The Methane Bubble

The Methane Bubble
Vol: 106 Issue: 20 Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I was intrigued by a headline linked on today’s Drudge Report to a report issued by Texas A&M University’s Dr. John Kessler.   The link suggested methane levels in the Gulf were at “levels only seen during mass extinction events.”

But when I tried to follow the link, so many had already hit the site that it crashed their server.   It took a little little digging, I was able to find snippets of his report elsewhere on the ‘net.   

Dr. Kessler, an expert on geology and mass extinction events, said that the methane levels in the Gulf are about a million times higher than normal.  

The other link, (that also returns a “404 error”) is to an article that confirms a large fissure leaking oil and methane from the ocean floor miles away from the Gulf wellhead salvage operation.

The 100 foot fissure was discovered weeks ago by the NOAA research ship Thomas Jefferson­ — but thanks to the news blackout imposed by the Obama administration, it was difficult to confirm and so most news organizations were unwilling to run with it.

The media has been kept away from the emergency salvage measures being taken to forestall the biggest catastrophe in human history. The federal government has warned them away from the epicenter of operations with the threat of a $40,000 fine for each infraction and the possibility of felony arrests.

Why is the press being kept away?  Given all we know about the Obama administration, if the news was good then Obama would be showing up aboard a salvage ship to give speeches about how his administration ‘saved the world’. 

Obama would flood the Gulf with reporters from MSNBC, NBC, CNN and any other news organization that has yet to shake its Obama-Messiah complex to explain how Obama’s administration saved the world.

Instead, the government has imposed flyover restrictions, blockades, banned photographers from public beaches and imposed gag orders on those working on the spill or the cleanup.  CNN’s Anderson Cooper complained that it wasn’t just BP contractors blocking access, but federal wildlife officials and the National Guard.

Why would President Obama, the most narcissistic, media-savvy politician in decades, permit one of the biggest media blackouts in American history?  What is the administration trying to hide? 

What could be SO bad that it would warrant Obama calling in the Coast Guard, the National Guard, local and state sheriffs, even U.S. wildlife officials to keep images of the Gulf spill out of the media, choosing public deception over political capital?  

Assessment:

Since BP capped the well last week, the information has been tightly controlled by both BP and the government.   What little has been reported is nebulous at best.   Noted the Associated Press:

“Ever since the cap was used to bottle up the oil last week, engineers have been watching underwater cameras and monitoring pressure and seismic readings to see whether the well would hold or spring a new leak, perhaps one that could rupture the sea floor and make the disaster even worse.”

But the AP’s flying blind like everyone else.  It’s all “could” and “may” or “might” – but when the only sources of information are BP and the federal government, nobody dares to speak in terms of concrete facts-on-the-ground.  

“Small amounts of oil and gas started coming from the cap late Sunday, but “we do not believe it is consequential at this time,” retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen said.  Also, seepage from the sea floor was detected over the weekend less than two miles away, but Allen said it probably has nothing to do with the well. Oil and gas are known to ooze naturally from fissures in the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico.”

See?  “We don’t believe” and it “probably” has nothing to do with the well.  How does one analyze that?

On the one hand, there are parades of geologists and environmental scientists and experts warning of potentially catastrophic consequences for the Gulf, not so much from the oil as from the methane.

 The concentrations of methane gas coming out of the wellhead are as high as 40% — in a normal well methane concentrations are closer to 5% says Dr. Kessler.    

One of the few things confirmed by the government is that methane is seeping from the seafloor two miles away from the well.   One other thing confirmed by the government is that the well head pressure is below what scientists anticipated, indicating a leak somewhere below the cap.

“. . . perhaps one that could rupture the sea floor and make the disaster even worse.”

This is a very difficult situation to analyze, but what clues there are to work with are disturbing.  Clearly, all is not well on the seafloor.   The government doesn’t want the public to know exactly what.  

I read a report that said the upper strata of the ocean floor surrounding the BP wellhead has begun to bulge, perhaps as much as thirty feet.   Based on the reports filed by Dr. John Kessler at A&M  the consequences could be unthinkable. 

Dr Kessler envisions much the same scenario as does Matt Simmons, whose credentials include membership on the Council on Foreign Relations and the National Petroleum Council and who was a former energy advisor to George Bush. 

An erupting methane bubble that could collapse the ocean floor, creating a towering tsunami followed by a toxic cloud of deadly gas and chemicals.   The predictions range from the death of the Gulf of Mexico to the mass extinction of human life on earth.

Other scientists dismiss the doomsday scenario as impossible.  One of our OL members, a petroleum geologist, emailed me to say that the doomsday scenario discussed in June 29’s “Dead Zone” OL “had no basis in good science.”

I’m not a petroleum geologist or a scientist of any kind.  I admit that I don’t know scientifically and am in no position to challenge his assessment of the science.   

That said,  I’ve never been to the sun but I know it is 93 million miles away.   Very little of what we know is the result of our own personal investigation. 

Most of what we know in terms of science is the result of personal investigation by scientists in their fields of expertise.  Most of what we know about what is going on in the world is the result of personal investigation by journalists.

And in theory, in a free and open society, our government fills in the blanks.   

But in analyzing this situation, there is a breakdown in the normal order of things.  What I used to call a ‘hitch in my giddyup’ that keeps nagging me – everything is a bit out of synch.

BP scientists are ‘cautiously optimistic’.  The government is ‘cautiously optimistic’.  The media, which is under a government-imposed blackout on any real facts, is ‘cautiously optimistic.’  

Still, even the government acknowledges that the possibility exists that the disaster could get ‘even worse’.  NOBODY is taking any victory laps.

That is one story.  

On the other hand, we have A&M’s Dr. Kessler, who is not dependent on the media for the facts, is not subject to government imposed censorship, and whose expertise is unquestioned, who says methane levels in the Gulf are “a million times normal’. 

In his view, the methane leak unwillingly acknowledged by the uncharacteristically media-shy government portends a disaster of biblical proportions.  

That is the other story.  

What worries me is that nobody in the government is directly addressing the Doomsday scenario.  If it is baseless, then why not?    If they are really just ‘merchants of doomsday’ then why not go after them like the administration goes after the ‘birthers’ or the Tea Party?  

The administration hasn’t simply blocked reporter access to the story.  Recall that reporters that violate the blockade risk felony arrest and fines of up to $40,000.00 for each ‘infraction’.    The government doesn’t impose restrictions that tight on matters of national security. 

Heck, any terrorist or foreign spy can use a handy search tool provided by the Washington Post to find any one of 10,000 US government ‘secret locations’ across America.  But if a Washington Post reporter got too close to the oil spill, somebody could go to jail?

I don’t want to sensationalize the story.  But there is zero doubt that the government is lying about the leak.  There is no other reason for imposing a media blackout.   What we don’t know – for sure — is what they are lying about.

We do know that there is too much methane in the Gulf and the experts not under government imposed gag orders predict that if it blows, it will be quick and deadly.

Which brings up another seemingly unrelated issue that disturbs me.  Obama is a politician and he is in political trouble.  His image is suffering and the public perception is that he is disengaged from what is happening to the Gulf States.

The oil spill is destroying the Gulf states’ tourist industry – Mrs. Obama even cut some commercials encouraging tourism to the Gulf.  The Obamas had a vacation scheduled for this past weekend.  What an amazing photo-op for the president to promote the Gulf tourism industry!  

So he took his family to Maine, which is about as far away from the Gulf of Mexico as you can get without leaving the United States.  

That bothers me almost as much as Dr Kessler’s report.

Three Felonies a Day

Three Felonies a Day
Vol: 106 Issue: 19 Monday, July 19, 2010

Last year, a Boston-based civil liberties lawyer wrote a book entitled “Three Felonies a Day.”   According to Harvey Silverglate, that is how many felonies the average American unwittingly commits in the course of a normal business day.

By design, the law is built up over time by court decisions, statutes and regulations. Sometimes even criminal laws are left vague, to be defined case by case.

Technology exacerbates the problem of laws that are so open and vague that they are hard to abide by, to the point that we have all become potential criminals.

Silverglate describes several cases in which prosecutors didn’t understand or didn’t want to understand technology. This problem is compounded by a trend that has accelerated since the 1980s in which prosecutors have trended toward abandoning the principle that there can’t be a crime without criminal intent.

Silverglate offers as one example the story of a Massachusetts man who was charged with violating that state’s wiretap laws.  His company’s mail server routinely intercepted and copied emails as part of the process of shuttling them through the internet.

That is exactly how our own mail servers work. That is how ALL mail servers work.  The mail is copied, transmitted and then the copy is immediately deleted.  There is no criminal intent.

Prosecutors chose to interpret the ISP’s role of momentarily copying messages as they made their way through the system was no different than wiretapping private communications.   The case went through several rounds of litigation, with no judge making the obvious point that this is how ISPs operate.

After six years, a jury found the defendant, Bradford Councilman, not guilty.   But not until after Mr. Councilman went broke defending himself.

Under the English common law we inherited, a crime requires intent.  But that protection is gradually disappearing.   Silverglate writes in his book:

“Since the New Deal era, Congress has delegated to various administrative agencies the task of writing the regulations,” even as “Congress has demonstrated a growing dysfunction in crafting legislation that can in fact be understood.”

Here is how it works in practice.  Prosecutors identify a defendant they want to ‘go after’ and then they sift through the various laws to look for a violation they can use to prosecute under.

Recently a number of states have passed laws against cyberbullying.   The legislation was enacted in response to a heart-breaking case in which 13-year old Megan Meier committed suicide after supposedly receiving messages from a sixteen-year old boy named Josh Evans.

The two teens had been exchanging messages for about six weeks, but Evans’s messages had grown steadily more hostile. According to reports, his last message to Meier was that she was “cruel” and a “bad person.”

But it turned out that Josh Evans didn’t exist.  He was really Lori Drew, the mother of another teen with whom Megan had been fighting.  Meier, who had battled depression all of her young life, hanged herself in a closet.

When investigators uncovered the whole story, the public was outraged because there was nothing to charge Lori Drew with.  So they passed local ‘cyberbullying’ laws while the Congress debated national legislation.

The law would prohibit using the Internet to “coerce, intimidate, harass, or cause substantial emotional distress to a person.”   

The Omega Letter regularly causes emotional distress to somebody.  It is not possible to stay true to the Word of God without causing emotional distress in some quarters.

The Bible says that Jesus Christ ‘is the way, the truth and the life, and that no man comes to the Father’ but by Jesus.  That can cause a substantial amount of emotional distress to those who believe otherwise.

After all, if the only way to heaven is through Jesus and one is a non-Christian, that means that no matter how many times a day they pray or perform other religious duties, then they won’t make it. But saying so is offensive.

Three felonies a day.   I can do that standing on my head.

Assessment:

One might assign evil intent to lawmakers but I don’t think so.  In the Megan Meier case, one can only assume that lawmakers were genuinely attempting to right a wrong while ensuring protection for other potential victims.

But there is another law in operation here, known as the Law of Unintended Consequences.  The Bible explains it this way.

“There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” 

It is a principle God thought was so important that He included it twice – Proverbs 14:12 and again in Proverbs 16:25.   

There are so many different laws aimed at protecting so many different groups that it is all but impossible for a person to make his way through the day without breaking at least some of them. 

We’ve seen how easy it is for a clever prosecutor to identify a target and then look for a law to prosecute him under when Lewis ‘Scooter’ Libby was charged with felony perjury because he couldn’t keep the details of a ten minute phone conversation from two years previous straight.

Libby was being investigated over the Valerie Plame Affair in which prosecutors were attempting to blame senior members of the Bush administration for ‘outing’ Plame as a CIA agent.

By the time Patrick Fitzgerald convened a grand jury, he already knew that the leak came from a career civil servant at the State Department and NOT anyone in the Bush administration.  The leaker, Richard Armitage, was not even a Bush supporter.

But once Fitzgerald identified his target (which was any senior member of the Bush administration), finding a law under which to prosecute him was child’s play.  

The Bible says that during the last days, being a Christian will once again become a crime as it was during the early days of the Church.   Under the present-day legal code, that is already true. 

It is illegal to preach or teach certain tenets of Christianity in public in America.   It isn’t “illegal” in the sense that there is a law making Christianity a crime – what is illegal is offering offense to a person – whether intended or not.

We are living in the last days before His return.  Although the Rapture precedes the Tribulation judgments that is not the same thing as saying that nothing bad will happen as long as the Church is here. 

It only means that the Rapture will precede the revelation of the antichrist – not necessarily his system.  The concept of political correctness as we understand it today was among the first things Jesus addressed in His reply to the question, “what will be the sign of Thy coming”?

“And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.” (Matthew 24:10)

Jesus said that when these things begin to come to pass, to look up and lift up our heads, for our redemption draws near.   For nine years, we’ve been recording on a daily basis events that dovetail precisely with the prophecies of Scripture for the last days.

When we started out, the idea that the Omega Letter would ever have to worry about censorship or that we would ever have to worry about being prosecuted for telling the truth was laughable.   That was then.  This is now.

And just nine years later, nobody is laughing anymore. 

The Internet Obamanation

The Internet Obamanation
Vol: 106 Issue: 17 Saturday, July 17, 2010

The US federal government recently “took action” against several websites connected with movie streaming and peer-to-peer file sharing.

What “taking action” means is that the federal government has ordered a free blogging platform taken down by its hosting provider on the grounds the website has a “history of abuse.” 

In order to shut down the handful of ‘offending’ sites, the government also had to shut down seventy-three thousand different blogs hosted there.

“Hot on the heels of recent threats from Vice President Joe Biden and Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator Victoria Espinel directed at sites offering unauthorized movies and music, last month U.S. authorities targeted several sites they claimed were connected to the streaming of infringing video material.”

Operation In Our Sites‘ targeted several sites including TVShack.net, Movies-Links.TV, FilesPump.com, Now-Movies.com, PlanetMoviez.com, ThePirateCity.org, ZML.com, NinjaVideo.net and NinjaThis.net. In almost unprecedented action, the domain names of 7 sites were seized and indications are that others – The Pirate Bay and MegaUpload – narrowly avoided the same fate.”

Blogetery.com, hosted by Burstnet.com, had been in operation for seven months before the site simply vanished.

“All of the users are without service just like when the Pirate Bay raids happened and all the people who were on the host sites were also taken down,” pointed out an annoyed Blogetery user who contacted TorrentFreak. “I have lost my personal site also and I don’t have any way to contact the owner since his contact info was on the blogetery.com site & that was the only way to contact him.”

The scariest part of it all is the cloak of secrecy that shrouds the entire affair.  The government won’t explain the reasons behind it and Burstnet has evidently been sworn to secrecy.  Burstnet explained in an emmail:

“Bn.xx*********** was terminated by request of law enforcement officials, due to material hosted on the server.  We are limited as to the details we can provide to you, but note that this was a critical matter and the only available option to us was to immediately deactivate the server.

The seven seized domains are TVShack.net, Movies-Links.TV, FilesPump.com, Now-Movies.com, PlanetMoviez.com, ThePirateCity.org and ZML.com.Comng To A Website Near You?  

The government ordered far more than simply deactivating the server and the seventy-three thousand blogs — most of which were perfectly legal and legitimate.

“In addition to the domain seizures, agents from US Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) seized assets from 15 bank, PayPal, investment and other advertising accounts. Four residential search warrants were also executed.”

“The other two domains targeted – NinjaVideo.net and NinjaThis.net – belong to the hugely popular streaming service NinjaVideo. According to authorities the site had been subjected to a months-long operation which resulted in the seizure of both their domains and website content.”

So that explains the nine sites the government says it was after.   What were the other 72,991 blogsites about? 

“All of the users are without service just like when the Pirate Bay raids happened and all the people who were on the host sites were also taken down,” pointed out an annoyed Blogetery user who contacted TorrentFreak. “I have lost my personal site also and I don’t have any way to contact the owner since his contact info was on the blogetery.com site & that was the only way to contact him.”

Burstnet isn’t allowed to say and the government flatly refuses.  But if you had a blog there, it’s gone, along with all its contents. 

I wonder how many blogs Burstnet was hosting that were were pro-Obama?

Assessment:

“Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvelously: for I will work a work in your days which ye will not believe, though it be told you.”  (Habakkuk 1:5)

Although IP Enforcement Coordinator Victoria Espinel altogether with Vice President Joe Biden have been voicing such threats recently, the domain seizure action came as a surprise. 

How could the federal authorities seize these websites so easily?  The answer is the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN. 

ICANN is the body responsible for the Internet DNS system. Its mission is to ensure users can access sites by using domain names. It was ICANN who transferred those seven domains to the US authorities, after ICANN agreed with the feds that the domains broke their terms and conditions

Insofar as anyone can tell, the website seizures were accomplished without due process.  What the feds ordered ICANN to do is called “domain hijacking” and it would be a criminal offense if committed by any other entity besides the US federal government.

While the domains, content data and financial accounts were all seized, there were no arrests and no criminal charges filed.  In essence, the federal government involved itself in a civil matter that ordinarily would be under the jurisdiction of the courts.

The complaintants, (record companies, movie producers, etc.,) would ordinarily file a complaint with a civil court providing documented proof of a copyright infringement and the court would issue an injunction against the offending website.

In this instance, the federal government decided to cut through the red tape and simply seize the websites.  I am not defending movie or music piracy — what is significant here is the ease with which the federal government was able to hijack their domains.

The 4th Amendment heavily restricts the government’s right to seize property, intellectual or otherwise, without due process.  

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

The federal government’s seizure of 73,000 blogsites was accomplished in secret, without due process, warrants and other trappings of freedom based on some nebulous argument that NINE of the domains on that server were in violation of US copyright laws.

There were no allegations of terrorism.  No allegations of criminal activity apart from copyright violations.  And no allegations made of any kind against the 72,991 blogsites that were seized along with the pirate sites.

Was the government really after those nine pirate sites?  Most of them have been on the internet for years.  Or were they simply a cover for eliminating thousands of blogs critical of the Obama administration? 

Admittedly, I don’t know what those other 72,991 blogs were about.  But the polls support the speculation that there are far more blogsites on the internet that are critical of Obama than there are in support of his administration.  

And a tour of the blogosphere also tends to suggest that the internet is not particularly Obama-friendly. 

The Obama administration has been at war with the internet since even before there was an Obama administration.  Obama set up his “Fight the Smears” website while he was still a candidate. 

His campaign developed a task force aimed at “correcting the record” about his background, his eligibility and other issues the campaign didn’t want being spread around the internet.   The campaign even asked supporters to inform them about anti-Obama websites.

We have developed a list of OL subscriber email addresses in the event that something “happens” and the Omega Letter suddenly goes dark.   If the Obama administration can seize 71,991 websites in order to ‘get’ nine of them, then all bets are off and we need to be ready.

Government control of the US-based internet is now a fait accompli. About the only possible remedy would be to move the OL servers off-shore — an expensive and tricky proposition — but we’re looking at it.

We have backups of the existing website, just in case, but the most amazing thing of all is that such contingency planning is even necessary.    The Omega Letter has been on the internet for nearly nine years and the LAST thing we anticipated back in 2001 was having to worry about a US government takeover of the internet.

That is my fault.  I should have. I’ve been warning that it was coming for almost nine years.   Now it’s here.  But I still can’t believe it.

One thing is certain, however.  Now that the camel’s nose is in the tent, it won’t be long until the rest of the camel follows it.  It is long past time to prepare a contingency plan.

But if we were a porn site, we’d have nothing to worry about.  Welcome to the Obamanation.

A Preponderance of Evidence

A Preponderance of Evidence
Vol: 106 Issue: 16 Friday, July 16, 2010

One of the most difficult things about preparing a daily briefing like the Omega Letter is trying not to sound like a broken record.  The Bible’s scenario on this side of the Tribulation only goes so far.

And there are so many examples of Bible prophecy coming to pass that the sheer volume of evidence creates a brand-new problem.

When I was first called to the ministry of proclaiming the soon coming of the Lord, it was as a writer for the hit television program, “This Week in Bible Prophecy” a weekly news and information program that compared the headlines of the day with the prophecies for the last days.

(For the record, This Week in Bible Prophecy was a ‘hit’ before I got there and it remained a top-rated program after I left — lest any man (especially me) should boast.)

That said, “This Week in Bible Prophecy” was pretty much a gamble on faith; faith that we were far enough along  the Bible prophecy timeline that there would be enough examples to fill a thirty-minute time spot one day a week.

When I worked with the ministry, it took a whole week (and four writers) to compile enough material to fill the timeslot.  

But between us (Peter, Patti and Paul Lalonde) and with the benefit of a lot of research that Patti developed over the course of editing their monthly newsletter (called, not coincidentally, The Omega Letter – great name)  we were always somehow able to make our deadline.

Almost twenty years later, the problem isn’t finding enough material.  The problem is that there is so much evidence it sometimes all starts to sound the same.  Every day something in the news provides a better illustration of a point made in an earlier brief.   

When it comes to making the case for unfolding Bible prophecy, the standard of proof is different than that necessary for doctrinal issues of eternal importance like salvation.   It’s like the different standards of proof required for a criminal court vs. a civil court.

In a criminal court, one is placed in jeopardy of life and limb; the standard of proof demands evidence ‘beyond a reasonable doubt.’   The same applies to one’s eternal destiny.  Salvation is a gift of grace through faith and saving faith is, by definition, beyond a reasonable doubt.

“But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.”  (Hebrews 11:6)

But when it comes to the question of whether or not we are living in the last days as foretold by the Scriptures, there is more room for reasonable doubt.  The interpretation of Bible prophecy does not rise to the standard of Bible doctrine.

Nobody’s eternal security is at risk – nobody is saved by believing we are living in the last days. 

While the standard necessary for salvation is faith beyond a reasonable doubt, the standard of proof when it comes to whether or not something is unfolding Bible prophecy is similar to the standard required by a civil court — a preponderance of evidence.

One can be pre-Trib, pre-Wrath, mid-Trib, post-Trib, no Trib, or pan Trib (“it will all pan out in the end” – meaning no position at all) and still be saved by grace through faith in the all-sufficiency of the Cross as full propitiation (Gk hiasmos – atonement) for sin. 

“And He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for our’s only, but also for the sins of the whole world. “(1st John 2:2)

The terms of salvation are not something that must be gleaned by interpreting Scripture – the Bible lays them out in clear, unmistakable detail. 

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

But when it comes to Bible prophecy, the Apostle Peter warns us as follows: 

“Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.” (2nd Peter 1:20)

The Bible is infallible.  Men are not.

Assessment:

When the interpretation of unfolding Bible prophecy is elevated to the standard of doctrine, one has stepped into a dangerous place.  The enemy is a dangerous adversary and he knows what buttons to push.

When one confuses interpretation with bedrock doctrine, the enemy has all the ammunition necessary to shatter one’s faith and, consequently, one’s effectiveness as a witness to the coming of the Lord. 

The Rapture itself is not interpretative, it is doctrinal.  It is the timing of the Rapture that is interpretative, not the event itself.

The Bible says that when He comes at His triumphal Second Coming, it is to judge the world for sin. The Church, however, is instructed to look for His return ‘unto salvation’.  

“So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” (Hebrews 9:28)

I am convinced that we are living in the last days based on the preponderance of evidence that lines up with the signs of the times as outlined in the Scriptures.   But since it is interpretative, rather than doctrinal, the only way to fact-check the interpretation is by continually sifting for evidence to the contrary. 

I don’t want to be a false teacher.  I have an obligation before the Lord to be as certain as is possible that I am not leading anybody down a primrose path. That necessarily requires going over some of the same old ground because that is where the evidence is.

There are many key indicators that we are living in the last days.  The existence of a global pariah state called “Israel.”  The moral collapse of Western Christendom. The rise of a global economy, a global government and a global religion.

Earthquakes, famines, wars, pestilences, strange signs in the sun moon and stars, the global warming debate, the decline of Church influence in world affairs; the absence of any entity resembling America during the Tribulation.

The unification of Europe, Russia, Iran, the developing anti-Israel alliances, the ascendant Kings of the East, the disgruntled Kings of the South, the total indifference to the world-wide media’s pro-Marxist propaganda machine, the delusional status of significant portions of the population – all these are key indicators of the approach of what Jeremiah called, “The time of Jacob’s Trouble” and Christians call the Tribulation.

The preponderance of evidence pointing to this being the time of the end is overwhelming, and to my mind, beyond a reasonable doubt.   The objective of the OL’s ministry is two-fold.  

First and foremost, to obey the Great Commission to spread the Gospel into all the world.  

To share the Good News of the hope of “an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you.”   

To remind you that you “are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”

To encourage and exhort you to “greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:” (1st Peter 1:4-6)

And to show, by a preponderance of evidence, that the time is short, our mission remains unfulfilled and our obligation undiminished.   I believe with all my soul that we are living in the last days. 

I believe, from the preponderance of evidence, both interpretative and objective, that the world stands on the brink of the Tribulation Period.

The preponderance of evidence supports the view that the only thing restraining unrestricted evil in the world today is the presence of the Church.   The Apostle Paul’s statement that the antichrist won’t be revealed until after the Restrainer is ‘taken out of the way’ is powerful evidence supporting a pre-Trib Rapture.

But doctrine is infallible – interpretation is not.  The purpose for Bible prophecy in the last days is to provide a preponderance of evidence that the Lord is preparing for His return. 

That is not to say I have any doubt whatever about what I believe to be the truth or I would keep my view to myself until I was sure.

But my being certain is not the same as “Thus sayeth the Lord.”   On issues not touching salvation, reasonable people can agree to disagree agreeably.  

The mission isn’t to proclaim when He is coming.  It is to proclaim that He is coming.  And He is coming soon. 

Even if it does sometimes sound like a broken record.  

If Only They Were Merely Incompetent . . .

If Only They Were Merely Incompetent . . .
Vol: 106 Issue: 15 Thursday, July 15, 2010

A brand-new opinion poll conducted by CBSNews rocked the universe of the left-leaning world with its results, including the amazing finding that only 13% of Americans say Obama’s policies have ‘helped them personally.’

Of all the overwhelmingly damaging poll numbers to emerge, that one is the most scorching.   He promised hope and change.  He declared his election “the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.”  

Then Iceland blew its top spewing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and the Deepwater Horizon poisoned the Gulf of Mexico.

He declared that “we are the ones that we’ve been waiting for.”  Then sixty-eight percent of Americans said his policies made no difference to them personally and twenty-three percent more said that his policies hurt them directly.  

So nine in ten Americans, according to the former Obama cheerleaders at CBS, are still waiting.

I think the most interesting thing about the CBS poll is that it is a CBS poll.  CBS has invested as much credibility in the Legend of Obama as either NBC or its MSNBC offspring.   No matter how carefully constructed the questions; CBS could neither lead the answers nor convincingly cook the results.

Even after months of non-stop propaganda, only 36% of Americans approve of Obamacare. Only the same 13% think Obamacare will help them.  A third think it will hurt them and half of Americans think it will have no effect on them at all.  

The administration continues to press its legal onslaught against Arizona’s immigration law.  But according to the CBS poll, 74% of Americans either support it — as written — or think it doesn’t go far enough!   

Only 23% of Americans think Arizona ‘went too far’ which CBS said represented a ‘sharp partisan divide’ between Republicans, independents and Democrats.  (In other words, all the Democrats oppose it.)

On the war in Afghanistan, 62% of Americans say its “going badly” (compared to 49% a month ago).

When asked to list the most pressing problems facing America, the economy came in first, followed by the budget deficit.  The Gulf oil spill ranked third. Only 3% picked “immigration reform”.

To deal with the oil spill, the administration is fighting to stop all Gulf oil drilling, costing the Gulf Coast 100,000 jobs and adding to the deficit.  

To protect itself politically, the administration left BP to its own devices for almost four months while it focused its attention on demonizing them out of business. The administration’s solution for the economy is to regulate Wall Street and raise taxes.

Other than that, it has devoted most of its attention for the past two years on climate change legislation, (0%) health care legislation (5% ) and immigration reform (3%).

More disapprove than approve of his handling of; the Gulf spill, Afghanistan, the economy, the recession, the stimulus, and 53% don’t believe Obama is tough enough to deal with the problems facing the country.

Two thirds say the best way to stimulate the economy is to cut taxes.   And finally, 55% of Republicans, 25% of independents and 6% of Democrats, according to the CBS poll, consider themselves to be supporters of the Tea Party. 

Assessment:

There are a lot of things that one can learn from polls and polling and the way the data gets interpreted.  But there is one thing that this poll screams out at me, that nobody else seems even remotely interested in discussing.

I wish that the polls reflected a totally incompetent administration and an equally incompetent Congress.  But there are 535 members of the Congress (435 Representatives and 100 Senators.)  

And what is today the Obama administration was two years ago the most formidable campaign machine since Papa Joe Kennedy bought Chicago for son Jack’s campaign in 1960.   

Every one of them, from the president on down, got elected by listening to the polls, reflecting on the will of the people, and then (at least promised) to reflect their will in Washington.  

They don’t do this alone.  They surround themselves with advisors and experts in every field that they feel will be necessary to help them accomplish their agendas.   

So when the polls said the public opposed Obamacare, the administration rammed it through on a single-party majority vote in deliberate defiance of the will of the people.   

When the polls showed the majority of the people support Arizona’s decision to combat illegal immigration directly, the administration declared war on Arizona!

When the polls showed that the war in Afghanistan was going badly, Obama fired his general in mid-operation because General McChyrstal embarrassed him by saying so.

When the polls showed the issue most concerning the public was jobs, the administration turned its attention to protecting the jobs of millions of illegal workers instead.   

The higher the deficit goes, the more the administration encourages more deficit spending on the theory that unlimited borrowing will somehow pay itself off.

The administration’s attention has been, from the start, focused in exactly the opposite direction from what logic and common sense would dictate and what the polls say the majority would prefer.

I said earlier that I only wished that the administration and Congress was just incompetent. That would be reassuring because even an incompetent might accidently do something right.

But they were competent enough to get themselves elected.    They know that they are acting in defiance of the will of the people and moreover, I believe they know that they are putting their own interests ahead of the nation.

They have to know.   So the only other alternative is that it is deliberate. That the administration truly does intend to effect change through the Cloward and Piven Strategy of overwhelming the system.  With the advice and consent of the majority of the Congress.

I’d much rather think they were merely incompetent and tone deaf.   

Special Report: Enduring To the End: Part Two

Special Report: Enduring To the End: Part Two
Vol: 106 Issue: 14 Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Last week, we examined the Olivet Discourse from Matthew 24 through to Matthew 24:31.  While it answered some questions, ending the discussion where I did evidently raised some new ones.   

What about v. 36-44? I’ve never understood about the unknown day and hour, the comparison to the days of Noah and especially the points about two men/women and one being taken and the other left.

Do these verses refer to the rapture or the tribulation? The unknown hour seems to refer to the rapture, but does it really mean that a time of great tribulation will come upon all the people of the earth at an hour unknown to them?

To briefly recap, we left off with Matthew 24:31:

“And He shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”

As I noted in the first column, this is not a reference to the Rapture of the Church.  The Church is not “gathered from the four winds and from one end of heaven to the other” it is ‘caught up’ (Latin= rapios, Greek=harpazo: “to pull, pluck, take [by force]) from the earth.

The “gathering” (Gk episunago – to collect upon the same place) referred to here is of the saints who are already in heaven that Jude says will return with Christ at the 2nd Coming.

“And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of His saints . . .”(Jude 14)

The question the Lord was addressing throughout His Discourse is “what will be the sign of Thy coming and of the end of the world?” (Matthew 24:3)   The question was posed to Him by Jews, from their perspective on the Mount of Olives.  

So His reply was given from the same perspective.  He outlines history from the perspective of Israel from its rebirth to His Second Coming when His elect is gathered from the heavens for His triumphal return.  Then He switches gears and addresses the Church.

“Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:” (v.32)

The “fig tree” is symbolic of Israel as a nation. To “sit under one’s own vine and one’s own fig tree” became a proverbial expression among the Jews to denote national peace and prosperity.  (Micah 4:4)

The picture of the fig tree coming into bloom is a picture of Israel restored to her land after millennia of Disaspora.  The restoration of Israel is unique in the annals of history.  No ethnic nation of antiquity has ever reconstituted itself even one generation after its conquest and dispersal, let alone after 19 centuries.

The national restoration of Israel is a Church Age event that the Lord said will be the definitive sign of His Return.

“So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away.” (v 33:35)

So what is near, even at the doors?   Everything.  Speaking from the perspective of the Jews, Jesus outlined the signs of the times including the rise of the antichrist, the abomination of desolation, warning the Jews to flee the persecution to follow, as the great tribulation begins.

He describes the gathering of the elect and His return in power and great glory.  He says that the generation that sees the fig tree blossom will witness His return after the Tribulation.

But then He shifts gears.  After giving the exact signs that will precede His coming, the time frame shifts. 

“But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” (v 36) 

So we can know when His return is near, even at the doors.  But Jesus says the day and hour will remain a mystery.   But is the Lord referring to His Second Coming at the end of the Tribulation?  Or to the Rapture and the end of the Church Age?

Still speaking to the Jews’ flight from Jerusalem, Jesus said of the Tribulation Period that it will be worse than any time in history;

“such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” (v 21-22)

Jesus says that He will return in power and great glory (His 2nd Coming) “immediately after those days”(of tribulation) (v.29-30)

Now jump forward again with me to the unknown hour and day.  Could this be a reference to the Return of Christ at the Battle of Armageddon?   In the first instance, He comes in power and glory – everybody will know exactly when He comes.

In the second description, it is a secret.  

Now let’s turn to the prevailing conditions of the Secret Coming and see if the Lord is describing conditions at the end of the Tribulation, after billions have died from the various plagues and judgments, the earth is scorched and blistered, the seas are all dead and the armies of the world are gathered at Megiddo in preparation for the final battle.

“But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark. . .” (v 24:37-38)

Hmmm.   Eating and drinking. Marrying and giving in marriage.  Life goes on, seemingly normally. Everybody will be totally unaware until, to use the Lord’s metaphor, it starts to rain.

That doesn’t sound much like 100 lb hailstones, flying scorpions, scorched earth, dead seas, famine, starvation, total global economic collapse and tribulation so terrifying that without Divine intervention, “no flesh would be saved” to me.

Can this possibly be describing the same event? In what way would the events of the Tribulation be unremarkable, as in the days of Noah?  Trust me.  By the time the 21st judgment falls at the conclusion of the Tribulation, nobody will be eating and drinking and marrying and giving in marriage. 

“And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.”  (v 39)

In the days of Noe, the flood took them by surprise. They didn’t know it was coming until it took them all away.  But when Jesus comes at His Triumphal Second Coming, life will be anything but normal, and nobody will be surprised.

“Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.”  (v 39-40)

This does not fit the description of the angels gathering the elect from the four winds and from one end of heaven to the other.  THAT is the Second Coming. 

THIS is the Rapture.   It says that where two women are working, one shall be taken.  Where two are in the field, one shall be taken.  

This doesn’t mean that every other person on earth will be Raptured.   Half the planet isn’t saved. 

Neither is it a metaphor for every other person being killed during the Tribulation. The math doesn’t add up. 

The Tribulation claims at least ¾’s of the earth’s population by the time of the Lord’s return, and untold millions more during the final Battle of Armageddon.   

What this indicates is that there is a separate event, unique from the 2nd Coming, at which some will be taken and others left behind.   Jesus confirms that this is a secret, signless event by saying,

“Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.”  (v 42)

The Lord even goes so far as to explain why the Rapture is a secret and signless event and not the visible Second Coming. 

“But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.” (v 24:43)

This clearly can’t be referring to the Lord’s Second Coming – He doesn’t arrive in secret like a thief in the night – He cometh with clouds, and every eye shall see Him. (Revelation 1:7)

“Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.”  (v 44)

Again, this only makes sense in the context of a secret and signless Rapture.  The Tribulation lasts for seven years and consists of twenty-one judgments.  Those are pretty precise markers for calculation.

There are none for the Rapture.  No markers whatsoever.  The Thessalonians thought that they had missed it — back in the 1st century.   

“Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his Lord hath made ruler over His household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his Lord when He cometh shall find so doing.” (v 45-46)

I’ve heard interpretations of these verses that run the gamut from supporting the concept of a partial Rapture (those saved but backslidden at the time of the Rapture will be left behind) to defending salvation by works. 

“But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My Lord delayeth His coming; And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (v .48-51)

Look closely at what the Lord expects of the wise servant.  To rule His household and feed His sheep – a word picture describing the Great Commission. 

The evil servant is ‘cut asunder’ and shares his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”  Clearly, since both are pictured as servants of the Lord, it describes Christians.

Does this mean the evil servant has lost his salvation? The evil servant stopped looking for the Lord’s return.  He fell back into the world.  But notice that evil servant and the good servant are both called at the same event.

Not all will be found feeding His sheep.  But Jesus still refers to him as the Lord’s servant.  Just not a good servant.

 The Apostle Paul said that at the Bema Seat, our works will be tested by fire to see what sort they are, and we will receive certain crowns as rewards.

“Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.” (1st Corinthians 3:14-15)

Paul speaks of one crown in particular;

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

The Apostle Paul describes the fate of the ‘evil’ servant when he stands before the Bema Seat.

“If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” (1st Corinthians 3:16)

Jesus describes the Rapture of the Church as occurring at such a time as we think not.  To the world, things will appear to be rocking along normally, as in the days of Noe. Warnings were ignored until the ark’s door closed and the rains came.

The ark closed BEFORE the floodwaters rose. (Or the Ark would have sunk.)  

Jesus pictures two separate comings – one with clouds and great glory where the elect are gathered from the four winds and from one end of heaven to the other — and one in secret in which one is taken and the other left behind.

One event occurs after the “tribulation of those days” whereas the other is likened to the time before the flood.   In one event, we will know that it is near, even at the doors.  In the other event, “no man knoweth the day or the hour,” but instead, “in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of Man cometh.”

So where does that leave us today, at this moment?  We are not in the Tribulation or any part of it.  Not yet.  The Lord not only says we can’t know the day or the hour, but that when He does come, it will be when we least expect Him.  

That seems to rule out linking the Rapture to the Seventh Seal or the Blood Moon.  It also seemingly rules out a mid-Trib or post-Trib interpretation.   None of them fit the bill, as they are neither secret nor signless and certainly not as unexpected.

Luke’s Gospel records Jesus’ admonition:

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

Note the timing. “When these things begin to come to pass.”  Not half-way through.  Or at the end. When they begin.  He doesn’t say to prepare for the antichrist to take your head, but instead to look up and lift up your heads.  

“These things” He describes coming to pass don’t begin with the Tribulation – they begin with the Balfour Declaration, wars and rumors of wars.  They end when the Gospel is preached into all the world. 

Then the preaching stops and the antichrist makes his appearance.  

Jesus says that starting from the wars and rumors of wars and forward, our redemption draws nigh.   It’s been almost a hundred years since Balfour.  The signs of the coming tribulation are all around us and it seems like the Lord is late. 

There is an old joke about the timing of the Rapture.  No matter which view is right, it will come as a big surprise to the others.

There is a growing movement within the Church that has concluded that He must not be coming until after the Tribulation starts. 

 “Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” (Matthew 24:44)

The Lord is coming!  He’s not late. The Rapture comes first and then the antichrist.  That’s the way the plain reading of the Scripture lays it out.  And since it makes sense just the way it is, I see no logic in trying to interpret it to read differently.

The Lord is just holding off until the last possible moment to give us time to fulfill our Great Commission. 

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

May we be found faithful until He comes.  Maranatha!

Identifying the REAL Enemy

Identifying the REAL Enemy
Vol: 106 Issue: 13 Tuesday, July 13, 2010

One of the things that the President should have checked out before appointing General David Petraeus as the new commander in Afghanistan is the general’s position regarding the administration’s decision to pretend that religion plays no role in the conflict.

General Petraeus led the production of an extensive counterinsurgency manual in December 2006 that does, in fact, tell commanders of a link between Islam and extremists.

The Petraeus doctrine refers to “Islamic insurgents,” “Islamic extremists” and “Islamic subversives.” It details ties between Muslim support groups and terrorists. His co-author was General James F. Amos, whom President Obama picked as the next Marine Corps commandant and Joint Chiefs of Staff member.

President Obama’s chief national security advisor (and an apparent expert on Islam) recently delivered a major policy address on defining the enemy.   According to Brennan, Petraeus has it figured all wrong. 

“Jihad” does not refer to the concept of holy war against the infidels to compel them to submit to Islam, according to the president’s chief advisor on terrorism.  

Brennan outlined the new policy to his audience at the Center for Strategic and International Studies saying that;

“describing our enemy in religious terms would lend credence to the lie propagated by al Qaeda and its affiliates to justify terrorism, that the United States is somehow at war against Islam. The reality, of course, is that we have never been and will never be at war with Islam. After all, Islam, like so many faiths, is part of America.”

According to Brennan, jihad is a bloodless, spiritual struggle aimed at the purification of oneself or one’s community and has nothing to do with the more than 15,600 jihadist terror attacks committed worldwide since September 11.

The fact that jahada,  the root word of jihad is used in the Koran 36 times in the context of fighting, having fought, warred or waged war against unbelievers is irrelevant, according to Brennan.   Brennan is not only at odds with what the jihadists say of themselves, he is at odds with common sense.

Alexis de Tocqueville was a French political thinker and historian best known for his two volume work, “Democracy in America.”    In his book, published in 1835, he made the following observations about his time in America.

“Moreover, almost all the sects of the United States are comprised within the great unity of Christianity, and Christian morality is everywhere the same. In the United States the sovereign authority is religious, and consequently hypocrisy must be common; but there is no country in the whole world in which the Christian religion retains a greater influence over the souls of men than in America, and there can be no greater proof of its utility, and of its conformity to human nature, than that its influence is most powerfully felt over the most enlightened and free nation of the earth.”

Alexis de Tocqueville was also a student of Islamic doctrine who published an assessment of the Koran in preparation for his visit to Algeria in 1841. This is what de Tocqueville had to say about jihad:

Jihad, Holy war, is an obligation for all believers. … The state of war is the natural state with regard to infidels … [T]hese doctrines of which the practical outcome is obvious are found on every page and in almost every word of the Koran … The violent tendencies of the Koran are so striking that I cannot understand how any man with good sense could miss them.”

Personally, I think the operative words in de Tocqueville’s assessment, the ones that stand out most prominently, are contained in the following  sentence:

“I cannot understand how any man with good sense could miss them.”

Me neither.

Assessment:

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

This is not intended as a polemic against Islam.  It is an apologetic in favor of good sense – something that seems to be hovering on the edge of the abyss in America. 

On one hand, we have the President’s chief advisor defending Islamic jihad. On the other, we have the president’s wife describing American Tea Party activists as the real jihadists in America.  

Brennan sees the 0.7% of American Muslims as “part of America” whereas the polls show that the one in four Americans who consider themselves members of the Tea Party are somehow — not.

Michelle Obama addressed the NAACP in support of an NAACP vote to condemn the Tea Party for using “racial epithets” “verbally abusing and threatening black members of Congress” and “engaging in explicitly racist behavior” by “displaying signs and posters intended to degrade people of color generally and President Barack Obama specifically.”

“We’re deeply concerned about elements that are trying to move the country back, trying to reverse progress that we’ve made.”

“We are asking that the law-abiding members of the Tea Party repudiate those racist elements that they recognize the historic and present racist elements that are within the Tea Party movement.” – NAACP spokeswoman Leila McDowell

Ummm, I can’t speak for every Tea Party supporter but I can say that I would be pleased to repudiate racist elements within the Tea Party but unfortunately, not even the NAACP can point to any bona-fide examples to repudiate.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, in coordination with 170 other groups, including labor unions, is planning a protest march in Washington, D.C., Oct. 10 as the next step in building momentum against the Tea Party.

“We see it as a threat to democracy. We see it as a threat to human rights. We certainly see it as a threat to civil rights,” McDowell said. 

 In case you’re having trouble following along, the “it” that so frightens McDowell is not the friendly non-violent and spiritual jihadist.

What threatens democracy, human rights and civil rights is . . .  wait for it . . .   the Tea Party grannies

One leading Tea Party activist dared to speak out against the NAACP’s charges of racism, saying that it is “simply a lie.”  The Reverend C.L. Bryant can do that. 

Before joining the racist anti-black Tea Party, Bryant was the former president of the NAACP’s Garland (Texas) chapter. 

“I have seen posters … where every president from Reagan to Obama has been called a fascist. . . Why is it that just because we have a black president, we are hyper-sensitive to posters at rallies?”

The NAACP wants to “create a climate where they can say that those on the right are in fact racist and those on the left are their saviors,” he added. “This is very much what the liberal agenda is about.”

The administration has decreed that its officials avoid linking Islam to jihad because it unfairly puts ‘moderate’ Muslims (0.7% of the population) in “a bad light.”  

On the other hand, the Tea Party (27% of the population) made up of whites, blacks, Asians, Hispanics and well, Americans of all colors are evil racists because they oppose a liberal, Marxist-socialist agenda that is opposed by more than half the population.   

(The Tea Party is also overwhelmingly Christian).

One of the first and most important rules of warfare is to know your enemy. All military intelligence is geared to that singular purpose. The more you know about your enemy, the better equipped you are to fight him.

The surest way to lose a battle is to underestimate your enemy’s capabilities and strengths, and the surest way to win is to exploit his weaknesses.

Before a boxer goes into the ring, he spends hours and hours watching footage of his opponent in action, analyzing his every move for clues; does he drop his shoulder before throwing a jab?

Does he plant his feet first? Does he lean into a right cross? Does he hunch before throwing an uppercut?

In a military conflict, knowing where an enemy is strongest is just as important as knowing where he is weakest. How he thinks, what his objectives are, how he uses the resources at his command, his ultimate goals; all these are of vital importance if one hopes to achieve victory.

To protect your own resources, you need to know who your threat is and how they are going to attack. The strategic challenge is to use that knowledge to force him to fight on your terms.

This is Basic Warfare 101. And there is little doubt that the Obama administration is well-versed in the doctrine, since they are so effective in its use.  And by its application, one can see clearly exactly who the administration sees as its real enemy.

Jihad is not something to fear – it just means “bloodless spiritual struggle.”   The real enemy is the racist, homophobic, Nazi, anti-Obama Tea Partier.

Awful people, really.  And terribly racist. 

Like former NAACP official Reverend C.L. Bryant.  

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

Fired In Jesus’ Name

Fired In Jesus’ Name
Vol: 106 Issue: 12 Monday, July 12, 2010

The 1st Amendment of the Constitution of the United States begins, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibting the FREE exercise thereof. . .”

Congressional sessions have opened with prayer since 1789.  Since 1860, US Code Title 10 Section 6031 has mandated, ‘An officer in the Chaplain Corps may conduct public worship according to the manner and forms of the church of which he is a member.'”

The Declaration of Independence is by definition, a religious document.  It declares that we “are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights.”

The logic is inescapable.  The existence and reality of God is the moral anchor to which our rights are tethered. What the government grants, the government can take away.  It is only the acknowledged existence of God that makes our rights “inalienable.”

In short, American freedom is only as certain as the certainty of the existence of a Creator God.

In 1777 Congress issued a proclamation for a day of thanksgiving for November of that year. December 18 was also to be set aside for “solemn thanksgiving and praise.”

The proclamation called upon all citizens to “join the penitent confession of their manifold sins,” and to offer “their humble and earnest supplication that it may please God through the merits of Jesus Christ, mercifully to forgive and blot them out of remembrance.”

In 1892, the United States Supreme Court issued a ruling in which the Court cited instance after instance, proof after proof, that from the very beginning America was closely aligned with the God of the Bible.

They brought their review of America’s religious heritage to a close with this grand conclusion:

“These, and many other matters which might be noticed, add a volume of unofficial declarations to the mass of organic utterances that this is a Christian nation” (Church of the Holy Trinity vs. The United States)

In 1905 Justice David Brewer wrote that the claim that “America is a Christian nation” reached into the “organic law” of the nation and of every state in the Union, saying “The claim that America is a Christian nation is in “the domain of official action and recognition,” not mere “individual acceptance.”

The U.S. Supreme Court reaffirmed that ruling as recently as 1931 in a case styled “US vs MacIntosh.

“We are a Christian people…according to one another the equal right of religious freedom, and acknowledging with reverence the duty of obedience to the will of God.”

Let me say before moving on that I am not attempting to make the case that America is a Christian country and therefore Christianity ought to be the dominant religion.  

It isn’t necessary.   Everything about our history and law makes the case for the former.  The latter is merely a logical observation.   IF America is a Christian country, then what other religion would logically dominate?

 The CIA explains how it arrives at its definitions for it’s CIA World Factbook.  In the section on religions, it says;

“This entry is an ordered listing of religions by adherents starting with the largest group and sometimes includes the percent of total population. . . . Descending from Judaism, Christianity’s central belief maintains Jesus of Nazareth is the promised messiah of the Hebrew Scriptures, and that his life, death, and resurrection are salvific for the world.”

The page goes on to list each nation by majority religion.  The listing for the United States is broken down as follows: 

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%.

I’m not a math whiz, but I have a handy calculator that I can access with a button on my keyboard. 

It says that 76.8% of all Americans — according to a 2007 estimate–  are either Catholic or Protestant.  Adding in the 1.6% ‘other Christian’ brings the US total to 78.4% of the population being self-declared Christians.  (Add in the Mormons and it tops 80%).

(Editor’s note: I’m not saying 80% of Americans are doctrinally born-again Christians. I am saying that CIA statistics show that 80% of Americans claim Christianity as their religious preference and therefore by definition are not offended by the Name of Jesus.)

Only four in a hundred Americans are atheists. Only about two in a hundred Americans are Jewish.   Less than one in one hundred are Muslim.   There are more American Buddhists than there are American Muslims.

I’m not making the case that America is an overwhelmingly Christian country as a matter of American “organic law.”   I’m simply relaying the cold hard statistics compiled by the CIA about the one country whose statistics it is best qualified to analyze.  

By any conceivable standard, the bare facts by themselves make the case for me.  To argue otherwise would be like agreeing that my ancestors were Irish, my father was Irish, but insisting I’m really an ethnic Italian because I like spaghetti.

The more interesting challenge would to defend the proposition advanced by President Barack Hussein Obama during his first International Apology Tour when he told his incredulous Turkish audience that Americans “do not consider themselves a Christian nation.”

Or the proposition that he advanced in an interview with France’s Canal Plus in which he concluded that America (with its 0.7% Muslim population) is really “one of the largest Muslim nations in the world.”

Now that’s a challenge!

Assessment:

“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition . . . 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.” (2nd Thessalonians 2:3,11-12)

The Gospel records an instance in which Jesus read from a passage of prophecy from the Book of Isaiah.

“And He closed the book, and He gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on Him.  And He began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.”

If ever anything qualifed as ‘strong delusion’ it is the myth that America is not a Christian country.  Not by decree, but by definition.  To argue otherwise is delusional.  Moreover, the delusion stands firm in the face of reality because nobody really wants to rock the boat.

There is a price to be paid for bucking the delusion even in America’s “Bible Belt.”   The North Carolina State Legislature fired Pastor Ron Baity from his position as an honorary chaplain of the North Carolina State House because he closed his prayer using the Name of Jesus during his invocation.

Baity said the invocation included prayers for the military, state lawmakers and “a petition to God asking him to bless North Carolina.”

Baity said he was not given instructions before the invocation, but simply asked to compose his prayer in advance.

When a House clerk asked to see the prayer, and noted it closed “In Jesus name,” she asked him to delete the reference to Jesus to avoid ‘offending’ anyone. 

“When I handed it to the lady, I watched her eyes and they immediately went right to the bottom of the page and the word Jesus,” he told FOX News Radio. “She said ‘We would prefer that you not use the name Jesus. We have some people here that can be offended.’”

“I told her I was highly offended when she asked me not to pray in the name of Jesus because that does constitute my faith,” Baity said. “My faith requires that I pray in His name. The Bible is very clear.”

“My response to her was I am a Christian and as a Christian I too can be offended, and I am offended if I cannot pray in the name of Jesus.”

Baity said that he was permitted to offer his prayer as written, but that his services to the State House would “no longer be required.”

Recall the words of the 1st Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion.”    How does that square with the state mandating how to pray?  

“Or prohibit the free exercise thereof.”  How does that square with being fired for not praying according to the mandate of the state?  

The Hamtramck, Michigan City Council voted over the vociferous objections of local residents to allow the Bangladeshi al-Islah mosque to sound a two-minute Muslim call to prayer over loudspeakers five times a day.

Of all the clergy in America, President Obama invited Ingrid Matson, the first woman president of the Islamic Society of North America (with links to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood) to offer an Islamic prayer to Allah — at his inauguration.

But the pastor of  the Berean Baptist Church was fired by the North Carolina State House of Representatives for praying in Jesus’ Name — just once.

“And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.”  (1st John 4:3)

“For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.”  (2nd John 1:7)

I am all for maintaining separation of church and state.   But it isn’t the Church encroaching on the state that is the problem. It’s the other way around.

And to argue otherwise is utterly delusional.

The Tip of the Iceberg

The Tip of the Iceberg
Vol: 106 Issue: 10 Saturday, July 10, 2010

Consider how the following story would play out in the real world. Israeli soldiers have begun deploying its military assets in civilian neighborhoods near mosques, schools and civilian markets as a shield against incoming mortar attacks. 

Israeli combat troops have commandeered houses in local neighborhoods to draw enemy fire.  Israeli commanders have deployed civilian women and children on the top floors of the houses to maximize civilian casualties of enemy fire to turn world opinion against the enemy.   Ammo bunker in Lebanon

The photo on the right is of an Israeli weapons bunker located in the middle of an Arab civilian neighborhood.

The global press corps, the United Nations, NATO and most international peace organizations evidently have decided to turn a blind eye to Israel’s violation of international law, the rules of war and the Geneva Conventions.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dismissed the photographs as “fabrications” before vowing; “if they attack us, we will exact a terrible price on their civilian cities and towns and markets.” 

At an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council voiced ‘concern’ while at the same time diplomats quietly shrugged their shoulders behind the scenes, saying, “Under the circumstances, what else could they do?”

Of course, the above story is nonsense.  Neither the Israeli public nor its military establishment would permit their forces to hide its assets near enemy civilian locations. 

Not because of the political backlash but because such tactics would preclude any possibility of negotiating any future peace settlement. Israel doesn’t want to destroy its neighbors, it wants to trade with them.

But replace “Israel” with Hezbollah in that story and what was nonsense becomes strategic reality.

Assessment: 

The Israeli Defense Forces recently declassified and released high-quality intelligence reports, (including the photograph above),  of Hezbollah positions in southern Lebanon near the northern border of Israel.

Global reaction to the release of the declassified intelligence was NOT shock and disgust at Hezbollah’s use of innocent Lebanese civilians as human shields.  

Hezbollah has been allowed to operate freely in both Lebanon and Syria, where Hezbollah has a compound near the town of Adra northeast of Damascus.

According to a report in the London Times, the site includes living quarters for Hezbollah fighters, arms bunkers and a fleet of trucks for moving weapons and supplies. 

A UN report obtained by the AP indicated that North Korea is supplying nuclear and other military technology in large quantities to Syria and Iran. 

The Times confirmed this assessment, reporting that the M-600 missiles Hezbollah posses give Hezbollah unprecedented accuracy that threatens strategic facilities inside Israel.

Earlier this month, Yossi Baidatz, head of the Israeli Military Intelligence research department, said the recent transfer of arms to Hezbollah was just the “tip of the iceberg.” 

Last week, the IDF revealed it had designated thousands of targets including command-and-control centers, arms caches and rocket launchers. The IDF revealed it has also targeted long-range rockets including the highly-accurate M600 and Scud missiles recently transferred from Syria to Lebanon.

The document dump did not even arouse the interest of the UN Security Council.  Nobody seems to be the slightest bit concerned with Hezbollah’s cynical use of human shields.   Or its deployment of rocket launchers in civilian areas in an effort to maximize civilian casualties from an Israeli counterstrike.

Hezbollah Deputy Secretary-General Sheikh Naim Qassem dismissed the photographs as ‘fabrications’ and as expected,  the statement went unchallenged except by Israel.

Indeed, what little global interest generated by Israel’s declassification and release of the intelligence photographs is focused, not on what Hezbollah is up to, but rather, what is Israel is up to?  

Qassem said Hezbollah forces were put on “high alert” saying that the Israeli release of the intelligence information means that Israel is “up to something.” 

According to Professor Asa Kasher, an expert on military ethics and the author of the IDF’s code of ethics, it isn’t that Israel is “up to something” but rather that the IDF is preparing the public for what Hezbollah has planned.

Israel’s hope is that the intelligence dump will demonstrate that it is Hezbollah who is in violation of the international rules of war before any conflict breaks out.  

But it seems clear that both sides believe the other is preparing for an attack. 

As we’ve discussed in previous OL briefs,  the Bible forecasts two major wars involving Israel in the last days.  The first is Obadiah’s war, also described in detail in Psalms 83 and Isaiah 17.  

The second is described in Ezekiel 38 and is known as the Gog Magog War. 

The Prophet Isaiah, as we’ve discussed, prophesied the “burden of Damascus” which predicts the utter destruction of Damascus at Israeli hands over what amounts to weak global objections. Damascus, the world’s oldest continuously-inhabited city, is prophesied to become a ‘ruinous heap’.

The Prophet Obadiah predicts the destruction of House of Esau by ‘the fire’ of the House of Jacob, leaving no survivors among the House of Esau. (Obadiah 18)

More than two thousand, five hundred years before the fact, the Hebrew Prophets had outlined the scenario we see developing before our eyes.

They predicted who the antagonists would be, by name and region. They predicted that the target would be Israel, twenty-five centuries before there WAS an Israel.

And they predicted, from their various (and different) vantage points in geography and history, all these events would occur at the same point on the timeline, just before the coming of the Messiah-King.

Everything that they predicted that could come to pass HAS come to pass, literally, and not allegorically, from the restoration of Israel to the alignment of nations to the effects of 21st century battlefield weaponry in the field — with 100% accuracy.

There is no reason to believe that, given such stunning accuracy so far, those prophecies remaining to be fulfilled will be fulfilled any less accurately or literally in the days ahead.

Be confident, despite the chaos and uncertainty. All is according to God’s Plan, outlined for us in advance so we would KNOW the signs of the times and rejoice in them, rather than fear them, for we know what they mean.

“And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.” (John 14:29)

“But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them.” (John 16:4)

All these events are coming together at exactly the same point in history by design — nothing is taking God by surprise.  That’s why He told us what to expect in advance.

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

To the world, it looks like chaos and confusion.  That’s how it is supposed to look.  For those of us that know Christ, however, all the available evidence says we’ve put our trust in the right place. 

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

The Lord is coming and this is exactly what He said would signal His return was “near, even at the doors.”  So, if we trust Him,  there is nothing to fear. Even if some of the details of our understanding might still be a bit fuzzy, the path before us is clear enough.  

Go and tell somebody. 

Crazier By The Second

Crazier By The Second
Vol: 106 Issue: 9 Friday, July 9, 2010

Judge Joseph Tauro of Boston handed down a new ruling saying that the federal DOM violates the Constitutional right of ‘married same-sex couples’ to equal protection under the law.

The ruling is, shall we say,  interesting?  The federal Defense of Marriage Act, by definition, means that there is no such thing as a ‘married same sex couple’ under federal law.

So Tauro’s ruling grants retroactive Constitutional protection for an entity (‘married’ same -sex couples) — that under federal law cannot exist.  If the law means anything at all, then this ruling first invents a victim and THEN discovers that victim’s Constitutional rights have been violated.

And then there is the meaning of words.  Can the word “brother” be applied to one’s  female sibling?   Is the term ‘father’ gender too inspecific? What prevents the next judge from discovering a Constitutional right to marry one’s goldfish? 

It only sounds silly today.   Did you ever imagine that anybody ANYWHERE would EVER question the definition of marriage? 

Tauro’s reasoning was bizarre in the extreme. First, he ruled that states have always set their own marriage laws since before the American Revolution.  He found states rights concerning marriage “an essential element of state power.” 

THEN he equated former laws barring interracial marriage with the federal Defense of Marriage Act which is the exact OPPOSITE situation.  There has NEVER been a federal law barring interracial marriage.  THOSE were laws enacted by INDIVIDUAL states and were struck DOWN by the federal government. 

“But even as the debate concerning interracial marriage waxed and waned throughout history, the federal government consistently yielded to marital status determinations established by the states,” Tauro wrote. 

“That says something. And this court is convinced that the federal government’s long history of acquiescence in this arena indicates that, indeed, the federal government traditionally regarded marital status determinations as the exclusive province of state government.”

Actually, if it DOES say something, it says the exact opposite of what Judge Tauro thought it said.  In 1967 the Supreme Court overturned the right of individual states to prohibit micengenation (interracial marriages).

In his ruling, Judge Tauro found that the state had the right to allow same-sex marriages in defiance of existing federal law, based on the 1967 decision that the states DIDN’T have a right to prohibit interracial marriages — said prohibition ALSO in defiance of federal law.  

The 1967 ruling was rooted in the finding that the STATES were violating the Equal Protection Clause.   This ruling hands that authority BACK over to the States. 

Does that mean that the States have had the right to enact new miscengenation laws restored to them?

Or has the system gone crazy?

Assessment:

Today’s discussion isn’t really about same-sex marriage.  It’s about our culture’s steady descent into madness.  When words have no meaning, they can mean whatever one wants them to. 

The Department of Justice is suing Arizona over enacting a law requiring existing federal immigration laws be enforced by the state.  According to the Department of Justice, the suit is necessary to prevent states from “setting up a patchwork of laws in defiance of the federal government.”

So why hasn’t the DoJ applied the same reasoning to the dozens of so-called “sanctuary cities”   that have set up a “patchwork of laws in defiance of the federal government?”    

The White House says the lawsuit is aimed at preventing Arizona police (who the White House apparently believes are criminals in police clothing) from violating people’s rights.  

The only way that could happen would be if the police deliberately violated the Arizona law as written — and then lied when filing their arrest reports.   

Which is why the DoJ’s lawsuit says nothing about ‘discrimination’ — since the only way they could argue that angle is to convince the court that the police can’t be trusted to obey the law. 

And THAT would be a pretty crazy argument.  

Or so it would seem, considering the fact that a supermajority of the country agrees with Arizona.   Since the DoJ filed the lawsuit, citizens from all fifty states have contributed nearly a half-million dollars to Arizona’s legal defense fund. 

According to the most recent polls,  only about 20% of Americans self-identify as liberals.   The rest of the country is either rigidly conservative (42%) or leans conservative (36%).   

The majority of Americans oppose same-sex marriage.  The majority of Americans support Arizona’s immigration laws.  The majority of Americans oppose Obamacare.   The majority of Americans oppose the offshore drilling moratorium. 

The majority of Americans oppose closing Gitmo. The majority of Americans oppose setting a ‘date certain’ for withdrawal from Afghanistan. The majority of Americans opposed the government bailouts.  

The majority of Americans oppose the continuation of deficit spending and the federal effort to ‘spend our way’ out of recession.  The majority of Americans oppose the federal economic overhaul bill.  

The vast majority of Americans oppose the administration’s treatment of Israel and its efforts to cozy up to Islamic dictatorial regimes at Israel’s expense.  

Given the sentiments of the majority,  there isn’t much I can think of that would be politically crazier than bucking the majority in every single possible area — especially so close to the national mid-term elections.    

Speaking of crazy, has anybody else been paying attention to Nancy Pelosi?   Pelosi massively supports legalized abortions and campaigned and voted against the partial birth abortion ban.   And according to Pelosi, she is pursuing public policies in keeping with the “values of Jesus.”  

In a speech in May on Capitol Hill,  Speaker Pelosi offered this explanation of her guiding political philosophy. 

“They ask me all the time, ‘What is your favorite this? What is your favorite that? What is your favorite that?’ And one time, ‘What is your favorite word?’ And I said, ‘My favorite word? That is really easy. My favorite word is the Word, is the Word. And that is everything. It says it all for us. And you know the biblical reference, you know the Gospel reference of the Word.  

“And that Word,” Pelosi said, “is, we have to give voice to what that means in terms of public policy that would be in keeping with the values of the Word. The Word. Isn’t it a beautiful word when you think of it? It just covers everything. The Word.   

“Fill it in with anything you want. But, of course, we know it means: ‘The Word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us.’ And that’s the great mystery of our faith. He will come again. He will come again. So, we have to make sure we’re prepared to answer in this life, or otherwise, as to how we have measured up.”

In Pelosi’s world,  “measuring up to The Word” (I think she meant Jesus but she didn’t identify Him by Name) means supporting partial birth abortion,  official lawlessness,  institutionalized theft (wealth redistribution)  same-sex marriage,  using the next generation’s wealth to buy today’s votes . . .  because, well it is too bizarre to explain second-hand.   

You have to see and hear it to believe it.

And once again,  Paul’s warning to Timothy concerning the last days of the Church Age,  penned almost two thousand years ago, reads like the morning headlines. 

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

You can’t make this up.   You can step in it, but you couldn’t make it up.  Nobody would believe it.  I can hardly believe it — even as I’m watching it unfold. 

The good news is that it means the Lord’s return must be at hand, even at the doors.  Because we know that when He comes, there will still be some Christians left to Rapture.  

But at least Nancy Pelosi will still be here to explain what happened.