Fact Check: Remaking America

Fact Check: Remaking America
Vol: 91 Issue: 30 Thursday, April 30, 2009

President Barack Hussein Obama marked his 100th day in office with a speech in which he told Americans that “we’ve begun the work of remaking America.”

If you thought America was ok unmade, or unremade, or if you just liked it the way it was, then let me remind you, as the Dems are fond of doing, that Obama won the election. If you didn’t vote for him, you have no right to an opinion.

The big networks learned that. Fox News backed the wrong horse during the election, then failed to fall down and worship The One once he won the White House. In return, while the White House hasn’t yet pulled Fox News’ credentials, Obama won’t call on its reporters.

Earlier yesterday in St Louis, Obama made a point of mentioning “certain news channels” where he’s ‘not very popular.’ At his third press conference last night, Obama called on reporters from every single network but one – Fox.

In all, Obama called on reporters from AP, Detroit News, ABC, CBS Radio, NBC, Reuters, CBS, CNN, NYTimes, Telemundo, BET, TIME and the Wall Street Journal. But nobody from Fox.

Obama’s apologists say it was payback for Fox’s entertainment channel refusing to give Obama free airtime. But Fox News Channel covered it wall-to-wall, so that doesn’t fly.

This is America Remade. If you didn’t vote for Obama, your opinion doesn’t matter. Whether you are just one citizen or if you represent millions, like Fox does.

This is a good time to point out that in America, there are but two branches of media. There is the liberal media, like MSNBC, CNBC, NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, PBS, The NYTimes, Washington Post, LATimes, Chicago Tribune, etc., etc.

The ‘liberal’ media is so-called because it only reports news that serves the Left’s agenda. News that does not necessarily serve the Left’s agenda but is too important to ignore is then spun until it does serve the Left’s agenda.

On the other side of the spectrum is the ‘conservative’ media. The conservative media is a bit easier to identify — Fox News and the Washington Times.

What I want to point out, however, is not the fact that there are more liberal media organizations than there are conservative media organizations. I want you to see that there are only TWO types of media; liberal and conservative.

Can you think of a media organization that does not lean one way or the other?

What does that mean, exactly? Well, if you are like me and cannot think of an unbiased news source, then what it means is that there is nowhere Americans can turn to for the truth. At best, they can hope for a version of the truth.

If you want the liberal version, you can turn to one of the many liberal outlets available. If you want the conservative version, there’s Fox News and the Washington Times. There is nowhere to turn to in order to get the news before it’s been propagandized.

I’m not defending Fox. Both the liberal and conservative media are, by definition, deceivers. Each takes a set of neutral facts and spins them to create a particular sympathy toward a particular and pre-determined agenda.

If you favor gun control, then you probably prefer CNN where you will only hear stories in which guns are used to commit crimes. If you oppose gun control, you prefer Fox, where you will hear how guns were used by law-abiding citizens to stop crime.

Each only tells half the story. This isn’t to blame the media, necessarily. There is no shortage of people who only want to hear the half they agree with. And if they choose the wrong outlet, sometimes they don’t hear any of it.

I was talking to my brother the other day. He’s not much of a news junkie — sometimes he watches the evening news after supper, sometimes not.

I asked him what he thought of the “tea party” demonstrations. More than a million people demonstrated in more than 700 cities against the fledgling Obama government. He didn’t know anything about them. Nothing.

But he knew Obama was “the most popular president” since Kennedy — he saw that on the news.

Assessment:

It remains a fact that almost everything most people think they know about history and politics is not true. At best, most of us know a version of the facts, some of which are true but most of which are not.

Millions upon millions of Americans believed Obama yesterday when he blamed the current economic mess on the previous administration. “It wasn’t me,” he said. Not true.

The US had undergone six years of uninterrupted growth when the Democrats took control of Congress in 2006. That’s not a liberal ‘fact’ or a conservative ‘fact’ or a partisan ‘fact’ — it’s just a fact.

I was there. I remember it. I was bewildered by Pelosi’s claim the economy was suffering — and said so more than once.

“America’s Gross Domestic Product is growing at the rate of 4.1% according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. GDP forecasts show it will continue to climb into August 2004 from ten trillion dollars in March to eleven trillion by August.

Personal income is also continuing to rise, up 0.4% in February. It has risen every month for the past twelve months except September, 2003. Corporate profits, according to the BLS, are up by $81.4 billion last quarter.

Profitable corporations hire new workers. Unprofitable corporations lay workers off. But to listen to the spin doctors, profitable corporations are bad and must be penalized for being profitable by taxing away all the profits. It’s only fair, they say. “ (OL April 1st 2004)

“The politicization of the war on terror began even as Democratic Majority Leader Tom Daschle pledged the Democrats ‘not to politicize this war’ (OL 9/26/02, 3/22/04, 7/23/0412/23/05, etc.) Rather than coming together as one nation, the Left elected to use the war to divide the country as a springboard to power.

As the years went by and memories faded, the Democrat theme for ’04 was “How Bush Lost The War In Iraq” and the ’06 theme was “How Losing the War in ’04 Ruined the Economy in ’06”.

Nancy Pelosi pledged to ‘fix’ the Bush economy and ‘do something’ about high gas prices within her first 100 days as Speaker in ’06 (when unemployment was at 4.5% and gas was under $2.00/gallon)

If you keep telling people that their life savings are threatened if they leave it in the market, they will eventually begin to believe it and move those savings to a safe place (like under their mattress).” (OL December 15, 2008)

In 2006, Nancy Pelosi assumed the Speaker’s gavel and promised to ‘fix’ the Bush economy. She did. Along with Harry Reid. (And Senator Barack Hussein Obama)

For Barack Obama to blame it on the Bush administration isn’t merely disingenuous. It’s an outright lie. Although they can certainly make things worse, presidents actually have very little control over whether or not an economy does well.

It’s all about confidence. If investors aren’t afraid they’ll lose their investment, they will invest. The economy will do well. Scare them off, and they won’t invest. And the economy will suffer.

It’s not difficult to puzzle this out.

In his speech, Obama called former president Bush both a torturer and a liar. “Water-boarding is torture. . . We could have gotten this information in other ways.”

It’s incredible enough for a sitting president to openly accuse a former president of criminal conduct.

It’s even more incredible since its not true.

I’ve been water-boarded. So have most US military personnel at some point in their career. It wasn’t pleasant. But it wasn’t torture.

Indeed, I was once forced to sing the fourth verse of the Marine Corps hymn while standing in the “gas chamber” (a sealed room filled with tear gas) with my gas mask tucked under my arm.

Having endured both (Obama having endured neither) I can confidently state that the gas chamber came a lot closer to ‘torture’ than did water-boarding.

In any case, Khalid Sheik Mohammed was the guy who planned and executed the September 11 attacks. Torture? I don’t think so.

I was probably open-mouthed through much of the speech, since the majority of it was demonstrably untrue. When he finished, he opened it up to questions from the media (excluding Fox) and not a single one of his alleged ‘points’ was challenged.

Probably the only true statement he made was the one in which he said “we’ve begun the work of remaking America,” although into what remains to be seen. The rest was self-serving deception on his part.

Deception is the hallmark sign for the last days.

When asked, “What will be the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the world?” by His disciples, the first thing Jesus said was, “Take heed that no man deceive you.” (Matthew 24:3)

When writing to the Thessalonians to tell them how they would know when the Day of Christ was “at hand” Paul warned of the “mystery of iniquity” whose coming “is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.”

Further, Paul warned that it would be, “for this cause that God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but took pleasure in unrighteousness.” (2nd Thessalonians 2:9-11)

It’s all about deception. I’m not saying Obama is the antichrist. Obama might think he’s the One, but I’m not so sure – I think he’s just a decoy.

The Bible notes only two people in history personally indwelt by Satan. The first was Judas Iscariot. The antichrist is the second.

I don’t believe we’ll know who the antichrist is — I don’t think that he knows, whoever he is, that he’s the antichrist. But the signs that the world is preparing for his coming are all around us.

It sounds gloomy, but be encouraged. Before he gets here, we’re gone.

Maranatha!

You Gotta Have Faith

You Gotta Have Faith
Vol: 91 Issue: 29 Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Despite the realities of the situation, not the least of which is the sudden and total lack of evidence, the faith that True Believers have in anthropomorphic global warming is truly inspiring.

‘Anthropomorphic’ means ‘man-caused’ and that is a key element to the entire global warming swindle. If it is man-made, then an argument can be made that man should do something about it.

In such a case, some of the various schemes being advanced, like cap-and-trade, carbon credits and carbon-neutral footprints would make sense. (Almost).

The True Believers don’t just have to have faith that the earth continues to warm even as the temperature falls. True Believers must not only have have faith that global warming causes falling temperatures, they have to be willing to make the argument in public.

True Believers must have faith that, despite all that is known about historical weather patterns, this time it is going to be catastrophic unless “something” is done to prevent it.

And more than anything else, True Believers must have faith that global warming is the direct result of human activity. That faith must be unshakeable, otherwise they wouldn’t be True Believers. Indeed, one could argue that it is at this point that global warming passes from the realm of science into that of religion.

First off, the earth is carbon-based, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the earth emits carbons into the atmosphere. What would one expect a carbon-based planet to emit?

The planet’s atmosphere is designed to function as a greenhouse. Were it not for the canopy of greenhouse gases surrounding our earth, water would boil in the noonday sun, and freeze solid every night. (If water could exist at all).

Let’s consider the greenhouse gases themselves, for a second. The big one is carbon dioxide (82%). Carbon dioxide is what you breathe out after you’ve extracted all the oxygen. Plants breathe in the carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen. Without carbon dioxide, plants would suffocate and we would suffocate soon afterwards.

Nitrogen is another pollutant, say the True Believers. Nothing on this earth that grows, a cornfield to a baby nursery, can grow without nitrogen. Carbon dioxide and nitrogen together account for about 90% of greenhouse gases.

According even to Al Gore, ninety-six percent of all the global-warming causing greenhouse gases are emitted by the oceans. That leaves four percent. Two percent of the remaining total is caused by land-locked natural events outside of human control.

That leaves about two percent of the global-warming causing greenhouse gases that one might argue are ‘optional’ — that is to say, that can be affected by human behavior, or ‘anthropomorphic’. Two percent.

The True Believers claim that human activity is responsible for 14% of global warming gases is almost true. It is actually fourteen percent of the two percent of the whole greenhouse gas cycle. (Cow flatulence accounts for eighteen percent — so humans aren’t even the worst offenders.)

Anthropomorphic greenhouse gases account for a tiny percent of a tinier percent of the whole picture. One can have fun with numbers and demonstrate how greenhouse gases have increased over certain periods of time and then point to rising temperatures.

But that doesn’t change the equation. If man-made activity accounts for 14% of 2% of the total greenhouse gas emissions, if we doubled our emission levels and temperature fluctuations today, it would still account for just 28% of 2%.

If we totally eliminated man-made emissions, it would reduce greenhouse gases by 14% of 2% of the total.

No matter how one spins the numbers, in reality, human activity is just a drop in the proverbial bucket.

Assessment:

News Flash from 1755: “Scientists Link sun To Global Warming!”

Scientists have been tracking solar activity since 1755 when astronomers noted a relationship between sunspots and the climate, so they began recording their findings. sunspots come and go in roughly eleven-year cycles, but during the 17th century, they had all but disappeared.

That period of solar inactivity is called the “Maunder Minimum” after the astronomer who discovered it. Since then, science has noted that when the sun s activity is high and low are related to warm and cool climatic periods.

The weak sun in the 17th century coincided with the so-called Little Ice Age. Coincidence? Sunspot activiy took a dip between 1790 and 1830 and the earth also cooled a little. It was weak during the cold Iron Age, and active during the warm Bronze Age.

During the 20th century the sun was unusually active, peaking in the 1950s and the late 1980s. Dean Pensell of NASA, says that, since the Space Age began in the 1950s, solar activity has been generally high. Five of the ten most intense solar cycles on record have occurred in the last 50 years.

Mysteriously, (from the perspective of the True Believers) the sun became increasingly active at the same time that the Earth warmed. And since the turn of the century, sunspot activity has all but disappeared. And mysteriously, so has any evidence of global warming.

The UK Independent recently quoted Marc Hairston of the University of Texas saying of solar activity, “This is the lowest we ve ever seen. We thought we d be out of it by now, but we re not.

In a recent speech, Hillary Clinton announced: “The science is unambiguous, and the logic that flows from it is inescapable: climate change is a clear and present danger to our world that demands immediate attention.”

Here’s a clue (from a Fox News report): “A greenhouse gases trading system funded with the support of then-Illinois State Sen. Barack Obama, which is likely to play a major role in his $650 million cap-and-trade initiative, lists five present or former top-ranking U.N. officials on its advisory board who’ve had enormous influence over climate change matters — including one who received $1 million from a convicted South Korean lobbyist.

The most controversial figure of the five, Maurice Strong, was one of former Secretary General Kofi Annan’s key aides at the U.N. for years until the Iraq Oil-for-Food scandal forced him to leave. Since then Strong has lived mostly in China. Calls to the exchange for comment about Strong’s role, and that of other U.N. figures, were not returned.”

Why is it, do you think, that belief in anthropomorphic global warming is primarily a liberal religion? The Bible says, “by their fruits, ye shall know them.”

Maurice Strong is serves as Special Advisor to the Secretary-General of the United Nations and as Senior Advisor to the President of the World Bank.

He is also, among many other things Chairman of Strovest Holdings, Chairman and Director of Technology Development Corp, Director of the Foundation Board of the World Economic Forum and Chairman of the Earth Council. Strong’s former appointments include Secretary General of the World Bank and Director of the Rockefeller Foundation. He is a leading Bilderberger, and member of the Trilateral Commission, the Council on Foreign Relations and Club of Rome.

Maurice Strong is to the New Age and environmental movement what George Soros is to the Fascist Far Left. Strong is a Rockefeller socialist proponent of a one world government and one world religion (New Age) with links to the Lucis Trust (formerly Lucifer Trust) founded by Alice Bailey.

One of his more famous quotes sounds a lot like what is now unfolding before us: “We may get to the point where the only way of saving the world will be for industrial civilization to collapse.”

There are several things I want you to take note of before we move on. The first is the actual science, to wit: the sudden and inexplicable collapse of solar activity. The second is the corresponding collapse of any evidence pointing to global warming.

The third is the refusal by the fascists, socialists, New Agers and US ‘progressives’ like Obama, Gore or Clinton to consider the obvious connection between the sun and the weather. (That one never ceases to amaze me).

The fourth is the religious nature of the debate. Scientists who question the global warming ‘consensus’ are dismissed using the distinctly religious epithet, ‘heretic’. Global warming champions revel in the label ‘true believers’. Evidence is irrelevant.

Finally, note the way the fear of global warming has reshaped the debate. The fear-mongering is almost cartoonish. The stakes are enormous. Nobody on either side of the debate knows what to do next. Those who advocate doing nothing are even worse than heretics — it is surreal.

Until one considers it from the perspective of Bible prophecy.

“And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring: Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. . . . ”

“And when these things BEGIN TO COME TO PASS, then look up, and lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh.” (Luke 21:25-26, 28)

Dualling Covenants

Dualling Covenants
Vol: 91 Issue: 28 Tuesday, April 28, 2009

There is a belief that exists within the Church that argues that because Jews have a special relationship with God, they will be welcomed into Heaven even if they have rejected Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus the Messiah).

Therefore, the thinking goes, there is no need to evangelize the Jews. They’ll be saved automatically. This is known as ‘Dual Covenant’ theology. But is it Biblical? Is it valid?

If not, why is it so popular? Let’s take the last question, first. I am a Christian Zionist. I believe that the Jews of Israel are descended from the Jews of antiquity and that Israel is the Divinely-appointed Jewish homeland.

Christian Zionists love the Jews. It is painful to think of them as being unsaved because they rejected their Messiah. Unlike Replacement Theology, which is rooted in jealously and hatred for God’s Chosen People, ‘Dual Covenant’ theology finds it roots in our love for the Jews and our desire to see them saved.

How were Jews saved before the coming of the Messiah?

We know that Abraham believed God and it was counted to him as righteousness. (Romans 4:3) Hebrews Chapter 11 addresses the conundrum of salvation for the Jews. It is a conundrum because we Christians don’t fully comprehend it.

We know that God entered into a special covenant relationship with Israel at Sinai when He gave them the Torah (means teaching / instruction not LAW). But how do these covenants, and the additional instructions from God forming the rest of the Tanakh, work out in the life of the Jew?

God said, “If you will keep all .” Obey the Torah and all its 316 commandments, you will be right with Me. Clearly, nobody, Jew or Gentile, is capable of meeting that standard. The Torah will cause the man of faith to throw himself on God s mercy for forgiveness.

David was a man after God s own heart, but he fell well short of Torah standards. David acknowledged his sin, repented and was forgiven and restored. The Torah included a system of sacrifices for dealing with sins, but the sacrifice had to be offered in faith that God would accept it as a token of his repentance and forgive him.

The Bible tells us that Abraham, Isaac, David, Joseph, Moses, (and even Rahab the Harlot) were all saved by faith before Messiah came.

Hebrews 11:13 says of the patriarchs:

“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.”

The OT patriarchs were saved, not by the Abrahamic Covenant, but faith in its eventual fulfillment by the Messiah, Jesus.

The Scriptures say “without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6)

Dual Covenant Theology comforts those Christians who love the Jews and can’t bear the thought of their not going to Heaven unless they accept the Messiah. But for that thinking to work, then there must be two Messiahs — one for the Christians and another for the Jews.

Dual Covenant Theology ignores the fact that Yeshua Hamashiac is, first and foremost, the JEWISH Messiah. “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not,” we learn from John 1:11.

Jesus came to the Jews first. Mark tells the story of the Syrophenician woman who begged Jesus to cast a devil out of her daughter. Note His reply carefully:

“But Jesus said unto her, Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it unto the dogs.” The ‘children’ referred to here were the ‘children of Israel’. “Dogs” was a slang name among the Jews for ‘Gentile’.

Jesus’ first ministry was to the Jews.

He did NOT teach that the Jews could be saved by trusting in their ability to keep the Law. He told them, “I am the way, the truth and the life, and no man comes to the Father but by Me.”

Assessment:

Now we run into a major stumbling block. Did you spot it? Replacement Theology argues that the Jews have forfeited promises of the First Covenant to the Church. Dual Covenant Theology argues that the First Covenant has NOT been replaced by the Covenant to the Church.

Replacement theology is wrong. And so is Dual Covenant. How do we reconcile these glaring contradictions in Scripture? By recognizing they cover two separate Dispensations of God.

As we’ve already seen, Hebrews 1:11 says the Patriarchs were saved by faith that God would fulfill His promise of a Redeemer. During the Age of Grace, we are saved by faith that the Redeemer is come.

Dispensationalism takes into account the unfolding revelation of God. God exists outside of time and space, but we don’t. We are bound by chronology. The Bible ‘dispenses’ revelation progressively throughout history, even as God, at different times in history, dealt differently in his interactions with man.

He walked in the garden with Adam (Age of Innocence).

He allowed Adam’s descendants to conduct themselves according to their own consciences, devoid of further revelation. (Age of Conscience) After the Flood came the age of Human Government.

Abraham’s covenant with God was yet a new progressive revelation (Age of Promise).

But man was not accountable for violating Divine Law until God’s revelation of the Ten Commandments (Age of the Law). That revelation was truly progressive, in that the longer man had to try, the more obvious it became that it was impossible to keep the whole law.

In keeping with His covenant with Abraham, God provided for a temporary system of sacrifice whereby the blood of bulls and rams would serve as an imperfect covering for the sins of the children of Israel until the advent of the Messiah.

The Prophet Daniel outlined the future history of Israel from the restoration of the Temple sacrifice system following the Babylonian exile until the coming of the Messiah to a period of 490 years, divided into seventy ‘weeks’ of years.

From the issuance of the order to rebuild the Temple by King Artexerxes in 445 BC until the coming of the Messiah, Daniel predicted, would be a period of 69 weeks, or 483 years. Fast forward the requisite number of years and you come to the third decade of the first century.

Daniel says at the conclusion of the 69th week shall the Messiah be cut off (killed) but not for Himself (for the sins of His people). The seventieth Week is put on hold to allow for the next Dispensation (Age of Grace) to move forward. The Age of Grace is the New Covenant which was offered at the Last Supper.

Yet there remains one more unfulfilled week of the Law. The Prophet Daniel says that a prince of the people who destroyed the Temple (the Romans in AD 70) would confirm a covenant with Israel that will result in the restoration of Temple worship and animal sacrifice on Temple Mount.

“And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” (Daniel 9:26)

The Age of Grace concludes before the 70th Week because they represent two different Dispensations of God.

During the Tribulation, the antichrist desecrates the Temple. Jesus called it ‘the abomination of desolation.’ That raises an interesting question. If the Tribulation Temple is not legitimate in the eyes of God, how could it be desecrated in the eyes of God? It is Jesus Christ who links the antichrist’s presence in the Temple with the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel. He ought to know.

Paul describes this coming abomination more thoroughly: “Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” (2nd Thessalonians 2:4)

Paul does not describe it as the Tribulation Temple, or the antichrist’s Temple. He calls it the Temple of God. Paul was an Apostle of Christ. Once again, he ought to know.

None of this is possible during the Dispensation of Grace. During the Age of Grace, those indwelt by the Holy Spirit are ‘the temple of God’.

But Daniel says Temple priests will resume Temple worship, including sacrifices and oblations to God. The Third Temple will be desecrated, says Jesus. Paul says it is, at that time, the Temple of God.

Jeremiah refers to Daniel’s 70th Week as the “Time of Jacob’s Trouble”. Jesus warns those living in Judea that when it comes, “pray it not be on the Sabbath”.

All of this body of evidence taken together suggests that the Tribulation is, as Jeremiah indicates, the time of Jacob’s Trouble, not the Church’s.

There are TWO covenants, and God has not abandoned the First Covenant in favor of the Second. If He had, Replacement Theology would be valid. Where Dual Covenant theology is wrong in that it assumes both covenant agreements operate simultaneously.

The Church exists under the New Covenant, or Age of Grace, which is concluded at the Rapture. The indwelling ministry of the Holy Spirit is withdrawn, and with Him, the Temple that He occupied. That leaves nobody on the earth except the Christ-rejecting Gentiles and the Jews who remain in unbelief.

Jeremiah, Zechariah, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel and Paul all clearly state that the Tribulation results in the national redemption of Israel.

“And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.” (Zechariah 12:10)

Daniel clearly says that God’s covenant with Israel has one more week. All Jesus’ comments and warnings about the Tribulation are addressed to Sabbath-keeping Jews. Jesus declares the Third Temple will be desecrated by the antichrist. Paul describes how, and in so doing, identifies it as “the Temple of God.” Daniel says that at the time when this abomination of desolation takes place, Jewish priests will once again be offering animal sacrifices.

Remove Dispensationalism from the equation, and Dual Covenant and Replacement theology are either both wrong, or they are both right, while simultaneously contradiction one another. Introduce the Church into the Tribulation Period without first concluding the Age of Grace at the Rapture muddies the picture still more.

Restore pre-trib Dispensationalism and Scripture is in harmony with itself. We’re not yet in the Tribulation because the Lord, in His mercy, has not yet concluded the Age of Grace.

Not yet.

The Flu

The Flu
Vol: 91 Issue: 27 Monday, April 27, 2009

Everybody is talking about the new strain of swine flu that has killed more than one hundred people in Mexico and is rapidly spreading around the world.

First, the facts as we now know them:

Pigs get the flu in much the same way that humans do. The develop a similar fever, including the cough, sneezing, achy joints and loss of appetite.

Humans can catch it directly from contact with pigs the same way that they can catch from contact with people. Cross-contamination with swine flu is therefore not all that rare — there are a few cases every year.

But this one is different. Technically, it’s not swine flu at all. Swine flu will also jump to pigs — this new strain seemingly only infects humans.

If anything, it is mainly what is called ‘bird flu’ –but more of a super virus that is genetically four different strains of flu combined.

The CDC says it is mainly human influenza type A with a strain of bird flu and two different strains of swine flu; an American version and an Asian version.

The CDC identifies the virus officially as Influenza A H1N1

So, how worried should we be? Nobody knows yet — except in Mexico. They are plenty worried.

As already noted, more than 100 people in Mexico are believed to have died from the new flu and more than 1,600 sickened, prompting widespread school closures and other measures.

New cases are being reported in almost every country. The global media is practically in a frenzy about it. There are six confirmed cases in Canada. There are about twenty confirmed cases in the USA.

In New Zealand there are about a dozen cases. Australia has taken the extreme position of requiring airlines to identify passengers who may be infected so they can be quarantined and examined upon landing.

“Before flights will be able to land here in Australia, pilots will have to ascertain whether anyone on board has flu-like symptoms,” announced Australia’s Health Minister Nicola Roxon.

In Singapore, the health ministry said it began using thermal scanners Sunday at Changi International Airport to check passengers arriving from the United States. Travelers with high temperatures would be given a thorough medical examination, it said.

Thermal scanners and upgraded checks for flu-like symptoms were also being put in place at main airports in Japan, Thailand and Indonesia.

Hong Kong and Taiwan said visitors returning from flu-affected areas with fevers would be quarantined.

China said anyone experiencing flu-like symptoms within two weeks of arrival had to report to authorities.

A Russian health agency said passengers from North America running a fever would be quarantined until the cause is determined.

EU Health authorities are warning their citizens not to travel to either Mexico OR the US.

EU Health Commissioner Andorra Vassiliou met with the EU foreign ministers on the subject as Spain reported the first confirmed case of swine flu in Europe.

She told reporters EU citizens “should avoid traveling to Mexico or the United States of America unless it is very urgent for them.”

So far however, the only place where it has been deadly was in Mexico. Nobody knows why but there is some speculation that it is because that is where it first originated and subsequent variants may have mutated and become less deadly.

Those confirmed cases of Influenza A H1N1 in the US suffered only mild flu symptoms and recovered without further treatment. The same for the reported cases elsewhere.

Outside of Mexico, it appears that it is just ‘the flu’ — and a fairly mild one, at that.

Assessment:

So,where is the nexus between a case of Mexican swine flu (or influenza A H1N1) and unfolding Bible prophecy? There are actually several. Let’s begin with the media reports.

I want you to notice the naked power of the media unchained. Media reports of the illness focus primarily on the Mexican death toll, one has to read two-thirds of the way down the page to learn that nobody outside of Mexico has suffered more than a mild illness.

I’m not criticizing the media — in this case, it did its job the way it is supposed to. That’s not really the point.

The point is, before the CDC or its international equivalents had learned anything about influenza A H1N1, entire nations were implementing quarantine measures, issuing travel warnings and holding press conferences.

Why? Because of media attention. In this case, its a good thing. But it is every bit as effective when it’s not.

Everything about the last days, from the perspective of Scripture, is rooted in the enemy’s ability to use the smoke and mirrors of a pre-existing world-wide propaganda machine. When asked of the signs of His coming, the first thing the Lord said was “take heed that no man deceive you.”

Deception is the hallmark of the Tribulation.

The Holy Spirit is also called the Spirit of Truth, for that is among His ministries to believers during the Church Age.

“But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of Me:” (John 15:26)

Notice that at the time Jesus is speaking, the Comforter is not yet come. He does not come until after the Lord Jesus leaves. The Comforter is referred to using the personal pronoun, “He”.

“He” is the Spirit of Truth, sent from the Father.

“Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will shew you things to come.” (John 16:13)

So, the Spirit of Truth was not yet come, and His ministry is to guide the Church into all truth. But during the Tribulation Period, the truth is no longer operational. Jesus warned it would be a time of ultimate deception.

Paul said God Himself would send strong delusion, “that they should believe a lie.” Paul explains the purpose of the delusion thusly: “That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (2nd Thessalonians 2:12)

The ministry of the Spirit of Truth is to indwell the Church, guide the Church into ALL truth, with particular attention to prophecy and the last days. But during the Tribulation, there is no such Comforter or Guide in evidence.

Only lies, deceit, death and destruction.

Revelation Chapter 13 is all about the power of deception and the ultimate use of deception as a method of control more powerful than any military occupation could ever hope to impose. The population practically begs for more deception:

“And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?”

“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.”

“And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” (Revelation 13:4,7-8)

The ministry of the Spirit of Truth did not come until after Jesus’ ascension at Pentecost. The ministry of the Spirit of Truth is what restrains unrestricted propaganda and deception. The Apostle Paul says the Spirit of Truth will continue to restrain via His occupation of believers until “He is taken out of the way” necessitating the Rapture. (2nd Thessalonians 2:7)

It is only after that, Paul says, that the antichrist can be revealed, beginning the 70th Week of Daniel, the ‘time of Jacob’s Trouble’ and the judgment for sin that will be meted out to all those that “dwell upon the earth.”

“And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the Spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming.” (2nd Thessalonians 2:8)

The Truth is still with us. The Spirit of Truth continues to guide us. That is how we can know that the world has not yet slipped over into the Tribulation Period. Because the Holy Spirit, and the indwelt Church, has not yet been withdrawn at the Rapture.

I said the flu story intersects with Bible prophecy on a number of fronts. After warning against deception, Jesus went on to tell His disciples what would be the signs of His soon return.

“And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.”

Notice that Jesus didn’t say that everybody would necessarily experience these things as the time approached. Only that we would all hear of such things. They would exist, as they always have.

Wars and famines and pestilences are all part of the human condition throughout time. Jesus is addressing the widespread (in diverse places) fear (see that ye not be troubled) that such widespread reporting of these events would engender.

At no time in history did everybody on earth experience the same wars, earthquakes, famines and pestilences all at the same time. But in this generation, thanks to mass communications, it sure seems like it.

We have, in the swine flu story, a perfect example of global fear engendered by ‘hearing’ of ‘pestilences’ in ‘divers places’.

Jesus spoke of the ‘distress [fear] of nations, with perplexity [confusion]’ as part of the unfolding scenario for that one generation, somewhere in time, to whom all Bible prophecy was addressed.

Finally, a third nexus with Bible prophecy that demonstrates how close we are to that point when the Spirit of Truth must be withdrawn to permit the rest of God’s outline for the last day to run its course.

The Prophet Daniel, having just been exposed to this outline of future history from his place on the timeline some six centuries before Christ, was understandably perplexed.

Having seen the vision unfold to the end, Daniel is given his final instructions.

“But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” (Daniel 12:4)

That wasn’t enough of an answer for Daniel, but it was the only one he was going to get.

He persisted: “And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?”

The angel was just as persistent: “And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.” (Daniel 12:8-9)

The Book of Daniel remained ‘sealed’ as a book of meaningless heads, horns, beasts and symbols until this generation, when knowledge has increased and people move ‘to and fro’ to the extent that a person sneezing Mexico can give bird flu to a person in Australia.

Finally, the Bible speaks, during the Tribulation, of a series of global pandemics very much like everybody fears this one will become.

At no time in history was it ever possible for everybody to be infected by the same epidemic prior to the last century.

But nine days ago, somebody in Mexico sneezed — and the whole world caught the flu.

“And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” (Luke 21:28)

The Most Dangerous Nation on Earth

The Most Dangerous Nation on Earth
Vol: 91 Issue: 25 Saturday, April 25, 2009

In his inaugural address, President Obama proclaimed “an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas that for far too long have strangled our politics.”

He promised to fix America’s image abroad; to ‘rebrand’ America and put a new style and content on America’s worldview — and on the world’s view of America.

The traditional First Hundred Days review, by and large, was another Obamafest. USAToday raved that the “Majority of Public Approves of Obama” — a rather good thing — since he’ll be in office for four long years.

But one wonders if the administration believes the nation has a future, as focused as it seems to be on the past.

He never misses an opportunity to point out that he ‘inherited’ the economy, partly true, (but no excuse for further driving it down).

The Washington Post, hardly a bastion of conservative thought, noted both Obama’s inaugural promise and his obsession with the previous administration:

“What the administration is involved in now is the politics of attribution,” said Lawrence R. Jacobs, a political scientist at the University of Minnesota.

“Each week that goes by with falling job numbers and Republican criticism of the administration’s flaws means falling approval ratings. What’s the antidote? That the guilty party is George Bush.”

“The trick,” Jacobs said, “is how do you shift blame to George Bush and retain any credibility on the idea that you are looking past partisan warfare? This looks like a doubling down on a very partisan approach.”

But while Obama might still be able to hide behind the Bush administration when it comes to responsibility for the economy, Iraq, and even Afghanistan, Obama is on his own when it comes to Pakistan, currently the most dangerous nation on earth.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is hard at work weaving a shield around Obama, testifying before Congress that previous administrations were responsible for the mess Pakistan is in now.

“I mean, let’s remember here, the people we are fighting today we funded 20 years ago. We did it because we were locked in this struggle with the Soviet Union. They invaded Afghanistan, and we did not want to see them control Central Asia, and we went to work,” she said.

“It was President (Ronald) Reagan, in partnership with the Congress, led by Democrats, who said, you know what? Sounds like a pretty good idea. Let’s deal with the ISI and the Pakistani military, and let’s go recruit these mujaheddin. And great, let’s get some to come from Saudi Arabia and other places, importing their Wahhabi brand of Islam, so that we can go beat the Soviet Union. And guess what? They retreated. They lost billions of dollars, and it led to the collapse of the Soviet Union,” Clinton said.

So what is happening in Pakistan today is a result of that policy. It’s Reagan’s fault. And the first Bush’s fault.

She largely gave her husband’s administration a pass, noting only that the US stopped dealing the the Pak military and ISI until the second Bush administration when the the al-Qaeda created during the Reagan-Bush years attacked New York and Washington on September 11.

I called Pakistan the most dangerous nation on earth. Pakistan has a formidable nuclear weapons program, and equally formidable missile program, and the Taliban has taken over about half the country.

The Taliban now control the tribal regions of Pakistan, huge sections of the Swat Valley and have just consolidated their control over the district of Buner, just seventy miles from Islamabad.

They’ve set up checkpoints while the government negotiates a Swat Valley-like truce aimed at holding back the insurgency by ceded territory to them.

Pakistan was one of only two nations on earth that recognized the Taliban as Afghanistan’s legitimate government, (the other being Osama’s home country of Saudi Arabia.)

Many ranking members of the Pak security service, the ISI, are members of the Taliban, as they were in 2002 when Pakistan initially faced off against Washington over Osama bin Laden.

And if the administration’s policty is to sit idly by blaming past administrations for current problems, the Taliban will soon control nuclear Pakistan.

Report to the Members:

I had a wonderful time while in Phoenix. Let me say right off that being around the folks Jewish Voice International was like a big old refreshing drink for the spirit.

I’ve been tweaking that last sentence for the last fifteen minutes and I don’t know how else to say it. It was renewing. It was special — almost overwhelming. And I am grateful to them for it.

There were four of us participating in a kind of round-robin discussion format, moderated by the program’s host, Jonathan Bernis. Besides me, there was Jan Markell, Mark Hitchcock and Steve Spillman.

They recorded three programs in this format before a live studio audience. The studio was packed — Andy Freeman, the program director, later told me it was a record for that studio.

Afterwards, there was a short Q&A session — most of the questions were for Jan Markell — which was yet another mercy. They were all questions that I didn’t know the answers to — but Jan did and she rocked the house.

Jonathan was a wonderful host and treated me royally. And he was a really nice guy, too — among his more obvious gifts was a double measure of hospitality. Almost from the first minute, he had a way of making me feel like a close and trusted friend.

The next morning before leaving, I recorded two more short one-on-one interview segments with him.

I was extremely impressed with Jewish Voice International’s overall ministry. They are much more than a TV ministry — Bernis and his crew had just returned from Ethiopia where they had arranged medical treatment for more than 6,500 patients.

And, as they say, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. They are truly a ministry worthy of support. I encourage you to check them out at their website. (http://www.jewishvoice.org)

When it was time to leave, I was surprised to find that I hated to go.

I clearly had some prayer warriors intervening for journey mercies on my behalf on the trip home, for I had journey mercies in bulk.

I arrived at the airport just in time to board my plane, which took off immediately. I arrived in Minneapolis just in time to make my connection to Buffalo.

In all my fifty-six years, I’ve never flown first-class. On a whim, I asked the gate agent if I could upgrade to first class for the last leg of my journey.

Inexplicably, although it was nearly a full flight, she said, “Sure!” — and just like that, I found myself holding a first-class ticket to Buffalo.

First class is nice. Really, really nice. You get to board first and get off first. The stewardesses bring you stuff before you know you want it. The seats are wider and way more comfortable — more like a nice easy chair than an airplane seat.

On both flights, I was blessed with friendly, agreeable seat-mates. And on arrival, I walked off the plane from my first class seat and there was Gayle at the end of the runway.

Praise the Lord for His many blessings and mercies and thank you all for securing them for me.

I believe the first program airs May 17th, but I’m not certain. Lisa at JVI said she’d drop me an email and let me know beforehand. I’ll keep you informed.

Why Did God Create Man?

Why Did God Create Man?
Vol: 91 Issue: 24 Friday, April 24, 2009

The Bible tells us that it is the Lord Jesus Christ Who the Creator of all things, including the heavens, the earth, and even hell. This mystery is revealed in the first chapter of the Book of John.

John takes us back to creation, saying, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (1:1) In John’s Gospel, the ‘Word’ (logos) is capitalized as a proper noun, since it is used in the sense of a title.

“The same was in the beginning with God.” John also reveals that, “All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made.” (John 1:2-3)

That John is referring to Jesus is made clear when he writes, “He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. He came unto his own, and His own received Him not.” (10-11)

That can only be describing Jesus Christ, Who came first to the Jews, as Jesus told the ‘woman of Caanan’. (Matthew 15:24-28)

So, following the logic that Jesus is the Creator of all things, we must also conclude that He created Hell. This presents what appears to be an impossible theological conundrum.

Jesus describes hell as a place of eternal torment, describing it three times as the place; “Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.” (Mark 9:44,46,48)

The conundrum arises when one tries to solve the apparent contradiction between a compassionate Christ Who shed His Blood to provide a way for me to avoid the horrors of hell and the Creator of Hell Who knew at the time He was creating it that there would be some who would go there.

Jesus says that it would be better not to have ever been born than to end up in hell. So, why create man in the first place, then? The Bible answers that question, but, to the skeptic, the answer only prompts more questions.

According to Revelation 4:11, we were created for God’s pleasure.

(“Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created.”)

So, if man was created for God’s pleasure, but a significant majority of mankind is destined to go to hell, does that mean God takes pleasure in sending people there? The Scriptures say no.

“For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.” (Ezekiel 33:11)

“Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?” (Ezekiel 33:11)

Jesus says in Matthew 25:41 that hell wasn’t created for man, but rather was “prepared for the devil and his angels.”

But that still doesn’t fully address the question. IF the place of ‘everlasting fire’ Jesus is referring to was ‘prepared for the devil and his angels’, and if man was created for God’s pleasure, AND, if God is all-knowing, then He knew some of his Creation would end up there.

AND, if it would be better for man to never have been born than to end up in hell, then WHY create us in the first place?

The universe is considerably more than just man, and while the salvation of man is an integral part of God’s program, we are not the only part of God’s program.

Eons before man was created, God’s anointed angel, Lucifer, rebelled against a decision of God’s (most likely over the creation of man himself).

In describing Jesus’ decision to take on human form, the writer of Hebrews says that Jesus “was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death.” (2:9)

Psalms 91:11 tells us that, “He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. But Paul writes to the Corinthians, “Know ye not that we shall judge angels?” (2nd Corinthians 6:3)

One can imagine Satan rebelling against the concept of the creation of a new, puny, human spiritual being, made ‘lower than the angels’, that God decreed angels (including Satan and his followers) would serve in this life, and then be judged by in the next.

Isaiah outlines Satan’s rebellion as a series of five “I wills”.

“For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.” (Isaiah 14:13-15)

When God cast the rebels out, it was incumbent upon Him to prove Himself just in His decision to those angels who remained loyal. After all, eternity is a long time, and hell is a terrible place. Wasn’t God being a bit hard on them?

So, in a sense, humanity serves as a kind of living courtroom in which angels can observe the consequences of unchecked sin on the natural order of the universe.

Hebrews 12:1 tells us we are “compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses.” [the angelic hosts].

God created man initially with only one rule: avoid the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. To the astonishment of the angels, man broke that rule, introducing sin into the world. Then God allowed man to ruled by his conscience.

(That worked out so well that it took a world-wide flood to repair the damage.)

So God went to Abraham and spoke with him directly. The angels must have been dumbfounded to witness Abraham’s sin with Hagar, knowing that Abraham KNEW better. God told him so directly. They also saw the consequences of sin beginning to pile up, embodied by the ongoing conflict between Abraham’s descendants, Ishmael and Isaac.

To further prove God’s judgement of sin was just and fair, God set aside a Chosen Nation, gave them ten little rules to follow, and allowed the scenario to play out before the heavenly jury.

What began as ten rules for living in harmony for God resulted in the development of a religious system so corrupt that Jesus came to earth Personally to replace it with an even easier method of reconciliation with God — trusting in the shed Blood of Christ alone for salvation.

Remember, the angels who are witnessing all this have seen sin go from a bite of fruit to the horrors of Adolph Hitler, Josef Stalin and Saddam Hussein. Knowing first-hand what a unimaginable Gift was extended mankind from the Cross, can you imagine their astonishment when that Gift was almost universally rejected by what is now a sin-sodden world.

Finally, the Bible says, Jesus Christ returns at the end of the Tribulation Period, binds Satan for a thousand years, sets up a physical Kingdom in Jerusalem from which He personally rules the earth.

During that time, Scripture says, man will live in perfect harmony with nature, as God had originally intended in the Garden of Eden. Isaiah says that a person who dies during the Millennial Kingdom at age 100 would be mourned as one who died in his youth.

Lions will lay down with lambs, little kids will be able to play with deadly snakes, men will beat their swords into plowshares and war will be abolished.

Scripture then says that, when the thousand years are finished, Satan will be loosed for ‘a season’ to tempt those human beings who KNOW Jesus, have lived a THOUSAND YEARS under His Personal governance, and are perfectly certain of His Power and Authority.

“And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.” (Revelation 20:8-9)

At this point, the angelic jury is convinced, and the prosecution rests.

“And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.” (Revelation 20:9)

Then comes the judgement. “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” (20:10)

Why did God create man if He knew that some would choose hell? Because He also knew that some would choose Heaven.

And in any case, it is man’s choice to make. As declared the citizens in the parable of the nobleman in Luke 19: “We will not have Him to reign over us.” When such people are cast in hell, it is literally what they asked for.

God has a purpose for every detail of our creation. “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)

God created mankind to prove His justice. He created mankind for His pleasure. And He created mankind so He could save them.

But He also created mankind so we could CHOOSE to love Him. There cannot be a choice without an alternative.

“I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:” (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Note:

The taping has gone wonderfully so far. JVI had a studio audience of about 130 folks, which injected a fair bit of energy into the whole process. Jonathan Bernis is a prince of a guy — I really like him. It was great to be on the panel with Jan Markell. She’s quite a lady.

We taped three half hour round-table discussions.

This morning, I’m scheduled for a one-on-one interview with Jonathan before heading out to the airport to head home, so I hope you don’t mind another rerun — this one from 2004.

The JVI programs are scheduled to begin airing May 17 — I’ll post times and stations when I get home.

Once again, I ask you to please pray for journey mercies on the flight home.

Maranatha!

The Armor of God

The Armor of God
Vol: 91 Issue: 23 Thursday, April 23, 2009

This morning, I am aboard a plane bound for Phoenix, AZ to record a series of appearances on the television program, “Jewish Voice International” discussing Bible prophecy.

I don’t know a lot about the program’s format but I did learn that I will be one of four guests, one of whom will be our good friend, Jan Markell.

I even bought a new suit for the occasion — that brown sports jacket is now retired.

In any case, I hate flying so please pray the Lord will grant me journey mercies. And forgive me for sending out a republication of a previous OL this morning. The plane leaves early.

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2nd Timothy 2:15)

Recently, I received an email from a friend who continues to struggle in the battle between the flesh and the spirit, despairing of the fact that he is convinced he is losing the fight.

My friend and I have been corresponding for years and I am certain of his sincere desire to be saved, but as he noted in his email, I ve never bought into the doctrine of once saved, always saved . Consequently, my friend is only certain of his salvation when the enemy is taking the day off.

Let the enemy unleash an attack, my friend falls (as do we all) and now he has to start all over again what he calls a re-re-birth . In the meantime, until he is able to get himself back under control, he believes he has lost his salvation and is useless to God.

The Apostle Paul admonishes believers to put on the whole armor of God for the expressed purpose; that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. (Ephesians 6:11)

The purpose of that armor is SO important that Paul restates it in verse 13, saying, Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Paul lists the believers spiritual armor as follows:

Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: (Ephesians 6:14-17)

Let s look at each component a little more closely:

First, the truth. Note the anatomical analogy Paul uses. In battle, that is an extremely vulnerable target. Strike a serious blow there, and the victim is rendered helpless.

Secondly, the breastplate of righteousness. The torso is the biggest and easiest target to strike, but it is also the easiest to armor. If one is covered by the righteousness of Christ, the heart is protected.

Thirdly, the feet. A battle tactic commonly employed in Paul s day was to sow the battlefield with nails and other sharp objects. Foot soldiers with injured feet are not very effective. If one is fully prepared ( shod ) with the Gospel, one can engage the enemy uncrippled.

Fourth, Paul says, Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. (v16) If one is certain of his standing before God, the enemy s whispering campaign falls on deaf ears.

Finally, Paul says to, take the helmet of salvation, and the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God:

The helmet of salvation . In battle, the most effective way to take an enemy out is a head shot. If the enemy can convince you that your salvation is in doubt, he has sidelined you as a threat.

Without truth, the righteousness of Christ, knowledge of the Gospel, faith in its promises, and the certain knowledge of your standing before Christ, the Christian s only offensive weapon; the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God is not very effective.

Assessment:

Above all , Paul writes, is the shield of faith. Without faith, one can never be certain of one s salvation. And just how effectively can the unsaved communicate the truth of the Gospel — or wield the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God ?

If the doctrine of eternal security is a true doctrine, then the enemy has no power over the Christian. He can t inspire fear, he can t inspire doubt, he can t inspire faint-heartedness in short, HE is defeated.

The only weapon the enemy can deploy against a Christian is doubt. The question can t be examined often enough what good is the Word of God in the hands of the unsaved?

The Scriptures say, For the preaching of the Cross is to them that perish foolishness; (1 Corinthians 1:18) and, . . . the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Corinthians 2:14)

Can a person who is once saved, become a natural (unsaved) person again through sin? Having been once saved, does the preaching of the Cross become foolishness to the Christian who has sinned his way out of fellowship with God?

If the Word of God doesn t become ‘foolishness’ to the lost sinner (and the Bible clearly says it does), then why is it that the once-saved sinner now out of fellowship stills knows enough to ask God to save him again? How can a sinner out of fellowship with God discern the spiritual need to be saved (again)?

The Scriptures say that salvation CANNOT be achieved the acts of men. (Corinthians 3:15, Ephesians 2:8, 2 Timothy 1:8-9, Titus 3:5)

Salvation, according to Scripture, comes to us by God s love for us, not by our love of God. (Psalms 6:4, 17:7, 31:16, 109:26, Isaiah 63:9, Titus 3:4)

1 John 4:19 says that “We love him, because He FIRST loved us,” — and NOT the other way around.

The person who has sinned themselves out of salvation cannot, of his own volition, return to the Throne and ask to be saved a second time.

A Pentecostal preacher that I know once told cited Hebrews 6:4-6 as his proof text that people CAN fall away to the extent they can lose their salvation.

For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put Him to an open shame.

It proves exactly the opposite. If his proof text means one can lose one s salvation, then it also means that, once lost, they are forever lost and have NO HOPE of being re-saved — unless there is another way of interpreting the word impossible .

Salvation is accomplished by Jesus Christ alone. (Matthew 1:21, 18:11, Luke 2:11, 7:50, 9:56, 19:10, John 3:17, 4:42, 12:47, Acts 2:47, 4:12, 5:31, 13:23, Romans 5:9, 10, 11:26, 1 Corinthians 1:18, 2 Corinthians 2:15, Ephesians 5:23, Philippians 3:20, 2 Timothy 1:10, Titus 3:6, Hebrews 7:25, 2 Peter 1:1, 10-11, 2 Peter 2:20)

Salvation is a gift extended by God s grace and not something to be earned by good works or lost by bad ones. (Acts 15:11, Ephesians 2:5, 8, 2 Timothy 1:8-9)

The state of salvation is eternal, (Isaiah 45:17) physical, (Ephesians 5:23) and comes through the Sovereign Call of God. (Psalms 20:6, 28:8, 57:3, 2 Peter 1:10-11) A person who has been saved is saved from eternal judgment. (Psalms 76:9, 109:31)

The doctrine of eternal security was not given the Church as a ‘license to sin’, as its opponents claim. The doctrine of eternal security was given the Church as a defensive weapon to keep them from succumbing to wounds suffered in the battle with the enemy.

Without the helmet of salvation, the Sword of the Spirit is useless. And without the Sword of the Spirit, the Christian is defeated before he even steps onto the field.

Opponents of the doctrine of eternal security sometimes deride it the ‘doctrine of demons’. Logic says exactly the opposite.

Why would ‘demons’ promote a doctrine that renders the Christian invulnerable in battle, rather than the one that guarantees the Christian’s defeat — since all Christians sin?

Do YOU know anybody that has never sinned since being saved — not even once? What about YOU?

Then, there is the problem with the logic behind conditional salvation.

If a Christian can sin his way out of being saved, which sin is it? (I’ll only have to avoid THAT one)

If it isn’t one sin, but a preponderance of sins, how many sins constitute a ‘preponderance’? (So I can stay under the limit)

And, having sinned oneself out of salvation, how does one get around the problem of “crucify[ing] to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put[ing] Him to an open shame. ?

But the bottom line is this: If eternal security is a false doctrine, then we are defeated, and even Jesus can’t save us from ourselves.

And THAT, my friends, would be the ‘doctrine of demons’ in a nutshell.