three hours beyond the start of the evening service.

This morning’s OL would have been a bit late anyway, as we didn’t get home until very late last night and the narcoleptic episode that began in the pulpit returned when we got home, disrupting my sleep all night.

And the OL is now even later due to the fact that my ISP went down sometime this morning.

(Fortunately, I was able to swipe some wireless internet from a neighbor long enough to send it out)

I’ve been having a lot of problems related to my sleep disorder affliction over the past several weeks, both in frequency and intensity.

Please pray with me that the Lord will bring things under control and bind the enemy’s attempts to cripple our ministry.

But don’t worry. If we’re getting the enemy’s attention, it means we must be doing our job.

“For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know Whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.” (2nd Timothy 1:12)

Marantha! (“The Lord cometh”)