The Whole Armour of God

The Whole Armour of God
Vol: 54 Issue: 23 Thursday, March 23, 2006

One of the most hotly debated points of doctrine (apart from the timing of the Rapture) among Christians of different denominations is the question of eternal security. Specifically, can a believer who was saved fall away and lose his salvation? Is there an unforgiveable sin for which a believer can be condemned?

Those who would argue yes are just as sincere in their doctrinal view as those who take the other side, and both sides have Scripture to support their view.

I thought it might be good to take another look at those Scriptures used by those say the Bible teaches that a believer can lose his salvation.

In 2nd Thessalonians 2:3 Paul writes, “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.” Is this referring to the falling away of part of the True Church?

First, let’s look at what falling away means in the context of the believer. The term ‘fall away’ was used by the Lord Jesus of His 11 disciples at the time of His arrest. The disciples deserted Jesus as was predicted and Peter obviously denied Jesus three times. This was said to be a ‘falling away’. (see Matt 26:31-35) Obviously, this is not a loss of salvation.

For the true believer it may involve a temporary period of ‘backsliding’ (an OT term not found in the New) or time of being out of fellowship with God.

There ARE times when for one reason or another, the believer is having difficulty in his Christian walk.

But a true believer would not however deny what they believe in their heart, even though their walk at that moment might not reflect what they believe.

But note that even though Jesus said they would ‘fall away’, in the very same context, he also said to Peter that he had prayed that his faith would not fail and when he returned, to strengthen his brethren. (Luke 22:32)

In other words, true believers may fall at times but their faith does not fail because Jesus intercedes for them.

Concerning this intercession we are told, “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us” (Romans 11:2)

We need that intercession most when we are struggling, yet some believers will argue that it is when we need the Lord most that He abandons us to our sin.

See also John 17:6-12 concerning this intercession by Jesus for His believers. In this High Priestly prayer, Jesus makes it clear that the ones that God has given Him he keeps safe.

And Romans 8:32-34 cites Jesus’ intercession as proof we cannot be separated from the love of Christ.

The ‘great apostasy’ of the last days is not referring to saved believers, but is instead referencing the kind of doctrinal dumbing down that would allow an openly homosexual Episcopalian priest to be elevated to the bishopric, or the attack on the Boy Scouts for not admitting homosexuals.

Jesus said this time would be like the days of Noah and Lot – “every imagination of the thoughts of [men’s] heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5) with rampant homosexuality (Genesis 19:8).

Hebrews 6:4-6 is often used to ‘prove’ a believer can lose salvation. It says, “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.”

It appears on the surface to say that a believer can lose his salvation, but if you read it closely, it teaches the exact opposite.

It teaches that the believer cannot be renewed to repentance (born again – again!) because it would require crucifying the Lord again, and ‘putting Him to an open shame’.

If this passage teaches that a believer could lose his salvation, then it also teaches that believer is forever damned and beyond repentance. You cannot interpret ‘impossible’ in this passage to mean anything except ‘impossible’.

And the ‘open shame’ Paul says it would expose the Lord to is that He failed to keep all that God had given Him, as He said in His prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Then there is the passage in Hebrews 10:26-27 which says, “For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.”

First, the book of Hebrews was written TO the Hebrews (1st century Jewish believers). That doesn’t mean it is irrelevant to the Church, but there is a context here.

For a Jew to become a Christian in the first century was a death sentence as far as their relationship with their family was concerned. They lost any right to an inheritance and came under extreme pressure (including physical persecution) to leave Christ and go back to Judaism. And that is what many did, even though for a while they looked like true believers.

The ‘wilful sin” mentioned in verse 26 is linked to the verse before it because it starts with for if.. .

The verse before it is speaking of leaving the assembly of believers. The ‘wilful sin’ that this passage talks about is leaving Christ and going back to Judaism.

Under the Judaism they were going back to, there no longer remained a sacrifice for sin (vs 26) (because God didn t accept animal sacrifices anymore after Jesus had died for all sin, for all time.)

Another commonly misinterpeted Scripture refers to ‘a branch that doesn t bare fruit will be cast into the fire.’

1 Corinthians 1 Cor 3:15 clearly states that for a true believer, even if their work is burned up (ie no fruit) they are still saved, but as one who escapes ‘as by fire’. They are in Heaven, but they have no rewards.

Scripture never contradicts Scripture.

Another proof text used to prove salvation is dependent on doing good works is James 2:26; “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”

This is another verse that is purported to prove one thing, but in fact, proves the opposite.

By definition, one who is saved cannot have ‘dead’ faith, since it is their faith that has saved them in the first place. Someone may have a belief, or head knowledge that certain facts are true without giving themselves over to that belief.

James 2:19 says, “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” Believing in God is not the same has having faith in Christ.

Dead faith is simply a head knowledge that cannot save.

Consider this; I know all about George Bush, but he doesn’t know me — that is to say, I have no personal relationship with George Bush, but I believe he is the president.

There are many who know all about Jesus, and might even profess to believe He is God, but have no personal relationship with Him. Works arising from that kind of relationship is by definition, dead, since it bears no eternal fruit.

The Scriptures clearly establish that a genuine conversion will stand no matter how great the adversity. “Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down” (Psalms 37:24)

The Apostle Paul told believers to put on the whole armor of God.

“Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Ephesians 6:13-17).

On the battlefield, the most effective way to dispatch an opponent is to go for a head shot.

Paul refers to the ‘helmet of salvation’ — if you know you are saved, eternally, the enemy can never take you out of the game.

He can’t use guilt to stop you from witnessing. He can’t convince you that aren’t really saved. He can’t convince you that you are unworthy to carry the Gospel to the lost. In short, he can’t take that ‘head shot’ that would render a believer useless to the cause of Christ.

In these last days, the Scripture says that Satan will pull out all the stops, ‘because he knows he hath but a short time’.

Those of us who are properly equipped with the truth, the knowledge that we are covered by the righteousness of Christ, are prepared with a knowledge of the Gospel, which we are prepared to share in peace, secure in our faith and certain of our standing before Him are formidable opponents in the battle for the souls of men.

“And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” (Romans 8:27)

The battle has been joined. And our victory is assured.

Don’t let anyone rob you of your weapons.

“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32)

If God is Love, Where Does Evil Come From?

If God is Love, Where Does Evil Come From?
Vol: 54 Issue: 22 Wednesday, March 22, 2006

“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” (1 John 4:7-8)

“All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made.” (John 1:3)

If God is the Creator of all things, then where does evil come from? And why is it that God simply doesn’t banish its existence from the universe? If God is omni-everything, how can it be that He must BATTLE against it?

These are seemingly unanswerable questions, giving rise to the atheist’s creed; “If your God is love, I see no evidence of that attribute in creation. All the death, disease, pain and suffering seems to be out of place if this God of yours is love. Surely an all-powerful God could, and a loving God would, eliminate all evil. Since evil exists, then no such God exists.”

When someone states that they do not believe in God because a good God would not allow evil, they make a fatal error in logic. The recognition of ‘evil’ arises from the logical conclusion some acts are ‘right’ and some are ‘wrong’.

How do we know which acts are morally right or wrong? It is discerned on the basis of a moral law: a universal sense that certain states of affairs are right and others are wrong.

For example, no one could seriously argue with the statement that it is better to love a child than to torture it. What is the basis of this moral sense? Some would argue that it is based on cultural customs or traditions.

In some Islamic cultures, it is acceptable to wantonly kill infidels, or murder women for violating Islamic honor. Under the Taliban, Afghan women were routinely taken to the soccer stadium and publicly executed for ‘crimes’ like failing to wear a burkha. Yet Islam has a strict moral code, nonetheless.

The point is that social customs, attitudes, traditions or feelings cannot determine a universal sense of right and wrong. A universal sense of right and wrong can only come from a source outside ourselves. The recognition of a universal moral law is by default a recognition of a moral Lawgiver.

Logically, using the existence of evil to prove there is no God is like using a Dell computer to prove there is no such thing as a computer.

C.S. Lewis said that, “… evil is God’s megaphone to a non-believing world. Evil speaks of moral law. Moral law demands a moral Lawgiver, and it is He that we call God!”

Human beings confuse ‘good’ and ‘evil’ with ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ all the time. It is that confusion that fuels the ‘a good God wouldn’t create evil’ argument.

‘Right’ and ‘wrong’ are human moral issues. ‘Good’ and ‘evil’ are OUTCOMES, and are entirely in the Hands of God.

“And we know that ALL things work together for GOOD to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

Consider the most ‘evil’ events to befall the earth during the 20th century. World War One was certainly evil. (But it put Jerusalem in British hands after 400 years of Ottoman rule)

World War II was even more incomprehensibly evil. Adolph Hitler’s madness resulted in the attempted genocide of the Jewish race and the deliberate destruction of more than twelve million innocent people in the gas chambers.

(But the subsequent cry of ‘never again!’ by the Holocaust’s survivors resulted in the restoration of Israel to the Land of Promise just in time for it to reclaim Jerusalem in this generation)

As Joseph stood before his brothers who had sold him into slavery in Egypt, he comforted them by saying, “Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.” (Genesis 45:5)

What Joseph’s brothers did was SELL THEIR OWN BROTHER INTO SLAVERY. Does that qualify as an ‘evil’ act? They MEANT it for evil, but God used it for good.

A knife, used to stab a man in the stomach in a barfight, would be an instrument of evil. The SAME knife, used to remove an appendix and save a life in an operating theater, would be an instrument of good. It is the OUTCOME of its use that characterizes it as ‘good’ or evil’. In either case, it remains a knife.

God created the universe to function according to the laws of physics. It is so delicately balanced that one of those laws demands that ‘every action must result in an equal and opposite reaction’, for example.

God created us to have a personal relationship with Him. But in order for this to be possible, we have to be able to choose NOT to want one back, or the choice would be meaningless.

I cannot experience love from you unless you have the capacity to do otherwise. If you have the capacity to not love me, and you choose instead to love me, then that choice has validity.

On the other hand, I can program my computer to greet me by telling me it loves me. Of course, I haven’t done so because it would be meaningless. My computer cannot love me. It has no choice — it would ‘love’ Saddam Hussein if I programmed it to.

And I cannot love it because it cannot love me back.

That makes the capacity for evil — to choose NOT to love, necessary to that choice TO love. And without the choice to love, our existence would have no meaning — secular OR spiritual.

Suppose God did eliminate evil from creation? For God to eliminate evil, He would have to eliminate our capacity of choice and thus our capacity to do both evil and good. And such a world is inferior to the one we have: one where love is possible, despite its inherent evil. What kind of God would do this? Only one kind. A God of love.

In order that we might not suffer the penalty of our evil choices (sin), He, like a loving Father, paid the penalty for our sins. He allowed his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to be murdered on a Roman cross — arguably the most evil act in the history of the universe.

But this act of great evil gave rise to the greatest act of love in the universe: paying the penalty for the wrong choices we make, which are the result of the way He created us in the first place!

Right and wrong are human moral choices arising out of our human moral code. Whether they result in good or evil outcomes is up to God according to His plan. Our job as Christians is to trust Him. God knows what He is doing!

The greatest evil in the history of the universe resulted in the greatest Gift ever bestowed on mankind.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

“A ‘Practical’ Fellow” In Impractical Times

“A ‘Practical’ Fellow” In Impractical Times
Vol: 54 Issue: 21 Tuesday, March 21, 2006

President Bush broke away from routine on Monday to take questions from the public in what became a lively and entertaining bit of political theater.

For the most part, the president’s one-liners revealed the man behind the office as a guy with a great sense of humor completely comfortable in his own skin, revealing some of the George Bush his pre-presidential handlers portrayed as ‘a guy you’d sit and have a beer with.’

(To be fair, however, it needs to be remembered that the choice was between Bush and Al Gore.)

It is usually fun to watch the president use humor to handle difficult questions. It was also interesting to watch George Bush the Texas yarn-spinner morph into President George Bush and back again, depending on the question.

It gave the distinct impression one was hearing two entirely different people.

One guy invited Bush to an ethnic social gathering in Cleveland in October, to which Bush deadpanned, “I’m not sure what I’ll be doing in October. Put me down as a definite maybe.”

When asked a question about Iran, Bush straightened noticeably. His face set, his easy Texas demeanor evaporated, and he became George Bush, the Warrior President.

But the unguarded, easy nature of the Q&A session revealed yet a third George Bush, in response to this question from an unidentified woman in the audience:

“My question is that author and former Nixon administration official Kevin Phillips, in his latest book, ‘American Theocracy,’ discusses what has been called radical Christianity and its growing involvement into government and politics. He makes the point that members of your administration have reached out to prophetic Christians who see the war in Iraq and the rise of terrorism as signs of the apocalypse. Do you believe this, that the war in Iraq and the rise of terrorism are signs of the apocalypse? And if not, why not?””

Assessment:

Ever since George Bush took office, there have been rumors flying that Bush is an ardent student of Bible prophecy who takes those prophecies into consideration when formulating national policy.

The rumors began during Campaign 2000 by the Gore team in an effort to build some momentum on Bush’s campaign profession of faith in Jesus Christ. The effort back-fired, since Gore’s team underestimated the number of Christian voters that DO take Bible prophecy literally.

Gore’s effort to portray Bush as a Christian fundamentalist cost Gore more votes than it cost Bush.

Indeed, after Election 2000, the rumor that Bush was a student of Bible prophecy was picked up by the Christian right. Not as a pejorative, but as a hopeful sign that America was returning to its Christian roots.

Now, let’s return to the question about George Bush’s understanding of Bible prophecy.

“Here’s how I think of it. The first I’ve heard of that, by the way. I guess I’m more of a practical fellow. . . ” before morphing back into George Bush the Warrior President and launching a mini-speech about his duty to protect America from the terrorist threat.

“The first I’ve heard of . . ” the APOCALYPSE? THAT made me shake my head for a minute.

In the early years of the Bush administration, I got a lot of emails expressing disappointment in Bush’s policies, particularly those that seemed to display such a complete ignorance of Bible prophecy that some began to question whether or not Bush was even truly saved.

I argued then that Bush was a Methodist and that the Methodists adhere to ‘replacement theology’ which teaches that Israel forfeited its covenant relationship with God and it was passed on to the Church.

Under the doctrine of replacement theology, modern Israel is just a Western secular democracy with no special relationship in the Plan of God. All Bible prophecy was fulfilled with the destruction of the Temple in AD 70 at which time God’s covenant relationship with Israel was revoked.

In this view, all other Old Testament promises made to Israel, unless they were historically fulfilled before the first coming of Messiah, are now the property of the Christian Church.

(The Omega Letter Intelligence Digest – Vol: 24 Issue: 11 – Thursday, September 11, 2003)

So, while it is one thing for Bush to not subscribe theologically to Bible prophecy, it is entirely another for Bush to say he’d never heard of it.

On a purely secular level, Iran’s President Ahmadinejad believes in a coming apocalypse and also believes he has been called to start it, so one can only hope that Bush was referring to the first time he’d heard of the book, “American Theocracy.”

It is the second part of Bush’s reply that is the more revealing. “I guess I’m more of a practical fellow . . .”

As I argued in 2003, not believing in Bible prophecy is not the same thing as not being a Christian. One can be a Christian and be woefully ignorant of the Bible’s relevance to current events. (The churches are filled with them)

What gives me pause is Bush’s dismissal of Bible prophecy on the grounds that would be a hallmark characteristic of a ‘practical fellow’.

These are not practical times. The world is dividing up into three distinct spiritual camps manifesting themselves in the physical world as Jewish Israel, Christian America and the forces of the ‘Islamic world’.

The rest of the world hopes to sit this one out to the extent possible. This is precisely the scenario outlined by Bible prophecy.

One of the unique characteristics of Bible prophecy is that every major player on the world scene is represented in the last days, in precisely the form predicted by the prophets.

The Bible foresees four spheres of global power in the last days, the 200 million-strong Oriental army of the Kings of the East, the Islamic-African Kings of the South, the Russian-Iranian Gog Magog Alliance, and the revived Roman Empire under antichrist.

There is no mention of a fifth, more ‘practical’ western superpower resembling America.

“For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. . . Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.” (1st Thessalonians 5:2-3,14)

A truly ‘practical fellow’ might want to take that into consideration.

Another Gospel . . . Another Jesus

Another Gospel . . . Another Jesus
Vol: 54 Issue: 18 Saturday, March 18, 2006

For an alleged fraud, there sure are a lot of religions desperate to attach the Name of Jesus Christ to their doctrine in some way.

Islam ‘adopted’ Jesus (Isa), not as the Son of God and Savior of mankind, but as a ‘Prophet’ of almost-equal rank with Mohammed. By this device, Islam can therefore claim that Jesus Christ of the New Testament was really a Muslim.

But the Koran claims that Isa was born in the normal way, had a normal marriage, normal kids, lived a normal life and died a normal death. ‘Isa’ is another Jesus. Isa holds neither the keys to Heaven nor Hell and can save no one.

Buddhists, who deny the existence of a personal creator god, make room in their theology for Jesus Christ. Buddhism offers no form of redemption, forgiveness, no heavenly hope, or a final judgment to those practicing its system.

But Buddhists claim that Jesus was Himself a Buddhist. “Jesus Lived in India and The Original Jesus: The Buddhist Sources of Christianity by Holger Kersten are both popular books among Western Buddhists.

And Nicholas Notovitch allegedly discovered scrolls in a monastery in Hemis claiming Jesus traveled to the east while a young man and studied the scriptures of several faiths, including Buddhism.

But the Buddhist Jesus is not the Jesus of the Gospel, Who taught in the Temple in Jerusalem at age 12. This is another Jesus, and another gospel.

Jehovah’s Witnesses lay claim to Jesus Christ, but also deny His Deity, teaching that Jesus was a created being who was ‘a god’ but not God Himself.

The zeal of the Jehovah’s Witnesses to win new converts puts most Christian efforts to shame. But the JW’s ‘Jesus’ is not God, and salvation comes by a selective works-based process in which only 144,000 Witnesses will share.

(There are modern revisions of this JW doctrine in order to maintain membership, but founder Charles Taze Russell was dogmatic about salvation being limited to 144,000 believers.)

In any case, the ‘Jesus’ of the Jehovah’s Witnesses is another Jesus.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints sounds way more Christian than its shorter appellation, ‘Mormon’. Mormon missionaries are as dedicated to preaching their gospel and winning new converts as are the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

But their Jesus is another Jesus. The Mormon Jesus isn’t the Son of God, but a Son of a god, a god who was once a man living on the planet Kronos.

Following the recipe for godhood (he later transmitted to Joseph Smith in Palmyra, New York on mysterious golden tablets sometime around 1830,) the man from Kronos became the same god as God the Father of Jesus. Observant Mormons will eventually get their own universes to be gods in.

The Mormon Jesus reestablished his Kingdom in Independence, Missouri, before changing his mind and relocating his headquarters to Salt Lake City, Utah. His spirit-brother’s name is Lucifer.

Like the others, neither their gospel nor their Jesus offers hope of salvation.

Assessment:

But making room for Jesus is good marketing if one want’s to convince others to join up. Jesus is the most popular Name brand in human history.

Hordes of bloodthirsty Papists engaged hordes of equally bloodthirsty Muslim Saracens during the Crusades, slaughtering each other over whether followers of Jesus or Isa would control Jerusalem.

Each slaughtered protesting Jews with equal abandon. Both in the name of a different gospel and another Jesus.

The Crusaders butchering Jews wholesale as punishment for the Crucifixion were not following the Gospel or the Jesus Who said from the Cross, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

But attaching the Name of Jesus to your religion is great advertising. Like having Mandy Pantinkin advertising medicine to lower your cholesterol. First off, you didn’t know you needed something that lowers your cholesterol until Mandy told you so in his kindly, but authoritative way.

Before you know it, you are off to ask your doctor if a product that cures something you don’t know you have and causes flatulence, insomnia, flaking skin, male pattern baldness, uneven tire wear and leaky plumbing is right for YOU!

All the while fully aware that Mandy Pantinkin is really an actor who plays an FBI profiler on ‘Criminal Minds,’ knows no more about pharmacology than you do, and probably doesn’t have a cholesterol problem either.

But he seems like such a nice guy! So does Jesus, except that the REAL Jesus’ endorsement is too expensive. Embracing the REAL Jesus means becoming a REAL Christian.

Islam would have to give up the sword. Buddha would have to give up pantheism and all that meditation stuff. The Watchtower Bible Society would have to give up its publishing company. The Mormons would have to give up both polygamy here and godhood in the hereafter.

It’s cheaper to just invent a fake Jesus and hope nobody looks at the ad too closely.

The Bible make reference to another gospel and another Jesus, not obliquely, but head-on. The Apostle Paul, under the inspiration of God, warned bluntly;

“For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him,” Paul warned the Corinthians. But, he continued;

“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” (2nd Corinthians 11:4,13-15)

To the Galatians, he wrote, “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from Him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”

To underscore his point, Paul repeated himself: “As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” (Galatians 1:6-9)

The various claimants to the Name of Christ deny His Deity, His Virgin Birth, His Resurrection, His purchase of Redemption and His offer of salvation by grace through faith.

But they covet His Name like no other.

Mohammed is claimed by Islam alone. No other religion claims Buddha as their own except Buddhists. Charles Taze Russell and Joseph Smith are revered only within the sects they founded.

Their Jesus cannot save. He has no power. They follow another Jesus, and different gospel.

Of the REAL Jesus, the Bible says, “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a Name which is above every Name.” (Phillipians 2:9)

Two thousand years ago, six hundred years before Mohammed, 1800 years before Joseph Smith and Charles Taze Russell, and before the modern Western Buddhists discovered Jesus, the Apostle Peter said of the Name of Jesus;

“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above; Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other Name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

This is something one wouldn’t ordinarily consider fulfilled Bible prophecy. It is as normal as air to a Christian. Of course, the Name of Jesus is above every other Name, if one is a Christian living in 21st Western culture.

But when Peter and Paul trod the earth, Christianity was a tiny breakaway Jewish cult. Today, the Name of Jesus is known throughout all the world, above all other names, above all other religious figures, above all other religions.

His is a Name claimed by all, as a necessary, if not critical element, in any claim to religious authenticity.

Significantly, the only major religion that refuses any claim to Christ is Judaism — another fulfillment of Bible prophecy often overlooked.

Paul was himself a Jew, and a Pharisee, and had a great love for his people. Indeed, he offered to exchange his own salvation for that of the Jews. (Romans 9:3)

But 2000 years ago, this Pharisaic Jew turned Apostle prophesied that Israel would reject Jesus until His Return. As they have, to this point in history, Name recognition notwithstanding.

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

The Gospel of Jesus is under assault from all directions by smooth-talking apologists preaching another gospel and another Jesus because they need the Power of Jesus’ Name to endorse their product.

The reason is because Jesus is real. He is alive, He is God, and the world instinctively knows it. It doesn’t matter what they teach, or what they believe, or how incredible it is.

What does this all mean? It is powerful evidence, when you take the time to consider it as evidence, and impossible for a skeptic to refute.

Need proof?

Attach the Name Jesus to a religion that practices polygamy in Utah as a means to attaining godhood in another galaxy and bingo!

Next thing you know, there are two nice young fellas from Salt Lake City wearing white shirts and black ties knocking at your door to ask if you know the ‘rest’ of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The first thing you’ll find is that you hear lots and lots about Jesus, but not so much about Kronos. Why?

The Name Jesus means instant religious credibility, just as His eyewitnesses predicted.

Because they saw the REAL Jesus. As will we.

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

“Speaking Lies In Hypocrisy”

“Speaking Lies In Hypocrisy”
Vol: 54 Issue: 17 Friday, March 17, 2006

In America, violating the Ninth Commandment is not only wrongful behavior, under certain circumstances, it is also a crime.

Of course, whether or not bearing false witness is criminal behavior depends a lot on one’s political affiliation. One of America’s two largest political parties is EXPECTED to lie.

Point out an obvious lie, like, “I did not have sex with that woman, Monica Lewinsky,” and they’ll provide new definitions for ‘sex’, new definitions for ‘lie’ and even new definitions for ‘is’ — and when all other avenues are exhausted, a new definition for ‘honesty;’ “Everybody lies about sex.”

America’s other political party is held to a much different standard. ‘Honesty’ is redefined to match the definition of ‘omniscience’.

Take the Iraq War. Prior to the invasion, both parties were unanimous in their assessment of the threat of Iraqi WMD. That assessment didn’t change until AFTER the invasion failed to uncover massive stockpiles of prohibited weapons.

Here is the case for removing Saddam Hussein as first presented to the American people, as it was laid out BEFORE Saddam’s fall.

“The community of nations may see more and more of the very kind of threat Iraq poses now: a rogue state with weapons of mass destruction, ready to use them or provide them to terrorists,” said the president.

“If we fail to respond today, Saddam and all those who would follow in his footsteps will be emboldened tomorrow.”

The Secretary of State argued that the sanctions weren’t working. “There has never been an embargo against food and medicine. It’s just that Hussein has just not chosen to spend his money on that. Instead, he has chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction and palaces for his cronies.”

The Secretary of Defense told a press conference; “The United Nations has determined that Saddam should not possess chemical or biological or nuclear weapons, and what we have is the obligation to carry out the U.N. declaration.”

Leading up to the 2003 invasion, the administration’s critics argued for continued reliance on the UN inspectors that had spent most of the past decade playing hide-and-seek with Saddam’s military assets.

That won’t work, argued the National Security Advisor. “It is ineffectual; it is not able to do its job by its own judgment. . . It doesn’t provide much deterrence against WMD activity.”

Said one senior senator in support of the administration’s case for war with Saddam:

“Iraq is not the only nation in the world to possess weapons of mass destruction, but it is the only nation with a leader who has used them against his own people.”

“For the United States and Britain, an Iraq equipped with nuclear, chemical or biological weapons under the leadership of Saddam Hussein is a threat that almost goes without description,” said another hawk, taking aim at the split in the international community.

“France, on the other hand, has long established economic and political relationships within the Arab world, and has had a different approach.”

Were all those officials lying about the case for war? The Left says yes.

The Right points out that both sides believed that Saddam had WMD until after the invasion, so the president couldn’t have been lying. Not so, claims the Left.

Bill Clinton accused the Bush administration of ‘cooking intelligence’ to make a case for war.

Madeline Albright called Bush an outright liar, as did former Defense Secretary William Cohen, disgraced National Security Advisor Sandy Berger, former Senate Majority Leader (and now private citizen) Tom Daschle, and failed presidential candidate John Kerry, (who staked his entire candidacy on Bush’s dishonesty.)

The ‘lies’ quoted above in support of regime change in Iraq were made in 1998 by Bill Clinton, Madeline Albright, William Cohen, Sandy Berger, Tom Daschle and John Kerry.

Assessment:

None of the above quotes are a secret. All of them can be found in the archives of the same mainstream media outlets engaged in the unspoken conspiracy to turn the Clinton administration’s truth into the Bush administration’s lies.

It HAD to be a conspiracy — the mainstream media has access to their own archives. They HAD to know that there wasn’t a dime’s worth of difference between the intelligence cited in 1998 by the Clinton administration and the intelligence citing in 2003 by the Bush administration.

In 1998, the intel was being used to justify a massive bombing campaign against Saddam Hussein (at the same time the Monica Lewinsky scandal was breaking).

Operation Desert Fox didn’t sufficiently distract public attention, but fortunately, Slobodon Milosevic was conducting an ethnic-cleansing campaign in the former Yugoslavia.

The UN refused to intervene, saying UN involvement would violate its charter. But Yugoslavia was in Europe’s back yard, so Clinton was able to get NATO to participate in what the UN called an ‘illegal’ war.

Yugoslavia’s woes were in no way affecting US interests in the region and were no threat to continued US security. It was a war so obviously contrived as a distraction from Clinton’s legal problems that it was dubbed the “Wag the Dog War” after a movie with an eerily similar plot line.

To the end, lying about sex, contriving a case for two separate bombing campaigns, lying in a sworn deposition, lying to the grand jury and repeatedly lying to the American people were vigorously defended by the political left.

Democratic activists swore in the aftermath of Election 2000 to prove that the Republicans were bigger liars than the Democrats.

In a worldview in which it is assumed that everybody lies about something, lying, in and of itself, is less important than the subject about which the lie is told.

So being wrong about Saddam’s WMD is an ‘error in judgment’ if you are John Kerry or Bill Clinton, but it is an bald-faced lie if you are George Bush.

The liberals on the Left KNOW that they are lying when they accuse Bush of lying. The only other explanation is massive short-term memory loss.

And even if Clinton/Gore/Kerry/Daschle/NYTIMES/LATimes/Washington Post and all their advisors, editors and reporters all had their memories wiped clean by a Democratic memory virus, the archives are still there.

The Left has called George Bush a liar, a war criminal, accused him of violating the Constitution, and some are even kicking around the word ‘impeachment’.

Recently-released Iraqi government memos detailing a connection between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda are either ignored or published on the back pages of the mainstream media.

The same for both recordings and official memos that prove that even Saddam’s generals on the eve of invasion thought Saddam possessed stockpiles of WMD.

Eyewitness testimony before the Senate by a former Iraqi general that he witnessed the transfer of huge WMD stockpiles to Syria prior to the invasion has been all but suppressed by the mainstream media and the political left.

Millions upon millions of Iraqi intelligence documents, as well as almost 20,000 hours of recordings made of Saddam’s official meetings languish, unexamined and untranslated, in a warehouse in Doha.

Very few mainstream media types have even acknowledged their existence, let alone sought permission to examine the evidence.

Is there no obligation to know the truth before dubbing someone else a liar? Not if one is happy with his version of the truth, in this case, that Republicans are bigger liars than Democrats.

Divorce yourself from politics for a second, and revert back to being an American, and a Christian, and look at this one more time. For five years, America has been building its reputation as a selfish, oil-hungry behemoth willing to lie, cheat, steal and torture as part of its oil-mad foreign policy.

Those perpetuating the myth either don’t know or don’t care that the rest of the world doesn’t see it as a Republican-Democratic issue.

The enemy isn’t partisan. Our enemies remember that Bill Clinton said the same things before he sent cruise missiles into Baghdad that George Bush said before he sent troops five years later.

Our enemies believe everything they read in the mainstream about the Bush administration, but to them, they are reading about America, not Republicans. The world is experiencing an unprecented wave of anti-American sentiment, not anti-Republican sentiment.

The political accusation that the administration lied is not only itself a lie, but a lie of incredible hypocrisy. Those perpetuating it cannot help but know the collateral damage they are causing to America in their political war with George Bush.

The only other conclusion is that they believe George Bush is a greater threat than that posed by al-Qaeda. In fact, Useful Idiots like Teddy Kennedy have said so in so many words. Even if Kennedy believes that to be true, consider this.

Benedict Arnold felt the same way about George Washington and King George. Because it just so happened that America was at war with King George, the name Benedict Arnold is synonymous with ‘traitor’.

“This know also, that IN THE LAST DAYS, perilous times shall come. For men shall be . . . Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God. . .” (2nd Timothy 3:1-2,4)

In his 2nd Letter to the Thessalonians, Paul was addressing a heresy that had entered the Church at Thessolonika, specifically that the Rapture had happened and the Thessalonians had been left behind.

Paul explained about the coming antichrist, the bodyguard of lies that will accompany him, and the willingness of the public to believe “the Lie.” Paul assured the Thessalonians that time had not yet come, because first the world had to be conditioned to receive him.

“And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (2nd Thessalonians 2:11-12)

‘Bush lied’ is NOT the ‘strong delusion’ Paul said would blind the world to the true identity of the antichrist after the Rapture.

The story here isn’t the capacity of a politician to lie, but the capacity of the public to willingly accept a lie they know is a lie because they prefer it to the truth.

Paul said the last days of the Church Age would be noteworthy for the complete breakdown of social morals accompanying them.

Paul pointed out that such things as treason, false claims of religious faith, false accusations, despisers of those that are good (“goody-two shoes Bush” is a worse liar than Bill Clinton”) and the universal willingness to accept a lie because they prefer it would be some of the outstanding characteristics of the professing church in the final days of the Church Age.

The inescapable fact is that it is a defining characteristic of this generation in what the world has dubbed the “world’s most Christian country.”

If Americans didn’t prefer to choose who lied to them, there would be no such thing as either a ‘liberal’ or a ‘conservative’ media.

But there is. Not because Americans don’t expect to be lied to. They just like to choose their favorite liar.

“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in THE LATTER TIMES, some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron.” (1st Timothy 4:1-2)

Uncommon Valor, Unsung Heroes

Uncommon Valor, Unsung Heroes
Vol: 54 Issue: 16 Thursday, March 16, 2006

The New York Daily news reported a war protest concert called “Bring ‘Em Home Now” headlined by a bunch of musicians I never heard of, noting that Cindy Sheehan was an invited guest and that Jeanne Garafalo plans to broadcast her TV program from the concert.

Interestingly, I ran a Google news search of the concert and got four hits. One was a music site in the UK, two were local New York-area papers, and the fourth was a website called ‘alArab Online’.

The Dixie Chicks are making their way back up the country music charts with a new anti-war album recanting their tearful apology for making anti-war statements while on tour in London.

The new album, “Not Ready To Make Nice” slams the administration and the war anew, noted al Jazeera.

George Clooney got an Oscar for ‘Syriana’ — an antiwar film in which America was the heavy and the terrorists were the heroes.

A Kansas-based protest group regularly pickets military funerals, carrying signs like “Thank God for IEDs” and Thank God for Dead Soldiers”.

Public support for the war in Iraq in waning, as is public support for the war on terror. The Bush administration’s job-approval rating dropped to 36% — an all-time low.

A recent poll conducted by the polling firm of Tarrance and Reihle found that just 54% of Republicans trust Bush.

A solid majority of Americans now say the war in Iraq was not worth fighting – 57 percent in the latest ABC News poll.

And, despite months of assurances by the president that he has a strategy for victory, 65 percent of those surveyed by ABC on March 2-5 said the Bush administration does not have “a clear plan for handling the situation in Iraq.”

The Islamic press is filled with optimistic forecasts of how much longer the administration will be able to hold out against domestic opposition, noting gleefully that the administration has been ‘unable’ to prevent the damage caused by ‘sectarian violence’ forecasting that Iraq’s impending civil war will sink the US effort to rebuild Iraq.

The steady drumbeat of incomprehensible horrors; foreign kidnappings, beheaded hostages, military casualties and domestic political posturing has all but sapped America’s will to stay the course.

The Useful Idiots don’t understand Marines. The Marine Creed gives them nightmares:

“This is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one is MINE. My rifle is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. My rifle without me is useless.”

“Without my rifle, I am useless. I must fire my rifle true. I must shoot straighter than my enemy who is trying to kill me. I must shoot him before he shoots me. I will…”

“My rifle and myself know that what counts in war is not the rounds we fire, the noise of our bursts, nor the smoke we make. We know it is the hits that count. We will hit…”

“My rifle is human, even as I, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weaknesses, its strengths, its parts, its accessories, its sights, and its barrel. I will ever guard it against the ravages of weather and damage. I will keep my rifle clean and ready, even as I am clean and ready. We will become part of each other. We will…”

“Before God I swear this creed. My rifle and myself are the defenders of my country. We are the masters of our enemy. We are the saviors of my life.”

“So be it, until there is no enemy, but PEACE.”

Assessment:

I spend a lot of time around active-duty Marines, many of whom have served several combat tours in Iraq. I find it fascinating that returning Marines are universally astonished at how the conduct of the war is portrayed in the US media.

Marines come home with memories like those of 1st Lt. Brian M. Stann, who was awarded the Silver Star yesterday at Camp Lejeune for his actions and bravery during Operation Matador last year in Iraq.

Stann accepted the award on behalf of his Marines, saying, This award represents my guys. . . It s an insight to what my men did over there. There were a lot of our guys who received awards from our group when we were out there, not just me.

Stann was platoon leader with the 2nd Mobile Assault Brigade when his unit was assigned to take a bridge near Karabilah. The battle took six days from May 8 to May 14 and involved three different assaults. On the third attempt, his unit was ambushed.

Stann was in a 360-degree fight and was setting up casualty evacuation points after they were hit by suicide IEDs. He led his platoon through over 30 rocket-propelled grenade attacks, multiple machine guns firing, and improvised explosive devices detonating all around him.

“You can forget all the other medals; I just wanted the award that said 42 out of 42 men came home safely, Stann said at the award ceremony. And we all came home, so mission accomplished.

Stann’s award came the day after Captain Frank Diorio was awarded the Bronze Star for his actions with Company I, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment in Husaybah, Iraq from February to September 2005. During that period, Diorio led his company in over 275 engagements at Camp Gannon firm base.

Like Stann, Diorio did not take all the credit for his company s success in Iraq. The images of my Marines fighting together as a company will stay with me for ever, he said.

This is India Company s award.

Marine Cpl. Dale A. Burger Jr. was honored with the Silver Star this week, as well.

While in Iraq during the second battle of Fallujah, Burger s battalion was involved in intense house-to-house fighting. Burger s squad leader was injured during the fighting, and Burger stepped up to assume the squad leader s duties.

While leading an assault against a fairly large group of insurgents held up in a building, he was wounded and evacuated for medical treatment. Three days later, Burger volunteered to return to his Marines and continue to fight by their side despite his injuries.

Burger was so eager to return to his Marines, he showed up with no gear and no weapon.

After returning, Burger s platoon was involved in yet another firefight, during which he came upon three critically wounded Marines. Burger showed remarkable heroism and valor by charging into the house to recover the fallen Marines, according to his Silver Star citation.

While returning fire, Cpl. Burger was killed by an enemy bullet. According to Cpl. Burger’s mother, her son would have been embarrassed by all the pomp and circumstance.

“He s probably saying, They’re making too much of nothing because I was just doing my job, she said.

With such men as these, how can we be losing? Take heart, Leatherneck! The Useful Idiots only THINK they are winning – er, or we are losing, er, or something.

As for the rest of us, we know better. Semper Fi, Marines!

“Until there is no enemy, but PEACE.”

Note to the Members:

It’s always something. I fired up my computer and Windows XP told me my computer configuration had changed beyond whatever Microsoft considers acceptable limits and my operating system was about to be deactivated.

(In fact, nothing had been changed, but I still had to go through the whole process to get it fixed.)

Eventually, after going through twenty minutes of tape recorded instructions, I got connected to some guy in India somewhere, (who seemed quite annoyed with me for bothering him,) but we eventually got the problem resolved.

Some guy once observed, “If a Rolls Royce were built like Windows, it would cost a hundred dollars, get five hundred miles to the gallon, and every few months, would drive itself into a brick wall, killing everyone inside.” Smart guy.

Sorry for the delay.

The Mystery of Iniquity

The Mystery of Iniquity
Vol: 54 Issue: 15 Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Adolph Hitler used the state education system to turn what had been the most sophisticated and cultured nation in Europe into the most bloodthirsty military regime in modern history in a single generation.

After the first World War, he captured the hearts and minds of parents. Once they elected him Chancellor in 1933, he used the state’s educational system to steal the minds of their children.

Nazi-educated schoolchildren were taught Hitler was a god. Each school-day began with a state-mandated prayer to der Fuehrer. Family loyalty became secondary to loyalty to the Fuehrer. Children routinely denounced their parents.

As the children got older, their indoctrination was continued in state programs like the Hitler Youth. Each graduation day, another crop of youthful fanatics were absorbed into the state military machine.

Using the educational system, it took Hitler only 20 years to indoctrinate an entire generation so completely it could shovel 12 million people into ovens.

During the heydey of Soviet Communism, Russian citizens were among the best-educated in the world. One of the first social programs the Soviets instituted after the Revolution was free, compulsory education in the state educational system.

Entire generations of Soviet citizens were taught that the Soviet Union’s worker’s paradise was the envy of the civilized world. It was a point of national pride that every modern technology was a Soviet invention.

Soviet schoolchildren learned the East-West Cold War was due to Western envy of Soviet life and Western efforts to steal Soviet technology.

In 1932, William Foster, the chairman of the US Communist Party published a book, “Toward a Soviet America’, that indirectly outlined the Communist strategy as it then-successfully being implemented by the Stalin regime.

In it, Foster called for a U.S. Dept. of Education, the teaching of evolution, elimination of nationalism and religion in schools, the teaching of internationalism, the use of the Pavlovian method (direct instruction) on the students, and so on.

Ultimately, the Soviet Union crumbled from within, not-coincidentally after Western news feeds began broadcasting images of full Western supermarkets and modern Western life on the other side of The Wall.

Once the Soviets lost control of the state propaganda system to technological advances it couldn’t contain, the political system’s collapse was a foregone conclusion.

But most of Foster’s principles were already incorporated into Marxist ideology, repackaged and introduced into the American education system as ‘progressive’ education.

One can trace the progression of Marxist ideology through the American education system. The REALLY radical Marxist ‘revolutionaries’ of the Sixties grew up to become university professors in the Eighties.

Marxism became a hot item, and scarcely any academic department in the humanities and social sciences felt it could carry on without one or two Marxists on the faculty.

College protests became a thing of the past, mainly because the protestors were now in charge of the colleges. Liberal educators freely proselytized Marxism, feminism, Greensim, deconstructionism, and other isms, from Islamism to anti-Americanism and beyond.

The Marxist ethics of the 1960’s came into its own in the 1990’s. Longhaired professors in graying beards delivered their lectures wearing blue jeans and faded old shirts. They became friends with their students, eschewing traditional titles and conducting classes on a first-name basis.

They saw themselves as student mentors rather than teachers, and taught the ‘values’ of questioning and subverting traditional standards, openly espousing various activist agendas as part of the student’s ‘education’.

Ivy-League schools like Yale and Harvard turn out dedicated Marxists with each graduating class, many of whom go on to pass on those principles to the next generation of students.

Sadly, the one thing history teaches us about man is that man learns nothing from history.

Assessment:

The media uproar over high-school geography teacher Jay Bennish’s classroom comments as begun to die down, now that Bennish has been returned to the classroom.

For those having just awakened from a coma, a quick recap: Jay Bennish is a product of the evolved educational system of the 1990’s.

According to one of the parents, on the first day, Bennish announced to the class that Karl Marx’s “Communist Manifesto” was going to be a part of the GEOGRAPHY curriculum.

According to a recording made by one of his students of Bennish’s assessment of Bush’s State of the Union speech, Bennish told his 10th grade class;

“Sounds a lot like the things Adolf Hitler used to say.” “Bush is threatening the whole planet.” “[The] U.S. wants to keep the world divided.”

Then he asks his class, “Who is probably the most violent nation on the planet?” before preempting guesswork by shouting out his own answer: “The United States!”

True to his promise to include Marxism as part of the curriculum, Bennish gave the students the “definition” of capitalism — telling them that “capitalism is at odds with humanity, at odds with caring and compassion and at odds with human rights.”

The 10th graders were taught by their teacher that; “the U.S. has engaged in “7,000 terrorist attacks against Cuba,” together with equally anti-American propaganda — as part of the unsuspecting student’s compulsory, state-sponsored education.

Bennish became an instant media darling. He was all over CNN. Criticism soon gave way to deep, thoughtful analysis of academic free speech, the threat of McCarthyism and the right of the students to hear ‘both sides’.

Finally, the media agreed that ‘both sides’ is Bennish’s side and ummm, well, everybody knows the ‘other’ side, so why waste the student’s time?

The Aurora, Colorado Overland High School District did too, and Bennish returned to his job of shaping the next generation of Marxists, severely punishing Bennish with the public criticism that Bennish’s “practice and deportment need growth and refinement.”

Paul described the social conditions in which the antichrist will find an eager electorate when his time arrives;

“For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof:” (2nd Timothy 3:2-5)

Unlike the brainwashed Nazi and Soviet generations who had Hitler and Stalin to follow, the latest generations of state-educated Marxists have no single ideological leader around which to galvanize.

Just traditional principles to oppose and socialist experiments to offer in exchange. They oppose traditional principles like patriotism, the traditional family, religious faith, traditional culture and social standards, religious-based morals, home schooling, etc.

They favor gay rights, abortion rights, freedom from religion, globalism, educational indoctrination in secular humanist theology like evolution and liberalism, arguing any social breakdown is the fault of the religious right attempting to force its values on an unwilling society.

All they really need is an ideological leader around which to stage their ‘revolution’. Right now, we are at Stage One. The ‘mystery of iniquity is already at work,’ indoctrinating unsuspecting children under the guise of compulsory ‘education’.

The rest of the world is already in its post-Christian era, and liberal America is anxious to follow its lead.

Once the Rapture eliminates the opposition in Red State ‘JesusLand’, there will be nothing to stand in the way.

“For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only He who now letteth will let, until He be taken out of the way. And THEN SHALL THAT Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the Spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming.” (2nd Thessalonians 2:7-8)