The Indictment

The Indictment
Vol: 62 Issue: 22 Wednesday, November 22, 2006

According to the Bible, one day as Jacob was cooking a red stew, Esau came in from the wilderness ‘and he was faint’. Genesis 25:29 tells us of the episode that gave Esau his nickname, “Edom.’

“And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom.” Which means red).

The Bible doesn’t go into detail about Esau’s condition beyond that, but it is worth considering the context.

Esau was out ‘in the wilderness’ at a time when the ‘wilderness’ was a huge, dangerous and inhospitable place populated by wild animals and roving bandits.

When Jacob demanded Esau’s birthright as first-born in exchange for a bowl of red stew, “Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me?”

Clearly, Esau was ‘faint’ with hunger and exhaustion, but given context, Esau could have been in very bad shape.

It was a dirty trick on Jacob’s part, and it set the stage for conflict that continues to this day.

The Prophet Obadiah picks up the story of the Edomites and their abuse of God’s people, God’s land, and God’s Holy Hill, the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

Obadiah accuses Edom of “violence against your brother Jacob.” (v.10) Not just an ACT of violence, but constant, systematic and unrelenting violence. We discussed in yesterday’s Omega Letter the principle of dual fulfillment.

Some Bible prophecy is near term, some long term, and, in come cases, like Obadiah’s, it is a single glance that encompasses a a broad period of time. Obadiah’s vision spans the entire scope of history from the first destruction of the Temple to the end of time.

That Obadiah’s prophecies extend into the present day is evidenced by his references in verse 15-17 to the Day of the Lord, the recovery of the Temple Mount and references to land not yet recovered by Israel. Obadiah’s prophecy begins with the ancient Edomites and tracks their physical and spiritual descendants to the last days.

So, can we determine their modern identity with any degree of confidence based on the Scriptures?

Assessment:

The most compelling Scriptural evidence to identify the Edomites is found in Ezekiel 36:5.

The first fifteen verses of that chapter give God’s viewpoint regarding the ownership and eventual disposition of what the world calls the “West Bank.”

Ezekiel describes a conspiracy between the nations of the world and “Edom” to misappropriate that land that God had granted to Jacob.

The book of Obadiah is also closely related to the prophecy of Ezekiel 35, which is a prophecy against the same group of people.

“All the men of thy confederacy have brought thee even to the border: the men that were at peace with thee have deceived thee, and prevailed against thee; that they eat thy bread have laid a wound under thee: there is none understanding in him.” (1:7)

The ‘Palestinians’ are a ‘confederacy’ rather than a people. They have conspired with Jordan, Egypt, Syria, Iran and the Saudis to lay claim to the West Bank as their ‘ancestral homeland’. Jeremiah 48-49 includes prophecies against these modern Islamic states, and provides additional support for the identification of the Palestinians as the Edomites.

Further nailing down the identification of modern Edom is Obadiah 1:8:

“Shall I not in that day, saith the LORD, even destroy the wise men out of Edom, and understanding out of the mount of Esau?”

The ‘wise men out of Edom’ are the imams and Islamic preachers who preach the destruction of Israel from the “Mount of Esau” (the stolen Temple Mount v.16).

Let’s examine some of Obadiah’s indictments against Edom and compare them to Israeli-Arab conflict:

1) Violence against Jacob: “For thy violence against thy brother Jacob shame shall cover thee, and thou shalt be cut off for ever.” (v. 10)

2) Celebrating Israel’s calamities: “But thou shouldest not have looked on the day of thy brother in the day that he became a stranger;” (v.12a)

3) Handing over the Jews to their enemies: “neither shouldest thou have rejoiced over the children of Judah in the day of their destruction; neither shouldest thou have spoken proudly in the day of distress.” (v. 12)

4) Taking possession of the Jewish holy places: “Thou shouldest not have entered into the gate of my people in the day of their calamity; yea, thou shouldest not have looked on their affliction in the day of their calamity, nor have laid hands on their substance in the day of their calamity.” (v.13)

5) Mocking the God of Israel and His People from His Holy Hill: “For as ye have drunk upon my holy mountain, so shall all the heathen drink continually, yea, they shall drink, and they shall swallow down, and they shall be as though they had not been.” (v. 16)

6) And finally, the destruction of something Obadiah calls “Mount Esau” — a symbolic reference to Esau’s deity, Allah, on ‘Mount Zion.”

“And saviours shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the LORD’s.” (v.21)

In case that doesn’t make the case for you, Obadiah’s chief indictment against Edom is its systematic, constant and unrelenting violence against Jacob.

Let’s revisit that verse, substituting the word ‘violence’ with its Hebrew equivalent and look at the indictment one more time in context:

“For thy HAMAS (violence) against thy brother Jacob shame shall cover thee, and thou shalt be cut off for ever.” (Obadiah 1:14)

From the Ends of the Earth

From the Ends of the Earth
Vol: 62 Issue: 21 Tuesday, November 21, 2006

“But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and He that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art Mine.” (Isaiah 43:1)

Most scholars place Isaiah Chapters 40-55 during the time the Babylonian captivity. Jerusalem had been destroyed and the people were either in captivity or scattered.

But Isaiah is one of the richest sources of what is known as ‘dual fulfillment’ prophecy in Scripture. ‘Dual-fulfillment’ refers to prophecies that were fulfilled in part during that period of history in which they were written, with the remainder of the prophecy to be fulfilled on a grander scale at some later point in history.

In Isaiah 43 is an excellent example of dual fulfillment. Verses 1-7 address the ingathering of the exiles, which took place, in part, following Ahasuerus’ decree to rebuild the city and sanctuary.

But it also prefigures the complete ingathering of the exiles from the ‘from the ‘ends the earth’ in the last day.

Isaiah 43:8-9 is another example of dual-fulfillment:

“Bring forth the blind people that have eyes, and the deaf that have ears. Ye are My witnesses, saith the LORD, and My Servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He: before Me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after Me.”

While God is addressing the Jews in Babylonian captivity, He also includes the promise of a Redeemer, One Who gives sight to the blind and ears to the deaf, and includes a challenge to all those who would claim another god.

“Ye are My witnesses, saith the LORD, and My servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He: before Me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after Me. I, even I, am the LORD; and beside Me there is no Saviour.” (Isaiah 43:10-11)

This is a clear reference to the coming Messiah Jesus, Whom John 1:1-3 reveals as the Creator of the Universe:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made.”

The ‘Word’ — Jesus — was God, and as such, was with God in the beginning, and it was He, Jesus, Who was the Creator of the physical universe.

So, in this passage, we find history, (Creation) and three separate prophecies; the promise of their return from captivity in Babylon,( fulfilled in 445 BC), the coming of the Messiah (fulfilled some 500 years future), and their ultimate re-gathering to their own land in the last days, (in the process of being fulfilled in this generation).

The re-gathering in Isaiah’s day was only a partial fulfillment, since only the Jews of Judah were restored by Ahasuerus. The ten northern tribes of the Kingdom of Israel were taken into exile by Sargon the Assyrian in BC 702, from which they disappeared from history.

After the Israelites were conquered and scattered, there remained only the Jews of Judah, who were taken by the Babylonians and then restored to the land by the Persians.

Isaiah’s re-gathering here is not the re-gathering of the Jews of Judah, but of the whole nation of Israel.

“For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of ISRAEL, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee.” (Isaiah 43:3)

Assessment:

A group of fifty-one Indians who claimed to be descendants of one of those ten lost tribes are just now arriving in Israel in what Jewish religious authorities are calling a fulfillment of Bible prophecy.

Israel’s chief Rabbinate certified a group of some seven thousand Indians from the remote north-eastern Indian states of Mizoram and Minapur as members of the Bnei Menashe, one of the ten tribes that were lost after being exiled by the Assyrians.

Michael Jankelowitz, spokesman for the Jerusalem-based Jewish Agency, which is co-ordinating the Indians’ arrival, said “they have lived a Jewish way of life for decades” including by keeping Saturday as the Sabbath and observing Jewish dietary laws.

The tale of how the community’s ancestors came to India’s north-east – sandwiched between Bangladesh and Myanmar is fascinating. Exiled by the Assyrians, the tribe was apparently forced east and travelled through Afghanistan and China before settling in what is now India’s north-east.

Rabbi Avihayil, who discovered the Menashe, says he learned of them back in 1979, and, after two years of studying their history and traditions, identified them as members of the lost tribe.

Among the clues that he took to be telltale signs, he said, were traditions resembling those of the ancient Israelites, including having places of refuge for those who had killed someone by mistake.

Rabbi Avihayil said his research revealed that the descendants of Menasseh also practised circumcision, albeit with sharpened flint rather than a knife.

In 1982, Rabbi Avihayil travelled to India, where he met Bnei Menashi . Then in 1989 he sent a religious official there to convert 24 people.

The ingathering of Jews from exile is a central theme of the last days:

“I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west,” Isaiah predicted. “I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring My sons from far, and My daughters from the ends of the earth.” (Isaiah 43:5-6)

By Rabbi Avihayil’s estimate, there are tens of millions of descendants of the lost tribes of Israel living in Japan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, China, Thailand and Burma.

“It is not our task to bring all of the ten tribes back, that is the task of the Messiah,” he said.

“But it is our task, before the Messiah comes, to create an opening in this matter.”

The opening is created, and the ingathering is in process.

The ten lost tribes of Israel are rediscovering their Jewish history in places throughout the world, from east to west, north to south, exactly as prophesied, and are being ‘lifted up’ and put back down again in their own land.

Just in time for the Messiah.

“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)

Bush’s Choice: Appeasement or Impeachment

Bush’s Choice: Appeasement or Impeachment
Vol: 62 Issue: 20 Monday, November 20, 2006

In the wake of the mid-term elections, a clearly shaken George W Bush finds himself struggling for a ‘new direction’ even as members of his own party are beginning to jump ship over Iraq.

It isn’t as if the facts have changed on the ground. It is impossible to imagine that the US would be in an improved security situation if Saddam Hussein remained in power in Iraq.

While Saddam did not have a major WMD manufacturing operation going, that is not the same as saying he wasn’t in the process of manufacturing WMD’s. He just wasn’t manufacturing them on a grand scale.

At the time of the invasion, according to the Iraq Survey Group report, Saddam had an active, although low-level production operation going on to manufacture both chemical and biological agents.

The ISG also reported Saddam’s plans to increase production once UN sanctions were lifted — which would have been the case, had the US not taken action. Both Russia and China were lobbying heavily to have the sanctions lifted.

One other minor detail that nobody in the mainstream press is talking about from the ISG report.

Saddam s planning envisioned placing toxic chemical and biological agents in aerosol cans and perfume sprayers for shipment to the United States and Europe!

That isn’t some pre-invasion intelligence report. That is what the ISG discovered once they had a chance to review some of the regime’s top secret military documents.

The Bush administration’s stated intention in the months leading up to the invasion of Iraq was to make the country the magnet for terrorists that it eventually became.

However, the post-invasion Iraqi government didn’t like the idea of being deliberately used as a proxy battlefield, so the US quit talking about it. But neither the policy nor the intended goal was changed. They just stopped talking about it.

The proof is in the pudding. The central front for the war on terror is Iraq, exactly as the administration claims it is. To deny that is willful self-deception.

One would be hard-pressed to call the post-invasion scenario in Iraq a ‘success’ — apart from keeping the terrorists occupied fighting the US presence there. The bombs are going off in Iraq, not New York.

The idea of invading another sovereign country for the express purpose of using it as a battlefield to spare one’s own nation sounds cynical. So? It is also the government’s Constitutionally-imposed responsibility. To protect the homeland by whatever means necessary. Even cynical ones.

Admitting officially that the goal was to keep the battlefield in the Middle East would further America’s international image as a self-serving bully, but, as the old saying goes, “all’s fair in love and war.”

But all that appears to be about to change.

Assessment:

Every morning there are new calls from the Left calling for the impeachment of Bush and Cheney for everything from being war criminals to committing acts of treason against the United States.

Together with the loss of both Houses of Congress in the mid-terms, they seem to be taking their toll on Bush. The appointment of Bob Gates to replace Don Rumsfeld as Secretary of Defense represents a subtle but major shift in strategy.

Gates was chosen from among the members of the Iraq Survey Group. One of the ISG’s recommendations is that the United States should enter into negotiations over Iraq with Iran and Syria and the terrorist groups they control.

A second recommendation is that the United States begin to distance itself diplomatically from Israel as part of the negotiation strategy. A third recommendation is that the US implement the ‘strategic redeployments’ so popular among Democrats.

As a member of the ISG, Gates signed off all all three; appeasing Iran and Syria, abandoning Israel diplomatically, and finally, abandoning Iraq militarily.

For all his faults, the one thing I have admired about George Bush was his unwillingness to placate his domestic political enemies with a quick fix that would leave the problem for future administrations to worry about.

But the mid-terms seem to have taken the remaining starch from his shirt. The Democrats have offered him a choice between appeasement and impeachment.

His selection of Bob Gates for Secretary of Defense seems to suggest he’s chosen the former.

If true, then he deserves the latter.

Dueling Mythologies

Dueling Mythologies
Vol: 62 Issue: 18 Saturday, November 18, 2006

A new nine-page essay published in TIME Magazine took pains to explain, scientifically, why Karl Marx was right when he opined, “Religion is the opiate of the masses.”

Or, to lift a quote from the article quoting Yale psychologist Paul Bloom, “Religion and science will always clash.”

Notes TIME ‘objectively’, “The market seems flooded with books by scientists describing a caged death match between science and God–with science winning, or at least chipping away at faith’s underlying verities.”

Before moving on, let me observe that, while the TIME article uses the generic term ‘religion’ — it isn’t ‘religion’ that the essay aims to discredit. It is American Christianity that is in TIME’s gunsights.

Although it attempts to argue that it is ‘religion’ that is at odds with science, the only doctrines the essay attacks are Christian doctrines. And lest anybody mistakenly assume it is an ‘objective’ debate, the essayist immediately puts that idea to rest in his preamble.

“Can religion stand up to the progress of science? This debate long predates Darwin, but the anti-religion position is being promoted with increasing insistence by scientists angered by intelligent design and excited, perhaps intoxicated, by their disciplines’ increasing ability to map, quantify and change the nature of human experience.”

“Brain imaging illustrates–in color!–the physical seat of the will and the passions, challenging the religious concept of a soul independent of glands and gristle. Brain chemists track imbalances that could account for the ecstatic states of visionary saints or, some suggest, of Jesus.” (See? Jesus is really a chemical imbalance in your head.)

“Something called the multiverse hypothesis in cosmology speculates that ours may be but one in a cascade of universes, suddenly bettering the odds that life could have cropped up here accidentally, without divine intervention. (If the probabilities were 1 in a billion, and you’ve got 300 billion universes, why not?)”

Why not, indeed? When you get to make up the numbers yourself, you can prove anything.

The TIME essayist cites several books that TIME describes as “riding the crest of an atheist literary wave.” One, entitled “The End of Faith’, TIME notes triumphantly, has “over 400,000 copies in print.”

(That’s a ‘literary wave’? Hal Lindsey’s Late, Great Planet Earth sold 35 million copies. Tim LaHaye’s “Left Behind” Series sold millions — per installment. THAT is a ‘literary wave.’ 400,000 copies is not)

TIME notes that the ‘atheist literary wave’ is met by “a swarm of articulate theological opponents,” but, says TIME, “the most ardent of these don’t really care very much about science . . ”

But of course! How could any country bumpkin simple-minded enough to believe in God have any grasp of science?

Assessment:

The hero of the TIME essay, noted scientist and atheist apologist Dr. Richard Dawkins, told TIME that;

“The question of whether there exists a supernatural creator, a God, is one of the most important that we have to answer. I think that it is a scientific question. My answer is no.”

Hmmm. Calling the existence of God a ‘scientific question’ presupposes that there could be a scientific method for determining the answer. Generally speaking, to be accepted science, something must be observable, measurable and reproducible under ideal laboratory conditions.

There is no way to observe God. There is no way to measure God. There is certainly no way to reproduce, or even fathom, the characteristics or nature of God in a laboratory experience.

BUT — there is no way to observe evolution, either. There is no way to measure evolution to any discernible scientific standard. Those estimates offered by science differ by BILLIONS of years.

Nobody has reproduced evolution in a laboratory, since nobody has figured out a way to compress billions of years into an observable time frame.

But that bothered neither TIME nor featured ‘expert’ Dr. Dawkins, who cheerfully admitted evolution was as unprovable as God.

“For centuries the most powerful argument for God’s existence from the physical world was the so-called argument from design: Living things are so beautiful and elegant and so apparently purposeful, they could only have been made by an intelligent designer,” Dawkins sneered.

Then he offered his scientific argument:

“But Darwin provided a simpler explanation. His way is a gradual, incremental improvement starting from very simple beginnings and working up step by tiny incremental step to more complexity, more elegance, more adaptive perfection.”

THAT is a simpler explanation than that of an intelligent Designer? The Tornado in a Junk Yard Theory?

Take DNA, for example. It ‘evolved’ by accident, somehow, into a bio-computer so elegant that it can be adapted for use AS a computer.

By this point in the interview, both TIME and Dawkins have dropped any pretense that the discussion was about ‘religion’, saying, “The chance of its being a particular God, Yahweh, the God of Jesus, is vanishingly small. . . ”

According to Dr. Dawkins, the open-minded scientist, those who think otherwise ought not “to be given the time of day,” dismissing Christians by saying, “Why bother with these clowns?”

Why indeed? Dr. Dawkins is in search of provable ‘knowledge’ like the theory of evolution. And if believing in evolution means chucking out the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, which is provable, measurable and reproducible in a laboratory, then so be it.

Laughably, later in the interview, Dawkins remarked indignantly, “My mind is not closed.”

The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, one of the immutable laws of physics, says that ALL things break down with time. Evolution argues that is only true until you add an unknowable, unprovable and unmeasurable billions of years.

Then the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics magically reverses itself without explanation.

According to TIME and Dr. Dawkins, THAT is science. That biological microcomputers like DNA could possibly be the product of design is dismissed out of hand as ‘unscientific’.

It is like arguing that my IMac is the product of intelligent design, but DNA, a computer so complex no human being or group of human beings could reproduce anything remotely as elegant, is purely coincidental.

The essay in question was published in the form of a debate between Dr. Richard Dawkins, and Dr. Francis Collins, the Director of the National Genome Research Institute.

Although Dr. Collins is one of the guys who first mapped the human genome, it was striking how condescending both Dawkins and the TIME essayist were in their questions to him — almost as if he were an idiot savant.

Dr. Collins, TIME warned early in the interview, is a “forthright Christian who converted from atheism at age 27.”

It was presented almost as a disclaimer, as if his being a ‘forthright Christian’ meant his scientific opinions were biased, whereas Dr. Dawkins was presented as a “scientist and more recently as an explicator of evolutionary psychology so lucid that he occupies the Charles Simonyi professorship for the public understanding of science at Oxford University.”

I read the entire nine-page essay — twice — and could find little in the way of scientific argument. Dawkins’ beef wasn’t with religion — it was with the Christian God. He said so several times.

Most amazingly, having wrapped up his argument that God cannot exist, in his concluding remarks, he acknowledges that God MIGHT exist, but that He isn’t God, or at least, He isn’t the God of the Bible. Or something. You tell me.

“My mind is open to the most wonderful range of future possibilities, which I cannot even dream about, nor can you, nor can anybody else,” argues Dawkins. “I provided what I thought were cogent arguments against a supernatural intelligent designer.”

Having alternatively claimed open-mindedness and then postulated a zero probability for the existence of God, Dawkins admits, “But it does seem to me to be a worthy idea.”

A worthy idea, but not worth considering. Or something. Whether he meant to or not, Dawkins’ arguments proved themselves to be Biblical, after all. And his arguments proved he was the right man to advance them.

“The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. . .” (Psalms 14:1, 53:1)

Message of Doom? Or Message of Hope?

Message of Doom? Or Message of Hope?
Vol: 62 Issue: 17 Friday, November 17, 2006

The prophecies of the Bible for the last days ARE a lot of doom and gloom — the very purpose of the Tribulation is to judge a Christ-rejecting world. It is called the Time of Jacob’s Trouble, the Day of Wrath, etc.

It is the time of God’s judgement on the world — and there isn’t much cheering going on. Three-quarters of the world will die of the plagues and judgements during this period. (Revelation 6) One third of the trees on earth will burn up, (Revelation 8:7) a third of all sea life will die, a third part of the ships will be destroyed in a sea turned one-third to blood.(v.9)

The judgement extends from the earth to the heavens: “And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.” (Revelation 8:12)

It isn’t a pretty picture to contemplate. Especially in light of the very next verse:

“And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!” (Revelation 8:13)

No wonder much of the Church prefers the replacement theologian’s view that all prophecy was fulfilled with the Destruction of the Temple in AD 70 and that Revelation and Daniel are figurative or allegorical rather than predictive.

Sir Isaac Newton is reputed to have observed, “About the time of the end, a body of men will be raised up who will turn their attention to the prophecies, and insist upon their literal interpretation, in the midst of much clamour and opposition.”

Now that we live in that time, Newton’s observation sounds almost prophetic. There is a HUGE clamor surrounding the study of Bible prophecy. And any of you who’ve read the forum debates over replacement theology knows how strongly they oppose studying Bible prophecy.

In any case, the prophecies for the last days are so terrifying, many would rather allegorize them away.

We are not living during the Time of Jacob’s Trouble. But our world is preparing itself for that time as we sit back as astonished eyewitnesses. The chaos that seizes the planet during the Tribulation has its beginnings during the last days of the Church Age.

Jesus warned that there would come wars, rumors of wars, famines, earthquakes, pestilences and so on. He warned that, “All these are the beginning of sorrows.” (Matthew 24:8)

The signs of the times are all around us and they are scary. They are scary even to many saved Christians who know the signs mean the Day of the Lord is at hand. They are scary to Christians who believe the Rapture will occur before the Tribulation begins.

There is nothing in Scripture to suggest that the Church Age will escape bad things in the last days — just that it will be removed before the beginning of the Time of Jacob’s Trouble.

Bad things are already happening. The wars. The rumors of wars. Famines. Earthquakes and pestilences. All on an ever-increasing scale of frequency and intensity. But Jesus said, “all these things MUST come to pass, but the end is not yet.” (Matthew 24:6) The ‘end’ He refers to is the ‘end of the [Church] age’ (Matthew 24:3), so we know it’s going to get uglier.

Assessment:

Those are all good reasons to get depressed with the ‘doom and gloom’ of Bible prophecy. It’s easy to get caught up in it — especially when examining the ‘nuts and bolts’ of how things fit together, and what Scripture says should be next on the global agenda. Since nothing particularly pleasant is prophesied to come upon the earth, studying it in detail gets pretty depressing.

And there are all the people we know that are not yet saved — we know that time is running out, that they won’t listen, and that is even more depressing.

We see all the tiniest details of God’s plan being played out before our eyes, but the details obscure the bigger picture.

This is GOD’S PLAN! Before the world began, God knew exactly how things would play out. He told us in advance of each event. He told us that fulfilled prophecy was His Signature;

“Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me.” (Isaiah 45:21)

Also, “Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear” (Isaiah 59:1)

In this generation, we live in an age of miracles. There appears that there is nothing that science won’t be able to accomplish eventually, thanks to the advent of computers. We can replicate almost any miracle except one.

We cannot predict the future. It simply can’t be done. No computer could calculate every detail of every life in advance, which is what would be necessary. Should one person do something unexpected then the whole course of future history would change.

Bible prophecy was given to the Church in the last days for the same reason that the Apostles were given miracles, signs and wonders following Pentecost.

In both instances, God’s Authority is proved by God-given signs.

It was by the Authority of God, authenticated by miracles, that the Apostles proclaimed the birth of the Church Age at Pentecost.

It is by the Authority of God, authenticated by fulfilled prophecy, that the Bible proclaims the end of the Church Age in this generation.

Taking into account the bigger picture, Bible prophecy isn’t ‘doom and gloom’ at all. It is incontrovertible evidence that cannot be shaken by modern scientific ‘miracles’.

When the skeptic argues for evolution and random selection, trotting out fossils, skeletons and diagrams, it seems pretty convincing. Maybe the Bible isn’t all that literal, after all. Maybe science has got something there. . . maybe. . .(!)

But when one compares the accuracy of the Bible’s account of the unknowable future to the ever-changing scientific ‘explanations’ for the distant past, doubts melt away. The skeptic has multiple explanations for static events that have already happened.

The Bible gives a single explanation for a fluid, changeable series of events predicted to happen thousands of years in the future — the events that define our present day. Which is more convincing?

Bible prophecy proves Jesus was the Son of God, regardless of the latest scientific, archeological or historical discovery. No matter what else might be offered as ‘evidence’ to the contrary, there is no other explanation for Bible prophecy. It is our generation’s unique miracle.

It proves that He remains in charge of the affairs of men. Scripture records His Promise in all three Gospel accounts, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” (Matthew 24:35. Mark 13:31, Luke 21:33)

“We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:” (2 Peter 1:19)

Bible prophecy is proof positive that God remains on the Throne, that His Word will NOT return to Him void, and that all the chaos and terror of the world notwithstanding, all continues to go according to His plan.

Given the unbeliever’s explanation of uncontrolled chaos, Bible prophecy isn’t all that depressing, after all. What WOULD be depressing would be to be among the lost, not knowing what this world is coming to, and believing the world is in a state of uncontrolled chaos.

For the believer, Bible prophecy can be pretty encouraging, which is what the Lord intended for the last days’ Church all along:

“But these things have I told you, that WHEN THE TIME SHALL COME, ye may remember that I told you of them.” (John 16:4)

If You Say It Enough Times, It Has To Be True

If You Say It Enough Times, It Has To Be True
Vol: 62 Issue: 16 Thursday, November 16, 2006

The third meeting of the new and improved United Nations Human Rights Committee concluded as did the first two — with a condemnation of Israel.

The Committee expressed its dismay “at the continued violation by the occupying power, Israel, of the human rights of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territory.”

Now, I’ve got a map of Israel open in front of me right now. The Gaza Strip is ostensibly under Palestinian rule. The Israelis pulled out a year ago.

The West Bank’s borders are more or less established. What territory remains in dispute is marginal by comparison.

So, what ‘occupied Palestinian territory’ is being ‘occupied’ by Israel that merits a three-for-three condemnation by the world’s leading (alleged) guarantor of human rights? Near as I can tell by the map before me, the only territory currently ‘occupied’ by the Jews is called “Israel”.

The UN Human Rights Council’s webpage bears the banner headline announcing the purpose for calling a special session: “3rd Special session on Israeli military incursions in Occupied Palestinian Territory, 15 November 2006.”

In it, the UNHRC demands “immediate protection of the Palestinian civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. . . to refrain from violence against civilian population and to treat under all circumstances all detained combatants and civilians in accordance with the Geneva Convention of 12 August 1949.”

That brings up another issue. The Geneva Conventions defines protected combatants as follows:

“Members of the armed forces, or , “militias…including those of organized resistance movements…having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance… conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.”

Since those who conduct terror operations against Israel or fire rockets into Israel from their own territory are neither identifiable ‘from a distance’ nor conducting operations in accordance with ANY laws or customs of war, WHY would the UN invoke the Geneva Conventions?

There is a bit of a hint to be found in the voting roster. Thirty-two nations voted for the condemnation.

They were: Algeria, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Cuba, Djibouti, Ecuador, Gabon, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Malaysia, Mali, Mauritius, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, Uruguay, and Zambia.

The mere fact that some of these nations are even ON the UN Human Rights Commission is mind-bending. China is one of the world’s worst human rights abusers, right up there with Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and, (good grief) Cuba!

Assessment:

So much attention is focused by the UN’s condemnation of Israel on ‘Occupied Palestinian Territory’ that it MUST be true. Everybody says so. The Israelis are ‘occupiers’ and the Palestinian ‘territories’ are ‘occupied’.

We discussed it earlier, but it really needs to be asked again. Where ARE the borders of the ‘Palestinian territories’ and what parts are being ‘occupied’ by israel? The only party to the conflict that has a clear answer to that question is Hamas. Hamas says that ALL of Israel is ‘Occupied Palestinian Territory’.

But lunatic fringe aside, neither side has been able to negotiate a final border, so the question is unanswerable. Israel lives inside and along the Green Line. The Palestinians govern the rest.

At best, ‘Occupied Palestinian Territory’ is the territory the Palestinians CLAIM is ‘occupied’. And that, alas, brings us back to the Hamas definition.

So, given that there is no firm definition of what is Palestinian territory and what is part of Israel, what is the UN Human Rights Commission claiming is ‘occupied’ by Israel?

The answer is, who cares? As long as it provides a reason to condemn Israel.

The UNHRC has only held three sessions since it was reborn as a new and improved version of the old one. All three of those sessions were convened to condemn Israel.

In the Sudan, the Islamic government is systematically slaughtering Christians and animists by the tens of thousands, but the UN Human Rights Commission has NEVER called a special session to condemn it.

Kim Jong il has systematically starved tens of thousands of North Koreans to finance his nuclear ambitions. The cruelty visited upon returning defectors by the regime is legendary in its scope and its viciousness. But nobody called for a special session to condemn North Korea.

The Saudis systematically imprison, torture and sometimes execute people for practicing Christianity. Their record of humans rights abuses against women is unparalleled. But not only have the Saudis escaped UNHRC scrutiny, the Saudis have a SEAT on the Committee!

It should be noted that Israel is the ONLY UN member-state prohibited from seeking membership on the UNHRC.

Let’s review the incident that forced the UNHRC to drop everything, ignoring the rest of the world’s genocidal madmen and their torture chambers, to turn their ponderous gaze upon Israel.

Hamas terrorists were firing rockets indiscriminately into Israeli civilian neighborhoods. After weeks of bombardment, Israel attacked what it thought was the terrorist launch point, but ended up killing 18 Palestinians who may or may not have been civilians.

Not one word of condemnation passed the UNHRC’s lips for the terrorists who were deliberately targeting civilians inside Israel. But an entire special session devoted to condemning Israel for an ACCIDENTAL attack.

To argue Israel deliberately attacked the wrong target isn’t just inane, its downright stupid. Israel doesn’t need any more bad publicity.

The point is that, despite all the world’s considerable human rights problems, the central focus of the new and improved UN Human Rights Commission is Israel, TO THE EXCLUSION OF ANY OTHER COUNTRY! It’s had three sessions in its existence. Its issued three condemnations against Israel.

But it is the Palestinians who are targeting civilians on purpose.

It is so lopsided as to make one dizzy. Even the United States is beginning to use words like ‘occupied Palestinian territory’ to describe Israel.

It is more than coincidental that, with all the international problems facing the UN, it cannot tear its focus away from Israel.

It couldn’t if it tried. They aren’t even sure why they are so obsessed about it. They just are — to the exclusion of all the rest of the world’s problems combined.

We’ve talked about Hitler’s principle of the Big Lie before. One could summarize it by saying if one repeats a lie enough times, it eventually becomes the accepted ‘truth’.

It is almost like mass hypnosis; “Israel is the Occupier. . . Israel is the Occupier . . . Israel is the Occupier. . .” and before you know it, WHAT Israel is ‘occupying’ is secondary to the need to ‘end the occupation’ — which is all Hamas is after, so why blame them?

Its insanity. It makes absolutely no sense in the natural. But it fits perfectly with Bible prophecy.

The Bible predicted that, in the last days, the whole world would be focused on Jerusalem, to the exclusion of almost anything else.

During the coming Tribulation, even the plagues raining down upon the earth won’t distract the world from its fascination with Israel and the city of Jerusalem. That fascination is already in evidence.

“Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.” (Zechariah 12:2-3)

The Big Lie, repeated over and over, has worked its magic and even the United States is growing cooler to the plight of the Jewish State.

“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)

Who Cares? As Long as There’s Change. . .

Who Cares? As Long as There’s Change. . .
Vol: 62 Issue: 15 Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Who Cares? As Long as There’s Change. . .

Following what the Democrats are terming a ‘landslide victory’ an Associated Press-Ipsos poll found that almost three out of five voters surveyed agreed that the Democrats have no plan for handling the situation in Iraq.

The poll was conducted Nov. 10-12, during which time prominent Democrats were making the rounds congratulating themselves on having regained control of both Houses of Congress.

While voters in Election Day surveys said corruption and scandal in Congress was one of the most important factors in their vote, the postelection poll showed that 37 percent of all adults said the war in Iraq should be at the top of the congressional agenda during the next two years.

The issue of terrorism, the second most mentioned priority, was ranked highest by 15 percent of those polled.

Though voters apparently embraced the Democratic mantra of changing course in Iraq, a majority of the public did not detect a clear Democratic blueprint for ending the war.

Fifty-seven percent of all adults in the AP-Ipsos poll said Democrats do not have a plan for Iraq; 29 percent said they do.

“Everyone agrees that we’re going to have to begin redeployment,” Rep. Ike Skelton, D-Mo., said of the Democratic position.

Skelton, in line to become chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, has proposed withdrawing a U.S. brigade for every three Iraqi combat brigades rated fully capable.

Skelton opposes setting a timetable for withdrawal but said at least one U.S. battalion or brigade should pull out promptly.

“It should send a clear message to the Iraqi government, the Iraqi people and the American people that we’re not there to stay,” he said.

Skelton avoided making any mention of what kind of ‘clear message’ he thought their platform was sending to the terrorists. After all, if Skelton and his partisan compadres are intending to send ‘clear messages’ one would assume they’ve considered their audience carefully.

But for the record, the terrorists received the clear message being sent by the Democrats as loudly and clearly as did the other intended recipients.

The message is that America has no intention of honoring the commitments it made in 2003.

Those Iraqis who openly collaborated with the American government can count on American protection for as long as the South Vietnamese could – until the last chopper lifts off under fire from somewhere in the Green Zone.

History records what happened to the South Vietnamese who trusted their lives to the word of the United States government.

Those that weren’t executed or imprisoned were shipped off to ‘re-education centers’ (we used to call places like that ‘concentration camps’ but that’s too politically incorrect now); the lucky ones were merely stripped of their property and holdings and thrown out into the street.

But pro-US Iraqis needn’t delve into the history of the Vietnam War to get an idea of how risky it is to trust their lives to US promises.

In 1992, the United States assured the Iraqi Kurds and the Iraqi Shi’ia to the south that, if they launched an internal rebellion, they could count on US support in toppling Saddam’s regime.

But US policy makers decided after the rebellion started that toppling Saddam might trigger the law of unintended consequences and hand Iraq over to the Iranians.

So, instead, the US just let Saddam crush the rebellion in mass executions that killed an estimated 200,000 men, women and children.

“We recognized that the seemingly attractive goal of getting rid of Saddam would not solve our problems or even necessarily serve our interests,” former National Security Adviser Gen. Brent Scowcroft told Newsweek in 1996.

“So we pursued the kind of inelegant, messy alternative that is all too often the only one available in the real world.”

In March 1995 and again in the late summer of 1996, the Clinton administration made similar promises to Kurdish rebels in the north. The CIA sent in legions of covert agents to fund and facilitate the rebellions.

When the rebellion started, the US chose to do nothing while Saddam s troops invaded the “safe haven” and destroyed the CIA-backed opposition. Noted Randy Stearns in an ABC News special, “The CIA’s Secret War in Iraq” (Feb -1998).”

“To Saddam and other Gulf state leaders, the message seemed clear: United States policy toward Iraq remains mired in indecision and a fundamental unwillingness to back its ertswhile allies inside Iraq.”

As clear as Skelton’s message is to both the Iraqi insurgents and the pro-US Iraqi loyalists.

Assessment:

Given both recent Iraqi history and the ‘clear message’ being sent by self-appointed generals in the Congress, imagine for a second that you are Joe Iraqi, living in Baghdad. Here’s what you know:

You know who is part of the insurgency and who is al-Qaeda. You live in the neighborhood and can tell a Syrian from a Saudi from your Iraqi neighbors. Many of the insurgents are people you’ve known for years.

But you don’t want them to win. You don’t want to end up living under terrorist Islamic rule.

You voted, got your thumb stained, enjoyed a few brief months of relative peace and security, and were hopeful that democracy might bring the peace and prosperity that it promised.

Think of it this way. In Los Angeles, for example, everybody in the neighborhood knows who the gang-bangers are. If they were in a war of annihilation with the police, they couldn’t blend in to their own neighborhood because their neighbors would turn them in to get rid of them.

The difference is the LA neighbors know the police aren’t going anywhere. In Iraq, if you turn in your neighbor to the US Marines for terrorism, if the Americans leave, you are a dead man.

That is what the average Iraqi has to mull around before helping to clean up the terrorist infrastructure. Trusting in America’s promise to protect them if they cooperate.

Multiply that by ten thousand neighborhoods and then consider that ‘clear message’ being sent by the Democrats to “the Iraqi government, the Iraqi people and the American people that we’re not there to stay.”

To the Iraqi considering supporting the US war effort against the terrorists, the message is either, “Death to America” or ‘death to ME when America pulls out.”

“Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors. . .” that seems to be a pretty close approximation of how the average Iraqi views America’s promises to protect them if they help fight the insurgency.

It fits pretty well into the terrorists’ assessment of why America can be defeated, as well.

Note:

My apologies for the lateness of this morning’s report. Captain Rick called me at six this morning to tell me of a new speckled trout hole he discovered off Radio Island.

(I had no choice but to take an hour or two to investigate.)