The Obama Nation

The Obama Nation
Vol: 88 Issue: 20 Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The programmers at Home Box Office are seldom accused of moral sensitivity in their programming, but evidently, broadcasting the invocation from an openly gay bishop as part of the Obamanation celebration was too much even for them.

Josh Earnest, Presidential Inauguration Committee communications director, sent out an emailed apology to gays and whoever else might have been offended at not having the chance to hear “Rev” Robinson trash Scripture:

We had always intended and planned for Rt. Rev. Robinson s invocation to be included in the televised portion of yesterday s program. We regret the error in executing this plan but are gratified that hundreds of thousands of people who gathered on the mall heard his eloquent prayer for our nation that was a fitting start to our event.”

I anticipate this being the first of many, many apologies to come. When you are all things to all people, you are bound to disappoint many. About the only groups one can be relatively certain won’t be disappointed will be illegal aliens, Islamic militants, welfare recipients, and Bush-hating liberals.

In keeping with the theme of America’s transition into an Obamanation, Obama pal Oprah Winfrey featured two gay ‘ministers’ proclaiming that being gay is a gift from God.

Not to be outdone, Obama buddy Spike Lee told MSNBC that the market crash was ordained by God to get Barack Obama elected.

A liberal school teacher from the Left Coast published an op-ed piece in the Seattle Post Intelligencer calling for censorship now that America is an Obamanation.

“The time has arrived to update the literature we use in high school classrooms,” writes John Foley about Mark Twain’s classic novel, Huckleberry Finn. “Barack Obama is president-elect of the United States, and novels that use the ‘N-word’ repeatedly need to go.”

Maybe we could inaugurate the Obamanation by having a big book-burning party? We can burn books like Huckleberry Finn and replace them with books like ‘Heather has Two Mommies’.

The Obamanation will be consecrated, not just by a gay bishop, but also by the president of the Islamic Society of North America.

Ingrid Mattson, president of the Islamic Society of North America, is one of several religious leaders scheduled to speak at the inaugural prayer service Wednesday at Washington’s National Cathedral.

The Islamic Society of North America has ties to Islamic terror groups like the Holy Land Foundation and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Last July, federal prosecutors in Dallas filed court documents saying they had “a wide array of testimonial and documentary evidence expressly linking” the Islamic society to Hamas, which the U.S. classifies as a terrorist organization, as well as other radical groups.

During the Bush administration, that was not such a good thing. But in an Obamanation, those kinds of connections can get you a speaking role in a presidential religious service.

There were more than ten thousand articles in today’s Google news aggregator about the inauguration of The One. The whole world is watching the new American Obamanation.

The LA Times headlined “Tens of Thousands Head To Washington Mall To Witness History.”

The Beeb’s headline reads; “Crowds Await Historic Obama Oath”. The Hurriyet’s (Turkey) headline reads: “World Ready to Mark Inauguration of Obama as First Black US President”

The French AFP’s headline announced “Joy and Poignancy in Washington for Obama’s Big Day.” ABCNews headlined its story, “Worldwide Audience Reflects On Historic Day”. The AP: “Obama to Step Into History as First Black President” — UPI: Eyes of Nation, World on Obama.

And finally, (before I gag), the Dallas Morning News’ editorial headline: “Barack Obama, To the Mountaintop”.

Frank and I were chatting about the whole thing this morning. Frank mentioned two things I thought worth sharing. The first is that the winning numbers for the Illinois State Lottery on November 6th following Obama’s election were 6-6-6. I thought that was kind of interesting.

The second comment came as we were discussing the fawning world-wide media coverage. Frank said, “If that isn’t worship, I don’t know what is.” Can’t argue with him there, either.

Welcome to the Obamanation.

Preparing For The Obama Nation

Preparing For The Obama Nation
Vol: 88 Issue: 19 Monday, January 19, 2009

Preparing For The Obama Nation

America is but twenty-four hours from inaugurating its first African-American president. I know that is true because that is exactly the way all the newspapers are framing it; “America’s First African-American President” has become Obama’s official nickname.

Even as I type these words, on the television is a split screen with Barack Hussein Obama on the left, with Martin Luther King on the right. The crawl on Fox News says, “Obama Carries King’s Legacy Forward.”

I read an AP headline that says, (and I’m not making this up) “Israel to Pull Out of Gaza By Obama Inauguration.” Wow! Now that’s power! The AP makes it clear that there is no coincidence between the pullout and Obama’s inauguration:

“Israel plans to pull all of its troops out of the Gaza Strip by the time President-elect Barack Obama is inaugurated Tuesday . . . By getting its soldiers out before the Obama inauguration, Israel hopes to pave the way for a smooth beginning with the Obama administration and spare the incoming president the trouble of having to deal with a burning problem in Gaza from his first day, the Israeli officials said.”

Isn’t that sweet of the Israelis! To take time out from a war aimed at saving its civilian population just so Obama can have a smooth inauguration experience. Or maybe it’s something else.

The AP continues: “Israel has been quietly concerned about possible policy changes by the incoming administration after eight years of staunch support from President George W. Bush. Obama has said Mideast peace will be a priority even as he grapples with a global economic crisis and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

(And solves the Mideast peace problem, restores the environment and discovers a cure for cancer . . “Who is like unto Obama? And who is able to make war with him?”)

All the cable news networks are essentially off the air, unless one is looking for information about Obama, the Inauguration celebrations or historical background on Martin Luther King.

Right now, the Reverend Al Sharpton is being interviewed by Fox News. The Washington Post’s headline this morning is “President-Elect Sees His Race as an Opportunity.”

The Post published a letter from a reader in order to give itself an opportunity to “set the record straight”: “We did not elect our first African American president. Rather, we elected our first biracial president,” Douglas Snyder of Bowie wrote in a letter published Saturday in The Post.

Not so, says the Post. “Obama is unambiguous in calling himself an African American, the identity he embraced early on. Though he has always honored his white mother and grandparents, the young Obama read African American writers and studied the mien of the black guys he encountered on the basketball court.

He was intrigued by the older African American men who played cards with his grandfather. He imitated the dance moves he saw on the television show “Soul Train,” and he tried to curse like the late comedian Richard Pryor.”

The Post went on and on — it was all about race and Barack Obama and the White House and the trials and tribulations about being black in America. And the proof is undeniable — anybody who tries to dance like Soul Train and curse like Richard Prior has to be black! (There’s no racism at the Post, is there?)

Politico cited a sign it noted hanging in a Georgetown shop window that recounted a saying that circulated during the campaign: Rosa sat so Martin could walk; Martin walked so Obama could run; Obama is running so our children can fly!

Today is Martin Luther King Day — and lots and lots of commentators are crossing that bridge between MLK Day today and BHO day tomorrow, saying that Barack Obama represents the culmination of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

Ironically, the salient part of that speech is this: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. “

I’ve been looking and looking for some evidence that Obama was elected president based on the content of his character. Except that what little is known of his character is that which is reflected by his associates: Jeremiah Wright, Tony Rezko, Rod Blagojevich, Bill Ayers, Rahm Emmanuel, etc.

Of The One himself, little is actually known. Indeed, we’re not even absolutely certain where he was born.

Nobody knows how he traveled to Pakistan and Indonesia as a youth, whom he met with, or what he did. The only thing known about his trip is that he left as a student in a small, unimportant California community college.

When he returned to the States, it was to attend Columbia University and later, Harvard.

While one might wonder how a guy makes the transition from a community college to Columbia and Harvard, virtually overnight, no explanation has ever been offered.

Whenever anybody begins to ask hard questions, the race card is introduced and all queries come to a screeching halt.

As to MLK’s dream, the irony of it was best expressed, (ironically) by the racist remarks of Joe Biden, at the time, Obama’s opponent for the nomination:

I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”

An African-American who is articulate, bright and clean. And nice-looking to boot! With qualifications like that, how can we lose? There will always be time to discover the content of his character later. Racism is dead in America!

Happy Martin Luther King Day!

The Blessed Hope

The Blessed Hope
Vol: 88 Issue: 17 Saturday, January 17, 2009

The timing of the Rapture is easily one of the most confusing and divisive issues within the Body of the Christ, something I’ve always considered extremely interesting.

It would seem to me that the issue of when He is coming is important only in understanding the signs of the times, but not terribly important in terms of salvation or issues of eternity, or even in terms of living a Spirit-filled life.

Taken separately from following Bible prophecy, believing in Who is coming, and the certainty of His return, are all that is truly necessary to be a Christian. The timing of that event itself, is largely one of academics.

That being said, we ARE students of Bible prophecy; watchmen on the wall, as I like to express it, and the timing of the Rapture is extremely important to understanding the signs of the times.

We see evidence all around us, and we use that evidence to warn of His soon return. To us, understanding the Rapture is understanding how to rightly divide the Word of Truth.

The key to rightly dividing the Word is understanding Dispensationalism and the division between the Age of the Law, the Age of Grace (Church Age) and the Tribulation (Daniel’s 70th Week).

There are four basic interpretations of the Rapture; pre-Tribulational, mid-tribulational and post-tribulational and pre-Wrath.

Pre-Trib holds to the view the Lord returns BEFORE the Tribulation. Mid-Trib teaches that the Rapture of the Church will occur in the middle of the 7 year tribulation period. It will occur sometime around the abomination of desolation when the anti-Christ goes into the rebuilt Jewish temple and there claim to be God.

The Post-Trib view teaches that as the Lord Jesus is returning back to earth, God’s people will be ‘caught up’ or raptured at that point in time. They will immediately return to earth with the Lord Jesus Christ.

Each of these views can be supported, to some degree, by Scripture, but only one, obviously, can be the correct view. I believe the one with the fewest Scriptural problems is the best candidate.

One of the problems with a mid-Trib view is glaring; it denies the doctrine of imminency. Although the Scriptures teach a SECRET coming, (no man knoweth the day or hour) once the Tribulation begins, one just has to sit down with a calendar. It will be no surprise and it will come at a known time.

Another problem with the mid-Trib Rapture view is that its followers aren’t looking for Christ, they are watching for the anti-Christ, from whom they derive their timetable.

By contrast, I am awaiting Jesus Christ. I never expect to know who the antichrist will be, and frankly, I don’t really care. My purpose, to the degree I even discuss the antichrist in your Omega Letter, is to demonstrate how the world is preparing for his coming — and to remind people that Jesus is coming FIRST!

The mid-Tribulation view is not widely followed for these reasons, among others.

The post-Tribulation view shares the same problem as mid-Trib — it denies the doctrine of imminency.

It will be even easier to pinpoint the return of Christ, given the Bible gives the exact number of days between the ‘abomination of desolation’ (Matthew 24:15; 2nd Thessalonians 2:4) and the return of the Messiah.

“And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.” (Daniel 12:11)

Compare that to Jesus’ Words; “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. ” (Matthew 24:36) If the post-Trib view is correct, that secret is hidden only until the revelation of antichrist.

So it shares the same second flaw with the mid-Trib view; both of these interpretations make the coming of antichrist the seminal event in prophecy, with the secret coming of Christ for His Church a secondary Plan.

The post-Tribulation view also doesn’t pass the logic test. The post-Trib interpretation is that Jesus Raptures the Church, who then return with Him at the Battle of Armageddon.

“And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.” (Revelation 19:14) The ‘fine linen, white and clean’ are the garments of those Washed in the Blood of the Lamb.

So, Jesus leaves heaven with ‘ten thousands’ of empty white horses. As He descends, God’s people are Raptured, presumably translated from this earth to the back of a white horse on its way back!

The next problem with this view is what happens next. According to Scripture, the earth is repopulated during the Millennial Kingdom period.

If all God’s people are raptured as the Lord Jesus returns that will leave only the wicked on earth when He returns. The wicked will be destroyed as they will NEVER inherit the kingdom of God.

So if the wicked are destroyed and God’s people are all raptured then who will be left to enter into the 1000 year Kingdom?

When people go into the 1000 year kingdom they will not have their eternal bodies but will be just like we are today.

They will marry and have children. After the rapture all God’s people will have their eternal bodies leaving no mortals left on earth to go into the 1000 year kingdom.

The post-Trib view is widely received, despite its problems. It’s adherents generally also believe that Israel plays no important role in the last days, since the promises of God to Israel were passed on to the Church after the Jews rejected their Messiah.

That is also one of the reasons that post-Tribulationists are so hostile to Dispensationalists and pre-Tribulationists; our ‘wrong-headed’ support for Israel based on our belief that God has a Plan for Israel that doesn’t include the Church.

It explains the blatantly anti-Semitic nature of many mainstream churches. It is at the root of the ‘Christian anti-semitism’ that was responsible for centuries of persecution of the Jews by the Church.

It explains the ‘Christ-killer’ label that is used to incite anti-Semitic actions and to justify anti-Semitism as a worldview. To some Christians, the crowd’s demands, “Then answered all the people, and said, His Blood be on us, and on our children,” (Matthew 27:25) carries more weight than Jesus Himself, when He said, ” Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do,” (Luke 23:34)

That is not intended to characterize all people who hold to a post-Tribulation worldview, but explain the teachings of post-Tribulationalism and some of the reasons for their hostility to the pre-Tribulationist view.

The fourth view is the most recent, being advanced in the late 1980’s by Florida evangelist Marv Rosenthal. It attempts to define the point when the Great Tribulation begins. Pre-Wrath puts the Rapture at a point just after the Sixth Seal.

This view also has its share of problems. For one, it denies the doctrine of imminency. The Rapture cannot take place today. It could not take place tomorrow. The Rapture cannot take place next week, next month or next year or even the year after that!

The Rapture will occur immediately prior to the Day of the Lord and the Day of the Lord will begin with the opening of the seventh seal. The Rapture will occur on the very day that the Day of the Lord begins. We’re still years away from the Day of the Lord, (even if Israel were to sign antichrist’s treaty tomorrow morning.)

Rosenthal divides the 70th Week of Daniel into three distinct periods. The first three and one half years are “the beginnings of sorrows” period. The second is the Great Tribulation, which beings at the middle of the 70th Week.

In his book, “The Pre-Wrath Rapture” (Thomas Nelson Books, 1990) Rosenthal defines the Great Tribulation as “man’s wrath against man” not God’s. (page 105)

According to this view, the Day of the Lord must be clearly distinguished from the Great Tribulation. These two time periods are distinct and separate and do not overlap. They both occur during the last 3 years, beginning with the Great Tribulation and followed immediately by the Day of the Lord.

It is uncertain when the Great Tribulation ends and when the Day of the Lord begins because THIS is the event of which no man knows the day or the hour (Matthew 24:36)

The Church will be on earth when the Antichrist makes a treaty with Israel which marks the beginning of the 70th week. The Church must enter the 70th week and go through the “beginnings of sorrows.”

The Church must be on earth during the entire period called the Great Tribulation (“the time of Jacob s trouble”) and will not be Raptured until after the Great Tribulation is over, but immediately prior to the Day of the Lord.

Therefore, the Church must be on earth for saints to decide if they will accept the mark of Antichrist.

Assessment:

The Dispensationalist, pre-Tribulationist view of the Rapture is the only one consistent with the teachings of the Scriptures. It allows for a secret, signless, Rapture of the Church, as taught by Our Lord.

It teaches that the Restrainer of evil is removed (the indwelt, Spirit-filled Church) which allows for the unrestrained evil of the antichrist. While the Holy Spirit will remain on the earth during the Tribulation, the Church does not.

The pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Church is not awaiting the antichrist, it is awaiting the Christ, which is wholly consistent with Scriptures that promise a special crown for those who await His coming.

Everything harmonizes with the Scriptures without the necessity to allegorize or spiritualize a literal teaching in order to make it work.

Now to the point. Every day we attempt to document some current event relevant to Bible prophecy. In point of fact, we haven’t documented a single FULFILLMENT of a Bible prophecy since the restoration of Israel in 1948 — and that is a prophecy in the process of fulfillment. Israel has been restored, the Jews regathered to their ancient homeland, but their national redemption is yet future.

What we are witnessing are more like shadows in the sense that one can see a shadow of a man, but not his features. From the shadow, you can identify with certainty that it is of a man, but that is about all you can say for sure.

Paul describes it as ‘seeing through a glass darkly’;

“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.” (1 Corinthians 13:12)

There are things we know, and there are things unknown. We know, for example, that the government of the antichrist during the Tribulation will control the global economy, global government and global religious system.

While we don’t know who he is, the development, in this generation, of these three distinct systems, casts the shadow of the antichrist.

We know that the world will be divided into four distinct spheres of world power; Gog-Magog, the Kings of the East, the Kings of the South and the revived Roman Empire. The Bible makes no mention of a fifth, overarching superpower.

We see the development of those four Biblical spheres of global power, while the future of America is tenuous, to say the least.

We see, in part, and we know in part, but darkly.

We are seeing shadows of the coming Tribulation – we’re not there, yet.

The signs of His coming, and the unfolding of Bible prophecy, were given as a sign to a ‘wicked and adulterous generation’ which ‘seeketh after a sign’.

We see through a glass, darkly. We know things in part, and we see shadows in the signs of what is to come.

The Bible says that these events are NOT fulfilled until the Tribulation Period begins. These events were given, not as a warning, but as an encouragement the Church through the ages, and in particular, the Church of the last days.

The Apostle Paul called it “the Blessed Hope.”

Special Member’s Report: Who Are We? And What Are We Doing Here?

Special Member’s Report: Who Are We? And What Are We Doing Here?
Vol: 88 Issue: 16 Friday, January 16, 2009

Special Member’s Report: Who Are We? And What Are We Doing Here?

It’s been awhile since we’ve discussed the OL’s mission statement and doctrinal position. Since then, new members have joined, so for those of you to whom this is a review, please accept my apologies.

The Omega Letter IS a ministry, despite the fact we have refused 501(c)3 status. To explain, 501(c)3 is the relevant IRS code that grants ministries tax-exempt status. The government has the authority to censor what is published by those who accept the 501(c)3 exemption.

So we pay our taxes and the government has no input into our messages.

The mission of the Omega Letter is not directed primarily at leading the lost to Christ — at least, not directly through the website.

The majority of our members are assumed to be already saved believers who carry the message of the Gospel to the lost through their daily interaction with people they run across in the course of a day.

Our mission is to equip the saints out there who want to be fruitful for Christ with ammunition useful to their efforts. We try and anticipate the difficult questions that come up from time to time when witnessing to a skeptic, and to provide explanations from Scripture that answer those questions.

We believe the Bible prophecy was given for two main purposes. The first is to reassure the believer that God remains in control. Bible prophecy has a record of 100% accuracy in all areas where it can be measured.

Since Bible prophecy has a proven 100% accuracy rate, we can be assured all Bible prophecy will be fulfilled in future with the same accuracy as it has been fulfilled in the past.

That assures the believer that, no matter how chaotic events appear to be, those events are completely in God’s Hands. He knows what He is doing, and we can confidently apply the Scriptural promise “that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

The second reason is because, “the Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2nd Peter 3:9)

Bible prophecy for the last days was given as a tool for the Church to use as evidence that Jesus Christ is real and that He is God. Only God can know the future. Bible prophecy is the Signature of God Himself;

“Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure. . .” (Isaiah 46:9)

When Jesus was explaining what the generation that would see His return would experience, He included a reminder for the Church, saying, “Behold, I have told you before.” (Matthew 24:25)

He wanted to make sure we understood that when we witnessed what He described, that He;

“. . .told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.” (Matthew 24:25)

“. . .and that believing ye might have life through His Name.” (John 20:31)

We recognize that this generation is unique to the exclusion of all that came before . . . we live in an age of miracles. For this generation, the miraculous is always just around the next corner.

My first computer cost $1700 eighteen years ago. It bears as much resemblance to the one in front of me at this moment, in technological terms, as a Civil War observation balloon bears to the space shuttle.

In this generation, we cracked the human genetic code. We have duplicated the miracle of birth. It is only a matter of time until science duplicates the miracle of life through human cloning.

In this generation, to the exclusion of all others, God has a lot of competition. Moore’s Law of Computing says that computers will double in speed and capacity every 18 months. As computers get smarter, we get smarter. And we make ever more miraculous breakthroughs.

That some Bible prophecy was exclusively directed to the last generation where the miraculous would be routine is addressed by the revealing Angel in Daniel, 12:4. “But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.”

The Books of Daniel and Revelation, once considered so mysterious that both Calvin and Luther omitted them from their commentaries on the Bible, were unsealed to this generation.

Today, the books Daniel and Revelation are the two most-written about Books in the Canon of Scripture.

Our mission is to use Bible prophecy to its intended purpose — to provide evidence that the Lord is both firmly in control of global events and preparing to return for His own. We consciously avoid the sensational; the plain and unvarnished evidences abound — there is no need to reach beyond our grasp.

The mission of the Omega Letter is to equip an army of one-on-one evangelists to go out into their own communities, armed with the evidence that God provided to counter the arguments of the skeptics and lead them to Christ while there is still time.

Along the way, we try to both inform and encourage, since our principle weapon of war is information, and an army needs to keep up its morale. It is for those reasons that the Omega Letter exists.

That the tactic is effective can be seen from the frequency and intensity of the enemy attacks over the years. Those attacks serve both to encourage AND discourage me.

On the one hand, if we are under attack, it means we are having some effect against the enemy’s lines. On the other, tactically speaking, an enemy generally will focus his attack in the weakest part of the opposing force’s lines.

Our weakness, as a force, is our fascination with the sensational. We can get misdirected away from our primary mission as believers by the ‘gee whiz’ factor, lose sight of our objective, and fall into an enemy trap.

Any effective army issues uniform equipment so there is a benchmark standard to use as a basis for training.

The Omega Letter’s benchmark training equipment is the doctrine of soteriology (salvation) as understood from a Dispensational, pretribulational perspective.

We believe in eternal security, a pretrib Rapture, and that the antichrist will make his appearance only after the Restraining influence of the Holy Spirit (together with the believing Church) is taken ‘out of the way’. (2nd Thessalonians 2:7)

It is from those basic understandings that we try to carry out the Omega Letter’s training mission. To be effective, we must be consistent in both our doctrine and its application to ultimate mission goal.

To see lost souls brought to Christ while there is still time.

Attempting to divine the date of the Rapture is not part of the Omega Letter’s mission to equip believers as effective last-days’ evangelists to the lost. It is a distraction to that mission.

It does not provide evidence to the lost that Jesus is returning soon. It provides the lost with a date on the calendar as an excuse to put off their decision until then.

Divining the date of the Rapture is an exercise in the sensational that, even apart from my belief that the Bible prohibits date setting, is completely at odds with the purpose for which the Omega Letter exists.

As I noted, it is a distraction. It weakens our lines and wastes valuable resources we could be marshalling against the enemy in the battle for the souls of the lost as the hours tick away.

Attempting to identify the antichrist does nothing to convince the lost that the Bible is true and that the Lord is returning. It does nothing to provide answers to the skeptics that might lead them to salvation. If anything, it gives them something to argue about.

And identifying the antichrist is not only fruitless to the mission, but contrary to the Word of God. The Crown of Righteousness is reserved for those who love the Lord’s appearing, not the appearance of His enemy.

Speaking from the doctrinal position of the Omega Letter, the Church will not be here during the Tribulation, so there is no doctrinal reason to ‘prepare’ the Church to go through it.

But it serves as a distraction from our true mission of arming ourselves to meet the lost skeptic with information useful to the mission of winning his soul from the enemy for Christ.

Useless speculation weakens our battle lines and wastes valuable resources that we could be marshaling against the enemy in the war for the souls of the lost as the hours tick away.

When proved untrue, it destroys our credibility. Sensationalism is not part of the whole armor of God.

“Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” Ephesians 6:11-17 lists that armor as truth, righteousness, the preparation of the Gospel, faith, knowledge of our salvation, and the Word of God.

Divining the date of the Rapture and identifying the antichrist cannot possibly be argued into that list. They are distractions from the battle and an obstacle to the successful prosecution of the Omega Letter’s mission — to lead souls to Christ through the use of the tools God gave this generation to that purpose.

“And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.

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 12:8-10)

Who Is Winning In Gaza?

Who Is Winning In Gaza?
Vol: 88 Issue: 15 Thursday, January 15, 2009

Israeli forces shelled the United Nations headquarters in the Gaza Strip on Thursday. According to the AP, (which may or may not be true – it’s the AP!) the UN compound was filled with ‘hundreds of refugees’ when it caught fire from the shelling.

Un General Secretary Ban ki-Moon reportedly Ban expressed “outrage” over the bombing. He said Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak told him there had been a “grave mistake” and promised to pay extra attention to protecting U.N. installations.

(“Miraculously” the Israeli shelling of the UN ‘refugee compound’ killed no one. The UN claims three injuries.)

The Israeli military had no immediate comment on the bombing.

But the AP sure did.

Shells also struck a hospital, five high-rise apartment buildings and a building housing media outlets in Gaza City, injuring several journalists.

Bullets entered another building housing The Associated Press offices, entering a room where two staffers were working but wounding no one.

The Foreign Press Association, representing journalists covering Israel and the Palestinian territories, demanded a halt to attacks on press buildings.

I carefully examined these reports. Israel has not commented while it investigates, but apart from the silence, there is zero evidence that either the shellings and small arms attacks were deliberate Israeli attacks.

The only reason to assume that these were Israeli attacks is because otherwise, it means that the Palestinians are attacking themselves, which, to civilized human beings sounds crazy.

But we’re not talking about civilized human beings, we’re talking about Islamic radicals. The same ones that started the conflict by shelling Israeli cities and towns.

Now that Israel has killed more than a thousand of their countrymen, Hamas has Israel right where it wants them. Hamas continues to shell Israeli cities and towns, hoping that their rocket attacks will spur the frustrated IDF on to even greater carnage, which will then prompt more international outrage.

Understand how this works. Hamas kills innocent women and children on the Israeli side, hoping to prompt Israel into retaliating. Hamas then hides among innocent women and children on the Palestinian side, hoping that Israel will kill as many of them as is possible.

The more women and children that die on both sides, the better it is for Hamas in the court of public opinion. And the worse it gets for Israel.

Here’s how ‘crazy’ works in the Middle East. Hamas has lost more than 500 fighters, assuming the Palestinian claims that half the 1000-plus casualties are civilians. Israel has lost 13 — including four killed by Israeli forces in a friendly fire incident.

Who is winning?

Assessment:

Let’s look at this again, only in each case, we’ll ask the question the AP evidently thought was irrelevant. First, let’s agree to agree on several salient points.

The first is that Israel is fighting for its continued survival as a Jewish state. It isn’t a war of conquest — Israel doesn’t want Gaza — it unilaterally pulled out in ’05. Since then, more than six thousand rockets have been launched from Gaza into Israel.

Engage in a little creative visualization with me. Picture your back yard in your mind. Now, in your back yard somewhere — you choose — is a Kassam rocket standing straight up on its fins.

It’s about four feet tall and occupies a circular space of about three feet around. Got the rocket pictured in your mind?

Now imagine that there are six rockets there. Got it? Now, sixty. Now, six hundred.

(Getting pretty crowded. You may need to imagine a bigger back yard.) Now picture, in your mind, six thousand of them. I know — it’s getting a lot harder. One rocket is easy, six not so hard, sixty maybe, but six thousand — that’s a lot of rockets.

Now imagine that many rockets being fired at random into an area the size of your home town. That is the Israeli perspective.

The Palestinian side could end the conflict at any moment by simply announcing a cessation of hostilities. If Hamas stops firing rockets at Israeli civilians, Israel will have achieved its war aims and the IDF will pack up and go home. That is what distinguishes the IDF from Hamas; indeed, it is what distinguishes civilized human beings from Hamas terrorists.

IDF soldiers don’t want to die — and most of them don’t want to kill, either. So Israel doesn’t want Gaza. It doesn’t want war with Hamas. It has no discernible motivation for the Gaza incursion beyond stopping the Hamas-controlled rocket attacks.

If it wanted to, it could obliterate Gaza within a matter of hours — just look at the lopsided casualty count now, with Israel showing maximum restraint against Hamas’ maximum effort.

So what was the question the AP failed to ask in its report? Why. Why would Israel attack a UN compound filled with refugees? Leaving Israel’s humanity aside, attacking the UN is tactically foolish. Israel needs to carefully husband what modicum of international good will it has.

A deliberate attack on the UN would cost them Washington’s support. Even an accidental attack would be tactically catastrophic. I can’t come up with any possible motive that passes the logic test.

On the other hand, Hamas also has the capacity to shell the site. Why would Hamas shell the UN? For all the same reasons that Israel would not.

And why would Israeli forces attack buildings housing, among others, The Associated Press, for crying out loud?

The AP is one of Israel’s most vocal critics. Israel needs the goodwill of the international media even more than it needs the goodwill of the United Nations. Without the goodwill of the international media, it is all but impossible to obtain the goodwill of the UN.

Hamas has the capacity to attack the buildings housing the AP and the international media with small-arms fire. Hamas already has the goodwill of both the international media and the international community in inverse proportions.

The more outrageous their behavior in battle, the greater that international support becomes.

But the immediate and unchallenged assumption is that Israel is responsible. The AP (and the rest of the international press) know that it doesn’t make any difference later if it turns out the culprit was Hamas.

They don’t really have to fact-check; they can always claim fog-of-war later. Whether or not the initial reports are true is irrelevant insofar as the damage to Israel is real and immediate.

The AP quoted an “anonymous UN official” (why anonymous?)

“The U.N. compound in Gaza had only that morning become a makeshift shelter for hundreds of Gaza City residents seeking sanctuary from relentless Israeli shelling, said a U.N. official in Gaza. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak to the media. But shortly after, a shell hit the school, wounding three people, the official said. Two other shells hit a warehouse housing humanitarian supplies and a U.N. parking lot, he said.”

A school. A warehouse housing humanitarian supplies. Three shells hit the Al Quds hospital in that neighborhood, setting its pharmacy building ablaze, the AP reported.

(What? Israel couldn’t find the orphanage?)

Israel has not yet investigated whether or not it fired the rounds that struck the UN. From the UN’s side, it knows that it was fired on by somebody — when you are in the target zone, one incoming round looks much like another.

It’s reasonable to assume that it’s too early for either side to be sure. But the relentless pressure by Hamas on the Palestinians and the media on Israel is already bearing fruit.

Only hours after the attack on the UN compound, Ban ki-Moon met with Israeli Foreign Ministry Tzipi Livni. “We have some elements now in place which may allow a cease fire to come fairly soon,” he told a news conference afterwards.

“I hope so, but that depends on the political will of the Israeli government.”

He then offered the impossibly naive judgment that a full-fledged truce agreement did not have to be worked out before violence ceased.

Consider the terms and conditions on both sides. Hamas wants an immediate, unconditional Israeli pullout. It wants the borders reopened. It refuses to allow international observers into Gaza.

And Hamas refuses to consider any cease-fire that isn’t temporary.

“You can discuss terms and conditions later, my demand is to cease firing immediately,” he said, acknowleging that he had come “with a heavy heart” at what he called a “difficult time for Israel.”

Perhaps Israel should take a lesson from Hamas on the proper way to respond to demands from the UN Secretary General:

“I’m well aware that rockets have been fired at Israeli civilians for years from Gaza,” he told the press conference. “I have always condemned these as acts of terrorism and said they must cease.”

(But unlike Hamas, Israel is actually expected to comply.)

And while Ban ki-Moon was pressuring Israel to cease-fire unilaterally, Hamas fired fourteen more rockets into Israel.

It’s surreal.

The Days of Noah

The Days of Noah
Vol: 88 Issue: 14 Wednesday, January 14, 2009

According to the Book of Genesis, there was an antediluvian (pre-Flood) race of beings that existed on the earth that the KJV calls ‘giants’ that the Hebrew sages dubbed “the Nephilim”.

The Nephilim were the children born to the daughters of men and the “sons of God.” As to the identity of the ‘sons of God’ — if you ask four Christian theologians that question you’ll get five different answers.

(And about the only thing they’ll agree on is that the other three guys are wrong).

Instead of filling in the blanks on stuff we don’t know with stuff we guess about, let’s tick off the things we DO know about the players involved.

The sons of God are clearly distinguished from the daughters of men, raising two possible conclusions.

The first is that the ‘sons of God’ were simply good and righteous men so labeled to distinguish them from the earthy, less righteous among them. That doesn’t seem to make much sense, given that God singled out Noah — specifically because of his righteousness — yet Genesis didn’t label him a ‘son of God.’

Only six verses after singling out the ‘sons of God’ for special mention, Genesis says simply that Noah “found grace in the eyes of the Lord” because he was “a just man and perfect in his generations.”

If being righteous justified the label, ‘sons of God’ then Noah certainly would seem to qualify.

Focus instead on the phrase, ‘perfect in his generations’. Noah was a ‘just’ man, not a perfect one. But in his ‘generations’ — his genealogy — he was ‘perfect’ ie., untainted.

Untainted by what?

The phrase “sons of God” used in Genesis 6 is bene elohim , which used apparently only three other times in Scripture and in each of the other cases it is found in the book of Job which is accepted as one of the most ancient books written. Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7.

“Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.”

“Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD.”

“When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” In each of these examples, the “sons of God” were the angels..

The only logical conclusion is that the ‘sons of God’ were not righteous men, or even men at all.

And their offspring, the ‘giants’ or Nephilim were a hybrid race formed out of two distinct but sexually compatible beings.

Assessment:

“But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” Matthew 24:37

“They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. ” (Luke 17:27)

To get a look at that distant, future, generation who would witness the return of Christ, Jesus tells us to look to that distant, past generation that experienced the judgment of the Great Flood.

“Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.” (Luke 17:29)

Let’s connect some more dots. Genesis Chapter 6 describes the most direct and unfettered contact between human beings in general and the spirit world recorded in the entire Bible — other than the Book of the Revelation’s description of the Tribulation Period.

Additionally, Genesis tells us that “God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”

It can be argued that television is imagination in a box. There, we vicariously live out all our dreams and fantasies. Somewhere on the cable dial, there is something for the imagination of everybody’s heart. . .

So take a look at what is the imagination of the thoughts of THIS generation’s heart. It won’t take long. Pick up your remote and scroll through the cable listings. (I’ll wait.)

Popular culture today is full of the use of spirit guides, alien encounters, and open satanic worship.

A similar, but seldom-noted parallel between the unholy offspring of Genesis 6 and this generation is DNA and cloning research. In Genesis chapter 2, God promises a Redeemer who would be of the ‘seed of a woman’.

Satan therefore set out to pollute the human bloodline to prevent this prophecy from being fulfilled. The corruption of the human race was the main reason for the Flood. And we are in the process of corrupting it again — as it was in the days of Noah.

The term strange flesh means to go after an unnatural sexual union. In any case, the parallel between Sodom and this generation’s moral code is self-evident.

Jesus uses the story of the evacuation of Lot’s family before judging Sodom and Gomorrah to illustrate the Rapture of the Church — before the judgment of the Tribulation Period.

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

I love this argument for its utter stupidity. The Lord hasn’t come back, which somehow proves He won’t come back. Peter doesn’t call it ‘stupid’, he calls it ‘willing ignorance’ but it means the same thing.

“For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished.”

About the only thing in modern culture that raises eyebrows is Biblical Christianity.

While other Christians scoff, or argue that the Church has replaced Israel in God’s Plan, that they’ve been hearing ‘for ages’ that the Lord is coming back, or that prophecy was all fulfilled back in AD 70, keep this thought in mind.

God has chosen a few out of this generation to be the watchmen on the wall. Most churches have their ‘prophecy nuts’. Recognize what that term really describes.

It describes a relative handful of Christians — out of this vast, unique generation — who have been specifically and directly chosen by God to give the warning of His soon return.

And out of all the generations of Christians — from the Resurrection of Christ and down through the centuries — out of all the nations on all the continents, right down to all the people in your church, He chose . . . you.

“Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and for ever. Amen. ” (2nd Peter 3:17-18)

Wow.

The Things That Come Thereafter

The Things That Come Thereafter
Vol: 88 Issue: 13 Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Book of the Revelation was authored by the Apostle John on the island of Patmos off the coast of Greece sometime around the last decade of the 1st century.

John was the youngest of the Apostles, probably no more than fifteen or so during the Lord’s lifetime, and likely in His eighties at the time he penned the Revelation of Jesus Christ, for that is what it actually is.

Not the Revelation of John, but the Revelation of Jesus Christ to John the Apostle. John makes that clear from the start:

“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to shew unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass; and He sent and signified it by His angel unto His servant John.” (Revelation 1:1)

The revelation was given to Jesus by the Father for the purpose of showing it to His servants, who later came to be called by His Name, “Christians.” The Apostle John is simply the recording device.

The Revelation is as much the product of the Apostle John as this morning’s OL is the product of Apple or Microsoft.

I wrote it on my Mac. You’re probably reading it using software developed by Microsoft, but Apple didn’t produce it and Microsoft is not responsible for its contents.

Microsoft didn’t add to it or remove anything — it simply provided the method by which the information contained herein was made available to you.

John says up front that he didn’t compose it, he is merely relaying the contents. The Book itself is divided into three parts: John was told to write down “the things which thou has seen” (the vision on Patmos) “the things which are” (the things pertaining to the Seven Churches) and the “things which shall be thereafter.”

What John saw was the Glorified Savior.

“His head and His hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and His eyes were as a flame of fire; And His feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and His voice as the sound of many waters. And he had in His right hand seven stars: and out of His mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and His countenance was as the sun shineth in His strength.” (Revelation 1:14-16)

The Prophet Daniel described Him similarly more than six hundred years before; “and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head like the pure wool: His throne was like the fiery flame, and His wheels as burning fire.” (Daniel 7:9)

John was told to write down the “things which are.” By the end of the 1st century, when John is writing, the Church has spread into Asia Minor, represented by the seven largest churches in the seven largest cities.

Examined in the light of two thousand years of hindsight, one can identify within the defining characteristics of each of the Seven Churches of Asia Minor seven distinct epochs within the Church Age — in chronological order.

The seventh and final church to be addressed by the Lord is the one located in Laodocea.

“And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of My mouth. ” (Revelation 3:14-15)

I’ve heard a lot of different interpretations of what the Lord meant by the “spue thee out” comment — most often misrepresented when used as a proof text one can lose one’s individual salvation.

The Lord is referring to the Church as a corporate body — the whole Body of Christ makes Him sick — there’s no reference to individual believers here.

If I say a person ‘sickens me’ I’m referring to that person’s defining behavior, not passing judgment on the second finger of his right hand or the condition of his left elbow.

Jesus’ description of the Church of Laodicea is a mirror image of the church of modern times: “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” (Revelation 3:17)

I could go on, but I think the point is fairly obvious. The letters to the Seven Churches in Asia Minor make up the second part of the outline of the Revelation of Jesus Christ to the Apostle John.

There is also a sense of urgency found in the letter to the Church at Laodicea missing from the letters to the previous Churches (epochs).

“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.” The second division of the Revelation of Jesus Christ concludes; “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” (Revelation 3:22)

The third and final division of the Book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ to the Apostle John is, according to Jesus, “the things which shall be thereafter.” The key, then, to understanding the overall message is the definition of ‘thereafter.’

Thereafter what?

Assessment:

The first two divisions of the Book are self-explanatory; “the things which thou hast seen” — the Ancient of Days, the seven golden lampstands, etc. The first division ends with an explanation of the vision:

“The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.” (Revelation 1:20)

The second division, addressed to the Seven Churches, ends with an admonition: “He that hath an ear, let him hear. . . ” –watch this — what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”

It puts us on notice to zero in our attention on the change about to take place. . . thereafter.

The third division of the Book of Revelation — that which John was told would be ‘thereafter’ begins with a trumpet call, a door opening up into heaven, and the Apostle John being translated from flesh to spirit.

And in case one missed the division Jesus wanted us to catch from Revelation 3:22, the voice of the trumpet explains that this is where we get to the ‘hereafter’ part.

Stay with me. We have three parts here. There is the part where Jesus shows Himself to John ” what thou hast seen”.

Having been so identified as the One with the keys to heaven and hell, the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, Jesus then composes seven letters to the Seven Churches “which are”.

Then we move to that which “shall be thereafter”: “After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.

This is a distinct and different time and a distinct and different place. The time is ‘hereafter’ and the place is ‘heaven’.

John gets there by the agency of a trumpet call and is translated into the spirit. Present at the Throne of God are twenty-four “elders” — the twelve Patriarchs of the Twelve Tribes of Israel and the Twelve Apostles of the Church Age.

Revelation 5:19-10 identifies the Church as being in Heaven:

“And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.”

In Revelation Chapter 7, the 144,000 of the Twelve Tribes of Israel are ‘sealed’ with the Holy Spirit, which then gives them the power to spread the Gospel and lead people to Christ.

After this, says Revelation 7:9, John sees “a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands.”

Again, notice the chronology. First, we have the sealing of the 144,000 by the Holy Spirit. No person can be led to Christ apart from the Holy Spirit, because the things of the Spirit are foolishness to the lost.

“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. ” (1st Corinthians 2:14)

So first, the evangelists are sealed with the Holy Spirit. Then — AFTER THAT — the multitudes “which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” (Revelation 7:14)

While those ‘that dwell upon the earth’ are lashed by a series of twenty-one Divine Judgments, “a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having His Father’s name written in their foreheads. . . And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.” (Revelation 14:3)

The Apostle John remains in heaven to this point. The 144,000 “which were redeemed from the earth” have learned ‘a new song’ that nobody else can learn.

And in Revelation 14:6, John sees “another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting Gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people.”

Let’s follow the chronology. First, at Pentecost, the Apostles are indwelt by the Holy Spirit. They then are given power to preach the Gospel and to lead men to Christ.

The Church Age is born, and goes through seven identifiable epochs.

Then — hereafter– John hears a trumpet call and is taken into heaven. His perspective shifts to that of heaven, where he is in the presence of twenty-four elders.

Notice that the twenty-four elders are NOT spirits, but are instead depicted as having bodies. Spirits aren’t clothed and crowned, and seated.

The Church is not referenced again in Revelation. Later, it becomes necessary to seal 144,000 Jews with the Holy Spirit, after which John begins to make reference to tribulation ‘saints’.

The everlasting Gospel, which was given to the Church and then charged with preaching it to the lost, is now being preached to every kindred, tongue and nation by an angel!

Why did God find it necessary to seal 12,000 from each of the 12 Tribes to carry the Gospel — before then reassigning the job to an angel? Where is the Church? Why isn’t it on the job?

“Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (1st Corinthians 15:51-52)

Follow along with me here while we overlay 1st Corinthians 15:51-52 on Revelation 4:1

“Behold, I shew you a mystery.” (Recall the admonition that concluded the message to the Churches — he that hath an ear . . .”)

“We shall not all sleep, but we shall ALL be changed. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, (“and a door was opened in heaven”) at the last trump — for the trumpet SHALL sound (“a voice, as it were a trumpet”) and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, (“Come up hither”) and we shall be changed. (“and immediately I was in the Spirit”) (1st Corinthians 15:52, Revelation 4:1)

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

There’s that Voice again, (sounding like a trumpet), followed by an instant translation into heaven. So, we have three different descriptions of what sound like exactly the same event: an instant translation, accompanied by a trumpet, from the earth to heaven — and without going through the usual procedure of dying first.

When does it happen? It seems pretty obvious to me from the Scriptures.

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

The Trouble with Harry . . . .

The Trouble with Harry . . . .
Vol: 88 Issue: 12 Monday, January 12, 2009

Britain’s Prince Harry got in Dutch (is that racist?) with the Brits (is that hurtful?) over his having referred to a Pakistani member of his platoon as a ‘Paki’ — (which some Brits and some Pakis evidently believe is racist).

Most Yanks weren’t offended, but a bunch of Canucks were, mainly because there are a lot of Pakis in Canada’s larger cities, like Toronto or Montreal or Vancouver.

The offensive mark, as delivered by the Brit’s #3 Royal, earned rebukes from the Royal Family, the British Prime Minister, and even some British church groups.

The Paki officer in question, Ahmed Khan, didn’t know he was supposed to be offended, but his father was offended enough for both of them.

Muhammed Yaqoob Khan Abassi said the remarks were “a disgraceful insult.”

“When I saw the video I was very, very hurt,” he told the Daily Mail. “That word he used is a hate word and should never be used against any Pakistani.”

(Umm, ‘Paki’ is the first two syllables IN the word, ‘Pakistani’).

This isn’t an effort to defend Prince Harry — but as a former member of the military, I have absolutely no doubt that the comment was neither malicious nor racist in intention, and offended no one present.

The military is famous for its irreverent use of colorful epithets. Some of them, especially those referring to the enemy might be considered racist; Huns, Jerries, Krauts, Japs, Nips, Gooks (WWII, Korea, Vietnam) Ragheads (Middle East), etc.

BUT one should take something into consideration in such cases. Given the chance, Prince Harry and every other member of the Western alliance would KILL the enemy.

Compared to that, calling him names seems rather pale by comparison.

“You can shoot me. You can stab me. You can blow me up. But don’t you DARE call me names!”

I can’t be the only one that sees how ridiculous this is.

Assessment:

Mohammed Shafiq, director of Muslim youth organisation the Ramadhan Foundation said: “I am deeply shocked and saddened at Prince Harry’s racism. It has no justification.”

“Prince Harry as a public figure must ensure that he promotes equality and tolerance and this rant whether today or three years ago is sickening and he should be thoroughly ashamed of himself.”

“You can shoot me. You can stab me. You can blow me up. But don’t you DARE call me names.” Is it just me? Or does this whole kerfuffle seem a bit strange to you, too?

Writes Andrew Pierce, “Royal Editor” for the UK Telegraph; “Leaders of the Muslim community are right to feel angry and offended.” Really? Why? Because Prince Harry used an abbreviation for Pakistani? Are all Muslims from Pakistan?

According to Royal Editor Pierce, “The remarks would also have caused deep anguish to his mother Diana, Princess of Wales who died in the car crash in the Paris underpass with the Muslim Dodi Fayed.”

Oh, please. Dodi Fayed was an Egyptian. Pierce has that covered, too. Diana’s other ‘true love’ was Hassan Khan, a Pakistani heart surgeon. Poor Prince Harry. He’s managed to insult his mother’s extra-marital lovers, as well. He must be crushed.

The London Sun is calling for the Prince to ‘be roasted’ in punishment. The London Daily Mail said it showed ‘incredible crassness.’ Cabinet minister John Denham said it was “offensive” and the Ramadhan Foundation called the prince a “thug”.

In a statement the Army said: “The Army does not tolerate inappropriate behavior in any shape or form.”

A statement from St James’s Palace, with regards the term “Paki”, said:

“Prince Harry fully understands how offensive this term can be, and is extremely sorry for any offense his words might cause.

However, on this occasion three years ago, Prince Harry used the term without any malice and as a nickname about a highly popular member of his platoon.”

There is no question that Prince Harry was in any way seeking to insult his friend.”

A spokeswoman for the Equality and Human Rights Commission said: “These appear to be disturbing allegations and we will be asking the MoD to see the evidence, share that evidence with us and their plans for dealing with it. We will then consider what further action might be necessary.”

The statement continued: “Prince Harry used the term ‘raghead’ to mean Taliban or Iraqi insurgent.” And on. And on. And on.

Further action? Shooting them is ok. But calling them names — well, in THAT case, ‘further action might be necessary.’

There is a passage in Proverbs that seems appropriate here: “The wicked flee when no man pursueth . . .”

Who are the racists here? Harry used an abbreviation for ‘Pakistani’ to refer to a cadet with a Pakistani background. Next thing you know, Prince Harry has insulted all Muslims everywhere.

When Harry called his friend a ‘Paki’ the assumption goes, he was referring to Palestinian Muslims, Jordanian Muslims, Kazahkstani Muslims, American Muslims, Indian Muslims, Russian Muslims . . . AND he was intending to insult them all.

OR, Prince Harry was referring to a guy from Pakistan as a Paki the way I might refer to a guy from Canada as a ‘Canuck’ or a guy from the US as a ‘Yank’ or a guy from Great Britain as a ‘Brit’.

Calling an American a ‘Yank’ isn’t intended as an insult. But if some Yank finds it insulting, it doesn’t mean I’ve hurled an insult at every English-speaking Christian from the Western Hemisphere.

What it means is that some Yank somewhere is extremely thin-skinned, not too well versed with his own history, and much too caught up in his own self-importance. And he has taken up an insult and applied it to himself.

If a guy calls me a ‘Mick’ because I’m Irish, I have a number of choices — all of which are mine alone. I can choose to take it as an insult against me, personally. I can choose to be offended for all Irishmen everywhere. Or not.

But it ought to be my choice to decide if I’ve been offended.

The trouble with Harry isn’t Harry or his comments. The kerfuffle over Prince Harry’s use of the word ‘Paki’ as an insult to all Muslims IS the actual insult to all Muslims. The real racists are the ones who hear racism where none exists, thereby giving air to their own racist tendencies.

Harry made the mistake of forgetting he was a dhimmi. Good thing he had the British press to remind him.

Rapture Ambush

Rapture Ambush
Vol: 88 Issue: 10 Saturday, January 10, 2009

The other day, I received an earnest-sounding email from a reader with what I believed was a serious enough question.

The reader had a question about the Crown offered those believers ‘who love His appearing’. He wanted to know whether that Crown is given to all believers who love His appearing, whether pre-trib, mid-trib or post-trib?

As I said, it was a reasonable-sounding question. I researched the matter, and replied that the crown of righteousness is extended to those ‘who love His appearing’ [those who study prophecy and anticipate His return] regardless of when they expect Him to return.

Alas, it was another ‘Rapture ambush’. His reply to my reply was the usual ‘you are wrong but are too arrogant to admit it’ stuff, accompanied by a cut and paste job of somebody ELSE’s Rapture research, peppered throughout with comments like, “How can you deny what Scripture says so clearly,” and suggesting I am leading people into “stumbling in the dark believing in some pre trib rapture???”

In reply, I sent him my standard response; “I have my opinion, and you have yours. Only one of us can be right, and neither will know until it happens. So debating it is a colossal waste of time.”

His response to me was a bit puzzling at first. “I agree with you. But I am sorry you feel that way.”

My correspondent went on to explain that he, too, had once been a ‘pretribber’, concluding, “So I know exactly what I am talking about!”

One sentence jumped out at me and set my mind to work; “In fact my entire Christian life hangs in the balance on the power of His revelation.”

Assessment:

I believe that the Bible clearly teaches a pre-trib Rapture, not because it holds out the promise of a ‘great escape’, or because somebody convinced me in a high-pressure sales job, or because it is my opinion and I am sticking to it.

I believe the Bible teaches a pre-trib Rapture because a pre-Trib Rapture puts the last days and the Tribulation into a context consistent with the overall flow of Bible prophecy.

That is the only reason that I teach a pre-trib Rapture. It makes no difference to me if other, sincere born-again believers embrace a different view; the timing of the Rapture plays no role in our salvation.

Saving faith is faith in Who is coming, that He is coming again, as promised, and that He will keep all His other promises, including standing as our Advocate before the Righteous Judge.

Our faith is that “God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.”

But the timing of the Rapture is CENTRAL to the understanding of the overall Big Picture in the last days.

The ‘last days’ is a different era that the Tribulation Period. The ‘last days’ is used throughout Scripture in the context of the Church Age.

At Pentecost, the Apostles, newly-indwelt by the Holy Spirit, rushed from the Upper Room to the street, giddy from the experience. So giddy, in fact, that some bystanders thought they were drunk.

“Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine. But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But THIS IS THAT WHICH was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass IN THE LAST DAYS saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:” (Acts 2:13-17)

The ‘last days’ is the Church Age, whereas the Tribulation is the ‘Time of Jacob’s Trouble’. They are two different Dispensations of God. That is central to understanding the times in which we now live.

We are currently in the “dispensation of the grace of God” (Ephesians 3:2). Paul calls the conclusion of this present dispensation the ‘dispensation of the fullness of times.’ (Ephesians 1:10)

During this dispensation, believers are indwelt by the Holy Spirit.

“And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.”

But John reminds us, “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.” (1John 4:3-4)

Note the context. John is speaking of the ‘spirit of antichrist’ which he says is ‘already in the world.’ He says that the spirit of antichrist cannot overcome the Church saints; because He Who indwells us (the Holy Spirit) is greater than the spirit of antichrist.

But this SAME PROPHET, writing of the SAME antichrist, (once antichrist comes in the flesh), says; “And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to OVERCOME them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.” (Revelation 13:7)

Since John penned both passages, and they cannot both be simultaneously true, the flow of Bible prophecy is interrupted, if the Church Age runs concurrent with the Tribulation.

During the Tribulation, the antichrist is ‘given’ power to overcome the saints. Is he ‘given’ power over the Holy Spirit? Jesus said, in the context of devils driving out devils, a house divided cannot stand’. (Matthew 12:25) Clearly, God isn’t giving power over Himself to the antichrist.

That leaves two possibilities, apart from a pre-trib Rapture.

The first is that the Holy Spirit indwells the Church until the onset of the Tribulation. Paul says He is ‘withdrawn’ BEFORE ‘that Wicked’ is revealed. (2nd Thessalonians 2:7-8)

For a pre-Trib Rapture to be a false doctrine means our generation was chosen out of all others in Church history to face the greatest spiritual trial the world has ever known without the Comforter Jesus promised would indwell us until He comes.

Or, it means that John was either lying when he said the spirit of antichrist cannot overcome indwelt believers, or when he said it could.

In either case, the promises of Scripture are broken.

Over the last thirty years, I’ve listened to explanation after explanation of why the pre-trib Rapture is a ‘false doctrine’. It usually revolves around the concept of a ‘great escape’ or some other misunderstanding of the flow of Bible prophecy.

Its opponents will spare no effort to ‘prove’ that it is a false doctrine, as if the timing of the Rapture were somehow of eternal significance. It is not.

The eternal significance of the Rapture is that, “the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout . . . and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together WITH them in the clouds, to meet the Lord IN THE AIR. . .” (1st Thessalonians 4:16-17)

Now let’s try and pull it all together.

“And as He sat upon the Mount of Olives, His disciples came unto Him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?”

Note the first thing Jesus says. “And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in My Name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.” (Matthew 24:3-4)

Jesus said the one who comes in His Name would deceive ‘many’ – not all.

Speaking to Israel, Jesus said, “I am come in My Father’s name, and ye receive Me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.” (John 5:43)

Paul identifies the one who Israel eventually (and temporarily) receives as their messiah is the antichrist.

If the one claiming to be Jesus is standing on the ground, instead of meeting me in the air, I won’t be deceived.

The doctrine of a pre-Trib Rapture isn’t a ‘great escape’ for the Church; it is a necessary evacuation of the Holy Spirit’s restraining influence as part of the overall Big Picture for the last days.

Remove it, and the chronology of Bible prophecy is thrown into chaos.

The pre-trib Rapture doctrine has no saving value. It is of no eternal consequence to anyone that they believe in a pre-Trib Rapture. I feel no particular need to convert someone to my understanding of the last days.

One is saved by God’s grace through faith in the finished Work of His Son on the Cross as payment in full as our pardon for sin.

But without the pre-Trib Rapture doctrine, Bible prophecy has no context. That is why I teach it as doctrine. It is my obligation as a minister of Christ. And my insurance against end-times deception.

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2nd Timothy 2:15)

When The Lunatics Run the Asylum . . .

When The Lunatics Run the Asylum . . .
Vol: 88 Issue: 9 Friday, January 9, 2009

According to the UK’s Guardian newspaper, the Obama administration has not been dissuaded from its campaign pledge to abandon America’s traditional isolation of terrorist regimes. Evidently beginning with Hamas.

Here we see Guardian following the accepted media practice of attaching “Bush” to every US doctrine it dislikes, (as in the “Bush policy of isolating Hamas”).

The reasoning is that if Obama were overturning a “Bush” policy then who cares, but if he were overturning US foreign policy dating back to the Cold War, it may raise a few eyebrows.

And not legitimizing terrorists is a foreign policy doctrine that dates to the Nixon administration.

Hamas didn’t exist until 1987, but US policy of not negotiating with terrorists dates back to when Yasser Arafat starting hijacking airplanes in 1969.

Of course, in the limited tunnel-vision universe of the anti-Bush Left, quoting from the Guardian story directly, “move to open contacts with Hamas, which could be initiated through the US intelligence services, would represent a definitive break with the Bush presidency’s ostracising of the group. The state department has designated Hamas a terrorist organisation.”

Later, the Guardian made this reference: [A]nother potential contender for a foreign policy role in the Obama administration suggested that the president-elect would not be bound by the Bush doctrine of isolating Hamas.”

Sigh. MORE “Bush doctrine” stuff? Like Hamas is an enemy of George Bush, and not America.

Hamas was designated as terrorist by the Clinton State Department. (There, I said it! So sue me.)

The Brits are particularly enthused when it comes to The One — if Obama says it is the thing to do, then get out of the way and let’s get to it.

The Guardian admits that legitimizing Hamas would be politically ‘toxic’ but lays out various scenarios whereby Obama could do it anyway:

“Secret envoys, multilateral six-party talk-like approaches. The total isolation of Hamas that we promulgated under Bush is going to end,” said Steve Clemons, the director of the American Strategy Programme at the New America Foundation. “You could do something through the Europeans. You could invent a structure that is multilateral. It is going to be hard for the neocons to swallow,” he said. “I think it is going to happen.”

But one Middle East expert close to the transition team said: “It is highly unlikely that they will be public about it.”

Assessment:

Hamas exists for one expressed purpose: the destruction of Israel as a Jewish State. It cannot exist under any other circumstances — and still be Hamas.

THAT is why the UK Guardian says the Obama team is proposing SECRET dialogue. Because doing so openly would be bad. If it is bad openly, how does it become good in secret?

But this isn’t about Obama’s foreign policy plans — he’s not running things yet. What is fascinating is the ‘change’ anticipated by the Left when he is. For Obama to open a dialogue with Hamas would be an open repudiation of Israel’s right to exist, since legitimizing Hamas legitimizes its raison d’ tre as well.

The media’s anti-Semites are frustrated in their efforts to paint Israel as the aggressor in the current Gaza operations, primarily by Hamas itself. Hamas has been too eager to put its own population in harm’s way.

Hamas’ indiscriminate shelling of Israeli civilian markets and schools doesn’t contrast that favorably with Israel’s use of precision munitions against combatants.

The United Nations Security Council approved a ceasefire resolution by a vote of 14-0 (with the US abstaining rather than casting its veto) that called for an “immediate, durable and fully respected cease-fire, leading to the full withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza.”

Even before Israel could officially respond, a Hamas spokesman said the group “is not interested” in the cease-fire because it was not consulted and ‘the resolution did not meet its minimum demands’. It is hard to blame Israel when Hamas rejected the ceasefire before Jerusalem had a chance to.

The resolution expresses “grave concern” at the escalating violence and the deepening humanitarian crisis in Gaza and emphasizes the need to open all border crossings and achieve a lasting solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Now think about how stupid this is. It is HAMAS firing rockets into Israel that started the conflict. Hamas is STILL firing rockets into Israel now. Hamas has pledged to CONTINUE to fire rockets into Israel in the future. So the UN passes a resolution against ISRAEL and includes a ‘by the way’ clause about Hamas.

It is enough to make one’s head explode. But wait! There’s more! Hamas rejected the ceasefire because it didn’t meet its “minimum demands.”

That means Hamas won’t accept any agreement that does not include the full opening Gaza’s blockaded border crossings. The border crossings are blockaded to prevent Hamas from smuggling in missiles from Egypt to shoot into Israel.

Israel accepted the ceasefire ‘in principle’ before outlining the principle under which it would accept it. Israel wants a cease-fire that guarantees an end to missile smuggling — so Hamas’ minimum demand cancels out Israel’s minimum demand.

Guess which side the UN expects to modify its minimum ceasefire condition?

International news organizations like Reuters and the Associated Press are working overtime on articles detailing the cruelties being inflicted on the Palestinians by Israeli tank crews, setting the stage for the eventual UN demand that Israel unilaterally withdraw.

The US refusal to veto the ceasefire resolution is a signal to Israel to begin wrapping things up in Gaza.

But even as that message was being sent, Syria sent a message of its own via Hezbollah when Hezbollah rockets from Lebanon slammed into an Israeli nursing home in the northern Israeli city of Nahariya.

According to the prophets of the Bible, in the last days, Israel will find itself a pariah nation; friendless and alone. The Prophet Zechariah said that eventually, the whole world will stand against Israel over the issue of Jerusalem. (Zechariah 12:3)

The prophet Isaiah foretells the ‘burden of Damascus’ in which Damascus is totally destroyed in a devastating overnight attack from Israel: “And behold at eveningtide trouble; and before the morning he is not. ” (Isaiah 17:14)

The prophet Obadiah even identified Israel’s principle antagonist by name, writing in verse 11; “For thy violence against thy brother Jacob shame shall cover thee, and thou shalt be cut off for ever.”

The word rendered ‘violence’ is the Hebrew word “chamac” also pronounced ‘hamas’.

Eventually, Zechariah says, Jerusalem itself will be divided, one more time:

“Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.”

That doesn’t take place until the conclusion of the Tribulation Period, the “Day of the Lord” and yet we can already see shadows of how such things could take place, even today, in this modern era.

This isn’t the battle of which the Prophets spoke. It is just one of many battles that are part of the conditioning process that will allow the world to totally abandon logic and principle whenever Israel is involved. (Similar to the the way that Hamas can be rehabilitated in the media by simply referring to their terrorist designation as a “Bush policy.”)

The spiritual lunatics are in charge of the asylum. The world is being conditioned to accept any charge, no matter how spurious, provided that it is leveled against Israel.

Everything is in place. In fact, too much is in place. Something has to be removed. About the only ones left on this planet against whom this magic incantation remains ineffective are the Christians.

Until we be taken out of the way.

“And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with with the Spirit of His mouth and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming.” (2nd Thessalonians 2:8)

Maranatha! (“The Lord is coming!”)