Handicapping the A/C

Handicapping the A/C
Vol: 98 Issue: 30 Monday, November 30, 2009

One of the more interesting trends pointing to this generation as the one that will see the fulfillment of Bible prophecy and the return of Christ is the tremendous amount of interest in His counterfeit.

Back in the 1990’s,  I was involved with a lot of prophecy conferences.  We hosted a couple a year when I was with “This Week in Bible Prophecy”.   And at every one of them,  somebody would come up to me to share their personal research concerning the identity of the antichrist.

Later, when I went to work with Hal Lindsey,  we put on a couple of conferences down in LA and one in Seattle.    It didn’t much matter whose conference or which coast — I’d still end up with reams of personal research naming the antichrist.

The obsession with identifying the antichrist seemed to take off near the end of the 1980’s with some ministries devoting more of their attention to the coming of the antichrist than they do to the return of Christ Himself. Prince Charles Coat of Arms

One such theory was presented by Tim Cohen back in the early 90’s entitled, “The Antichrist and A Cup of Tea.”  Cohen names Charles, Prince of Wales, as the antichrist.  Charles was born in 1948.  His name calculates to 666 in both English and Hebrew.

Cohen notes the symbols in his official coat-of-arms resemble the first beast of Revelation 13.   He claims descent from David, Jesus, and Mohammed, Cohen says, and hopes to be the King of Europe.  

Of course, that was back in the early 90’s.  Charles no longer even hopes to be King of England. 

The late Charles Taylor pegged King Juan Carlos of Spain, noting that Juan Carlos’ name adds up to 666 in ten different languages. King Juan Carlos is hereditary heir to the title, “King of Jerusalem”. King Juan Carlos has a sailboat named “The Dragon.”

But while Juan Carlos is Spain’s titular head-of-state, the real power is invested in the country’s prime minister, not the King.  It seems unlikely that a King not entrusted with political power over his own country would be handed authority over all of Europe.

Javier Solana is another famous Spaniard widely promoted as the antichrist.   Until last month,  Solana was the de-facto head of state for both the European Union and the Western European Union.

Solana’s supporters point to WEU Agreement 666 which combined the two posts into one under Solana’s authority.  Both the EU and WEU arose out of the old Roman Empire as a consequence of the 1957 Treaty of Rome.

But Solana retired last month after serving out a ten year term and was replaced by Catharine Ashton and Herman Van Rompuy, at least temporarily taking the EU presidency off the list of potential antichrists. 

Some of Solana’s cheerleaders have shifted their allegiances over to Von Rompuy since Catharine Ashton is disqualified by her gender. They point to a speech he gave shortly after being named to his office:

2009 is the first year of global governance, with the establishment of the G-20 in the middle of the financial crisis.  The climate conference in Copenhagen is another step toward the global management of our planet.

If making that observation qualifies one for the job of antichrist, Von Rompuy’s bid has to stand behind George Herbert Walker Bush, who was the first to address the move towards a New World Order during his “Thousand Points of Light” speech.  

But President Bush wasn’t the antichrist and now he’s too old.  His son can’t be the antichrist, either.    Scripture paints a detailed portrait of the man Daniel said would be a prince of the people who would destroy the city [Jerusalem] and the sanctuary [the Temple]. Both were accomplished at the hand of future Emperor Titus of Rome in AD 70.

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

That would seem to disqualify Barack Hussein Obama as well, although of all the possible pretenders to the throne,  Obama’s credentials are the most impressive.   On the day he was elected president, the winning Pick 3 numbers in his home state lottery were 666. 

Daniel 7:8, 24 says the antichrist  will rise from obscurity, but with a ‘mouth speaking great things’.  That’s our Obama. His beginnings are so obscure, we aren’t even sure if he began in Hawaii or Kenya. 

We know nothing of his background; his educational records are sealed, and he has a phalanx of lawyers on retainer to keep the details a secret.

He will blaspheme against God. (Daniel 7:25; 11:36; Revelation 13:5) 

In his first major speech on foreign soil, Obama denied America is a Christian country and said it was one of the largest Muslim countries in the world.

For the record, the CIA World Factbook disagrees — or it did when it was last updated in 2007. 

Religion: Protestant 51.3%, Roman Catholic 23.9%, Mormon 1.7%, other Christian 1.6%, Jewish 1.7%, Buddhist 0.7%, Muslim 0.6%, other or unspecified 2.5%, unaffiliated 12.1%, none 4% (2007 est.)

While 51.3% Protestant and 23.9% Catholic (75.2%) may not make America a Christian country, (although I don’t see how)  America’s 0.6% Muslim hardly qualifies it as a Muslim country,  even to Muslims.

The antichrist will confirm a covenant between Israel and her enemies.  The covenant will establish a Jewish presence on Temple Mount and will restore Temple worship.

He will put an end to Jewish sacrifice and offerings after 3 ½ years and will set up an abomination to God in the Temple [Daniel 9:27, Matthew 24:15].

His power will be as absolute as any ‘king’ of the ancient Babylonians, Persians, and Greeks. [Revelation 13:2] He will not answer to a higher earthly authority; “He will do as he pleases.” [Daniel 11:36]

The antichrist will pay lip service to the religion of his ancestors.  Obama’s religious ancestry is Muslim.  He will deny Jesus as the Messiah and deny His resurrection and His Deity.  But Obama claims to be a Christian — a God his fathers knew not. 

But Obama, like Solana, Bonnie Prince Charlie and King Juan Carlos of Spain, is not the antichrist.  Like all the rest of them, he is missing several critical qualifications.   

First off, the antichrist is an organizational genius who essentially rules the world single-handedly.  Obama has a mouth speaking great things, but that’s about as far as one can reasonably take it.  

Obama’s administration is proving itself to be as inexperienced and inept as his most vociferous critics had feared.  He’s been unable to pass a single piece of major legislation despite having veto-proof control of both Houses of Congress.

He’s not accomplished a single one of his campaign goals.  He’s practically lost the war in Afghanistan.  Any hope he had of convincing America he could set up an efficient government-run health care system evaporated when his administration dropped the ball over H1N1.

Far from the picture of the antichrist as controller of a global economic system, Obama’s economy is the worst in sixty years, no matter who he tries to blame it on. 

Obama’s charisma is undeniable, but his popularity is plummeting faster than any American president in living memory, including that of  George W. Bush.  

The difference between Obama and the antichrist is obvious.  The Bible says people will like the antichrist. 


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Matthew 24:4-14 describe the events now ongoing as the Church Age comes to a conclusion. Jesus speaks of global wars, rumors of wars, famines, earthquakes, etc., saying “all these are the BEGINNINGS of sorrows.”

Jesus promises that, “he that shall endure to the end shall be saved.” (24:13) That He is referring to those Christians that are alive at His coming at the end of the Church Age is confirmed by the next verse:

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

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

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

For the Church, it is a warning that our time is drawing to an end, that the fields are white with the harvest, and that the harvest season is quickly drawing to a close.

For the Jews, it is evidence that this same Jesus Who forecast the Tribulation will also return at its conclusion.

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

The details about the coming antichrist are useful to the Church only in that they impart a sense of urgency to fulfill the mission of preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom into the whole world BEFORE the end comes.

As the saying goes, “if the calendar says Thanksgiving, then you know Christmas is right around the corner.”

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

Instead, the revealing angel told Daniel, “But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” [Daniel 12:4]

The Book of Daniel is no longer ‘sealed’ — because this is the time of the end.  The search for the antichrist has become an obsession for many — even within the professing Church.

But the purpose for Bible prophecy is not to entertain, titilate or scare people with stories about the coming of Satan’s boogeyman.  Its purpose is to validate the truth of Scripture to a lost and sin-sick world. 

It is to give the warning that time is running out on this world, and that the time is coming when the world has to make a choice. The Christ?  Or the antichrist?  

Pontius Pilate offered the Jews a similar choice before he pronounced sentence on Jesus.  Will it be Jesus?  Or Barabbas? 

The true Church has already chosen Jesus. There is no need to put the question before it again.

”Lest Thou Be Like Him”

”Lest Thou Be Like Him”
Vol: 98 Issue: 28 Saturday, November 28, 2009

I was talking to a guy the other day about the state of affairs this world finds itself in and of course, we eventually got around to the Bible.

“What?” my friend exclaimed. “You’re kidding!”   He looked at me as if I had just admitted I’d been abducted by aliens.  

(Or, more accurately, the way I would have looked at a guy who said he was abducted by aliens.  In this case, had I claimed an alien abduction, he probably would have wanted to know all the details.)

But when I admitted to believing the Bible,  he really did think I was kidding.   (Billy isn’t actually a friend exactly, but rather, the twenty-something son of a friend.  I was having a coffee with him while waiting for his dad to come home when the discussion began.)

Our discussion started over politics and economics.  Billy had been reading about the Federal Reserve, the Money Trust, and how government works and decided that capitalism is evil and that he is a Marxist/socialist.

He had lots and lots of information, but no context in which to understand it.  I was trying to put it into context when the Bible came up.  

Suddenly, Billy was not only an economist and politician, now he was also an authority on the Bible.

“How can you believe the Bible when it is filled with errors?” he asked me.  “Everybody knows it’s just a book written by men.   It’s been changed and edited more times than you can count.”

Billy had obviously never heard of the Dead Sea Scrolls.  The Dead Sea Scrolls refers to the collective discovery at Qumron in 1947 of documents and artifacts hidden in caves by the Essenes who had a settlement nearby.

The Essenes were a sect of Jewish zealots that appeared in Jewish history about the 2nd century before Christ through to the 7th decade of the 1st century AD.   

The Essenes were the third largest sect at the time after the Pharisees and Sadducees. It is widely believed that John the Baptist was a member of the Essenes.

Essenes lived in various cities but congregated in communal life dedicated to asceticism, voluntary poverty, and abstinence from worldly pleasures.

Josephus records that Essenes existed in large numbers, and thousands lived throughout Judæa. When the Jewish Uprising began in AD 66, many of the Essenes fled to Qumron near the Dead Sea in the Judean wilderness.

The settlement at Qumron was sacked by the Romans in AD 68.  Knowing the Romans were coming, they hid their scriptures and their artifacts in the surrounding caves before being massacred.

Among the Dead Sea Scrolls was found a complete copy of the Book of Isaiah dating to about 100 years before Christ, or about 500 years after Isaiah penned it.  

Isaiah is one of the Major Prophets of the Old Testament.  He prophesied the coming of the Messiah, His virgin birth, even His suffering and death.    

The Book of Isaiah reaches beyond the First Advent all the way through to the Millennial Reign.

The Qumron copy is, according to the scholars that have examined it, essentially identical to the modern Book of Isaiah, a fact made that much more remarkable, given that many of Isaiah’s prophecies are in the process of fulfillment in this generation.

Only people who know nothing of either history or Scripture could argue that it is riddled with errors.  It has proved itself accurate in every case where there is comparative evidence.

Even more astonishing is the fact that not one single word of Scripture has ever been conclusively disproved.   Why is that ‘even more astonishing’?   

Think about it.  In every generation in Church Age history,  believers and skeptics have debated and argued and parsed pretty much every jot and tittle recorded.  

Proving Scripture false has been the Holy Grail of critical philosophy since the very first philosopher that learned of the Bible’s self-proclaimed inerrancy.  

The name of philosopher, historian, doubter or skeptic that conclusively disproved a single claim of Scripture would be as famous as Moses the Lawgiver. Can you name this famous thinker?

Neither can anyone else.


My friend’s son was ready for me with a list of perceived errors and contradictions to support his position that the Bible is an ancient book of myths.

He began his argument where most skeptics do, assuming the Bible is myth until proved true is as flawed as assuming someone is guilty until proved innocent.

If one applied that same reasoning across-the-board, then one would have to assume traffic signs were not telling the truth until proved true.  If the sign says ‘sharp curve ahead’ it is a good idea to believe it.

What about the labels on cans and packages?  We don’t assume that the label that says ‘peas’ is false until we open the can to prove it true.   

There are signs on the doors to washrooms designating men’s and women’s facilities.  Who assumes the signs are lying until after they check for themselves?  

Who assumes that the historical account of the Lincoln administration is false until proven otherwise?   Or the historical account of the life and times of George Washington?

I asked Billy if he believed in the theory of evolution.  “Of course,” he said, as if I had asked him an inordinately stupid question.  

So he automatically trusts the premise that the story of a frog turning into a beautiful princess is true, given the addition of uncountable billions of years.   But the fact the Bible has withstood thousands of years of constant attack by the best minds of every previous generation he found unconvincing. 

If one wants to find contradictions and errors in Scripture, one can find them, even when they aren’t there.   Billy was ready with his list, probably gleaned from some atheist website.

“Where did Cain get his wife?” is the kind of stuff atheists think is just dazzling.  Given the extended life-spans of the time, the solution to this so-called ‘problem’ is childishly simple.   

First off, the Bible doesn’t say how old Cain was.  He could have been fifty years old or five hundred. The Bible isn’t the only ancient record of extended lifespans – ancient Greek and Egyptian sources also reference humans who lived hundreds of years.

Obviously, since the human race began with a single pair, he could only have married a close relative.   This isn’t complicated.  

Cain could have married a sister, a niece, a cousin, a second-cousin, third-cousin, grand-niece – such was not forbidden until the giving of the Law of Moses some 3400 years later.

That is pretty much the template for all so-called Bible ‘contradictions’ or ‘errors’.   The error isn’t in the Scripture, it is the result of an assumption by the reader. 

In this case, the assumption that Cain and Abel were Adam’s only children.  Genesis 5:4 says that Adam “begat sons and daughters.”  

There are thousands of similar ‘errors’ in Scripture that aren’t errors at all.  But if one begins from the premise that the Bible is ‘riddled with errors’, then error is what one will find.   

But it isn’t because the errors are in the Scripture. The errors are in the heart.  

In my discussion with Billy, I forgot that basic truth and instead, fell into the trap of debating the truth of Scripture with a determined skeptic.  

Grant Jeffrey once told me privately (using an analogy I now claim as my own) that “debating the Scriptures with a skeptic is like debating the circumference of the earth with a member of the Flat Earth Society.”

It’s a brilliant analogy (which is why I stole it).   If you believe the earth is flat, then your argument rests on the fact the earth doesn’t have a circumference.  So before one can even begin to discuss the earth’s circumference, one must first establish that it exists.   

That is the same difficulty with debating Scripture with a skeptic.   The skeptic is not constrained to facts in making his argument.  The believer is.   The skeptic can quote any authority with equal gravity – the believer must stick with the Bible. 

The believer must first prove the earth is round – the skeptic is under no such limitations.   One can produce a globe, but the skeptic is free to counterclaim that just because the globe is round doesn’t necessarily mean the earth is.

The next thing you know, you’ve fallen into a carefully laid enemy trap.   But don’t count on God to get you out of something that you got yourself into by ignoring His Word. 

For most believers, how to deal with a determined skeptic is something of a mystery. The gift of grace unto salvation is a gift beyond measure; it is a pearl of incalculable value. 

In addition, it is our Great Commission.    It is our responsibility to share it — not to compel somebody to accept it.

I should try reading Scripture more and debating it less.  If I had, I would have taken the time to study the Great Commission in context.   When Jesus sent out His disciples, two by two, it was with the following instructions.

“And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.” (Matthew 10:14)

“Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.” (Matthew 7:6)

I ignored that advice.   Soon, I was as frustrated with Billy as I would have been debating with a flat-earther.  Before I knew it, I was sputtering like a tea-kettle – and making just as much sense. 

I finally stormed out before I said something I couldn’t take back.  Nice witness. 

The truth of Scripture is proved by the truth of Scripture.

The Scriptures also say, “Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like him.”  (Proverbs 26:4)

I sure proved the truth of that one.

The Delusion

The Delusion
Vol: 98 Issue: 27 Friday, November 27, 2009

There is an old saying to the effect that “the best defense is a strong offense” — even when defending the indefensible.

For example, when a politician is caught red-handed in a lie, the preferred response is seldom to refute the facts in question, but rather, to argue the accuser is an even bigger liar.

Such a defense kills two birds with one stone.  First, the attention is removed from the original lie.  Secondly, the the politician is innoculated against further charges on the grounds “that’s already been dealt with.”

It almost always works.  So it wasn’t too surprising,  as I noted on Wednesday, that the evidence suggesting that the global warming crisis was a deliberate fabrication was largely ignored by the media.

Briefly, some 160 megabytes of email traffic between leading climate scientists was somehow leaked to the public.  Ostensibly, the culprits were hackers that hacked into the East Anglia University’s system.  

The mainstream media attempted to use the fact the emails were hacked as cover for ignoring their contents.   But the usual defense strategy of attacking the accuser fell flat.   How does one destroy the veracity of an anonymous hacker?

First off, it’s a hacker! So attacking his reputation is pointless, even if his identity were known, which it is not.  Identifying a hacker only increases his reputation and encourages other hackers.

The media back-up strategy would have been laughable, were it not so sad.  And somewhat insulting.  It pretended to be hamstrung by ethical concerns regarding the use of hacked private communications.

The NYTimes, for example, had no similar qualms about using leaked top secret documents whenever its use would damage the Bush administration. Damage to national security was weighed by the Times against its own yardstick gauge of what its editors decided was the “public’s right to know.”

The UK’s Lord Lawson, an influential and noted British climate change skeptic, summarized the case for the British public.

“The integrity of the scientific evidence on which not merely the British government, but other countries, too, through the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, claim to base far-reaching and hugely expensive policy decisions, has been called into question.”

That’s a fairly powerful statement, given all that is at stake here. Applying “the public’s right to know” as a test in this instance, one would assume that since the government was planning to invest billions in public money in a possible scam,  journalistic ethics would demand the story rank as above-the-fold headline news.

But with a few notable exceptions, the media has done its level best to pretend there is no story to report.

The Huffington Post says: “This criminal activity has created fodder for right-wing groups to promote their own agenda that global warming is not real.”

After admitting he was “deeply shaken” by the e-mails, a Guardian columnist adds: “To bury man-made climate change, a far wider conspiracy would have to be revealed.”

One wonders how much wider it would need to be?

  • As far back as 1996, the hacked emails reveal, scientists who expressed doubt about the alleged scientific consensus on global warming were mocked and even exiled by scientists in positions of power and holding the majority view.
  • One email suggested that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a U.N. climate science monitoring wing, include only their own views and exclude others. 
  • Data sharing with scientists with opposing views was also discouraged, and  suppression of data which did not fit the climate change model was either manipulated until it did or excluded altogether.
  • One email from Phil Jones, head of Climate Research at East Anglia U discussed “the “trick of adding in the real temps to each series … to hide the decline [in temperature].”
  • “If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I’ll delete the file rather than send to anyone,” Jones emailed Mann.

White House Energy and Environment Commisar Carol Browner decided on her own variation of the usual strategy.  Pretend it’s all part of a vast, right-wing conspiracy

“There has been for a very long time a very small group of people who continue to say this isn’t a real problem, that we don’t need to do anything,” Browner said at the White House. “On the other hand, we have 2,500 of the word’s foremost scientists who are in absolute agreement that this is a real problem and that we need to do something and we need to do something as soon as possible. What am I going to do, side with the couple of naysayers out there or the 2,500 scientists? I’m sticking with the 2,500 scientists.”

I noted as I’ve been following this story some of the language being used in the media to describe the two sides.  It’s the same language used in religious debate.   On one side are the believers, defenders, apologists or evangelists of global warming.

Al Gore’s role is often described as that of an evangelist or prophet of global warming. Then there are the True Believers,  zealots like Dr. Heidi Cullen, the climate change ‘expert’ at the Weather Channel, who once called for a loyalty test among meteorologists.  (Any who expressed doubt as to man-made climate change, she argued, should be stripped of their credentials.)

Global warming has its legions of defenders and apologists, most of whom are now busily engaged in redefining their doctrine to make ‘collusion’ the equivalent to ‘consensus’.

The Kansas City Star offered that exact defense in an editorial earlier this week.

The emails are part of the normal scientific discussion. There is no proof in them of a conspiracy to lie about climate change. There is no proof in them that current climate change theory is off base. In fact, they reach the opposite conclusion.

On the other side are the “skeptics” “unbelievers”  “Flat-Earthers” “deniers” etc.The UK’s Lord Lawson defined climate change as a religion.  When asked in what regard, Lawson replied,

There are two things really. One is the view that man is irredeemably bad, and needs to atone for his sins by making some kind of sacrifice. When bad things happen they are somehow a judgement on mankind.”


The Bible pictures the system of the Beast during the Tribulation as resting on three pillars of control. The Antichrist holds the reins of political and economic power while the False Prophet is pictured as heading up the religious system.

The arguments favoring some kind of global government and global economic system are fairly straightforward and convincing.

It is hard to mount much of an argument against it that doesn’t sound like blind nationalism to the other side. Sometimes, it even sounds like blind nationalism to the person making the argument, given the strength of the counterclaims.

If one accepts the premise that unchecked human activity will soon destroy the planet’s ability to sustain life, then the introduction of some kind of global authority is a matter of survival.

Pretty much for the bulk of the history of Christendom, the main, if not the only, serious candidate for the role of False Prophet has been the papacy.But as we count down to the end of this present age,  the field of candidates is widening.

Alternative candidates deserving of consideration to this generation are the New Age and Lord Matreya, Islamic totalitarianism, some kind of UN-mandated all-inclusive system of non-sectarian deism, none of which was even on the radar for most of the past twenty centuries.

But nothing so far has come close to equaling the potential of the Church of Climate Change.  One has a hard time picturing the Vatican ordering the beheading of religious dissidents.

Not so hard to picture mass beheadings under Islam, but it is hard to see how a religious culture still stuck in the 6th century could overtake the secular West.

The New Age is too disorganized and has little to offer other than some flashback memories from Baby Boomers nostalgic for the unfulfilled potential of the Age of Aquarius. Hard picturing them ordering my decapitation for not sharing their bong.

If you believed that by sacrificing the lives of a planeload of passengers, including your own, you could save thousands of innocent lives, would you do it? 

That was the impossible choice handed to Todd Beamer and the passengers of Flight 93. They will rightly remain forever enshrined in our collective memories for the courage of their selfless choice. 

Suppose you truly believed that sacrificing national sovereignty would save the whole world from certain doom?   Suppose you believed with all your heart that if the planetary population were not drastically reduced, it would result in planetary extinction?

Somehow, I have less trouble imagining a scenario involving capital punishment using clean, ecologically friendly guillotines as a method of combining the twin problems of eliminating ecological terrorism with restoring the earth’s population to ecologically sustainable levels than I do any of the alternatives.

Islam fits the death theme, while the papal scenario fits the worship theme,the New Age fits the false Christs and false prophets theme, but none of them conform to the most basic theme of all.

“For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect,”Jesus said. THIS is the main reason the papacy has stayed at the top of the list.

The elect won’t be deceived by the New Age.  It isn’t Christian and even the most skilled New Age apologist couldn’t convince a Christian that it was.

The elect won’t be deceived by Islam’s claim to be the Third Testament.Islam has its own Jesus, but Islam’s Jesus is not Divine, is not the Son of God, did not die for the sins of mankind and offers no path to salvation.

The elect — or some part of them, might be deceived by a renegade Pope,  but there is still the problem of the elect cheering on the execution of denominational dissidents.

But how many churches have completely given themselves over to the doctrine of man-made climate change? How many denominations have passed resolutions or encyclicals or other statements of support for the conclusions of the IPCC that energy and the environment be put under a single global authority?

How manyChristian denominations would ultimately accept the idea of eco-terrorism as being as bad or worse than political terrorism? How many would be ok with imposing capital punishment on eco-terrorism?

I have trouble picturing Islam, the Vatican, the Age of Aquarius or even some form of secular humanism deceiving the very elect.

I have trouble seeing how any of them can be integrated into any existing political and financial system, but if we’re as close to the end of this age as the signs suggest, then we should be able to see it from this side of the Tribulation.

A religion that integrates global government, global business, is based in deception, is seductive enough to win the support of some churches, advocates population reduction and equates pollution with terrorism.

To fit the mold, its adherents would be susceptible to a strong delusion so that they would believe a lie, even while knowing it is a lie because received not the love of the truth to begin with.

One cannot love the truth and political correctness — one has to choose one or the other. Integrating Christianity with climate change is an effort to choose both while loving neither.

I think we have a viable candidate.

Giving Thanks

Giving Thanks
Vol: 98 Issue: 26 Thursday, November 26, 2009

Christmas isn’t my favorite holiday. Thanksgiving Day is.

I love its historical purpose. It is the one time of the year when America expresses its collective love and appreciation to our Creator God for the many blessings showered upon us as a nation.

Thanks to the foresight and faithfulness of America’s Founding Fathers, even in the rabidly secular post-Christian America of the 21st century, there remain a significant number of Americans who still heed 2nd Chronicles 7:14:

“If My people, which are called by My Name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

The fact that despite America’s many sins, America remains the most Divinely favored nation on the face of the earth is evidence that God heeds His promises.

That is what I love most about Thanksgiving Day. The opportunity to witness God’s continued involvement in the affairs of men.

During the American Revolutionary War the Continental Congress appointed one or more days of thanksgiving each year. And each one carried a recommendation to the executives of the various states for the observance of these days in their states.

George Washington, leader of the Revolutionary forces in the American Revolutionary War, proclaimed a day of Thanksgiving in December 1777 as a victory celebration honoring the defeat of the British at Saratoga. The Continental Congress proclaimed annual December Thanksgivings from 1777 to 1783 (except in 1782).

The concept of setting aside a day of thanksgiving is as old and as universal as mankind.

Many countries, such as for example, Asia, Japan, India, Indonesia, Thailand and Sri Lanka have celebrated in gratitude for their rich rice harvest for many, many centuries.

In Africa, many tribal expressions of gratitude are similar as this ancient prayer: “The Year Has Come Around Again, Great Lord Of Our Land – Never Can We Thank You For Your Good Deeds And All Your Blessings.”

In South America, many of the native Indian cultures have expressions of gratitude and thanksgiving. Modern Brazil has a special public day of thanksgiving and prayers and has been celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November since 1949.

In Chaldea. ancient Egypt and Greece, harvest festival has been celebrated with great rejoicing.

The Hindus and the Chinese marked their harvest with a holiday. The Romans celebrated their Thanksgiving early October. They dedicated it to the Goddess Of The Harvest, Ceres, and the holiday was named “Cerelia.”

Egypt, Syria and Mesopotamia, offered the first or last sheaf of wheat to the “Great Mother” or the “Mother Of The Wheat”, believing that earth power was a feminine force.

The annual “Declaration of World Thanksgiving”, is signed by 12 world leaders — religious leaders, scholars, scientists, philosophers, artists — representing various religions and cultures from around the world.


“By their fruits ye shall know them,” Scripture tells us.

America is, hands-down, the most abundantly blessed nation on the face of the earth. Sharing in that blessing are Canada, Australia, New Zealand and some of the nations of Western Europe.

Those nations also share the tradition of offering thanks to the Almighty God of the Bible for their blessings.

Israel also has a tradition of thanksgiving, called Sukkot. Sukkot has three names: Hag HaAsif – The Festival of Ingathering, Hag HaSukkot – The Festival of Booths, HaHag – The Festival), which comes on the fifth day after Yom Kippur, lasts for seven days.

During that time the Israelis remember the protection God gave them during the forty years they spent traveling in the desert. The Jews also celebrate the ingathering of crops during the Feast of Tabernacles.

Like the Christians, the Jews offer their thanks to the True Author of blessing, and like the Christian nations, are among the biggest recipients of God’s provision and protection.

Places like India, Sri Lanka, Africa, Indonesia, Thailand, etc., have traditional celebrations in which they give thanks to pagan gods.

What the pagan gods are able to deliver in return is self-evident.

“Yet ye have forsaken Me, and served other gods: wherefore I will deliver you no more.” (Judges 10:13)

The reason that I love Thanksgiving Day above all other holiday seasons isn’t the turkey (but I love that) and it isn’t the feasting (but I love that) or the parades, or the football games or any of the secular trappings that go along with it.

It is because I get to watch God keep His promises. When God told Abraham of the coming destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham pleaded with God until the Lord agreed that if there remained yet ten righteous men in the city, He would stay His execution on the city.

Even though not ten righteous men could not be found, for the sake of Lot and his family, the Lord arranged first for their evacuation, before bringing judgement on the city.

Each Thanksgiving Day, Americans acknowledge the Creator and offer Him thanks for His blessings. And a walk through American history shows that every year was more abundantly blessed than the year before, with one notable exception.

The longest period of economic stagnation in US history was the period between the War of 1812 and the Civil War. Economic growth was all but non-existent and banking panics were commonplace.

The Banking Panic of 1837 almost tanked America — in 1861, Abe Lincoln had to issue ‘greenbacks’ — in essence government IOU’s — to finance the Civil War.

It is especially interesting in light of the fact that, from 1816 to 1861, there were no presidential Thanksgiving proclamations issued.

America was therefore ‘blessed’ accordingly.

We live in a post-Christian era, but there remain a few righteous men left, in a handful of nations, that still heed the national call for thanksgiving and prayer.

Thanksgiving Day renews my hope that, as in Lot’s case, the Church will be evacuated before God executes judgement on a lost and sin-sick world.

“And out of them shall proceed thanksgiving and the voice of them that make merry: and I will multiply them, and they shall not be few; I will also glorify them, and they shall not be small.” (Jeremiah 30:19)

Offer up thanks to Our Creator, the Almighty God of Israel, Isaac, Jacob. Let Him hear the ‘voice of them that make merry’ — wherever you may be.

I pray each of you have a happy Thanksgiving Day. God bless you all.

The Manhattan Declaration(s)

The Manhattan Declaration(s)
Vol: 98 Issue: 25 Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Last year a group of climate scientists and researchers assembled at Times Square in NY City to participate in the 2008 International Conference on Climate Change. 

It was at that particular conference that a number of scientists, economists, policymakers and business leaders issued the first ‘Manhattan Declaration’ of the 21st century under the subtitle’ “Global Warning Is Not a Global Crisis.”

The Declaration had the usual numbers of “resolveds” and “affirmings” and so on,  plus one ‘noting’ I thought was long overdue:   “Noting that warmer weather is generally less harmful to Earth than colder.”

It’s the little things like that side note that serve to confirm for me that I’ve not lost my mind — logic is still logical.  I’ve been waiting for somebody else to notice how hard it is to grow watermelons in a snowbank. 

One of the more interesting dichotomies of global warming is that the same people who used to hold concerts to feed the hungry are the ones demanding we increase the amount of food being turned into fuel, despite increasing instances of food shortages.

But that was last year’s Manhattan Declaration.  Since then,  the evidence pointing to anthropogenic global warming being a deliberate hoax has become mountainous.  

Back in the 1980’s, the British government was trying to expand the UK’s nuclear power grid in the face of a united and powerful coalition of environmentalist groups who feared nuclear power would destroy the environment.

PM Margaret Thatcher began awarding research grants to universities like East Anglia to study the impact of fossil fuels vs. nuclear energy on the environment.  

It didn’t take long before the scientists figured out (after all, they are scientists) that researchers who found a correlation between fossil fuels and climate change got the bulk of the grant money.

In 1989 Senator Al Gore, noting Britain’s success in using climate alarmism to manipulate public opinion, took the British research and made it his own, writing his first tome, Earth in the Balance. It paid off big time for Al Gore.

Environmental alarmism got him picked as Clinton’s running mate.  It won him a Nobel Peace Prize, an Oscar, and transformed him from a comfortably wealthy professional politician into a fabulously wealthy global alarmist huckster.

But I digress. . . .

Hackers recently broke into the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit, one of the leading proponents of anthropogenic climate change.   They released the thousands of stolen emails between climate scientists into the public domain together with the following statement:

We feel that climate science is, in the current situation, too important to be kept under wraps. We hereby release a random selection of correspondence, code, and documents. Hopefully it will give some insight into the science and the people behind it.”

The recurring theme that has emerged from all these private in-house discussions among the world’s leading climate scientists is that they’ve been “cooking the books” for decades.  

You’d think this would be big, big, news. 

What if somebody released emails from the Bush administration suggesting that they “cooked the books” to suppress information that didn’t favor their cause? 

Had you even heard about last year’s “Manhattan Declaration on Climate Change?”  Did you even know about the emails?  (Apart from the OL, I mean).    I only knew about them from surfing the web.  I’ve yet to see any mention of it on any major news network . 

I watched Hollyweird actor and environmentalist nutbar Ed Begely, Jr. come unglued on Stuart Varney yesterday because Varney questioned the premise that “the science is settled” on the global climate change issue.

He accused Varney of damaging “the common” — repeating “the common” several times, and accused Varney of being hateful and spewing misinformation. Begely literally raved, waving his arms, jabbing the air with his finger, shouting “peer reviewed!” over and over — it was positively bizarre.

It was exactly the sort of bizarro expression of mental derangement that lets liberals get away with claiming anyone who disagrees with them is “intolerant.”   Global warming is their religion and Gaia help the heretic who dares question it.

Which explains the second Manhattan Declaration. 


Last week, a non-aligned grouping of American Christian leaders came together to make a declaration of their own.   I am guessing that Manhattan was chosen because it is where the major network news organizations have their headquarters.

That was the same mistake made by the climate guys.  Thinking that making news right outside the network news’ HQs would shame the liberal media into covering it.   It didn’t work for the climate guys last year, either.   

This year’s Manhattan Declaration is also a direct challenge to Liberal Derangement Syndrome by the only other group liberals find more intolerable than climate change skeptics.  

The Manhattan Declaration was drafted by Chuck Colson, together with Divinity Professors Robert George of Princeton University and Timothy George of Samford University Divinity School.  The Declaration was then signed by 152 American Christian leaders. 

It is a beautifully written document,  both inspiring and deeply moving.  Having read it,  I was honored to add my name to its signatories.   It purports to draw a line in the sand beyond which Christians refuse to be pushed.

It is more than merely a statement of conscience — it is a declaration of intellectual and moral independence.  It is a direct shot across the bow of the USS Intolerance and a refusal to bow to the illusion of liberal superiority in matters of conscience and religion.

The Manhattan Declaration is a statement of principles, which may explain why it has taken the mainstream press to comment — they’re still trying to figure out the nexus between “principles” and “agenda.”

The Manhattan Declaration lays out both in definite terms so there can be no mistake:

We are Christians who have joined together across historic lines of ecclesial differences to affirm our right – and, more importantly, to embrace our obligation – to speak and act in defense of these truths.  We pledge to each other, and to our fellow believers, that no power on earth, be it cultural or political, will intimidate us into silence or acquiescence.  It is our duty to proclaim the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in its fullness, both in season and out of season.   May God help us not to fail in that duty.

The principles outlined by the Declaration are those of the Great Commission.  The agenda is to fulfill the obligations imposed by those principles. 

The Great Commission obligates each of us to bear witness to what Jesus has done on our behalf and to share the good news with the lost, that they might also have eternal life.  

The Manhattan Declaration draws three separate lines in the sand and its signatories pledge not to cross them;

In this declaration we affirm: 1) the profound, inherent, and equal dignity of every human being as a creature fashioned in the very image of God, possessing inherent rights of equal dignity and life;

2) marriage as a conjugal union of man and woman, ordained by God from the creation, and historically understood by believers and non-believers alike, to be the most basic institution in society and;

3) religious liberty, which is grounded in the character of God, the example of Christ, and the inherent freedom and dignity of human beings created in the divine image 

Reaction to the Declaration was unsurprising.  Several prominent Christian leaders made a point of refusing to sign it because it didn’t go far enough in advancing the Gospel.   Others oppose it because it went too far in condemning abortion, gay rights or same sex marriage. 

Those on the Left called it a ‘hateful’ and ‘intolerant’ labeling it a “right-wing manifesto” —  because it outlines principles the Tolerant Ones despise and with which they vehemently disagree. 

(What kinds of people write ‘manifestos’?  Think Karl Marx.  Or the Unibomber.  That’s why they chose that word.)

When I signed my name to the ‘right-wing manifesto’ late last night, I was the 86,017th to do so.  This morning, that number was over 109,000.

Why report on both Manhattan Declarations?  I started researching Colson’s Manhattan Declaration when I discovered the one about climate change.  I didn’t know about the first one, so I’m guessing most of you didn’t either. 

They share enough in common to share the same column.

They are both religious documents.  The first Manhattan Declaration is a repudiation of the religion of the Left, whose veracity rests on the doctrine that mankind is an infection that is destroying the planet.  It’s authors were labeled heretics.

The second Manhattan Declaration is a repudiation of the doctrine of political correctness and a reaffirmation of Constitutionally-protected religious liberty.

Since Election 2000, the gulf between Left and Right has widening at an alarming rate.  Liberal Derangement Syndrome has made meaningful accommodation between the two sides impossible.  

Anything the liberals disagree with, they simply ignore. 

Getting colder?  It’s because of global warming.   There is a scientific consensus, you know.  Just ask Ed Begely, Jr.  (But don’t mention last year’s Manhattan Declaration.  It makes him crazy.)

This year’s Manhattan Declaration is more just a line in the sand. 

It is a refusal to play the PC game anymore.  Its signatories have pledged civil disobedience rather than comply with any laws conflicting with the principles outlined therein.

It isn’t quite a pledge of one’s life, one’s fortune and one’s sacred honor — not yet.  

But we’re getting there.

The Bucket List

The Bucket List
Vol: 98 Issue: 24 Tuesday, November 24, 2009

For most of the course of human history,  mankind has been burying clues about his existence in the places that he lived, the hieroglyphics that he drew, the inventions he left behind.  

And for almost all of human history, it was ignored, if not plowed under or used for building materials by the generations that immediately followed. 

Who came before and who and what they were was less important than how we’ll eat today and what we’ll eat tomorrow.  Generation after generation,  from time immemorial, devoted their existence to the pursuit of the same three things.  

“What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?” (Matthew 6:31)

Once those basic necessities were met, there was little time left to worry about how previous generations went about meeting their challenges.   They had enough to worry about already.

So by and large, that was left to just a handful of men throughout history; Thucydides, Flavius Josephus, Plutarch, Pliny the Younger, Tacitus,  Herodotus, Bacon, Gibbon, Voltaire and Toynbee. 

Until roughly the early part of the 20th century, most people outside of the Ottoman Empire, had they ever heard of Jerusalem, either regarded it as either symbolic, lost to history, or a religious myth.   

Jerusalem had its high points in history as well as its low points, but for pretty much the whole of the past two thousand years, if you weren’t personally involved in the various battles, you didn’t much care.  

When Suleiman the Magnificent was rebuilding the walls around Jerusalem in 1540, the Spanish were busy discovering the Colorado River, Michaelangelo was putting the finishing touches on the Sistine Chapel, Copernicus was under Papal house arrest for declaring the earth revolved around the sun (rather than the other way around) and the Vatican was preoccupied tracking down Bible believers and burning them at the stake. 

But nobody was digging around under Jerusalem or London or Paris.  Nobody was putting yellow tape around protected archeological sites lest they be lost to history.  Yesterday was not nearly as important as today, since for most of human history,  the issue of tomorrow was always in doubt. 

The Abbey at Monte Cassino was founded in 524 AD by the Benedict of Nursia.  

Contemporary history argues that the Allies agonized over how to dislodge the German artillery positions inside the Abbey.  Maybe they agonized or maybe they didn’t, but on 15 February 1944, 147 B-17 Allied bombers dropped 1150 tons of high explosives on it anyway. 

My father was wounded in his left leg by an incoming German MG42 machine-gun round while his regiment assaulted the Abbey at Monte Cassino in Italy in early 1944.  It was a long, white scar that ran the length of his thigh, exiting just below his knee.

Dad always criticized the bombing of the Abbey whenever it was the topic on Walter Cronkite’s 20th Century — he said the bombing turned it into “a rabbit warren.”

He’d been up that hill twice before the Abbey was bombed.  It was during his third assault up the hill that somebody in that rabbit warren shot him.  

But Dad’s historical recollections aside, imagine if the US government — or any other contemporary government anywhere on earth — decided to bomb a 1,300 year old monastery to rubble? 

In 1944 the ordinary guy
was just as occupied with the three basics of life, “what you will eat, what you will drink, what you will put on,” as was his father, his father’s father and his father’s father’s father.

Preserving a 1300 year old monastery on a hill in Sicily ranked right up there with crazy stuff like questioning the definition of marriage or whether an unborn child is human.  It would never occur to him.  

There were far too many real problems to worry about.   

The only ones who really cared about the destruction of Monte Cassino at the time were the ones trying to climb a mud-slicked hill in the face of hostile German machine-guns mounted amid the rubble of the newly-created “rabbit warren.”


Something happened at some point around the mid-point of the 20th century and mankind suddenly developed a burning thirst for knowledge about the past.

When one considers all that has laid untouched for all these centuries, waiting to be unearthed over the past sixty or seventy years, it is really quite stunning. 

It’s like each preceding generation left a piece of a jigsaw puzzle behind, piece after piece, until all the pieces necessary to put the puzzle together had been cut and trimmed.  Until then, we left the rest of the pieces pretty much alone.  

It wasn’t until 1917 that Lord Allenby marched into Jerusalem, liberating the city from 400 years of Ottoman occupation, thrusting the city back into global prominence for the first time in 1900 years.  

Then we opened up the box and started fitting the first pieces together.

Following World War II, the global obsession with history, historical artifacts and historical sites forced the collapse of empires, the end of colonial rule and an increasing interest in preserving indigenous cultures. 

That isn’t to say there weren’t explorers and Egyptologists and so on before this generation.  (But before this generation, who even knew what an Egyptologist was?) 

I am often amused at the effort expended by many historians in the effort to disparage the Bible as a book of history as part of the overall repudiation of the Bible as a book of prophecy.  There are guys who have dedicated their entire careers to such pursuits. 

They scoff at the story of Noah’s Ark, citing one recent discovery after another.  They scoff at the story of Adam and Eve, citing one recent discovery after another, each discovery of greater age than the one before.

But the majority of the most ancient evidence is of recent discovery. I find that interesting. Not the discoveries, so much as their historical context. 

This generation was the first born into the Atomic Age. In 1948, the Russians became the second member of a club so exclusive that one member was too many. 

Suddenly confronted with a possible future annihilation,  retracing our steps to see how we got there moved to the forefront of humanity’s collective consciousness.   And ever since, we’ve been arguing details and documents and dates without ever taking note of the gorilla on the kitchen table.

History has been here a long time.  Sometimes, you’d think that we just discovered it recently,  but really, there’s nothing new about history.   But for the first time in that long history,  we’re infatuated by it. 

Some, like Barack Obama, are clearly driven to make amends for what they see as American historical injustices. Some seem determined to revise history’s mistakes in order to justify making them all again.  

Everybody has their own version of history, evidently believing that rewriting historical events is the same as changing the historical facts and their attending historical consequences, confusing the issue of how we got to where we are.

While the gorilla sits, glowering now, in the middle of the kitchen table as we argue around him.

It is like mankind is compiling a collective ‘bucket list’.  We’re not just suddenly concerned with history — it seems more like an obsession to tally our respective accounts and to either demand payment or make amends.

And the question that troubles the increasingly-impatient gorilla goes unanswered amid the din of claims and counter-claims and accusations and excuses and offering amends for symbolic wrongs. 

Why now? I mean, really.  Think about it.  Why now?  Why must all the wrongs be righted now?  American slavery ended in 1865.   Why the sudden demand for reparations?  Why the sudden support?  Why now?

Why the Obama International Apology Tour?  Why are the Europeans so obsessed with making amends for being colonial powers, right now?

What caused the Islamic world to suddenly decide that  NOW is the time to resume the assault on Dar al Harb (the West)  and seek revenge for their defeat at the gates of Vienna on September 11, 1683?  

Why now?

Why is it that, after at least six thousand years of human existence, we are suddenly obsessed by fear of man-made global warming when only 30 years ago,  data gathered over a similar thirty-year period was predicting a coming Ice Age?

That’s what is aggravating the gorilla.   Because contained in the answer to the unasked question is the key to all the other questions everybody is arguing about.   

Why is mankind subconsciously compiling a collective ‘bucket list’?  And why now?  Why is nobody asking why?   Because everybody is avoiding the question because they  really don’t want to acknowledge the answer.

Because it is time.  The whole world knows it.  It’s instinctive.  It permeats our movies, our literature, our conversations and our jokes.   It is the stated motivation of our enemies.  

These are the last days. They know it.  They just don’t want to acknowledge it.

“And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

It isn’t that they don’t know.  It’s that they don’t want to know.  That’s why they will embrace the Lie. 

That’s why they’re ignoring the gorilla.

The Shadow Government

The Shadow Government
Vol: 98 Issue: 23 Monday, November 23, 2009

A few months ago, my friend Andre Van Heerden surprised me with a phone call.  Andre and I are old friends from the “This Week In Bible Prophecy” days.

Andre went on to become the producer of the “Left Behind” movie series, in addition to a number of other Christian-themed movie productions.

Andre asked me to participate as a commentator for a new project he was working on based on a book written by Grant Jeffrey called, “The Shadow Government.” 

Grant is also an old friend with whom I worked closely for years when I worked on the television program, “This Week in Bible Prophecy”. 

I first worked with Andre Van Heerden on that same program, so as far as I was concerned, this was something of a reunion.  I was not just willing to participate, I was tickled to have the opportunity.  

As an extra bonus, Cloud Ten Productions’ studio is only a short drive from home, so I was able to shoot my little segment without even having to leave the area.   

So I dug out my “TV suit”,  slicked down my cowlick and made the thirty-mile drive to St Catharines. 

I worked with the same group when we were in television production, I’d never been to an actual movie studio before. So it was quite an experience.

Most of the staff were new (to me) but they were evidently briefed beforehand because they all seemed to know me.  Before I was all the way in the door there was somebody headed to the Green Room to get me a cup of coffee.  

Then Andre came around the corner and took my hand in greeting. When Andre and I first met, he was fresh out of school and had been hired as an assistant writer.   That was about fifteen years ago.  

Oddly,  he STILL  looks like a kid fresh out of school.  But everybody looks like that to me.  All my life, the target demographic for all advertising has been people my age. 

When I was 25, so were most of the commercial actors who were encouraging me to by acne medicine and Mustang convertibles. 

When I was 35,  so were most of the commercial actors wanting me to buy minivans and razor blades.  When I was forty-five,  so were most of the actors wanting to sell me extra life insurance and luxury cars. 

Today, when I turn on the TV, the majority of commercial actors are STILL my age, only now they are trying to sell me Cialis, Viagra, anti-acids, and retirement homes in Florida.

The effect, I notice, is that the only people who actually seem to age are other Baby Boomers.   If you don’t know what brand “tastes good like a cigarette should” or have never “wondered where the yellow went” after brushing with Pepsodent,  then you remain ageless. 

Andre still looks twenty years old to me, despite having produced a number of major motion pictures.  I was flattered when he introduced me to the film crew as “his old boss”  — we only worked together for a very short time before everybody noticed Andre had way too much potential to be anybody’s assistant.

If Andre learned anything from me,  it was what not to do.  I soon went on to work with Hal Lindsey and Andre took over my old job.   Fifteen years later, I am doing more or less the same thing now that I was doing then. 

Things hadn’t seem to change much for Andre, either.When I got to the studio, Andre sat me down and asked me a bunch of questions and filmed my answers — that was just what I used to do fifteen years ago. 

I didn’t find out until several days later that in actuality, Andre is now the CEO of Cloud Ten Productions. 

Anyway, the idea is to get the interviewee to start talking and then “roll in” pertinent sound bytes from the conversation into the final product.

The Shadow Government project that I was invited to participate in was, as I said earlier, based on Grant Jeffrey’s new book by the same name.  But since I hadn’t yet read the book, I was working cold.  

The last time I did that, it was for a National Geographic’ special, “Doomsday: The Book of the Revelation”  that pitted ‘scholars’ against ‘believers’.  

Those  “scholars” chosen to comment  on the last book of the Christian New Testament included two Jews and a Jesuit.   The “believers” were myself, Tommy Ice and the dean of an evangelical Christian seminary.

Guess which group was included for comic relief?

I promised myself then that  I wouldn’t do any more of those kinds of interviews unless I knew for certain what the project’s agenda was.   But since this was Grant Jeffrey’s book and Andre Van Heerden’s movie,  I wasn’t too worried.


When the final edits were done,  Andre sent me an advance copy.   It was absolutely nothing like I expected it to be. 

Back in 1995 (and coincidentally, with roll-in interviews with Grant Jeffrey and production assistance from Andre Van Heerden),  I wrote and presented a three-part series called “If You’re Not Paranoid, Its Because You are Not Paying Attention” for “This Week In Bible Prophecy”. 

I was very proud of it.  After watching “The Shadow Government”  I realized why I am still just a writer and Andre is a big time movie producer in charge of a big time movie studio.

The final result is one of the most terrifyingly accurate representations of the dangers posed by the Shadow Government — now in the final stages of construction  — that I have ever seen.   I held a small private screening of the film for a few of my unsaved friends to get their reaction. 

I now have fewer unsaved friends. Those on the fence are not sitting there quite as smugly, either.

The Shadow Government is both a story and a documentary.   The story revolves around the character of John Wilson, an ordinary sort of fellow with an ordinary sort of job and ordinary friends.   But John Wilson and his wife are both Christians.

As the plot unfolds, one sees with terrifying clarity how easy it would be for the government to build a case against you as a potential terrorist based entirely on your Christian beliefs and the paper trail of data left behind by all of us.

The movie is periodically interupted by, to quote their advertising blurb,  “leading researchers, authors and minds like Grant Jeffery, Dr. Katherine Albrecht, Edward G Griffen, Daniel Estulin, Gary Kah, Chuck Missler, Joan Veon, Brad O’Leary and many others . . .”  (‘many others’ — that’s my credit).

I wasn’t even in the trailer, at first.  (Oh Lord, it’s hard to be humble . . . that’s probably why He makes me keep practicing humility until I get it right)

All kidding aside,  I believe that this is one Christian docu-drama you will want to see. It is a powerful witnessing tool, particularly since everything it discusses is ripped directly from today’s headlines.

The Patriot Act, cell phones, credit cards, EFTs, the terror war, the open season on Christianity,  political correctness, global warming — these are all issues tackled in this film.

They have a special  “Friends of Jack Kinsella” page created at the “Shadow Government” website where you can order the video directly from the producers.   (I’m in that trailer, I think)

In any case, the Shadow Government would be a must see for OL readers even if I wasn’t in the movie — which I am, and in a more prominent role than my credits suggest.

So my ego demands you see it,  even if my sweet and humble nature abhors the suggestion you see it just because of me. You should see it just because of you

And because of all your unsaved loved ones that think you are a paranoid looney-tune.  Show this movie to them and even if they still think you are looney-tune, they won’t think you’re paranoid anymore.

And while I’m on the subject of the commercialization of me, if you haven’t ordered the three part prophecy panel series from Jan Markell,  you’re missing some of the best prophecy discussion ever assembled on one DVD.  

Ok, so maybe I’m exaggerating — a bit.   It is the best prophecy panel that I’ve ever been part of that was ever assembled on DVD.  And, since it appears that its “All About Me” day at the OL,  Jan is adding my book, “The Eternal Generation” to her website store, as well. 

But enough about me.  This is about Bible prophecy and the last days.  Order the Shadow Government and the three-part Prophecy Panel and invite your fence-sitting friends to a group screening.  And watch as those fence rails start getting uncomfortable. 

They might even decide to jump off.

At Such an Hour As Ye Think Not . . .

At Such an Hour As Ye Think Not . . .
Vol: 98 Issue: 21 Saturday, November 21, 2009

For the first time, Federal Reserve officials are using the word ‘deflation’ in their discussions about the economy and where it is headed. The word has also enjoyed a growth in usage among business reporters:

“Federal Reserve officials on Thursday downplayed the consequences of the falling U.S. dollar, underscoring that deflation is still a threat, especially with commercial real estate prices falling.”

Deflation is inflation’s evil twin.  Inflation is bad news because it raises prices.  Inflation is the result of too much money chasing too few goods, causing prices to spiral upward until the bubble bursts and prices have to fall back to earth.

The effect the bursting bubble has on the economy is called ‘recession’ because the economy is receding, like waves receding on the shoreline.

Deflation is what happens when prices begin to spiral downward.  Deflation sounds like good news, especially if you are on a tight budget.

Rapid weight loss sounds good to a dieter, too.  Until it turns out to be because of cancer.   That is what deflation actually is — a kind of economic cancer. 

Deflation is generally the result of excessive production capacity leading to an oversupply of goods relative to demand.

Too many goods chasing too few dollars results in falling prices.  But falling prices reduce returns on investments, reducing the investment pool. 

As prices continue to spiral downward, consumers begin to hang onto cash, rather than spend it,  knowing that if they wait, the prices will fall still more. At that point, we’ve moved from dieting to a wasting disease. 

It stops being a good thing.

Deferred purchases lead to more inventory.  Too much inventory means idle factories and worker layoffs, which in turn further reduce domestic demand.  The cycle functions much like an economic cancer, a wasting disease that continues to consume its own body.

Unchecked inflation leads to economic recession.  Unchecked deflation leads to economic depression.  That is why deflation is the evil twin.   Instead of receding, the economy is deflating.  

The 1929 Stock Market Crash was caused by exactly the same forces that caused the Crash of 08. High consumer debt, ill-regulated markets, foreign trade imbalances, growing wealth inequality and government interference with market forces.

In response to the Crash, the Hoover administration passed protectionist trade policies, similar to the Obama administration’s “Buy American” clauses in the TARP bill

In 1929, federal government expenditures only equalled 20% of GDP. 

In 1933, to avoid defaulting on the US national debt, the Roosevelt administration confiscated all the private gold in the United States which was then shipped to Europe to satisfy America’s creditors. 

Government spending resulted in a brief period of economic improvement — a ‘dead cat bounce’ that ended with the Recession of 1937. By 1939, the size of the federal goverment had tripled. 

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke acknowledged last year that the Federal Reserve policies of the time, were actually responsible for both the depth and severity of the 1930’s Depression. 

(Then, following last year’s crash, he embarked on exactly the same course.)

Business leaders complained that the Roosevelt administration was too cozy with labor and the union movement and that his policies were anti-business.  It was an historical mirror-image of the current administration’s.

They argued the New Deal had been very hostile to business expansion, had encouraged massive strikes which had a negative impact on major industries such as automobiles, and had threatened massive anti-trust legal attacks on big corporations.

In the current situation, the government bought the corporations and, in the case of GM and Chrysler, effectively turned them over to the unions.  

It’s been said that the definition of insanity is repeating the same mistakes over and over, hoping that this time they will bring a different result.   By that definition, the current administration is as mad as a hatter.

But if the historical parallels hold, there will be one bright spot.  Between 1930 and 1935, the illegal alien population actually reversed itself as they began heading in the other direction.

Not much of a silver lining, but we have to grab ’em where we see ’em.


According to Bible prophecy,  the only world superpower in existence during the Tribulation Period is the revived Roman Empire under antichrist.  

Russia is a major power, but it one of four major sphers of power. And there is no regional or global power resembling the United States in evidence.

The USSR collapsed in 1991, just as the European Union was beginning its planned political integration.  The United States was at the zenith of its power and influence when it took on the role of mediator between Israel and the Arabs at the Oslo signing in 1993.

By 2001, it was reeling from the attacks of September 11.  By 2009, its military forces are in disarray, its economy is on life support, its dollar is collapsing and its position as the world’s remaining superpower in dire jeopardy.

Every bit of this was prophesied by the Bible to occur in a single generation, somewhere in time.  The benchmark against which end times Bible prophecy is measured is the restoration of Israel.  Until Israel resumed her seat at the table of nations, Bible prophecy was in suspended animation.

The moment that Israel raised her flag, the rest of the players began taking their places.  On January 1st, 1948 nothing was in place.   By year’s end, everything was in place.

The 1948 GATT Treaty created a global economic system. The 1948 Berlin Airlift began the Cold War that shaped every subsequent political alliance and policy decision for the next forty years.  The 1948 Benelux Treaty started the drive toward European Union.  

Red China,  North Korea, the Seven Dragon Nations, India, Pakistan, Burma, Northern Ireland . . . they all sprang into existence at the same point in history. 

So did UFO’s, killer smog, and the first Supreme Court decision banning school prayer in the United States.

So what does this all have to do with current economic situation?  Bible prophecy depicts the restoration of Israel as the seminal event that starts the countdown to the 2nd Coming of Christ.  

I believe Bible prophecy also depicts the collapse of the global economy as the seminal event that starts the countdown to the end of the Church Age and the onset of the Tribulation Period.  

Once the slide begins, it will continue until economic and military superpower passes to Europe.

It took from 1929 to 1933 to force the US to the point of confiscating private gold to satisfy its debts and forestall national bankruptcy.  Using those historical figures as a benchmark, we should hit that point about the same time as the next presidential election cycle in 2012.

Except this time, there isn’t enough gold in the entire world to satisfy our creditors, answering the question, “Why isn’t America mentioned in Bible prophecy?”

But I don’t want to leave you terrified.  I want you to see what it means.  The economic slide has begun, but look at where it is leading.  Straight to the Rapture. 

“Oh no, not the Rapture again!  You’ve been telling me “it’s almost here!” for more than eight years and it is STILL ‘almost’ here.”

That’s exactly the way the Lord outlined it.  The signs are coming fast and furious, just as He said they would. 

The global deception is rampant, there are more false Christs out there than there are ‘Smiths’ in a New York phone book,  we’re neck-deep in wars and rumours of wars, on edge over global warming, falling space rocks and the next pandemic. . .

But not yet.  There is still much to do. 

Don’t despair.  And don’t give up sounding the alarm.  The scarier it gets, the more we are reassured. The Lord is holding off until the last possible moment, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

The Rapture is a secret event that takes place without any warning signs at all. 

“Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.”

 The signs of the last days are not to warn us — we’re already saved. What can the world do to us? 

The signs are given us for use in warning others. 

“Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from Me.  Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.” (Ezekiel 3:18-19)

Time is short, but the job is enormous.  We still have plenty of work left to do. There really isn’t time to be scared. 

The Lord’s coming back.  Quick!  Look busy!

The James Factor and Eternal Insecurity

The James Factor and Eternal Insecurity
Vol: 98 Issue: 20 Friday, November 20, 2009

One of the points raised in opposition to yesterday’s position on grace is that a study of the Schofield New Testament found no less than twenty-nine verses that call on us to be perfect, even as our heavenly Father is perfect. 

Futher, “not one of them uses the words “Try to be perfect”, or use the term “I know this is impossible, but you should at least try”. 

I agree completely with this objection, as phrased.   There is no equivocation on this subject. Matthew 5:48 contains the proof text used for this objection: 

“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” 

I not only agree that there is no equivocation in this verse, without even knowing what the other 28 verses cited are, I will stipulate that none of those verses equivocate on the requirement for perfection, either.

There is no need to equivocate.  A little further into Matthew, Jesus is asked specifically what it takes to achieve that level of perfection. 

“Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow Me.”  

There is no equivocation here, either.  

If you haven’t sold all that you have and given it to the poor and become an intinerant preacher of the Gospel, then you have not even attempted to obey the obligation to be “perfect” imposed by Scripture.  If indeed perfection is mandated, then only homeless Christians are eternally secure.

One can search all over the Bible for another way to interpret ‘perfect’ but one will NOT find a statement more unambiguously clear than the statement, attributed to Jesus Christ, that begins, “If thou wilt be perfect. . .” 

Luke 6:40 gives a similar definition of perfect, albeit without such specificity:  “The disciple is not above his Master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his Master.”  

“And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay His head.”  (Luke 9:58) 

Reading this literally, it can only have one understanding. The Master was homeless.  To be ‘perfect’ — as mandated by Jesus Christ  — the disciple should be also.

There is another understanding of what the Lord means by ‘perfect’ as expressed in Luke 13:32: 

“And He said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.”  

What happens on the third day that “perfects” the perfect Man?  The Resurrection that followed His execution on the Cross. Not for His sins.  But for mine.

So, by the definition of Scripture, if salvation includes the unequivocal responsibility to be perfect,  then one must give up all he has, become homeless and ultimately die for the crimes of another.

That isn’t some clever way to twist Scripture. It is the ONLY definition of perfect given by Jesus Christ in response to a direct question on that specific subject.   I am taking an extreme example?   I don’t think so. 

If there is another definition that is different, was expressed by the Lord Himself in reply to that specific question,  then I cannot find it.  

Jesus, by His own assessment,  was perfected when He showed the greatest love for a human being to possibly express.

“Greater love hath no man than this, that He lay down His life for his friends.”   

Believing the whole Bible does not nullify teaching one finds inconvenient to a particular viewpoint. The whole Bible teaches Jesus plus nothing equals salvation.

“I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. (Galatians2:21)

There is another way to obey the 29 different times that we are unequivocally admonished to be perfect besides poverty, homelessness and martyrdom.   It is expressed in equally unequivocal terms by the writer of Hebrews:

“For by ONE offering He [Jesus] hath perfected forever them that are sanctified.”  (Hebrews 10:14)

“Sanctified” (Greek: hagiazo) means “to make holy, to be made holy, to purify or consecrate.”  Them that are sanctified are them that are made holy, purified and consecrated.

So, there are two ways given in Scripture whereby a Christian can obey the unequivocal admonition to be perfect, even as our Father in heaven is perfect.

We can sell our possessions and become itinerant preachers whose life’s goal is martyrdom.   Or we can be perfected forever by our faith that Jesus did it for us.  

Most people know exactly when and where they were saved and sanctified.  I recall the place and I recall the message and I recall the moment I knew I was washed clean.  

If there is a similarly precise point at which one can lose one’s salvation, it will help clear away a major obstacle to convincing me.  Is it a particular sin?  A particular series of sins?  A particular period of time? 

If there is a point at which one loses one’s salvation, what point is that?   At which point in a Christian’s life is God finished with them?  

When does God get so exasperated that He revokes His Holy Spirit and transforms the Christian back into the Jew or Gentile they had been previously?

When does the Lord decide that you are just too hard a case to save?   These are important questions, since I am betting my eternity on the answers.

Let’s clear away one bush to duck behind — let’s assume that our subject was as sincere as you were when you were saved. 

Let’s say our subject remembers the place, the time and the hour that their sins were washed away and they recognized the indwelling Holy Spirit.

“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God,” says Romans 8:16. Let’s assume that really happens and our subject experienced that joy. 

But he still wrestles with sin, and oftentimes loses the battle.  He still hasn’t whipped his besetting sin, whatever it is.  Pick something horrible like drug addiction,  just to make it even harder.

Having eliminated the argument that “he wasn’t really saved in the first place” argument, the faith plus works argument is only left with the possibility that there are some people for whom the Blood of Christ is not enough. 


The strongest argument, if there is one, against the doctrine of eternal security is the Book of James.  I believe it the strongest Scriptural argument because it is the one most often cited.

Before going to the specifics, some background information.

Paul was an apostle called to the Gentiles because his background made him suitable to that calling.  Paul was a former Pharisee who hunted down and killed the earliest Christians in the Jerusalem area.  

His pedigree worked against him among the Jews who saw him as a turncoat.  Paul was much more acceptable to the Gentiles. And the Gentiles didn’t have the extra religious baggage to overcome that the Jews had.

Peter and James were, respectively, the first of the twelve chosen and the Lord’s biological half-brother.  That gave both tremendous credibility among the Jews.  

Both understood, and presented the Gospel in the context that would best anticipate the objections an observant Jew might instinctively have.

That doesn’t mean they taught a different doctrine.  It means they differed in their approach according to the context in which their audience understood the subject under discussion. 

It is one thing to offer to add to the common understanding of the “Unknown God” of the Greeks.  It was quite another to attempt to redefine the Jewish understanding of Yahweh as one God to include two previously-unrevealed Personalities as part of a triune Godhead.  

In any case, James spends the first chapter discussing religion as the Jews understand it.   James concludes the first chapter with this summary: 

“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”  (James 1:27)

One might argue that James is endorsing salvation by works here, except that James is addressing religion, not salvation.  If religion and salvation are the same thing, then all religions must lead to salvation.

James summarizes the problem with keeping the Jewish law in the next chapter: “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”   (James 2:10)  

Every person within earshot knew the Law, and they knew they were guilty as charged.  It hardly sounds like James is advocating the keeping of the law as part of the path to salvation.

James then launches an indictment against the Pharisees and Sadducees that kept the letter of the law while defying its intent.  Note that James is simply continuing the theme of the  Lord’s ‘generation of vipers’ speech to the religious leaders when He likened  them to whited sepulchres containing dead men’s bones.

What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?  If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” James 2:14-17

Viewed apart from its historical context,  one could easily conclude that James says that one is not saved by faith alone, but also by doing good works.  

And if it were not for the preponderance of verses like “by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, lest any man should boast,” that conclusion could be justified. 

But to justify reaching that singular conclusion expressed only by James and only in the form of a rhetorical question: “Can faith alone save him?” as a proof text,  against every verse that says faith plus nothing equals salvation is an example of seeking a proof text for a pretext out of context.

Rahab the Harlot was a story known to every Jewish schoolboy.  That’s why James used Rahab as an example.  But read it in context.  The ‘justification by works’ of Rahab the harlot was argued in the context of faith being counted for righteousness, not as wages for works received. 

James is preaching to a religious system that exclusively recognized works and strict obedience to the Ten Commandments as the only path to salvation. 

Yet James was also preaching that their same God had imposed that system and now He was introducing a new one. James must be understood in context.  If not, one must  change the ‘salvation equation’ from Jesus plus nothing to Jesus plus something and without contradicting the entire testimony of the rest of the New Testament.

It is to be remembered that the topic of the briefing that raised these objections was the understanding of the concept of grace.  

Another objection contended that “grace that doesn’t change you is not grace at all.”  To me, this exemplifies the confusion that arises from trying to reconcile two mutually-exclusive systems [grace and the Law]  and see them as one.

The primary meaning of “Grace”  (charis) as pointed out yesterday  means,  “gift” but can also mean acceptable, benefit, favor, joy, liberality, pleasure, thanksworthy.

Substituting the primary meaning for the actual word grace, the objection then reads, “A gift that doesn’t change you isn’t a gift at all”.  

It isn’t my intention to argue that good works are not evidence of salvation.  Of course they are. 

And if a person has no good works at all, then he’s a pretty sorry example of humanity in the first place, let alone an example of a Christian.  I’ve never personally met anyone whom I really believe never did a good work in his life.  

But saying good works are evidence of salvation is not the same as saying good works are required for salvation. 

If that were true, it would mean that the Cross was just a downpayment. Now it is up to me to keep up the installments.  That doesn’t sound like a free gift. 

It sounds more like the deal I made with Chrysler in exchange for my pickup truck.

Doctrine of Demons

Doctrine of Demons
Vol: 98 Issue: 19 Thursday, November 19, 2009

The concept of ‘grace’ is one of such sublime simplicity that it has become one of the most complicated topics in Christian theology.   Right off the bat, there’s a clue as to the magnitude of the complications it presents.  

Grace, as a concept, owes its mind-bending complexity to its basic simplicity.

It is so simple that entire religious denominations have come into existence trying to decipher it’s simplicity.   The concept is so basic and rudimentary that it is hard to believe — for some, it is impossible to believe. 

So they complicate it until they find it believable.

“But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty,” Paul writes in his first letter the Corinthinas (1:27).

The word translated ‘foolish’ is translated from a derivative of the Greek, musterion meaning ‘a mystery’.  “Confound” is from kataischuno, meaning to ‘bring shame.’  

Those being confounded are “the wise” (Greek; “sophos” meaning, wise, worldly, sophisticated) to whom the simple concept of grace remains a mystery, even after being saved.  Grace is a mystery to those are wise in their own eyes. 

1st Corinthians 1:27 is little more than an elaboration of the obvious as recorded by Solomon 1,000 years earlier:  “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.” (Proverbs 12:15)

The biggest obstacle to overcome when attempting to understand ‘grace’ is that we tend to see it only from our own perspective.    But we are the recipients of that grace, not the Author of it. When viewed from God’s perspective,  it doesn’t look the same.

The Bible defines wisdom as thinking God’s way and reminds us that it is through wisdom that one gains understanding.  

“For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of His mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.” (Proverbs 2:6)

“Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.” (Proverbs 4:7)

Why so much division and discord among the brethren regarding this single topic?  Again, the best place to seek understanding is to delve into wisdom’s Source Code:

“Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.” (Proverbs 13:10)

We discussed the Spirit speaking ‘expressly’ and what that means in Tuesday’s OL:  “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;”

One of the most seductive spirits to a Christian is the spirit of legalism. “Legalism” in its most basic form, is the attempt to live a life pleasing to God by the principle of the law. 

That is to say, we are saved by grace through faith, but now that we’re saved, we must maintain our own salvation by adhering to the same law by which we were condemned.

It is seductive because it sounds true.  It suits our logic.  It follows our own understanding.   It redirects our trust towards something more tangible than in an invisible God and an ancient Sacrifice.  

We know the law — look at the list of things that are forbidden to Christians.   Everybody’s list is different, but we ALL have a list.   You don’t think so?  

Ever hear of a Christian being arrested for some heinous crime and wonder if the guy was really a Christian?  “How could he be a Christian and do that?”    (So whatever that was, it is on your ‘forbidden to Christians’ list.)

There is nothing that can compare with that bright, shining moment when our sins were first washed away. We never feel cleaner in our own eyes than we do at the moment of salvation. 

As we run our race through the entanglements of this world, we sometimes try to recapture that incomparable moment — and failing, we start to doubt our continued cleanliness.  The more we’re tempted, the harder we try. The harder we try, the more we are tempted.

Hal tells a story of a luxury hotel built on a pier with oceanfront balcony windows. On opening day, the manager, a fisherman, worried that people would be tempted to fish off the balconies.

He feared the windows in the lower rooms might get broken when they cast their weighted lines into the wind. So he ordered signs posted in all the rooms strictly forbidding fishing from the balconies.  People fished anyway. Windows got broken. 

In a staff meeting called to discuss the problem, somebody suggested simply removing the signs.  As soon as the signs were gone, so was the temptation to fish off balconies.

There is a saying to the effect ‘laws are made to be broken’ — the very existence of a law is a source of temptation — a principle sometimes expressed in another old saying about ‘forbidden fruit being the sweetest’. 

There is a old Abbot and Costello routine about chocolate cake diet.  “A chocolate cake diet?” says straight man Bud Abbot. “You can’t lose any weight on a chocolate cake diet!”  

“I know,” Costello says, before delivering the punch line, “But I’m never tempted to cheat.”

People on a diet are tempted by the things that are forbidden them.  If you can eat anything you want,  there is no temptation. 

Are you starting to see where I am going?  The Spirit expressly labeled them ‘seducing spririts’ because their doctrine is so seductive.   The doctrine of demons seduces you into forging your own chains to replace the old ones that fell off when you first got saved.

The more things on your personal “forbidden to Christians” list, the more temptations you have to fight off.  Nobody bats 1000 every time, so that wonderful, incomparable feeling of cleanliness we once had, grows more distant and seemingly unattainable. 

Your constant battle and your consistent failures gnaw at you and wear down your spirit.  You wonder if you were ever saved.  Or worse, if you have lost your salvation.   

“. . .and the last state of that man is worse than the first”, Matthew 12:45.


We began our discussion with the discussion of grace and the simplicity of it all.  We are saved by grace through faith that payment for our sins was made at the Cross and that the Blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin. 

Everything in the above statement that comes after the word ‘grace’ is the direct result of grace.

The mechanism whereby we are saved is that our sins are covered by the Blood of Christ, shed as full payment for the sins of the world.   

Dwell on that for a second.   The sins of the world.  The whole world.  From the moment of creation to this present hour.   You — everything you are, all you know, all you’ve experienced, everything you’ve ever done or ever will do — compared to every sinner and every sin ever committed in the history of man.  

You know that the Blood of Christ was sufficient for them.   But you’re different?  

Wisdom is thinking God’s way, and God’s way of thinking is expressed by His Word.  Understanding comes from seeking wisdom in God’s Word and seeing its application to a given situation.

Legalism as a doctrine is a seduction against which the Spirit expressly warned.  The Law had a purpose — it tells us exactly how far we can go without sinning.  But by definition, we find that line by crossing it.

Now we are on the other side.  God knows that.  He designed things that way. 

The Law was created for the express purpose of exposing the impossible nature of sin so man would know he needed salvation. Salvation reveals the need to walk close to God.  But not for the purpose of currying His favor with good works, but rather for protection against the temptations of the law.

That’s why we are not under the law, but under grace. (Romans 6:14-15)   

Under grace, God accepts us based on the fact we are in Christ and judged according to Christ’s performance on our behalf. Under the law, we are judged exclusively on our own performance.

Law and grace are therefore each complete systems unto themselves.  They are also mutually exclusive.  To mix these principles robs the law of its terror and grace of its graciousness.

Grace cannot be made complicated, despite our best efforts, because in the end, it only means one thing, and every expression of that meaning carries with it the very flavor of heaven.

‘Grace” (Greek: charis) means ‘gift’ — but it means so much more than that. 

It also means acceptable, benefit, favor, joy, liberality, pleasure, thanksworthy, —  the word ‘grace’ carries so much yet it weighs so little on the mind.  Grace cannot be appropriated, it can only be offered freely, or it is no longer grace.

And grace cannot be rescinded, or it was never grace to begin with.  

“Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ (by grace ye are saved:) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places with Christ Jesus: that in the age to come He might shew the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness towards us through Christ Jesus.”

“For by grace are ye saved through faith, and than not of yourselves, it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:5-8)

“For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” (Romans 8:15)  

In Hebrew, “Abba” means, “Daddy.”