Jesus bin Laden

Jesus bin Laden
Vol: 71 Issue: 31 Friday, August 31, 2007

Jesus bin Laden

There was a religious art show held in Australia held to show off the entries for the Blake Prize for Religious Art at the National Art School in Sydney.

One of the entries was a portrait of Osama bin Laden which, when viewed from an angle, morphs into an image of Jesus Christ.

The painting was titled, “Bearded Orientals: Making the Empire Cross” and it shared exhibition space with a statue of the Virgin Mary dressed in a burqa.

Immediately, Australia’s Christian community came together as one, denouncing the artwork as blasphemous, setting fire to the National Art School in protest.

The Pope called on all Christians everywhere to rise up and make their feeling known about such blasphemy masquerading as art.

Rioting broke out around the world as enraged Christians smashed windows, looted shops, burned cars and attacked non-Christians in retaliation.

They carried signs saying things like, “Death to All Muslims” while Christian leaders the world over exhorted them to further violence until the artist was arrested and punished. Many clerics vowed not to rest until Christian culture was officially recognized as the dominant culture in society.

The demonstrations also gave the Christians a chance to settle some old internal scores, as well. Lutherans set fire to Catholic churches in Germany, Anglicans destroyed a Catholic church in Great Britain, and Southern Baptists in America swinging baseball bats invaded Disneyland.

Government officials immediately began negotiating with Christian leaders to try and find some way to stop the violence. The Vatican demanded that all priests in custody on sex crimes be immediately released.

The Southern Baptists demanded a list of all Americans who rented the movie, “Brokeback Mountain”, the deportation of Heath Ledger back to Australia — and lifetime passes to Disneyland.

Australian Prime Minister John Howard reacted by saying, “The choice of such artwork is gratuitously offensive to the religious beliefs of many Australians.”

And Australia’s Labor Opposition leader Kevin Rudd said: “I accept people can have artistic freedom, but I find this painting off, off in the extreme. I understand how people would be offended by it.”

Glynis Quinlan, spokesman for the Australian Christian Lobby, said: “It’s really unfortunate that people take liberties with the Christian faith that they wouldn’t dare take with other religions.”

(That was the extent of the Christian world’s reaction. I made all the other stuff up to make a point.)

Assessment:

Meanwhile, a small-circulation Swedish newspaper, the Nerikes Allehanda, ran a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed’s head on a dog alongside an article about freedom of expression.

The government of Pakistan summoned the Swedish ambassador where “was told that the publication of the sketch had caused grave affront to the religious sentiments of Muslims,” according to a Pakistani foreign ministry statement.

The Organization of the Islamic Conference, which represents fifty-seven Islamic states, “strongly condemned” Sweden, the newspaper, the cartoonist and the West for the cartoon’s publication, ominously reminding the world of what happened the last time the West dared to insult Islam.

“The international community was well aware of the serious impact of such publications that were globally felt during the controversy that was created by the publication of similar cartoons by a Danish newspaper last year,” said IOC Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu in a statement.

He then called on the Swedish government to take immediate punitive actions against the artist and the publishers of the cartoon and asked for an official apology.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad blamed Israel for the cartoon, saying, “[The Zionists] do not want the Swedish government to be a friend of other nations. I strongly believe they are behind it (the cartoon). They thrive on conflict and war. . . Anywhere they are found there is war. Anywhere where there is war they are behind it.”

Not wanting to cause further offense, western news agencies reported the story very carefully. MSNBC’s headline read, “Sweden risks crisis over Prophet picture.” Note that MSNBC not only refers to Mohammed as ‘a prophet’, but as a prophet with a capital ‘P’.

Later in its story, MSNBC reminded the world of what happened the last time, again referring to Mohammed simply as “the Prophet” (with a capital ‘P’).

“In early 2006, cartoons of the Prophet were published in papers in Denmark, triggering violent protests in which more than 100 people were killed by Muslims worldwide and a boycott of Danish products.”

MSNBC wasn’t going to risk causing further offense by not showing proper respect to the prophet — with a capital “P”.

The same MSNBC, when referring to Jesus, never capitalizes “He” and is careful to add, “Christians believe” before any recounting of His miraculous life or Resurrection.

But when it comes to Mohammed, he is a Prophet (with a capital “P”).

This week, the Washington Post Writer’s Group, which syndicates the cartoon strip, “Opus” notified its client newspapers in advance that the cartoon would have Islamic references so the newspapers would have time to substitute a different strip.

About a quarter of the newspapers elected to use the substitute, including the Washington Post!

One week before the censored ‘Opus’ cartoon, the same cartoonist wrote an ‘Opus’ strip which lampooned the late Reverend Jerry Falwell in terms at least as strong as the Islamic strip.

Not only were no warnings sent out regarding that strip, no newspaper apparently felt the need to worry about its (mostly Christian) readers’ reactions.

Jesus bin Laden is ok. Mary in a burqa is ok. And it is ok for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to sponsor a cartoon contest to select the 12 “best” cartoons about the Holocaust.

But when it comes to Mohammed, even MSNBC is careful not to forget to capitalize the “P” in “Prophet”. Noted the website, “Newsbusters” this morning;

“Whatever happened to the First Amendment that reporters like to hold up anytime something offensive to Christians is published, or when reporters like Eric Lichtblau and James Risen bend the law in order to warn our enemies about secret programs designed to protect us? I suspect that this is reporter-speak for “they were afraid of Muslims, since only Muslims have a propensity to kill people with whom they disagree.”

I suspect he is right.

“Not to Shoot the Messenger, But. . .

“Not to Shoot the Messenger, But. . .
Vol: 71 Issue: 30 Thursday, August 30, 2007

“Not to Shoot the Messenger, But. . .

I received what I hope was the last in a series of emails from a reader Down Under taking me to task for having foolishly succumbed to the rantings of C.I. Scofield, whom my correspondent claims invented Dispensationalism as a way of coddling the Jews.

“It was Scofield, with financial support from wealthy Jewish Zionists, who popularized the idea that God ordained His chosen people to come back to their promised land . I used to believe that Jack, but it doesn t stand up,” the email says.

“What I m saying is that the policy (Zionism) to establish an exclusive Jewish state was wrong from the start. The only land that is justly gained for Jews is the land they have lawfully purchased. It s not God s work, it s the work of men, specifically those of the Talmud-inspired Zionist ideology. “

According to my correspondent, Scofield invented Dispensationalism, and, together with the famous Margaret MacDonald, cooked up the whole idea of a Rapture.

To prove his point, my correspondent followed up with an email that he prefaced, “Not to shoot the messenger, but . . .” above a document that, well, shoots the messenger.

It contains a copy of his divorce decree, connected him with Freemasonry, accused him of forgery, fraud, child abandonment, etc.

This, in some way, my correspondent believes, proves his initial argument against Israel, to wit;

God disinherited the Jews when they rejected Jesus and transferred the promises from Israel to the Church. Therefore, the argument continues, Christians support Israel on false pretenses.

According to the email, “what the American Christians and Zionist Jews have created, under false pretenses, is a military monster in the Middle East run primarily by white-skinned Eastern Europeans who have enclosed the native inhabitants in a 20 by five mile walled enclosure ‑ and they wonder why Arabs hate them!”

Incredibly, this was in response to my first reply in which I pointed out that the Arabs hated the Jews long before there was a state of Israel. And that both the charters of Hamas and the PLO list the destruction of Israel as among their foundational objectives.

Evidently, those historical facts were, to him, inconsequential to his original argument.

But let’s get back to Scofield, for a minute. I don’t know if any of those charges against him are true, and frankly, I don’t really care. I don’t know much about the guy one way or the other.

But I know it wasn’t Scofield who “invented” Dispensationalism. The doctrine was right there in the Bible, all along.

Dispensationalism is simply taking the long view of the Bible and recognizing that God interacted with mankind in different ways and under different circumstances from one time period to another, and that each new period was marked by progressive revelation from God.

This view is not something new, and it didn’t originate with Scofield. The entire Bible testifies to both progressive revelation and changes in the way God interacted with man.

He walked with Adam and Eve in the cool of the evening. He spoke to Noah directly with specific instructions. He introduced the Law through Moses. He fulfilled the Law in the Person of Jesus Christ. During the Church Age, He indwells believers in the Person of the Holy Spirit.

During the Tribulation, He judges the Law and restores Israel to fellowship with Him. After the Tribulation, He lives and reigns from Jerusalem. These are all different ways and circumstances throughout history, or dispensations, in which God both interacted with man and revealed Himself and His plan to us.

The most obvious line drawn between the Dispensations is that the Church no longer subject to the death penalty for all those Old Testament offenses for which the death penalty was mandated.

Scofield didn’t invent them. Scofield didn’t rewrite the Bible — the same revelatory outline is contained in the KJV. Or the NIV, or the NASB. I don’t know if he was the first to notice the different Dispensations, but I doubt it.

To tell you the truth, I am not sure why Scofield is even relevant to the argument. But whenever somebody launches an attack against Dispensationalism, they do so through Scofield.

Which is probably why their arguments are so unconvincing.

Assessment:

If the Christian anti-Semites aren’t attacking the doctrine of Dispensationalism through Scofield, they are attacking the doctrine of the Rapture through J.N. Darby and Margaret MacDonald. Again, I fail to see the relevance.

I don’t know much more about Darby than I do Scofield, and the only time I’ve ever heard of Margaret MacDonald is when she is introduced into the argument by the proponents of replacement theology and the historicist view (that all prophecy was fulfilled in AD 70).

Darby didn’t invent pre-Tribulationalism, and it isn’t new. The overall outline of Scripture indicates a separation between the Church Age and the Time of Jacob’s Trouble.

It is a period when God deals with mankind differently (mercy is replaced by judgment) and it culminates in a period of progressive revelation during the Kingdom Age to follow.

Darby may have been the first to explain the doctrine; I don’t know, and again, I kind of doubt it. But it doesn’t matter one way or the other. It isn’t the messenger that is important, it is the message. Attacking one of the messengers doesn’t make the message any different.

As to Margaret MacDonald being somehow connected with the “invention” of a secret Rapture, this is another ‘rabbit trail’ argument. It was the Apostle Paul who described the event, in great detail, and in no uncertain terms:

“For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (1st Thessalonians 4:17-18)

Margaret MacDonald didn’t insert those verses into the Bible at some point early in the 19th century. They were already there in the 1st century, and according to 2nd Thessalonians, there were already those who feared the Rapture had taken place and they had been left behind.

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

Paul continues through the chapter outlining what would take place during the Tribulation, and then reminding them that the Rapture takes place first.

“For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only He who now letteth [restrains] will letteth [continue to restrain], until He be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed . . .” (2nd Thessalonians 2:7-8)

Since that “Wicked” had not been revealed, Paul assures them, they couldn’t have been left behind. Because when he IS revealed, the Restrainer [and His vessels] will have been recalled.

Margaret MacDonald didn’t ‘invent’ that, the Apostle Paul did. So attacking the Rapture through Margaret MacDonald is about as effective as attacking the Exodus by discrediting the Koran.

What is fascinating to me is that anybody wants to attack anybody at all. What is the motive?

Nobody is saved by either the timing or the reality of the Rapture. Salvation comes by grace through faith in Who is coming, not when. Or even if.

Dispensationalism and Pre-Tribulationalism are doctrines that are useful to studying the outline of Bible prophecy, but nobody is saved by their proficiency in eschatology. Or even their understanding of it.

One is either saved by grace through faith or one stands before the Righteous Judge on one’s own merits.

One clue about the motive behind the attacks on Dispensationalism is that most begin, as this one did, with an argument for why Christians should be against supporting the Jews.

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

Enemies of the State

Enemies of the State
Vol: 71 Issue: 29 Wednesday, August 29, 2007

“Hate is an ugly thing, and its ugliness is well illustrated in its various manifestations on the Internet, including those detailed in this report.”

That was how Jeffery Long, of Elizabethtown College, introduced a report issued by the Hindu American Foundation about what it called ‘hate websites’ on the internet.

“The Internet, this tool of knowledge and communications, is regularly abused, becoming a vehicle for the worst human impulses, as reflected in the pervasiveness of pornographic websites and websites devoted to fomenting hatred and violence against particular religious and ethnic groups,” he wrote.

“Many of the websites described in this report claim to speak from religious perspectives. But is the greatness of traditions like Christianity or Islam served by denigrating Hinduism or spreading false information about it? This report is a wake-up call to all Americans to work for a society in which all religions are respected, and in which the practitioners of all religions can feel safe and included.”

“The proliferation of websites promoting religious hatred is an unfortunate consequence of the universality of access to the internet,” added Vinay Vallabh, a lead author of the report of the foundation.

“We must vigorously identify, condemn and counter those who use the Internet to espouse chauvinism and bigotry over the principles of pluralism and tolerance,” he said.

“As we all know, murderous rampages have been inspired by anti-Semitic and racist websites,” Long continued. “And it is not necessary for a website to exhort its readers to actual, physical violence for it to lead to such violence.”

The report advocates blocking the content of websites judged to be purveyors of “hate speech.”

I’d have to agree with a few of the report’s conclusions.

Long noted the relationship between anti-Semitic propaganda and anti-Semitic rampages. After all, it was the Nazi propaganda machine that made the Holocaust possible.

And the numerous Islamic jihadist websites out there undoubtedly inspire new recruits to the jihad, mostly by tapping into some unconscious anti-Semitic bias and denigrating Israel as worthy of destruction.

But the sites that the Hindu American Association identifies as “hate sites” aren’t jihadist or neo-Nazi websites.

They’re Christian websites, including Jan Markell’s Olive Tree Reviews!

Assessment:

I wasn’t aware of the report until I read of it this morning in WND, but evidently, Bob Unruh first reported it in April — which to me, makes it all the more chilling. Things are much worse than I had feared.

I know Jan Markell. I’ve appeared on her radio broadcast many times, and we exchange private emails on a regular basis.

Those exchanges reveal Jan as a warm and loving person who is totally dedicated to fulfilling the Great Commission of revealing the love of Christ to a lost and dying world.

She accomplishes this by highlighting the evidence that this is a lost and dying world through her columns and radio broadcasts.

BUT — Jan doesn’t invent the things she reports, she reports things as they are.

To equate Jan Markell with anti-Semitic, neo-Nazi or jihadi websites, or to suggest her ministry could somehow inspire a ‘murderous rampage’ steps outside the bounds of comprehension. It strains credulity.

It shows just how much progress the enemy is making. . .

Among the other ‘hate sites’ that the Hindu American Foundation advocates blocking as hate sites are the Southern Baptist Missions Board, the Gospel for Asia and CBN.

I am most grateful that the OL did not appear on the list — and it reaffirms our decision to keep most of our content behind the member’s firewall. (If Jan Markell is a hate site, I’d hate to see how they’d label the OL.)

Back in October, 2002 we ran a six-part series of special reports detailing the five major reasons we believe these are the last days. In Reason Five: The Developing Global Religion, I wrote:

Christian fundamentals teach us to love God above all things and love our neighbor as we do ourselves.

Since the worst place anybody can end up is hell, the most loving thing for a Christian to do is to help them avoid ending up there. To most of the world, that is ‘hate speech’ and is even so defined in some countries, including Canada. . . .

The Bible speaks of the false prophet of Revelation 13 seizing control of the world’s religious systems, making them all one religion ‘with two horns like a lamb’ but that ‘spake as a dragon’.

Such a religious system could have no room for fundamentalism, since, to be global, it must be all-inclusive.

It couldn’t teach that the only way to heaven is by martyrdom in jihad; neither could it teach that the only way to heaven is the way Jesus said it was. . . .

Exactly what the final form of the global religion will be is unclear, apart from it being a counterfeit Christianity (two horns like a lamb) but will preach the all-inclusive siren song of the Dragon (Satan). There can be no room for fundamentalism of any stripe in the global, all-inclusive religious system of the last days.

Whatever its final form will be, one thing is clear.

The Bible says anybody who won’t join it, worship its leader and take his mark will be declared an enemy of the state, unable to buy or sell and subject to being put to death.

The Hindu-American Report joins a growing pile of similar reports to the Congress, all defining Christianity as the epitome of hate speech. I didn’t bring up the five year-old report as an example of my personal predictive ability.

I did so to make a point. According to the Bible’s outline for the last days, eventually, being a Christian will make one an enemy of the state and subject to capital punishment.

That takes place during the Tribulation, but an entire culture can’t be reeducated overnight to believe that Christianity is a religion of hate. It takes time. But as time goes it, things continue to follow the Bible’s outline to the letter.

Five years ago, the idea of the Bible as ‘hate speech’ was being scoffed at by mainstream Christianity. Today Jan Markell is a hate-monger.

A lot can happen in five years.

“A Sucker Born Every Minute”

“A Sucker Born Every Minute”
Vol: 71 Issue: 28 Tuesday, August 28, 2007

One of the most interesting historical figures America has ever produced was the showman, Phineas T. Barnum. Barnum began his career in 1835 when he began exhibiting a 160-year-old African slave woman whom Barnum claimed had been a nurse to George Washington.

He toured America from 1835 to 1839, although his “exhibit” — named Joice Heth, died in 1836. On her death, it was established that she was no older than about eighty, but that revelation didn’t slow down P T Barnum.

By 1842, his stable of exhibits included Tom Thumb, who stood three feet tall at his death, and the famous Siamese twins, Chang and Eng Bunker.

Had Barnum lived today, he would probably be doing twenty to life as a con artist, (or selling carbon offset credits) but in his lifetime, he was the most famous showman in the world.

At the end of the 19th century the number of copies printed of the autobiography was second only to the number of copies of the New Testament printed in North America. His most enduring legacy was his oft-repeated creed:

“There’s a sucker born every minute.”

Assessment:

If you live in Aspen, Colorado, for a mere twenty bucks, you can buy a “Canary Tag” you can proudly display to show you are doing your part to combat global warming.

Twenty bucks will buy you one ton of carbon offsets, meaning that you magically erase one ton of harmful carbon emissions that you are responsible for pumping into the atmosphere.

According to the Aspen Times, “Canary Tags are available for sale online at http://www.aspenzgreen.com and are specifically to offset greenhouse gas emissions from home energy use, driving and air travel. The purchase of one Canary Tag for $20 offsets one ton of greenhouse gases, according to a city press release.

The funds from each tag sold go toward renewable energy projects, energy efficiency improvements and/or projects that absorb greenhouse gases such as tree planting.”

Al Gore, whose “Inconvenient Truth” has become the Bible of the 1st Church of Global Warming buys so many carbon offsets that he can use ten times the energy of an average American family and still claim to live a ‘carbon neutral lifestyle’.

According to Gore, if everybody doesn’t either buy carbon offsets or park their cars and turn down their thermostats, in fifty years, melting glaciers will raise the sea levels and swamp the world’s coastlines.

That prediction has been echoed by NASA’s Global Warming guru James Hansen, who warns of sea level rises of as high as ten meters (that’s about thirty feet) and is repeated so often in the mainstream media that it has become an unexamined truism; “If global warming happens, the sea level will rise.”

Everybody says so, the only question remaining is how high? At the low end of the spectrum, the UN Panel on Climate Change predicts a couple of feet — at the high end of the spectrum are Al Gore and James Hansen, but it is a more or less undisputed ‘fact’ that global warming will raise global sea levels.

Like so many undisputed ‘facts’ about global warming, they are ‘undisputed’ because disputing them makes one a global warming “denier” — a heartless, cold, selfish individual who cares nothing about generations to come. Nobody wants that label.

So I won’t attempt to dispute that ‘fact’ — I don’t want people calling me heartless and uncaring. Instead, I’ll let you do it for me but conducting a simple experiment.

Get a tall drinking glass and fill it with ice cubes. Then fill the glass to the brim with your favorite beverage. Garnish with a lemon peel. Then go shopping or watch TV or something until all the ice in the drink has melted. Check the level of your beverage. Did the melting ice cause the drink to overflow?

Do the principles of displacement and fluid dynamics change if you are talking about bigger ice cubes and more water?

Is this hard?

How do we even know if global warming is real, let alone harmful? The data used to make the climate models has been repeatedly debunked, but its proponents simply shrug off the errors, claim they are statistically insignificant, and invent new horror stories about the dangers of global warming.

It sounds dangerous if you only look at one side. But every negative possibility has a positive counterpart: Though global warming will cause more heat deaths, it will also mean many fewer cold deaths.

Drought may increase in some areas, but warming also means both more rain and longer growing seasons.

Temperature changes will harm some wildlife in some places. But many species will benefit from a bit more warmth.

Does anyone know for certain that the net human and environmental losses from global warming will exceed overall gains? No.

Yet another new documentary called, “The 11th Hour,’ purports to “sound the alarm over global warming and offer insight into the causes and effects of global pollution.”

The documentary starts with news footage of hurricanes raging, floods taking homes, people drowning. Others, on their rooftops, are pleading for help.

Like “An Inconvenient Truth,” “The 11th Hour” deals with the human dynamics it claims contributed to these changes since the industrial revolution.

Of all the various greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, ninety-five percent of them are caused by the oceans and natural events like volcanic eruptions. Non-human life on earth, like decaying vegetation and animal life, gas emissions from livestock, etc., account for another two percent.

That leaves three percent of the total greenhouse gas emissions on Planet Earth that are caused by human activity. It is that three percent that humans can do something about.

If we reduced man-made emissions by half, (or 18th century levels — in the middle of the 300 year-long “Little Ice Age”) that would leave 97.5% of all greenhouse gas emissions intact. (And, evidently, a 2.5% hole somewhere in the equation, since it no longer adds up to 100%.)

Anyway, if you can’t reduce your carbon footprint, you can buy carbon offsets, which evidently, work just as well.

P.T. Barnum was right.

When Everybody Is In Charge, Nobody Is. . .

When Everybody Is In Charge, Nobody Is. . .
Vol: 71 Issue: 27 Monday, August 27, 2007

When Everybody Is In Charge, Nobody Is. . .

This week, Israeli President Shimon Peres told a Japanese newspaper that Israel was planning to present an outline of a final offer to the Palestinians that will include everything they asked for, including the West Bank.

Moreover, Peres said, this outline would be presented to the Palestinians by next month!

The plan, drafted by Peres, would evacuate and transfer to the Palestinians nearly the entire West Bank and several Arab Israeli cities located within territory that undisputedly is Israel’s according to the international community.

Peres told the Nikkei, a Japanese business daily, “To work out the details (of the political if not the geographical outline of a future Palestinian state) will take more time, but (as for) principles, yes, we can achieve an agreement” before the autumn peace conference, he said.

According to Peres, his plan will lead to ‘peaceful coexistence’ with the Palestinians. Instead of achieving it by extending an olive branch of peace, Peres’ plan will extend a pen and Israel’s checkbook.

“We shall go in a policy of two tracks, economic development and political negotiations, one complementary to the other but not dependent upon it,” he said.

Peres proposes handing 97% of the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) over to the Palestinians, with 3% to be retained by Israel for existing border settlements. To “compensate” the Palestinians for the 3%, it will surrender some Israeli cities north of Tel Aviv, making up the difference.

The plan would include the ethnic cleansing of Jews from the West Bank, as well as the cleansing of Jews from the Israeli cities along the coast.

Peres evidently met in secret with the Palestinian Prime Minister, Salam Fayyad last week, where he presented the plan to Fayyad, as well as sending a copy to the European Union.

The Palestinians and the European Union are said to be considering what will undoubtedly soon be dubbed the “Peres Peace Plan” (the media loves alliteration).

Here’s the thing, though. Peres is the President of Israel. The President of Israel is a ceremonial role. The power as head of state rests with the Israeli Prime Minister.

Israel’s President is closer to the role of Vice-President in the US government, except even more ceremonial.

The American VP’s job is to attend lesser functions of state, such as funerals of lesser world leaders, or ceremonially representing the US at world events. A US VP has no actual power.

When he was offered the job by party officials as Zachary Taylor’s running mate, Daniel Webster reportedly spurned the offer with the words, “I do not intend to be buried until after I am dead.”

But a US vice-president CAN become president, should the sitting head of state die, become incapacitated or resign. If something happens to the Israeli Prime Minister, the Knesset simply elects a new one. The President of Israel remains at his ceremonial post.

The point is, the Israeli president’s role is even less powerful than a US vice-president’s. He is in charge of nothing.

Peres took his plan to the Palestinian Prime Minister, Salam Fayyad. In the Palestinian Authority’s ‘system’ of government, (if one can call it a ‘system’ or a ‘government’), the reverse is true. The power as head of state rests with its president, currently Mahmoud Abbas.

Fayyad was appointed to his job by Abbas when Hamas split from the government. Previously, the Palestinian Prime Minister was Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeheh. The Palestinian Authority was careful to craft its system so the Palestinian Prime minister had no more authority than Israel’s president.

The principle peace broker is not the European Union, it is the United States. The United States is in charge, both by historical tradition and UN mandate, of the overall peace process as the principle broker of the Quartet.

This is the equivalent of the US vice-president presenting a plan to the Governor-General of Canada to cede Alaska to Canada under the official auspices and supervision of the Chinese government.

When everybody is in charge, nobody is.

Assessment:

One can see the same principle in operation here in the United States, with the same chaotic results. When everybody is in charge, nobody is.

The federal government is supposed to be in charge of immigration. Throughout the United States, various cities and towns have declared themselves to be ‘sanctuary cities’ where federal immigration laws are abrogated by local decree.

This week, a WND column by actor and martial artist Chuck Norris highlighting Dodge City, Kansas, which he reminded readers, was once the charge of Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson and Doc Holliday.

Today, he calls it by its nickname, “Little Mexico” where, in the last decade, the population demographic of students has reversed from 70% white American to 70% Mexican. Forty-four percent of them cannot speak English fluently.

Norris quoted Ford County Sheriff Dean Bush: “If these people can get past the gauntlet of the border, we welcome them here with open arms.”

We were just in Dodge City a couple of months ago. An hour after we arrived, my wife and our little dog were attacked by a pit bull, so we didn’t get to see much of it. Dodge City passed an ordinance against pit bulls after it became a dog-fighting center.

We learned at the emergency room that pit bull attacks were common in Dodge City. After the ordinance passed, pit fighters were simply turned loose on the town by their owners, mainly illegal immigrants.

But what little we did see conforms precisely to Norris’ description. The old downtown area along Wyatt Earp Blvd is preserved largely as it was in his day. There is a even a Boot Hill Square in the middle of town. But every sign on every business was in Spanish. There were no tourist stores.

We didn’t see tourists touring the old buildings or walking along the boardwalk out front. I did, however see a couple of Latinos passed out on the boardwalk. A group of Hispanic teenaged-boys stood in a circle on the boardwalk.

(Evidently, they were so poor they could only afford one cigarette, which they were sharing between them.)

The Commander-in-Chief is supposed to be in charge of US military policy abroad. Instead, everybody from the Congress to the State Department to next year’s presidential hopefuls are trying to run the war by legislation, popular opinion, or for political advantage.

The resulting chaos has the US military tied up in quagmires in Iraq and Afghanistan while the real threat, Iran, continues to prepare itself for all out war against the infidel West.

Nobody is really in charge of US foreign policy — and it shows.

In Europe, there are twenty-eight leaders all purporting, at one point or another, to speak for Europe. Brussels has a full-time ministry of bureaucrats whose only job is to re-articulate EU policy after it has been publicly mangled by Paris, Berlin or London.

Nobody is sure who is in charge in Europe, so if a party doesn’t like the answer it gets from Brussels, there is always Paris, London or Berlin.

(This has been Iran’s favorite negotiating tactic. It’s proved very effective so far.)

The result of two many cooks spoiling the broth is obvious. And there is only one solution. The world is rapidly coming to the conclusion that, without strong central leadership, it is doomed. That is why are there so many concurrent efforts to centralize governments into regional groupings.

There is the EU, the Asian “Dragon Nation” Alliance, the Russian Federation, the Organization of African States, the Organization of the Islamic Alliance, and the possible merger of the US, Canada and Mexico into a North American Union.

But these mergers are all in flux because nobody is really in charge — they are all ruled by committee. (And as everybody knows, a committee is an organism with multiple stomachs and no brain.)

The Bible says that in the last days, there will develop a growing hunger for strong, centralized global leadership to address the world’s growing problems before mankind steps off the precipice of self-destruction.

That hunger, according to Scripture, will predicate the rise of a world leader who will seemingly provide the answers to the crisis of leadership threatening to destroy human civilization.

The Bible never pictures the antichrist as seizing power; instead, power is willingly ceded to him by a weary and frightened global population.

We aren’t there yet, but we grow ever closer.

Meeting at Montebello

Meeting at Montebello
Vol: 71 Issue: 25 Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Montbello SPP Summit wrapped up on Tuesday with all three leaders announcing their earth-shattering agreement to block “unsafe toys” and the usual ‘commitments to balance border security and trade’ etc., etc, blah, blah, blah.

Based on what was actually accomplished, the SPP summit was a nice chance for Bush and Calderon to visit Montebello, maybe have a couple of beers together, but not much more.

An agreement to block ‘unsafe toys’. I mean, really. Was one of the three considering importing unsafe toys for sale to his citizen’s children?

So they hammered out an agreement not to?

“Ok, ok, it’s a deal! I won’t import unsafe toys . . . enough with the pressure! “

Picture the scene. Montebello is crawling with mask-wearing dissidents and militant protesters. On the other side, hordes of heavily-armed riot police and military personnel.

Overhead, helicopters buzz the crowds. Plainclothes security, reporters and cameramen are everywhere.

And out steps Stephen Harper, Canada’s Prime Minister, with the news that;

“We agreed to work together on consumer protection, we have to identify and stop unsafe goods from entering our countries, especially those designed for our children.”

(The collective yawn sent so much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere at once that Al Gore is producing a new documentary explaining why public boredom is responsible for global warming.)

Trying to spice it up a bit, President Bush added helpfully, “We also agreed to discuss border security.”

Felipe Calderon, thinking hard, chimed in. “We also discussed the need for discussion on practical solutions to environmental challenges.”

Let’s see. Did they miss anything? Protecting children, border security, the environment. . . oh — and regulatory cooperation, pandemics, intellectual property and research and energy . . . that pretty much panders to everybody.

(Except the lunatics who oppose surrendering national sovereignty to a secret unification of their countries into a wider union – we’ll get to them later.)

After the three leaders announced their unified view on safe children’s toys, their agreements on the need for further agreements, agreements on the need for further discussions, and pandering to every special interest group in North America from the environment to border security, somebody asked Bush the Question:

“Can you say today that this is not a prelude to a North American Union, similar to a European Union? Are there plans to build some kind of superhighway connecting all three countries? And do you believe all of these theories about a possible erosion of national identity stem from a lack of transparency from this partnership?”

The question was in three parts. The simple answer would have been, “Yes, no, and no. Next question.”

When George Bush is asked what is a demonstratively stupid question, like, “Did you invade Iraq to make your Dad proud of you?”, or, “Did you lie when you said that intelligence indicated Saddam was trying to obtain WND?” he generally answers it like that: “No. Next question.”

“Is this a prelude to a NAU?” If the NAU were a conspiracy theory like the Bush administration had a hand in 9/11, Bush would have dismissed it out of hand. That would have been the “yes” answer.

“Are you planning a NAFTA superhighway?” If such an idea was ridiculous, that would be where the first “No” belongs.

“Do you believe all these theories about a possible erosion of national identity, etc?” If there were absolutely no danger of such, this is where the second “No” belonged.

Instead of one yes and two no’s, Bush said this:

“We represent three great nations. We each respect each other’s sovereignty. You know, there are some who would like to frighten our fellow citizens into believing that relations between us are harmful for our respective peoples. I just believe they’re wrong. I believe it’s in our interest to trade; I believe it’s in our interest to dialogue; I believe it’s in our interest to work out common problems for the good of our people.

“And I’m amused by some of the speculation, some of the old you can call them political scare tactics. If you’ve been in politics as long as I have, you get used to that kind of technique where you lay out a conspiracy and then force people to try to prove it doesn’t exist. That’s just the way some people operate. I’m here representing my nation. I feel strongly that the United States is a force for good, and I feel strongly that by working with our neighbors we can a stronger force for good.

“So I appreciate that question. I’m amused by the difference between what actually takes place in the meetings and what some are trying to say takes place. It’s quite comical, actually, when you realize the difference between reality and what some people are talking on TV about.”

To quote the Bard, “Methinks he doth protest too much.”

Assessment:

About twenty-six hundred years before Shakespeare, King Solomon proved he was the wisest man who ever lived when he wrote: “The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.” (Proverbs 28:1)

If it were the ‘righteous truth’ that unification were a conspiracy, the ‘bold as a lion’ reply would have been either yes or no.

Read Bush’s reply to the question again. I’ve read it over and over, and searched the news for amplification, but I can’t find a direct answer in there anywhere.

Bush administration underlings have denied it directly, but when the guy who swore the oath to defend the Constitution had his chance, he ridiculed the question, BUT without answering it.

Let me say that I am not much on conspiracy theory. Most conspiracy theories collapse on closer examination of three main points; motive, secrecy, and logic.

For example, the theory that the Bush administration staged 9/11 so he could start a war. The motive is non-existent. The war had already started two years earlier, and US forces were already engaging terrorists in combat.

For there to be a government conspiracy to murder 3000 Americans, hundreds of officials would have to be involved and NONE of them could break silence.

Clinton couldn’t keep a tryst with Monica Lewinsky in the White House bathroom a secret. And Bush administration ‘secrets’ are leaked to the New York Times faster than they can print the headlines.

If one member of the conspiracy broke silence, he could cut an immunity deal, go on the talk show circuit, write a book, and be as rich as Midas and as famous as Elvis.

That conspiracy fails the logic test on every level.

Then, there is the ‘Money Trust’ conspiracy. Apply the same test. The motive is the accumulation of wealth and power. The accumulation of wealth and power is ample protection against somebody being bribed into spilling the beans.

The historical evidence lines up, and it is not only logical, it is the only explanation that fits.

So, what about the SPP ‘conspiracy theory?’ How does it do when the tests are applied?

The theory is that the Bush administration, together with the governments of Canada and Mexico, are conspiring to create a North American Union along the lines of the European Union, complete with the introduction of a new, North American currency to replace the dollar.

Let’s look at the motive. First, Mexico’s. Would integration with America be a good thing? (Seems silly to ask, doesn’t it?)

Since Mexico’s population is streaming across the US border as fast as they can get here, with the active help of the Mexican government, one can assume that Mexico’s national interests would be served.

Now, to Canada’s. Canada is fiercely independent when it comes to the United States, but Canada is also completely dependent on the United States for everything from defense to trade.

And Canada loves collectivism. One of the UN’s biggest supporters, Canada has played a role in every global peace-keeping operation and every UN collective effort.

Canada could not afford to be left out of such a union without suffering dire social and economic consequences. Canada’s only other choice would be to seek membership in the EU, (and the NAU is lots closer.)

Now to the US motive. The US is under attack from all directions, and in all possible forms. Although it is the most powerful nation the world has ever seen, it has two main vulnerabilities. Its borders with Mexico and Canada, and the US dollar.

Unification with Canada and Mexico would effectively amount to annexing both countries, sealing the border problem without damaging trade between them.

The dollar is subject to international manipulation by nations like Iran and Venezuela, and vulnerable to other oil-producing states like Saudi Arabia. Major oil-producing nations demand payment for oil exclusively in US dollars.

If you don’t have dollars, you can’t import oil, so major world economies hold huge reserves of US dollars, which maintains the dollar’s value on the international market.

If the oil-producing nations switched to euros, the value of the dollar as an international currency would drop like a stone, and the US economy that depends on it would fall just as quickly.

Only two weeks ago, China was threatening to drop its US currency holdings. Economists and political analysts termed such a move, “the nuclear option,” before China backed down.

A new currency, backed by the collective wealth of Canada, the US and Mexico, would eliminate the dollar’s current vulnerability.

So all three nations have good, compelling and even, noble motives for backing a move toward full integration.

Now, as to secrecy. The SPP is hardly a secret. Thousands of people went to Montebello to protest it. But when asked directly, Bush sidestepped the question.

The SPP is relying on hiding in plain sight, since one can’t hide the construction of a road spanning the country from Mexico to Canada without somebody noticing.

There are at least a dozen versions of the aims and goals of the SPP out there, and only one of them can be true. Bush dodged the question by calling attention to all of them at once as ‘scare tactics’.

Its the old Zippo lighter trick. The best place to hide a Zippo lighter is on a coffee table with fifty identical Zippo lighters. Yours becomes invisible, right there in plain sight.

Now to the logic of unification between the US, Canada, and Mexico.

As it stands right now, the US stands on the precipice, surrounded by enemies, vulnerable to attack from within and without, one of the most hated nations on the face of the earth.

Unification brings with it Canada’s friendly relationship with the European Union, Mexico’s relationship with Latin America, as well as Mexico’s and Canada’s vast oil reserves, estimated to be enough to meet US needs for centuries.

Logical? You bet. But is it true? What do you think? I’d like to know.

Let’s kick it around in the forums.

Special Report: The Five Judgments

Special Report: The Five Judgments
Vol: 71 Issue: 24 Friday, August 24, 2007

I gather from comments in our member’s forums that some of you aren’t entirely clear on the various judgments; like the Great White Throne as opposed to Judgment Seat of Christ, for example.

Judgment is a central theme throughout Scripture; the Old Testament is filled with accounts of judgment.

The judgment on Adam and Eve, the Flood judgment, the judgment against the Unfaithful Generation during the Exodus, Sodom and Gomorrah, the various judgments against Israel, the Ultimate Judgment at Calvary, just to name a few.

Some in this generation will face the 21 judgments outlined in the Book of Revelation during the Tribulation Period.

The writer of Hebrews tells us, “. . .it is appointed unto man once to die, but after this the judgment.” (Hebrews 9:27)

There are five separate judgments identified in Scripture, that differ in five general aspects; the subjects, the time, the place, the basis and the result.

There are two judgments for believers. The subjects of the first judgment are sinners. The time of this judgment was roughly AD 33. The place was Calvary. The basis for the judgment was the finished Work of Christ. And the result was justification for the believer.

This first judgment is in three parts; as a sinner, as a son, and as a servant.

The ‘sin’ question is settled at the Cross. The ‘son’ question is an ongoing series of personal judgments that the Bible calls ‘chastisement’.

When a believer steps outside God’s permissive will, it brings about judgments designed to bring that believer back into line.

“If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.” (Hebrews 12:7-8)

Then there is our judgment as servants, which leads us to the Judgment Seat of Christ, or the Bema Seat.

The subjects are believers. The time is after the Rapture. The place is the Bema Seat. The basis for judgment is works. The result is reward or loss of reward.

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” (2nd Corinthians 5:10)

Those who stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ are not there to be judged worthy of entry into heaven. That question was settled at the Cross.

This judgment will be for our works as servants. At the Bema Seat;

“Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.”

Think about that for a moment! Everything you ever did will be analyzed and scrutinized openly by the Lord Jesus Christ. Every good thing. . . and every bad thing. We’ll be called on to give account of every word, every deed, every thought.

For most believers, the Judgment Seat of Christ will be an excruciating experience. “Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men . . .” Paul wrote.

But, the result isn’t heaven — that is already assured. The result is reward. That is where a believer’s works come into play. Rewards. Or loss of them.

If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” (1st Corinthians 3:13-15)

There are five possible rewards, or “crowns” that believers can earn for their works at the Bema Seat.

The Crown of Life. This is the Martyr’s Crown. You get this one the hard way; “be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” (Revelation 2:10)

The Crown of Glory. This the the ‘Pastor’s Crown’ given by the Chief Shepherd when He shall appear to those who serve;

“willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.”

I readily admit that I am working to earn this crown. Salvation is a gift of grace through faith, and that not of yourselves — crowns you have to work for.

“And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.” (1st Peter 2-4)

The Crown of Rejoicing. This is the Soul-winners crown. Those brought to Jesus by us will be our “crown of rejoicing” at His Coming.

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

The Crown of Righteousness. This the crown earned by the Watchmen on the Wall who give the warning of His soon appearing.

“Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing.” (2nd Timothy 4:8)

The Incorruptible Crown This is a tough one to earn. This is the “Victor’s” Crown, which is set aside for those who master temperance in this lifetime.

Those who don’t yield to the lusts of the flesh, saturate themselves with alcohol and drugs, and keep themselves separate from the world can expect to be rewarded with the Incorruptible Crown.

The Judgment Seat of Christ takes place concurrently with the Third Judgment identified by Scripture taking place on earth.

In this third judgment, the primary subjects are the Jews. The place is Jerusalem. The time is called the ‘Time of Jacob’s Trouble’ or, the Tribulation Period.

(“Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.” -Jeremiah 30:7)

The basis for this judgment is Israel’s continued rejection of the Messiah, and the end result is the national redemption of Israel.

The fourth judgment identified in Scripture also takes place during the Tribulation. The subjects are the Gentile nations. The place is the Valley of Jehoshaphat. The basis for this judgment will be their treatment of the Jews.

“And before Him shall be gathered all nations: and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth His sheep from the goats.” (Matthew 25:32)

The nations will be divided into the “Sheep nations” and the “Goat nations”. The result is the Sheep nations will be permitted to enter into the Millennial Kingdom. The “Goat nations” will be destroyed.

This judgment takes place at the conclusion of the Tribulation Period.

The fifth and final judgment identified in Scripture is the Great White Throne Judgment. It will take place at the close of the Millennium a 1000 years after the judgment of the Nations, and before the “Great White Throne.”

All the righteous (saved) dead arose at the First Resurrection, or the Rapture.

Those who are saved and die between the First Resurrection and the Second Resurrection, (like the Tribulation Saints), will rise with the wicked at the Second Resurrection.

The words; “Whosoever was not found written in the Book of Life” imply there will be some saved who will be present at the Great White Throne. There will be some whose names will be found in the Book of Life, but they are post-Church Age believers.

I want you to notice something I’ve been trying to get across for some time now. This entire outline only works if the Rapture takes place before the Tribulation.

If the Church is on the earth during the Tribulation Period, the entire outline falls apart! BUT — and this is the important part — this is the only outline there is! There is only one Bible from which to work, and it doesn’t give another.

That’s why I teach it. Not because it is a ‘pet’ theory — but because it is the key to understanding the outline of Bible prophecy as it unfolds before this generation.

The Bible identifies five judgments and five crowns. The judgments are as I’ve outlined them, by those who are subject to them, when, where, why, and how.

I’ve supplied chapter and verse. Go back and review it all. It’s the only outline there is. And for it to work, the Church must be Raptured before the Tribulation begins.

If not, we have the Church on the earth during the judgment of Israel, and not in the air for the Believer’s Judgment, and, in some views, on the earth during the division of the Sheep and Goat nations.

Jesus sets up His Millennial Kingdom at the close of the Tribulation Period. Before that comes four of the five judgments, all of which He presides over as the Righteous Judge.

When the judgments of the Tribulation are over, all that remain are the sheep nations and the Jews. Who is there left to Rapture? And why bother?

But it is the Rapture that is the First Resurrection that predicates the Judgment Seat of Christ. As the Church is judged at the Bema Seat, the twenty-one Tribulation judgments are executed on the world. They are different judgments, as to subject, basis, place and result, but within the same general frame of time called the Day of the Lord or the Day of Christ.

It is all interconnected — and indivisible from the Big Picture.

It isn’t that I am trying to advance my own personal view. It is because the outline of Bible prophecy is deep and complex, and each part is interdependent on all the others in order to complete the Big Picture.

It isn’t about being right. It’s about understanding the times in which we live, so that we can fulfill the commission given us.

“. . .sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” (1st Peter 3:15)