Such An Hour As Ye Think Not

Such An Hour As Ye Think Not
Vol: 93 Issue: 13 Saturday, June 13, 2009

I’m not sure yet, but it appears that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has trounced all opponents in yesterday’s presidential election.

I say I’m not sure yet, because although Ahmadinejad claims victory by an almost 2 to 1 landslide, his next closest opponent, Mir Hussein Moussavi declared himself the winner and charged that the election was rigged.

I don’t know, but it would seem to me that Moussavi’s claim lines up better with what we think we know about Iran than does an Ahmadinejad landslide.

Ask anybody and they’ll tell you that we have no quarrel with the Iranian people. Three-quarters of the Iranian population is under thirty-five. Most of the revolutionaries who stood with Ahmadinejad during the embassy takeover in 1979 later died on the battlefield during the 1980-88 war with Iraq.

After the war, there were few surviving revolutionaries to come home and radicalize their kids and keep the revolution alive. Therefore, say Western analysts, it isn’t the Iranian people that hates the West — just its leadership.

Consequently, the preferred Western strategy has been to wait and try to outlast the mullocracy. Eventually, they hope, the radicals will all die off and be replaced by more moderate candidates from the next generation.

If Ahmadinejad’s claim to a landslide victory is actually true, then that entire line of reasoning needs a rethink. The Iranian FARS news agency is reporting that Ahmadinejad got more than 24 million votes out of a possible voter universe of less than forty million cast.

Was the vote rigged? That seems both unlikely and unnecessary. Elections in Iran are generally rigged beforehand by banning candidates from the start or closing opposition newspapers well in advance of the vote.

All four of the candidates in the Iranian election were selected by the mullocracy and approved by Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khameini. All four candidates were equally hard-line.

The major difference between Ahmadinejad and Moussavi is that most Western observers thought Moussavi was less likely to go out of his way to antagonize the West.

But it is really more a question of diplomacy than worldview.

Moussavi would be more likely to say nothing, but no less likely than Ahmadinejad to actually do it.

Assessment:

If Ahmadinejad actually got two out of three votes cast, then the whole myth of the gentle, youthful and Western-looking Iranian student population under the thumb of hardline Islamists is exposed.

Ahmedinejad turned the election into a referendum on the continuation of Iran’s Islamic revolution. The allegedly moderate student voters took to the streets shouting chants like “Death to all those against the Supreme Leader” followed by traditional Shia rituals and elegies.

Officials in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and U.S.-allied Persian Gulf sheikdoms watched in horror as Iranian students handed Ahmadinejad another four years of power.

“The continuation of Ahmadinejad certainly poses challenges for the U.S. and the Gulf states,” said Hady Amr, director of the Brookings Doha Center in Qatar.

Still assuming the election was legitimate and its results stand, four more years of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is not something Israel can afford. The majority of Israelis recognize that if Israel doesn’t attack Iran before it goes nuclear, Iran will attack Israel after it does.

For the Israelis, the choices are ‘between the devil and the deep blue sea’, as the saying goes.

Israel has to measure the current risks to its survival against the longer-term existential threat a nuclear Iran represents. For that reason, while all the options for action are unattractive, the option of doing nothing is even worse.

Israel Vice Premier Silvan Shalom reacted to the election news by saying, “The Iranian election results are a slap in the face of those who believed Iran was built for real dialogue with the free world and would halt its nuclear program.”

“Ahmadinejad’s victory sends a clear message to the world that there is wide support for the current policy, and it will continue unchanged. The United States and the free world must reevaluate the policy on Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.”

Iran’s presidential term limits mean that no matter what, Ahmadinejad is now a lame duck. He can’t run for election again, and is therefore freed from whatever political restraints he was forced to operate under during his first term.

Obama, who DOES have to consider the politics of it all, is now facing off against a guy who has nothing to lose, politically speaking. And ironically, Ahmadinejad is obliquely crediting Obama for helping him win.

Ahmadinejad claimed credit for bending the will of the West, forcing the U.S. into a dialogue with the Islamic regime, and elevating his country to the status of a global power.

Obama played right into that claim with his ‘unclenched fist’ speech.

I said yesterday that if we are as far along the prophetic timeline as I suspected, it would mean a new Iranian president. Remember, for any of the Bible’s post-Church age scenarios to play out, the starting point is always with Israel living in a state of false peace and security.

The antichrist’s confirmation of the 7 year covenant begins a period of peace and safety for Israel that lasts for the first half of the Tribulation (Daniel 9:26-27) until the abomination of desolation (2nd Thessalonians 2:4) causes him to break the treaty.

Both Ezekiel’s Gog-Magog scenario and the Apostle John’s Tribulation scenario begin from the peace and safety position. The Apostle Paul says that it isn’t until “they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. ” (1st Thessalonians 5:3)

For most of the past couple of decades, students of Bible prophecy has been watching Israel’s wars and her skirmishes, sifted through statements from her enemies, and tried to see how it all lines up with Bible prophecy.

The Bible points to the constant state of war between Israel and ‘the many’ as evidence that we are approaching the end of the Church Age and the onset of the Tribulation Period.

But as we get closer to the end of this present age, the Bible’s focus changes from that of Israel in a constant state of war to that of a false peace. As Daniel prophesied, it is by peace that he shall destroy many. (Daniel 8:25)

The Bible says that the Tribulation begins under a delusion of peace. At the moment, the most probable future scenario is not peace, but war. Israel cannot afford to trust that the same Iranians that handed victory to Ahmadinejad are really a moderate majority under the thumb of the ruling mullocracy.

Ahmadinejad’s election would seem to move us closer — but the reality is that it suggests we may have a bit more time to accomplish our mission here on this earth.

When it looked like a new Iranian leader might have held out the possibility of peace, the Rapture seemed closer. Now, with Ahmadinejad’s re-election holding out the portent of hot war with Israel, it appears that maybe the Rapture may actually be further away than we thought.

But even that possibility may be misleading. Jesus said it would be impossible to calculate the day and hour.

And now that it looks less likely for the near future, we have this Scripture to consider: “Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” (Matthew 24:44)

And here I sit, thinking; ‘Not!’

“The Devil You Know”

“The Devil You Know”
Vol: 93 Issue: 12 Friday, June 12, 2009

“The Devil You Know”

Some forty-five million Iranians are eligible to vote in their presidential elections today, and turnout is expected to be high. For all its other flaws, Iran does have a ‘democratic’ system in that the people legitimately select their next leader by their vote.

The mullahs choose who they get to vote for, so it is more of a form of democracy than the real thing, but the final selection is determined at the ballot box.

The four candidates are all equally hard-line, but once elected, have considerable latitude to make their own foreign policy. Ahmadinejad’s policies are known to be at odds in many respects with Supreme Leader Ayathollah Ali Khameini, but if Khameini has overruled Ahmadinejad during the past four years, it has been in secret.

Ahmadinejad is standing for re-election to a second term. If defeated, it will be the first defeat for an incumbent president in the Islamic republic’s thirty-year history, but it doesn’t necessarily translate into a total repudiation of Ahamdinejad’s policies.

Ahmadinejad’s defeat may signal a change in rhetoric, but substantive changes, like ending Iran’s nuclear program, are one step above the Iranian presidential pay grade. Only the Supreme Council and Supreme Leader have the kind of clout necessary to end Iran’s nuclear power drive.

Ahmadinejad is not running on his global reputation, he’s running on his domestic record. Iran’s reputation in the world community is a factor, of course, but not as big a factor as domestic issues.

Unemployment is running at around twenty percent while inflation is running at close to thirty percent. Iran graduates about a million people a year out of its universities and into its work force.

There are only jobs for about one third of each year’s crop of graduates. Thanks to the latest round of UN sanctions, commodities prices have more than doubled over the past year.

And thanks to the 1980-88 war with Saddam Hussein, some 70% of Iran’s population is under 35. Saddam’s gas attacks, together with Khomeini’s fanaticism claimed an entire generation — it is a nation without fathers.

The revolutionaries who took the US embassy in 1979 and founded the Islamic republic gave it their lives during that war — so they weren’t there to indoctrinate their kids.

Ahmadinejad’s closest opponent is former prime minister Mir Hossein Mousavi, who is every bit as hardline in his approach to the West, but less hardline when it comes to the enforcement of Sharia law.

Ahmadinejad is a fanatical Twelver who has expanded Sharia law since taking office. Ahmadinejad is also one of the few surviving revolutionaries from the Islamic Revolution of 1979.

Mousavi is less fanatical, appearing at domestic rallies with his wife and promising equality for women. All in all, Mousavi is the more attractive candidate and the most likely to emerge from today’s election a winner.

From Israel’s perspective, that is the worst of all possible outcomes.

Assessment:

There is an old saying to the effect, “better the devil you know than the one that you don’t.” We know who Ahmadinejad is, what he is capable of and what drives him.

Ahmadinejad is a Twelver who believes that he has been chosen by Allah to start the Islamic end times’ war that will force the return of the Mahdi.

That’s what drives him and it is what drives his nuclear program. And if he is successful in obtaining a nuclear weapon, we know that he is capable of using it — and that his first target will be Israel.

Ahmadinejad believes that starting this war is as much his religious duty as your believing that telling your unsaved neighbor about Jesus is your religious duty.

Under what circumstances would you abandon that duty? What could compel or entice you to give up your responsibilities under the Great Commission? Could you be bribed or intimidated into answering the question, “What must I do to be saved?” with a shrug of your shoulders?

Ahmadinejad is just as firm in his belief — and everybody knows it. For this reason, the world has been, up until now, more or less unified in its opposition to letting him get his hands on nuclear weapons.

Mousavi is a different sort. Compared to Ahmadinejad, Mousavi is a reformist and a moderate, which doesn’t mean a lot in terms of worldview but it means a lot in terms of perception.

Mousavi is just as likely to build a nuke and probably just as likely to use it against Israel as Option One, but he’s a lot less likely to say so.

If Mousavi wins, then the Obama administration’s planned to open a dialogue with Iran without preconditions will lose a lot of its domestic opposition. And without a bellicose Ahmadinejad at the helm, Obama may feel he can live with a nuclear Iran.

After all, lots of countries have nuclear reactors but no nuclear weapons. In any case, the world will wait and give Mousavi a chance to prove himself — and give Iran more time to advance its nuclear program.

I said that an Ahmadinejad defeat would be, for Israel, the worst of all possible outcomes. A Mousavi win won’t stop Iran’s drive towards nuclear weapons. But it will put Israel behind the 8-ball, as the saying goes. They can either wait for Iran to go nuclear and take their chances, OR they can attack it alone and risk further rupturing relations with Washington. (Assuming they win the war)

In terms of Bible prophecy, the Prophet Ezekiel forecast an alliance that would emerge between the Russians (Scythians) and a territory roughly corresponding (Ezekiel excludes Egypt) to the Persian Empire of antiquity, headed by modern-day Iran.

That alliance would eventually launch a surprise invasion of Israel that makes it to the mountains of Israel before being destroyed by “an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone.” (Ezekiel 38:22)

For that prophecy to be valid, both Israel and Iran must remain viable states until they meet with their appointment with destiny on the mountains of Israel.

The election of Mousavi would likely result in an Israeli stand-down, at least temporarily, to allow the Obama administration time to come up with a diplomatic solution.

Ezekiel says that the Gog Magog invasion takes place at a time when Israel believes itself to be at peace:

“And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates.” (Ezekiel 38:11)

That is hardly an accurate description of the situation Israel finds itself in today. So it seems unlikely that an Israeli strike against Iran’s nuclear sites will trigger the Gog-Magog War.

So added together what do we have? If we’re as far along the prophetic timeline as I believe we are, we will learn this week that Iran has a new president.

If not, then Iran’s appointment with destiny upon the mountains of Israel might actually take place the way Ezekiel described it:

“horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords . . .” (Ezekiel 38:4)

Tick . . . tick . . . tick . . .

The Hate Card

The Hate Card
Vol: 93 Issue: 11 Thursday, June 11, 2009

“But he that sinneth against Me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate Me love death.” (Proverbs 8:36)

Yesterday at a little past noon EST, James W. von Brunn double-parked his car outside the Holocaust Memorial in Washington DC before walking into the place and opening fire.

As described by bystanders and authorities, the attack inside the famed Holocaust museum turned the crowded building and Washington’s nearby tourist-thronged Mall into a scene of fear and chaos, with black-clad SWAT teams, hovering helicopters and racing emergency vehicles.

Stunned witnesses described a fusillade of gunfire — five shots or more — the blood-streaked floor and the screams of frightened visitors inside the museum and on the street. Stephen T Johns, a Wackenhut security guard, was shot and killed by the gunman who, astoundingly, was eighty-eight years old.

The guard, who did not have time to draw his gun, fell mortally wounded to the floor. Other security guards at the museum had time to draw theirs, and cut down the shooter.

By all accounts, James von Brunn was a professional hater. He hated Jews and blacks in particular, but apparently had enough hate to go around.

According to the UPI, James von Brunn had a ‘long history’ of ties to various white supremacist movements. He served six years in prison for walking into the Federal Reserve in 1981 to attempt to “arrest” then-Fed Chairman Paul Volcker.

On his Web site, HolyWesternEmpire.org, (since removed) he blamed his conviction and sentence on “a Negro jury, Jew/Negro attorneys” and “a Jew judge.”

“He is in our files going back way into the 1980s,” Heidi Beirich, a Southern Poverty Law Center researcher, told CNN yesterday.

“He has an extremely long history with neo-Nazis and white supremacists. He’s written extremely incendiary publications, raging about Jews, blacks and the like.”

Whenever something like this happens, there is some idiot out there who instantly blames right-wing crazies. I couldn’t quite believe my ears when, in this instance, the loudest idiot was Shep Smith of Fox News.

Smith generally does a fairly good job of hiding his elitist left-wing worldview, but this time, he let it all hang out. During his interview with Heidi Beirich of the Southern Poverty Law Center, Smith said:

“There are these crazies out there who want to pretend [Obama’s] not a citizen of the United States, who want to pretend that his religion is something they see as in some way troublesome to them and all of us. And there is a group perpetuating this thought, and there is a culture to which you can attach yourself very easily through the Internet. … We know it’s absolutely there is no truth whatsoever zero to any of those ideas, yet they live within the computer and they fester in people’s minds.”

Smith made numerous references to a Department of Homeland Security report warning of potential violence from “right-wing extremists,” and said he’s been personally disturbed by an increase in e-mail to him from people “who are way out there on a limb … out there in a scary place.”

The ones that particularly upset Smith are the ‘birthers’ whom he called ‘crazies’. “Birthers” is the nickname given by left wing haters to those who question why Barack Obama won’t release his birth certificate.

I don’t want to get into the whole birth certificate thing again — there isn’t much new to say — but Smith’s comments give me pause to wonder.

Why would Shep Smith call them ‘crazies’? Smith is supposed to be a journalist. So, has Smith seen the birth certificate? So how does he know there is “no truth whatsoever – zero” to the unanswered question about the birth certificate? And what is wrong with asking the question?

How is asking a question either crazy or hateful? None of those asking the question are assuming they know the answer. That assumption is only being made by those who mock the question.

For context, (and for the record) the relevant question is: Why would a man with nothing to hide have a cadre of lawyers whose only mandate is to hide his background from public scrutiny? I am certain that there is an answer to that question.

I am equally certain that Shepherd Smith does NOT know what that answer is.

Assessment:

“He that hateth dissembleth with his lips, and layeth up deceit within him; (Proverbs 26:24)

There is an old saying that, like all old sayings, got to be an old saying by being universally true; “It takes one to know one.” The shooting at the Holocaust museum was just an excuse to vent hatred in the name of hating hatred.

The haters are coming out of the woodwork. The Huffington Post accused Glenn Beck of ‘spinning’ the Holocaust shooting – by denying that shooting people at random is typical right-wing behavior.

“All those white guys who hail Hitler and the Nazis because they were so good at kicking the crap out of Socialists, labor unionists, Communists and Soviets, women who didn’t know their place, and even “degenerate” Dadaists and surrealists, and don’t forget the Jews. What self-respecting Neo-Nazi or Ku Klux Klansman (or good ol’ boy at the Council of Conservative Citizens) wants to hear that Hitler was like Michael Moore and Al Franken? But it doesn’t matter because Beck is not appealing to his viewers’ brains but to their guts. And all those “isms” sound the same to ’em anyhow. . .

The television and radio producers behind Beck’s shows are bright, highly educated Republican strategists at FOX News who are expert at calculating each talking point for the host to pull on the jingoistic heartstrings of his largely uneducated, working-class viewers. And it works. Beck’s writers are creative people because they’ve found numerous ingenious ways to denounce Obama because he’s black but in ways that don’t sound racist.”

Keep in mind that quote is intended to prove that Beck is a ‘hater’ — by calling Beck a racist propagandist and his audience ignorant, racist country bumpkins.

Here’s how that is being played by the liberal media. Guys like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck incite hatred. Millions of brain-damaged xenophobic conservatives, already addled by church and desperately clinging to God and guns, buy into their hateful tirades against good and honorable liberals.

Eventually, one of them shoots an abortionist — [in church!] and another shoots up the Holocaust Museum! Is nothing sacred to these right-wingers?

Proverbs says that a hater “dissembleth with his lips and layeth up deceit within him”. The word “dissemble’ means to “conceal one’s true motives, feelings or beliefs”.

Here’s how that works: Right-wing equals conservative and conservative equals Christian. Therefore, Christians are the real haters, the kinds of people that belong to white supremacist groups that hate everybody that isn’t like them.

It is primarily conservatives questioning Obama’s secret past, so to a hater, the instant conclusion is that conservatives are racist.

Hate is now synonymous with “right wing” and Christianity a synonym for a hate group. Not liberal ‘church’ Christianity where a murderer like George Tiller would be welcomed, but real Christianity, where its adherents actually believe that the Bible is true.

Hatred is a concept that is foreign to Christianity. God is love. Far from hating the sinner, He sent His own Son to pay the price for the sins of mankind on Calvary. Christians believe in loving the sinner and hating only the sin.

The irony is that the haters are the one throwing around the hate. If you disagree with abortion on demand, gay marriage, believe in limited government, question the Federal Reserve’s authority, or doubt Obama’s Constitutional eligibility to hold his office, then you qualify as a member of a ‘hate group’.

You can be ‘denounced’ in America under anti-terror laws and you are guilty until proved innocent. Don’t like a guy’s opinions? Denounce him. Let the FBI straighten him out.

The shooting at the Holocaust Museum only ten days after George Tiller’s murder was a gift from the Other Place for the Left.

The Hegelian Dialectic for manipulating public opinion was expressed by Georg Hegel in the 19th century as a three stage process;

1) identify the group to be marginalized; 2) link that group through the media to every hate crime possible; 3) encourage government action to combat the threat posed by the group identified in stage 1.

You.

“And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.” (Matthew 10:36)

The Third Temple

The Third Temple
Vol: 93 Issue: 10 Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Third Temple

Yesterday a reader emailed me with a question regarding the Age of Grace and the Age of the Law. I emailed him with a reply, but the question and its answer are worthy of a wider hearing.

It is a rather lengthy question, even after I pared it down some for today’s column. But it is a complicated subject. I’m reproducing the relevant part in full so you have the complete context.

I have always believed and have been taught that we can ONLY be saved by Grace, through Jesus, regardless of the dispensation we find ourselves living under. I would think that a God Ordained re-institution of the Dispensation of Law would negate the reason for Christ’s death, therefore, how can the people who will be remaining after the rapture be saved? Prior to His death and resurrection, the practice of animal sacrifices was a symbol of his death.

Now that He has paid the price for our sins, then why would God want to go back to the old system? Your article posted last week, stating that the temple will be CONSECRATED by God (and backed up with scripture), has caused my confusion because I had always believed that the people remaining after the rapture would THINK the temple was consecrated but in reality it will NOT be.

I hope you understand my current cognitive dissonance. I believe that my misunderstanding differences between the Dispensation of Grace (Church age) and the re-instituted Dispensation of Law is weakening my witness. I do not want to be a messenger of incorrect information which causes MORE confusion in the church. Therefore, your help will be greatly appreciated.

Your brother in Jesus,

David

David’s dilemma arises from Paul’s Second Letter to the Church at Thessalonika. The Thessalonians were in the grip of a heresy spreading through their church to the effect that the Day of Christ [the Rapture] had come and gone and they had been left behind.

Paul sought to reassure them by giving them a series of signs that will precede the revelation of the antichrist. Paul said that before the antichrist would be revealed, there would first come a great ‘falling away’ from the true faith.

“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, (Gk apostasia)and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.”

So there is general ‘falling away’ or apostasy. We saw an example of that in Obama’s Cairo speech where it was all about religion and God and faith and peace and love.

As he wound it up, Obama admitted that HIS real faith is in human beings, not in Yahweh, Jesus or Mohammed, although he invoked all three names throughout his speech — and nobody blinked an eye.

Obama has made much of his alleged Christianity, but the world-wide apostasia is so pervasive I don’t think anybody even noticed there’s a difference between faith in Christ and faith in humanity.

I’ve been paying attention to the reaction to the Cairo speech, as I am sure most of you have been as well. Obama didn’t catch it. His speechwriters didn’t catch it. His fact-checkers didn’t catch it. He delivered it as written and nobody that heard his speech caught it either.

At least, nobody noticed it that I am aware of — a textbook example of the world-wide apostasy of the last days.

Paul says that this ‘falling away’ is so grievous that nobody will notice how wrong the antichrist is until he “as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.”

Exasperated, Paul asks, “Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?”

Assessment:

The resumption of Temple worship and animal sacrifices during the Tribulation has no saving value. Nobody will be saved because they brought an unblemished lamb to the Temple for sacrifice.

Salvation is and always has been an outpouring of God’s grace by faith from every Dispensation.

Among the great heroes of faith in Hebrews 11 are Abel, the world’s first murder victim; Enoch, the first person to be Raptured; Noah, who was faithful to build the Ark; Jacob, who blessed the sons of Joseph; Abraham, who was willing to offer Isaac; Moses, who led the children of Israel to the Promised land.

And just to prove God is no ‘respecter of persons’ when it comes to salvation, the writer of Hebrews included Rahab, the harlot, as one of the great heroes of faith, who “perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.” (Hebrews 11:31)

What is my point? Not one of these heroes of the faith lived in New Testament times. Not one of these heroes of the faith had yet seen their sins paid for at the Cross. Still, they were saved by grace through faith.

There is a reason why the Third Temple is consecrated and a reason why Paul calls it the “Temple of God” instead of just ‘the Temple’.

First, if it weren’t consecrated, it couldn’t be defiled. You can’t defile something which isn’t holy in the first place. The abomination of desolation would neither be an abomination nor could it make the Temple desolate unless the Temple itself were legitimate in the first place.

Secondly, God isn’t going back to an “old system” because salvation is not a product of the Temple system, as we’ve already seen. The Age of the Law had yet to run its full course when it was interrupted by the Age of Grace.

Daniel notes that in the 69th Week, the “Messiah is cut off, but not for Himself”; the Temple is destroyed by the people of the coming prince (antichrist) and then there is a temporal disconnect when Daniel’s clock stops for the Church Age.

The Age of Grace concludes with the Rapture and Daniel’s clock restarts on the final week, the reasons for which are clearly outlined in Daniel 9:24.

It isn’t a re-institution of the Age of the Law. It is the resumption of an unfilled Dispensational Period for which there is a definite purpose.

So, then, what is the purpose of the Law? Why did God give Moses the Ten Commandments?

According to the Apostle Paul, the reason for the Ten Commandments was to prove we couldn’t keep them and to point out our need for a Savior. That realization is offered to both Jew and Gentile. BUT, says Paul;

“I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.”

The ‘fullness of the Gentiles be come in’ is a reference to the conclusion of the Church Age, which ends when the last Gentile who is going to accept Christ does so. Once the Body of Christ is complete, the Rapture takes place, and God turns His attention back to Israel.

“And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.” (Romans 11:26-27)

The 70th Week of Daniel is also called “the Time of Jacob’s Trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7) because it is set aside for the judgment of the Gentiles and the national salvation of the Jews.

To summarize: the purpose of the Tribulation is two-fold. First and foremost, its purpose is to effect the national reconciliation of the Jews and their salvation — as a nation.

The unbelieving Gentiles have already had their chance and rejected it. Revelation Chapter 7 tells of 144,000 Jews who will be ‘sealed’ with the indwelling Holy Spirit.

The Jews of Israel aren’t saved during the Tribulation by the Temple practices or law. Zechariah 12:10 makes it clear that the Jews of Israel during the Tribulation are saved the same way we are — by grace and supplications (prayer).

“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.”

It is the Temple desecration that causes the Jews to turn their backs on the Antichrist and turn towards Christ.

Secondarily, it is a time set aside for the judgment of a Christ-rejecting world (the Church having already been judged at the Cross.) The Age of Grace is over, but salvation by grace through faith is still extended to the Jews.

The 144,000 are sealed with the Holy Spirit, which gives them the power to share the Gospel and enables the hearer to be regenerated spiritually. Without the active indwelling of the Holy Spirit within these 144,000 Jewish evangelists, nobody could be saved.

“But 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.” (1st Corinthians 2:14)

Finally, David’s question, by its very nature, establishes the fact that the Church cannot be present during the Tribulation Period. If it were, then the sealing of the 144,000 Jews with the Holy Spirit would be meaningless.

They would be able to get their infilling of the Holy Spirit the same way that we do now. There would be no need for an angel to come down and give them the Gospel and seal them with the Holy Spirit.

During the Church Age, that is the job of the Church. God does not impose His Spirit on Jews during the Church Age. First they come to Christ, then the Holy Spirit comes to them.

According to Revelation Chapters 7 and 14, during the Tribulation, the Holy Spirit comes to the 144,000, and then they come to Christ. After that, they go out and lead others (the “Tribulation Saints”) to Christ.

(If there were no distinction between the saints of the Church Age and the saints of the Tribulation, then why does the Bible reference “Tribulation Saints” separately?)

So, the chronology is like this. The Age of the Law wasn’t replaced by the Age of Grace, it was interrupted by it. The Age of Grace concludes at the Rapture. Then the Age of the Law is resumed for one final week of years to effect the national redemption of Israel in fulfillment of the promise of Romans 11:26-27.

The Age of the Law concludes with the 2nd Coming of Christ to usher in the final Dispensation, the Millennial Kingdom, which is also part of the promise to the Jews. (Isaiah 60-66)

After that comes the new heaven and new earth (Isaiah 65:17, 66:22, 2nd Peter 3:13, Revelation 21:1) and eternity future.

But first, the Rapture!

Special Report: Citizens of the World?

Special Report: Citizens of the World?
Vol: 93 Issue: 9 Tuesday, June 9, 2009

According to the Bible, there must exist in the last days a three-tiered world system consisting of a global economy, global religion and global government.

Before going further, let’s establish some defintions. To be a ‘world’ system does not mean that everybody in the world is a member. Not every nation participated in the First and Second World Wars, either.

But as in the two world wars, a ‘world’ system is one that is acknowledged as such due to its world influence. A ‘global’ system is not necessarily one in which everybody participates. It is a system that has global reach.

Not everybody is part of the global government of antichrist. The antichrist’s government is but one of four major spheres of world power in the last days; together with the Kings of the East, Kings of the South and Gog-Magog powers.

The antichrist’s system rules what we traditionally consider “the West”. Defining “the West” is a rather interesting exercise, in terms of Bible prophecy. The generic West generally refers to the nations of Western Europe, their North American colonies, [reluctantly] Israel and [improbably] Australia/New Zealand and Japan.

In 21st century real-politik, “the West” doesn’t so much refer to direction as it does ideology. Japan, Australia and New Zealand are the Western nations of the Far East, making “The West” a global entity.

So when we are speaking in terms of ‘global’ and ‘world’ we are generally referring to those parts of the world that we refer to today as “The West” under the direct rule of the antichrist. That is not to argue that the antichrist won’t rule the entire world indirectly — in much the same way the US indirectly rules the entire world today.

Another way to understand it is by the process of elimination. The antichrist’s government directly rules the entire world, except the Kings of the South, the Kings of the East and the Gog-Magog nations — all of whom he eventually destroys or conquers.

But the revived Roman Empire is merely the seat of the antichrist’s rule. It is also important to understand where Scripture identifies the antichrist as a leader of the Roman Empire.

“And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for Himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.” (Daniel 9:26)

The ‘people of the prince that shall come’ were the Romans who destroyed the city and sanctuary in AD 70 — about six hundred years after Daniel’s prophecy. There are other verses that, taken in conjunction with Daniel 9:26, tend to lend themselves to the identification of a revived Roman Empire.

Daniel interprets Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of an image as representing four successive world empires; Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome. Rome is pictured as two legs of iron with two feet and ten toes of ‘iron mixed with clay’ — ‘partly strong and partly weak’ the Scripture says.

Daniel says that in the days of these kings “shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed . . .” (Daniel 2:44)The Western European Union consists of ten FULL members. The same ten are the only FULL members of the European Union.

But by and large, that’s about all the Scripture there is to argue that the antichrist’s government headquartered in Europe.

From our vantage point on the timeline, we can look backward to the fulfillment of prophecies that were still future to the great Bible expositors of the past. When Sir Robert Anderson wrote “The Coming Prince” — considered the Gold Standard work on the antichrist and the last days, Israel did not yet exist.

Sir Robert was the first to use the 360-day calendar to calculate the meaning of Daniel’s 70 Weeks — while Jack the Ripper was still terrorizing London!

Assessment:

The American president recently traveled to Cairo to announce that “one nation (America) should not be exalted over another” and promised the world that he would take land from one people (Israel) and give it to another people, (Palestinians) and apologized for America in every other sentence.

The Left was ecstatic.

Newsweek editor Evan Thomas brought adulation over President Obama’s Cairo speech to a whole new level on Friday, declaring on MSNBC:

“I mean in a way Obama’s standing above the country, above the world, he’s sort of God.”

Thomas, appearing on Hardball with Chris Matthews, was reacting to a preceding monologue in which Matthews praised Obama’s speech:

“I think the President’s speech yesterday was the reason we Americans elected him. It was grand. It was positive. Hopeful…But what I liked about the President’s speech in Cairo was that it showed a complete humility… The question now is whether the President we elected and spoke for us so grandly yesterday can carry out the great vision he gave us and to the world.”

Matthews discussed Obama’s upcoming speech marking the 65th anniversary of D-Day and compared it to that of Ronald Reagan. He then turned to Thomas and asked: “Reagan and World War II and the sense of us as the good guys in the world, how are we doing?”

Thomas replied: “Well, we were the good guys in 1984, it felt that way. It hasn’t felt that way in recent years. So Obama’s had, really, a different task We’re seen too often as the bad guys. And “he has a very different job from” Reagan was all about America, and you talked about it. Obama is”we are above that now.” We’re not just parochial, we’re not just chauvinistic, we’re not just provincial.”

Thomas elaborated on Obama as God: “He’s going to bring all different sides together…Obama is trying to sort of tamper everything down. He doesn’t even use the word terror. He uses extremism. He’s all about let us reason together… He’s the teacher. He is going to say,”now, children, stop fighting and quarreling with each other.”

And he has a kind of a moral authority that he can do that.”

For the record, I’ve not changed my view that the coming antichrist will be a ruler [a prince] of the European Union. But at the same time, the Scriptures are not adamant that he be European — merely that he be considered a ‘prince’ of that people.

I still think that the traditional view is probably correct, but we are living in exceptional times. What used to be prophecy is now history, and as the saying goes, “hindsight is always 20-20.”

The Scriptures are unbreakable, eternal, immutable, but one cannot say the same thing about the interpretation of Scriptural prophecy. Prophecy is subjective; that is to say, it can be read literally, figuratively or symbolically.

I believe that the Scriptures are intended to be taken literally unless the context or the topic are clearly symbolic or allegorical.

Parables are intended to allegorical. The Seven Churches of Revelation are symbolic of the Seven Epochs of the Church Age. The “people of the prince who is to come” is a literal statement.

The prince who is to come will be of the people that destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 AD. The city and Temple were destroyed by Titus of Rome, with Julius Alexander as his second-in-command.

That prince will confirm a covenant between Israel and the Palestinians. The confirmation of the covenant is the event that signals the beginning of Daniel’s 70th Week, or the final Week of The Age of the Law.

We learn more about the coming prince of the Roman Empire from John the Revelator and the Apostle Paul. He will be a master deceiver whose charisma and charm will win him the adoration of the entire Western world.

He will partner up with the leader of a global religious system and eventually, he will demand worship as a god. Those who refuse to join his combined religious/economic/political system will face decapitation.

As we get closer to the end of this present age, some of the old understandings are being challenged by events on the ground. Previous generations were only interpreting prophecy. We’re living it.

There’s a difference.

Throw Israel From the Train?

Throw Israel From the Train?
Vol: 93 Issue: 8 Monday, June 8, 2009

“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 Prophet Zechariah began his career in the second year of Darius some sixteen years after the return of the first exiles from Babylon. Zechariah is the eleventh of the twelve “minor” prophets and is a contemporary of the Prophet Haggai.

Zechariah’s prophecies often looked far into the future, a future in which the Jews would again be exiled from their homeland and scattered throughout the world before being regathered in the last days.

He prophesied that the Jews would be persecuted worldwide, that Jerusalem would become a battleground of nations, and that ultimately, Jerusalem would become the religious center of the world.

His most relevant prophecy to our particular time is about Jerusalem and the destiny of those who ‘burden themselves’ with it.

The word translated ‘burden’ (amac) means to take a burden upon oneself and the phrase “cut in pieces” comes from the word ‘sarat’ meaning “to gash” or “to make cuttings”.

So you can see that there is nothing figurative about Zechariah’s prophecy concerning Jerusalem. All those who burden themselves with the issue of Jerusalem — on either side — will pay the price for interfering. God has His own plan for the redemption of Israel and the restoration of Jerusalem.

The Muslim world has fought five wars with Israel, each aimed at the destruction of the Jewish State and the recovery of Jerusalem. At the end of every war, the Arab states were a little smaller, and the Jewish State a little larger. By the mid-1970’s, Israel controlled all the territory from the Golan Heights to the Jordan River to the Suez Canal.

Under President Carter, the United States took on a direct role in the Arab-Israeli peace process. The 1977 Camp David Accords made the United States a third partner in the quest for peace.

As a consequence of the Camp David Accords, Egypt’s Anwar Sadat was assassinated. Egypt was suspended from the Arab League until 1989. The US economy stayed in the tank for almost a decade. The Palestinians felt that Egypt had betrayed their cause, ultimately resulting in the first intifada.

According to the Prophet Zechariah, at the time of the Lord’s return, the burden of Jerusalem will have become so heavy, and the price paid for that burden so expensive, all the nations of the earth will have gathered themselves together on the plains of Megiddo to settle the question of who owns Jerusalem once and for all.

The Prophet offers no hint that Israel has any allies standing with her in that day.

Assessment:

In his first five months in office, President Obama has already done more than any US president in history to appease the Muslim world. His first one-on-one interview with any news organization was granted to al-Arabiya.

His first international speech was addressed to the Muslim world and delivered from a Muslim capital.

In his second speech delivered from Cairo, Obama practically ordered Israel to abandon its dreams of retaining undivided control of Jerusalem or any international recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Obama’s speech was supposed to reassure both sides. It didn’t.

Three-quarters of Israeli Jews think Obama’s policies are bad news for Israel. Eighty percent think Israel is going to have to face Iran alone.

On the Arab side, Lebanon’s Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah summed up the general Arab reaction saying Obama’s affirmation of the “unbreakable” bond between the U.S. and Israel was a sign that nothing had changed.

“We have witnessed that despite every nice word he said toward Arabs and Muslims or Islam, he is still committed to the unbreakable bond toward the Zionist entity,” Fadlallah said.

Obama’s speech dominated the Arab media on Friday, with newspaper headlines like “A New Beginning” and most editorials and opinion pieces devoted to analyzing every word.

Regional news channels like Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya continued to air excerpts from the speech, which dominated political chat shows for a second day.

The Associated Press noted in an editorial; “The likelihood of a policy clash between Israel and its most powerful ally seems certain to block a resumption of serious peace talks the issue that Arabs across the region said was the most important for repairing U.S.-Muslim ties.

In Iran, Washington’s adversary for 30 years, a sermon by a hard-line prayer leader revealed the depth of hatred felt by Muslims toward Israel as much as the magnitude of the task ahead if the Obama administration is to keep its support for Israel from poisoning relations with Muslims, as it has for decades.” (emphasis mine)

“Israel causes tension and clashes in the Middle East, imposes oppression and kills innocent people,” Ayatollah Ahmadi Jannati told worshippers in Tehran. “Israel does whatever evil she likes. What are you going to do about it? Will you answer this, Mr. Obama?”

In Iraq, Sheik Ahmed Hassan Taha told worshippers at Baghdad’s Abu Hanifa mosque that Obama cannot be trusted, accusing him of abandoning his father’s Muslim faith. “Anyhow, we cannot trust America either because it is Israel’s main backer and it is difficult for us to believe that this will ever change.”

Abdullah, King of Mecca is ‘urging’ Obama to “impose” (yes, impose) a solution on the Arab-Israeli conflict, ‘if necessary’. From a different report from the Associated Press:

“King Abdullah told Obama during his visit to Riyadh last week that Arab patience was wearing thin and that a solution of the Arab-Israeli conflict would be the “magic key” to all issues in the region, al-Hayat said, quoting what it called informed sources.

“We want from you a serious participation to solve the Palestinian issue and impose the solution if necessary,” the Saudi monarch told Obama, according to the paper, which is owned by a nephew of the monarch. It did not elaborate.”

When the Prophet Zechariah prophesied that those who burdened themselves over the issue of Jerusalem would be ‘cut in pieces’ — it wasn’t a threat. It was an observation. Zechariah also called Jerusalem a ‘cup of trembling’ (Hebrew ra’al) which can also be translated as ‘reeling’ (from intoxication).

The quest to settle the question of Jerusalem has intoxicated every US president since Jimmy Carter, albeit some more than others. Bill Clinton and George Bush both hoped to put Mideast peace on their resumes as their ticket into the history books.

Their efforts resulted in the loss of most of Israel’s military gains over five decades, a predictable consequence of holding the insane expectation that extortion on a national scale turns out differently than it does at the individual level.

Obama has made reconciliation with the Islamic world his number one international priority. And so, what do you think the odds are that the Obama administration is going to allow its Islamic initiative to be scuppered by US support for Israel?

I believe that Obama is looking for an excuse to throw Israel from the train, but he can’t. Not as long as the Church is still here.

Which suggests to me that the Church isn’t going to be here much longer.

Hell And a Merciful God

Hell And a Merciful God
Vol: 93 Issue: 6 Saturday, June 6, 2009

The question has been asked so many times that has morphed from a question into a challenge; “How can a merciful and loving God condemn people to eternal torments in hell?”

The question is not just posed by atheists and skeptics, but also by some sincere, but woefully uneducated Christians. The argument has some merit on the surface. God is love. All men are created with a sin nature.

Since, by definition and design, all men are sinners and our Creator God is love, it logically follows that a loving God who created sinners would be unjust in condemning them to hell for being what they are.

God is the Righteous Judge. If He is so righteous, it seems logical that He would take into account the mitigating circumstances.

Especially since the chief mitigation is the fact it was the Righteous Judge that created the unrighteous sinner and that unrighteousness is the default condition of man. That cannot be stressed strongly enough.

The default condition of mankind is that of utter depravity. People are not born good and then learn bad things. It is precisely the opposite.

There is a common canard in our society that dictates that racism, for example, is learned behavior. A ‘learned behavior’ is something that has been taught to someone, or a way of thinking that they did not come up with themselves.

The prevailing worldview is that children who grow up to be racists are taught to be racist as a child. In this view, unless a child is taught to be racist, he will grow up to be ‘color-blind’ so to speak.

An article posted by a Dr. Carl Bell, MD on the American Psychiatric Association’s website attempted to argue against racism as a ‘mental illness’, claiming;

“As I stated in the editorial, racism “is mainly a product of learned behavior,” and “a majority of explicitly racist persons do not have any psychopathology.”

I don’t know if racism is a mental illness, but I know that racism is not something that children are taught. It is something that they must be ‘untaught’.

Children are racist by nature. Studies conducted that put one black pre-schooler into a classroom full of white pre-schoolers showed the white pre-schoolers abused, ostracized and teased the black kid corporately, that is to say, they did so as a group.

Reversing the situation produced the same results; the black kids abused, ostracized and teased the white kid, again corporately. Were all these pre-schoolers taught to be racists?

Moreover, who taught them to be abusive? Who taught them the principles of boycott, or ostracization?

These are fairly advanced principles for pre-schoolers — it took Jesse Jackson a lifetime of effort to fine-tune them into the social weapons they are today. Where did these kids learn to be racist?

Any school teacher will confirm that children are not only racist, they are mean. Kids are really small terrorists without advanced weaponry or a cause. And we were all kids.

If we reach back far enough into our memories, it is fairly obvious that the cruelest people we ever met were our own classmates.

Everyone remembers that one kid who was taunted unmercifully, (maybe it was you) because of their skin color, their religion, their social status, or some other characteristic that made that kid different. (I remember a kid we all teased because he was ugly.)

I was teased unmercifully because I had no hand-to-eye coordination. When we would choose up sides to play baseball, the two team captains would choose their players until they got to me. Then they’d fight over who got ‘stuck’ with me — as if I wasn’t there.

My nicknames were alternatively, “Easy Out” and “Butterfingers” — two terms that make me cringe to this day.

Children have to be taught not to hit each other, bite each other, they have to be taught not to steal, to show respect, not to lie, etc.

Prisons are full of folks who blame their upbringing for their shortcomings. Zacharias Moussaoui’s defense for being a 9/11 plotter was, in essence, that his father was mean to him and that’s why he became a terrorist.

Dr. Carl Bell, MD, would undoubtedly agree with Jung and Freud that having bad parents as children is to blame for bad behavior in adults. Baloney.

Children needn’t be taught bad values because ‘bad’ is their default state.

Prisons, as rehabilitation centers, attempt to teach ‘good’ values — or the word ‘rehabilitation’ is meaningless.

A long example to prove a short principle; We are born sinners. Evil is our default condition. It is goodness that is the learned behavior.

To return to our original premise, if a loving God created us without a spark of goodness, then how could He then condemn us to an eternity of torment for being what He made us to be — and still call that ‘perfect justice’?

Assessment:

It is worth noting that the only inherently evil creation in the corporeal (physical) world is humanity. Animals aren’t evil by nature. They do what comes naturally.

Sin isn’t a learned behavior. It is something that must be unlearned. The degree to which a human being ‘unlearns’ selfishness, cruelty and sadism becomes the measure of his goodness. Provide the right set of circumstances, say, New Orleans after Katrina, and humanity reverts to type.

Doctors murder patients to save themselves. People with no criminal record become looters. The strong prey on the weak. Right and wrong, as social concepts, essentially evaporate.

Man was created in God’s image. He was created with the ability to discern between right and wrong, and was also created with the ability to choose which path to take.

This planet is the only place in God’s creation where evil is permitted unfettered operation. Theologians call it the ‘cosmos diabolicus’. It is enclosed by an atmosphere which keeps evil from escaping out into the universe.

When Satan came to present himself before the Lord, “the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.” (Job 1:7)

It is Satan’s domain. When Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness, he offered the Creator of the Universe a bargain:

“the devil taketh Him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth Him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto Him, All these things will I give thee, if Thou wilt fall down and worship me.” (Matthew 4:8-9)

Although Jesus is the Creator (and Satan knew it) the ‘cosmos diabolicus’ was Satan’s to offer.

So, again we return the central question: “How could a loving God condemn us to eternal torment for being what He made us to be?”

A lion who hunts down and kills an injured wildebeest that can’t keep up with the herd isn’t doing evil because he selected the weakest and most vulnerable prey. That’s why he was created to do. He has no other choice.

And THAT is where God’s perfect justice comes in. We DO have a choice. We were created specifically to that single purpose. So that, when given the choice, we could then choose God.

God’s perfect justice demands that there be some provision of salvation for those who choose Him — or He could impose no penalty for those who choose to reject Him.

Jesus Christ is God in the flesh. Therefore, man has a choice between ‘good’ (God) and man’s default nature of evil (self). Jesus Christ represents God’s perfect justice.

Having defeated the sin nature by living a perfect life, He was uniquely qualified to pay the penalty perfect justice demands, because no created being could earn the currency necessary to pay the price on their own behalf.

Each of us is acutely aware of our sin nature. We spend a lifetime seeking to overcome it, and in so doing, learn that it is impossible. We then are confronted with a choice.

We can choose Heaven by humbly accepting the offer of Pardon extended to us, knowing it is not something we earned, cannot earn, and cannot buy or steal.

Or we can choose hell, the place prepared as the eternal repository for sin after this cosmos diabolicus is destroyed at the end of human history.

The earth will have served its purpose as a confinement area for sin, and having served that purpose, “shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat.” (2nd Peter 3:12)

After Satan is banished to hell and sin is contained, the cosmos diabolicus gives way to “new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” (2nd Peter 3:13)

God doesn’t condemn us to hell. He condemns sin. But in His mercy, He provides a way for us to shed our sin nature through the regeneration of salvation.

But we are the ones who make the final choice. It is indeed perfect justice that the condemned be given the choice — while still in their sins — of where they will spend eternity.

Having expressly provided the choices to us, it would be utterly unjust of God to ignore the choice we make.