Israel’s Propaganda War

Israel’s Propaganda War
Vol: 88 Issue: 31 Saturday, January 31, 2009

Israel’s Propaganda War

The prophet Zechariah predicted that, during the last days, amid the wars and rumors of wars, the preeminent global hot spot will be Jerusalem. Zechariah wrote from the province of Judea, 150 years AFTER the destruction of the Kingdom of Israel and 2500 years BEFORE the restoration of the Jewish State.

“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 12:3)

The UN General Assembly is really run by the Arab League, whose aim it is to prevent a peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The Arab League’s 22 members run the 59-member Organization of the Islamic Conference, which in turn runs the 115-member Non-Aligned Movement, which also includes the Islamic Conference and Arab League member states.

Thus the Arab League has a guaranteed majority to fulfill its first ambition: the destruction of Israel, one of the only two democracies in the Middle East. In a real sense, the General Assembly functions primarily as an instrument to rob Israel of any legitimacy as a nation-state.

The General Assembly is at its most malevolent in its mistreatment of Israel. Israel and the West Bank are always referred to as “occupied territories.” But that term is never applied to persecuted Tibet, China’s colonialist grab.

As far as the U.N. is concerned, there is no Israel; only Palestine is legitimate and its capital is Jerusalem.

Examples of General Assembly discrimination against Israel abound. Israel is the only country of 191 member states that is barred from membership in any regional group.

Consequently, Israel can never serve as a member of the Security Council, the U.N. Commission on Human Rights and other U.N. bodies. Regional group membership is a prerequisite to such appointments.

Israel is the only nation on earth to be made a permanent part of the United Nations Human Rights Council as a serial human rights violator.

Not the Sudan. Not Iran. Not China. Not Somalia. Not Rwanda. Not Saudi Arabia. Just Israel — the only representative democracy in the Middle East.

More UN resolutions have been passed condemning Israel than any other nation, including countries like Libya, Iraq, Iran and Syria.

In fact, more than half of all the condemnatory resolutions ever passed by the United Nations were passed against Israel, meaning the UN has condemned Israel more times than it has all the other nations of the world combined.

During the recent operation against Hamas in Gaza, the world press hammered Israel after 40 Palestinians taking refuge at the UN school in Jabaliya refugee camp north of Gaza City were killed by Israeli tank-fire.

The press reported that Israeli forces fired on a refugee camp. The Washington Post’s headline was typical of the coverage: “Israel Hits UN-Run school in Gaza.”

Secretary General Ban ki-Moon dropped what he was doing to visit Gaza and express solidarity with the Palestinians. “These attacks by Israeli military forces which endanger U.N. facilities acting as places of refuge are totally unacceptable and must not be repeated, he thundered.

The UN Security Council immediately passed a resolution mandating a cease-fire.

The global press reacted typically: “Israel Rebuffs UN Resolution, Pursues Gaza War” read the Reuters headline on January 9.

The fact that Hamas rejected the ceasefire (even before Israel had a chance to), claiming it hadn’t been consulted’ was barely reported outside the Israeli press.

In another widely reported incident, Israeli forces hit a hospital in Gaza’s al Quds neighborhood. For most consumers of news and information, that’s all they got. If one had to compose a headline based on the preponderance of information concerning the Gaza operation, “IDF Attacks Schools And Hospitals” sounds about right.

It’s all based on a lie, but that doesn’t matter. Truth isn’t what is true, it is what people want to believe is true.

Assessment:

The Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera reported Thursday that a doctor working in Gaza’s Shifa Hospital claimed that Hamas has intentionally inflated the number of casualties resulting from Israel’s Operation Cast Lead.

“The number of deceased stands at no more than 500 to 600. Most of them are youths between the ages of 17 to 23 who were recruited to the ranks of Hamas, who sent them to the slaughter,” according to the newspaper article….

A Tal al-Hawa resident told the newspaper’s reporter, “Armed Hamas men sought out a good position for provoking the Israelis. There were mostly teenagers, aged 16 or 17, and armed. They couldn’t do a thing against a tank or a jet. They knew they are much weaker, but they fired at our houses so that they could blame Israel for war crimes.”

The reporter for the Italian newspaper also quoted reporters in the Strip who told of Hamas’ exaggerated figures, “We have already said to Hamas commanders why do you insist on inflating the number of victims?”

Of course, the reason for inflating the numbers is because the inflated numbers are what most people will remember. A few years back, the IDF was accused of massacring 1500 Palestinians at Jenin. The UN sent envoys, passed resolutions and threatened to bring Israel before an international tribunal.

It was all based on a lie. There weren’t 1500 Palestinians massacred. There were 54 Palestinians killed, 45 of whom were armed men. But by this time, the major media was finished with the story and moved on.

So the ‘Jenin Massacre’ lives, completed with a documentary record including UN resolutions and must official bluster. The meat-grinding Battle of Jenin that ultimately claimed the lives of 34 IDF soldiers is largely unknown outside of IDF legend.

At the recent Gaza UN school ‘massacre’ that got Ban ki Moon’s knickers in a knot, the IDF was returning fire. It turns out that the IDF forces didn’t know it was a school.

But Hamas did. So it stationed a mortar team just outside. It was Hamas who was responsible for the deaths of those forty Palestinians taking refuge there. Not Israel. But rather than correct the story, the majority of the media just moved on.

Hamas stationed an anti-tank crew at the al Quds hospital. The IDF tank crew that returned fire hit the hospital because of Hamas. But rather than correct the record, the major media moved on again.

US president Barack Hussein Obama just authorized $20 million be sent to ‘aid the Palestinians’ in rebuilding Gaza. Money sent to Gaza is money sent to Gaza’s government, which is, of course, Hamas. So Obama just sent $20 million to Hamas.

While Hamas is busy ‘rebuilding’ Gaza (back into an armed camp) Israel and the Palestinian Authority are equally busy repairing the damage the conflict has done to their main industry, which is tourism.

For that reason, we’ve decided to rename our tour “The Omega Letter Solidarity With Israel Tour 2009.”

I spoke with our tour operators earlier this week and learned that because of the uncertainty during the Gaza operation, the drop-dead deadline to register has been extended again until next Friday.

So if you are sitting on the fence and thought it was too late to register, it isn’t. And now, we really need you to come. Israel needs you to come.

I know there are a thousand reasons not to. The political situation there and the economy here are just two of them. But balanced against the reasons not to is the fact that if you don’t go now, when will you? Ever? Never? This is your chance.

We’ll be doing everything humanly possible to ensure your safety and security or I wouldn’t be bringing Gayle. If you’ve never been to Israel (like Gayle) come with us.

For more information, click on this link or cut and paste this url into your browser’s address bar: http://www.omegaletter.com/index.php/tour-info/

I hope you can come. This March, In Jerusalem!

Maranatha!

Money For Nothing

Money For Nothing
Vol: 88 Issue: 30 Friday, January 30, 2009

The economic stimulus plan advanced by President Obama easily passed in the House, despite billions in earmarks and pork spending tacked on by House Democrats at each stage of the process.

The reason it passed so easily wasn’t because it was a good bill.

It’s because the House is now so lopsided in favor of the Democrats. Even though eleven Democrats voted against it — and House Republicans rejected it unanimously, it still passed 244-188.

The stimulus bill that finally passed the House was an orgy of self-service. Type “stimulus bill” into Google’s news aggregator and look at all the states lining up with their hands out. Democratic states, for the most part.

Then look at what the so-called stimulus money will be used for. Newly-turned blue state North Carolina is expecting to get about $16 billion of the bailout money to stimulate its economy.

Here’s how the stimulus bill will be used to create jobs in the Tarheel State.

The bill allots $802 million for transportation and infrastructure, $2.6 billion to help the state cover Medicare costs and $551 for ‘education needs.’ The bill also extends unemployment benefits, increases food stamps and — get this — includes an allotment ‘for the arts’.

(Apparently, the only one who will be hiring in North Carolina will be the government)

But let’s not pick on just my adopted home state. Massachusetts is expecting an $11 billion ‘recovery package’. Of that $6.5 billion is earmarked to help the state pay its existing bills;

$2.1 billion for Medicaid, $1.3 billion for a “fiscal stabilization fund” that would help reduce the state’s deficit, and more than $500 million in extra funding for education.

The state plans to plug a $2.5 billion hole in the current fiscal year, and a deficit projected at $3.5 billion the following year. John Kerry’s Senate version includes $2 billion to build Massachusetts a high speed train.

I mean, I don’t doubt that the citizens of Massachusetts would benefit from high speed rail. But this is an economic stimulus bill aimed at revitalizing a failing economy, or so it has been presented.

But it is like a desperate parent working out a plan to save money by extending the lifespan of the kid’s shoes. If the parent were John Kerry, the solution would be to buy each kid a brand-new car.

Multiply that by every self-serving Democratic lawmaker with a suffering constituency and the next thing you know, to quote the late, great Senator Everett Dirkson, “Pretty soon you’re talking about real money.”

Assessment:

Except we’re not. We’re talking about pretend money being created out of thin air. Since the beginning of the crisis, the Treasury and the Federal Reserve have almost doubled the amount of money in circulation.

As Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said recently, “We own the printing presses. We can print all the money we need.” In a sense, that is true.

Of course I could say the same thing about me. I own a printer. I can print all the money I need.

Except the ‘money’ I print on my printer would be counterfeit. And each bill I printed would devalue all the rest of the currency in circulation that that amount.

That is why counterfeiting is illegal. It steals from the system, thereby defrauding everybody.

Doubling the amount of US cash in circulation accomplishes almost the same thing. Since the government can legally issue currency, that currency is backed by government debt. As the debt grows, the dollar shrinks.

Analysts make much of the Republican rejection of the bill as ‘partisanship’ — but eleven Democrats also voted against it. Since it is a stimulus bill in name only, it was Democratic support that was partisan.

Voting for it was an exercise in blind political partisanship. Voting against the bill was an act of moral responsibility.

As I watch the coverage and listen to the politicians and read the opinion polls, I have an increasing sense that I somehow ended up in an alternate universe.

We’ve already pumped more money into the economy since October than was spent during the first five years of the Great Depression. CEOs and corporate executives all went on retreat to count their bonus money on the first round of TARP spending.

Literally billions of dollars were stolen — openly — by corporate raiders and Wall Street big shots from the public treasury. Instead of being prosecuted, they are being rewarded with a second round of public money.

That money isn’t earmarked for industry or research and development. It is earmarked to pay overdue bills, expand existing welfare programs and, inexplicably, to expand the arts.

And the lawmakers who voted against the bill are the ones wearing the ‘partisan’ label?

Over the years we’ve regularly examined the question, “Where is America in Bible prophecy?”

The prophets divide the world into four distinct spheres of power; revived Rome, the Kings of the South, Gog-Magog and the Kings of the East.

That roughly corresponds with the EU, the Islamic Middle East/North Africa, Russia/Iran and India/Pakistan/China. There is no fifth global superpower resembling the United States relevant to Bible prophecy in the last days.

So is this the beginning of the end? It certainly seems like it could be. We’ve published many columns noting the historical parallels between our current world situation and the 1930’s.

Historically, the stock market crashed in 1929. The resulting Great Depression didn’t set in until about 1933 and lasted for seven years. It culminated in world war.

There is a parallel between history and prophecy as well. The Tribulation opens with the breaking of the first of the Seven Seal Judgments represented by the Rider on the White Horse [antichrist].

He is followed by the Rider on the Red Horse [War] who is followed by the Rider on the Black Horse [Famine].

The Tribulation Period to follow lasts seven years and concludes at the final Battle of Armageddon.

The stock market crashed in 2008. Applying the 1930’s as a template, that would put the revelation of the antichrist and the onset of the Tribulation around 2012 with the Battle of Armageddon seven years later in 2020.

Did I just predict the date of the Rapture? Not exactly. I could be wrong. This is 2009, not 1929 and the parallels could all be in my head.

But between you and me, I believe with all my heart that the Rapture is near. Very near. The Bible tells me so.

“So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.” (Matthew 24:33-34)

A Fundamental Question

A Fundamental Question
Vol: 88 Issue: 29 Thursday, January 29, 2009

When three thousand Americans are murdered by people who believe they are doing God’s will, one would suppose that to be sufficient cause to put that religion under a microscope.

But oddly, that isn t what happened. Rather than putting Islam under the microscope, we elected instead to lump Islamic killers into a larger, all-inclusive religious group called ‘fundamentalists.’

In order for the Politically Correct to make that stick, it was necessary to conclude that Islam is really a peaceful religion hijacked by a few Islamic fundamentalists.

It doesn’t take too much time to break down this little bit of doublespeak into its component elements.

A religious ‘fundamentalist’ is one who follows the fundamentals of a religion. If the fundamentals of Islam were peace, then Islamic fundamentalists would be peaceful and violent killer Islamists would be an aberration.

It is also worthy of note that a ‘religious fundmamentalist’ and a ‘religious extremist’ both describe the same thing.

According to the dictionary, an “extremist” is “one who advocates or resorts to measures beyond the norm”, whereas a “fundamentalist” is “usually a religious movement or point of view characterized by a return to fundamental principles, by rigid adherence to those principles, and often by intolerance of other views and opposition to secularism.”

Clearly, by definition, ‘fundamentalism’ and ‘extremism’ are polar opposites, not synonyms. All this double-speak works in the public mind, however, because it is about religion.

An Islamic fundamentalist is one who practices the fundamentals of Islam by rigidly adhering to its principles. An Islamic extremist is one who advocates or resorts to abnormal measures.

Since both describe the 9/11 terrorists, why is the emphasis on ‘fundamentalist’ and ‘extremist’ instead of being on “Islamic?’

Now THAT’S an example of a fundamental question.

Similarly, there are Christian fundamentalists. They are those who rigidly adhere to Biblical principles, are intolerant of any suggestion there is a way to heaven apart from Jesus, and are opposed to secularism, like removing the Bible from public property and removing references to God from the Pledge of Allegiance.

And there are Christian extremists. Like those who blow up abortion clinics to stop the murder of unborn babies or shoot abortionists so they can’t abort any more babies.

But they are the polar opposite of a genuine fundamentalist whose adherence to fundamental Biblical New Testament principles tells him that judgement against abortionists will be meted out by God, not by the Church.

Note we have two examples of extremism. The kind that can find fundamental religious justification for indiscriminate murder in the name of advancing Islam.

And the kind that can find fundamental religious justification in committing targeted murder in the name of ending the murder of the unborn.

Both are extreme positions.

But the kind of looney-toons that would kill for Christ and think they are following Him are not Christians and they have clearly missed the point of salvation. There have been maybe a dozen or so to crop up over the past twenty years. On the other hand, there are enough Islamic extremists for us to have a war with.

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.

Islamic fundamentals teach that anyone who refuses to convert to Islam is less than a full person, a ‘dhimmi’ who is without rights and can be persecuted or killed as necessary.

I say all that to say this. The war against Islam continues to morph into a war against religious fundamentalism. Any religious fundamentalism; Islamic, Christian, Jewish, Sihk– it doesn’t matter.

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.

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6

Under the supervision of the false prophet, John says, “And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.”

Clearly, these are the Christian ‘fundamentalists’ of the Tribulation period.

We are engaged in a global war against Islamic fundamentalism at the expense of ignoring the fundamentals of the Islamic religion that spawned it.

Since this makes absolutely NO sense of any kind in the natural, the only explanation is supernatural. When looked at from the Apostle John’s perspective, it makes perfect sense.

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).

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.

There can be no room for fundamentalism of any stripe in the global, all-inclusive religious system of the last days.

And the purge has already begun.

Speaking in Code

Speaking in Code
Vol: 88 Issue: 28 Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I was pleased to see I wasn’t the only one who was stunned in the wake of President Barack Hussein Obama’s interview with the Muslim world via al Arabiya.

It means (at best) that I’m not mad after all — and at worst I find I’m not alone in my ‘delusion’. Obama really did sell us out to the Muslim world during his first week in office.

It wasn’t my imagination. Obama kicked off his Islamic foreign policy initiative by slamming America as a force for good and agreeing with those Muslims who call America a global dictatorship.

“Too often the United States starts by dictating,” he shamefacedly told the Muslim world, while the self-loathing Americans at MSNBC howled with glee.

So instead of “dictating” Obama proposes America do something radical: “So, let’s llsten,” he said, (as if the alleged failure to communicate was America’s fault.)

It immediately put me in mind of the time actor/activist/idiot Tim Robbins summoned the world press corps to the National Press Club in Washington to complain that his freedom of speech was being stifled.

No nation in the history of the world pays more attention to external voices of dissent than does the United States.

Sometimes it listens and acquiesces to the dissenters — usually to its regret, as when Bush 41 stopped short of killing Saddam in the first Gulf War.

Sometimes the United States listens — and then does what it deems necessary, as when Bush 43 rectified Bush 41’s error during the 2nd Gulf War.

There is a difference between listening to dissent and surrendering to it. It appeared to my astonished ears as if the new president were unaware of such nuances.

It certainly sounded that way to his Muslim audience. Obama apologized to his Muslim audience for his predecessor’s use of terms like ‘Islamic fascism’ saying “the language we use matters” — as if this were a new revelation.

‘Fascism’ denotes the political worldview that advocates dealing with dissenters by either reeducating them or liquidating them. Islamofascism describes the school of thought that demands either submission to Islam or death.

The term ‘Islamic fascism’ was coined to distinguish between so-called ‘moderate Islam’ and the fascist kind. By his comments to al Arabiya, President Obama erases that distinction while simultaneously elevating terrorism to the status of a religious element:

“And what we need to understand is, is that there are extremist organizations whether Muslim or any other faith in the past that will use faith as a justification for violence.”

Assessment:

Language ALSO has meaning. This is music to the Islamic ear. Islamic terrorism is no different than Jewish terrorism or Christian terrorism. It has a moral equivalent. At last, it seems, a US president that understands the jihad!

However, from my perch in the cheap seats, it offers a different vision. That of a President who doesn’t understand anything about fundamental Christianity or Judaism.

There is nothing in either the Old or New Testament that justifies terrorism under any circumstances. There is no doctrine in either faith that is even remotely equivalent to that of the Islamic jihad.

There cannot be Christian or Jewish terrorism or even Christian or Jewish terrorist groups, since the concept is foreign to either faith. At most, there might be terrorists who claim to be either Christians or Jews. That isn’t the same thing.

Now, I know that we addressed Obama’s appearance on al Arabiya yesterday and that there are a number of other issues that we could have looked at.

Instead of commenting on the president’s oblique promise to the Muslim world that he’s their guy more than our guy, we could have focused on some other aspect of the new New Normal. We could have focused on the coming censorship of the Right in America.

Like Obama’s admonition to Republicans to ‘quit listening to Rush Limbaugh if you want to get things done’. Or we could have focused on the expression of liberal tolerance exemplified by the Democrats’ online petition against Rush Limbaugh for having the temerity to say he hopes that Obama’s liberal agenda fails.

Or the reintroduction of the Fairness Doctrine. Or the US embrace of the UN General Assembly’s recent Defamation of Religion ban that makes it a crime to insult religion.

(‘Religion’ of course, meaning ‘Islam’. Insulting Christianity is a Constitutionally protected right.)

But this is too important. What this all revealed to me was a president that understands how to speak ‘islamic’ the way he understands how to speak ‘black’.

He knows his audience, knows the code, and knows exactly what he was saying to the Arab world, even if most of the Western world didn’t.

As I said in my inauguration speech, if countries like Iran are willing to unclench their fist, they will find an extended hand from us,” he said. It is very important for us to make sure that we are using all the tools of US power, including diplomacy, in our relationship with Iran.”

Ahmadinejad reacted to Obama’s extension of an olive branch via the interview with a demand that Obama apologize to the Iranian people first — “and try to repair their past bad acts and the crimes they committed against Iran”.

The Islamic world heard the US president talk about ‘getting rid of preconceptions’ in the Arab-Israeli conflict — code for embracing the concept of opening a dialogue with Hamas.

His comments to Iran were given on the same day that Iran’s government issued a statement branding the Holocaust a big lie.

He signaled his willingness to ‘look beyond’ America’s interests, offering himself as the first honest broker between America and the Muslim world.

“(T)he United States has a stake in the well-being of the Muslim world, that the language we use has to be a language of respect,” he said. “I have Muslim members of my family. I have lived in Muslim countries.”

(You can trust me. I know the code.)

And in case any in his audience didn’t Obama then openly admitted his intention to be an apologist for the Muslim world, defending them from Americans’ negative perceptions:

“And my job is to communicate to the American people that the Muslim world is filled with extraordinary people who simply want to live their lives and see their children live better lives.”

That is hardly news to anybody. Neither does it present a problem. What does is that living among, and indistinguishable from them are extraordinarily vicious killers who would willingly give up their own lives in exchange for a chance to take yours from you.

But the code for discussing Islam doesn’t permit negative images of the Religion of Perpetual Outrage, even if true.

Ahmadinejad was indeed listening closely. He understood the code and understands that Obama does, too. He immediately singled out Obama’s expression of shame and admission of US wrongdoing, telling a rally in western Iran broadcast live on state television:

“We welcome change but on condition that change is fundamental and on the right track,” he said, before outlining the conditions under which he might accept the US offer of dhimmitude:

When they say we want to make changes , change can happen in two ways. First is a fundamental and effective change… The second … is a change of tactics. It is very clear that, if the meaning of change is the second one, this will soon be revealed.”

Ahamdinejad told the rally that the proof of Obama’s sincerity will come when the US withdraws its troops from conflict zones around the world and “stops supporting the Zionists, outlaws and criminals.”

As I said earlier, there were other topics we could have discussed, but none that seemed quite so important to me this morning as this one. In our very first glimpse into Obama’s foreign policy plans we find confirmed all of our worst fears.

We also find that the Islamofacists in Iran and elsewhere heard a confirmation of their wildest dreams. Their war may soon be over.

All that remains is for their new guy in Washington to sell the slogan back to the xenophobic rednecks in American flyover country. (Once their death grip on God and guns is pried loose – first things first).

“Dhimmitude with Honor” — it has a ring to it.

“Pearl Harbor had nothing to do with it. It was all President Roosevelt”

“Pearl Harbor had nothing to do with it. It was all President Roosevelt”
Vol: 88 Issue: 27 Tuesday, January 27, 2009

President Barack Hussein Obama just granted his first formal sit-down TV interview — with al-Arabiya TV.

According to the Associated Press, “the interview underscored Obama’s commitment to repair relations with the Muslim world that have suffered under the previous administration.” (italics mine)

Just exactly what did the previous administration do to damage relations with the Muslim world, anyway? Oh, yeah. September 11.

But Obama wants to communicate to the Muslim world that now, “America is not your enemy.”

It’s as if Harry Truman gave an interview to a Tokyo newspaper after assuming office with an eye toward repairing the damage done US-Japanese relations by the Roosevelt administration.

In the interview Barack Obama pledged, in essence, not to keep America safe from the Muslim world, but to keep the Muslim world safe from America.

“My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy,” Obama told the Saudi-owned, Al-Arabiya news channel, which is based in Dubai.

Obama said the United States had made mistakes in the past but “that the same respect and partnership that America had with the Muslim world as recently as 20 or 30 years ago, there’s no reason why we can’t restore that.”

(“See? The war on terror was America’s fault. But there’s a new sheriff in town. I can do better. I am The One.”)

Obama called for a new partnership with the Muslim world “based on mutual respect and mutual interest.” He talked about growing up in Indonesia, the Muslim world’s most populous nation, and noted that he has Muslim relatives.

Obama discussed his appointment of Senator George Mitchell as special envoy to the Middle East.

Quoting the AP directly, “the new president said he felt it was important to “get engaged right away” in the Middle East and had directed Mitchell to talk to “all the major parties involved.” His administration would craft an approach after that, he said in the interview.”

(Much like the Gitmo policy. Act first, plan later. And the press just loves this guy! But anybody with THIS low an opinion of America can’t be all bad.)

“What I told him is start by listening, because all too often the United States starts by dictating,” Obama told the interviewer. Those Americans! No wonder everybody hates them!

The AP went on, gushing that Obama also said that recent statements and messages issued by the al Qaeda terror network suggest they do not know how to deal with his new approach.

(Who is like unto Obama? And who is able to make war with him?)

“They seem nervous,” he told the interviewer. “What that tells me is that their ideas are bankrupt.”

In his latest message on Jan. 14, al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden said Obama had been left with a “heavy inheritance” of “Bush’s wars”. But the AP is confident that Obama will defeat al-Qaeda. The AP’s writer can even point to the moment when al-Qaeda made the fatal error that sealed its doom:

“Shortly after the election, the network’s number two, Ayman al-Zawahri, used a demeaning racial term for a black American who does the bidding of whites to describe Obama.”

Who is like unto Obama? And who DARES to call him names?

Assessment:

I’ve heard of short term memory loss but this more than a bit ridiculous. I am all for peace with the Muslim world — heck, I think it is a GREAT idea.

So how’s this for the first step towards us all lighting candles and sharing a Coke together?

You Muslim guys take out the terrorists — so we don’t have to. They’re YOUR terrorists. They’re allegedly corrupting YOUR religion. They are giving YOUR neck of the woods a bad name.

It wasn’t 19 Christian American males between the ages of 17 and 35 that hijacked four commercial aircraft on September 11th. It was 19 Arab Muslim males between the ages of 17 and 35 that murdered 3000 innocent civilians.

The problem isn’t the terrorist detention center at Guantanamo Bay. The problem is the Muslim ideology that creates terrorists so dangerous that Guantanamo Bay is necessary.

The problem isn’t the way that America has prosecuted the war against terrorists. The problem is that the Muslims who watch al-Arabiya are in sympathy with the terrorists.

That sympathy won’t evaporate because Barack Obama heaps the blame on the United States instead of on core Islamic teachings. Instead, it simply confirms to the jihadists that they are right — even the President of the United States can see merit in their cause.

“Ok, we’re dictators and our previous leader was a war criminal. But we mean well. Honest! Let’s be friends. Some of my family are Muslims. Heck, I’m from Indonesia!” Gee, that’s presidential.

I was reading CNN’s analysis of the Obama interview and the reaction from the Muslim world. CNN quoted an Islamabad journalist, Imtiaz Gul: “It’s a good sign of an attempt to reconcile with the Muslim world, to say America wants to reach out to them and not to consider them as an enemy.”

Is your head spinning, too? Until America started getting attacked by the Muslim world, America DIDN’T consider the Muslim world an enemy. Even now, after almost twenty years of attacks by Muslims in the name of Islam against US targets, America STILL doesn’t consider the Muslim world an enemy.

Even after the capital cities of the Muslim world erupted in cheers at the news of the 9/11 attacks, America doesn’t consider the Muslim world an enemy. It ought to. But it doesn’t.

The Muslim world considers America as an enemy. Period. No apologies. That’s just how it is. As they see it, America’s ‘crime ‘against Islam is two-fold.

First, it is guilty of loyalty to Israel. That was the reason given for the fatwa declaring an Islamic jihad against America that kicked off the war on terror. Secondly, America is not under Islamic rule.

When those two conditions are satisfied, Islam will be a peace with America. To believe otherwise requires subscribing to a whole new reality. Like the difference between spinning castles in the air and trying to rent rooms in them.

It is almost as if we are apologizing for September 11. “America made mistakes so let’s just forget the whole 9/11 thing. ”

That the interview was seen by the Islamic world as an American attempt to ‘reconcile’ as if America was somehow the aggressor against peace-loving Islam is somewhat sickening.

Reconciliation? Sounds more like dhimmitude.

And After This, The Judgment

And After This, The Judgment
Vol: 88 Issue: 26 Monday, January 26, 2009

If there is a central theme of Scripture, a single pinpoint of truth from which all other doctrine flows, it would have to be that of judgment.

This universe was born as a place of judgment; its very creation was a matter of judgment, and nothing within this physical universe shall escape judgment.

Judgment was born out of light. Genesis 1:4 records the very first instance of Divine judgment; “And God saw the light, that it was good . . .”

Throughout Scripture, God uses light and darkness as metaphors for good and evil. So it is fitting that He began this universe with His judgment of light and darkness.

Having judged light to be “good” Genesis says God exercised a different kind of judgment when He divided the light from the darkness. Without a clear division between light and darkness, everything would be shades of gray.

We often attempt to color our own moral judgments using similar metaphors; “it isn’t that black and white” or, “this is a gray area” to explain and justify our compromises.

Hebrews 9:27 is a Scripture often quoted in terms of judgment; “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” First, note that each man has an appointment with death.

We all die, eventually. But it is not a random event, any more than was our birth. The time, manner and hour are already predetermined.

Jesus used another metaphor, “born again” to describe our salvation process. We are born from the womb, but not voluntarily. When the time comes, we are expelled into the light. And it is hardly a pleasant transition.

One second, we are in our place of warm and peaceful tranquility, oblivious to anything except our own comfortable existence. In the next, our world is violently shaken. Our environment collapses around us and begins to expel us from itself.

As we get near the light, we’re gripped by forceps, yanked out of the warmth into a cold metal tray. The transition is our introduction to pain, beginning with a jarring slap on the behind.

The blinding light burns our eyes only slightly less than the silver nitrate. It is a moment of incomparable terror, since nothing in our experience has prepared us for what follows.

Of course, that is all from the perspective of the baby we all once were. But having tasted this life, the warm, dark comfort of the womb would be an unbearable prison. So being ‘born again’ is the perfect metaphor to describe the transition from this life to eternal life.

We dread the process even though we know, intellectually, that eternal life is as incomparable to this life as this life is to the womb.

Death comes also to those who don’t know Christ — for them the prospect of death must be doubly disturbing — its an unpleasant transition to nowhere. That kind of hopelessness was best expressed on a tombstone I once saw.

“Here lies an atheist. All dressed up with no place to go.”

Assessment:

The Scriptures say that judgment, like death, comes to ALL men by appointment. For Christians, judgment comes in two parts. Hebrews 9:27 says “AS it is appointed . . . ” the next verse completes the thought.

Look at it in context: “And as it is appointed unto men ONCE to die, but after this the judgement, so Christ was ONCE offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation.”

Without sin unto salvation . . . that doesn’t sound like the Second Coming, in judgment with a two-edged sword, encompassed by ten thousands of His saints, to judge the earth and destroy the antichrist and his army. Does it?

Logically, it can only refer to the Rapture — that is the only ‘second coming unto salvation’ alluded to by Scripture. The dead in Christ are resurrected, then we are changed into our resurrection bodies, and we all meet the Lord in the air.

And then what?

Paul outlines the exact sequence. “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)

THIS is where our works are relevant. “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. 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)

This the the Bema Seat of Christ, so-called because the judgment is not whether or not one is saved or damned. That judgment takes place here. That judgment is in this earth and this life. That judgment is in your heart and soul. You are already judged NOW.

It is not a future judgment. If you are Christ’s, you are as securely saved as if you were ALREADY in heaven. If you are lost, it is not a case that you WILL BE lost. You are lost NOW.

It has nothing to do with being good or bad. It has to do with trusting in one’s own righteousness or trusting in the righteousness of Christ.

(Let me make it simple. If you are trusting in being good to get to heaven, you aren’t going there.)

That is what the second coming unto salvation refers to . . . the gathering of the saints to the Bema Seat for judgment.

This is another reason why the Bible supports a pre-tribulation Rapture. The Bema Seat judgment MUST take place AFTER the Rapture. We cannot be judged for our lives when they end. The influence of a man’s life lives on after him.

How could the Apostle John be adequately judged for his rewards in the first century, when his life ended? Or John the Baptist? The influence of their lives is still affecting the Church. Their rewards are still being calculated.

That is also why the Great White Throne Judgment is reserved until the final hours of human history before the new heavens and new earth. It will take that long to calculate the measure of evil perpetrated by guys like Hitler or Stalin. (Think of it as compound interest.)

Paul writes to Timothy; “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom. . . ” (4:1)

Do you see the two separate judgments here? One is for the ‘quick’ — the other is for the ‘dead’. One takes place at His ‘appearing’ and the other takes place at ‘His Kingdom.’

The ‘quick’ are the saved. The ‘dead’ are the lost. The quick are judged at the Bema Seat. The lost are judged at the Great White Throne.

(“But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.”)

The saved are judged for rewards, including a special crown of righteousness reserved “on that day” for those who love His appearing (2nd Timothy 4:8)

Here’s what I want you to see. As in the case of the twenty-four elders, the second that we remove the doctrine eternal security or a pre-Tribulation Rapture from the narrative, it all gets too complicated to follow.

Absent the doctrine of eternal security, what does 1st Corinthians 3:15; (“yet he himself shall be saved yet so as by fire”) mean? Absent the pre-Trib Rapture, the judgment of the “quick at His appearing” (2nd Timothy 4:8) doesn’t make much sense either.

Which then means we have to come up with a whole new timeline. Or else allegorize away the one that exists, giving rise to the question, “why give one?” since the Scripture most certainly does.

The whole body of Scripture, as it pertains to judgment, separates the light from the darkness, the wheat from the chaff, the saved from the lost and the Church from the judgment due those that dwell upon the earth.

First comes the Rapture, then the Bema Seat, then the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. That is the type set forth since Genesis 1:4 — God creates the light, judges the light, separates the light from darkness.

On the earth comes the judgment on the darkness; the Tribulation, the antichrist, the Mark, scary monsters, pestilences, persecution, death and the war of Armageddon.

Then comes the 2nd Coming of Christ.

Then comes the Millennium.

If the timeline is otherwise, we need to allegorize and spiritualize the true meaning of 1st Thessalonians 4:18, since its apparent meaning must obviously be some unfortunate translation:

“Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” (1st Thessalonians 4:18)

Four and Twenty Elders

Four and Twenty Elders
Vol: 88 Issue: 24 Saturday, January 24, 2009

It was the Lord Himself that outlined the Book of His Revelation in three distinct parts; “that which thou [John] hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter.” (Revelation 1:19)

The Apostle John had just recorded the messages to the Seven Churches of Asia Minor as given by Jesus when John was suddenly whisked in his vision from his cave on Patmos to a scene in heaven.

The Book is therefore divided thusly:

Revelation 1:1-20 – “the things which John hast seen” — the vision of the Lord Jesus Christ in Glory.

Revelation 2:1 – the things which are. “Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write”, through to Revelation 3:22 — ” . . . let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches”;

And finally, “the things which shall be hereafter”

This final division is the longest, since it covers the period from the Tribulation to eternity future. But let’s examine them in order.

The first two parts of the outline are essentially undisputed by scholars — for obvious reasons. The second outline concludes after the Churches have been addressed and evaluated and promises are made to “him that overcometh”:

“To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne.” (Revelation 3:21)

Let’s examine ‘him that overcometh” in context. Back up one verse with me — it would seem that “he that overcometh” is he that opens the door to the Lord and invites Him in to ‘sup with him and he with Me.”

No mention of overcoming persecution or hardship or trouble or tribulation here. The counsel is offered to those that the Lord says specifically that He loves, but “rebukes and chastens” to “be zealous therefore, and repent.”

So in context, those among the churches (His Bride) that are zealous and repent and invite Him in for fellowship, Jesus calls ‘overcomers’. But Jesus says that they are those ‘who overcame even as I overcame.’

Some argue this means that overcomers are those who suffer the Tribulation Period or those who refuse to take the Mark.

The problem with this view is that the Lord is still addressing those of the present tense second outline — “the things which are.” The Tribulation,” which must be hereafter,” hasn’t started yet.

Let’s connect the dots so far. The Lord overcame by dying and being resurrected. John is being addressed by the resurrected Jesus in His resurrection Body. And Paul says that we shall also receive a resurrection body just like it.

“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is. ”

There is a future event — the Rapture of the Church, which Paul describes this way. First, the dead in Christ are resurrected, then we who are alive and remain are immediately translated into our resurrection bodies, “and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

That is the only sense in which we human beings could EVER be said to have overcome even as Jesus overcame. Jesus never sinned. (I did and do) He paid the penalty for sin on my behalf at the Cross, (I cannot) then was resurrected and bodily ascended into heaven signifying the conquest of sin and death.

To argue that I must suffer as He did in order be an overcomer during the Church Age is to turn the doctrine of soteriology (salvation) on its head.

So the only similitude that logically fits the “overcomers” metaphor is that of the Lord’s bodily resurrection and ascension, and the Rapture’s bodily resurrection and ascension.

Finally, the angels present at the Lord’s ascension confirm that; “this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven.”

How was that? Quietly, and without fanfare, and witnessed only by the Apostles who represented the embryonic Church.

It makes no contextual sense to read ‘overcomers’ as those who come out of the Tribulation.

Assessment:

Chapter Three concludes with Jesus walking among the golden lampstands of the Church on the earth. At the beginning of Chapter four, a great thing has just transpired.

The third division of the outline of Revelation — that which must be hereafter — begins when John’s perspective shifts from that of the earthbound churches to that of heaven.

“After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.”

“Hereafter what?” can only have one logical answer. Hereafter is when the overcomers of the Church Age are taken up to heaven with Jesus in like manner as the Apostles had seen Him go.

“Hereafter” begins at the Throne Room of God:

“And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. And He that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald. And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.” (Revelation 4:2-4)

Who are these four and twenty elders? Let’s establish who they are not, first. They are not spirits. Spirits don’t sit. Spirits don’t wear clothes. Spirits don’t wear crowns.

They are not angels. “And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders:” (Revelation 5:11)

Nowhere in Scripture are angels numbered specifically. Cherubim (living ‘beasts’) are numbered (there are four) but angels are ‘a multitude’ or an ‘innumerable company’ but never twenty-four. Angels don’t wear crowns. They don’t wear clothes and they NEVER sit in the presence of God.

“And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;” (Revelation 5:9)

The twenty-four elders are the Blood-bought redeemed of mankind — the representatives of the saints of God. They number twenty-four, one for each of the twelve tribes of Israel, and one for each of the Twelve Apostles.

Together, they make up the redeemed society of mankind through the ages.

All twenty-four of them are seated before God’s Throne before even the FIRST of the seals has been broken. The twenty-four elders are in their places as they watch those who come out of great tribulation, their robes washed in the Blood of the Lamb, the Tribulation Saints martyred for their witness of Christ.

The outline of Revelation remains constant from the moment John arrives at heaven’s open door until it concludes in eternity future.

John’s perspective is that of heaven, where he is already in the company of the twenty-four elders when the very first seal is broken, bringing down the first of twenty-one judgments upon a sinful, Christ-rejecting world.

There is a clear division between that which is and that which shall be hereafter and the primary difference is that of perspective.

When talking about the Church, John is with Jesus is on earth, among the lampstands.

When speaking of the Tribulation judgments, John is in Heaven with Jesus and the twenty-four elders who are not spirits, not angels, but rather the redeemed of God, who wear crowns, clothes and sit in His Presence. They are already there and seated when the first of the seals are broken.

They are already there and seated long before the first of the Tribulation saints start to show up after the 144,000 Jewish evangelists are sealed and indwelt by Holy Spirit.

No matter how one slices and dices it, the twenty-four elders are in heaven with John long before the first Tribulation saints begin to arrive. And so is the Church.

“. . . and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore, comfort one another with these words.” (1st Thessalonians 4:17-18)