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.)

The Law of Miracles

The Law of Miracles
Vol: 62 Issue: 14 Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Bible is filled with stories of miraculous events, from the story of creation itself to Moses parting the Red Sea to Elijah calling down fire from heaven to the Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ.

All four Gospel accounts attest to the miracles performed by Jesus Christ. Jesus multiplied a few fish and biscuits into a feast for five thousand that resulted in more leftovers than He started with.

He changed water into wine. He raised the dead, healed the sick, gave sight to the blind and sound to the deaf, walked on water and was Resurrected after being publicly executed.

Even sources like the Talmud and some Islamic writings make allusions to Jesus as a miracle worker. Jesus was even acknowledged to have worked miracles by the first century Jewish authorities.

Nicodemus, John tells us, was a Pharisee. “The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that Thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that Thou doest, except God be with him.” (John 3:2)

Finally, the earliest editions of the Book of Mark were circulating about Jerusalem by about AD 45. Jerusalem was the seat of Judaism, populated largely by inter-connected Jewish families, many of whome who could trace their genealogy all the way back to Adam.

Everybody in Jerusalem in the first half of the 1st century knew everybody else. And since they were all bound by the same religion and worshipped at the same Temple, any event of a religious nature, either pro or con, became the buzz of the town.

It is safe to say that, by AD 45, twelve years after His crucifixion and Resurrection, there was nobody in Jerusalem who hadn’t heard of the controversial Carpenter from Nazareth. Then, as now, people either loved Jesus or hated Him, but nobody was ambivalent in their feelings about Him.

Considering Jerusalem in AD 45, with a probable population of about forty thousand, there would still be many living witnesses to the events of twelve years before. Jesus once had the roof ripped open at a synagogue to have a paralytic lowered into the crowded room.

Everybody in that room knew the paralytic, and everybody in that room saw him arise, take up his bed, and walk out. So, when Mark’s account was published in Jerusalem a dozen years later, if there were no truth to it, it wouldn’t have been accepted as fact.

But indeed, it was, since there are no contradictory treatises from living Jews of the time that deny those events took place, at least, none that were deemed credible by those who were there.

Look at it this way. If somebody wrote a book in 1975 that denied the existence, life and manner of death of John F Kennedy, nobody would have bought it, even if the writer could find a publisher. It would have no historical credibility because most of the population who witnessed the Kennedy assassination in 1963 were still alive in 1975.

There is every historical indication that the Gospel of Mark was accepted as a factual record of the life and times of Jesus of Nazareth. Including the miracles.

There have been many attempts by the generations to follow to present the case that the miracles ascribed to Jesus were not miracles, but simply part of the ignorance of the times. In other words, Jesus tricked the eyewitnesses who didn’t know any better.

The laws of nature were well understood by the Jews of the 1st century. They knew that a man couldn’t walk on water. So when Jesus did, they knew it was outside the natural order, ie., a miracle. They weren’t ignorant of such things.

“When the disciples saw Christ walking on the water, they were frightened: they would not have been frightened unless they had known the laws of nature, and known that this was an exception,” noted C.S Lewis.

Others argue that miracles are illogical so therefore only illogical people can believe in them. Logic is a word that defines the basic parameters and patterns of human thinking. But miracles don’t defy logic, they defy the basic laws of nature. God can suspend the laws of nature, but if He suspend the laws of logic, then nobody would be able to discern a miracle from the ordinary.

If a dead man buried three days in the tomb can revive and walk out on his own power, as did Lazarus, the eyewitnesses would logically conclude that the law governing death had been suspended.

It is entirely logical to believe that the eyewitnesses to the event believed it was miraculous. And if they believed it, it is equally logical to accept the fact they believed it because it happened.

Modern science denies the existence of miracles because they cannot be reproduced in laboratory. (With the exception of the theory of evolution) But since miracles are, by definition, unrepeatable, miracles have more scientific support than does evolution.

There are eyewitness accounts of miracles, whereas nobody has ever seen a creature evolve into another creature.

Assessment:

The miracles of God are always given to a specific purpose. The clearest statement on the purpose of miracles is given in Hebrews 2:1-4.

Speaking of the revealing of His word “spoken through the Lord,” this word was “confirmed to us by those who heard, God also testifying with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will.”

The pattern was that God revealed His word, then testified to the truth of it by Divine miracles, signs and wonders.

In other words, miracles confirmed that the word spoken by God’s prophets or apostles was of Divine origin. This is why Paul could speak of the “signs of a true apostle” in order to distinguish himself from those who made false claims (2 Corinthians 12:12).

Once the purpose of miracles in confirming the Word was completed, that purpose was no longer necessary. The Scripture says of itself that it is the complete revelation of God, perfect and inerrant, concluding with the promise that,

“. . . If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book.” (Revelation 22:18)

In addressing miracles, signs and wonders, such as speaking in tongues, prophesying, and receiving a ‘direct Word from the Lord’ the Apostle Paul wrote;

“Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. ” (1st Corinthians 13:8-10)

When the Apostles claimed to be under the inspiration of God when the preached and taught, they had plenty of competition. Lots and lots of people of that day made similar claims. What gave the Apostles credibility over the competition was their ability to perform the miraculous.

The power to perform miracles was their ‘badge of office’ so to speak. Miracles were to authenticate both the Message and the messengers in the minds of men.

When the essential purpose for which the Biblical miracles were performed (faith-building) were no longer required, miracles like healing the sick, raising the dead, speaking in tongues and Divine inspiration was done away with, as Paul said they would be.

Scripture says that, once that which is perfect (the Bible) was come, that which is in part (miracles, signs and wonders) would cease. Scripture says that to subsequent generations of believes, faith would come by hearing and studying God’s Word.

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10-17)

That is not to say that God does not interact with people in a personal way, right up to this day. God does give us direction through His Word, and chastises us when we stray from it. He does, after a fashion, still give us a direct ‘word of knowledge’ but not in the way that some modern Christians understand it.

When I am studying, I occasionally get a flash of insight from the Lord about His Word, but He doesn’t give me unknown knowledge not contained in Scripture.

The Scriptures contain prophecy, and so therefore, I can deduce certain things about the future, but only as they pertain to revealed prophecy.

The test of a Divinely-inspired prophecy, however, is 100% accuracy, 100% of the time. I cannot claim to come close to meeting that test.

Neither can the TV preachers who ‘prophesy’ in the Name of the Lord.

The purpose for speaking in tongues is given in Acts 2:6-11 when the Apostles were first indwelt by the Holy Spirit and preached for the first time following Pentecost.

“And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.”

The result of this miraculous gift of tongues, according to Acts 2:41 was that, “the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.”

Babbling some unintelligible gibberish does little to convince an unbeliever, since he has no idea what he is hearing.

Miracles, then, are signs and wonders given by God to authenticate that those who performed them were speaking His Word and could therefore be trusted to teach true doctrine, since there was not yet an established, written doctrine of Christianity against which false teachers could be measured.

Now that we have the Bible, there IS an existing standard against which to measure false doctrine, and so miracles, signs and wonders are no longer necessary.

The guys who claim a special word of knowledge from God that amounts to Divine prophecy are writing checks with their mouths that their souls can’t cash. Merely making that claim of Divine inspiration violates the established doctrine of Scripture.

The guys who claim that they speak in unknown tongues cannot point to a logical purpose for such a manifestation that lines up with Scripture. In Scripture, the Apostles spoke in tongues unknown to them, but they were known languages, not some intelligible language of angels.

The guys who claim to be able to work miracles, signs and wonders denigrate the greatest miracle and the most wonderful sign of God already given us.

That which is the Perfect Word of God contained in the Holy Scriptures.

Those TV preachers who claim to keep the Holy Spirit in a box that they can open at will and heal the sick, make Divine prophecy or perform on-stage miracles on demand violate the doctrines of Scripture that constitute the Law of Miracles.

That law states that miracles are the ‘sign of a true Apostle’ — and the standard for claiming the title of ‘Apostle’ was that they were individually and personally taught by Jesus Christ Himself. The last person who qualified for that title was the Apostle John, who died well into his eighties at the end of the first century.

Arguably, the greatest miracle of God IS the Bible. It has withstood the test of time and a hundred generations of criticism and attacks, and to this day, not one single word of Scripture has ever been conclusively disproved by anyone.

However, the seeking of miracles, signs and wonders in this generation is a multi-billion dollar per year industry.

“Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from Thee. But He answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” (Matthew 12:38-40)

When a guy claims that he raised the dead, or that he can perform miracles on demand, or that God tells him stuff that contradicts Scripture, mark him well. He is, himself, evidence of what is truly miraculous by himself fulfilling a two thousand year-old prophecy of God.

“But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you.” (2nd Peter 2:1-3)

Don’t be concerned with the idea that you need miracles, signs and wonders to confirm the fact you are saved.

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

It isn’t a trick, and it doesn’t impart the ability to do tricks.

And it isn’t for sale at any price.

“Impeach for Change”

“Impeach for Change”
Vol: 62 Issue: 13 Monday, November 13, 2006

Now that the Democrats are in power, their first order of business, Nancy Pelosi’s pledge notwithstanding, is the impeachment of President George Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.

Asked in her first press conference after the election if she had changed her mind about impeachment, Pelosi had this to say:

“Democrats are not about getting even. Democrats are about helping the American people get ahead. And that’s what our agenda is about. So while some people are excited about prospects that they have, in terms of their priorities, they are not our priorities. I have said, and I say again, that impeachment is off the table.”

In Pelosi’s home district of San Francisco voters were given a chance to vote on Proposition J calling for the impeachment of Bush and Cheney. It passed with more than 59 percent of the vote. In neighboring Berkeley, a similar measure passed with nearly 70 percent of the vote.

According to a Newsweek poll in October, there is more support among U.S. voters for impeachment of Bush than there was for impeaching Bill Clinton.

Speakers from the After Downing Street Coalition, Veterans for Peace, Progressive Democrats of America, Democrats.com and Code Pink laid out a strategy for pressing the new Democratic Congress to “do the right thing,” and open impeachment hearings early next year.

Plans call for a national Impeachment Day on December 10, with town hall meetings across the country voting for impeachment resolutions. That is to be followed by a week spent lobbying congressional district offices. Meanwhile, a coordinated campaign will begin encouraging grass roots groups to set up impeachment lobbying offices in every one of the 435 congressional districts across the land.

Activists will then begin collecting a planned one million signatures for presentation to the House leadership in January, calling on them to initiate impeachment hearings.

The new, national Democratic movement calls itself ‘Impeach for Change’ — revealing the real Democratic plans for ‘change’ in a ‘new direction’.

It is worth noting that, in the event both Bush and Cheney WERE to be impeached it means that Nancy Pelosi, as Speaker of the House, would be next in line for the White House.

Assessment:

US Rep. John Conyers of Michigan was one of the biggest winners in this year’s elections, getting some 85% of the vote for his 22nd term in the Congress. Conyers ran on the platform that, as Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, he would immediately introduce articles of impeachment.

Conyers laid out the grounds for impeachment in a report last December called “The Constitution in Crisis: The Downing Street Minutes and Deception, Manipulation, Torture, Retribution and Cover-ups in the Iraq War” and later updated to add “illegal domestic surveillance.” It is more than 350 pages long.

According to the ‘Impeach for Change’ group, Bush and Cheney have committed ten impeachable offenses, with the first being;

“Violating the United Nations Charter by launching an illegal war of aggression against Iraq without cause, using fraud to sell the war to Congress and the public, and misusing government funds to begin bombing without Congressional authorization.”

This give us some idea of what the ‘change’ was that the American public voted for. In the progressive worldview, “violating the UN Charter” is a crime worthy of impeachment of the President of the United States.

Among Bush/Cheney’s other crimes is “violating the Geneva Conventions by targeting civilians, journalists, hospitals, and ambulances, and using illegal weapons, including white phosphorous, depleted uranium, and a new type of napalm.”

Never mind that Bush DID have Congressional authorization. The administration has gone to Congress twice for authorizations for the war on terrorism and the war in Iraq. And got that authorization both times. (Remember John Kerry? “I voted FOR the war, before I voted against it.)

Never mind that there is NO evidence of the US ‘targeting’ civilians, etc., or using ‘illegal weapons’. The Bush/Cheney ‘crimes’ against the UN is sufficient grounds, in the eyes of the Left, to topple the United States government and cripple the military on the battlefield.

In reaction to last summer’s Supreme Court decision blocking military trials for terrorists, significant majorities of Congress voted to reinstate the Bush administration’s plans.

It ratified the president’s interrogation and detention decisions, and ordered the courts out of the terrorism arena. The Democrats want to undo all that — but not because they have a better idea.

The Left has no plan for winning the war. It has no INTENTION of winning the war. Their plan is to win the White House in ’08 and increase their majorities in both Houses. THAT is their ‘plan’ and the only ‘new direction’ they have in mind is their election chances..

The “Impeach for Change” movement is about policy, not the Constitution. When one cuts through all the bluster and rhetoric, it isn’t about what’s best for America. It is about what is best for them.

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, TRUCEBREAKERS, FALSE ACCUSERS, INCONTINENT, FIERCE, DESPISERS OF THOSE THAT ARE GOOD, TRAITORS, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” (2nd Timothy 3:1-5)

Instead of ‘turning away, we’ve embraced them. It’s like the country is looking at the situation through a mirror, instead of a window.

The US Sedition Act provides:

“Whoever, when the United States is at war . . . shall willfully obstruct . . . the recruiting or enlistment service of the United States, or . . . shall willfully utter, print, write, or publish any disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language about the form of government of the United States, or the Constitution of the United States, or the military or naval forces of the United States . . . urge, incite, or advocate any curtailment of production . . . or advocate, teach, defend, or suggest the doing of any of the acts or things in this section enumerated and whoever shall by word or act support or favor the cause of any country with which the United States is at war or by word or act oppose the cause of the United States therein, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $10,000 or imprisonment for not more than twenty years, or both….”

Impeachment IS in order. But it is being pushed by the wrong side.

“A Man After God’s Own Heart”

“A Man After God’s Own Heart”
Vol: 62 Issue: 11 Saturday, November 11, 2006

In Paul’s sermon at Antioch, in which he briefly recounts the history of Israel, he refers to the statement made by God concerning David:

“I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own Heart, who will do all My will.” – (Acts 13:22 [cf. 1 Samuel 13:13-14]) It is especially interesting, given the fact that David is among the patriarchs with the most checkered past. The portrait of King David painted by Scripture is hardly the picture of what one might consider ‘a man after God’s own heart’.

At various times during his lifetime, he was deceitful and corrupt, a widely despised tyrant who lacked for justice, and a murderer.

From the slaughter of seven sons of Saul to the murder of one of his most loyal lieutenants, whose wife he seduced, David was no paragon of virtue.

What was there about David that caused God to extend such a sweeping compliment as to pronounce him a man after His own Heart? David understood his relationship with God like few others in Biblical history. After committing adultery with Bathsheba and then having her husband, Uriah killed, the prophet Nathan stood before King David and accused him before God.

“And the LORD sent Nathan unto David. And he came unto him, and said unto him, There were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor.

The rich man had exceeding many flocks and herds: But the poor man had nothing, save one little ewe lamb, which he had bought and nourished up: and it grew up together with him, and with his children; it did eat of his own meat, and drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter.

And there came a traveler unto the rich man, and he spared to take of his own flock and of his own herd, to dress for the wayfaring man that was come unto him; but took the poor man’s lamb, and dressed it for the man that was come to him.

And David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, As the LORD liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die: And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.

And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man.” (2nd Samuel 12:1-7) Note that Samuel carefully records that “the Lord sent Nathan unto David” to convict him of his sin. In his prayer of contrition in Psalm 51, David reveals much of what it was that caused God to pronounce him a ‘man after His own heart.’

“Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of Thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.” (Psalms 51:1)

David understood that his relationship with God was ‘according to His lovingkindness’ and not according to David’s definition of what God should do. He also understood that his sin, as horrendous as it was, could be blotted out, not by some act of David’s, but solely due to the ‘multitude of God’s tender mercies’.

David appeals; “Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.” (v.2.3) David knew that God knew what his sins were, but the important point was that DAVID knew what his sins were, and the importance of honest confession before God.

David understood also that his sin was against God, that it was deliberate, and that the reason his sin haunted him was because of its offense before God. David understood that, since it was a sin against God, only an act of God could blot it out. Nothing David could do to make restitution would ever be sufficient.

“Against Thee, Thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Thy sight: that Thou mightest be justified when Thou speakest, and be clear when Thou judgest.” (v.4) David understood that there was no ‘wiggle room’ before the Lord and that God’s justice is as absolute as His mercy.

But David was also a realist; “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.”

David understood the dual nature of fallen humanity, that which caused the Apostle Paul to cry out, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” (Romans 7:24) Paul explained, “For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.” (Romans 7:14-15) Having expressed his frustration with his own struggle with his dual nature, Paul summarized that which David understood, saying, “So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.” (Romans 7:25) David prayed, “Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.”

God’s truth is that nothing we can do by our own effort will ever make restitution for our past sins. Each of us shares the same conflict between the carnal nature and the spirit.

Paul’s equation of the sin nature to ‘the body of this death’ refers to a particularly brutal form of execution sometimes practice under the Romans. The condemned would be chained to a corpse, and food and water withheld until the condemned either died or resorted to cannibalism.

That is how Paul viewed the cohabitation of the spirit with the sin nature of the flesh.

David trusted God to lead him, even when he was out of fellowship, having faith that ‘in the hidden part’ — in his spirit, God would ‘make him to know wisdom’.

David’s understanding of the grace of God as expressed in his prayer in large part, fits with God’s description of him as being a man after His own Heart.

It was this understanding of unmerited grace that formed the centerpiece of the ministry of Jesus. One of the Lord’s earthly titles is the “Son of David.”

David expresses his understanding of how the process of forgiveness operates in God’s economy.

“Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” (v. 7-10) Note the role David plays in his redemption. Admit, confess, repent and trust. To ‘repent’ means to change one’s mind about sin. David saw himself as King of Israel, and therefore, whatever he did was above reproach.

David sat on his throne, and passed judgment on the wicked rich man of whom Nathan spoke. Until he realized Nathan was speaking about HIM, at which point he changed his mind about his sin and laid himself bare before the Lord.

All the rest of the redemptive process David placed in the Hands of God. ‘Purge me, wash me, forgive me, bless me and renew me.’

Even his sense of conviction came through a direct message from God through Nathan, just as we are directly convicted by God through His indwelling Holy Spirit.

David’s only role in his redemption was to trust in God to make the changes that David knew he could not effect himself.

David accepted the earthly consequences of his sin, such as the death of his son, but with the clear understanding that the spiritual consequences of his sin were forgiven.

“While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live?

But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I SHALL GO TO HIM, but he shall not return to me.” (2nd Samuel 12:22-23)

What made David a man after God’s own heart was his understanding of the consequences of being out of fellowship with God, and how to get back into right fellowship with God.

Ask Him.

“Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation; and uphold me with Thy free spirit.” It is the joy of knowing one is saved and in fellowship with the Lord that shines through and attracts the lost.

Having been spiritually restored, notes David; “THEN will I teach transgressors Thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto Thee.”(v. 11-12)

Often, I read in the forums of members lamenting their ineffectiveness for Christ and wondering what it is they are doing wrong. Spend a few minutes meditating on these two verses with me.

GOD restores our joy, GOD then subsequently upholds us with His Spirit. THEN we find ourselves effective witnesses, teaching people His ways, and leading the lost to Christ.

It is deceptively simple. Trust God. Be joyful. Allow Him to lead you and not the other way around.

David makes it clear that the redemptive process is in God’s Hands, understanding grace so well that he could see past the Temple rituals of the Mosaic Law and peer into God’s Heart, saying, “For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken

spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” (v. 51-16-17) One of the most debilitating emotions to one’s Christian witness is the weight of the guilt we heap on ourselves for being what we KNOW we are in our own ‘inward parts’.

David understood, in his spirit, that God’s forgiveness is total and absolute, and leaves no spiritual residue of guilt. At the Cross, the Son of David cried out in a loud voice, ‘Tetelestai!’ which means, ‘paid in full’.

Jesus promised, “Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

The REAL George Bush Just Stood Up – Part Two

The REAL George Bush Just Stood Up – Part Two
Vol: 62 Issue: 10 Friday, November 10, 2006

Although President Bush had planned to replace Donald Rumsfeld with Robert Gates as Secretary of Defense, he kept his plans a secret until twelve hours after the polls closed in Hawaii and the Democrats had won control of both Houses of Congress.

Bush had remained inflexible right up to Election Eve about his policy in Iraq, knowing that the election would turn on what the public perceived as a failed policy in Iraq and the administration’s refusal to acknowledge the need for a course correction. The DNC’s slogan was, after all, that it was time for a ‘change to a new direction’ in Iraq.

But Bush ALREADY had major policy changes in Iraq up his sleeve, policy changes that could have saved the Congress from defeat, and he kept them to himself. He even LIED about those impending changes, and then attempted to justify his lie by saying he didn’t want to influence the election.

But if it DID influence the election, it would have done so to his party’s favor. It doesn’t seem to make sense.

With control of both Houses of Congress, Bush was able to push through most of his conservative policy agenda, including two Supreme Court justices, but ran into a solid Republican wall of opposition on his most treasured personal policy agenda, immigration reform.

The Bush ‘guest-worker’ program would give automatic guest-worker status to illegal aliens already illegally in the country. Republican lawmakers opposing the plan argued it would give de-facto amnesty to illegal immigrants and would increase the incentive for more illegal immigration.

Among the GOP losses in the mid-terms were the Bush immigration plans most vociferous opponents. Randy Graf, an Arizona Republican who centered his campaign on immigrant bashing and supported the Minuteman vigilante group, was among the many defeated anti-immigration candidates. So was five-term Arizona Congressman J. D. Hayworth and John Hostettler of Indiana.

Of 15 races where immigration was the center of the debate, tracked by immigration2006.org, 12 were won by immigration moderates and only two by hard-line anti-immigration activists.

It seems that Bush accomplished all that he could with a Republican-led Congress.

On Wednesday, Bush was already beginning to court the new Congress about revisiting his immigration reform plan.

Reported the Houston Chronicle, “President Bush identified immigration as an area in which he’d work with Democrats. And in comments directed to congressional conservatives who stymied his push for a guest-worker plan, Bush noted that strides have been made on border security.

“I would hope we can get something done,” Bush said. “There’s an issue where I believe we can find some common ground with the Democrats.”

I mentioned some weeks back that I’d be monitoring the proposed “Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America”. Although I expressed some skepticism then, I concluded that while it sounded a bit too conspiracist, it seemed just crazy enough to be true.

“But despite all the obvious negatives, there is one factor that speaks in favor of the plan as outlined by its most extreme critics. Bible prophecy.

The Bible makes it plain that during the Tribulation, economic power will not BE in the hands of the Money Trust. All that power will rest exclusively in the hands of the antichrist.

And the only way for power to be consolidated is a bit at a time. Power is accumulated, it does not simply appear out of nowhere.

A North American Union would consolidate power in the hands of those few individuals that would run it. And it would be run according to the greater benefit of the Union, rather than what is best for the individual nations involved.

It would be far easier for the antichrist to wrest control from a handful of individuals dictating policy to three nations than to seize it from three separate nations will competing agendas.

I say all that to say this. The “Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America” makes very little sense in the natural. But we are living in supernatural times.” – (The Omega Letter, October 6, 2006, Volume 61, Issue 16)

Assessment:

The first step in being able to implement a North American Union would be a resolution of the status of illegal aliens from Mexico already living in the United States.

The White House can’t very well push for dropping the borders while building fences and deporting illegals. And as long as their is an illegal alien ‘problem’ there can be no discussion about eliminating the borders altogether. Bush’s guest worker immigration reform proposal would eliminate that problem. And the GOP loss of both Houses crippled, if not eliminated the opposition.

With a new Congress convening in January, the clock essentially is reset, and a new flurry of hearings, votes and debates will be required.

There have been dark rumors about a George Bush ‘shadow government’ that I had previously relegated to the category of unsubstantiated Bush bashing that I am dusting out and taking another look at. Something isn’t right here.

Worldnetdaily has been reporting for months about secret bureaucratic meetings between officials from the US, Canada and Mexico who are working to ‘harmonize’ laws and regulations for integration into a North American, rather than American infrastructure.

According to Jerome Corsi, “This is totally outside the U.S. Constitution, virtually an executive branch coup d’etat. . . SPP is creating new trilateral memoranda of understanding and mutual agreements which should be submitted to Senate for two-thirds votes as international treaties.”

Phrases like ‘coup d’etat’ when applied to the Bush administration usually end up in my ‘burn before reading’ files. But in the wake of what appears to be George Bush taking an electoral ‘dive’ in the Rumsfeld affair, I’m no longer so sure of anything. Bush lied about Rumsfeld, then admitted he lied for reasons related to influencing the election campaign.

His lie may have given the Democrats control of the House right in the midst of immigration reform efforts aimed at legalizing illegal Mexican workers already in the US. And in the background is the buzz about a North American Union.

Now, I am not ‘Bush-bashing’. I’ve given George Bush every possible benefit of the doubt. But he lied about his intention to dump Rumsfeld and then admitted a week later that he lied.

It wasn’t a question of his tone, or how the question was phrased, or how one reads his body language. And if he hadn’t lied and admitted he was dumping Rumsfeld last month, it WOULD have affected the election — for his own party.

And it is his own party that was the biggest obstacle to any possible North American Union.

Nobody would like for me to be wrong more than I would. And it is possible that I am. But the questions remain. And there are only a handful of answers that satisfy the questions at hand.

My preference would be bad campaign strategy. But we don’t always end up with the answers that we prefer. At this point, it still remains to be seen.

The REAL George Bush Just Stood Up – Part One

The REAL George Bush Just Stood Up – Part One
Vol: 62 Issue: 9 Thursday, November 9, 2006

Just last week, President Bush pledged that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld would remain in his job as long as Bush remained in his. Bush broke that promise less than twelve hours after the results of the mid-terms showed the GOP had lost control of the House and most probably, the Senate as well.

In watching the President’s press conference, I noted Bush seemed oddly wooden in his remarks; his comments seemed rushed, as if he were trying to get a distasteful task over with as quickly as possible.

If one believes the tone of the mainstream media coverage of the change in command, one is left with the impression that Rumsfeld’s ouster was a direct result of the election results.

Noted the Washington Post, for example; Though Bush affectionately patted Rumsfeld on the shoulder as he ushered him out of the Oval Office, there was little sugarcoating the reality that the defense chief, 74, was being offered as a sacrificial lamb amid the repudiation of Bush and his Iraq policy that the American electorate delivered on Tuesday.”

Much was made by the mainstream media about Rumsfeld’s demeanor as well. He was invariably described as ‘glum’, ‘unhappy’ and even ‘stunned’. The Detroit Free Press scoffed at President Bush’s assertion that Rummy’s departure was unrelated to the election, saying, “although Bush said that his decision to replace Rumsfeld wasn’t based on politics, the announcement followed voting that gave Democrats control of the House and could give them control of the Senate if the remaining undecided race, in Virginia, goes their way.”

It noted, “Rumsfeld had been the administration’s face of the conflict. He became more of a target as the war grew more unpopular at home amid rising violence in Iraq and with no end in sight.”

The Boston Globe called Rumsfeld’s departure “the Michael Brown treatment”, saying, “One moment he was doing a heckuva job. The next minute, he was out as secretary of defense, just as Brown was out as head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.”

The Globe makes a point. Bush promised Rummy he’d always be welcome at the Cabinet only a week ago. So when Bush pulled in the welcome mat yesterday, nobody seemingly saw it coming. Including Rumsfeld.

Assessment:

There is no doubt that Bush had already planned for Rumsfeld’s departure. Filling a vacant Cabinet-level post isn’t like hiring a convenience store clerk.

It times time to thoroughly vet a potential replacement, conduct the necessary background checks, and make sure the candidate will pass initial public inspection and then later, confirmation before a hostile Senate. That kind of decision isn’t made in twelve hours.

And Bob Gates was the president of a major university, Texas A&M, as well as one of the directors of the Iraq Survey Group. Gates has been in government service for some forty years, having already served in a number of Cabinet level posts under seven presidents.

With that kind of resume already behind him, you can bet that Gates thought long and hard before accepting such a legacy-threatening job in such a dangerous political environment. That kind of decision isn’t made in twelve hours, either.

Bush was telling the truth when he said Rumsfeld’s replacement was planned months ago. Which also means he was lying when he said last week he had no intention in replacing Rumsfeld.

Bush explained the lie away, saying “I didn’t want to inject a major decision about this war in the final days of the campaign.”

That was astonishing statement on several levels.

First, let me say it was deeply disappointing. For six years, I’ve been contesting the Left’s labeling of George Bush as a liar. The label of ‘liar’, I always believed, was unfairly applied, since Bush was relying on flawed intelligence he believed was true. One cannot lie unless one is aware he is lying. At worst, he could only have been gravely mistaken.

But Bush’s explanation for lying about his plans to replace Rumsfeld was to admit he was lying last week. Bush wasn’t lying to protect national security, or as part of a war-fighting deception. His reason, he said, was to keep from influencing the elections. He was lying to gain a political advantage.

The same question needs to be asked of George Bush as I asked when Bill Clinton was in office. How many lies does one have to tell before one is a liar?

I don’t think I will come up with a different answer this time, and that is deeply disappointing.

Secondly, Bush’s explanation for why he lied only raises more questions. Why DIDN’T he want to “inject a major decision about this war into the final days of the campaign” when doing so would have helped the Republicans hang on to the Congress?

The Left had long-ago declared Donald Rumsfeld the architect of disaster in the Iraq war and made his ouster part of their campaign for ‘change’ to a ‘new direction’.

Had the White House orchestrated an ‘October Surprise’ by replacing Rumsfeld and giving credit for the move to pressure from endangered GOP lawmakers, it might have saved the Congress. Although the Democrats’ gains were substantial, most races were won by razor-thin margins.

Most of them could have gone either way. Replacing Rumsfeld two weeks ago could have won enough of the undecideds back to turn the election.

If Bush was already planning Rumsfeld’s replacement then, as he admitted, then why antagonize undecided voters by pledging to keep Rumsfeld (the perceived architect of failure in Iraq) in his job until 2008?

The voters were clearly demanding ‘change’ and Bush knew it. It was the demand for ‘change’ that cost the GOP control of both Houses.

Replacing Rummy a month ago would have given voters hope that change was already in the works before they headed to the polls. But Bush was steadfast in his assertions of ‘staying the course’ with Rumsfeld at the helm, right up to Election Day.

According to the exit polls, some sixty percent of voters said the direction of the Iraq War was THE major influence on how they voted. Bush could have captured enough of that sixty percent to save the House — but he didn’t. Why?

We will deal with the answer to that question in tomorrow’s Omega Letter.

Changing to a ‘New Direction’

Changing to a ‘New Direction’
Vol: 62 Issue: 8 Wednesday, November 8, 2006

“Last night, the American people voted for change,” gushed probable House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at the DNC’s post-election victory party. “It’s time to lead America in a new direction.”

The Democrats picked up an 11-seat majority in the Congress, gaining at least 25 seats in the 435 member legislative body. In the Senate, it remains undecided at this hour. Two seats are still too close to call, Virginia and Montana, but both are leaning towards the Democrats.

If the Dems emerge from both races victorious, the Dems will hold a razor-thin majority in the Senate; if they only get one, we’ll have a fifty-fifty Senate and shared leadership. That would still give the GOP the thinnest of majorities, as VP Cheney would cast the tie-breaking votes.

But, as it stands, it appears that the America people have spoken and what they said is that they want ‘change’. They want to go in a ‘new direction’. And, based on the options offered, any change will do. And so will just about any direction.

Rahm Emmanuel, now being hailed as the ‘Democrat’s Karl Rove’ was asked (again) what a ‘new direction’ meant this morning by Gretchen Carlson on Fox News.

Emmanuel stammered a bit, but then announced there was a ‘five-point plan’ for change and ‘a new direction’ for Iraq. that Emmanuel called, “the Five R’s”. The first was ‘Reconciliation’, he said.

“Reconciliation between the warring factions in Iraq,” he explained. The second was ‘Responsibility”, which he didn’t explain. The third was also ‘reconciliation’, (he didn’t explain why), the fourth ‘realignment’ and the fifth, of course, is ‘redeployment.’

If it doesn’t seem to be much of a plan, don’t let that bother you. By his own admission, Emmanuel had only two hour’s sleep, and it was clear that he was making up the ‘Five R’s’ on the fly.

(By the end of the day, he will have fleshed them out and eliminated the extra ‘reconciliation’.)

Assessment:

Now we face the direct issue of exactly what ‘change’ means. Since the Dems never articulated what ‘changes’ they had in mind, there is plenty to discuss. What ‘change’ were they talking about?

Since ‘change’ is all they actually promised, let’s look at some of the changes that are sure to come and guess at which ones were intended.

Some changes are inevitable. The first is that those tax cuts that fueled the last few years of economic expansion will soon come to an end. The new chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Charlie Rangel, promised to let all the tax cuts expire, effectively raising America’s tax burden by $2.4 trillion over the next ten years.

Millions, billions, trillions . . . those numbers are too big to easily absorb. The best way I can think of to understand them is to put them into a perspective we can all understand — time.

A million seconds equals twelve days. A billion seconds equals thirty-two YEARS. There’s a lot of difference between a million and a billion. But a TRILLION seconds is THIRTY-TWO THOUSAND years. I turned a bit over a billion and a half seconds old in 2006. I will turn a TRILLION seconds old in the year 34,006. (If I don’t get hit by a bus or something)

Put in terms of dollars again, we are talking about $2.4 trillion evaporating from circulation. I anticipate that repealing the tax cuts will result in a significant ‘change’ to America’s economic boom. There can be no question that it will result in America going in a ‘new direction’.

Now that the Judiciary Committee is under the chairmanship of John Conyers, we can expect to see the Judiciary issue a flurry of subpoenas aimed at bringing articles of impeachment against President Bush.

In 1983 Conyers and six other, different kooks tried to impeach President Reagan for sending troops into Grenada to rescue U.S. medical students. Every year since 1989, he has introduced legislation calling for slavery reparations. And Conyers shows every sign that his first act as chairman will be to initiate impeachment proceedings against George W. Bush.

(Since most of the slave trade was carried out by Africans against other Africans, Conyer’s reparations plan raises the specter of some indigent African tribesman selling his cows to cover a check to some black Manhattan doctor to compensate him for selling his ancestors to British and American slavers.)

THAT would certainly result in ‘change’. And impeaching the President in the midst of a world war would certainly carry the promise of a ‘new direction’ for America.

Henry Waxman is the new chairman of the Government Reform Committee. Waxman will soon be conducting hearings into the NSA’s wiretapping of terrorist calls into the US from abroad.

Cutting off the NSA’s access to incoming al-Qaeda messages will certainly bring about a ‘change’ in our ability to intercept terrorist plans before they reach the operational stage. And not being able to prevent more attacks on the homeland will certainly take America in a ‘new direction.’

With the Democrats in charge, the new chairman of the House Intelligence Committee is a former judge named Alcee Hastings. Hastings is a ‘former’ judge because, while he was a judge, he was IMPEACHED by the Congress for taking a bribe and stripped of his judicial robes.

Being a Democrat, that posed no political difficulties for him, and so he ran for Congress and won. Now he will be the guy in charge of overseeing the national intelligence apparatus. THAT sure is a change. Not much of a stretch to believe that might lead in a different direction.

The Democratic victory was also quite a change for al-Qaeda. They’ve been cheerleading for the Democrats since 2002. In 2004, a last minute video-tape from Osama bin-Laden tacitly endorsing John Kerry is widely believed to have been the straw that broke the camel’s back and gave the election to George Bush and the GOP.

Jihad Jaara, a senior member of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terror group and the infamous leader of the 2002 siege of Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity, told WND last Thursday in an interview;

“Of course Americans should vote Democrat. This is why American Muslims will support the Democrats, because there is an atmosphere in America that encourages those who want to withdraw from Iraq. It is time that the American people support those who want to take them out of this Iraqi mud.”

Abu Ayman, an Islamic Jihad leader in Jenin, said he is “emboldened” by those in America who compare the war in Iraq to Vietnam. “[The mujahedeen fighters] brought the Americans to speak for the first time seriously and sincerely that Iraq is becoming a new Vietnam and that they should fix a schedule for their withdrawal from Iraq,” boasted Abu Ayman.

For a government to openly ’embolden’ one’s enemy forces is a change that almost always leads ‘in a new direction’.

For me as a writer, this is a ‘good news’ – ‘bad news’ scenario. All this will provide endless material to keep my grist mill open, since it is undoubtedly going to accelerate the slide in the direction of the Bible’s scenario for the end times. That’s the good news.

The bad news is that it isn’t gonna be pretty.

I have a Bible verse randomizer on my Mac’s desktop. It is a neat little Apple-produced free download, one of very, very few Christian-themed Apple products I’ve seen.

This morning’s verse, (which was generated completely at random) is II Chronicles 7:14. It says,

“If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

I don’t want to sound overly dramatic, but, by their vote, the people have chosen instead to ‘change’ to a ‘new direction.’

A Democratic majority means more legislation aimed at enshrining a woman’s ‘right’ to seek an abortion at any stage of her pregnancy up to the moment of birth, more legislation aimed at restricting parental rights, more legislation favoring gay rights, especially in areas of education, and gridlock over future judicial appointments.

The administration will spend the next two years shuffling between the war on terror, stopping a nuclear Iran, containing a nuclear North Korea and fighting off impeachment hearings.

The people have spoken. God help us.