Religious Evolutionism

Religious Evolutionism
Vol: 154 Issue: 31 Thursday, July 31, 2014

A while back, I ran into an old friend I hadn’t seen since I was a teenager. It was kind of fun to run into him and catch up on all that had transpired in each other’s lives over the past forty years.

Soon the conversation turned to the hot topics of the day; global warming, evolution, peace in the Middle East, etc. It didn’t take long for me to see he was an evolutionist and environmental activist — it took him even less time to label me as a religious nut — and he said as much to my face, albeit with a smile.

Later, I thought about the ‘religious nut’ statement and wondered if my friend realized that, of the two of us, he was lots more religious than I am.

As to the ‘nuts’ part — logic demands I plead guilty. Logically, if I were nuts, I wouldn’t know it, so it makes little sense to deny it. Besides, its subjective. He thinks I’m nuts because I believe in God. I think he’s nuts because he believes in evolution.

It never ceases to amaze me how those who believe in evolution do so because they think they are too smart to believe in God. It is a willful ignorance. Any close examination of the evidence for evolution proves the truth of Romans 1:20:

“For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:”

Let’s apply some understanding to what is clearly seen, and see where we end up.

Currently, the world’s population doubles every forty years. This is the result of two mathematical principles; exponential growth and doubling time. This presents a major problem for evolutionary theory. Evolutionists find themselves in a dilemma when they try to reconcile the population growth curve with their imaginary history of human life.

Like, if man has been living on the Earth for a million years or more, then why are there only 7.2 billion people here now? When any given quantity’s rate of increase is proportional to its current value, it is said to grow exponentially. Stated more simply, the larger the quantity, the faster it grows.

‘Doubling’ is the length of time it takes for a quantity, growing at a measurable and sustained rate, to double itself. For example, $100 invested at 7% compound interest will take ten years to double itself to $200, another ten to double to $400, and so on.

So we have two different factors at play here; exponential growth and doubling.

At the time of Christ, the world’s population was only about 300 million people. It took until 1800 for the world population to reach one billion people. But it only took until 1930 for the population to double to two billion.

Thanks to the principle of exponential growth, by 1960 there were three billion, by 1974, four billion, 1985, five billion, 1999, six billion. In 2012, the global population reached the seven billion mark.

If one applies the principles of doubling and exponential growth to the human population, one gets a whole different picture than the one presented by evolutionary “science.”

The population of the earth has been growing throughout history at a more-or-less constant 1.9%, which means it doubles roughly every forty years. But let’s build in a fudge factor for earthquakes, famines, wars and epidemics and allow 150 years between population doublings.

Assuming a startup population of two people, how long would it take to reach the present population of roughly 7.2 billion?

That’s the thing about doublings and exponentials. With the population doubling every 150 years and factoring in exponentials, it would take only thirty-two doublings over about 4,800 years for the population of Planet Earth to go from two to the present 7.2 billion.

Now think it through. How could the population stay below 300 million for a million years and then jump from 300 million to nearly seven billion in just two thousand years?

I may be a nut, but it is the evolutionist who is ‘religious’.


Christianity is a peculiar sort of religion, since it’s basic premise is that a religion is not necessary for one’s salvation.

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast,” Paul writes in Ephesians 2:8-9.

But “religion” demands more than that — it must be organized, and that is where it begins to break down.

To be a religion, it must be organized by flawed humans. It doesn’t take long before any organized religion breaks down into competing denominations.

Religious evolutionism has at least four major denominations; Classical Darwinism and Neo-Darwinism; and the spiritual; “Hopeful Monster” and Punctuated Equilibrium.

Classical Darwinism proposes that evolution is the result of natural selection and the survival of the fittest. Survival of the fittest has some social problems. Why shouldn’t we eliminate weaker classes of humans which are competing for what we feel we need?

Evolution taken to its logical conclusion would eventually lead to a savage world where the strong determine what is right.

So a new explanation became necessary. Neo-Darwinism adds mutation to Darwin’s survival of the fittest. The problem is that mutations do not produce something new, they merely scramble what is already there.

The Hopeful Monster Theory is advanced as an explanation for why there are no transitional fossils; that is to say, there are no fossils of anything in the process becoming something else. The Hopeful Monster sees evolution taking place in a single jump; a dinosaur lays an egg that hatches a robin.

Punctuated Equilibrium also attempts to explain away the lack of evidence like transitional fossils by saying all the changes took place over short periods of time. It relies on the absence of evidence to prove itself — ‘since there’s no evidence of transitional life forms, this is proof that evolution must have happened quickly.’


These are not scientific positions — they are religious ones. Let’s tell the story of evolution the way the kids learn it in school.

Billions of years ago, there was nothing. Then suddenly, nothing exploded into something. Everybody agrees on that. It’s called the “Big Bang Theory.”

This ‘something’ produced hydrogen which, when cooled down enough, magically turned into solid rock.

Other hydrogen combined with oxygen which caused it to rain on the rock until it broke down into minerals which washed down into a pool.

Once in this pool, all these minerals combined into a primordial ooze that eventually grew up into plants and animals and mosquitos and bacteria and platypuses (platypii? – help me out here, Alf).

Eventually, some the primordial ooze that didn’t become single-celled amoeba or African lowland gorillas became evolutionary scientists.

The very word ‘theory’ means “An assumption based on limited information or knowledge; a conjecture” but it is illegal in the United States to teach any other explanation dealing with the origins of life.

Even the ‘abrupt appearance’ theory, without the mention of God is forbidden, despite the fact the abrupt appearance theory has far fewer flaws than does evolution.

We’ve already seen that belief in ‘scientific evolution’ requires a suspension of the provable, immutable mathematics. It also requires the suspension of the laws of physics.

The 2nd law of thermodynamics incorporates the law of ‘entropy’ — the measurable, systematic breakdown of all things into their component elements.

In other words, the fact everything ages, and everything breaks down with age.

Entropy is a natural law that can be observed, without scientific instruments or double-talk. A beautifully landscaped park, left untended, becomes an overgrowth of weeds. A new car left parked and untended gets rusty and falls apart. A baby becomes an old person and dies.

Everything decays, eventually. Even earth’s orbit around the sun has a measurable decay factor — yet evolution teaches that — with the addition of a billion or so years, the exact opposite happens!

Evolution is a made-up explanation, constantly under revision, to explain the unexplainable — apart from the existence of God.

But my friend was probably right about me being a wee bit nuts. Although I prefer the term ‘eccentric.’

Featured Commentary: The White House Silence is Deafening ~ J.L. Robb

Disappointed With God?

Disappointed With God?
Vol: 154 Issue: 30 Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Although few of us want to admit it, it is my firm suspicion that everybody has found themselves, at one time or another, disappointed by God.

Among those who DO admit to it, there are those who’ve gone the extra half-inch from being disappointed BY God into being disappointed WITH God. And with church. And with other Christians. And with doctrinal divisions. And with the whole spiritual conflict in general.

It isn’t enough to have some well-meaning friend remind you that ‘life is hard, and at the end, you die.” Or that ‘God never promised you a rose garden.’

I beg to differ. There are apparently clear and unambiguous promises in Scripture that He did so.

“Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32)

“Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him?” (Matthew 7:9-11)

We, as parents, do all that we can to provide our children with a ‘rose garden’ existence. To the degree that our children let us. Which means there are a lot of thorns in that rose garden.

Jesus asked which of us would give our children a stone instead of bread? Children NEED bread, even when they ASK for stones. You can pray for diamonds, but God knows what your are going to NEED in the days ahead.

Sometimes, God, knowing your future, says ‘yes.’ (If He didn’t, you’d never see a Christian lady wearing a diamond ring.)

And sometimes, in His infinite foreknowledge, He knows you are asking for a stone, but what your future will demand is more bread. To you, in the here-and-now, its a diamond.

But if you get hungry enough, a diamond is just a stone. (Bread’s better. Trust me on this one.)

James explains,

“Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.”

He goes on with this seemingly contradictory statement,

“Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”


Jesus promised,

“Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 21:32)

So if it is the Father’s good pleasure to give me the kingdom, how come He won’t give me a better job? How come He won’t make my credit score higher? How come He won’t make life easier for me?

Or, the Big Question: God created the world in six days out of nothing. How can it be that, no matter how many times I ask Him, He still hasn’t helped me to quit smoking, overeating, drinking, (fill in your own ‘how come’ as needed)?

How come I pray for courage to boldly speak out for Christ, but can’t find it when I need it? How come I pray for healing and it doesn’t happen? How come the more I pray for understanding, the more confusing it all gets.

Why DON’T You DO something about this?

The Bible says, “with God, all things are possible.”

Until it comes to my shortcomings, or my health problems, or my personal problems. Then sometimes, they are evidently even too big for Him, since I still have them.

And it isn’t all that helpful to have somebody tell you that, “God works in mysterious ways,” either. It doesn’t seem that mysterious. It’s God’s good pleasure to give me the kingdom.

Did Jesus not say,

“And whatsoever ye shall ask in My Name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son?” (John 14:13)

‘Prosperity Gospel’ preachers twist these Scriptures to mean that God wants you to be materially healthy, wealthy and wise. They tell you that first. Then they explain that all you have to do to obtain these blessings is ‘let go’ of what little material wealth you have.

(To them, of course, so they can continue to spread their ‘message’ that God wants other people to let go of their material wealth (to them) so He can shower them with wealth, too.)

The truth is, this world ISN’T ‘the kingdom’ that the Father takes pleasure in giving me. I am IN this world, but I am not OF it.

The promise is valid, it is the reward that is misunderstood.

And Jesus was speaking to the Twelve directly, whom He was granting the power, in His Name, to do the miracles recorded in the Book of Acts as they went out to start the early Church.

The Apostles were given that authority as a form of credentials, that the “Father may be glorified in the Son.”

The power to perform miracles in Jesus’ Name proved to the early Jewish converts that their message of salvation by grace through faith was not blasphemy, but came directly from the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

God has a plan for each of our lives, but it is seldom the plan we expected or wanted. We don’t see the same end-game that God does.

Sincere Christians sincerely seek God’s plan for their lives by seeking God’s will for their lives. Sometimes, it is like trying to find a particular tree in the middle of a forest. We need to step back and take a look at the whole forest for a minute.

What IS God’s will? In the sense of the forest, and not that one particular tree, I mean? If we can discern God’s will overall, it helps to define what role we are to play in fulfilling His will, and in so doing, not following our own ‘lusts’, as James put it.

Peter says that, “the Lord is not slack concerning His promise,” but then adds, “as some men count slackness.”

Dwell on that second phrase, for a second. We don’t see things the way that God does. Thinking we do is a sure recipe for disappointment. So what is important to God?

Peter continues,

“but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2nd Peter 3:9)

Dissect this with me, and we’ll find the answers to the questions we’ve pondered; “Why hasn’t God taken away my bad habits, why hasn’t God cured my health problems, why won’t He help me get a better job, why am I disappointed with God?”, etc.

Peter says that God is long-suffering towards His messengers, because it is not His will that ANY should perish, but that ALL should come to repentance.

From the Apostles until this time, the Lord has used His people to spread the Gospel that salvation is open to all men.

So God’s will is that this message be carried to ALL. And there are places that only you can go; people that only you can reach. People that trust you because of who you are, warts and all. Think about it. God has been equipping you your whole life for your mission.

That’s why you are who you are.

When Paul went directly to the Lord to pray for deliverance from some unnamed affliction he felt hindered his ability to carry the Message, Jesus told him;

“My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”

Instead of being disappointed with God for not dealing with Paul’s offending tree, Paul stepped back and took another look at the forest and concluded,

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

The Message is God’s Perfect Will, but it is carried by imperfect men. If only perfect men could carry the Message, Christianity wouldn’t have made it out of the first century.

You are the messenger God has chosen to carry His message now. Not later, when you feel that God has equipped you to your satisfaction.

(If you were not chosen, you wouldn’t be reading this right now– and you already have all the credentials necessary to carry it at this moment. The first requirement of salvation is that one must first be a sinner.)

God has not let you down. He has equipped you for your unique mission for the Kingdom.

For in your weakness is His strength made perfect.

A Parable

A Parable
Vol: 154 Issue: 29 Tuesday, July 29, 2014

You wake up one morning and find a guy camping out in your back yard. You go out and ask him what the heck he thinks he’s doing there and he says he used to live in your house before he lost it to back taxes.

You bought the house from a realtor at fair market value and didn’t know about the tax foreclosure, but now this is your house and he’ll have to go find somewhere else to set up camp.

The next morning, you get up to find the guy has moved his whole family into your backyard and refuses to leave. But you’re a compassionate sort — you’ve gone through hard times yourself, and you find yourself in empathy with the guy.

You don’t need the whole backyard, but you don’t want to get locked into anything, either. So you just go about your daily business and let the people in your backyard go about theirs.

Until one day you come home and find them sitting in your living room watching TV. Well, it’s raining out, and they are watching your favorite TV show, so you don’t throw them out, but you don’t necessarily welcome them, either. Maybe they’ll get the idea on their own.

Next morning, you get up and find yourself standing in a line to get to your bathroom. “Enough is enough,” you bellow. “Everybody out!”

Later, the head of the family in the back yard comes to you and says, “As far as we are concerned, this is our house. Our family lived here for generations before you bought it, and we want it back. We’ll let you have the master bedroom and part of the living room, but the kitchen is ours.”

Well, until they came, you lived alone, and you find you kind of like the company. But you draw the line at giving up the kitchen — as a professional chef, (it’s a parable, I can make up anything I want) the kitchen is the center of your home.

So you strike a bargain in which you have access to the kitchen, under supervision, for certain agreed-upon periods during the day.

However, they insist, you must pay all the bills for maintaining the house and pay for all the food. You finally hammer out an equitable agreement in which they agree to keep up the property in exchange for your footing the bills.

It isn’t a perfect agreement, but you can afford it, they are dirt-poor, and you don’t have time to do all the work yourself anyway.

So you pay the bills, the squatters take over your house, but they trash every room they take over. While you agreed to share the living room, its such a pig-sty that you just give it over to them and start spending most of your time in your bedroom.

The last straw comes when you go to the kitchen as per your agreed-upon hours and are forbidden entry. This is the very last of the last straws. You toss everybody out of the house and lock all the doors.

In response, they go on a rampage in your back yard, burning your toolshed, digging up all your flowers, and chanting threats that your house is next. Exasperated, you call in the law.

Turns out the policeman is the squatter’s brother-in-law so he refuses to evict them from your yard. So you take it to court.

The judge, (who turns out to be the squatter’s cousin) rules that since you let them squat in your yard, they have a proprietary interest so, they can stay in your backyard, but not in your house.

You don’t think the verdict is fair, but you are a law-abiding sort, so you surrender your backyard and try to negotiate an agreement whereby you can cross ‘their’ territory to get to your lawn mower and garden tools.

You finally work out a deal where you can go get your lawn tools, but in exchange, you have to cut their grass, too. The first time you try to go get it, they won’t let you through unless you give them bathroom privileges.

It seems reasonable; you aren’t in the bathroom all the time anyway, and they have to go somewhere, so you agree and they let you pass. You finish cutting the grass and there they are back in the living room watching TV.

You throw them back out and they start throwing rocks through your window. You call the police and the same brother-in-law shows up and begins making excuses for them. Exasperated again, you take them to court.

The (judge who is a cousin) rules that since you agreed to the bathroom deal, what’s so bad about them watching a little TV once in awhile?

He refuses to evict them from your yard, and includes the bathroom sharing arrangement as part of the formal deal.

When you ask for damages for the broken windows, they are refused on the grounds it wouldn’t have happened if you hadn’t locked them out.

Now, you can’t get to your lawn tools without making a new concession every time you go there, so you decide to just close off the back yard and let them wade through the field of their own making.

You put up a privacy fence to separate ‘their’ part of the yard from yours, leaving a little gate they can come through to use the shared bathroom. Next thing you know, they start lobbing paint filled balloons over the fence at your house. From the bathroom, they toss paint balloons down the hall and into your living room.

You call the police, get the same brother-in-law who again sides with the squatters in the back yard. So you go to court, where the judge orders you to take down the fence. Convinced you are getting a raw deal, you refuse. The judge says, “Then don’t come complaining to me if they retaliate because of your fence.”

“But,” you protest, “the only reason for putting up the fence is to prevent them from attacking my house.”

“Not my problem,” says the judge. “You should have thought of that when you threw them out of their own house that they’ve lived in for generations.”

“But I bought it from a realtor. I have a deed,” you protest.

“It’s because of that deed that I let you live in the house instead of the backyard,” the judge says.

“But this court can’t totally ignore the fact they lived there for generations before you took possession,” noting, “when you moved in, you agreed to let them stay. Now it is up to the two sides to work out an equitable sharing arrangement.”

The judge bangs his gavel, then says to you, “Oh, and cut the grass. Your yard is an eyesore.”

You leave the courtroom, understandably stunned. You bought the house fair and square — and nobody is disputing it. You’ve got the documents to prove it. But despite that, neither the squatters, the police nor the judge recognize your right to sole occupation. And every effort to explain the sharing arrangement puts them in a stronger legal position.

You should have just tossed the guy out on his ear the day he set up camp in your yard.

Now, you’re stuck with the situation as it has evolved; outnumbered in your own house; the police and courts are openly hostile to your claims.

And no matter what the terms of the original agreement was, you know they are only going to uphold one side’s obligations under any agreement — and it isn’t your side.

So one day, having had enough, you pick up a club (because you are outnumbered) and charge over there to have it out with them. This time, the police blame you for an unprovoked attack.

The court awards them damages in the form of full legal title to your back yard.

The war goes on, back and forth, between you and the squatters who now own your backyard up to the fence, with the squatters claiming the entire back yard and still complaining that the gate makes it too hard for them to exercise their right to the shared bathroom.

You finally lock them out of the bathroom. Your neighbors, sick of the commotion (and all former neighbors of the squatters in the back yard) band together into a neighborhood association aimed at driving you out of the neighborhood.

They sign petitions demanding you move away. They complain your privacy fence is an eyesore. Your house is ugly and paint-spattered, your back yard is a mess and there are people living in tents when they should be living inside a house and they blame YOU for their pitiful situation.

A few pretend to be your friends, but at the same time, you know that they are sneaking paint and balloons into your back yard for the squatters to throw at you.

But at least they are not at the moment openly attacking the front of your house from their side of the street, so you pretend back and try not to antagonize them.


It has all the makings of a plot line for a Stephen King novel or a nightmare of the sort brought on by a late night snack of double anchovy pizza washed down by a cold glass of milk.

Instead it is a thinly disguised parable about Israel and the Palestinians. The Arab ‘Palestinians’ had lived in the region for four hundred years as subjects of the Muslim Ottoman Empire. Title passed from the Ottoman Empire to the British when the British captured Jerusalem during the First World War.

Britain was granted legal title under the British Mandate, and Israel came into legal possession of that title to its’ ‘house’ in 1948 when it was recognized as an independent state by the United Nations in 1948.

The new title holder, Israel, did not take the title away from the Arab occupants. The British did that. Israel took possession of the land from the British. Israel’s Arab neighbors attacked openly five times, were defeated five times, and now quietly arm the Palestinians for war while claiming to be negotiators for peace.

The UN has ruled in favor of the Palestinians in every dispute that has come before it, including many as ridiculously one-sided as those in my parable.

The Arab-controlled UN General Assembly has never passed a resolution condemning a single Arab action, but has passed more resolutions condemning Israel than all the rest of the world’s serial human rights abusers combined.

The Palestinian claim to Israel is as thin as the squatter’s claim in the parable, and the behavior of the squatters in the back yard is instantly recognizable as mirroring the various Palestinian intifadas over issues like sharing Jerusalem and refusing Jewish access to the Temple Mount.

The Temple Mount is the heart of Israel’s religious existence. Without it, it would be like the home of a professional chef without a kitchen.

And Jerusalem is Israel’s ancient, God-given and Divinely restored capital. For the Jews, demanding a share of Jerusalem would be like demanding a share of one’s living room.

(Neat how I worked those in, no?)

In 2007, The Palestinians announced a tentative date for their meeting with Ehud Olmert in Annapolis, Maryland. PA President Mahmoud Abbas made the announcement, adding a warning that, “unless ALL the issues at the root of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are solved, violence will break out anew,” reported the Jerusalem Post.

As in our parable, the police and judge in this case are all related, so there was no outcry from them when the squatters threatened to attack, even though they had no claim to the shared living room (Jerusalem) and reneged on the deal to share the kitchen (Temple Mount).

And like the bewildered homeowner, Israel reacted to the threats with a statement from Ehud Olmert promising to try harder, only to be met with a demand for even more from the other side.

According to the Jerusalem Post there was the promise. . .

“Israel Radio later quoted Prime Minister Ehud Olmert as saying that he would make a “great effort” to ensure that the conference becomes a first step towards peace. Olmert said it was imperative to avoid making excuses and to venture forward in negotiations despite the risks involved. . .

. . . followed by the new demand:

Meanwhile, the chief Palestinian peace negotiator, former PA prime minister Ahmed Qurei, said Tuesday there would be no talks with Israel unless a deadline was set for establishing a Palestinian state.

Our parable has a nightmarish-like relentless quality to it — like running down a long hallway and the faster you run, the longer it gets. You go to the cops, its the enemy’s brother-in-law. The only judge is a first cousin. All the rules seem to work in reverse, and always against you, even when it is patently obvious — like in a bad dream.

What used to be your back yard, bought and paid for (in Israel’s case, in blood during the Six-Days War) is now behind a fence erected to protect what is left of Israel’s homeland. The judge [the UN] sides with the Palestinian demands that the fence come down ‘as a condition of peace’ when the only reason FOR the fence is to KEEP the peace — by keeping out Palestinian terrorists.

In the real world, you just couldn’t make something like this up from scratch. If you did, it would have that same surreal, dreamlike quality to it that our parable does.

It is hard to imagine an institution as corrupt as the one represented by the police and judge of the parable, and even harder to imagine rulings that one-sided being handed down by any legal authority.

Yet the UN and General Assembly’s record is so one-sided and biased against Israel that you probably suspected the parable was about Israel and the UN long before I told you.

The point is, you couldn’t make this up — in any other context, it is too unbelievable to make sense. I hope that I am telegraphing my next point — it means you’re seeing the Big Picture — if you can’t make stuff like this up, how hard is it to accurately predict it, in detail, thousands of years in advance?

Look how many predictions we’re talking about, all coming together at the same time, to paint an otherwise impossible Big Picture:

First, the Bible predicted the restoration of Israel — the exact same piece of geography to the same ethnic group, to be called by the prophesied name of “Israel.” This is an event unparalleled in the history of human civilization.

At the time in which the prophets spoke of a restored nation of Israel, that nation had already been destroyed by the Assyrians a generation before. It would not exist again for 2500 years.

But when it was restored, the Bible said, it would be restored geographically, ethnically and religiously, and its scattered citizens would return with their ancient customs, traditions, language and religion intact.

By itself, that is an amazing prophecy, made even more amazing by its fulfillment in our generation.

Second, the Bible predicted Jerusalem would return to Israeli possession. That was even considered an impossible prophecy during the modern era.

The UN Partition Plan called for making Jerusalem an ‘international city.’

From 1948 to 1967, Jerusalem and the Temple Mount part of Jordan. But in 1967, both fell under Israeli sovereignty for the first time in twenty-five hundred years, precisely as prophesied.

Third, the Bible predicted that Israeli possession of the Temple Mount and Jerusalem would become the central flashpoint of global politics, with the Prophet Zechariah predicting the whole world would become obsessed, as if drunken, over the question of who owns Jerusalem.

Fourth, all the prophets predict that Israel will, in the end, stand alone and friendless against the entire world in their claim for both the city and the Temple Mount.

Israel is the only genuine representative Western-style democracy amid a sea of radical Islamic dictatorships in the midst of what amounts to a war between radical Islam and Western society. Israel’s enemies are equally the enemies of the Western world.

But the Western world consistently (and, given the whole ‘war’ thingy, inexplicably) sides against Israel and with its shared radical Islamic enemy.

When asked, most can’t quite explain why. It just seems like the right thing to do.

Western government spokesmen mumble something about ‘Palestinian victimization’ by the Israeli ‘occupation’ == but when pressed, can’t identify the actual victimizer nor explain what Palestinian territory Israel is actually ‘occupying’.

And they know that any Palestinian state created out of the current population will be a terrorist state and whatever weapons they send them to ‘defeat’ the Zionist occupiers will later be turned on them.

But they don’t seem able to help themselves. It doesn’t make any sense, even when you try to explain it logically.

But the Bible PREDICTED it. Look at the layers of predictions that all depended upon one another in order to project the Big Picture we see before us. The picture we see is the one the Bible prophets foresaw and foretold.

Had the Arabs accepted the 1947 Partition plan, the Bible’s predictions would have failed. Had the Israelis not recaptured the Old City and Temple in ’67, the Bible’s predictions would have failed.

If the Western world sided with Israel as its natural, Western democratic natural ally, (which is also the most logical scenario) the Big Picture would be unrecognizably altered and Bible prophecy would fail.

These are all predictions recorded thousands of years in advance, and puzzled over by every generation to study them in the centuries since. Had any of them failed, the Big Picture we see would not be the one that they, or we, expected.

But here it is, in all its splendiforus gloriousness — undeniable evidence of both the accuracy of Bible prophecy and reality of a Creator God Whose foretold Plan of the Ages is coming together before our very eyes!

But the top-rated television program on cable last Sunday night wasn’t, “The King Is Coming,” or, “Prepare to Meet Thy God.”

The top-rated show on cable last Lord’s Day was the History Channel’s, “The Lost Book of Nostradamus.” Which is the fulfillment of yet another Bible prophecy:

“Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (2nd Timothy 3:7)

Featured Commentary: Of Kings and Queens ~ Wendy Wippel

The Quest for An ”Age of Reason?”

The Quest for An ”Age of Reason?”
Vol: 154 Issue: 28 Monday, July 28, 2014

It is a bedrock article of faith among environmentalists that human beings have become a ‘cancer’ on the planet, multiplying and consuming resources the same way cancer cells overrun and destroy a living organism.

To a hardcore environmentalist, the “Georgia Guidestones” function as a sort of Green ‘Ten Commandments’ handed down to mankind from Mother Earth.

The ‘Guidestones’ were erected by an anonymous group and arranged to resemble Stonehenge. The display consists of six granite slabs twenty feet tall and weighing more than one hundred tons.

One slab stands in the center, with four arranged around it. A capstone lies on top of the five slabs. The slabs are astronomically aligned, hence its nickname, “American Stonehenge”.

An additional stone tablet, which is set in the ground a short distance to the west of the structure, provides some clarifying notes on the history and purpose of the Guidestones.

The capstone declares: “Let These be Guidestones to An Age of Reason”, and identifies its sponsors as “A small group of Americans who seek the Age of Reason.”

The Georgia Guidestones list ten ‘reasonable’ guidelines for maintaining global harmony:

1) Maintain humanity under five hundred million in perpetual balance with nature.

The current population of the earth is 6.6 billion. To achieve the goals demanded by ‘reason’ would require ‘eliminating’ 6.1 billion of them somehow. One way of accomplishing that goal is to:

2) Guide reproduction wisely – improving fitness and diversity..

Abortion is a fairly effective way of reducing both the surplus population and ‘improving fitness and diversity’.

That is one reason the majority of abortions in America are performed for free, or are subsidized, particularly for members of the African-American community. One third of all abortions performed in the United States are performed on African-American babies.

And one pregnancy in four in the United States is terminated by abortion.

Four-fifths of abortions are performed on single women, a third of them teens.

3) Unite humanity with a new ‘living language’

A ‘new’ language would be necessary, since carrying out just the first two guidelines would necessarily involve the words, ‘eugenics’, ‘genocide’ and ‘infanticide’. Those words would have to be eliminated and replaced with something a bit less ‘offensive’. (Think, “Soylent Green”)

4) Rule passion – faith – tradition – and all things with tempered reason.

“Faith and tradition” are code-words for Judeo-Christianity, which, to the Greens, is the antithesis of ‘reason’.

5) Protect people and nations with fair laws and just courts.” .

“Fair” laws and “just” courts would be those that protect the earth from humanity, rather than the other way around.

6) Let all nations rule internally resolving external disputes in a world court.

Why should anyone be surprised to learn that environmentalists are also globalists? It is the planet — the globe — that is important, not its inhabitants.

7) Avoid petty laws and useless officials.

Presumably, ‘petty laws’ refer to laws that put human rights ahead of ecological concerns and and ‘useless’ officials as officials who put getting re-elected by humans ahead of being loved by spotted owls.

8) Balance personal rights with social ‘duties’.

The moment somebody suggests ‘balancing’ personal rights against ‘social duties’ the term ‘personal rights’ becomes meaningless. A right that is not a right is a ‘privilege’ to be extended or withdrawn to comport with ‘social duties’ . . . as interpreted by whom?

9) Prize truth — beauty — love –seeking harmony with the infinite.

I wouldn’t know where to begin with this one. So far, we’ve eliminated 6.2 billion useless people, made abortion a social duty to improve fitness and diversity, created a new universal earth-language, eliminated personal rights and replaced them with social ‘duties’ and eliminated any need or mention of God.

Having accomplished genocide via deception, NOW its time for truth, beauty and worship of ‘the infinite’ — presumably the earth. So, finally, the kicker:

10) Be not a cancer on this earth. Leave room for nature. Leave room for nature.

That isn’t a typo — ‘Leave room for nature’ is repeated twice on the slabs, too. The symbolic meaning is clearly that nature is twice as important as the cancer that infests it.

Human beings are the cancer and that cancer must be excised or it will kill its host.


When Al Gore wrote his 1991 “Earth in the Balance” he pretty much followed the outline of the Georgia Guidestones, also likening humanity to a cancer on planet earth that can only be controlled by reducing the population to ‘sustainable levels’ and maintaining it in ‘balance’ with nature.

How is that accomplished in nature? Survival of the fittest. Natural selection. “Natural selection” is the culling process in which the weakest segments of a population die off until there are few enough for the environment to sustain them.

Al Gore and his followers knew twenty years ago what effect biofuel would have on the global food supply. He says so in his chapter “Seeds of Privation” in which he also argues AGAINST genetically modifying crops to increase the available food supply.

It takes roughly four hundred pounds of corn to produce 25 gallons of ethanol. That is roughly the equivalent to the amount of corn it would take to feed one person for an entire year.

There are other technologies, such as Thermal Depolymerization, that can convert ANY carbon-based garbage (which is essentially anything) into light Number Six Crude oil indistinguishable from that pumped from the ground.

The process has been proved at two thermal depolymerization plants, one at Carthage, Missiouri, the other outside Philadelphia. Both were set up outside Butterball Turkey plants to process their waste products — but it works equally well with other animal waste parts, most household garbage and even ground up computer parts.

At present, the process can turn garbage into oil for about $18.00 a barrel — its inventor, Brian Appel, says mass production could bring it down to about $11.00 a barrel.

A Canadian study released this week predicts that the price of fossil fuel oil will double again to more than $200 per barrel by 2012. That translates to roughly $11.00 a gallon at the pump, or roughly $220.00 to fill a 20 gallon tank.

So why is Al Gore championing the production of biofuel alternatives? Wouldn’t turning the excess garbage created by the surplus population into energy, carbon black and clean, potable water be ‘green’ enough?

Evidently not, since the objective is not to reduce dependence on fossil fuel, but instead to reduce the surplus population that depends on it.

Environmentalism is not a social cause, or a political agenda so much as it is a religion rooted entirely in the tenets of the New Age and Al Gore has become its high priest. Anyone who disagrees with its doctrine is immediately labeled a ‘heretic.’

Taking a look at the Big Picture, we see the following: There are two solutions for the energy ‘crisis’ brought on by high oil prices.

One solution is to spread the pain across the planet, creating an artificial food shortage and raising food prices to famine levels.

Appel Technologies is real — the process is real — and it works. But it’s main drawback is that it solves the energy crisis without the
necessity for the ‘Ten Guidelines’ (which begins by calling for the elimination of 6.2 billion people).

The other solution is to buy carbon credits from some tribesman in Ubangi who doesn’t have a car, and then starve him to death by using his food to fuel mine.

Using his food to run my car is acceptable; using garbage nobody wants is evidently not even worth discussing.

Maybe I’m just a thick-headed paranoid. You tell me.

Featured Commetary: Watch and Do Not Grow Weary ~ Pete Garcia

”As By Fire”

”As By Fire”
Vol: 154 Issue: 26 Saturday, July 26, 2014

There are many ministries and church denominations that either ignore Bible prophecy as being useful to the Church or argue that all Bible prophecy has already been fulfilled.

In many churches, those members who study Bible prophecy are relegated to the ‘lunatic fringe’ — politely — and sometimes not so politely — dismissed out-of-hand for wasting their time trying to divine the future.

The Bible says that there are rewards for those who dedicate themselves to Christ in a number of different theological disciplines.

Christians must all appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ that we might receive a reward for the deeds done in the body, whether they be good or whether they be bad.

The Judgment Seat of Christ is not related to the revelation of some secret sin, in that the Judgment seat of Christ is not related to the revelation of some hidden fault, but rather, the Judgment Seat of Christ is related to the manifestation of all of the deeds that individuals have done after they have become Christians, whether they be good or whether they be bad.

Let me emphasize that the word “bad” refers not to sin, but to deeds that are worthless according to His purpose. The evaluation, therefore, is based upon whether the works that have been done are worthwhile or whether they are worthless.

The Greek word translated as the ‘judgment seat’ of Christ is the word ‘bema’. During the Greek Olympics of Paul’s day, the judge would sit on the ‘Bema Seat’ situated along the finish line. His judgment was to determine who won the gold, who won the silver, who won the bronze, who came in fourth, fifth, etc. Note that the only ones judged at the Bema Seat are those who cross the finish line.

The Bema Seat is reserved for believers — those who successfully completed the ‘race’ and specifically to determine their running order and to award their prizes.

Scripture teaches that after these works are judged, rewards will be given if the works are worthy. There will be no rewards if the works were unworthy, but ;

“If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but HE HIMSELF SHALL BE SAVED; yet so as by fire.” (1st Corinthians 3:15)

If you get to the Bema Seat, you will make it into heaven. And you get to the Bema Seat by accepting the judgment for sin borne by Jesus Christ on the Cross as a substitute for your own failures — nobody gets there based on whether or not they are sinners.

It is based on whether or not you trust that Jesus Christ made full payment for your sins, as He promised He would. While we will stand before the Judge as judicially ‘righteous’ — that righteousness is Christ’s freely offered to whosoever will accept it.

Once we stand before the Bema Seat, our rewards are determined — not our punishment. Our punishment, although richly deserved, has already been borne by our Savior. Now, we are judged according to our works on behalf of the kingdom.

There are those who argue, “You know, I don’t think we ought to talk about our rewards. We ought to serve the Lord just because we love Him.”

I agree. We ought to serve Him because we love Him, but we have every right and reason in the world to talk about our rewards. We have every reason to seek the very best reward that we can when we stand at the Judgment Seat of Christ.

There is nothing selfish about that; it is thoroughly Scriptural.


There is the ‘incorruptible crown’ — what one might term a crown of self-denial. 1st Corinthians 9:24-27 teaches:

“Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”

Not everybody will receive the crown of self-denial. Each of us is gifted with certain strengths according to some predetermined purpose of God. In other words, some things are harder for some than they are for others — according to God’s purposes — not our own. We are judged according to how hard we try.

“Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.” (1st Corinthians 12:4-7)

There is also the Crown of Rejoicing — the ‘Soul Winner’s Crown’.

 “Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord.” Note that Paul is addressing people as a ‘crown’. He is saying to those whom Paul has led to Christ, “You are my joy now and you will be my crown by and by.” (Philippians 4:1)

“For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming?” (1 Thessalonians 2:19)

Translated literally, it reads, “are not even you, in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ when we stand before Him?”

“One of these days,” the Apostle says, “we are all going to stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ, and when we stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ, you Philippians, you Thessalonians, are going to be my crown.”

It is difficult for us to think of people in terms of a crown, but Paul emphasizes that the Philippians and the Thessalonians, among others, are the crown which he expects as an award to him at the Judgment Seat of Christ.”

James 1:12 identifies the ‘Crown of Life’:

“Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love Him.”

Notice the word “temptation.” That is a broad word. Sometimes it means a solicitation to evil–that is, you are tempted to commit murder, or you are tempted to commit adultery. It is a solicitation to evil. Sometimes it is a reference to a test that God permits you to go through as a kind of ‘refinement by fire’.

The ‘Crown of Life” might also be called the ‘Crown of Endurance.” The Lord Himself also speaks of the Crown of Life reward, promising: “be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.”

‘Faithful unto death’ is not a condition of salvation — salvation comes by grace through faith in the efficacy of Jesus’ sacrifice for sin at the Cross. The Crown of Endurance won’t be given to every believer — the Scriptures say of even those who receive NO crowns, as previously noted, “he shall suffer loss: but HE HIMSELF SHALL BE SAVED; yet so as by fire.”

There is the Crown of Glory — the crown of the ‘undershepherd’ or the ‘pastor’s crown’.

“The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.” (1st Peter 5:1-4)

Not every pastor or undershepherd will receive this crown, either. There are those who will fail the test of willing service (not for filthy lucre) or those who set themselves up as ‘lords over God’s heritage’ instead of being examples to their flocks, or those who fail to feed their charges with God’s Word.

Finally, there is the Crown of Righteousness.

“Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the Righteous Judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing.” (2nd Timothy 1:8)

Those who study prophecy, those who dedicate themselves as watchmen on the wall, ready to give the warning of His soon appearing, will receive the Crown of Righteousness from the Righteous Judge at the Bema Seat.

Literally, the Crown of Righteousness means ‘a crown for doing right.’ Paul is saying, “I have loved the appearing of the Lord. Because I have loved the appearing of the Lord, I have fought a good fight; I have finished the course; I have kept the faith.”

Note what Paul did NOT say. He did NOT say, “If you keep the faith, you will receive the Crown of Righteousness.” Instead, he says, “If you love His appearing, you will.”

Personally, I am not certain that I will receive the crown of self denial. I am not too sure that I keep my body under control enough to deserve this reward. I am not too sure I will win the soulwinner’s crown, although it is one I really, really hope to receive.

I am not sure that I will get the Crown of Glory — as an undershepherd, I have many shortcomings. One example of my failure to properly shepherd my charge is the uproar in the member’s forum, an uproar I addressed this morning under the subject heading, “What is happening here?”

I pray for the Crown of Life for enduring life’s trials — but I am not certain that I have endured them with the long-suffering love of Christ as I should. So I am not sure about that one, either.

But I am hopeful of the Crown of Righteousness — it is the easiest one to get. My righteousness is not my own, but that of Christ’s, and my love of His soon appearing is an all-consuming passion.

The point to it all is this: We will all one day stand before the Bema Seat — but the Bema Seat is where we are judged for our rewards. Whether or not I receive all — or any — of the rewards that are available to me as a believer, I have the certain assurance that, even if I suffer loss, I will still enter heaven, even if it is ‘as if by fire’.

And so will all those who have trusted Jesus for their salvation.

Maranatha! For those of you I don’t get to meet in this life, I look forward to seeing you at the Bema Seat. Do me a favor, though.

Plug your ears when it gets to my turn.

The ‘Jetsons’ Was Fiction??

The ‘Jetsons’ Was Fiction??
Vol: 154 Issue: 25 Friday, July 25, 2014

When I was a kid, the 21st century loomed large as a bright and shiny future world where wars would be abolished, the world would all be one big happy family, and we’d all talk on videophones and drive to work in flying cars.

I anticipated it being a lot like it was pictured on “The Jetsons” — and in some ways, it is. Jane Jetson would dial in a number and food would pop out seconds later, hot, already on plates and ready to eat.

In my world, Gayle dials a number and a guy shows up twenty minutes later with a (cold) pizza or some (cold) Chinese food. Then she puts it in a little box on the counter, dials a number, and a few seconds later, its hot and ready to eat.

Alternatively, she can take a five-course meal from the freezer to the microwave to the table, (hot and already on plates) in under ten minutes — and all without breaking a nail.

I was pretty disappointed about the flying cars, at first. A lifetime of freeway travel cured me of any lingering disappointment, however. We’re still not that good at driving in two dimensions. We could build ’em, but we still haven’t solved the whole gravity problem. And what goes up, must come down.

As for videophones, it sounded like a great idea, and it looked cool on the Jetsons. But who wants to have to get dressed up to talk on the phone?

That was my view of the future from my vantage point on the timeline, circa 1962 or so. The future would be peaceful, productive and pleasant. I was only looking ahead half a lifetime, but I couldn’t have been more spectacularly wrong.

Not only are there no flying cars, there is no peace.

In 1991, the Soviet Union collapsed, and with it, the Cold War. It looked like peace was about to break out all over. The West no longer had to spend billions each year to maintain the arms race with the Soviets. The question of the decade became, “What should we do with the peace dividend?”

Turns out that the answer was, “Buy more guns,” but we didn’t find that out until after we spent all the money.

The big story on New Year’s Day, 2001, wasn’t peace on earth, good will toward men. The 21st century opened with the arrest of Ahmed Ressam, nicknamed, “The Millennium Bomber” who was part of a plot to blow up Los Angeles International Airport.

The September 11 attacks sparked, (depending on whom you ask) either the war on terror, or a new world war.

In addition to the assymetrical war being waged by the terrorists on every continent, there are major civil, regional and national conflicts raging across the globe.

Places like Afghanistan, Algeria, the Central African Republic, Eygpt, Burma, Colombia, the Congo, Syria, Iraq, Israel, Georgia, Kashmir, Lebanon, Liberia, Nepal, Northern Ireland, the Philippines, Rwanda, Sudan and Uganda.

In addition to ‘major’ conflicts (those involving more than one nation or in which more than 1000 people have lost their lives), there are minor conflicts (defined as those confined to one or two nations, but with little potential of spreading to neighboring states).

Among them, Angola, the Bougainville War of Independence, Bangladesh, Chad, Indonesia, West Papua, New Guinea, Iran, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, the Kurdish separatist movements in Iraq, Turkey and Iran, Namibia, Niger, Ethiopia, Somalia, Yemen and the list is growing.

There are dozens of other factional conflicts taking place that either aren’t big enough to make the list, or are taking place in countries already on the list for some other conflict or war.


“And as He sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto Him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the world?” (Matthew 24:3)

Notice a number of things about this verse before we move on. First, it gives us a geographic perspective to work from. Jesus is describing events as they would be seen from the perspective of Israel.

Secondly, His questioners were not Christians, they were Jews. The Church was not born until Pentecost.

Third, they wanted to know ‘when’ and fourth, they wanted to know ‘what’.

And, finally, notice that the question does not deal with the Rapture, which is the conclusion of the Church age, but rather, with the 2nd Coming and the end of the world under human government.

“And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.” (Matthew 24:6)

He is addressing the Jews of Israel, from the perspective of Israel. Israel has fought five bloody wars of survival, and has been under constant threat of war since she first raised her flag on May 14, 1948.

The very existence of Israel qualifies as a ‘rumor of war’. But then Jesus expands the picture beyond Israel’s borders:

“For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.” (Matthew 24:7)

The word ‘nation’ in Matthew 24:7 is the Greek word, ‘ethnos’ meaning, ‘race, tribe or ethnicity.’ Algeria, the Basques, Burma, Burundi, Congo, India, Iraq, Georgia, Liberia, Rwanda, Sri Lanka and Uganda are ethnic wars.

The word ‘kingdom’ is the Greek ‘baselia’ meaning either “kingdom” or “empire”. Those wars on the list that aren’t ethnic conflicts are either religious or they are international.

Russia’s invasion of Georgia is empire driven. America’s invasion of Iraq could also be portrayed as empire building (only we call it ‘nation’ building) But there are two kinds of empires; political empires, and religious empires.

The word ’emirate’ means ’empire’ and ’emir’ is the equivalent to emperor. So too, does the Islamic caliphate. A ‘Caliphate’ is an Islamic empire — the last Islamic caliphate was the Ottoman Empire.

Jesus went on to say, “All these are the beginnings of sorrows.” “Sorrow” is a euphemism for the labor associated with childbirth. (Genesis 3:16 – “in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children. . .”)

So the ‘beginnings of sorrows’ suggest that, once begun, the ‘sorrows’ will increase in frequency and intensity as the time of deliverance approaches.

Wars have always been part of the human condition, that’s true. But remember that Jesus said that the Jews of Israel would hear of them from the Mount of Olives.

From AD 70 through 1948, there was no Israel, no Jews on the Mount of Olives, and no international media. But to the fig-tree generation living in the 21st century, any war is headline news.

“Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till ALL these things be fulfilled.” (Matthew 24:32-34)

The generation that ‘shall not pass’? It turned sixty-six years old on May 14, 2014.

Featured Commentary: Just Another Hate Excuse ~ Alf Cengia

Caterpillars Can’t Fly

Caterpillars Can’t Fly
Vol: 154 Issue: 24 Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Bible identifies four intelligent, sentient (self-aware) spiritual creations of God.  The first of the created beings are the angels.

“Praise ye Him, all His angels: praise ye Him, all His hosts. . . Let them praise the name of the LORD: for He commanded, and they were created.” (Psalms 148:2,5)

The Bible further teaches that their home is in heaven (Matthew 24:36), their activity is both on earth and in heaven (Psalms 103:20, Luke 15:10, Hebrews 1:14) and their destiny is the Eternal City of Revelation 21:12.

“But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels. . .” (Hebrews 12:22)

Angels are unique creations of God, not to be confused with any other of God’s created beings.  Even though some fall, as was the case with Satan, the fallen angels remain angels throughout their existence.  Their numbers are constant; they neither propagate nor die.

The second sentient creation of God was man.  Man was created in perfection in both body and spirit and remained in fellowship with God until the Fall.  

Adam’s physical descendents were known as Gentiles, from the Hebrew word “gowy” a word which means figuratively, “a troop of animals.”  

Gentiles are born with both a living spirit and a sin nature.  As soon as the sin nature comes to the forefront with the first deliberate sin, the spirit dies and must be reborn, or ‘born again.’

“For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.” (Romans 7:9)

“That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” (John 3:7)

The spirit of a newly-born baby cannot knowingly sin, but it is “born of the flesh” – with a sin nature.  When he is old enough and mature to understand sin and knowingly sins anyway, his spirit dies and must be “born again.”

Every person from Adam to Abraham was born a Gentile, albeit sinless, yet estranged from God at birth, at first too young to have fellowship, and then too sinful – alive in the flesh only, like a gowy, an animal.

As to their estate, from Adam until Christ, the Gentiles were:

“without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world.” (Ephesians 2:12).

God created, through Abraham’s grandson Jacob, a new class of spiritual being out of the existing spiritually-dead Gentile (animals of flesh) stock that we know now as the Jew.  

For 1500 years, they were known as the Children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Israel) or ‘Israelites” until the Kingdom of Israel was destroyed by the Assyrians, leaving only the descendants of Judah and Benjamin in Judea. 

Judea’s inhabitants were captured by Nebuchadnezzar and were known henceforth as ‘the Jews.’ 

They are the Children of the Promise – that ‘Promise’ being that God would take them out of the world of the Gentiles and make them a great nation, separated unto Himself that He would personally redeem in the last days.

A Jew is not born a Gentile – he is born a Jew.  A Jew cannot become a Gentile, even if he changes his religion or abandons it altogether.   Not only will God not allow it, neither will the Gentiles

A Jew is always hyphenated, even in Israel.  An Israeli-Jew is different than an Israeli-Arab or other Gentile.

There are German-Jews, Irish-Jews, English-Jews, Russian-Jews; about the only nationality that doesn’t automatically hyphenate Jews are Americans (who hyphenate everything else; African-Americans, Mexican-Americans, Japanese-Americans, etc.)

A Jew can even become a Christian – but he is still hyphenated; as a Christian in the Church Age, he becomes a Messianic-Jew.

So different is this race of spiritual beings that some five-sixths of Scripture bears directly or indirectly on the Jews.  The destiny of the Jews is traceable through the Millennial Kingdom and into the new heaven and earth which follows.

In this present Church Age, all Divine progress in the national and earthly program for Israel is on hold; individual Jews have the same opportunity as do individual Gentiles for salvation by personal faith in Christ as Savior.

But Scripture is clear that, when the present age concludes, God will again turn His full attention to the national, rather than personal, redemption of Israel.

Note that each of these spiritual entities is a direct creation of God.  Adam and Eve were not created as spiritually dead human animals (Gentiles) – they were created spiritually alive.

The Gentile race was created by God as a result of spiritual death and the curse(s) imposed thereby; sin, work, sweat, childbirth, illness and death.  

“And He will lift up an ensign to the nations from far. . . (Isaiah 5:26)

The Jews were created by God to serve as His ensign, or His symbol, like the flag on a ship.  When a ship is flagged with a national ensign, it is deemed to belong to that nation.  The ensign of the Jews God Himself – they are a unique spiritual creation of God, created neither as angels nor Gentiles. 

Finally, the Scriptures reveal a new spiritual creation of God, neither Jew nor Gentile, but reborn out of both.  That new creature is a Christian.   

When one becomes a Christian, the Bible says;

“For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek [Gentiles – ed]: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him.” (Romans 10:12)

A Christian is a NEW creature that is reborn out of the old man, either Jew or Gentile, in much the same way a butterfly is ‘reborn’ out of a caterpillar.   Caterpillars can’t fly, but butterflies can. 

A caterpillar has to endure a kind of ‘death’ in the cocoon before being transformed, and the transformation is not merely beautiful, it is permanent.  A caterpillar, once reborn as a butterfly, cannot by an act of his own will, turn himself back into a caterpillar.

A Christian is a Gentile or a Jew who dies to himself and is reborn in Christ.

“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)

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

The Christian, indwelt by the Holy Spirit, is a citizen of heaven (Philippians 3:20), having been raised WITH Christ (Colossians 3:1-3) and are so different than any other created rational being that Jesus says of the Christian;

“They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” (John 15:19, 17:14,16)

The Scriptures which direct a Christian in his walk with the Lord are adapted to the fact that the Christian is no longer striving to secure a standing before God, but is already ‘accepted in the beloved’.

“To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the beloved.” (Ephesians 1:6)

Christians, by their existence, have already attained every spiritual blessing;

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ . .” (Ephesians 1:3)

Obviously, no human effort can bring a person to fulfill God’s standard of sinless perfection. God, anticipating the believer’s inability to walk worthy of his high calling, freely bestows His empowering Spirit to indwell each believer.

Scripture also promises that when their elect number is complete, as unique citizens of heaven, they will be removed from the earth at the Rapture.

The bodies of believers who have died will be raised and living saints will be translated. (1st Corinthians 15:20-57, 1st Thessalonians 4:13-18)

At the Bema Seat in glory, believers will be judged as to their rewards for service. (1st Corinthians 3:9-15, 9:18-27, 2nd Corinthians 5:10,11), the Body of Christ will be wed to the Bridegroom, (Revelation 19:7-9) and return WITH Him to share as His consort during the Millennial Reign.

This new creation, like angels, Gentiles and Jews, can be traced into eternity future, but they are unique from the rest. They are promised no land, no house, no earthly capital or city, no earthly kingdom and no earthly king.

Scripture promises that the Jews will inherit the earth.  The Gentiles will inhabit it with them as a subordinate people.  But the Church does not share in that inheritance.

“And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together.” (Romans 8:17)

The Church inherits what Jesus inherits and the Age of Grace concludes at the Rapture. The Body of Christ – the Church – is complete. 

The Tribulation Period is the final seven years of the Age of Law, under which God will judge a Christ-rejecting world.  During this period, some Gentiles will become believers, but, unlike during this present age, they are not indwelt by the Holy Spirit, Whose earthly ministry also concludes at the Rapture.

During the Church Age, believers are promised to ‘resist the devil and he will flee from you,’ because ‘greater is He that is in you than He that is in the world. (James 4:7, 1st John 4:4)

During the Tribulation, without the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit to resist the devil, with the promise that ‘he will flee from you’ – the Bible says that is no longer true.

How else could they be ‘overcome’ by him as Revelation 13:7 says the Tribulation saints will be?

It is not POSSIBLE for Church Age believers to play a role in the Tribulation, other than as recipients of God’s justice for sin, although believers, by definition, have already been judged and found righteous at the Cross.

Consider the Promises of Jesus, given the Church, in the context of the horrors of the Tribulation Period sent to ‘try them which dwell upon the earth.’

“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:26-27)

If the destiny of the Church is to partake in God’s judgment against the world, then my heart should be troubled indeed.  And I should be very, very afraid. But I’m not afraid. 

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

When the bottom falls out, caterpillars can’t fly.  Butterflies can.

Featured Commentary: The First Four Days ~ J.L. Robb

Can We Be In the Tribulation Already?

Can We Be In the Tribulation Already?
Vol: 154 Issue: 23 Wednesday, July 23, 2014

According to Bible prophecy, the antichrist builds his government on three main pillars of power; a global government, a global economy and a global religious system. All three must exist and be functioning prior to his arrival on the scene, since his time frame is limited to just 2,520 days.

The prophet Daniel says that the antichrist will be a prince of the people who destroyed the city and sanctuary;

“. . . and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. . .” (Daniel 9:26)

That was accomplished by the Roman legions under the command of Titus in AD 70.

Daniel says this coming Roman ‘prince’ will confirm a seven-year covenant between Israel and ‘many’ that results an a period of peace and safety for the Jews of Israel.

Two things to note about this covenant. First, note the context. This is about Israel’s future. Not about the antichrist. In this context, he is a supporting player, not the object of the prophecy.

The fact the antichrist confirms a covenant ‘with many’ would be irrelevant if Israel were not the other principal to this covenant. An agreement in which Israel plays any lesser role cannot be Daniel’s covenant.

The second thing to note is that this covenant must already exist in some form. One cannot ‘confirm’ that which does not exist. This is not a newly-negotiated covenant cooked up by the antichrist to include Israel among the many.

It is a confirmation of a previously existing agreement. There is but one failed seven-year agreement involving Israel, the revived Roman empire and ‘many’.

That is the Oslo agreement, initially negotiated to run exactly seven years, negotiated between the State of Israel and Yasser Arafat on behalf of the Palestinian ‘people’ under the supervision of the Europeans.

The Oslo formula of ‘land for peace’ remains the foundation upon which any future agreement will be built. Every effort since has built on the efforts of Oslo.

Once Daniel’s covenant is confirmed, Temple worship will be restored, which requires Israel to somehow recover possession of Temple Mount. We know that it must be restored because mid-way through the Tribulation Period, the antichrist suspends Temple worship.

“And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” (Daniel 9:27)

Any covenant negotiated with Israel that does not leave Israel in possession of Temple Mount and provides for the restoration of Temple worship is NOT the covenant of Daniel 9:27.

How can I say so with such confidence? Because the covenant of Daniel 9:27 is the one that starts the clock ticking.

From the signing of that confirmation of the covenant until the return of Christ at Armageddon is 2,520 literal days. If that covenant were already in place, then the antichrist would already be in power.

Except that at some point before he could BE the antichrist, he must first recover from a deadly head wound.

“And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.” (Revelation 13:3)

It is AFTER his deadly wound is healed, that John says;

“And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?”

So, the antichrist, having been healed from a deadly wound, is acclaimed by the whole world for this apparent miracle. John says that, AFTER this takes place;

“And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.”

Let’s stop there and summarize. First, the covenant, confirmed by a prince of Rome. Then the head wound. Then he is acclaimed as worthy of worship as a god.

Then he is given power to mesmerize the population with a supernaturally gifted ‘mouth speaking great things and blasphemies’ — and this power lasts for forty-two months (1,260 days or 3 1/2 years).

This is the first half of the Tribulation Period. If the antichrist were active and if we were now in the Tribulation, all this would already be in motion. None of it is as yet.

But let’s pretend that we’re in the Tribulation now. That means that within the next 1,260 days, a functioning global government capable of ordering mass executions for political purposes must be fully in power.

“And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.”

Notice this power isn’t given him over just Europeans. Or just over the nations around the Mediterranean.

It is over ALL ‘kindreds’ (families) tongues (languages) and nations (ethnicities)

Anybody care to guess what the word translated into English as ‘all’ means in the original Greek? (Give up? Ok. It means, ‘all’).

That power is, after forty-two months, fully developed and operational. Then, the second beast takes his place onstage.

“And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.” (Revelation 13:11)

This second beast is a counterfeit prophet, one who has the appearance of Christianity, but who openly teaches the worship of the first beast (the antichrist).

“And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.”

This second beast will be Satanically energized with supernatural powers.

“And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, “(Revelation 13:12-13)

Now, I want to stop here again. We are just now at the mid-point of the Tribulation — it started 3 1/2 years ago with the confirmation of the covenant with Israel and the healing of the first beast’s deadly wound.

What must also exist by this point?

Obviously, a global religious system, since there is a global religious leader with the power to condemn apostates to death. So if the Tribulation were to begin tomorrow, say, then within the next 42 months, a new system would have to replace both Christianity and Judaism.

According to the Bible, the persecution of Christians and Jews would be global, bloody and with the enthusiastic cooperation of the global population.

Like most of you, I can see all that coming. But it isn’t here.

The third pillar in the antichrist’s government is a global economy that is tied to both the global religious system and the global government. All three are administered by the same overall authority.

All three must not only exist, but they must be fully operational within three and one half years of the covenant that restores Temple worship to Israel.

Because three and one half years after Israel’s Temple worship is restored, it must then be taken away, signaling the onset of the “Great Tribulation” in which three quarters of mankind die from the plagues and judgments that fall upon an unrepentant human race.


There are some Christians who believe we are already in the early part of the Tribulation Period now.

For that to be true, then, Israel must be in a period of peace and safety right now.

The covenant must be in full force, the Jews of Israel must be in possession of the Temple Mount and the Jewish priests must now be offering legitimate sacrifices to God in a ritually cleansed Temple.

That means the ashes of a pure red heifer must already have been found and sprinkled to cleanse the Holy of Holies after two millennia of desecration.

Within the next forty-two months, the false prophet must convince everybody on earth except the Jews to worship the beast.

By the mid-point of the Tribulation, the global economy will be tied to a mark in the right hand or forehead without which no man could buy or sell.

So within 1260 days, all cash transactions must cease to exist.

Within forty-two months, all Christians and Jews the world over will be hunted down and ultimately executed if they refuse to take the Mark of the Beast.

Problem: Even with Satan’s enthusiastic cooperation, there isn’t enough time. You can’t get there from here.

The covenant has not been confirmed and Israel is not living in peace and safety. Temple worship has not been restored and al-Aqsa remains standing atop the Holy of Holies.

There is no functioning global religion. There is no functioning global religious authority. As long as there are Christians and Jews, there can NEVER be a universally acceptable global religious authority.

The global economy is outside of any one nation’s control, let alone the control of one man. Cash makes global control impossible. And a universal currency would take a lot longer than 42 months from now to implement.

That is not to say that the Rapture couldn’t take place tomorrow. The Rapture of the Church is an event INDEPENDENT of the Tribulation Period. They are not ‘bookends’.

The Rapture is the conclusion of the Age of Grace. It is when Jesus comes to retrieve His Bride from the earth. The Tribulation is the resumption of the Final Week of the Law. They are as separate as distinct as Pentecost is from the Destruction of the Temple forty years later.

Since the Holy Spirit indwells the Church, when the Bride is retrieved, His earthly ministry concludes, just as Jesus’ earthly ministry concluded at the Ascension.

Temple worship didn’t cease on the day the Church Age began — it continued another forty years before Titus.

The Rapture of the Church could take place tomorrow and the Tribulation Period could still be a decade or more into the future. Maybe two decades. However long it takes. The two are independent events.

That is why we, as Christians, are not charged with watching for the antichrist. We are given details concerning the coming of antichrist because, if we can hear his approaching footsteps, we can know that the time of our deliverance is even closer.

The signs of the times were given for the lost — the saved don’t need them — except as witnessing tools.

The Tribulation period is close. No doubt about it. What does it mean to the Church? It means the Rapture is closer.

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

Jesus said.

At the beginning. Not at the end.

What ABOUT Alcohol?

What ABOUT Alcohol?
Vol: 154 Issue: 22 Tuesday, July 22, 2014

It has been accurately observed that ‘fools rush in where angels fear to tread’ — a saying that has been reverberating in my mind since I decided to take on a question first raised in our members-only forum. The question was, basically, ”Is it a sin to have a drink with dinner?” But that is a question that begs a host of other questions be dealt with first.

Ask four Christians this question and you can expect four different answers, each with appropriate proof texts to support them. Hence the ‘fools rush in’ saying — there is no way I can approach this without jarring the preserves of at least three quarters of you and guaranteeing some spirited comments in response.

Paul writes to Timothy;

“Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities.” (1st Timothy 5:23)

But Paul’s admonition, taken in context, comes directly after a verse in which Paul tells Timothy,

“Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins: keep thyself pure.” (5:22)

Does the act of drinking a glass of wine make one impure? Matthew records Jesus’ teaching on this subject, saying,

“And He called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand: Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man. (Matthew: 15:10,11)

If that sounds unclear to you, it did to Peter, also.

“Then answered Peter and said unto him, Declare unto us this parable. And Jesus said, Are ye also yet without understanding? Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.” (Matthew 15:15-18)

Jesus is specifically addressing eating without the ritual handwashing first — but that is an interpretation that, taken in its narrowest sense, seems a bit unsatisfactory.

In fact, interpreting Jesus’ comments ONLY in the context of eating with unwashed hands, it is medically incorrect. Jesus was talking about being SPIRITUALLY defiled when He said, “whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught . . .” since medically, eating with unwashed hands can cause all kinds of medical problems. And Jesus IS the Great Physician — He knows that.

That’s why He said, “to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man. . .” (Matthew 15:20) He is speaking of ritual defilement.

Paul writes to the Corinthians,

“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” (1 Corinthians 3:16-17)

Proverbs 20:1 says,

“Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.”

Proverbs 31:4-7 says,

“It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink: Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.”

While Christians are ‘kings and princes’ in the spiritual sense, Proverbs 31 refers to a king in the sense of political leadership. Those who are in a position to make judgments under the law.

Lemuel goes on, saying,

“Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts. Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.” (Proverbs 31:7)

Do Christians have terminal illnesses? Do Christians sometimes have heavy hearts? Do Christians sometimes get fed up with the misery of this life? Gets as clear as mud, doesn’t it?

There is a difference between having a drink at dinner and being an alcoholic.

“Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh: For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.” (Proverbs 23:20-21)

Few would argue the simple truth of this passage — drunkards seldom become the pillars of society or achieve great personal success.

This is more a warning and a statement of fact than a doctrinal statement.

Proverbs 23:29-35 describes alcoholism as a disease of the spirit long before it was recognized by 20th century society.

“Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder. Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things. Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast. They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I WILL SEEK IT YET AGAIN.”


Everything in Scripture regarding alcohol refers to excess. From that, most Christians interpret it as an absolute prohibition against even a single drink containing alcohol. For them, as individuals in their personal walk with the Lord, that interpretation is correct.

But I remember watching John Hagee one day on his TV program. He pointed out to his audience and thundered, “If you smoke, you are defiling the Temple of the Holy Spirit.” That got me to thinking.

Most Christians I know would agree with his statement. But then you consider John Hagee’s girth, and you have to ask yourself, what about gluttony?

“For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.” (Proverbs 23:21)

Is being fat a sin? What if one is fat, but neither smokes nor drinks? What about the person in perfect health, who takes excellent care of his Temple, but also has a couple of glasses of wine with dinner? Is his sin greater, or lesser, or even sinful? Who gets to decide? Is it us?

We hear tons of sermons about the spiritual evils of smoking and drinking. Why don’t we hear sermons about gluttony? I’ve noticed that when it comes to besetting sins, folks tend to focus on the besetting sin that isn’t theirs.

A preacher who smokes doesn’t dwell much on the sinfulness of smoking, one who drinks doesn’t dwell much on the sinfulness of drinking, and one who is fat doesn’t dwell much on the sinfulness of gluttony.

(I personally know good, dedicated men of God who are faithful to their calling who fall into one or more of the three categories).

One can smoke or drink, more or less in secret, but a glutton has a hard time hiding his sin, even when wearing dark suits. And try and picture the audience out front — there are a lot of delinquents from their Weight Watchers meetings sitting out there listening. So it is seldom preached as being evidence of sin.

In point of fact, we tend to categorize what is sinful behavior based more on our culture than on our Scriptures.

Where I live, it is widely assumed that nobody who drinks or smokes is really saved. On the other hand, out in California, there are many Christians who get together over a bottle of wine, and many others who smoke cigarettes openly.

Both the Catholics and Jews use wine as part of their religious rituals, as do a number of Protestant denominations. Christians in the Middle East and in Europe smoke AND drink.

“These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto Him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.” (Proverbs 6:16-19)

The seventh, and most abominable, is ‘he that soweth discord among the brethren.’

Paul writes;

“Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations. For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs. Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him. Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand. One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.” (Romans 14:1-5)

Paul is specifically addressing keeping kosher eating habits or keeping feast days, but in general, he is referring to religious legalism.

“But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.” (Romans 14:10)

“For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men. Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence. It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.” (Romans 14:17-19)

Jesus made each of us the way we are. Clearly, the Scriptures warn of the dangers of too much wine. It speaks of the penalty for defiling our body, which is the Temple of the Holy Spirit. It also says that if we defile our body, (the Temple) ‘him God will destroy’ (the body, or Temple, not one’s eternal salvation).

Scriptures make it clear that God understands the alcoholic, the habitual smoker, the glutton, and warns of the dangers that these excesses pose to the physical body, but Paul says the eternal consequences come from lack of faith that,

“He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:” (Phillipians 1:6)

“But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” (Romans 4:5)

“Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth. And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” (Romans 14:22-23)

Each of us is constructed with built-in strengths and weaknesses, but each of us also has a unique relationship with our Savior.

It is a personal relationship, one between the individual and God, Who is the Author of both our strengths and weaknesses. He put them there. He understands them.

“And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Corinthinans 12:9)

“And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” (Romans 14:23)

“Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” (James 4:17)

“All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death.” (1 John 5:17)

“All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.” (1 Corinthians 6:12)

“All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.” (1 Corinthians 10:23)

Sin is what humans do. Forgive is what God does. That’s why we have a Savior.

So where am I going with this? Is it a sin for a Christian to have a drink with dinner, or to have a smoke afterwards? It would seem no more a sin than to eat a McDonald’s cheeseburger, brimming with fat, covered with a ‘cheese-food product that MAY contain cheese’ — as it says on the ingredients label.

Asking the Lord to bless a McDonald’s cheeseburger ‘as nourishment to our bodies’ is no less than asking God to perform a miracle and transform it into a health food that will edify the Temple of God. Is that a sin?

Weighing 300 pounds, is that a greater sin than drinking or smoking? The winebibber and glutton are always linked in Scripture as being equals. For one Christian to condemn another based on whether he smokes or drinks requires us to point an equally condemning finger at every overweight person with an eating disorder as being equally sinful.

Or not to point fingers at all.

Paul says that ‘all things are lawful’ to a Christian, and he says, ‘Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.’

“And being fully persuaded that, what He had promised, He was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on Him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.” (Romans 4:21-25)

“There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?” (James 4:12)

As I noted, this is a very difficult question. I did my best to let Scripture provide the answers, but only answer of which I am certain is that our relationship with Christ is personal — each of us comes to Him and is received by faith, not works.

The sinfulness of a drink with dinner is an issue between the individual and the Lord. To some, it is. To others, it is not. ‘Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.’ It is not a very satisfactory, black and white answer. But it is the only answer that fits the Scripture.

To answer otherwise is to plead guilty to that seventh abomination before the Lord: ‘he that soweth discord among the brethren.’

Featured Commentary: Redemption, by the Book ~ Wendy Wippel

”Lest Thou Be Like Him”

”Lest Thou Be Like Him”
Vol: 154 Issue: 21 Monday, July 21, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Neither can anyone else.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Scriptures also say,

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

I sure proved the truth of that one.

Featured Commentary: Divergent Doctrines; Part III ~ Pete Garcia