”My Struggle”

”My Struggle”
Vol: 121 Issue: 19 Wednesday, October 19, 2011

“The most important thing we can do right now is those of us in leadership letting people know that we understand their struggles and we are on their side, and that we want to set up a system in which hard work, responsibility, doing what you’re supposed to do, is rewarded.” – Barack Hussein Obama on “Occupy Wall Street”

One of those parental injunctions that seems to be absorbed by all parents through some mysterious process of osmosis is the adage, “Show me your friends and I will show you your future.”  

Apparently, that saying isn’t as common in Indonesia or Stanley Ann Dunham might have shared it with young Barry.

President Obama openly mocked the Tea Party, which he regularly referred to by the disgusting double-entendre of “Tea Baggers,” but has decided to throw his support behind the “Occupy Wall Street” movement.  

I’ve never actually defined ‘teabagging’ in this column because even the definition is disgusting.  But here goes, so you may want to skip over this next paragraph. . .  

About as close as I can get to defining it without defiling myself is to say that refers to a primarily-gay sexual act that involves part of the male genitalia and the mouth of another person.  

THIS is the nickname President Obama uses to describe about a third of the American electorate and two thirds of the GOP. Could he be more disrespectful?

According to a CNN poll from earlier this month, thirty-three percent of all American voters identify with the Tea Party. 

CNN’s intended focus was about how Tea Party support was “slipping” but the fact is that there are more Americans that see the Democrats in an unfavorable light (48%) than there are Americans who have a similar view of the Tea Party (47%).   

Despite the fact that the Occupy Wall Street movement really is shot through with anti-Semitism, racism, and enjoys the support of the American Nazi Party, the American Communist Party, a growing number of international trade unions, socialist groups and far-left Marxist organizations, they are Obama’s people.

The Daily Caller did a little digging into the movement that President Obama has embraced as kindred spirits and discovered that the Occupy Wall Street Movement was actually planned by the White House:

The trend has some analysts very concerned — particularly after reports claimed union bosses tied to the Obama administration were plotting to bring about chaos. And while the protests which began on September 17 may be small now, supporters and critics alike say this may be only the beginning of something much bigger.

 In just the last week several large labor groups have officially announced their support for the occupation. The NYC Transit Workers Union, with nearly 40,000 members, voted to back the protesters on September 28. And the SEIU’s massive 32BJ union, which claims to represent over 120,000 property service workers, recently decided to use an upcoming rally to show “solidarity” with the Wall Street occupiers. 

 “The call went out over a month ago, before actually the occupancy of Wall Street took place,” 32BJ spokesman Kwame Patterson told the Huffington Post. But now “we’re all coming under one cause, even though we have our different initiatives.”

 The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) union, with over 10,000 members, also endorsed the demonstrations this week. “This occupation on Wall Street calls into question the very foundation in which the capitalist system is based,” it said in a statement, claiming the protests were aiming to hold accountable the “oppressors.”

The IWW (“Workers of the World” or, “Wobblies”) was founded in June 1905 by a collection of 200 socialists, archarchists and radical trade unionists.

It is a socialist movement with historical ties to the Communist Party, and is joined by the “Socialist Party USA” and by Professor Cornel West, honorary chairman of the “Democratic Socialists of America.”

The Occupy Wall Street movement enjoys the full and admiring support of the “People’s World” the online newspaper of the American Communist Party.  The New American also noted the prominent role being played by ACORN and Wade Rathke:

 Two of the most prominent individuals alleged to be pulling the strings behind the scenes  are disgraced ACORN founder and union boss Wade Rathke, and regular White House visitor Stephen Lerner of the SEIU. Both were caught earlier this year calling for massive protests, with a video surfacing earlier this year of Lerner scheming to bring down the stock market and destabilize the nation. Numerous analysts called the plots “economic terrorism.”

Yesterday, a lady who identified herself Patricia McAllister, that claimed to work for the Los Angeles Unified School District told news reporters at the LA demonstration site that the;

 “Zionist Jews who are running these big bans and our Federal Reserve, which is not run by the Federal government, they need to be run out of this country.”

Here is another video example of the mindset that President Obama and the Far Left claim as their kindred thinkers. . . .some moron holding up a sign protesting “Wall Street Jews” as “Hitler’s Bankers” shouting out to an elderly Jew, “Freedom of speech! This is not Israel”.

And President Obama is proud to proclaim on behalf of his administration that he “understands their struggles” and that “he is on their side.”

Assessment:

Democratic pollster Doug Schoene, who worked for the campaigns of such Democratic icons as NY Mayor Ed Koch, President Bill Clinton and Senator Hillary Clinton, conducted a poll of the Occupy Wall Streeters, publishing his findings in the Wall Street Journal.  His findings were stunning:

Our research shows clearly that the movement doesn’t represent unemployed America and is not ideologically diverse. Rather, it comprises an unrepresentative segment of the electorate that believes in radical redistribution of wealth, civil disobedience and, in some instances, violence. Half (52%) have participated in a political movement before, virtually all (98%) say they would support civil disobedience to achieve their goals, and nearly one-third (31%) would support violence to advance their agenda.

The vast majority of demonstrators are actually employed, and the proportion of protesters unemployed (15%) is within single digits of the national unemployment rate (9.1%).

An overwhelming majority of demonstrators supported Barack Obama in 2008. Now 51% disapprove of the president while 44% approve, and only 48% say they will vote to re-elect him in 2012, while at least a quarter won’t vote.

Fewer than one in three (32%) call themselves Democrats, while roughly the same proportion (33%) say they aren’t represented by any political party.

In other words, the entire movement is a fraud aimed at creating enough division within the electorate to give the Obama campaign a “wedge issue” for next year’s presidential elections. 

The entire PURPOSE is to create domestic upheaval by using the identical tactics deployed by Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Party during Germany’s 1932 national elections.  

Blame the rich bankers, and in particular, the Jews.

It is interesting to me that Obama chose to describe the Occupy Wall Street movement as their “struggle” and said he could identify with it.  Hitler outlined his plan in his book, “Mein Kampf”  meaning, “My Struggle”

In 1932, Germany was in the throes of the Great Depression, and Hitler was able to convince a significant portion of the electorate that the reason for their economic woes was that the rich Jewish bankers were raping the German treasury. 

In 1930, Hitler’s National Socialist Party held only 18% of the seats in the Reichstag. By rousing the rabble and blaming the Jews and the bankers, by 1932 the Nazis were able to capture 37% of Parliament and ultimately, the Chancellorship for Adolph Hitler.

Not by representing the majority, but by mobilizing the lunatic fringe, which is what Shoene’s poll data seems to indicate makes up the bulk of the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ movement.

Sixty-five percent say that government has a moral responsibility to guarantee all citizens access to affordable health care, a college education, and a secure retirement—no matter the cost. By a large margin (77%-22%), they support raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans, but 58% oppose raising taxes for everybody, with only 36% in favor. And by a close margin, protesters are divided on whether the bank bailouts were necessary (49%) or unnecessary (51%).

Thus Occupy Wall Street is a group of engaged progressives who are disillusioned with the capitalist system and have a distinct activist orientation. Among the general public, by contrast, 41% of Americans self-identify as conservative, 36% as moderate, and only 21% as liberal.

So the Occupy Wall Streeters are one third Democrats, one third anarchists and the rest are just there because they don’t have anything more important to do.  It is this group that the President of the United States is betting America’s economic future.

By any measurable standard, the United States of America is the world’s most Christian country in the same sense that Israel is the world’s most Jewish country. 

One can debate the truth of that contention all day long, but in the end, if America is not regarded by the rest of the world as the world’s most Christian country, then what country would be?  And in any case, while the movement began in the United States, it has captured the hearts of anarchists the world over.

The Apostle Paul, writing to his disciple, Timothy, gave the following description of the social conditions in which the Church would find itself during last days.  He referred to it as ‘perilous times.’

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

What follows sounds like an eyewitness account of the character, aims and attitude of the Occupy Wall Street movement as endorsed by the American commander in Chief, who is openly “on their side.”

“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 . . .”

Obama “understands their struggles” and wants them to know that he “is on their side.” 

Tick . . . tick . . . tick

BLIND Faith? I Don’t Think So

BLIND Faith? I Don’t Think So
Vol: 121 Issue: 18 Tuesday, October 18, 2011

None of the prophets of the Old Testament were volunteers.  Being a prophet of God was not a popular job, since most of God’s prophets lived miserably and died painfully.

Most, like Moses or Jeremiah, did their best to talk God out of hiring them.

The writers of the Bible, for the most part, did not know one another — in some cases, they didn’t even know OF one another.  The Bible is actually a compilation of sixty-six separate and individual books, each capable of standing on its own. 

The Bible that we have today had forty different human authors who lived and died in different places and mostly in different centuries, beginning with Moses, who wrote the first five books of the Bible in the 14th century BC, and ending with the Apostle John, who penned the final, “Book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ” sometime around the end of the first century.

Yet with all of that, every book blends seamlessly into the rest, both the books that came before, and those that came AFTER.  Some books of the Bible quote other books not yet written at that time.  Others quote earlier prophets or sacred writing, but all are harmonious with one another.

The writing of the Scripture is nothing short of miraculous in and of itself.  Its preservation over the centuries is mind-boggling, if you let yourself think about it.  You and I have both experienced discussions with non-believers convinced they can prove the Bible is wrong.

They rail and babble and quote everybody EXCEPT the Scriptures, and in the end, come away as convinced as when they went in.  Or get mad and just go away.

Think how many times similar conversations take place around the world, every single day.

Then, take a look at the broader view: In every generation since its compilation, the Bible has been the subject of discussion between believers and non-believers.  In every generation, non-believers have made it their mission in life to disprove the Scriptures.

Any discrepancy has been analyzed and re-analyzed by both friend and foe, read and re-read, argued and re-argued, in a million conversations over thousands of years.  The Bible says of itself,

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” (2 Timothy 3:16)

The Bible is wholly consistent with known science.  The book of Isaiah said the earth was round tens of centuries before Columbus.

“It is He that sitteth upon the circle of the earth. . .” (Isaiah 40:22)

Who told Isaiah, a Jewish prophet that lived and died more than five hundred years before Christ, that the earth was round?  Until Columbus, most mariner’s maps ended somewhere in the midst of the Atlantic with notations like, “There be sea monsters here.”

Ecclesiates 1:6 reveals that the winds move in cyclonic patterns and Job tells us that light is in motion (Job 38:19-20) thousands of years before weather satellites and Einstein’s calculations proved both to be true.  How did they know? 

Medically, the Bible tells us the chemical nature of human life (Genesis 2:7, 3:19) that the life of creatures are in the blood (Leviticus 17:11), the nature of infectious diseases (Leviticus 13:46) and the importance of sanitation to health (Numbers 19, Deuteronomy 23:12-13, Leviticus 7-9) many thousands of years before doctors were still practicing blood-letting as a treatment for disease.

Job knew that the “earth hangs on nothing”.  Job lived around the time of Abraham, some two thousand years BEFORE Christ.  Who told him that?

The list goes on.  Every historical event described by the Bible has either been confirmed by other sources, or has yet to be confirmed.  Not a single historical event described by Scripture has ever conclusively been disproved.

Sometimes, it is necessary to go back and take another look at the Source and meditate on just what a miracle it is in order to get a clearer understanding of what it says.  It helps to reconfirm that everything it says is true.

Despite thousands of years of editorial criticism, the Bible stands essentially unchanged from when it was first given.

A complete copy of the Book of Isaiah was unearthed as part of the Dead Sea Scroll treasures and is today enshrined in the Dome of the Tablets in Jerusalem.  I have personally seen it and marveled at the fact its date could NOT be questioned.  It could NOT be younger than the day it was buried in AD 70.

But, apart from grammatical changes made necessary by changes in Hebrew grammar over the centuries, it reads exactly the same way as the Book of Isaiah in your own Bible.

It makes sense to assume the rest of the Scriptures are equally accurate, since there is no evidence to the contrary and all the available evidence supports Scripture.

The Bible’s accuracy is not limited to where mankind has been and what he has learned over the centuries.  It is a book of geography, science, history and medicine, but that only scratches the surface.

It is every bit as accurate in its accounts of the things that are not yet done.

Assessment:

“Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure:” (Isaiah 46:-9-10)

The prophecies of the Bible are, from God’s perspective, ALREADY history.

“. . .yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.” (Isaiah 46:11)

So not only does the God of the Bible know all things, but He has chosen to make known to us, through the Bible, what is still to come! In fact, even more than that, the God of the Bible CHALLENGES any so-called ‘gods’ to do the same.

“Produce your cause, saith the LORD; bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob. Let them bring them forth, and shew us what shall happen: let them shew the former things, what they be, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or declare us things for to come. Shew the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods: yea, do good, or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold it together.” (Isaiah 41:21-23)

From God’s perspective, which is uniquely outside of space and time, everything is now, so to speak.  God’s historical pronouncements are given from the benefit of Divine Hindsight.  His prophetic pronouncements also enjoy the benefit of Divine Hindsight.

The Bible describes the future, but to God, it has already happened, if you can follow that line of reasoning for a minute.  Since to God, it already happened, the events that remain yet future will be fulfilled as specifically as those events that have already come to pass.

The Bible is also an eyewitness to the power and coming of our Lord Jesus.

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

“For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty.” (2 Peter 1:16)

Think about that! The New Testament record is a record of eyewitness accounts!  How can we know that this is true?  Apart from the testimony of Scripture and the testimony of history, there is also the testimony of logic.

When Jesus was taken by the Sanhedrin to the house of Caiaphas, the Apostles, all of whom had heard His teaching and witnessed the Lord’s miracles, they fled in fear.  Peter denied even knowing Him on three separate occasions.

After His Ascension into Heaven, the Apostles began to spread the Gospel without fear.  Every single one of them, was given a choice.  Renounce Jesus or die a horrible death.

Imagine that YOU had seen Jesus.  Imagine that YOU had watched Him heal the lame, give sight to the blind, raise the dead. . .  Now, imagine that you saw Him killed, then saw Him alive, put your fingers in the nail holes, then spent more than a month with Him after you had witnessed His death?    

Knowing all that you know, and having actually SEEN Jesus ascending into heaven, along comes some ruler who tells you that if you don’t deny what you have seen, well, that ruler will send you to be with Jesus again.

You’ve seen Jesus. You’ve talked with Jesus.  You watched Jesus ascend into heaven.  You heard the two angels promise He will return in the same manner — but you have to wait. 

So along comes some guy who promises to cut short the wait and send you into the glory you KNOW awaits you. (Oh no!  Not Heaven!  Anything but that!)  

The Apostles paid a heavy price for their faith, even before being called upon to make the final payment with their lives.  Being an Apostle was no fun.  Each of the Apostles was an apostate Jew in the eyes of their friends and families.  Most were declared ritually dead.

They were ostracized, insulted, beaten, run out of town, arrested, imprisoned, and generally hounded everywhere they went.  Each of them was given an opportunity to save his own life by renouncing his testimony of Jesus.

And with the exception of the Apostle John, every single one of them chose a brutal, torturous death, instead.

Eusebius records that Bartholomew was given such a choice; Bartholomew chose beheading.  

James the Less was beaten, clubbed and stoned to death.  Andrew was crucified, although he was bound, rather than nailed, in order to prolong his suffering.  Peter was crucified upside down.

Thomas was killed in India when he was thrust through with a spear wielded by an enraged pagan priest. James, the brother of John, was executed by order of Herod Agrippa.  Phillip was crucified in Phrygia.  Matthew was speared in Ethiopia.  Jude was crucified in Odessa and Simon was crucified in Britain.

The skeptic denies their eyewitness testimony, but fails to give any reasonable explanation for why.  Why would they all accept a life of misery and deprivation, culminating in a torturous death, just to spread a myth?

Does it seem reasonable that twelve guys would sit around a campfire and make up a story that ruined their lives (in the natural) just so they could be known by their first names 2000 years later?  Of course it doesn’t. So the skeptic simply denies the historical record.

Nobody denies the accuracy of Plato’s writings.  Or Tacitus.  Or Homer.  Or Suetonius.  Or Flavius Josephus (except the part where he refers to Jesus as an actual historical figure).

Skeptics, liberals, and cults and false religions such as Islam that claim the Bible has been tampered with are completely proven false by the extensive, historical manuscript evidence.

But it doesn’t matter.  The skeptics continue to assault the Bible on any and all fronts, applying the most unreasonable standards for accuracy imaginable.

They hate it, and they can’t even explain why.  That is also, to the Christian, evidence of its Divine Origin.

That hatred is so blind, so unreasoning, and so irrational that it cannot be explained in any other way.

“Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man’s sake.” (Luke 6:22)

It takes a spiritual ‘operation’ to remove that blindness, but we can only point a person in the direction of the Divine eye Surgeon. 

But they have to request the ‘operation’ for themselves.

Special Report: Pursuing the Proletariat – Day 1000

Special Report: Pursuing the Proletariat – Day 1000
Vol: 121 Issue: 17 Monday, October 17, 2011

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

So reads the preamble to the Constitution of the United States of America.  The Constitution is the Supreme Law of the land.  According to its tenets, no citizen is outside its protections and guarantees and no citizen is exempt from its provisions.

The purpose of the Constitution is “to form a more perfect Union.”  The methodology set forth to accomplish this goal is the establishment of justice, which should have the corrollary benefit of insuring domestic tranquility.

The presidential oath of office taken 1000 days ago by Barack Hussein Obama is as follows:

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

The presidential oath binds the occupant of the Oval Office to the Constitution the way that a Baptist minister’s ordination binds him to the Bible.  If a Baptist minister taught that the Bible applied to everyone except himself, he would soon find himself looking for a new career.

But the current president has made it abundantly clear that the Constitution, as written, is only applicable to his political opponents.  Whenever it hamstrings something he favors, it becomes irrelevant.

The President has no Constitutional authority to set aside his oath to ensure domestic tranquility. But domestic tranquility is anathema to a “community organizer.” 

The phrase, “community organizer” puts me in mind of the first time I heard trash collectors described as “sanitation engineers.”

“Community Organizer” was a phrase invented to gloss over the actual and more descriptive phrase, “rabble rouser” in order to give it a thin veneer of respectability.   But it means exactly the same thing.

The problem for Obama is that “rabble rousing” is a direct violation of his oath to ensure domestic tranquility.  Obama came to power on the politics of division and class warfare, which is not unusual for a Democrat, but unlike his predecessors, he didn’t abandon it after capturing his office. 

Obama is disinterested in being president of all the people.  In Obama’s world, certain Americans do not deserve either legal protection or political representation.

(Like white people, rich people, Christians and conservatives, all of whom are either racists, thieves, hypocrites or heartless opportunists.) 

Even the left-leaning Politico can’t ignore the obvious:

“President Barack Obama stands accused by conservatives of waging class warfare, seeking to galvanize his base and lure middle-class voters by pitting the rich against everyone else.  But Obama’s reelection strategy is about more than the haves and have-nots. It appears he is seeking to stir up full-blown cultural warfare against a large and diverse segment of society known as Republicans.”

Obama has crossed lines no previous Commander-in-Chief would even contemplate.  Obama champions the rights of the poor by demonizing the rich with the kind of gusto that would make Karl Marx wriggle with pleasure.

“Some of you here may be folks who actually used to be Republican,” Obama said during a California fundraiser, “but are puzzled by what’s happened to that party. You’ve got audiences cheering at the prospect of somebody dying because they don’t have health care and booing a service member in Iraq because they’re gay. That’s not reflective of who we are.”

The only thing that was true in that statement is that it “is not reflective of who we are” — which is why what he described didn’t happen.  What was booed wasn’t the “gay service member”, it was the question he posed. 

The same applies to the health care story — it is a lie. 

But lying is not just allowed under this administration, it is encouraged. How many times have we heard that Congressional opposition to his “jobs bill” means no more jobs for teachers, firefighters or police officers?  

Evidently, teachers, firefighters and police officers make up the bulk of the nearly 10% of Americans that have either lost their jobs or will lose their jobs if Congress doesn’t pass Obama’s new tax and spend bill.

“They said no to more jobs for teachers, no to more jobs for cops and firefighters,” Obama said during a speech Wednesday to the administration’s Forum on American Latino Heritage, “no to more jobs for construction workers and veterans, no to tax cuts for small-business owners and middle-class Americans.”

Actually, Congress said “no” to raising taxes on small business owners and middle class Americans — Obama is lying. 

Here is what I find incredible.  That I can say Obama is lying without a moment’s hesitation or any fear of contradiction.

After all, this is the President of the United States!  Should I not feel at least a little uncomfortable throwing around an accusation of that magnitude?  Sure, I should. 

But it is Obama that favors INCREASING taxes on small business owners and middle class Americans — it is the Republicans that oppose it. And Obama`s position is all based on lies and deception. ALL of it. Rabble roused

If a person makes $250,000.00 per year in Buffalo, NY then maybe one might call that person ‘rich’.  A person making $250,000 per year in New York City, (where one-bedroom apartments sell for a million dollars and rent for $5000/mo plus)  $250K is barely middle class.

Or Los Angeles. Or Chicago. Or Atlanta. 

The central message being put out by the White House is that the rich didn’t earn it, the stole it by cheating the poor. And that they are selfish, grasping, greedy traitors to their own country and their own countrymen.  

Selling an economic proposal should not be based on pitting one segment of the population against another.  It should be based on what is good for the country.  Shouldn’t it? 

It is estimated that 75 million households, or 46% pay no federal income taxes at all.  If the almost-half of the country that pays no taxes and consumes most of the benefits, while the half that consumes the fewest benefits pays ALL the taxes, how can that be advanced as “fair”?

Obama recently came up with what he calls, “The Buffet Rule” based on an idiotic statement by billionaire Warren Buffett, who complained that he paid a lower tax rate than his secretary does. 

Buffett’s income is investment income, which is taxed at 15% to encourage investment. If it was taxed at a higher rate, that investment money would be invested somewhere where the tax burden is lower, which is why it is taxed at 15% in the first place.

Warren Buffett isn’t your typical investor.  Your typical investor is any person who has a 401K account.  It is your grandma.  It is your cousin.  It is you

But even if one sets aside the differences, both Obama and Buffett are lying through their teeth.  Buffet is saying that the rich, like himself, should be taxed more. It is a fraud.   

“Buffett donates his stock, which costs him little-to-nothing, to charity once it has risen in value and takes the tax right offs thus lowering his tax burden.  This is a very different method of paying less than your “fair share” on income tax because you are using the charitable donation to essentially shelter your assets making it appear you earn less than you do.”

Even more interesting is the fact that Buffett has been evading a federal tax bill of more than a billion dollars for more than ten years.

Americans for Limited Government researcher Richard McCarty, who was alerted to the controversy by a federal government lawyer, said,

“The company has been short-changing the tax collection agency for much of the past decade. Mr. Buffett’s company has not fully settled its tax bills from 2002-2009. Yet he says he’d happily pay more. Except the IRS has apparently been asking him to pay more going on nine years.”

“For 2005 and 2006, Berkshire Hathaway again did not pay all the federal taxes that it was required to. Again, the IRS examination team caught Berkshire Hathaway on at least some issues. Now, Berkshire Hathaway is threatening the IRS with protracted litigation and is trying to cut a deal with the IRS Appeals office.”

Warren Buffett hasn’t paid taxes in a decade.  The head of President Obama’s “Jobs Council” is Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of General Electric. Last year, GE earned $5.1 billion in profits. GE not only did NOT pay any taxes on its earnings, it got tax credits!

Given all the facts, the most amazing part about Obama’s class warfare strategy is that it appears to be working.

This is the one element that I never expected.  I never thought that the strategy would work.  But here we are, exactly one month into the so-called “Occupy Wall Street” movement.  

Despite the violence, the arrests, the vandalism and the damage, it has the clear support of the White House.

The cost of the demonstrations to city governments is enormous — New York City has already spent millions and the cleanup hasn’t even begun.  Thousands have been arrested for everything from disobeying police orders to disperse to selling drugs to indecent exposure.

Who is paying for the demonstrations against the “one percent” (the new pejorative meaning “the evil rich” or, the “bourgeoisie”)?  The politically correct answer would be “the 99%” (the affirmative term meaning “the poor” or, “the proletariat”) except it isn`t true. Most of them don’t pay taxes either.

It’s being paid for by taxpayers.

It wasn’t very long ago that secular futurists like Gerald Celente were being mocked for forecasting economic riots on the streets of America.  “We’re better than that” we used to think — until we learned that we aren’t.

Something began to happen at the turn of the 21st century, when Al Gore and the Democrats attempted to steal the election even after every single recount (every one of them) proved that he lost.

The Democratic leadership discovered that they could accomplish a lot more with perception than they could with reality.

And they discovered that many Americans cannot tell the difference.

By 2004 John Kerry had morphed from a treasonous weasel that sold out his own country over Vietnam to a “Vietnam war hero”.  It almost worked. 

Four years later, Congress investigated John McCain, (born to a Navy admiral who was serving in Panama) seeking to prove he was not a ‘natural born citizen’ but refused to look into Barack Obama’s qualifications, despite Obama’s obvious efforts to conceal them.  

Not only did Obama’s deception work, it morphed into a weapon to be used to silence his critics.

Questioning John McCain was ok, but questioning Barack Hussein Obama, a black American with Muslim roots, questionable and shady supporters and a secretive background was racist.

George Bush left office with a reputation as a serial liar — without a single provable lie one could point to as evidence — while Obama, the most dishonest president in the history of the nation, can say anything he wants without fear of contradiction.  

When asked by His disciples, what would be the sign of His coming and of the end of the age, the very FIRST thing that the Bible records that Jesus told them was this:  

“Take heed that no man deceive you.”  (Matthew 24:4)

Why Africa?

Why Africa?
Vol: 121 Issue: 15 Saturday, October 15, 2011

The United Nations’ top human rights official is breaking with long-standing UNHRC tradition by condemning an Arab state for human rights violations, presumably because they couldn’t find a credible way to blame Israel for Syria’s brutal crackdown on protests.

Navi Pillay, U.N. high commissioner for human rights, presented a version of events that essentially agreed with anti-government activists, who say Syrian authorities have routinely attacked protesters without provocation.

The administration of President Bashar Assad has blamed the violence on “terrorists armed from abroad” (meaningIsrael”) that are seeking to overthrow his government.

 “Since the start of the uprising in Syria, the government has consistently used excessive force to crush peaceful protests,” Pillay said in a statement issued in Geneva. “Sniping from rooftops, and indiscriminate use of force against peaceful protestors — including the use of live ammunition and the shelling of residential neighborhoods — have become routine occurrences in Syrian cities.”

The death toll in Syria since anti-government protests erupted in March has now topped 3,000, including at least 187 children, Pillay said.  More than 100 people have died in the last 10 days, she said.

Thousands more, she added, have been “arrested, detained, forcibly disappeared and tortured,” while family members inside and outside Syria “have been targeted for harassment, intimidation, threats and beatings.”

Included in the 3,000 dead, said a U.N. spokesman, are military defectors who have switched sides and security officers “apparently summarily executed” for refusing to shoot civilians. The figure does not include security officers allegedly killed by armed insurgents.

The Syrian government says more than 1,100 security personnel have been killed.  The Obama administration and other Western governments have called on Assad to step down – but that is about as far as the White House appears willing to go. 

At the same time, the Obama administration has left unfinished business in Libya, first bombing the soup out of the Libyans but then refusing to commit to finishing the job by committing any ground troops out of fear of being ‘bogged down.’

Now it appears that terrorist groups are negotiating with Libyan “rebels” (our “allies”) for some of the thousands of shoulder-fired missiles that have “gone missing”. Andrew J. Shapiro, Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs, said Friday the missiles “could pose a threat to civil aviation.”

The vast majority of the missing missiles are Soviet-made Sam 7’s equipped with infrared targeting capabilities

“We know that terrorist groups have expressed interest in obtaining these weapons,” he said, adding that the issue of securing the weapons was now a priority for President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

But not for NATO. NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said that although the missing weapons were a matter of concern, “it’s not a part of NATO’s mandate to deal with that.”

Libya was believed to have about 20,000 such missiles in its arsenals before civil war began in March, Shapiro said. Shouldn’t it have been a priority consideration all along?  Who would find it surprising that they were “left unguarded” during the NATO air strikes?

The missile stockpiles were likely NATO targets. Once the smart bombs start going off, government forces always flee the target areas.  Didn’t we learn anything in Iraq?

“The possibility that these weapons may cross borders is an area of considerable concern,” Shapiro said. “That’s why U.S. has been working with countries bordering Libya to prevent (proliferation).”

What countries that border Libya are we working with to protect American aviation from this threat?  Bordering Libya on the west are our good friends, the Algerians.  To the west are our new buddies in Egypt. 

Libya’s southern borders is ringed with such bastions of American friendship and good will as Niger, Chad, and of course, our pals in the Sudan. 

So here is where we sit militarily at the moment. We’re pulling out of Iraq leaving the job unfinished, leaving Iraq vulnerable to an Iranian takeover, leaving a tiny 3,000 man contingent behind in harm’s way.

 The administration has conceded that we’ve lost the war in Afghanistan (its Bush’s fault, of course!) and will surrender the country back to the Taliban next year. 

Having bombed the soup out of Libya before we knew who we were supporting, we pulled out early, leaving the country in chaos and without any firm leadership, pretty much ensuring that the next president will either have to finish what Obama started or live with the consequences.

Oh, and one more thing. . .

Yesterday, Obama notified the Congress that he has deployed US combat troops to Uganda “in the interests of US national security.”

Assessment:

The purpose of the deployment, according to the White House letter, is to “remove from the battlefield” (Obama-speak for “kill”) Joseph Kony, leader of the famous “Lord’s Resistance Army.”  

What?? You never heard of Joseph Kony or the “Lord’s Resistance Army?” Where have you been?  Maybe you can be forgiven. Researching this kind of stuff is all I do. Knowing as much as possible about such things is my bread-and-butter.

And until yesterday, I never heard of them, either.

What I have heard since then is horrendous.  The LRA has been murdering innocents in central Africa for twenty years.  Twenty years!  They kidnap little kids, brainwash them, and send them back to kill their families.  They kidnap girls and force them into brothels.

According to Wikipedia the “Lord’s Resistance Army” is a cold-blooded and murderous “religious and sectarian group” listed as a terrorist organization by the United States.  

But that also describes the janjaweed in the Sudan. They’ve been murdering Christians at a such a rate that the UN called it ‘genocide’–  and without Western interference – for nearly a decade. Why didn’t we deploy US combat forces there?

In 1997 the US Embassy in Kampala concluded that the LRA has no genuine ideology, “at least none that the local population can understand.”  Indeed, the LRA’s principle support comes from the Islamic Sudanese government in Khartoum.

A classified document published earlier this year by Wikileaks from the State Department revealed that Uganda blamed Khartoum for “paying and harboring’ Kony and his group.

In recent years, the LRA has been responsible for the massacre of 189 people at a Christian celebration in the Congo, 75 people in a Christian church in Dungu, 48 more in Bangandi and 213 people in Gurba. 

“On December 28, 2008, the Ugandan army published details of the Doruma attack, accusing LRA rebels of hacking to death 45 people in a church there.[51] An aid official speaking to AFP on condition of anonymity confirmed the December 26 massacre, saying the killings took place in a Catholic church in the Doruma area, around 40 kilometres (25 mi) from the Sudanese border. “There are body parts everywhere. Inside the church, the entrance and in the church compound,” the aid official said. “We got information the rebels cut 45 people into pieces,” added army spokesman Captain Chris Magezi. “

Why are we deploying US combat forces now, and against an outfit most of us never heard of? We didn’t deploy combat forces in Libya.  We have taken no action against the Syrian government. We allowed the Sudanese genocide to go on until finally, even the UN couldn’t look away anymore. 

But we still could. What makes the LRA so worthy of risking US blood and treasure that President Obama describes it as a threat to US national security?  Even though its’ operating territory is Uganda, the Congo and South Sudan?

Although its primary targets are Christian churches and the Christian population, the LRA claims itself to be a “Christian” resistance movement. It was founded in 1988 by Alice Lakwena who claimed to be a prophet of the Holy Spirit.

She believed her side could defeat the Museveni tribe by following certain “Christian” rules.  Like covering their bodies with shea oil to protect them from bullets.  Painting a cross on their chest (same reason.)  Never take cover. Never retreat in battle. Oh, and never, ever, ever kill snakes or bees.

(I recall reading about those “Christian” rules in the Bible, I think.  Can’t remember exactly where, but I think it was somewhere near the back.)

Again, why risk US troops in central Africa in a fight against a tiny regional army of thugs and not risk troops to ensure Libya doesn’t fall into the hands of Islamic terrorists?  Why send troops to Uganda while essentially surrendering to Islamic forces in Afghanistan and Iraq?

Why are we deploying to central Africa when the major threat to US security right now is the Syrian/Iranian threat to Israel?  

I am admittedly speculating, but I cannot help but notice that by sending in US forces against the LRA, Obama has provided the political elements necessary to draw a moral equivalent between Islamic terror and ‘Christian’ terror.

It makes no difference that Christians object to the equation on the grounds that the LRA isn’t genuinely Christian.  The Muslims have been saying that terrorism isn’t genuinely Islamic for years.

And so suddenly, we sound like them.  And now, deploying troops to Uganda sort of makes sense. 

Ten Years After. . .

Ten Years After. . .
Vol: 121 Issue: 14 Friday, October 14, 2011

On Sunday, October 14, 2001, the first issue of the Omega Letter was published and sent out to our first one hundred members. It was just 33 days after the 9/11 attacks and one week to the day from the start of the war with the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Our very first OL looked a lot different than it does ten years after. At the time, we didn’t really have a clue what the OL was going to be when it grew up.

It started life as a series of short intelligence briefs; the first one was only 421 words but dealt with four different topics.

(By contrast, yesterday’s OL word count was 1,781 – I often wonder if I have become too wordy over the years. What are your thoughts?)

Originally, the daily Omega Letter was designed to serve as a springboard for the forums; I would produce an OL which would be a topic-starter in the forums.  The OL was designed around the forums – it was created for the specific purpose of providing a safe forum ‘home’.

Hal and I had started Hal Lindsey’s first website, “Hal Lindsey Oracle” in early 2000. We began by hiring an enormously expensive web design company to build and host Hal’s website, but they didn’t do the job we’d hoped, and I knew that Mike could, so I recommended that Hal hire Mike instead. 

Mike built the first Hal Lindsey Oracle website in early 2000. It was a masterpiece of customized coding. 

Hal’s website design didn’t have a member forum and Hal didn’t want one built in for fear it would become a target of opportunity for his critics.  But so many readers emailed asking for one that we started an independent forum, using one of the commercially-available bulletin boards.

It began as a core group of like-minded believers but it quickly grew to more than ten thousand users from every perspective under the sun; preterists, post-tribbers, amillennialists, replacement theologians, atheists, anti-christians and rabble rousers of all stripes.  

Before we knew it, managing the forums was a full time job. Cat-fights over minor points of doctrine turned into vicious doctrinal wars complete with name-calling and lots of foul language.  As Hal anticipated, some of the comments created problems for Hal with TBN and the other networks and he wanted it to go away. 

In the end, we realized that no matter how many moderators we had, there was no way we would ever regain control of the forums to the degree we could use them for what we had originally planned.

So we needed a new plan and a new website that wouldn’t blow back on Hal.

Working with a group of the original forum members, including our own Lou Talley (OL Member #5) we hammered out the basic plan for the Omega Letter.  

I would write a daily briefing to get the conversation going, but we still had to address the problem of keeping the forums from becoming doctrinal battlegrounds rather than a place of peaceful fellowship.

It was decided to put the briefs and the forums behind a membership firewall. But we had already discovered that those previously banned for various violations would go to practically any lengths to get back in and resume the disruptions.

Some would change their IP, or create a new email address, even adopt a fake identity, etc., just so they could get back in and resume the assault on some doctrine, or more often, some other forum member that had angered them.

Somebody, (I think it might have been Lou) suggested imposing a ten-dollar per month membership fee as a ‘gate-keeper’ on the principle that while the disruptors would spare no effort to get around being banned, they were unlikely to risk  ten bucks a month for the fun of annoying people by disrupting prayer and fellowship. 

We prayed about it and decided that if we could get one hundred members to sign up, we would proceed with the plan.   

That was exactly how many signed up that week, so the OL was a go.

Assessment:

Ten years ago today, when we sent out our very first Omega Letter, Mike had not yet constructed the Omega Letter website (which Mike designed and built from scratch, writing his own code instead of using commercial website design software.)

We sent out our first OL’s via our ISP’s mail server. At first, we had no website, no forum home and no content. All we had was one hundred faithful members and a desire to construct a safe place where like-minded believers could fellowship in peace.

If it weren’t for Mike, there wouldn’t be an OL. There is no way I could have done it without Mike Velemirovich.

Not then. Not now. 

For months and months, I would write the OL and send it on to Mike, would then email them to each individual subscriber until he finally had enough constructed that he could write the code for an automated “send” button.

We thought that was the coolest thing. . . 

Today’s Omega Letter is number three thousand, two hundred and sixty-fifth OL in a row, (excluding Sundays and an occasional “retread”) since we emailed out our first four hundred and twenty-one word briefing ten years ago today.

I am often asked how it can be that I can turn out a fresh column, day after day, year after year, as if it were some great accomplishment. It only seems like a great accomplishment when you look at them all at once instead of just one per day. 

In reality, it isn’t so hard because it is a labor of love. You are my closest friends and advisors.  You have always been there for me, offering advice, encouragement, support and above all, friendship.

You have made the Omega Letter a family ministry — one in which we minister to each other, from the far-flung corners of the world, providing insights and perspectives that, in my own case, have opened my eyes to truths I would never have otherwise seen.

I’ve watched you make the forums your own — and to the enemy, a force to be reckoned with.

Our forums have produced teachers and disciples, unstructured Bible clinics containing deep pools of accumulated wisdom, and unintended but incredibly effective spiritual ‘therapy groups’ for the many members of the Church of the Walking Wounded who discover there, to their relief, that they are not alone.

The Omega Letter’s mission is somewhat different from most Christian websites, which focus their attention primarily on the need for salvation.  The problem that I found with that approach is that the people that tend to visit such sites are generally already saved.  Not always, of course, but more often than not.

The OL’s mission is to provide information that mature Christians can use in their own personal evangelical outreach; answers to some of the hard sayings of Scripture, resolutions for some common objections (like, Who Did Cain Marry?) and to otherwise chronicle the events of the day from the perspective of unfolding Bible prophecy.

Not every Omega Letter deals with Bible prophecy specifically, but together they present a day-by-day running chronicle and commentary on the significant events of the twenty-first century as they happen. 

The impact that the Omega Letter has had over the years is largely unknown to me, but what little I do know has been amazing. I can recall one particular Omega Letter that puzzled me as it unfolded; I was planning to go in one direction, but the topic kept veering off in another.

Later I learned why when I received an email from a guy who said he had been about to commit suicide but that particular OL had talked him out of it.  I am not taking any bows for myself – I had no idea.

But the Lord knew.

I have learned over the years that the OL has been the instrument by which many have come to faith, including many now-current OL members who came to Christ after reading a brief forwarded to them from someone else.  

(We’ve discouraged remailing because of the risk it poses of our being blacklisted as spammers. That risk is still there, but less acute as the internet matures. Still, I ask you to be circumspect about whom you remail to.  Please don’t use it to hammer people that have asked you not to.)

To mark our tenth anniversary, I’ve asked OL members to share what the OL has meant to them over the years in the form of a column, which I will share with you as our daily featured commentary. 

Each day for the remainder of October, we’ll post a new feature written by an OL member.

Each feature will have its own forum where you can share any thoughts or memories or comments or suggestions for improvement they might trigger. It isn’t MY Omega Letter, it is YOURS.  

You’ve had ten years of hearing from me – now, I get to hear from you

Hamas: One Jew is Worth a Thousand Palestinians. . .

Hamas: One Jew is Worth a Thousand Palestinians. . .
Vol: 121 Issue: 13 Thursday, October 13, 2011

Yesterday, Israel announced that it had finally cut a deal with Hamas for the release of Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier kidnapped and held hostage by the terrorist group for more than five years.

Any person who seizes or detains and threatens to kill, to injure or to continue to detain another person (hereinafter referred to as the “hostage”) in order to compel a third party, namely, a State, an international intergovernmental organization, a natural or judidical person, or a group of persons, to do or abstain from doing any act as an explicit or implicit condition for the release of the hostage commits the offence of taking of hostages (“hostage-taking”) within the meaning of this Convention.” – Article 1, paragraph 1, the International Convention Against the Taking of Hostages, UN General Assembly, June 3, 1983

An Egyptian newspaper, Al Masri Al Youum reported yesterday that Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was transferred from Hamas to the Egyptian “authorities” – making Egypt an accomplice, and therefore, as guilty of violating the UN Convention on Hostage-Taking as Hamas is.

“Any person who participates as an accomplice of anyone who commits or attempts to commit an act of hostage-taking likewise commits an offence for the purposes of this Convention.” Article 1, paragraph 2, International Convention Against the Taking of Hostages, UN General Assembly, June 3, 1983

Many newspaper accounts refer to Gilad Shalit as having been “captured” by Hamas, as if he were a legitimate prisoner of war . . . indeed some news accounts actually refer to Shalit as a POW.

Gilad Shalit was not “captured” on a battlefield he was kidnapped from inside Israel and spirited across the border into Gaza by Hamas. 

By way of illustration, a person captured by police in the commission of a crime is a ‘prisoner’.  An innocent person kidnapped for the purpose of extorting ransom is a ‘hostage’.  Under any reading of any of the relevant international charters, infiltrating another country is an act of war and taking hostages is a war crime.

In addition, under any reading of the relevant international charters, Israel is a member state of the United Nations.  

But Gilad Shalit apparently doesn’t qualify under the law as a ‘person’ — evidently because he is a Jew. Therefore according to Hamas, he is worth a thousand Palestinians. 

It is the one time I have to agree with Hamas. 

Assessment:

Gilad Shalit was kidnapped in 2006 and he has now been held hostage by Hamas for more than five years.  Think about what you were doing in 2006 – let your mind appreciate just how long five years is — especially when you can reasonably expect to be killed by your captors — at any given moment of that time.

So when Israelis got the word that a deal had been reached to free Shalit, the nation erupted with spontaneous celebrations.  But their joy was tempered by the knowledge of the incredible price Israel must pay to redeem their kinsman.

Israel finally agreed to meet the Hamas demand of “one thousand for one” – a demand that by this time swelled to 1,027 – including about 300 Palestinians convicted of killing Israelis.

Hamas leader Khaled Mashall promised that the terrorists released by Israel will “return to the national struggle” suggestive of just how heavy a price was paid for the 24 year old soldier.

Hamas also promised to kidnap more soldiers, since the Shalit deal turned out so well for them. 

“Gilad Schalit won’t be the last (soldier), as long as the occupation holds Palestinian prisoners,” said Abu Obeida, spokesman for Hamas’s military wing.

The deal speaks volumes about the relative values of the two sides.  It demonstrates the differences between the culture of life that is Israel, and the culture of death that defines Hamas.  Israel is trading a thousand murderers for one innocent life. 

One of the reasons that Israel had a thousand murderers to trade is that, unlike the Arab world, Israelis are reluctant to impose the death penalty — the only civil execution ever to take place in Israel was the 1962 hanging of Nazi murderer Adolf Eichmann.  

Israel is one of the most maligned and hated nations on the face of the earth.  No nation in the history of the UN has come under more international condemnation than Israel. 

In a world survey conducted by the BBC, Israel ranked the third most-hated nation on earth, behind Iran and North Korea.  Only 19% of those surveyed held a favorable opinion of Israel, vs. 50% that had a negative view.

That compares with Iran’s 15% positive and 56% negative, or North Korea’s 17% positive and 48% negative.  Ironically, the country that scored at the top of the ‘most loved’ list was Germany.

That begs the obvious question . . . why?  What is there about Israel that makes it more worthy of hatred than say, Saudi Arabia?  Or Syria?  Or the Sudan?  Or the Palestinians?

Israel’s basic culture is one of forgiveness and reconciliation.  They seldom retaliate and even less often seek revenge.  Because of this, Israel devotes its national energies to being successful whereas the Palestinians devote 100% of their energy to Israel’s destruction.

The result? The West Bank, (and even more so Gaza), is an international basket-case, dependent upon the international community for both its basic necessities and for the materials to make war.

They have had almost twenty years since Oslo to develop a Palestinian society – and the Gilad Shalit story is what defines that society.  It is the kind of society that finds equity in shielding the guilty behind the bodies of the innocent. 

It is a society that celebrates its murderers as national heroes and punishes those who would make peace. Nobody knows exactly how many Palestinians have been ‘executed’ for the ‘crime’ of ‘collaborating’ with Israel or selling land to Jews.

From the Israeli side, the killing of Jews, including women, children and infants still doesn’t warrant execution.

One can publish caricatures of Jews, publish books mocking their God and their prophets, and even commit blood libels against the Jews without fear of retaliation.  We’ve already seen what happened when Western newspapers published cartoons depicting Mohammed.  

And yet it is Judaism and the Jews that earn the world’s contempt, and not those that believe it is ok to kill them in the name of their god.

Noted one Jewish writer; every other hated group is hated for a defined reason. Not so for the Jews:

“We Jews, however, are hated in paradoxes: Jews are hated for being a lazy and inferior race – but also for dominating the economy and taking over the world. We are hated for stubbornly maintaining our separateness – and, when we do assimilate – for posing a threat to racial purity through intermarriages. We are seen as pacifists and as warmongers; as capitalist exploiters and as revolutionary communists; possessed of a Chosen-People mentality, as well as of an inferiority complex. It seems that we just can’t win.”

There is another reason for hating the Jews.  God promised that the Jews would be “an ensign” to the nations. The Bible promised that the Jews would endure, despite all efforts to wipe them from the planet, as PROOF that God remains on His Throne.

“And He shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.” (Isaiah 11:12)

The god of this world has done everything possible to wipe them out.  Over the course of the Diaspora, the Jews have been expelled by pogroms from their host countries eighty times, an average of one expulsion or pogrom every twenty-one years.   

And yet, they not only survived, but after centuries of persecution and expulsion, they were restored to the exact same piece of real estate that God promised they would be restored to in the last days.

THAT is why the world finds it perfectly acceptable to hate Israel.  The Enemy hates Israel because his fate is tied to Israel’s restoration.  Israel’s existence is proof that the Bible is true and that his days are numbered.

The existence of Israel reminds the nations that God’s Word will not return to Him void, whether they want to acknowledge it or not.  Israel’s existence is a reminder of national accountability before God. 

Israel’s existence is evidence that the power still rests with God, and not Satan, despite his best efforts to convince the world to the contrary. 

Israel is today what Israel has always been – God’s Chosen People. They prove it by their daily existence.  The fact that the Palestinians still exist is a testimony to Israel’s God.

If the shoe were on the other foot, the Palestinians would have wiped the Israelis out at the first opportunity.

The Gilad Shalit story reveals both sides for who they really are – and global reaction shows which side the world prefers.  

At this moment, the United Nations is considering granting statehood to the same terrorists that traded an innocent hostage for a thousand murderers.  Hostage-taking is a war crime, by every possible reading of international law.

Twenty-five hundred years ago, the Bible predicted the restoration of the Jewish people to the land of Israel. It predicted Israel would be at the center of global attention in the last days, and that the whole world would oppose both its existence and its possession of Jerusalem.

In this generation, there exists a nation so hated that when its citizens are kidnapped by bloody terrorists, the world cheers the terrorists.

That hated nation has never launched a war of aggression, but was the victim of five wars aimed at its annihilation.

That hated nation is an island of prosperity in a sea of poverty, and has offered to share its prosperity with any nation that will allow it to live in peace.  But the world sides with its enemies.

Why?  Because Israel claims its birthright was granted by God and sealed for eternity in the pages of the Bible.

That reason, all by itself, is enough to justify the world’s denial of its right to exist.  The world hates God, and therefore, it loves the murderers of His Chosen people.  Even when it goes against their own bests interests.  

If Israel has a right to exist, then that right is granted by God.  If Israel’s right exists, then so does Israel’s God.

 “But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate Me love death.” (Proverbs 8:36)

And THAT is why the world prefers the terrorists. 

The Rapture in Two-Part Harmony

The Rapture in Two-Part Harmony
Vol: 121 Issue: 12 Wednesday, October 12, 2011

In the days of the Apostle Paul, the city of Thessalonica was the largest city in Macedonia, boasting a population of nearly 200,000 people –a megapolis of the ancient world.

The majority of its inhabitants were Greek, although there was a mixture of ethnic groups, including Jews.

Paul’s letters to the Church at Thessalonica are accepted as authentic by virtually all New Testament scholars. The book was quoted by name by early Church Fathers including Iraneus, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian and Polycarp.

The first epistle is divided into three parts or themes.  In the first part, Paul reiterates his relationship with the Thessalonians, gives thanks to God for them, and outlines the evidence that the Thessalonians were truly saved, in contrast to what the Judaizers were saying about them.  

“For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; And to wait for His Son from heaven, Whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.” (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10)

In the second part, Paul defends his credentials as an Apostle and the legitimacy of the Thessalonians’s conversion and his urgent desire to see them again. 

“For yourselves, brethren, know our entrance in unto you, that it was not in vain: But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention.” (1 Thessalonians 2:1-2)

“But we, brethren, being taken from you for a short time in presence, not in heart, endeavoured the more abundantly to see your face with great desire. Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us.” (1 Thessalonians 2:17-18)

The third major theme of the epistle is the imminent return of the Lord for His church at the Rapture.  It is a source of endless fascination to me to read the various polemics arguing against the Rapture on the grounds that it was a nineteenth-century invention of J.N. Darby or Margaret MacDonald or C.I. Schofield.

Other scholars, such as my friend Grant Jeffrey, have long since proved that the Rapture doctrine was taught by the early Church as far back as 373 AD when he discovered an ancient text authored by Ephraem the Syrian, a prominent Byzantine theologian.

In On the Last Times, the Antichrist, and the End of the World, Ephraem wrote:

“For all the saints and elect of God are gathered, prior to the tribulation that is to come, and are taken to the Lord lest they see the confusion that is to overwhelm the world because of our sins.”

The most fascinating aspect of Grant’s discovery is the effort to discredit it by opponents of a pre-Trib Rapture by denying Ephraem’s authenticity, called the discovery “pseudo-Ephraem.” 

This argument says that Ephraem didn’t write it, somebody else did.  Is that even a relevant argument? 

I was at Grant’s house visiting shortly after he made his discovery in 1995 and Grant showed me a book in his collection published in the 1600’s in which Ephraem’s teaching on the Rapture was quoted by a French theologian.

So denying Ephraem’s authorship is meaningless to the issue at hand, (which was whether the Rapture had been taught prior to the 1800’s.)

Personally, I’ve never understood how there could be a controversy.  Whether pseudo-Ephraem or just plain Ephraem — or Darby, Schofield, MacDonald — they are largely irrelevant — since the Apostle Paul taught of an imminent Rapture in his FIRST epistle to the Thessalonians. 

The controversy is about whether or not some subsequent interpreter confirmed what God told Paul, and it extends until what Paul actually wrote doesn’t seem to matter.  

But Paul not only outlined the Rapture in detail, he fully expected to witness it himself.

“For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent (or precede) them which are asleep. For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”  (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17)

But the verses about the Rapture don’t actually complete the third theme of Paul’s first epistle to Thessolonica.

Paul addresses questions concerning his credentials as an Apostle, confirms that the Thessalonians are truly saved, and reveals the details of the Rapture. 

The Thessalonians, like many in the Church today, missed the point of Paul’s first Epistle.  The point was that the Lord’s return should be a source of great comfort, not a source of contention.

“For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.” (1 Thessalonians 5:9-11)

The message is as clear as it can possibly be. As clear as this message is, some have trouble understanding it, even today.  Paul says that Lord will appear in the air, the dead in Christ will rise, those still living will rise right after, and we will then spend eternity with the Lord.  

Paul says the purpose of this revelation was to comfort believers facing hard times.  What completes the theme is Paul’s exhortation at the end.

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

Assessment:

Paul’s Second Letter to the Thessalonians had but one primary purpose, as specifically outlined in Chapter Two.  It was to correct the doctrinal errors that an apparently forged letter from Paul had created about the Day of the Lord.  

The Thessalonians feared that the Day of the Lord had come and gone and they had been left behind.  

“Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto Him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.” (2 Thessalonians 2:1-2)

The phrase, “our gathering together” is translated from the Greek, episunagoge, which means “a complete collection; especially a Christian meeting: assembling, gathering together.”  It is used but one other time, in Hebrews 10:25 exhorting believers to meet for worship. 

As we go on, let’s ask and answer some questions from the text of Scripture. 

First question: “What is Paul beseeching the Thessalonians about?” Answer: “That they not be shaken by a letter that said they had been left behind.”

The primary theme of 2nd Thessalonians is therefore, the coming of our Lord and our gathering together, or collecting, unto Him. Paul begins by offering two reasons why the Thessalonians should not be afraid that they had been left behind.   

“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.” (2 Thessalonians 2:3)

So, what is the first reason why the Thessalonians should know that they had not missed the event Paul had described in his last letter?  Because the day would not come until there came “a falling away first.”

The translation “a falling away” should actually be rendered, “THE falling away” namely, the specific falling away of which Paul warned them of “when I was yet with you.” (2 Thessalonians 2:5)

The “falling away” is the great apostasia, meaning, “a defection from the truth.” 

The second reason why the Thessalonians should not be afraid that they had been left behind was because the man of sin, or the son of perdition, had not yet been revealed.  The man of sin is, of course, the antichrist.

The man of sin can’t be revealed until after the great apostasia because it is through the apostasia that the man of sin is revealed.  Without the apostasia, the antichrist couldn’t get a foothold because the population would not be prepared to buy what he will be selling.

But what else does this passage teach us?  The Rapture couldn’t have happened because the antichrist had not been revealed.  What does that mean?   It HAS to mean that the Rapture comes first and then later, the antichrist is revealed.

I have heard all kinds of clever and imaginative explanations for why these verses don’t mean what they say they mean, but none of them ever actually take on the verses themselves.

They just go out and find others from elsewhere that seem contradictory but I’ve never heard anyone adequately dispute these two simple points – which is probably the reason Paul raised them.

One can come up with verses that seemingly put the Church in the Tribulation, or verses that seemingly dispute the meaning of “the wrath of God” and verses that question who the Restrainer is, or dispute the meaning of the Day of Christ, and so on.

But Paul says that there are two things that must come after “our gathering together unto Him” – the great apostasia, and the revelation of the son of perdition.  So if the Thessalonians don’t perceive a great apostasy, followed by the revealing of the antichrist, then it means they didn’t miss the Rapture.

Let’s reverse this equation and take another look at what Paul is saying from that angle. 

Paul is saying that if the Thessalonians DO perceive a great falling away and they DO recognize “the man of sin, the son of perdition,” then YES, they missed the Rapture.

Turned back around, he’s saying that because the man of sin hasn’t been revealed, the Rapture has not happened.  Why?  Because the Rapture comes first.  Not because Darby, MacDonald, Schofield or even Ephraem the Syrian invented the doctrine after the fact.

But because the doctrine was already well-established in the first century by the Apostle Paul! 

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” (2 Timothy 4:3-4)

The first reference to a pre-Trib Rapture comes from the Bible.  It is not a cunningly devised fable, but is a doctrine made known to us by eyewitnesses of His Majesty (2 Peter 1:16). 

It wasn’t turned into a cunningly devised fable until after the great apostasia first kicked off at the end of the nineteenth century with the “Age of Enlightenment.”

The Great Apostasia is Part One and it is pretty much fully developed.  As for Part Two, the revelation of the antichrist, well, THAT looks like it’s fulfillment is just around the corner.  And according to the Apostle Paul, we won’t be here for Part Two. 

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

Confessions of a Christian Bigot

Confessions of a Christian Bigot
Vol: 121 Issue: 11 Tuesday, October 11, 2011

It would appear, based on the opinion of most non-Christians (who seem to be the ones with the loudest opinion on the subject) that not including Mormonism among the pantheon of Christian denominations is evidence of Christian bigotry.

What, exactly, is a “bigot”?  According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a “bigot” is:

a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance.

It occurs to me that, for a native English speaking writer, I sure find it necessary to go to the dictionary an awful lot.  Here lately, words tend to mean what the speaker wants them to mean, regardless of what they actually mean and the more they are misused, the more popular they get.

Take “Islamophobia” for example.  According to the dictionary, that word should mean “an unwarranted and unreasonable fear of Islam.”   

Indeed, this is where you get to see the non-dictionary definition of bigotry used in a sentence, while at the same time, redefining “phobia” as in, “Islamophobia is anti-Muslim bigotry.”

I am a Christian.  Everywhere that Islam has ever spread over the course of its history, things go badly for Christians. Under secular Egyptian President Hosni Murbarak, Egyptian Christians had it pretty good.

But when Obama chucked Murbarak under the bus in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood, he chucked Egypt’s Coptic Christian population under the bus with him.

Where Islam rules, Christians are either persecuted, or officially tolerated as “dhimmis.” When Mubarak ran Egypt, Egypt wasn’t ruled by Islam, and so Egypt’s Christian minority didn’t need to apply for dhimmi status.

And so, when about 100,000 Coptic Egyptian Christians gathered in peaceful protest and to stage a sit-in outside the Egyptian state television building along the Nile, on Sunday, October 9, 2011, they were unprepared for what happened next. 

They were there to protest the burning of a Christian church by an Islamic mob, while government police and firefighters stood idly by and did nothing. Naively, they expected that by gathering in such large numbers, they would make their voices heard. 

Instead, all that was heard was the screams of the wounded and dying as they were set upon by hundreds of plain-clothed thugs, backed up by police vehicles and tanks that scaled sidewalks and deliberately rolled over protestors, killing dozens.

Recent fatwas issued by top Muslim religious leaders such as the Sheikh of Al Azhar and the Grand Mufti, maintained that Christians are infidels, thus making Christians and their churches subject to religious cleansing by Muslims, since Egyptian Christians don’t pay the dhimmi tax.

According to Islam’s apologists, “dhimmi” is a “protected status” within Islam.  That sounds nice.

“Protected status” as a dhimmi means that instead of being valued at only 1/16th that of a Muslim, like other infidels, a dhimmi is valued at ½ a Muslim. 

The ‘protection’ afforded a dhimmi is that in exchange for paying a tax, a dhimmi can practice those parts of his religion that don’t conflict with Islam and he cannot be killed by Muslims out-of-hand. 

But if a dhimmi is killed, his life is not valued as equal to a Muslim, so the punishment for killing a dhimmi is reduced accordingly.

Dhimmis are forbidden to participate in the political process.  But at least “dhimmi” is an Arabic word.  So as near as I can tell, “Islamophobia” can’t actually be an English word, since it is neither an unwarranted NOR unreasonable fear of Islam. 

Not if one is a Christian, that is.

Bigot is an English word to describe unreasonable intolerance.  So “Islamophobic bigotry” only makes sense if Christians are unreasonably intolerant of their potential destruction at the hands of the people who are currently destroying Christians in Egypt.

Assessment:

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” (2 Timothy 4:3)

I learned over this past weekend that I am not only an Islamophobe, but I am also an anti-Mormon bigot because I was less outraged than many about Pastor Robert Jeffress’ comment to his church congregation (!!) that Mormonism is not a Christian faith, but instead, a cult.

Well, I guess that means that I am an Islamophobic bigot because I do not believe that the God that taught turning the other cheek is the same god that exhorts its followers to kill Christians for practicing their faith. Doctrines, like other things that are different, are NOT the same.

But because I do not believe that Allah is the God of the Bible, despite the fact that Allah’s doctrines, nature, character, practices and commandments are not the same as those revealed about the God of the Bible, I am an infidel who can be killed for blasphemy against a religion I’ve never been part of.

And because I don’t think that is a great idea, I am unreasonably intolerant, ipso facto, an Islamophobic bigot!  And on Sunday, I learned that unless I accept the doctrines of Mormonism as being Christian doctrines, I am also a bigot. 

Notice that I don’t have to DO anything to be an anti-Mormon bigot. I simply have to NOT change my religious beliefs to accommodate those I don’t believe are true.

To be removed from the anti-Mormon bigot list, all I have to do is pretend that;

  • I accept that God may have once been a man on the planet Kolob,  
  • that Jesus may have been Satan’s smarter brother,
  • that the Trinity is a false doctrine, 
  • that there are seven resurrections,
  • that Jesus came to America to convert the Jews here, and;
  • that He turned the Indians brown for not believing in him.

Oh, and that America is really the Promised Land, the Jews of Israel are usurpers, Independence, Missouri is the new Jerusalem and that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, despite not meeting any of the Biblical criteria for such an office.

Instead, I learned I was a bigot by no less than Republican heavyweight (no pun intended) Bill Bennett who explained at, of all places, the “Values Voters Summit” that MY Christian values, such as the right to decide for myself what I believe is Christian doctrine, is actually anti-Mormon bigotry.

“Do not give voice to bigotry,” Bennett told the audience, before offering a few open comments addressed to Pastor Jeffress:

“You stepped on and obscured the words of Perry and (former Sen. Rick) Santorum and (businessman Herman) Cain and (Rep. Michele) Bachmann and everyone else who has spoken here. You did Rick Perry no good, sir, in what you had to say.”

The Washington Post featured an editorial penned by John Mark Reynolds under the headline, “Why Evangelicals Must Stand Up to Anti-Mormon Bigotry.” It makes for fascinating reading.  

According to non-bigoted evangelicals like him, claiming Mormonism is not evangelical, that Mormons are not born again, and that Mormonism is a cult is, and I am quoting:

“bigotry buttressed by irrelevance fortified with invincible ignorance.”

Ok, so I guess I am a bigot. (But at least my ignorance is powerful, even if my faith is meaningless.) 

Mormonism isn’t just NOT evangelical, it is no more Christian than is Islam.  I heard one Mormon apologist on Fox News claim that Mormonism is Christian because it has Jesus Christ in its official long-form name, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

The long form name for Communist China is The People’s Republic of China. The long form name for North Korea is The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Does that make them democratic republics?

If I adopt the title, Emperor of the Known Universe, does it mean I can impose taxes?

It is not bigotry to say that a faith that denies the most basic of all Christian doctrines according to all the mainstream canons of Christianity, qualifies as a non-Christian cult.  That isn’t bigotry. It is theology.

Islam also claims the God of Abraham and acknowledges the existence of a religious figure named “Jesus” (or Isa).  But it is not bigotry to say Islam’s Jesus, who was not born of a virgin and did not die on the Cross, is a different Jesus and that Islam is therefore a different religion than Christianity.

Calling it ‘bigotry’ is an effort to bully Christianity into accepting a false god and a false doctrine into their own faith.  

It is no less than a demand that the rest of Christianity accept Mormon doctrine as Christian without regard to the tenets of their own faith.

Christianity is not like the rules of membership in the Boy Scouts. One can’t sue one’s way there. One cannot bully one’s way into being regarded as Christian by name-calling.   One cannot kick open the doors of Christianity and demand admission under one’s own terms.

If Christianity is real, then it has its own, unique identity.  It has its own unique doctrines, practices, beliefs, theories and views concerning the Godhead – those views being what defines Christianity as Christian.  

If Christianity isn’t a real faith based on real events, then of course you can modify it as necessary to make it more politically acceptable.

That is all that the Romans demanded of Christian converts in the 1st century. “Just modify it a little bit so that it isn’t so exclusive . . .”  Is that so unreasonable?

Mormon theology denies the existence of the Trinity, which deviates from mainstream Christian doctrine.  Mormon doctrine on salvation deviates from accepted doctrine of salvation by grace through faith.   

Mormon doctrine concerning the nature of the Father and the Deity of the Son bears no resemblance to mainstream Christian doctrine. 

Refusing to change one’s own doctrine in order to accommodate somebody else’s is not bigotry.  But that is nothing less than what is being demanded here. 

It is no different, in substance, than what the antichrist will demand in return for being allowed to participate in his system.

A different Jesus is not the same Jesus as the Founder of Christianity.  A different Jesus cannot be ‘folded in’ to mainstream Christianity to create a more Americanized version — without replacing the Jesus that already exists there.

It is not bigotry to say, “This is not the Jesus that I know.”  To accuse a Christian of bigotry because he cannot throw his own faith under the bus in order to accommodate someone else’s is a form of religious coercion on their part, not bigotry on the part of the faithful.

A different doctrine cannot be inserted into existing Christian doctrine by political decree.  It is not bigotry to say, “I cannot accept this doctrine as Christian without admitting my own faith is meaningless and can be molded and reshaped as the politics of the day demands.”

It is not phobia to fear those that are dedicated to your destruction, whether it be physical or religious.

The Mormon Jesus is not the same as the Jesus worshipped by Christians.  It is not bigotry to recognize that things that are different are not the same. 

But it is lunacy to pretend that they are.

When Is Too Late Too Late?

When Is Too Late Too Late?
Vol: 121 Issue: 10 Monday, October 10, 2011

For my birthday, one of my kids gave me a placard that says, “If at first you don’t succeed, try doing it the way your wife tells you.”

Two recent OL columns, “The Times of the Gentiles” and “Perspective is Everything” appear to have generated more confusion than they have shed light on the issue, if I am to judge from my emails and from the forums.

So I asked my wife what she thought I should do.  She said to try, try again, but this time, keep it simple. 

So here goes. 

The general confusion revolves around the idea that Gentiles cannot be saved during the Tribulation or that no Gentiles will be saved during the Tribulation.

I didn’t say that and don’t believe that, but rather than repeating what I already wrote; (you can read them here and here,) I thought it more constructive to step back and look at the issue again, and in the context of the Big Picture.

The “Gentiles” means every person from Adam that isn’t either of the tribe of Israel or a Christian.

I don’t believe that every Gentile who lived before the time of Christ was condemned, but neither do I expect to see any huge number of Gentiles from the pre-Christian era when I get to heaven.

There is no Biblical record of a huge outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Gentiles during the Old Testament period.  The Holy Spirit did not indwell the Old Testament saints in the sense that He indwells believers during the Church Age.

There will be some Gentile Old Testament saints in heaven, of course.  Cyrus, maybe, or Nebuchadnezzar, maybe.  Enoch.  Noah.  Lot.  Melchizedek.  Job.  A few more, maybe.  

But in the main, God’s attention was focused on the spiritual condition of His Chosen People, the Jews.

The entire future history of God’s plan for His Chosen People is laid out in detail to the Prophet Daniel by the revealing angel:

“Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.”

Daniel’s people were Jews.  Daniel’s holy city is Jerusalem.  This is a prophecy concerning them.  Both the Church and the Gentiles are excluded. 

The “Seventy weeks” are weeks of years, or periods of 7 years each.  The full length of the prophecy thus runs 490 years in total.

“Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.”

This period of time, from the order to rebuild to the coming of the Messiah 7+62 adds up to 69 weeks or 483 years.

“And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for Himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary . . .” (Daniel 9:26-27)

Josh McDowell did the calculations in his “Evidence that Demands a Verdict” showing that the commandment was issued on March 5, 444 BC.  Jesus rode into Jerusalem where He was received as King 173,880 days later, exactly 483 years.

It is at the point where the Messiah is “cut off, but not for Himself,” that the focus shifts to the salvation of the Gentiles.

“For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.” (Romans 11:25)

The “fulness of the Gentiles” means what it sounds like it means. 

“Fulness” (pleroma) means, “completion, what fills (with contents) what is filled (as in container, performance period) which is put in to fill up, full.”

When the full complement of Gentiles who will be saved are saved, Paul writes, then God’s attention turns back to Israel.

The born-again, Blood-bought Church, formerly Jews and Gentiles (but primarily Gentiles) and now, new creatures, are the individuals that corporately constitute the Body of Christ.   

The “fulness of the Gentiles” is followed by the Rapture of the Church, because the Body of Christ is complete.  Now, God’s attention returns to the national redemption of Israel.

Follow along in chronological order. 

“And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: (Romans 11:26)

At some point after the Rapture of the Church, a ruler from the same people that destroyed the Temple in AD 70 will confirm a seven year covenant between Israel and ‘many’ restarting the timeclock that stopped, according to McDowell’s calculations, on March 30, AD 33 on a hill outside the city walls of Jerusalem.

Note that there was an interval of time between the Resurrection and Pentecost of forty days.  Note also that there was an interval of time between Pentecost and the destruction of the Temple of about forty years.   

That clearly establishes precedent for the view that there will be an interval of time between the Rapture and the onset of the Tribulation.

The Rapture is NOT the first day of the Tribulation.  But the Rapture is certainly the last day of the Age of Grace.

Assessment:

The period from the time of Moses to the time of Christ is the period of the Dispensation of the Law.  During this Dispensation, the children of Israel were obligated to keep the Law of Moses as a condition of their covenant relationship with God. 

The Dispensation of the Law concluded at Calvary when sin and death were nailed to the Cross.

“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: ” (Romans 8:2-3)

The Dispensation of Grace is the period of time from Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit descended and indwelt the twelve Apostles and all that believed thereafter, until the day that the fulness (pleroma) of (primarily) Gentiles that complete the Body of Christ.

The Apostle Paul says that the antichrist, “that Wicked” cannot be revealed until AFTER the Restrainer (the Holy Spirit) has been taken out of the way.

“For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only He who now letteth will let, until He be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming.” (2 Thessalonians 2:2-8)

So the Restrainer (the Holy Spirit) and the vessels He indwells (the Church) is taken out of the way and then that “Wicked” is revealed.  At this point, by definition, the only people remaining upon the earth are Jews and Gentiles.

Not every Jew or every Gentile has heard the Gospel.  But of those that have, Paul writes that they “received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.”  So these are they that rejected the Gospel.   And for THAT reason, Paul writes,

“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.” (2 Thessalonians 10-12)

This is clearly not every Jew or Gentile on earth – just those that heard and rejected the Gospel of salvation.

Note that Paul says that GOD sends them “strong delusion.”  I am not going to debate why God would do that – I am not God. 

But I can’t pretend that part is irrelevant to the overall unfolding of Bible prophecy — or take the risk that the Bible doesn’t mean what it clearly says. 

Which is that God’s plan for the salvation of the Gentiles comes to an end and is replaced with God’s judgment upon a Christ-rejecting world.  It doesn’t mean no more Gentiles CAN be saved — it simply means that Gentiles are no longer the central focus of God’s plan. 

The Tribulation begins with the antichrist, the rider on the white horse of Revelation 6:2.  Revelation Chapter six concludes with breaking of the Sixth Seal, and the onset of the last half, or the Great Tribulation.  

It is at this point that the antichrist seats himself in the Temple, committing the abomination of desolation that Jesus warned of.

The antichrist unleashes a wave of persecution against the Jews so severe that Jesus warns them that are in Judea to flee to the mountains.  He also imposes his mark as a form of worship and ordering the execution of anyone that refuses to accept it.  

Those that refuse to accept the Mark of the Beast are the Tribulation Saints.  Where do they come from?  Let’s step back a bit, and again, follow along in chronological order. 

There is something else that takes place at just about that time that is often overlooked.  What happens immediately after the breaking of the sixth seal but before anything else?

“Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.” (Revelation 7:1)

In Israel, just as the Great Tribulation begins, 144,000 Jews are sealed with the Holy Spirit.  In the same breath, and as they are being sealed, Scripture speaks of;

“a great multitude (who are already in heaven) which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands . .  (Revelation 7:9)

Who are they?  Again, the chronology is helpful, here.

This multitude is identified in Revelation 7:14 as having come out of ‘great tribulation’ — but not THE Great Tribulation. 

(Note the chronology: First, seal the 144,000 — THEN the judgments are resumed.  This great multitude is already in heaven as the Great Tribulation begins with the sealing of the 144,000.)

The seventh angel sounds his trumpet in Revelation 11:15. The judgments continue as the evangelists preach and the Two Witnesses are resurrected after three and a half days. (Revelation 11:11

In Revelation 13 the perspective shifts from heaven back to the earth.  We are given a brief history of his rise to power, the rise of the false prophet, the persecution of the Tribulation saints and their ultimate martyrdom (Revelation 13:15)  rather than submitting to the Mark of the Beast. 

So who are the tribulation saints of Revelation 13:15-18 that refuse to accept the Mark?  The next verse is Revelation 14:1 – chronologically, the MOST obvious place to look for them, since the last few verses were about their martyrdom.

“And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with Him an hundred forty and four thousand, having His Father’s name written in their foreheads. . . . And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.” (Revelation 14:1,3)

What are the odds that these are a DIFFERENT 144,000 than the 144,000 sealed in Revelation Seven, just before the Great Tribulation began?

Follow along with me.  To this point in the Tribulation, the only thing God has visited upon the Gentiles is strong delusion and judgment for sin.

And the only thing that God has visited upon the Jews so far in the Tribulation is His Holy Spirit.  Sounds kinda backwards from the usual order of things, doesn’t it?

“. . .blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.” (Romans 11:25)

This seems fairly well in keeping with the observation that the Tribulation Period is set aside for the judgment of a Christ-rejecting world and for the national redemption of Israel.

But that accuracy of that observation would largely depend on what happens next:

“And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come: and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.”

An angel is sharing the Gospel.  But there is no outpouring of the Spirit.  No massive revival of souls.  

The 144,000 that were sealed (indwelt) by the Holy Spirit had the power to lead others to Christ.  The Scriptures say that nobody can be saved apart from the Holy Spirit.

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

But that doesn’t mean that they are saved the way that we are in the Church Age.  The Tribulation saints are not in the Age of Grace.  They are not indwelt by the Holy Spirit.

This is the Seventieth Week of Daniel – the final Week of the Dispensation of the Law.  The rules are different for the Tribulation saints than for the saints of the Church Age.  

“Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.” (Revelation 14:12-13)

The Tribulation saints, like the Old Testament Jews, evidently must keep the Commandments AND faith in Jesus.  And for those “which die in the Lord from henceforth” their works, (unlike ours), DO follow them.  

The Old Testament saints (primarily Jews) had to keep the commandments of God, look forward to the promise of a Messiah, and expected to be judged according to their works.

How can this be?  The Time of Jacob’s Trouble is the seventieth week of Daniel — the final week of the Age of the Law.  It is a different Dispensation than the Age of Grace. 

There will be Gentiles saved during the Tribulation, just as there are Jews saved during the Church Age, but God’s focus during the Church Age is on evangelizing the Gentiles, not the Jews.  

His focus during Daniel’s seventieth week is on Daniel’s people, his holy city, and finishing the transgression, making an end of sins, making reconciliation for iniquity, bringing everlasting righteousness, sealing up the vision and prophecy, and anointing the most Holy.

“Blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved.”

It is no heresy to say that the only sure way for a Gentile to get to heaven is not to wait until after it is too late to apply.  How late is too late? 

What do you think?

The Foolishness of Christ

The Foolishness of Christ
Vol: 121 Issue: 8 Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Bible says that God “hath chosen the foolish (simple) things of this world to confound the wise, and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things that are mighty.”

The Omega Letter is aimed at those who have already grasped the simplicity of salvation. A lot of what we focus on is what Paul calls the ‘strong meat’ of Bible doctrine.  

For example, we’ve examined the nuts-and-bolts answers to hard questions like, “Why did Jesus have to die?” and “would a loving God send people to hell?” etc.  But it is good from time to time to revisit the basic gift of salvation.

I have friends who can’t seem to ‘get’ how simple God made salvation.  They miss the forest for the trees.  Maybe you have friends like that too.  They can’t grasp the basic fact that salvation is for sinners. They think they have to earn their way by doing good.

When Jesus was asked which was the most important commandment of God, He replied:  

“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 22: 37-40)

Love God above yourself and love your neighbor as yourself.  Simple.  

A person cannot have a personal relationship with God apart from Jesus. There is a gap that exists between God the Father and sinful humanity. 

God is completely holy and cannot tolerate the presence of any sin. But we are all selfish sinners. To redeem us, He had to become ONE of us. 

To do THAT, He had to physically enter sin’s ‘quarantine zone’ (the earth’s atmosphere), conquer sin in THIS world, thereby defeating sin’s universal stranglehold on humanity. And then, having qualified as an acceptable Sacrifice, He paid the eternal penalty for sin on our behalf. 

When Adam sinned, God cursed him;

“In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” (Genesis 3:19)

God covered the first sin of Adam by clothing his nakedness with dead animal skins. Sin, by definition, introduced death into the world. “. . . without shedding of blood is no remission.” (Hebrews 9:22)

Jesus paid the penalty prescribed by Adam’s sin, just as every human being since Adam, but Jesus was WITHOUT sin.  Having been born of the Father into this sin-sick world, He lived the life that God expected of each of us and then paid the penalty for sin that we deserve.

He was not under that penalty for Himself, which is why He could pay the price demanded on our behalf. Having defeated the cause of death (sin), He then defeated the penalty of sin (death) by His Resurrection. 

Nobody who ever sinned, even once, has defeated sin personally, and all remain under sin’s penalty of death.

“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:” (Hebrews 9:27) 

But death is in two parts. The physical death, and what the Bible calls the ‘second death’ eternal separation from God in the Lake of Fire. 

And so is the judgement. The believer’s sins were judged at the Cross, and the penalty for them has already been paid. 

For those who trust to their own good works, there is a second judgement before the Great White Throne, where they will be judged according to ALL their works, good and bad. 

There is no balancing scale. One sin earns eternal separation. 

Our personal sin still earns the wages of physical death. We are spiritually and eternally saved, but the world in which we live remains under the curse. Sin has its consequences on the things which are in it. 

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)

Jesus sinless Sacrifice paid our eternal debt — there is nothing left to judge but our rewards. Nothing we could ever do could earn it, because it is a gift, freely offered to all men. 

By accepting Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf and committing to follow Him we are declared righteous by God on the basis of our faith. 

Therefore as new creatures, recreated by the Blood of Christ, wearing His righteousness instead of our own, we are able to come before the throne of God blameless and cleansed, reestablishing our relationship with God.

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2nd Corinthians 5:17)

It has NOTHING to do with religion. Paul was preaching to the Church at Galatia, where a heresy had crept in that said Christians had to be circumcised like Jews in order to prove they belonged to God. 

Paul makes it clear that Christians are neither Jews nor Gentiles, but something entirely new. 

“For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.” (Galatians 6:15)

The difficulty in trusting Jesus is rooted in the failure to understand the ‘new creature’ for what it is. The Bible teaches that there are four sentient spiritual creations of God. 

First, God created the angels. Then, He created Adam in His Image and in His Likeness. At Adam’s fall, his spiritual state was changed, he became separated from God, and Adam was the father of the spiritually unregenerate Gentiles.

Abraham, through faith, fathered the first of another new spiritual creation. Isaac was the first spiritual Jew, the father of Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel. 

Since then, every person is born either a Jew or a Gentile, from the perspective of their spiritual state of existence. The first three sentient, spiritual creations of God, then, are angels, Jews and Gentile, descended from Adam, but in God’s Image, with an eternal spirit. 

A descendant of Isaac can never become a Gentile. He can denounce Judaism, become a Buddhist, an atheist, or whatever, but in God’s eyes (as well as man’s) he is still a Jew. 

A Gentile can become a practicing Jew, but he remains a spiritual Gentile, since his eternal spirit remains estranged from God apart from Christ.  

Jesus introduced a new spiritual creation with His Resurrection. Those who trust Jesus are transformed into a totally new spiritual creation, personally indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God, and restored to the fellowship lost by Adam. 

“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Romans 5:12)

“For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” (Romans 5:19) 

Having been MADE righteous and restored to fellowship, Christians are neither Gentile nor Jew. Nor are they angels, either literally or figuratively. The Bible calls them ‘saints’ — something entirely unique in the history of the universe.

Jews and Gentiles are born what they are. Christians are REBORN into a ‘new birth’ — a new spiritual creation of God. 

Our conversion is literal — we CONVERT into a new thing, like a moth becoming a butterfly. Just as a Jew can’t become a Gentile because he is of Isaac’s race, (and a Gentile can’t become a spiritual Jew because he isn’t), a Christian, once reborn, can’t revert back to either Jew or Gentile. And we never were angels. 

Salvation is a permanent transformation from one kind of spiritual creation to a different kind of spiritual creation.  It is the misunderstanding of the new creature that is a stumbling-block to grasping the simple assurances of the Gospel.  

At the point of salvation, according to Scripture, the old creature (Jew or Gentile) is “passed away.” (2nd Corinthians 5:17)

The Bible says the old creature is dead. Only God can raise the dead, not an act of man. God would be forced to raise the dead spiritual Gentile,  and undo His new spiritual creation based, not just on an act of man, but on a sinful act.

If sin can force God to undo His own creation, then where is the victory? 

The Bible says to repent (literally, change your mind), realize your sin will take you to hell, and that there is nothing you can do about it except to trust Jesus’ promise that by trusting Him for your salvation as the Lord of your life, you are now a new creation of God. 

It’s so simple. So simple, in fact, that there are millions upon millions who just can’t get it. Paul spoke of being “wise in your own conceits” (Romans 12:16) not the least of which is the belief that our works contribute to our salvation. 

“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.” (1st Corinthians 1:27) 

If Jesus didn’t do it all, then He didn’t have to do it at all.  And He died in vain. 

“I do not frustrate the grace of God, for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” (Galatians 2:21) 

  I’m taking my birthday off to spend the day with my family. Thank you for all the good wishes — I am honored beyond measure.  Today’s OL is a retread from 2009. I hope you enjoy it.